The Grand Canyon: Salmon Tostadas {recipe} & El Tovar

Salmon Tostadas -

If you’ve ever visited a famous landmark you may have experienced the almost surprising impact of seeing it live.  It looks the same as the photographs you’ve always seen but there is something different, ‘larger’ and more stunning about it in real life.  The Grand Canyon is no different; it’s simply awe-inspiring. A land feature that actually can be seen from space, the Grand Canyon runs 277 miles long, 10 miles wide, a mile deep and is considered a ‘new canyon made from old rock’.  The latter description due to the canyon being a mere 2 million years old, versus the rock it’s cut through which is believed to be about half the age of the earth. It would be difficult to put into words the splendor of this extraordinary place.  When finding a viewing spot not thick with the vast … {continue reading}

Gluten-Free Blue Corn Southwestern Nachos Pizza

Gluten-Free Blue Corn Southwestern Nachos Pizza -

Pizza is undoubtedly a favorite American comfort food as well as one appreciated in various forms around the globe.  In my household I’m unsure a full week passes without a night of gluten-free pizza included!  It’s easy, fun and rife with creative opportunity only limited by one’s imagination! In this spirit one of my favorite websites, Nosh On It, has invited me along with some of my talented blogging colleagues to celebrate the beloved dish that is pizza.  Each day this week has been filled with amazing creations, spanning everything from a mouth-watering Breakfast Pizza, to a jaw-dropping Dessert Pizzas, pizzas inspired by international flavors,  with many fantastic options in between, all of which are showcased on Nosh On It this week (and on their Pizza Pizza Pinterest … {continue reading}

Surprise-Inside Cakes and Giveaway!

Surprise-Inside Cakes -

I can attest, without a shred of doubt, that Amanda Retke, author of ‘Surprise-Inside Cakes’ is magical, as are all the confections she makes.  I am fortunate to be in the food blogging community with Amanda and discovered her website I Am Baker just before my daughter’s birthday last year.  My daughter's request for a birthday cake was ‘a cake with flowers on it’.  I swallowed hard, appreciating a challenge, but clueless where to begin.  I’m not a ‘fancy froster’, far from it.  I took to the internet, locating the exact solution on Amanda’s website.  I read her simple tutorial, generously punctuated by affirming messages that anyone could make this cake.  I knew ‘anyone’ did not include me.  Having set aside an entire day to create the extraordinary cake that Amanda promised in the … {continue reading}

Santa Fe NM: Jalapeno Margarita {recipe} & Hotel Santa Fe

Hotel Santa Fe Jalapeno Margarita -

Last week I shared two segments of our recent family-friendly road trip through Arizona and New Mexico.  We visited the gorgeous Sedona, Arizona, and Phoenix Arizona which was packed with sun, fun, culture and great food.  The last segment of our road trip landed us in Santa Fe, a place I’ve visited many times over the years and never tire of.  New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment and Santa Fe certainly lulls one into that state of mind as easily as slipping into a comfy easy chair.  For me, each time I arrive here all cares dissipate, relaxation sets in and time feels endless.  It is a place of beautiful native architecture, earthen-hued stucco, ristras (hanging dried chilies) and a serene calm.  Also a mecca of good food and drink, art and culture, and beautiful outdoor areas … {continue reading}

Gluten-Free Basics: Flours and Baking

Gluten-Free Basics Flour and Baking

When I look back on my gluten-free journey one of the biggest learning curves for me was gluten-free flours and baking.  When baking with wheat flour there were few situations when I ventured outside of the basic all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or cake flour.  Gluten-free flours are an entirely different situation.  For this month's post in my role as a Udi's Gluten-Free Community ambassador, I wanted to share some of my findings over the nine years of being gluten-free. Why Does Gluten-Free Baking Require Multiple Types of Flour and Starches? As a reminder gluten is a protein in barley, wheat and rye (and is implicated in oats as well though they are not naturally glutinous).  Gluten is a binding agent, the element in wheat flour that holds everything together when baking.  … {continue reading}

Tattooed Easter Eggs

Tattooed Easter Eggs in Nest {tutorial} -

Growing up my household was like everyone else’s, dying Easter Eggs with small dye pellets dissolved in water and vinegar.  It was always so exciting to watch the pellets begin to fizz with such fury eventually creating sublime spring tones on our hard-boiled eggs. A few years ago I decided to finally try a method I had been anxious to do for some time; using natural vegetables and spices to create Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs.  I was amazing to behold, especially for the eggs dyed blue, which were dipped in a red cabbage mixture to emerge the same blue as an early summer night sky.  This sparked my creative juices to try new and different methods ever since.  The following year I used an old family method belonging to one of my daughter’s Middle School teachers; Silk Tie Dyed Easter … {continue reading}