If you are looking for an easy dessert to make for your Memorial Day BBQ this weekend, look no further. This dessert is not only delicious, but it is also alot healthier than you may think.  I adopted this cobbler from a Weight Watchers recipe.  It’s VERY simple to make and almost fool proof. The topping has a biscuit-like consistency and combined with the sweetness of the warm berries, it is a very hearty, satisfying and fresh treat!. It’s the perfect kickoff dessert for a perfect summer! 
Fairytale Feasts’ Berry Cobbler
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2 cup(s) strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup(s) sugar (or Splenda)
Biscuit Topping:
2/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar (or Splenda)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
2 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
Optional: Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, sprig of fresh mint.
 Preheat oven to 400ºF.   Combine berries, salt, cornstarch and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. Place in shallow 2-quart ovenproof dish. Bake until hot, about 5 minutes.

While berries are baking, prepare biscuit like topping: In a bowl, stir together flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and teaspoon of salt. Stir in buttermilk to form a sticky dough. Remove berries from oven. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto the berries to form a biscuit like topping. Brush the melted butter over the topping to ensure a golden brown crust. Bake the cobbler until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cobbler sit for at least 10 minutes to thicken. Optional: garnish with fresh whipped cream or ice cream and a sprig of fresh mint. Serve immediately!  (Also, I found that this was great the next day heated up in the oven!)

Lady can’t wait for the berry cobbler to cool!!! And she knows good food! 🙂
My grandfather recently came to me with a very special present wrapped in a brown paper bag. “I brought you some cardoons,” he said in a proud voice, knowing I’d been waiting for them all month. I didn’t ask where they came from, because I knew better. For some reason which I never fully understood, the locals (my family members included) that know about the savory salty deliciousness of cardoons are very secretive about cardoons and take great care not reveal the secret places that they grow. (Hint: the side of the road?)
Another reason why people in NEPA are so secretive about “cardoons” is because they’re NOT really cardoons. We just call them that.  It is almost impossible to find REAL cardoons in Northeastern Pennsylvania so technically we use Burdock (it’s a root vegetable interchangeable with cardoons). These “cardoons” can be found here in late spring to early summer. 
Cardoons (pronounced “kahr-DOON”) look like celery stalks but are very salty and taste almost like an artichoke. Famed Italian Chef Mario Batali calls cardoons, or “cardoni” in Italian, one of his favorite vegetables and has included a cardoon recipe in “The Babbo Cookbook.”  He also has a few cardoon recipes on the FoodNetwork.com.  But cardoons aren’t just an Italian speciality – they are also popular in France and Spain.  Cardoons grow like giant bunches of celery and look almost like weeds but they do flower. See a photo of them on Wikipedia.com.  When picking cardoons, look for stalks that are firm and have a silver-greenish color. (See photo below.)  When I was a little girl, I was afraid to eat them.  But rest assured, they taste MUCH better than they look! 
When cooking with cardoons, you use only the inner stalks of the plant.  The outer layer needs to be peeled and flowers removed. It is important to rinse them thoroughly before using. Many people soak cardoons in acidulated water to prevent them from browning. According to the Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, acidulated water is water in which a small amount of vinegar, lemon or lime juice has been added to prevent discoloration of some fruits and vegetables that darken quickly when their cut surfaces are exposed to air.  If you ever wanted to keep your apples from browning before making an apple tart, etc., it is best to soak them in this water. You can prepare acidulated water by adding 1.5 tablespoons of vinegar OR 3 tablespoons of lemon juice OR 1/2 cup of white wine to a quart of water. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. For more on preparing cardoons, see this video from Saveur magazine.

Cardoons can be cooking in many different ways.  They can be steamed, roasted, stewed, pan fryed, boiled.  They can be buttered and broiled, used in sauces or gratins. I have typically seen them pan fried or served in a quiche or a frittata. (They are really great with eggs!)  Below I have included an easy rustic recipe for pan frying these unique vegetables.  This dish would make a great appetizer and I highly recommend trying it! 🙂

Fairytale Feasts’ Fried Cardoons 

1 bunch (about 2 lbs) of cardoons
3 eggs
2 cups of breadcrumbs
1 cup of parmesean cheese
Dried Mint
1/2 cup of olive oil
Salt + pepper

Be sure to clean your cardoons thoroughly and boil them in boiling water before using.

