Showing posts with label Fab Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fab Food. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Do you Like Your Turkey?

This year I will be cooking the big turkey for our family Thanksgiving meal. For many years, I traveled to other family homes to feast on their wonderful meals. This year, it is my turn to step up to the turkey plate!

Hmmm, to cook a turkey, to cook a turkey--that's right, I do not know HOW to cook the bird. But I will prevail with a little help from the internet! It seems there are some interesting ways to cook a turkey...

Brine turkey - soak the turkey with some salt and seasoning, then bake.

Fry a turkey - Dip the whole turkey into a deep fryer.

Roast a turkey - Roast it up in the oven!

Grill a turkey - Grill it on the BBQ.


Well, it will definitely be the oven, does anyone know how to season one? haha! Either way, I hope our friends in the US have a wonderful time with family and friends and eat some good turkey! *wink*

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Baking (and eating) of Holiday Cookies!

Okay, so I’m no Martha Stewart when it comes to baking. BUT I still have the urge for some holiday cookies! Yummers!

So what do I think of when it comes to holiday cookies…?

Is it these…

Or these…


All good, yes, but when I bake Christmas cookies I have the most fun with Sugar cookies!!

When I was little my aunt would always make sugar cookies with frosting on top in reindeer and in santa shapes. But not only that they were so thin and light that they seemed to melt on your tongue. *sigh*

And with my mom, we'd always make our sugar cookie dough into fun shapes like candy canes and holly wreaths:

So this year with my kiddos I plan on making a big mess and continuing the cookie baking tradition!

How about you? Any favorite holiday cookies for you this holiday season?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Starbucks Holidays, Fa la la la la, la la la la

The holidays are fast approaching! In California there is a crispness to the air. Store sales are already booming. And of course…

Starbucks has their holiday drinks available!

What holiday drinks you might ask??

Well, when October came around so did Pumpkin Spice Latte, with a new friend called Toffee Mocha.

And now what’s here this November?

Peppermint Mocha Twist

Espresso Truffle

And Gingersnap Latte!

Okay, if those don’t make you think toasty holiday evenings by the fireplace at home, I don’t know what does. Haha!

I have to admit my favorite Starbucks drink is White Chocolate Mocha, and Pumpkin Spice is nice. I have yet to try these other tasty sounding drinks but I just might!

Any Starbucks drinkers out there? What’s your favorite treat drink?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fave Ice Cream Spots!

It's Ice Cream Week at YA Fresh....yummers!! And I thought I'd share some of my favorite ice cream spots.

Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors!

It has nothing to with the fact I worked there one high school year. haha. And everything to do with their lovely flavors. From World Class Chocolate to Pistachio Almond. :) :)

Cold Stone Creamery!

And it has nothing to do with the cute little song they sing when you give them a tip and all about the many cool mix-ins with my favorite Cake Batter.


Technically, MYO is frozen yogurt shop in Monterey, CA, where you can pile up as much healthy and pure yogurt as you like with amazing toppings in a cup, and then weigh your cup to pay. Pretty nifty, huh? And pretty delish, too.

So tell me, YAF friends, where are YOUR favorite spots for your ice cream fix?

Monday, June 29, 2009

When Tastes Change...

I think one of the great mysteries of life involve our taste buds and why some taste like heaven to some of us...and made others gag.

Culture and exposure effects some of our reactions, but it’s common to see kids with the exact same upbringing have distinctly different preferences, too.

But even more interesting to me is when a person’s own taste changes. And I don’t just mean during pregnancy, when lots of us develop picky habits, or following bout of food poisoning or onset of the flu.

I mean for no apparent reason...

Like I hated zucchini as a kid. But during the course of my marriage, have learned to enjoy it so much that I make it as rice dish, soup, stuffed, broiled, boiled, name it.

And then there’s mangoes. While I never disliked them, I could take the or leave them. Until recently, when I have fallen in love.

And rice pudding! The mere idea made me gag in my younger years. Now it’s a favorite desert!

Oh, and the chip thing. I never much liked Fritos. Bor-ing. All of a sudden, I am not only eating them by the handfuls, but started making French onion dip and buying the dipping size called Scoops.

I mean, sometimes I wonder...who am I and what happened to Tina???

So I thought I’d throw this out to our there a food or flavor that has made a change in your life, for better or worse? And if so, any reason why?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Silly Rabbit!

I’m going to ‘fess up here: until recently, I was a silly rabbit. Not only did I think Trix was for kids, I basically thought ALL cereals were.

Intellectually, I KNEW better.

I knew lots of cereals were healthy, low-fat and recommended grains as part of a balanced diet.

I knew some of my good friends occasionally substituted Raisin Bran and Wheaties for dinner.

I knew college girls who ate cereal to avoid dorm food, and college guys who scarfed it up to supplement what they felt was not ENOUGH dorm food.

Still, it wasn’t until a friend told me her morning breakfast recipe that something broke through my brain. Not so much for the weight control or health aspect, but because IT SOUNDED GOOD. She said every morning on top of cereal she added a spoonful of yogurt, diced apples, a sprinkling of nuts and milk.

And as luck would have it, I had all those items in my house. So next morning, I threw stubborn caution to the wind and tried it. And...yep...yum!

Now I’m a cereal convert, trying all kinds of brands and add-ins. (Like the morning version of Coldstones Ice Cream, huh?) So I am turning to our YA Fresh readers today for your thoughts.

Specifically, are you a cereal eater? Do you have one or more you really, really like? Have anything you add in to make it just that much better???

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plum Fruity!

There’s lots of wonderful things to be said about this season as the spring gives way to summer. One’s focus often goes to the end of school, summer jobs and vacations.

But the other day I had the pleasure of biting into a slice of fresh, ripe mango...and I felt like I’d fast-forwarded to the Fourth of July. It had been ages since I’d had really good mango, and it was like a culinary fireworks experience!

And it reminded me that ‘tis the season for really good fruit. The berries: blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Watermelon. Bing cherries. Plums. Peaches. Grapes. Pineapple. Pears. Apples. Oranges. Tangerines. Kiwis. Coconuts. Tomatoes. (Yes, coconuts are tomatoes both classified as fruits. Swear!)

I think I'm going to be very busy this summer, eating them all!

Am I forgetting anything? And what’s YOUR favorite?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I'm looking forward to this Thursday...

I know not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, but I must tell you what has me all excited...

There's the getting together with family and friends. Lots of hugs, lots of laughs. Lots of catching up with each other.

And you know what else there is a lot of that I'm looking forward to??


Yes, dishes and dishes of glorious food. Am I like a punk or what??

Not only is there turkey and yummy gravy and mashed potatoes but there is comfort food. Food from my childhood that always makes me feel, well, comfy! =D

My aunt has been making this brown gravy with tiny bits of turkey in it all my life. Yes. It's FABULOUS. Then there is this wonderful potato salad she makes. I've made potato salad before but it never comes out as good as hers. Its just sooo good. And because we are part Filipino, she never fails to have sticky rice.

And oh my gosh, there is this broccoli and rice casserole. I know, it doesn't sound appealing even to me, but the taste is wonderfully home.

So that's what I'm gearing up for on Thursday. Lots of visiting and lots of comfort food!!

Is there something you're looking forward to eating with your family or friends??

Let's prepare ourselves. Yum!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Plain Crazy for Pumpkin!

One of the best things to me about this time of year is the return of pumpkin. Pie, cookies, bread, lattes, soup, mousse, cake, waffles, pancakes, ravioli. Even the scent in an aerosol. Bring it on!

And the twist on this craving is that it’s actually healthy, as pumpkin is a natural oxidant.

Something the Australians must know. For when I visited there in the summer of 2002, I found pumpkin soup on almost every menu--no joke--and had at least one bowl daily, even on the dive boat out in the Great Barrier Reef. Yum.

And I’m one of Starbucks’ most loyal customer when they’ve got the pumpkin latte on their menu.

Although I have to say that one time I got to taste test competing slices of pumpkin pie--one made from a hollowed-out pumpkin, the other from canned filling--I preferred the canned. Which made me wonder if I was a true pumpkin purist...

In any case, put the word “pumpkin” in a recipe title, and I’m there. Anyone else crazy for the big orange fruit?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's for Breakfast?

Is it just in California, or are breakfast burritos the high school and college rage where you live, too?

Cafeterias in the golden state can barely keep up with the demand. For breakfast burritos are not only delicious eye-openers, but
filled with enough protein and carbs (and calories!) to power
brains through their morning classes.

And in many schools, the caf staff (hey, that's rhymes!) lets you
pick and choose your own ingredients:

--scrambled eggs
--hash browns
--green peppers

Topped with salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, and you are
good to go.

Tell us what's popular in your breakfast burritos or and/or what
fills your breakfast cafeteria trays...

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Real Skinny on the Real Junk

Want to know what kinda junk food high school guys really want to eat? I have the inside report!

In the name of involving myself in new and interesting endeavors,
this winter I am running a snack shop for a high school team that
caters to about fifty kids (almost all guys). It’s great fun to drop by and chat with them about different things, including what they like and don't like in their snack food. (And yes, I talk about my books, too...)

Here are the winners and the losers from the snack shack shelves:

Chips sell. Especially anything with “Doritos” in the label.

Packages of cookies just sit there, so do the cereal type bars.

Moon Pies are a go.

Soda moves quickly--the darker, the more caffeinated, the better.

Bottled water is a slow but steady sale.

The big winner? Candy. Of which I initially made a mistake. I
was thinking chunky bars for big appetites. Nope, not so much. Acknowledging I needed help, I asked the guys, and got a resounding response which I quickly filled. So here are the top candy sellers:

Any surprises on this list? And anyone have any other good ideas for stocking the shelves in future weeks?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fresh from the oven...

When I lived on the east coast, December was not only holiday season, it was baking season. Entire families got together to make wide assortments of holiday cookies, to be presented in gift platters and tins to friends and family, served at parties and following meals--and left for Santa.

