Our 4th annual Mystery dinner…

.. when autumn leaves turn to gold and fall  echoing earth goddess Astraea’s departure from earth.  It’s the month of  graveyards, masks, witches, spiders, poisons, old black crows and our annual Halloween mystery party.

Midnight in Paris !

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 The bewitching hour of midnight . This is the time to eat, drink & be creepy ! We dance untill dawn !

Thanks everyone for another fun and exciting Mystery Dinner Party !

  Sacred Cheryl

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Pink Lemonade Cake Recipe

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scant 1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 tsp baking power

1/2 cup soft butter

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 extra large eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar juice of 1 lemon

pink food coloring

This recipe makes ten cupcakes or one  8 ” cake.

Preheat oven 350, sift the flour and baking power into large bowl. Add butter, superfine sugar and eggs. beat untill smooth add a little pink food coloring.Spoon mixture into paper liners or cake pan. Bake cupcakes 18-20 mins and cake 22-26 mins. Place the granulated sugar and lemon juice in saucepan stir untill sugar is dissolved, let cool. brush the tops of cupcakes or cake with the mixture. Let cool .

Frosting

1 lb. box of C&H Pure Can Powered Sugar

1/4 cup of lemon juice

1 tsp lemon rind

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 package cream cheese

pink food coloring (optional).

Mix all together and beat 2 mins, scraping the bowl often. Frost your cupcakes or cake, add lemon slice on top or add a straw .

I had requests for this recipe , hope you enjoy

xoxo Cheryl

Christmas Tea Time….

The table is set and it’s Christmas tea time…

Al fresco tea table setting and…

A Whimsical Christmas Tea table by Cheryl  …

Every tea cup has a tag with the guest name…

A snowflake cupcake by Dora…

and she made these beautiful little Christmas jewels cupcakes that were so divine.

The girls loved my big stock pot of Sassafras herbal tea with cloves.

Barbara demonstrated wonderful recipes from The Pampered Chef…you can find her website here www.pamperedchef.biz/barmas.

and Brianna lovely Frills were such the hit, I had to buy theses beautiful tiles for my Christmas table.

We handled out some beautiful tea gifts from Maria’s Antiques while the women ate Dora’s wonderful cupcakes .

A special thanks to Dora, Barbara and  Brianna for making this a relaxing and magical Christmas tea event…hope to see everyone next year.

Next post my wine Christmas table, and how to have a kitchen tea.

I am sharing this post with -cottage-good-life-weds.

Spice Merchants Old town Temecula

Are you ready for Thanksgiving ? I know I’m not ready, but the 1st thing I do is head to Spice Merchants in Old town Temecula for all my spices.  I use their spices for my Rosemary turkey, cider, yams and for my herb stuffing.

What I love about Spice Merchants is that the staff here is very helpful with any recipe you might have, or any question you have about what to use. And they have ready blends for just about anything you might be making, including dips.

They will also mix and bag any combination you might need for any of your personal recipe.

My favorite blend is Rosemary Rapture. Blend this rosemary based rub with a little oil.  Rub it on pork, chicken or turkey and feel the rapture. An aromatic blend of rosemary, garlic, savory, white pepper, parsley, and lemon zest.

A friendly staff will greet you  at the door and keep you coming back to Old Town Spice Merchants of  Temecula for all your spice needs. Here are their hours.
Monday – Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday  9am-5pm
Sunday 11am-4pm
You can also order any spice blend online here at spicemerchants.
Have a great week xoxo Cheryl

Viennese Coffee…

Now that we can make a great cup of coffee from a french press, I thought I would give you the recipe for my favorite coffee drink, Viennese Coffee 

 I had this coffee in Venice , Italy and I will never forget how enchanting that day was, or how wonderful this coffee drink taste. It was a cold and brisk day and I was wearing black gloves, a tweed gray coat , jeans and black boots. Funny how a smell or a taste can send you back in time. My recipe is for two of course. 

Recipe

2 cups of coffee, dark roast

1/2 cup heavy cream whipped

ground cinnamon, nutmeg 

Pour the coffee into two cups. Top each cup with a large dollop of whipped cream, swirl the whip cream with a spoon and sprinkel with cinnamon and nutmeg.

My next post is two simply enchanting shops in Old town Claremont that takes me back to my youth, have a great day !

xoxo Cheryl

October is when my inner witch comes out…

The invitations are out for this years Creepy Chic Mystery dinner and now for the month of October is when my inner witch comes out. I transform our home into a creepy place where we ” dine with the spirits’ and we go from room to room to discover the  ancient witch and Wizard ways.  As masters of the witches secrets I began my alchemy and create potions and elixirs for all my guests to taste and enjoy. And I make a dinner fit for a King (after all I have cooked for King Arthur himself) . I only hope no-one  falls into a deep sleep….

Beware…join me if you dare !

My kitchen essentials #1 equipment

I organize my kitchen in September for all the fall and winter holidays. I love  to cook in the fall so I make sure my kitchen is ready and in stock.  My kitchen essentials #1 is the first  in a series of  kitchen essentials posts I will be doing. Maybe I will post these on Friday’s  for weekend shopping .  I  have my Sunday farmer’s market day and I look forward to that day. Here is my  bare bones essentials that I use daily.  Good if your just starting a kitchen and great for making most of my recipes.

1. Large canister filled with large spoons , whisk, soup ladle, spatulas.

2. Cheese grater (any size is good)

3. Toothpicks

4. salt and pepper

5. coffee press (makes great coffee)

6. potato peeler.

7.egg slicer

8. cutting board (any size will do )

9. 10″ knife and 10″ fork

10. small strainer

11. cake spatula

12. hand mixer

13. measuring cups ( a must )

14.  hand-held juicer ( I use this all the time )

1. wine opener

2. cheese slicer

3. can opener

4. desert spatula

5. ice cream scooper

6. pizza cutter

7. food scissors

8. sharp steak knife

9. bread knife

10. 10″ knife

11. carving knife

1. cream napkins (I use these for bread baskets and guest napkins )

2. good pot holders (make sure they are thick )

3. canvas bag (My fresh and easy bag I carry everywhere)

4. a good apron (this one is from Target)

5. garden shovel

You can buy coffee beans and  use the grinder at your local Trader Joe’s and store the coffee in a stainless steel container. With a French coffee press  you will have great coffee to impress any out-of-town guest.

 Thanks abeachcottage for good life Wed !

Simple basil pesto

An easy way to use up all my fresh basil and fresh spinach is to make Simple basil pesto.

I add 1 whole bunch of fresh basil, 5 whole clove of fresh garlic, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 cup of fresh spinach in a blender.

I add all these spices about a 1/2 teaspoon each and a 3 full teaspoons of sesame seeds. And blend on ice chop for about 5 mins

untill the mixture is smooth.

Cook a 12oz bag of linguine for 10 mins drain and spoon pesto on the cooked linguine and mix.

Make a simple salad with Romain leafs , green onions, salami and a chuck of cheddar cheese, add blue cheese dressing and pepper.

A little grated parmesan cheese and dinner is served, Bon Appetit !

What exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is not only a weight loss and maintenance diet, it’s also one of the healthiest way of eating in the world. It’s also called “Mediterranean cuisine” as it is the traditional eating lifestyle of the Mediterranean people. By following the Mediterranean Diet you will be able to avoid the frequent hunger pangs and increase your metabolism.

What is the easiest way to start the Mediterranean diet?

Choosing natural, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, olive oil, nuts, avocados, yogurt, and cheese to make up the bulk of your diet is the easiest way to make your diet more like the Mediterranean Diet.

  • Cook “Unique plates” (Plates that mix carbs and proteins together)
  • Make olive oil your primary source of dietary fat
  • Incorporate an abundance of food from plant sources, including fruits and vegetables, breads, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Reduce the consumption of red meat
  • Eat low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry weekly
  • Eat low to moderate amounts of cheese and yogurt daily
  • Drink a moderate amount of wine (up to one to two glasses per day for men and up to one glass per day for women).
  • It’s easy to follow the Mediterranean Diet because…It’s convenient, tasty and quick!

I have had some emails asking how I stay fit . (#8  on the ten things we want to do for the summer ).    I have always been on the Mediterranean diet, but  I stop eating fast foods and I cook almost all our meals now. Pasta is what I have around the house all week-long. I make a cold pasta salad with veggies, apples and green onions and olive oil and put it in a container and keep it in the refrigerator.   I eat fish and chicken at least 2 times a week and I love to eat breads and grains. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere. I exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week. I feel great !

My signature  dinner  has always been Spaghetti . I am a pretty good cook (my mom is a fantastic cook ) and I make a mean spaghetti  dinner , and the kids know what they are going to eat when they come over.  Spaghetti,  fresh basil salad and  french bread  and olive oil.  Now I have a sweet tooth so a double chocolate cake is always on the menu .

My breakfast is usually 2 soft-boiled farm fresh eggs, sprouted toast, 1/2 grapefruit, green tea with trivia or Greek yogurt topped with berries

My lunch is sometimes a sprouted bread cucumber sandwich or pasta with chicken and always  fresh fruit.

My dinner is basil tomato salad with french bread and olive oil and sometimes I add grilled fish and a glass of red wine.


I love to dine alfresco as you know just like the Mediterranean people, the food just taste better outdoors…. Italy will always remain a part of me, and I will take it with me always… la Dolce Vita !

Information from the mediterranean book. and this website will also send you a free Mediterranean diet plan.