Linguine with Shrimp & Leeks

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I love cooking with leeks, it adds such a delicious flavor to a dish. I've also added a few red pepper flakes to this dish to enhance more the flavor and to give a little kick, if you like it more spicier just add more red pepper flakes to your likeness and taste. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 leek (cut lengthwise, thinly sliced, washed and drained)
12 oz. medium shrimp (peeled, deveined, tail-on)
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 lb. linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper

In a large pot, add enough water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and add linguine, cook past until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat the two tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat. Add the pepper flakes and garlic, sauté for about a minute. Add leeks and sweat until soft, adding a little water to encourage softening if necessary. Once the leeks are soft, add the wine and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until lightly thickened, season with salt and black pepper. Add the shrimp, cook completely. Add cooked pasta, toss really well. Serve hot and enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup with Tiny Pasta and Quick Croutons

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

There's nothing better than a bowl of hearty and hot soup during the cold weather, we're always trying different soup recipes at our household. This week I made a delicious and comforting butternut squash soup and everyone loved it. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (4 servings):
1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tiny pasta (I used a star shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper

In a medium pot, combine the butternut squash and chicken bouillon with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender. Remove from heat. Transfer the butternut squash and liquid to a blender to puree (do it by batches at a time). In another medium pot, heat the olive oil and add the diced onions, sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Pour the pureed butternut squash, add the chili powder, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tiny pasta. Once the pasta is completely cooked, serve with croutons and a little cilantro. Enjoy!

Quick Croutons
4 slices whole wheat bread (crusts cut off and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, add the olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Set it aside for a few minutes to infuse the oil. After a few minutes, add the bread pieces to the bowl and toss really well. Heat a non stick skillet over high/medium heat, add the bread pieces. Keep tossing the bread pieces in the skillet until toasty. Serve with soup.

Free Download for My Memories Suite Version 4 Software

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Memories is an award winning digital scrapbook software
that is extremely easy and fun to use. My Memories Suite is rated #1
by Amazon and TopTen Reviews. Anyone can
create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts
without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs.

It's time for a little treat for software!
My Memories is been so kind and it will be allowing 
a free download of My Memories Suite Version 4 ($40 value)
for one week to my wonderful readers.

Just use the promo code (FreeTreatAL123),
copy and paste the code, enter that code in the 
promo code field before checking out. That's it!

It will be available from October 28th - November 3rd.
The code is for the download option only, if you choose
the physical discs, you'll need to pay for shipping.

Day Trip: Roba Family Farms

Friday, October 25, 2013

It has become a family tradition every year to visit Roba Family Farms, you can check our visit from last year. We visited Roba this past Monday while the weather was nice, not too cold and the sunshine was very warm, days like this one are rare during October, so we took plenty advantage of it. Take a look:
The kids loved the animals. Ian kept laughing every time the sheep licked his hands.

They also had fun picking pumpkins, playing in the playground and
watching the pig races. 

The pumpkins were big and beautiful, the kids enjoyed climbing on them too.

I love Fall, how about you?
Did you visit a pumpkin patch with the kiddos yet?

Peach & Kiwi Parfait

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Here's the other recipe from the cozy dinner, a peach and kiwi parfait to end a very nice dinner and night. It's an easy and simple dessert, take a look: 

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

3 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
3-4 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the peaches, kiwis and lemon juice, set aside. In another bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla, beat it together using hand electric mixer until a cream forms. Arrange the fruits in the bottom of a glass, then add the cream and keep alternating the the fruit and cream until it reaches the top of the glass. Serve and enjoy!

Apple Galette

Monday, October 21, 2013

I love the Fall season and everything that comes with it; the beautiful colorful leaves, pumpkins, everything flavored with cinnamon, apples and lots of apples! I've been baking quite a bit with apples
and improving my baking skills as well. This year I made my very first apple pie from scratch and I couldn't be more proud of myself! I'm becoming more adventurous with my baking.

I've found many different recipes of how to make a galette and eventually chose two recipes to try. My first attempt, the dough didn't work properly and it became a mess, I had to throw it away.  I just hate when a recipe goes simply wrong. My second attempt was a success, thank goodness! The galette came out beautiful and delicious. I used this recipe for the dough and I used 5-6 small apples (you can use 4 large ones) with 1/4 cup of brown sugar for the filling.

Do you love apples as much as I do?
What have you been baking this season?

Happy Baking!

It's Not Picture Perfect...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Some people often think that my life is picture perfect,
based by the fact of what they see or read at the blog
and they couldn't be more wrong.
At this little space which I call my own, 
I always choose to share the good part instead of the bad.

I don't think you need to see how many of my recipes
don't work properly or how a craft project turned 
into a hot mess or how I feel like a terrible mom at times. 
I just don't want to bring negativity into this space or the world.


For the past month, I'm going through a really rough patch
but instead of complaining at what's going on around me
and everyone else, I choose to rely on my faith and have
peace within me. Is it easy? No, it's not easy. 
I'm learning my lesson and growing as a person
when a rough patch comes along. I'm just learning
to overcome and pass it through. 

I don't live a picture perfect life and it doesn't 
need to perfect to be beautiful and wonderful. 
That's why I don't share the bad or hurtful things, 
want this space to a happy and inviting place,
where you can just pull out a chair and enjoy
my yummy recipes and my everyday pictures.

I hope you still like me!


Classic Bruschetta

Thursday, October 17, 2013

While back I made a cozy dinner for my husband and I even showed some pictures here at the blog, but  somehow I've never shared the recipes. This appetizer recipe is pretty simple yet delicious and it can be prepared quickly, take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

6-7 roma tomatoes, diced
1 baguette, cut into slices
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil leaves (washed, dried and cut into thin ribbons)
Salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, add the olive oil and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Let it stand for about 10 minutes to infuse the olive oil. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the tomatoes and basil ribbons, toss together and refrigerate into the bread is ready. Arrange the bread slices in a baking sheet. Using a brush, dip the brush into the infused olive oil and brush each slice liberally. Toast slices for about 3-4 minutes or until light golden brown. Top each slice with the tomato and basil mixture. Arrange in a nice platter, serve and enjoy!

Papaya, Strawberry & Sunflower Seed Smoothie

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I love sunflower seeds in salads, granola and now in smoothies too! It always adds a special crunch and flavor too. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 cup papaya, chopped
4 strawberries
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sunflower seed
Honey or sugar for sweetness
3-4 ice cubes

Put everything into a blender, blend until completely smooth. Serve, garnish with some sunflower seeds and enjoy!

Apple & Cinnamon Cake

Monday, October 14, 2013

I love to eat apple cake around the Fall season, I always use this recipe and it's always a hit. The batter is thick because it doesn't use any milk, but what keeps the cake a little moist is the apple and the cinnamon gives great flavor. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

2 gala apples, peeled and diced
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the apples with the sugar and cinnamon, set aside. In another large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together. Add melted butter, flour and baking powder and beat everything really well together again. Pour batter into a buttered bundt pan, scatter the apple mixture on top and bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden. Let cake cool before removing from the pan. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe and A Movie: Apple Pie + Mirror, Mirror

Monday, October 7, 2013

I know I had promised to make pretzel bites for the film Field of Dreams but since I'm still trying to figure out a great recipe I thought I would share a very nice and easy apple pie to go along with the film Mirror, Mirror.
Mirror, Mirror is based on the classic fairy tale "Snow White" but with a few comedic turns which I totally love. I was surprised of how I really liked this version, plus Armie Hammer's voice is just perfect and priceless.

The first thing that pops into my mind when I think about Snow White is that juicy red apple and since apple season it's upon us, I thought it would be perfect to make a classic apple pie to go along such a classic fairy tale.

Pie Crust Recipe by Martha Stewart
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into little cubes
1/4 cup ice water

(I didn't use a food processor to make the dough, I did everything by hand and worked perfectly!)
In a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers. Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour). Repeat with remaining dough.

Apple Pie Filling
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, halved, cored and sliced)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into cubes
2 teaspoon milk
2 teaspoon sugar

In a bowl, add the apples, brown sugar, flour cinnamon and lemon juices; combine everything well. Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out the dough. Line a pie plate with the dough and trim the excess. Roll out the remaining disk on a floured surface. Place apple mixture and sprinkle the little cubes of butter on top and cover with the dough. Trim the excess dough hanging, the press the bottom and top dough together to seal the edges. Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle a little sugar. Place a pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden in color. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool before serving it. Enjoy!

Recipe & a Movie Series
Stay tuned! More to come from the series.
You don't want to miss out!

Simple Salad with Grapes, Cheese & Turkey

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I love how a recipe can come together in a second, this salad is a great example of how simple ingredients and little time can make a tasty and satisfying lunch. The other day, I desperately needed to go grocery shopping but I didn't have time, so I had to make lunch with what I had in hand. And this happened, take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 small boston lettuce, chopped
1 small red leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup red grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup muenster cheese, diced
4 slices smoked turkey breast, cut into thinly ribbons
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a serving dish, arrange the chopped lettuce, sprinkle the grapes, cheese and turkey on top. Drizzle some olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

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