A Picnic in Winter

Picnic in the park

Mediterranean style picnic in the park on a warm winter day.

Weather in the high 60’s on a winters day in the Rocky Mountains makes us want to head straight outside. The girls and I decided to pack a Mediterranean style feast and head out to the park. Luckily for us nearly every last living soul was in front of their TV watching football (we are in Broncos territory after all). As the Broncos were making their way to the Superbowl, we were basking in the sun enjoying our impromptu lunch. 

We packed a small baguette, some pre-made sun dried tomato relish, salami, Italian olives, mixed nuts, fresh veggies, hummus, pasta salad, smoked Gouda cheese, crackers, San Pelligrino water and Italian sodas. This was a spontaneous event, so we decided next time we will make our own pasta salad and share the recipe here with you. (read more)

MelindaA Picnic in Winter

Travel Diary, La Quinta California

Travel Gypset Style

The driveway into the La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, CA,

I recently took a trip to the Waldorf Astoria, La Quinta Resort and Club. What a refuge from the recent cold to be where the flowers are blooming and the temperature is a mild 70 degrees. Outside my hotel room door was a pool, and the most beautiful roses…

Rose at La Quinta

These beautiful roses blooming right outside my hotel room door

The history of the La Quinta Resort goes way back. In the early 1920s, San Francisco businessman Walter H. Morgan was drawn to a place in the California desert that dwellers in these lands had long referred to as the Land of Eternal Sun. He envisioned a tranquil retreat that captured the essence of quiet hacienda-style living. Purchasing 1,400 acres from the native Cahuilla Indians, he enlisted the renowned architect Gordon Kaufman, along with scores of artisan craftsmen to make his dream a reality. From more than 100,000 hand-formed adobe bricks and 60,000 locally fired roof tiles, a small grouping of quaint casitas and a cozy dining room sprung up. Morgan called this place La Quinta. (read more)

MelindaTravel Diary, La Quinta California

Caramel Cheesecake

Light Caramel Cheesecake

A light and tasty caramel cheese cake

The girls and I were cooped up in the house recently with a snowstorm and decided what better time to bake than a snow day? We had all of the ingredients on hand from aspirations of baking over the holidays that just never happened with everything else going on. We used dark brown sugar for the caramel sauce which gave it the rich color. This version we had a pre-made graham cracker crust on hand. Making crust is super easy however and you can get creative with adding crushed pretzels or nuts. I have included instruction for making the crust homemade here. (read more)

MelindaCaramel Cheesecake