Stuffed Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Marshmallows

Stuffed hasselback sweet potatoes with pumkin marshmallows

Whenever I think of Thanksgiving I always picture candied yams or sweet potatoes. It’s a classic side dish right along with the old familiar roasted turkey. I seem to be a bit burnt out on it though. It’s a delicious dish, don’t get me wrong, I just love this updated version of it. Hasselback potatoes are very on trend in the foodie world, so you will definitely be the talk of the party! It’s so 2016 and it has such a beautiful presentation!

Stuffed hasselback sweet potatoes with pumpkin marshmallows 2

I love the fact that the skin is still attached which makes it healthier and gives it great texture. The roasted pecans add a bit of crunch and a nice depth to the flavor. I also like using homemade marshmallows because I can control the ingredients which are much better for you than store bought. I sweeten the marshmallows with honey and maple syrup which are unrefined sweeteners. Using pumpkin pie flavored marshmallows also brings in a fun twist as opposed to regular plain jane marshmallows. This recipe is sure to awaken your taste buds and wow your guests! To all those who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Stuffed Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Marshmallows


  • 6 sweet potatoes, washed & dried
  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans
  • 1/4 of my Pumpkin Pie Marshmallow recipe made into mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • Pumpkin pie spice mix for topping (optional)


  1. First make a batch of my Pumpkin Pie Marshmallows set aside so they can firm up.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes into 1/8 inch thick slices. I used 2 pencils, one on each side when slicing so as not to cut all the way through. You want teach slice to still be attached like an accordion.
  4. Brush tops, sides and in between slices of sweet potatoes with olive oil. place on lined baking sheet and bake for 40 mins. or until tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and place small pats of ghee in-between each slit.
  6. Let baked potaotes cool so you can touch them. Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees.
  7. Break up 1/4 of the marshmallows into mini bite size pieces. Stuff every other slit on the potato with a mini marshmallow adding a few on top. Sprinkle tops with additional pumpkin pie spice and place back into the oven really quickly to melt the marshmallows, about 1 min.
  8. Sprinkle tops with roasted pecans and serve warm.


Paleo Delicata “Cornbread” Biscuits

Can you believe that thanksgiving is just around the corner?! It seems as though it just snuck up behind me this year, tapped me on the shoulder and stuck it’s tongue out at me…how rude! Ha Ha! I feel as though I haven’t put as much time and effort into the things I wanted to this time around. Are you feeling the same way? Why do the holidays seem to get here faster and faster each year? One of the perks of getting older I guess 😉

paleo delicata cornbread biscuits

One thing that is making me feel a little better is that I am finally posting my Paleo Delicata “Cornbread” Biscuit recipe for you! Hallelujah!! It’s perfect for thanksgiving and is wonderful topped with some melted ghee & honey and even drowned in gravy! I just realized I’ve been loving on these babies for 2 years now and have never shared the love with you on here! For some reason I thought I had already blogged about them, another perk to getting older, memory loss lol!

delicata alone

I created them using my favorite squash of all time, Delicata, and some incredible Pure Indian Foods Ghee. I love that their ghee is organic and grass-fed and how delicious it makes my paleo baked goods taste! I used the cultured ghee for this recipe, but you could use regular ghee if you’d like. I won’t judge you 😉 Have you ever used  either of these in baked goods? They really make the best combination ever. The delicata squash has a wonderful sweet corn like flavor, that’s why it’s such a great substitute for corn. It gives a perfect flavor for paleo “cornbread”.
paleo delicata cornbread biscuit honey

I love using ghee in my recipes as well because it gives you that great butter flavor minus the lactose and tummy ache. And the cultured ghee is even easier on your tummy, you can read more about ghee and it’s benefits HERE. So on to this wonderful recipe, the biscuits are a little crispy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside. It’s perfect to have alongside your thanksgiving meal this year, they really are such a treat! They also not only go good with turkey, but my Paleo Chili. I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving if you celebrate it, and if not, you will still love these biscuits!

Paleo Delicata “Cornbread” Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits. Dough can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.


  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 large delicata squash (roughly 1 cup cooked)
  • 1/4 cup melted Pure Indian Foods Ghee
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash delicata squash, cut lengthwise and de-seed.
  3. Line a pan, liberally coat squash with oil and place flesh side down on pan.
  4. Cook in oven for 20-25 mins, or until tender and turn down oven temp to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove squash from oven and set aside until cool enough to scoop out flesh.
  6. Scoop cooled flesh into a food processor (it's ok if some of the skin makes it into the bowl, it's edible we just don't want all of it in there).
  7. Puree squash in processor & add in all wet ingredients, mix until well combined.
  8. Add in all the dry ingredients and mix in food processor until well combined, scoop down sides of bowl 1-2 times to make sure all ingredients get incorporated.
  9. Place food processor bowl in fridge for 30-45 mins. or overnight if making ahead.
  10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  11. Scoop 2 large tablespoons into hands and roll into a ball.
  12. Place a few inches apart on the lined baking sheet and flatten out a little bit so they resemble biscuits.
  13. Bake for 25-30 mins. or until browned on top.
  14. Slather some ghee on warmed biscuits & drizzle tops with a little honey if desired.


Can use coconut oil to make dairy-free.

paleo delicata cornbread biscuts ghee

*This is a sponsored post, thank you for supporting the brands that make Paleo Paparazzi possible! As always, all thoughts are 100% my own.


Paleo Meringue Ghost Tarts

halooween ghost meringue

Happy happy halloween my friends! Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays. Not because I like blood, gore and all things spooky. There’s just something nostalgic about it that reminds me of childhood and fun memories with my family and friends. I love the crisp fall air, parties, treats and dressing up. I love using my creative side and pretending to be someone else for an evening. Do you celebrate halloween? If so, what’s your favorite part about it?

I saw something similar to this on the internet, probably Pinterest, and I couldn’t wait to create a paleo version. Although my meringue came out shiny and smooth, I waited to long to pipe it onto my tarts so it kind of melted, face palm! The key is to pipe it on right after and serve immediately. Don’t take a million pictures and then serve them, ha ha! They still taste good, but they look so much prettier if you serve them right away! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Paleo Meringue Ghost Tarts


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Chocolate filling:
  • Find the recipe here just omit the raspberries & cacao nibs
  • Meringue for ghosts:
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1.5 cups maple sugar
  • dash of almond extract
  • dash of lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add crust ingredients to a food processor and mix until combined
  3. Press into small non stick tart pans until evenly distributed on bottom and up sides
  4. Place tart pans on a baking sheet and cook for 10 mins in oven
  5. While those are cooking make your chocolate filling and set aside.
  6. Pull crusts from oven and let cool for a few minuets
  7. Spoon chocolate filling into crusts and smooth the tops
  8. Fill a pan with 2-3 inches of water & bring to a boil
  9. Turn to low and place a heat proof bowl on top
  10. Add egg whites & maple sugar & whisk continually until sugar is dissolved, check to make sure not gritty
  11. Once sugar is all dissolved add mixture & lemon juice to a kitchen aid mixer with whisk attachment.
  12. Beat on high until stiff peak form and it is glossy add in almond extract and beat to combine.
  13. Add meringue to a ziplock bag with end snipped off
  14. Pipe onto cooled tarts to form ghosts.
  15. Using a small brush, add eyes and nose with a bit of coconut oil & cacao powder.
  16. Serve immediately.




shrimp and cauli mash

My Garlic Lime Shrimp with Cauliflower Purée may look familiar to you if you were following along during my takeover of the Whole30 recipes Instagram and Facebook pages. I created this recipe for my takeover and SO many of you loved it that I decided to get it up on the blog. Now you can pin the recipe for later (click save in upper left side of pic) or print out the recipe card below, yay!

This has become a favorite dish around our house, I think you can see why! Hello slow drizzle of ghee, wink wink!  Sometimes you just want a bowl of comforting deliciousness and this meal fits the bill! I can’t wait for another blustery Fall day in California. We had three straight days of rain last week and I was just getting into the groove of Fall. Pulling out my boots and scarves and getting all crazy with pumpkin spice errythang!  Then bam, summer was here again. I felt like Bill Murray, and it was groundhog’s day all over again ha ha!

Lime shrimp with cauliflower mash with ghee whole30

Often times cauliflower purée/mash can be so boring and bland, but this recipe combines so many goodies into one dish it will literally take your breath away, promise! The cauliflower purée mixed with the citrus marinated shrimp is just heavenly! I love eating cauliflower this way because it’s so silky & creamy! You won’t want to share with anyone, not even your BFF! Also, the longer you marinate the shrimp the better the flavor. If you have the time for it, I highly recommend it!



    For Shrimp:
  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, deveined
  • 1 large lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • For Cauliflower Purée:
  • 1 lb. cauliflower, steamed
  • 1/2 cup homemade or compliant beef/chicken broth (I used bone broth)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Mix shrimp, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic & seasonings together in ziplock bag. Let marinate about 1-3 hours.
  2. Break cauliflower into smaller pieces & steam until tender Aprox 10-15 mins.
  3. Transfer to blender/food processor & add broth, coconut milk, ghee & garlic powder. Blend until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Remove shrimp from bag & add to skewers.
  5. I cooked on a ghee coated grill pan (med-high heat) for a few mins. on each side until shrimp were pink & slightly opaque w/ red tails. Don't overcook, you want shrimp in a C shape not an O shape. An easy way to remember this: C shape for cooked & O shape for overcooked.
  6. Season w/ salt & pepper to taste, squeeze more lime on top of shrimp if desired & serve over cauliflower purée drizzled with some melted ghee.

lime shrimp skewers with cauliflower puree and ghee



paleo spaghetti squash with pumpkin marinara

This paleo spaghetti squash with pumpkin marinara is a favorite of mine for fall!  I love how when September 1st rolls around we decide that we must pumpkin all the things! People go crazy and start hoarding all of the canned pumpkin like armageddon is about to happen or some kind of zombie apocalypse, of course I’m not one of them, or am I?! You should see my pantry *blushing*

Sweet recipes like my Pumpkin Pie Marshmallows are floating around everywhere but not as many savory pumpkin dishes, it’s sort of a shame! Savory pumpkin dishes are so amazing, I love combining the sweetness of the pumpkin with savory spices and salty prosciutto. Like Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec would say, it’s LIT-ruh-lee the best thing ever! Do you guys watch that show? I’m currently binge watching it on Netflix right now! Not ashamed at all!

This is a great savory pumpkin dish that combines two of my favorite autumn squash…or squashes?! Not sure which is the correct way to say it, but i’m kind of loving the later, ha ha! I crisp up the prosciutto in the oven beforehand. It adds an unexpected crunch that will knock your socks off. The basil is optional and not as accessible as we get closer to October, so feel free to leave it off or sub in another herb. Sage is a good one as it’s around well into late fall!

This recipe was one I created a while ago while I was guest blogging for The Whole 30 recipes page and I’m glad to finally be giving a t home on my blog. Feel free to pin the recipe by clicking the little red save button in the top left corner so you can come back to it over and over again! It’s the perfect comfort meal while doing a Whole30 in the fall! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!



  • 1 Large spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb. ground beef (preferably grass fed)
  • 1-6 oz. can of tomato paste + 1-1/2 cans water
  • 4 Tbsp cooked pumpkin (can use canned, just check labels)
  • 5 pieces of crispy prosciutto, crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee/coconut oil
  • Fresh basil


  1. Set oven to broil, add prosciutto to a lined baking sheet. Broil for approximately 4-5 minutes, until Crispy. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise. Brush squash with oil & place cut side down on it lined baking sheet. Pierce squash with a fork all over. Bake in oven for 50 mins, or until tender.
  3. While squash is cooking heat oil in a pan & add diced onion minced garlic, cook until onions are translucent & garlic is fragrant. Add ground beef & brown. Add tomato paste + water, cooked/canned pumpkin & spices. Cook meat sauce until it thickens.
  4. Remove squash from oven & let cool for a bit. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh. It will resemble spaghetti noodles. Add squash noodles to a bowl & toss with melted ghee/oil. Crumble cooled prosciutto, add spaghetti squash to serving plates. Top with pumpkin meat marinara sauce, sprinkle crispy prosciutto & basil on top. Bon appétit!


Paleo Sweet Potato “Toast”

Oh Sweet Potato “Toast” how I love thee! My love for sweet potato toast is no secret. I have been professing my love for sweet potato “toast” for quite some time on social media & during my takeover of The Whole30 Recipes last year and once again with my takeover last week!

Paleo sweet potato toast sausage prosciutto bacon smoked salmon

You all clearly love this slightly sweet, crusty, delicious little sub for the real thing. While it tastes nothing at all like it’s counterpart, it’s still DANG delicious and I don’t care!  It’s one of my most liked recipes on Instagram so I HAD to bring it to the blog so you can print out the recipe (wish they had that feature on IG, haha) and pin it to your Pinterest board for later too!
Paleo sweet potato toast poached egg stack

My love affair with sweet potato toast is REAL. I even played breakfast Jenga with it to create this lovely little poached egg version below. I think I play with my food more now than I ever did as a kid…lol! But I just wanted to send a quick thank you to my mom for letting me play with my food as a youngster. I’ve decided I will 100% let my kids play with their food, as long as they eat it afterwards 😉
Paleo sweet potato toast salmon avocado


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1-2 Large sweet potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. of your favorite high-heat oil (I love coconut or avocado)
  • A few pinches of salt
  • Toppings (some listed below)


  1. Wash potatoes and pat dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Line a baking sheet.
  4. Slice sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4" an inch slices (I use a mandolin slicer to get them even & thin).
  5. Coat both sides of sweet potato with oil and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes (Flip after 20 minutes).
  7. Set oven to broil and continue to cook for one minute on each side, until toasty! (Just keep an eye on them, they can burn easily).
  8. Add your favorite toast toppings.



Poached egg with bacon & guacamole.

Sausage with guacamole, salsa & peppers.

Prosciutto with avocado slices & tomato.

Smoked salmon with guacamole & cucumber slices.

Wild salmon, arugula, roasted tomatoes & garlic aioli (I use my homemade mayo with garlic powder & pepper mixed in to taste).

Almond butter with fruit & drizzled honey -Not Whole30-

A few "toasts" stacked with poached eggs & avocado slices.

A few "toasts" stacked with layers berries & cashew or almond butter.

If you are doing a Whole30, the only version of the “toasts” that are not Whole 30 compliant are the ones below. I consider this version more of a treat.sweet potato toast fruit and honey

Have you tried sweet potato “toast” yet? I’d love to know what you think. If you have, what is your favorite toppings? I’m always looking for more yummy combinations to create! The possibilities with sweet potato ‘toast” really are endless. I’m sure I will be updating with more combos in the future as they come my way! Happy toasting to you!!

Paleo sweet potato toast raspberry
Paleo sweet potato toast avocado toast


Pear and Almond Mini Cakes

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree 3

I refer to pears as, “California’s real gold” because the trees found here in the Sacramento valley were brought over during the gold rush and unlike gold there’s always plenty to be be found. Many of the farming families who planted pears near Sacramento’s gold rush communities are still farming today, it’s an incredible legacy! I totally agree with the Greek poet Homer who said, pears are “a gift of the gods”! There’s nothing quite like biting into a velvety, sweet, juicy pear at the height of the season. July- August is a busy time, summer pear harvesting is in full swing and I was so lucky to get to see a small glimpse of that!

california pear farmers courtland

At the end of July I had the privilege to attend the International Food Blogger Conference hosted here in Sacramento, California. We started the conference off by touring a few local farms in the area. Stillwater Orchards is located only 15 miles outside of my hometown. They grow many varieties of pears, Bartlett, bosc & comice to name a few. It was such an amazing experience to meet one of the wonderful families dedicated to growing these beautifully delicious nuggets. The Elliot family was so warm and welcoming I felt as though I was a part of their family. I’m hoping they will adpot me, haha!california pear farm

They took us through the groves where we saw picker’s harvesting the bosc pears in large canvas bags secured around their shoulders. As the bags filled up, the harvesters unloaded them into large white crates. They looked so beautiful all gathered together, I couldn’t help but peer through the large slits in the crates dreaming of what delicious things I could create with these little jewels! california pears peek through crate

We learned that California pear farmers are leaders in sustainability. 87% keep orchard rows vegetated to reduce soil erosion and over 95% use integrated pest management to control insects naturally, drastically reducing the use of chemical pesticides! I couldn’t love this more, you all now how big I am on sustainable farming! I’m hoping to have my own small farm one day soon!

paleo paparazzi california pear farm(Photo by Bella Karragiannidis

We ended the tour with a beautiful lunch underneath the shade of 140 year old sycamores. We ate a pear inspired meal that was so dreamy, but my favorite had to be the gluten free pear crumble. I was inspired to make something just as tasty to highlight this gorgeous summer fruit! I love mini desserts so I just had to make a cute paleo farm to fork baked treat!

