You’ve heard of this, right? It’s a Paula Deen thing.  Butter on top of butter, I mean who else?  I found this recipe abut 10 years ago and make it for special occasions.  It’s the most requested thing I make. Someone’s birthday – what do they want?  GBC.  Dessert for Christmas? GBC.  The traditional recipe calls for toffee bits in the topping, which I sometimes add if I have them.  Leaving them out makes for no difference from my peeps.    I’ve adapted it for the chocolate peanut butter people (a/k/a US) and made a pumpkin spice version this year for Thanksgiving.  It’s ALL GOOD.  I call it crack for sugar addicts.

I’ve made it so much I have developed some adaptations to the procedure of the recipe.  Follow along and let’s make some crack!

First, the ingredients.  I am irritated when I have to scroll all the way down past all of the pictures to find out what I have to buy (or what I’m really looking for is do I have to go to the store for this or can I make it with what I have here).

For the bottom gooey layer:

  1. 1 butter cake mix
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 stick butter, melted

For the top gooeyness:

  1. 8 oz. package cream cheese
  2. 16 oz. Confectioners Sugar
  3. 2 eggs, separated;
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract


The first thing I do (after spraying the baking dish with Pam) is to get out the cream cheese and put it in my pocket to start to soften. You may be one of those people who remembers to put things out an hour or so before you start to put everything together, but I’m not one of those people.  It’s cool.  Then melt the butter.  I like to put it in a small pan on the stove to melt, one stick at a time, but sometimes I’ll cut it up into tablespoons and put it in a glass measuring cup to melt in the microwave, at 15-20 seconds at a time.  Wait until the butter is melted, then empty the cake mix in your mixing bowl.  Start the mixer at low speed, and add the egg, immediately followed by the butter.   Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until totally incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl a time or two.   Empty the dough into the baking dish and spread until mostly flattened.  Set aside.

Now for the top gooey layer.  Place the stick of butter in your pan at melt.  Take the cream cheese out of your pocket and put in the mixing bowl.  I wash neither bowl nor beater for the filling because the bowl comes clean when you take out the dough and the beater MOSTLY clean.  I mean after I’ve scraped off the excess with a spoon and placed in my mouth.  So just take that cream cheese and place it right in that bowl and mix on high for a minute or two until it becomes soft.  The beauty of this time saving method is that the fast mixing does most of the softening.   Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure it’s all soft, then add the confectioner’s sugar, starting to mix on low.  Increase the speed to medium when incorporated, and add the eggs.  Scrape again to get all the goo off the sides.  Mix until completely blended together and smooth.  Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Pour over the dough.  Place in 350 oven for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven.  It’s done when a toothpick comes out almost clean.  The top should be a golden brown but not dark.  I like to turn off the oven when almost done, leaving the cake in the oven to cool.  I find that this creates a wonderful chewy gooey crust around the edges and a smooth, creamy, yet dense center.  CRACK.



  1.  Tote Envy  and on my Christmas list, if not before;
  3. New lighting for our dining room remodel;
  4. These dominoes are mesmerizing:
  5. I like the use of Ikea spice racks for cookbooks in this post!
  6. I think my hungry chicken lover will be on board for this dish;
  7. Also on my Christmas list, hint, hint : )


Hurricane Matthew hit us last year with minimal, mostly fence damage with the water barely coming up to our door.  At first I was so very thankful that it wasn’t worse but rethought that after our neighbors got new floors and windows.  Just kidding!!  This year I’m not even there, so Michael is riding out the storm, or what will be left of it by the time it gets to our part of Florida, by himself with Jimmy and Theo, below, blissfully unaware of the impending tempest.


Instead, here I am in Seattle helping Maddi through hip surgery with a lot of time on my hands.  So here is where I share some of the internet while I’m here.

  1.  I’ve always wanted know what fruits are in season right now and eat them.
  2. Best yoga blog ever!
  3. I want to make this salad.
  4. Working on this one.
  5. Currently listening to – Hurricane Songs:  #1, #2, & #3
  6. And thinking about getting caught up on this.

Missing my bestie:





10 Sure Signs of a Cycling Addiction

  1. Picture taking during every ride to post to Instagram to get the picture on Strava.


2. The Bike Room:


Bikes and more bikes


Trainers set up and ready!

3. Riding the ride we met on:


4.  Your most anticipated package arrivals:


5.  What your shower looks like on any given day:


6.  And at least one kitchen cabinet . . . .


7.  Watching Paris-Nice with a friend:


8.  Podiums!


9.  Your bedroomIMG_2904

10.  Lots and lots of time on the bike, but especially with your bestie!


SHRED IT! Goals 2016

I’m reading this book by Robert Cheeke, Shred It! where he asks six very pointed questions to help articulate goals.  to only what the goals are, but why they are important to you and what you are going to do to achieve them in a measurable way.  I started to write my answers in January, still recovering from my accident.  It’s April now, so here are not just the questions and my answers, but how it’s going almost 4 months in:

#1. What goal do you want to achieve?  Be as specific as possible and find a deep meaning behind it.  I want to follow a vegan diet and lose most of my body fat – meaning I want to be around 10-12% body fat.  I have been trying to lose the same layer of body fat for the past 30 years.  I have run, cycled, life, and swam, eaten MOSTLY a good diet, but always add what I want to eat and never followed any diet strictly.  I make excuses for myself because compared to most people, I don’t really NEED to lose weight.  I have been under 110 lbs. all of my adult life and am tiny by most people’s standards.  But I’m still uncomfortable in my own skin most of the time.  I truly believe that a whole food plant based diet is the best for you, and will help you live the longest disease free, and I want to live that.  I also want to become a Hallelujah Health Minister, yoga instructor and aqua instructor and be a good “leader by example.”  UPDATE: I’m not doing so well with this one.  I’m on my way to becoming a Les Mills Sprint (HIIT training) instructor, but the aqua class I though was starting in January has not happened yet.  I had totally forgotten that I said I wanted to be a HA Health Minister and yoga instructor.  I’m taking those off my list, for right now, anyway, because I must not have wanted them all that bad.  

