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Our Mother Daughter Road Trip to Carmel

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Mom & Daughter Road Trip to Carmel

My 19-year-old daughter Elsie and I love a good road trip! I’ll be honest I don’t always love a 5-hour drive…but I’ll never pass up quality time with her. The memories we’ve made during those car rides will be cherished forever and I definitely have her Taylor Swift playlist downloaded into my memory at this point. <3 

This year we decided to head up to Carmel, a spot I’ve been visiting most of my life having grown up in Northern California. But this was the first real-time for Elsie, minus the time we went during COVID…but we’re not counting that one!

WHERE WE STAYED:

La Playa Hotel
Camino Real &, 8th Ave
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921
Website | Instagram

We stayed at the Historic Playa Hotel, originally built in 1905 as a home for the heiress to the Ghiradella fortune. Over the years it was expanded and became a hotel, most recently undergoing 15 million dollars worth of renovations. 

Known as the Grand Dame of Carmel, the property is located in a quiet neighborhood just steps away from the beach, and it’s an easy walk to all the shops and restaurants on Ocean Avenue. The hotel itself is a perfect blend of both the Craftsman style of the original home and the Spanish Revival.

There are 75 guest rooms to choose from and we had what’s called a superior ocean suite. It’s a large bright room surrounded by windows, and the most perfect view of the gardens, pool, and of course the Pacific Ocean. Each room has a beautiful art deco style armoire filled with everything you need to make some of the hotel’s signature drinks. In fact, there’s a little card box with the recipes, I made “The Angela”. If you want to give it a try here’s what you’ll need:

“The Angela”

Ingredients:
Casa Dragones Tequila Blanco (or your favorite)
Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur
Grapefruit Soda
Dehydrated lime wheel.

DIRECTIONS:
Pour 1 large jigger of @casadragones into your shaking tin along with 1 small jigger of Passion Fruit Liqueur. Shake and strain into a highball glass. Add ice and top with Grapefruit Soda. Garnish with dehydrated lime wheel. Cheers!

To grab a drink outside of your room, you can walk over to Bud’s, named after one of the former owners. The bar has recently been restored and offers not only cocktails but food as well! Oh, and don’t miss the champagne breakfast offered every morning!

The grounds boast beautiful gardens filled with all the flowers Carmel is so renowned for, and a pool if that’s more your thing than the ocean.

I really can’t say enough good things about our stay at the hotel which was more like visiting a stately home. The lobby feels like an elegant living room and the staff was beyond accommodating and friendly. Because my daughter had recently injured her foot, we made good use of the Mercedes shuttle when needed.

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WHAT WE DID:

There’s PLENTY to do in Carmel! Of course, you have the beach, which can be foggy in the morning, and has the most beautiful sunsets. I would recommend dressing in layers to account for the weather, especially if you are like me and are always cold! There are so many wonderful art galleries, nearly 100 to be exact, lining the streets and quaint alleyways. You will also find lots of high-end boutiques and plenty of spots for souvenirs right on Ocean Avenue and surrounding streets.

If you are looking to get active outdoors, there are tons of places to hike and explore. We decided to drive to Big Sur down Highway 1, first stopping at Garrapata Beach and hiking down to see the famous Calla Lillies bloom. If you catch them in bloom it is a breathtaking sight! Between January and April, the small valley is bursting with beautiful flowers from the bluffs to the beach and this spot is only about 15 minutes south of Carmel. 

We also played “tourists” and stopped at the iconic Bixby Bridge for a quick photo. Doing this during the week is advised, because on the weekend trying to find a place to park is next to impossible. The Bridge of course is famous for being one of the highest bridges of its kind in the world and one of the most photographed (you may also remember it from the opening sequences of “Big Little Lies”).

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Then onto Big Sur which is less than an hour south of town. Honestly, spending a few days just recharging in Big Sur would be a dream. But that will have to wait for another trip. For this trip, we had enough time to grab lunch at The Big Sur Bakery and buy some handcrafted items from local artisans at Mother Botanical and Shop.

WHAT WE ATE:

During our stay, we ate at 5 restaurants that I highly recommend!

