Friday, December 23, 2011

Homemade Lemonade

December lemons? With this delicious fruit in season I can't help to make lemonade. It will brighten up your drab winter days. So crank up your heater dust off your flip flops serve yourself a glass of lemonade and treat yourself to a summer day in December.

•2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 cups water
•2 cups sugar
•2 quarts water

1.squeeze fresh lemon
2. Make simple syrup from water and syrup
3.mix 2 quarts water and fresh lemon lemon juice. Add 1-2 cups simple syrup.

Many thanks to a wonderful friend who let me pick her lemons to brighten up one drab winter day. Hot coco just wasn't doing it for me. Pin It

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Recipe swap

We want to start your new year off with some new recipes for you. We are doing our first recipe swap. All are invited to join. I'm excited to try all your favorite dishes. January is coming up fast do let us know soon. Pin It

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Party - Cheese Ball

Many of you might have seen this a few months back for football week, but I had to bring it back with a few new ideas I like to use. Last year I brought this to our work party and was asked again to bring it this year! It is a staple of parties, especially during the holidays, in our family. You can't beat a great
Cheese Ball!
But, I am going to change it up a bit below and give you some different options to try with this same recipe. You'll definitely want to try some of the different variations at your next party.

  • Different Cheeses - Sounds simple, but changes everything. Do white cheddar, parmesan, or your favorite cheese. There are 6 cheese blends at grocery stores you can use that taste great that are in a bag.Use smoked cheddar instead of regular and add bacon, real bacon pieces though!!!
  • Add pimientos, very simple, but also a wonderful juxtaposition in taste.
  • Add smoked Salmon, now you can use smoked cheddar as well. This one is great for a presentation spread. Add to your favorite cracker and serve on a tray versus in the ball form potluck style. Looks amazing and will impress your guests.
  • Or just change up seasoning. Use a Ranch packet, or your other favorite dressing. Sure to change it up a bit without any extra work!

    • 8 oz package of Cream Cheese Softened
    • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese Grated
    • 1/4 Cup Mayo
    • 1/4 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
    • 1/8 tsp Celery Salt
    • 1/8 tsp Onion Salt
    • 1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
    • 1 Cup Pecans, Almonds or your favorite - amount varies
    1. Mix all ingredients together except nuts
    2. On wax paper spread out finely chopped nuts
    3. Put cheese ball mixture on the nuts spread over wax paper and form into ball or log
    4. The nuts keep the cheese ball from sticking to wax paper
    5. Chill and we serve with Wheat Thins

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    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Peanutbutter chocolate brownies with PB&C sauce

    Chocolate and Peanut butter. Who does not love this combo? We know that you need a go to dessert for the times you have company. This is as an amazing combo, but so so simple!

    • 1 box brownie mix - I used Betty Crocker dark or fudge brownies. $.99 at winco!!!
    • 2/3 Cup Peanut butter
    • 1/3 Cup Peanut butter
    • Small handful Semi- sweet chocolate chips
    • A splash of Half and half
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tbsp butter
    1. Make regular brownie mix except oil
    2. Take 1/3 cup peanut butter and mix with oil, add to rest of batter and mix
    3. Take 1/3 cup peanut butter and fold into batter
    4. Bake normal recipe on box
    1. Melt 1 tbsp butter
    2. Add peanut butter and chocolate chips, microwave just enough to start melting
    3. Add powdered sugar, half and half, and vanilla. Mix, should be pourable
    4. When brownies are done either drizzle over entire brownies or do it when serving.

    Simple yet elegant looking and sure to wow any of your guests. The nice thing is these brownies will taste great even if you don't have time to make the sauce. 

    To print Recipe Card Click above image.

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    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    More sticky buns- with puff pastry

    Didn't Kevin's Apple Sticky Buns look delicious. They tasted just as good. They reminded me of a similar recipe that I made about a year ago. Now you can have some sticky bun variety to share with your company.
    • 1 pkg puff pastry defrosted 
    • 1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
    • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup pecans or any nut
    • 2 Tbs melted and cooled butter
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 3 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 cup raisins
    1. Cream 1 1/2 sticks butter and brown sugar together
    2. Place 1 Tbs into each of the 12 muffin cups Divide nuts evenly into the 12 cups.
    3. Flour wooden board and unroll defrosted puff pastry. Seams left to right.
    4. Brush on 1Tbs melted butter- leave 1 inch border
    5. Mix filling brown sugar and cinnamon in separate bowl.
    6. Sprinkle 1/2 of mixture on pastry evenly. Leave a border.
    7. Add raisins.
    8. Roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Cut into 6 even pieces.
    9. Place in cups on top of pecans
    10. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry for 12 total.

    Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Then invert onto cookie sheet.
    This recipe is adopted from the wonder Ina garten. What a wonderful cook.

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    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    apple sticky buns

    Company in town for the holidays? Serve them these 
    Apple Sticky Buns for breakfast. 
    * warning: you might need to make multiple batches. They will go fast ! 

    • 2 tablespoons yeast
    • 2 cups warm water
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup shortening, margarine, or butter
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2/3 c nonfat dry milk
    • 1 egg
    • 5-6 cups flour
    • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
    • 2 tablespoon sugar or a little extra
    • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • nutmeg to taste if you want to change it up!
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 1/2 cup corn syrup
    • 4 tbsp honey. I did not add this time, but I think it would enhance taste
    • 1 cup pecans or your favorite nut - did not add as we were out
    • 2 apple finely cubed
    1. add yeast to water for 5 minutes
    2. add sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, egg to bowl
    3. add salt, 2 cups flour
    4. kneed with dough hook. Keep adding flour one cup at a time until it pulls away from the bowl 
    5. grease bowl a different bowl, turn dough over to cover with grease, place in a warm place to double in size. punch it down.
    6. roll out thin or thick depending how you like them. This recipe is large enough to make 24 of these, you can half it for a smaller batch
    7. spread butter over rolled out dough
    8. add filling evenly
    9. roll up tightly and cut in half. Then those two in half. Now in thirds and you will have 12 evenly cut rolls.
    10. add all ingredients for sauce into pan and boil until sugar dissolves. 
    11. there are two ways to do these, in a 9x13 pan or a muffin pan. Either way add sauce to bottom of 9x13 or evenly to 12 muffin tins. 
    12. add rolls to pan and let rise.
    13. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. let cool and flip over onto platter and enjoy!

    Click above image to print recipe card.

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    Monday, December 5, 2011

    dress up your holiday treats

    Here are some great tips on how to dress up your holiday treats to look fabulous. All you need is your favorite treats, or store bought (one less thing to check off your list :) ), scrapbook or wrapping paper and household containers. 

    Snow globe 
     Add left over halloween candy corn and chocolate chips to powdered donuts. 
     Turn over white paper plate and add paper. Cover with clear wrap. 

    Pop popcorn and add holiday colored chocolate candy. 
    Find a cute envelope and address to your dearest friends. 

    Love you brownies 
    Bake up your favorite brownie recipe. 
    Place in a cupcake wrapper. Cut out any holiday shape in holiday paper and add a bow. 
    * a variety of treats can be place in cupcake wrappers. - breads, cookies, nuts ect...... 

    Below are some other creative ways to dress up your holiday treats. These were found in 
    Better Homes and Garden Magazine 

    Add a bow and colored paper to a egg carton and fill 

    Cover a paper towel tube, or pringles tube add a ribbon and fill. 

    Do you have any other fun way to dress up your treats. Please share. 

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    Friday, December 2, 2011

    {review} Bi-Rite creamery

    My sister is back!!! That means we get to play. One of our favorite things to do is go on food odyssey's  . A few years ago we came across an exotic ice cream dessert called
      Sam's Sunday from Bi-Rite Creamery
    in San Francisco, and we went back last week. 

    Right away I was drawn to the sam's sunday, due to its  sweet and savory deliciousness. I love that combo. Add an olive oil twist- I could not try it. 
    sam's sundae: chocolate ice cream with bergamot olive oil, maldon sea salt and whipped cream
    I know it sounds crazy- but it is very very good. While we were there they let us sample many of their delicious flavors. 
    • maple walnut
    • pumpkin
    • candy cane
    • ginger
    • salted caramel
    • honey lavender
    • ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodles)
     We also liked the candy cane and cookies and cream combination.

    We have enjoyed writing these reviews over the past few months and have decided to continue.
    Look forward to more reviews in the future. 

