Monday, January 26, 2015

Baby Kale, Banana and Pineapple Smoothie + 2 Bonus DOLE Smoothie Recipes

With each New Year, come those resolutions that we all make – right?  The typical list is to lose weight, work out more and eat better.  Those are all great and now the challenge is to stick to these goals and make them happen.  They say it takes at least 30 days to create a new habit and I also believe that you need to really commit to yourself that you are going to make that change and stick to it.  Like many, these are among the list of resolutions that I made for 2015.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze | Secret Recipe Club

It’s a new year of kicking it off with the Secret Recipe Club For January, I received Heather’s blog called – It’s Yummy to My Tummy.  While looking through her blog for the perfect recipe to make, I soon realized why her blog had a familiarity to it – she was paired with me back in June and made my Caprese Bites.  Heather likes to make people happy with her food and decided to add her collection of delightful treats to one place – her blog.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sparkly Shortbread Cookies | Blogger C.L.U.E. Society

Hubby and I took down the last vestige of holiday decorations on Sunday.  Not sure about you, but I get to a point where I have enjoyed the holidays so much that when the New Year rolls around, it is time to pack these treasures away in anticipation of the day after Thanksgiving when the whole decorating process begins again.  The house looks sparse but that is how it is actually year round, just seems that way – a bit of holiday deception I guess. 

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Parmesan, Cheddar and Thyme Gougeres | Friday Night Bites

Happy New Year!  We are now in a new year with new beginnings and new hopes and dreams.  I am excited for what 2015 has to offer.  If I look back on 2014, it was a great year with no regrets.  I am working on my goals for 2015 and excited about what will happen this year.  Do you have your goals and resolutions set for the New Year?

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

10 Great Appetizer Recipes for New Years Eve 2014

As the familiar saying goes - when one chapter closes another opens. It is much like a year coming to a close in the anticipation of the New Year.  As we get closer to saying goodbye to 2014, we look forward to welcoming 2015. This time of year is a time to reflect on what accomplishments, goals and dreams were made into reality.  It is a time to be thankful, grateful and hopeful for what is to come.  It is a time to renew goals and dreams for the future.  It is a time to be with family and friends and to celebrate the moments with the people who mean the most to you.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Cranberry and Orange Shortbread Cookies | Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I absolutely LOVE making appetizers, hence the weekly series – Friday Night Bites was born.  Next to appetizers, is making cookies.  They are a one to three bite delight that simply makes your mouth sing and puts a smile on anyone’s face.  With my love of cookies, I was elated to learn that the 4th annual “Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap2014” was taking place.  I immediately got signed up and anxiously waited for my three matches to arrive in my email.  The next question was – what type of cookie would I send this year. Here is what I sent in 2011, 2012 and 2013

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ginger Snap Cookies | Blogger C.L.U.E. Society

Happy Holidays everyone!  Can you even believe that the holidays are actually here?  I am still in a bit of shock that time just zips by so quickly.  Hubby and I love this time of year.  Our house is all decorated and we simply enjoy sitting by the tree with a glass of wine.  One thing about us is that I like the white lights and hubby enjoys the colored lights.  If you have the same situation in your house, I have the perfect solution for you.  We have a tree that has dual colored lights – at the simple click of a switch can be white lights and then touch it again and we have colored lights.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Port Plumped Cranberry, Baby Kale & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette + DOLE's Healthy Thanksgiving Salads and Sides

Time whirls by.  It seems as though we were just putting away our Christmas decorations and yet in just a few days, we will be putting them back up again.  Hubby and I absolutely love this time of year and do our best to make the most of it.  As my hubby always says, the official start to the holiday season is his birthday which is October 9th.  Although it seems a bit early for the official holiday season, it makes him smile from ear to ear, so in our house that is the “official” start to the holiday season.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Roasted Carrot Soup Shooters | Secret Recipe Club

Can you believe the holidays are around the corner?  I can’t.  It seems as though hubby and I were just putting the Christmas decorations away and in about 10 days we will be putting them back up. This time of year always makes me smile.  It is a time to be with family and friends, go to and throw a few parties, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the shopping malls and for me have time off from work.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Onion Biscuits | Blogger C.L.U.E. Society

