Monthly Archives: March 2010

Mediterranean Easter Menu Part 3

Hello everyone,

Here is my last 2 recipes for my Easter Menu, hope you all enjoy them!!! Happy Easter everyone!!! ūüôā

Salmon Dolmas with Avgolemono

1-1/8 lb salmon fillet, skinned

12 bottled grape leaves, rinsed of brine and stemmed

1 cup vegetable stock or broth

2 eggs, separated

2 tblsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 tblsp. fresh dill chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the salmon into 12 (1-1/2oz) strips, each about 2-1/2 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Wrap each piece in a grape leaf. Place the dolmas seam side down in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle the stock or broth over the dolmas and bake for 6-7 minutes, until fish is firm but not mushy. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the egg yolks and lemon juice together until frothy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold in the yolks. Remove the dolmas to warm individual plates. Pour the stock into a small saute pan. Add the egg mixture to the warm stock, whisking constantly until thickened, 1-2 minutes, whisk in the dill.  Pour the sauce over the dolmas, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve at once, garnished with lemon wedges.

Honey and Orange Cheesecake

For the Crust:

2 cups cinnamon graham crackers, finely crushed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

4-5 tblsp. unsalted butter, melted

To make crust, mix all ingredient’s together well and press into¬†a 10-inch springform pan and set aside.

For Filling:

1-1/2 lb. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup honey

6 eggs, at room temp.

zest of one orange

1 tsp orange extract

Beat cream cheese until creamy, add sour cream beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time until mixed in, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat in the honey,  zest and extract. Pour onto crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes, just until center is set. Turn off oven and leave in there for 2 hours. Chill overnight, cheesecake will firm up overnight.

I have 2 cakes this week, there both for a nursing home, one has to be a diabetic cake. If it turns out well I’ll post the recipe. I’m not sure what cake I’ll making for Easter (decorated cake I mean) I thought about making a sheet cake and baking a 3-D lamb cake, then I’ll give it to the mission. The only places I think we’ll be going on Sunday will be to church them we will go out to eat somewhere, who know’s¬†thing’s may change??? As you can see from my posts I have already made the thing’s we liked to eat¬†for Easter.¬† Most of my family wouldn’t¬†eat what¬†I have made. There all pretty picky and like to eat the same thing’s on every holiday. I get tired of that, Ray and¬†I like to try new recipes and¬†different¬†flavor’s.¬†Well I better go for now, I need some sleep, hope you are doing well and have great day tomorrow!!!¬†

Amanda ūüôā

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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Easter Menu


Mediterranean Easter Menu part 2.

Hello everyone,

Here are a few more recipes I am making for Easter, I hope you give then a try!

Gypsy Spinach Pie:

Pastry for 2 crust pie 9-inch pie pan, home-made or store-bought, your choice.***

1 (1lb) bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 tblsp. olive oil

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

2 bunches green onions, chopped

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 cup (4%fat) cottage cheese

4 hard-cooked eggs, cooled, peeled, and sliced

1/4 toasted bread crumbs

oil for brushing top crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pastry for pan and place in the refrigerator. In a large skillet over medium-heat, heat  the oil and butter. Saute the onions until soft, add the nutmeg, sat, pepper, cayenne pepper, pine nuts, raisins, parsley, dill, and spinach. Cook for 1 minute, then add the cottage cheese to heat through. Sprinkle the bread crumbs in a layer on bottom of crust. then put in the spinach mixture, top with sliced eggs. Place top crust on pie crimp the edges and decorate with pastry leaves if desired, brush with olive oil and cut a few steam vents. Bake for 45-50 minutes until top of pie is golden brown and juice is bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: I used Julia Child’s pie crust recipe, it’s very flaky and tastes great!! From the¬†baking book (Baking With Julia), but you can use whatever pastry you like…

Stuffed Eggplant

3 baby globe eggplants, or 6 slender asian eggplants

1/2 cup plus 2 tblsp. olive oil

2 tblsp. butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tblsp. fresh rosemary

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 (15.5oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup water

Cut the eggplants in half, and carefully scoop out the flesh leaving 1/2 inch shell. Dice the pulp and set aside. Salt the eggplants let sit flesh side down in a colander for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Warm the 1/4 cup olive oil and butter and saute the onion until soft about 10 minutes. Add the diced eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes, and eggplant, and simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the juices have been absorbed.  Heat 2 tblsp. olive oil and in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat. Cook the eggplant shells turning a few times, to soften them. Place in a baking dish and spoon the eggplant mixture into each shell. Pour in the 1/4 cup water around the eggplant. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until eggplant is very tender.

Asparagus and Red Potatoes, with Almonds and Herbs

24 small new red potatoes, cut into chunks, about 3lbs.

1/4 cup. olive oil plus 2tblsp.

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

salt and pepper to taste

2lbs. asparagus, washed and ends removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tblsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 tblsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the potatoes with the 2 tblsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Meanwhile heat the 1/4 olive oil and butter over medium-high heat, and cook the onions until soft then add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp tender. Then add the garlic, and all the herbs. Toss in the cooked potatoes, and almonds and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Posted by on March 28, 2010 in Easter Menu


Mediterranean Easter Menu: Part 1

Hello everyone,

I decided to post part of my Easter menu, since there will be several recipes!! So far everything¬†I have made my husband has really liked. He doesn’t like hot peppers, so I’ve stayed away from anything like that. Just lots of fresh herbs, vegetables ect…

Herb Lamb Bread:

2 Tblsp. active dry yeast

2 cups sour milk, 105-115 degrees

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 stick unsalted butter, cubed

6 to 6 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tblsp. each fresh rosemary and thyme, very finely chopped

 2 tblsp dried lavender, very finely chopped. NOTE below***

Heat the milk with the butter¬†over medium heat until butter is¬†melted ( it will looked curdled, don’t worry it will come together). Make sure your milk is in within the temperature¬†range before adding the rest of the ingredient’s, I use a thermometer to check. Add the yeast, sugar, salt,¬†herbs,¬†and eggs mix well, I use my kitchenaide¬†mixer with the¬†paddle attachment, then use the dough hook once I¬†have added¬†5 cups¬†of the flour. Add remaining¬†flour if needed. Your dough¬†should be slightly tacky to the touch. Put in greased bowl and cover the top with oil (lightly), cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let raise until doubled in bulk. I used my¬†Wilton¬†3-D lamb pan for the bread. With remaining dough shape into loaves or rolls.¬† Here is the pan I use:¬†¬† Let raise in pans until doubled in bulk and bake at 350 degrees. The lamb pan will take about 45-55 minutes. If you are a not a baker here’s a tip to tell when bread is done.¬† Tap¬†loaves with your finger and they should ¬†sound hollow.¬†Other shaped pans and rolls bake at¬†varying times. It just takes practice and time!¬†¬†

Lavender is a strong flavored herb, you can leave it out if you wish to. It’s an acquired taste, you either love it or hate it. I happen to love it!!!

Rack of Lamb Marinated in Garlic and Herbs:

For the marinade:

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

zest and juice from 1 lemon and 1 orange

1 tblsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tblsp.  each fresh mint, thyme, rosemary, and basil, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

Place all ingredient’s in a food processor, (except oil) and finely chop. With the processor¬†running slowly add the olive oil¬†in a thin steady stream, until mixture is blended. Place lamb in a ziplock bag and let marinate for at least 6 hours or for up to 2 days.

2 racks of lamb trimmed or 12 lamb chops

 oil for brushing, and salt and pepper to taste

Sear lamb in a cast iron pan until browned all over. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and place lamb in roasting pan. Roast for 10-12 minutes until meat thermometer reaches 125 degrees. Cover with foil for 10 minutes before carving. If using chops heat the broiler and place a rack 4-6 inches from the heat. Broil chops on an oiled broiler pan for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Salt and pepper to taste.

Artichoke Hearts with Raisins

6 large artichokes about 4 inches in diameter

1 lemon, cut in half

2 tblsp. lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup vegetable broth or stock

2 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes

1/2 raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

2 tblp. honey

salt and pepper to taste

Cut the stems and tops off of the artichokes, break off and  discard most of the outer leaves and remove all the rest with a sharp knife. Scoop out the fuzzy chokes with a small sharp spoon. Rub the cut surfaces with the lemon half and float the artichokes in a bowl of cold water mixed with the lemon juice until all the artichokes are prepared.Drain and pat dry just before cooking. Pour the olive oil into a large saute pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and toss to coat in the oil and add the broth. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raisins, and honey; stir well and simmer, uncovered until artichokes are tender, and juices have reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and more honey or lemon juice if needed. Transfer artichokes to serving plate and spoon sauce over top.

