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May 27th, 2015


Get ready for a delicious treat your guests will “ooh and aah” over!  This is the perfect recipe for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Bring the flavors of fall inside with this delicious and super easy pumpkin cheese ball.


  • 2 (8 oz) Packages of Cream Cheese
  • 1 packet Onion Soup Mix or Ranch Dressing
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Green pepper stem (you can also use a celery stick with leaves or a broccoli stem
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Apples, pita chips, baked tortilla chips, or crackers


In a medium bowl, mash cream cheese. Mix the dressing or soup mix and cheddar cheese into the cream cheese. Spoon the mixture into a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Refrigerate until firm. Carefully remove the seran wrap and create ridges in the ball to mimic a pumpkin.


Place the stem on top and put on a serving platter. Surround the pumpkin cheese ball with chips, crackers, veggies, or fruit. For an extra touch, you can also roll the ball in crushed nuts.

Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta

May 25th, 2015


Brace yourselves, you are about to fall in love!!  While I was working on my 30 day salad challenge (that’s right, I’m making a new salad every day for 30 days), I discovered this recipe.  Originally, I made it for my Sun Dried Tomato & Mozzarella Salad.  I didn’t add enough olive oil to the recipe initially, so my dressing turned out a bit thick.  When I tasted it, I was IN LOVE.  I quickly put it on top of some french bread and voila… it was as if it was meant to happen!!  Below is the recipe… enjoy!!

4-60z  Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp capers (drained)
1-2 garlic cloves
9-10 basil leaves

Combine all ingredients above in a food processor (leave a few basil leaves for garnish) and pulse until well blended.  Spoon the mixture on top of french baguette pieces and top off with basil leaves. If the mixture is too thick, add more olive oil until the desired consistency.

Easy Recipes for Your Next Wine and Cheese Tasting Party

May 24th, 2015


What is one of the easiest parties to throw?  A wine and cheese tasting party, of course! Just ask your friends to bring a bottle of wine and a wedge of their favorite cheese, and before you know it, you’ll have a buffet worthy of royalty!!  You can even make a “theme” out of it.  Ask your guests to only bring a particular kind of wine (red or white) or narrow it down to a wine from a specific region.  You can also choose a single type of cheese you want your guests to bring.  For example, ask everyone to bring only their favorite sheep cheeses or only goat cheeses.  It’s fun to see what people enjoy and you don’t have to take on the financial burden of paying for all the cheese and wine, which can get pricey!

As the hostess, I love making fun recipes which guests can sample.  As I said in my TV segments, I don’t typically like to have all my dishes be experiments, but I at least try one dish which is a little bit out of the  box.  Here are three recipes which I find to be easy and very attractive and they are all perfect for a wine and cheese tasting party!!  One of the recipes, the easy Antipasto Plate, was contributed by a very talented florist and friend, Rhae Adams, owner of FOUND IN NATURE.  

Would you like to watch these dishes be prepared?  You can go to the videos page and find the recipes you like and watch how simple they are to create.

Rhae’s Simple Antipasto Plate

Go to the marinated and canned section of your store and find what you love. I love purchasing these items at Trader Joes since they are all right next to each other. Some of my favorite things are:

1 can of Artichoke Hearts
1 jar of marinated olives (stuffed with almonds, onions, garlic, or whatever
you like)
1 jar of marinated red and yellow peppers
1 jar of pre-made tamponade
1 jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
additional jars of items you like
goat or sheep cheese

Make sure to drain all jars of the water or olive oil. Cut up the items (such as artichoke hearts and peppers into small pieces, carefully arrange all items on plate, making sure that the colors go well together. Use chopsticks to move and arrange items neatly on the platter and use paper towels to absorb any extra liquids which may mix on the platter. Lastly, add your favorite cheese have a selection of various crackers, and add some fresh bread. Enjoy!

