Our yard is exploding with color. The thirty-foot native ceanothus shrub that is normally a deep forest green throughout the year is now covered with clusters of intense purple flowers. The bougainvillea vine surrounding our kitchen door which has been bare all winter long has now begun to flaunt its show-stopping red blooms. Spring is in the air, and soon we’ll be enjoying sweet juicy strawberries and farm-fresh crisp roasted asparagus. This also means that Summer is just around the corner, and if we plan to fit in our swimsuits on our Alaskan cruise in July (more on that later), we’d better start thinking ahead! With travel and beauty on our minds, we wanted to create something delicious and healthy to prepare for this summertime celebration at sea. The thing is, these wraps turned out so tasty, that we’ve eaten about four hundred in the past four days, which isn’t helping the situation. Open your hearts and minds, crispy avocado southwest sushi wraps are here to take you on an international voyage around the world.
Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Exactly ten years ago, we exchanged vows in front of 150 of our closest friends and family. It was a special day and a beautiful ceremony unlike any other. We stood under a Jewish chuppah inside a Christian church, married by a gay pastor and a lesbian rabbi. The building was bright and welcoming with high vaulted ceilings and a rainbow flag displayed proudly in front of the church with the words “All are welcome” for everyone to see. We walked down the aisle hand in hand as our friend played “Love” by John Lennon on the grand piano. Under the canopy, the four of us stood in a semi-circle facing the audience, so now every time we think back to November 5th, we can picture everyone’s smiling faces in our memories.
Adam: I used to hate cooking. I didn’t like making a mess, I didn’t like having to clean up dishes, and I was never good at following instructions (not to mention my patience would expire after being in the kitchen for more than ten minutes). Before I met Ryan, if I was making pasta, I would buy a jar of pre-made sauce, a box of spaghetti, and nothing more—anything else would mean more time, more work, and of course more dishes. So I learned some handy tricks along the way. To save washing an extra pan, I wouldn’t even heat the sauce. Instead, I would just pour it over the hot noodles and let them warm it up. And to avoid washing a bowl, I would eat the pasta straight from the pan! Following this savvy method, the only things that needed to be cleaned were one pot and one fork! But things have changed: now I find washing dishes to be relaxing, and cleaning satisfies my obsessive-compulsive ways. Well, this easy 4-ingredient tomato sauce we are sharing today would have been completely acceptable if I had discovered it during my bachelor days, and it would have tasted much better than those fifteen-cent-packages-of-instant-ramen-filled dinners spent alone before meeting Ryan. This delicious sauce requires no effort, little cleaning, and is an ideal dinner for busy work days, yet elegant enough for a relaxing date night in.
It mIght be obvious to you that we have a slight obsession with sweets. Okay, perhaps it’s a little more than slight—it’s pretty severe. But there is just something so satisfying about them! I mean, who wouldn’t want to start their day by pouring hot chocolatey nutella syrup over crispy banana waffles first thing in the morning? After a breakfast like that, it’s basically guaranteed that the rest of your day will be spectacular. Life is full of bountiful pleasures like these, and it’s important to treat yourself to sumptuous breakfasts from time to time! We are not saying that you should then go have cake for lunch and ice cream for dinner, but keeping a diverse mix of sweet and healthy is important. When we were planning this month’s blog schedule, we realized that four out of the last five recipes we posted were desserts and the fifth one was a cocktail. So today we are balancing things out and sharing one of our favorite Mediterranean side dishes, a delicious and healthy cold salad, perfect for all your spring and summer entertaining needs. Say hello to tabbouleh.
On Saturday we hiked Fish Canyon Falls, over five miles of breathtaking trails lined with shady oaks, blue agaves, and multi-colored wildflowers carpeting the hillsides glowing with fragrant white sage, located in the Angeles National Forest just thirty minutes from our home. The winding path follows a clear stream, and because of the recent winter rains, it was rushing through the bottom of the canyon, creating a peaceful soundtrack of flowing water nearly the entire time. At the end of the trail, we were greeted by a majestic 3-tiered, 80-foot waterfall that was cascading in full force. It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to discover yet another hidden area of natural beauty so close to the city. After spending the morning hiking through the woods, stumbling upon abandoned cabins, and adventuring in the hills, we came home to find a package waiting for us on our doorstep that we had been anticipating for several months. Our friend Emilie (theclevercarrot.com) just wrote her first cookbook and we were so excited for its arrival, especially after seeing so many other bloggers making beautiful creations from it and posting photos and rave reviews online. Epicurious named The Clever Cookbook as one of “spring’s best cookbooks” and after browsing through this gem and making one dish so far, we clearly understand why. It is filled with inspiring recipes that we can’t wait to try: cauliflower bolognese, chai pancakes with cinnamon butter, banana cloud cake, and the list goes on! Today we are so excited to share this easy zucchini and brown rice gratin from her book that has graced our kitchen twice this week and has already become one of our new favorite dinners.