Category Archives: Recipes

Coupon & Recipe for National Soft Pretzel Month

Oh I simply cannot resist a good soft pretzel and I just realized that April is National Soft Pretzel Month! Here a coupon, some fun facts and a recipe for making your own.

First off this link came in my email today for Super Pretzel Coupon (and yummy, I’ve bought their pretzels before and love them for late night snack attacks): http://t.mb00.net/s/c?y.s7vf.1.yr60.3oz0 this strange looking link brings you right to the coupon on Red Plum. 🙂

Fun Facts:

Did you know that Soft Pretzels have been around back in 600 ADs?

Did you know, The common pretzel shape was created by Monks in the shape of praying hands? And that the shape has also said to represent good luck and prosperity.

Alton Brown's Soft Pretzels
Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzels

Here is a link to a Recipe to make your own Soft Pretzels from one of my favorite chefs Alton Brown (gotta love his sense of humor): Alton Brown’s Recipe for Soft Pretzels on the Food Network

Have fun with the remaining days of National Pretzel Month. Incidentally this past Saturday was Nation Pretzel Day… shucks I missed it! Ah well, National Doughnut Month should be coming up soon! 🙂

*This post is not sponsored, nor have I received anything for posting this, just the satisfaction of knowing that some of you may enjoy this information that I discovered for you! 🙂

Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder – Review & Cupcake Recipe

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

 

I was asked to review Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder made by Kiss Me Organics, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I love trying out my ol’ taste buds on something new and different for me, not to mention that I love to create my own recipes as well.

KissMe Organics Front View of Organic Matcha Green Tea packageI had some unusual products made with Green Tea in the past year, one of which was Green Tea Ice Cream, something that I was curious about but wouldn’t have bought ot for myself for the fear that I wouldn’t like it (we are all watching out pennies now a days, aren’t we?) When this review was offered up I couldn’t help but sign up for this review to see what I could make with it and see if I would like it.

I wanted to learn more about this green tea powder, it’s uses and benefits. I already knew one thing about green tea, it is a very good antioxidant. Being an antioxidant, I had heard that green tea, itself, helps to prevent cancer. Since my husband had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma & bladder cancer… we’ve had more green tea around the house, hoping that my husband and I could benefit from drinking it.

Reading the label on the Organic Matcha, I learned a lot about this product, the benefits, some of the uses and more.

Some benefits listed on the label:

Anti Aging – All Day Energy (Energy Booster) – Metabolism Boost (Calorie Burner) – Increase Focus – Improve Skin Health – 137X Antioxidants of Brewed Green Tea

More Information About the Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder:

Culinary Grade Green Tea Powder – USDA Organic – Free From Chemicals & Preservatives

A Very Good Reason to make Match a part of your Daily life (I believe this bit of information is so important, that it needed it’s own Heading!):

Evidence shows that EGCG (a strong Matcha antioxidant), can generate NEW BRAIN CELLS by focusion on the part of the brain that deals with short and long term memory.

KissMe Organics Back View of Organic Matcha Green Teapackage
KissMe Organics Back View of Organic Matcha Green Teapackage

At first I just thought the matcha was going to be a form of an instant tea. When I saw the pretty green cupcake on the label, and the mention of baking, my brain started running wild with what Flavors would taste good with the Green Tea. Being cautious with the taste-buds in my household, I thought that a sweet cupcake was the best idea indeed… so at first I thought I would find a combination of Honey and Lemon.

A neighbor had recently introduced me to “Cake Mix Cookies” and told me how simple they were to make. So I decided to play around with a Cake Mix (I chose yellow) for an easy cupcake recipe. I was surprised that my first attempt at this was highly successful! My husband and I both loved my creation (recipe coming up).  I even decided to share 5 of my cupcakes with the neighbors, they all seemed to really like it. One even commented that they would give it an 8 out of 10 but, if I brought more over I would get a 10! lol

The frosting I made for this Green Tea Cupcake was also a hit and we found it added some more fruity sweetness to the cupcakes (this recipe is coming up too!) This just goes to show you how very excited I am to use a product when I create my own recipe just for the review.

I take the risk of posting my creation for all of you my beauties, as well as for  the company that supplied the product (If post my recipe, all I ask for is a link back to my blog in exchange for sharing my recipe). I really can’t wait for some of you to try to make this and let me know what you think of my invention… at the same time I have nervous excitement, after all, it’s my baby and I am setting out into the big wide world to be used and judged by others.

Again the idea for this Cupcake came from a friend telling me about her Cake Mix Cookies & hearing how they just add things to the cake mix cookies to make new and different flavors.

____________________________________________________________________Mariah's Cupcakes Easter inspired side viewMariah’s Lemony, Green Tea Cupcakes, With Blueberry Butter Cream Frosting:

Preheat Oven to: whatever your cake mix recommends for cupcakes & your pan color. (I usually turn down the oven by 25 degrees when it’s a dark pan.)

Mariah’s Lemony, Green Tea Cupcakes:

  • 1 Cake Mix – white or yellow (I used yellow Generic Cake Mix)
  • 1 Large Lemon or 2 Small Lemons – you will be using the Lemon zest & the juice. (I used 2 small lemons, as the only cost me about 54 Cents each and a large Lemon was almost 2 dollars)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder (I used 2 Tablespoons, but next time I may cut it down to 1, some people weren’t to sure about the green tea aftertaste… personally I liked it).
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Extract (Optional) I had decided, by smell, that I wanted to add even more lemony kick to the cupcakes
  • & Misc. ingredients called for on cake mix – (I used 3 eggs and the 1/3 Cup of Canola Oil).

1) Lightly Zest your Lemon(s) into a small bowl – (making sure not to get the white part in the zest.)  I set the bowl with the Zest & the Zest tool aside .

2) Squeeze out the Juice of your Lemon(s) into your liquid measuring cup. Add enough water to liquid measuring cup to equal the water amount called for in the Cake Mix instructions.

3) In the small bowl of lemon zest, pour your Lemon-Water Mix over the zester into the bowl (so as not to waste any of the flavor filled zest).

4) With Mixer on very low speed, slowly add your ingredients to the cake mix, scrape the sides of the bowl and once mixed well turn up the blender to the mixers cake setting (on my mixer, that is about Medium speed).

5) Place in Oven, the Cupcakes will be done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean

Once the Cupcakes are cooled you can frost them.

Mariahs Easter Inspired Cupcakes looking downMariah’s Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

For this frosting I was inspired by Wilton’s French Buttercream Frosting Recipe

3/4 cup of Frozen or fresh Blackberries (blend this up well in your blender, if you wish you may strain the seeds out in a fine mesh strainer) <— I have an excellent blender and so I didn’t need to strain the seeds out, you could hardly detect them.

  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Blackberries Blended (Optional: you can put through a fine mesh Sieve to get rid of the seeds, I didn’t)
  • 1 Cup butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

 

Place sugar, flour and salt in saucepan and mix thoroughly, stir in Blended Blackberries. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until very thick. Remove from heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl.

Cool to room temperature. Add 1/2 cup butter at a time (cut into several pieces) and beat at medium-high speed until smooth.

Add vanilla and beat well.

Chill icing for a few minutes before decorating.

HINT: For Easter Cupcakes, like I made, add some jellybeans! Nummy!

Iced cupcakes must be refrigerated until serving time.

Mariahs cupcake split in half_______________________________________________________________________

I did a search on ehow for recipes for skin care with Matcha Green Tea Skin… now if you follow this link you will see a huge list of uses for your skin (after the top sponsored links that is) the list of uses for your skin goes from Soap Making to Moisturizers all with Green Tea (Matcha).

I thank Kiss Me Organics for entrusting me for this review, I am in love with their Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder and I look forward to playing with it more as time goes on.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Valentines Day – Homemade No Knead Bread.

 

I wanted to share this with you all, I made a recipe for Homemade No Knead Bread for Valentines week. This is not a quick bread, by any means, it is made with Yeast (not baking powder or baking soda… nor is it quick, but it’s easy!) This fortunately makes 2 loaves, the first loaf is half gone and I just finished making this No Knead Bread late last night! lol I received this little booklet as a gift and I finally made a recipe from this yesterday.

Homemade No Knead Bread
Yummy yummy!

While I was thinking about the success I had with this Homemade No Knead Yeast Bread, I thought about how much my husband loves homemade bread and that it is indeed the perfect baked good for Valentines week. And the ingredients were all in my kitchen already, so I didn’t have to shop special for the recipe I used.

I wore my Flirty Apron while making my bread:
Women's Apron Very Cherry

I warn you, though it’s easy, next time I would make it a day or two before I plan to bake it, it takes a long time for this bread to “Self Knead” and It took about 11 hours before I could bake this delicious bread.

I love homemade bread, but suffering from Chronic Pain, kneading can drive you to use up all your spoons if you are a spoonie like me (follow this link, if you don’t know what a spoonie is. The link shows the Spoonie Theory, and other posts dealing with Spoonies, like adding a spoon to your profile pictures.)

Anywho… I wanted to share this recipe with you and let you know my experience & the results from this strange new way of making yeast bread.

