Quail Egg Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake, Baby.

So The Man works at Tractor Supply, eh?  They sell books at a discount–How to Farm Such-And-Such.  How to Live Off the Grid.  How to Make Happy Chickens Even Happier.  Ah, I’m mocking again, aren’t I?  Shoot. Sorry about that.  Actually most of them are pretty interesting, and I always try to browse them when I’m waiting on him to clock out and go to Subway.  A good selection of the discounted books are cookbooks.  Anne Byrne–who I think is downright marvelous–wrote the classic baking tome, The Cake Mix Doctor and The Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor.  That particular one was $5, so I nabbed it, having been a fan of hers for years.


The idea is pretty basic for this cake:  add one more egg to a chocolate cake mix and a cup of sour cream. Done.  And it is The Man’s favorite cake.  I think I’ve made it about 20 times, literally. I can mix and bake it in under 48 minutes.  I usually use 3 silkie (small chickens) eggs and a cup of sour cream.  I always use the Duncan Hines  Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Cake Mix.  I buy the FUDGE chocolate frosting.  Just FUDGE.  Not MILK CHOCOLATE.  Not that profane whipped stuff, either.


Anyway–when cake is done and still warm, I heat the frosting in the microwave for about a minute and pour it over.  As for the cake pan, I highly recommend the Winn-Dixie brand flour spray. It works like a dream!  I let the cake cool on my glass top stove for at least an hour and it pops right out–every time.

The frosting puddles in the middle, of course, and that is just awesome.  Sometime, I’ll lift the cake with a knife and let the frosting leak underneath to keep the moisture.  It tastes spectacular, and keeps its moisture.

See how spongy the texture is?  It was super-moist and beautiful inside, too.

You may or may not have noted that I have made this cake at least twenty times in two years.  Do you think, perhaps, that this over-experimental foodie might be a bit bored? Yaaaassss, she would be.

This week I made the cake out of quail eggs just to investigate what would happen.  We have two female quails and the eggs have been piling up–I have’t known what to do with them, they’re like… Barbie eggs or sumthin’.

So it weighed them by grams and it took NINE quail eggs to equal three chicken eggs.  Here’s the thing about quail eggs, though.  First and foremost, they are a pain pain pain pain pain to break. They shatter on impact, shell-wise, so you have to Dr. Pimple Popper out the actual egginess.  Second–and most importantly–they are almost all yolk.  There’s very little white.  Which means:

This cake had a spongy, beautiful texture that was the best of the whole freakin’ lot.  I texted Frances and said, “NO QUAIL EGG QUICHE FOR SURE!” but other than that, I highly recommend them for cakes.  Just. Fantastic.

Now tell me, Samsung, how hard is it to put “Bundt” cake in the dictionary?  Every time I type in “Chris” you clowns suggest “Brown” as the next word, but not Budnt??? What’s Bundesliga?


Freak.  I’m Wiki’ing it right now.


A football league in Germany.

Bunchen brings up that model, whom, from the looks of things, has never tried a Bundt cake, ever.

Good lord.  I’m mailing her the next cake.  Honestly.

Another artistic shot to build your confidence in my recipe. Uh, well, Anne’s recipe.

Betty Crocker, I’m bored to death with you, but you sure look good, girl. It’s on my North Carolina state plate.  Love state plates.  They make the best cake plates. And my commercial cake pan cover from the Salvation Army here in the Free State of Jones.

So that’s all for now.  But if you want recipeness, here it is:

One box Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Cake Mix

1 cup sour cream

3 small eggs, or 9 quail eggs (as if, I know)

1 1/4 cup of water (or, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup Coffee Mate French Vanilla Creamer)

1/3 cup oil

Flour Spray (I’ve tried shortening and butter:  this always works best)


1 container (well, not really the whole thing) melted in microwave.  Be sure to carefully peel off ALL of the foil.  Yes, it can be done, I do it all the time.

Mix.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Let cool until it separates from sides. It will contract.

Turn out on super-cool looking plate, and then cover with frosting, making sure it pools in the middle.

Cut slice of cake being sure to get that pooled stuff in the middle to be smeared over cake so you give your folks an extra heapin’ helpeness of good schtuff.

Enjoy.  Comment if you like it. Please.  I can’t just have my brother-in-law be the only commenter.

The most useful article I’ve seen on the internet in ages


Wait but why is probably the single most intelligent site I have come across in ages.  If you have the least problem with procrastination, you need to read this:


Then read it again.  It is brilliant.  I am a donor–it’s the only website I contribute to.

Other interesting things around the net.

Ever have one of those rare moments when you KNOW your search for good music is temporarily over?

Read the Shirk Report, People.  Honestly.


Breadcrumbs are evil–but only until you find the little suckers.

