Friday, November 12, 2010

Delayed...but not Forgotten! Random update!

Hi everyone...I hope you haven't given up on me.  I've had the Ride of my Life participating in the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off ....what a privilege!  It did set me back a a LOT...with other details in I've been playing catch up...thus my Blog took a back seat.  Speaking once a month to local groups about the Bake-Off experience and doing demos on the Scones.  I thought it was all over but now people want to hear about it.  I think living in a "Mayberry" small town has a lot to do with it and I love it! 

I am very excited to start bringing you new GREAT recipes.  I have many already lined up for you that I've taken pictures of over the last many months but with no time to get it onto my Blog!  The worst part is pictures for me...getting them loaded, etc. Holds me back sometimes.

Other EXCITING NEWS...I am currently working with a Publisher that will help me finally get my "Best of the Best"....Recipes Put to the Test! Cookbook published.  That is another line item in life that I need to prioritize.  If you are interested in being notified when the cookbook is ready, leave me a comment or send a private email to to let me know your contact information and I will add you to The Interest Book!

Other Exciting Tid Bit....I've been designing and making Therapeutic Rice Packs for people for a couple years...but recently it has "taken off" with many orders so it's a good thing...but keeps me from my Blog and Cookbook...hummm.  I make a Boo Boo Pack, Shoulder Neck Pack, T-Zone Pack, Eye Relaxation Pack and newest design for Diabetics or people with poor foot circulation...a Foot Therapy Pack. I love that whether I Bake or Make things for people it seems to bring comfort...and that is a good thing.

Graduation Party for my son coming up this Spring....thinking Unique Menu....any ideas to chime in? Make a post.  Looking forward to connecting with each of you again and thriving in my recipe frenzy!

P.S.  working with a Chef that is developing wonderful Spice Blends...getting them into mass production soon.  Small quantities now available at Jazz n Java in Willmar, MN  the link to see the spices available right now is:  I love them all but my favorite is the Line Finishing Spice! I'll keep you updated, he's going to put together "Gift Packs" hopefully before the Christmas Holiday.

Yep....Many doors open right now and I'm walking through them to see where they go.  So....keep alert for notifications COMING SOON!

Until then...Bon Appetite and Happy Cooking!


Here is a little saying that I heard on the radio the other day about Restoring Balance to Your Life....
Who or What is driving your bus?  We are traveling so fast, speeding through life, with so many things pulling us here and there that if we don't slow down we may very well have a Rear End COLLISION with OURSELF!  Haha...but serious Truth! 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pillsbury Bake-Off Update..Because that's all there is right now!

     Hello everyone!  Thank you for taking the time to follow me on my start of a FOODIE Blog.  A place to share food ideas, recipes and information.  Don't give up on me yet!  I've been soooo involved with the upcoming Bake-Off that it has not left me affordable time to post new recipes though I have ENDLESS thoughts of recipes to share with you and have already photograghed several that I will share in the days ahead....AFTER the Bake-Off!  

Guest Speaker for New London-Spicer
FACS Creative Foods Classes on Bake-Off
Thank you Deb Wessling & Students!

     For now I thought I would share with you and will keep you updated on the media links and photos related to the Bake-Off.  I can not believe that I am leaving in one WEEK!  The clothes is picked out, the information organized, about 58 dozen scones baked since this past September...and all scarffed up I must say...not even one in the freezer.  That's because the few that have even made it to the freezer have been snictched out of the freezer...they are great to eat frozen too!
    This morning WCCO Channel 4 "The Early Show" aired an interview and partial demo that we taped last week.  We taped for about 2 1/2 hours and it is edited down to about the most important 3 minutes...haha! Thank you Angela Davis, you made the interview so fun and relaxing!  Here is a link for you to watch it:

