Tomorrow is the first day of summer, and we are diving right in. In less than 48 hours, we’ll be sailing on crystal clear waters 3500 miles from Los Angeles, sipping on dark and stormys, passion coladas, and soaking up Caribbean sunshine in the tropical British Virgin Islands. Ryan’s parents are experienced sailors, and every few years, they invite the family to explore the seas in a 45-foot catamaran that will be our floating home for the week. Stocked with a full kitchen complete with an oven and stove, the eight of us will be cruising in the water—with laughing gulls tagging along, waiting for our nieces Stella and Lucia, who will throw them a treat. With four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a sound system which will have Bob Marley and Harry Belafonte on repeat, our crew will be adventuring around the neighboring islands that make up this picture-perfect region—sampling fresh local fruit, snorkeling in 80-degree waters teeming with coral reefs and rainbow-colored fish, and enjoying some much-needed relaxation after this past year and a half of writing the cookbook! But before we embark, we’d like to leave you with a brand new recipe and a refreshing drink to go with it.
This post was created in partnership with Crate & Barrel. All opinions are our own.
It’s here! Today is #NationalPopcornDay and we have been waiting all year for this! We are very excited to partner with Crate & Barrel for this momentous holiday, and came up with a tasty recipe to celebrate in style! If you like Indian food, you will love this Indian spiced popcorn. Seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, curry, salt, pepper, and garam masala, this aromatic snack is also tossed with a pinch of cayenne pepper for that perfect picante pop. Head over to the Crate and Barrel blog to get the full recipe and to read our post, and in the spirit of today’s festival, we give you full permission to take the day off, and enjoy a giant bowl of hot fresh popcorn in honor of this beloved treat. Happy popping everyone!
This post was created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own.
We both came out to our parents soon after we started dating. Three months after our first kiss, Ryan flew to Oregon to visit family for Christmas. He had just turned twenty and still hadn’t revealed his secret to anyone back home, but he had met someone special and wanted to share the excitement with his parents. After days of anxiously waiting for the right moment to tell them, it finally presented itself: they were sitting quietly in the family room, reading after dinner. He paced outside the door rehearsing the words he had practiced a hundred times in his head. After one last deep breath, he walked in and took a seat on the couch.
“I have something to tell you.”
They both looked up from their newspapers and said nothing, waiting for what was coming next.
“I met someone at school this semester.”
Silence. His heart was racing.
“…and his name is Adam.”
His mom just smiled. “We’ve always known, we were just waiting for you to tell us.”
The entire family was supportive from day one—even Ryan’s grandmother, a devout Catholic in her 80’s, loved and accepted Adam like a grandson, greeting him every time with huge hugs and home-cooked tortilla con papas. We both feel fortunate to come from such loving and accepting homes, but for many people, this is not the case. So in honor of National Pride Month, we created a rainbow recipe to spread awareness about a campaign that is helping LGBT kids around the country.
Our first kiss. September 23, 2001. Los Angeles, California. We had known each other for almost four months. Ryan had just moved back to USC for his sophomore year of college after a summer break in Portland, spent chatting together for hours every night over aol instant messenger. We had been on several casual dates since his return, and the only physical contact was a friendly hug at the end of each evening. But this night was different. Little did we know, as we sat nervously on the couch in Adam’s tiny Los Feliz apartment watching the Ken Burn’s Jazz documentary, that this night would be the beginning of a relationship that would eventually turn into a lifelong marriage. Neither of us ever had a boyfriend before, so this was all new territory and somewhat daunting. Ryan was feeling brave, and before getting together at the apartment that night he proposed a big question over the archaic dial-up internet connection, “What’s the deal with us?” And for good reason: we had been on a handful of dates, and didn’t go a day without speaking on the phone, sometimes for hours on end, but there was still no sign of a kiss. Well, cupid must have had perfect aim that warm Sunday evening, or perhaps there was some particularly romantic jazz music playing in the film, but whatever it was, we found ourselves moving closer and closer on the couch. Miles was wailing on the trumpet and Art Blakey pounded on his drums, while cupid pulled his arrow all the way back, further than he had ever pulled before, and using all his concentration and focus, he let go—never taking his eyes from the arrow as it shot through the air, pierced both of our hearts, and our lips touched for the very first time. Five years after that fateful night, we were married in front of 150 of our closest friends and family, and we have never looked back.
Being a vegetarian in Spain is not easy, but if you know what to look for you can eat like a king. Ryan has family in Bilbao and we have been fortunate to visit them a few times together over the years. Our first experience was in the summer of 2011, and while the trip was amazing… getting there was not. Thanks to weather and other delays, our sixteen-hour travel time turned into an unpleasant (and uncomfortable) thirty, leaving us exhausted and worn out by the time we arrived. But the huge hugs and warm welcome we received from all the relatives waiting at the airport made us forget the ordeal we had been through, and for the next four days we had the time of our lives. We had planned our trip to overlap with the city’s annual festival, Aste Nagusia, or “big week.” From morning till night, there were tens of thousands of locals and tourists partying in town, with colorful floats, jaw-dropping fireworks, and delicious street foods on every corner, and this is where Adam tried churros con chocolate for the first time: thin, extra-crispy churros dipped in a cup of rich, thick melted chocolate. Ryan’s family showed us all their favorite local bars and restaurants, took us to the Guggenheim Museum of modern art, and we basically spent the entire visit eating and drinking our way through this lively Basque city. At times, it was tricky to find tapas that we could eat, but almost every bar had a few classic dishes we could enjoy, like traditional Spanish tortilla de patatas, roasted pimientos de país, and the crispy, spicy, dangerously addictive potatoes known as patatas bravas.