Thursday, June 13, 2013
Hey there! I wanted to share a super simple recipe that seemed way too convenient to keep to myself. I've made these quick tortilla pizzas a few times this spring for Nic on nights where he's coming home late from a class or work and they are the perfect last minute dinner. They take no time at all yet taste homemade and satisfying. I've tried out a few variations based on whatever we have in the fridge but our favorite combos so far usually involve spicy marinara sauce, chicken sausage, a few spoonfuls of cheese, some Italian seasoning and a little arugula. We tried olive tapanade on one once, a very tasty addition! Try them out sometime. They're such an easy dinner at home and I'm sure kids would love these too.
-Tortillas (I like Trader Joe's homemade since they are a little thicker)
-ANY kind of cheese --- we like grated romano, parmesan or just shredded mozzarella (a little goes a long way!)
-Organic chicken sausage, sliced (I like Applegate brand)
Optional toppings (try these together, apart or with any thing else that sounds good!)
-Roasted red pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
-Thinly brush a dollop of marinara sauce on your tortilla and top with sausage, cheese and anything else.
-Bake about 5-10 minutes until cheese is bubbling and edges of the tortilla are starting to golden, don't burn!
-Let cool and serve!
Posted by CCL at 9:28 PM
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Happy beginning of summer! It's hot and sunny in the bay area so I'm feeling the seasonal shift. Last week my mom and her boyfriend flew out from the east coast to spend the three day Memorial weekend with us on a lovely little getaway in Sebastopol, a beautiful area of wine country near the Russian River. I've been to Guerneville and Healdsburg which are just about 20 minutes away but this was my first time in Sebastopol and it definitely won't be my last! We rented an amazing VRBO guest house surrounded by grape vines with beautiful gardens and a lovely lap pool. We grilled, drank wine, ran on the nearby trail and had a truly lovely long weekend. Here are some pics of the weekend fun with links and tips on planning your Sebastopol getaway below!
My Sebastopol Getaway Guide
Where to Stay
Our VRBO house: Knowlton Farms
Where to Eat:
Mateo's Cocina Latina-- This restaurant is actually in Healdsburg (about 25 minutes from Sebastapol) and it was SOOO delicious. The ingredients are all local and extremely fresh and every dish we had was amazing. I would definitely recommend the spicy margarita if you can handle the heat!
What to Do:
Sunday Farmer's Market -- right on the main square in downtown Sebastopol
West County Regional Trail --- run or bike on this lovely trail that goes between Sebastopol and Forestville.
Wine and Olive Oil Tasting:
Iron Horse --- Friendly staff, delicious wines, beautiful views and a gazebo for BYO picnics --- this is my new favorite vineyard to visit! I don't know anything about wine but this wine was really delicious. The vineyard was just down the road from our rental house.
Dry Creak Olive Oil -- This was a fun alternative to wine tasting. Their olive oils are delicious --- we tasted them and bought the lemon infused one.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
|View from our Hike|
Today our guests left around 3 and I was eager to do a little cooking to get in a healthy dinner to start the week off. I attempted to make a version of a flavorful soup my aunt had made the last time I visited and it turned out extremely easy and very yummy. Nic and I both liked it a lot and it was so simple I'm sure I'll be making it a regular addition to our rotating list of weekday favorites. The below makes about 4 big bowlfuls. Enjoy!
Chicken Sausage and Spinach Pasta Soup
1 cup or a little less chopped onions
2 italian style natural chicken sausages (I like applegate brand)
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup raw whole wheat pasta (I used little fusilli)
2 handfuls raw spinach roughly chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
-Put a large pot or le creuset type thing on the stove top over medium heat and spray with Pam.
-Put in onions and season with a little salt and pepper and a little of the italian seasoning. Saute for a couple minutes until they are starting to soften.
-Add the chicken sausages and saute for a minute and then add the canned tomatoes and the chicken broth
-Add in all the italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and the bay leaf and mix.
-Bring to a boil and add the pasta.
-Let cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes - until pasta is done and flavors are strong. You can let it simmer for a little longer and add more seasoning to taste.
- Just before serving, while heat is still on toss in the spinach and mix up.
-Serve and put out parmesan cheese so people can add a spoonful if desired!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Have you all tried airbnb? It's an online resource of rental houses or apartments for vacations or subletting but it seems to attract a broader more interesting base of people with a cooler range of places than a lot of other sites I've used. You can search using all sorts of filters including "Tree Houses" or "Trailers" and can find some very pretty spots for much cheaper than a comparable hotel. Last weekend Nic and I had our first Airbnb experience at this little cabin in wine country about an hour and 40 minutes north of the city in a town called Cloverdale. The cabin had amazing reviews and it was easy to see why. The hosts had filled their guest cabin with thoughtful details like chilled white wine in the fridge and maps of nearby trails which we used to take a beautiful run at nearby Lake Sonoma. We had full and private use of the main house's AMAZING infinity pool and patio and watched sky divers come down in parachutes over the valley from a nearby tiny airport. It was soooooo nice. Reality is a little rough right now. Luckily it wasn't a total bank breaker and totally worth curbing other spending to relive again sometime later this year or next! Here are some pics from the weekend and here is my airbnb vacation wishlist so you can get some ideas for your next getaway :)
Our cabin's scenic bathroom...
Juice and fruit on our little porch...
Wineries along Dry Creek Road...
The amaaaazing infinity pool, I want one when I grow up :)
Frizzy hair, white wine and deep thoughts after a great day of running and sunbathing