The Famous Maving’s Cheese Ball

When I first started dating my fiance I quickly learned of the cheese ball tradition. His family gets together a lot, and for every occasion there must ALWAYS be a cheese ball. I knew I would fit in immediately after I tasted this cheese ball. Three simple ingredients of glorious-ness. I won’t lie to you kids this is in no way healthy, and I know I like to say everything in moderation, but that goes out the window when it comes to the cheese ball. It’s fregan addicting and its so hard to walk away. God’s speed!


  • 3 packets of cream cheese
  • 1 2.5 oz jar of dried beef
  • 1 bunch of scallions -choppedunnamed


  1. Start by dicing the scallions.
  2. Cut the beef into tiny little squares (see pic)
  3. Take out the cream cheese and roll the ingredients into the cheese ball making sure its well mixed
  4. Reserve some of the dried beef and scallions for the very end so you can roll the outer layer in that as well.
  5. Serve with crackers, my favorite are Triscuits with sea salt or Wheat Thins. fs

Buttnernut Squash

I stole this recipe from Wegman’s. It was so delicious and healthy, a perfect side for Thanksgiving!


  • 2 pkgs (20 oz each)
  • 2 large red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp basting oil
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) spinach
  • 3/4 cup  sweetened dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss squash and onions with basting oil in large bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper
  2. Arrange in single layer on large baking sheet. Roast 25- 30 min, until tender and brown. Remove from oven.
  3. Toss squash, spinach, and dried cranberries in large shallow serving dish. unnamed


Thanksgiving is only a few short days away! Yesterday we celebrated at my mom’s house with some friends. Shout out to my awesome sister for cooking this meal with me. On the menu was a roasted pear, fig, goat cheese and pomegranate saladunnamed

Turkey with rosemary, thyme,shallots, garlic, lemon, celery and carrots.unnamed

Roasted butternut squash with red onions, baby spinach and dried cranberries.unnamed

Mashed potatoes with Greek yogurt and parsley photo

and last but not least greens and beans with apple slices!!unnamedI will post these recipes throughout the week! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday this year 🙂



Cranberry sauce

This was the first time I made fresh cranberries! They looked so beautiful in the pan and were so easy to make. My sister, Tess came up with the genius idea to sprinkle some orange rind into the sauce for an extra boost of flavor. I decided to use an ingredient called sucanat, that my reflexologist told me about.


  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 orangeunnamed


1.) Start by adding the sucanat and water to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.

2.) Add the cranberries, bring to a boil and add the grate the orange rind into the dish (to taste, less is better you can always add more!)

3.) Reduce heat to medium and cover, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

4.) Place in a dish and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until served.

Fruit Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

Today was the Grand Opening for Pure Barre Buffalo!! I thought this appetizer would be a fun way to celebrate! I only used a tiny smear of goat cheese, and a little bread in moderation is alright by me. I was actually surprised to learn that goat cheese is one of the healthier cheeses out there. I always thought it was one of the worst! This article talks about the health benefits of goat cheese in comparison to others. Such a sweet and savory appetizer!


  • 1 mango’s, finely diced
  • 8 strawberries, hulled and finely diced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 pineapple ring slices, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons red onion, finely diced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • olive oil for drizzle
  • 1 10 oz. bag of chopped baguette (try to find whole grain if you can)photo-18


  1. Start by finely chopping the mango’s (peel first), strawberries, tomatoes (quartered), chopped basil, red onion and place into a bowl.
  2. Add the garlic powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place the baguette pieces onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, place under the broiler until slightly browned (2-3 minutes).
  4. Evenly spread the softened goat cheese over the toasted baguette.
  5. Top each baguette with a the fruit mixture.blog2

Fall Vegetable Curry

I decided to start trying out some side dishes for Thanksgiving last night. This recipe was so simple with very few ingredients and was bursting with flavor!