My family never much went in for this, however, and I admit, as an adult, I’ve let holiday baking slide almost completely from my life. But I have great admiration for those who collect and swap recipes, who shop for the best ingredients, and spend hours creating the perfect cookies. And I’m thrilled when I’m a platter recipient.

Tell us, do you come from a family that considers baking an important part of the holiday season? And if so, do you have a favorite cookie?

Friday, August 10, 2007

A (YA) Fresh Summer Dessert!

A few summers ago I went pretty bonkers over a homemade soft serve ice cream recipe. I’d forgotten about it until recently--something my waistline thanked me for--but it’s not only back in my brain now, but I thought I’d share it with all of you. It is super easy to make and as I said, addictively good...

(YA) Fresh Fruit Soft Serve Ice Cream

2 pints whipping cream
Frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, blueberries--
not packed in juice)
Sugar to taste

Put the cream in the freezer for about 10 minutes to make it very cold. Then put the cream and fruit into a food processor and blend until it becomes the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Add sugar and blend a little more, to taste.

Serve immediately--it melts fast! And enjoy!

And happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Desserts

I can feel the summer warmth begin in California and I've been having a few chats about summer...and desserts! Yes, yummy desserts I'll probably splurge on this summer...and you know, munch out on. haha!

Milk shakes are ALWAYS great. Banana splits are like heaven! There are those frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, have you ever tried one? And don't forget Jello with whipped cream, or snow cones with different flavors.

And let me tell you one of my all time faves. You'd think it would be something unique and outrageous...but it's not.

One of my fave summer desserts is a fudgesicle!

What are your fave summer desserts?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Making Good Foods Even Better

When I was kid, I knew people who put ketchup on their eggs. I thought that was gross and weird...until salsa came into my life, and now I totally get the tomato with egg taste.

On the flipside, while visiting a friend in Europe, I shocked her by eating a raw floweret of broccoli. I kept insisting raw veggies and dip was standard party fare in the U.S., but all she could do was laugh at me.

I guess it’s all about what you know and feels right to you, huh?

Now, check out this picture of pancakes and orange slices.

Rather standard breakfast fare, and as it happens, two of my favorite things. Except for the way I eat them: my pancakes runny in the middle, and my orange slices with the rind attached. In addition, I consider the skin the best part of the baked potato. And I’ve been known to eat dry Coffeemate from a spoon.

I’m betting I just earned myself an “ewww” or two? Believe me, I hear them from my family over these things all the time. But hey, why not eat foods the way you like them?

So how about you? Any creative and original ways that you make good foods even better?

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Yum Experience...

I mentioned before that I was slowly making my way through the Gilmore Girls DVDs, and I am now officially on Season 2. In Season 2, Lorelai is engaged and her best friend Sookie is throwing her a surprise wedding shower, and Lorelai walks in on all these beautiful heart-shaped cookies and cakes, and everything is pink and white and...yummy.

You're probably wondering, where is she going with this?

Where I'm going with this is straight to desserts. Yep, yummy desserts. Because the only yummy dessert I had in the house after looking at all the delicious desserts on Gilmore Girls were brownies! So I set out to make brownies.

Then I wondered, what are my favorite desserts? It used to be milkshakes. When I was younger, having the tallest, coldest, chocolate milkshake with whipped cream was the ultimate dessert experience. And now as a mature adult--hehe--it's cheesecake. Yum, cheesecake, but I'll travel far for a really good muffin. crumb...whatever gives that yummy goodness. And really, muffins can also be breakfast, a snack, or a dessert, right?

As I write this and stuff my face with a rich dark brownie, please dish--haha!--what's your favorite dessert? :) :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cupcakes Aren't Just for Birthdays Anymore!

I’m on the inside track of something hot and trendy and, yes, YA Fresh. And I gotta share it, even if my scoop is admittedly secondhand.

It’s called Sprinkles Cupcakes, and the word on the LA street is they are to die for.

You’re probably like, “cupcakes?” Those things mothers have been sending into classrooms on birthdays for as long as you can remember? Well, yes--and no. Mom never made flavors like peanut butter chocolate or red velvet or cinnamon sugar, huh? Nor were they ever *this* delicious.

But again, you can’t take my word for it. I’ve never actually eaten one. I just keep hearing about them. And I’m trusting the experts. Like Tyra Banks and Oprah. Like the Good Morning America gang. And the folks at the Food Network.

Stories have come to me about ridiculously long lines at the Beverly Hills bakery, about people finally making it to the front only to discover they’d already sold out for the day. About how they don’t ship, but will car deliver them in the LA area for a Beverly Hills worthy price.

And what was once two southern California bakeries has now exploded nation-wide and even overseas.

Until a Sprinkles bakery comes to a city near you, check out the website ( and dream. And maybe do lots of jumping jacks and sit-ups. For while Sprinkles cupcakes have no trans fats, they are made with the highest quality butter, chocolate and vanilla. But come on, that’s part of the appeal, isn’t it?

I know it is for me. And one of these Saturdays, I’m going to get my butt out of bed before dawn, drive across town to Beverly Hills, get in that line. And then I’ll be back with a first hand report on what’s hot, trendy and YA fresh!