Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mini Fiesta

Yay, Emily! My penpal had her quesadilla party this weekend. Back when we did our food exchange my challenge to her was to host a quesadilla party. I gave her my favorite salsa recipe to try, and she ended up using my spinach quesadilla recipe and pumpkin quesadilla recipe too. See her site with all the details, plus her strawberry salsa and chicken veggie quesadillas. Looks like a fun time!

I figured it was time for me to share my salsa recipe. It's the red salsa in the middle of the picture above. (Thanks for the picture, Emily!) It's super easy to make since you can throw everything into a food processor mostly unchopped. The one thing I would be sure to chop is the jalapeƱo so that you don't end up with large pieces in your salsa. I also think it tastes better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to blend.


Homemade Salsa
  • 1 1/2 medium jalapeƱos (or more to taste), chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed well (some stems are OK ~ they have flavor too!)
  • 1/2 small onion (red onion looks the best!)
  • 1 can Mexican recipe stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can regular stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the salsa reaches your desired chunkiness.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Go Aunt B!

Now that all the parties have ended, reality is setting in. Unfortunately reality isn't so great at the moment. My aunt has been diagnosed with breast cancer and she goes to surgery this afternoon. We've lost a lot of family members to cancer over the years, so we're all trying hard not to overreact. Afterall, the doctors did catch the cancer early. We hope.

In any event, I'll be spending the afternoon and evening at the hospital. I just pumped myself up with some hot, nourishing oatmeal. I wish I was just meeting my aunt for lunch instead. Still, my aunt has been so brave. The way she looks at it, it's not as bad as losing an arm. Thank goodness us humans have the ability to put some perspective on things. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Party Report

Three words: so. much. fun.

It's been an exciting few days, and I hope to finally catch up on sleep soon. Around my house we've had a graduation, parties, more parties, a birthday, and a bike race. It's been super fun, and I can't wait to share more. For now, let me share the party menu from Saturday. Notice my toddler waiting patiently for the first guests to walk to the door. The table was set just in time!


A Vegetarian Open House
Spinach strata

Artichoke crustless quiche
Rosemary potato frittata
Pesto pasta salad
Peanut butter & jelly for the kids
Caesar salad
Cheese & crackers
Hummus with pita chips
Salted nuts
Chocolate covered nuts
Animal crackers
An assortment of drinks


This menu worked out really well since only the 3 egg dishes were at all labor intensive. I assembled them the morning before the party, and then I only had to bake them the morning of. They turned out great, and my house smelled appropriately scrumptious when guests started to arrive.

I confess that I snapped exactly zero pictures as I played hostess, but it was a really great time. I bought the pasta salad so I won't be able to share the recipe for that dish, but I'll share the egg recipes soon. They were the biggest hit anyway!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I just finished ALL of my last law school projects last night. I honestly don't know what to do with myself. Oh wait. . .maybe I'll plan a party! For 30 people! And host it in two days! Can it be done? We'll see.

In the meantime, here's a super easy party recipe for you. It was part of our WILD party a couple of weekends ago. For best results, make this topping in advance and keep in the fridge so the flavors can blend together. The batch I made was garlicky and yummy!


Easy Tomato Bruschetta
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced (or any other herb you prefer ~improvise!)

Mix together all the ingredients. Cover and let the flavors blend in the fridge for an hour or more. Use on toasts or as a sauce or garnish for pasta or veggies. Top with Parmesan or other cheese.


Now a question for you: what's your favorite party food?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Plate of Sunshine

A few weekends ago I made these sunshine-y pancakes. This is the kind of recipe I love ~ a few simple ingredients that turn into something wonderful. These are slightly sweet and a bit spicy.

While I don't often use mixes for things, I always like the idea of quick and easy breakfasts. You just can't beat needing only 3 ingredients!

These are very moist and freeze well. Do watch out, since they seem to stick more than most pancakes. I re-oiled the pan several times.


Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 3 cups pancake mix (I used Krusteaz buttermilk)
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 1/3 cups water (adjust the water if the consistency seems off since the moisture from the pumpkin may vary)

Whisk the ingredients together and drop onto a skillet. Cook on both sides, and you're done!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We Watched Wild

We ended last weekend's WILD party with a little entertainment. Have you heard that the Sacramento Zoo has a new baby Sumatran Tiger? Have a look at this wild of my cats got so excited over this she almost attacked the computer!

And, in honor of Mother's Day, here's one more. It's SO sweet!

For more zoo animal news (and more videos!) visit the Sacramento Zoo blog.

Friday, May 7, 2010

We Ate Wild

I know my posts have been a bit slow in coming lately. I admit it ~ it's been a very rough week!

Back to a lighter topic ~ our WILD party last weekend! Per Emily's suggestion, I used many of the contents of her food exchange box for our WILD meal. We decided to eat at our coffee table ~ a WILD idea, I know!

First I made a homemade tomato bruschetta topping for the Wasa multigrain crackers she sent. This worked really well since these crackers are so thick and could absorb all the juice from the tomatoes. And the recipe is a keeper ~ will post soon!

Then I put together a salad with the garlic vinaegrette. These guys were keeping little fingers from stealing too many cucumbers!

I cooked up some farfalle pasta, accompanied by Emily's pesto. I topped it with shredded Parmesan and pine nuts.

I'd say this meal made for a very good-looking plate!

Have a look at our WILD dessert ~ espresso chocolate.

Thanks, Emily!

Monday, May 3, 2010

We Got Wild

You may remember that a few weeks ago I received a mysterious box in the mail. The box came all the way from my new penpal in Tennessee, and it was loaded up with tasty surprises. As part of our food exchange we gave each other a "challenge." Emily's challenge to me was to "Get WILD in the Kitchen," and she sent me lots of goodies to get me started. She planned a four-course Italian dinner for me, and she even sent me these zebra print napkins to set the tone.

I have to say that this challenge was LOADS of fun! As I started the pasta, my toddler and hubby began assembling these masks:

I found these mask printouts online ~ aren't they cute?

I just wish I could have captured all the animal sounds they inspired around here. This house really DID get wild!

I'll share more about our WILD evening soon. . .

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Any guess?

Today these items are sitting in my kitchen. I have a little study break project planned for later today. Any guess what I'm up to? I'll share soon!
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