Foods for the Fourth

fac221cd242cba33646eb653a12b7a09 My daughter has decided to have few college friends over before they head off to fireworks and festivities, so I wanted to make a few small things to tide them over before they go eat carnival food. (which is what summer is all about, right?).

I slapped together this quick fruit salad, with cherries, (because they are my favorite summer fruit and I always have them on hand), pineapple, (69 cents each!!!!!) and mint, (growing in the yard.)  I added a dash of lime juice and will let it sit for a bit before serving.  36591781_10212643309063759_4854018694721830912_n

The sales on fruit now are incredible!  I found raspberry pints 2 for a dollar!  I KNOW, RIGHT?  They made their way into my cart, despite having no clear plan for them.  I had a vague idea of making a fool or something, so some whipping cream was added to my list.  Upon arriving home, I thought, “Why not make a semi-freddo?”  My hubby loves them, so I invented the following recipe for the day.

Rose-Raspberry Semi-Freddo

  • 2 pints raspberries
  • 2 t. rose syrup (simple syrup made with rose water)
  • 2 c. whipping cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 T. powdered sugar + 1 T. powdered sugar
  • splash of wine

Prepare a loaf pan by covering it with foil and letting ends overlap.

Add raspberries to a blender and process until smooth.  Press through a sieve to remove seeds.

In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese with 2 T. sugar, until smooth.  Add raspberries, rose syrup and wine.

In another mixing bowl, that’s been chilled, beat cream until stiff, add 1 T. sugar.  Then gently fold in the cream cheese/raspberry mix.  Don’t mix it together until it’s uniformly one color.  You want a bit of that contrast!

Pour into prepared pan and freeze at least 6 hours.  Eat within the next day or so, but if you are like we are, that should not be a problem!

Here’s the finished product.  I like to drizzle a bit of chocolate sauce on top of each serving! 36598099_10212643309263764_7782789750364045312_n

Hope you enjoy it!   Happy Holidays!<a href=””>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>



Too hot to cook

Cooking seasonally is very important to me.  I like to feel in touch with the seasons and buy things when they are at their best and most fresh, not to mention cheapest!  I found this cool summer recipe in a cookbook that I was just gifted for my birthday, Dinner Special. I love this cookbook!  So many fun ideas!  So tonight I made the Avocado and Shrimp Salad because it is 90 degrees here and that’s TOO HOT TO COOK.

Avocado and Shrimp Salad

  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 T. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar, ( I used black vinegar from Mitsuwa)
  • 1 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • head of lettuce, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 lb cooked shrimp
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 t. lime juice
  • 1 avocado in wedges

In a blender add ingredients up to lettuce.  Set aside.   In large bowl toss lettuce, cilantro, lime juice, a splash of olive oil.  Add shrimp, avocado and either serve dressing on the side or drizzle it over individual servings.

I just finished making the dressing and I can tell you it smells amazing.  So now dinner is made, fuss-free, healthy and cool.  I can’t wait to enjoy it!36641765_10212637645642177_8043965706611458048_n

Come on over!  I have plenty!  Let me feed you!

Bubble Tea!

36575347_10212630930314298_8323437407496044544_n Bubble teas are everywhere, but they are pretty pricey indulgences, so why not make them at home?   My philosophy is “If someone can make it, so can I.”  So today was experiment day and it was a success.  Give this a try!

Mitsuwa is a local Asian market near my house, so I purchased these there.  If you don’t live anywhere near an Asian market, MOVE TO MY CITY!  No, I’m kidding, you just be happy where you are and buy them on Amazon.  It’s fine.   If you do live near one and have never gone before, please do so.  It’s fun!  I like to challenge myself to get at least one new ingredient to play with every time I go.  I’d also recommend picking up a few fresh tropical type juices.  I bought one in Mango and one in Lychee.  The tea pictured above features the Lychee juice.           \

Bubble tea

  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup pearls
  • Sugar syrup or honey
  • 2 tea bags
  • juice, your choice
  • Big straws!

Boil water until a rolling boil, add pearls, boil 3 minutes, turn down the heat, simmer 3 more, turn off heat, let sit 3 more minutes.   Remove pearls from hot water and immerse in cold water for 30 seconds.  Pour sugar syrup over them.  In the meantime, add tea bags to 1/2 cup of hot water.  Let tea cool.  Add a few spoonfuls of pearls to bottom of a glass, add some tea, add juices and straw and enjoy!

The bubble tea itself is super easy to make and you feel so accomplished when it’s done.   The tapioca pearls are super delicate and they dissolve in cold water, so first, you want to get your water boiling.  Soon, they come to the top.  36577284_10212630931834336_4754285680048209920_n


Use 10 cups water to one cup pearls.  Also, I let my pearls soak in the sugar syrup for a little bit too, to add some sweetness.


 I made two drinks, one with Mango for my daughter and one with Lychee for myself.  They turned out great and made a fun summer treat!

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, remember, if someone can do it, so can you.

Crepe bar


     It’s fun when the gang has guests sleepover!  When the kids were little, sleepovers were very carefully planned.  They tended to be full-blown productions, loud and chaotic.  Now that my kids are college-aged, they tend to be much more sedate, usually because it was a late night or a night of indulgence and I insist they not drive home.  Either way, I like to feed whoever stays the night with us and my favorite way to do that is with a Crepe Bar.  Crepes are really simple to make and if you set out a few extra ingredients, your guests can customize their breakfast!  36598405_10212621973210376_8746434386993348608_n

  The recipe is a basic one, you can find anywhere on the internet, reproduced here for your use.


  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 t. vanilla

   Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.  Spray small fry pan with oil or melt a pinch of butter.  Heat.  Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl with wrist until batter coats pan evenly.  Cook about two minutes, flip and cook the other side quickly.  Place finished crepe on a plate and cover with a clean dish towel until ready to serve.  Add favorite fillings and toppings.


You can make these right as the gang is waking up and by the time they are all finished, the kids are up and eating and you can polish one off yourself.  Also, leftovers, if there are any, keep nicely in the fridge for a few days.

Happy hosting!