Admit it, resistance to these rolls would be futile!  But that’s ok when these delicious rolls are made from hearty and healthy whole grain flours and products from Hodgson Mill!  I have been challenged by this wonderful company, Hodgson Mill,  to create a holiday recipe for their blogger contest entitled “Have A Grain Holiday” so instead of making cookies or cake, a pie or something sweet, made rolls.

Now don’t get all worked up and say “But I can’t bake bread, never mind rolls!  They are too hard…and I don’t know how to use yeast!”  Well guess what….below are step by step instruction with photos to go with them to make these delicious treats…….so relax and give it a try!

These are much more than dinner rolls.  Slightly sweet with a touch of molasses, these rolls are perfect for a celebratory dinner,  hot out of the oven,  for the holiday buffet (no one will know or care that they are eating healthy whole grains),  for lunch for using up leftover turkey or slices or holiday roast in a sandwich and the next day for a light breakfast–see what I made for myself this morning below!  Also super fabulous for a holiday brunch with a little maple butter (softened butter mixed with a few tablespoons pure maple syrup) served right next to them….the possibilities are endless!   They are sitting on my kitchen counter, all wrapped up, as I baked them yesterday….what do you think…..try making little French toast with them on Wednesday when I have time for a proper breakfast?  How about bread pudding end of the week if they last that long, which is highly unlikely as my Mom says they reminder her of her Mother’s oatmeal rolls growing up!

So without further delay, here’s the recipe and step by step how to guide:

First, assemble your ingredients:

2 cups cold water
1 cup old fashioned oats, plus one tablespoon for sprinkling
1/3 cup warm (100-110 degrees F)
1 package Hodgson Mill Yeast (great for whole grains!)
1/3 cup molasses
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour
2-3 cups Hodgson Mill All Purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk for brushing (optional if keeping recipe veg/vegan)

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil and add oats.

Cook and stir for 2 minute until oats are softened.

Remove from the heat; cool to lukewarm (I put mine outside for a quick cool down as it was 34 degrees!)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with a drop of the molasses.

Allow to become foamy and active in a warm place, about 10 minutes.

To the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, in a food processor with the plastic kneading blade attached or in a large bowl, add the oat mixture, olive oil, molasses, salt and Hodgeson Mill Whole Wheat Flour and 1 1/2 cups of the Hodgeson Mill white flour; beat until smooth.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Continue to beat/process slowly until surface of dough is soft and elastic adding more flour little by little until dough is no longer sticky.

Knead about 3-4 minutes on low speed or turn dough on to a floured surface and knead by hand until ball of dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-9 minutes.

Place dough in a large bowl that has been lightly coated with cooking spray or additional olive oil (or just wash out the one you were using before) cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1.5 hours.  This picture is of the dough before it has doubled in size….it literally does double in size–just be sure it is in a warm spot, out of drafts or the yeast will not be happy.

When doubled in size, punch dough down and allow to rest, covered for 10 minutes.

Spray or butter two 9” x 13” casserole dishes (preferably clear glass so you can see what is going on when they are baking) and set aside.

Shape dough into 30-two inch balls.

Tops of rolls will be smooth if you flatten the ball, and then pull the edges together like a purse, placing the gathered sided down in the prepared pan, 15 to a pan.

This is what the bottom of the roll will look like:

And this is the top of the roll:

Cover pans with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (you can preheat the oven and put them on top, that would work) until doubled, about 45 minutes.   Brush tops of risen rolls lightly with milk and sprinkle with oats–this part is optional if you are making them vegetarian/vegan.

This is what they look like before the rise in the pan:

And this is what they look like after the rise:

See how they are touching and have again nearly doubled in size?

Bake at 350° in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. If you have an instant read thermometer and are nervous that they are not cooked through, the internal temperature of the roll in the middle of the pan needs to be about 195 degrees F and they will be perfect.

Yield: 30 rolls
This is what I had for breakfast…..toasted oatmeal rolls with goat cheese and holiday spiced pear and cranberry jam….so delicious!  These rolls also make excellent egg sandwiches with cheese and bacon.

And what about using them for the leftover roast or turkey sandwiches I mentioned earlier?  How about a beef and horseradish sauce sandwich with lettuce and cheddar?  Oh yes….that’s the ticket!

