Saturday, May 11, 2013

Strawberries with Bourbon Brown Sugar Dip + Weekly Inspirations

I want to extend a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers.  Although I do not have any children, I am a doggie Mommy to our adorable Lhasa Apso, Max.  In addition, I am an Auntie to four wonderful nephews ranging in age from 3 to 13 years old.  We will be celebrating Mother’s Day by going out to brunch as a family and celebrating this special day.

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Special Inspiration:  
My Mom

Speaking of special, my Mom is just that!  She is always there for me.  She listens. She gives great advice.  She loves me unconditionally.  She taught me great morals, values, to be confident, independent and most importantly be my own person.  She is not only my Mom, but my friend.  Happy Mother’s Day to the best Mother I could have ever asked for! I love you M! 

Simple Recipe:  
Strawberries with Bourbon Brown Sugar Dip

You know it is late spring, early summer when Strawberries make an arrival on the red carpet.  They are luscious, juicy, bursting with flavor, sweet and the perfect simple dessert.  I was inspired to bring these special red berries to the next level.  Why not dip them into a perfect blend of Crème Fraiche, Bourbon and Brown Sugar.  I know, right?  The dip is simply 8 ounces Crème Fraiche, 1 tablespoon bourbon and 3 tablespoons brown sugar mixed together.  Serve with freshly wash strawberries and extra brown sugar for dipping.


Good Eats:
Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants

I am truly inspired by eating at a great restaurant. Living in the Bay Area affords me to have almost endless dining options.  Recently the Top 100 restaurants by Cuisine was published for the Bay Area. New ones are consistently popping up along with the staple ones that are worthy of repeating.  A few on the list from SF Gate are now on my bucket list to try soon, including:  Bull Valley Roadhouse, El Paseo,  SpruceState Bird Provisions, Coi, Etoile, Quince and Redd Wood.

Food Blogger Spotlight:
Liren from Kitchen Confidante

Liren is an amazing food blogger with mouthwatering photographs.  She writes a blog called, Kitchen Confidante and it is a perfect title for the creative and delightful dishes that she writes about.  I had been an admirer of her blog for a while and finally was able to meet face to face when she graciously invited several Bay Area food bloggers to her home for a dinner party.  From there, it was an instant friendship and it was a bonus to live only about 20 minutes apart.  If you have not had the opportunity to visit Liren’s blog, she is an extremely talented photographer, chef and blogger.  I am pleased call her my friend. Smile.

Unleashing Greatness

I attended a HR Conference at the end of April. One of the sessions caught my eye.  It was titled – “Developing Next Generation Leaders for Future Growth”.  The session was amazing!  It exceeded my expectations and gave practical concepts that I put in place that next week at work.  The session was lead by Alan Fine who wrote a book called – “You Already Know How to Be Great”.  I purchased several copies of the book and gave one to each of my Branch Managers.  Whether you are in business or not, this book shares ways to remove interference and unlocks greatness.  It truly has changed my thought process for me and sharing ways to lead my team to greatness.

Simply Inspiring:  
3 Special Women from Ohio

Earlier in the week, the news story of the 3 brave women who had been held captive for nearly a decade simply amazed me.  As the story unfolded and some of the details were revealed, it was almost unimaginable how they survived – but they did.  I am truly inspired by their courage, strength and faith.  They have their families and quite frankly the world behind them.  May they be given the time to heal and acclimate back into their lives with some semblance of normality.

Winery Spotlight: 
Chalk Hill

Chalk Hill Winery is a landmark winery in the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County and owned by Bill Foley.  They are recognized for their Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc and Estate Reds.  It is an immense estate covering 1,477 acres.  We took the “Estate Tour” which includes a ride in a hummer, wine tasting along with absorbing the history and information on the wines.  This is an amazing winery to visit and has some uniqueness that you will not find elsewhere. 

Book Club:
Steve Jobs

Several months ago my book club read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  It was departure from the typical types of books we select to read as a group.  I enjoyed each and every page.  Through Walter’s many interviews with Steve Jobs along with hundreds of family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues, he shares a riveting story of Steve Jobs extreme passion for perfection and drive that revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablets and digital publishing.  It inspires me that one person made such a difference.

Final Inspiration:
Must Read Article

I have been a member of Linked In since September 2004.  I have seen the evolution, growth and impact it has made on the business world.  Within the last six months, Linked In has partnered with various influential people around the globe who are impactful thought leaders, inspirational, motivators and knowledge providers.  I jump on the site daily to peruse the articles.  This week I was especially moved by this article by Katya Andresen who is the COO and CSO at Network for Good.  I would encourage you to take a couple minutes to read it here.  It confirms my belief – “Live each day to the fullest”.


  1. Everything looks good Lisa! Thanks for your inspiration and have a wonderful Mother's Day :-)

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom! (I'm a fur baby mum too.) :D

    Seeing the words - Brown.Sugar.Dip. in my feed was enough to make my mouth water! What a brilliant, simple, recipe.

    Great quote, fabulous book suggestion! :)

  3. Looks incredible, love the sound of the dip! Great job and Happy Mothers day! :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  4. I love strawberries, your dip sounds incredible! Hope you have a great brunch with your family! :)

  5. That's some yummy looking dip! And what a nice tribute to your mom.

    I'm not a mom either and not even a doggie mommy, but I hope to change the doggie mommy thing in the next year or so. I like the term "doggie mommy" and have now used it three times in two sentences. I think I'll stop now. ;)

  6. Happy Mother's Day! As usual, it's such a joy - a ray of sunshine - to visit your blog! Strawberries are a staple at home, so with the addition of brown butter sugar dip is a can-do! As for your blog inspiration, I do love Liren's work - she's special!

  7. This looks really good and simple. What we did for Mother's Day dessert is also good and simple. Spread room temperature brie on some thinly sliced toasted bread, spread again with Nutella and top with sliced strawberries. Yum!

  8. Aw, Lisa, you are too kind! I can't tell you how grateful I am to have met you through this whole blogging journey - who knew? 20 minutes away and a friendship, too? I really am grateful our paths crossed, it has been such a joy getting to know you these last several years (can you believe it's been years?). Thank you for the spotlight and your sweet words.

    I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day with your mom, how nice to be able to celebrate with everyone! I love that picture of the two of you :) So much happiness!


  9. Lisa, I hope you had a good Mother's Day with your mama. What a cute photo of the two of you!

    And yes please to your strawberry delight. I have huge nostalgia for strawberries with creme fraiche and brown sugar. Your bourbon addition is totally inspired. Yum!

    Hope you have a good week.

  10. Hope you had a beautiful Mother's Day-this post is so inspiring and this dip is so tempting:) Liren is such a talented blogger:)

  11. The dip looks great for strawberries!
    What a great picture of your mom, glad you guys had a great weekend celebrating!

  12. Oh man, I could take a bath in that brown sugar dip!

    And that photo of you and your mom is adorable!

  13. Chalk full of info, this post. I should try to do it more often instead of wanting to break everything up and then not writing anything. How fun you were able to be with your whole family on Mother's Day! Thanks for sharing that beet & burrata salad -- looks wonderful, as does the boozy strawberry dip.

  14. Love the picture of you and your Mom. Bet she's so proud of you and all you've accomplished! :)

    Loving your weekly inspirations! :)


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