Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fourth of July Fun in Fair Oaks with the Family

Fourth of July Fun in Fair Oaks with the Family
Beginning with a red, white and blue breakfast Gram made...

...on to afternoon fun for the girls playing dress-up in their festive Independent Day attire...

...then feasting on a delish dinner prepared by Papa and Gram (Bacon Deviled Eggs, Bacon Avocado Cheeseburgers and Pineapple Coleslaw)...
...followed by an also festive red, white and blue dessert (vanilla ice cream, blueberries and red vine)...

...and the finale of neighborhood FIREWORKS (courtesy of Papa who lit ours)...

...and even better than the fireworks, Kaia's family portrait of us
(mom, Kaia, Marlee, Gram & Papa)...XOXO
Wishing everyone a fun and safe holiday!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

National Egg day: Tasty Travels' Bird in a Pesto Pasta Nest

Celebrate National Egg Day with Tasty Travels' Bird in a Pesto Pasta Nest

One of the favorite ways my girls and I enjoy the humble egg is softly cooked over medium sunny-side up. Just like in this Italian-inspired recipe of my 8-year-old, Kaia, and I featured on our mother-daughter cooking show, Tasty Travels where we travels through our taste buds to Italy...
Serves: 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
1 t. olive oil
3 c. cooked whole wheat spaghetti or other string pasta
2 eggs
1 T. store-bought pesto
2 t. parmesan cheese
pinch black pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium and add pasta. Form into a a circle and create a hole in the center. Continue to cook another few minutes until pasta is slightly golden.
As carefully as possible use a spatula to flip the pasta and recreate a hole in the center if needed.
Crack an egg into the hole, cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook until the egg white is no longer transparent and the yolk is still runny, about a few minutes.
Complete pasta nest by spoons pesto across the top of the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pepper. Enjoy!
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Celebrate National Cheese Souffle Day with my Award Winning Spiced Acorn Squash & Hickory Smoked Swiss Souffle

Celebrate National Cheese Souffle Day with my Award Winning Spiced Acorn Squash & Hickory Smoked Swiss Souffle
I recall receiving the oh-so unexpected and exciting email about my cheesy acorn squash souffl├ęs being deemed as the winner of All You's Borden's Singles Sensations recipe contest. I was camping in the majestic Half Moon Bay at Pillar's Point RV Park and had just passed off my little girl, Kaia, to spend the week with her grandparents in Mt. Shasta, California. As sad as I was to see her go, my spirits were risen, as souffl├ęs do, upon reading this news. Perhaps you'll find inspiration using Borden's Singles cheese varieties and share your story...
My recipe would be the perfect pairing with all the fresh northern-central ocean has to offer, particularly from the one and only Princeton Seafood Market!

For more recipes from Borden's Single Sensations visit:

And if you're planning a trip to visit for the day or to stay in Half Moon Bay visit:



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Let's Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Taco Tuesday Dishes!

Let's Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Taco Tuesday Dishes!
Whether it's because I possibly was of Mexican descendant in a past life or if it's just in my nature I embrace many aspects from the Hispanic culture including love for the brightly alive colors, the celebrations, the language, the music and especially the FOOD! A favorite food celebration of mine that is commonly shared by many, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality, is known as "Taco Tuesday". So how appropriate it is that this years Cinco de Mayo falls on a Tuesday? When preparing tacos the possibilities are endless and there are no rules when it comes to using corn or flour tortillas, home-made or store-bought, steamed or fried...
Ground Beef or Turkey Tacos
Ground Beef or Turkey Taco Casserole
Shrimp Scampi Tacos with Spinach & Tomatoes
Buffalo Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Dill Slaw
Carne Asada Tacos with Creamy Avocado Chipotle Lime Sauce
Spiced Margarita Carne Asada Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Slaw
Blackened Fish Tacos
Grilled Salmon Tacos
For more Mexican dishes, I was inspired by the recipes in The Best of Fine Cooking Mexican magazine!
Happy Cinco de Mayo & Taco Tuesday ! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

To tofu or not to tofu? That is the question. And, yes, is my answer!

To tofu or not to tofu? That is the question.
And ,yes, is my answer!
The topic of tofu can be a touchy subject. People either love it, hate it or just don't care to have an opinion about it. Possibly because of its texture or maybe its lack of taste, which only lends itself to be flavored as desired, and in my opinion that's a plus! Here are a couple of my tofu recipes along with some other ideas of how to go about utilizing this source of protein...
Barbecue Tofu Purple Cabbage Cups
Serves: 2-4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
2 T. vegetable oil, for frying
1 (14 oz.) firm tofu, diced
½ c. barbeque sauce
8 purple cabbage cups
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium and cook tofu on all sides until slightly golden about 10 to 15 minutes total. 
Drain tofu onto paper towel and transfer to a medium bowl.  Add barbeque sauce and toss to coat evenly. 
Place in cabbage cups and serve.
Teriyaki Tofu, Mushroom, Asparagus & Udon Noodles
Serves: 4-6
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Water, for soaking
½ oz. dried oyster mushroom
½ oz. dried shiitake mushroom
2 T. vegetable oil
14 oz. firm tofu, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 bundle asparagus, trimmed and cut in ¼
2 (14oz.) packets Udon noodles, mushroom flavor
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. lemongrass, minced
½ c. teriyaki
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
For mushrooms boil enough water to cover mushrooms in a bowl and soak until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain reserving mushrooms stock and set aside.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and add tofu. Cook until brown on each side about, about 10 minutes.
Add asparagus and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add noodles, garlic, lemongrass, teriyaki, soy sauce, sesame oil, mushrooms and reserved stock.
Simmer until noodles are plump and flavors have melded, about 20 minutes. Serve in large bowls.
More inspiration for how to use tofu. And remember, you can always adjust the flavor profiles to your liking!
Ras el Hanout Tofu, Cabbage & Carrot Eggrolls with Mango Chutney
Yellow Curry Coconut Tofu, Garbanzo Beans, Green Beans and Raisins over Rice with Toasted Almonds, Coconut & Cilantro
Red Curry Coconut Tofu & Couscous Cabbage Rolls with Greek Yogurt
Green Curry Coconut Tofu, Zucchini, Bean Sprouts and Noodles with Peanuts, Cilantro, Mint & Lime
Tofu, Carrot and Cilantro Cabbage Cups with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Balsamic-Soy Braised Blue Cheese Tofu Burger
Grilled Barbecue Tofu Steaks
Vegetable Lasagna with Spiced Tofu Cream Sauce
Hope you find these recipes and ideas inspirational!!!
For more ways how tofu can tastefully be included into your meals visit,!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tasty Travels to our California Kitchen: California Shrimp Tacos

Tasty Travels to our California Kitchen: California Shrimp Tacos
Serves: 2 (2 tacos per person)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
1 t. olive oil
8 large shrimp
1 clove garlic, minced
4 corn tortillas, steamed
1 c. cabbage, chopped
1/4 c. tomato, diced
1 T. cilantro, minced
1 T. parsley, minced
1 T. lemon balm, minced
1 avocado, pitted
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil over medium in a non-stick skillet and add shrimp. Cook just until pink, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the garlic the last minute stirring to coat the shrimp with all that garlic goodness.
When cool enough to handle carefully cut the shrimp into bite size pieces and add them to the steamed tortillas.
In a small bowl combine cabbage, tomato and herbs and toss to mix well.
In another small bowl combine avocado, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper and mash into a guacamole.
Evenly top each taco with the slaw and smear with the guacamole an enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Are You Nuts...About National Nutrition Month...and Perhaps Almonds!?!

GO NUTS...for National Nutrition Month! Almonds, walnuts, pistachios oh my, I think I'll give the ALMONDS a try!!! I've had the pleasure to participate with, sharing with you all that is so awesome about almonds. For example, take a look at this almond infographic here...
Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month with almonds...

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Smoothie
(almond source: chocolate almond milk)
Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
4 c. frozen strawberries
4 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 c. Greek yogurt, honey flavor
6 c. chocolate almond milk
4 sprigs chocolate mint, to garnish

    Combine, ingredients in a blender beginning with strawberries and bananas then yogurt and soy chocolate milk.
Blend until smooth. Pour evenly into four glasses and garnish each with a sprig of chocolate mint.

Kaia’s Tropical Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes
(almond source: almond milk, almond butter and whole almonds)
 Makes: 6 small cakes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
 3/4 c. buckwheat pancake mix
1/2 c. almond milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/8 t. cinnamon
3 t. coconut spread
6 t. creamy almond butter
1 banana, sliced
3 T. honey
1/4 c. sliced almonds
 Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium. In a mixing bowl combine buckwheat pancake mix, almond milk, oil, egg and cinnamon. Mix well and let sit for a few minutes.
Using a 1/4 cup spoon the batter into the hot skillet and cook until golden about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Complete pancakes by evenly spreading each with coconut spread and creamy peanut butter, top with sliced bananas, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Enjoy!
Cucumber, Raisin, Almond Salad with Blood Orange Olive Oil Drizzle Topped with a Port Vinegar Soaked Tomato
(almond source: whole almonds)
Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. almonds, crushed
2 T. blood orange olive oil
4 slices tomato
port vinegar, as needed
Combine cucumber, raisins and almonds in a shallow dish and drizzle with blood orange olive oil and toss gently to coat evenly.
Dish out portions into salad bowls, top with a tomato slice splashed with port vinegar.
Tropical Almond Butter Soup
(almond source: almond butter)
Serves: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
 1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. vegetable or chicken broth, warm
1 c. creamy or chucky almond butter
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 t. chili garlic sauce, or favorite hot sauce
4 c. fresh spinach leaves
1 banana, diced
1/2 c. pineapple, diced
1/4 c. cilantro, minced
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
3 c. cooked white or brown rice
 In a large pot heat oil over medium and add onions. Cook until slightly tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
In the meantime combine warm broth and peanut butter in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and chili garlic sauce then add to pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and continue cooking until slightly thickened about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach the last five minutes of cooking,
In a medium bowl combine banana, pineapple and cilantro, mix well and set aside.
Assemble dish by placing a disk of rice in the center of the bowl, ladle soup around rice, top with tropical fruit mix and garnish with a lime wedge.
Dark Chocolate Drizzled Citrus Strawberry Tart with Crushed Almonds
(almond source: whole almonds, almond milk and almond meal/flour)
Serves: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
 2 T. almond milk
1 t. fresh lemon juice
½ c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 almond flour/meal
2 t. sugar
1/8 t. salt
¼ c. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3 T. cold water
3 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
2 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. sugar
1 c. dark chocolate chips
½ c. almonds, crushed
 In a small bowl combine, almond milk and lemon juice, let sit for about 5 minutes to sour and thicken slightly.
For the crust combine flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbles. Still pulsing slowly pour sour milk and cold water into processor until a dough forms. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and knead about ten times until pliable. Form dough into a ball, wrap and place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For filling in a medium bowl combine strawberries, orange juice, cornstarch and sugar. Mix well.
Roll out dough to fit into a 9-inch tart pan and fill with strawberry mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let cool on wire rack almost completely.
In a small sauce pan melt dark chocolate chips over medium-low until smooth. Drizzle over top of tart and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Slice and serve.
Hope you enjoy my recipes. What are your favorite ways to use almonds? I'd love to know in the comments below, always looking for new recipes!
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