Friday, November 28, 2014

Free 8X10 at Walgreens by November 29th 2014

Walgreens is offering a Free 8×10 Photo Enlargement when you use the coupon code BIGPICFREE at checkout.
This code is valid for a standard 8×10 photo enlargement, one per household. Enlargements must be ordered by November 29, 2014 to get the discount.

Free item of clothing from today!

  If you are new to online shop for lightly used designer clothing),
you can get $10.00 credit when you sign up through THIS LINK!

Choose an item that is $7.95 and use the code THANKS40 at checkout! You will get the item for $! (shipping included!)
Or you can get 2 items for about $5.00...shipping included!
Don't let this fun deal pass you by!
Get a lightly used designer top for free! Brands include J.Jill, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Land's End, Talbot's, Gap and may more....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Swagbucks code for Thanksgiving 2014

   If you aren't already a member of Swagbucks, follow my link to join today!


Swag Codes: BeThankful
Location: Blog
Worth: 7 SB
Did the Swag Code Work? Please share us with your friends!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yarn giveaway deadline Nov. 28th 2014

Are you a yarn lover? As an avid knitter, I certainly am, and this giveaway looks so exciting! Enter while you can; this giveaway closes on November 28th! Hope you win!

Yarn Lover's Ultimate Prize giveaway...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake with Whipped Cream

     Looking for something to please your family this Thanksgiving?
     This is the perfect Thanksgiving, or anytime Autumn cake! 
   I hope you try it for your Thanksgiving breakfast this year, or perhaps as a simple (but delightful) dessert after your Thanksgiving meal. It is one of my favorite cakes now! If you love pears, or ginger, or just coffee cakes in general, you will enjoy this treat.

Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake with Whipped Cream
(Mazzou-version adapted from original recipe by Rebecca Rather from the cookbook The Pastry Queen Christmas- a favourite cookbook of ours by the way, with a variety of dishes, not just desserts!)

   Make sure you have an appropriate dish in which to create this delightful dessert. You need one with 2-inch tall sides. 
  Our family used a ceramic dish which was about 9-inch square, and taller than 2 inches. Worked well. This is one of our favourite yet easiest cakes to whip up! Can be served warm or cool. You just can't go wrong with this cake!

Serves: 6 to 8

•1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
•1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
•2 to 3 ripe but firm pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett
•2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger (if you don't have this on hand, see alternative at bottom of post!*)

•1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature (plus a tiny bit to grease sides of pan)
•1 cup granulated sugar
•2 large eggs
•1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/2 cup milk
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•3 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger ( If you don't have this on hand, see note below! *)

Whipped Cream - recipe below

You need a 9 or 10-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall.

To make the topping:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. (Grease sides of pan with a little extra butter. I think I also gave a hint of butter to the bottom of the pan, since I didn't want the carmelizing brown sugar to stick in the following part)...
2. Put the butter and brown sugar in the cake pan and place it in the oven until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
3. Core the pears (no need to peel them) and cut them into 1/4-inch thick slices.
4. Remove the pan from the oven, stir to combine the butter and sugar, and arrange the pears on top of the mixture in a circular pattern. Don't worry if you end up with a second layer of pears. Sprinkle the candied ginger (or gingered pear bits*) evenly over the pears.

To make the cake:
1.  Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
4. To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture in 3 increments alternating with the milk in two increments, starting and ending with the flour, beating on low speed between each addition.
5. Stir in the vanilla and candied ginger. (or gingered pear bits*)
6. Pour the batter evenly over the pears. Bake for about 45 minutes if using a 10-inch pan and about 55 minutes for a 9-incher. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and immediately (or within 5 minutes but no longer!) invert onto a large cake plate. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream
•1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
•1/8 cup powdered sugar (optional)
•2 tsp. vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla.

Serve the cake, slightly warm, with the whipped cream alongside.
Serves: 6 to 8

-Serve with vanilla icecream- delicious!
- Serve with entirely unsweetened whipped cream
-Thirdly, if you must, you may serve this with whipped topping.

*Gingered Pear bits*
-1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
-2 pears, preferably not too ripe, chopped
- honey (about 2 Tablespoons, depending on how much ginger you use)
-dried ginger  (about 3 tsp.)
-optional: chopped fresh ginger
This is a play-by-taste little recipe!
   Using a small pot, heat the butter and add the chopped pear with the honey. Heat until bubbling, making sure  honey doesn't burn!
   Add ginger in increments, tasting as you go. You may need to add more honey! That is fine. Your goal is a strong ginger flavour with a bit of chew/crunch. Think candied ginger...
I will try to get a real recipe written up soon! Next time I make this delicious cake for my family!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Persimmon cake layered with whipped cream- Sugarless! Flourless! Delicious!

layered with whipped cream

This delightful and healthy cake can be served warm with whipped cream on the side, or cooled with fresh whipped cream filling! 
Mmm...You haven't tasted Autumn 'til you've tried this amazing cake!
I had it for breakfast on my birthday this year.
Ingredients for cake:
1 ½ cups of ripe persimmon puree (I use native wild persimmons which are abundant here in MO. Important: persimmons must be quite soft and sweet)
7 eggs
¾ to 1 cup of pitted dates, packed (about 18-24 deglet dates)
2/3 cups of full fat coconut milk or 2/3 cup cream or full fat milk!
1/3 cup of coconut oil (you can substitute butter or mix both as I do)
1/3 cup of coconut flour (I grind my unsweetened desiccated coconut quite fine and use that!)
1/3 to ½ cup of raisins 
1 tbsp of orange zest
2 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of baking soda
½ tsp of nutmeg
½ tsp of salt
pinch of ground cloves 
For serving: 
2 oranges1⁄2 tsp. cream of tartar (or 1 tsp. arrowroot powder)1 pint (2 cups) icy-cold heavy or whipping cream2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
To make the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Make sure that the persimmons are ripe and soft. You can always test by tasting one. If they are unripe, your mouth will pucker up. If you are using native persimmons, thede-seeding step may take some time. But I assure you this cake is worth it! This site has an excellent process for de-seeding persimmons. If you are low on persimmons or are Scottish, you may want to painstakingly pull the pulp off of every seed, as I do! This can be done with a fine knife and results in much more pulp. Experiment! And don't worry if you get messy. :) 
  • Persimmon puree from de-seeded Missouri persimmons
  • Using a blender or food processor, blend the dates with the eggs, milk and coconut oil (or butter) until the dates are completely ground. OR grind the dates and then beat in your mixer with eggs, milk and oil. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend a couple more seconds or until well mixed. Finally, mix in the raisins by hand. 
  • Grease and line (I use parchment or wax paper; whatever we have on hand!) a 8”x8” baking dish OR a 9-inch springform pan (see picture below) and pour the batter in it.
  • Bake for a 45 minute or until a knife inserted in the middle of the pudding comes out dry  
  • Shut the oven off, but leave the pudding inside for an additional 30 minutes with the door closed, this will help it set and dry some more, without burning it.
  • Remove from oven, wait for it to cool and carefully remove from pan. Serve immediately with whipped cream on the side, or assemble into a layer cake with whipped cream layer as I have done.
  • To assemble:
  • Carefully take cooled cake and slice in half horizontally. This can be tricky since the cake is moist, but don't worry if it breaks. The cake pictured to the right did, and you can't tell! 
  • Place bottom layer on a serving plate. 
  • Spread 3/4 of the whipped cream (see below) on this layer
  • Top with top half of cake. 
  • Arrange orange slices around the edge and fill center with remainder of whipped cream!
  • The Whipped Cream:
    • 3 Tbs. confectioners' sugar
    • 1⁄2 tsp. cream of tartar
    • 1 pint (2 cups) icy-cold heavy or whipping cream
    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 1. Chill the bowl and mixer beaters (this is very important if your kitchen is warm). 
    • 2. Mix the sugar and cream of tartar together. 3.Whip the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high just until it begins to thicken. 
    • 4. With the mixer running, add the sugar mixture, then the vanilla, and continue beating until the cream stands up in peaks that are stiff but still soft enough to flow. Don't over beat at this stage or the cream will curdle. 
    • 5.For best results, use immediately or refrigerate and use within 30 minutes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Thanksgiving table inspiration with pears and fall leaves

Decorating with pears as placecards!
With Thanksgiving only a week away, I wanted to share some ideas and pictures from an Autumn party we did November 2013!
This is a simple table involving your lovely dishware, pears and glass hurricanes filled with water and floating leaves!

Instead of namecards, we tied a tag with each person's name onto the stem of a pear! You could do this with any stemmed fruit, really. 
We sat the pears, along with a couple leaves on dessert plates which were placed on larger, neutral-toned lunch plates. You can use whatever colours, shapes and sizes you want! We used glass plates; I know paper would look nice as well. 

