Kitchen Living With Coryanne Kitchen Living for a Modern LIfestyle Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:16:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Zombie “No Carve” Pumpkins Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:16:12 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Halloween is around the corner, and with the week have lined up, we will have little time to carve our pumpkins.  Rather than stressing about when we are going carve out time (Pun?  What pun?) we are going the no-carve pumpkin route and embracing easy street. I originally thought we might go for glammed up black pumpkins, but we are now taking a wild turn and embracing smashed pumpkins, or zombie pumpkins as we call them… beware scardey cats, this is more trick than treat.

Halloween No carve zombie pumpkins by Coryanne Ettiene

I got the idea while decorating the school halls for our annual Halloween festival.  I created both a “Day time happy as jack-o-lanten” photo both and a “Zombie Patch” photo booth.  Originally the zombie cart was going to have a variety of carved pumpkins and a zombie pushing the cart, but the space was too small so I turned the pumpkins into zombies with very little skill and even less time.  It turns out the zombie pumpkins were a huge hit and when I saw our children go bonkers for them, I wasted no time suggesting we do the same at our house….(hook, line and sinker).

Halloween No carve zombie pumpkins by Coryanne Ettiene

Zombie pumpkins could not be more simple.  Put the pumpkin in a large rubbish back, tie the top and smash it on the floor until it starts to crack.  Untie, and split the pumpkin in half to create the “open mouth” look.  Set the pumpkin on the sack and lightly dust with spray paint until you have the look you want.  I sprayed the inside to make sure it had a rotted look.  Once dry, insert the pumpkin fangs and drop in an electric candle light once the sun goes down.  Add a little drama with a few skeletal remains, orange lights and if you have it, plenty of spider webs and hay.


]]> 0
How to shop at a farmers market Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:48:17 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’ve always been a fan of farmers markets. There is a certain intoxication associated with stalls of fresh seasonal produce and handmade products.  With over 10k farmers markets dotted across the US, America is quickly building a relationship with local, season food.  I’ve shopped at markets in all over the globe, and have always been captivated by their sense of community. I’m lucky enough to live near the fabulous Chestnut Square in McKinney Texas and have quickly developed a relationship with local farmers and artisans making my weekends all the more rich because of it.

How to shop at a farmers market by Coryanne Ettiene

Photo credit: Sam Henderson 2014

In my latest video for AOL On I take you on a tour of my local market and share with you a few of the tips I’ve picked up from my years of farmers market shopping.  Because no two markets are alike, and no two market days are the same, when you arrive at your market, take a quick loop around to see what is on offer, and get there early for the pick of the crop, or arrive late to get the best deals.  And whether you are pro or a first time market shopper, you’ll get the most out of your market experience if you befriend your grower – there is noting more rewarding that knowing the person behind the stall.  Watch the video via this link or click play on the screen below.

Shopping in the transition season between summer and Fall can be tricky — but also rewarding.  You have all the ripeness of that late summer harvest and all the excitement of the new Fall produce.  Right now your local market will be packed with a variety of fresh autumn squashes, pears, apples, radishes, and potatoes.  And positively brimming with canned and perceived items that burst with the flavors of summer.


]]> 0
Family Cooking: A new Idaho Potato Video Series Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:20:47 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene It is no secret that I started cooking when the tiny people scurrying around my kitchen starting eating.  I was plunged into a world of grocery stores, ovens and perishable food kicking and screaming the entire time, until slowly those kitchen disasters became fewer and fewer.  Potatoes have been part of my kitchen story since the moment I first put on a pot of water and held a masher in my hands — like old friends, I find comfort in potatoes because they are forgiving, easy to work with and make the family cooking experience all the more enjoyable.  That and, I’m rarely overheard saying “eat your potatoes” which means that the family meals made with potatoes are just as fabulous as the cooking experience.

Over the last few months, I’ve been enlisting the children in my culinary adventures, encouraging them to celebrate a variety of cooking methods. By the sounds of it, some of these methods can seem advanced, but when you take away the fancy names and simply just follow the steps, they are so simple that I’ve been able to stand back and watch them grow in the kitchen.  I must admit, I do hover a bit when the oven is involved, and offer a bit too much direction when it comes to knives… but they love me all the same.

Simple, healthy recipes that get children cooking  | A new video series from Coryanne Ettiene

In my latest video series for the Idaho Potato Commission Margeaux and Xander each took center stage in cooking — sharing their favorite cooking methods and showing first hand how simple it is to include these methods in your family cooking experience.  I wanted the new series to be a more honest approach to our kitchen life, not too staged or scripted, just honest.  You’ll see me concentrate with a serious brow while I’m flipping the potato pancakes, the caption should read “oh rats, I left them too long, hope they are not burnt”; our middle son  Sawyer quietly waiting for dinner as he always does;  little Xander starting to wander off while cooking because he is 6 and, well that is what you do when you are 6;  and for the first time ever….  my husband cooks with me.  As usual, Margeaux graciously steals the show — her understanding of where to look, how to cook and how to do it all at the same time amazes me; watch out world, she is awesome.  This is how we live, this is how we eat, this is who we are.

Simple, healthy recipes that get children cooking by Coryanne Etteine

Watch all the videos on the Idaho Potato Commission Youtube channel links below, and get the full recipes from the Idaho Potato Commission website.

  • Idaho Potato Pancakes 3 Ways    :  Perfect for brunch or a mid week left over option, we love these simple cakes.  Great for anyone over the age of 8 that can handle a hot pan, and perfect for those busy mid week dinners.  Get the recipe here.
  • Parchment Roasted Fingerlings :  Simple does not even begin to describe this, once you try it, it will be a weekly favorite.  Great for anyone over the age of 3, this is the perfect intro to cooking dish that everyone loves to eat. Get the recipe here.
  • Toad in the Hole :  Millions of Englishmen can’t be wrong, this is our kinda family dinner.  There is something for everyone in this meal, carve out an afternoon and make a day of kitchen living family style. Get the recipe here.
  • Yukon Gold, Ham, & Gruyère Gallet  :  Rustic charm that backs a fabulous flavor; put your own spin on it.  Great for anyone over the age of 5 with supervision, or anyone over 10 if you fancy standing backhand watching it all unfold.  Get the recipe here.



]]> 0
Mini Duchess Potatoes Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:00:14 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene As you know, I never miss an opportunity to eat with my fingers.  Emily Post could write a whole passage about my mischievous adventures devouring everything with my hands.  Food tastes better when you can touch it, there is something intimate about finger foods that soften the shoulders, allow you to let you hair down and embrace the flavors of the food you are eating.  Mind you, I know when to use a fork, I just prefer food that does not require it, which is why I absolutely love these mini Duchess potato bites and will be serving them every chance I get this holiday season.

Quick Holiday Party Food:  Mini Duchess Potatoes by Coryanne Ettiene

It is almost ridiculous to mention a recipe they are that easy.  And if you have plenty of mash left over, the task is even more simple.  I used mashed potatoes for this, but they are equally as fabulous with sweet potatoes.  If you know you have a big party planned, pipe out the potatoes and freeze them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper for up to 48 hours before the party.  Allow them to thaw before baking to ensure that they bake evenly.

Holiday Party Food:  Mini Duchess Potatoes by Coryanne Ettiene


  • 5 pounds of Yellow Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup half and half, plus a splash for the egg wash
  • 1 cup of cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, more for garnish


  1. In a large pot, boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender.
  2. Drain in a colander, let sit 5 minutes, and then return to the pot.
  3. Add your butter, 3 egg yolks and cream, and then mash until smooth enough to add to a potato ricer, and then rice until extra smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Fill a piping bag with the potatoes and create 16 equal tiny mounds on the sheet, and then use your index finger to create a dent.  Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, or until firm.
  6. Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  7. Whisk together remaining egg yolk and a splash of half and half, then brush the wash onto the potatoes and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.
  8. While the potatoes cook, add your cream cheese and thyme to a bowl and fold together until fully blended, then store in the fridge to set.
  9. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool to the touch before topping with a dollup of the cheese blend.  Serve immediately.


]]> 0
Caramel and Almond Cookie Recipe + #TollHouseTime Twitter Party Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:41:38 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene It’s #TollHouseTime, everybody dance.  With the holidays coming and every aisle in the grocery store reminding you that you need to turn your kitchen into a semi professional baking kitchen, I’ve partnered with Nestle Toll House to bring you a prize packed Twitter party full of  all the recipes, tips and ideas you need to get started on holiday baking.  As you know, I confessed my total lack of baking skills 2 years ago, and if it was not for Toll House, my children would never have seen a fresh cookie come out of the oven; and while I still keep a stash of Toll House dough on hand for last minute treats, I’ve discovered my inner baker and now have a pantry full of morsels for those moments when we want to enjoy those special family moments around a mixing bowl.

This summer I was in bakers heaven, and star stuck by the company I kept while visiting Toll House.  Truth be told, I kept looking around and thinking (sometimes out loud)  ”how did I get on this superstar list’?  I spent 2 days baking up a storm with celebrity bakers, trying my hardest not to physically attach myself to them while we sampled the latest product line from Toll House. Oh this line…. wait till you try it, it has something for everyone.

#TollHouseTime with Coryanne Ettiene

The product that will quite frankly rock your “I want a cookie but don’t have the time” world, is here.  Taking their ready made fridge dough one step further, they have launched a frozen ready dough.  Fabulous cookie dough discs frozen and ready to place on a baking sheet.  You can literally go from craving to eating in minutes.  Midnight snacking never tasted so good.

Packing a flavor bonanza and simply delightful, are the new DelightFulls:  Chocolate morsels filled with mint, cherry flavor, peanut butter or caramel.  There is no stopping what you can do with them.  I raced home with a bag and quickly made a batch of vanilla mint ice cream that was eaten nearly the second it set in the freezer.  For a more traditional approach, I surprised my neighbors with a bundle of caramel and almond cookies made using the Caramel DelightFulls. At first I thought these might be a tad grown up for my children, but as it turns out, I had to keep an eye on them while I wrapped them up in twine to make sure I had enough to for the gifts I had planned.

Who doesn't love a fresh from the oven cookie?   Try these Caramel and Almond Cookies by Coryanne Ettiene

For the recipe, and I know I should not mess with greatness, I slightly altered the Toll House classic cookie recipe and gave it my own spin.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose non bleached flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup  butter, room temperature and cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2   eggs
  • 2 cups of Nestle Toll House Caramel Delightfulls
  • 1 cup of chopped almonds


Preheat your oven to 375F.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl, and set aside.  Beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a stand  mixer on medium speed until creamy. Then reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time until the batter is smooth and wet.  Gradually beat in flour mixture until thick before adding the Caramel DelightFulls and almonds. Beat until fully blended and then using a cookie scooper, scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet, allowing enough space between dollops for the cookie to grow.   And then lick the bowl, yes, this will keep you from looking at the oven every minute.  Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until golden brown, and then remove them for the oven and allow them  to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

#TollHouseTime Twitter Party

You’re invited to join me in celebrating the launch of these new products in a prize packed Twitter party! And if you simply can’t wait for the party and have to share your #TollHouseTime moments, there is a surprise in store…  tag a Tweet Pic of your baking creation with #TollHouseTime #Entry for a chance to win more prizes.  See you at the Twitter Party!

When:  Wednesday October 22nd, 2014  8pm-9pm EST

Where:  Follow the  #TollHouseTime hashtag on Twitter to join the party, and tag your tweets with #TollHouseTime to join the conversation.

Follow:  @CoryanneEttiene and @NestleTollHouse on  Twitter

Prizes: Over $200 in cash and prizes to be won courtesy of Nestle Toll House.

Rules & Regulations:  No RSVP required, open to US residents over the age of 18. Winners will be selected at random and announced during the party by @CoryanneEttiene.   No purchase necessary.

Disclosure:   I have partnered with Nestle Toll House to celebrate the launch of their new holiday line and am being compensated to host the #TollHouseTime Twitter Party.  All thoughts expressed are my own.  

]]> 0
Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:13:58 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Slow cooked anything makes me weak in the knees…. and not just because you spend the whole day smelling the delights to come, but because it is a meal that cooks itself allowing you more time to unwind after a day spent juggling any number of daily events.  Slow cooking is pure comfort, it tugs at the soul, and  beckons you to curl up with a bowl to savor every moment.   In my dream kitchen I have a pantry dedicated to dutch ovens, slow cookers, a hoard of tinned beans, and bags of pulses…. until the kitchen fairy graces me with such good fortune, I have a pantry busting at the seams the moment October rolls around.

Indian Stew by Coryanne Ettiene

This week I am sharing one of my favorite recipes on the Delish Dish Blog for Better Homes and Gardens.   I first discovered their recipe for Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew last year and immediately gave it a personal touch from the lessons I learned from a London neighbor who cooks the most amazing curries.  I’ve been making a variation of this recipe for years, always trying something new with heat or vegetable varieties depending on who I‘m making it for.  The beauty with this recipe is that you can build upon it, give it layers of heat and change it with the seasons to keep it fresh all year round.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew by Coryanne Ettiene

Pop over and see how I put my own spin on their recipe for Slow Cooker Indian Chicken stew by adding my homemade curry powder and a few fresh ingredients picked up at my farmer’s market.  Simple to make, tangy with a slight kick to warm you from the inside out, tt really is the perfect Fall dinner.  Get the recipe here.


]]> 0
Top 5 Fall Food Trends Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:00:53 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Red is the new Green; Stalks are the new Kale….  I am loving the new Fall food trends, not just because a few of my favorite items have made the list, but also, between us, I loathe Kale.  There, I said it.  I don’t like Kale and have never once made a Kale Chip or a Kale Salad.  Do you still love me?  But I do love broccoli and am twirling in my apron at the the news that broccoli stalks are trending.  Yes, there are a few things on the list that I am trying to wrap my taste buds around, but I’m willing to give them a go and see if I can embrace all 5 trends with gusto.

5 Fall Food Trends by Coryanne Ettiene


Dulse.  You might have seen Dulse making an appearance on your summer salads; it’s a red seaweed that grows on rocks and is a perfect for adding to a salty finish dish, Fall soup, and roasted salad dish. The beauty with Dulse is that you can eat it fresh or dried. It comes in a ready pack dried and when you add it to any liquid it offers the most amazing salty finish.  On the plus side, it is vibrant and makes the color of your dish pop, just look at the deep red in the photo above.

Rooibos Tea. Earthy, mellow and mild, it makes a great compliment to stews, or you can go wild and mix up a fabulous fall cocktail with it like I did with my Sparkling Rooibos Tea Cocktail.  As a teenager, I would drink it hot, milky and sweet in South Africa.  And as a decaffeinated blend, it is light enough to tuck you in to bed on a cold night.

Teff.  Most people are just getting used to using Quinoa, but Teff is quickly making news in food blogs everywhere.  I first tried Teff when I was North Africa years ago and loved the sweetness if offers; its hearty, almost earthy and like Quinoa, it is a great substitution for rice.  Teff is harvested in Ethiopia and is Gluten Free, rich in fiber and packed full of iron. If you’ve used Teff flour, you will love the grain.  Fun fact:  Did you know that Teff is the worlds smallest grain (use that at your next trivia night, the crowd will love you).

Food Trends 2015 by Coryanne Ettiene

Broccoli Stalks.  It seems that every farm to table restraint across the US is filling up their menu with some variation of this wonder vegetable.  I first tried stalks while living in China: braised in ginger on a bed of steaming hot sticky rice and my world vision changed forever.  There is no end to what you can do with stalks: pan fry them in butter toss in a few strips of bacon and feast on the glory; bake them with your next mac and cheese casserole; add them to soups; toss them in a batter and fry them; or be a purist and steam them as a tender side dish.

Ramen Noodles.  Step away from the instant noodles, traditional Raman is nothing like the 40 cent college version, and has emerged as the super star of the new food trend.  Unlike the instant kind, they are silky, heavy and add a great full-bodied flavor to any dish that calls for a pasta of some kind. I love adding them to soups because they absorb all the flavor of the broth, especially if you cook them directly in the broth.  What’s more, they are really inexpensive and take 4 minutes to cook.




]]> 0
I’m an open book Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:13:08 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m a blogger.  An influencer.  An expert.  A wordsmith.  A content slayer.  A community builder.  Call it what you may, but I spend my time taking photos of pretty things, and linking those images to something seasonal, emotive and inspiring, all with desire to incite others with an overwhelming need to share it, make it and go to sleep with my words dancing around their head like sugar plum fairies.  My business is content, expertise and influence.  So people pay me; sometimes well, others not so much, but I like them, so I keep them around for kicks. Unlike other professional bloggers, I write content for people rather than focus on a structured content calendar on my blog.  Loyal readers will know that there are weeks where I fall off the radar, and weeks where I fill their inbox with such malarky that they wish I would stop and smell the roses. Some of my posts are sponsored by the brands I work with, others are labors of love that I create simply just to share.  I’ve gone through a roller coast of branding transformations, not because I don’t know who I am, but because as I grow my business, I feel more confident in “singing loud for all to hear“.  I love social media, but I love video even more; that is when the real me, the part that takes sight and sound to really experience, comes to life.   My dream, in case it is not clear, is to have a lifestyle empire…  TV shows, product lines, magazines, the whole kit and caboodle.

I’m quirky, sassy, slightly off color at times, and  with  a talent for dramatics.  I’m like my 6 year old son Xander, give me an inch, and I’ll take a mile…. entertaining people, it would seem, is my second nature.

Coryanne Yummy Mummy Mug


I eat with my hands.  I drop clothes on the floor leaving a trail of debris behind me when I walk through the house.  I’m a night owl; heaven help anyone who tries to wake me before 8am.  I love my skinny jeans even though my stomach suggests I should be looking for another fashion statement.  I sing in the car like I’m at a concert with thousands of adoring fans, and I have this undying need to talk; silence kills me and has gotten me into so much trouble.  In fact, the last spell of silence I faced, I filled the conversation with the offer to host a block party; and the time before that invited a near stranger to our home for a dinner party.

At home with Coryanne Ettiene

My children call me Mummy….and I love it.  My husband calls me Cory and it makes me swoon.   And I wish like Hell the neighborhood children would call me Mrs. E…only because it sounds cool, and I’d like to think that I am cool.  I’m insecure.  I’m emotional.  I’m restless.  I can’t spell and really should not be responsible for the editing that takes place on this blog (you know exactly what I’m talking about).  I’m impatient.

But there is more.

I’m nice.  I laugh at my own jokes and love it when I make other people smile.  I’ll flirt with anyone; I love the way it makes people blush.  My grandfather is everything to me, and his globe is one of my most cherished possessions. I have a dear friend in India that I think of everyday and never have time to call, and I miss her.  I have a whole slew of dear friends in London that I long to share a bottle of wine with again, and one day  I will.

At home with Coryanne Ettiene

I don’t like it when people give their children electronics in the grocery store, or don’t bring their own grocery bags.  I especially don’t like it when people are rude. I often sit back and think of all the things I could have said “in that moment” and hope that one day…  I finally nail it.  Until then, I have the best comebacks, only they are a few hours too late.

When I am busy, I’m focused and rarely smile or talk. I’ve been told I have a “look” that tells people to stay away.  I guess that is why no one ever comes into my office to chat with me while I’m working.

I like saltine crackers and Spice Drops. I’m happy. I have great memories and a bright future.  The present is fabulous and so are the people I share it with.  Life is good.  Life is fun.  This is me….  I’m an open book.


]]> 0
How to freeze herbs and stock your Fall freezer Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:05:03 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Oh how I love my freezer.  Especially in the Fall when there is still plenty of fresh summer produce to choose from.  This time of year my freezer is stocked with baking trays lined with parchment paper and any number of summer goodies from herbs, berries to ready made meal accents.  I dare say, my freezer does look I am waiting for the world to end… but then again, when it comes to meal planning, or there lack there of, a full freezer is my best friend.  The trick with freezing anything is that you need to keep the frost from sapping all the flavor, so plan your freezer attack carefully and be sure to date everything you store in your freezer with a nod towards knowing that in 3 months, anything that is left behind will loose all freshness.

Top tips for stocking your Fall freezer, plus how to freeze herbs  by Coryanne Ettiene


  • Parchment Paper
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Baking trays or cutting boards, anything with a flat surface to ensure your goods freeze evenly
  • Freezer safe bags in a variety of sizes
  • Ice cube trays
  • Sharpie

Tips and Tricks

  1. When freezing anything fresh like fruit, vegetables, or single herbs, lay them flat on a sheet of parchment paper so they have plenty of room to freeze without touching, and top them with another sheet of parchment paper to keep the burn off of them.   Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag for storage. When bundling herbs, tie them with a length of butchers twine, and make sure that you have a variety of sizes… after all different dishes call for different size bundles.
  2. When freezing with ice cube trays, take care of spills and wipe them clean before freezing.  To avoid frosting your trays, seal them with plastic wrap or inside a freezer safe bag. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag for storage.
  3. When freezing oils, fat or wine remember that they will not freeze solid.  Even a moment outside of the freezer will cause them to melt, so if you have a temperamental freezer, make sure that your freezer bag is sealed, double sealed, and sealed again.
  4. When freezing liquids and sauces place them inside a freezer safe bag, gently fold them over so that they lay flat and place them on a flat surface to freeze.  Having them in stackable shapes will make storage simple and avoid cluttering your freezer.
  5. Label everything, both with what it is, and when you froze it.  This helps avoid any cooking confusion and keeps your freezer stocked with items that taste as fresh as the day you froze them.  A good rule of thumb for fresh ingredients is 3 months, and 4-6 months for sauces, soups and meals.

Top tips for stocking your Fall freezer, plus how to freeze herbs  by Coryanne Ettiene

Looking for more ideas on what to freeze this Fall?  This is what I currently have stock piled in my freezer in addition to the normal herbs, and summer produce items:

  • Infused Oils:  Freeze fresh herbs and olive oil, grape seed oil or coconut oil in ice cube trays, and use them as needed to create aromatic roasted vegetables, fabulous soups , or accent your roasting tray.
  • Bacon Drippings:  Freeze your bacon fat in ice cube trays or in measured amounts using freezer safe bags, and then add them to your gravy or roasting tray to give your roasts that added sizzle and flavor.
  • Wine:  If, on the odd occasion, you have left over wine, add it in measured amounts to a freezer safe bag and then use it to create fabulous sauces or post Thanksgiving stews. Or do what I do and buy a bottle and sacrifice to the freezer.
  • Mash Potatoes: Save time prepping mid week meals by freezing your mash potatoes in a freezer safe container, and then reheat them in the oven prior to serving.  This is a favorite trick of mine during Thanksgiving, oh how it saves so much oven space on the big day.
  • Gravy:  Roast chicken bones, vegetable scraps, onions and garlic in a pan, then add chicken stock to the mix to create a gravy base.  Freeze it in a freezer safe bag, and then add it to your roasting pan to for easy gravy.
  • Celery:  Celery is a stock stable and essential for adding flavor to your roasting tray and left over soups — but it takes up so much room and never lasts as long as you wish it would.  Wash, dry and then seal in an air tight freezer safe bag.  Just drop your frozen celery into your roasting pan or stews as needed.
  • Butter Cream Frosting:  Keep the children happy with fresh butter cream cupcakes, by making a batch and freezing it an an air tight freezer safe container, and then thawing it.  Once thawed, frost and serve with little to no effort.
  • Pesto & Tomato Sauces:  Storing your fresh pesto or tomato sauces in the freeze is a great way to whip up a summer inspired meal or add a spot of flavor to your Fall cooking.  Store it in a freezer safe back in cup measurements for bigger meals, or in ice cube trays for a splash of flavor.
  • Root Ginger:  Skip breaking off just what you need from the grocery store and buy the whole root.  Ginger freezes beautifully and what’s great about frozen ginger root is that is grates easier than thawed ginger root.  Simply grate when you need, when you need it and return it to the freezer when your done.


]]> 0
Rooibos Fall Sparkling Cocktail Mon, 06 Oct 2014 01:48:45 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m never one to miss a trend, especially when it involves one of my favor teas.  I first tried Red Bush or Rooibos Tea when I was a Rotary Exchange Student living in South Africa.  It was the first thing my host mother gave me when I arrived… like English Tea, drinking Rooibos Tea is like taking a bath on the inside.  Served warm, milky and with 2 spoons of sugar, it was the hug I needed after the long flight from home. I had it every morning and every day after school for a year; always warm, sweet and milky, never chilled.  In fact it never occurred to me to serve it chilled until I started experimenting with iced teas when we landed in Dallas.  Why, oh why I’d never thought of it before now is beyond me.  Earthy and mellow it blends beautifully with citrus and cinnamon making it the perfect early Fall cocktail.

Food Trends:  Rooibos Tea Cocktail by Coryanne Ettiene

Rooibos Tea is emerging as the new “It” tea…move over Green Tea, Red is the new black (or shall I say green?).   You’ll see Rooibos Tea cropping up in infusion drinks, baked good and even stews this Fall.  I’ve started making a concentrated batch of cold brew and keeping it in my fridge, experimenting with it every chance I get.  I like making a concentrated batch because it keeps the flavor strong and allows me to dilute it according to the recipe I’m working on.  Concentrated cold brew is simple (and to be honest a tad lazy).  Simply add 2 standard tea bags to an 8 ounce pitcher, fill it with water and then brew it in the sun for 4 hours.


  • 4 Ounces of concentrated cold brewed Rooibos Tea
  • 12 Ounces of sparkling water
  • 3-4 Ounces of Vokda
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful of lemon slices
  • Handful of apple slices
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Ounce of simple syrup, optional


Add all the ingredients to a tall pitcher and stir.  Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and allow it to steep  at room temperature for an hour before removing the cinnamon stick and serving over ice.  *Note, if you prefer your cocktails on the sweet side, add an ouch of simple syrup.  As we move into cooler weather, I have great plans to replace the sparking water with still water and simmer the cocktail on the stove for a warm version, maybe even add a slash of apple cider to the mix to really embrace the fall spirit.

Rooibos Sparkling Tea Cocktail By Coryanne Ettiene







]]> 0
How to dry, paint and preserve fresh acorns Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:02:33 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m a tad squirrely when it comes to decorating this Fall thanks to the dozen or so huge Oak trees within arms reach of our house.  The sky is literally falling; I can’t go 2 feet without stepping on either a fallen Oak Nut or Pecan … the squirrels have all but devoured every possible Pecan, leaving a blanket of acorns underfoot.  I’m not sure why I never noticed how fabulous they are, how delicate they can be and how stunning they look.  I’ve seen countless photos on Pinterest with them dark and glossy, stunning in itself, but I much prefer them as natural as possible — matt, weathered and in a variety of muted brown tones.

Hand dried acorns by Coryanne Ettiene

I’d never dried acorns until the Fall, so I set about reading everything I could on how to dry them, not just for this fall, but for years to come.  It would seem that everyone has something different to say about how to dry acorns, and very few talk about those bright big green ones that the squirrels stay clear of.  Drying acorns, like any drying process takes time…loads of time.  The most time consuming part is weeding through your bundle of acorns looking for any that have cracks or wholes in them — if I had it to do over again, I would have done this as I was foraging for them (but you live and learn).  Whilst drying takes time, it is effortless if you have a kitchen timer to help you keep track of the rotation.  The smaller the acorn, the quicker it will dry; the bigger or greener the acorn, the longer it will take.

How to dry Oak Nuts by Coryanne Ettiene

I was so smitten with my acorns, that I dabbled in a little painting experiment.  I knew that I did not want to paint them all, but wanted a splash of color somewhere to help a few stand out.  I much prefer the white washed hats to the full acorn being painted — it gives it a dusting of snow look that will transition well into our winter decor; in the mean time, I’ve got bowls of them littered around the house with little splashes of pink and white that I am gradually removing to revel just the white dusted caps and natural matt acorns.


  1. Weed out all the bad acorns; anything with a crack or hole.
  2. Rinse your acorns in cool water and gently remove any dirt or debris, then soak them in a big pot of water for an hour.  The water line should be about an inch above the acorn line.  Some will float, these acorns are very dry already, scoop those off the top and roast those on a separate baking tray.
  3. Transfer your acorns to a drying mat or towel, and allow them to air dry for up to 2 hours.  You can speed this process up by drying each acorn by hand.  Joy.  
  4. Separate the dried acorns according to the floaters, the small brown ones, the large brown ones and the green ones.  Each batch should rest on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and then cooked at 220F until dry.  The smaller ones and the floaters will dry quickly — about an hour.  The bigger ones will take 2-4 hours, and the green ones will, quite frankly, take all day.  Every 30-45 minutes, use a wooden spoon to stir the tray and rotate the acorns so they dry evenly.  If you are roasting green acorns, be prepared for the caps to fall off as they shrink.  In fact, most of the acorns will shrink, that is the nature of drying.
  5. Once dry, allow them to cool at room temperate.  Once cool, spray them with a varnish (I opted for a Matte Varnish) and allow that to dry before painting.  I doubled up on the varnish and re-varnished the acorns I painted, but you can skip this over protective step.
  6. For the white washed cap I used a small children’s paint brush and blended a bright white and cream acrylic paint. And lightly, rather half heartedly, painted the caps.  I was not going for perfect, I wanted distressed.  There are a few fully coated ones in the photo above to give you an idea of how different they look.
  7. For the painted acorn body, I embraced muted rose by blending pink and cream acrylic paint together, and used a craft sponge brush to apply a thick coat of paint.  If I do this again, I will likely use a paper towel and blot the paint on for a distressed look.



]]> 0
Vanilla Nutella Sandwich Cake Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:10:39 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Motherhood, like childhood, goes by in a flash.  One moment you are folding teeny tiny onesies for a newborn, and the next, you are watching that baby dance around the room excited for another birthday while he folds his own t-shirts… then it hits you, that deep dark guilt that gnaws at you for not completing his baby book or spending 3 days trying to sculpt his  T-Rex drawing into what he said would be “the most awesome cake in the universe”.  Luckily, I’m his mummy…and with that comes a little forgiveness for not delivering “the most awesome cake in the universe”, but instead a pretty damn good one based on his favorite snack.

Nutella Vanilla Cake by Coryanne Ettiene

Nutella, is all but banned from our kitchen.  We all love it, a little bit too much frankly, so we went cold turkey a a few years ago and only recently started hiding a jar of it in the back of the pantry with big bold red letters scrolled across the lid warning certain punishment for twisting the lid and tucking in without permission.  Xander, given half the chance will slather nearly a whole jar on a single slice of toast…  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

This is not a light cake; rather it is a dense, heavy cake best served chilled with a tall glass of milk, kind of cake.  This heaviness plays well with the sandwich idea that inspired the recipe, and even more so if you opt to generously  butter the sides of the pan like I did, to give it a crusty bread finish around the edges.  The buttercream frosting is so simple, not a single shortening, just buttercream like it was intended — butter, cocoa, sugar and vanilla — mixed with a heaving measure of Nutella.

In a nod to the T-Rex cake, I plonked a rubber dino on the top, handed over an extra large reptile hat and watched little Xander wish upon a star. Needless to say, like all birthday’s in our house, we will all be feasting on cake for breakfast — I’m pretty sure it is written someplace that cake for breakfast is rule.

Nutella Vanilla Cake by Coryanne Ettiene

Vanilla Nutella Sandwich Cake


  • 2 cups of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • Splash of whole milk
  • 4 cups of confection sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of Nutella
  • 4 tablespoons of heavy cream


  1. For the cake, pre-heat your oven to 350F, dust your pans with flour, line the base with parchment paper and butter the sides.
  2. Beat the granulated sugar and 1 cup of butter until it is creamy, then add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the eggs (the whole egg, not just the yolk), and mix until smooth.
  3. In a dry bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together and then gradually add it to your butter blend, alternating between the buttermilk and dry mixture until you have a thick creamy batter. Add a splash of milk if your batter is too thick. And then transfer to your round baking pans and bake for 35 minutes, or until done. (note: I was not paying attention when I set my oven and ended up cooking them for 20 minutes on the convection setting).
  4. Once done, allow them to cool on a cooking rack at room temperature, and then transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour before frosting the cake.
  5. For the frosting, add the butter, confection sugar and coco powered and beat on low speed until creamy.
  6. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and the cream, then turn up the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes. Once creamy, add the Nutella and beat for a further minute to ensure that everything is fully blended.


Coryanne Ettiene | | 2014

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

]]> 0
Fall Bunting Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:18:24 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Every now and then I catch myself on the porch and think “life is amazing”….  because when you stop and look around you, it really is.  I’m not talking about the amazing feeling that comes with having a spare million dollars in your bank account, and a trip to Aruba in your calendar kind of amazing; I’m talking about the pure happiness that comes from knowing that your children are fed, healthy and still look at you like you are a rockstar kind of amazing.

Being a working mother frequently plagues me with guilt, which is why I never miss an opportunity to include my children in my work.  They each bring something unique to my working mother experience, and this weekend when I passed the camera to 8 year old Sawyer  and asked him to take a few pictures, I was reminded that seeing your children discover a talent is another element that makes life amazing.   As if he took the words right out of his mouth, Ansel Adams captured Sawyer best with “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” This weekend my life truly was amazing… a little bubbly on the front porch with Fall bunting blowing in the wind just added to the fact.

Simple No Sew Bunting by Coryanne Ettiene

Like most things in my domesticity, life as I know it has been inspired by lessons learned while living in London.  There is something so utterly simple and soothing about a string of colorful triangles hanging from corner to corner to remind you that life is a party just waiting to happen.  Truth be told, I had a sewing machine for years and never touched it; that whole threading the bobbin thing really made me feel inadequate, so when I can’t stitch by hand, I use no sew binding tape.

