Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread for #3Loaves & A Red Star Yeast Giveaway


Something that just about everyone needs is a good, soft, multi-grain bread that can be used in a variety of ways. A bread that kids and adults alike will love and eat, whether for breakfast toast or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at lunch. This is just such a bread, and that’s what makes it a perfect candidate for November’s Three Loaves.

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread |Flamingo Musings

What is Three Loaves about?  The founder of Three Loaves, Jerry James Stone of the vegetarian and vegan cooking blog, Cooking Stoned, says: “Three loaves aims to end the disconnect between people, our food system, and the communities we live in. By signing up, you’ll receive a fresh, seasonal recipe every month, delivered right to your inbox. Each one makes three loaves of bread.” The first loaf is for you, the second loaf is to share with a friend, and the third is to be given to someone in your community who needs it most. Read all about it here and sign up!

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo Musings

This might also be a good time to tell you about the giveaway I’m hosting here and sponsored by my go-to yeast, Red Star! I have used only Red Star yeast for many years – in fact, I buy it in the 2 lb bulk packages – so when they offered a package of goodies for my readers to accompany this post, I was delighted! More about that, after the recipe. :-)

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo Musings

I was flattered to have my Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread recipe chosen as the November recipe. It’s not fancy or a complicated crusty loaf descended from generations of old European artisans. To me, it represents everything an everyday bread should be: accessible, tasty, nutritious, and appealing for many different applications. I originally based this recipe on the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread recipe in George Greenstein’s 1993 James Beard Award-winning book, Secrets of a Jewish Baker. Greenstein’s recipe is – as are so many soft bread recipes – made with powdered milk and sugar or honey. I made quite a lot of changes and additions over the years, retaining the desirable soft texture, while making it entirely vegan and adding nutrition and protein. Vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, and even meat-eaters, have universally loved this bread that I’ve been making and selling at our local Farmers’ Market for a couple of years, now. I’m pleased to be sharing it with you.

Yes, there are quite a few ingredients, but I’d venture a guess that you probably already have them all in your pantry or can get them very easily at your local grocery store. This is a pretty heavy dough, so I use my mixer, fitted with the dough hook. You may certainly make it entirely by hand, but it will take nearly twice the kneading time – and a lot of energy! – to develop the gluten properly, even though vital wheat gluten is one of the ingredients. Let’s have at it, shall we?  This recipe will yield – surprise! – 3 loaves of bread, 1-3/4 to 2 lbs (pre-baked weight), each.

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo Musings

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread

For the Sponge:

  • 2 packets, or 4-1/2 tsp. Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 2-1/2 cups plain (unflavored) soy milk, or non-dairy “milk” of your choice, room temperature or between 75ºF – 115ºF
  • 1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour

Place all ingredients in the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the dough hook, and mix on low speed for about 10-15 seconds, until a smooth slurry is formed. No need to scrape down the sides. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo MusingsAlternatively, you can do this step easily by hand in a bowl and using a large mixing spoon or dough whisk. Cover and set aside, as above.

For the Dough:

  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (or sugar, or honey)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (your choice)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant or “quick”) – uncooked
  • 1/3 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/3 cup hulled hemp seed hearts
  • 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • cooking spray for loaf pans

Preheat your oven to 400º F.

Stir down the sponge, which will now be roughly doubled and looks like this:

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo Musings

Add all of the dough ingredients, beginning with the liquids and ending with the salt, giving the mixture a quick stir in between, just to moisten. If your mixer has a bowl cover, now would be a good time to put that in place.

Run the mixer at the first speed to knead the dough, for a total of 8-10 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, check the dough. If it looks very dry, add 2 Tbs of warm water, and continue mixing. You can turn it up to the second speed for the last couple of minutes to really develop that gluten.  The finished texture of the dough should be just a little bit slack – that is, moist and tacky, but not wet and sticky.  Remove the mixer bowl from the machine, and cover the bowl with a cloth for 10 minutes, to rest.

Lightly spray three (3) 1 lb loaf pans with the cooking spray. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (I like to weigh it to make sure that they’re truly equal, but that’s just me). Form each dough portion into a loaf, and place seam-side down into each pan. Press down on the top of each loaf, making sure that the dough is in the pan evenly. (I find that if I don’t do this, my baked loaves tend to come out shaped a bit like my Prius. Again, maybe that’s just me.)

Cover the pans with a cloth or dishtowel, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes. The loaves should have risen above the edges of the pans.

Uncover the pans, brush the tops with water, and with a very sharp knife or razor, slash the top of each loaf once, down its length.

