Monday, May 23, 2016

Fennel Citrus Salad - Amaze!!!!!

My dear dear friend took me to a cooking class at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago.  We had the best time...and drank lots of wine ;) One of the items on the menu, was this fennel citrus salad.  Between sips of wine and hushed conversations I, kind of sort of, witnessed this salad being made.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  It looked easy enough.  Then it came time for us to all try it for ourselves...HOLY MOLY!!!! This salad was da Bomb!!!!!  I immediately wished i had paid more attention to how it was made.  I've spent the past two weeks trying to recreate the amazingness of this salad.  I think i finally got it!  Here goes it.

P.S. I would love to know what all of you think of this recipe.

  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • 3 small organic grapefruit peeled and sliced
  • 1 bulb of fennel with green stalks removed and then sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slices
  • Parmesan shaving for garnish
  • "Oh Heck Yeah" dressing (recipe below)
  • Place baby arugula on a large platter.  This salad will feed 2-4 people.  
  • In a medium size bowl mix fennel, grapefruit and half of the dressing.  Then spread the mixture over the arugula.  
  • Top with almond slices and parmesan shavings.  
  • Spoon the remainder of the dressing atop the arugula.
  • Enjoy!

"Oh Heck Yeah" Dressing:  Mix all ingredients together.

  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • One clove garlic minced
  • One shallot minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grilled Chicken Avocado Burritos

I made these healthier burritos for my husband the other night and they were so good I had to share!

Grilled Chicken Avocado Burritos
Makes 4 burritos

2 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 15 oz can black beans
1 cup salsa verde ( I love the taco bell kind)
4 flour tortillas
1/2 cup red salsa or pico de gallo salsa
1 cup shredded monetary cheese
1 avocado, thinly sliced


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  • Season the chicken breast with some salt pepper and garlic powder, pour the green salsa verde over the chicken and coat evenly. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is filly cooked.
  • Heat the beans in a pan and smash them a little with the back of the spoon. ( you want some of them to still be whole) Drain any remaining liquid. 
  • Once the chicken is cooked, slice it very thinly. 
  • To assemble the burritos, layer the beans down first, then add the chicken, some of the red salsa sliced avocados and the cheese, roll up the burritos. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Light the grill or grill pan on medium and and place the burritos seam side down. Leave on the grill for about 3 minutes until you see grill marks. Turn over and repeat on the other side. 
  • Enjoy with more salsa if you dare!
Tara :) 

Thursday, December 24, 2015


My girlfriends and I have been wanting to make an Armenian staple for a while, Manti. If you are not familiar with manti, think if it as our version of Italian raviolis, or our version of a potsticker. It is a perfect treat for Christmas and it is always fun when you get 5 girls in the kitchen with some dough, meat and drinks! We had so much fun making the homemade dough, which I swear is super easy, to making mini meatballs and filling our little pockets of goodness. While you can make this by yourself it is always more fun when you have a good group of people to help you, not to mention a group of men with appetites. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we enjoyed making this dish. 

Makes about 300 manti 

4 cups flour
2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
water to prepare medium hard dough

2 pound ground meat
1 small onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon paprika

5 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons pepper paste
2 pounds yogut
3-4 cloves garlic, mashed


  • Put the flour, salt and oil in a food processor and add enough water to prepare medium hard dough. ( start by adding 1/4 cup of water at a time)
  • Divide the dough into 4 balls. Sprinkle some flour at the bottom of the bowl and leave the dough to rest, covered with a cloth of 20-30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some flour over a workable surface or table and roll out a large circle of dough.
  • Cut the dough into long strips about 1 inch wide and cut each of these strips into 1 inch wide to make a square.
  • Combine the group meat, onion, salt and spices and blend into a smooth paste.
  • Put a small pinch from this meat paste in the middle of each square of pastry and pinch the two sides in the shape of a boat. 

  • Coat the bottom of a baking tray generously with oil and arrange the manti boats side by side.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the bottoms and tops of the manta boats are slightly brown.
  • Heat the chicken broth and blend in the tomato and pepper paste. Pour over the baked manti in a bowl until the manti absorbs the sauce. 
  • Combine the yogurt and the mashed garlic.
  • Serve with yogurt sauce on top and enjoy your hard work!

Manti crew!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Soccer Snacks

Last Saturday was my sons first soccer game EVER!  It was organized chaos on the field - a compilation of boys showing off their ninja moves, kick-and-roll combinations and a few headlocks in between.  It was hilarious!  I was in charge of snacks...they were a hit!

Juice Box Snack

You Will Need

  • juice boxes on any kind
  • small boxes of raisins
  • applesauce cups
  • tin foil
  • spoons
  • crafting eyes
How to Assemble

-With a hot glue gun, adhere two raisin boxes to the bottom of the juice box and two eyes to the applesauce cups.

-Glue applesauce cups to the top of the juice box.

-Roll the tin foil into logs.  Cut logs and use scotch tape to adhere to the bottom sides of the applesauce cups to create the arms.  

-Tape a spoon the the back of each applesauce cup.  

Pack-em-up and serve-em-out!  


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Shrimp Tostadas for 2

I just made these yummy, healthy tostadas for my hubby last night and they were delish! I just had to share

Shrimp Tostadas for 2


  • 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled, deveined, tail off and cut into thirds)
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • guacamole

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the tortillas on a foil lined baking sheet and cook the tortillas for about 10-15 minutes, until they get crispy. 

- Heat the black beans and keep warm. 

-Once the shrimp is cleaned and cut, season with the taco seasoning, (any kind will work). Heat a medium size pan over medium to high heat pour a little oil in the pan and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for about 3-4 minutes until light pink. Add the lime juice to the pan to finish cooking the shrimp another 1-2 minutes. 

- To assemble, place the tortilla down, add the beans, top with the lettuce, shrimp and guacamole. 

chefs note- You can use my peach guacamole recipe  or use store bought guacamole. 


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls & Doughnut Holes

My sister Erin had a baby girl, Jane, about 2 months ago. Her girlfriends threw her a Sip and See party for her and Jane. I thought I would have some fun with it and make pink cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes. I am NOT a baker, so these recipes are super simple. The best part about the cinnamon rolls, there is no yeast you have to worry about. So here it is, yeast free cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes!

Cinnamon Rolls


For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

For the Dough
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablspoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tabelspoons butter, softened
For the Frosting

  • 3 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 425. Use about 1 Tbs melted butter to grease the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan. Set aide.

- For the filling, in a medium bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together. Add in vanilla and cut in butter with a fork or your hands until well combined. Add the pecans if using and set aside. 

-In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a liquid measuring cup, measure 1 cup of buttermilk, add ¼ cup other milk and then whisk in 2 Tbs melted butter. Mix buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients until just combined, then knead with your hands for about 30 seconds. If you need to use a little more flour go ahead and do so at this time. 

- Lightly flour a clean work surface. Use hands to press dough into a 12x10 inch rectangle. Brush 2 Tbs softened butter onto the entire surface of the dough. Spread filling evenly onto dough coming to about ½ inch of edges. Lightly press filling into dough. Starting with the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough to the opposite end. Roll the dough back and forth to shape it evenly into a log shape. Pinch the ends together and cut off the excess, about ½ inch. Cut the dough into 10 equal sections.

- Place one roll in the middle of the buttered cake pan and then place the remaining  rolls evenly around the first. Brush the tops with remaining 2 Tbs melted butter. Place rolls in the oven and allow to bake at 425 for about 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and allow to bake about 10 more minutes, until edges begin to lightly brown

- For the frosting, beat softened butter and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and the food coloring. Mix until well combined. At this time you can add more color if you want a brighter frosting.  When rolls are finished baking, allow to cool 5-10 minutes before spreading the frosting on. Store in airtight container for 2 days or serve immediately. Enjoy

Doughnut Holes


For the Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • sprinkles
For the Doughnut Holes
  • 5 cups Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

- Sift the powder sugar into a medium bowl. Slowly stir in 3 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Set the glaze aside.

- Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy bottomed pot. (There should be at least 2 inches of oil in the pot.) Attach the deef fry thermometer to the pot and begin heating the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir the milk-egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in the melted butter, mixing until a soft dough forms.

- Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, use a small ice cream scoop and drop about 1 tablespoon of dough into the oil. Fry the doughnut holes, flipping them in the oil for about 2 minutes or until they're golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the holes to the paper towel lined baking sheet. 

- Allow the doughnut holes to cool slightly. Place a cooling rack atop a baking sheet, then one by one, drip the doughnut holes into the glaze and transfer them to the rack to allow the excess glaze to drip off. Sprinkle with some sprinkles. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easy, Last-Minute, Easter Ideas

Rice Crispy Treat Easter Bunt Cake

This super easy dessert is fun for all.  All you need are: the ingredients to make simple Rice Crispy Treats, some colorful candy melts, 1 1/2 cups Easter M&M's, and edible eggs for decoration.  You will also need a bunt pan.

Grease pan generously with butter.  Prepare Rice Crispy Treats according to package directions.  Add M&M's, and pour into prepared mold. Let the treats cool in pan for at least 1 hour.  Once cooled, remove from pan and place on serving plate.  Melt candy using a double boiler and drizzle over Rice Crispy Treat cake.  Decorate with edible candy eggs of your choice.  Viola!

Pretzel Candy Chicks

These candy chicks were so easy to create.  I used one package of yellow candy melts, 80 small pretzels, peach licorice for the beaks, and black candy pearls for the eyes.  

Cut out triangles for beaks before beginning.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Melt candy using a double boiler. While candy is melting, lay out 40 pretzels per cookie sheet.  Once candy is completely melted, fill up a 12" piping bag (no tip required).  Cut very small tip in the piping bag so your candy flows freely.  Begin piping the candy into the pretzels.  I worked about 15 pretzels at a time.  Once pretzels are filled, add beak and one black candy pearl for the eye.  Let cool before removing them from the baking sheet.  Place in a bowl and serve.