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The Art of Veronica Casson

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A Surprise trip to Sonoma

Adventures & Parenting, Eat & DrinkVeronica CassonComment

It being January and all, I have been thinking back on 2015 often and reminiscing on my favorite events of the year. One of these lovely moments occurred when we were offered a trip to our friend's parents house in Sonoma for an impromptu weekend.

It happened while we were attending a birthday party for our close friends son when they told us they were heading to the wine country after the party to spend a weekend in their dad's house. Her father was traveling and the house was open if we wanted to join them. Of course we did!

At first, we planned on heading back home to pack, but we were already in Berkley and the Bay Bridge was swamped with traffic. Instead, we went to the local Target to buy toiletries,  a change of clothes for all of us, pj's for Luke and nighties for us. It wasn't so bad price wise either. Thanks Target!

If you have read this blog you know how we love traveling and exploring new places so it was such a treat get to stay in a new place and spend time with one of our favorite families. 

One of the neatest parts was the amazingly impressive vegetable garden behind the house itself. The yard was chockablock with towers of plants overflowing with yummy veggies ripe for the picking .  Luke had not really had the experience of picking and eating veggies from the vine and he adored it. 

What fun! We were able to make the majority of our dinner from vegetable grown right there. A pretty outrageous idea for our city kid. 

Once we finished our meal, the kids continued to play in the garden while we sipped cocktails.


 At sunset our friend led ourselves and our collective herd of boys to a local Heladeria (Mexican ice cream shop) for tasty frozen treats. This cemented the trip as not only as one of our favorite of the year but Luke's too.

Thanks M, J, Y & R!


Padrons and Shishitos

Eat & DrinkVeronica CassonComment


Yummy bright green chili peppers served at tapas bars throughout Spain, Padrons are easy to cook, serve, and eat an entire a bowl of.  They are completely one of my favorite summer snacks. I’m  not sure why more people in the states don’t “go Padron” and I have been on a mission for years to spread the pepper love.

Padrons are usually only available towards the mid or end of summer until early fall. Each week while they are in season I buy an absurd amount at the local farmer’s market. I have yet to let any spoil, so it’s totally justified, right?

Most Padrons have a mild peppery taste but one in ten packs a huge kick. The taste bud roulette adds a little extra excitement to eating them.


How to Cook:

Heat a large pan with enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Once it is simmering —but before it smokes — throw in as many peppers as you like (or will fit, but don’t crowd them too much).

Stir the peppers a bit until they are mostly covered in oil and  let them sit about two minutes until they start to blister.

Give the pan a few quick shakes to spread the heat around on the peppers for another minute.

Transfer to a bowl and use a three-fingered pinch of chunky sea salt.

Serve Hot.

shishito photo

Shishito Peppers

Very similar to Padrons, Shishito pepper are longer and thinner and hail from Japan.

I have been able to find them at farmer’s markets in the early part of summer and sometimes in asian markets throughout the year. Shishito peppers are also very easy to grow in pots at home!

They are  rarely spicy, so if you have an aversion to fiery foods you’ll want to pick these over the Padrons.

Preparation for Shishito is the same as a Padron.

Cocktails: The Great Gatsby

Eat & DrinkVeronica Casson2 Comments

We are very big fans of fancy cocktails at our house as long as they

  • Don’t taste too sweet
  • Are made with ingredients we have around 
  • Look pretty.

A new favorites is The Great Gatsby. We discovered this drink when receiving a lot of grapefruit in our farm delivery box. 

I am not a huge fan of grapefruit. What if, I thought, I combine it with booze? That might help. It totally did!

Here's how:


  • 1 shot of Vodka
  • 1 shot of Dry Vermouth
  • Juice from one half of a freshly squeezed grapefruit

Mix all ingredients in cup and poor over ice. Garnish with lemon.
Also can be made up, using a martini shaker. 



“ I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” 
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby