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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.