Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mary B Cakes

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Look at the surprise waiting for me when I got home on Friday afternoon ~SQUEAL~

Could it be?  Mary B Cakes……all for me!!!!

The wrapping was so beautiful but what was waiting for me inside…..was even better

Look at these moist and I do mean MOIST cakes!  The fragrant aromas from opening the box were enough to send my tastebuds in a frenzy!

Mary uses the finest ingredients and it truly comes through with every delicious bite.  It truly takes her cakes to a whole different level.

Zucchini Cake

This decadent moist cake was truly special with the notes of worldly spices, including ginger.  I was at peace while indulging in this luscious cake because it’s healthy since it has zucchini in it,  rightRIGHT!

Triple Chocolate Cake

I am a CHOCO-HOLIC and I thought this cake only existed in my chocolate dreams!  Mexican vanilla and Ghiradelli chocolate were long lost best friends in this decadent & moist cake that caused me to let out an audible MMMMMMMMM!

I wish the picture was better resolution but honestly I snapped one picture and dove in like a mad woman!

Bread Pudding Cake

Mary calls this the “ultimate comfort food” and I am here to tell you she nailed it! I took one bite of this – the warm and smooth texture and flavor caused me to close my eyes and I was in the French Quarter.  The blend of the molasses, vanilla and rum will definitely transport you to your happy place!

Madagascar Vanilla Cake

This is no plain vanilla cake. The tone of the exotic Madagascar vanilla is a hit.  Madagascar vanilla is the finest vanilla in the world and that coupled with the creamy, moist texture screams WINNER!

These cakes were beyond fabulous and I love that you can purchase them directly from Mary here and she also has them available at many Dallas/Ft. Worth Markets

I only tasted a few but she has many more flavors such as: Lemon Cake, Pumpkin Spice Cake & Banana Cake

I love Mary B Cakes because the ingredients she uses ~ Madagascar Vanilla, West African Cocoa, Mexican Vanilla, West Indian Nutmeg, China Cinnamon, Californian Lemons, Columbian pumpkin ~ take her cakes from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY!

Her slogan says it all~

Mary B Cakes ~  Gourmet Cakes That Warm the Heart

Friday Foodgawker Favorites

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Happy Friday!

Busy, busy weekend ahead but let’s take a moment to drool over these scrumptious foods~

Favorite salty & sweet treat: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars I have just recently discovered salted caramel & chocolate together and I am IN LOVE!

Favorite Happy Hour Bite: Panko crusted shrimp with chive aioli  I don’t know which I love more- the food or the presentation!

Favorite brunch idea: Breakfast Pizza  This is a fun idea and it looks beautiful

Favorite stack: Mexican ceviche with shrimp All I need is this + mojito + outdoor patio + sunglasses and I am having a party!

Favorite Pretzel: Rosemary sea salt pretzels Take THAT in-the-mall (that I can’t resist) pretzel places

Favorite boutique cool treat: Spring bouquet popsicles GORGEOUS

Favorite fried shroom: Cheesy portobello fries with spicy ketchup I love fried mushrooms and this just takes it over the top

Favorite sammy: Chipotle chicken club sandwich I am all about kicking up my sandwiches lately and this looks like the perfect way to do it!

Favorite cocktail: Meyer Lemon Basiltini OH MY GOODNESS……this is beyond exciting and will pair well with anything listed above!

 

TGIF!!!!  Have a fabulous weekend!

A little key lime love

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Last night I wrote an amazing blog post about the Key Lime bars I made yesterday….it was fabulous even stupendous; however, you will never know because POOF it disappeared when I went to preview.  This is the second time this has happened since I got my new laptop and I am not too pleased but I can’t seem to figure out the logistics of why it is happening 😦  Going forward I am going to back everything up in a separate program so I can keep my sanity and my computer doesn’t end up on my neighbor’s roof 😉

So yesterday my inspiration came from a very unlikely source….a song!

I woke up singing the following:

Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had another one, she paid it for the lime

She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em both up

All morning it kept running through my head and so I decided that I would honor the beautiful keys and make a sweet key lime treat!

Key Lime Bars!  I have no will power when it comes to these babies…I go weak at the knees!

The crust is so buttery and zippy with the zest of the lime and the filling so creamy, luscious & tart with the key lime juice.

