Rosemary Oyster Crackers


Rosemary Oyster Crackers

My family loves snack foods whether we are reading or watching T.V.   We love something yummy to snack on.

We also love the flavor of Rosemary.  So I thought…why not combine the two flavors!

Rosemary Oyster Crackers

 Rosemary Oyster Crackers

You must give theses little oyster crackers a try.


5.0 from 4 reviews
Rosemary Oyster Crackers
  • 1 12 oz bag of oyster crackers
  • ¼ cup olive oil (any cooking oil is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary (I used the dried, but fresh wold also work)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • baking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Empty bag of crackers into a medium bowl.
  3. Pour the oil into the crackers and sprinkle the rosemary and salt into the bowl.
  4. Stir to combine and crackers are coated evenly.
  5. Place crackers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!
  8. To store, place in an airtight container.


Sweet Potato Bake

I love Sweet Potatoes, Handsome…not so much.  On my last trip to Costco I ended up buying one of their massive bags of sweet potatoes.  So, in my effort to get them all cooked before they go bad and sprout a small forrest, I knew I had to come up with a dish Handsome would eat.

So here’s what I did to make this Sweet Potato Bake…

Sweet Potato Bake on roasting pan

I peeled, cut, and chopped, the sweet potatoes.  Tossed them with olive oil and placed them on a baking sheet to roast in the oven.

Sweet Potato Bake bacon

While the potatoes were roasting, I chopped and fried a half pound of bacon until crisp and placed on a paper towel to drain off the excess fat.  I then added a chopped onion to the bacon drippings and cooked until slightly brown.  Then, I added some flour, milk and seasonings to make a roux.

Sweet Potato Bake with blue cheese

I then placed half of the roasted sweet potatoes into a 11×7 baking dish and topped that with half of the bacon and the crumbled blue cheese, then I topped it all with half of the sauce mixture.  I then started another layer with the sweet potatoes, bacon, and onion sauce mixture.  Placed it in the oven until it became all warm and bubbly.

Sweet Potato Bake plate

And then, I served my Handsome up a plate of the yummy ingredients.  And he LOVED it!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Potato Bake
  • 3 Medium Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • ½ lb Bacon, chopped
  • ¾ Cup Blue Cheese Chunks
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, coat sweet potato chunks with enough olive oil to lightly coat all sides. Place in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender and slightly golden.
  3. Lower oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a frying pan, fry chopped bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan to a paper towel lined dish.
  5. Add chopped onion to the frying pan with bacon drippings and cooking until slightly golden brown.
  6. Make a roux by adding flour to the cook onions over medium heat. Let the flour cook for about 2 minutes to remove the flour taste and the ingredients become a paste. Add milk to the paste, and then add the Nutmeg, Salt, and Black Pepper. The mixture will begin to thicken. Turn burner to low and continue to stir.
  7. Spray a medium size baking dish with cooking spray. Place ½ of the roasted sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Top potatoes with ½ of the bacon and all of the Blue Cheese then top with ½ of the onion sauce mixture. Place the remaining sweet potatoes on top to form another layer, then continue with the bacon and the remaining sauce mixture.
  8. Place baking dish in the oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

10 Most Popular Recipes of 2014

What a wonderful year it has been!  It’s that time of year for lists of the most popular things.  I want to share with you my 10 most popular recipes of 2014.  These delicious recipes were my most viewed recipes over the past year.  Come take a look at what you picked!

Counting down from #10

10. Restaurant Style Salsa

This delicious salsa comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen!  It’s delicious and tastes just like you are at a Mexican cantina all you need to add is a margarita. Restaurant Style Salsa

9. Baked French Toast

This a perfect recipe when company is staying over and you don’t want a lot of fuss making breakfast in the morning.  You assemble all the ingredients the evening before and just pop it in the oven in the morning.

Baked French Toast

8. Amaretto Biscotti

Have you ever eaten a cookie right out of the freezer?  That is my favorite way to eat this Italian cookie.  Give it a try, you won’t want to eat them any other way!

Amaretto Biscotti with chocolate

7. Hummus

It seems you all could not get enough of this deliciously healthy snack. It is one of my favorites too!


6. Fried Zucchini

The outside of this fried zucchini is crispy perfection while the inside is tender.  The perfect snack.

Fried Zucchini Rounds with dip

5. Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese

This is not your ordinary grilled cheese. This is my Mama’s Grilled Cheese!

Not Your mamas Grilled Cheese

4. Beef Empanadas

These Beef Empanadas were a huge hit.  They certainly are a favorite of mine and I make them often.  A perfect dish to bring to a pot luck or a great Super Bowl finger food!


3. Speculoos Ice Cream

Ever since I made this ice cream, it has become a family favorite. Between the Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter and the Speculoos Cookie chunks, it’s no wonder it is my third most popular recipe of 2014!

Speculoos Ice Cream

2. Chicken Quinoa

This is one of my favorite meals too!  I make this recipe more that any other that is posted.  It is so light and refreshing and good for you too.  A winning combination!

Quinoa Chicken Salad 1 recipe

Drum Roll, Please!…

My #1 most popular recipe of 2014 is…

Mason Jar Mud Pie

This recipe has become a favorite birthday celebration dessert in my home.  I’m not surprised by this at all. I have made it too many times to count.  I’m happy you all love it too!

Mason Jar Mud Pie with Oreos

Thanks for stopping by to see the

10 Most Popular Recipes of 2014

I would like to take this time to thank each and everyone of you who read my blog.  It means the world to me and I appreciate every view!  I love sharing these moments with you and I look forward to our friendship in 2015!

 Happy New Year!

This entry was posted in Home.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

From our goodies to yours.

Merry Christmas snowmen cookiesMay you and your family have a Christmas holiday filled with love and peace!  

This entry was posted in Home.


It’s Winery Wednesday

There are no words to describe the breathtaking experience we shared with awesome friends on this special day in October, Handsome and I were on cloud nine!  And, it all happened at…

QuintessaQuintessa sign

  As soon as we arrived at the stone facade winery, we could sense there was a magical feeling in the air.  It was harvest time!  There was an excitement we had not noticed at any of the other wineries we visited over the past few months.   When we were walking up to the main entrance, Handsome and I notice part of the wine making process was happening.  We went over to take a peek.Quintessa harvest

Once the group of 20 of us had all arrived for our afternoon of festivities, we were taken on a short hike to the highest point of the Quintessa property.  Under a shady tree, we were told all about the property.  The views were spectacular from that spot.

Quintessa view from hill

And my favorite view, the view of the lake.  I could sit here all day with Handsome and our friends enjoying a glass of Quintessa, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Quintessa view of lake

From this beautiful spot we walked back down the hill into the private wine tasting room where we met Charles Thomas, Director of Vineyards and Winemaking.

Quintessa master wine maker Charles Thomas

It was such a special treat for us to have Charles take time to speak to our group about the wine making process.

We felt privileged to be able to taste the tank samples.  They were very tasty.

Quintessa tank samples

I can only imagine how delicious the final products will be.  Quintessa wine tasting redAfter about an hour of sampling the tank wines, we headed with Charles to our final destination, our Harvest lunch, by way of a jeep ride.

Over the bridge to the private island.

Quintessa bridge

The area could not have been more beautiful!  With the lush landscaping and the wonderful company.

Quintessa lunch spot

The table was set so lovely.Quintessa lunch table

The place setting.

Quintessa place setting

The menu.

Quintessa harvest lunch menu

The scrumptious lunch!

Quintessa lunch

Handsome and I are so grateful to have been asked to be a part of this members only, harvest lunch. P&B we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  What a experience!


Rutherford, Napa Valley, California

Call 707.286.2730 to request an appointment for your privately hosted wine tasting experience.

