With the end of Summer quickly approaching (yikes, less than two weeks) and Autumn upon it’s heels, I’ve been thinking of my “must-have” favorites for September ’16 in my kitchen.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpreadTheHeat #CollectiveBias
Do you need a little spice in your life? Do you love crunchy, wholesome, tasty treats to snack on? Well, have I got the perfect snack for you!
My mouth is watering just thinking about this delightful snack of Strawberry, Jalapeño and Brie Crisps. It’s the perfect spicy, sweet, salty bite we love. Handsome and I nosh on our new found delicious snack while watching our favorite TV shows. Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Strawberry Jalapeno Fruit Spread with warm brie cheese served on a Wasa Multigrain Crispbread is the perfect snack for every snacking occasion. It’s simple but, delicious.
The last time I was shopping at Walmart I noticed a few new products from Smuckers. The Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Strawberry Jalapeno Fruit Spread caught my eye. All of their Fruit & Honey flavors are better for you because they are naturally sweetened with honey.
As soon as I saw the Smuckers fruit spread, I knew I wanted to combine it with Wasa Multigrain Crispbread and a slice of Brie cheese. It has become our new favorite go to snack!
I really enjoy the crisp crunch of Wasa Crispbread. They are non-GMO verified. Wasa Crispbread are all natural, full of fiber and contain no preservatives. Win, Win!
- 1 package of Wasa Multigrain Crispbread
- 1 round of Brie cheese or any soft cheese you prefer, cut into slices.
- 1 jar of Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Strawberry Jalapeno Fruit Spread
- 4 to 5 leaves of fresh basil cut into thin strips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Place Wasa Multigrain Crispbread on to a parchement lined baking sheet.
- Add sliced cheese to each piece of Wasa crips
- Place in oven for 5 minutes of until cheese is melted. Remove from oven.
- Add Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Strawberry Jalapeno Fruit Spread to the top of the cheese.
- Sprinkle with the fresh basil.
PIN this recipe to save it for later!
What do you like to top your Wasa crisps with?
Earn $1.00 off Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Fruit Spread Here!
Earn an extra $0.50 back using this Wasa Ibotta offer Here!
Until Next Time…
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ArtofEntertaining #CollectiveBias
The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.
This year instead of traveling to a far off land Handsome and I have decided to do a staycation and prepare meals around our favorite vacation eats. One of our favorite recent vacations was to Napa Valley, California. Most Napa Valley restaurants serve delicious farm to table meals that are paired with delightful wines. To make us feel like we are back in the California wine country again, we will be visiting different Farmers Markets every weekend, seeing what produce looks exceptional and building a meal around it.
Look at the gorgeous baby heirloom tomatoes I found.
We are pairing our meals with Estancia Wines. Have you ever had a glass Estancia Wine? Did you know the word Estancia in Spanish means Estate? Their vineyards are located off the coast of California in Monterey. Over 200 years ago the Franciscan Friars were the first to plant a crop of wine grapes in that area. The Friars recognized that area was a perfect spot to grow grapes because of the region’s morning and early evening fog that is split up by the intense afternoon heat. These are the weather conditions wine makers dream of. Which is part of the reason Estancia Wines are so delicious.
Back to my favorite staycation meal…
Let me tell you what was on our menu.
Our meal started with Burrata bruschetta paired with a Pinot Grigio.
Followed by a chicken grilled vegetable crostata served with Pinot Noir.
We ended the evening with butter infused almond & sea salt dark chocolate bark along with a lovely glass of Estancia’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 1 Pre-made refrigerated pie crust
- 4 slices of Gouda cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 small container of button mushroom, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 chicken breast
- 4 basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat grill pan over medium high heat.
- Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- pan and cook on both sides until the grill on the chicken are dark brown (the chicken will fully cook in the oven)
- Slice chicken into 1 inch strips. Set aside.
- Put butter and olive oil into a hot saute pan. When butter has melted add the sliced mushrooms and saute for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place pie crust onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with baking spray.
- Add the 4 slices of Gouda to the center of the pie crust.
- Add mushrooms on top of the cheese.
- Place sliced chicken on top of the mushrooms.
- Add the sliced zucchini about 2 inches in from the outer rim of the crust and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Turn the outer rim of the crust up and over ½ of the zucchini rounds.
- Brush beaten egg over the pie crust.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over the crostata and bake for an addition 8 minutes until the Mozarella has melted.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil.
And now for my favorite part of every meal…Dessert.
There is something spectacular that happens in your mouth when dark chocolate is paired with a Cabernet.
Butter Infused Almond & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bark
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup silvered unsalted roasted almonds
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
2 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper with a light coating of baking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and coconut oil. Add almonds and table salt to the skillet and stir to coat nuts for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside and let cool.
- Melt chocolate according to the package directions. Once the chocolate is completely melted spread a thin layer onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle the almonds (press them down a little) and the Pink Sea Salt over the top of the chocolate as soon as it is spread out.
- Place baking sheet in a cool area to let chocolate firm up. Once chocolate has hardened break into pieces.
- Bark may be stored up to 2 weeks in an air tight container (No batch I have ever made has never lasted longer than 24 hours!).
To learn more about Estancia Wines check out their Facebook page .
Please enter Estancia Wine sweepstakes,
Toast The Coast here.
What’s your favorite staycation meal?
Most of my childhood summers were spent at my Nonna’s house. I loved being with her, she spoke her sentances half in english and then finish them up in italian. As I have said many times before, I loved to watch her cook. She was so at home in the kitchen. Her kitchen had a built in booth and my spot was right in the center (it had the best view). That is the spot I carried out any cooking assignments Nonna gave me. Sometimes it was hanging the freshly made pasta on the drying rack or pinching the ends off the freshly picked green beans or salting the black olives that we had just picked off her tree.
One of my favorite memories was my Nonna making a big bowl of popcorn, beacuse that meant we were going to stay up late and watch The Tonight Show.
So in honor of my Nonna, I made cinnamon brown sugar popcorn! I wish I would have thought of this back then beacuse she would have loved it! She loved anything sweet.
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 4 tablesppons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Himalayn salt or table salt
- Place popcorn in a large bowl.
- in a small sauce pan over medium/low heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
- Immediately drizzle over popcorn and toss until all popcorn is coated.
To this day popcorn is still my number 1 snack and this cinnamon brown sugar popcorn is my current favorite. I eat it atleast twice a week. I feel like im doing something good for myself, fiber from the popcorn and all the health benefits from cinnamon. If you would like to read more on cinnamon’s health benefits, read about it here.
Enjoy this cinnamon brown sugar popcorn!
Until Next Time…
It’s Cinco de Mayo!
Looking for a festive dessert tonight to go with your Mexican dinner?
How about these delicious pound cake churro bites?
They are quick and easy and I’m sure your family will love them as much as my family did.
I used a pound cake from the freezer section of my grocery store, but you can certainly use a homemade one. I cut the pound cake into 1 inch cubes.
Then, I fried the pound cake cubes in hot vegetable oil and then immediately tossed them in to the cinnamon-sugar mixture (don’t you just love cinnamon and sugar together?)
I made the glaze and drizzled it all over the churros! Melted chocolate would also be delicious, but we ate them too fast. I didn’t have time to melt the chocolate. They would also be great s a topper for ice cream.
- 1 frozen (defrosted) or (day old) homemade pound cake
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cinnamon
- vegetable oil
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- Defrost pound cake.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
- Cut pound cake into 1 inch cubes.
- In a large frying pan heat vegetable oil over medium high heat.
- Fry cubes until they are golden brown on all sides.
- Once they are golden brown, immediately toss in the sugar cinnamon mixture until all sides are coated.
- In a small bowl, add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, whisk to combine.
- Drizzle glaze over the pound cake churro bites.
** If you don’t feel like making churros for yourself, take a look at these delicious churros I had recently at Amara Chocolate and Coffee in Pasadena, California.
Until Next Time…
Do you love churros? Do you love chocolate?
If you do and you are within driving distance of Pasadena, California, then you need to jump in your car right now and drive yourself to Amara Chocolate & Coffee. I drove about an hour and a half to get there and I can’t wait to do it again for one of Amara delicious treats!
Go NOW, hurry! The food, coffee, and chocolate are that good.
It’s ok, I’ll wait.
I love finding new places and this one is definitely a keeper, I will be heading back, sooner than later. I have never had such delicious churros. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
Here is what we ordered…this time!
Miriam Anita ~ 6 Churros (Spanish style) drizzled with Dulce De Leche, Guava, and Queso Fresco.
When Amara first suggested this churro plate to me I thought she was crazy! Cheese & chocolate sauce, not to mention the Guava sauce.
It was crazy good! I can’t explain how those flavors go together.
They just do!
Caracas Latte ~ Condensed Milk Latte (Amara also makes it in a spicy style). Her family tradition since 1945. A silky condensed milk latte.
Amara Latte ~ Argentina Dulce De Leche Latte. A sinfully sweet flavor of Argentinian dulce de leche. Delicioso!
Both coffees were delicious and I always love to get a cup of coffee with the beautiful coffee art in the foam.
Solo pa’ mi (Only for me)
6 Churros served with a dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was like sipping on a little bit of heaven and the churros melted in your mouth. I think I could have eaten 6 more!
She also makes Premium Venezuelan Chocolate Truffles. Take a look at her menu to see the other delights she makes.
Please make a point to say hi to Amara she is a sweetheart!
55 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Tired of the same old sunny side up eggs in the morning?
Love Mexican food?
How about Sunny Side Up Mexican Eggs?
I bet you will love them as much as my family and I did. The concept of this recipe all came together when I made my homemade refried beans (recipe found here). I went shopping the following day at a store I don’t frequent that often I found adorable 3-inch size corn tortillas and it hit me. They were the perfect size to hold a sunny side up eggs add a little of the homemade refried beans and you have a delicious breakfast that is perfect for Sunday morning.
If you can’t find the 3-inch size corn tortillas you could always use a large biscuit cutter to cut a larger corn tortilla to the size you want or if you are in the mood for 2 sunny side up eggs you can put them both on one larger corn tortilla. That is the beauty of this breakfast you can customize it to you and your guests likes.
- Corn tortillas
- Refried beans homemade or canned
- Sunny side up eggs
- 4 tablespoons of Vegetable oil
- Fresh cilantro or parsley
- Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Heat beans in a sauce pan over medium heat until they are warmed through.
- In skillet add vegetable oil and cook over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tortillas to the pan 2 at a time. Cook until golden brown and then flip to cook the other side. Once cooked remove from skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- In a non-stick pan cook eggs sunny side up.
- **To Assemble**
- Placed about 2 tablespoons of the warmed retried beans on to the fried tortillas and then place to sunny side egg on top of the beans. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped cilantro or parsley.
- If you like things on the spicier side a few shakes of Tabasco or some salsa would be yummy!
Enjoy these Mexican Eggs this weekend!
Until next time…
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WildSideOfFlavor #CollectiveBias
Looking for a meal that has rich bold flavors?
This Penne with Sausage and Peppers is the answer!
I’m trying to feed my family meals that don’t contain MSG, or fillers, or artificial flavors and colors (this is sometimes very difficult to do). I was happy when I came upon Jack Link’s Wild Side Sausages while I was shopping at Walmart in their package deli refrigerator section of the store. Jack Link’s quality, tradition, and great tasting sausage go back over 100 years. Plus, their sausages are high in protein and they have that delicious bold flavor my family loves.
I couldn’t wait to get some home and combine it with a pasta and cream sauce. The only problem was deciding which flavor to buy. I couldn’t decide, so I got 2, the Original and the Jalapeño Flavor. I’ll pick up the Jack Link’s Wild Side Sausages Cheddar Flavor, next time.
Once I tried Jack Link’s Wild Side Sausage I knew I had a winning meal on my hands that my family would love. They are great alone or in a recipe and because they are fully cooked, the meal comes together quickly.
Do you want to know my favorite thing about this delicious meal?
It’s made in one pot!!!
Here’s how I made the Penne with Sausage and Peppers…
Heat olive oil in a large hot skillet or pan, and then add the onions.
Add the cut rounds of Jack Link’s Wild Side Sausages Jalapeño Flavor or whatever flavor you choose.
Put the rest of the ingredients into the skillet and in about 20 minutes you have a delicious meal ready to go onto the table. After the dish is plated sprinkle each with parmesan cheese.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Size Onion, diced
- 1 Package of Jack Link’s Wild Side Sausages Jalapeño Flavor sliced into rounds
- 1 Medium Orange Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 Medium Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1½ Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Cup Half & Half
- 1 14.5oz Can Italian Stewed Tomatoes, chop tomatoes into smaller pieces
- 1 LB Box of Penne Pasta
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot and add onions. Cook until translucent.
