Monthly Archives: April 2011

Quick and Easy Broccoli Slaw

By | Sides | No Comments

When grilling for friends and family, I’m always looking for new side dishes that everyone will enjoy. Sometimes that’s a challenge, especially with broccoli, but everybody seems to love this slaw. Not only is it delicious, it takes about 10 minutes to make.

  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar (you could use red wine vinegar, but we prefer balsamic for the extra flavor)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (we use a mix of oil and canola oil)
  • 1 sack of shredded broccoli mix (roughly 16 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
[list type=”numlist”]
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix vinegar with salt and sugar. I’d highly suggest Pyrex mixing bowls with lids for easy prep and storage.
  2. Add your oil and mix again.
  3. Add cabbage to dressing and toss.
  4. Let stand at least 30 minutes. We let ours sit overnight so the broccoli is well marinated.
  5. Mix again before serving.


Tia Spring’s Lady Finger Cake

By | Desserts | 4 Comments

Being Portuguese, food is at the center of every family gathering, especially holiday gatherings.  One of my aunt’s signature desserts is always a hit and it’s so simple to make!  She shared her recipe with me and I in turn will share it with you.  You will need:

-4 packages lady fingers (these may be hard to find, I had to go to HEB Plus and ask in the bakery before I could find them!)

-2 packages of cream cheese softened

-16 oz package of heavy whipping cream

-3/4 cup sugar

-1 can crushed pineapple drained

-1 can cherry pie filling or strawberry or fresh strawberries with sugar sprinkled on top (this is your topping)

First, you’ll beat the cream cheese with the sugar until it’s blended.  Add the heavy cream and beat until smooth.

Add the drained crushed pineapple and fold it in gently until it’s well combined.  Set aside.

Next, take a large spring foam pan and line it with lady fingers.

Pour a layer of the cream cheese mixture on top, and then top it with a layer of lady fingers.  Continue to do this until all the cream cheese is used and you have the cream cheese on top.

Cover and refrigerate this overnight to set.  When ready to serve, put the cherries or strawberries on top.

Then remove the side of the spring form pan and serve!

Cindy’s Cinnamon Bread

By | Breakfast, Desserts | 2 Comments

When I got married, I was lucky to receive a homemade cookbook filled with recipes from all of the lovely ladies that came to my bridal shower.  In that cookbook, I have found some of the best recipes ever!  Since this is Easter weekend, and I’m in charge of Easter Brunch at my house right after church, I decided to make this yummy cinnamon bread that the recipe was given to me from my mother in law, Cindy (hence the name!)  I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients for the topping:

-1/2 cup sugar

-1 tbsp cinnamon

Combine and set aside.

Next, you will combine the other dry ingredients which are:

-2 cups of flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 tsp baking soda

In another larger bowl, mix together:

-1 egg

-1 cup sugar

-1 tsp. vanilla extract

-1/4 cup canola oil

Next you will need 1 cup of buttermilk (I used low fat buttermilk to try and help make this a LITTLE healthier ;).  You are going to alternate adding and combining to the egg mixture the flour mix and the buttermilk.  When it’s all combined, it’ll look like this:

Now you are ready to pour half of the batter into a 9 X 5 loaf pan and then top with the cinnamon sugar topping.


Repeat process until you end up with a nice topping of cinnamon sugar on the very top.  Then, take a knife and swirl it around in the batter.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 1 hour.


Diana’s Top Chef Rice Salad

By | Salads | No Comments

If you don’t know it yet, I’m a HUGE Top Chef fan.  Hence me having all of their cookbooks!  However, there is always something in the recipe that I don’t quite agree with (probably because I’m SO picky) so I tweak it a little bit so I will eat it, and this is inspired from the Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook – Antonia’s Rice Salad with Seared Skirt Steak.

To prepare the salad I filled a large salad bowl with my favorites: baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, & thinly sliced onion (you can have as much or as little of this stuff as you want; it’s your base).  Then to it, I usually add any leftover meat we have such as grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp and I cut it into strips.  Next, pick your favorite Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice packet (I LOVE the Garden Vegetable or Rice Pilaf, but John prefers the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Long Grain & Wild Rice, 8.8-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 12); all of them work well!)  and cook in the microwave for 90 seconds and then pour into the salad bowl.  The last part is the BEST.  The magic is in the homemade dressing that you pour on top of all the yummy goodness in the salad bowl.  You will need:


-3 tbsp rice vinegar (red wine vinegar works nicely too)

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1/3 cup canola oil

-1 bunch of chopped cilantro

You’ll whisk the 1st four ingredients to combine and then stir in the cilantro.  Once that is made, pour it and mix everything together in the salad bowl.  This is such a FAST and easy recipe, this is in my rotation usually once a week too!!  Here’s the outcome using steak:

50% Brownie + 50% Cheesecake = 100% Delicious

By | Desserts | No Comments

My all time favorite cheesecake recipe has to be this Brownie Chocolate Chip cheesecake recipe I found while I was looking for something to make for my brother in law’s birthday. It was such a hit with the family and my co-workers that I decided to share it with you (thank you; you rock!):

Here’s the finished result:

Turkey Taco Cups

By | Taco | 2 Comments

In an effort to eat healthier, I’ve opted to try and substitute ground turkey where I’d normally eat ground beef. Also, I’ve swapped out baby spinach for lettuce to get in some extra vitamins. Those 2 swaps make this healthy dinner/snack a family favorite at my house each week. You’ll need:

-baked tostito scoops
-1 package lean ground turkey
-shredded spinach
-diced tomatoes

To make the turkey taco mixture you’ll need to combine the following spices in a small bowl:

-2 tbsp dried onion
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp black pepper

Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Add ground turkey and spices mixture. Cook until well combined and no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat. Place 14 scoops on a plate. Use a tbsp of the turkey mixture to fill each scoop. Top with 1 tsp of your favorite salsa, shredded spinach, and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!!

Turkey Tacos

Sloppy John’s

By | Burgers | No Comments

Sloppy Joes are always a quick go to meal during a busy week. However, this recipe was inspired by my husband John due to his love of BBQ sauce, mustard, and relish, hence the updated name. Here’s a version tailored to his tastes (and probably the best version I’ve ever had!)

You’ll need:

-one package of lean ground turkey (we use the Jennie O 93/7 kind, I found the extra lean gets tough real quick and is not as good)
-one yellow bell pepper diced (or any color really)
-1/2 medium white onion diced
-1 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (the trick we used is to get 2 different sauces, a sweet and a tangy and combine them- in this recipe we used Stubb’s Original and KC Masterpiece Original)
-yellow mustard
-your favorite dill relish
-your favorite hamburger buns (toasted if you like)

To start off, heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and then add the turkey and cook until no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat and throw in the onion and pepper and cook until tender.

Then add the BBQ sauces and squirt the mustard in to your liking and combine all the ingredients together.

Lower the heat to medium low and heat through until the sauce stars to simmer. Remove from heat and spoon mixture on top of buns. Add relish and dig in! It’s so easy and yet SOOO YUMMY!!

Easy Egg Bakes

By | Breakfast | One Comment

On the weekends, I love to make a homemade breakfast for my husband and I. However, if you’re like us, we have totally different tastes when it comes to food. I found that this is an easy recipe that can satisfy everyone since you can personalize it the way you’d like. Today we agreed on the filling, but since I don’t like cheese I opted out for mine to be topped with it.

To make 2 servings, you will need:

-3 eggs whisked
-dash of heavy whipping cream or milk to stir into whisked eggs
-2 pieces canadian bacon cut in small cubes (you can use real bacon if you want to or sausage, chicken, turkey etc)
-2 onion slices finely chopped
-6 cherry tomatoes finely chopped
-6 spinach leaves finely shredded
-salt & pepper to taste

The fun thing about cooking is that you can personalize any dish to your liking. The possibilities are endless with this recipe, you can substitute or add pretty much any veggie that you love like mushrooms, peppers, green onions, etc.

Before you add anything into the ramekins be sure you spray with a non stick cooking spray like Pam. It will make clean-up so much easier. Once you have all the ingredients chopped, combine them all in a small mixing bowl and pour into individual ramekins. If you like cheese, sprinkle or place a slice of your favorite cheese on top. For my husband, I used a piece of low fat pepper jack cheese to spice it up a bit. For easy clean up, I put my ramekins in an 8×8 baking dish and placed it in a 350 degree preheated oven and baked for 30-35 minutes. (Or until you place a knife in it, and it comes out clean)

Once it is done, here’s the end result. It goes wonderfully with some hash browns!

Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake

By | Desserts | No Comments

I have to share this DELICIOUSLY beautiful recipe that I found online for a decadent rich chocolate raspberry bundt cake. The inside is really what blows you away so you must try it if you plan to have company over or for any special occasion. You can find it here:

The only modification I made was I used less cream cheese than it called for, I believe I used 8 oz. instead of 12. Other than that I followed the recipe and it came out like this:

I did make a homemade raspberry/blueberry sauce to drizzle on top using the following recipe and doing half raspberries and half blueberries. I used frozen fruit for the sauce and it still came out GREAT! I served each slice with a drizzle of the sauce and a dollop of cool whip. It is truly DIVINE!!

Balsamic Pork Pasta

By | Pasta | No Comments

Each weekend it’s normally a tradition for my husband to grill a bunch of yummy meats for us to have easy access to make meals with the leftovers during the week. This has been working out quite well especially when I make a whole box of pasta early in the week as well. With the leftover meat and pasta, I always turn to this recipe to make a leftover a new star ingredient for a mid-week meal. Today I used leftover cut up grilled pork chops, but this can be substituted for whatever leftover meat you have on hand, chicken, steak, turkey, shrimp; the possibilities are endless! Here’s what ingredients I used:

Leftover pasta, leftover pork chops, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, one red pepper, one white onion, garlic pepper, and minced garlic.

The best part about this recipe is that I never measure anything but somehow it always turns out yummy! I start off with a large skillet and drizzle the oil on the bottom of the pan and heat it up on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, I add the onion, pepper, and minced garlic. I season them with the salt and pepper to my liking and saute until no longer crisp.

I then add the balsamic vinegar to the pan (eye ball how much you like, I LOVE the stuff so I dump a lot in, but sometimes it can be a taste disliked by some, so you might want to go lighter on it) and I lower the heat to medium, medium low constantly stirring the veggies and incorporating them into the vinegar. The vinegar should thicken a little at which point I dump in my leftover meat (pork chops for this one).

I mix that in and stir for a bit to heat up the meat and then I dump in my leftover pasta.

I mix that all together until the pasta is heated through, and then I serve it topped with either fresh cut up herbs (like basil or parsley) or in today’s case I didn’t have any of those so I opted for some fresh cut up cherry tomatoes.

This easy, quick leftover masterpiece is sure to be a hit! Even my new neighbor wanted to have some!