Butternut Squash Cheese Soup

Friday, October 29, 2010

I love to cook, however I don't really have confidence in making my own recipes. The more I cook the more I feel confident in it. So this soup recipe is an Amanda original. So please be nice, but I really liked it. It was really good. Especially when it was served with Lion House Rolls. My kids even ate this. So give this a try. Tell me any additions or changes you make I would love to hear more ideas.

Butternut Squash Cheese Soup

1 Butternut Squash (mine was about 2 lbs)
4 Tbsp Butter
1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and a butternut squash that has been pierced with a fork (go crazy on this, you don't want an explosion of butternut squash in your oven). Cook the squash for an hour at 375 degree oven.

When the squash is done cooking, let cool down.

While you are letting the squash cool down melt butter in large sauce pan and add heavy whipping cream.

Then cut a horizontal line. Get the seeds and nasty stuff out. Then scoop the meat of the squash into a large saucepan.

Add the chicken broth and seasonings.

Then let simmer on the stove for a couple of hours (I would imagine a crock pot would work). Every so often I would stir the soup and smell the aroma.

Dish it into a bowl and top with mozzarella cheese or monterey jack cheese.

Let me know what you think of one of my first attempts of making my own recipe.

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am asked for this recipe all the time. It is so good! I made it for my brother in law's birthday. He has been asking for it since the end of June. I found this recipe on the Hershey Chocolate website. It is such an easy recipe. I have made some minor adjustments. This is always a hit. I want to thank my brother in law Gordon for taking this picture.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. 

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. 

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10 to 12 servings. 

I make this into a three layer cake. I make some cake filling for the the layers. It is the best filling ever. It is so easy and, in my opinion, makes the cake. All you need to do is pick out an instant pudding and for this recipe I used Chocolate Fudge. So you throw the the pudding powder into the stand mixer and 1 and a half cups of heavy whipping cream and voila you have some great cake filling. After the cake has cooled wrap in plastic wrap and place the layers (separately) in the freezer. When you are ready and the cake is frozen enough than layer the cake with the filling and top with the next layer. When you have assembled the cake wrap it once more and put it back in the freezer. When you feel like the cake is frozen enough ( we aren't wanting crystals to form here ) ice it with your favorite chocolate buttercream recipe. Than always decorate it with some chocolate candies. The favorite seems to be the malt balls. 

This is a great cake. Trust me when I say that when you make this ALL will be grabbing a fork. 

if you have any question feel free and ask by way of leaving a comment  

Spinach Tomato Pasta Toss

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This is a great recipe that has kind of become my go to recipe. It is so easy and so yummy. A few years ago I received the Kraft Foods magazine in the mail. I loved getting this in the mail, and would dog ear the pages of recipes that I wanted to try. This one was in the magazine. This is a great meal because it takes no time to make. My kids love it, because of the noodles. So grab a fork and try it. 

Spinach Tomato Pasta Toss

2 cans of diced tomatoes with basil, & oregano
1 1/2 lbs italian sausage (I always get mild)
1 bag of fresh baby spinach
1 lb box of penne pasta
1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese

1. Cook the sausage in a large sauce pan ( I always use my wok I got from Ikea . . . I love it because it is so big

2. While the sausage is cooking start cooking the penne pasta in a pan with salted water (the salt gives the pasta a little more flavor)

3. Once the sausage is cooked through then add the diced tomatoes and baby spinach. Add the entire bag of spinach it may look like a lot an even too much but it will cook down beautifully. 

4. As soon as the pasta is al dente than mix it in with the sausage mixture.  Then watch how happy sausage and sauce to united with the pasta

5. Then if the pasta isn't happy enough you sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on the dish and watch the mozzarella melt into pure joy. 

This is a great dish. Please give it a try and let me know what you think. I know you will love it. 

Halloween Pops

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have spent the entire day doing this super cute halloween treat. Don't get me wrong, they didn't take all day to make these. It was just so fun we just wanted to keep making them. We used Oreo cookies (get them at Costco, you can get a huge box with I believe 10 packs of Oreos for around $6.00), and Nutter Butter cookies. We dipped them in almond bark and white chocolate. Making them into Mummies and ghosts. We found the eyes at Funfinity a fun store in Orem that has so many fun toys and baking goods. So there are toys for me and for my kids. We got 24 eyes for 99 cents. Seriously are you kidding me?!?! Instead of telling you how to make these, I will give the website (where I was told about this) that gives a way better description on how to make these adorable halloween treats. www.howdoesshe.com Oh by the way, I got the tin bucket from Target's dollar section and the orange and green crunchy paper from Michaels, the bags from funfinity, and the ribbon from Michaels. Aren't they so cute. You must try, and I am sure you can come up with some other great ideas, using cookies you would find in your grocery store.

Candy Corn Cake Wedges

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Candy Corn Cake Wedges

Do you ever see something on-line and think, "Why didn't I think of that?" I think of this all the time. So when I saw this recipe that thought of course crossed my mind. I don't know what it is about candy corn, but isn't it such a fun holiday treat? There is so much you can do with it, and it is tasty. So here is a recipe that I came across on my internet travels. I found it on myrecipes.com. I haven't given it a try, but I am will. If you try it let me know what you think.

Candy Corn Cake Wedges



1/2  cup  plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon  baking powder

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1/4  cup  milk, at room temperature

2  large eggs, at room temperature

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

8  tablespoons  (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4  cup  sugar


3/4  cup  vegetable shortening

12  tablespoons  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

6  cups  confectioners' sugar

6  tablespoons  milk

Yellow and orange food coloring

Orange sprinkles, optional


1. Make cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan; line with parchment paper. Grease parchment. Lightly coat bottom and sides of pan with flour, knocking out excess.

