Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday Night Bites | Fried Mozzarella Balls

If you had to choose from two plates: one with a couple fresh “out of the oven” chocolate chip cookies OR a small basket of hot French fries - what would be your choice?  For me, the choice is simple – the fries!  My palate gravitates towards the savory and fried makes it even better.  I know, it is certainly not good for me, but in moderation, it is one heck of a treat. Smile.

Today was one of those days. I typically eat a healthy breakfast of Greek yogurt with blueberries or a banana and lunch is usually a salad.  Today, I crossed the healthy boundary and went through the McDonald’s drive thru. Yes – I said it – the drive thru. I left my office to drive about 20 minutes down the road to a client’s location for our weekly meeting.  The craving hit me like a ton of bricks – French fries.  I must confess the local McDonalds by one of my offices make the fries simply perfect – hot, light in color and not too salty.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chocolate Banana Bread

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  When life gives you ripe bananas, make banana bread.  When you want to kick up banana bread, add chocolate.  Chocolate Banana Bread is both savory and slightly sweet, yet hardy and satisfying – a perfect bite of baked goodness.

I purchase bananas with the intention to eat one each day along with my Greek yogurt which I take to the office each day.  However, there are some weeks where blueberries rule the roost and the lonely banana sits in the basket on the counter wondering why he didn’t go to work with me that morning.  Then the weekend rolls around and 3 or 4 bananas are at the stage of perfection for making banana bread.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Friday Night Bites | Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Hubby and I aren't really sports fans.  We don’t typically sit home on Sundays to watch a football game.  We are probably in the minority when it comes to being sports fans; however last weekend with the San Francisco 49’s in contention for heading to the super bowl; our sports fanatic side came out for a day. Smile. Of course we wanted to see if the Bay Area team would be represented in one of the biggest sports day of the year.  Sorry to all Falcon fans for your loss; however super happy that our local team is heading to New Orleans to give it all they’ve got. Go niners!

We enjoy going to a super bowl party though.  With any super bowl party, the next best thing to watching the game is of course the food.  Now I can always get into the food at a super bowl party along with the socializing factor.  Smile.  Recently while browsing Pinterest, I came across this recipe for Cauliflower Buffalo Wings – it simply fascinated me.  I am not much of a chicken wings person, but the idea of a healthier version without the traditional wing component, was something worth trying.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Cognac Crostini with English Peas, Parmesan and Mint | Secret Recipe Club

Happy 2013 and welcome to a new year of Secret Recipe Club!  If by chance you are not familiar with the secret recipe club, let me quickly share the concept with you.  It is a group of approximately 200 food bloggers who love to cook.  I guess that goes almost without sharing. Smile. Wink. Once a month you are paired up with another food blogger in the group and it is a secret who has you until the reveal day.  On reveal day, you can see who had you and what recipe they decided to select and make for the reveal day.  Reveal day is so much fun!  If you want to join in the fun, simply log on to the Secret Recipe Club and learn how.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Brown Sugar Shortbread

What a gorgeous morning in the Bay Area!  We have been experiencing a cold snap here for the last few weeks.  I know it is much colder in other parts of the country, but for the typically mild Bay Area, it has been extremely chilly.  Nice to see that starting yesterday, we seem to be easing out of the super cold weather.

Tonight I am having a small dinner party and getting everything together for our evening together with friends.  If you know me or have been following my blog for sometime, you know how much I enjoy entertaining.  The planning and preparation portion brings me much joy.  And of course, the actual event and spending time with friends is the best part.  I truly enjoy making people happy through my cooking and giving them something special by paying attention to all of the details of entertaining.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Virtual Wine & Appetizer Party for 4 Year Blogoversary + Avocado Toast with Chili Flakes and Lemon

How does time go by so fast?  Someone please explain.  Smile.  Today is my 4 year Blogoversary. I remember the day that I hit the button to click my first post live to the internet – a bit scary but moreover super exciting.  Little did I know; how that first click would change and enhance my life in such a positive way. Big smile.

I said to one of my co-workers that I had a goal to become more technically savvy and learn something new.  That was a few months before the birth of Authentic Suburban Gourmet.  Several, several months later she said to me – you did it!  You accomplished your goal and she was right.  Along with that I pushed myself to continue to learn about photography, finding my voice and mastering the whole social media trend.  I have to say that my photography has improved significantly since day one.  (I quiver a bit looking at the old photos, but it keeps me humble and pushes me to continually strive to the next level)  I understand the social media influence and benefits to helping my blog and connecting with new readers and friends.  Always learning about new things, and that is the fun part.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp with Salted Caramel Drizzle + Annual Team Appreciation Lunch

On Friday I hosted my annual team appreciation lunch.  I believe this is the 10th annual celebration that I have hosted at my house.  Each year I invite my direct reports to enjoy an afternoon of appetizers, lunch and dessert along with spending time away from the office to simply enjoy each others company.  We have a small gift exchange and I leave my Christmas decorations up for everyone to enjoy.

It is a small way of showing my direct reports how much I appreciate all that they do on a daily basis to have our region hit our budgeted numbers.  We had many reasons to celebrate since 2012 gave us many victories and some challenges.  Our challenges only help us to strive for excellence.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Friday Night Bites | Crab Cakes with Srirachi Aioli

Have you made your New Year resolutions yet?  You know … those goals you set for yourself at the beginning of each year.  Wink. I have begun my list and it is getting a bit long and needs to be condensed to make it manageable.  With the year ticking over to 2013, it means that my blog is almost 4 years old.  Really?  Where did the time go? I honestly can’t believe it has been that long.  My first post was on January 17, 2009.  One of my goals is to do something fun for my blog anniversary. Ideas welcome.  Smile.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Foodie-flections 2012 + Food Trend Predictions 2013

2012 was a good year.  As in years past, I have dedicated a post at the beginning of the year to highlight several blog posts that were popular and that resonated well with my readers. To see my foodie-flections for 2010 and 2011, simply click the year. With the popularity of Pinterest, food blogging has stepped up to an entirely different level, not too mention all of the other social media outlets.  This year I have decided to break it down month by month and share the top 10 posts as calculated by page views along with my personal favorites each month.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Friday Night Bites | Bacon Wrapped Potatoes with Sriracha Sauce

Happy New Year!  Hope that each of you had your “perfect” New Years Eve celebration!  Hubby and I enjoyed our quiet evening together. Our plans were altered a bit, but for the positive.  We went next door to wish our neighbors and good friends a happy new year and we intended to stay just for about an hour, but you know how it goes.  One hour turns into multiple hours.  We enjoyed good wine, great fondue and fun conversations. Great way to ring in 2013!

I had begun to prepare this appetizer on new years eve that I am featuring for Friday Night Bites and we actually enjoyed it New Years Day versus the evening prior.  Okay, I know anything with bacon is most likely a crowd pleaser and this one is no exception.  Add in some starchy mini fingerling potatoes, a bit of minced rosemary and a spicy sriracha dipping sauce, now I am in appetizer heaven.

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