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Casually Odd’s post about feeling that Warlords content is ephemeral prompted me to think about whether there was anything in Draenor that I might find myself frequently returning to do.

As much as gaining rep from pure grinding bores me, I’ve had a few characters for whom Aldor/Scryer rep was important enough for RP reasons, crafting recipes, or clothing items that I ground it out anyway. I also return to Outland frequently to run those old dungeons and raids for Transmogrification stuff.

I have put several characters through the Argent Tournament, whether by stalling them out to do it instead of moving on into the Cataclysm content right when they reach level 80ish, or by coming back to it later when they have reached whatever the current expansion’s level cap happens to be. My Paladin, who pushed through to get the Crusader title on her own merits, has recently begun returning to Icecrown to collect seals so that when she reaches level 100 and gets her level 3 Garrison and Jukebox, she’ll be able to buy the Argent Tournament track for it right away.

Although I was very glad to be done with the Molten Front by the time Kamalia finally got her Flaming Hippogryph, I have since come back to it with a few other characters who wanted something from Damek Bloombeard for Transmogrification purposes. I’ve even enjoyed it more than I did the first time around, because it’s less crowded and also because I’m no longer on a PvP server!

I still have a couple of characters hanging out in Pandaria — the Underpowered Death Knight, merrily working for the Tillers and soon to be moving up to Townlong Steppes to work for the Shado Pan, and my secondary Monk, who has been dutifully toiling away at Sunsong Ranch growing Windshear Cactus and Songbells to make Royal Satchels. One of these days, I intend to take my Human Mage back to Pandaria to do the Lion’s Landing questline and the Kirin Tor Offensive on the Isle of Thunder. I got her to level 90 late enough that I didn’t get her a Shado Pan hat, so she should do that someday, too. I’m likely to take other characters to the Isle of Thunder to farm Honor from the PvP version of the dailies, as I’ve heard that those mostly involve disrupting the activities of opposite faction NPCs and don’t actually require combat with other players. I’m not likely to go back to the Timeless Isle, though, unless I want to take Transmogrification screenshots there, use the backdoor to Draenor, or get one of the weapons from the Timeless Coin vendor.

In Draenor, I’m beginning to feel like the hourglass is running out on actually accomplishing anything with alts. Kamalia is still my only level 100 character; somehow the time I think I might like to spend in a dedicated questing & leveling session with this or that alt always seems to get frittered away in doing everyone’s Garrison chores. I’ve had all these lovely daydreams about how I want my alts to staff their Garrisons with various RP-themed collections of followers and get specific RP-themed tracks for their Jukeboxes… but if the next expansion has come out before I get any of them to level 100, will I actually want to spend the time lingering at level 100 to do all that with them?

For me, the big draw to come back to previous content again and again is Transmogrification. I come back for armor, weapons, and occasionally tabards. I can see myself using my Garrison hearthstone to pop in and out of my alts’ Garrisons to level followers and run the missions that award character 615/630/645 armor tokens. I can see myself hunting down the Draenor rares & treasures that drop armor or weapons, but not the ones that drop toys or pets or other such bric-a-brac. I can even see myself taking an alt to Tanaan for that purpose — though I don’t plan to play the Shipyard with anyone but Kam. I’ll probably send my secondary Monk out to Draenor eventually, and park her in her Garrison with a Barn, a Tailoring Emporium, and a Tannery to churn out Hexweave Bags. But somehow I don’t see myself coming back to Draenor again and again and again (after I’ve moved past it level-wise), the way I’ve done with the Argent Tournament and the Molten Front and will probably do with some of the Pandaria content (though it’s still a bit early to tell for that).

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After a week in Tanaan Jungle, I’ve managed to reach Honored with all three factions. The Vol’jin’s Headhunters rep comes the fastest and easiest, and I’ll probably get them all the way to Exalted just by the default of always running the oil daily. I’m not sure which of the other two will end up being the slowest. I only plan to do Saberstalker rep through the Rumble in the Jungle weekly and the Tooth and Claw daily — whenever it happens to pop up. How quickly I’ll get through Order of the Awakened is a convoluted function of how quickly I deplete the treasures on the map and many rares I stumble across each day.

I’ve been playing the Shipyard very conservatively, only sending ships out if I can get the mission success chance to 100% by replacing equipment. This means, however, that I’ve been running through Garrison Resources like water. Yesterday, I took BBB’s advice and replaced my Barn with a Lumber Mill to generate more resources (though I have kept my Lumber Mill at level 2 because I don’t want the creepy Botani on my Garrison staff). I haven’t been picky about crews thus far. I do like the halved mission time from the Sin’dorei crew and the doubled XP from the Tauren crew, but I haven’t gotten a single piece of salvaged equipment from missions run with a Troll crew. I have a couple of Expert Captain missions available right now, so I suppose I should send a destroyer and a submarine out to be scuttled so that I can have a chance at getting the ones with Murloc crews. I should probably try for more Forsaken and Pandaren crews, too.

I’ve managed to collect all of the dropped ship equipment blueprints — even the Ghostly Spyglass! I jumped into LFR last night to get the Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizers; when I zoned in, the group was at Iron Reaver, so I got my blueprint and then made like a scrub and left. Oddly, I would have been more inclined to stay all the way through to the end if I’d zoned in at or before the first boss. Camping Captain Ironbead and hunting all the other rares and having to dip into LFR has been a hassle with one character — it’ll be a nuisance to do it with many characters. I probably won’t play the Shipyard extensively with anyone other than Kamalia… so why am I collecting oil with my other characters’ followers? Probably because it feels more rewarding to have my followers out collecting something that might be useful than to have them sitting idle.

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Silverblade, who just recently started Mog-blogging at World of MogCraft and has set out to make lore-appropriate kits for male characters of each race/class combination in the game, contributed four breathtaking kits, one for each armor type:

For years, my favorite shoulders to use with the Black Velvet Robe and its sleeveless counterpart, the Silver-Thread Robe, have been the Duskhallow Mantle. I think Silverblade has given me a new favorite combination! I often ignore bracers with tall gloves like these, but perhaps I should think about using them more often — in this kit, the bracers are a really nice touch to pick up the glowing color from the shoulders.

Hexweave Mantle Belt & Gloves (3-670), Silver-Thread Robe, Mindthrust Bracers, Ameth’Aran Sandals, Formidable Cape, Life-Staff of the Web Lair
Savage Blood required: 90

A sleek and dangerous-looking kit. Somehow, I am suddenly craving a 70% cacao chocolate bar…

Supple Shoulderguards & Waistguard (2-655), Grizzly Jerkin, Primal Combatant’s Legguards (Horde), Loramus’ Gloves, Ogre-Hunter Boots, Primal Combatant’s Quickblade (Horde)
Savage Blood required: 30

The little blue accents on the gloves, boots, and bow pull this kit together in a simply wonderful way!

Wayfaring Shoulderguards Belt & Gloves (3-670), Beast Lord Cuirass & Leggings, Atoll Treaders, Royal Cloak of the Sunstriders, Arathar, the Eye of Flame (H)
Savage Blood required: 90

A very regal plate kit. Of all the kits using these shoulders I’ve ever seen, I think this one is the most impressive — it’s making me contemplate actually farming these shoulders for myself!

Spaulders of Manifold Eyes (N), Truesteel Breastplate & Greaves (2-655), Elder Tortoiseshell Girdle Gauntlets & Sabatons, Crimson Silk Cloak, Cataclysmic Gladiator’s Greatsword
Savage Blood required: 30

PlaidElf, who writes about Plenty of Paladins (and Monks, and Hunters), contributed these two gorgeous blue and gold kits:

The deep colors and rich textures in this plate kit are simply stunning!

Templar Crown, Truesteel Pauldrons Waistguard & Boots (3-670), Nova Binder Breastplate, Time-Lost Greaves, Windblade Talons (N), Powerful Burnished Cloak (1-640), Steelforged Greataxe (3-660)/Steelforged Saber (3-660) + Barricade of Eternity
Savage Blood required: 120

Is it just me, or is this Monk totally channeling Nozdormu? /fan

Trickster’s Headdress, Supple Shoulderguards & Waistguard (3-670), Sentinel Breastplate, Leggings of the Sly, Gloves of the Golden Protector (N), Bonechewer Shredboots, Nimble Hexweave Cloak (2-655), Marrowstrike
Savage Blood required: 75

Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf contributed this awesome kit. I love the tunic & kilt combination! I’ve got one of these kilts stashed away in the bank, but I either hadn’t figured out or can’t remember what tunic I want to wear with it. Navimie has solved that little problem for me very neatly ;)

Helm of the Blind Seer (H), Passive Resistor Spaulders (H), Supple Vest & Waistguard (2-655), Primal Gladiator’s Gloves, Blazewing’s Furious Kilt
Savage Blood required: 30

Be sure to go take a look at this amazing array of Hunter kits using all the stages of the Wayfaring Leggings by rhuanious and this glowy green Hunter kit using the 1-640 Wayfaring Shoulderguards by Euphyley!