- Add sausage rounds and cook for 3 minutes.
- To the skillet add the garlic, bell peppers, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, half & half, and dried pasta to the skillet, stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and cover. Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If more liquid is needed, add a bit more chicken broth.
- Check to make sure pasta is done to your liking and serve.
- Sprinkle each plate full with parmesan grated cheese.
What is your favorite meal to make with sausage?
Until Next Time…
I’m a bit confused. Can you tell by the title?
I’m making pinto beans from scratch and blending them, but I’m not refrying them. Yet they are still called refried beans. See why I’m confused?
I think, (I could be wrong) Mexican restaurants would cook pinto beans like I’m doing here. After the beans were mashed they cook or “fry” them in a pan of lard. Just to let you know, that is NOT happening in this recipe.
Why are we so conditioned to buy cans of refried beans, when they are so darn easy to make? And, in my opinion so much more delicious, and by far more economical when made from scratch.
Whether they are made on the stovetop or in a slow cooker, it’s simple to do (I’ve provided both directions below).
Want to know a secret? I don’t even soak my beans, I never have and probably never will! Soaking is just one extra step I always forget, and a lot of times I decide in the morning I want bean burritos for dinner. When you make refried beans yourself, you can add whatever seasonings you like, if you love the taste of garlic, add a few more fresh garlic cloves. Don’t like cumin, just don’t add it.
There are so many wonderful recipes you can make with refried beans. Check back to see what I’ve made.
- 2 Pounds Pinto Beans
- 1 Large Onion - cut into 4 pieces
- 3 Garlic Cloves - peeled
- 1 14.5 oz. Can Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
- 2 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 4 Shakes Tabasco
- 9 Cup Water, or more if needed
- Rinse beans in a colander.
- Place beans and all ingredients in a large stockpot.
- Cook over med-high heat, so beans are at a constant slow boil for 3 hours or until beans are tender. Stirring occasionally.
- Drain beans keeping about 3 cups of the cooking liquid in a separate bowl.
- Return beans to the stockpot.
- Add about 1 cup of the liquid back into the stockpot.
- Using and immersion blender or a potato masher, mash the beans, onions, and garlic to your preferred consistency. Add more liquid as needed.
- Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
- **While cooking, always have the water at least 2 inches over beans.
- TO MAKE THE BEANS IN A SLOW COOKER
- Place the all of the above ingredients in a slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH for 4 - 5 hours
- Cook on Low for 6 -8 hours
- Then follow the above instructions once the beans are cooked.
Let me know what your favorite recipe using refried beans is.
Until Next Time…
Tuesday isn’t the only day my family loves to eat shredded pork tacos for dinner.
I really enjoy serving tacos for dinner! Do you know why? Because, tacos are great to customize. Everyone at the table is happy. Each person can add as many or as little “extras” as they choose, which makes dinner time so pleasant.
As you can see by the pictures I am definitely a taco purist. I don’t like piling up a ton of “extras” on my tacos. If you do, here are a few of my suggestions:
- Salsa, Salsa Verde, or a Sweet Salsa (Mango, Pineapple, or any other sweet salsa)
- Cole Slaw
- Sour Cream
- Bell Peppers
- Green Onions
- 4 Pound Pork Butt (boneless)
- 1 Red Onion
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne
- 1Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Corn Tortillas
- Juice from 2 limes
- FOR THE PORK
- In a small bowl combine all the RUB ingredients. Set aside.
- Cut the onion in ½. Cut the one half side of the onion in quarters and place in the bottom of the Slow Cooker.
- Chop finely the other ½ of the onion and set aside.
- Peel garlic cloves and place in the bottom of the Slow Cooker along with the onion.
- Rub the Pork Butt generously on all sides with the RUB and place (fat side up) in the Slow Cooker on top of the garlic and onions.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or just until the meat fall apart.
- Once pork is cool enough to handle, place on a cutting board with drip catchers and shred by using 2 forks.
- Heat corn tortillas on both sides over the stove top flame or in a dry pan until the edges are brown or warmed through.
- Fill each taco with pork, chopped red onion, and cilantro. Top each taco with the juice from a ¼ of a lime.
For my Pulled Pork made with 7up recipe click here.
Until Next Time…