Blackberry Fence Hopper

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This week’s cookbook is the best kind of cookbook – a cocktail cookbook! One of my friends got me this super trendy cocktail book for my birthday and just looking at the pictures makes me feel instantly cool. Cool like hip, not cool like low temperature – but I guess that could work too. And just like that my feelings of coolness disappear, because nothing is as uncool as having to explain cool. Better go make another cocktail to fix this problem…

This drink is very delicious and very refreshing.  It’s also very fun to use a cocktail shaker and I’m pretty sure it gives you a bit of an upper body workout. So making this cocktail is considered exercise, which gives you an even better reason to go make it right now. Who cares that it’s only 9am?! It has fruit in it – two kinds of fruit actually – and honey. Perfectly acceptable morning drink. Plus, you know what Jimmy Buffet says…

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Individual Bread Puddings with Orange Marmalade

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My husband does not cook.  I think he would be half way decent at it if he gave it a try. But trying is half the battle isn’t it? He has recently started making something he calls “Sunday Morning Coffee” It’s coffee with Bailey’s and Kahlua. Is that an Irish Coffee? Or a Mexican Coffee? Or a Mexican Irishman? I believe there’s already some name for it, but we will leave ethnicity out of it and stick with Sunday Morning Coffee. It’s the perfect drink to prepare you for mowing the lawn, changing the sheets, starting a load of laundry. The coffee energizes you and the bailey’s and Kahlua ease the pain of the chores.

What does this have to do with bread pudding you ask? Well, it just so happens that this bread pudding goes very well with Sunday morning coffee. No, it is not a breakfast dish, but it could be. Or you can be like me and drink Sunday morning coffee on a Monday night. Because I’m a rebellious rule breaker like that. You only live once!  Continue reading

Bananas Foster French Toast

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A little rum in the morning? Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

A little fire in the morning? Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

Scorched eyebrows in the morning? Err umm. Might be a problem.

Have you ever made bananas foster? Have you ever been to Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney and ordered the bananas foster and watched them make a 4 foot tall flame? It’s pretty impressive. I recommend you try it sometime. Try ordering the bananas foster from Brennan’s that is. I don’t recommend making your own 4 foot tall flame….

I didn’t really scorch my eyebrows making this, just in case you were concerned.  It only calls for a small amount of rum, so I was actually disappointed by the very tiny flame that I got. I still wouldn’t recommend forcing a young child to make this for you, but if you use a little precaution you should be just fine without safety goggles.  Oh and FYI all the alcohol burns off while cooking, so you want to make sure to pour a little extra rum in your coffee.

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Man Salad

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Did you have a nice Memorial Day? Did you spend an hour cleaning your grill to get ready for summer like we did? Was it worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears? I certainly think it was. But then again, I was inside baking a pie while my Husband was scrubbing away at the grill.

As promised, I am sticking to my goal of making at least two recipes from each of my dusty old cookbooks.  This week I’m using the very witty, easy and delicious, “100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know” by Cindi Leive and the Editors of Glamour magazine. In addition to this Man Salad it has some hilariously titled recipes like “Forget the Mistake you Made at Work Margarita”, “Win Friends and Influence People Cookies”, and the world famous “Engagement Chicken“.

I personally think the title Man Salad is a little sexist. I mean, since when are women not supposed to love steak? But I digress.  All that really matters is this salad is quite delicious and really easy to make. You don’t even have to clean off your dirty grill if you don’t want to. You can cook the steak just as easily in a hot skillet on your stove top.  Just be careful not to get the marinade all over your pretty pink cookbook like I did. Apparently you are supposed to seal plastic bags before violently shaking their contents. Who knew? Continue reading

Salmon & Watercress Quiche

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On this lovely Friday morning with a three day weekend lying ahead, I got a few life lessons for you that I’ve learned in the kitchen.

Life Lesson #1 – sometimes it’s worth it to take the short cut. Yeah yeah yeah hard work and perseverance are important and all that jazz but sometimes it’s just not worth it to take on unnecessary work and stress when there’s an easier way to do something. Case in point – pie crust.  While homemade pie crust may taste a little better than store-bought and it comes with the pride of knowing you made it form scratch, usually no one can tell the difference. Pie crust can take a lot of time to make from scratch and can often lead to frustration if it doesn’t turn out right. Why bother when you can get a perfectly round one for $2.99 on sale?

