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Fresh Homemade Salsa Recipe

Fresh Homemade Salsa Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

  • 8 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 waxy yellow peppers
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 2 serranos
  • bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white corn
  • 2 tsp salt

Chop up fresh ingredients, stir them all together in large bowl, then squeeze in juice from a lime and sprinkle with salt then stir again.  Next, throw in a can of drained black beans and a can of white corn.  Stir then cover and put in fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Cooking for Cinco de Mayo {Muy Delicioso}

Cooking for Cinco de Mayo {Muy Delicioso}

What are your plans for this Thursday, el Cinco de Mayo? If you’re like me, you have Mexican food on the brain this week.  No doubt I will be eating something delicious and Mexican this week at some point (and probably enjoying my favorite beverage, El Margarita.)

Thought I would gather a few simple recipes for you if you haven’t made plans already.

How about some Fish Tacos with Fresh Chile?  I love all the color in this dinner, so pretty and yummy!

Another delicious option is Homemade Enchiladas.  So many recipe options out there! I think the key is the sauce you use.  Making your sauce from scratch will always taste better than from a can,  but a can isn’t horrible if you go to El Mercado and buy something authentic (aka NOT Old El Paso or Ortega).

Mexican-Style Beef and Potato Empanadas.  Tons of options for fillings with these little pockets of goodness but these ones were super delish.  The rice was awesome too, made with gandules aka pigeon peas.  I will have to post that recipe one of these days but NiNi makes it different every time. lol

What are your plans for Cinco this year?


Fish Tacos & Chile Recipe

Fish Tacos & Chile Recipe

I love fish tacos and said for the longest time that I needed to make them and finally got around to it a few weeks ago……. they were delicious!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 tilapia filet per person
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • cayenne pepper
  • seasoning salt
  • 2 limes
  • chopped red cabbage
  • shredded cheddar
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh chile (see recipe further into this post)
  • small corn or flour tortillas

First I suggest you marinate your tilapia with lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and coriander

Many fish tacos are fried or baked, but I made mine in a grill pan. Doesn’t matter which way you cook this fish, just make sure it is fully cooked 😉

Chop some red cabbage, shred cheese and pick some fresh cilantro (so colorful and pretty!)

I did not make this cream sauce for the tacos but I might next time, sounds delicious!

Ingredients for cream sauce:

  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3  tablespoons  fat-free mayonnaise
  • 3  tablespoons  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1  teaspoon  grated lime rind
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  garlic clove, minced

Ingredients needed for chile:

  • 2 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • any other hot peppers will do!
  • can of peeled tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
  • garlic gloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • salt

Now to make the chile, roast some hot peppers on a camal

Throw all your ingredients in a food processor

Add fresh cilantro, cumin and salt

Blend the chile good

Serve chile in a bowl, refrigerate any extra in a glass jar

Aren’t they pretty? I used corn tortillas for these fish tacos but I think that flour holds up a little better.  We served these with arroz con gandules (recipe for that to follow!)

Mmmmm, I am going to have to make these again very soon!

Mexican-Style Beef & Potato Empanada Recipe

Mexican-Style Beef & Potato Empanada Recipe

Have you had empanadas or samosas??  They’re very similar, just different fillings.  I tried making them for the first time and thought I would share the process 😉

Beef Empanadas and Arroz con Gandules

Here is an easy recipe for Mexican-Style Beef & Potato Empanadas


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 3-4 stewed tomatoes or half can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbs Cumin
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 egg white
  • Cooking oil

First you brown your ground beef with onion and green peppers.  Once browned, add a little bit of water, the potatoes, the tomatoes and seasonings.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender

    Simmer beef and veggies in seasoned broth

    Drain the liquid from beef and veggie mixture

    Beef and Veggies for Empanadas

    Beat one eggwhite

    Beaten eggwhites

    Fill wonton wrapper with a scoop of the beef and veggie mixture, leaving space around the edges.  You can do several at once.

    Spoon empanada mixture onto wonton wrapper

    Cover mixture with a second wonton wrap and brush egg whites over the edges, then pinch or fold up to seal them

    Place second wonton wrapper over meat

    Heat a small amount of oil in pan on medium heat.  When hot, carefully place empanadas in oil for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown, then remove from oil.

    Pan-fry empanadas in oil

    Once empanadas are cooked, remove from oil and place on paper towel to soak up extra grease.

