Monday, July 29, 2013

Lemon Sponge Cake with Triple Sec Strawberries

Do you ever have those days where you just want to nest?  I mean nest and clean.  Yesterday was that day for me. My office was just in shambles.  For anyone who knows me personally, you know that I am a complete neat freak.  My definition of shambles may be a bit off from others, but for me, it was driving me crazy.  After several hours of purging and reorganizing, my office is back up to my standards.  I just feel calmer when my surroundings are in order and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Next weekend, if the nesting mood is still prevalent, then I will tackle the closet.  I know I have numerous items that I can donate.  There is a particular charity I have in mind to donate some work related items.  The organization is called Wardrobe for Opportunity and they support community members in their effort to find and sustain employment.  They partner with volunteers in the community to give back through being a professional image coach, boutique volunteer, mentor and other various programs.  I have been searching for an organization to give some of my time to and I believe I have found it.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tomato Jam + Cheese Plate | Friday Night Bites

It’s almost Friday Night – my favorite day of the week.  It is time to say goodbye to the work week and kick off the weekend along with enjoying our weekly tradition of Friday Night Bites.  One of our favorite appetizers is the effortless cheese plate.

About every other week on the way home from visiting one of my four offices, I will zoom into the Whole Foods parking lot.  I guess I should call it “whole paycheck”, since I don’t often get out for less than one hundred dollars and that is just the hand basket.  I tend to hit the produce section then jet across the store to the cheese section.  After the cheeses, it is onto the prepared food section, the olive bar, the specialty crackers and a few other aisles that catch my attention.  About 15 minutes later, the cashier reveals the total and it is 9 times out of 10 over one hundred dollars.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nutella Filled Sugar Cookies | Secret Recipe Club

I feel like I say this each month – how time flies.  It is time again for The Secret Recipe Club and for group C to do the great reveal. If you want to join in the secret fun, you love cooking and you have a food blog, then check out how to get in on this fun group of bloggers, who by the way make some pretty darn tasty treats.

This month I received Amy’s blog – The Savvy Kitchen.  Her cooking niche is low-carb, low calorie and gluten-free.  Amy comes from a relatively large Italian family who loves to cook, especially her mother.  She has a small army who are her official taste testers and I am pretty sure these folks are very happy from the vast array of tasty recipes on her blog. I would encourage you to check out her blog and I bet you will find at least a half a dozen recipes that you want to make right away.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Corn Fritters with Spicy Tomato Salsa | Friday Night Bites

Summer is a special time in the San Francisco Bay Area.  You are probably thinking why?  Well let me tell you why.  A small town about 35 to 45 minutes away from me produces some of the best corn.  The small town is Brentwood, California.  Not the Brentwood in Southern California where the infamous OJ is from.  It is the delightful town of Brentwood in Northern California.  You can go to restaurants around the Bay Area and notice that dishes highlighting this spectacular corn are on the menu.

After visiting my local farmers market over the weekend, I had to pick up some corn from Brentwood.  It was $2.00 for three ears of this sweet, tasty corn.  Quite frankly, I can eat it raw sliced right off the cob, it is that good.  Corn Fritters have long been on my “recipes to make” bucket list.  I began researching the internet for different ways to make a corn fritter.  Some will fry in oil, which is tasty but not good for the waistline.  Others will pan fry with a touch of oil, so I decided to pursue that route for this recipe.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Bouchon Bakery Bacon Cheddar Scones

Each time I visit Yountville I must wait in the long line at Bouchon Bakery.  At first, you may think that it will be eternity until you get inside to preview all of the delightful goodies that await you, but it does goes rather quick, especially if you have a friend with you to pass the time.  If you are by yourself, then listening and watching all of the people will surly pass the time for you.  People come from around the country and the globe to have one of those light green boxes filled with the spectacular treats that Thomas Keller is so well known for.

Last time I went to Yountville, I purchased the Bacon Cheddar Scones and devoured it in the car on the way home.  I could not believe how absolutely delicious this scone was.  As I was driving home, I kept trying to determine what made these so tasty.  Was it the butter, bacon and white cheddar cheese?  I think those were definitely part of the tasty equation.  There was something else that was added that I could not quite put my finger on.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Apricot and Gorgonzola Endive Bites | Friday Night Bites

A couple weeks ago hubby brought home a dozen assorted colored eggs and a jar of honey.  My eyes instantly lit up.  I was quite curious why my husband who does not cook or frequents a grocery store would have such items with him.  The mystery was solved quite quickly when he revealed that a woman he works with sent this home for us to enjoy.  She and her husband live on a large parcel of land that houses chickens and bees.  Okay – how cool is that to make your own honey and have farm fresh eggs on a daily basis?  I say – very cool!

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Cherry and Coconut Scones

On Saturday hubby sent me a text that a Boeing 777 crashed at SFO.  At first, I could not believe it.  Knowing that he was flying himself that day, I asked him like I do every weekend when he flies – text me when you land.  Hubby has been flying as a private pilot for over 25 years and I trust him more than some of the commercial pilots.  Unfortunately on Saturday two young girls lost their lives and numerous others sustained a vast variety of injuries.  We will not know for a while what the actual reason was for the crash but based on what I know from flying with my hubby for a long time and the thoughts he shared with me - we have our theory as to the reason for the crash.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and that they soon have some sort of peace and comfort to cope with this tragedy.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Grilled Cauliflower with Arugula Chimichurri | Friday Night Bites

Happy 4th of July Everyone!  Today is the day our wonderful country celebrates Independence Day where we declared independence from Great Britain back in 1776.  Typically it is associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, parties, baseball games and family gatherings.  We live in a great nation and I am thankful everyday for all that we have.  However you decide to celebrate, I wish that you enjoy every minute.

Hubby and I ventured to the farmer’s market last weekend.  There is a bounty of wonderful fruits and vegetables during this time of year.  It was hard to contain myself from wanting to buy way too much. The multiple colored cauliflower is such an eye catching veggie and can be prepared in so many ways.  I had a vision when I purchased a head of purple, yellow and green cauliflower.

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