So, just when you thought this blog post couldn’t get more delicious or interesting, there’s more!  Hodgson Mill is sponsoring a sweepstakes on their blog–the winner gets a great prize package filled with a ton of their wholesome baking ingredients and they are giving away 50–yes 50 of them so your chances are really good.  And they are drawing the winners on the 10th of December, just in time for holiday baking!  Here’s the link:


But wait, there’s more!  Last but not least, I am offering $25.00 worth of Hodgson Mill products to give away too!  Simply comment below before Friday, November 30th at 9:00 what you would make with delicious whole grain Hodgson Mill products, share my giveaway on Facebook and/or Tweet it for more entries and you might just win!  I will have the fabulous Lily draw the name out of a hat as usual!  And because the people at Hodgson Mill are in the holiday spirit, here’s the link to a printable $1.00 off coupon too!


Good luck to all and please, let me know if you make these yummy rolls!




Happy Thanksgiving Eve Friends! First, let me thank you for your ongoing support as always for my crazy cooking contests and voting requests–I appreciate your support more than you can ever know…..It means the world to me.  Second, you know that I need more votes please….this one goes on for a bit (daily through December 21) but is an easy click and vote. 

Below is the recipe for my contest entry–check out the easy techniques for making a pretty impressive pie! And here is the link if you would vote please…..https://apps.facebook.com/diamond-nuts-recipe/contests/295699/voteable_entries/61754691

Chocolate Almond Brickle Coconut Cream Pie
For the almond brickle:
½ cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons salted butter
½ cup chopped Diamond Sliced Almonds
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter and almonds.  Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until the bubbling mixture turns golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Pour onto prepared sheet and spread out.  Allow to cool completely.  When cool, break into large pieces and chop coarsely in food processor.   Set aside.
For the crust:
25 chocolate wafer cookies (to yield 1 ½ cups)
1/3 melted butter
½ cup Diamond Sliced Almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine all ingredients in food processor.  Pulse until a fine crumb forms.  Press firmly into a 10” pie plate.  Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before filling.
For the filling:
1 cups heavy cream
½ cup half and half
1 ½ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon coconut extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus two egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
In a large microwave safe bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, half and half, coconut milk, coconut extract, cocoa powder and cornstarch.  Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and salt.
In the microwave on 100% power, cook custard mixture for 7-10 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave, pausing to stir the custard at 5 minutes and every 30 seconds thereafter until very thick.  Cover custard with buttered plastic wrap and refrigerate until cooled.
For the topping:
1 cup whipping cream
3-4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, to taste
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup toasted coconut
¼ cup Diamond Sliced Almonds
When ready to assemble pie, whip cream with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract.  Sprinkle bottom of crust with processed brickle and fill crust with custard.  Top pie decoratively with toasted coconut, whipped cream and Diamond Sliced Almonds.  Serves 8

The nice people at Hodgson Mill reached out to me a little while back and invited me to take part in a food blogger recipe competition.  The object of the competition is to create a healthy pizza using their whole grain/organic flours and grains and of course, you know me, I jumped right on that.  We love pizza here in the Lufkin house–pizza for us is nearly a weekly treat–I make it to use up leftover odds and ends in the fridge that otherwise might go in to a soup, to make sure everyone here is getting in their veggies and calcium and also this summer to use up our abundant herbs and tomatoes from our outside pots.  It’s fun to make, economical and who doesn’t like pizza?

Anyway, in thinking about using Hodgeson Mill Whole Wheat Flour in my crust (I had to use at least 50% whole wheat) I wanted to make sure that my toppings were meaty and had a strong flavor to hold up to the heartiness of the crust and mushrooms fit that bill…lots of mushrooms…and I paired the mushrooms with a good hit of Marsala wine to add some savory sweetness to the dish.   Throw in some chicken, cheese and proscuitto and what do you get?  Hearty Chicken Mushroom Marsala Pizza!

There are a few easy steps to this recipe so have taken some pictures along the way to help you visually if you don’t make pizza often.

Hearty Chicken Mushroom Marsala Pizza

For the Crust:

1 pk. Hodgson Mill Dry Active Yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F or cooler)
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cup Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour
1 ½ cup Hodgson Mill Organic White Flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut to ¾” pieces
1 cup Marsala
1/2 cup diced shallots
16 oz sliced button mushrooms
8 oz log goat cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Hodgson Mill Old Fashioned Corn Meal for sprinkling
6 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn in to large pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place pizza stone on middle rack of oven If not using a stone, wait to preheat oven.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine Hodgson Mill Dry Active Yeast, warm water and sugar.  Whisk to combine.  Mixture will become frothy and bubbly very quickly.

Add both Hodgson Mills flours, salt, granulated garlic and olive oil and knead slowly for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Remove from dough from bowl, coat bowl with olive oil, replace dough and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Allow to rise in a warm place (mine is on my preheating stove) for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste and brown chicken until cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan, deglaze with Marsala, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove browned bits.

