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Showing posts from 2022

Mac and Cheese Shepherd's Pie

 It's fall, so let's combine two comfort classics into one delicious meal; Mac and cheese and shepherd's pie (which is really cottage pie since I use beef rather than lamb, but I digress). Ingredients: 1 bunch scallions, sliced 1 carrot, chopped 4 ounces elbow macaroni  10 ounces ground beef 2 ounces shredded fontina 2/3 cup milk Salt and pepper garlic, minced olive oil butter flour Method : Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil Transfer pasta to saucepan with boiling salted water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium- high. Add carrots  and cook until tender. Transfer to a plate. To same skillet, add ground beef, chopped garlic, and sliced scallion whites and light greens. Cook, breaking up beef into smaller pieces, until browned. Add reserved cooking water and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Chorizo and potato tacos

 I am late to the game with chorizo; I have only eaten it for the past 5 or so years of my life. I keep finding ways to add it to various meals though and am thrilled. Paired with potatoes and in a taco? Yes. Try it and agree with me. Ingredients : 1 Yukon gold potato, diced 1 bunch scallions 1 plum tomato, diced 2 ounces sour cream 6 six inch flour tortillas 1/2 chorizo sausage salt, pepper, vinegar, oil garlic, niched Method : Scrub potato, then cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Transfer to a medium heavy skillet  along with a generous pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vinegar , and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover, bring to a boil over high, then uncover and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside. Wipe out skillet. In a medium bowl, stir to combine tomatoes, chopped garlic , all but 2 tablespoons of the scallion dark greens, 1 teaspoon each of vinegar and oil, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper . In a small bowl, slightly th

Greek Stuffed Pizza

 I will never grow tired of pizza and all its iteration. This one combines all the Greek-inspired greats! Ingredients: 1/2 ounce ball of mozzarella 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes 1/4 cup Kalamata olives 1/2 cup feta cheese 3 ounces spinach 4 Mediterranean pitas Red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper Method: Preheat broiler. Shred mozzarella on the large holes of a box grater. Coarsely chop sun- dried tomatoes and olives. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Crumble feta into bowl with dressing. Add spinach along with sun-dried tomatoes and olives, tossing to combine. Set aside. Lightly brush both sides of each pita with oil. Toast pitas directly on top oven rack until browned and crisp. Transfer to a cutting board. Top 2 of the pitas with spinach filling and half of the mozzarella , then cover with remaining pitas. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top. Broil on top oven rac

Roasted Salmon and Potatoes

 Nothing like a simple roasted dinner with a fresh salad. I adore salmon and this is another lovely way to prepare it! Ingredients:  2 russet potatoes 1 cucumber 8 ounces grape tomatoes 1 lemon 1 teaspoon fresh oregano 10 ounces salmon filets 1/4 cup feta cheese 4 ounces tzatziki Olive oil, salt, pepper Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub potatoes and cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Add potatoes; spread into an even layer and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake on upper oven rack until browned on the bottom, Meanwhile, cut cucumbers into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Halve grape tomatoes. Grate 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest. Cut lemon into 6 wedges. Squeeze 2 wedges into a medium bowl; set aside. Pick oregano leaves from stems and coarsely chop; discard stems. In a small bowl, add oregano, 1 tablespoon oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a few cracks of pepper ; stir into a coarse paste. Meanwhile, pat salmon dry; lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub w

Cheesy Tex-Mex meatbals and rice

 Simple and satisfying, rice and meat is a dish with endless variation. Try this version of rice and meatballs with a Tex-Mex spin! Ingredients: 1/2 cup  jasmine rice 10 ounce grass-fed ground beef 1 tablespoon taco seasoning 1/4 cup panko 4 ounces red enchilada sauce 2 ounces shredded cheddar-jack blend  salt and oil Method: In a small saucepan, combine rice, 1 1⁄4 cups water, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt . Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover; cook over low until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Keep covered off heat until ready to serve. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix to combine ground beef, taco seasoning, and panko. Using lightly moistened hands, form into 10 equal-sized meatballs. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and almost cooked through. Add 1⁄4 cup water and enchilada sauce; simmer until meatballs are cooked through. Sprinkle 3⁄4 of the cheese over meatballs. Reduce heat to medium and cove

