Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


Lemon Pudding Cake

Hello Everyone,

I saw this recipe some time ago in the weekly publication that my newspaper used to print. I made this several times and Ray and I would eat it all up for dessert, it tastes the best warm, right from the oven. I lost the recipe and have no clue what had happened to it. A couple of weeks ago Relish magazine, it came in my email newsletter and WOW there was the recipe!!! I made this for us on Christmas day. I thought a nice tangy lemon dessert was in order for the day! This cake is like magic, it’s a really wet batter, but transform’s into a light tangy cake on top and a tangy lemon pudding on the bottom. I love how this works out that way! I know I have a chocolate cake that does this, I am thinking of making one of those sometime… Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Lemon Pudding Cake:

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup to 1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup 2% milk, I used my rice milk and it worked out great!

Fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish. (Since there is a lot of acid in this dessert I would use tempered glass, not metal. You can get a metallic taste by using a metal dish.) With an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add yolks to butter mixture and beat well. Add lemon juice, salt, and flour; beat well. Add milk; stir until blended. With clean beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into lemon batter. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 50 minutes, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes ir top becomes to brown. Serve warm or chilled with berries. I love this served warm! Enjoy!

Until next time!!!

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Cakes, Dessert's


What does wealth mean to you?

Hello Everyone,

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers!!! I pray the Lord to heap blessing on all of you this Christmas day!!

I thought this was the perfect topic to write about today, since Christmas is the day of giving and receiving gifts. I think the Greatest gift we have been given is the gift of Life that Jesus gave us by being born this day. Wealth to me isn’t how big your house is or how fancy your car is, it’s about generosity. You can save money all your life and think you’re a wealthy person, but unless you have Jesus in your heart and life you are a poor person. When death takes you, you can’t take your money or possessions with you, from dust you were formed and to dust you will return. I see people who think it’s about money and how much they can show off with it, and I pity them. As the Bible says it’s easier for a camel to fit in the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter Heaven. Christmas has become so commercialized that the true meaning has been lost by so many people.

I know I have been talking about our new home and all new things we have been buying for us and the home lately and I wasn’t doing it show off, I am just so excited to have space and room now to have people over. Ray and I for 8 years lived in a 1 bedroom 1 bath, very small house. When we first moved there we fought a lot. We didn’t really know each other at all, and living in such a small house, helps you to realize what’s really important and what’s not. The first 2 years of our life we live in a home that belonged to my parents, we paid the rent and other bills ect. That house had 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms. The house was about 3,000 square feet. I took care of a home health client (he was a quadriplegic) that lived with us, plus Ray did computer consulting. Some thing’s happened and Ray and I decided we needed to move. That move was really hard on us and with people fighting, it was sad… Over the years I have had a lot of complicated relationships with a lot of my family members, I wish it wasn’t that way, but I guess thing’s happen you just can’t stop. So the question I am asking what does wealth mean to you? Is it your kids, family, your house, money? If you have children you should consider yourself wealthy already. A lot people like myself, can’t have children, you all know my health problems ect.. Wealth isn’t how big your house is or what kind of car you drive, or fancy clothes, or jewelry..

Wealth is about a child that was born over 2,000 years ago on this day to give us life! I thank you Jesus Christ for the wealthy gift of live everlasting, without you we would be lost..

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in My Thoughts


Cucina di Paolo Restaurant in Boise

Cucina di Paolo

Hello Everyone,

Posted above is the link to there website!

This little restaurants/deli is fantastic! When Ray and I went to the Culinary Walk-A-About in August, Ray won an auction basket that had a gift card from this place. We haven’t had a chance to get anything from them until now. Since were moving and I haven’t been feeling like cooking we decided to use the gift card and get several of their items for this Christmas weekend. It was a little hard to find but, I had never been their before, so now I know where to find it! They have been a word of mouth business for over 18 years, as there website explains, I’ll post think link below.

We decided to buy the 6-piece chicken and spinach lasagna, it’s $19.00. Plus for $1.00 extra each you can have extra veggies added, so I had them add mushrooms and artichokes. It was fantastic! Not to spicy, with lots of fresh veggies. It tasted great!! I would love to try some of there other lasagna’s!

I also bought 2 individual chicken pot pies, they are $5.00 a piece. You can also get a family style casserole for $25.00. The pot pies are great! Ray like’s to get the Marie Calendars pot pies and they always make me sick so I never eat them. I wasn’t sure about this place for the same reason, but it hasn’t bothered me at all! Is was packed with lost of fresh chicken and veggies, and had a very light cream sauce. Delicious!! We also bought a quart size container of clam chowder, but haven’t tried it yet, we will tomorrow. The piece of lasagna and pot pie really filled us up! So if you’re in the Boise area stop on by! They have a wide variety of delicious Italian items to try! The desserts looked great! maybe next time we’ll try something. They do have a counter to sit plus a couple of small tables. Looks like most of their business is to order take and bake.

Until next time..

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Restaurant Reviews


Maple Butter Twists

Hello Everyone,

I made these Maple Butter Twists sometime ago. I gave some to my grandparents and they loved it! So did we!! I love baking and cooking different breads for Christmas. Many times that is what I give away as gifts, to family members and friends that don’t like to cook or bake much. Also to our mail carrier, newspapers carrier’s, and people we don’t know to well. It’s a good way to get to know them!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Maple Butter Twists:


3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp, granulated sugar

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 package ( 1/4 oz. ) active dry yeast

3/4 cup sour milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 large eggs


1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. pure maple syrup

4-1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. maple flavoring***

1/3 cup chopped and toasted pecans


1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

2-3 tsp. milk

pinch of popcorn salt

In a mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredient’s; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 70 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, combine the first seven filling ingredient’s; beat for 2 minutes. Lightly punch down dough; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half; roll each into a 16×18-inch rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2-inch of edges. Sprinkle with nuts. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side. With a sharp knife, cut each roll in half length-wise. Open halves so cut side is up; gently twist ropes together. Transfer to two greased 9-inch round baking pans. Coil into a circle. Tuck ends under, pinch to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredient’s; drizzle over warm cakes. Enjoy!

***The recipe calls for maple flavoring, often called mapleline. It will be the baking aisle or with the pancake syrups. It’s really strong and a little goes along way!

Until next time…

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚


Apricot Cheese Danish

Hello Everyone,

I have to admit I’ll eat anything made with apricots, jams, preserves, breads, muffins, ect!!!

I made this Apricot Cheese Danish several years ago for Christmas, when we went to my aunt Joyce’s house many years ago. They loved it!! I know you will too!

Apricot Cheese Danish:

For Danish:

1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm whole milk ( 110-115 degrees)

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp. salt

3 cups all-purpose flour


2 packages ( 8 oz. each ) full fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup apricot preserves

Powdered sugar for dusting the top.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add sugar, butter, eggs, and sour cream. Gradually add salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour (dough will be soft and sticky). Place in a greased bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth. Turn dough onto floured surface; knead 2-3 minutes. Divide in half. Roll each half into 16×10-inch oval and place on a greased baking sheets. Spread 1-1/4 cups of filling over each oval to within 1-inch of edges. Fold longest side over filling; pinch edges to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Spread preserves on top. Dust with powdered sugar. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!!

Until next time..

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚


Christmas Stollen Bread

Hello Everyone,

This Christmas Stollen bread is a wonderful recipe. I love fruitcake, dried fruits, and nut breads during Christmas. One of my great-grandmothers came from Norway, and Norwegians love there sweets!!! I only met her one time. I was about 8 or 9 and it was during my great-grandfathers wake, he was from Germany. It was the only time I met him too.. I got a chance to talk to her and she still had an accent and was hard for me to understand her. She passed any some time ago, sadly I don’t even know her name.. Well life goes on as most of us know and I know this is a bread she would have loved..

Stollen isย traditional German bread or cake.For more information on the origins of this wonderful bread here is a link for can you read.

Christmas Stollen Bread:

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit

1/4 cup dried currents

3/4 cup citrus vodka

4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 packages (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 large eggs

2 tbsp. orange zest

1 tbsp. lemon zest

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 chopped almonds, toasted

Powdered sugar, for topping

In a microwave safe bowl, on high cook the raisins, candied fruit, and currents, for 3 minutes: drain and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt; mix well. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to flour mixture; mix well. Add eggs, orange zest, lemon zest and extract. Beat on low-speed until moistened; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in almonds, fruit mixture and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place on a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Lightly punch down dough; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape each half into rounds, pinching bottoms to seal the dough. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

Until next time…

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