Hello…

…2016!

Hello on a different note, not like the Hello Adele sings, the melancholy of that song…aint nobody got time for that!

A happy hello, a hello like a bright shiny sun that shines back at me while contemplating my new year…..

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The Dallas Farmer’s Market is my 1st stop grocery store. Its that special place I buy quality, organic, real foods, that dictate my menu’ of the week and to grab a bite of something new! If you haven’t been you need to, there are so many things going on down there, wine tastings, walk about’s with the chef, cooking lessons are just a few and some cool new shops and eateries! Its my way of getting out of my weekly routine, seeing new faces, making a bit of conversation with some vendors that believe in what they do and have passion for what they sell. IMG_2426

The roof top of South Side on Lamar Lofts is beautiful. The view, the whole downtown, it helped me with perspective. Putting it all together, what I like to do, what I want to do, breathtaking, both the rooftop view and rereading everything on my “what makes me happy to do” list, lol. IMG_2597.jpg

Discovering Opening Bell Coffee, a cozy coffee shop downtown that makes an awesome almond mylk cappuccino and sells the most delicious gluten free cinnamon rolls in the world! makes all the difference in life!

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Joanna Bondy, Stocks & Bondy , shared her story at the walk about with the chef this month. She said “…at 52 years of age I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.” Pure inspiration, I needed that. I needed that sunny day downtown, I needed that perspective from the rooftop and I needed and enjoyed a special, longed for treat with a good friend.

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I am doing just that.

Judi XO

 

 

 

 

Carrot Cake & Blueberry Crisp Tart

If you are gluten free and or a clean eater you will love these recipes!

I tried the recipe for Grain free Carrot Cake for our Easter dessert.

Carrot Cake for Easter dessert

I was so happy with the recipe I made it to take as a treat to my

office to celebrate my 2nd year work Anniversary.

Carrot Cake Ready to go to the office!

Using a square pan I cut the cake into small squares and frosted them using a pastry poche.

Blueberry Crumble assembly

Oh, and the  Blueberry Crisp Tart, WOW!

Both recipes are delicious, simple and easy to make. I highly recommend them both!

Right out of the oven!

The house smells divine!

Grade B Maple syrup is used as a sweetener in both the Carrot Cake,

Cream Cheese Frosting & the Blueberry Crisp Tart.

Blueberry Crumble bites ready to go to the office!

I used a round biscuit or cookie cutter to make bite-size Blueberry Crisp Tarts.

Ready to go~Happy 2nd Year Anniversary to me!

Buon Appetito!

Spelt flour Pancakes

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These were delicious and as simple as the receipe names them Simple Spelt Pancakes. I used my leftover bacon fat to season my cast iron skillet, just enough to wet the pan.
We enjoyed them with real butter and Grade B Maple syrup and Joe toasted the leftover pancakes and enjoyed them with almond butter and strawberry
preserves. We will defiantly keep this recipe on file!
Buon Appetito!

Bacon wrapped Chicken breast

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These are one of my children’s favorites dishes! And so easy to prepare…..

All you will need is:

  • Chicken breast (the recipe uses 1 breast cut in half)
  • sliced Bacon ( I use a 10 oz package)
  • EVO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • Salt or an herbed salt     find some herbed salt recipes here
  • Herbs (optional)

Cut the chicken breast in half and cut out any bone or cartilage in the chicken breast keeping the halves intact.

Cut each half chicken breast almost in half from the back, the side that is least smooth.

Sprinkle the opened half chicken breast with salt, or an herb salt of choice and/or you can add herbs, rosemary, sage, thyme, fresh or dried if you like.

IMG_1356*I use only uncured, no sugar, no additive containing bacon and buy over the counter chicken breasts, I try to avoid as much processed, packaged products possible.

Cut a strip of bacon in half and place on top of the salted area and fold the breast back together.

Wrap each half chicken breast with as many slices of bacon needed to cover, 4 or 5 usually.

Sprinkle with a little more salt and a little EVO.

Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and cook in preheated oven, 350°F for 40-50 mins.

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Turn the breast halves a couple times while cooking so the bacon crisps on all sides.

When they are done cooking let stand for 5 minutes to cool before cutting.

I usually cut the chicken breasts while still in the baking dish so the meat soaks up some of the juices.

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This is great with any side dish, mashed cauliflower, roasted carrots, salad, applesauce, you name it, we love it!

 

Buon Appetito!

Boots Bubbles & Bling

The Tower Club Dallas held a ALS Charity Event,  “BOOTS, BUBBLES & BLING”.  A special evening above the lights of the city featuring Live Music, Dancing, and other Special Entertainment, gourmet hors d’oeuvres and tempting sampler dishes, premium bar, poker and silent auction & raffles!!

~”Polish your boots, throw on your best denim and don’t forget those diamonds because Tower Club promises a night of fun while benefiting a worthy cause.”~

Tickets for the event were pre-purchased at $45 per person or $80 per couple. (Sponsorship opportunities were also available.)

Thanksgiving Tower, 48th Floor 1601 Elm Street

The event was a lot of fun! As always the view of the city, spectacular!

*A special Thanks to Valerie and Tom!❤

 

Taverna @DineTaverna

TAVERNA ~ Dallas, TX

I really enjoyed my brunch at Taverna. First off, I appreciate the “fresh squeezed” Orange Juice, immensely! Yes $6 might be a high price but when you are used to real orange juice, you squeeze your own oranges at home, you hate concentrate or any bottled so called orange juices not only for their awful taste but for all the junk they are made of and how bad they are for you, it is so nice to go out for Brunch and enjoy a freshly squeezed orange juice! So here you see, I really appreciate a restaurant that uses real – fresh -ingredients and serves freshly squeezed orange juice, thank you Taverna!

The atmosphere at Taverna is allegra, the inside dining area showed tables of Saturday morning Brunchers, a couple tables with balloons noticeably celebrating birthdays, the room was full but cozy. The brick walls, the open kitchen and bar give the atmosphere a warm feeling, typically Italian🙂 The waiters are very polite, professional and friendly. The front of the restaurant opens in a very European style where customers can enjoy eating alfresco and furry friends are comfortable.

I ordered the Chef’s (oven baked ) Frittata; shrimp, arugula, white onion, toasted baby heirloom tomatoes with avocado a delicately delicious combination! Jeff ordered “Eggs Any Style”, scrambled with ham and breakfast potatoes and was very happy with his meal also.

We were delighted to have been offered a few slices of their San Daniele, Prosciutto Crudo, it was delicious, I was impressed🙂

All of the ingredients in the food were very fresh and natural tasting. The Lunch and Dinner Menus are inviting, typical Italian plates and a nice variety to choose from, including Gluten Free Menus🙂  Which leaves me with the intention of coming back again!

Buon Appetito!

Chicken salad

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I love roasted chicken and when I wind up with left overs I make Chicken Salad!
I really don’t measure my ingredients, depending on how much chicken I have I toss it all together,

Ingredients:

  • Chicken, skinned, boned and chopped into cubes or small pieces.
  • Celery, chopped, I like my salad loaded with celery!
  • Onion, white, yellow, red, use what you have!
  • Green Onion, gives a great taste, yes, use it along with another onion above!
  • Mayonnaise , this is my recipe, it is super easy and quick and there is NO comparison to the store bought junk!
  • Dijon Mustard, use just a little to give a twist of flavor, (optional).
  • Salt & Pepper, I usually season the chicken before i mix the ingredients together, just a dash or two.

*It’s as easy as that! It only needs a few hours to settle and cool in the fridge.

I love my Chicken Salad topped with hemp seeds or a little gommasio, on greens such as spinach, kale or served in endive leaves.

*In my cover photo, fresh spinach and steamed baby broccoli.

Buon Appetito!

Dulce de Moka

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I’ve had a sore throat for a few weeks now, during these few weeks I was prescribed an antibiotic which didn’t do the trick. I am gargling with lemon juice in the morning now and talk about sting!

Drinking soothes my throat. I was in poor me mode, my throat hurts, my ears hurt and I really wanted something soothing…. and sweet. I don’t do juices or other “drinks”, smoothies too are meals for me not beverages. Water and green tea are my daily hydration and thirst quenchers. I enjoy my morning espresso macchiato from my Bialetti Moka with almond or hemp milk. After my morning ritual of oil pulling, lemon juice gargling and my aloe & maca powder water concoction, this is where my day starts and my espresso need ends.

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Back in Italy caffè is a tradition. Cappuccino or caffè latte for breakfast, un caffè after lunch and one after dinner, macchiato, with milk, cream or even ice cream! Corretto, with a drop or 2 (or 3) of liquor or wine, sometimes used as an amaro or digestive. Un caffè, which means “un espresso”, can also be and for most Italians is, a break time, luxury, sport, appointment date, spiritual moment of relax, late night study caffeine boost,  a sort of scape goat from anxiety, a daily ritual by many believed a wholesome addiction, coffee is healthy right? Habits that can take to an outstanding number of espressos a day!  Below are some fun reads, explanations and examples of Italian caffè syndrome.

An Italian Family Tradition

My Coffee Hell

So, getting back to poor me, my sore throat and sweet tooth, I had an idea!

I’d tried Starbuck’s Frapuccino, once with my son and sincerely, it didn’t really turn me on. At first that sweet chocolatey moka flavor….. but there was a terrible aftertaste, plus knowing what they are made of, their cost AND the brain and chest freeze I got from it.No thanks.

5 Ways To Get Sabotaged at Starbucks

To sum it up this was my excuse to a sweet tooth that led to the making of my,

“Dulce de Moka”.

Recipe

In a blender crush;

  • 4 cubes ice,

add the following and blend.

  • 1 Moka of caffe’ (da 1 tazza/small size Moka, 1 espresso)
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted, halved and soaked until soft
  • 3/4 c  organic coconut mylk (I use this brand)

Joe, you will love it!! XO

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Cin Cin!