Category Archives: Recipes

Baking Review : Lemon Ricotta Pancakes & Valentine’s Day Cookies

so it was pretty much raining all weekend in the bay area.
& although part of me wanted to finally go on a hike & enjoy the great outdoors,
the other part of me was loving a reason to be tucked away in a good book.

another thing i love to do when it is just pouring out there is bake.
i feel like it is the perfect excuse to bake the day away.
so guess what i did on saturday?
i baked and i ate and i read and i baked. it was actually quite lovely.
i am usually a busy body but it was nice to stay inside and hear the tip tappings on our roof.

and now that i have baked, i have some good recipes to share with you!
first up, a bountiful kitchen’s fresh lemon ricotta pancakes.

Fresh Lemon Ricotta Pancakes


okay, can i just say i think a bountiful kitchen‘s recipes are just the best? she is a mother and now grandmother so most of her recipes are tried and true — only recipes she would serve to her family. & i would definitely serve these pancakes to my family (except b hates pancakes so really it would just be for me ha). the only thing i wish was that they had more of a lemony flavor. but i may be in the minority. i am just obsessed with lemons. i would rather purse my lips after a lemon dish than not. so when i am to make these pancakes again, i would add some more lemon juice or i would top the pancakes with lemon curd (and keep pancakes as they are). oh lemon curd i love you so.
the above pancakes i topped with sweet condensed milk & powder sugar for a nice sugar high. i would recommend topping any type of pancake with sweet condensed milk. it is delectable.

then in the afternoon, i decided i needed to make a valentine’s day treat for some friends. so i researched and chose peanut butter cookies topped with chocolate hearts. i found an amazing recipe here

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never have i ever had such light and fluffy peanut butter cookies. and topped with chocolate hearts? i mean it is basically my idea of heaven. i strongly recommend this recipe and following all her tips. only tip i will add is don’t push the chocolate on the cookie, just lightly place. i kind of pushed my chocolates at first and then when the cookies were room temperature they crumbled a little. no bueno. just lightly place. oh and i did a mixture of dark and milk chocolate hearts.

so basically i gained 5 pounds this weekend but it was completely worth it.

what did you do this weekend?


The Perfect Fall Salad

lately I have been obsessed with all things Ina Garten. you know barefoot contessa? i really think she can do no wrong. every recipe she shares is so flavorful yet simple. this is my favorite style of cooking. it would be a dream cooking alongside her. we would swap dinner party stories, measure everything to a tee and dance to her barefoot contessa jingle.
when b’s parents came to town I knew it was the perfect opportunity to go all out and try some more of ina’s recipes. we tried her lemon chicken, overnight waffles and roasted butternut squash salad. all were delectable if I do say so myself but the one that stood out to me was the salad. i loved it. b who is not a squash lover loved it. b’s parents couldn’t stop raving about it. it had all the right ingredients (not too many of them) and can be thrown together quite easily. it is the perfect fall salad.



1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

**i will say we substituted arugula for spinach just because we are spinach salad lovers. i am sure either work great.
another bonus is butternut squash is in season so Trader Joes has them available at a killer deal!

what do you think makes a good salad? what are you favorite recipes for fall?

Waffle Cone S’mores

I mentioned in my previous post on Pismo Beach the idea to roast s’mores in waffle cones  for a new twist on the classic campfire dessert. I got a couple responses asking for more details.
Let me explain what I mean a little better….


1. Buy waffle cones (sugar cones could work too depending on your preference) from your local grocery store (if your feeling really daring you could make your own — I am sure it would be that much more delicious).

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2. Fill the cone with mini marshmallows, skor bar crumbles, chocolate chips, peanut butter, banana or strawberries.

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3. Wrap cone in tin foil.

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4. Place on open grill and let it cook for 5-10 minutes.

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5. Remove tin foil and enjoy!

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I learned this method one night when I was volunteering with the cub scouts. I thought it was such a great idea — especially with young kids since it is so much less mess.

What are you favorite ways to cook s’mores?

Linked to: Treat Yo Self

Lemon-Zucchini Bread

In my kitchen I have this print hanging up



It is a great reminder to me what produce is in season and what I should be incorporating into our meals to get the best flavors. As I was perusing the list for summer, I came upon squash. I love all different types of squash particularly zucchini. My dad had a garden of zucchini when I was young and I can vividly remember steaming the home grown vegetable in the summer time. He was so proud of the fruits of his labor (as he should be because I have never had a more delicious zucchini).
I decided to think of something else besides steaming where I could incorporate zucchini and I remembered one of my favorite recipes I found two summers ago. It is for lemon zucchini bread with lemon glaze. Those two flavors balance each other perfectly. It is also a healthier summer treat and can be easily taken to eat while on the go, which is a win win (especially when I am always tempted with chocolate covered raisins and almonds at the office).

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Recipe can be found here.

This recipe is on the easier side but the product is nothing short of scrumptious. The lemon glaze makes the bread melt in your mouth. It is melting in mine as I type. Do give this recipe a try! It would be perfect to bring to a Summer potluck!

What is your favorite produce to use in your Summer meals?
I am also obsessed with peaches and plan on making many meals highlighting the  sweet and juicy fruit!

Linked to: Treat Yo Self

Roses & Lemonade

Nothing is more refreshing than a nice cold glass of lemonade as the days begin to get even hotter (bay area is reaching mid 80’s this week!).
But, sometimes the average lemons + water +sugar just doesn’t cut it so I was so excited when Lauren Conrad provided two new twists on the this classic beverage.

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She recommended infusing your lemonade with roses or lavender.
Rose infused anything is like the new “it” flavor. I have had rose flavored macarons, ice cream, tea, lollipops and facial products! Everyone is incorporating it with anything and everything and I am totally on board. It seems to make any product a little bit more posh and unique. And not only is it trendy but there are proven health benefits to applying and consuming rose water! Rose infused lemonade is not only good for the soul but for your skin, hair, eyes, healing, etc.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • lemon slices for garnish
  • rose petals
  • ice cube tray


  1. Boil enough water to fill an ice cube tray, let cool, then fill tray half way. Freeze. Once frozen, place rose petals in each cube and fill to the top with water. Freeze until all cubes are completely frozen.
  2. Heat sugar and water on stove to dissolve sugar. Put sugar syrup mixture in the fridge and let cool for 2-3 hours.
  3. Juice lemons. Place lemon juice in a pitcher with sugar syrup, water, and rose water.
  4. Stir mixture and pour into glasses. Serve with rose petal ice cubes.


Check out here to learn how to make your own rosewater or buy it here.
What are your favorite ways to use rosewater?

Sips of Citrus


There is a lush orange tree right outside our balcony that always puts me in a better mood and makes me crave anything citrus. One of my favorite citrus treats (besides lemon bars) is an ice cold Orange Julius and the mere sip of an Orange Julius brings me back to my childhood.

My mother made breakfast for me almost every day before school –it was how she showed her love. I hope to do the same when I am a mother someday, but will cherish the memories for now. One regular thing she made that I just couldn’t get enough of was Orange Julius. I usually drank it with some eggs and toast to get a balanced meal but I know the Julius was the only thing I was wanting seconds of! The funny thing is, I learned this recipe from my “Teenage Living”  class (aka Home Ec) in seventh grade. I brought the recipe home to my mom and she adopted it as her own. Who knew that class would still have an impact on me!

Recipe for Orange Julius: 
1 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1 cup milk
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8-10 icecubes
1 fresh orange just picked from a tree for garnish

Blend well and serve immediately!

Cheers to a new week!