Glen Oaks Health Campus

Awhile back I told myself that I would start doing “Blaise the Baker Business Reviews” – and start reviewing different businesses and restaurants. Well, as usual when a person makes plans, life got in the way and the idea never fully flourished. On my “Blaise the Baker” website I post recipes, cookbook reviews, giveaways, question & answer segments, my book club information and all kinds of other things. It’s not just a place “for recipes only”. With this in mind, I would like to post and talk about my 2nd “business review”.

My first one for “The Original Good’s Candies” in Kennard, Indiana can be viewed here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/09/30/the-original-goods-candies/

“Glen Oaks Health Campus”


My family and I absolutely love Glen Oaks Health Campus – Trilogy Health Services. Words can’t even begin to describe how patient, friendly, helpful, kind, caring, compassionate, loving and courteous the entire staff is each and every day to its residents and their visitors. The facility is really top notch and, as several of the residents say, “classy”. It’s the best nursing care facility I’ve ever been in – and my family would agree. The entertainment they provide with activities, live entertainment, “happy hour” and parties are incredible. The food is even delicious – and they have a menu that would rival some of Indianapolis’ top hotel chains.


My family and I first got acquainted with the facility when my Dad’s Mom (my Grandma Barbra) was there last May 2015. She stayed until September 2015, when she returned back home. We none were sure of what to expect, and in all honesty, I was scared. I didn’t want her going to a nursing facility! I wanted her home! What was I going to do!? Well – let me tell you – my attitude changed once I started to get to know Glen Oaks and it’s wonderful staff. I still wanted her home – of course – but the people just blew my mind. So warm, friendly, thoughtful and caring! You could tell this wasn’t just “a job” for them – but a passion.

Grandma Barbra had health issues that were monitored day to day, and were very serious and severe. You can read more about her journey on my Facebook or in my “Signature” section on my blog.

Glen Oaks did everything and anything they could to make sure my Grandma Barbra had what she needed – and even cared for me and the family that was there every single day to see her! It was pure light, pure love and pure joy. Without the staff at Glen Oaks I would have never made it through – and they 100% gave my Grandma Barbra her life back! The therapy team is BEYOND phenomenal – the Nurses – the CNA’s – everyone – wonderful!

Well skip ahead about a year and a few months, and my Mom’s Mom (my Grandma Deloris) started having trouble walking. Due to her insurance at the time, she was taken to a different facility (who shall remain nameless). We had a terrible experience there, and it was within the first 48 hours of the facility that I decided – she HAD to be moved to Glen Oaks! My parents worked and worked on getting her insurance changed and getting things in order financial and business wise, to get her moved. Right after Christmas, first part of 2016, we transferred Grandma Deloris to Glen Oaks. It wasn’t even 2 hours into “the big move” that my Grandma Deloris seen a difference. The place was nicer, the staff cleaner, the smell pleasant, the rooms clean, the lights bright and the staff kind and caring!


I’ll never forget when Grandma Deloris grabbed my hand and looked at me and said “Thank you for everything you do for me. You don’t know what it means. I love you”. I told her I loved her too – and held it together long enough to get out to my car – and then cried all the way home. She is so special to me. We have a long history of memories that we are now continuing to share through this journey together at Glen Oaks.

The therapy staff worked above and beyond with my Grandma Deloris. The Nurses, the CNA’s – everyone involved worked with patience and kindness and my family and I appreciated that more than they would ever realize.


Sure we have had bumps in the road, and Grandma Deloris (still) has her good days and bad days – but don’t we all? That’s life.

Grandma Deloris is now a resident at Glen Oaks and my family and I couldn’t be more thankful when the opportunity presented itself to us. We knew it was meant to be and we couldn’t pass on the chance.


It’s been a few months now and my family and I (including Grandma Deloris) couldn’t be happier with the situation. We know that we are lucky and have been blessed to be in such a top notch facility with staff that is not only kind, but loving, caring, compassionate, friendly and gives you the feeling of family within. And truly, they are like family to us. We love them. It’s a great facility and my family and I are more than thankful.


If you are looking for a facility where you or a loved one might need extra help and healing, this is the place! I highly recommend it.

