Thursday, July 28, 2011

food, friends & great stuff...

come hang out & eat yummy food while checking out the new fall lines from these great companies!  anyone & everyone is welcome... as long as you like cute stuff:)

party invite mj web

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

summer school fruit kabobs & fruit dip...

this sunday for dinner i decided to let my kids assemble the fruit skewers. not only did it keep them out from under my feet, but they were so excited to have a job! after i prepared all the fruit in seperate bowls & put them on the table with the skewers, my 6 year old said-- mom, this is just like at school making patterns. he was so right. i told the kids to make different patterns with the fruit & them tell me what the pattern was. it was both fun & yummy! so let your kids make some "pattern kabobs" & serve them with this yummy dip! everyone will enjoy it!

{picture courtesy of flickr}

{cinnamon & lime fruit dip}

1- 8oz. package softened cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 TBSP brown sugar
zest & juice of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon

beat together cream cheese & sweetened condensed milk until light & fluffy. add all remaining ingredients. whip until combined. chill at least 4 hours, made a day ahead.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

brit's deep fried cauliflower...

i made this last night to go with our pork sandwiches & it was perfect! i can't take the credit for the pairing though, there used to be a super yummy bbq shack by my house that served fried cauliflower & it was a favorite of my families. walking a block was a lot quicker, but this recipe turned out great & finally was able to fulfill that craving i have had since they moved. give it a try! your kids will gobble it up too!

fried cauliflower
{brit's deep fried cauliflower}

1 head cauliflower- washed, dried & cut into bite sized pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBSP milk
1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup flour
2 TBSP parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 TBPS seasoning salt
1/2 tsp oregeno
1/4 thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

pre-heat deep fried to 375 degrees.
in a gallon sized ziploc bag, mix all dry ingredients. squish & shake sealed bag to mix. set aside.
in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk & 1/4 tsp salt. toss prepared cauliflower in the egg wash. carefully transfer cauliflower into the ziploc bag with a slotted spoon & shake sealed bag until all pieces are evenly coated.
carefully drop coated cauliflower into your hot oil & cook 4-5 minutes or until deep golden. transfer to paper towel covered plate to drain. serve hot with assorted dipping sauces.

Friday, May 27, 2011

sister hooker's creamy rhubarb pie...

for anyone who is still checking this blog... yes, i'm still here:) with the school year & PTA coming to end, i feel like i have got to get back on the blogging wagon. if anyone is even reading this-- thanks for sticking with me! this is a new one i just made yesterday & i have to say i love it & so did everyone else!!! even my friend jen who doesn't like pie... our friendship is now pending after learning of this news;). anyhoo, it's the perfect combinations of sweet, tart & creamy. give it a try soon! & i know i shouldn't promise, because that's a lot of pressure... but i really will be posting regularly through the summer. i've got quite a few new
recipes backing up!

Country Rhubarb Crostata Recipe
{sister hooker's creamy rhubarb pie}

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box


1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
4 1/2-5 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick


1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened


Heat oven to 375°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie (do not trim or flute crust).

In medium bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and the orange & lemon peel. Stir in eggs and sour cream. Add rhubarb; toss gently. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Fold edges of crust over filling, ruffling decoratively.

In small bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Cool at least 3 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining tart.

***i made this again yesterday & i doubled the crumble topping...even better!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a little st. patty's day yum~

sorry that i don't have a pic of this one. but it is totally worth giving it a shot! this is a delicious dish from my friend mykelle's mom judy. she also brought us this great one. make it this week to celebrate this fun Irish holiday with your family.

{judy's corned beef & cabbage}

corned beef brisket
baby carrots
new potatoes

Cover Corned beef with water. Bring to a boil and then turn to low for 1/2 hour per lb. Add baby carrots, new potatoes, and chopped onions. cook for last 1/2 hour with beef. Add cabbage chopped in blocks for the last 10 min(secure with toothpicks so cabbage doesn't fall apart). Make glaze right before serving so its nice and warm. Pour over corn beef and vegetables for a yummy meal.

1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup hot or spicey mustard
2 T. vinegar
Bring to boil and then turn off while stirring frequently

Thursday, February 24, 2011

kettle corn 101...

{a little sweet, a little salty}

anyone who knows me knows that i don't ever crave movie popcorn, but i am not kidding anyone if i say i don't love myself some kettle corn! it's a must from the farmers market every saturday! too bad the farmers market doesn't go year round here!
well, no worries- now i can make a batch, or 5:), everyday.(i really did make 5 batches yesterday!)
you don't have to have this little gem that i use, but it will make it much easier & it's not expensive. i got me first Whirley Pop almost 10 years ago as a wedding present from my high school humanities teacher, Mrs. Olsen. i love her! i have since had to invest in another on, but i couldn't live without it. i know you can order them online, but even Bed, Bath & Beyond carries them. so save that 20% off coupon that you throw away every week & go get one;) enough with the dialog- here's the info!

{kettle corn recipe}

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2-1 tsp. salt- to taste
1/3 cup popcorn kernels

over high heat, dump all ingredients into the whirley pop. close lid & turn crank.
let sit until it starts to pop. turn crank until finished popping, only about 30 seconds.
pour into heatproof bowl. let cool completely. add more salt if needed.
enjoy, share & repeat:)

Friday, February 4, 2011

perfect valentine dessert!...

seriously?!?! candy on a cookie crust! a lady in my neighborhood brought me one of these & i was totally obsessed! i love the richness, but that it's not overly sweet. i love the salt on it & the contrast of smooth ganache, chewy caramel & crumbly crust. i think that it truly is the perfect valentine dessert! & it really is simple... i promise!

{ salted chocolate & caramel tart}


1 bag chocolate teddy grahams, blend to crumbs
(will be about 2 1/2 cups crumbs)
3/4 cup butter, melted

combine in a small bowl. mix until all cookie crumbs are moistened with butter. press into standard tart pan. bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until crust looks dry.
set aside to cool.

Caramel filling~

i just use my standard caramel recipe, but only cook to 230 degrees. if you don't have it...
here it is.

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a heavy sauce pan mix milk, sugar, butter, corn syrup & salt. Stir continually over medium heat until reaches bottom of firm ball stage- 230 degrees on candy thermometer. This will take a little while. Be patient!!!

remove from heat & add vanilla. pour onto cooled crust. about 2/3-3/4 full. set aside.

** this recipe makes enough for 2 tarts. or you can pour the rest on to waxed paper & cut into squares & eat:)

{semi-sweet chocolate ganache}

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp butter

in a small sauce pan, over medium heat, cook chocolate & cream until smooth & melted. remove from heat. add butter & stir. pour over caramel layer.

chill in fridge at least 45 minutes before cutting. top with kosher salt before serving.
**salt to taste. i like a little more than you might think- not too much though.
i promise though! the salt really makes it so much better!

happy V-day! hope your lovies like this one, i know all mine do!

Monday, January 31, 2011

calli's "burrito" chicken enchiladas...

this recipe comes from my friend Calli's kitchen. i am so glad that my friend tyson married her, cause i love her. i am friends with all of her in-laws, but wish i got to see her more:( love ya Cal! & you are going to love here too... as soon as you make these!
they are called "burrito" enchiladas cause they are stuffed with everything you would put in a burrito, but they are rolled, smothered & baked like enchiladas:) & they are perfectly delish!!!! i am eating leftovers of them as i type:) give them a try asap, you'll be so glad you did!

{Calli's "burrito" chicken enchiladas}

{Santa Fe lime rice}

1 cup rice, either long grain or basmati
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
juice of 1/2 lime
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp cumin
1/3 cup cilantro

melt butter in a pot & add all seasonings & cilantro. add rice & cook over medium heat for 2 minutes stirring constantly. add stock & lime juice return to simmer, turn to heat to low. cover & cook about 30 minutes.
set aside.


1 pound chicken, cooked & shredded
you can cook the chicken any way you want. My favorite way is to boil it on the stove, it takes about 25 minutes. I have also cooked it in the crockpot for about 3 hours on high, or just cut up one of the already made chickens from Costco.


1 cup salsa verde
1 package buttermilk ranch
1/3 cup cilantro
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayo
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 Tbls fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup sugar

Put in a blender and blend away
( I usually do one and a half of this for the six burritos. I love the sauce so I like more of it then the recipe calls for.)


6 burrito size tortillas
shredded cheese
1- 15 oz can black beans, drained
rice, recipe above

I put the chicken, rice, beans and cheese in the tortillas. wrap them up cover them with sauce and then put them in the oven on 350 for 40 min covered with tin foil, then I take the tin foil off sprinkle more cheese on top and then cook them for another 10 minutes:)

** i like them topped with pico, avocado & sour cream:)

Monday, January 10, 2011

a little more cpk yum...

while on my long vacation from blogging, i did actually go on vacation. one of my purchases- the last of the cpk cookbook trilogy:)
i bought my first cookbook from california pizza kitchen in 1997, my senior year of high school, while on vacation with my friends. i was a food nerd even way back then:) since then i have made lots of food from it & the other i bought a few years later. now, they have a new family cookbook & it included one of mine & my kids favorites... yep, there mac & cheese. super easy, super tasty & oh so not healthy! so if any of you are trying to be better this year with your eating, maybe stop reading now. still with me??? make this, as easy as box mix, mac & cheese today!

{cpk's mac & cheese}

1 large bag- fussili pasta
2 lbs. velveta cheese, cubed
1 quart heavy cream
2 tsp. salt

cook pasta in salted until el dente. drain & set aside. in the same pot combine cream, velveta & salt. stir continually until cheese is melted & smooth. add cooked pasta & mix. serve immediately.
**for leftovers- reheat one bowl at a time in microwave. add 1-3 tsp. of water per bowl. cook 30 seconds, stir & cook another 30 seconds or until heated through.