Tag Archive | Baked Goods

Krusteaz Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix

Krusteaz Box
All Photos By Gail

Everyone probably has a memory of brownies baked at home: helping Mom with the mixing and getting to lick the spoon, then enjoying the tempting chocolate aroma filling the kitchen as they baked, waiting impatiently for them to be done and – at last – biting into that still warm chewy chocolate brownie. Ahh, you know you can almost taste them now.

If you enjoy eating fresh baked goods but really need to keep the bake-at-home preparation simple, then you are going to love Krusteaz brand Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, which will be in stores in late August/ early September! Krusteaz sent us over a box for review and I baked them this past weekend. It was so easy and the results were beyond my expectations.

Krusteaz Ready to Bake

This is all you will need to have on hand:

1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water

Krusteaz Back of Box

The instructions are so simple a child could do it. Seriously, it is impossible to mess it up.

Krusteaz from Oven

Baking times suggest 48 – 52 minutes for a metal pan and five minutes longer for a glass pan. My oven is ancient and runs a little hot, so I opted for 48 minutes and they still got a little “brown” around the edges. I just cut that part off. No harm, no foul.

Krusteaz Finished Product

Take a look at the finished product: moist, chewy, and super chocolaty with tons of real chocolate chips in the mix! You would never know this is a Gluten Free Brownie because it lacks for nothing with regard to taste and texture. With Krusteaz you can have delicious home-baked Brownies in about an hour.

For more information on Krusteaz Baking Mixes and to find a store near you that sells them, visit Krusteaz Dot Com.

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Valentines Tiered Cake

Valentines Day Tiered Cake
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The Cake of Love! Happy Valentines Day!

Rainbow Christmas Wreath Cake: Make It

Wreath Cake

Ingredients

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® White Cake Mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

Red and Green food color

1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting

Betty Crocker® Decorating Decors® Red, Green and White Candy Sprinkles

Directions

  • Heat oven to 325°F. Generously grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour half of the batter into medium bowl; set aside. Divide the other half of batter equally between 2 small bowls. (You will be left with 3 bowls of batter.) Add red food color to 1 of the small bowls and mix well. Add green food color to the second small bowl and mix well.
  • Pour half of the white batter from medium bowl into cake pan. Carefully pour red batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour green batter over red batter. Then pour remaining white batter from medium bowl over the top. Do not mix the colors.
  • Bake as directed on box until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet; remove pan. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Place cake on serving plate.
  • Divide frosting between 2 small microwavable bowls. Microwave 1 bowl on High about 5 to 10 seconds; mix well with spoon until smooth enough to drizzle. With the spoon, drizzle white frosting back and forth around the whole cake in a striping pattern until you use all of the frosting (allow some frosting to drip down onto plate in middle of cake, if desired).
  • Microwave second bowl of frosting; stir in a few drops of green food color. Drizzle over cake, scattering back and forth in the same type of striping pattern. Decorate with sprinkles. Let stand until frosting is set before serving.

Enjoy!

Fall Food Fete Entices with a Preview of Seasonal Delciousness!

Food Fete Welcome Sign
All Photos By Gail

Nothing gets us excited for new seasonal packaged foods and gourmet takes on fresh favorites quite like Food Fete! The Fall edition of Food Fete took place on November 7th, with lots of ideas for holiday entertaining and many new products on preview from some of our favorite vendors — plus a great chance to network with other bloggers and sample lots of tasty treats! Here are a few of the exhibitors that caught our eye this time around.

Apple Cider and Pomegranate Martinis

A festive Martini Bar sponsored by Zulka Pure Cane Sugar got the party started right away. We made sure to sample both the Apple Cider and Pomegranate Martinis, whose sugared rims sparkled with a sprinkling of Zulka. We had to note that Zulka glittered like diamond dust as it adorned the frosting atop luscious brownies, alongside tiny cakes and fresh baked cookies, also provided by Zulka.

Zulka Display

Since Zulka‘s “Morena” pure cane sugar does not undergo a conventional refining process, it retains the complexity and depth of flavor that’s as close to fresh sugar cane as possible. Why not pick up a box for use in your next recipe that calls for sugar?

Bare Apple Chips

Shortly after entering the event space we spotted Bare Fruit Apple Chips. This delicious natural fruit snack is made from 100% baked Washington Apples with no added preservatives or sugars (and, of course, it’s Gluten Free). We took home a couple of bags to sample and have really enjoyed the Sea Salt Caramel variety, which is a new flavor along with the Chile Lime offering. Crunchy, Sweet and Healthy Snacking!

Anna's Breads

Mmm, fresh baked bread, – we love it! A lot of people, unfortunately, have a gluten intolerance and many exhibitors at Food Fete took this challenge in hand. The holidays are a time when baking for the family, as well as for gift giving, is a very popular idea. From Anna offers Gluten and Allergen Free bread mixes that taste as sweet and moist as your favorite recipes from Mom. From Anna‘s line of products let you treat yourself and your family while including those with dietary exclusions. Their Banana Bread mix is a must-try and so easy to make!

