Thursday, September 18, 2014

Milk and Honey Poppy Seed Muffins #Improv

After totally neglecting the Improv challenge for the last few months, I am happy to say that I'm back in the saddle!  For those not in the know, the Improv challenge is a fun way for us to play with our food. Each month our fabulous new leader, Lesa from Edesia's Notebook, provides us with two ingredients with which to make marvelous creations. This month our theme is Milk and Honey...such a tasty combo! Interested in participating? Go ahead and visit Edesia's don't even need a blog.

How fitting is it that my husband brought home a carton of Almond Milk with a Hint of Honey?!

 I honestly didn't know what I was going to make until I started gathering my ingredients. Of course there was honey, but I also grabbed a bottle of poppy seed and some frosted flakes. Muffins were in the works!

Milk and Honey Poppy Seed Muffins

Milk and Honey Poppy Seed Muffins


  • 1 cup milk or almond milk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup crushed frosted flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.; line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the milk, eggs, coconut oil, extracts, and honey. Stir in the poppy seed and allow to soak for 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir until just moistened (batter will be lumpy). Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Sprinkle the frosted flakes over the muffin tops.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 45 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Total time: 65 mins.

The cornflakes give the muffins a little crunch....

Perfect for breakfast!

Or dessert...

Check out what everyone else has made with Milk and Honey!

***CORRECTION made from original post ---should be 1 egg, not 2!****

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hot and Sweet Refrigerator Pickles's been two months since my last post! I'm not quite sure how that happened, but hasn't the summer gone by really quickly this year? It's hard to believe it's September.  There are still a few reminders of summer with the most visible being a huge box of zucchini and cucumbers sitting in the corner of my kitchen......

The challenge is what to do with all of this good stuff but since I have procrastinated for two years on a post about refrigerator pickles, that is where I will begin.

Let's begin by saying that I don't can food...never have and probably never will. But, this is different. It's easy. And it's tasty. And since I learned how to do it, I will do it every year.

Hot and Sweet Pickles (adapted from Kate in the Kitchen)

1 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 T Kosher salt
1 t. celery seed
1 t. mustard seed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2-3 jalapeno peppers, sliced
5-6 medium cucumbers, sliced

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seed, and mustard seed in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar and salt. In the mean time, layer 2 quart jars with the onion, peppers, and cucumber slices, packing well (the pickles will shrink). Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers and screw the tops on the jars. Cool slightly, then shake to distribute, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Do you like it hot? Add a few more peppers. Garlicky? Throw a few garlic cloves in there.

We love them on burgers (beef or veggie), but they are also good right out of the jar....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burgers and a Giveaway #RGParty

I don't know about you, but I'm still recuperating from the July 4th weekend...I've got quite the food hangover. The weather was perfect here...just right for grilling. Doesn't food just taste better on the grill? I actually had a little help with my burgers this weekend. Red Gold Tomatoes sent me a little grilling package to liven them up! Am I lucky or what?!

Look at this cute little six pack of diced tomatoes...and I scored an apron and some recipes, too!

Red Gold Tomatoes just kicked off their Summer Grillin' Party part II. What does this mean for you? Just head on over to their Facebook Page and enter for a chance to win a Big Green Egg (!) or one of 4000 aprons that will be given away!

Of course, that's not all. Red Gold was nice enough to offer one of my readers a grilling kit just like the one pictured above, complete with an apron and a slew of great recipes. I'll give you the details in just a bit. First, I'd like to share this awesome recipe for Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burgers. 

This is easy peasy...brush on a little pesto and stuff 'em with some diced tasty!

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger

Red Gold Tomatoes

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger

Fresh veggies fill this wonderful meatless burger. Made with Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil.


  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps, stem and gills removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Oil, drained very well
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 whole wheat buns


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine olive oil, pesto, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Brush each mushroom cap with the oil mixture.
  2. Grill mushroom caps, rounded side up, for about 4 minutes. While cooking, combine bell pepper, 2/3 of the Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil, and spinach in a mixing bowl. turn mushrooms over and fill with tomato mixture. Cover and grill for 3 more minutes. Place a piece of cheese on each mushroom, covering tomatoes, and grill 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  3. Place a whole wheat bun that has been spread with Garlic Aioli--1/4 cup light mayonnaise and 1/3 cup Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil, drained.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 20 mins.

For the carnivores in the group, I made some Spicy Tomato Burgers. I ate both versions....

For the Spicy Tomato Burgers, simply mix a well-drained can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles with one pound of ground beef.

And now for the giveaway! Simply leave a comment telling me which of the Red Gold Burger recipes is your favorite. You can find the recipes right here: Burger Recipes. Then register your email address with the Rafflecopter widget (no one else will see it). I'll have Rafflecopter randomly choose a winner on Sunday, July 13th  Tuesday, July 15th. Contest will end on Monday, July 14th at 11:59 PM CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given some product, recipes, and an apron. All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sugar Cream Cake aka Gooey Butter Cake

Just in time for July 4th.....

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of dining at Bonge's Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana. It was an awesome meal followed by an awesome dessert---a dessert I had never heard of before--- Sugar Cream Cake topped with a warm blueberry sauce. Oh. My. I have been wanting to reproduce that cake ever since. I do procrastinate however, so it wasn't until this week that I actually Googled the words "sugar cream cake".  The resulting recipe is a mash-up of my Google search. I have no idea if it even comes close to the recipe Bonge's Tavern has on their menu. But dang it's good. 

I made a special trip to the grocery store before work just to get blueberries, because that's how I had to be red, white, and blue......

It didn't take long for someone to point out to me that my "Sugar Cream Cake" looked strikingly similar to a Gooey Butter Cake. Sure enough, the recipes are nearly identical, but for the name. In St. Louis it's Gooey Butter Cake. In Perkinsville Indiana, it's Sugar Cream Cake. The most perplexing thing? I've never made either one of them before. Serious oversight on my part.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..."

Sugar Cream Cake

Sugar Cream Cake

Slightly crisp around the edges, with a gooey center that's almost pudding-like, this Sugar Cream Cake is perfect for any celebration!


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.; grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, butter, and 2 of the eggs. Batter will be thick. Spread on the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Beat together the remaining eggs, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the top of the crust.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is starting to brown. Cool completely. Serve with topping of your choice.
Yield: 24
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 40 mins.
Total time: 50 mins.

The fresh fruit and real whipped cream compliment the gooey sweetness....imagine what else you could top this with...plain, with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, cranberries for the winter months, grilled pineapple for a tropical twist...the possibilities are endless!

Happy Independence Day, America!