Sunday, October 9, 2016

Facebook Live Chopped Salad

Thanks for check out our first Facebook Live cooking demo for our version of a chopped salad. If you didn't get the chance to tune in last night then keep an eye out for another one in the next week or so. 

Chopped Salad

Chopped romaine lettuce
Chopped basil
Chopped arugula
1 can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
Chopped Salami & Turkey - whatever appeals to you. I personally like using Hickory Smoked Tofurky as my only "meat".
Mozzarella cheese chopped

Salad Dressing
1 cup kalamata olives
1 tbsp ea. Dijon mustard and honey.
3 cloves garlic 
1 bunch Basil
3/4 lemon juice 
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 tin anchovies

Throw all the items for the dressing in the blender and blend until smooth. 


Fall is FINALLY here

Everyone who knows me (this is Lauren typing today) knows that Fall is my favorite season. Crisp air, beautiful leaves, football, pumpkin spice everything, concord grapes and sweaters! I love sweater weather. Growing up in upstate New York October was the most amazing month, nothing better. I have had to dig deep and make some adjustments to my expectations now that we live in the south but I find a way to still make it Fall. I will wear that sweater and my boots even if it is 80 degrees. It just has to happen.

If you like Pumpkin spice coffee I have a quick recipe for you:

~Hot coffee
~IsaLean Pumpkin spice shake (if not available you can substitute IsaLean Vanilla and add 2 Tablespoons of organic pumpkin and 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice). Available at
~1 Tablespoon creamer 
~Blend and enjoy

Scott was testing some recipes and brought home a gorgeous block of Himalayan sea salt. Plug for  H-E-B grocery store - this block was only $30. Amazing price compared to online prices. I have seen him cook on them on one of the news spots he does but I have never had the opportunity to actually try the food that has cooked on it. You do not need to salt a thing. The salt from the block salts the food perfectly. It is amazing. I highly recommend that you get one and try cooking something on it. He cooked lamb chops on them. You can use any type of meat or vegetable and you won't regret it. 

 Salt Block Roasted Lamp Chops

For heating and cleaning follow the instructions listed on the salt block. This recipe is how Scott heated the block. Place the salt block on a sheet pan and place in the oven. The sheet pan will catch any drippings and keep your oven clean. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees. Once the oven hits the 200 degrees, turn the oven up to 250 degrees. Let it sit for 15 minutes at 250 then turn it up to 300 degrees. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Finally turn it to 400 degrees for the final temp and hold it at that temperature.
***The reason for this slow climb to temperature is to ensure the salt block does not crack. If it climbs from cold to hot quickly you risk it cracking. The salt block is an incredible conductor of heat. Once you get it to 400 degrees it will stay hot for a few hours.

Meat Prep:
2lbs lamb chops (preferably frenched, on the bone)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
The zest of 1 medium lemon
1 Tablespoon minced or zested garlic
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Toss everything together and marinate the meat for a minimum of as long as your block takes to heat up. Overnight is best.

Make sure the meat is at room temp prior to cooking. Using cold meat on a hot salt block will take longer.
Season each lamb chop with fresh cracked black pepper - No Salt
Place them on the salt block in the oven. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip and repeat on other side for 4-5 minutes (cooking time obviously depends on the thickness of your lamb chops).

Remove rest and enjoy with a glass of Petit Syrah.

Remember, you can cook any type of meat or vegetable on this so feel free to experiment.

Have an amazing week!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Life has a way of changing your direction

Our poor dog Rugby has been sick. I just had to share this picture of him enjoying his favorite thing, sunbathing. It is the first thing he did when he came home from the hospital. As of now, Rugby has a good diagnosis but initially it was pretty dire. 

Sorry we have been slackers on keep the blog current. As you can see we have had a few things come up that changed the direction we were moving. Everyone has mountains and valleys in life and we happened to hit one with our poor guy. He is our first baby. We rescued him while living in Los Angeles. He gave us both a second chance and we gave him one.

These events have forced us to reevaluate priorities, finances, who we surround ourselves with and what we give our daily attention to. The time is now to focus on family and embrace life. You only get one shot as this thing called life.

Each year brings seasons and sometimes in life you go through a new season of change. Like most people we say we are good at change but when it actually arrives you fight it. It forces you to reevaluate how good you really are at accepting it. When seasons change the only thing to do is do your best with what you've been dealt.

With that being said, this blog like everything in life is subject to change. We are going to try and make it more spontaneous so bear with us as we figure this out. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Diamante Style Fish (En papillote)

1lb firm fleshed white fish (ex - Cod, MahiMahi, Halibut)
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine black olives, capers, fresh parsley and set aside. Combine tomato puree, garlic, lemon juice, white wine together in a separate bowl. Mix well to incorporate. 

Set the fish on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper large enough to fold around the fish. Fold up the sides of parchment paper around the fish to create a bowl type form. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the top of the fish. Season liberally with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. 

Seal the parchment paper to form a pouch and bake for 10 minutes (depending on thickness of your fish). Remove and open pouch carefully due to steam. Add black olive mixture to the top. Re-seal and bake another 10 minutes or until fish is fully cooked and flaky. 

Use the juice in the pouch to pour over the fish and serve. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 2 - Goal Driven
Writing out our goals...
I would say I am a Type A personality. I am very passionate and with that passion comes some major planning to achieve my goals. The issue with this type of personality is that the passion can be very short lived. I want it now and I will succeed now. Patience is not my virtue. Plans, plans and more plans. Success takes patience which can be unfortunate for my personality.

So here are my goals for the week. No judgement here folks, you have to start somewhere and small works for me. 
1. Patience with myself and others
2. Focus - I mean really dig deep and just stick to one project/plan and follow through

Scott spent last week with some Italian chefs from Tuscany who were in town visiting. They spent the week creating recipes and going to "work" dinners (I was not included - chime the violin) in an effort to build relationships and learn more about the Italian food and culture. Scott could have just checked in with me since I am the Italian/Sicilian one and live with him but that would have been way to easy and cost effective. Also, I have never lived in Italy or even been to Italy but that is between you and me. I was able to meet the Italian chefs their last day in town and it was a really amazing experience. Growing up surrounded by Italians is one of my fondest childhood memories but now most of us have moved away as we've grown up and started our own families.  It is amazing the difference in culture that you can clearly feel. To sum it up, what these chefs reminded me of in terms of the feel of the culture was respect, love, family and genuine interest in people vs. the hustle and bustle of business.

So to end this how about an attainable goal this week that you have to be intentional with. The good news is that you do get to eat it. This is an authentic focaccia/pizza dough from the Campania region of Italy.


Authentic Pizza Dough from Naples Italy
4 Cups 00 flour (if you can find it - if not use bread flour)
1.75 Cups slightly warmed water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 packet dry active yeast (2 teaspoons)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixer with dough hook, slowly add the warmed water and olive oil and scrape down sides as necessary. Beat on low speed for 10 -15 minutes until the dough just starts to come away from the side of the bowl.

Add more flour or water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl.

Once the dough has come together remove it from the mixer and place on a lightly floured cutting board or workspace. Knead the dough and form into a big ball. In a stainless steel or glass bowl add 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and move it around to cover it with olive oil. Cover with a towel and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow dough to rest/cure.

When ready to use, remove the dough from the refrigerator and keep covered with the bowl and allow to sit at room temperature an proof for 2 hours prior to baking. When ready to bake, punch down the dough and cut into baseball size dough balls and roll it out into focaccia shape. Bake on stone or sheet pan for 10-15 min until edges are puffy and starting to get color at 500 degrees.

Brush dough with extra virgin oil oil and herbs if wanted. Can serve as is with salt and olive oil or add pizza toppings and throw it back in the oven. 

P.S. Not hard to do but it is a labor of love. Conquer pizza dough - check this as a goal achieved. Then you can make this for your Italian Nonna. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

                                                          Week one - Health

The nutrition company that I have teamed up with has the most amazing values. For the next 12 weeks I am going to focus our blog around one of them until I get through all 12. 

Health is key. How can we go about making our world a healthier world? When I think about health I think about physical and emotional health. Everyone has a "quick fix". Take this supplement, take this medicine, eat this, drink this and the list goes on and on. Health and fitness is 80% about nutrition and 20% is exercise.

So how do you make this part of your process, your reality? Baby steps folks. Focus on things in your  personal environment that you can change. Maybe something as simple as changing your water bottle  from plastic to glass. Maybe start buying a few more items organic than you normally would. Maybe try spending more time living and being around people with similar values/views. Maybe trying loving more and judging others less. Everyone is going through something so try and be kind.

How about a money saving recipe. Instead of spending money on bacon, try making a healthy version that costs at least half and you won't feel guilty eating the entire batch.

Disclaimer - we are by no means vegetarians and love bacon, however this is a great way to get crunch and flavor without the fat. Added bonus is that you are getting your dark green veggies.

Kale Bacon

Preheat oven to 225F degrees

1 large bunch of lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur or tuscan kale)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste

Using a sharp knife, slide the knife along the stalk of each rib of kale. Try to keep the leaves as long as possible so they resemble bacon. Discard the stems. Repeat this process with each piece of kale.  Toss the kale once cut into a large bowl. Add all ingredients above EXCEPT salt to the bowl and toss well to coat. Gently lay the kale bacon strips onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (you may have to work in batches as you don't want to over crowd your sheet pan). Once on the sheet pan, sprinkle the kale with salt. Bake for an hour and 10 min or until kale is dried out and crispy to the touch.

Remove the kale from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. This will ensure the kale finishes drying out. Consume and repeat recipe as needed. This is great to serve along side morning eggs or just a snack. Our 4 year old and her friend consumed approximately half our batch today so it is kid friendly as well. See you next week!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last summer trip - Seattle

Summer is coming to a close and the last trip has been taken. Scott recently returned from a work trip to Seattle. The point of the trip was to soak in the Farm to Table movement and explore the local food trends/scenes. This trip also led to Scott discovering where we are going to retire, Bainbridge Island. I would be ok with getting out of the Texas summer heat so I am not arguing with his discovery.

Back to the food...Since we lived in California prior to moving to Texas, we are very familiar with the Farm to Table movement. We were actively participating in this as we shopped our local farmers markets every weekend. Recognize the brunette (with the green circle around her head)? Me at the Pacific Palisades farmers market with my good friend Jennifer Garner. LOL!

That was the amazing thing about living in California. Every week we would buy fresh, local produce from small farmers. Scott being in Seattle reawakened our love of buying local. 

A note on our preference - there are a lot of debates on organic vs. conventional farming and we are not looking to debate but we prefer organic 100% of the time when available. We tend to skip produce all together when it is not organic and supplement other ways. 

No matter where you live try and get out to a local farmers market and check out what the farmers have. San Antonio has a great one at the Pearl Brewery on Saturdays. It changes from season to season and some seasons are more abundant than others but most is grown sustainably, if not organically. 

So to leave you, if you were to walk into your local grocery store (say it is an HEB) you would be able to find some fantastic organic peaches - tis the season. Some of the organic ones are coming from Texas and some from the San Joaquin Valley, CA. Here is a recipe until next time:

Fresh Organic Peaches with Feta and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 semi hard peaches - you do not want them super soft
6 ounces crumbled Feta cheese 
1-2 Tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil

Slice peaches thinly and place them in a bowl. Gently toss the feta cheese and olive oil together with the peaches. Garnish with some chopped fresh mint. 

One of our favorite recipes for a hot summer day and even better with a glass of Chardonnay.

*Picture of peaches is from Pike's Place Market in Seattle.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The "Aha" Moment

I have been taking some time trying to figure out how to speak to what I experienced over the course of the past week. 

Let's go back 1 year ago. We teamed up with a health/nutrition company. Scott and I were pretty health conscious already but Scott was looking for an easy breakfast option to take with him to work so we teamed up with this company. We really were expecting nothing more than a healthy breakfast option to start our day.

Fast forward 8 months...Drs find a spot on my mom's lung (a non-smoker). This spot turned out to be a very aggressive form of cancer but in the early stages so she was one of the lucky ones. This event really got us thinking about health and nutrition and what role it really does play in long term effects on health. We decided that it was time to be serious. To change our lives and focus on everything that goes in and on our bodies.

Back to that nutritional company...Prior to the big "C" we had never thought about talking to people about nutrition, athletic performance, healthy aging and weight loss. We had this amazing little secret and we were keeping for just us. Plus I had fear. Now we know it is our duty to share this.

I attended a conference this past week with this company and everything changed. I had that "aha" moment and finally realized what my true purpose is. Sometimes we walk through life with our eyes closed and there are certain moments that wake us up. THIS WAS MINE! The 12 core principles that this company built its foundation on speaks to my soul. There really are no words.

Fear - we are born with only 2 fears. The fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. Any other fear is learned. So no more excuses. It is time to get real.

And so begins our journey. Our journey to serve others and make the world a healthier place to live, thrive and raise our families. 

Scott & I are not Drs and do not claim to cure anything. We are just here to share our journey, experiences and knowledge to help as many people attain their goals and find confidence in themselves once again.

I am not sure what each day/week/month may bring but I sincerely hope you will join us on our ride.

To end, here is a recipe from Scott. He is a chef and top recipe developer for one of the largest food retailers in America. Enjoy and have a blessed week.

Organic Roasted Green Beans with Turmeric and Almond Viniagrette 

1/2 cup raw almonds
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground turmeric or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
Kosher salt to tast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2 pounds of organic green beans in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and liberal amounts of kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place on a sheet pan and roast until the ends of the green beans are slightly charred (approximately 25-35 min).

Blender - combine the above ingredients. Puree 3-4 minutes until dressing starts to thicken. Season to taste with salt & pepper.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Under Construction


We are currently under construction. You will see most posts are old so please check back soon. 

This blog will soon be updated with recipes and health and information. I have been involved in an amazing nutrition program for the last year and I am very passionate about it. We also had a family member diagnosed with lung cancer recently and it really has changed how we look at our precious time here on earth and what we put in and on our bodies. Now is the time for change. Time to take the reigns. You are in control of your destiny! 

In the meantime you can check out for more information on the nutritional program we have incorporated into our lives. 

And a picture of some yummy eats to hold you over.