6 Tips for Hosting a Brunch That’s Stress-Free and Fabulous

In mid-December my husband and I decided to host a brunch in our home.  We had been sick and missed out on several holiday celebrations and wanted to see our friends before the New Year.  We gave less than 7 days notice, so I wasn’t too sure of the turnout, but we had 12 people, including two of the best babies around.  Given that the headcount was larger than I expected, so I had to make some quick improvisations to make sure we had the table space and enough food.  I used a extra table we had and bought a two matching table cloths to make an extra long table and I also tweaked my regular frittata recipe to feed 12-14, see below.  

We served:

  • A fruit plate
  • Spinach salad with cinnamon sugar pecans, dried cranberries, apple and an apple cider vinaigrette,
  • Frittata (recipe below).
  • Cheese grits  I wasn’t sure if this would be a hit because it’s not very “Californian” or light, but there were no leftovers. I used a baked recipe, since my cheese grits recipe is more hands-on and I wanted to be able to hang out with my guests as they arrived instead stirring the grits.
Read Full Post

Review of Urban Accents Santa Fe Mole Sauce Mix

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that many of my recipes are Mexican inspired.  One item that has been really hard for me to find when I go out to eat is gluten-free chicken with mole sauce.  I posted a photo of my finished Chicken Mole dish and someone asked “what is mole?”, well according to Wikipedia:

Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces originally used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside Mexico, it often refers specifically to mole poblano.

I was trying to make something different for dinner and I found a package of Urban Accents Santa Fe Mole in my cabinet, it was the perfect thing.   The sauce was very easy to make and I made some simple white rice and sautéed spinach with pine nuts to go with it.  I must say that I was very surprised with how good the Mole turned out.  My husband and I like things spicy, so often times we find recipes and spice packets to be too bland for us, this one was just right.… Read Full Post

easy black eyed pea recipe

Easy Black Eyed Pea Recipe- Just in Time for New Year’s Day

When I was 9 years old, my mom and I moved to Texas.  That’s where I first learned of the tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day.  Given that we were from California, my mom would make our black eyed peas into a salad with raw veggies and a light dressing.  My husband on the other hand always made his grandfather’s simple and easy black eyed pea recipe with basically 3 major ingredients.   He’s been making this recipe for me for about 14 years now (we just celebrated the 15th anniversary of our first date on December 20, 2016) and I must say that it never disappoints.

If you’re not familiar with the black eyed pea tradition for good luck, here’s a bit of backstory.  According to About Food:

“On New Year’s Day, you’ll find people throughout the South eating black-eyed peas and greens……Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s has been considered good luck for at least 1,500 years.”

Well I think many of us can agree that 2016 was not our favorite year.  Therefore, I think it’s imperative that we do what we can to ensure that 2017 ROCKS!… Read Full Post

holiday gift guide

Holiday Gift Guide for the Hard to Buy for People on Your List

Here is my holiday gift guide for the hard to buy for person or people on your list.  We all have that person on our list that essentially has everything they need/ want or a family member that lives far away so you don’t know exactly what to get them. Here are some of my favorite places to shop, because I have way too many hard to buy for people on my list.
  1. For those recipients that love fruit you can always do a fruit of the month club, but my particular favorite fruit this time of year are navel oranges from is Pearson Ranch. When I used to live in New York City I found the winter months to be the most difficult time for me, one problem was the fact that I could never find great fruit. I started doing some online research and I came across Pearson Ranch. I love their California navel oranges.

    navel oranges
    Pearson Ranch Navel Oranges

  2. Another website that I like to find gifts is the MOMA store.  They have a great selection of fun deals under $50.  These items are very high design, high concept, so they will always have great impact.  Whether it’s a large gift or stocking stuffer, these gifts will not disappoint.  
Read Full Post