Friday, June 27, 2014

Food I Ate Friday - Cooking Class

 I want to get a post up and share about this wonderful cooking class I went to at Tspoons in San Juan Capistrano awhile ago, but sometimes you just have to wait to share :)  When I think about this evening a smile comes to my face, and I can't wait to go back to this quaint little place and enjoy another evening with friends.

This was a Christmas present to Bill and I from his lovely cousin Carina and Bill's other cousin, Meghan also got a cooking class for her boyfriend Bobby, unknowingly they were for the same place!  :)  I know, I know you are thinking… "Summer just started, what took you so long?"  Suffice it to say, we had some scheduling difficulty and wanted to pick just the right menu, and I personally think it was well worth the wait.  We finally made it for a Friday evening class with a "Steakhouse Date Night" theme, and it was such a fun experience. 

The prep work was done for us, so we did not have to use a knife or cutting board once.  We sipped wine and followed instructions and listened to the cooking tips our instructor gave us for everyday use.  We laughed with our fellow classmates and learned some really great new recipes.  All the while, we just enjoyed the process.  Cooking, to me, can be so therapeutic, and this was no exception.  Something about producing something delicious with your own two hands makes the meal feel like a reward for your hard work. 

The entire meal took about 2 hours to make and then we sat down at a beautiful table to partake in our feast.  The kitchen staff served the food to us in four courses, and every one was splendid.  The rosemary bread with the potato leak soup was incredible.  I mean, it really was so delicious I considered licking the bowl.  The bacon and sausage stuffed mushrooms were something I absolutely intend to make again.  With every bite of each course I was more and more glad we came.  It was such a lovely experience.

When we made it to the main course, I was not sure I could keep eating, but I did not regret a single bite.  The roasted garlic and chive mashed potatoes had a little whole grain mustard in them and went perfectly with the beef roulade stuffed with spinach and Gorgonzola.  And as if we had not had our share of delicious food, the apples stuffed with oats and butter and sugar and cranberries served with a scoop of ice cream ("a la mode" for those who prefer the fancier term) were the perfect ending to the meal.

Oh what a night!  I think I dream of owning a little cooking school like this and bringing in experts to teach international cuisine.  Sigh, what a lovely place this was and what a fun evening we had!  Cheers to cooking this meal in our own homes and hopefully sharing the meal with family and friends :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - As of Late

What am I currently obsessing over?  

As of right now, I have a few things that I cannot stop talking about or tending toward :)

Polka Dots

My collection is growing, and I love the subtle way that they are a throwback.  I now have a polka dot dress, shoes, and a tank top and I am sure more will enter my world soon.   I don't want to be the zany friend who always wears poka dots, but I am really embracing their fun nature and expanding my wardrobe slowly to include them.

My Organic Vegetable Box Delivery

Bill and I have been getting an organic vegetable box from a local farm once a month that we started through Groupon.  It is like Christmas when that thing shows up on the front porch on the first Thursday of every month.  We dig through it and make a plan and I always feel awesome the week we are eating the colorful assortments of goodness.  I know clean eating is being hyped right now and feel really trendy, but I do feel the difference when I eat that way so I cannot help but think there is a lot of truth to it.  This is also such an awesome chance to challenge my culinary skills to come up with unique ways to serve up veggies.  

Being Coffee Free 

I am no longer a coffee drinker.  While to some this may sound like torture, I was having severe acid reflux problems.  It felt like I was having heart attacks constantly, and I am trying not to exaggerate.  Chest pain and stomach pain were a part of my daily life and it was making me so uncomfortable.  I got a list of potential triggers and as I worked through the list I entered into denial.  When I realized it was coffee I fought it for a long time.  However, finally giving in and accepting reality has been amazing.  No more pain or discomfort and my body seems to be adjusting to the early mornings much better than anticipated.  While the first few weeks were rough, I am really glad I did it.  


Oysters are not a new obsession for me, but it's like I have a new wave of craving them.  They are fresh and light and have this wonderful brineiness.  I could eat them everyday, and I definitely had a ton when I was on the East Coast last week.   It is such a perfect outdoor summer treat.  I love them ice cold with hot sauce or on the grill with garlic and butter and just a pinch of parsley. 

What are your Favorite Things these days?  
I would love to hear about them :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Celebrating the Future Mr. and Mrs. Dunsterville

My beautiful sister Faith is getting married, and the celebrations have begun!  The California side of the family (me and my husband and my sister and her fiance) all flew out for the Bride and Groom shower two weeks ago, and it was a gorgeous day.  The weekend went slow and flew by at the same time.  It was full of food, family, friendship, wine and laughter.  To say it was lovely would be an understatement.  All of my sibilings were able to be there, and I just savor those moments.  Just sitting and talking over coffee or walking together in the mornings, any time together is precious.

To see her and her fiance so happy was all I really wanted.  They were glowing and I could tell they sunk a little more in love as the reality of their wedding set in a little more.  Getting married is such a surreal experience, and I love watching it through news eyes now that I am married and have a different perspective.  Everything about getting married can either be stressful, or it can be magical, and I pray that they experience the magic of their wedding day with a peaceful calm.  The shower held a little magic, with a Parisian theme.  Everything just came together and sparkled a little.  

Early mornings and late nights blended together and before we knew it, we were back on planes to California.  But another shower quickly approaches us here and bachelor/bachelorette parties on both coasts and then the wedding will be upon us.  Celebrating real and incredible love is so wonderful and something that fills my heart.   Faith and Josh love each other truly and deeply and have been through so much in their years together.  God has blessed these two with each other, and I feel honored to be able to stand up next to them on the day they say "I Do."

All photos are courtesy of the lovely Christina Schuman.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

C'est La Vie - Gentle Reminders


This graphic is so important to me these days.  I need to keep a healthy perspective about life and what is important.  Who doesn't right?  Each line holds depth, but seems so simple.  To be a well rounded Daughter, Friend, Wife, Sister, Employee and Person we have to focus on all of these, and not think just working on one or two is enough.  We will never master them friends… that is the beauty of life.  The uphill working towards bettering yourself in light of Christ's forgiveness and ultimate example is a privilege.  Do not let it be discouraging, let it encourage you that you are surrounded by others on the same journey. 

These gentle reminders are some of the things that keep me going.  For example: Be Kind.  How many times in your day are you rude or do you push someone away?  How many times do you have other things that matter more than kindness?  You just want to go home and get dinner cooked so you can relax… well maybe that cashier needed a little kindness!  Try not to push past others to get to what you are looking forward to.  Exist in those moments and be sensitive to people around you and offer kindness.  Kindness that stops people in their tracks is such an amazing thing.

All of the lines on this list could have a book written about them (and probably do), but the most important thing to realize is that we have work to do and that is not a burden, but rather it is a blessing and one of the best things we can use our time for. 

I hope these words find a place in your heart.