I believe Colonel Mustard did it in the dining room with a candle stick. Do you love the game CLUE?  I grew up playing this imaginative board game that produced many outcomes based on the roll of the dice and the order of pulling cards.  Much like this classic game, the food blogging world is taking a spin on the concept for a brand new online cooking club called – Blogger C.L.U.E. Society.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Bourbon Apricot Meatballs | Friday Night Bites

Happy Halloween Everyone!  I made the most amazing meatballs a few weeks ago and have been super excited to share them with all of you.  If I am being completely honest, I ate 3 or 4 meatballs right out of the pan as I pulled them from the oven – they were simple divine on their own.  Now comes the Bourbon Apricot sauce and they soon go to the top of the scale.  They will be my “go to” appetizer for the upcoming holiday season.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Baby Heirloom Tomato and Bread Salad

Last weekend at the farmer’s market I found indigo rose tomatoes.  I was instantly taken by the brilliance of the red with a dark purple hue that was magical to view.  I went to my monthly Restaurant Club lunch with my friends and enjoyed Haven.  Their biscuits with honey butter were to die for.  After our delicious lunch we gravitated to the farmer’s market that happens each Sunday at Jack London Square.  One of the farmers I visited has a vast array of baby tomatoes from yellow to green to the traditional heirloom baby tomatoes but the indigo rose really caught my eye.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fig & Honey Infused Goat Cheese Bites | Friday Night Bites

I found the last vestige of figs at the farmer’s market this past weekend.  I could not believe my luck and the farmer was actually shocked that she squeezed out one more lot of these divine figs.  This is the only place I can find these luscious and brightly colored figs. The flavor is amazing along with the vibrant pink tones of the insides.  I knew that I had to pay homage to the almighty fig.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies | Secret Recipe Club

Typically I am not fanatical about peanut butter.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like it, I just don’t go bonkers over it.  You know when you come across that special recipe that just knocks your sock off – come on you know.  Well…….this month’s Secret Recipe Club match had the perfect peanut butter recipe that I will be making over and over again.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parmesan, Thyme and Hickory Smoked Salt Crisps | Friday Night Bites

It has been a while since the last installment of Friday Night Bites.  Life has gotten a bit crazy around our house with our two new puppies – Marty and Stewart + the increase workload at my office has limited my time.  My goal is to get back to the weekly series on a consistent basis.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Almond Pesto, Jalapeno & Garlic Pasta

Pasta is my downfall. I don’t indulge as often as I would like in this soul satisfying dish.  Perhaps it is the al dente texture that sends me over the edge or is it the savory sauce that adorns each strand or is it simply the carbohydrate treat.  It is actually all three.  I am not particular on the shape or size of pasta, just that it is high quality and tasty.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Oh how I love salted caramel!  My ears perk up with joy when I hear those glorious words – salted caramel.  It is the sweet and salty thing along with the richness of the caramel that just makes me swoon.  I pinned these cookies several weeks ago and know I had to make them soon.  I altered them a bit, but they were quite tasty as the orginal recipe.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lavender Lemon Bars | Secret Recipe Club

I know I say this each time, but boy time flies.  It is time again for the big reveal for Secret Recipe Club.  This month I had the privilege of being paired with Chelsy from Mangia.  When I received the email about my match for September, something sounded familiar – it was because back in June 2012 I was assigned to her blog for the first time.  What a treat, a second time.  Since that time, I noticed that she has updated her website and put a ton of new food treasures on her site.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gooey White Cheddar Bacon Crostini + Tillamook Blog2Farm Summit Part 2

The adventures continue for the Tillamook Blog2Farm Summit with our travels to the Oregon coast.  After the Tillamook factory tour was complete, we loaded onto our party bus and headed west to the foggy Oregon coast.  We took a short detour to visit a lighthouse and vista point on the coast.  The sky was amazing and the views spectacular – what stunning sights.  The land is so lush and green compared to the drought stricken Bay Area – a welcome sight indeed.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheddar Cheese Beignets with Tomato Jam + Tillamook Blog2Farm Summit Part 1

Several months ago I received an email from Kelly at SodaPop PR inviting me to the Tillamook Blog2Farm Summit.  It was a simply click to respond to the email with a resounding YES.  I first met Kelly here and I was first introduced to Tillamook’s New Greek Yogurt.  It was simply divine and my favorite flavor is the Coffee House flavor.  I grew up with Tillamook but this was a perfect opportunity to learn more about this successful company and its high quality products.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pecans with Rosemary, Honey and Smoked Salt | Friday Night Bites + "Yummy Supper" Cookbook Giveaway

Years ago I found Erin’s blog – Yummy Supper.  I added it to my list of blogs I love on the sidebar of my blog.  I had a sneaking suspicion back then, that she would make a name for herself and my intuition was correct.  She has published her first cookbook.  I have to say, I followed her journey as she described it on her blog and I really got excited for her. 

I was honored when she reached out to me a few months ago to ask me if I would like to have a copy before it was launched.  Okay that was a no brainer and I was absolutely thrilled that she thought of me.  I was even more excited when her publisher asked if me if I would like to have a copy to give away to my readers. I gave a resounding YES!  At the end of the post, I give a quick “how to” enter to win your very own copy of this stunning cookbook.  The photos and recipes are simply mouthwatering.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Smashed Pea and Ricotta Crostini | Friday Night Bites

You know I adore a great Crostini.  How about you?  This week for Friday Night Bites, I have a simple yet sophisticated Crostini to share with all of you.  It is a Smashed Pea and Ricotta Crostini.  The bright green color of the pea along with the creamy white color of the ricotta and the garnish of the lemon zest make this one dynamite appetizer.  It is super simple to make and would pair beautifully with a French Rose, Sauvignon Blanc or Dry Riesling.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Almond, Toffee, Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookies | Secret Recipe Club

Hubby and I have been busy with two new additions to our house – Marty and Stewart!  They are 10 week old Havanese puppies who are extremely sweet, loving and incredibly soft.  With the loss of our beloved Max a little over a month ago, we were ready to welcome new doggies to our house. As we like to say - “Dogs are like children with fur coats”.  Originally I wanted a girl and boy puppy so I could name them Martha and Stewart. However we found two irresistible Havanese brothers and decided to stay with the theme and name them Marty and Stewart.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Salted Caramel + DOLE's Peel the Love Banana Cabana Tour

If you could choose the perfect fruit, which one would you pick?  I believe the banana would earn that honor.  It is portable, delicious and nutritious. The banana is one of the most widely consumed foods in the world and an excellent source for vitamin b6, soluble fiber and contains moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and potassium.  One of the most searched for recipes on the internet is banana bread – can you believe it?  I certainly can, especially when you don’t want to waste those over ripe bananas that are sitting in a bowl on your kitchen counter.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives | Friday Night Bites

When I am at Whole Foods, nine times out of ten, I make my way to the olive bar.  They house one of the best selections in the Bay Area of olives without having to venture to a specialty shop in San Francisco.  One of my absolute favorites is the Castelvetrano Olive.  It is grown exclusively in western Sicily among the Belice river valley, near the town of Castelvetrano.  The prime time for harvesting is the beginning of October through mid November. 

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Strawberry, Apricot & Coconut Scones | Secret Recipe Club

It is hard to believe it has been just a week.  A week since our little Max went to heaven. Max came into our home when he was just 8 weeks old and was a bundle of joy.  Max was our furry four legged child.  He battled cancer for the last couple months of his life and on Sunday last week, he went to the great dog park in the sky.  It had to be one of the most difficult days for hubby and me.  The next day was especially challenging since the house seemed so big and empty without our little guy.  Since then, time is beginning to make things a bit easier. The tears have lessened. I can talk about and think about him, without getting so emotional.  I will have always have a special place in my heart for Max. They say time heals and I believe it does.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tomato, Corn & Avocado Bruschetta | Friday Night Bites

