Posts in the ‘Yummy’ Category

Photo Book Sale

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

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I will be the first to admit that planning beyond tomorrow just seems impossible these days. I have friends who are making plans for the Christmas holidays while I am still trying to enjoy the end of summer. And even though I don’t have a clue where my family is headed for Thanksgiving – I do know that Blurb has a ‘Thank You’ Sale going on right now. It is time to download your favorite summer pictures from your cell phone and create some fun photo books to give to your favorite family and friends as a little special thank you gift this holiday. Add a few special words including a special memory or a simple note of thanks to complete your custom photo book. Another fun idea would be to collect a bunch of your family’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes and include a few crazy pictures of your cousins and grandparents and create a keepsake everyone will treasure for generations to come. Make your books (hard copy or electronic) this weekend so you can take advantage of this special Thank You promotion and you can cross one more thing off of your to-do list. Enjoy 15% OFF your order now through Monday, September 9th, 2013.

Oh wait – I almost forgot – the promo code you will want to enter is TAKE15. Let me know what kind of book you end up making!

Photo credit: Familjen, I Tove Freiij, Blurb

Happy Family Stories from the Bright Side

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Lucky Me – The Not So Picky Eater

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I love to eat. I don’t really love to cook, in fact I actually dislike cooking all together, but I do love food, especially really good food, and have always been an adventurous eater. I vividly remember eating frog legs in Singapore when I was a small child. My brother and I even picked out our frogs from the tank!  I always kept my fingers crossed that my son would love all sorts of food as much as I do. (And before I tell you my whole story I want to thank Happy Family for sponsoring this post. I love working with great companies like Happy Family.) So here goes…

Before my son was born, I feared that I would give birth to a child who came out the womb on the white diet. Don’t get me wrong –  I do have a fondness for butter, noodles, cheese pizza and hot dog buns, but I dreamed of so much more delectable goodness for my little boy and I didn’t want to have to hide the yummy flavors deep inside of some sort of mystery meat ball.  Somehow, I got lucky….

Early on we were off to a great start when I made fresh vegetable puree from organic vegetables and my son gobbled up every last bite. Well actually it was his nanny (thank you Tacy!)who made the purees every day while I was at work because I didn’t have the time or patience to cut, steam and mush up vegetables.  And I am not sure if all of the vegetables were actually organic, but they were vegetables and they were a colorful range of yellow, green, purple and orange and my son was eating them all. I was afraid of that dreary looking rice cereal for fear it would lead him down the white path so I steered clear as much as possible. Instead he enjoyed every color of the rainbow. I was thrilled to come across Happy Family so I could actually feed my son so much wonderful food without having to work too hard. I was off to a great start and thought I deserved some sort of prize for this one. My little dream was coming true.

A few years later we were still going strong and I was riding high with mommy pride. Most parents were more concerned with sleeping, walking and learning the alphabet but for whatever reason my focus was still on food. There was nothing I feared more than having a picky eater at home. I knew he would eventually learn his letters and would be running in no time, but I just wanted him to love all sorts of flavors and colors and textures.

Our next test was caviar – yes caviar. We are not talking Beluga and hundreds of dollars – believe it or not you can actually buy caviar at Ikea (and I do!).  My son had grown out of his egg allergy (thank goodness!) and I figured that it was time to introduce him to scrambled eggs. I decided to pop open a jar of caviar and pile a little dollop right on top (those scrambled eggs were a little too white for my liking – we needed a spot of color).  His eyes opened wide when I brought his plate over to the table. He had a hard time understanding the fish egg idea but just like George, he was incredibly curious. He poked them around a bit with his fingers to see what these little things were all about. Then before I knew it, he scooped them all up in one big bite. He started laughing uncontrollably at the sensation of these little beads popping in his mouth. He loved it. In fact he skipped the eggs and polished off the whole jar of delectable caviar on his own. Every last little bit….

From Indian curries and Mexican enchiladas to Swedish herring and of course the sushi bar, my son has developed an appetite for foods from all over the world. When my husband wanted to take him out for Ethiopian food – I was certain that we would finally meet our match. I was craving Ethiopian too so I thought we should just give it a try. I was silly of me to think he wouldn’t love having an excuse to eat with his hands. He was enchanted by the idea of tearing of a piece of injera (all by himself) and scooping up delicious bites of stew and vegetables. He was totally in control and loved the experience of eating and much as the flavors. It has now become a family tradition and we go out for Ethiopian food regularly. In fact it is usually my 6 year old son who requests it.

