Shrimp Tempura Sushi Tostadas


Day 4 of Game Day Recipes week! One of my all time favorite foods is sushi. It makes me grow closer to Angelo every time we go. It could be because there is no graceful way to stuff a whole piece of sushi in your mouth as much as I try and so it creates quite vulnerability haha! Or it could be because some of our very first dates were at a sushi restaurant in El Paso, TX.

I was thinking about how I would love to see sushi on a party spread any day of the week, and wondering how to make it my own and game day friendly. These cute little sushi tostadas have all of the flavor of a sushi roll, but in a tostada form! The shrimp tempura is crunchy and cooks the shrimp perfectly. The rice is seasoned to perfection and pairs so well with the seaweed paper (which actually has a taste on its own, who knew!?). Of course avocado is always a welcome ingredient in my sushi, and the toasted sesame seeds look pretty and add a nice toasty flavor! This beautiful appetizer will be a hit at your game day party or tailgate!




Shrimp Tempura Sushi Tostadas

Makes: 12 Tostadas

For the sushi rice:

1 cup rice (I used jasmine)

1 ½ cup water

2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

  1. Pour water, vinegar, and sugar in medium sauce pan. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Heat on high until bowling.
  3. Stir in rice. Bring to a boil then cover and turn down to simmer.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Let cool completely before assembling tostadas (about an hour or so).

For the shrimp tempura:

1 lb small shrimp, cleaned and uncooked

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2-3 cups canola or vegetable oil

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 cup flour

1 cup ice cold water

1 egg

  1. In medium bowl, pour in flour.
  2. Mix cold water and egg in separate bowl.
  3. Slowly pour egg mixture into flour, gently stirring. Lumps are good.
  4. Place shrimp and cornstarch in gallon bag. Shake to fully coat each shrimp.
  5. Heat 1 ½ inch canola or vegetable oil (2-3 cups depending on your pan size) and sesame oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  6. When a little pinch of cornstarch bubbles, it is ready.
  7. Place shrimp in tempura batter and coat. Carefully drop in shrimp, in 3 batches so as to not crowd the pan. Cook two minutes, separating shrimp if they get stuck together while frying.
  8. Put cooked shrimp on paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

For toppings:

1 avocado

4 pieces seaweed paper

¼ cup mayo

4-5 tsp siracha sauce

2 tsp roasted sesame seeds.

  1. Roast seaweed paper for 4 minutes in 300°
  2. Using round cookie cutter, or scissors, cut seaweed paper into 12 3 inch circles.
  3. Peel avocado skin with peeler. Then carefully peel 24 pieces of avocado flesh with peeler (this is to ensure the avocado is thin like in real sushi).
  4. Mix mayo and siracha in small bowl. Put in zip baggie. Set aside

To assemble:

  1. Oil hands as rice will be sticky. Place a spoonful of rice on each seaweed paper tostada.
  2. Place 2 pieces of avocado on each tostada.
  3. Put 3 shrimp on top of avocado.
  4. Snip the very corner of the baggie with the spicy mayo. Squeeze spicy mayo over each round in pretty lines, moving hand back and forth over tostada.
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds over tostadas.


Turkey Club Egg Rolls


Is anyone else getting excited for football weekends? If you’re still not there, I have got a recipe that’s sure to fire up your game day motivation! It’s Day 3 here for Game Day Recipes Week and I’m excited about this one!

I have to admit, when I go to a restaurant I am always looking for a turkey club sandwich on the menu. I know, some may consider that boring when there are so many other options on the menu. I love each component and how they come together in one sandwich, and you really can’t go wrong with a traditional club. I created this recipe because an egg roll is a great way to transform the classic turkey club into something game day ready, convenient, and a little more exciting than what I’m always looking for on a menu ;).

The ingredients are diced up miniature and stuffed into a fun egg roll, with a great dipping sauce on the side. The cheese melts in the oven, while the vegetables still have a crunch, and the bacon and turkey are smokey and salty. The mustard mayo sauce has a nice kick to it, while being cool and creamy. It is one fantastic bite of food!




Turkey Club Eggrolls

1 cup tomato, diced

½ cup kosher dill pickle, diced (I used one full pickle to get ½ cup)

1 cup shredded lettuce

5 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled

2 cups deli turkey, diced (about 1/3lb)

4 slices cheddar cheese, diced

12 lumpia wrappers (egg roll wrappers), thawed

¼ cup mayo

¼ cup yellow mustard

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp siracha sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Dice up tomato, pickle, turkey, and cheese.
  3. In large bowl, mix together tomato, pickle, lettuce, bacon, turkey, and cheese.
  4. Take an egg roll wrapper and place ¼ cup of turkey mixture in the middle.
  5. Wet edges of wrapper with water and wrap tightly. Put on lightly greased cookie sheet seam side down.
  6. Repeat with next 11 wrappers.
  7. Spray cooking oil on tops of egg rolls.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  9. Mix together mayo, mustards, and siracha sauce as dipping sauce.


Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings

Day 2 of Game Day Recipe week and I’m debuting these SO GOOD buffalo ranch chicken wings. I don’t think you can have a proper game day spread without something spicy. And wings are a no brainer- simple, yummy, finger food! Of course dipping spicy wings in ranch is always tasty, but I wanted a new way of getting that cool ranch flavor! (lesson here: don’t be afraid to experiment and try new ways!)


Before I really dived in headfirst into cooking and baking, I thought there were certain things that you could only get at a restaurant for it to actually be good. But my hubby encouraged me and would ask for things (wings being one) that made me at least attempt. And believe me, most things are easier than you would think and sometimes turn out better at home! I can’t believe how easy oven baked chicken wings are! Your party guests (and you, more importantly) will love these!




Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings

12 whole chicken wings

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 cup buffalo sauce

1 packet ranch seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 475°.
  2. Put flour, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt into a gallon zip bag. Seal and shake to mix.
  3. Place chicken wings in flour mixture and seal and mix and shake the bag until wings are fully coated.
  4. Place wings on a sheet pan covered in foil.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes, flipping wings halfway.
  6. While wings are baking, pour buffalo sauce and 1 Tbsp ranch seasoning into large bowl and whisk until combined.
  7. When wings are done, turn oven up to 500° put them in buffalo sauce and ranch mixture and stir to fully coat each wing.
  8. Place wings back on sheet pan and generously sprinkle each wing with the rest of the ranch seasoning packet.
  9. Cook 8 more minutes in oven.


Game Day Chili

Here it is guys! The first game day recipe I’ll be dishing out for you for the much anticipated football season. I have come to enjoy football, but I have to admit, I love the food the most. And I love designing new recipes that are perfect game day bites. Whether you are an avid fan, or just show up for the food, the recipes I’ll be sharing this week will not disappoint!


I named this chili Game Day Chili, because it is so great for your football party spread on a crisp fall day. However, it is soooo delicious you’ll become a fan of any sport just to make it (or say whatever to the “game day” part and make it whenever you feel like it).

This recipe is a build-on of the chili my family ate growing up. I have a very picky dad and sister, so our chili didn’t really branch out on ingredients or flavors. But it was a good foundation for me to add what Angelo, the girls, and I like to eat. This is a very kid-friendly recipe, as it is not too spicy, and my girls usually have seconds.

The number one thing about chili is to let it simmer and cook down. The longer the better as it really does enhance all the flavors. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, cilantro, fresh onion, jalapeños, really anything you like will work!

Bonus for this recipe- it is healthy!

Enjoy! (and go team)


Game Day Chili

1 Tbsp oil

¼ of a medium onion, diced

1 lb ground turkey

1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added

2 cans dark red kidney beans, low sodium

5 cups low sodium tomato juice

3 ½ Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

  1. Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for a couple minutes, stirring.
  3. Add ground turkey and cook until fully browned.
  4. Add tomatoes, beans, juice, chili powder, coriander, salt, and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover and turn to simmer.
  6. Simmer for at least 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Taste, add more salt, pepper, or chili powder to taste.
  8. Serve with cheese, sour cream, crackers, extra diced onion, and cilantro (or anything else you like).

Cheesy Potatoes

Do you ever get the main course figured out for dinner and feel so accomplished, but then are completely lost for a side dish and end up just piling cooked broccoli on the plate? Me too. But sometimes my mommy brain remembers this simple, super flavorful, and homey side. Perfect for a BBQ (recipe for pictured pulled BBQ pork coming soon), or as an accouterment to any family dinner.


These cheesy potatoes come from my older sister (I made small changes to the recipe). It reminds of our large family get-togethers on sunny summer evenings, or cold winter weekends. Just like those dinners with your family are soothing for busy lives, this dish is comforting and so yummy. Cheesy hash browns with a nice crunch on top makes for a perfect side to any meal.