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Posted by on March 27, 2010 in Easter Menu


Asparagus with mint.

Hello everyone,

I have good news¬†my Dr. app¬†went well!!! I just have to watch my blood thinner level and my folic acid. It was great to hear good news instead of bad news!!! I still have¬†the shingles and am taking some medicine for it, it still hurts like crazy!!!¬† I am still working on my Easter menu, made one more recipe tonight. I am going to make the rest tomorrow night. Please leave me comments if you make the menu! I love to get feedback from everyone!!! ūüôā¬†¬†

I¬†am finishing up a cake for the VA tomorrow, all I have to do is wrap it up. I kept it simple, he likes angel food cake. I made the Betty Crocker Angel Food cake mix, and you know¬†what??? I was so surprised¬†on how good the flavor of this cake is. I had to level it out and I ate the crumbs!!! lol… I normally make angel food from my Betty Crocker cookbook, there is a great recipe in there for angel food cake. This is only the 2nd Angel food cake mix I have made, I am very pleased with the flavor.

I made an easy asparagus recipe tonight, I saw some really nice looking asparagus at Fred Meyer today and had to get some!! I love asparagus!!!

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cleaned

4 green onions chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tblsp. fresh mint, chopped 

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tblsp. unsalted butter

2 tblsp. olive oil

2 tblsp. fresh bread crumbs

In a large non-stick pan, over medium-high heat melt the butter and heat the oil. Add asparagus, and onion and saute until just tender-crisp. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the mint parsley and bread crumbs and heat through. Serve right away.

Note: I used leftover garlic bread sticks, and ran them through my food processor.

Enjoy everyone!!!

Amanda ūüôā

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Posted by on March 26, 2010 in Side Dishes


Deep Dish Pizza and Purple Cake?

Hello everyone, 

My cake delivery today went well. The place I was taking the cake to called me Monday morning and let me know what the lady would like. Well, it wasn’t strawberry cake!!! Her favorite color is purple and she loves cats, so what I decided to do was make a cat shaped cake instead. I put the strawberry cake in the freezer for another time. I’ll take it to the nursing home next week, I have a cake for Friday there. Well back to today,¬†I made a white cake and added purple food coloring to the batter. My mom thought it sounded yucky, but I had to do something!! I would have added some blueberries or blackberries if¬†I had them. I baked the cake after the lady called me and didn’t get it done until 2am. I’m a night owl¬†anyway, and¬†it drives my husband crazy that I stay up so late. The lady the cake was for wasn’t there, she was what they called out in the community. This place is for mentally challenged¬†adults, and I’m sorry to say I’m not all sure what they do there, I just make cakes for them! I can’t believe¬†I made the cake in one day! It normally takes me 2 days, I have¬†carpel tunnel in my hands. That’s part of the reason I only make cakes for charity. My hands will hurt after a while, I can’t squeeze the piping bag if the frosting is to stiff. I have one more cake for this week and it’s at¬†the VA. He¬†likes angel food cake and likes fishing. I decided to make a 7-minute frosting for the cake. I don’t like decorating with whipped cream, it’s just to messy. My husband will be¬†delivering the cake for me, he works next to the Va and always takes¬†them for me. I try to make the cakes easy for him to deliver, he doesn’t like if I make the cake to close to the edge of the cake¬†board. He HATES’s the covering we use to wrap the cakes, he always¬†complains about it. The wind¬†where we live like’s to¬†blow really hard and if we don’t hold the cake and wrapping just right¬†it would blow away!!!¬†I’m not kidding either!!!¬†¬†¬†¬†

I did see my Dr. yesterday,¬† I do have shingles and¬†it hurts like crazy!!! She put me on an antibiotic, so hopefully this will clear up soon. She said it could take 2 weeks to 6 months to heal Yikes!!! I’m praying it will heal fast!!!¬† I’m only 34 years old, but my body thinks it’s 90!!! Most people my age don’t get this, but I have always had wierd thing’s. I’m seeing the hemotaligist Thursday and I’m a bit nervous about what they found out. I’m¬†glad my husband will be there and so will my mom…¬†

Ok enough for now, here’s a recipe for a¬†deep dish pizza I like to make, the pizza dough is Wolfgang Puck’s recipe I take no credit for it!!! It’s a really good¬†pizza dough!!!¬†Sometime I’ll post my grandmother’s recipe for crazy crust pizza. It taste’s great and is so easy to make!! Enjoy everyone!!! ūüôā¬†

1 tblsp. active dry yeast 
1 tsp. sugar 
1-cup warm water (110-115 degrees) 

3 cups all-purpose flour 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tblsp. olive oil 

In small bowl, dissolve the yeast & sugar in ¬ľ cup of the water. In a medium bowl add remaining ingredients & the yeast mixture. On floured surface knead the dough about 10-15 minutes the dough should be firm & smooth. Cover the dough with a clean damp towel & let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.¬†


1 lb. ground meat, any kind 

4 cups cheddar cheese 

4 cloves garlic, minced 

1 small onion, chopped 

1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms 

1 tblsp. butter 

1 (8oz can) tomato sauce 

¬Ĺ tsp. red pepper flakes¬†

1 tsp. salt 

2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 

In a large skillet cook the meat, onion, & garlic until meat is browned & onion & garlic is tender; set aside. 

Place mushrooms & butter in a microwavable bowl, & cook until soft; set aside. 

In a separate bowl, mix the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning; set aside. 

Stretch & pull dough to fit a 12-¬Ĺ inches in diameter deep-dish pizza pan, or a 9×13 square pan. Top dough with 1-cup cheese then with prepared sauce, then the meat mixture, mushrooms, & remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until lightly browned & cheese is bubbling. About 40-45 minutes.¬†

c:\program files (x86)\qualcomm\eudora\attach\Angel Cakes Spring Newsletter 2010.pdf;

If you have trouble opening this email me and I’ll send it to you! Thanks!!


Posted by on March 24, 2010 in Pizza


Chicken Curry

Hello everyone,

How is everyone today? I’m doing ok, Ray and I did a little cleaning today. Mostly Ray doing it and me bossing¬†him around!!! lol… I love him a lot¬†he puts up with a lot¬†of my crap!!! I haven’t¬†been feeling very well since last Wednesday. I have some pain in my right side that goes all the way around to my back, plus I have a red bumps and a rash. Ray and I think I might have shingles, he had them a couple of years ago. I’m calling the Dr. in the morning, this very painful¬†and I’m itchy!!! I have a cake to deliver to a mentally challenged¬†adult Tuesday, I hope I can get it done. I did bake the cake today. I called the place on Friday to get some idea’s on what the lady would like, but they didn’t call me back. It’s my fault¬†I didn’t call until 4:45 pm on Friday and they close at 5pm! I’m¬†going to call as soon as I can in the morning and get some idea’s.¬† I’m lagging behind on this one, just haven’t¬†felt to good. I baked a strawberry cake and I am going to tort¬†it and put some fresh strawberries in the middle and around the edges. ¬†I was going to make a strawberry buttercream¬†also. I hope she’ll like it!!!¬†I used a Pillsbury cake mix, their strawberry¬†mix is really good! It doesn’t have that metal taste that so many cake mixes have, and I have tried a lot!!! I add whole milk instead of water to my mixes, it just makes them taste better.¬†

Ok enough for now, here’s the recipe for the chicken curry…

1 lb. skinless, boneless, chicken breast meat, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (15oz. can) Garbonzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 medium onion diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tblsp curry powder

1 Tblsp. Sriracha

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 Tblsp. butter

2 Tblsp olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

1 cup coconut milk, (not cream of coconut)

In a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat¬†melt the butter and add the olive oil. Dry the chicken meat and brown in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the meat, or it won’t get brown.¬†Place on a¬†warm plate, and saute the onion for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, curry powder, Sriracha, and salt and pepper. Add in the chicken,¬†chicken stock, and¬†beans, cover and¬†cook¬†on medium-low heat for¬†5-6 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk.¬†Serve with brown or white¬†rice, I prefer brown rice.

For rice:

1 3/4 low-salt chicken stock or broth

1 cup brown rice

Bring rice and stock to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook for 40-50 minutes until soft. Add in 2 Tblsps. fresh chopped parsley.


Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Meats


Banana Cake for Nursing Home Today

Hello everyone,

I made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting for a nursing home resident and we delivered it today. I kept it simple this week for both cakes. Just 2 9-inch layer cakes and frosting that would¬†pare¬†well with both. I decorated the cake with purple¬†rosebuds and¬†yellow polka¬†dots.¬†¬†Ray went with me today and we were running behind. We suppose to be there at 11am but we didn’t get there until 12pm. I called¬†to let them know we running late.

¬†Ray and I went to Kopper¬†Kitchen today to have lunch, and it was ok. We both had the house salads to start with and I didn’t like them. I could smell the bagged lettuce smell, yuck. When I worked for an Italian restaurant, (when I was 17). I would mix the bagged lettuce with some other vegetables they mixed them with and I couldn’t stand the smell. Now I can’t¬†eat bagged lettuce at all, I can smell it on any salad in restaurants, and I¬†won’t eat them. There crouton’s¬†were tasty they were a crunchy, but not rock hard like so many crouton’s. I just ate those. We ordered the Idaho Nachos¬†and they were great. Fried waffle potatoes with nacho cheese, chili, pepper, sour cream ect… Mainly all the thing’s that¬†are bad for you!!!¬† ūüôā I loved it, Ray thought it was to spicy hot, he can be wet blanket sometimes, you know a complainer I’m sad to say. He said he won’t order it again, but¬†I will!!! Ray ordered the fish platter, and had them substitute onions rings for the calamari. I don’t know why he won’t try them, he says he can eat rubber bands at home… I had the prime rib, and I wanted it rare. They waitress said they couldn’t serve it that way. I like my meat on the rare side, while it still kicking. I hate it when meat is cooked until it’s dry, for safety purposes they say… We both ordered¬†the rice pilaf and vegetables to go with out entr√©e, and they were ok, not super great. I don’t¬†want to go there again, I can make better food at home and better for us. All I can say is that the Idaho Nachos¬†were the best thing I had all day. I made a killer chicken curry last night I’ll post it tomorrow sometime.

I didn’t sleep to well last night,¬† I have been very tired today.¬†If I don’t keep my right leg up enough the ankle turns bluish/purple, gross I know. I’ll have to call the Dr and see what they say about it.¬† I have been having a lot¬†of pain for the last couple of days¬†were my gallbladder used to be. Hurts clear into my back.¬†(I had my gallbladder removed in May of 04.) I don’t know if this is related to what the Dr, wants to see me about on Thursday.

Here’s the Banana Cake recipe:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe banana’s (3 medium)

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup chopped and toasted nuts, optional

Preheat¬†the oven to 350 degrees grease and flour 2 9-inch round pans or a 9×13 cake pan.¬† Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the banana’s vanilla¬†and eggs, mixture will look curdled, but it will come together. Add the dry ingredient’s alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the nuts if using. Pour into prepared baking pans.*** Bake for 25-30 minutes until cake tester¬†comes clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Tip*** after you grease¬†and flour your baking pans put them in the refrigerator while you prepared your batter. This keeps the cake from sticking to the pan and prevents the butter or Crisco from melting into the cake. I do this all the time and it works very well. ūüôā

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 (8oz. package) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened***

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tblsp. lemon juice, or more if needed

1/8 tsp. popcorn salt

Beat all ingredient’s together until smooth and creamy.

This frosting takes color well and is easy to decorate with. If you have warm hands, like I do, put an ice-cube in your hand briefly and that will help the icing from melting. 

I only use Philadelphia¬†cream cheese, I have found that it works very well with this frosting. Other brands contain water and filler’s so your frosting will be to¬†runny

Well enjoy everyone, and remember to take one day at a time!!!

God Bless

Amanda ūüôā

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Posted by on March 21, 2010 in Cakes