Pumpkin Mac and cheese with fried sage

 Is it fall without pumpkin, pasta and sage? Why not add to the creamy cozy delight and make a pumpkin Mac and cheese with buttery bread crumbs and fried sage? Pair it with a fir and hard cider, and you have my birthday dinner. Ingredients : 6 ounces gemelli 1 bunch fresh sage 1 ounce piece Parmesan  1/4 cup panko 15 ounce can pumpkin purée 4 ounces shredded fontina 7 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup milk flour, sugar, salt, pepper Method : Preheat broiler. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook,  until almost al dente. Reserve 1⁄2 cup cooking water and drain; set aside until step 3. Pick sage leaves from stems. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter . Add sage; cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until edges curl and butter is a dark amber color, 5–6 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve skillet. Pour browned butter into a medium bowl. Finely grate Parmesan. To bowl with browned

Chickpea Bowl

I have literally never been busier in my life, splitting time between Maine and Boston, working at a university, running my private studio, serving as a chapter president and pursuing my DMA all at the same time.... So I need to make sure I am eating healthy. But it also MUST be satisfying, or else I am going to hit the chip supply. This delicious bowl has everything I need and tastes like everything I want. Ingredients: 1/4 cup couscous  1⁄2 pound Brussels sprouts 15 ounce can chickpeas 2 plum tomatoes 2 teaspoons baharat spice blend 1 ounce tahini  Olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, garlic   Method : In a small saucepan, bring 1⁄2 cup water and a pinch of salt to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Set aside. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 teaspoon garlic . Halve Brussels sprouts. Drain chickpeas, reserving 1⁄4 cup liquid. Transfer half of the chickpeas to a paper towel-lined plate and pat very dry; reserve remaining. Coarsely chop tomatoes. In a smal

BBQ Pulled Pork Fries

  You know what's better than fries? Fries loaded with my most favorite slow cooked meat, pulled pork. It's fall, and it's the time for slow and low cooking and a potato harvest. These are natural best friends! Ingredients: 2 russet potatoes, cut into fries 1 bunch scallions 1/2 pound pulled pork 1/4 cup BBQ sauce 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese Oil, salt, pepper Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.   Toss fries on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake on lower oven rack until well- browned, about 20 minutes. Flip fries and continue cooking until crisp and browned, 10–15 minutes more. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add pork and scallion whites and light greens ; break up pork into smaller pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons vinegar and half of the BBQ sauce until combined, scraping up any browned bits fr

Ricotta meatballs

  Who doesn't love a delicious. meatball after a long week of grad school? I know I for sure do. Paired with crispy bread and a simple salad, it can't be beat. Ingredients: garlic cloves, 2 minced, 1 whole 1 egg 4 ounces ricotta  10 ounces ground beef   6 ounces tomato paste 2 mini French rolls  3 ounces baby spinach Oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar Method: In a medium bowl, mix to combine 1 clove minced garlic, all but 2 tablespoons ricotta, 1 large egg, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper . Add beef, then with slightly moistened hands, knead until combined; form mixture into 8 meatballs. Preheat broiler. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add meatballs ; cook, turning once or twice, until browned but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add 1⁄4 cup tomato paste and 1⁄4 teaspoon 1 clove minced garlic to same skillet; cook, stirring, until paste darkens slightly, 1–2 minutes. Stir in 11⁄2 cup

Mediterranean chick pea stew

 It's back to school time and the beginning sweater weather, pumpkin spice, all things apple and soups and stews. This one is super delicious, easy to make and healthy! Ingredients : 14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes 1 medium red onion 2 teaspoons ras el hanout 15 ounce can chickpeas 3 ounces baby spinach 1/4 cup feta cheese  1 clove garlic, minced olive oil, salt, pepper Method: Using kitchen shears, coarsely chop tomatoes directly in can. Halve and thinly slice onion. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the sliced onions; set aside for serving. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and deeply browned in spots. Add 2 teaspoons ras al hanout and chopped garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. To same pot, add tomatoes, chickpeas and their liquid, 1⁄2 cup water, and 1 teaspoon each of sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer; c

Chicken and Tomato Rice

 I love a simple, one pot meal. Easy clean up makes this home chef very happy. The ingredients are supper economical, while still big on flavor. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 red onion, diced 2 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces 2 teaspoons chili powder 5 ounces jasmine rice Chicken broth 2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar salt, pepper, olive il Method :  In a small bowl, stir to combine 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of salt , whisking until sugar dissolves. Add half the onions, stirring to coat; set aside, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve. Pat chicken dry. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots. Transfer to a plate. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same pot over medium-high. Add remaining onions and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from

Baked Beef Arayes

 An arayes is a classic Middle Eastern street food. One of my favorite things to do is travel the world in my kitchen via recipes I find. This is my take on a beef arayes! Ingredients: 2 russet potatoes 1 lemon 10 ounces ground beef 2 teaspoons baharat spice blend 2 Mediterranean pitas  fresh dill 1/4 cup sour cream 1 clove garlic, minced salt, pepper, olive oil Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut potatoes into 1⁄2-inch thick fries. Toss on a rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake on lower oven rack until browned on the bottom, about 25 minutes. Flip and cook until crisp, about 15 minutes more. While fries cook, grate 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest . Squeeze 1 teaspoon juice into a small bowl; set aside. Cut remaining lemon into wedges. In a medium bowl, mix beef with baharat spice, lemon zest, half of the chopped garlic, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread beef in an

Beef teriyaki with bell pepper and rice noodles

 Hard to mark beef teriyaki better- unless you upgrade the rice to rice noodles. Something about that texture and slurpability- right? Add in some green veggies and you are golden. Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bell pepper 1lime 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce 5 ounces pad Thai noodles 1/2 pound sliced sirloin steak salt, pepper, oil Method: Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Halve pepper, discard stem and seeds, and cut into thin strips.  Into a small bowl, squeeze 2 teaspoons lime juice; cut any remaining lime into wedges. Add teriyaki, soy, and 1⁄4 cup water, stirring to combine. Set aside. Add noodles to saucepan with boiling salted water; cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente.  Drain noodles, rinse under cold water, then toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside. While noodles cook, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add peppers and cook until softened and browned in spots, about 5 m

Buffalo tortellini and salad

 I feel like I may be on a Buffalo ranch trend these days. This version involves the world's favorite carb- noodles. Enjoy! Ingredients: 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 1/4 cup panko 9 ounce package cheese tortelloni  2 tablespoons Buffalo hot sauce 3 ounces baby spinach Ranch dressing, to taste 1 large egg 4 tablespoons butter vinegar, salt, pepper Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 large egg. In a shallow bowl, stir to combine panko and 2 teaspoons oil until evenly coated. Carefully, add tortelloni to saucepan with boiling salted water; cook, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain tortelloni and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool before breading.  Add cooled tortelloni to bowl with egg, tossing gently to coat. Lift out of bowl, letting excess egg drip off. One at a time, add tortelloni to panko, pressing lightly to help breading adhere. Carefull

Black Bean Tacos

  Cheap? Check. Healthy? Check. Prep time? Zero. Tasty? Triple check. What are you waiting for? Let's make these delicious black bean tacos and slather them with guac and salsa! Ingredients : 15 ounce can black beans 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons taco seasoning 1/4 cup sour cream 6 six-inch flour tortillas Olive oil salt, pepper Salsa of your choosing Guacamole (homemade is best!) Method : Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans and their liquid, taco seasoning, 1⁄2 cup salsa, and half the garlic. Bring to a simmer; cook until beans are thickened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir to combine sour cream and remaining garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Toast one tortilla at a time over an open flame until lightly charred in spots, wrap in foil or a clean kitchen towel as you go to keep warm . Fill warm tortillas with black bean filling. Serve black bean tacos topped with guacamole, sour cream , and remaining salsa. E

