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Happy Birthday to my baby girl

Instead of the recipe I was planning to post today, I just have to wish a happy birthday to my beautiful newlywed daughter, Marissa.


Thank you for allowing me to be so instrumental in planning your big day. It was my joy and my honor, just as it has been to be your mom for these blessed years. The world is brighter and more beautiful because you are in it.

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December 1, 2015   2 Comments

coffee cubes


It’s obvious that I’ve been away from blogging too long. I’m not quite back in the grove because I somehow missed my traditional Thanksgiving post. So here’s wishing you and yours a love and fun filled Thanksgiving weekend.

Back to the business at hand.

I hesitate to share this next “Gifts of Food” recipe. I was thinking I should try to market it to my dear friends Steve Kraus & Tram Mai to sell in their Press Coffee Roasters stores. The packaging is so cute that even though I don’t drink coffee, I’d buy these puppies just for the sweet little sack!

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November 27, 2015   No Comments

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