Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

October 20, 2010 - Written by Diana

It’s apple season and I have had such a craving for an Apple (Cinnamon Coffee) Crumb Cake.  It doesn’t help that I have all of these apples that my husband and I are planning on canning sitting around the house calling to me.  Psst, psst, you want it, you know you doooooo.  Well, I caved.  I hit the books looking for a simple cake that I could put together quickly for a nice evening snack.  This is one of the times it would be nice to have kids hanging around.  I’ve got apple cake and I’m eating it, and eating it.  This is my type of cake, not too sweet, a little bit of apple, moist and delicious.  Love it.  Warm is better, and if you have vanilla ice cream, dollop it on top.  I don’t have any, but I just keep snacking on it.  I found this recipe in my Best of Cooking Light Kitchen Secrets for Quick and Easy Meals from Sept 2008.  I guess this is the reason I keep magazines I like around for a while. 

Apple Cinnamon Cake 080 Serve warm or freeze this coffee-cake for up to 3 months




Preheat oven to 350.  To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of mixture.  Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Fold in apple.  Pour into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. 

To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Sprinkle streusel over batter.  Bat at 350 for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Yield 12 servings.

Idaho Potato Quick and Easy Superbowl Recipes

February 2, 2010 - Written by Diana

I’m trying to load all you hard working folks up with some quick and easy recipes that have funneled my way.  Sometimes when there’s a big gathering of people who want to eat while sitting in front of the tube, you want something that’s not going to take all day to prepare, and maybe food that can be eaten with your fingers.  Here are some from the Idaho Potato Commission.

Idaho® Potato Pesto Bites

Idaho Potato Pesto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Bonnie Cooper, Carrollton,GA  Photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission 

Beat mid-meal hunger with these nutritional, bite-sized snacks sure to satisfy your appetite.
Yield: 8 servings
Estimated Cost per Serving*: $1.15


  1. Preheat the oven to 425º. Coat the cups of 3 mini-muffin pans (36 cups) with cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, in water to cover, over high heat, cook the potatoes about 15 minutes, or until fork-tender, but not mushy. Drain the potatoes, then mash or put them through a ricer. Stir in the salt and egg; set aside. In a small bowl, using a fork, combine the pesto and softened cream cheese until blended.
  3. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of potato mixture into each muffin cup, pressing the spoon against the bottom and sides of the cup to make a small impression in the middle. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pesto mixture into the impression of each cup.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and top each cup with a small amount of chopped tomatoes and one olive slice for garnish. Return to the oven for 3 minutes more. Serve hot or warm.

Estimated Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 222 calories, 7g protein, 22g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 51mg cholesterol, 372mg sodium


Idaho® Potato Pumpkin & Pepita Patties

Idaho Potato Pumpkin and Pepita Patties
Recipe courtesy of Recipe courtesy of Linda Kay Drysdale, Riverview, MI. Photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission.
Idaho® Potato Pumpkin and Pepita Patties deliver a dose of sweet heat in every bite.
Yield: 8 servings
Estimated Cost per Serving*: $1.10


For more Idaho Potato Super Bowl dishes try this Bowl Frenzy Potato Recipes link.

Taste of Home’s 2010 Quick, Cheap and Easy Superbowl Recipes

February 2, 2010 - Written by Diana


Taste of Home put out a second edition of the Taste of Home Cookbook. The new cookbook from Taste of Home, the # 1 cooking magazine in the country, is stuffed full of quick game day chow that won’t break the bank! Using everyday ingredients the Taste of Home cookbook 2nd edition has quick and scrumptious treats that will tackle your guests’ hungry tummies. It takes less than a half an hour to whip up these mouth watering munchies such as Hot Bean Dip, Easy Meatballs, Barbeque Wings, Tomato Pizza Bread, and a yummy Five Minute Beer Dip to get the crowd going. Without emptying your wallet or being stuck in the kitchen you’ll have a feast for champions!