We are still working on his reading, it has been almost impossible to get him to sleep in his own bed, he stays up way too late, and getting ready in the morning is a chore for everyone in our house, but my son is a great eater. I know I have given him a lifetime of enjoyment knowing that he loves food from all over the world. We can’t win every battle and we will never be perfect parents but we can find the little things in life to make us happy and feel accomplished as parents. I know I am incredibly lucky. But when I look back I think it all started in the beginning with the rainbow of fruits of vegetables.It was a perfect step in the right direction. A dash of cumin, a few sprinkles of coriander and a sprig of cilantro – may my little Carl grow up to enjoy sharing great meals with his family and friends forever.

If you want to pick up some Happy Family goodness for your little one here is a quick link to find a store by you and you can also grab a coupon here to save $.50 off Happy Family organic snacks and meals.

And a few more things – I do want to let you know about Happy Families “Stories from the Bright Side” is a campaign that shines a humorous light on food and feeding challenges that parents have through sharing funny stories. Head on over to the Happy Family Facebook page and upload your own funny feeding story. Happy Family will pick a funny feeding story to award $20K towards their child’s college education (the rules and regulations are on the Facebook page). How cool is that! And another reason to love Happy Family… Happy Family believes that every baby deserves to be a happy baby. With every product sold, the company supports Project Peanut Butter, a nonprofit that feeds starving children in Malawi, Mali and Sierra Leone.

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Happy Family blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

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Retro Techy Gifts

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

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Despite this cold winter weather, I think it is time to pull on a pair of blue and yellow Dolphin shorts, a gold head band, and some Mork & Mindy rainbow suspenders, blast the Zanadu album and start shopping.  Who doesn’t love some good old retro fun and funky styles. When you have a name on your holiday shopping list that totally stumps you, I always think humor goes a long way. Luckily, having a little fun doesn’t cost much either, especially is you pop on over to Mod Cloth. Who doesn’t need some floppy disk ‘nice save’ coasters?

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And this cassette tape right here – it is actually a cutting board. Totally practical! I have been having a blast cracking myself up at all of the fabulous gift ideas at Mod Cloth. Their gift guides are organized so you can shop by person, by color, by vintage era and styles. For that nephew who is off to college, the kids’ babysitter, and even for your brother or best friend – there is a little something for everyone.

Of course they have awesome retro inspired clothes and shoes for both men and women too.


Kitchen Sale

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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Want to get a jump on your holiday shopping? You are in luck! All week long, One Kings Lane is offering fantastic deals on kitchen products, appliances and furnishings. With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect sale to make sure you have everything you need for festive parties and family get-togethers at your home.  One Kings Lane has everything from hanging pot racks and pretty glassware to a classic buffet table for your dining room. The prices can’t be beat so you won’t have to spend your entire holiday budget to make sure your kitchen and home looks beautiful for your guests.

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You can also stock up on some great gift items too. I love this cheerful tea set that is priced at just $17! And this polka-dot travel mug would make a great stocking stuffer for your sister-in-law or a cute yet practical gift for your child’s teacher or babysitter.

Plus, if you’re new to One Kings Lane, sign up today for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more. Head over to One Kings Lane now before these deals are over!

Sugarpova

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

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Super chic and super talented tennis star, Maria Sharapova has just launched a fabulous new candy company – Sugarpova. And I have to tell you – there is so much to love about Sugarpova. First of all, a portion of every purchase is given to the Maria Sharapova Foundation for helping children across the world achieve their dreams. Maria has always been a huge philanthropist so it is no surprise that she has made giving back a core mission of her first company.

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Secondly – I love the graphic design of the website (pink and orange chevrons – my favorite color combo!) and on her candy packaging. Everything is clean, modern and bursting with sweet colors, and I just love the logo with the brilliant kissy kissy red lips. Maria and her team have created a perfect mix of humor, glamour and fun in every bag.

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I have recently started playing tennis again and I can’t wait to order this lemon lime ‘Sporty’ chewing gum. How cute are these little tennis balls?

