Champagne/Wine Bottle DIY

With entertaining so often, it just happens that wine bottles may accumulate – usually because we haven’t gotten around to taking them to the recycling center. 

Here’s a fun and SUPER EASY way to transform them into fun decor pieces.  

 All you need is

  • Wine Bottle 
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors

For a recent Gatsby themed party, I chose gold – but these days you can find almost any design/color/pattern in duct tape!
When setting up for the party, we just added some other themed props – feathers and “pearls” in this case to complete the look!



Beef Stroganoff

Still experiencing unseasonably cool weather! On to a hearty beef stroganoff. The gravy can be adjusted to your taste – more mustard, less, maybe peppercorns to kick it up a notch?

Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef steak, cut into strips (you can also use the stir fry beef from the store to save time)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • All Purpose flour (about 3 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (seeded)
  • 1 can beef consommé (10 3/4 oz)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 3/4 oz)
  • 1 cup full sour cream
  • Cooked Egg Noodles (1 bag)

Continue reading

Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkin Curry with Seafood

It is a little out of the ordinary for Los Angeles to be experiencing Fall weather!  So I decided to roll up my sleeves and take on a warm stew, and wanted to incorporate the very trendy and seasonal ingredient – pumpkin!

Unexpectedly, the flavor profile was very reminiscent of a well-known Filipino dish, Pinakbet!  Happy little coincidence, and all the more satisfying and homey when we finally sat down to enjoy it.

Pumpkin Curry with Seafood
Serves 6 Continue reading


The Great Summer Watermelon Salad

To celebrate the 4th of July, I wanted to try something I had seen on Pinterest…. A watermelon bowl! So, of course, needed to come up with something to do with all that fruit in the middle-

Watermelon Feta Salad

  • 1 large watermelon, fruit scooped into balls, and shell cleaned. (You can discard any of the extra flesh/water… Or blend for a cocktail mixer!
  • Feta Cheese
  • Handful of Fresh Mint, julienned
  • Arugula (optional)… 
  • Vinaigrette: Equal parts fresh orange juice and olive oil. Tablespoon of honey, salt & pepper to taste.

Continue reading


All Greens Smoothie

I wouldn’t say I was a “veggie lover”… When I was younger, I was actually repulsed by all things green… Except for a Granny Smith Apple! Since then, I’ve come around to some things, and will even say this smoothie combination is now a favorite!

All Greens Smoothie

  • Kale
  • Green Grapes
  • Granny Smith Apple
  • Coconut Water
  • Optional: pear, parsley, arugula, spinach

Continue reading

Farmers Market Menu Inspiration: Summer Bruschetta

It may be the end of the summer, but there’s still some great ingredients in season – especially the tomatoes!

Summer Bruschetta with Avocado
2 Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Shallot
Olive Oil
White Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Sourdough Boule

Finely chop the shallots, and place in small bowl with about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Dice the tomatoes and avocado to be about the same size. Toss together, adding the balsamic, salt and pepper to taste. Serve on sourdough slices, toasted or not!

Hosting Tip: Wash the extra dish…

When having guests over, there is nothing wrong with buying already made salsa or dips at the store. Why mess with a good thing? BUT… Put a little effort into the presentation, and don’t just but the jar and bag on your coffee table. Sure, it’s an extra dish or two, but that little touch can go a long way!