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Christmas Cookie Party

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Christmas Cookie Party

Over the weekend, I hosted my 3rd annual Christmas Cookie party. A few years ago I decided that I was officially an adult (only about a decade after actually legally becoming one) so it was time that I started cultivating my own holiday traditions.

I love to cook but baking is new to me. I thought what better than to host a cookie making and baking party so I could learn new tips and tricks from my friends. The way the party works is that everyone brings the ingredients for one kind of cookie and we bake!

After several years of throwing the party we seem to have finally hit our stride. My guests and I ended up making about a dozen different recipes and all in all over 300 cookies!

We had: chocolate chip with sea salt, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter chocolate chip, white chocolate chip with cranberry, persimmon, sweet loren's, chocolate chip with oatmeal and coconut, peanut butter muffin with reeses, maple cream, everything cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and gluten free sugar cookies.

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Big Daddy Pie Day

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Big Daddy Pie Day

In honor of my Big Daddy, Rudolf Kremer, who passed away 5 years ago, my mother suggested that the ladies of the family bake his favorite dessert- apple pie. My Big Daddy served in the Air Force during World War II, lived into his 90s, and got to meet his first great grandchild. He liked oysters, chocolate, and Perrier. He wore yellow socks and had many hobbies including beekeeping and wood working.

The apple pie recipe I chose to work with is from Martha Stewart, whose recipes I trust to be really yummy and relatively easy. I also chose to make my own Pate Brisee (pie dough) which sounds hard but really wasn't. Making a pie from scratch isn't as difficult as it might seem, merely time consuming. I'd say that the entire process took about an hour, most of the effort is in the preparation of ingredients and also, depending on the intricacies of your desired, pie crust. 

Overall, I loved this recipe. I'd go a little easier on the "zest and juice of 1 lemon" and you definitely don't need 12 Granny Smith apples (I only used about half). Otherwise, this recipe is delicious and super easy. I also really love the idea of starting a tradition in which we remember family and friends by cooking their favorite things. What a beautiful, comforting way of remembering our loved ones. 

 

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Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

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Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

Over the past few years, I've acquired a taste for vinegar. Vinegar isn't just for salad dressings. An adventurous cook can use this sharp, spicy marinade for an array of dishes such as: baked beans, fruit-centric appetizers, and stews. Just the other day I came across a recipe for refrigerated cucumber salad and I was so intrigued that I had to give it a try. Apparently, this cold dish is a bit of a Southern thing and it's no wonder why- toss the ingredients into a large jar and take it to any summer gathering for a tangy, cold side dish. 

I enjoyed the salad on a toasted bagel with labne, a tart Greek yogurt (a staple for any kitchen), and pan seared salmon. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cucumbers (I used Persian but any type will do), thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 T salt
  • ice

Directions:

  1. Add together vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes into a pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add in the celery stalks. Stir continuously for a few minutes to make sure the sugar has melted.
  2. Remove from heat and add 2 handfuls of ice cubes, set aside.
  3. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients on top and let sit for a few minutes. Once cooled, transfer the contents of the bowl into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. 

 

 

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The Easiest Dessert Ever

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The Easiest Dessert Ever

Anytime I make a trifle people ooh and ahh and it all makes me feel very important. People coo upon even a glance of the English inspired dessert dish but what they don't know, and what I'll be real with you about right now, is that it's actually one of the easiest sweets you can make. 

Ingredients:

  1. Pre-made angel food cake. Just about every grocery store, other than the speciality ones, sell these airy spongecakes in the bakery department, sometimes they even keep them by the berries in the produce section.
  2. Fruit. I find that you should use at least 3 different types for diversity. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are a great go-to. Mix it up with a can of sliced peaches. 
  3. Whipped cream. Low-fat cool whip works. 

Directions:

Dice the fruit. Dice the angel food cake. Layer in this order: cake, whipped cream, fruit. Repeat. 

Oh, and don't forget perhaps one of the most important things, the trifle dish! Head to Amazon for your choice of beautiful, glass pedestals. 

Check out Pinterest for design and ingredient inspiration. Enjoy!

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Spicy Thai Steak Salad

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Spicy Thai Steak Salad

When you’re trying to eat healthy, there’s nothing better than a salad that’s full on flavor, protein, and crunch! 

I adapted this Spicy Thai Steak Salad from several online recipes, particularly from the Comfort of Cooking. This recipe is loaded with savory flavors and ingredients that pack a surprising and filling punch for lunch or dinner.

 

Read on

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The Spiroslicer Is Your Next Must-Have Kitchen Accessory

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The Spiroslicer Is Your Next Must-Have Kitchen Accessory

The Spiroslicer is a premium vegetable spiralizer and a necessity for every healthy chef’s kitchen! Highly rated and consistently reviewed online, the Spiroslicer comes with a lifetime guarantee so you can be sure to get your money’s worth!

Use the Spiroslicer to slice vegetables like squash, zucchini, carrots and more! Not only can the Spiroslicer add beautiful colors to your homemade meals, it can also help add important vitamins and nutrients to just about every meal.

The Spiroslicer is made with BPA free ABS Plastic and its blade is made of Japanese stainless steel. Its julienne blade allows you to make noodles in 2 different sizes. It’s dishwasher safe and allows for such an easy clean up that you’ll wonder how you cooked without it!

Use the Spiroslicer to cut pasta portions in half and add low-calorie variety to traditional pasta dishes! Add crunch and color to any salad, soup, or wrap! Served hot or cold, these thinly sliced veggies are guaranteed to impress your guests.


The Spiroslicer even comes in a best of bundle- receive the Original Spiroslicer, instruction manual, cleaning brush, storage pouch as well as a cookbook from the Delightful Chef with over 30 recipes and ideas on how to use your new vegetable spiralizer!

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A Guide to Austin or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying, Start Drinking and Love the Breakfast Taco

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A Guide to Austin or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying, Start Drinking and Love the Breakfast Taco

As a born and raised Angeleno, many people questioned my move to Texas a few years back. I was almost surprised at how many people, both in and outside of Texas, had a hard time understanding why I'd move to San Antonio and later, Austin. I found that the lonestar state had plenty to offer, and much like California, was as diverse a place as any. 

Read on for a list of some of my favorite restaurants, bars, and things to do in Austin…

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Bodega Bliss in Highland Park

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Bodega Bliss in Highland Park

Ensconced inside the historic La Tropicana Market in Highland Park is Monte 52. The sandwich shop is a modest yet thriving operation nestled in the back of a robust bodega offering its diverse clientele everything from coconut water to craft brew, fresh salsa to in-house chocolate dipped strawberries, and iced coffee to fresh juices. On it’s own, La Tropicana Market has been a gem as well as a staple landmark in Northeast LA for decades. Within the past few years the market has begun to sell fresh, organic produce and grass fed meat. Additionally, La Tropicana’s decision to partner up and open their doors to Monte 52 seems to have only made the special location even more of a neighborhood treasure.

Read on

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Internal Living & a Nectarine Galette

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Internal Living & a Nectarine Galette

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I headed to Canyon Country to visit my brother and his girlfriend. The day served as a much needed escape from LA city limits. We spent the afternoon swimming, enjoying some charcuterie, and picking fruit that seemed to fall oh so perfectly from the trees in their backyard. 

Read on to learn how to make a fruit galette in its most simple form while managing the internal workings of a rich, inner life.

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