Buffalo Chickpea Melts and Roasted Broccoli

 Here is a meatless twist on a delicious classic- Buffalo melts! Sub in chickpeas for the chicken and you have the perfect veggie meal that is spicy, cheesy and creamy. Rounded out with roster broccoli, it is the best weeknight meal! Ingredients :  15 ounce can chickpeas 1/3 pound broccoli, cut into florets 1/3 cup Buffalo sauce Garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups cheddar, shredded 2 ciabatta rolls Ranch dressing Olive oil, salt, pepper, butter Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Add chickpeas to one side of a rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss broccoli on the other side with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast  until broccoli is tender and charred in spots and chickpeas are deep golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add all of the Buffalo sauce and  garlic; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; se

Balsamic Chicken and Peach Salad

 Want to make the perfect summer salad with in season peaches and balsamic chicken? I have the recipe for you. Perhaps you will enjoy this as I did, with the season finale of Strangers Things playing. Can't wait for season 5! Ingredients: 1 peach, pitted and sliced into wedges 1 plum tomato, sliced into wedges 1/2 pound of chicken breast, cut into strips 3 ounces baby spinach 2 ounces feta cheese  Salted sunflower seeds Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, white wine salt, pepper Method:  Pat chicken dry; season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add peaches and cook until browned and just tender. Transfer to a plate; reserve oil in skillet. To same skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken in a single layer; cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom. Stir and continue cooking until cooked through. Transfer to plate with peaches. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in 2 teaspoons white wine, scraping up any browned bits from bott

Fish Sandwich with Garlic Aioli

 Another take out at home to continues as the puppy continues his road to recovery. This is a more indulgent meal with the frying, mayo and potato buns, but hey! We've been working hard and deserve a treat! Now to give one to the puppy.... Ingredients : 2 tablespoons mayonaise  1 romaine heart 2 tilapia filets 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning 1/4 cup panko  2 potato buns  1 clove garlic, minced salt, pepper, flour, oil 1 egg Method : In a small bowl, stir to combine garlic and mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pat tilapia dry. Season all over with seafood seasoning. Place 1⁄4 cup flour on a plate. Add panko to a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, beat 1 large egg, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt , and several grinds of pepper . Dredge tilapia in flour, coating well, then dip into egg, letting excess drip back into bowl. Press into panko, turning to coat well and pressing to help adhere. Heat 1⁄4-inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high. When oil is hot, add tilapia and cook until

Sweet and Sour Pineapple and Pepper Shrimp

Another take out made at home. Still monitoring my dog so again, healthy, fast and yummy are the rules. This one knocks it out of the park. I adore pineapple and the addition of this to sweet and sour shrimp is perfection.  Ingredients : 5 ounces quick-cooking brown rice  4 ounces pineapple cup 1/4 cup sweet & sour sauce  2 tablespoons soy sauce  1 clove garlic minced 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1⁄2 pounds of shrimp  1/4 ounce toasted sesame seeds salt, pepper, vinegar, oil Method : Bring a medium saucepan with salted water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and boil (like pasta!), stirring occasionally, until tender, about 22 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside for serving. Meanwhile, drain pineapple over a small bowl. To bowl with pineapple juice, add sweet & sour sauce, soy sauce , and 1 teaspoon vinegar; stir to combine and set aside. Rinse shrimp and pat very dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over high. Add pineapple and

Broccoli and Onion Pizza

 When you are in the weeds, sometimes you need something that is fast and relatively healthy, while still has the cheese comfort you need. My dog recently had surgery so I am monitoring him 24/7, which means my meals need to be fast to make and easy to eat, while also hopefully not a health catastrophe. Enter the pitzas! Ingredients: 1/2 pound broccoli, cut into florets 1 medium red onion, sliced 1 garlic cloves, minced 3/4 ounce piece piece Parmesan  2 ounces shredded fontina  4 Mediterranean pitas 1 cup milk olive oil, salt, pepper, flour Method: Preheat broiler. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli and onions with 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Broil on top oven rack until veggies are tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm. Reserve baking sheet. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 1 tablespoon flour , and cook until toasted, abou

Greek Mac and Cheese

 There are so many ways to mix up mac and cheese. My classic favorite, inspired by my dad, is to add peas to the boxed version. Fancier varieties involve mushrooms fried in butter and brie. This version adds feta and spinach for a little Greek inspired flair. Hope you like it! Ingredients : 1 cup pasta shells 1 medium onion, diced 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs 1 bunch fresh dill, minced 1/4 cup cream cheese 4 ounces baby spinach 1/4 cup of feta cheese 3/4 cup milk Butter, oil, salt, pepper, flour Method : Bring a salted pot of water to the bowl. Add pasta and cook, about 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta liquid, and set pasta aside. Meanwhile. in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the panko and toast until golden brown. Remove and set aside, wiping out the skillet. Heat one tablespoon of butter in the skillet; add diced onion and cook 10 minutes until softened. Add another tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of flour; cook unti

Kung Pao Shrimp

Succulent shrimp, crunchy snow peas, onions, all coated in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce, resting atop a snow white bed of fragrant jasmine rice and scattered with crunchy peanuts? Sign me up. Ingredients : 1 onion, sliced into half moons 1 cup snow peas 1/2 pound shrimp, deveined and deshelled 1/4 cup peanuts 1/4 cup thai chili sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons vinegar garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup jasmine rice 1 cup water Method : In a pot, add water, rice and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is tender and the water absorbed. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and thai chili sauce. Mix well. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add some oil and cook the onions until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides. Add the snow peas last and cook until darker green. Add in the sauce and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve shrimp, veggies and sa

Cheesy Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

I love meals that are easy and quick to make, warm and comforting, often topped with cheese, and just spicy enough. Enchiladas are like, the perfect meal! This version uses a kind of salsa verde and is topped with tangy sour cream. I love to add fresh tomatoes and avocado. Hope you love it!   Ingredients : 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 ounces green enchilada sauce 1 cup chicken broth 2 ounces sour cream 10 ounces ground beef 6 six-inch flour tortillas 4 ounces shredded cheddar-jack blend  Flour, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together garlic, green enchilada sauce, chicken broth, half of the sour cream,  2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and cooked though. Transfer to a bowl. Add reserved sauce to same skillet. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, until thic

Mediterranean Chicken Hummus Bowl

 Want something unexpected, delicious and healthy that looks as beautiful as it tastes? Look no further than this exquisite Mediterranean Chicken Hummus Bowl. Topped with cucumbers and peppers, it's colorful, low in calories and high in protein. A total weeknight win! Ingredients: 1 bell pepper 1 cucumber 15 ounce can chickpeas 1 ounce tahini 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into strips 2 teaspoons baharat spice blend salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, sugar Method: Halve pepper, discard stem and seeds, then thinly slice. Halve cucumber lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds with a spoon, then cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces. In a medium bowl, stir to combine 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt . Add cucumbers and toss to coat; set aside until ready to serve. Drain chickpeas, reserving 1⁄4 cup chickpea liquid. In bowl of a food processor or blender, add chickpeas, tahini, 2 tablespoons chickpea liquid, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, an

Beef and Broccoli Noodle Bowl with Teriyaki Peanut Sauce

 This dish is a fusion of my fave take out creations; the famed teriyaki beef and broccoli bowl and the creamy peanut noodles. A delicious Asian-fusion dish that is easy to prepare and a perfect fit for your stir-fry-day night! Ingredients: 4 ounces broccoli florets 1.5 ounces creamy peanut butter 2 ounces teriyaki sauce 7 ounce package udon noodles 1/2 pound beef steak strips 2 cloves garlic, minced salt, pepper, oil, vinegar Method: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. In a medium bowl, stir to combine peanut butter,  garlic, teriyaki, 1⁄4 cup water, and 2 teaspoons vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add noodles to pot with boiling salted water; cook, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup cooking water, then drain noodles and rinse under warm water. Set aside. While noodles cook, pat beef dry. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, without stirring, u

