Salted Caramel Cheesecake

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So I am finally just getting back into the groove of things after the move, and now I am going to throw a wrench into the daily routine by going on vacation! Trust me, I am not complaining about getting away, I am just thinking about all the stuff I’ll have to do when I return. Since the house we bought was a short sale, the yard is in disarray and is in need of some TLC, especially if I want to get a garden planted in time for Summer. I have also been dealing with computer issues (more than just issues, I got to find out what the “white screen of death” on a macbook is) and haven’t been able to upload photos or write blog posts about my most recent forays in the kitchen. I finally have the computer under control though (thanks to my husband’s buddy who is a mac expert and determined my hard drive was shot) and can share this ridiculously rich and creamy salted caramel cheesecake I made this past weekend. Continue reading

Amalfi Pasta with Favas

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Did I drop off the face of the Earth? Just about. This past week has been devoted entirely to moving and I have not had a spare minute to get in the kitchen and make a single thing. So much for my Italian Challenge. I guess I will have to extend my self imposed deadline on recreating dishes from my Italian honeymoon and give myself the entire Spring Season! The kitchen at my new house is finally put together though, and I am ready to eat cook.  Continue reading

The Italian Challenge

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Fruit stand in Sorrento (Amalfi Coast)

Exactly one year ago, my husband and I were in Italy for our honeymoon. Even though we were married in October 2010, we waited 6 months to travel in hopes of warmer weather in Italy. Thankfully our plan panned out, and we had glorious weather for the two weeks we were there. Although I had been to Europe a couple times in the past, I hadn’t had the opportunity yet to visit Italy and I had been dying to experience la dolce vida and of course the delicious cuisine.   Continue reading

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate Ganache

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My plan to make Blackberry Frozen Yogurt was not intentionally for Easter. However, looking at the photos, I think they scream what the holiday represents to me: Spring, berries, vibrant color, and of course chocolate. When we were younger, my sister and I would go on traditional easter egg hunts, but the eggs we hunted were plastic, and the contents of those eggs were chocolate and candy. Maybe it’s an American thing, or maybe it’s just something we did in my house, but as a child it seems that the excitement level is much higher when chocolate is involved (what kid wants to hunt for hard-boiled eggs anyway?). So when I set out to make frozen yogurt a week before Easter, I knew chocolate must be included.  Continue reading

Homemade Yogurt

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So I am on kick to make everything from scratch apparently. First marmalade. Then english muffins. And now yogurt. Next thing you know I’ll be churning my own butter. I wish I could make everything from scratch, but there are just not enough hours in the day. Sometimes you just have to give in and buy pre-made items at the store. Every week I drop a quart of European yogurt into my cart, and don’t even look back. Thanks to my Pinterest addiction though, and all the beautiful photos people have posted of their homemade yogurt, I was inspired this week to make my own yogurt. I have read that the process is super simple and produces a yogurt that is so creamy, tangy, and delicious that you’ll give up on store-bought forever. So I thought “why not?” What’s the worse that could happen? Well, I’ll tell you: everything they say about homemade yogurt is true, and now I am stuck making yogurt at home for the rest of my life!  Continue reading

Spring Green Breakfast Sandwich

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With spring comes thoughts of planting a garden, eating outdoors, planning summer menus, and lighter and healthier eating. This past week I made a trip to the new co-op in Reno to see what kind of early spring produce is growing locally. The Great Basin Community Food Co-op just moved from a 600sqft house, to a 7000sqft building in downtown Reno. The new location is beautiful and offers a ton of local produce and products. It can be difficult at times to find locally grown produce in Reno since the growing season is short and the ground is so hard (at 4500 feet, Reno is considered high desert). The co-op though did not disappoint, and was brimming with early spring crops. Continue reading

Homemade English Muffins

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Ever since I saw Michael Chiarello on the Food Network boasting about the deliciousness of Model Bakery’s homemade english muffin, I knew I had to get my hands on one. I had heard of Model Bakery (in St. Helena in the Napa Valley), but hadn’t yet found the time to visit. I think the reason is because they are located in the northern part of the valley and I was always easily sidetracked by Bouchon Bakery, Dean & Deluca, and the many wineries along the way. A couple of years ago though, they opened a second store in the town of Napa in the new Oxbow Public Market. It was here, in their new southern location, that I finally got my hands on one of their muffins. It was everything Michael Chiarello said it would be: fluffy, buttery, airy, and light. The only problem? I live 200 miles from Napa. The only way I can enjoy a fresh, hot english muffin whenever I have a craving is if I make it myself. Continue reading

Coconut Macaroons

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I love when I find an excuse to bake cookies. I usually try not to make them at home because I know I will devour them way too quickly. Since I am already surrounded by a ton of desserts at work, I tell myself I don’t need them at home (although Luigi disagrees). This past week, a close friend of mine that I went to high school with asked me if I had any recommendations for a dessert delivery service in Reno. She lives in Los Angeles now and wanted cookies delivered to her mom on her birthday. I am sure in LA there are all kinds of options for this type of service, here in Reno though, I could only think of one. That “one” being myself of course.  Continue reading

Indian Pizza

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This past week I was in the mood to make something new. A lot of the time I find myself in a rut making the same things over and over. Often this is unavoidable because at work I have no control over what people order. At home though I like to be creative when I find the time and mix it up. On Sunday I had a couple of hours I could spend in my own kitchen, so I decided to experiment with Italian-Indian fusion.  Continue reading

Spring Awakening with Strawberry Buttermilk Crepes

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That’s right. In case you missed the title of this post, today is the first day of spring. It may not feel warm, but there are signs of seasonal change all around. Even though there was a dusting of snow this past week at my house, the tulips in the yard are starting to sprout and I found one lone pansy in my garden box (where did that come from?). Hopefully this is a hint of sunnier days to come.

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