Trick-or-Treat Ice Cream

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Ice Cream -

As much fun as Halloween is, I dread the candy.  You know what I mean, it looks something like this: Though that would be a light load.  Even after sorting for gluten, which goes to work with ‘Dad’, and tossing anything open, each of my Trick-or-Treaters ends up with a gallon plastic bag, packed with treats.  I have one child who rations her candy like the world might end; hiding it and selectively taking a piece a day.  My second, the younger, has taken to mass consumption usually finding himself ‘out’ within a week.  This year he has braces so the pile may be less to begin with. I’ve always wanted to do something unique with the candy.  I have friends who barter with their kids trading the sweets for a coveted object or even cash.  Others would tell their tots when they were … {continue reading}

Whimsical Fall M&M Cake

Whimsical Fall M&M Cake -

Sometimes you just need to make an unexpected cake.  Nothing replaces one for brightening a day! I always love a bit of whimsy and unpredictability in my food, especially when to comes to surprising my family.  They all work very hard at what they do and a fun cake is a great way to take a break and celebrate that.  I had originally imagined this cake as part of a Halloween party-scape but as it began to take on life, the colors of orange and brown appealed feeling quintessentially of fall. M & M’s have expanded to include multiple different flavors as well as three sizes.  I simply love the mega size feeling they look like perfect polka dots.  Creating a pattern with multiple sizes is great fun and as I was separating the colors from buying bulk bags, so many fun color … {continue reading}

Easy Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Thighs

Easy Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Thighs -

As we all frantically prepare for Halloween, many in the Hispanic community are focused on other impending holidays: El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) on November 1 and All Souls Day November 2.  Truth be told, most are not well acquainted with these holidays and often misinterpret them at face value due to the predominance of skeleton iconography. Despite the eerie skeleton representation, these days are celebratory and joyous, and a time the dead are believed to return to commune with their loved ones.  El Dia de los Muertos is a day to celebrate deceased children and All Soul’s Day for departed adults.  I will confess I too did not know about the holidays until more recent years, and found the skeletons haunting until understanding the true essence of the … {continue reading}

Café and Casual Dining in Paris and French Lemonade with Lavender {recipe}

French Lemonade with Lavender {Citron Pressé avec le Lavande} -

Visiting Paris, or much of Europe for that matter, in August as we did is often met with a cautionary tale from seasoned travelers.  Europeans typically take a more coordinated vacation in the month of August leaving magnetic cities such as Paris with some restaurants and shops shuttered for holiday.   One will also find themselves in the company of more tourists than Parisians in certain localities, and certainly traditional venues such as the Louvre are bursting at the seams with international tour groups. When I was told not to visit Europe in August because ‘everything is closed’ I felt it was not only a ridiculous notion but candidly I feel ANYTIME one can visit a city like Paris they should jump on it.  For all the businesses that are ‘en vacances’, plenty more are open, as … {continue reading}

Butternut Squash Noodles in Sage Brown Butter

Butternut Squash Noodles in Sage Brown Butter -

I have been waiting to make this recipe since the summer and am so excited the time has come!  Early in the summer I bought a Spiralizer and it opened up an entirely new world of options for food preparation.  If you are unfamiliar with Spiralizers, they are a kitchen gadget which allows turning firm produce into noodles, large spirals and ribbons.  My summer highlights were a Cucumber Melon Spa Salad and a Zucchini Ribbon Mediterranean Salad that were delicious. My initial thoughts jumped ahead to transforming winter squash into faux pasta.  It seems a perfect way to get more vitamin-rich vegetables into the diet and in an unexpected form.  I’ve had in my mind to make Butternut Squash noodles with a simple Sage Brown Butter sauce.  It truly is a dish done in less than 30 minutes; who … {continue reading}

Slow Cooker Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Corn Chowder -

I love a good, stick-to-the-ribs chunky soup.  In all reality I would eat it for any meal, and do, once the weather turns windy, rainy, snowy and chilly.  The only thing I love more than a chunky soup, is making it with ease in my slow cooker! I think my all-time favorite spicy ingredient is Chipotle.  The peppers are available canned in ‘adobo sauce’.  They are a smoked, dried version of jalapeno peppers, marinated in a rich-reddish brown tangy sauce leaving them with a smoldering smoky heat.  The peppers are perfect to sway the flavors of a recipe toward smoky spiciness and one should tread lightly so as to not over heat the dish to the point of not tasting anything else!  For gluten-free eaters, always be sure to read the ingredient label on a can of Chipotle en Adobo as some … {continue reading}