Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tazo Chai Icecream Float

One of the posters on a networking site that I frequent suggested this. Because I am a big fan of the Chai lattes from Starbucks and often purchase the concentrate to enjoy my Chai lattes at home, I figured this would be a quick try. It actually turned out pretty well!

All you need is:

  • Chai concentrate (brand of your choice; I suggest Tazo)
  • Vanilla Icecream (brand of your choice; I'm partial to Haagen-Daz Vanilla)
Two scoops of vanilla icecream in a bowl; Pour about a 1/4 cup of Chai concentrate over icecream. Yum!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grilled Chicken Spinach Wraps

I got this idea from reminiscing. When I was in college, there was a food court in the basement of our dormitory adorned with the usual cafeteria style and snack bar foods. On occasion, they would offer something different, to appeal to more tastes. I specifically remember a "build your own wrap" station, in which you could pick from a variety of veggies, beans, rice and/or grilled chicken. They would then pan saute everything you chose in a skillet in front of you, and then wrap it up like a burrito, cut it in half and serve it on a plate (or in my case, most days I would take it to go in a Styrofoam container and go up to my room to study). I miss those They were good, and a great alternative to burgers, pizza, and chicken fingers. What was your favorite food memory from college? Please leave your comments here.

Since I had some left over grilled chicken and corn-black bean salsa from our Mesquite chicken salad, I decided to use my creativity to devour all the ingredients we had left :)

I sautéed some spinach in some virgin olive oil and garlic until tender and prepared some yellow rice (you can use any rice, of course) with diced peppers.

Warm the spinach tortilla wrap in the oven on 375 for five to ten minutes or until warmed throughout. Place a tablespoon of corn/bean salsa mixture in the middle of tortilla.

Add chicken, rice, and sautéed spinach.

Add cheese (optional) . I used jalapeño-jack.

Wrap like a burrito (envelope style) and cut in half.

Yep, it's that quick and easy, and it's a great snack or a fancy-smansy lunch box alternative to the usual turkey sandwich. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Southwestern Mesquite Chicken Salad

One of our favorite old 'standbys' for lunch is Chili's. When we can't decide on a place to eat, we usually end up at the one around the corner from our home. I usually alternate between to two or three of my favorite items on the menu; One of which is their Mesquite chicken salad. It's so good,. . . yet so deceiving, because although one may think of a salad as being a healthy choice, this one, deceptively, is .

810 Calories (1050 with the side of ranch dressing)--but it's SO darn good!

Do you have a restaurant fave that you like to mimic at home? Please share here:

What is it? - "Grilled mesquite chicken breast, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, corn relish, cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and a touch of BBQ sauce. Served with Jalapeno Ranch dressing." -.

Mouth watering yet?

It's good occasionally I make 'my version' of it at home for dinner and have leftovers for a couple of days. Here's how:

Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp Mesquite seasoning
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 3/4 cups yellow corn (frozen, canned or cut off the ear is fine)
1 1/2 cups black beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 red onion
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups Mesquite barbecue sauce of your choice
2 cups Colby-Jack or Jalapeno-Jack cheese (shredded)
1 bag of Blue and White crunchy tortilla strips (or chips)
1 head of romaine lettuce

Optional items: pico de gallo, fresh lime wedge for garnish, jalapeno ranch dressing


Prepare romaine lettuce my chopping edible sized portions into a bowl and set aside.

Season chicken breasts with mesquite seasoning and pepper. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side at 375 degrees.

Once done, slice chicken breasts and set aside.

Prepare corn: (if canned, rinse and drain; If frozen, thaw; If fresh, cut off of ear as shown below:)
Add corn to large skillet.

Add black beans to skillet with corn....

Dice red onion and add to corn/bean mixture.

Add ground cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper to mixture. Cook on medium setting until mixture is desired temperature throughout. Turn heat off, and set aside.

Take tortilla strips (or chips ) and very lightly crush them into small pieces.

Now time to make our salad!
Place a handful of the chopped romaine lettuce on a plate or in a shallow salad bowl.

Add cheese...

Add desired amount of the corn, bean and onion salsa mixture ...

Add crushed tortilla chips (or tortilla strips).

Top off salad with sliced, grilled chicken breast, and generously coat chicken with mesquite barbecue sauce (optional) with a pastry brush or small sauce mop.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chocolate Ice Cream cake...(not what you think!)

When I saw this online, I was so anxious to try it that I made it the same day. I must say, ice cream and cake (at least not in the 'traditional sense'--genius! It's like the best invention since the wheel ...or sliced bread even!
It came out very moist and yummy. The cool thing is, you can experiment with different ice cream and cake flavors. (I've heard that mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate cake are a big hit with some ....I'm tempted to try vanilla cake and dulce de leche ice cream....hmm--I wonder... :)

If any of you tried this recipe before, please share your ice cream/cake flavor combos!!! Click here to comment!


  1. Box of cake chocolate mix (not the kind with the pudding in the mix)
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1 cup of water
  4. A budnt cake pan, greased or in my case, thinly coated with a non-stick spray (such as Pam)
  5. 1 pint of ice cream, softened
  6. Large mixing bowl :)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix water and eggs into cake mix.

Add ice cream, and beat everything together with a mixer for approx. 4 minutes.

Bake in oven on 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Let cake cool in pan for a couple of minutes, and then carefully remove cake from pan.

Suggestions: Serve with a dusting of confectioner's sugar, a thin icing, whipped cream, or the frosting of your choice. I had a small bit of chocolate icing left from a previous cake, so I melted about 1/2 cup of that in the microwave and drizzled (fo' shizzle) over the cake. (I know it wasn't a 'perfect'- looking drizzle but it will do...)

So moist and yummy! Enjoy!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Salmon Croquettes (Just like my mom used to make!)

I used to love when my mother would make these! When I got my first apartment in college, one of my first tasks was to make my own salmon croquettes like my mothers, but in my own kitchen :) At the time, I actually thought that making croquettes was the 'only way' to eat salmon [from a can]. Oh what a nieve little cookie I was! Later on, as I got older, of course I tasted a grilled and blackened salmon fillet and that opened my eyes to a whole world of 'salmon' possiblities! Mr. Sherry Berry's mom used to make them for him as well, so we share a common childhood favorite. For those of you who have recipes that call for 'canned salmon' please share them in the comments section!


1 15oz can of salmon- (Make sure you remove all bones and skin, or use two small cans of boneless, skinless salmon)
*drain canned salmon, but leave about a tablespoon of juice*

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 onion
1 green bellpepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of crushed crackers
3 tbsp. olive oil

(you may add chopped celery and/or scallions if you'd like in lieu of vegetables above)


1. Add olive oil to pan, set to medium heat.

2. Add salmon, eggs, breadcrumbs and crushed crackers to bowl. I had club crackers on hand this time, but I usually prefer to use saltines.

3. Chop onion and bellpepper and add to mixture.

(I cheated and used my food processor... didn't feel like cutting up onions today.)

OH! ....and look what I found inside my bellpepper--- a baby bellpepper!!
That's never happened to me....ever.

4. Add salt and pepper and mix well. I've found that a fork works best.

5. Using tablespoon portions, form mixture into several balls. You should be able to make 8-10.

6. Place them in heated pan with the olive oil. Pan fry until golden brown on each side, while flattening into a patty.
(approx. 3 minutes per side.)

7. Enjoy! Great with brown rice and veggies (i.e., steamed cabbage, grilled asparagus, sauteed spinach, or green beans.)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Spicy Italian Sausage Penne Bake

I got the idea from a friend's blog and it's been a big hit among friends and family. I must give "Delish" credit for this one.  The way I prepare it is slightly different, but with same ooey-gooey, comforting goodness as the original. 


16 oz. penne pasta (I used the Barilla whole grain penne)

1/2 – 3/4 lbs. hot Italian sausage, grilled and sliced
2 10 oz. jars of pasta sauce 
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. white pepper1/2 tsp.  
cayenne pepper
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese  (or you may use the shredded Kraft Italian cheese blend)


1.  Grill Italian sausages and slice them.  

2.  Set sliced sausages aside.

3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Boil pasta until al dente.  

4.  Drain pasta and add Italian sausage.

5.  Add pasta sauce, heavy cream & all spices to the pot.

6.  Stir occasionally over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

7.  Pour pasta into 9×13″ baking dish. 

8.  Top with mozzarella & Parmesan (or Italian blend) cheese. 

9.  Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.

10.  Enjoy!