Monthly Archives: September 2011

French Onion Soup

Hello Everyone,

I love French Onion Soup! I rarely make it. I can’t get any in most of the restaurants around here, not any that’s good anyway… I had some onions to use up and thought this would be the best way to do that! This recipe is slightly adapted from my Betty Crocker cookbook..

French Onion Soup

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

2 tblsp. olive oil

4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

6 cups beef broth

1 cup red wine

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

2 dried bay leaves

4 slices french bread, cut about 1-inch thick, toasted

2 cups swiss cheese, shredded

In a 4-quart pot, melt butter and heat the oil. Add onions and cook, stirring every few minutes, cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook onions for 35-40 minutes, stirring well every 5 minutes or so. Add beef broth, red wine, garlic, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and ladle hot soup into 4 individual ceramic soup bowls, top with bread and 1/2 cup each of swiss cheese. Set oven to broil and place bowls on a cookie sheet and broil until cheese is melted and lightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Serve with a salad and more french bread to sop up the wonderful broth!

I wanted to say I haven’t made any Food Network recipes in a while. They had only one issue for July/August and then I had the fair stuff going on and plus it’s been too hot to cook much of anything. I am hoping to try a few in the September issue, but we’ll see. I have been really sick, my adrenal glands have stopped working. I have been sick with headaches, dizziness, fevers, weakness, and lots of muscle pain. Plus I had this odd craving for salt, which was really odd!! I haven’t taken any cakes either, I just haven’t felt it was fair to Community Cakes to keep taking cakes and not being able to make them… Hopefully in a few months I can get back to it.. My Dr. is talking to my other Drs. to decide what to do about my adrenal glands. I will have to be on a different kind of steroid for the rest of my life they said.. I just wish this didn’t happen… It complicates everything else in our lives…

Well enough for now…


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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Soups


Applesauce Cake

Hello Everyone,

I was browsing through all my cake recipes I have posted for the last 1-1/2 years and noticed I never posted my applesauce cake recipe! One thing I did notice is that I have several recipes for apple cake of different kinds! It’s safe to say I LOVE apples, in just about anything! My favorite snack is apples dipped in a caramel sauce made with cream cheese. All the caramel is 1, 8oz. package of cream cheese, brown sugar to taste, 1-2 tsp. of milk and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Mix until creamy and it’s so good!!! I got this recipe from a daycare I worked at for a while.. I don’t eat it to often since I have a bit of a dairy intolerance, once and awhile it’s a must have for me! 🙂

I love this applesauce cake recipe, it’s from my Betty Crocker cookbook and I changed it up a bit to my taste. I have made it several times for the state fair and it gets first place every time! 🙂

Applesauce Cake:

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup chopped and toasted, pecans or walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan. Place raisins in bowl and cover with hot water for 5 minutes; drain well and set aside. In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, beat in eggs. In alternating additions add the flour mixture with the applesauce, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scraping down bowl as needed. Fold in the raisins and nuts and pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then unmold on to a cake plate. Serve dusted with powdered sugar or drizzle with caramel sauce! I love this cake served warm!

Enjoy 🙂

Until next time…


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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Cakes


Puffy Oven Pancake

Hello Everyone,

As some of you know already we live in a very small house. I don’t have counter-space to make pancakes on an electric griddle like I grew up with. I have made them on my stove-top with less than desirable results… I always get the stove messy with batter and there’s always several pancakes that refuse to co-operate! So I avoid making pancakes. I do however love to make this Puffy Oven Pancake. One bowl, one batter, one pan, and the best part NO FLIPPING REQUIRED! I love that part! Here it is for you to enjoy!

Puffy Oven Pancake:

2 Tblsp. unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole wheat flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-inch pie plate, melt butter in oven; brush butter over bottom and side of pie plate. In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk. Beat in flour, milk, salt and cinnamon, just until mixed; do not overbeat or pancake may not puff. Pour into pie plate. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffy. I serve this with a little butter, and warm maple syrup!

P.S. Keep checking back on my blog, I have a big surprise for everyone that will happen in a few weeks! So excited!!!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Breakfast


Sugar and Spice Cake

Hello everyone,

Here is a wonderful recipe I baked today! Enjoy! 🙂

Sugar and Spice Cake:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp.baking powder

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Cut into 1/2 cup shortening, using a pasty blender, until mixture looks like the small peas; reserve 1/3 cup for topping. Stir in, remaining ingredient’s just until well blended, do not over-mix! Pour batter into prepared baking pan and sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some caramel drizzled over top! Delicious…

Well until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Cakes


Cherry Rolls

Hello everyone,

Here is the recipe I made for the Fleishman’s yeast bread competition for the state fair. The judges said I had too much brandy in them! I didn’t know you could have too much brandy? Wink, wink!! Try them yourself and let me know if it’s too much for you!

Cherry Rolls:

For the dough:

2 package’s active dry yeast

2-1/2 cups warmed buttermilk, 105-115 degrees

1/3 cup superfine sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to 105 degrees

3 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

6 cups all-purpose flour


2 cups dried and chopped cherries

1/2 cup cherry brandy

1 cup superfine sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened


2 cups sifted powered sugar

1/8 tsp. popcorn salt

1 T. cherry brandy

2 T. milk

Chopped cherries for garnish

To make dough: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm buttermilk. Add in the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, egg, and 4 cups of flour. Mix until smooth. Knead in remaining flour on a lightly floured surface until smooth and still slightly tacky to the touch. Let raise in greased bowl until doubled in size, about 1 hour. For filling place cherries, brandy and just enough water to cover them. Cook for 4-5 minutes, just until the plump up; drain well. Divided dough in half, and roll each half into a 12×10-inch rectangle. Spread with 1/4 cup softened butter, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar, and then sprinkle 1cup of the cherries. Roll up tightly and pinch ends to seal. Slice into 12 rolls and place in a buttered baking dish. Repeat process with remaining dough, and filling. You should have 24 rolls. Don’t worry if you don’t sometimes I don’t always get that many.Let raise until slightly puffed about 1/2 hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before drizzling on icing. Mix all icing ingredient’s together until smooth. Drizzle over cooled rolls. Best if eaten warm, or at room temperature.

I don’t have any cakes for a while. I am still sick and my Dr. thinks it still might be my adrenal glands, but I must have more special testing. If that’s the problem then I will have to be on a different steroid for the rest of my life.. UGGG!!! Jesus my Lord, PLEASE HEAL ME!!!

Well better go for now..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Breads, Breakfast


Just Me Again…

Hello Everyone,

I’m sorry I have been MIA all week, I do have good reasons for not posting!! I have been very sick all week and my Dr. still isn’t sure what I have. It started last weakened, with flu like symptoms, 103.8 degree fevers, and no appetite at all.. Went to my Dr. on Wednesday and her medical nurse put in an IV in my arm and in a very bad place. I could not move my right arm at all. Later that night I was in so much pain, that my husband rushed me to the ER. They ran a lot of tests, but of course they couldn’t find anything wrong with me.. They pulled both IVs, the one the nurse put in and the one they put in my arm, I was happy they did to! My Drs nurse was mad that they pulled the IV. We went back to see her on Thursday to follow-up, and the darn nurse tried to put the IV right back in the same place, I started crying and told him to take it out, it hurt like crazy!! I won’t let him touch me again, he even poked my arm 3 times in the same place and still could not get an IV!! I was mad at him! Thursday night I ran the highest fever I had all week, 103.8, I felt terrible.. About 12am I woke up sweating and the fever starting going down! Thank you Lord!! Otherwise we would have had to back to the ER. I am on a higher dose of steroids again, and fevers are not good with steroids at all!!! I felt better on Friday, enough to drive myself to the infusion clinic to get another liter of fluids, by IV again. Those people are fantastic! I was able to lay on a bed and over 3 hours get the fluid by IV. The nurse could tell my right arm had been through enough and found a great vein in my left arm. I have felt better all weakened.. My Dr thinks its my adrenal glands that are the problem this time.. Right now I am on 20ml of steroids a day, until I see her again. Hopefully I will feel like posting more this week. I haven’t even been cooking, my hubby has been doing most of that.. I will try to keep you all posted.. Thank you to everyone who has been praying and wishing me well!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in My Thoughts


Lemon Bars

Hello Everyone,

Here is one of the best lemon bar recipes around! It’s from my Betty Crocker cookbook! When I want an easy lemon recipe this is the one I reach for everytime! 🙂

Lemon Bars:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup superfine sugar, Bakers sugar

1 tbsp. lemon zest

2 tblsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil. with extra sides. This help you lift the bars out with ease! In a small bowl, mix flour, butter, and powdered sugar. Press into ungreased pan, building up 1/2-inch edge. Bake for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, beat remaining ingredient’s with an electic mixer on high-speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour into hot crust. Bake 25-30 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly in the center. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. For squares, cut into 5 rows by 5 rows.

