Mussels and the Beach…

Mussels and the Beach…

Hi Friends! I wanted to share some great shots I took at the beach over the weekend. I’ve realized when taking photos…the sunset is your friend. The natural light adds such a beautiful glow to your pictures. Just take a look at the photos of the rocks. Don’t they look Sunkist? And the muscles, woah!

More adventures and photos to come! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Summer!

Tutu

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The Best Strawberry Compote, Ever!

The Best Strawberry Compote, Ever!

WARNING… when you make this Strawberry Compote and serve it to friends, they will be lined up at your door begging for more! They just may even stop by unannounced, insisting that they were just in the neighborhood and well what do you know they’re holding a box of strawberries! Ha Ha Ha…
Seriously, this will be one of the BEST desserts you’ll ever make and it may just even replace dinner all together.

Let’s start…

Ingredients
For Compote and Cake:
4-6 pints (green baskets) Ripe Strawberries
1 Entenmann’s Butter Cake or Duncan Hines “classic white” boxed Cake
Brown Sugar to taste
1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For Whipped Topping:
1 pint or smaller size Heavy Whipping Cream
Brown Sugar to taste

Put it together
If you plan to make your own cake, bake it ahead of time and set aside to cool. If you would like to punch up the cake flavor, add about 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the cake mix…yum! Next, wash the strawberries and remove the green parts. Cut each berry in half and place them in a food processor. Add some brown sugar and 1-2 tsp of the vanilla and blend until you have a nice puree. Taste the mixture and adjust the amount of brown sugar to your liking. Tastes good already, huh?
Now, for the whipped topping, pour the heavy cream into a mixer and add some of the brown sugar. Mix until you have a somewhat stiff consistency. Be careful not to over mix unless you like it that way. Taste the cream and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar to your liking.

Serve
Now that your cake has cooled, slice the cake into generously sized square cuts. Pour the strawberry puree on the top enough to cover but with a little cake exposed on the side. (see featured image) Now, add a healthy dollop of whipped cream to the top and you’re ready to serve.  Garnish with a sprig of mint, optional.
Tutu Notes:
Last weekend I took a trip to Topanga Canyon. The Strawberries used in this recipe came from a stand on the side of the road.( just look for the strawberry sign) The WOW in the dessert really starts with a good batch of berries. As you can see the color is beautiful and they were so fragrant. If visiting Topanga is not an option try your local Farmer’s Market, they should have some great choices there!

Enjoy~

Strawberries from Topanga Canyon Road

From me to you…

Tutu

Goodness, Gracious, Great Bowls of Chili!

Goodness, Gracious, Great Bowls of Chili!

Hi Friends! Today I’m cookin’ in the kitchin’ with my crock pot and makin’ some chili! This is a great meal for your busy days when your attention is needed elsewhere. Hmm, that’s probably everyday right? Ha ha ha, well in that case, I promise to make and share more recipes like this one!

Let’s get started:

Take out your crock pot, turn it on and set to “low”

Ingredients you’ll need: 
1.25 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
1 chopped White Onion
4-5 minced Garlic Cloves
1 pkg Chili Seasoning Mix (or make your own, see Tutu’s notes)
1 can Tomato Sauce 15 oz
1 can Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz
1 can Golden Sweet Corn 11 oz
1 can Kidney or Red Beans 15 oz
a little Olive Oil
a hand full of chopped Green Onion for garnish (optional)

Ground Turkey and Diced Onions in Bowls

Turkey and Onion ready to cook!

Chili Trio: Red Beans, Corn and Diced Tomatoes in Bowls

Chili Trio: Red Beans, Corn and Diced Tomatoes

     

Put it together:
Dice up 3/4 of the white onion. Reserve 1/4 of the chopped onion for garnish.  In a pan, pour a little oil- just enough to coat the bottom. Add the onion and minced garlic and saute over med-low heat just until the onions are soft. Aroma should be fragrant! Next, add your ground turkey and increase the heat to med-high. Cook meat through, breaking up any large pieces. Careful not to over cook. Once meat looks done turn off the heat and add your chili spice packet. Mix well and add a little of the tomato sauce if mixture seems too dry.

Cooked Chili Meat in Bowl

How the cooked Turkey and Onions should look

Transfer your meat and onion mix to the already warmed crock pot. Finally, dump in the beans, corn, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Fold in to mix ingredients together, cover with the lid and let it cook low and slow, 3 hours.

How to serve:
Place the chili in bowls or large squatty mugs. Garnish with the reserved chopped white onion. Other garnish types can be green onion, cheddar cheese or all of the above!

Cooked Chili in Crock Pot

Cooked Chili in the Crock Pot after about 2-3 hours. Remember, low and slow!

Tutu’s notes:
~ Make your own Chili Seasoning Mix!
Add: pepper, kosher salt, garlic power, onion powder, cumin and zesty chili power. Adjust more or less of any spice to your liking.

~ A Healthier Option
Of course using Turkey is already a healthier start than using Beef, but you can also take other steps to lighten things up! #1 Use less salt and choose “no salt” options for your canned goods or look for lower sodium amounts.
#2 The fresher the ingredient the better! Choose live produce over canned options.
#3 Portion control. It may be hard to stop eating this delicious meal but less can be more! Especially by making this last 2-3 nights.

Enjoy~

From me to you…

Tutu

Stayin’ Cool with Cucumber Salad

Stayin’ Cool with Cucumber Salad

Now that summer is almost here, Tutu really loves spending time outdoors but what do you really want for lunch or dinner when it’s really hot? Can’t imagine cooking a meal that creates too much heat in the Bake Shoppe. So, today we’re stayin’ cool with Cucumbers. This is an easy recipe followed from Simply Recipes, Cucumber Salad.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients you’ll need:
1-2 Large Cucumbers
1-2 Tbs Chopped Fresh Dill
2-3 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Salt & Pep to taste
*sesame seeds (optional)

Put it together:
Rinse and peel cucumbers. Cut lengthwise then slice crosswise. Combine all your ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately, or make ahead (up to a couple of hours) and chill.

How to serve:
Cucumbers have a very visually attractive color! Simply, place your cucumber salad in a plain white bowl to show off the color. Having guests? Serve the cucumbers as an appetizer. Cut your cucumbers into slightly larger chunks so they can be eaten with a toothpick. Enjoy~

From me to you…

Tutu

Hello Mango!

Hello Mango!

Summer is almost here and I have been quite busy in my Bake Shoppe making new stuff.  But lately I’ve really been wanting to mix it up with some sweet and savory tastes.
Today, I’m sharing Mango Salsa (the recipe) and a couple different ways to serve it.

Let’s get started!

My new Tutu apron matches the salsa!

Ingredients you’ll need:
2-3 Mangos
2-3 Tomatoes
1/2  c. Red Onion
1 bunch chopped Green Onion
1 c. chopped Cilantro
3 Fresh Garlic Cloves (minced)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 Tbs Kosher Salt

Put it together:
Wash and dry all produce. Dice the mangos, tomatoes, red onion and place in a large bowl, lightly hand-toss. Next, add your chopped green onions and cilantro, toss again. Finally, add the minced garlic, lime juice, salt and mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour before serving.
Adjustments you can make: Add less or more of any ingredient to your liking! Like it spicy? Add 1-2 diced Habanero Peppers. (handle peppers with caution)

How to serve:
As an appetizer: Serve with chips!
For breakfast: Add a scoop to your plate of eggs!
For dinner: Top your grilled chicken breast!

Enjoy~

From me to you…

Tutu