Saturday, October 10, 2015

When You Give A Friend Nutella ... and cover reveal.

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I've got a few yummy deserts to share. 

I was going to share my apple crisp but a friend got me this and well.... when a friend gets you a six pound bucket of Nutella, you're obligated by the laws of chocolate to use it!
Behold... friendship.
 So, the first recipe is really easy but was so delicious I might just add Nutella to all my mochas. Make your latte how you usually do... whether in Mr. Latte (my BFF) or simply by heating milk and espresso together.
 Melt one TBS of Nutella and 4 TBS of milk in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Pour into the bottom of your mug.
My kids decorated these mugs with oil based Sharpies and then we baked them in the oven to "set" the paint. Anyway, this mug... whenever I look at it I think of all the wonderful verses about the beginning of a new day... or it could be , "Better start praying, Mama's coffee is gone."
                                              Pour in the latte. Simple, right? But it gives it an incredibly smooth taste, almost like Mexican hot chocolate, but not as sweet.
 Top with whipped cream and slivered almonds and more Nutella sauce, if you wish.
 Another shot of the mugs. I love kid art. I always want to put it up in the cabinet so it doesn't get broken, but then they wouldn't get the fun of using their special creation.
 So, the next recipe is very easy. Nutella stuffed doughnut holes, but they're baked, not fried. (I think that's because the Nutella would leak because every recipe was baked, and I don't think that so many people care about added grease. You'd think somebody would have tried to fry them. So, even though you may want them fried, I'd recommend baking.)
1 cup flour
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Mix all dry ingredients together and make a well in the bowl. Add in the wet ingredients and place in a greased cupcake tin, about 1/2 full.
2 tbs oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Bake for 350F for 15 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Fill with Nutella using a frosting applicator. Melt butter, toss in sugar and cinnamon. Enjoy!!
 And as for us, it's that time of the year. Not grape time, but balloon time.
                      We get up at 4AM (some of us are more perky at that hour than others),
                                            and drive out to the vineyards or the fields. The major festival is this weekend and there will be launches every morning and then a night festival, but today they were filming a move for an IMAX-type Disney ride. It was an interesting experience because as they filmed, we had to duck and run, or hide behind trees as the camera flew by (on a drone). So, instead of just the usual ground crew tasks, we also had to play hide and seek from the camera. Of course, the little people loved it.
Usually three balloons this size would take a crew of thirty, but they needed it to be small (because of the camera and not being able to hide that many people) so fifteen people doing the work of thirty was quite a work out.
Here, after unrolling, attaching ropes and the top vent, they're opening the envelope, getting the fan running.
 When it all checks out, they attach the basket and light it up. Cue Fall Out Boys, except we try not to light anything on fire, especially ourselves.
 The first one standing up is always a special moment.
 We got good exercise running up and down the hill. The second balloon went up and was tethered.
 The third balloon needed a lot of heat to stay upright and out of the nearby trees, which means it needed more weight before they could safely rise any higher. My older boys had to be "dead weight", haha, but they also had to duck out of the way when the camera flew by. Pretty funny to watch them. They looked like groundhogs, up and down, up and down.
My favorite moment: I was holding  the lead rope (which guides the balloon upright as it's filling). You have to be very strong and run whichever direction at any moment and it might be the only time you ever wished you weighed more than you actually do. 
Anyway, I really wanted a picture of the sunrise and so I asked my ten year old to grab the rope... and he worked like a champ! Right before he slipped and got dragged down the field. Fifty thousand cubic feet of hot air will show you who's the boss. We're still laughing about it. (This is also why you wear leather gloves and all your gear.) 
And I almost forgot... a cover reveal! (I thought I'd shared it here, but I just looked and I don't see it. It must have been just facebook and my blog. But if I have and I'm not seeing it, I apologize for spamming. LOL.)
The fourth Cane River Romance is titled A Star to Steer By. Our plucky heroine spends most of her time in a big foam cupcake costume. It's one of those stories where someone has an awesome secret identity, except hers isn't so awesome. Coming Oct 31st!

Feel free to stop by my facebook page Pride, Prejudice, Cheese Grits or my blog The Things That Last! 
Until next time! 


