Archive of Alexis Murphy

Alexis has written 33 article(s) for InMenlo.

When I was a kid, cooked peas and carrots were the veggie combo that scared me to death. I couldn’t stand them, and thought they were not only mushy and tasteless but torture to eat.

As an ode to my childhood fears, I made a Spooky Pasta Salad fit for Halloween night.

This is what I’ve learned about peas, I like them fresh and crisp. (You’ll need 2 cups.)

This is what I’ve learned about carrots, I like them raw and spiralized. (You’ll need 2 large fresh carrots.)

This doesn’t look so frightening, does it?

To keep that Halloween Spirit, mix them both with a fun black pasta. (I used one bag of Trader Joe’s Black Bean Rotini, cooked according to package instructions and cooled.)

Then toss with my favorite dressing of:
– 3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
– 6 Tablespoons Light (in color) Olive Oil
– 1 finely diced shallot
– 1 tsp dijon mustard

I think my childhood nightmare has turned into a dream!

Menlo Park resident Alexis Murphy’s website is Jac o’ lyn Murphy; You can also follow her creative thoughts on Instagram.

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Get boo-tiful with a DYI Halloween face mask

For Halloween, we usually think about the mask that comes with your costume, but this year I am all about the beauty of the mask! Something that covers the face, bold and colorful, natural and homemade, that will make you feel good and will definitely amuse or terrify anyone who catches you with it on. DIY face masks […]

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Blessed be the fruit – “Handmaid’s Tale” Emmy snack

The Handmaid’s Tale is nominated for 20 Emmy Awards this year. It is cause for celebration or as they would say in Gilead, “Praise Be!” It is a dark and suspenseful story, and I felt like we needed a little brightness and levity to enjoy during the show, which is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17 at 5:00 […]

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Celebrate the 4th of July with Aunt Nita’s Dilly Crackers

My Great Aunt Nita’s Dilly Crackers are a legend and a must have for the 4th of July! It’s a traditional snack that no one can resist and you can not get more all American than a recipe from a special relative in her 90s. Pictured is my Great Aunt Nita with her siblings and parents; my grandmother […]

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Playful patterned platter of hot dogs – Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day snuck up on me this year and instead of stressing over what to serve, I’m opting to keep it simple and traditional, with a touch of whimsy. With a wave of the magic mustard wand, our weekend hot dogs are going from drab to designer. It’s amazing how just a pop of yellow can […]

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Festive ways to use chocolate rabbits for Easter

It all started during Easter years ago. My kids received so many adorable chocolate bunnies that I thought there has to be something more to do with them besides nibble off the ears. Bunny Milk became a fun tradition that we still look forward to. It seems as though chocolate rabbits are multiplying more than ever. The […]

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Bring on the green and make cream o’ spinach soup for St. Patrick’s Day

When you have the last name Murphy, March is a time of luck and leprechauns, celebrations and of course, clovers. Everything seems more glorious and green, not only in our surroundings but in what we eat. I am kicking off the season with a special pot at the end of the rainbow — Cream O’Spinach Soup. It’s […]

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Lady Bird Ding Dongs, our tribute to Sacramento

The Golden Globe nominated film, Lady Bird, is lovely, quirky and sentimental. It is about a young girl’s love/hate relationship with her hometown of Sacramento. As it turns out, the city is not just a backdrop, but one of the stars of the movie. If you are from California, you know our state capitol often gets a […]

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Merry Christmas cheese tree to wow your guests

Cheese platters are a crowd pleaser. Cheese platters are easy. Cheese platters are delicious. Cheese platters should never be boring! I keep lots of cheese on hand during the holidays. It seems like someone is always stopping by or we need to bring something over to a friend’s house. Turning Christmas Cheese into Christmas Trees is my favorite way […]

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Five fun things to do with gumdrops – even on a busy December weekend

Gumdrops just make me happy. They are bright, colorful and festive any time of year.They are also one of the most versatile of all the goodies in candyland. Here are some of my favorite ways to use them. Yellow gumdrops with a sprig of rosemary make instantly festive pineapples. Much more convenient than a trip to Hawaii! Gnome […]

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Snacks to eat while watching the Academy Awards on TV this Sunday

Editor’s note: We’ve come to count on Menlo Park resident Alexis Murphy for showing us how to make celebrations and holidays special. Here she takes on the Academy Awards, which will take place this Sunday night (2/26). Oscar Night has always been one of my favorites. The stars, the fashion, the movies and most importantly, festive […]

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