orange buttermilk pancakes with blackberry maple syrup

Orange Buttermilk Pancakes with Blackberry Maple Syrup

Made-from-scratch pancakes take a few minutes longer to make than the pre-packaged mix, but they are definitely worth the extra effort. These tender and flavorful Orange Buttermilk Pancakes are perfect for soaking up the homemade Blackberry Maple Syrup. I topped these pancakes with fresh blackberries and peaches, but any other berry, sliced bananas, and toasted nuts would be delicious as well. Continue reading

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white sangria ice pops

White Sangria Ice Pops

While it is still a few weeks until the official start of summer, beach weather is already upon us here in Southern California.  So this morning, I took a little time out from all the household chores and errands to relax and enjoy the moment. Don’t you just love “me” time?  I grabbed a couple of beach towels, sunscreen, and some magazines, and headed out….to my backyard.  Fortunately for me, when going to the beach isn’t an option, I can still enjoy the sunshine and the slightest of ocean breezes right in my own backyard. No crowds. No traffic or parking hassles. No sand to make a mess. Just peace and quiet, except for the lyrical chirping of the birds fleeting about.

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spiced cocktail nuts

spiced cocktail nuts

As a kid, I used to love those mixed nuts that came in a big can. My mom would buy the one with the peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. We each had our favorites. I would fight one brother for those enormous brazil nuts and the other for hazelnuts, but my absolute favorites were the cashews. Both my mom and I loved them. When the can eventually got passed to my dad, he had to settle for the peanuts and almonds. The pecans were almost always left on the bottom.

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chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls with mascarpone orange glaze

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Mascarpone Orange Glaze

We normally have my family over for a big Easter Sunday celebration, complete with an egg hunt, but not this year.  Since I’m getting too old to be crawling around the bushes hiding eggs, and my nephews are way too old to be hunting around for them, our family plans never materialized. My husband and I ended up having a quiet holiday weekend alone, with plenty of chores, and our taxes, to keep us occupied.

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cocktail hour: harvey wallbanger

Harvey Wallbanger

In the ’70s, disco music ruled the airwaves and, on television, Charlie’s Angels solved crimes without messing up their perfectly feathered bangs. Leisure suits, platform shoes, and bell bottoms were in fashion. Fondue, salad molds, and pigs-in-a-blanket were staples at parties. Cocktails like the Tequila Sunrise, Rusty Nail, and Piña Colada were all rage in the ’70s, but none were as popular as the ubiquitous Harvey Wallbanger, known as the decade’s signature drink. A Harvey Wallbanger is essentially a Screwdriver (orange juice and vodka) with a float of Galliano®, an Italian herbal liqueur made with 30 different spices.

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red currant and poppy seed cake

A month ago, I would have passed on making this cake. It wasn’t because this recipe, from Aran Goyoaga of the breathtakingly beautiful blog Canelle et Vanille, didn’t sound delicious.  On the contrary, her recipe have always been so tempting, but I’ve never attempted any of them.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m a little embarrassed to say!  Continue reading