What We Ate on Thanksgiving

Here we are, giving thanks for this extreme bounty of food and great times. I’m so lucky to have so much love in my heart. This is the menu I prepared for Thanksgiving day. I hope you enjoy the photos and had a magnificent feast yourselves.

Seasons Greetings :)

Menu prepared by yours truly

Roasted lemon and herb sweet brine turkey
Roasted zucchini, scallion and olive pork stuffing
Braised sausage with red Swiss chard and kale potato gratin
Roasted asparagus with garlic, red pepper flakes and crispy pancetta
Green bean casserole with soaked “buttermilk” fried onion strings
Beef and tart apple dressing with roasted carrot shreds
Homemade cranberry jelly
Roasted shallot cream corn
Bacon and gorgonzola shrimp
Mashed potatoes
Fall aromatics and roasted giblet gravy
Garlic bread sticks
Basil, spinach and green olive tapenade
Arugula and spinach salad with roasted spicy baby bellas, feta cheese, tomatoes and avocado in honey balsamic dressing
Brown sugar and marshmallow candied yams

Additions brought by family members and friends included dips, snacks, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, carrot cupcakes and ham. Some of my dishes weren’t photographed.

Over indulgence to the max. I could probably do with running a hundred miles, but I won’t.

Time to finish my menu for my brother’s 25th birthday party. I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.



A Birthday Italian Feast

Overindulgence! Phew, I need to get back into the yoga studio. But it’s not for nothing, that’s for sure. I just need to work a little harder and I can make up for all this delicious decadence I’ve been subjecting myself to. My dad’s birthday was at the end of August and we decided to have a little Italian celebration with plenty of pasta and lots of love. I guess I still got it because everything was pretty spot on. I love these dishes and I made a couple of things a few different ways because my family is a mesh of different flavors and tastes. My mom, dad, grandma, brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, my niece (thought she didn’t eat) and I all sat down to a great meal. I’m very excited to share it with you.

Spicy Seafood Linguine- Clams, mussels, shrimp and scallops simmered in a white wine, garlic and basil tomato sauce with red pepper flakes

Seafood Linguine

Linguine and Herb Parmesan Meatballs

Antipasto Salad

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta topped with Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella

I absolutely love seafood linguine. My dad is a huge fan of it and I would make it for him when my family would visit me at the restaurant. I made a huge pot of marinara, one of my all time favorite sauces, slow simmered with lots of fresh vegetables and herbs. Seafood linguine is something to master, because the ratio of liquid from your shellfish to the perfect timing of tender shrimp and scallops can be three seconds from disaster. Once you accomplish making it, it’s a perfect crowd pleaser.

We were all definitely full of pasta, wine and tomatoes. We had plenty of meatballs for the next day.

I love you Dad. Happy birthday!



Camping and a Going Away Party

gaviota in

creek to oceanwalking beach and pier





cooking outside

me and miche

My life seems to have evaporated in front of me this last month, but in a very amazing way. I’m so lucky all my friends and family are so amazing and I’ve had such an amazing August and September already. There’s so much coming up and I’m getting ready for so many big moves in life—it’s scary and exciting. My friend is on the same journey, but hers is educational bound. My best friend from high school got into grad school at University of California, Santa Barbara. I’m so proud of her. Since I won’t be seeing her as often, we decided to take a weekend trip together in the great outdoors about 30 miles from where she’ll be attending school at Gaviota State Park. The beach was beautiful. We spent the days in the sand drinking sangria and eating snacks in the evenings. We had campfire meals and were blown away, literally, by the howling wind. So much for camping, but we tried. I had so much fun. The night sky was just gorgeous and the water crashing on the shore was amazing.

steak skewers

foil grilling




sweet and savory


rib eyes



miche eating

me eating

Dinner Saturday night: Togarashi and ginger soy sauce marinated steak skewers with red bell peppers, Steamed soy broccoli, and Grilled corn on the cob. A completely utensil-free meal made on the wood burning campfire.
Breakfast Sunday morning: Scrambled garlic and swiss cheese eggs, grilled turkey sausage, mixed fruit, and French bread toast with Cinnamon and vanilla Mexican hot chocolate made on a outdoor propane stove.
Sangria made with Pinot grigio white peaches, granny smith apples, nectarines, raspberry rum and cranberry vodka mixed.
Dinner: Grilled herb marinated Bone-in Rib eye steaks, Roasted Rosemary fire potatoes, Grilled home grown green and yellow zucchini.
Cooking outdoors on a fire that can’t be controlled, not to mention the howling wind, is pretty intense, but I’d say we still ate very well and had lots of fun with it all. Anyone else been beach camping this year? You should go! It’s really fun to get out there, get dirty and cook up some grub under the stars. Beautiful!

