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last week, when my friends were visiting i made this delicious salad. it was so good, i made it again for myself. peaches are everywhere and so incredibly tasty. i am not a huge fan of tart things, but these are perfect. i like to eat them with cottage cheese for breakfast or dessert ! the salad was a hit with my friends and it is more than easy to make after you make that trip to the grocery store!  simply peaches, arugula, prosciutto, and manchego. i bought a case of leinenkugel’s summer shandy the other day too. if you have never had this beer, it is so perfect for a summer afternoon. it is light and refreshing, and i kind of want one right now.

i added some fresh raspberries to the beer just for fun! i made a little picnic outside for myself. taking in all this wonderfulness of my surroundings. i’m not sure how much longer i’ve got left here. i have 5 days to make up my mind whether to stay or go. that is a whole other blog post.

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peaches – peel the skin and dice them up

arugula– rinse and give the leaves a dressing of olive oil, a bit of balsamic, salt + pepper

prosciutto– cut into small pieces

manchego– shave pieces into the salad with a vegetable peeler

combine all ingredients together. done!

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sometimes, i get this itch for asian flavors. for some reason i have to be in the mood for it, and sometimes the mood is just right. putting an asian spin on fish tacos sounded damn good. probably due to the gwenyth paltrow cookbook i bought, it’s all good. it is filled with healthy flavors that are mouth watering. gwen might get a bad rap, but i certainly like her. this cookbook makes me want to eat clean and healthy all the time. needless to say, it is inspiring.  i had already bought some fish at the market… and i always keep lots of asian sauces and what not in the house. my favorite being, fish sauce. i love this stuff…must be the super salty goodness!

i made homemade tortillas and a simple slaw. dolloped with a little yogurt with lime juice and sriracha. pretty sure the white flour tortillas are not part of gwenyth’s diet, nor the yogurt, but hey, you win some you lose some!   one doesn’t have to make their own tortillas, but they are definitley tasty. i didn’t have any in the house, but i do have a tortilla maker… so, my laziness was awoken that evening.

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ingredients

 1 cup cabbage

 1/4 c cilantro (stems too-lots of flavor there!)

1/4 c cucumber

1/4 c of red onion

2 tbsp of green onion

2 tsp of fish sauce

2 tsp of sesame oil or sesame seeds

3 oz cod

tortillas

greek yogurt

lime juice

sriracha

chop it all up! mix all the ingredients in a bowl. let to sit for a while to absorb flavors.

sauté the cod or other fish you like in sesame oil until cooked. heat up or make your tortillas. mix greek yogurt or creme fraiche with the juice of half a lime.

spoon the fish into the tortillas and top with the slaw, yogurt, and sriracha! wall!

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i have been making, therefore eating, a lot of crepes lately. this is just one of two posts to come! one day, i started thinking about these yellow pancakes we were served every morning at our riad in marrakech, morocco. they had all these bubbles on top and though i can not really describe what they tasted like, they were tasty and kind of strange. i would fill mine up with the hard boiled eggs and butter that were also served with it, and maybe something sweet too. We honestly had no idea what to do with them, except eat em. recently, i started wondering if this was some sort of traditional moroccan food, and it turns out, they are!!!! moroccan crepes. why, it took me so long to figure this out, i do not know.

i decided i would give these a try! the base is semolina flour, which sounds like it would be gluten free, but it is actually very high in gluten. it is used in many pasta recipes because of the high content. the bubbles, comes from yeast. traditionally, they are served with honey and butter. i was such a tourist eating them wrong and still am! i decided to put a little spin on these. i added saffron and cinnamon to the crepe batter and made an orange butter with zest! obviously, served with moroccan mint tea!

PicMonkey Collagebihbl1 1/2 cups fine semolina

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water

1 tablespoon yeast

Mix the flour, semolina, salt, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In a blender, measure lukewarm water to just over the 3-cup line.

Add the yeast and process on low speed to blend. Gradually add the dry ingredients.

Increase the processing speed and blend for a full minute, or until very smooth and creamy. The batter should be rather thin, like crepe batter.

Pour the batter into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 30 minutes to one hour, or until the top of the batter is light and a bit foamy.

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir the batter, and use a ladle to pour batter into the hot skillet. Pour carefully and slowly into the center and the batter will spread evenly into a circle. (Do not swirl the pan as you would for a crepe; the batter should spread itself.) Make the beghrir as large as you like.

Bubbles should appear on the surface of the beghrir as it cooks. Don’t flip the beghrir. It only gets cooked on one side.

