Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar Cake

Hello everyone,

This is another cake from my Soft as Silk cake book, its by Eugenia Adams from Taylor, MI. I tried this one a long time ago and it’s really good and a bit different… Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar Cake:

To Make Candy Bars:

2-2/3 cups flaked sweetened coconut

1-2/3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp. hot water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredient’s together in a medium bowl with a spoon, and divide evenly into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a bar, about 1-1/2 inches long. (Mixture will be sticky; butter hands if desired.) Place on wax paper and place in the refrigerator to firm up, and ready to use.

Cream Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup Crisco

2/3 cup evaporated milk

2 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredient’s in medium bowl on medium speed until smooth; cover and set aside until ready to use.

Chocolate Frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup baking cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup hot water

Mix all ingredient’s except water in medium bowl with spoon. Stir in 1/3 cup water until blended; add additional water 1 tbsp. at a time until spreadable.

To Make Cake:

3 large whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup Crisco

3 large egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. coconut

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. baking soda

2-1/4 cups Soft as Silk cake flour or 2 cups (sifted before measuring) all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped and toasted almonds

1 cup flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 round 9-inch cake pans, and place in the refrigerator. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl with electric mixer on high-speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Beet sugar, butter, and Crisco in a medium bowl on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until blended. Beat in vanilla and coconut extract. Mix buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl until baking soda is dissolved. Beat in flour alternately with buttermilk mixture into sugar mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in almonds and coconut. Fold in egg whites. Pour into prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans to cool completely. Fill layers with cream filling. Arrange candy bars evenly around the edge of cake; cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Spoon chocolate frosting by tablespoons over candy bars just until bars are covered. Store covered in the refrigerator.

So I turned 36 today… I don’t like my Birthday’s.. I never have and I don’t know why.. Ray, my mom, step-dad, and my grandparent’s all wanted to take me out tonight but I said no, I just want to stay home. My grandpa was so sweet and called me and sang Happy Birthday to me, sniff, made me cry.. 🙂 They are having a small party for me on Sunday, and to me that’s enough.. I am making 3 different sliders for my Birthday tonight, turkey, pork and salmon. They are all from the FN magazine, I’ll let you know later how they turned out!

I’m sorry I haven’t been very good about blogging this month, my foot surgery’s have kept me down a lot. I have my last one on Tuesday, and I hope they get better before the fair starts. I need to work on my fair display in the next couple of weeks. Yikes! It’s coming up so fast!!

I forgot to mention I baked 2 cakes for the VA home last week. I am really happy with how they turned out! 🙂 One was for a vet that liked art, I made him a painters palate shaped cake, and molded a paint brush and a tube of paint out of fondant. The other cake was for a vet that liked fishing, and I just piped a fish and a boat into a sheet cake. I hope I can get Ray to post the pictures for me, so those of you on my FB page can see them this weekend..

Sadly I never did make the cake for my niece, not yet anyway. We did take her out Sunday, but ended up going to a Hot Wings place instead of a sushi place. The movie time were wrong in the newspaper so we ended up going to my grandmother’s house to kill some time before the movie. It was nice to visit wither her, I don’t think Jacquelyn had seen her in a while.. We’ll see if I get her cake done, I might wait until I get some DVD’s I ordered. I bought some Sharon Zambito instructional DVD’s on how to make a Topsy-Turvy cake. I also bought some on how to make purse cakes. I am really excited to see these DVD’s and learn all I can from them. With my dyslexia this a really great way for me to learn, I learn by watching other people.

Well I better go for now, I need to finish a cake for a nursing home resident’s Birthday tomorrow. It’s just going to be a simple 9-inch round cake. Not sure how fancy I will make it… I’ll have to see if I can get some inspiration! LOL!!