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    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    dulce de leche

    Found a can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and couldn't help but use it to make a delicious 
    Dulce de Leche 

    • Water
    • Large pot 
    • Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

    1. Take a can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and place in a large pot filled with water 
    2.  Low boil for 2 hours for a liquidy caramel and 3 hours for a thicker sauce. This one I did it for 2.5 

    Now what to do with this ridiculous easy yummy treat??......

    we love to put it on 
    ice cream 
    a spoon 
    hot cocoa
    and anything that you want to add a little caramel taste to  

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    Monday, November 14, 2011

    quick treats to match any party

    Having a party and you want your food to match the theme? 
    We have some quick and easy solutions for you.  Creative Juice threw a Rock star Potty Party with the colors pink, blue and white. Here is how we helped her out.

    Photo property of  creative juice and M Starr Photography 
    Fork Drizzled Pretzels 
    1. Take pretzels and dip them in white chocolate or buy them already dipped. 
    2.  Buy or make frosting to the color that you need. Place amount into bowl and heat in the microwave for 5-10 seconds till semi-melty. 
    3.  Lay pretzels out on cookie sheet
    4.  Fork drizzle colored frosting over 
    5.  Let dry 

    Multi Colored Yogurt Parfait. 
    Since the party was for younger children I wanted to give them a healthy treat. As I was searching my kitchen for the right blue and pink I came upon go-gurt. The perfect colors. We layered the colors and added coconut on the top. But our homemade granola was pretty tasty with it also. Yogurt comes in many different colors so you could adapt this idea to any party theme.

    Popcorn Cups. 
    The party needed a touch of white and popcorn is one of my favorite white foods. Its easy to just throw a batch on the stove.

    1.  Turn stove heat to medium- high
    2.  Cover the bottom of your pot with oil
    3.  Add 1-2 T butter
    4.  Cover the bottom of the pot with popcorn seeds.
    5.  Cover with lid, shake occasionally and wait till you hear popping. Crack the lid and wait til you hear no more popping and your popcorn is done. 
    6.  Remove from heat and place in bowl. Add salt and butter to taste.

    To glam up your popcorn for a more grownup party make Rosemary Infused Popcorn

    1.  Heat up pot with olive oil and a sprig or two of rosemary
    2.  Let it heat for a few minutes to infuse the flavor.
    3.  Remove 1/2 c - 1c of oil and the sprigs.
    4.  Add popcorn seeds and cook.
    5. Pour the removed rosemary oil over finished popcorn and enjoy.

    - your guest will know that it tastes different but will have a hard time guessing your new secret ingredient.

    Hope these three ideas will help you make an impressive themed party. Sometimes you just have to start diving through your pantry and think outside of the box.

    Thanks to AMY Atlas Features for showing this wonderful party we got to cook for Pin It

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Baby Jack Has Arrived

    We want to let everyone know that our third son Jack Burton Wilcox was born on Friday the 21st. He and mommy are healthy and adjusting quickly. Now, I have to step up and make sure I am adding posts of all of our wonderful recipes. Alix has had requests and lately we have made, peanut butter brownies, homemade rolls, banana bread, homemade croutons, and much, much more. I will get the recipes up for all of you to enjoy soon. In the meantime, let us know if there is a food you are dying for. I will make one request a week from scratch for you and post it!

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    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Tortilla pumpkin crisps

    As a kid I always remember that this was a halloween tradition. 
    These Tortilla Pumpkin crisps will become a family favorite of yours also. 

    • tortillas - flour works the best 
    • oil 
    • cinnamon/sugar mixture- we add a little brown sugar. 
    1. cut up tortillas. we use a butter knife  or for younger children the cookie cutter works well 
    2. fry in oil then remove onto a paper towel 
    3. add cinnamon/mixture 
    4. enjoy your new family tradition. 

     by alix 

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    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Posts Coming

    We apologize to all of you for the lack of posts lately. Lots of craziness with the baby and going to the hospital. Alix and the baby are great, but just some minor complications. We look forward to posting our homemade crouton recipe shortly! It's worth the wait. Have a great weekend!


    Cali Cooking Couple Pin It

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Football Week - Divine Cheese Ball

    I don't think there is a more perfect Football game day snack then 
    Cheese Ball.
    My Aunt Christie has been bringing this to games, Christmas, and New Years for decades. It's a staple and only because it is the best I have ever tasted. This simple but very tasty snack is out of bounds!

    • 8 oz package of Cream Cheese Softened
    • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese Grated
    • 1/4 Cup Mayo
    • 1/4 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
    • 1/8 tsp Celery Salt
    • 1/8 tsp Onion Salt
    • 1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
    • 1 Cup Pecans, Almonds or your favorite - amount varies
    1. Mix all ingredients together except nuts
    2. On wax paper spread out finely chopped nuts
    3. Put cheese ball mixture on the nuts spread over wax paper and form into ball or log
    4. The nuts keep the cheese ball from sticking to wax paper
    5. Chill and we serve with Wheat Thins
    You will love this recipe. Definitely one of my favorites. Thanks to Christie for this amazing recipe.

    by Kevin
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    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Butter cream Frosting. Happy birthday Son

    My son's birthday was the beginning of the month and he requested cupcakes with blue and green swirl frosting. So I made my super easy, extra delicious 
    Butter cream vanilla frosting. 

    • 3 cups confections’ sugar
    • 1 cup butter softened over night
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream  
    In a standing mixer equipped with the whisk, mix overnight soft butter and confection’s sugar. Mix on a low speed until blended then increase to medium and whisk for 3 minutes.
    Add vanilla and cream and beat for another minute. Add more cream according to desired consistency
    - you can get clear vanilla at most cooking stores if you want pure white frosting.
    -make sure and whisk for the whole 3 minutes- it does make a difference.

    (recipe card at end of post) 

    This year he wanted a Mario Kart Wii birthday party, and he wanted to ride his bike. Which he just learned how to ride without training wheels!!!

    • The first thing I did was spray paint boxes gold and added numbers to create 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place platforms. I then found pictures on-line and printed them onto stickers and stuck them onto toothpicks and inserted into the cupcakes. 
    • With the extra spray paint I covered a $1 cup I found to look like the trophy. This made a perfect holder for the markers in which the kids used to decorate their own t-shirts. This way they could "choose" which character they were going to be. 
    • It was a hot day and hydration was needed. I created labels and printed them on sticker paper and wrapped them around water bottles.
    • I found gold coins, mushroom looking balloons, and yellow star candy to top off the decor. 
    • For give-away bags the kids got crazy straw water bottles, their decorated shirts, Mario stickers, and gold coins. 

    A picture of the whole table. 

    Next was the race track. It was very very windy so we had to do some heavy duty taping, which ruined the look of my decor a little.
    I wanted to recreate a race track.  
    • We set up a starting line, and had laminated photos of the icons you get when you run over the question marks. The kids had a blast pretending that they had run over a bullet, star, mushroom, or lighting cloud. 
    • We also blew up posters of the characters on their vehicles so it looked like they were also involved in the race. 

    The kids had a blast. They raced, raced, and raced some more. The cupcakes were a big hit and overall it was a great party. 

    Happy 5th Birthday Son. Hope this is a great year!! 

    Click to print recipe card. 

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    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Fire Roasted Salsa

    My sister Tiff is not a girl to sit on the sidelines or go shopping during a game. This salsa is what she always brings to the games. Even if the game is dull, this will spice it up. She has been making it for years and it has become a staple at any family event or party. I I love to make salsas and do a lot of different kinds, but for the salsa you just want to dip a chip into, this is it!

    • 3 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
    • 3/4 or 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 1 small white onion (quartered or small chunks)
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • juice from 1-2 lemons or limes
    • pinch of sugar
    • a shake or two of cumin -  Do it to taste....if not smoky enough add some more
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • -SECRET INGREDIENT:  I add a 1/4-1/2 cup of whatever jarred leftover salsa is in my fridge (storebought).  It just rounds out the flavors and gives a nice consistency
    1. Blend tomatoes in blender until small and little bit chunky. 
    2. Pour 3/4 tomato mixture into another bowl reserving the 1/4 in the blender and add all the rest of the ingredients accept the store bought salsa. 
    3.  I usually quarter the onion or smaller first.  Just throw the whole lot in together and give a good pulse.  I then add as much of the tomato mixture back in and give a quick pulse to combine all the flavors including the jarred salsa.  This will make a lot of salsa so have two good sized storage containers ready to go.  Pour salsa into containers and stir in any leftover tomatoes mixture that wouldn't fit in the blender. 
    Important:  Let sit in fridge for at least 8-12 hours before serving to allow flavors to mature!

    By Kevin
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    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Our fancy night at The Restaurant at Meadowood.