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree

These little cakes are so easy to make and they taste even better made with fresh fruit on top! I made them with some Bartlett pears from the Elliot farm.  I recommend making them with Bartlett pears, although you can use whatever pear variety you like best!

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree 2

I waited a bit before baking with them as my pears were green and not quite ready to use. I let them sit on the counter for a few days until they were yellow. Bartlett pears ripen at room temperature, turning from green to yellow as the pear becomes softer and ready to eat. Don’t put them in the fridge until they turn yellow to preserve their ripeness. They will stay good for about 3-5 days.

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree 4Once they were sweet and ripe I happily made them into these small cakes. They’re so fun and the perfect size to snack on! Especially for kids or kids at heart ! I hope you love them as much as we do! Now go buy some lovely pears and go get your bake on!

Mini Pear Cakes


  • 1 1/3 cups almond flour
  • 2 fresh Bartlett pears, sliced
  • 10 dates
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter/palm shortening
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cinnamon to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. First combine almond flour & dates together and mix until well combined.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor & mix well.
  4. Fill 6 greased mini cake/tart pans 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Top with fresh sliced pear & sprinkle tops with cinnamon.
  6. Cook in the oven for 15-20 mins







Easy Paleo Watermelon Salad with Roasted Almonds & Fig Balsamic Dressing

Watermelon salad?? I know what you’re thinking, “hmm, that’s a little different.” Well it is, but in a totally fun and delicious way. Adding watermelon to a salad is so refreshing and summery. This watermelon salad with roasted almonds and fig balsamic dressing will be your new best friend, I promise! The fresh greens paired with the juicy watermelon slices, luscious figs, crunchy cucumber and toasted almonds is a match made in heaven!

Easy Paleo Watermelon Salad with Roasted Almonds & Fig Balsamic Dressing

I used raw almonds from my grandfather’s farm here in Northern California. They make this salad feel even more special. I love adding them to my recipes whenever I get a chance. If you have access to quality almonds, definitely use them in this salad. Using the freshest ingredients possible will make this salad really shine.

Easy Paleo Watermelon Salad with Roasted Almonds & Fig Balsamic Dressing-2

I also love the figs and fig balsamic dressing in this salad, figs are one of my favorite summer fruits along with watermelon. They remind me of my grandmother because they were her absolute favorite. As a kid I never understood why, I really hated them (shhh, don’t tell anyone)! As I grew older and my taste buds changed (for the better), I fell head over heels in love with them! I just found a fig tree in my neighborhood and foraged these beautiful ones right off the tree. I absolutely love all the fresh produce in the summertime!

Easy Paleo Watermelon Salad with Roasted Almonds & Fig Balsamic Dressing-1

One thing I love about watermelon is that it’s about 90% water, so it’s great for keeping hydrated in the summer heat. I’m not sure about where you live, but summers here in the Sacramento valley are HOT, HOT, HOT. Watermelon anything in 100 degree weather always makes me a happy camper!

Easy Paleo Watermelon Salad with Roasted Almonds & Fig Balsamic Dressing

Serving Size: 2


    For the salad:
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 2 cups sliced watermelon, rind & seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons Jicama, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 figs, quartered
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 persian/cocktail cucumbers, diced
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fig balsamic vinegar (I used Kasandrinos)
  • a few pinches of pepper
  • a few pinches of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread almonds onto a baking sheet & toast for 5-8 mins.
  3. Set aside to cool while you prepare the dressing.
  4. Add dressing ingredients to a container with a lid & shake to combine.
  5. Place salad greens into a large bowl & toss with the dressing.
  6. Divide greens between 2 plates.
  7. Roughly chop toasted almonds & chop up other components of the salad.
  8. Top salad with the remaining ingredients & enjoy!

This salad is whole30 friendly and pairs beautifully with any meal. Not to mention, it’s super easy to make but looks like something you would see served at a fancy restaurant. Go ahead, impress all your friends and family, just don’t tell them how simple this salad really is to whip up! And don’t forget to pin it for later so it’s easy to find! Happy summer!

Easy Paleo Watermelon Salad with Roasted Almonds & Fig Balsamic Dressing-3


Strawberry Balsamic Coconut Cream Popsicles-California Strawberries “Get Real In CA” Recap

Remember how I teased you a few posts back about a fun bloggers trip I went on? Well, first I wanted to apologize for teasing you, that wasn’t nice 😉 But I know I can make that up to you with this post because now I can share all of the “juicy” details!! Last month California Strawberries invited me and a few other bloggers on a retreat to learn all about your favorite berry! It was an incredible experience, to say the least!


When I think of strawberries, I can’t help but be transported to summer and my childhood. We grew strawberries in our backyard, along with plums, peaches, nectarines, tangerines & lemons, but the strawberries were always my favorite. It seems as though summer wasn’t official until that first sweet bite. Strawberry juice drizzling down my chin, that’s when summer began for me! Being a native Californian I didn’t realize how good I had it until I packed up for college out of state and missed a few summers at home. Little did I realize back then just how important my beautiful state was in producing this luscious little berry!

California strawberries get real in Ca recap cannery row

The strawberry retreat started out in the heart of Cannery Row. We checked into the gorgeous Intercontinental The Clement in Monterey California for our stay. The ocean view from the rooms is stunning, and is a great reminder of why strawberries thrive in this area. The ocean helps create perfect moderate temperatures for these beautiful berries year round!

ca strawberries get real in ca monterey seals

Shortly after checking in we were whisked away to Montrio for dinner. The talented Chef Tony Baker created so many heavenly dishes inspired by strawberries. Tony & his team work closely with local farmers, ranchers and fishermen making it possible for those who dine at Montrio to be able to enjoy only the freshest most sustainable ingredients. You can definitely tell that the food is farm to fork because it tastes so fresh & flavorful!

MONTEREY, Calif., June 6, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the first day of the event eat at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., June 6, 2016. Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

This strawberry panna cotta with scallop ceviche was a favorite appetizer of mine! The flavor combination was unreal! Have mercy! I had no idea how delicious these pairings would be together!

MONTEREY, Calif., June 6, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the first day of the event eat at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., June 6, 2016. Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

Here’s me and Kristen of Living Loving Paleo in true paparazzi style, trying to capture this delicious ceviche.

MONTEREY, Calif., June 6, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the first day of the event eat at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., June 6, 2016. Photo by Robert Durell

Photo by Robert Durell

One of my favorite dishes of the evening was this dreamy crispy pork belly with balsamic compressed strawberries, poison oak honey and feta. Truly delicious! Look at that glistening pork belly! I mean, COME ON?! I dipped those luscious strawberries into that honey shortly followed up by a mouthful of that pork belly, flavor explosion!IMG_7097

The next day we had a delicious breakfast together where we learned some pretty amazing things about strawberries from the California Strawberry Commission. Like that fact that 90% of the Nations strawberries are grown in California, MIND BLOWN! Also, did you know that there is no such thing as a commercially grown GMO strawberry? Pretty awesome! Strawberry farmers are also very progressive and really care about our environment, they are leaders in research on ways to conserve water, protect soil and reduce fertilizer & pesticide use. More than any other commodity group in the world, they continue to invest millions of dollars in non-chemical farming methods, go strawberries!

ca strawberries get real in ca organic strawberryAfter breakfast and a little strawberry 101 we headed out for an unforgettable tour around one of their strawberry farms. As you can see in the picture below, we got up close and personal on the farm. I have dirt on my knees from picking handfuls of berries right off the plants & photographing the beauty from the ground up! It was also so fun to have Michelle from The Whole Smith’s & Kristen from Living Loving Paleo on the trip, as well as many new blogger friends!

MONTEREY, Calif., June 7, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the second day of the event visit a strawberry farm in Monterey, Calif., June 7, 2016. Later they ate lunch in Pacific Grove, Calif., from a food truck from Los Angeles Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

The tour took place at one their inspiring grower’s farm, Jesus Alvarado. Jesus’s story is one that will stick with you and warm your heart. He has worked with strawberries in some form since the age of 8,  starting out in Mexico. Eventually he left his family to come to the U.S. were he worked for many years as a picker. He learned English along the way, and is now the owner of an 80 acre strawberry farm, Fresalva Berry in Salinas California. Jesus is an incredibly determined and successful man, yet very humble with a smile & laugh you won’t soon forget! Plus he still has mad picking skills, check him out in the video below. If someone thinks that picking strawberries isn’t a skill, I beg to differ!  He reminds me a lot of my grandfather who has been a California farmer for most of his life. Both coming from humble beginnings and acquiring success from passion and hard work, men who respect the land and treat their employees like family.  Jesus produces conventional as well as organic strawberries. His biggest client being one I’m sure you’re familiar with, Driscoll’s.

MONTEREY, Calif., June 7, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the second day of the event visit a strawberry farm in Monterey, Calif., June 7, 2016. Later they ate lunch in Pacific Grove, Calif., from a food truck from Los Angeles Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

After the tour we were invited to a strawberry inspired lunch in Pacific Grove. Chef Jasmine Wolf drove her famous food truck all the way up from Los Angeles. I love that Jasmine tries to buy organic, local, and humanely-treated produce as much as possible. “Comfort food with a conscience” and that it was. We ate ribs with a strawberry bbq sauce (must recreate) which were to die for!

ca strawberries get real in ca the lobos truck lunch

More ceviche and strawberries but this time with shrimp and served in these cute avocado boats! Almost too pretty to eat!

california strawberries get real in ca recap lunch monterey

And these tempting stuffed strawberries with a balsamic reduction and bacon dust, BACON DUST my friends, Uh-May-Zing!ca strawberries get real in ca monterey

As if you needed more reasons to eat strawberries, here are some cool ones you may not know. Like did you know that one serving (about 8 strawberries) have more vitamin C than an orange? Put down that orange and grab your 8 a day! Also, one serving contains only 7 grams of sugar & 45 calories per cup! Strawberries tend to be thought of more as a dessert, but this yummy berry is perfect in many savory dishes as well. Not to mention, they’re a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium and phytochemials.

MONTEREY, Calif., June 7, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the second day of the event visit a strawberry farm in Monterey, Calif., June 7, 2016. Later they ate lunch in Pacific Grove, Calif., from a food truck from Los Angeles Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

Strawberries are so fun for a paparazzi to stalk :) This is what I looked like 98.9% of the time during the trip, thank you Robert Durell for capturing so many memorable moments, and a big thank you to my wonderful friends at California Strawberries and Modern PR for making this happen!


Check out this awesome video to see some fun moments from the retreat!

And of course I couldn’t leave you without a recipe including strawberries. With so many dishes on the trip including strawberries and balsamic vinegar I thought I’d create an easy recipe with a fun little twist.  Strawberry balsamic coconut cream popsicles. Don’t let the balsamic vinegar scare you though, you won’t exactly taste it, but it undeniably brings out the sweetness in the berries. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do in our house!

ca strawberries strawberry balsamic coconut cream popsicles

Strawberry Balsamic Coconut Cream Popsicles


  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk (13.5 oz.)
  • 7 teaspoons maple syrup (divided)
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used Kasandrinos)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches of salt


  1. Add strawberries, 2.5 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. maple syrup & a pinch of salt to a blender or food processor.
  2. Puree strawberry mixture & set aside.
  3. In another bowl add coconut milk, remaining 6 tsp maple syrup, pinch of salt & vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Fill popsicle molds by alternating with the 2 mixtures until molds are full. This will give you a fun layered look.
  5. Place molds in the freezer for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, thank you for supporting the brands that make Paleo Paparazzi possible! As always, all thoughts are 100% my own.


Whole30 4th of July

I was excited when the Whole30 team asked me to create 3 tasty dishes for your 4th of July BBQ’s/ Potlucks. I know how hard it can be to feel like your missing out on all the fun foods when a holiday pops up. That’s why I created an appetizer, a salad & a meat dish to make celebrating this holiday a little easier. Plus they are your typical 4th of July recipes, so if you don’t mention that they are whole30 friendly, no one will be the wiser! I’ve got you covered so don’t worry! You will not feel deprived at all, promise! Head over to the Whole30 website to get all 3 recipes! So off you go now…go get your BBQ on!

Red White & blue strawberries
Whole30 Red white & Blue Strawberries

Patriotic ColeslawWhole30 Patriotic Coleslaw

Firecracker BBQ Ribs

Whole30 Firecracker BBQ Ribs