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

 Is there anything more wonderful than discovering that two of your favorite foods combine to make an even more epic and delicious dish? Enter my creamy fav, mac and cheese, and the BBQ goodness of pulled pork. Separate, these are perfection- together? Sublime! Ingredients: 8 ounces macaroni 1 bunch scallions, chopped 2 ounces barbecue sauce 1/4 cup ketchup 1/2 pound pulled pork (I cook a big batch and freeze it for my use in other recipes) 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 2 ounces shredded cheddar-jack blend 1 1/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon butter Olive oil kosher salt, ground pepper Method: Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until al dente. Drain pasta and set aside; cover to keep warm. In a small bowl, stir to combine barbecue sauce and 1⁄4 cup ketchup. In a separate small bowl, add pork; use two forks to pull and shred into smaller pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high

Sweet Chili Sauce Turkey Meatball Lettuce Cups

 I adore all kinds of Asian-American cuisine; I could honestly eat it everyday. I like to make healthy versions so I can indulge in that desire. This lettuce cup subs the deep fried chicken for a healthier turkey meatball, and the lettuce provides a crunch- it's not a substitute for anything. We still are eating delicious and aromatic jasmine rice. Yum! Ingredients: 1/2 cup Jasmine rice Romaine heart 3 ounces Thai sweet chili sauce 1 tablespoon Soy sauce 10 ounces ground turkey 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs 1 egg Salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, oil Method: In a small saucepan, combine rice, 1 1⁄4 cups water, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve. Trim end from romaine, then halve crosswise and separate leaves; wrap leaves in a damp paper towel until ready to serve. In a small bowl, stir to combine Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, 1⁄4

Shrimp and Grits

 My first encounter with the concept of grits was with the incomparable film, My Cousin Vinnie . My grits are not instant, but neither do they take 20 minutes, a la the testimony on the stand that helped exonerate those young men.  This whole meal comes together in about 20 minutes and is scrumptious. Shrimp are always a hit with me, spinach adds that necessary and beautiful green pop of color on top of decadent feeling cheddar grits. Yum! Ingredients: 3 ounces of grits 1/2 pound shrimp 2 teaspoons of seafood seasoning (Old Bay is Best!) 3 ounces of spinach 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1 clove of garlic, minced kosher salt & ground pepper olive oil, butter Method: In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water and a pinch of salt; cover and bring to a boil over high hea. Stir in grits and reduce heat to low; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until grains are tender, about 7 minutes.  Rinse shrimp, then pat very dry. Season all over with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons seaf

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Croutons

 There is nothing as glorious as homemade soup during a blizzard. We are projected to get almost 2 feet of snow today; I have a loaf of bread baking and this creamy, cheesy and deliciously satisfying pot of soup simmering away on my stove. Who doesn't love broccoli and cheddar soup with crispy croutons? Ingredients: 1 medium yellow onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1⁄2 pound broccoli, cut into small pieces 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth 2 ounces of cream cheese 4 ounces cheddar cheese 2 small French rolls 3 tablespoons of flour Olive oil salt, pepper Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned. Stir in the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds more. Add vegetable broth, broccoli stems and florets, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt . Bring to a boil, then reduce

Butternut Squash Tagine

A tagine is a type Moroccan cuisine. The word "tagine" actually has two meanings. First, it refers to a type of North African cookware traditionally made of clay or ceramic. The bottom is a wide, shallow circular dish used for both cooking and serving, while the top of the tagine is distinctively shaped into a rounded dome or cone which allows steam to gather, condense, and drip back onto the food, perfect for slow-cooking. (I have one cooking tagine and one purely decorative serving one. In order to make this dish, you can use a dutch oven, though). Second, the word tagine also refers to the succulent, stew-like dish which is slow-cooked in the traditional cookware. This version uses delicious butternut squash served on top of couscous. Enjoy! Ingredients: 14 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes 1 medium yellow onion 1⁄2 pound butternut squash 1 ounce salted almonds  1 teaspoon harissa spice blend 1/3 cup couscous Olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper Method: Crush tomatoes directly in

Broccoli, cheddar and onion tacos

 I firmly believe you can make anything into a taco. Unlike the dinos of Jurassic Park, I am also of the belief that we should ("Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"- Malcolm to Hammond). This taco is bursting with roasted onion, broccoli and cheddar, then topped with ranch.  Hello? Your tastebuds are calling. Ingredients : 1 pound broccoli florets 1 clove garlic, minced 1 medium red onion, sliced into wedges 6 six inch flour tortillas 2 ounces shredded cheddar-jack blend  Ranch dressing Method : Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli, onions, and chopped garlic with a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on upper oven rack until veggies are tender and browned. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla at at time; cook until warm and lightly golden, about 30 seconds per side. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel or foil as you go to keep warm. Once

Sausage Meatballs and Spaghetti

 Who doesn't want weeknight spaghetti and meatballs? The twist on this classic is using sausage meat instead of beef- it will add more flavor to the sauce. And Balsamic vinegar in the sauce is my secret weapon... Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 ounce can tomato sauce Pinch oregano Pinch red pepper flakes 1 onion, finely minced 1/4 cup red wine 1/8 balsamic vinegar 1 ounce Parmesan, grated 1/2 pou nd sweet Italian sausage 1 ounce seasoned panko bread crumbs 1 egg salt and pepper olive oil, butter 6 ounces spaghetti Method: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. In a medium bowl, gently mix sausage, panko, half the minced garlic, half the parm, 1 large egg, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Shape into 8 meatballs. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes.  Discard any excess oil

Beef Gyro Pita

 This recipe is a killer for busy week night; lots of crunchy, fresh vegetables and tasty enough to satisfy all the picky eaters, while not being so heavy you feel like you need a nap the next day. I like to have it alongside Prosecco or sparkling water- love those bubbles! Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 zucchini, sliced in to thin half-moons 1 romaine heart, sliced 10 ounces ground beef pinch cayenne 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 teaspoon garam masala 2 ounces sour cream 2 Mediterranean pitas  white wine vinegar  olive oil kosher salt & ground pepper Method: In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute the zucchini in a bitt of oil. Salt and pepper to taste. When browned and cooked through, remove from heat and dress with a bit of vinegar. In a medium bowl, mix beef, curry powder, garam masala, half the garlic, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. In a small bowl, stir to combine all of the sour cream, remaining grated garlic, and 1 tablespoon vinegar; season to taste

Samosas with Yogurt Sauce

I love exploring many kinds of cuisine in my kitchen because I can control the spice level, and in the case of this recipe, the use of cilantro. Cilantro lovers out there- sub it info the parsley here. I have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, which limits my ability to enjoy some dishes in restaurants, but is easily rectified in my own kitchen. I hope you enjoy! Ingredients:  3 russet potatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped 2 teaspoons curry powder 5 ounces peas Six 8 inch flour tortillas 4 ounces Greek yogurt Oil, salt, pepper, vinegar 4 tablespoons butter Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Place in a large saucepan with a generous pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil over high; uncover and cook until tenderDrain potatoes and transfer to a bowl.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in reserved saucepan over medium. Add chopped garlic and al

Chicken Chimichangas

 Do you want an easy meal during this busy holiday season? Something that tastes like take out and requires about as much prep work? Enter this chicken chimichanga recipe.  Ingredients: 1⁄2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast strips 2 teaspoons taco seasoning 15 oz can pinto beans Four 8-inch flour tortillas  2 ounces shredded cheddar-jack blend 4 ounces red enchilada sauce Oil, salt and pepper Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Oil a rimmed baking sheet. Season chicken all over with taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and cook until well browned and just cooked through. Place 4 tortillas (save rest for own use) on a work surface. Spoon about 1⁄4 cup of the beans onto one half of each tortilla; spread into 4x4- inch squares. Top with chicken and cheese. Fold in sides of each tortilla, then tightly roll up into a cylinder, like a burrito. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Generously brus