Easy Strawberry Shortcake

This is super simple and classic dessert that you can put together in minutes. It’s one of the desserts that is perfect for picnics or to bring to pot lucks too.  Everyone just oohs and aahs over it!


Easy Strawberry Shortcake
  • 1 small tub Cool Whip
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 angel food cake loaf, sliced (or 12 individual shortcake cakes)
  • Sliced strawberries (1 container full, or approximately 2 dozen berries)
  1. Whisk together the instant pudding mix and cold milk; set aside to thicken (about 5 minutes). After the pudding has thickened slightly, fold in the Cool Whip.
  2. Layer the sliced angel food cake in a shallow pan. Add a layer of the whipped topping mixture over the cake. Layer some of the sliced strawberries on top of the cake slices. Place dollops of the whipped topping mixture on top of the berries. Garnish with additional strawberries on top of the whipped topping.


Fruit Pizza with a Cookie Crust

This fruit pizza is one of my favorite desserts.  I have another fruit pizza version here, which adds a creamy, pudding-based filling.  So delicious!

You can make this into a fruit tart, just cut the recipe in half and use a tart pan.

It’s a fun recipe to make with kids too!

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.


Fruit Pizza with a Cookie Crust
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, mandarin orange slices
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust:
  1. In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball.
  2. With your fingers, press the dough onto a pizza pan (or if you're making a tart, press into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides).
  3. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the filling and topping:
  1. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust.
  2. Cut the strawberries into ¼-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust.
  3. For the next circle, use mandarin slices.
  4. Add another circle of kiwis, filling in any spaces with blueberries.
  5. Cluster the remaining strawberries, mandarin, and blueberries in the center of the tart.
For the glaze:
  1. Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
  2. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire pizza (or tart). You will not use all of the glaze.
Keep the pizza in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into wedges and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional).


Air Fried Pickles

I’m a recent fan of fried pickles, and by recent, I mean I first tried this delicacy maybe two or three years ago.  Whaaaaaat????

It’s not that I disliked pickles that kept me away from them.  I mean, you can fry cheesecake, ice cream, Oreos, cookie dough.  Can you see the theme here?  Sweets are fried. I think pickles just never entered my mind as something TO fry.

But then there it was, the featured appetizer for happy hour.  I took the leap.  It WAS happy hour, after all. Everything during happy hour HAD to be good!  They were!

Fried pickles nowadays have been pretty skimpy, or at least they have been in my experience.  Lately, the fried pickles I’ve ordered have been paper thin, so thin that when fried they turn out chewy and just not good.  I don’t know if this is an easy way for establishments to cut costs, but with pickles?  C’mon.

I invested in an air fryer about a year ago, and I’ve made many things in it.  Fried pickles though are by far one of my favorites.  Now, whenever I have the craving for this treat, I can whip it up at home in no time.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.



Start by making a thin batter to coat the pickles.  You want to do this first, because as I’ll explain later, you don’t want to have your flour-coated pickles sit for a while as you prepare this batter.

Place your flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Add water and whisk, making sure there are no lumps.  If you want to make your pickles a little spicy, add some hot sauce to the batter.

The batter should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.  Set this aside for now.

At this point, you also want to place your breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or small baking pan.  You want some room to work with, so just be sure your bowl or pan is wide enough that you have room to move the breadcrumbs around as you coat each pickle slice.

Now things will move pretty quickly.

Slice whole dill pickles into 1/4-inch “coins.”  You can also cut baby dill pickles in half lengthwise, but I prefer the smaller pieces.  Place the cut pieces on a paper towel-lined plate.

I even use additional paper towels to absorb excess pickle juice.  You want these to be as dry as you can make them.

Place a cup of flour in a resealable bag, then add the pickle slices.  This is why you want the pickles dry.  If you didn’t soak up the excess pickle juice from them, you’d have a goopy mess when you add the pickles to the flour.

Seal the bag then give the pickles a good shake to evenly coat each slice with flour.

Take the slices out of the bag and place them on a plate.  Don’t do what did here (don’t pile them on top of each other).  Place the coated slices in one layer, especially if you have a lot of them (slices).  Like with most moist things coated in flour, the flour will eventually soak up any remaining moisture.  If you have the coated pickle slices piled on top of each other, they will end up sticking together if you don’t work fast to coat them (shown in the following steps).

This is why I have you making the dipping batter first, so that you don’t let the coated pickles sit for too long.

Dip each coated pickle slice into the batter, coating all sides.

Place the batter-dipped pickle slice into the breadcrumbs. Place more crumbs over the top, gently pressing down to ensure the crumbs adhere to the batter.  Carefully flip the pickle slice over, cover with crumbs and press again.

Place the crumb-coated pickle slices in a single layer onto a plate or tray.  Continue until all of the pickle slices are dipped in batter then coated in breadcrumbs.

When all the pickle slices have been coated in breadcrumbs, you’re ready to air fry them.

Most air fryer recipes call for pre-heating before cooking.  If yours requires that, by all means, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.  I usually preheat mine for about 5 minutes.

Place the pickles in your air fryer basket in a single layer.  Lightly spray the tops with oil cooking spray.

Cook at 400 degrees F for ten minutes.

After ten minutes of cooking, flip each pickle slice over.

Lightly spray them once more with oil cooking spray.  Cook for an additional 7 minutes, or until the pickles are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ranch dip is a favorite in my house) and enjoy!


Air Fried Pickles
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-4 servings
  • 2 cups sliced dill pickles
  • 1 cup flour, for dusting pickles
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Hot sauce, to taste, optional
  • Oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1¾ cups water
  1. Place all of the batter ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs into a small, shallow pan.
  3. Dry the sliced pickles with paper towels.
  4. Place the one cup of flour in a resealable bag. Place the pickle slices into the bag of flour. Seal the bag and shake to coat each of the pickle slices. Place the flour-coated pickles in a single layer on a plate or tray.
  5. Dip each flour-coated pickle slice into the batter, coating all sides.
  6. Cover the batter-coated pickle slice with breadcrumbs. Continue until all pickle slices have been coated with breadcrumbs.
  7. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  8. Place a single layer of pickles into the fryer. Light spray the pickles with oil cooking spray. Cook at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  9. After ten minutes, flip each pickle slice over, spray lightly with oil cooking spray, then cook for seven more minutes.
  10. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!


Ahi Tuna Poke, Four Ways

My family just loves seafood. One of our favorites is ahi tuna poke.  One of our best memories of one of our vacations to Oahu, Hawaii is being able to find a variety of poke almost everywhere, even in grocery stores, and not just ahi tuna poke but poke made with smoked octopus, salmon, shrimp, and other seafood delights!

Here are four of our ahi tuna poke favorites.  Clockwise from the top left:  Shoyu Poke, Ogo Seaweed Poke, Kimchee Base Poke, Spicy Mayo Poke.  Give them a try.  I think you’ll like them. 🙂



All four recipes below have a few ingredients in common:  ahi tuna, green onions, and either yellow, Maui, or any other sweet onion variety.

Cut the tuna steaks into 1/2-inch cubes.  I find it easier to cut them while still partially frozen.


Slice the green onions and yellow onions.



Now for the four variations — Shoyu, Ogo Seaweed, Spicy Mayo, and Kimchee Base.


Shoyu Poke

Shoyu — or soy sauce — poke is probably the simplest to make.  Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes in a small bowl.
Pour the Shoyu mixture over the ahi.
Add green and yellow onions.  Stir to combine. 


Ogo Seaweed Poke

Ogo seaweed gets its name from — you guessed it — the Ogo seaweed that’s in it. 😀Ogo seaweed poke is also pretty simple to make.  It’s getting the ingredients that’s going to prove challenging, especially if you don’t have an international market nearby.

You’ll need dried ogo — a little goes a long way.  I used maybe a couple of pinches of ogo for this recipe.  I got a good supply of dried ogo on my last trip to Hawaii, but I have seen it sold in international markets.  You can even order it from Amazon.

I also used Alaea (Hawaiian) sea salt in this recipe, but if you can’t find it, pink Himalayan sea salt will work in a pinch.


To make Ogo Seaweed Poke, add a couple of pinches of dried ogo, alea sea salt, sesame oil, Chili pepper flakes, green onions, and yellow onions to the bowl of ahi.

Stir to combine.  Sprinkle nori komi furikake over the top.

This is the furikake to use (nori komi furikake).

Spicy Mayo Poke

Spicy Mayo Poke is a popular one.  The beauty of this version is you can make it as spicy (or not spicy at all) as you want.  I usually make it not spicy, then add the spice (sriracha) to my own serving.  This way pleases everyone in my family.  One doesn’t like spicy foods, another likes it mild, I like it a little more than mild, and another likes it mouth-on-fire hot. 🌶🌶🌶🌶

To make Spicy Mayo Poke, you’ll need kewpie mayo, soy sauce, aji mirin, garlic powder, lime juice, and sriracha.


Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, including sliced green and yellow onions.

Stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the ahi. Stir to combine.


Kimchee Base Poke

Kimchee Base is a unique ingredient for most, but it’s commonly sold in Asian or international markets.  It’s usually used for — you guessed it — making kimchee, but I like to use it in many different recipes.

To make kimchee base kimchee, in a small bowl mix together kimchee base, aji mirin, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.

Pour the mixture over the ahi.  Add green and yellow onions.  Stir to combine.


That’s it!

Four versions of ahi tuna poke, all delicious (trust me), and all super easy to make.  Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy!



Ahi Tuna Poke, Four Ways
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Shoyu Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Chili pepper flakes, to taste
Ogo Seaweed Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 2 pinches dried ogo seaweed
  • 1 teaspoon alea (Hawaiian) sea salt
  • Chili pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons nori komi furikake
Spicy Mayo Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons kewpie mayo
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon aji mirin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, more or less to taste
Kimchee Base Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon kimchee base
  • 1 tablespoon aji mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
  1. For each poke recipe, mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Serve over hot steamed white rice.
  3. Enjoy!


Mexican Street Corn

There’s something about eating grilled corn that makes it feel like summer as well as making a BBQ all that more exciting and delicious!

One of my favorite ways to eat corn on the cob is what’s called elotes or Mexican street corn. It’s grilled corn slathered with a mixture of Mexican crema and mayo, then covered in salty, yummy cotija cheese.  There are a few restaurants and local vendors here in town that make this, but why go out and buy it when you can make it right in your own kitchen?

Crema looks like a more watery version of sour cream, bit it is actually similar to Crème fraiche as it has a higher butterfat content than sour cream and is less acidic.

Cotija is a hard, crumbly Mexican cheese that is made from cow’s milk that resembles feta cheese.

To make this deliciousness, start by cooking your corn.  You want it cooled enough so that the crema-mayo mixture adheres to it without melting from the heat of the corn.

Add the crema to a small bowl.











Add the mayo.











Add the garlic and onion powders.











Add the tajin.











Stir to mix.  Set aside.











If your cotija cheese comes in a block or wedge, you need to crumble it.  You can use a food processor to do this, or if you’re like me and don’t want to dirty extra dishes or utensils, crumble it with a fork.











If you want an extra special touch to your corn, try adding your favorite crushed chips.  I used Doritos here.  Place the chips in a quart-sized resealable bag, about 3/4 full.  Use whatever you have on hand to crush the chips — a mallet, a can of soup, your fist — whatever works.  You want small crumbs, but don’t pulverize it into a powder.











Pour the chips out onto a plate (it makes for easier coating if on a flat surface).











Now the fun part begins.  Take one ear of corn and slather it liberally with the crema-mayo mixture.











Roll the covered corn in the crumbled cotija cheese.  Use a fork to really get the cheese stuck onto the crema-mayo.











If you’re not feeling adventurous and don’t want to add crushed chips, that’s perfectly fine.  You can sprinkle on more tajin and call it good.











Or, go all-in and roll your elotes in some chips! Yeah, baby!  This is some good stuff, right here!











My recipe is enough to make four elotes.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it.

















Mexican Street Corn
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup Mexican crema
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons tajin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup crushed chips, optional
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the crema, mayo, tajin, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Slather the crema-mayo mixture over cooked and cooled ears of corn.
  3. Roll the crema-mayo covered corn in the crumbled cotija cheese.
  4. Roll the cheese-covered corn in the crushed chips if desired.


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