Category Archives: Uncategorized

SoCal Beach Nights 

All Good Things Will Come Again Next Year…

Now that fall has officially arrived, our clocks have turned back, and pumpkin-everything is pretty much everywhere you look, comes shorter days and darker nights. And tis’ the season unfortunately that our routinely mid-week beach nights come to a halt.


I love the seasonal change into fall, in fact it’s one of my favorites, however I’ll miss the wonderful, warm evenings spent seaside with my loves.

We load up the beach mobile and take a scenic drive to the coast. Maizie instantly knows where we’re headed and takes a seat in her preferred chair, no floor spot for this spoiled lady.

We make it a part of our weekly routine to spend at least one (mid-week) evening at the beach in addition to our weekend beach adventures. That may not seem like a whole lot, but given our schedules, we don’t get much time off together, especially during the week. So these nights are much needed and very special.

The pups absolutely love chasing the ball, people watching, and getting all sandy as they roll around and dig in the sand. Thank goodness for the hose in the backyard 🙂

By the way, that’s Bear, our 14 year old boy. He’ll melt your heart with that contagious smile of his. Maizie is our crazy one! She’s 6, full of energy and can play ball until the cows come home…but how can you say “no more” to that face? Am I right?!

While Greg hits the surf until the vibrant sun melts gracefully into the ocean, I cozy up in my chair sipping wine as I drink in all of the happiness that surrounds me.

Meanwhile the pups are snuggled up by my sandy toes while I read my book, scroll through Pinterest, and brainstorm new ideas for my jewelry business.

After a few well-spent hours at the beach, the ride home is always a little more tranquil…haha and the pups are pooped! Mission accomplished.

Sadly, I will miss these peaceful evenings but it gives me something to look forward to with the seasonal changes ahead. Thankfully we can still fit in our much needed vitamin sea on the weekends 🙂

Beach (n.) A place of relaxation, rest, and tranquility. 

-Melissa & The Fam

 

Taco Tuesday – Blackened Mahi Mahi Edition 

And after Monday comes …taco Tuesday. Yum yum get in my tum! Fish tacos are definitely on my ‘fave’ list, and being that we live in San Diego, the options to indulge not only in fresh fish but just about any type of taco are limitless.

Taco Tuesday’s the perfect way to brighten up the work week . It’s a great excuse to hang with friends and sip on some ice cold margaritas before you cruise on over the midweek hump. Although, we do enjoy going out for a great meal from time time, we prefer hanging in our kitchen cooking our own delicious meals.  So, here’s how I’m bring the fiesta to the Frey household this week! Mahi Mahi is name, fish taco is the game!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse the fish and pat dry. Combine all the dry ingredient for the fish rub. Evenly coat the fish on both sides with the rub.

Heat the olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Once the olive oil & butter mixture has reached the desired temperature, add the Mahi Mahi filets or other fish of your choice. Pan-sear both sides just so the fish starts to brown, but avoid cooking all the way through. Once the fish is seared, place your oven-safe skillet into the oven to finish cooking the fish to your desired temperature.

While the fish is cooking, you can prepare the white sauce or you can make ahead and chill for a couple of hours. Same goes for the mango salsa. I prefer to make ahead and let it ‘marinate’ in the fridge for a bit.

Remove fish from oven and let rest for a few minutes. Flake the fish with a fork and place into warmed tortillas, I prefer corn tortillas for fish tacos.

Tonight I decided to add fresh mango salsa, a flavorful white sauce and lime wedges, but there are plenty of other ways to serve so do what you do best!

What you’ll need:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Corn tortillas
Cilantro
fresh limes for garnish
Mahi Mahi or another flaky white fish

Dry rub for fish:

1 teas chili powder
1 teas paprika
½ teas ground cumin
½ teas garlic powder
½ teas onion powder
¼ teas pepper
¼ teas salt
¼ teas cayenne

White sauce:

1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 teas ground chipotle powder
juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime
1/2 teas cumin powder
salt to taste if needed

Mango salsa:

3 ripe mangoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 large lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/8 – 1/4 salt, to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded & minced

From our kitchen to yours…enjoy!

~Melissa

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan 

This is hands-down one of our favorite dishes to make. Chicken Parmesan is so easy and always tastes delish! There are a couple of tricks that you must do to make this the most mouth-watering recipe ever!

First tip is to crisp up the cheese before you serve. You’ll want to broil during the last few minutes so you get the cheese nice and brown and bubbly. YUM making me hungry now 🙂

Another tip is to make your own tomato sauce vs. using one from the jar. This will make a HUGE flavor difference. Again, similar to the fajita spice mix, you can make a large batch and freeze to have on hand for future uses.

The other important technique is to use panko vs. bread crumbs. This gives the breading a crunchier and lighter texture rather than a heavier, gooey bread texture.

So here is how we make chicken parmesan:

Ingredients:

-4 thinly-sliced chicken breasts (If you buy the larger breasts, I suggest slicing them in half)
-homemade tomato sauce
-panko bread crumbs
-1 egg, beaten
-s&p to taste
-mozzarella cheese
-shredded parmesan cheese
-fresh basil

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and set aside. Beat one egg and place onto a plate. Add a generous amount of panko crumbs on a separate plate. Coat the chicken with egg by dipping both sides into the egg mixture. Immediately coat with panko crumbs and place into a lightly greased 13×9 glass dish.

Once the chickie has been panko’d, not a word but I like it 🙂 spoon the desired amount of sauce over the tops. I put just enough to make a thin layer rather than having the sauce spill over the sides, this might make it soggy.Blah.

Place the sliced mozzarella on top of the sauce, you can either use fresh or the firmer one, up to you.

Pop in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Once the chicken is cooked through, turn your oven on broil, now is the time to perfect that cheese topping! Broil until the cheese turns golden brown and begins to bubble. Remove dish from oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve it up!

We usually serve chicken parmesan with a side of steamed broccoli and/or a garden salad. You can also boil some noodles and serve with your amazing homemade tomato sauce you just made 🙂 Enjoy.

From Our Kitchen to Yours, 

Melissa & Greg 

Tortellini Primavera

This dinner was actually inspired by my absentmindedness to thaw the chicken breasts I had planned on grilling for dinner. Whoops! Oh well, this turned out just as tasty so no complaints here.

Once I realized that I needed to raid the fridge and “throw” something together, I started pulling out the fresh vegetables. We are big on meatless meals in the Frey household. Don’t get me wrong we love beef, chicken, pork, yada yada yada, but we like to incorporate a meatless meal at least once a week.

This tortellini primavera is not only easy and delicious but literally took me less than 20 minutes to prepare! Who’s in for that? It makes for the perfect weeknight meal, so skip those frozen dinners and salty takeout and get to chopping.

First I prepare the veggies I want to add. I pulled what I had in the fridge and that consisted of asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini and fresh basil. Chop vegetables as desired and put into a mixing bowl. Coat the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, S&P, and any other spices or seasonings you like.

While the water boils, saute the veggie mix in olive oil and turn in pan until desired firmness. I like my veggies with a little crunch…

Once the tortellini are finished (they only take a few minutes to cook and will float to the top when done) drain and then add the tortellini into the saute pan with veggies. Gently stir everything together so that the sauce begins to coat the pasta. Sprinkle some basil and grate some fresh cheese over the top and voila- dinner is done!

Here’s what you need:

-package of cheese tortellini
-2 medium zucchini
-2-3 garlic cloves, minced
-cherry tomatoes
-asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
-fresh basil
-extra virgin olive oil
-s&p to taste
-freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese

From Our Kitchen to Yours, 

~Melissa 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Off The Vine

It’s almost that time of year again…tomato season is just around the corner, pretty soon you will see an abundance of these beauties stocked up at your local store or farmers market.

Call me weird, but I love the smell of freshly picked tomatoes off the vine. It reminds me of summer ahhhh. We normally plant tomatoes in our garden, but unfortunately this year we didn’t get around to prepping the garden boxes in our new home in time for the season 😦 Oh well, there’s always next year. Last season we planted over 32 tomato plants…they were literally coming out of our ears! But we enjoyed using them in different recipes, we even made and canned our own tomato sauce. Yum yum, that will have to be another post. Our friends and family definitely were not complaining about our plethora of red beauties.

Did you know there are over 10,000 known varieties of tomatoes? Wowza! It can be overwhelming when trying to decide what kind you want to plant. Here are some of our favorites:

San Marzano – great for sauces
Sungold Cherries – explosive sweet flavor that is amazing in a salad or just snacking on
Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter – think tomato and burrata salad! Or piled on a juicy hamburger or sandwich!

Here is a quick and flavorful way to prepare tomatoes to add to pasta (check out my Chicken Caprese Casarecce Pasta recipe), fish or chicken dishes. You can even serve this as a healthy, vegetable side dish.

Sauteed Garlic Tomatoes:

Heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan
Add in 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Dice your cherry tomatoes into halves
Saute the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until tomatoes soften and absorb the flavors of the garlic
S&P to taste and that’s it!

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Who said cooking was a lot of work?! Enjoy.

From our kitchen to yours,

Melissa

Must have: beach bangle bracelet

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Hot off the press…well more like hot off the jewelry work station, this cute beach bangle can be found here for only $24! Inspired by the sandy shore and salty sea, Tres Designs’ new beach bangle makes the perfect accessory for just about any outfit.

Handmade by Tres Designs Jewelry, a small local San Diego-based company that sells handmade, trendy and affordable jewelry. View our Etsy shop here: http://etsy.me/27Tf59B

 

 

Let’s Avocuddle

Let’s be honest, nothing beats lounging at home all nice and cozy on a weekend morning while cooking up something delish! Being married to a chef definitely has it’s perks and let me tell you, he can whip up a pretty tasty brekkie. Anything from a fluffy omelet, a savory hash, a healthy parfait or to a traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon and potatoes.

But this time, the cooking was left to me! I wanted to make something simple and filling while using the ingredients we had (haven’t done the weekly shopping just yet). One thing you can always find in our kitchen are avocados, we love them! Next, I found the loaf of rye bread and I knew just what to do…avocado toast.

Avocado toast has been all the rage lately. It’s popping up everywhere! But did you know this simple, yet filling breakfast originated in Australia? That’s right mate, this concoction is the go-to dish for many Aussies and can be found on pretty much any breakfast menu just like pancakes are found here on the menus of America.

I simply toasted the rye bread. Smashed an avocado with a fork and added some salt and pepper to taste. Then I added a small amount of lime juice to boost the flavor of the avocado. Once the toast is done, I spread the avocado over the toast, finish with a little crack of pepper, sprinkle of sea salt and crushed red pepper and voila….brekkie is served!

There are many ways to spice up this traditional dish, here are some ideas of things you can add:

  • tomato
  • poached or fried egg
  • feta or goat cheese
  • cilantro
  • sprouts
  • pico de gallo
  • bacon
  • hot sauce
  • basil

Enjoy, from our kitchen to yours.

~Melissa