Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spooky Appe-Tini

After a long day of playing super mom, I felt like I need a Martini and since we are in October, everywhere you turn, there’s something either scary, creepy or down right gross looking. So of course I had to make something in the spirit of Halloween.

For this recipe you can use any kind of punch desired, mulled wine or just juice for the kids.

For the apple heads
·        4 tiny firm apples
·        1/2 cup lemon juice - (to keep apples from browning)
·        Peel, and halve apples lengthwise and remove seeds
·        Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from turning brown
·        Using whatever tools you have; carve out the eye sockets, nose and mouth -  I used my pumpkin carving kit which was perfect.
·        Return finished carve apple to lemon juice until ready to use.

Making my drink
·        2 part cran-apple juice cocktail
·        1 part green apple twist vodka 
·        Shake together,  Ice, cran-apple juice and vodka in cocktail shaker
·        Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a spooky apple head

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Carve a Watermelon Brain

I never get tired of playing with my food, especially around halloween when I get to use my carving tools to decorate and make ghoulish designs.

What you will need:
1 small seedless watermelon
Vegetable peeler
Paring knife
Large knife
Skewer or Toothpick
*or if you have a pumpkin carving kit, that works great also


  • Slice watermelon in half length and peel 
  • Score brainy folds into the white flesh.
  • With a sharp paring knife, carve channels out of melon to resemble cortical folds
  • Chill and Serve 

seedless watermelon

cut the watermelon in half lengthwise and trim the edge

I found this nifty peeler at the store, it was $2.99
so of course me being skeptic, I thought it wasn't going to work, well if proved me wrong it

the peeler is attached to the finger,
 then gradually move your hand from front to back over the surface of the watermelon until its all peeled

I went alittle design crazy, now i have a huge Sinus Gap :)

I score the lines with a knife and use a tooth pick to make the gaps clean

I dropped my phone and I think the camera got loose because
this is the effect I got  for about 30 minutes, I couldn't change it from this setting 
~so weird

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Save the Ta-Ta's

Save the Ta-Ta’s
 (Making Strides Against Breast Cancer)

This year, the American Cancer Society encouraged people to “put on their pink bra” in the fight against breast cancer. The pink bra is a resounding symbol of how personal this disease is to women. It is a call to arms to fight back against breast cancer by supporting the mission, while also empowering women on their cancer journey.  For more information visit:

Alot of people don’t know this, but every year, I join the fight in memory of my grandmother, two of my aunts and friends that still struggle with the disease. I lace up my shoes and join millions of women as they unite for one cause, The Breast Cancer Walk. 

We spent days in the office deciding where to get bras to decorate, chit chatted about how we are going to decorate them, we even had a silent auction to auction off bras to the ladies who were decoratively challenged (I hope that’s a word J).  

Saturday morning bright and early everyone laced up their walking shoes, put on their pink bras and met at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center, excited about taking on the journey.

Our Group leader Darlene talked me into wearing the Fighter Outfit, it was cute but I thought it would be more suited for someone that’s not my size. I really thought it was a little much and of course I didn’t want to offend or take away from the cause.

Darlene was convinced I would look great in this outfit, she said; think it over.   I took it home, thought about it, chickened out, and thought about it some more, I even tried to convince my niece who is (thinner) to wear it, but after her persistent No!  ... I gave in and decided; what the heck, what’s the worse that could happen. “Here I am being self conscious about how I'm going to look in a costume for a walk that’ll only last a couple hours, when there are women out there that aren’t able to join us for the walk or still going through chemotherapy or even had to under go a double mastectomy. So my logic trumped my vanity and to my surprise, everyone loved it, from kids to the elderly wanted to take pictures with me, ofcourse that brought a smile to my face because I was being silly for letting my vanity get the best of me J.

Everyone looked so beautiful in pink, even the babies were deck out in their pink bras, we had a wonderful turnout. The men came fully dressed in pink from Mohawk to Tutu's, it was cute but wonderful that we had that much support.

A Special Thank You
…to the venders and volunteers that made it possible, we had plenty of refreshments, a full breakfast bar, entertainment, smiling families, friends and fun for everyone. 

For everyone that put on their snazzy decorated bras, laced up their walking shoes and followed the path of hope by Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Ladies in the office tryin on their decorated bras 

                                                                     My friend Erlinda is so creative

                                                                    All the bras came out so beautiful

                                                                                               Part of our group

My niece put on her pink bra and walked with us

thats a wrap (time to go nite nite cancer) :)

 ....we all continue to fight for more birthdays
                                                           so see you on the ‘Path of Hope’  ~ Lisa

Did You Know:
More than 11 million Americans who have a history of cancer will celebrate another birthday this year. The American Cancer Society knows how special a birthday can be: a celebration of life, a marker of progress. Lets join us them, because together we’ll save more lives and help everyone celebrate more birthdays.
Find out more at 1-800-227-2345 or

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drunken Grapefruit

I am not the biggest fan of grapefruits, so anything I can put on it, to make it more pleasing to the eye or make it a little bit more palatable, I’m willing to try it. 

My granddad was a cultivator and grapefruit was on the list of things he harvested. Nevertheless I always chose an apple or orange over it because it doesn’t matter how much sugar I watch my cousins add to it or salt I watched him sprinkle on it, I just couldn’t get past the tartness.

Today a coworker brought me a bagful, she was so excited that she had a tree that was bearing; how could I tell her that I really dislike the fruit? …of course I couldn’t, so I took the bag home, placed it on the counter and stared at it for a few minutes, wondering what to do with all this grapefruit.

This is what I’ve got so far….  J  try My Drunken Grapefruit.

1 pink grapefruit
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rum (barcardi, pineapple or coconut rum is fine)
1 tablespoon chocolate chips
Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400.
Cut grapefruit in half, prepare as if you were going to eat with a spoon.
Place in ovenproof bowl, pour 1 tablespoon rum over each half, sprinkle with a little sugar, let set for a while.

Heat fruit thoroughly, about 10 min, remove from oven, add a few chocolate chips, whipped cream, and serve.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Just one of my lazy weeknight meals, balsamic glaze salmon served with a side of corn and black bean salsa. Believe it or not the heart of this dish is the balsamic glaze that marries so well with the fish and salsa.  Prep time was 5 minutes and cook time 15 minutes. On a night where I'm beat, running from work, straight to afterschool pickup, and then into cheerleader practice, then homework, dinner and bedtime reading. That’s all the time I want to spend on dinner, and not only is it delicious but it’s also a healthy treat.

2 (6 oz.) salmon fillets (about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Fresh ground peppercorns
Salt to taste

Salmon Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F
  2. Lightly, season salmon with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
  3. Heat skillet over medium high heat
  4. Melt butter and add olive oil
  5. Add the garlic and sauté a couple minutes, or until aromatic and remove
  6. Add Salmon and cook until flesh is opaque in center, turning once, about 4 minutes per side
  7. Remove the skillet from the stove and place in the oven; bake for 8-10 minutes
  8. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork
  9. Transfer salmon to platter and drizzle some balsamic glaze over it

There's a fine line between “perfect” and “burnt vinegar”, so Do Not look or walk away for too long when making this glaze or you will be making another batch. I’ve made this glaze several times and several times I have to do a re-make, because I decide to do 4 different things at once and end up burning my batch, also keep in mind; it will thicken as it cools.

Ok, now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s make some glaze

Honey Balsamic Glaze:
  • In a sauce pan, bring vinegar and honey to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until vinegar thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Once the balsamic vinegar has cooled, whisk in 1 tablespoon olive oil and viola, you’ve got a wonderful glaze to compliment your salmon.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Sweet Dinner Rolls

I whipped up a batch of sweet dinner rolls as a last minute decision to accompany dinner; the recipe is fail safe and in 1 hour, you too can have rolls, that are sweet and honest to goodness melt in your mouth delicious and you don’t even have to own a bread maker to whip these up.  

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, (softened for brushing)

Traditional – No Bread Maker Directions:
  • Dissolve yeast & 1 tablespoon of sugar in ½ cup warm water, let sit for about 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile, warm milk until it bubbles.
  • Remove from heat, stir in sugar and butter until melted and cool to lukewarm.
  • In a mixer or large bowl combine yeast mixture, milk mixture and egg.
  • Add in flour a little at a time and stir until dough forms
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for about 8 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Roll each half into 12 inch circles, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round.
  • Cut each circle into 8 wedges.
  • Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly.
  • Place point side down on greased baking pan.
  • Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.  

Bread Maker Directions:
  • Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
  • When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Roll each half into 12 inch circles, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round.
  • Cut each circle into 8 wedges.
  • Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly.
  • Place point side down on greased baking pan.
  • Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.  

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Hornets Nest


1 1/2 parts Tequila
3/4 parts lime juice
1/2 part simple syrup
1 part pineapple juice
1 tsp sweet ginger puree
Lime wedge for garnish

  1. Add everything to a shaker with ice and shake
  2. Strain onto fresh ice in a highball glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge.

*To make your own ginger puree:
Cut thin slices of fresh ginger and process in a food processor or blender until smooth. Optionally, add a teaspoon of sugar. Place the puree into an ice cube tray and freeze. Place the cubes in a bag or sealed container in the freezer until ready to make the drink. 1 cube makes about 2 tablespoons (depending on the size of the cube tray) and takes just a few minutes to thaw.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Caprese Salad

Somehow I wasn’t born with a green thumb and I have plenty bare veggie and herb gardens to prove it, but I’ve been growing potted basil from my patio and they have been striving, so I'm really excited about using it in my dishes.

Today they are complimenting my Caprese Salad, a delightful dish for any day of the week, its simple, easy and packed with flavor and is sure to quickly become one of your favorites.

2 large beefsteak or roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

  1. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella cheese,
  2. On a large platter, alternate and overlap the tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and basil leaves.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Season with sea salt and pepper. 

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mussels in White Wine

Mussels are widely available, pretty inexpensive and a no-brainer to cook.
They’re quite good for you, rich in protein, and provide an enormous dose of vitamin B12

So if this is your first attempt at making mussels, here are a few tips:
  • Buy the day you plan to eat them
  • Keep them cold until prep time
  • Throw out the ones that are cracked or open.
  • If you can, try to buy them already cleaned & de-bearded (fuzzy bit attached to the mussels) to reduce your prep time

As for what to serve with mussels: I’m a crusty garlic bread type a gal, plus it’s a little something to help with getting to that savory mussel broth, which is my favorite part of the whole experience.

2 lbs. mussels
4 cups of a dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
3 tablespoon butter
30 oz. diced canned tomatoes
2 cups chopped parsley
1 sweet onion
1 shallot
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp. thyme
3 leaves chopped basil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Wash the mussels well under cold, running water, scrubbing with a stiff brush.

Discard any mussels that are open or those that have cracked shells.

In a large pot, melt the butter, and combine onion, shallots, garlic, parsley, diced tomatoes, and basil. Once the onion turns golden brown, add the white wine, and wait until it starts boiling.

Add the salt pepper, and thyme.

Put all the mussels inside and mix everything together. Close the cover, and in about 10 minutes all the mussels should open up, cook for another 3 minutes, to make sure all the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels which haven't opened.

These may be served on their own with Italian bread, or with rice or pasta. You already have the sauce!

This recipe is very healthful; it's low in fat and high in protein. It is very light and just perfect in the summer!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Mango Salsa

 I had a few mangoes left over from some chutney I had made for a friend. So instead of letting them go bad, I chopped these bad boys up and made us some mango salsa. 

It’s a refreshingly sweet accompaniment with a little bit tang, that complemented my pork chops very well

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 small diced tomato
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

Combine the mango, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
serve with chips or over grilled meat.


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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Papaya Smoothie

2 cups chopped peeled seeded papayas
1 cup chilled pineapple juice
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sliced banana
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in blender.
Puree until smooth.
Pour into 2 tall glasses.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Simple Weeknight Pasta

12 ounces thin spaghetti
Sund Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to package
Drain & toss with pesto sauce
Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.

Doesn't get any easier than that :)

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