2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, eggs and vanilla. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Lower mixer speed; beat in half of flour mixture. Beat in milk mixture, then remaining flour mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium-high; beat just until smooth.

3. Scrape batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until cake is light golden and starts to pull away from sides of pan, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack, peel away parchment, turn cake right side up and cool completely. Cut into 12 wedges. Place wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet; freeze for 30 minutes.

4. Make frosting: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat shortening, butter and vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk; beat until frosting is fluffy.

5. Reserve 1 cup of icing in a small bowl. Divide remaining icing between 2 medium bowls and tint 1 bowl with yellow food coloring and 1 with orange.

6. Working with 1 wedge at a time, leaving remaining cake wedges in freezer, frost pointed end with white icing, middle portion with yellow icing, and outer portion with orange icing. Repeat with remaining cake wedges and frosting. Press sprinkles on outside of wedges, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.

Maria Bonita

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

carnitas taco plate from Maria Bonita.

My man and I love mexican food. Not as much as my man's love for it. So when some family came into town and wanted to give it a try. We were all for it. We walked in and were greeted by a little Mexican woman who spoke next to no English, she was so happy we were there. We were given a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. She played with my little gal a little then seated us. The restaurant is charming and small, but always packed full of people. While the Pope and the Virgin Mary are looking at you from upon their places of honor on the wall we began to look at the menu. I decided on  the chicken quesadilla. To use the word quesadilla to describe this dinner would not be completely accurate. Maybe a quesadilla on steroids. It was huge. Not only was it huge it was also incredible. It comes with amazing chips and salsa, and a yummy soup. You must try this little hole in the wall. Give Maria a huge hug and kiss from us. She is fabulous and makes the experience that much better. Prices are very affordable and is great fun.

Maria Bonita Mexican Grill

171 W 800 NOrem

"THE" Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This recipe is one of the most requested recipes I have. The other one is a killer chocolate cake. We will have to wait for that one. This recipe is so good. Some of the reasons that I love this recipe is because it makes so much!! Which is fun to give away or to use as your bread supply. The other reason I love this recipe is it doesn't have to rise. Which is always a plus for an impatient person like me. Also, this recipe doesn't call for sugar. It does call for honey which allow for the yeast to rise. When using yeast you must always have a sugar with it to activate it. So honey, agave, sugar, and so on can be used. Honey is stellar for this recipe. A couple of hints I have for this bread is use your kitchen aid (I am planning an entire post about my kitchen aid!! That is how much I love it. It helps so that you don't have to knead it as much. Also, make sure you have a professional wattage on your kitchen aid. You will be using an insane  amount of whole wheat flour (which has a more dense quality that white). Of course you can half the recipe if you don't have a professional wattage kitchen aid. I believe that 550 is considered professional wattage. This is a great bread and then you whip up some honey butter and you could have dessert. Enjoy. Let me know what you think.

Whole Wheat Bread

5 c. stone-ground whole wheat flour
1/2 c. Vital Wheat Gluten (find it at Macey's if you're in Utah)
2 T. SAF Instant Yeast (again, at Macey's)
4 c. hot water

Mix for one minute, then cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Add:

1 1/2 T. salt
1/2 c. oil
7/8 c. honey
2 T. lemon juice

Change mixer to dough hook and knead for 10 minutes, adding an additional 5 1/2 c. wheat flour one cup at a time. Divide dough into three portions and place in sprayed loaf pans. Bake at 170* for 12 - 15 minutes, then increase temperature to 350* and set timer for 28 - 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks. 

***This is a recipe that I got from my great friend Marie, and she got it from her friend's mom. I just want to give credit where credit is due.***

Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe

Sunday, October 3, 2010


So I have caught the cupcake fever that is sweeping the nation. I don't know what it is about cupcakes, but they are such a decadent little treat. I love all the cupcake shops that are popping up around town lately. My friend and cupcake lover introduced me to this gem. It is called Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe. A brother/sister team started it up in Rexburg, ID. Then decided to give it a try in Provo. I met the brother and he was adorable and has a love of cupcakes. They also have some yummy beverages. They also have a cupcake schedule were you check which cupcake goodness is available. My favorite is the chocolate raspberry, but the brownie cupcake also gives me a smile.
Let me know which one you want to try.  Check out their blog to get more information. http://thecocoabeancupcakecafe.blogspot.com

Steak Sandwiches

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I am so excited to share this recipe. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it. We ate it up so fast. Honestly this was so good. I can't wait to here what some of you think about it. I found this recipe on the food network website for "Down Home with the Neely's". I love this show you must watch it. They have great recipes and I love that it is a husband and wife that cook in the kitchen together. They are constantly flirting. I LOVE IT. So seriously try this your will love it.

Grilled Steak Sandwiches


  • 6 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pound top-round London broil

Provolone Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup grated aged Provolone
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, cleaned well
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 (6-inch long) French roll baguettes, halved lengthwise


Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and pour it into a large gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Add the steak and turn to make sure it is completely covered by the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12, turning the bag occasionally.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Once melted add the flour and stir until it becomes a light blonde color. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring the milk up to a simmer while stirring. Once at a simmer, stir in the cheese, a handful at a time. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm until ready to use.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
Toss green onions in a bowl with olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess drain off. Grill the steak for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare and about 8 to 10 minutes for medium. Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
While the steak rests, put the green onions and baguettes on the grill. Cook the green onions until charred and soft, about 4 minutes, and toast the bread until golden.
To assemble, slice the steak, at a 45 degree angle, into very thin slices across the grain. Put some of the steak on the bottom of each roll, top with some grilled green onions, and smother with provolone cheese sauce. Cover with the top of the roll and serve.

Amanda's Notes::
This recipe calls for aged provolone I just used regular deli sliced provolone and cut it into cubes. Then let that ooey goodness do it's job. 

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