Add shallots and mushrooms, reduce heat to medium low, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook mushrooms until Marsala is evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.

If not using a pizza stone, preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Place a large baking sheet upside down in the oven.

Sprinkle pizza peel with Hodgson Mill cornmeal.  Shape pizza dough to a 12” circle (or two smaller pizzas) and place on prepared peel (if you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use the back of a baking sheet).  Break goat cheese in to ½ inch or so chunks and sprinkle on crust.  Add cooked mushrooms and chicken.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, tear prosciutto in to large piece and place randomly on pizza.  Bake for 7 more minutes.

Remove from oven, allow to rest 5 minutes and garnish with chopped parsley.  Slice and serve!

And now, for the giveaway!!!  Simply leave a comment on my blog in the comments section telling me what you might make with Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour and any of their other delicious and healthy products-here’s there site if you want more info on their products–they are available locally in nearly all grocery stores: http://www.hodgsonmill.com/

and you will be entered to win a $25.00 Hodgson Mill Gift Pack—US only please….

for another entry, share this giveaway on Facebook….and for another, please Tweet it!

That’s three entries all together—each a separate comment please–some of my more blog/tech savvy friends use a random generator to pick a name but I will put all of the entries in to a hat and have our favorite 11 year old, the fabulous Lily, pick the winner in a week.  Enter by noon on the 24th please!

And of course, there’s a catch….this pizza entry is going to require VOTES—I know…shocking, huh?  As soon as the recipe goes live on the Hodgson Mill site I will update you on the voting……Thanks a million for your support and if you make this recipe, please let me know what you think!

UPDATE:  Here’s the voting link for my pizza–if you have a sec, would you mind?  Simple click and vote, no registration!


Here’s an oldie but a goodie–feel like doing a little baking this weekend?  Try this!  I made this one up a few years ago for the Topsfield Fair and came home with a blue ribbon from the King Arthur baking contest!  The deadline is approaching quickly if you are thinking about entering any goodies into the fair–get those forms in!

Here’s a link to the form–print it out and enter something–it’s so fun!!!  http://www.topsfieldfair.org/handbook/2012/foodentry.pdf



Taste of Autumn Bundt Cake

For the Filling:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup Vermont maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Cape Cod whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup dried Cape Cod cranberries, chopped

For the Cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 cup butternut squash or pumpkin puree
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

1/2 cup Macintosh, Granny Smith or other tart New England apple sauce
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoons apple brandy
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup New England hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup dried Cape Cod cranberries chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl prepare the filling. Beat together cream cheese, egg, cornstarch and maple syrup. Add brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon, cranberries and cranberry sauce until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time until blended. Beat in squash, sour cream and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Spoon one half of the batter into the pan. Spoon filling on top of batter in a ring but do not allow filling to touch the edge of the pan. Top with remaining batter.  Bake for 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Turn out on to rack to cool completely.

When cake is cool, place on serving plate. Combine apple sauce, confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, brandy, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake and sprinkle with hazelnuts and cranberries.


ImageHere’s some deliciousness to add to your day.  Yes, it’s another contest and I would love a vote if you would so here’s the recipe and let me know what you think if you make it…believe me, it’s bacon-y goodness.

Here’s the link to the contest–it’s another Facebook only (sorry Kate Lufkin and the three other people out there who are not on FB) for voting:  Voting Link for contest

here’s the recipe!

Bacon Mushroom Marsala Bites

4 oz bacon, diced
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
6 oz sliced button mushrooms, chopped
6 oz sliced crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/3 cup marsala wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup cottage cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
Salt & pepper to taste
36 mini phyllo shells
Fresh chive segments for garnish

In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown bacon until crispy.  Removed crisped meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add shallots to the pan and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium low and add chopped mushrooms to the pan, stirring to coat with bacon drippings.  Cook until mushrooms are soft, have released most of their liquid and the pan is nearly dry.  Add Marsala and rosemary to the pan and cook again until pan is nearly dry.  Add cottage cheese and heavy cream and continue to cook until cottage cheese is broken down and mixture is creamy.

Remove from heat and stir in chives and reserved bacon.  Heat shells in a 350F oven for 8-10 minutes to crisp.  Fill shells with a scant tablespoon of mushroom mixture.  Top with a fresh chive segment if desired.  Enjoy!

