Giveaways

Easy Corn Salsa & CW CorningWare Giveaway

This sweet and tangy corn salsa is as easy to make as it is to watch disappear. With sweet yellow corn, black beans, pimentos, and bell pepper, what’s not to love?

Easy Corn Salsa 1

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have spied the new CW bakeware by CorningWare in my posts this week. CW is a new line of bakeware from CorningWare that comes in an array of vibrant colors and sizes (purple, blue, green, yellow, and red & 3 quart, shallow 1.9 quart, 1.5 quart, and 20 oz.). What first excited me about this bakeware were the colors, especially the purple ;-). It didn’t hurt that they also net together for compact storage – something I battled with constantly in my apartment’s tiny kitchen.

CW_Aerial_Hero_Stack

I made a sausage and egg breakfast casserole in the blue 3 quart baker, an asparagus & wild rice casserole in the green 1.5 quart baker, and today I am sharing a recipe for an easy corn salsa displaying in the blue 1.5 quart and red 20 oz. bakers. Although this salsa does not require any oven-time, I wanted to show off that this bakeware is just as good at serving food as it is at baking. As for the salsa, the recipe is from my PhD advisor’s wife. Whenever she made it for any event and I would be found hovering over it. Under my watch, it disappeared as quickly as it was made.

What you would make in the CW bakeware? Tell me using the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post and you will be entered to win your own set!

P.S. For those of you wondering, I qualified in the B1 group for pickleball. There are 5 groups starting with C, B2, B1, A2 and then A1 is the best. So I’m i the middle of the pack. I was told I could easily move up to A2 with just a little more practice. Maybe in another month if I’m still without a job…

Easy Corn Salsa 2

One year ago: Pear Yogurt Almond Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream
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Rainbow-Surprise Lemon Cake & Surprise-Inside Cakes Cookbook Giveaway

Traditionally frosting is the star of cake decorating, but what about the inside? Amanda Rettke proves that it’s the inside that counts with her cookbook, “Surprise-Inside Cakes”.

SurpriseInsideCakes hc c

When it comes to decorating cakes I am not an expert. Upon receiving the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook by Amanda Rettke (I Am Baker) I was a bit intimidated to go beyond the recipes for different layers of color and/or frosting without any cutting and cake-puzzle-assembling. It is truly impressive how many different interiors she was able to design and execute. But after reading through a few of the more complicated recipes I realized that with the right tools and some patience, paired with her excellent step-by-step photos and directions, I might be able to pull it off.

I really loved the smiley face cake and argyle cake but decided to start out small with one of the easier recipes – the rainbow cake. First I had to decide on a cake flavor. Amanda provides recipes for perfectly level cakes and frostings which can be used to create any of the surprise-inside cakes. However, you could also use your own recipe or even a boxed mix, I won’t tell. If using other recipes you may end up with a domed top which will need to be leveled off, unless of course you know that particular recipe does come out flat. Either way, a cake with these interior designs will look made from scratch no matter what recipe you choose.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 1

To see if a boxed mix would work, I decided to doctor up a white cake mix to create a lemon cake. (Did you know that rainbows taste like lemons? Well, at least this one does.) The cakes did dome but that was easily solved by slicing off the tops with a long serrated knife. After that I followed Amanda’s detailed instructions for assembling and frosting the cakes. I don’t think I’ve ever frosted such a smooth cake before.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 2

Upon that beautiful white scene I created my own balloon decorations using the cake-top scraps and leftover frosting. It looks like fondant doesn’t it!? Nope it’s something even better, something I have decided to call cake-ball-fondant! Yup, I am a genius. Instead of forming balls to be dipped in chocolate, roll flat with a rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookies cutters. Consider your mind blown.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 3

In order to find out exactly how I colored and assembled this cake you’ll have to read about it in the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! To assist in keeping a copy into your hands asap I am giving away a copy of this awesome cookbook to one lucky reader. After checking out the recipe use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 4

One year ago: Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust

Two years ago: Cheesy Cat Treats

Three years ago: Funfetti Cake Batter Smoothie
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Review: Halo Top Ice Cream Giveaway & Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie

If you love Neapolitan ice cream then check out this ice cream pie. Simply layer thawed chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream into a chocolate cookie pie crust and you’ll have an impressive dessert.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie 1

Have you heard of the new Halo Top ice cream yet? It is a low calorie ice cream that is non-gmo, 100% natural, high in protein and fiber, and sweetened with organic stevia to lower the sugar content. One pint of Halo Top vanilla bean contains 280 calories, 28g protein and 16g net carbs (compared to 1,080 calories, 16g of protein and 96g net carbs in a pint of Haagen-Dazs vanilla bean ice cream)! Additionally, it is made with premium ingredients such as Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar vanilla, and real California lemons and strawberries. If that isn’t heavenly enough for you, the pints are also donned with golden tops to look like halos.

Halo Top comes in four flavors: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Strawberry and Lemon Cake. I was lucky enough to try all four and the lemon cake was my favorite. It reminded me of the lemon chalet girl scout cookies! But overall I was impressed with how delicious the ice cream tasted, especially being someone who tends to dislike sugar alternatives. The only tricky part is that Halo Top ice cream freezes a little harder because of its lower fat content, which tested my patience a bit as I waited for it to thaw a little into a scoopable consistency.

It was worth the wait because once they did temper I was able to make you a fantastic little ice cream pie using three of the flavors – Neapolitan ice cream pie! Who knew an impressive-looking dessert could be made so easily? And better yet, I am giving away a coupon for a free pint of Halo Top ice cream so you may try it out for yourself. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter, then check out their website to find out more about their ice cream and where to buy it!

Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie 2

One year ago: Asian Fried Quinoa

Three years ago: Black Forest Stuffed Cupcakes
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Mini Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Cheesecakes & Giveaway

Get ready for the best day ever – it’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Day! Join our hosts, Carla (Chocolate Moosey) and Miriam Overtime Cook), and a group of 31 bloggers who are sharing their favorite chocolate peanut butter recipes, ranging from cookies and bars to scones and muffins. Follow the hashtag #chocPBday on social media and join us with your favorite chocolate and peanut butter recipes. Looking for recipes all in one place? Follow our Pinterest board. We are also teaming up with OXO, King Arthur Flour, and Peanut Butter & Co. to bring you three fabulous prize packs. You don’t want to miss this opportunity! Giveaway details are at the end of this post.

Mini Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecakes 2

When it comes to mini desserts, mini cheesecakes are my favorite. Combining these cute cite-sized treats with peanut butter and chocolate seemed like a fantastic way to celebrate Chocolate Peanut Butter Day. Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter was used in these cheesecakes to ensure complete peanut butter and chocolate saturation, but were also stuffed with caramel-peanut butter candy bars and topped with more candy, peanuts, and caramel sauce. You might want to take a moment to admire their beauty, but only a moment because they deserve to be devoured.

Mini Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecakes 1

Check out all the chocolate and peanut butter action going on today:

One year ago: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Three years ago: Banana Pecan Waffles
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Melt Organic Butter 2.0 Reader Giveaway

If you’ve been a reader of The Spiffy Cookie for awhile, you are familiar with my approval of Melt‘s rich and creamy organic butter substitute. I was immediately won over when it made my favorite chocolate chip cookies even better than I could’ve imagined. Since then I’ve used it on many occasions including a week long challenge where I made Nutella swirled banana bread snack cakes, corn chowder with zucchini and orzo, and German chocolate s’mores gooey cake bars. And of course, I also enjoy spreading it like butter over toasted bagels and anything else I can get my hands on. I have only tried the regular MELT buttery spread but really want to try out their honey and chocolate versions. I wasn’t able to find those two in Memphis, and after checking their store locator I will not have better luck in the Knoxville area. Boo hiss. I may have to order it directly from them online.

Melt-All-Products

So am I telling you all of that and why should you care? Because now it’s your chance to win some Melt of your own to try!

  • Leave a comment on this blog post telling me how you would use Melt in your baking and/or cooking. Leaving a comment is essential in order for me to get in touch with you later.
  • Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post to complete your entry. Both must be completed in order to enter the giveaway.

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Meyer Lemon Chess Pie & Zulka Pure Cane Sugar Giveaway

Earlier this year I was introduced to Zulka Pure Cane Sugar, an all-natural and unrefined granulated sugar, and was very pleased with it after testing it out in several recipes. Today, I’m writing to let you know about Zulka’s Holiday Bake-Off contest! To celebrate the holiday season, Zulka is hosting a Holiday Bake-Off Facebook contest for a chance to win $500 to Sur La Table! Entering is easy:

  1. Create a recipe using Zulka Pure Cane Sugar
  2. Upload the recipe with an image of your creation to Zulka’s “Bake-Off” Facebook tab by December 22 for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Sur La Table!

I know I am not giving you much warning with the deadline only being a couple of days away, but if you needed an excuse to bake any more festive treats for the holidays now is the time! To sweeten the deal, I am also giving away a bag of Zulka to one reader! Just use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post (giveaway ends Sunday night).

But before you rush off to enter the contest and giveaway, you really should stick around for this recipe I made. It’s a chess pie recipe from the days when my parents lived in Texas. My mom included this recipe in the recipe box she gave me when I left for college many years ago but I did not make it until now. In her directions she said to use lemon juice, coconut, or crushed pineapple. With Meyer lemons in season right now, there was an obvious winner.

Being that this was the first ever chess pie that I have made, I was a bit nervous to share it with people who had grown up in the South and ate this pie on the regular. To my satisfaction it passed the test. I was told that they had had regular, buttermilk, and chocolate chess pies but never lemon – and they liked it! Sounded like a good candidate for me to enter into Zulka’s Holiday Bake-Off ;-).

Meyer Lemon Chess Pie

Two years ago: Pecan Fruit Cake
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Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts & The New Southwest Giveaway

Have you had a chance to check out The New Southwest Cookbook by Meagan of Scarletta Bakes? If not then today is your lucky day because not only am I sharing a recipe from her new cookbook, but am also hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader to receive a copy!

scarletta bakes coverTo start, there’s a chapter which covers all the essentials for a southwest kitchen pantry as well as acceptable substitutions when you cannot locate a certain ingredient in a recipe, which I completely appreciated as sometimes it is difficult to find certain ingredients. Then there is a “building blocks” chapter covering all the condiments and foodstuffs seen in southwestern cooking from roasted chiles to homemade corn tortillas. Although it is not necessary to make your own tortillas, salsa, etc. from scratch, it certainly adds to the experience. I really want to try making my own tortillas once I get my hands on a tortilla press.

Browsing through the subsequent chapters, several recipes immediately struck me such as the fried sage smashed potatoes and the dulce de leche layer cake with sweet pecan “pesto”. The picture of that cake made me swoon, with pecan “pesto” dripping all over the place. But when I saw the pinto bean breakfast patty melts I knew it was time to treat myself to a hearty, spicy breakfast.

These breakfast patties were easy to throw together and I loved that they could be wrapped up before being cooked and saved for later since I typically only cook for myself. After being fried and topped with cheese, these patty melts were layered with spicy flavor – both in heat and spices. If you are a bit timid to spiciness you may want to consider removing the seeds from the jalapenos.

 Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts

Want to win a copy? Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter after viewing the recipe below!

One year ago: Chewy Molasses Cookies

Two years ago: Andes Crème de Menthe Chocolate Cookies
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The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter Pie & Blogiversary Giveaway

It seems incredibly fitting that November is Peanut Butter Lovers Month because my blogiversary just so happens to also be in November, specifically today! I cannot believe I have been doing this for 3 whole years now and Peanut Butter & Co. is helping me celebrate with a giveaway for their Total Nut Case gift assortment. After all, I am definitely a “total nut case” for peanut butter and I know many of you are as well!

The Bee's Knees Peanut Butter Pie 1

But first, let’s talk about favorite peanut butter recipes. As you know I have many, but one recipe that I revisit most in my dreams is peanut butter pie. I’ve made pretzel, cookie dough-s’more, chocolate chip-layered, funfetti-layered, and cookies and cream peanut butter pie varieties. Today I am adding another to the list – The Bee’s Knees using none other than Peanut Butter & Co.’s Bee’s Knees peanut butter. With a homemade graham cracker crust, a fluffy honey-peanut butter filling, topped with more whipped cream and a chocolate honey drizzle, I’d say this is one heck of a pie for a celebration! Don’t forget the sprinkles ;-).

The Bee's Knees Peanut Butter Pie 2

My 3 year blogiversary giveaway is for a gift assortment bursting with 8 jars of peanut butter (Smooth Operator, Crunch Time, White Chocolate Wonderful, Dark Chocolate Dreams, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, The Heat Is On, Mighty Maple, The Bee’s Knees), 4 jars of jam (Seriously Strawberry Jam, Rip-Roaring Raspberry Preserves, Gorgeous Grape Jelly, Awesome Apricot Preserves), a 10-pack each of Dark Chocolate Dreams and Smooth Operator squeeze packs, 3 assorted flavors of Peanut Brittle (original, spicy, and coconut), a box of Corny Crunch peanut butter caramel popcorn, and a box each of our PB Swirl Brownie, Mighty Fine PB Cupcake, and Old Fashioned PB Cookie baking mixes. It even comes in a custom Peanut Butter & Co. reusable gift box topped with a silver holiday bow. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter for a chance to win!

One year ago: Funfetti Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownies

Two years ago: Funfetti Truffle Chocolate Cupcakes
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Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups and a Bar & Bean Giveaway

Did you know that this coming Monday, October 28th, is National Chocolate Day? I’m here to tell you to not just celebrate it with any old chocolate, but try something new. Bar & Bean is an online marketplace for small-batch craft chocolate (less than 250 tons annually). The makers of the chocolates they stock are working to reintroduce and redefine a flavor that has been dominated by large producers.

Bar and Bean

I was sent Bar & Bean’s Baker’s Set which is a mix of 5 craft chocolate bars:

(1) Ritual Chocolate – based in Denver, CO and started by 2 individuals: Robbie and Anna. Balao 75% Cacao – characterized by citrus and nutty notes. Only 2 ingredients: cacao and sugar.

(2) Poco Dolce – based in San Francisco, CA and started by Kathy Wiley. “Poco Dolce” literally translates from Italian as “not too sweet”, which aligns with the company’s mission of staying on the “savory side of sweet”.  Bittersweet with Sea Salt – light sprinkling of Grey Sea Salt.

(3 & 4) Escazu – based in Raleigh, NC and started by Hallot and Danielle. Uses an antique roaster and stone grinder to make chocolate in a more traditional method to bring out flavor complexity. Chipotle Chili & Vanilla – 74% dark chocolate that is complemented with a spicy kick of chipotle chili. Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili – 73% dark chocoloate with roasted pumpkin seeds and guajillo chili.

(5) Dick Taylor – based in Aracta, CA and started by two college buddies Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor.  Dick Taylor uses only organic cacao and organic cane sugar in its bars. They roast their beans in their modified Royal #5 coffee bean roaster. Aged for at least 2-4 weeks to further develop and stabilize flavor. Fleur de Sel – 74% Dominican Republic with hand harvested sea salt.

Bar and Bean 2

The first bar I tried was the Escazu Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili Dark Chocolate bar, and it inspired me to incorporate pumpkin seeds into the pumpkin peanut butter cups I had been planning to make for today, which is National Pumpkin Day (and also the usual PB+Choc Saturday). Then I went after the two sea salt bars because that’s one of my favorite things in special chocolate. And as a result the pumpkin peanut butter cup with pepitas then got a sprinkle of sea salt on top as well!

Unfortunately, I did not leave enough leftover to make these cups completely out of the chocolate I was sent, but the recipe was inspired by all the craft chocolate I got to try. These little cups are the perfect combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and peanut butter in order to fully celebrate. To make the celebration even better, be sure to find the Rafflecopter widget after saving the recipe in order to enter to win your own set of craft chocolate.

Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups 1

As for the PB+Choc portion of today’s celebration, today Ohio State plays Penn State which means many people in my life are enemies on this day. Hopefully it will only last the day. Penn State is coming back after a 4OT win against Michigan, so it should be a really good game. They are still not eligible to play in the B1G or National championship games, so it’s really to the benefit of the conference as a whole if we win O:-). However, I don’t particularly want to go to the Championship game either because as good as I do believe we are, I am not sure we are at the same level as Alabama or Oregon. As much as I hate to admit it.

Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups 2

Two years ago: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple
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Cinnamon-Raisin Bagel for One & Melt Buttery Spread

When I first got to try Melt, I fell in love with how fantastic it worked in my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Who knew a butter substitute could taste so good? After that it because my go-to butter substitute and I even participated in a challenge where I used it for all my butter needs for a week. Never heard of Melt? It is a healthy butter substitute made with “good” fats like coconut butter and  virgin coconut oil. It even comes in honey and chocolate flavors!  Unfortunately, I was unable to find those fun flavors in stores near me, but I gladly snagged some more of the regular.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel 1

After so much success using Melt as a substitute in baking and cooking in the past I decided to post about it as a condiment on a nice, warm, toasty cinnamon-raisin bagel. And since it is Single Serving Sunday, it’s a recipe for just ONE bagel!  Because if you are like me, you sometimes don’t need an entire batch of bagels, or don’t have room for them all in your freezer to save for later. So I whipped up this one bagel and immediately scarfed it down with some Melt spread on top.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel 2

 One year ago: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
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