Saturday, July 24, 2010

Too Hot to Cook? Kellogg's™ Has Some New Products!

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I am, on occasion, sent samples of new products to try. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard that I would be receiving a sample of Eggo's™ Fruit Pizza....somehow, I thought it would be a waffle with fruit. And, I was certain that I would get a coupon for it. So, imagine my surprise when I came home from work all hot, grumpy and sweaty, to find a huge box on my doorstep. Inside, were two (small in relationship to the box) fruit waffles at all....and a big pile of dry ice to keep it all frozen. One pizza was topped with mixed berries and one with strawberries, and the fruit (yes, it was real fruit) was mixed with granola and was on top of a berry flavored yogurt and a cinnamon/maple flavored crust. Now, I know this product is intended for breakfast, but keep in mind that I had come home all hot and grumpy. This was going to be a nice little snack.

Check out the pretty frozen blueberries...I almost ate this with out heating it up. The description told of  a nice, warm toasted granola, however, so I gave in...and popped it in the microwave.

I'm glad I heated it...the fruit was much better all warm and juicy. Next time, I might try baking it in the oven to get a crispier crust...the microwave left this one a bit rubbery. It was a tasty, little snack, however, and at 390 calories, it wouldn't make a bad breakfast. Unfortunately, the strawberry version mysteriously disappeared from the freezer when I wasn't looking......

The next package to arrive contained two boxes of Kellogg's™ FiberPlus™ Antioxidants Cereals:

Who doesn't need extra fiber, right? Well, maybe my husband, but we won't go there....

This I did save for breakfast, although I have been known to eat cold cereal for dinner.

This cereal has gotten some flack for having a few artificial ingredients (OK, a lot of artificial ingredients), but the good news is that the first ingredient is a whole grain (we won't mention that the second ingredient is sugar). I liked it, regardless. The product has 40 % of my daily requirements for fiber...and tastes a heck of a lot better than a bowl of twigs. At 160 calories, I'm not going to get fat from it, and it has a nice list of vitamins (I know, I know...synthetic vitamins, but vitamins, nonetheless). In my opinion, it is lot better choice than a starchy bagel or carb-laden sweet roll.

I tried the Berry Yogurt Crunch, and my husband had the Cinnamon Oat Crunch. I liked the flavor of mine (a slight aftertaste, from some of the artificial flavorings, no doubt) and Pete liked his, too. I snuck a taste of reminded me of Apple Jacks.

In the end, I will definitely buy the cereal. I may or may not buy the fruit good as it is, I have a hard time with the rubbery crust...but it may be worth a try in the oven once the weather cools down. If you are interested, I believe you will find them in the frozen section with the other breakfast foods. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, I was all about rhubarb. You may remember that I talked about how my co-worker's sister kept me well-supplied. In fact, I still have two freezer bags full of the stuff (it will be nice to make something nice and spring-like sometime this fall or winter). Well, one recipe that I didn't share was for a little invention of mine that I had entered into the Gold Medal® Flour Recipe Contest. Guess what? My recipe was a runner up! Now I get to share:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cupcakes

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk

1. In 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook strawberries, rhubarb, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon butter, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled.

2. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. In small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder and salt; set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons strawberry mixture for frosting. In another small bowl, stir together remaining strawberry mixture, 1/3 cup milk and the vanilla.

3. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup softened butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until blended. Add half the flour mixture then half of the strawberry mixture, beating well after each addition. Repeat with remaining flour and strawberry mixtures. (Batter will be thick.) Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

I added a little bit of red food coloring...something about cooking strawberries and rhubarb makes the color a little dull.

4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

5. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon softened butter and the reserved 2 tablespoons strawberry mixture with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and enough milk until frosting is of desired spreading consistency. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.

The last time I made the frosting, it didn't need the extra milk. I added a little red food coloring to this, as well.

Pink cupcakes are the cutest!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blondies....the "un" Brownie

It was sometime last year that my friend Shane (Culinary Alchemy), over at BakeSpace, posted a recipe for his delectable blondies. It kinda went viral..... at least it did with the folks we chat with at BakeSpace. I was a little unsure about them, however, since I'm a brownie lover..... I wasn't so sure I would like something so un-chocolate. Michele (My Italian Grandmother)  added some chocolate chips and called them "Blondies with Low Lights" and raved over them. Finally, I broke down and made a batch....and another....and another. Guess what? I like them better than brownies. Who'd a thunk it? Check out Shane's original blog post: Blondies- The UN-Chocolate "Brownie"  I almost followed his recipe:


Printable Recipe


3/4 cup Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Dark brown Sugar
2 Large eggs
1 large Egg Yolk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 cups AP Flour
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
(optional) 1/4 cup Heath Toffee Chips


Line a 13x9 pan with parchment.

The parchment paper is critical. Let it hang over the edge of the pan, so you can lift them out, cut them, and put them back in to store. I don't know about you, but I always have a problem with the parchment paper curling up, so I spray the bottom of the pan with some cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauce pan, melt butter.

Stir in the brown sugars, stirring until "melted' and the mixture just begins to bubble (This is similar to making a Pecan pie)---heed the "just begins to bubble" part. If it cooks too long, your blondies will be as hard as a rock.

Oops...I only had light brown sugar so I added a tablespoon of molasses. It's OK if you use all of one kind of brown sugar....I've made them both ways---both yummy.

Whisk eggs and yolks together with Vanilla.

Pour in the eggs in a steady stream, while whisking constantly to prevent scrambling.

OK...I did have a few scrambled eggs in there. It was all good in the end.

In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.

Fold Flour into the egg mixture.

Fold in Pecans and toffee chips (if using)

Here's where I differed just a bit from the recipe. I used about a cup and a half of pecans and I used about a cup chocolate covered toffee bits. Subtle "low lights" , if you will.

Spread into the pan.

Bake 35-40 minutes (5 minutes less for dark pans)

Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Lift via parchment and cut when cooled.

If I'm bringing these to work, I put them back into my pan and cover with the lid. no one puts knife marks in your pan if they are already cut. :)

I guarantee you'll be making these again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Carolina Peach Sangria

The dog days of summer just aren't complete without a refreshing drink. I've decided the the refreshing drink of the month should be sangria, so here is what I found. Simple, pretty to look at, and really, really tasty. We can thank Southern Living for this recipe:

Carolina Peach Sangria
Link to Original Recipe

1 (750-milliliter) bottle rosé wine*
3/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup peach nectar
6 tablespoons thawed frozen lemonade concentrate
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pound ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 (6-oz.) package fresh raspberries
2 cups club soda, chilled

Stir together all of the ingredients, except the club soda. Cover and chill for 8 hours. Stir in the club soda right before serving.

*The only change I made was to use a white Merlot for the wine.

I didn't think to take the picture before I poured the wine in the pitcher. Let the sangria chill for about 8 hours before adding the club soda. Oh...and make a double batch because you'll want more. Minnesotans may want to plan this out ahead of time since the peaches are a still a little hard. Ripen them for a few days in a brown paper bag.

The leftover wine soaked fruit is delicious!