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And for my fellow fashionistas….dig your hand into a bag of ‘Chic’ gummy candy and you will of course pull out yummy edible handbags and shoes.  I can’t wait to put these out at my next party or add them to any gift as a little extra sweet treat. So much cute candy to order…I have to run….

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Friday, April 27th, 2012

tory-burch-orange-wood-logo-cuff     proflowers

It is that time of year again – Mother’s Day. I think moms everywhere deserve a special month, not just a single day, but I guess we will take what we can get. I have compiled the Sweet Peas & Stilettos 2012 Mother’s Day Gift Guide – a list of fun and fabulous Mother’s Day gifts in a wide range of prices. A little something for everyone… I hope you find the perfect gift for your mom, your grandmother and your mother-in-law. At the very least,I hope these ideas help inspire you to find just the perfect gift for everyone special in your family. Happy Shopping!

Cilantro Lime Marinade Recipe

Friday, April 6th, 2012

cilantro lime

Freshening up your Freezer!

by Gabrielle Moes, Owner & Executive Chef of Seasons Catering

At Seasons Catering, one of our favorite mantras is “fresh is best”. While we definitely stick to that when it comes to providing clients with amazing dishes, my freezer at home is always stocked with a few frozen basics so that I am never caught empty-handed at dinnertime. Like most of you, I always have either chicken thighs or breasts on hand. Both are easy to thaw and easy to cook. However, alone they are pretty boring. Whether it is used as a marinade, simmering, or dipping sauce, the following recipe will be sure to transform any boring chicken breast into an amazing dish.

This sauce is not just for chicken though! I make a big batch and store in a glass jar in the fridge to be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, salad dressing or sandwich condiment for that week. It is fresh, sweet, and truly goes with anything! Sky is the limit on this one! 

Cilantro-Lime Marinade

  • 1 1/4 fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 large shallots, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha Thai hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in blender and combine until smooth. Slowly stream in olive oil while blending. Add salt at end to taste.

Gabrielle Moes is the owner and executive chef of Seasons Catering and mother to three. She earned an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in the Culinary Arts from the California Culinary Academy and interned at the acclaimed A Pacific Cafe in Kauai. She spent 7 years as the executive chef of the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club before starting Seasons Catering.

Seasons Catering is a full service catering company dedicated to creating memorable events through its impeccable service, exquisite food, and creative presentations. They are proud to create menus to suit every catering need and budget, and are determined to maintain high standards of service and presentation whatever the event may be. Check out the weekly blog for insights and tips into the culinary world!


Spring Vegetable Frittata

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

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Spring Vegetable Frittata from Seasons Catering

Temperatures are slowly rising and daylight is increasing – spring is definitely in the air and I couldn’t be more excited! For me, spring is all about the vegetables; asparagus, artichokes, spinach, avocado, beets, herbs…the list goes on and on! Depending on your region, these and many more delicious spring vegetables are at your farmers’ market and ready to be added to this week’s delicious recipe!

In my house, we have a Monday night “breakfast for dinner” tradition, and this is one of my favorites. There are no fancy techniques involved and any combination of meats, cheeses, and vegetables can be substituted. My kids have a great time choosing and prepping the vegetables and we never end up with the same frittata twice!

Enjoy!

Vegetable Frittata

8 large eggs

3 tablespoons heavy cream

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup morel mushrooms, chopped

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

¼ cup minced green onions (green tops only)

½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon chopped green onions, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until the eggs are frothy. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and whisk. Set aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and mushrooms until soft and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and green onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Mix in thyme, remaining salt and pepper.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of parsley and with the pan over medium heat; pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cook, lifting with a rubber spatula to let the eggs flow underneath, until the edges are set but the middle still is loose, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese over the top. Place in the oven until the eggs are slightly puffed and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent from overcooking.

Remove from the oven and carefully slide the frittata out onto a large serving platter. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the chopped green onions. Slice, and serve immediately.

Gabrielle Moes is the owner and executive chef of Seasons Catering and mother to three. She earned an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in the Culinary Arts from the California Culinary Academy and interned at the acclaimed A Pacific Cafe in Kauai. She spent 7 years as the executive chef of the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club before starting Seasons Catering.

Seasons Catering is a full service catering company dedicated to creating memorable events through its impeccable service, exquisite food, and creative presentations. They are proud to create menus to suit every catering need and budget, and are determined to maintain high standards of service and presentation whatever the event may be. Check out the weekly blog for insights and tips into the culinary world!


Marsala Sausage & Peppers

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Easy Weeknight Dinners ~ Marsala Sausage & Peppers

By Gabrielle Moes, Owner & Executive Chef of Seasons Catering

Looking for a delicious weeknight meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes?  This dish is quick and easy, but still manages to develop amazing flavor and comforting richness thanks to the use of Marsala wine.

The versatility of this recipe is what I love the most, though. While it calls for sweet turkey sausage, do not rule out other varieties such as pork or spicy Italian. When you do your shopping, ask the butcher which sausages are fresh and locally made; using fresh and local ingredients is always your best bet at creating a masterpiece meal!

As I mentioned, this dish is versatile enough to keep in heavy rotation in your weeknight repertoire. Though the sky’s the limit, I have included below a few of my favorite serving suggestions for this recipe…Buon Appetito!

Marsala Sausage and Peppers

¼  cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage

2 red bell peppers, sliced

2 yellow onions, sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½  teaspoon dried oregano

½  cup chopped fresh basil leaves

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup Marsala wine

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

¼  teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Spaghetti Squash variation…While sausages are browning, roast 2 large spaghetti squash. In addition to peppers and onions, add 2 roughly chopped zucchini to pan. Serve over the roasted spaghetti squash.

~ Italian Sandwich variation…While sauce is simmering, slice 4 fresh Italian sandwich rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out bottom portion of roll, taking care not to puncture through roll. Fill rolls with sausage mixture.

~ Polenta variation…Add 2 Tbsp capers to simmering sauce, serve over slices of roasted polenta and sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.

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Gabrielle Moes is the owner and executive chef of Seasons Catering and mother to three children. She spent 7 years as the executive chef of the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club before starting Seasons Catering.

Seasons Catering is a full service catering company dedicated to creating memorable events through its impeccable service, exquisite food, and creative presentations. They are proud to create menus to suit every catering need and budget, and are determined to maintain high standards of service and presentation whatever the event may be.

Slow Cooked Asian Pork Ribs

Monday, February 27th, 2012

seasons-catering-logo

Slow Cooked Asian Pork Ribs 

by Gabrielle Moes, Owner and Executive Chef of Seasons Catering

As a working mom, I am all too familiar with the dreaded evening witching hour; and if your house is anything like mine, it usually begins with, “Mom! What’s for dinner?” with a quickly ensuing wail of, “But I’m hungry now!!!!” In this predicament, my career as a chef definitely has its advantages, especially when I have spent my workday creating new recipes and I have a fridge full of leftovers. But, more often than not I am asking myself the same question you are…it’s 5 o’clock, the kids are melting down, and what am I going to cook for dinner?!?

If, like me, you are dedicated to providing your family with healthy and delicious home cooked meals, then the best trick of the trade I can give is to plan your meals ahead. When I find myself with the time, I will prepare a few components of several meals for the upcoming week. I also am not too proud to use culinary short cuts when I can; one of which is (gasp now) the slow cooker. If you have never invested in one for fear of the canned cream of broccoli creations of your childhood, I dare you to rethink! Many of my weeknight recipes include the use of the slow cooker because (here is trick of the trade #2) “low and slow” develops great flavor and is a lot safer than keeping your oven or stove unattended all day!

So, please enjoy some of my favorite recipes that your whole family will surely love and at the same time, hopefully say goodbye to the “oh no, what’s for dinner?!?” nightmares.

Asian-Braised-Ribs-potatoes

Asian Pork Ribs

2-3 lbs pork ribs (bone in or out)
¾ cups sherry
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Hoisin Sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 3” cinnamon sticks
1 Tablespoon thinly sliced ginger

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6. Meat will fall off of the bone if you are using bone in and will shred if using boneless. Serve over rice with your favorite stir-fried vegetables, or with potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Gabrielle Moes is the owner and executive chef of Seasons Catering and mother to three children. She spent 7 years as the executive chef of the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club before starting Seasons Catering.

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Seasons Catering is a full service catering company dedicated to creating memorable events through its impeccable service, exquisite food, and creative presentations. They are proud to create menus to suit every catering need and budget, and are determined to maintain high standards of service and presentation whatever the event may be.

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