Chive Risotto Cakes

I first heard about these Chive Risotto Cakes from Sarah over at Sarah’s Place, and knew I had to try them for myself! The recipe is from Ina Garten who in my eyes can do no wrong!

Chives are one of my favorite herbs, and these risotto cakes are filled with subtly onion-y chive flavor. Not to mention lots of other yummy stuff!

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fun Cake

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend – I sure did! A few friends and I recently started a Supper Club. We try to get together monthly (or as often as our schedules will allow!) and take turns hosting. Everyone brings something to contribute to the meal -apps, dessert, salad, WINE… it is a fantastic time! Start one with your friends immediately!! Saturday we ate an amazing tuna and avocado appetizer made by Rachel and Brandon (I have got to get this recipe-look for it up on the blog as soon as I do!), and an incredibly decadent main course of braised short ribs over cheesy parmesan polenta made by Elise and Greg. Is your mouth watering too?!

This past Saturday it was my turn to make dessert for supper club and after going through many many recipes, I settled on this Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fun Cake from this month’s issue of Bon Appetite. And I am so glad I did! This cake is chocolatey, rich, moist, filled with sweet and salty peanutty goodness, and as the name suggests, just FUN!

I followed the Bon Appetite almost to the letter, which you can find here, with only a couple small changes. I wanted to do a round cake instead of a square, so I doubled the recipe for the cake and the frosting. I also added one little change that I think (if I do say so myself) added a TON of flavor and another dimension to this already delicious cake. More on that later…


The cake itself is very rich and chocolatey due to the high concentration of chocolate and comparatively little amount of flour. I also may have added an extra handful of chocolate to the batter, whoops. :)  Continue reading →

Asparagus, Broccoli, and Green Onion Soup

Have you been looking to “go green”? Have I got the soup for you! :)

This soup is so fantastic you wouldn’t even know it is also so healthy you could eat the entire pot and not feel guilty! Plus, it all comes together in about a half hour – does it get any better than that?!

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What I Ate Wednesday-Napa Valley Edition!

Happy Wednesday Everyone! I’m so excited about this weeks WIAW because last Sunday I had a fantastic day celebrating my friend Meagan’s birthday by wine tasting up in the Napa Valley. Meagan’s fabulous fiance was out of town for her birthday so he rented a limo to take her and 4 friends wine tasting for the day. Major fiance points huh?!?! :)

I try never to take for granted that I live in the fabulous place that I do. One of the most beautiful places in the world is just an hour and a half away. Every time I head up to wine country I am amazed by the beauty, food, and of course wine! So without further ado…

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Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

Have you all tried barley yet? You might be skeptical, as I was at first. “Barley? Isn’t that something cows eat?!?” But I read an article about the health benefits of barley and decided to try it out. And I am so glad I did! Barley has quickly turned into my new favorite grain. I think it tastes like a heartier version of brown rice, and I am happy to say it passes he husband test! Every time I try out a new health food I kind of hold my breath as I serve it to my husband to see if he a) looks at me like I’m crazy (this happens pretty often) or b) spits it out in disgust (never happened yet but I’m still worried! :) ). Not so with the barley! He loved it and I think you will too!  Continue reading →

Buttermilk Biscuits

Happy Friday Everyone! Welcome to the weekend:) Even though I still have some remnants of a cold from the beginning of the week, I am feeling wonderful thinking ahead to a relaxing, quiet, restful weekend.

How did your lemon curd turn out? Pretty delicious huh? Well, wait till you try it dolloped on one of these amazing biscuits hot outta the oven. It’s heaven!

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Homemade Lemon Curd

Jackpot!!

I am lucky enough to have a beautiful lemon tree in my yard at home AND at work. Around this time of year my diet tends to become much more acidic as I can’t resist harvesting these golden bursts of flavor.

I picked these guys from the tree at work. They are really tart and juicy, so I thought, what better way to use them then some, tart, sweet, velvety lemon curd?!

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Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you are loving somebody today and somebody is loving you! I am loving these Valentine Sugar Cookies!! Oh, and my husband! :)

These cookies are actually my great grandmother’s recipe. Growing up my mom would make these cookies every single Valentine’s day. Even when we moved away for school or work she would send my siblings and me packages of these cookies nested in 18 layers of bubble wrap so as to arrive safely. Needless to say, it’s not quite Valentine’s Day until these cookies get made.  Continue reading →

Whole Wheat Baguette

Happy Monday! Welcome to another week! Although I have a bit of a case of the Mondays because I woke up with a sore throat this morning, I am armed with several packets of Emergen-C and enough liquids to float me away as I am determined NOT to get sick before celebrating my first married Valentine’s Day with my hubby!

If you are looking for something to take your Valentine’s dinner up a notch and make it even more extra special fresh baked bread is the way to go! I am telling you, whip up (it really is that easy!) this whole wheat baguette and your Valentine will be so impressed that he/she will suddenly have the uncontrollable desire to buy you something pretty. Well, at least that I am hoping! :)

All joking aside, this baguette is SO easy to make. You don’t have to activate the yeast, no kneading, and it only takes 25 minutes to bake! But it turns out so absolutely delicious – crunchy on the outside, soft and airy on the inside – that no one has to know how easy it was! (see note about presents above ;) ) Continue reading →

Elderflower Champagne Cocktail

Happy Saturday everyone! Even though it’s raining here in Cali, I’m thinking warm…sunny…and romantic! With Valentine’s Day coming up I am thinking of all things pink, sweet, and bubbly! This cocktail is super bubbly and a little sweet, perfect for your Valentine’s day celebration.

This cocktail is dangerously delicious and very special, but only requires 3 ingredients! Champagne, elderflower liquor, and sparkling water.

Have you tried elderflower liquor? Don’t let the name fool you. It doesn’t taste like biting into a geranium. It is subtly floral with just the right amount of sweet. You’ve got to try it! It works perfectly with champagne but also goes great in a martini, or just with some sparkling water!

For this cocktail, pour 1 1/2 oz elderflower liquor into your champagne glass. Fill the glass with champagne up to about 1 inch from the top. Top off with sparkling water. Using a stir stick, very gently stir the cocktail. You don’t want it to bubble over on you! And that’s it. If you are making it for Valentine’s day you can garnish with a couple floating raspberries or a strawberry for an extra special treat.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?? Add this cocktail to your plans, you won’t be disappointed! :)

Enjoy!

Lemon Meringue Pie…From Scratch!

Lemon meringue pie holds a special place in my heart. Ginny (my grandma) makes an amazing lemon meringue pie! When my siblings and I were kids we used to sneakily approach a freshly made lemon meringue pie and pick the peaks off the meringue because we just couldn’t wait until after dinner! So Ginny’s perfect lemon meringue pie went from beautiful to peak less by the time dessert rolled around. We would try to be so sneaky but Ginny would always catch us somehow and get sooooo (fake) mad! :) It wasn’t our fault Ginny! It was too delicious!

So when I needed a dessert for a special occasion and had just harvested about 20 ripe lemons from my front yard tree, I decided to try my hand at my first lemon meringue pie ever. I was nervous – a lot can go wrong with meringue! – but this pie turned out even more delicious than I imagined, though not at all as good as Ginny’s! (I had to say that because #1 it is true and #2 Ginny got really (fake) mad at me for saying this)

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