    Beef & Veggie Empanadas

    Serve with avocado, cheese, chile, lettuce, tomato and Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) or pinto beans.

    Beef Empanadas and Arroz con Gandules

    These Empanadas were delicious! Very similar to a fried taco

    Bleu Cheese Meatloaf Recipe

    Bleu Cheese Meatloaf Recipe

    ETA:  This is a post from (Jan 13 ’10) and I finally got around to adding photos so I am re-posting it almost exactly a year later 😉


    I don’t typically make New Years Resolutions but this year I did
    resolve that I was going to step out of my boring making-dinner-routine
    and start cooking at least one new recipe a week.  Since I work so late
    many nights a week, Tuesday seems to be one of the days that work best
    for me to cook and we often collaborate these meals with our
    neighbors.  Last night I decided to bake a Blue Cheese Meatloaf for a
    group of 9 (at the neighbors house) and it was a huge hit.  I was even
    told by at least one that “it was the best meatloaf I ever had”.  It
    had great texture and packed with flavor.  The bleu cheese melts into
    the meatloaf so you don’t get an overpowering taste yet it still
    dresses up the meat in the most wonderful way.

    This recipe makes twelve servings

    • 1 Lg Onion Diced
    • 4 lbs lean ground beef lean
    • 1 ts ground pepper
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp dry mustard
    • 2 c bread crumbs
    • 3 tbs mustard
    • 1/2 c light sour cream
    • 4-6 oz Amish bleu cheese crumbles (Danish is much stronger than Amish.)

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion. Fry until the onion is translucent (15 minutes).

    In a large bowl, mix together fried onions, beef, pepper, salt, dry mustard, bread crumbs, mustard, and light sour cream.

    After you have mixed the ingredients very well (use your hands if you have to). Add the

    blue cheese and mix in gently.

    Pat the mixture down into a 9 x 13inch baking pan

    Bake the meatloaf in the oven until it is no longer pink in the center

    (1 hour and 5 minutes).

    I made mashed potatoes and green beans with almonds as my side dishes.  Yummy!!

    White Chocolate Chip with Macadamia Nut Cookies Recipe

    White Chocolate Chip with Macadamia Nut Cookies Recipe

    Ingredients Needed:

    • 2 sticks room-temp butter
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 bag white chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
    • small bag of macadamia nuts

    Preheat oven to 375′.

    Using a wooden spoon, cream the softened butter and the sugars.  Then add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir well.

    Cream sugar, butter and eggs

    Gradually add in 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and baking soda and mix well.  Once dough is mixed, add white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and coconut.  Mix ingredients in well.

    Mix coconut, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips into dough

    Form into spoon-sized lumps and bake for 10-11 minutes.  Remove from oven and place in cooling rack.

    Unbaked Cookies
    White Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Calzones Recipe

    Calzones Recipe

    Calzones are one of my favorite meals and are pretty easy to make:

    Ingredients Needed:

    • Frozen Pizza Dough or Italian Bread Dough (1 loaf for every 2 people.  If serving little people, 1 loaf could make 3)
    • Favorite Pizza Sauce (1 qt for every 6 calzones)
    • Favorite Pizza Toppings
    • Mozzarella Cheese
    • Parmesan Cheese
    • Italian Seasonings
    • Wooden Rolling Pin

    First thing that needs to be done is to thaw the frozen bread dough for a couple of hours.  Lightly coat the outside of the bread loaves with olive oil then lightly drape cling wrap over top, then place on baking sheet.  Set loaves aside to raise.  I let mine raise in the oven (away from my curious cats!).  If you are crunched for time, a secret to letting the dough thaw quickly is to put them in the oven at 200′ for about 45 minutes.

    Thaw Frozen Bread Dough

    While the dough is thawing/raising, start to prepare your calzone ingredients.
    Here we have some baby portabellas sauteing with fresh garlic in olive oil.

    Saute Baby Portabellas

    I also sauteed some onions.

    Saute Chopped Onions

    Once dough has thawed, cut each loaf in half. On a clean countertop, roll out the dough using rolling pin into a circular or rectangular shape. Spread a very thin amount of sauce over half, leaving about 1/2″ of dough around the edges.

    Roll out Pizza Dough, spread thin layer of sauce over half

    Top sauce with favorite pizza toppings. This one is a Canadian Bacon/Pineapple. I also love pepperoni with sausage, garlic, onion, mushroom, peppers.

    Top with favorite Pizza Toppings

    Cover the ingredients with a generous amount of mozzarella and fresh parmesan.

    Top with Lots of Italian Cheeses

    Fold Dough over the Ingredients, roll and pinch ends together to seal tightly.  Season dough with Italian seasonings and parmesan cheese to make it extra delicious.

    Fold Dough over the Ingredients, roll and pinch ends together to seal tightly

    Bake Calzones at 400′ for 20 Minutes or until Golden Brown

    Bake Calzones 20 Minutes until Golden Brown

    Serve with a side of pizza sauce for dipping and Enjoy!

    Baked calzone
    Another great thing about these calzones is that you can freeze them unbaked if you made too many to enjoy the first time!

    The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    I love cookies, especially chocolate chip, but there is no doubt in my mind that not all cookies are created equally.

    This recipe comes from my Aunt Carol, who has always made the best chocolate chip cookies.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

    Ingredients needed:

    • 2 sticks room-temp butter (minus 1 tbs)
    • replace the one tbls of butter with 1 tbls of crisco
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 bag milk chocolate or semi-sweet chips
    • 1/4 cup of heath bar bits (optional)
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

    Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Using a wooden spoon, cream the softened butter and the sugars.  Then add egg and vanilla, stir well.

    Slowly add 2 1/2 cups flour to dough, mix well. Once mixed, add chocolate chips, toffee chips and crushed nuts to dough.

    Add chocolate chips and nuts

    Drop spoon-sized amounts of chocolate chip cookie dough onto cookie sheet, evenly spaced.

    Bake cookies 10-11 minutes or until center is still slightly soft but edges are golden brown. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack. Wait at least 10 minutes then serve with milk!
    Platter of Chocolate Chip Cookies


    Chicken Bacon Chowder Recipe

    Chicken Bacon Chowder Recipe

    I love making soups and this recipe that I found on Linday Teague Moreno‘s blog looked really yummy so I gave it a go the other night.

    I modified the recipe somewhat and took a few photos of the process to share.  This was very time-consuming, probably 4+ hours, so make sure you give yourself enough time!

    The recipe as read below is for 8 servings.  I doubled the recipe as this soup freezes great, plus if I’m going to go through the work of making it, might as well enjoy it twice as long!

    Ingredients for poached chicken and chicken broth:
    1 large (approximately 6 pounds) chicken
    1 onion, finely chopped
    1 stalk celery, finely chopped
    1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic
    3 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    2 Tbs. Kosher salt

    Ingredients for Chowder:
    1/2 pound thick bacon, diced
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    5 stalks celery, diced
    3 carrots, diced
    1 large yellow onion, diced
    3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    1 bag frozen corn
    1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
    3 cups half and half
    Freshly ground black pepper

    To poach the chicken:
    Add water to cover, at least 3 quarts. To Poach Whole Chickens, Cover with Water

    Finely chop the carrots, onion and celery and add to large stock pot along with garlic, thyme, pepper and 2 tablespoon of salt.  Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat, skimming occasionally. Skim, add more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered, and continue to gently simmer until the chicken is fully cooked (the juices from the thigh will run clear), about 60 minutes.  My two chickens took longer, about 1 hour 40 minutes

    Broth will be a delightful golden color when ready, chicken will be very light in color.

    Drain the chicken and chopped veggies, reserving the broth. Allow the chicken to cool then remove the meat from the bones.
    If making stock ahead of time: Discard the bones and refrigerate the meat until ready to make the chowder.

    To make the chowder: Heat the bacon and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the bacon fat is rendered and the meat firming but not yet crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and onions once bacon is starting to get crispy.  I did not cook the bacon as long as I should have before adding the veggies.  It still turned out good but next time I will let the bacon cook until it is crispier.

    Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the potatoes, corn, and thyme. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are fully soft, about 8 additional minutes.

    Add the chicken broth, corn and chicken to the pot. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

    Set aside 2 cups of hot broth and combine with a 1/2 cup of flour.  Whisk to create a nice smooth batter

    Add the cream and flour mixture to the large pot. Return the chowder to a simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into warm bowls and serve.

    I served the chowder with garlic toast and it was delicious!

    Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe

    Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe

    Have any of ya’ll started making Christmas cookies yet? I’ve made one batch of my favorite cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms and boy did they go quick!!