Until next time…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Cakes


Lemon Cake with Lemon Frosting

Hello everyone,

Here is a super easy recipe that anyone can make. It’s kinda a long story on how this recipe came to be. I have seen this recipe posted several times on the Wilton Discussion Forum. It’s orignal name is called White Almond Sour Cream Cake, but a lot of cakers on the forum just call it WASC. It starts with a cake mix and has added ingredients to it, not only make it more moist but to extend the batter amount. It makes Two 9” rounds and one 6 inch round or two 6” rounds and 6-8 cupcakes. It doesn’t rise as much as a cake mix does and stays flat, so it’s much easier to layer and fill without cutting of rounded tops. The frosting recipe is from a lady named Bunnywomen on the forum, I’m sorry I do not know her real name, I don’t think she would want me to post it here anyway. I made a lemon version of her recipe today and it is really good. I am making all this for my niece’s 13 Birthday. Her favorite flavor is lemon, so her cake is all lemon baby!! LOL!! 🙂  Tomorrow, Ray and I are taking her out for her Birthday, I won’t have her cake done sadly…. I’ll have to get it done on Monday and take it to her mom’s house. I couldn’t get to the store until late today to get the rest of the stuff I needed to finish her cake. I am making my first topsy-turvy cake and her colors are turquoise and black, both colors are not easy to make. I ended up buying Duff Goldman’s black fondant, and it’s really good! I have to make the turquoise color using two different colors. I bought some wires and things to hang on the cake. I hope it turns out the way I see it in my head anyway…I really wanted to make Jacquelyn a cake this year, after all your only 13 once… We are taking her out for Sushi and a movie, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, should be good, any thing with Johnny Depp is good in my book!! HA!! Anyways enough of my babbling here are the recipes, enjoy!! 🙂

1 Duncin Hines lemon cake mix, only use Duncin Hines for this recipe any other cake mix will make the cake sink really bad. Trust me, I have had this happen when I first tried this recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 tsp salt 

1 cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream 

4 large egg whites

Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on a low-speed for 2 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees until cake tests done.

Lemon Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1-1/2 cups Crisco

1 tsp. popcorn salt

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup extra rich powdered dairy creamer

 6-8 cups powdered sugar, depends on how stiff you want it

Mix all ingredient’s together until smooth. Spread on cooled cake layers. Makes a lot of frosting.

Until next time everyone, goodnight!! YAWN!!! Need some sleep!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Cakes


Canned Lemon Curd

Hello Everyone,

I adore anything with lemon! I get this love of lemon from my grandmother, and guess what? My niece loves anything with lemon also! I am making her a lemon cake, it will be a topsy-turvy cake (my first one) and turquoise and black are her colors. It’s for her 13th Birthday this year, I can’t believe she’ll be 13! It makes me feel old!!

We made this recipe in my U of I canning class. It is a very tasty lemon curd, one of the best ones I have come across in a long time!

Canned Lemon Curd:

2-1/2 cups superfine sugar*

1/2 cup lemon zest (freshly zested) optional

1 cup bottled lemon juice**

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into approximately 3/4-inch pieces

7 large egg yolks

4 large eggs

Special Equipment Needed: Lemon zester, balloon whisk, 1-1/2 quart double boiler***(the top double boiler pan should be at least 1-1/2 quart volume), strainer, kitchen thermometer measuring at least up to 180 degrees, glass or stainless steel medium mixing bowl, silicone spatula or cooking spoon, and equipment for boiling water canner. Yields about 3-4 half-pint jars.

If this is your first time boiling water canning please read through the USDA canning guidelines.


Wash 4-half-pint canning jars with warm, soapy water. Rinse well; keep hot until ready to fill. Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Fill boiling water canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by 1-2 inches. Use a thermometer to preheat the water to 180 degrees by the time the filled jars are ready to added.

Caution: Do not heat the water in the canner to more than 180 degrees before jars are added. If the water in the canner is to hot when jars are added, the process time will not be long enough. The time it takes for the canner to reach boiling after jars are added is expected to be 25-30 minutes for this product. Process time starts after the water in the canner comes to a full boil over the jars.

Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, stir to mix, and set aside about 30 minutes. Pre-measure the lemon juice and prepare the chilled butter pieces. Heat water in the bottom pan of the double boiler until it boils gently. The water should not boil vigorously or touch the bottom of the double boiler pan or bowl in which the curd is to be cooked. Steam produced will be sufficient for the cooking process to occur. In the top of double boiler, on the counter top, or table, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs together until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the sugar and zest, blending until well mixed and smooth. Blend in the lemon juice and then add the butter pieces to the mixture. Place the top of double boiler over boiling water in the bottom pan. Stir gently but continuously with a silicone spatula or cooking spoon, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature. Remove the double boiler pan from the stove and place on a protected surface, such as a dish cloth or towel on the counter top. Continue to stir gently until the curd thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain curd through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl; discard collected lemon zest. Fill hot strained curd into the clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in the boiling water canner according to the recommendations in the USDA boiling water canner guidelines. Let cool on a towel, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Shelf Life: For best quality, store in a cool, dark place (away from light). Plan to use canned lemon curd within 3-4 months. Browning and or separation may occur with longer storage; discard any time these changes are observed.

