Sunday, May 12, 2024

Creating the Perfect Cheeseboard

Indulge your senses with the perfect Charcuterie Board. Who can resist the allure of a beautifully curated cheeseboard? Whether you call it a charcuterie board or simply a feast for the senses, this French-inspired creation has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide. Traditionally centered around cured meats, the modern charcuterie board has evolved into a symphony of flavors, featuring an array of cheeses, fruits, nuts, and other gourmet delights.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Dinner at Tiffany's

There is something magical about a perfect dinner party.  Ultimately the magic happens when a great group of people gather at your house for great food, wine, and conversation.  Throwing a dinner party is my happy spot and brings me immense joy.  It provides me the opportunity to share my passion for food, wine and entertaining with others and the happiness it brings to my friends is a wonderful feeling.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Tasting Guide | B Cellars

Hubby and I recently visited another wine country gem called B Cellars in Oakville.  It is nestled within some of the world's most celebrated wineries including Silver Oak, Rudd and Colgin Cellars.  as mentioned on their website, their vision is "Our vision embraces responsible use and protection of our natural environment through conservation and sustainable business practices.  Central to B Cellars purpose is maintaining equilibrium between guest engagement through highly curated, highly personalized wine and food pairing experiences and the primary use of the winery as an agricultural facility. 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Tasting Guide | Sequioa Grove Winery

A short drive from our house is the world-renowned wine growing region of Napa Valley that has over 400 award winning wineries that are yet to be discovered.  Wineries are trending towards creating a wine experience and encouraging and/or requiring reservations.  I believe the best things in life are the experiences we share, savor and discover to create lifelong memories.  To take advantage of this world visited wine region, hubby and I have set a goal to visit a new winery per month.  We are starting with the wineries that offer a curated food and wine experience. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Roasted Butternut Squash Crostini

Winter is in full swing in the SF Bay Area with chilly temperatures, yet our encouraging rain fall in December has dried up.  I am praying to the rain makers to let it pour soon.  Butternut squash is one of those veggies that can be both sweet and savory.  With my love of crostini, I thought I would make a fall/winter inspired crostini.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Warm Spicy Honey & Bacon Figs

These Warm Spicy Honey & Bacon Figs are a quick tasty appetizer that takes minutes to make and will WOW your guests.  Enjoy with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for a perfect pairing.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Best Ever Beer Bread

I know, it has been WAY too long since I have been posting.  I have been super busy and loving Instagram as my social media platform. With this super surreal time, it is hard to believe that we are dealing with a pandemic.  I hope all of you are well and safe.  Since the stay at home mandate was announced, I have been home cooking up a storm.  One of my favorite things that I have made recently is Beer Bread.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tasting Guide | Odette Estate

Welcome to Tasting Guide!  A new blog series highlighting some of my favorite wineries.  I can travel to most wineries within 75 minutes or less; so why not point a spotlight on these beauties of wine country.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Potato Chip Dust | Friday Night Bites

There is something extraordinary about a perfect deviled egg.  This week's Friday Night Bites certainly hit utopia in the deviled egg world for me.  Literally for months, I have been working towards perfecting the hard boiled egg.  After many, I mean many tries at getting the peel to not rip away the egg white layer or have small dents, I believe I have finally hit that plateau.  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Grilled Corn and Avocado Crostini | Friday Night Bites

One of the best things about summer approaching is the white sweet corn from Brentwood!  It is simply the sweetest and tastiest corn in the Bay Area.  You know how I love a good crostini - well this week, I have a super tasty one that has the sweet white corn and avocado with a Mexican twist throughout.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Goat Cheese and Radish Crostini | Friday Night Bites

I got the light just right.  Yeah!  I am practicing a new set up to take my food photo shots - in my living room.  I have two large windows that I raise the blinds and reposition the furniture to set up my board and props.  Last weekend we had rain off and on, which then darkened the sky.  A dark sky is not good for photoshoots. Luckily for me, the rain passed and the light returned.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs | Friday Night Bites

There is something completely satisfying about a deviled egg.  Not quite sure what it is.  It is an old school treat that has come back into vogue.  I was chatting with a friend the other day and she said that one of her friends hosted a cocktail party with a deviled egg bar .... how cool is that?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Roasted Beet & Yuzu Ponzu Crostini | Friday Night Bites

Happy Friday Peeps!  Life has been busy lately and trying to catch up on my blogging.  Recently my friend Jean from Lemon & Anchovies was kind enough to host a photography meet up at her lovely home.  I have long admired her photography skills and she generously offered to teach me some tricks of the trade.  I learned about shooting manual mode and all about adobe lightroom.  I must say that I was invigorated after spending the day together.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Grilled Lemons

