Thursday, March 28, 2013

Honey Mustard Eggs and a Spring Giveaway Winner

My Mom got me started on this experiment.
In Ohio they serve these mustard flavored eggs at restaurant salad bars and I have a brother that really, really likes them. So, Mom was trying to create them at home but wasn't quite satisfied with the results she came up with. We both didn't want to add food coloring but the color just didn't come out right with only mustard in there. I happened upon an article online that used Tumeric to color Easter Eggs. I thought, hmm, why not? 
So I tried it. Perfect!
Adds flavor, color, and health benefits. Win win! :) I also opted to use honey as a sweetener instead of the sugar that Mom had used. You know, for more health benefits, and because Honey Mustard in the title sounded more fun. ha
We eat a lot of hard boiled eggs at our house and everyone enjoys the red beet flavored ones. I like the flavor of these and my Husband gave them a thumbs up too. If he's happy, I'm happy! :)
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup champagne vinegar
1½ cups honey
1 Tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt
1½ dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
I used the two different vinegars only because I didn't have 2 cups of white. All white would be fine.
Put all ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until honey is dissolved, stirring occasionally. (This concoction has a very strong flavor, but once the eggs absorb it the flavor tames quite a bit.) Pour over hard boiled eggs and place into refrigerator for at least a day, preferably several days, before serving. This gives the eggs time to absorb flavor and color.
Congratulations to the Spring Giveaway Winner!
Eunice B.
Please send your mailing address to me @ so I can send your gift on it's way! :)
We plan to spend the weekend with family celebrating a 16th and a 9th birthday for two very special people. I wish for each of you a special Easter weekend! See you next week!

Linking to;
Home Sweet Home
Weekend Show Off
Foodie Friday

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baked Blueberry Yogurt with Greek Yogurt/Lemon Curd Topping

Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning! Very beautiful!!
Buuut, still felt the need for some indulgent fortification... and I still had some of this amazing Lemon Curd in the fridge... and I had Greek Yogurt. So indeed why not?!
I posted this Blueberry Baked Oatmeal first a couple of years ago but have since changed it a bit by simply omitting the sugar that I mixed with the blueberries. Big, fat, ripe blueberries need no help from sugar. They are delicious as is. And I had some just like that in my freezer. They are scrumptious as a frozen snack too, just by themselves. :)
I only made an individual serving, well I could have shared it, but there was no one here to share it with, and its always best when its fresh and warm, right? :)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
Cream together with a fork until light.
 1 egg
Mix well.
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ cup quick oats
(alternately with)
¼ cup milk
just until blended.
Cover the bottom of a small individual sized baking dish with a single layer of blueberries and pour the oatmeal mixture on top. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Mix 1 small container Greek Yogurt with a Tablespoon or so of the Lemon Curd. Place a dollop on top of the baked oatmeal and enjoy.
Stop in here to enter the Spring Giveaway :) and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fresh Herb and Green Onion Sandwich Bread and a Giveaway

Happy 1st Day of Spring!!

Is anyone else ready for Spring?!

The sun is shining today. It's bright and beautiful and puts a spring in my step and gives me energy!

The gray skies and the 4 walls were beginning to make me feel desperate.

So I did what any desperate woman would do in these circumstances. I went to the kitchen and started reading through my recipe collection. ha ha, okay so some women would go shopping and others, well anyway...

I've had a recipe for Herb Bread from my sister for a while but it never quite performs for me like it does for her, and I had in my stash another recipe sort of like it but with a few different ingredients. So in looking over them both for a while and thinking about how and why certain things may be added I decided to rewrite it combining the two and came up with this one.

I wanted to use fresh herbs and green onions (because those seemed more Spring-like :) and freshly milled wheat flour, because fresh ground wheat produces a softer bread.  I love the combination of Thyme and Rosemary and I had a big bunch of fresh Parsley in the fridge so I decided to use these and was very pleased with the end result of a soft, flavorful bread that was perfect for a fun sized subs for the whole family, with some extra for lunches.

1¼ Tablespoons Instant Yeast
¼ cup warm water
1½ Tablespoons Honey

Dissolve honey in warm water, stir in yeast and let sit until yeast dissolves and is foamy on top.

1½ Tablespoons Butter
4½ Tablespoons Green Onions, finely chopped

Sauté till onion is tender then add:

3 Tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped
1½ Tablespoons fresh Rosemary Leaves, chopped, stem removed
1½ Tablespoons fresh Thyme Leaves, stems removed

Stir till herbs are aromatic then add:

1 cup whole milk

Stir to combine and take the chill out of the milk.

Pour into a stand mixer bowl with dough hook attachment and add:

2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
½ teaspoon Sea Salt

Stir and add:

3 1/3 cups Fresh Ground Wheat Flour (golden 86 is what I used)

I added the 3 cups then just enough of the 1/3 cup to make so that the dough was not sticky.

Divide into two equal pieces (approx. 13 oz. each) and roll out into two 9½ inch circles on a lightly dusted baking stone. Or if you prefer one large piece, combine the two and roll out to cover the entire surface of the baking stone. I've done it both ways and I liked the two smaller pieces better.

Cover with a clean dish towel and set in a warm place. I turn the oven light on when I start preparing the bread and then set it in the oven to let it rise. Allow to rise for 40 minutes. Remove the towel and with the baking stone still in the oven turn the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until browned slightly over the top. I have two ovens in my kitchen, one gas and one electric. The gas oven needed 25 minutes and the electric needed 18 minutes.

Remove from the oven and brush the top with butter and sprinkle with very fine Garlic Salt.

Allow to cool.

Cut in half horizontally and top with sandwich ingredients of your choice. For ours I mixed mayo and mustard for the spread and used lettuce (tomato and onion for me) and Off the Bone Turkey and Ham and very thin sliced Swiss Cheese. MMM, yummy!

I hope you try it and enjoy it like we did!

I thought it would be fun to share with you two things that I enjoy using in my kitchen. I love the herb scissors and these cheery, handy little spatulas. I have two sets of these (red and yellow :) and use them ALL the time! I think at least one of you will find them useful too. :)
Two ways to enter if you're interested -
1. leave a comment and let me know what you enjoy about your visits here.
2. share the giveaway on your Facebook and leave a comment to let me know you did.
Giveaway will remain open until March 27.

I appreciate y'all stopping in and 'visiting'. And I always enjoy hearing from you either in a comment or in person when you've been blessed by something posted here. You have blessed me and I thank you!

  Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I looked out the kitchen window yesterday and spotted this unusual visitor in the tree!!

A quick Google search told me it was a Peregrine Falcon. Wow! He was very much on the look out for a meal or snack.

He left when he decided the wait isn't worth it.

A few Saturdays ago Lin and I took the two youngest and headed for Longwood Gardens. It's always a mood brightener for me to go there when the weather is gray and the winter drags on. Just to smell the soil and the fresh blooming flowers, not to mention the Grapefruit Trees that were blooming! Awesome! Usually makes me feel like I might be able make it till Spring really gets here.
 Makes me want to grab a book and a blanket and bask and read :)
Love the color and the sunshine! :)

And these make me feel like I could maybe hold a bit of sunshine in my hand! The smell was wonderful!
 ♥ Serena :)

Last but not least.
I love this house! It's huge. And old. And I would love to live in it! It is the home of the man that planned and planted Longwood Gardens. And this is the house in the country that he would take his guests for weekends with his family. Don't you just love it?!

Monday, March 18, 2013


Do you love salads? We do! and the possibilities are endless! Here are a few we/I have enjoyed over the last few months.
Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard and Onion Vinaigrette

Almond Strawberry with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Red Onion Blueberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Veggie Chicken and Brown Rice Saute over Mixed Greens

Craisin and Feta Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

It depends what mood I'm in. Sometimes a salad with protein works best or sometimes one that is lighter and fruity. Sometimes the kind in the 2nd to last photo works best because it is warm... and crunchy... and is a whole meal in one. I enjoy lighter dressings and most often I simply sprinkle red wine vinegar and olive oil sweetened with stevia over my salads. The boys stick to the Homemade French dressing and eat it with just about everything, including grilled meats, on sandwiches, in wraps, etc. I'm happy to say that my husband and the boys enjoy salads as well I do. Serena is still in the "you have to eat a few lettuce leaves stage" but she'll get there. :)

I like to keep hard boiled eggs, some kind of cooked or grilled chicken, and cooked brown rice in the fridge for easy and fast meal prep. Wraps, salads, snacks, etc.

I'm putting more emphasis on 'what you eat is what you are' these days and recently my dramatic second born son was raiding the cupboards, finding nothing, and when I reminded him that the fridge is full of real food that is also fresh he let out a roar of frustration and said,"one day I'm going to wake up and there won't be anything but health food in the house"!!! Haha, to which I replied, "and 20 years from now when your buddies are all headed to the doctor for blood pressure/cholesterol band aids you will thank me. :)

I am by no means opposed to a sugary treat now and then, as is evident by the things I enjoy baking, but I do believe in teaching our kids moderation and I am a firm believer in telling them the truth about junky eating habits and where they lead to. And the truth is, if it's not in the house, no one will eat it. Snacks are difficult to train them out of after they've become attached to the junky ones, but I have found that stocking the fridge with apples and berries and veggies that they like helps a great deal. The deer jerky helps too. :) And while they might not think about it, I believe they feel much better when they choose healthier foods. And their skin stays a lot clearer when they make those better choices.

That is my health rant for the day.

Funny thing though, it's not what was on my mind at all when I sat down here to post. haha

Stop in later this week for a Spring Favorites Giveaway! :)

Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dark Chocolate Mocha Mousse Cheesecake with Roasted Macadamia Nut Shortbread Crust

I was asked to make cheesecakes for the Junior/Senior Banquet last week and one of the ladies in charge asked if I would make a mocha mousse cheesecake. I had never made one of those so she shared a recipe with me that she has used and is always well received.

After reading over it I couldn't resist putting my own spin to it. Lucky for me we were having a potluck at church that same weekend so I didn't have to wait too long to try out my ideas. (I wonder if my church friends realize that they are also my "guinea pigs"? lol)  I really enjoyed the flavor and creaminess of this cheesecake! (I also made one using her recipe for the banquet) and took my version of it to the church potluck.

The difference was the crust, the mousse, and the cheesecake layer. Well, I guess you could say I changed the whole thing! But the fun part was making both and comparing and tasting both. Both yummy, but I think I prefer mine with dark chocolate mousse instead of milk chocolate and I liked the brown sugar in the cheesecake part versus white sugar with lemon juice and rind of the other cake. Aannd, I like the shortbread crust versus the chocolate cookie crust. :) Just personal preferences, that's all. :)

I like to change things up from the regular cracker or cookie crumb crusts with short breads. I had been forming an alternative one in my mind for my next cheesecake when I found this one made for a tart. It was prepared with macadamia nuts and was more like a shortbread. Just in time!! It paired nicely with my version of this mocha cheesecake. :)

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
¼ cup white sugar
1¼ cups All Purpose Flour
5-6 Tablespoons cold Unsalted Butter,
cut into chunks
¼ teaspoon salt

Roast Macadamia nuts for 20 - 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow to cool completely.

Combine the first three ingredients in a food processor and process until nuts are finely chopped. Add the flour and salt and pulse to mix. With the processor running add the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time.

This makes about 2¾ cups of crumbs.

Line the bottom of and 8 inch Spring Form pan with parchment paper. Cut off the excess paper. Spray with non stick spray.

Press 2 cups of crumbs into the bottom and up the sides a bit of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For the cheesecake:
16 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, separated

In a mixer bowl combine the cream cheese and brown sugar. Beat till smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg yolks. Beat to combine only. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into cream cheese mixture.

Pour over cooled crust and bake for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge if some of the filling touches the side of the pan above the crust. Allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate until completely cold before topping with mocha mousse.

For the mousse:
2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
10 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
8 egg yolks
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup strong brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
or 2 cups Cool Whip

Melt chocolate chips and butter (in microwave). Stir till smooth and set aside.

Whip the cream. Set into refrigerator until ready to use.

In a saucepan combine powdered sugar and coffee. Whisk until smooth. Add the egg yolks and whisk again until smooth. Cook over low heat till it reaches 160 degrees. Stir in vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Set saucepan into a bowl of ice and stir until mixture is cooled. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread onto cold cheesecake. Return to refrigerator until set. Garnish as desired.


Spring is beginning to feel more and more like reality. I'm loving it! I started babying my roses today in hopes that they will escape the horrid blackspot this summer. Just working out there among the breezes and the sunshine with the birds singing hope filled songs is a soothing balm for my beauty starved soul after a winter that teased and never really came.

It helps too to take the edge off of the not so good news from my family from afar when they call and tell me my Dad has not been feeling well again, and yes they found another one of those dreaded spots. It's been three years since his initial surgery for cancer.

At this same time my Father-In-Law is hospitalized again with some complications. His surgery was 5 weeks ago and recovery has been a bumpy road.

So forgive me if I'm absent from here, I've lots to do and think about, and feelings to sort through. I wonder at times if Easter (when we go visit my folks in Ohio) will be the last time I will get to see and talk to my Dad here on earth. It makes me dread and look forward to my visit at the same time. Do I sound morbid? I don't mean to. I guess I call it facing reality.

So yes, your prayers would be appreciated, if you should happen to think of us all. And thank you! from the bottoms of our hearts for caring and praying!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Luscious Lemon Angel Cake and Roll

Two Things Delicious
(if you're counting daily gifts :)

love how tall it is :)

Always having used my Mom's recipe for Angel Food Cake, which is fabulous by the way, I never really bothered looking around for any other recipes until I happened upon this one from a cookbook about old fashioned baking printed 22 years ago. I know, "old fashioned" and it's half as old as I am but we'll just let those implications go and enjoy the recipe. ha :) I liked it because the powdered sugar seemed to give it a finer texture, more stability, and it was a bit less sticky than the one from my Mom. I did reduce the amount of sugar but that was the only thing I did different from the original recipe. And seriously, you would never have noticed. No sense in piling on the sugar when it's perfectly fine without some of it. I also doubled the recipe and made a very tall angel cake and a flat rolled one.

3 cups egg whites
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fine lemon zest

Separate the eggs while they are cold. It's easier. Then allow the whites to come to room temperature in a very large mixing bowl. They will fluff up better and have more volume at room temp.

Meanwhile sift the powdered sugar and flour separately and then measure correct amounts. Place together in the sifter (after measuring) and sift together 3 times. Set aside.

Add the cream of tartar and vanilla to the room temperature egg whites. Beat with an electric hand mixer on high speed till soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1 cup of white sugar beating until stiff peaks form.

Sift about a fourth of the flour/powdered sugar mixture over the egg white mixture and gently fold in with a wire whisk. Sifting and folding until all the flour mixture is gone.

Fold in the lemon zest.

Divide between 2 - 10 inch tube pans or fill one full and place the rest in a waxed paper lined bar pan (10½ X 15½ X 1 in.) for an Angel Cake Roll and spread evenly.

those cracks should look dry when it's finished baking

For the cake in the tube pan take a table knife and cut through batter to eliminate air pockets. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or till the top springs back when lightly touched. Upon removing from the oven immediately invert the pan; cool completely. (I keep a few long necked bottles, like Worcestershire ones, on hand for this purpose) Place the long neck into the hole of the inverted pan. When it's completely cool, take it off of the bottle and run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake and invert onto a serving plate.

before baking

For the flat cake bake at 350 degrees until it springs back. I'm not sure how long this was but it wasn't quite as long as the tube cake. Cut around the edges with a sharp knife and invert onto a large piece of powdered sugar sprinkled parchment paper and roll up snugly. Allow to cool.


When it is cool, unroll very gently, and fill it with desired filling. It cracks easily so I usually try not to unroll it completely into a flat position again. Just far enough so that I can fill it properly and then re-roll it.

For the filling I kept it simple.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 recipe Lemon Curd
8 oz. Cool Whip

Mix together and spread evenly onto cake. Re-roll and dust with powdered sugar and garnish as desired. It was fabulously light and tasted so yummy with a raspberry sauce! Because we also had the plain cake, which lasted all of 24 hours, I decided we had had enough sugar and gifted this one to the neighbors after we had a few tastes of it. She told me later she loved it! I'm so glad for my neighbors! For more reasons than one!! :)