Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 2012: Dinner for Two


Week 2: Steak Rub

Love is in the air this month and so we have put together a delicious Steakhouse dinner that you can prepare for your favorite Valentine on the 14th. We will get all the recipes out to you before the big day! In the meantime, here is a preview so you can start planning...   

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2011: Resolutions


Week 3: Snack Time- Healthy Green Juice

Happy 2012, everyone! A new year always presents itself with a chance to make a fresh start and try to fix whatever it was that wasn't working for you in the year past. We wish you all the best with your resolutions and new endeavors this upcoming year. In light of fresh starts, we wanted to share some healthy and delicious recipes that are sure to leave you feeling good this month!

-True & Blue

Serves 8

2 apples, peeled & diced
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 3x6 inch glass casserole dish by spraying it with cooking spray.

-Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until completely combined.
-Pour the batter into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm with a small scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 2011: Bake Sale


With the holidays just around the corner, we so often find ourselves baking whether it be for a holiday party or a homemade gift. We wanted to share some of our favorite recipes to keep you inspired this season. We wish you all the best and we will see you next year!

-True & Blue

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 2011: Everything but the Turkey


Happy soon to be Thanksgiving everyone! Turkey is great, but for us, it is actually all the side dishes that make this holiday our favorite. We will be releasing some of these recipes early this month so that you will have time to make plans and incorporate them into your Thanksgiving menu.

Need more help in the kitchen this month? Check out the new feature on our blog "Dining Deal of the Month." Each month we will post a special discount for you to take advantage of. This month we are offering a HOME MADE PIE DELIVERY SERVICE. We will be making drop offs, in the San Diego area, the day before Thanksgiving. Click here to learn more!

-True & Blue

Makes 12 crepes
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cup Low Fat Milk
2 eggs
1 TB butter, melted
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
¼ tsp Cinnamon
Cooking Spray

-In a medium size bowl combine the whole wheat flour, milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined.

-Spray a non-stick 6 in saute pan, lightly, with cooking spray. Add enough of the crepe batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes, until lightly brown. Gently flip the crepe using a rubber spatula to cook through on the other side. Transfer the finished crepe to a large piece of parchment paper and continue until all of the batter has been used. The recipe should yield 12 crepes.

1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cups reduced fat Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 cup Cane Sugar
1 Orange, zested

-In a food processor combine all the ingredients for the filling and puree until smooth

TO ASSEMBLE: Put a dollop of the filling in the center of each crepe. Roll the crepes up and serve with warm maple syrup and powdered sugar.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 2011: Squashed!


Autumn is always my favorite time of year. Living in San Diego, there is a little less variation in the weather and we don't see the beautiful changes in the foliage that begin to take place on the East Coast during this season, but nevertheless, there is something about the subtle changes around here that I really love. The air gets cooler and the mornings almost always start out with a bit of fog, which somehow makes it easier for me to convince myself to start the day with a run. 

You see the pumpkin patches begin to set up camp and the markets are brimming with hard squashes, gourds and apples. With all this in mind, we decided to name this month's theme: SQUASHED! All of the recipes are perfect for fall and hopefully will find a place at your table this season. Below, we wanted to share a few fun projects for the upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving Holidays. Enjoy!


Not So Spooky Centerpiece 

Halloween doesn't have to be all about ghouls and ghosts. Michael's Craft Store sells decorative tape by Martha Stewart Living. We wrapped strands of the tape around glass jars to make interesting vases. Filled to the brim with Zinnias and Sage, they look beautiful and festive.

Autumn Candles

All we had to do was look to nature for inspiration for these votive candles. We used natural string to tie colorful leaves to various sized glass votives. Scattered across the table, they make a great centerpiece for a Fall dinner.

Rice Crispy Witch Treats
These rice crispy treats are both tasty and decorative. Set them out at your Halloween party and let your guests help themselves.

1 Bag Marshmallows
1/4 Cup unsalted Butter
6 Cups Rice Krispy Cereal
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate, chopped
1/4 Cup Milk

- In a large sauce pan, over a medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the marshmallows and allow them to melt completely. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the Rice Krispys.
-Place the mixture in a buttered 9x13 in glass dish.
-Over a double boiler melt the chocolate with the milk and mix until smooth.
-Once the treats are cool, use a witch's hat cookie cutter to stamp out the hat shapes. Dip the tip of each hat into the melted chocolate and allow to set.

An Uninvited Guest

Dress up your Halloween table with some simple finds from the craft store. Decorative paper make perfect place mats and eerie critters can save a seat for your guests.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011: Book Club

THIS MONTH: September 2011
Written by: Suzanne Collins

Week 2: Peeta's Olive Oil Bread

Week 3: Rue's Zucchini & Wheat Berry Salad

Week 4: Katniss' Grasshopper Brownies

True and I have been tossing around the idea of doing a book club themed month for awhile now. The problem was, we couldn't settle on the right story. Then, we read "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and the inspiration we had been looking for, was right there in front of us.

Many of you have probably read, or at least heard of this book. It came out a few years ago and has since become a favorite among teens, young adults...and not so young adults alike. In it, Collins creates a post apocalyptic world where resources are scare and once a year the government chooses two children from each district in the country and drops them in a "survivor- like" setting and where they are forced to battle to the death in what is known as "The Hunger Games."

Its a pretty dark concept, but Collins manages to keep the mood full of hope through plot twist after plot twist. She also manages to tempt the palate with her descriptions of  the lavish food being eaten in the Capital, which is where we drew some of our inspiration

If you haven't read this book, give yourself this month to give it a try. You can follow us each week as we release a new recipe. Each one is inspired by one of the characters in the book. Together, they would be the perfect menu for a book club discussion night with some of your friends!

-True & Blue

Makes 2 drinks...or one if drink like Haymitch does
 1/2 Cup Spiced Rum
1/2 C club soda
2 TB lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 TB sugar
1/4 Cup water
3 inch knob of ginger, peeled & cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
8 ice cubs
2 chilled glasses

-In a small sauce pan, combine the water, sugar, ginger and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. Remove the ginger from the pan and allow to cool completely.

-In a martini shaker, combine the rum, ice cubes, lime juice and cooled syrup. Shake vigorously until well mixed. 

-Pour into chilled glasses and top off with a 1/4 Cup club soda in each glass. Garnish with lime wedges.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 2011: Farmer's Market


This month we take a look at some of the local farmer's markets in San Diego County and create recipes driven by the produce we find. Combine all these recipes, along with our Strawberry-Blood Orange Iced Tea, and you have the makings of a perfect summertime dinner!

When I was a little kid, growing up in the San Fernando Valley, one of my favorite memories was getting up early on Saturday mornings and walking, with my mom and sister, from our house in Woodland Hills to the Farmer's Market in Calabasas Village. 

It was probably only a few miles away, but for my little legs, it was a long haul and by the time we got there I would be famished. The ritual was to get hot chocolate from a near by coffee shop and then my mom would buy my sister and I, each, an enormous cinnamon roll from one of the vendors. We would always take our time picking out which bun we wanted, comparing each for its relative size and the degree to which it was coated in that delicious white icing. If you got there early enough, they would even still be warm!

Its been a long time since I've had a cinnamon roll (too long come to think of it!) but taking this month to explore the San Diego farmer's market has reminded me how fun the whole experience can be. Not only can you find some amazing local produce, but many of the markets feature vendors selling delicious ethnic foods that are hard to find elsewhere in San Diego. True and I spent many of our lunch breaks sampling all that the vendors have to offer!

If you haven't checked out any of the markets in your area of the world, you should definitely do so, its a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Click here to find the times and locations of some of the markets in San Diego County.


Below, we wanted to share with you the recipe for a refreshing Iced Tea we made, using some of the blood oranges we purchased at the UCSD Market.

STRAWBERRY-BLOOD ORANGE ICED TEA                          
Serves 6-8

3 Cups water
2 black tea bags (such as Earl Grey or English Breakfast)
1 Cup blood orange juice, strained
20 strawberries, hulled
1 Cup regular orange juice, strained
3 TB agave syrup (or sweeten to your liking)

-Bring the water to a boil. Allow the tea bags to steep in the water 3-4 minutes. Chill the tea.

-Put the strawberries in a blender and pulse, on high, to puree into a sauce. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

-Combine the chilled tea, strawberry puree, orange juice, blood orange juice and agave syrup in a large pitcher. Stir to mix thoroughly. Serve in chilled glasses and garnish with an orange slice.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 2011: Slipping Away to Margaritaville


Week 4: Assorted Salsas and Homemade Guacamole

We thought "Margaritaville" would be the perfect theme for the middle of the summer. The days are long and hot and there is nothing more refreshing than a frosty blended treat. You can  also make these drinks without the alcohol for kids or for those adults who choose not to drink.