In a small bowl, crack three eggs and lightly beat with a fork to mix. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. In large separate pan or bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesean cheese, and dried mint. Gently dip the cardoon stalk in the egg mixture.  Then repeat in with the breadcrumb mixture.  


Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Using tongs, gently place the breaded cardoon mixture into the frying pan. Brown on both sides. Cardoons should be somewhat crisp and crunchy. Remove to a paper towel lined pan or dish. Season with salt. Serve immediately.

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden:
A Food Lover’s Guide
            When First Lady Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden last spring, I began to dream about how it would feel to walk outside into my own garden bursting full of cilantro, eggplants, and tomatoes.  My dreams swiftly morphed into full fantasies of how wonderful it would be to make a quiche packed with vegetables from my own garden, a Caprese salad with homegrown beefsteak tomatoes and basil, my own Swiss chard tossed with marinara sauce and whole wheat rigatoni.  Just thinking about the smell of freshly picked arugula filled me with such a sense of excitement that I wanted to run outside to dig up the yard and start immediately.  I was determined to have a real garden brunch, and, like the First Lady, wear my cardigan and pearls.  When my guests bragged about how juicy my jumbo homegrown vegetables were, I would answer, “Oh, the vegetables?  They’re from my garden,” as if my endeavor was effortless and I had a naturally green thumb.  But was I really capable of growing something?
My Sicilian grandfather had been gardening all his life.  Zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes, Swiss chard, he knew how to plant everything. He took full advantage of his harvest, using the vegetables to whip up healthful, delicious dishes at the restaurant he owned and operated for over seventy years.  I knew this year would be no exception, even at 91 years old.  For as long as I had known him, he seemed serene, wise, and happy.  Maybe it was time for me to follow his example.
Thus, I promised myself that I too would plant a vegetable garden this year. No matter how small, I would attempt to boldly go where I had never gone before: outside, in the mud, into what I hoped would become a garden. The thought of frying zucchini from my own garden trumped any fear I had of getting dirty. To make sure that I was equipped with the knowledge I needed to succeed, I sought out the gardening experts to explain what someone as clueless as me would need to know about planting a vegetable garden.  I also wanted to know, why did the love gardening so much? Here is what they had to say:
What are the benefits of planting your own vegetable garden?
Paul Simon, Landscape Horticulturalist for the National Gardening Association, says the reasons for planting your own vegetable garden are plenty because a vegetable garden: 1) saves money and saves time by eliminating your need to go to the grocery store; 2) is a great outdoor hobby; 3) is an engaging and quality time exercise for the family; 4) the idea of growing and producing your own vegetables is a positive endeavor; and 5) not only brings families together, but communities as well.

There is another benefit to planting your own vegetable garden: harvesting and tasting the fruits of your labor. “I like to do it because I like to eat,” says Sally McCabe, an educator with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for over 25 years.  “There’s also a real basic connection between people, soil, and plants. When we’re in the garden, we have so much less tension.” 
McCabe said that the number of students enrolled in her class “Philadelphia Green Garden Tenders” where people learn how to plant community gardens, has more than doubled in the past two years alone.  Simon agrees that there has been an increase in the amount of people planting vegetable gardens, especially as more and more families are finding ways to save and cut-back on their expenses during these troubled times. “A vegetable garden can easily produce and provide what many families need during the growing seasons,” said Simon. “This not only saves a family as it provides an alternative to store-bought items, but also saves them from taking a trip to the grocery store.” He added that gardening helps families spend more quality time together.  
Barbara Hobens Feldt, author of “Garden Your City,” lists a numerous benefits to planting your own garden, including exercise, good health, beauty. She points out that gardening has educational value and can be an excellent source of fun and an opportunity to socialize with other people in the community. “I enjoy helping nature take her course and helping others realize how simple it is to grow a seed, nurture a plant, and grow organic good,” said Feldt.  And of course, she notes that planting a vegetable garden aids wildlife and the environment.
There is also a general consensus that gardening makes people happy. “In Philadelphia right now, daffodils are up and people are so up!” said Feldt.  Simon, who has designed elevated handicap accessible raised gardens for senior and assisted living facilities, agrees. “I know that many hospice centers and senior living facilities have made gardening an important activity and more so today than ever,” he said. “I am certain the people using these gardens and involved in this activity may have an elevated level of enjoyment …”
I would like to plant my first vegetable garden. Where do I start?
“I would start with a basic clean up and clearing of an area for your garden,” recommends Simon. “Make sure you identify an area that also gets plenty of sunlight. And be sure to till up the soil and inspect the soil conditions and quality,” he said. 
According to Simon and all the gardening Gods, the basic rule is this: find a space with a generous amount of sunlight.  “Pick a site with full sun,” says Russell Strover, a Penn State Master Gardener Volunteer and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Volunteer.  