With harvest in full swing, I managed to find a few grapes on the vine at Quintessa.

Quintessa grapes

If you would like to see the step by step wine making process, I found this wonderful site

Cougar Vineyard & Winery

It’s Winery Wednesday!

This was the most friendly and my personal favorite winery in Temecula Valley.

Cougar Vineyard and Winery

Cougar Vineyard & Winery

There are so many reasons I love this winery.  They were friendly upon walking in the door, I felt like I was home with family.  Their wine is 100% Estate Italian Varietals.

Cougar poured white wine

They are very generous with their pouring of wine.  If you print this page off their web site, you will receive 50% off their regular Monday through Friday wine tasting fee.

Cougar dining area

Cougar Vineyard is one of the only wineries in Temecula Valley that has a deli located inside the tasting room.  On any given day you will see winemakers from other local wineries enjoying lunch in the relaxed atmosphere at Cougar.

Cougar adirondack chairs

If Handsome and I lived close by, one of these adirondack would have my name on it.  I love the view from these chairs.  Handsome and I enjoyed a glass of wine overlooking Temecula Valley.

Cougar outdoor view

Enjoy one of the many picnic tables located on the property.

Cougar grapes in process

Handsome and I were invited into the heart of the Cougar operation, where all the magic happens.

Cougar botteling area

It was so very interesting to see the wine being bottled.

Cougar volunteers botteling wine

The benefit of a boutique family owned winery is the close personal relationships with their wine club members.  As a member, you have the opportunity to volunteer to bottle and pack up the wine.  It was such a fun atmosphere, I felt privileged to be a part of it, if but only for a moment.

Cougar stacked barrels

You also have the opportunity to purchase a wine barrel, your name is put on the barrel.  Cougar uses it for the duration of the wine making process and then the barrel is given to you when they are done.  I love this idea!

Cougar cork

Cougar Vineyard and Winery

39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592

Phone # 951.491.0825

Doffo Vineyards

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Todays winery is located on the Northeast border of Temecula Valley.

Doffo Vineyards

Doffo Vineyard barrel sign

Doffo Vineyards is not like any other winery Handsome and I have ever visited.  It is a uniquely charming boutique family owned winery.  The winery is built around the former site of a historic schoolhouse.  The original school, know as the The Hyatt school was build in 1898.  The Doffo family took tireless efforts to restore the old schoolhouse, but sadly, due to the extensive damage over the years it was not able to be restored.  The old schoolhouse will forever remain alive in the Doffo Logo.

The wine tasting room.

Doffo tasting area

There is a lovely covered outdoor area to enjoy a glass of wine.

Doffo outdoor seating

Not only is Doffo known for its micro-boutique wines, but also for its extensive vintage motorcycle collection.  Even visitors who do not like motorcycles are impressed with the Doffo family collection of over 100 motorcycles.  Make sure you visit the Moto Barrel Room and take a peak.

Doffo moto barrel room

When Marcello Doffo was young, he fell in love with racing and before he knew it he found himself collecting rare and unique motorcycles.  Today he still races and is still collecting.  Below are just a few of his motorcycles.

Doffo barrels and motorcycles

And now for the vintage motorcycles in the barrel room.  There are motorcycles lining the top of the walls all the way around the room.  I love the collection of Vespa’s and scooter type bikes.

Doffo inside garage

Doffo motorbikes

While Handsome and I were looking at all the motorcycles, there was a gentleman also looking who was in total awe of these bikes.  He kept pointing at different ones and gasping at how he could not believe they had so many rare and expensive motorcycles.

Doffo Vineyards is like no other winery!  Where else would you see one of these old fashioned bikes amongst wine barrels?

Doffo wine barrel

Doffo Vineyards

36083 Summitville, Temecula, California 92592

Phone Number ~ 866.4myvino

Keyways Vineyard Winery

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today’s Winery is located in Temcecula, California

Keyways Vineyard Winery

Keyways Winery Entrance

If you are looking for a winery that has a social calendar that would rival any socialite, and great tasting wines to boot.  Then this is the winery for you.

