Glazed Chicken Breast – 30 Minute Meal


This is a super-quick post for those days when you need a super-quick supper, um, super-quickly. You can make as many or as few as you need, because you only need 3 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper. It’s a breeze if you have a jar of Freakin’ Flamingo Hot Lemongrass Pepper Jelly on hand. Of course, you can use pretty much any jelly or jam you have handy, but you’ll understand if I’m a bit partial. :-)

Glazed Chicken Breast | Flamingo Musings

Glazed Chicken Breast


  • 1 tsp. olive oil (you’ll need about 1 tsp. per chicken breast)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
  • Freakin’ Flamingo Hot Lemongrass Pepper Jelly (or your favorite)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste (optional)


Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan that’s adequate for the number of chicken breasts you’re cooking.

Lay the chicken breasts in the hot pan, “pretty” side down. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if using) on the raw undersides of the chicken pieces. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.

Turn over the chicken breasts, cover the pan, and cook for another 5-7 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken). Spoon 1 Tbs of jelly or jam into the frying pan and baste the chicken pieces with the melted jelly. If you’re in a real hurry, take a pair of tongs and drag each piece of chicken through the melted jelly, turning to coat. Allow to cook uncovered for another 2-3 minutes, or until done (cut into one of the chicken breasts and make sure that it’s not pink inside).

You can also use boneless, skinless thighs, but your cooking time will be a few minutes longer.

Glazed Chicken Breast | Flamingo Musings

Serve with a baked potato, a vegetable or green salad on the side, and you’re done! You can even make salad dressing with your Freakin’ Flamingo jelly, using the proportions found here.

Quicker than you can call out for pizza, right? Check out the Freakin’ Flamingo Creativity Board on Pinterest for more ideas about using your jams and jellies for more than just toast!

Glazed Chicken Breast | Flamingo Musings



Posted in 30-minute meal, chicken, chicken breast, freakin' flamingo, main dish, quick dinner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Southwestern “Caviar” – Vegan Appetizer


Southwestern Caviar (also known as “Texas Caviar” in some circles), is a healthy and vegan appetizer, or snack, or side dish, that’s been around since at least the 1940’s. Black-eyed peas combine with peppers, onions, and a tangy dressing, making this a versatile and popular addition to your table as “good luck” food to celebrate the New Year, or Game Day snack to round out the chips and dips!

Southwestern Caviar | Flamingo Musings

Southwestern Caviar can be served cold, warm as a side dish, but for us, it’s best at room temperature, which makes it ideal for “grazing” during Super Bowl and Oscar-viewing parties. It travels really well, and would make a great contribution to pot-lucks! It also keeps very well in a sealed container in the refrigerator – it gets even better with a day or two of melding time – so you can make it several days in advance. Which is a good thing, since we need to get started by soaking, then cooking, those black-eyed peas.

This recipe makes a little over a quart, and may be doubled if you’re expecting a large crowd.

Southwestern Caviar (Vegan Appetizer) | Flamingo Musings

Southwestern Caviar


  • 8 oz dried black-eyed peas
  • About 2 quarts of water for soaking
  • About 2 more quarts of water for cooking
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil (corn, peanut, canola, etc. – not olive oil) for frying
  • 1 large onion, chopped medium
  • 1 large bell pepper – seeds and ribs removed – chopped medium
  • 1 – 2 jalapeño pepper(s)* – seeds and ribs removed – chopped fine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium or large cloves of garlic, smashed then chopped fine
  • 2 Tbs. wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar*
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. chili powder*
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 2 – 4 Tbs. vegetable oil (same type you used for frying), as needed
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


Rinse and pick through the black-eyed peas, removing any loose skins.  Place the rinsed peas in a 4-6 quart pot, add the 2 quarts (8 cups) of water. Cover the pot with its lid and cook on high heat to a boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the peas to soak in the same water for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

Drain the black-eyed peas, put them back in the pot, and add the fresh 2 quarts (8 cups) of water. Cover the pot with its lid and heat on high until the water boils. Reduce heat to low, and allow the peas to simmer for about 1 hour, or until tender. The peas should still retain their shape – firm, but starchy and creamy in texture – not crunchy! The actual amount of time necessary to cook the black-eyed peas depends a lot on their age. Older ones will take a bit longer, fresher ones may take a bit less time. Start tasting at around the 45 minute mark. When they’re cooked completely, drain and set aside.

Heat the 2 Tbs. of oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add chopped onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, bay leaves, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and, stirring occasionally, cook the vegetables until soft, but not browned. Remove the bay leaves.

Put the cooked and drained black-eyed peas into a large bowl, then add the sauteed vegetables. Add the vinegar, chili powder, chopped parsley (or cilantro), and 2 Tbs. of the additional oil. Start with about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. of black pepper. Mix gently, but completely. Taste. Is it too dry? Add a bit more oil. Need more salt? Add a pinch or two. Mix again.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or dipper of your choice.

If not serving right away, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, but allow to come to room temperature for serving. This will keep in the fridge for a week. Maybe longer, but we never have it around long enough to find out. 😉

Southwestern Caviar, Gluten-Free Vegan Appetizer | Flamingo Musings



You may substitute Hatch chile peppers for the jalapeños, if you have some roasted and stored in your freezer. Taste your peppers before deciding if you’re going to use more than one. Grocery store peppers are frequently “dumbed-down” in the heat department. I’ve had jalapeños that were no hotter than bell peppers, and others that were really hot (to my palate). As we said when I worked in the legal profession, once upon a time, govern yourselves accordingly.

Regarding the vinegar: I’ve used different kinds of vinegar in this dish over the years: red wine, white wine, cider, and balsamic. They’re all good, so use what you have and what you like. Don’t use regular white vinegar. That’s insulting. Now, if you’d like to add another layer of flavor, try using the Serrano Chile Honey Balsamic Vinegar by Honey Ridge Farms. It just takes this recipe to a whole new level. And, no, they’re not paying me. So there. I’m just trying to broaden your horizons. 😀

Chili (or chile, if you prefer) powder:  Again, I’ve used a number of different chili powders over the years, so use what you like. Hatch chile powder, ancho chile powder, chipotle chile powder – all are terrific. We don’t use cayenne chili powder in our house, because the husband doesn’t like that the heat heads straight for the back of your throat. If you like it, though, use it.

Strict vegans (or “philosophical vegans”, as I call them) should not use the honey balsamic vinegar, because, honey. But the rest of you will love it. Also, be kind to the gluten-intolerant and serve this with gluten-free dippers. We’re not sensitive to gluten here, but our favorite chip-of-choice for this is made by Riceworks. You’ll find them in the regular snack aisle, and everyone loves them. (No, dammit, they’re not paying me, either. They don’t even know me.)



Posted in appetizer, beans, football, gluten-free, holidays, kosher, party, recipe, snack, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Responses

Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole


It was a few days before Thanksgiving, and I found myself at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for the traditional Green Bean Casserole. Having made the mistake of going out without a list – because, really? Did I need a list for green bean casserole? –  I of course became distracted by “other stuff”. When I got home, I unpacked a ridiculous amount of groceries (not what I went for!), and realized that, while I’d gotten everything else, I forgot the damn green beans! I refused to go back out for one ingredient, and looked around for something I could substitute. Thus, the Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole was born.


Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole | Flamingo Musings

And you know what? It turned out pretty darned good! My husband and my guests loved it and told me to keep it in my holiday repertoire. High praise, indeed! I never planned on turning it into a post, but an old friend asked for the recipe, so I made it again and decided to share it with the world. Because life is too short to limit a classic to just one vegetable.

You should know in advance that this recipe consists primarily of “convenience” foods – the popular brand of canned soup, packaged “french-fried” onions, etc., so if you find that sort of thing heinous, now would be a good time to look away. I’ll just say this: classics are classic for a reason.


Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole | Flamingo Musings

Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole


  • 2 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts -or- 1 20 oz package frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic soup
  • 1 can’s-worth milk
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp. chipotle pepper hot sauce -or- 1/2 tsp Hatch chile powder
  • 1 package “french-fried” onions


Preheat your oven to 375º F.

If using fresh Brussels sprouts, wash them and trim off the bottoms, and remove the tough (and usually damaged) outer leaves.  If using frozen sprouts, you can skip this step.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the still-wet (or frozen) sprouts in the hot pan. Sprinkle with a bit of additional salt, if desired. Cover the pan and lower the heat to medium, and pan-roast the sprouts for 10-15 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally during cooking. They will not be cooked all the way through, but should turn bright green and maybe even acquire some lovely brown “roasted” spots. Remove from heat.


Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole | Flamingo Musings

In a 2-quart oven-safe casserole dish, combine the can of soup, can of milk, the seasonings, and one (1) cup of the fried onions. Stir everything together until it is completely mixed.

Add the Brussels sprouts to the casserole dish and stir to combine thoroughly. Top with additional fried onions to your heart’s content. I love those things, so I wind up using pretty much the rest of the can. 😀

Bake for 30-35 minutes, uncovered. The casserole should be bubbly and the onions should be deeply golden brown.  Allow to sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before serving. Just enough to cool it down from “napalm stage”.


Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Casserole | Flamingo Musings


If you don’t have chipotle hot sauce or Hatch chile powder, feel free to substitute with something else that has similar deep, smokey profiles, such as ancho chile powder or even regular Tabasco. You could even use smoked paprika. I don’t recommend sriracha, because its flavor profile is a little too vinegary or acid for this dish. It’s not about the heat, because you’re not going to pick up any heat from this small amount, it’s about enhancing the flavor with another layer.

I hope you’ll try using Brussels sprouts as a change of pace from your usual green bean casserole. You might even convert some “haters”!


Posted in casserole, Chanukah, Christmas, dairy, holidays, side dish, Thanksgiving, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Tropical Cranberry Macaroons


It’s posting day for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, partnering with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For the swap part of the FB Cookie Swap, I sent a dozen Tropical Cranberry Macaroons to each of three other food bloggers, and I received cookies from three completely different food bloggers! I hope they enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them – and eating the ones I got! 😊

Tropical Cranberry Macaroons |Flamingo Musings

I changed up my favorite Passover macaroon recipe by adding one of my new favorite ingredients, Paradise Meadow Julienne Cranberries. Because, cranberries. And these are really special. Since the cranberries are shredded (or julienne), the texture works naturally with the shredded coconut in the macaroons. By the way, I discovered Paradise Meadow when I attended the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, last October, and found out that it’s a Massachusetts cranberry company on Cape Cod! These dried cranberries are non-GMO certified, and contain only 3 ingredients: cranberries, sugar, and sunflower oil. More about Paradise Meadow and some of their really delicious products, soon.

But, back to the cookies!

Tropical Cranberry Macaroons |Flamingo Musings

Tropical Cranberry Macaroons


  • 6 large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 oz. (by weight) fine almond meal
  • 8 oz. (by weight) unsweetened dried coconut
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 large (or 2 smaller) limes
  • 7 oz package julienne dried cranberries (I used Paradise Meadow Julienne Cooking & Baking Cranberries)


Preheat the oven to 350º F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.

In a large glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. While continuing to beat, add the sugar in 4 parts.

Fold in the almond meal, coconut, lime zest and juice, followed by the julienned cranberries, continuing to fold until everything is completely incorporated. You should have a very thick, scoop-able batter.

Mound by tablespoonfuls (I used a #30 scoop, about 1-1/2″ across) onto the prepared pans, about 1/2″ apart, and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool completely on the pans, before removing to racks with an offset spatula.

Makes about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Paradise Meadow Cranberries


If you can’t find unsweetened dried coconut (I got mine at Whole Foods in the bulk food section), you can use the usual sweetened coconut that you find in the baking section of your grocery store. Just reduce the sugar to 1 cup. I think this makes the macaroons less cloyingly sweet and you don’t have big shreds of coconut to deal with. Your choice.

The lime really enhances the flavor of the almond and coconut, while at the same time cutting the sweetness a bit and adding a fresh note. The cranberries add a subtle fresh tartness that ties all of the flavors together.

I hope you’ll make these for your holiday cookie trays and gifts. They’re easy to make, and even low-fat and gluten-free. But you won’t be thinking about that. You’ll only think about how good they are.


b1667bcWant to swap with us, next year? Click on the badge and get yourself on the notifications list! The more the merrier, and the more money we can help raise for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!

Tropical Cranberry Macaroons | Flamingo Musings

Thanks to the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015 brand partners, each of whom will match our donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, dollar for dollar (up to $3000)! And for the lovely gifts they sent to participants.  This year, with their help, we raised $7,000, and we are all grateful!

To see all the cookies swapped this year, be sure to check Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag: #fbcookieswap. But be warned – there are HUNDREDS of them! Get lost in the beauty of cookies!


Posted in baking, Chanukah, Christmas, cookies, gluten-free, holidays, Passover, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

How to Make Turkey Stock & Calphalon Signature Stockpot #Giveaway



Have you still got that turkey carcass from Thanksgiving in the freezer? You know – that naked bird you swore that this time you were going to make into stock, so it wouldn’t go to waste? Yes, I’m looking at YOU. I’m coming to your rescue. Okay, that would be Calphalon Signature and I are coming to your rescue.

Turkey Stock | Flamingo Musings

Together, we’re going to give you the incentive to get ol’ Frosty out of the freezer and replace him with containers of turkey stock to keep in your culinary arsenal for soups, stews, braises, casseroles, or whatever.  Having stock/broth on hand in your freezer will not only be a convenience, but will also save you a few dollars down the road, not to mention keep you in control of your recipes since you made it yourself!

