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Holiday, Recipes

Valentines Day Dinner Menu

February 8, 2016

Some people hate Valentines Day.  I can see why they might since it is a very commercialized holiday, but really every holiday is now and it doesn’t have to be about your bf/gf (or lack thereof), you can celebrate Galentines Day with your friends or make treats for family members or co-workers. I think it’s fun to celebrate love (even though it should be done every day!) and I like hearts and the color pink so the decor is right up my alley.

The history of Valentines Day is quite interesting as no one really knows who St. Valentine was. There are three recognized saints in the Catholic church named Valentine or Valentinus, all of them were martyred. One legend says Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II decided that single males would be better soldiers if they were not married with families so he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine believed this was an injustice so he defied Claudius’s  order and married young lovers in secret. When Claudius discovered this, he had Valentine be put to death.

There are other legends that always involve an aspect of romance. By the Middles Ages, stories like this made Valentine one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Anyways, here is a menu that might kick your V-day up a notch:

First Course:  Green Salad with Pink Goat Cheese Hearts by Joy the Baker


Main Course: Gnocchi Mac and Cheese or for seafood lovers, this Creamy Pesto Pasta with Garlic Butter Shrimp is calling my name!

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese -- rich and creamy, easy to make, and unbelievably good | gimmesomeoven.comCreamy Pesto Pasta with Garlic Butter Shrimp |

Dessert: for the health nuts, try this cute heart fruit salad and for the gluttons (AKA me), Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies will be sure to delight (add a pink cream cheese frosting for extra decor and sugar coma)


Also, if you start with this breakfast, you will definitely have a great day!


Holiday, Recipes

Fourth of July Dessert Recipes

June 30, 2015

4th 2015

I love Fourth of July because I like summer, beaches and fireworks. I always try to make a special treat too, last year I made a huge peach pie. I haven’t made up my mind on what to make this year! Anyways I wanted to maybe help you make up your mind so I put together a list of treats that I found on some great blogs.

S’mores from scratch (except the chocolate!):

Make your own Graham Crackers!

kissingcrust graham crackers

Here’s how to make basic marshmallows

Or go wild and make flavored marshmallows (from beer to earl grey flavored!)

Also, be sure to check out this list of drool-worthy s’mores recipes by NoBiggie.

Patriotic Recipes:

Mm this patriotic vanilla sponge cake looks dreamy!

Patriotic Vanilla Cream Sponge Cake - Erren's Kitchen

This American cookie flag cake would be fun to make!

American Flag Cookie Cake #recipe

These would take some work but are well worth it! What’s more American then a burger and fries?

Burger Bite

Fruity fourth recipes:

This mango tart is beautiful! And it’s  gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, Paleo, and soy-free.

This Mango Tart uses fresh, ripe mangos and coconut cream to make a delicious dessert that's gluten-free, Paleo friendly, refined sugar-free, and vegan! The recipe includes step by step photos for how to make a beautiful mango flower.

How cute would this fruit barbecue look at your 4th of July party?

Food Art DIY – Watermelon Barbecue Grill 3

Of course, what is 4th of July without pie? Try this peach-blueberry pie or my favorite apple pie & crust recipe! If your are new to pies or want to perfect your lattice technique, click here to see how Gimme Some Oven does it!

A classic lattice-topped homemade blueberry peach pie bursting with juicy flavor. You will love this pie crust too! @sallybakeblog

Healthier  Recipes:

These pretty chocolate-dipped watermelon pops.

Red, White & Blue Chocolate Watermelon Popsicles | You need these for July 4th! ( @marlameridith )

This pretty tart is made of dates, cashews and greek yogurt!

Healthy Greek Yogurt Fruit Tart-- gluten free and ready in less than 30 minutes!

If you are in a hurry this is an easy, cute dessert to make!

Easy Flag Fruit Dessert - Family Fresh Meals ---

Now that you have read the post, what do you think I should make out of these options? What are you going to make?


Eating, Holiday

Father Day + Zucchini Fritters Recipe

June 25, 2015

For Father’s Day my pops came up to visit so we could go to brunch and a Mariner’s game! We started off walking to Capitol Hill to a restaurant called Plum Bistro. It’s vegan and organic. Dad accidentally went there a couple weekends ago with his buddy and he loved and I really wanted to try it so we decided t go there for brunch.

