Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day

What Earth Day really means to me.....

I will admit until about 5 years ago I did things here and there but wasn't as "Earth Conscious" as I could be. So I made some changes.

  • Composting- this is one of the biggest changes and I will admit one of the hardest. Since I usually cook almost every meal for my family of 4 composting was going to be important to reducing our trash. I have been composting consistently for almost 3 years now and it has been very fulfilling. I won't lie it isn't the most glamorous thing to do but is great for our environment. One thing about composting is you will have to find what works for you and your family. I went through 3 composting pails and buckets before settling on my current form. I didn't like having to wash the buckets, I'll just say it wasn't pretty. What I use now is the bags the loaf of bread comes in and produce bags that I had to put my produce in. This way I am reusing things that would generally just get thrown out. The only downfall is those can't go into the compost bin so we just empty it into the compost bin and throw the bag out. This works for me and my family but, they do make compostable bags so if you are willing or wanting to get those it would make it a little easier. All in all I have to say I love composting!

  • Reusing-  So I must say I have about one hundred reusable bags, ok not really but I'm sure it's closer to 40. Anyways I have a lot! I try really I do to always remember to bring my bags with me when shopping I hate when I forget them. Right now I have tons of plastic bags but I also reuse those I use them for my trash and the paper for my recycling. I don't buy plastic garbage bags. But all that aside I think the biggest thing I have done is purchase the reusable water bottles. I found some really cute ones and we take them everywhere. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a bottled water. Not only am I doing something for the Earth but also saving my family money at the same time! Now it is second nature for us to grab our water before leaving the house.

  • Reducing- One of the biggest way we have reduced is by buying less packaged foods and junk ( I know the good stuff). Also we only have one car, of course one car will not work for everyone. Since we live in the City and I stay at home we don't need two cars. I love to walk so I tend to walk to the store but, my biggest downfall is I get way more than I need. So I have been slowly cutting down and trying to use everything I buy. Sometimes I fail but I am determined to not waste food which in turn equals money.
I know there are many other things you can do celebrate Earth Day everyday! These are just a few of the things me and my family do, I would love to hear feedback about what you do to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

For more information on Earth Day and things you can do go to

Happy Earth Day,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lemon Bars

What can I say about these delicious lemon bars but woweee! I love lemon bars but for some reason I have never made them before. I am thinking these would be great for the bake sale too!

I have realized lately that I have many foods that I love but have never made them. I seem to keep the same rotation of foods going not daring to make something new. So for now on I am not going to be afraid to make something new even if I fail! So here I go.....

So about these lemon bars. I halved the recipe because I wasn't sure how well they would be (well also so I don't eat an entire 9x11 pan full of them, which by the way I almost did!). The one thing I would change is to make more filling not quite double but maybe one and a half times the original recipe. I like more filling. I also changed the crust of the original recipe by adding almond flavoring. This is an excellent recipe I really recommend you try it

Here's the recipe.......

Lemon Bars

Makes 24 bars



• 1 ¾ cups unbleached flour

• 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar plus extra for dusting

• ¼ cup cornstarch

• ¾ teaspoon salt

• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

• 2 teaspoons almond extract

Lemon filling

• 4 large eggs, beaten lightly

• 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

• 3 tablespoons unbleached flour

• 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

• 2/3 cup lemon juice

• 1/3 cup whole milk

• Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and line with one sheet parchment paper.

2. Put flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and mix until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal. Place the mixture into the lined pan and press firmly with fingers into an even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

3. While the crust is baking; whisk the eggs, sugar and flour in a medium bowl, then stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, milk and salt to blend well.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir the filling mixture just before pouring into warm crust. Bake until the filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Let cool for about 30 mins, dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and cut into bars.

(Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated and Brown Eyed Baker )


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baked Kale Chips

I have been hearing about Kale chips for awhile now and wanted to try them. I was a little skeptical about making them because well I mean it's kale how good could it possibly be.......Well boy was I wrong they are so good! This is definitely one thing I would say don't knock it until you try it you will be pleasantly surprised. Besides the yummy flavor they are much better for you than regular potato chips, and it really satisfied our craving for something crunchy and salty. 

I used 2 bunches of Organic Kale (the curly one). I would recommend starting off with one bunch first to make sure you like it. I actually had to go to 3 different stores to find Kale which I was surprised, I assumed you would be able to find it at most stores. I also found it at the farmer's market.

Here's the recipe:

Baked Kale Chips


• 1 bunch of Kale

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 teaspoon sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2. Wash and dry Kale, remove stems and middle rib. Place dry kale, olive oil, and salt in a bowl. Mix well.

3. Line a jelly roll pan/cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay out kale so that it is a single layer over the parchment.

4. Place in oven bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

San Francisco's food blogger bake sale

Come join us and support a great cause Saturday May 14, 2011 @ 18 Reasons 3674 18th Street San Francisco.

I am really excited to be participating in this event! This will actually be my first bake sale and I can't wait to see what it's like and meet all the other great people involved and all the awesome supporters that will come out.

Hope to see you there!



For our wedding we registered for a waffle maker and now that I have one I don't know what took so long to get one. Waffles are one of my favorite things for breakfast and very easy to make just as easy if not easier than pancakes. I love when waffles have a little crunch to them. The great thing about waffles is you can make them with a little crunch or just soft.

My kids both love waffles so I try to make them often. I think the biggest challenge at first is to not put too much or too little batter in the waffle maker. I usually use 1/3 cup to measure it. You can also change it up a little add some chocolate chips or blueberries. Or top with whipped cream and strawberries.

Here's the recipe:


Serves 6


• 2 eggs

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 3/4 cups milk

• 1/2 cup applesauce or canola oil

• 1 tablespoon white sugar

• 4 teaspoons baking powder

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, oil or applesauce, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.