Archive for February, 2011

It’s Friday!  Farmers Market Day in Rancho Santa Margarita!  1:00pm-6:00pm  Get there early before the cold rain (and snow!) comes!

A healthy recipe to think about making while you’re there is the refreshing and very healthy Pomegrante Lime Iced-Tea.







  • 4 tea bags, steeped with 4 cups hot water
  • 4 limes, cut up in quarters
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pomegranate juice and seeds
  • ice cubes


  • In a pitcher, pour in the tea and let cool.
  • In a bowl, place the limes and sugar and mash together.  Pour lime sugar mixture into the pitcher.
  • Add a splash of pomegranate juice and place in the refrigerator.
  • When chilled, use a strainer to catch the limes, and pour into glasses with some ice.  Add a few pomegranate seeds and enJOY!

FYI:  Pomegranate Nutrition:

  • vitamin C, potassium, tannins, anti-oxidants
  • fiber in the seeds
  • can help reduce chances of prostate cancer, diabetes, lymphoma, common cold and coronary heart disease, just to name a few!

FYI:  Lime Nutrition:

  • vitamin C, vitamin A, a bit of calcium and iron

Famers Market – Fresh Lemonade! (so easy!)


  • 1 cup sugar (fine granuals are best)
  • 6 large Meyer lemons, seeded and juiced
  • 5 cups of water, divided into 1 cup and 4 cups
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup, optional
  • mint leaves, optional






  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil.  Sir occasionally until sugar dissolves completely and turns into a syrup.  Let cool.
  2. In a large pitcher/jar, stir in the syrup, unstrained lemon juice, maple syrup and 4 cups of cold water together.
  3. Chill in the fridge or serve over ice.  Add mint for an edible decoration.




 “Coto Voice” – Food Finds – March 2011 Issue

  I must admit, living here in the foothills of a remote area of Southern California has its benefits.  Our beloved Rancho Santa Margarita just started a Farmers Market in the Lowe’s shopping center parking lot on Fridays from 1:00-6:00.  Local growers of various fruits and vegetables are there along with plants and flowers from Laguna Hills Nursery. 

There are also local restaurants who are selling their best items.  For example, San Giovanni’s Restaurant (in Dove Canyon; 949-589-1900), is selling their famous, home-made sausage, as well as individually-packed frozen Italian meals – great to serve for dinner Friday night, or pack up to work on Monday!

In addition, there are a variety of other vendors, to which the city is putting limits on.  It is a “farmers” market, not a “flea” market, so maybe that is best. 

From these vendors, I’ve made amazing fresh guacamole and salads, the juiciest lemonade from Meyer lemons, and have started drought-tolerant, succulent gardens in my yard.  Friday, I plan on getting some fresh herbs and nuts and to be further inspired to prepare healthy, tasty, organic meals for my family and friends (see Recipes in 

The weather, since they started in December, has been so chilly, so I say to the vendors, “Be patient and dress warmly.”  I say to our readers, “Grab a jacket and go visit and support them this Friday!” 

If you would like to participate in the Rancho Santa Margarita Farmers Market, please contact Verge at 949-648-1033.

See you Friday!

Christie Lynch

Q:  When is it again? 

A:  F-R-I-D-A-Y-S !!!!

BBQ Pull-Apart-Pork Manwich

This was such a hit at our Super Bowl-in-Texas party with the teenagers — so easy, and so flavorful.  The night before game day, you can start marinating the pork roast, and by kick off the next day, your meal will be done and the house will smell soooo good ! 



Dry Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne

4 pound shoulder pork roast

1 Gallon-size plastic bag

Liquid Flavor:

  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

6 of your favorite hamburger buns

BBQ Sauce (see recipe after directions)


Preheat oven to 330 degrees F.

Mix the dry rub ingredients in a gallon-size  plastic bag.  Place the pork roast in the bag and  massage the dry rub all around the roast, covering evenly.  Refrigerate overnight or for at least a couple hours.

In a large Dutch oven, combine liquid ingredients and the garlic powder.  Place pork in the Dutch oven and tightly cover with aluminum foil then the lid.  Roast for 4 hours or until pork is tender and shreds easily.  Every hour or so, spoon  the liquid flavor over the roast.  Set your timer for 4 hours.  Start your BBQ Sauce (see below).

Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.  Shred the pork with a fork into bite size pieces.          (Smell that?!   Mmmmmmm……..)

Serve on hamburger buns topped with BBQ sauce.  Side dish options:  cole slaw, potatoe salad, macaroni salad, green salad

Left Overs?!

Oh, this turned out so good!  My husband and son loved this combination:

  • 1 box of “New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice” (like Zatarain’s brand), cooked
  • Turkey Sausage (like Hillshire Farms, or your favorite), 1/4″ slices


After cooking the rice and beans, based on the directions, add the sausage and the left over Pull-Apart-Pork and wa la!  Dinner is served!  This could be great for a Mardi Gras celebration too!


BBQ Sauce:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups of ketchup

1/2½ cup water

1/3  cup Worcestershire sauce

2  tablespoons liquid smoke

2  tablespoons cider vinegar

1/3  cup firmly packed brown sugar

BBQ Sauce Directions:

In a medium sauce pan , melt the butter over a medium heat.  Add the chopped onions and cook about 5 minutes.  Into the pan, add ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, vinegar, and brown sugar.  Bring contents to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes.  Sauce will thicken and taste great on the Pull-Apart-Pork Manwich!

Left Overs?!

Add to you kids’ turkey sandwiches the next day or a plate of meatballs!

EnJOY your family, friends and football fans with this one!

xo Christie Lynch xo

Chocolate Rum Cake


My friends, Beth and Vivienne, both shared their rum cake recipes with me and after pleasing many people, I got creative and kicked the recipe up a notch by making it a Chocolate Rum Cake.  Some people still prefer the original rum cake recipe (yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding), but those who have tried the chocolate, agree it’s quite sinful in nature. J


     Cake Mixture

½ cup chopped candied pecans (optional)

(1)        18-ounce package chocolate cake mix (Duncan Hines)

(1)        3-ounce package chocolate instant pudding

½ cup light rum (like Bacardi)

½ cup water

½ cup vegetable oil

4 eggs


Rum Glaze

1 ½ cup sugar

1 ½ sticks of butter

¼ cup rum

¼ cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bundt pan.  Put nuts on the bottom.  In a medium bowl, combine dry cake mix and dry pudding and mix well.  In a large mixing bowl, beat rum, water, oil, and eggs.  Add dry Cake Mixture to rum mixture and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour into bundt pan and set timer for 50 minutes and bake. 


In the meantime, put Rum Glaze ingredients in a medium sauce pan and let sit during the 50 minutes.  When the timer goes off, leave the cake in the oven another 10 minutes and heat the Rum Glaze to a soft boil. 


Remove cake from the oven and immediately, yet slowly, pour hot glaze over cake.  Cool in pan for about 45 minutes and turn out.  Serve warm or cooled with whipped cream.  You can also sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake and set a flower in the middle for presentation.   


Unique Cake Pans

Another fun idea, especially for Valentine’s Day,Baby or Wedding Shower, is to get a cake pan with unique bite-size cakes (like in the shape of hearts or flowers — William Sonoma has beautiful bite-size cake designs as well as unique cup cake and other fun cake pans – check them out at under “Bakeware”).  Share your little chocolate delights with your loved ones, teachers, neighbors, guests, etc.  The cake mix goes a long way with the bite-size cake pan.  So rich, unique and very impressive!



xo Christie Lynch xo

Italian Orzo Salad

This is a favorite at football/soccer/baseball/lacrosse (any sporting event!) parties, and yet elegant enough to serve the girlfriends at Bunco Night 🙂


Pasta Salad

1 box Orzo pasta, boiled and drained

2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

½ stick peppered salami, chopped

30 Kalamata olives, sliced in

    1/2 length-wise

1 8.5-ounce jar sundried tomatoes

1 16.5-ounce marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

¼ cup red onion , finely chopped

½ bunch fresh basil                      

½ cup pine nuts

1 8-ounce goat cheese

1 12-ounce bag of spinach leaves  (for cold version)


¾ cup olive oil

1 ½ lemons (juice from the lemons

    squeezed into dressing)

2-3 tsp crushed garlic

2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper, to taste



Create Dressing in a separate container and mix well.   In a large bowl, add all the pasta salad ingredients together, tossing gently.  Add the Dressing, again, mixing into the Pasta Salad.  It’s that easy and sooo impressive!


xo  Christie Lynch xo