TaylorMade Market » Real life Brady Bunch Mom's food blog with a Farmer's Market of recipes that can be TaylorMade for you

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My husband really loves Indian Food.  Before Darren and I met, I had never tried it.  Well, real Indian Food that is. Sure my mom had made some form of curry chicken surprise but never anything that could be considered close to authentic Indian food.

Eggplant tomato & chickpea curry

I was living in Florida, He was living outside of Nashville, TN.  I flew to Tennessee and spent the weekend with him.  One evening, we went out for dinner to Ruth Chris Steakhouse but the wait was over 90 minutes so we opted to go somewhere else.  He took me to an Indian Restaurant just around the corner from the Steakhouse.  I was hesitant.  Ok more like resistant.  Thinking to myself, “We should go back, I’m not sure I’m going to like this curry stuff.  If the food is bad, the date is going to be ruined.”   Being on my best “newly dating” behavior, I decided to give it a try and I was hooked immediately.  I still remember my first bite.  My taste buds were doing the Happy dance.  Spices and Flavors I had never tasted before.  That first date was over 6 years ago and we have eaten Indian food hundreds of times since.

This is my twist on Indian Eggplant Bhurtha  which is eggplant + tomatoes + onion + spices and thats really it.  I decided to add some chickpeas to the dish making it a little heartier and to stretch it out since I was feeding a few extra people.

Eggplant tomato & chickpea curry vertical

Since I ended up with tons of eggplant & tomatoes from a Farmers Market trip and decided to make this recipe and can it.   This recipe LOVES to be canned!!!    Quick, easy, Only a few ingredients & super healthy!  Taste great by itself or over rice.

farmers market produce

It you are doing the lo-carb thing, just leave out the chickpeas/garbanzo beans.  It is still a tasty dish.  You could also turn this into a delicious soup with the addition of  some vegetable stock.

Indian Eggplant, tomato & chickpea Curry
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large eggplant, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot, fry the cumin seeds in the olive oil over low heat while stirring for 1 min.
2. Increase the heat, add the eggplant & onion, and let cook for about 8-10 minutes just until it begins to soften.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the tumeric, curry, salt and stir the mixture.
5.  Let simmer for 8 minutes.
6. Stir in the cilantro or parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Eggplant tomato & chickpea curry

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Summer rolls vs spring rolls – TYPICALLY Summer rolls are fresh & spring rolls are fried.

HOWEVER, just google spring roll, you will find hundreds of these “unfried spring rolls” called Vietnamese spring rolls aka summer rolls.

My youngest son calls these – “see through burritos“.

My oldest son refers to them as something way to XXX-rated for this blog…

Whatever you choose to call them, these rolls are healthy & delicious.

So what is it?  Basically fresh vegetables wrapped in rice paper which happens to be great for a refreshing appetizer or light lunch.

shot of healthy veggie spring roll wrapper

These are my youngest sons absolute favorite food and a guaranteed way I can get him to eat some veggies.  WITHOUT COMPLAINING!!!

I serve these with a yummy peanut sauce.

Daniel: “Mom guess what this sauce is good on?”

Me: What?

Daniel: EVERYTHING!!!!

and I totally agree.  This sauce is so yummy!!!!

Traditionally these rolls are served with a light soy type dipping sauce or a sweet chili sauce.. The rice paper wrap is already so light & refreshing that I like it with a rich creamy sauce to compliment it.  Serve it up however you like.

Spring Roll Stuffers – Asparagus, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, avocado, rice noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, lettuce, sweet colored peppers, shrimp, whatever you would like.

These are great for parties and can be made to fit all types of dietary needs. Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten Free.

Summer Rolls, Spring Rolls & See through burritos with Thai Peanut Sauce


  • Rice Paper Wrappers
  • Veggie Fillings- Asparagus, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, avocado, rice noodles, bean sprouts, cilanto, mint, lettuce, sweet colored peppers, shrimp
  • Thai Peanut sauce:
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 can coconut milk


  1. Dip one rice paper in warm water until pliable but still firm.. DO NOT SOAK.
  2. Lay rice paper flat and fill with veggies. Roll the bottom and tuck in the sides. (Just like a burrito)
  3. Repeat.
  4. For the sauce: In a small sauce pan heat sesame oil. Fry curry paste & sugar stirring 20 seconds. Add peanut butter, lime juice and coconut milk. Stir to combine. Heat through and serve with summer rolls.

shot of spring roll wrapper with microgreens vertical



White on Rice Couple did a beautiful job of creating a step-by-step tutorial with stunning photo’s  you can see here: HOW TO ROLL FRESH SPRING ROLLS




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Couscous pronounced Koose-Koose with sautéed mushrooms, onions & roasted garlic.  YUM!

Don’t you just love couscous?  Tiny, light, fluffy semolina pasta, which takes just minutes to prepare

When it comes to dolling up a dish with couscous, you can “taylormake” it with just about anything.   Mushrooms, nuts, seeds, meat, spices (although I would not recommend all at once).. Adding ingredients like nuts, herbs, or vegetables takes a little more time, but not much, and they add a lot more flavor and texture to your dish.

Truth be told, my kids like it plain.  But tonight it’s sautéed mushrooms & onions.

couscous with mushrooms vertical @taylormademarket.com

It cooks up in less than 10 minutes and super simple to make.  If you can boil water, you can make couscous.

Couscous is plain on it’s own but you can gourmet it up just by adding a few ingredients.  What about Sundried tomato & basil? or chorizo & queso fresco? Or a roasted shrimp & herb couscous.  The possibilities are endless.

couscous mushrooms and onions bowl @taylormademarket.com

This is a simple version of couscous that is healthy & vegan.

Couscous with sautéed mushrooms & onions


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c mushrooms sliced or chopped
  • 5 cloves of roasted garlic (recipe below)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over it. Stir, cover, and let it stand 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, add olive oil and saute the onions & mushrooms for 3-5 min until slightly tender. Add smashed roasted garlic and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork. Add the mushroom onion mixture and fluff to combine. add green onion for garnish. Serve warm or at room temperature.


to roast the garlic: cut the top off the head of garlic exposing a bit of each each clove of garlic. Place garlic head in a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt. Wrap & Seal the foil around the garlic gathering at the top. Place in the oven and roast 375* for 30 or until completely tender when poked with a fork or knife. Allow to cool, remove from foil. Squeeze garlic bulb and soft buttery roasted garlic slides out.


It’s really good now, but it’ll be even better the next day so refrigerate any leftovers.

couscous with mushrooms @taylormademarket.com

Couscous comes in More than one type – regular couscous made from semolina wheat (which I used), whole wheat couscous, which uses the whole grain and Israeli, or Middle Eastern couscous, which is larger and pearl-shaped.

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The twins just got their braces by the fantastic Dr. John Metz located in Land O Lakes, FL.  The office is beautiful, the staff is fantastic and the Doctor is incredible.

I thought it would be great to do a post on the foods you shouldn’t eat with braces and share our experience.

Alanna & Jenna have begged for braces for the past 3 years as if it were a Christmas gift.  We made an appointment with an orthodontist but their baby teeth hadn’t all come out and the Doctors we talked to said they just weren’t ready.  So 3 years later, it’s finally time.  The girls were super excited about getting their new braces and then, the morning of the appointment, their brother teased told them how bad it was going to hurt when they put the braces on…. FYI – this brother has never even had braces…

Ready to walk out the door with both twins, now scared it’s going to hurt and bummed they can no longer eat anything sticky, chewy, hard or even one of their favorites, popcorn, we head to the orthodontist.

Foods to Avoid:  Sticky Foods (candies, caramels, gum) Hard Foods (bagels, pizza crust, biscotti cookies, nuts, ice)

foods braces 1

Avoid foods you  have to bite such as apples, carrots, corn on the cob ribs or chicken wings.  Jenna LOVES carrots so she was bummed when she first read this. But, Carrots are fine if they are shredded or steamed.  Same way apples are fine if they are cut into pieces.  Chicken wings & ribs are fine if they are pulled off the bone first…

food braces 2

 Foods to Limit: Sugary (cake, cookies, ice cream, soda & sweet tea limited to once a day)

What can you eat?  Just about anything else.

The first two days after getting braces, the girls were a tiny bit sore and being big drama queens.  They only ate foods they didn’t have to chew such as ice cream, smoothies, popsicles, yogurt & soup.  After day 3 they returned back to normal foods.

foods to eat

Here’s  a few “softer” food recipes from TaylorMade Market.

Peach & Yogurt Popsicles

Roasted Sweet Potato & coconut Stew

Curried Carrot Salad

Healthy Reeses Inspired Ice Cream (3 ingredients)

Santa Fe Quesadilla’s

Roasted Vegetable Fritatta

Tomato Davinci – A.K.A tomato bread salad

Now onto the amazing Orthodontist…..

I love the office for MANY reasons…You feel welcomed as soon as you enter.. There’s tons of magazines to read while you wait and the kids can make themselves comfy in the video game area.  I should note.. You Hardly “wait” in the beautiful waiting area for long.. yet another thing I LOVE about Metz Orthodontics.

metz ortho interior front

On top of service, Dr. Metz embraces some of the latest orthodontic trends & technology.    The patient area also has a nice view of the lake.

Metzortho interior office back

Jenna gets to go first –

Jenna: Is it going to hurt?

Staff: It’s just like painting a fingernail except it’s your tooth..

After a quick pep talk assurance from the amazing staff, the girls were ready to go.

Jenna before braces ortho

I love how Alanna is watching her sister in the background wondering what to expect…

jenna getting braces

and then Alanna’s turn.  One down, one to go…

Alanna before ortho

Dr. Metz treats each patient as if they were his only one.

Alanna getting braces

almost done…

alanna during braces

Jenna’s Braces Done..

jenna after braces

and Alanna’s Braces Done… 100% Pain-Free

Alanna Braces

The girls received a travel bag filled with goodies to keep their teeth clean and healthy.  Then one last quick chat from Dr. Metz before we left.

metz ortho branding bar

With 6 children, we have met our fair share of orthodontists over the past 15 years.  Metz Orthodontics is by far, the best!!!

You feel the staff has a relationship with you after only a few visits.

If you are considering braces, please give them a call.  You will be happy you did.

The consultation is FREE and they also offer patient financing for services.

METZ ORTHODONTICS – 813-948-6389

Thank you Dr. Metz and staff for your outstanding work and allowing us to capture this memorable moment.

metz business card

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  • Mary P. - March 5, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Does he work on adults too? I am looking for a really good orthodontist.ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Taylor - March 6, 2014 - 3:13 pm

      Hi Mary,
      YES! Dr. Metz is the BEST! Give them a call 813-948-6389

Goodbye Banana Bread… Hello Banana Bread Cupcakes.  Leftover Bananas get a makeover with a Maple & Cream Cheese Frosting…because Everything taste better with cream cheese

Banana Cupcakes with Maple frosting top

and REAL Maple syrup makes ALL the difference.

Banana Maple Cupcakes

I LOVE Banana Bread just as much as the next person,  I am just not crazy about the chunks of banana you end up with.  In order to make “my” perfect tasting banana bread cupcake, I puree the bananas until smooth so the flavor is in every bite

Banana Maple Cupcakes on top

These are still yummy (and much healthier) without the frosting. But I promise, It taste sooo much better this way.

It is full of banana flavor with more of a cupcake texture than bread.  The maple cream cheese frosting just puts it over the top.  This is my new favorite way to use up bananas.

If you don’t have a piping bag, just put the frosting in a ziplock with a piping tip on the end.

