I received a bottle of Pompeian Grape Seed Oil in order to test it in my own kitchen and gather information for this post. My recipes, below, are entered in a contest and I could win an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food ’13. No monetary compensation was received for this post and a positive review [...]
I received a bottle of Pompeian Grape Seed Oil in order to test it in my own kitchen and gather information for this post. My recipes, below, are entered in a contest and I could win an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food ’13. No monetary compensation was received for this post and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
I’ve apparently been living under a rock somewhere, with no access to the most vital outside information. How could I have missed this? Do you know about grape seed oil? I’m ashamed to admit, until last week, I had never heard of it. So, I did a little online investigating and was shocked to see that, apparently, EVERYONE except me already knows about it and is excited about the potential health benefits, as well as using it to replace butter in their favorite recipes.
Grape seed oil is made by pressing the discarded seeds of grapes, left after wine making. Some of the articles I read, suggest that grape seed oil has some pretty impressive health benefits since it is rich in Vitamin E, flavonoids, Vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene. It may be helpful in regulating blood sugar and protecting the body from health problems caused by free radicals. Because grape seed oil can suppress the production of histamine, there are even studies being conducted to see if it might be helpful in reducing the effects of allergies and asthma. It is also used in many skin care products, since it has astringent properties that help to tighten skin. Some people have found it helpful in treating acne and that it may protect skin from the sun. It’s easily absorbed by the skin, since it is so light and many believe it is particularly good for skin around the eyes.
When it comes to cooking, I had no difficulty discerning grape seed oil’s benefits, on my own. It’s a very light oil and I found that whether I was making sweet or savory dishes, the oil did not overpower or change the flavor in my recipes, at all. It has a very high smoke point, higher than butter or olive oil, and that means it may also work as an alternative to butter for frying, stir frying and even deep-fat frying. I haven’t had a chance to use it in any dressings or vinaigrettes, yet, but because it is such a light oil, without any overpowering flavors to compete with other ingredients, I think it would be a delicious complement in most salad dressing recipes.
I’m not going to lie. When it comes to replacing butter in my recipes, I’m a hard sell. I love what butter does for flavor and texture, when I’m cooking or baking. And if you’ve been around the blog for very long, you know that from my recipes. So, to really put Pompeian Grape Seed Oil to the test, I decided it was not going to be enough to try it in just one recipe. I wanted to replace butter in both a savory and a sweet recipe, to see the results. My two recipes that I believe are most dependent on the butter for the reasons, mentioned above, are Chocolate Butter Cake and my Better than Cream of Chicken Sauce. I altered both recipes to substitute grape seed oil for the butter. No one was more surprised than me! Texture and flavor were virtually unchanged in both recipes. The cake was not quite as moist as when we make it with butter, but the flavor was spot on and the whole family loved it. There was no detectable difference in the sauce. It was absolutely perfect. I think you will love BOTH these recipes; and when it comes to savings, ounce for ounce, grape seed oil is slightly less expensive than butter. Money savings AND good for both baking and stove-top cooking –it’s hard to argue with success! Enjoy!
TIP: When substituting oils for butter, in baking, I use a ratio of ¾:1. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of softened butter, substitute 3/4 cup of oil. Otherwise your baked goods may be too “soupy” and not set up correctly. For stove top cooking, I use a 1:1 ratio (equal amounts of oil substituted for butter).
Thursday night is Grandkids Night. No matter what other hubbub and chaos are happening the rest of the week, I know that Thursday night is just going to be smiles, hugs, fun and laughter and I never get tired of it. I love having this established tradition and feel so blessed to have the grandchildren [...]
Thursday night is Grandkids Night. No matter what other hubbub and chaos are happening the rest of the week, I know that Thursday night is just going to be smiles, hugs, fun and laughter and I never get tired of it. I love having this established tradition and feel so blessed to have the grandchildren living nearby. There are certain things that are a given about going to Grandma’s — playing Barbies or watching movies with Aunt Rissa, snuggling with Grandma and Grandpa, playing hide and seek around the dining room-kitchen-front room “loop” with Uncle Michael AND dessert! :) It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular to impress and dazzle, but when it IS something out of the ordinary, the oooohhhs and aaahhhs and happy giggles put Grandma’s Thursday night fun over-the-top.