1 – La Bicyclette
This somewhat exclusive spot features European Country Cuisine and is super hard to get into, but here’s a little trick that worked for us: We were told they hold open 40 percent of tables for walk-ins…which is what we did and make sure you go early! This was by far our favorite dinner spot. We had the yummiest pizza and salad here.

2 – Stationæry
Having claimed itself as your “favorite neighborhood restaurant,” it definitely would be ours if we lived there. It’s the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, plus you can eat inside or on the patio. We had lunch before we left town, still thinking about the grilled cheese and tomato soup, it was that good!

3 – Casanova Restaurant
This is the cutest little Italian/French restaurant that looks like something out of a fairytale and it has an incredible food and wine list. But be warned, it’s definitely on the pricey side.

4 – Dutch Door Doughnuts
This little spot is in the Carmel Plaza for doughnuts fried while you wait, and let me tell you…they don’t get much fresher than this!

5 – Big Sur Bakery
This cute little bakery is tucked in the trees and is less than an hour south of Carmel, and so worth the drive! The food is divine, but you also get to explore all of the darling little shops.  

As I mentioned at the top of the blog, I’ve been going to Carmel my entire life, but I have to say this two-day trip with Elsie will definitely go down as one of my favorites!


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Knoxville, Tennessee: 3 Days of Southern Charm

Knoxville, Tennessee: 3 Days of Southern Charm

We were so happy to get the chance to explore Knoxville, Tennessee recently, and let me tell you, there’s nothing scruffy about this city! The nickname “Scruffy City” came about after criticism that the city would not be a proper host for the 1982 World’s Fair. Of course, this incredible city rose to the occasion then and continues to grow, while maintaining its adorable charm and southern hospitality. 

Drew and I traveled to Knoxville for a 3-day birthday weekend, celebrating one of our dear friends. We decided to spend 4 days in all, two each at distinctively different, but both highly recommended hotels.

Our first two nights were spent at The Marriot Knoxville Downtown.

Marriott Knoxville Downtown
525 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902
Website | Instagram

This newly renovated hotel sits just steps from the World’s Fair Park and the Knoxville Convention Center. The property was previously a Holiday Inn, but I can assure you there are no traces of its former self here – every aspect of the hotel has gone through an extensive renovation. When you enter the lobby through the revolving door you immediately feel the comfort of a Marriot and the perfect touches of Tennessee.

You can’t help but peek through the foyer to the Maker Exchange! When you walk in you are greeted by a beautiful sitting area and a staggering floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Surrounded by deep blue walls, thoughtful textiles, and local art (that you can also purchase) you immediately feel the essence of Knoxville and its community. In fact, most of the furniture, light fixtures, and decor are created by local designers!

Depending on which way you look you can walk into the large billiards room and shoot pool while you watch the game (GO VOLS), tour gorgeous display cases filled with bespoke local art, or grab the BEST blue crab artichoke dip you have ever had in the bar/restaurant, Tavern. Seriously, I had it twice during our 2-day stay! Pro tip: The dish comes with crackers but DEFINITELY order the bread for the best dipping experience 😉

And, if you are anything like me, you are wondering…”Where’s the coffee”?  There is a darling coffee shop with a grab-n-go cooler that features fun and unique handmade mugs, also for sale!

As for the rooms, they are large, and beautifully furnished, but the best part…the lighting in the bathrooms! Which is always a must in my book! Overall, I love Marriot properties, and have to say this was one of my favorites. 

For part two of our stay we chose The Oliver Hotel.

The Oliver Hotel
407 Union Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
Website | Instagram

I am a sucker for a boutique hotel and this spot didn’t miss a detail! Tucked inside a historic building from 1876, it’s been lovingly transformed and pays tribute to the downtown’s colorful history. The lobby is filled with eclectic artwork, beautiful furniture, friendly hotel attendants, and a secret passage!

Just off to the left next to the elevator, you will find a square spiral staircase that is flooded with natural light that shines on a beautiful collection of framed art. We actually found ourselves taking the stairs most of the time!

All of the 26 rooms have been carefully curated, from the fabrics to the wallpaper, each one has its own unique vibe. Our room was perfectly situated with views of Market Square’s beautiful red brick buildings and bustling crowds. Because the hotel is situated on Market Square, it’s within walking distance of all types of entertainment. Downstairs on the promenade, you will find everything from rooftop bars (that you can apparently smoke in), eclectic restaurants with traditional southern staples, a boutique popcorn shop, and soda and candy shops galore!

