Happy Summer!

Summer Whisk and Cleaver

Summer’s here, and we’re taking full advantage of every second … body boarding at the beach, paddle boarding at the lagoon, grilling sizzling steaks and fresh fish, and hanging out with family and friends. So I won’t miss a minute of the fun, I’m taking a break from the blog, but I’ll be back with a Labor Day menu that’s sure to please. Enjoy your summer!


Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Whisk and Cleaver 1

Chimichurri sauce is one of the easiest ways to add some zing to grilled meats, from steaks to chicken to fish. Chimichurri sauce whips up in a flash – even faster if you’re using a food processor. This recipe, adapted from Williams-Sonoma, uses white wine vinegar, but if your pantry is stocked with red wine vinegar use that instead. To add a touch of California sweetness, I used basil instead of oregano. And to make this recipe just a hint lighter, I reduced the olive oil by a third. But whether you use my version or the original, you won’t be disappointed.
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The Carlsbad Fires

carlsbadfire 4

Lives are changed, every day. Weddings, funerals, first-place soccer championships … these are just a few of the life events that we expect and, in some cases, anticipate. But a nearby fire was the last thing I expected on Wednesday after spending the morning at a volunteer tea at school. Instead of clear blue skies and 92 degree weather, I, along with thousands of others in my community, saw smoke; what you see above is the fire right after it started. Scary. And yet I couldn’t smell the smoke, and so somehow I figured it was far enough away to not damage our school or our home.
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Gluten Free is a Messy Way of Life


To be gluten-free is to be messy. There are no graham crackers to hold our s’mores, no hamburger buns at In-N-Out to cradle our burgers. At least for my grandmother’s specialty, strawberry shortcake, there is, finally, gluten-free Bisquick to bring home that taste of childhood. In general, however, instead of politely dressed salads we have components, allowing others to indulge in croutons and dressings with soy while we shake homemade vinaigrette out of small containers that inevitably leak all over the gluten-free soy packets in our handbags.
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Split Pea Soup with Millet

Gluten free split pea soup with millet

Super Bowl Sunday is a big food day for my family. To be honest, I approach it with the same exhurberance as I do Thanksgiving and Christmas. Think an afternoon of snacking followed by a big Sunday dinner. Yesterday that meant lots of locally made chips, salsa and guacamole; salty mixed nuts and (God bless my husband, the shopper) my absolute favorite Lay’s potato chips! Top off an afternoon of snacking with a gorgeous Pittsburg-style filet, red smashed potatoes and steamed peas, and that’s a lot of food.

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Happy New Year

happy new year at the beach

Happy New Year! Do you feel refreshed (notice how I’m asking this question the day after the day after New Year’s Eve!)? I slept like a log last night, which if you know me and my insomnia, is a gift in itself. We had one of the funniest – laughing out loud like I haven’t in ages! – New Year’s Eves ever and some amazing food, courtesy of my friend Carla and her cassoulet, a labor of love and a love letter to meat.

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Cleaning House

recharge refresh renew

For me, the year starts when the school year starts. I love fall and all the holidays that follow, and I love thinking of summer as the end of the year, with its celebratory BBQ’s, beach picnics and road trips.

So it’s only natural that I view fall as my “spring cleaning” time, and for the next 30 days, I’m planning to sweep through my entire house. I will clean, organize, recycle and donate everything in my path.

Essentially, I’ll assess each item in my house in my attempt to find a place for everything and everything in its place.

To that end, I’m taking a break from the blog, so I can focus my energies on my spring/fall cleaning project. What would you do if you decided to dedicate 30 days to a project?