Cheese Stuffed Strawberries


1/2 bottle of white wine
5-6 strawberries
25 small slices of Fontina cheese
Balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction sauce

Soak strawberries in wine for 24 hours
Slice and fan strawberries
Slice fontina cheese into thin and small slices which can fit inside the
Place each slice in the strawberry crevices
Drizzle balsamic vinegar or reduction sauce on the strawberries
Top off with almonds or mint and enjoy

Cheese Kabobs


Skewer Sticks
Mozzarella cheese
Meat or cheese tortellini
Heirloom Tomatoes

Grease the skewers with oil
Skewer a tomato, followed by mozzarella cheese, salami, tortellini and
repeat until you cap off with the last tomato. Arrange finished skewers on
platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and serve

Delicious and Low Cal Sweet Pumpkin Dip

May 23rd, 2015



  • 1/2 cup canned of pumpkin (you can add more if you would like a stronger pumpkin flavor)
  • 1/2 large container of Light and Fit vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 container Sugar Free Cool Whip
  • 1/2 cup sugar


Combine all the ingredients and put in a bowl (or a hollowed out small pumpkin), I use sugar free and “light” varieties because I like to see how much sugar I’m putting in the dip. If this doesn’t matter to you, you can get the sugared varieties and skip adding your own sugar. Chill for at least 1 hour and serve with apples or sweet crackers.

Chicken Nugget Salad

May 22nd, 2015
If you are feeling up for hearty and delicious salad, you will love this combination!! Feel free to customize with your favorite ingredients. This salad goes great with ANY dressing!


  • 1 cup Chicken nugget pieces
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup hard boiled eggs (chopped)
  • 1/2 Avocado (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup corn (canned or fresh)


Place a bed of greens on a plate. Arranging the rest of the ingredients in stripes (much like a cobb salad), create a stripe of corn, a stripe of avocado, a stripe of chopped hard-boiled eggs, a stripe of chicken nugget pieces, and a stripe of tomatoes. Dress with our favorite dressing… ranch, Thousand island, French, or whatever you prefer!

Asparagus Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad

May 21st, 2015
CantaloupeprosciuttosaladDelicious and beautiful


  • 1/2 Cantaloupe sliced
  • 1 lb Aspargus
  • 6 thin slices Prosciutto
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar


Trim asparagus and cook 1-2 minutes and drain. Cool with cold water and drain again. Lay out a bed of asparagus on a platter and set aside. Wrap prosciutto around the cantaloupe slices and arrange on top of the bed of asparagus. For dressing, mix honey and balsamic vinegar together and drizzle over the entire salad. Enjoy! You can also make ahead 1-2 hours prior to serving.

Party Cobb Salad

May 18th, 2015


Many people have their own version of a classic cob. This is ours! We guarantee that it will be a show stopper at your next party or special event. It’s beautiful and most importantly, delicious!! Feel free to make your own version. Add meat, different cheeses and veggies. There are no rules! We also have a great recipe for a similar “Fall Salad”. Use any kind of store bought dressing. Or have different dressings available for guests to choose from.


  • 1 pkg any type of lettuce
  • 1 cup hard boiled eggs (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cup olives (chopped or sliced)
  • 1 cup diced avocados
  • 1 cup prepared bacon (chopped)


Create a bed of lettuce on a large platter. We recommend an oblong or rectangular shape, but if all you have is a large round platter, you can use it as well. Just be prepared to use less ingredients on the ends. Start spreading each ingredient in vertical lines on the platter. This salad is very versatile, so feel free to improvise.


For a beautiful presentation, you can prepare it on a platter and allow people to help themselves to the ingredients they like the most. Have several different dressings available for people to choose from.

Love “Salt and Sweet” Together? I’ve Got The Perfect Recipes For You!!

May 17th, 2015

How lucky am I? I got to spend this morning with the beautiful ladies from KCTV 5’s Better Kansas City! Today, I shared my two recipes for something sweet and salty… my “caramel” popcorn made with real maple syrup and lavender sea salt and my apple and goat cheese Phyllo/Filo cups quiches. Get ready, because they are absolutely delicious!!


Enjoy the delicious taste of caramel while benefiting from all the wonderful and beneficial nutrients that come in maple syrup. They include minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. Plus, this syrup is non refined and contains no fat. Below is a recipe for the most simple version which includes the maple syrup and lavender salt. But I got a little creative (photo I posted above) by adding almonds and pretzels to my popcorn. You can add anything you want! And if you want to get super creative, add a “savory” element with a bit of diced turkey bacon!!


