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betteirene  Old-Fashioned Apple Spice Cake

Betteirene, a cake decorator living in Washington, started cooking for her family at the age of 12, later honing her skills as a truck stop cook (where she surely perfected her Four-Season Flapjack Stacks), a cafe pastry chef (as evidenced by her Raspberry Mocha Latte Cake), and a home cook for her six sons.

While raising her children she grew her own vegetables and even had chickens (if you ask real nice, she'll show you how to butcher one), so seasonal cooking was a top priority. You can almost smell fall in the air when reading her recipe for Old-Fashioned Apple Spice Cake or sage-drenched Harvest Stuffing, and her Turkey Pot Pie is the ideal meal for those cold winter months. 

Now a grandmother of seven, she volunteers in a community garden and is occasionally a freelance journalist. Oh, and in all that spare time of hers, she's also helping people out of cooking predicaments on Foodpickle on a regular basis. Her thoughtful contributions made her one of the first Foodpicklers of the Week we announced, earning her both bragging rights and a spiffy Viking Professional Hand Mixer. See betteirene's profie page and fan her here.

Read betteirene's profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Dinuguan, a Filipino dish that's made of pork and pig's blood.
  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Besides leftovers? Fish, because no one else here eats it unless it's deep fried.
  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    The Ecko Eterna bread knife that I grew up with, which means it's more than 50 years old.
  • Your ideal meal:
    Garlic-studded, Kosher-salted and coated with cracked pepper prime rib roasted to medium raw; an $18-$20 cabernet sauvignon; popovers; roasted broccoli or green beans; sliced tomato from my garden with a drizzle of creamy garlic mayo and a few shavings of parmesan or asiago; chocolate cheesecake with coffee.
  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    Something with white truffles. I've never had them.
  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    Two right now. I buy two, maybe three bottles a month. Egad! I've never owned a wine rack!
  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    Not cleaning up as you go along--it makes me crazy when utensils, pans, and bowls are piled up all around me.
  • Your favorite cookbook:
    From Julia Child's Kitchen, followed by Mastering, then Dorie Greenspan's Baking book, then Beard on Bread--I love cookbook authors who teach, who root for you to cook as good as they do.


    💬 View Comments ()

    Comments (10)


    almost 5 years ago betteirene

    Thanks very much, all of you. I just have so much fun with food, and I love hanging out with you because you seem to have fun in the kitchen, too. Now that the kids are grown and gone and the youngest granchild is in school, I have all kinds of time to stick my nose into your kitchens!

    Yup, all the boys cook and none of them uses instant rice. One is a current professional, another gave up being a hospital cook for a boring government job. My oldest grandaughter is working at Denny's to help pay for college; she's majoring in English and keeps a journal, and I expect her to write the next "Kitchen Confidential." My second-oldest took cake decorating classes a couple years ago at Michael's when she was in eighth grade and now makes those asymmetrical, boldly-colored cakes for friends' birthdays, but she doesn't think culinary school is in her future. The youngest ones help plant, tend, harvest and cook what we've grown.

    I just love the whole food52 concept and the willingness of this community to share. I know a lot about food, but there's so much more to learn, and you all have been such great teachers. Before I "met" you, I didn't know that ginger, cilantro and saffron could be put in the same dish (Sonali's Moroccan chicken); that the smoothest, creamiest, most fully-flavored homemade ice cream I've ever made didn't require eggs, an ice cream maker or stirring every half hour (Merrill's lime ice cream); that Mario Batali is the father of one of Amada's twins (coolest Halloween costume ever! Mark Bittman this year?). Thanks to all you cooks, A&M and everyone behind the scenes at food52, for making it so difficult to decide what to make for dinner. Such a cauldron of creativity here!

    A&M--Except for "No Reservations" and a couple of episodes of "Good Eats," your videos better than the current cooking shows on TV. Period.


    almost 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

    Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

    Betteirene, it's so nice to see you spotlighted. I've made several of your recipes and they are all just as delicious as they *read*. I'm in awe - six kids, so many accomplishments and now all those adorable grandkids in the picture? How cute are they? Thank you for all your contributions to this community.


    almost 5 years ago drbabs

    Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

    Congratulations, betteirene, and thank you for being such an active participant. I have learned a lot from you.


    almost 5 years ago gingerroot

    Great to see you here in the spotlight, I have been in awe of all your knowledgeable foodpickle answers!


    almost 5 years ago Midge

    A great spotlight. That apple spice cake does sound amazing.


    almost 5 years ago aargersi

    Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

    SIX BOYS? You truly are a wonder woman! I have been eyeing that apple spice cake for months, I need to make it! CONGRATS on the spotlight - well deserved indeed!!!!!


    almost 5 years ago cheese1227

    Wow, six boys!!! Do they cook? Trying to get my son (only one) into the kitchen other than to eat, but he's not having it.


    almost 5 years ago lapadia

    Congratulations on being in the cook spotlight, betteirene and thanks for sharing on Food52!


    almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

    Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

    So nice to see you in the spotlight, betteirene!


    almost 5 years ago dymnyno

    Congratulations! I have enjoyed your great foodpickle answers too.