Place the loaves in your hot oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, spray the tops of the loaves with additional water, or alternatively (if your oven has a sealed bottom, meaning that the heating element is not exposed), throw a cup of ice onto the oven floor and close the door quickly. This helps ensure even browning and the development of a slightly crispy crust.

Fully-baked loaves should have a lovely dark golden brown exterior, and should sound hollow when thumped with your thumb. An instant-read thermometer should read about 200º F.

Remove the loaves from the pans and allow to cool completely on racks before storing, or slicing and eating.

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo Musings

A little Freakin’ Flamingo jam would be good, right about now, too. 😉

Please check out Three Loaves for information about how you can join us in nourishing your community, three loaves at a time!


And now, for the giveaway!

Red Star Yeast is pleased to give one lucky winner, in either the U.S. or Canada, a leg up on baking this delicious and versatile bread, by sending you everything you see in this package:

Vegan Multigrain Sandwich Bread | Flamingo Musings

That’s a 6-quart, dishwasher-safe, red plastic mixing bowl; dough cloth; dough whisk; silicone spatula; measuring spoons; flexible bowl scraper; 6 packets each of all three of their excellent quality and reliable yeasts (active dry, quick-rise, and stellar platinum); baking book, The Kneaded Loaf; additional holiday recipes; and coupons for more yeast! Just click into the Rafflecopter box below, and leave a comment telling us about your favorite yeasted dough recipe and sharing the baked love!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:  Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Prize package will be sent to the winner directly by the sponsor, Red Star Yeast. One winner will be contacted via email, so a valid email address must be supplied. Please add to your email contacts list so your winning message doesn’t wind up in your spam folder. Winner must respond to email notice within 48 hours, or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.

While I was provided product for photography, I was not compensated to write this post, and all opinions are my own.  Thank you for your support – Have fun!

Posted in baking, bread, Contest, giveaway, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian, yeast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 50 Responses

Vegetable & Gorgonzola Pot Pie for Two (or more)


Vegetable pot pie. So ordinary. Still, sometimes – especially this time of year – you just want something simple and warming. Comfort food. And if you don’t feel like having meat, but still crave something substantial for supper, something you can dig your fork into, then pot pie fills the bill. It doesn’t have to mean making crust from scratch, either. Frozen puff pastry is your friend. I always have some on hand. And vegetables. Add a little cheese, and you’re pretty much good to go.

Vegetable Gorgonzola Pot Pie | Flamingo Musings

An Ode to Gorgonzola. It’s my favorite of the blue (bleu) cheeses. The barely perceptible sweetness combines with the salty and savory. The way it melts and plays so beautifully with salads and sauces, alike. Assertive, but not too strong. To me, it’s practically the essence of comfort food, while elevating even the most humble casserole to new heights. Okay, fine. Maybe I’m going a little over the top, here.

So, let’s dig into the fridge and freezer, and see what we have to work with…

Vegetable Gorgonzola Pot Pie | Flamingo Musings

Vegetable & Gorgonzola Pot Pie for Two


  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions, and separated into 3 pieces along their folds (you’re only going to use 2 of these for this dish, or you can increase the filling and sauce by 1/3 and make a third pot pie)
  • Cooking spray


  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1-2 medium potatoes, washed and cut into about 1/2″ pieces (for a total of about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 small can of mushroom pieces, drained
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • a pinch (or several grinds) of black pepper
  • 8 oz (by weight) Gorgonzola cheese, cut or broken up into small pieces

Special Equipment:

  • 2 16 oz capacity oven-safe casserole dishes
  • Whisk


Preheat oven to 400º F.

Lightly spray the casserole dishes with the cooking spray.

For the bottom crusts (we like bottom crusts), cut one of the pieces of puff pastry in half. Gently stretch each half with your fingers, and use it to line the bottom of each casserole dish. Dock the pastry pieces by poking them with a fork, all over. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden colored, remove from the oven, and set aside.

While the bottom crusts are baking, place the vegetables and potatoes into a 3 or 4 quart pot, cover with water to about an inch over the top of the vegetables. Add the salt. Cover tightly and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Make a roux by melting the butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together until the mixture is bubbly. Cook the roux, whisking occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring the mixture up to a simmer, whisking occasionally to keep the bottom from scorching. When the milk/flour/butter mixture (now, technically a béchamel sauce) is bubbling and has thickened, add the Gorgonzola cheese and whisk or stir until it has melted into the sauce.

Vegetable Gorgonzola Pot Pie | Flamingo Musings

Remove the sauce from the heat and combine it with the cooked vegetables.

Spoon the vegetable mixture evenly over the crusts in your two casserole dishes.

Cut the remaining piece of puff pastry into 2 pieces. Gently stretch each one out into a square that will cover the casserole dishes, and cut vents into the center of each, with a very sharp knife.

Brush the pastry all over with a bit of additional milk, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Vegetable Gorgonzola Pot Pie | Flamingo Musings

Now, where’s that fork?


Vegetable Gorgonzola Pot Pie | Flamingo Musings

Posted in comfort food, Cooking for Two, cream sauce, dairy, dinner, fall, food, meatless, meatless monday, puff pastry, supper, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Responses

Easy Swiss & Herb Omelet for Two


And while we’re on the subject of breakfast, this is a really basic and fast Swiss & Herb Omelet that I whipped up for the two of us, in less than 10 minutes after being asked the ever-popular question, “Is there a chance of getting some breakfast, around here?”

Of course, variations on that question are forever being asked around here. Just substitute one of the following: “Lunch”, “Supper”, etc. You get the idea. You’d think the man can’t cook. Or feed himself. But, I digress…

Quick Herb & Swiss Omelet | FlamingoMusings.comQuick Swiss & Herb Omelet


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (or soy milk – I ran out of the real stuff)
  • 1/4 tsp. Gourmet Garden Garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. Gourmet Garden Basil paste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3 -4 slices baby swiss cheese
  • 1 small tomato – optional, but tasty
  • Butter or Smart Balance for the frying pan


Whisk together the eggs, milk, herb pastes, salt and pepper, till well-blended.

Heat a 10″ omelet pan over medium-high heat, add about a tablespoon of the butter or Smart Balance, and melt. Allow a few extra seconds to get good and hot.

Reduce heat to medium.

Add the egg mixture to the pan, and with a silicone spatula (or spoonula), keep drawing the cooked sides into the center of the pan, while tilting and letting the liquid fill in the gaps. Keep doing that until most of the liquid has been removed from the center, but the top is still quite wet.

Place the tomato slices, if using, on one half of the egg mixture, slightly overlapping. Lay the cheese slices over the tomatoes, overlapping.

Run your spatula/spoonula all the way around the edges of the egg mixture, to make sure that nothing is sticking to the pan.

Then, tilting the pan slightly, in the direction of the plain side of the omelet, and slipping your spatula underneath, gently flip the plain side of the omelet over the other ingredients. *Tip:  If you’re right-handed, lay the tomatoes/cheese along the left side of the omelet. If you’re left-handed, lay them along the right side. It will make it easier to flip the plain side over the filled side.

Turn off the heat under the pan, and cover it. If you have a lid that fits, awesome. If you don’t, use a dinner plate. We’re not that choosy around here.

Make your toast, cut the omelet in half, and serve. Or eat the whole thing yourself. I’m not looking.

Quick Herb & Swiss Omelet |

That’s my own Freakin’ Flamingo® Cuban-Style Bread that I’ve toasted, there. Available fresh, nearly every Saturday morning at the Southwest Community Farmers’ Market!

This is not a sponsored post, but I’m not above using good quality convenience foods in my meals. That’s why they’re called “convenience” foods. Boom. A tasty breakfast is less than 1o minutes from broken eggs to plate.

Happy Weekend!


Posted in breakfast, eggs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Breakfast in #Oatober: Peanut Butter Muesli


Even though I cook and bake quite a lot with peanut butter and oatmeal, when Peanut Butter & Co. and Bob’s Red Mill offered to send me both to play with, the first thing that came to mind was Muesli. I still love my version of Muesli, because even though you make it once and eat all week – and it’s the only way I’ll eat oatmeal besides cooking and baking with it – it doesn’t have to be the same experience over and over again. Why not add a little extra punch of protein with some peanut butter? Play with your food, people! It’s #Oatober!

Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

Peanut Butter Muesli


  • 2 cups plain yogurt (or Greek-style yogurt)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter (your favorite flavor – I used Bees’ Knees, but Pumpkin Spice would be great here, too!)
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill old-fashioned oatmeal (uncooked) (Yes, Virginia, you can get gluten-free oatmeal!)
  • 1/2 cup hulled hemp seed hearts
  • 2 large apples, unpeeled and shredded
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 cup seedless black or red grapes
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds – or any combination)


Using a blender or stick blender, blend together the milk, yogurt, and peanut butter. If you’re feeling energetic, you can use a hand whisk.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, thoroughly. Cover, or divide into individual servings in mason jars, and refrigerate overnight before eating.

In a resealable container or in mason jars in the fridge, the muesli will keep for about a week.  If, in the morning, it seems too thick for your preference, add a little more milk. If a little liquid forms on top during storage, it’s just fruit juice – stir it back in.

For even more variety, mix a spoonful of your favorite Freakin’ Flamingo jam (regular or sugar-free) into an individual serving!

I like dividing it into mason jars, because it just makes this even more convenient to grab-‘n-go.  This recipe yielded 5 pints.

Quick pictorial recap:

Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

For breakfast, lunch, or snacks, this Muesli is a convenient and delicious way to power your way through the day. It’s got 4 of the 5 food groups, plus the protein and fiber that will keep you and/or your kids filled up, without bogging you down, between meals.


It’s #Oatober! Celebrate with More Recipes Using Peanut Butter and Oatmeal:

Cranberry Oat Cookies | Flamingo MusingsCranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies | Flamingo Musings“Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies”

Spicy Peanut Butter Burger | Flamingo MusingsSpicy Peanut Butter and Jelly Burgers

Enjoy in Good Health!



Peanut Butter Muesli | Flamingo Musings

Posted in breakfast, gluten-free, lunch, oatmeal, peanut butter, snack, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Eleven Coffee Recipes From Cocktails to Dessert – It’s Not Just For Breakfast Anymore


Coffee. It’s what gets many of us going in the morning. It’s what makes it possible for me to dress myself. And to be functionally civil to [most] life forms. I can’t even look at food before 9:00 am, but don’t even try to have a conversation with me before my second cuppa.

I’m told that today is National Coffee Day. Awesome. As one Facebook friend put it so eloquently: “As if that differs from any other day.”  So, even though it’s lunch time here, I thought I’d take a trip through the archives and share some of my favorite recipes that feature coffee either as the star or as a flavor enhancer. Coffee can make beef taste “beefier” and chocolate taste more “chocolaty”. You might be surprised at some of the places coffee takes me, because I’m not talking about breakfast. Although, I suppose you could if you really wanted to. 😉

11 Coffee Recipes from Drinks to Desserts | Flamingo Musings


Black (Espresso) Martinis | Flamingo MusingsBlack (Espresso) Martinis

Chipotle Sauced Meatloaf |Flamingo MusingsChipotle Sauced Meatloaf

Coffee Chipotle London Broil | Flamingo MusingsCoffee & Chipotle Crusted London Broil

Classic Oven Roasted Brisket | Flamingo MusingsClassic Oven-Roasted Brisket

Honey Loaf Cake | Flamingo MusingsHoney Cake

Agave "Honey" Cake | Flamingo MusingsAgave “Honey” Cake

Tiramisu Cream Puffs | Flamingo MusingsTiramisu Cream Puffs

Chocolate Orange Mousse TorteChocolate Orange Mousse Torte (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Pumpkin Honey Cake | Flamingo MusingsPumpkin Honey Spice Bundt Cake

honey_cupcake_5503_600Honey Cupcakes (Non-Dairy)

Coffee Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes | Flamingo MusingsCoffee Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes

I even make jam and barbecue sauce with it!

As you can see, coffee is much more than just a hot (or iced) beverage that gets me going and keeps me going, it can also be my muse and my inspiration. Where will a cup o’ joe take you, today?


Posted in beef, cake, cocktails, coffee, cream puffs, cupcakes, dessert, espresso martini, main dish, recipe, supper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Sweet & Savory Brisket


So, here’s what happened:  It was late morning, and I suddenly realized that I hadn’t defrosted the brisket for the big Rosh Hashana meal that evening. Panic set in! I took the brisket out of the freezer – a rock-hard frozen slab o’ meat – and throwing caution to the wind, put it in my 6-quart slow cooker and started adding things.  Seven hours later, the result was a beautifully cut-it-with-a-fork-tender, and flavorful brisket, worthy of my New Year’s table.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Savory Brisket |Flamingo Musings

In case you don’t believe me, this is how it started out:

Frozen Brisket | Flamingo Musings

It just doesn’t get any more frozen that that.

Was it a fluke? Could I duplicate it? So, I did it again. And again. And I sweetened it up with a little Freakin’ Flamingo jam, and cooked it in a base of equal parts vegetable broth and kosher sweet wine, along with the vegetables, and it came out delicious every single time. I even served it for the Yom Kippur pre-fast meal.

No thawing, no searing, and no heating up the kitchen by running the oven for hours. And, yes, it even works if you use an unfrozen brisket. Now, I’m ready to share it with you!