I enjoyed that this winery was a tad off the beaten path.  There were no larges busses taking up tons of parking spaces and there are not hordes of people. The staff is friendly and is able to really speak to you one on one, letting you know all the ins and outs of their particular wines and about the stunning winery itself.

The wine tasting area at Keyways is beautiful (my picture does not do it justice).  The bar top is made of onyx.  It has a charming early California style decor.

Keyways tasting bar

The casual seating area is perfect to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. If you book ahead you can have a wine tasting in their private wine room.

Keyways lounge area

The gazebo area is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny afternoon catching up with friends or making new ones.Keyways winery gazaboI want to have a dinner party beyond the trellis in front of the fountain among the vineyard.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Keyways fountain

One of my favorite things I saw was the poster for the yoga class held at the winery on Saturday mornings.  Who wouldn’t show up for yoga class knowing there would be a mimosa waiting for you at the end of class?  Now that’s a brilliant idea!

Keyways yoga saturdays

Take a look at the Event Calendar where there is always something happening!

Keyways vineyard corks

Keyways Vineyard Winery

37338 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592

Phone Number ~ 1-877-KEYWAYS

Robert Renzoni Vineyards

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Today’s winery is…

Robert Renzoni Vineyards

Robert Renzoni

Would you like to be transported to Italy without the long plane ride?  From the moment Handsome and I drove onto the 12 acre estate of the Robert Renzoni Vineyard, somehow we were no longer in Temecula, California, but on the picturesque grounds of a spectacular winery in Italy.

Take the lovely walk under the beautiful trellis entwined with Wisteria vines welcoming you to the Tuscan Estate where you will be greeted by a lovely fountain.

Robert Renzoni fountain

When you walk in to the entrance of the recently completed Tuscan Villa tasting room you immediately feel like you are among friends.  It’s comfortable and relax atmosphere makes you want to stay all day.

Robert Renzoni tasting room

This is truly a winery you can hang out all day, a little bocce ball game at the court, perhaps?

Robert Renzoni Bocce Ball Court

Or just enjoy a glass or two of wine under one of the trellis gazing out at the spectacular view.

Robert Renzoni trellis

Don’t forget to take a short walk up the hill directly behind the tasting room for a breathtaking view of Temecula Valley.  During harvest time you can even sample the grapes in this area, with permission of course.  Check with the staff or the Robert Renzoni website for all the activities happening all year long.

Robert Renzoni fountain in vineyard

The Renzoni Crest dates back to the 16th Century, to find out more about this crest and the wonderful family it belongs to click here.

Robert Renzoni crest

Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery

A Family Tradition Since 1886

37350 De Portola Road, Temecula, California, 92592


Until Next time…

Robert Renzoni Grazie

Miramonte Winery

It’s Winery Wednesday!

Todays winery is located in the Southern California wine county of Temecula Valley.

Miramonte Winery

Miramonte Winery

This impressive boutique winery is located high upon a hilltop.

As soon as we walked outside of the winery, we were greeted by Mojo.  Mojo is Miramonte’s young Labradoodle.  Mojo hung out with us while Handsome and I toured the stunning grounds.  Miramonte is 100% dog friendly.

Miramonte dog Mojo

The garden area is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine.  Mojo was showing us the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the grounds, I think she knew some secret spots.

Miramonte garden area

The veranda seating area is the prime place to catch the sunset and then stay around for their live music/wine events every Friday and Saturday night from 7-10 PM.  Check here for a calendar of events.

Miramonte outdoor seating area

Although the winery does not allow you to bring your own food on the premises, they do offer chef prepared appetizers for purchase on the weekend.Miramonte views

I loved the relaxing feel of this winery.

Miramonte Winery

33410 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591

             Phone Number ~ (951) 506-5500