Honestly, I have to say, our favorite restaurants were right in the hotel. There is a hallway through the lobby that leads you to Tupelo Honey for everything from fried chicken to the yummiest pimento cheese dip in a skillet, and The Oliver Royale. We ate here twice, once for brunch and once for a nice dinner…and if they would have been open for lunch on our last day, we would have been a third time!   

For brunch, definitely go for the pulled pork breakfast tacos, and for dinner, we loved the wild mushroom ravioli as well as the confit pork belly.

After dinner, we checked out “The Peter Kern Library ” which is located behind a sliding art-covered wall. Remember when I said the lobby had a secret passage? Well, when that door slides open you are greeted with the coziest prohibition-era speakeasy. From the decor to the craft drink menu, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.

If you are looking for boutique accommodations and everything you need within walking distance…The Oliver Hotel is for you.

Out and About in Knoxville

Even though you don’t really need to leave the hotel, there is even more to explode in walking distance of The Oliver. A must-see is Strong Alley which is about ½ a block away and filled with all types of murals and graffiti (and surprisingly clean for being a downtown back alley). It’s a fun place to take pictures, and of course, make sure you get one with Dolly! A few other honorable mentions from our walk around the block: Definitely get a look at the historic Tennesse sign-on Gay Street, grab a coffee and get some work done at the Frothy Monkey, and although we didn’t partake…the Knox Box Karaoke bar was buzzing!

All in all, it was the perfect weekend. We were surrounded by close friends, a kind community, and yummy food, and there was just such a lovely energy that vibrated through the city. We loved our stay in Knoxville and can’t wait to go back! 

On our list for next time, here are some of the other spots that were recommended to me!

Restaurants:
JC Holdway: Fine Dining
Chivo: Upscale Taco/Mexican-inspired
Stock & Barrel: Fancy burgers/nationally awarded

Bars:
Tern Club – tropical/quirky
Valet – Retro cocktail bar in an old bank building, a very pretty ambiance 

Café:
French Market – crepes & such, sometimes very busy. Go early in the morning
Pete’s Café – breakfast and lunch, quick, southern, hearty

Shopping:
Bliss + Tori Mason Shoes on Gay Street
Earth to Old City in Market Square
Fizz in Market Square
Nothing too Fancy near Market Square
Rala Gifts in the Old City

Other Stuff:
Knoxville Museum of Art… is free, open on Saturday, and is cool for photos. Very close to the Marriott.

Football:
It goes without saying, that this is seriously a football town that celebrates its Vols at the University of Tennessee! So a college football game will always be a good idea!


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Devil's Food Cake with 7-Minute Frosting

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Devil's Food Cake with 7-Minute Frosting

This is the chocolate cake my family has been using to celebrate every birthday since my mom was a little girl.  It’s basically a moist homemade devil's food cake topped with a fluffy 7-minute frosting, then drizzled and swirled with melted unsweetened chocolate that forms a crust around the fluff! (my indulgence: I always double the recipe for the frosting, you’ll have way too much for the cake, but that’s the way I like it!)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • Cake Pan
  • Cooking Utencils
  • Oven

Ingredients
  

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter we use Crisco instead
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder mixed with 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 5 tbsp Water
  • 3/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 squares Unsweetened Chocolate Melted
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

Instructions
 

Cake Instructions

  • Creamtt he sugar and shortneing, then add the eggs and mix.
  • Dissolve cocoa in the hot water and stir to a smooth paste, adding to the above ingredients.
  • Combine milk and vanilla, set aside.
  • Sift the flour and soda (my mom sifted it 3 times, i don’t even do it once) then alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk mixture to the above.
  • Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Frosting Instructions

  • Place sugar, egg whites, water, cream of tartar and salt in the top of a double boiler.
  • Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute.
  • Place the pot over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy).
  • Beat constantly on high speed with an electric mixer for 7 minutes over the boiling water until peaks form.
  • Quickly beat in vanilla.
  • Frost both layers and sides of the cake, don’t make it too smooth. You want peaks and swirls.
  • Then take the unsweetened melted chocolate and drizzle and swirl it through the white frosting, get as fancy as you like!
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Check out my Instagram Recipe Reels!


ZIIP HALO: My New Favorite Beauty Device

ZIIP Halo Beauty Device

ZIIP Halo: My New Favorite Beauty Tool

Who doesn’t want a little natural facial lift or as the kids say, a face that looks snatched? I just discovered my new best friend, a new microcurrent device called “HALO” from ZIIP. I just started using it and am already loving how my skin looks. The ZIIP HALO is a powerful anti-aging beauty device that gives both immediate results and lasting benefits that just get better over time.

This lightweight tool is the only at-home beauty device that targets the face, powered by the incredible ZIIP Dual Waveform Technology™.

Microcurrents & Nanocurrents

So what makes it so special? First, the MICROCURRENTS are the ‘instant effect’ electrical waveforms that you can feel and are responsible for the immediate lifted, contoured complexion that lasts for up to 72 hours after you ZIIP. It has helped lift my brow and help tighten my jawline.

Now, the secret superpower…the NANOCURRENT, these are the waveforms that provide lasting effects. You can’t feel these tiny waveforms as they work their magic on a cellular level. It takes around 6 weeks of consistent use to achieve the HALO EFFECT – brighter, more balanced, rejuvenated skin.

Using the ZIIP HALO Device

The device is super easy to use! All you have to do is follow these simple steps to begin your ZIIP HALO facial at home:

Step 1:  Apply 4-8 pumps of Electric Complex Gel to clean, dry skin.

Step 2: Turn on your ZIIP HALO using the power button located between the silver globes to activate THE LIFT treatment.

Step 3: Starting on one side of your face, glide both silver globes upwards from your jawline to forehead.

Step 4: Once you feel the vibration (every 5 seconds), move your ZIIP HALO and repeat the movement. We recommend starting from the outside of your face and working your way in.

Step 5: When you hear the beep, move to the other side of your face and repeat.

Step 6: Your ZIIP HALO will automatically turn off after your 4-minute facial is complete.

Step 7: Your ZIIP HALO will always reset back to THE LIFT treatment when switched off. If you want to try a different treatment, sync your ZIIP HALO with another treatment via the ZIIP App.

Most importantly, you get all of the benefits with no pain, and the routine only needs to be done 3-5 times a week, for at least 6 weeks and here’s what happens:

The Power of the ZIIP Beauty App

Your ZIIP HALO is programmed with THE LIFT – a simple, powerful 4-minute free-form nano and microcurrent facial. But, for a wider range of treatments, the ZIIP App is the perfect addition to guide you. It’s perfect for personalization because it syncs with your device to deliver unique wavelength combinations tailored to your skin ambitions. You have the option to choose from a wide range of targeted treatments or full facials, as well as longer-term plans. 

Treatments use varying levels of microcurrent and nanocurrent wavelengths to instantly achieve your desired results. The plans combine numerous treatments followed over a number of days to reach your long-term skincare goals. This may be my favorite part of the whole experience because I want to know I am working towards my specific goals!

My Conclusion

Overall I loved diving into the routine and started seeing results. Although it’s a $399 device, the investment is worth it when you consider how much you would be spending on just multiple facials or other expensive recurring treatments.

By the way, I have a discount code that you can use to GET 15% OFF your ZIIP HALO device and gels! Just use LISABZIIP at checkout.

I also love the fact that I can use this as part of my morning and night routine, I can track my progress as I go, and I have confidence in the technology knowing that it has been developed using the data from millions of treatments synced each year.

Lastly, the portability of the ZIIP HALO is great because it’s so small. It’s perfect for traveling which is when I feel like I need it the most…as that’s when my face tends to look puffiest thanks to rich food, a few extra drinks, and long travel days. 

All in all I give the ZIIP HALO a 10/10 and I can’t wait to share more of my results with you!

LEARN MORESHOP ZIIP HALO

*As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you to ZIIP HALO for sponsoring this post.


Pendry West Hollywood Happily Lisa Breckenridge

Pendry West Hollywood: Sunset Strip's Must Stay Hotel

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Pendry West Hollywood: The Hottest Hotel on the Sunset Strip

One of the best parts of my job as a correspondent for “California Live” on NBC is being able to explore the latest and greatest that Southern California has to offer. I recently got a private tour of the Pendry Hotel in West Hollywood. It is the newest hotel on the Sunset Strip and it is a stunner. I fell in love with it so much I went back for a staycation to celebrate my birthday.

My stay did not disappoint, from the fabulous meals, to a whole day spent at the rooftop pool, the whole weekend was just what I needed.

The Pendry has been described as 1920’s Hollywood meets modern London Interiors thanks to designer Martin Brudnizki. The property hosts an extensive art collection featuring works by a wide number of emerging artists, many of them Los Angeles based. The showstopper in the main lobby is a 20-sided prism-like steel and glass sculpture called “Icosahedron” by British artist Anthony James, who is based in Los Angeles.

The luxury hotel features 112 guest rooms and 37 suites, two world-class restaurants by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, a multi-purpose live entertainment venue, a spa, screening room and private membership club. Also included on the property in a separate building are the Pendry Residences with 40 luxury condominiums.
The Pendry is owned by Montage Hotels and Resorts, so you know the service is going to be impeccable. Guest rooms start at $400 a night while suites range from $600 to $3,000 a night.

PENDRY WEST HOLLYWOOD
8430 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

PENDRY WEBSITEPENDRY ON INSTAGRAM

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One Pot Pasta with Burrata

One Pot Pasta Burrata Happily Lisa

One Pot Pasta with Burrata

Any dish that only takes one pot is basically genius in my book. This pasta is one of the best. You basically just throw everything together into the same pot and boil. The pasta’s starch creates a creamy sauce which gets amped up from the burrata mixed in at the end.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. penne pasta or other small bite-sized pasta
  • 12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced about 2 cups
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Course kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small Parmesan cheese rinds
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 oz. burrata
  • Garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • In a large straight-sided skillet add the pasta, onion, garlic, tomatoes, parmesan cheese rind, red pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated (about 9 minutes).
  • Fold in burrata and another pinch of salt.
  • Remove the Parmesan cheese rind and divide pasta among 4 bowls.
  • Garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese.

Check out my Instagram Recipe Reels!


Ojai Valley Inn: Our Romantic Getaway

Ojai Valley Inn: Our Romantic Getaway

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway that’s a quick car drive from Los Angeles, look no further than the sweet town of Ojai in Ventura County. And specifically, check into the Ojai Valley Inn. Drew and I just spent two magical nights there and can’t wait for our next visit.

Ojai is a Chumash word meaning “the Nest” or Valley of the Moon. The area itself is actually thought to be centered on an energy vortex that releases healing vibes for spiritual awakening. And whether or not you believe in that type of thing.  The energy here is something you have to experience to understand…and we definitely felt a different sort of peace during our stay. 

This little oasis is located just over an hour or so north of Los Angeles. The Ojai Valley Inn first opened in 1923.  And although they refer to the hotel as an Inn…it’s actually a sprawling resort with 4 pools, a world-class championship golf course (if only I knew how to play), tennis courts and the most relaxing spa. There’s no need to leave the resort as there are several restaurants to choose from including a super healthy spa restaurant.  You can also rent bikes to tour around the property or ride into town…another cute idea is to order a picnic basket and go exploring.

On our first night there we had a delicious dinner at “The Oak” overlooking the property followed by ‘smores over the open fire pits.  Our second night was pure magic with a thunder and lightning storm.

You can walk or ride bikes into town to explore a bit.  We checked out the famous Barts Book Store which is billed as the largest outdoor bookstore in the world with more than 200,000 new and used books, ranging from rare out-of-print gems to well-loved paperbacks. 

Another cute stop was Tipple and Ramble which is part picnic and home goods boutique and part wine and cheese bar. We stopped by during the day, but can only imagine how pretty it is at night with all the tiny lights in the trees. 

And while we choose our visit to be a romantic getaway it’s definitely a family destination as well with plenty of activities and adventure…from learning about beekeeping and honey tasting to cooking classes, soap making classes, family crafts, horseback riding, and hiking just to name a few. 

Again all of this is less than 90 minutes from Los Angeles, but it truly feels like you’re in another world!

OJAI VALLEY INN
https://www.ojaivalleyinn.com
905 Country Club Road
Ojai, California 93023

BARTS BOOKSTORE
https://bartsbooksojai.com
302 W Matilija St.
Ojai, California 93023

TIPPLE & RAMBLE
http://www.tippleandramble.com
315 N. Montgomery St.
Ojai, California 93023


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Flaming Pepper Steak with Brandy Cream Sauce

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Flaming Pepper Steak with Brandy Cream Sauce

This is one of those recipes that could actually make a vegetarian eat meat again.  First of all the filet is coated in pepper, cooked in butter, then set on fire thanks to the brandy, add the cream and you’ve got a fancy dish in next to no time that tastes amazing!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 2 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine California Cuisine
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Frying Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 4 filets Steak of choice at least 1" thick
  • 4 Tbsp Avocado Oil or other high smoke point
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Brandy
  • 2/3 cup Whipping Cream

Instructions
 

  • Rub each steak with oil on both sides
  • Press peppercorns into both sides of each steak
  • Heat butter and oil in a frying pan over moderate heat until very hot
  • *DO NOT LET THE BUTTER BURN
  • Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on each side
  • Season with salt
  • Add the brandy and light immediately - then STAND BACK and be CAREFUL! :)
  • When the flames have died down, remove the steaks and place on a hot plate to keep them warm
  • Add the whipping cream to the same pan, mixing it with the pan juices - boil for 2 to 3 minutes until reduced, slightly thickened.
  • Four sauce over steak and serve!
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Check out my Instagram Recipe Reels!


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Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

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Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

Meet my kinda healthy, mostly indulgent Grilled Cheese Sandwich of your dreams. My Green Goddess Grilled Cheese starts with perfectly buttered and grilled sourdough bread. Inside you’ll find the freshest spinach and basil in a garlicky sauce smothered by melty Mozzarella. This is definitely a crowd pleaser!!!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • food processor
  • Griddle or Frying Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 12 Basil Leaves fresh
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach loosely packed
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Stick Softened Butter to spread
  • 8 Slices Sourdough Bread
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 1 package Mozzarella Cheese slices

Instructions
 

  • Put Basil, Spinach, Garlic, Salt and Pepper in a blender and pulse until minced. 
  • Add Olive Oil and pulse until combined.
  • Heat a medium size frying pan or griddle on low heat.
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  • Top 2 slices of the non-buttered side of bread with sliced Mozzarella and a thin layer of Green Goddess Sauce.
  • Place those 2 bread slices, butter side down on the heated frying pan and cook on low heat until the bread is golden brown.
  • Top the cheese and the sauce with avocado slice and place remaining bread, buttered side up on top.
  • Carefully flip the sandwich and grill until golden brown.
  • Serve while it is hot and melty!
Keyword avocado, green goddess, Grilled Cheese

Check out my Instagram Recipe Reels!


Terranea Resort: Our Southbay Getaway

Terranea Resort

Terranea Resort: Our Southbay Getaway

We recently spent a few magical days at the Terranea Resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes. The breathtaking property offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy—we had so much fun, we didn’t want to leave!

It was our first trip since quarantine so we were a bit apprehensive at first. But those fears quickly subsided once we arrived and saw all the covid safe procedures in place at the resort.

Plenty of activities to choose from at the 102 acre property. Everything from golfing to kayaking, standup paddleboarding to archery. We tried our hand at archery and I am happy to report Katniss Everdeen would be proud of me. I actually beat Drew (although technically he says he won…but for the purposes of this blog, I did).

The resort offers nine different dining options from casual to fine dining. Our favorite was at Mar’sel. It’s the resort’s fancy restaurant that serves up an inventive twist on California cuisine. With a seasonally rotating fine dining menu that features locally sourced ingredients (citrus and herbs from the resort’s grounds, hand-ground chocolate, farm-fresh eggs), as well as playful takes on culinary favorites. We savored caviar, a beet salad, and one of the best filets we’ve ever tasted.

We also hung by our cabana and enjoyed the adult pool.  There are a total of four pools to choose from on the property…one even has a slide for the kids!

The resort also features a beautiful spa.  And although I didn’t visit it this trip, I’ve enjoyed both facials and massages in the past.

Even though it’s just 30 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport it feels like you’re in another world when you visit Terranea, and we can’t wait to go back again and create more memories.

TERRANEA
100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Phone: (866) 547-3066
Fax: (310) 265-2700