Let the holidays begin!

DSCF4774 (2)I was feeling festive tonight and invented a fabulous new cocktail!  I do enjoy a good red wine but my “go-to” cocktail for a girls’ night out is usually a Cosmopolitan.  If you’re a cosmo drinker then you will certainly enjoy this Sugar Plum-tini using Etta Mae Gourmet’s Sugar Plum Jam.

Sugar Plum-tini

3-4 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 TBSP Sugar Plum Jam or other tart berry jam
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 oz Aperol or other orange liqueur

First, stir the jam into the grapefruit juice and make sure it is thoroughly combined.  Next, fill up your cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodka, Aperol and the juice.  Shake vigorously and pour into a martini glass.  Enjoy!

My Sugar Plum Jam is a delightful combination of sweet cherries and tart cranberries with a hint of cinnamon. Perfect for the winter holidays!



Rise & Shine…Let’s get baking!

DSCF4716 (2)It is finally getting a bit cooler in Southern California and I’m loving it! When the summer temps are hitting 100 degrees I have no desire to turn on the oven so I was relishing the opportunity to bake something.  A coffee cake sounded like a good start for a chilly autumn morning.  Here’s my recipe for an easy & moist coffee cake (using Etta Mae Gourmet jam!) that you can make in a cast iron skillet. Since I’m a sucker for a good cheese danish, I added a topping to this cake using brown sugar and ricotta cheese.  Yummy!

Rise & Shine Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil in your cast iron skillet or cake pan.


1 box of yellow cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup of dry mix for the topping)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of your favorite Etta Mae Gourmet berry jam
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

First, don’t forget to reserve 1/2 cup of the dry cake mix!

Next, in a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil.  Stir well and pour the batter into the oiled skillet or cake pan.  Drop spoonfuls of the jam in the batter. I used Etta Mae Gourmet Raspberry-Plum Jam for this cake but feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors.


Drop spoonfuls of jam in the batter

Now find that 1/2 cup of dry cake mix that you were saving and add in the brown sugar and ricotta cheese.  Blend the ingredients very well.  You will now drop spoonfuls of this gooey mixture over the cake.  Try to distribute it as evenly as possible especially around the edges of the pan.  The sides will rise up during the baking process.


Adding the gooey topping

Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes.  Let the cake cool completely before serving.


Hot outta the oven!