Monthly Archives: March 2011

Pistachio Pesto

Hello everyone,

Awhile ago I bought some pistachio nuts for a Aarti’s recipe for Bombay Sloppy Joes. Well, I had a lot of them left and just didn’t know what do with them. They are not my favorite nut, that would be macadamia nuts! Yummy!! So I hunted around the web for a while to see what looked good and jumped out at me. This recipe is a modified versions of Alton Browns on Food Networks site. It is fantastic, not something I would have thought up on my own. I just don’t make pesto sauce that much..

Pistachio Pesto:

4 cloves garlic

4 cups fresh parsley

4 tbsp. fresh lemon thyme leaves

2 tbsp. fresh sage leaves

1 cup parmesan cheese

1-1/2  cups pistachio nuts

1-1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Finely puree all ingredient’s together in a food processor. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

I am going to Ronald McDonald house this Friday. They asked for something simple since they are having another group come in at 10 or 11am, to cook lunch. I thought I would make rice crispy treats and a chocolate peanut butter no bake cookie. Both are very easy and no hot oven to heat up the kitchen!!

I saw the new Dr. yesterday, she seems really nice and wants to help me.. She asked a lot of different questions about the Sarcoid symptoms I have been having.. They took 8 vials of blood and exrays of my ribs, hands and feet. One Dr. keeps asking me if I had ever broken a rib in my back. I said I don’t know??? I fell of the back of a horse one time when I was a kid and got the wind knocked out of me. There is one other thing that happened, that could have caused it. When I was 11, a person beat me with metal slotted spoon. I had welts from the back of my neck to the back of my knees.. I won’t say who did this to me, and no I didn’t get any medical treatment for this either.. I’ll know something next week I hope.. She said something about trying a different medication. I did get to the Y this morning, I really needed to go. I have been and am still in a lot of pain in my back and legs. I don’t know what happened, but I am so sore, it hurts to move. The water did help, I even sat in the hot tub for about 10 minutes. I have avoided the hot tub, mainly because there has always been a lot of old creepy men in there.. I wish they had 2 hot tubs, one for men and one for women. I can’t go in the sauna, it would take my breath away…

Well I better go for now.. I need to bake my husband some chocolate chip cookies, he’s been asking for me for a while to bake some.. I like baking something so simple for him. Makes him happy.! 🙂

Until next time…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Pasta


Brown Sugar Bundt Cake with Buttery Brown Sugar Sauce

Hello Everyone,

I picked up another cake book a week ago! Imagine that, me the cakebaker with another cake book! LOL!! It’s a Betty Crocker Cupcakes and Cakes book. The cover is what caught my eye, it has a tye-dye cupcake! I had to make those cupcakes!! I made 48 of them for the mission’s “March To End Hunger” last Saturday. What a great event that was!! Thank you so much to all the Angel Bakers for all the beautiful cupcakes we ended up with 349 standard size and 84 mini cupcakes! WOW!! I hope we can be a part of this event next year!!

I made another cake from this book for our church’s life group. It was so yummy, everyone loved it!!

 Brown Sugar Bundt Cake:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup butter, softened, (2 sticks) 8 oz.

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup whole milk

Buttery Brown Sugar Sauce:

1 cup butter (2 sticks) 8 oz.

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tbsp. whole milk

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, the granulated sugar, and butter with electric mixer on low-speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the 2 teaspoons vanilla. On low-speed, alternately add flour mixture with the 3/4 cup milk. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan to serving plate. To make sauce, place all sauce ingredients expect vanilla in a 2-quart saucepan and on medium high heat bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Serve over with cake.

Well that’s it for today everyone!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Cakes, Cookbook


Just me today…

Hello everyone,

It’s been a busy week for me.. I delivered a cake for a mentally challenged adult on Wednesday, she loved cats and the color purple, the cake turned out cute… Today I delivered the monthly Birthday cake to the Rescue Mission, it was all chocolate baby!!! Men love chocolate so I baked a chocolate cake and drizzled the sides with chocolate ganche!! Yummy!! Last Friday a lady from the mission called me to see if Angel Cakes could bake 300 cupcakes for a special event that are having this Saturday. I told her I would have to call her back and see, it was kinda short notice for our bakers.  I talked to the lady that does most of our cake posting’s about it and she talked to the founder of Angel Cakes. I couldn’t tell the mission lady yes or no until they decided what to do. At first they asked if I wanted to make them all? I said, I can’t do that, It’s too much for me right now.. I already had the other cakes this week.. I think they forget that the monthly mission Birthday cake is an 11×18 sheet cake (it takes 3 cakes mixes)  plus I always make 24 cupcakes to go along with it. I don’t have to make the extra cupcakes, it just make’s the sheet cake look nicer.. Plus it’s more cake for all the guys.. I am so happy to report that our Angel Bakers came through and a lot of them singed up for cupcakes!! 🙂 I am baking 50 cupcakes, plus a couple of 9×13 sheet cakes. The mission lady asked if something could be written on some of the cupcakes for a local grocery store, plus the Revs. Birthday. I decided to make the 2 small sheet cakes instead, it will be easier for me to write on them verses the cupcakes.  It’s really difficult for me to write on cupcakes, my hands hurt.. It’s even hurting to type right now.. So wierd… I’m glad I’m seeing the new specialist next week..

