Chow Mein Cookies

These cookies are nostalgia to the max for me. My nana made them every holiday season growing up. As soon as the butterscotch and chocolate start melting the smell reminds me of my first white Christmas I had as a young girl in CO.

If you have kids, you can also call these Reindeer Cookies — add red M&Ms as a nose, and position two chow main noodles as antlers. Enjoy!

Chow Mein Cookies


  • 1 bag of semi sweet Chocolate Chips (I use Nestle)
  • 1 bag of Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 bag of Chow Mein noodles

Make it:

  • Prep two baking sheets with wax paper, set aside
  • In a double boiler melt the chocolate chips and butterscotch, stir frequently
  • Transfer melted chips into a large bowl and add in the full bag of Chow Mein noodles
  • Stir, carefully, as to not break noodles
  • Use your hands to create small mounds and place onto wax sheets
  • Chill in refrigerator for 3+ hours until hard

Crispy Potatoes with Goat Cheese Aioli

I often find myself trying to think of fun innovative sides I can pair with protein. Lots of times when I open the refrigerator I see a handful of things on the brink of expiration. That is what inspired me for this side dish.

On my Sunday shopping, I grabbed a bag of potatoes, knowing that I could do something with them. They are so versatile; you can make some for dinner, and use for rest for hash browns on the weekend for breakfast! I had leftover goat cheese from my “Not so Basic Turkey Burger” recipe as well as a variety of herbs I knew had to be used within a day or so.

Also, no one can argue that the best accompaniment to lots of good side dishes is an excellent dipping sauce! Please enjoy.

Crispy Potatoes with Goat Cheese Aioli



  • 1/2 bag of small Yellow Potatoes
  • 1 handful of chopped Parsley
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tspn of Paprika
  • few cloves of Garlic
  • 1 quarter of sliced Red Onion
  • 1 tbsp of Garlic Salt
  • 2 tbsp of EVOO

Make it:

  • Quarter all the potatoes and slice the red onion
  • Toss together the onion potatoes, olive oil, herbs, garlic and spice mix
  • Pan fry for about 30 mins or until tender (no need to add additional oil)
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Goat Cheese Aioli


  • 4 tbsp of Goat Cheese
  • 2 tbsp of Just Mayo
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 6 leave of chopped Sage
  • 2 tspn of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Garlic Salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make it:

  • Whisk together all ingredients until smooth; garnish with extra Sage Leaves

Bye Bye Basic Turkey Burgers

Finding creative ways to add flare and flavor to your everyday Turkey Burgers can be daunting. But simple flavorful ingredients can not only add flavor but enhance nutrients and bring textures to what we once called, the boring and just plain basic turkey burger. #byebasicburgers

I serve these on Toasty Wheat Buns and my Cannellini Bean Hash


Goat Cheese Turkey Burger with Spicy Chunky Avocado Mayo


  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 3 tbs of goat cheese
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley
  • 2 pinches of chopped sage
  • half of a jalapeno (optional)
  • few cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of cous cous

Make it:

  • Combine ground turkey, egg, herbs, jalapeno, garlic – mix with hands
  • Add goat cheese and combine
  • Use the cous cous as your binder, add more or less depending on preference.
  • Pan fry until cooked through and spread a little extra goat cheese on top

Spicy Chunky Avocado Mayo


  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 Jalapeno with seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsps of Paprika
  • 1 table spoon of Just Mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make it:

  • Blend all ingredients together. I leave it chunky for a texture contrast

Market Salad with Brussels Sprout Chips

Healthy and fast weekday meals are hard to come by. Especially if you are interested or looking for some variety, because as we all know cooking the same recipes gets old!

Tonight i’d like to share with you what I call the ‘The Market Salad’ with ‘Brussels Sprout Chips’. What makes this a market salad is that all the ingredients are sourced from the Farmers Market. The great news is that Farmers Markets are in lots of cities everywhere!

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Market Salad:


  • 1 Handful of arugula
  • 1 Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 Cucumber (local / organic)
  • 1/2 Tomato (local / organic)

Make it:

  • Dice cucumber in rounds, then julienne
  • Dice tomato
  • Mix all ingredients together and toss in market salad dressing (recipe below)

Market Salad Dressing:


  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 3 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (chefs recommendation – use a citrus press, like this to avoid seeds)
  • 1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar

*whisk all ingridents together until blended

Market Salad

Brussels Sprout Chips


  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 Teaspoons of salt
  • 1 Dozen brussels sprouts

Make it: 

  • Trim the ends off each brussels sprout
  • Peel each leaf off the sprout (chefs recommendation – once the leaves stop easily coming off, cut the end off the brussels sprout again, this will make it easier to peel off more leaves)
  • Toss the brussels sprout leaves in the olive oil and salt (add pepper if preferred)
  • Cover sheet pan with foil and lay the leaves out so they are evenly spaced
  • Bake for 10 mins at 375 degrees on the top oven rack
  • Leaves should look brown with some green

Brussel Chips

Thanks for Popping By Party Favors

ali in the vali’s Do it Yourself Party Favors: “THANKS FOR POPPING BY”

Everyone likes to have a party favor; they add flare, excite your guests, and let’s be honest…who doesn’t like presents? But the truth behind these, is if you’re on a limited budget, these little gifts can get pricey. The worst part with party favors is that when your guests come home, they simply get placed in the drawer and forgotten about…and just like that, money wasted.

