Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Family Day Fun

We are one of the lucky provinces to have the Family Day holiday in February.  This year my husband was off so we were going to enjoy Family Day together, as a family, in theory.

This is so like us for this to happen.  Dean went to feed the cows and check on them before we left for our Family Day activities.  It was a beautiful, sunny day-a real change to the cold days we'd recently had.  We were all looking forward to finally getting outside.  Dean was taking a little while longer than normal which I knew could only mean one thing...something was wrong.  And shortly after I had that thought, Dean came in and said the water bowl was frozen.  Well we couldn't leave the cows without water and I had no idea how long he would be (nothing is ever an easy fix for us).  So on the day we were suppose to be together as a family, I packed the kids up and the three of us headed out to a friend's camp for a sliding party (or coasting party for my East Coast followers) and left Dean behind to tend to the water bowl.

Dean feeding the cows.  The dreaded water bowl is the yellow box attached to the barn.
My daughter had a great afternoon of sliding with friends and my son slept happily in his stroller.  We later roasted hot dogs on a bon-fire and then had a wonderful "hunt camp meal" - baked beans, chilli, hamburgers, etc.  And of course dessert!

I decided to take cupcakes so was searching for a good recipe.  Typically I'll search for recipes on Pinterest but sometimes I find it overwhelming, there is too many to choose from.  So when I feel like that I dig out my old reliable cookbooks.  My favorite cookbooks are the ones that are typically put together by schools, churches and families as fundraisers.  So for my cupcakes I used the Best Ever Chocolate Cake recipe I found in my church's cookbook which they published a few years ago and an icing recipe from my elementary school's cookbook they published in 2000/2001! And they didn't turn out too bad. 

Best Ever Chocolate Cake (Makes 24 regular cupcakes + 12 mini-cupcakes)

2 cups white sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce to cut down on the fat content a little bit)
2 cups water

Original Directions (for cake): Mix first 5 ingredients in a 9x13 inch cake pan.  Mix vinegar, oil and water together and add gradually to dry ingredients until all mixed.  Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees.

Raising Two Directions (for cupcakes):  Mix dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients.  Mix.  Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.  Bake about 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Peanutty Cocoa Frosting (double or triple recipe, depending on how you like your cupcakes iced)

Cream together:
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter

Blend in:
2 Tbsp cocoa

Gradually add:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 Tbsp milk

Blend until smooth.

Dean did eventually get to join us.  His mother (have I mentioned I have the best mother-in-law) came over to help him thaw the water bowl.  We're looking forward to next year's Family Day holiday and hoping this can become an annual event-the kids had so much fun (minus the water bowl disaster). 



  1. I told someone here we were going sliding and they thought that was funny. Apparently here in southern Ontario they go sledding. I think it must be the American influence :) - Janet

  2. I always find it interesting-the different terminology the areas of our great country have for the same activity. Thanks for sharing Janet!