Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pin and Win with Lucky Leaf Springtime 500$ Contest!

 My darlings down at Lucky Leaf  always send me the best goodies in the mail! Seriously. What is the best thing you could send a baker, besides flours? {Tee hee}...

Pie filling! This time it was three free cans of their premium Pie Filling along with some cuter-than-heck recipe cards and a really adorable kitchen timer.  

 I seriously can't get over how simple these recipes were to make! Ya know what though? Their recipes are always easy to make! That's why I love them. Love. Love. Love.
Here are some of my favorites...

This ridiculously delicious

Another absolute favorite was the Amaretto Peach Cobbler in the Awesome 

that included the Sweet and Hot Slow Cooker Pork and Chocotinis! It was a very fun menu and really easy to make ahead of time for the party!

Perhaps my favorite post ever from Lucky Leaf has been the 

 These New Recipes for spring are so light and luscious, we might be having them all summer long!  The first recipe I made was the Lemony Blueberry Layered Pie. Ladies...if you want your husband to fall over with happiness...go ahead. Use this recipe. When I pulled this creation out of the fridge the words that escaped his mouth were, "You blessed woman!"  So ya know...he then sat down with the entire pan and ate it with a spoon.  I guess he thought it was just for him. I did manage to get a small little nibble...and it was ridiculously divine! The second batch I made, I changed the recipe a bit for my family's preferences. I've made the adjustments below.

Lemony Blueberry Cheesecake

 with Pistachio-Graham Crust

Adapted from Lemony Blueberry Layered Pie  from Lucky Leaf


1 10-inch graham cracker crust in a springform pan  (see recipe below for my homemade with pistachio)
3 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8-ounces sour cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
2   3.4-ounce box instant lemon pudding mix
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 21-ounce can LUCKY LEAF® Premium Blueberry Pie Filling


Make your crust by combining:
2 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup fine ground pistachios, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1-2 T of water.  Press into a 10 inch springform pan.
 It helps to lightly mist your fingers with a little water so they don't stick.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 101-12 minutes.
Allow to cool while making the filling...

Filling directions: Combine cream cheese, sour cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Add pudding mix, lemon zest and lemon juice; mix until well blended.
 I have boys. I will not tell you how much they laugh whenever they see this picture of me squeezing the lemon. If you don't understand...I'm not going to explain it to you either.

 Spoon lemon-filling mixture on top and spread evenly. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Spoon  Lucky Leaf Premium Blueberry Pie Filling on top just before serving. Garnish with fresh lemon zest if desired.

The second recipe I did was the Cherry Coconut Squares. Um Wow! There are only 6 ingredients in these bars and so far, my boys have asked me to make them four times in the last four days. I have a teenage boy and one nipping at his heals. Tell me that they'll stop eating soon. It is starting to get scary. Speaking of scary. These coconut squares are the most delightful coconut shortbread imaginable topped with the super-fruit cherry filling from Lucky Leaf. I'm telling you...you can't lose!
That being said, these whip up in minutes, are delicious to make, and have made their way to the top of the list of "Best Things to Trade" at the lunch table.
  My son says he can get premium trade-items from other kids whenever he brings them in his lunch box...and he still won't trade them with his friends! 
There. That is the ultimate test right there! Punk my lunchbox. That's right. I'm super-bad!

 Cherry Coconut Squares from Lucky Leaf


  • cup sugar
  • ¼cup butter
  • 1 ½cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼teaspoon salt
  • 18-ounce can flaked coconut
  • 121-ounce can LUCKY LEAF® Regular or Premium Cherry Pie Filling


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cream sugar and butter. Sift flour and salt together and then add to creamed mixture. Mix in coconut.

 Pack 1/2 of this mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan. Spread LUCKY LEAF Cherry Pie Filling on top. Put remaining crumb mixture on top of pie filling. Pat down firmly

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When cool, cut into 16-squares.

Guess what?!!! The fun hasn't stopped!  Lucky Leaf is opening up a great Contest to you my darlings!!
  •  The Grand Prize is 500$, and two additional winners will receive 200$!  
  •  To enter the contest, go to the Contest Entry Pin and pin away (Contest starts May 1st)! There isn't anything posted on the page-link until then so you might have to be patient...
There you go my darlings! Join me for this amazing contest and share these outstanding recipes!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Muffins Video Tutorial

I got to play in an evil think tank with chef Matthew Grunwald making some lower carbohydrate, gluten free muffins out of coconut flour. I think we had way too much crazy fun! What do you think?

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My First Blind Student...and Tender Mercies

Everyone, meet Jasmine. She sat in the front row at all of my classes on Saturday in Rancho Cucamonga, California and she is visually impaired.  Her whole family was along for the meals in a jar class day and I was thrilled to see her excitement raising with each new meal she sampled.  It seems like a small thing to me to make a meal and put it on the stove but to Jasmine, age 24 who has never cooked her own meals, a whole new world was opened up. Thank you Jasmine for reminding me how precious life is and how much we all lean on one another for support.  You may think I helped you yesterday, but really...you helped me. You reminded me why I do what I do.

If you ever wonder what the good Lord has in mind when new doors are opened you were not planning on entering into or why you're called to pass through the challenges you face, remember this. There will be problems that arise. There will be difficulties to overcome, but God will never leave us alone. All around you are opportunities to do good. Do it. You'll never get to the end of your life and say, " I wish I had done less good things!"

There it is. Happy Sunday my darlings!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Utah State University Preparedness Expo Highlights

Have you ever walked up to a store and seen a poster with your own face on it? Well...this was a crazy surprise! I had no idea that I was being put here on this poster...but it was sooooo cool to see it as I walked up to the stores in Utah!
 Today I took a special trip down to an expo center in Sandy Utah to teach two different classes at a USU preparedness expo community event. It was a bit surreal and I'm going to admit that I was a little nervous wondering what I could offer when Utah State University is just so epic well known for their food science.
However, I set my own self-doubt aside and decided that I'd have fun no matter what. Even if I threw-up on stage, they'd always remember me. Right?
Joining me for the 52 method meals in a jar class was my trusty menu board. I'm going to name her Milli the Menu...because she's starting to get more fans than anyone I know. Seriously. Who needs one of these? I love Milli. Love her. 
Random side-note. When I arrived home to see my folks they surprised me with a fully equip kitchen in my new downstairs apartment, ready for baking and getting ready for the two television segments and events of the weekend. I have to give them a big shout-out for that. It is so nice to have a home away from home to be able to get ready for shows! Thanks mom and dad!  I know it seems strange, but suddenly I feel like I can visit Utah any time and be ready at a moment's notice for whatever I need to do...and the stress just went way down in my soul. Thank you!! 
High Point!
Here I am on stage with my Mega Mom. She's the one who took my tiny fat fingers as a girl and first showed me how to knead bread with fresh milled whole grain flour from Honeyville. Now, what more could a girl want than to be on stage with such a cool mom?! I love her for teaching me all the science stuff behind bread and I'm so thankful to Utah State for teaching her all that she needed to know as well! Full circle cool-fest right there. Yup. Full circle. 
Other cool thing...this stinkin' cute street sign! Mary the Great at the Salt Lake City store did this. I love you Mary!!
Now this little ribbon and name-tag- memento will be clipped to Milli the Menu to remind me that even though I was vomit-nervous, I got  up on that stage and did my show! I felt like God was with me every step! It ended up being a big highlight of my year and one of my favorite events! Thank you all for being there with love, hugs, giggles, pats on the back...and for letting all your little girls line up in a row and ask for my autograph. I'll never get over that as long as I live. Never. Ever.
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fresh Living Utah! Meals in a Jar Segment! Thank you!

 Click on the link to see the : Fresh Living Meals in a Jar! I've been so blessed to be part of the show whenever I visit my darlings in Utah! Channel 2...Thank you so much my friends! This one is fun!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Enter to Win a new Bosch Mixer! Video Segment!

I was blessed to be able to visit my darlings down at Studio 5 KSL in Salt Lake City for a fast preview of some of our new bakeware! I have to share this video with you because I think it just turned out so fun! Details for entering the contest can be found at the end of the video. Xoxo!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thank You! Onward Gingham Project!

