Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad Recipe

California Quinoa Salad (Whole Foods Copycat)

California quinoa salad is mildly Thai-inspired with edamame, fresh mango, coconut flakes, raisins, bell pepper, red onion, fresh cilantro and almonds, lightly dressed in fresh lime juice and balsamic vinegar.

Hello, Whole Foods knock-off! I think I love you.

This is pasta salad’s cousin, the healthier version of picnic food that doesn’t have any oil or mayo in it yet still manages to taste like a million bucks thanks to the hodgepodge of fresh, bright flavors…. 

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Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Imagine, if you can, the sweetest white frosting bursting with small, colorful chips. That is rainbow chip frosting. Betty Crocker used to make it with a rainbow chip cake to match. They were both favorites as a kid.

The frosting, sadly, was discontinued. People are so crazy-mad about it they have gone as far as to start petitions and facebook pages. You can still find the rainbow chip cake but when it comes to the frosting you’re sc*#$ed. Until now.

No, this isn’t exactly the same. It might be better. Thanks to these guys. Rainbow chip crunch sprinkles by Wilton.

Bottled rainbows.

Rainbow Chips

They are like teeny-tiny m&m’s, smaller in size than even mini m&m’s. They have a lightly crisp coating with chocolate on the inside. You can find them at places that carry Wilton baking supplies like A.C. Moore, Joann’s Fabrics, Micheal’s and even some Walmarts (in the housewares section by the cake decorating supplies, not the grocery section). And on Amazon.

I found them staring back at me from a shelf at A.C. Moore, begging me to take them home and dump them into a big vat of cream cheese frosting where they can spread happiness far and wide.

Anyhoo, these will easily help you turn any frosting into rainbow chip frosting whether it be your favorite homemade recipe or that white tub you pick up in the frosting aisle (I don’t personally recommend this – making it from scratch is too easy!).

When life gives me rainbow chips. . . I make frosting.

It’ssssss ba-aaaaack.

Rainbow Chip Frosting

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: frosts one 2-layer cake or about 18 cupcakes

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

How to make rainbow chip frosting like Betty Crocker's discontinued version!


8 ounces cream cheese (light or regular - not nonfat), at room temperature
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Beat in half the confectioners' sugar until combined, add the remaining half and the vanilla extract. Beat on medium 5 minutes until light and fluffy, stopping to check the consistency every few minutes. If it seems too thick you can add a teaspoon of heavy cream or half & half, too thin add a few more tablespoons confectioners' sugar.
  3. Stir in the rainbow chips by hand. Use immediately. This will frost a 2 layer cake or 18 cupcakes.


This is pipeable with big pastry tips! I use these.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef Copycat Recipe

Mongolian Beef Copycat

Sliced flank steak and green onions with a sweet and savory glaze served over rice with steamed broccoli. A copycat recipe for the much loved P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef.

This is proof that a few simple ingredients, as long as they’re the right ones, can join together to make something utterly delicious.

The sauce comes together in a mere five minutes using ginger, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. The steak is coated with corn starch and fried briefly in oil then tossed with the sauce where it forms a sticky glaze that adheres to all the nooks and crannies of the steak.

P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Copycat

Bursting at the seams with so much flavor. . . I don’t even care whether or not it’s an exact replica of P.F. Chang’s recipe. It left a lasting impression on me.

I love that it uses mostly pantry ingredients with a few fresh ingredients I usually have on hand to pop out something spectacular. One of the best Asian-inspired dish I’ve ever made at home. A definite repeat. . . In the very near future because. . . Mongolian Beef, I can’t get you out of my mind.

As for P.F. Chang’s? There’s not one to be found anywhere near my house but I might be willing to drive for hours just to eat there. If I leave early in the morning I can get there for lunch, do some exploring then go back for dinner. You know, to make the entire trip worthwhile.

Sounds like a plan.

Mongolian Beef

P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3 - 4 servings

P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Sliced flank steak and green onions with a sweet and savory glaze served over rice with steamed broccoli. A copycat recipe for the much loved P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef.


1 pound of flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil, for serving and sauteeing
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, not packed
vegetable oil, for frying
2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths
cooked rice, for serving
steamed broccoli, for serving


  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick 1-inch long slices. Add the cornstarch to a wide, shallow bowl and coat the steak with the cornstarch. Set aside and allow the cornstarch to soak into them meat while you make the sauce.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-low heat in a wok or large cast-iron or stainless steel frying pan. Add the ginger and garlic, saute until fragrant about 2 minute, stirring often.
  3. Add the soy sauce and water then whisk in the brown sugar. Turn heat up to medium-high, bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes (not longer - the mixture will thicken up when you add it to the steak) whisking often. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add 1/2 to 3/4-inch oil to the same pan and heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers. You can test it by adding a piece of steak - it should sizzle and start cooking immediately.
  5. Add the beef to the oil and cook for about two minutes turning the pieces over so they brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a paper towel lined plate.
  6. Let oil cool down - then drain off.
  7. Heat the same pan over medium heat and add the meat back in along with the sauce and green onions. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring to coat the meat all over with the sauce.
  8. Remove the meat and leave the excess sauce behind. Serve over rice with broccoli, if desired.


Adapted from Food.com

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef

This recipe was updated on Nov. 24, 2013.

Spicy Meatball Homemade SpaghettiOs

Homemade spaghettiOs with meatballs, black olives and a spicy sauce.

I never really did enjoy eating spaghettiOs. Not even as a kid. My palate was more sophisticated, likely from all the homemade sauce my Mom fed us. That weak imitation stuff in a can just didn’t taste good even back then…. 

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Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp

Crunchy Bang Bang Shrimp

A copycat restaurant recipe for Bang Bang Shrimp.

Breaded shrimp fried up all golden and crunchy then smothered in a spicy sauce and served over greens. It’s all the rage.

Having never been to Bonefish Grill where the shrimp originates I wouldn’t know.

Leading me to this. . .I have a seriously bad habit of recreating restaurant food I’ve never even eaten. When I say bad habit what I really mean is I. Can’t. Stop…. 

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Copycat Shamrock Shakes

Homemade Shamrock Shakes


Homemade Shamrock Shakes are a cinch to make with vanilla ice cream, milk and peppermint extract. I made them because I thought I was missing something. . .there’s such hype over the McDonald’s shakes by the same name. . . I know people who go totally crazy for them…. 

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