Cook for about two to three minutes, or until the beghrir doesn’t appear wet anywhere on the surface. It should feel spongy, but not sticky or gummy, when you touch it lightly with your finger.

Transfer the beghrir to cool in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Once they are cool, they can be stacked without sticking.

recipe from about.com

for the butter:

soften a half a stick of butter. add 1 tbsp of orange zest and a bit of juice. mix together and place in a dish.

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things are  mountain high beautiful here in CO. flowers are blooming, my vegetable garden is planted, and there is so much green around me it makes me feel crazy with excitement. the smell of fresh cut grass and summer rain, the brightening of spring, the daylight is hanging around a little bit longer. it has me all so incredibly nostalgic for my days in the midwest and the south, that it feels as though i am living it again. i feel that peace i use to feel growing up of the simplicity of life. the rat race of the last ten years had been hiding all these pleasures. i mean, i went to dairy queen the other night and i thought it was just about the greatest thing. i was envious of all the families enjoying the warm evening with cold ice cream, together.

i  received a text from a dear friend of mine from alabama yesterday, reminding me, we graduated 15 years ago from highschool. 15 years ago, holy shit! my initial thought was “where did the time go?” then, as i started thinking about it and looking at old pictures of old friends, it dawned on me that i have lived such a full life. full of so many friends, love, adventures. years of this. so many phases of my life with trails of friendships all over the country.  i have lived out many of my dreams, falling down on the way many times, but picking myself back up and trying something again. it brings up many questions for me on where to go next on this journey.

which, somehow all this nostalgia brings me to this simple recipe (don’t ask really), one everyone already knows, but i wanted to share with this trip down my memory lane.

there were only handful of things i could make in college. one being bruschetta. which i brought to every single party, either that or strawberry shortcake. i could also make quesadilla’s and tofu smoothies. i tried lasagna once trying to impress a dude, but i forgot to boil the noodles. my poor dinner guests. i was more of a creature of habit back then. i’m not sure i fully thought out everything before i did something, and that seems to have brought me more success in my life. not thinking, just doing. i also smoked a lot of pot. i also listened to sarah mclachlan on repeat, and i am currently doing so while i type this post….just for good time’s sake.

i laugh when i think how brave and silly i was back then. how i could give a damn what anyone thought of me.

how things have changed, how some haven’t.

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bruschetta

a loaf of bread cut into pieces. brush with olive oil and grill.

tomatos

basil

olive oil

salt/pepper

i don’t measure these goodies. i just throw it all together in a bowl and eyeball how much i need according to how many people will be eating.

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pickled eggs. it sounds weird, but damn are they good. i have wanted to make these since i saw their beautiful color online somewhere. the first time i actually had one was at one of the famous french dip places in LA, Phillipe. i wasn’t disappointed. so, one snowy afternoon here on the Colorado homestead, i made some pickled eggs.

i love eggs. i love them in every way possible, except raw…i have never actually tried that, but for some reason the thought of drinking raw eggs reminds me of that rocky scene, where he does so.

i actually had some pickled beets in the fridge from a little mom and pop place down the street from my house, colorado cherry company. this place, nestled into the base of the big rocky mountains, sells anything pickled you could ever want. they also make a raspberry juice that is to die for, and pies. they make pies too! it is just one of the many little gems in my country neighborhood.

i used some bay leaves from the tree in my old backyard in LA. i meant to harvest more before i left…it just seems so silly to buy them now, but i suppose one day i will have to again. i might still be in denial i don’t live in that house anymore, that i don’t have that california backyard anymore. sigh.

i also used different herbs from my inside mini herb garden. these would have been even more perfect if i would have gotten eggs from my dog walker and her chickens.

the color of mine did not turn out as purple as i would have liked. let’s not call it a disappointment, let’s call it trial and error.

spring is upon us, even if we still get snow here. one day you wake up to 2 inches on the ground, and the next it is 60 degrees. i can see green grass starting to pop up across the lawn. it has been so long since i have witnessed a spring other than southern california’s…which i don’t think really counts much to the rest of the country.

these pickled eggs just might be the perfect treat for easter!

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recipe

6-7 eggs boiled and peeled

6-10 beets, depending on the size

1 cup of beet juice (pickled)

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 red onion

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

a few springs of dill and thyme

1/2 tsp of salt

boil your eggs and peel them. cut your onions.

combine all ingredients together, except onions and eggs and beets, into a saucepan and bring to a boil. simmer for ten minutes. place the eggs, onions, and beets together in a jar and pour the mixture over the eggs. place in the fridge for 48 hours. serve!

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i have a lot of food posts pending right now. sometimes, i get a bug up my butt and make a bunch of stuff all at once. this past weekend was no exception. i finally got out of the house on friday night, and i realize how much i miss having a social life. saturday, i was suppose to have another outing, but had to turn around because my dog ate a bunch of plastic from the trash and i was worried about him. it was either my frustration at home or my anxiety away. i choose my frustration. i was so disappointed to have to spend another day at the house, since that is pretty much what i do all the time. it was a beautiful weekend. while LA was having 80 degrees, we here in colorado were happy with our 60 degrees!  i was almost half way (which is an hour) to my friends house, when i got off the phone with the vet and decided to go home. on the way back, i decided to stop at this cheese store in longmont (where my bro use to live). i pass right by on 287 and i have been in such desire for good food. and boy did, i treat myself. pastries, cheese, bread, meats. i went nuts. i decided, since i rarely go out to eat anymore, i was going to give myself the excuse to totally spoil myself! or as a psychologist might call it, emotional eating. ha! i was totally okay with it too.

of course, wylie got into the trash again. i am still watching him.

 sunday morning, i woke up and was craving a brunch out with friends so bad. i decided i would bring restaurant brunch here. i was inspired by rachel khoo’s eggs in pots. i used a triple cream brie i had bought instead of creme fraiche. you could use any of these or cream cheese or another kind of melting cheese. i put the cheese into a ramekin and layered it with two eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and dill. i served it with the crusty baguette from the day before. this was simply divine!!!! i kind of want it right now!

i also wanted something sweet. i thought about pancakes, but i had no syrup. so, i opted for a dutch pancake, which might just be better anyway! i am perfectly happy eating this with a little powdered sugar and jam and as my friend donna suggested and the tradition, lemon juice. you can find any old dutch pancake recipe online. i didn’t make this up, so i will just give you a link here!

i hope you had a good weekend! next weekend, be sure to treat yourself to something divine!

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with all that snow last week, i have been craving hearty and hot food. i have also been eating ice cream every night….sooooo, i am not sure what that is about. i had some ground pork in the freezer and was trying to figure out what i could do with it. green chile stew was an easy pick since i had a jar in the cupboard and a can of pinto beans too! i try to keep things on hand like canned goods and chicken stock so when i have  few leftover ingredients in the fridge i can make something up!  i also generally always have carrots and celery…definitely onions!the green chile was something i bought back on that new mexico trip. i bought the hot kind, and it sure was hot. i didn’t realize this until after i took my first bite. guess i should have left out the red pepper flakes! i am kind of a pansy when it comes to spicy!

i made a small batch because it’s just little old me. you could double the recipe if you like.

1/2 lb of ground pork

2 carrots

2 stalks of celery

1/2 white onion

1 garlic clove

1 tomato chopped

2 cups of chicken broth

1 jar of green chile

1 can of pinto beans

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp of cumin

1 tsp of mexican oregano

red pepper flakes if you like spicy

salt and pepper to taste

saute your pork in a pot with olive oil. once cooked remove from the pan. add in your onions and let cook for a minute. add in your carrots and celery. once they have cooked down a bit, add your garlic. you don’t want the garlic to burn, so only cook for a few minutes. add the chicken stock and scrap up all those juicy bits. next add the beans and spices. cook for a few minutes. add the green chile, pork,and tomatoes. let everything simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

serve it up with some feta, sour cream or greek yogurt, and scallions! yum!

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first off, i have to admit that i am listening to Beyonce while typing this, which is pretty much out of character for me. did anybody else watch her documentary on HBO this past weekend? i had to try out one of her albums, which is a first for me, besides her radio hits. i am quite enjoying the change of pace- the girl has got some spunk! and run the world might just be one of the all time best music videos! i kind of think she is whitney houston/madonna/ and hilary clinton in one. i would probably vote for her. i am also obsessed with her choreography, not to mention her costumes. it’s just so good. ok, i am done talking about my girl crush.

moving on to this grapefruit and rosemary almond cake. which, i might say could possibly be one of my favorite things i have ever made. it is moist and light and yummy!!!! i could probably eat a piece every day. since, i can never NOT over do it when it comes to food and entertaining, i decided to make this cake a few weeks ago for my visiting friends just to have around. i told you we would be talking about that weekend for a while. i still have like 3 posts pending on it.

