December 2011

The Salted Caramel Craze is now for Breakfast?

Check out this Recipe for Crispy Waffles with Salted Caramel Coulis

Salted caramel became all-the-craze not too long ago and is still popular in a lot of desserts, but why not try it out for breakfast? Check out this recipe for crispy waffles with salted caramel coulis from Epicurious. It makes 4 servings.


Salted caramel coulis:

            1/2 cup sugar

            1/4 cup water

            1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

            3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

            1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt


            1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

            2 tablespoons sugar

            1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

            1/2 teaspoon salt

            1 3/4 cups whole milk

            2 large eggs

            6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled

            Peanut oil

            Powdered sugar

Still Trying to Figure out What to Have for Breakfast?

Try Belgian Buttermilk Waffles with Glazed Bananas


If you’re entertaining family or friends or even both this holiday season, try this recipe from Epicurious for Belgian buttermilk waffles with glazed bananas for breakfast.


For waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups well-shaken buttermilk

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

2 large eggs

Vegetable oil for waffle iron

The Season For Tea

Well it is that time of year again and many of you are probably stressing out over the idea of presents, family, and whatever may be unique to your Holiday traditions.

But one thing to realize when fighting people for parking spots or that last high demand toy is that wherever you go, there is always a place at home to sit and relax.  This is an important thing to realize when fighting those grocery shoppers for a ham or a pre-baked pumpkin pie.

Tea at Dim Sum

A Palate Cleanser

There are certain things that are simply better together; like a burger and a soda. Harry and Sally. A dog and his bone. Dim sum and tea.


One of the things I love doing with my family is going for dim sum on Sunday. That usually requires dragging out of bed my sleep-loving sister on her day off, piling our family into the car and debating which of the dozens of dim sum restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area we should go to.


Har gow, churn fun, shumai, oh my!


Ketchup, My Favorite Non-Newtonian Fluid

When the ketchup won't come out of the bottle, simply tilt the bottle at about a 45 degree angle and tap it gently against the heel of your hand.
I have been using a lot of ketchup lately, ever since scoring a few bottles of the new Heinz Balsamic Vinegar version. Ketchup has many excellent qualities, of course: for one thing, it embodies a wide spectrum of flavors including salty, sweet, and umami. 
For another thing, ketchup is one of the world's few examples of a fascinating physics phenomenon, non-Newtonian fluids. And the more you understand how a non-Newtonian fluid works, the more easily you will be able to get ketchup out of a glass bottle without a hitch!

Homemade Hot Cocoa with Peppermint

My daughter and her two best friends decided it was more important to have a get-together this Christmas than to exchange gifts. I applaud them for this decision, as it reminds us that Christmas isn’t about how much money you spend purchasing gifts. When I asked the girls what they wanted to eat at their little party, they said “hot chocolate.” Hot chocolate is a perfect choice, but I wasn’t about to let them have it plain. It is a party after all! I decided to spice up the hot chocolate by adding a few key ingredients.

Dulce de Leche Waffles

Great for the Holiday Season

Waffles originally started out as a dessert that was then adapted to be a part of the most important meal of the day. They originated as wafers in the medieval times, which were very light, thin, crisp cakes that were baked between two waffle irons. This produced a variety of different, flat, unleavened cakes that came from a mixture of barley and oats. The waffle has since evolved into something very different made with white flour usually. Check out this recipe from Aaron McCargo Jr. for dulce de leche cake waffles.


  • 1 box your favorite vanilla cake mix (or any other flavors)
  • Nonstick spray
  • 1/2 gallon good-quality dulce de leche ice cream
  • 4 bananas, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • Whipped cream, for garnish

The Best Gifts for Tea Drinkers

Brew in style with these accessories

It's as much about the ritual as it is about the taste. The boiling of the water, the filling of the infuser, the smell as the leaves leak their flavor into the pot. Tea lovers know that their beverage of choice is a craft, not just a preference. And what better gifts are there for the leaf-inclined than the best tools with which to hone their craft? Here are just a few goodies you can pick up for your favorite guzzlers of the black, white, and green.

I Love Bananas

I use them constantly as a base for smoothies.

They do more to serve to give us our potassium daily requirements. Bananas are such a good solid food. I remember, one morning, I was whipping one up and thought, ‘I wonder what the origin is of bananas?’

So hungry bloggers, I not only will divulge the fascinating history behind bananas, I will also provide a smoothie recipe, where (you guessed it!) bananas are the foundation for this treat.

Believe it or not, bananas actually originated in Southeast Asia. Additionally bananas come in all kinds of different variations of colors, not just the illusive yellow. They’ve also been found in reds and purples. Bananas are a very important food staple for developing countries, most notably in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Heinz Limited Edition Balsamic Ketchup

Spoiler alert: IT IS DELICIOUS.
Here is a phrase I never would have guessed I would find myself saying: this week I received the special ketchup that I ordered off Facebook. Isn't it weird, living in the future? AND AMAZING.
Here's how this went down. When Heinz decided to float a limited edition version of their classic ketchup with balsamic vinegar, someone in the boardroom got really excited about "the power of social media" and other such buzzwords. Networking! Retweet! Like like like!
I don't remember how I first heard about it. (I spend a lot of time on the internet, I'm basically a basking shark, filter feeding off the internet and sieving out the good stuff for a living.) But it was announced that on one particular day, if you went to the Heinz Ketchup Facebook page, you would be able to order the limited edition ketchup. This would allow you to try it (and hopefully Tweet about it) before its official launch in stores.

Bay Laurel Vs. California Bay Laurel

One is a tasty spice - the other is edible, but dubious


Bay leaves are one of those magical herbal ingredients that not only flavor a sauce or soup, they seem to bring the whole thing together. It's a pity that they are A) so expensive, and B) something I don't use often enough. It's one of those spices that I can almost guarantee you will always be stale in my cupboard.
I was intrigued when my neighbor offered to let me pull leaves off of her "bay tree" and use them whenever I liked. The prospect of fresh bay was exciting, I had never tried it fresh, and I know that most herbs are so much more delicious fresh! What was growing in her yard sure looked like bay leaves, but when I crushed the leaves between my fingers, they smelled like camphor and eucalyptus. 

Sometimes Tea is Best In A Can

A can of tea can be deceiving, can't it?  It makes you wonder if it is really tea or not.

Is it ok for me to drink this and not be seen as some sort of hip tea drinker, mocking the crowds around me with their coffee mugs?

I believe that sometimes, a can of tea can be just the thing to refresh and inspire, if inspiration is capable from a drink.  It is funny how many varieties of teas there are to choose from when it comes to tall cans.

A Healthy Bug

Indulging in a fat free diet is quite the challenge. There are fat free foods out there and incorporating them into one’s diet is a healthy step towards an overall, healthier lifestyle. Yet, it isn’t uncommon to incorporate some fat free options with low fat options, in an effort to keep our meals manageable and with variety.

I am not a diet guru…I have not tapped into every diet fad out there. I have tried some, none with too much enthusiasm, and have found for me, trying to eat healthier while tossing in some exercise is my best plan. The hardest part about my plan is ensuring that the calories I am taking in are less than the calories I am burning throughout the day. I suppose that is the most simplest formula to losing weight. Don’t eat more than your body can burn.

Have you ever went to your gym, jumped on the treadmill or elliptical machine, exercised for a period of time, sweat dripping off your head….pushed the button to show your “calories burned” and were amazed and proud of yourself for the progress you made? I did that all the time. Yet, I wasn’t seeing the results I was hoping to see…and I didn’t understand it.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This Recipe will Definitely Make Your Mouth Water

Cinnamon rolls are definitely a treat in the morning, but why not turn it into a traditional breakfast favorite with this recipe from for cinnamon roll waffles?



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Topping:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Topping:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter

  • 2 ounces cream cheese

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Corn Casserole Recipe

"Feel free to add your favorite spices to this dish."

My sister’s father-in-law makes such a delicious corn casserole that everyone in the family requests it when we get together. I decided to give the dish a try, and found it really wasn’t that hard to make.

The Making of Tea

"Do you microwave your water or let a tea pot heat before making your cup of tea?"

When it comes to making tea, what is the best method?

Do you microwave your water or let a tea pot heat before making your cup of tea?  Or do you have a special tea pot that keeps the tea warm while you sip your cup and contemplate the meaning of existence? 

Whatever way of warming or making tea, does it feel comfortable to you?

That is what makes tea the drink of the gods.  It has that calmness to it and it makes you feel like maybe, just maybe, you could touch the heavens with just the perfect batch.  And sometimes the heavens smile at your own little perfection.

So why do we find our own methods so darn refreshing?  Well because they are exactly what I said, they are our's and we prepare it the right way, right?