To learn more about Glen Oaks, please click here – http://trilogyhs.com/browse-locations/item/glen-oaks-health-campus

Grandma Deloris’ Chocolate Fudge Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I’m telling you right now – seriously – STOP and make this cake! Make it tomorrow, make it next week, next month – whenever – just MAKE IT! You’ll be SO glad you did! Years ago there was a local bakery my family and I would visit and they had a version of this cake that was simply incredible. I’ve taken their inspired recipe and flipped it – made it my own – and named it after my Grandma Deloris of course, because every time I bake this – or eat it – she’s the one I think of the most. Why? She would buy these cakes three and four at a time – take them home and freeze them. Now though, I bake my version for her and she says it is “better than” the ones she used to get from the bakery. 

The process is a little time consuming but trust me – it is WORTH IT! And the frosting recipe can be used outside of this recipe. The white buttercream frosting, for this recipe, I use on my homemade cinnamon rolls – best I’ve ever had! 

So – print this – pin it – MAKE IT soon! My FAVORITE cake!


Grandma Deloris’ Chocolate Fudge Cake with Buttercream Frosting

For the cake…
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups plus 3 teaspoons buttermilk, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup unbleached cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and flour the insides of both pans.

In a large bowl mix together the baking soda, instant coffee granules, melted butter, 3 teaspoons buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, shortening and white granulated sugar. Beat well until everything is combined – at least 3 minutes.

Add in 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, at a time, beating well after each addition until all of the buttermilk is used.

Next, add in the 3 large eggs and beat well – at least 3 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, filling each about 1/2 of the way full. Take pans, and pound them gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Place them both in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the sides are pulling away from the pan.

Once baked, remove from oven and let cool 2 minutes before inverting each cake onto plates sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Allow them to cool. 

For the chocolate fudge frosting…
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons shortening
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

COMBINE THE ABOVE UNTIL A THICK PASTE IS FORMED. THEN ADD…

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon simple syrup

TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP COMBINE 1 TABLESPOON LIGHT CORN SYRUP WITH 3 TABLESPOONS HOT WATER AND 3 TABLESPOONS WHITE GRANULATED SUGAR IN A SAUCEPAN OVER HIGH HEAT. STIR UNTIL BUBBLY AND SUGAR IS COMPLETELY DISSOLVED. ALLOW TO COOL.

Mix together and add 4 tablespoons simple syrup, mixing well.

Next add in 2 cups powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons whole milk. Mix together until everything is combined and smooth.

Add in 2 more cups powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon whole milk. Mix together until, everything is combined and smooth. If needed, add another tablespoon of whole milk to gently thin the frosting. If the frosting is to thin, add gently more powdered sugar. The finished frosting should have a thick ice cream (but spreadable) consistancy.

Sit this frosting aside and start on the buttercream.

For the buttercream…
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons “Marshmallow Fluff”

In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter and shortening. Add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract and salt. Beat well until mixed.

Add in the “Marshmallow Fluff” and beat well again. 

Add in enough powdered sugar, little at a time, to create a frosting the same thickness of the chocolate fudge frosting made earlier.

To assemble the cake…
Leave one of the chocolate cakes on the plate.

Place a thin layer of the white buttercream frosting on the top of the cake. Next, add about half of the chocolate fudge frosting and spread evenly.

Place the other cake on top of this, and lightly press.

Finish by placing the rest of the chocolate fudge frosting on the top of the cake, spreading evenly. Frost the sides of the cake with the buttercream frosting and decorate with chocolate sprinkles, if desired.

Cut and serve. Store cake in the refrigerator.

PIN IT: http://pin.it/rlo8F7F

Recipe Testing for a Cookbook Review – Dump Cakes


I LOVE being a “cookbook reviewer” and part of that job, is actually testing the recipes in the cookbook to see if they’re correct. I don’t post EVERYTHING I make, develop and test but I HAD to include this picture. A chocolate and peanut butter “dump cake”! The cookbook I’m reading and testing (and soon to review HERE on my blog) is a delicious book filled with “dump cakes” like this one. These aren’t your mother’s “dump cakes”! I’m so excited to share this one with everyone once it’s ready. I mean – chocolate pudding, evaporated milk, mini Reece cups, chocolate cake mix, butter, peanut butter – how bad could THAT be? I’m showing you my “testing” start to finish and step by step on my Snapchat (username: blaisethebaker). Join me there and stay tuned for my official review and “taste testing” on this cookbook and recipe. I have DOZENS and DOZENS of cookbook reviews, here on my website! Just search under “Cookbook Corner”.

Blaise 

The Cookies & Cups Cookbook – GIVEAWAY



Blaise the Baker: GIVEAWAY time!

I am in LOVE with “The Cookies & Cups cookbook” By: Shelly Jaronsky! In fact, I’m in love with it SO much – I’ve bought an extra copy – for YOU! 

If you love recipes like Texas Sheet Cake in a Jar, Birthday Cake Trifle, Dessert Pizza, Folded-Crust Apple Streusel Pie, Pretzel Frosting, Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookie Cake, Brown Sugar Cupcakes, Hot Fudge Sundae Cake, Billionaire Cookie Dough Cake, No-Bake Mint Chocolate Bars, Tuxedo Brownies, Pound Cake Cookies, Salted Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (ON THE COVER and Toffee-Speckled Banana Bread – then this book IS FOR YOU! There are tons and tons of sweet recipes (and a few savory) that will have your mouth watering! The recipes are GENIUS and the photos – gorgeous!

I have already started baking my way through this book – and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Follow me on my Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates!

Good luck! 

Blaise

UPDATE: (05/19/2016) The giveaway is now closed. THANK YOU to everyone that participated! A winner will be announced shortly!

Watch your emails…

-Blaise

Guest Blog Post – There Will Be Pie

It is with my great pleasure to introduce Donna Cronk, a very talented friend of mine, in the writing of another “guest blog post” for my website. It is also with great pleasure that I announce her newest book, “That Sweet Place: At Home in the Heartland” to become my newest “Blaise the Baker: Book Club” selection. Welcome Donna!

 

Welcome to ‘That Sweet Place’: There will be pie

By Donna Cronk

  

A few days after my new novel, That Sweet Place: At Home in the Heartland, came out, I made a sugar cream pie for a pitch-in. My husband got more than he bargained for when he asked the question, “How did you get into sugar cream pies?”

I told him that it’s Indiana’s official state pie, that it’s the state’s bicentennial year, that the pie is on the cover of my book –and that Blaise Doubman created the pie recipe that’s featured in the book.

Blaise is not only a gifted baker and cook, he’s a talented food writer, and his column appears the first and third Sundays each month in the Neighbors (lifestyle) section of the New Castle(Indiana) Courier-Times. Just as the kitchen is Blaise’s domain, that section of the paper has been mine for nearly 27 years as its editor. I’m not so sure how we were fortunate enough to land Blaise, but I sure am glad we did.

Blaise is also an enthusiastic supporter of my work, and that included my first novel, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakast,published two years ago. It’s about Samantha, who returns to her small Hoosier hometown and starts over. There are family recipes and scriptures that speak to the situations the characters find themselves in.

When I started writing the sequel, which includes a romance for Samantha, a new boarder, a new plot to get Samantha’s house from the conniving Ellen, and an unlikely but charming catalyst in the story, a dog named Reggie, I thought hard about what particular recipes I’d like to season into the story.

I raided the files of my own as well as my inherited family recipes, tried several, and even planned to use some that were eventually cut. It was important for me to know exactly where they came from and I had to be convinced that the family ones were original, or at least contained so many changes and updates that they had become new.

Since this is Indiana’s bicentennial year, I knew that I wanted to include a sugar cream pie recipe. I looked through some cookbooks and found one in my hometown church recipe book –but had no idea how to contact the person submitting it who had moved away many years before.

Then, a lightbulb went on. Of course! Ask Blaise! And he agreed to gift me use of his recipe! I’ve asked Blaise to do a post for my blog, at http://www.donnacronk.com, telling how he came up with the recipe. I hope you’ll drop by and read it. 

Not only is it delicious, it is a perfectly orchestrated dish, the ingredients simple, the method foolproof. And the crust! If you are like many who shudder at the idea of creating your own pie crust, (why does that task continue to terrify home bakers?) the wait is over because it’s like having Blaise lean over your shoulder and gently walk you through it. And, shock of shock, it’s easy! 

  
Blaise has shared in my excitement over this book, and I was delighted to share with him the picture artist Marilyn Witt created of a delicious sugar cream pie on the cover. So with his permission, I gave him a cameo role in the book. 

There was one other recipe that I simply had to share with readers this go-around. It’s called Katherine’s Date Swirls. These cookies come from my Union County childhood when afamily friend in our church made these as a thank-you Christmas treat for my father, who was a farmer-school-bus driver. As a kid, I thought these were the best cookies I had ever eaten. And guess what? I still think that. The secret is using black walnut pieces.

I found the recipe in that same local church cookbook that I mentioned above, and called Katherine’s daughter, Pat Buell. Pat said her late mother would be delighted to know I am using her recipe and gave her full blessing for me to print it. I adapted the recipe a bit from how it was written, trying the recipe out a few times, and adjusted it accordingly for my own clarity, and hopefully yours. But let me tell you it is ALL-Katherine in taste and deed, and the cookies are one of those few things in life that taste exactly as I remember them.

Pat shared that these were her mother’s signature cookies. She was known for them, and they went all over the world—shipped by her mother to servicemen. Katherine hulled her own black walnuts, gathering the encased nut meats from trees on their farm. If you’ve never dealt with black walnuts from their source, let me tell you this is no easy task. With apologies to Pat and Katherine, I purchased mine from small bags in the grocery store on the baking aisle.

There are other recipes in the book, ones I would be glad to unpack in a future blog. Please know that the book is a novel with recipes—and not a cookbook with a story. Yet each of the recipes is part of the bigger overall picture, and I’ve seasoned them into the plot.

Here’s an idea: Why not host a book club and for the wrap-up party, have a pitch-in meal featuring the book’s recipes? And invite me. If you are meeting in Indiana, and I can possibly get there, I will gladly come and be happy to discuss the book with you. Maybe we can talk Blaise into coming too, who knows?

Meanwhile, consider picking up a copy. The print version is up on Amazon, the Kindle edition is coming any day now, copies will be available from me at The Courier-Times in New Castle on and after Monday, May 16, or email me for details on signing and mailing you a copy.

Meanwhile, put on the tea kettle, enjoy a cup of Twinings Green Tea with Lemon (my favorite flavor) or your own. Wouldn’t a slice of pie be just the thing with it?

  
Donna Cronk would love to hear from you. Contact her at newsgirl.1958@gmail.com. Like her author Facebook page at Donna Cronk. Visit her blog at http://www.donnacronk.com. She has a program perfect for women’s groups of many kinds called “Bloom Before You Are Planted.” Ask her about booking a date.

Thank you again Donna for thinking of me in developing the sugar cream pie recipe in your book and for blessing everyone with your multitude of talents. It’s an honor and privilege to know you. -Blaise

Chew This – Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce

Happy “Chew This” Sunday! As many of you know I have a food column in “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sunday’s each month. I love sharing my stories and recipes with everyone and this Sunday is no exception. Who doesn’t love pizza? Have you ever tried making homemade pizza dough and sauce? It’s not as hard as you might think – and far superior to anything you could buy. Try it – and let me know what you think! So easy and so delicious…

  
Homemade pizza and tomato sauce 

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_b2e8dd20-6f59-5c26-b194-081504123e72.html

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/zMZ2THs

Blaise the Baker: Book Club Selection – The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

I just HAVE to share this book with everyone! I’ve read it at least three times, and each time I’ve read it, I get something different from it. It’s a beautiful, lyrical, strange – yet mystical read that I’m highly recommending! I love Aimee Bender (author of “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”) and this collection of short stories really showcases her talent. Pick up a copy – buy a copy – rent a copy – share a copy – and let me know what you think – here or at blaisethebaker@gmail.com Can’t wait to hear from you all! Join me here – http://facebook.com/blaisethebakerbookclub

Chew This – Simply Fried Morel Mushrooms

Happy “Chew This” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” newspaper on the first and third Sunday’s each month. I highly recommend you pick up a paper copy, check it out and let me know what you think. You can also subscribe to the online edition – and check out my column there. Either way be sure to check it out and for those who already do – thank you! 

(“The Courier-Times” website here – http://thecouriertimes.com)

My column this week is about morel mushrooms (it is that time of year) and how to simply fry them. What is your favorite way of eating these hard to find treats?  I would love to hear from all of you! Email me here – blaisethebaker@gmail.com and let me know! 

Here is my favorite way (and my family’s too)…

  
Simply Fried Morel Mushrooms

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_c9ecedbb-dee5-5143-b258-56d705669514.html

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/ei6lfSE