18 Reasons Cooking Class

18 Reasons is a non-profit based in San Francisco that not only provides cooking classes to community members but also free cooking classes to low-income communities throughout the Bay Area. 18reasonsIMG_470418reasonsIMG_470618reasonsIMG_4705

The night my friends and I went was ‘Spring Soups’!

We made crispy salmon, warm potato salad with a watercress sauce/soup. A build your own tortilla soup bar and for dessert a strawberry champagne soup with vanilla ice cream, fried basil, and other accents.18reasonsIMG_4709

Making the crispy salmon was easy and delicious.18reasonsIMG_4710

Building the tortilla soup and adding the broth at the end allowed for a fun and different aromatic experience!18reasonsIMG_4713

Next the crispy salmon over the warm potato salad and watercress sauce was served! 18reasonsIMG_471818reasonsIMG_471718reasonsIMG_4719


Fried Basil! I have never seen that before!18reasonsIMG_472118reasonsIMG_4723

Everything we prepared was easy and delicious. This cooking class was a lot of fun and I love the mission behind 18 reasons. I highly recommend taking a class here! Enjoy!

Current Food Lovin’

Do something today that your future self will thank you for. (2)

I always have a craving for something sweet after a meal. Lately, since I am trying to be healthy I will attempt to have tea but if that won’t do it here is a fun little one cup cookies recipe.

Do you take a lunch to work or make one at home? I love this little video of weekday lunch ideas.

Popcorn and chocolate give me energy?! Sign me up. Great list of high energy snacks!

Artichokes and I go way back, I have loved them for a long time. This crispy roasted artichoke recipe brings new life to an old favorite.

I could have hummus everyday and its Mother approved because its so dang good for you. These hummus recipes are steadily going to make it into my Summer rotation.



Links I Love: Friday, October 16

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

It is getting to be that time of year again. I want to try this hot cider recipe asap.

A fun interview with Colin Wright on how he travels the world and an article from his blog, Exile Lifestyle about Stuff.

I am not much of a beauty guru but if there is something that can make my morning routine easier I appreciate it! Currently loving dry shampoo and coconut oil. 

Great infographic on a backpackers needs!

I love Farnoosh and have talked about her podcast before. I love these financial tips she gives. Relevant and not the same old advice.

Hope these give you some food for thought this weekend!

Toasty’s Favs

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things that I have been loving this past week so that you may have the chance to enjoy them as well or at least be inspired to try something new.

My NEW all time favorite place to go for a latte is Illy. Especially on a rainy day after a hellacious week at work.  I don’t know how I walked by this place for almost two years without going in, however I won’t dwell on that fact but rather make the most of experiencing the delicioushness as long as I can now that I know about it!  If you have one near you – PLEASE – try it and if you don’t have one visit somewhere that does and make a point to latte it up.  My fav flavor is Lavender Mint ( major yum ) but I also love the Vanilla Clove… uh oh now Im really craving one of these luscious lattes.


Cake Tasting at Sweet Adelines in Berkeley in preparation for my friend’s wedding. It was such a fun experience and the staff was SO wonderful… oh and the cake was REAL good. My choice was the carrot cake.


This amazing tree blooming in our backyard. I looked outside one day and it was bloomin’ and it was beautiful and exciting and sprintimey… and then the next week it was storming but at least we still have the tree.


Only the coolest dog park EVA, Point Isabel in Richmond. Like literally dog haven and human haven if you love dogs.


Finally, I whipped up a sweet treat to share with y’all that hopefully you can enjoy with a loved one this Valentines Day! ( I will be sharing the recipe on Wednesday)


Summma time squash

I am going to start this post off by admitting I am a bad blogger lady! My pictures aren’t the best and I sometimes forget to make exact notes of what I do.. but I will tell you that this recipe tastes great! Hot or Cold, with a BBQ or to a mismatched potluck. No matter with what or where this amazingly easy squash recipe will become a go to in no time!

Summa Time Squash

This is a no recipe, recipe.


Yellow Squash

Fresh Mint

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Fresh Black Pepper



Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and Cut Squash, toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. I put the mint in before placing in the oven, but you could also do it after!

It should bake for about 30 minutes total, flipping half way through. Let cool. Add feta on top and serve hot or cold!

Enjoy this easy, summer recipe!

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Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo yesterday I made a Mexican inspired dish!


I love using Cauliflower instead of grain and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.

I had a couple potatoes that I needed to use. So I first preheated the oven to 350, diced the potatoes, microwaved for 5 minutes and then put them in the oven.

