Category Archives: Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit

December 22, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Here is another quick and easy recipe to whip up and put on a delicious dessert platter. I love these because they take no more than a few minutes to put together, throw in the oven and serve to guests. They look like cute fluffy snowballs, perfect for Christmas season!  




::Ingredients::

1 1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract

::Baking instructions::

Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in bowl. Stir in unbeaten egg whites and extract; mix well.
Place small spoon fulls on a baking sheet and bake at 325F for 20 minutes. This should make a dozen or so! 



xoxo

Bon Appetit

December 21, 2010

Tis the season for baking



This year I am so behind in everything. I was so sick of putting my baking on hold that I finally went baking crazy! I rushed to the grocery store after work, bought all my ingredients and spent the next 3 hours in the kitchen putting together a few baking goods. I will share the other recipes with you another day, because today it’s all about the Neiman Marcus cookie! This cookie has all sorts of amazing ingredients in one, which is partially why I chose it. Should I bake chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, or what! I was given this old recipe from a sweet elderly lady that comes into my work and I decided to try it out. I warn you, it doesn’t look like much but this is a very hearty cookie! Enjoy! 




::Ingredients::

(Recipe may be halved):


2 cups butter

4 cups flour

2 tsp. soda

2 cups sugar

5 cups blended oatmeal**

24 oz. chocolate chips

2 cups brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)

4 eggs

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)


::Baking instructions::


Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.


Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. Simply enjoy with a glass of cold milk! 




xoxo


Bon Appetit

November 18, 2010

Golden pastry envelopes with an appetizing combination of cranberry and apple filling



The other night we had some friends come over for an early Thanksgiving dinner. We all pitched in to make a wonderful feast: lemon rosemary chicken, corn, cheesy mashed potatoes, mushroom and garlic bean casserole, fresh rolls, and sparkling apple cider. It was more than enough, let’s just say. The desserts were also amazing, which is why I would like to share one of the recipes. It was the perfect size to sip along side a cup of tea or coffee. If you are in a hurry this season and want to make something quick then this recipe is for you. It still even looks like you put a lot of effort into it! 

::Ingredients::


Pie crust
Any filling of your choice (jam, pie filling, a homemade filling)
1 egg


::Directions::


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cut pie crust into decent sized circles



Put a dollop of filling into the center of the pie crust



Fold sides up until just a little bit of the top remains open



Beat one egg and brush egg on the top surface of the pie crust




Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is a golden brown





We enjoyed this wonderful dessert with a simple cup of coffee, since we were still so full from our dinner. Although, this dessert would taste delicious with a bit of whip cream or vanilla bean ice cream on the side!



Enjoy!


xoxo


Bon Appetit

November 5, 2010

Easy and Delicious Dinner

Let’s face it. Sometimes after a long day of work, errands or chores, making dinner is the furthest thing from your mind. Certainly, you could grab a quick dinner from a fast food restaurant or go somewhere a bit more fancy and spend some extra cash. There are many nights like that for my husband and I, especially when there are only two of us. Sometimes going through all the trouble making a dinner doesn’t seem worth it and days like that, you want something easy. My husband has become quite talented on the BBQ. We grill all kinds of things, but recently my favorite is pizza. Yes, pizza. It makes sense if you think about it. It’s the closest thing to a pizza oven as far as temperature is concerned.  The dough develops a delicious flavor from being baked over an open flame. And like most pizzas, the toppings are endless. We like to keep it a bit simple. Here is an easy dinner idea for people like us throughout a busy schedule: low energy, money pinching and most importantly, hungry! 


::1::
Grab some pre-made dough from your nearest grocery store. We love Fresh and Easy’s Rosemary Focaccia Dough, which is great for pizza. If that doesn’t excite you, regular pizza dough will be just fine. 


Grab you pizza toppings while your at it. We love a simple fresh spinach, tomato and feta cheese pizza. It is delicious and light, yet filling. No sauce necessary, which could be better over an open flame. 


::2::
Toss the pizza dough until you have the right consistency and thickness. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil. 


::3::
Start up your BBQ to about 600 degrees or so. Once it heats up place dough over the open flame for roughly 3-5 minutes on one side. You will begin to see the dough bubble and toasted spots will appear. 


::4::
Immediately flip dough over once it reaches the above description. Place your toppings on the pizza while it is on the grill. This should be done relatively quick, since it only takes a few short minutes to bake. 


::5::
Once pizza is baked, serve with your choice of sides. Salad is always a nice compliment to a yummy pizza! Now enjoy…..




xoxo

Bon Appetit

August 30, 2010

bon ap·pé·tit (n nȧ pā tē)
enjoy your meal

Lately, I’ve been seeking a lot of simplicity in my life. I was tired of the over complicated, try hard, inadequate feelings you get from certain things in life. Why not the simple enjoyment of whatever comes our way? Why does everything have to be a competition or to outdo someone else? So many people have lost their passions because of fear or insecurity. This year has been a year of growth. I have tuned in to only positive people, places and things. I have decided to put fear on the back burner and put insecurity in the trash. I’m done with all that. I’m trying something new and that is going after whatever it is I feel called to. So, it starts out small and eventually makes up a larger picture. 

