Quinoa Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

Guess what today is?!? Only the most important day of my entire year! More important than Cinco de Mayo (guacamole – duh!) and Christmas…. it’s my birthday!!!! woohoo

I’m celebrating with a little bit of bubbly while I finish up my trip at Roland Garros in Paris. I’ll be indulging in a few pain au chocolats for breakfast and then maybe a strawberry and nutella crepe for lunch and who knows where dinner will take me :) I’m excited to say the least!

A few weeks ago, I whipped up another fab quinoa recipe for Tasty Kitchen

It’s totally a keeper!

Here’s the deal. It’s loaded with roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, and the best tahini dressing known to man. I’m obsessed to say the least!

Here’s the recipe!

The Thompson, Los Angeles

Two weekends ago, Thomas up and left me for his bachelor party. We’ve already discussed how unfair his destination of choice was because it’s my favorite city ever. Austin. Yes. Whatever. I’m over it. No hard feelings. Especially because I spent the weekend at the Thompson Beverly Hills with my girlfriends.

I firmly believe in staycations. They just need to happen every once in a while. Plus it’s fun to pretend you’re on vaca and get all dolled up for a weekend that doesn’t involve hoping on a plane! I’ve been dying to stay at the Thompson for a while now. Friends always mention how fun the pool and outdoor bar is, for I figured what the heck! Why not splurge on a fun weekend while the boys are away.

It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

A quality 7 hours poolside soaking up the sun.

Delicious cocktails like this Jalapeño infused silver tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime, basil, and cucumber served over ice. Umm, yes please.

and infusions. Trouble. With a capital T.

Girl time

And a phenomenal dinner at Caulfield’s, which was fab. There were a few of us and we split the Burrata and Peppers, Mac + Cheese, Burger + Fries, Roasted Salmon, Brussels with Bacon and  Charred Broccolini with a Fried egg. Everything rocked my socks off. Plus the service was spot on!

Basically it was the perfect staycation and the hotel was just fab. The rooms were gorgeous, sleek and modern.

The pool was perfect. Not too big or crowded with an awesome bar and pool menu.

All in all I’d say it was pretty much the perfect girls weekend! Although I must say, it would kinda be the perfect place to take your significant other too! In fact, I’m thinking of throwing Thomas’ birthday party on the pool deck in one of the cabanas!

Staycations are the best.

You should totally do one. At the Thompson. Because let’s be honest here, I’m obsessed. The food, the people, the atmosphere. Everything.

In fact, next time I head over to NYC, I’m for sure staying at the Thompson LES.

Happy Tuesday folks!


Full disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I paid for my own hotel room too! Caulfield’s did however host me for dinner. 

Grilled Summer Panzanella Salad

Is there really anything better than thick crusty french bread, doused in butter, and then grilled for a hot second on each side until its golden brown and crispy and delicious? Okay, maybe these, but other than that, I don’t think so!

I know. It sounds amazing. And trust me – it tastes just as freaking good.

I’m a carb kinda gal through and through, but with my bachelorette fast approaching, I’m trying to cut back on the excessive amounts of bread I consume on a daily basis. I mean I live like 10 minutes away from the best Italian bakery in all of Los Angeles and the fresh warm bread there is just out of this world. It’s hard to say no to that kind of peer pressure.

So last weekend we had a mini college reunion with some friends that have moved down to LA, like us, from the Bay Area. (woot woot, go Gaels!) I wanted to make something special that wasn’t totally carb heavy, so I opted for this Grilled Panzanella. It’s basically only 50% bread. So that’s gotta count for something right?

I picked up a loaf of bread from Bay Cities (the ultimate Italian shop I was talking about) and then went to town!

I brushed the cut up pieces of bread with a melted butter and then toss them on a grill to get nice and toasty and gorgeous. And then I ate 10 pieces. And had to start all over again because I almost ran out of bread. That’s the thing with me, I just can’t be stopped. It’s like putting 1 M&M in your mouth. Ya right, you need at least 2 handfuls of those suckers every time you have them.

So after I made a ton of those butter soaked grilled bread cubes, I proceeded to grill up my favorite veggies and then throw them all into a big bowl and call it a day. Well, I threw a little black truffle salt on top for good measure. And a red wine vinaigrette just for kicks!

And I’ll just throw this out there too. I know panzanella salads are typically supposed to have tomatoes. But I didn’t have any. So don’t judge… I just made do with what I had!

It’s kind of the perfect summer salad. And you should absolutely make it for 4th of July. You could even make it and bring it to a potluck or picnic. Just keep the toasted bread and red wine vinaigrette separate and then toss it all together at your event. And there you have it…

Grilled Summer Panzanella Salad


Sweet Pulled Pork Tacos with Avocado Crema

Ummm you guys – I’ve figured out the solution to your 4th of July party meal… are you ready for this…

Sweet Pulled Pork Tacos with an Avocado Crema. Say what? Avocado Crema. Be still my heart. And throw this one into my favorite avocado recipes of all times!

Holy crap are these good. Like I can’t even begin to describe how obsessed I am. The sweet and succulent Sweet Pulled Pork is melt in your mouth fantastic – and the avocado crema will literally change your life in an instant.

Throw the pork into the slow cooker the night before your par-tay and then the next morning, you literally will only need 5 minutes to get things wrapped up and ready to go! The sweetness from the pork and the spiciness from the salsa and the creaminess from the avocado and the hit of citrus from the lime are all PERFECT together!

Here’s the drill…

 You’ll need some homemade chipotle salsa!

Canned roasted green chiles!

Cooked black beans

 Brown sugar

Salt! Oh delicious salt.

And then throw it all into a slow cooker and give it a good stir.

Chunk up some pork butt and toss that into the slow cooked too! Turn it on and let her rip!

Now, to make the life changing avocado crema… chop up some scallions

And 2 ripe avocados

Place them into a bowl

 Add in some sour cream

And some fresh lime juice

A handful of chopped cilantro

And then mash it all together!

Then, just take some of the pork and throw it into a tortilla with some of the avocado crema and some chopped tomatoes and call it a day!

You guys have to make this. Like tomorrow. As a test run before the 4th of July… because I can guarantee you that it’s gonna be gone before you even know it!

Click on over to Tasty Kitchen for the step by step recipe!

Obsessed: Bachelorette Edition

Haaaapy Friday!!

It’s time. Starting at 1:00pm today I can no longer be held accountable for whatever crazy instagram picture I post for the next 52 hours, give or take a few minutes. Unless of course, I get lost in Las Vegas… then who knows what’s going to happen.

It’s Bachelorette party time. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see all my bestest friends!

We’re hitting the road, or should I say the skies, and heading to Vegas today. Me and 11 of my most favorite people in the world. I have no idea what they have planned (okay that’s a slight lie, seeing as how I always find out about all my surprises, and I know a few things they have up their sleeves) but I do know that I’m ready for a weekend of fun, sunshine and great food and cocktails!

In honor of this weekend, I’ve been doing a little bit of shopping here and there to prepare. I mean, a girls gotta have new dresses and swimsuits for the occasion, right?!?

Here are some of my favorite purchases and/or obsessions to prep for this weekend:

This awesome Parker white sparkly dress! Imagine it with a pair of red heels and red lips. Yes please.



Heat Wave” Red Lips from NARS!

Bikini’s. White ones. I mean it is my bachelorette party after all :)

Floppy hats!! There is no room for a sunburn in Vegas! Can you imagine dancing with a sunburn? Ouch!

A little something something to throw on over your bikini!


Some comfy flip flops for the pool! I know lots of girls wear heels to the pools in vegas – and let’s be honest here – if you’re going to the pool, why on earth would you wear heels? It makes no sense to me. Plus, if I’m strutting around in heels the night before, there’s not way I can be convinced to wear another pair of heels the next day.


And of course there is my can’t live without bronzer :) 


And there you have it!! All my latest bachelorette themed obsessions :)

If you don’t hear from me by Monday, well, send help!


Guacamole Chorizo Sausage Dogs

I mean, let’s get right down to business here. It’s Friday, which means there are less than 12 hours until the work day is over and it’s time to par-tay for the weekend. And weekends are taken to a whole new level now that it’s officially summer time!

Summer is all about the BBQ. And the summer cocktails. And the beach. But let’s tackle one of those at a time.

Today let’s talk meat. And the grill. It’s kind of a big deal. It’s hot. Fast. And no clean up. And I like it. (okay well maybe there is a little clean up involved, but hello, that’s what my future hubby is for, right?!?)

It’s basically my solution to all dinner parties during the summer months. You can grill meat. You can grill salad. You can grill appetizers. And you can freaking grill dessert. Heck yes, dessert. I’ll go there next week.

So last weekend we had a few dinner parties lined up. I was feeling snazzy so I ran on down to Lindy and Grundy, my all time favorite butcher shop, and picked up some chorizo sausage. Ah-mazing. Here’s a little secret… if you have awesome butchers in your town, become friends with them. They are rockstars and will teach you lots of fun things you never knew. Word.

So on my way home from the butcher shop, I decided we were going to jazz up these chorizo sausages with, yup, you guess it, guacamole. Hells yes. Thank you very much. It was brilliant. The chorizo was spicy and smoky and the guacamole toned it down just a touch with it’s creamy texture. Throw it all on a toasted hot dog bun and pour yourself a cocktail, kick your shoes up and call it a day.

Also, with Fourth of July right around the corner, these would be kinda perfect for a big backyard BBQ celebration. Just saying.

Happy Friday Everyone!! Hope you’ve got a little something fun planned this weekend!


Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Say that ten times fast.

Okay, I guess it’s not that hard. Anyways……

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s the thing. Coconut and Chocolate just make sense together. Kind of like spray tans and vegas. Coronas and lime wedges. Margaritas and salt. And chips and guacamole. And lululemon yoga pants and me. Duh. Some things are just meant to be. So we won’t fight it.

Once upon a time, about 4 days ago, my future hubby asked me to whip up a batch of cookies for his last day at his current company, I was like, ummm heck yes. Coconut and Chocolate Chip cookies coming right up. Well, okay so maybe I dragged my feet a little bit because I was right smack in the middle of watching Bethenny’s new talk show, and I literally can’t pull myself away from the TV while it’s on, but eventually I got around to whipping up this latest batch of cookies.

These Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies are jazzy. I don’t know what makes them jazzy. But trust me, they are.

So being the good future wife I plan to be, I sent Thomas off with a giant batch of Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies so he could bring them to his friends at work. Also, I couldn’t have them in the house because I just kept starring at them, and then eating like 2 of them at a time, and then 2 more 5 minutes later, and, well, you see the cycle. They are just that good. And no upcoming bachelorette party or bikini is going to keep me away from a kick ass cookie. I don’t possess that much self control.

But here’s a tip. If you were to keep all of these in your house…and you wanted to make them last… once the cookies have completely cooled off, bag them up in a big zip lock bag and throw them into the freezer. That way, when the mood strikes for a cookie, just pull 1-23 out of the freezer and go to town. I don’t even bother heating them up. I like a nice chilled cookie. Especially in the summer :)

Time to get baking!


Also…. I totally spaced and forgot to announce the winners for the Two Peas in their Pod e-cookbook!!! Clearly I have summer brain issues! So without further ado… here are the winners!
Contact me at gaby@whatsgabycooking.com and I’ll get you the e-cookbook stat!

Jen Grimm

Abby @ This Abundant Life

Sallie Sullivan

White Nectarine Ice Cream

So last weekend Thomas ditched me for his bachelor party.

In any other circumstances this would have been perfectly acceptable. Except for one giant problem. He went to Austin. Yes. Austin, Texas. Like my favorite city in the entire world. The city where my favorite hotel is located. The home of the fried avocado taco. The place where you can rent bikes and go on a taco and tequila bike crawl all day long. He went without me. Totally rude right?

I thought so.

So what did I do? I splurged and had a great girls weekend at a swanky Beverly Hills hotel one day, and then did a beach day in Malibu the next. It was glorious. Not to mention I have officially and successfully evened out all my weird tan lines from France. So I’d say things worked out in the end. I even whipped up a batch of White Nectarine Ice Cream to snack on out by the pool.

It was glorious. Kind of the perfect summer ice cream flavor if you ask me. I have about a trillion nectarines from my last visit to the Santa Monica farmers market. They were all perfectly ripe, so I threw them into a food processor and went to town. For a hot second, I thought about adding peaches too… but the white nectarines ended up having this awesome pink color from the inside of the fruit. And I’m a sucker for pink ice cream, so I left it as it was. And then I used the peaches for cocktails. More on those later.

Anyways. The ice cream is crazy easy. And perfect for a summer BBQ or pool party. If you were feeling extra jazzy, you could totally throw a few scoops onto a chocolate dipped ice cream cone too. It would change your life. Trust me.


Slutty Blondie Brownies

You knew it had to happen sooner or later, right?

I mean slutty brownies were super delish. So slutty blondies had to make an appearance!

It’s a bit of a risqué name but they are dangerously good. Addictive I’d say.

Similar to the slutty brownies, it’s a cookie layer, sugar cookies in this case, golden oreos, and a layer of blondie brownies.

I threw in some white chocolate chips for good measure. Next time I’d add a few butterscotch chips too. Because I’m fancy like that. And what’s wrong with a total sugar bomb of a dessert every once in a while?

I found some of those Golden Oreo’s at the market a few weeks back, and grabbed some because, well, I just had to. Koko had the brilliant idea of whipping up a slutty blondie recipe and here you have it!



Tomato, Peach and Burrata Salad


France happened.

It did. It involved a lot of crepes. A whole lot. Stuffed with sweet and savory fillings. Strawberry and nutella. Ham and cheese. Creamed spinach and leeks. Sugar and lemon juice. Oh I could go on for days. I want a creperie in my back yard. Is that too much to ask for?

It also involved countless glasses of wine. Birthday champagne. Tons of strawberries. Pastries. And did I mention crepes?

It was basically 2 fab weeks of great food, hanging with my fam, a whole lotta walking around and sightseeing and lots and lots of tennis at Roland Garros. (The tennis was quite possibly one of my favorite portions of the trip, minus the ridiculous sunglasses tan I got watched 9 straight hours of tennis. You should see my nose. It’s basically one giant freckle. Real attractive I tell ya) And now we’re back to real life. Back to work. And back to cooking. I can’t believe I hadn’t cooked a thing in 2 whole weeks while I was gone. Say what? Who am I? I basically spend my whole life in the kitchen and then just cut myself off cold turkey. I’m not gonna lie, it was nice to have someone else do the cooking for every meal. Sometimes, aka all the time, I wish I could have a private chef. Would that be weird? A private chef having their own private chef? Ya, that’s not gonna work.

So anyways, I flew back to LA late Sunday night and then got right back into the swing of things on Monday. Minus the insane jet lag that made me wake up at 3am and then was completly incoherent by 3pm. I couldn’t even remember the word brownies. Clearly I was off.

I eased myself back into the kitchen with this Tomato, Peach and Burrata Salad. It’s awesome and it screams summer. Plus it utilizes tomatoes and peaches, which are so hot right now at the farmers market. Everyone’s doing it. So clearly you should too.