Cannoli Dip

Holy Moly, it’s a cannoli! Wait…no…what a trip! It is actually a dip! A cannoli dip!

kitchen tunes: assets/ yellow claw feat. Tropkillaz & The Kemist

Recipe featured in: Family Circle/April 2017

INGREDIENTS:

2/3 C heavy cream

1/3 C confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

16oz ricotta cheese

1/2 C mini chocolate chips

12 waffle cones broken into pieces

DIRECTIONS:

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract to soft peaks.
  • Add ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, beat until combined.
  • Serve with waffle cone pieces.


Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

 

Last November my favorite black t shirt went missing. Even though it was nothing fancy, it was just a shirt I picked up from Target for maybe 12 bucks, still…it was my favorite black shirt! It’s one of those shirts that you can literally just pull out of the closet and throw on with anything. It fit perfect. Never lost it’s shape. Rarely needed ironing. And because of the material it’s made from, it doesn’t seem to ever fade. <—- and that’s a pretty big deal!

 
When I noticed it was MIA I pulled everything out of my dresser drawers, twice. I went through my entire closet hanger by hanger, numerous times. I even searched both boys closets and dressers and had the mister do the same in hopes that it accidentally got mixed in with their laundry. Still, no luck!

 
Once I came to terms with its absence, I settled on the idea that I must’ve accidentally placed it in the goodwill box that I had sent out for donation at the end of the year. I just hoped that whoever was lucky enough to end up with my shirt was enjoying it as much as I once did.

 
This week was teacher appreciation week at the boys’ school. Thursday specifically being “dress like your teachers favorite superhero” day. Since I had a superhero cape packed away with old costumes I decided to it pull down the Rubbermaid tote I had up in the closet and dig it out for Carson to wear.

 
And I’ll be darned!

 
Shoved in the middle of the tote, inside out and all wrinkled up laid my favorite black t shirt!!! It was a glorious reunion. I took the shirt, hid it behind my back and went to where the boys were to ask “Can you guess what I just found?!”. It took them only two guesses to figure out what was behind my back. Hehehe. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

INGREIDENTS:

1 egg

1 C all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 C plus 2 TBSP brown sugar

1/3 C granulated sugar

3/4 tsp kosher salt

6 TBSP unsalted butter

1/5 tsp vanilla extract

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Place your oven rack to its lowest position.ย  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and kosher salt.
  • Stir in egg and vanilla
  • Add in flour and baking soda
  • Mix in 3/4 C of the chocolate chips, reserving the remainder.
  • Scrape the batter into a 10 inch cast iron skillet.
  • With damp hands, press dough down into an even layer so that dough extends to the sides of the pan.
  • Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top of the cookie
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned.
  • Allow the cookie to cool in the skillet for 1 hour.
  • Cut into wedges.ย  ENJOY!

 

kitchen tunes: case of the ex/Mya

recipe adapted from: Giant Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie/ Bon Appetit Magazine March 2016

 

Ginger-Lime Roasted Rainbow Carrots

 

 

 

When Dominic was an infant I was asked by his pediatrician if he ate a lot of carrots. I remember replying “Carrots and sweet potatoes are his favorite, why do you ask?” “Because his skin has an orange tinge to it.” So there you go! It must be true…we really areย what we eat!

 

Thinking about it now, I wonder what he would’ve looked like had I only fed him purple carrots and purple potatoes?

 

And since I don’t plan to have anymore children, will someone please do me the favor of feeding their baby a moderate amount of purple carrots and purple potatoes and let me know how that goes?
Come on…it’ll be fun, do it in the name of science! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

kitchen tunes: Budapest/George Ezra
INGREDIENTS:

2 TBSP Organic Raw Blue Agave

2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and microplaned

1 lime juiced and zested

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 bunch of rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into strips

handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients.
  • Add the prepared carrots into the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Arrange carrots onto a 9×13 inch roasting pan.
  • Place into the oven and bake until tender.ย  Approx. 25 minutes

 

*Recipe adaptedย from: The Family Circle/April 2017 issue


La Dolce Vita Bloggers Linkup – April 2017

While life isn’t always a bowl full of cherries, I think its important as Kelly @kellysdolcevita points out, to focus on the sweeter things in life.  I have taken Kelly up on her open invitation and have decided to participate in this months La Dolce Vita Bloggers Linkup.  The purpose of the link up is to reflect on the good at the end of each month and a way to stay connected, support and inspire our fellow bloggers.  What a wonderful idea, Kelly!  If you are interested in learning more or wishing to participate, please read Kelly’s “La Dolce Vita Bloggers Linkup {April 2017}” (published on 4/27/17) post at italianatheart.com ๐Ÿ™‚

 

an epiphany

 