Banana Maple Cupcakes on white

Banana Bread Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


  • For the cupcake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups banana puree (about 4 ripe bananas blended until smooth)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • For the Frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 4 cups confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp good maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray pan with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together melted butter, pureed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until combined (DO NOT overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups about 3/4 full.Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Pipe with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.
  3. For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. With mixer running, Slowly, Sift in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add maple syrup. Mix for 10 seconds, until combined.

I have tried 100’s of Banana bread recipes.. Most are extremely dense but I think this one is perfect for a cupcake.

Just DO NOT overmix batter or you will end up with a dense cupcake.

Banana Bread Cupcakes BB

Feel free to add nuts if you like, we opted not to..

by toasting the nuts first it will bring out 100X more nut flavor to your recipe..

cupcake frosted on white vertical

This recipe yields 12 regular size muffins.  I opted for the jumbo size so we ended up with 6.

cupcakes upclose vertical

You could also make mini cupcakes for little kids with this batter.  I ALWAYS use a cookie scoop when measuring cupcake batter.  Keeps the sizes consistent and the kitchen a little cleaner.

cupcakes with frosting on white vertical

You can refrigerate the leftover frosting, should you have any.  I keep mine still in the ziplock sitting in a bowl.  Just bring back to room temp before using.

cupcakes with frosting upclose

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I LOVE Falafel but not the fat that comes along with it so I created a healthier version..  Traditional Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans. Think of it as Middle Eastern Fast Food. I wanted to bump up the flavors and keep it raw (and bean less) yet full of protein from seeds.

Falafel Appetizer

Even though these have no chickpeas like traditional falafel does, It really does taste like falafel.   Just for the record, I have made raw falafel with sprouted chickpeas – it’s just not for me.

You will need a food processor & a dehydrator for this recipe.

You can eat these falafel’s in a sandwich, on a pita, salad or by themselves.  I really love to eat them with hummus or a lemon tahini dressing.  By dehydrating them at such a slow low temp, these retain all the vitamins since you are not “cooking” them while giving them a crispier outside cooked texture.


Falafel Appetizer Vertical upclose

The pumpkin seed along with the kalamata olives & sundried tomato really give it a Mediterranean Flair. 

Im talking about the green pumpkin seed.. NOT the white ones which contain the outer shell…

shot of pepitas in a jar

In the photo, I made a RAW vegetable flat bread out of ground flax seed, zucchini sundried tomato & herbs and then dehydrated.  It is soooo good.  Just about zero carbs and satisfies any “bread” craving.  

I also grew the sprouts and added them for texture.  Growing sprouts is super easy, your kids can do it..I have written a post on it  HERE:

Healthy Falafel – Raw & Vegan


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw & unsalted
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, raw & unsalted
  • 1/4 c sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 3 tsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  1. With the food processor running, drop in garlic clove and let mince. Add seeds and pulse until ground, add all other ingredients and continue pulsing until combined. Form into balls ( I like to use a mini cookie scoop) and place on dehydrator tray.
  2. Dehydrate @ 105 degrees F for 6 – 8 hours.

Falafel Appetizer Vertical


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Crisp and tangy, fried green tomatoes are the ultimate Southern comfort food .. 

These are one of my favorites.  I LOVE Fried green tomatoes.. A southern classic.  But this fried green tomato has a modern twist, Panko.

Panko is a japanese breadcrumb that gets really crispy when fried or baked.  I absolutely love the crunchiness the panko gives to these tomatoes.

As a southern gal, my grandmother, who was a fabulous cook would be turning in her grave knowing I wasn’t using cornmeal. But I know she would change her mind with one bite…

Panko isn’t traditional.. but I would choose this way over the cornmeal or flour version any time.

fried green tomatoes

“I don’t like fried green tomato” people like these.. and the people that do like fried green tomatoes say these are some of the best they have ever had.  Give the panko a try and let me know what you think.

I personally fry mine in Olive oil because it’s so healthy.  But feel free to use vegetable oil.  Start with firm, tart green tomatoes.

stack of fried green tomatoes


Green tomatoes + 3 ingredients – Flour, Egg, Panko

Fried Green Tomatoes


  • 4 green tomatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • Oil for frying


  1. Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Whisk eggs together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour into a ziplock bag or plate. Place panko into a separate ziplock bag or plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into egg mixture. Dredge in panko to completely coat.
  3. In a large skillet, pour oil (enough to cover the bottom of a pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4. Brown tomatoes 1 min on each side. Drain them on paper towels.

For a real treat… Try a fried green tomato in place of a regular tomato on a sandwich..  RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS!!!

fried green tomato stack vertical


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  • megan - February 21, 2014 - 2:15 pm

    These look great! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Angela - September 2, 2014 - 12:40 am

    These are soooo good! I did them gluten free with gf all purpose flour and gf panko!!! Yum!ReplyCancel

These Vanilla Meringue Cookies are 100% Guilt-Free.  ZERO FAT.

meringues on a baking sheet upclose

Meringue Cookies are super easy to make and only 3 ingredients – Egg whites, cream of tarter & sugar

Meringue cookies with sprinkles

Eggs separate better when they are COLD.. Eggs whites whip better when they are ROOM TEMP.  So the solution?  Take eggs from refrigerator and separate whites & yolks. Allow the whites to sit in a bowl for 30 min and come to room temp.  Then transfer to a glass or stainless steel bowl and whip away.

mernigue cookies sprinkles above

It is also important to add the sugar SLOWLY.  One tsp at a time.  This was you will get a beautiful silky smooth and a shiny glossy finish, like this…

meringue on a baking sheet upclose vertical

You want a smooth silky & shiny egg white that holds stiff peaks.  With a piping tip and a ziplock bag, I was able to make these in no time.  Makes clean up easier too.

You could add a few drops of food coloring or other flavor extracts to TaylorMake your own version.

meringues on a baking sheet

Vanilla Meringue Cookies


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup superfine or caster sugar (make your own super fine sugar by taking granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a blender or food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag (or ziplock bag + piping tip) or use two spoons to make the cookies.
  2. In the bowl beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract.*The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
  3. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag or spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared sheets.
  4. Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp and will release easy from the parchment paper. Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours.


meringue sprinkles vertical

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Quesadillas are a favorite around our house.  I love this version.  It’s healthy, fresh, full of veggies & protein and loaded with flavor.

Quesadillas are so versatile and can be filled with just about anything.

Check out another one of my other yummy vegetarian quesadilla recipes

 Spinach, sundried tomato, mushroom & goat cheese Quesadilla 

quesadilla on a plate

I LOVE the flavor of sweet roasted peppers & carmelized onions, especially with beans.  The corn adds a nice crunch of fresh flavor.  I also wanted some extra “freshness” in my quesadilla so I added some sliced green onions and served them with lime wedges

quesadilla copyspace left

Feel free to add or delete any ingredients.  If you like it spicy, add some jalapeños, if you don’t like peppers just leave them out.. TaylorMake your quesadilla with the flavors that you want.

Quesadilla appetizer cut

Got leftover chicken?  Shred it and add to the mix..

quesadilla in a line vertical

There are no “rules” to making a quesadilla.  Just make sure it has some cheese to glue the tortillas together.

quesadilla stacked on white vertical

Healthy Veggie Quesadilla – Santa Fe Style


  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn (or canned corn, drained)
  • 3 green onions, slices
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of cumin
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • sour cream & lime wedges for garnish (optional)


  1. On a sheet pan, place the peppers & onions, drizzle with olive oil and roast 425* for 20-25 min.
  2. In a bowl, mix the roasted peppers & onions with the black beans, corn, green onion, salt & spices. Combine well.
  3. Heat a skillet, place tortilla in it and top with 1 tbsp cheese then 2 tbsp bean & corn mixture and then another 1 tbsp of cheese. Top with another tortilla.
  4. cook two minutes per side, or until golden brown and lightly crisp. Repeat.
  5. Garnish with sour cream & lime wedges

Easy to make and yummy to eat..

quesadilla appetizer healthy vertical




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This timeless dessert features tart apples, hints of cinnamon, and a buttery light crisp topping that is baked until golden brown and delicious!

apple crisp upclose whipped cream cinnamon

What’s the difference between a cobbler and a crust?  The simple answer:  A cobbler has a biscuit type topping. A crisp has a crunch topping…usually sugar, butter and sometimes oats.

Apple Cobbler Crisp Dish

Since apples are available year round this is a great dish to make anytime.  The apples are tender & juicy with a sweet crunchy topping.  Makes a great breakfast.. just kidding (kind of)

Apple Cobbler Crisp upclose

Yummy on it own but even better topped with some fresh whipped cream.

apple crisp upclose whipped cream

This fantastic crisp was one of our most popular desserts and is the perfect ending to any meal. We made this crisp 101 ways in the restaurant.  Pear & Apple Crisp, Peach Crisp, Peach & Plum, Bluberry Crisp, Apple Walnut Crisp – you get the idea.

This is yet another dish that can be TaylorMade with whatever fresh fruit you have on hand.  Notice I said Taylormade with the fruit (or nuts) – just not the baking part.. You really don’t want to use half the butter to save calories.  It just won’t turn out right.

Cobblers & Crisp are one of those classic desserts that everyone has had at one time or another. With endless variations (peach, apple, blackberry, blueberry, mixed berry, raspberry, and on and on…) it’s no wonder that it’s such a hit.

apple crisp vertical plain

Granny Smith Apple Crisp


  • 4 pounds granny smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • Garnish: ice cream or fresh whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the apples into large chunks. Place the apples in a large bowl and add the lemon juice, sugar, flour & cinnamon. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish
  3. For the topping: Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl and mix with a fork, pastry cutter or hands until it turns to crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
  4. Bake 50-60 min or until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm. Top with ice cream or fresh whipped cream

Apple Cobbler Crisp whipped cream cinnamon


I like to serve this with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.   Takes it from Plain Jane to Gourmet Girl.

apple crisp blog board

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One recipe turned into 3 different appetizers

crab appetizer 3 ways

First the Nachos…  When I was young girl my mother and I used to go to a mexican restaurant named “Chi Chi’s”.  Everytime we went to this place, my mother ordered the Crab Nachos appetizer.  Even at 9 years old I wasn’t very impressed with fake crab meat & melted cheddar on top of a tortilla chip but it was something to munch on until the food arrived.  Chi Chi’s filed bankruptcy and closed it’s doors for good in 2004. But I have always remembered that dish.

crab nachos

My version taste more like, Crab Rangoon Nachos…

seafood nachos vertical


My son Daniel, LOVES imitation crab meat.  He would eat it straight out of the package.  I’m not a huge fan of the stuff but I do love crab rangoon.. even if it’s made with “krab” and since My mom stayed over last night, I decided to remake this memory dish for the family.  I was surprised my mom didn’t remember these right off the bat… I had to jog her memory bank.  YES, I remember. I loved those!!!.

Well mine are 1000X better than Chi Chi’s ever was.  OH MY.. These are addicting.. I must have said “ok, this is my last one” 5 times…

seafood nachos

If you like crab rangoon you will LOVE this.. Heck, If you like cream cheese & tortilla chips you are gonna love them.

Crab Nachos Vertical

Here is what you’ll need: Cream Cheese, Imitation Crab Meat, Mayo, Cheddar Cheese, Caramelized Onion, roasted garlic & green onions for garnish…. and tortilla chips.

I also stuffed some of the filling in mushrooms & topped with cheese – DELICIOUS!

Crab & Cream Cheese stuffed mushroom vertical

You will need caramelized onion and roasted garlic.  Click here to see the easiest way to caramelize onions without standing over the stove.

Crab stuffed mushrooms


seafood dip and crab stuffed mushrooms

My husband is on this no-carb high protein atkins type diet so I just baked the filling in a small casserole dish and topped with extra cheese.  He LOVED it!

chessy crab dip recipe

Here are some other TaylorMade Idea’s for this yummy filling.

