Brussels Sprouts and Chocolate Cake


No…………. not baked together, silly.

This was a savory sweet accident. At Target, I found assorted chopped and bagged vegetables that include sugar snap peas, shaved brussels sprouts, cubed sweet potatoes and pumpkins, etc: two bags for $5. Sounded like an easy experiment.

  1. Placed the cubed sweet potatoes and shaved brussels sprouts on a sheet pan.

  2. Tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and paprika. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

  3. Bake 425 until sprouts become like crispy onions. Drizzle more balsamic vinegar. Enjoy.

My oven is not working well and is unable to maintain a steady temperature. Ahhhh….old age. So, the vegetables were in the oven much longer than usual. My new favorite. Really. Even suspicious of brussels sprouts, Jim liked it. I would have it over rice, toast, or even nachos, like at our local restaurant Restauration that serves fantastic brussels sprouts nachos. In fact, this recipe was probably inspired by that recent post- volunteering dining experience with Atiya.


Friday was devoted to paying forward all that I eat. A dinner for 30 at Lafayette Urban Ministry’s homeless shelter. For less than $60! Embarrassingly easy and affordable. Made Beef Stew (having tired of making chili the past few times). Also, I’d like to include more healthy vegetables to the mix. Taking a vegetarian meal seems insufficient. I don’t know. Maybe I should ask the coordinator. Thoughts?

Happy to report, another successful weekend experiment was Patti’s Chocolate Cake. Yay! Mine was not much of a looker but it tasted ALMOST as good as Patti’s.


Her chocolate icing recipe is surprisingly simple but it may take some practice to get it just right. I don’t mind practicing a few times.

Here is Patti’s recipe. Ava and Lucy this is for you:

Chocolate Cake

Make layers using 2 boxes Duncan Hines Cake mix. The make sure layers are not too sweet, use beer in place of water when making the layers. Bake in three 9 inch pans. When the layers are cool, slice each layer in half.

Icing – Make two batches

½ C. Butter

4 T. Cocoa

6-7 T. milk

1 box 10X Powdered Sugar

In a double boiler melt the butter. Stir in 4 T of cocoa. Add milk and cook for about a minute while stirring. Pour over powdered sugar. Mix slowly until combined, add another 2-3 T of milk, and beat on highest speed until frosting is creamy. Pour over the each layer, allowing chocolate to soak into each layer. This should cover about three half layers. Make an additional batch of icing and finish cake.

I hope your weekend included tasty experiments, sharing and giving things that are broken more time.

Wishing you a wonderful first week of February,



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