How To Make a JingleBerry Margarita

Here's a tasty cocktail to sip on through the holidays and beyond!

How to Make a Jingleberry Margarita

4 oz. Laughing Glass Cocktail Margarita

1 oz Cointreau (or substitute Orange Juice for a lighter version)

1/2 oz Pomegranate Juice

1/2 oz Cranberry Juice

Pinch of Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Pour into a martini or rocks glass. Garnish with a few fresh cranberries on a skewer.


  • with Cointreau: 215
  • with Orange Juice: 165


Turning Cheeseburgers into Chili: Tasty Recipe from Sunny Anderson and Extended Stay America

Traveling can be fun, but eating on the road isn't always a delight. Either you spend too much on a sit down meal, or you end up eating the same old fast food for dinner. Wouldn't it be nice to land at your hotel and have a nice warm meal that's easy to make? If you stay at an Extended Stay America, you can do that in their mini kitchens!

Sunny Anderson and Extended Stay America have put together a few recipes for travelers that are weary of eating the same old thing on the road. By jazzing up ordinary convenience food, you can have a really nice meal.

I put together one of the recipes in our home away from home: my mom's house. I grabbed a few burgers from In-N-Out. I had them put the spread and the cheese slices on the side, which most fast food restaurants can accommodate. Then, I stopped at a 7-Eleven in the adjacent parking lot for a couple more ingredients.

Cheeseburge to Chilii Ingredients

I had some beans on me. I mean, I'm Mexican. I should have beans on me at all times, right? Just kidding. Sort of.

Beans Beans

Then I deconstructed the burger into all of its parts and chopped or sliced into pieces. The lettuce I left as is and the bread I cut up into crouton sized bits for toasting later.

Five Easy Pieces
Deconstructed Cheeseburger.jpg

Start by heating a little bit of oil into a medium sized pot.

Start with Oil

Next, add the chopped hamburger patties.

Add Chopped Cheeseburger Patties

After that, add the salsa and beans.

Add Beans and Salsa

Let that simmer for about five minutes. While that's simmering, put the chopped up buns in the oven to toast for croutons

Chili Simmering
Toast Buns for Croutons

Then add the tomatoes and onions.

Add Tomatoes.jpg
Add Onions

Stir that around for a few more minutes. Top with cheese and croutons (and a little sour cream, if you've got it), and voila! You have a warm and tasty bowl of chili to chow down on!

Sugar with Cheeseburger Chili

And, of course, serve with a side of Frito's. Because it's just not the same without them!

Kids Eating Chili

By the way... my son who was mad that we weren't eating the burgers right away later said, "That chili was WAY better than having burgers!"


I have FIVE copies of Sunny Anderson's Away From Home Cooking cookbooks from Extended Stay America to giveaway! To enter, just leave me a comment about any eating-on-the-road stories you have. Five random commenters will be chosen next Friday to receive a copy of this book full of great recipes and tips for eating on the road.

GIVEAWAY: Sunny Anderson ESA Cookbooks


Thanksgiving in the Raw

If you're hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year, you've probably gone out of your way to put together a great menu. And being the host/hostess that you are, you want everyone to feel welcome, so you'll find vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/paleo options for those of your guests that have restrictive diets, and that's just so sweet and thoughtful of you!

But did you forget someone?

You did.

It's your favorite Aunt Irma. Didn't you just hear from Cousin Gladys that she's only eating raw food these days? Oh dear. What are you supposed to serve your favorite aunt who only eats RAW FOOD? She could have salad, but is that all she gets?

Fear not, my little nugget... I've rounded up a few recipes for you! Don't be surprised if the rest of your guests start to dip into these delicious dishes!

Asian Chopped Salad - The Raw Food Chef

Raw Vegan Lasagna - From Rawmazing

Raw Stuffing (because ya gotta have stuffing!) - The Rawtarian

And these recipes below, courtesy of Excalibur Dehydrators and Omega:

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish #raw #food


  • 2 cups frozen cranberries (defrosted and allowed to drain)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup chopped sweet onions
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger root
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp Psyllium powder
  • 2 cups Orange segments, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped sweet and salty walnuts (optional)


To quickly defrost cranberries, place them in a 125°F Excalibur dehydrator for 30-40 minutes. To make orange segments, peel and section oranges, removing the seeds. Chop each segment into about 4 pieces. Put the defrosted, drained cranberries, oranges, nuts, celery, onions, ginger root, coconut, sugar and Psyllium powder in a food processor outfitted with “S” blade and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture in a shallow glass dish and place it in an Excalibur dehydrator for 2-3 hours at 115°F. Transfer to a glass quart jar and refrigerate for a day or longer prior to serving. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Black Bottom Pecan Pie

Black Bottom Pecan Pie #raw #food

This recipe has four parts to it that in the end create a deliciously decadent dessert that might make you think about going along with Aunt Irma on her Raw Food journey.



  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 ½ cups pecans
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar
  • 6 soft dates, pitted
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Chocolate Bottom:

  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup soft pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped pecans

Candied Pecans:

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • Chocolate Drizzle:
  • ½ cup organic cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla



Place almonds, pecans, dates, evaporated cane sugar and cinnamon in the food processor using the S blade, and process until crumbly, yet sticky. Press mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.

Chocolate Bottom:

Blend ingredients in a high-speed Omega Blender to achieve a smooth consistence. Pour ¾ cup of the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Save any chocolate mixture that remains to roll into chocolate truffles.

For the Filling:

Place dates and coconut oil in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blend until smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans by hand and spread on top of the chilled chocolate bottom.

For the Candied Pecans:

Mix together syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Coat the pecan halves with mixture and use to decorate the pie. Arrange nuts in symmetrical fashion around the edge of the pie. *Chill the pie for a minimum of four hours prior to serving. *


And because Aunt Irma loves her nog...

Holiday Nut Nog

Holiday Nut Nog #raw #food


  • 1 Quart Almond Milk, Strained
  • 2/3 Cups of Macadamia Nuts
  • 8 Soft Pitted Dates
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp flax oil
  • 2 frozen peeled bananas
  • ½ tsp nutmeg


Dehydrate macadamia nuts in 105°F in an Excalibur dehydrator or 12 hours. If using vanilla bean, sit the bean lengthwise, scrape out the soft center (seeds) and discard the outer shell. Put the vanilla, almond milk, macadamia nuts, dates, maple syrup and flax oil in a blender. Blend with an Omega Blender until perfectly creamy. Just before serving, add bananas and blend until smooth. Serve chilled, sprinkled with a little nutmeg. 

Hope you and your Aunt Irma have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Grilled Cheese Goodness

This post was originally shared in April for National Grilled Cheese Month, but as we all know... Grilled Cheese is good ANY time of the year!


Did you even know that April is Grilled Cheese month? Neither did I! Apparently, it's been Grilled Cheese month for the last thirteen years. Who knew? 

In celebration, I'm sharing a few gourmet twists to the ooey-gooey yummy comfort food. These recipes are from Maria Zoitas, creator of “Maria’s Homemade” line of prepared food sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC.


Kefalograviera, Kerrygold, and Red Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwich



Gourmet Grilled Cheese 1.jpg
  • ¼ lb of Kefalograviera Cheese
  • ¼ lb of Kerrygold Cheese
  • ¼ lb of Red Gouda Cheese
  • 1 Loaf of Old Country Bread
  • ½ Stick of Butter


Place a slice of Kefalograviera, Kerrygold, and Red Gouda cheese on two slices of old country bread

Spread with a bit of butter and place on a hot pan or panini press until the cheese melts

Raclette, Organic Sharp Cheddar and Asiago Grilled Cheese Sandwich



  • ¼ lb of Raclette Cheese
  • ¼ lb of Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ lb of Asiago Cheese
  • 1 Loaf Focaccia Bread
  • ½ Stick of Butter


Combine slices of Raclette, Organic Sharp Cheddar and Asiago on slices of Focaccia Bread

Spread with a bit of butter and place on a hot pan or Panini press until the cheese melts

Limburger and Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwich



  • ¼ lb of Limburger Cheese
  • ¼ lb of Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 Jar of Spicy Peppers
  • 1 Loaf Pullman Bread
  • ½ Stick of Butter


Combine Limburger and Pepper Jack Cheese, sprinkled with spicy peppers, on slices of Pullman bread

Spread with a bit of butter and place on a hot pan or Panini press until the cheese melts


Gourmet Grilled Cheese 2.jpg