Meatless Monday: Hazelnut-and-Green Olive Pesto

Do you need a quick topping for any meat, fish, mushroom or bread? Here it is: from Food and Grace Parisi is a culinary go-to for me. This recipe is delicious! And, with no cheese in it, it is perfect for a cookout!

I’ll update the post with a picture…ASAP!


Meatless Monday: Beet, Pickled Cherry and Crispy Shallot Salad


For Father’s Day,  Ryan requested ribs and beets. So that’s what we made for him! I found a recipe that I felt would be satisfying…and boy it was! I found the recipe on Food and

We have a ton of cherries right now so I also made a cherry-peach pie. It was a really good basic recipe…nothing fancy. Ryan likes crust, so that was the focus.  The next time I make it I think I will add ginger.

 Yesterday was more relaxing for me because Ryan took the boys hiking and to get new camelbacks, so I really enjoyed work on the meal yesterday.

We also had grilled corn and asparagus. The meal was a success. The fathers were happy and my MIL was raving, which always makes a girl happy.


Sweet Sun Valley

I’m not going to lie, 108 degrees is too hot for me. I love Tucson, but that kind of heat… I can do without it. I guess it is like being locked inside during the winter in the Midwest. You spend a lot of time trying to figure our how not to go outside. You don’t want to leave your car in the sun because it is so hot when you get back in it.


That is why we come to Idaho. It is literally 30 degrees cooler! My mother

Andrew...and Mata-E asleep in the hammock

Andrew…and Mata-E asleep in the hammock

in law is very gracious to let us descend upon her house for 6 weeks this summer. I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to spend time in such a beautiful place.


Chase and Andrew’s cousins will be here again and they will all be in camp! Andrew is in full days this year, which will allow me time to workout, study for the LSAT.


On my first day of freedom, my MIL and I dropped off the kiddos with ease and I felt like Mel Gibson in

I just spent 3 weeks with my understand right?

I just spent 3 weeks with my children…you understand right?

Braveheart. I went running, did a couple of Barre3 online videos by the river here in Ketchum and then headed back to shower up, eat some lunch, and start filling my brain with strategies for getting a perfect score on the LSAT.


I’ll still have a block of time to do laundry and cook dinner. Luckily, my MIL has a flexible work schedule and Ketchum is small enough to walk everywhere I go. Evenings will be filled with eating dinner

I hope we have enough!

I hope we have enough!

and my MIL and I enjoying a stockpile of delicious wines. I am very lucky to be a part of such a fun family in a beautiful setting. Ryan arrives in a few days with the mountain bikes and Sara. Let the fun begin!





Meatless Monday: Swazi Salad

Phot by Con Poulos on Food and

Phot by Con Poulos on Food and

Salads are a way of life for Ryan and me once the warm weather hits.  Food and Wine has a feature called: Salad of the Month.  They are always delicious  and different.

3 medium beets (12 ounces), scrubbed
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
Kosher salt
1 head of romaine lettuce (1 pound), coarsely chopped
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 Hass avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts


1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Wrap the beets in foil 
and place them on a baking sheet. Roast for about 
1 hour, until tender. Unwrap and let cool. Slip off the skins and cut the beets 
into wedges.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the oil with the lemon juice and ginger and season with salt and pepper.

3.In a large bowl, toss the romaine, radishes, beets and all but 2 tablespoons 
of the dressing. Transfer 
to a bowl. Top with the 
avocado and drizzle with 
the remaining dressing. Scatter the peanuts on top and serve.

The roasted beets can be refrigerated 
for up to 3 days.


Back Home Again In Indiana

We arrived last night for a visit to my home state. There are are several things that I am really looking forward to while I’m here:

Humidity, tomatoes, green grass

Aside from seeing friends and family, which is of the utmost importance, the above three things are what I look forward to most when we are able to visit Indiana in the summer.

This trip was initially scheduled to attend the wedding of a college friend…but quickly turned into a chance to enjoy some of the things that define Indiana for me.

I live in the desert southwest. The relative humidity is at about 15%.  By the end of our visit, my skin will be completely hydrated despite the amount of Champagne I’ll be drinking.

We landed around 6:15pm, 3:15pm our time.  My parents picked us up and we headed to the NE side of the

The go-to toy according to Chase

The go-to toy according to Chase

city.  My parents have lived in their house for almost twenty years.  It is not my childhood home, but it is definitely a house that holds many memories for me.  We were last here for Christmas of 2013 so Andrew has no memory of it, but Chase sure does.  The first thing he asked for was a toy on which you can race and play with hot wheels.  I played with it as a kid and am amazed that it still exists.

Andrew on the other hand, wanted to be outside.  My parents have multiple ride-on toys and Andrew tried out each one in the cul-de-sac.  We romped around the back yard, marveled at the growth of the landscaping and the boys were literally rolling around in the grass.  With no threat of scorpions, rattle snakes or cacti, it looked pretty enticing.

The vacation ahead of us will offer visits with friends, lazy days in the backyard and trips to the Children’s Museum, which by the way is the BEST in the country.  If you ever have the privilege of visiting Indianapolis, check it out!  It is a familiar comfort level that calms me and recharges me.  And, its always nice to be around my mom. She laughs at my jokes, offers to do my laundry, and buys me Woodford Reserve!  You can’t beat that!

I’ll post more about my great home state.  Plus, after our short trip here, we’re off to Idaho.  If you think I’m going back to 103 degree weather you’re insane.  We’ll be there from June 15th through July 25th.  The boys will be in camp, I’ll be studying for the LSAT and hiking too.  Plus, a dear friend from Santa Fe will be spending a week in the area too.  More to come!


A Quick Look at a 39th Birthday Brunch

I truly love entertaining.  I love good food, music, cocktails and friends.  I love a beautiful table too.  I can attribute that to my mother.  I’m not sure where I got it but I love brainstorming recipes, flowers and music to create the perfect setting for having a great gathering.  Whether it is an impromptu get together or a 39th Birthday Brunch, putting together a menu, cooking the dishes and then enjoying how everything comes to fruition gives me great joy!

Though I love going out to restaurants, entertaining at home is enjoyable for me.  Nothing beats opening our

A look at the brunch buffet

A look at the brunch buffet

home to our friends and family for a morning of eating, drinking and laughing.  This is what we did for my 39th birthday this year!

When we lived in PA during Ryan’s residency training, I was a member of Partners in Medicine (PIM).  It was

I farmed out the Macarons and flourless chocolate cake bites.

I farmed out the Macarons and flourless chocolate cake bites.

the spouses’ and partners’ group associated with Hershey Medical Center.  It was not only the way I met some of my dearest friends but also a way to keep my creative juices flowing in a new environment.  We were lucky enough to have a great house for entertaining so we hosted a lot of parties.  From Jamaican Me Crazy in the dead of winter to our Annual Bourbon Tasting Party in September to many, many baby showers, we made great use of the house and I honed my skills in entertaining.

As a single gal, I loved hosting boozy brunches on Memorial Day weekend.  Though I was a bit of a control freak regarding the menu, they sure were fun!  It was an opportunity to show a different side to my work friends and show appreciation of good food and drinks.

This year for my birthday I wanted to enjoy all of my favorite things to eat and drink at a brunch.



My favorite bubbly friends

My favorite bubbly friends


Veuve Clicquot

Perrier et Jouet

Bloody Marys

Spa water




Grilled Salmon

Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Cucumber and Grape Gazpacho

3 Pea Salad

Fruit Salad

Arugula and Spinach Salad with shaved fennel, dried cherries and walnuts

The little cups held gazpacho and these were the napkins I used.

The little cups held gazpacho and these were the napkins I used.


Cheese plate


Flourless Chocolate Cake Bites

We had a wonderful morning full of good food and shenanigans.  Everyone left by about 1:30 and Ryan I and I watched the 2015 induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



Meatless Monday: Tangy Apple Salad

Grilling season is upon us   BBQ’s and gatherings are weekly.  Picking a fun side dish to bring to a cookout can be tricky.  You know what goes with ribs? This salad. Don’t get me wrong, I love cole slaw.

Photo by Lucy Schaeffer on Food and

Photo by Lucy Schaeffer on Food and

But this recipe will knock off your socks faster than you can finish the first bite!  Amid corn on the cob potato chips and baked beans, this salad will add a tangy (hence the name) refreshing crisp to your plate.

Plus, it is super easy to make! It only takes about 15 minutes!

Tangy Apple Salad

Serves 6


2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

Pinch of sugar

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil


Freshly ground pepper

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks

2 6-oz bunches watercress, thick stems discarded


In a large bowl, whisk the cider vinegar with the sugar and buttermilk.  Gradually whisk in the vegetable and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the Apple matchsticks and watercress and toss to coat. Serve right away.

The dressing can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.


Eat This Now: Thai Chicken, Zucchini and Tomato Curry

Just tell your kiddos its chicken and rice.  That’s what I told Chase and Andrew and they loved it! Even Andrew ate the zucchini and the onions!  (BTW, I used my handy kitchen shears to cut up the pieces for the boys)  There’s no heat in it so it won’t offend delicate palettes.  As I was looking through recipes for my birthday brunch, I found this recipe, which looked quick and easy.  Plus, I had some beautiful grape and cherry tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market that were perfect for the recipe.

[Read more…]

Have You Noticed? I Complain. A lot.

I’m a bit of a whiner.  Not only that.  I’m not often content.images

Ryan (my patient, kind, and positive to the point of annoying husband) told me during a recent conversation that I complain. A lot.

Ryan: “But, I love you.  So, I guess I’ve just gotten used to it.”

Quin: “Why don’t you tell me to stop bitching and get over it?”

Ryan: “Because, as your husband, I’m suppose to provide for your happiness.”

Quin: “How do you stand it when all I do is whine about little stuff that pisses me off?”

Ryan: “Well, I love you so I guess I just overlook it.”

This man deserves a medal.  And, someone who can look around her and appreciate what she has.

Ryan: “You need to be more present and appreciate what you have.”


I guess it’s time for me evaluate what comes out of my mouth.

Writing a blog gives me the opportunity to write…a lot of which is venting, which can also be construed as

This is for Thanksgiving but I think I should buy one and keep it up year 'round

This is for Thanksgiving but I think I should buy one and keep it up year ’round

complaining.  I don’t want it to be taken that way.  I realize that my life is pretty damn good and in the big picture, I don’t have a lot to complain about.  Yet, I still let the little things bother me…and voice these things and apparently, it is wearing on my husband.

I can’t help that I am often not content.  I’m a perfectionist and I think I will always strive to be better and do better.  It is engrained in who I am as a person.  I want the best for myself and my family.  It is a driving force in my life and professionally, and was always a goal in my work life.

I guess the little things that I “vent” about can be cumbersome and come off as complaining and not appreciative of the things that I have.

So, in order to not drive my husband bonkers, and to be more present and focus on the good things, I will try

to complain less. I will be thankful and not discount the good things in my life.  MARK MY WORDS!


Meatless Monday: Balsalmic Roasted Beet Salad

I covet the kitchen of The Barefoot Contessa.  I also envy the fact that she has a florist friend who brings her gorgeous creations for her dinner parties!  Thank goodness Ina Garten shares her recipes and her talent with the world.  The world is not only loving The Barefoot  Contessa, but the world is loving beets.  I recently have eaten beet root pasta (Amalour) and seared salmon on a bed of shaved beets (Acacia).  I’ve also posted a couple of recipes with beets (and their greens) in an attempt to spread the love of beets.  I’ll admit that beets were not a vegetable that I would rave about even 2 years ago.   [Read more…]

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