An inspirational trip to the farmers market resulted in this sublime roasted golden beet salad.  Do you all get inspired when browsing through the market?  Depending on the time of the year, different yields of types of vegetables and fruits.  The winter has more rustic hearty vegetables that simply warm your heart and belly.  I have always loved beets where I know others that simply can't stomach them.  I believe it is how you prepare them and the recipe you use that creates a tasty dish.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Grilled Honey Glazed Tangerine & Prosciutto Crostini | Friday Night Bites

Friday Night Bites - woo hoo!  A perfect bite with all of the tasty elements wrapped into a 2 to 3 bite wonder.  It has smoky, salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy, savory and herbaceous goodness.  The other beauty to this appetizer is that it is easy to make.  Trust me.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Charred Za'atar Cauliflower & Romanesco Salad

Happy 2019!  I know it has been a while since I have posted.  Been a bit more active on Instagram and plan to make an authentic effort to blog more in 2019.  Blogging still brings me joy and that is what it is all about.  Speaking of joy - this salad brings me tremendous happiness.  The combination of earthy, smoky, sweet and crunch is a perfect bite of joy.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Fig Cocktail + Gruyere Baked Olives | Friday Night Bites

A well engineered cocktail transports you to a different level. When you pair it with a nibble that is simple yet sophisticated, you have hit nirvana.  As many of you know, I am simply obsessed with figs.  This year I discover tiger figs at Trader Joe's and made 40 pint jars of my infamous Balsamic Fig Jam.  I have discovered a passion and appreciation of a great cocktail.  I decided to create a signature fig cocktail to celebrate the beginning of fall, since figs are the quintessential sign fall is around the corner.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bite Sized BLT's | Friday Night Bites

I know it has been a while since I have posted.  Life has been busy during the summer.  I made these little delights for Friday Night Bites and was quite please with how they turned out.  It was a perfect bite of crunch, savory, salty, smokey, spicy and a slight twist on a classic.

Friday, May 25, 2018

"Markle Sparkle" Cocktail | Friday Night Bites

The day millions of royal fans across the globe have been waiting for finally arrived.  The Royal Wedding of course and it certainly did not disappoint.  Tradition, elegance and love were definitely in the air last Saturday.  Like many, I was glued to the television to watch the spectacular historical moments.  From the array of distinctive fascinators to the abundance of flowers embellishing all corners of the St. George's Chapel to that phenomenal yellow dress worn by Amal Clooney - I knew I was in for hours of witnessing a traditional yet modern mark on history.  Some would say a pre-emptive positive turn to the future and what we can expect.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Bacon, Ricotta & Honey Crostini | Friday Night Bites

What is better then bacon?  In my book ..... nothing!  The key to great bacon is to cook is low and slow on a griddle until it is crispy but certainly not burnt.  The flavor stays true and a crispy delight is ready to enjoy.

Friday, March 30, 2018

"The Aviator" Cocktail + Kicked Up Chex Mix | Friday Night Bites

Yippee Skippee .... it is finally FRIDAY!  I think that means it is time for Friday Night Bites and this week I thought I would share another sublime cocktail with all of you.  Noted for its stunning purple color, this old-school gin cocktail is a standout. It is a cocktail that was created before Prohibition by a bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York.  It is made with gin, maraschino liqueur, creme de violette and fresh lemon juice.  The creme de violette is such a unique addition and makes this cocktail a true standout and often referred to the "forgotten classic".  It is flowery, assertive yet sweet but a liqueur worth trying.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Orange Bourbon Fig Compote | Friday Night Bites

I am dreaming of forwarding time to mid summer right now.  You may ask ....... why?  It is fig season of course. Smile.  I do simply adore figs, well actually kind of obsess over them - oh those glorious figs.  It has been almost two years since I made my last big batch of Balsamic Fig Jam.  I typically set aside a whole day and bang out 80 half pint jars of this delightful crowd pleaser.  Besides enjoying it at home, it is my "go to" hostess and holiday gift to share with others.  I have friends who wait in anticipation for it and one friend even has her whole family asking - when are you getting more fig jam?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Warm Goat Cheese with Herbs and Spices | Friday Night Bites

Just imagine .... warm goat cheese, flavored olive oil and warm crunchy bread - now that is my idea of heaven in my mouth.  The infusion of citrus, spice and earthy herbs is a sublime combination along with the tangy goat cheese and crunchy baguette.  Add a touch of fluer de sel and this bite is simply perfect.  Goat cheese has a pristine white color and distinct flavor that is one of the most amazing cheeses in the world - a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Sublime Bar Nuts + "The Last Word" Cocktail | Friday Night Bites

There is something special about enjoying a craft cocktail with sublime bar nuts.  The bar is raised even higher (no pun intended) when you are sitting at a swanky, hip bar with cool music playing and having your significant other or close friend next to you.  You could even simply be sitting at the counter in your kitchen with the lights dimmed and have a bar experience.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Peach, Balsamic and Basil Tartine | Friday Night Bites