Here are the players:

Key Lime Bars (slightly adapted from Evil Shenanigans)

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

First you want to set your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 baking dish and line it with parchment–all I had was wax paper and I had to fight off the smoking so go ahead and use parchment!

Put the graham cracker crumbs, sugar & lime zest in a bowl

I love the idea of having lime zest in the crust….I am going to do that with lemon sometime in a cheesecake- that will be fun!

Then you drizzle in your melted butter~

and stir it with love and then pour it in your baking dish and you can use your fingers or the back of a spoon to spread out evenly and make sure it goes up the side about 1 inch….or be like me and I like the thick crust at the bottom–because every piece it not an end piece!  Equality for ALL I say!

Throw that into the oven and bake for 10 minutes while you make the filling

For the filling- add egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk & key lime juice and mix it up

When the crust has come out of the oven and cooled then pour the mixture into the baking dish and marvel at the masterpiece you are about to create!

pop that baby in the oven at the same temp for 10 minutes or until set.  You are not looking for any color on it…just for it to be firm and not giggly.

Behold your masterpiece~ BUT WAIT you must chill it for no less that 1 hour and 2 + hours is even better but let’s be honest…..who wants to wait!

Look how pretty- I garnished with some lime slices but you could also garnish with toasted coconut and even put it in the crust mixture….it just isn’t my thing but you can make it yours 😉

Please go forth and makes these fantabulous treats!  Make them for your friends, loved ones, friends of friends….just make them!  I promise you’ll be the most popular parent at the PTA if you bring these!

Have a great Thursday!

What is your favorite island nibble?

Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups

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This weekend has been a total FAIL!   I had so many wonderful things planned and then I woke up Saturday morning SICK!  So it has been NyQuil all weekend and my poor girl stuck with nothing to do.  It always stinks when your parents are sick and you are stuck for a whole weekend in the house….I definitely identified with her!

So on Sunday, I finally got it together enough and made some homemade fruit roll-ups!  this was a new thing for me and it went pretty well

Here is how is all starts out

You need about 4 cups of hulled & chopped strawberries, 3/4 c of sugar, juice of a lemon, garbage bowl for the stem/leaves & wax paper

Hulling a strawberry means getting the very top part of the stems/leaves & white part off the strawberry so you are left with juicy deliciousness

There are strawberry hullers that you can purchase but a silver spoon  and garbage bowl does the trick

Once you have hulled & chopped all the strawberries then you put them in a blender with the sugar & lemon juice

and put the blender on puree until all the bits of strawberry are gone

then take this mixture and put it in a medium saucepan on medium high heat until it comes to a rapid simmer and then turn it down to medium low for about 30 minutes

It will be thin like the above but as it simmer to thicken up and it will start to look like this

Once it completely thickens up you will line a cookie sheet with non-stick foil or a silicone mat

But please don’t be like me and please use an offset spatula because a regular one just doesn’t give it enough love and then it looks like this

Don’t get me wrong….this completely works but it would be much more beautiful if I had an offset spatula

You will keep it in a 200 degree oven for about 3 hours until barely tacky

then let it cool completely and peel off the foil and put the smooth side on the wax paper and cut into strips

If it is still moist on the bottom- you can put it back in the oven for about 20 minutes

Looks just like what you buy in the grocery store but you know exactly what it is in it and can pronounce it all too!

Bella had some for breakfast this morning and it was a hit!

I am still working on the strawberry jam post….it has a lot of steps BUT totally worth it 😉

I have a funeral tomorrow and will be out of town but will catch up with you all on Wednesday.

Have a great Monday!

Do you prefer a fruit dehydrator or oven method?

A feast for your eyes

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I can’t believe today is Sunday already…where did the weekend go?

Bella starts Pre-K tomorrow and it will be a big day so today I wanted to do something really special.  So even though it is 135 degrees outside- I wanted to create a special memory and we did!

Bella was most excited to see her favorite animals…..giraffes & kangaroos

Hello beautiful!  She got kisses from this sweet giraffe mother, Katie

And while the real kangaroos were napping and we couldn’t get a good shot….she got up close and personal with these friends

It was an amazing day and I hope she will hold it close to her heart….I know I will

After trekking all over the Amazon, Bush & Wild Savannah today….I am beat and we are ordering dinner out but I wanted to share some of my favorite finds on Food Gawker this week because it is one of my go-to sites for inspiration

Chicken Souvlaki w/ Lemon Mint Tzatziki

I am sooooo making this sometime this week!

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Lemon Blueberry cheesecake Cookies

I love these cream cheesy, lemony & blueberry-y ?  How can it not be wonderful

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Watermelon Shooters

How much fun for a summer pool party?!

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Quick jarred pickles

I have had an obsession with making pickles and think this is beautiful

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Fruit tart w/ apricot glaze

This makes me want to go to Paris…now

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French Fries w/ 3 sauces

What a fun Friday night treat!

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Chocolate Banana cake w/ Peanut Butter Cream Cheese frosting

Bella would like totally die if I put this in front of her

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Gluten Free Lemon Fritters

Anything is fun when served in newspaper, right?

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Chocolate cheesecake encrusted in chocolate chips

Does this really need an explanation?

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Wishing you a great Sunday night!

Also, I am doing some bread baking this week and will compare a box mix to a from scratch application~ don’t miss it!

What is your favorite Sunday activity?

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

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I love fish tacos…..I first discovered them at Houlihan’s of all places and fell in love.  I have since had them at many other places.  The problem with most restaurant-style fish tacos is that they are so heavy, being fried, and have lots of creamy sauce on them.  I had a serious craving for them over the weekend but was not willing to give up all the fat and calories for them- so I lightened them up but didn’t give up any of the flavor!

TJ’s Seafood Market is in my neighborhood and they have the best and freshest seafood that I have been able to get in the area.  Of course I chose to go and get my Tilapia there!  Check out their offerings- http://www.tjsseafood.com/

I also snagged a 1/2 lb of boiled shrimp & their homeade remoulade because I just can’t leave there without them as they never dissapoint!

Let’s get down to the good stuff-

Here are the players:

Fresh Tilapia, limes, Penzey’s Smokey Seasoned Salt, Penzey’s Ground Cumin, evoo, pepper, corn, cilantro & non-fat plain greek yogurt, salsa & mayo (for the salsa crema)

Marinate the fish first with the oil, squeezed lime juice, a healthy sprinkle of the smokey salt & pepper & some lime zest…just because it adds that je ne sais quois.

Then cut the corn off the cob and try this super awesome method because it works and corn doesn’t end up all over the counter!

Please disregard the markings in the bundt pan–it is about 100 years old and I am sure yours will be nice and sparkly:)

Then cut up your cilantro and put aside your corn and cilantro for later…

yummmmmmmmm!  I could eat this all by itself!

So before you put the fish on the grill let’s go ahead and made the “slaw”.  Of course since I am lightening up the traditional fish taco fare- the “slaw” would be no different.  I made a broccoli slaw with a vinegar base…let’s check it out~

Throw a little broccoli slaw in a bowl and mix in smidge of evoo, juice 1/2 of an orange, some vinegar, mince some shallot & dust it with cumin & Smoky seasoned salt – Penzey’s of course;)

OMGEE- that is mouthwatering!

Throw that in the fridge and let’s get the fish on the grill!

3 minutes on each side on medium high heat and voila!

I am sure that your fish will look better than mine but if not- no worries people- remember it goes INSIDE the tortilla- the taste is what matters the most!

Don’t forget to warm your tortillas on the grill!

And then let’s assemble-

1) tortilla

2) add fish

3) add slaw

4) drizzle crema

5) sprinkle corn & cilantro

ENJOY!

Grilled Fish Tacos w/ Salsa Crema

Fish:

2 TBL olive oil

2 TBL lime juice

dash of smokey seasoned salt

dash pepper

zest of 1 lime

Salsa Crema

1/2 cup non-fat Plain Greek yogurt

2 TBL mayo

1/4 cup spicy salsa

Broccoli Slaw

1 cup broccoli slaw

juice from 1/2 orange

1/3 cup of vinegar

1 minced shallot

dash of smokey seasoned salt

dash of cumin

+ don’t forget your toppers of fresh sweet corn & chopped cilantro!

I am off for a relaxing night- after all, today is national relaxation day….I will take the advice!

What is your favorite dish that you “lighten” up?