HAVE YOU AMTRAK-ED YET?

I knew it was going to be a long day but I was all excited with my very first AMTRAK ride.

Tracy Robinson, Amtrak Representative walked with us (Andre Ledgister of Images USA for Amtrak, freelance writer Marylu Laffey, me and Glenn Turner) to Empire Builder. And when we got cleared for boarding, Tracy bid us a safe journey, “Oh I can’t wait to hear your stories!”. At 2:15 p.m. “ALL ABOARD” was announced…I smiled and winked at Glenn, “Honey, this is going to be a fun-filled memorable journey!”. Writer-photographer Gary Knowles later joined us at Madison, Wisconsin train stop.

There’s a chef aboard Amtrak…

There is always a chef on board Amtrak, and I was so eager to do a unique one-on-one chat with charming Chef Scott Edwards for the Celebr-EAT-y Circle. Glenn had to adjust himself with the camera positioning first (on a moving train…that is tough I must say). What’s for dinner? Chef Scott’s choices for entrees…grilled flat iron steaks, grilled Mahimahi with Mushroom morel sauce, or baked Lamb shank. I was really expecting a “fastfood” treat for his reply, so I could only say “Wow”. And the dessert to dive in? Delicate and Divine Key Lime Crumb Cake (and great with a freshly-squeezed from an orange). He gave me a hint on how cake is made, so I came up with my own, and making this always brings me back fun memories aboard Amtrak. Really, Amtrak is a great way to FLY.

JUST LIKE AMTRAK’S KEY LIME CRUMB CAKE

Cake Layer:

zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

4 large eggs

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix

1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix

1 1/4 cups water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Crumb Layer:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pam-spray a 13×9-inch pan; set aside.

Combine all cake layer ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat using electric mixer at medium speed until well-combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking powder with a fork. Cut butter until crumbly, using a pastry blender. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve with fresh orange wedges.

Not really bored, but I just had to take snapshots….