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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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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Having 6 children, our life is busy..  I’m sure most parents can relate.

This is a typical 5:00 p.m. conversation…
Kids: What’s for dinner Mom?
Me: I don’t know! I just walked in the door.
Kids: I’m hungry. I’m really really hungry!!!


My kids LOVE tacos.. Some like all the toppings.. Some don’t.  I love tacos because it’s a quick meal to make.  In fifteen minutes, its done.  While the meat, onions & garlic are cooking, I chop the tomatoes & lettuce and set up a Taco Tray for the kids to make their own.  I love making a mini taco bar so everyone gets exactly what they want.

taco bar vertical

By adding the beans & corn it stretches out the meal to make more.

Santa Fe Tacos


  • 1lb ground meat (turkey, lean ground beef, etc.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp homemade taco seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • Tortillas: Corn or Flour
  • Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, cheese, avocado, guacamole, onions, scallions, cilantro, jalapeños, lime wedges.

  • Homemade Taco Seasoning:
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano


  1. In a large saute pan, brown the meat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Stir in the spices and cook for 1 min while stirring. Stir in the beans & corn. Serve with toppings
  2. Homemade Taco Seasoning: Combine all spices together, mix well. Store in an airtight container

Taco bar

You can put tacos together in a matter of minutes.

Build your own TaylorMade Style Taco Bar
Look at these ideas: MacheMag
Taco Bars are growing more & more popular.  They are even showing up at weddings: HeidiRyder
and an incredible photographer in Florida who photographed a gorgeous Taco Bar.  Aislinn takes some of the most amazing photo’s: Aislinn Kate 
A taco bar is a fun way to allow yourself time to interact with your guests, rather than having to slave away in the kitchen during most of the party. Plus, a taco bar party cuts the preparation time in half, since a taco bar party allows guests to build their own tacos. Your guest will have a fun time building their TaylorMade Taco.
Check out some of these ideas: Heirloomla
Taco Bar
FREE Party Printables from: the36thAvenue
Fiesta Printables
and I just love this FREE FIESTA Banner from iheartnaptime
fiesta printable banner
Let’s Give them something to taco ’bout
taco bar vertical 123


Here are some other topping ideas: black olives, scallions, mango, jalapeños, pico de gallo, coleslaw, avocado, chopped onions, lime, cilantro


LOVE these TACO Tee’s from Happier Hour Shirts..

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There’s a bazillion spinach dip or artichoke dip recipes on the internet.  Some have mayo & cheese, some have cream cheese, some have crab, some have sour cream.  But most of them have one thing in common: the artichokes are added straight from the can or package.   When you roast any vegetable you bring out SOOOOOO much more flavor.  By roasting the artichokes, garlic & onion you have an incredible flavor before you add to your dip – I guarantee you this will blow away  any other “artichoke & spinach dip” you have ever tasted.

 Feel free to TaylorMake your own. This is MY personal favorite. The cream cheese & mayo makes a fantastic creamy base for this dip. The roasted artichokes, roasted garlic & caramelized onion are an explosion of flavor with mozzarella & parmesan cheese. Oh yeah, and there is spinach.. to make it healthy of course.

I mentioned in my last post that my kids aren’t really a fan of spinach.  OK, 3 of them are pretty much “Anti-spinach”  but all of them could care less that this dish has any at all when you taste cheesy goodness in every bite.

artichoke spinach dip

Pure Yummy cheesy goodness.   Serve with crispy tortilla chips, crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Roasted Artichoke & Spinach Dip


  • Olive oil & sea salt for roasting
  • 5 cloves of roasted garlic (recipe to roast below)
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
  • 3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • Tortilla Chips or Crackers for serving


  1. 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 400* for 25 min or until completely tender when poked with a fork or knife. Remove from foil. Allow to cool. Squeeze out 5 garlic cloves from the cooled head of garlic and smash into a paste. set aside.
  2. Arrange the artichoke hearts & 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. In a LARGE bowl combine the cream cheese & mayo. Stir in the smashed roasted garlic, artichokes, onions, spinach, parmesan & mozzarella. Mix together well. Pour into a casserole dish and Bake 350* for 15-20 min until golden on top. Top with extra grated cheese & parsley right before serving.

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My kids used to eat spinach when they were younger until they discovered how healthy it was and how much it failed in taste comparison to sugary candy.   I used to get them to eat spinach by calling it “incredible hulk” and collard greens by naming it “tree stars” (from the land before time) but our youngest is now 11 and he caught on long ago.   Although they wouldn’t fight over the last bag of spinach, My kids really love this salad.  It’s not because they have a new found love of spinach, trust me.. It’s Probably because it is on a stick.  In my experience as a mom, you can put just about anything on a stick and a child will eat it.

or adults for that matter.

