Friday, August 1, 2014

Mustard Marinade Steaks

August 2nd is National Mustard Day and as you'll recall I recently toured the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin and have felt more inspired to use mustard in my kitchen more.  And, mustard is a great seasoning to pair with the natural flavors of lamb.  So I'm sharing a recipe for Mustard Marinade on Lamb Steaks, but you can easily substitute beef or chicken for this recipe and still be pleased with the end results.
I'm also happy to be using Best Boy & Co.  Mustard in this recipe as they are made here in Indiana and this mustard won the 2014 Gold Medal for Stone Ground Mustard.  This mustard has a little bit of a kick to it and is sure to tickle your taste buds.  Best Boy & Co. Mustard is an Indiana Artisan product hand crafted with amazing flavors and proceeds from the sales of all Best Boy & Co. products go to local charities so not only are you getting a great tasting product you are also giving back.  To find out where you can purchase Best Boy & Co or to order online, please visit their website.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Butterscotch Coffee Cake

When I was young we had a Cocker Spaniel as our family dog named Butterscotch.  Well actually, he was a registered Cocker Spaniel so his full name was "Bingo Bet-It-All Butterscotch", but we called him Butterscotch for short.  And he was a beautiful golden red color that looked just like Butterscotch and he had the perfect temperament for little kids.  And he liked cats, which is somewhat unusual for a dog, but they always got along great.  I hadn't thought about that dog for a long time, but when I saw this recipe for a Butterscotch Coffee Cake.... I first thought that sounded delicious and one that I had to make... and then I thought about our old dog.

Butterscotch is one of those flavors that I don't feel gets used often enough.  It has such a rich and creamy flavor on it's own that there's no reason it can't be paired more with other flavors and used more often.  You will love how great cinnamon taste with the butterscotch in this recipe and be asking for a second piece to go with your morning latte'.  I found this recipe in the new Gooseberry Patch Cookbook... 303 Simple and Satisfying Recipes. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crock Pot Chocolate Twinkies Bread Pudding

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Moms Central Consulting on behalf of Twinkies.  I received samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

On average Hostess produces 500 million Twinkies annually.  Twinkies have been around for 84 years and you have to admit they are the perfect size for a lunchbox, or afternoon snack or used to make those infamous strawberry shortcakes with. 

But today I want to tell you that the Hostess brand is looking for fun and inventive Twinkies inspired recipes for the new edition of their The Twinkies Cookbook.  Think of Twinkies Ice Cream Cake, Bundt Cakes or Twinkies Banana's Foster as some sample ideas. If you have a great idea for a recipe that involves using Twinkies then visit and submit your recipe by July 31st for your chance to be listed in new edition coming out in 2015, which is actually the 85th Anniversary of the Twinkies. 
So for my new and fun Twinkies Recipe I thought about what cake and filling taste good with.  I thought about what flavors of cake I like.  Then for some reason I thought about my crock pot.  And that thought got me thinking of warm and gooey good things which lead me to thinking about Bread Pudding.  So for my Twinkies recipe I choose to use my crock pot and bake up a new version of bread pudding..... a chocolate bread pudding.... a Chocolate Twinkies Bread Pudding.  And, I have to admit Ott, E said it best after he sampled this new dessert... "As if Twinkies weren't sweet enough on their own... you've gone and made them sweeter."  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gooseberry Patch's Slow Cooker Fall Favorites Giveaway

While my week of baking bread in canning jars in the crock pot has come to a close.  I must admit I had great success with these recipes, got to put my canning jars to good use and came up with some fun ideas for gifts.  Hopefully you will be able to pick out a recipe that meets your tastes and give one of these a try as well.  Using the crock pot to bake bread still gave my kitchen that wonderful homemade smell, but without all the heat that the oven can put out.  And, while I focused on only the bread recipes I have to tell you that there is a lot of variety to Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook... Slow Cooker Fall Favorites.    
The chapters are broken down into Breakfast, Tailgating Appetizers & Drinks, Soups & Stews, Main Entree's & Sides and Desserts.  Plus there is a small section of short stories reminiscing Autumn traditions and events.  And just like every Gooseberry Patch cookbook there lots of great tips and cute artwork to inspire your own homemade creations.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crock Pot Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Today is my third and final recipe that I'm sharing for bread baked in canning jars in your crock pot and I must say the flavor in this loaf is probably my favorite out of the three.  The banana flavors work well with the chocolate and I love using biscuit mix instead of flour in the recipe as I think it gives the bread a richer flavor.   

As I mentioned I've been sharing recipes all week out of the new Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Slow Cooker Fall Favorites.  Tomorrow I will be giving a copy away on this blog to one lucky reader so be sure to stop back by and sign up for your chance to win!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Bread in Jars

And here is my 2nd crock pot bread in a jar recipe for.... Apple Cinnamon Bread.  If you'll recall this week I'm baking bread in canning jars in my crock pot to keep my kitchen nice and cool here in the summer months.  And the recipes are out of the new Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Fall Favorites Cookbook.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for another recipe and then at the end of the week we will be giving a copy away to one lucky Latte' Drinker (aka reader).

These little loaves are the perfect size and idea for a small gift basket.  To make the package more appealing simply wrap the loaf in wax paper and tie a ribbon around it.  Pair it with a jar of homemade Crock Pot Apple Butter and a little spreader, place in a basket and your friend or neighbor will love the thoughtfulness of this gift and the tastiness of it as well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crock Pot Pumpkin Bread

I can safely say I never dreamed I'd be using canning jars to bake bread in.  Let alone use canning jars to bake bread in a crock pot, but here I am.  I was flipping through the pages of the new Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Fall Favorites cookbook and saw these autumn recipes for bread baked in the crock pot.  And while some of the recipes are baked right in the crock pot a couple of the recipes were baked in canning jars in the crock pot giving you nice sized loaves to eat, freeze or give away as gifts.  So with a little hesitation I mixed up the batter, poured it into wide mouth jars, covered and baked and as you can see below the bread turned out great.  They turned out so great, that I am baking up crock pot canning jar bread loaves all week long and sharing the recipes here on the blog.  And at the end of the week I'll be giving away a copy of this brand new cookbook.  
The loaves come out of the jars with ease and taste great and are sure to hit the spot this fall.  The mixes make a couple of loaves so you can eat them right away or share with a friend or neighbor.  Just think how cute these loaves would look in a gift basket.  And by using the crock pot my kitchen stays nice and cool without firing up the oven.  So without further ado... here is the recipe for Crock Pot Pumpkin Bread (with chocolate chips)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Touring the National Mustard Museum

It's surprising how many times over the past few years, while I'm making small talk with people and I mention that my husband is from Wisconsin.... the destinations and locations people reference.  I couldn't even begin to count the number of times various people tell me about little places, restaurants, museums, parks and other random touristy type places that they have been to or enjoyed visiting when they were in Wisconsin last. Numerous times I've heard "the next time you are up there you need to go to...."  And it ranges from everything like microbreweries to festivals, landmarks and even little mom and pop chocolate shops. So I feel it only fair to warn you that I have a Wisconsin Bucket List.  Yes, that's right.  I have compiled a list of places to see in Wisconsin and when they turn out to be really great places then I figured I would share them with you on the blog and today I am sharing Number 17 on my list....the National Mustard Museum.
Now I have quite the fondness for ketchup but a museum dedicated to mustard... with a gift shop and tasting bar??????   This I had to check out!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spy Themed VBS Decorations & Crafts

We recently got done with VBS at our church and I thought I would share some of the decorations and craft ideas I had the kids do; as they could easily be done for any spy themed party or craft project.  I had Kindergartners and our classroom was called the Laboratory, because any good detective knows the lab is where most of the clues are discovered.  For room decorations I choose the James Bond opening sequence swirl for signage with cute messages like "Restricted Area" "Authorized Personnel Only" "Top Secret" and "Security Clearance Required." I used red and black as my colors and had red and black balloons hanging from the ceiling. There were pictures of test tubes, beakers, microscopes and magnifying glasses on the wall. 
Each day one student got to reach through the "laser beams" to open the safe to find that days clues and evidence.  I used bungee cords and a ho-la-hoop for the make believe lasers and a safe which opened by pushing a button to store our "confidential documents" in.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Green Bean Delivery & Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

Zucchini!  In a cake!  With Chocolate!!!
Yes, Please!!!!!
Now what if I told you that Zucchini could be delivered right to your doorstep?!?!

Well today I'm sharing a recipe for Ott, E's favorite all time cake... Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake.  I am not joking when I tell you I make this cake at least 5 or 6 times a year for him.  But before I get to that let me tell you about a local food delivery service that you can subscribe to and receive a one-time discount just for being one of my Latte' drinkers (aka reader).

Green Bean Delivery brings organic foods sourced from Midwest farmers and artisans (whenever possible) directly to your home.  The company provides a year round subscription service so residents can enjoy fresh produce with ease.  As much as I love visiting the local farmers market sometimes their hours are not convenient with my schedule and Green Bean Delivery makes it easy to get on line, select the items and amounts you desire and then have it delivered right to you.  While they offer seasonal produce, additional items such as meats and eggs can be purchased as well.  Green Bean Delivery is currently offered in select locations in Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky.
I was happy to see this green bin arrive at my doorstep and inside found a cooler and ice pack with my order that I could customize to meet my family's taste and preferences.  While this time of year kale, onions and lettuce were offered, I deleted those items and doubled up on the strawberries and blueberries.  So for $35 I recieved 1 cantaloupe, 1 garlic bulb, 1 lb. of green beans, 2 (6 inch) zucchini, 24 oz. of red potatoes, 12 oz. of blueberries, 1 lb. of red grapes and 1 lb. of strawberries.  The zucchini, green beans and potatoes were all locally grown.  And the zucchini was used in my cake recipe which I'll get to if you keep on reading...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pool Party Punch

Every now and then you need a go to punch recipe, whether it's for a bridal shower, birthday party, or just a family get together and here is a great recipe to use.  I found the recipe in Gooseberry Patch's Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook and I'm drinking them out of these new Mason Jar drinking glasses from Ball.

The Ball Drinking Mason Jar Glasses come in two sizes; 16 oz. with a regular mouth lid and 24 oz. with a wide mouth lid.  Both glasses have a handle and the traditional Ball jar markings and rings at the top for lids. And while you can drink out of the jar very easily just like any other glass, Ball makes straws and Sip lids for these drinking glasses.  Simply use your traditional rings to hold the lids in place and stick your straw down inside for a country style drink.
The lids and straws can also be used with regular canning jars as well and are sold for both regular mouth and wide mouth jars.  They are BPA free and I found the straws to be a heavy duty plastic and to be white with a green stripe. These jars are sold 4 to a box and are sure to add some country charm to your evening dinner table or next get together.
 And now for the drink recipe...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Italian Hamburgers with Red Gold Tomatoes

I'm partnering with Red Gold again to bring you a great summer burger recipe you can make on the grill that contains... what else but Red Gold Tomatoes?!?!  And also, your chance to win a Red Gold Prize Pack. 
Red Gold is hosting the Summer Grilling Party II from June 25th through July 23rd on Facebook.  Simply like their FB page and be entered to win one of 4,000 Red Gold Red Aprons or their grand prize of a Big Green Egg Grill.  Each week they release new Red Gold Burger recipes featuring all their great line of canned tomato products.  And here is a version of one of their recipes that I am sharing for Italian Hamburgers.
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