Category Archives: Appetizers

Classis Shrimp Cocktail

Hello Everyone,

Here is a wonderful recipe I made for our Valentines dinner. It’s from my wonderful friend and blogger Mary from Apron Strings and Wedding Rings..

Classic Shrimp Cocktail:

24 large shrimp

1 lemon cut into wedges

3 tbsp. Italian parsley

1 small yellow onion, cut into wedges

6 whole black peppercorns

1 tsp. salt

enough water to cover shrimp

Place shrimp in a large sauce-pot. Place all above ingredient’s in pot and cook on medium-high heat just until shrimp is pink, about 4-5 minutes. Make sure when you clean the shrimp to leave the tails on! Drain shrimp and chill until ready to serve.

Cocktail Sauce:

1 cup chili sauce

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. horseradish

2 tbsp. minced yellow onion

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce, optional

1 tbsp. minced Italian

Mix all ingredient’s together, taste and adjust seasoning’s, if desired. I served this in a Martini glass and it was delicious! Here is the picture of this plus a few more of our Valentines dinner. One picture doesn’t look the best, but it sure tasted good!


I know I haven’t posted much at all this month. I have been really sick. I saw my dr yesterday and I am anemic, and my vitamin d is really low. So, I have to take a lot of vitamin d now.. Low vitamin d causes a lot of pain, and I have been in a lot of pain… It’s been terrible.. I haven’t been able to do much, our Valentines dinner is about the only food I have cooked.. Hopefully in a week or so, I’ll get better!

Until next time..

Amanda :)


Popcorn Chickpeas

Hello Everyone,

Here is another recipe we made at the U of I herb class I had awhile back. I love chickpeas! I keep them on hand to make hummus, add to soups, or salads. There tasty and very good for you! These Popcorn Chickpeas would make a great snack or addition to next dinner party or just a party! 🙂

Popcorn Chickpeas:

1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. coarsely chopped rosemary

1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic

3/4 tsp. kosher sat

Freshly ground black pepper

Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer. Turn them onto paper towels or a clean dish towel and pat dry. Pour the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and toss in the chickpeas. Cook for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan often. They won’t brown, but they will turn several shades darker, shrink a bit and form a light crust. Pour the chickpeas back into the strainer to drain the excess oil and then return them to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the rosemary and garlic. Stir for another minute or two until the garlic begins to brown. Sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Toss again and pour them into a serving bowl. Serve warm.

Enjoy everyone!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Appetizers, Snacks


Luxurious Deviled Eggs

Hello Everyone,

On Memorial Day I made a few different deviled eggs, one topped with bacon, another topped with smoked salmon and the last ones topped with caviar and drizzled with black truffle oil. This was my first time trying caviar and truffle oil, they have been on my bucket list for a while! Everyone loved the bacon eggs and the salmon eggs, my grandma, my aunt and step-dad were the only people besides myself that tried the caviar with truffle oil eggs. Grandma and I loved them! My aunt never said a word about them, I had to ask her if she liked them and she said nope didn’t like them! My step-dad Bill kinda ate a small bite of the caviar and said sorry he didn’t like them either.. He said, at least now I can say that I tried it! 🙂 I know eggs with caviar and truffle oil isn’t an everyday thing and I know it’s expensive, but I wanted to at least try them one time, so I would know what they tasted like. I used a basic deviled egg recipe then used the bacon, salmon, caviar and truffle oil as toppings. Here is my basic deviled egg recipe. It’s from my Betty Crocker cookbook…

Luxurious Deviled Eggs:

12 Hard-Cooked eggs

6 tbsp. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

4 strips cooked crispy bacon

Smoked salmon

Infused Black Truffle Oil, made by LA TOURANGELLE

Black Caviar, made by, Capelin from Iceland

Cut eggs in half, and scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper, or place the ingredients into a food processor to have a very smooth mixture. I like to use a pastry bag to fill my eggs, you can also use a teaspoon or an extra small cookie scoop. 

I didn’t add all the topping’s on every egg, I topped one with bacon, another with salmon, and the last ones with truffle oil and caviar. Don’t add very much caviar or truffle oil, a little goes along ways! I hope I have inspired you to try something different!

