Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mississippi Mud Cake

Hello Everyone,

Here’s a recipe that was printed in my local newspaper awhile ago, it’s from Heather Vanek. I made it for Ronald McDonald House yesterday and it’s wonderful!!! Had a great day baking there. One young lady who works there, whom I have gotten to know is leaving in May. I will miss her, she was fun to talk with while I was baking! I also baked some cookies called Mansion Cookies from Apron Strings & Wedding Rings blog, they were great! Thank you Mary for another wonderful recipe!!!

Mississippi Mud Cake:

1 cup melted butter, 2 sticks

1/2 cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/8 tsp. salt

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 (10-oz.) bag mini marshmallows

chocolate syrup for drizzling the top

Set oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan. In a large bowl add the melted butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla stir to combine. Add flour, stir only enough to combine. Pour into prepared pan (batter will be thick) spread batter to cover entire pan. Sprinkle with nuts on top and lightly press them into the batter. Put pan into oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick. While cake is still baking make the frosting.


2-3/4 cup powdered sugar, the recipe only called for 2 cups, but I thought it needed the extra 3/4 cup

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup butter, 1/2 stick, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup half and half

Blend all together until creamy. When cake is done spread frosting over hot cake, spreading to cover entire cake. Top frosting with marshmallows, and bake cake again for 5 minutes, just until the marshmallows puff and turn lightly brown. When cake is cool drizzle with chocolate syrup. This cake is like a brownie, you’ll notice that the recipe has no baking soda or powder..

Ray and I went to the pet expo in Boise today, we had a lot of fun! I saw the Pomeranian that I want!!! Someone was walking around the expo with one, and I told Ray that is the size of pom I want later when we move. It looked like it only weighed about 8 pounds or so. It was a tan color, I want a chocolate-brown one, and her name is going to be Coco!!

Well I’m off for today everyone!!


Amanda 🙂


Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Cakes


Turkey Salad

Hello Everyone,

Here’s another one of my mom’s salad recipes. It has really good flavor! 🙂

Turkey Salad:

4 cups cooked, cubed turkey

2 cups pineapple chunks, drained

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. curry powder

1/2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

2 med. banana’s

Combine turkey, pineapple, celery, mayonnaise, curry powder, nuts, coconut and oranges. Chill, then stir in banana’s and serve.

They have picked a name for the cake charity, the new president sent us all an email today. It’s called “Community Cakes”. They have a good start on everything! I really don’t know what I’ll be doing with them, other than baking… So many changes going on with us that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and out of sorts… Some of the changes in our lives will be good, others I’m having a hard time with… I’m thankful I have the U of I meetings every month and the Fairs to look forward too this summer..

Well I’m off for now… Need to get a couple thing’s done, before Ray get’s home later.. Shopping, cleaning, cooking ect.. And the list goes on!! 🙂

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Salads


Mexican Salad

Hello everyone,

Here’s another one of my mom’s recipes from the deli, all but the cilantro that’s my addition! 🙂 I love mexican food, cilantro is one of my favorite spices.  I never had it fresh until we moved here. It gives such a crisp fresh flavor to dishes! 

Mexican Salad:

1 head iceberg lettuce, torn

1 large avocado, diced

5 med. tomatoes, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 med. yellow onion, diced

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy, save the drippings for the dressing

2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Line bowl with lettuce. Combine avocado, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cilantro and bacon. Combine chili powder, salt, and vinegar, and pour into bacon drippings. Pour dressing over vegetables, top with cheese and serve immediately.

Had a good day, didn’t hurt my back swimming , yeah!! We had to get Casper bathed and shaved today, we only get him done 2 times a year, that’s all he needs. We bath him in between times when he needs it.. The groomers are such nice people, I took Daisy to them, when she was alive.  They are the only place we have found that works so well with the dogs.. While he was getting groomed, I spent the afternoon at my grandparent’s house. They live close to the groomers, and they get their dog Oreo, (he’s a Shiztu) done there. They all seem to be doing fine today.. Had a good really visit with them…

Last night, I had another cancer class at the Y. It’s was on nutrition. Heard a lot of good information.. Some thing’s I already knew about from taking the U of I classes, some thing’s I agreed with and some thing’s I didn’t.. I’m not sure how many more classes I have there, 2-3 I think.. To be honest I’ll be glad when it’s over.. It’s been nice, but other than having cancer I don’t have anything in common with anyone there..