Cheesy Potatoes

¾ cup milk

2 cups cheddar cheese

2 cups sour cream

1 package ranch dip spice packet

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 2lb package hash browns

1 ½ cups corn flakes, crushed

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In large bowl, combine milk, cheese sour cream, ranch seasoning, salt, pepper, and butter.
  3. Add hash browns and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Pour mixture into greased 9X13 pan.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes.
  6. Add corn flakes on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Fast and Simple Pho

This recipe was really a turning point for me in regards to my home-cook confidence. Angelo LOVES pho. Like so much that we traveled over an hour to get a bowl of pho back when we were stationed in San Antonio. That was my first time having it, and it didn’t disappoint. It is this big bowl of goodness, with yummy rice noodles, perfectly cooked beef, crunchy bean sprouts, savory broth, and fresh herbs. I really thought it was just something you had to leave your house and go to an actual Vietnamese restaurant to get. But, a while ago Angelo said it sounded so good and asked if I could make it. After some research and adding my own spin, my very own Pho was waiting for him when he got home from work. Wife for the win!

This broth only has to simmer for ½ hour, which is way less time than the traditional way. I also found already thinly sliced beef in the meat section of my grocery store that made things easier as well. Rice noodles can be found in the international section of the grocery store along with some other ingredients in this recipe. YOU CAN DO THIS!


Fast and Simple Pho

Makes: 6 servings

12 cups beef broth.

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp siracha

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

½ Tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ginger, minced

1 tsp dried basil

¼ cup green onions, chopped

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 package rice noodles

2 cups bean sprouts

1 lb boneless beef short ribs, sliced ¼ inch thin (or any thinly sliced meat in fresh beef section)

  1. In large stock pot, add beef broth, soy sauce, siracha, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and basil. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer.
  2. Simmer broth for ½ hour.
  3. Cook rice noodles according to package.
  4. If using boneless beef short ribs, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, then take out and slice as thinly as possible with sharp knife.
  5. To assemble the bowl: place a handful of rice noodles and bean sprouts in a bowl. Place meat on top in one layer. Spoon simmering broth over, making sure to fully cover meat (it will cook from the heat of the broth). Add some green onions, cilantro, and siracha sauce if desired.


Rainbow Sherbet Cupcakes



Growing up, there was quite often a tub of rainbow sherbet in our freezer. It always confused me though; it is most definitely not all the colors of the rainbow and I never knew how to pronounce it (I always said SHER-BERT ha!) The confusion never got in the way of me actually eating the ice cream though. I absolutely love tart sherbets. My best friend, Mashette, and I would sit up late at night eating raspberry sherbet straight from the container from ages 11-18 (it would still be happening if we didn’t live across the country from each other). I wanted to create something new from some really great childhood memories. What better way to modify a recipe than with cupcakes!? These cupcakes have all the flavors of rainbow sherbet. I’m partial to lemon over lime, which is what I used in the cupcakes. Layers of lemon and orange cake, topped with raspberry butter cream make for the perfectly tart treat.

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Rainbow Sherbet Cupcakes

Makes: 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

½ cup milk

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

1 cup sugar

1 ¼ cups flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice

2 drops yellow food coloring

½ tsp orange zest

¼ cup orange juice

2 drops orange food coloring


For the frosting:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

milk if needed

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, egg, and sugar with handheld or stand mixer.
  3. Add in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  4. Divide the batter equally between two bowls. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and yellow food coloring to one bowl and mix thoroughly. Add orange zest, orange juice, and orange food coloring to other bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour about 1/8 cup of lemon batter in bottom of each cupcake liner. Use up any extra. Pour about 1/8 cup orange batter on top of lemon batter in each cupcake liner. Divide any leftover batter between cupcakes.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. While cupcakes are cooling, beat softened butter on high for 1 minute.
  8. Add raspberries, powdered sugar, and vanilla. If frosting is too firm, add a little milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  9. Frost cupcakes.


Green Chili Enchiladas

Angelo and I went to Denver this past spring, while our girls stayed behind at Granny and Grampy’s house (wahoo kids free weekend!). Before we went, we wanted to know what we should eat while we were there. I was surprised to find out that green chili is one of the main foods Colorado is known for. The first thing we did when we got off the plane was go straight to a restaurant famous for their own green chili recipe. It was SO delicious. It had pieces of pork, depths of dynamic flavor, beautiful green color, and it was SPICY. I don’t handle spicy food that well but this spicy was paired so perfectly with the right flavors that it worked.

Coming home, I really wanted to find a way to make green chili work for my family. My girls LOVE enchiladas and just a little spice, and so this recipe was born. I made my own version of green chili, then added sour cream and cheese and wrapped it up in tortillas covered in green enchilada sauce and more cheese. It makes me want to go back to Denver.




