Cook and Tell: Trick – or – Treat

31 Oct

Happy Halloween everyone!

For this spooky holiday, I wanted to share a tasty treat, which isn’t tricky to make. I got this idea from Inspiring Pretty and used it for the Halloween party some of our friends and us put together for our kids. Without further a due, Marshmallow mouths!


Marshmallow Mouths
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Inspiring Pretty
  • Red Delicious Apples
  • Peanut Butter
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Lemon Juice
  1. Cut the apples into slices
  2. Spread peanut butter on each slice
  3. Place marshmallows vertically on peanut buttered side of one slice
  4. Cover with the second slice (peanut buttered side down)
  5. If not serving immediately, sprinkle the outer sides of the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent the apples from becoming dark.



Cook and Tell: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Swirl Yogurt Bread

21 Oct

I’ve been meaning to share this delicious bread for many many weeks, but real life kept getting in the way. On two separate occasions, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received three different flavors of Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate as well as Planters Creamy Peanut Butter.

For many days, maybe even weeks, I pondered as to how to put these great ingredients to use. Until I came across this beauty, Berries + Free Yogurt + Flour, Eggs, Butter, Vanilla and Sugar by Parsely, Sage Desserts.

I thought the original bread recipe was amazing, and the cake looked moist and delicious on the photo. But I realized it would also be delicious as a peanut butter, chocolate swirl yogurt bread. This would be a perfect way to bring the delicious flavors of Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree, Midnight Reveree, Twilight Delight and Peanut Butter together. So I went to work!

You’d think peanut butter and chocolate would make for a very heavy combination, but the bread was incredibly light and moist. Next time, I am going to try berries with chocolate.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Swirl Yogurt Bread
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Parsley, Sage Desserts, modified by DimpleArts
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces of Ghirardelli dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of Planters Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt, room temperature
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Non-fat milk (for melting chocolate)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with Pam and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on each sides; Spray parchment paper with Pam.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed.
  5. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with Greek yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Melt chocolate with non-fat milk in the microwave until smooth.
  7. Stir two to three tablespoons of the cake batter into the bowl with the melted chocolate until well mixed.
  8. Pour half the plain batter into the pan and dot with 1/2 chocolate-batter mix.
  9. Swirl using a butter knife, pushing the knife all the way through for a full swirl.
  10. Repeat with remaining batter and remaining chocolate-batter mix.
  11. Melt peanut butter in the microwave.
  12. Swirl peanut butter lightly with a butter knife on top of the mixture (don’t push all the way through).
  13. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  14. Let cool completely before slicing.

Cook and Tell: Ricotta Zucchini Apple Blinis

17 Oct

I am slowly testing my independent cooking abilities. By that I mean creating my own dishes without using someone else’s recipe.

I had some apples laying around that were just not firm enough for hubby anymore. So I threw around some ideas, and realized that apples and zucchini go well together. So I thought blinis. But I  thought these blinis are missing something…and I realized that zucchini and ricotta go great together, and apples and zucchini go well together.  So it seems like apples and ricotta would also go well together. So this is how my Ricotta Zucchini Apple Blinis came to life.


Ricotta Zucchini Apple Blinis
Recipe Type: Appetiser, Side, Snack
Author: DimpleArts
  • 2 Apples (I used Red Delicious)
  • 2 Large Zucchinis
  • 1lb Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Lemon zest of half a lemon
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pam (Original) for frying
  1. Grate apples and zucchinis and mix together
  2. Add ricotta to the apple zucchini mixture and stir until well combined
  3. Mix in the flour and stir until well combined.
  4. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and salt
  5. To fry:
  6. Heat skillet and spray with pam.
  7. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and pour on to hot skillet.
  8. Fry until the blinis are golden and easily come off the skillet.
  9. Flip the blinis and fry the opposite side until golden and easily come off the skillet.
  10. Repeat these steps with the rest of the mixture.
  11. Depending on the size of the skillet you can fry multiple blinis at the same time (I was able to fry three at once).