#2.  Why does it matter to you? You can’t just say something like, “to look better.”You have to address the root cause underlying your desires to “look better.” So, why does it really matter to you?

My overarching goal is to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible and to be able to be as active as I age as I am now; to continue to be able to wake up every morning and run 5-8 miles, or swim for 90 minutes, or ride for a few hours, or lift for 90 minutes.   I also just FEEL BETTER thinner and have a back problem that I believe can be alleviated and even eliminated by a cleaner/vegan whole food plant based diet.  This year has been a discouraging one for me so far.  I feel healthy most of the time but some changes in my energy this latter half of my 52nd year have made me feel  – dare it say it? – my age.   

#3. What timeline are you setting for your goal? How did you determine this timeline? How does your reasoning match up with reality, science, and your actual daily schedule?

I am setting a goal of 14 weeks.  I don’t need to lose that much weight – I need to stick to a nutritional program and continue the lifting and cycling that I’ve been doing and increase the running a bit.  It is completely realistic to lose 8 lbs. in 14 weeks, but my goal is not just weight loss – it includes muscle gain and body fat loss.  The research I’ve done says that I can lose 8 lbs. in 14 weeks in a sustainable way.  I’ve lost no weight.  My scale tells me the same numbers it did in January.   This is another reason I’m discouraged – I feel like I’m getting nowhere.

I already take the time to work out – I just need to keep it up – after my injury is better (I just crashed on my bike and broke my thumb, a rib, and have a bunch of road rash), and refine my diet.  My diet still needs refining.  I started recording on MyFitnessPal, but am not very consistent.  Man, do I want this badly enough?  

#4. What three actions will you take each day to get you closer to achieving your goal? Be specific and select actions that are truly related to helping you get closer to your dream.

a. Use Shred It! Eat This Much meal plans, the Hallelujah Diet, and FitLauraXO’s videos to keep me on track so that I know what to eat, when to eat, and to NOT eat what I don’t need.  I didn’t like/take advantage of EatThis Much or FitLauraXO.  

b. I will have a meal plan and grocery list to make sure I have what I need to eat from the plan.  Maybe I just don’t LIKE sticking to a plan.  I think that’s it, actually.  I am also thinking it’s more that I don’t like sticking to what other people are eating or telling me to eat.  

c. I will get up at 4:30 every morning to be at the gym at 5am to complete my body weight exercises, running, weight training, and yoga.  I will continue my cycling plan with my coach to get faster on the bike: LEGS & LUNGS!  Again, not so consistent.  I started out at 3-4 days a week and have seen definite gains in strength and muscle (despite my stupid scale’s assessment) but the bike and running have not been there, which is totally not like me.  I need to increase my cycling and running mileage.  

#5. How are you going to measure your accountability?

I will record my progress and journey in my blog.  I will be public about my goals.  I will tell people what I will achieve and I will be transparent with my progress through all the ups and downs.  They will see my commitment to my goals in my body change from one week to the next.    I will follow the Shred It! and Eat This Much programs, drink 3 liters of water a day, eat quality protein, carbs, and fats in each meal.  I will weigh myself daily and record my progress in my journal.  I will record the amount of reps I am able to complete in each workout.  So after 4 months, this is the first progress report – not so good.  I only told Michael – not so good.  Upper body change – okay. . . . . Here we go, sliding on the following someone else’s program, and weighing myself daily, and recording progress.  I feel like an old dog that can’t learn new tricks.  I can change, really I can!!  Do I WANT to, that is the question.  

#6. How will your life change as a result of attaining your goal?

My life will be better because I will feel better, be more healthy, stronger, and more confident.  I will prove to myself that I can achieve my goals.  So far I haven’t proven to myself anything except that I feel stuck in a rut.

 I’m trying to make changes.   Intellectually I agree that these changes are good for me, but I am inconsistent with keeping to them, when I am able to successfully pull any changes off.  My current ways are grounded in habit and culture.  AH ha!  Habit – I can change habits.   There is hope!    


So this injury of mine has set me back a bit.  before the crash I was up to 4 unassisted pull ups.  I still can’t do any because my thumb is not yet healed all the way.  My rib felt SO MUCH better today, but it’s really a day to day thing, so we will see about tomorrow.

Saturday I went to the gym for the first time after the crash.  mY expectations of myself were not very high – I just wanted to be there and do SOMETHING.  I started with calf raises – no big deal.  I did 4 sets – 25/60/100/120.  Next I went down the leg machine circuit:  leg extensions – @ 30 lb., 30 lb. single leg, 35 lb., 40 lb.  (10 – 15 reps); 30 leg curl, 30/30/30, and abductor/adductor, (20 reps).   Then I did my yoga practice and it felt/hurt so good!

I was vey tired the rest of the day, but got on the trainer the next morning for a 30 minute taku workout.

Rest day today, but tomorrow – IT’S ON!!