At least they are in the supermarket.  They are the Bermuda Triangle of food schtuffs:  Can you tell me, off the top of your head, where are the breadcrumbs in your supermarket?  Any idea?  Any idea?  No.  No.  Because they are like the Eucharist:  a Mystery, capital M. No one who works in a grocery store knows where they are, either.  Are they in the baking isle?  No.  I’ve found them by soda, by snacks, by just about anything.  They defy category.

Now here’s a thing… I always have breadcrumbs, from the store, on hand.  Why?  Because there are few finer things on this dear, rotten earth than Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs on pork chops.  God bless my little Louisana/Mississippi hybrid momma.  All ya need is egg, pork chop (I love Iowa Chops) and some Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs.

Lenora’s Porky Chops

Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs

Eggs, beaten cause they deserve it.

Pork chops which are delicious and not cuddly and deserve to be on your plate.

Dip pig in chicken’s potential but-not-quite-new-chickens and bake or fry up.  Don’t have the heat too high or it will brown the bread coating REAL FAST and make them ugly brown and eventually burnt.

Serve up.  Yer done.

You will be so impressed.  Everyone will love them, and you will rarely cook pork any differently, ever.

When you have acclimated yourself to the awesomeness that is Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs, try this…

Lenora’s Magnificent And I Mean Bad Ass Beooootiful Stuffed Artychokies

Buy them bad boys.  Just do it.  In the produce isle where you often advert your eyes because you don’t quite know how to deal with artichokes.  But now that you have PIBC’s, look THEM IN THE EYE DO NOT SHOW FEAR and buy two.  Or three.  Doesn’t matter.

Wander over to the Good Cheese section.  Now the Good Cheese Section will not say “Good Cheese Section” because it is cheese and it is subtle, baby.  Subtle.  Grab you a container (more than 8 oz.) of Romano, Parmesan, and Provolone.  Grated, preferably.

Getcha a BIG pot.  Like a Dutch oven.  (Why’s it called that?  I’ve never cooked any Dutch in it, ever.) Put one of those steam trays in the bottom, or anything that will elevate the artichokes about an inch or so off the bottom.  A steam basket will do.

Trim the artichokes where the bottoms are flat.  Put them aside and let them wonder what’s coming next, cause that shit’s brutal and they’ll really think the worst.

Then take the Progresso Bread Crumbs–I’d say about 1 cup or so–more or less, you’re going to have to eyeball it AND THINK FOR YOURSELF (do you see step-by-step instructions here?  NO.  Because you don’t need me to hold your hand, like it’s your first time to use the freaking Easy Bake Oven!).  Then you put in about a cup each of the Romano, Parmesan and Provolone.  And let me tell you–any cheese for the Provolone will do, as long as its a bit melty.  I wouldn’t recommend motzerella, but that’s because of how you eat it–it would get all awkward.  You’ll see why in a minute.  But substitute Italian blend or cheddar or four cheese–anything that will add moisture and melty texture.

Toss those bad boys.  Don’t apologize to anyone.  Not the Vegans, not the dairy cows, and not your fifth grade teacher who told you that animals were all like Bambi and deserved good things.  Just cheese it, baby. Put in some salt, maybe a teaspoon for the whole lot.  You won’t need much.

Then take the artichokes and starting at the bottom (much like my writing career) take a tablespoon and scoop the mixture into the leaves.  Pull them down to create a gap.  STUFF them.  STUFF.  All the way up to the top.  I find it helpful to put it in the bowl with the mixture, so it’s all kept in one place.

Then pour about two tablespoons of olive oil over each. Put in Dutch oven in 350 degree oven for about an hour, maybe a bit more–until one of the leaves will pull away easily.

They are glorious.  They are quite possibly, my favorite food in the whole world, and I treasure the once or year or so I make them.

The KonMari method of cleaning up

It’s one thing to wade through a how-to book and learn another’s method, it’s another thing entirely (and infinetly more efficient) to let someone ELSE read the book and then demonstrate it to you in a 15 minute vid on YouTube.  The Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo has an excellent approach.  Here it’s demonstrated by a college (I think he’s in college) student who breaks it down effectively in fifteen minutes.  I found it very useful, especially the clothes part.

My organization methods were first sparked by The Fly Lady, who said, “If you’re overwhelmed, start with the kitchen sink.  Just never go to bed with dirty dishes.  Clean the sink, wipe it dry, and go to bed.”  And with that one thing, I went from boderline Hoarders star to an organized housekeeper.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your housekeeping, start with this video.  He’s friendly and honest and makes it easy to follow.

Also, if you are like me and battle ADHD with both hands (oh, my gerd.  You just don’t know unless you know) try Any.do.  It’s free and the single most effective thing I use to stay on track. It seamlessly gives me a timed list from my iPad, my Android, or my Chrome.  I swear, I don’t know how I lived with out it.  Oh, wait, I was disorganized and frustrated.  Then I felt a lot more in control with it.