In The Kitchen With…Lissa

I made a cake over the weekend. It was one of those to-die-for cakes. It was chocolate, coffee, whipped cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, and it melted in my mouth. It was one of the best chocolate cake recipes I’ve ever made and I will be making at least the cake part of it again. Soon. Like next week.

Cappuccino Cake. Just the name brings to mind all sorts of yumminess. I mean, really, how could I, Lissa Matthews, be expected to resist the temptation of a concoction of such a delicious thing? It was gone by the next day and NO, not because I ate it all. My daughter’s friends came over and they had some, my son had a slice, I took several slices to the girls at the dental office, and I had a slice. And we aren’t going to discuss the 4 cupcakes the leftover batter made. Nope. We aren’t.

Before I give you the recipe, I will say I did modify things a little. The cake called for 2 extra large eggs, I used 2 large. I used Olive Oil instead of vegetable oil, and I used 2 cups of Sucanat instead of white granulated sugar. I love the way it works with chocolate recipes.

For the whipped cream cream cheese frosting, it called for frozen whipped topping, thawed of course. I made my own whipped cream for it. It took a little extra work and the end result was a little softer and than had I used the frozen kind. My reasoning was simple…the frozen kind is made from water, corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and high fructose corn syrup. Those are the main ingredients. Mine was made with organic heavy cream, two tablespoons of organic powdered sugar, and real vanilla extract (homemade).

Either way, the cake had to be refrigerated. And was better the next day after making it.

Cappuccino Cake:

For the chocolate cake:

Ingredients:

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups Dutch cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment. Lightly grease the parchment paper and sides of pan with butter or cooking spray.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

With mixer still on low, add the hot coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pans from oven to cooling racks.

After cakes have cooled, carefully turn one layer out onto cake plate.

For the frosting:

Ingredients:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee, at room temp

1 (8oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

cinnamon and chocolate chips for garnish

Instructions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffly.

Mix in coffee until well combined.

Fold in whipped topping.

Refrigerate frosting for 30 minutes before spreading on cake.

To Frost Cake:

Turn one cake layer onto serving platter.

Spread 1/2 the frosting over cake.

Top with remaining cake layer and remaining frosting.

Sprinkle cinnamon over top of cake.

Sprinkle chocolate chips around outer edge of cake.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before slicing.

Store in refrigerator.

http://www.cajunsugarpie.com/2012/04/cappuccino-cake.html

It really is a divine and delicious cake. For the coffee parts, I actually brewed K-cups. LOL… This was a recipe that made this author incredibly happy with every bite!

~lissa

Lissa’s Birthday Giveaway #5

When I started this week with blog posts and presents to giveaway, I didn’t know what to expect in the way of responses, but y’all have blown me away with them. I have laughed, I have spewed the elixir of like that is coffee, I have cried. Some of the very sweetest and most heartfelt comments have been left by you guys for me, for other authors, for those in your lives… So, thank you.

Now, onto today’s present. You will have a week to get your responses in. A week to tell people about it. A week to plot and plan on how to get rid of your competition. I will pick the recipient Saturday morning, March 3rd at 10am EST.

Of course, you’re wondering what it is, right? I know. But, I did tell you at the beginning of the week what the big gift was, remember? No? Hmmm… very naughty of you.

Yep. A Keurig. I am giving away the Keurig B60 Special Edition. It has the option of 3 cup sizes. It has a 48oz water reservoir and depending on how much coffee or tea or hot cocoa you drink in a day… It has a pretty blue display where you can set water temp, time to come on, time to go off, etc… This is the model I have and I love it.

Even if you don’t drink coffee, as I said, you can use the hot water for tea or cocoa. There are K cups for both of those or you can just dispense the hot water into a cup and go about it that way.

I am a coffee whore. This is no surprise to my regular readers. I drink it nearly every day. I have multiple gadgets and paraphernalia and coffee brewing apparatuses. I enjoy it and honestly, I haven’t even been drinking coffee 10 years yet. I think I’m only 7 years into it and less than 5 years into regular non-froufrou coffee. Y’all know I still love my lattes and won’t ever give them up, though they are a once in a while thing and not an everyday indulgence. I drink it when I’m writing and I like having a cup of something, either coffee or cocoa when I’m reading. There’s just something cozy and nice about it…

And a Keurig makes it fast! So, I wanted to share that with you by giving you one.

What do you have to do? Well, yesterday I asked you to tell me what author you’d most like to meet. Today, I want to know who in your life, in the world, in your fantasies, you’d like to share a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa with. Give me one person, past, present, future…famous, or not…family or friend…author or blogger, etc… that you’d most like to sit down with and talk.

I haven’t asked any of you to follow my blog, sign up for my newsletter, join my Facebook page… If you’d like to do so, I’d love it. More readers for me… But these are not required. Should you choose to do one of them, over on the sidebar —–> is where you’ll find all the information you need.

So, who’s ready? Remember, you until 9:59am EST, Saturday, March 3rd to get your comments in. I usually ask you to leave your email address so I can contact you, however concerns have been raised and are definitely valid. Sometimes an email address will come across in my email from the commenter, sometimes one won’t. If you win and I have your email address then I will contact you. If you win and I don’t have your email address, then it will be up to you to contact me within 3 days of the winners being posted. You can contact me at Lissa AT LissaMatthews DOT com (lissa@lissamatthews.com).

All winners from all giveaways here on my blog this week will be posted here and will be contacted or will need to contact me.

Here are the links… Giveaway #1, Giveaway #2 & #3, Giveaway #4

Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask…

~lissa

Lissa’s Birthday Giveaways #2 and #3

Happy Birthday to Me! No, I’m not shy about liking my birthday or wanting to celebrate or share it with people.

I need to apologize about yesterday and no post or giveaway. I am cross-eyed, even as I type this. I spent all day and night working on Forever In Blue Jeans. There were…complications. I’m fixing to fix those and finish it up and upload it. However, I have promised presents and dammit all, we’re gonna have presents.

I found these and while I haven’t tried one yet myself, when you try one, I’m gonna try one…

They’re called Keep Cups. Reusable, sustainable, barista grade and approved coffee cups. They come 4 size options and any color combo you can think of. Me, I’m simple. Y’all might not be, though.

Of course, if you don’t drink coffee, you can use one for hot tea or hot cocoa. Heck, hot soup even.

I am giving away 2 of the Medium (12oz) sizes. You have until Saturday at 6pm EST to enter. How do you do that? Leave me a comment here and tell me your favorite color from childhood AND your favorite color as an adult (if it’s changed.) My favorite all time color is purple. But, there are times, I’ve gone through phases of preferring other colors. I always end up back at purple though.

So, the Keep Cup is Present #2. Presents, yes plural, #3, will be gift cards. I have several to disburse of. They will given tonight in the Righteous Perverts chat. If you do not attend, can’t attend, etc… Don’t worry. Present giving is not over for the week. Remember, I still have a Keurig to let go of… There will be gift cards, more books, and and other things given…

For now, I need coffee. I need to fix what’s wrong with Forever In Blue Jeans, and I need to get ready for a pilgrimage to South Carolina where the nearest Publix is.

Remember… Leave me a comment here about your favorite color from childhood and your favorite color from adulthood, if it’s changed. Make sure to leave your email address as well so you can be contacted.

~lissa

(P.s. there will be second post on the blog later today… And don’t forget you can still enter the tote bag and book presents giveaway here.)

 

Let’s Talk: Coffee and Giveaway!

We haven’t talked about coffee in ages. Yes, I know this is MY fault, but y’all could help out once in a while and prompt me. You know, I’m not adverse to a good spanking or flogging or… I mean, hop on my Twitter, or Facebook, my email, or hell even here on the blog somewhere and say ‘Hey Lissa! Why no coffee talk lately?’ Or some such similar conversation starter… I’ll respond. Promise.

So, I’m still in love with the Keurig. In. Love. I didn’t take it on vacation with me to the mountains, because my mom was here taking care of all my animals and she’s in love with the Keurig as well and though I had to be pried away from it with a crowbar, I did manage to leave it here for her to enjoy. I took my trusty French press to the cabin with me and was perfectly fine happy and content with it. I still love that incredibly strong, silky coffee it gives me…

My current favorite Keurig flavors are the Kona blend (I want someone to put 100% Kona in a K-cup. Well, other than me, that is. But it’s not a hassle really and I don’t mind. Just sayin’…) and Gloria Jean’s Butter Toffee. OH. MY. GOD! I don’t even have to drink this one. I just punch the hole in the top and sniff it all day. It’s really sweet. It’s very caramel smelling. It’s a medium roast and I tend toward the darker roasts, but… damn, it is good. I will often brew a cup of Kona and brew a lighter/medium coffee in the same cup… It works for me!

I have also found Organic Valley French Vanilla Half and Half. Add this to one cup of the Kona blend and Ahhhhh… Yum! It’s sweet and it’s the only thing I need to add… I can only find it in one store here in Charlotte, and that’s at Earth Fare, but it is well worth it.

Then, there’s the normal coffee. You know, the kind you buy in the bag from the store or the coffee shop. And yes, I do still do this too, cause, well… It’s coffee and I can. But, a friend of mine told me I needed…NEEDED…to try Kaladi Bros. Coffee. They’re based in Alaska. Who knew? Okay, those in the Pacific Northwest obviously knew, but over here on the East Coast? Yeah, I’d never heard of them. I looked through their available coffees, found there was nowhere over here in my corner of the country that I could find it, and had to resort to asking him for a recommendation. He said I should try Trieste Cafe

The description says “A symphony in the mouth. Great as a straight espresso blend, or perfect for brewing.” I nodded, added it to my virtual cart, and now it’s on it’s way from Alaska to North Carolina. I can’t wait!