We always had some form of salad on the TaylorMade Daily Special.  Sometimes we would feature a salad off the cafe menu or create a brand new one with whatever gorgeous produce was in season.

I came up with this idea last summer for a ladies lunch I was catering.  I was asked by the hostess to create a vegan “No Fork Needed” appetizer menu and this was one of the dishes.

I used regular  wooden skewers that I cut in half.  Don’t drizzle with the balsamic glaze until right before serving.

Strawberry Salad on a stick


  • 1 large container strawberries, washed, dried, & stems removed
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves, washed, dried & stems removed
  • 1/2 cup sliced candied almonds (recipe follows)
  • Balsamic Glaze to drizzle

  • For the Candied Almonds
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. Place one strawberry onto a skewer and slide it down, leaving about 1-2 inches at the end of the stick. Stack 3-4 spinach leaves, fold them over and place onto the stick. repeat with remaining strawberries and spinach using 3 strawberries per skewer.. Lay the salad skewers onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with candied almonds. When ready to serve, drizzle with Balsamic Glaze.
  2. For the candied almonds: Combine almonds and sugar in a small skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir until sugar is melted over almonds. You will be constantly stirring, so don’t plan to go anywhere for the next 3-5 minutes. Spread almonds in a single layer on waxed paper to cool.

Food is so much more fun when its on a stick.  Just look at the carnivals & fair’s.  Just about everything comes on a stick nowadays. But this isn’t post isn’t about greasy deep fried fair foods… It’s oh so much more.   I have devoted an entire board on Pinterest to it.

Check out some other creative ideas from my “Food on a Stick” Pinterest Board

food on a stick pinterest

I absolutely love this salad and how gorgeous it looks.  This beautiful summer salad that can be made year round since strawberries & spinach are always available.  Making it a perfect dish for a Holiday Christmas Party.   

I want to share a blog I absolutely love called Brit + Co.  Check out the post for 100 things you can serve on a stick

Featuring cake pops, kabobs and popsicles it’s all here.

Breakfast, appetizers, dinner & desserts.  You are sure to get inspired.

food on a stick

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I love Blurb.  You can make a gorgeous customized “TaylorMade” cookbook and Right now they are offering a 25% off discount. It’s deliciously easy to make a cookbook with Blurb.

Create a family cookbook, whip up a fundraising cookbook, or simply show off your own recipes in a beautiful book or ebook.

cookbook examples

Making a cookbook with Blurb is almost as easy as boiling water

Get your best recipes – from family favorites to signature dishes – off those file cards and into a bookstore-quality book. Blurb cookbooks are:

  • Simple to make – Just download Blurb BookSmart, our free book making software, and you’re on your way
  • Customizable – Drop your recipes into one of our cookbook layouts or push the creative edge and make your own layout featuring your illustrations, backgrounds, and photos
  • High quality – Our books feature professional bindings and your choice of paper and cover options – or feature your recipes in a beautiful ebook
  • Fast and affordable – Place your order and have your cookbook in about a week and receive a discount on volume orders
  • Designed to share – Get the word out on Twitter and Facebook with a link to a digital preview of your cookbook
  • Easy to sell – Whip up some profits with your cookbook: Set your own price in our online bookstore, sell your book, and keep 100% of your profit.

blurb cookbook

Surprise!! Here Is A Discount Code Valid Until 11/21/13!

 Save 25% when you spend $50 or more on print books with code: SAVING

Blurb has something else that’s really cool..

Blurb’s Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

Blurb’s Chicken Soup For Your Soul!
It can be really hard buying books for people as gifts. After all, you never know just which books they already have. And then when you do find the right book and give it to them, how do you make it really personal? Put in a book plate? Write an inscription? How do you make the whole thing totally them?

These personalized “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books are one really great way to do it. Not only do you get to choose from five different story themes (from “Christmas Stories” to “Giving thanks”), you can personalize it in ways you just can’t with a conventional book. As the title suggests, these are stories meant to comfort and heal.

Blurb chicken noodle

Your custom “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book will truly be a TaylorMade book for them because the book is printed with their name on the cover, as the recipient. And it’s truly from you because your name is printed on the cover as the giver. You can even include an inscription inside the book and on the back cover. Even add a photo to the back.

There are other nice options to choose from, like the type of cover you’d like and the type of paper. It takes just about five minutes to make it a truly custom book. And chances are, it’s something they’ll love forever. And a 60-page book starts at just $24.95.

There’s a quick video here: Chicken Soup for the Soul that shows you how to fill in all the info using a simple online tool. The books are all done by Blurb, so you know the quality is going to be great.

Get started here: Blurb’s Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

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