Mango Lassi – Indian Yogurt Drink

One of my eldest’s son’s favorite restaurants is near the forum in Inglewood. Last time, we ate there my daughter discovered their Sweet Traditional Mango Lassisweet, mango lassi. It is such a simple recipe, that now we make it at home the way the restaurant does. Plus, it is a great breakfast alternative because of the fruit and yogurt – that and you can put it in a cup and take it in the car for a breakfast or snack on the go.







  • 2 Cups Plain Yogurt
  • 2 Cans Sweetened Mango (like Dole) or Sweetened Mango Pulp (available in Indian Markets).
  • Additional Honey or Sugar to sweeten (optional).
  • Milk to thin (if desired).


Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice. 

Pineapple Juice – Rafael’s traditional recipe

Fall is officially here. But here in California, it is still warm. While it gets darker a little bit earlier, and the sunless mornings feel like the middle of the night when the alarm goes off, there are just a few leaves on the ground and few people have started to decorate their homes for Halloween or even attempted to make any pumpkin recipes. While I am craving cool weather and the rain,  I discovered this beverage at my friend’s birthday party in Hermosa Beach from (what we in California refer to so eloquently as)  the “taco guy”.


Delicious Agua de Pina.

Delicious Agua de Pina.

This pineapple juice , or ” Agua de Pina ” (as Rafael said it’s called at his home) really hit the spot on a sunny Sunday. I was amazed at how delicious but so refreshingly real this juice recipe tasted. It was like drinking a fresh pineapple. How is it after all these years in California , considering this is an an easy, traditional way to make homemade juice that most Mexican families in Los Angeles make, I’ve never seen it before? Mixed with champagne or sparkling wine (which I did at the party) the drink evolves into something completely unique and new – a step up from a Mimosa. Just simply delicious.

Per Rafael, he used 6 ripe pineapples to 4 gallons of water to fill a 5 gallon container for the party. I’ve adjusted the recipe to make approximately a little over a quart.  


  • 1 ripe Pineapple
  • 3 1/2 Cups Water
  • Sugar to taste (about a 1/2 Cup) or Honey or Agave Nectar


Use a knife to cut the skin of the pineapple off.

Cut into small chunks.

Blend 1/2 of the pineapple with 1/2 of the water and strain into quart sized pitcher.

Blend the remaining pineapple and water and strain into the pitcher.



Margarita Recipe – Easy

Margarita - Easy Recipe.

Margarita – Easy Recipe. I just had to drink some of it before I took a picture.

Where do I start? We first discovered the straight up Margarita at a restaurant in Los Angeles called, “El Coyote”. They mix their margaritas ahead of time in batches and then serve their recipe out of a gun either “up” (no ice), over ice or blended.The bartender told us that the secret to their margarita recipe is that they add a little bit of pineapple juice. 


Since then, my husband has perfected this very simple cocktail. When my husband was doing some real estate work down in Mexico’s, Loreto Bay on the Sea of Cortez, he had margaritas at a bar there that used the Mexican Controy Liqueur (instead of Triple Sec) and he said he could not believe how amazingly delicious the margaritas were there. He added that their drinks were really strong which of course makes any subsequent cocktail taste better than the first.  I make a slightly different version with fresh lime juice (or even lemon juice works well too) and Agave Nectar. A restaurant I worked at added a touch of Orange Juice to their margarita mix. Another popular version is the “Cadillac” margarita that uses premium Tequila and has a “float” of Grand Marnier liqueur on top. Frozen fruit can of course be added instead of ice (strawberry, mango, pineapple, kiwi etc…) for a delicious blended fruit margarita. Lastly, you can soak 6 halved chilis (like jalapeños, or serranos or even thai red chilis, whatever is easy to find) in a bottle of tequila for 30 days (or less) and use the spicy tequila to make a “Fire and Ice” margarita after the spiciness of the chilis has permeated the alcohol.


  • 2-3 parts Tequila (use a shot glass to measure, or a cup if making a batch).
  • 1 part orange liqueur (like any generic Triple Sec, or the Authentic Mexican Controy, the French Cointreau etc….) 
  • 1 part Concentrated Limeaid (this is my husband’s very simple secret because Sweet ‘n Sour mixes are expensive, full of chemicals and way too sour for my taste).
  • Or, Instead of Limeaid, I add the juice of either a half or a whole Fresh Lime (or Lemon if I don’t have any limes) with 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar mixed in.This is how they make their margaritas at a Country Western Bar in Calabasas and they are delicious this way).
  • 3 parts water or ice
  • 3 parts frozen fruit (If you want to make a blended fruit version, just add frozen fruit instead of ice).
  • Kosher salt for rim.


Keep Kosher Salt in plastic container. Dip rim in saucer of tequila, then container. Done!

Keep Kosher Salt in plastic container. Dip rim in saucer of tequila, then container. Done!

We keep our Kosher Salt permanently in a small, round plastic container with a lid – ready for cocktail hour. Pour Triple Sec or Tequila onto a saucer. Then, dip your glass rim into the saucer to wet the rim and then dip the rim into the container of salt. 


Pour the ingredients into a glass flled with ice. Or, add all ingredients into a martini shaker filled with ice, shake and pour into your glass (this is the “up” version). For a refreshing blended version, blend in a blender. Substitute fruit for ice if you’d like. Enjoy!


Hong Kong Milk Tea

Iced tea is one of my favorite homemade beverages to make and keep in the fridge. Not only is it as easy as boiling water (and adding and removing the tea bags ) but its also an amazingly inexpensive alternative to other store-bought beverages and therefore

Sweet and luscious. Easy Hong Kong Milk Tea.

Sweet and luscious. Easy Hong Kong Milk Tea.

extremely budget-friendly. Snapple-like mixtures are easy to recreate by adding lemon, berries, mint, cucumber or other fun additions from the garden.  


Instead of adding sugar, you can add any sweetener you like such as honey, agave, Stevia or even no sweetener at all so it’s also easy to make your own “diet” iced tea blends. Use Almond Milk if you are a Vegan.


This tea is my daughter’s favorite and like all the recipes I share here, amazingly easy. Because I don’t really like the flavor of Green Tea but it has excellent health benefits, I sometimes add a Green Tea bag in with the Black Tea  which masks the flavor of the Green Tea completely. I also love making this tea with Earl Grey tea. 


  • 5 Black Tea bags
  • 1 Quart Water
  • 1 can of Condensed Milk (sweetened or unsweetened) or 1 C Cream or  1 1/2 Cups Half and Half or Milk, or 1 Cup Almond Milk 
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (omit if you are using sweetened milk. You can also add any preferred sweetener).


Tear the paper tops off of the tea bags and place in a pot full of water.


Add the sugar or sweetener to allow it to melt into the water when heating.


Bring water to a boil, then turn off the flame and let the tea bags steep for 10 minutes or longer if you prefer until the color of the water is nice and brown.


Remove the tea bags, pour the tea into a pitcher, add the condensed milk or other milk. Mix, chill and enjoy with or without ice.