Category: All things yummy

Peanut Butter Cookie Parfait

When you here the sweet sound of Girl Scout ringing your door bell, you might want to order some extra Peanut Butter Sandwiches for this Parfait.

Peanut Butter Cookie Parfait

Prep/Total Time: 15 min.

  • 3 Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos® Girl Scout Cookies, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

Set aside one large cookie piece. Sprinkle half of the chopped cookies in a parfait glass; top with half of the ice cream and hot fudge topping. Repeat. Garnish with reserved cookie piece. Yield: 1 serving.

Image and recipe courtesy of


February Junior Chef Classes

Williams-Sonoma can show your kids how fun and easy cooking can be: Learn to make delicious recipes,from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way.

The FREE classes are held every Saturday morning at a Williams-Sonoma locations nationwide.

  • For specific times and more details, find your local store>
  • Available at all stores; class times vary by store location.
  • Class size is limited – call your local store to register.

junior chef1

Saturday, February 7, 2015 – Learn how easy and fun it is to make Asian dumplings. We’ll have the fillings ready, and you’ll scoop them into wonton wrappers and seal. Then the instructor will cook your dumplings two different ways—steaming and panfrying—so you can discover which you like best! Suitable for ages 9 – 13.

Saturday, February 14, 2105 – Stir up some delicious fun at the next class in our 52 New Foods series! Together we’ll make Stir-Fried Chicken with Bok Choy. It’s a fantastic dinner you can cook with your family—then claim the leftovers and pack in your lunch box to enjoy the next day. Suitable for ages 9–13.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015  – Who doesn’t love chicken fingers—crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Learn how to make chicken fingers that are so tasty, you won’t want to eat out again! Suitable for ages 5 – 13.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 – Calling all bakers! Want to make a cake that will wow your friends and family? In this class we’ll bake a fabulous cake, make a creamy frosting and then sample our decadent creation! Suitable for ages 5 – 13.


S’More Thanks-A-Lot

For as long as I can remember I have loved having S’More’s. Who can resist the delicious crunch of graham crackers with melted marshmallows and ooey, gooey chocolate (yes, that’s a technical term). It’s a thing of beauty and an epicurean delight. S’mores were originally found in the Girl Scouts handbook of 1927, so I’m assuming it’s a smart Girl Scout who invented them.

Being a Girl Scout Leader gives me all the more reason to love this yummy treat, being that it uses none other than Girl Scout Thanks-A-Lot cookies – makes it even better. I would have never even thought of this – but it definitely works!


2 Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout cookies
1 large marshmallow


  • Place one cookie face down on a plate so the chocolate side is up.
  • Toast marshmallow and put onto cookie.
  • Top with the other cookie, chocolate side down.
  • Squish together until marshmallow reaches edges.


Number Served


Recipe courtesy of ABC Bakers, recipe submitted By Lindsey Briggs



Selling GS Cookies 2015

Yesterday marked the beginning of Girl Scout Cookie Sales for my daughter and all Girl Scouts in the Orange County area. Did you know  that Girl Scouts have been selling home-baked cookies to raise money to help their troops and communities since 1917?

Although, we all love the cookies, the Girl Scout Cookie program is about so much more than cookies. Selling cookies teaches girls valuable lessons and life skills such as: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest – most successful leadership program for girls in the country!

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing Girl Scout Cookie recipes with you. Just one more reason to buy some of these yummy cookies that everyone looks forward to once a year. Before I share the recipe I just want say “Thank you” for your continued support to Girl Scouts and the Girl Scout program.

The First recipe that I will be sharing with you features Thanks-A-Lot ® cookies as we are celebrating their 10th Anniversary. The recipe is courtesy of ABC Bakers




  • 1 pkg. Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout Cookies, crushed 

  • 1 c. butter, melted 

  • ½ c. white sugar

  • ½ gal. vanilla ice cream, softened 

  • ½ c. milk 

  • 2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. instant vanilla pudding mix 

  • 1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  • Combine Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout Cookies, butter, and sugar in a 9×13-inch baking dish and press mixture into sides and bottom of dish.

  • In a large bowl, combine ice cream and milk with electric mixer.

  • Blend in pudding mix; then pour mixture into prepared crust.

  • Top with whipped topping and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

  • Refrigerate until served.

Number Served – 6 to 8


Seasoned Chef’s Culinary Workshop

OCGreatPark_Culinary_workshopThe Seasoned Chef Series at the OC Great Parks is bringing some of the best chefs in Orange County to present local seasonal gourmet dishes, techniques and preservation methods. Eating seasonal and local foods is nutritionally rich and environmentally friendly, Ages 16+.

Tomorrow’s workshop will feature Tom Helspert and topic will be: Winter Duck Preservation, and the best part part is that this workshop is FREE!!!

Chef Tom Helspert will demonstrate how to process, procure and preserve all portions of a duck for winter. He will also give information on where to find choose and purchase local sustainable and humanely raised birds

  • When: Saturday, January 17, 2015 from: 10:00 am – 11:00 am 
  • Where: OC Great Park – Farm + Food Lab | click here for Map & Directions
  • Cost: Free



Free Daniel Plan Cooking Class -Tonight!

There is a FREE Daniel Plan Cooking Essentials Class in Irvine TONIGHT! I would be there myself tonight but Girl Scout duties are calling.

Image from Saddleback Church Irvine Facebook page
Image from Saddleback Church Irvine Facebook page

This should be a great Healthy Cooking Class for Families on a Budget.  The event is being held at tonight.

  • Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 6:30 PM
  • Saddleback Church in the Main Campus foyer – 18842 Teller Ave., Irvine.

Making healthy food choices as a family can be challenging — especially if you are always on the go. Come meet a certified Daniel Plan chef who will help show you the way with hands-on cooking demonstrations, tips for school lunches and busy weeknight dinners, and realistic menu plans on a budget.


FREE Paleo Cooking Class


Surfas Culinary District  in Costa Mesa is hosting a FREE Paleo Cooking demonstration with Sarah Cason of The class is scheduled Saturday, January 3, 2015 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Join Surfas in their test kitchen by welcoming Paleo recipe writer and blogger, Sarah Cason! A classically trained chef from the Midwest, Sarah writes about her Paleo kitchen adventures on her blog has allowed Sarah to reach an audience of her friends, family, and fellow Paleo followers all while sharing her new recipes and inspirations. Sarah focuses on simple, familiar recipes that have been adapted to her interpretation of Paleo, often with a side of humor.

Enjoy a sample of:
Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken with Brussel Sprouts
Banana Mousse Pie

Surfas Culinary District is located at SOCO – 3309 Hyland Ave Costa Mesa (map)

For more about Sarah or her Paleo recipes, visit

Seating is limited so please arrive early for the best seats.


January Free Technique Classes

Williams-Sonoma is pleased to offer free Technique Classes at your local Williams-Sonoma store. Class sizes are limited.

For specific times and more details, find your local store>

  • Hour-long technique classes are free and include tastings of prepared dishes.
  • Participants enjoy 10% savings* on select same-day store purchases.
  • Available at all stores; class times vary by store location.
  • Class size is limited – call your local store to register.

*Offer excludes La Cornue, Le Crueset, Mauviel, Shun, Wusthof, Miele, Vitamix, Breville, Kitchenaid Pro Line, WS HomeJanuary2015_TechnniqueClasses_row1Sunday, January 4th, Teas, Juices & Smoothies: Freshly steeped teas, pressed juices and blended smoothies are the perfect way to begin the day, especially if you want to keep your New Year’s resolution of healthy eating. In this class we’ll show you how to brew warming teas and blend vegetables and fruits to create delicious drinkable meals.

Sunday, January 11th, Basics on nonstick Cooking: Cooking with nonstick pots and pans is a wonderful way to keep the amount of fat you use to a minimum. This class will cover all the basics. You’ll learn about the benefits of our new Williams-Sonoma Professional Nonstick Cookware, the best ways to use it and some healthful recipes to enjoy.

Sunday, January 18th, Comfort Cooking: Designed to nourish both body and soul, comfort foods are just right for the chilliest months of the year. Join us and learn how to make some warming dishes that the entire family will love— and they’re easy enough to enjoy on weeknights.January2015_TechnniqueClasses_row2Sunday.January 25th, Game Day Eats: Invite friends over on football Sunday and serve up hearty, crowd-pleasing dishes, from fun finger foods to piquant chili. We’ll share some winning make-ahead recipes (so you won’t miss the kickoff) as well as creative ways to serve everything up. Those cheers you hear will be for you!