I just had to share this update from the Gingham Project on what has been happening with the school. It makes me ever so grateful for the conveniences we have here and for the blessed people who are willing to travel half way around the world to make a difference in the lives of these kids! Oh...and for those here who support the spice sales. All benefits from the sale of our Chef Tess Spices through the Generous Giant go toward the Gingham Project! 

Onward we go! 

Always My Very Best,
Your friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

3 New Rolls for Spring (from one base dough) Tutorials of Love

It is Tutorial Tuesday! Spring is in the air. Baking with darling friends is in the air. Carbs are in the air. Guess what?! I got to bake some delightful rolls with my sweet friend Sassy Cassie! She's heading off to start her culinary training soon and I certainly needed some Cass' face-time before that happened...and all the way through school. I told her she needs to tag me on facebook everyday so I feel like I'm not missing her adventures! You know how it is right? You meet someone who is such a kindred spirit that it is almost scary. She's one of those.  

So, here's a peek at what we did. I know you can do them too because they are just some cool shapes to do and make with dough. For each of the variations you can use any of the Basic Bread Recipes. I personally prefer my mom's 5 Day Bread Dough. The dough is good in the fridge up to 7 days and I was raised with this bread. It is my mother's recipe.  It can be used for a variety of recipes...basically any recipe that needs some kind of delightful dough base. 

First variation today, 
  Herb fans
I'm the biggest herb fan. Ever...so this is basically a hot-bun version of me.
 How's that for scary?
A fan roll is a fabulous way to have an herb or spiced pull-apart layer-by-layer love bomb. 
Roll out a pound of dough as you would a cinnamon roll, on a lightly floured work surface about 1/2 inch thick. Then cover with a light layer of butter and sprinkle with your favorite herb combination.  Today I used my Chef Tess Big Dill Seasoning. It is a delightful combination of garlic, onion, bell pepper, citrus and dill. Perfect for a Spring salad or in this case, a spring dinner roll.  There really is a little bit of me inside...but in a very non-cannibal way.  At any rate, cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch strips the entire length of the dough and stack the dough strips. 
Cut the stack into 2 inch stacks and place sideways into a greased muffin pan. 
Raise until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Yields about a dozen rolls. 

Next up...
Savory French Herb and Smoked Paprika Pinwheel:
I know you know what a cinnamon roll is...if you've lived on this planet for more than a week in America. Well...here's my favorite variation (today). 
Roll out 1 lb of dough in a 12 inch by 8 inch rectangle.  Spread with a thin layer of butter to the edges and sprinkle with French Provencal Essential blend. It is a bold, rustic blend of herbs, citrus, and garlic, and sea salt. I love it with chicken, but I especially love it in buns. Roll up the dough and cut into 2 inch pin-wheels. 

Place in a greased muffin tin and sprinkle lightly with a really good smoked paprika.  This gives the buns a beautiful spring color and a bold spring flavor...plus they just look like flowers in your dinner roll basket!

Last but certainly not least...
Bear Claws-o-Glory
This is a classic breakfast bun and it can be filled with a wide variety of flavorful blends. Today I chose a sweet variation  using hazelnut paste, a kiss of ginger and touch of lemon. You can do any number of flavors but I've done them with raspberry jam and a little jalapeno. They're excellent as a blue cheese and black pepper roll. Amazing as an orange-cardamom roll...with a hint of lavender or nutmeg. You name it. You're only limited by your giant brain!

Roll out your pound of dough into a rectangle, twelve inches by 8 inches. Spread with the filling of your choice. I used 1/2 cup of hazelnut butter and a sprinkle of sugar...along with the zest of half a lemon and 1 tsp of ginger. It works best to cream the spice and zest into the hazelnut butter. 
Roll tightly and pinch at the seams. Cut into 4 3 inch rolls and flatten the rolls with the heal of your hand.
Cut with 3 notches along the length of the bun, being careful not to cut through the roll. 
Place on a greased  baking sheet. 
Lightly mist with water and allow to raise until doubled. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes. 
They're the perfect grab-n-go!

Speaking of that. Grab your favorite baker and GO! Start creating today my darlings! I'm excited to see what you're up to! Seriously. It always makes me smile to read about your success!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess