Banana Split with a (Watermelon) Twist

Here I come again with another watermelon recipe!  If you missed last week’s watermelon cupcakes, you should click on over and try them.  They are really good!  Since we are still in the middle of summer, the heat is plentiful and watermelon is our favorite light dessert… here is a light twist on the banana split.


  • Bananas (1 per person)
  • Watermelon
  • Toppings: granola, whipped cream or whipped topping, berries, chocolate syrup to drizzle.
  1. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and place the halves on plates.
  2. Top with watermelon balls formed with an ice-cream scoop.
  3. Add dollops of whipped cream, then sprinkle on berries and chopped nuts or granola.


Serve and enjoy!



Photo credit: Disney Family Fun


Scrumptious Sliders

Smells and memory. They are forever connected.  And here is why: there is a part of our brains called the Amygdala (uh-MIG-duh-luh). It’s a little funny shaped thing that helps us process emotions.  Our Olfactory bulb, which is responsible for detecting smells, has specific access to the Amygdala, thus linking smells with certain memories.  In essence, that is why you are flooded with memories when you walk into your grandmother’s house, or when you smell the perfume your favorite aunt always wore, or when you smell your favorite cake that your mom made for your birthday every year.   All these smells can tie into a flood of memories and emotions. Freshly cut grass, the smell of chlorine, the smell of the desert after rain….the list is personal and extensive. For me, it’s the smell of……..charred meat. Seriously, charred meat. The meat of Char. Meat searing on the grill. The lingering smell of burning fat. It gets me every time. What does that say about me? Don’t answer that. That question is for a therapist to answer at a later date, perhaps.

In reality though, the smell of meat on a grill brings back some good childhood memories. Living in Ohio part of the time growing up, there were only so many sunny, summer days. So when the grill was firing up, it usually meant friends and family getting together. It meant fourth of July or Labor day. It meant long days outside and not coming in until the sun would set, around 9 pm. It meant fun. So to me, the grill brings back some good times, and still plays a central role in fun and family today.

We went to a slider party last weekend and it was a blast. Each couple had to bring their own original slider recipe for the rest to try. There were some really creative and yummy entries. I loved it, but most of all, it was just another fun time around the grill with family and friends.  I wanted to bring something that was inspired by the Southwest, so below is my recipe for my Bacon-wrapped Green Chili Burgers with Chipotle aoili.

Bacon-wrapped Green Chili Burgers

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 package center cut bacon

1 can whole green chilies, sliced into slivers

1 package pepper jack or cheddar cheese slices

1 package of slider buns

Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste.

Pre-heat your grill. Empty ground beef in a bowl.  Add spices and Worcestershire and let sit to marinate for a bit.  Roll into individual balls, a bit bigger than a golf ball. Cut a strip of bacon that is equal to the circumference of the burger. Wrap around, flatten burger, and secure with a toothpick. Set on grill and let cook until ready to turn. Remove toothpick and turn burgers until desired doneness. (Burgers can also be in oven on a broiler pan at 400 degrees).

Chipotle aoili

1/4 cup low fat mayo

1 chipotle chili in adobo and 1 tsp. of sauce

juice of one lime

salt to taste

Chop chipotle and seed if desired. Mix with rest of ingredients.

To assemble burgers:

Toast buns if desired, top with a slider, sliced green chilies and oili and serve. Enjoy.

What about you? What smells remind you of special people or a certain experience in your life?

Spicy Corn Relish–As a Side or Dip!

It is spring everywhere. That means the sunscreen is being slathered on , margaritas are a mixin’ and people are cleaning off and prepping their grills.  Actually, in Arizona, we pretty much grill all year round, but don’t hate us because we have good weather. Just make this spicy corn relish and delight in the flavor. Serve it with a side of BBQ chicken,  serve it like I did with some flank steak, or  serve it with some grilled shrimp or swordfish! Heck–eat it out of the tupperware container the morning after you make it! What? I am the only one that does this? You guys are more civilized? Who cares, just make this side and make it soon. Here’s what you need:

6 ears of corn

1/2 red onion

1/4 cup green onions

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped

1/4 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

splash of olive oil and red wine vinaigrette

salt and pepper to taste

Clean corn and brush with olive oil and salt, same with red onion. Toss on grill. Grill corn approximately 7 minutes each side and rotate until all of it is cooked and bits are charred. Grill onion face down for 10 minutes or so. Remove both from grill. Cut corn off the cob and dice the red onion. Mix both of these with the rest of the ingredients and let your taste buds have a party in your mouth. I love this dish because it is so versatile. You could add black beans, diced cucumbers, diced avocados….the possibilities are limitless.  The smokiness of the charred corn and onion carmelize a bit and rest nicely with the other flavors. Make this tonight! Serve with some Red Zin, if you want to accentuate the smokiness, serve with some Sauvignon Blanc, if you want to cut the spiciness. But for the love of all that is good, just serve it!

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