Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smashed Cauliflower Gratin with Goat Cheese

This week, for my regular contribution to FN Dish, myself and other bloggers listed below were asked to make a mashed side dish utilizing fresh produce. Well I made something “smashed” so I hope that counts! This Smashed Cauliflower Gratin with Goat Cheese is gluten free and grain free, therefore Paleo. Yet this dish isn't missing anything. It's satisfying (if not more) like a heaping pile of mashed potatoes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

These chocolate strawberry cupcakes with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, will become a quick family favorite.

It’s definitely strawberry season in Southern California. The u pick fields located about 15 miles north of my home near Del Mar are open and ready for business. I picked up a huge flat the other day and had to utilize these precious berries in a jiffy.

Memories of the raspberry curd I made about a month ago lingered in my family’s memory and palate. I think I may be turning into a curd obsessed cook, but who can resist this fruity creamy spread with a tart finish? Therefore, the creation of strawberry curd that beautifully compliments these chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roasted Baby Carrots with a Honey Sriracha Glaze

These beautiful roasted baby carrots are glazed with honey, butter and a touch of Sriracha for just a hint of spice. They would make the perfect side dish for your Easter brunch or dinner.

As they say, life happens. It’s been a crazy ten days for me, and I am just getting caught up; well kind of.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mediterranean Chicken Wrap with Roasted Falafel Chick Peas

Here is a Mediterranean Chicken Wrap that takes minutes to assemble for a flavorful and light dinner.

So it’s the Friday before spring break and I gotta tell ya I am fried!  It’s always at this point in the school year that I start to feel run down. Here are some of the tasks I dread; cleaning up the dinner dishes, walking the dog, making lunches for the kids, making beds and folding laundry (just to name a few). Sometimes you just need to shake things up so that these mundane tasks don’t seem all that bad.

Next week my family is splitting up. I am taking my 17 years old son Jake to visit colleges in the Pacific Northwest. We are hitting University of Oregon, University of Puget Sound and University of Washington. I’ve been travelling down the college road with Jake for a few months now. I love his growing excitement at the prospect of attending one of these schools.  We’ve also looked at a bunch here in Southern California.  Secretly I really want him close to home since he’s my first to fly the coop.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hydrating Strawberry Lemonade {Jamba Juice Copy Cat}

This hydrating frozen strawberry lemonade is the perfect post workout drink.

The hydration comes from the coconut water. I was so excited when I saw this drink on the Jamba Juice menu last summer (it’s a seasonal item).  I know I should like those healthy fruit smoothies, but I just don’t. So this lemonade was the perfect compromise for me. It has no dairy or soy and has a light and extremely refreshing flavor - bursting with fresh strawberries and lemon.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Garlic Rosemary Pizza Crust Bites

I’m not sure when or where I learned to make pizza crust bites, but I’m so glad I did. These are definitely a family favorite, especially with the kids, and are incredibly easy to make. My daughter actually compares them to savory beignets.  They’re light and fluffy on the inside and a crispy golden brown on the outside.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Frosting and Raspberry Curd

There is truly a burst of spring in every bit of this Lemon Cupcake with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Frosting and Raspberry Curd.

Last week my daughter Eva turned 14. I can’t believe how time flies and what a beautiful young woman she has become.  We always take a few weeks to iron out the details of her big day. First and foremost is her birthday dinner, that is always cooked at home. She picked Ina Garten’s Shrimp Scampi. It was heavenly, buttery, tart and decadent, all at the same time – good choice Eva! I wimped out on dessert that night, but bought lemon squares from her favorite bakery.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cheesy Chipotle Broccoli Casserole

This Cheesy Chipotle Broccoli casserole has 5 ingredients and is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights or lazy weekends!

This wonderful dish was truly born out of desperation. This past Sunday night I was incredibly unmotivated. The husband was out of town and I had been busy all week cooking, cooking and, oh yeah cooking.  I was tempted to order out or go grab some sushi but to be honest, I was feeling too lazy to pull that off. This rice casserole was simply an empty your refrigerator out kind of dish. It also is one of those beautiful 5 ingredients or less recipes that is so easy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mini Nutter Butter Baked Donuts with Chocolate Ganache {+Fiestaware Plates}

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I haven’t made baked donuts in awhile. My daughter got one of those mini donut makers a couple years ago, and we basically overdosed on these sweet babies…so it’s been awhile.  But FN Dish (my weekly contribution to their Comfort Food Feast) asked us to make something comforting with peanut butter. Therefore, I whipped out our little machine and baked some Nutter Butter Donuts with Chocolate Ganache.  I kind of took the glaze thing one step further and made a ganache.  Oh how I love ganache. The combination of bittersweet chocolate and cream; it doesn’t get any better!

I also really love peanut butter.  I picked up the peanut butter habit a little later in life.  It really frustrated my Mom when I was a kid. No peanut butter and jelly in this girl’s lunch box. I would eat cream cheese and jelly, but that got pretty boring pretty quick.  In high school I learned to love this creamy peanut spread. I actually viewed a PB and J as a huge treat and devoured the sandwiches as after school snacks.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vegan Breakfast Hash

I know – why is a dairy lovin girl posting a vegan recipe? Guess what? Vegan can be incredibly delicious and satisfying, like this Vegan Breakfast Hash.  Plus, we can contribute by giving the animals a rest and reducing our carbon footprint. Do you know that if everyone went vegan for one day the U.S. would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2. Yikes.  That’s some good motivation.