Tonight, I decided to take everyday cupcakes and make them something special using the new Cool Whip Frosting I found at Walmart. You can check out my Google + album if you want to see my whole shopping trip. Cool Whip Frosting comes in three varieties: Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cream Cheese and wow! is it delicious! I discovered that it is comparably priced to other pre-made frostings, but the light, whipped cream texture, with the delicious creamy flavors is sensational and very different from others we’ve tried. You can pick it up in the freezer case, right next to Cool Whip. I let mine thaw in the fridge overnight, since I didn’t need it until the next day, but I’m sure it would thaw much more quickly on the counter. With my favorite chocolate cake recipe, Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting and a few sliced strawberries our everyday dessert for Thursday Night with the Grandkids made Grandma a rock star!
If you’d like more information about Cool Whip Frosting or ideas for making your own everyday dessert something special, be sure to check out these recipe ideas from Kraft and like Cool Whip on Facebook.
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Kraft Cool Whip. #CoolWhipFrosting #CBias #SocialFabric. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.
Have you ever eaten Red Velvet Cake? Or baked one? As a Midwestern girl, who has been baking for more than 40 years, you would think that I would have run across one. But yesterday, I baked, and tasted, my very first. I read websites and recipes that claimed Red Velvet Cake for “the south”, [...]
Have you ever eaten Red Velvet Cake? Or baked one? As a Midwestern girl, who has been baking for more than 40 years, you would think that I would have run across one. But yesterday, I baked, and tasted, my very first. I read websites and recipes that claimed Red Velvet Cake for “the south”, but then there were some northern-folk who felt that their formula was probably the original. I never did discover where the idea actually started, but after a little research, their was no question people felt very personally attached to the memories Red Velvet Cake evoked and the recipes are handed down in families like a precious heirloom. Interestingly, they all come with their variations and quirks, making each unique and a custom creation. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I took bits and pieces from the different recipes I found and baked one for myself, which I think probably turned out to be pretty traditional, other than the fruity twist.
My interest was first piqued with the idea of baking a Red Velvet Cake, because of the new air freshener scents I received from Renuzit, this week — Chocolate Covered Cherries and Red Velvet Cake. I have shared with with you, before, how strongly I feel about certain scents and fragrances, (whether it be in laundry detergent, dish soap or air fresheners), to create a mood or set the tone in a home. Memories and experiences just seem to be so vivid and fresh when they are evoked by a smell that takes you back to the moment you experienced it. In my childhood, Chocolate Covered Cherries were the ultimate delicacy and the gift my dad received for every birthday, Father’s Day and Christmas. They were one of his favorites and if we were allowed to sample one — well that was just next to heaven. :) Cakes and cookies baking were common scents in our home, growing up, and a memory that I have spent years recreating for our own kids. I so enjoy being in the kitchen and expressing my love for my family through the foods I create for them there. Nothing is so welcoming, comforting and homey as a house filled with the smells of baking. These new Renuzit fragrances capture those warm, welcoming memories in deliciously extravagant scents. Check out Renuzit’s Facebook page to hear even more about their Tempting Indulgences air fresheners. You’re going to love them! And, when you smell them, and see these pictures, you’re going to want to eat Red Velvet Cake, too! But, I want to tweak this recipe some more. You can read about it in my notes, below. I just want it to be PERFECT for you and I don’t think it’s there, yet! Not a baking-fail, per se, but not yet, special. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out what I did and these gorgeous pictures!
Since baking happens at our house on a very regular basis, I had nearly everything, on hand, that I needed to whip up a Red Velvet Cake; but, I was out of buttermilk. I decided to make a quick run to Walmart to get some and to grab a couple ingredients for some other recipes that were swirling and gelling in my brain over the last couple of days. It was going to be a quick “in and out”, so I did a very dangerous thing. (Insert crazy, sinister, oh no, not that, music here.) dun–dun–dun– I went in without a list! Please, do not try this at home! A trained professional navigated the store, without a list, and still came home with items not needed and neglected to purchase things they were planning to get. Actual dings were put in the budget in the making of this list-free shopping trip, both at the store and in the needed gas to repeat the trip for the unpurchased items. This is never a good idea for the family budget. So, don’t follow my bad example. Always shop with a list. :) If you want to see my entire shopping trip, check out my Google+ album.
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Renuzit. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. #TemptYourSenses #CBias #SocialFabric
I wanted to step outside the beverage category when I created my second recipe for International Delights and I had a pretty good idea what I was going to try, but even I didn’t realize how fabulously this would turn out. As you know, we’re a hard-core chocolate cake kinda family and my go-to, favorite [...]
I wanted to step outside the beverage category when I created my second recipe for International Delights and I had a pretty good idea what I was going to try, but even I didn’t realize how fabulously this would turn out. As you know, we’re a hard-core chocolate cake kinda family and my go-to, favorite recipe is hard to beat. International Delights just helped me take that up a notch, though, and it was a rich and fudgey dream! This is a super-moist, deeply dense and delicious cake. It doesn’t raise super high, so don’t worry that you may have messed something up. You didn’t. It will be heavenly! Enjoy!