(The Penn State Master Gardener program is a volunteer program of Cooperative Extension, where selected individuals receive about 40 hours of training from the University staff and faculty.  In exchange for their training, these individuals volunteer for Cooperative Extension where they teach the public about good research based gardening practices. Cooperative Extension is a great free resource for folks needing any kid of horticultural information or advice.  Just about every county across the country has one. For more information on this program, click here.  To visit the Penn State Hort Blog, click here.)

In addition to sunlight, multiple other factors must be taken into consideration when planting a vegetable garden. “Different plants have different needs,” says the K.Padmini of the FlowerExperts.com. He recommends taking into account seasonal plants, the height they grow, the temperature, and the water needs. 
But no matter where you start or how you plan your garden, start small and stay calm. “People should start small enough,” recommends McCabe, “so that it doesn’t overwhelm you and you have time to enjoy it.”
How much space do I need?
There are several places where one can plant a garden.  “Most beginners are too ambitious” says Strover.  “It is best to start small and grow your garden bigger as you get more experience.”  Whether you live in the city or the country, gardens can be planted in any space.   “Gardening in cities is so wonderful, so unexpected and fun,” said Feldt.  
In the ground. “Your first in the ground garden should probably be no larger than 4 by 8 feet,” said Strover.  If you decide to plant directly in the ground, see the special instructions for preparing your soil below.
Tubs. Strover recommends first time gardeners start in large tubs, as they avoid the labor intensive step of preparing soil from the ground. “These are available from nurseries that plant trees, probably at no charge,” he said.
Pots. “Any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a container or pot,” said K.Padmini. “Herbs will grow in containers with minimal care.” If you decide to plant in pots, Joe Ziccardi, Horticulturalist from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, advises placing them in the right light conditions that the plants require and to make sure that there are drainage holes in the containers.
Raised Beds.  For first time gardeners, Strover also recommends planting in a raised bed made of 2X6 inch boards. Boards made of cedar will last the longest, but he says that Pine will also last a few years.
To learn more about gardening in cities and other small spaces, “Gardening Your City” by Barbara Hobens Feldt, www.gardenyourcity.com.

What basic tools do I need?
“The garden tools you need depend upon the type of plants you are intending to plant,” said K.Padmini. “Some of the basic garden tools can be a shovel, a spade, a garden fork, measuring tape …”
Strover also recommends investing in basic gardening tools including garden fork, a garden rake, and a trowel for planting.  “All the gimmicks that promise to make your work easier make people who market them rich, but really don’t work well,” he said. “A Mantis cultivator is one exception, but will take years to achieve a payback in vegetables to offset the cost.”
Strover also recommends investing in string to aid in making straight rows of your vegetables and ensuring they have enough space. “Tie a stick at each end [of the row] so you can lay out the row and stabilize it while you make your plantings,” said Strover.

How do I prepare the soil?
The amount of work required in preparing your soil depends upon where you are planting.  If you are planting on the ground, you will need to remove any grass it with a spade or a flat shovel, says Strover. But be warned: “This is hard work. An alternative approach is to turn over the grass a year before you wish to start your garden. Another approach, which is non-organic but will ease your workload and work quickly, is to use a vegetation killer like Roundup. After spraying the area with Roundup, the soil can be turned over in one week,” Strover said.
Once the site is cleared of grass, Strover recommends having a soil test performed to make sure your soil has the right pH levels (level of acidity or alkalinity).  Most soil will be deficient in organic material which will help your vegetables grow, but this can be fixed. “Composed leaves or peat moss about an inch thick will help to cure the deficiency,” Strover said.  NGA expert Simon also echoes this advice. “For first time gardeners, you should probably add compost to the soil and make sure you have removed any weed growth that starts developing early in the garden so weeds are not competing with your planting.”  According to the Flower Experts, an ideal garden soil should contain at least 20% organic matter. Sawdust, bark dust, manure or compost can be added to the soil”
What should I plant?
You should plant whatever your heart or taste buds desire!  Just be careful to take geography and timing into account. Luckily, this is not rocket science as what will grow and what will not grow has already been determined for us. The United States is divided up into different gardening zones according to temperature and given a number.  If you stay in your zone, you should be safe.  “You need to determine when the vegetables you want can be planted,” Strover said.  “Some are hardy and can be planted when it is cold. Others are tender, like tomatoes, and cannot be planted until all chances of frost are gone, like mid-May in Eastern PA.”  To find out your zone, visit the American Cultural Horticultural Society website, www.ahs.org.
If it is early in the season and the ground is still cold, K.Padmini recommends planting beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips.  “In warmer in season,” he says, “try beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.”
For maximum enjoyment of your garden, McCabe recommends planting a good mix of vegetables in your garden at different times, called succession planting. Succession planting refers to several different methods of planting which will maximize your use of space and time during the growing season. For example, when one crop is ready to harvest, another plant is planted in the same space, or several different plantings are going on at one time. “Good gardeners mix their variety so they will have a good garden of vegetables that peak at different times,” McCabe said. “I keep a garden full of a lot of stuff for as long as I can.”

What are the easiest vegetables to plant for a first time gardener?
“Tomatoes tend to give people the most satisfaction,” says McCabe. “You can plant them anywhere and they will keep churning out tomatoes. Herbs are magical too because you can pick them when you are ready.”
K. Padmini says that lavender, mint, chives, basil, ginger plants, oregano, parsley are herbs that are all easy to grow with little maintenance.
 Ziccardi recommends planting easy annual herbs like basil, calendula, coriander (cilantro) and dill; and perennial herbs like sage, parsley, chives, and rosemary.

Do I plant vegetables from seeds or flats seedlings/young plants I can buy?
If you are looking to save money, packets of seeds are definitely the cheapest way to go. However, it may be easier for a first time gardener to start from flats of seedlings.  Strover recommends buying starter plants if you want to plant just a few plants of a vegetable.
For a gardener in a cooler climate, it may be difficult and almost impossible to start plants from seeds since the growing season is shorter and there will not be enough time for the plants to bear fruit.  This can be avoided by starting seeds in pots inside and then planting them outside when the climate is warm enough.  “With seeds, you need to decide which ones should be given an early start inside and which should be planted directly outside, like beans,” said Strover. “Then a plan needs to be laid out with a schedule for starting seeds and planting. This plan also lays out where each vegetable is planted.”  Strover, “Starting seeds has the advantage of being able to select from more varieties. Usually it is less costly to start from seeds. Plus it gives you something to do when it is too early to work out in the garden.”

I love flowers too. Can I plant these alongside my vegetables?
“Yes, you can grow flowers alongside the vegetables,” states K.Padmini. “But we should be careful that we may need to spray some fertilizers or pesticides for the vegetables, which should not harm the flowers adjacent.”

If I plant my own garden, does this mean that my vegetables are organic?
No.  An organic garden is one in which no petroleum based additives are used (i.e., no artificial fertilizers, no chemical pesticides, no high processed matter), explains McCabe, noting that most community gardens are required to be organic. “And if you have kids or animals in a garden, you want it organic as possible.”
Most gardeners recommend staying organic because it’s safer, it’s better for the environment, and also because it helps your vegetables to obtain their maximum flavor potential. “Organic only,” said Barbara Hobens Feldt. “You’re your bite into YOUR first tomato or cucumber and you will be hooked – flavor galore!”
However, staying organic can be tricky for a first time gardener who has never planted before. “The first step to an organic garden for a first time gardener is to find out where your local source of organic compost is,” said McCabe. Staying organic can also be tricky if you have pests or other major problems threatening your vegetables.  “You have to notice when the first bug is there,” explains McCabe, in order to avoid resorting to chemicals and pesticides. However, McCabe gently assures me that it is alright to veer off the organic path if necessary, especially for first time gardeners. “Gardening is a compromise,” she says. “You just want to stay as close to nature as you can.”
How much watering do I need to do?
“Most of the plants in the subtropical and tropical places need at least a mug of water daily,” says K.Padmini. For vegetables, he says if the soil is dry to touch this shows that they are thirsty.
McCabe echoes similar advice, “A good gardener is somebody that knows their plants,” she says.  “You don’t have to water them every day, but you do need to be out there every day. If stuff is starting to look furry, you know it’s had too much water.”  She also warns, “When seeds are just sprouting, they’re the most fragile,” McCabe said. “Too much water can drown the babies.”  She advises even covering them at this time with a burlap sack.
If you live in a drier climate or you want to use the purest water possible, consider saving your rainwater. “In Philadelphia, we save our rainwater,” said McCabe, adding, “It helps you to save water and to save money.”

What do I need to do to maintain my garden? What if I run into problems?
 “You should have the knowledge about the type of insects or worms which destroy the plant and their remedy, which can help in controlling it before it destroys the rest,” said K.Padmini. To ward off pests, he recommends sprinkling or spraying some organic powders or sprays to avoid the unwanted guests your hard worked garden.
If you run into problems or have questions about your garden, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There are plenty of free and easily available resources to aid a first time gardener.  If your garden isn’t growing well or has bugs, Strover recommends contacting your local American Horticultural Society Cooperative Extension Service. For more information, see www.ahs.org.  The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society offers a special free service on their website, www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org, called “Ask a Gardener” where one can pose a question to an expert garden volunteer, like Strover.  The National Gardening Association offers a similar service on their website, www.garden.org.   The Flower Experts also feature a panel of experts, like K.Padmini, available to answer your questions and serve your gardening needs on their website, www.theflowerexperts.com.
Finally, when do I harvest the vegetables?
“When it looks like you would buy them at a grocery store,” McCabe said, who points out that most flats of seedlings will have instructions on when to harvest your vegetables. K.Padmini adds that it can take from one to three months to fully harvest a vegetable garden at home.  Simply use your senses.

My First Garden 

This past weekend, I finally planted my garden!  In Pennsylvania, we have a shorter growing season than many other areas.  I was ready to start planting in April but because the last frost occurred so late in May this year, I had to wait to plant outside. (you find this out according to the Farmer’s Almanac). 

I am limited in space and don’t really know what I am doing, so I decided to stick to mostly herbs for my first garden and tomato plants.  I planted my favorite herbs from seedlings I purchased at Omalia’s Greenhouse and from other starter plants given to me by my relatives.  Some of the herbs I planted include basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, spearmint, rosemary, fennel, sage and thyme. I also planted chamomile and lavender. I loveeeeee the way the lavender smells and you can use it in desserts! I would loveee to make my own chamomile tea from dried chamomile tea leaves. 

I planted 4 mountain fresh tomato plants from seedlings and bought a big planted cherry tomato plant that already has buds on it! The buds motivated me a little bit and helped to ease my anxiety about ending up with a fruitless garden. This gardening experience will absolutely be a test of my patience because I am powerless over these plants – I just have to wait and let them grow on their own. I am SOOOO excited!  

I did plant other vegetables from seeds -zuchinnis, red bell peppers, butter lettuce, and cucumbers – but with little hope they will actually materialize into anything edible! I should have started the seeds inside about 6 weeks ago but was clueless!  My grandfather, who already planted his garden this year, told me lovingly but with a shake of his head that I “shouldn’t have planted from seeds.”  He did give me the nod of approval on the herb garden and said they “looked beautiful.” So in my heart, I feel I have already succeeded.

If anyone has any helpful hints or recipes, I would be more than happy to hear them! Please share! I will update my progress periodically and hopefully have some wonderful recipes come August and September to post with herbs I picked from my own garden! 🙂 


In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share one of my most beloved recipes from my late grandmother. She used to make this french toast for myself and my sister as an after school treat. One of the fondest memories from my childhood was getting off the bus, running up the hill and through the alley to her house, and walking in to find the aroma of my grandmother’s french toast filling her house. I can still envision her standing over the stove, turning the pieces of Italian bread and salting them as they came out of the frying pan.  My grandmother came straight from Sicily so she really knew what she was doing in the kitchen. Plus, along with my grandfather, she was a chef at the Gramercy for over 50 years. (At 91 years young, my grandfather is still cooking the best fairytale feasts there!)  There was nothing better than an afternoon with my grandmother, watching the Guiding Light and enjoying this mint french toast. She made it for my mother, my mother made it for me and hopefully one day I will be able to make it for my kids.

Over the years, I have seen french toast evolve into sandwich-like concoctions stuffed with peanut butter, jelly, fruit, cream cheese, etc. While I applaud this creativity, my palate never really caught onto this trend. My grandmother’s french toast isn’t your ordinary french toast either, but it’s a no-fuss recipe that produces a flavorful result. She took one simple ingredient, mint, and changed the entire flavor of the dish for the better. My family uses their own dried mint because it is actually more flavorful than fresh mint. I honestly never realized other people didn’t put mint in their french toast until I was in my 20s and now feel it is my duty to proclaim this message to other breakfast lovers. I strongly encourage you to try this – I’ll never have my french toast any other way.  Thanks grandma! 🙂

My Grandmother’s Fairytale Mint French Toast
Serves 2-3

6 slices of Italian bread (day old bread works well)
2 eggs (It’s 1 egg per 3 slices of bread)
1/4 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of dried mint
1/4 olive oil
Salt + pepper

Optional: maple syrup.

Crack the eggs in a shallow dish. Whisk in the milk with a fork. Add the dried mint , salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet then turn the heat down to medium high. Dip the bread in the egg mixture to evenly coat each side. Fry in the skillet until each side is golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper-towel lined dish to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle salt on it immediately. Garnish with some fresh mint and serve with a side of maple syrup.

Wishing all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and all caretakers of this world a very Happy Mother’s Day!


There’s been so much hype about the new Yankee stadium so for the past year I have been dying to see what it was all about.  Well, I finally had my chance to experience all it had to offer and let me tell you, its reputation is well deserved!  Not only does this stadium house, in my opinion, the best team in baseball, but it also offers the best “stadium” food as well.  There are also two actual restaurants in the stadium: NYY Steak and the Hard Rock Cafe. You won’t find your typical room temperature frozen pizza or deep fried chicken tenders here either.  Instead, Yankee Stadium has a plethora of options to food baseball and food lovers alike.  Below are just some of the incredible culinary fairytales the stadium has to offer:
Carnivores are really in luck at Yankee Stadium! There are steak options galore and yes, this is really a picture of a butcher cutting up meat. There’s an actual Lobel’s  Butcher Shop and food stand right in Yankee Stadium.  Pictured above are the finest cuts of meat and a Lobel’s steak sandwhich, which will run you about $15.00.  The seasoned New Yorkers sitting next to me at the game insisted this place offered the best steak sandwhich around and a must have.  Look for it behind left field.  There is also a Brother Jimmy’s BBQ for Southern BBQ fans. I wish I could have gotten a photo of their hush puppies, which were the biggest ones I’ve ever seen. Check back for these photos during playoffs season! 🙂

If you are craving something a little more international and ethnic than a hot dog or you are a little freaked out by the red meat feast, have no fear: Yankee Stadium offers hand rolled sushi. And look at the size of those spicy shrimp sushi rolls!

 Chinese “takeout” at your fingertips!  


New York City has a law which requires the calorie counts to be listed next to the food entrees so all of the calorie counts are present next to each of these items when you order. It will definetly help you make some health choices.  It was nice to see a selection a fresh fruit available for people who want to nosh on something healthy. But if you’re craving something oily and greasy and sinfully delicious, try these instead:
These are just – well, amazing. I’ve had these at Citizen’s Bank Park (Phillies’ stadiun) before and can’t really say which ones were better. This is a small order, which cost $6.00, and was worth every cent. You can find these behind section 108 near the first base line. These fries are literally covered in oil and chunks of garlic and fresh herbs.  Just make sure you have a breath mint handy. If you don’t, don’t worry because there’s a Turkey Hill not too far from the garlic fries stand and I’m sure their mint chocolate chip ice cream would do the trick.

These are not your everyday stadium nachos – you can tell by their taste and by the way that cheese melts that it’s not canned cheese whiz.  There is an authentic mexican stand right in Yankee stadium serving quesidillas, nachos, etc.  Look for it behind Section 105. 
And now, last but not least, here is the fairytale feast that I enjoyed at Yankee Stadium:

The New York Yankees now have a steakhouse in their own stadium, NYY STEAK. This steak sandwhich, like Lobel’s, cost $15.00 and was worth every cent. It was one of the best, if not THE BEST steak sandwhich I ever had in my life. I wouldn’t expect anything less from NYC or the Yankees. This meat was sooo tender and juicy. It wasn’t laden with pieces of fat either – it was prime meat that melted in my mouth. The roll was also perfection paired with this steak and seemed to be topped with onions and garlic. The sandwhich came with a side of dijon horseradish sauce or regular horseradish.  I drizzled a little dijon horseradish onto my sandwhich to taste it. After I did, I promptly dumped the rest of the container onto the sandwhich.  It was heavenly and I couldn’t decide what I loved about the game the most: Derek Jeter or my steak sandwhich.
(Note: Please don’t not mistake this sandwhich for a cheesesteak. They are two different things. And that is dijon horseradish sauce, not cheese sauce. If you want a cheesesteak, go to Philly. If you want a steak sandwhich, go to NYC.)
This sandwhich was 550 calories, which was actually less than I expected it to be. I’d have it again in a heartbeat.  You find the NYY Steak stand near section 108.  If you go to the Yankee stadium, please let me know what else is good! 🙂

Here are a two more recipes to get your Cinco de Mayo celebration started this week! I love these recipes because they are healthful and delicious and not your typical taco feast! I hope you like them too!

Serves 4

4 8-inch whole wheat or multigrain tortillas
1 can black beans, washed and drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
Handfull of chopped cilantro plus more leaves for garnish
2 limes
4 oz of cotija cheese
1 rotissieri chicken breasts, shredded
1 can of salsa verde (green salsa)

1/2 avocado
Dollup of sour cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

To make the black bean dip: Combine black beans, red onion, orange juice, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper, and the juice of one lime in a bowl. Puree in a blender until smooth. Put to the side.

In a separate bowl, place the shredded chicken and sprinkle with some of Emeril’s Southwestern Essence. Mix the shredded chicken with enough salsa verde to coat.

To assemble the tortilla pie: Coat a 9 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/4 of the black bean mixture onto a tortilla. Top with 1/4 of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle some of the cotija cheese on top. Repeat 3 more times. Squirt some lime juice on top.

Bake in oven about 20 minutes, until top is nice and brown and crunchy. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro. Optional: Place some diced avocado slices on top and a slice of lime on the side. Serve immediately.

Mexican Watermelon Salad
Serves 4

1 small seedless watermelon
4 oz of cotija cheese
1 cup of cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons of lavendar honey
1 tablespoon of orange juice
1 lime

Use a melon baller to scoop out balls of the watermelon. Place in decorative glass salad bowl. Crumble cheese on top of watermelon. Add cilantro.  In small bowl, mix lavendar honey, orange juice and lime juice.  Add to Salad. Mix well. Serve immediately.

Have a  Happy Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy! 🙂