Cocoa Cake #Recipe for Dessert Lovers and #Foodies


My last blog post brought you a dozen or so snacks under 100 calories. Today, I present a decadent cocoa cake that is moist, delicious—and I’m sure—full of calories! Am I going to apologize? Absolutely not! Because that’s how I roll. :)

Moist Cocoa Cake with Peanut Butter Drizzle

For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.      Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a 13” x 9” baking pan with cooking spray.
2.    Beat all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until combined. Do not over beat.
3.    Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap pan lightly on counter to remove any air bubbles.
4.    Bake 35-40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
5.     Cool before serving.

For the topping:

1/2 cup PB2
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoon honey

1.      Mix together the PB2, the water, and the honey until smooth.
2.    Drizzle over cake slices.

Note: PB2 is powered peanut butter, a great product that has 85% less fat than regular peanut butter. You can find it in your grocery store or purchase it on Amazon. If PB2 doesn’t interest you, simply measure out a half cup of your favorite peanut butter and thin it with 2 tablespoons honey.

I hope you enjoy this delicious cake!

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12 Snacks – 100 Calories or Less #HeathyEating #Wellness #LifeStyle


I attended a family gathering yesterday and I ate like a pig. So today, I’m trying to get back on track. Here’s a list of my go-to snacks when I’m focused on sticking to 1200-1400 calories per day:

1. 1 cup frozen seedless green grapes – 65 calories
         
2. 1/4 cup wasabi peas – 100 calories

3. 2 stalks celery (about 7” long) and 2 tablespoons hummus – 100 calories

4. 30 goldfish crackers – 100 calories

5. 2 tablespoons PB2 spread on 1/2 granny smith apple – 90 calories
          (PB2 is powdered peanut butter. Mix 2 tablespoons PB2 with 1 tablespoon water. Packed with flavor but very little fat.)

6. 2 Tablespoons PB2 spread on 2 stalks celery – 66 calories

7. 1/2 banana (sliced) dipped in 2 teaspoons dark chocolate chips (melted). Freeze! – 100 calories

8. 1/3 cup Greek Gods Vanilla Honey yogurt – 96 calories

9. 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon – 75 calories

10. Banana smoothie – blend 1/2 a banana, 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, and a handful of crushed ice – 100 calories

11. 2 pretzel rods dipped in 2 teaspoon yellow mustard – 77 calories

12. 1/2 cup steamed edamame (shelled) with a splash of soy sauce – 100 calories

And here’s one more for good measure:

13. 16 cherry tomatoes sliced in half, 1/8 cup crumbled feta cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice – 95 calories

What are YOUR go-to snacks when you’re trying to get your diet and your weight back on track?

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Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Books 4-6 is now available!

New 3-Book Bundle!

Over 8 million people visit Ocean City, Maryland every year—now that’s a lot of opportunity for romance! This 3-book bundle is chocked full of emotional, romantic reads that include tragedy, suspense, yearning, a bit of fluffy fun, and always, always a happily-ever-after.

The first book brings you Christy Cooper, a pediatric nurse who agrees to help Aaron Chase create a perfect family holiday for his precious little girl in An Almost Perfect Christmas. This book has earned nearly one hundred reviews and 80% of them are 5-stars, so the story has obviously touched the hearts of readers.

In Grown-Up Christmas List, Dina Griffin is a young woman who sees a horrific crime and flees to Ocean City during winter in an attempt to keep herself safe. Police officer Gav Thomas suspects Dina is hiding something and he decides to stick close to the vulnerable beauty.

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How To Disable Apps on #Facebook


This morning I watched an interview with Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and learned that there was a huge breach of information back in 2015 in which the personal information of millions of Facebook users was handed over to third party app developers. Due to this mega-breach of personal information, I decided to check out which apps were connected to my Facebook account. OH, WOW! That’s all I can say. I found dozens of apps attached to my account… apps that I don’t even remember ever using. I deleted 90% of them. Here’s how you can do the same.

1. Log into your Facebook account and click on the small triangle icon located in the blue bar across the top (pictured below).

2. In the box that appears, choose “settings.”

3. On the settings page, look at the list on the left hand side. Find and click “Apps.”

4. Hover the cursor over each app to see: a) a small pencil icon with allows editing of settings and b) an “x” that, when clicked, will delete the app.

We have to do whatever we can to protect our personal information. Any time you use one of those fun apps—you know, the ones that entice you with “how old do you look?” or “what kind of friend are you?” or “can you pass this history quiz?” etc.—you are agreeing to give app developers access to your Facebook information. All of us need to periodically delete these apps. Stay safe on the internet!

