Wednesday, February 24, 2016

French Onion Soup

This classic soup has the taste of onions caramelized to perfection in butter, then a rich beef stock with a hint of thyme, then topped with a toasted piece of French Baguette, and loads of Cheesy goodness. Every spoonful when you first dig in you get all the cheese sticking to your spoon then into the crusty bread and then all covered in the caramelized onions, oh lord the soup is so good.

The most important part to get the best soup ever is the process of caramelizing the onions, I can't stress enough, very important take the 45 minutes out of our life and do it the correct way and you will have the best French Onion Soup you have ever eaten, next comes the type of onion, yellow is fine great and 90 percent of the time that's what I use, but I like the sweet huge white Mayan onions, you can purchase at Costco or any farmers market I am sure has them, just has a touch of sweetness to them.

The next important item to a great soup is your stock, I will admit I do not make my own beef stock but the best is the Organic Better Than Bouillon Beef Base also from Costco, or any store has it. This   actually tastes like beef not salt. It has such a deep rich color and great beef flavor compared to the cans or the cubes.

And then comes your baguette pick up a nice brown crispy loaf of bread, it makes a difference compared to a white baguette..

I picked up 2 loafs of bread because I found these beautiful Wild Wonders Gourmet Meledy tomatoes, a mixture of beautiful green, brown, yellow, orange and red colors which I will make on the side a delicious Tomato Bruschetta with my own balsamic glaze. Recipe I will post later today.

I remember years ago when I was young eating from the good old cans of the soup and dipping a piece of bread into it. Oh If I only knew what I was missing, then along came me growing up and married when I was young to my wonderful high school sweetheart who by the way loves this soup, and always asks me to make it, so I started to make this soup all of the time, by the way their can never be enough cheese. That's for me at least.

  • 4 pounds sweet Mayan onions, or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced, about 5-6 large
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste. If desired you can add a pinch or two of salt but the stock can be salty. That's why I use so it has less salt and much better flavor, 
  • 1 French Baguette, sliced in 1-2 inch thick slices, toasted
  • Bunch of grated cheese (Gruyere or Mozzarella, I love mozzarella, I get fresh and just place a large slice over each crock. 


1. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, over medium high heat add the butter and melt. Add the onions and saute until well browned and caramelized (Do not burn), about 30-40 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.  Stir in the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the stock,  bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 10-15 minutes, partially-covered.  Season to taste with pepper.  Discard the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme if using fresh. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  While the soup is simmering, slice the baguette into 1-inch thick pieces and place them in single layer on baking sheet.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the bread is toasted and golden around the edges. Then remove from oven place on top of the soup then place cheese on the baguette and place under broiler and broil for about 1-3 minutes watching very carefully just until a nice deep golden brown and bubbly color.. and enjoy!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

S'mores Dip

S'Mores Dip..This silky smooth chocolaty, creamy, dip then added marshmallow swirled throughout is so so good, perfect recipe only 3 ingredients and the perfect dip to put together as a dessert for company to just to have at home to snack on, we enjoy this dip all year round not only summer, it's just a bowl of chocolaty goodness to eat. After finding and making this dip there was no turning back, I always need chocolate chips, marshmallow cream in the house with Graham crackers, everyone devours this dip, my son wants this literally everyday and I have to say it's again only 3 ingredients and the microwave does all the work, how simple can it get and Delicious I will say again and again brilliant recipe..


  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
For Dipping: Graham Crackers also optional fresh strawberries 


  • 1. In a medium microwave bowl add the chocolate chips and condensed milk . Place bowl in microwave and  heat on high power, every 30 seconds, stirring between intervals, until completely melted and smooth (after melted you can thin it out with a few tablespoons of hot water so it wasn't so thick and so it stays a smooth and perfect dipping consistency for a longer time). Pour into a wide and shallow serving bowl. 
  • 2. Start to dollop tablespoons of the marshmallow cream over chocolate mixture, place and heat in microwave about 20 seconds longer until marshmallow has melted, then remove and using a sharp knife swirl marshmallow into dip. (Alternately you can scoop marshmallow cream into a small microwave safe bowl and heat until it melts, about 15 - 20 seconds, then stir and scoop small spoonfuls randomly over top of chocolate mixture and swirl). Serve with graham crackers and strawberries if desired 

  • Recipe and photo source:  adapted from Pillsbury

Happy Trails Granola

Granola is by far the best I have ever eaten every bite has a crunch from the clusters and the nuts, along with a soft juicy texture from the dried fruit, and by far the healthiest snack we can eat, this recipe makes so many, no need to go purchase a little bag of granola that is full of preservatives and things we cannot even pronounce this is full of vitamins. Grab a bunch place in the kids or adults lunch, and I eat this at night and snack on it all day, it is so delicious you cannot go wrong with this simple recipe.


2 cups plain box granola (non flavored, no added ingredients)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
1 cup chopped raw almonds ( or pecans), I use almonds, chop in half
3/4 cups golden raisins
3/4 cups dark raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 300 degrees using 2 large cookie sheets lined with a silpat or foil sprayed with a little cooking spray
1. In a large bowl add the granola, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, salt, oil, coconut and stir until completely combined.
2. Bake for 55-60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.
3. After removing from oven with a spatula keep turning granola, until it becomes into little clusters, some may just a few some larger, it's okay it's delicious either way.
4. After cooled place into large bowl add both the raisins, cranberries, apricots and chocolate chips if desired, I honestly do not add the chocolate chips there is enough healthy natural sweetness going in there, it is so good just the way it is.
5. Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies are light, fluffy, and so soft on the inside and a little crisp on the outside, they are mini so you can just keep popping these beauties into your mouth for a snack, they make quite a bit, great for a home snack or maybe make a double batch and bring to a friends for parties. These will be a huge hit so cute little bits of deliciousness.. After I saw and make these so many times now, great, amazing recipe by the way and you have the ingredients in your pantry so let's get baking. The key to any soft pillowy cookie is the cornstarch. I have learned that along the way from trying recipes with and without and that is defiantly the secret.
Ever since making these little cookies and yes I can eat about 12 or are so small..they are my favorite ever now, great way for kids to bring to school or even to help, I grab a scoop put them all on parchment then go back and roll them, so the kids or anyone can come and have fun rolling with you. I know you will all love these cookies like we do..

Ingredients: Makes 12 dozen

  • 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping if desired
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • 2. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and whisk for until combined, set aside.
  • 3. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl, (while watching carefully) you only want to heat in microwave on HIGH power until butter has melted only halfway. 
  • 4. Remove the butter and place in a small-medium bowl and whisk until fully melted. Pour butter into the bowl of a stand mixer then add brown sugar and granulated sugar, fit mixer with paddle attachment and blend mixture on medium speed until well combined. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Remove from stand mixer and stir in chocolate chips.
  • 5. Scoop dough out in a slightly heaping 1/2 teaspoon at a time then drop onto parchment or wax paper then shape each into a ball, then if desired press 3 - 4 more chocolate chips into top (if desired, for looks and more chocolate). Place on two Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Bake in preheated oven about 5 - 6 minutes, they may fill soft and slightly under-baked, but will continue to cook slightly once removed from oven so just be careful not to over bake them). Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe and photo source:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These moist, tender, soft and fluffy red velvet cupcakes alone are delicious then adding a smooth creamy melt in your mouth frosting to these and you have yourself a beautiful and yummy cupcake.
Yes, Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I love it, I don't know why, every year I make him his favorite dinner and desserts, well his favorite dessert is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, mine is red velvet, you have to have some red, pink and white to your table if you are making your loved ones a nice dinner. After I came across this amazing recipe I have been making them since, every party, and to have for us to eat on the counter.
No we do not go out for Valentine's Day why would you the prices are crazy, the places are packed and why not sit home and make a delicious dinner and watch a movie. Now that is my perfect Valentine's Day. Not waiting on lines, not being able to talk with all the crowds, does that sound like fun to you, nope not here, I decorate the table and make the hubby his favorite dishes that he likes. Well this year he is asking for a homemade caesar salad, homemade Mac and Cheese, roast beef, gravy, roasted heart shaped potatoes, or mashed potatoes, and pancetta garlic asparagus and a chocolate cake, these cupcakes, a big heart shaped chocolate chip cookie, sugar cookies. Yes those are his favorite foods, and my hubby deserves what he wants, so I will be shopping, baking and cooking all day..I am sure I will add a few more things like some biscuits.

1 box Red Velvet Cake mix
3 eggs

1/3 Cup melted butter, cooled
1 1/4 Cups buttermilk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For The Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 Cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3- 4 1/2 Cups powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your pans with the cupcake liners.
2. Into a medium sized mixing bowl sift cake mix to remove any lumps then set bowl aside
3. In another large bowl add the eggs, melted butter, (cooled), buttermilk, and vanilla extract then with a whisk gently mix to combine ingredients.
4. Then add the cake mix and stir and whisk until smooth.
5. Fill about 22-23 cupcake liners and bake for 15-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool completely 
7. Frosting: In a large mixing bowl add the butter and cream cheese and beat on high for 2-3 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. If the frosting becomes too thick, just add 1 Tablespoon milk.
8. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with heart sprinkles, or any red, or white sprinkles, whatever you have.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Who Doesn't love Chocolate Covered Strawberries with any chocolate you love and With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I love to make my husband and kids their own box of strawberries, they all love them and their are so many ways to make them. Instead of going and ordering and expensive box of them here is a recipe you can make right at home in just minutes. Just be creative and you can do this, use your imagination and favorite ingredients and it's so simple. Then I purchased a box from the arts and crafts store and place them in there and you have a beautiful package


1 Bag chocolate chips, ( I love milk, semi sweet, white) which ever you desire
1/2 teaspoon shortening
Any additional toppings you desire to dip in, etc. mini chocolate chips,`butterfingers, any candy bar, the options are endless, just pulse them into mini bites and after dipping, dip them in topping. You can also drizzle them with different colors, use what you like and get in there and be creative
Parchment Paper


1. Set up a working station, place parchment paper on cookie sheets and set aside
2. Rinse and completely dry your strawberries, because water and chocolate do not like eachother
3. In a small-medium sized bowl place your chocolate and shortening and melt in 30 second intervals, then mix with spatula until completely smooth.
4. Grab from the stem, dip them in chocolate then place on parchment paper, if you are going to drizzle another color let them set, then when dry place some chocolate into a piping or storage bag and just make zig zag lines, then let dry. If you are dipping them into chocolate pieces or candy, first dip in chocolate then immediately dip into the candy, and let completely dry.
5. I make them the same day, if you are planning a do ahead, place them into a airtight container but do not make to early, I would make the same day as using them

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Sliders With Coleslaw

These sliders are perfect for Super Bowl Sunday's menu. They start with a moist tender rotisserie chicken, tossed and coated in a sweet, tangy, hot sauce then a crunchy sweet and tangy coleslaw all placed inside of a crusty, soft, airy slider roll, the most amazing rolls, these are so simple to make literally few minutes because you have a cooked chicken and just dump in the ingredients and warm them up, you can make the coleslaw the night before, or for a crispy coleslaw make just about 1 hour before making these sliders, with this bread they hold up perfectly, instead of when you bite into a regular slider roll they usually can't hold up to the filling, but these do so load up your sandwich and enjoy these, your first bite will be wow, just like I said when I tried them today after I saw this recipe, I had to try first before making for Super Bowl, I have gotten these rolls before, and use them for various recipes but are perfect for this slider recipe. In any sandwich you eat, to me the most important part of it is the BREAD, then of coarse what you put into your sandwich. 

Ingredients For The Sliders:
  • 8 La Brea Bakery Take and Bake Telera Slider Rolls
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 Teaspoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup hot buffalo wing sauce
  • Ingredients For The Coleslaw:
  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, ( more or less to your desire)
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix 

  • If desired optional: 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese, toss in coleslaw mix 

  • 1. Bake the rolls according to directions on package then remove from oven and let cool. Cut rolls in half and then just set them aside.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan add the butter and melt in over medium-high heat. Then add the honey and buffalo wing sauce, whisk just until smooth and warmed through. Add in the chicken and toss until completely coat and covered with the sauce, and until warm. Remove the pan from heat, cover with a lid to keep warm.
  • To make the coleslaw:
  • In a large bowl dump the bag of the coleslaw mix, add the mayonnaise and stir until combined. In a small bowl add the vinegar, sugar, and salt and whisk until dissolved, if desired at this point add the blue cheese and toss into coleslaw mixture to evenly distribute. ( If desired you can keep the blue cheese on the side in a bowl for everyone to place on their slider if they desire) 
  • To assemble sandwiches:
  • Layer chicken over bottom halves of slider rolls, then place coleslaw on top of the chicken and cover with top halves of slider rolls. Serve immediately.

  • Recipe source and photo slightly adapted from: