Easter Brunch

This year Easter falls on my birthday weekend. Besides the usual birthday celebrations, my family will all be celebrating too on Sunday. With an ice cream bunny cake. Yes, I’m still a 5 year old in cake tastes. In preparation for the holiday, I thought it was time to bring out some more Springtime colors. April is always a busy month, but I so enjoy it!

One of my favorite childhood memories is dying Easter eggs at my Grandma’s house (outside, of course). The eggs I grabbed aren’t homemade, but they were almost as cheap as a DIY! And they didn’t require boiling eggs. #win

Do you have any special Easter traditions?

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Getaway to Sonoma

This weekend we flew off to Sonoma for a date weekend. It was a nice treat to travel together to California and drive up to Sonoma. We spent an entire day in the wine country, exploring our way through Pinot Noir country. We opted to fly into San Francisco so I could drive over the Golden Gate bridge. It was my first and second times! The weather was gorgeous both ways, and we really lucked out with traffic. sonoma1

golden gate sunset

We started our getaway to Sonoma at Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. We had some great tapas on their patio and a bottle of wine. After traveling to Sonoma we enjoyed the great service and easy living. On Saturday, we began our day at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we had a great time enjoying the best of their barrels out on the patio.  Continue Reading →

Hatch green chiles

Green chiles are a staple in my in-laws’ house. With a deep history in New Mexico, I always look forward to Pozole season and adding Hatch green chiles. Each region of the US seems to have their thing – Vidalia onions, Maine lobsters, and Hatch green chiles.

The most straight-forward way to use green chiles is roasted and basically like you would use bell peppers. I decided to do a little digging during Central Market’s Hatch Green Chile Festival (aptly named Hatch-a-palooza) last week. I found a couple of great gourmet items that would make it a little easier to add some Hatch flair on a regular weeknight.

Green chile 1

For breakfast, I’ve been making a scrambler with mostly egg whites, onions, peppers, butternut squash, and ground turkey or ground chicken. I then top it with avocado or salsa depending on my mood. I added some actual roasted Hatch green chiles and also some Hatch green chile powder (mine is from Chef Milton, available at Central Market) when I browned the meat. Since I make my breakfast during meal prep, I could really taste the heat by day three!

Another yummy way I added Hatch to my life was with my potatoes. I boiled red potatoes, drained, and added a little butter, truffle salt, and pepper. Then I stir it in the pot to make it a little mushy. I topped it with some non-dairy Hatch sauce and gave it a final stir. What an exciting addition to a very simple side. I paired mine with a Hatch green chile crab cake from Central Market and some peppered bacon-wrapped asparagus. I took the potatoes, asparagus, and grilled chicken (further down) for lunch and caught a few envious eyes – it’s always the bacon!

green chile 4 Shrimp on a salad is one of my go-to dinners. Last summer it was with mango (here is my favorite recipe) and this year it’s a chopped salad with some Walden Farms Chipotle Ranch and Hatch green chile marinated shrimp. I will either grill them on quickly cook them in a skillet after sitting in a simple marinade with Hatch green chiles for about 30 minutes. My marinate is pretty simple with some Old Bay seafood seasoning, olive oil, a little orange if I have one, and some Hatch green chiles.

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Summer Dinner Party Dessert

A couple of weeks ago I was in the mood to bake, but I can’t leave baked goods in my house. They are magic and disappear!

I looked online for a light dessert that would be easy to take to a dinner party. It turned out great and was very easy to throw together. They were even kid approved!summery lemon cake

Using this recipe, I made a one layer lemon sheet cake with a cool whip-based icing. I loved that I could use my 10X15 jelly roll pan (similar) which made it easy to transport. I had most of it on-hand so I altered the recipe slightly, but I think the results were the same. I used a vanilla pudding mix instead of lemon and then added lemon abstract. I made the cake, let it cool, and then iced it just before heading to the party. I garnished with raspberries when I plated them.  Continue Reading →