Strawberry Fruit Leather


Who remembers the good ole days when life was simple and fruit roll-ups were made to be wrapped around your finger and eaten (we alll know you did it so stop denying)?  Those little cavity creators were the best.  Of course they are not the healthiest things out there for kids (or adults).  I came across a homemade healthy version of fruit roll-ups years ago.  Fruit leather is was called.  I can’t even remember where the recipe came from.  Boy it was unbelievably good and so very easy to make.  Hence, the reason I can’t remember where the recipe came from.  You literally have to remember four things.  Two ingredients, an oven temp and cooking time.  BOOM!

Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line an 11-by-17 cookie sheet with a Silpat baking mat. If you don’t have one, use parchment paper, although a Silpat will give better results.  DO NOT USE WAX PAPER!  Wax paper is not made to be heated.  Please do not use it.  You won’t enjoy the results.


You start with 4 cups of fresh strawberries.  Really 4 cups of any fruit you like would work.  I have done blueberry-strawberry, cherry raspberry strawberry and a peach one but I wasn’t a huge fan of that.  I have also only used fresh fruit.  I have no idea how it would turn out if you used frozen.  I think it would require more time to cook out all the liquid but I’m not sure.  If you try, let me know.

To the 4 cups of fruit add 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey.  Now depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you can add up to two tablespoons of honey.  Fruit that is in season generally won’t need as much.  Puree the fruit and honey till there are no chunks.



Slowly pour the pureed fruit onto the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it out evenly.  This is the only tricky part.  You want to make sure you have it even because the thinner parts are going to bake faster and get hard and crispy.


Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours or until the leather is no longer sticky/tacky to the touch.  I would start checking around 3 hours.  If you notice the edges are getting done faster, you can remove the leather from the oven and careful cut the edges off and cool on a rack while the rest continues to cook.

Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool.  When it has cooled, peel off the silpat mat and either cut into strips or you can place it on wax paper and cut it into strips that way!


Come on, you know you did it!


Serving Size: 2 Strips

Strawberry Fruit Leather

5 minPrep Time:

4 hrCook Time:

4 hr, 5 Total Time:

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  • 4 cups of strawberries
  • 1-2 Tbsps of raw honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  2. Wash and dry the strawberries. Remove the stems and chop.
  3. Place into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the honey and pulse to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the mat and use a spatula to spread evenly to about 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Make sure that the mixture does not get thinner at the edges since they will cook faster than the interior.
  6. Bake for 3-4 hours or until the mixture has dried completely. (Check it starting at 3 hours.)
  7. When done, cut with scissors into strips and store in a zip top plastic bag or an airtight container for up to 1 month.


Helpful Tips:

Spread the fruit puree evenly, and don’t let it thin out at the edges since they bake faster.

The mixture will dry from the edges inward, so if you notice that done around the perimeter but the interior is still tacky to the touch, remove your pan from the oven and simply cut it off the edges with kitchen shears. Let them rest on a wire rack while the rest of the fruit leather finishes baking.

You can tell that the fruit leather is done when it’s completely set and dry and it peels off easily from the mat.

If you happen to over-bake the edges, simply place those strips into a zip top plastic bag and let sit overnight at room temperature. In the morning, it should be softened up!

21 Day Fix: 1/2 Purple


Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa


I am so over the cold and the snow.  It goes from 70° and sunny to 6-8 inches of snow the next day. No wonder the flu is rampant here in upstate NY.  We’ve been so sick here the last month.  My poor kids have missed so much school and had so much to make up.  Well, I am declaring we are done with illnesses.  NO MORE!!!

I decided that to get us out of “the funk” we’ve been in, I was grilling chicken and making a colorful fresh fruit salsa.  My kids are southwestern food obsessed, so I figured this meal would go over well.  It’s not too spicy (you control the heat) and actually very simple to throw together.  The flavors sound a bit odd but they work so well together.  You can also taste every single ingredient that goes into it.

First start by making the chicken marinade.  I made it in the morning before I went to work and let it sit all day in the frig.  The flavoring turned out perfect.  Some olive oil, garlic, onion, chipotle chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, cayenne, lime juice and zest all make up the marinade.  Just whisk the ingredients together, and dump over the top of the chicken.  I let it marinate for about 8 hours and it was amazing.  Don’t have 8 hours?  I would recommend at least 30 minutes of marinade time.


I usually just put my chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag and pour the marinade on top.  The bags make for easy clean up.


I also put the bag in a bowl before I store it in the frig.  I’ve had a few instances where the bag had a small hole or wasn’t sealed tightly and the raw chicken goo ran all over.  Not a fun clean up.  I’ve since learned.


After setting the chicken aside to mingle with the sauce, I got to work on my salsa.  So easy!  I chopped strawberries, pineapple, onion, avocado, cilantro and a tiny bit of jalapeno and placed them in a bowl.


To that I added a little lemon juice, zest, cumin, salt pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil and stirred it all together.  The lemon juice will keep the avocado from turning brown.  Cover the bowl and place the in the refrigerator till ready to use.


Once you are ready to start making dinner, pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you heat up the grill.  I used my indoor grill because my back deck is covered in snow at the moment and I wasn’t about to stand outside in it and grill.  The indoor grill works perfect for these situations.  Once the grill was heated, I cooked them on medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side.  I then took them off the grill and placed the chicken on a plate that I covered with foil to let them rest while I heated the tortillas on the same grill.


When the tortillas are heated through, dice the chicken and add to the warm tortillas with the fruit salsa and some avocado creme sauce (mashed avocado, sour cream, lime zest and garlic I just throw it together till it looks good) and some more cilantro!

There you have it!  A simple delicious dinner in no time at all!

Happy Eating!


Serving Size: 2 tortillas

Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with a rainbow of colors from the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa. Simple and delicious!

15 minPrep Time:

20 minCook Time:

35 minTotal Time:

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  • Chipotle Lime Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon hamalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
  • Lime zest from 1 lime
  • 1 lb chicken breast trimmed of fat
  • For the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
  • 1/4 ripe pineapple, trimmed and diced
  • 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and diced
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno,seeded and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients together and pour evenly all over chicken breasts.
  2. Allow chicken to sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
  3. Dice pineapple, strawberries, avocado and onions. De-seed the jalapeno and dice.
  4. Toss pineapple, strawberries, onion, avocado and jalapeno and cilantro, with the lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. If you would like it spicier, add some of the jalapeno seeds to taste.
  5. Can be served immediately or even better chilled.
  6. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium heat.
  8. Grill chicken undisturbed for for 8-10 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.
  9. Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  10. To assemble, place diced or sliced chicken in the tortillas then top with Salsa followed by Avocado Creme if desired.
Cuisine: Southwestern |


Total Time does not include marinating chicken

21 Day Fix: 1 Red, 1 Purple, 1 Blue, 1 Yellow, 2 tsp


Blueberry & Merlot Cranberry Sauce


Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I thought I would share my recipe for homemade cranberry sauce.  If you have never made your own cranberry sauce, it really is quite easy.  Plus, there is no comparing homemade to the canned stuff.  I stopped buying the sauce in a can a long time ago and have experimented with a many different recipes but this one is my favorite thus far.  The taste is unbelievable! Plus it has wine in it and we all know how much I enjoy my wine.  Win Win!!

I have been making this recipe for the past couple of years.  The first year I made it, I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t go over so well with the husband for one reason; CLOVES.  Ask him any day of the week, “do you smell that?” or “what is that smell?”  You get the response of, “I don’t smell anything.”  He never smells anything. However, slightly loosen the lid to a jar of cloves, he becomes a blood hound:

“You bought cloves didn’t you?”


I thought maybe I could get away with it because he was at work when I made it but that didn’t happen.  It’s all he smelled for days and candles didn’t help cover it up.  And of course, he wouldn’t touch the sauce, I knew there was a chance he wouldn’t but I thought, I could trick him.  His hatred (yes, it’s a hatred) of cloves makes baking this time of year difficult.  His sister is the same way.  In all fairness to them, it was the way they were punished if they talked back, swore or got sassy as kids.  They had to sit with whole cloves on their tongue. Better than sitting with a bar of soap in your mouth but still.

