Basil Refresher – I am obsessed with this new summer drink! Since the first time we made it, we have averaged at least one a week! It is delicious – make and enjoy!

About a shot and a half of grey goose (vodka)
Can of sprite zero
3 – 5 fresh basil leaves crushed up

Smash the leaves and shake with vodka, add to a frosty mug with ice, and top with sprite!

Snickerdoodle Surprises! – Amazing if you are in the mood for something other than a cookie, that isnt too rich, but has just the right amout of sweetness!

  • 1 cup butter or shortening (shortening is my preference)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, scrapping down the bowl between eggs.
  3. Mix in sour cream.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Mix into shortening/sugar mixture.
  6. In a separate, small bowl, combine ⅓ cup sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mix into a 9X13 pan.
  8. Spread batter on top.
  9. Top with remaining sugar mixture.
  10. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  11. You don’t want this too much like cake, so opt for less time if you need


Yummy Caprese Salad!  – Hungry, but in this heat your appetite doesn’t want anything to heavy! Well I have the perfect thing for you! One of my favorite things to make and eat is a caprese salad! It’s delicious, easy, and looks so pretty!

  • Tomatoes, sliced (you can use big size, roma, or even cherry tomaotes)
  • Fresh ball mozzarella, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves, washed and destemed
  • Balsamic Vinegarette
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. I slice the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, then lay them in layers over the top of each other.

2. I put some balsamic vinegar into a pan and bring to a boil, reduce and whisk until thickened a little. Turn off heat and drizzle over the top of the salad mix.

Oreo Balls – Nothing will help you celebrate a holiday party better than these rich little delights! I can only eat a couple, but they are always a huge hit and super easy – just a couple of ingredients… my kind of recipe!

  • 1 Package of oreo’s
  • 1 – 8oz pack cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package of white almond park
  • whatever you want to decorate the top with (a different color of almond bark, crushed peppermints, sprinkles, crumbled cookies, etc.

1. Using a rolling pin or food processor crush up the bag of oreo’s.

2. Mix the cookie crumbs with cream cheese until well blended. Roll into 1/2 – 1 inch balls. Freeze for 2 hours.

3. Melt the almond bark and then drop the balls in and coat them. Set on wax paper to harden. (Depending on what you use to decorate you may have to put them on while the bark is still warm or you can decorate after they are dry.

4. Store in the fridge!

Grilled Chicken Flatbread Pizza – If you want something super easy but super tasty, but doesn’t require a lot of time or particular ingredients, this is it! Best news, there is usually enough for left overs the next day! A couple of tips – you can add about anything you want, but these are the typical ingredients I use. For the crust, if I don’t have enough time to make my own I just get the Pillsbury ready to bake pizza crust in the tubes and roll it out into a rectangle.  Hey, one more thing –  Happy Taste Buds!

  • Garlic Powder or Salt
  • 1 – whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1 – 8oz container philly cream cheese spread (Italian Herb flavor)
  • pepper
  • plum tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • fresh basil leaves
  • grilled chicken, cooked and diced thin
  • ball of soft mozzarella, cut in round slices

1. Roll dough out and cook the crust partially (about 5 minutes at 350*)

2. Take out of the oven and light spread with the cream cheese, top with pepper and garlic.

3. Top with tomatoes slices, basil leaves, chicken, and mozzarella cheese.

4. Continue baking about 350 for about 12 minutes, or until brown. You can sprinkle with parm cheese! Other ingredients I like to add – diced jalapenos, peppers, chopped onion, mushrooms, anything really!

Mama DePandi’s Cannelloni – Anyone up for some incredible Italian food? So, as most of you know I love Guiliana Rancic, formerly DePandi and this is a recipe she released on Twitter from her Mom. This one requires a little more time, but Italy wasn’t built in a day.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Cup chopped onions
  • 1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ Cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 – 16 oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 – 15 oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ Cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 – 8 oz. box cannelloni shells, cooked according to package directions
  1.  In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions and cook for 4 – 6 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add tomatoes, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3 ½ quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. In a large bowl combine ground beef, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, and 4 Tablespoons of the sauce mixture.
  6. Stuff the cannelloni with the meat mixture and place in a single layer in prepared baking dish.
  7. Top with remaining sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese evenly over sauce. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubble. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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