Melissa's Cuisine

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Baking Made Easier with Hamilton Beach Mixers

What is your most used small kitchen appliance?  Without a question, mine is my mixer.  Baking is 100 times easier when you have a mixer versus having to do everything by hand!

Melissa's Cuisine: Baking Made Easier with Hamilton Beach Mixers

When I was approached by Hamilton Beach about reviewing their mixers, I didn't hesitate.  I love to try new products, and I've always been pleased with my Hamilton Beach products, so I didn't expect this time to be any different.

I was sent both their 6 Speed Hand Mixer with Pulse and Snap on Case, and their Stand Mixer.  When they came, I was excited to put them to the test and get started with some baking.
Melissa's Cuisine: Baking Made Easier with Hamilton Beach MixersMelissa's Cuisine: Baking Made Easier with Hamilton Beach Mixers

First up: the hand mixer.  I absolutely loved this mixer and it is definitely going to replace the one I had been using!  One of my favorite features it that the mixer has a case that snaps to it so you can store the cord, the various attachments, and the mixer all in one place.  No more digging through drawers for the beaters!  This mixer came with a set of beaters, whisk, dough hooks, and milkshake mixer.  I also liked the bowl rest, so I could let the beaters drip into the mixing bowl, rather than setting the mixer on the counter and having it drip everywhere.

Summer and I made pecan snowball cookies, and this mixer was powerful enough to stir the dense dough.  All in all, this mixer is a winner!
Melissa's Cuisine: Baking Made Easier with Hamilton Beach Mixers

Next up: the stand mixer.  Straight out of the box, I knew I was going to love this mixer because of the suction cups on the bottom.  My current stand mixer has a tendency to bounce around the counter when it's mixing, and that problem is eliminated with the Hamilton Beach stand mixer.  This mixer came with a whisk, dough hook, and beater attachment.  It has multiple speeds, and has pictures showing what each speed is best used for.  My favorite feature though, was the spill guard.  I made peanut butter balls in this mixer and for the first time I didn't have powdered sugar flying everywhere when I started mixing!

Once again, Hamilton Beach came through and proved to have great products.  I loved both of the mixers I used and they have become staples in my kitchen.

Jealous?  Guess what?  Hamilton Beach has offered to give away one of each of the mixers I received to you!  Two lucky people can win--one will receive the stand mixer, and the other will receive the hand mixer.  I'll do two separate rafflecopters so you can enter for the mixer you want (especially if you already have one of them), or you can enter both!  (You'll notice that the entries are the same for both--so you only have to leave one comment to enter both giveaways.) a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent these products for the purpose of a review.  I was not otherwise compensated.  All opinion expressed in this post are my own.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Toffee Apple Dip

Melissa's Cuisine: Toffee Apple Dip
For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Ashley's blog, Rainstorms and Love Notes. Her blog was pretty new to me (though she was assigned to my blog last month and made my Baked "Fried" Pickles!), and I really enjoyed browsing through it.  As usual, my list of recipes to make grew with each page I read through.  I narrowed it down to choosing between Broccoli Cheddar Dip, Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Roll, and Apple Toffee Dip.  Ultimately I chose to make the apple dip, but I'll definitely be making the others too!

Ever since my friend brought apples with caramel dip to a get together, I've been obsessed, and that's been my nightly snack.  However, since making this Toffee Apple Dip, caramel has been kicked to the curb.  I shared it with some friends the other night, and they all loved it and requested the recipe.  They even agreed that it's better than the caramel dip, and even though we were all stuffed from dinner, we couldn't stop eating this!

This dip was so simple to put together, and it tastes absolutely amazing.  Even Summer ate it, along with apples, and she normally doesn't like apples, so you know it was good!  The only thing I changed was cutting the amount of sugar in half.  Partially due to laziness on my part--I didn't want to go downstairs and bring up a 25 pound bag of sugar just for 1/2 cup--but mostly because after trying the dip with just brown sugar, I decided it was sweet enough for me.  Give it a try with some fresh apples, or even bananas, you won't regret it!
Melissa's Cuisine: Toffee Apple Dip
Toffee Apple Dip

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toffee bits

Combine ingredients until smooth.  Serve with fresh fruit.

Source: Rainstorms and Love Notes

Monday, September 21, 2015

Peach Crisp

This easy and delicious dessert is bursting with flavors of fresh peaches, topped with a sweet and crunchy crumb topping.  It's sure to please!

Melissa's Cuisine: Peach Crisp
One of my favorite things about late summer and early fall is the variety of fruits available.  Two weeks ago, Mike, Summer, and I went to a farm market and petting zoo.  We spent the morning petting and feeding all kinds of animals, watching Summer jump in the bounce house, going on a wagon ride, and enjoying each other's company.  We left with a peck of fresh peaches, and a dozen apple cinnamon donuts ;) Then yesterday, we headed to a local apple orchard to continue our fall tradition with friends and pick apples.  We left with 42 pounds of apples and a half dozen apple cider donuts ;)  (Notice a trend?)  And yes, those 42 pounds of apples will go to good use since I eat at least one a day!

As I looked through my assigned blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I kept in mind my abundance of peaches, as well as a few zucchinis I still had hanging around.  Thankfully, Kristen who blogs at Troyer's Loving Life, made it easy for me to find a great recipe.  Kristen is a busy wife and mom to 2 teenage girls.  Her family is busy working on their house, but she still finds time to cook and fill her blog with delicious recipes!

Ultimately, I chose to make Kristen's recipe for Peach Crisp (which she got from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook).  It sounded delicious, and with my abundance of peaches, and peach crisp being my favorite dessert, I knew I'd found a winner.  This recipe certainly didn't disappoint!  The thinner layer of crisp topping really allowed the natural flavors of the peaches to shine though.  I didn't have maple syrup, so I opted to sprinkle my peaches with a little bit of sugar instead, and I skipped the sauce.  Mike thought this dessert would be delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Melissa's Cuisine: Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

Makes 1 9x9" pan, about 9 servings

5 ripe peaches
1 Tablespoon sugar, optional
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (1 stick) butter, cold

1.  Peel and slice peaches and place them in the bottom of an 9x9" pan. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

3.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.  Use a pastry blender or knife to cut the butter into the flour.  Continue until the mixture resembles moist coarse meal.

4.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the peaches.

5.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until the topping is crisp and done.

Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Source: Troyer's Loving Life

This will be my last month participating in the Secret Recipe Club.  I've been a member since 2011, however with all our life changes I don't feel like I have the necessary time to spend on my blog.  Instead, I'm focusing on raising a toddler, growing a baby, and expanding my personal training and coaching business.  I've really enjoyed participating over the past few years and meeting new friends.  I hope you'll continue to stop by and see what we're up to!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Blueberry Buckle

This Blueberry Buckle is chock full of sweet and delicious blueberries. Eat it for breakfast, dessert, or anything in between.  It's mostly fruit so it's healthy, right? ;)
Melissa's Cuisine: Blueberry Buckle
Sometimes things don't go as planned.  Potty training, for example.  I read waaayyy too many success stories from the 3 Day Potty Training Method that I became convinced that it would work for Summer.  However, I have a very stubborn strong-willed child and it became clear rather quickly that forcing her to constantly sit on the potty was not going to work.  We're currently on day 3 (day 1 with no accidents!) but I wouldn't consider us anywhere close to being fully potty trained.  Any success stories to share with me?  
Melissa's Cuisine: Blueberry Buckle
Another thing that doesn't go as planned is pretty much any time I try to bake in my oven.  Sometimes what I'm making comes out just perfectly.  Other times, like with this Blueberry Buckle, it turns out disastrously (luckily, I was able to save this delicious buckle!)  I followed the directions for this cake, baked it at the right temperature for the correct amount of time.  Pulled it out, checked it with a knife in the center which came out clean, so I set it on the rack to cool.  A few hours later I took the cake outside to photograph and cut into it, only to discover the entire center of the cake was still batter!  Oh no!  I put it back in the over, but it took nearly an hour longer before the cake was completely cooked.  Thankfully the top and sides didn't burn and the cake still turned out delicious.  My love-hate relationship with my oven is very much on the hate side right now. :( 

Melissa's Cuisine: Blueberry Buckle
I found this delicious recipe on Sarah's blog, The Pajama Chef. As soon as I read Sarah's introduction where she says "I'm all about healthy delicious recipes with a side of indulgence", I knew that I would have no trouble finding a recipe to make for this month's Secret Recipe Club.  I found a variety of delicious recipes that I wanted to make, like Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake and Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake.  But I had just gone blueberry picking and so I was specifically on the hunt for a delicious blueberry recipe.  I saw her recipe for Blueberry Buckle and I knew I'd found my recipe.

This recipe calls for 5 (yes, 5) CUPS of blueberries.  Yes, that's a lot of blueberries. But I think that's what makes this cake so amazing.  Every single bit is full of blueberries, not just a few here and there throughout the cake.  There's not much cake compared to blueberries, so it's actually a pretty light breakfast or dessert.  It's super easy to make, and as long as your oven works properly, it bakes up in about an hour.  You'll want to make this again and again...I promise you won't be disappointed!

Melissa's Cuisine: Blueberry Buckle
Blueberry Buckle


for the cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
5 cups fresh blueberries

for the crumb topping:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons butter, softened

1.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.

2.  Combine the flour and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.

3.  Gently stir in the blueberries.  Pour into a well-greased 10" springform pan.

4.  Prepare the crumb topping by combining the flour, brown sugar,and cinnamon in a bowl.  Cut the butter and vanilla with a pastry blender or two knives.

5.  Sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake batter.

6.  Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes, until the crumb topping is brown, and a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing the sides and allow to cool another 15 minutes before slicing.

Source: The Pajama Chef

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Apple Pie Shakeology {Win a Wave Action Blender!}

It's been a while since I've done a real post on here! Sorry about has been crazy these past few months.

Here's a quick update since I last posted:
I'm now a certified personal trainer!  (read more about my journey here.)
Summer is going to be a big sister!  (see the annoucement post here.)
Mike and I took a trip to Nashville for the Beachbody coach Summit, followed by a week of camping with our family.  (check out updates on my Facebook page.)

So yes, there's been a lot going on.  Tell me about your summer!

Speaking of summer--who doesn't love an ice cold drink?  Especially a shake or smoothie!  To be honest, I drink a shake for breakfast every morning, regardless of the season. I love my Shakeology!

The best way to make a shake is lots of ice, so it's super thick and creamy.  Of course, to do so, you need to have a strong blender.  The kind folks at Hamilton Beach recently asked me to test out their Wave Action Blender. I jumped at the opportunity since I use my blender daily.

Let me tell you, this blender did not disappoint!  Since I use a lot of ice, I often end up with a couple piece of unblended ice in the bottom of my cup.  With the Wave Action Blender, there were no chunks!  The blender is specifically designed to force the contents into the blades to ensure that everything is blended evenly.  If there's a stubborn piece, there is a handy spoon that you can insert in the top of the blender to assist.  This blender worked perfectly for my morning shake, and it can also be used to make soups or salsa.  (Guess what I'll be doing with all the tomatoes from my garden?!)

I made my favorite Shakeology recipe--Apple Pie.  Yes, I drink that flavor even in the middle of the summer ;) And, I'll even share it with you at the bottom of this post.

Apple Pie Shakeology
Serves 1

1 cup apple cider
1/2 frozen banana
4 ice cubes
dash of cinnamon
1 scoop vanilla Shakeology 

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

(If you're curious about Shakeology and why I drink it every day, please leave me a comment on this post!)

Okay, now it's your turn!  If you would like a chance to win your own Wave Action Blender, you can use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender for the purpose of this review.  I was not otherwise compensated.  All views and opinions are mine.

Even Summer loves her shakes! :)  

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Cook it! Craft it! Share it! {Link Party #62}

Hello!  Welcome to week #62 of the Cook it! Craft it! Share it! Link Party!  I'm so happy you're joining us today!

Last week's party had 259 links!!!  There were some awesome posts linked up.  Thank you to everyone who linked up and shared with us :)

Now, onto the party!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cook it! Craft it! Share it! {Link Party #61}

Hello!  Welcome to week #61 of the Cook it! Craft it! Share it! Link Party!  I'm so happy you're joining us today!