Prepared lemon curd can also be frozen instead of canned for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed. Package containers after straining and cooling to room temperature. To thaw, place container in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks,

Preparation Notes:

*If superfine sugar is not available, run granulated sugar through a grinder of food processor for 1 minute, let settle, and use in place of superfine sugar. Do not use powdered sugar.

**Bottled lemon juice is used to standardized acidity. Fresh lemon juice can vary in acidity and is not recommended.

*** If a double boiler in not available, a substitute can be made with a large bowl or saucepan that can fit partway down into a saucepan of a smaller diameter. If the bottom pan has a larger diameter, the top bowl or pan should have handles, that can rest on the rim of the lower pan.

Variation: For lime curd, use the same recipe but substitute 1 cup bottled lime juice and 1/4 cup fresh lime zest for the lemon juice and zest.

Other citrus juices or fruits are not recommended for canning at this time.

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Until next time everyone…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Canned Foods


Emmett Cherry Festival

Hello Everyone,

Ray and I finally got a chance to go to the Emmett Cherry Festival this year! It’s like a fair, with lots of contest’s and food! Parking was really bad, Ray had to drop me off near the entrance, since I can’t walk too much.. Anyway’s we looked around the many food vendors and decided on going to the Elk burger booth. I had an Elk hotdog with chili, cheese and onions. Ray just had the Elk hotdog. The people selling the meat raise the elk and have it made into meat. It was fantastic! I haven’t had elk in many years. It didn’t have that gamey taste that most elk have, it’s probably because they raise them on a special diet. We walked around a bit to see all the booths, and to find the cherries. I wanted to buy some sour pie cherries in flats, but they didn’t sell any that way. They had them in 2 different cups and I thought they were a bit pricey. We ended up going to one of the orchards and buying 10lbs of them for a much better price. They are bing cherries, one of my favorites! I did get something that was to die for, it was a fried cinnamon roll, I know it was bad for me, but it was really good!! Ray and I shared it!

 I am hearing some really loud thunder right now so I better go.. Yikes I hate thunder and lightning

Until next time…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Restaurant Reviews


Types Of Flour

Hello Everyone,

I thought I would spend some time talking about flour…

Types of Flour: Flour that is used in baking comes mainly for wheat, although it can be milled from corn, rice, nuts, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables. The type of flour used is vital at getting the product right. Different types of flours are suited to different items and all flours are different you cannot switch from one type to another without consequences that could ruin the recipe. To achieve success in baking, it is important to know what the right flour is for the job!

All Purpose Flour: Is a blend of hard and soft wheat; it may be bleached or unbleached. It is usually translated as “plain flour”. All-purpose flour is one of the most commonly used and readily accessible flour in the United States. Flour that is bleached naturally as it ages is labeled “unbleached”. Bleached flour has less protein than unbleached. Bleached works best for pie crusts, quick breads, pancakes, and waffles. Use unbleached flour for yeast breads, Danish pastry, puff pastry, strudel, Yorkshire pudding, eclairs, cream puffs and popovers. Shelf-Life: For cabinet storage, up to 8 months if properly stored in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped, and for refrigerator storage, up to one year.

Bread Flour: Is white flour made from hard, high protein wheat. It has more gluten strength and protein content than all-purpose flour. It is unbleached and sometimes conditioned with ascorbic acid, which increases volume and creates better texture. This is the best choice for yeast products. Shelf Life: Several months in a cool, dry cabinet when stored in a sealed container or if tightly wrapped, and up to one year in the freezer.

Buckwheat Flour: Is gluten-free which makes it a good choice for anybody with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It is packed with nutrients, readily available, easy to work with and had nice nutty flavor.