Luces Gluten Free Artisan Bread

Luces Gluten Free Artisan Bread was also exhibiting and had many flavors of their fresh baked breads to share, including their new Italian loaf, which bakes into a rich white bread with cracker-thin crust and a very open crumb. Is your mouth watering yet? Luces bread mixes contain all the dry ingredients you need to make a loaf of fresh baked bread in every package, including a bag to bake it in! The best part: no kneading or rising time is required. You have to try this bread!

Divine Chocolate

Chocolate is a big item at the holidays and Divine Chocolate offers exotic flavored Chocolate bars such as White Chocolate with Strawberries, Milk Chocolate with Crushed Ginger Snaps (tastes like Christmas!) and Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange among many others! Not only are their products unique and tasty but Divine is the only fair-trade chocolate company which is owned by its cocoa farmers. While Fair-trade ensures farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and additional income to invest in their community, company ownership gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. That’s awesome!

American Pistachio Growers

Nuts and nut products were also featured prominently at the show, including one of our very favorite snacks, Pistachios. American Pistachio Growers hosted a very inviting booth with facts about Pistachios, samples to give away and the most delicious Avocado Pistachio Guacamole dip (which they called Pistachio Mole). We got the recipe for future concocting at home!

Pistachio and Avocado Dip
Oh Man, This Stuff was Good!

Sante Nuts

We also fell in love with Sante Nuts, a company founded by a single mom who had to think creatively when she she needed an income stream to support her family. Sante Nuts come in nine sweet and savory varieties and are made in small batches to ensure freshness. Sante’s candied Pistachios, which are actually only slightly candied, so you can still taste all the flavor of the nut, are out of this world.

OPA By Litehouse

OPA is a brand of delicious, made fresh Greek style yogurt dressings from Litehouse Foods that not only makes salad eating fun, but it also makes excellent dips. Gluten free and lower in fat and calories than the standard bottled dressing, OPA sacrifices nothing in the taste arena to bring you a healthier product. Available in Blue Cheese, Ranch, Caesar and Feta Dill flavors, OPA by Litehouse can be found in the refrigerated produce department at grocery retailers nationwide.

Chicken of the Sea Display

We love their Tuna, but we had no idea that Chicken of the Sea made all of these different types of packaged seafood products. Due to celebrate the company’s Centennial in 2014, Chicken of the Sea showcased two brand new items at Food Fete, including its Kipper Snacks — naturally smoked, wild-caught herring fillets that are a traditional European snack — and their Genova Quad Pack, featuring four cans of all-natural Genova Select Yellowfin Tuna packed in the Mediterranean tradition of olive oil.

Panera Bread Salads

We were also surprised to learn that Panera Bread, one of the healthier quick food chains around, is now offering healthy and delicious salads (although we were told that these salads have actually been available as an off-menu item for some time – who knew?). We will have to check that out next time we pass by a Panera Bread at Lunchtime, because these salads were tasty!

Aldi Markets

If you have an Aldi Market in your neighborhood then consider yourself very lucky, because their foods are awesome! Similar to a Trader Joe’s, Aldi features all its own house brands and offers everything you need to make your holiday party – or everyday life – simply spectacular! Not to mention, but you can see we are about to, the fact that they have very reasonable prices! Visit Aldi Dot US to find out more about Aldi and to see if they have a location near you!

Seasonal Milanos

Pepperidge Farm introduce three new seasonal flavors of their popular Milano Cookies: Candy Cane (Available since October), Dulce De Leche and Lemon Chocolate (both in stores starting in February 2014). They are also offering a Gingerbread variety of their Swirl Bread now through January 2014. That probably tastes amazing toasted!

Nosa Yogurt

Do you see how the little paper spoons all have smiley faces on them? That is because they are serving Noosa Yoghurt, which is so delicious, it is just insane. We sampled both the Cherry and Lemon flavors at Food Fete and gosh darn if this isn’t the Best Yogurt we have tasted, possibly ever. Everyone at Food Fete couldn’t shut up about it. We are going to attempt to get samples of Noosa Yoghurt delivered directly to Worley Gig headquarters so that we can review it more thoroughly. Because, insane.

Nasoya Tofu Plus

And to wrap up this wrap up, we want to give a shout out to Nasoya, who showcased their Tofu Plus and Asian Style Wraps (wraps, get it?) by serving healthy and super yummy Tofu Tacos and scrumptious home baked Cinnamon Apple Turnovers, respectively, in their booth. Find out more about Nasoya products and get recipe ideas at This Link!

Thanks as always to Jeff Davis for making the magic happen!

Product Review: Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss Snacks!

Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss Packaging
All Photos By Gail

As anyone who reads this blog regularly can attest to: I am an unapologetic foodie who loves to eat! I’m also not one to diet or go for the low calorie option if a more decadent choice is available. Because that is how I roll.

