Dragon Fruit, Straberry Mojito

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Summertime is in full swing with pool parties and BBQs. This drink is one that is not super sweet, but instead refreshing. The sweetness is coming from the fruit itself; so there are no added sugar or sweeteners. When I came across the dragon fruit, I knew that I wanted to try it and as I was eating it I wanted to incorporate into a drink. I also came across a sparkling water from vintage that is a limited edition mojito flavor. The combinations worked. I hope you enjoy it.


1/2 of a Dragon Fruit, scoop out
4-5 strawberries
1 cup water
3-4 shots of Coconut rum
8 mint leaves, extra for garnish
Mojito sparkling water, topper
6 ice cubes


Take a blender add, dragon fruit,  strawberries, water and blend. Next take ice and rum and blend for another couple seconds.

Pour into serving glass. Pour a bit of mojito sparkling water and garnish

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Banana coconut chia pudding

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It’s been a super busy couple of weeks. Sorry for being MIA on the blog.  Of course, you should follow me on twitter, instagram, and facebook too if you aren’t already.  I’m constantly on the go, so I update those more often with news and fun little things.  Back to this delicious recipe though… Now that it’s summertime we do a lot of our cooking on the grill. I love to make lots of fresh fruit desserts without too much baking. This idea came to me one night while we were thinking about what to have for dessert.  We wanted something somewhat healthy for you and fast.  I found coconut milk, a box of banana pudding, chia seeds and nectarines.  Now usually I would make the banana pudding from scratch which is super easy but I didn’t have bananas in the house. The results of my concoction were awesome.  The flavor was awesome.  This is a great little treat if you’re on the run or running out of time for a party dessert idea. 


1 box Jell-O Banana cream flavor pudding  (instant pudding) 

1/4 cup chia seeds

2 cup coconut milk

2 nectarines, sliced


In a medium bowl stir together pudding powder and coconut milk. Next mix in the chia seeds. Take small bowls and line the bottom of them with nectarine slices.  Now pour the pudding mix on top.  Place in the refrigerator for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy

The Great Chefs Event


Another year to raise money for an amazing cause. This event is a not to be missed in Philadelphia, PA more than 40 of the world’s greatest chefs will convene in the ninth annual Great Chefs Event, hosted by James Beard award winner Marc Vetri, restaurateur Jeff Benjamin, and James Beard award winner Jeff Michaud. The event will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and The Vetri Foundation for Children. More than 1,200 guests will gather at Urban Outfitters World Headquarters on Philadelphia’s waterfront Navy Yard for the foodie charity event of the year, with an exclusive VIP after party at Alla Spina for sponsors and VIP ticketholders.

Marc Vetri has hand-selected the list of participating chefs, calling on his renowned chef friends from around the world, top talent from LA to NYC, Chicago to Italy. The chefs will donate their time, talent, and food, creating delicious samplings for guests in the walk-around tasting gala of the year. In addition to fine food, representatives from the best distilleries, wineries, craft breweries, will also be present, including Greg Lindgren from Rye in San Francisco, Tim Staehling of The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles and more (Please see a complete list of beverage participants below). Guests will enjoy an evening of music and mingling, as well as silent and live auction items, all in the name of charity. Auction items include one-of-kind experiences such as participating chefs preparing private dinners at home and a guided tour through Belgium with stops at museums, breweries, historic bars, shops, Michelin starred restaurants, led by award-winning beer expert Tom Peters (Monk’s Café).

Ten years ago, Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin met Liz and Jay Scott, who were carrying on the work that their amazing daughter Alex had started, to help find a cure for all kids with cancer. They were moved by Alex’s story, and by the perseverance with which Liz and Jay honored her vision. As many do, they walked away from that conversation asking, “What can we do to help?” Their answer was to host the first Great Chefs Event, which brought eight local chefs and 100 guests to The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, raising $50,000.00. “The event has grown beyond belief from 100 guests to more than 1,000; from $50,000 in donations to more than $1 million; from eight chefs to 40 and the event has even expanded beyond Philadelphia with chefs taking the concept to LA and New York,” said Liz Scott, Alex’s mom and co-executive director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Vetri and Benjamin, meanwhile, inspired by the impact of their efforts, founded Vetri Foundation for Children in 2008 to give back in the area they know most about— healthy food and nutrition for Philadelphia’s youth. This year’s event benefits both organizations.