I need to go for now, typing with one hand and half of my other it taking along time to write..

Until next time…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Hello Everyone,

I made this recipe for my Food Safety class last Thursday, and wow what a hit it was!! I have had several recipe request’s for this. So I am posting it here plus I’ll need to email it to some friends!! LOL!! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse Cake:


1-1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs, I just used Oreo cookies and left the filling inside.

1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

3 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


1-1/4 cups creamy peanut butter

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1-1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1-1/3 cups heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks


(8oz.) dark cocoa candy melts, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, peanuts, 3 tbsp. sugar, and cinnamon. Add melted butter; stir until evenly moistened. Press evenly into bottom and 1-inch up sides os 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until crust is firm. Cool.

In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and cream cheese at low-speed until blended. Add powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla; beat until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream until smooth. Place is refrigerate until topping is ready.

Place cream in a small saucepan and heat until bubbles just for around the edges of pan and pour over chocolate candy melts. Stir until smooth. Spread on top of peanut butter mixture. Let set in fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Recipe from Cooking Club of America, all but the topping recipe I added that one…

I have a lot to do this week.. My oh my.. I have a cake for  mentally challenged adult to deliver on Wednesday. Thursday I have the mission cake, and Friday and Saturday I am helping make 300 cupcakes for the City Life Mission to end hunger for March. This is a huge event for us. I don’t know why they contacted me instead of one of the directors of Angel Cakes. The only thing I can think of is that I am the contact person for the Thanksgiving dinner dessert’s.. Oh well, I am making about 20 or so for a thank you gift to Fred Meyer, the Reverend’s Birthday cake and 25 of the 300 cupcakes needed for this event. We already have 1 lady donating 48 cupcakes so WOW, I think we could make it by Friday. Please pray we can get more bakers to help with this special event!!! 🙂

I have great news!! The Dr said it would be June/July before they could see me. Then they called me on Friday and she wants to see sooner like at the end of the month.. This was an answer to prayer for us so!!! I hope the Dr. can get the right answer to help me with my pain.. Tonight’s a bad night for me.. My hands a feet hurt so bad. It’s hard to type all this, but I needed to post this, and needed something to do.. I can’t sleep uugggg!!! 

Well I better go for now..

Goodnight all.

Amana 🙂 

P.S. If some of this post sounds weird it’s because I am getting really sleepy so hopefully I can get some much-needed rest. 🙂

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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Cakes, Dessert's


Apple Fool

Hello everyone,

Here is a recipe I came up a long time ago. The orignal recipe called for beaten egg whites, but I don’t like eating raw eggs at all. So I switched it with some heavy cream. This recipe isn’t for anyone on a diet or someone with dairy allergies, so be carefull!! 🙂

1 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tbsp. unsweetened apple juice

1/3 cup superfine sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup heavy cream

green food coloring, optional

In a small saucepan, combine the apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and apple juice. Cover and simmer until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan and stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and stir over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a large mixing bowl*** beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cold apple puree. Fold in a few drops of green food coloring, if using… This is beautiful served in tall stem clear wine glasses. Garnish with apple slices or fresh mint.. So yummy!!! 🙂

Refrigerate your mixing bowl and whip before beating your whipped cream, your cream will get higher peaks and be more fluffy.

Oh boy, I am really busy this week!! So busy I haven’t been able to make it to my swim class, I know I’m being naughty!! LOL!! I’ll try to make it 5 days next week!!! (WINK WINK)!!!

I was sick Monday, so I didn’t do anything.. Tuesday I went to a ladies Bible study, which I very much enjoyed!! Today I am making 50 cupcakes, for my husband’s office for St. Patrick’s day. They are sour apple schnapps cupcakes with sour apple schnapps buttercream. I’ll post the recipe later… I am baking a peanut butter cheesecake for my U of I Food Safety class tomorrow. Plus I found a killer pesto sauce using lots of fresh herbs and pistachio nuts.. So yummy!! I’ll be cooking some pasta at class tomorrow and serve the pesto with it.. I will be baking a cake later tonight to deliver for Angel Cakes on Friday. It’s for twin baby boys graduating from the NICU. Also on Friday I am baking at Ronald McDonald House! Whew!! Can’t wait for the weekend!! 🙂

Well I better go and get back to baking!!

Later everyone!!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Dessert's


Irish Apple Cake

Hello all,

Here’s another favorite recipe of mine for St. Patrick’s Day:

Irish Apple Cake:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg, beaten

4 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and diced (2 cups)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1 cup all-purpose flour

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and lightly flour an 8-inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg, apples, nuts and vanilla and stir well. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then unmold and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.. Enjoy!!!

