So I got a facial…and Michael did too ;)

A few days ago Michael and I both got facials from the amazing Diana Lund at Peaches Skin Care in Santa Barbara. Michael had been bugging me to make an appointment for us (which I never did) and so he finally called and after much back and forth with the front desk we got in. Michael was first to go while I was with the baby and then we switched. The facial was suppose to be an hour and a half. An hour and a half goes by and no Michael. An hour and forty five minutes goes by. Still no Michael. Finally after two hours he arrives glowing and excited about his experience. I just KNOW that he’s been up to something and can’t wait to hear Diana tell me how it went. You see, Michael is unlike any other man I’ve ever met. He’s intense. He’s interesting. He’s detail oriented. So I could only imagine how his facial must have gone. When I arrive Diana apologized for taking so long and mentioned that Michael had, “a lot of questions!” As we delved into the facial she was very curious about Michael as he evidently was asking such in depth questions that she had to pause and think about how to answer them. She told me she had never had another client (male or female) ask her as much as he did. She gave him a recommended face cleaning routine to do in the morning and at night. Evidently he told her he really wasn’t going to do the night time routine as he knew himself and didn’t want to set himself up for failure. She was speechless. Evidently no one had ever flat our refused to do her recommended cleansing system. Ironically, each night Michael does a thorough detailing on his teeth which includes flossing, brushing with his mechanical tooth brush and mouth wash… My facial on the other hand was the exact opposite of Michael’s in that we mostly chatted about life, babies and Michael’s interesting personality traits. By the end she apologized once again that she wasn’t as thorough explaining the process to me as she was to Michael. Of course, I could have cared less as I was pretty sure she knew what she was doing and had no problem executing the recommending cleansing system. When I got home Michael inspected my face and promptly told me I looked two years younger. Oh my wonderful husband. He has a way of driving me crazy with his little intense spurts and then very soon thereafter makes up for it by being something that no one else can be. Him. At the end of the day I’d rather have a husband that notices that I got a facial and comments that I look two years younger than one that would never notice at all.  Michael your my BFF….

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Plow and Angel at San Ysidro Ranch (Santa Barbara Restaurant Review)

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San Ysidro Ranch is the secret hideaway of all secret hideaway’s. Gaining notoriety for housing the Kennedy’s on their honeymoon (yes, THOSE Kennedy’s) it has the reputation of luxurious seclusion. Fortunately you don’t have to stay there to enjoy their beautiful indoor/outdoor restaurant, Plow and Angel.  Although Michael and I don’t frequent this sort of restaurant on a nightly basis we felt we could splurge for our anniversary. As we drove up to the entrance the path was illuminated by lit olive trees with a carpet of lavender underneath. The night air was crisp with hints of the nearby ocean mixed with the misty mountain fog as we walked through the rose arches that lead the way to the restaurant. The outdoor dining area was situated under a canopy of tree’s with hanging chandeliers made out of dried gourds.  The mood was a quiet bustle that was relax but still had a note of austerity as if only a certain type of person would know to eat at Plow and Angel. Not the most comfortable type of setting for me but I played it off as if I was suppose to be there as best I could. We skipped an appetizer and ordered our main course first with anticipation of having enough room for dessert. I chose the Roasted Shelton Farms Half Chicken and Michael decided on the Short Rib special. (Surprise surprise! Short ribs are his go to choice). Both were delicious and expertly made. We also had a side of brussel sprouts which were a disappointment seeing as I have an affinity for my own recipe. But alas, all was not lost when our Baked Alaska arrived and was immediately set on fire. Dinner and a show! We feasted upon this delectable treat with gusto and even took the half melted remains home in order to attempt an encore later on. (sans fire) All in all its hard to beat Plow in Angel due to its high level of ambiance, charm and of course good food.

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Inside Slippers/Outside Slippers. Thoughts about my husband…

My husband has two sets of slippers. One for the inside of the house and one for the outside. This, in my opinion, is a very telling detail about the  person I’m married to. Having two sets of slippers for two seemingly separate purposes makes perfect sense to him. However, I’d wager that there are many husbands in which this attention to detail would never occur. Michael sees things on a microscopic level while I see things on the “big picture” level. Michael likes to organize his things while I like to organize my time. Michael would rather run late to an event with a perfectly tied tie and I’d rather be on time and quickly put make up on in the car. Michael tends to spend hours editing one photograph while I take the same amount of time editing thousands of photographs. Granted, his one photograph looks infinitely better than my thousand but since we deliver thousands of images to our clients we sorta need to get it done.  Michael takes 3 times as long in the shower than anyone I have ever met. One time I showed him my shower routine so he could believe that I actually get clean in the limited time I spend in there. He was surprised. When we got married, Michael not only read all the instruction manuals to our new kitchen appliances but gave me a tutorial on how to use them effectively. Michael owns socks that notate which side of the foot you should put them on with a “L” and “R” symbol. My socks are threadbare and have holes in them.  Is one of us more correct in our choices than the other? No. We complement each other. We also drive each other crazy half the time too. Michael can’t seem to figure out why I leave stuff around the house when I’m trying to watch the baby, cook, take a client phone call and edit a wedding. I can’t understand why he takes so long to get anything done as he’s fastidiously windexing our glass desk before starting in on projects. But because we have each other we actually have it all. We have a neat and tidy house (most of the time) and an operating business (most of the time). We make up for each others failures and add value to each others lives. Basically, my life would suck without him. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect and nor am I. But we got married not only because we loved each other but because we were excited about what the other had to offer. And guess what? Despite Michael’s sometimes OCD tendencies (smile) I’m still excited. Love you darling….

Cap n’ Gown Treats

Graduation season is coming up! These little Cap n’ Gown treats are easy to make and super impressive looking which makes it a win-win dessert.  And since my brother graduated from UCLA and is now going to Harvard for graduate school I want to be sure to really impress him… I’m sure this will do the trick. haha!

Ingredients:

Hostess Mini Chocolate Donuts

Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares (individually wrapped)

Red Twizzlers (unraveled and cut in one inch pieces)

Buttercream Frosting (reserve a small amount and dye red. Put it into a piping bag affixed with a small round tip)

Direction for Assembling:

Take a donut and spread a small amount of buttercream frosting on the top. Place a chocolate square over the buttercream. Place a twizzler and secure it onto the middle of the cap by piping a dot of red icing over it. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Turkey Meatballs with Cilantro over Spaghetti and Homemade Marinara

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I like cooking with turkey for a weeknight meal. Its yummy, healthy and makes you feel great afterwards. I’m a big fan of cilantro because I love the zesty fresh taste it has and I think its a great twist for spaghetti & meatballs. Enjoy!

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Turkey Cilantro Meatballs

Ingredients: 

1 pound ground turkey

½ tbs seasoning salt such as Lawry’s

1 egg beaten

½ cup parmigiano reggiano cheese

⅓ cup dried bread crumbs

2 small cloves garlic minced

handful chopped cilantro

extra virgin olive oil

marinara (recipe follows)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine turkey, seasoning salt, egg, cheese, bread crumbs, garlic and cilantro. Mix together with hands until thoroughly combined. Form into 12 meatballs and place on a sheet pan. Cook for 15 minutes until browned and firm. While meatballs are cooking make the marinara and pasta.

Note: Turkey can overcook very quickly so keep a timer on hand and don’t cook for longer than 15 minutes unless the meatball registers under 160 degree’s on a thermometer.

Marinara & Pasta Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 pound spaghetti

2 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves minced

1 24 oz can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup red wine

1 tbs sugar

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbs tomato paste

2 oz herbed goat cheese

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water. Drizzle some olive oil and salt in the water before adding the spaghetti. While the pasta is cooking make sauce.

Heat a pan to medium high and add 2 tbs olive oil. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant about a minute. Add crushed tomatoes & tomato paste. Add wine, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper and oregano. (Crush oregano between your palms to release the oils before adding).  Simmer for 5 minutes and then add goat cheese. Let the goat cheese melt and mix it into the sauce completely. Taste and correct seasoning.

Drain pasta and add to sauce in batches making sure that there is a good balance of sauce to pasta. Top with meatballs. Serve and enjoy.