Monday, April 29, 2013

Las Vegas

A 4 day stunning vacation in Vegas with my love....After a long East Coast winter, this weekend was the first time we had been in a pool since last summer, so our first mission was to hit the pool, get a fruity cocktail and get a tan. We checked into our beautiful room at the Wynn and focused on our first goal of the weekend...

Jonathan, being the impressive employee he is, won yet another "Run through the warehouse", so on Friday morning we ran our butts off and grabbed as many items as we could in 60 seconds.

Cheerleaders, DJ's, Red Bulls, Candy Bars...super stimulating event!

We went to lunch at a Wazuzu and had some wonderful sushi and Coconut Mojitos!!st

Hamachi Chili- yellowtail sashimi with cilantro, Serrano pepper and yuzu caviar, served with citrus soy and yuzu mist.

Seaweed salad and Coconut Mojitos....yum!!! After lunch we ventured back out to the pool for some more sunshine and Pina Coladas.

We got cleaned up and headed to the Mirage to see "LOVE", a tribute to the Beatles (it was spectacular)! After the show we were hungry, so we got some more sushi at Japonais...

Earlier that day we discovered that my childhood friend was also in Vegas with his beautiful girlfriend, so we headed to Planet Hollywood to meet them for a drink.....

The next morning was a little rough for us, so we went straight to the pool to relax..

After a day at the "European Pool", we had a cocktail & tapas event scheduled at Tryst (a club in the Wynn). They had an open bar, grilled cheese station, crab leg station, cupcakes, a DJ, dancing and so much more. It was a beautiful event..

We headed over to Surrender Nightclub in the Encore where we had our very own VIP table with bottle service for just the two of us....

Our cocktail waitress, Kimmie..

We listened to a great DJ and waited for the main event...

Nero, was the main event..........

The next morning it was time to go home, so this Cali girl stopped
off at my favorite fast food joint on the West Coast, Rubios for some Fish Tacos before our flight home...............Amazing and memorable trip!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lobster Boil

For this beautiful Spring Day we had some friends over for yard games and a Lobster Boil. We played outdoor games and then came inside for a feast!! We had Maine Lobster w/ Lemon, Caper Butter sauce, Chorizo and Shrimp Skewers w/ Parsley, Corn on the Cob, Roasted Parsley Potatoes, Grilled Artichokes w/ Red Pepper Aioli Sauce, Dinner Rolls, Sauvignon Blanc and Strawberry short Cake to top it off. 
The Crew with their Lobsters
LunaBella Wants some lobster
The Spread

Monday, April 15, 2013

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Looking for something different to do with those ripe bananas in the freezer.....Other than banana bread?? Look no further! Gluten is the protein in wheat that is quiet sticky and helps hold baked goods together. In this wheat free recipe, bananas bind the ingredients and also add significant sweetness so that only a small amount of maple syrup in needed. These little delights are truly sinless...

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

In medium bowl, combine bananas, oil, syrup and vanilla. In separate medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, coconut and salt. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until just combined (do not over stir). Fold in chocolate chips.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop batter by the heaping teaspoon onto sheet. There is no need to roll, flatten or shape the mounds. Place in oven and bake 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool

Makes 1 dozen cookies

A Sunday in the life of....

Is there anything better then Sunday?? Well maybe Saturday, but regardless, it's a wonderful day..especially in the spring!! It's a day full if Sunday naps, music, kitten fun and good fresh food!!! I baked some Banana Coconut chocolate chip cookies and helped my husband stay stimulated while writing two papers (the life of a MBA student). Simplistic Sundays are extra special in my book!!

Our Balinese Beauty

Banana Coconut chocolate chip cookies

A normal day at DanaCakes Bistro. Carrot Ginger Bran Muffins, Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ghirardelli Chocolate Brownies.


Happy Hours Snacks

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fire Pit Nights

Getting out of dodge is fun, but nothing beats weekends at home with family and no obligations!!!! After a full day of yard work, we invited Kristden, Jason, Lisa and Ryan over for a fire pit in our back yard oasis, cocktails, hor d'oeuvres and music. As always we had a great time!! I prepared a Kale Salad w/ beets, gorgonzola and pine nuts; bruschetta flatbread; portobello, arugula and goat cheese flatbread; and for dessert, brownie sundaes, served on a silver platter!!! It was a delicious and memorable night!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wine tasting

Wine tasting and live music at our neighborhood winery followed by a wonderful dinner at our favorite bistro!! TGIF!

Kale Salad w/ Beets, Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 beet, roasted, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Procedure

    Wash the kale thoroughly in cold water, remove the stems and cut into think slices, steam the kale for 2-3 minutes, toss in large bowl with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the beets, pine nuts and cheese and toss. Serve as salad, or side dish. Enjoy!

    Gourmet Food Junkie

    How should I say this? I'm kind of a gourmet food, delivery uber-fan and I love having delicious gourmet treats being delivered to our home as well as shipping them to my loved ones homes. I have heavenly ham & cheese croissants being shipped from Master pastry chef, Jean-Yves Charon’s bakery in LosAngeles!!! Super Excited to receive these little treats!! Brunch anyone?

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Green Goddess Juice

    • 1 bunch of Organic Greens (kale, Swiss chard, collard greens)
    • 1 large peeled organic cucumber
    • 3 large peeled organic carrots
    • 3 organic apples
    • 1 small piece of ginger root

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Grilled Artichokes w/ Red Pepper Aioli (Vegan)

    Grilled Artichokes
    • 4 whole artichokes
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of choice (dill, tarragon, lemon balm, rosemary)
    • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

    Bring large pot of water to boil. Boil the artichokes for about 20 minutes or until barely soft. Drain cooking water, rinse with cold and set upside down to drain completely. Once artichokes have cooled, gently squeeze any remaining water and carefully cut in half from stem to tip. Scoop out and discard fuzzy choke.

    In Medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Place prepared artichokes in sealable container, pour in marinade, seal, shake gently and refrigerate for at least one hour.

    Red Pepper Aioli
    • 1 cloves garlic
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 ½ cup grapeseed oil mayonnaise
    • 3 roasted red pepper, drained
    • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

    Place the red pepper and garlic in food processor. Pulse the pepper and garlic until pureed. Add the mayonnaise and blend until smooth. While the food processor is running pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. You can make the aioli 2 days in advance.

    Preheat grill to high and sear artichoke until grill lines show (1-2 minutes per side). Serve hot with aioli on the side! Enjoy!

    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    Avocado Pesto Pasta (Vegan)

    This delicious recipe is a must in our home and one of my husbands favorites! He request it at least once a month. The recipe listed is vegan, however, you can add chicken and parmesan cheese if you prefer some tasty animal products. The pesto also taste delicious on pizza if you're having a pizza party! Enjoy!!,

    • 1 pound linguine
    • 1 bunch fresh basil, reserve some leaves for garnish
    • ½ cup pine nuts
    • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • Sea salt, Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried.


    Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss pasta with pesto. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with cherry or sun-dried tomatoes. Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish each serving with a basil

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Cilantro-Lime Chicken Fajitas

    Cilantro-Lime Marinade
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 limes, juice of
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 garlic clove
    Put 2 organic skinless boneless chicken breast halves in gallon zip lock bag. Add marinade, press out extra air and seal the bag. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour to overnight.

    • 3 large bell peppers cut into strips (yellow, green, orange)
    • 2 sliced onions
    • Olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons seasoning of choice (cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper)
    • Lime juice