Saturday, May 24, 2014

Getting Back Into The Groove

 I felt out of place the other day in my own kitchen. I took a few months off away from baking and blogging and I almost forgot how to do it! I post pics to my Instagram (monica_h30) account daily, but it's been awhile since I've actually picked up my DSLR to photograph a recipe with the intent to blog. It was exciting and kind of nerve wracking at the same time. Even hubby was surprised at what I was doing. It turns out, blogging is kind of like riding a bike. Or I assume it is, it has been YEARS since I actually got on one :-) I pulled props from around my kitchen and out of my vintage glass stash and it all came together. 

These scones came about because I had really ripe berries and heavy cream to use up. I put my spin on it and did things a little differently than the original recipe and they turned out delicious. They're also quite patriotic looking with their red, white and blue-ness! Once cooked, the strawberry flavor intensifies and produces little pockets of  jam-like goodness. The scone itself is barely vanilla and tender, with crunchy sugared tops. Enjoy with a pat of butter or whipped cream (or "keem" as Hayden likes to call it) and more fresh fruit. These are perfect for long, lazy weekends. 

Happy Memorial Day! 

StrawBerry and Cream Scones
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped ripe strawberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream plus more for brushing the tops
  • sanding sugar or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Mix to combine.

Add the cubed, cold butter to the flour. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is crumbly. 

Gently stir in the strawberries and blueberries so that they are coated in the flour mixture. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract just until the mixture comes together. 

Place the dough onto a floured work surface and knead two to three times until a mass is formed, being careful not to over work the dough. Pat the dough into a flat disc about 10-inches wide and about 1-inch thick. 

Using a sharp knife, a bench scraper or a pizza wheel, divide the round into 8 equal triangles. Place the triangles onto the parchment lined baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart. Brush the tops with additional heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. 

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. 

Makes 8 scones. 

This little booger hovers over me while I'm taking photos in the kitchen. He could not wait til I was done so he could dig in. I set my camera down and he helped himself to several fingers full of "keem". Then he said "take picture" and stuck out his tongue. He was very proud of himself! How could I resist those eyes and that curly top?

Pillsbury Bold Giveaway Wnner

The winner of the Pillsbury Bold Prize Pack is...

#18 Melody Stuckey from Stuckey Rhymes With Cookie! who said:

"Hmmm, it's a hard call. But, if I have to pick, it's a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum!!"

That sounds delicious to me! Congratulations Melody! Please email me your mailing address so we can get your prize mailed out to you!

Thank you all for entering my giveaway!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Bold Pillsbury Giveaway! (CLOSED)

At the first of the month, I shared with you some fun and pretty flower cupcakes I made for Mother's Day using Pillsbury® bold Funfetti cake mixes and frosting. You're going to get the chance to make these at home because today I'm having a giveaway for a Pillsbury Celebration Starter Kit valued at over $100!

Included in the prize pack from Pillsbury® is: 
  • Funfetti® Aqua Blue Cupcake and Cake Mix
  • Funfetti® Orange All Star Cupcake and Cake Mix
  • Funfetti® Neon Yellow Cupcake and Cake Mix
  • Funfetti® Vibrant Green Cupcake and Cake Mix
  • Funfetti® Orange All Star Vanilla Flavored Frosting
  • Funfetti® Neon Yellow Vanilla Flavored Frosting
  • $100 Visa Gift Card

Learn more about the bold product line by visiting Pillsbury on Facebook, and Pillsbury on Pinterest.

To enter this fabulous giveaway, simply leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite kind of cake is. That's it! There are no right or wrong answers, lets just talk cake and maybe even drool a little bit in the process :-)

One entry per person. Open to U.S. residents only. 

*I was provided with product samples and compensation by Pillsbury®, though the opinions I express here are my own. ©/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dunkin Donuts Coffee Winner

And the winner of the Dunkin Donuts Bakery Series Coffee, Mr. Coffee Maker and $250 Visa gift card is......
#70 Pamella Tinsley who said...

"I love the carmel it reminds me of my moms carmel coffee cake and all of the stories she used to tell us about her child hood I have since passed on my love of coffee and family time to my daughter and grandchildren i hope the tradition keeps going long after I am gone"

Congratulations Pamella! Please contact me with your mailing address so we can get your prize pack shipped out to you!

Thank you all for entering my Mother's Day giveaway. For those who did not win, I have another giveaway coming up!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Dunkin Donuts Coffee Giveaway! (CLOSED)

I have an early Mother's Day giveaway for you! If you're not jumping up and down in excitement you should be because this one is mighty generous and tasty! 

Dunkin Donuts® sent me some of their new Bakery Series coffee to try out. I served it at our Easter brunch and it was delicious. The flavors I received are: Caramel Coffee Cake, Blueberry Muffin, Old Fashioned Donut, Chocolate Glazed Donut and Jelly Donut. If you like flavored coffees, you will love these. To complete the Dunkin Donuts experience, I served Dunkin Donuts creamer in their original flavor and a Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake for dessert. 

Okay, here's the awesome part... As part of the giveaway, you not only get all five of these Dunkin Donuts Bakery Series coffees to try, you also get a generous sized mug, a Mr Coffee coffee maker and a $250 Visa gift card! Wowzer! I really wish I could be like Oprah and hand out coffee gift baskets to everyone but I can't. However, one lucky duck winner will be chosen at random to receive this fabulous prize pack. 

You can win all of this! 

The Rules: Giveaway open to residents of the USA only. You have two chances to win. 

First and mandatory entry, please visit the and tell me which flavor of the Bakery Series coffee you're most excited to try or if you already have a favorite flavor tell me which one. 

Second, since this is a Mother's Day giveaway, share something special or unique about the mother figure in your life. This can be something special about YOU, your wife, mother, step mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, daughter, whomever. Just tell me something funny or heartwarming about that special woman in your life. Let's celebrate Mom!

Leave your comments on this blog post to enter. Please don't forget to leave your email or a link back to your blog so I can contact you in you win. Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, May 12, 2014. 

Thank you all for entering this giveaway. And a special thank you to Cohn&Wolfe and Dunkin Donuts who provided me with samples and compensation and asked me to share this tasty product with you.

And because I am a proud mother, here is my greatest curly haired accomplishment enjoying his playscape on Easter Sunday. He has my whole heart. I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Bouquet For Mother's Day

I bought these tulip cupcake liners about 3 years ago with the thought that I would make some really pretty Mother's Day cupcakes and that just never happened. Life got in the way, there were other recipes requested and then I misplaced the liners until recently when Hayden was pulling my baking supplies out of a cabinet and playing with them in the living room :-). When Pillsbury® sent me some samples of their new bold Funfetti cake and cupcake mixes, I knew the yellow would be perfect for Spring cupcakes. Sometimes, life just works itself out and things fall into place.

My second mom, Olivia, gave me this Pillsbury Poppin' Fresh doll when she came to visit for Easter. He was the perfect little helper and inspiration in the kitchen and he's just so cute, don't you think? I think he'd approve of my use of  bold Pillsbury flower cupcakes. I'm kind of funny about colored mixes and drinks- I want the flavor to reflect the color so I added some bright lemon zest and juice to the batter along with buttermilk for some extra tang and to provide maximum moisture. So not only do they look like Spring, they taste like it too! The neon pink Funfetti icing was the perfect compliment to the pop of yellow underneath. 

These cupcakes are fun and worthy of a celebration, but they're easy enough that you don't have to stress about making them. They can be decorated any way you want, these flowers are just an idea but you can get more inspiration by visiting Pillsbury on Facebook, and Pillsbury on Pinterest. Any decorative tips, colors or sprinkles will work. Have fun with it and let everyone help and decorate their own for a truly unique experience. 

Lemon Buttermilk Flower Cupcakes

Printer Friendly Version
  • 1- 8.25 oz. package Pillsbury Funfetti Neon Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4  cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside. 

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until batter is smooth and creamy and no traces of cake mix remain. 

Evenly divide the cake mix between the paper liners, filling them no more than 2/3 full. 

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Makes 10-12 cupcakes, depending on size. 

Once cupcakes are baked, allow them to cool in pan for five minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

For the Frosting: 

Transfer your favorite colors of Pillsbury Funfetti frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite icing tips and decorate the tops of the cooled cupcakes to resemble flowers. Use the sprinkles and colored sugar that come with the frosting to bring your cupcake flowers to life!

I used these Wilton tips for decorating: 
  • leaf tip- #67
  • round dot tip- #12
  • small flower tip- #224
  • swirl tip- #21
Store cupcakes at room temperature, in an airtight container. 

*I was provided with product samples and compensation by Pillsbury®, though the opinions I express here are my own. ©/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license. 
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