FABULOUS SANTA BARBARA SPOTS – THE RED HEN CANNERY FARMER’S MARKET STALL


It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for adorable packaging; I’ve been known to buy items just because of their gorgeous wrappers.  I was out and about at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market {one of my favorite weekly activities} and I noticed that one of the stalls was just a bit more inviting than the others.  Maybe it was the red and white string tied around the tops of the mason jars filled with vibrant orange marmalade.  Maybe it was the exciting combinations scrawled on chalkboards that called me over {Irish Whiskey Orange Marmalade? Orange + Vanilla Marmalade? Spicy Orange Marmalade? Yes, yes, and yes, please.}  Maybe it was the name of the business {Red Hen Cannery? Pretty much the cutest name for a jam company ever}.  Maybe it was the precious red hen sticker or the fact that each jar was wrapped in a piece of literature {words and jam? As far as I’m concerned, that’s a marketing home run}.  Whatever it was, I found myself drawn to the stall and began sampling and buying the marmalade without hesitation.  I am so glad that I did.  Each and every morning since, I have eaten a rice cake smothered in almond butter and one of the Red Hen’s marmalades {her real name is Maureen Foley and she’s just as sweet and creative as her jams}.

Maureen Foley is a local artist, writer, and teacher who lives on an avocado ranch and makes jam {how charming is that?}.  She started Red Hen Cannery, “an artisanal, small-batch jam company based in Carpinteria, California, that uses family recipes and Foley Farm fruits and herbs to produce both stunningly simple and astoundingly innovative fruit preserves.” {www.redhencannery.com}.  Currently, the jams are only available at select Santa Barbara County Farmers Markets, but she’s expanding to offer the jams online and also offers the jams as wedding favors.  The current marmalade flavors available are:

  • Meyer Lemon + Rose Petal Marmalade
  • Spicy Orange Marmalade {my personal favorite!}
  • Orange + Irish Whiskey Marmalade
  • Orange Vanilla Marmalade
  • Valencia Orange Marmalade

Stop by her booth at Farmer’s Market and let her know that Kiki sent you.  I recommend her products without hesitation {I would give each and every one of you a jar if I had the means to do so!}.

GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS


Looking to do something with the plethora of canned pumpkin stacked in my cupboards {I had over-purchased just in case the zombie apocalypse hit us before Christmas}, I searched for a gluten-free pumpkin recipe.  When I stumbled upon a recipe here, I thought it sounded delicious.  I adapted it slightly and ended up with a gooey, not-too-sweet muffin that is a great holiday breakfast or snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1.  Stir together all dry ingredients
  2. Use a hand mixer to combine all wet ingredients until smoothly incorporated
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a hand mixer
  4. Line a muffin tin {for 12 muffins} with cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

RECIPE TO TRY – BUTTERFINGER CAKE


It was my task to make a birthday cake for a very untraditional birthday boy… so I followed this {oh-so-easy} untraditional recipe that I found on Six Sisters’ Sweet Stuff and it was a complete success {judging from the fact that not a single piece was left in the pan by the end of the meal}.

RECIPE TO TRY – REESES CHEESECAKE BROWNIES


I am a girl with a serious sweet tooth.  Anything that has sugar in it tends to make me happy.  When I saw a brownie that combined three of my major loves {chocolate, cheesecake, and peanut butter} I knew I had to try it.  I found the recipe through Pinterest and it led me to the recipe on Pip & Ebby.  I tried it. I loved it. Confession: I ate half the pan. Second confession: I didn’t regret it for a second.

RECIPE TO TRY – OREO TRUFFLE BROWNIES


I have two things to thank for this: 1. My {overwhelmingly popular} post on Slutty Brownies… which led me to 2. Searching other delectable brownie recipes on Pinterest and stumbling upon this gem from Raising 4 Princesses: The Oreo Truffle Brownie.  This brownie recipe knocked my socks off. De-lish!!!

It’s this simple:

1. Make brownies {go ahead and use a box mix. You won’t be able to tell}. Put them in the fridge to cool.
2. Put two sleeves of Oreos in a ziplock bag and smash them up.
3. Mix the smashed up Oreos with 8oz of softened cream cheese.
4. Spread the mixture on the cooled brownies.
5. Melt 1/2 bag of semisweet chocolate chips on the stove and spread on top.
6. Refrigerate and try not to eat the whole thing all at once!

RECIPE TO TRY – SLUTTY BROWNIES


My Pinterest obsession/addiction has led me to many phenomenal recipes… and I am ridiculously grateful that I stumbled upon this one.  These brownies are the very best brownies that I have EVER consumed. Seriously.  And, they are quite easy {hence the term “slutty”}.  I found the recipe on The Londoner.  It requires the following:

1 Box chocolate chip cookie mix
1 box brownie mix {I went with Ultimate Fudge for extra gooey-ness}
Eggs {as called for on the box mix}
Oil {as called for on the box mix}
Butter {as called for on the box mix}
Double stuffed oreos

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 baking tray with parchment paper. Make the cookie mix and mush it into the bottom of the tray. Then cover that with double stuffed oreos. Then make the brownie mix and pour it evenly over the top. Bake the entire thing for the time listed on the brownie mix box.  Easy. Delicious. Bonus points if you eat it while it’s still warm with some ice cream.

RECIPE TO TRY – COOKIES & CREAM CUPCAKES


I was in the mood for something quick… easy… and delicious.  Miniature cupcakes were the solution…  I used a recipe found on one of my favorite baking blogs, Bakerella and whipped up a bunch of miniature cupcakes in under half an hour {with the help of my Babycakes baking machine}.  The cupcake recipe can be found here and the frosting recipe can be found here.  Happy baking, gorgeous!

Current Obsession: Cupcakes

I have died and gone to cupcake heaven. Cupcakes in a tiny cupcake box heaven. Did I mention that the box is tied with a hot pink bow? And adorned with a little crystal? And the cupcake is moist and chocolatey with marshmallow frosting and sweetened hot pink coconut? Now that is something worth obsessing over.  Oh, if you’re wondering… I ate every last bite. And licked the wrapper.