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Lemon and Raspberry Pancake Recipe

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

Sponsored We are lucky enough to have a lemon tree that provides us with a plethora of fresh lemons all year long. I love squeezing the juice from the homegrown lemons into my water every morning and then using them to create delicious dishes for my children. We recently received a gift package from T-fal to celebrate National Pancake Day that included HungryJack products, and I immediately thought that the kids would love it if I made them lemon and raspberry pancakes for their Sunday morning breakfast. I got up early and walked into the garden to pick the best lemon and berries to make the recipe. I substituted the water that was recommended on the back of the HungryJack pancake mix with the lemon juice to create the most flavorful pancakes that I have ever made. While making...

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Exclusive Zimzala Restaurant Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipe

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Dining, Holiday, Recipes, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

Looking for the perfect cocktail recipe for your Valentine’s Day dinner or looking for one of the most romantic places to go out for a cocktail in Orange County? Zimzala Restaurant at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach is one of the hottest new places for couples to escape together for the night to sip on delicious handcrafted cocktails while enjoying the fresh ocean breezes. The general manager of Food and Beverage at Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel, Blake Brissette-Mathias, let us peek into his recipe book, and share two of his Valentine’s Day cocktail recipes. With more than eight years of experience, Blake is at the forefront of the culinary scene in Orange County by creating cutting new food and beverage initiatives. Get your cocktail glasses ready, and entice your husband tonight with one of these distinctive cocktails. Sex Appeal...

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Banana Caramel Cream Pie Recipe

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Recipes | 1 comment

Who doesn’t love a slice of homemade pie after dinner? I have been challenging myself to try new things in the kitchen this year, and that includes becoming a better baker. I am great with making a healthy and delicious dinner, but when it comes to desserts, I fail miserably. While on my quest to become a better baker, I decided to make something simple for my first dessert and ended up with an incredibly delicious banana caramel cream pie. I was walking around the grocery store trying to think of what ingredients I could use to make the pie and wanted to ensure and keep the instructions simple. It ended up being one of the easiest things I have ever made, and everyone in my family devoured it. Ingredients: 1 Pre-made pie crust (freezer section) 1 Package of...

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Egg and Avocado Toast

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

I LOVE Avocado toast. The toppings are endless when making avocado toast. I decided to make an egg and avocado toast this morning since I’ve been trying to master the art of poaching an egg – it is harder than it looks, so I bow down to chefs everywhere who have mastered the art of poaching an egg. For the first time, I used a gluten-free Multigrain bread from La Brea Bakery. Since I’m trying to make healthier choice in the New Year, the flax seed in the bread is what caught my eye. Next I wanted to use some microgreens on top of the avocado, but our local store didn’t have any in stock, so I used regular sprouts instead. I then poached the egg, gave it an ice bath, and then put it on top of the...

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Zootopia Zoo Snacks

Posted by on Jan 17, 2016 in Disney, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

Sometimes my house can feel like a zoo. There are often kids running in and out the front door like a stampede of elephants, and I often have little growling tigers who don’t get their way. I know that I’m not alone, and life can often feel like a zoo for many parents. How do I calm my little monkeys when they are swinging from the ceiling? I serve them a healthy and delicious snack. In celebration of the upcoming film, “Zootopia,” I surprised the kids this afternoon with these tasty zoo snacks themed snacks – and they loved every delicious bite. Making the fun zoo snacks is simple. All you need are bananas (for the monkeys), peanut butter (for the elephants), and animal crackers (for the kids). I guarantee that these snacks will satisfy even the wildest little...

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Dinosaur Egg Cupcakes aka Croods Cakes

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Entertainment, Featured, Film, Recipes | 3 comments

The prehistoric family that we all know and love, The Croods, are back with all-new adventures in the all-new Netflix original series “Dawn of the Croods”. My family loves sitting by the fireplace together and dreaming of being in a prehistoric era while watching the hilarious series. Before sitting down to watch The Croods with my kids this weekend, I surprised them by making Dinosaur Egg Cupcakes aka. Croods Cakes. I am not going to lie. Making them was a labor of love. If you’re planning a Croods theme birthday party or dinosaur themed birthday party, then these will totally impress your guests. How do you make dinosaur cupcakes aka Croods cakes? First you start by making the egg shells. I purchased brown eggs and then while they were in the egg carton, I used a super sharp knife...

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Healthier Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Clearly I have never been born to fry meats, and that was proven true when attempting to make chicken piccata for the first time. The minute I heard the sizzle..I panicked and turned down the heat. It didn’t compromise the flavor, and benefitted the health of my kids. Is it still piccata? I think so..just to the 20th Century healthy family. How did I make it? I started out with my Grandma’s recipe of covering the chicken tenders in salt, pepper and flour while the butter and olive oil heated up..but I couldn’t follow through on clogging my families arteries. Instead – I drizzled fresh lemon juice on the chicken, then covered them in flour before sprinkling a tiny bit of salt/pepper on top. I added the chicken to the butter and olive mixture before turning down the heat...

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Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup Recipe

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

The weather is cooling down, and the kitchen is heating up. The one thing that my kids LOVE on a rainy day is a bowl of warm homemade soup. I am always trying new things in the kitchen, and when I found myself with a couple of extra cans of crushed tomatoes from the holidays, I made this Italian sausage and spinach soup. The result was pure deliciousness. It ended up being one of the best soups that I have made, and the kids ate every last bite. A successful homemade meal is one where there are no leftovers. The soup can be made in less than 20 minutes and guaranteed to be a new family favorite. Ingredients: 1/2 onion 2 Tbl. Garlic 2 Tbl. Olive Oil 1 Pkg. Sweet Italian Sausage (Sliced) 1 28oz. diced tomatoes 1/4 tea....

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Garlic and Parmesan Broiled Asparagus Recipe

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Recipes | 0 comments

Getting my kids to eat enough vegetables has always been a struggle. With asparagus being one of my favorite vegetables, I have been determined to make a recipe that my kids will like. It has been a constant battle of trying to make my kids eat their asparagus for years until finally developing the perfect kid-friendly asparagus recipe. Thanks to my lemon tree that continues to provide my family with an abundance of fresh lemons throughout the year, I was able to create this delicious garlic and parmesan broiled asparagus recipe that goes perfectly with any dish. If you are able to make the recipe during the Spring or Summer when the weather is warmer, you can easily grill the asparagus. Simply add a little foil to the barbecue and then add the asparagus mixture to the top of...

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Cheesy Chicken Noodle Bake Recipe

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

As the weather keeps getting colder, I’ve been craving some of my favorite comfort foods. While I’ve never been big on making casseroles, my daughter helped me to create this delicious cheesy chicken noodle bake. It was creamy, delicious, and simple to make. ~Enjoy Cheesy Chicken Noodle Bake Ingredients: 1 12 1/2 oz. can of chicken (we used the one available at Costco) 1 10 3/4 oz. can of cream of chicken soup 1 8 oz. container of sour cream 16 oz. egg noodles 1/4 cup cheddar cheese 1/8 tea. Of salt and pepper Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 Cook egg noodles as directed on package, and drain. Mix all the ingredient (except cheese) and then place in a casserole dish. Top with cheese Bake for 30-35...

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Lightening It Up With White Bean Salad

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

With the holidays almost here overindulging is a certainty for me. Creamy buttery mashed potatoes with Madeira gravy, Italian sausage dressing, turkey skin… my favorite part of the bird, and that’s really just a glimpse of the gluttony I fall prey to. After a couple of days of this sin, I need a break. Something lighter and healthier starts to sound really appealing. Something like White Bean Salad. High in protein and low in fat, white beans are the perfect size, shape and texture to mix with vegetables and greens to create a delicious and satisfying meal or side dish. The bean salad keeps well and can be eaten cold or warm temperature, and best of all it’s easy and you can add pretty much any raw vegetables that appeal to you. I like to start with cooked and...

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Disneyland Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Disney, Recipes, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended a media event as a guest of Disney One of my favorite things about visiting the Disneyland Resort during Halloween Time are all the delicious desserts offered throughout the season. From decorated caramel apples to tasty cookies, there is something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth when visiting the Disneyland Resort. One of our favorite Disneyland seasonal desserts is the pumpkin cheesecake. Guess what? Now families can enjoy this popular tasty treat right in the comfort of their home thanks to our friends at Disneyland, who gave us their secret recipe to share with all of you. Put your apron on, bring the kids into the kitchen, and bring the magic of Disney into your home by making this delicious holiday recipe together as a family. Don’t miss celebrating Halloween Time with your family at the Disneyland Resort...

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Chicken Tortilla-less Soup Recipe

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

I’m calling this recipe my Tortilla-less Soup. I forgot the tortillas and honestly, this healthy soup doesn’t need them. Boasting tons of flavor from fresh vegetables, cumin, and roasting juices, it’s a light soup that’s easy to make and easy on the figure. Here are a few tips for making the soup: Cook the chicken breasts in advance until just done and then shred in long strips with the grain. To prevent chicken from becoming overcooked do not add into the soup until near the end, giving it just enough time to warm up. As the cooked chicken breasts rests, they will form juices. Be sure to add these juices to the soup. It’s a real flavor boost! For a textural difference, I like to julienne the vegetables rather than dice them. There is something so satisfying about getting...

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Quick and Easy Moroccan Spiced Wings

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

Wings and football just go together. Here’s a quick and simple recipe for Moroccan Spiced Wings perfect for game day. These crowd pleasers require four ingredients, a grill, and minimal prep. While pretty much any rub you like will work, one of my recent discoveries that I absolutely love is the Moroccan Spice Rub from Spice Merchants in Laguna Beach. This blend of garlic, onion, chilies, sea salt, bay leaf, and spices such as cumin, clove, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger is perfect for grilled wings and a departure from the usual. They’re addicting. A few tips: If party wings aren’t available at your grocer, simply buy whole wings, remove the tips, which can be frozen and reserved for stock, and cut the wings at the joint. Dry wings before seasoning with kosher salt. Allow to sit for a...

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Smoky Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

Soup… I love soup. Even in the summer. While usually I’ll go for the chilled soups when it’s hot out, say an Andalusian gazpacho or a chilled summer squash yogurt dill soup, when the weather cools down a bit, like it did this past Sunday, chowders start to sound good to me. And what could make a better summer chowder than a corn and shrimp chowder? Usually when I see chowders they have potatoes in them, but corn is already carb heavy so I figured I’d ditch the potatoes and come up with a way of making it creamy, but still chunky without them. I prefer my chowders a little more on the brothy side anyway. So with that I came up with my own version. This one has bacon, and smoked paprika giving it a smoky flavor and...

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Fig & Olive Signature Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

In celebration of National Pot de Crème Day on Thursday, August 27th, FIG & OLIVE shared their delicious signature Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe with us. As one of diners’ most beloved dishes, pot de crème is a prime example of dessert trends returning to simple roots—showcasing the pure classic taste of chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and other flavors without excessive garnishes and sauces. Dessert aficionados can mark the holiday with the restaurant’s comforting Chocolate Pot de Crème with Crunchy Praline Financiers and Vanilla Cream ($9), which stops short of over-indulgence with a shaving of orange zest and a modest-sized glass cup. Pot de Crème Serves 10 Ingredients: 2 cups Heavy Cream 1.5 cups Milk 4 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar 3 Egg yolks 11 Oz of Dark 64% Chocolate Directions: Bring heavy cream and milk light boil being cautious so as...

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Grilled Turkey Zucchini Sandwiches

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Back-to-school time is just around the corner, and it is never too early to start thinking about healthy school lunches for your kids. Ever since my older son developed severe food allergies, I began to get creative with making healthy (and fun) school lunches. By packing him healthy and fun lunches, he doesn’t feel bad about never having the opportunity to buy a school lunch like many of his friends in school. One of my favorite healthy and easy school lunches to make my kids is turkey zucchini sandwiches. The kids love them, and they are packed full of nutrition to give them the fuel they need to be successful in school. Since my son has severe food allergies, I have to be extra cautious about the ingredients used to make their turkey zucchini sandwiches. It is important that...

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Heirloom tomato, Avocado and Gruyere Gourmet Tuna Melts

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

While my husband and I enjoy our stuffed avocado tuna cups, I use the same mixture to make these kid-friendly gourmet tuna melts for the kids. The kids love them, and I love that I feel comfortable feeding them a tuna dish with SafeCatch tuna where every fish is tested and has a 70% stricter than FDA mercury limit. I recommend making the paleo stuffed avocado cups for the parents, and these for the kids – it’s two dinners in one! They are super simple to make, and will give your kids the perfect amount of nutrition that their bodies need to grow. I guarantee that this dinner will be a hit in your household, and a new favorite for your kids Mixture Ingedients: 2 large organic avocados (diced) 1/4 red onion (chopped) 2 Tbl. chopped cilantro 1 can...

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Paleo Stuffed Avocado Tuna Cups

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

With my husband on a paleo diet, I am always looking for new recipes to make for him. One of my favorite things to make him for dinner on a weeknight are avocado tuna cups. They are super simple to make, healthy and delicious. When it comes to making anything with tuna, I always use the purest product available on the market with SafeCatch tuna being my number one brand of choice. Why? They are the only brand that tests every fish and is 90% stricter than FDA mercury limit. Plus there is no GMO’s, additives and are BPA-Free. It is a brand that I can trust in knowing that my family is eating the safest and healthiest tuna available. Tip! Make double of the mixture, and then make gourmet tuna melts for the kids! Paleo Avocado Tuna Cups...

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Lemon Glazed Cookie Recipe

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

I love to bake. It is one of my favorite things to do. My neighbor has a lemon tree that produces some of the largest lemons I’ve seen and filled with sweet lemon juices. She is always bringing them over for me to use in recipes, so when my kids were taking their afternoon nap; I whipped up these delicious lemon glazed cookies that are guaranteed to win over the hearts of everyone in your family. Enjoy making these sweet treats this summer… Lemon Glazed Cookies 3/4 cup sugar 2 Tbl. lemon juice 2 Tbl. lemon zest 1 3/4 cup flour 1/4 tea. baking powder 1/4 tea. salt 12 Tbl. butter 1 egg yolk 1/2 tea. vanilla Glaze 1 Tbl. cream cheese 2 Tbl. lemon juice 1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar Directions (cookies) 1. In a food processor,...

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Soul Satisfying Spaghetti Carbonara With Brussels Sprout Leaves

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

On a cool evening earlier this week, I was craving a comforting but easy dinner. I already had Brussels sprouts on my brain and was thinking about how good they’d be if I separated them into leaves and sautéed them with bacon and tossed them with a few toasted bread crumbs. Not exactly a meal, but fortunately I also had some Parmesan and eggs in the refrigerator and spaghetti in the pantry and realized I had the makings of Spaghetti Carbonara. A perfect place for my Brussels sprouts leaves I thought. While Spaghetti Carbonara is very simple dish, its success is all about timing because the pasta needs to be hot when the eggs are added so they cook. To accomplish this I like to get the pasta water boiling and then reduce the heat until I’m ready to...

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Lemon Chicken and Pasta Recipe

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

When my neighbor surprised me with a basket full of lemons, I decided to make this delicious lemon chicken and pasta recipe for my children. The dish is simple to make, and kid tested, mom approved. Lemon Pasta Recipe Ingredients Table salt 1 pound spaghetti 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for serving 1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons) 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons finely grated zest (about 1 lemon) 1/4 cup juice from 2-3 lemons 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving Ground black pepper 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves or oregano Instructions Bring four quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven (or pot or what have you) over high heat. Add one tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook, stirring frequently, until...

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Whipped Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

When I woke up craving cheesecake but didn’t want to put the time and energy into making a traditional cheesecake, I got creative by making these whipped cheesecake bites with a hint of lemon and raspberry. The result was one of the most delicious desserts that my family has ever had. Did I mention that I was able to make them in less than 20 minutes? That’s right ~ they are a perfect dessert to bring to your next Summertime barbecue or potluck…and I guarantee that your guests will be begging you for the recipe. Whipped lemon and raspberry cheesecake bites Makes 24 bites Ingredients: 1 8oz. tub of whipped cream cheese 1 tea. of vanilla Juice from one lemon 1 cup powdered sugar 1/8 tea. lemon rind 1 10oz tub of cool whip 1 pkg. phyllo dough Directions:...

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Rosemary and Lemon Salt Scrub Recipe

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Beauty, Recipes | 0 comments

I love using salt and sugar scrubs, and with the abundance of lemons growing in my backyard, I attempted to make a rosemary and lemon salt scrub. While most people make them using essential oils, I made them using only ingredients from my backyard lemons. I was able to use the rinds  from the lemons to make lemon infused bath salts, so I didn’t waste any part of the lemon. If you are going to use store bought lemons vs. organic, then I would recommend doubling the lemons used in this recipe since store bought have fewer juices and scent. Lemon and Rosemary Salt Scrub Recipe (Makes 12 4oz. jars) Ingredients: 7 cups of epsom salt 2 Springs of rosemary (chopped finely) 4 ounces of fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup of oil oil (I used lemon flavored olive oil)...

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DIY Homemade Lemon Bath Salts

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Family, Parenting, Recipes | 1 comment

Homemade bath salts are one of the easiest things to make, and parents can feel comfortable knowing that they are using a 100% all-natural product in their children’s bath. It’s all about the lemons this summer, and while making a rosemary and lemon salt scrub, we used the zest from the lemons to make this simple DIY lemon bath salts. The only thing you need to plan when making them is about 1-2 hours for the salts to fully dry out before storing in jars. Homemade Lemon Bath Salts Ingredients: 4 cups of epsom salts Zest from two large lemons (I would double if using store bought lemons) Cookie sheet Directions: 1. I used a small grater to get all the zest off the lemons 2. Mix the zest well with the salts in a large bowl 3. Put...

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp Orzo Recipe

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Family, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Lemons..lemons..lemons! Our garden is blooming with lemons and that means that everything I make for the next month will more than likely feature lemons. After five days away from home at the most magical place on Earth, I was inspired to get creative with ingredients in my kitchen, and the one thing I could make was this incredibly delicious lemon garlic shrimp orzo. It was light, fresh and delicious. Perfect to detox from the churros, popcorn and corn dogs we have been noshing on for the past couple of days at Disneyland. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Orzo Ingredients: Juice from 1 lemon 2 Garlic cloves (minced) 1 Tbl. olive oil (we used lemon infused olive oil) 1/4 cup of parsley 1 pound shrimp 1 tea. salt 1 tea. pepper 2 cups of cooked orzo Directions: 1. Cook the orzo per...

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California Pizza Kitchen Summer Cocktail Recipes

Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Dining, Family, Recipes | 1 comment

Bring the flavors of California Pizza Kitchen home with these two delicious Summer cocktail recipes. California Roots is a cocktail made with fresh avocado and mint, vodka, fresh Agave Sour, a fennel salt rim AND their famous Cucumber-Basil Soda is filled with thinly-sliced cucumbers, fresh basil leaves and sweet homemade syrup. Perfect for a hot day, CPK’s newest Next Chapter cocktails and sodas are always a thirst quenching bang for any get-together. These two party favorites are delicious, refreshing, hand-crafted and super easy to make at home. California Roots Makes: 1 drink Ingredients: Lime wedge Fennel salt 1 ½ ounces vodka 1 ounce fresh agave sour ½ ounce agave nectar ¼ of a ripe avocado, mashed ice  Mint sprig Procedure In an electric spice grinder (or clean coffee bean grinder) combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon fennel...

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10 Minute Lemon Chicken Recipe

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Our garden is producing more lemons than we could have ever dreamed, and that means that I get to be creative making lots of lemon recipes this Spring for my family. After a busy day working in LA, I found myself tempted by wanting to eat out of dinner ~ but decided to stay home and cook something healthy. I was on a mission to cook a quick and healthy dinner, and thought lemon chicken would be the easiest. I got some of the lemon olive oil I’ve been saving to make something delicious with, chicken tenders, capers and started to create what would become our new quick and healthy weeknight dinner. What do you need? 1 large lemon (2 if they are not organic/homegrown) 2 Tbl. capers 1 package (1 pound) fresh chicken tenders 3 jarred artichoke hearts...

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Celebrate Kentucky Derby Day with Fig & Walnut Julep Recipe

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

In celebration of the Kentucky Derby, Fig & Olive shared with us their exclusive Fig & Walnut Julep recipe. Beat the heat and enjoy celebrating the Kentucky Derby Day by making this refreshing cocktail. FIG & WALNUT JULEP 2 oz. Four Roses Bourbon .75 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquor .5 oz Lime Juice .25 oz Taylor Tawney Port .25 oz Simple Syrup 2 Black Figs (muddled) 3 mint leaves 2 Slices of Fig 1/4 inch thick Grated Walnut 1 Mint Sprig Ice Preparation Cut mint sprig to about 4 to 5 inches long (long enough so it will be able to peak over the edge of the rocks glass). You will have to strip the mint off each sprig until you have just 3 to 4 smaller leaves at the top of the mint for garnish. The rest of...

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Stained Glass Butterfly Cookies

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Easter, Family, Holiday, Mother's Day, Recipes | 0 comments

It is Springtime and the best time to make sweet treats for your kids. Woman’s Day Magazine has been one of our favorite resources to be inspired to make delicious and creative treats with our children, and this months issue is packed full of a great recipes for Spring and Mother’s Day. Now that the temperature is rising, and the flowers are back in bloom this adorable dessert will bring the outdoors right into your kitchen! Stained glass butterfly cookies Active: 1 hr 30 min – Total: 2 hr 30 min Makes: About 6 dozen · 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour · ½ tsp baking powder · ¼ tsp kosher salt · 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature · ¾ cup of granulated sugar · 1 large egg · 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract...

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Fig & Olive’s Andalucía Gazpacho Recipe

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

As we go into the warm summer months, it is the perfect time to cook with the fresh flavors of the season. One of my favorite springtime and summer dishes is gazpacho, and the chef at Fig & Olive was so generous to let us share his favorite gazpacho recipe. It is packed full of nutrition, and the kid’s love it! If you haven’t already planted tomatoes in your backyard, now is the perfect time to plant so that you’ll have the freshest tomatoes to make this flavorful soup. Fig & Olive’s Andalucía gazpacho Yields 4 servings Ingredients: 2 lbs Tomato ¼ lb Red Bell Pepper 2 tsp Cumin 2 TBSP Sherry Vinegar ¼ cup bread (French baguette or bread of choice) 1 Hot House Cucumber 1 TBSP Salt 1 tsp Tabasco 2 cups water ½ cup Spanish Onion...

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Mouthwatering Cheesy Maple Bacon Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Lunch provided on behalf of the National Pork Board How often do you feed your family pork? I admit that I am guilty of always feeding my family steak, chicken, and fish on a regular basis. Recently, my friends have been talking a lot about their kids finding a love in the different pork dishes that they have been serving their families. Pork is known to be a healthier meat, and is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast. When the National Pork Board offered to bring my family lunch for the day, I couldn’t resist so that my kids could have a chance to try the protein that everyone seems to be talking about. I took the kids for an afternoon at the park, and once we got home, a local chef delivered us a handmade pork...

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Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Primavera Recipe

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Bounty My kids love when I make pasta, however, I don’t love the mess that it makes in my kitchen. There is always sauce splatter on the stovetop, and unless the kids properly wash there plates then I’m stuck with hard to clean pasta sauce on the dishes the next morning. Once I discovered the new Bounty with Dawn ultra-durable paper towels, I don’t even question making pasta for my kids anymore. The 2-in-1 paper towel easily fights grease and mealtime mess with just one disposable sheet. In celebration of discovering this cool new product, I made a delicious sun-dried tomato pasta primavera recipe, that I couldn’t wait to share with all of you. Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Primavera Recipe Ingredients: 1 package of your kids favorite pasta 1 bottle of marinara sauce 2...

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Delicious Chicken Tostada Recipe

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Instead of having our traditional Taco Tuesday, we mixed it up this week by having Tostada Tuesday. With my husband working late, and one kid at baseball practice, I had to figure out a recipe that could be served at different times throughout the evening. When making the recipe I realized that it is my all-new favorite weeknight dinner recipe. It is so simple to make, can be prepared in less than 10 minutes, and everyone in my family loved it (even my picky eater). The toppings for the tostada can be made in advance (win-win for mom). Ingredients for the topping: 3 Tbl. olive oil 2 tea. garlic 1/2 package of “Just Chicken” pre-cooked strips from Trader Joe’s (you can use other branded pre-cooked chicken strips) 1/4 red onion 1 zucchini 1 cup of corn 1 cup of...

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Birds Nest Cookie Tutorial

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Easter, Family, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

I love Spring. The beautiful flowers, amazing weather and the sounds of singing birds. When the birds first laid their eggs in the small bird house on the edge of our front porch, I surprised the kid’s by making birds nest cookies for their afternoon snack. The cookies are super simple to make, and kid’s love them! Whether you’re looking for a tasty Easter dessert or just a fun treat to give to your kids this Springtime, then these birds nest cookies are guaranteed to be a hit with your kids. What do I need to make them? Baked sugar cookies (your own recipe or pre-made dough) Pastel green food coloring White icing Hershey’s chocolate eggs (pastel) Plastic icing bag and tip (can be found in the making grocery isle) How do I make them? Freshly bake your sugar...

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Kid-Friendly Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Family, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

I have tried so many different versions of chicken tortilla soup before finalizing this kid-friendly version that even my picky eater will eat for dinner. The soup requires very little work, and can simmer on the stovetop while working on the kids homework. When looking for a simple and delicious weeknight dinner for your family then this soup is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Kid-Friendly Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients: 1 lb. chicken (I used a rotisserie from the grocery store and used most of the meat) 1 onion 1 tea. cumin 2 garlic cloves 2 Tbl. Olive oil 2 cups of chicken broth 1 can of diced tomatoes 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies 1 cup of corn Optional 1/2 cup of water Directions: 1. In a dutch oven on high heat add olive oil, onion,...

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Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Stew Recipe

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

I love everything about my crockpot, especially on a busy weeknight when I’m shuffling the kids to and from their activities and I have no time to cook. It is a time saver, a life saver, and seriously, you can put just about anything into it, leave the house, and it does the cooking for you?!?! It’s just about as good as having your own private chef, minus the clean up of course. My friend shared this recipe with me years ago and my kids go crazy over it. I typically serve it up with some jasmine rice and it’s a tasty, hearty, and nutritious meal for the whole family. Go ahead and empty out the refrigerator. If you don’t have the exact ingredients just use what you have in the kitchen. You can’t go wrong with this recipe!...

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Richard Blais Adds Sizzle To Baker Ranch Unveiling

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Events, Giveaways, Recipes | 3 comments

We attended as a guest of the venue Saturday Baker Ranch, Lake Forest’s resort style master-planned community went all out with a Grand Unveiling event featuring appetizers by Suzanne’s Catering, smoothies, tours of model homes by Toll Brothers and Shea Homes, plans for the community’s Promenade Park, live music, massages by Spa Gregorie, synchronized swimming demos, and my personal favorite part of the day, a cooking demo with Top Chef Winner and 2014 James Beard Award nominee, Richard Blais. Blais packed the beautifully equipped party room of Baker Ranch’s luxurious Grove Clubhouse charming his audience with humor and stories, providing tips on upping your cooking game should “Tony Bourdain show up” for dinner, all while walking us through how to make his gluten free pasta dish, Buckwheat Spaccatelli with Broccoli Pesto. This pesto was made with finely chopped broccoli...

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes With A Twist

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

  Without a doubt one of my top two favorite things in the world to do is spend an evening with family or friends or both cooking a wonderful meal. Two weeks ago my niece, Madi was on Christmas break from her first semester in college and I was beyond honored that she wanted to spend her very last evening home cooking a dinner with her mom and me. So what was Madi’s last dinner request? Chimichurri steak over arugula with roasted sweet potatoes. My sister Shan and I got to work on the chimichurri while Madi replicated her good friend Bryce’s sweet potato recipe. I have to admit I had my own idea of what I wanted my roasted sweet potatoes to taste like going in. Thyme, olive oil, salt… roasted. But Madi was raving about Bryce’s version...

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Mickey Mouse Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Disney, Recipes | 1 comment

Disney Side party was sponsored by Disney M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! When planning our upcoming Disney Side party, I wanted to try and make a healthy “Mickey Mouse” themed snack for the kids. While walking through the produce department of our grocery store, I thought that blueberries and strawberries would somehow be able to come together to make a Mickey Mouse themed snack…I had no idea that they would end up being so cute. When we got home and started make the treat, everything came together…but I felt like it was missing something. So, I went onto Facebook, to seek some advice from my friends, and with a little brainstorming we were all able to figure out exactly what was missing to perfect the treat. Supplies needed: You’ll want to get a package of strawberries that are mostly round. Toothpicks Blueberries...

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Sweet and Savory Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini Recipe

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Featured, Recipes, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

Making a romantic dinner for your honey this Valentine’s Day? Maybe like me you have a Valentine’s Day themed party and are looking for a festive dish that captures the holiday. These easy to make Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini are a perfect blend of sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy. Crispy baguette toasts are topped with a creamy mascarpone mixture and topped with a heart shaped strawberry that’s been resting in a luxurious bath of chocolate balsamic vinegar. Turbinado sugar lends a satisfying crunch and sweetness with roasted pistachios countering with a bit of salt. The basil adds a perfectly paired herbal note for the strawberries. Appetizer or dessert? You decide! Chocolate Balsamic Strawberry Crostini [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:45] Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and...

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Garlic and Prosciutto Flatbread Recipe

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Family, Featured, Recipes, Shopping | 2 comments

samples provided With a son who has severe food allergies, olive oil is the only oil that I am able to cook with in my house. It is also one of my favorite ingredients to use to experiment with new recipes, especially after discovering We Olive in San Juan Capistrano. During the kids holiday break, we went to San Juan Capistrano to play at Zoomar’s Petting Zoo and to have lunch when I stumbled upon the boutique store, We Olive. Inside the store, was every kind of olive oil I every could have ever dreamed possible. I left with a couple different bottles of flavored olive oils and have been creating new recipes with the oils including this delicious garlic and prosciutto flatbread recipe. It was my first time making a flatbread, so I learned the do’s and don’ts...

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Spicing Up Super Bowl Sunday With Tandoori Cauliflower

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. Maybe you’re hosting a party or maybe you’re going to one… and maybe you’re looking for a unique appetizer that is on the healthier but still oh so flavorful side to balance out all of those delicious but sinful wings, nachos, and creamy artichoke party foods that are sure to tempt you. This easy Tandoori Cauliflower recipe compliments of Seven Happy Seeds’ owner Sujata is perfectly paired with Naan and a Cucumber Raita to cool down the heat of the Tandoori spice for an appetizer sure to please no matter whose team is winning. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:42] If you would like to purchase please email the owner of Seven Happy Seeds, Sujata Chiplunkar, [email protected] Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the...

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Tamarind of London Rose Petal Martini Recipe

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Love is in the air and Tamarind of London is one of the most romantic dining destinations to spend dinner on Valentine’s Day. In celebration of the big night, Tamarind of London, has offered their Rose Petal Martini recipe for us to share with all our OC Moms. If you can’t find a sitter on Valentine’s Day, enjoy making this sweet cocktail for your Valentine. Tamarind of London is located just steps away from the ocean at 7862 East Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Reservations are available by calling (949) 715-8338. Rose Petal Martini Recipe Ingredients: 50ml citrus vodka 40ml lychee juice 5ml rose syrup (add another 5ml if you want the drink to be sweeter and if you want more color) Dash of fresh lime juice Method Pour ingredients over ice into cocktail shaker Shake vigorously Strain...

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When Pigs Fly Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 1 comment

Do your kids like macaroni and cheese? What kid doesn’t? Elbow’s Macaroni and Cheese in Brea is one of my kids favorite places to have the ultimate mac ‘n cheese experience. The owners of the restaurant recently offered us their secret recipe to their popular dish “When Pigs Fly” for us to share with you! This macaroni and cheese dish is made with swiss and gruyere cheese with huge pieces of smoked bacon. It was my kids favorite dishes at Elbow’s and we are thrilled to be able to make it at home too! Enjoy this exclusive recipe, and bring your family to dine at Elbow’s Macaroni and Cheese. They are located at 215 West Birch Street in Brea. WHEN PIGS FLY MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS: FOR BECHAMEL SAUCE: 3 CUPS WHOLE MILK 1 SMALL ONION HALVED 2...

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Quick and Easy Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Sample received Normally I’m not one to use pre-made or packaged foods, however every so often having emergency go to food that’s fast and easy is a life saver. Recently I received several internationally inspired pastas by Monterey Gourmet Foods to try and so I put them in my freezer knowing I’d find the perfect opportunity to give them a try. Sure enough I found myself in a situation where I needed to make dinner, had very little in the refrigerator and didn’t have time to run to the store. Monterey Gourmet Foods to the rescue! With three options to choose from – Spinach & Cheese Ravioli, Five Cheese Ravioli, and Potato & Cheese Pierogi – I did a quick inventory of ingredients I had on hand that I could use to toss with my dish. I had a...

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Alternative Sweets Recipe Roundup

Posted by on Jan 11, 2015 in Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

In the United States we eat a lot of processed junk food.  I think we’ve actually become immune to the taste of it; sometimes sugary treats don’t even taste that sweet! The good news is that we can reverse the effect that years of consuming junk food has had on our taste buds and retrain our palate, in my opinion.  Or – even better! – we can orient our impressionable kids’ palates towards more whole foods from the beginning. My family doesn’t eat much junk food. But I come from a long line of natural sweet-tooths, so we try to satisfy that longing for sweets with reasonable choices.  We extremely rarely eat store bought sweets and are very picky when we do.  This keeps us away not only from refined sugar, but also hydrogented oils, preservatives, artificial flavors and...

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Cauliflower and Celery Root Soup

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Cauliflower seems to be the new “it” food. It’s popping up on more menus and in more incredible looking recipes than ever. It’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detox properties are believed to help prevent cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. This mildly earthy vegetable can stand on it’s own cooked simply, added for texture to dishes, or enhanced with delicious sauces. Roast it and it takes on a beautiful nutty flavor. Steamed and then mashed and you get a great low carb substitute for mashed potatoes. Not to be outdone, celery root (celeriac) has health benefits similar to those of cauliflower and offers a decidedly more pronounced but incredible flavor to dishes if you’re a celery lover like me. Add to that when added to soups and puréed you get an unbelievable creamy texture without actually having to use cream....

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Fuel for Young Athletes: Pre-Game Eating

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Recipes | 0 comments

Make sure your athlete eats a meal 2-4 hours before his/her event and starts hydrating at that time. The meal should consist of mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. Some examples include oatmeal with honey, raisins or other dried fruit, whole grain cereal + milk + banana, whole wheat sandwich, roll or wrap with turkey, chicken or ham, chicken noodle/vegetable soup with whole wheat bread. If the event is early in the morning, then make it a snack, but DON’T skip breakfast! It can be something small, like a piece of toast with nut butter and a glass of juice, a banana, granola bar, a small smoothie or yogurt… and don’t forget to start hydrating! Recovery Meals Recovery snacks are an essential part of sports nutrition., and after all, kids REALLY care about what snack they will...

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Authentic Homemade Cannoli Recipe

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

After marrying my husband, he would always talk about the cannoli’s that his Grandmother would make for him on Christmas. Since his family recipe was not passed down to his mother, nobody in his family had been able to make them until now. I had multiple failed attempts at making this authentic Italian dessert until I was passed down this recipe from one of my students parents (back in the day when I was a teacher). The recipe is seamless, simple and comes out perfect every time. There are not all the extra steps that are attached to most of the recipes I had tried before, and I love making them for Christmas every year. This year, was a little crazy, and my kitchen got a “little” disorganized. When I was having trouble finding the recipe I had been...

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Cooking Made Simple with Sous kitchen

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Dining, Family, Recipes, Shopping, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review product received Have you ever felt like not preparing dinner for the night, but were tired of take out? I have felt this way many nights. We end up with pizza most times, but now there is a new way to combat that scenario. Sous Kitchen is a company that you can go to their website and order pre prepped, ready-to-cook meals. They ship them right to you door. How awesome is that? It is very simple to sign up and order. Once you do this there will be a scheduled delivery. Mine was on a Thursday which was perfect right before the weekend.   The meals are shipped in a box with a cooler and dry ice which keeps the food frozen you either thaw it to cook or you put it in your freezer for a...

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From Garden to Cookie

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Health, Recipes, Uncategorized | 0 comments

You know how the call to do chores often falls on selective-hearing little ears? When the video game and TV programs drown out their commitment to living in the real world? Well, the antidote to this—I have figured out by doing double-blind unscientific studies using neighborhood children and my 5-year-old son—is to suggest to your child that they play in dirt. Yes, this call to soiled action moves butts, my friends! All you need to do is square off a section of dirt in your front or backyard where there is usually a lot of sun. Stray rocks or stones work very well for this purpose. With your child, remove any twigs, branches or other debris from the newly cubed plot. Hand him a small garden tool, like a mini-tiller or a small spade, and have him mess up...

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Seasons 52 Butternut Squash Recipe

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Parenting, Recipes | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Braun We were recently treated to a wonderful afternoon of learning about delicious fall recipes for the cooler weather. Yes it’s that time of year for those comfort food dishes. Executive Chef Russell Johnigan of Seasons 52 showed us how easy it really can be to make delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup even on a school night. While enjoying squash dishes from time to time, this soup was a winner and tantalized my taste buds. It was bursting with flavor, full of subtle hints of green apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and honey; and the most surprising ingredient Chipotle Tabasco. The good news, a generous serving is under 475 calories! Definitely looking forward to making this one; comforting, satisfying and good for those cool, fall days. Braun was also present, demonstrating a fabulous...

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Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

I grew-up with my Mom making the best beef stroganoff. Even now that I am an adult, I still call my mom often begging her to make me some of my favorite dish. Just like when I was a kid, I still don’t like when my mommy tells me “no” so I challenged myself to make my first dish of beef stroganoff on my own. I made this recipe with a combination of what I witnessed my mom putting into her dish, James Beard and Paula Deen. The mixture of the three recipes made the best beef stroganoff recipe I have ever had. Ingredients: 1 package of egg noodles 1 pound of stew meat 1/2 sweet onion 1/4 cup of flour 1 cup of beef broth 1/4 cup of white wine 1 cup of sour cream 1/8 tea. pepper...

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Indian Mango Lassi Recipe

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Our sweet tween neighbor Raneem is one of the most talented young cooks I have met, and my daughter and I have a blast cooking with her. This week, she shared her delicious Indian Mango Lassi drink with our family, and was so generous enough to share her recipe with all of you. This refreshing drink is easy to make, and your kids will love every sip of this sweet treat. Indian Mango Lassi Recipe Ingredients: 15 ounces mango pulp [half the can] you can find mango pulp at international stores 2 cups milk 2 cups plain yoghurt 1 tablespoon sugar Directions: In a blender, combine mango pulp, milk and yoghurt. Blend at medium. Stop and stir in sugar, pulse, then pour in pitcher. If you’re serving a lot of people, repeat the recipe using the other half of...

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New Year’s Eve Kid’s Mocktail Recipe

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Entertainment, Film, New Year's Eve, Recipes | 2 comments

We are a Netflix stream team member Are your kids ready to party like it’s 2015? The ultimate party animal, King Julien, is ready to party with your kids with his all-new series on Netflix, “All Hail King Julien.” In anticipation of the big night, we tested out this delicious kid-friendly mocktail recipe to serve to our kids on the big night. We started out with some fun mason jars and colored straws. Adding a rim of sprinkles to a glass is simple, and kids love it! To make a sprinkle rim on your kid’s glasses, dip the rim of the cup in corn syrup, and then dip into sprinkles. Hold the glass over the bowl of corn syrup for a few minutes until the dripping has stopped to avoid having the sprinkles slide down the cup. Ingredients: 1...

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Holiday Hot Cocoa Recipes

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

One of the first cool weather traditions my family enjoys is the making and drinking (more like slurping) of hot cocoa. Each year, we have different styles of hot cocoa that we love to taste test. Now it’s not like the memorable hot cocoa scene in the holiday movie classic “Polar Express,” but these tasty versions should warm your taste buds and your tummy. Traditional Hot Cocoa Ingredients Around 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I like the Ghiradelli brand) 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) 1 cup milk or any combination – whole, half and half, low fat or skim Whipped cream or marshmallows Preparation Whisk together the cocoa, sugar and about 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the...

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Holiday Cookie Decorating with Walkers Shortbread Cookies

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 1 comment

Sample product received One of our favorite holiday activities is to decorate cookies. Instead of decorating plain sugar cookies from the grocery store bakery this year we tried something new by decorating Walkers Festive Shapes Shortbread cookies. The shortbread cookies come with four different holiday shapes in a set of twelve (just enough for each of my three kids to decorate one of each shape). What I love about Walkers cookies in that they are made with just four high-quality ingredients: wheat flour, butter, sugar and salt. There are no “chemical names” on the ingredient list that I’ve never heard of before, just the ingredients needed to make delicious holiday cookies for our children. I got out different colored tubes of icing and lots of decorations to let the kids express their creativity while decorating their holiday cookies. We...

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Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles Recipe

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

With the holidays upon us, there’s no shortage of celebrating and party invites! Sometimes those invites include a request to bring a dish or appetizer. Hmmmm… what to make? These crispy Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles with Cranberry Drizzle are festive, fun little bites wrapped in flakey, buttery phyllo dough that are always a hit! And the best part is they can be pre-made and frozen until you are ready to bake them. Make a big batch and store them in your freezer in Ziploc bags to have at the ready for the parties you’re invited to! When you’re ready to bake, no thawing is necessary. Take them from your freezer directly to the oven. The Cranberry Drizzle can be frozen as well and re-heated on the stove. Ingredients: 1 pound phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package 2 –...

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Three Easy Ideas for Your Christmas Cheese Board

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

What party is complete without a cheese board? Here are three ideas to add a touch of Christmas to yours this year! Include a Pink Peppercorn and Rosemary Goat Cheese Log! To prepare, chill your goat cheese, stem and chop enough rosemary to coat your goat cheese log, lay out in the length of the goat cheese log and roll so the cheese is coated. And then do the same with pink peppercorns. You will have to lightly press some of the peppercorns into the log. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, drizzle with high quality olive oil. Make your favorite paté recipe. I am fond of Emiril’s chicken liver paté recipe. Since paté is often served with cornichon and Dijon, I like to slice the cornichon into thin slices and use them to form Christmas tree...

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Holiday Cranberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Christmas, New Year's Eve, Recipes | 0 comments

Item received for review   When getting ready to plan your upcoming holiday party, welcome your guests with a flavorful cranberry champagne cocktail. The recipe is simple to make and all the prep work can be done ahead of time to avoid added stress during your holiday party. Feeling overwhelmed by what brand of champagne to purchase? ARIA is not only an affordable brand with an average pricing of $14 a bottle, but also boast sophisticated flavors. ARIA comes from the Penedes region of Spain outside of Barcelona from an estate that dates back to the 11th century. For this recipe, I used the ARIA Estate Brut because of its lively and refreshing tasting notes.   Cranberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe Ingredients: 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 cup sugar 1 bottle ARIA Estate Brut Champagne saucepan strainer (cranberries for garnish)...

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Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

The holidays are a fun time to bake treats with your kids but sometimes it can be difficult to find a recipe that kids of all ages can help make. My kids have been helping me make homemade peppermint bark during the holidays since they were just toddlers, and it is one of their favorite holiday treats. Before purchasing commercial store-bought peppermint bark for a holiday gift, make it at home instead. You’ll have a blast bonding with your children, and a homemade gift is extra special to receive during the holiday season. What do you need? It is simple! 1 box of candy canes 2 12oz. bags of white chocolate chips 1 tea. peppermint extract 1 gallon-size ziploc bag 1 sheet wax paper 1 cookie sheet Where do you start? Bring your kids into the kitchen, and get...

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Healthy & Delicious: Roasted Shrimp Kale Salad with Pesto

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 2 comments

My brother-in-law, John has a mantra, “I’m starting fresh on Monday.” This is usually recited during a weekend of over-indulgence such as this past week! Coming up with ideas for starting fresh isn’t always easy when you’re cooking for a meat lover, but recently I had my sister, Shan and John over for dinner and served a salad I had come up with when I was on a health kick myself. The verdict? They both loved it. The salad starts with a bed of kale with toasted almonds, golden raisins and Parmesan cheese tossed in roasted garlic dressing with lemony breadcrumbs. This is topped with an assortment of colorful ribboned vegetables that have marinated in a light vinaigrette and then roasted shrimp with kale pesto. The layers of textures and flavors make this a satisfying and delicious dinner, without...

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Moms Magnificent Fudge

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

I’ve had the recipe for Moms Magnificent Fudge sitting in the recipe box that I received when I was married, and yet I had never tried making it until this holiday season. Our family focus this year is to have most of our holiday gifts handmade vs. store bought. Nights like the one we spent making fudge together were special, and has strengthened our family bond. While I had thought that homemade fudge was too hard to make (I mean they sell fudge kits at Michael’s) it is actually super duper easy – just a little time consuming! We found it to be so easy that we made a second bath the following night. Purchase some cute treat boxes, make a batch of this fudge, and give your friends a gift from the heart this holiday season. Ingredients: 4...

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Pomegranate Turkey Recipe

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving | 1 comment

Why make a traditional turkey when you can surprise your guests with a unique turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love doing a unique twist on traditional holiday dishes, and this pomegranate turkey recipe was the hit of the holiday in our family last year. It is easy to make, and gives the turkey a sweet flavor that tastes just like eating candy. If you find yourself staring at the giant bird defrosted in your refrigerator wondering what to do with it…try making this fun new recipe. Ingredients: 1 turkey 1 cup of softened butter 1/4 cup of chopped rosemary 2 cups of pomegranate juice 4 large pomegranates 2 garlic cloves 3/4 cup of brown sugar 2 Tbl. honey 1/2 cup of orange juice 4 Tbl. olive oil Dash of salt and pepper Directions: In a food processor, chopped...

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Corner Bakery Chicken Pomodori Panini Recipe

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Recipe courtesy of Corner Bakery I love Corner Bakery. My kids love Corner Bakery. There is something for everyone at the family-friendly restaurant. One of my all-time favorite things to order at Corner Bakery is their Chicken Pomodori Panini. Chicken + Cheese + Basil all inside of Sourdough bread = bliss. Knowing that my instagram feed is flooded with constant pictures of this delicious panini, Corner Bakery offered to share the recipe to this popular sandwich with all of you. What are you waiting for? Get your panini maker out and try making this delicious sandwich for your kids. I guarantee that your kids will love this delicious warm panini. Chicken Pomodori Panini Ingredients: 2 slices of Sourdough bread Butter Garlic butter 4 slices of Provolone cheese 3 oz. of sliced chicken 1 oz. of roasted tomatoes 3-4 leaves...

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Roasted Pear in Dark Chocolate Balsamic with Burrata Recipe

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

About a year ago I discovered Dark Chocolate Balsamic. I’m not really a huge chocolate lover, but it is so incredibly delicious it’s downright drinkable. Since this discovery, I’ve come up with all sorts of fun ways to incorporate it into dishes and now that it’s Fall I started thinking about how good it would be with roasted pears. Dark chocolate and pears. They were made for each other. I also think rosemary is wonderful with roasted pears so I decided that would be part of my dish. But what else? When I was young my mom used to make this pear salad. I’m pretty sure it came from the back of the Del Monte Pear Halves can. Here’s what she did. Half a canned pear, a scoop of Best mayo, and grated cheddar cheese…quick and easy and so...

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Cranberry French Toast Casserole

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Recipes | 7 comments

Bakeware  & gift card provided from Baker’s Secret Tis the season for holiday baking! Get your family into the holiday spirit by baking with the rich flavors of the season. Treat yourself to some new bakeware this holiday season that can go from the oven to the table adding a touch of color to your holiday table. Baker’s Secret colored metal bakeware has a premium non-stick coating, dishwasher and metal spatula safe, and comes with a full lifetime warranty. We created this special recipe for you to prepare for your next holiday brunch. Cranberry French Toast Casserole Ingredients: 1 Loaf of Texas toast bread (thick bread) 8 Eggs 2 Cups milk 1 Cup fresh cranberries (divided) 1 Tbl. sugar 1/2 Cup brown sugar 1 tea. vanilla 1 tea. nutmeg Directions: 1. Cut the crust off the bread and then...

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Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Recipe

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Now that the weather is starting to cool and the leaves are beginning to fall there is nothing I love more to cook with than pumpkin. I’ve been making pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie and recently pumpkin spice cream cheese for my kids morning bagels. When my daughter took her first bite of the pumpkin spice cream cheese on her bagel this morning she said, “mmmmm, it tastes just like pumpkin pie.” Making the recipe is super easy! Simply mix all the ingredients together in a blender or mixer, and then keep chilled in your refrigerator for future use. It is a great way to mix-up your traditional breakfast offerings for your kids. Ingredients Needed: 1 package of whipped cream cheese 1 15oz. can of canned pumpkin (I used the Trader Joe’s brand) 1 Tbl. agave (optional if you don’t...

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Smoked Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Family, Halloween, Recipes | 0 comments

Nothing says Halloween like the sight of orange pumpkins displayed on porches and the smell of smoke in crisp cool fall air. Ahhh…. Halloween I love you! You kick off The Holiday Season… you make me nostalgic. And though, I may not decorate my house for you, I will go all out and cook for you! You call for a comforting, luxurious, velvety warm soup and one of my favorites is butternut squash soup. So in honor of you this year, I decided to start there and add a twist or two. I busted out my handy stovetop smoker and set about cutting up a small sugar pumpkin as the star ingredient in my special Halloween soup… just for you. …Just for you, and as it happens for my friend’s birthday bash this month. It turned out to be...

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle Recipe – OC Mom Blog

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Halloween, Recipes, Uncategorized | 0 comments

What would Halloween be without a delicious sweet treat? Just in time for our family Halloween celebration, I made this delicious chocolate peanut butter trifle. It is sweet, delicious and perfect to serve at your upcoming Halloween party…and guaranteed to satisfy every guests sweet tooth. Ingredients: 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Durge Cake Mix 3 eggs 1 1/4 cup coffee 1/3 cup butter 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 1 1/2 cups peanut butter 4 cups heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 12 chocolate peanut butter Oreo cookies (crumbled) 1 bag of Reese’s pieces 1 bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped into small pieces Chocolate Cake Directions: With electric mixer, mix 3 eggs, 1/3 cup melted butter, 1 1/4 cup coffee and chocolate cake mix. After it is mixed stir...

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Cream Cheese Wonton Recipe – OC Mom Blog

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Whenever I find myself with the “Monday Blues” a fresh batch of cream cheese wonton always seems to brighten my mood. It has been my favorite comfort food for years, and my kids love it because they can easily help make the tasty appetizer. Whether looking for a quick and easy appetizer for your next dinner party or just a quick “comforting” snack, this cream cheese wonton recipe is sure to do the trick. They are easy to make as 1-2-3. Encourage the kids to help with folding the wonton and sealing the edges with water. They will love every minute of helping to make these delicious appetizers. Ingredients: 1 package of wonton wrappers 1 package of whipped cream cheese 1 small bowl of water 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2-3 paper towels (optional chives) Directions: On your kitchen counter,...

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Banana Pumpkin Spice Waffles Recipe – OC Mom Blog

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Now that it is starting to feel like Fall in Orange County, it is the best time to start cooking with the flavors of the season. Over the weekend, I made these delicious banana pumpkin spice waffles for the kids, and they loved every bite. You can easily make them into Paleo by using coconut oil/flours/butter instead of traditional ingredients. They are super easy to make, and is a great way to mix-up your kids normal breakfast routine. I encourage parents to allow their kids to help with making the waffles by having them put the ingredients into the blender. The recipe might end up a little “off” but the kids will never forget the memories made while cooking breakfast with their parents. Ingredients: 2 bananas 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 2 Tbl. pumpkin spice 5 eggs 1 tea. baking...

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Spooktacular Jello Shooter Recipe

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Dining, Family, Halloween, Recipes | 0 comments

It’s starting to feel spooky as the Halloween festivities are fast approaching. To calm your nerves and get into the holiday spirit, here’s an adult (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) drink that will sure to send shivers up the spine of all of your guests. What You’ll Need 3 ounces Jell-O or other gelatin (grape and/or orange flavored)) 1 cup boiling water 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka (or other distilled spirit)* 1/2 cup cold water Plastic shooter cups Gummy candy (eye or other body part)   How to Make it Chill the liquor and cold water mix in the refrigerator so they are a consistent temperature. Pour gelatin (grape and/or orange) into a bowl. Add boiling water, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved (about two minutes). Place gummy eyeballs (edible) or other gummy body part in bottom of plastic shot glass. Note:...

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Wild Mushroom Linguine Recipe

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

One of my mom’s favorite foods in the world is mushrooms. If there’s a dish on a menu with mushrooms, she is almost certain to order it. So the other night when I was trying to come up with something to make for dinner for her, I was thinking about Fall dishes and this is was what I came up with. This is a rustic pasta with bright acidic notes from lemon zest and juice. Cutting each different mushroom type a little differently gives this dish interesting texture. One of the things that makes this so delicious is the vegetable stock the mushroom pan is deglazed with. It’s made with shitake mushroom stems and has earthy, woodsy notes from the liquid reserved from soaking dried oyster mushrooms used in the sauce. I’ve swapped out the nutty, salty parmesan cheese...

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Chronic Taco Breakfast Taco Recipes

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Dining, Recipes | 0 comments

While National Taco Day may have passed, Chronic Tacos is celebrating throughout the month of October by offering double points to all Chronic Tacos loyal customers. They have also been generous to share two of their delicious breakfast taco recipes for your family to enjoy making at home this month. Gringo Breakfast taco Ingredients -2 corn tortillas -one egg – 1/4 cup diced potatoes* or pre- cooked breakfast potatoes -One or two pieces of bacon Recipe Scramble one egg, dice the cooked bacon and add to eggs along with breakfast potatoes. Mix into eggs. Heat two corn tortillas and fill with eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Top with your choice of cheese, salsa and if desired, hot sauce. We like Gringo Bandito green pepper sauce. *Breakfast Potatoes from scratch – Boil cubed potatoes until soft (approx 5mins), then transfer to...

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Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Recipes | 5 comments

Tomatoes were gifted from Melissa’s Produce The long-lasting warm weather is giving us extra weeks to enjoy summer produce. Last week, I visited Melissa’s Produce in Los Angeles, and I left with a basket full of the beautiful heirloom tomatoes. Eager to make a something with them for the family, I chopped a couple of them up, and made them into a fresh bruschetta. Bruschetta is one of the easiest dishes that you can make. It is also healthy, and every kid loves it. Head to your local store or Farmer’s Market to get some heirloom tomatoes before the are gone for the season, and make your kids this delicious bruschetta for an after school snack. Ingredients: 2 Large heirloom tomatoes 1/4 Onion (diced) 5 Tbl. Olive Oil (we used Arianna Trading Company Extra-Virgin Olive Oil) 1/8 Teaspoon basil...

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Kid-Friendly Paleo Pesto and Bacon Eggs Recipe

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

After my husband started Crossfit, he started talking to me about switching our family diet to Paleo. I was 250% resistant at first until I took a recent Paleo cooking class. Since then, I have opened my mind to the possibility and have been exploring different recipes. What I have learned is that it is not as hard as many would think, and the recipes can be simple, tasty and kid-friendly. One of my favorite recipes that I made this week was Paleo pesto and bacon eggs. The kids love it, my husband loves it and I love how simple it is to make! Bacon! To make it easy to cook this dish throughout the week, I made a bunch of bacon ahead of time. Bacon does not have to make a huge mess in your kitchen when baking it....

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Date Night: Rosemary Lamb Chops with Mascarpone Stuffed Zucchini Planks & Couscous

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Lamb is one of those meats people love or hate. I am on the love side! Lamb chops are one of my favorites because they make for an elegant, incredibly flavorful dinner and grilling them takes only a matter of minutes. There are so many delicious ways to prepare them, but here’s a quick and easy recipe that has always been a hit with my family and friends. While admittedly the chops are quite expensive, lamb ribs are a much more budget friendly and equally tasty alternative. The chops just score a few extra points for wow factor! Add a couple of quick sides and you have a date night dinner that looks like you slaved away when you only spent about 30 minutes preparing it. Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Chops This is such a forgiving recipe. When...

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Creating a Light Summer Small Plates Dinner On the Fly

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Sometimes the best dinners happen on the fly. After an exhausting day of cleaning out closets and a storage unit preparing for a combined garage sale, my sister Shan and I were almost catatonic sitting in her car trying to decide on something easy we could make for dinner at my place. I did have prosciutto and burrata on hand which I had bought the previous day to make burrata, prosciutto, and sautéed peach crostini simply because it sounded so good at the time. This became the basis for our dinner. Shan was in the mood for spinach so we decided on salad to go with the crostini and I wanted golden raisins if we were having spinach salad. With that we decided we had enough of a plan to hit the grocery store and 20 minutes later we...

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Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins Bento Box

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

I have challenged myself to create new bento boxes for my kid’s school lunches this year. I’ll admit that I got lazy last year and found myself making the same Sunbutter and honey sandwich every day for the last weeks of school. While making pancakes this morning, I had a large amount of leftover pancake batter, so I decided to make chocolate chip pancake muffins for the kid’s school lunches. Who doesn’t like breakfast for lunch? This is the easiest lunch to make for your kids, and you can make a huge batch in advance. Since this lunch is going to be my kid’s first day of school lunch, I made them in heart shapes so that they will know how much I love (and miss) them. How do you make them? It could not be any easier. You...

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Spicy “Cheesy” Kale Chips Recipe

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Are you ready to start packing lunches? Finding healthy snacks for kids lunches can be a challenge – until now! This healthy and delicious spicy “cheesy” kale chips recipe is perfect to make for your kids school lunches, and can be made in a snap. About 12 oz chips (2 one-gallon zip bags) ▪ 2 ½ cups of raw cashews ▪ 1 large (Holland type) red bell pepper ▪ 2-3 red Fresno peppers ▪ 1-2 tsp lemon juice (to taste) ▪ 2 tsp mineralized sea salt ▪ 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast ▪ 3 bunches curly kale Be sure to purchase ultra-fresh organic vegetables. Soak the cashews in water for 3-4 hours. Combine with the stemmed and seeded peppers, lemon, salt and yeast in a blender. Puree. Taste the mixture, and if it needs it, add more salt or lemon....

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A Taste of Spain… Andalusian Gazpacho

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Family, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Maybe I shouldn’t post two soup recipes in a row, but I just can’t help myself… I love soup! Last week I shared a Chilled Summer Squash Yogurt Dill Soup recipe and this week I’m chillin’ again, this time with Andalusian Gazpacho. Living in New York City in the early 90’s, one of my favorite summer lunches… as in I had it several times a week…was Gazpacho. How could you not love a tomato-based soup with chunky pieces of cucumber and pepper? It was so refreshing and cool and at the height of summer helped conquer the heat of the city. It wasn’t until I visited Spain with my friend and roommate Katie that I first tried Andalusian Gazpacho. It was a completely different Gazpacho than what I had ever had before and I fell in love with it....

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Beat the Heat with Chilled Summer Squash Yogurt Dill Soup Recipe

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

One of my favorite things in the world for lunch or dinner is soup. Even in the heat of the summer there are plenty of chilled soups you can enjoy to cool you down. Here’s a creamy, delicious one I make every summer. Though this one has a creamy feel, it gets its luxurious texture from Greek yogurt! Yields approximately 10 cups Ingredients: 7 or so (just over 3 pounds) Summer Squash (Zucchini and or Yellow Squash) 1 Sweet Onion sliced into half moons (Yellow Onion is fine) 2 Garlic Cloves sliced 6 Cups (enough to cover the squash) Chicken or Vegetable Stock (homemade or use store bought as a time saver) 1 TBSP Fresh Dill stemmed and chopped 14 oz. (2 7 oz. containers) Plain Greek Yogurt (non-fat is fine) Approximately 2 TBSP Olive Oil or Grape Seed...

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Summer Italian Bread Salad Recipe

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

If you’re looking for a refreshing, new and easy summer side dish that is sure to impress your house guests, then look no further than this “Italian Bread Salad.” This original recipe created by my mother-in-law (MIL) chef extraordinaire received rave reviews last week from our dinner guests. My grilling husband served it with his perfectly smoked Tri Tip and garlic green beans, paired with a smooth Pinot Noir. This meal was so tasty, we’re going to have to hit the “menu replay” button one last time before the end of summer. What you’ll need: 4-6 – 1” thick slices of crusty French bread (slightly stale); Cut in bite size pieces 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse ½ cup of red onion, chopped 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and chopped coarse 1 cup...

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BLT Pizza Recipe

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

When making pizza with the kids, I am always trying to mix it up and get creative with the ingredients. Over the weekend, we made a delicious BLT pizza with just a few simple, fresh summer ingredients that the kids loved. If it is making the dough that is keeping you from trying to make your own pizza at home, local stores are making it easy for parents. Although, Trader Joe’s is always a popular place to get pre-made pizza dough, it is usually on the sticky side and often hard to roll-out. I prefer getting mine at Whole Foods Market from the deli counter – and it is the same price! At Whole Foods, they use on the highest quality ingredients, and it is made the same day, making the pizza fresher and the dough easier to use....

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Tandoori Chicken Wings Recipe

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Entertainment, Family, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

Inspired by the gorgeous dishes in The Hundred-Foot Journey, I decided to make Tandoori Chicken Wings using a recipe card provided by the “The Hundred-Foot Journey” I was given during a recent interview with the cast. It was wonderful! Here’s the recipe brought to you by The Hundred-Foot Journey: Ingredients: 3/4 Tbsp sweet paprika 1 Tbsp garam masala (I made my own, but you may also buy a blend in the spice section) 1 Tbsp ground cumin 1 Tbsp coriander Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 1 cup chopped cilantro 1 Tbsp finely grated ginger 5 cloves of minced garlic 1/4 cup fat~free greek yogurt 1/2 cup canola oil 1 minced shallot 3 Tbsp white vinegar 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 4 lbs chicken drumsticks Method: 1. Preheat. oven to 450° F. Set racks on each...

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Sweet Cherry Bruschetta Recipe

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 2 comments

Sponsored Our favorite summer fruit is at it’s perfect perfection right now at Whole Food’s Market during cherry fest. Families are invited to the Whole Foods Market in Tustin on July 9th from 6-8pm to sample our delicious cherry bruschetta recipe while purchasing the freshest and ripest cherries available in Orange County to bring home. The sweet bruschetta recipe tastes just like a slice of cherry pie, and will have your guests begging for the recipe after having a bite at your next summer barbecue. Don’t have a cherry pitter? No problem. Bring the kids into the kitchen to help carefully pit the cherries, and this fun cooking project will keep them occupied for at least an hour. Sweet Cherry Bruschetta Make 8-10 slices 1/2 Baguette sliced 1 cup of cherries 1 Tablespoon of honey 1/2 cup of mascarpone...

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Local Bakery Launches New Cookbook: Beach House Baking

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Dining, Featured, Giveaways, Recipes | 8 comments

We attended as a guest of Chef Lei Chef Lei Shishak is a talented local baker, and owner of Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente. Lei was once Michael Mina’s pastry chef at Stonehill Tavern, and it seemed fitting to have her first cookbook launch on the outdoor patio of Stonehill Tavern. As the guests arrived at the cookbook launch party, everyone was greeted with a beautiful display of desserts made from the recipes in her new cookbook, “Beach House Baking.” The beautiful full-color cookbook features a wide variety of tempting summer desserts for families to cook and enjoy together throughout the warm summer months. Some of our favorite recipes from the new cookbook “Beach House Baking” are the PCH Pina Colada Highway Cupcakes, the tsunami cookies and Cocoa Island cookies. Along with the delicious desserts together we...

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Katie Chin Makes Everyday Thai Cooking Quick and Easy

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Dining, Family, Health, Recipes | 0 comments

  Chef Katie Chin with host, Inspire Artistic Mind’s founder Bobby Navarro. I’m a huge fan of Thai food, but honestly as much as I love to eat it, I have only attempted to make it once…over 20 years ago. I was living on Cape Cod at the time and got it in my head that I was going to master two of my favorite dishes at the time, Thom Yum Gung and Pad Thai. I bought a Thai cookbook and started going through the list of ingredients I would need and realized that the Kaffir lime leaf, lemon grass, galangal, preserved tamarind, brine cured radishes, and dried shrimp my recipes called for were definitely not stocked at my local grocer. Because I was travelling weekly to NYC at the time, I made a quick stop to Chinatown, list in...

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Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a health food superstar and one of my favorite grains to cook with. The Inca referred to quinoa as the “mother seed” because it was considered to be sacred. I like quinoa because it can be eaten hot or cold, it’s one of the few plant based foods that is a complete protein, it cooks in less than 15 minutes, and it’s gluten free! Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune and this recipe proves that point. Quinoa is an accessible and inexpensive grain, making it a wonderful choice if you are on a budget and trying to eat healthy plant based foods. What’s Inside Quinoa? Quinoa contains more vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants than any other grain. In just one cup of quinoa, you will get Vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin, plus...

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Muscat Grape and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Sponsored by Whole Foods Market Orange County My son loves grilled cheese sandwiches. Everywhere we dine out, he will always order a grilled cheese sandwich. After purchasing a bunch of delicious muscat grapes at Whole Foods Market over the weekend, I decided to see how they would taste in a grilled cheese sandwich combined with his other favorite food – bacon! The result was one happy boy. He loved the sweet flavor of the grapes paired with the saltiness of the bacon melted inbetween two pieces of cheese. The recipe is super easy to make, and the muscat grapes are only available at Whole Foods Markets for a limited-time. Ingredients: (makes 1 sandwich) Bread 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup of muscat grapes 1 slice of grilled bacon 2 slices of your favorite cheese Directions: 1. Brush olive oil...

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Burrata and Prosciutto Crosanti with Muscat Grapes

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Sponsored by Whole Foods Market Do you like sweet grapes? Then you are going to fall in love with the muscat grapes at Whole Foods Market. The grapes can only be found for such a short time here in Orange County, and right now they are at their perfect ripeness at Whole Foods Markets across Orange County. The grapes are from Chile and range in colors from light green to blushed pink, and they will be the sweetest grapes you’ll ever eat for just $2.99 a pound. When I heard that the muscat grapes were at Whole Foods Market, I picked-up a bunch for our Sunday brunch. I used the grapes to make an incredibly delicious appetizer that is perfect for the next time that you have guests visit – Burrata and Prosciutto Crosanti with the muscat grapes. The...

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Stained Glass Easter Sugar Cookies

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Easter, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

Easter time in my home is always filled with an abundance of goodies. I love to bake different types of sweet treats to share with our friends and family. These Easter sugar cookies are perfect for any Easter or Spring celebration. Not only are they unique, they are delicious as well. They also make great decorations. These cookies are simple enough to make, that even a non baker will be able to make them with ease. Here is what you will need: Sugar cookie dough (I used Martha Stewart recipe ) If you use your own dough make sure it is good for sugar cookie cut outs. If the dough is too soft the candy will spill out and not stay inside the desired area.   Egg shaped cookie cutter Small shaped cookie cutters – these will be...

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Brightening Up The Kitchen with Fresh Fruit Vinegar Mangé Le Gastronome

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

If, like me, you’re a lover of cooking with different types of vinegar, this should be right up your alley! I’d have a hard time counting all of the bottles of vinegar on my counter and in my pantry, which include champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, cider vinegar, white vinegar, red and white wine vinegar, aged balsamic vinegar, as well as a number of flavored balsamic vinegar. I use them all and I have to control myself when I see a new one that sounds interesting because I am running out of space! So I was happy to have the opportunity to review a line of Fresh Fruit vinegar by Mangé Le Gastronome. When my package from Mangé arrived, the first thing that stood out was that their Fresh Fruit vinegar look different from anything I had on...

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Grown-up Green Eggs and Ham

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

“I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I am!” One of our favorite things to do with our children to read books to them. It doesn’t matter how old they get, we will never stop sharing our favorite books with them. My husbands favorite book as a child was “Green Eggs and Ham.” While he was reading the book to my son Tyler over the weekend, I made some delicious green eggs and ham for their story time snack. Traditionally, everyone normally adds green food coloring to make green eggs and ham. Since I do my best to eliminate food dyes in my kids diets, I made it with pesto instead. The result was a delicious and healthy snack based off on of our beloved children’s book. Supplies Needed: The book “Green...

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No Bake Fruit Loops Rainbow Bars

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Featured, Holiday, Recipes, St. Patrick's Day | 0 comments

While the kids were swimming outside, I was busy inside creating Rainbow Bars to sneak into their lunches Monday morning.  Rainbow Bars are like Rice Krispy Treats, but with Fruit Loop cereal instead.  You can quickly make these while the kids are at school, and ready to serve as a St. Patrick’s Day after- school or dinner treat. Here’s what you’ll need: 6 tablespoons margarine (works better than butter in this recipe), 16 ounces of mini marshmallows, and 10-12 cups of Fruit Loops, parchment or wax paper and cooking spray. Line a 9 x 13 pan with wax or parchment paper, coat with cooking spray and set aside.  In a sauce pan, melt 6 tablespoons of margarine over low – medium heat. Once melted, add mini marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth.  Once melted, remove from heat and...

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St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Recipe

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Recipe made possible thanks to Total Wine & More St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for kids. I love creating unique craft cocktails on holidays to surprise my husband with after the kids go to sleep. Since I have been so busy this month, I found myself lacking the creativity I needed to design a St. Patrick’s Day Irish Whiskey cocktail, so I got some help from my friends over at Total Wine & More. I asked the knowledgeable staff to help me create the mint flavored cocktail that I had in my head, but couldn’t quite figure out how to execute. My husbands favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip, and I wanted a creamy mint flavored cocktail that would taste just like dessert for him to enjoy after dinner. Total Wine & More quickly brought together different ingredients...

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Shamrock Baked Tortilla Chips

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Holiday, Recipes, St. Patrick's Day | 0 comments

If you’re looking for a kid friendly St. Patrick’s Day , I have just the thing.  Not only is this recipe easy, the kids can help every step of the way.   My three leprechaun’s and I created Shamrock Baked Spinach Tortilla Chips this afternoon. The ingredients and tools needed are simple and the kids loved prepping and cooking with little help from me. You’ll need spinach tortillas or wraps, cooking spray, salt to taste, and shamrock cookie cutter(s) and your favorite dip; we used classic humus. Start by preheating your oven to 375*. Place one tortilla on the counter, and press firmly down on the shamrock cookie cutter moving side to side to ensure the cutter pierces all the way through.  If the edges are resistant, use cooking scissors to trim. Place each shamrock on a cookie sheet. Using...

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Best BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

My favorite night of the week is pizza night! My husband learned how to make the best pizza from his high school years working at Original Pizza in Newport Beach. The kids scream with delight every time that he tosses the pizza dough high into the air (which I recommend doing outside unless you want your kitchen covered in a blanket of flour). This is my favorite kid-friendly bbq chicken pizza recipe. You can make your own pizza dough from scratch, but the dough from Trader Joe’s works just as good. You will want to lightly floured surface before rolling out the dough to the your desired pizza size. Best Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe Ingredients: 1 Pizza dough (I recommend just keeping it easy by getting the one from Trader Joe’s) 1 Jar of your favorite barbecue sauce 1 Package...

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