Classic Lime Margarita

How do you like your Margarita?  On the rocks, with or without salt, frozen or with crushed ice?  Personally, I love a good simple three ingredient “Classic Lime Margarita” and I prefer mine shaken with ice, served on the rocks with salt!


The citrus is here and it is a wonderful thing to make delicious drinks with.  Tequila is great with any of it, lemons, limes, grapefruit… I love using a reposado tequila in my margaritas, it adds another level of flavor to the drink.


While I was shooting the photos for this cocktail today, there was a light breeze outside on my patio, it’s 76 degrees and this cute little bee lands on my lime.

I have to share his cuteness.


Recipe: Makes 1 Margarita

  • 2 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreu or Orange Ciracao
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Profile: Classic/Fresh,Tart

Glass:  Margarita, Rocks, or a Fish Bowl

Garnish: Fresh Lime Wedge


Measure all ingredients into shaker and shake for 6 seconds strain over fresh ice in your desired glass.

 Don’t forget to salt your rim if you like it that way

Roasted Potato Tomatillo Pureed Soup with Cilantro Pesto and Chili Oil

Omg, this soup is insane! It’s an awesome soup just as it is, but if you take the time to make the cilantro pesto, chili oil and roasted poblano, you will be in soup heaven!

Roasted-Potato-Soup copy

The last few days have been a lot of fun because I had the privilege to hang out with our goddaughter Sabastian.  She is moving from Arizona to Oregon to live with a friend and stopped by on her way for a few days.  She is always a pleasure to have around.  We had a nice lunch in Los Gatos, went for a couple of walks on the beach, made yummy food and cruised around the farmers market while she grazed on all the samples.


While at the farmers market I picked up everything I needed to make this soup as well as the cilantro pesto, chili oil and poblano chilis.

The chili oil is so great for adding a little heat to soups, salads, stir frys, etc…  I usually make the tomatillo salsa, pesto, chili oil and roast the poblano the day before I plan to make the soup.

Creamy-Roasted-Potato-Soup copy

I love this soup with a dry crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay or a nice Spanish white.  It is also great with a Pinot Noir or a Tempranillo.


Recipe: 10 – 12 servings

Roasted Potatoes

  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes ( about 2 lb)
  • 2 Tablespoon Thai Chili Olive Oil – or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
  • 2 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1- 2 Jalapeno – sliced

Roasted Tomatillo Mandarin Salsa (this is a half batch of the original recipe.  You can make a whole batch and use the other half for these chili renellos.)

  • 6 – 7 Tomatillos – 3/4 lb.
  • 1/4 White Onion
  • 1 Serrano Chili Peppers
  • 1/2  Cup Cilantro
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Mandarin (Satsuma) Juice –  fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Mandarin Zest (optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

The rest

  • 8 oz or 2 1/4 Cups Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 1/2 Onion – 1 1/4 Cup – Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Oil or Regular Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cup Milk (I used 1%)
  • 6 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Garnish (make ahead)


Tomatillo Salsa

Peel the paper skin off of the tomatillos, cut the cores out and cut in half, then spread them out on a baking sheet cut side down.

Turn on the broiler and broil tomatillos for 6 – 7 minutes then flip over for another 3 – 4 minutes or until very soft and slightly burnt.

Add the onion to a pot of water and bring to a boil, then remove, let cool and put in a food processor.

When tomatillos are finished cooking, let coo and add to food processor.

Cut the stems off the serrano then de-seed and add to the food processor along with the cilantro, garlic, lime, and salt.  Puree.


Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.  Put the potatoes into a 9 by 14 Pyrex baking dish and add the oil, garlic and salt.  Mix together to coat all the potatoes evenly.

Cover with foil and place into the oven on the middle rack for 45 minutes.  Turn the oven to broil, take the foil off and place the potatoes on the top rack and broil for  7- 10 minutes or until they start to brown.  Make sure to keep an eye on them.  Remove from oven and let cool.

The rest

Shred the cheese and set aside.

Dice the onion and add to a 5 1/2 quart soup pot along with the oil and saute on medium-low heat until onions are soft and translucent.  Add the wine and reduce to a syrup.  Add the tomatillo salsa, milk, lime juice, salt and pepper.

In a food processor add half the potatoes and about 2 cups of the water and puree then add to the soup.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes and 2 more cups of water.  Then add the final 2 cups of water to the soup (total of 6 cups of water).  Stir and cook until hot, then slowly add the cheese and cook until the cheese is completely melted.

Serve it with diced roasted poblano, drizzled with chili oil,  sprinkled with blue corn chips and topped with a dollop of cilantro pesto.

Creamy-Potato Tomatillo Soup

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Tomatillos have been found to have anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties from the Ixocarpalactone-A, a phyto-chemical.  They contain niacin, which helps convert food into energy. They are a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants, vitamin K  that increases bone mass, potassium that helps electrolyte regulation, nerve function, muscle control, and blood pressure, folate that supports red blood cell formation and fiber.  They are without sugars, low in salt and cholesterol-free.

Thai Chili Olive Oil

This is such a great versatile oil and so easy to make!  Drizzle it on soups, salads, pasta or anything you would use olive oil in.


Recipe: 1 Cup

  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 Dried Thai Chilies


Add oil and chilies to a small pot.  Turn the stove on, in between low and medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool then pour into a jar.

Black Lentil Roasted Purple Potatoes Salad with Cilantro Pesto Vinaigrette

This rustic salad is extremely flavorful and satisfying.  It makes a great side dish and is filling enough to be a meal all in of itself!
Four and a half years ago my body changed and I started to gain weight.  First, it was a couple pounds and the next thing I knew, I was 15 pounds over weight. 15 POUNDS!  I
am talking within a month!  I am only 5′ 3 and 3/4, yes I said 3/4 quarters.  When you are my height every 1/4 inch counts, haha!  I have had to change so many things in my diet and I have had to become very diligent with my exercising.  You have to realize, I have never in my whole life had to think about what I was eating.  It really has been a blessing though.  I have eaten relatively healthy my whole life, but now I had to cut out sugar, wheat, soy and corn for the most part.  I will eat them on occasion.
Lately, I have been eating dishes like this lentil salad as well as kale salads, soups and falafel.  My body seems to like this and I have FINALLY achieved my goal weight.  It only took 4 and 1/2 years but hey, I’ll take it!  Bottom line, there is no such thing as the perfect diet.  You really do have to make lifestyle changes.  Have you struggled with weight?  What’s your story?  And what works for you?
This salad goes great with a nice red Rioja, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, white Rioja, or a Sauvignon Blanc.
Recipe: 6 – 8 servings

Roasted Potatoes

  • 1 lb. Purple Potatoes -1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic and 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Black Lentils – dry
  • 7 Cups Filtered Water

Vinaigrette -Incase you want to make more of the Cilantro Asiago Pesto, here is the whole batch.  I use a half batch for this salad with the addition of the lemon juice, vinegar and a bit more salt.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Asiago – finely shredded
  • 1/4 Cup +2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 3 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt


  • 1/4  – 1/2 Fennel Bulb (about 1 cup) –  thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Fennel Fronds
  • 1 Carrots -(about 3/4 cup) shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – sliced or minced



Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the potatoes and dice them into 1/2 inch chunks.  Put potatoes in an Pyrex baking dish and add the olive oil, garlic and salt.  Mix throughly, making sure to coat all of the potatoes with the oil.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft enough to pierce with a fork.  Then turn oven to broil and place potatoes under broiler uncovered for 7 minutes.


While potatoes are cooking, sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 15 – 20 minutes, you don’t want them too soft or they will be mushy, so check them at 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking start the vinaigrette.

When the lentils are done, drain them into a mesh colander, rinse with water to help them cool down and allow them to cool to room temperature.


Pick the leaves off of the cilantro stems, finely shred the cheese, measure the cilantro, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and put them into a food processor. Turn the processor on then pour in the lemon juice and vinegar until smooth.  Once the lentils are cooled mix them into the vinaigrette.


Cut the stalks off the fennel and cut in half then cut out the core.  Slice as thin as you can then add them to the lentils.  Thinly slice the fennel fronds and add to lentils.

Shred the carrot and slice or mince the cabbage and add to lentils.

Mix well and serve with the potatoes.


 Health benefits:

 Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years

Purple potatoes are originally from their origins in Peru and Bolivia.  They contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes. The deep blue or purple color produces an flavonoid antioxidant called anthocyanin which helps boost the immune system, the same that can be found it blueberries, blood oranges,  pomegranates and black rice.  They are high in potassium and have anti-inflammatory properties.  Purple potatoes have a high concentration of phytochemicals and one called chlorogenic acid and has been linked to lowering blood pressure.  They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, folic acid and iron.

Cilantro is an extreme anti-oxidant immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. Cilantro can lower bad cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol level.  It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K and dietary fiber. It is also an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and calcium.

Cilantro Asiago Pesto

This pesto is one of my favorites, if there could be one!  It has such a bright and fresh flavor from the cilantro along with a richness from the Asiago cheese.  It is great in salads, super tasty in sandwiches, wonderful on pasta, phenomenal in quesadillas and just an all around great dip!


I have had a real craving for pesto lately and remembered that I had a lot of cilantro that needed to be used up.   Plus, I like to have a pesto on hand incase we have visitors, like today.  Our friend Beto is coming to visit with wedding cake samples in hand.  Beto’s girlfriend is making us a Spanish almond wedding cake with either a rosemary or plain mascarpone frosting,  I’m so excited!


 I love cilantro for many reasons, one of course, I LOVE the flavor!  In my opinion, it transforms an ok dish into an extraordinary dish.  It is one of those herbs people seem to either love or hate.  Robby’s mom was one that did NOT like it at all!  I haven’t met anyone who said “it’s ok!”  Another reason why I love it, is that it is so extremely good for you.  Did you know that toxins and heavy metals bind to the cilantro and it pulls it out of the body!  Check out this story about how it can purify water.


Recipe: Approx. 3 Cups

  • 3 Cups Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Cup Asiago Cheese
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste

Half batch: Approx.1 1/2 Cups

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Asiago Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste



Finely shred cheese and pick leaves off the cilantro stems, measure and add to a food processor or blender along with walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt.

Puree until desired texture.


Health benefits:

Cilantro is an extreme anti-oxidant immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. Cilantro can lower bad cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol level.  It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K and dietary fiber. It is also an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and calcium.