Monthly Archives: October 2010

Cake or Bread in a jar

Hello Everyone,

This is a topic I have been wanting to talk about for a while. I first saw this idea about this a couple of years ago in a Paula Dean magazine. I thought what a great Christmas idea! I was going to make them and give them away when Christmas came around. Well some time passed and I forgot about it and did something else for my family at Christmas. I am so happy I did forget about making them! When I started taking the Food Safety classes with the University Of  Idaho, they talked about how unsafe this practice is. I know a lot of people make these and give them away. There is even a place somewhere down south that makes and sells these. I saw them on an episode of Food Finds on Food Network some time ago. The problem with making these is that the core temperature doesn’t reach the proper stage it should be, and a lot of home cooks don’t have the right equipment or don’t have the right ingredients, additives ect.. that the license food manufactures have. We had a lady in my class say she got one of these cakes as a gift from a friend, she said she thought it was a great idea, and put in her pantry to eat later like her friend said to do. Well a couple of months went by and she took the jar out of the cupboard and saw this green stuff growing on the top, she threw the whole jar away! It turned out it was food poisoning growing in the jar, she did the safe thing by throwing the jar away!!! 

Here are a couple of websites that back up what I have been talking about.

You can also clink on the link I have on the right hand side of this page from the National Center for Food Preservation for more Q and A, on this topic and many others.

This is also the time of year when a lot of Christmas Bazaars start, and I love going to a lot of them. I don’t always purchase a lot of thing’s I just love to visit them and see what people are making and selling. We went to a church bazaar last year and a lady was selling these cakes in a jar and wanted us to taste them.  I politely said no thank you, and I should have said something to her about how unsafe it is, but I didn’t. There were to many people around and it was a small place, so I decided to say nothing. I hope and pray no one got sick from what she was selling! Should I have said something? Yes, I should have, but I’m not very good at confronting people face to face. There was also a place last year that had some unsafe canned jellies. The lid on top wasn’t sealed properly, I took it up front to the lady and politely said this jar isn’t sealed, she said oh yea it is it’s still fingertip tight! The lid was popping up and down in the center, and that is not safe. I didn’t argue with her, again there were a lot people there and I don’t like making a scene… I won’t be that way this year, even through that lady didn’t listen to me I am still going to speak up. You never know else will listen! This same topic came up on a recipe site that I belong to a couple of weeks ago and I responded with the same websites and information. I didn’t mean to hurt the person posting the recipe, I just didn’t want someone else making these and getting sick. It only takes one time to get food poisoning to die or have health problems for the rest of your life. My dad got giardia when I was a kid from drinking contaminated water and was deathly ill for several weeks. He still has problems once and awhile as a result. Here’s more information on this topic..

Ok enough doom and gloom for now, I’ll be working on my next topic. It will be about what you can safely put in jars and questions to ask at bazaars this Christmas season..

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Canned Foods


Whats Your True Color?

Hello everyone,

Friday I was finally able to make it to one of my master canning classes. I haven’t been able to make the last 3 and 1 had been canceled do to not enough people able to come. This class I had the other day was about learning what your color is, I found out mine in gold. This one surprised me, I thought I would be green, since green is my favorite color! There are 4 colors they had us choose from and my 1st pick was green, 2nd was gold, 3rd was blue, and lastly was orange. 

They had a take a test to see what our colors were ( clink on the website link down below to find out what your colors are) and mine is gold I scored 65; I am a planner. Time management systems are a must for me. I am organized and take pride in being punctual. I am usually the one who shows up early and stays late to help clean up. I am good at establishing and maintaining policies, procedures and schedules. I believe in respecting authority and following the rules. I am responsible, practical and dependable. I value family, security, and tradition.

My next color is blue I scored 51 for blue: I am compassionate. My heart rules my head. My strength is in my ability to emotionally connect with others. I am warm and friendly and often referred to as a people person. I am sensitive and communicate from my heart. I experience a great deal of joy in supporting and inspiring others to succeed. I search for meaning and purpose in my life. Peace and harmony are extremely important to me.

My next color is green and my score for this one was  47: I am a thinker. My head rules my heart. I love to analyze things. I receive great joy in brainstorming and dreaming up new ideas. I am a visionary and problem solver. I value my independence and prefer working alone. I do not easily express my emotions. I ask a lot of questions. I need to understand why. I value knowledge, intelligence and creativity.

My last color was orange and I scored 46. I am a doer. Dont expect me to sit around thinking about something, planning it, or contemplating how I feel about it. If you want something done now, give it so me. Flexibility and variety are a must. I need adventure, fun and excitement in my life. Routine and predictability bore me. I am spontaneous and courageous risk taker. I highly value my freedom.

The test they had us take had 20 questions and when I was done answering the questions they had us add all of the numbers and letters up. Well was lost with me, with my dyslexia it just went over my head. When they had us change tables according to what our color was I was clueless as to where to go. One of the ladies was so nice and helped me add up all the numbers and letters and that is when I found out I was gold. There were not a lot of people at the gold table, maybe 6 of us. There were at least 10 in the color blue, 5 or 6 for green and same number in the orange color. It was an interesting class. Now as a Christian I don’t put a whole lot of stock into all this. As a follower of Jesus and his teachings he takes us out of our comfort zones and helps us to be better people. This color thing is similar to the what’s your number, sign of the month ect.. I stay away from all this. This color thing is ok to a point, it does help you find out how to understand people better, but like I said Jesus will have the final say in how I deal with people and the situations in life. He is shaping me into a better person everyday… The Bible is where I’ll keep taking my solid advice from..

I took another cake for next week, it’s for a foster girl who is turning 18 and loves anything with music. I found out some cool idea’s from Wilton’s website for decorating a music cake. I am looking forward to this one, it’s a challenge for me and I like that..

Anyway if you want more information about the colors test here is the website…

Well Until next time everyone..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on October 24, 2010 in Uncategorized


Mee-Mee’s Famous Coconut Pineapple Cake

Hello all,

Here is another recipe from my winning state fair cake book.  It’s from Sheila Junell, Amarillo, TX. I made this cake a couple of years ago for Angel Cakes foster care picnic.

For the cake:

2 cans (8 oz. each) crushed pineapple in juice, drained and reserve juice for cake, filling and frosting

1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

3 cups granulated sugar

5 large eggs

2/3 cup lemon-lime soda pop

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups sofasilk cake flour

Pineapple filling:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

reserved juice 

1 cup water

Cream cheese frosting:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese softened, this is my addition to the cake, I thought the smaller amount of cream cheese wasn’t enough.

1/2 unsalted butter, softened

3-4 tbsp. pineapple juice

4 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 4 round 9×1-1/2-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper and grease and flour paper; set aside. If you only have room in your oven for 2 cake pans you can refrigerate the other 2 and bake after. They will need a few extra minutes, just test them. Beat butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.  Mix soda pop, 1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, the lemon extract and vanilla. Beat flour alternately with soda pop mixture into sugar mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour into pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.

To make filling: Mix sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in reserve pineapple juice, leaving 3-4 tbsp. for frosting. Cook over medium heat about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture boil and thickens; cool.

To make frosting: Beat all ingredients together until smooth.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on cake plate and spread with 1/2 cup pineapple filling repeat with the rest of cake layers. Frost the top and sides with frosting, spread the rest of pineapple filling on top of frosting. I think if I remember right, that’s what I did. You can see a picture of it here..

I delivered the cake to the mentally challenged adult place yesterday and didn’t get to meet the Birthday person. I don’t always get to see who we give cakes to there.  I have a cake for a vet coming up on Tuesday and he’s a BSU fan. I am thinking about making another jersey cake. It’s been awhile since I made one of those cakes.

We had so much fun with my niece Abby the other day. First we went to Red Robin and she knew right away what she wanted to eat mac and cheese she said! LOL!! Our server said boy she’s gonna keep me on my toes! Abby kept telling everyone we were here for her Birthday she was so excited! She didn’t want the staff to sing her Happy Birthday through, I asked her why and she said just because, she will be 4 in a couple of weeks. She sure has grown since we saw her last, and is talking better, I still didn’t understand half of what she was saying! She didn’t like the movie to well, I think she’s still you young for that. It was in 3-D and she didn’t like the images coming at her, she kept taking off the glasses. I think I only watched half of the movie between taking her to the bathroom 2 times and her talking to me! lol!! I’ll have to rent it later just to see it! Well we had a fun time with her anyway, it’s the first time we had a chance to do something with just her. With my illness I can only handle one of the kids at a time right now… 

Ok people I have disabled my voting button, the same person keeps coming on here and giving me a poor rating. As I stated before in my last posting your one of the 4 following people. So I don’t know who it is, but I can tell it’s someone coming from a FB launch site. This is sad, to whoever you are, you are being very petty and low. This is my blog, and while everyone has a right to an opinion your being downright rude. Like I said before I do not get paid doing this!!! This is something for me to do while I try to get better.. This is the last time you’ll hear about this from me here.

Well I hope everyone is having a a good day…

Until next time…


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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Cakes


Rating Voter

To the person who rated my last 2 postings on my blog as poor, 😦

I admit at first I was dumbfounded and confused as to why I would get such a low vote from you. WHY? At least send me a comment as to why you gave me such a low vote please! I know by posting the voting thingy that I opened myself up to this, and I’m not sorry I did. Your either:

1. A family member who is pissed off at me. Well whatever your problem is GET OVER IT! I’m tired of having s*** flung at me all the time! 

 2. You’re a random blog reader and just want to be rude and don’t have the guts to send me a comment. Your hiding behind your computer!!! 

3. Your rating my blog on how it’s written.  Well, I have dyslexia, and I write how I feel, I don’t get paid or anything. THIS IS MY BLOG AND I CAN POST WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT TO. Besides why does what I say bother you??? Instead of  just giving me a poor rating why don’t you email me or post a comment??

4. Your just a jealous person, who thinks I live a charmed life. Well NEWSFLASH!! I don’t, I am very sick and would like to see how you would like to be in my shoes for a day. I  have chest pain ALL the time from my Sarcoidosis, I can’t work, I am on 02 most of the time. I have 6 doctors I have to see on a random basis. I have  at least 1 doctor appt a week. I’m all swollen from the steroids and in stomach pain from them. I have a blood clot still breaking up behind my right knee and something could break off at any time from it and go to my lungs, heart, or brain and I would die instantly.

So to whoever you are don’t hide behind my ratings poll again! Send me a comment or email! I have never pretended to be anything other than what I have written on my blog. I am not pretty, slim or beautiful in any physical sence, but I am in my mind. I love to do all the cakes I make and it’s what keep’s me going and keeps the focus off myself, my health, and my family. Most of the time anyway…

Well #%&* right back to ya!!!


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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized


Chicken Fajita Chili and Chocolate-Malt Cake

Hello Everyone,

Here are the recipes I made for my husband’s office chili/dessert contest this year. I’ll provide the link for the cake down below. Sadly I didn’t win anything this year. I was really hoping to win back the traveling trophy they have. Another lady won both the chili and the dessert this year. Ray said the chili and cake tasted really good, and so did a lot of people there. They kept asking him which ones were mine and asking for the recipes. There was nothing left of the chili or the cake! So to all my cyber friends I am asking you to be the judge! Please post your comments here, or any of my Facebook friends can post on my wall. I look forward to any and all comments!!! 🙂

Chicken Fajita Chili:

2, 2-3 lb. roasting chickens, cooked in a seasoned water, with kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic. Cook chicken just until it starts to pull away from the bone. Let cool slightly and throw away the skin and bones. Reserve 2-4 cups of the broth and chicken for the chili.

4 large red bell peppers, chopped

4 medium yellow onions, chopped

5 Serrano chilis, seeded and chopped, use gloves and do not touch your eyes or face!

10 cloves garlic, minced

4 cans (14.5 oz. each) peeled diced tomatoes, no salt added, undrainded

4 cans (15 oz.each) great northern white beans, rinsed and drained

3 packages (1.27 oz. each) Fajita seasoning

2 cans (7 oz. each) fire roasted diced green chilies, undrainded

1 can (6 oz.)  tomato paste

2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce

1 cup lime juice

2 cups of the seasoned chicken cooking water

a few dashes of tabasco sauce, optional

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

After cooking the chicken, heat 4 tbsp. olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and saute the peppers, onions, chilies, and garlic, just until tender. Add remaining ingredients expect the cilantro, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 hours on a low simmer, stirring sometimes. Add salt, and pepper to taste, and add in the cilantro. Serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, chopped green onions and crackers. You can cut this recipe in half to serve a smaller family or just freeze half, it makes a lot of chili! I just made this much because of the contest.

