Pear Nectar and Thyme Cocktail


This is a refreshing take on the traditional mimosa. Simply swap orange juice for pear nectar. Thyme is optional but it definitely adds an aromatic flavor to it. A morning cocktail that’ll surely impress your guests.

Champagne can never be too cold. According to French champagne producer, Moët, to achieve proper dilution, the champagne must be poured into a large glass first and ice added after, otherwise it will lose its effervescence. The ideal setup is “3 large ice cubes, not crushed ice.” ~ New York Times Moët Interview 2016.




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5 Hot Home Trends


When selling your home, it is incredibly important to consider who you are selling to and what they are looking for; who’s in the market to buy and what home features are most attractive to them.

Open Floor Plans
Generation X and Millennials make up a large majority of buyers looking for an open floor concept, allowing them to maximize on space, choose from a variety of furniture layouts and decor, and entertain guests in a flowing space.

Smart Home Features
New technologies for automating your home are popping up every single day. From sprinklers to lights to door locks, smart devices are of great interest to home buyers.

Solar Energy
Going green and finding ways to lower monthly bills is a big goal for many home buyers. A home equipped with solar panels not only achieves this but allows home buyers to introduce renewable energy into their home

Tiny Homes
Many home buyers are looking to jump on the tiny house trend, particularly those who are minimalists or are first-time home buyers.

Voice Control Features
In line with the desire for home automation, the addition of voice-controlled devices in the home are a huge selling point. Although investing in improvements and additions that follow these trends may have upfront costs, the payoff will be worth it. Take them into account as you prepare to sell you home and use them to stage your home more effectively and ultimately help you make the sale.

Photo Credit: Pinterest


Homemade Lox and Bagels


I’ve suddenly become a glass and crystal ware collector. I bought this sectioned dessert tray not knowing what I’ll do with it and now my white dishes may have to make room for glass everything. 😬

So while I ponder, enjoy this recipe of smoked salmon and bagels. This breakfast platter cost about $10 so start the prep on Wednesday evening and invite your family over for brunch this weekend.

Smoked Salmon/Lox
:: 1 piece of salmon
:: 1 cup of Morton Salt Kosher Salt (Only use Kosher Salt)
:: 1 cup sugar
:: Mix salt and sugar in a bowl
:: Lay salmon in a deep dish
:: Cover salmon completely with salt and sugar mixture. You may need to mix another batch if necessary.
:: Cover with clear wrap
:: Refrigerate for at least 48 hours
:: Rinse salt and sugar mixture off salmon. Slice thinly, at an angle, with a sharp knife. And serve with condiments of your choice.


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Copycat Dodger Stadium Garlic Fries

img_9640Take me out to the ballgame… We went to a baseball game last weekend and got some Dodger Stadium Garlic Fries.  It’s safe to say I had no idea what was going on during the game but I did leave with a game plan to recreate the signature Garlic Fries.  This recipe is so easy it’ll make your game day a hit every single time.


:: Frozen french fries.
:: Garlic cloves, chopped. LOTS! Yum!
:: 3 tablespoons olive oil
:: Parsley, dry flakes
:: Green onions, sliced
:: Salt

I experimented with both olive oil and butter and I like the more ‘gourmet’ flavor of garlic in olive oil.  Next time, I’ll try truffle oil.

:: Bake or fry frozen fries per instructions. Set aside.
:: In a sauce pan, heat olive oil. Add chopped garlic, parsley and green onions.
:: Stir with a spatula. Keep moving so garlic doesn’t burn.
:: Mixture is ready when garlic becomes aromatic.
:: Remove from heat and into bowl of fries.
:: Toss and arrange in a pretty bowl to share.
:: Optional: season with salt.


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Italian Meatball Soup


I made this Italian Meatball Soup last night expecting the rain to come down hard. Mr P loved it so much he’s asked for it again tonight. I said “Of course! No trouble at all!” It’s hardly a recipe and you’ll see why. 😉

The basics are
:: 1 can of beans (Any kind. White, red or black)
:: 1 can of diced tomatoes
:: 1 can chicken or beef broth
:: Frozen meatballs.  I had half a bag left after the Meatball Spaghetti recipe.
:: Seasonings. Basil. Pepper. I don’t salt it since the meatballs should be salty enough.

Add ons. I added a zucchini, half onion, carrots and chopped pasta (or orzo) into my pot for a one pot meal.

:: Combine all items in a pot. Bring to boil then simmer till carrots and pasta are done.
:: Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve with french toast or garlic bread.

This can be made in a crock pot and served warm all day.


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Frugal and Fabulous Meatball Spaghetti


Last night I made one of my favorite frugal and fabulous recipes from my early days as an entrepreneur. 😋 It’s a 2-ingredient caramelized onion and tomato paste sauce.  Cheaper and yummier than jar sauce I promise.  I did ‘splurge’ on Angus Beef Meatballs.

I remember Conversation Pieces was so broke until the wild year we were bursting out of one apartment after another.  As the business grew and started turning a good profit, we settled in a house with a ginormous backyard.  By then, all I wanted to do was feed the people who supported me.

I spent so much time in that kitchen. I would bring people food or have them come over. It’s still my favorite ‘Thank You’ thing to do. So when I invite you for a meal, it means I really appreciate your friendship.

This 2 ingredient dry pasta base is made by caramelizing onions in tomato paste. The result is melt in your mouth onions with a roasted tomato flavor. It’s hard to describe the exact flavor but the burnished smell of onions and tomato paste will have guests hovering in the kitchen and you won’t miss the surprised wide eyed, raised eyebrow looks 😱 from even the fussiest children. Kids don’t like.

I like to serve with large meatballs. Together with one onion 49 cents and one can of tomato paste 58 cents, half package of pasta $1, we had dinner for 4 for about $6.  This may be your next feed-the-crowd recipe.


:: 1 medium onion, thin sliced
:: 1 can tomato paste
:: 1 table spoon of butter.
:: Pasta of your choice, cooked

:: On low to medium heat, sauteed tomato paste in butter until combined and the butter is bubbling through the tomato paste.
:: Lower heat.  Add onions to tomato paste.  Occasionally stirring until onions are soft and fragrant.
:: Add meatballs at this point. Toss to coat. (You may want to then remove meatballs before adding pasta)
:: Add pasta and toss till coated in tomato paste.
:: Arrange meat balls on top.  Garnish with parsley and/or cheese.

And that’s it! Enjoy! 😋


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4 Instant Pre-Sale Home Updates

Photo: Pinterest

Your home’s first impression starts with the exterior, Be careful to go over your home with a fine tooth comb before you list it for sale. Make sure that your home leaves a lasting impression with these tips.

A good portion of people are not green thumbs.  Landscaping can be an overwhelming task to take on.  Many potential buyers start to judge the house by its curb appeal as they arrive to the property.
:: Remove debris such as branches and leaves.
:: Keep a well groomed yard.
:: Put out some potted flowers by the front door.  They always make people smile.
:: Invest in a new door mat, house numbers or mail box.
:: Give the front door a fresh coat of paint.

A quick update does wonders to refresh a space instantly. Consider replacing
:: :Light fixtures
:: Faucets
:: Shower heads
:: Door knob and switch plates
:: Cabinetry hardware.

There’s no bigger bang for your buck than a fresh coat of neutral paint to make your home feel clean, bright and move-in-ready.

Help home buyers visualize where their own things would fit in the space. Remove personal photos so potential buyers are not distracted by what the future may look like for them in this house.


FREE Moving Day Checklist

Congratulations! You’re a new home owner!  Are you ready for the big move?  Even if you’re moving into your dream home, the process of moving itself can be very stressful.  We’ve made this 30 day guide below to help you stay organized and pace yourself over the next few weeks.


Download: CP Moving Day Checklist

Moving day will be a long, exhausting but exciting day.  When the last box is in, take the time to finally chill and relax. Consider getting takeout or grabbing a bite at your new neighborhood eateries.  If you’re lucky, your realtor or neighbors may even bring you some dinner.


Pork Chop and Peaches

We love a good one skillet meal.  Pork chops and peaches are a great way to enjoy the seasonal peaches.  Pan grill the pork chops first, then use the pan drippings to make a simple peach and onion topping to give the chops a finishing touch.


:: Butter
:: Bone-in pork chops seasoned with salt and pepper

Peach and Onion Topping
:: Ripe peaches, sliced
:: Red onions, sliced
:: Basil leaves

:: Heat a small piece of butter to coat skillet.  Cook seasoned pork chops for 4-6 minutes on each side till done.  Transfer to a plate and tent.  Do not wipe down.
:: Add onions back to pan.  Sauteed for a min or two till fragrant. Add peaches and basil leaves.  Gently toss to coat.
:: To serve, pour the warm peaches and hot pan drippings over pork chops.


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