I, on the other hand, LOVED the sauce.  What’s not to love? It’s wine, blueberries, cranberries and a couple spices!


Last year I adapted the recipe and every single drop was consumed in two days.  We probably could have eaten it with a spoon but we do have some etiquette.  I made biscuits and we ate the leftovers that way.

You are going to use fresh cranberries and frozen blueberries. No, there is no need to thaw the blueberries out first.  You could also use another fruit besides blueberries or a mixed berry blend but I have to be careful of seeds for some family members so I have only tried with blueberries.


I used a Merlot because it is my favorite and what I always have on hand but any type of red wine will work here.  It also doesn’t have to be expensive. I have never tried using a white wine so I’m not sure how well that would turn out.  Now, for those of you questioning my sanity of serving this to kids, I don’t have a problem with it. The wine is cooked for 30 minutes so any alcohol would be cooked out.  No one will be getting drunk from eating the cranberry sauce.  Sorry!  However,  it’s your choice as to whether this is appropriate for you and your family.


Here is the original recipe but like I said, I adapted mine to fit my family and our tastes.


Yield: 2 Cups (16 oz)

Blueberry & Merlot Cranberry Sauce

5 minPrep Time:

25 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

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  • 8-ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) fresh cranberries
  • 6-ounces frozen blueberries (about 1 1/2 cups), unthawed
  • 1 cup Merlot or a favorite red wine)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large kettle (it seems like an overkill but the sauce will triple in volume as the mixture boils).
  2. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring intermittently for 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture has reduced and thickened slightly and most of the cranberries have burst.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes before transferring to heat safe jars.
  5. Allow the sauce to cool completely before refrigerating.
  6. Sauce will thicken while cooling.


Sauce will keep airtight in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.




Healthy Slow Cooker Apple Butter


In the area of NY that I live in, we specialize in three things food wise:  Garage Plates (that’s another discussion for another time), grapes/wine and apples!  We have to have one of the best apple farms just around the corner from us, so apples are one of our favorite thing to pick in the Fall.  This of course means we have A LOT of apples.

It isn’t always easy to eat all the apples so we tend to get creative with them.  Apple blossoms, apple crisp, candy apples, apple fritters, applesauce, apple pie, baked apples, apple cider, fried apples and today’s recipe; apple butter.  I feel a little like Bubba from Forest Gump.  There really is a lot you can do with them though.  Don’t even get me started on dips to go with apples.

So before I get myself craving a nice, hot apple crisp, let’s get on with the recipe.

Apples are slowly cooked in the crock pot with sugar and spices, caramelized to make this sweet thick dark apple preserve (like a spreadable apple pie) that’s great on toast, stirred into oatmeal, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, served over pancakes or biscuits, graham crackers, etc, and for savory dishes such as roast pork or on a sandwich.  One of my favorites is carved turkey sandwiches with apple butter and cheddar cheese.  Yum!

It is so easy to make! You can use any type of sweet apple you would like.  I used Empire because it is what we had but honeycrisp would be good too.  Just remember to dice the apples up finely.  AB1



Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon

Healthy Slow Cooker Apple Butter

10 minPrep Time:

6 hrCook Time:

6 hr, 10 Total Time:

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  • 6 large sweet apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar in the raw
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg


  1. Place the apples in a slow cooker.
  2. Top with sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and stir well.
  3. Cover and cook high 5 hours, or low 10 hours, stirring once halfway, until the apples are tender and dark brown.
  4. Uncover and puree with an immersion blender or place in a blender and puree (careful, mixture will be hot). You can also use a potato masher.
  5. Cook uncovered, on high another hour, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  6. Let cool and spoon into jars or containers, cover and refrigerate.


Will keep in the refrigerator for one month.

Approx 35 calories per tablespoon

21 Day Fix: 1 Orange


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”


It’s summer time and what’s one of the best things about summer?  ICE CREAM!!  Whether you are a soft serve or hard ice cream person, it is the quintessential frozen treat of summertime!  Myself, I am a hard ice cream girl.  Soft serve is okay but usually ice cream shoppes only have the three main flavors of vanilla, chocolate and twist.  I like to mix it up and have a variety.  So, hard ice cream it is.  It also doesn’t seem to melt as fast as soft serve.

I could make an entire meal of just ice cream.  It is one of the two things I will not give up in my diet; coffee being the other.

So in order for me to be successful on the 21 Day Fix, I had to come up with a different way to incorporate my ice cream.  I did some research and came up with “ice cream” made with frozen bananas.  Now stay, with me.  It’s honestly not as weird as it sounds.

First you take 3-4 bananas, peel them and chopped them into large chunks.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a freezer bag and put them in the freezer till they are completely frozen.


 Once the bananas are frozen, take them out of the freezer and add them to a food processor or high powered blender.  These pieces are a bit big so cut them in about 1/2 inch chunks.  Food processors and blenders can’t handle large chunks.


Now comes the fun part!  You can pretty much make any type of “ice cream” you want.  I have added strawberries, vanilla extract and a touch of honey to make strawberry banana.  Bananas with peppermint extract, a touch of green food coloring and chocolate pieces were used to make mint chocolate chip and my favorite so far is chocolate peanut butter!

Process the the bananas on high for about 45 seconds until they are creamy.  Doing them any longer will cause the friction to heat the bananas and start to melt them.  Next, add in 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (I actually used PB2 and it turned out fine) and 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.  I only used one because I added some dark chocolate flakes. Pulse a few more seconds to blend it all together.


Please note that I have switched appliances here.  My 15 year old, finicky food processor decide to take that moment to start smoking and stop working.  Sigh….

The ice cream can be frozen in a sealed container for a few days or it can be eaten straight away!

Next flavor to try?  I’m thinking chocolate almond coconut!

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

Only 3 ingredients make up this wonderful frozen treat!

5 minPrep Time:

5 minCook Time:

10 minTotal Time:

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  • 3-4 peeled bananas cut into 1/2 inch chunks, frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Take 3-4 ripe bananas (the more ripe the better – they should have at least a few brown spots), peel them, and add to a plastic freezer bag or baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze overnight until they’re completely solid
  2. Add the frozen bananas to a food processor or high powered blender
  3. Blend for 45 seconds.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until incorporated.


Can be put in a sealed container in the freezer for a few days!


Strawberry Mango Salsa


Fresh strawberries and mangoes come together to make this spicy salsa

There is nothing like a good homemade salsa!  My inspiration for this salsa came from The Bonefish Grill’s mango salsa.  I get it with the blackened fish tacos or seared scallops whenever we go there.  It’s sweet and spicy and the perfect combination.  While walking through the grocery store the next morning after eating at the Bonefish, I saw a display of mangoes. I figured, why not try making my own salsa?  So I picked through the mangoes trying to find the perfect one, which was harder then I thought, considering I had never bought a fresh mango before.

I found a couple with little “give” when I pushed on them and figured I would give those a shot.  When I got home I set out trying to replicate the salsa.  It’s sad to admit but I actually had to google how to cut a mango.  I had no clue.  Turns out, the ones I grabbed were perfect.  Once I learned how to cut the mango, it was smooth sailing from there.  I diced up the mango, very finely cut some red onion and a jalapeno, added some lime zest and juice and a tiny bit of honey since I am avoiding sugar.  Now normally, salsa has cilantro in it.  My family will not eat it fresh.  They say it tastes like soap.  I think they are crazy.  I love it!  But since I am the only one who does, I opted to go with fresh basil in it instead.  It didn’t quite taste the same but it was still good.

As I was putting the salsa in the refrigerator, I saw the last of the strawberries from when we went picking at the beginning of the week and wondered what they would taste like in it.  I tried a strawberry with the salsa and it was magic!  I quickly diced up a bunch and added them to the mangoes.

It went perfect with our fish nachos.  It gave it the right amount of sweetness to counteract the spiciness of the fish!  It was not bad on its own either!

Serving Size: 4 servings

Strawberry Mango Salsa

15 minPrep Time:

15 minTotal Time:

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  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (cilantro can be used in its place)
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime


  1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, mango, jalapeño, onion, basil, honey and lime zest and juice.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate.