May 2014 archive

pizza and the T&T salad


Tonight we had a lovely dinner with our two dear friends, Todd and Trista. Todd is one of the most gracious people you will ever meet and his wife Trista is as funny as he is gracious. Together, they are the perfect pair. Her eye for detail and color made this such a beautiful meal to capture.


Say goodbye to pizza sauce in a jar. This stuff is delicious and so easy to make. Just as the picture shows, a few simple ingredients makes this about the best pizza sauce you have ever had.


The T&T… The Todd & Trista salad… inspired by these two… you have something peppery, sweet, crunchy, salty and perfectly smooth. Delicious.



pizza sauce

1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste (Costco sells these little cans of organic paste, great price and you can use the tomato paste in so many different recipes)
6 ounces of warm water (I use the tomato paste can to measure the water… then mix together with paste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons of Romano or Parmesan cheese (Trader Joes has a blend for only 2.49. Use the extra on the pizza!)
2 tablespoons of honey (less if you do not prefer a sauce on the sweeter side)
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste


Mix all together. Let sit for at least a half hour. A few side notes… I like to use the extra sauce to dip the crust in (with a little extra Olive Oil of course)… but you can even take a step further and triple this recipe, freezing some for future meals. It freezes great and maybe taste even better because all the flavors have been married longer.

Also – must give credit where credit is due. This recipe has been slightly altered from a recipe I found on Please check there for the original and other good ideas!




1/3 cup avocado oil
1 juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar (lightly packed)
salt and pepper to taste

dried cranberries
shaved red onion
sunflower seeds
romano cheese


Mix ingredients together for salad dressing (altering as your taste buds demand)
Combine salad ingredients and be sure to toss with dressing before serving… I swear it taste better that way.


pecan crusted halibut


Rob and I had a wonderful weekend with my folks. They are the kind of people anyone would be grateful to know. Generous, thoughtful, sincere and down right funny. Most of our visits revolve around food. Which we love. Often we hit up some of our favorite restaurants but this weekend my mom took me under her wings and taught me how to make her famous, pecan crusted halibut and with just a bit of prep, this fish is restaurant worthy.



The crust: pecans, panko, lemon rind & parmesan cheese.


Everything cooks better with butter. My mom was a bit more generous with the butter than I would have been, but I must confess, it was perfect.



1 cup panko
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 lemon, all the zest
1/2 cup pecans
1 egg, beaten
3-4 tablespoons butter
4 halibut filets


Combine the panko, cheese, lemon zest and pecans. Set aside in a shallow dish.
Beat the egg and place in a shallow dish.
Dry the halibut off and dredge through the egg then coat well with the pecan mixture.
Cook on medium heat in butter, turning once. About 6 minutes on each side.


A few side notes: I was surprised by the patience it took to cook the fish. The key is to keep your pan from becoming too hot. You want to allow each side of the fish to come to a nice golden brown, turning only once so that the fish does not fall apart. I should mention, the one piece I tried to do without my moms help was the only piece that ended up in three pieces rather than one nice filet. While this dish is not difficult to make, it does take a little finesse. Or perhaps, just patience. In any case, the outcome is mouth watering so don’t sweat it if the presentation is a little less than perfect.

We served our halibut with a nice light salad and a few small potatoes.



I love the idea of breakfast in bed, more than the reality of it. The last time I had breakfast in bed, the breakfast was actually in my bed. Not worth it. Romantic as it may be, breakfast at the table always works a bit better for me. With that said, Rob and I do love to act like a “Tuesday” is a “Saturday” from time to time. It is refreshing to interrupt the daily flow of work, laundry and bills and just “celebrate the day”. Waffles makes an ordinary day special, something about the crisp outer layer and light and fluffy inside. Add whip cream and you feel like your on vacation.



2 eggs beaten
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Beat the eggs.
Add all other ingredients. Mix well.
Pour into hot waffle iron.


Confession: I put all my ingredients in the vita mix, turn the sucker on and wala. Your batter is complete. Just an idea.

Note: If you prefer to make these less traditional and a bit healthier, you can use gluten free flour or whole wheat flour. Almond/soy/hemp milk for cows milk, applesauce for oil and agave to replace brown sugar. I have tried them both ways. To be frank… healthy version = limp waffles… however, the flavor is awesome. So if you are going for presentation and the traditional crispness of a waffle you may just need to chalk it up to a delicious breakfast and feel no guilt… but if your not trying to impress, try the alternative. They are still tasty!

egg tacos


Egg tacos. True to their name, they are eggs in corn tortillas. Great for breakfast or lunch and inexpensive too! Incredibly easy to make, fast and healthy! Hope you enjoy



4 eggs scrambled with salt, pepper and a dash of chili powder
1/8 red onion, thinly sliced (I use a mandolin for slicing all my veggies, it cuts time in half and makes them all the same thinness. Definitely worth using!)
1/8 red, orange or yellow bell pepper
1 Tablespoon corn salsa (trader joes)
1 Tablespoon of shredded chedder cheese (optional)
Sprinkle fresh cilantro


Scramble the eggs over low heat.
Soften the corn tortillas by placing them directly on your stove top until desired crispness.
Sprinkle the cheese across the warm tortillas, add eggs and any desired toppings.


Serves 4
Note: I make these all the time in a matter of minutes, some days I don’t feel like taking the extra two minutes to slice veggies so I just throw some salsa on top and call it a day. They are just as tasty that way. Make it how you like it. On the weekends I really go crazy and plop a mound of sour cream on top. Extra delicious.

breakfast bowls


This delicious bowl was inspired eight months ago when Rob and I honeymooned to Thailand. What a fabulous country. I think about that trip on a regular basis, usually with a smirk on my face as I recall the amazing memories we made. As we traveled Thailand, every day looked so different full of new adventure and plenty of stories however one thing remained the same. Our breakfast bowls. It was our most favorite way to start the day. The only difference there… the fruit was a bit more tropical…dragon fruit, papaya, mango, pineapple (and I should mention, they did not have granola so we creatively used “All Bran” cereal… while it helped keep us regular, we recommend granola whenever granola can be found). When we got home the tropical fruits seemed to be a bit more expensive so we settled for the berry family. However you choose to make this bowl, have fun & make it your own.



plain yogurt
splash vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon agave, maple syrup or honey (or to desired sweetness)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon chia seed
1/4 cup fresh strawberries
1/4 cup fresh blueberries (or desired fruit)


Mix yogurt with extract and sweetener to desired taste.
Top with your choice of toppings.
Add granola for a hearty bowl.


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