Hot Bean Dip
Prep/Total Time: 15 Min
Cost $.40 per serving

1 lb ground beef
¼ cup chopped onion
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1-1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½  cup taco sauce
Tortilla chips

1)    In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Reduce heat. Stir in the refried beans, Monterey Jack cheese and taco sauce; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Yield: 3-1/2 cups


beer dip

Beer Dip
Prep/Total Time: 5 min
Cost $.22 per serving

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1)    In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, beer and dressing mix until smooth. Stir in cheese. Serve with pretzels. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 3-1/2 cups


Easy Meatballs 

Easy Meatballs
Prep/Total: 15 min
Cost$.14 per serving

24 frozen cooked Italian meatballs (1/2 ounce each) thawed
1 cup barbecue sauce
½ cup sweet-and-sour sauce

1)    Place the meatballs in a 3-qt. microwave-safe dish; cover and microwave on high for 304 minutes or until heated through.
2)    In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the sauces; cover and heat on high for 203 minutes or until heated through. Pour over meatballs; cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Yield: 2 dozen


Tomato Bread Pizza

Tomato Pizza Bread
Prep/Total Time: 30min

1 tube (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 plum tomato, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning optional

1)    On a greased baking sheet, roll pizza crust into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Bake at 425 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Sprinkle with garlic, oregano and half of the cheese.
2)    Arrange tomato slices in a single layer over cheese. Top with remaining cheese and Italian seasoning if desired. Bake 6-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.
Yield: 8 servings


Barbeque Wings

Barbeque Wings
Prep/Total Time: 30min
Cost $.28 per serving

Oil for deep-fat frying
1 package (40 ounces) fresh or frozen chicken wingettes, thawed
½ cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1)    In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry chicken wings, a few at a time, for 8 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels.
2)    In a Small microwave-safe bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, butter, celery seed and hot pepper sauce. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl; add sauce and toss to coat.
Yield: 6 servings

Celebrate National Garlic Day with New York Style Snacks

April 20, 2009 - Written by Diana

Thursday, a  New York Style representative contacted me.  She said National Garlic Day is on Sunday, would you like some stuff to review (promote?).  Since I’ve tried them before and loved them I didn’t think it was out of line and told her, if you can get it here by then, we’ll review it.  She was doing me a favor after all, I would have missed National Garlic Day.  My mom has trouble with Garlic, but it’s one of my favorite ingredients in food. 

These snacks came along at the right time. We had cheese and hummus leftover from Easter, but nothing to spread it on because my dear husband ate it up.  These snacks were great for spreading on and my favorite combination was the garlic bagel crisps with the hummus.  Garlic and hummus are perfect together, so are garlic and cheeses. 

April 19, 2009 020 From left to right, on the plate and in the background.  Focaccia Sticks – Roasted Garlic & Herb – I spread Brie on top of these. Pita Chips – Garlic – these have hummus on them.  Panetini – Garlic Parmesan – These are fantastic, the garlic and parmesan are always good together.  I put some Chevre on top.   Bagel Crisps – Roasted Garlic.  I put Chevre with Basil and Herbs. 

They all stood up well to the cheeses and the hummus without overpowering.  I love Garlic snacks and New York Style is always at the top of my list.

New York Style has recipes to try out along with their tasty snacks , plus you can sign up for their newsletter and coupons.

If you get the right package – you may win a trip to NYC and Broadway.  I lived in New York City growing up, but we could never afford a broadway show – that would be a real treat.  I’ve been to a few off broadway shows and I once slept in the Empire State Building as a girl scout, so I’ve had my share of pretty cool things while living there.


I decided to glance around the web and see if any other bloggers  scored some Garlic New York Style Snacks like I did.

Street Insider has some facts and puts out the bruschetta recipe I want to try out.

Natasha at 5StarFoodie – scored the big one, she’s got a giveaway- I’m jealous and torn.  Since I got some of these wonderful snacks to promote, do I enter the contest because I love them, or do I let it go because it’s only fair for someone else to have a chance.  What to do, what to do?

Funky Monkey is a Heart Healthy Snack

February 28, 2009 - Written by Diana

Line ShotJivealime Front

Funky Monkey is a really good tasting freeze dried fruit snack.  It’s loaded with fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants, and comes in five delicious flavors. My family had the opportunity to try out Funky Monkey snacks and we really enjoyed them.  They are freeze dried and crunchy without being tough to chew.  I’ve had other freeze dried snacks that just don’t have as nice of a texture as these do.  Our favorites hands down were the banana with cinnamon and banana with acai.  My husband – a pineapple lover, enjoyed the tart taste of the jivealime which is pineapple and lime. The Carnaval mix was pretty darn good too.

Funky Monkey is a great way to get your fruit servings for the day.  Each of their one-ounce bags contains three servings of real fruit, with no added sweeteners, colors, flavors or preservatives.  Best of all, unlike chips or other fatty snacks, Funky Monkey Snacks contribute to good heart and cardiovascular health.  The bags of Funky Monkey are very portable; great for carrying in your bag, on trips, for lunch and getting your fruit without the mess. 

The 110 calorie bags come in four varieties: Bananamon® (freeze-dried organic banana and organic cinnamon), Carnaval Mix™ (freeze-dried organic banana, organic pineapple, apple, papaya and raisins), Jivealime® (freeze-dried organic pineapple and organic lime juice), and Purple Funk® (freeze-dried organic banana and organic açai).  Açai, in addition to being one of the world’s top “superfoods”, contains heart-healthy plant sterols B-sitosterol and campesterol, and has been shown in health studies to assist heart health by lowering “bad” cholesterol and raising “good” cholesterol.

Using an exclusive freeze-drying process, Funky Monkey Snacks turns 100% real fruit into crispy, bite-sized pieces that are nutritionally equivalent to their fresh counterpart.  The result is a delicious choice that satisfies expert guidelines for heart-healthy eating.

I loved that there wasn’t any added sugar.  The snack tasted great and is easy to carry and is pretty darn healthy and we liked it. The only drawback I can think of is that it sticks to your teeth a little, but not like a sticky candy, more like the way cheetos do, so it wasn’t bad, and washed away with a little water.  I recommend this as a way to get in your fruit servings.

No More Naked Popcorn – Kernel Seasons

February 24, 2009 - Written by Diana

DetailWe are popcorn eaters, big time popcorn eaters.  My son scarfs it down after school in order to stave off the hunger pangs.  It’s also because if he snacks enough he won’t have to figure out dinner, I’m sure. Kernel Season’s slogan is no more naked popcorn.  We had the opportunity to try out their popcorn seasonings and though we’ve seen these seasonings in the movie theaters before, this is the first time we had a chance to try it out.  They have quite a few different flavors – nacho cheese, ranch, caramel, butter, kettle, and more.  Kernel Seasons also has different types of popcorn, butter spray and popping oil.  Popcorn is great healthy food, full of fiber and makes a great snack for everyone.

First, lets discuss the popcorn.  I liked the microwave popcorn a lot.  My son apparently did also, since I found the stash disappearing.  I have a microwave popper that I used with the regular popcorn kernels. I didn’t use any oil at all in the microwave popper, and it popped up light and fluffy.  This is a great way to make fat free, almost calorie free popcorn.  Then I used the popping oil to pop the corn on the stove.  My husband liked this way the best.  I’m not sure the kernels popped up as well this way.  I thought the microwave popper, popped it better, but he liked the flavor of the oil.

We tried the different flavorings, you sprinkle it on top of your popcorn for a little flavor.  My daughter snatched the ranch and took it to college with her, though it was also my husband’s favorite.  My son and I liked the nacho cheese best, but unfortunately he’s been using it and it’s been disappearing along with the microwave popcorn.  The butter flavoring was good, so if you like it really buttery without the calories, this would be what you want.  There are only 2 – count’em 2 calories per serving of popcorn seasoning.  You can be really generous with the popcorn flavorings and it won’t harm your waistline.  The Ranch was almost like having ranch dip on your popcorn, while the kettle had a sweet and salty taste both at once.  Check out all of the other flavorings and see which one you like best. 