Well I better go for now everyone..

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Salads


Cucumber Crab Salad

Hello Everyone,

Here’s a recipe that my mom would make a lot. When I was about 7 or 8 years old,  my mom had a small deli, that served sub sandwiches, salads and she had a salad bar too. I don’t remember what else she served, I know either she has or I have the menu somewhere.. Wow  it was such a long time ago… I do remember how busy it always was and my brother and I would play outback after school while she and other ladies she hired would work to serve everyone coming in… She had some unusual sandwiches and salad combinations! They were tasty!! 🙂 This is one I remember well and really liked!

Cucumber Crab Salad:

2 med. cucumber chopped

2 cans crab, drained

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

Lots of  salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together until just mixed together. I made this agian and I think my taste buds have changed, since I have been on the steroids.. I ended up adding 2 cukes and 2 cans of crabmeat and added alot of salt and pepper, so I updated the recipe. ( I use sea salt in all my recipes) I haven’t eaten this in along time, so sorry if anyone tried it and it turned out to0 be a flop.. I guess that will happen sometimes!!

I threw my back out yesterday after swimming. I have no idea what I did, must have turned wrong in the water. I was walking in the locker room like an 90-year-old women!! Hahaha!!! Must have been a site for all the other ladies in there! I saw one of my Drs yesterday also, she said my kidney function was down, she said it could be from the steroids. She also said my cholesterol was high! I asked what the number was and she said 220, so I asked what the bad cholesterol number was and she said it was 109. I did some research and that number is great. My total is just borderline high.. It’s all from the steroids she said, hopefully when they taper me off them, that number will go down. My iron is still low, and so is my white blood count, it’s all from the Sarcoid stuff.. She also said my inflammation number was down, I don’t remember the medical term she used, but that was good news!! It mean’s that hopefully the Sarcoid is going into remission!!! 🙂  Maybe the combo of the medication and exercise is helping!! The Dr did give me some muscle relaxers for my back, I am feeling better today.. Did some cleaning, Ray said don’t do too much!! I feel guilty not being able to clean as much as I used to.. The Cancer class I have been going to at the Y has been helping us all find a new kind of normal. I don’t know what normal is for me yet.. I used to work, be able to clean my house, and cook dinner all the same day. I can’t do that anymore, sometimes I’m lucky to get the laundry and dishes done in one day. I have to space thing’s out or I get so tired I’m down in bed for a couple of days.. Very frustrating for me!!

I know the ladies are working on getting the new cake charity name and website going, I have no idea what it is going to be called yet. I called the lady at the VA today to get the name of the vet I am baking a pie for on Friday, since the website is down I couldn’t get the name of the veteran. I told her it broke our hearts with what happened, she said for me to tell all the bakers that they are praying for us and that they are so grateful for all the cakes, pies, and cookies that the bakers make for them!

Well I better go for now, need to get ready for my class…

Until next time everyone!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Salads


OH How Life Changes!!!

Hello everyone,

A big change happened this week with Angel Cakes.. The director of Angel Cakes decided to shut down the charity… Can you believe it??? I have debated all week on how I wanted to write about all this.. This just happened on Monday… Over the past 2 years we have had problems with the director coming in and wanting thing’s done, then disappearing for months at a time, and leaving everything on just a couple of people to clean up her mess… If it hadn’t been for a handful of people the charity would have folded 2 years ago… I am happy to say that all the bakers are going forward with the charity, under a new name.. The lady that started Angel Cakes won’t let us have the website, non-profit status, nothing… She just want’s to shut it all down.. Well, we are not going to let that happen, we will rebuild, under a new name and grow better in the meantime. It’s not fair to shut it all down!! This cake charity means so much, not only to us but, to all the people we make cakes for!! At our brunch on the 9th we had a lady from the VA come and talk about how much the veteran’s love the cakes, pies and other treats we make for them.. It made us all feel so good to hear from her! 🙂

 It’s going to be rough for the next couple of months during this transition, but I am happy with what is happening!! 🙂 I think The cake charity will be even better than before! Ray and I have been writing down names to suggest to the other bakers, so far we have come up with 8 different ones.. After Easter we are going to get together and see how we all want to get this going. This charity means so much to all of us bakers! That’s why we joined!! In the meantime I am taking care of the mission and Ronald McDonald House. Wow what a week this has been… There are some other changes going on in our lives, but I don’t want to talk about it right now, maybe later sometime!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter…  

God Bless you all!!! 🙂



Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


Vanilla-Sented Baked French Toast with Vanilla Maple Syrup

Hello everyone,

Here another Easter brunch recipe for you to try. It’s from my Cooking Club of America magazine.

Vanilla-Sented Baked French Toast:

1/2 lb. white french bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices, day old works best

6 eggs

1/3 cup sugar or vanilla sugar***

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup half-half

2 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. butter, cut up

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Arrange bread, in  single layer if possible, in a large nonreactive baking dish or on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Whisk in cream, half/half, and 2 tbsp. vanilla until combined. Pour over bread, turning to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours, gently turning bread occasionally. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange butter on another large rimmed baking sheet. Heat in oven 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted; spread evenly over pan. Carefully remove bread from egg mixture, allowing some excess to drip off; arrange on hot butter-coated baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Turn; bake an additional 5 minutes  or until lightly browned on both sides.  Cut in half, if desired, and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. To make vanilla sugar place about 5 split fresh vanilla beans in a large ziplock bag filled with sugar. It will take a couple of weeks for the vanilla flavor to come through.. It’s great in tea, sprinkled over cookies or oatmeal..

Vanilla-Malpe Syrup:

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1-1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine both ingredient’s in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Serve over french toast.

It’s been a quiet week for us, I have just been swimming and Ray is keeping busy with work. Oh I did get the cake delivered to the mentally challenged adult, but not on Wednesday on Thursday instead. I was very sick Wednesday, I didn’t even go swimming Wednesday. I spent all day at home in bed asleep. I called the lady that helps run the place and they were more than happy that I was bringing the cake on Thursday. They understood that I wasn’t feeling well. It’s nothing anyone can catch, it’s just the Sarcoid stuff. I saw the other specialist on Friday and they are starting me on a different medication, I’ll still have to take steroids for a while, and they will reduce them down as the other medication takes effect. I sure hope this new medication will help me, and I can go off the steroids.. I feel better today than I have for a while. I was late for swimming class, so I only got in about 30 minutes. I went to the lap lanes and kinda swam 4 laps. I don’t have enough muscle tone yet to do full laps. I have to hang on to the side if the pool with one hand to help me along. I found out that I can still do the dead mans float, it felt good!!

Well goodnight my friends, swimming cleaning the fridge and cooking clam chowder has made me really sleepy. I know that doesn’t sounds like much to some of you, but to someone like me who is ill, it’s a lot!!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Breakfast, Easter Menu


Creamsicle Smoothie

Hello Everyone,

I made this smoothie today from the 50 different smoothie booklet from FN magazine. It is very good!! The recipe called for vanilla ice cream, but I substituted vanilla frozen yogurt instead. Enjoy! 🙂

Creamsicle Smoothie:

3/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 cold water

1 cup ice

1 cup frozen vanilla yogurt

Blend all ingredient’s together until smooth.

I am baking a cake for a mentally challenged adult today. He likes wrestling, and I’m pretty sure I made a cake for this same man last year. His name sounds familiar anyway. I know I made something with wrestling for him last year. I debated on making him a just a plain chocolate cake, but decided to make something like last year. I don’t know much about wrestling. I never had any brothers wrestle in school and we never watched it on TV. That WWW or something fake wrestling anyways. Ray said his dad used to watch it when he was a kid. My dad is into football and that’s pretty much all we watched growing up.  I have the cake baked, just need to make icing later and get it done. I have the cancer class tonight at the Y, and I did go swimming today. I am feeling much better, as much as 2 vicodin can help anyways..

Today my dad left for Nebraska.. Mom said I did see Nebraska when I was little, but I don’t remember it.. I am really going to miss my dad, I hope they get there safe and love the work they are going to do… Love you Dad and Judy, we’ll be praying for you!! 🙂

I am making a menu for Easter, just a brunch menu is all. I don’t know where we’ll go for Easter this year. Just church for now.. We dyed Easter eggs with my niece’s and nephew on Sunday. We had a really good time with them. My oldest niece was mixing some of the colors to make a different color, that was so pretty, we loved it!!

Well I better go for now, I need to rest a bit before my class tonight…

Until later…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Breakfast