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


Banana Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Hello Everyone,

Food Network magazine always come with these little recipe booklets for 50 different idea’s. One was for pizza, another for meatloaf, I think?? anyways I have never made any of the recipes from these booklets. April’s magazine has a booklet for 50 smoothies. Some of them have ice cream and to me a smoothie is always some fruit with yogurt, or milk, not ice cream. To me ice cream in a smoothie seems more like a milkshake, not a smoothie.. I made the Banana Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie for breakfast this morning and I really liked it!! So I thought I would share it with all of you!! 🙂

Banana Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie:

1 medium frozen banana

1 cup milk, I use rice milk

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup wheat germ

2 tbsp. seedless raspberry jelly or strawberry

Blend all ingredient’s together until smooth. I loved this! So creamy and yummy!! 🙂

Ray and I had a great time with my dad and step-mom last night at Olive Garden. They followed us out to our house after dinner. They wanted to give me my great-grandma Phebe’s loveseat rocker. My dad and my step-mom have taken care of it, great-grandma would be so happy! The color is kinda a burnt orange color, so it’s really outdated. When Ray and I move, someday.. I want to have it recovered with a couple of other rockers gliders we have. I want them all to match in whatever home we move into. I have no idea what color or when we will move.. We need to move closer to his work and all my Drs. are in Boise, expect my dentist, but I only see him 2 times a year. The others I see about 1 time a month between 4 different Drs. I have treating the Sarcoidosis. I didn’t make to the Y this morning or yesterday. I haven’t felt good at all. This morning I didn’t even hear the alarm go off, weird.. I’ll set 2 alarms for tomorrow morning, so I’ll have to hear one of them!! LOL!!

Well Until next time everyone..

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Breakfast


March Food Network Magazine Recipe Reviews

Hello Everyone,

Here are some of the recipes we decided to try… The first one is on page 57 “The He made She made”. I didn’t make Cheffs Robert’s version of antipatso platter, there was nothing to it other than putting meats, cheese’s, bread, and vegetables on a nice serving platter. It’s a lot easier to make his, than Cheff Ann’s was. I did make that one and we loved it. It’s a very creative way to make a antipatso salad. This one goes to Cheff Ann, sorry Cheff Robert, we still love your shows!!

 The next recipe is on page 74 the Eggs in Purgatory with Salami, we loved this one. So very easy and a great quick dinner without thawing out and cooking meat. I have made this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!!

The next recipe is on page 79, the Pork Marsala with Spinach, oh so very tasty!! Ray loved the mushroom sauce, and well he loves pork so anything I make with pork, (as long as it’s not spicy) he will love it!!

The next recipe in on page 79 as well. The Shrimp Fra Diavolo (which means Brother Devil) I know it’s an odd name for a shrimp dish. It was very spicy, it had 1 tbsp. of red-hot pepper flakes. Ray said it was to hot for him, but it wasn’t for me. I’m the chili head, he’s not!! LOL!! 🙂

 The next recipe in on page 117 Ricotta-Filled Meatballs with Fennel and Chili, we both loved this one as well. I haven’t made meatballs like this before, they called for ground beef, veal, and pork, I normally make turkey meatballs. The meatballs very good and I made my own mariana sauce to go with it.  It was a lot more work than other meatball recipes I have made, but it’s a keeper!!

 The next recipe is on page 130, the Tiramisu. I loved this!! This is the only dessert that I love coffee in. It’s a lot better if you let it sit overnight, the flavors get a chance to blend together better. I didn’t use mascarpone cheese. I used some soft set cream cheese instead, it needed to be used up.. 

Well that’s it, and I think that was enough anyway!!

Today is my dad’s 59th Birthday, I can’t believe it. He doesn’t look his age, he looks younger than that. Ray and I are taking him and my step-mom out for his Birthday tonight. We are going to Olive Garden, one of our favorite places to go. I am really going to miss them when they leave next week, still having a hard time with it… It’s also my aunts Birthday. My mom and grandma are having a party for her tonight, and they wanted us to come, but we had already made plans with my dad.  We’ll need to do something later with my aunt..

I went to the first class last night for people who have had cancer, and got a lot of great information. We’ll be meeting one day a week until the end of this month and a couple more times after that. It was really nice, they are having different speakers coming each week to talk about thing’s that cancer people need help with. I was the only one that had thyroid cancer there. All the other’s had some form of breast cancer, there was one man who had some kind of cancer, but I can’t remember what he had.. They showed us some exercises we could do to build up the muscles in different area’s. I couldn’t march in place, it’s very painful on my right foot. It keeps going numb when I do too much on it..

Well I better go  for now, need to get some thing’s done…

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

Hello Everyone,

Here is a recipe from the Saco brand of cocoa powder. I love this brownie recipe, they are rich, fudgy, and very moist! Yummy!! 🙂

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick) 4 oz.

1/2 cup Saco cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Grease an 8x8x2-inch pan. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, remove from heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa powder until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, and beat well. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Fold in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center come out clean.

I have several thing’s going on this week. Tomorrow I have Bible study and then later at the Y, I am starting a class for people after having cancer. It’s one time a week until the end of the month.       I ‘m not sure what all they will be talking about, but it’s free for me to go, so I might as well go and learn all I can.. I have one Birthday cake for a foster child this week,  she likes cats, I’m not sure yet what I will do. I have made that same cat pan several times. I was thinking about making a basket with a couple of kittens in it, playing with some yarn or something. We’ll see what I can come up with. It’s also my dad’s and my aunt’s Birthday this week. They are both on the 6th, made an interesting Birthday parties when I was growing up.. HEHEHE!! I am sad this week too, my dad and step-mom will be moving to Nebraska. I cry every time I think about it.. I am really going to miss them.  Ray said we’ll just have to take a trip out there and see them sometime, I have never been to Nebraska before..

Well I better go for now…

Have some other emails and need to get the cake figured out…

Until next time…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Bar Cookies