Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bread Pudding with Sauce

Posted by Generation Girls at 10:34 AM 1 comments
This is a simple bread pudding recipe but what gives it that extra flair is the Carmel pudding sauce that you serve it with.

Bread Pudding
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3 cups of torn bread (I used bagels)

Directions :
In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk up until a film begins to form over the top. This is right before a boil. Combine butter with milk and stir until melted. Cool to lukewarm.

When milk is cooled, add sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix

Place bread in a lightly greased 10X13 inch pan. I have used many kinds of bread, and while they all taste good, I loved using blueberry or other slightly flavored bagel. The bread holds up better and gives you a more solid dessert.

Pour mixture over the bread and give a gentle stir to coat all the bread. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until set.

About 5 minutes before the bread pudding is done we make the caramel sauce. Depending on your taste you can use brown sugar, the caramel taste, or white sugar to give it a more vanilla taste.

Pudding Sauce

1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar (brown or white)
1 tsp vanilla (2 if you use white sugar)
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all together and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes. Set aside and spoon over each slice of bread pudding. Serve hot

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Edible Gifts

Posted by Generation Girls at 9:33 AM 0 comments
One of the newest, hottest gifts this year are personalized edible creations. Featured in many top magazines Edible Gifts Plus has the personalized edibles down to a science. Not to mention they have many other unique food gifts that will leave a big impression at any party. Find an exciting array of gifts sure to compliment any budget and give them a gift this year that won't be duplicated.







Impress the people left on your gift giving list with these edible photo cards. Personalize them with any photo and message and have them sent to all your out of town friends and family. Not only will your gift be adorable it will taste great too! Your Christmas card is sure to be talked about for weeks to come.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bubble Ring

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:51 PM 0 comments


In our house it's tradition to make this bubble ring on Christmas eve for everyone to enjoy while we open presents. While it used to take my mother in law 15 minutes of kneading, I can whip this up with my kitchen aid in less then 10 minutes. After scalding the milk, shortening and sugar, let cool to room temperature. To speed this up I fill my sink with cold water and set the pan in it while stirring the milk. It cools quickly this way. Add the cooled milk, yeast and water mixture plus 1 cup of flour, eggs and salt to your kitchen aid. Mix with whisk attachment. Add 2 more cups of four and switch blade to dough hook. Add the remaining 1 to 2 cups of flour until you have a soft dough. Let your kitchen aid knead it with the dough hook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the kitchen aid and let rise in a warm place for one hour or until double. After one hour, punch down and roll in to 2 inch balls. Dip in warm melted butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar. Place in a bunt pan and let rise a second time for about 30 minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Bubble Ring

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup warm water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
4-5 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hot Wassail

Posted by Generation Girls at 9:25 AM 0 comments

One of our favorite traditions each year is to spend a day or two in a small town here in Oregon walking through the quaint little shops in their down town. It's as close to an old fashion Christmas as we have found. Carolers sing in the square, the shops have boughs around all their store fronts and charming Christmas lights and music playing in the shops. One particular shop always has Wassail hot and ready for anyone walking by. It was here that I first had Wassail and fell in love with this hot holiday drink. Spending a snowy cold day window shopping with my family and enjoying the sights and sounds and wonderful smells of Christmas is a tradition we love.

Wassail

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash ground cloves
In a large crock pot, mix all ingredients and warm for 3-4 hours. You can also warm this in a large 60 cup coffee maker. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumpkin Pecan Square

Posted by Generation Girls at 4:44 PM 2 comments

This year I bought a lot of extras for the holiday season. Instead of just getting the exact amounts on my list I threw in a few extra items here and there. This led me to a pantry full of goodies that I didn't know what to do with. With my can of pumpkin in hand and a cup full of pecans needing to be used, I searched high and low for an amazing pumpkin type dessert I could whip up quickly for my family. This dessert is so easy, and tastes like it took all day to make.

Pumpkin Pecan Squares


1 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar
1 can pure pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
2 Lg eggs
2 1/4 pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
Whipped Cream

Mix crust and place in bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Mix up pumpkin, sugar, milk, eggs and spices. After the crust has pre-baked add mixture to the crust and continue to bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes add chopped pecans and brown sugar to the top. Continue baking for 15 minutes.

Let cool and serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pork Carnitas / Sweet and Sour Pork

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:13 PM 0 comments

I love having meals that can stretch to become two. It really helps the budget and planning. It also saves the left overs from becoming science projects.

Here is another of our favorite two for one meals. The first is Pork Carnitas. This is an easy meal that takes just a few minutes prep before dinner.


Pork Carnitas

Pork Roast 2-3 pounds
1 pkg Onion Soup Mix/ or 1 tsp Cumin and 1 can Chicken Broth
1 cup water
Garnish with
limes (squeeze on each tortilla)
Shredded Cheese
Sea Salt
Red onion (optional)
Salsa (optional)
Yellow or White Corn Tortillas
1/2 oil for frying (optional)

Take your Pork Roast, I buy a pretty big one to feed my family of 5 twice, and put in the crock pot on high. Add one package of dry onion soup mix and 1 cup of water. Cook for 7-8 hours. If you do not want to use the onion soup mix you can add a little cumin and one can of chicken broth to bring out some of it's natural flavor.

