Posts made in February, 2015

Cheer Up Your Oats

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 5 comments

Is your life-sized heart-shaped box of chocolates nearly empty? Stow it for a few days and make Cinnamon-Raisin Breakfast Bars.















Hot water and a half pound of dates pull together everything you crave; toasted nutty oat texture, protein, and warm spice without a smidgen of sugar.  I left out a dark chocolate drizzle during our January Fast— but look outside; it’s not January any longer.















Simmer pitted dates in water to create a date paste








as you combine dry ingredients.








Adding almond butter supplies just right creaminess to unite oats, raisins, this, and them.








Getting it glued together takes some time.  Smooth peanut butter with chopped peanuts even dried cranberries could be other mix-in options.








Press the mixture into a prepared 8x8 baking dish and refrigerate.  Because the bars aren’t baked, they remain soft.   Microwave 2 ounces of dark chocolate and ½ teaspoon of coconut oil for 30 seconds to make the chocolate drizzle.








We love their “sweet gooi-ness” (wrapped up into individual packages for easy grab and go energy). If that sounds canned…it was.








Forget breakfast time; I peel one open after dark.

Thanks, Uncle Clinty

I am so obsessed; I can’t figure out to hide them from--me—




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Red Velvet…

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Desserts | 1 comment

I am not clear why the sketch of creating a Red Velvet Cheesecake Pop possessed me this Valentine’s Eve.  Damaris Phillips proposed the pop using peanut butter—but peanuts and I are not frequently compatible.








TJ’s Cookie Butter and Red Velvet Oreos are stand alone indulgences.















Glue them together with cream cheese; freeze them for a spell.








Dip, whack and roll...








I pronounce a sacred sweet marriage,

"I take you, Red Velvet Oreos and Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter to be Cheesecake Pop Lovers forever"!



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The Long and Winding Road

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in New | 4 comments

Last week we retraced our route de honeymoon 44 years ago; part of which began on California’s Highway 1 from Morro Bay to Big Sur.













Without much of a plan, then-- except to reach the Big Sur Inn on Valentine’s Day, we hugged a seemingly treacherous two lanes in my parent’s green Cougar with its too cool black Landau top.







On this occasion, we made a stop at Nepenthe with its breathtaking views, unchanged patio and







tiered cushioned seating.











I swore I could smell Patchouli Oil wafting (or perhaps reeking) from the Phoenix Gift Shop where my young husband bought








a woven green striped belt with a wooden buckle-- which remains a piece of notions tucked away for another story.







Last Thursday, we glided our way along stone cold, windy Pfeiffer Beach and











sandy cypress paths stumbling upon uncanny untouched











Big Sur Inn.  On a whim, we took a field trip through rustic hodge-podge brown wooden buildings searching for its treasured Honeymoon Suite,











somewhere near a trickling waterfall under a vast canopy of tangled redwood trees.  We ducked our heads; entered a boxy lobby with its Hobbit-like dining room and inquired about our $9. Per night room…







gladly it was open and after quietly enduring our story with a curve in her lip, a kindly proprietor encouraged us to peek.













Little has changed in these years at that Inn except the cost of our $9 suite—but we gladly say we have— because







He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  --Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)


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Nursery Comfort

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Desserts | 0 comments

Before I could say (or spell) Crème Brulèe there was a boy.  Time too was when there were chickens in the way, way back—in a coop on the alley, which we lovingly called “The Old Chisholm Trail”.









Never fancy, old-fashioned egg custard has been a delightful sweet memory when quiet winter afternoons sailed by heedless of time passing.  Heat up your oven and crack a few eggs—










Farm fresh eggs, whole milk, sugar, pure fragrant vanilla, and heavenly grated nutmeg









baked into a big crock or








your very own custard cup held upright in two tiny hands.

This is for you, Ty.











Come a ki yi yippee yippee yay…

Old-fashioned Baked Custard


  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Freshly ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 1-quart baking dish or 6-8 ramekins. Set a shallow pan large enough to hold the baking dish or ramekins in the oven and fill it with 1 1/2 inches of hot water.
  3. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat until just steaming but do not boil. In a large bowl, beat the yolks and completely eggs together just enough to blend. Stir in the sugar and salt and slowly add the hot milk, stirring constantly. Add the vanilla. Pour into the baking dish or dishes and sprinkle generously with nutmeg.
  4. Put ramekins or casseroles into the prepared water bath pan and bake for about 35-45 minutes; the custard is set when it looks puffy and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy at room temperature or cooled.





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Wintertime Kale Slaw

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Salad | 2 comments

I called a time out in January and during the hiatus, New Year fitness foods and salads dominated.  Then suddenly, as the BIG game approached and teams chosen; football food frenzy took shape around two.

Did you know according to The Chew stats:

1.25 billion chicken wings were consumed yesterday beside foot-bowls of

3.8 million pounds popcorn,

4.3 million pretzels,

11 million pounds of chips  and 80 million avocados…whew?








Now it is my time to share a  wintertime Kale Slaw I created (which we ate uncounted pounds of during January).  Embracing Kale wasn’t simple for me.  Kale chips? Too tedious--cooking the broad leaf in soups, stews, and pastas as well as juicing the trendy kale was the extent of my creativity.  I stood with my arms crossed over my body and rolled my eyes when massaging Kale seemed to be an answer to its ”Royal Rawness”.

Then I got it! The path to an acceptable and palatable kale was to break down cell structure allowing tender shreds to bow to tasty dressings and dolled-up contrasts. Many kale salads have preceded my version—but no visits to the massage table are necessary.  My simple rule is to get the freshest vegetables and get out the food processor.  Prep equal portions of smallish Brussels sprouts, purple cabbage, and kale.  I use 8 ounces of each; which translates to a dozen or so sprouts, a half a medium head of cabbage, and two bunches of stripped down kale.















Using the slicing disk, zip the sprouts,















cabbage and















kale into thin slices.








Pile the vegetables into a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt (some pepper too –if you’d like). Toss it well with your clean hands and dress it lightly with Lemon Vinaigrette.  Store the Kale Slaw in a covered bowl in the refrigerator (it keeps for days).








Before serving, add toasted walnuts, dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds and more dressing.  Healthy and satisfying with enough sweetness and crunch too—a  kale keeper.








Our friend, Jason left me a note saying, “One of the best salads I have ever had!”









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