Monthly Archives: June 2010

Pork Stew & Food Network Magazine

Hello everyone,

I know some of you must be thinking her name says cakebaker? Why does she post other recipes?? Well the answer is that its’ because I love to cook as well, and I don’t want to have 2 blogs to maintain too much work for me.

Ray delivered my last cake for Angel Cakes to the VA home on Monday until August. I decided to not bake any cakes in July. I have to get my displays done for the fair, plus I need a break, I have made at least 20 or more cakes in the last 2 months. My carpel tunnel in my hand is acting up, I don’t know if it’s just the all the cakes or everything else like the typing here… lol.. Who knows… I am baking at the Ronald McDonald house on Friday. I’m baking the white chocolate cranberry cookies that I have posted here. 

I know I have done recipe reviews on several Food Network recipes, but this month I just haven’t felt good so there will be no reviews of any of their recipes from the June issue. Tomorrow the 30th is my 35fith Birthday, I’m not looking forward to it. First my husband and I have counseling, then we have to go to the bank to get some things done with our accounts, then I have to see my specialist. I hope she can give me good news, I’m hoping that the Sarcoidosis is in remission. That would be a great Birthday present!!! Ray is taking me to a movie, I want to see the new Robbin Hood with Russel Crowe, I’ll let you know how it is..

This recipe is close to what my mom would make when I was a kid, she could make really good soup when she wanted to!!

Pork  Stew 

1 lb. boneless pork tenderloin chops, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

4 medium celery ribs, 1/2 inch dice

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

1 large yellow onion, 1/2 inch dice

4 cups diced Idaho potatoes, about 5-6 medium

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

5 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. granulated garlic

5 cups water

1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley***

Place flour and pork in a zip-lock bag and shake to coat the meat. In a 4-quart pot over medium high heat, heat the oil and dump meat and flour mixture into oil. Cook until meat is browned, add onion and cook a few minutes more. Add the remaining ingredient’s expect for the parsley and cook over medium heat for 1 hour, just gently simmer the soup. The flour with slightly thicken the soup as it cooks. Add parsley the last 10 minutes of cooking.

*** I know most of the herbs are dried ones, the parsley is my addition. I like the fresh taste it gives the stew.

Well until next time everyone!!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 30, 2010 in Soups


Gremlins in my kitchen today!!!

Hello everyone,

It was a bad cake day for me today. It must be the humidity in the air, because the icing on the cake I was decorating with did not want to cooperate with me. It kept sliding off the cake, and so I put it in the refrigerator to set up and I thought that would help, it did some. So I got it all wrapped up and my husband and I went to deliver it this morning. It was for an elderly man’s birthday. By the time we got to our destination the icing was starting to melt again and you could see the cake in the middle on one side. Oh man was I embarrassed to deliver this one. I told the nurse how sorry I was for the problem, she said it was ok she said she knew they would love it anyway. She said she thought it was really cute and so did another lady standing at the nurses desk. Well I guess it’s going to happen sometimes, even through I hate it. I don’t want it to reflect back badly on Angel Cakes. We like to make sure each cake looks pretty and is special for the person getting the cake. I have one more cake to get done tomorrow for a vet that Ray will deliver for me on Monday, and I hope it turns out better!! Just one of those days!!!  Sigh…  Like Scarlet O’Hara was always saying in the movie Gone With The Wind, for tomorrow is another day! Love that movie, I have seen it at least 20 times, it’s one of those that I never get tired of. I have read the book and it’s really good. It’s hard to understand the Gullah language that the black people spoke throughout the book, but I read through it 3 times anyway so I could understand it better.  If you haven’t read the book give it a try its a lot better than the movie, isn’t it always that way? The book is better than the movie? Why is that???

Anyway goodnight for now…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Sauce

Hello Everyone,

This is a recipe I made up awhile ago, the Cranberry sauce is a version of Cheff Tod English’s cranberry sauce. I just change a few thing’s here and there… So if you want something different besides a roasted turkey a beef meatloaf this one in a good one to try. Also if you want something simple for Thanksgiving. I know it’s still several months before the actual day, but meatloaf is good anytime!!! 

Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Sauce:

1 lb. ground turkey

1 lb. ground turkey sausage

2 cups fresh white bread crumbs

2 large eggs

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1 (14.5oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

1 tsp. ground sage

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried marjoram

1 tsp. dried parsley

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish or a large loaf pan. In a bowl, combine all ingredient’s together and place into prepared baking dish. Top with cranberry sauce (you will only need about half of the cranberry sauce, recipe below). Bake uncovered until cooked through, about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve with extra cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Sauce:

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1-inch piece peeled ginger, finely chopped

1 (12 oz.) bag of cranberries

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1/4 cup raspberry liquor

2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 cups cranberry-raspberry juice

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts

Place a large saucepan over medium heat; when hot add oil. Add onion and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cranberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, raisins, raspberry liquor, sugar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and red wine vinegar. Cook on medium-low heat until syrupy and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add cranberry-raspberry juice, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cayenne, nuts, and salt. Simmer until thickened, 12-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and set aside to cool.

I had 2 cakes last week, one was for the mission the other was for a hospice person. The mission cake turned out really good, I made a white cake with vanilla buttercream and sprinkled course colored sugar to decorated the edges. The hospice cake was an elderly man not to far from where I live. I made a carrot cake with a cream cheese pineapple buttercream and decorated it with maraschino cherries and coconut. When I arrived at their house the wife of the man was really surprised with the cake, she said we didn’t expect anything this nice thank you so much!!! Made me feel good anyway, and I hope it made his birthday special…

I have 4 cakes this week! I know wow, my husband says  I make to many cakes and he’s right sometimes I do. My husband delivered one cake to the VA this morning the vet wanted a chocolate cake with whipped cream and I hate icing with whipped cream, because it doesn’t set and the plastic we use to wrap the cakes always hits the sides of the cake and I looks a little messy. I’m not going to take anymore cakes that ask for whipped cream! and I have one more for him to deliver tomorrow to the VA home, this vet wanted white cake with white frosting, and he also likes fishing, so I made him a cake in the shape of a fish! The pan isn’t big enough to hold all the cake batter so I have 6 extra cupcakes that will be going with the cake. I’ll write Happy Birthday on 3 and put 1 candle on the other 3. The one for Friday is for a nursing home lady and my last one is for Saturday and it’s a 6-inch cake another nursing home. I couldn’t make all these cakes without Ray!! I have 1 cake left this month it’s on Monday, it’s for a Vet. I’m baking at the Ronald McDonald house on the 2nd and that will be all for me in July. I have a lot to get ready for the fair. I won’t be baking anything, expect some pies for the pie contest. We’ll see how I feel anyway.. lol..

I know its been awhile since I have written anything, my hand has been hurting. I have carpel tunnel in my right hand and with all the cakes I have been doing it’s wore out my hand! Still have some huge family issues were trying to work through, not with Ray and I, but with other family members. When I know for sure what is going to happen I might write some about it here.

I better go for now I need to get the cake done for tomorrow!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


My First Blog Award!!!

Hello everyone,

I want to thank Lynn B. Turner for nominating me for the Honest Scrap award   

     In order to accept this award I first:

a) must brag about it
b) will display the badge on my blog & link the one who tagged me
c) will share 10 things about myself. (Following the rules and other awards)
d) will pass the award to other fellow bloggers by visiting their site

I am passing on this award on to, Chef Alex Lopez thefooddiva  unexpectedsmiles  Ed He-Eats and to David Lebovitz     I really like to read these people’s blogs, I have learned a lot from them. I don’t know if they read my blog and I’m sure they have been nominated before, but I wanted to let them know anyway…

1. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and I love Him with all my heart.