Do you have a fabulously creative recipe for using coffee? I’ll bet you could incorporate the delicious flavors of International Delights Iced Coffee and Creamers into many of your recipes, to create a fabulous new treat. I’d love to hear your ideas! Be sure to follow their Facebook and Twitter pages, to stay up to date on any news and to collect great ideas to try in your own kitchen!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and International Delight. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. #IcedDelight #CBias #SocialFabric
Lucky Leaf was a new brand name to me, until I realized they are owned by the same company that produces Musselman’s products. They started out in 1949, making fresh applesauce, eventually adding apple pie filling and finally a full line of premium pie fillings. They also make apple juice, cider and apple butter, as [...]
Lucky Leaf was a new brand name to me, until I realized they are owned by the same company that produces Musselman’s products. They started out in 1949, making fresh applesauce, eventually adding apple pie filling and finally a full line of premium pie fillings. They also make apple juice, cider and apple butter, as well as some specialty products. One of the first things I noticed, and that made a HUGE impression on me, is that Lucky Leaf’s pie fillings were not OVERLY sweet. YAY! They had sweetness, but it was more like slightly-sweetened fruitiness. I could taste fruit, not just the sugar. I love that!
While pies, cobblers and crisps are the obvious baking options with pie filling, there are other delicious recipe options that will add a special touch to your summer celebrations. With Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, summer birthdays, barbecues and church picnics on the calendar, it’s fun to be able to create something a little different and unexpected. The Lucky Leaf Pinterest boards are loaded with fun ideas.
I was able to whip up two recipes, this week, that utilize Lucky Leaf pie filling. With just a couple of minutes of simple prep work I made Strawberry Pie Pops and Peach Dump Cake with Butter Pecan Ice Cream. Both were my adaptations of recipes included in my review pack from Lucky Leaf; and both were scrumptious!
For some reason, that completely escapes me, I didn’t get pictures of the steps, when making this yummy dump cake. Since, you simply put everything in a bowl and mix, however, I’m pretty sure you will replicate this simple treat, with ease.
Mandatory Entry: Visit the Lucky Leaf website and find a recipe you would like to try. Leave a comment on this post, telling me the title of the recipe and the flavor of pie filling you would use. Click DO IT and then Enter! You’re done! You can also fill out the optional additional entries that are unlocked, when you submit this mandatory entry, if you’d like even more chances to win. Good luck!
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I received an assortment of Lucky Leaf Pie Fillings and a popsicle mold set to test them out in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the products. The giveaway is being administered by Busy-at-Home and the prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Lucky Leaf.
In two previous posts, I shared my excitement at some incredible Wilton baking supplies I received and my first attempt at making cake pops , in which I created adorable princesses, tigers and lions . I used many of those supplies again, today, to create some cake pops for the Wilton Pops in a Post [...]
In two previous posts, I shared my excitement at some incredible Wilton baking supplies I received and my first attempt at making cake pops , in which I created adorable princesses, tigers and lions . I used many of those supplies again, today, to create some cake pops for the Wilton Pops in a Post contest. I love the Wilton Chocolate Pro Melting Pot. Not only does it melt chocolate and candy melts without scorching, it has a warmer that keeps the candy melted and perfect as you work on longer projects. I definitely put it to good use, today.
To begin making cake pops, I used a yellow cake mix, a box of instant butterscotch pudding, 4 eggs, 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. I mixed them all together, poured the batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan and baked it in a 350° oven for 35 minutes.
Once the cake cooled, I crumbled the entire cake into a large bowl.
I mixed an 8 0z block of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup of milk and enough powdered sugar (around 2 lbs.) to make a creamy icing.
I measured 1 cup of the icing and mixed it into the cake crumbs.
Once the crumbs and icing were thoroughly mixed, I shaped the resulting “dough” into 36 balls about the size of walnuts. I chilled the spheres overnight.
The next day, I melted white Wilton Candy Melts and dipped the ends of pop sticks into the candy.
Then I inserted the prepared sticks into the rolled cake and icing balls. At this point, I refrigerated the pops again, in order to decide what form my cake pops were going to take. I knew that I would need a unique and original design to enter into the Wilton Pops in a Post contest.
One of our daughters will be married, in April, and so I first decided to play around with some flower ideas. I made two. One of them was so embarrassing, I can’t bring myself to show it to you. The second, a daisy, turned out okay, but wasn’t really contest-worthy. I used fondant to make the petals and a half-cakeball for the center. I affixed the pop stick to the back of the daisy with fondant and candy melt, but in reality the pop was too heavy for that. The stick would have done better, inserted directly into the cake.
After having spent quite a bit of time on the first two flowers, I decided to take a break and just make something cute from Wilton’s “Pops: Sweets on a Stick” book. This cute little chick was quick and easy and re-motivated me to try and come up with something for the contest.
I finally came up with an idea that I hoped would work; and so I started snipping miniature marshmallows into quarters.
I dipped the edge of each marshmallow quarter into white Wilton Candy Melts and then “glued” them to a cake pop.
I applied the quartered marshmallows, until the entire cake pop surface was covered.
Once all the marshmallow bits were secured to the cake pop, I dipped the entire pop into the white Wilton Candy Melts.
I placed the dipped pop into a block of floral foam to set up, while I started forming a sheep head from white Wilton Fondant. I rolled a ball and then shaped the head, adding flattened tear-drop ears. I broke a toothpick in half, dipped it into the candy melts and inserted it into the back of the sculpted sheep head. (Be sure to remove that toothpick before eating. ) I poked a hole into the sheep body with another toothpick, at the place where I wanted to attach the head. Then I applied a small amount of candy melt to the back of the sheep head and “glued it to the body, inserting the toothpick into the hole I had made.
I also “glued” whole miniature marshmallows over the entire surface of another cake pop, and dipped it in white Wilton Candy Melts that I had tinted green with gel food coloring. With the addition of some pink candy flower sprinkles, it became a shrub. In total, I made four sheep; three with white faces, one with brown.
Once the heads were applied to the sheep bodies, I carefully dipped the heads into either Wilton white candy melts or Wilton melting chocolate, to give them the smooth finish I wanted. I used tiny purple candy sprinkles from Wilton, for the sheep eyes, affixing them with a tiny dot of white candy melt.
I’m not giving up on creating some flower cake pops in the future, but for tonight, I am pleased to have these butterscotch, marshmallow sheep cake pops to enter in the contest.
These would be so much fun at a kid’s birthday party or even at an Easter celebration. I love the way the marshmallows created the “woolly” coats on my yummy Cake Pop Sheep. So, now we wait for Wilton to select their 10 favorite pop creations. If I am fortunate enough to be counted in that number, I will be asking for your votes in the final.
Thanks so much for putting up with all my “pops posts” as I learn this fun new baking skill. It should be noted that besides just being downright cute, cake pops are delicious! I’m hoping as the contest continues, you’ll see lots of designs and ideas that may inspire you to create your own. Wilton has an impressive array of supplies to make you a master cake pop chef!
A huge thank you goes out to Wilton, who provided a fantastic kit, that included many of the items I used to complete these pops. I have entered their pops in a post contest for a chance at the $500 first prize or one of 9 $100 second prizes.This post is linked to Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at the Well.
I was introduced, this month, to a fun cooking challenge over at Taste and Create. Blogs are paired and each team makes a recipe from the other teammate’s blog. This month, we are all making desserts. Well, of course I love a challenge; and desserts…um, yeah; plus trying a new recipe — could it get [...]
I was introduced, this month, to a fun cooking challenge over at Taste and Create. Blogs are paired and each team makes a recipe from the other teammate’s blog. This month, we are all making desserts. Well, of course I love a challenge; and desserts…um, yeah; plus trying a new recipe — could it get any better? The hardest part is picking which recipe to try. Decisions, decisions. I was fortunate enough to get paired with Simran, over at Bombay Foodie, and wouldn’t you know, her most recent dessert post showcases a recipe from the Pioneer Woman blog. You KNOW I have to pick that recipe. I just have to. You’re going to be SO glad I did.
Now, Simran doesn’t cook for a multitude, like me; so she halved the recipe when she made it. I went ahead and made the full-sized recipe, in a 9×13 pan.
The Best Coffee Cake
- ¾ cup Butter, Softened
- 2 cups Sugar
- 3 cups Flour, Sifted
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1¼ cups Milk
- 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff
- ¾ cup Butter, Softened
- ¾ cups Flour
- 1½ cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
- 1½ cup Pecans, Chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the eggs. Beat egg whites and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add dry ingredients and milk. Mix just until combined. Don’t overbeat.
Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula.
Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the cake batter.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!
We loved this cake!! We dove right in as soon as it came out of the oven. It is at the peak of its deliciousness while it is warm and not nearly as appealing after it has cooled. I would definitely recommend reheating it in the microwave a few seconds, if you are fortunate enough to have even a crumb leftover. Premium dessert that doesn’t need coffee to be your favorite. I enjoyed it thoroughly, while drinking a glass of delicious iced-tea!