So the next weekend Michelle had asked me if I would be able to cater her going away party for about 20-25 people and of course I told her I would. This is the menu. Everything went over so well and we had so much fun drinking, going in the hot tub and enjoying summer time as it quickly fades away.

Dry ground Mexican chili compound butter smeared grilled corn; Carne asada tacos with smoked paprika and sweet chili; Marinated lime and lemon ginger roasted chicken tacos; Spanish Rice with scallion and roma tomato; Three grilled chilies serrano, jalapeno and pasilla; Taco toppings: lettuce, queso fresco, sweet white onions, and cilantro; Vegetarian chorizo slow cooked homemade re-fried pinto beans, Pico de gallo, Salsa roja with vinegar marinated jalapeno

Good Luck at school Miche. I love you!

As for it being 9/11, I hope with these friendships and loving memories we remember the people that lost their lives and who still believe in our great country.

In gratitude


Birthday celebrations, food, friends and good beets

I love food as a celebration. Large parties, huge spreads of tons of food that have peoples eyes opening wide and mouths salivating and pleasant aromas and sights to only be quieted by the shoveling of food in to mouths. Those are the times I am extremely happy. Life is one big celebration as we know but those days where we can really come together talk about things, people, and places we love and just enjoy the company of those close to us are really something amazing to cherish.

Tonight I did just that.

It was one of my best friends from high school, Michelle’s birthday was last Sunday. She had some mid-terms to finish up so we couldn’t celebrate on her actual birthday but I asked her what she’d like to do, she said nothing which tends to be a growing trend amongst us as we get older, we don’t want to party, we just want to hang out and be mellow. So I said we’re not going to do nothing silly how about I cook for you, she agreed upon request and already my head was thinking about things I wanted to make but haven’t gotten to for a while.

I also informed a good friend of ours, Guy, of the little food party and he said he would join us. I was really excited and happy to have them both over to my place and to be able to cook for them would be really fun. I’ve known Guy since the 6th grade. I’m so grateful to have such amazing friends  who are so supportive in my cooking so I took an early morning yoga class and got on my way.

This is the menu I ended up finishing;

Roasted garlic, basil, and Pinot grigio steamed clams & mussels
Braised Chicken, Cacciatore style severed with creamy manchego & smoked gouda white polenta
Thyme Roasted Red potatoes & asparagus
White Zucchini, Organic Red beet, and Avocado Baby Spring Mix salad with White Balsamic Tangerine Vinaigrette
Pineapple and Strawberry Shortbread Tart with Almond Strawberry Curd (no picture)
White Sangria with fresh pineapple, berries and tangerines

Kinda annoyed I didn’t take a good picture of the salad but after all the work i do taking pictures is hardly the priority, I need a photographer but anyway…

I have to say the salad was the most simple delicious thing. Tangerine and parsley along with lovely subtle white balsamic and extra virgin olive oil you have to try it, I think you’ll love it. The creaminess of avocado and the raw white zucchini marinated in the dressing a little ahead of time really makes for something wonderful but different.

White Zucchini, Organic Red beet, and Avocado Baby Spring Mix salad with White Balsamic Tangerine Vinaigrette

Slice 1 white zucchini which is also called Mexican zucchini, I like this particular kind because it doesn’t taste bitter like Italian zucchini tastes sometimes, into pieces that are long and skinny but pleasant to eat
1 avocado ripe sliced
2 hand fulls of spring mix
1 beet boiled and peeled then sliced into thin circles

Juice of 1 tangerine
about 3 tablespoons white balsamic
extra virgin olive oil to your preference
1/2 teaspoon minced parsley

Dressing needs to be done with your taste in mind, so put it all together and season!

Mix the zucchini sticks with about 1/2 the dressing or enough to coat and let sit for about 15 minutes, it pickles them a little and makes the dressing stick add the avocado to the mixture when ready to serve and  toss together

plate mixed greens and beets arranging as you’d like, then toss with a little more dressing and top with avocado and zucchini

Easy light simple salad.

I hope you enjoy

I’m so tired I think i could sleep all day. I knew i was gonna be tired tomorrow so i put a roast in the slow cooker for tomorrow :) always thinking ahead.

Remember about the Online Bake Sale For Japan

here’s the link to my auction items that I’ll be supporting the cause with!

Twitter and Foodbuzz