Time for Some Saucy Father’s Day Talk

By Cheryl Ryan

It’s that time of year when all we need are some fresh in-season produce coupled with some great seasonal dressings or sauces to spice it all up. So I’ve been looking for some new recipes to whip up so that I can prepare them at the beginning of the week to use on anything and everything that we eat. 

Green Goddess


Cilantro Lime Dressing

Homemade Ceasar

And either this or this peanut sauce looks great for spring rolls.

I’m also loving this Lemony Spring Pasta

And burrata cheese is making a splashy show again this summer. I will definitely be making this peach and burrata appetizer again and try this mixed green salad because yum! Using buratta cheese on pizzas looks amazing. And how about this chicken, peach and burrata main dish

Father’s Day

And here comes Father’s Day again. Do you make a big deal at your house? Ours isn’t too big since not everyone can even drop on by for a BBQ. According to this poll, most dads want something simple. To be together, maybe a card or receive something homemade like food. So I just need a card and to make some delish recipes and we should be good. But if you want to be a Dad’s Day over achiever these activity gifts could go a long way!

Top Golf gift certificate  

Most dads like concerts. Here is a list of newer artists and festivals but if your dad is into the old rockers’ tour we’ve got a list for that too.


Santa Cruz: A Place to Catch Your Breath

By Cheryl Ryan

During those years when I declared Mother’s Day a national holiday in our family, Santa Cruz was always my destination of choice. I’ve often gone over the hill just to catch my breath and look at things from a new perspective. Although it feels like a world away, it’s only 70 miles south of San Francisco and right over Highway 17 from Silicon Valley. But there is a lot more than meets the eye in this quaint Pacific beach town. It’s happening shop-lined downtown, the University of California Santa Cruz and historic beach boardwalk and wharf are nestled against redwood-covered mountains on one side and views of the Monterey Bay on the other.

Its waters are rich in sea life. From otters, whales, white sharks and dolphins, you only have to take a sailboat from the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor to spot marine wildlife.

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Memorial Day: Are You Wearing White?

By Cheryl Ryan

Here comes Memorial Day and it looks like parades, wearing white and BBQing are all on the agenda this year.  That old thing about only wearing white after Memorial Day is less in vogue than in the past but I do still prefer to wear white with fun accessories during summer.

I’m looking forward to preparing summer foods again and trying to catch up in my garden (I’m getting a very late start this year). Here are some bbq meat recipes along with a few vegetarian options for either mains or side dishes, if you’re looking for inspiration.

I really like this list of things to do as a family to celebrate Memorial Day, especially making a care package for an active duty service member and hosting an outdoor movie night .

I’ve been reluctant to pay for one more media consuming channel so, instead of paying for audible, I downloaded our local library’s rental app. Ours is Cloud Library but you will need to contact your local library to find out what they are using.

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Another Installment Of: Pet Peeves

By Cheryl Ryan

Once again, I find myself worried about how easy it is to think of things that bother me (see Pet Peeves Part I). But it is easy, so here we go:

I’ll start with TSA! Ugh. There must be a better way to stop terrorists than molesting people. Since I’ve had surgery, I get patted down regularly when traveling. If I go through the old-style machines, they often need to do a full-body search. Sometimes they ask whether I want to go into a private room for my search. Umm, no. I don’t want to go into an isolated room for a full-body search, thank you very much. Let’s do this in broad daylight, shall we?

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Galapagos Did Not Disappoint

By Cheryl Ryan

It turns out that I like birds now. The last thing I cared about seeing in the Galapagos were birds but watching a male Blue-footed Booby during mating season kind of captured my heart.  Like much of this trip, I had limited expectations since it could’ve easily been canceled, given the past two years.

It didn’t, and I’m so glad. To get to Galapagos, you need to go through Guayaquil, Ecuador. Then take a six hundred plus mile flight to the volcanic islands. Once there, and especially since it is a Unesco site, you are only allowed into specific areas to maintain the health of the land and wildlife population. The number of boats and places that allow non-resident visitors are also restricted.

The archipelago lies on the equator, which means it can get hot on land, yet the water is much colder than I expected. There is a  confluence of three significant currents, The Humboldt, Panama Flow and Cromwell, which converge at the Galapagos, carrying water-rich nutrients from all around the globe. It was pretty cool to learn.

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Travel Is Back: Peru & Galapagos

By Cheryl Ryan

After two years of no travel, our first trip was a doozy. We just returned from a 16-day trip to South America and I feel so fortunate that it didn’t get canceled. We met new people, saw new things, laughed a lot, ate wonderful food and learned about new places.

Usually, we plan our own trips and then shlep our bags from place to place, often grumbling about our accommodations but not this time. It was our first organized tour. Our neighbors invited us to join them using Tauck Tours. Our excursions were planned with intention and the hotels top notch. It was all rather boojie and we loved it.

First stop – Peru. It really surprised me. The sweeping Andean landscape is spectacular. The people warm, proud, and, from my perspective, living as two groups, one emerging in modern society and the other still deeply rooted in ancient ways. 

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It’s Travel Time; But First Comes the Packing

By Cheryl Ryan

It seems like everyone is hitting the road and I’m excited to join them. As I prepare for my trip, here are a few things that might work for your travels. The hardest part of traveling is the packing! I can’t wait to get on the plane and have the getting ready part behind me.

I’m looking for lightweight things that can be easily layered when transitioning from cool to warm and that I can use throughout the year for hiking or golf. I love this shirt which I bought in white and blue and these pants that I purchased in khaki and navy. Both come in SPF 40 fabrics. The shirt is offered in men’s and has even better colors. And this hat is ideal for travel. It rolls up and has excellent coverage.

I like how Aveeno 60 SPF sunscreen goes on like lotion and protects my skin. But I am also trying Sun Bum products because they use safe and coral reef-friendly ingredients. Please share if you have a good face sunscreen. I haven’t found anything that I love.

I’m working on loading my Kindle with some good summer reads. It hasn’t been a year of relaxing fiction reading for me, but I’m hoping to change that this summer. 

I did read Daisy Jones & The Six and it was pretty good. Nothing profound but enjoyable.

These are books that I haven’t read yet but just downloaded for my Kindle summer reads. I’ll let you know what I think.

Cloud Cuckoo Land 

In Five Years  

The Midnight Library

Seven Husbands by Evelyn Hugo

Also, author and blogger Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest just released a new cookbook. I haven’t bought her cookbooks yet, but plan to. Watching her prepare and cook her recipes on Instagram is basically food porn. Her photography is outstanding and I can’t take my eyes off it.

Please share any of your travel packing tips.


Easter – Food, Decor and Hunts

By Cheryl Ryan

Easter was a big travel time for our young family. Because my husband was on the road a lot back then, we saved his accumulated air miles for family trips. I used to pack everything we needed for Easter egg hunts wherever we went during spring breaks. We would hide eggs and prizes around whichever property we were staying in. The kids loved it – and I loved doing it.

Easter egg hunts were also a big deal for the Ryan clan. Lou’s Dad planned increasingly elaborate hunts for the thirteen grandchildren each year.

Writing this reminds me of how much fun it was and that I need to step up my Easter hunt game for our grandchildren. Target has always been a go-to place for me to find basket fillers and decor. But I really like these more sustainable Easter gifts this year.

And if you’re lucky enough to have your family for an Easter gathering, this would be my ideal meal plan.

Pork Tenderloin

Potato Salad

Roasted Carrots

Arugala Salad

And don’t forget dessert with this Strawberry Shortcake.

Happy celebrating to you all.