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Weekend Wandering in Chocolate


Yes, I am wandering in chocolate this weekend…both the color and the food.  While October has its glory days of playful orange and yellow everything, November is more somber and reserved to me.  I like brown in November.  (Perhaps it is the leftover chocolate Halloween candy that I keep munching that does that to my brain! 🙂 ) So I am looking at rooms with chocolate brown walls – perfect for bringing on the coziness needed for the month.  Remember this gorgeous one from Blackberry Farm?

Here is one with brown checks.  Don’t you like the contrast of all that white trim with the luscious brown walls?

And how about a child’s room with the chocolate brown walls? This one from an old Serena and Lily sale ad looks great with the red bed.

I’m also looking at dark, rich brown in some new clothing…thinking about ordering this skirt and sweater from llbean.  And I had to include that Kate Spade shopper because I thought it was hilarious!

But I guess I shouldn’t really be thinking about clothing today.  The shelf on the left hand side of our master bedroom closet -my husband’s side with all his shirts and the luggage on top – crashed to the floor earlier.  That’s a problem, but even more than that, the shelf ran the entire length of the closet and is now blocking the door so that we can’t even open it to get inside to repair it! My husband got it to open just a little, stuck the cellphone in it to take a picture to see if he could figure out what to do, and has yet to come up with a good plan.  He wants to cut out the wall.  I say break the door down…we’ll see.  At least all the laundry hadn’t been put up yet. 🙂

So let’s talk chocolate – as in the food – for a second.  Have you gotten the November/December issue of Traditional Home magazine yet?  Oh. my. gosh.  It is their best December issue ever!  First there is an article on the wonderful Washington School House – a Park City, Utah hotel that I included in another edition of Weekend Wandering hereThen there is a great article on Chicago’s Hot Chocolate restaurant.

The chef does a study of different ways to use an ingredient for a collection of desserts.  The article includes some delicious sounding recipes this month for the restaurant’s hot chocolate master blend.  I can’t wait to try them out!

And that is not all there is in this month’s issue.  There are several fabulous homes decorated for Christmas.  One is this beauty decorated by Laura Langworthy for her daughter featuring this bedroom that I absolutely love! (And look, there are touches of chocolate brown in this room. :))

Traditional Home Nov./Dec. 2012

Another is this charming home that has been renovated in Pennsylvania.  Traditional Home Nov./Dec. 2012

Isn’t it precious??  I love all the checks (of course!) and the skirts in the kitchen.  You really need to get the issue if you do not subscribe just so you can see this entire house.

I kind of got off the subject of food when I went to raving about the magazine, but let’s get back to some real chocolate now.  My favorite chocolate cake is the easy Texas sheet cake, and I plan to make one tomorrow.  Earlier today I was looking to see if there were other versions of it that I might want to try. (I know, why mess with a good thing?) My roommates and I used to make it all the time in college, and when I started making it for my husband we added ice cream – total knock-your-socks-off richness!  When I saw this cake today, it took me back to those days of cake and ice cream.

 Here is the recipe I use.

It is from the Cooking Channel.  Their headquarters are located in lower Manhattan, and they have been without power and have had limited access to the internet since Hurricane Sandy.  I am amazed that they have been able to do all that they have since the storm!  Many of their employees have been doing volunteer work with the American Red Cross.  If you would like to do something to help out families who have been affected by the deadly storm, donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund can be made by clicking here.

Goodness I have really wandered all over the place in this post! One last thing before I go…remember that there is a giveaway going on for not one – but two! cans of Williams Sonoma pumpkin cupcake mix.

Just leave a comment on the post and you are entered!  The drawing will be on 11/10/12.  I’ll leave you with a question (or two!):

Have you made the Texas sheet cake before? 

And if so, do you eat it hot or cold? 

With ice cream or without?

hoping to hear from you,

**Giveaway has closed.  Winner announced 11/12/12.

You might enjoy these posts:

sandy - November 9, 2012 - 7:27 pm

Brown is one of my favorite colors. Chocolate is always right no matter the season. I’m from Texas and our sheet cake is a staple here!
And November is my birthday month!

shannon - November 8, 2012 - 2:27 pm

I am going to try the cake.. My Laramie is a chocoholic and she will love it! I am loving your blog..

Kayleigh Harkins - November 7, 2012 - 10:17 pm

I love chocolate so much! I went to check out the Mindy’s Hot Chocolate restaurant site and I am ready to buy a plane ticket to check it out! Sounds delicious….and lucky me, they have hot chocolate available for internet purchase. 🙂 Thanks Kelly!

Cindy - November 7, 2012 - 8:58 pm

The brown paint and lamps in the “monogram” room are great…yet, I think my favorite room is the “houzz” room; the brown window shades with the dark sage green walls is so calming; I love the antique bench. The entire room feels cozy.

shelia - November 7, 2012 - 3:10 pm

My mother-in-law made this cake for my husband every year on his birthday – she didn’t call it Texas sheet cake but it is delicious warm or cold, she always put hers in the fridge so that the chocolate would melt in your mouth when you took a bite! Painted my dining room chocolate brown with red floral drapes… love it! I enjoy your blog and you have a beautiful home.

Christina @ Floridays Mom - November 5, 2012 - 7:40 pm

Never heard of texas sheet cake before but those pics have me seriously interested!!! (and how can you deny that dollop of ice cream on top..yum!)

Paula B. - November 5, 2012 - 1:46 pm

I’m with you on the November sentiments, seems like a brown month, for sure. These pictures are of rooms I would just want to live in right now. Someday, when I win the lottery, I want you to redecorate my home -I love your taste ( in all things chocolate, too).

Lindsay at Life of Splendor - November 5, 2012 - 11:26 am

Ooh that chocolate dessert looks delicious!! I just love the color chocolate, too. It feels so cozy and warm, which I love this time of year.

Peggy - November 5, 2012 - 9:46 am

Bravo Texas Sheet Cake! I am blessed to be a member of a Lunch Bunch at work who once a month celebrates those who have had birthdays and this cake is the favorite of the Bunch. Warm or cold is great, but ice cream is a must. And, a question for you, do you use cinnamon in your cake? I have two recipes and one calls for it and the other doesn’t. We prefer it without.

Patty from Michigan - November 4, 2012 - 8:44 pm

Kelly, Sorry to hear of the crash in your closet. Hopefully, by the time you read this it has been resolved. All I can say is I love the brown checks! I want a piece of furniture with checks some day! 🙂 I have never made a Texas sheetcake, but looking at the pictures makes we want to make one very soon! I would eat it warm with a glass of milk. Have a great week! Patty 🙂

Pat - November 4, 2012 - 6:13 pm

Chocolate decor, hot chocolate , and fudge Texas sheet cake with ice cream–hot please!!!!
Oh, my lucious!!!

Lori - November 4, 2012 - 4:50 pm

The closet….ugghh!
Love, love Texas sheetcake. The first Sunday of every August
at a beloved family reunion you can find a huge pan of Texas sheetcake sitting at the end of the dessert table. Yum!

Stacey - November 4, 2012 - 3:55 pm

I’ve made many Texas Sheet Cakes – they are to die for when served warm. 🙂

Love the chocolate decor ideas especially this time of year. I’ve added a good bit of chocolate in this new house. Hoping it doesn’t feel fallish to me later on.

Stephanie - November 4, 2012 - 3:13 pm

I’ve made Pioneer Woman’s chocolate sheet cake a few times. It is yummy! I found your blog thru Southern Hospitality and I love it. Your home is beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.

Mickey Cybulski - November 4, 2012 - 1:21 pm

I just discovered your blog and love it. I especially like that you use and like colors in your home, colors make everything so cozy especially this time of year. I make Texas sheet cake especially for summer picnics, it is a favorite at our house. Thanks for your wonderful design inspirations! Mickey

Donna - November 4, 2012 - 12:35 pm

My grandmother used to make Texas sheet cake for every family reunion. I still love it today, but never thought of making it in a cast iron skillet. Thanks for the great idea!
Love your blog!

Dawn - November 4, 2012 - 10:34 am

Ok. Could you take the door off of its hinges? You could also pop the door caing off and take the door down from the outside. (Hubby is a home builder/ remodeler)
We are having Texas sheet cake today for his birthday celebration. We make it the day before and let it set in the fridge over night. Then we serve it with vanilla ice cream to cut the sweetness. If you are feeling extra naughty then you can warm ip some hot fudge sauce and poor it over the ice cream. Yum! I need to get a cast iron skillet though. When I make sheet cake its always way too much. So I take it to the teachers at school.

Genny - November 4, 2012 - 10:04 am

So glad to see this recipe can be made in a cast iron pan! I just happened to have recently purchased one!!!!! I’ve been looking for recipes to make in it. I have made the cake part in cupcake form and it is delish! And, all of those rooms have been beautifully decorated! Some good ideas there! Also, my husband would agree — ice cream on top of anything is a sure winner!

