Olive Tapenade

Carbs… carbs are one of my biggest weaknesses. Especially little crostini’s… you can literally put anything on them & they will be delicious. Toast them, don’t, either way… yum!

Girl time is special to me. My closest girlfriends, are, ironically, 3000 miles away from me at any given time. Living across the country from the people you love most, really makes you appreciate the time you have with them. My sister was able to sneak away from her job as a labor & delivery nurse in Connecticut for a few days to come out & visit with us. Spending time with her is always so much fun. Isn’t it funny how the person you grow up arguing & fighting with ends up being your best friend as you get older?



Anyway, one of our favorite things to do is a little wine tasting. She loves going in Connecticut but the green hills of New England are definitely a totally different view than what we have in the desserts of Southern California. Especially after three years of little to no rain. Our golden hills are definitely a sight you don’t see in Connecticut’s vineyards.

New England wineries generally create some form of blends of local grapes &, from what I understand from many of the wineries I’ve been to, grapes that have been shipped in from warmer climates like here in California.

Big, indoor, cottage like décor is what you usually can find on the east coast rather than the outdoor, Mediterranean feel you get out here at a vineyard.

It is definitely a different wine here on the west coast compared to cold New England.


What’s nice about going wine tasting with girlfriends is they enjoy the same snacks that I do, & everything Chris doesn’t like.

Usually when I go wine tasting Chris and our friend Patrick come, and they like…. Well pizza. And that’s it. My idea of a fun wine tasting day is veggie spreads, Italian meats & an amazing cheese to go with the wine. (Not a greasy slice of pepperoni.) This is an appetizer that I just recently discovered how to do on my own, and honestly, it’s way better than what you can get out of a jar.

Try it out… and enjoy!


3/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.2 cup chopped parsley

1. Chop olives in food processor. Set aside.
2. Mince garlic and add cheese, butter, and oil. Process into a paste mixture.
3. In a large bowl mix olives with the paste mixture and fold in chopped parsley.
4. Place mixture on crostini and toast under broiler for 2-5 minutes at 375˚.

Weekend Update: Beer & Wine Tasting

Hello friends! Hope everyone had a good weekend! I had the weekend off for the first time since our trip back in the end of July so we jam packed it with fun with friends & food. Saturday morning I woke up after an overnight shift at work to Chris & our friend “the other Megan” unloading our former storage shed into a new, nearby storage shed within our complex. Since they had been up since the ripe old hour of 8 o’clock I thought I’d be nice & whip up some chorizo & eggs for breakfast for them.

As we vegged a little & took our time getting ready for the rest of the day it was really nice to catch up with Megan. She lives about 2 hours away from us in Orange County so we don’t get to get together as often as we would like. We spent the evening on Saturday with some other friends at an event at Downtown Disney.
Okay, spoiler, Chris works for a company in Downtown Disney which held a beer tasting even… & that’s all I am really going to say about the location. Twice a year they shut down their venue to bring in 18 local breweries. It’s a lot of fun & you get to try a ton of beers you normally wouldn’t.

My favorites of the night would have to be the Prickly Pear Cider from Crispin Cider or the Steller IPA from North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, CA. Yum! My least favorite… a 15% ale that tasted like I was drinking straight bourbon… wowza! I definitely had to wash that down with a plateful of their loaded mac & cheese with pulled pork & pico de gallo.

Before the event started we headed over to the Mexican restaurant in Downtown Disney, Tortilla Jo’s, & snacked on a strawberry mint margarita & some table side guacamole. Mint & strawberry was perfectly refreshing for the 100 degree day.

We called it a night pretty early & everyone crashed at our place where they watched movies & Megan & I knocked out early.

The next morning we took full advantage of my weekend off, & our need to pick up our wines from our wine clubs & headed down to Temecula Wine Valley for a day of tasting & relaxing. But again… the sun did not hide. It was 105 all day & it was pretty killer all day in the sun. Chris & our friend Patrick thought it would be fun to play a round of bocce ball but I am pretty sure they were regretting it after about 10 minutes. Us girls were smart and ate our pizza in the shade. Hey I will take 95 degrees over 105 any day!


It was a great weekend with friends that we don’t get to see too often but Monday everyone was back to work. I am definitely glad I was able to step out of my beer bubble & try some new tastes. With the holidays fast approaching it looks like I will have one more free weekend before my life will be over taken by crazy mall hours & my retail life. Next month we are heading to Vegas for a quick overnight trip to celebrate Chris’s sister’s 21st birthday! I have a few spots that I can’t wait to visit but does anyone have any suggestions of places to go, things to eat, & drinks to drink? We are always up for new & exciting adventures. Let me know!