Sunday, April 28, 2013

Deconstructed Pork Tamales for Face your Fear #SundaySupper


I'll never forget my High School Spanish Teacher, Mr. Ochi.  A short Japanese man, who wore a suit every day to class, made students tremble in their seats, as he called their name to conjugate the verb "to be," and had a contagious passion for the Spanish language.

It's the best language there is, he'd say.  The most logical of all languages.  And it's so romantic... as he'd trill his r's and make even the most basic phrases like "my name is," "where are you from?" and how are you today," in Spanish, sound like lines from a love song.
But it wasn't just the language that intrigued me, (and became my second language) but also the culture.  And living in Santa Barbara, I got a pretty accurate taste of it...

Mariachi Bands on Thursdays over Carnitas.  Streets filled with colorful confetti for weeks after our yearly Fiesta celebration, and the two women who came by our office every day at lunch selling freshly homemade tamales.

So, this week's #SundaySupper, hosted by Conni from , is all about facing your foodie fears, and trying something you've never tried before, so my first thought?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Clean, Lean and Green Crispy Skin Apple Cinnamon Chicken with Goat Cheese and Braised Leeks #healthyluxemeals

No comments:


was the first thing that came to mind as I read the e-mail from my development, and saw in bold print with exclamation points and assumed smiley faces...

"The pool is now open!!!"

And with those 5 little words came a feeling of dread, wondering how it could already be swimsuit season...

we're not even 5 months in.  I was so not smiling.

Didn't they get the memo?  Everyone knows that Spring is when you start thinking about whether your air conditioner will work, you're reminded that those slimming salads really are as good if not better than those heavy stews, and you gradually start peeling off the layers, in clothing and then some (yikes!).  It's a delicate transition, and one not to be rushed.

But in this case, looks like I'll need to dive in head first.  No sinking for this gal, I choose swim.

Because, oh yea, did I tell you...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sound of Music Spinach Salad with Roasted Golden Beets, Zucchini Noodles, Goat Cheese and a Hot Bacon Orange Cilantro Dressing #healthyluxemeals


Ever have one of those embarassing moments that you're sure you'll never live down?

Well, mine happened (almost) on stage.
Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera's backstage, to be exact.

I was in college, and how the heck did I get a role in The Sound of Music, anyways.  My family sings.  I cook... well, and design.  But sing?  OK, so I made it in the chorus, and actually had a part... thank you "On my Own" from Les Miserables, the song I sang and almost threw up to before, during, and after the audition.  Have you not yet realized, that I'm an introvert?

And if that wasn't bad enough... here's me.  Loreli (the maid) about to go on stage, opening night.  When the Director (whom I hadn't even been brave enough to speak two words to, since I was cast), grabbed me and pulled me aside not a minute to soon, frantically waving over fellow cast members, and laughing so loudly that the audience must have heard her, while pointing at my behind.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Creamy Asparagus Soup Shooters with Shrimp and 7 Wildflowers for April Showers #SundaySupper


I didn't sleep much that night, but I'll never forget my dream.  The dream that changed my life forever.

You see, earlier that day, I was on a quest.  A quest for romance, for soul mates, for the kind of love that sees you though all the seasons of your life.  And as I placed those 7 wildflowers under my pillow, I didn't really know what my dreams might bring, but I hoped.  I hoped so badly that he'd be the one...

And he was.

Every year, near the Summer Solstice, Swedes celebrate Midsummer, one of their most important holidays of the year.  It's considered a time of magic, and a time of fertility.  And a time when, according to old traditions, maidens should pick seven wildflowers and put them under their pillow that night, in order to dream about the man they are going to marry.

But they have to be wildflowers.  And they all have to be different.  And if you pick one from a church yard, the power increases even more.

Just make sure you go alone, and speak to no one... or the magic might be lost.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Artichoke Stems, Trail Cooking and Eric Ripert- a Culinary Triple Threat for April #FoodieFinds


There's nothing I enjoy more, than learning new things about food.  So, I decided to start a mid-monthly review of the top tips, techniques and trends I've discovered along the way.  Whether it's a new recipe that's now a family favorite, or a new way to cook a favorite food,  I can't wait to share my monthly #foodiefinds with you.  Please join in and add your #foodiefinds to the comment section below, or on my page too!

1) Hulu #foodiefind

I have a foodie crush.  And no, it's not on artichokes or bacon, but on Eric Ripert.   So I guess you'd really call it a celebrity crush.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Channel Road Inn's Heavenly Buttery Peaches and Cream Scones and an Excerpt from my Novel


Ever experienced something that you just can't seem to get off of your mind, no matter how many years later?

Like a movie, or a song, perhaps a lost love, or even something you did that you wish you could take back... or act on when you chose to remain complacent?

Well, I have a few of those too.

The first, believe it or not... a scone.

We were newly married, and too naive to realize that racking up our credit cards on travel might not be very wise.   Yet, in retrospect, I admire us for really living life and seeking out so many adventures. 

