Layered gelatin flag popsicles {Helados tricolor}

Flag popsicles

En Español

I made these layered gelatin flag popsicles a few weeks ago to get my kids into the World Cup spirit. I was planning to post the recipe sooner, but of course, as soon as the games started my productivity has dropped to zero – mainly due to exhaustion from screaming at the TV. It’s an understatement to say that World Cup craziness has invaded our home. My husband, despite being French, is not a huge soccer/fútbol fan. Even though I complain about his lack of enthusiasm, he watches the games but doesn’t get as emotional as the rest of us; and I have to admit, it probably helps us keep some minimal balance of sanity around here. (more…)

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Posted on June 18, 2014

Strawberry layer cake

Strawberries and cream layer cake

En Español

This delicious and easy to make strawberry layer cake recipe is the ultimate summer dessert. It’s refreshing, full of strawberry deliciousness, and has the perfect balance of sweetness.  This tall layer cake is made with layers of vanilla sponge cake, honey whipped cream, and fresh ripe strawberries.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan a super sweet desserts, and usually prefer fruity desserts. This strawberries and cream cake is my ideal type of dessert, the cake layers are very light and airy, and not overly sweet. I added a bit of lemon zest to both the cake and the whipped cream, to give them a subtle hint of citrus flavor. I used honey to sweeten the whipped cream and just enough so that it wouldn’t overpower the natural sweetness of the strawberries. (more…)

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Posted on June 4, 2014

Classic caipirinha cocktail

Brazilian caipirinha cocktails

En Español

A caipirinha is a traditional Brazilian cocktail that is made with a mix of muddled limes, sugar, crushed ice, and cachaca. Cachaca, pronounced cachaza, is a popular Brazilian sugar cane liquor, similar to rum and aguardiente. Caipirinhas are one of those drinks that are amazingly simple and easy to make, yet many restaurants/bars (outside of Brazil) tend to mess it up. Of course, when a cocktail is very simple, it does require good quality ingredients. Caipirinhas are very strong, the proportion of alcohol to the rest of ingredients is quite high, and it’s a drink that needs to be sipped and enjoyed slowly. It’s one of those drinks where you know you are drinking a real drink, the benefit is that unlike some fruity drinks where you barely taste the booze –and therefore drink way too much, you know from the start that you probably shouldn’t have too many. There are also (in my opinion) certain places, like the beach, and certain meals, like feijoada (a heavy Brazilian bean dish), where caipirinhas are ideal. And obviously, any party to watch the Brazil World Cup is also a perfect place to enjoy a caipirinha – even more so if you haven’t had one in a while, or want to try it for the first time. (more…)

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Posted on June 3, 2014

Homemade strawberry popsicles

Strawberry popsicles

This is my super easy recipe for homemade strawberry popsicles, made with only pure fresh strawberries (no sugar or water added). The weather in the Seattle area has been amazingly warm and sunny this month. It’s so ironic that my Texas born kids are not used to it and consider 70F-80F degree weather to be a heat wave. My youngest son asked me to buy him an air conditioned shirt to survive. The first thing they do when they get home from school or activities on these warm days is to go directly to the fridge and ask if I have any cold and refreshing snacks. (more…)

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Posted on May 20, 2014

Steak salad with blue cheese, avocado and basil balsamic dressing

Steak salad with blue cheese, avocado, and basil balsamic dressing

This steak salad with blue cheese, avocado and basil balsamic dressing is another one of my quick lunch/dinner recipes using leftovers. We had a leftover steak from a recent lunch that my husband prepared. Our options as we were preparing dinner the following evening were to either divide it into four small pieces so we could each have a small taste or incorporate it into another dish. I love adding leftover meat/fish to salads. We had some perfectly ripe avocados plus some blue cheese, all of which would work great in a salad. I love the flavor mix of avocado, blue cheese, red onions, basil, and balsamic vinegar. And adding strips of leftover juicy NY strip steak made it even better. (more…)

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Posted on May 16, 2014