That said, I’m not a teenager anymore and an extra pound doesn’t melt away as easily as it used to, so it pays to be a bit more vigilant and calorie conscious. It’s funny, then, that I was actually introduced to Weight Watchers super delicious Brownie Bliss baked goods at a gourmet food show this past July. The ladies at the Weight Watchers booth were conducting an informal “Blind Taste Test,” where they presented the Brownie Bliss snacks on unmarked napkins, only to reveal the Weight Watchers brand packaging after getting feedback from show attendees. I tried both the Triple Chocolate and Peanut Butter varieties of Brownie Bliss and was just blown away by their rich, chocolaty taste.

I asked Weight Watchers if they could please send me additional samples of these delicious Brownie Bliss treats so that I could conduct further research on my own, at home. They were happy to oblige so that I could present you with my findings.

Here’s what the Brownie Bliss looks like Up Close:

Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss Peanut Butter

Behold, the Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss. It looks like a fancy piece of candy doesn’t it? My mouth is watering already. This little nugget of heaven is just 90 calories each, and worth every single one.

Weight Watchers Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss

The Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss also has that look of dipped-in-chocolate indulgence. Chocolate fans can’t do much better than this for just 80 calories per piece.

Weight Watchers Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss and PB Sliced

The above photo reveals an appealing cross-section of the Brownie Bliss. That’s a real layer of peanut butter – with no extra sweetness added – between the chocolate coating and fudgy, moist cake, so this flavor would be a good choice for folks who like Peanut Butter Cup candies, but need to steer clear due to being on a diet. I will confess that the Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss is my favorite new sweet treat! Even though I could eat several easily, I find it easy to be satisfied with just one.

The Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss is made extra special with a layer of rich and creamy chocolate ganache, which melts in your mouth like a fine chocolate truffle. So yummy!

We all know that a challenging aspect of dieting is portion control, but each Brownie Bliss cake is individually wrapped, which not only helps to keeps them fresh, but also takes the guess work out of portioning.

I really love Weight Watchers new Brownie Bliss cakes and will be buying them again to enjoy guilt-free snacking! You can find Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss products at select national grocery retailers priced around $3.29 for a box of six pieces. Enjoy!

Nature’s Own Presents: The Most Delicious Toast

Natures Own White and Wheat Bread

Do you like Toast? I sure do. I recently received a generous Care Package of toast-able bakery items from Nature’s Own that I wanted to share with you. Two of the items in the package were loaves of both Nature’s Own Whole Wheat bread, and their amazing Butter Bread — a soft, buttery white bread baked with butter on the top that was my favorite kind of bread to eat growing up. Seriously, I could eat the entire loaf. Both varieties of bread taste great with any kind of sandwich filling, but the best thing about Butter Top White Bread, especially, it that it makes the most delicious toast.

Buttered Toast
Mmmm, Delicious Toast

Also in the shipment were packages of Nature’s Own Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds and the Cinnamon Raisin variety of their Oatmeal Toasters, which are like a healthy adult version of a Pop Tart, but without all the sugar and fat. Both of these products are fiber rich, whole grain and they come in resealable, zip lock packages to keep them fresh longer.

Natures Own Bakery Products

Sandwich Rounds are a fun alternative to regular sliced bread and are perfect for stuffing with chicken or tuna salad. They are also good for school lunch boxes, as they are easy for kids’ tiny hands to hold.

With the Oatmeal Toasters (of which I also enjoy the Cranberry Orange variety) I like to toast them lightly, then split them into two halves and toast them again, so they get a bit crispy, and then I slather on the margarine. Yum.

Smart Balance Organic Buttery Spread Package

What I enjoy spreading on my toasted goodies is Smart Balance Whipped Buttery Spread. This new variety of product from Smart Balance  is organic — a quality that is so in demand right now — and, of course, naturally low in cholesterol, with zero grams of trans fat. What’s most important though is that it tastes rich, buttery and delicious. I also use it for cooking, always with great results.

If you are now hungry for some delicious toast, please consider adding these fine items to your shopping list!

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal  Toaster and Eggs
Split Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Toaster and Eggs

Wizard of Oz Cake

Wizard of Oz Cake Front
Image Source

That new James Franco Wizard of Oz film may be getting universally panned by the critics, but I am sure this magnificent Cake, inspired by imagery from the original film, would receive rave reviews! Created by Mike’s Amazing Cakes of Redmond, Washington, the back of the cake (below) is also quite impressive!

Wizard of Oz Cake Back
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Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Party!

Pink Party

For the first Pink Thing of the year 2013, what could be more festive than a 3 year old’s Birthday party where all the snacks (except for the Cheetos, which I see hiding there) are Pink?

Pink Party Room
Festive!

Baker Recreates Sleeping Beauty Cake from Disney Film

Sleeping Beauty Cake from Disney Film
Images Coutesy of Cake Wrecks Via Devilish Delights

When you’ve watched as many cake baking competition shows as I have, you know how hard it is to deliberately make a cake that looks like it’s falling apart, but really isn’t. Check out a screen grab from the original Disney film Sleeping Beauty and you can see that whoever made this cake did a pretty amazing job! Just look at those candles!

Sleeping Beauty Cake from Disney Film