Sweet and Savory Brisket | Flamingo Musings

Slow Cooker Sweet & Savory Brisket


  • 1 Beef Brisket, 2-3 lbs
  • 2 cups kosher sweet wine
  • 3-4 Tbs. Freakin’ Flamingo Jam (blueberry or cranberry flavors work best)
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2-3 tsp. table salt (go by how salty your broth is)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Place the brisket in the bottom of the slow cooker, fatty side up. Add the vegetables, then the jam, liquids, and seasonings.

Brisket with vegetables | Flamingo Musings

Start the cooker on the high setting for one hour. Turn to low and cook for an additional 5 hours. Open the cooker and lift the brisket until you can rest it on top of the vegetables. Cover and allow to cook for one additional hour.

Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes, slice thinly across the grain, moisten with a little bit of the cooking liquid, and serve. A nice potato kugel or some latkes (potato pancakes) would go really well as a side dish.

Sweet and Savory Brisket | Flamingo Musings

How’s that for a succulent meal – for a holiday or that holiday feeling – without the work, the stress, and the mess? Of course, if you’d like to make it the traditional way, I’ve got you covered there, tooChag Sameach! (Happy Holiday!)


Posted in beef, brisket, freakin' flamingo, holidays, jam, Jewish food, Jewish holiday, Jewish New Year, kosher, main dish, meat, new year, non-dairy, passover, Passover, recipe, slow cooker, succos, sukkot, supper, traditional jewish food, Uncategorized, yom kippur | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Quickie Giveaway: Fall Flavors from Peanut Butter & Co. and G.H. Cretors Popcorn!


We have a Winner! Thanks to all of you for entering and telling me your favorite things about fall. It seems that for most of us, the cooler weather and flavors of the season are what we look forward to most. Okay, and football. 😀  I hope you’ll try my sponsors’ products, and stop by here from time to time, too – I’ll be featuring some seasonal and holiday foods that are easy to prepare, previews of new items that will appear in your stores, as well as more fun stuff! You never know where the Flamingo will lead you… Thanks again!

Just a quickie post to let you know that a couple of my favorite snack food companies are – for the first time – coming out with seasonal versions of their products, this month, and I’m going to combine them into one fun giveaway to you!

You’re familiar with G.H. Cretors Popped Corn for their famous Chicago Mix. They’ve just come out with three limited edition flavors: Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn, Orchard Apple Caramel Corn, and an over-the-top Double Chocolate Caramel Corn.

GHCretors Seasonal Popcorn Giveaway

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn is made with real pumpkin, whole pumpkin seeds, large walnut pieces, and an autumn-inspired spice blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  Orchard Apple Caramel Corn is sweet and tart, combining caramel corn with large slices and chunks of real Granny Smith and Fuji apples (Yes, that’s a slice of real apple! They’re not kidding around!).  Double Chocolate Caramel Corn is decadent and indulgent, made with white and dark chocolate, whole almonds, and whole cashews.  All three are non-GMO, gluten-free, Kosher (dairy), and Flamingo Approved!

The Limited Edition flavors will be available in 8-ounce bags and will be available in natural food and mainstream grocery stores in September. There will also be a Limited Edition Tin, perfect for gifting, which will include an 8-ounce bag of Orchard Apple Caramel Corn, an 8-ounce bag of Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn, and a 5-ounce bag of Chicago Mix. It will also be available in natural food and mainstream grocery stores this month. For more information, please visit

PS I Love You Gift Box

You know I love Peanut Butter & Co.’s peanut butters. Heck, I’m a member of the “Yum Squad”. And you’ll be hearing more from me with fun peanut butter stuff in October (or should I say, “Oatober”?). That’s a hint, by the way. Anyway, PB & Co has come out with their own limited edition ode to the season, Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter! Unlike other companies that just throw a little cinnamon and clove in their product and call it “pumpkin spice”, this actually has REAL pumpkin, along with the spices, right in the peanut butter! It’s all very subtle and truly “YUM”.  It’s delicious in recipes, amazing on apples, or perfect eaten straight from the jar. I know this for a fact. Where did I put that spoon, anyway? This, too, is a limited edition, and only available in stores while supplies last.

Peanut Butter & Co. sent me that fun #PSILoveYou box you see in the photo, and they’ve offered to send one just like it to one of you!  That is one GIANT latte cup, let me tell you!

And because I’m like that, let’s make it a DOUBLE GIVEAWAY! I’ll also have G.H. Cretors send you two full-size, 8 oz bags of EACH of their three new limited edition seasonal flavors of popped corn! I’m so generous with other people’s stuff, right?

