This time of year is fraught with temptation, from the leftover Halloween candy to turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, to toffee and fudge, Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies, and Santa Hat Brownies. I don’t plan on cutting out all of these sweets completely, but, this year it is my goal to practice more restraint, maintain some sort of fitness routine, and indulge in healthier treats. Continue reading
I used to think of sangria as more of a refreshing summertime drink, but it can really be a year-round beverage if you use seasonal fruits. This white wine sangria is flavored with apples and honey, along with spices like cinnamon and cloves, for a fantastic autumn-themed cocktail. Continue reading
Growing up, my mom loved fruit and always kept a variety in the house which she encouraged my brothers and I to eat. However, one fruit that was conspicuously absent was the apple. It was not the taste she didn’t like. Rather it was the sound of someone biting into one that bothered her. It was like fingernails on chalkboard and the sound literally gave her goosebumps and sent chills up her spine. Continue reading
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was waxing poetic about the many things I loved about the summer. Yet, it feels like summer is quickly slipping away. June is a distant blur; July came and went in a blink of an eye. Now, the days are getting shorter and there’s a hint of autumn in the night air. August is almost halfway over. Where did the time go? Continue reading
Are you looking for something different to serve at your next barbecue? Why not grill peaches alongside the burgers and steaks to serve as an appetizer, side dish, or salad.
Peaches on the grill are delicious; their natural sugars caramelize and their flavor becomes more concentrated and slightly smoky.
I like milk. I like its creamy, buttery taste and, to me, it’s best ice cold with a chocolate chip cookie or two. On the other hand, I’ve never liked soy milk. Years ago, I tried it and I didn’t care for its watery flavor and chalky texture. Recently, however, I was convinced by some fellow bloggers to try it again and surprisingly, I found that it actually tasted good and not gritty. While it doesn’t compare to the flavor and texture of milk, I have had a change of heart. I still prefer to drink regular milk, but I have started to use soy milk, specifically in smoothies. My first attempt at making a soy milk smoothie, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Smoothie, was such a success that I am using soy milk again for this one. Continue reading
The reviews* are in:
This ice cream is so good! It tastes like strawberry cheesecake.
- unbiased family member #1
You made this?!? It taste just like the ice cream you buy at the store.
- unbiased family member #2
I didn’t think I liked fruity ice cream until I tasted this. I love it!
- unbiased family member #3
*Yes, the reviews are from my family, but none of them were compensated for their opinions.
I don’t often repeat things on the blog, but I love the concept of tarts made with puff pastry so much that I made another version, this time with a strawberry and rhubarb filling. These simple and easy to make tarts come together quickly once the sheet of frozen puff pastry is thawed, so these mini-tarts are great if you’re pinched for time. The best part is that they’re absolutely delicious. I love the flaky layers of dough as the base for tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and an almond crumble flavored with a hint of cinnamon. There’s also a hidden layer of orange-scented cream cheese on the bottom that gives these mini-tarts a touch of creaminess.
Thanks to the abundant sunshine, fertile soil, and cool coastal breezes, farmers up and down the state of California are able to grow a huge variety of crops, many of which are shipped all over the country. We are fortunate to live here in Southern California, where we have access to many of these locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of them, such as those featured in today’s recipe, are at their peak of flavor during the late spring to early summer.
Are you looking for a light and refreshing dessert, perhaps for Easter brunch or a springtime garden party? Why not serve this Lemon Pudding in pretty little cups or goblets? Dress them up with some lightly sweetened cream, raspberries, and a sprinkling of pistachios and you’ve got a simple, yet beautiful treat that can be made ahead of time. The bright meyer lemon flavor is just right, slightly tart and not very sweet. I love raspberries and lemon together, not only for their delicious flavors, but also for their striking color combination. It is a pairing that definitely screams spring!
These icy refreshing drinks will magically transport you to a charming little cantina south of the border, without leaving home. Don’t forget the chips and guacamole!
I was inspired to make these refreshing Blended Mango Margaritas after reading Lucky Brand Style Director Karin Cole’s blog post from the small seaside town of Sayulita, Mexico, where she recently vacationed. The little town sounded so quaint and inviting, I wish I could follow her down there. But since I can’t get away at the moment, I did the next best thing…I brought a bit of Sayulita to me.
Sumo Citrus. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t until I walked into Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and was greeted with a beautiful display of these uniquely-shaped and brightly-colored fruit with a thick, dimpled peel and distinctive “top knot”. These large mandarin oranges are seedless, easy to peel, and very sweet. They’re juicy, but not so much that the juice drips down your arm when you peel them like some oranges can do.
Strawberries and cream. They make a great pair, don’t they? In their simplest forms, they are spectacular, but they’re even better when baked together, like in these muffins. As soon as I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make it. Fortunately for me, strawberries are available year-round in Southern California.
Growing up, part of our weekend routine included my mom’s pancakes. My brothers and I loved the way she made them, stacked up high with a pat of butter on top and clear syrup dripping down to the plate. We would watch her cook them, eagerly awaiting the bubbles to form on top, signaling that it was time to flip. We would tease my brother, and laugh about how the dimple on one side of his cheek resembled a bubble on the pancake. Then, we would eat our breakfast, all together as a family, before we were all off in different directions – my parents shuttling my brothers to their Little League games and me to my organ lesson or to the library.
Persimmons have always looked rather unappealing to me – bruised, overly ripe, and way too soft, as if they would burst and ooze at the slightest touch. Sometimes, their skins had black streaks which made them appear almost rotten. I could never understand why my Mom liked them so much. As a teenager, I vividly remember countless times when she would lovingly offer me some of its dark orange, almost gelatinous flesh cradled in her hands, and how I would rebuff her each time. Being the bratty teen that I was, I would crinkle my nose, make that “face” that signifies utter disgust and total disinterest, and walk away with my hands folded across my chest, without ever tasting it. She seemed almost disappointed that she couldn’t share her enjoyment of this “weird” fruit with me, yet, somehow, she also had a look of relief that I now assume meant, “Yippee, I get to eat all of this luscious fruit by myself.” She would always cut the persimmon in half and expertly take spoonfuls of fruit, leaving the peel almost completely intact, her hands sticky and dripping with orange-colored juice.