2. I love to watch Food Network and the Cooking Channel

3. I love to bake and decorate cakes!

4. I don’t like organ meat

5. I love to enter competitions!

6. My husband and I have sponsored a child through Compassion International for 14 years.

7. I love Sushi!!!

8.  I love Thai food!

9. I want to open a Bakery/Deli/Cake supplies/Flower shop. I want it to be a store where you can eat wonderful food, and shop for all your cake, party and wedding supplies… 

10. I want to write a cookbook someday, I know I will someday!!!

I hope I got all this right, thank you so much Lynn for nominating me!!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in Blog Awards


Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello Everyone,

I have had a slow weekend which is nice for a change! lol..  Saturday Ray and I didn’t do anything, it was 12am before we got home from the airport Friday night. He had a good week in San Diego, he even bought me a cookbook called, Taste the Fun Cookbook 2009’s Award Winning Recipes, it’s from the San Diego County Fair. They have so many different cookoffs and competitions down there, it’s given me a lot of idea’s!!! Today we went to church and over a week ago my husband brought home some Amish bread starter from work. I followed the instructions and this morning before church I finished making the starter and baking the bread, it tastes wonderful! I gave away three bags of starters to some friends at church. I don’t know how to make the starter I’ll have to look around and see if I can find it. I do have 3 different Amish cookbooks and I’ll have to do some internet searching also. 

I have only 2 cakes this week! 1 is for the mission and it’s a 11×18 sheet cake and I make 24 cupcakes. It takes 4 cakes mixes and it does take some time to make, but I love to bake for the mission! It’s my first mission cake for a while, I haven’t baked one for them for at least 4-5 months. I have to deliver it on Thursday and I have 1 6-inch cake for a nursing home, that one will be an easy one to do.

On Wednesday I have a University of Idaho canning class. We are having a class about honey, so I’m thinking of something different to make. I want to make something sweet ,of course and something savory. Last time I was there I cooked some carrots in a crockpot with some honey, lemon juice, and thyme and they all loved them. Ok I need to tell a story here, my husband needed to go to town and run some errands, I asked him to go to the store and buy me about 6 lemons and 3-lbs. of carrots. Well he comes home from Costco with a 5-lb. bag of lemons and a  10-lb. bag of carrots I thought ack!!!! What am I going to do with all this!! He has a problem with doing this all the time, he bought a huge bag of oranges about 4 months ago and only one went rotten and it smelled so bag!!! I have cleaned the frig about 4 times and I can still smell a faint whiff of it. I told him NO MORE BIG BAGS OF VEGETABLES!!! Only if I need them to make a big cake or am making a huge family dinner. He has promised to not do this anymore… lol  I still can’t believe he did that!!! 

I can’t remember where I found this cookie recipe, it’s a bit different but they taste really good. I’m thinking of making them the next time I bake for Ronald McDonald house next month. So here it is…

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies:

2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1, 6-oz bag dried sweetened cranberries

2 cups white chocolate chips, I like to use Ghirardelli chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put cranberries in a bowl and pour boiling water just to cover, and let sit for 10 minutes; drain and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs mixing well after each addition. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes approximately 2-1/2 dozen cookies.

Enjoy everyone!!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 14, 2010 in Cookies


Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

Hello everyone,

I have had a very busy week with 4 cakes and baking at the Ronald McDonald house.  The cake for the foster child on Tuesday went ok, I had a hard time getting a hold of them on the telephone. I found there house and no one would come to the door! I called and kept getting the answering machine, well in the meantime my bladder was getting to full!! Lol, so I left and found a gas station, down the road and just as I was getting back into my car the foster-father called me and said he was sorry he must have been asleep out back with their babies, they didn’t have a doorbell either, wierd… Anyway I finally got the cake delivered and went home. I got the other 3 cakes done and delivered with no problems. On Friday I baked at the Ronald McDonald house and baked some Pecan Shortbread, and a couple of hours later the lady that helps out there emailed me and said the people loved the shortbread!!! Today I received a thank you card in the mail for one of the nursing home cakes I made last week. It’s nice to hear from people!!!

Here is the recipe I used, it’s from a cookie book called (The Good Cookie) by Tish Boyle. I love her cookies they are very good!!!

Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 tsp. salt

1-1/4 sticks, unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tblsp. bourbon, or water, (I used water because I didn’t want to bring alcohol into the house).

1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Course sugar for sprinkling

1/3 cup chopped pecans

Heat an oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, and extend the sides, this makes it easy to lift the bars out of the pan. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugars, bourbon or water, and vanilla. Blend in the flour, salt and pecans. Pat dough into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with course sugar and pecans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool on wire rack for 15-20  minutes. Cut into bars. Enjoy!!!

Until next time everyone

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 12, 2010 in Cookies


Busy Week OH MY!!!

Hello Everyone,

I have a busy week, I have 4 Angel Cakes this week plus this Friday I’m baking at the Ronald McDonald house.  I baked a german chocolate cake for a foster girl who’s turning 17 this week. It’s sad that she will age out of the system next year and hasn’t been adopted. I don’t really know much about her situation, but my parents had foster kids since I was 9 years old. We had so many that had a lot of problems and some ended up in a special home where they were more supervised. A lot of then had hard lives and we haven’t heard from to many, it would be nice to know where some of them are now and how they are doing. 2 of my cakes need to be delivered on Thursday and one is for a vet and the other is for another foster child that will be turning 11. He lives with my dad and step-mom, they are have been foster parent’s for a couple of years. My last one is on Friday for a mentally challenge adult. I know what your thinking why do I have so many, well it was by accident and we have some many cakes this month! We have 6 new bakes that joined us in the last couple of months, a couple of then are taking cakes but some of the bakers don’t take any, even the ones that have been so-called with Angel Cakes for a while. This frustrates me, why do they volunteer but don’t bake??? It just makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s the idea that well I have baked for a charity, or perhaps it’s family or money problems I don’t know… I need to be more patience with all of it, the withdrawal from the steroids has me more emotional, plus some huge family problems haven’t been resolved yet. I just need to give it time I guess… I won’t be baking next month expect maybe for Ronald McDonald house. I have the fair to get ready for and I won’t be doing any baking for the fair just getting my display done.

I’m sorry I don’t have a recipe today, just haven’t felt like cooking much I have been testing recipes for Relish magazine. They saw my blog and asked if I would join there group of recipes testers. I have made several of them so far.

 I am feeling a bit down my husband will be in San Diego for 4 days this week. I’m going to really miss him. I can’t travel for a while because of the leg clots that are hopefully still breaking up.

Well until next time everyone…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 7, 2010 in Uncategorized


Hashbrown Casserole, and NICU cake.

Hello everyone,

It’s been a slow week for me, I delivered a cake to the NICU today. It was for a baby boy who has been there since January. He is being released today. It was my first time baking a cake for the NICU. I went on Wilton’s Discussion Forum to ask some questions about what they thought I should do. In my last post I thought about baking a cake in the shape of a baby, but then though that might be to wierd for the young single mom. I didn’t want to freak her out or anything. I remember seeing a baby cake on Cake Wrecks that looked so real that it was freaky. So I posted a question on the Discussion Forum and wanted to get some other people’s advice before I went ahead and baked, I got several replies. Most of them said not to bake any cake at all. Some said it was because they have had children in the NICU and it’s just not the right time to bring in a cake, they were to sensitive to celebrate anything. I can understand from that point, I have never had kids and I told them that my husband and I couldn’t have kids.  One person sounded really mad at me for even thinking about baking a cake. This person had 2 kids in the NICU in the past. I told them I was really sorry and hoped all is well with them now. I decided to make an open book cake with some blue baby pins, rattles, bottles, and a baby plastic boy. I wrote on one side these words, (Babies fill our world with joy, and blessing’s beyond compare, babies are a gift of love, yes a gift that is so dear.)    Here is the picture of the cake, I didn’t make it look exactly like it, since it was for a boy I made it with white, baby blue, and light green and left off the flowers.  Anyway I hope the young mother liked the cake and I hope the baby is well. I have 2 more cakes to get done tonight, I have them baked already I just need to decorate them.
Here’s a recipe for a hashbrown casserole that I made awhile ago, it’s really good for breakfast or anytime of the day!!!
Hashbrown Casserole:
1,  (2 lb.) package of frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes, thawed
1, (8oz.)  container sour cream
2, (10-3/4oz.) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1, (8oz) package sliced mushrooms
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/2 lbs. sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/4  (2 oz.) butter
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet cook mushrooms with the 1/4 cup butter until soft, set aside (do not drain). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, in a large bowl mix together the hashbrowns, sausage, mushrooms, and 1-1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese. In a medium bowl mix together the cans of soup, sour cream, pepper, and dried thyme. Pour over hashbrown mixture and mix together. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for 25-35 minutes longer until mixture is bubbly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serves 12-14 people.
Until next time…
Amanda 🙂
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Posted by on June 4, 2010 in Breakfast


Memorial Weekend & Food Network Magazine

Hello Everyone,

It’s been quite a weekend for me. A lot going on and some huge family problems, but I won’t post too much about it here. All I will say is that some family connections have been permanently severed and it’s has made me a little sad and a little relived. I feel like a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders. Ray had 4 days off for Memorial weekend, and on Friday I baked at the Ronald McDonald house. I love going there, the people are so nice and they always have everything there I need to bake! I baked peanut butter cookies, I’ll post the recipe below. After baking we went to the zoo and it was really nice to go just by ourselves, although there were 4 school busses of kids there, thank goodness I didn’t have to keep track of them! lol!!! It was great to spend the time and read what the animals eat and where they come from. It’s been years since we have been there, it was a nice day. Saturday we finally went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3-D, it was great! Then we did some shopping. Sunday we finally made it to church and afterwords our life group and one other group was having a picnic in the park. Ray and I played boccee ball, it was my first time and we had a lot of fun. Ray and his team-mate won the game. Monday we just stayed home, I know boring!!!

I haven’t tried to many recipes from the May issue of the Food Network magazine, I am going through withdrawal on the steroids and I have no desire to eat.  There were only a few we tried. The first one is on page 74 the Meaty Quesadillas, Ray really like these but I didn’t. The next recipe is on page 77 the Poppy Seed-Chicken Pitas, this recipe was really good. I ended up buying a roasted chicken and using dried cranberries and I forgot the poppy seeds!! Ack!!! Other than that the dressing on the chicken was really good. The next recipe is on page 79 the Curried Salmon Cakes. I used canned salmon instead of fresh, to expensive for the fresh kind. I forgot the mango salad, uhhh I guess  I have been tired… The last recipe I tried is on page 146 the Jalapeno-Cormeal Pancakes, my husband was gone out-of-town and wouldn’t have eaten them so I ate them by myself. I had to use yellow cornmeal, I couldn’t find blue cornmeal. The problem I had was the batter was way to thin and my first 2 pancakes didn’t look like the ones in the picture at all. I ended up adding another 1/2 cup flour to the batter and that helped. They still didn’t look like the one’s in the picture, but the were not paper-thin like the first 2. Maybe the blue cornmeal had something to do with thickening of the batter better than the yellow cornmeal, I don’t know… Don’t think I’ll be making these again, they didn’t sit to well on my stomach anyway.

I have 3 cakes this week. The first one is for a baby leaving the NICU after being there for 3 or 4 months! Wow, must have been a really sick baby for a while..  I don’t know yet if it’s a boy or girl. I am going to use the Wilton baby pan that is really cute! I have 2 cakes to deliver Saturday, one to a nursing home and the other to the VA, I haven’t decided what to make for them yet.

Heres the Peanut Butter cookie recipe:

2/3 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

12 oz. peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix peanut butter, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredient’s. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-13 minutes until lightly browned. As you can tell this is similar to the chocolate chip cookie recipe and it is, I just changed a few thing’s. Enjoy!

Until  next time..

Amanda 🙂