Monthly Archives: May 2014

Nutella Buttercream Chocolate Cake


Here is a fun recipe. Use a knife to cut the wafer cookies in half before adhering them with buttercream to the side of the cake. One last tip – maybe think twice about decorating with finely grated white chocolate on the top of the cake. I thought this would be a nice touch but I think it ended up looking like shredded cheese. Still tastes great!

Nutella Buttercream Chocolate Cake 1Nutella Buttercream Chocolate Cake

Ingredients – Cake
1 package (18.25oz) devil’s food cake mix with pudding
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup Nutella

Ingredients – Frosting

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 small jar Nutella
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
About 60 4-inch Pirouette Wafer Cookies, preferably Pepperidge Farm brand (2 cans, optional)

Preparation – Cake

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, eggs, Nutella, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
3. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined.
4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
5. Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 28 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.
6. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up.
7. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.

Preparation – Frosting

1. Place the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about 90 seconds, stopping to stir every 20-30 seconds. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter and Nutella on medium-high speed until creamy. Beat in the melted chocolate chips.
3. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
4. Beat in the cocoa, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
5. Once the cakes are cool frost cake and decorate with Pirouette Wafer Cookies.


Vogue Germany Editorial June 2014


Check out this darkly avante garde shoot for Vogue Germany’s June issue. The editorial is titled Frida, and is modeled after the late mexican artist, from the beautiful flowers gracing model Guinevere Van Seenus locks, to the artistic styling of the wardrobe by Patti Wilson.

I love the sheer artistry that Daniele e Iango captured in this inspiring spread. Enjoy!!


Credit: Style Pantry

Maya Angelou


Lovely tribute…

patricia a. matthew

Of all the things I remember about the time I met Maya Angelou, I don’t quite remember how we ended up shopping in Shreveport, Louisiana the day after she visited my college.  As college friends post memories on my Facebook page of her visit, I have been trying all day to remember exactly how we ended up shopping and how she came to buy me this scarf.


I do remember that the process, the work of bringing her to campus taught me everything I needed to know about political maneuverings, regional pride, and, eventually, what is possible when an entire institution decides to do a thing right.

I got it into my head one summer that I should bring her to my small, private, mostly lily white, college in Northwest Louisiana. I’d read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in middle school in Biloxi, Mississippi when my father was…

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Over The Hump Old School Sound Check – Gap Band


Happy Thursday! Let the music play Gap Band Style. Enjoy!!

The Gap Band was an American R&B and funk band which rose to fame during the 1970s and 1980s. Composed of brothers Charlie, Ronnie, and Robert Wilson, the band first formed as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in 1967, in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The group shortened its name to The Gap Band in 1973. After 43 years together, they retired in 2010.

Credit: Wikipedia

White Chocolate & Cranberry Crispy Treats


It has been a crazy few weeks in the world of TenaciousM! And my #chocolatefriendsofTenaciousM have suffered and let me know about it. To them I say: “My bad, and I back!”

Is there a better pairing than sweet, juicy berries and rich, luscious chocolate? I don’t think so. Since I had already offered a few milk and dark chocolate sweets this month I decided to use white chocolate. I also wanted to make a bar cookie, just for something different. After looking through my collection of cookie magazines for something suitable to the theme, I chose a recipe from a Better Homes & Gardens magazines – White Chocolate & Cranberry Crispy Treats.

Little did I know I would be learning something new along the way about white chocolate. Technically white chocolate is not really chocolate at all because it does not contain any cocoa solids/chocolate liquor (which I did know). It is usually made from cocoa butter, milk solids, milk fat, sugar, vanilla, and salt. But anything that calls itself chocolate is my friend! Enjoy!!

White Choc-Cran Crispy 4


Crispy Treats ~
¼ cup butter
5 cups mini marshmallows
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup white baking pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Marshmallow Topping ~
1 tablespoon butter
1½ cups mini marshmallows


Crispy Treats ~
1. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan; set aside.
2. In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
3. Add marshmallows, stirring until melted, then stir in cinnamon.
4. Add crispy rice cereal, white baking pieces, and dried cranberries, stirring until combined.
5. Scoop mixture into prepared pan. With the back of a greased spoon (or hands), press mixture evenly into pan.
6. If desired, drizzle with Marshmallow Topping.
7. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.
8. Cut into bars (makes approximately 48 bars).

Marshmallow Topping ~
1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
2. Add marshmallows, stirring until melted.
3. Drizzle over crispy treats if desired.