Wonton wrappers: You could put the filling in a wonton wrapper, seal and then fry for a delicious crab rangoon.  Or boil them in a pot of salted water and you have a homemade like ravioli.

Flour Tortilla Shells: Crab Enchiladas –  Spread crab mixture onto flour tortilla shell and wrap on laying seam side down in a baking dish.  Make a basic white cream sauce and pour over the top.  Top with cheese.  Bake 350* for 20 min.

The possibilities are ENDLESS with this dish.

This Crab, Cream Cheese & Caramelized onion Nachos recipe is easy to make and OH SO YUMMY!.

If you are serving for a large crowd.  You could bake the dip in a casserole dish and serve with tortilla chips for dipping

There wasn’t one single chip left.  The kids played rock, paper, scissors for the last one on the plate.


I’m able to put this together in a short amount of time because I always have roasted peppers, caramelized onions and roasted garlic on hand.  It’s easy to do and saves me TONS of time in the kitchen and adds incredible flavor to any dish.  I wrote a post on roasting the easy way.. You can see it here: How to roast peppers & caramelize onion, the easy way.


Crab, Cream Cheese, Caramelized onion Nachos


  • 2 onions, chopped & roasted (recipe to roast below)
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves (recipe to roast below)
  • 1 8oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 16oz pkg imitation crab meat
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (divided)
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 3 green onions, chopped for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. to roast the onions: Arrange the onions on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast 425* 20-25 min stirring occasionally until tender and edges start to brown.
  3. to roast the garlic: cut the top off the head of garlic exposing a bit of each each clove of garlic. Place garlic head in a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt. Wrap & Seal the foil around the garlic gathering at the top. Place in the oven and roast 375* for 30 or until completely tender when poked with a fork or knife. Allow to cool, remove from foil. set aside
  4. Squeeze 4 roasted garlic cloves out of the head of garlic and mash into a paste.
  5. In a large bowl mix the softened cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice & sea salt. Stir in the chopped crab meat, caramelized onions, mashed roasted garlic and 1 cup of cheddar cheese until mixed well.
  6. Place 1 tsp of crab & cream cheese filling on top of each tortilla chip. Top each chip with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 350 for 3-5 min until cheese is melted and tortilla chips are crisp. Garnish with green onion

No worries if you don’t have them on hand.. I have written the recipe from start to finish…


Cheesy Crab Dip


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My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE Caramel.. Caramel apples, caramel popcorn, hot caramel drizzled over ice cream,  heck they eat it by the spoonful.   I personally would pick hot fudge on a sundae any day over caramel, But caramel apples was the request so here it is.

shot of Holiday caramel apples

Most of my kids like the apples covered in nuts.. If you have a nut allergy or just don’t like nuts you can keep them plain or coat in chocolate chips, toasted coconut, crushed pretzels, chocolate m&m’s, slivered almonds, dried fruit or even kosher salt for a more sophisticated caramel apple.  My son requested his “without nuts & sprinkles”

caramel apples upclose

These make a great holiday gift.  Just place in a cello bag and tie a bow around the top.

Homemade Caramel Apples


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 Popsicle or craft sticks or chopsticks
  • 8 medium tart apples, washed and dried
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped


  1. In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup and milk. Keep whisking until the sugar has melted and mixture comes to a boil. Lightly boil and keep whisking until it comes to a soft ball stage or desired consistency.
  2. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
  3. Insert Popsicle/Craft sticks into apples. Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat. Dip bottom of apples into peanuts. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and Refrigerate for 2 hrs.

You can use a craft sticks, lollipop sticks, popsicle sticks or Chopsticks work great as well and I always have those in a kitchen drawer from leftover Chinese takeout.

Here is a BIG tip for making the toppings stick to the caramel – Quickly after you dip the apples into the toppings, place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and placed in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

shot of Gold Ribbon Caramel apples

Store leftover caramel in the refrigerator.  Use on apples, pour over popcorn, top your ice cream or just eat it be the spoon.

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