Enjoy everyone.. :

Amanda.. 🙂

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Bar Cookies


Spicy Zucchini Bread

Hello Everyone,

Oh zucchini how I love thee!! LOL!! I really do love zucchini! It’s one of the most underrated and sometimes hated vegetable around. Probably because it can grow like crazy and most people don’t really know how to use it! You can bake it, broil it, steam it, fry it, add it to cake batter, muffin batter, cookies, breads, and well you get the picture? I sound like the guy on Forest Gump talking about shrimp!! LOL!! 🙂 Did you know you can make a mock apple pie with zucchini? It’s true you can! Just substitute (sliced, peeled and remove the seeds), zucchini for the apples and the same ingredient’s you add to apple pie, bake and serve. Trust me on this, we made this all the time when I was a kid, and people would say, WOW that’s the best apple pie I have ever tasted! We would just smile and say thank you! 🙂

This zucchini bread is one of my favorite ways to use up zucchini!

Spicy Zucchini Bread:

3 cups shredded zucchini, 2-3 medium

1-1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup coarsely chopped and toasted pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water for 5 minutes, and drained

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of two 8×4 or 9×5-inch loaf pans. Greasing only the bottoms of nut beads help them to rise better while baking. In a large bowl mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredient’s. Pour into pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool, 5 minutes in pans. Loosen sides of pan with a knife; remove from pans to a wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate for up to 1 week. Adapted from my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook!!

I haven’t been baking to many cakes, the medication I am on is really making me feel sick and just really slow…I did bake a cake and delivered it to a hospice man last week. I use Wilton’s Happy Birthday cake pan I bought off E-Bay awhile back. This is quite a story about how I got this pan. A couple of months ago my debit card was hacked and some one stole $5 out of our bank account. So I had to cancel to card right away to prevent any more money being stolen from our account. I had a hard time making it to the bank to get a new card, I had the fairs, and was just to sick to really care about getting the card replaced. Ray does a lot of the shopping for us, and he would just give me cash, so I wasn’t in a hurry to get the card. Awhile back I won an auction on E-Bay for that cake pan and I normally pay with Pay-Pal. I couldn’t because of my card issue, so I asked the seller if I could send a money order, and that was fine with them. If this cake pan wasn’t so hard to find I would not have bothered sending the money order, but I really wanted this pan! To make a long story short! I know too late! LOL!! I had a lot of hassle with the seller. They were rude in the emails they sent, every day I would get and email where is the money order??? I would respond it’s in the mail! Ray bought the money order at Wal-Mart and they made the seller upset with me, he yelled in an email, WAL-MART CHARGED ME $3 TO CASH IT!!! I said I am sorry I didn’t know that would happen. So to appease this person I mailed the $3 dollars in an envolope.So they can’t say I never paid them!

I have one cake next week and it goes to the mentally challenged place we send cakes to. I have no idea what I am making yet… Need to work on that! 🙂

 Ok enough from me for today!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Breads


Pepper Jelly

Hello Everyone,

 A couple of weeks ago we bought a 35lb gunny sack of New Mexico Hatch Chili peppers. When I first saw the sack I about panicked. What am I going to do with all these peppers!!! I didn’t have much time to think about it because they needed to be used or I would lose them. Some went into salsa some went into this pepper jelly, the rest went into my food dehydrator. I ended up with 3 gallon size bags of dried peppers! Now I just need to find recipes to use them! I’m sure I’ll come up with a bunch a yummy recipes to use them in! 🙂

I love this jelly, it’s one of my favorites!

Pepper Jelly:

12oz. peppers, stemmed, seeded and deveined

2 cups cider vinegar, divided

6 cups granulated sugar

2 pouches (3oz. each) liquid pectin

1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Green food coloring, optional

In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree peppers and 1 cup of vinegar until smooth. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine pepper puree, remaining 1 cup vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in butter and food coloring. Skim foam, if any. Pour hot jelly onto hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band until fingertip tight. Makes about 5 half pint jars. For processing times please refer to the USDA canning guidelines link on the right hand-side of my blog.

My favorite way to serve this jelly is to, pour it over a brick of softened cream cheese and heat in the microwave for about 30 sec. Serve with toasted bread or crackers.

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Canned Foods