    This is a thank you post to all our new wonderful friends at
    for a fabulous dinner last night. We had the Chef's tasting menu in which Chef Christopher Kostow didn't let us down. He took us on a wonderful food adventure. Mine and Kevin's pallet were challenged. Some of the dishes we ate were: cured horse Mackerel with green grapes, cherry tomatoes, sorbet of our verjus; foie grad "stump" with pear, parsnip, pistachio moss; squab lacquered in sorghum with garden carrots, coffee and dried habanero. Along with many others. There were also chefs bites at the beginning of the meal which were a great surprise. My favorite was the pre-dessert, dessert, then after dessert bites. mmmmmm :) Did I mention the lobster. I was never a fan, but I'll eat the lobster by Chef Chris any time I get a chance!
    It was a wonderful night, with no kids, a great husband, delicious food, friendly servers, soothing atmosphere, impeccable attention to detail, and making us feel VIP.

    This is kevin and I on our 5th course, the Squab. The bartender was even so kind to make us our own drinks because we don't drink alcohol. This one was my favorite. It was ginger ale, sparkling water, and lemon with apple.

    Our menu is below. They gave me a copy when we left. I think because I had mentioned something about how was  I going to remember and brag about all the wonderful food I had tonight. You know - prego mind. Plus all this food!

     I felt a little silly taking pictures of all our beautiful food. Honestly, it  was the most beautiful presentation I have ever seen!! So, I "borrowed" some pictures off their web sight to show you.

    See I told you.
    Once again thank you Nathaniel for the invite and everyone else at Meadowood for an amazing night to remember! If you are ever in the Napa Valley keep The Restaurant at Meadowood on your list. 
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    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Football Week Continued Next Week

    We send out our apologies for the Football Week delay.

    Next week we will continue Football Week with homemade Salsa, Cheese Ball, and some other amazing snacks. Both of the recipes are family ones from my Sister Tiff and my Aunt Christie. Family staples for years and they were gracious enough to let me post them here.

    Look forward to posting more next week and hearing how you liked them. Have a great weekend and go Seahawks!!!

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    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Football Week- Spinach artichoke dip


    This week we are featuring TOUCHDOWN dishes that you can bring to your next game day celebration. 

    Spinach artichoke drip is always on our game day list. 

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    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Happy Birthday

    Happy Birthday to my 5 year old. We had a great day yesterday, and today is birthday party time. Mario Kart Wii racing with 5 year olds. Yikes. Look forward to some great pics, ideas, and the best frosting ever. 
    Happy birthday Buddy 
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    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Farm Fresh Fridays - Watermelon

    Since Alix wanted to find something cool, but not ice cream, to cure her late night pregnancy craving I thought I would concoct some
     watermelon drinks. 
    A watermelon slush and watermelon sherbet smoothie 

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    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes

    Since we bought pesto for the pizza we now have left over pesto. What to do with it? 
    Pesto Pasta. 
    When you have left over pesto, the best thing to do is freeze the extra. Who wants to waste good pesto?

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    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Farm Fresh Friday- Grilled Zuchinni Boats FIlled with Spanish Rice

    Growing up, my Mom always made Spanish Rice and then hollowed out Zuchinni and roasted in the oven. I was always a fan of the Spanish Rice, but at that age not so much of the Zuchinni. Now, I love Zuchinni and while visiting my parents, my Dad pulled a massive Zuchinni out of the garden and a small one. I told him lets do the traditional one, but I wanted to gourmet one up on the grill. Try this, it's amazing!

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    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Chi chi studios winner

    Our first giveaway has a winner. Congrats Bridgit. Please let us know if you didn't receive your e-mail. Pin It

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Farm Fresh Fridays- moved to Monday

    Our farm fresh fridays has been moved this week only to Monday 
    due to a last minute trip. Kevin's sweet and wonderful mom has Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. She is in her last stages and we are going to give  her some grandkid cheer. Wish us luck on our long drive with 2 kids and one pregnant mama. Sending grandma happy wishes and thoughts right now.  Thank you for understanding. 

    We are though still doing our giveaway and you have a few hours left.  

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    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Chicken Pesto Pizza with Red Grapes

    My good girlfriend, April Kennedy and I were chatting the other day about cooking and blogging. She has  a wonderful blog, funky vintage lovely . She wanted a quick 5 ingredient, 30 minute back to school meal and I needed some blogging tips. So, we teamed up. I knew right away I HAD to teach her how to make our
      Chicken Pesto Pizza with Red Grapes - to add a little Napa flair. 
    And yes I said grapes, and they are so good!! 
     Check out our video below. 

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