Frugal Family Tree

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Strawberry Clafoutis Recipe

This recipe for making a Clafoutis is becoming one of my favorites. It's sort of like a flan and a tart, and it's French, so how can you go wrong?
I know when I have read about making this dessert, it seemed like something I would never attempt. My first and only try at making flan was somewhat of a disaster, so a Clafoutis would have the same fate I thought.

But I was wrong, and it turned out delicious. So here I am again, using strawberries to make this one, and it's amazing.
A Clafoutis is very simple to make, and you can use different fruits in it for different tastes. It's creamy and smooth, and just fancy enough to impress your guests.
After it bakes in the oven, let it cool for a bit, then sprinkle it with powdered sugar. And you could even top it with a tiny bit of whipped cream if you like.

Recipe for Strawberry Clafoutis


 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 9-inch ceramic pie plate or casserole dish with the melted butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and almond extract. Add the flour and whisk just until smooth, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and scatter the raspberries evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the Clafoutis is just set and the surface is golden brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm. 

Serves 6.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Little Flourless Chocolate Cakes Recipe

Chocolate is my weakness, and these little cakes had me going slightly crazy, that's how good they are. If you love over the top, rich and chocolaty desserts, you'll love this recipe.

I've always wondered how a flourless chocolate cake would taste because I've never made a cake without flour before. I guess I just thought it was an odd concept, no flour in a cake?

Well, this cake needs no flour at all because it's filled with moist, and chocolaty goodness. I made it in six ramekins, though the recipe says to use ten smaller sized ones. You can do either, but I liked the idea of a bigger serving.

The recipe comes from the cookbook Sheet Pan Suppers by local Seattle author Molly Gilbert. Of course the supper recipes are amazing but when I was looking through the book, my eye caught the Flourless Chocolate Cakes.

You can either sprinkle them with powdered sugar or do what I did, which is to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way, they are just so good.

Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cakes


1/2 pound ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs

Confections' sugar, or vanilla ice (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center position. Place ramekins (6 larger or 10 smaller) on a sheet pan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the semisweet chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and fully melted. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Whisk together the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and whisk until well incorporated.

Divide the batter among the ramekins, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 30-40 minutes.

Let the cakes cool slightly- they will fall a bit in the center-  before serving warm, dusted with confections' sugar or a scoop of ice cream.

The cakes will keep, wrapped in plastic, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Eat them cold or rewarm them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe 2016 World Burger Tour and Giveaway #worldburgertour

*The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International.

San Francisco here we come!! Hard Rock Cafe has launched their 2016 World Burger Tour for Northern America. I am definitely a burger fan and after looking over the menu I am not sure which one I will select to eat when we visit for Mother's Day. I may order the Java Lava Burger since I do love Seattle or the Tango Salsa Burger since I have not eaten a burger with a fried egg on it before. I am thinking I will have everyone in our family select a different burger so we can taste a few of them. The menu has a time limit on it as how long the burgers will be available so be sure to visit before June 30, 2016.

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

·         Hard Rock Cafe locations in North America are celebrating the start of burger season with a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers

·         The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016

·         This year, Hard Rock is also offering a literal World Burger Tour, a travel package that takes the most adventurous burger enthusiasts on the road (and the skies) to sample offerings from the World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, Athens, Buenos Aires and Seattle!

Backstage Burger Pass

Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

·         English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans

·         Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño

·         Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

·         Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise

·         ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise

·         Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli

·         Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice

·         Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Portuguese sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole, pico de gallo, served with Furikake french fries 

Burger Tour for the Roadie

For those a little more hungry, Hard Rock will bring its menu to life and offer a unique burger experience that takes guests’ taste buds on an international journey. Hard Rock, in conjunction with global experience agency Infrared, is offering a World Burger Tour travel package that includes stops at iconic cities including London, England; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Seattle, United States. This four-stop, once-in-a-lifetime excursion celebrates the cities that inspired Hard Rock’s World Burger Tour. The World Burger Tour travel package is a private, 10-night trip that includes flights, first class hotel accommodations, ground transportation and exclusive dining and music experiences at Hard Rock Cafe locations in each city not typically available to the public
Have you eaten at a Hard Rock Cafe before? What is your favorite Burger there? I will be posting our review of the San Francisco Hard Rock Cafe location later in the month.


Hard Rock Cafe Gift Pack will include a branded oven mitt pair, apron, and spatula.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts May 6, 2016 and ends on May 31, 2016 at 12:01 am PST. Winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. I was provided a gift card to visit my local Hard Rock Cafe. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies Recipe

I know a lot of people think milk and cookies are a kid thing, but believe me, they're not. I know some grownups who indulge in this ritual on a regular basis and it makes life more pleasurable. I happen to be one of those people, and so finding a new cookie recipe that I love and can make for my family is a real pleasure in my book.

I think a home baker who has a good list of cookie recipes to rely on can always whip up a batch on the spur of the moment. My granddaughter Ashley will sometimes ask me if we can bake something and cookies are often what she chooses to help me make. What four year old doesn't love cookies?

So milk and cookies are a regular treat around our house and I wouldn't have it any other way. This cookie recipe is quick, easy, and utterly delicious.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped chocolate covered toffee candy


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat together until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, stir in candy pieces.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 24 cookies.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Keen Sandals for Kids: A Summer Must Have #BoundlessWonder

* I was sent a pair of Keen sandals for my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Summer is almost here! As soon as the sun is shining in California my family takes the opportunity to wear sandals. As a parent I know each season my son usually needs new shoes. He can't fit in anything from last year as I would expect him not to, so this means we always have a good reason to go shoe shopping.

I have tried many types of shoes for my son for the warm weather from flip flops and slides to leather fisherman sandals. Each have their pros and cons but one that I absolutely love for the summertime is Keen. They are durable, toes protecting, machine washable, functional shoes for kids. Sure I get the parents out there that may feel they are not as "cute" as some other sandals but shoes are about what is best for their developing feet and not the latest fashion trends.

My son loves his sandals! So much so that he made up a dance with them on, his moves were epic. He can put them on himself, gotta love Velcro for busy kids and parents, they come in cool colors and he can wear them in the lake and river to protect his feet (they are waterproof). I love that he has proper foot protection while he is busy being a kid.

I recommend Keen shoes all the time to my customers at work for all summer long and especially for people planning trips to Disneyland or Hawaii. No one wants achy feet on vacation or to have a pair of flip flops trip up your day.

If you would like to have your little ones feet sized and properly fitted for Keen Sandals you can go to your local Nordstrom to have a Certified Fit Expert assist you in finding the right style for your children. If your little one has narrow feet like my son I would suggest the Seacamp style and for a little bit wider foot I would go with the Newport.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Delicious Chocolate Cake

The more I bake, the easier it gets when I have a pantry filled with all the ingredients that I need. There's nothing more frustrating than to get inspired about baking something yummy and then discover you don't have all the things you need.

So I've been keeping an eye on what I have in the pantry and jotting down something when it starts getting low as a reminder to myself to pick up whatever it is the next time I'm at the grocery store. And if you knew me, you'd be highly impressed because I'm sometimes the type of person who is out of butter just when it's time to put some on your toast.

Yesterday I decided it was a great day for making chocolate cake, what day isn't great for chocolate cake, right?

I'm discovering that whenever I use sour cream as an ingredient in a cake, it's usually extra moist. This recipe uses sour cream, and I'm convinced that's one of the reasons why it tastes so good. And it's a Martha Stewart recipe and I can pretty much count on her recipes turning out well.

This cake is pretty easy to make, and has a rich chocolaty flavor that you'll love. You can make it in a Bundt pan or a tube pan. I actually have a tube pan that the cake just lifts out and that's what I used for this cake.