December Classes at Williams-Sonoma


If your cooking for the Holidays, it may just require a trip to Williams-Sonoma for some cooking essentials (although this may just be an excuse for me to step into my favorite store).

If you can’t use cooking as the excuse how about the this month’s special edition of the Jr. Chef classes and Technique classes?  This month’s classes are a little different then the usual free classes. There is only one Jr. Chef class being offered this month, that is combined with a Technique class and there is a charge for the class. The regular schedule will continue in January. Here’s the December schedule:

Special Jr. Chef/Technique Class ($30.00 per person):


Celebrate the magic of the season by creating your very own gingerbread house, complete with festive trimmings and delectable decorations. We’ll assemble the house and you can decorate it as you please. Then take home your work of art, which we know will impress your family and friends! Suitable for all ages. Class fee: $30, includes the gingerbread house, decorations and the best part—we do the cleanup!

Free Technique Classes:


If anyone knows how to make holiday entertaining effortless, it’s Ina Garten, host of Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network and author of nine cookbooks. Join us as we prepare some of our favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes that are perfect for your holiday gatherings. We’ll also share some of Ina’s smart strategies from her newest cookbook, Make It Ahead.

Ring in the New Year with festive cocktails, savory appetizers and sweet treats, all simple to prepare in advance. Learn how to throw an elegant New Year’s Eve party that will keep your guests happy while they wait for the clock to strike midnight.

Remember, you can save 10% on your purchases on the day of a class:

• Hour-long technique classes are free and include tastings of prepared dishes.
• Participants enjoy 10% savings* on select same-day store purchases.
• Available at all stores; class times vary by store location.
• Class size is limited – call your local store to register.

 *Offer excludes La Cornue, Le Crueset, Mauviel, Shun, Wusthof, Miele, Vitamix, Breville, Kitchenaid Pro Line, WS Home



Panic Free Quick & Healthy Dinners

As much as I love to cook, some days putting dinner on the table is the last thing on my mind until it hits about 3:30 p.m. – then panic sets in. Those are the times I need a panic free quick & healthy dinner right now. Well, Tuesday was one of those days, luckily I was given a package of Modern Table Meals, Southwest Red Lentil Rotini for a review.

Southwest Red Lentil Rotini (2, 4, or 8 Pack) – Modern Table

Trying hard to put the “it was all part of the plan” look on my face, I brought out some frozen turkey (yes, it was still frozen yet somehow I managed the quickest defrost ever), diced it (it cooks faster when it’s diced) and seared it with some light seasoning. Thank goodness I had enough spinach to make a enough salad for everyone (hint, dinners look planned when you add a salad).

dinner's in the bag

Now, that I was no longer in panic mode, I was able to focus on the “review” part of dinner. Modern Table Meals actually contains plenty of protein on it’s own but I decided to add some turkey. This bag contains pasta with veggies and two seasoning packets. Directions are simple….put some water to boil and your dinner is on it’s way.


Once your water has come to a boil, add your pasta/vegetable mix, boil for 8 -9 minutes. In the meantime, add water & some e.v.o.o.(extra virgin olive oil) and mix in your seasoning packet. I left out the chile seasoning since my little girls don’t eat spicy foods.


Once my pasta was done, I added it to my seasoning mixture and my seared turkey. Voila, dinner was done!


So for the taste test, I didn’t say anything to my family about the pasta being made out of Red Lentils. Instead I just waited for everyone’s response. Well, I am so happy to say it was a hit, everyone loved it! My 4 year asked for seconds and then thirds!


My husband and I sprinkled the chile packet on our plates but in the future I would mix it with a little e.v.o.o. so it can be disbursed a little more evenly onto our servings. Ideally adding the chile packet to the seasoning mixture would yield the best taste but beware it’s spicy (but good).

There was plenty for the four of us and we had leftovers. I highly recommend Modern Table Meals. The meal was easy and quick to make, the taste was delicious, the seasoning was spot on and the red lentil pasta was delicious.

Modern Table Meals productsYou can find Modern Table Meals at your local Whole Foods market and guess what – it’s affordable! This product is full of protein, fiber, GMO free, free of any artificial colors or preservatives and it tastes great! Thank you Modern Table Meals, I can’t wait to try the other 3 flavors. These meals will be in my regular dinner rotation. They are  quick healthy dinner options that fit within our budget. I’m sold!