Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

2014 Fun

Posted by: Frances

July 14th, 2014 >> Cooking, Crafts, Outdoor Activities, Travel, Workout

Since my last post, I have been doing lots of DIY projects, traveling, and adopted a new puppy.

Just a few of the things I have done…  I built a shelving unit and an entertainment center for our living out of an old barn window and pallets.  It turned out gorgeous and made our living room fell light and cozy.  I also made a wreath for the front door of the house.

B Wreath

Entertainment Center I made 2014


Matt and I went to San Clemente, CA for a relaxing afternoon one weekend in March.  We enjoyed our lunch at the seafood restaurant on the pier and strolled the beach in the beautiful weather.

San Clemente Beach Yummy crab, Matt and I (5)

I started working out with Zuzana at  Love her workouts.  They are only 12-18 minutes long and totally make me sweat.  It makes me feel great!

Matt and I spent our 2nd Wedding Anniversary (April 7) in San Diego, CA.  We had an amazing dinner at Lou & Mickey’s!  It was incredible!  We also went to the San Diego Zoo.  They weather was perfect and we had such a memorable time.  We also had breakfast at Snooze!  Wow, yummy!

Annual Anniversary Pics 2nd Anniversary San Diego, CA (4)

Stone Liberty San Diego, CA

2nd Anniversary San Diego, CA Zoo (28)

Annual Anniversary Pics 2nd Anniversary San Diego, CA (15)

Matt and I took a trip to Flagstaff, AZ in May to adopt our new puppy Molly.  She is a Shar Pei & CattleDog mix that we found at the Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue.  After picking her up, we went over to see the Grand Canyon.  WOW!  It was unbelievable.  We had all the dogs will us (Natasha, Maci, & Molly) and took some fun photos.  Then, on our way home we stop at Grand Canyon Brewery for a bite to eat.

 Grand Canyon Brewery Matt, Molly, Natasha, Maci, and I (13)

Grand Canyon Flagstaff, AZ (29)

Then, in July my sister got married.  Matt and I had a great time at the wedding and took some outrageous photos with everyone.




And now here is is the middle of July already with more fun to come….


The Art of Simple Food: Alice Waters

Posted by: Frances

March 3rd, 2011 >> Cooking, Educational

I finished reading The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters today.  It is a really good book about cooking and has lots of great recipes.  I would definitely suggest this for anyone who is learning to cook or just want some good tips for making food taste great without a lot of work.  I have made some really tasty dishes out of this book already.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.


Mom’s Granola from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

Posted by: Frances

February 9th, 2011 >> Cooking, Educational

First of all, I just loved The Kind Diet book!  I truly enjoyed reading it and now I am experimenting with Alicia’s recipes.  I am very excited about trying them out a few at a time.  So this weekend, I baked her Mom’s Granola recipe with some additional ingredients of my own:

The recipe is on page 201 of The Kind Diet book or here is my revised version:

6 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds unsalted

1/2 cup safflower oil

3/4 cup brown rice syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 small bags of grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spread oats on a rimmed baking pan (12 x 15) and bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer oats to a large mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients together.  Stir thoroughly.

Place some Parchment paper down in your 12 x 15 baking pan.  Spread the mixture evenly in the pan.  Slightly press to level the top of the mixture.  (This will help you create rectangle bars)

Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan, then cut into bars.

Store in airtight container or food saver bags.


Middle Sister Wine: Rebel Red

Posted by: Frances

January 30th, 2011 >> Cooking, Uncategorized

So, I went to Henry’s Farmer Market for the first time to check it out.  I was very satisfied with the store and found a bunch of things there to try.  While I was there, in the Wine section I found Middle Sister Wine!!!  How cool is that!!!  I ended up buying the Rebel Red Bottle they made.  I have not tried it yet, but when I do, I will let you know what I think.

Check out their youtube video just click here.  They also have a Sisters Giveback program you can find out more about on their link.

They make a variety of wines.  Here is the picture of the Rebel Red Middle Sister Wine that I purchased.



Books and Magazines

Posted by: Frances

January 8th, 2011 >> Cooking, Crafts, Educational

So for Christmas I asked for a bunch of different books and a magazine subscription.  I am really excited about all of them and can’t wait to read them.

Currently I am reading  The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown Absolutely intriguing so far.


I am also reading  MaryJane’s Ideabook Cookbook Lifebook by MaryJane Butters and  MaryJane’s Stitching Room I also have a subscription to her magazine Mary Janes Farm.  I just love these:



I have The Kind Diet By Alicia Silverstone that I have already began reading.  It is interesting and there have been a few things in the book that have really put a spin on my head.  She also has a website blog called


Lastly, I received two of Alice Waters Cookbooks.  One is Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook and the other is The Art of Simple Food.



Southwestern Marinade for Charcoal Grilled Chicken

Posted by: Frances

March 10th, 2010 >> Cooking

Wow!  This marinade was great!!! A must try for sure.

Southwestern Marinade

  • 1/4 c minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c minced fresh basil, parsley, tarragon, oregano, mint
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme or rosemary

Whisk the ingredients together and add to a bag with 3 chicken breasts.  Pound the chicken breasts to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Cook on the charcoal grill until done.  YUMMY!!!!

Seasoned Potatoes

Posted by: Frances

February 24th, 2010 >> Cooking

So, I don’t have a picture of these, but I got the recipe from one of my friends at work.  I absolutely love them and they are very easy to make.


  • French Fingerling Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • one packet of Ranch Dip Mix

Cut the potatoes into small slices and place in ziplock bag with the other ingredients.  Mix well.  Leave for minimum of  15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour potatoes into a metal pan (I used a 9 x 13) and cook for 35 minutes.  Potatoes should be just slightly crunchy.   Cook to your liking.


Tarragon Marinated Chicken Breasts

Posted by: Frances

February 9th, 2010 >> Cooking

Sorry, I don’t have a picture for this one, but it was very tasty.


  • 1tsp Basil
  • 1tsp Parsley
  • 1tsp Garlic Salt
  • 4 minced Garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp Tarragon White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Salt

First, pound the chicken to about 1/2 inch thick chicken breasts. Place inside a large ziplock bag with the salt and sugar.  Add water until the chicken is covered, close and put in the refrigerator.  This is called Brining your chicken.  Leave in refrigerator for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Then, marinate the chicken in another bag with all the remaining ingredients.  Marinate for minimum 25 minutes.  Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until chicken is done.  Also tastes great on the grill.  This is a quick and easy recipe that is very good.

French Toast

Posted by: Frances

February 2nd, 2010 >> Cooking

I love French Toast and have been making it from scratch for about 3 years now.  I have tried every recipe I could get my hands on and this one is my favorite.  I did a lot of trial and error.


  • 8 eggs
  • 8 oz of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tbsp nutmeg
  • Loaf of Texas Toast Bread (or bread of your choice)

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl you can dip the bread in one piece at a time.  (Like you are making scrambled eggs) Use a Teflon coated pan and turn the stove on 6 – 7 heat (or medium heat).  One piece at a time, dip your bread into the bowl and soak about 10-15 seconds.  Remove and cook in pan for about one and a half minutes per side.  It should brown very nicely.  When loaf is cooked, serve.


Chicken with Cream Cheese Sauce

Posted by: Frances

January 26th, 2010 >> Cooking


Chicken with Cream Cheese Sauce


  • 3chicken breasts, cut into strips or chunks
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (or one 14-oz can), seperated
  • 4 oz cream cheese ( I used light)
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the chicken to the pan. Brown chicken on both sides. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all of the brown bits on the bottom. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and chicken broth has reduced. Remove chicken and set aside, keep warm. Mix flour with remaining broth and add to pan; mix. Add cream cheese, mix until thick and bubbly. Return chicken to the pan and coat with sauce. Serve with pasta, rice or vegetables.

*This was very good and worth trying for sure!  Easy too.  I found this recipe online by a lady named Melissa and it looked good.  WOW, yummy!