Sweet and Sneaky Ways to Eat Your Veggies: Onions

aka “Sweet Machine Malfunctions”

caramelized onion breakfast muffins


A year ago, my friend and I stood glaring at the SPR machine. (Surface Plasmon Resonance, in case you were wondering.) In theory, we could twiddle a few knobs and punch a few buttons to calibrate the monster. In actuality, it hiccuped and laughed in our faces.


So we ignored it to talk about food.   Continue reading for recipe.


January 25, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Midweek Meals. 40 comments.

What I’m Thankful For

traditional stuffing

We survived Thanksgiving! Despite the inedible mashed potatoes that strangely resembled marshmallow fluff and the inactive yeast that flattened our rolls into Passover-like bread, everyone still stuffed themselves fuller than the roasted turkey at the dinner table and lolled around after the meal rubbing their stomachs with satisfied smiles. Thankful for my loving family and significant other, I enjoyed the entire day–especially the crackling fire to end the evening!


To conclude the season of giving thanks, I wanted to express my gratitude to Lindsay at Normal Cooking. This sweet lady nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I am honored and touched to receive this acknowledgement from her. Thank you!   Continue reading.

November 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Awards. 8 comments.

Even Better Than Campbell’s

chicken noodle-less soup

As 9-year-olds in P.E. class in February, my best friend and I convinced the instructor that our queasy stomachs needed a break from running laps to visit the nurse. In the front office, we convinced the nurse that out churching stomachs needed to go home for the day. And at my best friend’s house, we convinced her mom that Disney movies and soup were the best remedies for our upset stomachs.


Her mom rooted around in the pantry and pulled out two tin cans, one of tomato soup and another of chicken noodle. Since I refused to eat any tomato product other than ketchup, I politely declined in favor of option #2.   Continue reading for recipe.

November 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 7 comments.

“Dairy” I Try Gluten-Free Baking?

dairy-free gluten-free peanut butter cookies

Last month, I invited a friend to dinner at a local Indian place, only to cancel on him two hours before the meal. My stomach had contracted an oh-so-lovely 24-hour bug, which left my lying pitifully on the couch all night, the remote dangling from one hand and a glass of Sprite in the other.


As an apology, I wanted to bake him some sort of tasty treat. At our rain-checked dinner three days later, I finally dragged it out of him: he’s a sucker for a good peanut butter cookie. Perfect! Easy as pie cookies, right?


Not so fast… Turns out he’s allergic to both dairy and gluten. I checked around my kitchen: white, whole wheat, and cake flour sat in the pantry, while butter and milk chilled in the fridge. Oops.   Continue reading for recipe.

November 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 11 comments.


banana raspberry mini cupcakes with chocolate yogurt frosting

I am a wallflower. A terrible, terrible wallflower. I stand in the corner by myself and simply smile at people like a mute mime as they brush past me to fill a plate with chips and dip, crackers and cheese, or those little pigs-in-a-blanket concoctions. Since I enjoy those awkward evening oh so much, I usually decline politely and spend the night on my own couch with a slice of chocolate cake instead.


Recently, a group of ladies from work invited me to their Girl’s Night In. Because I barely remembered half of their names, I nearly gave out some late apologetic excuse, but then came the bait that lured me in…   Continue reading for recipe.

October 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 4 comments.

Want to Socialize?

Foods for the Soul


When it comes to social media and networking, I’m like the tortoise from the famous fable: a bit slow, but I get there eventually! Which is to say… I’ve finally joined Facebook! So if you have an account over there too, I’d love to hear from you. Questions, advice, suggestions, requests, anything at all! Click here to check it out. (Isn’t the logo cute?? One of my closest friends designed it for me… She’s such a sweetheart!)


And for another socialization topic… I started a second blog: Toothpicks and Table Mints! Many of you have already found it, but here’s the story in a nutshell…   Continue reading.

October 1, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

When the Chickens Cluck, I Say “Oink!”

pork fattoush

Recently, chickens everywhere starter squawking at me to get my hand out of their hen house and cook another animal for a change. Slightly nervous but still sympathetic, I walked around the butchery section at the store and eventually settled on pork instead.   Continue reading for recipe.

August 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 4 comments.

Vampires, Beware!

Despite growing up in a town only an hour away from the Gilroy Garlic Festival, I avoided the stuff more than any vampire ever did. I hated the pungent aftertaste that lingered in my mouth for hours, and I all but banned my dad from mincing a clove or adding a pinch of the dried powder to veggie stir-fries or meat marinades.


But my best friend is the polar opposite. If a recipe calls for one clove, he cuts up three. Garlic fries at a ball game? One order before the first pitch and another during the 7th inning stretch. Spaghetti sauce, pizza toppings, sandwich spreads… It appears in nearly everything he eats.


So when he asked for a homemade loaf of bread, I knew what I had to do. I cringed as I finely chopped the garlic, wrinkling m nose as I imagined its scent seeping into my pores and clinging to my hair. A wave of garlic erupted from the fridge every time I opened the door to check on the rising dough, but the huge satisfied smile on his face as he took the first bite made the entire smelly endeavor worthwhile. And—surprise, surprise—I even ate a piece too!   Continue reading for recipe.

July 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

When You Give a Girl Some Cupcakes, She’s Going to Ask for a Fork to Go With Them…

Last Friday night, my phone buzzed and a text message from my neighbor flashed across the screen:


Hey i wanted 2 thank u for all the treats this year. If ur ever bk in town or so cal give me a ring. Hope u enjoy the cupcakes


Wow, they baked me cupcakes, how sweet! I thought. And how did they know I was craving cake?? Not five minutes earlier, I had decided to walk to Safeway for a slice of chocolate cake with thick fudgy frosting!


When I unlocked the front door, a plain white plastic grocery bag hung swinging from the door handle. I would’ve thought they’d just put them on a paper plate… I peered inside and gasped.



A tin of four gourmet cupcakes. Not one, not two, not three, but four. Expensive lovely cupcakes. Just for me. Aww!!   Continue reading.

May 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 12 comments.

Haunted By Debts

Remember my macadamia nut debt? Where I tested a few of the nuts in a pesto sauce? Well, I finally repaid it—with interest!


My macadamia nut friend drove into town on Sunday to visit some high school buddies, but he left a little time in the afternoon to stop by. When he arrived, we moseyed into my kitchen, where I took the “Teach a man to bake cookies, and he’ll eat for a lifetime!” approach and handed him the measuring cups.   Continue reading for recipe.

May 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 2 comments.

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