Avocado Lime Cheesecake

I won’t even take credit for this amazing recipe. It’s featured in the Homecooked Cookbook. It’s amazing. A friend of mine made it in a glass canning jar instead of the typical looking cheesecake form. Still delicious and quite frankly, way more convenient to take and enjoy anywhere, really. The best part of this recipe is it’s actually delicious and healthy. No flour or sugar. You won’t be disappointed. And, I will be trying this on my own…

Tamale Making Day! 

A good friend let me know that once a year they make it a point to sit down and a big batch of tamales to freeze and eat through the coming months. 

I was definitely excited when she extended the offer to let me in on sharing the haul. Oh, and part of the work load. 

I have to say the friends did all the hard stuff in pre-preparation making the meats, soaking husks and roasting peppers. 

It really is glorious to see it all laid out and ready for assembly.

We began roughly a bit after noon and a delicious homemade chorizo/ sweet potato hash with egg breakfast. Accompanied with Pepinos*, from the Homemade cookbook. 

The first time sitting down and doing this was 9 hours straight of sweaty work but, definitely worth it. They’re delicious…

Blueberry Cherry Bacon Bites…

Need a faster then fast appetizer for a party? I threw these together in no time. I picked up festive toothpicks and some fresh fruit, cheese and cured meats cut them into bite size pieces. Think about interesting combinations. Here’s is cherry, bacon, Sheeps milk Parma, and blueberry. Also, cantaloupe, prosciutto and Parma. Some were just with fruit alone. 

They worked perfectly for the party and were a total hit. No muss, no fuss. And, everyone loved the bite sized combos! 

I’m interested in trying watermelon and pineapple versions next. Think of all the great party themes and color combos possible! 

Quick and Easy Mini Cherry Pies🌿

What’s better then a little cherry pie in the Summer?  But, I wanted to try something fast and super simple to take to the backyard or Summer events. 

I ‘can’ all sorts of things and have the lids laying around. And, after seeing  something similar figured I would love to try this out myself. 

I love homemade pie crust and my bestie has given me the recipe for one that’s truly incredible. I will be using that in the future. For now, it was the Pillsbury ready made crust and a quick pie fill recipe from the “Joy of Cooking” cookbook. I wanted to see how fast this could be if necessary. All in all, this can take around an hour from start to finish this way. If you make your dough from scratch ahead, even better. But, prepping will take a bit more time. 

I used the following recipe for the filling and two boxes of crust for a total of 12 pies: 

5 cups pitted fresh cherries (from my backyard right now…oh yeah!) 

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch 

1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice 

2 tablespoons of water

1/4 teaspoon of almond extract

Smidge of butter under each top layer

1 egg for wash 

Sugar for topping the crust before baking 

Mix filling and let sit for 15 minutes approximately. 

I prepped my crust and decorations during this time. And, turned the oven on. 

Fill those mini bad boys. Cover and crimp the sides of your crust with a fork, brush with your egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake. 

Oven at 350* 25-30 minutes or golden brown, depending on your oven. 

Let’s those little cuties cool a bit, then carefully push them out from the bottoms! With a side of ice cream or a can of whip cream and hoping to be the hit of all my parties this season!! 🙌🏼🍒

Bourbon Vanilla Milkshakes with Cowboy Bark🌿

 Boozy milkshakes! How is this not a good idea for any sunny Summer weekends, holiday, treat day?!! 

I found the Cowboy Bark at Trader Joes. I poured in 1 1/2 ounces of whiskey but, dark rum would work just fine. Add your ice cream and two or three chunks of bark. Whip cream, chocolate, garnish…enjoy! 

Grape Schiacciata 🌿🍇

This tasty treatis pronounced “ski-ah-CHA-ta” and is a Tuscan variation on delicious focaccia bread. It would make a great little companion this Summer with some yummy cheese and a glass on Chainti, Valpolicella. Any wine really. I think I might try it with cherries soon.
Makes 1 loaf

1 Package pre-made dough. 

Extra virgin olive oil 


3/4 cup seedless organic black grapes or Concord grapes

1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tbsp. Fresh rosemary leaves

Heat oven to 400*. I used pre-made plain dough from Trader Joes to make it even faster and simpler. Take the dough out and let rise for about 20 minutes. Brush it with a bit of olive oil and some honey. Place on a baking sheet and form into a free form oval. Use your fingers to dimple the dough and sprinkle ontheright grapes encouraging them to fall into the spaces. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and fresh rosemary. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

I love a Sheeps milk pecorino from Trader Joes and there are some great inexpensive  wine options to go with. 

There’s a brew making a pretty big splash lately and, it’s not a beer baby! 

Have you been wondering about this whole cold brew coffe trend? I have and I generally, along with most of you, need caffeine in my day. I picked up a few to see what all the hype was about exactly. I wanted to know. 

What is Cold Brew Coffee? 

Cold brew, or cold water extract, refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. Cold brew coffee is not to be confused with iced coffee, which generally refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or adding ice, though iced coffee can refer to cold brew coffee served on ice.

Now I needed to know. What does cold brew coffee taste like? 

I grabbed a few at the local Met Market including the “everywhere” Stumptown Cold Brew original, the dairy free coconut version from Stumptown as well, High Brew from California and Tony’s Organic chocolate from Smith Brothers Farm. 
The Tonys was creamy, something like chocolate milk with a coffee kick. Same goes for the Stumptown coconut, creamy sweet coffee goodness. I love coconut, and don’t mind the ‘non-dairy’. The High Brew was salted caramel flavor…come on, yes! It was a little more intense and I didn’t get a full grip on the salted caramel flavor. It was a booster for sure though. The Stumptown original packed the most coffee punch, watch out, you can go too far!! All interesting, all pretty darn tasty. I feel like I have fulfilled my curiosity once and for all. And, found a few local companies in the process. 

So, after all this I wondered maybe like you too, can I make my own. Yes, yes you can. If you don’t want to drop thefough all the time and just simply have it on hand it’s fairly painless to try. Here’s the scoop…

Making your own Cold Brew…

Take one cup of beans and grind them. Go for a medium to large grind preferably.  Fresh is best but, store bought works too.

Next: Just add water and stir

Place the grounds in a large mason jar 40 ounces or larger jar or pitcher with airtight lid, and add 4 cups cool water. I have my canning jars lying around for this, easy peesy. Try to use filtered water if possible! And give it a good stir. Make sure and mix the two together well…

Finally: Put the lid on and sit it somewhere out of direct light/sun. And there it will sit at least 6 but, up to 12 hours.

Strain, a French press work great or mesh or fine strainer. You can pour over ice and add cream and simple as that you have made a coffee concentrate. It packs a punch. So, watch out! But, delicious for Summer and I think could be added to all sorts of recipes from baking to drinks! 

That’s it. I feel more knowledgeable and hopefully I have upped your coffee game too. I wanna hear what you think when you try these or making your own! Let me know. Have I missed your favorites? Come on! Share with me!!