tried & tasty: fettucini with balsamic delicata squash and bitter greens

fettucini with balsamic squash and greens

The other night, desperate to find a use for my butternut squash before it was too late, I came across this delicious pasta recipe from The Kitchn. It’s going to become a household staple! We used collard greens instead of bitter greens, and we didn’t have bacon so I used apple sausage instead. Instead of the delicata squash I used butternut squash. We used a handmade garlic fettucini and topped it with butter. I love recipes that lend themselves to substitutions, and this one was perfect.


minted here: shaved roots


This doesn’t even qualify as a recipe, and I got the idea from Sunset magazine, but it’s too smart not to share. Thanksgiving might be over but we are still smack in the middle of party season, and this one will come in handy. Shaved roots! That’s it. It’s so easy, but they are a perfect addition to your appetizer menu. I used watermelon radishes (gorgeous!), turnips and kohlrabi. Use a mandoline or thinly slice them and you’re done. The turnips and radishes have a little natural spice, the kohlrabi is earthy sweet, but all three are light and flavorful; just the thing to clear the palate between cheeses or creamy dips.

The photo above is courtesy of my talented brother in law, Dylan Chorneau…below are a couple more he snapped last week during the thanksgiving prep.

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–Melissa P.

this week’s recipe: cranberry margaritas


Leftover cranberries? Leftover house guests? Keep things merry with Cranberry Margaritas, courtesy of Sweet Life.  Happy thanksgiving!

–Melissa P.

double take: green beans


Green bean casserole may be a Thanksgiving staple, but it isn’t one of my favorites. On a day filled with butter and cream, I like my green beans to lighten things up.  Honest Fare and Sprouted Kitchen offer two bright and chic takes on this classic American vegetable. Didn’t know green beans could be chic, huh? When paired with lavash and dried figs or black quinoa and hazelnuts, these legumes will chic your pants off.

–Melissa P.

ca central coast, instagram style


While in CA last week my husband and I left our son with his Grammy and hit the road for our first night sans baby. We left the busyness of LA behind and headed north to one of my favorite places in the world: California’s central coast. We started our mini-vacation with lunch at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, where we both had the best sandwiches of our lives. No exaggeration. We walked around downtown Paso for a bit, and I picked up a trivet at the General Store that makes me happy every time I look at it.


After shopping we hit up some Paso wineries, where I was too busy sipping wine to snap any pictures. Our favorite stop was Tablas Creek Vineyard. The wine was unique for the area, and the fella pouring our tasting was warm and knowledgable. We spent the night in Cambria on Moonstone Beach, where you wake up to this…


Before heading back down south, we stopped by Morro Bay. Growing up, my grandma lived near Morro Bay, so there are a handful of stops I have to make to relive my childhood, including the Shell Shop. Its frozen in time and I love it.



We got back just in time to smooch our little captain and put him to bed. Time away is wonderful, but I never get tired of this face.


–Melissa P.