When the roast is done, shred it with a fork. While you are waiting for the pork to cool, heat a 1/2 cup of oil in a small fry pan. (This is optional for those watching their fat intake) Take your corn tortillas and cook them on each side about 20 seconds. Drain.

Add the pork to your tortillas, garnish with shredded cheese, lime and sea salt.

With the left over pork you can freeze it at this point for another day, or put it back in the crock pot and store in the refrigerator until tomorrow.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Left over pork roast
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 -3 tbs soy sauce
1 green pepper diced
Brown Rice served on the side

When you are ready to make your second meal, put the shredded pork in the crock pot, add crushed pineapple, green pepper, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Serve over brown rice.

You now have two wonderful meals for your family.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quick and Easy Chicken Soup

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 9:25 AM 3 comments


Are you looking for an easy healthy alternative to chicken noodle soup? With illnesses on the rise, making a hot healthy soup for your family does not need to be difficult. It takes a few minutes of preparation, but it will pay off when evening time comes and you have a delicious healthy meal for your family.

What you need:

2 lbs chicken tenders (cooked until slightly pink)
3 carrots (peeled and sliced)
3 stalks celery (sliced)
3 potatoes (sliced and quartered)
1 sweet onion (diced)
1/2 head of cabbage (sliced)
2 cans of low sodium fat free chicken broth
3 cups water
2 low sodium chicken bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon dried thyme

After cooking chicken until just slightly pink, dice and add to other ingredients in a crock pot. Put on high for 5 hours or low for 8. This soup is easy to make and you will never miss the noodles.

If you have left overs, the next day throw the crock pot back on low all day. Add one to two cans of cream of chicken soup. When you get home mix up some dumplings (recipe below) with Italian seasoning and put on top for 1/2 hour. Now you have two meals for the price of one.

Dumpling Recipe

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
salt
pepper
Italian Seasoning (or favorite fresh herbs)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Mix together and place on top of leftover chicken soup for 1/2 hour in crock pot.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eating Healthy On A Budget

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:07 AM 3 comments
Eating healthier is something we all need to do to ensure the well being of our families. I have found that eating healthy can be very expensive. How do you find the balance between budget and health? Woman's World Magazine has a few tips to help make your meals more nutritious without breaking the bank.

The first tip involves America's love affair with fast food. Most of us crave it and some of us rely on it for the convenience. Surprisingly, there are healthier alternatives for fast food.
  • Wendy's Junior Hamburger boasts 230 calories, 8 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein for 97 cents. Ditch the fries and onion rings for a fresh green salad and you have a fast food meal that is inexpensive and won't ruin your diet.
  • Subway's six inch Turkey and Black Forest Ham Sandwich with lite mayo and vinegar has 360 calories, 6 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein for only 5 dollars. Add a side salad instead of chips for a healthier alternative.
When visiting the grocery store, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg for healthier foods. Go online and grab coupons from MamboSprouts.com for organic varieties of your favorite foods. Also, visit your local farmers market. The fresh fruits and vegetables and 50% less cash will have you going back for more. Farmer's Markets are also a great place to take the kids for some wholesome family fun. Log on to LocalHarvest.org to find a farmer's market near you.

Another great tip is to switch out diet sodas for sugar free powdered drinks such as Crystal Light. You will save approximately 50 cents per drink! Follow these quick tips to help your family eat healthy meals at a lower cost. You will be glad you did.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Incredible Bullet Express

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 1:49 PM 10 comments
So it's official. I am an infomercial junkie. Something about a thirty minute commercial makes you believe everything they tell you! My recent purchase was the ever incredible Bullet Express (watch the infomercial here). For those of you who haven't heard of it, its the all purpose slice and dicer. They claim that you can prep meals in 8 meals or less. I had to have it! I found mine at Kohl's and figured I would give it a try. The machine comes with so many gadgets it took me a while before I got used to all of its features. It comes with a juicer attachment, grater, slicer and mixer. Last night I made the ultimate nachos listed in the cookbook. I loved that it grated an entire block of cheese in about two seconds. Awesome! What I didn't like was cleaning up cheese that flew all over my kitchen during the grating process. Same thing with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. The process is super quick but I think the system needs a better catch all system. The nachos were great and fast but clean up was not. I have yet to try the juicer or the mixer. I will keep you posted on my opinion when I attempt my first dessert. This is just my take on the incredible Bullet Express Machine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Melt In Your Mouth Flavors From The Melting Pot

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 6:03 AM 4 comments
So this month was my 12th year wedding anniversary. We usually try to keep things simple because of our hectic schedules. This year we decided to try something new. There is a new restaurant in town called The Melting Pot. I heard about it from a friend but had my doubts. It is a fondue restaurant which I figured I could never get full on. Boy, was I wrong. If you have a location near you, it is worth a visit! The first Melting Pot sprung up in Florida with only three items on the menu. Since then, with the popularity of the fondue experience growing, they boast a four course dining experience with many varieties of flavors. The first course was a wonderful cheese fondue paired with green apples, bread, chips and a mix of fresh vegetables. This cheese fondue was heavenly. I particularly loved the sweetness of apples mixed with the tang of cheese. Delicious! Then came the wonderful salad greens with sliced almonds, fresh lettuce mix and a special blend of cheeses. The main course consisted of fillet Mignon, shrimp, chicken, flank steak, sausage and vegetables that we cooked right at our table with our choice of fondue broth. Lastly, was a delectable dessert consisting of chocolate, pecan and caramel fondue which we dipped pound cake, cheese cake, strawberries, marshmallows, rice krispie treats and brownies. What a treat! The entire dining experience took over 2 1/2 hours. If you are looking for a wonderful anniversary gift for your spouse, be sure to try The Melting Pot!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Get Well Gifts To Warm The Heart

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 8:34 AM 0 comments

It's that time of year again. With the change of seasons, more and more people begin to feel under the weather. When those that are closest to you need a pick-me-up, it's always wise to send a get well gift. As we all know, times are tough so these get well gifts do not have to be pricey. They just need to let them know you care. Even a card or a phone call will do the trick. Last year, I sent a get well gift basket to a friend of mine that had a minor heart attack. To this day, every time I speak with him he tells me how much he loved these certain butter toffee pretzels. I am almost tired of hearing about those pretzels! The point is, people do not forget an unexpected kind gesture. It really brings them joy to open a box and find something special just for them. If you are looking for a special get well gift, here are a few options to consider:

Monday, September 21, 2009

The World's Largest Chocolate Fountain

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 9:55 AM 5 comments
Am I dreaming? Nope, it's real! Last week, I attended a tradeshow in Las Vegas and as a tradition, we always visit the Bellagio hotel to view their amazing atrium displays. Although the atrium was closed to put up the fall display, I found another amazing attraction. The Jean Phillipe Patisserie. They boast the world's largest chocolate fountain. The fountain is enclosed in glass and runs the length of the floor to the ceiling. It's almost cruel to watch the liquid heaven flow into the etched glass bowls at the base of the fountain and not be able to cup your hands and sip straight from the chocolate waterfalls. Jean Phillipe is a world renown pastry chef with many talents. Mouth watering chocolates, stunning wedding cakes and fruit and chocolate desserts are all on display for purchase. Visit the website to see some of his fantastic creations. If you are ever in the Las Vegas area, be sure to visit this patisserie. It is an attraction in itself. To read more about this wonderful attraction click here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Teaching Kids Community Responsibility

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:46 AM 0 comments
I thought I would take a break from my usual postings and talk a little about how to teach children that the world continues beyond their front doorstep. I have a fifteen year old son that has no clue about the needs of others in our community. I ask myself if I have failed him by not stressing this as he grew up. We tend to get so caught up in our day to day business, the strife of others gets placed on the back burner. So I decided to get active and realized it is never too late to teach kids about giving back to the community. I figured it was time for all of us to start volunteering. Not only is it good for others, it looks great on college or job applications. Not knowing where to start, I just searched online for community service in my town. I found a great site called Hands On Inland Empire. It has an entire program for teens to choose from. He can volunteer at a nursing home, community yard work, read to elementary school children and more. I am letting him choose which program he would like to try. Hopefully, this experience will not only help him see the value in helping others, but also gratitude for what he has. Check your local area for volunteer groups. Let's start teaching kids, there is life outside of their high schools!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tips For Amusement Park Deals

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:16 AM 3 comments

So my family and I decided to do a get-away to Six Flags Magic Mountain on Sunday. Not only were the kids screaming as they went down all of the action packed roller coasters, but so was my wallet. Money was flying out faster than the G Forces that thrilled my kids. Next time, I am going prepared! How do you save money when the kids are dying of thirst, begging for ice cream and ogling every churro cart that comes into sight? Here are a few handy tips you may want to use before hitting the theme parks this summer.




  • Go online before you go. Most theme parks have a website that may have special deals, promotions or pricing that you would not be aware of unless you visited their site first. At Six Flags there is a special promotion that lets you bring in your Flip Video Camera to receive a free Flash Pass which helps avoid long lines. A very worthwhile tip if you are visiting during summer!


  • Before purchasing tickets, visit sites like www.couponmountain or any other coupon site. Type in your destination and you may find a valuable coupon code that is not listed on their site. This could save you up to half on ticket purchases. For Magic Mountain, the coupon code COLDSTONE lets adults get in for the child's price.


  • Look for special deals on dining. Some parks may have dining packages that lets you save when you purchase ahead of time. At Six Flags, you can purchase a souvenir cup for $12.99 and get refills of fountain soda all day for free. At first, I found this to be expensive but it ended up saving us quite a bit of money. With four thirsty kids and twelve hours of fun, this would have added up fast!