Life Lesson #2 – Don’t let a little sand in your pants ruin your day. This should come in handy this Memorial Day Weekend. Sand can be a real pain in the you know what if you let it. But just remember a quick rinse is all you need to be feeling fine. Case in point – leeks. I used to be very afraid of leeks.  I didn’t know how to use them or clean them so I stayed away from them. But, once I learned how easy it was to give them a quick little water bath and get rid of the sand, I came to love them.  So remember, there’s nothing a little water can’t fix.

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Linguine with Zucchini, Lime & Parmesan

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I’m baaaaack. I can’t believe I took a full two month hiatus from my little food blog. What a big ball of laziness I’ve been. Well, I have been somewhat busy moving, quitting my job and finally watching Breaking Bad so I guess I have some valid excuses?

Anyway, now that I don’t have real work to get in my way, I can get back to some serious cooking.  I started by dusting off my cookbook collection and getting off Pinterest.  Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with Pinterest. I would marry Pinterest if I could, but there’s a bit of charm in good old fashioned things like actual bound books don’t you think?  So I made a vow to try at least two recipes per week from each and every one of my poor, neglected cookbooks.

The first lucky book is “La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life” by Beatrice Peltre. The Author’s stories along with her amazing recipes and beautiful photographs will make you wish you were born and raised in the French countryside just like her and will give you a sudden urge to sell your car in exchange for a bicycle with a basket and a bell so you can ride it to the local market and pick up baguettes and fresh vegetables. It will also make you want to rent a house in Nantucket and have clam bakes and build sand castles all summer long. Seriously.

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Here’s a quick and easy recipe to get you started on your journey to becoming a casual yet elegant Parisian living in New England: Continue reading

Chopped Chicken & Farro Salad

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If you live in Arizona, Southern California, Dallas or Denver and have not yet been to True Food Kitchen, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.  It is one of the most delicious restaurants in existence AND and and and all the food is super duper good for you – even the desserts! My next recreation attempt will be their Lemon Tart with Coconut whipped cream – Hello!

Onto this salad, it is inspired by the one at True Food Kitchen in San Diego – obvi.  As a salad doesn’t actually require that much cooking, I will use my words to tell you about the Farro I like and the dressing I like.  Have you discovered Farro yet? I recently did and have become a big fan. I have my woman crush, Giada, to thank for helping me discover it.  Trader Joe’s has a good one that cooks quickly and easily. Here it is:

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And then there is the champagne dressing. Is it actually made with champagne? I don’t know but I hope so. Maybe it’s called champagne because it’s the dressing of the rich and famous? Maybe I’m starting to lose it? Maybe I need a bottle glass of champagne right now to get me through the rest of the work day? Maybe.

If you can’t find champagne dressing, any dressing will do.  Use whatever your heart and taste buds desire

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Let’s make some salad.

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Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Pancakes

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Sorry I didn’t make you something Irish today. I also forgot to wear green. I know, I am a terrible person.  Hopefully, after you take a bite of these healthy yet delicious pancakes, you will find it in your heart to forgive me – and not pinch me.

Don’t you just love it when you can sneak chocolate into something good for you? Fruit, whole wheat, chocolate, more fruit – it’s totally hidden in there, a guilt-free indulgence!  Continue reading

Funfetti Cupcakes

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How was your Valentine’s Day? Did you stop and smell the roses and eat heart-shaped chocolates and write romantic poetry by candlelight? Or did you binge on taco bell and House of Cards while cursing Hallmark and everything they stand for? Both are perfectly acceptable options in my opinion FYI.

However, no matter where you’re at in your love life, any holiday that celebrates sugar is really one that should be loved by all – except maybe by Diabetics. Sorry, that was not very P.C. Next time I will shove a cupcake in my mouth to keep me from saying such inconsiderate things.

So these babies have a few steps and take a bit of time, but the sense of pride both you and your taste buds will feel when you are done is worth it. Get on it.

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Breakfast Quesadillas

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I get really anxious when someone asks me what my favorite food is. How am I supposed to choose just one thing??!! It’s like asking Mike and Carol Brady to choose their favorite child. It’s just not fair. It’s just not right.

But, when forced to choose, it always comes down to some sort of combination of cheese and bread – pizza, quesadillas, grilled cheese, mac and cheese. Carbs and dairy fat – what more could a girl need? And you can make all these things work any time of the day. I’ve had breakfast pizza and love it.  A breakfast sandwich is basically breakfast grilled cheese, and here come breakfast quesadillas. Next project – breakfast macaroni and cheese. Cue the drool now.

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