Product Review: Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

Hey ya’ll! Time to talk about coconut oil.

A while back Tropical Traditions contacted me about reviewing their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil and becoming a part of their referral program. Now, I was no stranger to this company – my mom had been buying coconut oil from them in bulk for years. We had always been impressed with the quality AND price of their products. So of course I wanted to share it with you guys!

I’m sure ya’ll have heard about how healthy coconut oil is. Back in our health-craze days when we were in our teens, my husband and I ate this stuff like candy. Almost. We still enjoy it for popping popcorn, in soups and on mashed potatoes. If you get the extra virgin coconut oil, it even adds a nice coconut flavor to rice and curry.

And, just so you know, if you order anything from Tropical Traditions by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from TT in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. Cool, huh? It’s part of their referral program.

What’s your favorite way to use coconut oil?

Hope you’re having a wonderful week!




Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Perhaps I have been spared a bit of the usual hatred for Brussels Sprouts by the simple fact that my mom didn’t cook them much when we were kids. Of course I’d heard so many bad things about this leafy green that I somehow had it in my mind that they were gross and to be avoided.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Then I saw beautiful pictures of roasted Brussels Sprouts floating around the web. They didn’t looks so bad. In fact, they looked pretty good, delicious even.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

So I purchased a small bag from our local health-food store and roasted them up. They. Were. So. Good. It is my firm belief that roasting will transform nearly any vegetable into something scrumptious (perhaps with the exception of beets).

00Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts3

These little veggies pack a pretty good nutritional punch as well. Just one cup provides over 100% of your daily intake of vitamins K and C. Perfect for a pregnant me.

If you are an avid Brussels Sprouts hater and have never tried roasting them, may I suggest purchasing a small bag and giving it a try. There’s not much to lose, and you may find that you love (or at least don’t hate) them.

Note: this is a method, not a recipe with specific ingredient amounts. Tailor it to your own tastes!

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts | by Erica Lea | Printable Page


  • Brussels sprouts
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • good-quality butter for serving, optional (my favorite brand)


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205° C). Wash the Brussels sprouts and remove the outer layer of leaves and any that are yellow or ugly-looking. Cut off the brown stubs and slice in half.

2) Arrange the sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan, cut side up. Drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh-ground pepper.

3) Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes, flip the sprouts over and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender and the outsides are nicely colored.

4) Serve with extra salt and pepper and (my favorite) good-quality butter. Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Dirty Chai Pancakes with Spiced Caramel Sauce + The Winner!

Dirty Chai Pancakes

Alright, time for the promised pancakes!

When Emma pinned these Dirty Chai Pancakes the other day, I knew I needed to make them. And so I did.

Reuben loved them. “These are really good pancakes,” he told me with his mouth full.

Dirty Chai Pancakes

Lovely Chai spices are mixed in with the dry ingredients. Fresh-ground espresso makes these “dirty” pancakes.

You should whip these up. Today. For breakfast, lunch or supper! They’re good any time.

Recipe Notes:

The original recipe called for spelt flour, but I subbed whole wheat and AP flour with great success. It also called for non-dairy milk, but I just used regular whole.

I didn’t have any maple syrup on hand, so I just mixed up a spiced caramel sauce. You could also mix a few spices into warmed maple syrup if you prefer.

Dirty Chai Pancakes with Spiced Caramel Sauce | adapted from The First Mess and Foods of Our Lives | serves 3-4 | Printable Page


For the Spiced Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch each of: ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves

For the pancakes:

  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpse flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground espresso
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


To make the caramel sauce:

1) Place the sugar in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. This will take a few minutes.

2) Once the sugar has all melted start adding the butter one piece at a time. Whisk until the butter is completely melted. Wait about 3 seconds and then add the cream slowly. Whisk as you add until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.

3) Add the salt and spices and whisk again a couple times just to incorporate.

To make the pancakes

1) Combine the milk and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Stir lightly and set aside to curdle for at least 5 minutes.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground coffee, cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. Add the curdled milk, maple syrup, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir gently to combine, taking care not to over mix.

3) Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted butter. Drop 1/3 cup measures of the pancake batter into the pan. Allow the first side to cook for 1 to 1-½ minutes, or until bubbles pop on the surface and the edges appear dry and lightly browned. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute. Remove pancakes and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.

4) Serve pancakes with lots of butter, spiced caramel sauce or maple syrup. Yum!

Now for the winner of the Mignon Kitchen Giveaway!


Using, I have selected a winner!

And the winner is…

Commenter #51, Carrie J.L. who said: “Fish sticks, homemade tartar sauce, and green beans! Simple, quick dinner =) Really enjoy your blog by the way! And can’t wait to check out this kitchen website! =)”
Congratulations, Carrie! I will be emailing you soon with further details.

Thank you all for participating in my giveaway.

Have a lovely day!

Dirty Chai Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Spicy sweet pumpkin cupcakes with freshly ground espresso, whipped cream and caramel sauce. Convinced yet?

As Reuben and I drove home from a birthday party for my little niece (I made these for the occasion), I mentioned that I was going to eat a cupcake when we got home. “My cupcake?!” Reuben protested. I assured him there were two left.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

You can check out the step-by-step instructions and recipe over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog.

Hope you’re having a marvelous Monday!


Erica Lea

Mignon Kitchen Giveaway!

Mignon Kitchen Giveaway | Cooking for Seven

Hey everyone! Remember me? Sorry I’ve been such a bag blogger lately. I promise I’ll make it up to you…perhaps with pancakes. Let’s make it pancakes, K? K.




Today, since I feel bad about not blogging, I’m having a giveaway!

Ever since I first spotted Mignon Kitchen I’ve wanted to buy everything in the shop. I haven’t been able to justify buying anything for myself just yet, so I’m gonna buy something for one of you!

Here’s how it work:

Leave a comment on this post answering the following question: What was the last thing you ate or drank?

If you win, I’ll buy you anything you’d like from Mignon Kitchen, up to $20!


  • Only one comment per person allowed!
  • U.S. residents only, please.
  • Giveaway ends Wednesday, October 10 at 12:00 noon, Central Time. No comments will be considered for the giveaway after that time.
  • You must leave a valid email address in the comment form so I can contact you if you win.
  • Using, I will choose one winner. If the winner does not respond with a mailing address within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.

Good luck, and happy Friday!