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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!


When making pasta dishes, match the pasta to the sauce.

If you're making a hearty, chunky sauce, pair it with a short chunky pasta like penne, rotini, gnocchi, fusilli, rigatoni, etc.

If the sauce is thin, creamy and clingy, use a pasta that is long such as spaghetti, spaghettini, linguine, fettuccine, taglioni, etc.




I first made this recipe to impress AJ when we were first dating. I had recently purchased a new cookbook from a lady's garage for three dollars while nannying out in CA. It was Le Cordon Bleu: Complete Cook Home Collection. It was my first time really cooking for anyone and I think it was the start of a ruminating passion for food and cooking that really took off the summer I met AJ. As for the dish, it was so yummy, he married me!

As a matter of fact when I made this again the other night AJ had more than one helping, he loves the sauce and took all the leftovers for lunch the next day leaving me a small cut of chicken to have for my own lunch.

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Here are a few cooking/ baking tips I use and figure if it helps one person out ever, it's worth sharing. Feel free to add your own tips along as a comment!
I will subsequently add more as they resurface in my mind, and kitchen.

* When using Crisco or greasing/buttering a pan for a cake or something or other, use a plastic sandwich bag as a little glove to scoop out a dollop of the greasy stuff, wipe it where you need it, then roll the baggie off your hand in toss it in the rubbage bin!

* When baking a chocolate cake add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the baking soda. The cake will come out moist without any vinegar taste.

* Let bread dough rise in a clean grocery sack instead of with a damp towel on top, saran wrap works too.

* If your cake sticks to the pan, set the pan on a damp towel - the moisture will help release the cake. (haven't tried this one yet, let me know if it works!)

* Before slicing up an onion, let it sit in a freezer for ten minutes (already peeled) and then slice away.
If you want extra protection, wear swimming goggles! haha I read that one and couldn't help but pass it along. I can imagine AJ coming home to me standing there with swimming goggles on, chopping up onions!




I love cooks illustrated, all the science behind their recipes.
I also love light recipes, my tummy is a bit temperamental towards unknown foods. Fast food throws it through a loop!

I also love bread, and about a week ago I gave AJ options of some recipes from my latest Cook's Illustrated issue. It was between their "Guilt-Free Cinnamon Rolls", "Guilt-Free PB Cookies" or my mother's lemon bundt cake, (soon to debut!) as our Sunday dessert. I think because I had made quite a few cookies the week before for various people in our neighborhood, with some to spare for my love, he chose the cinnamon rolls. I think also because the lemon bundt is definitely not a light, meaning "guilt-free", dessert.

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Last week I found a magazine page I've kept for over 5 years, since 2003. It was a recipe of this pretty cake that had pineapple slices for flowers. I pulled it out this week to try it for the first time and even researched the recipe a little to find that there were changes I wanted to make. I made it in honor of my best friend, K Marie, and it was a hit.

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photo from cookbook, mine didn't turn out as beautiful!

This recipe is adapted from yet another Fresh & Healthy recipe by Sally James.
I usually don't cook with alcohol, and Sally calls for 2 T. of Rum. We don't drink so it'd be an awful waste of money and liquor for me to buy a bottle simply for 2 tablespoons worth. So I improvised and used maple syrup instead. The sauce was a teensy bit tart, but I loved it, especially the warm cinnamon-y bananas. It reminded me of being in the Caribbean and all that platanos and baked sweet plantains.

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photo par moi

This recipe is a spin-off of a recipe by Sally James in her recipe book Fresh & Healthy. It's originally called "Penne with Char-Broiled Chicken and Eggplant" but I had no eggplant handy, no car to drive to the store and anyway I seldom actually char-broil anything. Ever since we got our George Foreman grill I've either used that or relied upon my DH to throw another (insert meat type here) on the barbie! Although today was absolutely gorgeous in regard to the weather, DH was not home so I relied on George this evening and without regret, I might add. I'm not to keen on handling flammable (as well as inflammable) substances without adult supervision.

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This is AJ's all time favorite recipe. His mother handed it over to me and AJ is the one that makes it all the time! It's great to have over rice, pasta, tots, anything! Although I would be a bit wary if you're thinking about serving it over cake or something of the sort! ;)

I bake the chicken @ 375ยบ F for a half hour, then I check it to see if the chicken's done. If it's not I keep it in checking every 5-10 minutes until it's finished.

Super easy and yummy!