Tag Archives: almond

Nothin’ Bundt Love

My Friend Vicki gave us a HUGE zucchini from her community garden plot last week and I decided to go {sweet} with it rather than the usual savory.

: Coconut Almond Zucchini Bread :

3 cups AP flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups sugar

3 tsp. almond extract

2 cups grated zucchini {3-4 small zukes}

1/4 cup grated coconut {unsweetened}

Grease your bundt pan {I used a little butter}. Preheat oven 10 325*. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Beat eggs, oil, almond extract and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and coconut until well combined. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 20 minutes. Place a plate over the top of the bundt pan and flip over…bread will fall from the pan on it’s own.

{recipe adapted from here}


This recipe was a happy accident…I had run out of vanilla and cinnamon and substituted with almond extract and the coconut instead. It turned out very moist and the almond & coconut were a little something out of the ordinary. Next time I will make these into muffins. You could certainly get 2 smaller loaves {or even 3 mini loaves} out of this recipe to give as gifts at the holidays. Bake in a disposable loaf pan and adjust oven times accordingly.

It’s FRI-day!


Pink Oats

Happy Tuesday!

Popping in to tell you about a new concoction I threw together yesterday morning that I am hooked on…

Raspberry Steel Cut Oats 

Raspberries were super cheap at Ralphs this week so I grabbed a few containers.

I like to make 2 or 3 servings of oats and then have them ready for a couple mornings during the week since they do take 7-10 minutes on the stove ~ but SO worth it! We get them at Sprouts in the bulk bins for next-to-nothing or Trader Joe’s has their own brand now.

For these, I added one container of raspberries to 2 servings about 5-7 minutes after they started cooking. The berries break down and color the oats pink. When done cooking, place a serving in a bowl along with just a little almond milk {or other choice}, some sliced almonds, a dusting of coconut {toasted would be out of this world!} and a sprinkle of white chocolate chips.

Not an everyday type breakfast, but certainly a nice summer treat here and there!



It’s A Date

I’ve never really given much thought to dates.

I think of fruit cake when I think of dates.

But all this changed 4 years ago at Jay’s company holiday party. For they past four years his company has hosted the festivities at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley and for the past four years I have enjoyed almond stuffed, bacon wrapped dates at the appetizer station. Every year, not only do I look forward to attending this event with Jay, but I look forward to coveting these sweet, salty, crunchy morsels and overindulging in them.

I plan to make them soon using this recipe…

{may or may not use the goat cheese}

Last week at Elliott’s dance class, I overheard two other moms talking about a date smoothie. I see the medjool dates all the time at Trader Joe’s and thought I’d pick up a package and add them to my morning smoothies to change things up a bit.

Enter the {Spiced Date Smoothie}…

{2 cups crushed ice, 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk [or milk of choice], 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 seeded & chopped medjool dates, 1 medium banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon}

Blend until smooth and enjoy! I will say that the dates are pretty hearty and it may take a minute or so to process them in the blender. The package said to refrigerate them after opening which makes them a little harder and more difficult to blend. You can either chop them fairly well before blending or throw then in just halved or quartered to get bigger pieces in your smoothie. I like to use the big milkshake straws and get bigger chunks of dates up the straw from time! They are nice and sweet and chewy and add texture to the drink.

{milkshake straws via}

I found my straws at Ralphs hanging on those random little clip racks in one of the aisles.

This smoothie reminds me of the boba teas in that you get a little surprise up your straw every once in awhile as you sip, but instead of it being a tapioca ball, it’s a chunk of date!

It’s yummy.

So, don’t pass up the dates next time you’re in Trader Joe’s or your local grocery or market. They have lots of health benefits, too!

Happy Humpday!

Community Cheesecake

When I first spotted this scrumptious cheesecake, I knew it had to go on {the list}. Um, it has Keebler Fudge Striped cookies. As. The. Crust. Enough said…

Would’ve probably made it sooner, but I didn’t have a spring form pan.

But, I do NOW….and I DID make this cheesecake for our Valentine’s Day dessert.

This was my first cheesecake, so I was a little nervous.

{before the whipped cream goodness}

{and after!}

I knew I could not have this cheesecake staring at me all week {AKA eating it for breakfast with my coffee!!} so I cut it in quarters and shared with our neighbor friends. However, when I cut into it the center collapsed….maybe I didn’t chill it long enough?

Despite the oozing mess, I did receive all sorts of positive feedback. Check out this sweet comment:

“I just wanted to thank you once again for the DELICIOUS cheesecake!  When I came home from work this afternoon, my mom (who was watching the boys) said, “Where did you get that to-die-for cheesecake that’s in your fridge?  I helped myself to some, and I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything so divine in my whole life.”  No joke, she literally talked about the cheesecake for 20 minutes!  My mom is a dessert fanatic, yet over the last three decades of my life, I don’t ever remember her praising any dessert quite like your cheesecake 🙂  So, thank you again!!  We all REALLY enjoyed it.  Still can’t believe it was your first attempt!  You must consider opening up your own catering/party business!”

Awww, thanks Alina and THANK YOU Meg @ Whatever for sharing and THANK YOU Pam for your endless hours in the kitchen perfecting this extraordinary dessert!

I’m going to call it the {traveling cheesecake} because whenever I make it, three quarters of it will find another home. It is very rich, but smooooooth and creamy.


One of Jay’s favorite meals is Chicken Marsala. We use Ty Flo’s recipe and every time we make it, I wonder “Why don’t we make this more often?”

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Marsala

I served with roasted asparagus with parmesan:

{just take a bunch of asparagus, cut about 2 inches off the ends, cut in thirds on an angle, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper & parmesan, toss, place on a baking sheet lined with foil for about 20 minutes @400*}

Easy peasy, right?


That was our Valentine’s dinner…complete with crooked table cloth adorned with spilled smoothie spots and colored Crayola markers! We skipped the {Wilson Creek} Almond Champagne and will enjoy that this weekend.

And, as I mentioned, Miss Elliott lost her first tooth Valentine’s evening.

It’s so true that when you have children you start to see things differently and enjoy them so much more. V-day has never been one of my favorite holidays, but this year I really enjoyed watching them address their little valentines to their friends and see their joy when showing off all their cards. Next year my goal is to come up with a homemade valentine ~ there are loads of darling ideas out there!

And next year, even though I loved our dinner at home, {you and I} are GOING OUT to dinner, babe!

Love you.


Happy Wednesday!


Passing Through

Our friends {and neighbors} from our old ‘hood in Nor Cal passed through Santa Clarita on their way to San Diego this morning.

They’re coffeeholics like us and we always meet for a cuppa Joe before they hit the road…

Today we changed it up a bit and met at Peet’s instead of ‘Bucks.

I was reunited with a drink that I’d like to think I {invented}, but could be totally wrong…the only reason I say that is because every time I order it they say, “Oooh, that sounds good!”

It’s an Almond White Mocha.

Starbucks no longer has the almond syrup, but Peet’s does!

It was bbbbrrrrr {42*} this morning when we set out…I know, I know…So Cal girl talkin’ here…

My AWM hit the spot.

I also LOVE the Almond Mocha Joy from Seattle’s Best. They use both almond & coconut syrups. YUM!

Might I suggest this beverage if you’re an almond & coconut lover like me.

Now to track these down so I can make them at home…



I hope your Wednesday is full of mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolates or whatever it is that gets you through the day!


Almond Joy

I came across a recipe for almond bars on the back of the Market Pantry (Target brand) almond extract box. Random, huh?

Since I LOVE almond, this was a no-brainer.

I was going to make them yesterday, but forgot that I hard boiled the last 4 eggs in the fridge for dyeing last weekend.

Then I forgot to pick some up at the store.

Getting back to the hard boiled ones…we never got around to coloring them last weekend. Terrible, I know. Elliott has asked me a MILLION times if we can dye the Easter eggs! She doesn’t care that it’s almost a week later. We still had quite a bit going on this past week, so we FINALLY got around to coloring our 4 measly hard-boiled eggs this morning.

Dropping the eggs into the dye:


Still waiting:

The expression on her face = pure guilt for not doing this LAST weekend:

More guilt:

We did FOUR eggs people…can you imagine the excitement and glee a whole dozen would have created?

Next year, kids. Next year.

I really do love to dye eggs. Really. It’s just I need a controlled environment to do so. All that dye makes me a little nervous. But next year I am going to pick up my favorite cheap Paas dye, vinegar, a dozen and a half eggs and let them go to town.

OK, now getting back to the almond bars…

I’ve been dreaming about these since I discovered the recipe around Valentine’s Day. They really are very easy to make even though there are three steps: crust, filling and glaze.

Trust me, they are a hit. Imagine a light, crumbly shortbread crust married with a smooth, cheesecake filling only to be finished with crunchy toasted sliced almonds and a drizzle of sweet almond icing.

Sound like too much almond? Well, it’s not. They are perfection.

For the glaze, I mixed it up and transferred to a zip lock, snipped off the tip ever so slightly and drizzled over the uncut bars:

Perfection on a pedestal:

Here is what you need…..


1 1/2 cups flour

1 stick butter, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar


1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure almond extract

3/4 cup sliced almonds


3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure almond extract

4-5 tsp. milk

Heat oven to 350*F.

Combine crust ingredients at low speed until crumbly. Press mixture in bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch pan. Bake 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden.

Meanwhile, beat filling ingredients, except almonds, until smooth. Pour over partially baked crust; sprinkle with almonds. Bake 15-2o minutes or until set. Cool.

Mix glaze ingredients; drizzle over bars.


Store in refrigerator. (If there are any leftover!)

I think these would also be delish with some apricot preserves spread in between the crust and the filling. Whatcha think?

Here are a couple more random snapshots from our Saturday morning:


Up tomorrow: Crock pot carnitas!

French Toast Friday ~ Cinnamon Almond

Kicking Easter Weekend off with some Cinnamon Almond French Toast:

I just added some sprinkles of cinnamon and about a 1/4 teaspoon of pure almond extract to 4 eggs (or 6 egg whites) and a splash of milk. Soaked 4 pieces of Oroweat Double Fiber bread and…voila!

Drizzle with a little syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar and you’re off to a sweet & healthy start to the holiday weekend!

I hope your weekend is filled with vibrant colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, Peeps and that annoying Easter grass from the baskets that ends up all over the floor!

Now, off to Burbank to pick up the in-laws!