I came up with this idea of a Transmogrification challenge event based on Warlords crafted items as much to motivate myself to design some kits using those items as anything else. I challenged myself to make an outfit to go with each of the Warlords crafted weapons and to make outfits that use at least one item from each of the upgrade stages of the Warlords crafted armor. (more…)

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The semester having ended, I took a break from work during the first week of May to catch up on WoW. Specifically, I wanted to get my Tauren “one of each class” characters not just into their level 2 Garrisons, but also all the way through Frostfire Ridge. By the time I got to the last of those characters, I went into the system sound menu and turned the dialog slider all the way down to 0 so that I didn’t have to hear it anymore. I’d gotten so, so, so tired of Orcs. What is it that Taran Zhu says in the last of the Isle of Thunder scenarios? Ah, yes: “Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal.” That describes the escalation of the war between the Frostwolf clan and the Thunderlord clan pretty neatly, and after having played through Frostfire Ridge nine times*, I was utterly exhausted by Orcs and their bloodlust.

When I told BTH that I was so, so, so tired of Orcs, he responded, “Why are you still playing that game?”

BTH quit playing WoW himself several weeks ago; the raid time that had worked relatively well when we were in Atlantic Canada was not working very well now that we are in the Mountain West, and he wasn’t really enjoying Warlords raiding enough to want to look for another guild (possibly requiring a server transfer). He has always played WoW primarily to raid, so if he wasn’t going to be raiding, why play at all?

I… am not sure that I have a good answer to that question. Do I keep playing WoW just because I’ve gotten into the habit of using it to fill my idle time, and I don’t want to expend the effort to find something else, something better, to do with that time? That’s not a very satisfactory answer, even if it is an uncomfortably large fraction of it.

Being thus discomfited, I didn’t play much WoW for the next week. Instead, I read webcomics — catching up on ones I hadn’t read regularly for a few months and reading through the archives of a few ones I hadn’t read before — and reread the classic early detective novel The Moonstone (by Wilkie Collins).

Why are you still playing that game?

Syrco has been looking for a reason to log in.

BBB, in his characteristic way, answers with the things that keep him going.

The Godmother asks her audience, “if you’re tired of/angry at the game, why are you still playing it?”, in various forms, constantly. She is also continually asking herself “why am I still playing this game?” and exploring the various forms that answer takes.

When I think about the things I have enjoyed about WoW in the past, and why I’m not doing those things now, I inevitably get tangled up in either the Garrison or the Faction Divide… or both.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed exploring the stories of the World of Warcraft. Now, I’m tired of Orc-centric Horde stories… but I still prefer to play as a Tauren or a Sin’dorei. I’ve played mostly Horde for long enough that when I do play Alliance, the anti-Horde prejudices in the Alliance-side stories alienate me. I enjoyed the Legendary storyline in Mists, but when I found out what was involved with getting Garona for my Garrison, I decided that maybe I’d rather not continue following the Warlords Legendary storyline. When I think about going out with a low-level alt or perhaps back with a high-level alt to play through past-expansion storylines that I haven’t yet seen, I get tripped up by wanting to run through all my Draenor-level alts’ Garrison chores first… and then by the time I’m done with that, my limited playtime is gone.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Transmogrification, but with the LFR gear being uninspiring and the normal/heroic mode gear being out-of-reach** because I don’t want to PuG with the Group Finder, I’ve been lacking in Transmogrification inspiration for this expansion. Some of the crafted gear looks really nice — though the upgraded appearances are, of course, nicer than the Stage 1 appearance. When I’m looking at making crafted gear for Transmogrification instead of just equipping, though, I start thinking about making whole sets, and then the upgrade costs — 150 of the daily CD material, plus 30 of Sorcerous whatever, plus 15 Savage Blood just to upgrade one piece once — start becoming overwhelming. Even with — especially with! — Work Orders, I feel like I’d be spending all of my playtime doing nothing but Gathering. I also can’t bring myself to go farm old raids just on speculation or to make money; my inventory space is crowded enough already that I have to have a specific item or items from a specific raid that I want, for a specific planned Transmogrification kit, that I’m farming for. Even when I do want a specific item for specific set that I’m thinking about, again, tending all my Garrisons usually takes up all my limited playtime.

Time to take a few pages from The Godmother’s playbook, I think.

Taking a bit of a break from the game and thinking through my current feelings about it (in the form of this Bearwall) has been a good start.

Next, I need to find my own motivation to do something other than just routinely tending my Garrisons. I should also find a reason to be doing the daily profession CDs that’s better than “just in case I want this stuff later”.

So — I should design some Transmogrification kits that use Warlords crafted items — but not full Warlords crafted sets — so that I have specific items that I want to craft. I should prioritize leveling my two Alchemists to 100 and getting their Garrisons to Level 3 so that they can get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader***. I should also prioritize Follower missions that reward Primal Spirits so that I can trade those for Savage Blood. The upcoming Patch 6.2 changes to increase the amount of materials, including Sorcerous whatevers, generated by the daily profession CDs will definitely help this plan!

I should shake off the OCD tendencies that have been shackling me to my Garrisons. When I know that what I really want to do on a given evening is farm an old raid for a Transmogrification item, or go Fishing, or do Archaeology, or do Pet Battles, or quest in Draenor with one of my high-level alts, or quest elsewhere with one of my low-level alts, I should allow myself to just leave my Garrisons untended for that evening.

And then maybe I’ll get back to playing this game because it’s fun instead of just because it’s habit.

~*~*~

*Eight Tauren characters plus the Blood Elf Warlock

**Yes, my Followers do bring me normal mode raid gear, but because it is randomly generated and not from the loot table of any specific boss (unless there is a correlation between the various Follower raid missions and the loot tables of specific bosses that I haven’t been paying attention to), it isn’t really a reliable way to collect pieces for Transmogrification. Plus, more often than not (in my experience) it turns out to be a non-visible item such as a ring, necklace, or trinket.

***Or, perhaps, get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader when he’s in the Garrison of one of my battlenet friends?

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This week being Spring Break, I decided it was time to buckle down and get the remainder of my One of Each Class set of characters into their Garrisons. On Saturday, I powered through Tanaan with the Hunter and the Warrior. Although I am so, so tired of Tanaan, I determined to grit my teeth and just get it over and done with the Rogue, the Warlock, and the Blood Elf Mage. I wished that there were some way to just skip the Tanaan intro sequence.

In a post that couldn’t have been more conveniently timed, Anne Stickney just shared her discovery of a hidden backdoor access to Draenor. It’s not exactly a “shortcut”, but it definitely doesn’t require running circles around the Dark Portal!

Personally, I think this must be how Kairoz got Garrosh to Draenor.

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The Liebsters are going around again, and I got tagged by Zeirah.

Let’s get to it, then.

What makes you smile?
A beautiful sunny morning, in any season of the year. Spring flowers. Birdsong. Silly things that my husband says or does. My supremely cute nieces and nephews.

Where do you see yourself in 50 years?
In fifty years, I will be eighty-five. It would be nice to have a few grandchildren, but first I have to have children… I would also like to have served a mission (or two) with my husband. By eighty-five, though, I very well might be beginning to lose my mind to Alzheimers — my maternal grandmother had been suffering from Alzheimers decay for two or three years prior to her death at age 87 three years ago.

Is there one class in WoW you haven’t been able to really gel with?
After playing all the classes to 90 during Mists, there are things I enjoy about the gameplay of all of them. I was quite pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed playing my Subtlety Rogue and Destro ‘Lock while leveling through Pandaria. The Cataclysm revamp of the Warlock class definitely played a big role in that; I hadn’t really been able to “gel” with my Warlock before that. Currently, the class I seem to be struggling with the most is Mage… since the 6.0 changes, I’m not really “click”ing with any of the Mage specs.

What is your biggest problem/challenge when it comes to blogging?
I have never been good about seeking out new bloggers — I generally find new blogs to read when bloggers I already read link to them. I am also really terrible about commenting, especially lately.

What is your dream career?
I am living my dream career right now, teaching chemistry full-time at a small, two-year college where all I have to do is teach and I don’t have to try to do research unless I really really want to. Unfortunately, this small, rural town is not so great for my husband’s career, so I doubt that we will actually stay here for the remainder of my career.

What is the one thing in WoW you love doing the most?
Just one thing? Either leveling alts or Transmogrification, though I haven’t done a lot of either lately. I have this long list of not-so-new-anymore Transmogrification kits that I need to take screenshots of and then get posted…

What is your favourite book?
If I could have only one book for the entire rest of my life, I’d take a Book of Mormon.
Or, if I could get away with it, the quadruple combination of the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price in a single binding.
As far as secular books go, well, there are way too many books that I adore for me to choose just one favorite. Do I choose the authors that I discovered just recently and have been devouring, or the favorites of my teens and twenties that I return to and reread every five years or so, or the books that I loved during my childhood (even though I haven’t reread them for ten years or more)? I have favorite textbooks, too…

If you could choose the next playable race, what would it be?
High Elves for the Alliance.
I suppose that if that happened, it would most likely be paired with Ogres for the Horde, though I personally am not all that interested in/excited about playing an Ogre unless Blizz manages to make the Ogre women as awesome as Four.
Tuskarr. Or Vrykul. Saberon, perhaps, so that we can have “cats ‘n’ dogs” interactions with the Worgen?
Just adding the sub-races to the existing races — Taunka and Yaungol for Tauren, and so forth — would be great.
Centaurs and/or Tol’vir would also be pretty neat, though the “where are my pa-a-ants?!” issue will probably prevent them from ever actually being playable.

What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten?
Godiva Belgian Dark Chocolate ice cream was so so good, for the brief time that it was on the market. I love dark chocolate, and I love ice cream, and a really truly good premium dark chocolate ice cream is the best of both!

Who is your favourite WoW character?
Draka. Aggra. Baine. Jaina. Lor’themar. Dezco — though his arc in Warlords has become even more heartbreaking (a post I need to get around to writing). I haven’t done enough of the Alliance storyline in Draenor yet to know how much I like Yrel — though I was impressed by what I saw of her in the Horde storyline.

What do you think the next expansion should be about?
I don’t have any great ideas about what the overall theme of the next expansion should be — but I think it’s high time that we found out what Magatha Grimtotem is going to do with the Doomstone. Figuring that out — and stymying her plans — could be the focus for a whole zone storyline plot! Or a dungeon, at least, though I think it would be more fun as a zone questline.

Has Fel Fashion been nominated yet? or Anou’s Armoire? or rhuanious? or Dwarven District? or Kallixta’s Notes? or WoW Storylines? No? Then I tag you.

Here are my eleven questions, and my eleven factoids about myself in the form of my answers to my own questions:

1) What is your least favorite color?
chartreuse

2) What music do you like to listen to when you’re in a thinking sort of mood?
wind quintets, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings soundtracks, FFVI soundtrack

3) Who is your favorite Garrison follower?
Leorajh, because he’s adorable

4) Should Farmer Yoon date Gina Mudclaw (whom he has a crush on) or Tina Mudclaw (who has a crush on him, but can’t decide whether she likes him or Farmer Fung better)?
Gina — choose the smart girl!

5) What is/are your favorite Tier set(s)?
T4 Shaman, T4 Paladin, T15-LFR Warrior, T1 & all of the BC Druid sets

6) Chocolate & peanut butter, or chocolate & mint?
most of the time, chocolate & peanut butter; for many years, I thought that mint ruined perfectly good chocolate, but then a few years ago I found a couple of brands of chocolate (Chocolove & Lindt) that made mint chocolate bars that, somewhat to my surprise, I really liked, and now I occasionally get in a chocolate & mint mood

7) If Arakkoa were made into a playable race, would you rather be the cursed, flightless Arakkoa that we first met in Outland, or the flying “high Arakkoa” that we meet in Draenor?
I think I’d like to be a high Arakkoa and have a special racial flying ability similar to the Worgen racial running ability (although I suppose that would not be so useful in no-player-flying-allowed Draenor). I also think the high Arakkoa would be more fun to dress up!