Vicki - November 4, 2012 - 9:55 am

Love Texas sheetcake and Love your site!

Judy - November 4, 2012 - 9:29 am

i looooove that 2nd bedroom with the black bench and checked curtains! a few years ago i re-did a bedroom for my sister when she was throwing a big shindig at her house, chocolate brown walls, white trim, white bedding, etc. it turned out so pretty, she said everyone at the party loved it. about 8 years ago i did my husband’s bathroom in brown with a ballard inspired shower curtain. i have always loved chocolate brown in decorating, clothing and of course food!

i went to a beth moore telecast a few years ago at my daughter’s church and i think she had a recipe for a texas sheet cake but i’ve yet to make it (can you believe that?!!)

and finally (this must be the longest comment in history) the other night for trick or treat my little 8 year old grandson went up to a house, looked in the bowl of goodies and didn’t see any chocolate to which he stated “I don’t like any of your candy you don’t have chocolate” to which the man of the house replied “I don’t either son, my wife bought all this”! He’s strictly a chocolate eating kid…has either a Reese’s cup or M&M’s in his lunchbox every day!

okay, i’m gonna shut up now!

Linda Strickler - November 4, 2012 - 6:30 am

Kelly,Are you my twin sister? Everything you post is right up my alley. I live near Pittsburgh Pa. I wished we lived closer. The Texas sheet cake, and hot chocolate oh my! I do have the new TH magazine it is the best, I keep looking forward to your wonderful post!

Erin Buchanan - November 4, 2012 - 5:41 am

Mmmmm chocolate love it in decorating. I’m also going to give your’re recipe a try for sure! We even love chocolate so much we even have a chocolate lab. 😉

Cathy Norrie - November 4, 2012 - 1:12 am

I’ve been an in the closet lover of the colour brown all my life. I always felt rather embarrassed to say that brown was my favourite colour… somehow it seemed so drab, perhaps even mundane compared to my friend’s fav colours – royal blue, passionate purple, hunter green. And mine was… brown. But now I have finally come out and proudly say I love all shades of brown – and it seems I am in the best of company! Thanks for the support, Kelly 🙂


P.S. Oh and Texas sheet cake… nope never heard of it but it sure looks and sounds very much like the chocolate cake with fudge and nut icing that my mum used to make for us now and again. Mmmmm… good!

frances - November 4, 2012 - 12:04 am

I love brown too. Have never made the cake before but it looks really good…maybe try it for Christmas…Cheers frances

Mora - November 3, 2012 - 11:20 pm

AAHHHH… you had me at hello!(first picture)lol I learned from my Mama, as she was taking a swig out of the Hershey’s syrup bottle, that chocolate is a very good thing! Not sure if I’ve had a Texas sheetcake, but we made a cake that had the look of the above cake that we called Mississippi mud cake. I can’t wait to try this skillet cake. Thanks for this post, brought back some sweet memories.

Wanda - November 3, 2012 - 11:03 pm

Will get a copy of TH tomorrow! I love buffalo checks in decorating! And since I am in Texas, I must say that is one good cake!

Susie - November 3, 2012 - 10:52 pm

I have never seen it made in a cast iron skillet! What fun – Texas Sheet Cake is so yummy. I made an apple pie today, baking and fall just go together. Well, particularly when your college son comes home for the first time since August.

Garden, Home and Party - November 3, 2012 - 9:56 pm

How awful to have your closet out of commission…better order the outfit, you may need it. 🙂
My issue hasn’t arrived yet but it looks great, can’t wait.
I’ve never made the sheet cake but it looks so fudgy good!

Leslee in TN - November 3, 2012 - 9:53 pm

P.S. Also love the room photos, the browns, and the checks!! So classy and classic!!! Beautiful ideas!

Leslee in TN - November 3, 2012 - 9:52 pm

YES!!! to the Texas Sheetcake! Used to make it all the time when my children were young, and was our favorite by far!!! So glad to see this posted, as it is a great reminder to me, and I will dig out my recipe, or use this one you posted, and make it again soon. It’s been a long time since I made my last one. Absolutely delicious!!! Thank you bunches for the reminder!!!!

Kim - November 3, 2012 - 8:42 pm

I do have my copy of Traditional Home. I love that checked settee. I love checks and have a good bit in my home. I also have brown walls in our master bedroom. I especially love it this time of year. That cake looks really good. It looks very similar to a coca cola cake that I have made. Chocolatey goodness.

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