Until later everyone..

Amanda   🙂

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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Cakes


Irish Cheesy Scones

Hello everyone,

Here’s another very tasty recipe I made up just last night! These scones are made with Irish Dubliners’ cheese and butter. Here is a link to see what it looks like..  

The butter is absolutely devine!! I use the butter in the scones and as a spread to eat the scones with. If you can’t find it here is a link for some.

Irish Cheesy Scones:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

4 tbsp. Irish butter, cold and cut into small cubes

2 cups shredded Irish cheese, if you can’t find this cheese, swiss cheese would be a good substitute

1-1/4 cups buttermilk

2 tbsp. heavy cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9-inch round baking pan. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. With a pasty blender or 2 knifes cut in the butter until it resembles a course meal. Stir in the cheese and buttermilk just until a soft dough forms. Pat into prepared baking pan. Brush the top with the heavy cream. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top.  Enjoy!!

Later everyone!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Breads


Potato Soda Bread

Hello everyone,

Here is a recipe I came up with awhile ago. Since I live in Idaho I try to use potatoes with as many recipes as I can, since they are so cheap here!! The best potatoes are grown in Idaho!! Sorry I’m a little bias when it comes to my potatoes!! LOL!!

This bread is a little sweet and make wonderful toast the next day. Spread with soft butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. So yummy!! 

Potato Soda Bread:

4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tarter

1 tsp. salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup mashed potatoes, unseasoned and without milk or butter

1 cup buttermilk, you can use full fat buttermilk if you like, I use low-fat, for no other reason other than that’s all I can get where I live

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch round or square cake pan or a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Sift the baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt together in a bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the center, add the potatoes and buttermilk. With a fork mix just until a soft dough is formed. Turn into prepared baking pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake until bread is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Let cool about 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!!

Until later..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Breads


Slow Cooker Corned Beef Brisket

Hello All,

Here is one of my favorite ways to cook corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Brisket:

1 3-1/2 lb. corned beef brisket

1 large onion sliced

1/2 lb.  baby carrots

1 lb. small-medium red potatoes, if they are large ones cut them in half

1/2 small head of cabbage cut into chunks

I place all the vegetables in the bottom of my 4-quart crock pot. I wash off a lot of the brine with cold water to get rid of some the salt. In a large saute pan brown the brisket on both sides. Add a little water to the pan to get all the browned bits out of the pan, and add to slow cooker. Place the beef brisket on top of the veggies, and sprinkle the spice packet over the top. Pour about 1-inch of water into crock pot. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low 8-10 hours. I don’t add any extra spices or salt to this. The meat adds all the flavor you will need. If you wish you can use the juice left over to make a gravy. I don’t I just add pepper to my dish.. This is great with some Irish Soda bread!!

I’ll have several more recipes to post for St. Patrick’s Day so keep coming back!!! 🙂

Until later…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Meats, St. Patricks Day Menus


Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

Hello Everyone,

Here is one of my recipe’s that was published in a Taste of Home cookbook a couple of years ago. When I got the cookbook in the mail I was oh on I didn’t order this!! Well imagine my surprise when I read the letter they sent me and said this was free since I had a recipe published in it! WOW I was so excited!! The book is called Everyday Slowcooker & One-Dish Specialties, and here is the link if you want to see it or buy it..,default,pd.html&cgid=CBK_SHA

Here’s the recipe..

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup:

1 lb. hot Italian sausage

1/2 lb. ground turkey meat

3 tbsp. whole milk

1 beaten egg

1/3 cup Italian style fine dry bread crumbs

1 (8oz.) can no salt added tomato sauce

2 (14.5oz.) cans no salt added tomatoes, undrained

1 (15.oz) can white beans, undrained

1 (15oz.) can black beans, undrained

2 green onions, white and green parts, finely sliced

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed

1/2 tsp, red pepper flakes, crushed

1 cup water

In a medium bowl mix the first 5  ingredient’s together and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and brown all meatballs in all sides. Set aside to drain. In a 3-1/2 to 4-quart crock-pot place all the remaining ingredient’s in and the meatballs. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

I made Guy’s whole wheat preztals last night and they were very good!!! I made half with coarse kosher salt and the other half with raw coarse sugar. I like the salt one’s better than the sugar one’s… I am making the chocolate mouse cakes later today…

As I sit here and write this I am watching Oprah which I rarely do, but she has that octomom Nadia on. I wanted to see what they were going to talk about. Well it’s been interesting to say the least. I am amazed that this women has 14 children all under the age of 9! You know at first I thought this women was crazy, still do a bit.. Sorry but anyone who has 6 kids already and couldn’t afford them then goes on to have 8 more is nuts!!! I would be beyond happy to have just one child, that would be enough for me…

Please pray for all the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami today. I have friends and family in some of those area’s. I have been praying for them all day.. I am hoping they are all ok.. Makes me wonder when the next big earthquake will be???

Well until next time everyone…

Amanda.. 🙂


Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Soups