And….another look…I know you can’t resist…


Food News: Eater’s Choice Awards

14 Oct

Looking for last minute plans for this weekend? Well, look no further! Check out the Eater’s Choice Awards in San Francisco.


The event pays tribute to the new ‘street food’ and food truck trends and will feature the best meals on wheels in the Bay Area. The Eater’s Choice Awards will take place on Saturday, October 15th at the Fort Mason Center from 12 – 4 PM. The event is free to attend, and if you are a Chase Sapphire (SM) Visa Signature® cardholder, you could receive exclusive perks at this event, including: early entrance, an exclusive menu item at each food truck, VIP seating in the Chase Sapphire Lounge and exclusive meet-and-greets with food truck chef-owners.

So get out there and see what those talked about food trucks are all about!

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Cook and Tell: Mint Cucumber Salad

30 Sep

Over the last few months I accumulated quite a few favorites, as far as food blogs (and other blogs) go. One of the blogs that I try to regularly follow when time allows is My Tasty Handbook.

I started keeping track of all the yummy recipes that I’ve come across. (Thank you Pinterest). I came across a great salad from Adelina at My Tasty Handbook. Not only was it tasty, it was incredibly easy and fast to make. Fast being the key word here.

In the spirit of being fast, here’s the recipe for this great salad. I have to say that I altered the salad a bit. I am a much bigger fan of goat cheese then feta and I couldn’t find mint vinegar, but thought that champagne vinegar might work well also (I was right).

Thank you Adelina at My Tasty Handbook for sharing this great salad, it’s definitely on my list of great work night dishes.



Mint Cucumber Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Adelina Badalya, My Tasty Handbook
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
  • 1 large English Cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp of Mint, chopped
  • Juice of half of a lemon
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  1. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and champagne vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Place the chopped cucumber into a separate large bowl.
  3. Pour the prepared dressing over the cucumbers, mix in the mint and a bit of salt.
  4. Top with goat cheese.
  5. Serve immediately.



Cook and Tell: Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark Chocolate Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting

25 Sep

That’s a mighty long title up there, isn’t it?:) Well, I think these darling cupcakes deserve the long title. You might find that these beauties look somewhat familiar. Well, you’re not off base at all. These cupcakes are an updated version of these.

As part of Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program, I received Godiva’s Caramel Pecan Bark limited edition fall flavored coffee. And  I decided that coffee isn’t just for beverages. I decided to spruce up my very first cupcake venture with this fall flavor. And since I recently learned that to be part of the secret recipe club, I need to actually post the recipes in the blog entry…here is the recipe for these tasty delights. Your friends and family will love them and will ask for seconds, trust me!

Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Milk and Honey Cafe
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 37 mins
Total time: 1 hour 7 mins
Serves: 24 cupcakes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup non-fat sour milk*
  • 1 cup strong Caramel Pecan Bark brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus non-fat milk to equal 1 cup
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 (8oz) package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all the wet ingredients with all the dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. Pour into the cupcake baking pan and bake for approximately 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Let the cupcakes cool and top with cream cheese frosting (recipe below).
  5. For the frosting:
  6. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until well combined.
  7. Continue beating the mixture while adding sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  8. Store unused frosting in the refrigerator




Cook and Tell: Tongue…the Beefy kind

18 Sep

Folks, let’s talk about tongue. You are probably wondering, what’s there to talk about? Tongue is tongue. Well, apparently beef tongue is a very controversial food. Well…maybe controversial isn’t really the right word. But as far as tongue goes, you either love it, or you hate it.

I grew up eating tongue and find it extremely tasty (I like headcheese as well). I don’t mean to generalize, but I think tongue eating is a European thing. To most the the idea of eating tongue is…well let’s face it, pretty gross. To me however, tongue is just like any other cold cut. That is of course, when it is in its sliced form.