     Also, for those of you in the area Willmar or MN...Senior Perspectives has written a feature story that was being published for the April Edition and should be on the stands or drop off places this weekend.  Thank you Bev Ahlquist for a great interview!  There is not a link that I am aware of but if I find one I will post it later.
     Monday, April 5, the West Central Tribune is publishing a "Kicker" article or well wishes ...send you off..article with a few new details.  Carolyn Lange is writing so we KNOW it will be very good. Thanks Carolyn.  After Monday you should be able to see the article online at
     Thursday, April 8, look in your Minneapolis Star and Tribune TASTE section for a feature story by Kim Ode on the 5 Minnesota Bake-Off Finalists!  I will post a link when available.
     Taking off for the big trip to Orlando Florida on April 10th.  We will bake on the 12th from 8:00am to 12:00 noon.  To give you a little preview or "taste" of what it will be like here is a little video from 2008 on the contest floor during the contest:

    The awards have been changed in the last couple days and it a change!  Pillsbury announced that the top 4 category winners will be announced on the evening of the 12th as previously planned....HOWEVER, the grand prize winner will  not be announced until Wednesday, April 14th on OPRAH exciting.  So the 4 will be flown to Chicago and then the grand prize winner will head off to New York City for a media tour following OPRAH...well one in 100 chance for $1 Million and one in aobut 25 chance to Meet OPRAH and win $5,000.  So excited but the competition is very steep...I've tried many of the competitors recipes and they are delicious.  You can check all 100 out also by following this link:

    By the way....the "Pillsbury Bake-Off 100 Winning Recipes" cookbooklet is out in the stores now ...only $4.99 for 100 awesome recipes, all with full color glossy pictures.  Check your grocery store, bookstore  or where ever magazines are sold. 

     Well, enough excitement and look-ups for you for today...but I wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about the BLOG, I just haven't had time to add more recipes at this time. Blessings to you, let me know if you have any special request recipes to BLOG in the future.  Thank you for your support and interest in my Bake-Off and Foodie Journey!

Bon Appeite!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

French Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

       Who can resist the sweet aromatic smell that sets off your senses ... a good hot cup of Chai Tea?  Not the clear mild kind, but the rich, creamy, bursting with flavor kind.  I found this recipe about a year ago and "tweaked" it (as I usually do) to my liking...I hope you like it too.
    I usually double this recipe and give it as "Food Gifts" at Christmas, Birthday's or Just Because Friend Gifts.  It's beautiful in a clear celephane bag with pretty ribbons and a little note on hot to make it.  I usually include the recipe too. Enjoy the medicinal and relaxing qualities of a cup of Chai.   Bon Appetite!

French Vanilla Chai Tea Mix


1 cup nonfat dry milk

1 cup powdered nondairy creamer

1 cup french vanilla flavored powdered nondairy creamer -- ***see sub note below

2 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground clove

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

** Substitution for French Vanilla creamer: pour 2 teaspoons pure vanilla or extract over the white sugar listed above before doing anything else. Let it dry out overnight. Break the sugar into small pieces and proceed with blending all ingredients.


     In a Large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer (or vanilla/sugar mixture), sugar and instant tea with a wire whisk. Continue mixing in the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. In food processor (blender will work satisfactory), blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.  Store in airtight container.
    To serve: Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons Chai Tea Mix into a mug of  8 oz hot water. Use up to 4 for the large travel mugs.  My daughter also like to freeze the mixture and blend for an "Iced French Vanilla Chai Tea".

Serving Ideas : Wonderful Gift idea placed in a nice jar with a note for serving instruction.

NOTES : You can spice it up even further by adding 1 teaspoon nutmeg and allspice and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper.

       I will try to do a better job of updating with more requested recipes in the future!  Pillsbury Bake-Off is only 49 Days until we travel to Orlando to compete!  I am so excited!