Rain glorious rain!  The Bay Area has been a bit starved this year for rain.  December, January and into February were rather dry months.  Five years ago we experienced the beginning of drought much the same way, so as you can imagine, we were all getting nervous.  Yesterday, March 1st brought much needed rain and it was really coming down.  The forecast calls for more rain ahead over the weekend and next week - thank goodness!  We can only hope that March and April bring buckets of rain to ward off a drought.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeño Madeleines | Friday Night Bites

This week I am thrilled to share my savory madeleine recipe with all of you!  I have long been obsessed with madeleines.  You tend to never think of these small shell shaped french sponge cakes as a sweet treat but not often turning them upside down to make a savory version.  I have long wanted to share a savory version.  Hubby loved them.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Crispy Prosciutto, Apple & Stilton Toasts | Friday Night Bites

What is it about a little piece of toast loaded with crunchy, salty, creamy and herbaceous goodies? It is the dance that your mouth has along with your stomach being extremely happy.  I absolutely love creating new flavor profiles and tasty bites for my Friday Night Bites weekly series here.  I just hit my one year anniversary at my new job and I can't believe how time flies by so quickly.  I absolutely LOVE my new role and company.  After 18 years with one organization and 8 promotions later, it was time for a change.  Change is good. Change is empowering. Change is what we need to invigorate our careers and life.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Blood Orange Compote and Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini | Friday Night Bites

It is that time of the year.  The bright brilliant blood oranges are in season. Once you cut this jewel in half, the rich red pink color is revealed. Blood oranges have a unique flavor compared to other oranges, being distinctly raspberry-like in addition to the usual citrus notes. They are in season in California from about November through May, although I have a hard time finding them late in the season.  Their origin is thought to be from China or the southern mediterranean but now they are primarily grown in Italy. Their beauty inspired me to create this pink peppercorn blood orange compote to adorn a simple crostini.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Wild Mushroom Pinwheels | Friday Night Bites

It seems like we were just celebrating New Years Eve with appetizers and bubbly.  With February around the corner, this year is already sailing by.  I live by each day and believe that we need to enjoy each day to the fullest.  I enjoy the simple things, the people that I love around me and having a sense of purpose each day.  One of my resolutions for 2018 was to dedicate more attention to my blog that I have nurtured over the years.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Apricot Mostarda Brie Cups | Friday Night Bites

Happy New Year!  I know it has been a while since I have posted and one of my resolutions for the new year is to post at least once a week.  As you all know, I am slightly obsessed with appetizers.  If you follow me on Instagram, then you see my Friday Night Bites with wine and often cheese plates.  My goal for this year is to bring you more interesting Friday Night Bites and spice up my little corner of the internet.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tomato Jam with Burrata | Friday Night Bites

Do you ever try something at a restaurant and say to yourself - I must make this?  I do all the time. Recently I was in Chicago for a business trip and we had cocktails and dinner at Siena Tavern. It was a extremely humid and rainy night in Chicago where you could cut the air with a knife.  Despite the weather, which being from California this was not the norm for me - the vibe in this Top Chef, Fabio Viviani created restaurant was extremely cool.  It had concrete floors, rustic decor and hip music being piped through everywhere.  Although a bit loud, we enjoyed cocktails at the bar with friends.  I had an aviator and a last word - don't typically swing out with a couple cocktails at once, it was a fun treat.  The bartender was hip and cool and make some darn good drinks.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Trio of Crostini Recipe + Livermore Valley Wine Country Weekend

A couple weeks ago I attended the Livermore Valley's "Taste of Terroir" weekend to experience the tasty food and wine of this special sometimes forgotten wine country region in Northern California.  I was personally invited as a media guest by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and was quite honored they thought of me.  I was able to take hubby with me and he is always thrilled when he can be part of my blogging events.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Canapés | Friday Night Bites

Well HELLO almost summer - oh how I have missed you!  My birthday was last Sunday and we swung out for this years birthday gift - a new wicker patio set from Living Spaces.  It is part of the the Adventura collection.  We got the 4 piece sectional, 2 lounge chairs, the cocktail table with 2 ottomans and 2 end tables.  I feel like we have a true outdoor living room set.  Since it was simply understated, it needed a POP of color, so I headed to Homegoods and got some fun pillows and decorative items for the tables.  Oh and an outdoor rug from Cost Plus World Market.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Egg and Olive Salad Bites | Friday Night Bites

Do you ever wish you had an elegant yet easy appetizer to make for guests that you want to impress? Have I got a simple, tasty and easy recipe for you. It has just a few ingredients and can be virtually made ahead of time and I promise will "WOW" your guests.  They will think you spent hours preparing.