I spent most of the first decade of my life in Santa Monica, so we decided to stay the weekend at , and man, were we happy to find this gem by the beach!  Unpretentious, yet beautifully kept.  Homey, comfy, and most of all- friendly.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Georgia Byrd's Chicken Tchoupitoulas Pasta for Movie Inspired #SundaySupper


Some people might say the best summer of their life was travelling to an exotic location, or one of those high school summers filled with a new romance at the beach.  Or maybe even just a staycation, catching up on your reading list and sleeping until ten every day.
But the best summer of my life...

was in summer school. 

And yes, I said summer school.  But this wasn't just any school... it was film school.
When I was 30, I went back to school to finally get my degree.  I planned to get a degree in Atmospheric Science (inspired by my smartie Pop, who was an Aerospace Engineer- I know!) And I had even hoped to some day be on the Weather Channel... ahem. Hey, it could have happened.

But after my first news writing course, I was hooked.  I immediately switched my major to Mass Communication and gleefully signed up for 3 film classes for the summer semester.

6 weeks of watching and discussing films all day long.  And getting lost in the place you only find when you're sitting in the dark, with a big screen and so many surround sound speakers that you feel like you are right there with Georgia in the church singing "Why Lord," on the dam when Kragen chickens out of base jumping, and when Sean finds Georgia's "possibilities" book.

So, this week I was so excited to find out that our #SundaySupper theme, hosted by one of my favorite food bloggers, Heather from , is all about food inspired by the movies.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

California Chicken with Mediterranean Pilaf and the Color Yellow for #WeekdaySupper


Sometimes messy foods are the most fun.

Have you ever cooked with turmeric?

It's a spice my Mom used when she introduced me to this dish, and I still love how it turns just about everything in the kitchen... yellow! 

Yellow spoon, yellow spills on the counter, yellow stained plate, and a rice that is so rich in color, it might as well be gold... see what I mean?

So they say that psychologically, the color yellow makes us the happiest.
And while I'll admit my favorite color is pink, yellow is a close second.  It's the color I painted my bedroom and wake up to, reminded of sunshine every morning.  The color of sunflowers, baby chicks, daffodils, lemons, Picasso's yellow spot, several favorite songs like Yellow Submarine, Mellow Yellow, this all time favorite...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tarragon Chicken Lettuce Leaf Wraps and Lessons from a Food Blogger- Month 5 #healthyluxemeals


They say, don't ask for what you really want, unless you're prepared to receive it.

And received it, I have.

It kind of snuck up on me, as I was just having a little fun while getting my Drizzles ready for production.  But now, at month 5, with over 50K page views (I know... crazy, and thank you all!) and now averaging over 20K views/month...

I no longer just live, breathe and dream about food, but I think I can now safely say, I'm a Food Blogger...

and I've got a butt dent on my couch to prove it.

And, whether you're a newbie or a seasoned food blogger, here are some tips that I've learned along the way.  Hopefully they'll help keep you motivated, happy, and overflowing with creativity!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

San Francisco Special Breakfast Burritos and a Ton of Tips for Budget #SundaySupper


For some, eating on a budget means pantries lined with ramen noodles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Frosted Flakes for dinner.

But for me, it means eating all the things I love like fresh fruits and roasted vegetables, beautiful meats, artisan cheeses and wine.  Yes, even wine.

No coupon clipping.  No fast or frozen food.  Just smarter shopping, and a lot more of it.

This week's #SundaySupper, hosted by the lovely Lane from  and Pam from  is all about budget meals.  And this one is right up my alley.

So, I cook.  I cook every day.  And I don't do any of that semi-homemade stuff, but homemade beautiful and nutritious meals bought daily from farmers markets and the grocery store.


Yes, daily.  I love to grocery shop, and not only is it a great break from working at home, not to mention what I call therapy (we'll talk about that another time), but it also saves me money.
hink about it.  How many times have you come home with a week's worth of groceries, only to find you're either too tired to cook, or what sounded good four days ago doesn't really fit your mood today?  Perfectly good food, and money down the drain- with likely even more money spent, as you drive away from that restaurant wondering where all your money went.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Great Expectations Ham and Swiss Chicken Roulades with Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce


Ever get the feeling that your reality may never live up to your expectations?

This week I had that feeling.

Perhaps it's because my birthday and my 25th High School Reunion are coming up.
Or maybe it's because I had the most horrific encounter with a spider in all my 42 years, at 2am the other night, as I felt it crawl up (no, make that- aggressively try to attack) my leg... while I was in the bathroom.  Glad I'm a foodie... my Bon Appetit magazine may have just saved my life.
And then to make matters worse, my cable box/DVR died the next morning.

And we all know what that means- months and months of creating the most perfect "scheduled recordings" list... gone.  Plus a trip to the cable store to wait in lines so long they put the DMV during lunch hour, and the Honeybaked Ham store on the day before Easter, to shame. 

Which all led to a day of blogger's block.  And me wondering if I was sillier for heading down this new career path, or for sitting on the couch, curled up in a ball, too scared of spiders...and my life, to let my feet touch the ground.

Feeling defeated, I called my Man.

And after a long drawn out one-way conversation involving rants and complaining and mostly silence on his end... he finally said one word.