Love List

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Raspberry Tarts

I have always been a huge tart fan! They are fun little things to make and even more fun to eat! Anything bite size is more fun to eat in my book! When I get sent a package of Krusteaz products to experiment with I always have tons of fun ideas with ways to jazz up their mixes. I usually try a few recipes but this time I knew exactly what I wanted to make when I got the box with raspberry bars in them. I had gone to my little sisters bridal shower a week before and had made pink lemonade tarts and strawberry fruit tarts. It reminded me why they are one of my favorites! And then I created this little number. I delivered them to a few of my neighbors to be my taste testers and one of my friends ate 6 of them. No sharing with her husband and kids. She ate every single one of them. And thats when you know you have a recipe winner! I could not wait to share this recipe with you all! It is fantastic! Enjoy!

 Raspberry Cream Tarts

Tart Shell Ingredients:
1 pouch crust mix from a box of Krusteaz Raspberry Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted

Raspberry Filling:
1 pouch Raspberry filling from box of Krusteaz Raspberry Bars
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ( 14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 (2.6 ounce) box of dream whip topping
1 (8 ounce) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

For Tart Shells: Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease tart shells or tart shells baking pan. In medium size bowl stir together crust mix and melted butter until mixture is crumbly.
Take about a Tablespoon of dough and spread a thin layer onto the outsides of the tart pans pressing down firmly. Creating a thin crust along the sides and bottom of the tart pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the sides start to brown. Let cool for a few minutes then take out of the pan and set aside to cool before you fill them. 
For Raspberry Filling: Head on over HERE!!!

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Monday, July 27, 2015

San Diego Girls Trip

I have a deep love for California. I love almost every inch of the state that I have been able to travel to. San Diego is such a fun place to visit with kids and with just adults. I have been able to go to a few girls trips in the San Diego but this one the past weekend surpassed them all!

There is nothing more relaxing then staying at a very nice resort with your girl friends for your birthday. We decided to stay at the Four Seasons Residence Club in San Diego and were pleasantly surprised. They had recently remolded their lobby, spa, and added a new restaurant. And they did an amazing job! The decor was spot on with luxury with the touch of a beach feel. Every inch of the lobby, spa, and restaurant were very well thought out and executed! The designers did an amazing job and we were lucky enough to enjoy it!

I was also very impressed with the family friendliness of such a nice resort. That is very important to me. Even though my kids were not with me I highly value how hotels view children. I travel with my kids often and loved to stay at nice hotels. Unfortunately not all hotels are family friendly. But this one was just that! Very luxury and very family friendly. I cannot wait to take my kids back to this fun resort!

But lucky enough I was able to enjoy this trip with some of my best friends! We all celebrate July birthdays and we all love to eat and travel! So we relaxed, ate, went to the spa, and relaxed more! They offer spacious villas that are perfect for entertaining. Girls trips are all about staying up late and talking all night long. The spacious rooms were comfy and cozy and perfect for just that!

The one-bedroom premier resort residence villas had 1 king bed and 2 double sofa beds. One of us slept on the sofa bed and she said it was the most comfortable sofa bed pull out that she has ever slept on! The villa also had 2 bathrooms, laundry room, dining area, and a full service kitchen! 

When we walked in there was an amazing cheese board that was displayed on a wood block shaped like California! I just love when hotels add little touches like that! I think its the little things that make hotels extraordinary! We also had some fun summertime beach bags on our beds waiting for us.

While we were there we were able to enjoy breakfast twice. Since this was a girls trip there was little sleep actually involved so we decided to order room service. We ordered the parfait, the baked oatmeal, fruit and berry platter, Californian egg plate, banana waffles, berry waffles, applewood bacon, and orange juice.

And what a surprise is was to have a fun "ice cream party" delivered to our villa with 3 homemade ice creams (rocky road, strawberry cheesecake, and peanut butter and jelly) with toppings and grape and root beer soda to make floats! We had so much fun! My kids would have loved this! 

But the most fun and delicious part of our trip was the Kitchen Counter where we experienced the "Taste of Senses" package! What an amazing culinary experience it was! They offer a 5-course meal where you watch the chef and cooks make and plate everything right in front of you! They have amazing customer service and make the meal very personal! They even up'd their game and gave us a 8 course meal to be able to taste even more things to talk about! We all were in shock and were amazed with their cooking skills! There was also a family behind us that was seated all together enjoying the Chef's Table together where they eat family style and I am definitely going to be trying this next time I visit with my family!

What an amazing culinary experience. We were all stuffed and satisfied after this fun night! The chef and his staff really went above and beyond to make every thing perfect and special. 

While we were there we also experienced the newly remolded spa. The decor was amazing but the treatments really took the whole experience to the next level. I was able to get my very first facial and the other 2 got massages. We all felt refreshed and pampered after that. 

Then we finished the trip the next morning with one more yummy room service breakfast on the patio before we headed home. 

What an experience it was to celebrate my birthday at the Four Seasons in San Diego. We were beyond amazed with everything about the resort. It was the perfect place to getaway for a girls weekend and I cannot wait to return!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Perfect Pan Seared Steak

Have you ever been to a restaurant and ate a steak and wish you could cook one just as good when you are at home? I am pretty sure almost every single person has felt that way one time or another. There is nothing like biting into a flavorful steak that is juicy in the center and has just the right amount of a crust of seasoning all around the edges. Top that with a little garlic herb better and you have got yourself one delicious steak.

I have been able to be apart of a very fun 15-course meal that Wayfair is sponsoring and I was assigned meat. I figured there was nothing better to do then share my favorite secrets of a pan seared steak for you all to enjoy for your meat while journeying through this 15-course meal.

Here is the 15-course meals that you will definitely want to browse through!

Appetizer: Miss in the Kitchen
Antipasto: Penney Lane Kitchen
Intermezzo: Cooking with Ruthie
Poultry: Aimee Broussard
Chocolate Dessert: A Southern Mother
Fruit Dessert: Sunday Public
Coffee: Brewed Together
Now here are a few little tips to have the perfect pan seared steak!
  1. When picking out your steak it should be between 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick if you want to get it medium rare with a crust on it
  2. You will want a good high quality of steak look for "choice" steaks and "prime" is even better. Avoid steaks that say "standard" or "select"
  3. Look for marbling in a steak so that there is fat weaved through out the whole steak if possible
  4. Always have the meat at room temperature
  5. Make sure you use a well-seasoned cast iron pan
  6. Season with salt right before it goes in the skillet
  7. Always add your steak to a hot skillet
  8. When searing your steak do it on high on both sides but then turn the heat to medium low to finish it off cooking the center of the steak
  9. Always let your meat rest for 5 minutes before serving
  10. To test for doneness: use what is called the poke test. Make a tight fist and feel the flesh just below your thumb into the palm of your hand. Firm is how well-done steak will feel. Loosen your grip a bit and feel the same spot. That will be medium rare. Loosen your grip all the way and that is blood rare. Now poke your finger into the thickest part of the meat and compare it to your palm for the perfect level of doneness that you desire.

The Perfect Pan Seared Steak

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 peeled garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Splash of red or white wine

Mince the garlic and rosemary add a pinch of salt and create a paste. Rub the paste all over the steak on both sides. Heat the cast iron skillet to medium high and add the butter. Drizzle the olive oil in. Lightly sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes and then sprinkle with salt and pepper and flip the steak. and cook for 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and add the wine and you can add any extra garlic or rosemary now. Then cook for 3 more minutes. Test the steak for doneness and then remove steak and let sit for 5 minutes. You can continue to cook the wine and can add a little more butter and you can make a little sauce to serve over the steaks. Or you can top with your favorite garlic butter and serve.

This is a sponsored post by however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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