Watermelon, Lime & Basil (Photo Shoot)

This post is a yet another lovely shoot styled by Kelly Oshiro of sbchic.com and created by the amazing chef’s over at Duo Catering. I was the humble photographer merely capturing the brilliance of these great artists. The original post can be found HERE.

Today we’re continuing our food series with Duo Events and this time they’re putting a spin on a classic summertime treat, watermelon. For this recipe you will need:

-1 Small Watermelon

-6-8 Black Finger Limes (Caviar Limes) – available at specialty groceries and area farmers markets

-1 Bunch Thai Basil (can substitute lemon basil, opal basil or Italian basil)

-2 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil

-1 Tablespoons, Flaked Sea Salt (we use Maldon Sea Salt)

To begin, Start by removing the watermelon rind and reserve for another use (makes great pickles!):

  1. Cut the watermelon into 3/4 inch thick slices.
  2. Cut slices into bite sized portions (a small pastry cutter works great for this)
  3. Roll each finger lime under the palm of your hand on a cutting board to loosen the “beads”.
  4. Slice the limes in half and squeeze into a bowl.
  5. Drizzle limes with olive oil and spoon 1 tsp onto each watermelon segment.
  6. Top with a basil leaf and 2-3 flakes of sea salt

Enjoy as an hors d’oeuvre on a hot afternoon or serve as a first course for a summer dinner.

Lamb with Candied Orange and Olive Tapenade (Food Shoot Feature)

The amazing Kelly Oshiro just posted this shoot on her fabulous blog Santa Barbara Chic. It was a thrill to photograph the talented chef’s over at Duo catering and to eat their fabulous food! (recipes below). Enjoy!

To make this recipe you will need:

For the lamb:

-2 Lamb Loins

-1 Tablespoon Finely cut rosemary

-3 Garlic cloves, minced

-Zest of 1/2 Orange

For the Tapenade:

-1/2 Cup pitted olives (we often use picholine, Nicoise, and Luque Olives)

-1/4 Cup dice orange (the entire orange- do not peel).

-1 Tablespoon Sugar

-1/4 Cup Water

-1 Clove garlic, minced

-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

-2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley


  1. Clean each lamb loin of any silver skin and split lengthwise (leaving you with 4 pieces)
  2. Rub the loins with the Rosemary, garlic, orange zest and salt and pepper- set aside.
  3. Combine water, sugar and orange in a sauté pan over high heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add olives and garlic and continue to simmer for an additional two minutes (the majority of the liquid should have evaporated – if the water evaporates too quickly add 2-3 additional tablespoons).
  5. Allow mixture to cool.
  6. Add parsley and set aside.
  7. Heat a sauté pan with 2 tbl Neutral cooking oil over meadium, high heat.
  8. sear the lamb loins on all sides, reduce heat and cook for a total time of 3-4  minutes.
  9. Remove lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  10.  slice each loin into 6 pieces (for a total of 24).
  11. Top each medallion with 1 tsp of the Tapenade.

Makes 24 Brochettes. Enjoy these bites sized treats!

*Duo & Michael and Anna Costa are sponsors of Santa Barbara Chic

Catering: Duo Events
Photographer: Anna Costa

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Easiest recipe ever (sorry this isn’t an uber specific. You can’t really ruin it…) :

Pork Shoulder or Pork Loin (Pork shoulder is more tender and is traditional but sometimes I use pork loin if I have it)

Bottle BBQ Sauce



Set crockpot to low setting. Put pork in crockpot and dump bbq sauce on top. Move around to be sure the bbq sauce gets over the entire slab of meat. Cook on low for 4-5 hours depending on how much or little meat you added. The pork is done when its tender and can be shredded easily with a fork. Put on toasted buns for sandwiches or just eat by itself. I like to add bread and butter pickles to my sandwich. Just sayin’… Enjoy!

This is why I do what I do… ;)

Recently a fellow blogger had a girls night and posted this photo. In it you will see half of a platter of my crispy brussel sprouts with garlic aioli (half of it is blocked by the salad). They made all the food from ideas from pinterest and is how they found my recipe. I can’t even describe how cool it is to see a recipe that came from my head be made by someone I don’t even know and enjoyed with friends. This is why I do what I do…. Thanks Tricia!

