Friday, March 16, 2012

Meal Planning for You

I love meal planning. Every weekend, I make out a list of new recipes I have found, created and/or modified and list out all of the ingredients to make my grocery trips easier. New recipes are fun to try, and your family will certainly appreciate the extra effort and variety you bring to their bellies :)

I've had quite a few people asking me to help them with meal planning, so I have decided to start offering this service. If you are interested, email me at!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mixed Berry Cheesecake Dip

I have a sweet tooth. I love all things sugar: pudding, cereal, candy, cookies, cupcakes name it! And I absolutely ADORE cheesecake. Andy doesn't love that I'm a sugar junkie, but I'm perfectly fine with it :) Lol.

The other day, I was surfing my new favorite blog,, and I stumbled across a recipe that would not only satisfy my cheesecake craving, but also would use up some leftover ingredients in the fridge and pantry. Double score!

Mixed Berry Cheesecake Dip
Recipe loosely adapted from
adapted from Ina Garten

-1 pound of room temperature cream cheese
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1 tablespoon lemon zest
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-3 Tablespoons heavy cream
-2 cups mixed berries (diced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc)

Place the cream cheese and sugar at medium-high speed in a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) or use a hand mixer to mix until light and fluffy for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the sour cream, lemon zest, vanilla, and heavy cream. Beat mixture until well combined. If the consistency is too thick, add a bit more heavy cream. Pour into a 9 inch pie plate. Use a spatula to spread and smooth over top of the dip.

Cover and place in fridge to chill for a few hours. Serve this with graham crackers or pretzels.


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Incredible Sandwich Factory in Alpharetta, Georgia

Last week, Andy and I visited a little sandwich shop our friend Wayne recommended off of McFarland Road in Alpharetta, Georgia. It is called "The Incredible Sandwich Factory."

This place was awesome! The owner, Julio, is not only a delight to talk to, but has done a great job of giving his delicious sandwiches a lot of character; they are all themed around movies, like "The Porkfather," and "Top Turkey."

The food here was scrumptious! Julio puts a lot of time into the meats, making it tender and succulent. You can add anything from grilled avocado (Julio says that he grills it because it tastes like avocado butter :) to jalapenos to your sandwich. Andy and I shared "The Mariachi," with pork with grilled avocado, American and Swiss cheese, red and tomatillo sauces and lettuce and tomato. Yum! We also shared "The Great Roast." WOW! This one has fat free mayo, whole round eye pot roast, spicy onion salad, red sauce, and of course, we added the grilled avocado. Let me tell you, that spicy onion salad and red sauce were TO DIE FOR! Andy isn't even a fan of red meat, and he DEVOURED his half of this one. It was unbelievable.

All his bread comes in fresh, which makes the sandwiches even more enjoyable. Julio believes in using all local ingredients as well- something we can all appreciate.

The restaurant is open from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, so definitely go by on your lunch hour or visit after work for dinner. They are located at 1545 McFarland Parkway, Alpharetta, 30005, and their website address is You can also like the "The Incredible Sandwich Factory" on Facebook.

Drop by for an "Incredible" sandwich today, and tell Julio that Neeta sent you :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Barbecue Bean Pizza and Amish Pasta Salad

Mondays were traditionally vegetarian in my household growing up. My Mom would always make something Indian, which was awesome, but tough for me to continue since I don't do much Indian cooking.

I tried to get creative. Since we love naan pizza (individual pizzas made on Indian naan bread), I came up with this little spin on barbecue chicken pizza and served it with my favorite pasta salad, which is a recipe I loosely adapted from

Sorry for the poor picture quality. We were between houses moving, so we didn't have our cameras readily available.

Barbecue Bean Pizza

-Store bought garlic naan bread (available at most grocery stores or your local Indian grocer)

-A can of kidney or great northern beans, rinsed

-Your favorite barbecue sauce

-Mozzarella cheese

-Sliced red onions

-Chopped cilantro

-Chopped tomatoes

-Lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place greased foil on a baking tray. Lay your naan breads down and spread about a tablespoon of barbecue sauce on each.

Slice up the mozzarella cheese and distribute among the pizzas.

Toss the beans with barbecue sauce (There is really no portioning with this, do as much or as little as you want. Just get the beans coated in the sauce).

Spread the pizza with the bean mixture, then top with onions.

Place the pizzas in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until crispy.

While the pizzas cook, mix the cilantro and tomatoes together.

Once done, top each pizza with the cilantro-tomato mixture, then cut into four. Serve with lime wedges. Delicious!

Amish Pasta Salad

Recipe loosely adapted from

-1 lb wheat elbow macaroni (white is fine, we try to be healthy!)

-2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

-1-1 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (to your taste)

-3 tablespoons yellow mustard

-1/3 cup white sugar

-2 1/4 teaspoons white vinegar

-3/4 teaspoon celery seed

-Sliced green olives (with or without pimento is fine)

Cook elbow macaroni until al dente. Drain. Allow pasta to cool for 10 minutes.

Toss macaroni with last 7 ingredients. Refrigerate until very cold.


As always, please let me know if you have any questions :) Happy Eating!!!

I'm Back!!!

Happy March Everyone!

I'm back. I have lots of recipes to share with you, too, so stay tuned!

I must now introduce you to the newest member of my family. This is our handsome son, Naveen:

Of course, Mommy is going to do everything she can to teach him about cooking :) I am so excited to share with my little man!

I will be back to share VERY SOON, my friends!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Andy's Mexican Lasagna

Hello to all!

I am so sorry I haven't posted in such a long time! Andy and I have had a busy summer shooting weddings with Renner Foto. Things have been crazy, and needless to say, I haven't been cooking nearly as much as a good wife should. Ahhh!!!

On a side note, our good friend Tommy is coming next week...and he said that he has learned to bake many fresh and fun breads and things of that sort. When Tommy is here, exciting things inevitably happen in our kitchen! Stay tuned for some of his recipes coming soon :)

Andy is an amazing cook! I am so blessed, as I have learned so many things from him over the years about mixing ingredients and so forth. Last weekend was one of those wonderful times where I was fortunate enough to experience the yummy, spicy flavors that he perfectly combines together to create his scrumptious Mexican Lasagna.

I didn't take photos of the ingredients this time, but since so many people have requested the recipe, it would be silly for me to have not posted this one.

Get excited! Here it is, in the words of the man himself:

Andy's Mexican Lasagna

1 lb ground sausage
1 lb ground turkey (turkey can be substituted with beef, if you prefer)
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 cans black beans
2 cans red beans
1 can fiesta corn
3 chipotle peppers in adobo (canned)(more peppers = more heat)
15 medium flour tortillas
1.5 lb brick of queso fresco
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain all beans and corn in a large colander. Be sure to get all
liquid out. Finely chop chipotle peppers. Crumble or grate the brick
of cheese. Mix these ingredients into a large bowl with some salt and
pepper to taste. Save ½ a brick of grated cheese for later.

Finely chop the cloves of garlic and the onion and sauté in a large
pan with a little extra virgin olive oil (or "EVOO," as Rachael Ray would say ;) on low heat. Add meat to this mixture when the onion starts to become translucent. Fully cook the meat, adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix the meat into the bean mixture in a very large bowl.

Cut the ends of 15 tortillas off so that they make a square instead of
a circle (Save these ends for a fun treat which I will tell you about later). Layer the bottom of a large casserole dish with thesesquare tortillas. Sprinkle 1/3 of t he cheese you have saved over the tortillas. Put half of your bean and meat mixture into the casserole dish layering the tortillas. Place another layer of tortillas with sprinkled cheese down over the mixture. Put the second half of the mixture into the casserole dish and cover with another layer of tortillas. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top layer.

Cover with aluminum foil loosely so that the cheese does not stick to
the foil when it is removed after cooking. Place in oven at 350 for
45 mins. Remove foil and place back in oven for 15 minutes. Let it
sit for 30 minutes before cutting.


Our Review:

Obviously, this is one of the best things ever! Andy not only knows how to make something flavorful, but he knows how to present it. If you'd like, you can serve this with sour cream, salsa and guacamole :) It is VERY filling!! Keep that in mind :)

The Ends of the Tortillas~ Sopapillas!!!

For a light, crunchy dessert, take the ends of the tortillas and toss them with a little oil. Fry them in some vegetable oil until crispy, then toss in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. It is a sweet delight for after dinner!

As always, feel free to let me know if you have any questions :)

Photos provided by:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stuffed Chicken Burgers

Lately, I have been working very hard on creating a more healthy menu. After all, we are way too young to let what we eat catch up with us.

Tonight, I made Stuffed Chicken Burgers. Intrigued? Read on my was scrumptious!!!


~1-2 lbs of ground chicken (depending on how many people are eating, and how much you want)

~Jar or fresh roasted red peppers

~1/2 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese

~Italian breadcrumbs

~Whole wheat buns for the burger

~Olive or vegetable oil (optional, for forming burger patties)


Start up your oven broiler.

Thaw ground chicken and place into a large mixing bowl. Add as much of the breadcrumbs as you'd like (I used about 1/3 cup, that might be too much for you, so play around with it). Add some salt and fresh ground black pepper if you wish.

Take about a tablespoon of oil and rub it on your hands so that your meat doesn't stick. Form the meat into thin patties, and place the patties on a greased cookie sheet or foil. Place some of the roasted red peppers and some of the mozzarella on top of the peppers. Once the filling is done, place another patty on top of the other. Form into a burger, pushing the sides together so that the filling doesn't spill out during broiling.

Pop the burgers (which are now on the foil or cookie sheet on your tray) into your broiler. Broil for about 7-8 minutes on each side.

Grab your whole wheat bun, plop the juicy burger on top, add whatever toppings you desire and enjoy!

Our Review:

This tasted like a pizza burger!!! It was so good. And it is MUCH better for you than a regular burger. When you bite into it, you get the all the goodness of the roasted pepper and cheese melting on your really can't beat this experience!

I served these with a side of baked potatoes (I was going to do sweet potatoes, but the grocery man didn't put it in my bag which I noticed tonight. The grocery store is in trouble! Lol). We ate our burgers with sliced tomatoes, a side of pepperoncini peppers, and a ramekin of spaghetti sauce that I made earlier in the week, which almost made it taste like a meatball sub.

This was phenomenal for something so quick and easy! Get excited for a fun and healthy meal!!!