Category Archives: Yummy

Cooking, baking, food and eating

The secret is now mine

I used to have better time to do creative things. I wrote random pieces of short story. I crocheted. I tried to sew big projects, but ended up with little projects.

Now I am trying to use making food as a creative outlet- but it’s hard to do all the things I want to do while feeding a family and cleaning up after two little boys all day long.

Last year I had given myself a challenge of finding the best local cinnamon roll. The winner of my informal taste testing was Sugarbird Desserts.

I grabbed a couple on occasion at my favorite Saturday farmers market, and got my family hooked on the cupcake- like treats right before she stopped selling them at the market. That last half-dozen I got were like gold. And yum.

So when the owner started offering classes, I was sent by the family to learn the secret of the roll.

It had been a while since I had created something other than a quick dinner or a box of brownies as comfort food, so i was eager to take the time and try something new without dirtying up my already-messy kitchen.

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I’d never worked with yeast before, but had a couple packets in my kitchen with a winter goal of learning how to make bread.

Since it is now April I obviously never achieved that goal, but smelling the fermenting yeast and hearing the conversations of the bakers around me made me realize I was going to learn a lot that night.

We went over each step, with me scribbling notes on my recipe handout and smearing butter on it. My apron was quickly covered in flour and sticky dough, but I was having fun.

The class was small enough everyone got some attention but had just enough people to make you feel you weren’t on display all of the time.

And the result, after mixing and rolling and a just a little more flour?



Breakfast the next morning.


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The joy on his face is hidden because he was scarfing it down that fast.

Of course, mine are NOT the same as Heather’s, but they were amazingly delicious. She also gave an orange roll variation I am dying to make to the attendees.

Lean closer ad I’ll let you in on the secret behind the amazing rolls.


Click on over to the Mom, Can I Have a Bite? blog and sign up for one of her classes. Because you need to learn from the master herself.

She also has private classes and pie-making class – something else I’d like to learn how to do.

And if you’re not sure yours came out right? I’d love to taste one for you.


Note: I paid for the class and was in no way compensated for this post. Full disclosure just in case, y’all.

Knotts Berry Bloom

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

When I was little, I thought Knott’s Berry Farm had a big patch somewhere were they grew the berries.

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I mean, it was called a berry farm, right?

Well, this spring they are holding the inaugural Ghost Town Boysenberry Festival, where park guests can try boysenberry treats and even buy plants and fresh berries from a stand that replicates the original berry stand that was once where the theme park is today.

Ah, I have finally found the berries!

The spring Knott’s Berry Bloom event also includes an egg hunt for kids 3-11 where a scavenger hunt will lead them to the one and only Easter Beagle himself.

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More games and musical performances are throughout the park, including boardwalk games with Peppermint Patty and Sally, new show in Camp Snoopy and at night the new show Bloomination fills the night air with dance music while glowing flowers and vines light up the night.

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I’m also giving away two tickets to Knotts! To enter, simply follow the Rafflecopter directions below.

Giveaway begins today and ends April 6. Winner will be announced April 7 or after.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cooking at Williams Sonoma

Disclaimer: I was invited to walk the Wednesday morning farmers market and attend a cooking demonstration at the Temecula Promenade Williams Sonoma using ingredients from the market. All opinions are my own. No other compensation was given.

I have always tried to make Wonder Boy a part of food preparation and cooking.

Since he was a baby we have gone to our local farmers market, farm stands and browsed the produce section of the grocery store for what would make a good salad or dinner.

And always, he has been a sucker for tomatoes. Sometimes sliced or dices, but always little tomatoes he devours in a couple of bites, sucking the juices.

As part of my ongoing Grace series, I want to have a spring and summer kitchen where I have on hand the staples I need to make a great dinner from the fruits and vegetables that entice us most. Still working on that.

Earlier this month I was invited to a farmer’s market walk through and a private cooking demonstration at Williams Sonoma at the Temecula Promenade. I took along Wonder Boy in the Ergo 360 for the morning’s adventure. Because I’m still breastfeeding and  wanted him to go on a foodie adventure with me.

The Temecula Williams Sonoma is one of their locations that offers cooking classes. I loved that you could see what was going on in the pan from a mirror above. The culinary manager and residential chef Monica Rigali answered questions as she sped through a recipe using mostly ingredients from the market.

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I jotted down a few tips to remember from her demonstration…

- stainless steel pans are non-reactive and distribute heat evenly in the pan (I use all non-stick, makes me think about when I replace them…)

- She likes to use slices of garlic rather than crushed in a pasta dish because it gives a nice bite

- finishing a dish with olive oil adds a little creaminess

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There’s even kids cooking classes! When Wonder Boy is older I could see driving to a Williams Sonoma for a fun trip. I have a hard time shopping there without getting a gadget – this trip I came home with a Zoku popsicle maker to gift and a salad dressing emulsifier that Wonder Boy adored.

And what we got to taste that morning? Divine.



 As given by chef Monica Rigali

Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes, Olives and Shrimp

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh basil, loosely packed

3-4 plump fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

coarse ground pepper

sea salt

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and saute until shrimp starts to turn pink. De-glaze the pan with white wine. Add olives, tomatoes, pepper flakes and basil and stir gently for about five minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

 Note- our samples were topped with thin asparagus that had been roasted in a pan with olive oil and salt. Yum! Too bad Lil’ Wonder fell asleep during the demonstration or else I would have to share.

Weekly Sunshine – soup and salad

I made Sunshine Soup last night with Wonder Boy in an attempt for him to eat soup besides shoving chicken broth at him when he’s sick.

He helped chop the peppers, pour in the corn and gleefully salted and peppered the soup.

Not too bad in my opinion.

He still won’t touch it!


But I was curious, what kind of recipes could bring a dose of sunshine to my table?




The Domestic Blonde has a variation (but not far off) of the Sunshine Soup Nigella Lawson makes in her kitchen cookbook. Yum! I like it with a little Parmesan on top too.



Not only do I love the sunny hues of this salad in a jar, but I love the idea of a mango vinigarette. YUM indeed.



Sweet potato and squash soup would bring sunshine to a chilly day. Living the Sweet Life has a sweet idea for Sunshine Soup.



The Weight Watchers Sunshine Salad is really a dessert. Mmm, pudding.




And this salad is definitely on my to-do list. The Clever Carrot indeed with a carrot-ginger dressing for the Japanese Sunshine Salad.

Please feel free to click through to the posts to save for later or go to my Yellow Pinterest board for all of the pins.

Weekly Sunshine – March showers bring yellow flowers

This is our third spring in our house and I still don’t have a cut garden going yet.

It’s a plan I just haven’t figured out since we’ve already devoted major spots to succulents and a vegetable garden (check out my guest post on Budget Fairy Tale for starting-a-garden tips).

These cheery fellows hailed from Trader Joes. They always have great cheap daffodil bouquets in the spring that open perfect and look great in my blue Fiestaware.
Did you know marigolds (French is best) and daisies are great for your garden’s health? They attract beneficial insects (and marigolds also fight against nematodes.)
And I fell for this flufy calendula.
Forgive the lighting on my poor orchids- they really are a beautiful pastel yellow! (today its actually grey and 70 degrees in SoCal).
They were both gifts when I was in the hospital with new babies- this year one of them has ten buds and counting!

Apparently my cluttered kitchen counter has great light for orchids.

Have you started planting outside? Is there a color that dominates your spring garden?