Sorry for being MIA last week!  We were camping and I didn't have internet access (though I thought I would!)  How is your summer going?  Any vacations planned?

Last week's party had 209 links!!!  There were some awesome posts linked up.  Thank you to everyone who linked up and shared with us :)

Now, onto the party!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Cook it! Craft it! Share it! {Link Party #58}

Hello!  Welcome to week #58 of the Cook it! Craft it! Share it! Link Party!  I'm so happy you're joining us today!

Do you have any plans for the 4th of July?  I'm looking forward to having Mike home for a 3-day weekend, and enjoying time with our family. We plan to go to the local parade, but that's it for plans!

Last week's party had 434 links!!!  There were some awesome posts linked up.  Thank you to everyone who linked up and shared with us :)

Don't forget to check out last week's Must Makes and vote for next week's Marvelous Must Make!

Now, onto the party!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cook it! Craft it! Share it! {Link Party #57}

Hello!  Welcome to week #57 of the Cook it! Craft it! Share it! Link Party!  I'm so happy you're joining us today!

We took an unplanned break from the party last week--summertime has a way of making everyone busy, doesn't it!?  But we're back to partying this week :)

Last week's party had 295 links!!!  There were some awesome posts linked up.  Thank you to everyone who linked up and shared with us :)

Don't forget to check out last week's Must Makes and vote for next week's Marvelous Must Make!

Now, onto the party!

Monday, June 15, 2015

BLT Sandwiches with Burger and Fry Sauce

This isn't your typical BLT sandwich.  This has your typical bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes, but also the addition of cheese and fry sauce.  The result?  A delicious and unforgettable sandwich!
Melissa's Cuisine: BLT Sandwiches with Burger and Fry Sauce
I'm not typically a sandwich eater, but I simply can't resist a BLT!  Especially one that's homemade and packed with bacon in every bite ;)  

As I was looking through Sashi's blog, Get Off The Couch and Cook (awesome name, by the way!), I made quite a list of recipes that I wanted to make for this month's Secret Recipe Club. I love Sashi's stance on eating: avoiding prepacked foods while still enjoying the foods you love, made with real ingredients.  She's a woman after my own heart!  Some of the recipes that caught my eye were Gyro Pizza with Homemade Tzatziki and Greek Seasoning, Apple Pie French Toast, and Chicken Nachos.  Ultimately though, I had to make her BLT because I just couldn't resist it!  

Melissa's Cuisine: BLT Sandwiches with Burger and Fry Sauce
The thing that caught my eye about this sandwich was the addition of Burger and Fry Sauce.  It reminded me of when my dad would mix mayo, ketchup, and mustard on his plate and dip his fries in it--but much better!  I opted to omit the chicken from this sandwich in the interest of time, and wanting a lighter meal, but I'll definitely be making these sandwiches with chicken too in the future.

You'll definitely want to make the Burger and Fry Sauce and keep it in a container in your fridge.  It's amazing on burgers too (of course!).  Sashi also recommended coating each side of the bread in a thin layer of mayonnaise before toasting it in the oven.  Don't skip that step--I'll never make BLTs another way!  All in all, this is one delicious sandwich!
Melissa's Cuisine: BLT Sandwiches with Burger and Fry Sauce
BLT Sandwich

Makes 4 sandwiches


8 slices thick cut bacon
8 slices whole wheat bread
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 slices cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Burger and Fry Sauce (recipe below)
sliced tomatoes

1.  Cook bacon until crisp.  I bake mine: place bacon in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until crisp.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

2.  Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on both sides of each piece of bread.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees until bread is toasted, flipping to toast both sides.

3.  Assemble sandwiches by putting fry sauce on one slice of bread, top with tomato, lettuce, bacon, cheese, and a second slice of bread.  Serve warm.

Source: Get Off The Couch And Cook

Burger and Fry Sauce

Makes approximately 1 cup of sauce


2/3 cup real mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup relish
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Source: Get Off The Couch And Cook
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