If you are going to make them with tequila, we recommend using a Reposado, which is better quality than a Blanco, and has been aged for at least two months to a year. Anejo tequila is aged the longest and is the best quality, but probably not worth the extra money since these drinks are getting blended. 

There are endless combinations! Use the recipes we have provided as a base for your own unique concoctions. Just add your favorite fruit, some ice, tequila, lime juice and a splash of honey or agave nectar, and you there you have it! There is no need for those pre-made mixes which are loaded with sugar and extra calories. These margaritas are healthy, as well as delicious and super simple.

And of course when you have the perfect margarita, you've got to have a tasty snack to go along! At the end of the month, we will be posting recipes for an amazing Homemade Guacamole, Salsa Fresca, a Tropical Fruit Salsa and a Grilled Vegetable Salsa. All of these dips go great with chips (check out our recipe below for making your own baked chips) but they also taste great with grilled fish, chicken or meat! We've got to admit, this post has been our favorite to date because, of course, we had to try all of the margaritas we created. Hopefully it will be one of your favorites as well. Enjoy!

-True & Blue 

Makes 64 Chips

8 each thin, white corn tortillas
Grapeseed oil (in a spray bottle)
Sea Salt

-Preheat oven to 375F.

- Cut the tortillas into 1/8's to form the chips. Lay the chips out in a single layer on cookie sheets. Lightly spray the chips with grapeseed oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

-Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the chips are lightly golden brown. 

*You can spice these chips up by tossing them with fresh lime zest and chili powder right after they come out of the oven. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 2011: Ice Cream Social


Nothing says summertime like ice cream! One of my earliest memories of this sweet treat involved making it from scratch as a girl scout. To receive a badge we had to do it by hand, the old fashioned way, without a machine. This method still works today and it is really simple and fun. The best part is that it doesn’t involve much equipment.

The first step is to assemble all the ingredients. You will need:
A big and small plastic zip lock bag
1/4 cup  Sugar
½ cup milk 
¼  tsp vanilla
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ to ¾ cup of rock salt
2 cups of ice

You start out by making a simple ice cream mixture. Add the sugar, milk and whipping cream to the small zip lock bag and seal it, being sure to release all the air.

The next step is where we, girl scouts, would start having fun. Fill the large gallon zip lock bag with the ice and rock salt. You, then, put the small zip lock bag inside of the larger one and seal it up, being sure to release the air from the larger bag.

Next, wrap the bag in several layers of newspaper and begin rolling the bag around on the ground or a large tabletop, until the ice cream forms inside the inner bag. Once the ice cream has formed, you can add in your own flavorings like chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

Although this method of ice cream making is lots of fun for kids, we recommend using an ice cream maker or purchasing a premium brand from the grocery store.

I hope you enjoy this month filled with ice cream as much as I did!


Monday, May 9, 2011

May 2011: Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?


Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.


Cooking can, occasionally, be a mindless profession. Try picking, cleaning and chopping ten pounds of parsley and you’ll have some idea of just what I mean. There are times when you have lots of room to let your mind wander, and it’s during these vast stretches of solitude that I sometimes find myself making mental lists.

Today’s mental list is comprised of “Things I would like to accomplish this month, but may not have time to.” Top of the list, all time, number one goal for the month of May is: plant an herb garden.

 My boyfriend, Nathan, and I live in a condo in Carlsbad, California and last summer we had a reasonably respectable planting of potted herbs out on our patio. However, as is our general luck with all things alive, an infectious host of bugs invaded the patio and killed off our small crop. 

Since then, we have resorted to stealing “wild” herbs off the side of the road. Our Easter holiday was marked by doing a “drive by clipping” of a rosemary bush in front of someone’s driveway, which we later used to make a very delicious rosemary crusted ham. My apologies to our unsuspecting neighbors.

While drive by clippings are fun and often elicit the cheap thrill of getting not caught, you have to be careful, because eventually you will get caught and trying to explain to a stranger why you are standing in front of their house with pruning shears and a fistful of herbs can be an awkward experience at best. 

In an effort to avoid such a situation, constructing a patio herb garden will be my project for the next month. I’ll keep you posted on the progress and hopefully, in the end, have something to show for myself. In the mean time, tune in each week to check out a new herb inspired recipe.


Here’s a great idea for your next party: We bought woven, metal, napkin rings from Cost Plus World Market and tucked sprigs of fresh herbs into each one. Store the rings in your refrigerator until just before the party starts to keep the herbs fresh. The napkin rings look beautiful and add a nice scent to your table all throughout dinner!