Thursday, May 17, 2012

And the lucky sorbetto winner is ...

I have so enjoyed reading all of your comments over on my giveaway. If I could make all of you winners, I would! However, only one can win, and that winner is "Kate & Jeremy"!

Kate's been nursing her 8-month-old, who can't have milk, soy, wheat or peanuts. She definitely deserves a special treat! Yay!

Photo courtesy of eCreamery

Now, for the rest of you. The next time you need a gift for someone special in your life, consider eCreamery. Wouldn't this make an awesome Father's Day gift? ... Just make sure you get your fair share of the sorbetto ... 75 percent sounds fair to me!

Thanks again to eCreamery for sponsoring this giveaway!

Fine Print: The winner was randomly selected from all the entries using the random number generator at

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Creamy delights and a giveaway, too!

One of the rites of summer that I always enjoyed as a child was the whole family piling into our rust-orange Ford LTD station wagon and driving to the edge of our tiny town to the lone drive-in hamburger joint. But we weren’t there for hamburgers. We wanted ice cream. Looking back at those memories, I know that there wasn’t anything special about those ice cream cones, but they were cold and creamy and they hit the spot on a hot summer’s night. Plus, it was a special activity for our family to do together, and now that I’m a mom, I covet those same opportunities with my kids.

But, there’s a tiny problem: MSPI. All of us going for ice cream isn’t an option when a member of the family is on a dairy-free diet! But, my friends, I got to take ALL my kids (including my MSPI girl Caroline) to an ice cream parlor last week! It was such a joy to see my little Caroline digging into a cone of her own. And this wonderful memory was made possible by a cute little shop in the heart of Omaha’s historic Dundee called eCreamery!

In addition to wonderful, freshly made ice creams and gelatos, eCreamery makes MSPI-friendly sorbettos! And, holy cow, are they amazing! If you live in the Omaha area, you MUST go visit their shop. It’s located right on the corner of 50th and Underwood. It is definitely worth the trip if you live on the outskirts of town, and you will not be disappointed. Every day they offer four flavors of MSPI-friendly sorbettos that are beyond amazing. But you don’t have to live in Omaha to enjoy this fabulous product … the brilliant masterminds at eCreamery ship their tasty creations nationwide!

You get to pick your own custom flavors, they mix it up right in their store, pack it up (on dry ice!) and ship it out their door. It comes to your doorstep icy cold and ready to enjoy. How awesome is that?! You can even have a custom label made. (They gave me a pint of “Andrea’s Pick Me Up” … decadent chocolate sorbetto. Yum!) You can order one of their Special Occasion Gift Packs or Create Your Own Flavor with fun mix-ins … just make sure they’re MSPI-friendly. There are so many options! You can even get cute little Individual Party Cups. Wouldn't that be ADORABLE for a first birthday party?!

And I’m not the only one to have fallen in love with eCreamery. Martha Stewart, Nate Berkus and Oprah (as well as many, many others!) have raved about these delectable treats. If it’s good enough for Martha, you know it’s good enough for MSPI Mama!

But here is the absolute best part about all of this … eCreamery has graciously agreed to sponsor a giveaway right here on my little blog! I am just giddy with excitement about all of this! Thank you, eCreamery!

Photo courtesy of eCreamery

Giveaway Lowdown
One of you is going to be the lucky recipient of a New Baby Sampler Pack of Sorbetto – plus free shipping. The winner will receive FOUR pints of eCreamery’s cool and tangy MSPI-friendly sorbettos:
  • “Welcome Sweet Baby” - Lemon
  • “2am Feeding Fuel” - Raspberry
  • “New Mommy Sweet Treat” -Passion Fruit
  • “Naptime Nosh” - Coconut
How to Enter
To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post below, telling me which of the sorbetto flavors you are most excited to try. Also, make sure you leave an email, so that I can contact you if you are the big winner!

The giveaway will close at noon (CDT) on Thursday, May 17, 2012. I’ll randomly pick a winner from all the entries and contact the winner. (Make sure you leave an email!)

The giveaway is now closed, and a winner has been notified. Thank you!
Extra Credit
Increase your chances of winning by doing a few things. For every one you do, leave an extra comment below saying what you did. (If you already do any of these things, that counts. Just leave a comment for it.) That means you have the potential of leaving a total of five comments!
  1. Like MSPI Mama on Facebook.
  2. Like eCreamery on Facebook. 
  3. Subscribe to MSPI Mama blog posts either through an RSS feed or via email.
  4. Subscribe to eCreamery’s blog.
  1. No duplicate comments.
  2. Please be honest. If you leave an extra comment saying you subscribed to my blog, and then I find out you didn’t, I’ll be super sad. We want to keep it fair!
  3. This giveaway is open to US Residents ages 18 or older. The prize must be shipped to an address (no P.O. box) within the 48 contiguous states. Sorry, shipping frozen treats to international addresses isn’t going to happen!
  4. The winner will be selected via random draw and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Good luck, everyone! Regardless of whether you win or not, please check out eCreamery! They are beyond amazing!

The Fine Print: I received three pints of eCreamery's sorbettos for my family to try. Regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Allergy Warning from eCreamery: Peanuts, other nuts, dairy, soy, wheat/gluten and other common allergens are used at eCreamery. Although we strive to keep these items separate, it is impossible to guarantee that your eCreamery creation will be free of these ingredients.

Sorbetto Base Ingredients: Purified Water, Granulated Sugar, Dextrose, Corn Syrup Solids, Palm Oil, Modified Food Starch, Tri-Calcium Phosphate, Mono and Diglycerides, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Guar Gum, Maltodextrin, Polysorbate 80, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Sodium Alginate.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Black Magic Cake

A Facebook ad for this recipe has been mocking me for several months. It just hangs out on the side of my News Feed, repeatedly telling me that it's the "Best Chocolate Cake Ever!" I finally gave in and decided to make it for my husband's birthday. Well, I don't know about it being the absolute "Best" -- but it's definitely magical!

The secret is the use of cooled coffee as the liquid. It enhances the chocolate and adds richness but doesn't overwhelm you with coffee flavor. In fact, you don't even taste the coffee!

Use decaf coffee if you're worried about too much caffeine.

Black Magic Cake
Source: Adapted from Just a Pinch

For the cake:
1¾ cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee, cooled
1 cup rice milk
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting:
½ cup MSPI-friendly margarine, room temperature (See Note.) 
⅓ MSPI-friendly chocolate chips, melted and cooled
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. rice milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract 

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9x13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.

Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Spread frosting on cooled cakes. Decorate as desired. ... I used MSPI-friendly chocolate chips to make it extra purty. :)

Note: You can substitute shortening for the margarine. Palm shortening is completely soy-free.

Tip: This recipe actually reminds me quite a bit of my Wacky Cake recipe, but the Wacky Cake is even simpler. Try substituting 1 cup of cooled coffee for 1 cup of water in the Wacky Cake recipe. My mom does this all the time when she makes the cake. So good!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greek Meatballs with Cucumber-Tomato Salad

Ohhhh, I've been a lazy blogger. It's been more than a month since my last post. We spent the first week of April at Disney World. (It was completely and utterly fabulous!) And I've pretty much spent the rest of the month recovering!

Then my baby decided to go and turn 2 years old. (I don't remember giving her permission to do that!) So that was another big production. I'm pooped! ... But I'm slowly dragging myself back to normal.

Anyway, here's a super tasty recipe that my kids went nuts over. (Afterall, who doesn't love meatballs?) The list of ingredients looks incredibly long, but don't let that scare you away. Many of them are basic spices and are used more than once in the recipe.

Greek Meatballs with Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Source: MSPI Mama with dressing adapted from 

½ cup olive oil
1¼ tsp. garlic powder
1¼ tsp. dried oregano
1¼ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
⅔ cup red wine vinegar

1 egg
¼ cup rice milk
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
⅓ cup panko or other MSPI-friendly dry breadcrumbs
1 lb. lean ground beef

1 English-style cucumber, diced
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1-2 green onions, diced

Serve with:
hot cooked rice, couscous or orzo pasta

To prepare the dressing, combine the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Screw on the lid tightly and shake contents vigorously until well-combined. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the meal. (The dressing can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, as well. The longer it sits, the better the flavor!)

To prepare the meatballs, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the egg, rice milk and spices in a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the bread crumbs. Mix in the ground beef. (Don’t overmix! This will lead to tough meatballs!) Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, form the mixture into 18-20 meatballs, rolling the meatballs between your hands until they are smooth. Bake the meatballs on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray or brushed with olive oil for 15-18 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

While the meatballs bake, prepare the salad. Toss together the cucumber, tomatoes and onion in a medium-sized bowl. Grab the dressing you prepared earlier and give it a good shake. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the salad and stir together to combine.

Serve meatballs over hot cooked rice, couscous or orzo. Drizzle with the remaining salad dressing. Serve salad on the side.

Tip: If you don't want to use the oven, you can cook the meatballs on the stovetop. Just coat a frying pan with cooking spray or brush it with oil, then heat it over medium-high heat. Once hot, fry the meatballs for 10-12 minutes, or until done, flipping the meatballs every few minutes so they brown evenly.