How do you protect your information when you're on the internet? Let's share our knowledge so we'll all be safer. Thanks!

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Look for my newest release! DANGEROUS MEMORIES is a romantic suspense that has a Hallmark Mystery Movie feel to it. After a horrific accident, Keira Rhodes awakens in the hospital with amnesia and learns that two men claim to be the father of her unborn child. Keira is left to wonder...

What kind of woman am I?


Now available:







11 Kitchen Cleaning Tips - Read Mine, Share Yours



Like everyone else, I clean year-round. But with spring just 7 days away, I'm getting into a Spring Cleaning mood. I want to scrub off the winter doldrums, open the windows, and let the fresh air in. Here are some of my favorite cleaning tips for those pesky jobs.

Burned food in the bottom of a pot: Add a squirt of liquid dish detergent and half an inch of water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the water cool to room temperature. The burned food should clean up quickly.

Accumulated grease on cookie sheets: In a GLASS bowl, mix ¼ cup baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste. Smear mixture on cookie sheet and scrub with small, circular motions, pressing firmly. Rinse and repeat until cookie sheet is clean and shiny. Wash sheet with soapy water and rinse well before using. Don't get the cleaning mixture on your clothes. It could remove the color from fabric.

For sluggish drains: Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. Cover and let bubble for a few minutes. Then flush with a couple quarts of boiling water.

To freshen up your garbage disposal: Run water into drain, full hot. Turn on garbage disposal and pour in about a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent. Let water and disposal run until the suds are rinsed away. Or grind up slices of lime or lemon peels while flooding the drain with hot water.

For a stale-smelling microwave: Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave until the mixture boils. The steam given off will cling to the walls. Wipe down for a fresh, clean microwave.

Coffee-maker Maintenance: Mix 2 cups white vinegar with 2 cups water in the coffee pot. Pour into the water reservoir and press the "brew" button. The vinegar mixture will remove the mineral deposits from the heating element. You might even see bits of it in the "brewed" mixture. If you do, mix a new batch of vinegar/water solution and brew again. Brew plain water several times to rinse the inside of the coffee-maker.

Wood Floor Cleaner: An 85-year-old friend recommended white vinegar to keep wood floors sparkling clean. Add 1 cup vinegar to a gallon of warm water and sponge mop.

Narrow-necked Vases: If you can't get your hand down the neck of your flower vases, use Alka-Seltzer. Fill the vase half full with water. Drop in 2 Alka-Seltzer tablets and let the fizz do the dirty work for you.

Range Hood Filters: Once a month or so, soak hood filters in hot, hot soapy water. Rinse before replacing. This will keep them grease-free and in good working order.  

Clean Cutting Boards: For wood cutting boards, sprinkle with course salt and rub with ½ a lemon. Plastic cutting boards can be run through the dishwasher. Once a month or so, soak plastic cutting boards in a mild bleach solution (2 tablespoons bleach to 2 quarts of water).

Garbage Can: At least once a week, wipe the inside and outside of the can with a soap solution (1 teaspoon dish soap to 1 quart warm water). This will get rid of any lingering odors.

I'm always looking for tips to make cleaning faster and easier. What tips do you have to offer?

Learn about what might be lurking in your cleaning supply closet here: What's Hiding in Your Cleaning Products at MilaKunst.com.


Starlight Cupcakes to the Rescue! #Recipe for #Foodies

I’m waiting for spring. I’m impatient. I need a reason to smile. What’s a woman to do?

Bake cupcakes! Yes! One of my favorite recipes for cupcakes comes from my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook. I have the one I was given as a gift when I married my husband. I also have my grandmother’s Betty Crocker Cookbook which has her notes and hand-written recipes tucked inside. It’s a treasure!

Starlight Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk (substitute almond milk, if you wish)
2 teaspoons vanilla (original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon)

1.     Cream together the sugar and shortening. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until ingredients are well incorporated.
2.     Add flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and vanilla. Stir just until batter comes together and no flour is visible. (Too much mixing at this stage will develop the gluten in the flour and make the cupcakes tough.)
3.     Line 36 medium, greased muffin cups with cupcake liners. Fill each liner half full with batter. Bake in a pre-heated 350º F oven until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 min. Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature.

I like my cupcakes sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, but you can use a tub of any flavored frosting you like. Enjoy!

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As you can imagine, I’ve been antsy lately. So I took on the task of creating a new cover for my book TAKING LOVE IN STRIDE. Here’s what I came up with. What do you think? The story is about a stiletto-loving school teacher who gets into a battle of wills with a do-it-my-way businessman. It’s a fun, sweet contemporary romance.









Hurry, Spring! Hurry!