Ingredients: photo1

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower (chop into smaller pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz. can of organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 cup boxed or jarred chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro paste or fresh cilantro to sprinkle
  • 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • Greek yogurt for topping
  • 1 pomegranate *Don’t mind my legwarmers, just came from Pure Barre 🙂


  1. Start by peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes. Add the olive oil to a medium sized skillet and turn heat to medium high, add the sweet potatoes. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Decrease the heat to medium and add the onions, cauliflower, tumeric, cumin, cilantro paste (if using fresh just sprinkle it on top of your plate at the end) and curry powder, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper and garbanzo beans.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Take a pomegranate and cut in half, take the one half and squeeze and mix some fresh juice into the dish. Take the other half and get all of the seeds out and sprinkle on top of the dish at the very end.
  6. Add the spinach right before serving, simply fold it into the dish so that it absorbs and wilts down.
  7. Add a dollop of green yogurt, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh cilantro (if using).photo

Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

Yesterday was a very exciting day, Pure Barre opened in Buffalo, NY! I just got back from training at their corporate location in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I am so thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team of girls and awesome company. After an amazing  and challenging class, to my disappointment I looked outside and witnessed the first snowfall of the season. I knew warm carbs aka comfort food for dinner was a must, so I whipped up this yummy dish. Hope you all enjoy!


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi
  • 1 medium yellow onion- diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups of spinach
  • *2 cups of boxed/jarred tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning paste (if you can’t find this in the store, you can use fresh or dried Italian seasonings)
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

*I recently read an article about the harmful effect of canned tomatoes. It said that the liner of the cans have BPA, and since tomatoes are acidic the BPA goes directly into them, which can cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease and can cause issues with the reproductive system.


1. Start by taking a medium sized skillet and add the olive oil and onions over medium heat, cook for about 7-10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning paste and let simmer for 3 minutes, add the beans (rinse them first), tomatoes, and pepper. Let simmer on low for about 10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, prepare the gnocchi according to the directions on the package (until they are floating) and drain.

3. Add the spinach, let it wilt, then add gnocchi.

4. Stir in the Parmesan and sprinkle a thin layer of  mozzarella cheese on top.

5. Place your pan into the oven on high broil for about 2 minutes (or until the cheese has melted), serve and sprinkle with crushed reds!photo (12)

Lentil Soup

I absolutely love greens and lentils together. It is so hearty and healthy. I threw this recipe together last night and was delightfully surprised how well it turned out. I didn’t measure, but I am going to do my best to give you a good representation of the ingredients I used.


  • 4 cups of dried lentils (I used a variety of green, red and regular)
  • 4 cups of Swiss chard (“I buy the cleaned and pre-cut bag from Wegman’s”)
  • 4 cups of collard greens (“”)
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 -28 oz. can of tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bullion/fat
  • 2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 3 tsp. pepper
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasonings
  • 4 celery sticks diced
  • 10 cups of water (I didn’t measure this so if you need to add more water along the way- please do)
  • 2 tablespoons e.v.o.o


1.) Start by pouring the water into a large pan, along with the bullion and bring to a rapid boil. Add the lentils, red chili flakes, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper and tomato puree to the water.

2.) Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally.

3.) Take a a separate non-stick skillet and add the e.v.o.o, set to medium-high heat.  Add the onions and let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the celery and let cook for 5 more minutes and then the garlic, stir frequently. Let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes and then add the mixture into the pot of lentils.

4.) Let the pot of lentils cook for about 25 minutes (check the lentils to see when they’re getting soft.) When the lentil are just about done add the greens, and let cook for 5-10 more minutes.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

*Since I didn’t measure while making this, make sure you taste the broth along the way, if it needs more flavor simply sprinkle more salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, chicken bouillon if you need to!

*I didn’t have any carrots in my fridge, but I think they would be really yummy in this (3)

Chicken Noodle with tomatoes

Love this soup when I’m sick or just need to warm up!


  • 2 boxes of 32 oz. Swanson chicken broth boxes
  • 3 lean chicken breasts
  • 1 bag of celery -diced (including leaves)
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1/2 of diced white onion
  • 1 box of elbow pasta or ditalini noodles
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes


1.) Pour 2 boxes of chicken broth into medium to large size pan, add about 3 cups of water as well.

2.)  Add 3 chicken breasts to the chicken broth as well as celery leaves for flavor. Cook the chicken until it is a a tan-white color.

3.) Remove the chicken breast and add 1 bag of baby carrots, diced celery, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.

4.) While the vegetables are cooking, cut the chicken and put it back in the pot when finished.  13323_1407386233039_4992635_n

5.) Boil noodles in a separate pan, take out when ready and put in a strainer.

6.) Let the soup simmer on low heat for about an hour.

7.) Combine the the noodles with the soup and enjoy!!13323_1407386873055_630141_n