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May 16th, 2015


Get ready for one of the cutest ideas for your Halloween party!  These Green Monsters were a huge hit at my party.  Even with a buffet full of cupcakes and cakes, my guests seemed to gravitate to the plates that showcased these little guys.  They are also very simple, which is right up my alley!

Monster Rice Krispie Treats

4 tbsp butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows
6 cups rice cereal
5-10 drops green food coloring (depending on how green you would like your monsters to be)
“eyeball” candy (available at Micheal’s or Jo-Ann’s in the baking section)

1. Microwave butter in a large bowl for 30 seconds.

2. Add Marshmallows to bowl and stir

3. Microwave mixture for 45 seconds.  Stir and add food coloring.  Microwave an additional 45 seconds.

4. Stir marshmallow mixture well and add rice cereal.

5. Use two spoons to create “lumps” of cereal on wax paper. Add monster eyes.

6. Allow to harden and enjoy!



May 15th, 2015


“Witches’ Claws” are without a doubt the hottest dessert this Halloween. You can find the recipes in almost any book or magazine. The drawback is that they all require quite a few ingredients, not to mention kneading and mixing. Not ours! We found a fun and simple way to create a similar dessert, but with a twist!  And since the cookies flatten after you take them out of the oven, it was very fitting to call them Monster Road Kill, since they look like someone ran over them!  Either way, they are delicious and spooky!!


  • 1 pkg Peanut butter refrigerated cookie dough (nothing with chips or chunks in it)
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts
  • Chocolate syrup or chocolate icing


Cut the cookie dough just as you would to make round cookies, then cut the cookie circle in half. Form a long cylinder with your fingers or roll the dough between the palm of your hands to form something that looks like a fat snake or worm (great task for kids!). Arrange the cookies on a cookie sheet and if you wish, create indentations where the knuckles are. Bake according to package directions. The cookies will flatten as they bake, turning out looking as if something ran over them on the road. Once the cookies are ready and have cooled, make the gnarly fingernail by taking half a peanut and adhering it to the tip of the cookie with chocolate syrup or chocolate icing. That’s it, you’re done!

Layered Yogurt Chicken Salad

May 15th, 2015


This is one of the most unique salads I’ve ever made. The potatoes bring an interesting texture to the salad, while the dressing brings a tangy zing. This salad is a meal in itself. Enjoy!


  • 1 lb potatoes (any potato will work)
  • 1 large red, green, organge, or yellow bell pepper.
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 12 oz smoked chicken (we used prepared chicken meat from the store)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2/3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard


Cut the potatoes in half and boil until tender in the center. You can keep the skins on (scrub well) or peel them. In the mean time, blanche zucchini for 2 – 3 minutes, depending on how you like it. We prefer our zucchini firm, so we do not blanche over 2 minutes.Start slicing all vegetables (bell pepper, onion, avocado and tomatoes), prepare on a plate so everything is easily available when it’s time to assemble. Slice the chicken meat and set aside.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

When the potatoes are ready, drain, cool, and slice them. Distribute the potatoes evenly on to four dinner plates (your first layer). Salt and pepper them, then with a large spoon, pour some dressing on top. Then start stacking the other layers. Add the zucchini, onion, and tomatoes. Spoon some dressing over that layer. On top, add avocado and smoked chicken. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with chopped chives.


This salad is best served individually on a plate. It is beautiful and requires layering. I would NOT recommend tossing this salad in a large bowl.

Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans – Oh, and Avocados too!! (Chickpea Blondies, Black Bean Brownies, and Avocado Chocolate Mousse)

May 14th, 2015

Hanging out with Courtenay DeHoff and Lisa Teachman!


It’s always a fun segment when I get to hang out in the kitchen with the always stylish… Rob Finnerty!

My last show of 2015 was a blast at KCTV5’s Better Kansas City! I know, I know, I keep saying that after every show but it’s true! Every single person who works at Better Kansas City, both in front and behind the scenes, are approachable, super friendly, down-to-earth, and hysterical! And although I am a crazy ball of nerves before the show, everyone has always done everything possible to make me feel comfortable and welcomed. I just have so much love and respect for all of them!

But of course, I must get down to business so here are the delicious recipes from today's show!

No butter, no flour and absolutely delicious!!! (Vegan, gluten-free, dairy
free, flour-free)

1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup of peanut butter (you can use almond butter if you prefer)
1/2 cup of agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven 350 and spray 8x8 pan with nonstick cooking spray or rub
with coconut oil.
2. In food processor, process all ingredients except for the chocolate
chips.  You will notice that the batter is super thick, which is the way it
is supposed to be.  Fold in the chocolate chips but leave some for
sprinkling on top.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and sprinkle with the remainder of
the chocolate chips.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out
clean. Cool for an hour.


2 large ripe avocados
1/4 cup of raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup of coconut milk or almond milk
3 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp of natural vanilla extract


1. Puree the avocado until smooth (super important... you don't want any
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the cocoa powder and milk until combined.  
3. Add the avocado to the cocoa powder and milk mixture
4.  Add nectar, vanilla, and any other ingredients you wish to add (frozen
fruit, almonds, etc.)

Transfer the mouse to individual martini glasses and chill in the fridge.

The key to this recipe is to make sure that the mouse is WELL CHILLED and
FRESH.  Also, make sure that the avocado is well pureed. 

If you would like to make this recipe vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, replace the egg with a Flax Egg.

1. 1 large egg
1- 15 oz can of low sodium and non flavored black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large avocado
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (you can use more if you like your brownies
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips 


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8x8 baking pan.
2.  Process egg, black beans, avocado, vanilla, and brown sugar until
smooth.  Add cocoa powder, coconut oil, baking soda, and baking powder and
process again. Warning: Batter will be thick. If the batter is too thick,
you can add two tbsp of almond milk.  But thick batter is good, so don't
overdo it!  
3. Fold in the chocolate chips
4. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with some
chocolate chips
5.  Bake 25-35 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Make sure
that the top of the batter is not jiggling and is well set. Cool completely,
cut and serve.


May 14th, 2015


Ahhh… the power of suggestion!!  That’s what I love most about Halloween.  Merely suggesting that something may be something else can have a powerful impact on how your guests perceive the food that you are serving.  Ketchup becomes blood, guacamole becomes puke, hotdogs wrapped in breadsticks become mummies.  I can go on and on!

Well, these scorpion eggs are no exception.  Simply taking a few powdered donut holes, arranging them on a plate and adding either gummy or plastic scorpions to them immediately transforms them from cute little powdered pastries to scary scorpion eggs!  The irony is that I have no idea what a scorpion egg actually looks like, and I will assume that neither do many of my guests, especially if they are kids.  But I guarantee, that no one will shy away from partaking in this unique delicacy!  In fact, this was one of the most popular items at my recent Halloween taste test kitchen!  Enjoy!

Watermelon Feta Salad

May 14th, 2015


There is nothing like serving something really pretty at a dinner party, especially when it’s healthy and delicious! This salad is beautiful and easy… a great combination for any party or even a simple dinner for two!


  • Watermelon slices
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Feta cheese
  • Black olives
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raspberry vinaigrette dressing (mix 


It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Arrange the Romaine lettuce on a large plate. Cut watermelon slices into triangle pieces and arrange in the center of the lettuce. Sprinkle feta cheese as desired. Add black olives and sunflower seeds last. Leave the salad undressed until you are just about to eat, then lightly cover the salad with the raspberry vinaigrette.

Monster Eyes – A Halloween Healthy Treat!

May 13th, 2015

I found a great idea for “Monster Eyes” on the web.  My favorite part about this appetizer plate?  This recipe is pretty much “guilt-free”!  The original recipe included a basil leaf, mozzarella cheese, a slice of a grape tomato, and a slice of olive.  To add a little zing,  you can drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar on top.

Of course, I had to experiment a bit more and maybe shave off just a few extra calories.  I added my own twist by using spinach leaves (I have both spinach and basil leaves in the below photo) and substituting mozzarella cheese with a flavored SKINNY COW cheese slice.  You can eat this whole plate and not even think about the calorie content!!  DONE!!



May 12th, 2015


Looking for the perfect dessert for Halloween?  This is it!!  Out of all my taste test kitchens, these EYEBALL CUPCAKES were simple to make and disappeared within minutes.  I purchased the gummy eyeballs from Michael’s but if you are looking to make a lot of cupcakes, your best bet is to order them online.  Oriental Trading Company has a a good selection of gummy eyeballs at a fair price.

If you are feeling super crafty, you can create your own gummy eyeballs.  I found a great video which goes through the process step by step.  Visit Cooking With Karma, she makes it look so easy!

Last but not least, I tried to simplify this recipe as much as possible.  If you follow my version, you should be done with this recipe in 5-10 minutes.  The biggest time saver is that I purchased ready-made cupcakes from Sam’s.  I purchased 30 cupcakes for $15 which comes to $.50 per cupcake.  But if you LOVE to bake, making your own cupcakes and icing is just fine.  I also tried this idea on cupcakes with yellow frosting, it looked even MORE creepy!  No Halloween party is complete without these easy cupcakes, so go for it and make your own!


12-24 Ready-made Cupcakes
12-24 Gummy candy eyes
1 tube of ready-made icing (purchased at Micheal’s or Jo-Ann’s)

Remove the gummy eyeballs from their packaging and place them on top of each iced cupcake.  Take your tube of icing and create a bloodshot look.  Get creative, it’s hard to mess up on this project.  You are done!

Russian Vinaigrette Beet Salad (Salad Vinegret)

May 11th, 2015
This delicious Russian Salad is absolutely heavenly. If the sound of beets does not excite you, trust me when I say this, it WILL when you try this salad!


  • 3 beets
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 10 oz sauerkraut drained
  • 6 small pickles or 3 medium ones
  • 1 cup boiled beans of your choice (or you can substitute peas or omit completely)
  • 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • salt to taste


Boil carrots and potatoes until they are soft in the middle. Boil beets separately until soft in the middle. Let cool and come to room temperature and then peel the carrots, potatoes, and beets.

Dice beets in a separate bowl and drizzle with 1 tbsp of oil and mix well. Dice all other ingredients and put in a separate bowl. Add sauerkraut and beans. Combine the beets with all other ingredients and add the rest of the oil. Salt to taste.

This salad is great when it’s left overnight for all the ingredients to intermingle. Serve with fresh parsley or dill as garnish.


May 11th, 2015


During a recent Halloween Taste Test Kitchen I had the exciting idea of making Mummy Twinkies.  If you have seen this project on Pinterest, you may know that  you cover a Hostess Twinkie or Little Debbie’s Cloud Cakes in white candy coating, add some googley eyes, and voila, you’ve created a mummy!  It seemed so easy on Pinterest.

Well, it wasn’t so easy for me, in fact, it was a disaster!  I’m sure it was my fault and I probably didn’t follow directions, but the candy coating just didn’t want to work with me that day.  If I ever have a Pintastrophe page, I will add that project to it.

So, here I am, 15 minutes before my taste test group is  scheduled to arrive and I’m staring at these Cloud Cakes thinking… what do I do now?

Whipping out my trusty googley eyes, popsicle sticks, and red icing, I quickly created some scary faces on my Cloud Cakes and displayed them on a Halloween plate.  The kids LOVED them!  So, I will consider them a success.

If you have little time or your kids want to try a fun and easy project during Halloween!  Try this… there’s nothing to cook, bake, or melt!