Don't avoid amusement parks because of cost. Do your homework and you could have a wonderful trip filled with summer fun and memories if you learn how to take advantage of all the money saving tips available.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How To Use Fresh Herbs

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 11:45 AM 1 comments
According to Cooking Light Magazine, there are 10 herbs every cook should have in their kitchen. I have always been afraid of using anything that didn't come with a Lawry's label. After reading their suggestions, I may give these fresh herbs a try. If you plan to grow your own, place them in decorative pots and add them to your patio decor. Get the kids involved with planting and picking your fresh herbs for your favorite summer dishes.

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

I love cilantro in eggs and Mexican dishes. Last summer, I grew it on my patio and loved the fresh taste this herb added to my cooking. It was also fun to let the kids go cut off the stems for their meal. Sage is pleasantly bitter and works well on pork, chicken, stews and stuffing. Go to Cooking Light.com and view some great recipes that use these wonderful herbs. There are even tips on how to grow your own.

Photo (Cookinglight.com)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Barbecued Summer Vegetables

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 2:31 PM 0 comments
My father has a beautiful home garden filled with raspberries, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, plums, peaches and cucumbers. There is so much garden bounty that we cannot eat all of it. He calls us up begging for us to come get some of his produce. Every year we get the call to come get some before it rots. This year, I am testing out some new recipes to help my family benefit more fully from my father's harvest. This recipe is for zucchini steaks. At first, I was pretty skeptical about their taste because I have never been a fan of squash and any type of zucchini that wasn't fried. These turned out absolutely delicious! What a healthy side dish for your family. Here is the recipe:

One or two large zucchini cut lengthwise. You want to cut them lengthwise to make it easier to handle on the grill.

Lay the zucchini out on foil and spray them with non fat cooking spray (you can use olive oil if you wish).
Sprinkle the steaks with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano to taste.

You may choose to sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese.

Place on barbecue grill for 7 minutes or until soft flipping once. Close to the end of cooking, squeeze with lemon juice for an extra flavor boost.

Be sure to try this easy recipe for summer vegetables that even your kids will eat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On the Way to the Beach- A Great Place to Stop

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:46 AM 5 comments


Our favorite place to stop on the way to the Pacific Ocean is a small unassuming place called Taylor's Sausage. We have visited Taylor's Sausage long before it became a restaurant and was only known to locals. Someone gave us the tip to go down a side road and visit the small factory. We were hooked.
Taylor's Sausage has been in business since 1924 and they truly know their craft of making delicious sausage, hot dogs, ham and cheese sticks (our favorite), pepperoni and jerky.

Now that they have a restaurant, we stop by for lunch or dinner also. You see here I had a Taylor dog, fresh salad and water. They have a great collection of wines also, but we did not order that. My husband enjoyed the fresh Fish sandwich. Their food is delicious and if you ever get a chance to order something from them or stop by Cave Junction, please visit, you'll be glad you did.

If you go on a Friday night, you will be pleasantly surprised with live music from local artists. Last September we went and were thrilled to listen to a wonderful guitarist and the lights were dimmed and the food that was served for dinner included fresh local corn on the cob....what a wonderful treat!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Get Out And Picnic!

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 9:37 AM 9 comments
Have you ever noticed that the same exact experiences feel totally different as an adult than when you were a child. A picnic was like a really super fun day with climbing monkey bars, chasing birds, watching watermelon juice drip down your arm, etc. As an adult, the experience seem much different. Making and bagging sandwiches, cutting up watermelon, remembering napkins, loading the car, keeping ants off the food, packing everything up, lugging everything home and cleaning everything up. Again, same experience; different perspective.

So the question is, how do we make picnics enjoyable for adults so that we plan them more often for our kids. First of all, keep it simple. If you hate cutting up fruit but want to include it, buy a fruit tray at the deli of your local grocery store. That way any leftovers are neatly stored and ready for bringing home. Second, be sure to include the kids in preparation. Letting the kids help you make sandwiches and salad creates anticipation for the picnic itself. Let them do a job they have never done before such as spread mayonnaise with a butter knife. They will feel accomplished and you will ease the work load. Of course, you can use paper plates, plastic silverware and cups to make clean up a cinch.

The point is, get out and go! Make sure your kids have the same summer picnic memories as you do. Don't let the adult perspective keep you from enjoying outdoor fun with your family. Now to tackle those monkey bars!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Quick Taco Soup Recipe

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 1:50 PM 12 comments
















My good friend, Miss G. gave me this wonderful Taco Soup Recipe that is easy, healthy and family friendly.

My kids love this recipe so much that next time I make it I will double it up and have more leftovers.

We like to eat the soup the first night with Organic Corn Chips from Costco. On the second time around, we have drained the liquid and put it right on top of salad for a quick and nutritious Taco Salad. Miss G. says she like to use it the second night for tacos.

Don't be fooled by this simple recipe, it really tastes delicious.

Quick and Easy Taco Soup

1 lb of Ground Lean Turkey (you can use hamburger or shredded chicken, also)
1 Medium Onion
1 pkg Taco Mix
1 can Kidney beans (do not drain)
1 can Black Beans (do not drain)
1 can Corn (do not drain)
1 can Diced Tomatoes

Brown your meat and onions. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Then simmer until you are ready to eat.

For Garnishes:
Sliced Olives
Sour Cream
Corn Chips
Cilantro

I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cooking With Kids

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 12:19 PM 7 comments
During my daily web hunt for great recipes, new food products and gifts, I found this great website that outlines the benefits of cooking with your kids. Although, I do love to cook with my kids, I am almost always left with a big mess or finishing the batches of cookies as the children get bored and run off to do the next best thing. It could make any delightful gourmet not so delightful! This article helped me to remember how important cooking with your kids really is. Here are a few of the concepts cooking with kids teaches young ones:



Self confidence, healthy eating, preparedness, apppreciation for the cook, sanitation, time management, team work, creativity, cause and effect, measuring and fractions.

These are just a few of the great things you can teach your kids. What better way to teach a teen age boy how to respect his future wife than by making him know how much energy goes into cooking a meal himself? One of the hardest things I had to learn after I was married was how to cook a meal from start to finish. That meant starting certain dishes at different times to ensure the meal was completed at just the right time. Starting early helps kids learn how to do this so they won't have to stress about it in their young adulthood.

So I have decided to continue cooking with my kids even though there may be a disastrous mess afterward. Now, I just need an article to help me figure out how to get them to help me clean up!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Delightful Gourmet Is Making A Change

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 11:52 AM 12 comments
It's official! I am tired of being unhealthy. I am a self proclaimed fast food junkie. Don't get me wrong, I love to try new recipes, explore the globe for the latest gourmet trends and bake up fabulous desserts but when it comes to day to day eating, I grab fast food before I start my next task. Being a mom, business owner, blogger, wife and running maintanence on many websites has made me put my health on the back burner.

To illustrate, I will give you my Mon-Fri. eating schedule:




  • Breakfast-Coffee. Not sipped with enjoyment but swilled down like a tequila shot before I begin running my business and getting kids ready for school.

  • Lunch-A piece of bread with peanut butter that I shove down my throat as I supervise the gift basket designers, blog, answer emails, phone calls and errands.


  • Dinner-By 5:00 I fall into my chair and beg my husband to go pick up something so we can start our administrative work for the business and deal with kid's homework and bedtime.

There is my eating schedule for the week. Of course, on the weekends I am looking for fabulous recipes to prepare for my blog. SO I AM MAKING A CHANGE. I am going to make myself a priority and begin cooking dinner more often. I will admit, I will start with extremely easy recipes and even boxed sides. This still has to be better than fast food. So here goes. These are some pictures of my first meal under my new WAY OF LIFE. It was delicious and easy.

I printed this recipe from Better Recipes.com and adapted it for ease.

Pepper Jack Chicken:


4 bonelesss skinless chicken breast. (Have your butcher cut the breast in half making them thinner and faster to cook.)

Worchestershire Sauce

Soy Sauce

Half Onion Sliced

8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese

1 tbsp Butter

  1. Marinate chicken breasts in worchestershire sauce and soy sauce. I just dumped some into a plastic freezer bag. No measuring needed.

  2. Coat pan with Extra Virgn Olive Oil and heat for a few minutes. Grill chicken and add your favorite spices. I just throw in a little Lawry's season salt and a pinch of garlic salt.

  3. While chicken is cooking, add butter to another pan and let heat. Throw in sliced onions and sautee. Remove from heat when finished.

  4. When chicken is finished (no longer pink) remove from pan and place in microwavable dish.
  5. Place pepper jack cheese slices over chicken and top with sauteed onions.

  6. Put in microwave long enough to melt cheese.
I paired the chicken with bagged salad and boxed rice from the grocery store and we had a fabulous chicken dinner that took me less than 30 minutes. I will try to post my fast dinners often and let you know my progress.

If anyone else suffers from FAST FOOD ADDICTION, please join me in the fight to make our family's healthier, stronger and happier. Please comment on any struggles, successes and set backs you have encountered. Join me today. We can do this together.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Triple Layer Chocolate Bars

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:03 AM 13 comments
Here is my latest weekend baking project. Triple Layer Chocolate Bars! Yummy! I am usually not a big fan of coconut but these bars turned out delicious. Two weekends out of the month, I try to do a cooking project with my kids (my fifteen-year-old has outgrown the tradition). I let them pick out the recipe and we go shopping for the ingredients and we come home and bake or cook it. My seven-year-old loves to carry the list at the grocery store and find all the ingredients. This recipe was pretty simple. It was practically dumping one layer ontop of the previous. If you are looking for a quick baking recipe for kids, this is a good one.
You will need:

  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 7 ounces packaged flaked coconut

  • 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 12 ounce package of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and melt butter in a 13x9 baking pan. Sprinkle evenly graham cracker crumbs over butter. Top with coconut then evaporated milk. Bake for 25 minutes. In a small sauce pan melt peanut butter and chocolate and spread over coconut layer. Cool 30 minutes. Chill and cut into bars. Here is a helpful hint. Don't crush the graham crackers by hand. It was a big mess and I actually had to give my dog a bath from all of the flying crumbs!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Cookie Market

