Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software
caramel & cocoa

Caramel & Cocoa - cooking, parenting, fashion, diy, eating, living, a blog

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Very casually dressed (& in Europe)

I left California for Europe 5 years ago wearing my favorite faded boot cut jeans, red tagline t-shirt and black Reeboks.  I've never really questioned my ‘style’ until last week when I ran into a friend in my village (yes I said village!) and she asked me if I had been to the gym.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mel's Cookie

I'm posting this against my better judgement since I am going to lay off of sweets for 2 weeks! This is however, the easiest and yummiest cookie in the world to make. Make it your own by adding your favorite chocolate bar. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Five Things Friday

because I am feeling a bit festive - Rice Krispy Treat ornaments with Rolos tops. 

Bed Time and Toddler Triumph (sort of)

It's nearly bedtime and YES - the television is on!  Bad Mommy! Ok - now that my bad parenting is out in the open let's get to the main point of this post. 

I have a love/hate relationship with bedtime. I love that once the kids are sound asleep I'll have a couple of hours to myself (selfish I know). I hate the stress that surrounds bedtime. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Home-made Marshmallows

A friend, who might be starting up her own marshmallow business inspired me to try my own. I found this recipe on-line that requires no corn-syrup. I used some store bought sugar decorations and a cookie cutter  to make them festive. It just adds a special little something to my hot chocolate on these cold winter nights.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hide & I'll Find You

Their version of "hide & go-seek"

A     " Cristina do you want to play hide and go seek?"

C     "Yeths!"

A     "Ok. I'll hide next to the piano and you find me."

C     "Yeths." (runs away to count) ... "won, two, thwee, four, figh, sis, seventh."

Monday, November 19, 2012


C    "I'm very upthet with my thithster."

Me  "Are you?"

C   "Yes. I are!" (arms folded over each other)

This must be serious! (but I can't help but laugh)


I hosted my fourth Thanksgiving abroad this year and stuck to the same recipes I have always used. The menu is pretty simple but tasty and while the stuffing takes a bit of preparation  it definitely makes all the difference to the meal. I time it carefully so that the Roasted Vegetables, Sweet Potatoes (for reheating), Parsnips, and Stuffing (for baking but prepared night before) always go in the oven together as the turkey comes out and is resting.  

Roasted Carrots & Potatoes
Sweet Sweet Potatoes
Maple Syrup Parsnips
Chestnut & Sausage Stuffing
White Wine Gravy
Fennel & Orange Leafy Salad
Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Turkey 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Tantrum of All Tantrums - My Story of Survival

The “terrible twos” suck. And with respect to my now 3 year-old – they really did “BIG TIME!”  However, I (we) survived. Now, at 3, the tantrums, while much less frequent are 100-fold more disturbing and disruptive to anyone within a mile (or two) radius.

On Monday, C (now 2), A (now 3) and myself (age not disclosed) went in for our 6 month dental exams. We had a bit of a rough start to the journey. It is winter and A refused to wear a coat. In retrospect I should have known that something was looming.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hand Print Turkeys

Date & Apple Squares

Gosh. These, as recommended by my mother-in-law, were absolutely fabulous (and easy). They contain more sugar and butter than any baked sweet I have ever come across but who cares. They are what I call an "adult" treat. The recipe below and intended for a square dish. I doubled the recipe and tossed it into a 9 inch round spring-form, for lack of square baking tin (hint hint Santa or H).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pan de Muertos (Mexican Sweet Bread)

adapted from

The actual translation is Bread of the Dead. Appetizing? Erm ... I made this traditional bread to celebrate the Day of the Dead (Mexican holiday). Having tasted it about a billion times before, I'd never made it. I really enjoyed the process because it is simple. Those of you who know about Mexican breads, you will know that they are not grainy and always contain TONS of sugar.