       Have the kind of day that you need today and come visit my Blog again soon!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Double Chocolate-Orange Scones & Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Scones

Double Chocolate-Orange Scones



2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup Hershey’s® baking cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cold LAND O LAKES® Butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup Smucker’s® Sweet Orange Marmalade

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup Hershey’s® mini chips semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoon raw sugar (turbinado sugar), if desired

2 oz Hershey’s® semi-sweet baking chocolate or 1/3 cup Hershey’s® mini chips semi-sweet chocolate

Orange Butter

1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Smucker’s® Sweet Orange Marmalade


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In large bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Cut in 1/3 cup cold butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

2. In small bowl, gently stir cream, 1/4 cup marmalade and vanilla until mixed. Make a well in center of crumb mixture; add cream mixture to well. Stir with fork until crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. Gently stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips. Form dough into a ball.

3. On well floured surface, roll or pat dough into 9-inch round, 3/4 inch thick. Using knife dipped in flour, cut round into 12 wedges. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are set. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool 30 minutes.

4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chocolate uncovered on High 30 seconds until softened; stir until smooth. Drizzle diagonally over scones with the side edge of a tablespoon.

5. In small bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and powdered sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Gently fold  in 2 tablespoons marmalade. Serve with scones.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Scones

     Use the Double Chocolate-Orange Scones to create a wonderful delicious treat variation ~ The Perfect Valentine's Dessert.....decadent!

     Simply wait for the scones to cool to room temperature.  Using a very shart knife carefully cut the scone in half horizontally, being careful not to break the scone. I run the knife all the way around the scone and remove the top layer.
     Using fudge ice cream topping heated in the microwave to just beyond room temp...not hot...drizzle your plate across the entire surface in a back and forth "Z" pattern. Position the bottom piece of the scone on the plate over the fudge topping.  Pipe on either Cool Whip (which holds up very nicely) or fresh whipped cream with almond flavoring (which tastes better :).  
     Wash 3 strawberries for each scone dessert. Using an egg slicer, cut 2 of the strawberries all the way through and arrange them on the whipped cream points facing out. Gently set the upper layer of the scone on top of the whipped cream.
     Drizzle the scone top in a "Z" pattern across the top.  Place a decorative dollop of whipped cream and position a strawberry fan and the lower edge next to the scone.  ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!

Note: You can also make a wonderful "Banana Split-Chocolate Scone" the same way and place ice cream in the middle and add banana and pineapple to your liking.



Kitchen Fun with the DoughBoy!
58 days and counting to the Bake-Off!

Feel free to go to the Bake-Off site and review and rate my recipe and others:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Michelle's Chicken Alfredo

****REVISED**** to give you the time of the WCCO airing of the "Chicken Alfredo" Recipe...around 6:20am is the time they gave me..on channel 4 :)  That's Early!

     I'm back...finally!  Well, I thought a Recipe Blog sounded like a really fun and manageable thing to do...but then life happened amongst it and I just couldn't seem to get back here again although my intentions were always there!  Well..I will try to get a post up weekly to keep your interest and continue sharing the love of recipes, cooking and baking!

     For an update on the Pillsbury Bake-Off...they have announced on the 100 finalists, where they are from, and the name of their recipe.  There are 5 finalists selected from the State of Minnesota...including me!  The name of my finalist recipe is: "Double Chocolate-Orange Scones"... for the "Breakfast & Brunch" category.  The recipes will be released in January on the web site. 

     This recipe was graually developed after customizing many, many times. I've incorporated options to reduce the fat and calories and it really does not compromise the flavor or consistency!

     On a note of EXCITEMENT...I submitted this recipe "Michelle's Chicken Alfredo" a couple of months ago to the WCCO Morning Show "Gold'n Plump" Chicken Recipe Contest.  It won under the Pasta category and will be aired on the WCCO Morning Show this coming Friday, October 30th.  Channel 4 for those of us in the Midwest.  The morning show is quite early...they have not given me a time yet that the segment will run...but if they do before Friday I will update the Blog.  Jamie Miller, a Professional Chef will be making the recipe. 

     Enjoy the recipe and share it with others...always share the love of cooking!  I think it will become a family favorite for you too!

Original By :Michelle Gauer

Serving Size : 12

5 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon base

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 cups milk -- (can use skim)

1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth

8 ounces sour cream -- (can use light version)

1/3 cup parmesan cheese -- (fresh grated best)

2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil

1 cup fresh mushrooms -- sliced or chopped (can use 8 oz. can)

5 cloves garlic -- crushed

1 small sweet onion -- chopped

4 boneless chicken breast or turkey -- cut into 3/8" strips (or use precooked meat)

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen California-blend vegetables -- (or steamed fresh)

1 (16 ounce) box/bag fettuccine noodles or penne noodles -- prepared

In a large saucepan, combine the flour and butter over low to medium heat until melted. Add the bullion base, white pepper, milk, chicken broth, sour cream, and parmesan cheese. Heat to boiling, stirring continuously until thickened. Sift in more flour while stirring if mixture seems to thin. It will thicken as it cooks and sits.

In a separate fry pan, saute the meat with the mushroom, garlic, and onion in the 2 tablespoons of oil until meat is cooked through and onions are tender. Add to the saucepan mixture, including juices.
Par Boil the veggies whether frozen or fresh...DO NOT OVERCOOK...I like to steam them...drain very well and add to the sauce mixture.

Heat thoroughly on the stove top and serve over noodles or place in a casserole dish and sprinkle top with additional freshly grated parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for approx. 15-20 minutes...until bubbling. A Family Favorite! Great Reheated too!

Start to Finish Time:

1 hour 20 minutes
Serving Ideas : Great with garlic bread or breadsticks and a salad.

NOTES : Wonderful added flavor if you use smoked or peppered turkey for the meat. Also wonderful to grill with a chicken or rib rub chicken tenders, slice and lay on top of dish. You can use left over meat or precooked meat also....recipe is very flexible. You can combine the noodles with the sauce or serve separately. Great for Potlucks!

"A recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation" ~ Madame Benoit

Monday, October 5, 2009

Amazing "Caramel-Glazed Apple Cake"....

My first recipe to bring to you by popular demand! I found this recipe in the TASTE section of our Tribune Weekend paper. By looking at the ingredients I knew this one would be a keeper! This cake is even wonderful several days after baking it and would be a wonderful dessert for a bake sale or a Fall/Winter Holiday. It is gloriously rich in apple, cinnamon spice and caramel flavors. A friend of mine eliminated the coconut and added preference is the a great texture. Try it and see for yourself...let me know what you think.


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 large eggs

3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup orange juice (if you want stronger flavor, use concentrate)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups peeled and shredded apples, about 3-4 medium size

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts...I prefer pecans)


1/2 cup butter (no substitutes :)

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Move rack to the middle or lower half of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan or tub pan with shortening and flour or spray with flour. Tap out any excess flour.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Stir until combined.
  3. In a seperate medium size bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla.
  4. Making a "well" in the dry ingredients, gradually add the wet mixture stirring until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Stir in the apples, coconut, and pecans until well mixed.
  6. Spoon the rather thick batter into the prepared Bundt/tube pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for approximately 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cake will be nicely browned and perhaps cracked slightly on top.
  8. During the bake time prepare the Glaze. In a large heavy duty saucepan or Dutch oven and over medium heat bring the butter, sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and corn syrup to a boil stirring with a whisk constantly. Boil for 4 minutes or until mixture is golden brown being careful not to scorch bottom. (Mixture bubbles up as it boils.)
  9. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Caramel will thicken as it cools.
  10. Remove the cake from oven and cool on rack for about 1o minutes. Invert onto a plate or cooling rack with a tray under it.
  11. Spoon caramel glaze over the hot cake (I use a pastry brush) covering the entire cake, allowing the glaze to soak in. Let cake sit for 10 minutes and repeat glazing. You may not use all the glaze so you can save it for a garnish when you serve it.
  12. Allow cake to cool completely and serve with real whipping cream (perhaps with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla in it :) and drizzle the extra glaze.


...and Moses said..."Be humble about your talent. Otherwise you may say in your heart that you did it all on your own. But you shall remember the Lord your God for it is He who gave you the ability to do what you do."