Ladies who lunch

This weekend I had a few friends over for a ladies’ lunch. If you haven’t noticed, I  love to cook for others!  It was a beautiful day and perfect for a BBQ. I grilled up some fish and chicken with some veggies (along with some tasty pears!), made an amazing cabbage and corn salad and served it with a glass of chilled wine. If that’s not a perfect Sunday afternoon, I don’t know what is…:)

 

 

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Birthday Love

My birthday was this weekend and I was excited to invite all my close friends..Not just to celebrate but to show my new backyard that some have not seen yet. I had the party catered by an amazing local Mexican restaurant and we sipped cocktails all evening while catching up.  In the later hours  we lit the outside lights and enjoyed a refreshing California evening with the mountain breeze. I decided I will have 4 birthdays a year.. if it means I get to see all my lovely friends and have a fabulous time with the ones I love in my favorite place.. my home! <3

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Antique Furniture- Making it Your Own

We don’t have to have a fortune to have nice furniture. Buying antiques and making them my own is one of my favorite projects to take on. I wanted to share a couple of great finds of mine and perhaps it will give inspiration to go search for your perfect piece. (I highly recommend thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets).

Unfortunately, I do not have a before image of the chair..However, it did not have the fabric and was covered in chipped paint. I purchased it at a yard sale for $15.00, gave it fresh white paint, bought fabric and trim, stapled the fabric to the chair seat  and added white trim for the finish.  It’s placed in my bedroom and adds a great accent.  Total cost: $35.00.

  My adorable white table that now sits in my back yard was bought at a yard sale for $5!

I gave it a white paint and to achieve that rustic look, I gently brushed some of it off. The hardware on the drawer also had to be changed. Since I am limited on storage space, I use this table outside to store my candle jars, and it adds as nice side table in my outdoor area. Total cost: $20.00

Go out and find your treasure! Then share with me your amazing finds ;-)

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Farmer’s Market

As you may know, I am a huge fan of the Farmer’s market. It’s become such a tradition and part of my weekly routine, that I cannot imagine how I ever lived without it! Sadly, not too many folks take time to check out their local Farmer’s market. And believe me- they are there! I have made such amazing friends through out the years- farmers, grocers and other shoppers. We come together every week and share stories and laughs. The farmer’s market is also a great place to find unique gift ideas (like a jar of fresh honey from a local bee farm). The best part of course, are all the fresh veggies and fruits. You can learn about new seasonal treats and share recipe ideas. I love my friends at the market.. It’s one of the constants in my life that remains and brings me joy. Now go and find the ones in your neighborhood and start making memories! ;-) )

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Creating your mini garden

 

Living in the city sometimes might prevent us from growing our own veggies. Don’t worry, making your own mini garden is quite simple. Before we moved into the house, I had a small space in the back of our condo that I made into my own little garden with flowers and vegetables.

First, pick an area with lots of sun. Clean it well and decide if you will need a planting box or could just lay down soil right away. Pick the best quality soil! Plant your favorite veggies (you can get seeds at your local HomeDepot or any other home department store). Make sure you do your research and find out what grows best in your local climate and what’s appropriate for the current season.

All a garden really needs is sun and love. Watch it grow, and enjoy among friends!

 

This is Desmo, checking to see how the work is coming along.

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Grilled Curry Cauliflower

As I mentioned last week, I have been having a great time outside in my new garden. Our favorite toy is of course our bbq grill. You can truly grill anything! Here is a simple recipe for grilled Curry Cauliflower. It’s so easy and tastes delicious!

Grilled Curry Cauliflower:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

3 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon Spanish paprika

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Combine the spices with cauliflower, heat up the grill place on grill sheet and cover lid, toss , cook for 10-12 mins. Add fresh lemon juice and cilantro and serve.

Enjoy this heathy snack alone or with your favorite grilled poultry or fish!

 

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Changes and my sweet return

Sometimes time decides to go at its own pace and fool us with its deceptive speed. I have not written for so long! I am sorry- I shall blame it on time since I know it can’t defend itself.. So many wonderful and challenging things have happened this year and I am so grateful for it all! The biggest change for us has been our move to a bigger and nicer home! My favorite part? My garden, of course. I have been so inspired by it and have been out, planting, decorating and of course cooking as much as I can! I have had many friends over for lovely lunches and dinners or just lounge around in the sun. I can’t wait to share my latest summer recipes with you! Stay tuned ;-)

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Visiting the Rivas Farms

Enticing fields of peas

   Not too long ago, I got to visit an amazing place called Rivas Farms. Located in Vista, California this farm has been around since 1989. With another two locations in San Marcos, these farmers have been selling their fresh produce for the last 32 years, while starting in the family business.

Blooming cabbage, isn't it a beauty?

Soon enough these will be at the market for everyone to enjoy!

   Every Saturday, as I visit my Farmer’s market, I make sure to stop by Irene’s booth. I stock up on my English peas, fresh strawberries, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchinis and  asparagus. She is my go to for the fresh veggies I use in my recipes and I was so excited to go visit the farm where all the magic happens. Of course when I asked her if I could come by, she didn’t hesitate for a moment. Here are a few pictures from my wonderful day with Irene.

The rooster seemed to be a proud protector of his hens!

Irene's dad tending to his gorgeous strawberries

Adorable tenants of the farm were there to show me around.

 

 

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Red snapper with purple cabbage and asparagus

As you know, we really like to promote healthy veggies for dinner! Going to the Saturday’s Farmer’s market is a great way to get inspirations for recipes. Today, we would like to share this fresh red snapper (from our local fish market) with purple cabbage and asparagus. Enjoy!

Asparagus-

-Trim the ends, wash, dry

- Throw in some sea salt, pepper, drizzle some olive oil

- Heat flat pan on medium high, grill 3-4 mins each side

 Purple Cabbage-

- Teaspoon ginger

- 2 garlic cloves chopped

- Med cabbage sliced

- Sauté ginger, garlic in olive oil, then add the cabbage last.

- Season with salt and pepper for about 7-9 minutes

Red snapper-

-2 fillets-wash pat dry, cut in to pieces

- Marinate it in 2 tablespoon of fish oil, teaspoon of ginger/garlic paste

- Heat pan on medium high, spray it with oil

- Lay fish pieces and grill 5-7 minutes on each side

- Garnish with freash cilantro or any other herbs that you may have. Serve up with cabbage and asparagus.