Fresno Farm Tour

The best of Fresno and its agriculture!

The best of Fresno and its agriculture!

Last week I was invited to attend a farm tour with some fellow food bloggers and the California Farm Water Coalition. I have been on two tours with the CFWC before, but this tour was different. Continue reading

Caramelized Banana Pudding Parfaits #Peelthelove


This post is sponsored by Dole Banana Peel the Love “Banana Cabana” Tour.


My kids absolutely love Bananas! In fact, I can hardly keep them in the house. Since they have been at camp all week I finally managed to use the bananas for cooking purposes. These Caramelized Banana Pudding Parfaits were actually really easy to make and a great dessert on a warm summer’s day. Bananas take on a whole new level of depth when caramelized and are absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious. Careful to not start snacking on the caramelized bananas or you will quickly find yourself having to remake the batch. This may or may not have happened to me.


Have you heard of the Dole’s Peel the Love Banana Cabana Tour? The Peel the Love is a year-long Dole campaign that celebrates the fun, irreverence and whimsical side of bananas and other tropical fruit. At each stop they will be showcasing  delicious new banana recipes, serving, pairing and entertaining tips. You can also find this great information and fabulous recipes here. This coast-to-coast campaign has been in route since Memorial Day and will continue on until Labor Day. But guess what friends? San Diego is the Peel the Love Banana Cabana’s next stop! 


Stop by one of the locations below to Peel the Love!


7/23 – Albertsons (10633 Tierra Santa Blvd., San Diego) 11am-2pm
7/24 – Albertsons (720 3rd Ave., Chula Vista) 10:30am-12pm
7/24 – WalMart (1360 Eastlake Pkwy, Chula Vista) 3-6pm
7/25 – Albertsons (5950 Balboa Ave., San Diego) 10am-1pm
7/25 – Albertsons (150 B. Ave., Coronado) 3-6pm
7/26 – Comic-Con (time TBD)

Caramelized Banana Pudding Parfaits #Peelthelove

Yield: makes 4 large parfaits


    Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Brown Sugar Caramelized Bananas
  • 2 peeled bananas sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Instant Vanilla Pudding (3.4) ounces
  • 2 cups milk
  • Whip cream
  • Coarsely Chopped Nilla Wafers


  1. To make the Salted Caramel Sauce, combine brown sugar, cream, butter and salt in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring. Continue boiling for 3 minutes then add vanilla extract.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Melt butter in a large frying pan on medium heat.
  5. Add brown sugar, and stir until it begins to melt.
  6. Add banana slices in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat.
  7. To make your pudding, mix together pudding package and 2 cups milk and stir until it has thickened.
  8. To assemble Parfaits, add 1 tablespoon chopped Nilla Wafers followed by a layer of caramelized bananas.
  9. Repeat layers. Finish parfait off with whipped cream, a Nilla Wafer and a drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce.
  10. Serve immediately.

This post is sponsored by Dole Bananas. I did receive compensation, however all opinions are my own and this Tour looks and sounds like a blast!!!! Can’t wait to see the Banana Cabana in San Diego and to Peel the Love baby!

Raspberry Lemoncello Tiramisu

raspberry lemoncello tiramisu

I must have done something pretty bad to be getting this karma that I have been getting lately. I just can’t seem to catch a break. I know that my problems are far smaller than some people’s but when they happen one after another, it gets pretty annoying. The straw that broke the camel’s back was last night when I realized I had accidentally thrown away my SD card. Not any SD card. This card had all of the photographs that I had taken for my Ebook. Soooo much work (and money) thrown away. I know that things happen for a reason and my only hope is that this happened because somehow the universe felt it was not my best work. To be quite honest I didn’t think it was my best work at the end. Oh well, thanks for listening to my rant.

balsamic strawberry tiramisu

Anyway, I had quite a few posts photographed in advance on that card as well, this recipe being one of them. The Raspberry Lemoncello Tiramisu was too good to not share, even if it meant only sharing one photo (I had uploaded this one to check exposure). This is a great no bake dessert that is perfect on a hot summer’s day. If you want a completely no cook dessert, try out this Balsamic Strawberry Tiramisu that I made last year!

Raspberry Lemoncello Tiramisu

Yield: makes 8-12 servings


    Raspberry Mousse
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • Lemoncello Syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups lemoncello
  • Filling
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • powdered sugar
  • mint
  • lemon


  1. To make the raspberry mousse, puree berries in a blender until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl combine water and gelatin, set aside.
  3. Once smooth, pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove pulp. You should be left with around 1 cup of puree.
  4. In a medium sized pot, heat sugar and raspberry puree on medium heat.
  5. Once bubbled begin to form around the edge, add in gelatin mixture and stir until it has melted.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can touch it, about 20 minutes.
  7. Once puree is at room temperature, beat heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold in whipped cream with raspberry puree.
  9. Begin assembly for Tiramisu.
  10. Combine water and Lemoncello in a sauce pan and bring to a boil (this will significantly reduce the alcohol content.)
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  12. Line a 8x8 in pan with foil or saran wrap.
  13. When lemoncello syrup is cool enough to touch, quickly dredge lady fingers in syrup and place in pan creating 1 layer.
  14. Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the lady fingers followed by 1-1 1/2 cup of the raspberry mousse.
  15. Repeat layers.
  16. To finish, whip whipping cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form.
  17. Spread whipping cream on last layer.
  18. Garnish with raspberries, mint, and lemon peel.
  19. Refrigerate tiramisu until mousse has set, about 2 hours.
  20. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Life’s Good with LG Appliances

Have you ever noticed that at parties people seem to congregate in the kitchen? It is like the smell of the cooking food or the desire to watch their food being made allures them into the confined space. Or perhaps it is just me wicked personality that just draws people close to me. Ya, no. It’s the food. Or, it is the fact that Life’s good in the kitchen. Think about it. The kitchen is where many memories are made. The smell of mom’s cookies baking after a long day at school. The hustle and bustle in the kitchen that always lead to a massive Thanksgiving feast, or your Italian Grandfather sauteing onions and garlic at 7 am on Sunday mornings so the pasta sauce would be ready after church. These were my memories growing up and I am sure many people have similar memories that began in the kitchen. The kitchen has and always will be the center of our home. Continue reading

Heirloom Tomato Pizza

Heirloom Tomato Pizza

This week has been crazy busy. Between trying to juggle play dates, packing for trips and upcoming work due dates, dinner time has consisted of top ramen and corn dogs. It finally came to a point where even my kids were begging for something that didn’t come from the microwave. We were craving pizza, but the healthy kind. This Heirloom Tomato Pizza is truly the best kind of pizza for a hot summer day!

Heirloom tomato

Heirloom tomatoes are one of the things I love most about summer. Their colors and beauty turn every dish into something magical, and their flavor has been kissed by the sun. When combined with simple fresh ingredients such as basil and ricotta this pizza will knock your socks off!

summer pizza

If you have the right kitchen appliances (i.e. something with a dough hook) fresh pizza dough can be made and in the oven in a matter of 45 minutes. With only about 10 minutes of that being actual hands on labor. Then, simply mix the ricotta with some garlic and fresh herbs, slice and arrange the tomatoes, and voila the perfect summer meal or appetizer!

summer pizza

Heirloom Tomato Pizza

Heirloom Tomato Pizza


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 3 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • Drizzled olive oil
  • Flaked Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer or food processor fitted with a dough hook, add warm water and instant yeast and allow to bloom (become frothy) for about 5 minutes.
  2. Once yeast has bloomed, add remaining ingredients and mix on medium low speed until dough is smooth and no longer sticking to the side.
  3. Generously grease a large bowl with oil or non stick cooking spray.
  4. Place dough in bowl and cover with a damp cloth and set in a dark corner of your kitchen.
  5. Let dough double in size, about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Once dough has doubled in size, punch down.
  8. Sprinkle whole wheat flour on a large, clean surface and roll dough out into a round 1 inch thick circle.
  9. Place on a lined cookie sheet or pizza pan and puncture wholes all over the pizza with a fork.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until it has slightly browned.
  11. Allow pizza to cool for about 10 minutes before adding toppings.
  12. Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and basil with ricotta.
  13. Spread over cooled pizza crust.
  14. Cover ricotta with sliced tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked sea salt and ground pepper.
  15. Enjoy the taste of summer!



Birthday Vanilla Cake Truffles #TakebackVanilla #CGC


Yesterday was my birthday, and since my favorite flavor is vanilla and I LOVE sprinkles, these birthday Vanilla Cake Truffles were the perfect “cake”!  I love cake truffles or cake pops but often find them too sweet because of the added frosting. Swapping out the frosting for the Coffee-mate Classic Vanilla was the perfect exchange. The pops were just the right sweetness, had a strong vanilla flavor, and had the perfect amount of moisture to roll into balls. Continue reading

Summer KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway


I’m excited to be partnering with other San Diego Food Bloggers to offer this wonderful summer giveaway to our readers. Win a KitchenAid KV25GOXMC Professional 5 Plus 5-Quart Stand Mixer, Metallic Chromewith the specialty Ice Cream Maker Attachment, and a copy of the ultimate ice cream book, David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

If you haven’t visited my friends’ blogs, please do check them out!

Barbara from Barbara Cooks makes gorgeously fresh food, and all of her recipes include Weight Watchers’ Points and nutrition information. Here’s her Coconut Berry Swirl ice cream.

Mary from California Greek Girl showcases the healthy Greek lifestyle with a Southern California twist. She’s the co-author of Cooking Techniques with Olive Oil. Here’s her Mango Tango Sorbet.
The amazing duo, Puja and Steve from Indiaphile demystify amazing Indian dishes with a fresh modern flair, and often include step-by-step photography. Here’s their Mint Avocado Kulfi.
Brandon, the talented owner of Kitchen Konfidence, photography is drop-dead gorgeous, with creative recipes perfect for entertaining including lots of tasty cocktails. Check out his ice cream recipes.
Mimi from Mimi Avocado, writes homey recipes featuring produce grown on their large avocado ranch, and beautifully represents the Southern California farming lifestyle. Try her Fresh Figs and Walnuts Glazed with Maple Syrup over ice cream.
And finally Stephanie from Recipe Renovator. Stephanie has an incredible talent in transforming standard recipe into beautiful and delicious gluten, sodium, and sugar free delights. Check out her Pistachio Avocado Ice Cream.

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  • Duration: Monday July 7 through Monday July 21, 2014 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.
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  • This sweepstakes is sponsored by Barbara Cooks, California Greek Girl, Indiaphile, Kitchen Konfidence, Mimi Avocado, The Seaside Baker, Ten Speed Press, and Recipe Renovator, P.O. Box 34054, San Diego, CA 92163-4054. (619) 365-5065.
  • Prize description: KitchenAid 5-quart Pro stand mixer in Chrome, KitchenAid ice cream attachment, one paperback copy of The Perfect Scoop. Retail value: $468.97.

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