Archives for September 2016

Campo alla Sughera Arnione Rosso Bolgheri Superiore 2009

At $75 per bottle (retail value), you need to know if the Campo alla Sughera Arnione Rosso Bolgheri Superiore 2009 is going to be worth the money.  You could buy a bottle of Duckhorn and Decoy for close to that.  You could do my favorite Stagecoach Merlot from Miner Family and have enough for cheese and meats.  At $75, well you’re taking a risk if you haven’t had the wine before.  That’s why we’re here to help.

campo alla sughera arnione rosso bolgheri superiore 2009 [Read more…]

Pumpkin Spiced Meringue Cookies & More!

Between all of the fall holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas you have non stop eating, excuses to not go to the gym and tons of stress.  That’s why I love making meringue cookies to snack on.  Here are four fun versions that are all fall holiday themed and absolutely amazing.  The post shares my generic meringue cookie recipe and then how to make each of the four festive flavors.

Pumpkin Spiced Meringue Cookies

From Halloween to Thanksgiving and even Christmas, Meringue cookies are my diet snack of choice. Here are 4 fun versions for you!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French


  • 1 pint egg whites
  • 1 tbsp creme de tartar you can use more
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp good vanilla extract I use mexican
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract


  • Start by adding the cream de tartar, vanilla and egg whites into your mixer and whip it until it becomes stiff peaks. Once the peaks begin forming, you'll start adding in the sugar slowly and continue to let it whip together.
    pumpkin spice meringue recipe
  • Here is what stiff peaks looks like for meringue cookies.
    how to make meringue cookies with pumpkin
  • Now you have the first flavor, vanilla. Add 1/4 of the meringue to a piping bag and set 1/4 aside in a bowl for later. Pipe the first 1/4 onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Next lets make the pumpkin spice meringue cookies. For these you only have to add the pumpkin spice mix in. Once complete, add 1/2 to a piping bag to the parchment paper and get ready to make the next flavor, chocolate pumpkin spiced meringue cookies.
    ingredients for pumpkin spice meringue
  • The next flavor is even easier to make. Add the cocoa powder and then whip for another few minutes. Once it's blended in add it to a piping bag and then pipe onto a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. Now for the last one, peppermint meringue cookies.
    how to make chocolate pumpkin spice meringue cookies
  • Peppermint meringue cookies are scary because the extract might melt the meringue down. Make sure you add it very slowly and keep the mixer on high while not letting it splash you. If it starts to thin, add a bit of sugar and possibly a bit more cream de tartar. This is one flavor that sometimes melts and means you need to start over which isn't fun.
    Once you have all four flavors piped, place them in an oven for 6 hours at 200 degrees. Once they finish, do not remove them. Let them sit in the oven after it's been turned off over night if you can. In the morning take them out and you're done. If you don't leave them in the oven, there is a good chance they'll crack. That doesn't change them much, they're just not as pretty.
    Let me know how this recipe works for you and thank you again for reading!
    how to make holiday meringues

How to Make Gingerbread French Toast


How to Make Gingerbread French Toast

OMG, this is an addiction. If you love that spicy goodness of gingerbread, that warm yummy you get in french toast and everything fall, this is for you!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people


Gingerbread French Toast

  • 3 - 6 slices gingerbread cut thick
  • 3 large eggs beat them with a fork
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 - 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream light or heavy
  • 1 - 2 tbsp vanilla extract go with your taste
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 slice bacon crispy and crumbled


Make Your Gingerbread French Toast

  • The first thing to do is spray a pan with non stick cooking spray. Now set up your dredging stations. Turn the stove up to medium heat and mix all of the wet ingredients together. 
    ingredients for gingerbread french toast
  • Once your frying pan is hot, dip the gingerbread in on both side and place on the frying pan. Let these cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side and then remove and put them on a plate.
    how to make gingerbread french toast

Make Cinnamon, Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • While they are cooking on the first side, make your whipped cream. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and whipping cream to your stand mixer (or you can whip it by hand if you don't have one).  
    If you want to add bacon to it, add it on the next step, but make sure it is crumbled so you don't get big chunks that aren't as appealing. Bigger chunks is great for frosting, but not whipped cream.
    cinnamon vanilla whipped cream recipe
  • Once it is at a whipped topping consistency, add in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white sugar and then whip it more until it is thick enough to stand on it's own and up to warm gingerbread. Now place it on top of the gingerbread french toast or place it in a bowl and let people serve themselves.


You can modify this anyway you'd like.  Cinnamon sugar instead of cinnamon to make it sweeter.  Nutmeg or pumpkin spice can be fun and most chili powders taste awesome with these ingredients.  

A Lower Calorie Baked Chicken Parm!

Ok, I don’t know how many calories this will actually have, but I removed the frying and removed the pasta and modified it from the recipe I used to use.  It’s baked, has some lower calorie ingredients (compared to the regular ones) and by plating it with salads or lower calorie options other than paste and removing the tomato sauce, in my mind it’s lower calorie…and that works for me.

How to Make A Low Calorie Baked Chicken Parm!

Do you love chicken parmesan but hate the high calorie counts? This spicy version of a classic will help fix that. Love this one!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 people


  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs italian work great
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes or powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 tbsp sour cream use low fat or low calorie
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt fine grain
  • ground black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take a flat pan or a bowl and combine the panko bread crumbs with the chili flakes (add as much as you like) with the oregano, basil, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper and mix together. I ended up adding chili powder and flakes to mine because I like a bit of heat in my chicken parmesan.
    ingredients for baken chicken parmesan
  • Now take another bowl and add the sour cream to it. Next add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper to the chicken breasts and then dredge the chicken breasts through the bowl with the sour cream and then cover it with the panko bread crumb mixture.
    recipe for a baked chicken parmesan
  • Now you have two options, you can heat a pan to medium high add a large drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and kind of sear the chicken breasts first and then go to the baking sheet, or you can do what I do and place them directly on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes or until they're cooked all the way. Either one works great.
    how to make baked chicken parm


You can alter with garlic powder, chili powder any anything else to match it to your own individual taste.  

Now take them out of the oven and serve with anything from brussel sprouts to roasted potatoes or whatever lower calorie or healthy option you’d like.  This is an awesome spin on chicken parmesan that you’ll hopefully love as much as I do.

Adalie 2014 Cabernet Reviewed

I love napa cabernets.  From the big flavors to the way they make you smile, you cannot ask for something more delicious from the region, except for big wines like the Miner Family Stagecoach Merlot.  When I saw this one show up on sale at one of my favorite wine stores, especially since I had never heard of it before, I figured why not.  It’s under $20 so lets give it a shot.  If you’re thinking of buying the Adalie Cabernet from Napa, you’ll want to read this.

adalie cabernet reviews [Read more…]

Mole Spiced Tacos – Easy and Amazing!

If you’re tired of those same taco Tuesday seasonings you buy in bulk at the grocery store…then stop buying them.  Tacos are fun and easy to make.  I found this recipe as part of one of my subscriptions and made some fun edits and tweaks making this a ridiculously good alternative.  The best part is that it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish and will make everyone go wow!

Mole Spiced Steak Tacos

Mole seasoning is wonderfully unexpected surprise twist on the much loved classic taco. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 lb sirloin steak tips
  • flour torillas or corn taco shells I prefer flour tortillas
  • 1 poblano pepper chopped or thinly sliced (depending on your preference)
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 4 button mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 can sweet corn drained (or 1 ear of fresh sweet corn stripped off of the cob)
  • 1 medium red onion 1/2 thinly sliced and 1/2 finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp low fat sour cream
  • Mole spice blend you can find it here
  • chili powder to taste
  • 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 1 lime zested and sliced into wedges
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper


  • Gather your ingredients 
    ingredients for mole steak tacos
  • Chop your garlic onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper, and mushrooms. Then zest and cut the lime.
  • Over medium high heat, cook the poblano, bell pepper and sliced onions for about 5 or 6 minutes in a large drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (vegetable oil works too) and season with a small pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 
  • When you have 4 minutes left, toss in 1 clove of chopped garlic (only if you want to add an extra clove) and let it really add some flavor. Now place these in a bowl on the side.
  • Now add another large drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the same pan over medium high heat and add the corn and the chopped onion with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Once it's cooked for about 3 or 4 minutes, add the chili powder (as much as you'd like) and mix in well. 
  • Now place this in another bowl (you can use the bowls as a fun way for people to assemble their own tacos at dinner) and set aside. Once it's started to cool, add in 2 tablespoons of the low fat sour cream and if you want, a couple squeezes of fresh lime juice. You can zest the lime and add part of that as well for a fun look and extra flavor. If you really want to take it over the top, add some chopped basil or cilantro to it.
  • Now heat up the tortillas by wrapping them in a moist paper towel and placing in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Next add a final large drizzle of extra virgin olive oil into the same pan and toss in your sirloin tips, mushrooms and the other two cloves of chopped or minced garlic. You'll want to sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then flip and season the other side immediately. 
    how to make spiced mole steak tacos
  • Now add 1/2 to 3/4 of the mole spice (if you have a big container, do a table spoon or two) to the sirloin tips and try to cover them as much as possible. Now cook them until they're at your preferred doneness and remove. (remember, raw meat can be dangerous).
  • Now in a final bowl, combine the remaining sour cream, 1 teaspoon of mole spice, a couple squeezes of lime juice, lime zest and a small pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Mix together and now line up the bowls with the tortillas and enjoy an amazing taco Tuesday! 


If you cannot find Mole Spice locally, or don't want to deal with trying to find it, Click Here.