It’s a beautiful weekend in the Bay Area. Temperatures are supposed to round the 85
degree mark today. I absolutely love
this time of year. Hubby and I awoke to the birds chirping and crows
laughing. I guess they aren’t really
laughing per se, but if you listen closely, it sort of sounds like they
Sundays at our house typically begin with a freshly brewed cup of
coffee and watching the weekend edition of Good Morning America. Next is the treadmill for me and a long bike
ride for hubby. Then the day begins. We
decided that today would be set aside for chores around the house that are bit
overdue. Hubby is tackling the garage
while I am excited to clean off the backyard furniture and put the cushions on.
I don’t anticipate additional rain, but you never know. One or two rain showers won’t hurt a thing.
I have said it before and it is worth repeating – sometimes the
simplest things in life are the best.
For me, I love putting together recipes with great ingredients that have
great flavor profiles yet there are not a billion components. Quite often folks think that I make these
elaborate dishes that take forever, but that is the exception versus the
One of my favorite simple appetizers is an Avocado Crostini with Reduced Balsamic with a sprinkle of Smoked Hickory Sea Salt. It is crunchy, creamy,
salty, and sweet with a touch of smoke.
Quite honestly, it is two to three bites of heaven. The recipe is fairly loose, so you can make
as few or as many as you would like.
I was thrilled when I read my email about a month ago. I received my April Secret Recipe
assignment. I recognized this blog
immediately and was excited. This month
I was paired with Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake. I have been an admirer and follower of her blog
for quite sometime.
Liz has been blogging since March of 2010 and she has many
loyal followers. Just sifting through
her extensive well rounded assortment of recipes, you know why. Each recipe is approachable, tasty and
mouthwatering. She focuses her blog on
her cooking and baking while her hubby and 3 kids stay outside the focus of her
camera. If you have not had the
opportunity to browse through her blog, I would highly encourage you to – you certainly
won’t be disappointed. Trust me. Smile.
Where does the time go?
I can’t believe that it is Friday Night Bite time again. Before I share with you this week’s delight,
I wanted to give you a quick update regarding the results of the Make-a-Wish
Foundation auction for Team Chloe that was held last Saturday. If you recall, I shared photos of the three cakes that I created and donated to the auction and I am pleased to say that
they raised more money than last year.
My joy comes from making people smile with my cooking. Perhaps that is why I have a weakness for
throwing a great dinner party or bringing a batch of homemade cookies to the
office or giving a jar of my handmade jam as a hostess gift. Perhaps it is my way of giving and to quote
Julia Child – “Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or
not at all”.
I hosted a dinner party last weekend and shared my menu with
my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad post.
The final touch to this wonderful dinner party was chocolate
mousse. What I neglected to mention was
it was the perfect mousse. Perhaps it
was perfect since the recipe was adapted from the master of French cooking –
Julia Child. Thus I had to name this
mousse – “Julia Child’s Perfect Chocolate Mousse”. It was essentially quite simple to make. Believe it or not, it was the first time
making mousse. I added the Bourbon along
with the espresso whipped cream topping and the result was simply heaven. Going
forward this will be a “go to” dessert to impress my guests and now it can be
The wait is over. I
teased you about what kind of Crostini I would be sharing for Friday Night
Bites. Now the day has finally
arrived. Yippee Skippee! I made these first for Easter then for my dinner
party on Saturday night and they will also be enjoyed for this week’s Friday
I absolutely adore a great Crostini and these rank high on
my list. Oh, did I mention, they are
super easy. If you have a Trader Joe’s
near you, all ingredients can be purchased there. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s close or you
want to put that handmade touch on it, I have included the recipes for that. Either way; a terrific impromptu appetizer for
unexpected guests or to simply enjoy while enjoying your favorite movie or
I love dinner parties.
I love planning, preparing and throwing a great dinner party. It brings me much joy. Saturday night brought me joy. Hubby and I had another couple over for
dinner. Originally I thought we would go
formal and spend the evening in the dining room. Plans changed and decided to have a cozy
dinner in the kitchen at our new Pottery Barn kitchen dining set. The fire place was burning in the adjacent
family room with music piped in through the speakers – just perfect. It was chilly outside, candle light glistening
through the antique votives and a slight wind pounding against the two windows
in the kitchen nook.
I am a huge fan of simple yet delicious appetizers. Why fuss with twenty different ingredients
and hours in the kitchen – there is no reason.
Sometimes the simple things in life are often the best things in life.
We spent the Easter Holiday at my parent’s house with the
entire family. It was a wonderful day
filled with great company, much laughter and food that was simple with an
abundance of flavor. My Mom tends to go
the comfort food route, which always puts a smile on everyone’s face. With four nephews ranging from to 13 years, their level of interest varied
from video games to being all about the foil wrapped chocolate eggs that
decorated the dining room table.
My sister and I always assist with the festivities by
bringing various dishes along with helping prepare the food. I created an extremely tasty Crostini that
was a hit with the family and will be making again for a dinner party I am
hosting on Saturday. It will be featured
for next week’s Friday Night Bites. A
little hint: Crispy Fried Prosciutto. Smile.
Speaking of Friday Night Bites, this week I wanted to share
with you a simply divine appetizer that packs an immense punch of flavor. Typically you think of bacon wrapped dates or
water chestnuts, but when bacon wrapped pineapple popped into my head, this was
a must make. The addition of an Asian
inspired dipping sauce just completed this uncomplicated appetizer. Enjoy!
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites with Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
Pineapple, 24 one inch chunks
Bacon – 24 three inch slices
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
You can use fresh or canned pineapple chunks. I prefer fresh. Pat dry with a paper towel and wrap with the
bacon and secure with a toothpick. Use a
large baking sheet pan with sides to place the bites one. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the bacon is
crispy. Turn the bites halfway during
cooking process. Serve warm with the soy ginger dipping sauce.
Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
½ Cup Soy Sauce
¼ Cup Rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, finely minced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Add all the ingredients to a jar and top with a lid. Shake well to combine and let rest for at
least one hour to have the flavors combine.