An Oakville Sandwich & a Bottle of Red

Good Evening!  I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day Weekend.  I have to ask…did you try the Chipotle Fish Tacos?!  So many of you messaged me and said you were planning to make them.  I am dying to hear how they turned out.  Please send me your thoughts…

As for the rest of your weekend….Was it a productive weekend?  A lazy weekend?  Or a college football celebration weekend?!  For me…it was a little bit of each!  The Hawkeyes kicked off the weekend with a home game at Kinnick and while I don’t have season tickets, I went down for a couple hours of tailgating.  Immediately afterwards, I went home and put in hour after hour of painting.  My husband will tell you that I am a stubborn one.  When I decide it is time to paint…it is time to paint!  LOL  Needless to say, I put in over 15 hours of painting this weekend and I have the caluses and blisters to prove it.  But it feels so good to finally have a few more rooms sporting a fresh clean coat!  🙂

With all of the painting, I worked up quite the appetite!  And what better to satisfy that hunger than a hearty sandwich inspired by a delicious picnic lunch that Ryan and I shared in Napa County.   During our trip to Napa in 2007, one of our very favorite stops was the Oakville Grocer.  This Grocer is amazing…awesome sandwiches, unique snacks, fresh cheeses and olives…and of course, lots of wine!    If you are planning a trip to Napa, this is a must-visit.  As I write-up the itinerary for my trip back to Napa in October with my dear friend Mandy, you can bet Oakville is on the list!  I believe I mentioned this Oakville Grocer in my Italian Panini post as well…I’m serious about this famous grocer.


I tell you, this sandwich was unforgettable.  If you love italian style sandwiches…whip this one up and head out for a picnic.  Don’t forget the vino!


4 Servings

  • 1 Loaf of French Bread
  • 1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tomato, thinly sliced
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/4 Cup EVOO
  • 1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 12 oz Genoa Salame
  • 12 oz Capocollo
  • 8 oz Provolone Cheese, sliced

In a small bowl, combine EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar and set aside.  With a bread knife,  slice loaf of french bread down the side.  Using your hand, gently remove the “guts” of the bread (so the sandwich isn’t quite so thick).

Brush both halves of  the bread with EVOO/Balsamic Vinegar mixture….and begin building your sandwich!

First, the Genoa Salame.  Then Capocollo. 


And then the best part…Provolone cheese!  Followed by romaine, tomato, and onion!


Finish your sandwich with the top half of the loaf and slice into 4 servings.


Colorful.  Flavorful.  Delightful! 

Enjoy…with a bottle of red!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

At The End Of The Rainbow…

It’s here!  Our 3 day weekend is just hours ahead.  We’ve survived a long week…lots of hard work…and quite a bit of rain!  I would say we’ve earned the time off…the rainbow at the end of the day…and a peach jalapeno martini to celebrate!

On my drive home from Des Moines tonight, I passed rainbow after rainbow.  It was beautiful!  All week I noticed rainbows popping up here and there…all across the state of Iowa.  As I pulled into the neighborhood at 7pm tonight…I was welcomed home by this one:

“May God grant you…a rainbow for every storm, a smile for every tear, a promise for every care, and a blessing for every trial.  For every problem, may life send a faithful friend to share and an answer to every prayer.” ~Irish Blessing

And at the end of a long week…may He also grant you a Peach Jalapeno Martini!  🙂  LOL

This martini was the perfect complement to our Chipotle Fish Tacos.  Try this duo out this weekend &  Enjoy!


1 Serving

  • 4oz White Cranberry Juice, chilled
  • 2oz Absolute Peach Vodka
  • Juice of 1/8 Lime (wedge size)
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced and seeded

Before preparing your martini, place the vodka, shaker, and glass in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.  (We recommend storing your liquor in the freezer for good martinis)  You will want all of these items to be icy cold! 

Combine White Cranberry juice, Absolute Peach Vodka, and lime juice in the shaker.  Shake with ice.  Place a slice of jalapeno in the bottom of your martini glass.  Pour mixture over the top…the jalapeno will float.

For added heat, include the jalapeno slice in the shaker when shaking the ingredients!  Spic-ay! 

Serve immediately.  Mmm Mmm Good!

CHEERS…to a long weekend…rainbows after the rain…and every day indulgences!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Chipotle Fish Tacos & Jalapeno Martinis

What’s better than a Wednesday before a long weekend?!  Hmm…not much…maybe a Thursday or Friday…but other than that, it’s going to be a good day!  🙂

While I have a few more recipes to share with you from our trip to the North Shore, I need to take a few days and diverge a bit.  This past weekend as Ryan and I relaxed at home in Iowa (this is a rare occasion it seems), we made some awesome fish tacos that I CAN’T WAIT to share with you.  We complimented the tacos with an equally delicious peach jalapeno martini!  If I must say so myself, this duo was amazing….which is why I am sharing the taco recipe with you today…and the martini recipe on Friday.  Then, as you find time over Labor Day weekend, you too can whip up this fresh, smokey, spicy, delicious meal!  I am not kidding you…we were giddy over how much we loved the dinner.  I hope you do too!

CHIPOTLE FISH TACOS w/ Fresh Salsa & Adobo Cream

Serves 4

  • 1 lb Halibut (or tilapia, mahi mahi)
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Serrano Pepper, chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Shredded Red & Green Cabbage for garnish
  • 1 cup Queso Fresca, crumbled for garnish
  • 8 – 6 inch flour tortillas
  • Fresh Salsa, recipe follows
  • Adobo Cream, recipe follows

Before you begin to prepare this meal, prep the Fresh Salsa and Adobo Cream first.  The salsa should sit for 30 minutes before serving.  The recipes follow.

Once you have the salsa and cream prepared and set aside, prepare the marinade for the fish.  In a large mixing bowl, combine canola oil, chili powder, serrano pepper, lime juice, and 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro. 

Whisk well.  Pour marinade into a large freezer bag and add halibut fillets (~4).  Let the fish marinate for ~20 minutes at room temperature. 

Preheat the grill to ~400 degrees.  Brush grill with extra light olive oil.  Once the grill comes to temp, remove the fish from the marinade and place flesh-side down onto the grill.  Grill the fish for ~4 minutes.  Flip and grill for an additional minute.  (If the fish does not have skin, grill for 2 minutues per side.) Remove from the grill and flake with a fork.

Place the tortillas immediately on the grill and grill for ~15-30 seconds on each side.  Watch closely.

Now that all of your ingredients are prepped, it is time to build your tacos!  We topped our tortillas (in this order) with cabbage, fish, salsa, adobo mayo, red onion, cilantro, and finally crumbled cheese!  SO GOOD.


  • 4 large Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 White Onion, chopped
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 4 Serrano Peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Toss well. 

Set aside for 30 minutes prior to serving.


  • 1 Cup Light Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Light Mayo
  • 4-5 Canned Chipotle Chilis in adobo sauce
  • Juice of half of a Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix sour cream and mayo.  In a small food processor or blender, blend chilis with adobo sauce, cream/mayo mixture, lemon juice, and salt/pepper.  Set aside until ready to use.

AHHH…dinner served!  Chipotle Fish Tacos served with a side of rice, black beans, and a squeeze of lime! 

And don’t forget the Peach Jalapeno Martini, inspired by a martini Ryan and I shared in Wine Country!  (Recipe to come on Friday)

Indulge in fish tacos and martinis this weekend…you’ve earned it!  🙂

And to my dear friend Mandy…I dedicate this post to you!  I couldn’t help but think of you as Ryan & I prepared this meal.  As for the martini, I will introduce you to the restaurant where I ordered my first Peach Jalapeno Martini in Sonoma, CA.  I can’t wait to share Wine Country with you in October!  To friendship and fish tacos…CHEERS!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.