Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kahlua Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

If you follow us you know baking doesn't happen a lot around here. But there are occasions we bust out the mixer for things other than pasta making.
For our Valentine celebration we are headed over to Walla Walla for wine tasting and some small mountain skiing.
It's a 5 hour drive so these super moist treats will be the perfect traveling companion. Who thought Kahlua in cookies would be fab...but it is.
And hazelnut with chocolate really what could be better.
Happy Valentines Day.
Kahlua Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
2 1/8 C all purpose flour
1/2 teaspn sea salt
1/2 teaspn baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 Tblspns Kahlua
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tspns vanilla extract
2 C dark chocolate chips
3/4 C hazelnuts, roasted skins rubbed off, chopped
In 200 degree oven roasted hazelnuts about 15 minutes or until skins easily rub off. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
Whisk flour, sea salt & baking soda in a large bowl. In medium sauce pan melt butter over medium-low heat until slightly brown. Remove from heat. Pour in Kahlua. Let cool to room temperature.
In large bowl mix butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until together and slightly smooth. Add flour mixture one cup at a time until combined. Hand stir in the chocolate and hazelnuts.
Turn dough into prepared pan. Smooth top of the cookies with a rubber spatula and your fingers. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Champagne Tangerine Mojito

Are you looking for a special Valentine kind of cocktail to celebrate your sweetie with this year? Well here's a good one for this time of the year.

We love tangerines during the winter, we love mojitos anytime of year, and champagne is always great especially on Valentine's day. 

Although we are definitely more likely to indulge in a mojito during the months of summer who says they can't be enjoyed anytime of year as long as you have access to fresh mint. 

Which luckily we do have access to all year round.

This is simple, fresh and celebratory.



Champagne Tangerine Mojito

1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. freshly squeezed tangerine juice
1 TBLSPN superfine sugar
A handful of fresh mint leaves
2 oz. white rum
4ish oz. chilled champagne
Slice of tangerine for garnish

In the bottom of a wide mouth glass, muddle the mint leaves, sugar, and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the rum and tangerine juice. Fill the glass with ice and top with champagne.
Garnish with tangerine slice.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

January Supper Club: Theme Austrian

Our January theme is exactly what we love about our 10 year commitment to Supper Club thus far. Even this many years in we are still experiencing new learning challenges with food and cooking like; Austrian food. 

When Kris & Jeff,our hosts last month, sent out the theme of Austrian it was one that actually made us go, "mmmm... not even sure what an Austrian appetizer would be." Which is perfect, it caused us to research multiple sources and find out what recipes would actually fall under an Austrian theme. 

So we all gathered at Kris & Jeff's and initially our common theme of conversation was related to the lack of snow that many skiers in this group were bummed about.

The "no faces" shot Right to Left: Greg, Kris, Lisa & Jeff

Eventually, we stopped our belly aching and moved onto the food or rather belly filling. We were assigned appetizer. We made a recipe by Wolfgang Puck ( famous Austrian chef) for pretzel knots.

Accompanied by an Austrian cheese spread called Schmierkaese Cheese spread made with cream cheese and camembert. Very good but to be honest an odd consistency and a bit more pungent than expected.

Our main course was made by our hosts who have actually been to Austria. It was a wonderful tender pork dish served with sautéed cabbage.

Of course, I can't remember the actual name of the dish and if I did I'm pretty sure I couldn't spell it even if I did remember..

Arnie & Jenni made the side: yummy beets which Jenni didn't even like as a non-beet eater but were delicious.

Finally, Derek & Lisa made the most luscious crepe dessert with caramel. It truly was the perfect ending to the meal.

As usual it was a great night and one which inspired us to really share some different ideas for future themes that were fun and inspirational. Of course two weeks later I wish I would of taken notes about our ideas. (I guess 10 years in, we are all also 10 years older too...memories are less sharp.)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tortilla Chicken Soup

When we are in Mexico I try tortilla soup in almost every restaurant we eat at just to find the very best version.

Some are great, some are okay and some are down right like dirt water. 

The best versions we've tried are flavorful and bright, not too heavy and full of this wonderful melty but still firm cheese that we are not 100% sure what the name of it is.

We've made lots of our own versions as well. But this version was pretty right on in closeness to some of our favorites tried in Mexico. The blended tortilla strips make all of the difference.

We use Panela cheese because we can find it easy here and it seems super similar to the kind we've had there. But not sure if this really is what they use.

We fill our bowls with small cubes of cheese.

Then add shredded rotisserie chicken. It works so much better when you don't actually put the chicken in the soup but rather ladle the soup broth over the shredded chicken.

It's definitely comfort in a bowl South of the Border style. Top with some chopped avocado and baked tortilla strips. (Ours burnt this night so we had to use some crumbled tortilla chips...too salty.)


  1. Tortilla Chicken Soup:
  2. 6 tablespoons cooking oil
  3. 8 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 4 large cloves garlic, smashed
  6. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  7. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  9. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  11. 1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  12. 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 28-ounce can)
  13. 2 bay leaves
  14. 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  15. 1/4 cup lightly-packed cilantro leaves plus 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
  16. 1/2 cup cubed Panela Cheese
  17. 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken 
  18. 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  19. Lime wedges, for serving
  20. Heat over to 300 degrees. Slice tortillas into into thin strips. Spread out on baking. Bake until golden & crisp (watch closely time depends on your oven.)
  21. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion, garlic, and spices; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves, if using, and one-third of the tortilla strips. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.
  22. In a blender, puree the soup in batches; pour it back into the pot. Fill individual bowls with a few tablespoons of cubed cheese and shredded chicken (eyeball it.) Ladle broth into each bowl
  23. To serve, add some chopped avocado and put the remaining tortilla strips in bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using, and serve with the lime wedges.