Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bouquets of Bacon!

Girls love getting big bouquets of roses...and what do guys love? Bacon roses! Come to think of it, everyone loves bacon, so everyone should love these treats that are both appealing to the eyes and to the taste buds. These turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself...

Roll and pop in the oven.

Crisp and tasty.

Add bacon to artificial bouquet.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I just love the taste of pesto and it compliments so many different dishes. A lot of the pesto I have bought, however, has been super oily and not my style. I had been meaning to try making my own pesto to toss with pasta or on crostini. Seeing as though I've never made pesto before, I looked up some recipes and added my own spin to them. Rather than the traditional basil used to make pesto, I used arugula and some spinach. I added my pesto to linguini and threw some shrimp in there too and it turned out really great. Recipe follows. Would you say your pesto is the besto? Please share tips on how you make your pesto!

Arugula & spinach pesto in the making.
Finished pesto linguini dish with shrimp.
Paired with Hart Rose wine I got from Temecula.

Pesto Linguini with Shrimp


  • 2 cups of fresh arugula and spinach (mixed)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 pound of linguini pasta (can be any pasta though)
  • lemon zest and Italian parsley for garnish
  1. Blend the arugula and spinach with the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup of olive oil, processing until well blended.
  2. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Using a knife, cut the back of the shrimp to butterfly them.
  5. Marinate shrimp with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt in a Ziploc bag.
  6. Grill the shrimp on high heat until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to a plate.
  7. Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water. Stir occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  8. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  9. Toss the pasta with the pesto in a large bowl to coat, adding the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time to moisten.
  10. Top with the grilled shrimp and garnish with lemon zest and parsley. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spontaneous Getaways...Wine Not?

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! For me, this weekend I had a spontaneous desire to get out of town so my boyfriend and I trekked to Temecula where some of our favorite wineries are. The first time we went there was after buying a Groupon deal that gave us a few wine tastings at various wineries, and the awesome wine and a fun time brought us back!

Some wineries are more tourist driven and a bit pricey, and they all have a different vibe. Hart Winery, for instance, is a great spot to buy good wine that is moderately priced (they have the best Rosé!), but there isn't much of a nice ambiance to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine there with a great view. Leoness Cellars, on the other hand, is more pricey but it has an amazing area to enjoy your wine outside. The outside seating overlooks the winery's grape vines and also has a nice view of the some of the Temecula wine country. Churon Winery was also a great tasting spot...word to the wise, they pour double the wine in your glass than most other wineries do for the tastings here *wink wink*. 

As far as food is concerned, I wasn't expecting anything amazing from such a small town, but I ended up finding some great local spots that left me wanting to go back for more. We loved Gourmet Italia, which had delicious authentic Italian dishes and the nicest owner/manager who spoke to all the restaurant patrons throughout the night. Check in on Yelp and you get a free cannoli! The Great Oak Steakhouse at the Pechanga was also great. And for breakfast, save your appetite for pancakes of many many flavors at Original Pancake House (pumpkin all year round!). 

Needless to say, Temecula is a great mini getaway and I would recommend it to anyone looking to relax and have a fun, delicious, and tipsy weekend ;)
Leoness Cellars.

Leoness vines.

Hart Merlot.

Before fermentation.

Pops of sunshine color among the vines.

Ponte Winery.