Cake Flour: Is a fine textured, soft-wheat flour with high starch content. It has the lowest protein content of any wheat flour. It is chlorinated, a bleaching process which leaves the flour slightly acidic, sets a cake faster and distributes fat more evenly through the batter to improve texture. When your making baked goods with a high ratio of sugar to flour, this flour will be better able to hold its rise and will be less liable to collapse. This flour is used in some quick breads, muffins and cookies. If you cannot find cake flour, substitute bleached all-purpose flour, but subtract 2 tablespoons of flour for each cup used in the recipe. If using volume measuring.

Gluten Flour: Is usually milled flour from spring wheat and is high protein, It is used primarily for diabetic breads, or mixed with other non-wheat or low-protein wheat flours to produce a stronger dough structure.

Instant Flour: (Wondra from Gold Medal) is granular and formulated to dissolve quickly in hot or cold liquids. It will not work as a substitute for all-purpose flour, although there are recipes on the container for popovers and other baked goods. It is used primarily in sauces and gravies.

Organic Flour: Is made in the same way as regular flour. It must follow U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations to be labeled “organic”. Using this flour is a matter of personal preference.

Pastry Flour: Is also made with soft wheat and falls somewhere between all-purpose flour and cake flour in terms of protein content and baking properties. Use it for making biscuits, pie crusts, brownies, cookies, and quick breads. Pastry flour makes a tender but crumbly pastry. Do not use it for yeast breads. Pastry flour (both whole-wheat and regular) is not readily available at supermarkets, but you can find it at specialty stores and online.

Rice Flour: Rice flour (also called Mochiko on Japanese and Pirinc, Unu in Turkish) is a form of flour made from finely milled rice. It can be made from either white or brown.

Self-Rising Flour: Sometimes referred to as phosphated flour, is a low-protein flour with salt and leavening already added. It’s most often recommended for biscuits and some quick breads, but never for yeast breads. Exact formulas, including the type of baking powder used, vary by manufacturer. Recipes that call for self-rising flour do not call for the addition of salt or leavening agents. To make your own self-rising flour: Using a dry measure, measure the desired amount of all-purpose flour into a container. For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix to combine.

Semolina Flour: Is used in making pasta and Italian puddings. It is from durum wheat, the hardest type of wheat grown. The flour is highest in gluten. When other grains, such as rice or corn, are similarly ground, they are referred to as “semolina” with the grain’s name added, ie, “corn semolina” or rice semolina. There are difference of grades. 1. Semolina flour is finely ground endosperm of durum wheat. 2. Semolina meal is a coarsely ground cereal like farina. 3. Wheatina is ground whole-grain wheat. 4. Durum flour is finely ground semolina and is grown almost exclusively in North Dakota.

Spelt Flour: Is one of the most popular and widely available non-wheat flours. The full name of spelt is Triticum Aestivum Var, Spelta. Spelt flour has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor similar to that of whole wheat flour. It does contain gluten and is a popular substitute for wheat in baked goods.

Teff Flour: Teff flour is an ancient and intriguing grain, tiny in size yet packed with nutrition. It is simple to prepare and similar to millet or quinoa in cooking. Teff is a great addition to your diet for nutrition, taste and variety.It is higher in protein than wheat and has a high concentration of a wide variety of nutrients, including calcium, thiamine, and iron. The iron from teff is easily absorbed by the body. Since the grains are small, the bulk of the grain is germ and brand. It is very high in fiber and is thought to benefit people with diabetes as it helps control sugar levels. Teff contains no gluten which makes it a suitable grain for celiac or people with wheat sensitivities. Due to its nutritional content and energy enhancing properties, it has also gained favor with athletes.

Whole-Wheat Flour: Is made from the whole kernel of wheat and is higher in dietary fiber and overall nutrient content than white flours. It does not have as high a gluten level, so often it’s mixed with all-purpose or bread flour when making yeast breads. Whole wheat flour is equivalent to British whole wheat flour. Shelf Life: 6-8 months in the freezer if stored in tighty sealed plastic containers or if tightly wrapped. It will keep for only a few months if stored in a cabinet. Due to the presence of wheat germ, resulting in a unsaturated oil content that is higher than in refined flour. The potential for rancidity is greater if whole-wheat flour is kept for long periods and particularly if it is not stored under refrigerated conditions. It is best to store whole-wheat in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

How to Buy FLour: Look for tightly sealed bags or boxes. Flours in torn packages or in open bins are exposed to air and to insect contamination.

How to Store FLour: Flour must be kept cool and dry. All flours, even white flours, have a limited shelf life. Millers recommend that flours be stored for no more than 6-8 months. The main change that occurs is the oxidation of oils when flour is exposed to air. The result of this is rancid off flavors. During hot weather, store flour in the refrigerator. Flour should be stored, covered, in a cool dry area. This prevents the flour from absorbing moisture and orders and from attracting insects and rodents. Freezing flour for 48 hours before it is stored will kill any weevil or insect eggs already in the flour. It is better not to mix new flour with old flour if you are not using the flour regularly. Do not store flour near soap powder, onions, or other foods and products with strong orders. If freezer space is available, flour can be repackaged in airtight, moisture-proof containers, labeled and placed in the freezer at 0 degrees F. If flour is stored like this, it will keep well for 6-8 months. Keep whole-wheat flour in the refrigerator the year around. Natural oils cause this flour to turn rancid quickly at room temperature. Throw away if is smells bad, changes color, or is invested with insects.

Until next time everyone…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Breads


May Food Network Magazine Recipe Reviews

Hello Everyone,

I’m sorry for posting this so late, I have had to many others thing’s I wanted to post about and before I knew it time flew out of my hands!! lol!!

The first recipe we tried is on page 48, the “Maple-Pecan Scones”. I didn’t like these at all. The orange zest overpowers all the other flavors, this recipe needs some work… Next recipe is on page 71, the “French Fry Deluxe Salad. The recipe calls for frozen pre-made french fries, but I didn’t want to buy them. I wanted to make my own. I have a curly french fry maker, and it turned out great! the next recipe is on page, 74 the “Escarole Salad With Anchovy Dressing, and I loved this one! The only change I made was the lettuce, I used romaine instead. I couldn’t find any escarole. The next recipe is on page 78 and 79 its the “He made She Made” contest. Adam Gertlers “Kids Candy Store Cookies” and  Sunny Anderson’s “Nutty White Chocolate Oatmeal and Peach Cookies”. I baked these for Ronald McDonald house, I like Sunny’s better, I guess it’s because I love white chocolate and any cookie made with oatmeal! I had a hard time finding the pretzel m and m’s for Adam’s cookies and they were expensive! I had to substitute dried apricots for the peaches in Sunny’s recipe, I couldn’t find dried peaches at all. What a bummer that was.. Oh well maybe next time!! 🙂 The next recipe is on page 80 the “Almost Famous Cheesecake Pancakes” and these were so yummy! I will be making these again!!! The next recipe is on page 82, Aarti Sequeira’s “Shrikhand and Pooris” I didn’t bother to follow the first step in putting the yogurt in cheesecloth and leaving it overnight. The Greek yogurt I buy is so thick already I felt I didn’t need that extra step. I did buy the saffron, I had a coupon for World Market and bought it along with a few other things I wanted to try. The Shrikhand is really good, I ate it by itself and with granola, it’s very good! The Pooris on the other hand was heavy lead balls of dough, ick…. I think my flour was to heavy for the recipe. I am going to try it again since it’s really easy to make. I am going to add half white flour and half sifted whole wheat flour and a little sugar, and see if that lightens them up a bit.. The next recipe is on page 104 the “Tilapia Marsala with Rice”, this was ok, not stellar… The next recipe is on page 147 the “Chilies Rellenos”, I loved these, I don’t think Ray liked them as much as I did. It’s a really easy recipe to make, but it does have a lot of steps. The last recipe is on page 164 and I think there is a typo in this recipe. It calles for a 8-inch square baking pan, but it was way to full for brownies. I had to bake it longer than the recipe said and ended up with hard dry edges and s gooey center. I have other brownie recipe that are so much better than this one. Next time I make my own tried and true brownie recipe and add the toppings to it instead..

Well that’s all I have for today everyone…

Amanda 🙂


Fun Day

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday was a long day for Ray and I, but we had a lot of fun! Ray (bless him) took the day off work to drive me and a friend around Boise. I had a University of Idaho meeting and we were touring different ethnic markets around town. Last week I had surgery on my toes and haven’t been able to drive to far..
Here are the places we visited:

1. Asian Grocery Outlet, it was clean and beautiful the people we very nice. They had a lot of interesting products that we had never seen before. Ray bought a Thai tea and I bought a fruit drink, I can’t remember what it was called, but it was very good! I’ll need to visit this place again! 🙂 Ray says I’m like a kid in a candy store when I visit these markets, I have to look at everything! LOL!!!

