we all scream for ice cream

it’s almost July and I’m so happy to tell you that July is National Ice Cream Month!

If you can’t do a month of ice cream, Sunday, July 21 is National Ice Cream Day

ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a month…start now!

Grilled Banana Split


  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 firm bananas, split in 1/2, lengthwise, in their peels
  • Store-bought strawberry ice cream
  • 1/2 cup store-bought candied pecans, for topping
  • Fresh Whipped Cream, for topping
  • Store-bought hot fudge sauce, for topping
  • Maraschino cherries, for topping
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish


Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the bananas with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Put them, cut side down, on the grill and cook until grill marks appear, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip over and cook until the peel just starts to pull away from the banana. Remove the bananas from the grill and peel. Add 2 banana halves to each banana split dish. Top with strawberry ice cream, candied pecans, whipped cream and hot fudge sauce. Put a cherry on top and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich Cake


  • 10 3.5-ounce rectangular vanilla ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1 pint mint chip or pistachio ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 12 cookies)
  • Chocolate shell topping, for spreading


Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Arrange 5 ice cream sandwiches snugly in the bottom of the pan. Spread the strawberry ice cream on top in an even layer. Press the remaining 5 ice cream sandwiches on top, then spread the mint chip ice cream evenly over the sandwiches. Top with an even layer of crushed cookies, pressing gently.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and freeze until set, about 4 hours. Uncover, then lift the foil to remove the cake from the pan. Invert onto a platter, remove the foil and spread with the chocolate shell topping. Serve immediately or cover and freeze for up to 2 days. 

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake


  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 6 crackers)
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup store-bought chocolate syrup
  • 2 quarts vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows


Stir the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter in a bowl until combined. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Drizzle with the chocolate syrup and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

Spread the vanilla ice cream over the chocolate-drizzled crust in a smooth, even layer, packing the ice cream into the pan. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Remove the cake from the freezer and top with the marshmallows. Toast the topping with a kitchen torch or broil about 4 inches away from the heat until the marshmallows are puffed and evenly browned, rotating the pan as needed. Return the cake to the freezer for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake before removing the side of the pan. Serve immediately or freeze for up to 2 days.

 thanks food network for the recipes

go for it

do all kinds of celebrating…


eat for energy

too hot? no energy? try a day of energy eating solutions…

  • when you wake up get extra hydrated- drink a big glass of water or two or more
  • about an hour later drink something with caffeine and eat some protein and fiber, your blood sugar levels will stay consistent and you’ll feel full
  • the best mid-morning snack is nuts, have a handful or two and drink more water or have a piece of watermelon
  • lunch time is not a feast, don’t overeat, it will make you feel full and lazy the rest of the day
  • boost your energy with a mid-afternoon snack or two, a cup of popcorn, 3 Twizzlers, granola bar, trail mix and green tea are all good choices
  • eat dinner at least two and a half hours before you go to sleep, don’t eat a huge meal and try to have protein, vegetables and complex carbs, they’re easier to digest and will fill you up without making you feel stuffed
  • a cup of herbal tea before bed is good if you need to relax





Dear Ask Mom- my neighbor’s son has a “jazz group” that practices in the garage with the door open and I hate jazz. What should I do?

If they aren’t playing at 2 a.m. get over it.

keep calm

Dear Ask Mom,  I am not getting along with one of my friends, we’re having so many arguments and it is really bothering me. What can I do to get over our disagreements? Thanks for your advice.

Whatever is happening may not be about you, but you’re getting the fallout from whatever problems she’s having. Just stop disagreeing. Don’t try to win and don’t try to be right. Just accept that your friend doesn’t agree with you about something and move on. If it’s not a huge thing, take the high road to save the friendship.

eating in the sun

cold sandwiches + hot summer = perfect

Turkey Caesar 


  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • 2 or 3 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey

If storing overnight, top bread with lettuce first, then dressing to keep sandwich from getting soggy.


  • In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Spread on both bread slices.
  • Break lettuce into large pieces; layer half on 1 slice of bread. Top with turkey, remaining lettuce, and bread.


Tuna Nicoise


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans oil-packed tuna (6 ounces each), drained
  • 1/4 English cucumber
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 8-inch round loaf country-style bread
  • 3 tablespoons jarred olive tapenade
  • 1 cup fresh basil leave
  • 2 large eggs, hard-cooked and sliced


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tablespoons dressing to another bowl; toss with tuna. To remaining dressing, add cucumber and onion; toss to combine.
  •  Cut bread in half horizontally; remove most of soft interior crumb. Spread tapenade on bottom half. Top with basil leaves, then egg slices; season with salt and pepper. Top with tuna, then cucumber mixture; close sandwich.
  • Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic and place between two baking sheets. Weight with a heavy skillet. Let stand 1 hour (or refrigerate, up to overnight). To serve, cut into quarters.


New Orleans Muffulettas

This sandwich tastes best when refrigerated for a few hours to let the flavors meld together.


  • 1 cup giardiniera, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, rinsed, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini, rinsed, drained, and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pepper
  • 1 loaf (8-inch round) artisanal country bread
  • 4 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced


  • In large bowl, combine giardiniera, olives, pepperoncini, celery, parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss until well mixed.
  • Use serrated knife to cut bread in half horizontally. With fingers, remove most of center of bread, leaving 1 inch of bread all around crust. Reserve center of bread for another use.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil all over cut sides of loaf. Layer salami and ham on bottom half of bread. Top with giardiniera mixture, then cheese. Cover with top half of bread, pressing top down. Use serrated knife to cut sandwich into quarters. Sandwiches can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated up to 1 day.


Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese with Jalapeño Aioli from the Relish Cookbook by Daphne Oz

(this is not a cold sandwich, but I’ve eaten it hot, cold and medium and it’s one of the best all time sandwiches ever!)


  • 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 small head of cauliflower, sliced into flat (about 3/8 inch thick) pieces
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 ounces aged cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/2 tbsp butter

for the aioli-

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 medium jalapeño, minced
  • pinch of sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a medium sized pan, add the onion with 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and caramelized (20-25 minutes).

2. Toss the cauliflower with the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay the cauliflower flat on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the cauliflower and roast for an additional 5 minutes (don’t burn).

3. Combine the aioli ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Spread both slices of the bread with the aioli. Top one slice with caramelized onions, followed by the cauliflower, cheese, and arugula. Top with second slice of bread.

4. Add butter to the pan used to caramelize the onion and heat over medium-low, until butter is melted. Add the sandwich (slice closer to the cheese on the bottom) and cook for 4-6 minutes, until the bottom is golden and cheese begins to melt. Use your spatula to apply pressure to the top of the sandwich. Flip sandwich and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes. Slice sandwich and serve immediately.


time for presents

in the summer there are so many things to celebrate… birthdays, weddings, babies, graduations, anniversaries and summertime

there are so many gifts to buy… if you need help here are a few good gift websites




summer hair fixes

the water, sun and heat in the summer fries your hair…here are some sweet ways to fix it

help your hair with these solutions:

fix it with banana- take a mashed banana and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and blend them together, apply it to dry hair and put on a shower cap or plastic wrap for 15-30 minutes, rinse it out, shampoo put on conditioner and dry as usual

fix it with milk and honey- warm 2 cups of milk add 1 teaspoon of honey, mix well until the honey is dissolved. Pour it on dry hair and wait 15 minutes, rinse with warm water, shampoo and condition as usual.

fix it with sea salt- dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in a cup of warm water and pour it on you hair. Leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse out. Shampoo and condition your hair. Only use this once a month.

fix it with apple cider vinegar- use  2 tablespoons of warmed apple cider vinegar as a rinse after shampooing and conditioning.

take it easy

Dear Mom, I’m going on vacation to a place that’s located in a high altitude. What do I need to know?

The biggest difference is that there’s less oxygen in the atmosphere. When you’re exercising it could be harder to breathe. If you’re going to a place 8,000 feet above sea level or higher you might want to skip jogging or working out. If you do exercise don’t do it for as long or as strenuously as usual. If you get altitude sickness, breathe deeply, rest and eat foods that will give you energy (dried fruit or candy). Don’t start a sport you’ve never done and see a doctor if you feel really bad. Altitude sickness can be serious.Hiking, picnics and board games are all good instead of running around too much…

vacation days

Dear Ask Mom- last year I went on vacation and everything was so crazy the minute I got home that it ruined my whole vacation and I don’t even want to take a vacation this year. What can I do so that this doesn’t happen again?

Slow down, you don’t have to hit the ground running as soon as you get home. Try to plan it so that you have a personal day or come back a day early, so that you don’t have to go right back to work the day after you get home.  Do the most important things right away and spread the rest out over a day or two. Make a list of the things that will have  to be done before you leave, if you’re organized you won’t feel so stressed out. You’ll need food right away but that’s about it. Then go through all the mail, unpack, return missed calls and do laundry in a day or two. Don’t ruin a good vacation when you get home…