For many of us, we lead busy lives and often don’t take the time to truly enjoy time together with friends and family.  When we do slow down, it is important to truly appreciate those moments and do things that make us happy.  Entertaining is one of my favorite things.  The art of bringing joy to my guest’s faces is one of the best gifts I can give.  Everyone in this world is given particular talents or gifts; mine is bringing folks together to simply enjoy life through great food, great conversation and adding those special entertaining touches that brings the evening to the next level.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pecan Cheddar Wafers | Friday Night Bites

There is something about a crisp, handmade satisfying cracker and a glass of wine that just sets the weekend in the right direction.  While browsing through an older issue of Saveur (November 2013) I came across this article that highlighted the pecan and the south. It was titled Southern Belle.  I was instantly drawn to the Pecan Cheese Wafer recipe.  I changed it up slightly. Despite only visiting Arkansas, I have yet to explore the south and have such a fascination that is dying to be satisfied.  I guess I could equate myself to being a “Southophile” versus a Francophile.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Steakhouse Crostini | Friday Night Bites

Oh how I love a great Steakhouse!  We have some good choices here in the Bay Area -although I can only imagine doing a jaunt through the mid-west – now that is steakhouse country.  When we visited Chicago last summer, I was amazed that on almost every corner, there was a steakhouse.  Unfortunately for us, we did not have time to partake in a true mid-west steakhouse – next time for sure.  We did go here, here and here - all fantastic, especially the first one was my absolute favorite.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Amaretti Sugar Cookies

This cookie is simply magical.  It is a few bites of divine flavor and texture.  I get in the mood to make cookies fairly often.  I have to admit that it is primarily to eat the cookie dough, although I enjoy the finished product.  I will typically make a double batch, so I certainly make enough in between my nibbling on the dough.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet | Secret Recipe Club

Summer is around the corner.  Not sure about you, but I can sense the change of seasons.  There is just something in the air that triggers the transition from one season to the next.  I can appreciate each season but summer is at the top of my list.  The days are longer, the nights are warmer, the food is fresh and abundant and generally people are happy and relaxed.  Now is the time of year where I pull the ice cream maker out from the back of the pantry and move it front and center.  I already have a bucket list of flavors to make and look forward to sharing with all of you in the coming months.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple, Gorgonzola and Pecan Salad on Endive Leaves | Friday Night Bites

I don’t know about you, but how did we get through almost half of 2014 already.  Time seems as thought it is speeding up but we know it is moving at the same pace it has for thousands of years.  Summer is around the corner and I am anxious to make ice cream, fresh salads, grilling outdoors and sipping wine in our backyard on warm evenings.  I thought I would share a great summer inspired appetizer for this week’s Friday Night Bites.  I was inspired by this recipe and made some adaptations to make it my own.  It is fresh, crisp and light – just right for summer.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Brussels Sprouts and Smoked Onions on Cheddar Crostini | Friday Night Bites

One of my favorite vegetables on earth is ………Brussels Sprouts.  I know some of you out there are saying to yourself – I completely agree with her where as others are thinking these are the most disgusting veggies on earth.  We all have our preferences when it comes to food and what falls where on the like and dislike tally.  Our differences make the world go round – right?  With my love for Brussels Sprouts, I probably prepare them at least once a week in some form or another.  A bonus for me – hubby is a huge fan. 

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Fava Bean Crostini | Friday Night Bites

Fava beans are one of life’s delightful pleasures. Fava beans are actually an ancient food that has been around for thousands of years primarily in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The term fava comes from the Italian word “Fava” meaning “broad bean” and if you are in England, you will often hear that term. Other terms that are associated with fava beans are: pigeon beans, horse beans and Windsor beans. Fava beans are planted in February and March to mature through the summer, with their peak in July and August.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kale Avocado Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette | Secret Recipe Club

Lately it is feeling a lot like summer in the Bay Area.  Quite frankly it suits me just fine.  Last weekend hubby and I dusted off the patio cushions and set the backyard in motion for the season.  This meant the furniture was hosed off, the patio was wiped clean of leaves and other debris along with making sure the outdoor BBQ was ready to get a workout all summer long.  One of the most relaxing activities I enjoy is coming home from a long day at work and enjoying a glass of wine outside with my hubby.  The sound of the water dropping into the fountain and the warm summer air just sets the scene for perfection.

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