Amanda 🙂

P.S. I want to send out a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that has complimented me on my blog changes. Please be patient with me as I am still learning how to add pictures and different thing’s here.. 🙂


Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Appetizers


Artichoke Dip

Hello Everyone,

Here is a recipe that my ex-sister-in-law Erin gave me. It is the best artichoke dip I have ever tasted! Whenever we had family gathering’s I would ask her to bring this dip. We love it, so I am sending it out to you all!!

Artichoke Dip:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-lb. cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 lbs. canned artichoke hearts

red pepper flakes



Blend all ingredients-except hearts and parmesan cheese. Add in hearts but do not puree.  Fold in red pepper flakes, oregano, and parsley. ( I don’t have the exact measurements for the spices, so add them to your taste. Put mixture in casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve warm with toasted baguette’s or crackers.

Not much else going on with us around here, just been doing a lot of much-needed cleaning this week. Ray singed up for the weight-loss contest I was talking about. He said there’s still time if I wanted to sign up for it. I said NO WAY that’s too much pressure for, I just want to go to the Y and walk, and get to feeling better first. 

I found some old recipes of my grandma Shirley’s, I thought I would make them and post then later.. She was a fantastic baker and cook.. I’m not going to post the sweet potato recipe or the broccoli recipe everyone, I’m sorry. I just don’t want to make them. I am working a Valentines menu. I hope you all like Chinese food, because that’s what I am making.. LOL!! 🙂

Until next time everyone..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Appetizers


Shrimp Cocktail with Christmas Dip

Hello Everyone,

Here’s another recipe I made last year, it’s wonderful!!! 🙂

Shrimp Cocktail with Christmas Dip

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh flat leave Italian parsley

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup plain yogurt

4 small avocados peeled, pitted & coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 small jar pimentos, drained

32 medium cooked and peeled frozen shrimp, defrosted & patted dry

In a food processor, combine garlic, parley, basil, and lemon juice and pulse several times to chop. Add yogurt, avocados, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, stir in the pimentoes (do not puree them in.) Scrape into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve with the shrimp for dipping.

Earlier today when I picked up the newspaper, they finally had the Taste of the Holidays publication out. I had submitted about 25 recipes. It’s to win a drawing for a $250 gift card. I don’t know who won the gift card yet, but they published 14 of my recipes! I was so excited. They couldn’t publish all of them due to printing space and all the other great recipes people sent in from around the area. Some of them look really good and I want to try some of them out!!!

Tonight we had an Angel Cakes dinner for all the bakers. We had a lady come from one of our charity partners speak tonight.  She spoke about much the residents love the cakes the bakers make for them, she read us about 12 letters from the resident’s and we all had tears in our eyes! It’s make us feel so good to hear from the people we bake cakes for. I know sometimes some of us ME!! Get discouraged and wonder why we even do this when we don’t hear thank you or get thank you cards. It’s great that a lot of us were able to get together and hear each other stories and from the charity partner. It helps us to remember why we make all the cakes! We are making about 40 cakes a month right now, and we are getting requests from other people wanting us to bake for them. We need more bakers through before we can take any more charity partners. I hope we get drum up some more help soon!!! We all had a really good time tonight! I was very happy to be able to make it. Even Ray came with me and helped out a lot! I couldn’t make all these cakes without him!!! LOVE him a lot!! 🙂

Well that’s all I have for tonight, I am very tired. Cleaned a lot today…

Night all…

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Appetizers


Honey Ham and Swiss Toasts

Hello Everyone,

Here’s another recipe I made for Christmas last year.. Enjoy!!

Honey Ham and Swiss Toasts:

8 oz. cooked honey ham, finely chopped

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

1 18-inch long baguette, sliced lengthwise

2 cups grated swiss cheese

Preheat broiler to high and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl, stir together the ham, yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Place bread, cut side up, on baking sheet. Spread ham mixture evenly on top and sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from broiler and let stand for 3 minutes. Slice into 24 pieces and serve warm.

Not much else going one today with us. I have just been very busy cleaning and getting recipes put together for Thanksgiving, I am so excited! We decided to go to Twin Falls for Thanksgiving day. We haven’t been down there for 6 years and Ray’s aunt and step-mother are both in their 90’s. We don’t know how much longer they will be around. I’m not sure if I’ll be making anything to take down there yet. I would like to make a cake or something. So we’ll see what happens I guess..

Well until next time!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Appetizers, Breakfast, Christmas Menus



Hello everyone,

We went to the funeral today for my husband’s uncle, they had a nice service for him. I’m very tired tonight so this will be a short post.

I am going to bake sourdough bread tomorrow, my starter is finally ready, and I’m making the egg drop soup but the French version, we’ll see how it turns out!

 I  am baking a Valentine’s cake for Saturday, it’s a cupid with a heart. It’s an older Wilton cake pan that I bought from a lady online, it’s really cute. I’ll be decorating Valentine cookies with my mom, niece’s and nephew. I’m looking forward to it. I also decided to make the 2 chilies for Saturday from the (Food Network magazine), the he made she made contest.  I’ll let you know Saturday which one wins!

When I got a chance to look at this post today I realized all the mistakes I had made. I was more tired last night than I thought!!! lol 🙂

Here’s a recipe for you all and a couple more Angel Cake pictures!!/photo.php?pid=30362191&id=1528013904!/photo.php?pid=30367188&id=1528013904



For the chicken pate:

4 cups cooked chicken breast meat, finely shredded

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cup red onion, finely chopped

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tsp. dried basil, (I like the taste of the dried basil better than fresh in this) I have wierd taste buds.

1 cup mayonnaise


For the Pesto:

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino romano cheese

3 tblsp. pine nuts

3 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

For the Italian flatbread:

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tbslp. Olive oil

1 ¼ cups plus 2 tblsp. Cold water

1/3 cup Pecorino romano cheese, grated

olive oil for brushing

To make flatbread: Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cheese & Italian seasoning. Stir in olive oil & enough cold water to make a smooth, soft dough. On floured surface, knead dough 3 minutes. In a 12×17 cookie sheet brush with olive oil, spread dough evenly into pan. Brush top with more olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool completely before topping with basil & chicken pate.

For the chicken pate: Mix all ingredients together until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For basil pesto: Place all ingredients in a food processor & process until smooth.

To assemble: Cut bread into 1-inch squares, top with ½ tsp. pesto, then with 1 tsp. chicken mixture.

Top with Pecorino romano cheese shavings.

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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in Appetizers


French Pate

Hello everyone,

We are doing a lot better today, Ray’s been able to do some thing’s around the house. It’s terrible being sick, the house was a mess!!! Not that I have a large house to clean LOL, for those of you who have been here, you know what I’m taking about!!! I’m doing better emotionally, these steroids I have been on have really messed with my head. I did see the specialist this week and I see the lung Dr. next month and they’ll decide from there as to weather or not they’ll keep me on steroids. I still have to have the breathing treatments at the hospital. I don’t know if I’ll get better or not, it’s like this question hanging in the air right now (what to do next)??? 5-10 percent of people die from this, so I guess I have that to consider….

 I haven’t baked my cake for the vet yet, I’ll do that a little later. He wants german chocolate and he likes baseball, so I’m going to make a baseball glove. I’m going to fill it with the coconut pecan filling from my Betty Crocker cookbook. In my humble opinion it’s the best recipe for that, I love it!!!  

Here’s a recipe for Chicken Liver Pate, I know my site says cake baker, but I love other kinds of food as well. I recently discovered this recipe and I love it. I have made Pate before, but I think I messed it up somehow, this one is much better. So if your into this kind of food go for it. If not don’t worry I’ll post some cake recipes that I love to make later.

French Pate

20 peppercorns

2 allspice berries

1 clove

4 coriander seeds

1/2 cup butter, 1 stick

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, (this is my addition to the recipe)

1 pound chicken livers


1/3 cup heavy cream

Bread or crackers to serve with

1. In a spice grinder, combine peppercorns, allspice, clove, and coriander seed; grind until fine and set aside.

2. Melt 2tblsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; when foam subsides, add onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add livers to the pan and sprinkle with salt;  cook livers on one side until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes, then flip them and cook the other side. Be sure to keep heat relatively high so that the outside of livers sears and inside stay pink.

3. Put onion, livers, and all the juices into food processor with remaining butter, the cream, spices, and the garlic. Puree mixture until it is smooth; taste and add more salt if needed.

4. Put pate in a mold or a bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until fully set.

Serve with crackers or toasted bread. Enjoy

P.S. please feel free to leave me comments and feedback, I would love to hear from people!!!!

Until tomorrow…  Amanda 🙂


Posted by on January 24, 2010 in Appetizers