Just click into the Rafflecopter box below, and leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Fall!

You can get extra entries by visiting Flamingo Musings, G.H. Cretors, and/or Peanut Butter & Co. on Facebook (“Liking” would be a nice thing to do, but is not required.)  Sorry – U.S. addresses, only.

This is a quickie giveaway and ends Sunday night!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms & Conditions:  Open to U.S. addresses only. Prize packages will be sent to the winner directly by the sponsors, Peanut Butter & Co. and G.H. Cretors, in separate packages. Winner will be contacted via email, so a valid email address must be supplied. Please add to your email contacts list so your winning message doesn’t wind up in your spam folder. Winner must respond to email notice within 48 hours, or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.

While I was provided product for review, I was not compensated to write this post, and all opinions are my own. There will be one winner and prizes will be sent to that winner directly from the sponsors. Thank you for your support – Have fun!

Posted in Contest, dairy, g-free, giveaway, gluten-free, kosher, peanut butter, popcorn, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 61 Responses

Potato Salad With Easiest Homemade Mayonnaise




Queasy about making your own mayonnaise at home? I know I was for years. All that drizzling oil slowly (just how slow is “slowly”, anyway?). Fear of the magic sauce “breaking”. Fear of well, you know, poisoning someone I love? I’m here to tell you that those days are over, kids! You can do this at home in 5 minutes, then make a funky, chunky potato salad with it, right now.  And we’re going to give it a bit of a Latin flair. Because we can.

Potato Salad - Homemade Mayo | Flamingo Musings

Latin-Style Potato Salad With Easiest Homemade Mayo


  • 2-lb bag of Frieda’s Star Spangled Spuds (a/k/a Gourmet Potato Medley)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 bell peppers (your choice – I used one red and one orange), chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia, Walla Walla, etc.), chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Mayonnaise:

  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 whole large egg, room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice (fresh or bottled), plus more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup of neutral tasting oil (such as canola, sunflower, grapeseed)
  • 2 tsp. Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Cilantro
  • 1 tsp. Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Chiles

Special Equipment:

  • Stick blender (hand-held blender, immersion blender)
  • 1 quart-size wide mouth mason jar (for mixing)
  • 1 pint-size mason jar (for storing)


Wash the potatoes and put them in a large (about 6 quart) pot, cover with cold water and add salt. You don’t need to peel them, but you may want to cut any larger ones in half.  Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain in a colander and allow to cool. In a large bowl, add the potatoes, bell peppers, and cilantro, and gently toss together.

For the Mayo: Put all of the ingredients, in order, into the quart-size mason jar. Insert your stick blender into the jar, with the head covering the egg/egg yolks, all the way to the bottom. Start blending at medium to high speed. When you see yellow streaks beginning to show up the sides, start moving the blender slowly up to the top, incorporating the oil. After a few seconds, you should have perfectly emulsified and creamy mayonnaise!

Now add the cilantro and chiles to the jar, and blend again for just a few seconds until they are well mixed into the mayo. Taste it. Do you want a bit more salt? More lime juice? Do you like it the way it is? This is your show – do what you like! Store the unused portion in the pint-sized mason jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, so use it as a sandwich spread, in egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad… the list goes on!

Back to the Potato Salad: Add some of the mayo (start with 1/4 cup) to the bowl of vegetables and mix together gently. Add more if necessary, a little bit at a time. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until later, if you prefer. Remember your food safety and don’t allow anything containing mayonnaise to sit out in the heat!


  • If you happen to be a cilantro-hater, use Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley instead. We’re easy.
  • For basic mayonnaise, substitute lemon juice for the lime juice, and omit the cilantro and chile peppers.  But please use this as a jumping off point to get creative with your flavors!
  • If you or someone you love is pregnant or has an immune deficiency or other health issues, I urge you to use Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs for this recipe or any raw or undercooked egg application. They’re safe for people with health issues, and they cook and taste great!


Easy Homemade Mayo | Flamingo Musings

Don’t have a brain spasm like I did! Use the quart-sized jar to mix the mayo, and use the smaller, pint-sized jar to store it.