As for the cake, it was an adventure to make this one!! I saw the recipe a awhile ago in Bonappetit magazine and had to give it a try. I have a butane torch and had to get it refilled. I called the place I bought it from and would have to go in and get the right butane bottle. My husband remembered from filling it last time that we could get a can cheaper from Ace Hardware and fill the can ourselves. So when Ray got home with the butane he filled the can, or so he though he had… The next day when I started assembling this cake, and there are a lot of layers and things to make for this cake! The butane torch ran out after barely toasting a few marshmallows! Ack, so I had to wait for Ray to get home from work to finish the cake. He went outside again (the instructions say to fill the can outside it’s safer) and refilled it. Well the same thing happened I got just a few marshmallows toasted and it went out! So Ray decided to look up some information on the net to see what he could do about this. In the meantime I had to finish this cake! I set my oven on high broiler heat and put the pan in the oven to toast the marshmallows and what do you know it worked out great!! I had to watch it very closely so it didn’t burn. I did this with the 2nd layer of the marshmallows and it worked out really well! Agian watch this very closely or you’ll have burnt marshmallows! I got all the layering done and wrapped up the cake to sit overnight in the refrigerator. Just when I got all this done, what do you know Ray figured out what he was doing wrong with my torch and got it refilled the right way. He was filling the can right-side up when the directions said to fill the can up-side down!! LOL!! We learned our lesson, read the directions!! The next morning I got up early to finish to cake, and used the torch to toast the top layer of marshmallows. Here is a picture of my cake and the link to the recipe..

P. S. The cake texture was brownie like and Ray said they couldn’t slice it, just kinda scoop it out. Next time I am going to make my chocolate cream cake layers and see if that works out better…!/photo.php?fbid=1375950008622&set=a.1154295867407.2021540.1528013904

Well until next time everyone!! 🙂


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Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Cakes, Soups


Stuffed French Loaf

Hello Everyone,

Here is another tasty recipe from the Christmas cookbook I wrote about in a posting awhile ago..

Stuffed French Loaf

1 loaf (16oz.), French bread

8oz. spicy bulk turkey sausage

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg

2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, divided

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread in half lengthwise and slightly hollow out each half, leaving a 1/2-inch thick layer of bread. Place bread crumbs in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a heavy skillet over medium heat until meat is brown; drain off any fat. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, meat mixture, egg, parsley, and 1 tsp. mustard; set aside. Using a food processor, process cheese, olive oil, remaining 2 tsp. mustard, and pepper until mixture forms a paste, about 1 minute. Spread cheese mixture evenly over inside of each bread half.  Spoon mixture into cavity of each bread half. Place bread halves together. Wrap loaf in foil. Bake 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices. Yield about 16 servings. This would be great for any buffet lunch/dinner or any holiday gathering!

I do have 1 Angel cake this week for a mentally challenged adult. I meant to call them on Friday to see what the Birthday person would like, but I forgot. I haven’t felt good all weekend and that was my crazy baking day at Ronald McDonald house! I told my husband about it and he just laughed! It was pretty funny now that I think about it. It was like I was an I Love Lucy episode!! I did get an email Saturday from the director of the house and she said the muffins were great! She said that she had 2 of them and they were almost gone! I made about 40 muffins total, between the 2 different kinds I made. They did have a full house this week. I don’t know when I’ll go back yet. I think I’ll make 3 batches of muffins and bring a couple of my own baking pans, plus a can of cooking spray. They ran out when I was there and I almost couldn’t get the muffins out of the pans. I had to carefully get them out with a butter knife. I don’t have to bake the mission cake this week, one other baker said she would bake it. I emailed the lady that updates Angel cakes website and said if no one took it by Tuesday I would get it done. It’s not that I didn’t want to bake it, I just felt I needed a break was all. I did bake for them last month. It’s a big cake, a 11×18 sheet cake plus I make 24 cupcakes to go with it.

Please pray for my health! I have a bad feeling that I am getting or have another blood clot in my right leg. I am having the same symptoms I had last time. I am going to call the Dr tomorrow and see what they want to do about it.. I’m afraid it means I’ll have to go back on blood thinners for the rest of my life..  Not fun.. 😦

Tomorrow Ray gets home sometime in the early afternoon, he’s been in Twin Falls all weekend. His brother came down from Seattle and they were going through more of their dad’s stuff. I don’t know what Ray will bring home this time, he mentioned some towels, cookbooks, kitchen stuff ect.. We are going to, or I hope to still pick up our niece Abby to take her out for her Birthday tomorrow night. Her actual birthday isn’t until the 1st of November, but Ray and I just wanted to do something with just her. With her parent’s divorced and I am not speaking to my brother, I really don’t want to attend any big family Birthday party, I’m just not up for it. Besides we haven’t ever done anything with just her, so I am hoping it all turns out ok.. I also had lunch with my mom Friday, it’s the first time we have seen each other since all the family fight we had a couple of weeks ago, and it was ok. When she started talking about the Birthday party she had for my brother, I really didn’t want to hear about it. I was a little hurt about this, I know I’m not speaking to him, so what they do with him shouldn’t matter to me. It’s just most of my family here forgot my Birthday this year. My grandparents forgot with all the stuff going on with my aunt’s. My mom did bring me a present when I was working at the fair, they were in AR for my step-dad’s brother’s funeral on my Birthday. I guess I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it would have been nice if they could have done something. I turned 35 this year, it was a milestone for me. I never thought I would live this long. If it wasn’t for my husband it would have just passed like any other day.. My dad just calls me I never get a card or anything from him, I have come to expect that from him. He works a lot and is too wrapped up with my stepmother’s family. I’m sorry that I sound depressed, I am a little. We wanted to bring our dog Casper to our church’s Harvest Party they are having on the 31st. It’s always a huge event with lots of food, games, ect.. They have a petting zoo and we know Casper would love the attention! He loves kids and is so gentle and loving. We told the people one of us would stay with him all the time and have him on his leash, but they said no. The people who run the petting zoo said they prefer to use their own animals, I can understand this to a point. It’s just that we have been going to this church for almost 3 years now, and I still feel like we can’t fit in anywhere.. If  it wasn’t for the wonderful Life Group we go to, we would go somewhere else. Ray said not to worry about it, and I know he’s right… We do need to go more often and at least try to attend more events, maybe that would help. It’s just that I have been so sick these past 2 years that it’s hard to get anywhere when I feel like crap… I know I do a lot of things for Angel cakes, but that’s different I can bake at home and take my time. I don’t have to get dressed up and all… In this church, I feel like Jo in the movie Little Women (one of my favorite books and movie) when she was crying to her mother about not being able to fit in anywhere, she wasn’t pretty like her little sister Amy, she wasn’t married and a homemaker like her big sister Meg, and she wasn’t content like  Beth was.

Well enough for me for now…

Until next time.

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Sandwiches


Bird Rolls

Hello Everyone,

Here is a recipe I made for the fair several years ago, I won 1st place for them too!! It’s from Margaret Fowler, Plainfield, Indiana. It’s in a Taste Of Home  baking publication that I have had for maybe 8 years I think? I love the recipes in this magazine, I have made several of them, mostly for the fair!!

Bird Rolls:

1 package (1/4oz.) active dry yeast

1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp. salt

3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. water

16 unblanched whole almonds

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, brown sugar, 2 eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 16 pieces. Roll each into a 12-inch rope; tie into a knot. To form birds head, tuck one end back into knot. With a sharp knife or scissors, cut two slits on opposite end to form tail feathers. Place 2-inched apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Beat remaining egg with water; brush over dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Insert an almond into each for beak. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool. Yeild 16 rolls.

I delivered my Angel cake today with no problems. I just made a simple 6-inch cake, iced it white and sprinkled pink sugar crystals on top. I bought a Happy Birthday candles set at Wal-Mart the other day. It’s really cute the letters are in different colors and it even had the exclamation for the end of Happy Birthday! I wrapped it with a pretty pink silk ribbon and put 3 pink tulips that I had, in the top of the ribbon. I even baked for Ronald McDonald house today, I made them lemon raspberry and orange poppy-seed muffins. I got a little distracted there today. The first batch of muffins turned out ok, they stuck to the pan a bit. Then the second well lets just say I hope they liked them. First of all I forgot to beat in the softened butter with the batter. I just put them in the oven and saw the butter on the counter! Yikes! So I pulled them out and put the batter back into the mixing bowl. I folded in the softened butter and starting filling the muffins cup when oh crap I didn’t grease the muffin cups!! Well I had only filled 6 cups so far, so I greased all the others and put the dough in them and scooped out the batter from the cups that were not greased into other greased cups. Threw the pans back into the oven and of course the batter that was left in the ungreased muffin cups starting burning and smoking up the oven! All I can say is that it’s a good thing the oven vent worked great, otherwise I would have set off the fire alarms!! The muffins turned out pretty good despite all the trouble. I had to really scrape and clean their muffin pans before I left. I hope I don’t have anything like this happen again. I was feeling a bit stressed and was distracted about something today…   

I finally heard from my Dr. about the cancer test.. Well it’s like this, I have a cyst on one of my ovaries that is 38cm. The Dr. said the normal is around 35cm, I may have the cm part wrong, anyways… I must have another ultrasound on November 3rd, if it hasn’t changed or has grown I will have to have surgery to have it removed. So I have to wait, yet again.. So many other things om my mind today, but I don’t want to talk about it here… Not today anyways…

Until next time..


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Posted by on October 15, 2010 in Breads