Well, apple season is definitely here!  Hundreds of tourists and even locals from neighboring cities continue to make their way up to Apple Hill in our town of Camino, which is situated in the sierra foothills of El Dorado County.  The Apple Hill® Growers Association … located in Camino, Cedar Grove, Placerville and Pollock Pines, CA … was once a fledgling association comprised of 5 ranches.  Today the Association has over 50 ranches including fruit growers, bake shops, wineries, a micro-brewery, a spa and Christmas tree growers.  [Source: http://www.applehill.com].

My husband and I are blessed to now be a part of this quaint town and community…

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A Snippet of Apple Hill nearby Boa Vista Orchards

The original ingredients were adapted from a restaurant I frequently visited in the Bay Area.  I would often purchase the garlic spread by the pint so I can enjoy it at home.   For many years now I have learned to perfect the recipe in order to differentiate from the original…thus making it my own.

First came the trend of the pork belly, a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig…which essentially spells B A C O N! with a capital Y U M!  Today, we have the Frankenstein version of a doughnut, merged into a form of a croissant, the cronuts. This trending, decadent croissant-doughnut fusion has a definitive height on the media sphere.  I am seeing cronuts everywhere!  And, because it’s Trendy-Food-Tuesday, I am so having a cronut moment…Let’s do this, shall we?

I truly enjoy my do-nothing Sundays.  No chores, and church usually takes place on a Saturday afternoon.  So with all random task aside, I like to use my Sundays for food blogging, or in today’s case, for baking.  Soft pretzels seem to be a good choice…

I can’t say that these are the best brownies I’ve ever made…because honestly, I don’t even consider myself a baker. However, it’s one of those afternoons when I am twirling my thumbs for something to do in the kitchen.

Summer truly is a great season to take advantage of the organic fruits that mother nature has intended for us to enjoy come harvest time. Hubby and I are lucky enough to have inherited a quaint orchard in the backyard of our new home. There are approximately 20 fruit trees consisting of apples, apricots, figs, pears, plums, and a full-grown pepper tree, as well. We also have some wild grapes, which pollinated from the winery next door, that have spread throughout the premise of the garden. Here are a few pictures I took, some trees of which I’ve marked ‘Not sure’ because I can’t tell them apart from peaches to apricots whilst they are still green. Enjoy!

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It is the simplicity of French food, or in this case, French dessert that makes it ideal for re-creating at home.  Here’s my creation using my two favorite things, blueberries…and edible flowers. Bon Appétit…

Sometimes we can all use a little bit of butterscotch and perhaps a few drizzle of caramel in our lives, right?  Mix this together, along with a few other heartwarming ingredients and place it in a cast-iron skillet …My friends, you’ll have yourself a heart pouncing, whirlwind of a dessert in no time flat!

At last, I finally made bagels at home!  Could use a bit of perfecting (but then again, I’m a bit of a perfectionist), Nonetheless..the process was rather easy and every ingredient I needed were readily available in my pantry.  With this said, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry, too.  Trust me, if you can make bread dough, you can easily make bagels…and the fun part, customize them!  Have your little ones do the customizing and make it a family bagel-making day.  Happy Baking–gcc

Let’s face it, I just can’t resist the scent of fresh-baked bread in the oven.  However, seldom as it may, I do fall short on time because of reasons X, Y & Z; -or- our little guy just can’t wait for that dough to rise in two hours; only to wait yet another hour after kneading the bread, er, ummm…you know the drill. 

Okay, who doesn’t love brownies?  Specially these sticky-finger ones that also stick to your teeth when eating them…hehe…just don’t smile afterwards (or during)!  Was on a little baking frenzy yesterday, so here we are!  Bet yeah can’t have just one 😉 Served warm, these not-too-sweet brownies are also great à la mode.–gcc

Ever since I spotted a tiny little kitchen gadget–doughnut cutter from Williams-Sonoma, I have had the inkling to make doughnuts at home! On a similar note, last week we ventured to a shopping center and luckily enough, I spotted a Williams-Sonoma store. Once in, one of the first things that came to mind, of course, was that inevitable doughnut cutter that has been lingering back and forth in my WS ‘shopping cart’ online. CONSIDERING that it is always best seeing, touching, and experiencing things ‘in-person’, I was beside myself when I finally purchase the doughnut cutter, along with a ‘few’ other little items, that will eventually join the gaggle of gadgets already situated in our kitchen drawer.

With my favorite recipe books lined up and food writing class as we speak, I  am off to a good start for the new year!  Speaking of which, as I hone in on my Filipino roots, although I don’t practice most, I still like to partake in learning about our traditions, customs and superstitions.  In matters of food, part of our customary tradition, or superstition, if you may, in preparation for New Year’s Eve is to have twelve (12) round fruits, each to signify a month of the year. Ideally, twelve different round fruits such as clementines, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, watermelon–but as it can be challenging to gather all things round and fruity, some of the fruits end up being non-circular such as mangoes, apples or the like.  As for me, well, I grabbed one bag of clementines which had at least 12 in a bag, so I was good to go…

Looking for something fancy and fabulous to bake and gift for the holidays?   Well, with a little imagination and creativity take a few simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter and eggs and get ready to strut their stuff in the kitchen!

Now, do you remember those wonderful glasses with a pattern-etched stamp or glass?  I know I do, only I remember them being back at my parents home when I was about 8 years old.  Well, who would have thought that these wonderful glasses would add touch of elegance to cookies?

I don’t care much for ‘sweet potatoes’ in general, so it’s really not something you will find at my home often, if at all…with the exception of an intent to make sweet potato fries!

My first encounter with sweet potato fries was only a few months ago when I decided to venture at the frozen section of the Supermarket.  There was a 2 for $7 sale on frozen, organic sweet potato fries.  I figured, it wouldn’t hurt, right?