  1. Our hot balloon festival is Labor Day weekend. Pretty amazing sight when the sky is dotted with all those colours. Can't say I'd have the nerve to come in one though. LOL

    And Nutella -- something I avoid buying at all cost. Who knew it came in huge tubs like that? I'd be doomed for sure.

    1. Haha! You just need a friend with Nutella, Kav! Then you can have a teeny tiny taste and not feel guilty. You've got to live a little.

  2. I discovered Nutella in Spain. I love it. And I'm like Kav. I cannot buy it because I just sit and eat the whole jar. sigh.
    Love the balloon photos. Looks fun. Personally I did not like my hot air balloon ride. Long story.

    1. It's funny, Nutella does not tempt me. I like it in things, and I love how delicious it is, but it doesn't call to me. Now, if I had a wood fired pizza maker in my pantry, I would be in big trouble.
      As for eating the whole jar, I have one child who is a Nutella nut. And for Christmas every year, I put a little jar in her stocking. Because having your own jar is a beautiful thing.

    2. Virginia, I like it but it doesn't tempt me either. Now, if you give a jar of Biscoff spread, that's a different story!

    3. I've never heard of Biscoff spread! Must Google...

  3. I have to admit, I've never jumped onto the Nutella bandwagon. But the idea of mixing it in with the latte - that I can get onboard for. I love hazelnut coffee and chocolate so....

    A business opened in my neighborhood not too long ago - a Nutella cafe. Everything they sold was made with it. Apparently the parent company was not happy and sued them. The cafe appears to be closed now.

    1. It's funny. I really don't like hazelnut flavoring. I do like the real nuts (the trees grow here and we can gather pounds of them in the fall). I'm not sure how much Nutella is actually hazelnut. It tastes purely chocolate to me.
      Weird about the bakery!! You'd think they'd have thought of copyright (is that the word) infringement!

    2. Everybody thought about it immediately. Apparently they thought they could get away with it by changing the name just a bit. No go.

      I don't really like any flavoring. Has to be the real thing.

    3. Me, too. I remember watching a documentary where they gave natives in a remote village items like raspberry and lemon jelly they put in doughnuts, banana flavoring, mango flavoring, etc. They couldn't identify any of them, because they'd only had the original. We learn to call flavors "peach" or "banana", just like we learn what colors are. Made me feel more normal about not liking raspberry flavoring, but loving raspberries.

  4. I love Nutella. I don't know why. I don't like hazelnut coffee. Or almond coffee.

    But in Nutella, I love hazelnut, if you make it a partner with my BFF chocolate, I am a happy woman. So that's funny, because would I love this or just EAT NUTELLA?

    I've been making Nutella brownies and the children love me.

    I agree with you, Virginia... you can't steal someone's copyrighted name... And it's not as if they can't just google their name now, and see who else is using it, right?

    There is no hiding.

    1. That was the weird thing, Ruthy. They didn't even really attempt to hide. They just sold everything Nutella. Maybe they thought the company would be happy with the sales. Or maybe they just didn't think it through.

    2. Maybe it's like what was happening with Whole Foods, where they bought items wholesale and then marked them up so far that the original manufacturers started to object. But then... isn't that what every grocery store does? We buy 50 lb boxes of apples for $12, but my grocery store sells them for 2.79 a lb. Hmmm....
      I think part of their objection might have been that if the store created inedible or awful-tasting items, it would reflect badly on Nutella. (Assuming all they had was food, and not actual mugs or Tshirts with the brand name.)
      I don't know... I'm still thinking about this. Coca Cola protects their brand, but you can find Coke items everywhere... Tshirts and Coca Cola label rip offs that spell out other slogans.
      I guess I would have done the same as Nutella, erring on the side of protecting the brand, rather than risk someone turning off a whole batch of customers with badly made Nutella-flavored food.

  5. I LOVE your new cover!!! So exciting to have a new release. :)

    I also can't wait to make these doughnuts. And the nutella latte! I've never seen a BUCKET of nutella before! Wow. Commercial size!

    1. I love it, too! It's my first Christmas cover so it's a little bit thrilling. :) (Oh, first indie Christmas cover, so the first Christmas cover I had a hand in creating.)
      And that Nutella label says "not for retail". LOL. But the bakery store still sold it.