Mini Cherry Clafoutis

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cherry clafoutis, cherry clafoutis, cherry clafoutis, I just love saying the name! Anyways, it's also delicious and very yummy. The batter itself is very smooth, silky and shiny but once baked it becomes a nice custard with the fruits. Take a look:

Recipe from right here

Ingredients (makes 6):
1 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, beat sugar and eggs until lighter in color. While beating, slowly pour in the butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly pour in milk and vanilla extract, beating until well combined and batter is very smooth and silky. Divide cherries into 6 buttered ramekins and pour the batter over it. Bake for 20-30 minutes, it should be slightly browned and almost set in the middle. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold, either way it's delicious! 

Spicy Zucchini Cakes

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

These zucchini cakes are tasty, delicious and spicy!

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (makes 12):
2 medium/large zucchini
1/2 cup seasoned italian breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

Using a grater, shred the zucchinis. Squeeze the shredded zucchini (just use a clean kitchen towel) to remove the water. Place the shredded zucchini in a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Once the oil is hot, drop by the tablespoons the mixture into the skillet and using the back of the spoon just flatten a bit. Let it cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden in color. Transfer the hot cakes to a plate with paper towels. Serve warm.

Sophia's 3rd Birthday Party: A Cupcake Themed Party

Monday, August 26, 2013

We celebrated Sophia's 3rd birthday this past Saturday
with a little cupcake themed party in our backyard. It wasn't hard
choosing the theme since Sophia is a cupcake lover!

We had a simple BBQ for friends and family,
I made a few sweet treats, such as: strawberry cupcakes, brigadeiros,
peanut sweets and marshmallow pops. A friend of mine did a beautiful
and delicious cake shaped like a cupcake!
Take a look:

It was a warm and sunny afternoon filled with lots of laughter and fun!

Sophia loved her cupcake shaped cake. Isn't cute?

There were plenty of sweets like I said it before.

 My husband got a piñata for the kids and played a few tricks on them too.

Sophia with her grandparents and her auntie.

The only person missing from the pictures is Ian. He decided to take a nap during the party and only woke up after the party was over. That was bummer.

After all, it was a great party with family and friends
and Sophia was pretty happy too.

♥ ♥ 

Roasted Lemon Potatoes

Thursday, August 22, 2013

These delicious and easy potatoes are perfect to serve with this dish.

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 pound red potatoes (about 5 potatoes), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
Juice and zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper

Put the potatoes in a medium pot with cold water and a dash of salt, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and drain really well. Put the potatoes in a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, add the lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes really well. Bake at 450 degrees pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and tender. Sprinkle with green onions just before serving. Enjoy!

A Cozy Dinner at Home...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I like to surprise my husband with a special dinner every so often and I'll pull all the stops too. I love creating and setting a beautiful table, getting the ingredients for a delicious dinner and finally being able to enjoy a nice and quite dinner with the hubby, of course! I love the whole process of thinking about it and making it happen, it's so much fun! That's exactly what I did this Monday, take a look:

For the table, I chose a colorful tablecloth and napkins, simple white plates with yellow glasses, and arranged some pretty hydrangeas from the garden into mason jars along with some candles. For the menu I choose easy but delicious dishes; I made bruschetta, linguine with clam sauce (I forgot to take a photo, sorry!) and fruits and cream. It was a simple and cozy dinner at home.

Do you like cozy dinners at home too?

Herb-Breaded Pork Cutlets

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My husband is my official recipe tester, if a recipe works he tells right away and if he doesn't like it then he tells what I need to improve. As soon as he tested the herb-breaded pork cutlets, he said it was a hit and delicious. So, take his words and go for it! Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

5-6 pork cutlets
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg
Juice of a lemon
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and parsley)
Salt and pepper

In a bowl, add the pork cutlets, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss well. Let the meat marinate for at least 10 minutes. Arrange three bowls; first bowl with flour, second bowl with a beaten egg and a tablespoon of water, third bowl with breadcrumbs and fresh chopped herbs mixed together. Dredge cutlets in the flour, then the egg, and finish with the breadcrumbs. In a nonstick skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of oil over medium/high heat, cook the cutlets on each side until golden in color. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle some parsley on top. Enjoy!

Day Trip: Fun Family Day at Knoebels

Monday, August 19, 2013

We had a fun family day at Knoebels,
it was the kids first time at an amusement park
and they had plenty of fun.
There were plenty of rides, food and games!
We even won a few plush toys too.
Take a look:

This was Ian's first ride at an amusement park and he kept looking everywhere. I love his face expressions, they're priceless!

Sophia was a little afraid at first and didn't want to ride anything but after a little while
 she wanted to try the hand wheel car and loved it! 

And she even made daddy go with her on the big sky slide. 

Ian loved the rides, he was happy with anything that had cars.

His little monkey kept him company when he was too tired.

See how cute and adorable! 
Minutes later he had a fit and threw his pacifier in the little stream 
and almost his little monkey too.