For the ‘rice’:

  •  1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil or butter)

For the bowl:

  •  1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 handfuls of chopped spinach
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 russet potato
  • Hot Sauce
  • GuacamoleIMG_7290 IMG_7291 IMG_7293 IMG_7294 IMG_7295 IMG_7296 IMG_7299 IMG_7300

To rice the cauliflower I like to go old school and grade it with a fine cheese grater, but if you have a food processor that would be a good way to go as well. Once the head of Cauliflower is grated, incorporate the cilantro and lime juice. Then heat your pan, I placed the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into the pan, let melt and then added the ‘rice’ mixture. I kept this at medium heat.

While the rice is heating up, warm another skillet and add a chopped half of an onion to olive oil, let the onion become translucent and then add minced garlic. From here add diced tomatoes and black beans. Season the rice mixture and the onion/veggie mixture.

Take potatoes out of oven. Let cool. In a small serving bowl prepare a bed of chopped spinach (this will be your base) then combine the rice mixture and the onion/veggie mixture and add potatoes.  While I was eating my burrito bowl I added hot sauce and guacamole to every bite cause that just how I roll!

Shroom Shroom Soup


Again, here I am with another recipe.

This one is good and I mean really good don’t let the terrible picture fool you!

For the most part, I like to follow recipes but sometimes with soups it is better to go by taste and consistency. This is a rough outline…


– Dash of Olive oil

– 1 medium onion

– 4 stalks of celery

– 3 cloves of minced garlic

– 2-3 cups of sliced mushrooms

Sprinkle in:

-finely chopped fresh parsley

-dried thyme


– 1/4 cup cooking wine

– 1-2 cups vegetable broth

– 1 cup  sour cream ( or greek yogurt)

– 1 1/2 cup plain dairy-free soy milk, plus more if neccessary

– Salt and Pepper, to taste


1. Grab a large stock pot

2. Add olive oil to bottom of pan.

3. Toss in chopped onion and celery.  Let it become translucent. Add garlic.

4. Add parsley, nutmeg, thyme and cooking wine.

5. Dump in your mushrooms. Let it cook down.

6. Add sour cream, vegetable broth, soy milk and a little flour to thicken.

7. Add salt, pepper, toss in green onions.

8. Taste – add anything if needed.

9. Enjoy! We ate our soup with a toasted sourdough baguette and brie.

Easy Peezy Pesto Quinoa

This morning I decided to make something for lunch! Which I don’t usually have time for…

I wanted something easy and quick that I could have for the next few days using ingredients that I already had.

Pesto Quinoa

-1 cup quinoa, rinsed

-2 cups water or vegetable broth ( I used water)

-large handful fresh spinach ( I used a mix of kale and spinach)

-1/4 cup prepared pesto 

-1 cup of diced tomatoes 

-1/2 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice

-salt and pepper, to taste

-2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional) (didn’t add)


Prepare quinoa as directed on package.

Fold in fresh spinach.

Remove from heat. Stir in pesto, add tomatoes, drizzle with lime juice and season well with salt and pepper to taste. Sea salt or kosher salt is always best!

 Super easy recipe and yummy!


Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies

Since I have been visiting my family we have made cookies every night! Gasp, No! Say it ain’t so! Well folks, it is and since I have yet to work out since I have arrived I may be headed back to SF with a little more meat on my bones!

Last night, we made Cranberry Hootycreek cookies.  My grandma had the recipe stashed in her recipe box and it did not disappoint.

Without further ado here is the recipe:

Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies

List of Ingredients

2-1/4 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned (not quick-cooking) oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Set oven at 350′

1. Set aside a non-stick cookie sheet or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt – add oats.

3. Next, use an electric mixer to cream the butter for 1 minute. Add white and brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. ( We used Medium Speed on my Grandma’s 50 year old mixer.) While beater is running, add eggs, one at a time, and beat 2-3 minutes or until mixture is smooth.

4. Add dry ingredients slowly until well combine. On low speed.

5. Mix in cranberries, chips and nuts by hand.

6. Drop batter in tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.

7. Cook for about 7 to 12 minutes. The goal is to have the edges slightly browned.

8. Remove from oven- and set on wire rack. Or just remove, my family literally grabbed them off the baking sheet!

Recipe makes about 30 to 50 cookies.

Sounds like a lot but don’t worry – they were gone in a jiffy.

They make a great dessert, snack or breakfast. My dad even crumbled a couple in his greek yogurt!




By the time I got around to taking the picture almost all the cookies were gone!