Ceasar Salad with Homemade Croutons & Dressing

I’m kind of a salad fanatic. I LOVE salad. My husband is more of an obligatory salad eater. He always says things to me like, “Good job making a salad honey” like I was trying to be proactive about our health. Really, I just think salads are refreshing and yummy. Especially when making homemade salad dressing and croutons, I think it takes it over the top. This salad I was bringing to a potluck dinner and was running late so I didn’t have time to take the final shot of the put together product. So I grabbed my camera and took it to the house and was like, “Wait, I have to take a picture before we eat!” I think the hostess thought I was nuts because the next time we had a group dinner and I brought something she said, “What, your not going to take a picture first?” Sorry people, I know I’m weird. I’m sure it seemed very self important for me to stop everything to take this picture. I hope it was worth it and from now on let it be known that if your having dinner with me – I will be taking pictures. Done.

Ceasar Salad with Homemade Croutons


2-3 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped


juice of one lemon

¾ teaspoon dijon mustard

¾ teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup fresh grated parmesan

2 anchovy filets

For Homemade Croutons:

1 loaf ciabatta bread cubed

olive oil

salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To make the croutons, place the cubed bread into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using clean hands toss the bread until its evenly covered with the oil (but not soaked). Season with salt & pepper and toss one more time. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn bread with spatula once during baking to get all sides evenly browned. Set aside.

For dressing, put garlic clove into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until minced. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined.

Place washed lettuce into a large salad bowl. Add croutons and dressing. Toss and serve!

Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta Enchiladas

Spinach & Artichoke Enchiladas:

I’m fortunate enough to have great friends who brought Michael and I many dinners after Georgiana was born. When your butt is sore as all get out and you are dealing with engorged boobs and a whole bathroom regime (TMI?) its such an amazing gift to have delicious dinners brought over. My friend Melissa was the first one to bring food and she didn’t disappoint. I remember her dropping off two aluminum pans full of piping hot enchiladas and rice and beans with salad. It was the most delicious dinner and I just had to make it again. This time I added some artichokes because they go with spinach so well.  For me, its a nourishing meal in both body and soul and reminds me I’m surrounded by amazing people. Thanks Melissa!


corn tortillas  (about 20)

1 cup spinach coarsely chopped

1 can artichokes chopped and patted dry

16 oz carton ricotta cheese

16 oz carton sour cream

1 medium onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

16 oz bag shredded monterrey jack cheese

16 oz chili verde sauce

1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Heat pan to medium high and grill each corn tortilla on the dry pan until the outside is slightly toasted. (This makes it easier to roll later without the tortilla’s cracking and breaking) Put in foil to keep warm until you are done with all the tortillas.  Set aside.

In a bowl combine ½ the bag of monterrey jack, ricotta, sour cream, spinach in a bowl. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Add artichokes and sauté until slightly browned. Off the heat, pour bowl of cheese mixture into pan and combine. Season with salt, pepper and add cayenne if you like. Taste and correct seasoning.

Pour a little chili verde sauce on the bottom of 2 13×9 glass dishes. Spread the sauce around so it coats the bottom of the dishes. Take one tortilla at at time and add filling and then roll. Repeat until filled. Pour green sauce liberally over the top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browning. Serve with rice and black beans.

Burrata and Avocado Sandwiches with Balsamic & Olive Oil

These sandwiches are easy and delicious. Mix some olive oil and balsamic vinegar together (a ratio of three quarters olive oil and one quarter balsamic vinegar. Eyeball it…) and then press some lightly toasted sourdough bread  on the oil/vinegar mixture and let it absorb for a second. For the other slice of bread, spread with a little mayo. (If you are adverse to mayo then do the oil/vinegar mixture on both slices of bread). Then just layer with slices of burratta cheese, avocado and tomato. Season with a little salt and pepper and you have a delicious sandwich on your hands. Enjoy!