Wine Tasting Highlights

Although I’ve already posted some previews of my birthday wine tasting picnic, I wanted to dedicate a post to highlight some of my favorite parts of the day- from the individual picnics to the out of this world cake my best friend baked me.  I was so lucky to spend my special day with some of my closest friends on a perfect spring day in the Malibu Canyon.  I can’t wait to visit again!
Personalized picnics made each guest feel special and made my special day perfect!  The menu included in each box gave guests a preview of the meal to help pair lunch with their choice of wines.
My best friend, Nicole, constructed this unbelievable red velvet cake and decorated it with individual fondant flowers. Passerby’s couldn’t help but gawk at the cake and several people asked for her card and if she catered professionally.  She definitely gave me a run for my money- I have never baked a cake of this caliber and I was so over the moon to receive such a beautiful gift!

Berry Birthday Cake


When I turned 13, I had a joint birthday party with my then and now best friend, Nicole.  Of course, way back then bowling parties were the thing to do, so of course we had to have a big bowling party!  And if we were having a big party, we needed a big delicious cake- let’s just say this is the moment when my obsession with berry cakes began.  We had an amazing sheet cake from Hansen’s bakery- a white angel food cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream frosting!  One might call it heaven on earth.

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Caprese Four Ways


As the lenten season comes to an end, I wanted to dedicate this post to my favorite meat free meal- caprese! Three basic ingredients with such a powerful, rich taste- how could you go wrong?  Here are four of my favorite takes on tomato, mozarella and basil.

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Garlic Knot Rolls


Ever find yourself going to a potluck and wanting to impress the crowd, but you don’t have the time to slave over a hot stove or bake those delicious cupcakes everyone always begs you to bring.  Well the solution is here!  These garlic knots are sure to impress any group- my friends didn’t even realize I used a can of biscuits for the dough.  We hosted an Italian themed potluck dinner for my actual birthday and my roommate and I paired these yummy knots with my infamous crock pot lasagna.  It was hard to tell which dish was a bigger hit!



1 (16 oz) pack of your favorite Biscuits
3 tbsp of grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Cooking Spray


On a lightly floured surface, roll a biscuit into a sausage shape. Once it’s around 6-7 inches long, tie a knot with the dough.  Then pull the one end over and tuck it in the back and push the other in to the back

Bake the knots according to the instructions on the pack. Bake them in the oven for a few minutes less than what the pack says.

While your knots are baking, make the garlic parmesan topping. Add a teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano and kosher salt and add just 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the parmesan cheese. Mix well.

After around 10-12 minutes take the rolls out of the oven and spray with some butter on each roll.  Sprinkle the toping over each roll- be generous- then pop the rolls back in the oven until they are golden brown.

Adapted from Picture the Recipe.


Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes



For whatever reason, some days I have an absolutely insatiable sweet tooth, no matter how good my self control is,  I will continue to hunger for something sweet and delicious.  I have found the answer to this problem with out breaking the calorie counting bank.  First off, how had I not known about this before?  Three ingredients for healthy pancakes- hello new favorite recipe! Continue reading