No Bake Avocado Pudding Review


Trying to find new ways to use avocados, I came across the following recipe: . It seemed healthy and simple enough. I thought I would give it a try.

The avocado pudding was very easy to put together. Simply dump the avocado, coconut milk, and honey in a blender, give it a spin, refrigerate for a while, and it is done. My pudding came out on the thin side. Next time, I would use coconut cream or a thicker variety of the coconut milk than what I used. I also thought, after sampling a small bite, that it was a bit bland in flavor. I decided to crumble-up some graham crackers and place them in the bowl and add my scoop of pudding on top. Yes, that was just the something it needed. Now, it was actually quite addictive.

So, do I recommend this recipe? Well, yes, I would say I do, with the minor adjustments I mentioned above. Maybe even a spot of whipped cream. I suppose that makes it a bit more unhealthy, oh well.

As always, Happy Baking!


Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock Recipe Review


I picked-up a copy of the May/June 2021 issue of Victoria Magazine – Special French Issue the other day. This issue being devoted to all things French, including the recipes, I was sure to be in for a treat. Oh yummy!

I saw the photo for the Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock and my mouth was watering. While this recipe is suggested as a breakfast item (and I would agree), I decided to make it for a dessert last night. It worked quite well in that department as well. The pairings of the apricots (which I substituted for the nectarines), raspberries, and almond was quite delicious.

The Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock is made up of fruit on top of an almond-paste creme spread over raspberry preserves on a slice of brioche. This is baked in the oven, cooled, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The only substitutes I made to this recipe where (as stated above) using canned apricots instead of nectarines (not in season), frozen raspberries instead of fresh, almonds instead of pistachios, and instead of the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract. The recipe itself is very easy to make and takes very little time to put together an impressive looking pastry.

The other recipes from the ‘French Breadbasket’ article also look delicious and will soon be put to the test in my kitchen. These recipes include: Chaussons Aux Pommes, Ginger-Cardamom Kouign-Amann, and Escargot Au Chocolat. This issue of Victoria also has recipes for Macarons. Included are: Blackberry-Thyme, Earl Grey, White Chocolate-Mint, Strawberries and Cream, and Raspberry Lemonade. Looks like I will not be coming out of the kitchen for a while.

I highly recommend the recipe for Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock from Victoria Magazine. I am quite sure I will be making this recipe again. As always, Happy Baking!

My Take on…The Apprentice My Life in the Kitchen- Jacques Pepin

Book Reviews

I was gifted the book The Apprentice My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin. It is a biography written by Jacques Pepin of his life, how he came to be an apprentice in the kitchens of France, how he came to America, and how he became a televsion personality and cookbook author. And what would a biography of a famous cookbook author be without recipes sprinkled throughout the book? This book does not disappoint.

Jacques Pepin had me hooked on this book from the beginning. It is far from dull! Pepin, obviously a humorous man, told laugh out loud stories from his childhood and beyond. There were also interesting looks into the life of the little boy he was during war torn France during WWII. Of course, there were plenty of details into the life of an apprentice in the many kitchens of France. Upon coming to America, Pepin, always a hard worker, detailed the many jobs he had and the choices he made that led him to become a famous chef. Every chapter highlights a recipe with an introduction, in Pepin’s own words, as to what makes the recipe special.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Apprentice My Life in the Kitchen! What a fascinating life. I would say a lesson learned by reading this book would be to do what you love and to enjoy life to the fullest. And of course to eat good food. I highly recommend reading a copy of this book. It would also make a wonderful gift to anyone interested in cooking.

As always, Happy Reading!

Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal


I was in the process of making my morning oatmeal when it dawned on me. We were out of brown sugar. Oh no! I knew we ran out yesterday. Just did not go to the store to replace it yet. That was not a way to start off my morning.

But I was not bothered for too long. A thought came to me of how to save my morning oatmeal. I was already making fried apples with cinnamon. Why not top the oatmeal with these instead!

So, I finished the apples which I was sauteeing in butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon and then decided to add a teaspoon of regular granulated sugar to give it just a bit of sweetness. I usually do not add sugar to the apples, however, since sugar is added to apple pie filling, I thought I would give it a go. I plated the apples and then topped it with my old fashioned oatmeal. Not bad, but I am adding brown sugar to my shopping list.

As always, Happy Cooking!

My Take on…Dinner Chez Moi

Book Reviews, Cooking

After having read both of Elizabeth Bard’s memoirs, I decided to give her cookbook a try. Mixed in with the recipes are little paragraphs of tips or “secrets” as the author calls them. I found those fun to read and read them straight away, as I was skimming the recipes. I decided to make a full meal including desert from Dinner Chez Moi.

I enlisted my daughter to help me prepare the meal. We made the Lentil and Sausage Stew (Lentilles aux saucisses fumees), even though it is summer here in California and rather warm. The author assured us that, ” This is a favorite dish in our house year-round-warm and comforting as a big bear hug. Friends and family request it each time they visit, even if it’s 100 degrees in the shade!”. Well, ok. If it is recommened in any temperature then let’s go for it! And go for it we did. Next on the menu were the Ham and Rosemary Cheese Puffs (Gougeres au fromage, romarin, et jambon cru). To top off the meal, we made the Butter Cookies with Orange-Flower Essence (Sables aux fleur d-oranger).

We made the butter cookies first. They take an hour in the fridge to chill and then fifteen minutes to bake. They were light and very flavorful. The orange rind and orange-flower water gave the perfect amount of flavor. Sometimes, flavors are not so distinct. Also, I found this to be a nice treat with very few carbohydrates per cookie. The sugar was a mere 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon. Nice!

Next, we made the stew. I have a go-to lentil soup recipe, however, this one might have surpassed it. It was easy to make and loaded with fresh vegetables. It took an hour to simmer, which is normal for recipes with lentils. I really liked the added touch of wine and sausage. Yum!

While the stew was simmering, we made the Cheese Puffs. I did not find the ham at the store, so we left it out. I figured since there was already sausage in the stew we did not really need more meat with the meal anyway. I used fresh rosemary from our garden. They smelled delicious. Again, this was an easy recipe to whip together. I found that they did not need the full time in cooking. As with all new recipes, be sure to watch the bake time so as not to over bake these puffs. As with the cookies, I found this recipe low in carbohydrates. Nice!

My take on Dinner Chez Moi by Elizabeth Bard is that I think it is a keeper. Three out of three recipes tried were winners. The bonus “50 French Secrets” are interesting and worth the read. The only question is, “What will I make next?”. As always, Happy Cooking!

Homemade Granola


Granola can be a difficult item to shop for if needing to avoid nut allergies. It can also be on the expensive side and sometimes the flavors are not exactly what one prefers. Why not make it yourself!

Granola is not hard to make. Having said that, one does need to be careful not to over-bake the granola. It can over-cook and burn easily, so attention is needed.

The great advantage to making granola is that it tastes fresher and almost anything can be added to it. It lasts a long time on the counter in a sealed container, so it does not have to be made all that often. Granola can be eaten on it’s own, sprinkled on top of yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, fruit, etc…

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (A baking sheet with edges is prefered.)

Step 2: Get the ingredients together…

1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of preference)

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 c brown sugar

2 1/4 c old fashioned oats

3/4 – 1 c dark chocolate chopped into small pieces

Dark chocolate squares

1/4 – 1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes

If chocolate and coconut are not desired, dried fruits could be added instead.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Step 4: In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients EXCEPT oats, chocolate, and coconut.

Step 5: Turn the burner to medium-low and stir ingredients until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Take off heat.

Step 6: Add oats to pan and stir together.

Step 7: Dump the mixture unto the baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Step 8: Pop in oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

Step 9: Take the granola out of oven and stir the granola every 10 minutes. At 30 minutes, remove granola from oven. The granola will harden and become crisp after it leaves the oven so do not bake it until it is hard. It should still be golden in color not darkened or it will taste burnt.

Step 10: Slide the parchment paper with granola onto a wire rack to cool.

Step 11: If coconut is desired…place a new sheet of parchment paper on baking sheet and spread the coconut out onto the sheet. Pop in the oven (same temperature) for about 5 minutes. Watch this like a hawk! Coconut can cook quite fast as well. I like to stir this half-way through cook time. It should turn pale golden but not dark in color or it will be burnt.

Step 12: Remove the coconut from oven and slide the parchment paper with coconut directly onto a wire rack to cool.

Step 13: Once all are cool, mix together in a bowl and store in an air-tight container. Note: The granola will need to be broken up when removing from parchment. Just break into pieces with hands.

Ready to eat

I hope I did not scare anyone with 13 steps! It really is not hard. I just stretched the instructions out. If anyone makes this recipe let me know how it was.

As always Happy Baking!

Cornmeal Waffles with Chili


As I had a few ‘meal coupons’ from my son, I decided to have him make a new dish, Cornbread Waffles with Chili. The chili is super simple to make and he already knew how to make waffles so it was an easy meal for him to make. The combo, while questionable to some, was delicious.

To make this recipe for Cornmeal Waffles with Chili, head back over to This is the same sight I got the recipe for Hawaiian Oatmeal from. A new fav recipe sight for me.

My son made the waffle recipe as it reads. The chili recipe was tweaked a bit. Here are the changes:

The Easiest Chili Recipe Ever…

First off, cut the recipe in half. Next, cut the white beans and fire-roasted tomatoes from the recipe.

Here is the ingredient list that was used:

  • 1 pd Italian Sausage
  • 1 14-oz can pinto beans (drained and washed)
  • 1 14-oz can black beans (drained and washed)
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz can mild chopped green chiles
  • 1 7-oz can yellow corn (drained)
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Toppings: Shredded mexican or cheddar cheese

The chili was made using the stove-top directions. Basically cook the meat, dump everything in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes. While the chili is simmering make the waffles. When the waffles are finished top with a cup of chili and sprinkle with cheese.

This recipe was the perfect amount to cover the 7 waffles with 1 cup of chili each.

A big THANKS to my son for a wonderful meal! It was yummy and something I will have him make again! (hee hee)

So, kick off your shoes and head on over to for the recipe (And a big Thanks to as well!). As always, Happy cooking!

Hawaiian Oatmeal Review


I was searching recipes and I came across a tropical delight. Hawaiian Oatmeal found at: Sounds tropical…I was hooked on the word Hawaiian.

I have made this recipe three times already. It is a keeper. A nice twist from plain outmeal. A bit of crunch, flavor in every bite, and the fruit is a sweet and nutritional bonus packing in an extra food group.

The only thing I changed on this recipe was the quantity. I cut the recipe down to one serving size which is a half cup of oats. This recipe is for four servings and since I was not making breakfast for all I just cooked enough for me.

Since our orange tree is loaded with oranges right now, I decided to give the recipe another go around with oranges instead of pineapple. This version was also very good and as we have oranges in the back yard, very practical as well. I’ll name this version Californian Oatmeal.

Californian Oatmeal

Ok, so I’m really hooked on oatmeal… Here is another of my creations. I call it Going Bananas! Oatmeal. I used the same recipe idea but used bananas instead. I did not add any bananas to the pot when cooking the oatmeal. I just topped it with half of a banana cut into slices. Sprinkled with the brown sugar, chopped almonds, and coconut as with the other recipes. I liked this version. Which did I like best… depends on my mood.

Going Bananas! Oatmeal

Oh, I couldn’t help myself….introducing Mad About Mangoes Oatmeal.

Mad About Mangoes Oatmeal

So kick-off your shoes, go to and give this recipe a try. The website also has a ton of other yummy looking dishes that are now on my to try list. As always, Happy Cooking!

Gluten-Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins


Another gluten-free recipe review. This recipe for Carrot Zucchini muffins from was a keeper. I like this recipe because it was very moist (not dry or crumbly) and did not need to be washed down with a beverage like some gluten-free recipes I have tried. The zucchini is obviously the source of moisture in this muffin. They also had a good flavor.

Getting started
Mixing together ingredients.
Ready to eat.

I followed this recipe per the ingredients. However, since these are muffins, I did not use the whipped cream chesse on top. In my opinion, they did not need a topping, so I just left it off. Do be careful of the cook time. The recipe calls for 30-35 minutes. This (at least for my oven) would be too long. I would check these muffins at 20 minutes.

To find the recipe, visit:

Chickpea Whipped Cream


I was scheduled to make a chocolate cream pie for my son as a reward for his straight A report card, but I forgot to buy the whipped cream to go on top. What to do? Substitute of course!

In the past, I have tried to use coconut cream as a base to make whipped cream. This method is hit or miss for me. It is very tricky to get it to work right and is not guaranteed to make it to the table.

When I informed my family that I was making whipped cream using the liquid from canned chickpeas (some may call them garbanzo beans…same thing), skepticism was in the air. However, all tried it and I must say it was a success. I was thrilled at how easy it came together and overjoyed by the outcome. The plus side to using the chickpea liquid was that it is dairy-free and costs next to nothing to make. Also, there is a great bonus in that I am not wasting anything from the can of chickpeas as I eat those on salads or as a side dish.

The recipe I found was at

I followed the recipe except for two things… I opened the can of chickpeas the previous day and saved the liquid in the refrigerator. So my chickpea liquid was cold, making for cold whipped cream. The temperature may also affect the way it whips. The second difference was that I turned the electric mixer to high and not the medium that the recipe suggested.

I found this super easy and fast to make. It did not take the 10 to 15 minutes that the recipe said it would. It was very quick. I took the liquid from the fridge and in the same bowl added the 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and the 1 tsp of vanilla. I beat that on high with an electric hand mixer until no liquid remained and it was getting stiff. I then slowly added the 2 Tbsp of sugar while continuing to beat at high speed. The “whipped cream” came out perfect. It made a lot of whipped cream. Plenty for a whole pie and then some. Since the whipped cream settles a bit in the fridge, it needs to be re-whipped for a minute with the electric mixer on high. I re-whipped the cream the next day for the other half of the pie. The following morning, I again re-whipped the cream for a topping to my pancakes. There is still some left. That little bit of liquid made a lot of whipped cream.

Chocolate Pie Smothered in Chickpea Whipped Cream – Yum
Pancakes with Chickpea Whipped Cream (re-whipped)

As always, Happy Baking!