Recent Posts

carrot-cake

Healthy Carrot Cupcake with Cream Cheese and Agave Nectar Frosting

It is pretty simple. I adore carrot cake, carrot muffins, pretty much any baked good covered in yummy cream cheese frosting. Growing up, the birthday cake of choice for me and my sisters was almost exclusively- carrot cake. Looking back, I laugh about the contradictions and charm of my family. I am a native Newport […]

garden-birds3

Winter Garden: Wedge Salad with Gorgonzola Dressing

The wedge salad is always a crowd pleaser. It is crispy, satisfying and superb for entertaining or family meals. This salad is a snap…easy to assemble and it looks fabulous plated on a big platter.

chocolate

Marcona Almond Clusters

The last couple of years I usually make some kind of chocolate candy around the holidays to give as hostess gifts or to have for after dinner treats if friends stop by the house. This recipe is a total winner, and so easy to prepare it’s scary! Together, we have gone through a metamorphosis of […]

roberto-teaching

Q & A with Roberto Cortez and Amazing Winter Recipes

Chef, Roberto Cortez www.robertocortez.com was recently back in town before he relocates permanently from Santa Barbara to Berlin (imagine that!). I first got to know Roberto thru his private cooking classes in Santa Barbara. I was inspired by his elaborate inventiveness, knowledge and artistry.

xmas-orn-hand

Calorie Free Baking with the Kids

Everyone has special traditions that mean “Christmas” to them. One I remember fondly from my childhood was the annual event of my mom, my sisters and me, making Christmas ornaments from dough. I have been waiting for my girls to be old enough to bring back this tradition.

tamarillo-and-prociutto

Fall Dinner Menu

We always travel to my family’s house for Thanksgiving, so I’ve never had true ownership of the holiday. Knowing this, I often host a festive dinner right before the Thanksgiving holiday for close friends here in Santa Barbara. No turkey, but fall fare straight from the garden and farmers market, and this year, seasoned with inspiration from our recent trip to Piedmont.

italy-first

Travel: Nine Days in Northern Italy

Northern Italy in November… nothing could be more fun and “ful”filling! Thoughts of white truffles and Barolo danced in my head. Our amazing, fun and hilarious friends, the Robleses, joined us for this most anticipated adventure sans children. Venice, Piedmont, Milan, oh my! It was nine days filled with eating, drinking, laughing, truffle hunting, wine […]

flowers1

Flower Arranging 101

Arranging flowers is therapeutic, a delight to all my senses.  I love to create unique arrangements and bouquets, a trait I affectionately inherited from my mother.  I have memories of my mother coming home from brisk fall walks with sticks and leaves which she would transform into incredible creations on the mantels and tables throughout […]

crackers

Buttermilk Whole Grain Crackers

One surefire way to impress your guests is to serve homemade crackers. Kim and I concocted these in preparation for Donald Link’s visit and they were amazing!