Chipotle Beans and Taco Salads

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Easy Weeknight Meals

With the end of the year fast approaching, I think I am finally able to say that I getting organized. Better late than never right? Meal prepping and bulk cooking have become a necessity in our household with busy week nights and jam packed weekends. I think that the most important thing that I have learned during this time, is that stocking up on the basics is essential. This is why I love the NEW Signature line, available exclusively at Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons. It includes more than 4,000 items – from coffee to juice, soup to cereal, fresh produce to fried chicken, and delicious prepared foods to trusted home staples – all with a 100% money back guarantee. I personally buy my Signature products at Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons, and you can also find them at all Albertsons Companies grocery stores, including Jewel-Osco, Safeway, ACME, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaws, Star Market, United Express, United and Carrs/Safeway. 

Ingredients for Meal Prepping

With a few common ingredients such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, black beans, lettuce, fresh produce, and some delicious canned veggies, you can make multiple meals that your family will love. 

Black Beans


Crock Pot Chipotle Beans

At the start of the week I made a large batch of Crock Pot Chipotle Black Beans. This quick and easy recipe takes minutes to prepare and cooks itself in the crock pot. I served it in bowls topped with cojita cheese, radishes, and fresh cilantro, along side a simple quesadilla. It made for the perfect Meatless Monday meal that my whole family loved.

Chicken Taco Tuesday

The next night was of course Taco Tuesday so I fried up chicken breasts with some Signature Taco Seasoning. I then diced up the cooked chicken and served it  with all of the taco fillings and a side of beans. The kids love creating their “own” tacos! We ALWAYS have at least to tubs of this Salsa Fresca in the house, because as you can see, there is almost always an almost empty container. We use this stuff on anything and everything!

Salsa Fresca

On the third night, I took all of the leftovers along with some canned olives, corn, diced chilies, and pico de galleo, and made a delicious Taco Salad with avocado dressing. I am fortunate that my family (including the 4 year old) loves salad, there we have a “left over” salad at least once a week. It is a delicious way to use up ingredients!

Taco Salad

So, you see, with the proper preparation and essentials, meal time can be fun and easy! It may have taken 13 years for me to understand this, but I am happy I finally did! And don’t forget…always have dessert. Life is too short not to!


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Crock Pot Chipotle Black Beans


  • One 1-pound bag black beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce) finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1/2 can diced green chilies
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Water


  1. Soak beans over night or use quick soak method according to package. Drain when ready to use.
  2. Place all ingredients in crockpot and pour enough water in to cover beans 1/2 inch.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Chicken Taco Salad

This recipe makes enough for 4-5 large dinner salads.

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped coarsely
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can olives
  • 1 cup Pico de Gallo
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Salad Dressing

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on high heat.

Sprinkle both sides of chicken breast with taco seasoning, then place in skillet. Brown each side, then reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking until chicken is not longer pink.

Remove from skillet and dice into cubes.

Place chopped romaine in a large bowl and layer with the chicken and the rest of the ingredients.

Pour salad dressing over salad and toss.

Serve immediately.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Lemon Curd Cake

Lemon Curd Cake

Since Mother’s Day is only less than two weeks away, I think it is my due diligence to talk about cake. While Moms love the homemade gifts, flowers, and perfume, we also love cake. What better way to finish off the day then with a glorious slice of this Lemon Curd Cake.

Perfect Lemon Curd Cake

You see, when you make a cake, especially one like this, you prove that you have been planning ahead. Like most layered cakes, it is a labor of love. Each pillowy lemon kissed cake layers is topped with a gloriously smooth lemon curd then frosted with a beautiful buttercream.

Lemon Curd Cake Slice

I generally make the lemon curd the two days before, but store bought lemon curd would work just as well. The day before serving is when I bake and assemble. That way, the finished cake has time to chill overnight before slicing. This makes for perfectly cut slices.

Tart yet Sweet Slice of Lemon Curd Cake

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed my new obsession with watercolor cakes. Since I am short on time, I will direct you to an eBay guide that I created last month. It will show you step by step instructions on how to create this cake. Enjoy!

Perfect Spring Lemon Curd Cake

Lemon Curd Cake


  • To Make The Lemon Curd:
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For The Cake:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6-7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract (clear if possible)
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • pinch of salt


  1. For the Lemon Curd- Make at least one day ahead of time.
  2. Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith.
  3. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  4. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
  5. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.
  7. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer.
  8. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate until cold.
  9. To Make The Cake:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Grease 3 6- inch or 2 8-inch round pans.
  11. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.
  12. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix.
  13. In your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend butter, sugar and vanilla lemon juice and lemon peel at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  14. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  15. Reduce speed to low and add a cup of flour followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk.
  16. Repeat this 3 times, until you have incorporated all the flour and buttermilk.
  17. Pour into pans evenly and bake about 20 minutes or until a knife is inserted and when remove is clean.
  18. Cool completely.
  19. To make the buttercream-
  20. Cream room temperature butter in a large bowl.
  21. Mix in vanilla and salt.
  22. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Keep on mixing until sugar is dissolved. Add a tbsp of milk whenever mixture becomes hard to mix. Add about 6 cups of powdered sugar, then test to see if it is your desired sweetness, if not, add one more cup of powdered sugar.
  23. Mix until smooth.
  24. To assemble the cake, place cooled cake layer on cake plate.
  25. Pipe a thick ring along the edge of the cake, then fill with about 1/2 cup of lemon curd.
  26. Top with next layer and repeat. Once middle layers have curd, place cake in fridge for 1 hour.
  27. Once set, frost the outside of the cake. To make the watercolor effect, please refer to my ebay guide for directions.

Tapas, Wine, And Chardonnay Red Pepper Eggplant Spread

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

Tapas and Wine

When a friend calls you to tell you to come over because she needs to vent, you go. Not only because you need a night out of wine and cheese, but because this friend is always there for you and it is your turn to be there for her. To be the best friend you can, you also show up with a large plate of Tapas and Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon. Because let’s face it, there is nothing more comforting than friends, food, and wine.

black box wine

Every since doing a beach clam bake last year using Black Box Wines, it has since become one of our favorite on-the-go boxes. Not only is the wine delicious (it has won over 50 gold medals for its quality) but it is perfect to enjoy anywhere. Its little built in dispenser means that there is no need to worry about finding a bottle opener and its eco-friendly bag and box makes it perfect for beach outings!  Being the wine lover that I am, the fact that every box is equivalent to four bottles is definitely a bonus too! On the off chance that you and your friends don’t finish the box, it will stay fresh for up to 6 weeks! Plus, Black Box Wines are available for 40% less than comparable bottled wines.

Delicious Tapas and Wine

Tapas are a great way to munch with friends while you are having a good glass of wine . They are traditionally a combination of small eats including seafood salads, small fried foods, dried meats, and cheeses, I tend to stick with the latter two as they pair perfectly with wine.

Tapas Board

To build the Tapas board, I start with a variety of Manchego cheeses. Manchego cheese is made from sheep’s milk and is smooth and slightly salty. It pairs perfectly with Spanish cured meats, marinated veggies, and dried fruit. After the cheese is placed on the board, I begin filling it in. I add different cured meats such as Jamon Serrano, dried chorizo, Lomo Embuchado, and of course some dried salami for good measure. I fill in the empty spots with marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, capers, and my very popular Chardonnay Red Pepper Eggplant Spread.

Chardonnay Red Pepper Eggplant Spread

Speaking of this spread, you need to make it tonight! Everytime I make it, I get rave reviews. It takes a mere 15 minutes and is perfect on bread (like I served here) pasta, pizza, or simply by the spoonful. With only a few ingredients, Black Box Chardonnay being one of them, it will be one of the best recipes to have in your archive!

Red Pepper Eggplant Chardonnay Spread

Tapas and Wine Board

So the next time you are out and want to enjoy the sunset with friends, a picnic in the park, or an outside BBQ, I highly suggest you pick up a Black Box Wine and the components of the most delicious Tapas board ever! Enjoy!

Make sure to visit the Simple Entertaining Social Hub for more great entertaining ideas!

Chardonnay Eggplant Red Pepper Spread


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and coarsely diced
  • 2 cups sweet mini red peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large head of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Black Box Chardonnay


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat.
  2. Add eggplant, red peppers, and garlic and fry until they are lightly browned.
  3. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.
  4. Pour in Chardonnay and simmer veggies on medium heat until wine has almost dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once wine has dissolved, remove from heat and place veggies in a blender.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Serve on bread, pasta, or pizza.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Osso Buco Bahn Mi Sandwiches


Veal Bahn Mi

There are some meals that require a bit of labor and time, but in the end, they are so worth it. Osso Buco is one of those things. While it requires a bit of slow cooking time, the end results are a beautiful veal shank with meat that is falling off of the bone and utterly delicious.

Delicious Osso Bucco Sandwiches

Veal is one of my favorite meats because of its velvety texture that compliments luxurious sauces. It is moist and tender, which makes it extremely popular among famous French, Italian, and cosmopolitan chefs. Veal is naturally a low calorie protein and packed with nutrients. It is extremely versatile and is delicious pan fried, grilled, broiled, or even slow cooked.

Cedar Springs Veal Logo

My favorite brand of veal, Cedar Springs, is raised right here in the U.S. on family owned ranches by farmers that put care and expertise into producing homegrown veal- and you can certainly taste it! The Mountain State Rosen Veal Growers take  extremely good care of the animals-feeding them the most wholesome, nutritious diet; minimizing stress and provide health maintenance and safe housing for the animals.

Up close and personal with a delicious Bahn Mi  Sandwich

If you have never had a Bahn Mi sandwich, then you are missing out. The spicy and sweet combination is fantastic. Pair that with fresh crunchy veggies, cilantro, and some sliced jalapeño all served on crusty french bread, and you have one delectable sandwich.

Veal Bahn Mi Sandwich

However, while all of the sandwich fixings add delicious freshness to the sandwich, it is the slow cooked Osso Buco that really steals the limelight. The meat is perfectly browned then simmered in a delicious sweet soy sauce broth that cooks down into a smooth and silky sauce. On its own, the Osso Buco is mouthwateringly delicious, but paired with the Bahn Mi sandwich fixings it is unforgettingly divine.

For more recipes and information, visit

Osso Bucco Bahn Mi Sandwiches

Yield: makes 4-5 large sandwiches


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds Osso Bucco
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapeños sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • Sriracha Honey Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 baguettes
  • 2 carrots, julienned or sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 daikon radish, julienned or thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. For the veal shanks, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  2. In a large Dutch oven pot, heat vegetable oil until smoking.
  3. Add veal shanks to the hot pan and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks and reserve.
  4. In the same pot, add the onions quarters, garlic cloves, and jalapeños and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sugar; stir until sugar has dissolved.
  6. Stir in beef stock.
  7. Return veal shanks to pot,reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more beef stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the shank.
  8. Carefully shred or dice meat.
  9. Blend the sriracha and honey to make the sauce.
  10. Slice baguette in half and fill with meat, julienned veggies, jalapeños, and cilantro.
  11. Drizzle with sriracha honey sauce and enjoy immediately.

This post is sponsored on behalf of Cedar Springs Veal, however all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that work with us and help make TheSeasideBaker possible.

Hummus- The #UnofficialMeal

Sabra Hummus

After a long day of school and after school activities, my kids come home starving. And my kids don’t get hungry, they get HANGRY. Seriously makes for one unpleasant ride home.

Kid's afternoon snack

Immediately upon entering the front door, they are in every cupboard possible looking for something *they* would like to eat. Because I do not want them to fill up on sugary sweets, I present them with a tray of vegetables and fresh Sabra Hummus instead while I make dinner. I can almost see them transform into my normal kind children as they fill their stomachs. It is the Unofficial Meal before the meal!

Kid's Afternoon Snacks

Sabra Hummus is a necessity on our home. From quick veggie and hummus snacks, hummus rollups for lunches, or my new favorite addition to salads, hummus saves the day more often than not. With a long list of different hummus flavors, you never get bored.

Crunchy Hummus Topping

Sometimes when we are eating hummus as a dip, I like to add toppings. In this particular picture I added chopped cucumber, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, red onions, and pepper. It was such a good, crunchy flavor match with my favorite Lemon Twist Hummus.

Hummus the #unofficialmeal

If it were just me and I was not responsible for feeding my three offspring, I think I could live off of a meal like this. Add a glass of wine and I would be set! Until the day that I no longer have to cook for anyone but myself, Sabra Hummus will continue to be the Unofficial Meal before the meal and “hangry” child transformer! Enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Sabra Hummus. Thank you for supporting all of our sponsors here at The Seaside Baker! 




#Disneykids Preschool Playdate

Baby Ben Hosting a #DisneyKids Playdate

Being a blogger, we seem to continually have a reason to throw a party. Whether we are celebrating a birthday, holiday, or just because, we have become quite the popular family for our fun events. Unfortunately for my son, the past few parties have been girl themed. Not that he really minds, as this kid can find fun and dirt no matter where we are.

So, when we got a surprise party box in the mail from Disney World, he immediately claimed the party. Since Spring Break was a week away, we got to planning. We had originally planned on having the party at the park, but as luck would have it, San Diego decided that that day be one of the 3 days of the year that it rains in our area.

Mickey Table

Ben absolutely love Mickey Mouse, so we decided to make Mickey Cupcakes and cookie bars. We also served some corn dogs, Nesquik chocolate milk, and fruit.

Disney Table

Disney also provided us with all of the activities and party gifts. Upon arrival Ben handed everyone their grown and treasure map. They played games with the map then made some cute handmade puppets with puff paint and paper bags.

Cupcakes and Milk

After the kids ate and drank their chocolate milk, we sat down and read the cutest book. They also got to take really cute pictures using HP Photo Strips, which we currently have on order to be developed. With 8 preschoolers, I am pretty sure those are going to be classic!

Sweets and Books

Before going home, Ben gave everyone a cute drawstring backpack filled with more Disney goodies. If I didn’t already plan my retirement on this kids killer throwing arm, I am pretty sure he would be in the party planning business. At the tender age of 4, he is already quite the hostess with the mostess and already planning his next shark party!

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Thank you Disney for providing us with this fun party pack and for giving us an excuse to have a good time with our friends!

Mouse Ear Cookie Bars

And finally, an extra special thanks to all the partners who sent along all of the goodies to help make our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate so wonderful. HP, I Love To Create Fabric Paint, Banfield Pet Hospital, Glad, all, and Nesquik.

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

Our favorite time of year is finally here! My kids and I absolutely love to visit U-Pick farms around Southern California and create new and delicious items with everything that we have picked. While this may be a bit more expensive than purchasing the produce on sale at the local stores, the experiences that are created with them is worth so much more! Plus, we are supporting our local farmers and teaching our kids where food comes from.

Fresh Blueberry Scones

I needed to make room in my freezer for our upcoming picking trip so I wanted to use up the last of last year’s blueberries. I made quite a few things including these scones. I love scones because they are easy to make and not to sweet and love dipping them into my coffee in the morning.

Delicious Blueberry Scones

Because of the blueberries, these scones are soft and moist (sorry I know people hate that word). They are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or snack. Make them and freeze them for quick on the go breakfasts! Enjoy!

Breakfast Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small slices
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cream for basting
  • Vanilla glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, blend together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda.
  3. Add cold butter slices and pulse until small clumps form. Do not over mix.
  4. Add cream, vanilla, and egg and pulse until just combined.
  5. If using frozen blueberries, add to the dough and pulse 2 times until combined. If using fresh blueberries, knead into dough with clean hands.
  6. Form dough into a large disk and slice into 6-8 wedges.
  7. Carefully separate wedges and place on baking sheet.
  8. Baste with heavy cream.
  9. Bake scones for 12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
  10. Cool completely before icing.
  11. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, extract, and milk, and mix until smooth.
  12. Top each cooled scone with 1 tablespoon of glaze.
  13. Enjoy immediately or place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.