As much as I love tongue, I’ve never actually prepared it. My mother, and most women in my family have always prepared tongue, and it was always delicious, especially with some horseradish. A while ago (maybe even years) I came upon marinated, ready-to-eat tongue at the local Russian food store. Oh the joy and excitement that filled me. I bought this deli meat unsliced (as that’s how all the meats are sold at this store) and brought it home. The excitement lasted until I realized that I had to cut into a piece of meat that looked like and was an actual tongue. And I just couldn’t do it. I have no problem eating tongue slices, but to actually cut into it…well…hubby (an even bigger lover of tongue) had to step in. I asked him to slice up the entire thing so that all I could recognize was the great deli meat that I so enjoy.

For those of you who don’t mind the reality of tongue, here is a recipe for some delicious homemade boiled tongue…and of course the tasty final result.

Beef Tongue
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: DimpleArts
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours
  • 1 Beef Tongue
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Garlic (to taste)
  • Dill (to taste)
  • Parsley (to taste)
  • Celery
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  1. Place tongue in a pot of water and bring it to boil.
  2. Once the water starts boiling lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender.
  3. Add bay leaf, garlic, dill, parsley, celery, salt and pepper.
  4. Fill a bowl with cold water.
  5. Once tongue is cooked, remove it from the pot, immediately place it in the bowl with cold water.
  6. Run more cold water over the tongue and quickly peel the tongue skin, while continuing to run the water over it.
  7. If the tongue isn’t covered with cold water immediately, the skin will not easily come off.
  8. After the tongue is peeled, wipe with a paper towel, let it cool and place it in the fridge until you ready to serve.



Travel: Labor Day Getaway

10 Sep

Last weekend was what is considered to be the last weekend of summer. We open our summer seasons with Memorial Day weekend and close them with Labor Day weekend.

On this final summer weekend, we gathered for a family weekend getaway.  Here are a few silent images from our getaway to Clearlake, CA.


Cook and Tell: Sun Dried Tomato Sausage and Potato Pita Pizza

31 Aug

Another day has come to an end. Like most of you, I am looking forward to the long weekend. Nothing like a little time off from the everyday grind. It was just me and the adorable little feet tonight. I planned on making something interesting for dinner this week, and I got lucky enough to be able to do so this evening. Unfortunately, it was just me doing the taste test tonight. I may be biased, but tonight’s dinner passed the taste test with flying colors. And to top it off I finally got to use that fabulous Basil Parmesan Olive Oil I purchased at Jacuzzi winery last month.

I give you…Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage and Potato Pita Pizza…

Sun Dried Tomato Sausage and Potato Pita Pizza
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: DimpleArts
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 1
  • 1 Whole Wheat Pita
  • 1 Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage
  • 1 White or Red Potato
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • Basil Parmesan Olive oil
  1. Cut potato into rounds and cook on a frying pan until it softens.
  2. Bake the sausage until cooked through.
  3. Brush the pita bread with the olive oil.
  4. Place the potato rounds on the pita bread (you might have a few left over).
  5. Cut the sausage into equal rounds and layer on top of the potato rounds.
  6. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and spinach leaves.
  7. Bake for approximately 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.



Cook and Tell: Alton Brown’s Guacamole

27 Aug

Have I mentioned that I’ve never been a big fan of avocado? You are probably wondering, why? Well, avocado’s texture reminds me of butter. And butter and I are just not best buds. Apparently, I had a bit of a traumatic experience with butter during my early childhood, and it has stayed with me for life. I won’t go into all the gory details. Let’s just say, never force a child to eat butter. It results in butter bubbles and a life long dislike of the particular food product.

But my love, hate relationship with avocado dissipated when I came across Alton Brown’s guacamole.

I had an avocado laying around, as I had planned to introduce it to my little one. But since I took my sweet time, I figured I better have the adults consume it in the form of guacamole instead. I am not going to repeat the recipe here, as I followed it exactly. The Food Network came through once again!

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