Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bites + Lovely Things


I love these Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bites. They are yummy. Scrumptious. Delicious. Make them today! Head over to the Tasty Kitchen blog to see my step-by-step instructions and the recipe: {link}

Things that make me smile:

Pinned Image

This kitchen. So rustic.

Ornate cooling rack. I want this something fierce.

Twig mini caramel apples. Adorable.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Maple Compote via Honey and Jam. Looks scrumptious.

Dusky Caramel and Raspberry Crepe Cake via Poires au Chocolat. If you haven’t visited Emma’s blog, you need to.

Méditerranée Coconut Yogurt

This is the best yogurt. Ever. Creamy and smooth.

KAMI Mugs 

Wooden cups.

This dress. I would wear.

These earrings. So pretty.

What lovely things are you enjoying today?


Raspberry Muffins + The Winner

Raspberry Muffins

Did you know that I have some of the best in-laws ever? When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, my husband’s mother and sister planted our garden for us. Even though the deer and rabbits attacked it with abandon, we were able to glean some organic produce this year. Without my in-laws, it would have been too late to start a garden this year.


Not stopping with that, they have showered us with their own amazing produce – fresh strawberries, raspberries, green beans, garlic, and more. Plus, they taught me how to can green beans so we can savor them all winter.


Which brings me to these raspberry muffins. I had a whole gallon bucket of lovely raspberries from Reuben’s family in the fridge, and I wanted to bake something delicious with them. We were having soup for supper and I thought these would be a nice addition to the meal. And they were a success! Reuben loved them.

“How to did you get them to be caramelized on top?” he asked.

My evening was made.


  • Of course I substituted part whole wheat flour and natural sweetener. The original recipe called for lemon zest, but I didn’t have any on hand so I skipped it. It also called for pecans in the topping, but Reuben doesn’t care for nuts in baked goods so I left them out.
  • I felt that the recipe did not call for enough buttermilk. I ended up adding 1/4 cup of cream or more to the batter to get it to the right consistency.
  • It will seem like there’s way too much topping for the muffins, but that’s not the case. It’s just right. Trust me.

Raspberry Muffins

Printable Page | Makes 12 muffins


For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup demereara sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the muffin batter:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 demerara sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten slightly
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries


1) Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease or line with muffin papers 12 standard muffin cups.

2) To make topping: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

3) To make the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate small bowl, combine the egg, butter, vanilla, and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just to moisten. Add the raspberries and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Do not overmix.

4) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Evenly distribute the topping over the batter. Bake in preheated oven until golden and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Place pan on a cooling rack and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to the cooling rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter of course!


Now for the Winner!

The winner of my RiceSelect giveaway is:

Commenter #78: j.hodge who had yogurt for breakfast.


Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. I have several more giveaways lined up this fall, so stay tuned!

Keep eating and cooking what you love!

Erica Lea

RiceSelect Review & Giveaway + Vanilla Rice Pudding


A while back, the folks over at RiceSelect sent me a jar of “Jasmati” rice, and in exchange, I agreed to publish my opinion of it!

RiceSelect, which has been around since the 70s, was the first company to successfully produce basmati rice grown in the USA. Their rice is USA grown and milled/cleaned. I think that’s super-awesome.  They also offer whole grain and organic rice, as well as couscous and orzo.

What I found:

This is a very nice white rice. It cooks up beautifully and quickly (about 15-20 minutes from boil) and has a very good texture. I used it for Thai Coconut Riceheaven!

Would I Buy It?

Yes. Superior quality rice is sometimes a must. And I’d be interested in trying their whole grain rices and pearl couscous. However, the shipping charges seem quite high, so it would be for special occasions.

On to the rice pudding!

Vanilla Rice Pudding

When I was little girl, my mom would make us boiled rice for breakfast. White rice. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Cream. Scrumptious. There’s still a place in my heart for creamy, dreamy white rice. I know it’s not the most nutritious meal, but oh does it taste good.

Here’s a version that’s a bit more sophisticated.


My favorite part is that this rice pudding only uses five ingredients. Five awesome ingredients: Cream, whole milk, rice, sugar, and vanilla beans.

Together, they meld into something magical and comforting. Vanilla Rice Pudding.

Vanilla Rice Pudding

Adapted from Tartelette

Printable Page


  • 1/2 cup rice (I used Jasmati)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar


1)Place all ingredients (including the empty vanilla pod) in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

2) Remove from heat and discard the vanilla pod. Spoon into serving dishes and serve warm or at room temperature with a bit of heavy cream. Enjoy!

On to the Giveaway!

RiceSelect is offering a tote bag and two full-sized rice products (Texmati and Jasmati) to one lucky Cooking for Seven reader.

Here’s how it works:

  • [Mandatory] Leave a comment on this post, answering the following question: What did you have for breakfast yesterday?
  • For extra entries, tweet, blog, or post on Facebook about this giveaway. Make sure to leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a link to the post.
  • For more entries, subscribe to my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook. Make sure to leave a separate comment for each extra entry.


Giveaway ends Wednesday, October 19, at 12:00 p.m. Central Time. No comments will be considered after that time.

I will select one (1) winner using

Good luck!