Dalia Ceja

Dalia Ceja is a Latina in love with sharing lifestyle tips and trends focused on fashion, travel, food, drinks and fiestas.

summer

Mexican Fruit Salad

Food & DrinkDalia1 Comment

[typography font="Homemade Apple" size="22" size_format="px"]I don’t know about you, but the warm summer weather makes me crave the refreshing taste of fruit![/typography]

I’m fortunate to live close to many fresh fruit stands, and on my way home yesterday I bought the freshest, sweetest assortment of white peaches, nectarines, papayas, mangos and cucumbers. At home, with my bag of goodies, I decided to make my version of the ultimate Mexican fruit salad. The inspiration for this refreshingly delicious snack comes from the outdoor Mexican fruit stands, or "puestos de frutas", that serve fresh fruit with a pinch of chili powder, salt and lime juice {my favorite snack when visiting Mexico!}.

If you’re tired of the “standard fruit salad” {with melon, watermelon, grapes and bananas} then this recipe is for you. I’ve made this salad several times, with various fruit combinations, and it never fails to please. It’s a truly sublime concoction. You get the exotic sweetness from the seasonal fruits {papaya & white peaches}, the crunchiness from the cucumbers, the subtle spiciness from the chili powder and the acidity from the lime juice.

{Fresh Papaya}

{I love the color combination of the chopped fruit & my handmade tablecloth from Mexico}

{My grandmother's chile powder: chili flakes, cayenne pepper & chile ancho powder}

It’s a healthy snack alternative and I love that it’s so easy to make! Be prepared to share with everyone and watch it disappear! If you want some for yourself, make extra. That way you can still have fruit salad for breakfast {maybe with a warm slice of banana bread and a big, steaming cup of tea?}. Yes, please!

Mexican Fruit Salad

Ingredients: Serves 4 people

  • 1 Papaya
  • 2 Mangos
  • 4 White Peaches
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 3 Nectarines
  • Lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • *2 pinches of chili powder
  • Optional: a splash of Tapatio sauce

*You can find the chile powder at most supermarkets & Latino stores

Directions:

Prepare the fruit. Slice up the fruits and cucumber into semi-big pieces and spears— {In Mexico this is street food, often eaten with your fingers}. You can make the salad ahead, up to this point, and chill the fruit until you’re ready to serve.

Assemble the salad. Place the fruit in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice {of one lime} over it and season generously with salt and chili powder. Stir gently and keep adding, stirring and tasting until you pick up the flavor of the chili powder and a little heat. Add as much chili powder as you and your dinner guests can comfortably take—that’s a key part of this salad’s charm. Serve immediately and enjoy! Ole!

Thrifty Train Tracks

FashionDaliaComment

[quote]Whether you call it recycled, resale, vintage or thrift, I call it Fashion...[/quote]

One of my absolute favorite places to shop in the Bay Area is Crossroads Trading Company. It’s a clothing store that buys, sells and trades women's and men’s designer attire. I call it my personal treasure chest and always walk out with amazing fashion gems.

If you’re a vintage or thrift store shopaholic who loves designer fashion, this is the place for you. I could honestly spend hours browsing the neat and tidy racks, obsessing over each color coordinated section {the dress section is my personal favorite!}. What I’ve always said about this store is "Great fashion for great prices, and Crossroads nails it!"

I found this long, coral, vintage maxi dress at Crossroads a few weeks ago and thought this was the perfect outfit to welcome and embrace the long awaited summer heat. I accented the dress with flat sandals, my new favorite turquoise pendant from Versa Jewelry {by Caitlin Clarke} and a leather belt from Sola Lucy Boutique in Berkeley. I love this outfit’s simplicity, yet it has a fun and flirty bohemian chic appeal.

There is something so rustic, edgy & adventurous about walking down abandoned train tracks so I thought this would be the perfect backdrop to showcase this outfit. The setting also reminds me of one of my favorite childhood movies, Stand by Me, which brings warm, familiar, summer feelings. What are some of your favorite summer memories?

Berrylicious Pie

Food & DrinkDalia1 Comment

[quote]Blackberries, raspberries & blueberries, oh my! Keep your fork, there’s pie![/quote] When I was a little girl, my brothers and I would take advantage of our summer break and find any excuse to wander the endless Carneros area {where we grew up}. Minutes away from our parent's house was a creek that happened to host hundreds of plentiful wild blackberry bushes.

I remember digging my way into the thorny bushes eager to pick the sweetest and juiciest blackberries. Our teeth and clothes would be stained purple as we ate to our heart's content {oh, to be a kid again.. it brings back such nostalgic feelings}. We could never bring back enough berries for my mom to make a pie, and I’ve always longed to make my very own, from scratch. So here it goes… my mouth is watering already!

The result was exactly what I hoped for in a summer pie.  The oozing berries, bursting with flavor, had just the right mix of tart and sweet. The crust was flaky, crisp and buttery. I'm already looking forward to eating it for breakfast the rest of the week, with a big, steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. Here’s to enjoying a delicious piece of berry pie and reliving your own childhood memories.

Berrylicious Pie

Ingredients: Serves 8 people

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Pastry dough {click here for a simple & easy recipe}

*Special equipment: a 9-inch metal/glass pie plate & a pastry cutter

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Whisk together granulated sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, and salt, then toss with berries. Roll out 1 piece of dough {keep remaining piece chilled} on a lightly floured surface and fit into pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out dough for top crust, then use pastry cutter to make semi-thin strips of dough.

Spoon filling into shell, then layer dough strips to make a beautiful lattice pie crust. Trim crust with kitchen shears, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Press edges together, then crimp edge decoratively. Lastly, brush top of pie with beaten egg {to give it a glossy look}.

Place pie in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 more minutes.

Cool pie for at least 2 hours before serving to allow juices to thicken slightly (filling will still be juicy). Enjoy eating a slice of this delicious pie with a spoonful of vanilla bean ice cream and you’ll be in dessert heaven! Ole!

 

Paso Robles in a Nutshell

Travel, Food & DrinkDaliaComment
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I hope everyone had a happy and productive weekend!

Memorial Day weekend has come and gone but I wanted to share some highlights of our adventures! Together with a group of friends we decided to take a road trip down south on a mission to explore the breathtaking landscape of Paso Robles wine country. We spent 2 ½ days there and successfully managed to visit over eight wineries and one brewery. We also spent some much needed time relaxing, eating, drinking and vegging out in a cozy cottage set in the gently rolling hills of Peachy Canyon {thanks Drew!}. Considering we had a full house {and only one bathroom to share}, our daily routine was quite simple - get up early, make a huge breakfast and then hit the road for a day of wine tasting.

Some of my favorite wineries included Tablas Creek, Halter Ranch and Chronic Cellars. Each winery had its own allure, unique ambiance and stunning portfolio of wines. Our first stop set the benchmark for the rest of the trip. Halter Ranch Winery has so much history and charm, I felt like I was stepping back in time walking through the historic barns and stunning Victorian-era farmhouse. This was my type of experience, plus their wines were all surprisingly good {especially their Côtes de Paso- Grenache based blend).

Tablas Creek Winery was a priority on our list and we had the opportunity to check out their newly remodeled tasting room. Their wines stole the show and two of my favorites were the Côtes de Tablas red and white Rhone blends. Chronic Cellars was another favorite, with its funky bright and colorful décor and easy drinking, approachable wines. I’m a sucker for anything inspired by Dia de Los Muertos images {that’s on their label) and loved that their tasting room was hip and interactive with a pool table and horseshoe field outside.

For those of you who have never visited Paso Robles, I highly recommend a visit. It's rustic, quaint and just driving through the back roads exploring the scenic beauty is worth the trip! Ole!

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{Historic barn at Halter Ranch Winery}

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{So many wineries to choose from!}

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{Halter Ranch tasting room}

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{Justin Vineyards reception area & adorable vineyard dog, Buddy}

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{Keeping it classy with my favorite pair of Aviator shades from Theory}

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{Fun in the sun with my BF Adam at L'Aventure Winery}

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{Beer tasting at Firestone Walker Brewery}

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{Breakfast of champions: eggs with chorizo, bacon & watermelon slices}

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{Chronic Cellars tasting room. Pool table + wine tasting = fun!}

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Grecian Green Dress

FashionDaliaComment
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Over Memorial Day weekend we took the opportunity to explore the gorgeous wine country of Paso Robles. As I predicted, the weather was undeniably warm and breezy, making this the perfect day to sport this Grecian green dress. I stumbled on this dress at a vintage trunk show, and I've been wearing it since my college days. I love the subtle details with the high empire waist, the seamless flowing fabric and the golden rope that borders the neckline. Together with my gladiator lace up sandals and a simple yellow shawl, this outfit reminds me of what a fashion forward Greek goddess would wear. Ole!

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