Enjoying her lime snow cone.

By the time we got home, the kids were sleeping
and we were super tired but happy too.

♥ ♥ 

Avocado Popsicles

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Here's a refreshing popsicle recipe to enjoy, avocado popsicles are delish!

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (makes 8 small popsicles):
1 large or 2 small avocados
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar or honey

Put everything into the blender, blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until firm. Enjoy!

Breakfast Series: Eggs in Clouds

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eggs in clouds, people! Eggs in clouds, have you ever had one? If not, you're in for a treat. It's delicious, fluffy, light, delicate and this one is cheesy, too! What more can you ask for? The perfect combination all in one, it's pretty-darn-perfect, I say. Also, the thyme gives such a nice flavor too. Take a look:

Recipe adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray
Ingredients (serves 2):
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Black pepper

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Separate eggs, put whites into a large bowl and yolks into two separate small bowls. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently the cheese, thyme and black pepper. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place two huge spoonfuls of the egg white mixture and create a well in the center of each. Bake for 3-4 minutes, then and a yolk to each well and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes or just until the yolks are set. Serve and enjoy!

Blackberry Crumble

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My backyard is in full bloom and so it's my blackberry bush, now I've to come with some recipes to take full advantage of this great and juicy little fruit. This week, I made a simple and quick crumble which it's perfect to eat with some ice cream. Can you say: yummy? Take a look:

Recipe adapted from the FoodNetwork

Ingredients (makes 5):
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1/3 cup oats
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt and oats. Add butter and cut it into the mixture using your hands, a fork or a pastry blender until the butter are the size of peas. In another bowl, combine the blackberries, 1/3 sugar and cornstarch. Divide evenly the fruit between the ramekins and top with the crumble mixture. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve warm with or without ice cream. Enjoy!

Awesome News...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I was recently interviewed by Gourmandize and today I'm featured as Blogger of the Day at their site. Gourmandize is a free cooking website where you can discover thousands of recipes, share your own recipes and rate recipes by others. Also, you can save your recipes online, create and print a cookbook with your recipes!

Here's a little preview of the interview, take a look:

Hello Caroline, so tell us...

When did you begin your blog, and what inspired you to start it?

I started blogging around November 2010 as a way to have a creative outlet, I used to work full time and suddenly, I was a stay at home mom. My blog didn't have shape and sense of direction when I first started, it took a while for me to find a flow that I liked. Once, I started sharing food, it started going in another and better direction because suddenly I was sharing something that I love to do, I love cooking!

What is your earliest food memory?

I can't remember how young I was but I would love when my mom would chop tomatoes, add salt and a touch of vinegar and I always eat it up with such joy, something so simple yet so delicious!

Are you involved in the blogging community - how do you attract new readers?

I wish I was more involved in the blogging community but I do try to visit other blogs as often as I can, join and share recipes in link parties and also by posting in my Facebook page. I found that my blog attracts more and new readers by link parties and also by Pinterest.

Do you have a secret weapon in the kitchen?

I think the secret weapon in any kitchen is to simply enjoy cooking. Cooking with pleasure and ease can transform any dish. It's funny but my husband can always tell when I make a dish in a stressful day, he says that I put too much salt on everything when I'm stressed and it's true! So, just relax and enjoy the process. 

Click HERE to read the rest of the interview.

Mango & Rosemary Smoothie

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This smoothie is so refreshing and delicious, the combination between the mango and rosemary is perfect. Definitely give this one a try, you won't regret it, I promise! Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup cold milk
1 medium sprig rosemary
3-4 ice cubes

Put everything into a blender, blend until completely smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Breakfast Series: Soft Boiled Eggs

Monday, August 5, 2013

Today's Breakfast Serie is more of a method than a recipe of how to make soft-boiled eggs. It's very easy but you've to follow the method and time precisely to achieve it. Take a look:

2 large eggs
Salt and pepper

In a sauce pan, fill the pan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Gently place eggs in the boiling water using a spoon, reduce heat and cover. Cook eggs for 4-5 minutes. Remove from stove, drain and run cold water over eggs for about 30 seconds. Remove shells, place in the plate cut into the middle for yolks to run and season with salt and pepper. Serve with some bread, bacon or sausage. Enjoy!

Peach & Strawberry Cobbler

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I'm very grateful to be married to a man that knows what I love, he knows I love to cook and bake. This past Christmas, he gave me my beautiful kitchen aid mixer and about two weeks ago he came home with a cast iron pan which I've been wanting for a while now.

There are plenty of recipes that I want to try now, I've been dreaming about making a cobbler in a cast iron like forever, so I knew that would be the very first recipe to try with my new pan. The recipe is very easy and delicious. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
3-4 peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced)
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the milk and almond extract, whisking until well combined. Melt the butter in the cast iron pan over medium/high heat, remove from heat. Pour the batter into the hot pan, add the peaches and strawberries slices evenly over the top. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 1 hour, serve warm. Enjoy!

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