The inside is really cute and rustic/modern. There are only about 8 or 9 table and a bar area so it is a very small restaurant. They only do reservations for 6 or more but we sat at the bar with no waiting.

plum bistro fathers day

The brunch  menu:

plum bistro 2

You can see how close we are to the kitchen (literally right in front of us) in this photo. Also I love that they serve water with cucumber and orange slices!

plum bistro bar

The wee little kitchen.

plum bistro bar view

I got the breakfast slam special which consists of (all vegan): two pancakes w/cinnamon butter, sausage, tofu scramble (so good!) and some sweet potato/potato hash. This filled me up big time, I was stuffed! It was all delicious and I can’t wait to return!

plum bistro slam

Dad got the veggie slam which has: cheesy potato cakes, roasted portobello, sauteed spinach, grilled asparagus and an English muffin with pesto. He got this when he came here before too so I know it’s a winner!

plum bistro veggie slam

With our bellies full, we walked around the hill and then to the Mariner’s game! Last Father’s Day I got ticket too but I unknowingly chose horrible seats that were on hard bleachers, under the scoreboard and we had oily smoke from the funnel cake stand wafting around us the whole time! My bad. This year I stepped it up and got terrace club seats in row 3! I like to redeem myself and dad was quite pleasantly  surprised! The seats had padding, we had great views and it was beautiful outside. I also got him a new mariner’s hat to wear! He also got a Mariner’s apron as the game giveaway, last year was a barbecue spatula!

mariners father day dad

He really is the best dad a girl could ask for 🙂

mariners fathers day game dad and kyla

The game was a long one! Each inning went very slowly and a ton of pitches were thrown. I do like watching baseball now that I know most of the rules so we didn’t mind staying until it ended. Sadly, the Mariners lost to the Houston Astros.

mariners 2

The guy in front of us had two baskets of garlic fries for himself! They looked good but we were still stuffed from brunch.

mariners 3

After the game we watched the last 30 minutes or so of the PGA golf tournament that took place just South of us at Chambers Bay in Tacoma! Man that course looked bad ha ha all the grass was yellow. I’m glad an American won. Then Dad took me to Trader Joes for some grocery shopping since I don’t get to buy much there without a car. It was so nice to be driven to the grocery store! I took this pic in the car, beeeautiful isn’t it?

seattle sunsets


Holiday, Recipes

Mother’s Day Crafts & Recipes

May 8, 2015


Mothers_Day_Brunch_In-BedHealthy Greek Yogurt Fruit Tart-- gluten free and ready in less than 30 minutes!Foolproof Eggs Benedict


These cute free printable gift tags —  A Joyful Riot

These pretty floral printable recipe cards — Boxwood Avenue

This floral set of printable menus, cards and envelopes — Lia Griffith 

These DIY tile photo coasters — PopSugar


A Healthy Mother’s Day Brunch

Drink: Start everyone off with this yummy green smoothie — Zoom  Yummy

Sweet: Munch on this yummy date-based Greek yogurt fruit tart — Sally’s Baking Addiction

Savory: This Potato Broccolini Frittata looks delightful! — Smitten Kitchen

Fun: Go wild with some buckwheat crepes, fillings can range from      sweet (Nutella-banana-strawberry?) to savory (eggs/cheese/lentils!) —   David Lebovitz

Meat-y: For the meat-eaters, Lean Turkey Apple & Maple Sausage  Breakfast Patties — Ambitious Kitchen (she has the best muffin recipes too!)


A Not-So Healthy Mother’s Day Brunch

Drink: For the alcohol-lovers try this Strawberry Gin Smash Cocktail or this yummy Rhubarb Basil Cocktail The Kitchn

Sweet: These Strawberry-Sour Cream Scones with Brown Sugar Crumble have me drooling, surely your mom will have the same reaction! — The Kitchn

Savory: This foolproof Eggs Benedict recipe should do the job! — Serious Eats or there is always Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs with some good bread to fall back on.

Fun: This Overnight Blueberry French Toast looks divine (cream cheese included!) — Cooking Classy

Meat-y: These adorable and easy bacon & egg toast cups! — The Noshery


humor quotes | want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends ...


Holiday, Travel

WIAW: Munching in Maui Part One

January 14, 2015


Hello! As you can tell from my post title, I have recently been munching in Maui (more like steady grazing!). My dad and I escaped on NYE for a week on the beautiful island. I wish I said we went snorkeling, paddle boarding and other active excursions but basically we just ate, ate and ate some more. That’s definitely not a bad thing, it was so fun and gorgeous and neither my dad nor I had been to Maui before (the Big Island and Oahu but not Maui!).

I have a TON of pictures so this is part one of  two or three different posts. This Friday evening I will do part two, so check back then! We basically completed a food tour of Maui and stayed in FIVE different places in one week. So if you are planning to go to Maui or wish to go in the future, these  posts will certainly offer some insight since I tried to go to the most recommended places!

On our eating Tour De Maui, let us start on the plane. One thing you should know about my dad, he has a wonderful and wily quality of getting/learning things that most people don’t. It’s hard to describe but mostly he just loves to talk to people. We joke that whoever sits next to him on planes ends up telling him their life story somehow and vice versa (which is true!). For example, the reason I study abroad in Italy in high school is because my dad talked to some lady on a plane ride, learned the name of a little-known study abroad program, helped me apply and boom, off to Italy for a year I went!

Soo…although my dad had some first-class vouchers because he flies a lot for work but I did not. He asked around and acquired some for me so that I wasn’t in the back while he lived it up first-class. What a lucky daughter I am! The food was actually surprising good, I enjoyed the salad, shrimp and actually really liked the passion fruit-ginger brulee,  even though it was more of a pudding really.

 first class menu seattle to mauifirst class saladfirst class dessert

We were on the plane for Seattle New Year’s but got to Maui around 10:30pm for their New Years. Instead of throwing on a glittery dress and hitting the town, we rented a car and drove to our accommodations, which unbeknownst to us is incredibly hard to find in the dark for lost tourists! By the time we scrambled into our a-frame, bare-bones beach cabin we were both totally pooped and ready to hit the sack (literally- our sleeping bags!). So we plopped on our cots, I zippered up my sleeping bag to my neck (in defense of any wandering insects) and we dozed off to the sounds of fireworks.

Cheap Cabins in MauiBeach Cabin in Maui

A-Frame Cabin  in Maui

Plenty of room for two and a solid cheap option for Maui! There is a bathroom with showers and a communal kitchen on the property as well. It’s called Camp Olowalu, only about 20-30 minutes from the airport.

A-frame 2

Right out the back door is the beach!

a-frame front door

The cabin has screened windows as well which allows for a good view!

a-frame view a-frame view 2

 The next day, we rose early and driven by hunger we headed into the lovely town of Lahaina in West Maui.

Lahaina, Maui Front Street

Lahaina, Maui

 Unfortunately, my phone ran out of battery and I didn’t get a picture of our first breakfast! It was early and we had no idea where anything is in Lahaina so we asked around and ended up at The Sunrise Cafe. Dad and I share a breakfast burrito and a half papaya with granola and fruit and a fruit smoothie. The burrito had too much rice but the papaya and smoothie were good! Also, the waitresses had a rather unprofessional argument in front of us after one (very nice waitress) accidentally spilled a smoothie and the other one got really mad at her.

ululanis shaved ice, MauiUlulani's Maui Menu   ululani's shaved ice kyla

 At Ululani’s We both got micro (smallest size!) shaved ice with haupia (coconut pudding) on the bottom. I got the coconut, mango, pineapple one. It was really good but obviously really sweet! The flavors are delicious and the haupia was so thick, sweet that it had me wishing for more plain ice! One note on this place though, it does take a few minutes for them to shape the ice and prepare each one so the line can take a while but the employees are incredibly nice and it’s worth the wait!

Ululani's Shaved Ice flavors Maui

ululani's shaved ice coconut mango and pineapple

 Dad and I had a bit of fun with my panorama feature! Unfortunately he was amputated in the process.

silly Lahaina pic

After exploring Lahaina for a while, I really wanted to hit the beach so we headed a little up the road to Ka’anapali Beach. There are three exits you can take for this long slice of heaven, we took the second one that has beach parking next to The Westin. If you’re looking for the stereotypical long white sand beach (more like yellow) with acqua-colored water then this is it. There are lots of tourists (like me!) but it’s really really nice and has lots of room to play.

The first thing I did is mark my territory haha, well mine and Greg’s. He was actually on this beach last January with his family!

love kaanapali beach

The morning started off clear and sunny but as expected (dad and I stalk the weather channel), it started to get windy and cloudy in the afternoon. Nooooooo! I didn’t drag my vitamin D deficient pale body from Seattle to Hawaii for this! Fortunately you can still have tons of fun in a cloudy Maui, tossing a football around and eating until you pass out.

Kaanapali beach The westin

Some were brave enough to swim in the turbulent waves but not I. It was actually a bit chilly!

beach 3

Day One came to a close, but not before we picked up some papaya’s for snacking!

Papaya, Maui

 There is SOOOOOO much more to come so please do check back this Friday evening for more!

Ever been to Maui or Hawaii? What do you suggest or what would you like to do there?

What’s your favorite tropical fruit? I like papayas and mangoes the best, and pineapples…and lilikoi (fancy way of saying passion fruit!)!

Where were you when the clock turned to midnight on NYE?

Thanks for reading everyone and for hosting WIAW Jenn! Don’t forget to check back on Friday for “Maui Part Two”!!



WIAW: Happy New Year!

December 31, 2014



Happy New Year everyone! I have some catching up to do so this post will cover Christmas and it’s aftermath. I love the holiday season and I’m sad it’s almost over but I am also looking forward to a new year. This year we got a small tree, “small” meaning around 6 foot of course! Haha dad and I like to go big, or go home. One year our tree was over 14 feet tall (Thank goodness for tall ceilings)!

xmas tree dadsChristmas Tree 2014

Mom’s beautiful Christmas wreath:


 Gryphon and I got a LOT of cuddle time. Yes, those are dog pajamas!

gryph and I

On Christmas Eve, mom and I got started baking some of our classic favorites: the cookie with many names, jam thumbprints, and cheesy jalapeno bread.

mexican wedding cookies

cookie plate

jalapeno cheese bread

We also took the pups for a few walks, the dual leash doesn’t work out so well. Gryphon is too slow and Molly is too fast!

two dogs, one leash BETTER

Christmas morning came and went, Santa visited me! In my stocking I found chocolate, pistachios, chapsticks, floss and some other goodies. I get floss in my stocking a lot but I really like it because I never run out! Dad (and santa) got me some awesome presents like a coconut, new sheets, a space heater and a HDTV antenna for my apartment.  Mom got me an awesome nutritional healing book, necklace and a beautiful recipe box (below) that comes with recipe card and dividers, I can’t wait to fill it! What did you get for Christmas?



Gryphon was pooped after all the excitement.


Dad and I got our sugar-filled bodies up and went for a run the next day…in the pouring rain! We got 3 miles done and then stopped at a new juice bar and got smoothies and juice.

green smoothie

Dad surprised me with my favorite sandwich from our co-op, it’s a tempeh BLT!

fav sandwich

Later we stopped at Hess German Bakery and Deli in Lakewood. They have giant homemade pretzels so we got one with some amazing fresh mustard.

dad and pretzel

giant pretzel 1

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it, I have never seen a bigger pretzel, have you?



Afterwards, we headed to Costco for my first ever Costco run. I love grocery shopping and luckily my dad does too! My haul included: new item Kodiak Cakes Protein Pancake/Waffle mix (so excited to try this!), dried blueberries, Cetaphil lotion, kale and quinoa packs, Mary Gone Crackers crackers, almond milk, oats, veggie burgers,  Yummy Earth fruit snacks and some Calvin Klein pants.

costco haul

Gryphon approves of all groceries, I can never get enough of this cutie!

cutie pie Gryphon BETTER

Back at my apartment, I made my new veggie burgers and quinoa/kale mix with some homemade pesto stirred in.

burger and quinoa

…And snacked on some peppermint dark chocolate from my stocking

chocolate peppermint

…And some Fran’s chocolates my boss gave me…Ugh I need sugar detox!

chocolates BETTER

Well that’s it! Today at 5:30pm I am flying to Maui for a week! It’s cheaper to fly on holidays and we’ll be in Hawaii by around 10:30pm tonight so I’m pretty sure I’ll be at a campground for New Years. I am so excited, I’ve been to the Big Island and Oahu but never Maui. We’re camping the first two nights and then staying at the Grand Waimea Waldorf Astoria Resort for two nights and then camping some more. Unfortunately, it looks like it might rain a lot but I’m hoping to get a little much needed sun.

