salads & soup

better butterleaf “wedge” salad

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delicious and pretty salad!

Our friend Rachel originally inspired this salad as she wanted “individual” salads for an Oscar viewing party. While these wedges required a fork and knife, the end product was amazing.

I combined a few concepts from other recipes on Pinterest including this Williams-Sonoma Taste little gem salad recipe and added (what else?) bacon and some roasted chickpeas for a little crunch. The combo was incredible.

Here’s a look!

servings

 

12

prep:cook time

 

1 hr. including roasting chickpeas

ingredients yelloe

  • little gem (6) or butter leaf lettuce (4) (you can quarter the butter leaf or halve the little gem)
  • one package bacon
  • two cans chickpeas
  • bundle of radishes

Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 Tbs.+ fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs.+ champagne vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

instructions

  1. Roast your chickpeas following this recipe (although I pulled mine out about 20 minutes after I turned off the oven, and they were plenty crunchy).
  2. Bake the bacon until nice and crispy on another shelf in the oven.
  3. While the chickpeas are roasting and the bacon is crisping, halve or quarter the lettuce, thinly slice the radishes, and combine the salad dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. I used a little extra lemon juice and champagne vinegar than the recipe called for because I like tangy dressings, especially when mayonnaise is involved.
  4. Remove the chickpeas and allow them to cool.
  5. Remove the bacon from the grease in the pan and place them on paper towels. Coarsely cut into crumbles.
  6. Arrange the lettuce wedges in a shallow bowl or large tray, and sprinkle the bacon, chickpeas, and radish slices evenly over the lettuce.
  7. Finish with drizzled dressing (just use a spoon), and keep any extra toppings close by in case your guests want to add more to their serving.
pretty butter leaf lettuce

pretty butter leaf lettuce

arranged lettuce

arranged lettuce

I think radishes are underrated

I think radishes are underrated

salad ready for dressing

salad ready for dressing

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yums!

yums!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

a salad fit for christmas — arugula, pomegranate, pear & pumpkins seeds

christmas salad!

christmas salad!

I volunteered to bring a salad to dinner on Sunday and basically just looked in my fridge and pantry to try to combine a few things I already had. The result was so yummy that we had it three nights in a row!

This salad is festive, fresh, and the perfect complement to a heavier winter meal. Better yet, it’s Christmas colors!

Here’s a look.

servings

6

prep:cook time

20 minutes

ingredients

  • one container pre-washed arugula
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted and salted or is raw, roast and salt them yourself…I prefer the latter)
  • goat cheese (pre-crumbled, or crumble it yourself with a fork…again, I prefer the latter)
  • pomegranate arils from 1/2 pomegranate (pre-packaged, or whacked out yourself…you know what I’m going to say)
  • one asian pear
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • two cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 t thyme (fresh or dried)
  • lemon juice from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 t honey
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

instructions

  1. If you have raw pumpkin seeds, roast them with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper over medium heat in a small pan.
  2. If you have a whole pomegranate, cut it in half, whack it with a wooden spoon into a bowl to release some arils, and then pick the rest out with your hands. More on this here. it’s a pain, but as my future brother-in-law said on Thanksgiving while slapping a fruit with a wooden spoon, “it’s therapeutic.”
  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, honey, salt and pepper in a container that you can seal with a lid. I like to use a small mason jar and shake the dressing to mix it.
  4. Thinly slice the pear into thick matchsticks.
  5. Add the arugula (I use a heaping handful x the number of people eating), pomegranate arils, roasted pumpkins seeds, sliced pear, and crumbled goat cheese to a bowl. Dress the salad when ready, and enjoy!
also known as pipettes :)

also known as pepitas 🙂

arils ready to go

arils ready to go

I like to use a small mason jar so it's easy to shake up the dressing

I like to use a small mason jar so it’s easy to shake up the dressing

ingredients for the dressing

ingredients for the dressing

i absolutely love pomegranates...their a pain to get the arils out of, but they're so pretty and delicious!

i absolutely love pomegranates…their a pain to get the arils out of, but they’re so pretty and delicious!

fresh triple washed arugula

fresh triple washed arugula

pan roasted pepitas...so good as a snack alone also!

pan roasted pepitas…so good as a snack alone also!

dressing all shaken up

dressing all shaken up

christmas colors!

christmas colors!

cheers krista

brass blossom

inspired side — veggie poke

one of my favorite plates ever.

one of my favorite plates ever.

When the boy was lucky enough to bring home 50 lbs of flash frozen ahi last winter from the baja, we dedicated ourselves to mastering how to cook the delicious, clean, and meaty fish. I think I could eat ahi every day, and we basically did for a couple months.

We would sear it rare on the salt block with some sesame seeds and serve it with some jasmine rice. But, what about a veggie? In comes my invention, veggie poke, based off a yummy dish I enjoyed at The Sushi Bar in McCall, Idaho.

It’s quick, simple, refreshing, and sophisticated and brings plenty of color and nutrients to your plate.

servings

 

4

prep:cook time

 

20 minutes

ingredients

 

  • one large cucumber
  • one bunch asparagus
  • two large carrots
  • one large avocado
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • juice from one large lemon

instructions

 

  1.  add a teaspoon of olive oil to a medium frying pan and heat over medium heat. rinse and chop the asparagus into .5 inch pieces. add the asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender. remove from heat.
  2. peel, core (with a spoon to get the soft seeds out) and medium dice the cucumber and add to a medium bowl.
  3. peel and medium dice the carrot and add to bowl.
  4. half, grid in .5 inch pieces, and scoop out small cubes of avocado into bowl.
  5. once cool, add the asparagus to the bowl.
  6. mix about 1 T soy sauce, the juice of one large lemon, and a healthy dash of sesame seeds into the bowl. mix well. add more of any of those ingredients to taste and even add some sriracha for some kick.
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yummy, simple ingredients

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chopped asparagus

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scooped cucumber

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perfect avo

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finely grid the avocado and squeeze or scoop out the chunks

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some beautiful ahi, direct from our local grocery store

undressed veggies

undressed veggies

veggie poke ready to go

veggie poke ready to go

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

nutritious & delicious – squash-beet bake

I originally made this recipe last fall out of It’s All Good when the boy was posted up in the wilderness for weeks at a time. Try as I might he just doesn’t love squash, so I figured I would chow down in solitude with no complaints or judgement. And while I took pictures and devoured the leftovers I totally spaced about blogging the recipe until I saw fresh beets in the market this week.

And while the ingredients are generally affiliated with the Fall and Winter, I think this recipe would make a perfect summer salad and is also beautifully colorful. I plan on recreating it this summer and possibly serving cold with a sprinkle (or seven) of goat cheese.

Enjoy!

ingredients

  • 2 large beets or 4 small beets (the more color the better) peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced, or 1 bag bag frozen, already cubed squash
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (i used grapeseed oil as i had it in my pantry)
  • sea salt
  • arugula or green of choice
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

instructions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet (I prefer aluminum foil as it aids in the cleanup).
  2. Combine beets, squash and shallots in a large bowl and drizzle with oil and salt.
  3. Roast ~30 minutes while tossing halfway through.
  4. Place arugula or green of choice in serving bowl. I dressed my spinach lightly in a homemade salad dressing of oil, apple cider vinegar and mustard.
  5. Lightly layer vegetables on top of greens and sprinkle with toasted seeds and/or a sprinkle of goat cheese!
  6. Serve immediately or toss for a summer salad to serve cold!

**recipe from It’s All Good

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lovely beets

lovely beets

those colors

those colors

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i used frozen, already cubed butternut squash

i used frozen, already cubed butternut squash for convenience

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apple cider vinaigrette

how cute are these small bowls?

how cute are these small bowls?

ready to be served!

ready to be served!

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taylor brass

brass blossom

“good luck and true love” — st. patrick’s day dinner

I’ve come a long way from building complex Leprechaun traps (side note: how creepy is the concept of Leprechauns?!) and drinking green-dyed kid, and then adult, beverages. I can claim no Irish heritage, knowledge, or travel history to the country…But, it’s an understatement to say that we can use all the luck we can get for the rest of 2015. Also, who can possibly resist a holiday marked by gold accents?!

So, we rallied last minute to have an intimate St. Patrick’s Day dinner complete with corned beef, tokens of luck, and other kinds of greens. Here’s a look at the night!

decor

 

We opted for understated green and gold accents, including:

  • Gold tinted burlap runner
  • Arrangements of greenery and baby’s breath in gold vases
  • Gold glitter votives, like always
  • Tokens of good luck with face-up pennies hiding under napkins and face-up horseshoes at every other setting
  • Neutral accents — white plate with no placemats, gray napkins, and white candles
  • Shamrock inspired place cards that were trimmed from the greenery arrangements

st. patrick's day décor

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my handwriting isn't nearly as lovely as Taylor's but the occasion seemed to call for cursive. thank you, third grade

my handwriting isn’t nearly as lovely as Taylor’s but the occasion seemed to call for cursive. thank you, third grade. Each guest was greeted by a hidden penny when they picked up their place setting.

St. Patrick's Day decor

St. Patrick's Day decor

St. Patrick's Day decor

I found the horseshoes, which even said "good luck" on them at Huck and Paddle on Sun Valley Road

I found the horseshoes, which even said “good luck” on them at Huck and Paddle on Sun Valley Road

st patrick's day place setting

menu

 

We enjoyed classic St. Patrick’s Day fare with some corned beef and potatoes, but we spiced it up with some sides, and, of course, greens:

  • Corned beef, cooked two ways according to the same recipes we used at last year’s celebration. I think we’ve finally mastered them, and the baked version seemed to be the favorite. I recommend using Sun Valley Mustard!
  • “Gold coin” potatoes as I will call them from now on. Check out the recipe here. They’re like a cross between french fries and baked potatoes. Yum!
  • A beautiful all-green salad including kale, brussels sprouts, avocado, green apple matchsticks, sunflower seeds and parmesan
  • SautĂ©ed greens including asparagus, zucchini, onion and garlic
  • Adorable and delicious “rainbow” baked chocolate donuts
very green salad — delicious mix of ingredients!

very green salad — delicious mix of ingredients

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sautéed greens by anna

"gold coin" potatoes — definitely serve with sour cream and chives!

“gold coin” potatoes — definitely serve with sour cream and chives

had to boil some cabbage, carrots, and more potatoes with the traditionally prepared corned beef!

had to boil some cabbage, carrots, and more potatoes with the traditionally prepared corned beef

baked corned beef with brown sugar, cloves, and sun valley mustard

the full plate

the full plate

Taylor's vegetarian plate — I love having her over for dinner because I feel like I eat healthier!

Taylor’s vegetarian plate — I love having her over for dinner because I feel like I eat healthier!

delicious rainbow donuts by Taylor

delicious rainbow donuts by Taylor

the company

 

It was a family affair with cousins, moms, caregivers and friends — who may as well be family at this point. Lots of love and good luck to all of you!

st. patrick's day dinner

casey photobombing in a big way

casey photobombing in a big way

In case you didn’t understand the title, check out Reckless Kelly’s  “Good Luck and True Love” — Reckless Kelly is one of our all-time favorite bands!

Here’s to good luck and true love for all of our supporters!

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom logo

 

superfood fall soup

superfood fall soup - butternut squash, lentils, brussels sprouts & kale

superfood fall soup – butternut squash, lentils, brussels sprouts & kale

When the boy was sick a few weeks ago he said soup sounded good for dinner. Since soup always sounds good to me I was happy for a dinner suggestion. With the weather changing and day light savings change looming, I knew that we needed a superfood fall soup full of as many antioxidants and good stuff as possible.

So I made a quick run through the market and an hour later was serving up steaming bowls. I love butternut squash but the thought of baking and peeling a squash were just too much for me that afternoon. So I picked up a bag of Stahlbush Island Farm’s frozen, diced butternut squash and threw it into the soup.

It just so happens that the boy doesn’t really love butternut squash or any sort of squash (a fact which I chose to push to the back of my mind) so I told a little white lie about what the “orange” stuff was. He didn’t quite believe me but still ate the soup. He even ate leftovers later in the week so I think that butternut squash is making major wins in our house!

This superfood soup is super easy and super good. Recipe below!

ingredients

  • 2 quarts broth (I used low sodium vegetable broth)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 10 ounces butternut squash
  • 2 cups lentils (rinsed)
  • 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
  • 4 cups shredded kale
  • desired spices

instructions

  1. Pour 2 quarts broth into a large pot on medium-high heat.
  2. Shred brussels sprouts and kale until thinly sliced.
  3. Saute onion in olive oil in a separate pan until well browned.
  4. Add spices to your broth as desired (I added a few shakes of Kirkland Signature – Organic No Salt Seasoning, which never fails).
  5. Add onion and rinsed lentils to simmering broth and cook for ~20 minutes.
  6. Add frozen butternut squash, shredded brussels sprouts and shredded kale to pot and cook for an additional ~20 minutes until lentils are tender.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
superfood ingredients

superfood ingredients

semi-rainbow soup ingredients

semi-rainbow soup ingredients

great lentils & butternut squash for soup

great lentils & butternut squash for soup

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ready to up your immune system!

ready to up your immune system!

a delicious and nutricious bite!

a delicious and nutritious bite!

taylor brass

brass blossom

 

13 bean stew

Even though the weather has been incredible recently, I have been craving warm foods once dinner time rolls around. Like Krista, I love soup. The possibilities for soup are infinite. It can be a complete meal or paired with practically anything. And my favorite part about soup is that homemade soup is perfect for cleaning out any leftover veggies and the cupboards. Need more convincing, Stone Soup gives you seven reasons to eat more soup.

Cleaning out the leftover veggies and cupboards was how “13 Bean Stew” came to life. Given my obsession with Bob’s Red Mill, I was ecstatic to find his “13 Bean Soup Mix” in the back of my cupboard. So I soaked some beans and paired the beans with a tortilla soup base, some carrots and celery. It was delicious and a tummy filler.

For all of you out who saw this post and immediately (and maturely) thought “beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!” I have the solution for you. Soaking beans. Here’s your bean lesson for the day. Soaking beans enhances the digestive properties of beans by reducing raffinose and stachyose-type oligosaccharides, also known as the sugars the cause flatulence, also known as tooting. Plus beans are very high in fiber and antioxidants. Cheers to beans!

ingredients

instructions

  1. If you are prepared and organized, soak beans overnight covered in water. If you are like me and decide to make this soup last minute, cover beans in a pot and boil for ~5 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour until tender.
  2. Rinse beans well with cool water. This will wash away those pesky tooting sugars.
  3. Saute onion in a dollop of oil until browned.
  4. Add beans, 3 quarts soup base and onion to a large pot and bring to a simmer for ~2 hours.
  5. Add carrots and celery into soup and simmer for another hour until your house smells “really good” (accordingly to the boy) and all ingredients are tender.
  6. Serve with a bit of cheese and bread if desired!
Bob's Red Mill - 13 Bean Soup Mix

Bob’s Red Mill – 13 Bean Soup Mix

look at the variety of beans!

look at the variety of beans!

natural pre-soaked beans

natural pre-soaked beans

essential ingredients

essential ingredients

post-soaked beans

post-soaked beans

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ready to eat!

ready to eat!

toasted bread perfect for dipping

toasted bread perfect for dipping

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As is this soup is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, corn free, soy free, everything bad for you free so feel free to get seconds! Or feel free to splurge and spice it up a bit with some cheese or topping of choice!

taylor brass

brass blossom

taylor’s big 2-5 — harvest inspired feast

the birthday girl!

the beautiful birthday girl!

In honor of my dear co-author’s quarter-century birthday, Rachel and I wanted to return the favor of a great dinner party in her honor. Honoring her favorite season and her vegetarianism, we set out to create a heart vegetarian feast, complete with pumpkins, vodka, and gold.

Here’s a look at the night!

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Though it was a small, all-girls gathering, we couldn’t not send a Paperless Post…We went for the ever classic black and gold template that added a little “hunter-gatherer” flair.

paperless post

paperless post

decor

It was perfect autumn weather for a cozy night. Here’s how we decorated:

  • Pumpkins and more pumpkins
  • Sunflowers and mums in mason jars, wrapped with raffia
  • Mason jar cocktail glasses with orange striped straws
  • Lots of candlelight — in our gold glitter mason jar votives, and with tall white column candles
  • A burlap, gold-painted table runner

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menu

I have to say, cooking a vegetarian meal is quite lovely and stress free — no incessant hand-washing, no fat trimming, no gross bloody packaging…That being said, I couldn’t help but slip some bacon in there! Rachel and I must have exchanged about a dozen emails plotting and plan this evening. Here’s what we decided on, and what our dear friends contributed:

  • A vanilla, pear, and vodka cocktail with a rosebud sugar rim — sweet, but very yummy!
  • Burrata (you can never go wrong with burrata) and an antipasto platter with salami, cheese, and olives
  • Homemade bruschetta from homegrown tomatoes from Sara’s garden
  • A whole roasted head of cauliflower — both cool to look at and totally delicious. The marinade was so good that I dipped celery sticks in it for the next couple days
  • An artichoke, green bean, squash, sunflower seed, roasted garlic, and quinoa salad — this provided a nice light balance to our meal, but we added some champagne vinegar to tarten it a bit
  • Brussels sprouts, Enoteca style — thinly shredded and sautĂ©ed with goat cheese and (bacon)
  • The main event, butternut squash soup — a delicious concoction that Rachel made from a fax recipe. That’s legit!
  • Mini mason jar pumpkin cheesecakes — also gluten free, the boy has devoured one of these every night for the last week (I made some extras)
delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

a perfect plate!

a perfect plate!

harvest dinner

roasted cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

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vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

Happy Birthday, Taylor! We love you so much, and we had so much fun celebrating your big birthday!

cheers krista

brass blossom

fall cauliflower soup

the spur's cauliflower soup

the spur’s cauliflower soup

Our last evening in Jackson Hole, we happened upon what I thought was one of the best meals of the entire trip at the restaurant, Spur, as featured in our Jackson Hole – Eats, Drinks & Damages. I immediately knew that after our sprint across Teton Village that I would love the restaurant based on the entry way. The atmosphere and design of the Spur is like rustic meets modern. And obviously not only was the atmosphere amazing but the food was literally to die for and the service was incredible.

I was a waitress one summer at a local restaurant and feel that working in the food industry is a must for everyone. It truly makes you have an appreciation for how hard the food business really is. Based on how knowledgeable, quick, and modest our waiter was, you would have thought he has been working in the food industry for a century. We literally asked him 100 questions and he was able to answer each question to the fullest extent and managed to never appear annoyed with our table. I have such an appreciate for a waiter that knows the base of a soup. All vegetarians/vegans understand this never ending frustration.

That evening, I throughly enjoyed a roasted beet salad and cauliflower soup after our waiter assured me it was from a veggie base. Hallelujah. While I absolutely love beets, the cauliflower soup was my favorite part of the meal. Ever since I have been wanting to recreate the soup at home. And the crisp fall air gave me the inspiration.

I doubled a recipe by Gina at Skinny Taste for Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup because I had four out of the five ingredients at home. Win win. A look below at Skinny Taste’s recipe that is perfect for fall and leaves you full and warm!

ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour (I used all purpose)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower – chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cups broth (I obviously used vegetable broth, low sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce (inspired by the Spur)

instructions

  1. Chop cauliflower head into small pieces and dice the onion.
  2. Melt butter on low heat in a large saucepan. Once melted, add the flour and stir for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the onion, cauliflower and broth to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Puree with an immersion blender. That is if you have one. I pureed with my Magic Bullet, which just proves it can do ANYTHING.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Top with choice of toppings. I went for hot-sauce and some crispy bacon for the boy!

Recipe by Gina at Skinny Taste for Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup

crispy cauliflower heads

crispy cauliflower heads

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soup with a touch of bacon and side of toast for the boy

soup with a touch of bacon and side of toast for the boy

sriracha for a touch of spice

sriracha for a touch of spice

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his & hers

his & hers

ready to devour!

ready to devour!

Admittedly the home version didn’t quite compare with the Spur‘s. It was creamy and light and the perfect soup to spice up to your preference!

taylor brass

brass blossom

colorful summer salsa

summer salsa!

summer salsa!

You know when you look at a plate of food and it’s all one color and just looks….blah? Here’s a solution.

This summer salsa marked some serious progress in my effort to eat fish. It’s one of my favorite summer dishes, and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser! It’s fresh, healthy and super simple. I like to serve it with blackened fish, like halibut, or with tacos. You could even just serve it with some tortilla chips as a nice appetizer.

If there’s one recipe of mine you try this summer, try this one!

servings

 

6-8

prep:cook time

 

30 minutes

ingredients

 

  • 1 1/2 large avocados
  • 2 mangoes (you can also use peaches, papaya, or even pineapple)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 2-3 limes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

instructions

 

  1. Chop the avocado, mangoes, tomato, and onion into small cubes so that everything (except the red onion, make those pieces finer) is about the same size. You want the pieces to be small enough so you can get a nice sample with each bite, but big enough that they don’t fall apart in the salsa. Add them all to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Mince the garlic and add the bowl as well.
  3. Squeeze the juice of limes into the bowl, then add a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt an pepper.
  4. Mix it all together. Taste to see if you need to add more lime, salt or pepper.
  5. Enjoy!
colorful ingredients ready for chopping

colorful ingredients ready for chopping

one of the mangoes we bought wasn't ripe enough, so we used a couple peaches instead!

one of the mangoes we bought wasn’t ripe enough, so we used a couple peaches instead!

toms (remove the juicy stuff)

toms (remove the juicy stuff)

red onion chopping in action

red onion chopping in action

juicy limes — I only needed two!

juicy limes — I only needed two!

the more garlic, the better in my mind...

the more garlic, the better in my mind…

this is how I always cut an avocado for salads, soup toppings etc. — cut it in half, make a grid with a knife, and then scoop it out with a spoon

this is how I always cut an avocado for salads, soup toppings etc. — cut it in half, make a grid with a knife, and then scoop it out with a spoon

pretty summer setting

pretty summer setting

making an ugly plate pretty! We ate the salsa with sesame crusted albacore and white rice. Yum!

making an ugly plate pretty! We ate the salsa with sesame crusted albacore and white rice. Yum!

can't beat this dinner setting...

can’t beat this dinner setting…

Let me know how it goes! Enjoy!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom