Ahhmazing Autumn Sangria Recipe

Perfect for fall.  Tasty for your October gatherings.  Nice beverage for your adult Halloween party.  This Autumn Sangria recipe is the perfect combo of not-too-sweet with a little spice.  a-san-drinkI recently served this to my gal pals and they asked for seconds…and thirds.  Everyone commented how unique, refreshing and tasty this particular sangria tasted.  One chef friend of mine exclaimed, “It tastes just like Fall”….true!  If you love Sangria, you will love this.  If you are not a Sangria fan, you may be surprised that you like this one because it is not near as sweet as traditional Sangria. Give it a try.   I am pretty sure it will be a big hit at your autumn gathering!  It was at mine!  Here is the easy recipe that marinates overnight, too.  I think another reason this is so delish is the pumpkin pie spice that is also included in the recipe.  A big thank you to Hob Nob wine for sharing this recipe with me! Hob Nob has their wicked wines available at Total Wine & More now and the Halloween labeling is so cool.  Plus the price is right at only $9.99 a yummy bottle.  Thanks Hob Nob!  mail-wine

Now here is the video recipe preview that I showed on my morning show, with the written recipe instructions appearing below this fun and quick video….

And here is the written recipe below that my gal pals and my morning show team just loved (including the chef on set)! show-set-sang

Autumn Sangria

(15 servings)

  • 2 bottles HobNob Chardonnay
  • 1 cup vanilla vodka
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 1 orange


Combine vodka, sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice in a large pitcher and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Chop fruit (apples, pears, orange), add to mix and marinate overnight.  Add chilled Chardonnay. Serve over ice.

So cheers to Fall!  Cheers to Halloween!  And cheers to you, my loyal readers.  Happy Autumn all!

Fab Fall Food: Simple & Low Calorie Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins

Yummy pumpkin season has arrived and I have found a healthier recipe for delicious pumpkin spice mini muffins! With the help of my favorite meal planning site, MealGarden, I found a delish recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins!  And MealGarden’s recipe muffins are only 79 calories each (without optional chocolate chips) and only 4.8 grams of sugar each, too.  Not bad! Take a look at this video preview of this super simple seasonally pleasing treat that tastes like a moist pumpkin bread.  I modified the recipe just a bit due to my daughter’s tree nut allergy….

Here is how you make these incredibly tasty pumpkin spice muffins that, my daughter and I think, taste like the pumpkin bread sold at Starbucks.  Make this healthier, lower calorie and lower sugar recipe yourself!

Note: this is NOT gluten free.  I believe that Spelt flour is a better alternative to white flour because it is an ancient relative of wheat that contains B vitamins, fiber and trace minerals.  And I think it tastes so similar that is has become my family’s preferred option to white processed flour.  But Spelt flour is not gluten free.  For a gluten free flour, use almond flour.

Ok now back to the recipe!

I took MealGarden’s awesome recipe and tweeked it just a bit only because my daughter is allergic to tree nuts so we couldn’t use the almond meal/flour their awesome recipe calls for.  I also added dark chocolate chips (my addiction, dark chocolate) but the muffins without the chocolate were truly just as good.  To get MealGarden’s original recipe (that I would make if I didn’t have the tree nut allergy) go here to MealGarden.  I totally recommend their version and all of their recipes because their meal and snack ideas check out with whole food and healthy ingredients.  I love MealGarden!

To try my slightly different version, here is the recipe….


What You Need:


1 cup Spelt Flour

1/2 cup organic sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract, pure…I used Organics Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract…yum!

1 cup pumpkin, canned….I used Sprouts Organic brand

Organic dark chocolate chips….optional

What You Do:


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Fold in oil, vanilla and pumpkin to form a smooth batter.  Add optional chocolate chips if desired.
  4. Spoon one tablespoon of batter into 24 paper-cup-lined mini-muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Seal in air-tight container or freeze.  To defrost, set on counter for 15 minutes, then enjoy!pumpkin-muffin-1

A huge thanks to MealGarden for allowing me to share and tweak their awesome recipe.  I am a proud paid subscriber to their services and I highly recommend MealGarden for healthy and delicious meal planning! 

Party Pleasers: Watermelon Pizza Pie & Scrumptious Spiced Nuts

Planning a Spring or summer get together?  Are you attending a celebration and you need to bring something unique and yummy?  watermelon pieI’ve got a fun and festive watermelon pizza pie dessert and a spiced nuts recipe that will knock your socks off and can be enhanced with dried cranberries or plain M&Ms, so take a look  And a big thank you to the local Phoenix company, OKB for their delicious spiced nuts recipe using their yummy Old Kentucky Barbeque Sauce.  You have to try these awesome recipes…

Homemade Green Chile Sauce & Smothered Burrito Recipe

As I continue to share some of my blog’s most read articles to celebrate our 4th anniversary, here is the #1 most read recipe ever.  And it comes from my talented sister-in-law who was born and bred in New Mexico, so her homemade green chile sauce is the real thing.  Take a look and yum…

Manic:  Want to make homemade green chile sauce, but don’t have a lot of time to do so.

Managed: Remembered that my sweet sister-in-law made me a little recipe book years ago that has a simple and savory homemade green chile sauce recipe.  It is New Mexico-style to boot!  I found the book, so here it is!

First the Homemade Green Chile Sauce — Easy & Pleasing!

What You Need:

1 cup blended green chile (I used Anaheim Chiles and it came out great)

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup flour

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1/2 teaspoon salt

What You Do:

1.  Place peeled and seeded green chiles into blender (about 4 to 6).  (I took out the seeds in the Anaheim, but I did not peel.)

2.  Blend them to a pesto consistency.

Here is what the Anaheim chiles looked like after I blended. Love the color!

3.  Add garlic powder, salt, flour, soup and water.  Blend until smooth.

All ingredients getting ready to be blended into a yummy sauce.

What sauce looks like after blending.


4.  Place in a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.

Be sure to stir constantly when bringing to a boil to stop sticking.

5.  Turn down to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop sticking.

Now read on to see how to make the smothered burritoes, that my family loved….

Green Chile Smothered Burritoes

What You Need:

I love that you use the homemade green chile sauce that we just made!

 1 can refried beans (however, I used black beans with jalapenos mixed in instead since my family likes black beans)

1 lb. ground beef

flour tortillas

1/4 lb. cheddar cheese

homemade green chile sauce that you just made 🙂

1 Tablespoon Schilling Chopped Onion

What You Do:

1.  Brown ground beef with the onion.  Drain.

2.  Heat beans in a sauce pan until warmed.

3.  Heat green chile sauce.

4.  Grate cheddar cheese and warm tortillas in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds each.

5.   Spread one tablespoon each of meat, beans, sauce and cheese in each tortilla.

Basic ingredients from recipe fill the tortilla, but feel free to add any other fixings. Get creative!

6.   Roll up and cover with sauce. 

Done and yum! Add diced tomatoes, lettuce and grated cheese on top to give the dish some color. This manic managed mom had to run out the door after this, so I didn’t have time to add the garnishings, but I recommend that you top it with extras 🙂

So delicious and my kitchen smelled good, too!  The homemade green chile sauce smelled so good!

Thank you to my sister-in-law, Kathy, who took the time to make me my little cook book several years ago.  It is a treasure and I love her New Mexico-style cooking.

What are your favorite fixings to put in a tortilla?  Share here in the comments section!

Video Demo Of How I Make My Healthy Coconut Oil Coffee Latte

I continue to get interest and compliments on my version of a Bulletproof Vanilla Latte, so I recently showed exactly how I make it on my morning show.

Behind the scenes & all set up for show to begin.

Behind the scenes & all set up for show to begin.

The health benefits of this morning java drink are fully explained in my previous article that you can find here.

So check this out and try one for yourself….this comes from the KTVK website so my segment starts right after the commercial that is placed before my video so keep watching…

Our Homemade Teen Approved Healthy Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Manic:  Balancing breakfast with busy school day mornings and making sure that my teenagers eat at all, much less gobble down a healthy meal that is quick to prepare as well.  Not always an easy feat!

Managed:  Worked with my teen daughter to put together a homemade yogurt parfait that is healthy and that she will eat and can eat….since she is allergic to tree nuts.  We start with a plain yogurt, believe it or not and sweeten it ourselves.  Our experimenting worked and the result is tasty, nutritious, lower in sugar than many other quick breakfast items and easy to make.  Take a look….

Harris House Homemade Healthy Yogurt Parfait

yogurt parfait

What You Need:


3/4 cup any good quality organic Greek plain yogurt brand

1 Tablespoon KIND Healthy Grains Raspberry Clusters with Chia Seeds

1 Stevia packet

dash of cinnamon to taste

1 capfull of Vanilla Extract

As many blueberries as you like

What You Do:

1.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the stevia packet and cinnamon with the yogurt and stir well.

2.  Place yogurt in serving dish and top with KIND cluters, blueberries and a dash of cinnamon.  You can also layer this recipe to make several layers if desired. with spoon

Yum!  That’s it!  It is so easy and delicious.  Try it!

KIND is a Managedmoms.com supportive partner and my opinion about how much I love (and my teen daughter loves, too) is 100% our very own.  We love this brand! 

My Improved Bulletproof Healthy Luscious Latte Recipe

When I ran this a few months ago, a lot of my readers told me that they loved this healthy latte recipe that is simple to make in the busy mornings.  I’m running it again because I added a new ingredient, nutmeg and it is even tastier now, so check this out!

Have you heard about the so called Bulletproof coffee that includes coconut oil in it for good health?  I had heard about this and I recently read an article in Health Magazine that elaborated on this theory.  The article reports that recent research shows that the type of saturated fat in coconut oil, made up of medium-chain triglycerides, may help the body produce energy, and may increase healthy HDL cholesterol levels. The report also says that coconut oil also may help fight colds and inflammation.  My gym trainers also told me that they believe that adding coconut oil to your coffee can help with cognitive function making you feel a bit more focused during the day.  finishSo I made my own recipe up and it is tasty.

Since I have been sick for the last 8 days (that was no fun) I hadn’t even wanted coffee since last week. It is funny how when I’m sick I only want herbal tea.  I always know that I’m truly on the mend when I finally wake up craving java again.  Today is that day, I’m happy to report, but after being so ill, I am super focused now on progressing through this year with very healthy eating habits and a lot more whole foods since I am going to continue to cook more from scratch.

And the fact that a pool is being built in our backyard as I type this has me even more encouraged as I picture visiting the mall with my daughter to look for bathing suits.  That is certainly a motivator, but what really has me focused to be as healthy as I can is the fact that I’m pushing 50 and that my teen daughter has been making a real effort on her own to also eat healthy.  I just love that and want to support her and find yummy and nutritious recipes together as we go on this clean eating (for the most part) journey together.  Now back to me and my coffee.

So I have decided to take this day by day and meal by meal starting with my morning java and I am happy to report that this Bulletproof coffee recipe is super easy to make and pretty delicious, too.  Here is how I made mine….

My Bulletproof Luscious Latte

What You Need:

latte ingre

1 cup of brewed black coffee

1 tablespoon of organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

What You Do:

1.  Simpy brew your coffee. brew

2.  Pour coffee in blender.  I used my Bullet.  Add coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla extract and then blend.add coconut oil

3.  Pour and enjoy.  So simple, healthy and tasty.  in mixer cupCheers to your morning latte!


Simple Super Bowl Party Food & Decor Ideas

Living in Phoenix is super fun this week with all of the Super Bowl fun around town.  So I got in the spirit and looked on social media to find (and shamelessly copy) some great appetizer ideas that are football themed. The best part is just how simple these recipes are to prepare and set out, plus they also work well if you need to bring something that is a festive and football themed dish.  I was sure to include an idea for the Seattle Seahawks fans and the Patriots peeps, too.  I wish both teams the best of luck on Sunday.  Check out these ideas….

Sour Cream Banana Bread, Pumpkin Supreme & More Delicious Holiday Recipes

Three of my favorite recipes are featured in my most recent Shamrock Farms video that we filmed in my very own kitchen, so take a look to learn about Sour Cream Banana Bread, Pumpkin Supreme (my sister-in-law Stephanie’s amazing recipe from her South Texas family cookbook) and a super simple and smart breakfast idea called Sausage Breakfast Bake from my gal pal Amanda’s family.  I especially appreciate how the breakfast recipe is whipped up the night before and simply placed in the oven to bake Christmas morning.  Your company will wake up hungry so you can’t forget breakfast.  This recipe takes care of that for you.  Check it all out here…



This post was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms delicious foods are 100% my own. 

Hot & Cool Coffee Bar Ideas To Entertain Holiday Guests

In the morning or after a nice dinner, a cup of java always sounds good and is a nice beverage to have on hand for your holiday guests.  So take it up a notch and create a festive holiday coffee bar that is inviting and relaxing.  Mix in decaf for your guests that may want to partake without the caffeine.  Here are several satisfying recipes for a festive and fun coffee bar setup.  I have included both hot and iced options to give your coffee bar some variety.

Hot Coffee Options

Sham coffee

Decorate your table with a holiday table cloth and a few decorations and put out a pot of hot regular coffee and a pot of decaf.  On a pretty tray, assemble Shamrock Farms Half & Half and sugar cubes.  If you have a frother machine, add the froth and a serving spoon.  Make a little sign with a coffee recipe suggestion like this one….

For a little holiday touch, add this much –

Top your coffee drink with Shamrock Farms Half & Half and a touch of snowy white froth

and then sprinkle a dash of cinnamon 

and the flavors will sink

into this festive hot drink.”

On the other tray, set out a bottle of Bailey’s and whipped cream for a little holiday coffee with some spirit.

Cold Coffee Recipes

First freeze some prepared coffee into an ice tray. coffee tray Now you will be able to offer your guests who prefer iced coffee the perfect ice cube to keep their beverage chilled.  Here are two simple and sweet recipes for iced coffee that can be offered along with those iced coffee cubes…

Magical Iced Coffee

 2/3 cup coffee

Splash of Shamrock Farms Half & Half

3 cups water

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsps dark brown sugar

Splash of milk

Serve over ice

Shaken Iced Mocha

3/4 cup cold coffee

1/4 cup of Shamrock Farms Half & Half (reg or fat free)

2 tbsps chocolate syrup (dark)

Shake and serve over ice.

What cool coffee recipes do you like for a little festive holiday pick-me-up?  Share in the comments section and Happy Holiday season to you!



This creative article was sponsored by the awesome Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love delicious Shamrock Farms is 100% my own.