If you have been to Maui, any recommendations on things to see, eat and do?

What are you doing for New Years?

Thanks for reading and thanks for hosting Jenn! Check back later this week for some Maui pictures, and HAPPY NEW  YEAR!


Holiday, Travel

WIAW: Port Townsend Weekend

December 24, 2014


 Hello! Last weekend my dad and I headed up to Port Townsend, WA to visit my grandma and grandpa. Since I have only eaten oatmeal today, I figured these pictures would be more interesting then a sloppy bowl of oats 😉

So, we hopped on a ferry to Bainbridge and got a good look at the pretty Ferris wheel color of the night!

Seattle Ferris wheel

It was super windy and rainy in Pt Townsend!

Port Townsend, WA

We were immediately greeted by this handsome, charming fellow:


And some cheesy cauliflower mac and cheese but it was called some different name, maybe it is French? Ann I know your reading this!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

mac and cheese 2

And some truffles too, made with coconut oil in Switzerland and distributed in SF! The company is called Alter Eco.

Alter Eco Truffles

My granny is German and her mom gave her some of these yummy German spice cookies for Christmas.

german cookies imported

german cookies

No one wraps a gift better than granny! She knitted me an amazing sweater for Christmas (I couldn’t wait to open it!). I’ll post a picture when I get a good one!

Beautiful xmas wrapping

We headed to yoga the next morning and man it felt good! The downside to going to my Gold’s Gym is that there are no classes. I miss having free classes to go to at the gym! I sliced up a grapefruit afterwards for a pick-me-up.


I love how the water looks on that windy Pt Townsend day!

pt townsend, wa water pt townsend storm port townsend waves

For lunch we went to Hillbottom Pie in downtown Pt Townsend. I can’t recommend it enough, they have pizza, salad, soup, and actual pies all made from scratch every day. The price is decent and it is a cozy little spot.

hillbottom pie pt townsend, wamenu hillbottom pie port townsend, wa

The caesar salad is amazing. If I could it for lunch everyday I would!

caesar salad hillbottom pie pt townsend, wa

We got two pies, the left one is pesto, artichoke and goat cheese and the right one is a white pie with ricotta, pesto, and kalamata olives.

pies at Hillbottom Pie in Port townsend

pesto, goat cheese, artichoke pizza hillbottom pie pt townsend

pesto, goat cheese olive pizza hillbottom pie port townsend

I think they change desserts sometimes beside just having pie, this time they had Tiramisu, so we had to order it.

tiramusi hillbottom pie, pt townsend wa

Super fluffy layers of cream, espresso and delicate ladyfingers with a huge cloud of whipped cream on top and shrouded in milk chocolate shavings. Even though I don;t like espresso that much, I couldn’t help but eat it!

last bite tiramusi hillbottom pie pt townsend

We stopped at the local pet store on the way home and boy, I’m glad we did! A local animal rehabilitation center had two owls and a falcon on display while they were selling Christmas cards. I always liked owls especially their big beautiful eyes! This fuzzy cutie and I made a deep connection…Or at least i thought so! He was probably just staring into space ha ha.

owl 1owl 2

They had a very small owl who is full-grown but really teeny and adorable. However, man, he looked so angry! Maybe he’s made that he is so small and cute..

angry little owl pt townsend wa


This poor falcon lost half his wing when he ran into a fence! Falcon can fly super fast, like 100 miles an hour when hunting I think. So sad but luckily he is being taken care of by this rescue place. That’s why you shouldn’t speed buddy!


When we got home, Blacky put on his rain jacket just for us, I think he likes it!

blacky pooblacky in raincoat

When I got back home to my apartment, I finally set up my dear little tree!

my little xmas tree

I found all my cute gift bags at TJ Maxx!

cute gift bag

Speaking of owls, I finished two embroidery projects!

owl embroidery

On the way home for Christmas, dad and I saw the most beautifulll Christmas lights on a house ever!

xmas lights 6 xmas lights 5 xmas lights 3

I think Buddy the Elf would live here.

xmas lights 2

xmas lights 1

I can only aspire to such Christmas spirit! I still have to decorate our tree, as you can see.

xmas tree dads

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? I think I’ll watch Elf and drink hot cocoa!

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve or save them all till Christmas morning? 

Happy Holidays! And thanks for reading and thanks for hosting Jenn!