2. India Foods, I loved this place! They had incense burning and the whole place smelled great!  I bought star anise, orange blossom water, and chickpea flour.  Not sure yet what I’ll make with any of it. I’ll have to look for recipes in my Indian cookbook. We also bought some, peanut brittle and it’s really good! It’s a beautiful store!

3. Ishtar Market. This was an Arabian market and they had a small restaurant. I bought some Turkish Delight candy and it’s tastes yummy! It’s orange in color and I think it has some cardamom spice to it and they were coated in powdered sugar. My friend (Jamie) that was in the car with us bought some bread they had just made there and wow was it good! We will be going back there! They also had great prices on lamb meat and I love lamb!! Jamie also asked the owners what these dried brown hard balls were, because they didn’t have anything on them and we couldn’t tell what they were at all! Turns out they were dried lemons! We asked what do you put these in? He said in soups or stews, to add that lemon flavor to dishes. We asked him do you eat them and he said no, there just for flavor. It was very interesting! We will be back!

4. Orient Market. This place had a lot of frozen products. They had black frozen chicken! I am going to try this at least one time, to say I have tried it. I have been looking up recipes for it and so far it’s similar to Asians to what chicken noodle soup is to me! So why not try it at least once! They even had frozen quail and I have been wanting to try that for a long time. There is a recipe in the Food Network magazine for June, that looks really good, I know where to find quail now! The only thing I didn’t like about this market was the smell, it had a fish odor and I’m not sure if they sold fresh fish or not. There wasn’t any we could find anyway. They even had duck eggs and some duck eggs pickled. Maybe someday I get up the nerve to try them… LOL!!

5. El Torito Market, this is a Mexican market. I am familiar with most of Mexican food and spices. I have a wonderful authentic Mexican cookbook that my mom bought when we lived in Arizona. We have cooked a lot of Mexican food growing up and have eaten at many different Mexican restaurant’s. Ray and I bought some soda, mine was lime and I think Ray bought an orange one. It was yummy! I also bought some chile/lemon spiced chickpeas, and they were ok, not my favorite item….

We also bought some cassava crackers (I can’t remember where)? They are tasty, but can’t eat very much because they get too hot on your mouth! We also bought some cashew brittle, and it yummy also! It was great to visit all these markets with my friends from the U of I and my hubby!

Later than day we had a BBQ at the Y with my Cancer class, and had a nice time with everyone. Sure did make for along day for me. Today I am really tired out!!!

I hope I have inspired you to try some of the ethnic markets in your area! You never know what treasures you may find! 🙂


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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in My Thoughts


Portobello Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone,

I made this up for breakfast the other day after seeing a version of it in a cookbook. I was dying to try it. I love eggs benedict. I even have an egg poacher I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond a couple of years ago. I hate trying to make poached eggs in the water bath method, my little 4 egg poacher is so much easier!! 🙂  This is lower carb and calorie version of the traditional eggs benedict. I love it I know you will to!                           

Portobello Eggs Benedict:

2 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and gently scrape the dark inside out

4 poached eggs

1/2 cup thinly sliced prosciutto ham

1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

purchased pesto sauce

Cook portobello mushrooms in a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat, until tender; about 10 minutes. Poach your eggs or you can cook them any style you like.

To assemble: Place one portobello mushroom cap on plate top with eggs, prosciutto ham, cheese, and drizzle with a tablespoon of pesto sauce. Serve with toast and fruit. Enjoy!

Been a weird and long week for me. I had to have surgery on my big toes on Tuesday, so I have been hobbling around the house all week. I didn’t make it to Ronald McDonald house on Friday, I was really looking forward to going to.. I am afraid to drive very far with my feet feeling like this. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I can head back there! 🙂 

Well better go for now, I’m canning apricot pie filling today. I made apricot jam yesterday. We bought a big box of apricots from Bountiful Baskets and they are really good! Whatever is leftover from canning I am putting them in my food dehydrator. I dried a bunch of apples a couple of weeks ago and I must say they are better than anything I have bought in the store so far!

Until next time!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Breakfast


Pickled Eggs

Hello everyone,

Here is an unusual recipe for you to try out when you have extra eggs to use!

