Saturday, December 31, 2011

Brown Butter, Mushroom, and Onion Risotto w/Lobster

 We won a live lobster in a game of white elephant, which was hilarious! So I decided to cook it and turn it into a meal. It was a little tricky to get all the meat we could out of such a small lobster, but Nick managed to get a lot. So we decided to turn it into a lobster risotto. The outcome was delicious and we really enjoyed this type of risotto.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Gifts For Liz's Livelihood

This Christmas was great! As you can see in the picture above, I am very blessed and I received some really nice cooking gear and food stuffs that I will now be able to use to for my blog. My husband got me a mini photo studio which, along with my new camera, will be able to create a perfect scenario for me to take some amazing food pics that will make you wish you were eating at my house. Not only that, but my hubby pitched in with his brothers to buy me my very own Le Creuset French Oven, woot woot. The Dutch oven I had before was all cast iron and it did not age well, it began to rust and leave behind black specs in our food, at least I can say that that problem is now taken care of. I also received some great cooking items from Joel and Judith, they gifted me double-Dutch dark cocoa powder, espresso powder, Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, Fiori di Sicilia (a combination of citrus and vanilla with a pleasingly floral aroma), and Vietnamese cinnamon from King Arthur Flour. These are some very exciting ingredients from a legit flour company and so I am super excited to use them, plus they gave me a 3-Quart mixing bowl for my KitchenAid Mixer so I am all set to mix up some smaller batter. Lastly, my co-worker Christina gave me some flavored olive oil from her own Nudo olive tree in Italy, she received them as a gift but she is unable to eat olive oil and she knew exactly who to give them The three flavors are great: chili, lemon, and mandarin...I can't wait to do some cooking and to share it all with you soon! And thanks to all those who gifted me these great gifts and thanks to God for my wonderful life!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

 Merry Christmas! This is my most favorite time of the year, I love all that it entails: the decor, the lights, giving gifts, spending time with friends and family, the food, the music, and remembering the reason we are all here, Jesus!
Our décor

Our village

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peppermint Brownie Cookie Surprise

I wanted to make something extreme for the holidays and so I came up with the idea to create this all peppermint surprise. My friend Megan once made this crazy dessert that had a layer of cookie dough, then a layer of Oreos, topped with a layer of brownies. It was absolutely amazing so when I decided to make something peppermint for the holiday season, I decided to create a version of that other dessert. This was so good and yet so intense that all you need is one square to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Even though I made tons of cookies on Monday for my co-workers, I managed to forget to put some aside for Nick's Co-workers. I wanted to make something different and I decided to make rice crispy treats. To make them fancier I created this chocolate coffee liqueur version, they turned out delicious and rich in flavor. I highly recommend these yummy treats. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cookie 2011

The past 4 years I have baked cookies for my co-workers for Christmas. The first and second year I baked chocolate chip cookies, last year I baked coffee liqueur chocolate chip cookies, and this year I baked chocolate peppermint cookies. I baked over 144 cookies on Monday, I felt like I was baking for an army, they all turned out great and I had plenty for everyone at my work, good times. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maple Teriyaki Salmon

I wanted to make teriyaki salmon tonight and I found this interesting recipe using apple juice and maple syrup instead of the normal pineapple juice. It turned out great and tasty. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Creamed Corn

Ok, I'm finally posting, yay. I made this for Thanksgiving. This is one of my most favorite sides on Thanksgiving. My Aunt usually makes it every year but this year we celebrated with Nick's family, hence I made my own. I found this recipe online and it turned out perfect and it made for a great accompaniment to our turkey. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winners Circle

Hello Everyone, I know it's been awhile. No worries though, I'm just about finished with my Christmas shopping and with my extension classes, so hopefully I will be posting some awesome new recipes soon. I just had to pop in here quickly to mention to you all that my recipe for Triple Orange Chocolate Cake Balls has made it into the winners gallery on the Better Recipes Contest Website. I have been entering their contests on and off for the last year and I have finally made it to the next round, if you click HERE and follow the link and scroll down to the winners gallery, you'll see my post. I haven't been contacted yet and so I do not know if I won the $250 giftcard but I should find out soon, it seems that my recipe tied with another for the winning recipe in the dessert category, so I have about a 50/50 chance to win. Yay! So here's to hoping I make it to the next round. Thanks for all for the support and I promise to post soon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!


Hello everyone, I hope you had a great and joyful Thanksgiving. We spent the day with family and good eats. I prepared a couple menu items I made last year and so no new posts right now. Speaking of, I must apologize for my lack of posts this month, our refrigerator broke two weeks ago and so we had to deal with throwing out everything in our fridge and starting new. After that, I got sick and so I was sticking with my routine quick and easy meals that I have posted already. Anywho, I hope you all have a safe holiday season. I hope to get some new recipes up soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Motherload Cake Wannabe

It was my brothers 28th Birthday last weekend and so I decided I would make him one of his most favorite cakes, The Motherload Cake from Claim Jumper. I found this recipe online but I cut the recipe in half so that I would have three layers instead of 6. Although the cake was delicious, it didn't quite have that Motherload taste, it may be because I didn't make the Motherload Frosting, but either way it was a great chocolatey cake that my brother and everyone else enjoyed. Happy Birthday Bro.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Garlic Parmesan Bubble Bread

  I love monkey bread, traditional monkey bread with cinnamon sugar is absolutely delicious and it is so fun to eat. I never would've thought to make a savory style monkey bread but I saw a recipe online where they called it bubble bread and they used cheese and savory seasonings instead of the sweet approach. I was inspired by that recipe to create my own savory bubble bread/monkey bread...I think this turned out pretty good and it was a perfect pairing to our dinner. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dark Chocolate Brownies

I decided to make some brownies the other night, instead of using normal cocoa powder I used some Special Dark cocoa to make them extra delicious. This brownie recipe turned out perfect. The brownies were the perfect consistency with a great flavor.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

This Halloween Nick and I partook in a lot of pumpkin carving. We carved pumpkins with our neighbors and then I carved another for a pumpkin carving contest at my work. I think they all turned out pretty good. Carving pumpkins and cooking with pumpkin and/or squash is definitely my favorite part of Halloween.  

Pumpkin carving with the neighbors.
Us imitating our pumpkin
My pumpkin for my work's pumpkin carving contest.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

I hadn't made my seasonal batch of pumpkin bread this October and so when I stumbled upon this recipe online, I knew I had to give it a try. This was a delicious recipe and Nick who doesn't like zucchini liked this bread, it was delicious, perfect for the season. 

Sweet & Sour Meatball Appetizer

This is a delicious and easy appetizer to make with your slow cooker. Although it sounds weird, the chili sauce and grape jelly create a delicious flavor that never fails to impress. This is a party favorite and seriously the easiest to make. Go for it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Guilt-Free Mac'N'Cheese (Made With Butternut Squash)

Nothing is better than mac'n'cheese. Both Nick and I could eat mac'n'cheese multiple times a week, whether it be the KRAFT blue box or homemade. I love it because not only is it delicious, cheesy, gooey, and made with pasta, but it is extremely versatile. As you can see from my previous posts, I have made many different versions of mac'n'cheese: Pesto & Bruschetta Mac'N'Cheese, Spicy Mac'N'Cheese, Adult Mac'N'Cheese, and Funky Chicken Mac'N'Cheese. Well now I have finally found a relatively healthy version of mac'n'cheese, of course I found the recipe in Coking Light Magazine so of course it is guilt-free and delicious. I was really anxious to make this version of mac'n'cheese after I found it and I am really excited to share it with you all. Fall is the perfect time for squash and so this is a great recipe for October. I really enjoyed this mac'n'cheese, the butternut squash gives the dish a sweeter taste but it is still very delicious and I feel guiltless having seconds. You have to give this one a try.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Balsamic Chicken

I made this for girls night tonight. It turned out pretty delicious and it was a very hearty meal. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slow Cooker Citrus Carnitas

 I have never made Carnitas before and when I found this delicious citrus themed recipe, I knew I would have to give it a try. Nick and I both love citrus foods and so this carnitas was perfect for us, it turned out delicious and the touch of citrus was perfect. The Carnitas was great as taco meat the first night but the leftover meat was great in a soup I made the following night. 


My friend Megan shared this recipe for healthy fugsicles with me. I decided to give them a try and they were delicious. They definitely have a slightly different taste than traditional fugsicles but these are a completely guiltless treat that have a great taste and a similar texture. Great for the summer or any California day, especially when it' still 100 degrees in October (lame.)
 Some beautiful flowers from Nick

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pots de Creme

 I made some pots de creme before but this is the first time they came out perfect and thick. The other recipes I've used did not include eggs and I know now that that is a vital component. These are a delicious treat, like a fancy pudding. They are so rich in flavor that it's impossible to overdue, they are a perfect treat to soothe any sweet tooth. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Parmigiana

 The other night I realized I had all the perfect ingredients to make Chicken Parmigiana. It is one of Nick's faves and I had never made it before. When I told Nick that I was making Chicken Parmigiana for dinner, he got really excited and had the cutest smile ever. I guess the way to Nicks heart is through this meal. I was pretty proud of this and I loved that I served it with spaghetti squash, they went great together and kept the calories lower.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I found this recipe in a Cooking Light Magazine, as soon as I read the ingredients I knew it was something Nick and I would enjoy. I decided to use this glaze on some ribs I was planning on cooking in my slow cooker, it worked great on them and I know it would be a great glaze for chicken or other pork cuts, like pork chops. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My co-worker Christina passed this recipe on to me. I love fall and I love the holidays and so I couldn't wait to celebrate with some fall flavors. I would've never thought to do something like this but now I know the thought will never slip my mind. Nick even enjoyed these cookies and he doesn't even like pumpkin pie. These are the perfect cookie to ring in the new season and new month.

Sidenote: Congrats to my brother and his fiance Kristen on getting engaged yesterday!!!!!! 
This month is looking good thus far. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Indian Chicken Curry

This is a great recipe my friend Megan shared with me. I conveniently had all the necessary ingredients to make this the other night and so I did. It turned out delicious and it's a great well-rounded meal.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Avocado Egg Salad

I would've never thought hard boiled egg and avocado could be so good together. I don't really know why I was surprised by this combination, but it is a great combination, definitely good enough to have two days in a row.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

 I was in charge of birthday cake at work this month and since one of my birthday co-workers favorite things is peanut butter and chocolate, I decided to go ahead and make this peanut butter chocolate cake. I ended up making it in a 9 by 13 pan to guarantee some extra slices, but it would be best as a round cake with layers. This turned out pretty tasty, most of my co-workers favorite part was the peanut butter cream cheese frosting, which would be great on top of any boxed vanilla, yellow, or chocolate cake.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Avocado Pasta Sauce

I had some ripe avocados and I just couldn't bring myself to make guacamole again. I found this recipe on the California Avocado Commission's website, it was very intriguing and so I decided to give it a try. It was really interesting and quite delicious, the avocados work as a creamy alternative to milk products. I don't think it would be as good without the Parmesan or the shrimp, so I highly recommend you include both when you decide to give this recipe a try. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Based Scones

I used to love getting chocolate chip scones from Starbucks when I was in high school, but for some reason I haven't been able to find a chocolate chip scone there for years, it's like as soon as I graduated high school they were gone. This made me very sad and although I have missed them for years, I just now got to making some for myself rather than purchasing them from other local pastry shops.  My friend Megan is like a professional scone maker, so she helped me with these since it was my first time making scones. These turned out delicious, although they aren't quite what I remember from Starbucks, I must try again until I get that Starbucks quality, my guess is they used a cream base rather than yogurt.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Parmesan Crusted Mahi Mahi

I had some leftover ingredients that I needed to use and so I came up with this recipe. This turned out really good. The Parmesan and Panko worked excellent together and made a delicious coating on the fish. I will most definitely do this one again. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Whiskey Infused Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Burgers

I think burgers have become one of my top most favorite foods. There are so many different things you can do with burgers, prom plain to super creative like my Spanakopita Burgers, they are always fun to create and delicious to eat. The day I made these I was craving a huge burger at work, my co-worker mentioned to me how her old neighbors used to caramelize onions and mushrooms in whiskey as a burger topping. I knew when I heard her say whiskey infused onions and mushrooms that I would have to give them a try that very night. I did and it was absolutely delicious, it gave grilled onions and mushrooms a whole new tang. So good. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seafood Paella

Pa' ella, Pa' ti, Pa' mi (for her, for you, for me)... That was an old saying my Señora would say when she served us Paella for dinner. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish and although my Señora only made it a few times, it was always a treat. So I gave this a try with the seafood ingredients I prefer and I even used some legit saffron that I bought in Spain 5 years ago.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Over Labor Day weekend, I took a trip to Portland, Oregon to visit with two of my greatest friends, Danna and Cindy. Cindy currently lives in Portland while Danna flew in from Phoenix, Arizona. We all met in Portland and stayed with Cindy in her pleasant suburban home. We had a great weekend of eating, catching up, eating, touring, eating, and hanging out. It was so nice to have a ladies weekend filled with three of my favorite things: food, friends, and lots of laughter. Below are a few pictures to represent my three day trip. I hope you enjoy looking over them and see how gorgeous Portland is. 

In front of Cindy's home with myself, Danna, and Cindy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nick's Belated Birthday Dinner

Sorry for posting about Nick's birthday so late, but time passed and I just couldn't let this one go. I had to share with you all our amazing dinner we had that night. We got to go to dinner at this amazing restaurant: The Winery Restaurant & Bar, which won last year's title as"OC Restaurant of the Year." We had purchased a travelzoo voucher to get a 5-course dinner for two for the price of one. I didn't manage to take pictures of our food, but just know that every single course was amazing. 

Below is our menu for the night:

Blackened Mahi Mahi

On a recent trip to Costco, I decided to buy some Mahi Mahi fillets instead of our usual Salmon purchase. I decided I wanted to make some fish tacos but instead of doing a Mexican spiced Mahi Mahi, I decided to use blackened Mahi Mahi. This turned out wonderful, next time I may rub a little more seasoning on the fish because there was plenty of room for adding more flavor. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

 It was my co-worker Christina's birthday the other day and she is obsessed with peanut butter and chocolate desserts. So I decided to make these. They turned out delicious, like a perfectly homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Soooooo good. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownie Banana Pizza

I went to Portland for a girls trip over Labor Day weekend, this was a great chance for me to make a wonderful dessert that I can't make for just nick and I. I stumbled upon this recipe on and it turned out really delicious. It easy to make and sure does impress the taste buds. I say, give it a try. Yummers. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Okra Rice

I have been wanting to make something with Okra ever since I saw it being used on Mastechef last summer and since I tasted it at a local Indian restaurant. So when I spotted a bag of Okra at my local Asian Market, Ranch 99, I knew it was about time. I searched through to find this interesting looking recipe. It turned out pretty good and the Okra was tasty. It was fun to make something new with an incredibly new ingredient. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mocha Chocolate Cookie Crunch Ice Cream

I had some heavy cream leftover from my vodka sauce so I decided it was time to make some ice cream. I once had this amazing ice cream in Dana Point that was coffee flavored with chunks of cookies and chocolate, it was absolutely delicious. I have never been able to find that flavor in the store and so I thought I would make my own version. It turned out wonderful, a perfect summer treat.