Participating chefs include veterans of the event and several noteworthy newcomers. Returning chefs include Tom Colicchio, renowned chef and head judge on Bravo’s Top Chef; as well as several other famous faces including the Food Network’s Iron Chefs Jose Garces and Michael Symon. Several of the other participating chefs are James Beard Award winners and nominees, including host chefs Marc Vetri and Jeff Michaud, Jon Shook (Animal, Son of a Gun), Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern), April Bloomfield (The Breslin Bar & Dining Room), Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina (Mozza), among others. Newcomers to the event include Philadelphia’s Kevin Sbraga, Timon Baloo of Miami, and Alon Shaya of New Orleans. (Please see complete list of 2014 Great Chefs Event participants below.)

“Each year, we brainstorm about how we can improve the event for two worthy causes. The Great Chefs Event has grown from a small-scale local charity event to an inspiring culinary gathering,” said Jeff Benjamin, co-founder of the Vetri Foundation for Children. “Marc Vetri calls on his personal ties to the culinary world and award winning chefs fly in from all over the globe. It’s amazing to be a part of an event of this size and to witness the dedication of the talented chefs, as well as the commitment of the volunteers and sponsors.”

This year, the after-party will be held at Alla Spina, a Vetri family restaurant. VIP ticketholders and sponsors of the event will have the exclusive opportunity to rub elbows with all of the talented chefs in an intimate setting. The late night after-party shuts down the block and promises live entertainment, music, food, drinks, celebrity guests and a convivial atmosphere. Guests can expect barbecue from Chef Adam Perry Lang, additional bites from Vetri Family chefs, cocktails, and the complete insider industry experience.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit http://www.vetrifoundation.org/news-and-events/great-chefs-event/




Zucchini ribbons with Aglio e Olio


We are big fans of pasta in our house. But summer months sometimes makes it hard to have heavy pasta. One of the easiest veggies I found to substitute pasta is zucchini. To prepare this I use a mandoline which makes those beautiful strips for you. My kids absolutely love this dish. Great to serve for a datenight or family and friend dinner.

2 Zucchinis, sliced thin using a mandoline slicer
1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6-7 Garlic cloves, minced
½ Teaspoon of Crushed red pepper flakes
Pepper, to taste
½ Cup Parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons of anchiovies
Parmesan cheese for topping, optional

Add olive oil to large sauté pan over medium to high heat. Add anchovies and crushed red peppers, cook for about a minute. Then add garlic and pepper. Start to add the zucchini slices and toss everything together with tongs. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until soft. Next toss in the parsley, place in a large dish or into individual dishes and top with Parmesan cheese.

Chima Brazilian Steakhouse


Last week I had the pleasure of heading to Chima steakhouse for the first time in Philadelphia.  I love going to Brazilian steakhouses.  They just take me back home to Brazil or to my childhood.  I still cook Brazilian food for my kids, but it’s nice to have the option to go out now and again.

Chima has a nice decor with a comfortable bar area and a big floor space for the restaurant part. The buffet is set in the middle of the restaurant, which makes it great for anywhere you are seated. The selection of food was outstanding.  The variety of salads at the buffet was immense.  I particularly loved the black beans (feijoada) which is a classic dish in Brazil.  The meat selection was quite impressive and they even added fish, which a lot of the smaller places don’t serve.

The drinks were very authentic, which if you haven’t tried a caipirinha it’s a must (passion fruit is my favorite). The dessert selection had the classic Brazilian favorites like pudim (flan) and passion fruit mousse. I really wish they would have more Brazilian desserts, but with all of the food choices, there is hardly room at the end.

All and all the restaurant is a must try on my list. The place is very clean and staff is very helpful; especially if it’s your first time attending a Brazilian steakhouse. Just remember to come hungry and eat slowly and enjoy.

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An egg for every occasion



Here is a different kind of summer drink for you. It’s a made with egg whites.  Yes, egg whites.  One of the safest eggs I found to make delicious things like raw cookie dough and froth drinks like this is Safest Choice Eggs. I know you might be thinking about Salmonella bacteria.  Well when buying eggs to use in raw recipes I suggest first do your research and then buy pasteurized. The pasteurization process is designed to kill any bacteria in the egg. Only thing with using pasteurized eggs is that it loses some of its flavor. 

After having a couple different froth egg drinks out in different restaurants, I went ahead and decided to give this a try at home.  I hope you enjoy this delicious drink and have peace of mind in what you’re serving and drinking.  Make sure to check out Safest Choice Eggs or click on the banner.


1 Safest Choice Egg white

1/2 Shot Peach schnapps

1 Shot Coconut rum

1/4 Cup Lemon juice

1/4 Teaspoon Orange zest

1 Strip of Orange peel

Ice Cubes

Club Soda, topper


In a shaker add all the ingredients, except orange peel. Shake for 2 minutes. Take a martini glass and rub the orange peel inside the glass.  Pour drink into martini glass. Enjoy #SafestChoice and remember Pasteurized = Peace of Mind



Cheese Board

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We all love to go out and indulge for a date night on occasion, but now a days things have become tight for some people; or maybe you just want the privacy of your own home.  One of the things my husband and I love to do is create cheese/meat boards, for ourselves or guests.  We enjoy them with either wine or beer. Creating a board can be so much fun. This is also a great idea when hosting a party.  I love to have friends over and bring their favorite wines.  This way everyone gets to try something different.  Below I will give you ideas on cheeses and plating.  I hope you enjoy.

Lets start with the Cheeses. You want to have as least 3 types of cheese.

Blue: Like a Danish, Gorgonzola Dolce, Valdeón, Stilton 

Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte , Sharp Cheddar

Soft:  Brie, Goat, Constant Bliss, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin

Accompaniments are next:

Honey and Preserves – One of my favorite things is enjoying cheese dipped in honey. You’re getting that sweet and salty taste.  Try preserves like Fig and Plum or try out your favorite preserve.  

Nuts and Meats: To add that additional saltiness to the board I like cuts of meat like prosciutto and salami. Also the nuts work great as well.  Some favorites of mine are pecans and almonds.

Breads and Crackers: Who doesn’t love bread and cheese? Adding that starch is a great way to enjoy different cheeses.

Fresh Fruits: Adding some color to the board with fruit is another delicious component.  From strawberries to grapes, fruit pairs beautifully with cheese. You can also enjoy dried fruits as well.


Cutting Board: These aren’t just made for cutting your fruits and veggies.  Using different kinds of cutting boards to serve your cheese can make the presentation look amazing. 

Chalk board: This is another great  option.  Getting creative is key when serving a cheese board.  You can head to the dollar store or to an office store. I actually found my chalk board at target.  The chalk board is great to label your cheese. 

Separate Knives: Make sure you have a different knife or small spoon for each cheese.

Remove Cheese: Remember to take out the cheeses 30 minutes to an hour before serving.  The cold mutes the flavors of the cheese.

Last but not least: Have fun when creating. Try different things, you will be surprised at what you may like.

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Mexican Lasagna

homemade delish:

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Figured I would share this blog favorite recipe.

Originally posted on Homemade Delish:


I love having mexican night at our house.  I try to make something different everytime.  I think this Mexican Lasagna is now on the list of favorites; probably #1.  This dish is super easy to make, and I’m sure the family will love.  Instead of using pasta I used whole wheat tortillas.  I hope you enjoy!


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground lean turkey meat

1 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoons ground cumin

1 small onion, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

2 to 3 cups of green tomatillo salsa

1 cup corn

1 red pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, diced with seeds (optional)

Salt & Ground Pepper (to taste)

6 whole wheat tortillas

3 cups shredded Cheddar

2 scallions, finely chopped

1/2 cup of Ciliantro, chopped

Zzest and juice of 1 Lime

Sour Cream for topping


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Preheat a large skillet over medium…

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Philadelphia Wine and Food Festival

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Its back!!! May 10th come out to the Philadelphia Wine and Food Festival. This year’s event will be held at the world-renowned Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, located just minutes from Center City and the Philadelphia Airport. This exciting venue will allow guests to get up close and personal with the rarest and most significant racing sports cars ever built. Over 600 samplings of exclusive wines from around the world, Cuisine from Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants, Local vendors will showcase their latest products, On-site Fine Wine & Good Spirits store, Silent Auction benefiting The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Valet parking.

VIP Guests will enjoy early access to the event and will receive more intimate experience with the winemakers and winery representatives. VIPs will also have the opportunity to taste a selection of rare wines not offered during the Grand Tasting, and be the among the first to sample dishes from local upscale restaurants and explore the elite wine collection available in the on-site Fine Wine & Good Spirits store. VIP guests will receive a $20 gift certificate to PA Wine & Spirits Stores, for use in the on-site store that evening.

Apart from the unique atmosphere, the 2014 Philadelphia Wine + Food Festival will highlight an all-new line up of upscale tastings in a festival environment. With over 600 samplings, guests will have the opportunity to taste exclusive wines from around the world, and pair these selections with modern cuisine from Philadelphia’s best restaurants. Local vendors will also be on-site, providing sampling of their latest products – from charcuterie to gourmet desserts.

To purchase tickets or for more information visit http://www.phillymag.com/wineandfoodfest2014 


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International House Colors of Brazil Giveaway


I am excited to share this post with you, especially since its about my Brazilian culture. International House Philadelphia channels the rhythm of Carnaval during the 53rd Global Gala: Colors of Brazil, an annual cocktail party and dinner-dance that spotlights a different country each year.  On Saturday, May 17th, guests will enjoy authentic cuisine provided by Modern Palate, music from Dendê & Band and DJ Ben Arsenal, vibrant decorations from Papertini Floral & Event Design, and a silent auction with food, retail and luxury prizes. 

Headliner Dendê & Band will have guests dancing to Brazil’s rhythm heavy music with the grooves of afrobeat, reggae, merengue, and others sounds from around the world. Each performance is a mix of sizzling showmanship and great versatility through a dance party atmosphere. This performance is produced and coordinated with Mamadele Productions (www.mamadele.com).  

“The Global Gala helps us strengthen our community by providing an authentic and immersive experience for guests to share,” said IHP President & CEO Tanya Steinberg. “Our goal is to bring people together for a night of food, music and celebration so that they can better understand, respect and cooperate with each other.”

For 50+ years, International House Philadelphia has celebrated the countries and cultures of the world by hosting a Global Gala (formerly known as the International Festival Ball). Each year, a different country or region is highlighted. This annual black-tie fundraiser is held at IHP’s award-winning building at 37th and Chestnut in University City. It brings together both foreign and American students, as well as the larger Philadelphia community, including corporate and government leaders, and other influential regional residents.

Last year, IHP travelled to the Eurasian country of Armenia, a nation rich in cultural heritage and tradition, as well as a contemporary culture that includes riotous fun music, beautiful artwork, and inspired cuisine. This year, IHP honors the country of Brazil as this long-time jewel of South America expands its global presence and strengthens ties with the Philadelphia region.

Over the last twelve months, Philadelphia took part in a Brazilian trade mission, which successfully brought new Brazilian business to our region while introducing Brazil to our historic city of Brotherly Love. With a direct flight from Philadelphia to Brazil on US Airways starting this year, it’s not a moment too soon as Brazil will host the World Cup this summer, and in two short years, the Summer Olympics.  IHP’s Global Gala is the perfect teaser to these larger global celebrations that will continue to elevate Brazil’s profile. Additionally, the Brazilian government has been investing in its young people by developing and fostering educational partnerships for them around the world.

“The Global Gala supports our work to attract the brightest individuals from around the world to the Philadelphia region,” said Steinberg.  “We want the leaders of the future not only to go to school and experience life in Philadelphia, but ultimately to live and work here .”

The 53rd Global Gala is presented by IHP, with support from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Presenting Gala Partner), as well as University of Pennsylvania (Sustaining Gala Partner), Progressive Business Publications (Supporting Gala Partner), Phoenix IP Ventures (Supporting Gala Partner), Druid Consulting LLC (Supporting Gala Partner), Elliot-Lewis Corporation (Gala Partner), Drexel University (Gala Partner), PNC Bank (Gala Partner), Windstream Communications (Gala Partner), Zipcar (Gala Partner) and Fraser Advanced Information Systems (Gala Partner). Other sponsors include Innovative Printing & Media Group, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Leblon Cachaca and Brazil Productions.

Black tie is recommended. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (215) 387-5125, visit ihousephilly.org/globalgala or visit the IHP box office.  A portion of the proceeds from the Gala will support a housing scholarship fund for a resident advisor from Brazil. Other proceeds will support the on-going work of IHP, the first International House worldwide.

Now for the other part.  1 luck person will have the chance to win a free year membership for the International House Philadelphia.  For more information on the membership program check it out here http://ihousephilly.org/give/membership

All you have to do is leave a comment below. Good Luck!