It serves about eight good sized portions. We ate it for dessert and had some left over and it was equally moist and yummy the next day.

Recipe for Delicious Chocolate Cake


  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
    For the glaze:
    3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt or tube with non-stick baking spray.
    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix together milk and sour cream in a measuring cup.
    With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make the glaze: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour over chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes. Add butter, and mix until smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Pour glaze over cake.


    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Roasted Salmon With Kale and Cabbage

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyNutrishDish #CollectiveBias

    When it comes to cooking meals for my family, I try to use recipes that will appeal to everyone and be healthy and delicious. Since we live in the Seattle area, we have great access to salmon at everywhere from our beloved Pike Place Market, to our local specialty grocery stores.

    I always tell my grandchildren that fish is brain food and the more they eat, the smarter they'll get!
    And fortunately they like salmon, so we try and eat it once a week either whole, as salmon burgers, or added into a salad.

    This recipe for Roasted Salmon With Kale and Cabbage brushed with a lemon sauce is a sheet pan supper. Meaning everything was cooked on a baking sheet in the oven. Roasted veggies are a particular favorite for us, and the purple cabbage and kale here cooked up beautifully.

    I'm really loving sheet pan suppers because they are so quick and easy to make, and clean-up is minimal.

    It's so important in our house to create meals that include proteins, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. We try to be conscious of what we cook and eat, and set a good example for the kids. Having healthy foods in the fridge and pantry has dramatically cut down on the snacking we used to do of all kinds of junk food.

    While I love feeding my family meals made with delicious, whole ingredients, it's just as important for our dog to experience the benefits of nutritious eating as well.

    The pets we love and share our lives with need foods made with real, whole ingredients, too. That's why my family and I decided to make the switch to DISH from Rachel Ray™ Nutrish® for our sweet pup, Chewy.

    In 2007, with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super-premium food and treats for dogs inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. Each DISH dog food formula includes real chicken pieces, crisp carrots, garden and field peas, farm grown potatoes, and tree ripened apples.

    I feel good giving him a dog food that was made with so much concern for the heath and lives of our animals. Chewy has really loved trying out the DISH Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit. He can be a picky eater, so I was really glad that he liked this food right away.

    There is also DISH Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies, Fruit & Chicken available. Both are made for dogs of all sizes, and are naturally gluten-free.

    Rachael Ray's personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue, which was created to help shelter pets in need. To date, she has donated over $10MM. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these animals in desperate need.

    I've always liked and admired Rachael Ray, and for her to help shelter pets in this magnitude really warms my heart. So not only are you feeding your pet a wonderful food for dogs when you buy DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®, you are helping to save and improve the lives of other animals.

    Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® DISH is sold at a variety of retailers in store and online. Just visit the
    store locator to find a convenient retailer. There's also a printable money saving coupon available for you to use too.

    We have had Chewy for over three years now, and he's a true member of the family. My granddaughter Ashley adores him, and so do my two grandsons, Jayden and Liam. He patiently waits for them in the window when they leave for school everyday, and greets them with licks and wags of his tiny tail when they get home.

    We always say we couldn't ask for a better dog. He's loyal and loving, and even tolerates it when Ashley decides he needs to wear her ballet tutu. And did I mention Chewy gets his own birthday party every year? It's a fun tradition we started because the kids said he deserved a party too.

    So, to make the roasted salmon with kale and cabbage, you're going to toss together the two veggies with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake it at 450 degrees, which seems like a very temperature, but it works.

    Then you want to pull the kale and cabbage out of the oven and add the salmon fillet. Season it with salt and pepper, then arrange lemon slices on top and pop back in the oven for 10 minutes.

    This recipe is super easy, and only one pan to wash when you're done. I love cooking, but not the cleaning up afterwards.

    After it's done, brush on a simple to make lemon and Dijon mustard sauce. I brush it on the salmon right out of the oven, and then again just before I serve it. The lemon really brings out the flavor of the salmon and makes it moist.

    Recipe for Roasted Salmon With Kale and Cabbage and a Lemon Sauce


    For the salmon:

    1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
    1/2 head purple or red cabbage, cored and sliced
    1/2 pound salmon filet
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    lemon slices
    salt and pepper to taste

    For the lemon sauce:

    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper to taste


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together kale and cabbage with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and stir veggies.
    Season salmon with salt and pepper and arrange lemon slices on top. Add salmon back to the baking sheet. Put back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together all lemon sauce ingredients. When salmon is done, brush on sauce generously, and once again just before serving.

    Makes 2 servings.

    You can find Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® DISH in the pet food aisle at Walmart, and available in two flavors.

    You can learn more about Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® DISH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


    Friday, April 22, 2016

    Frugal Find: Save 55% Off ROBOTS-4-U Summer Camps

    * I am participating in a USFamilyGuide blogger campaign and this is a sponsored post #ad

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    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Pear Crisp and Vanilla Ice Cream

    Fruit crisps and crumbles are one of my favorite desserts to make. They are super easy and let you take advantage of whatever fruit is in season. Pears have always been a favorite in my family because when they are perfectly ripe, their sweet taste is just so delicious.

    I made this easy Pear Crisp the other night for dessert and teamed it with vanilla ice cream. My family couldn't get enough of it. I thought there would be enough left over for my breakfast the next morning, but no such luck. That's ok though because there's not a bigger compliment to my baking and cooking than when my family eats every bite.

    This recipe is inspired by an old one from The Pioneer Woman's blog. She's fabulous of course, and has been the inspiration for many a wonderful dish on my table.

    I really love all types of pears, but I've found that Bosc pears hold up the best while cooking and don't get mushy the way some types can. Store any leftovers in the fridge and I think this tastes best right out of the oven or the next day. And topping it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream makes it all the yummier in my book!!

    Recipe for Pear Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream


    For filling:

    4-5 large Bosc pears
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    For topping:

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
    1 stick butter melted

    Good quality vanilla ice cream


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Peel, core, and dice pears. Put into a bowl and add 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir together, then set aside.
    In another bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. While stirring ingredients, drizzle in melted butter and stir together until combined. Place pears in baking dish, spread crumb topping over pears evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
    Serve with vanilla ice cream.

    Makes 4-5 servings.



    Friday, April 15, 2016

    Flash Giveaway! Sacramento PRO Rugby 4pk Tickets April 17th #prorugby #sacramento

    Rugby is one of the fastest growing youth sports leagues in Northern CA right now. I do not have much experience myself with rugby but as fan supporter of any team from Sacramento I was curious to check out what the league was about. It looks like an intense game and very exciting to watch. We were invited to attend the first game this weekend but do to my working schedule we cannot, but I am excited to say we are offering a giveaway for a 4 pack of tickets to the game at Bonney Field. Its nice to see Sacramento offering a pro sport that only a few cities have. Here is the link to the PRO Sacramento Rugby Team to learn more about the team.

    A few of the Sacramento PRO Rugby team members

    This weekend on Sunday April 17th Sacramento PRO Rugby team's inaugural game against San Francisco. There are only five cities/teams in the league in this inaugural year of the new league. It is sanctioned by USA Rugby. Many of the players are boys from the local market originally who have gone on to play in college or internationally and are lucky enough to get to come back and play pro ball here at home.

    The game is at 4pm on Sunday, April 17 at Bonney Field at Cal Expo - the field where the Sacramento Republic FC play. If you want to purchase tickets to the game here is a link to Ticketmaster.

    I am curious to know if any of our local readers have player Rugby themselves or do your children play?

    Enter to Win 4 pack of Tickets Sacramento Pro Rugby Game on April 17, 2016

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     *Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts April 15, 2016 and ends on April 16, 2016 at 12 pm PST. Winner will be emailed. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize.
    **Winner has until 3 pm PST on April 16, 2016 to claim prize.

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