Pickled eggs are hard-cooked eggs that have been soaked in a solution of vinegar, salt and spices and other seasonings. Besides being a conversation topic at a party with their bright colors, pickled eggs are tasty and nutritious. They can contribute to your meals as part of the main course at dinner, as hors d’oeuvres, garnishes for salads, deviled eggs, and diced ingredient’s.

Selecting Eggs for Pickling:

Select egg with clean sound shells which are not extremely fresh. Eggs a few days old will peal better. You can also use very small eggs such as quail eggs.

Cooking, Peeling, and Pickling:

Cover eggs completely with cold water and bring to near boiling. Turn down heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Always cook eggs at moderate temperatures since overcooking makes them tough and can cause gray discoloration around the yolk. Cool the eggs as rapidly as possible by running cold water over them. Crack the entire shell around the egg for easier peeling. Begin peeling at the large end where the air cell is usually located. Peeling under running water can help remove all the thin shell membranes. Pack one dozen or so medium-sized eggs loosely in a quart jar so the container will hold plenty of pickling solution. Any container that can be closed tightly is satisfactory. Pour hot pickling solution over the eggs, cover the container and put it into the refrigerator. Pickled eggs must be stored in the refrigerator for safety. Be sure that the eggs are covered with pickling solution during storage. The eggs are ready for serving when pickling solution has seasoned all parts of the egg. It takes at least one week to season small eggs and from 2-4 weeks for medium and large eggs. Do not leave pickled eggs at room temperature other than during the period of time for serving (2 hours or less) Pickled eggs will retain quality for several months in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Pickling Solution” There are many recipes for pickling solutions. The recipes in this publication are a small sampling of solutions which have been tested under storage conditions. For the following recipes, heat the mixture to near boiling and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour solution over the hard-cooked eggs in a quart jar or other suitable container which can be closed tightly. Cover and immediately store in the refrigerator until seasoned.

Recipes for One Quart of Pickled Eggs:

Dilled Eggs:

1-1/2 cups white vinegar

1 cup water

3/4 tsp. dill seed

1/4 tsp. white pepper

3 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. mustard seed

1/2 tsp. onion juice

1.2 tsp, minced garlic

Sweet and Sour Eggs:

1-1/2 cups apple cider

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 package (about 12 oz.) red cinnamon candy

1 tbsp. mixed pickling spice

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic salt

Spicy Eggs:

1-1/2 cups apple cider

1 cup vinegar

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. mixed pickling spice

1 clove peeled garlic

1/2 sliced onion

1/2 tsp. mustard seed

Dark and Spicy Eggs:

1-1/2 cups cider vinegar

12 cup water

1 tbsp. dark brown sugar

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. mixed pickling spice

1/4 tsp. liquid smoke or hickory smoke salt

2 tsp. salt

Red Beet Eggs:

1 cup liquid from beet pickles

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tsp. brown sugar

a few small canned red beets (can be sliced)

I know this is a bit different, but I hope you will give them a try!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Canned Foods


Tropical Cake

Hello Everyone,

As I talked about is a previous post, we have been getting the baskets from Bountiful Baskets, and it’s been great! I have so much produce sometimes I don’t know what to do with it all! Lol!! I hade a lot of pineapples, banana’s, mango’s, and kiwi fruit the other day and I got to thinking about baking a tropical cake! I had enough fruit to make a 9×13 and 2, 9-inch rounds. Ray took the 9×13 to work, and I divided up the 9-inch round cakes, one for ourselves to try and the other one is in the freezer and I’m taking it to my grandparents house later..

Tropical Cake:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1/2 (4oz.) butter, softened

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 mangos, peeled and chopped

2 kiwis, peeled and chopped

2 banana’s peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 baking pan or 2, 9-inch rounds. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Fold in the chopped fruit. Pour into prepared baking pans. Bake 9×13 for 30-35 minutes and the 9-inch rounds for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:

4-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese softened

1/2 cup (4oz.) butter, softened

1/2 cup finely chopped, and drained pineapple

1/2 tsp. popcorn salt

Mix all ingredients together, and frost cooled cake.

On a different note, does anyone here have a purse called a Miche bag? I am looking into buying one, but would like some feedback from anyone that has one. Please send my a message if you do!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Cakes