Calphalon Signature Non-Stick 8-quart Stockpot                  Calphalon Signature Non-Stick 8-quart Stockpot

Just in time for the Holidays, I’ve got a beautiful Calphalon Signature 8-Quart Non-Stick Stockpot (retail value $150) to give one lucky winner. If you’ve been a Calphalon fan for as long as I have (just type “Calphalon” in the search box over there to see just how long!), you’ve probably noticed the evolution of their non-stick cookware over the last few years, culminating in this stylish new line. The super-slick non-stick surface is PFOA-free, is dishwasher-safe, and can be used with metal utensils – including whisks! You can sear, brown, and saute – every step you thought you had to use a separate stainless or cast iron pan to do first – you can do right in this pot. And then, you can chuck it in the dishwasher. Don’t believe me?

My husband used the Signature non-stick 2-quart sauce pan to make his breakfast oatmeal. And yes, this is how he makes it all the time. (Don’t get me started.) Normally, I’d have to soak that pot nearly all day to get it cleaned up. In this case, I literally peeled that thick crust off the bottom and put the pot in the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes. Here’s a “Before” and “After”.  Not kidding.


Shiny and slick – just like new!


Anyway, back to that Turkey Stock/Broth.

I can’t really call this a recipe, because it really depends on the size of the pot you use and how much time you have. I like to think of it as, what I call, the “tea method”. That is, I bring the ingredients up to a boil, and lower the heat to a bare simmer for at least several hours. Since you can’t put this large a quantity of very hot food into the refrigerator or freezer until it cools (Very hot food will raise the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer – and especially the food already in there – to unsafe levels.), let’s use that time to allow the ingredients to “steep” for maximum extraction of flavors and nutrients. Like tea. Get it? Yes, it takes a lot of time, but most of that is “inactive time” – simmering or cooling. Take a nap. Do a couple of loads of laundry. Go play with your kids. Bake cookies.

This was so easy to do, that my husband volunteered to make it, while I gave him instructions – from the couch.

Turkey Stock and Calphalon #Giveaway | Flamingo Musings

Turkey (or other Poultry) Stock

What You Need:

  • Stockpot with tight-fitting lid (I used my Calphalon Signature 8-Qt Non-Stick Stockpot)
  • Roasted Turkey (or other poultry) carcass, as much meat and stuffing (if applicable) removed as possible
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions
  • 3-4 large carrots
  • 2-3 stalks celery (with leaves still attached, if possible)
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Large fine-mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth (optional)
  • The largest mixing bowl you own
  • Freezer storage containers (I got 16 cups of stock, so plan accordingly)
  • Glass measuring cup


Break up the poultry carcass so that it fits comfortably in your stockpot.

Wash the vegetables well. There’s no need to peel anything, since you’re not going to be eating any of it, but you may wish to cut off the root end of the onion.

Cut the vegetables into 3 or 4 pieces each and place them into the pot with the poultry carcass. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of kosher salt. You can adjust this later, if necessary.

Fill the stockpot with cool water to about 3-4 inches from the top.

Heat the pot on High and bring to a boil. If any “scum” rises to the top, scoop it off and discard. Cover the pot tightly and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Simmer for 4-5 hours.

Turn off the heat and allow to sit, still covered tightly, for at least several hours, or until lukewarm to the touch.

When cooled sufficiently, use the slotted spoon to remove as much of the solids as possible from the stock, and discard. Now, position the fine mesh strainer over the largest mixing bowl you own (6-8 quarts is good). If you want the stock to be even clearer, line the strainer with a couple of layers of cheesecloth, and pour the stock through it into the bowl, then divide into containers for storage.

I like to use 3-cup capacity flat, square, freezer storage containers, and fill them each with 2 cups of liquid. This allows for expansion and contraction, and gives you the flexibility you may need for future recipes.  The flat, square containers also stack nicely and compactly to maximize storage.

Don’t forget to label the containers with the contents and quantity in each container! You don’t want to stare at those things 3 months from now and wonder what it is, right?

I don’t add much, if anything, in the way of seasonings like salt, pepper, or herbs, to my stocks/broths, because they’re meant to be blank canvases for future dishes. They’ll have plenty of flavor from the original roasting, and you’ll be adding additional flavor when you use them in your cooking.

Now you’re ready for soups, stews, risottos, sauces, pasta, and more!

Well, you will be, once you’ve got this awesome NEW Calphalon Signature Non-Stick Stockpot in your cabinet! Just click into the Rafflecopter box, below, do as many actions as you want for extra entries, and you’re entered! We’re going to end this Sunday night at midnight (I think. I get so confused!), so with any luck, you could possibly receive it in time for your holiday cooking!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:  Open to U.S. addresses only. Prize will be sent to the winner directly by the sponsor, Calphalon. 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.

I was provided product for review and photography and all opinions are my own, as a reflection of my own experience.  Thank you for your support – Have fun!

Posted in giveaway, kosher, poultry, review, soup | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 33 Responses

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 , , , , , , , , , | 11 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
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