Cinco de Mayo Blender salsa

blender salsa


Happy Cinco de Mayo! I made this super yummy blender salsa. It is so easy and worthy of any celebration that calls for salsa!


2 14.5 oz. Cans of fire roasted tomatoes (mine had medium chili’s)

large handful of cilantro

2 garlic gloves, minced

1 small yellow onion, chopped small

juice of one lime

2 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Salt

Add all ingredients to blender and puree.

It will last approximately 2 weeks in refrigerator.




Japan Adventures: Kyoto Part 2

Arashiyama Bamboo forest
Amazing sound with the wind whipping through them
Temple entrance



Forest keepers
Beautiful Fall day
Hozugawa River
600 kimono art
Last night in Kyoto- we found this great yakisoba restaurant
Olivia enjoying dinner

Our last day trip was to Arashiyama as it was a short train ride on the Randen Katabiranotsuji train line to Arashiyama. The Tenryu-ji Temple, Kimono forest (art installation of kimono designs), Togetsukyo bridge, Sagano train ride, Hozugawa river boat ride, and lots of shopping! Carre, Olivia and I spent the afternoon in Arashiyama. It was extremely crowded, and for good reason, its a wonderful place to visit. I had my heart set on the Hozugawa River boat cruise but we arrived so late in the afternoon so for sure we will do it next time!
Kyoto is so charming. It was my favorite place we visited this time and I CANNOT wait to go back. I would love to visit in the wintertime. Because we practice the art of aikido, we are fortunate to have the ability to travel to Japan every couple of years. I feel so lucky to have aikido in my life. The Japanese culture has enriched my life in so many ways and it really is a culture to admire and respect. I think Japan is one of the loveliest places I’ve visited. Our next adventure is back to the Tokyo area of Tama (aka the land of HELLO KITTY!)…


Local Spotlight: The Spice and Tea Merchants

spice 1

Need a custom gift box made up?


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Looking for new recipes to try?


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I never knew there were this many different kinds of salt!


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Trying out some of the Himalayan salt


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Everything is neatly organized. The people know a lot about their products!


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Enough said: TEA WALL


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Blooming teas!


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This really is one of my favorite places to visit in Temecula. Tucked down a small alley in the Historic Down town you will find the Spice and Tea Merchants. This place has everything you need to prepare a tasty meal- spices- (think truffle salt and several different curry), spice blends- my favorites are Togarashi (a spicy Japanese blend), Jamaican Jerk (made this with it), Saugatauk Steak Rub (this makes grilling steaks extra yummy), herbs, extracts, local honey, and an amazing tea variety. I love their Bombay Chai and Cha Cha Chai. The Spice and Tea Merchants also carry a wide variety of pastas, rice and gifts. For those living outside of Temecula, The Spice and Tea Merchants offer an online shop to have their goodies shipped directly to your door. For more information, visit

Pork Ramen inspired by Momofuku


I have been watching Momofuku‘s David Chang in “The Mind of a Chef series” and am inspired by his play on food. He likes to experiment with ingredients, tweak them and make them fresh. I like that.

Though his stock has way more depth to it and the time involved to do so takes a considerable amount, I do believe a simpler way can be prepared when you don’t have a lot of time. And look at those fun shaped carrots. What kid wouldn’t have fun eating that?

Here’s what you need:

Ramen noodles

Chicken stock- I love “Better than Bouillon” brand

Green beans- trim the ends

Large carrots- cut into designs

pork shoulder- sliced

2-3 scallions- chopped

Start heating up chicken stock in pot. Boil the pork shoulder in a separate pot until cooked through and remove from water and place onto cutting board. Cook the green beans and carrots separately also, adding them back into bowl when ready to eat. Once the stock is near boiling, add the noodles. Cook for just a few minutes. Ladle broth and noodles into bowls and add the pork, beans, carrots and chopped scallions.

Fall Squash salad with citrus vinaigrette

fall salad For this lovely Fall salad I used delicata squash- though kabocha or butternut would be great in it too. It is so simple to prepare. Be warned… you will love this salad!

What you will need:

Romaine lettuce

1 roasted delicata squash, d-seeded and chopped

½ cup pecans

½ cup raisins

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 small orange- juiced

1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar

pepper to taste

I started off by roasting the delicata squash on a baking sheet- tossing the squash in a bowl with 1 tbsp. Olive oil and then placed the squash on the pan and sprinkled it with 1 tsp. Cinnamon. I roasted it for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Next, make the vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp. Olive oil, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and pepper to taste in small jar. Shake contents until mixed.

To assemble the salad, add the chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl and add pecans and raisins and roasted squash. Toss. Add the vinaigrette and do another toss.



Strawberry-Cucumber Relish over Wild Alaskan Salmon


This Strawberry-Cucumber Relish is a Summer staple in the Greenwood household. With the bounty of berries in Summer, there is no reason just to eat them plain (though my kids love them!)

What I love about this relish is its super light, full of flavor and the perfect addition to nearly any kind of seafood (salmon, shrimp, mahi mahi, and more). You will not be disappointed with this Relish. For the vinegar I used this from Trader Joe’s though you could use balsamic vinegar and add a little honey for sweetness.

What you will need:

Fish of your choosing (I used Wild Alaskan Salmon)

2 cups fresh, rinsed and chopped strawberries

Handful of fresh mint, rinsed and chopped

1 medium purple onion, chopped small

1 large cucumber (I like the english variety), peeled, de-seeded and chopped

1 tbsp. Olive oil

2 tbsp. Trader Joes Pomegranate Vinegar

Make Relish first. You will want the flavors to settle a bit (marinade). Next, Season fish with salt. Set aside. I grilled the salmon on my indoor Staub pan and made some jasmine rice along side, topped with Gomashio (black and tan sesame seeds and sea salt). You could also use any kind of rice you wish. Enjoy!

Ramen soup with Kabocha and Turkey

kabocha ramen

One of my favorite things to prepare is soup. Nothing warms the body and spirit like it- and I really like having some for the next day as lunch, so I usually make a big pot of what-ever I’m making.

I have only recently been doing more ramen bowls. Each one has been different, and that’s the great thing about Ramen- you can add practically anything you want. I especially liked this one I made as I added fresh kabocha squash (one of my favorites). The kids have a fun time eating Ramen because they like using chopsticks to eat it with!

You will need:

Ramen noodles

Chicken stock

kabocha squash- chopped into chunks

turkey breast- chopped into chunks

2-3 scallions- chopped

Start heating up chicken stock in pot. Chop up turkey breast and kabocha squash and put into the pot to cook. Once the stock is near boiling, add the noodles. Cook for just a few minutes. Ladle into bowls and add the chopped scallions and season with salt and pepper. Super easy! Enjoy!