Seasonal Love

A Good Friend, Coffee, Paper & A Blueberry Scone

Have I told you yet how much I love the summertime? Come June everything just slows down a bit. Traffic is less tiresome. Neighborhood noises abound with kids voices, lawnmowers, sprinklers, cicadas and dive bomb splashes into the pool. And maybe you can sit down each week and read the New Yorker cover to cover in time for the next weeks edition. Here at Casa de la Pav we enjoy it all plus, what I like to call, the ubiquitous revolving summer door. Where family and friends come, stay, eat, drink and play with us all summer long. Ok, we work too!

So this past week we’ve had some dear friends in from Boston - Max & Shari. Shari and I have been going non-stop. Therefore, even though I have hundreds of recipes “in the vault” , I’ve been racking my brain on what to post for today’s Friday Food Find. So today, we went for a 2-mile run and stopped by Starbucks to pick up a coffee. Since it wasn’t a drive-thru we had to take our sweaty selves in to the counter. We purchased our coffees, The New York Times and a blueberry scone.

Once we situated ourselves outside, sippin’ on our coffee, Shari began reading the Friday movie reviews (aloud as I didn’t have my old girl’s peepers with me) and I dove into the scone. I’ve had Starbucks scones before and they’re pretty good. This one was especially yummers. It was crumbly, lightly sweet, crunchy on the outside and had just the right amount of blueberries. I thoroughly enjoyed it! That said, I probably gained back all the calories lost whilst running. But isn’t it just the best to indulge sometimes? Especially on a great Summertime morning with a good friend over coffee, a paper and a blueberry scone? I think altogether that makes a very good Friday Food Find.

Fall = Oranges & Chocolate

My friends from Salazon Chocolate Co. asked me to write a recipe for them. When I said YES (notice the caps) they sent me some chocolate.

I said yes because I really love chocolate and I’m a sucker for a new brand. So, while walking through Whole Foods Market their bars caught my eye.

It’s marketed to the outdoors person such as a hiker or backpacker; someone who needs a little extra energy after a long journey. There are several to choose from like 72% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Organic Cayenne and the one I’m using for this recipe:

Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Organic Turbinado Cane Sugar. 

This recipe is one that I’ve been using for years. One which came out of my love for Spain and tapas. It combines traditional Spanish flavors and makes for a light snack or dessert after a Fall meal.

Here’s the recipe:


1 large orange, seedless
1 Tbls of cinnamon
1 bar, Salazon Chocolate (Dark Chocolate w/Sea Salt & Organic Turbinado Cane Sugar) 


Slice orange in half between stem & bottom. 
Slice each half. You now have 4 quarters.
Slice each quarter into ¼- ½” slices.
Arrange orange slices on a platter. Sprinkle cinnamon down the center of each orange slice. Break off pieces of the chocolate bar. Serve immediately.

Yields up to 4 servings; 2 oranges slices per person & several pieces of chocolate.

Halloween Decor

While I wouldn’t say I’m a Halloween lover there are a few things that I do like to keep in fashion around my house, Casa Pav.  And that is the decor that in itself demontrates the holiday.  

When I first began picking up pieces for my Halloween decor I had kids in mind.  My husband and I were working on the “task” of having children and I felt like I should start preparing by buying all sorts of fun holiday decor pieces.  Which goes right in line with my MO; not being too practical.  I was all about the surface decoration rather than the real inside preparedness of having a child.   

Living Room

Sadly, the kid thing didn’t work out for us.  However, the decor did and still does.  It’s sure not a replacement.  But it does make me feel good to have a few designated pieces of Halloween or that which demonstrates it placed around my home.  

Dining Room Table

Each piece has it’s place whether outside or inside.  One of my favorites is the candy corn man that sits outside greeting people when they visit.  Another is the witchy pumpkin cat that sits upon the counter in the guest bathroom.

Guest Bathroom

So, for not having a pure love for Halloween I think I’m doing pretty good.  I keep the decor simple; a little elegant and weirdly somewhat full of smiles.  

Happy Halloween from Casa Pav - sans kids!

Texas State Parks: Springtime Picnic

Put yourself behind the wheel and slowly drive down a slightly hidden road.  All along the way bursts of red, orange, purple, blue, white and every shade of green almost blinds you angling your head side to side not wanting to miss one bit.  These are the colors of petals, leaves, grass, butterflies and much more. What we natives call a Texas springtime.  And there’s no other place you can see and experience it so prolifically other than a Texas State Park.

And today, I did just that! You see, Texas State Parks and Wildlife is looking to the month of May as their premier “Picnicking in the Park” month.  To kick it off they hosted a wonderful luncheon at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, TX. While I’ve been to several state parks over the years this one was new to me.  It was the perfect setting for our civilized indoor/outdoor picnic.  

Cecilia Nasti, Producer & Host of Passport to Texas radio series (and KUT’s Field & Feast) asked several food bloggers from the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and others to provide recipes and or food for the event. Each recipe is one that is simple and can be made specifically for a picnic.    


As you can see we had a veritable feast!  Check out the recipe I made Sugar Snap Peas w/ Basil; an especially great side dish for grilled meats.

To my suprise, after lunch and a meandering walk through the color-raging wildflowers, I was met in the parking lot by new friends. They wanted me to have a left-over,  just harvested watermelon from the Texas valley.  How could I refuse? I didn’t. Thank you to the folks at GO TEXAN!

So, now it’s your turn.  Pull the the family together, make a simple picnic,  put yourself behind that wheel, drive to the nearest Texas State Park and enjoy your day. Texas State Parks rock!