Tag Archives: mother’s day

Mother’s Day and Pillsbury Bake Off Reject

Melissa Iwai © 2014

Melissa Iwai © 2014

First of all — Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!  🙂  This is a card I recently did for my mom.  I posted my process on my “work” blog on my new website.  I’m loving experimenting with calligraphy.  The fun thing about this card, is that I drew the calligraphy, because I don’t yet have the correct nib.  Anyway, you can check out how I did it here.

My mom is so great.  This is us a couple of years ago after she helped plant flowers in our garden (I am kind of hopeless):

She the only person that makes me feel tall. :)

She is the only person that makes me feel tall. 🙂



So, even though I’ve been crazed with multiple work projects, I had time to completely procrastinate last week and enter some recipes in the 47th Annual Pillsbury Bake Off Contest.  I don’t really know what got into me.  I haven’t entered a contest in years and years.  And I’ve only entered this one once, and didn’t get in.  I never tried again, because it was so hard for me.  There are certain ingredients you must use, and certain ingredients you can use in addition to these.  There are time constraints — your prep time has to be under 30 minutes, and full cooking time has to be within 3 hours (I think!).  This year, there was a seven ingredient limit (not counting water, salt, pepper).  Anyway, for some reason, I became obsessed, but I only had a week to do it all because the deadline was May 7th, and I only learned about it a week and a half beforehand (thank you Laura Stanke!)

I first learned of the world of recipe contesting when I was a finalist for a Cooking Light Reader Recipe contest — the first one I entered.  These people are AMAZING. I was so in awe.  I met my friend, Anna, there of Cookie Madness, who had just won the Pillsbury Bake Off that year.  Everyone there knew about it and most were in the contesting world. There are so many recipes contests going on all the time.  I tried a few after that, but I never devoted the time and energy into it — it is a lot harder than it sounds!

This time, I made about 12 savory fillings and used them in 17 recipes and did two more sweet recipes.  I had such a hard time inputting the recipes — it was ridiculous. I kept making mistakes and had to redo them (probably due to sleep deprivation– ha ha).

Here is a recipe I later realized I couldn’t submit because the prep time exceeded the limit of 30 minutes.  Also you may have extra filling leftover — this isn’t a bad thing, as the tomatoes are good in so many things!

roasted tomato quiche 2

Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Mini Quiches

1 pint (10oz.) grape tomatoes, washed and sliced vertically in half

¼ teaspoon dried basil

Non-stick spray

kosher salt

1 can of Pillsbury® Grands!® Reduced Fat Crescent Refrigerated dough

2 eggs

2 tablespoons half and half or milk

1/2 cup shredded mozarella cheese


1.  Heat oven to 275° F.  Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Arrange tomato halves cut side up in one layer.  Season with basil and kosher  salt.  Roast in oven for 40 minutes.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oven to 375 F.  Spray 8 regular-sized muffin cups with non-stick spray.

3.  Remove crescent rolls from package but don’t unroll.  Using a serrated knife, cut roll into 8 rounds.  Carefully separate rounds.  Roll round flat with a rolling pin.  Press 1 round on bottom and completely up side of each muffin cup.  Beat eggs with half and half or milk and set aside.

4.  Top with roasted tomatoes.  Divide egg mixture evenly among cups (about 1 tablespoon each). Top with cheese.

5.  Bake 12-16 minutes or until filling is set and edges of quiches are golden brown.  Cool in pan 5 minutes.  Run knife around edge of each quiche to loosen;  Remove from pan. Serve warm.

roasted tomato quiche 1


Filed under Uncategorized

Semi-sweet and White Chocolate Studded Speculoos (Cookie Butter)Pancakes

Oozing is allowed.

I usually don’t have dessert for breakfast, but this coming Mother’s Day, I am requesting this.  And I’m not getting it at a restaurant!

My husband is the waffle and pancake master in our home.  He makes  Cadbury Egg waffles (when in season) and Snuggle Mountain pancakes all the time, as well as black and white pancakes when he is feeling ambitious.

Half regular pancake with chocolate chips, half chocolate pancake with white chocolate chips

So when I finally got my hands on a jar of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter a.k.a Speculoos, I knew I wanted him to create something using this decadent spread.

Made out of Speculoos, a Danish cookie.

He experimented a few weekends ago, making his usual delicious light and fluffy pancakes studded with chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, and I asked him to try spreading some cookie butter in between layers.  Voila!  A mouth watering, swoon inspiring breakfast dish for special occasions was born!

Couldn’t resist another close up of the Speculoos oozing out!
With a little maple syrup on top, these pancakes are to die for!

Hope all the Moms out there have a wonderful, pampered day on Sunday!

I made this card, inspired by my mom’s love for pandas. 🙂

Semi-sweet and White Chocolate Studded Speculoos Pancakes

Note:   If you can’t get to a Trader Joe’s (or they discontinue this amazing product which they tend to do when I fall in love with something), I’m sure peanut butter, almond butter, or any nut butter would make a wonderful substitution!

4 eggs, separated

1 cup of milk

1 cup of flour (a mixture of whole wheat and all purpose is nice)

1 tablespoon sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

butter or oil for frying

chocolate chips (about 7 per pancake)

white chocolate chips (about 7 per pancake)

Speculoos or other nut butter spread

Maple syrup

1.  Heat griddle or skillet.  A cast iron skillet produces a nice crust.

2.  Separate eggs and whip whites until stiff but not dry.

3.  Whisk egg yolks with milk and vanilla in a bowl.

4.  Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Pour egg yolk mixture into dry mixture and combine.

5.  Fold in egg whites gently.

6.  Heat some oil and butter in pan.  Pour pancake batter in pan to whatever size you desire.  My husband usually makes small to medium sized ones.  Stud each pancake with chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.  Cook on low heat until lightly browned on bottom, about 2 minutes.  Flip and cook other side.  You can keep these warm in a 200 degree oven.

7.  To assemble, spread each pancake with Speculoos and stack.  Pour maple syrup over and serve.


Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Vegetarian