Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Memorial Day

“On this day, take time to remember those who have fallen. But on every day after, do more; put the freedoms they died for to greater and nobler uses." Richelle E. Goodrich

In between the bbq's, the beach and all of the fun let us take a moment to remember all those who sacrificed so that we can have these freedoms and live a great life.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Silent Sunday 5-27-2018

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Friday Favorites from The Chunky Chef, Live Laugh Rowe, Ina Garten, and More

Good morning! Are you ready for the weekend? Are you one of the lucky ones who have a 4 day weekend ahead? I will be working a bit today but I think I am going to try to get to the beach for a little sun before the crowds come. 

Simple Easy Decoration from Liz Marie

Sunday we are having a barbeque, sadly I think it will be raining but that it not going to diminish my spirits because we will be celebrating with great friends and eating some delicious food. 

Image Ina Garten

As I mentioned the other day, I love the side dishes and the desserts at a party, one of my favorite bbq foods is Ina Garten's Classic Potato Salad

Brown Sugar and Bacon Beans from The Chunky Cheff

Another favorite side is baked beans, especially if they are Brown Sugar and Bacon Beans

Add captionLive Laugh Rowe

I will be eating my beans and slaw with bbq pulled pork but I think these BBQ Carnitas from Live Laugh Rowe look like a great sandwich as well. 

If you need a sweet treat or two you can find 15 Sweet Treats and Desserts here, including cupcakes, brownies, and cookies. 

* I discovered a great new blog, The Brick Kitchen, that I think you might enjoy.

* I cannot wait to see the movie The Book Club!

* Just in case you did not get enough of the Royal Wedding:

I hope that you share your finds from this week, recipes, books, movies and more, I would love to hear about them. 

Have a wonderful and safe weekend. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

15 Memorial Day Desserts and Sweet Treats

Baked Bakery Brownies

Good morning! Can you believe this weekend is the official start of summer? It doesn't seem like it with all of the crazy weather but I am not complaining because it has been  cooler than normal and I know the hot, sultry summer days are coming soon. 

Magic Bars

No Bake Cheesecakes with Berries

We are having a barbeque over the weekend and although my husband is most excited about grilling and smoking pulled pork, and ribs I am most excited about the sides and of course the desserts.

Swedish Almond Cake

Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

It is no surprise that I love sugar and sweet treats are my favorite things to make. I will be having a dessert table with a few old favorites but also some new things as well.

White Cupcakes with White Buttercream Frosting

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Almond Cheesecake Bars

I always have a huge platter of fruit, cookiesbrownies, some sort of cake, typically chocolate, maybe some cereal treats or an angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. 

Cherry Crumble Bars

Best Ever Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

This week I think I will make a batch of these white cupcakes and frost some with chocolate frosting and some with white marshmallow buttercream.

The "Best" Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

White Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

If you are looking for a few ideas for your party you cannot go wrong with a mixture of desserts and I recommend making a lot, there is nothing worse than going to a party that doesn't have enough food.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Bars

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars

If you have leftover desserts you can always pack them up for you guests to take home. 

S'more Cereal Bars

What will you be making for your barbeque this weekend? Do you have a favorite dessert that you like to make or take to a party? 

I hope that you have a great day and a safe Memorial Day weekend. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Preserved Lemons

Good morning! How is your week starting? It's been gray and rainy here, the sun peeked out for a day but then hightailed it out of here and I am not sure when its coming back. When it's snowing or raining I like to play in the kitchen. 

This weekend in addition to a little baking I also made some preserved lemons. If you are a fan or Moroccan or Middle Easter food, like Chicken Tagine with preserved lemons and olives,  than you should have a jar of preserved lemons in your refrigerator so that you can whip up one of your favorite dishes when ever you want. 

Preserved Lemons

5 lemons, Meyer lemons are preferred 
1/4 cup salt

Optional Ingredients
1 cinnamon stick 
3 cloves
5-6 coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1-2 Star Anise
Fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Sterile 1 pint mason jar


Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2" inch of the bottom. Sprinkle the salt on the exposed flesh of the lemon. 

In the bottom of the mason jar sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt, then add a lemon, add some salt, add a lemon, add some salt, until all of them lemons are in the jar. Make sure to press them lemons down to release their juices as you add them to the jar. If you are using the spices add them between the lemons or to the jar. If the juice from the lemons does not cover the lemons squeeze some more on top so that the lemons in the jar are completely covered.

 Leave on the counter for 3 days, shaking the jar periodically. After 3 days I put them into the refrigerator to ripen for 30 days. There are other recipes that say to leave them on the counter for the entire 30 days. I say, do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

When you are ready to use the lemons rinse them in cold water to get rid of the salt and then use them in whatever recipe that you like.

Note: Preserved lemons will keep for a year in your refrigerator.

Roasted Cauliflower Chick Pea Bowl with Preserved Lemons and Mint

Just in case you tire of making tagine's there are many other ways to use your lemons. You could add them to salads, make a vinaigrette , use them in rice or couscous recipes, add them to vegetables, use them in pasta, make sauces for fish or meat, the possibilities are endless.

Do you have a favorite use for preserved lemons? If so please share because I typically use them in salads or in my tagines and am looking for recipes to try them out in.

Have a great day!

Linking to:

Stone Gable

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Thoughts on the Royal Wedding

Good morning! I hope that your morning is going well. Did you get up and watch the Roayal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markel? I did not watch all of the pre-wedding coverage but woke in time to see the Queen arrive and then all of the rest. 

I thought it was elegant, beautiful and a wonderful mix of two countries. The dress was perfect, as was the bride. The kids were cute and funny. Harry looked at first a little pensive but then when he saw his bride he looked so happy. 

The Royal family seemed a bit taken aback at Bishop Michael Curry's sermon but then I think they warmed to the message of love. "Love that the power to heal the world." 

I enjoyed it all, the pomp and circumstance, the 19 year old cellist, the choir, the kids, the crowds and everything else.  What about you?

Do you have plans for the day? It is raining here so no surprise, I am baking a cake and experimenting with some sweet treats for a Memorial day party that we are having. 

I hope that you have a great day! 

Friday Favorites from Bon Appetit, Full Filled, Cote de Texas, Town and Country, and More

Good morning! How was your week. Are you ready for the weekend? Will you be getting up at the crack of dawn to watch the Royal wedding? They say more people might watch this wedding than William and Kate. I am undecided, but I am sure that if I don't I will be able to see it replayed a few times. 

Bon Appetit

If you feel like it you could bake this Lemon and Raspberry Wedding Cake with Buttercream Frosting from Bon Appetit to celebrate the Royals big day. 


If you would like to make a toast to the happy couple you could do it with one of my favorite drinks a Kir Royal. And if you would like to know the history of the drink you can see it here

Image Full Filled

If your mind is on your Memorial day menu instead than this Lilac Sugar Strawberry Short Cake looks like the perfect dessert for the upcoming holidays. 

If you need a few drink recipes for the holidays or the sultry summer days here are 30 Fruity and Fizzy Summer Drink Recipes.

Travel to France

Image Pinterest via Le Figaro

The summer holidays are fast approaching, if you have plans to travel to Paris and will be visiting Versailles, which I highly recommend than you might be like to know that the Maison del la Reine, which Marie Antoinette had built to escape the court and drama at the chateau has been reopened after an extensive renovation. If you cannot make it to Versailles than check out this page for 3-d moves and extensive information. For more information read this article from La Figaro.

If you like designer good but do not want to pay designer prices check out this article about where to find the best Paris Thrift Stores

Image Cote de Texas

If you would like to stay in a chateau near Bordeaux, check out this post by Joni of Cote de Texas

If you would like to visit the historic Carcassonne area don't forget to check out the apartments that Taste of France has for rent. 


Be Back in 5 Minutes by Sophie Matisse is a really creative. Sophie recreates famous works of art and leaves out the main subject, like Herri Matisse's famous gold fish painting without the goldfish. 


That's it for this week, I hope that you found something interesting here this week. Please share your finds, recipe, article, podcasts, books, movies and more. 

Have a great weekend.

In case you missed my Cuban Sugar Cookies you can check them out here.

And you can follow along with me on PinterestTwitter and Facebook too or check out my other blogs, Once Upon a Chocolate Life and Between Sisters Between Friends

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cookbooks Galore, My New Favorites

This post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning! I love books of all kinds but most especially cookbooks. I love the beautiful photographs, the stories about the writer and how they came up with the recipes and of course learning a new recipe or an old favorite. 

I have been buying a lot of cookbooks lately and trying some new recipes from each one. This past week I was sent four beautiful books to review and I loved them all.

The European Cake Cookbook
, written by Tatyana Nesteruk is a culinary feast of sweet treats from across the continent. Tatyana grew up in the Ukraine and in Italy and now resides in California where she hosts her popular U-Tube cooking show Tatyana's Everyday Food. Each page of this wonderful book features a beautifully photographed, delectable treat and its instructions to bake one yourself. There are recipes for Ukraniana Apple Sharlotka Cake, the classic Opera Cake from France, a stunning pink Raspberry Lemon Macaron Cake, if you are a fan of French macarons, Tiramisu Cake and Limoncello Cheesecake from Italy, a Lemon Drizzle Bundt cake from Britain and so much more. I think any baker in your life will enjoy this book. 

Cookie Remix
 by Megan Porta of the blog Pip and Ebby, is a collection of 75 cookie recipes inspired by soda, candies, ice cream, donuts and more. Imagine your favorite Triple Chocolate Cake as a cookie, or that minty hot chocolate that you love in the winter as a Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookie. You can munch on your favorite Tropical Fruit Smoothie instead of drinking it. These are just a few of the interesting cookies in this book so if you are a cookie fan this is a great book for you. 

The Taartwork Pies Cookbook: Grandmother's Recipe, Granddaughter's Remix by Brittany Bennett. Brittany is the owner of Taartwork Pies a Brooklyn bakery that she started after her Dutch grandmother shared her prized family recipe for the perfect tart dough and the joy of baking with and for people you love. This book is a wonderful collection of recipes divided by season that include Lemon Custard Pie and Strawberry Custard Pie in the Spring, Peach and Candied Ginger Pie and Stone Fruit Medley Pie in the Summer, Traditional Dutch Appeltaart and Pumpkin Fig Pie in the Fall and Chocolate Coconut Taart and Spiced Flour less Chocolate Pie in the Winter to name just a few of the recipes I have bookmarked to try. I think this is the perfect cookbook for the tart or pie lover in your family. 

And last but not least Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringingby Jerrelle Guy the founder of the blog Chocolate For Basil. Jerrelle states, "the collection of recipes I am sharing are a mishmash of my life, my black roots, the Chamorro food my mother prepared throughout my childhood, the Carribbean islands that were my neighbors and the places my love of food has taken me to, including Italy, Texas, New York and finally Boston. In addition to the scrumptious and unique recipes Jerrelle also styled and photographed each recipe which is one of my favorite parts of the book. Each photo is dark, moody and a work of art. Jerrelle was a vegan and many of the recipes in this book are vegan, gluten free, and egg free. The book is divided into sensory experiences, including Sight: Shapes, Colors and Patterns, includes Charcoal Banana Bread, and Fudgy Flourless Brownie Pie. Aroma: Scents and Cinnamon which includes Pecan Pie Rugeulach, Apple Cider Monkey Bread, Onion and Red Pepper Quiche. Sound: Snap, Crunch and Music, Bourbon Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats, Apple Walnut Crumble Pie,  and finally Touch: Textures and Mouthfeel, Lemon Ricotta Pistachio Pillow Buns, Spinach and Feta Pockets, and Taste: Spice, Heat and Flavor, Quinoa Banana Bread Muffins, and Chocolate Chocolate Veneer Cake. There are so many more great recipes but the ones I have listed are the ones I have earmarked to try, the fist one is going to be the Chocolate Chocolate Veneer Cake.

I reviewed The Cooks Atelier last week and am still reading thru Deep Run Roots, when I finish it I will tell you all about it.

Have you read any good cookbooks lately, do you have any to recommend? If so please share!

Have a great day!

Note: I received copies of these book from the publisher in exchange for my opinion. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cuban Sugar Cookies

Good morning! Did you enjoy your weekend? Mine was relaxing, walks to the beach, time with my fur kids, and a little baking. I missed being with my mom but I know that she had a great time with my sisters. 

I love cookies, especially sugar cookies and recently made these Cuban Sugar cookies, sometimes called sand cookies, because they are light and crumbly. These tasty treats are not too sweet and have a hint of lemon or lime depending upon your preference and are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee. 

Cuban Sugar Cookies 

2 1/3 cups all-purpose white flour
1 1/2 teaspoon lime or lemon zest 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 cup white, granulated sugar + extra for topping 
1 cup shortening, butter, solid coconut oil, your preference
1 large egg, divided into yolk, whites

Whisk together the flour, salt and lemon or lime zest. Set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and the shortening until light and fluffy. Then add the flour a little at a time. Beat until incorporated. Then use your hand to bring the dough together into a ball, knead until smooth. 
Then on a piece of parchment paper, work with the dough until you form a 2" diameter log. Wrap the log in parchment paper and chill for no less than an hour. If chilling for longer or overnight than wrap in plastic wrap. 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300. Then line baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 1/2" slices and place on paper. Whisk the egg white with a fork and then brush onto the top of the cookies, sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check the cookie at 25 minutes, it should be light colored but a slight browning at the edges. 

Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy. 

Have a great day! 

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my sounding  board, my therapist and my friend. I love you and I hope that you have a fabulous day. I will see you soon. 

To all of the other moms out there, I hope that you have a wonderful day surrounded by love. 

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friday Favorites from Candid Appetite, Paper & Stitch, A Cosy Kitchen, 1010 Park Place and More

Good morning! I hope that you had a good week. Sunday is Mother's day, a day set aside to celebrate moms. Sadly I will not be spending the day with my mom but luckily she has my two sisters to spend the day with and let he know just how much she is loved. 

Image from the Candid Appetite

Although the cool nights are long gone I think there is still a little time to for a steamy bowl of soup, especially one that combines two of my favorite things, French Onion Mac and Cheese Soup from Candid Appetite.

Grapefruit Cucumber Cooler from Paper & Stitch

I love fruity cocktails and I think this Grapefruit Cucumber Gin Cooler from Paper & Stitch looks like the perfect drink on a warm summer day. 

Image a Cosy Kitchen

I love salad but I have to be honest I hate to make them, I do not like to cut up all of the veggies each day. This post, A week of salads, from A Cosy Kitchen might be able to persuade me to eat more of them at home.

I made these Magic Brownies this week and they are delicious!

Great Reads

Wants and Needs do you know the difference?

I LOVE this interview and photos of Jeremy Irons in his Irish castle. You will love the stories about his antiques, collections and remodeling of the castle. 

I frequently write about "the little things" in life that I try to stop and appreciate, this article The Little Things in Life are the Ones that Matter the Most will hopefully encourage you to do the same.

Blogging is an interesting world because over the years you become attached to the bloggers, you know all about their families, pets, celebrations and heartache. Consequently, when they celebrate you celebrate, when they hurt you hurt for them. Yesterday Brenda of Cosy Little House , a blog that I have been reading longer than I have been blogging, lost her sweet girl Abi and I wanted to remember her today. Brenda, I am sorry for your loss Abi was so loved and she will be missed. 

I hope that you found something interesting here this morning and if you found a recipe, book, podcast, movie or anything else please share it with us. 

If you are lucky enough to be celebrating with your mom this weekend enjoy. If your mom is gone I hope that you savor your happy memories with her. 

Have a great weekend.