Classic Fruit Salad

There are so many fruit salad recipes out there, and I always wonder why people feel inclined to add to the sweet, juicy goodness with (IMHO) unnecessary ingredients. That's why I come back time and again to this Classic Fruit Salad recipe.

Fruit salad is always in season, so to speak. Whether enjoyed as a side at a BBQ or family picnic, its easy to prep and the kids always like it!

3 c. freshly chopped fruit (your choice) - I recommend cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, blueberries, grapes and/or strawberries - bananas are good, but tend to brown
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 t. sugar
1 T. lemon juice


Place chopped fruit in a serving bowl, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top. Add lemon juice and stir a few times to combine.

I suggest you fill up on this classic fruit salad instead of fatty potato chips!


Carrot and Raisin Salad

This recipe is a classic one from my childhood. Since I don't have the recipe handy, I'm just going to make it up from memory. With only three ingredients, its easy and inexpensive. And - most kids like it!

You'll use this recipe as a side dish for BBQs, or even another great tasting dish for wedding or baby showers.

Let nostalgia reign. And good eyesight (from the carrots) will be a wonderful side effect.


2 1/2 c. shredded carrots (use full-sized carrots and a grater)
3/4 c. raisins
3-4 T. light mayonnaise


Grate the carrots into a large bowl. Add raisins, mayo and combine.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate until mealtime. This is a great salad to prepare ahead of time. 12-24 hours will allow the flavors to combine well. Keeps in the fridge for about 2-3 days.

Sweet, healthy goodness!


Family-Style Tortellini

Yesterday, I saw a cooking segment on the Today Show, featuring a family-style tortellini recipe. Now, truth be told, I was working out at my gym at the time and didn't jot down the recipe. However, I've recreated it as best as I can, making a few minor tweaks of my own.

Pasta is a tasty, filling dinner that is light on the budget when you cook at home. This family-style tortellini can feed a group of 6, so its perfect to enjoy with the kids, or with a few of your neighbors!

Don't forget fresh salad greens and crusty french bread.

3 cups cooked cheese-filled tortellini
1 c. cubed mozzarella cheese
1 c. cubed salami
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. fresh, halved cherry tomatoes
2 T. fresh chopped basil
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper


Cook tortellini according to directions in 2-3 quarts boiling water, salted with 1/2 t. salt. Drain.

In a large bowl, mix pasta with mozzarella and salami, stir in olive oil, basil and cherry tomatoes.

Place pasta mixture on a large serving platter. Top with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil sprigs.



Tasty Tuna Sandwiches

Like most people, we've been cutting back as much as we can on our spending. Grocery bills are one area that is somewhat difficult to control, especially with a larger family.

That's why my kids are thrilled with my recipe for Tasty Tuna Sandwiches. Actually, count my husband in too. He goes through our reserve before you can say "chicken of the sea."

A can of tuna is often less than a dollar at the store. When you add in the minor additional ingredients, including bread, you can feed 4 people for less than $3 total!

Tuna is a great protein source that is not only less expensive than sandwich meats, but also better for you! Consider the fact that it is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and low in sodium. That's a win-win for us.


1 12 oz. can of chunk light tuna, packed in water (note: tuna is regularly packed in 6 oz. cans, but its cheaper to buy the larger size)
2 T. light mayonnaise
1 T. dill relish - or 1 T. capers
1/2 t. minced garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
4 slices of cheese (your choice - optional)
8 slices of sandwich bread
lettuce, tomatoes, sliced pickles... if you want


Open tuna and drain well. Stir together in a medium sized bowl with remaining ingredients. Do not add too much mayo!

Create sandwiches by buttering one or two sides of bread (if desired), adding 2-3 T. of the tuna mixture and topping with sliced dill pickles, or fresh lettuce and/or freshly sliced tomatoes. Add a slice of cheese, too, if you like!

Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate, tightly covered.

Yes, I'm hoping that I'll look like that hot model in the Chicken of the Sea commercial (pre-elevator door closing) by eating plenty tasty tuna sandwiches!


Country Fair Burgers

My neighbors came over yesterday for a Memorial Day BBQ. I never thought I would be surprised by a burger recipe. Meg brought over the fixings for sandwich hamburgers, which she called "Country Fair Burgers."

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this recipe - other than its gooey deliciousness - is the fact that you probably have all the ingredients right now. Its quick and easy for dinner!


1 pound ground hamburger
1 medium yellow onion
1/2 T. garlic powder
1 t. sea salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
12 slices white bread
12 slices american cheese
2-3 T. margarine or butter spread


Combine hamburger, garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg.
Take 1/2 of the onion and use a grater to grate into the burger mix. Reserve the other half.
Using your hands, combine above ingredients. Form into 6 thin burger patties (about 1/2 inch thick)

Slice remaining half of onion thinly and set aside.

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, cook burger patties about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Drain excess fat.

Butter each of the 12 bread slices. Take 6 slices and place, butter-side down into the fry pan. Now, add one cheese slice, a few sliced onions, a burger patty, the second cheese slice and top with the last bread slice, butter side up.

Cook on each side, flipping once, about 2 minutes on each side.

Slice in half and then imagine yourself with a big cone of cotton candy when you're done!

Don't you just love summer?


Tomato and Cucumber Sandwiches

One of my favorite summer-time treats is fresh from the garden. Tomato and Cucumber Sandwiches. Fresh, light and healthy, this sandwich is simply heavenly when paired with a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade (splash of bourbon, optional).

8 slices of white bread - whole wheat is usually a healthier option, but this sandwich is best on white bread - trust me
2 ripe firm tomatoes, sliced
1 peeled and sliced cucumber
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion, sliced (optional)
3 T. mayonnaise
1 t. lemon juice
1 T. chopped fresh dill

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice and dill.
Spread mayo mixture on 4 of the 8 slices of bread
Arrange slices of tomato, cucumber and onion on top. Salt and pepper if desired
Finish with the second slice of bread

If you are lucky enough to grow (or can shop for) heirloom tomatoes, use them in this recipe! The fresh, sweet, tangy taste is divine.

I'm off to the kitchen now. I have some yummy sandwiches to make. The front porch is calling.


Cheesy Bratwurst Wraps

Summertime often means brats and beer at my house! As an alternative to buns or rolls, we've combined these seasonal favorites in this delicious Cheesy Bratwurst Wraps recipe.

Actually, Leslie should be writing this post, having lived in Wisconsin for a couple of years! I'm sure she can attest to the fact that this dish would have been exactly what she would have found in some of the various watering holes there!


4 bratwurst
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1/2 c. thinly sliced green peppers (optional)
1 T. olive oil
2 bottles (12 oz.) beer - your choice, but a full-bodied ale works best in my opinion
1-2 T. steak sauce or BBQ sauce
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 flour tortillas, warmed


Pour beer into a saucepan, add bratwursts. Heat over medium-high heat about 5 minutes. Then, transfer the brats to a pre-heated grill. Finish by grilling another 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly.

Meanwhile... back to the stovetop. Saute onions and peppers in olive oil about 5-8 minutes, until golden brown. Stir in steak sauce or BBQ sauce.

Arrange tortillas: Add onion mixture, about 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese and one bratwurst into each tortilla. Wrap the bottom side up first, then fold in the sides.

Serve with frosty cold ale on a warm summer afternoon!


Homemade Salmon Burgers

Yep, its burger season! With Memorial Day this weekend, grills all over the country are firing up. Does this mean you need to give up on your diet? What if you don't eat red meat?

My favorite alternative is Homemade Salmon Burgers. So much easier (and healthier) than you might think. Salmon is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. And, it may be an option if you or your guests are vegetarian.

This is no fish tale! You may never go back to boring burgers again...


1 1/2 pounds fresh salmon filets (remove skin and any bones you can see), but into small, 1-2 inch pieces
4 green peppers, sliced
1/2 T. fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper
rolls or buns for 4 people
any condiments you may enjoy: sliced avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, tartar sauce
1/2 fresh lemon (optional)


In a food processor, pulse the salmon a few times until coarsely chopped. Add the green onions, dill, and about 1/4-1/2 t. each salt and pepper. Continue pulsing until combined.

Preheat your grill to medium-high. Use oil or cooking spray to lubricate before grilling.

Take the salmon mixture and form into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Grill on each side about 3-4 minutes. Toast the rolls or buns, if desired. Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice, sliced veggies (tomatoes, lettuce or avocado), and any sauces you enjoy.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Mixed Green Salad with Fruit

Mixed Green Salad with Fruit is an excellent accompaniment to your main course. You may even want to make it into a meal by adding sliced rotisserie chicken before tossing. I bring this salad recipe with me to potlucks and parties often because it is so fresh and tasty. Just wait before adding the dressing until right before serving.

Fresh raspberries and strawberries are especially delicious in the summer. At cooler times of the year, try experimenting with pomegranate seeds or blood orange slices instead of mandarins.


1 package salad greens (about 1 1/2 cups freshly washed greens - throw a bit of spinach in too)
1/2 c. fresh raspberries
1/2 c. fresh sliced strawberries
1 can mandarin oranges (drained)
1/3 c. sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. raspberry vinaigrette dressing


Toast almonds by placing in a baking pan in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Stir often.

Combine salad greens, fruit, cheese and then add nuts. Right before serving, add salad dressing and mix well.

That's it! Now you can focus on your dinner conversations instead!


Cheese and Bacon Chicken Breasts

Nothing says summer like chicken and grilling. If you are looking for a little more flavor, we recommend Cheese and Bacon Chicken Breasts. It looks much fancier than the 1/2 hour it takes to whip up. Added bonus: kids love cheese and bacon. So, this one is an easy sell on a hot summer's night.


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 strips of bacon, cooked and drained
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh snipped rosemary


Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. On each breast, add 2-3 T. of shredded cheese and 2-3 T. crumbled cooked bacon. Roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks.

Heat grill to medium temperature (325-375 degrees). Brush chicken with combination of balsamic vinegar and oil. Sprinkle with rosemary. Grill on both sides about 10-15 minutes, turning as needed.

Enjoy Cheese and Bacon Chicken Breasts with crusty french bread and fresh salad greens. Don't forget your sunscreen and bug spray!


Poblano Stuffed Peppers

Spring is a great time to enjoy spicy food! This light recipe for Poblano Stuffed Peppers is not only easy, its low-fat and vegetarian. In just 1/2 hour, you can have a delicious Mexican-flavor dish for your family that you'll be proud to serve to guests, too.


4 poblano peppers, halved and seeded (or substitute 4 green bell peppers)
4-5 plum tomatoes, cut in half
1 red onion, sliced
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. instant polenta
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 10-oz. package frozen corn (or 3/4 c. fresh corn kernels)
1/4 c. goat cheese
4 sliced green onions
1 sliced green onion
salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat your oven to broil. In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes, peppers, onion and olive oil. Place vegetables on a broiler sheet, cut side down. Broil 5-8 minutes, stirring carefully a few times. Reduce heat of oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes, onion, connamon, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper. Blend until smooth. Spread 1/2 of this sauce evenly in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place the peppers on top, cut side up.

Prepare the polenta according to package directions. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in corn kernels, goat cheese and 4 sliced scallions.

Now, divide the polenta mixture among the peppers, then take the remaining sauce top the polenta stuffed peppers. Bake about 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 sliced scallion before serving.


Chicken and Couscous

For a fast, low-calorie, low-fat meal, its time to consider Chicken and Couscous. This is satisfying and relatively inexpensive. Two important factors for my lifestyle!

In about 20 minutes, you can serve a family of 4 at less than 400 calories each. Of course, this means you can have ice cream bars later! Or perhaps another glass of wine.

Decisions, decisions.... In the meantime, let's review dinner!


3/4 c. couscous (uncooked)
2 t. olive oil
1 pound chicken breast tenders (uncooked)
1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 T. chopped garlic
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. raisins
1 t. chopped thyme
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. red pepper
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. ground cloves


Boil 1 c. water over high heat in a saucepan. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover and wait 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Heat the olive oil, then stir fry the chicken, onion and garlic in a medium saucepan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Serve chicken mixture over cooked couscous. Delicious! We enjoy Chicken and Couscous with rolls and fresh salad greens.


Grilled Sirloin Salad

Love summer. Love BBQ. Love salad. Yep, its time for Grilled Sirloin Salad.

This one is for those of us that have healthy appetites, but don't want to load up on empty carbohydrates and calories. However, if you have a husband that still craves that stuff, then serve some crusty french bread and beer on the side.

At less than 300 calories per serving, you CAN have your steak and your waistline too!


1 pound lean boneless sirloin steak (or substitute flank steak)
1 T. chili powder
2 t. oregano
1 t. thyme
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
8 c. salad greens (pick up pre-mixed greens, or make your own)
1 c. sliced red bell pepper
1 c. sliced red onion
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. olive oil
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 can (1 1/2 c.) whole kernel corn (or substitute with fresh corn kernels)


Rub steak with the next 7 ingredients above, coating both sides. Grill over medium heat approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until desired temperature. If you don't want to fire up the grill, then bake at 400 degrees about 10-12 minutes, turning once.

Slice the steak across the grain, into 1/2" thickness.

Combine salad greens and all remaining ingredients in a large salad/serving bowl. Add steak.

Serves 4 people (about 3 c. salad with 3 oz. steak).

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

I'll be honest, "Philly Cheesesteak Pizza" doesn't really involve steak. But that's the good thing! This recipe is much less expensive, and just a bit healthier. Homemade pizza is a the closest thing to fast food our family comes these days.

This recipe serves 2-4, and has a cost of about$3 per person (or less)! Start, to finish, you can have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. Because it is "open faced" you'll save on the extra bread that comes with a true cheesesteak sandwich.


1 Boboli pizza crust (or other pre-baked crust), 12 inches in diameter.
1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, sliced thin and separated into rings
1 green or red bell pepper (optional), cored and sliced into 1/4" slices
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (or pizza blend cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste


Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir and cook about 5-6 minutes. Add onion and pepper. Cook another 3-4 minutes. Make sure no pink remains with the beef. Drain the fat. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Take the pizza crust and place on a baking sheet. Top with the beef mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Don't worry that there is no "sauce" with this pizza. You won't even miss it.

Enjoy a great Philly Cheesesteak Pizza dinner tonight!


Veggie Quesadillas

Kids usually love Mexican food, but how can you get them to eat their vegetables? Its easy with Veggie Quesadillas. Based with corn, onion and pepper, these are harmless, tasty vegetables, that most children will love.

Have a vegetarian lifestyle? This is perfect for you! Quick, easy and low-fat. My top three for a great recipe.

Who doesn't love a quesadilla? Certainly not anyone in my family!


1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
7 oz. canned corn (or about 1/2 c. frozen corn)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. honey
4 flour tortillas
1/4 c. salsa
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream


Saute the onion and pepper in the olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add corn and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar and honey. Cook for about 1 more minute, then remove from heat.

Take out the tortillas, then spread each with 1 T. of salsa. Divide veggie mixture among each one. Sprinkle each with cheese. Fold bottom of the tortilla up, then each side in.

Place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil under high heat for 1-2 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Enjoy a quick and tasty dinner!


Easy Yogurt Pie

Happy Mother's Day! If you are planning a meal for mom, and you have young children, this is the simplest, no-fuss dessert recipe. Easy Yogurt Pie has just three ingredients. No cracking eggs or measuring a single thing! You won't even turn the oven on.

We serve this all summer long, as it is low-fat and refreshing. Just pick Mom's favorite yogurt flavor - or make a couple pies for variety!


1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
1 32 oz. container of yogurt (2 pounds) - any flavor, low-fat, non-fat, you choose!
1 16 oz. container of Cool Whip, thawed


Remove the wrapping from the graham cracker crust. Leave the crust in the foil container.

Combine the yogurt and Cool Whip. Spoon into the crust. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Remove immediately before serving.

If you like, you can garnish with fresh fruit - sliced strawberries, blueberries, etc. Add a sprig of mint to really dress it up! You may even want to drizzle some chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or decorative sprinkles over the top.

Mom will be so proud - and happy not to have a big mess in her kitchen!


Spaghetti Primavera

Kids love noodles, but not so much vegetables. That's why Spaghetti Primavera is such a great way to get your children to eat green. If you involve them in the preparation, you can probably even get them excited about dinner!

This spaghetti recipe is vegetarian too, but if you want a bit of protein, try tossing it with some cooked chicken breast or tofu.


8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti noodles
1 1/2 c. broccoli florets
1/2 zucchini, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 c. peas, shelled (frozen works too)
1 tomato, chopped
1 T. butter
2/3 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 T. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


Cook the spaghetti noodles according to directions. Drain and set aside.

Steam broccoli and zucchini over boiling water in a covered saucepan about 4-6 minutes, until tender crisp. Don't over cook!

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and saute the green onions 1-2 minutes. Stir in peas for an additional minute. Add tomato, plus pre-steamed broccoli and zucchini and continue sauteeing for another minute. Stir in the cream, vegetable broth, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Continue to cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Stir in cooked spaghetti noodles. Enjoy your springtime, green dinner!


Grilled Fruit Kebobs

For a delicious twist on fruit salad, you should try Grilled Fruit Kebabs (aka shisk-kabobs). Trust me, this isn't just any fruit on a stick! As with most of our recipes, feel free to experiment yourself, trying different fruits as they are in season.

We enjoy this recipe as an appetizer, or with other summer offerings, from burgers to grilled salmon.


2 c. fresh strawberries (and/or other firm fruit - try pineapple, cantaloupe, peeled apple chunks)
4 fresh apricots (cut into wedges)
2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. dark rum or whiskey
1/2 T. fresh mint (optional)


With wood or metal skewers, thread strawberries, alternating with apricots (again, you can use any kind of fruit you like instead).

In a food processor or blender, combine the butter and brown sugar. Pour in the alcohol and mint (if desired) and pulse a few times.

Use a pastry brush to "paint" the flavored butter on the fruit. Grill over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side.

** Tip: I read in a book that when washing the strawberries, use white or red wine instead of water. This will help the berries stay firm, and will boost their flavor.


Bass With Tomato and Leeks

Anytime I think about cooking a healthy dinner, my mind tells me that its too much work. Intuitively, I know that its not true. Especially with a meal like Bass with Tomato and Leeks, where you can have your meal on the table in less than 1/2 hour. Please excuse your inner critic from the dinner table!

Fish is healthy and eco-friendly. I especially love this recipe because I can get healthy fish oils as well as vegetables all in one.


4 six-once filets of striped bass or tilapia
1 slice bread, torn into small pieces
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
2 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 leeks, washed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c. cherry tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


In a food processor or blender, combine the bread, rosemary and 1 T. of oil.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place filets on the sheet. Spread the mustard on each filet and then sprinkle with the prepared bread crumbs. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

While the fish is in the oven, heat 1 T. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic and 1/2 c. watetr. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over the prepared fish filets.

Serve with fresh, light salad and rolls, if you wish.


Top 3 Margarita Recipes

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Its time to celebrate with the top 3 margarita recipes that we've found through friends and followers (on Twitter, that is). Not only will you learn the tastiest Tequila concoctions, but we're also here to offer tips on making the best margaritas.

Make sure you have plenty of tapas - whether chips and dip, or something spicier. You don't want your new found fame as a Cinco de Mayo bartender to go to your head!

Classic Margarita (i.e., rocks with salt)

I've never been a blender girl. I much prefer my margaritas simple and straight-up. That's why this one tops the list.


3/4 c. tequila (pick something good, like Cuervo 1800)
1/2 c. fresh lime juice (this requires 4-5 limes)
1/3 c. premium triple sec
1/2 c. crushed ice
kosher salt (optional)
1 sliced lime


In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, triple sec, crushed ice. Take each lime, roll them on the counter, pushing hard. Slice in half and squeeze each half over the other ingredients.

Shake for about 20-30 seconds.

Take 4 rocks glasses (please, save those fru-fru Mexican glasses for vacation) and rim them with a sliced lime. Place the salt on a platter and dip the rims of each glass in the salt. Add ice cubes and pour margaritas into each one. Garnish with a lime slice.

Rock Your World Mango Margarita

Your guests won't see this one coming. Its a spicy version of a mango margarita. Be sure to have some water on hand to cool your tastebuds.


1/3 c. Tabasco Tequila
1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced (or use 1/2 c. frozen)
1/4 c. Triple Sec
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (see above)
1/4 c. simple syrup
3/4 c. crushed ice


Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. Best bet is to serve in a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a speared mango, if you wish.

Beer Margaritas

No, this is not the white trash version of the Mexican cocktail. You'll be surprised at how delicious this one tastes. Adding beer to the mixture cuts down on the sweetness and gives the drink a bit of "heft." Just be sure to consider the extra alcohol content so you don't over-do it.


1 1/2 c. tequila
1/2 bottle of beer (go with Corona or a similar light lager)
1/2 c. Grand Marnier
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 lemon (juiced)
1 lime (juiced)
** if you don't have the citrus fruit on hand, you can use 1-2 T. concentrate


Add all to a blender with 1 c. crushed ice. Blend well. Garnish with a lime and enjoy responsibly!

Have a great celebration!


Best Homemade Chicken Enchiladas

What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo this year? The annual celebration on the 5th of May (traditionally a Mexican holiday, but now recognized throughout the world) includes delicious Mexican dishes, margaritas and perhaps a few shots of Tequila.... if you have the day off work the next day!

We're enjoying the best homemade Chicken Enchiladas this year, since we're not going to be partying with the young crowd (unless you count our children). In less than an hour, you can dine as if you are in an authentic Mexican restaurant, at about 1/3 of the cost. Now that is worth celebrating!

  • 1 pound tomatillos, chopped
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 t. ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shred the meat off the bones
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 c. grated Montery Jack cheese
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch size)
  • 1 c. salsa


In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the tomatillos, onion, pepper, garlic, cumin and about 1/2 t. of salt in the oil. Cook, stirring frequently about 10-12 minutes. Take mixture and place into a food processor, add the cream and puree.

Combine the shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, 1/2 c. of the tomatillo sauce you just made, and 1/2 t. of salt and pepper, each in a separate bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 13x9 inch baking dish, spread 1/2 c. of the tomatillo sauce.

Take out the tortillas. Add about 1/4 c. of the chicken mixture to each tortilla. Fold in bottom and then fold in the sides. Place into the dish, seam-side down. Top with remaining tomatillo sauce and Montery Jack cheese.

Bake 12-16 minutes, until browned. Serve with salsa and/or guacamole. Especially tasty with an ice-cold margarita!


Chile and Rice Casserole

Three days and counting until Cinco de Mayo! If you're entertaining a crowd, they'll enjoy Chile and Rice Casserole. Super easy and vegetarian to boot! This is a definite go-to recipe for any type of party or potluck.

It can stand as a main course, or side dish for tacos or burritos. Bring on the tortilla chips, too!

  • Two 7-oz cans diced roasted green chiles, drained
  • 3 pints low-fat sour cream
  • 1 t. salt
  • 6 c. cooked rice (white or brown, but remember - whole grain is healthier!)
  • 1 1/2pounds Montery Jack cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese


In a medium bowl, mix the chiles, sour cream and salt together.

Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer 1/3 of the cooked rice into the dish, cover with 1/2 of the sour cream mixture and 1/2 of the Montery Jack cheese strips. Repeat the layers again, then end with a layer of rice. Top with the cheddar cheese and cover with foil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1-1 1/2 hours until bubbling and brown on the edges.

Serves 9-12 people! Party on!!

Short cuts: Make the dish ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a day, and/or bake ahead of time and serve at room temperature.


Wild Mushroom Salad

For a tasty spring treat, go light and delicious with Wild Mushroom Salad. Its a perfect vegetarian meal, as well, satisfying with meaty pieces of mushrooms. We suggest using chanterells, porcini and oyster mushrooms. Throw in a few brown cap mushrooms to help you stay in budget.

Before we get started, a quick note about storing mushrooms. Always purchase whole mushrooms and store them in brown paper bags. Presliced mushrooms are not as flavorful and will go limp and soggy soon. Another tip: Do not peel mushrooms unless you have to. Gently wipe off any dirt instead of washing them. This will preserve as much flavor as possible.

1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced (see notes above)
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 T olive oil
1 lemon
2 T. real cream butter
2-3 cups mixed salad greens
1 bunch fresh snipped chives
1 T. dry sherry
salt and pepper to taste

Take a medium saute pan and rub with the clove of garlic. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter, and stir until melted.

Roll the lemon on the counter, pressing firmly. Cut in half, and squeeze lemon juice over the mushrooms (use both halves).

Place washed salad greens into a serving bowl. Remove the mushrooms from the pan with a slotted spoon, reserving juices. Add mushrooms to the salad.

Return the saute pan with mushroom juices to the stove, add sherry and cook over medium heat about 2-3 minutes, reducing to 1/3 volume. Pour over mushrooms and salad greens. Add snipped chives, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.