Easy Homemade Mayo | Flamingo Musings


Latin-Style Potato Salad & Easy Homemade Mayo | Flamingo Musings



Latin-Style Potato Salad & Easy Homemade Mayo | Flamingo Musings



I was sent the Star Spangled Spuds by Frieda’s Specialty Produce (ask your store’s produce manager), and the Gourmet Gardens Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices (ditto about asking your produce manager), as part of promotional packages from these companies. I received a coupon for free Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs in my swag bag at the Eat Write Retreat food bloggers conference, this summer. This is not a sponsored post, but I love their products and find all sorts of different uses for them, as I know you will. All opinions, recipes, text, and photographs are my own and original to RJ Flamingo and her real-life alter-ego, and are copyrighted materials, not to be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links to my Amazon store. If you start here and buy anything on Amazon, I get a small commission. This does not increase your price, but does help me pay my web host. And buy food. Thank you for your support!

Posted in kosher, non-dairy, pareve, potatoes, salad, sauce, side dish, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

A Berry Good Trifle



Homeward bound during our most recent road trip several weeks ago, we spontaneously stopped in Columbia, South Carolina to visit with my old high school friend Jeanne, over Fourth of July weekend. Living just spitting-distance away in Charlotte, North Carolina, was another high school chum, Amy, who happily decided to drive down and join us. After over 30 years of going our own ways due to time, distance, and circumstance, it’s a story really much too long to tell, but let’s just say that it was Facebook that brought us back together several years ago, and we discovered that we probably have more in common today, than we did as teenagers. I asked Amy, an accomplished food writer in her own right, to write this guest post for Flamingo Musings. Even more happily, she agreed!


Mixed Berry Trifle | Flamingo Musings

No Trifling Matter

Special to Flamingo Musings by Amy T. Rogers

Giving a dinner party is a lot of work. And if the pressure to be perfect isn’t bad enough, imagine hosting a professional “foodie” at your table.

My friend Jeanne had to feed not just one but two foodies when Renée and I visited recently. As much as we insisted we didn’t want her to fuss over us, she put together a fantastic meal.

Herbed, grilled steaks headlined the menu that also featured scoops of watermelon dressed with feta cheese and red onions, along with a tangy black-bean salad. We sat and talked and laughed and sipped hard cider as the sun set and the moon rose. Some of us (okay, one of us) kept nibbling at the side dishes until it was time for dessert.

Jeanne had brought home beautiful strawberries and blueberries, cream cheese, whipping cream, and a pound cake. And since our hostess owns every piece of serving ware under the sun, I set out to make a trifle.

This layered presentation of cake and custard has been around for hundreds of years. Early recipes used gelatin made from animal hooves. But these are modern times, so we can skip that messy step and proceed directly to the fun – and simplicity – of assembling our own versions.

You don’t need a recipe to make a trifle. Use what you have on hand and don’t be afraid to experiment. Like a cocoa flavor? Drizzled melted chocolate on your cake layers. Love citrus? Stir some marmalade into the berries before you add them. Add coconut or sliced bananas.

Since Jeanne had done such a beautiful job on dinner, I wanted to punch up the flavors of dessert. She wisely keeps her pantry stocked with Freakin’ Flamingo jams. And bourbon. I used some of both in the trifle. It was awfully good, if I do say so myself.


A Berry Good Trifle

(Special to Flamingo Musings by Amy T. Rogers)
Serves 8-12


  • Pound cake (half of a bundt-style, homemade cake or one loaf-style, store-bought pound cake)
  • 2 to 3 cups strawberries, cut bite-sized
  • One pint container of blueberries, or more if desired
  • 2 cups (one 1/2 pint container) heavy cream, divided
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Freakin’ Flamingo Carambola Cranberry Jam (or your favorite flavor of jam)
  • One small (3 to 4-oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Splash of whiskey (optional)
  • Sugar to taste, about a teaspoon


Cut the pound cake into cubes about 1” square. Place half evenly across the bottom of the glass trifle dish and set the rest aside.

Place half the strawberries in a layer on top of the cake and set the rest aside. Sprinkle with a handful of blueberries.

Whip one cup of the heavy cream with a mixer until medium-firm peaks form. Add the whiskey (if using) and the jam; stir with a spoon until just combined. Spread evenly over the berries and cake.

Layer the remaining cake in the dish, then add the rest of the strawberries. Sprinkle with another handful of blueberries, making sure to set some aside for the topping.

Blend together the remaining heavy cream and cream cheese until smooth; add sugar if desired. Spread evenly over the berries and cake. Top with the remaining blueberries.


And here’s a little tip no one tells you: It’s even better the next day for breakfast – if you’re lucky enough to have any left!


