Category Archives: Feisty Fiesta

Recipe: Fresh Corn Salsa

There are so many variations of “salsa” that the word can mean almost anything, at this point. I’m calling this dish salsa, although “relish” and just plain “salad” would have worked, too!

Now that we are past the name, what is going on in this delicious-looking dish?

corn salsa Read the rest of this entry


Recipe: Mexican Cornbread Muffins

I am not a baker. Really.

So why did I tackle cornbread muffins? Because I had a fabulous idea for a Mexican-style muffin, and I wasn’t going to let my fear of baking stop me!

Here is the scoop:  this is the peak of the corn season, and I’ve been having fun preparing corn all sorts of ways. I pictured some nice, moist cornbread with lots of fresh kernels, something that my sister used to make and call “Corn on the Cube”.



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Recipe: Spicy Grilled Cod

You’ve heard that fish can be a valuable part of a healthy diet. It’s naturally low-fat, high in protein, and easy on the calories (depending on how you prepare it). The health benefits read like an alphabet: fish can help to prevent asthma, fuel your brain, stave off some cancers, lower your risk of dementia, and more.

Grilled fish

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Recipe: “Don’t be a turkey 4-bean chili”

It’s chili time!

Catamount Chili Contest poster2Yesterday, I took part in a chili cook-off at Catamount Ski here in Hillsdale. This incredibly busy ski resort repeated one of their most popular events, inviting over 20 local chefs and amateurs to compete for prizes and bragging rights. It only cost each guest $5 to taste all of the dishes, and the competitors each paid $10 to enter. All of these proceeds went to the Roe Jan Food Pantry.

The Tavern was absolutely packed, with diners, skiers, cooks and even members of the press. We all lined up proudly with our chili creations in front of us, doling out samples to hundreds of people. Read the rest of this entry


Recipe: Hearty 3-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Did you know that there is an International Chili Society?  Yeah,  chili (the stew) and chilis (the peppers) both have huge followings;  the ICS even has a Facebook Page!

I am a big fan of a piping hot bowl of homemade chili, myself.  This time of year when the furnace is blasting but I am still shivering, chili warms me up and fills me up.

But that’s not why I made this chili!  Read the rest of this entry


Recipe: Mexican Rice Fiesta

Meatless Mondays have become really popular, so I wanted to give you an idea for a hearty, healthy meatless dish! It is full of flavor, fresh veggies, filling brown rice, and black beans for added protein.

Mexican Rice Fiesta

Bonus:  this dish can be prepared ahead of time, so that you start off your week stress-free. What’s not to love about that? Read the rest of this entry


Recipe: Spiced Popcorn

We love to snack!

Finding something that doesn’t leave us wracked with guilt is another matter. Popcorn is a great solution on all counts. It’s quick to prepare, high in fiber, very budget-friendly, and best of all, you can create numerous varieties right in your kitchen by using my spice blends and sea salts!

Before you start, you will want to select your seasoning, and have it ready to add to the hot popcorn as soon as it comes out of the pan. Of all my products, these are my favorites to use on popcorn:

•  Viva Italia! spice blend (the version with or without salt)

Feisty Fiesta spice blend gives a nice kick!

Feisty Fiesta spice blend gives a nice kick!

•  Feisty Fiesta spice blend
•  Hurricane Curry spice blend
•  As Sweet As Kate spiced sugar
•  Kitchen Campfire smoked sea salt
•  Smokin’ Onion Double Dipper dip mix
•  any combination of my sea salts and exotic peppers

I am a fan of making popcorn the old-fashioned way, i.e. not in the microwave, and not Jiffy Pop either. All you need is a sturdy pan, a few tablespoons of oil (I use olive oil for the extra flavor), and 1/2 cup of loose, unpopped popcorn. This will make the equivalent amount of a one-gallon plastic storage bag.

Heat the oil on medium high, and add the popcorn. Cover with lid.  Gently shake the pan back and forth so that nothing sticks. Keep this up until the popping slows down to once every few seconds, then remove from the heat.

Carefully remove the lid (watch out for the steam), and pour into a large bowl. Immediately add your chosen Your Spice of Life seasoning — start with one teaspoon, taste it, then add more if it needs it — and toss well. As long as you add it right away, the heat and the residual oil will allow it to cling nicely to the popcorn.


If you need more detail on how to make popcorn on the stovetop, see

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