Fresh Pear Cake with Vanilla Glaze

recipes with pears

My jaw dropped when I saw this cake.  I love pears, cake and thick glaze – especially when combined!  And this is an exceptionally moist cake thanks to the peeled and grated pear, as well as the canola oil (oil cakes tend to be very moist).


Recipe and Photo courtesy of Taste Of The South Magazine

Coconut Lime Shredded Chicken Tacos

lime chicken tacos

I’ve been concentrating on desserts and appetizers but this is one entree that I couldn’t pass up sharing with.  Super easy to make and super delicious – its a great recipe to have in your repertoire.  This recipe is thanks to Traca at Eat.At.

There is so much to love about this chicken taco recipe. First – it’s a snap to make using a rotisserie chicken.  Second, thanks to the coconut, lime, cumin and cilantro it bursts with flavor (the coconut milk thickens as it heats). Third, they are delicious as leftovers if you are lucky enough to have any.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Carmelized Onions

vegetarian pizza recipe

For those of you that love roasted butternut squash (with those delicious caramelized edges) – this recipe is for you!  It also features caramelized onions, two cheeses and fresh sage – all ingredients compliment each other beautifully.  When I make these I use Naan bread, the delicious, soft Indian bread that is now readily available at most supermarkets.  It’s so easy to use and I love its taste and texture.

roasted butternut squash recipe

Tagliatelle Pasta with Sausage, Red Peppers and Arugula

Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe

The combination of flavors in this sausage pasta recipe are a wonderful marriage: interesting and balanced.   As a bonus it is super easy to pull together for a fast weeknight dinner or as elegant company dish.

To consider if making this dish:

    • Although the original recipe calls for fresh tagliatelle, either fresh or dried works beautifully.  As does fettucini or even spaghetti.  I always go for the wider pasta while my husband prefers thin (I usually win out:)
    • Not a fan of spicy argula?  Baby spinach is a great substitute.
    • The 1/2 cup of heavy cream makes for a luscious mouthfeel.   But if you are trying to cut fat and calories you can substitute with 1/4 cup of pasta water (make sure you reserve from as you drain).

Maple Dijon Chicken

Simple Chicken Recipes

This is an incredibly simple chicken recipe that is full of flavor and sure to become a family favorite.  Fast enough for a weeknight dinner, yet so darn good and appealing it makes a great, delicious chicken recipe good enough for company.

With 3 ingredients, it comes together in less than 5 minutes.

Maple Dijon Chicken from Witty In The City

Cold Avocado Soup with Chicken and Roasted Corn

This recipe just may be my “2012 Summer Recipe”; meaning it’s the best darn recipe I tried this summer!  I’ve no doubt that I will be serving this easy cold avocado soup recipe to family and friends in the years to come.  It was beautiful to present and absolutely scrumptious!

This recipe comes from Cooking Light but I have, like I do to all their recipes, tinkered with it.  A few things to note in particular: 1) the recipe called for water as the ‘broth’ but I swapped it for more flavorful chicken broth.  The only negative from the swap  is that it softened the green color a tad but the increase in the soup’s flavor was well worth it.  I also 2) used the chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken, shaving a lot of time off the recipe. 3) I added another avocado because I wanted a thicker soup.


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Mango Salsa for Fish, Chicken…..Even Chips!

Mango Salsa Fish

I came across a mango salsa recipe soon after we married and it was my first ‘fancy meal’ for company! 17 years later I still make it when I want to impress.  It’s a very easy fruit salsa recipe that takes about 15 minutes to throw together.  Mango salsa is delicious on most fish, chicken and pork.

Feel free to add/change ingredients to this mango salsa.  And although the recipe above calls for cilantro, it is equally as good with parsley.

Thai Beef Salad Recipe

Friends of mine at have been singing the praises of this flank steak salad recipe for quite some time.  Now that I’ve made it I’m definitely chiming right in with them: it’s delicious!  Thanks to a divine sauce that is, at once, both marinade and dressing – the salad has great flavor.  Although a light meal compared to steak and potatoes, add a roll with a great crust and a glass of good wine and you’ve got yourself a wonderful meal.  Easy too!

Ellie Krieger, a host on Food Network, developed this recipe which I’ve adapted a tad.  I like her use of thinly sliced shallots (not as strong as onions) as well as mixing basil and cilantro.  However, as I serve it throughout the summer, I’m going to add a few more ingredients such as thinly sliced cucumbers, matchstick carrot strips, mushrooms (I might saute those first to brown them a bit and bring out more of their flavorful) and even dried cherries.

Flank steak, once cooked, needs to be sliced thinly and across the grain, otherwise it will be very tough.  I explain and show how to do this in my Maple-Soy Marinade for Flank Steak.

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Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday!

Fat Tuesday is almost upon us, and if you are looking for last minute decorations OR recipes, I’ve got a few for you!

First, a DIY post on making festive pinwheels, from Mardi Gras Outlet.  You will find so many fun things at Mardi Gras Store.   And for all of their Mardi Gras Craft Tutorials Click Here:

Adorable cupcake toppers (FREE PRINTABLES for Mardi Gras) from TomKat Studio:

This new post is for a more “kid-friendly” Mardi Gras mask, BUT you could easily use the Mardi Gras Mask tutorial from Twig and Toadstool, and create something elegant:

No Fat Tuesday party is complete without a King Cake Recipe.  Check out this this from the Brown Eyed Baker:

You’ll definitely need something to DRINK while celebrating, so click over and check out the Mardi Gras Drink Recipes from Simply Stated:

And finally… two Mardi Gras Recipes! One is a healthy Jambalaya recipe from .  Also a crawfish fettuccine:

Happy Feasting!

Red Curry Chicken & Shrimp

I had never made curry before, but thanks to an article in Fine Cooking magazine I had great success the very first time.  They teach, as I’ll show you below, how to make a flavorful curry base.  From there, simply add your choice of protein (meat, chicken, seafood or Tofu) and vegetables.  I chose chicken, shrimp, asparagus and mushrooms but it is really up to you as to what you want to use.

Let me also say upfront that I quickly gave the chicken, shrimp and vegetables a quick stir fry because I wanted them to develop more flavor (and browning does that) than just by cooking in the curry base but you definitely don’t need to do that.  If you choose not to, just add to the broth (I’ll tell you when in the recipe below) and simmer until cooked through (approximately 3- 5 minutes for the protein and vegetables).

Keys for success:  1)  Have all your ingredients prepped and chopped prior to any of the cooking.  This will make the entire cooking process much easier and organized. 2) If you are going to stir-fry your ingredients first, before adding to the curry base, make sure your pan is very hot.  You want to quickly brown them a bit – but not necessarily cooking 100% through – you can finish them off while simmering in the curry base.

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