This is why my rule is to always have a party favor that is a consumable beverage or edible snack; and for my most recent party that needed planning, I opted for the Champagne spilt. (which is the mini bottle)

Tutorial: ali_in_the_vali’s “THANKS FOR POPPING BY” party favor


1. Small cellophane bags here

2. Any type of confetti (you can see what I chose on the ali_in_the_vali Instagram account). here

3. Mini bottles of Champagne (or wine) or juice! here

4. Ribbon (I used ribbon that can be curled, see below)


5. Craft pearls with sticky backing like these

MAKE THIS: the tag

1. You can go online to any stationary site and search “labels”. Find one you like and opt to personalize/customize it. Enter your preferred messaging and take a screen shot (mac – command,shift,4) Copy and paste your screenshot onto a Word doc. see example

BOOM, there you go! Print (on nice card stock if you like) and cut.

2. Once you have all your labels printed, hand stick your pearls onto them for extra detail.

3. Finally, take a hole punch and punch (1) hole in the top left corner.

see example

MAKE THIS: the bag

1. Stuff each cellophane bag with (1) bottle of Champagne.

2. Fill each cellophane bag with a small handful of confetti (do not over fill as you still want to see the bottle of Champagne.

3. Take your ribbon and tie a knot at the top of the bag around the Champagne bottle’s neck.

4. If you’re using curl-able ribbon, curl this ribbon now with your scissors.

5. Take another ribbon and tie the label to it. Then tie the ribbon with label over the first ribbon. Curl string if necessary.

6. Repeat as needed.


That’s a wrap! Email me if you need more help at


Categories DIY

Zesty Corn Salad

~a summer favorite, that is body friendly~

Serving Notes: The below will serve about 6-8 people, or provide a weeks worth of Zesty Corn Salad for a family of 2-3.


  1. 6-8 ears of corn (I buy two 4 packs from Trader Joe’s)
  2. 2 jalapeño’s (you may only need 1, depending on the level of spice the pepper has)
  3. 2 large limes
  4. 6 individual radishes (or 1 pack from Trader Joe’s) here


  1. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook your corn for about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Remove and let cool
  3. Thinly slice your radish or you can mince, whatever your preference is. (I slice mine)
  4. Chop your jalapeño (‘s) very small (I separate the seeds, that way when mixing together I have more control of the spice)
  5. Extract the juice from your two limes, set aside.
  6. By this point, your corn should be cool enough to handle. Cut corn kernels from the stock, and put in a bowl. Repeat until all corn is removed.
  7. Add your radish, jalapeño and lime juice to the bowl of corn and stir!IMG_6264 2

8.Top with avocado when serving.


Ali in the Vali

Thai Wonton Noodle Soup

enjoy this spicy Thai soup on a cold evening

Serving Notes: The below will serve about 4-5 people, or provide 3 days worth of soup for a family of 2.


  1. Rice noodles like this
  2. Chicken cilantro wonton’s from Trader Joe’s here
  3. Chicken or vegetable broth (two 32 oz boxes)
  4. 2 zucchini’s
  5. 1 bunch of cilantro
  6. 1 Avocado
  7. 1 package of mushrooms (your favorite kind)
  8. 1 package of beef broth flavoring I use this
  9. Crushed red pepper (1 table-spoon)
  10. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  11. Onion powder (1 tea-spoon)
  12. Olive oil (1 teaspoon)
  13. 2 cups of water


  1. Using a large pot, saute garlic in olive oil for 2-4 minutes.
  2. Add in both boxes of the chicken (or) vegetable broth and stir, scraping the toasty garlic from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add onion powder and crushed red pepper
    1. When adding in crushed red pepper, start with a little and increase until you reach your desired level of spice.
  4. Add in 1 packet of beef broth flavor; stir
  5. Cover and simmer broth for 5 minutes
  6. Add in mushrooms and diced zucchini’s; cook for 5 minutes until tender
  7. Add in rice noodles (half the packet) and chicken cilantro wonton’s (half the packet) and cook for another 6 minutes on high heat.
  8. Serve with cilantro and diced avocado if desired


Ali in the Vali