Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lunch at the lake

I'd say this is a pretty perfect lunch view.

More beautiful scenery.

Ahi Tuna rolls, 911 spicy rolls and a philly roll  "smoked salmon w/ cream cheese."

                                                The best lunch partner a girl could ask for!!

              The most amazing thing about being in California is...of course, the weather!!!!
         It was a picture perfect 86 degrees here on Saturday. Truly incredible. We had lunch
                   at a wonderful Sushi place in Westlake Village. The views were lovely.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brussels Sprouts With Pomegranate and Pistachios

                  I have never met a vegetable that I did not like. Are you on the Brussels Sprout
           band-wagon? I hope so. I wouldn't want you to be missing out on some healthy and
           wonderful little cabbages. I could sit and eat an entire pan of these. Try them out -
           and you will be a brussels sprouts fan just like me.

                                         Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pistachios

         one bag - brussels sprouts
         1 small onion, diced
         1/2 cup chicken broth
         2 tablespoon olive oil
         2 tablespoons butter
         salt and pepper
         2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
         pomegranate seeds
         1/2 cup pistachios - toasted
         1) Prep your brussel sprouts and heat the pan with oil. Place sprouts & onion in oil
         and cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Stir in the broth and continue to
         cook until tender. Put in the butter and brown sugar in and melt. Serve when tender
         but not over cooked. Place in a serving dish and top with pomegranate seeds & nuts.
         NOTE - Crumbled bacon on top would be a great addition. YUM

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Panini

             If you want delicious....well, this is it!! Thanksgiving in one bite! This is a great
       way to use up all the leftovers you have hanging around! So good and hearty. I can't
       wait until next year - so I can do it all over again! Use any flavor combos and have fun
       creating a sandwich out of leftovers! Enjoy.

                                                               Turkey Panini

           sour dough bread
           cranberry sauce
           mashed potatoes

        All you have to do is spread some cranberry sauce on the bread....and then layer
        all of your ingredients and butter the outside of the bread. Place in grill pan or
        you could pan fry everything. Either way - works.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

     Is everyone up to their ears in Pumpkin recipes? Are you looking forward to some
  great festive recipes? Ha. Truth be told. I could eat all things pumpkin all year round.
  I get a little sad when they stop selling pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. But, I do
  adore Gingerbread lattes. This is a basic recipe that I have been making for years and
  it's so delish. I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

              I'm very thankful for my family, friends and I'm thankful for all of you!!!
                              Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

    1 ( 15 oz ) can pumpkin puree
    1 3/4 cups of sugar
    1 cup of oil
    4 eggs
    2 cups of all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
    a dash of ground ginger
    1/2 cup golden raisins ( optional )
    1/3 cup walnuts ( optional )

    1 ( 8 oz package ) cream cheese, room temp
    1 stick of butter, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups of powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

     1 ) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
     2 ) In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with a hand mixer,
     until blended. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all of the
     spices. Stir into the pumpkin mixture and mix until combined. Add raisins
     and nuts and mix by hand.
     3 ) Pour into a sprayed 10 by 15 inch pan. "jellyroll size" bake for 30 minutes.
     Cool before frosting.
     4 ) Cream butter and cream cheese together and add the powdered sugar, vanilla
     and cinnamon. Mix until combined and frost on cake.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beef Stew Italian Style

          My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. There was
          nothing better than coming home from school on a cold Fall day and seeing a big
          pot of stew sitting on the stove waiting for me. It now is my oldest daughters
          favorite meal.
         2 pounds of stew meat - cut into chunks
         1/2 cup italian dressing
         2 cups water
         2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
         1 can beef broth
         1 ( 14.5) ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
         1 ( 8 oz) can tomato sauce
         2 garlic cloves, minced
         1 bay leaf
         1 teaspoon salt and pepper
         2 teaspoons italian seasoning
         7 potatoes, diced
         6 carrots, diced
         1 onion, chopped
         1 cup of frozen peas
         1 cup fresh or frozen corn
         1 cup frozen green beans
         3 tablespoons all purpose flour
         3 tablespoons cold water

          1) In a dutch oven-brown meat in salad dressing over medium heat. Add the next 9
          ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat - cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours
          until meat is tender. Add potatoes, carrots and onion. Cover and simmer until the
          vegetables are tender about 45 min. Combine flour and cold water until smooth,
          stir into the stew. Add the peas, corn and green beans. Cook and stir until thicker
          or until frozen veggies are cooked through.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Raspberry Clouds

              I know that this time of the year...I'm always rushing and have very little time to
       make fancy desserts. That's when this amazing and utterly simple dessert comes into-
       play. Perfect for a holiday dinner party. These treats are light and your first bite will
       make you think of soft sweet clouds. How can you go wrong with puff pasty, heavy
       cream, sugar and a little fruit. You can use blackberries, blueberries or strawberries.

                                                               Raspberry Clouds

        1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed as box states
        1 (6 oz) container fresh raspberries
        2/3 cup powdered sugar
        whipping cream ( 8 oz )
        1/2 teaspoon almond extract

        1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pastry into squares.
        2) Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.
        3) Mash most berries and reserve a some for top decoration.
        4) In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and extract with
        electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in mashed raspberries into
        the whipped cream.
        5) Take cream and put on one cooled pasty and top with another pastry. Dust
        with powdered sugar and place a little cream on top, garnish with berry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monkey Muffins

             I'm a muffin kinda gal....I just love breakfast food. These are tiny and packed full
          of flavor, a little banana, chocolate and a touch of peanut butter. A triple win! Avery
          had a play date and we brought these yummy muffins over...A yummy snack for -
          little one's. Enjoy.

                                                                   Monkey Muffins

          1/2 cup butter, softened
          1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
          2 eggs
          1 cup mashed ripe bananas
          2/3 cup peanut butter
          1 tablespoon milk
          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          2 cups all-purpose flour
          1 teaspoon baking soda
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          1 cup chocolate chips

         1) In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy, Add eggs,
         one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the bananas, peanut butter,
         milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda ad salt. Add to creamed mixture
         just until moistened. Fold in chips.
         2) Fill greased or paper lined miniature muffin cups three fourths full. Sprinkle
         with remaining sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes. Cool for 5
         minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
         "Note, you can also make them in a regular muffin tin..if you don't have a mini.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

      On my drive to SF last weekend...I spotted a dozen rainbows and I captured this shot!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend In - San Francisco

                  One of the best parts about visiting SF is simply drooling over the homes!

                                           Ate lunch at Scomas in Sausalito and this was the view!

                                         I had clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl.

                                          I could watch the boats go by all-day. Very therapeutic.

                                                              Perfectly placed Seagull

                         Well....there you have it. I little look into a very low key SF weekend.

             It was a chilly Fall weekend and it could not have been any better. There is -
            something very special about The Bay Area. It's a magical place to visit and has
               so much natural beauty......everywhere you go. How was your weekend?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Favorite Trader Joe's Goodies

    Are you a Trader Joe's fan? I'am. I love to cook and I believe sitting down for family
    dinners is important. But, sometime's we just don't have the time and life gets busy and
    when this happens, I turn to good ole TJ's, Here are a few of my favorite goodies.

                                           My favorite go to pizza's...both of these are incredible.

                      A couple of Fall favorite's...Creamy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soups.
                        I like to jazz these up with a little cream or creme fraiche and fresh herbs.

               There are no words to describe what these tasty treats mean to me. Arancini Bites.

                  Creamed Honey is my favorite TJ's product! I love it on my toast or morning
           bagel....So good. Pub Cheese-give me some crackers and dinner is served! lol

         If you love Almonds....these are the absolute best! Marcona Almonds with Rosemary.

                               My Go-To quick meal....serve with carrot and cucumber sticks. YUM

         This Almond Danish Ring...has made my morning's so good. I dunk it in my coffee.

                          BBQ Popped Potato Chips are my number one snack. YUM

                       By far my favorite part of TJ's is the sweets and these 3 ....I LOVE. I could
             just open the Fleur De Sel - Caramel Sauce and eat it out of the jar.

        This was a very fun post for me...Of course, the list could have went on and on...I just
       adore so much but these are my favorites. I did leave out a jar of the coconut oil..
       because, I ate it all. Sigh. What are some of your favorites? Please share.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Ladybug

                 I hope everyone had a very spooktacular Halloween! I had to share a couple
                   images of my all-time favorite ladybug!! These pics are cuteness overload!
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