Posts Tagged: beach house

Barnes and Noble Book Signing this Saturday

Hi everyone,

I’ll be at Barnes and Noble Irvine Spectrum this Saturday (5/6/17) from 2pm to 4pm signing my cookbooks including my latest one, FARM-TO-TABLE DESSERTS.

Hope to see you there!

728 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618


beach town baking

Sailor Jerry Rum Laguna Beach Bungalow

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Sailor Jerry Rum Bungalow launch party for the new ‘Sailor Jerry’ Bungalow at the beautiful Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach.

Who is Sailor Jerry, you ask? Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins was an actual sailor living in Hawaii whose original tattoo artwork made him popular in the 1940’s and 50’s. Some of you may be more familiar with his protégés, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone. These two artists went on to create a rum inspired by their mentor and named it ‘Sailor Jerry’ Rum, a 92 proof spiced rum featuring a quintessential ‘Sailor Jerry’ hula girl on the label. I had the chance to try it for the first time at the party and dang was it delicious!

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The bungalow is a great way to enjoy the beach when you’re in Laguna. Day rentals are around $500 – $600. The bungalow which sits right on the beach includes its own tiki bar, full beach access, a pinball machine, private bathroom, comfy lounge-like sitting area, and a large outside deck with stunning ocean views. Bottle and food service is offered as well.

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Small bites that evening of grilled cheese sandwiches, crab cakes, lamb chops, pork belly and pepper-crusted grilled ahi tuna were provided by The Deck, the hotel’s restaurant. Bravo to the Chef!

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Guests drank ‘Sailor Jerry’ Rum-based drinks and enjoyed the tasty bites while live acoustic music played in the background.

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The evening ended with a stunning sunset along the Laguna Beach coast. It was the perfect end to a truly fun evening.


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beach town baking

Best Beach House Date Bar Recipe

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I have finally developed a date bar recipe I am happy with! These delicious bars have a buttery cinnamon crust with a gentle bite and a light sugary oat topping. I’m drooling just thinking about how good these bars are!

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This recipe uses a healthy 3 cups worth of deglet noor dates. Make sure to pack them into the measuring cup before chopping them. I cooked the dates down with some sugar and water until thickened which took about 10 minutes. Off the heat, I tossed in a splash of Appleton rum, a handful of shredded coconut, some nuts and a bit of orange zest. (Sidenote: I substituted the walnuts for pecans in the second batch and it was just as good.) Make sure to cool the date mixture down before spreading it on the crust. You can transfer the hot mixture to a plate and place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.

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The crust is a mixture of butter, flour, oats, cinnamon, orange, salt and baking soda. I love this recipe because you use the same mixture for both the crust and the topping. By patting it down firmer it creates a cookie like crust, while the crust remains loose by just sprinkling it on top.

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Oh my, these were so delicious. Make these as soon as you can. They make a perfect snack for any time of the day.

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Happy Baking!

beach town baking

Best Beach House Date Bars


  • 3 cups pitted dates (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon appleton rum
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (soft)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with pan spray. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Combine dates, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium high heat stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken up considerably. Remove from heat and stir in coconut, walnuts, rum and zest. Set aside to cool.
Cream butter and sugar in a Kitchen Aid bowl with the paddle attachment for one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.
Spread 2 1/2 cups of the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Pat down the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Spread the date mixture on top. I like to use a mini offset spatula to spread the filing. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top and just gently press it down.
Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned on top. Let cool completely before cutting.
Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

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