8) What is your favorite RL holiday, and what special foods must you have to eat for that holiday?
for Christmas, I want homemade truffles and toffee and caramel popcorn balls — but Christmas is not Christmas without peanut butter smoothie, a delicious confection of white coating and rice crispies and crunchy peanut butter

9) Did you make a pie for Pi Day? If so, what kind?
I made Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie for Pi Day this year

10) What utensil do you prefer for eating rice?
I grew up using a spoon to eat rice, so I prefer a spoon. My husband prefers a fork. When I cook rice as the starch for a meal, I set a fork for him and a spoon for me.

11) What new attraction would you love to see at the Darkmoon Faire?
I think the Faire ought to have a Ferris Wheel, but the Carousel already grants a nice XP & rep buff, so what could the Ferris Wheel do that would be complementary? Maybe a luck buff that would increase your chance to get a useful loot drop from dungeons or raids for the next 12 hours? If the Faire did have a Ferris Wheel, then there should be an achievement for taking a picture of yourself right at the top!

I also tag Navimie, Prinnie, Plaid, Tome, Cymre, and Matty, because I’d rather like to see your answers to my questions! But don’t feel obliged to answer my questions if you don’t want to.

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When I first started this blog, in 2010, I figured, based on the lifespan of my Harry Potter fanart site, that I’d probably write about World of Warcraft for about five years before I wandered off to do something else.

Well, here I am at the five-year point, and I don’t seem to be wandering off to do something else quite yet. I’ll probably keep writing this blog for as long as I’m playing World of Warcraft, however much longer that may be.

Since my last blogiversary, I achieved both of my long-term WoW goals: playing a character of every class to the level cap and raid-healing (in LFR, at least) with a character of every healing class. I also managed to get two Alliance characters to the level cap, though I don’t feel like I’ve really “played Alliance” because I rushed them so hard with dungeons and such that I skipped large swathes of the Alliance lore. That was in Mists, of course — almost four months into Warlords, Kamalia is still my only level 100 character. There are lots of things I’d like to do with other characters, though, if only I could convince myself that my Garrisons don’t really need to be tended every single day…

I’ve been terrible about achieving blogging goals I’ve set in past years — I’ve had unfinished stories about my Undead and Worgen Mages sitting in my drafts folder for over three years (though I did finally publish the one about the Night Elf Mage this year) and I’ve still not written about the Grimtotem in the post-Cataclysm world — so keeping up with my custom thus far of posting at least once a week is about as much of a blogging goal as I want to make.

In honor of this big blogiversary milestone, have some Recipe:Delicious Chocolate Cake:

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
This cake is so easy to make and so yummy that I have never wanted to buy chocolate cake in a mix since I tried this recipe.
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c boiling water
2 eggs
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 3/4 c AP flour
2 t vanilla
1 c milk
1 t salt
3/4 c cocoa
2 c sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

VARIATIONS:
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

German Chocolate Cake
This recipe comes from a family recipe book given to one of my sisters as a wedding present by the bishop of her singles ward.
Cake:

1 bar (4 oz) German sweet chocolate
1/2 c boiling water
1 c butter
2 c sugar
4 egg yolks
1 t vanilla
2 c sifted AP flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 or 3 deep 8 or 9 inch cake pans with waxed paper. Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together dries. Add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating well until smooth. Fold in egg whites. Pour into cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool.

Filling/topping:

1 c evaporated milk
1 c sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 c butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 c coconut
1 c chopped pecans

Combine ingredients except coconut and pecans. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread. Makes 2 1/2 cups. Use to layer cake.

Mom’s Perfected Brownies
This is literally my mother’s perfected brownie recipe, not somebody else’s “Mom’s best recipe” from the internet somewhere.
3/4 c butter
6 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1/3 c brown sugar
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 c flour
1/2 c plus 1 T cocoa
1/2 t salt
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon, optional
(chocolate/other flavored chips and/or nuts are also good; use 1 c total of chunky mix-ins)

Line a 9 x 12 baking dish with foil or parchment, allowing the liner to overhang the short ends of the pan. Lightly grease the liner and any exposed areas of the pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large saucepan. Allow the melted mixture to cool to about room temperature, then stir in the sugars. Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, if using. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir in the chips/nuts, if using.

Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes.

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