Spiked Apricot Squares

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by Chris on July 28, 2014


Eight months.  It is hard to believe I have been living in California for 8 months.  Time has flown so quickly; the transition seems like yesterday.  The whole experience has been exciting, productive, and…if I am being completely honest, therapeutic.

Professionally, I am right where I am supposed to be.  It’s as though all the roads I have taken throughout the last twenty years were leading to San Jose. Or, maybe Dionne Warwick was really just singing in my ear all these years.

Personally, I am happy, too!  There have been life tests, relationships from both coasts that have come and gone, and several health issues/weight gains.  Even so, I am riding the wave and remaining on two feet.  I know who I am, and I am in a good place. Whatever transpired in the universe to bring me here, I would like to give it thanks!  So, cheers to the stars aligning….Let’s toast with a few spiked apricot bars.


Last week, I was fortunate to receive several bags of freshly dried apricots after attending meetings at the Packard Foundation‘s Taaffe House.  The Taaffe House is the former Packard family home and  was remodeled as a meeting and conference facility. Nestled in the Los Altos Hills, the property is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!

While I ate several apricots as they were, I also rehydrated the lovely sun kissed fruits in sugar water that I spiked with Crown Royal® Maple.  Adding the extra spirit into the liquid is not necessary, but it sure makes for a good-time dessert!

These bars make for a such a good-time dessert that I believe they are appropriate for my graceful exit. After (almost) 8 years wonderful years, I am moving on from Mele Cotte.  The site will remain up, and the Mele Cotte Facebook page will continue serve as an outlet for future food adventures I’d like to share.  However, I don’t foresee any more posts here. It is time.

So, I would like to extend my gratitude for all those who visit, and continue to do so.  Thank you.  I truly appreciate your company and support!  Good food, good friends, good times – It’s what life is about.

Grazie per tutto il tuo amore e sostegno in questo periodo. Sono tanto grata per te e per il tuo amore.

Spiked Apricot Squares Recipe

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Baklava Rolls

Post image for Baklava Rolls

by Chris on July 20, 2014


Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal Monday!

I always look forward to the third Monday of the month, the day Group C  posts their reveal. I hated that my technical difficulties messed up the timing of my post last month, especially when we’re reminded not to wait until the last minute.  Not this month, though.  I made sure I cooked, snapped my photos, and uploaded a post draft in plenty of time to troubleshoot any issues.

Besides not wanting to let anyone in SRC down with an preventable oops, today’s reveal is also kind of a big deal because it will be my  last month participating in SRC and blogging.  I have wavered back and forth for some time about whether or not to continue with Mele Cotte.  It has been a wonderful (almost) 8 years. I have grown in the kitchen, a person, have gotten to be part of some great opportunities, and met countless fabulous people. But, it’s time.

I will wrap up with details and the “what next” later this month.  At this moment, however, I must honor the members of Secret Recipe Club , Debbi, and my assignee this month.

Secret Recipe Club

It was wonderful to reconnect with the amazing options on Nayna’s on Simply Food. Nayna and I have been blogging for almost as many years and it’s inspiring to see that she has kept our hearts and tummies full of warmth and deliciousness all this time.  It’s not only about vegetarian dishes for Nayna, though. Did you know about Citrus Spice, the blog Nayna started a couple of years back, that has us experience her travel, food, and food photography adventures?  I don’t know how she does it all!

The choices on Nayna’s blog for this month’s SRC post were endless.  Even so, I decided to try her Greek Baklava Rolls.  It has been so long; I can’t remember the last time I have made Baklava.  Because the Greek Baklava Rolls instantly brought be back to when I grew up in the Boston area, the recipe made sense.  My best friend from childhood, Patricia, was first generation Greek. I always enjoyed visiting her home, hanging out with her family, and admired how their home maintained traditions on this side of the ocean.


Baklava, one of Patrica’s mother’s specialties, was a tradition I was happy to share in after a fresh batch had soaked in the sugar syrup and was properly garnished with cloves. Feeling a bit nostalgic, and missing the connections I had back then, and these Greek Baklava rolls are my way of making sure that those memories are not lost.

I did alter Nayna’s recipe a bit….just a bit.  First, Nanya’s recipe rolled the Baklava using the dowel methods (like this video on rolling the Baklava rolls). My Baklava were rolled without a rod. Secondly, I made a honey syrup as opposed to sugar syrup.  Lastly, I multiplied the recipe to use an entire box of pastry and brought the rolls to the office. They were a huge hit! These little guys were εκπληκτικός, remarkable!

Baklava Roll Recipe

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Summer Salmon Burgers

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alternativa/alternative With the summer months in full swing here in sunny California, the weekend barbeques have been calling my name.  It’s hard not to want to dig into a big, juicy burger or a beautiful TBone steak.  Oh, to be able to eat meat again without becoming ill… *Dreamy* Since my dream of eating meat […]

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Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes

Thumbnail image for Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes July 10, 2014

torta di mele/apple cake Oh, the silence. I know!  There hasn’t been much action on the blog lately. Despite the recent “interruption of service”, I have been in the kitchen. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the treats I bring to the office every Monday. There have been mini chocolate tarts and cupcakes, […]

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Artichoke and Goat Cheese Sandwich

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cambria Estate Winery for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. abbinamento di vini/wine pairing Summer is here!  Now that I am in a groove and getting to know my new home on the west coast, the time to scout out fantastic places to see […]

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Peanut Brittle

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croccante/peanut brittle Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal Monday! *Confession*(Or as my boss says, “I am writing myself up.”) And, I experienced technical difficulties with my pictures and deleted all of them somehow.  Yikes!  No ones fault but mine and my moving in too many directions while in my work-life swirl. So, this post is part […]

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Seafood Salad

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insalata di mare/seafood salad I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans a few weeks ago when my colleague and I attended the International Reading Association Conference. It’s a city I always wanted to visit, but left the south before having the opportunity. Lucky for me, our bosses saw the conference as an important part […]

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Perfection Pound Cake

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fetta di torta/piece of cake Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal Monday! It’s good to be back again for another month.  Margaret’s Tea and Scones blog was the focus of my “research” this month. She is very active in blogging groups, so you have probably come across her food aventures if you follow Bundt Bakers, Donna Hay […]

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Green Tea Swiss Roll with Sweetened Whipped Cream

Thumbnail image for Green Tea Swiss Roll with Sweetened Whipped Cream April 27, 2014

tè verde/green tea I can’t believe I have been in California for six (6) months!  It is a bit surreal, really.  Even though I am still getting my bearings and have not ventured much outside the South Bay, I love it. I believe moving here is one of my best decisions and look forward to things […]

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(Deep Dish) Breakfast Pizza

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colazione/breakfast Hello Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  How good it is to see you again!  I know.  It seems as though it has been forever since we saw each other last.  Although it has only been two months, the time apart was tough.  Admittedly, my absence is my own fault; I did not enter my […]

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