If you are going to do it with the kernels in a microwave popper without oil, it comes out a little dry, so Kernel Seasons has Butter Spritzer, to help it get the theater popcorn taste.  The Spritzer is a blend of soybean, sunflower and canola oils without any trans fats, or calories and a natural butter flavor.  The butter spritzer gives a butter flavor, makes it less dry and helps the seasoning to stick to the popcorn better.  

So now in our household, our popcorn in not naked.  It’s full flavored popcorn – but not full fat – no fat and high fiber good for you popcorn. 

Superbowl Snacks from Taste of Home Cookbook

January 23, 2009 - Written by Diana

The Taste of Home CookbookTaste of home is everywhere.  There’s the great Taste of Home magazine that comes out every month(as well as Healthy Cooking and Simple and Delicious) , the Taste of Home website with great recipes, Cooking School demonstrations to events around the US,  and the cookbook.  Taste of Home is geared toward the everyday home cook, using ingredients and tools the regular home cook has in the kitchen.  This is a cookbook for me and you and my college girl daughter.  I could totally give this book to my daughter and she could cook with it. My son, I’m lucky if he’ll read the macaroni and cheese box before he makes that, but if I can get him past that, yeah he could use this book too.  My husband, well, he still thinks mixing cans of tuna and chicken together is a good thing.  Not only are there recipes, you have  dividers, plus a splash guard(I like that a lot), substitution suggestions,   nutritional information, and more.  In fact, on the first page is a invitation to enjoy a free year of Taste of Home Magazine with the purchase of the book.  Yes, a year FREE of Taste of Home Magazine.

This Cookbook is so well laid out.  It starts with the kitchen basics, then gives appetizers and beverages, soups and sandwiches, meats in their own separate sections, eggs, vegetables, fruit, salads and dressings,  sauces and condiments, quick breads, yeast breads, pies, cakes, desserts, cookies and bars and candies.  I like that the each of the different meat sections have a picture telling you where everything comes from.  There’s a picture of a cow showing you where the different types of beef come from and where the most tender parts come from. The egg section has a page of beaten eggs and shows what a beaten egg is, and what soft peaks and stiff peaks look like(wait that almost sounds like food porn).  The fruit section tells how to buy and store your fruit.  Anyway, this is a really good book for the home cook and a beginner home cook could get some great use out of it.

Taste of Home also has a contest going on right now. America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest – The grand prize is 25,000.00 – ends March 1, 2009 .

I have some Taste of Home Superbowl recipes to help you prepare for your Steelers vs Cardinals game.  These recipes are easy on the budget and simple to prepare, so you won’t be too tired out to join in on the fun. 

Hot Bean Dip
Prep/Total Time: 15 Min
Cost $.40 per serving

1 lb ground beef
¼ cup chopped onion
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1-1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½  cup taco sauce
Tortilla chips

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Reduce heat. Stir in the refried beans, Monterey Jack cheese and taco sauce; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Yield: 3-1/2 cups



Pace Game Day Party Pack Winner

January 22, 2009 - Written by Diana

Pace Big Game Day Party Pack Thanks to everyone who entered and played along.  I love reading all of the comments.  The Superbowl is down to the Steelers (YAY!) and the Cardinals (no comment – too many terrible towels in the area).  Before I announce the winner, I want to let you know that this contest was on the up and up.  I used randomize to choose the winner, with no bias towards any teams.  Although, I did make sure the winners followed the rules!

The Winner of the "Pace Game Day Party Pack" is Jay French.  Jay said,"Rooting for the stillers, as my hometown team is long gone this year. We’ll be watching at home. The salsa we usually get is Pace Original Chunky in Mild."  Jay I’ll contact you by email

Come back to Cookerati again. 


Oh and Go Steelers!  – and Go ( as Deb would say) – those guys out there with the redbirds on their helmets.

Send Some Pace to your College Kid – They’ll Love You For It

January 17, 2009 - Written by Diana

Black Bean & Roasted Corn and Pineapple Mango Chipotle Salsa ImagesWhen Pace set up our  Win a Pace Game Day Party Pack Contest, they asked to send my daughter some of her favorite Pineapple Mango Chipotle Salsa in a care package.  I told College Girl to look out for a package, but I wouldn’t tell her what was in it.  She called me up excited on the phone and said it was "Freakin Awesome".  (We’ve had talks about the use of Freakin – so excuse me for repeating it, if it’s offensive.) 

She wanted me to post a Thank You note to the Pace people – and this is what she had to say –

Dear Pace company,

Thank you so much for the salsa and chips! I was very surprised when I received your package, because my mother only told me to look out for a package, not who it was from or what it was. I didn’t even see the PACE logo on the side of the box until I got it back to my room and opened it! I was very excited to have more of the mango pineapple salsa, it is very good. Also, the choice of chips was surprising, because my family is very big on organic foods.  I almost thought my mother told you to send me organic chips! Best of all, I have enough to share with my friends and even if my friends didn’t have good taste (they do), I most certainly do, and then that would just mean all the more for me!

Thank you!!!

College Girl

I’m not sure if you can tell that she’s torn between sharing it and eating it all.  I think there’s some dorm hoarding going on.  Anyway, if you want attention from your college kid, send them some PACE or other snack substance.  There’s a Superbowl coming up and I bet they might even share it while they watch the game.  By the way, you can always try and win one here.

Win A "Pace Game Day Party Pack" For Your Superbowl Party

January 15, 2009 - Written by Diana

Pace Big Game Day Party Pack

Pace is so good to Cookerati Readers – we love their products and their giveaways. Pace is giving away a “Pace Game Day Party Pack” for your Superbowl Party.  Superbowl Sunday (Number 43) is coming up on February 1, and my husband’s team is still in the running – the Pittsburgh Steelers.  They go up against the Ravens this weekend, so we’ll be cheering them on.  On the other side there’s the Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles.  I spent a couple of years in South Jersey before I moved away from home and the Eagles are the team for that area.  Mr H says that there’s a chance for two Pennsylvania teams to play against each other.  Me, I hope his team wins, but I’m not sure if I want the Eagles from my mom’s area, or to spread the enthusiasm out across the US.

Black Bean & Roasted Corn and Pineapple Mango Chipotle Salsa Images It doesn’t matter who wins (okay, it does), my husband and his brothers(he has 4) and his mom and some of the significant others – gather together and have a blast.  Plenty of beer flowing, food eating, yelling cheering, stomping and all around good brotherly fun.  Food eating is important, but it’s  gotta all be munchable.  You can’t do a Superbowl with a sit down at the table meal or who knows what you’d miss.  The favorite food to bring in this house is Salsa and Chips.  My husband is a tomato lover, a veggie lover and a really big salsa lover.  I swear we go through more than one jar of salsa a week – that means we probably use more than 100 jars of salsa in a year.  Besides my home made, Pace is our number one brand.  My first choice is the new  Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa.  It has a delicious smokey flavor and plenty of black beans and corn.  My daughter loved the new Pineapple Mango Chipotle Salsa so much she grabbed one for college.  The Picante is also a family favorite too.

I make this Cheesy Chicken Bean Queso all of the time.  Their Queso is the best, we put it on our hotdogs too. For more recipes go to the Pace recipe site.  You’re sure to find one that fits your families tastes. 

Pace is going to help one person throw a Superbowl party with their “Pace Game Day Party Pack”. 

Here’s what is included:

“We’re #1” foam fingers; squeezable footballs; tabletop football set; football balloons; referee drink holders; a copy of Pace’s 60th anniversary cook book; a Pace four-pack, including Pace Picante Sauce, Pace Thick & Chunky Salsa, and the two newest additions to the Pace lineup of specialty salsas, Pace Pineapple Mango Chipotle Salsa and Pace Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salsa.

The Rules (because Deb likes them):