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cookie snow globe

This is the favorite of the six recipes I taught for my “Gifts of Food” class last week at Les Gourmettes.  It’s just so darn cute and has so many elements I love.

  1. Cookies
  2. Food in jars
  3. Pretend snow (isn’t cold and doesn’t melt!)
  4. Adorableness in abundance

snow globe

I mean, seriously, how happy would you be if someone gave you this?  Not only cute, but yummy too!

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November 25, 2015   1 Comment

salt of the earth


The third of the six recipes I taught at my “Gifts of Food” cooking class at Les Gourmettes was the gift of flavored salts.

You don’t need to be a wonderful cook to make these. But every wonderful cook you know would love to receive them!

The Wild Mushroom Salt is fantastic to use in soups and sauces, and makes the perfect seasoning for all meats or for sautéing fresh vegetables.

Use the Smoked Paprika and Ancho Chile Salt in every Mexican, Spanish and Southwest recipe you can think of! Or be adventurous and rim your margarita glasses with it.

Lime-Ginger Salt is also great to use to rim a drink glass and is fabulous to sprinkle on chicken or fish before grilling.

The most versatile of the four salts, use the Herbes de Provence Salt to season everything from meats and poultry to soups, vinaigrettes and sauces.

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November 24, 2015   No Comments

fall granola

Last week I told you I had nothing new in the way of recipes for  Thanksgiving this year. On second thought, I do have a little something for you.

my poached pear

I made a delicious pumpkin granola for my “Gifts of Food” class at Les Gourmettes. If you are looking for a last minute simple and healthy Thanksgiving dessert, this granola, paired with poached pears, fits the bill. Plus,the granola doubles as a great gift to package and give at Christmas.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin purée

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 ½ tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

1/2 cup toasted pepitas
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together salt, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, pumpkin purée and sesame seeds until smooth. Stir in coconut oil.

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November 23, 2015   2 Comments

you warm my heart <3

thankful for

All y’all sure know how to make a girl feel good!   *I can use that fabulous Texas phrase because I have a daughter who lives in Austin, y’all.

Between the lovely and welcoming comments left here on the blog, the comments and “likes” on Facebook, the personal texts, phone calls and emails – well, I feel the love and it makes me even more energized to be back. Thank you!

So … Thanksgiving is less than a week away and …

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November 20, 2015   3 Comments

I’m baaaack…

burlap and book pages

My last post, back in mid-May, was nearly six months ago. It, and the seven posts preceding it, were all about Marissa’s bridal shower.  Prior to that, on March 25, I let it be known that after 5 1/2 years of consistent blogging, I’d be taking a break.

Doing so was scary. But it was the right move. I needed the time to focus on my daughter’s wedding and to focus on myself.

Even so, I’ve missed this! And yet, I don’t know where or how to restart.


Honestly, I don’t know if I should just dive in with a recipe.


Or share with you all the changes around here.

color shelves

Or show you little (and big) things I worked on while I was away from my keyboard.

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November 18, 2015   12 Comments

bridal shower sweets

burlap and book pages

The last post about Marissa’s bridal shower is “the dessert post” … you know – just saving the best for last!

shower table

Before I share the recipes that Raina used for her cookie trio, I want to tell you about the iced Vietnamese coffee that we served, along with iced chai tea, milk and chocolate milk, at the Milk & Cookies dessert station.

press cold brew

Vietnamese coffee is a blend of cold brew coffee and sweetened condensed milk. I used a 50/50 ratio of Press Coffee Roasters Cold Brew and sweetened condensed milk. I mixed them together the night before and served it over ice. So Good!

lemon glazed blueberry lemon bread

On the lunch buffet table, along with the salad, savory tart and bruschetta, we served my Lemon Glazed Blueberry Bread. It was an extra loaf I had baked for a cooking class the week before. Barb stored it in her freezer, defrosted it in the fridge and then glazed it just before serving.


Now for Raina’s scrumptious cookies!

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May 21, 2015   No Comments

Kim’s Bruschetta assortment


Kim made a delicious and beautiful assortment of four bruschetta for Marissa’s bridal shower. All flavors in the variety are inspired by the bruschetta menu from ever popular (since its opening in 2001) Postino Wine Cafe. Kim didn’t have recipes to give me, since she just throws these babies together organically and naturally. But don’t worry, I’ve written up recipes for you. There are no specific quantities, make as many or as few as you need.

At Postino, French bread is used as the base and then the slices are cut in half after they are topped. For the shower, Kim used baguettes to make smaller, more individual-sized pieces.


  • 1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • Olive oil
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves, flattened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle bread slices with olive oil and bake at 350 just until warm and slightly crisp.  Remove from oven and rub with garlic cloves let cool for a few minutes before topping.

lunch plate

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May 20, 2015   No Comments

Barb’s tart

two tarts

Here is the recipe for Barb’s delicious tart…. enjoy!

arparagus red bell pepper tart

Asparagus and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Tart


  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ice water


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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May 19, 2015   No Comments

bridal shower recipes


My dear friends, Barb and Kim, made the most delicious food for Marissa’s bridal shower. Kim made four different bruschetta and Barb made a beautiful salad and savory tarts.

I didn’t get any photos of the individual dishes, so I’ll do the best I can cropping from the few buffet photos I do have, my apologies ahead of time because the photos won’t do the recipes justice.

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May 18, 2015   4 Comments

success and failure

What should I share first? The good or the bad?  I think we’ll start with the bad/ugly, that way we’ll end on a good/pretty note.

love book

Even the bad craft starts out pretty…

I do book

I spotted these adorable folded book art pieces in the San Francisco Nordstrom’s Wedding Suite, while dress shopping with Marissa and Kaley, back in November.

heart book

I knew that I wanted to make one for Marissa, so when the theme was set for the shower, this was a no-brainer.

I went online to find out how but since I could not find any step-by-step instructions, so I just went for it.

pencil heart

I found a cool vintage hardback book and decided to go with the easiest design, a heart.


As I folded back the pages, it quickly became evident that this is harder than it looks. Plus, the book I chose was too vintage, the pages were delicate and would tear as I folded.

pages tear

Stupidly, I kept at it too long. It was very clear that this was not working, long before I gave up.

try again

I grabbed another, not so vintage thicker book, and started over.

give up

Then, for obvious reasons, I gave up! My gut feeling is that there must be math involved in this project. No wonder it was too difficult for me … I do not “do” math!

I still wanted Marissa to have a book like this, even if not in time for the shower. So, I have purchased one from a professional folded-book artist from HERE.  I am not going to share which book, since I haven’t given it to her yet, but rest assured, it is pretty!

I had much better results with this next project:

four succulent book planters

My favorite craft/decor item for Marissa’s bridal shower were these succulent book planters! Of course, I found the idea on Pinterest!

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May 15, 2015   2 Comments