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 12:33 PM 3 comments
I picked up my latest edition of Specialty Food Magazine and found this article on the specialty cookie market. The cookie and cookie bar industry is a 5.2 billion dollar market. Of course, the most popular types of cookies are sandwich such as Oreos and soft chocolate chip. Most surprising is the love for vanilla wafers. They make up 47% of cookies eaten in any given household. More and more exotic, organic and ethnic cookies are becoming more popular as people are finding less expensive indulgences. We love cookies! We feature many brands and flavors in our gift baskets. Our top selling cookies include Golden Walnut, Brent & Sams & Euro Kitchens. My favorite has to be the Euro Kitchens Gourmet Selections. Let us know if you have a favorite cookie not mentioned here. We may feature them in our baskets. I found this recipe under the Easiest Cookie recipe:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/8 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350* Cream the butter and both sugars. Add the beaten egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and add tothe creamed mixture. Mix thoroughly and add chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Vacation Of Culinary Proportions

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 2:26 PM 10 comments
Of course, most of us took some time off this Memorial Day Holiday. Many people stayed close to home and rediscovered the beauty and unfamiliar in their own home towns. We took a short vacation to La Jolla, CA. It is a beautiful beach city known as the "Beverly Hills" on the beach. The houses were gorgeous, the restaraunts divine and way out of our price range.

We found a way around our economically challenged situation by using Restaraunt.com. I typed in the zip code of our vacation destination and the site presented me with restaurants in that area that would accept their coupon certificates. We chose a few that gave us 80% off of the regular bill!! We drove around and found these quaint little restaraunts. Some were fancy, some inside hotels and some were mom and pop establishments. We really had a good time eating foods we wouldn't normally eat and trying restaurants we would normally pass by.

These great dishes were from Elijah's In San Diego. Our bill before our coupon was aprox. $55.20. Our cost after using a coupon from restaurant.com was $30.20 including tip! Minus the $2.00 I spent on the coupon, this leaves a total savings of aprox. $22.00! Why not take the family on a restaurant vacation for half the cost? It's a great way to rediscover a town near you!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Comment On Barbie Post

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 8:30 PM 1 comments
Cindy Shea left this comment on Barbie's Bash. I thought it was hilarious so I will share it with you.

"Your post on Barbie's turning 50 was not really indicative of the aging process that we all experience in life. Now granted, I know she has had some work done but I just so happen to have gotten my hands on some current photos of her before she goes into hair and makeup for her public appearances. Please keep this under wraps as I bought these illegally from her agent and I plan to sell them to TMZ when the time is right."


Friday, May 22, 2009

Best Summer Baby Gifts

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:22 AM 0 comments
Are you looking for a perfect baby gift for summer babies? Brown Eyed Baby Boutique offers these adorable personalized baby dresses for new little beach babies. What a great gift for a new mom to receive for her baby shower or to order for your new little beach baby. They come in different styles such as lady bugs, floral garden and ice cream cones.

Barbie's 50th Birthday Bash

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 9:11 AM 0 comments
I'm a little late reading about this event but I had to share it with you anyways. I also know it is a bit off topic but you just have to know Barbie celebrated her 50th birthday this year and threw a huge Malibu bash at her REAL Barbie 3,500 square foot dream house. Yes, the doll has her very own Malibu mansion. Did anyone tell the Mattel people that we are in an economic crisis. People are losing their jobs, homes, retirement savings, etc. and Barbie is living very posh! She even has a real Volkswagen New Beetle parked in her garage. Now I will get off my soap box and show you some photos of this amazing mansion. The creative team behind this house is amazing. Remember, this living room and mansion are life size. It boasts a chandellier made of Barbie hair along with a closet full of thousands of pink shoes. Barbie's 50th Malibu bash was even more extravagent. It hosted celebrities and fashion icons who sipped "Doll-icious" and Strawberry Blonde cocktails on tables decorated with stilletto shaped flower arrangements. Check out more on this Barbie Bash. Barbie, you sure know how to beat the recession. Give us some of your secrets!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cool Summer Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:58 AM 1 comments

We had our first pool party/family gathering last weekend and I served this strawberry shortcake dessert. It is a good choice for summer outings because it is not drenched in frosting which can be too rich. This recipe is light, airy and extremely refreshing. Best of all it takes no time at all. You will need:

  • Duncan Hints Moist Deluxe French Vanilla Cake Mix (You can substitute with a ready made pound cake in your fruit section of your local grocery store.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups whipped cream chilled
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (more if you wish to drench the top)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9 inch roundcake pans with butter. Sprinke bottom and sides with granulated sugar.

For Cake, combine mix eggs, water and butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into pans and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert on cooling racks.

After completely cooled, place one cake layer on pan and spread with whipped cream and strawberries. Repeat with second layer.

Be sure to add whipping cream and strawberries just before serving.

Tip: For this recipe, if I am in a rush, I buy the store bought cake that is already baked. Then place it in the bottom of a margarita glass, switch out the whipped cream for vanilla ice cream. Add some chocolate or caramel syrup and you have instant Strawberry shortcake sundaes!!


A Chocolate Fling

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:28 AM 0 comments
Yesterday my lovely husband brought me a treat home from the grocery store. Ladies, I know you probably hate this as much as I do, when you ask your husband to bring you home a treat from the store and he brings you something "low calorie," "fat free," or "diet." I want to ask him, "What are you trying to say?" I'm thinking, "What if I brought you home light beer?" Anyhow, I asked for a treat last night and he brought me home yet another health conscious candy bar. To my surprise, it was fantastic!! The "Fling" candy bar from the Mars Company was great. Their slogan is "Naughty, but not that naughty." It contains 170 calories and 9 grams of fat. I thought these were better than Twix bars. So if your husband tries to bring you home a healthy snack, tell him you want a Fling Bar. Click here for a coupon for one free bar.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Recipe For Summer Fun

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 11:21 AM 5 comments
I can't believe summer is almost here. In Southern California it seems it has already arrived. That can only mean one thing. Time for my daughter to begin planning her annual lemonade stand. Every year we make flyers, plan out the date but never get any farther than that. The idea of corraling the neighbors, buying supplies and actually remembering the date seems so hectic. This year is going to be different! We are actually going to follow through and have the best lemonade stand this block has ever seen. I plan on using this simple recipe to create my lemonade. It's so easy, all of us moms have no excuse for pushing aside the annual lemonade stand.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice From Concentrate
  • 3 1/4 cup cold water
  • Ice

In pitcher, dissolve sugar in lemon juice. Add water. Cover and chill. Serve over ice. I will post pictures of the big day. I hope I have inspired all you moms to get out there and serve up some fun and lemonade. For a great "over 21" lemonade recipe click here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fun & Easy Project For Kids

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 9:04 AM 3 comments
I found this fun and easy activity in one of my daughter's school papers and she begged me to do it with her. I didn't think it was going to be that much fun but she was thrilled and content for about an hour (that is a very long time for a kids). So be sure to try it with your kids. This little activity is also great for parties. Making the bubbles are as much fun as blowing them!


Homemade Bubbles:
  1. Fill the bowl with water and add the dishwashing soap slowly so as to not creat bubbles inside the bowl.

  2. Cut a small whole in a paper cup (we just used a leftover cup from last night's take-out).

  3. Dip the rim into the soapy water and lift out making sure there is a film of bubble soap around the rim.

  4. Slowly blow a bubble. It's that simple!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Where Have All The Good "Bobs" Gone?

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:28 AM 1 comments

I don't know about you, but I truly miss Bob's Big Boy restaurants? Growing up in Southern California, there was always a Bob's Big Boy we could visit for our traditional Friday dinner out. Being greeted by the pudgy boy in checkered red pants was half the fun. Most of these adorable diners are gone in Southern California. I happened to spot one while doing errands last week and was so excited. We stopped in to see if the restaurant still had the same charm. The food was delicious but it seemed to lack that special "something" it used to have. Maybe it was just that I was 20 years older and I realized that Bob's Boy was so big because of the food! Thinking like a true parent, I vowed to visit less frequently. Actually, after doing my homework, I found out Bob Wian, of Glendale California, named his famous restaurant after a chubby kid that happened to walk into his already thriving restaurant. He called him "Big Boy" and the name stuck. If you still wonder where all the Bob's Big Boy restaurants have gone, here are a few locations left in sunny Southern California: Burbank, Baker, Colton, Temecula, Torrance and West Covina. Visit their website at http://www.bigboy.com/ to find more locations in other states.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flowers For Mother's Day

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:30 AM 1 comments
Every year mom gets flowers for Mother's Day. She displays them proudly for a few days and then they die and she throws them away. Why not send her flowers she can keep forever? This adorable gift basket comes with a plush teddy bear holding a bouquet of flowers. We have included some healthy treats as well to brighten her day. This is a great gift basket for elderly mothers that cannot eat too much chocolate, candy and fat. Tell us what you are getting your mother this year. We would love to hear from you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Kitchen Essentials Gift Basket

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:23 AM 3 comments
Are you looking for a great gourmet gift basket for someone that loves to cook? Finding a gift basket with more than food items can be difficult. We have paired together wonderful gourmet food products with a few kitchen items your recipient will love. We stuffed this salad/bread bowl with gourmet items such as Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip, Potato and Leek Soup, Spanish Olives and more. We have also included these adorable metal measuring spoons that have been the must have kitchen gift item of the year. What a great Mother's Day Gift!

The Best Cookbook On The Planet

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:06 AM 0 comments
Years ago when I was working in the corporate world, I was visited by those traveling salesman that bring great toys, books and other household items directly to your workplace. I reluctantly purchased this cookbook and it was a great decision. There are so many delicious recipes with full color photos. My version has been used and abused but I always turn to this book when I want to impress my guests. So it is my pleasure to bring you the recipe that ALWAYS gives me rave reviews.

Kahlua Candied Yams may not sound like a rave review recipe but try them. You'll see. This recipe takes almost no time at all but the outcome makes you look like a prized gourmet chef. Every family gathering, people are asking me if I brought these yams. Mother's Day is just around the corner. If you are looking for a fast, time saving recipe. Try these and if you do, please share with us the outcome.


Kahlua Candied Yams:

  • 1 Can (1lb. 3 oz.) yams

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup Kahlua

Cut yams in serving size pieces. In heavy skillet, melt butter with sugar. Add Kahlua, cook 1 minute. Add yams, turn until brown on all sides. Cover. Reduce heat, cook for 15 minutes. Turn yams once more before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cutest Baby Shower Cupcakes

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 11:27 AM 0 comments
I hosted a baby shower this spring and a friend of mine made these adorable cupcakes. These sleeping babies could be incorporated into any baby shower theme. They are so quick and easy and will become the talk of the baby shower! Guests at the shower loved these so much most of them didn't eat them but took them home to keep on their kitchen counters! All you need to do is:

1.Buy any cake or cupcake mix and frosting. Follow the directions as listed on the box. Be sure to frost cupcakes before adding babies.

2. Take fondant and color it with food coloring mix to match your theme.

3. Color another batch with two drops of brown food coloring to make the baby faces.

4. Make little balls for baby heads out of fondant and a tiny dot for noses.

5. Roll out colored fondant and cut out blankies.

6. Place the babies and blankies on top of cupcakes.

7. Draw faces on baby heads. Make sure to make some sleeping, some awake and some crying!

8. Place them in a cupcake holder.

9. If desired, Make little squares of white fondant for baby pillows.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Best Things In Life Are Chocolatey

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 9:38 AM 0 comments
Childhood has its ups and downs but it definately has its perks when it comes to baking! One of my favorite memories as a kid was surrounding my mother, along with my brother and sister, waiting for the oppurtunity to lick the "beaters" while she was baking. The excitement was almost too much for a seven-year-old to handle. Of course, there is an entire unspoken heirarchy. My brother was older so he got to lick the batter filled spoon, my sister and I are twins so we got a beater each and the kid who helped out the most was the lucky winner of the batter bowl. No one dared mess with this arrangement for fear of not getting their share of baking perks. I am happy to pass this tradition to my daughter. She is fortunate to get the beaters and the bowl but mom still gets the spoon!




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Best Organic Brownies On Earth!

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 1:32 PM 1 comments
Last week I received a sample of this Kings Cupboard Organic Brownie Mix. I figured I have tasted many brownie mixes from different companies, I might as well try these. Although I must admit, I have never tried an organic variety. When I started making them, I thought this is more like cake, they are so thick! I figured I had messed up the recipe but I stuck to the directions. Boy, was I shocked! These brownies had to be the best I have ever tasted! Thick, rich and delicious. My family was of course, fighting over the last one. I decided these brownies needed their own post because they would make the perfect hostess gift. It gave me the idea to create our Brownie Bucket gift. By the way, did I mention I love gourmet food samples!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quick & Easy Angel Food Cake With Pomegranate Strawberries

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 11:14 AM 1 comments
Expecting company? I have a quick and easy recipe that will have your guests believing you are an upscale gourmet dessert chef! Cuisine Perel in Richmond, CA makes an amazing line of Balsamic Vinegars that can be used on salads, meats and desserts. Keep a few bottles in your pantry and you are sure to impress your guests at a moments notice. This recipe is for Angel Food Cake with Pomegranate Strawberries. What you will need:

  • 1/4 cup Cuisine Perel Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 basket of strawberries, halved and quartered
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 angel food cake (just pick up one up in the fruit section of your grocery store)
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Mix strawberries, sugar and vinegar and allow to macerate in refrigerator at least one hour. Plate angel food cake, top with berries and whipped cream. Spoon remaining vinegar syrup over top and serve for a quick and easy dessert. The best news is this recipe is right on the back of the beautiful Cuisine Perel bottle! We loved this vinegar so much, we included it in our popular hostess gift basket!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Looking For A Unique California Family Dining Experience?

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 8:33 PM 1 comments
I love to try off the beaten path places to eat. These small, family owned diners and restaurants usually have the best food and reasonable prices. I have to tell you about this great little restaurant I found while in Southern California. Oak Tree Village in Oak Glen, CA is an awesome place to take the kids for an inexpensive family outing. They have a wildlife museum, apple picking, world famous apple pies, petting zoo and breathtaking scenery of apple orchards and nearby mountains. I was most impressed with Apple Annie's restaurant. Straight from an old western movie, this country diner offered the best breakfast in the West! Their Goldminer breakfast served up eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, bacon and a plate sized pancake. The best part of dining at Apple Annie's-if you are still hungry, SECONDS ARE ON THEM! We had to ask twice to make sure this was true. Not far from Southern California's Inland Empire, Oak Tree Village and Apple Annie's is well worth the drive.
 

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