Amy Rogers is the author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas. She writes about food and culture for NPR station WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., and is the Coordinator for WFAEats. Visit her at

Posted in blueberries, dessert, fruit, strawberry, summer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Blue(berry) Sunshine Jam




I occasionally teach canning classes locally and this easy combination jam and marmalade never fails to please my students with its simplicity and bright flavors. I even shared it last year on Pomona’s Pectin’s website. All of which hasn’t prevented Blue Sunshine (in both regular and sugar-free) from being one of the most popular jams I sell through Freakin’ Flamingo, both at farmers markets and online, as well! Go figure.

Blue Sunshine Jam | Flamingo Musings

So, it kind of surprised me to realize that I haven’t yet shared the recipe with all of you, right here. An omission we’re going to fix right now, while blueberry season is in full-swing. And if you’ve been freezing your berries, you should “Pin” and “Yum” this recipe while you’re thinking about it, so you can make a batch in January or February, when you’ll need a bright taste of summer to get you through the dreary winter!

What’s a “Yum”? Well, do you see that bright orange Yum button at the top and bottom of of my posts? If you click on one, it will take you to Yummly, a recipe search and organizing app, that “…puts every recipe in the world in your pocket. The most powerful recipe search, the recipe sites you love, your digital recipe box, recipe recommendations just for you, and a smart shopping list – all with you wherever you go. Yummly has the #1 iPhone, iPad and Android recipe apps.” (according to Yummly’s FAQ)  You can use the Yum button to save my recipes to your personal recipe box! Visit the Flamingo Musings page on Yummly to have central access to all of the recipes on my blog, all in one place.  And I’m still going back in my archives to populate it, so if you’re a new reader, you won’t miss a thing. :-)

And now, on to the jam!


Blue Sunshine Jam

(Makes about 3 half-pints)


  • 1 large or 2 smaller lemons
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 Tbs bottled lemon juice
  • 2 cups blueberries (about 12 oz by weight)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp. Pomona’s Pectin calcium water
  • 1 tsp. Pomona’s Pectin powder


Place 2 or 3 small ceramic or freezer-safe glass plates into the freezer.

Wash and dry the lemon(s). Cut off the ends and discard. Cut the lemon into thick slices, cut the slices in half, and pulse in food processor until finely chopped.

Put the chopped lemon, water, and bottled lemon juice into a non-reactive medium saucepot (about 4 quart size). Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to medium-high, and allow to boil for 10 minutes.

Add the blueberries, Pomona’s calcium water and 1 ¼ cups of the sugar to the pot, stir well until the sugar is dissolved, and boil for 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the Pomona’s Pectin powder until thoroughly combined and scatter over the blueberry mixture. Stir well until dissolved. Allow to continue to boil for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat while performing gel test:

Take one of the plates out of the freezer, place a small spoonful of the hot jam onto the plate and return to the freezer for 2 minutes. If the jam on the plate doesn’t run and wrinkles when you push it with the tip of a spoon or your fingertip, you’re ready to can.

*(Recipe Note:  I only use Pomona’s Universal Pectin in my jam and jelly recipes. Each box consists of 2 packets: one smaller packet that contains the calcium powder to be mixed with water – 1/2 tsp. calcium powder mixed with 1/2 cup of water  (that’s the “calcium water”), and one larger packet that contains the pectin powder.)

Small-Batch Canning Instructions:

  • Place a stock pot filled about 2/3 with water on the stove and bring to a boil. Make sure that there is a rack or a pot holder in the bottom of the pot, so your canning jars do not come into direct contact with the bottom of the pot, itself.
  • Sterilize three half-pint jars by placing them in the boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the jar lids in the boiling water for a minute or two.
  • Empty the water out of each jar, then fill with the hot jam, leaving 1/4″ to 1/2″ headroom at the top. Place a hot lid on top of the jar and screw on the lid ring, finger-tight.  Place the filled jar back into the pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the jar(s) from the boiling water and place on a towel or newspaper-covered surface to cool and seal. You should shortly hear the *ping* or *pop* of the lid sealing. When completely cool, store on a shelf or in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. If a jar does not seal within 24 hours, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.


You need to try this, because I know you CAN.  (See what I did there?)


Blue(berry) Sunshine Jam on Punk Domestics

All opinions, recipes, text, and photographs are my own and original to RJ Flamingo and her real-life alter-ego, and are copyrighted materials, not to be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links to my Amazon store. If you start here and buy anything on Amazon, I get a small commission. This does not increase your price, but does help me pay my web host. And buy food. Thank you for your support!


Posted in blueberries, blueberry jam, canning, food, fruit, gluten-free, jam, kosher, marmalade, pareve, parve, preserving, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Responses
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