Cinnamon Spice Cheese Ball

Happy Holidays to all our friends and followers! No matter how you celebrated we hope you had a Merry Christmas and a brilliant holiday season, though it’s not over just yet! And we’re glad because New Years is a great time for appetizers and we have a great recipe to share.

Most appetizers are savory, but there are times you want something which has a sweeter leaning without being as sweet as candy or cookies. This Cinnamon Spice Cheese Ball is a favorite of mine and fills the gap nicely. Here we combine Cornaby’s Cinnamon Spice* gourmet jam with cream cheese for a cheese ball that will surprise and delight your party guests.

* Cornaby’s Cinnamon Spice jam used to be called cinnaberry. This is a new formulation but still combines raspberries, cranberries, cinnamon and cloves to create an amazing holiday spread. Perfect with turkey, ham, on a fresh roll or in a cheese ball!


Cinnamon Spice Cheese Ball

12 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened

2-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar (Depending on how sweet you want the final product)

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

8 ounce Cornaby’s Cinnaberry Spice jam

Combine ingredients in the order listed with an electric or stand mixer. Refrigerate cheese ball for at least 30 minutes before serving. For extra crunch roll in pecan pieces. Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafer crackers.


Applesauce Cake with Ultra Gel

I know this may seem like a strange post headed into Thanksgiving, but it sometimes happens that you’ll have a holiday guest who is not fond of pie. I know…it seems like blasphemy to me, but there are folks who like cake better. So I wanted to share this beautiful Applesauce Cake recipe. It has all the flavors of fall and is moist and tender and really right up there with pie as a favorite.

I like to top this Applesauce Cake with a cream cheese frosting flavored with apple juice and cinnamon. I’ll put that recipe here too.

As is often the case in baked goods the Ultra Gel helps to hold the moisture in this cake and makes for a very tender crumb. As well it allows us to decrease the fat without losing a bit of flavor or tenderness. We ate the one I made in about two days flat. It’s a really good cake!

Applesauce Cake with Ultra Gel

2 cups wheat flour

1 1/2 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves, ground ginger and ground allspice)

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup caramel sauce (Optional, but really good. I like Smuckers or homemade)

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 in pan or two 9 inch round pans.

In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, soda, spices, salt and Ultra Gel. In a second bowl, I like to use a stand mixer for this part, beat together the sugar and melted oil until well combined and light. Add applesauce, caramel sauce and vanilla and beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add dry mixture alternating with buttermilk and beat until well combined, but not overmixed.

Pour batter into pans and bake until golden brown and toothpick tests clean. 30-45 minutes. Let cool for ten minutes. You can either flip the cake out of the pan and stack or just apply icing to the cake in the pan.

Cream Cheese Apple Icing

4 ounces low fat cream cheese, soft

1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft

2 pounds powdered sugar

1/2 cup apple juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine cream cheese and butter and beat until well combined. Slow the mixer and add half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add apple juice, spices, Ultra Gel and salt and mix well. Add additional powdered sugar (You may need a little more or less depending on the day) until the desired consistency is reached. This is a great icing for this cake, but is also awesome as a filling in pumpkin whoopie pies or on a banana or carrot cake.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

Tis the season of pumpkin spice everything and I admit I’m a fan of the trend. So much so that when we ran out of oat waffles (which I make in a large batch and freeze for easy breakfasts) I turned the new batch into pumpkin spice waffles. It was a straight forward change and makes the waffles even more healthy (Lots of fiber and beta-carotene in pumpkin) and delicious.

As a reminder we use Ultra Gel in quick breads like waffles for increased tenderness and it keeps them from drying out when frozen.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

(This recipe makes about 2 dozen waffles. It can be halved if you don’t need that many at once.)

11 ounces ground oats

8 ounces flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 cups buttermilk (at room temp)

6 large eggs

4 ounces unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling, just plain old pumpkin.)

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. You just want to bring these together, so be careful not to over mix. It’ll be lumpy and that’s a good thing.

Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions. I use a Belgium waffle maker so I get two thick waffles at about 1/4 cup of batter each per batch. Eat warm with fruit, jam or syrup (Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup is really good. Apple Syrup is really good, and plain old maple syrup is smashing). Alternatively package waffles into layers in a freezer bag and freeze flat. To reheat toss waffles into a toaster.

Mock BYU Mint Brownies

BYU stands for Brigham Young University which is where I attended college. It is also home to the, at least locally, famous BYU Mint Brownies. These are a three layer brownie; brownie, light mint icing and chocolate icing and they show up at everything. Having a big family party order BYU brownies, church activity order brownies, etc, etc. If you figured out how many of these brownies are eaten annually you’d come up with a really big number and a whole lot of calories.

Recently BYU dining release a version of the BYU brownies recipe, so I had to try it. I admit…my memories of the brownies were better than what I got using the exact recipe they printed. So, naturally, I started tinkering until I got a brownie which may not be their recipe, but more closely matches my memories of their brownie. It’s a thick cakey brownie with a mint icing and a chocolate ganache. This is not a low calorie offering, let’s not even pretend, but boy is it good.

I apologize for not having better pictures. They were devoured so fast I had to swoop in and save this one little piece for photos. 🙂 That’s how good these are.

Mock BYU Mint Brownies


1 cup unsalted butter, room temp2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons honey

4 eggs

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

4 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and honey and mix well. Add eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated. Mix in Ultra Gel, water and vanilla until smooth. In a second bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until smooth. Do not over beat. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 baking pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. I do tend to underbake these just a little because it gives a little fudgier texture. Cool and top with mint icing and ganache.

Mint Icing

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 Tablespoons milk

3-4 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon mint extract

1-2 drops green food coloring

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of your mixing bowl as needed.

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)

10 ounces semi sweet chocolate

1/2 tsp vanilla (opt)

Warm whipping cream to 180 degrees. It should be hot, but should not boil. Pour all at once over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate pieces are melted. Allow to cool slightly so it is still pourable, but not so hot that it will melt other icings.

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

Mangoes have been on sale for the last little bit and I’ve been looking for different things to do with them. Mango Cake is always a fun option, but this time I wanted something savory and light.I had some chicken breast pieces and bell peppers which also needed using so I put everything together to end up with a Mango Chicken Stir Fry. Let me tell you this is a magnificent combination. The dish is chewy and sweet and crunchy with a little bit of spice and goes great over a little baked rice. This was good enough that we ate mango chicken for dinner, and then again for lunch…and another lunch…every scrap was eaten. That’s one of the things I love, a food where the leftovers are just as desired as the first go around!

I found more mangoes on sale this week and I think we’ll be giving this mango chicken stir fry an encore.


Mango Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound chicken breast, sliced

2 medium mangoes, cubed

1-2 bell peppers, cubed

1 medium white onion, sliced

1 can sliced water chestnuts

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce





Leftover Teriyaki sauce (optional but gives it a great flavor boost or you can use a dollop of Cornaby’s Peach Habanero sauce if you want more kick!)

Ultra Gel

Heat a large skillet or wok. When the pan is good and hot add 1-2 Tablespoons of oil. Add chicken and cook until mostly done. Add fruits and vegetables and cook until tender. Add soy sauce and spices and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add Ultra Gel as needed to soak up extra liquids. It’s usually 1-2 Tablespoons depending on how juicy your mangoes are.

Serve warm over rice.

Pie Day!

It’s a throw back pi Day, with one of our favorite spring time pie recipes.

Five minutes.

Fresh strawberries.


Five Minute Fresh Strawberry Pie

One of the sure signs of spring, at least in this neck of the woods, is when the strawberries return to the store fronts. They will also return to my garden, but that’s admittedly closer to summer. Anyway…there are strawberries and I was fortunate enough to find a sale where I could get a full flat of 8 pounds for $7.49! Around here that’s a fantastic price so I got a full flat. Having a full flat lead to deciding that there must be fresh strawberry pie in our house, and fortunately with Ultra Gel it only takes 5 minutes.

Now, a couple of notes before I share the recipe. First of all the recipe calls for sliced strawberries. How sliced you want them is upto you. If you like a chunkier pie then cut your strawberries in halves or quarters. Otherwise slices or even diced will work just fine. It’s all according to your taste. Secondly this pie is an oddball as far as how long it keeps. The problem is that when the strawberries are refrigerated they tend to weep and this adds a lot of moisture to the glaze which will end up thinner than when you started. You can combat this by either making your initial gel thicker knowing it will thin down a little, or by cutting the strawberries and letting them sit in the fridge for upto an hour to pull the moisture out (which you then drain off and use, don’t waste strawberry juice!) before adding the gel, or by eating the pie all at once as soon as you make it. That last option is my favorite!

And make sure to always top off with lots of Ultra Gel Whipping Cream and a strawberry fan for flair.

fresh strawberry pie

Five Minute Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 baked pie crust or graham cracker crust

1-1.5 pounds of fresh strawberries, sliced (1 pound for a 9 inch crust, 1.5 or more for a 10 inch crust or a deep dish)

1 cups sugar

1 package strawberry Kool Aid

2 cups water

1-2 Tablespoons lime juice – to taste

10 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine sugar, kool aid and water and mix until sugar is complete dissolved. Whisk in Ultra Gel one tablespoon at a time until completely combined. This will give you a medium set. You can add more or less Ultra Gel to taste, but remember Ultra Gel will keep thickening for 3-5 minutes after you stop adding more. So start with a little less than you think you need, see how it sets and then add more a little at a time.

Fold gel into strawberries until desired ratio of gel to berry is achieved. Pour coated berries into pie crust and top with whipping cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This doesn’t cut really crisp, but it tastes oh so good!

Peach Habanero Salmon

I was recently asked for one of my favorite fast recipe using a Cornaby’s product. It took almost no time at all to share this recipe for Peach Habanero Salmon. The Peach Habanero cooking sauce is an amazing combination of heat and sweet and delicate enough to match perfectly with fish. Salmon is a great fleshy fish with a lovely flavor and nutritional punch, easy to cook and reasonably priced. I generally figure about 1/4-1/3 pound of salmon per person because it’s just that good.

peach salmon

Peach Habanero Salmon

1/3 pound salmon per person

Cornaby’s Peach Habanero Cooking Sauce



Prepare salmon by rinsing gently (if needed) and check for any pin bones. You’ll lay the fish out depending on your method of cooking. Oven: Place fish on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet, skin side down. Grilling: Lay out on a plate for preparation before being moved to the grill, or prepare on cedar plank. Smoking: Same as Grilling. All methods: Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and then spread with a generous layer of cooking sauce. Cook until fish is done through at the thickest part, opaque and flaky. Serve warm.