Fall Bunting By Coryanne Ettiene


Directions and Supplies for No Sew Bunting

  • A cardboard triangle shape
  • Scissors (or a fabric rotary cutting tool)
  • Ruler (or fabric cutting edge)
  • Fabric pen
  • No-sew binding tape
  • Iron
  • Fabric starch (optional)
  • Fabric

Step 1: Cut a triangle shape out of cardboard. Traditionally bunting is 6 inches from center top to center bottom with a length that is longer than the triangle is wide; but you can use any shape triangle you like to create bunting that fits with your needs.  I wanted a bigger bunting and opted for a 9 inch triangle.

Step 2: Lay your fabric flat, and then use your fabric pen to trace out the triangle onto your fabric.

Step 3: Once all your triangles are complete, cut them out.  Scissors are fine, but for a quicker step and a cleaner line, use a fabric rotation cutter with a cutting mat and a straight edge to keep your bunting neat and your prep surface protected.

Step 4: Place 2 triangles against one another and then position the no-sew binding tape in-between the two pieces.  The position of the tape is where the “hem” will be, so take care to keep it neat and as close to the fabric line as possible.

How to make quick no sew bunting by Coryanne Ettiene


Step 5:  Iron each triangle along the “hem” line until the binding tape is secure and properly melted to the fabric.

Step 6: Once all the triangles are sealed, cut out a long rectangle shape to use as the ribbon that will connect your bunting. Place your triangles along the bottom of the rectangle with a strip of binding tape between the triangle and the rectangle to secure, then fold over the top of the rectangle and do the same for the facing side as shown above.  Iron the rectangle strip in place on both sides of the bunting to ensure that each side is secure.

Step 7: If your desired length of bunting is longer than your rectangle strip, use no-sew tape to bind the lengths of bunting together.

To make 20 feet of bunting using a 9 inch triangle and 2 inch wide strip to secure it in place, I used 5 fabric patterns measuring 1.5 yards each.  I’ve been making bunting for years, each time I do so I find new shortcuts to save time.  In the past, I’ve used fabric pins to secure all the fabric in place between ironing — this time I lived dangerously and skipped that part (turns out if you alternate the triangles when you stack them, rather than making a neat pile, you don’t need to use pins to keep the pairs in place).    I used upholstery fabric for this project which meant that the fabric was naturally stiff.  If you are using a light cotton fabric, apply fabric starch while ironing if you want a more stiff bunting appearance.

]]> 0
Tales of an apricot fruit leather Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:51:29 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene There are some things in life worth making, whilst there are others that leave you baffled as to why on Earth you invested so much time.  On the top of that list is fruit leather.  In July my Pinterest stream was flooded with fruit leather pins flirting with me from behind the screen:  beautifully packed rolls of fresh fruit tied up with string beckoning me to lick my screen.  I tried several recipes, all of them so similar that you hardly noticed the difference, because at the heart of this recipe is dried fruit, sugar, juice and a whopping time crunch.  You need your oven just right, the moisture on spot and the balance of sweet perfect; and what no one will tell you is that if you don’t eat them right away, their appeal dries out in an instant.

Apricot Fruit Leather recipe by Coryanne Ettiene

 I’ve been working hard on my photography and for the first time had a series that left me giddily as a child for days…forget the slog of time it took to make the cursed fruit leather, it was the result that pleased me the most and I could not wait to share the images with you.  So with a quick tease on my Instagram feed, I posted a picture and dashed off to the Genius Bar for what I presumed was a quick repair of my motherboard.  A week later when I retuned to collect my Mac, I found my motherboard repaired, but in the process, my passport hard drive and my laptop wiped clean.   I tossed myself on the ground like a toddler and wept…  not just for months of work lost, but because among the loss was my fruit leather series.  The poor manager of the Mac store, try as he might, could not digest how my data had been lost, nor how to manage my dramatic display.  For the 100 people in the store that day, they left with a great story…for me, I left knowing that as much as I loved the series of photos, I would not be making fruit leather again.

There recipe I finally developed allowed the fruit to take the lead in both flavor and sweetness, leaving a slight tang where the citrus lingered…. but there truth is, using an oven and not a dehydrator means that you spend hours watching, turning, testing…. until finally you have a dozen strips of golden leather.  What started as a project for the children, ended up with a project that I took over because even they became disintrerested with the process.  For those who love making fruit leather, I applaud you.  For those who want to try making fruit leather, try it once — you might love it, or you may loathe it.  All I can tell you is that…  what I had hoped would be a homemade staple in our children’s lunches, is now being purchased from the natural snack aisle at the grocery store.

Apricot Fruit Leather Recipe


  • 2 cups of dried apricots
  • 2 cups of lemonade
  • 1 cup of simple syrup
  • zest of 1 orange


  1. In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients, mix well and then cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Allow it to steep overnight.
  3. Strain the remaining liquid into a cup, place the apricots into a food processor, and blitz until smooth; add a teaspoon of liquid if your mixture is too thick. You are looking for a smooth paste, not too runny, not too thick.
  4. Thinly and evenly spread the paste onto a baking mat or sheet of parchment paper atop a baking tray, and place it in the oven to cook for up to 8 hours at 160F, or until it feels tacky, not sticky or moist.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Once cool to the touch, use a pizza cutter to cut your fruit leather into 1 inch wide pieces.


Coryanne Ettiene | 2014 |

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

]]> 0
Baked Raspberry Oatmeal Crisp Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:53:17 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene September is better breakfast month…..  in our house, September is better everything because we slowly ease back into a routine thanks to the cooler weather and the tasks that life hands us as we venture back to school.  Meals become clock work rather than a tickle of grazing and light meals, the kitchen buzzes with conversation and the oven turns back on to offer the quite hum of good things to come. There is no better smell than that of a Fall kitchen, not just because of the intoxicating aroma of spices, but also because there is a certain anticipation that toys with your tastebuds while you wait for the oven to chime and deliver a dish that simmers with warmth and comfort.  Baked oatmeal is one of those dishes; topped with berries in late summer or stem fruits in the fall, it delivers simplicity and each spoonful is delicious.

Baked Raspberry Oatmeal Crisp by Coryanne Ettiene

I like my berries (or stem fruits) to bake on top because I love biting into them — the juices burst in your mouth and play well with the earthiness of the oatmeal,  but you can mix them into the oatmeal to allow their juices to seep into the crisp to create a marbled fruit and oatmeal effect.

Baked Raspberry Oatmeal Crisp


  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup of natural cane sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, slightly melted
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 3/4 cups of finely chopped or ground almonds


  1. Pre heat your oven to 375F and lightly butter the sides of you baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla, then combine the two blows and fold together until you batter. (If you are mixing your fruit into the crisp, now is the time to gently fold them into the batter)
  4. Pour the batter into you baking dish and top with fruit, and lightly sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes.


Coryanne Ettiene | 2014 |

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

The simplicity of this dish means that you can make it during the mayhem of a weekday morning and still have time to enjoy it, or add it your weekend brunch menu; see how I added to a berry inspired brunch menu here.

Baked Raspberry Oatmeal Crisp by Coryanne Ettiene

]]> 0
Raising Chickens Organically Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:40:05 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene It would seem that the latest accessory in home kitchens is farm fresh eggs, and for the last 3 years I have yearned to hold one in my hands and experience the joy that comes from a freshly laid egg collected right from our backyard.  I always thought we would have hens that would perch on our laps, eat from our hands and run towards us when we approached, but what we got was so much more.  3 weeks ago we adopted 2 Golden Lakenvelder hens from a family that was concerned that the older hens were not giving them a chance to thrive.  We were warned that they were anti-social, scrawny and a tad feisty …..but we embraced them the moment we saw Margeaux’s heart melt and set about giving our second hand coop a make over with melon orange paint, a flashy new roof ideal for the Texas heat and a homemade feed that would soon have them eating from our hands.  We expected eggs in November, but while I sat in my office working I heard them squawk for the first time in 3 weeks, and discovered a tiny cream egg laying in the hay.  Golden Lakenvelder are know for laying small eggs, and this first egg is the perfect specimen.  Shiny, smooth, almost radiant it offers this unexpected joy that I anticipated….. and so much more.

Raising Chickens Organically with Coryanne Ettiene

Our learning curve of raising chickens is steep, but we are lucky enough to be surrounded by coops and neighbors all too happy to share their experience with us.  As I write this, I feel like I need to pass out some sort of birth announcement followed by  a round of champers to thank them for all their advice and encouragement over the last 3 weeks. (note to self:  I feel rather like I’m giving an acceptance speech… ).  In addition to all their advice, I’ve been pinning like mad, soaking up every last detail about raising chickens organically.  Among the best advice I’ve found is on creating organic chicken feed from items easily found at the grocery store.  I have no doubt that our chicken feed is responsible for helping them grow and laying eggs weeks before they were due.

Raising Chickens Organically with Coryanne Ettiene

Alex’s Organic Chicken Feed

Place the bigger pieces into a food processor and blitz them for a 2 -3 seconds just to chop them ever so slightly, then mix all the ingredients together before storing in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

  • 4 cups steel cut oats
  • 4 cups whole wheat grains
  • 2 cups millet
  • 2 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups flax seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/8 Cup brewer’s yeast
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of poppy seeds
  • Egg shells

A batch of this lasts us a week with our 2 hens.  I’m sure it would last longer, but like me, they like to play with their food so the feed is everywhere thanks to the (I see now why that would never work in real life) DIY feeding pipe we made after we saw it on Pinterest.  Buying the ingredients in bulk makes it cheaper than buying regular chicken feed, plus we know that they are getting organically fed with whole ingredients.  In addition to the organic feed, they feast like royalty because all of our scraps go their way.  They say that chickens love strawberries and melon, but ours love cauliflower and papaya.

While our pipe feeder was an epic fail, it was fun creating it, and I hardly think that I will be knitting any hen hats this winter (or will I?).  Regardless,  I’ve so enjoyed pinning to my new Backyard Chickens Board and learning everything I can about raising chickens organically.  I have so much to learn, I can imagine that this board will soon become my new favorite place to pin.

Coryanne Ettiene's Backyard Chicken Board on Pinterest


]]> 0
Banana Split Granola Recipe Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:35:39 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I love this time of year… The end of August is always a hive of activity in our kitchen because summer fades into fall, the children dash off to school with amazing lunch boxes packed with care, and  I drink champers like there is no tomorrow while celebrating my birthday.  In other words, pears become the new berries, the excitement of back to school energizes me to create pin worthy lunch boxes, and I search for coconut water and vow to never drink again…  This year we are adding one more celebration to the menu, National Banana Split Day on August 25th.   And since this fabulous holiday falls on my birthday, the house is buzzing with ideas on how we can turn my inevitable middle age into a youthful feast that will take this classic dish and give it a twist.  To celebrate both events, I’ve partnered with Dole Bananas to bring you a prize packed Twitter Party and share my recipe for Banana Split inspired granola.

Banana Split Granola by Coryanne Ettiene

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a traditional banana split?  The whipped cream, salty nuts, sweet bananas, rich chocolate, tangy cherries, irresistible vanilla ice cream..just thinking about it I’m tempted to whip one up so I can type and snack at the same time.   The truth is, as I get older, decadent sweets like a traditional banana split,  are not as kind to my health as they once were.  But with a few simple changes, I can whip up all the flavor of a banana split and give myself a healthy snack at the same time.

My children love granola bars, but eating granola that I make is a battle I have never won.  In fact, I all but gave up trying to get them to taste it…  until I started recipe testing this Banana Split Granola.  Like ants to a log…  they came marching in one by one.  Nibble here, shrug, nibble there, smile, nibble nibble nibble, gobble.  So I took it a step further and swapped out their normal breakfast for diced bananas, greek yogurt and the granola.  First came the hesitation, then came the scooping of granola off the top, and then the ultimate kitchen victory…… the empty bowl.  My kitchen has been a nonstop factory of this granola for days, I can’t make enough.  We snack on it, add it to yogurt, and toss it fruit salads.  It goes without saying, those carefully packed lunch boxes I mentioned earlier will be carrying a batch.

Granola by Coryanne Ettiene

Whilst it tastes amazing,  making it is so simple that anyone that is old enough to handle a hot baking sheet, can whip up a batch and be a kitchen rock star.  We used 2 medium sized baking sheets for this recipe with parchment lined trays, but you can use a baking matt on a larger tray, just stir more frequently to ensure that your oats golden evenly.  Since I’m a home cook, I use what’s in my kitchen:  instant oats this time.  I’d never tried making granola with instant oats before, the verdict …   brilliant finish, the only real difference is that your granola is smaller, more crumbly (which is why  I think my children went gaga for it).

Banana Split Granola Recipe by Coryanne Ettiene


Banana Split Recipe

  • 3  Cups of Instant Oatmeal
  • 1 Cup of chopped almonds, unsalted
  • 3/4 Cup of sweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 Cup of shaved dark chocolate (I used a bar, but you can also use chips)
  • 1 1/2 Cup of dried banana chips, chopped
  • 1 Cup of dried cherries
  • 1/4 Cup of brown sugar, packed firmly
  • 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup, a splash more if you like it sticky
  • 1 Tablespoon of rich honey, a splash more if you like it sticky
  • 1/4 Cup of Grapeseed Oil
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200F, then combine the oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar into a large mixing bowl and hand toss.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, honey, oil and salt, and then whisk to blend them together until it looks thick and brown.
  3. Pour the syrup mixture into the dry bowl and use your hands (or a fork) to blend the two together until everything is evenly and fully coated.
  4. Lay the oat mixture onto you lined baking tray(s) and evenly spread across.
  5. Bake at 200F for an hour, taking the time to stir the trays every 15 minutes to ensure even baking.  Once cool, add the cherries, bananas and chocolate.

Join @CoryanneEttiene for a prize packed #BananaSplit Twitter Party

Join me for a prize packed Twitter Party on Monday 25 August to celebrate National Banana Split Day with Dole Bananas.  I’ll be sharing more healthy recipes like this, plus ideas on how to give your Banana Split a healthy make over at home.  No RSVP required to win, simply follow @DoleBananas and @CoryanneEttiene on Twitter and use the tag #BananaSplit to join the party.

Rules & Regulations:  No RSVP required, open to US residents over the age of 18. Winners will be selected at random and announced during the party.  No purchase necessary. 

When:  Monday August 25th 2014, 8pm EST

Where:  #BananaSplit on Twitter

Follow:  @DoleBananas and @CoryanneEttiene, and use the tag #BananaSplit to follow and join the conversation


Disclosure:   I have partnered with Dole Bananas to celebrate National Banana Split Day and am being compensated to host the #BananaSplit Twitter Party.  All thoughts expressed are my own.

]]> 0
Avocado Thai Salad Recipe Sat, 16 Aug 2014 18:56:35 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Summer… you sly season. You came and went in the blink of an eye. I’ve barely had time to enjoy all the fabulous fresh produce you have to offer; and now, like a cool breeze in the noon day sun, summer is over before it even started.  In my attempts to bottle up the last of the sunshine, soak up as many bare feet on warm grass moments, and host an end of summer feast that would satisfy the cravings of Apollo, I’m hosting a prize packed Last Days of Summer Pinterst Party* sponsored by Avocados From Peru.

This week we’ve been living out of our fridge, trying to clean out the last of the summer jars that are looking minuscule in portions, but big on quantity. We have so many jars of dressings, preserves, sauces, and every pickled variety known to man…but in true family fashion, just a bit left over for a taste, but not enough to make a meal.  So I got creative with my recipe this week, using the remains of my  Thai Green Curry paste,  white cabbage (that so needed eating), the last of my summer cilantro growing on the porch, left over roasted chicken breast, and one stunning avocado so perfectly ripe that the nuttiness hits you the moment you cut into it.

Thai Avocado Salad Bowls by Coryanne Ettiene


The beauty of avocados is that they lend themselves to nearly every dish.  Had I not had any Thai Green Curry Paste left over, I would have substituted with either Green Chili Enchilada Sauce or a traditional Tomato Taco Salsa….maybe even blended some fresh ginger and a handful of the Wasabi peas I have in the pantry.  The more I think about it, there are a million combinations.

To make these Thai Avocado Salad Bowls simply combine the chicken, cabbage, Thai Green Curry Paste, and avocado together.   Mix them with with a fork to ensure that the chicken and cabbage are fully coated, and the paste is equally distributed throughout the slaw mixture.  Once blended, spoon it into the hollowed out avocados.  Because each avocado is different in size, use this recipe as a guide for creating your own bowls:

  1. Equal parts of shredded chicken and shredded white cabbage, for these bowls, I added about a 1/4 cup of each;
  2. Scoop out the avocado to make room for the salad, taking care to give yourself around 1/4 cup of avocado for binding the salad together;
  3. 1 Tablespoon of Thai Green Curry Paste, get my recipe here;
  4. Juice of a lime squeezed over the top, about a tablespoon for each if you like it zesty, less if you don’t;
  5. Pinch of fresh Cilantro for color and added aroma.