1/4 – 1/2 cup – Grade A Maple Syrup (Doesn’t matter if it’s medium or dark, whatever you like best). The range of syrup depends on if you want a heavily coated popcorn or slightly coated.

1/2 cup of pop corn

2-3 tablespoons of butter

Lavender sea salt ( plain sea salt will work as well)

Pop your popcorn. You can do air popped, bagged, or microwave, although I prefer air popped.

Put the popcorn in a bowl and set aside. In a small sauce pan, bring your maple syrup to a boil. Add the butter and let the combination boil for 2-3 minutes. You can mix the butter and syrup slightly, you don’t have to constantly stir the mixture in the pan, move your spoon through it once or twice and leave it alone. Have your popcorn, baking sheet, and salt on standby and ready to go. While your syrup is hot, you have a small window to work with the popcorn. Once the caramel is ready, pour it over the popcorn and mix (I use a wooden spoon) while the caramel is still hot. Keep mixing until the popcorn is well coated with the caramel, then quickly spread it out on a cookie sheet and begin salting with the Lavender salt.

Once you are happy, give it 5-10 minutes to dry. Once the caramel popcorn is dry, you can place it back in the bowl and serve.

WARNING: No matter how good the popcorn looks, don’t serve it when it’s wet. Your guests will have sticky caramel on their fingers which is difficult and no fun to get off. Additionally, you can add other things to the popcorn. Salted nuts, pretzels, bacon (for a bit of savory), dried cranberries (for a bit of sour), or anything else you like. Just remember to add these items while the caramel is hot and you are mixing it with the popcorn.


These are super easy and can be made for wine tasting parties, breakfast parties, brunch, lunch, dinner… you name it!! They are beautiful to serve and delicious!!


12-24 Filo/ Phyllo Cups (available in the refrigerated section)

1 Red & Delicious Apple

2 Eggs

1 tbsp Half & Half

1/2 package of Goat Cheese


Dried blueberries and cranberries


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the Filo/Phyllo Cups in a lightly greased mini muffin pan. Dice the apple and place a few small pieces in each Phyllo cup. Mix eggs, half & half, a dash of salt, and a dash of nutmeg together in a measuring cup. Carefully pour a little bit of the egg mixture in each cup. Finally, put a generous amount of goat cheese on top of each Filo cup. Place the mini muffin pan with the Filo/Phyllo cups in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with honey and serve.


May 17th, 2015


A dessert that is delicious and funny, with nothing to mix or bake? Gotta love these Strawberry Ghosts! Perfect for Halloween!!


  • 1 pkg Regular or organic strawberries
  • 1/2 pkg White Candy Melts (available at Michael’s)
  • 1/4 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips


Wash and pat dry strawberries. Prepare a large piece of wax paper. Melt the Candy Melts in a double boiler or follow package instructions. Dip the strawberries into the melted candy and place on wax paper. Within a few seconds place the chocolate chips into the dipped strawberries before the candy “sets”. Melt the remaining chocolate chips in double boiler or follow package instructions. Once the chocolate chips are fully melted, you can either place it in a pastry bag or dip toothpicks into the chocolate and carefully draw the mouths on the strawberries with the chocolate on the end of the toothpick.


You can refrigerate for a few hours up to a day, If you keep refrigerated for too long, the juice from the strawberries will start to seep from the candy.

Green and Red Salmon Salad

May 17th, 2015


A delicious and hearty salad you’ll enjoy any time of the year.

1 zucchini
1/2 bunch asparagus
5-7 grape tomatoes
4-5 oz cooked salmon


1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic

With a vegetable / potato peeler, slice zucchini into thin strips to create the first layer of salad on the salad plate. Blanche asparagus and cool. Cut asparagus into bite sized pieces and place on top of the zucchini. Place the cooked salmon on top of the zucchini and asparagus. You can have it as one whole piece or cut it into smaller pieces. Slice each grape tomato in half and top off salad with the tomato pieces.

To make dressing, mix the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil together until combined.