October 31, 2015

Baked while cleaning house today. Tried making french pans de chocolate. They are like a cupcake, not as sweet and a lil denser. They were yummy with chocolate chips inside.

Next was Pandoro.. An Italian dessert. Last time I tried making this was with my friend Julie. Her mom or grandma would get this in San Francisco at Dianda's  Bakery. It was so soft buttery and yummy we would just about eat the whole loaf! Mine came out good, not as sweet or buttery but still yummy. The recipe makes two. I bought the pans about 5 years ago at a kitchen shop. You can use a coffee can too. This recipe came from Mario Batali.

Out of the pans cooling.

A shaking of powdered sugar. I omitted the sugar water drizzle over it. Just did powder sugar.

I made pandoro today. Was in a baking mode.

A few pictures.


Tree outside

Front door complete with spider web and spiders from past Halloweens.

Front door wreath I made from an "on sale kit" from Stampin' Up!

This pumpkin is one that my boys carried home their loot in.
We still have them..

The mantel...not as much stuff up this year.

The other side.
Hope you all have a safe Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Waiting for more trick or greater!

October 7, 2015

Made dinner tonight.....fish and pasta..unicorn fish! My first attempt!

Spinach pasta w fresh tomatoes and green olives.
Yummy dinner!!
Really like unicorn fish!

August 14, 2015

I forgot to post the first 3 kinds of cookies  made for the shower...
My favorites that I have been making for years.. 
Christmas time, showers, weddings.
We will have quite a feast tomorrow, hope all bring a good healthy appetite!

Gettin' ready for Amanda's shower tomorrow..
Got the flowers from Merced Floral today, came home and arranged them. 
Will add the ribbon tomorrow.

corsages made with flowers from my garden, not many roses out there this time of year, but I got three.. 
Car is packed, just have to add all that is in the refridgerator tomorrow to the ice chests.. Can't forget the wine or proseco....

August 12, 2015

Wanted to try the Coconut macaroons, so I went to my old faithful cookbook like the one my mom had at home growning up.  I actually bought this one at an antique store, cuz she said she wouldn't part with hers. It is exactly the same.

I found the coconut macaroon recipe along with how to release the cookie off of the baking sheet.. this book is wonderful, not only does it have ALLmade from scratch recipes but also all of these wonderful tips!
Thank you Betty Crocker, a much easier technique than the one in the cookbook I used for the last recipe.

Here they are fresh out of the oven, all puffy and light.  I used a unsweetened coconut by Bob's Big Mill, it is perfect with the right amount of sugar the recipe called for. If I had used sweetened coconut I think it would have been too sweet.

I chocolate coated the bottoms and drizzled a little chocolate on top, cooled them in the fridge, then they all got a dustin' of powdered sugar.

Lined them up in an old cookie tin I have with wax paper lining the inside and top.
Another tin filled and ready for the shower...
Try makin' a batch, they remind me of a mounds bar, yummy... 

Tomorrow night onto makin' my grandmothers potatoe salad.

Finished Macaroons

Here are the finished macaroons!
I sandwiched them with rasberry jam and rolled them in chocolated finished with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Certainly do not look like the bakery ones but have a great flavor!

August 11, 2015


Second, I piped them onto a cookie sheet
they looked so pretty at this point.

Not so pretty here!
I baked them, the second batch came out flater, because the other recipe I was readin said to hit the pan on the counter to have them spread out, and they did.
Tomorrow I am going to sandwich them together with jam, putting the peaky one on top, flatter one on bottom..
Did they come out???? I don't know, they do not look like the ones in the cookbook I used, I was looking at two different ones, one was French and the other was "tea time". These remind me of making amaretti cookies you just gotta know the "trick".
I don't think I know that yet. If anyone out there has ever made them let me know what your trick is.  I will post a picture of them sandwiched together and dusted with powdered sugar tomorrow.. Right now they are cooling under the fan.

First I beat the egg whites, folded in the powdered sugar, ground almonds, crushed strawberries.  I think I didn't beat the egg whites long enough, but it said not dry peaks!??!!
Maybe I can try some coconut macaroons, dipped in chocolate, that would be good and the chocolate will disguise any flaws in them....

August 10, 2015


Tonight for dinner I made Mousakka.. (I don't know if this is spelled right?!)
It can be made with beef or lamb, I had some left over stuffing from some Italian sweet peppers I had stuffed so I used that up . I used the long chinese eggplant, I like them.. cut up with some red onion, olive oil and cooked till soft .
Layered it in the bottom of dish, added the meat and more eggplant mixture. 
I also had made like a white bechamel sauce using very little of it, and then sprinkled top with parmean cheese.  Baked at 375 for 20 minutes.. 
It was delicous!
Thank you Alysia, Joleen and Manuel for turning me on to this yummy dish!
At the Hyde Street diner in Selma....

August 5, 2015

Makin' sauce!

What to do when you have tomatoes?
I make spagetti sauce!

I cut them in quarters and remove seeds and the gunky stuff
Then I process in my food processor, (hope I spelled that right!??) 
I do NOT remove the skins, just process them.

washed the fresh basil from my garden that I started from seed.

process the onion, garlic, celery, saute' in olive oil till transparent.

Stir altogether with the processed tomatoes, fresh Italian herbs,
 (basil, marajon, sage, oregano) I like to add more olive oil as the liquid reduces.
Cook on low till liquids reduce, a good 2 hours, with lid half off.
If you want to add cooked ground meat you can, I like to use left over roast, stew meat, all processed in the food processor. 
cook on low so as not to burn.
If I don't have meat when I am processing the tomatoes, I will add later when I take out of freezer when we are ready to enjoy it.
Always nice to have sauce in the freezer for a quick meal,
 especially for Sunday dinner

My sister n' law gave me some magoes when I stopped at her house Monday night after my biscotti deliveries.  I love them chopped up with red onions and added to the fish that I breaded and cooked.  So good, I could've eaten the whole plate of mangoes and forgone the fish..  thank you Rhonda!

I also made a homemade pizza and added sliced zuccini, eggplant and roasted red peppers and red onions, just olive oil topping the dough no sauce. 
Delicous, we had the pizza again tonight with roasted stuffed Italian sweet peppers.
I am stuffed again!!

July 28, 2015

Japenese Lantern Plant

This is the plant that I started from some heart shaped seeds that my bookkeeper Phyllis had given to me before her passing.  
She told me to plant them and share with the other volunteers that work with me and her family members as well.
When I saw that her health was declining I planted the seeds, and yes I shared the plants with the others, and told them to save the seed and share with others to keep 
Phyllis in our hearts and thriving.
This weekend while I was gone, I arrived at home to see a lantern at the base of one of the very delicate branches, swaying just so, so light and delicate as is the rest of the plant with tiny white blooms on it.  The lantern is where the seeds are, and as the lantern dries out it becomes transparent, like an onion skin holding the heart shape seeds within. Can't wait to see the process and harvest the seeds to give to others. My plant is  about 18" tall, very spinely and delicate.  We all have been talking back and forth about our "Phyllis plant" keeping her legacy alive.
Such a fragile plant with so much meaning just like the woman it represents. 
Strong, steadfast, delicate and beautiful..
I miss our Phyllis in my office and meetings and such.  
A true meaning of the word volunteer. 
I know she is looking down on us and still guiding and admiring what we are all doing.  A teacher of doing things the "right way", no skimping... and always with a big smile on her face, OH I MISS THAT SMILE!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: FishTaco Night!!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: FishTaco Night!!: After getting off work tonight, I decided I needed to go to the grocery store before going home.  What shall I fix for dinner?? Something e...

FishTaco Night!!

After getting off work tonight, I decided I needed to go to the grocery store before going home.  What shall I fix for dinner?? Something easy, light and healthy and does not require the oven going on.  Tacos seemed like the right choice.  My favorite are fish tacos, but of course they don't come out quite like the ones from the taco shops.
This is my attempt at making them.
I started out with frying the corn tortillas, saute' 1/4 of a finely chopped onion in olive oil, cut the mild white fish up into chunks added them on top of the onions, on medium high heat with a spatter screen on top.
Made some homemade slaw with white cabbage thinely sliced and chopped along with some onion thinely sliced, added 2 Tblsp of greek plain yogurt, salt, pepper, to taste and mixed it all up.

The other toppings were store bought fresh cut salsa, and shredded cheese. I didn't have any cilantro but the salsa had a little bit in it.

You could add lemon or lime to the garnish if you'd like. 
 I made a whole platter, so good....

Nothing more required to this lite easy dinner unless you wanted to add rice,  a beer or margarita.  Great dinner on a hot July night..

July 22, 2015

A friend of ours from Le Grand is a farmer and brought us over some bell peppers and tomatoes yesterday.. The tomatoes are still sitting on my counter getting darker, while the peppers were ready to do something with tonight!
My dads' favorite thing to eat for breakfast or lunch was the fried pepper / egg sandwich which he made in the summmer for his lunch.
We use to serve it on white bread with a little mayo.  My favorite way is just with a little butter, and the egg and peppers are cooked with olive oil and a little onion.
It is so delicous shown here with a Portuguese roll that I purchased in Turlock at the Portuguese bakery off of Lander Avenue. I was in heaven as the melted butter oozed into the bread and the crunch of the bread and soft egg/pepper mixture hit my taste buds.. oh memories of this sandwich.. and my dad... yummy delicousness!!!
Try making this for just about any meal.... 
E N J O Y!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in...

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in...: Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in Los Banos called the "Italian Celebration", which is the celebration of &qu...

Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in Los Banos called the "Italian Celebration", which is the celebration of "The Madonna de Carmen", which is a beautiful statue of our blessed mother, that our grandmother (my dads' mom) helped bring over from Italy along with her friends from the village of Grumenta Nova, Italy.
She is celebrated their also, along with many traditional celebrations that we try to carry on here, to keep our grandparents memory alive!
Every year I bow down to her on my knees and am always in tears.  I get so emotional when I am with her.  When going thru my cancer, I prayed to her while holding my childrens hands asking her to cure me so that I could see my children grow and become men, and also get to hold their children.  That was  26 years ago, and I have been very blessed by her and God!  A friend of mine Helen, we always find each other at her feet crying, we can't explain why, we just do. 
 We use to march from the St. Joseph's Catholic Church every hot summer with our cousins and other members of the community to the D.E.S. hall to have the traditional Italian stew and pasta. Our children did too a few times. This year instead of pasta they cooked saffron rice which was delicous with the stew. We no longer march from church to hall, since the new church was built across town. After the luncheon there is a live auction of donated items from different businesses and individuals. My donation this year was the biscotti that I make,"Biscotti by Auntie B.B.", sugar cookies with toasted sesame seeds, a chocolate/orange/nut cake and of course wine.
My purchase was Italian sweet peppers that I came home and stuffed and more!
Our runners for the auction were all the little cousins which is great so that they can learn about our family heiritage.
To the Nonna I never got to meet and my Pops who taught me how tell time and cook and garden and appeciate simple easy made food. He could throw anything together and it tasted wonderful. His pancakes were the size of the plate, lasagne in the pantry ready to bake, and olives curing in the cement wash basin in his laundry room.  I think that is why I wore "chubby girl sizes" before I was in the 4th grade. His garden was his whole back yard, complete with all vegetables, seasonings, grapes, fig tree, and beautiful carnations. Yes I learned a lot of things from my Pops, about food, traditions, and that family always comes first!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Amanda's bridal shower

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Amanda's bridal shower: We will be giving my niece a bridal shower in August. So my job was to come up with the invitation, which is right up my alley. I so ...

Amanda's bridal shower

We will be giving my niece a bridal shower in August. So my job was to come up with
the invitation, which is right up my alley. I so enjoyed putting it all together with color and texture and yes a little bling too!

I stamped most of it, embossed it with texture and designed the way it opened and closed, which was a little tricky, taking me a couple of evenings to figure out.

The best part of it all was having my sister, the mother of the bride, my sister n' law who is helping give the shower and my other niece come over, finish stampin', glue and assemble with embellishments and ribbon, also deorating the envelope.
We all agreed it was a great afternoon, munching on salami & cheese, sipping on wine, looking through old photo books to gather photos and reminencing about when the kids were small, and "Where did the time go?"
  They are all grown up and starting their own lives.

Relish every step of the way you spend with your children, it goes by so quickly, make every moment count and memorable,
 even the smallest ones can be the precious ones.
When they are holding our hands we can protect them and guard them from being hurt, give them a good foundation of wrong & right by being good examples to them.
Hopefully they will remember all that is taught them, and how to handle all situations in a postitive way even when someone might hurt their feelings or    
not agree with them.   
Being kind to others, and reaching out to someone that might be in need.

Here is the finished invite with the envelope
All products are by Stampin' Up! which you can purchase from my website:
There are some awesome ideas for bridal, wedding, baby, anniversary, birthday,
and any holiday you can think of.  Cards, gifts, treat and favor ideas as well.
The sky is the limit when it comes to Stampin' Up!

Summer time, garden goodness!

Here's what my garden looks like at this point.
Over taken with the tomatoes I started from seed. Manzano and Romas. Lots of tomatoes just haven't turned red yet, more flowers bloomed over the last two days too, so that means hopefully more tomatoes!!  Can't wait  to harvest these 
and make spagehtti sauce, yum!

I have also planted basil, Italian sweet peppers, swiss chard, and some green beans.
Have been harvesting the chard, love it saute' with baby carrots and garlic and olive oil.  The basil I use it to make pesto in small batches.  I love pasta with fresh chopped tomatoes and pesto saute' in olive oil dusted with parmeasan cheese and fresh ground pepper. Such a simple meal for a hot summer dinner.
I am pretty excited about my garden this year since I started the plants from seed.

July 12, 2015

Sunday morning breakfast..

Today I chose to make Popovers

I love this crunchy soft centered treat

You need a Popover pan or some glass custard cups to make them
I finally bought a popover pan from  http://www.wayfair.com ; at a really good price.
I think I need a second one in case you have many to make for a large crowd.
So simple, just 1 cup of flour,1/2 teasp salt, 1 cup milk and 2 eggs, all beaten smooth.
Fill cups 3/4 full, hot oven 425 degrees preheated,  bake 35 minutes.

They puff up in pan as the batter heats up. Turn your oven light on and watch!
They are simple and delicous, crispy outside and soft wet inside, like a cream puff.

They can be filled with butter & jam like I have done here.

This is what they look like comin' out of oven

Cooked up some homemade Italian sausage

Filled one with the sausage and butter, oohh my delicous!

Be creative, and fill as desired... eggs & bacon, even whipped cream or custard with fresh fruit, the sky is the limit on these. Make a batch and comment back to me with what you put in yours.  Enjoy!

July 4, 2015


We are home today, just had a few family members over.  Hot dogs, Italian sausage, and a garlic sausage, complete with all the fixings!  My sister brought macaroni salad  with a lil' kick in it and some fruit, my mom brought ribs, Jack & Lydia brought watermelon. Reno and I did the sausages on the grill and also the corn.  Dessert was homemade Apricot cobbler.  We are stuffed!  Headed to visit a cousin and maybe watch some fireworks!

June 15, 2015

A blast from the past!

Today my husband went back to his school to clean out his classroom.
I didn't see the 4 storage boxes go into the back bedroom until much later. The room I want to paint and re-do since the remodel.  Knowing he would be bringing a desk and his chair into the garage I started making room for it all. Half of the garage still has items from the remodel that we haven't fit back into our house just yet.  I cleaned out an old white wicker trunk (falling apart) only to discover treasures from my boys growing up.  Their large tin box (once my mother n'laws with roses on it) filled with crayons and markers, all still in good shape.  The pull toy that hung on their crib playing a song while the baby bear goes up and touches the mama bears' nose.  It still worked so I cleaned it up and put it away.  
This is the blast from the past that my husband brought in!!

A picture that I had purchased for our sons' room when they were little.  There are even some drawing marks on it that one of them had made. Children from different ethnic backgrounds holding hands with BIG smiles on their faces.. 
I just had to put it into my sewing/laundry room.  So many memories of my boys surfaced today, they may not remember but we certainly do as parents, every treasure found has such meaning.