Thai Avocado Salad by Coryanne Ettiene

You’re invited to an end of summer pin party sponsored by Avocados From Peru.  Join us for an hour of prizes, cooking tips, recipes, summer bucket list ideas and more.  To join the Pinning Party, follow these four steps:

  • Follow the Party Board “Last Days of Summer” on the @CoryanneEttiene Pinterest wall by clicking here.
  • Meet our fabulous co-hosts by visiting their blogs:  CelebrationsAtHome  TasteLoveNourish  WithFoodAndLove
  • Get a taste of Peru and learn more about Avocados From Peru on their website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Pinterest  and see them on Instagram.
  • No RSVP, simply follow the board during the party and watch out for the 4 party question pins for a chance to win one of four $100 Visa Gift Cards.  Can’t make it?  Don’t worry, check out the #avosfromperu hashtag across social media for more great ideas, or visit the party board at any time for end of summer inspiration.

#avosfromperu Pinterest Party hosted by Coryanne Ettiene


*Disclosure:  Ettiene Media LLC has partnered with Avocados From Peru to bring you ideas on how to enjoy the last days of summer and new ideas on enjoying fresh Avocados From Peru.  All thoughts and recipes shared in this post are owned by Coryanne Ettiene.  The Pinterest party is not presented in collaboration with Pinterest; simply a joint venture between Avocados From Peru and Ettiene Media, LLC.

]]> 0
You’re invited: #StonefireFall Twitter Party Mon, 04 Aug 2014 02:13:03 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’ll be the first to admit that I love summer, but not nearly as much as I love the changing seasons.  Summer into Fall is by far my favorite because I still get all the fabulous summer produce while enjoying the first crop of Fall produce at the same time; giving me more opportunities to play in the kitchen and enjoy the best of both seasons.  My favorite meal to cook this time of year is a Chicken Tagine — aromatic with a slight bite to it, I mix summer squash, fresh tomatoes and plenty of pulses to give it that hearty Fall flavor.  Then (and this is the beautiful part) I make more than I need so I can slather hummus onto a pitta and turn my leftovers into a picnic style dinner the following night.  Ok, I add bacon….  I know, the horror of adding pork to a North African dish, but I like to live on the wild side and it tastes so good.

To celebrate my love of Fall cooking, I’ve teamed up with Stonfire Authentic Flatbreads to host a prize packed Twitter Party Wednesday August 6, 2014 at 8pm EST. I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite summer into Fall recipes, and a my top tips for getting back into the grove of cooking after a long summer at play.  No RSVP  is needed to win or to join the conversation.  Simply add #StonefireFall to your tweets and be sure to bring plenty of tips and recipes to share with the party.

#StonefireFall hosted by @CoryanneEttiene

When:  Wednesday August 6th, 2014  8pm-9pm EST

Where:  Use the #StonefireFall tag and follow the #StonefireFall stream on Twitter

Follow:  @CoryanneEttiene and @Stonefirenaan on Twitter

Prizes: Over $200 in cash and prizes to be won courtesy of Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads.

Rules & Regulations:  No RSVP required, open to US residents over the age of 18. Winners will be selected at random and announced during the party.  No purchase nessisary.

Disclosure:   I have partnered with Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads to celebrate fall cooking and am being compensated to host the #StonefireFall Twitter Party.  All thoughts expressed are my own.  

]]> 0
Raspberry Vanilla Ice Cream Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:47:54 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Fork me?  Spoon me?  Apparently I missed the ettiquette lesson on eating ice cream because when I tuck into a homemade pot of ice cream, I reach for a fork.  A spoon only gets in the way of savoring every single bite…. I might as well confess that I usually eat it straight from the pot too; short of putting a sticky label on the tub, everyone knows it is mine because of my habit of leveling off the top of the pot or forking patterns into the top in a zen gardening fashion. Mentioning this on Facebook only caused a swarm of questions, most popular being “What about when it melts?”  – well darlings, when it melts that is my signal to put down the pot and walk away.  Despite my unsightly habits at home, I do use a spoon in public.

Raspberry Vanilla Ice cream recipe by Coryanne Ettiene

Should you ever be tempted to come over to the dark side of life this recipe for Raspberry Vanilla ice cream will woo you with a come hither that will make you reach for a fork without thinking.  Rich, creamy, marbled with tart compote and layers with fresh raspberries…  this ice cream was made for forks; spoons only dampen the experience.  If you are going to play by the rules and use a spoon, serve it up in something fabulous.  The cranberry glasses featured belong to my grandmother who passed them down to my mother after she was tired of looking at them,  luckily my mother decided to clean out her kitchen so they landed in my car when we visited this summer; imagine the parties they  have been to, the stories they could tell…  They are my new official ice cream bowls, silver spoons included for when we are keeping up appearances and behaving like a normal family when it comes to ice cream.

Raspberry Vanilla Ice Cream by Coryanne Ettiene

Taking inspiration from the glasses, I added the berry compote because I had some taking up room in the fridge — it takes 15 minutes to make and a few hours to chill, get the recipe here.   But if time does not allow, add a drizzle of really good preserve or jam.  If you fancy something similar in the winter when berries are less available, swap the berries out with stewed stone fruits, pears, or apples for a festive fall twist on this summer recipe.

Raspberry Vanilla Ice cream


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of Half and Half
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of white baker’s sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup of raspberry compote


  1. Add the dairy to a medium sauce-pan with the vanilla, and warm on low heat while you whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Gradually add the warm cream from the sauce pan into the egg mixture, stirring as you add the cream.
  3. Once the transfer is complete, return the mixture to the sauce pan, and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the mixture coats your spoon. (It is important not to let it boil, the heat should be simmering, if you see a bubble appear, remove it from the heat and reduce the heat to avoid any further bubbles).
  4. Once thick, remove from heat and allow mixture to steep at room temperature for 30 minutes before moving to the fridge to cool overnight.
  5. Add to your ice cream maker, and then, once thick and slightly frozen, fold in the raspberry compote to give your ice cream a marbled finish.
  6. To se the ice cream, pour it into your ice cream tub alternating between layers of fresh raspberries and the marbled ice cream.
  7. Freeze in the freezer to set and serve garnished with a a fresh raspberry.


Coryanne Ettiene | | 2014

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin




]]> 0
Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Pie Thu, 24 Jul 2014 01:07:42 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I love food photography.  Wait, what I should say is that I love really good food photography. But photography is a skill and an art form that requires you to have not only time, but the vision to make food come to life.  Like everything else in my food journey, I have a trail of evidence dragging behind me to show how much I have learned, and food photography is no exception. While I still have a ton to learn, simply buying the right camera made a huge difference in my photography.   Frankly I have no idea why I waited so long to buy an SLR with a nifty fifty lens, but I did…and when I did sunbeams shot out of my ears and even burnt toast looked amazing (yes, I burn toast… and sometimes I scrape it off with a knife, please don’t tell my children).  Usually photography is a solo effort where I am chasing daylight, asking my family to “hold this”, “eat this”, “laugh”, “look at me”, “stand there” until we are all exhausted by my effort to get the right shot, and then more so when I start asking them to look at nearly identical photos and pick  their favorite.  But on a recent visit from London, my Aunt Jane stood on the decking in our Washington home and watched me set the stage for my Strawberry Chocolate Pie, and wasted no time getting involved.

Strawberry & Chocolate Ganache Pie by Coryanne Ettiene

Like watching someone slowly savour a spoonful of your cooking, having someone embed themselves in your food styling is intimate on a level words fail to express. The experience left me utterly appreciative and satisfied. We laughed, we shuffled objects around, we toyed with staging ideas, we found icing sugar on our shoes and we bantered over the photos.  Food, even without tasting it, created a memory; I will never look at a Strawberry Chocolate Pie without thinking of that shared moment with my Aunt Jane.

Of course we ate the pie too….   Usually I make this pie with raspberries, but sweet strawberries were everywhere in May and it will most certainly be made again.   While this fridge pie may look complicated, the steps are simple and take very little time…it is the waiting that will kill you, not the effort.  This pie makes a standard size pie that served 6-8 people.

Strawberry Chocolate Pie by Coryanne Ettiene

Strawberry and Chocolate Ganache Pie


  • Short crust or traditional pie crust
  • 3/4 cup of chopped milk chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-5 cups of fresh strawberries
  • Icing sugar for garnish


  1. Blind bake the pie crust and allow it to cool while you make the chocolate ganache.
  2. Using a double boil, heat the cream, and then add the butter and salt before folding in the chocolate.
  3. Remove it from heat once the chocolate starts to melt and then stir until it begins to look smooth and creamy.
  4. Fold the chocolate ganache into the pie crust and allow it to cool in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Once cool, thinly slice the strawberries and arrange them across the top of the ganache working your way from the outer crust to the center.
  6. Lightly dust with icing sugar and garnish with a sprig of mint to add color before serving.


Coryanne Ettiene | | 2014

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin





]]> 0
Bake, chill, serve party inspired by #CWColor Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:52:26 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene We have been living our Dallas life for exactly 15 days now and it feels like we have known our neighbors forever.  In the space of 2 weeks we have attended 4 parties, and hosted 2 impromptu “porch drinks”…one that happened by chance at 11pm last Friday night. Unpacking has taken a backseat to all the fun that can be had within walking distance of our home, but I did manage to unpack a few essentials, and every day a few more items find their way out of a box and into our new home.  Never has it taken us so long to unpack before, but who cares, we are having the time of our lives getting to know everyone.  To return all the fabulous hospitality, we are hosting a reverse “Welcome to the neighborhood party” using my new CW by CorningWare™ dishes*.

But before I bring everyone over, I need to get to know my new oven because I can think of nothing worse than serving baked goods that would have been fabulous had I taken the time to understand how my new oven operates.   The only glitch in all of this is that it is 100F outside, and all my brilliantly big kitchen windows make it 115F in my kitchen….baking, as you guessed, is best done at night once the sun goes down.

#CWColor Pool by Coryanne Ettiene

So let’s recap:  I’ve not unpacked and my kitchen is full of boxes,  I want to serve up a buffet of baked goods but I can’t approach my oven before 9pm for fear of heat exhaustion, and I’m dying to welcome our new neighbors by hosting a reverse welcoming party while we are still “new”.   As luck would have it, the few dishes that I do have unpacked are my new CW by CorningWare™ Pool Blue dishes, a tray of vintage silver spoons, a pile of white plates I found (and adore) from GoodWill and a much loved set of carnival punch glasses and vases.    It may not be the most amazing decorative spread, but I love the eclectic nature of the pool blue dishes, the vintage silver, and bright white plates …simple and effortless when you need it most; and all on my shelf rather that in the boxes on the floor.

#CWColor  Bake, Serve, Chill party by Coryanne Ettiene

I finally landed on the idea of a chilled berry cake, a chilled raspberry oatmeal crisp and a bowl of pie chips because they are the 3 things I’ve been baking nonstop since we arrived.  I can bake them at night, chill them while I sleep, and then wake up to serve them  all without swapping the dishes…presto, the party train continues; next stop, the Ettiene’s!   I used the 3 Quart Casserole dish to bake the raspberry oatmeal crisp because I wanted an inch thick crisp that would allow for even cuts with either a serving spoon or a serving knife.  Baked oatmeal is one of our go-to winter dishes that we always serve warm on cold days.  But on accession when we’ve had left overs, I  stored it in the fridge only to find myself adding ice cream to it as a midnight snack.  So this time, I made a batch just for ice cream.  This is the sort of dish that anyone that is old enough to crack an egg can master, stay tuned for the recipe.

#CWColor Baked Oatmeal by Coryanne Ettiene

The 1.5 Quart Casserole dish held my mixed berry summer cake and it was heavenly.  In the past I’ve used cake pans to make this and every other cake, but not having any cake pans unpacked, I used a casserole dish instead.  Brilliant!  The angels started singing, the birds began chirping and I started shouting, “Who needs a cake pan anyway?”  My recipe for a mixed berry summer cake came with me from England;  it is a mix between a Dutch fruit cake and an Italian Coffee cake… you’ll need some time to get the batter together, but once you get the hang of all the steps, time will fly.  It is heavenly fresh out of the oven, and amazing chilled.  Even better still, you can swap out the berries for any seasonal fresh fruit, so change it with the seasons.

#CWColor Berry Cake by Coryanne Ettiene

Summer Mixed Berry Cake


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups of fresh mixed berries


  1. Lightly butter the sides of your dish and pre-heat your oven to 350F;
  2. Use a hand mixer to cream your butter and 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar together;
  3. Add a pinch of salt and 2 egg yolks to the creamed butter, then slowly beat together before adding the vanilla extract;
  4. In a dry bowl combine the flour and baking powder, then gradually alternate adding the dry mixture and the milk to the egg batter until both the milk and the dry mixture are fully combined into the egg batter. (if it looks too try, add a tiny slash of milk);
  5. In a new bowl, beat the 2 remaining egg whites together, gradually adding the remaining sugar until you have stiff white peaks, and then gently fold those into the egg batter;
  6. Bake in the middle rack for 45-50 minutes.


Coryanne Ettiene | | 2014

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin


I’ve been drinking coffee out of my Pop-Ins® mugs, they are the perfect size for sauces which is why I wasted no time making a fresh compote and pie chips to fill them with.  And when I say I wasted no time, I mean it… they are the perfect party trick not only because they are irresistible, but because they take 10 minutes to prepare.  I wanted it to look like I made a huge effort so I spent an extra minute playing with a cookie cutter to give them perfect edges; get the recipe here.

Pie Chips by Coryanne Ettiene for #CWColor

*Disclosure:  I have partnered with CW by CorningWare™ to bring you ideas on how to host a cool summer baking party inspired by my love of their new “Pool” blue shade .  Check out all the colors by following #CWColor this summer and see how the Lifestyle and Entertaining experts below show their true colors!  Be sure to visit World Kitchen to see all the colors and styles of CW by CorningWare™ or stop into your local Target where they are currently being featured.   Plus, connect with CorningWare® on Facebook ,  Instagram , Twitter and of course Pinterest for much more!



What I’m loving about the new CW by CorningWare™ line:

  • Both bakeware and serveware so one dish means less stress, less mess….more fun!
  • Most durable ceramic bakeware available, which means they resist chips, breaks and scratches…great for busy families like mine.
  • Fun, mix and match vibrant colors for your table…giving your table a festive feel without even trying.
  • Pieces nest together for compact storage…anything that nests without chipping or breaking is a win, win in my books.
  • Affordable and versatile, so you save money…the dishes go from oven to table without cramping your style.
]]> 0
How to Caramelized Onions Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:30:19 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I am the sort of person that impatiently watches the toaster, walks like I am running and talks like an auctioneer.   Doing anything slowly is against everything in my nature…in fact, I am also guilty of hitting send before proof reading, only to climb into the fetal position when I notice that auto correct kindly “corrected” a word for me.  Patience, it would seem, is not my thing (nor spelling for that matter because I had to quickly refer to Webster’s to make sure I used the right spelling).  So making anything in the kitchen that requires my total devotion and a whole lot of patience is not something that I have any time for….except when it comes to caramelized onions.  The stirring, the watching, and the ticking clock all become worth it when you get the first whiff that something brilliant is about to happen, and like child birth, every agonizing moment spent seeing them come to life vanishes the instant all the hard work is done.

Caramlized Onions By Coryanne Ettiene

In my latest video for Kitchen Daily, I share my tips for getting golden, buttery caramelized onions.  The beauty with caramelizing onions is that you can use any onion variety, be generous with the butter and, if like me, your attention span starts to crack after 30 minutes, you can freeze your finished onions and enjoy them mid week when time is not on your side.  Watch the video here on Kitchen Daily, or press play on the video below.

]]> 0
Pie chips for sweet dips Thu, 10 Jul 2014 01:11:34 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m a sucker for chips and salsa, just ask anyone who happens to be standing next to me at a party — I plant myself there and move only once the bowl is dry.  That’s right, I’m one of those, the dip Hawk; I keep one eye on the dip and another on the chips.  Despite my shortcomings, I assure you, I am not a double dipper because, quite frankly, that is a party foul worthy of a public flogging.  But I don’t limit my vulnerability to just chips and salsa….pie chips with berry compote also make me weak in the knees.

PieChips and Compote Dip by Coryanne Ettiene

Pie chips are essentially pastry cut into shapes, sweetened with sugar and brushed with butter, then baked until golden brown.  I love homemade… but sometimes life gets in the way and I have little desire to do a big clean for such a little snack,  so I keep a box of ready make pastry in my fridge and a few bags of frozen berries in my freezer so when the craving strikes I can have a bowl of pie chips and compote in 10 minutes flat.  And when I am feeling really fancy, I still reach for the ready made pastry, only I jazz it up with a cookie cutter to make it look like I spent hours in the kitchen.

Making a berry compote is simple, if you have never made one before, rest assured that it is nearly impossible to ruin, and takes no skill–nada, zip, zero, none.  Simply simmer a splash of orange juice, a sprinkle of white granulated sugar and fresh or frozen berries over the stove until they gently bubble and thicken.  Add more juice to thin it out, add more sugar to sweeten it (even add Brandy if you are feeling especially festive). For a more step by step recipe, watch me make a Meyer Lemon Compote here.

Easy as pie…  see what I did there?  Only it is so much easier than pie because it takes 10 minutes and any left over compote you can store in your fridge for up to a week….add it to juice, booze, ice cream, freeze it into ice cubes, make ice cream with it, or simply eat it with a spoon.

]]> 0
Lessons on chasing a dream Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:49:40 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene 30 Days ago I watched the movers load up the last of our boxes, mopped my Seattle kitchen for the last time and had a US road map tagged with a handful of “must see” attractions between Washington and Texas.  30 Days of license plate bingo, eating out, packing and unpacking luggage, and watching the weather inch up a degree with each mile we drove. Not just a move, our road trip was a connection that I so desperately needed.  There were no emails, no meetings, no deadlines, and more importantly, I was present in the moment, not distracted by this or that, not watching the clock; I was a complete blank canvas where time stood still in a cocoon of laughter, connection, and embracing the free spirit inside me.


When I started this journey 3 years ago, there was no goal, it was simply a form of expression that allowed me to share my love of kitchen living; and then like a light switch I found my groove, fell in love with my journey and decided to build it into a business.   Like a game of Where is Waldo, the Ettiene family has packed and unpacked 2 times since landing in the US 4 years ago….  It would seem that when you chase the American dream, you literally do chase it.  Not just in the hours you spend working towards that goal, but also in the location, because when you chase a media dream, you chase the location too. There are no guarantees on this path, only dreams; and very few of us see them come true. Which is why I am so very grateful for the support of my friends and family that are cheering me on.  Those close to me know that this journey is unpaved, often rough and frequently overwhelming…. but it is that moment of celebration, encouragement and recognition that make every bump worth while.  For those eager to chase their own food media dream, a few words of advice:

1. Be who you are, never compromise.  There is no room for anything other than who you are.  Embrace your quirky side, celebrate your skills, share your human side, laugh at yourself, and stand tall in the face of critics.  Being yourself is hard enough, it creates a vulnerability that can cut to the core and also rise you to the top…but not being you is impossible, and no matter how hard you try to be an edited version of yourself, you will fail.  Your audience will follow, anyone following you for not being who you are is not your audience.

2.  Create a business.  Start thinking of yourself as a business and others will too. Chasing a dream is expensive, no matter what your business is.  In food media you need props, cameras, lights, printers, computers, smart phones, food…..the list goes on.   Create a business plan, a budget, a target revenue, formulate a strategy for reaching your goals and start making connections.  Only 5% of food bloggers work full time as a food blogger, find those 5% read them, get to know them, learn from then, and go out and find a network of like minded people to share ideas with.

3.  Time.   Time is your most valuable commodity.  The moment you get on the dream wheel is the same moment you give up all access to free time.  The reality is, every moment not working is a moment not growing.  Hours are long, exhausting, sometimes overwhelming….but if you love what you do, those small successes along the way make up for your total lack of free time.  And when you do make a stand and try to arrange a moment of pure laziness… the guilt sets in.

4.  Parenting.  I used to be the mother that hung  on every word, kissed every bump, and never missed a game.  There is not a day that goes by where I wish with all my might that I could be that mother again and chase this dream at the same time…instead I carve out hours where I am present, involve my children in my work and set aside days where family is a priority.  Truth be told, when I choose my family over my dream, my business suffers, but I am okay with that because when I  am working, they encourage me, support me and cheer me on.  I’m at peace with where I am as a mother, but it has been a head journey of understudying that I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

5.  Road Blocks.  There will be road blocks, lots of them.  You have to put your big girl pants on and take them as they come, climb out of bed with a smile and keep moving.  You can start the day with an amazing accomplishment spend hours on a high while you grin from ear to ear, and then finish with the tiniest road block only to feel like crap when you climb into bed.  That is the nature of the beast, so celebrate every tiny victory, remember them and try with all your might not to let those road blocks rain on your dream.

6.  Surround yourself with people who understand.  Sounds funny to say, but my dearest friends are those that are chasing the same dream. Why?  Because they get me, they know that if I don’t call them back I still adore them and that I don’t always have time for coffee.  And those dear friends that are not chasing the same dream know that my absence does not mean that they are forgotten, only that time is not on my side.  They get that when I do have free time, I want to be with my family, and they forgive me when what time we do spend together is brief and infrequent.

Reading these 6 tips I can’t help but fear that I have done nothing-less than put anyone off of chasing a food media dream and have painted a picture of nothing but tiresome, lonely hours spent licking your wounds…. but that is not the case.  I get up every morning excited about what I do, but know that it is not for everyone.  I get countless emails from people asking advice, and most importantly telling me how easy I make it all look.  The truth is, I choose to put the happy out there, and to take the struggle of this path and make it private.  Like everything in life, reflection is the key to moving forward.  I look back on the last few years and have learned the hard way what is needed to chase my dream and now have the experience to understand what is needed to take the next step…in Dallas where the TV market is bigger, and the opportunities endless.

Today we move into our new Dallas home, and finally I can unpack my kitchen and cook a meal for my family.  Despite all the fun we have had this last month, the one thing missing to the complete the experience has been a kitchen table.  Over the coming summer months, I will be infrequent in my posts while we settle into our new home, connect with our new friends and build the foundation for my next chapter of Kitchen Living with Coryanne.  Thank you for being there these few years and for allowing me to be apart of your kitchen experience.

]]> 0
4th of July #UScranberries Sangria Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:25:52 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene As I write this we have just driven across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Arizona and are feeling especially proud to call the USA our home– It is amazing how beautiful both the country and the people are.  This year when we tie on our American flags to celebrate the 4th of July, we do so with memories of our days spent driving across the US, the people we have met and the stunning sights we have seen, making an all American sangria the perfect drink for our celebration.  Easy to make with either sparkling cider, or a crisp white wine, this is a patriotic party pleaser that every guest can enjoy.

US Cranberries Sorbet Sangria By Coryanne Ettiene


In my latest iFood.TV series, I show you how easy it is to whip up a batch of Cranberry Sangria at your 4th of July party, click here to watch it, or press play below.  Check out The PartyBluPrints Fourth Of July Party here and get the back story, plus the recipe for my Fourth Of July Cranberry Sorbet Recipe here.

America’s Original Superfruit - Cranberries.  These bold berries have a refreshing flavor for summer and are grown in the good old USA.  The bonus is that they also have wonderful health properties.  They contain antioxidants; are naturally fat and cholesterol free, low in sodium and are a good source of dietary fiber.  Be sure to our check out to view more amazing recipes.

Powered by:





When:  Wednesday, June 25th at 8:30 p.m. ET

Where:  #USCranberries on Twitter or for ease you can follow the party conversation here>

How:  To participate use the party hashtag #USCranberries and follow @DawnSandomeno @Partybluprints@CoryanneEttiene and Guest of Honor @USCranberries

Panelists: You can also follow these awesome panelists and visit their sites for party recipes!  @SurfnSunshine,@CleverHousewife@PlayPartyPin@MeyersStyles@1momof5@TheRebelChick


  • 2 (two) winners will receive a $25 Amex gift card and the Cranberry Marketing Committee Table Top Cookbook
  • 1 (one) winner will receive a $50 Amex gift card
  • 1 (one) winner will receive a 9-Speed Digital Display Hand Mixer
  • 1 (one) winner will receive a $100 Amex gift card
HOW TO WIN:  To be eligible to win, 1.) participants must RSVP below, 2.) follow @DawnSandomeno @Partybluprints @CoryanneEttiene and @USCranberries,  3.) participate during the party hour using the party hashtag #USCranberries, 4.) if selected winners must DM their full name and mailing address within 15 minutes of the announcement.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 or older. Winners will be selected at random from eligible participants.

HOW TO RSVP: To be eligible to win, RSVP with the Mr. Linky provided below.  Please enter your Twitter handle and link (example: @Partybluprint and

Disclaimer:  US Cranberries is a client of mine, and I am working with them to promote healthy eating choices this summer; all thoughts expressed in this promotion are my own.

]]> 0
4th of July Cranberry Sorbet Recipe Fri, 06 Jun 2014 03:33:18 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene This July marks our 4 year anniversary of living in the US and it seems like each year we are becoming more and more acclimated to life in US.  No one asks for biscuits or to watch the tellie anymore; in fact, last week I asked Sawyer to check the post and he reminded me that it is a mail box. Apart from my English husband, the only one with any hint of being born in England is darling Margeaux whose love of  Dr. Who and Harry Potter has suddenly created a curious “Yankee Brit” dialect that reminds me of the little girl she once was.  So as we tie our All American bunting, fire up the grill and light our sparklers this year, we are also serving up a grand old American feast complete with US Cranberries for pudding.

Cranberry Sorbet by Coryanne Ettiene

Summer and sorbet go hand in hand, and unlike making ice cream, you don’t need an ice cream maker to make sorbet because it  finishes beautifully with, or without one. I love cranberry sorbet anytime of year, as America’s original super fruit, it is packed with health benefits, and offers a tartness that your guests won’t be expecting in the summer months.   The trick with making a smooth and polished cranberry sorbet is to add an egg white to the blend, and use either fresh or frozen cranberries.   In my latest Cooking With Coryanne Series for iFood.TV I show you how simple it is to make Cranberry Sorbet, get the recipe and watch it here.

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe by Coryanne Ettiene

Because there are a few cooling stages when making a sorbet, allow yourself 2 days before you plan to serve it to allow your sorbet to rest and set properly.  I use bread loaf tins for setting sorbet, but you can use plastic airtight containers as well. The beauty with using loaf tins is that they keep the sorbet cooler for longer on those hot summer days when all you want to do is set up a tasting table without your sorbet melting.  A huge thanks to my tasting crew… this recipe is “Margeaux and Alex approved”…in fact Margeaux likes it so much, she made her own batch when she polished off mine.

Cranberry Sobert Photo Shoot by Coryanne Ettiene

This recipe is so versatile that I often make 2 batches so I have plenty left over for ice pops and party punches. Get the recipe and watch me whip up a batch of  my Cranberry Sorbet Sangria on iFoods.TV here.  I’ve teamed up with my favorite hostesses Dawn and Elizabeth from the PartyBluPrints Blog, together we are putting a festive summer spin on serving cranberries this summer.  Pop over to their blog for more inspiration on how to get your “Cran On”, included a free Summer PartyBluPrint by clicking here.   For more information on how to use US Cranberries in the summer, visit them online, or  tweet  them.

US Cranberries

Disclaimer:  US Cranberries is a client of mine, and I am working with them to promote healthy eating choices this summer; all thoughts expressed in this promotion are my own.  

]]> 0
A #SkinnySummer Twitter Party Sun, 01 Jun 2014 17:30:52 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Summer is so close that over the last week we have eaten outdoors more than we have eaten indoors, and with sun kissed shoulders, I am now regretting that while I was shopping for all the fabulous fresh summer produce, I overlooked adding sunscreen to my shopping basket.  To celebrate the long awaited arrival of summer,  I’m hosting a prize packed #SkinnySummer Twitter Party sponsored by California Giant Berry Farms and Sunset Grown Produce on June 4th.  We have a fab line up of summer cooking tips, recipes and party ideas to keep your summer healthy & fresh all season long, and would love you to join in the fun by sharing your #SkinnySummer tweets for a chance to win prizes during the party.



Joining a Twitter Party is simple, and a great way to meet new friends on Twitter.  To join the fun, follow these simple steps:

Follow Along:  Follow @CaliforinaGiant  @SunsetGrown and @CoryanneEttiene on Twitter

Use the #SkinnySummer:  Add the tag #SkinnySummer to your tweets so the whole party can see them, and follow the #SkinnySummer tag so you can see the party unfold live.

When: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8pm – 9pm EST

Bring your own:  Recipes, tips, links, ideas for a #SkinnySummer and share them with the other party guests.  Every few minutes, I will be asking a new question, answer the prize questions for a chance to win prizes from Sunset Grown and California Giant.

Prizes:  4 $50 Visa Gift Cards will be given out to 4 randomly selected party guests that re-tweet and answer the prize questions, and follow @CaliforinaGiant  @SunsetGrown and @CoryanneEttiene on Twitter.

The #SkinnySummer fun goes well beyond the Twitter party.  Both California Giant and Sunset Grown are hosting a summer sweepstakes full of prizes and exclusive recipe for the next 6 weeks.  Double your chances of winning by entering both, and join us on June 4th for a prize packed #SkinnySummer Twitter party for more ways to win.

Enter the California Giant Sweepstakes here.            Enter the Sunset Grown Sweepstakes here.


Disclaimer:  I am working with Both California Giant and Sunset Grown to promote the #SkinnySummer series and  all thoughts expressed in this promotion are my own.

]]> 0
5 Ingredients that capture a Mediterranean Summer Tue, 27 May 2014 01:44:31 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene There is something about summer cooking that reminds me of those fabulous summer holidays spent in Italy.  It may be the dry breeze rolling across the backyard, or even the brazen clarity that the last thing I want to do is leave my shaded spot outdoors and hurry into the kitchen to prepare a heavy meal.  My summer kitchen might as well be transplanted into a Tuscan villa, complete with pasta salads, olive bowls and sweet juicy grilled vegetables.  It is impossible to place why I greet every meal with memories flowing around those Italian summers…perhaps it is the mischievous delight of nibbling snacks with your fingers, the rounded shoulders that arrive when family and friends gather around a relaxed table or simply the bounty of salty sweet tastes that surround our plates.  I have yet to meet a person who does not swoon at the thought of  a Mediterranean meal, so if you can’t move your kitchen to Italy, you can bring Italy to your kitchen with these easy summer ingredients that capture a Mediterranean summer.

 SunDriedKumatos by Coryanne Ettiene

Sun dried tomatoes. Each and every variety has something different to offer.  From the sweet tang of a dried cherry tomato, to the unmistakable flavor burst of an heirloom tomato, drying these gems will add intensity to your dish that captures the heart of a  Mediterranean diet.  Add them to salads, blitz them into a paste to turn your toast into a crowd pleasing party snack, or dice them up before adding them to a hot bowl of pasta served with olive oil, grated Romano and fresh basil leaves.  When drying tomatoes of any variety, the basic rule of thumb is to thinly slice them, toss them on to a sheet of parchment paper lining a flat baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and then cook them slowly on low heat until they are dry.

Basil Simply Syrup.  If ever there was one ingredient vital to a mediterranean inspired summer, this would be it.  Fragrant, delicate, sweet and distinctive, this fabulous leaf will give your summer soups a fresh burst of flavor, turn a simple green salad into a culinary delight and give something as simple as a lemonade a complex finish that everyone will love.  We rarely go a week in the summer without a fresh pesto pasta dish, leaving us with a generous portion of basil stalks;  Instead of tossing them into the compost heap, I make an infused simple syrup that I add to lemonade or summer cocktails for an unexpected twist.  Add 3 cups of water and 2 cups of white granulated sugar to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then toss in the basil stalks and cook on a high simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the stalks from the pot, allow it to steep until it reaches room temperature and then store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Tepenade.  Irresistibly salty, this blend of black and green olives can change something as universal as chicken into a stand alone dish.  Serve it as a dip, turn it into a marinade or add it to a martini for an extra dirty Mediterranean delight.  Tepenade will stay fresh in your fridge for up to a week, so make it  frequently, as it won’t last long.  Simply add an equal measure of black and green pitted olives to a food processor, a dash of olive oil, a splash of fresh lemon juice, a smidgen of garlic paste, and blitz until smooth.  You can also make it using only green or black olives, but I like the flavor of mixing the two offers.

Preserved Lemons by Coryanne Ettiene

Preserved Lemon. Nothing compares to a zip of citrus in the summer, and adding a few preserved lemons to a summer roast or using the juices to compliment a salad dressing oil base is a way to give your everyday meals that a Mediterranean make over.  The beauty with preserved lemons is that they stay preserved in your fridge for up to year so make plenty and have them on hand for last minute hostess gifts.  To make them, add either sliced or quarter lemons to a jar, add a generous helping of Sea Salt and cover with water, then shake until the lemons are nice and salty, seal and store in the fridge.  You can even get creative by adding peppercorns, herbs or seasoned salt.

Marinated Sweet Peppers. My guilty pleasure, I cannot resist these sweet gems, and never have enough to satisfy my craving.  Add them to your pizza for a vibrant burst of flavor and color, toss them in to a salad for sweetness, or top a simple slice of toast with them…..  or do as I do and eat them right from the jar.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to marinaded peppers when you stick to a traditional recipe of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic and roasted sweet peppers.




]]> 0
Backyard glamping made easy Wed, 21 May 2014 21:54:35 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Truth be told, I have only camped twice in my life.  The first time was in my 20s at the Grand Canyon where I counted the hours until sunrise when I could get in my car and drive home; and the second when I was a new bride traveling across Morocco where everything was rose tinted and magical.   I am not outdoorsy, and avoid camping at all cost… that is until we moved to our home in Seattle where we found ourselves lucky enough to have a ready made campground in our back yard.  We’ve spent plenty summer nights around our little campground, and thanks to my husband, the children have embraced camping under our suburban stars with gusto.  Which is why this summer I am banishing my “I don’t camp” mentality and embracing a softer, more glamorous side of camping so that I can join them by the campfire without spoiling the magic of a night under the stars.

