Beach, Summer

My Favorite Summer Towel

The Santorini

If your searching for the perfect towel, don’t bother I found it for you. Its perfect for those long bronzing days on the water when you don’t have the energy to chase the sun with your towel. Unless it’s time to get up and get wet…or those annoying people who don’t appreciate personal space….eyeroll…..enjoy the plush velour top.   $110.00

Places, Travel

The Steakhouse-Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage

Hayden and I were lucky to grab the last two spots at The Steakhouse bar in the Agua Caliente Casino. It was a busy Friday night. The casino was packed. I took my son on a last-minute trip to Rancho Mirage for an Alan Jackson concert. It started in an hour. We knew we were in for a treat. The bartender unfolded dinner napkins in front of us and gave us a formal table setting.

Our wonderful bartender

Warm ambience…The Steakhouse was buzzing with cowboy boots, clinking wine glasses and Stetson hats. It was cozy and dimly lit. We were surprised when our menus lit up when we opened them.

Steak, cowboy boots & Stetsons

We quickly ordered The Steakhouse Salad to save time. It’s composed of my faves: butter lettuce, egg, bacon, tomato, avocado, & blue cheese with a Herb Honey Dressing on top. While we waited we nibbled on large amounts of rustic sourdough breads, served with a whipped butter and a roasted tomato butter. Our salads arrived promptly and they were incredible….We’re so grateful to stumble upon this place, and can’t wait to eat here again to experience the menu and pampering care-

Make a reservation, their popular:

Camping, Summer

Summer Inspiration

My daughter Claire and her childhood bestie Hailey. They make the most of every minute spent together and their energy is uplifting and contagious. Their tent location cannot be a forest floor this time. But a backyard concrete pad with plug-ins will suffice for the moment. Well, the moment lasted for four nights. Meals were served, and crafts created in between the beach days and kayak rides. Idle is nonexistent when these two get together.

Italian Food, Salad, Travel

Gene & Georgetti’s Garbage Salad


I’m bundled up in my car, sitting in a parking lot while Claire finishes two hours of dance…jazz & ballet. The other parents sit quietly too, dimly lit iPods brighten their faces.
It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and I’ve missed it. I’ve been wanting to share this story & recipe. It found its way on the menu by a regular, who on a busy night, was hungry and didn’t want to wait with the crowd. So he was told to go in the kitchen and fix himself a snack. And back in the day, if you knew Gene and Georgetti, you knew you were welcome to do so. This is what he tossed together.
Gene & Georgetti’s Garbage Salad reminds me of the oregano that would linger in my Grandmas, (Nonna Esterinas), kitchen. It is dressed old school Italian style…The celery, red onion, olives, oregano, red wine vinegar & olive oil. All traditional layers that have now become my favorite way to build a salad. Pre-dressed before it hits the table. Slightly wilted & delicate as it marinates in oil & vinegar. Don’t forget to sprinkle with dried oregano…

500 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654 – (312) 527-3718

New York Times Nov 28, 2007 – adapted from Gene & Georgetti, Chicago

Time: 10 minutes

Servings4 appetizer servings


1/4 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
3 ounces salami, sliced into 1/4 inch julienne strips
3 ounces mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch julienne strips
2 ounces (1 whole) pimento, sliced into small strips
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
4 radishes, trimmed and sliced
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced or to taste
Salt and ground black pepper
4 jumpo shrimp, cooked and chilled

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine lettuce, salami, mozzarella, pimento, onion, radishes, celery and parmesan-reggiano

2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad and toss until well mixed. Divide salad mong four plates and top each with a shrimp.

BUON Appetito!
Esterina & Genevieves Grandaughter

bolognese sauce, Food, garlic, Italian Food, Salad, olive oil, pasta, red pepper flakes

Quanto Basta


Quanto Basta in Italian means how much or little as needed. So when you read this in a recipe, or hear it when someone is cooking you’ll know the meaning. As much as you need when your cooking, can be compared to our American term “salt or season to taste”.. When I was little, I believe I’ve heard this…once or twice, from my sweet Nonna Esterina..who never left the kitchen very often.. Or my cousins and I would hear “Basta!”, which means “enough!” or “stop it!” if we stormed through her kitchen…

So, this is my kitchen/cucina… Im cooking a Bolognese sauce, my three hungry teenagers storm through the kitchen… Pip, (our 12 year old cat nicknamed the family dog), meowing/begging for scraps at my feet, and the tomato sauce was bubbling…aahhh..Quanto Basta!!

Buon Appetito!
Esterina Genevieve’s Grandaughter

cucumber, olive oil, salad, veggies

Green Breakfast


Good morning! I’m happy to say that I steered away from the sourdough toast this morning.. That buttery crunchy salty numnum-ness. I did. And I didn’t even steal a bite from my son Mitchell’s plate.. Which I’m known for.

I will…steal a fry.. Take the last bite of your burrito, (Lovingly nicknamed burrito butts), stick my fork onto your plate when our food arrives instead of looking at what I ordered, swipe the clear Gummy Bears from your bag, ( it’s soo unfair there’s two to a bag, it’s the best flavor!!!) …and lastly, remove the center of your cinnamon rolls when your not looking…..

But hey, to know me…. And I only do this to my closest loved ones..they know who they are ;D

So! Being a good girl, I made a healthier choice for my breakfast this morning. I am trying to avoid store bought salad dressings, and make my own. Now I use a good olive oil & vinegar. This week I’m using an apple cider vinegar, Because it’s so digestive friendly.

That’s what I aim for in my kitchen. Whole, real and raw for our health! I just tossed these ingredients together for a healthy, green, tummy healing salad…

..toss in:

chopped Romaine lettuce


hot-house cucumber slices

minced broccoli floret


hardboiled brown egg sliced in half

sprinkle with red pepper flakes, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pink sea salt and pepper.

hope you enjoy, I feel great!


Fashion, Uncategorized

what day is it, mike?

I have everything but the blouse, including the bun, cute!

Keira Lennox


It’s hump day, woot-woot!

The only thing better than a three day weekend is the four day work week that follows it. I, for one, am happy as a camel on Wednesday that we’re halfway through.




Target blouse | American Eagle straight leg jeans | vintage necklace | Olivia & Joy Dynamo bag | Nine West sandals | Tom Ford Ingrid sunglasses

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Food, Travel

White Chocolate Cashew Butter with Pretzels


My very first post! I’m so excited to blog about life, and I’ll start with food, one of my fave topics. My adventures in my cucina (kitchen), have led to delicious creations, and I had to start with a homemade Cashew Butter. I must share, because homemade is just too darn satisfying! My inspiration comes from Spread
in sunny San Diego..thanks to them, I finally made my own peanut butter because of their unctuous creation…the recipe is a casual “toss in” of the cafes original.

Toss in approximately 2 cups of salted cashews in food processor & blend. It will take a few minutes, so occasionally stop and scrape down the bowl for better blending.
Once the texture starts to form, stop and add a handful of white chocolate chips. Pulse a few times, then stop. Then add salted pretzels & pulse a few more times. Taste to your preference. I also add a smidge of sea salt & black pepper.

It won’t last long, put in a cute bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate..smother happily on buttered sourdough will make you smile 😀

Buon Appetito!

Angela Ritchie
Esterina & Genevieve’s Grandaughter