November 2013 archive

Vanilla Fleur de Sel

I’m a fan of salt. It always livens things up. Especially chocolate! And when we’re talking about fleur de sel, you have to admit it sounds fancy! Fleur de sel, translation, flower of salt. Sounds pretty magical to me.

I love all the flavored salts that are coming on the market these days. One of my favorite sea salts right now is harvested from the Murray River in Australia. I bought it at the Brisbane airport on my last trip out of Australia. I’ve been rationing it ever since and will be a little sad when it’s gone. I can find it here now but of course it’s way more expensive as it’s taken a boat ride to get here.

What could make beautiful pink flakes of salt even better? By adding the seeds of a vanilla bean. My sweet savory love continues…

1 cup Flaky Sea Salt
1 scraped Vanilla Bean or 1 tsp of ground Vanilla Beans

Add any flaky sea salt to a bowl, mix in your scraped vanilla bean and store in a glass jar. Use in Salted Vanilla White Chocolate Cookies or Goldie’s Cookies or in place of regular salt in any of your baked goods. You can never have enough vanilla in my opinion.

If you only want a couple tablespoons just adjust accordingly. No right or wrong ratio here.


Just had a thought…salted vanilla bean syrup. Might just have to test that out sometime. Happy baking!



Goldie’s Cookies

There are so many chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. All just a fraction bit different than the rest. I have a recipe called ‘The World’s Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies’ (have it scribbled on a piece of paper, sorry not sure where the original recipe originated), which is a pretty big claim. Is there really a cookie that is the absolute best? Above all others? I’m still looking.

Oh yeah where was I, cookies! Needing something yummy and cute today as we’re going to visit our friends who have just had their sweet baby girl! Do I go ‘world’s greatest’ or try to take those to an even greater level? Of course mid recipe, I start changing things. I can’t help it. I’m always on the search of the absolute perfect anything and everything. So here goes…

Goldie’s Cookies
1 cup of softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla bean fleur de sel*
1 tsp ground vanilla beans or scrape the seeds from 1 pod
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, I used a mix of chocolate and peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and vanilla beans together and set aside.DSC_0250

In a kitchen mixer, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter, both sugars,eggs and vanilla for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. DSC_0251

Slowly add in flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Stop mixer and stir in chocolate chips. DSC_0271

At this point you could drop by teaspoon on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

For a little something extra, take a 10×15 cookie sheet, line with parchment and spread all the cookie dough. DSC_0273

You’ll want your flour close by to help the batter from sticking to your hands. DSC_0277

Spread it as best as you can and pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes. It will still be a bit soft in the middle but if the edges are getting brown its time! DSC_0279

Let it cool in the pan completely and then get creative…DSC_0306DSC_0289

Welcome to the newest cutie on the block, Goldie Sophia Miller. We love you already.


me and my loves

*Vanilla Fleur de Sel

I don’t like green stuff

My 5 year old is determined she does not like green stuff. She used too. And now she doesn’t. If you have kids you know what I mean. You get going along good with something and then, nope don’t like it anymore.

We have a few exceptions, not sure why. She likes pesto, cucumber and green smoothies. So I try to incorporate those to get a little green goodness in her life. Secretly of course.

One night I went to make some pesto with a brand new beautiful bag of organic basil, opened it and most of the bag was yuck. Man I have a love hate thing with the organic bagged and boxed salads and herbs. I salvaged all the leaves I could but it didn’t amount to much. Hmmm. What do I do? Do I have enough greens? I have kale! Will that work? We’ll soon find out.


I don’t really follow a recipe for pesto. I kinda throw in a little of this and a little of that and they always seem to work out. I would say I use about 1 1/2 cups of toasted nuts, whatever you have, I usually use cashews, but sometimes almonds, sometimes both. Experiment and see what works for you. I toast the nuts and let them cool slightly. Grab your food processor add nuts, garlic (as much or as little as you like, my kids aren’t huge on garlic so I usually add a clove or two), a handful of basil and in this case kale! Or some other green, spinach would totally work. Chop that all up. Start adding some olive oil to bring it together. Add some parmesan cheese and then season with salt and pepper.


Should eventually start to look like this…


Pesto is such a great busy weeknight meal. If it’s been a while or you’ve never made it give it a try. You can have a fresh healthy meal on the table in about 20 minutes. If you don’t use it all, place in a freezer safe container and pop in the freezer. So great for the next quick and easy dinner. Try it on pizza or bake on some chicken.

This version looked and tasted good to me but Livia had to be the final judge. It worked. Both girls loved it! Now every time I make pesto I add kale. But secretly. I know if she saw me adding kale or even the basil for that matter, she would say “I don’t like green stuff”.

Eat your greens and enjoy!

me and my loves