    Peanut Butter Blossoms

    This is the famous Hershey’s recipe, thought I would share it.

    • 24 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Granulated sugar

    Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

    Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.

    Combine Peanut Butter and Crisco

    Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.

    Add Sugars to Peanut Butter Mixture

    Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

    Add Vanilla, Egg and Milk to Peanut Butter-Sugar Mixture

    Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
    Roll ball of dough in granulated sugar

    Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Peanut Butter Cookies

    Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.

    Place Kiss in center of each hot peanut butter cookie

    Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 2 dozen cookies.


      Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

      Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

      Mmmmm. Stuffed ‘shrooms.  I was assigned the task of bringing an appetizer to my mom’s birthday dinner last week and knowing that we were having lasagna for the main course, I knew these Italian sausage stuffed mushrooms would be perfect.

      Ingredients Needed:

      • 1 lb Italian Sausage
      • 3 Packages of Fresh Mushrooms (big caps would be best)
      • 12 oz Shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar and Romano
      • 3 Gloves Chopped Garlic
      • 4 Green Onions
      • Italian Seasoning

      First, clean mushrooms and remove stems from cap.  Place caps bottom-side-up in baking pan.

      Brown 1 lb of sausage in frying pan.

      Finely chop one cup of the mushroom stems.

      Add chopped mushroom stems and chopped garlic to browned sausage, along with Italian Seasonings.

      Once sausage is cooked, drain if necessary then add cheese, garlic and green onions.  I made my mushrooms low-carb by not putting in breadcrumbs but if you want to add them, do it now.

      Form the sausage and cheese mixture into a ball and stuff a heaping amount into each mushroom cap.  I would get bigger mushrooms next time, I think it would hold the stuffing better.  There is likely to be extra sausage and cheese mixture, just throw it into a ramekin and bake alongside the mushrooms.

      Bake at 350′ for about 20 minutes or until browned.


      Ham Wild Rice Soup Recipe

      Ham Wild Rice Soup Recipe

      Ham with Wild Rice Soup is something I love to make in the fall when wild rice is in season.  This year I documented the process so that I could share it with ya’ll……

      Ingredients needed to make a giant kettle of Soup:

      • Whole Smoked Bone-In Ham
      • 4-5 cups wild rice
      • 8-10 carrots
      • 10 Stalks Celery
      • 1 1/2 Large Chopped White Onion
      • 2 giant cans of chicken broth
      • 2 quarts of Half & Half (or cream if you’re daring!)
      • Salt
      • Flour for thickening

      Making this soup is an all-day process.  Start by boiling your ham in the soup pot, completely covering the ham with water.  Let simmer on medium heat for about 4 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.  Remove the ham and start cutting into large pieces, reserve ham stock in the big kettle.  I completely remove all fat and start shredding my ham, cutting it into smaller pieces when needed.  The ham is the key to this recipe! The smoky flavor adds so much more than making this soup with chicken.  Trust me.

      At some point while the ham is boiling, prepare your celery, carrot and onion by chopping. The onion should be chopped very finely.

      Once ham is shredded and chopped, add it along with onion, wild rice and chicken broth back to the soup pot. Let cook for about 45-50 minutes.

      After the broth, wild rice and onions have cooked for 45 minutes or so, add the veggies.

      Let soup cook another 30-35 minutes or so until veggies are cooked but still slightly firm, not mushy. Add the Half & Half, stirring until it is mixed in. Continue stirring pot over medium-low heat. Add flour/water mix for thickening. Reduce heat after 5-10 minutes. Salt to taste. Soup is done!

      Serve soup with bread, crackers, or croutons. Enjoy!

      This pot makes a TON of soup!! I fed half my neighborhood and still had half the kettle to package up into quart-size plastic soup containers.  Freezes beautifully 😉

      Banana Bread Recipe

      Banana Bread Recipe

      Hopefully you’ve had breakfast before you read this or it might make you hungry!

      Ingredients Needed:

      • 1 cup milk
      • 1 TBS White vinegar
      • ½ cup vegetable oil
      • 3 Ripe bananas
      • 1 tsp. vanilla
      • 1 cup brown sugar
      • 1 cup white sugar
      • 3 eggs
      • ½ tsp. salt
      • ½ tsp. cinnamon
      • 2 ½ cups flour

      Start with three very ripe bananas.  Did you know you can freeze these? I pulled mine out of the freezer about 20 minutes before I started this recipe.

      Mash the bananas with a fork. Let stand.

      Next, add 1 TBS of white vinegar to the milk. Set aside and let stand to thicken.

      This is what the mashed bananas will look like after they’ve sat 10 minutes or so

      Now combine mashed bananas, eggs, oil, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt with electric mixer or whisk.

      After you have combined those ingredients and have mixed well, add the thickened milk

      This is what the batter will look like with thickened milk added.

      Now add 2 1/2 cups flour AND Baking Soda to the mixture. Blend until just mixed.

      Pour batter evenly into two well-greased loaf pans.

      Bake bread at 350′ for 60-70 minutes. I do the toothpick test to see if it is done at 60 minutes and watch it from there. You want to make sure it is fully cooked!

      As soon as bread is done baking, immediately remove it from loaf pans and set on cooling rack. If you leave it in the pans the heat will cause the sides to get moist and yucky.


      Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

      Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

      This summer was our first attempt at growing eggplant and we had quite a bit of it.  I haven’t eaten a ton of eggplant in my life but know that it doesn’t have a ton of flavor on its own so it is is good when paired with a lot of flavors.  One of the best ways I made it this past summer was Eggplant parmesan.


      • Sliced Eggplant
      • Eggs
      • Italian Breadcrumbs
      • Peanut Oil (any cooking oil would work)
      • Fresh Basil
      • Freshly Grated Parmesan
      • Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce

      Cut the eggplant into slices about 1/4″ thick (or less). I didn’t peel mine but would highly recommend it. The skin on eggplant is tough and hard to bite through, even when cooked.

      I tried two types of batter for my eggplant parmesan (panko and Italian bread crumbs) and for this recipe, I would recommend the Italian Bread Crumbs. Dunk each clice into the scrambled egg batter and then roll it in the bread crumbs until it is completely covered

      Heat skillet with oil and place the battered eggplant in your pan. Cook each side until golden brown.

      Heat a sauce pan with spaghetti sauce. Add fresh basil for a savory flavor.

      When eggplant is cooked and browned on both sides, remove from pan and place on plates. Sprinkle fresh parmesan over eggplant and top with spaghetti sauce. Voila!

      Sorry, ate this dish before I remembered to take a photo of the finished product!

      Panko-Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

      Panko-Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

      Its been a long time since I have posted a recipe, mostly because I haven’t cooked much in the past several months.  This recipe for Stuffed Chicken Breast is one I have been making for a few years and thought you would enjoy it too 🙂

      Ingredients Needed:

      • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
      • Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
      • Seasoning (onion, garlic, seasoned salt, cajun, etc)
      • Shredded Cheese (I used Italian cheese blend but any cheese will do)
      • Mushrooms (or other veggie)
      • Fresh crushed garlic
      • Butter
      • Toothpicks
      • Optional:  Bacon or ground sausage

      Preheat oven to 350′

      Next you want to pound your chicken breasts with the flat end of your food mallet.  I always cover mine with a towel first so that raw chicken juice isn’t spraying all over my kitchen

      Next you saute the mushrooms with a little butter and fresh crushed garlic. These mushrooms look like they’re bathing in a lot of butter but they are just moist because I wash my mushrooms {GASP! I know you aren’t supposed to wash mushrooms but I always do anyway}

      When the mushrooms (or other veggies) are sauteed,  drain excess moisture and then put them in a bowl and mix with shredded cheese (and bacon if you have it!)

      Flip your chicken breasts over to the rough side and place some of the mixture on the chicken, laving space around the edges

      Roll the chicken so that it is tightly holding the mushroom cheese mixture, then seal together with toothpicks. This is important if you don’t want the mixture to come out of the chicken while it is baking!

      You now have two options. You can either make an egg mixture or you can melt butter into a bowl. This time I opted for melted butter. Dunk the rolled chicken breast into your mixture so that the outside is completely coated.

      Next you will roll the buttered chicken into the seasoned panko crumbs until it is completely breaded then place in baking dish.  If you are using unseasoned panko, make sure you season the panko before you roll your chicken into it.  I use garlic and onion powder, seasoned salt and cajun seasoning.

      Bake in oven at 350′ for about 35-40 minutes. If you like the top browned, put on the broiler for the last few minutes to get the golden brown color.

      I made mashed potatoes from Yukon Gold potatoes (so creamy and yummy!) and steamed green beans as my sides.

      You can stuff the chicken breasts with millions of things…… get creative!!

      Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce (& Cucumber Relish) Recipe

      Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce (& Cucumber Relish) Recipe

      One of my resolutions for 2010 was to try to cook a new recipe once a week.  The first couple of months started great but then I kind of got back into my same-‘ol-same-‘ol cooking routine.  Every once in awhile now I will come across a recipe that I just have to try.  This Chicken Satay with peanut sauce recipe found at Hola Jalapeno is one of them.   I made a few adaptations to the original recipe and doubled it (this is my version).  I wanted extra peanut sauce because I hate to skimp on the good stuff and I also made fresh spring rolls and the peanut sauce is so yummy for dipping.  My recipe makes a full bowl’s worth.  I also did not put my chicken onto skewers so I cut them a little thicker than the original recipe called for.  I also made the traditional cucumber relish that goes along with the chicken satay.  Continue reading to find that recipe too!

      Cooked Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

      I made this with my neighbors a few weeks ago and the kids especially loved it! I recommend serving it with white rice (jasmine or basmati)

      1 cup creamy peanut butter
      4 tablespoons fish sauce
      2 lemons worth of freshly squeezed lemon juice
      4 tablespoons light brown sugar
      2 tablespoon green curry paste
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      2 teaspoon Sambal or other chili garlic sauce
      9 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3-4 long strips each

      Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

      1. Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Reserve about 1/3 of the sauce for dipping in a separate container, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
      2. Add chicken strips to remaining sauce and toss to coat. Line chicken on baking sheet.  Drizzle any remaining sauce over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours in advance.

      3. Turn on broiler and adjust rack to middle. Broil chicken for about 20-25 minutes until firm and slightly browned.   Serve hot or room temperature with dipping sauce.

      Cucumber Relish Recipe:

      1 cup rice vinegar
      1/3 cup sugar
      1 tablespoon salt
      2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      1-2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into small, bite-sized pieces
      3 shoots of green onion, sliced thin
      1 hot red chile, thinly sliced into rings then chopped

      Thai Cucumber Relish

      We also had fresh spring rolls.  I attempted to make these but was having a lot of trouble so my cooking partner of the night took over.  These are time consuming to make and not as easy as they look!  We discovered that the trick was to soak each wrap individually or else they will stick together like this and be ruined.  Lesson learned!

      Spring Roll Wraps

      Ingredients for spring rolls:
      Rice spring-roll wraps
      Celophane Noodles
      Lettuce or cabbage
      Sliced Cucumber Strips
      Shrimp or chicken or vegetarian, whatever you’d like!

      Place all ingredients in middle of moist spring-roll wrap, roll tightly so that all ingredients are tucked tightly inside.  Eat immediately or refridgerate.  Serve with peanut dipping sauce.

      Fresh Thai Spring Rolls

      Pesto Shrimp Recipe

      Pesto Shrimp Recipe

      I have had a craving for pesto & shrimp ever since trying the pesto shrimp at CRAVE and the pesto shrimp pizza at Pizza Luce back in January.  (Not to mention the habanero pesto that Jeff made with the pork fusilli).  I know you can buy pre-made pesto at specialty stores but I figured I might as well try my own version.  It turned out pretty good but since I did not have a food processor, the consistency isn’t as fine.

      • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
      • 1-2 serrano peppers
      • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
      • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
      • 1/3 cup pine nuts
      • 5 medium sized garlic cloves, minced or pressed
      • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
      • 1 lb medium sized raw, de-shelled shrimp

      If shrimp are frozen or still have shells, set aside in water to defrost

      The original pesto recipe that I followed calls for a food processor to finely chop all the fresh ingredients but since I didn’t have one, I first chopped my basil leaves very fine.  To my dismay, the large package of basil leaves was barely a half cup when all chopped up.  I would suggest making this when basil is in season so that you can buy a ton of it or grow it in your garden!

      Next I toasted a small package of pine nuts until they were golden brown.

      In a skillet on medium, I cooked my shrimp after seasoning them with freshly ground sea salt, garlic, and red chili flakes.

      I cooked a side of penne pasta to go with this, but I think it would’ve been better with an angel hair pasta or even cheese tortellini.  You can make this low-carb by skipping the pasta.

      Finally after combining basil, chopped serrano pepper, romano cheese, olive oil, toasted pine nuts and fresh garlic, I had my pesto.  (Sorry, my photo turned out terrible)

      I topped penne with shrimp and then pesto.

      Then tossed!

      The flavor was pretty good, it would’ve been better with more basil and if it had been processed and with a different noodle.  Glad I added the serrano pepper, I would even add another next time.

      Does anyone have any special pesto recipe to share with me? I’d love to improve this one!

      Seafood Chowder Recipe

      Seafood Chowder Recipe

      I had  a variety of seafood accumulating in my freezer and decided to make a seafood chowder last week to use it all up!
      This recipe supposedly makes 8 servings but I made 3x the recipe which made a large pot- plenty to eat hot & fresh and plenty to package up to freeze and eat later.
      • ¼ pound bacon, diced
      • ½ stick butter
      • 2 stalks celery, sliced
      • 2-3  large carrots, sliced
      • ½ large onion, diced
      • 3 14-ounce cans chicken broth
      • 2 medium potatoes, diced with skin on
      • 1 8-ounce bottle Snow’s clam juice
      • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
      • ¼ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
      • ½ pound small scallops or chopped clams
      • 1/3 pound chopped crab meat
      • 1/3 pound any white fish, cut into  1/2 inch pieces
      • 12 ounces half & half
      • ¼ dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
      • 1 tsp. dill
      • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
      • salt and pepper, to taste

      Brown bacon in heavy 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Don’t drain. Add butter. Sauté carrot, celery and onion in fat until translucent.

      Add 2 cans of the broth and potatoes; cook until potatoes are tender. Mix third can of broth with flour thoroughly–no lumps. Add to pot. Stir until thickened.

      Prepare seafood.  I put all of mine into a big bowl (clam, shrimp, crab, tilapia)

      Squeeze fresh lemon onto seafood mix (optional)

      Add dill, parsley, and seafood to broth. Cook until shrimp is pink and fish flakes easily, about 5 to 6 minutes.

      Add cream and wine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through. Serve with hot, crusty bread.

      Makes about 8 servings.

      Hot Dago Recipe

      Hot Dago Recipe

      Hey! Hope I didn’t offend anyone with the title “Hot Dago” but that is what these are called.  Hopefully you aren’t sick of me posting photo after photo of food, because that is all I seem to take photos of lately.


      • Lean Ground Beef
      • Ground Italian Sausage (mild or hot, depending on what you like)
      • Egg
      • Italian Bread Crumbs
      • Spaghetti or marinara sauce
      • Green Peppers
      • Onions
      • Mozzarella or other Italian cheese
      • Garlic toast

      To Prepare:

      Slice green peppers and onions into .5″ strips.  Set aside but heat up frying pan. (These are optional ingredients but make it so much better!)

      Place spaghetti sauce in sauce pan and start heating up.  Heat oven for garlic toast.

      Make meat mixture.  Combine ground beef and Italian sausage in large bowl with bread crumbs and an egg.  Use your hands, get in there and mix all up really good!  Once meat is mixed, throw veggies into hot pan with a little olive oil.

      Form patties like you would with a hamburger.  Place these in a hot skillet or frying pan. Fry on both sides until browned and cooked all the way through.

      Make sure to stir and saute veggies! Put the bread in oven if you haven’t already done so.

      Layer cheese, sauce, peppers and onions atop the Meat Patty and serve with garlic toast (see first photo).  Good stuff, Maynard!

      Suki Yaki Recipe

      Suki Yaki Recipe

      This is a traditional Japanese dish that is very popular with my Japanese side of the family, thanks to my MIL for sharing it with me many years ago 😉


      • Thinly sliced Sukiyaki Beef (found at most Asian markets)
      • 1 1/2 cups Mirin  (sweet Asian cooking liquid)
      • 1/3 cup sugar
      • 1/3 cup soy sauce
      • 1/2 cup water
      • Napa Cabbage
      • Whole Button Mushrooms
      • Tofu
      • Green Onion
      • Onion
      • Cellophane Noodles
      • white rice

      To Prepare:

      Start a pot of white rice

      Soak cellophane noodles in hot water for 15 minutes until al dente

      Brown Suki Yaki beef in pan

      Wash & Chop the veggies

      Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes

      Combine all of the liquid ingredients and sugar, stir and add to skillet. Start warming the broth and then start adding ingredients, leaving a designated place in the pan for each.  Let ingredients simmer in broth for 10-15 minutes so that they have time to soak up the broth.

      Serve over white rice and enjoy!