As I was sitting here writing this post, I decided it was time for us to have a giveaway. I mean, I have a new story out and you know? There’s not one mention of coffee in it. Anywhere. Not that I remember anyway.

But, I haven’t given away a book in a long time. I haven’t give away coffee in a long time either. And sooooooooooooo… Let’s do both!

Leave a comment.

Tell me what your favorite Keurig flavor is and I need the specific name (Tully’s Kona blend, Gloria Jeans Butter Toffee, Coffee People whatever…). Even if you use yours for tea or cocoa, leave a comment telling me that and your flavor choice.

If you do not have a Keurig, tell me what coffee, tea, or cocoa you usually buy. Brand. Flavor, Etc…

And then there’s the story, Masked. I’ll pick three readers to receive a free eBook copy.

Bobby tells himself the mask he’s been wearing all month is just part of the Halloween theme of Abyss, the alternative lifestyle club he frequents. But it’s not the truth. He’s in lust. He’s in the closet. And, he’s ready to come out. The only problem is, the man he’s interested in is a friend. A straight friend.

Thor knows he’s being watched. What he can’t figure out is why?  Every weekend, the man in the black mask has been watching as Thor has flogged, paddled, and whipped submissive after submissive at his play station at Abyss. The man’s heated and unwavering gaze arouses Thor’s curiosity. Is the man a stalker? A jealous dominant or boyfriend? Thor isn’t sure, but decides it’s time to find out.

As he approaches, something in the eyes of the masked man strikes Thor as familiar, but before he can question further, the man reveals exactly what he wants. A spanking. Bare-handed. In private. From Thor.

Secret identities and hidden desires unfold between a seemingly straight Dominant and the submissive harboring a deep, long-held onto lust in Masked.

(This is a male/male erotic spanking story… if you do not wish to be considered for a copy because you don’t like male/male or spanking or both or whatever, please say so in the comments when you leave your coffee, tea, or cocoa preference. It is certainly not my intent to offend any of my readers or visitors.)

Coffee will be given to two readers. Masked will be given to three. And everyone is eligible for both! Any questions?

I’ll give y’all until…Friday at 6pm EST. At 7pm I’ll start emailing winners! Oh and yes please, please, PLEASE make sure to leave your email address when you comment!

Have an awesome day!

~lissa

 

Convince Me I Need A Keurig!

If you have one and love it, convince me that I need one. Y’all know I’m a coffee whore. It’s a plain and simple fact. I am told more often than not in this online community when people think of me they think of three things … Coffee, cupcakes, and Vinter.

It’s more than just drinking of coffee for me. It’s the whole process. Hell, I even created a coffee station in my house with my drip maker (which I never use anymore), my espresso machine (which I need a new one), my two French presses (different sizes), and my coffee grinder (awesome).

So, it’s not that I don’t have enough coffee making paraphernalia. It’s not that I think I need one. I don’t need the hot water for hot chocolate cause I generally make it with milk, in a pot, with cocoa, and sugar, and vanilla on the stove. It doesn’t take any extra effort to heat up water for soup or oatmeal or mac and cheese cups. And because the coffee grinder has a timer, I can multi-task with coffee making. I make cold brewed coffee crack for iced coffee, so, I wouldn’t need to brew any for iced. My favorite iced coffee drink at the moment is an iced Caramel Macchiato which requires espresso. I’ve seen espresso K-cups, but I’m not sure of the strength or quality of such.

Honestly, too, the French press makes just amazingly delicious coffee…smooth, rich coffee that’s got a whole different taste than drip. I’m not really even sure that it’s cost effective with regards to the K-cups, but in a general sense, at the moment, that’s neither here nor there.

I’ve never had coffee from the Keurig and I don’t know anyone local that has one. The only people I hear talking about them are well… other authors and readers and editors and publishers, etc… Everyone is always going on and on and on about how much they LOVE their Keurig, how they can’t live without their Keurig, how their life has been transformed by their Keurig.

So, if you have one, tell me why you love it, why it’s the best thing since…well, the invention of coffee makers, and why a coffee whore such as myself should have one. Of course, if you don’t have a Keurig, tell me if you want one and why.

Oh, and yes, there is a giveaway for the person with the best, most convincing answer, I’ll give a $25 Amazon.com gift card or if you have a Keurig, a package of K-cups (we can discuss your fave, etc… upon winning if you have one).

I’ll give y’all until Monday morning, 8am EST to respond and by noon I’ll have chosen a winner.

Now, dish…!

~lissa

Oh and as more incentive to play along… I will gift a copy of Simple Need to one friend of the winner who hasn’t read it yet, but that you know wants to read it! Or to you, the winner, if you haven’t read it! But I mean, c’mon…it’s Vinter!