A personal Review, the book with this recipe in it is:

“The breadbreakthrough”(yes one word) and the subtitle states: Easy Recipes. Dough Kneads Itself

Now this little paperback booklet was a gift to me, from my Mother who, along with my Dad love the no knead recipes for homemade bread.

The results are a dense, crunchy exterior crust and a super moist, dense crumb (interior of the bread). And eaten hot from the oven it is simply to die for, especially if  you use real butter on top! 🙂

Here is the Recipe I used:

What is left of one of the two loaves of bread that I made. Nummy!  Only half the loaf remains.
What is left of one of the two loaves of bread that I made. Nummy! Only half the loaf remains.

Easy Oat Bread (No Knead Bread)

Yield: 2 Medium Loaves

Ingredients:

key: C = Cup(s), tsp = teaspoon(s), T = Tablespoon(s)

5 1/2 C (27.5 Ounces) – Unbleached All Purpose White Flour or unbleached white bread flour, plus more as needed.

1 C – Old Fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking (not instant) oats, plus 4 Tablespoons for Garnish.

3 T – Granulated Sugar

Scant 2 3/4 tsp – table salt

1 tsp – Rapid Rise Yeast

1/4 C – Clover honey or Light (mild) Molasses

1/4 C – Corn Oil or Other Flavorless Vegetable Oil, plus extra for coating dough top and baking pans. (I used Canola Oil, coated the pans with Crisco and used Canola Spray for the top of the loaves while rising)

2 1/4 C plus 2 T Ice Water (yes you read that right), plus more if needed.

In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the,  all but 1 Cup of the flour, oats, sugar, salt and yeast. (I say all but 1 Cup of the flour because the original recipe had you use all the flour… making the dough impossible to stir, and later on it said to incorporate the flour a bit at a time.)

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, thoroughly whisk the honey (or molasses) and oil together. Add the honey/oil mixture into the ice water. (now I had made the mistake of adding the ice water to the honey and oil, without mixing the honey and oil first… big mistake, I ended up with the honey stuck in a semi solid clump to the whisk. So I changed this to read the way it worked best for me.)

Add your water, oil, honey mixture to the flour mixture in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Make sure you have all the flour mixture coated and at this point, if needed, add more water. You will have a dough that is thick and difficult to stir, but still you should be able to stir this… don’t over moisten.

Brush or spray the top of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. For the best flavor, the author of this recipe recommends, refrigerating the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, vigorously stir once during the rise. Since it seemed to hint at this first rise not being necessary, I only let it rise in the fridge for 3 hours, then set it out for about 30 minutes to warm up a bit and make it easier to stir (then straight out of the fridge). 

Vigorously stir the dough. If needed, stir in enough more flour to yield a hard-to-stir consistency.

Generously oil two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. My loaf pans are slightly larger, it still worked but the rise of the bread was slightly lower then the recommended height for the second raising. I also used Crisco (yeah, I know, so bad for you, but it’s thicker then the oil and worked great for the oats that go over the pan coating).

Take your 1 T of Oats and coat the bottom and sides of the 2 pans (I actually used more so it coated all over nicely).

Use well oiled kitchen shears or serrated knife to cut the dough in half. Put the dough portions in the prepared pans. Press down the dough and smooth oiled spatula or hands. Sprinkle loaves with Oat and press down to imbed. Made a 1/2 inch deep slash length-wise down the center of both loaves (again using your well oiled kitchen shears or serrated knife). Tightly cover the loaf pans with well oiled plastic wrap.

Let Rise Using Any of the Methods Below:

For a 2 – 3 hr regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature, for 45 mins to 2 hrs.

Accelerated rise – let sand in a turned off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling water.

Extended Rise (what I will use next time) – refrigerate, covered for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temp.

With all Rise options: Continue to rise until the dough gets near the plastic wrap. Remove the plastic wrap and continue to let rise until the dough reaches 1/2 inch above rim. If you are using slightly larger loaf pans, like I did, I let it rise until it just reached the rim.

Lower Oven Rack to about the lower 1/3 of the oven, then Preheat your oven to 375.

Bake for 50 – 60 mins, until the tops are well browned. Cover the tops with foil. Then back for 10 to 15 mins more, until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles clinging to the bottom. (now I used the traditional, knock on the bread and listen for the hollow sound, that I was used to… either way, the loaves turned out great!)

Now, remove from pan and once cooled a few minutes, slice a piece off and butter it and say mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! 😉

__________________________________________________

I hope you like the recipe, I have altered it for what I did when I made the bread (along with the original options). All in all the recipe was easy, however next time I make this, I will do a majority of the work a day ahead of time. But what a wonderful way to a mans heart, but through baking some yummy homemade bread and why not give the No Knead Yeast Bread a try?

Women's Apron Sassy Black

Oh and I found a the exact apron that I was gifted a couple of years ago, so cute! Personally I would not have chosen the black and white one, but I love love love it and the ties are soooooooo long, these aprons could fit anyone that I know, big or small!

Comments, or questions (as always) are welcome! 🙂

Disclaimer: I was gifted the book that this recipe was from, by my family. I am sharing this recipe (altered to show the way it worked for me). and I did not receive this recipe, book (or the mentioned aprons for a review,) these were gifts that I wished to share with you all.

Fun In The Kitchen With Garlic Gold Nuggets & Oil – Review & Giveaway & Coupon Code

Garlic Gold Logo

“WEEEEEE! I was like a child in a candy store… yes, I love garlic and so does my husband. and we’ve often been heard saying to each other, ‘You know what? Needs more garlic!’”

Hi folks, you may recall that while at Joan and Mariah’s Reviews Blog (now closed) Joan had reviewed and fell in love with Garlic Gold. Joan often mentions their products while we talk, on the phone, about our making tasty food and great ingredients that we found.

When I recently decided it was about time I look at the Garlic Gold Website, I discovered that that Garlic Gold Products are Organic, Artisan, Hand Crafted, Gourmet products and this further sold me on trying them out for myself.

Well, I finally decided not only was it time to try Garlic Gold for myself, but, time for me to contact them and see if they would be interested in a review and giveaway on my new blog. I was so happy to receive a message saying yes and giving me a choice of what to try (and giveaway). WEEEEEE! I was like a child in a candy store… yes, I love garlic and so does my husband. And we’ve often been heard saying to each other, “You know what? Needs more garlic!” Hey, I think we’d even say that while eating straight garlic! 🙂

OH ever have a real Chicago Style Pizza and forgo the any other choices of toppings but garlic? I tell you my former Sister-in-law (Elaina, gee I miss her… though my husband’s brother may not like it if I contacted her, but if I could find her I would anyway… teee heee hee) while she was pregnant and I ordered exactly that together once upon a time and the guy behind the counter asked us if we were sure… sure we were sure! It was after all Elaina’s idea and I about did a jig with delight when she suggested it. 🙂 And we both adored that pizza so much we talked about it for a few years afterwards. Okay, so enough of that, I now need to make a note of going to that same pizza place in Broomfield and order that sometime soon.

Now back to the Garlic Gold Products. When I finally made up my mind, I chose the Garlic Gold Nuggets and Garlic Gold Oil. I was very excited when I received my Garlic Gold for this review… I did however have to wait until I was well enough to play around in the kitchen (I had pneumonia and even after I felt better I was still quite weak until this past week). I tried Garlic Gold Nuggets alone (yummy!) and on a few things, on my Salad (instead of Bacos) yummy, I love Love it in my mashed potatoes, loved it even better on top of the mashed potatoes where the crunch really shines for me. At that time, after trying the Nuggets O’ Gold (as I now call them) several different ways, I decided to develop my own recipe for using with them. 

Finally having time and strength to cook creatively, last weekend I invented a recipe for using my Garlic Gold Nuggets and adjusted the way I used to make Bruschetta and for that I used both Garlic Gold products.

I feel terrible sharing first recipe because of recent events, as I did use my pressure cooker… but pressure cooker recipes can be hard to come by and this turned out so tasty. I am sorry if even saying pressure cooker upsets anyone out there and brings back memories of the terror at the marathon, truly I am… skip this recipe and wait for the next one to show up for your reading (later in this post), and check out the coupon code just before the second recipe.

garlic gold nuggets

Mariah’s Pressure Cooker Garlic Gold Nugget Pot Roast:

Closeup of Stew in Bowl

Here is the Recipe that I developed for my slow cooker, now my slow cooker is the kind that sits on the burner (not the type you plug in) and so I felt I could make it all in my pressure cooker. This doesn’t mean that if you pressure cooker is the plug in kind that you cannot try to do the same.

Ingredients:

1 (3 pound) Beef Bottom Round Roast – Cut into 2 inch cubes

2 packages of Onion Soup Mix

2 ½ Cups Water

1 Tablespoons of Garlic Gold Nuggets

1 Tablespoon of Parsley

2 teaspoons of dried Thyme

1 teaspoon of dried Rosemary

½ teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper

½ Cup of Milk

4 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour

Spray the bottom of my pressure cooker (or fry pan) with non-stick spray.

Place Pressure Cooker on Burner (or fry pan), turn burner on high.

Place your Beef Cubes into the Pressure Cooker a little at a time, so you won’t over crowd them and you leave enough time to turn them as you put a nice sear on all sides of the beef. Set aside each batch and put in more until you have all your beef cubes browned/seared nicely.

 

Stew in Pressure Cooker before Cooking
Stew in Pressure Cooker before Cooking

At this time I added the water, then all the herbs, then added the Onion Soup Mix and gave it a good stir until dissolved. Then I added the beef. (at this time all your ingredients will be in the Pressure Cooker except for the Milk and Flour which will come later).

I then covered and locked the lid on my pressure cooker, once the pressure cooker developed enough steam to start coming out the top, I then turned the burner down to medium and cooked for 20 minutes. When the 20 Minutes were up I turned off the burner and let the pressure cooker rest for 5 minutes then I slowly released the pressure (I could lift the valve on top, where the steam comes out with a carving fork) slowly with little spurts at a time, until no more steam was released.

I took the pressure cooker lid off and then mixed up the milk and flour by slowly adding the milk to the flour mixing briskly. Then set it aside.

Turn the heat up to high, waiting for the liquid in the pressure cooker to start boiling. Then add, the milk & flour mixture stirring constantly.

Stir while waiting for the mixture to thicken, when thickened you’re ready to serve.

Stew in Pressure Cooker before CookingThis tasted great with Mashed Potatoes on the side, would have been even better over noodles though. And next time I make it I will add some carrots to the mix. But hey, it was a made up recipe and hard to tell what will happen on the first try. 🙂

While I am thinking about it there is currently a fantastic deal on the Garlic Gold Nugget Sampler – just enter gg25 when you checkout from their online store and you will receive 25% off the regular price… that is just like getting 4 bottles for the price of three! To buy the Sampler CLICK HERE.

– NEXT RECIPE –

Mariahs bottle of Garlic Gold Oil

Mariah’s Garlic Gold Oil Bruschetta:

Mariahs Bruschetta

I love Bruschetta especially in the Summer time, on a hot summer day it can really cool you off! I adapted my recipe for Bruschetta to use with Garlic Gold Oil.

Mariah's picture of most of the ingredients in her bruschetta

Here is what I did:

(Since it was just 2 of used the this below, however we pigged out on the bruschetta, having 2 pieces each… about equal to 4 pieces if french bread were used instead of wide italian bread like I used.)

3 plum tomatoes. I cut the tomatoes into small chunks, use you judgement, mine were cut into about ½ inch chunks.

Add Fresh Basil about 2 or 3 Tablespoons (add more or less to your taste, this isn’t an exact science as I go by what “looks good” and even when I ran out of basil before it “looked good” to me, it has never tasted bad.)

and then I mixed in 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Gold Oil

and one Shake of Garlic Gold Nuggets

Then I set this aside.

Cut Wide Italian Bread into about 4 pieces or 6 if you want more bread and less topping, or if using french bread double the amount of slices (since it’s not as wide a bread). I used Italian Bread for my Bruschetta, it was however bigger in width than I am used to making Bruschetta with, I usually use Italian Bread, but wanted to make it slightly softer than usual.

Cut the Bread into about ¾ to 1 inch thick slices.

Toast one side of the bread under the broiler (I placed mine on a cookie sheet), turn the bread then before toasting that side:

 

Closeup of italian bread just before toasting under the broiler
Closeup of italian bread just before toasting under the broiler

Use a pastry brush and spread a light coat of Garlic Gold Oil on one side of the bread. I shook on a little bit of Parmesan cheese and a tiny little bit of Garlic Gold Nuggets (optional).

Now toast this, the other side, of your bread.

 

 

Once toasted place the tomato mixture on top of the toasted bread and eat! Enjoy!

Mariahs bruschetta served with homemade creamy brocolli soup

I served my Bruschetta with homemade Creamy Broccoli Soup, yummy!

I had so much fun with these products and I simply cannot wait to experiment with more recipes to see what else I can come up with for using Garlic Gold!

And Garlic Gold doesn’t have to be for Adults only, children & toddlers love it too! Check out what the President of Seven Oaks Farm has to say about his Toddler’s Favorites: http://garlicgold.com/about-garlic-gold/kids-love-garlic-gold/
Now for the Giveaway, you can win both of the same products that I tried! This Giveaway is for the US only, must be 18+ and remember to leave a blog post comment (making sure to answer the question on that mandatory entry.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I personally reviewed this product. I received the samples mentioned above for me to test out. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return.. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by Garlic Gold and me.
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