I've finally found a great scratch recipe for chocolate cake.  It's called Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake.  I will forever use it whenever I am in need of chocolate cake because it's divine!  I have been using Hershey's cocoa but I just read on a blog that it's even better with a higher quality cocoa like Ghiradelli.  
    "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
    2 c. sugar
    1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
    3/4 c. cocoa
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    2 eggs
    1 c. milk
    1/2 c. vegetable oil
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 c. boiling water

    Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-in. round pans. 
    Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on med. speed 2 min. Stir in boiling water. (batter will be very thin) Pour into pans. 
    Bake 30-35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Okay, so I recently tried a pretzel recipe that I found on pinterest and didn't like it as much as the one I normally use.  I like to review the pins that I try so others can get some feedback.  With that in mind, I decided to create a page where I could put recipes so others can access them as well.  This recipe yields a thin crispy pretzel like you would buy at the mall.  They are easy to make and a ton of fun if you get the kids involved.  My kids love making them.  (as a disclaimer, this photo isn't of my pretzels.  I haven't taken pics of mine but needed a photo to pin it.  They look very similar to mine though).

Mall Pretzels Ingredients ·         

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water (110 degrees)
1 cup bread flour (can be made with 4 cups all-purpose flour if you don't have bread flour)
2 cups water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons kosher salt


 1.       In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
 2.      Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. 
 3.      Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface.
 4.      Cover, and let rise for one hour. 
 5.      Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. 
6.      After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. 
7.      Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. 
8.      Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. 
9.      Place on greased or sprayed cookie sheets. 
10.  Brush pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, sugar/cinnamon, coarse salt, etc. (get Creative).  
11.    Let rise 15 to 20 minutes. 
12.   Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. 
13.   Brush with additional melted butter, if desired.  You can also make a glaze with powdered sugar and water or milk