Boo Appeitite With A Healthy Halloween Treat!

When it comes to the month of October, there is definitely no shortage of sugar comas around our house, especially on the night of the 31st. My little ones try to shove as much candy as possible into their little mouths before bed on Halloween night. Even I’m a little guilty of indulging in a few mini snicker bars, and I’m not even a big candy lover. It’s gonna happen… its Halloween after all. So I could try to intermix some healthy treats in-between all those sugary bites. Now, it can be hard to get kids to eat something healthy with candy in sight. Simple solution: Make it fun for them to eat! 

My daughter is all about the magic spells this year with her favorite movie, Descendants 2 out. There is a lot of “magic potions” being made in our house this month. I took that idea, and created a magic spell treat that she couldn’t resist! 

Cone Calligraphy by Meghann Miniello

Photos by Alyssa Onaka Photography

I N G R E D I E N T S 

Organic Popcorn 
Organic Mini Popcorn
Pumpkin Seeds
Chia Seeds
Shaved Coconut
Edible Glitter 

D I R E C T I O N S 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss to combine. Using a spoon or even your hands put popcorn trail mix into cones like the ones that Meghann Miniello created for me or any fun Halloween container. Sprinkle some edible glitter on top, and along with any Halloween sprinkles you have. I used silver stars to go with the whole magic theme. What little one could resist sparkly popcorn!!?!

Get your sparkle on! Sprinkle all the glitter you want. The more the better! I used a color combination of white, rose gold, and a bright pink. You can also put the popcorn in separate bowls and sprinkle the glitter individually and toss to combine prior to combining all ingredients. 

This makes a great treat for anyone that needs a class treat for their kids’ school, and for any Halloween get together you have going on. 







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Fall Recipe – Caldo Verde Portuguese Soup

It’s the last of our November soup recipe posts and I couldn’t let this month pass by without sharing one of my favorite soups, Caldo Verde.  I mentioned my love for soup earlier this month and much of that stems from my amazing Avó.  Growing up she always made the most delicious soups.  If you haven’t heard of me speak of her, my Avó is my Portuguese grandma.  She immigrated here with my grandfather, my dad, and his brother and sisters almost 50 years ago.  I grew up with lots of Portuguese culture and traditions, which meant lots of Portuguese food.  At Avó’s it was customary to always have soup before dinner, and each of the soups in her arsenal were equally yummy!  Caldo Verde, which translates to green broth, was one we had a lot of the time and is known as the national soup in Portugal.  I think you will really love the flavors and comfort behind this soup, plus it is pretty healthy and easy to make!

meganwelker-cruz-3 All Photos by Megan Welker


2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

4 cups of chicken stock

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 large potatoes, chopped

1 link of linguica sliced thin

½ pound kale, stems discarded and leaves shredded

meganwelker-cruz-6 Instructions

In a large saucepan heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the onion and garlic, cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, pepper and potatoes, bring to a boil.

meganwelker-cruz-7 Simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a blender or food processer, blend the soup to a puree consistency. Then add back to the pan.

Meanwhile cook a few of the slices of linguica in a pan on the stove.

Add the kale and the rest of the sliced linguica and simmer until it is kale is wilted, about 10 minutes.

Top with the other sliced linquica and serve with bread and butter, another Portuguese must!

meganwelker-cruz-4 Lucky us, One Hope wine has been pairing each of our soups with their delicious wines this month and for the Caldo Verde the recommended their Pinot Noir.  They chose this wine specifically to match well with the spicy linguica saying: Heat from the linguica sausage will be tempered by the fresh berry notes in this California Pinot Noir.

Don’t mind if I do!!  You can’t talk me out of a good glass of red wine!




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By on November 25, 2016 in FALL RECIPES, FOOD, RECIPES


Fall Recipe – Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Hey, hey, hey…It’s Friday, yay!!! You know what that means right? It’s soup and wine parings for the month of November in collaboration with One Hope wine.  Today we are taking a trip to Italy as we were inspired by this yummy fall soup.  Even before you see the pictures your mouth starts watering when you say it….Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup.  And boy is it yummy. Now I’m a true lover of tomato soup so when you add cheese tortellini and some basil, it’s like a flavor explosion.  When I made it this week, the aroma in my house was so dreamy.  Plus my husband loved it because it’s hearty almost like a pasta dish.  Anyway, let’s get to sharing with you shall we…



1 medium onion diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 spring of fresh rosemary chopped

28 ounce can diced tomatoes

15 ounce can tomato sauce

½ teaspoon dried oregano

4 large fresh basil leaves

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

20 ounces three-cheese tortellini

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese + extra for garnish

salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

fresh basil, to garnish



Place the onion, garlic, olive oil, and fresh rosemary in a 6-quart soup pot or dutch oven. Sautee over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and heavy cream and stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Place the three-cheese tortellini into the soup and cook for 10 minutes or until the tortellini are tender and cooked through.

