Style Me Pretty – Grandma’s Favorite Recipe Contest

Last week I received some great news! My Cherry Galette recipe made the top 10 finalist on the Style Me Pretty Living blog “Grandma’s Favorite Recipe Constest.” Say that 10 times… As a wedding photographer Style Me Pretty is kind of a rock-star! Knowing that my humble recipe inspired by the lessons and stories that my mom shared with me when I was a little girl is humbling and amazing! Please head on over to Style Me Pretty and vote for me! I promise that it will not take longer that half a second. All you have to do is leave the word V O T E. The person with the most votes wins!

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Blueberry Galette

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Whole30 has come and gone! I completed the challenge and I must say I did pretty darn well. I will be posting more of the recipes that I used on my whole30 experience on here but if you can’t wait you can follow me on Instagram and check them out there.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, I have never been one to make big plans for the day, I feel that it’s pretty easy for us to have dates since it’s just the two of us. For Valentines day I prefer to stay at home – cook dinner, drink some bubbly and make dessert together. Last year we had chocolate fondue with all sorts of great things to dip into it. This year we will be sharing a berry galette. I might switch it up and substitute the blueberries for strawberries.

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Blueberry_tart_web-5 copyDate nights at home with husband are my favorite.

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Blueberry Galette
1 -Pie Crust – I used this recipe from Not Without Salt and rolled it on almond flour
1 -container of Organic Blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
1 -tsp of fresh lemon juice
1 -tbsp of good Vanilla Extract
1/2 -tbsp of brown sugar
1 -tbsp of Organic Honey
1/3 -Cold Butter Cubed Pinch of Sea Salt
1 -tbsp of Almond Flour to bind and a little extra to stretch the dough on
1 -Packet of raw sugar for topping


Depending on the recipe that you use for the pie dough, follow the instructions accordingly. In a bowl mix the blueberries, vanilla, lemon juice, zest, salt, sugar, honey, and almond flour. Mix well and allow all ingredients to bind. Place all ingredients on the rolled out pie crust, fold in the edges of the crust-this can be very rustic. Place the butter on top of the berries. Brush some of the leftover lemon juice on the folded crust and then sprinkle the raw sugar on it. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes until browned.

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And because I’m obsessed with Downton Abbey – ” i would never be happy with any one else as long as you walked the earth” Blueberry_tart_web-19 copy

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Pumpkin Risotto

The air is getting crisper and nights are getting longer, its sign that fall is on its way but those are the only signs because summer is still lingering; I patiently wait. Summer in October? you ask… yes! I know this because my garden still has tomatoes and I’m still wearing tank tops and flip-flops, for a girl who has spent most of her life in California fall is a fleeting moment that I absolutely enjoy and try to take in as much as possible! I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything. Seriously just ask the people at my Trader Joe’s. They got smarter and decided to have a whole shelve dedicated to all things pumpkin – pumpkin-coffee, pumpkin butter, pumpkin chai, pumpkin loaf mix, pumpkin chocolate, and so much more…I of course had to have one of each 🙂 I think it makes me feel closer to the season which is why my kitchen becomes a solace for all things fall.  But nothing makes me as happy as pumpkin risotto! The warm and decadent rice perfectly tender to the tooth is rich and fragrant with the spices of fall.

Risotto is one of those dishes that can easily intimidate a cook but it’s very easy to make. There are two simple rules NEVER add all the liquid at once and be PATIENT. On one of my trips to a local farmers market I picked up a jar of freshly made pumpkin puree if you have access to freshly made puree buy it! If you don’t I highly encourage you to make your own its very easy! Of course you can use can puree (I like the Trader Joe’s one) but you have not had pumpkin risotto unless you try making it with the fresh stuff!

Yield: Makes 6 first-course servings

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
2 (2 1/2- to 3-inch-diameter) pumpkin cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 small shallot chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped and smashed
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups low-salt organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 of good parmesan cheese, grated
2 sage leave
1 rosemary spring
1 french tarragon spring
Sea-salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Baby arugula

Place broth, sage, pumpkin puree, and rosemary in a pot to simmer and keep at a low simmer. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.  When it is melted add the pumpkin cubes and cook for about 5 minutes, add the onion, shallot, and garlic and cook until translucent, another 4 minutes.  Add the rice and stir for about two minutes so it can absorb the butter and toast a bit. Add one ladle of stock and stir constantly until absorbed. In the last few minutes add the Parmesan and stir in. Repeat this process until risotto is slightly al-dente, definitely not soupy or mushy. Serve immediately and top with arugula and the remaining cheese.

Chicken Mole Tacos

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home in which my mother cooked 2-3 meals on a daily basis. My mother is one of the best cooks, I know all kids say that about their mothers; but mine really is ;-). We all gathered around the table and gobbled down some of the best Mexican food we would ever have. This was not your overly greasy, extra cheesy, taco bell stuff. It was the real deal –  fresh, vibrant, exploding with flavor, and loaded with seasonal vegetables.  Mole is one of the dishes that we all enjoyed growing up.

I cheated when I made this mole. I used canned mole and simply added home-made chicken stock, cumin, roasted tomatoes, chile de arbol and garlic. But if you feel adventurous and want to make your own try this recipe, I have used it before and it’s perfect.

I used these lovely heirloom cucumbers and tomatoes to make the cucumber salad and added the tomatoes to the mole. I do not have many meat dishes in this blog, but my husband and I received our first Local Farm Meat CSA box and are looking forward to supporting local farmers!

Spring Spirit Salad

Dear Rainbow Chard

Where have you been all my life?

Love Cynthia

It happens often I fall head over heals for new to me foods and dishes…but this time it happened with a green, rainbow chard has changed my life, that of my husband, and future kids.

I have  to admit that I have absolutely no memory of ever eating rainbow chard.  I suppose that it’s not a very common ingredient.  At least not in our diets. It doesn’t appear on restaurant menus too often. To be quite honest I had never paid much attention to it at the grocery store. Saturday morning I picked up a bunch at the Farmer’s Market. There it was piled high in a mountain of rainbow steams and beautiful green leaves.  Not really sure how I lived 24 years without encountering it. But now that we have met it has not failed to inspire me. I am still learning how to use it.

This salad encompasses all of the color and flavors that are popping up all over the farmers market. The bitter rainbow chard paired with a sweet orange honey vinaigrette is absolutely amazing. The quinoa adds texture and a dose of goodness… I decided to add some mango to sweeten the deal… It was the perfect poolside meal.

instructions –

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Add some chopped garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.

Make the orange vinaigrette by mixing the freshly squeezed orange, 1 tbsp of olive oil, sea salt, back pepper, two tbsp of organic honey, and poppy seeds in a mason jar…shake until emulsified.

Chop the rainbow chard and mango and toss everything together in bowl! Enjoy!