All posts filed under: Baking

Healthy(ish) Granola

I’ve always loved granola.  It’s my “go to” for a healthy(ish) breakfast.  I love to mix it with Greek yogurt and fresh berries.  However, it wasn’t until I had a child that I really began to appreciate it.  Oats are magical…especially if you’re nursing.  They’re a natural way to not only get things moving, but also to increase milk output. When my baby was only drinking breast milk, I began to make my own “Boobie Bars.”  I didn’t just eat them for breakfast, I ate them throughout the day.  They were so easy to just pop in my purse and grab any time I needed a snack. I still make Boobie Bars just because they’re great to have around, but now I mostly make simple granola.  Each batch is basically the same, but I like to change it up if I have some fun stuff in my pantry.  My family loves it – especially when I add it to ice cream or pancakes.  Yum!   Ingredients: 4 cups oats 1 cup ground flaxseeds 1 cup …

Dinner Parties with Mom

My mother always liked a good party, and she was especially fond of the ones she threw herself.  When I was 15, she decided to have a series of dinner parties.  The menu was always the same; the friends rotated.  Needless to say, after a few of these, we got really good at sharing the kitchen.  It felt like a dance, as we weaved around each other to work in tandem to create a delicious meal. Now, my mother always proclaimed she didn’t have a sweet tooth, however she did have one weakness:  chocolate!  For those dinners, we turned to The Los Angeles Times California Cookbook and created the Four-Minute Brownie Pie.  It was an ooey-gooey brownie in a pie shape that we served, fresh out of the oven, with ice cream and hot fudge.  Calling it decadent was an understatement, and that was exactly the tone she wanted for the evening. The meal started with an appetizer of her signature crab dip.  Our guests would gab while munching on the luscious starter and drink …

My Little Valentine

Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly.  While this traditionally has been a holiday I’ve shrugged off, my husband loves to go all out and give me roses and chocolates.  On one occasion, I got a teddy bear and the flowers.  Last year he gave me custom jewelry with his and my son’s birthstones. Needless to say, he’s changed my attitude about Valentine’s Day.  I wholeheartedly admit I love flowers and candy.  To be given those things from him makes them even more special. Usually I cook him his favorite meal for this holiday.  This year, I decided to do something different. My husband is Cuban.  There is very little that he loves more than a pastelito.  We live walking distance to Porto’s Cuban Bakery, which has all sorts of Cuban and Cuban-inspired treats.  We used to go there all the time.  It’s cheap.  It’s delicious.  The food is fresh.  The coffee is strong.  The lines are…long.  Oh…that’s right.  It usually takes a minimum of an hour to get in and out of Porto’s, even if …

The Versatility of Crepes

I was catching up on some Top Chef episodes, when was I reminded of one of my all old-time favorite dishes during a “Quick Fire Challenge.”  The segment was centered around Chef Brooke Williamson’s tradition of making Sunday morning crepes with her son.  Of course, it was appropriately sponsored by Nutella…

The Cure for the Holiday Hangover

It’s January.  Most of us are trying to eat better and work out more.  However, it’s generally cold in the mornings and we’re all feeling a little sluggish from the holidays. January may be the time of resolution keeping, but it is also the time of the Holiday Hangover.  For that, I like nothing more than a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. My husband and I have been grinding coffee and brewing it up in our Italian espresso maker.  Add a touch of Splenda and some 2% steamed milk, we have the beginning of a productive day.  It’s our slice of morning heaven. However, do you know what makes it even better?  A little treat. That’s right – a treat.  An itty-bitty, something yummy is the perfect way to start the day – even if it isn’t on our diet.  That’s where the Coffee Cookie comes in! I drink alcohol from time to time, as you may have guessed from the title of my blog.  On one boozy night, I had …

Macarons – Those Temperamental Little B!+(#es

French macarons have been a long-time favorite dessert of mine.  I love the colors, flavors, and that slightly chewy, tender cookie with a fragile crust.  I heard they could be fussy, so I never tried to make them.  Instead, I left them to the French pastry experts. That is, until I caught a video on making macarons.  It looked so easy!  What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot of things. Let’s start with this:  If you read my blog or know me in person, you know I am very bad at sticking to the recipe.  I enjoy “cooking with love.”  In other words, I like throwing things together and making something yummy. The first time I made macarons, I followed the directions of the video I had watched.  These were very tasty, but the video left out a very important step: Sift, sift, sift.  Then sift again.  If in doubt, sift. As I said, the first macarons I created were delicious.  However, they were grainy.  They were completely the wrong texture.  …

Sweet and Savory – Olive Oil Cakes

Can I tell you, I’m a sucker for those video recipes on Facebook.  They snag me every time! I mean, they look amazing!  Am I right? That said, I’ve never tried one.  So, one in particular caught my attention, and I thought I would give it a try. Spoiler alert: the result was delicious! The recipe I decided to try is for chocolate dipped olive oil cakes.  This may not sound like the most appetizing thing on a menu. Before I ever tasted olive oil cake, it was not generally in my “go to” category for a dessert.  However, now that I know how succulent, flavorful and interesting an olive oil cake is, I will order it any time I see it. The first time I ever tried an olive oil cake was at the restaurant Osteria Mozza, in Los Angeles (now nominated for a 2016 James Beard award for best pastry chef). My foodie friend, Adrienne took me there for my birthday and suggested we order the olive oil cake for dessert. She has …