Here’s a disclaimer–my Mom makes the most delicious traditional potato salad…just the right mount of  mayo, potatoes boiled to perfection, the right spices, large pieces of onion for those that don’t care for them(she says they can just pick them out), hard boiled eggs on the top, and lots of love.  When I think of potato salad, that’s what comes to my mind.
However, when I saw a contest listed on my favorite cooking contest websites (www.cookingcontestcentral.com and www.contestcook.com) asking for creative “out of the box” potato salad recipes, sponsored by Reser’s Fine Foods, I remembered something I had made a few years ago, scribbled down on a piece of paper and filed away both in my brain and in the GIANT pile of recipes I have stacked near my desk.  And I use the word “stacked” loosely…

When I have an idea, I often do a rough version first and always write it down.  Often, I don’t give the recipe away (even if someone asks for it), or publish it anywhere, just in case there is a contest out there that it might fit and that’s what happened here.  My hand written version was rough, I didn’t write down how much of anything, just the idea and basic ingredients and this is what it came out to after much tweaking:

You should have seen me, laying on my side lawn like some kind of doofus, taking close up pictures of potato salad but for those of you who know me, that should not come as much of a surprise.

All-American Caprese Grilled Potato Salad

2 pounds red, white and blue (purple) baby or fingerling potatoes, washed and dried
10 cups cold water
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned (not oil packed)
2 cups seeded and diced fresh Roma tomatoes
1 cup – 1/2” diced fresh mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice clean potatoes in to 1/3” slices on the diagonal, ensuring that potatoes are large enough not to slip through grill grates.

In a large pot or Dutch oven add water and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Add sliced potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil potatoes until partially cooked through and nearly fork tender.  Drain and immediately rinse potatoes in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Allow to drain thoroughly, patting potatoes dry with a towel if necessary.

Pour potatoes in to a large bowl and gently toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning and one teaspoon kosher salt.

Preheat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to high.  Reduce heat to medium and grill seasoned potatoes until cooked all the way through, tender and marked by the grill, turning once.  Remove from grill and allow to cool to room temperature.  Potatoes will cool quickly if spread out on a sheet pan after grilling.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine sun dried tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.  Gently add grilled potatoes to the bowl and toss to combine.  Add basil and re-season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Well,  my potato salad was chosen as a finalist in the contest, Reser’s America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge and I am thrilled.  The judging process was rigorous!  There were 606 entries, they were narrowed down to 30, each dish prepared by chefs and then a judging panel rated them on taste, creativity and appearance.

Here’s what you can do for me.  In exchange for my nifty recipe above.  Would you go to this link: http://www.resers.com/special-offers/campaigns and vote for my recipe please?  The top five finalists, based on the qualifications above, coupled with the amount of votes, get to go to a cook off in Las Vegas and compete.  Having never been to Vegas, I would LOVE to go and cook this salad for the judges.  It is a facebook only contest so if you are not on FB, you have to sit this one out.  Voting is daily through the end of  August and then we wait until September 17th for the cook off contestants to be announced!  Thank you to all of you for your support–I really appreciate it!


So it’s been a while……way too long (no comment, Kate Lufkin)…..since I posted anything on my blog but I am back and we are shooting a bunch of new episodes of Inspired Cooking and I will be posting recipes and photos to go along with the new episodes.  For my first show back I felt it fitting to go to Boston to Steve Connolly Seafood (http://www.steveconnollyseafood.com/), who have been very supportive of Inspired Cooking and have allowed us to invade their plant and kitchen before.

I wanted the very talented Chef Carlos, the man in charge of all things culinary at Steve Connolly, so show me an easy and delicious recipe that could easily be recreated at home.  I am of the mindset to try and use whole fish lately–it’s just better all around and nothing gets wasted (you know I hate to waste, it’s the Yankee in me) so I asked him to show me how to make a fish stock.  I have not had any formal training so things like stock give me pause…..but it really is as easy as pie…..well, even easier than pie!  So here’s the recipe and some photos to help along the way.  It came out gorgeous and flavorful—you will want to make some asap!



5+ haddock or cod bones washed in cold water
1 gallon water
1 cup diced onions
1 clove of garlic
1 rib of celery
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
½ teaspoon of thyme
½ cup dry white wine

Place all of the above in a large pot and boil for 45 minutes, first bringing to a rapid boil and then reducing to a simmer. Image Strain hot stock through a fine colander or multi layers of cheesecloth.  Place in individual containers and cool, uncovered.  Cover and store.*

ImageUse within one week or freeze for up to a month.

*I freeze all of my stocks in zip top bags.  Pour stock in the bag, zip close and lay on a baking sheet.  Freeze flat and the frozen stock can be stacked and takes up less room than in a container.

It is so worth it to take the time to make this stock.  You don’t have to babysit it, just put the ingredients together and leave it alone once it has come to a boil.  It will enhance any dish from a seafood pasta to a risotto to a soup!

Now, on to the chowder, which uses this gorgeous stock.  I wish I had brought some of my homemade oyster crackers to go with it! This is a light chowder, not heavy or thick with cream, which showcases the stock and the fresh haddock.  It is amazing!



1 onion—small dice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup celery (peeled)–small dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 gallon fish stock
3+ haddock or cod fillets—1/2 inch dice
1 cup half & half or light cream
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Saute onion in the butter for about three minutes until tender in a large soup pot.   Add garlic and celery and cook until celery is tender.

ImageAdd the flour and stir gently for two minutes.
Add the fish stock and bring to boil.

ImageStir occasionally until it thickens—about 20 minutes.

Add the fish.  Cook for ten minutes.  Reduce heat to low.

Add the cream or half & half and simmer for one minute and remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Image*for the episode, Chef Carlos used a roux.  However, this recipe is made with flour added in to the vegetable mixture which will achieve the same result, which is to thicken the broth.

If you have any questions on the episode or the recipe, please post a comment below.  Additionally, if you have any ideas for someone on Cape Ann or the North Shore that should be featured on an episode of Inspired Cooking, please email me at laurielufkin@yahoo.com.

Thanks for watching and being so supportive of my show, my crazy hobby, my requests for votes for my cooking contests and of all of my culinary endeavors!

Made another fun visit to Boston on Wendesday to film another show with Chef Carlos of Steve Connolly Seafoods and boy did I learn a lot.  I had some of the most fabulous haddock chowder I have ever had in my life and the Chef taught me how to make a gorgeous clear fish stock.

Lots of pics and two recipes to come…..thanks for your patience!!!

Thank you all for coming out to see my baking demonstration at yesterday’s Rockport Harvest Festival.  What a gorgeous day I was so thrilled with all of the people who came and watched my demo!  Here, as promised, is the recipe I make yesterday.

I am so glad I was able to give out samples and that they were so well received, but here is the presentation that was giving to the judges-this photo was taken when I was a guest on TV Diner a few weeks after I won the contest.  Like I told you yesterday, second only to the birth of my daughter Lily, that day was the most exciting day of my life.

Good Luck to this years competitors.  Hood will be announcing the names of the finalists tomorrow and if any of my friends have made the cut, I wish them all the best–enjoy every second of it and I want to see one of you holding the BIG CHECK (mine still currently resides on the wall of my kitchen for inspiration)!

New England Buttermilk Pumpkin Cakes with Sour Cream Apple Caramel and Dried Cranberries

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Hood Cultured Fat Free Buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons demerara sugar, divided
6 tablespoons sweetened dried cranberries, divided
Hood Original Whipped Light Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 6 one cup ramekins on a baking sheet.  Spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and set aside.

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat again until combined.  Beat in pumpkin and Hood Cultured Fat Free Buttermilk and vanilla extract until thoroughly incorporated.   Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and beat until well combined.

Divide batter between prepared ramekins, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon demerara sugar and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes until a skewer inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cakes are in the oven, prepare the sour cream apple caramel sauce.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons salted butter, cut in to small pieces
1/4 cup Hood Heavy Cream
3/4 cup Hood sour Cream
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Cortland apples, peeled and cut in to 1/2” to 3/4” matchsticks

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix the sugar and water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved.  Do not allow any sugar to get on the side of the pan.

Allow mixture to boil, gently stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to change color.   When the liquid is a medium caramel color turn off the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.  Quickly whisk in the Hood Heavy Cream until combined and then whisk in the Hood Sour Cream, salt, vanilla extract and apples.  If caramel cools too quickly, reheat gently over low heat, stirring frequently.

To serve:  Place pumpkin cake in the center of a dessert dish  Spoon sour cream caramel apple caramel sauce over cake and sprinkle on one tablespoon sweetened dried cranberries.  Top with desired amount of Hood Original Light Whipped Cream and enjoy!



Since according to Sister Kate I am the worlds worst blogger (and lately, I agree with her) I thought that I would grab on to some of my incredibly clever friend Beth Klosterboer’s amazing Halloween ideas to share with you.  Check this out:


And although you might have to do a little shopping and prep to make this craft/recipe happen, it is worth the time.  Plus, Halloween is weeks away!  This is just the tip of the iceberg in regard to fabulous Halloween (and pretty much any other holiday/celebration you can think of from this lady) ideas.  She has a wonderful book on Amazon you should check out if you are hosting a Halloween get together.




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