This past month I have come to the realization that just because I am a busy, working, baseball mom,  that doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to push my own hobbies and intrests aside.  I am realizing the importance of setting time aside often to do the things that I love and enjoy insead of constantly catering to the demands of life.  Admittedly, it often takes careful planning and an occasional sacrifice, but it CAN be done!  I’m learning that it is VERY possible to manage being a wife, mom, employee, sister and friend all while still making the time to do the things that I enjoy for myself.  It makes life fun, interesting and overall even more enjoyable.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

an act of kindness

 

I’ve never spent a holiday with friends instead of family.  So, when Francisco’s good friend Brian, invited us over for Easter, I was a little hesitant to accept the invitation.  Since we didn’t have any definite plans already in place, I thought…”why not?” and we took him up on his offer.  Brian recently bought his home and has been doing some decorating and purchasing of new furniture, so I think he was pretty excited about hosting the holiday.  Upon arrival, he had three Easter baskets filled to max capacity with toys and goodies for each of the kids in attendance.  Being that he is a single man without any chidren of his own, I was beyond impressed and thought it was incredibly  thoughtful of him to go out of his way and to think about our boys in such a generous way.  Brian even had some special treats prepared for Francisco and I!  The afternoon turned out to be wonderfully spent and all in good company.  The kids dyed eggs, decorated cupcakes and had an indoor egg hunt (due to the heavy rain that day).  Great memories were made for sure!!!

 

a good read

 

Besides the recipes and the hundreds of informational articles that I read in a months time, I don’t get in nearly as much “for fun”reading in as I’d like to.  However, I do make the time to read bedtime stories with Carson.  This month we have been exploring the works of Dr. Seuess.  Carson and I equally enjoy a silly rhyming story.  Most recently we read Daisy-Head Mayzie.  If you aren’t already fimiliar with this book, it’s about a little girl named Mayzie who suddenly sprouts a daisy up out of her head.  It’s a sweet and funny read about her journey that goes along when one starts growing a flower on top of their head.  This book gave us lots of giggles.  It’s always fun and intresting listening to Carsons thoughts after reading a story like this.  I notice that clever stories such as those written by Dr. Seuess help his own gears start turning and its incredible to hear his views afterwards.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

an unforgettable memory

 

This month Dominic and I took a quick road trip together, just he and I.  We drove from our home in Central California to my Aunt and Uncles home just outside of Reno, NV.  Most of the hours spent on the road were spent by me singing to some of my favorite music artists.  (The Red Hot Chili Peppers station on Pandoa is usually my go to on road trips.)  Dom was such a sweetheart, I don’t think he complained about my lack of vocal talent once!  During our trip my awesome uncle took Dominic out in his Jeep and let him drive out on the dirt roads.  They even did some 4-wheeling!  As a 12 year old, I can tell you first hand how exciting an opportunity like that is! When Kelly (@kellysdolcevita) and I were about that age, he did the same thing with us.  Those are such great memories that Dominic and I will forever have with my Uncle.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

something delicious

 

Being that sushi is my most favorite, I have never ordered anything but when dining out for sushi.  Francisco celebrates his birthday in the month of April so for his birthday dinner we went to one of our favorite sushi spots that night.  For some reason I felt like straying from the norm and ordered Udon noodles instead.  The noodles were unlike any that  I’ve ever tasted.  They were very thick and soft and extremely filling.  The broth was so full of flavor that I was tempted to raise the bowl to my face and guzzle it straight down.  I decided that probably wouldnt appear to be very lady like so I resisted the urge.  I will for sure order that again and may even attempt to recreate the recipe at home.  I think Dominic would enjoy it a lot!

 

something i’m looking forward to

 

I have been blessed enough as a working mom to only work four days out of the week.  I honestly don’t know how moms that work full time manage it all.  I mean, how do they get everything done and still have time to rest?  During the first week in May I’ll be taking some time off of work and I am very much looking forward to being able to spend even more time at home with the boys.  I am reminded often how quickly they are growing and I understand the need to cherish the moments that I have at home with them.  We don’t have any special plans during that time, but sometimes thats when the best quality time is spent.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Spaghetti Cacio de Pepe

Spaghetti noodles are a big no-no in our household, but when I stumbled across this recipe I knew I had to bend the rules.  At least just this once.

 

The simplicity of these ingredients is initially what intrigued me.  Pasta, cheese and pepper.  I mean…What? How? Really? That’s all there is to it?!

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this.  I pondered the questions “Is this a meal? Should it be a side dish? Do I need to make a salad?”.  Since I was pressed for time that day I decided at the very last minute that it would be a meal and I even began to prepare myself for all of the typical complaints “Where’s the meat!? You know I don’t like Spaghetti!!!  No bread??” <insert eye roll>

 

I taste tested per usual before plating, and let me tell you…I personally couldn’t wait to dive in! With only a slight hesitation I watched as the boys took their first bites.  I was thrilled when Dominic, said “It’s really good, mom!”.  And coming from the pickiest of eaters…that was music to my ears!

 

I can totally see this becoming  a new comfort food for us.  Or even a go-to as a side dish for a summertime BBQ.  Its rich, its creamy, its even a little peppery too!  It is simply delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP fresh ground pepper

4 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil (good quality is important)

2 TBSP kosher salt

1 lb. spaghetti

3/4 C  grated Pecorino Romano

3/4 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • In a large pot, bring enough water for the spaghetti to cook in to a roaring boil.  Add the salt.
  • Cook the spaghetti for two minutes less than the package indicates.
  • Meanwhile, over a low heat, warm the pepper and olive oil in another pot.
  • Once the pepper and olive oil are hot, turn the heat off.  Add 1/2 C of the hot spaghetti water into the pot.
  • When the spaghetti is ready, use tongs and transfer the pasta to the pot with the olive oil and pepper.  Reserve the cooking water.
  • Turn the heat back on low under the pot that now holds the olive oil, pepper and spaghetti.
  • Turn the spaghetti continuously until most of the water has absorbed.
  • Then transfer it to a large bowl.
  • Add the two cheeses a couple of handfuls at a time while still tossing.  If the pasta starts to get dry, add 2 to 3 TBSP of the pasta water.  Keep tossing and adding cheese and pasta water until all the cheese has been incorporated and the cheese has turned into  a creamy sauce.  Eat immediately.  ENJOY!

kitchen tunes: 100 years/five for fighting

recipe from: Food52

 

Flour Tortillas

 

I grew up with a false notion that a recipe for flour tortillas didn’t exist. Like, anywhere. At all.  Ever.

 
Not that I ever bothered to search for one, because usually if one believes that something doesn’t exist they don’t go trying to find it.  I believed that the only way to know how to make flour tortillas was to watch and learn from a tortilla expert (such as a female relative) and then go through a trial and error process of your own until you became an expert yourself.

 
I now know that that isn’t true!  A recipe does exist!

 
Now even with something as basic as a flour tortilla, the final results can vary greatly. Everyone seems to have their own tortilla preferences. Depending on your ingredient choice and how much of those ingredients you use will alter the final outcome. Some enjoy their tortillas at a specific diameter, or even at a certain thickness. Some like them more thin and transparent while others enjoy them more floury and fluffy.

 
This recipe is my favorite. I have never experienced a batch that hasn’t turn out well. The flavor and texture is everything I look for in a flour tortilla. Not too big. Nice and fluffy. And not at all oily.

 

The only downside with this recipe is that they get eaten just a quick as they come off of the griddle!  So you must learn to roll FAST!  ๐Ÿ™‚

 
Random fact: when I was in the first grade I purposely spelled tortilla wrong on a school assignment because I knew that the two l’s made a y sound, but since I didn’t learn about that in school I was embarrassed that I knew the difference. Tor-ti-ya. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 C all purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 C vegetable shortening

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 to 3/4 C warm water

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large glass bowl
  • Using a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients.
  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the water
  • Using clean hands work the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball of dough is formed.
  • Cover the dough with a wet paper towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into smaller golf ball sized balls (approx. 16 balls) and cover them again with the wet paper towel.
  • Heat a large cast iron griddle over medium heat for five minutes.
  • Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and roll out each ball into a circle approximately 1/4″ thick.
  • Cook the tortilla for 30 seconds on each side or until it begins to bubble up and a few brown spots form. Do not overcook or they will harden.
  • Wrap in a tea towel to keep warm as you cook the rest of the tortillas.
  • ENJOY!

kitchen tunes: love on the brain/rihanna

Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing

My love for this salad dressing runs so deep, that I’m literally struggling for words. 

This has been my go to salad dressing for the past few years. It accompanies any green salad quite well. I often use it when topping my salads with chicken, bacon or salmon.  

It has the perfect balance of every ingredient involved.  I could eat this dressing by the spoonful.  (And I have!)  My mouth is salivating just thinking about it! ๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ’ฆ

INGREDIENTS:
3 cloves of garlic

3 TBSP mayo

2 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 TBSP dijon mustard

1 TBSP sugar

2 tsp Morton’s Nature’s seasoning

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C  balsamic vinegar

3/4 C good quality extra virgin olive oil 

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a small food processor purรฉe the garlic, mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, norton’s nature’s seasoning, salt and balsamic vinegar. 
  • Transfer to a bowl
  • Slowly whisk in the olive oil. 
  • ENJOY!

kitchen tunes: gold/kiiara 

(Recipe adapted from: mylifeasamrs.com)