For the candle display down the center of the table, we used a variety of sizes of clear glass hurricanes
You will need to collect beautiful fall leaves. We used mostly pear leaves since they are smaller and more sturdy. 
We  covered the bottom of each glass hurricane with clear craft glue. 
We then secured the leaves, stem-down, into the glue.
Make sure the glue is dry, then fill the glass containers with room-temperature water and add floating tealights.
As the hours progressed, the glue unstuck from the bottom of the containers, letting the leaves float to the middle of the container!This gave the look of leaves floating in ice water, which was very charming. I love how accidents often turn out beautifully. Whether the glue stays stuck to the bottom or not for you, this will be impressive.

hurricanes with leaves, water and floating candles

How to rim a glass with sugar: 
  1. Pour the sugar you want to use on a saucer or plate. Use plenty to make sure the rim gets covered, and make sure the circle of powder is bigger in diameter than the rim of your glass.
  2. Moisten the rim with a wedge of lemon, lime or orange. Or dip in a dish of sweetened (syrup) water. Rub along the glass slowly to make an even line. If using the syrup water, just dip carefully. 
  3. Turn the glass upside down and dip it in sugar
  4. Depending on how much sugar you want on the rim, you can try twisting the glass in the sugar for more, or just simply dipping for less sugar. Twisting it is sometimes tricky to keep a straight rim. 


You can rim glasses with anything powdered. The possibilities are pretty much endless. 
  • Rimming options: 
  • Cocoa. Perfect for chocolate martinis.
  • Cinnamon rim. Mix 1 part white sugar with one part cinnamon for a Autumn flavour
  • Crushed candy or cookies. Basically, anything you can powder can be used as a rim.
  • Crushed graham crackers. Works on pretty much any drink that’s good with a sugar rim.
  • Ginger. Mix equal parts sugar and powdered ginger.
  • Powdered drink mixes. Not every powdered drink mix is the right texture for sticking to the glass, but you can usually work around that by moistening the glass differently – for example, simple syrup may work better on really fine powders than citrus. A powdered mint hot chocolate mix makes a Chocolate Mint rimmer.. Kool-Aid mixes can be great for fruity drinks.
Don't forget to get out and enjoy the Autumn splendor!
(or the snow, depending on which state you reside in!)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pecan Pie with chocolate recipe...using honey instead of corn syrup!

The best pecan pie...we used this for a Fall birthday, but will most certainly make it again for Thanksgiving!
Autumn-delight Pecan Pie with chocolate....
and no corn syrup!
Looking for the perfect Thanksgiving pie?
 Love the traditional pecan pie but feel bad about the corn syrup? Try this delicious version which uses honey yet just like the real thing (if not better)!

 Autumn-delight Pecan Pie with honey
1/4  cup sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup honey, heated for easier mixing
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 slightly baked pastry shell (9 inches)- see below for recipe
1/2 cup pecan halves (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet (or darker!) chocolate, chopped
or 1 cup chocolate chips

  1. 1. Prepare pastry shell by pre-baking slightly (see recipe below). Sprinkle chocolate pieces or chips over the bottom of shell. Set aside.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and flour. Stir in the eggs, honey, butter, vanilla and salt. Add chopped pecans and mix well.
  3. 3.  Pour into pastry shell. Arrange pecan halves around edge and center of pie.
    4. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cool or slightly warmed with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
  4.  Yield: 6-8 servings.
  5. Originally published as Southern Honey-Pecan Pie in Reminisce December/January 2007, p49Updated November 2014 by Mazzou.

Williams-Sonoma  basic tart dough recipe:
(makes enough for one 9-inch pie crust)


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs. very cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into
      1⁄4-inch cubes
  • Directions:
    In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.-To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.-To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick.  (I did thicker and since this is such a flaky dough, it worked perfectly) Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart or larger tartlet pans. Use a small, sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut out rounds 1/2 to 1 inch greater in diameter than your miniature tartlet pans. If using a rectangular tart pan, cut out a rectangle 2 inches larger on all sides than the pan. Makes enough dough for one 9 1/2-inch tart, six 4-inch tartlets, twelve 2-inch miniature tartlets or one 13 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch rectangular tart.

Nut Dough Variation: Add 2 Tbs. ground toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts to the flour mixture and proceed as directed.

Make-Ahead Tip: The tart dough may be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, place the dough round on a 12-inch cardboard circle and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Alternatively, use the round to line a tart pan and wrap well.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Apple-spice layer cake with Caramel swirl icing recipe

                         Apple-spice layer cake with Caramel swirl icing

visit this site for a picture!``This 3-layer extravaganza has a touch of molasses and shredded apple to keep it moist. As the cake bakes, it fills the house with the fragrance of autumn…``

This cake created by Rebecca Rather is just the best `Autumn Cake`ever! We enjoyed it for a fall birthday a couple years ago- an instant success! As a bonus, it’s not too hard to make, or assemble! (Make cake layers the night before, and refrigerate them.)

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