Serve and garnish with fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese.


So the next best part is pairing it with wine and One Hope is suggesting either their Pinot Noir or their Sauvignon Blanc.  I tried both of course and well…it’s a toss up.  If you are having this for lunch do the blanc and if your going to make it for dinner then definitely the Pinot!  Well there you have it, happy Friday…enjoy and your welcome!

Xx Leah

All photos by your truly

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By on November 18, 2016 in FALL, FALL RECIPES, FOOD, RECIPES


Fall Recipe- Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup w/ Coconut Cream + Pistachios

Oohhhh my gourd, do I have a yummy fall soup for you today! I love anything with butternut squash, and then add goat cheese and coconut cream? NO, I didn’t! Yes, I did! This soup for me screams Thanksgiving. Ingredients like butternut squash, thyme, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, and pistachios are essential fall goodness. It gets even better cause we are pairing this soup with One Hope Wine’s California Sauvignon Blanc. Veggie soups are great to pair with a yummy white wine. Does it get any better? When I make this soup, I will double it cause I can’t get enough of this delicious soup. I like to serve soups as an appetizer for the holidays; this soup will be perfect. Simply, serve in little cups like this one or a disposable one, and garnish. You just won over your family and friends.

Now its looks like a lot of ingredients, but most of them you should have in your kitchen already.

Photos by yours truly






Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup w/Coconut Cream + Pistachios.

1 head garlic, for roasting
Two tablespoons coconut oil
One red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
One teaspoon spicy curry powder
One teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
2 cups organic veggie broth
Salt (I prefer pink) and cracked fresh pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, plus more for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Pistachios, for garnish
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Naan, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Roasted Garlic How To:

Chop off the top portion of the garlic head. Pour about one teaspoon of coconut oil on top of the garlic cloves and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cover with foil. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, squeeze garlic out into a small bowl, mash well with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to a large soup pot set over medium heat. Once hot, add the red pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add the cubed butternut squash, spicy curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes then pour in the coconut milk and veggie broth. Bring the soup to boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.

Once the butternut squash is tender, add the roasted garlic and the crumbled goat cheese to the soup. Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Once blended, place back on the stove and heat through.

To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl. Drizzle the coconut cream over the soup. Garnish with chopped cilantro and thyme chopped pistachios and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Serve with some hot naan and One Hope Wine’s California Sauvignon Blanc.

Yummy! Yummy!



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By on November 11, 2016 in FALL RECIPES


Fall Recipe – Roasted Cauliflower & Chick Pea Soup

We’re kicking off November with a new Fall Recipe series, and this time we are talking soups!  Now, soup is my absolute favorite food.  If you know me then you know that when I go out to eat, if there is soup, I’m ordering it!  I was raised eating the most delicious soups made by my Avó and my mom, eating them reminds me of home.  With the air starting to get chilly I am ready for something warm, and a cozy soup is the perfect fix!  For my first soup this month my mom (my personal chef, haha) and I decided to try out this yummy roasted cauliflower and chick pea soup, it was super easy to make and delicious.  This soup has a nutty flavor to it; it’s hearty and with the addition of some rep pepper chili flakes it has the perfect amount of spice!  Best of all we are pairing all of our soups this month with One Hope wine, so you know just what to drink while you’re eating, sounds pretty perfect!  Now let’s get cozy and get cooking!

Roasted Cauliflower Chick Pea Soup-1 All Photos by Megan Welker


For the Soup

1 Cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 1/2 cups total)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream

For Garnish
Reserved roasted cauliflower mix
Red pepper flakes
Fresh thyme leaves

Roasted Cauliflower Chick Pea Soup-2 Instructions

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and garlic cloves (just leave them whole) with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the cumin, salt and paprika. Roast in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through.

Remove from your oven and set aside. Reserve about 1/2 cup for the garnish.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the cubed potatoes and black pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the vegetable broth and the water and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the roasted cauliflower mix.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender.  Alternatively, you can use a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary and being careful when transferring and blending hot liquids.

Return the pureed soup to the stovetop and gently re-warm it. Stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the reserved roasted cauliflower mix, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of heavy cream, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Roasted Cauliflower Chick Pea Soup-3 As far as pairing goes, One Hope paired this delicious soup with their Chardonnay.  Here are their pairing notes: With only a touch of oak, this Chardonnay is perfectly balanced (not too acidic, not too full bodied) to pair with the creaminess of cauliflower and chickpea.

I tried it myself and it was the perfect combination, and I know you will love it as much as we did!  My mom is a big Chardonnay fan so she was a big fan!

Roasted Cauliflower Chick Pea Soup-4 xx


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By on November 4, 2016 in EATS, FALL, FALL RECIPES, RECIPES