Backyard Glamping by Coryanne Ettiene

Even if you don’t have a campground or a fire pit to keep you company, setting up a glamping weekend in your back yard is simple and will most certainly make for memories that will be cherished forever and always.  After you pack your down comforter and silk pajama’s, embrace the camping spirit with a few personalized touches to give your night under the suburban stars the perfect blend of glamor and the great outdoors. In my latest feature for I offer my tips, recipes and ideas for embracing backyard glamping, including my top 5 things to pack.   As much as what you pack is important, so is what you serve.  Here are a few ideas to turn your everyday s’more into a glamping favorite.

SmoreShots by Coryanne Ettiene

Try something new.  Set up an experiment station by adding a collection of sweet and savory crackers, cookies, various chocolate bars, and different kinds of marshmallows, and see who can come up with the best creative s’more recipe.  We tried this last year and discovered our favorite s’more — Saltine crackers, peanut butter cups and a big white marshmallow.

Snack on it.  Mix up a batch of s’more trail mix for light snacking.  Simple to make, you can even get the children involved in making it.  Get the recipe in my latest feature.

Serve them cold.  Don’t just roast them, freeze them.  I love serving chocolate campfire shooters …if you can make a popsicle, you can make these.  Fill them with chocolate milk for a family friendly treat, get the recipe here.

Give your S’mores some style.  Setting up a backyard glamping weekend means that you need to get creative with your activities, which is why we always set up a ‘create your own’ skewer table.  This allows everyone to design a personal skewer and keep those sibling arguments over sticks at bay.  I show you how to make them here.

On Monday June 2nd I will be on NewDay Northwest sharing my tips for setting up a backyard glamping activity.   Plus quick and healthy glamping breakfast ideas to re-charge you after a night spent outdoors fueled by chocolate and marshmallows, like these Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Cinnamon Breakfast Bars.


Photo Credit:






]]> 0
Falling in love with fresh berries Tue, 20 May 2014 00:22:43 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I am a fool for berries and have been since the age of 7 when my mother took me foraging in the Oregon woods on a brilliantly sunny summer afternoon.  I could not resist their delicate sweetness bursting in my mouth, and paid little attention to my stained fingertips, or my new gingham dress for that matter.  I rarely see a berry and not think of that afternoon spent with my mother, it is one of those childhood memories that lingers and resurfaces to bring you those warm fuzzy feelings that only come when food and family intersect.

One would not think that London could offer a similar childhood memory, but our London was a green belt pocket with wide-open spaces, many of which offered rolling hills of wild berry bushes.  For years our summer walks along those paths would involve watching the berries ripen until finally they children were able to pick them as we strolled the common…I remember the anticipation they felt waiting for them to ripen, and the giggles that would arrive when their fingertips were stained and their bellies full.  As much as I cherish this memory, I had no idea my daughter shared this sentiment until she retold her version while we prepared our first bundle of spring berries on our first year in the US.   The pie we had planned to make was quickly forgotten, and suddenly we were two fools strolling down memory lane, nibbling on fresh berries while our fingertips stained.

Your Guide to Fresh berries by Coryanne Ettiene

This year, like every year around this time, we find ourselves greedy for fresh berries, bundling up on way too many cartons, and then over indulging in this splendid summer tradition.  But we are careful when selecting our fresh berries because bringing home the wrong berries, or not caring from them properly once home is like tossing money out the window.  Finding the perfect berry goes well beyond first impressions, here are a few tips to get the most out of the summer berry season that will help you find, store and enjoy fresh berries.

  • Timing is everything: Early spring berries, while exciting, still lack the full punch of a seasonal summer berry.  Your best berry arrives in late June, early July. But you can still find amazing berries in May.
  • Location, Location, Location:  Farm fresh berries are amazing, but if buying them from a market or farm shop, be sure to buy berries stored in the shade.  Sunlight and warm temperatures speed up the decay process of picked berries.
  • What to look for:  The perfect berry is plump, firm, shiny and fragrant.  The smaller the berry, the more flavor it will have, this is especially true of strawberries.  And if you are buying strawberries, look for those that are red from tip to top as strawberries whites, remain white throughout the ripening process.
  • Carton Sense:  The prefect carton has plenty of empty space.  The more compact your berries are, the more likely they will contain mold, decay or damage.  Avoid cartons with stains or damaged fruit; this is a sure sign that your berries are already decaying.
  • Storage:  Once home, remove your berries from their packaging, and delicately rinse with room temperature water, before patting dry and storing in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Be mindful that both moisture and damage will speed up the decaying process when you prepare your berries for storage.
  • Freezing: Properly frozen berries will stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.  Once clean and dry, place your berries on a sheet of parchment paper and lightly spritz with lemon juice to maintain their vibrant color before freezing for 3 hours.  Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag and place is a quite location within your freezer (quite meaning, not under the ice cream carton or where they will be damaged).

You can hardly walk into a Farmer’s Market this time of year and not smell that sweetness wafting up from the berry baskets lining the stalls.  If, like me, you always over buy berries this time of year, chilled summer berry soup is a great way to make the most of berries while they are still fresh.  Making berry soup is as simple as adding your berries to a blender, adding ice and a splash of simple syrup and blending until smooth.  Pour into a chilled glass with a handful of fresh berries and mint sprigs and serve…  of course you can always add a splash of booze in there to make it a berry good party.

Summer Berry Soup by Coryanne Ettiene

Here are a few more ideas to make the most of your weekend purchases.  And if you need more, I have over 80 pins on my Berries Board. 

  1. Eton Mess:  My husband loves this summer pudding, making it a favorite in our home. Not to be confused with the ‘fool’ desert often served here in the US, this is delicate blend of meringue, cream and crushed berries that offers both crunch and cream in every bite.
  2. Sparkling Fruit Punch: My children call this the “KiddieGria”  because it has all the charm of the grown up Sangria without the booze.  Equal parts of sparkling water and cranberry juice accented with fresh frozen raspberries, orange wheels and pomegranate seeds give this mocktail a modern and healthy twist on the classic childhood favorite.  It goes without saying that with a dash of ….Vodka….you can turn this it to a fabulous cocktail punch (but I am sure your mind was already spinning in that direction… wonder we get along so well).
  3. Peek-a-boo Pies:  Mini pies with a lazy crust make this effortless to prepare, simply line your pie dish, fill with berries, then add a few strips of pastry on the top for a rustic finish, bake until the crust is golden brown.
  4. Boozey Berries: One can’t mention berries, without mentioning that they can be just as boozey as the next fruit.  Clean and dry your fresh berries and then soak them in your favorite tipple — enough to dampen them, not completely submerge them — for an hour, then transfer to a sheet of parchment paper, freeze for an hour and then use as ice cubes in your next cocktail…or straight from the freezer for a mischievous evening snack.
  5. Easy Compote:  Who doesn’t love a quick jam?  Add sugar, water, orange juice and fresh berries to a pot and simmer until it thickens.  Serve hot on pancakes or chilled as an ice cream topping.


]]> 0
5 tips for a sizzling summer party Fri, 16 May 2014 23:03:32 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I remember those festive parties from years long ago when the biggest element of planning was how much booze to have on hand and if our tiny London flat was big enough to hold everyone invited.  Now, a party at our house is focused on keeping the children entertained so the grown-ups can let their hair down at a party that entertains everyone, young and old. Truth be told, I don’t miss those child free parties of my youth because hosting a party that is family friendly makes for more memories and bring families together ….so long as you keep everyone entertained and feeling welcome.

Thai Sauce in Jars by Coryanne Ettiene

  1. Happy Children make Happy Parents.  In the 10 years I have been hosting family friendly parties I have seen it all, and if there is one thing that holds true, happy children, make for happy parties.  Children are by far the hardest guests to please, so before planning your next party plan something for these young, easily bored guests to do, like a treasure hunt,  bouncy castle, a good old fashioned sack race or even build a cardboard fort.  For more ideas check our my tips on
  2. Be a grill master.  What summer party is not without a few BBQing disasters?  The most common and most avoidable is to make sure you have enough fuel…   nothing kills a BBQ faster than a cold grill.  Grilling disasters happen to everyone, avoid the top 5 grilling mistakes by reading my 5 common solutions to common BBQ disasters on and read my latest blog post on how to grill like a pro here.
  3. Simplify your drinks.  An ice chest full of bottled drinks is by far the easiest option, but can often lack a decorative party feel.  Instead, shop at your local thrift store or farm store and look for steel buckets, old sinks, or go one step further and fill a canoe with ice and bottled drinks for that wow factor.  And  when you want to serve something  beyond the standard bottle, offer a drink that can be served as both a cocktail and a mocktail like my Strawberry Daiquiri recipe on
  4. Consider the elements.  Don’t let the hot sun, cool nights or flying pests ruin a good party.  Instead, be prepared by arranging seating in the shade, have bundles of blankets and pillows that can be used as additional seating or for cool winds, and have a bug station where your guests can apply repellent as needed throughout the party.
  5. Party Favors.  Who doesn’t love a good party favor; especially one made by hand?  I love making batches of BBQ Sauce, chili oil, infused salts/sugars or dipping sauce and passing them out at the end of a party.  When time is not on your side, whip up a simple batch of infused sugar/salt — or better yet, have your children help you.  Read how simple it is in my infused salt blog post here.  Or get the recipe for my sweet chili dipping sauce on




]]> 0
Embracing the finger food trend Mon, 12 May 2014 02:52:05 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Where ever possible, I look for the short cuts in life that give me more time to enjoy the company of friends and family, especially when it comes to home entertaining.  The beauty with summer entertaining is that casual is almost always the at the heart of outdoor parties, creating more breathing room for last minute gatherings to pop up without placing too much stress on the host.  And whilst BBQing is a popular summer theme, finger foods are gaining in popularity, giving parties a new twist and your guests a break for the expected grilled banquet.

I could not be more excited to share with you my favorite recipes for finger foods in my new free ebook for Sunset Grown.  This mini ebook is a collection of my favorite summer finger food recipes that embrace fresh seasonal tomatoes in quick recipes that capture the taste of summer, and explore ways to use a variety of tomatoes to give your party food an unexpected burst of flavor.  Download your free copy of What’s Trending here.

Sunset Produce Finger Foods Ebook by Coryanne Ettiene

Beyond the easy to make recipes, I share my top tips for serving finger foods, and creative ways to dress up a party stick to make your finger foods the life of the party.  If you have never tried a Y.E.L.O or a Kumato before, now is your chance — I included a few  recipes that bring out their unique flavors; my favorite, the mini tomato medley pastry — not only because of the taste, but also because this is the perfect recipe to get your children cooking with you.  While I was busy working on the recipes and tips, Sam Henderson was busy bringing my ideas to life with his stunning photography.  I’m so excited about this mini ebook and hope that it helps you embrace the finger food trend and find a few short cuts at your next summer party.  Download it here. 

]]> 0
Live with Coryanne …. and Brandon Smith Sat, 10 May 2014 18:34:19 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’ve had the best fun with my first series of #LiveWithCoryanne, do mainly to my fabulous guests; and what better way to end the series than with Brandon Smith of D’Scoop Media and editor of the new magazine The Twenty Six.  We might have tipped the ratings scale with this one, so be prepared for strong language and the inevetable racy suggestive language…most notably me talking about what I keep in my grandmother’s old flour jar.

As I write this I am racing around trying to figure out how to charm my mother, who after watching this will no doubt be left wondering how I could have overlooked how fabulous she is when I called my grandmother the most amazing woman on the planet…Mom, if you are reading this I LOVE YOU! Watch the 20 minute episode below or watch it on YouTube here.  And if you think of any fabulous ways to charm my mother and get my husband to forgive me for suggesting that I have him by the ‘nuts’ please, send your suggestions my way.


The second edition of The Twenty Six is a mouthwatering combination of lifestyle, design and food.  Take my advice and pour yourself a glass of wine and carve out some quite time when you read it, every page is a journey into everything that is fabulous about modern living.  Download your free copy here and then join Brandon on his #DesignLux journey on Twitter for a weekly dose of fashionable living.

TheTwentySix by Brandon Smith


Gasping for more designer living?  Connect with Brandon on his blogtwitter  and follow his pins  – all of which are eye candy for the soul and leave you smiling from ear to ear.  Thanks for tuning in to watch the first series of #LiveWithCoryanne. If you missed an episode, click below to catch up on all the fun:

  • Mindy Lockard with tips on how to drink graciously, and her advice to me on how to take a shot of Tequila.
  • Jennifer Farley with tips on making ice cream and sorbet for those summer months.
  • Sam Henderson with tips on feeding teenage boys and easy DIY projects for modern living.

I will be back in the Fall with more entertaining guests; be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel to find out when the next series is going live.


]]> 0
How to start a wine club Mon, 05 May 2014 19:47:29 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene There are 2 kinds of book clubs, those with wine, and those without.  If you are anything like me, you belong to the one with wine, and generally spend your time drinking rather than talking about the book – sound familiar?  If so, you should be tossing the book on your bedside table and inviting a few friends over for a wine tasting.   Wine tastings are a clever way to learn more about wine, food pairing and discovering new grapes (aka, drinking).

How To Host A Wine Club

Each gathering discusses a region of wine, all wine and food served at that event match the geography allowing club members to learn as much as they can about the grape varieties of the region and food pairing to compliment the wine.  There are many ways to organize the event, but I have found that keeping the number of attendees to less than 10 works well.  The host of the event draws up a list of potential wine varieties for the night, each attendee (or couple) brings a bottle of wine form the list, along with some background information on the grape, and a dish to compliment it.

Now that you know how it works…and listen darlings, it is so much fun.  You need to know how to taste:

  1. Eye of the beholder: Hold the glass at a distance and look at the color, is it a new vibrant wine or an old mellow wine?  Reds are generally purplish when young, and orange-tinted when old; whites tend to be bright yellowy when young and a soft golden color when old.
  2. Close your eyes and smell the wine, take in the aroma: Do you smell floral, citrus, spice, berry, et all?  What you smell now is an indication of what is to come.  There must be balance is the aroma, too much of something will surely imbalance the taste.
  3. Taste it – balance is key: To much of one flavor and the wine will be imbalanced.  Can you taste the smells you encountered earlier?  What do you taste?  Once the wine has left you, does the flavor linger afterwards?
  4. Ask yourself: What grape variety is this?  What aromas can I detect?  What flavors did I expect, did I find? What food would accompany this well?  What makes this wine special?


]]> 0
Medjool Date, Chorizo and Chic Pea Salad Sat, 03 May 2014 18:28:09 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m the first to admit that sometimes, I can be a bit of cliche; especially when it comes to food and the memories that are tied to it. My life is intertwined with the food I have eaten and the people I’ve shared it with, and nothing is more true of this sentiment than my recipe for roasted date salad.  Truth be told, I was so drunk on love the first time I had it that I scarcely recall the recipe… I know that I have taken certain liberties with it; but when I serve this dish, it is the perfect combination of the whirlwind romance that spread across Spain and Morocco in 2000 and the little girl inside me who used to run wild in the date groves in Yuma Arizona.

As a child I would snack on dates because they were nothing short of prolific.  Often right from the tree, and sometimes slathered in a variety of smokey spices.   I never tired of them, especially when they were rolled in coconut.   When I think back on my childhood, Medjool dates are at the forefront of my mind, so it is fitting that as a young bride of 25 I found myself under date palms in the North African desert feasting on them hours after getting married.

Coryanne Ettiene's Wedding Photo

I remember the excitement of my first bite.  I had never tried cooked dates before, let alone served savory with onions, chic peas and meat.  Each mouthful was an explosion of taste:  sweet, savory, smokey, aromatic, tangy, fiery…. just thinking about it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  But the young bride in me lived in the moment, savoring every bite and then took no notice of it for years until the kitchen became my playground and we revisited Spain for our anniversary 6 years later.   We feasted on something similar, but all together different, triggering a memory of our wedding feast that left me hankering to find a way to bring the two dishes together.  In the end, I mixed sweet roasted Medjool dates, aromatic chorizo, buttery chic peas and zesty grilled lemons together, served them warm, and with a generous portion of hummus for a bite that goes straight to my heart.

Medjool Date Salad by Coryanne Ettiene


When Natural Delights Medjool Dates asked me to share this recipe with them, it was if the circle had been completed because working with a grower from my hometown of  Yuma Arizona is nothing short of fabulous. I serve this recipe right out of the oven, anytime of year.  There are so many ways to eat this dish: turn it into a party trick by layering the bread, hummus and salad into small nibbles, serve it as a side to a fabulously roasted chicken, or add it to a fresh green salad.  Or you can always do what I do, and eat it right out of the fridge if there are any leftovers.


  • 12 Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted & sliced
  • 1 Cured Chorizo Sausage, 12 inches long, chopped
  • 15 Ounces of Chic Peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, whole
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt & Pepper, for seasoning


  1. Add the dates, chorizo, chic peas, lemon and garlic to a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  And then lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper for added seasoning before tossing to fully blend the ingredients.
  2. Transfer to a roasting tray lined with parchment paper and bake in a pre-heated 425F oven for 20 mins on the middle rack.
  3. Toss them in the roasting pan and then return to them to the oven to roast for a further 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  *The trick is to warm and crisp the ingredients, depending on the size of your cuts, you may want to cook them for a total of 40 minutes, so keep an eye on them during the second roasting phase.
  4. Once roasted, transfer them to a serving dish and serve with toasted pitta bread and fresh hummus.


Looking for more Medjool Date inspiration?

Join me all this week on the Natural Delights Facebook page where I will be sharing kitchen tips, hosting a live Facebook Chat, sharing more of my favorite Medjool date recipes, giving away prizes and highlighting my favorite pins from the Delightful Summer Pinterest Board.  And don’t forget to save the date for the #WhyIDate prize packed Twitter Party on Wednesday May 21, 2014 at 8:00pm EST.  No RSVP  needed, simply follow @CoryanneEttiene and @NDmedjooldates and use the tag #WhyIDate to join the party and be eligible to win the prizes.


Join us for a #WhyIDate Twitter Party




Disclaimer:  Natural Delights is a client of mine, and I am working with them to promote the #WhyIDate series and the benefits of eating Medjool Dates; all thoughts expressed in this promotion are my own.  





]]> 0
Live with Coryanne and Mindy Lockard of The Gracious Girl Fri, 02 May 2014 20:44:10 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m not really one for moderation.  I’m a lover of “more, more, more” and rarely find the stop button, especially when it comes to having fun.  And for me, celebrating summer at an outdoor party is nothing short of marvelous (this is where the trumpet play and banners fall from the sky with “party time” written on them), but what should I do when my “more, more, more” personality, the hot summer sun and those thirst quenching cocktails collide?  The fabulous Mindy Lockard of The Gracious Girl joined #LiveWithCoryanne this week to offer her gracious drinking advice.

#LiveWithCoryanne and Mindy Lockard

As at most of my parties, there might have been shots involved….on my end obviously.  We packed in a whole lot of fun into our 15 mins, watch it here, or press play on the video below.

For more information on her bag of “magic tricks” check out The Gracious Girl blog here, including her fab ideas on how to use photos to make your guests feel welcome here.  Stay connected with Mindy and all of her gracious tips by following @TheGraciousGirl on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  Trust me, she is simply fabulous and I can’t go a day without talking to her….  you’ll soon be just as smitten.


]]> 0
Mother’s Day DIY, Tips & Inspiration Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene The women in my family are a constant inspiration to me.  My mother taught me to work hard, keep your chin up and how to turn lemons into lemonade.   My grandmother taught me to be curious, honest and that food can bring families together.  My aunt taught me to be adventurous, mischievous and always laugh at life.  Without them I would not be the woman I am today, nor the mother I am to my children.  I remember when I was 18 and announced, much to my mother’s horror, that I wanted to go to South Africa, she found an inner strength and told me to be safe. may aunt told me to enjoy myself; and my grandmother told me to taste everything I could get my hands on.   That same advice was given to me again when I was 21 before I left for China, and again and again over the years on each new trip.  As I write this, I can hardly think how hard it  must have been for each of these women, in all of their different personalities, to offer that advice with an encouraging spirit to a wild eyed young girl with more ambition than sense.  And only now, as I consider what I advice I would give my children should I find myself on the other side of the departing gates, do I really appreciate how remarkable they are.  I’ll be thousands of miles away from them when Mother’s Day rolls around this year, but regardless of the distance, I will be celebrating them and the lessons they have taught me.

Celebrate Mother's Day by Coryanne Ettiene

In my latest series for I took inspiration from the distance that will separate us this year, looking for ways to capture the memories that they have given me, and carrying those traditions forward with my own children.  The most simple project is creating a wrapping that allows you to use the photos that mean the most to create a personal touch to even the smallest of gifts. But my absolute favorite, is the personalized coffee mug.  You see, I hate to admit it, but once I forgot my mother at the airport; it was her first trip to London and after a night of drinking with my friends, I overslept, leaving her at the airport for hours.  I tried everything I could to get the airport to page her so she knew I was on my way….   needless to say, I will never forget her at the airport again, and now I have a coffee mug to remind her that I won’t.
Get all my tips for hosting, celebrating and capturing the fun of a personalized Mother’s Day in my series, with all the links below.
]]> 0
How to roast a chicken Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:48:03 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene There is something magical about a roast chicken.  The smell lingering in house immediately offer comfort in a way no other food does.  The first time I recall eating a roast chicken was when I landed in London at 24 and quickly adapted a diet of what ever delight they had on offer at the deli counter or could be consumed while knocking back a few cocktails after work.  Inevitably, a roast chicken dinner became my norm,  it was as if suddenly the food Gods had allowed me access to Heaven and granted me full rights to just sit in front of my TV, and devour it, piece by piece with nothing more than my fingers. I was “Atkins Diet Cool” long before it hit the main stream, and became fast friends with the deli staff who knew my routine.  Silly to say, but it was not until I met my husband and he suggested that we roast our own chickens that I was genuinely in Heaven.  He, of course taught me how to roast a bird….  It turns out that to the English, roasting a chicken is like dotting your I’s — everyone can do it.  Within a month I was chugging wine and attempting my own roast bird for my mother in law as if it was no big deal; minus all the drama that I created fretting over the gravy, watching the minutes, double checking the weight, turning on the oven light on a million times I was in my domestic groove, and in that moment, I broke up with my friends at the Deli counter and never looked back.

How to roast a chicken by Coryanne Ettiene

If you can roast a potato, you can roast a chicken.  On the face of it, it can look terribly difficult but really, it is the lazies thing you can possibly cook.  You simply need to follow these 10 tips to ensure that your bird is perfectly roasted.

    • Temperature is everything.  Before starting on your roast chicken, take it out of the fridge and let it rest for 30 mins.  Cooking a cold bird will only spoil the cooking times.
    • Use a roasting tray and rack.  The roasting tray is vital to collecting all the drippings that make for a perfect gravy, and the rack allows the bird to roast evenly without cooking in a pool of chicken fat.  Mind you, the perfect compliment to a roast chicken is roasted vegetables, so arrange them around the bird on the roasting try, they will cook beautifully in the chicken fat.
    • Stuff it.  Forget the traditional stuffing that you associate with poultry. When you stuff the cavity of a chicken it is for the sole purpose of infusing it; consider citrus, garlic, bacon, celery and herbs.  I often wrap a whole garlic bulb with bacon, tie with a sprig of rosemary and then toss it inside the chicken.
    • Truss it.  It may seem daunting, but trussing chicken takes less than 30 seconds and ensures that your bird is evenly cooked.  It also goes a long way to presetting a neat and tidy bird at the dinner table.  Watch my video here on how to truss a chicken.

  • Embrace Salt.  Salt is the most vital element in roasting a bird.  Be generous with it, I’ve been known to salt both the cavity and the exterior of the bird before I dress it to make sure it has been salted enough.  However, if table salt is all you have, forget my advice because table salt will make it bitter and deliver a less than fabulous roast chicken.
  • Go deep.  Often neglected, that sweet spot between the skin and the flesh is a heavenly place to add extra aroma. I often add a few herbs or on occasion, garlic cloves.  Gently use your fingers to lift up the skin, taking care not to tear it, and then insert your chosen seasoning.  The result is an aromatic slice of  meat and a fabulous tasting skin.
  • Dress it.  Dressing the chicken is key to making it brilliant.  Some prefer to lather a huge amount of butter, herbs, and/ or seasoning right on top, rubbing it into the skin for an even layer.  I’m a purist, I opt for salt and herbs, on rare occasions, sometimes I’ll add a small dollop of butter.  The beauty with a whole chicken is that the skin has everything needed to created a delicate crispy finish without all the bells and whistles that take away from how amazing a roast chicken is.

10 tips for a perfectly roasted chicken by Coryanne Ettiene

  • Cook it well.  The rule of thumb for a medium size bird it to cook it at  385F for 20 minutes for every pound.
  • Check it.  Pierce the spot between the leg and the breast with a sharp knife, if the juices run clear, your bird is done.
  • Let it rest.  Once roasted, remove it from the oven and roasting tray and transfer to a carving board.  Cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. This is where the magic happens, don’t rush it, carving too early will result in a dry bird.



]]> 0
Live with Coryanne and …. Jennifer Farley Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:04:36 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Our ice cream maker has been tucked away for months now, and the sound of the “urrr, urrr, urr” is a distant memory that when recalled, makes me hungry for ice cold, creamy goodness thick enough to eat with a fork even under the hot summer sun.  I’m a sucker for ice cream, always have been, always will be.  But while you can add booze to ice cream and give it a tipsy make over, you can hardly add ice cream to booze, which is why sorbet is my second greatest summer love.  Cocktails, frozen treats….  how can you go wrong?

#LiveWithCoryanne and Jennifer Farley

This week Jennifer Farley of Savory Simple joined me for #LiveWithCoryanne to talk about her love of ice cream, sorbet and her approach to kitchen living…She, of course, was the perfect guest with the greatest tips and recipe ideas including her recipe for Passion Fruit Sorbet; I might have over-shared on my experience with naked dinners.

I’m gaga for this sorbet, it is practically begging me to add it to a glass with a splash of rum; get the recipe here and get to know Jennifer, the woman behind, by pressing play in the video box above or clicking here to watch it on youtube.

Photo by and courtesy of

Photo by and courtesy of

Hungry for more from Jennifer?  Chat with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ via @SavorySimple …. And subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more from the #LiveWithCoryanne and Coryanne Uncut series.


]]> 0
Vanilla Blueberry Pie – a #BakeForGood family recipe Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:15:07 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Pie.  Glorious Pie.  They really should write more songs about pie because when you put a spoonful of pie in your mouth, you feel like singing…..or is that just me?  When the late spring berries start piling up in our local market, I can’t resist stocking up and turning them into pies and crumbles.  While a crumble is my lazy mid week option, when I have a few extra minutes on my hands, I whip up a pie — I say that like my house always smells like fresh pie, the reality is that a fresh pie is not nearly as common in real life as it is in my dreams. And for an added dose of reality, I whipped up a half dozen mini pies to surprise our teachers in an effort to #BakeForGood while juggling meetings, laundry and cleaning out my inbox…only to drop my baking tray full of pies, leaving me with a horrible mess and one barley salvageable pie to photograph (needless to say, our fabulous teachers will have to wait a bit longer for fresh pies).

How to make pie crust by Coryanne Ettiene

In my new love of baking, I’ve been lucky enough to partner with King Arthur Flour who have been traveling around the US getting children excited about baking and giving back to the community with their Life Skills Bread Baking program. The program really is inspiring, and has started a national movement to #BakeForGood; so when they asked me to join them in Seattle on their #BakeForGoodTour earlier this month, I dropped everything to get involved and help them support the Union Gospel Mission Women’s and Children’s Shelter.

Not only did I have the pleasure of  supporting an incredible shelter, and meet some fabulous bloggers, I was also lucky enough to bake with Chef Amber Eisler who taught me that visible butter is the key to a fabulous pie crust.  I am fairly good at making short crust pastry…again, perhaps because it is the lazy pastry, but thanks to Chef Amber, I mastered the art of pie crust making ,and if I can do it… so can you…just remember, visible butter.

Vanilla Blueberry Pie by Coryanne Ettiene

With my new found confidence in pie crust, I wasted no time in whipping up a few Vanilla Blueberry pies … a classic that never tires in our house, tart, sweet, with a dinstinctive  hint of vanilla; perfect served with vanilla custard or a whopping large scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Just don’t drop them on the floor ….  trust me, it’s a mini drama when that happens.  The recipe below is for one family size pie, serving 6-8 people.

Vanilla blueberry pie filling ingredients

  • 4 cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoons of  fresh lemon juice
  • 3⁄4 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pie Crust Ingredients
Courtesy of King Arthur Flour

  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder, optional
  •  8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
  1. Whisk together the flour, salt (and buttermilk powder, if you’re using it).
  2. Dice the butter into small cubes. Work it into the flour until it’s well-distributed, but not fully incorporated. Flat pea sized pieces of butter will be scattered throughout the mixture offering you visible butter.
  3. Drizzle in the ice water until the dough starts to come together and is fully bound together.
  4. Gently shape each half into a rough disk and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  5. Flour dust and butter you pie pan, then roll out and shape your pie crust to fit the pan.  And then set aside while you prepare the filling.
  6. Place the blueberries in a large mixing  bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and then toss until they are evenly coated.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and then sprinkle the mixture over the berries.  Gently fold together until the berries are evenly coated, and then immediately transfer them to the dough-lined pie pan.
  8. Cover your pie pans with the reserved dough, leaving a 1 inch overhang around the edge of the pie, them crimp the edges to seal the pie.
  9. Lightly egg wash the pie crust and spring with white sugar before  using a small knife to cut air vents on the top.
  10. Bake at 375°F on the middle rack for around 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust golden.
]]> 0
10 grilling tips for a fabulous BBQ Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:35:50 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene We love to BBQ.  Wait let me rephrase that, I love it when my husband BBQs because it means fewer dishes and amazing food.  Rain or shine, we are always grilling something….from pizza, to fruit, to full blown summer time feasts.  Our BBQ is an extension of our kitchen, and our main producer of family meals in the summer.  We’ve come a long way since our first grill back in London — it was no bigger than a bicycle tire, and as flimsy as a paper bag — but regardless of your grill size, there are 10 tips to grilling that will produce fabulous results for an endless summer of BBQ fun.

I wanted to start with “get a nice piece of eye candy to do the grilling so you can relax under the summer sun”…. but that goes without saying……..

10 BBQ and Grilling tips by Coryanne Ettiene

  1. Inspect & repair your grill.  Check it at least once a year. While your BBQ is cool, inspect your burners, grill plates, lava rocks/ceramic briquettes and every nook and cranny of your grill.  Clean everything thoroughly, anything that cannot be cleaned should be replaced.
  2. Keep your grill plates clean.  The trick with cleaning your grill plates is to clean your grill plates after you cook, not before– This prevents food from sticking onto your grill, making it much easier to cook on. When still warm, take a wire brush and clean the grill plates, olive oil is a trade secret that most grilling experts use because it effortless removes chard food, and does not damage the grill plates.
  3. Give the exterior a good scrub.   Mix a solution of standard baking soda and warm water and get scrubbing–this pure cleaning agent will help to revive the exterior of your grill to its original shine.
  4. Grab an onion. Rather than oiling up your food, oil up your grill. Some of the best grilling experts oil up their grill by impaling a half of an onion, dipping it in olive oil and rubbing it across the grate just before grilling– the smell is mouthwatering, and the effect is brilliant.
  5. Ditch the BBQ basting brush.  Instead grab a bundle of herbs. Using a bundle of Rosemary as a basting brush adds flavor, offers a great aroma and is very eco-chic.
  6. Manage flare-ups.   Grilling anything with a fat cap or marbeling will cause the fat to drip and create a “good flare up” that results in a great tasting cut of meat.  Contrary, drips from BBQ sauce, oily or sugary marinades will cause “bad flare ups” and spoil the tate of the foods. Keep a small spray bottle filled with water by the grill infused  with a few lemon slices and bay leaves should a bad flare up occur.
  7. Soak your corn.  Before grilling corn, soak it in salty water for an hour to give it a moist finish.
  8. Check your temperatures.  Never toss cold meat on a grill, and always know what temperature to cook your food at — not everything needs to be cooked on a high flame. But more importantly, know your cooking times, poisoning your guests will quickly put you on the naughty list.
  9. Get creative with your grilling.  Grill peaches, melon, banana, mango, citrus and other fruits for a fun twist on traditional sides, and don’t forget to grill your breads, and tortillas — some of the best tacos I have had come right off the grill, corn tortilla and all.
  10. Check your gas.  If nothing else, make sure you have enough gas…   nothing spoils a BBQ more than running out of fuel.

10 BBQ and Grilling tips by Coryanne Ettiene


And I can hardly write this post without a fabulous shout out to my ‘eye candy’ who let me invade his Ale drinking, podcast listening, grilling time with the click click “can you smile” paparazzi moment that gave me the photos for this post.  …..not to mention one fabulous skirt steak with roasted peppers.

]]> 0
Live with Coryanne & Sam from Today’s Nest Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:16:49 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m giddy with excitment  to share my new Live with Coryanne series via youtube and Google+ , and what better way to kick off this new series than with the ever so talented Sam Henderson, the Creative Director of Today’s Nest who embraces the motto ”savor life”.  I love his approach to modern living, his recipes, his keen eye for both video and photography, and most importantly his ability to laugh at my jokes.

Live with Coryanne & Sam Henderson

This week he shared his perfect Easter brunch recipe, tips for feeding teenage boys, and his favorite way to eat oatmeal…  it’s a riot in a tux, and 15 minutes that will get you excited about kitchen living for a modern lifestyle.  Watch it here or click play on the video below.

Hungry for more great ideas from Sam?  Here are a few of  my favorite projects that he is working on this spring featured on

 Lemon Lavander Pound Cake   Easter Cascarones     Eggshell Spring Floral DIY  

Photo courtesy of Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Photo courtesy of Sam Henderson of Today’s Nest


]]> 0
Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:42:31 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene At some point in my life I fell out of love with chocolate and then I was coaxed into a chocolate shop in Belgium and found myself sampling enough chocolates to put 20lbs on me.  It was that moment that I fell back in love with the rich, slightly bitter, ever so sweetness of chocolate.  But my love affair is cursed and I have yet to find another chocolate that compares, which means that when I do eat chocolate, I do so at the mercy of my bank account.  Now that I have the confidence to whip up a vanilla cake, I spent the weekend trying my luck at making a chocolate cake….   a journey that practically had me crying on the floor because the genius in me thought that I could whimsically find my perfect cake while I was hosting a playdate for 10 children.   I had grand ideas of serving this cake to a crowd of hungry school children, with shouts of glee at the chance to taste test every cake; but that never happened.  When you recipe 6 cakes in 6 hours, and play hostess to 10 children at the same time,  you find yourself on the floor in a blind panic, in a filthy kitchen and your spring white jeans covered in chocolate…oh the drama…. But finally just as dinner was looming, I mastered the art of baking my perfect classic chocolate cake. 6 cakes, 6 hours…. followed by 6 glasses of wine, and 1 winner.

Classic Chocolate Cake By Coryanne Ettiene

It goes without saying, I had every single Nigella Lawson cookbook open, along with a half a dozen others to inspire me, teach me and get me excited about my new baking adventure.  I spent days reading each recipe, contemplating the differences between them — vegetable oil, sour cream, brown sugar, buttermilk, coffee…  they all brought something different to the table, but what I wanted was a thick, rich, dark chocolate cake that was a heavy, stick to your guts cake with a moist finish that you could accent with raspberries (for no other reason that we all love raspberries in our house).

Slices of Chocolat Cake By Coryanne Ettiene

In the end the cake I loved most was combined effort from Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart and a post it note recipe from a London neighbor that allows the chocolate to take center stage and butter to take second place; without all the added extras that over complicate the simplicity of a fabulous chocolate.


  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, plus a splash for good measure
  • 2 1/4 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of Dutch Cocoa powder
  • 3 cups of all purpose white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water


Step 1.  Line 2 or 3 round cake pans with a sheet of parchment paper, and lightly butter and dust them with cocoa powered; then set aside while you prepare the batter. I opted for 2 pans and for thicker cakes, there is plenty of batter here for 3 thinner cakes.

Step 2.  Sift the cocoa into a small bowl and then add boiling water to it, string until it is smooth and paste like; then set aside to cool.

Step 3.  Add your butter to a mixing bowl and slowly fold in the sugar, mixing until it is light and fluffy.  Then add the eggs one at a time until the butter no longer sticks to the whisk.  (*note, I did not use a stand mixer for this, I whisked it by hand as I read that often times, lumpy cakes have a better finish).

Step 4:  In a large bowl, add the remaining dry ingredients and stir them together.  And then add the milk to the cocoa blend, using a whisk to create  creamy chocolate sauce.  Take turns adding the dry mixture and the chocolate to the butter batter, whisking until fully blended before adding more ingredients.  If, by the time everything is blended, your batter looks too dry, add a splash of milk to give it a smooth, but not runny finish.

Step 5:  Bake in the middle rack of a 350F oven for 35 minutes for 3 pans, or 45 mins for 2 pans — taking care to check the cakes at about 40 minutes if you are using 2 pans to prevent over baking.

Step 6:  Remove from the oven, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, than transfer them to a cooking rack, taking care to remove the parchment paper while they cool. Once cool, layer and frost at will.

I layered this classic chocolate cake with raspberries, much like a Victoria Sponge cake.  I lightly frosted the top of the bottom cake with chocolate butter cream frosting, then added a layer of freshly crushed raspberries before placing the top cake in place, and frosting the whole cake.  I devoured the raspberry layer cake, but must admit, the standard chocolate buttercream layer cake was just as fabulous.  Needless to say we had cake for dinner, breakfast and lunch for days…  I dare say we are done with cake for a while.




]]> 0
Join me in the kitchen Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:15:06 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene When I started this whole fabulous journey into growing my business,  I remember blindly calling  up a talent agent looking for advice.  Looking back it was a wholly wild thing to do with only a few months of experience behind me, not to mention I had no clue what I was really looking for other than a blind shot in the dark.   I either caught him at a moment of pure generosity, or a he was so shocked at this wide eyed dreamer on the other end of the phone that he kindly gave me 10 minutes of his time.  Right out of the gate he asked me what my dreams were, and how he could help me; an open question that left me in a rare moment of speechlessness.  The questions I had lined up on my sheet as we sat there in silence were suddenly mute, so I took a deep breath and took his offer of help with both hands asking  ”How do I get on TV?  How do I make money talking about my kitchen adventures? How do I create a brand?” He kept coming back to the same point over and over again, “buy a flip camera and create a youtube account because video is where all the action is”.  Within an hour of ending our phone call I raced out and bought a flip camera, uploaded a few videos and then got busy not listening to him for 3 years.

For the last few months I have thought long and hard about that conversation…..mainly that I am a fool for writing his contact information on a post it note that has long since been lost…..but also that he was right.  Video, as it turns out,  is where all the action is.  I love it.  I’ve literally grown up on video over the last few years.  When I look back at my footage from 3 years ago, I watch with my eyes covered and the audio muted, catching glimpses of the wild eyed dreamer with more drive than skill that somehow managed to elbow her way into an industry that is harder to climb than a waterfall.  Reflecting on my journey,  I think I paused my youtube videos because I knew that I was fumbling my way through it all, and now that I have my footing, I have the confidence to finally take his advice and embrace youtube with open arms.

Drum roll…….. Introducing the Coryanne Ettiene youtube account, click here to subscribe.

I have great plans for this account.  For starters, I am growing my playlist, finding all my past segments and compiling them for you to watch on mute with your hands over your eyes.  And, I am creating 2 new shows that are both playful and quick to watch.   The new Coryanne Uncut is a traditional youtube style series filmed during a real cooking experience in my kitchen, and  Live with Coryanne  in an interview series with a few of my favorite food bloggers.  I hope you’ll join me in my youtube kitchen, if anything watch my  1 minute intro video above…this quirky 60 seconds took me 6 hours to put together for no other reason than I was fumbling through every second of the editing package, cursing all those times I paid no attention to my production team when they were editing for me.

]]> 0
Spring Smoothie Recipe Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:36:37 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I’m a bit of a drama queen when it comes to colds, so much so that my husband calls me a delicate flower at the first sneeze.   I go into hyper drive disinfecting everything in my home, trying in vain to banish every germ that lands in our kitchen for fear of getting a cold, because when one of us goes down, like dominos, the entire family falls.  Once the first strawberries of the season start appearing in the market, I bundle them up and start passing out our ‘flu buster” spring smoothie, making sure that everyone is up to their eyeballs in vitamin C; While everyone is drinking, I’m busy disinfecting the entire kitchen.

Flu Buster Smoothie by Coryanne Ettiene

 In my latest video & blog series for Granite Gold, I show you how to properly disinfect your natural stone surfaces, kitchen work spaces and keep those pesky spring time germs out of your kitchen.  Watch my video by clicking here, or watch it below.  And because one can never have to many lists, or smoothie recipes, I created a quick printable cheat sheet to keep your kitchen germ free all year round, and shared my Flu Buster Smoothie Recipe on the Granite Gold Blog, find them here.

]]> 0
Family favorite potato recipes Wed, 09 Apr 2014 01:20:21 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I must admit, I never pass up a french fry or potato chip…  my salty cravings always get the best of me, but there are so many other ways for me to satisfy my cravings for salty potatoes, and in my new Idaho Potato Commission series I’m sharing some of my favorite mid week potato dishes.  From a, “oh heavens what shall we cook, it’s 5 o’clock” dinner like a Spanish Omelet or a Cottage Pie, to more scheduled dinners like a Yellow Roast with Porter Gravy or my favorite, Duchess Potatoes….there is something for everyone in the new series.

family favorite potato recipes by Coryanne Ettiene

Like my last series, I had the pleasure of bringing one of our children on set to cook with me, and this time, 10 year old Margeaux took center stage cooking up a storm.  I may have my “motherhood goggles” on, but she really did steal the show.  I could not be more proud of her interest in cooking from scratch, and her talents at whipping up an amazing Cottage Pie are endless; Watch it here.  And while I am so proud of her, my husband is proud of me for finishing my first bottle of Porter.  As a devoted lover of strong, English beer, he has long been trying to get me not just to cook with it, but also drink it….and in true fashion, I swigged from the bottle after the shoot and loved every last sip.  Apparently, if I love Porter gravy, I also love Porter (who knew?).   Watch the the latest videos by clicking on the recipe of choice below, or pop over to my YouTube and check out the full series on my playlist

Spanish Potato Omelet   |   Yellow Potato Roast  |  Cottage Pie  |  Duchess Potatoes

]]> 0
How to start a vegetable garden Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:20:37 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene I grew up watching my grandfather grow citrus trees, his grapefruit were famous in the neighborhood and his green thumb was passed down to my  mother who can grow anything regardless of the Arizona sun. Their gene for the green thumb eludes me, despite my passion for food that is grown.  When we bought our home 2 years ago, I had grand plans of vegetable gardens that would rival the hanging gardens of Babylon; lucky for me the berry bushes and orchard were established, because the only thing I can grow is mint….but that never stops me from embracing each spring with a renewed effort to plant a vegetable garden and grow my own food.  With the warmer days and longer sunlight hours my weekends are spent dreaming of a thriving small crop and I am slightly obsessed with my Edible Garden Pin board to give me every fighting chance at a successful harvest.


Edible Garden Pins by Coryanne Ettiene

Before you race out and buy all your gardening supplies, start saving your egg shells — they make the most amazing starter pods for seeds.   Crack off the top, don’t worry about rinsing them out, add your soil, your seed, water and then return to your egg carton for “hatching”.  If like me, your passion for an edible garden far out weighs your talents as a gardener, here are a few tips to get you started on your path towards the perfect edible garden.

edible garden by Coryanne Ettiene

Design your plot: Review your yard for the best location and decide how large a patch you want to cultivate.  Then clear the weeds, nourish the soil and start your compost heap/bin.  If you are really eco savvy, invest in a rain water trap to cut down your water usage during those long summer days.  Avoid getting carried away, and commit to a small patch the first time you embark on being a kitchen gardener, not only will it build your confidence, it will ensure that you have a successful crop.

Decide what to grow: Leave bulky or complex crops to the farmers, instead focus on hearty vegetables that will give you confidence as a gardener.  Above all, grow what you enjoy eating.  Once you have your seeds selected, start them in pots…and don’t be afraid to leave them there a bit longer before transplanting them to give them that extra hug before they venture into the planting beds.

Best home grown: Asparagus, Beetroot, Broccoli, Chillies, Zucchini & other squash varieties, Herbs, Lettuce, Tomatoes, French Beans & Runner Beans, and Cucumbers.

Best left to the pros: Cabbages, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Garlic & Onions, Swedes, and Sweet Potatoes.

Build a strong defence

  • Pour a beer trap for slugs & snails (leave a saucer of beer in your garden at dusk, in the morning remove the saucer and the trapped slugs & snails)
  • Empty toilet rolls protect young sprouts without harming their development and they are biodegradable
  • Add a splash of colour by planting Marigolds in your garden patch — they keep aphids and other tiny pests away.
  • Hang a few CDs — yes, CDs.  The light reflecting on both sides will scare away the birds.



]]> 0
Easter recipes, DIY & party tips Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:06:17 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene Growing up in Arizona, Easter chocolate was always a risky venture.  By the time the Easter Bunny hopped into town, we were facing 100F weather so Easter chocolate was always a second favorite to jelly beans…   and to this day, if you put a bowl of jelly beans in front of me, I will eat them, without thought, until I roll on ground in agony begging for anyone to bring me a tooth brush (clearly I have to work on self control).  As we venture into our 2nd Easter in Washington, chocolate is back on the  menu, and I have already sent word to the Easter Bunny, that he can drop off as much of it as he can carry…white, dark, milk, you name it, I am embracing Easter chocolate this year in every form imaginable.

Just as much as I am embracing chocolate, I am also diving head first into as many egg DIY projects as I can imagine.  While working on my latest feature, our  house was a factory of egg dipping, molding, crafting and boiling.  By now our children are used to seeing holidays celebrated twice, sometimes 3 times in one year, but when it comes to holidays that include candy…. they are especially excited to jump in and lend a hand with the cooking, styling and even helping me create child friendly crafts like the egg cups found here.

Decorating with Easter Eggs by Coryanne Ettiene

My Easter series shows you how to hand craft egg shaped candles using egg shells and hand dyed egg shells as candles or even place card holders.  After some trial and error, I leaned that as a novice with wax, the easier option is to use the egg shell as the candle holder, as crafting a perfectly molded egg shape, even with the egg shell to help form it, is a lengthy process.  Learn how to make them by clicking here.  My favorite part of this project had to be hand dipping the eggs…I dare say, I went a little bit crazy with my love of Teal.  I used the basic primary food coloring and layered the eggs one dip at a time.  I had a row of various combinations of blue and green, then a light blend of purple lined up. I dipped, I dried, I dipped, sometimes I used a cloth to blot them dry…  talk about therapeutic, I could have done this all day.  The beauty with mixing your own color palate is that not one egg will be the same,  making for a more interesting decorative focal point.

Coconut Cluster Easter Jars by Coryanne Ettiene
My Easter color pallet is blue and teal this year so I embraced that theme with my Easter Gift Jars, a craft so simple you will be looking for small toys to paint at every opportunity.  I used small bunnies I bought on etsy and spray painted them blue, find out how to make the Easter Gift Jars and my recipe for white chocolate coconut cluster by clicking here.
Between hosting tips, DIY project, recipes and decorating tips, everything you need for a fabulous Easter Celebration is found on my profile, or click on the link you fancy below:

And for my shared fans of history out there, I was curious about our Easter traditions and did a bit of searching….  did you know that Easter Egg decorating originated in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia. Eggs were dyed for spring festivals, which lead to the tradition for decorating Easter Eggs around the world?



]]> 0
The perfect boiled egg Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:05:24 +0000 Coryanne Ettiene With spring in the air and Easter looming, something as simple as a perfectly boiled egg can cause even a veteran cook to drink.  We are all on a quest for the perfect boiled egg, and gasp in horror when the nasty green ring of failure reveals itself…even more so when there are 11 others just like it.  I remember boiling eggs as a child, helping my mother make the “Monkey Bread” that was a favorite weekend breakfast in our house.  My mother would dish up buttery brown bread chopped to match the hard boiled eggs that would then be tossed with salt and pepper; it was years before I caught on that Monkey Bread was just a name she gave it, and that children across America were not feasting on Monkey Bread while they watched Saturday morning cartoons as I was.    To this day Monkey Bread is part of our Saturday morning routine, and it is secretly my mission to make it a household tradition everywhere.  But I digress….

My job was to drop the eggs in the boiling water, watch them bounce in the pot while they cooked, and then help peel the shells once they were cool.  For ever and a day, that is how I made boiled eggs, and then as a newlywed, I  discovered a new breakfast favorite, “soft boiled eggs and soldiers” — a childhood favorite that my husband had while he watched Saturday  morning cartoons that consists of dipping buttery bread into the top of a soft boiled egg.    In my quest to be the a fabulous new wife and hide my kitchen failings, I read everything I could on how to make this dish, only to discover that I had to scrap everything I knew about boiling eggs, and start from scratch.

Perfect Boiled Egg by Coryanne Ettiene

For me, the perfect boiled egg is served medium, offering a slightly soft and wet yolk with a creamy white base.  Forever on the quest for savory foods, I am generous with my salt and pepper, eating these with steam rolling of the sides while I try not to burn my fingers as I pop them in my mouth…..the only thing better would be to wrap them in bacon, but then, that is a given.

How to cook the perfect boiled egg:   Practice with a heartily loaf of brown bread and then whip up a batch of Monkey Bread….trust me, every bite is a like a symphony of childhood.

Step 1:  The trick is to use room temperature eggs placed in a large enough pot of cool water than that water offers a 1 inch top above the eggs — avoid the urge to layer or stack your eggs as it makes cooking uneven and leaves every peel fraught with anxiety.

Step 2:  Allow the pot to come to a rolling boil and then remove it from the heat, cover and let sit for 9 minutes for medium sized eggs, or up to 12 for larger eggs.  Do not add salt to the water, it will only increase the boiling temperature and spoil the perfect egg.

Step 3:  If you fancy checking your egg, remove it from the heat, and give it a spin on a flat surface.  If it spins in place without warbling, it is cooked.  If it wobbles and moves, it isn’t.

Step 4:  Remove them for the pot, and cool them with cold water if you are serving them later, this will halt the cooking time and ensure a fabulous finish.  Or go for the adventure of it, and peel them while they are still hot.



]]> 0