For me, it started out simple. Like getting back into the kitchen and fixing up dinner for a change. It didn’t have to be crazy or fancy. It didn’t have to be stressful, it just needed to be done with a little enthusiasm! I thought I would share this recipe! It’s fresh, delicious and the sheer aroma of the dish literally put a smile on my face. Enjoy!

Slow-Baked Tomatoes With Garlic and Mint

Prep: 15 min     Bake: 45 min   Oven: 325 F

1 1/2 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
7 cloves of garlic, peeled, split and cut lengthwise (remove green shoot)
1 bunch fresh mint, trimmed
1 to 2 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Toasted slices of rustic bread (french bread is great)
Goat cheese or any other preferred cheese (optional, but recommended)

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Wash tomatoes and pat dry with paper towel. 
2. In a nonreactive 2-quart baking dish, place tomatoes in a single layer. Pour olive oil so that it is well coated and there is a thin layer (1/2 inch) of oil on bottom of dish. Add garlic, mint, salt and pepper. 
3. Bake, uncovered for 45 – 60 minutes or until skin splits and softens but still retain their shape. 
4. Serve hot, warm or room temperature. Spoon or mash over slices of toasted bread and cheese. 

Tip: Music and food always are a great pair, so put something fun on while making this dish! 

xoxo

Bon Appetit

July 30, 2010

Ice Cream Heaven

There is this local ice cream shop not too far from where we live. We often justify going there and treating ourselves to a small sundae if we ride our bikes. Dewar’s has been opened since 1909, the interior is still very much the same as it was a century ago. It’s super cute and the ice cream and candy is delicious and homemade too! It’s only local to California’s San Joaquin Valley, but it’s recognized across the country. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to miss out on this small gem if ever you pass through the area. That is, if you like ice cream or candy. But who wouldn’t! My husband and I have tried almost everything on the menu….their famous black and white, which has one large scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with their scrumptious hot fudge.  Next they add a large scoop of chocolate ice cream and yummy whipped marshmallow. We’ve also managed to share their classic banana split and of course their Sundae’s. Every flavor of ice cream is freshly made there, which you can tell by the creamy texture. They also have a menu for those who prefer non-dairy. If ice cream isn’t your thing, they have a little candy shop that makes there own handmade chocolates and chews. We’ve seen how they are made and it’s pretty amazing! The other day we made our way to this very familiar place and decided to try a tasty new treat. The Dewar’s ice cream sandwich. Out of all the things I tried at this ice cream shop, I have to say that the ice cream sandwich is now my official favorite thing on their menu. It’s classic vanilla ice cream is so creamy and flavorful! The cookie is baked fresh there and you have two choices: snicker-doodle or chocolate chip. I recommend the snicker-doodle! The thing that makes this ice cream sandwich so special isn’t just the love that goes into the ice cream or cookie, it’s also the size of this treat! When we placed our order, a lady walked over with a wheel of deliciousness in her hand and placed it into a bag. The ice cream sandwich was, no lie, the size of my head. I felt like a kid again, my eyes pooped out of my head, my mouth started to salivate and my heart quickened. I could not wait to try this newly discovered dessert. I will never be the same. It was the most delicious thing I have eaten in a very long time! So, if you don’t mind a few extra calories in your day you must give this treat a try! It will knock your socks off! Enjoy……


xoxo


Bon Appetit

July 24, 2010

A little treat….

I’ve had this post saved since the beginning of July. I’ve been a bit slacky in the blogging department lately. I guess it’s never too late to share! My husband and I both enjoy cooking and baking. We often do things a lot together in the kitchen, but this day he took the initiative to make this delicious dessert for 4th of July. I think I might have pitched in a little…I took care of the fruit…..and the rest I left to him! The end result was this amazing layered cake with my favorite summer fruit: strawberries and blueberries!  What can I say, I lucked out when I married a guy that can cook and bake! This recipe was taken from a cook book we have here at home! You can find this recipe almost anywhere on the internet, it’s pretty popular! 


First we made a pound cake from scratch. It’s up to you how you would like to make your cake, but I recommend a recipe that uses evaporated milk! This makes the cake super moist and dense.

While you are prepping the pound cake, you can cut up the fruit and glaze it with sugar. Since it was 4th of July, we thought Strawberries and Blueberries would be appropriate. You can also take this time to make the Cool Whip and pudding mixture. Let that set while you are doing your baking. You could also use any of your favorite fruit for this recipe! Pineapple would be super tasty! 


Once you are done mixing the ingredients together for the pound cake, throw it in the oven,  let it bake until the toothpick comes out dry. Let it cool down completely in the pan.

Once the pound cake is cool, cut it into small cubes. Find a deep dish and layer the dessert: cake, then fruit and finally Cool Whip/pudding mixture. 
The last layer should be your  Cool Whip and pudding, topped with bits of fruit. Now you’re ready to dig in and share! 
xoxo

Bon Appetit

July 3, 2010

Dinner Ideas

My husband started a garden this year and planted all sorts of stuff. We have three varieties of tomatoes, squash, potatoes, cucumbers, honey dew melons, bell peppers and an assortment of herbs. Let’s just say our squash is out of control!!! We have so much we don’t know what to do with it. We have been trying to give it away to friends and family, but we still have so much! The other day I was looking for some recipes and this one caught my eye. Mainly because the main ingredient is squash. It calls for butternut, but I think I might change it up a bit and replace butternut with summer squash. This dish sounds perfect for having guests over and eating outside on a cool evening! Looks like I’m gonna have to have some company over! Hope you enjoy….

Ingredients
1 or 2  Large Butternut squash – Peeled, cored and sliced thin 1/4  inch
10 to 14  Pasta Sheets – Cooked
1 handful  Spinach
6 cloves  Garlic
1 bunch  Italian Parsley
1 stick Butter (114g)
¼ Cup  Flour
3 ½ Cups Whole Milk
3 Cups  Shredded Mozzarella
½ Cup  Parmesan
10 each  Sage Leaves – Sliced Thin
1 each Lemon – Zest
Salt and Pepper and Olive Oil 
Make the Lasagna
Pre-heat oven to 375F
You will need a 13×9×2 baking dish (a regular glass one or any type of casserole will do)
Drizzle the sheet tray with olive oil and place the slices of butternut squash on it, season with salt and pepper, repeat another layer until all the butternut is layered.  Cover with foil and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes until the squash is cooked yet still firm enough to break apart.
While that is working start on your roux:  ½ stick of butter in the pot and melt until almost browned, whisk in the flour and continue to cook for about 30 seconds, slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, Add the garlic and continue to cook at a medium heat until mixture thickens.   Transfer the mixture to the blender and blend in the Spinach/parsley.  Season with salt and Pepper.
Rub the Baking dish with a little butter and begin the layers:  Cream Sauce, pasta, Mozza, Parma, butternut – Repeat.  Make sure the top layer has cheese on top.  Cover with Foil and Bake for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 15 or until the top is crispy golden brown.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with Sage/Lemon Brown Butter:  In small sauté pan bring the remaining butter to a light brown color – Very hot and bubbling add Sage, Zest, salt and Pepper.   Spoon over a little on each piece.
xoxo

Bon Appetit

June 23, 2010

Homemade fried chicken

My husband and I have this friend of ours who is very talented in the kitchen. He is famous for his enchiladas, gumbo and now his fried chicken. We invited him over for dinner and he made us his very own recipe….this was my first time having it. My thoughts: amazing! I wish I could give away his secret recipe, but then it wouldn’t be  a secret anymore. We served corn, salad, baked chips and freshly made iced tea along with it. It was a great dinner for eating outside on a breezy summer day! I think I might have to have him come over once a week to make us some tasty treats……

xoxo


Bon Appetit


Sweet Tooth

Seems it’s the season for lemons. I have recently been making things that involve freshly squeezed lemon juice. I find it adds a lot of flavor and tastes delicious in all sorts of things. First the ice tea and now in the lemon bars. Perhaps lemon chicken next? We shall see! For now, I will stick to my sweet tooth! Here is a super simple recipe that takes a few minutes to put together and will have people coming back for more:

Lemon Bars

::Ingredients::

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel, if desired
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Additional powdered sugar


Step 1: Heat oven to 350 F


Step 2: In medium bowl, mix flour, butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar with spoon. Press in ungreased 8-inch or 9-inch square pan, building up 1/2-inch edges. Bake crust for 20 minutes; remove from oven.

Step 3: In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients except additional powdered sugar with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. (I like to add 1/2 cup of flaked coconut to the egg mixture, it tastes great!) Pour over hot crust.

Step 4: Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour. Dust with powdered sugar. 

Don’t worry, the mess is worth it…. 
xoxo

Bon Appetit - Discover - Flea markets - Random but lovely

May 25, 2010

California Life
Some of my favorite things to do:  road trips, being near the ocean, discovering cute antique and vintage stores, finding a cool place to eat. It seems in California, there are so many awesome small surf towns full of whole-in-the-wall restaurants and thrift stores. One of the places my husband and I seem to visit often is Ventura, California. There is a street that you can walk down FULL of vintage stores, tons of coffee shops, old school movie theaters, and tons of places to grab a bite to eat. It’s the perfect kind of date. Jump in the car, drive through vineyards, hills, and make our way to the ocean. We park our car and walk street after street. Popping in to each store, drooling over finds, grabbing a coffee or two along the way and eating some of the best fish tacos you will ever try! Not to mention the fresh ocean breeze and perfect weather! I keep photo journals of a lot of places we go. This is just one of them. 




xoxo