I had another birthday this past week and I’ve been celebrating almost every day since. My mother bought me a cake at Solvang Bakery, the weekend before my birthday, and I took it home with me to Los Angeles after a fun weekend with the family. I cut slices of cake everyday and enjoyed each perfect buttercream bite, until it was finally gone. I love cake. Now that my birthday’s over, the week ahead looks promising with hotter weather for a couple days, before it goes back to the usual mid 60’s this time of year. I took a great hike with my husband yesterday in Malibu at Solstice Canyon. If you haven’t been through the area, it’s worth a visit. The hike is about 3 miles if you leave from the parking area, but we walked from Pacific Coast Highway, which added a mile. The Robert’s Ranch ruins are worth a peek, but the best part of the hike is taking the loop trail down, with a picturesque ocean view below the mountains. Los Angeles has so much to do, no matter what time of year.
Mardi Gras kicks off with Fat Tuesday this coming week including a parade and beads of course, so I thought Monday night would be the right time to enjoy a pot of Creole Red Beans served with hot steamy rice of course. I prepared them in the Instant Pot to cut down on time, and quite frankly, I think a pressure cooker is the best vessel to make beans super creamy. For Tuesday, I thought a good King’s Cake should be the meal of choice, possibly enjoyed late in the day, or served as dessert. Wednesday is a great day for Skillet Beef and Mushrooms. I prefer to spoon this meaty mixture over creamy polenta, but mashed potatoes are pretty delish too. Thursday is lasagna night and my Chicken Pesto Lasagna is not only delicious, but you can make it with store-bought ingredients. Friday is a night to make things simple, and Real Deal Nachos made with canned beans, cheese and topped with pickled jalapenos is just that, super easy. A cold beer or margarita served alongside makes the evening perfection. Saturday’s are for baking, even though you may have made the King’s Cake on Tuesday, and it’s time for my White Chocolate Toffee Brownies to enjoy for the weekend. Have another terrific week, and don’t forget to celebrate something.
Monday – A good pot of beans ladled over rice is a meal in itself. I love the creole flavors in this recipe and it’s super easy to make in an Instant Pot.
Tuesday – Happy Mardi Gras! I made this recipe for the first time in pastry school many years ago, and it’s fun festive colors are reason enough to bake one up, don’t you think?
Wednesday – Hump day makes a nice day to prepare a quick and easy beef and mushroom skillet meal. It’s super tasty and I enjoy the simplicity of the dish and how mushrooms and beef compliment each other so well.
Thursday – It’s Lasagna night and this creamy, cheesy casserole is just what the family ordered for a marvelous Italian-style dinner.
Friday – These nachos are made individually and piled high with beans, cheese and pickled jalapenos. A simple yet, super tasty dinner.
Saturday – I love a good brownie, but these white chocolate toffee brownies are a bit different. They have all the chewy chocolaty goodness of regular brownies, but are topped with white chocolate and toffee bits. Oh, yes they are.