Friday, April 27, 2018
What is better then bacon? In my book ..... nothing! The key to great bacon is to cook is low and slow on a griddle until it is crispy but certainly not burnt. The flavor stays true and a crispy delight is ready to enjoy.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Life has been quite busy lately. How about you? I have been a bit behind in my Friday Night Bites series for all of you. The good news is - I am back. This week I made a caramelized onion dip with bourbon croutons. You heard me .......... bourbon croutons!
Friday, March 30, 2018
Yippee Skippee .... it is finally FRIDAY! I think that means it is time for Friday Night Bites and this week I thought I would share another sublime cocktail with all of you. Noted for its stunning purple color, this old-school gin cocktail is a standout. It is a cocktail that was created before Prohibition by a bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York. It is made with gin, maraschino liqueur, creme de violette and fresh lemon juice. The creme de violette is such a unique addition and makes this cocktail a true standout and often referred to the "forgotten classic". It is flowery, assertive yet sweet but a liqueur worth trying.
Friday, March 23, 2018
I am dreaming of forwarding time to mid summer right now. You may ask ....... why? It is fig season of course. Smile. I do simply adore figs, well actually kind of obsess over them - oh those glorious figs. It has been almost two years since I made my last big batch of Balsamic Fig Jam. I typically set aside a whole day and bang out 80 half pint jars of this delightful crowd pleaser. Besides enjoying it at home, it is my "go to" hostess and holiday gift to share with others. I have friends who wait in anticipation for it and one friend even has her whole family asking - when are you getting more fig jam?
Friday, March 16, 2018
Just imagine .... warm goat cheese, flavored olive oil and warm crunchy bread - now that is my idea of heaven in my mouth. The infusion of citrus, spice and earthy herbs is a sublime combination along with the tangy goat cheese and crunchy baguette. Add a touch of fluer de sel and this bite is simply perfect. Goat cheese has a pristine white color and distinct flavor that is one of the most amazing cheeses in the world - a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others.
Friday, March 9, 2018
There is something special about enjoying a craft cocktail with sublime bar nuts. The bar is raised even higher (no pun intended) when you are sitting at a swanky, hip bar with cool music playing and having your significant other or close friend next to you. You could even simply be sitting at the counter in your kitchen with the lights dimmed and have a bar experience.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Rain glorious rain! The Bay Area has been a bit starved this year for rain. December, January and into February were rather dry months. Five years ago we experienced the beginning of drought much the same way, so as you can imagine, we were all getting nervous. Yesterday, March 1st brought much needed rain and it was really coming down. The forecast calls for more rain ahead over the weekend and next week - thank goodness! We can only hope that March and April bring buckets of rain to ward off a drought.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Happy Friday Peeps! It is finally here - the weekend! Isn't it funny how after a long holiday weekend and then we are blessed with a four day work week, it seems longer than a regular work week. Perhaps it is the compressed timeframe that we have to get everything done. Although, I love a long weekend. Hubby and I took the friday off as well to make it a four day holiday weekend. We went to Neiman Marcus for lunch - it is our treat and just love the popovers. Fantastic way to kick off the weekend.
Friday, February 16, 2018
This week I am thrilled to share my savory madeleine recipe with all of you! I have long been obsessed with madeleines. You tend to never think of these small shell shaped french sponge cakes as a sweet treat but not often turning them upside down to make a savory version. I have long wanted to share a savory version. Hubby loved them.
Friday, February 9, 2018
What is it about a little piece of toast loaded with crunchy, salty, creamy and herbaceous goodies? It is the dance that your mouth has along with your stomach being extremely happy. I absolutely love creating new flavor profiles and tasty bites for my Friday Night Bites weekly series here. I just hit my one year anniversary at my new job and I can't believe how time flies by so quickly. I absolutely LOVE my new role and company. After 18 years with one organization and 8 promotions later, it was time for a change. Change is good. Change is empowering. Change is what we need to invigorate our careers and life.
Friday, February 2, 2018
It is that time of the year. The bright brilliant blood oranges are in season. Once you cut this jewel in half, the rich red pink color is revealed. Blood oranges have a unique flavor compared to other oranges, being distinctly raspberry-like in addition to the usual citrus notes. They are in season in California from about November through May, although I have a hard time finding them late in the season. Their origin is thought to be from China or the southern mediterranean but now they are primarily grown in Italy. Their beauty inspired me to create this pink peppercorn blood orange compote to adorn a simple crostini.
Friday, January 26, 2018
It seems like we were just celebrating New Years Eve with appetizers and bubbly. With February around the corner, this year is already sailing by. I live by each day and believe that we need to enjoy each day to the fullest. I enjoy the simple things, the people that I love around me and having a sense of purpose each day. One of my resolutions for 2018 was to dedicate more attention to my blog that I have nurtured over the years.
Friday, January 19, 2018
Happy New Year! I know it has been a while since I have posted and one of my resolutions for the new year is to post at least once a week. As you all know, I am slightly obsessed with appetizers. If you follow me on Instagram, then you see my Friday Night Bites with wine and often cheese plates. My goal for this year is to bring you more interesting Friday Night Bites and spice up my little corner of the internet.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Do you ever try something at a restaurant and say to yourself - I must make this? I do all the time. Recently I was in Chicago for a business trip and we had cocktails and dinner at Siena Tavern. It was a extremely humid and rainy night in Chicago where you could cut the air with a knife. Despite the weather, which being from California this was not the norm for me - the vibe in this Top Chef, Fabio Viviani created restaurant was extremely cool. It had concrete floors, rustic decor and hip music being piped through everywhere. Although a bit loud, we enjoyed cocktails at the bar with friends. I had an aviator and a last word - don't typically swing out with a couple cocktails at once, it was a fun treat. The bartender was hip and cool and make some darn good drinks.
Monday, August 14, 2017
A couple weeks ago I attended the Livermore Valley's "Taste of Terroir" weekend to experience the tasty food and wine of this special sometimes forgotten wine country region in Northern California. I was personally invited as a media guest by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and was quite honored they thought of me. I was able to take hubby with me and he is always thrilled when he can be part of my blogging events.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Well HELLO almost summer - oh how I have missed you! My birthday was last Sunday and we swung out for this years birthday gift - a new wicker patio set from Living Spaces. It is part of the the Adventura collection. We got the 4 piece sectional, 2 lounge chairs, the cocktail table with 2 ottomans and 2 end tables. I feel like we have a true outdoor living room set. Since it was simply understated, it needed a POP of color, so I headed to Homegoods and got some fun pillows and decorative items for the tables. Oh and an outdoor rug from Cost Plus World Market.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Do you ever wish you had an elegant yet easy appetizer to make for guests that you want to impress? Have I got a simple, tasty and easy recipe for you. It has just a few ingredients and can be virtually made ahead of time and I promise will "WOW" your guests. They will think you spent hours preparing.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Do you want a quick and easy show stopper appetizer? If you answered yes, then I have an easy and delicious recipe for you. You can actually simply shop your pantry. If you are like me and stock your pantry with an assortment of items, then you should be set.
Friday, February 24, 2017
One of my favorite things to do is to make handmade jam and chutney. I will make a large batch to can and save for gift giving along with enjoying. With the holidays in the rear view mirror, I made a batch of my favorite chutney – Cranberry,
& Ginger Chutney.
The weather in Orange Northern
California has been quite
stormy over the last several weeks and this week was not exception. The good news is we are officially over the
drought. The last 5 years have changed our water usage patterns and has become a
new norm for hubby and me.
Friday, February 10, 2017
One of my absolute favorite things is to entertain. I love the process of planning along with the actual preparation and execution. Have one to two other couples over is the perfect party. You can actually carry on a meaningful conversation and truly enjoy each others company. Rather than sitting down in the dining room table, I have found that starting in the kitchen and then moving to the family room to get a bit more comfy is my preferred route.
Friday, January 27, 2017
You know those restaurants that you frequent over and over again because they are just that good. I have one that I patron almost every other week for lunch. It is called El Aguila and has the
BEST Al Pastor street
tacos I have ever tasted. Everything is
house made and organic. The flavor on
these tacos is out of the world delicious.
Friday, December 2, 2016
With the holidays now here, the appetizers will be flowing at my house. The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family. It is a time to be thankful for what we have, to celebrate what is important and to kick off a new year. We continued the long standing tradition of having Thanksgiving at my parent’s house and it was a full house for sure. All four of my darling nephews were there and they are getting so big and so old. They range from a junior in high school to the littlest one in second grade. I just adore them.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Who doesn’t love anything fried? I can’t think of too many people. The crispy, deep fried taste is like none other. I have to admit that I would much prefer a fried anything over something sweet. Albeit, not good for my health – in moderation, it is an allowed indulgence.
Friday, October 21, 2016
The countdown has begun. I am referring to when this election will be OVER. I am typically not political but this year, you can’t help but get swept up in it all with the two primary candidates. Regardless of your political party affiliation, in my opinion, this year’s election is a train wreck. It is causing fueled conversation and strong opinions among many.
Friday, September 16, 2016
I had not been summoned to jury duty since I was 19 years old. The system finally caught up to me. I had to call the night before and was hoping they would just say – thank you for your service. However, that was not the case – I was to show up at to the courthouse. I came early to find parking and get through the security process. I walked down the long hallway to the jury assembly room where I was greeted with a lady who said to scan my summons and fill out a questionnaire. Once I completed it, I sat down with the other 150 people whose fateful turn for jury duty happened to be the same day.
Friday, September 2, 2016
A morning at the farmer’s market can be an inspiring event. As I stroll through the isles of produce and artesian items, I am intrigued by where the produce came from and the story behind it. Whether it is the handmade artesian cheese, hand extracted honey or pickled vegetables - the story is fascinating. When hubby and I walk to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning, we get our exercise in along with an assortment of market delights. Typically hubby goes to the coffee vendor and I rush to the bakery to get the last few cheese puffs. Hubby gets me a hibiscus tea to carry with me through our journey. A bit of ritual and tradition is nice thing to have in your life.
Friday, August 12, 2016
I love how toast is trendy now. You can top is with just about anything and it becomes a hip appetizer. It has to be one of the easiest appetizers to make and it will certainly WOW your friends and family. The combinations are endless.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Several weeks ago I attended a performance for Broadway Under the Stars from the Transcendence Theatre Company in
Sonoma. My company sponsored half of the performance
while Moss Adams took care of the other half.
It was a great way to end an all day meeting in Sonoma. The weather was simply perfect for an evening
of great wine, food and entertainment. What a great way to spend a Thursday
Monday, June 13, 2016
Life has gotten super busy lately and I have neglected my little space on this vast space we call the internet. I have thought it about many times over the last month, I need to post something and then life continues to happen. We are now in the middle of remodeling our kitchen. Not a full remodel but a face lift of sorts.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Hubby and I have a new weekend ritual – we walk to the farmers market almost every Saturday morning. As we say, it is a “two-fer”. We get our exercise in with a round trip walk of 3 miles and some farm or baked fresh goodies make their way home with us. Last weekend, we picked up some gorgeous beets from a magnificent farmer who is one of our favorites.
Friday, March 18, 2016
We just experienced day light savings time this last weekend. I know it is only one hour lost, but some years it certainly feels like more than one hour was swept away from us. There is a lot of chatter about abolishing this archaic tradition. I say let’s put it in the trash can and never look back. Mother Nature will compensate for us and it may just take a few more weeks.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
El Nino hit the Bay Area with a vengeance over the weekend. The storms are predicted to continue off and on through the end of the week. I heard on the news that we had over 4 to 5 inches over the entire weekend. Sure hope this puts a big dent in our drought. Despite having big storms and spring is around the corner, I am sure we are in store for more. Bring it on!
Friday, February 26, 2016
The weather in the Bay Area this week feels more like spring than winter. Considering we are in an El Nino year, the last two weeks have yielded no rain. I heard on the radio today during my drive back from a client appointment that in the next week or so we should have some more rain. Keep your fingers crossed – we really need here in the Bay Area.
Friday, February 12, 2016
It is Friday Night Bite time already! This week is extra special since we have a holiday weekend ahead. Gosh I love a three day weekend. No worries about having to get up early on Monday and your Sunday evening feels more like a Saturday. One extra day makes all the difference in the world.