Beverage, Personal



Feeding people is an exercise in generosity. It takes time to prepare a menu, gather friends, shop for ingredients, clean the house, set a table, and clean it up. It costs money to buy food and all accompanied ingredients. Entertaining, be it for four or seventeen, takes time and money. I enjoy feeding people. I like making food, serving in that way, as an act of love and nourishing people I care about. That is why I cook. Not for myself, I am happy with hummus toast, but because my skill feeds someone elses need to be fed, to feel taken care of. I want to give that. Without noticing, I grew pragmatic about that process last year - not inviting people over for the sake of frugality or inconvenience. The book testing was over and I didn't want to try so hard, maybe some of you can understand that. Except around New Year resolution time, I realized I'd cooled it a little too hard. I missed it. I missed the fearless giving that happens around a table where food is shared. Despite practicality, we'd have more dinners with friends. 

My parents were out of town for the weekend so I jumped at the opportunity to use their beautiful yard and more spacious kitchen to get friends together. We were pushing it for an outdoor dinner, the weather is not that warm yet, but I put out blankets and extra jackets and we made do. Everyone brought something to share, Hugh and I grilled teriyaki black cod, Alaskan Halibut with cajun spices and green apple salsa and tri tip with a couple sauces. I made a pot of black beans with onions, wine and a number of other pantry staples that turned out better than expected. And of course there was a springy cocktail which I'm including the rough recipe for below. I can't exactly explain how in the hustle of feeding 17 people, I felt alive. Like I was supposed to be doing this. Nourishing people. 

It took time and money. It always does. It is always worth it. 



I can't think of a better combination for the change of seasons. It was perfect to make for a group. I am also thinking a blood orange and blackberry would be a nice and pretty combination, maybe even with gin if you wanted to have two types of cocktails out. These are rough estimates, taste and add as you wish. 

3 T. honey

3 T. natural cane sugar

16 oz./2 cups fresh grapefruit juice

16 oz./2 cups vodka

1 pint strawberries, roughly smashed

few sprigs of fresh mint

8 oz. club soda/soda water

ice for serving

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, cane sugar and a few tablespoons of the grapefruit juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a large pitcher. Add the grapefruit juice, vodka, strawberries and stir. This much can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until needed.

Rough up the mint to release the flavor. When ready to serve, add the mint and soda water and give the mix one more stir. Pour the mix into ice filled glasses, letting bits of strawberry and mint get in the glass for presentations sake. 

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Entrée, Gluten Free



Though it's not our ‘American way’, I much prefer a nice lunch as opposed to dinner. Hugh and I set forth on this inaugural blog endeavor, with a protein and veggie packed meal in mind.

White fish is such a wonderful canvas for flavor options. And the beauty of this combination is that ingredients such as these, can typically be found year round. We’ll attribute this entry to a fusion of California/Hispanic flavors.

The toaster oven is the wonder poodle of all cooking devices. Less hassle, quick cooking time and close heat so you get a bit of crispyness. We didn't grow up with one in our house, which is possibly why I now find them so remarkable.

This recipe may require a bit of chopping, but it is far from complicated. Just double or triple it for a dinner party, the slaw can be done a day ahead and will save wonderfully.


Spiced Halibut on Fennel Grapefruit Slaw // Serves 4

4 6oz. Pieces of Fresh Halibut (or white fish of choice)

2 Large Fennel Bulbs

6 Green Onion, finely chopped at a slant

2 Medium Grapefruit

1 Cup Fresh Chopped Cilantro

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

Half of a lime

1 tsp. ‘The Zip’ Spice blend by the Spice Hunter**

2 tsp Salt

Ground Pepper

3/4 Cup Toasted Pepitas

1 Avocado, cut in slivers


** Any spicy herb mix with do, every brand makes one. Or just plain chili powder works fine, it is a blend anyways.

Oven to 425

  1. Working in a large mixing bowl for the slaw. Cut fennel bulbs in half length wise and slice thin, discarding the touch end. Zest both grapefruits with a fine grater or micro plane. Cut the peel and pith off the grapefruits so there is no white, just pink fruit. Segment the grapefruit in small slices over the mixing bowl, so the juices fall in as well.
  1. Add cilantro, green onions, olive oil, 1 tsp. of the salt and a few generous grinds of the pepper. Mix well to incorporate all flavors.
  1. Pat fish filets dry and poke a few holes in them with a fork. In a small baking dish, sprinkle the fish with the juice of the lime, salt, pepper and your spice blend of choice. Rub it around with your fingers so it gets into the fish flesh. Vivid, aren’t I?
  1. Put the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake the fish for about 12 minutes (you need to watch it as each oven size will cook at different speeds, DO NOT overcook). Take it out just as fish is firm to the touch. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  1. On each plate, put a heaping amount of the slaw, a handful of toasted pepitas, the fish, and avocado slivers on top. Always building up my friends.

Enjoy with a side of brown rice or some warm tortillas.

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