i found a recipe for a lemon/rosemary/creme fraiche cake and it was so pretty i wanted to try and recreate it. i did a spin on it though and changed a few things around with ingredients and flavors. the original recipe called for instant polenta, but i am not always the biggest fan of corn products, so i substituted this for more almond flour, which i am a big fan of. i also forgot to get creme fraiche at the store, kind of a main ingredient…but i had some honey greek gods yogurt and substituted this in the cake and the icing! instead of lemon, i obviously did grapefruit and kept the rosemary in there, which was my favorite part of the flavor. i added in some blood orange for color and just because i had one around. obviously, i took inspiration from the cake i did for the marie antoinette party. i have been wanting to do more fun decorated cakes like this…just another excuse to eat something. i loved this combo so much that i  did a twist on my baked donuts with a grapefruit/rosemary  for the job i did last week and they were a big hit! i will probably put herbs in all my desserts now.

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ingredients

cake

1 stick of melted butter/cooled

1 1/2 c of almond flour

1 1/3 c of flour

1 tbsp of baking powder

1 tbsp of grated grapefruit

1/2 tsp of salt

4 eggs at room temp

1/2 c of sugar

3/4 cup of creme fraiche or yogurt

1-2 tbsp of chopped rosemary

syrup

1/2 c of water

1/2 c sugar

1 tbsp grapefruit juice

glaze

1/2 c of powdered sugar

3 tbsp of creme fraiche or yogurt

1 tbsp of grapefruit juice

combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. beat the room temp and eggs for 10 minutes. add the creme fraiche or yogurt after the ten minutes and then the melted butter, which should be cool. fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in 3 batches. bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

while the cake bakes, make the syrup. combine the water and sugar and simmer until the sugar dissolves. add the grapefruit juice and pour over the cake while the cake is still hot. yum!

combine the ingredients for the glaze. you can add more powdered sugar or juice for required consistency. you can also add a little vanilla for flavor if you like. add the glaze to the cake when it has cooled.

i used a mandolin to slice my grapefruit and blood orange. i then sliced them in half and decorated around the cake. a few springs of rosemary garnish the middle.

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IMG_3792 even though i just did a food post ( i try to space them out for variety) i am surrendering to doing another…BECAUSE, i am so excited about my new Canon eF 50mm f/1.8 II camera lens . i used one of those nifty gift cards from christmas over at amazon to buy this little gem. i have been wanting to expand my horizons on a new lens, and since i am currently poor…this price was just right. now…i am still learning, so you must bear with me, as i figure out how to get it to focus!  it has been fun to do food posts in this new house because i get way more natural light in the kitchen then i did at my place in LA.

things are starting to look up compared to my previous post. i am going to fully blame that on hormones. sorry, dudes, those of you may read my blog…but it is part of life. i actually got this new iphone app that gives you a daily reading of those little friends whom seem to rule our female lives. so, far it has been spot on. currently, it explains i am ready to take on the world… and i feel just that. it also helps to me to justify that my body is changing on a daily basis and i am not completely insane. phew!

i am definitely a far cry from what i was bitching about in my last post. i took a few little adventures this week and started to embrace this experience again. you know, the one i totally thought was the answer to all my problems. well, it may not be that, but it is an experience like none other. i have rid myself of that deep sorrow for LA and am embracing the beauty that surrounds me.  i can always go back to LA, i can always go somewhere else. for now, i am here and i need to be in the moment. that was the whole point. if i don’t do it now, when will i?

besides making pavlova’s, i have some new creative projects on the horizon, i got a one day wardrobe gig next week in denver, and some of my dearest dearest friends are coming for a visit next weekend. i have some plans for some new hopeful business adventures. one of which, is a new blog. i contemplated switching over this blog so that i could start to collect small advertisers, and a more in depth template, but it just seems too complicated. this blog has become a personal journey, but had kind of always hoped for a more magazine approach, that just never happened. i decided to try and start a whole new space for thirty-something ladies with a simplistic and natural approach to life. i want to include other bloggers contributing to a variety of topics like food,fashion, beauty, interiors, lifestyle, helpful tips, political and social info, music, DIY’s,kinship, etc. i would love to help my network of online friends by asking others to contribute! i will still post on here and also link over to the new site when applicable. of course, i may be jumping the gun on letting the cat out of the bag…as this will take some time to get set up!!!! i hope i haven’t jinxed it. i would love to hear your thoughts on this new idea, if you think you would be a reader, or if you would like to contribute. if so, you can email me at roc.anne@gmail.com. i will post updates as well.

IMG_3779  now, on to pavlovas. i have a weird obsession with whipping egg whites. their thick, glossy, and creamy texture makes me want to dance around in circles. i just find it so beautiful. i often find myself thinking about the magic of eggs. were chicken eggs intended for such greatness? because, i love them. basically, i wanted to just make something and i had the ingredients to make this dish…plus, it is fairly easy. i made a low fat pastry cream to go on top as well as a blueberry and lavender sauce.

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IMG_3701IMG_3798Pavlovas

6 egg whites- room temp

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch

1/2 tsp cream of tartar or white vinegar

 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

preheat your oven to 275 degrees, you will drop the temperature to 250 degrees when the pavlovas go in the oven. in a mixer, or by hand, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt. slowly, add in the sugar and then the vanilla. whip until stiff, lovely, glossy peaks form. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. you can draw out one big circle or small ones for individual servings. i just plopped em on or you can spread the mixture using the circles as a guideline (be sure to turn your paper over after drawing on it!) bake for 50 minutes!

low fat pastry cream

2 1/2 cups of low fat milk

1/2 vanilla bean

2 eggs at room temp

2 egg yolks room temp (use from leftovers of pavlovas)

2/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of corn starch

in a saucepan mix the milk and vanilla bean until it simmers. scrape the the vanilla bean into the milk. in a mixer combine eggs, yolks, and sugar until smooth and then add the corn starch until smooth again. when the milk is done add a bit to the egg mixture to temper it to avoid scrambled eggs, whisking constantly. once tempered combine all together in sauce pan and cook over medium heat until thick…about 5 minutes. strain through a sieve and cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

blueberry/lavender sauce

1 cup of bluberries

1 tbsp lavender

1 cup of sugar

3 tbsps of water

bring all ingredients together in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar melts. lower the heat and simmer until the mixture becomes a sauce.

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it is christmas day. perhaps it is a little late to blog about a holiday dessert, but what is one to do with all those leftover candy canes? face it, you rarely eat them.

i am contributing dessert to the family feast today. i decided  a few weeks ago to try a twist on the pumpkin shortcake i made for the hunt + gather dinner i did before i left LA. obviously, replacing the pumpkin with peppermint. the great thing about this dessert is you can prep it all ahead of time… which is what i have been working on all morning… which also means i had to taste test the dessert… which  means i have already had dessert because i clearly didn’t limit myself to just one bite. it is only 12:17pm.

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what you need

1/2 cup of crushed candy canes

2 cups of heavy whipping cream plus 3 tbsps

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 package of mascarpone cheese

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

2 sheets of puff pastry

semi sweet chocolate chips

de-thaw your pastry. roll it out and cut into circle shapes. i just used a glass, you can use a cookie cutter or whatever shape you like. bake at the temperature suggested on packaging. you can make your own puff pastry, good luck with that! set aside the cooked pastry covered until you want to use it. ( you can make it ahead, but only about 8-10 hours ahead of time or it will go stale and harden)

to make the cream. combine the crushed candy cane and 1/2 cup of whipping cream in a sauce pan. at a very low temperature, melt the candy cane in the cream. be careful not to overheat or cook the cream.  whip 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream in a mixer. add the powdered sugar and the peppermint extract as well. i added half of the tub of mascarpone next.  slowly, spoon in the melted candy cane mixture.  once it is all incorporated, add the remainder of the mascarpone.  this can sit in the fridge for a few days.

melt the chocolate in a double broiler withe the 3 tbsps of heavy cream to make a ganache. this can be made the earlier the same day of serving!

pastry

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assemble your shortcake. i actually made regular puff pastry and chocolate puff pastry. there was only one package left of the regular at whole foods, but i admit i am excited about the chocolate ones! spoon the cream on and next the chocolate. top with another puff pastry round. garnish with powdered sugar and a candy cane if you like!

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a little peak into my family christmas.

1. my sisters always make a table setting completed with crowns, poppers, and goodies.

2. wylie boy has been such a good boy. wearing his outfits and playing with the kiddos.

3. all the grandkids and wylie. my family is kind enough to include wylie as if he was my child. it is true, i might treat him like one.

4. giving wylie kisses

5. my mom’s christmas tree. well, my dad does the work while my mom tells him what to do.

6. Elleanor wearing a mustache from a kit i bought my nephew jake.

7.wylie sniffing out his gifts. he got lots of them!

8. ice cream my sisters made for the kids. they are super crafty.

9. uncle dave dressed up in a christmas story costume my dad got him. we do a lot of movie quoting in this house!

hope your christmas is bright!