Fall is on the way….finally!

I think that we are finally moving past the summer heat in Central California. That being said, the countdown has started for final fair preparations. I try to push my personal boundaries with quantity and content every year, and this year is no exception. Adding to the mix this week is the California Food Expolicious event on Tuesday, plus the fact that I am taking an accelerated class while working full time. The fair turn-in is this week, so that means several late nights wrapping up a few things. I have a couple weeks until the baked goods are due, and that week will be even more frenetic (like always).

I enjoy the challenge to see what I can get done in a very short timeframe, and I really do love cooking and baking. I realized last year when we dropped off the second trunkload of goodies that the volunteers in the Home Arts building see all kinds of deliciousness brought in but never get to taste any. I am going to try to make a little extra, so that they can have something to snack on while they are checking everyone’s items in.

For those that play the home game with me every year, I will post a checklist to print out. I know what I enter, but it still takes me over an hour to find everything. I will post the recipes on this site after I turn everything in. I will say that true to form, I definitely added some new skills to my set this year.

Summer is upon us, so let’s eat!

It is the second day of summer, and it has been a fairly relaxing day. After coming up with a new recipe for the fresh plums off of our trees, it was time to meet a friend at a local taproom to catch up. After chatting with Marshall from http://www.Brulosophy.com (Those who think beer drink beer) for awhile, we headed down to Rocket Dog Brats and Brew in Clovis for a quick bite. We like both the Clovis and Fresno locations, but we seem to get better service at the Fresno site. I had the Bahn Mi dog, which is always tasty, and the extra order of house-made potato chips were a nice compliment to the dog. Now we’re home and I am searching for a new food processor that can handle all the goodies I want to fix. The second item to add to my arsenal will be an electric smoker, but I want to make sure I find one that I will be happy with.

Keep checking in, as I am revamping the site over the summer to list more recipes and food finds.

Stone Beer Co-Founder: We’re Bringing Craft to Nut Butter —

Stone Brewing co-founder and executive chairman Greg Koch is moving beyond beer with the launch of with Nutista, an artisanal, stone-ground nut butter line. Joining him, and running the day-to-day operations, are co-founders Tristen Cross and John Huber. Nutista produces three core flavors — an original that’s a blend of nut varieties, a banana nut butter and a maple nut butter — but Koch’s influence is more apparent in other sub-lines. The brand recently released a Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout Nut butter as well as a Tangerine Express IPA Nut butter, both of which are inspired by popular Stone beers.

via Stone Beer Co-Founder: We’re Bringing Craft to Nut Butter —

Apple Coffee Cake

apple coffee cake (piece)

I started the morning trying to figure out what I could make with some extra apples that were in the kitchen. I have been experimenting with alternate flours as a way to play with different flavors. The result was nice and light, and is a cross between upside down cake and coffee cake. I find the candied ginger (optional) adds a nice sparkle of flavor.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup barley flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
3 apples
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger (optional)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a ring or 9″ round pan, set aside.

Combine the flours, baking soda, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.

Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil.

Stir just until all the liquid is incorporated. Some small lumps in the batter are all right.

Peel and core the apples. Slice half of one and arrange in the bottom of a ring or a 9” round pan. Dice the rest of the apples and fold into the batter.

Sprinkle with the cinnamon, candied ginger, and brown sugar. Carefully pour the melted butter over the apples and sugar.

Pour the batter into the pan, being careful not to move the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Invert pan on a rack or plate and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing.

Slice and enjoy!


  • 2 cups shredded potatoes, about 3 medium-sized potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 11/2 cup grated zucchini or asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese or cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. diced mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix shredded potatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.

Grease a 10″ oven-safe baking dish and add the potato mixture, pressing down to

 pack it tightly on the bottom and sides like a pie crust.

Bake about 25 minutes or until the edges have browned.

In a separate pan, sauté zucchini and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter about 5 minutes until tender.

Combine eggs, milk and salt and pepper to taste and whisk until frothy. Fold in mushrooms and zucchini.

Once the hash brown crust is done, pour egg mixture into the crust. Arrange tomato slices on top, and drop dollops of the goat or cream cheese around them. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If the crust starts browning too much, cover the edge of the pan with aluminum foil.

Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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