Green Chili Enchiladas

1 Tbsp oilenchiladas1

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into one inch cubes

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 jar of salsa verde

¼ cup beef broth

1/3 cup sour cream

2 cups Monterey jack cheese, divided

12 tortillas

1 15oz can green enchilada sauce

  1. Heat oil in wide sauce pan over medium high heat.
  2. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and cumin over pork pieces.
  3. Add pork pieces and sear on all sides for about 2 minutes (pan will be crowded but that’s okay, keep stirring.)
  4. Drain excess fat.
  5. Add salsa verde and beef broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.enchiladas2
  6. Preheat oven to 375°.
  7. Add sour cream and 1/3 cup Monterey jack cheese to pan. Stir until combined.
  8. Poor a ¼ of the can of green enchilada sauce on bottom of greased 9X13 pan.
  9. Assemble enchiladas. Fill tortilla with green chili, roll tight and place seam side down in pan. Repeat with 11 more tortillas.
  10. Poor rest of green enchilada sauce over tortillas, then sprinkle rest of cheese over top.
  11. Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 10 (or until cheese is golden).


Orzo with steak and vegetables

When it comes to trying new things in the kitchen, it is so fulfilling when something works out so well that it becomes a staple in your meal planning. We have this dish at least once a month!


I love experimenting in the kitchen. With this recipe, I knew I wanted to incorporate a bunch of beautiful vegetables, but also make it hearty with lots of flavors. I just love a meal with a variety of vegetables. It is colorful and bright with so many textures. The best way to cook them is on a sheet pan with just some oil, salt, and pepper. What elevates this dish even more is the meat and pasta. The steam in your braisier (a pot that looks like a stockpot has been cut in half) does all the work of cooking the steak bites until it’s tender, and the orzo until it is al dente. Once you transfer the vegetables, feta, and almonds, it makes for a very happy bowl.


Orzo with steak and vegetables

Serves: 8

For the vegetables:

2 Tbsp oilorzo1

1 pint grape tomatoes

3 carrots, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

½ red onion, chopped

1 ½ cup chopped broccoli

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper


For the meat and orzo:

1 Tbsp oilorzo2

1 lb beef stew meat (chuck or round roast cut into 1 inch pieces)

1 Tbsp flour

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 cup orzo

1 ½ cups beef broth

½ cup feta cheese crumbles

½ cup slivered almonds

  1. In large bowl, combine all vegetables, 2 Tbsp oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to sheet pan lined with foil. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, place meat pieces into large zip top bag with flour, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Heat oil in a braisier pan over medium high heat. Once hot, carefully place meat in pan. Sear each side for about a minute.
  4. Pour in orzo and beef broth. Bring to a boil then turn heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until orzo is al dente.
  5. Transfer cooked vegetables to orzo and steak. Add feta and almonds. Stir well.

Homemade Lasagna

Ahhh, ooey gooey lasagna. This was a staple growing up for big family get-togethers and birthdays. My job was always to grate the cheese, so I know firsthand how cheesy this lasagna is. I think because I grated so much cheese as a kid, it is my least favorite task in the kitchen today. However, it is worth it when the end result is this beautifully layered Italian masterpiece!

This lasagna recipe is simple and satisfying. Of course it is indulgent with all the cheese, which is why a salad should go on the side to make you feel better about yourself. I love the creaminess of ricotta so I have added that into my family’s lasagna recipe. The cheddar cheese that goes on the very top adds a nice sharpness and beautiful color. Happy layering.


Homemade Lasagna

Serves: 8

12 lasagna noodles


1 lb ground beef or ground turkey

1 29oz can tomato puree

1 bay leaf

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp salt


½ tsp black pepper

1 15 oz container ricotta cheese

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Boil noodles for 9 minutes, then drain.
  2. Set out ricotta to soften.
  3. In medium sauce pan, brown ground meat on medium heat, breaking it up with spatula.
  4. Add tomato puree, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir thoroughly and turn heat down to simmer. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°.
  6. Assemble lasagna: put small amount of sauce on bottom of 9X13 greased casserole dish. Then add 3 noodles, making sure they overlap a little. Then add ricotta, spreading into thin layer on noodles (the heat of the noodles will help it spread easily), then add some mozzarella.
  7. Layer sauce, then noodles, then ricotta, then mozzarella 3 more times.
  8. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese then cheddar cheese on top.
  9. Cover with foil.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then 30 minutes uncovered.
  11. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting so layers stay together.


Serve with garlic bread and fresh salad.