Thursday, November 15, 2012

Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Potato Wedges

If you've got a major cravin' for some fries, skip the fast food or frozen ones, these oven roasted potato wedges are sooo much better, healthier and jam packed with flavor!

Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Potato Wedges


3-4 medium Idaho potatoes
2 tablespoons of finely minced garlic
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Pre heat oven to 425
Foil line a cookie sheet and coat with non stick spray (makes for quick clean up!)
Rinse and scrub each potato with a bristled brush under warm running water to remove any excess dirt
Cut each potato in half, then into wedges
In a ziploc bag, add the potato wedges, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper, then seal the bag and shake (gently so the bag doesn't bust open) until all ingredients are combined and the potatoes are coated
Add the contents of the ziploc bag to the cookie sheet, spread out the wedges in an even layer
Roast in the oven for appx 35 minutes or until fork tender and crispy golden brown
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top

4 servings

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grilled Heart of Romaine Caesar Salad

Here's a fresh little take on your ordinary Caesar salad...Grill it!
This will give the salad a nice, unique, smokey flavor that just can't be beat.
I went a little "healthier" with my salad by eliminating the croutons that your regular caesar salad would have and replacing them with some diced cherry tomatoes. I also made my own caesar dressing (see the recipe below.) But your favorite store bought dressing is always fine too if you're in a pinch for time!

Ingredients for the dressing

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of anchovy paste (optional)
the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of olive oil


Add the vinegar, garlic, mustard, mayonnaise, anchovy paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and blend until well combined. Then, with the machine still running, slowly stream in the olive oil until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Ingredients for the salad

2 heads of romaine lettuce
1/2 of a package of cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Caesar dressing to top


Preheat your grill on hi for about 10 minutes
Remove all of the greener, more delicate pieces of lettuce from the outside of the heads of romaine so that what left are the more firm pieces (the heart of the romaine) these will stay more in tact as you grill them
Cut each heart of romaine in half length wise, but do NOT cut off the base
Rinse each half under cold running water, place on paper towels to drain and dry a bit
In the meantime dice up your cherry tomatoes, set aside
Once the romaine is drained of most of the water brush both sides of it with the olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
Place each half of the lettuce on the grill and sear about 1-2 minutes per side, no more than that or you will just have a wilted mess
Remove from the grill, top with the parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and drizzle with the caesar dressing
Serve immediately

4 servings

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


For as much as I cook and the variety of things I cook, my kids are damn picky eater's, I don't get it? Can somebody help me with this one? ... 

"Say wha?  You like McDonald's cheeseburgers better than my FRESHLY grilled sirloin burger's stuffed with cheese?!?!" 

"Oh, you don't like the nice dinner that took me two hours to prepare and cook??  You would rather have a hot & ready $5 Little Caesar's pizza?!"

Typical kid's, but these are the kind of things I hear from those little nugget's after working my butt off in the kitchen!

"Hey kid's, why don't we pick up one of those $5 pizza's on the way to the adoption center that I will be dropping you off at...mmmmK?" 

But I do have to tell you, this salsa gets an A+ from them EVERY TIME.  In fact, they have told me that it's THE BEST salsa they have ever had, and that says a lot coming from them.

 Now, we can't just rely on "kid" food critics, so I have a backup... pretty much everyone that has tried this homemade salsa deliciousness has said the same thing.  It is that amazing.
 Oh, and it's really easy too, booya.
 Here we go...


2  28oz. jars of petite diced tomatoes
2  bunches of green onions, roughly chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped
3-6 serrano peppers, roughly chopped (start out with 3 then add more if you need more spice)
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper


In a food processor add 1 jar of the diced tomatoes (with the juice) along with the green onions and cilantro, pulse until it is finely chopped and combined, then empty the mixture into a large bowl.
Add the other can of tomatoes (with the juice) to the food processor along with the serrano peppers, garlic, salt and pepper, pulse until its finely chopped and combined, then add to the large bowl and stir everything together. 
 If you need to add more serrano pepper for more spice, just ladle some of the salsa back into the food processor with another roughly chopped pepper or two and pulse until the pepper is finely chopped, add to the bowl and thoroughly mix again. Make sure to test for more salt & pepper if needed

*side note*
A blender will work just as good if you do not have a food processor

Friday, September 7, 2012

Garlic Lemon and Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

If you're not a broccoli fan, this recipe will make you one. Oh, and it's really easy too...


3-4 crowns of fresh broccoli
the juice of 1-2 lemons (I used 2 because I like mine extra lemony)
1/4 c olive oil
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 400•
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray (this makes for easy cleanup)
Cut the broccoli from the crowns and place on the baking sheet
Drizzle the lemon juice then olive oil over the broccoli and sprinkle on the garlic, parmesan and some salt & pepper
Toss it all together with your hands then spread the broccoli out in an even layer and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes

It's that easy!

4-5 portions

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spicy Steak Kebabs

Summertime = grilling time and I love me some grilled kebabs!
They are quick and easy, bite size, great for an everyday dinner, or entertain with and so diverse. I chose to use beef for these but really, when it comes to kebabs the possibilities are endless. You could go all over the map anywhere from chicken, veggies, fruit, seafood, pork... whatever floats your boat. 
There are so many different options for marinades too, store bought or home made, any marinade you use will give you that extra kick to your kebab 


1 1/2- 2 lbs. boneless sirloin
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
About 10 metal or wooden skewers (if you use wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before assembling your kebabs to keep them from charring too much)


Cut the steak into 1 1/2 inch cubes, place in a large bowl and set aside
In a food processor add the garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, pepper and vinegar, pulse until well combined then with the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil
Pour the marinade over the steak and toss to coat, cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinade anywhere from 2 hours to overnight, the longer it marinades the more intense the flavor will be.
Once the steak is done marinading pre-heat your grill on med-hi heat, double skewer each piece of meat leaving about a 1/2 inch in between each piece, place the skewers on the grill and cook 6-7 minutes on each side with the lid closed  Total cooking time should be about 12-14 minutes, this will give you a medium cook, lessen or add time for more rare or more well done steak

4 servings

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spanish Roasted Citrus Chicken and Potatoes

I'm sitting outside on this May evening in some lovely, cool weather. Believe it or not, it really is nice, cool and breezy... in Arizona!  Probably one of the last few bearable evenings until October, but that's okay because for now, it makes for the perfect weather to blog about this amazing dish I whipped up...

Spanish Roasted Citrus Chicken and Potatoes...


1 & 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
2 T olive oil
2- 2&1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (about 8 pieces)
2 T smoked paprika
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
4 T roughly chopped cilantro (parsley can be substituted)
3 lemons or oranges (2 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper


Place a large cast iron, stoneware or rimmed baking sheet on a rack in the upper 3rd of the oven and preheat to 500•

Place potatoes, garlic, juice of 1 lemon or orange, 1 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, olive oil and 2 T of water in a large microwave safe bowl. Toss to coat and cover with plastic wrap, pierce and microwave for 8 minutes to partially cook

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the paprika, cumin, chili powder, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper, add 2 T of the cilantro and the juice from the remaining lemon or orange, toss to coat, set aside

Remove the hot dish from the oven, carefully add the partially cooked potatoes in an even layer, scatter the onions on top, then roast for about 12 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven, flip the potatoes then add the chicken thighs on top, pouring any excess liquid from the bowl over the chicken
Return to the oven and roast for another 15-18 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is browned and cooked through

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining cilantro over the top and serve with the citrus wedges

4 servings

***side note***
This entire meal will feed a family of 4-5 for about ten dollars!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

I made this Parmesan Crusted Halibut for my mom's Birthday and served it along with four cheese scalloped potatoes and mixed greens topped with mandarin oranges and a citrus vinaigrette (scalloped potato recipe soon to come and you can refer to my Strawberry Feta Salad post for the citrus vinaigrette) For the fish coating I decided to use grated parmesan in lieu of a heavy bread-crumb base that one would normally do. The reason why is because the parmesan crust gives the fish a nice, light, salty, crunchy coating that you just can't beat!
Needless to say, I think I won the daughter of the year award for this one...


4 5-6 ounce halibut steaks
3/4 C. flour
3 eggs
2 cups of grated parmesan
1 lemon cut in half, reserve one half for the cooking process, cut the other half into slices for a garnish
4 T of extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper


Create an assembly line... First put your flour onto a plate, break the eggs in a bowl and whisk with a fork, then add the parmesan to another plate

Preheat a medium size sauté pan over med-hi heat
Salt and pepper the halibut steaks, dredge each halibut steak in the flour, shake off the excess, dip in the egg, then press and coat all sides with the grated parmesan
Add 4 T of olive oil to the preheated pan, then carefully add each halibut to the hot oil
Cook about 4 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness) or until golden brown and cooked through, squeeze the juice from the reserved lemon half over the halibut before removing from the pan
Plate and garnish with the lemon slices

4 servings

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rosemary-Honey Mustard Crusted Pork Loin

So tender and so juicy. It's like an explosion of erotic flavors in your mouth, but not really because it's just mustard and honey. Just make it, you'll love it


2 lb. boneless pork loin
3 T of honey
3 T of stone ground mustard
3 T of honey mustard
6 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup of either water, apple juice or broth
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 325•
Grease a 9 by 9 (or similar size) baking dish
Remove and chop the rosemary from 3 sprigs
In a small bowl whisk the honey, stone ground mustard, honey mustard, and chopped rosemary together, set aside
Place the pork loin in the baking dish, salt and pepper the the loin then take about 2/3 of the honey mustard/rosemary mixture and coat all sides of the pork roast
Add 1 cup of liquid to the baking dish
Bake in the oven uncovered for about an hour and a half or until a meat thermometer reaches 145•
Remove from oven, cover and let rest for 15 minutes
Place the roast on a platter, carve, then drizzle with the remaining rosemary/honey mustard mixture and garnish with the rosemary sprigs

4-5 servings

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mini Caprese Bites

Caprese is a simple Italian salad or antipasti (starter) that originated in Capri. It consists of fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, salt and olive oil.
I took a different spin on traditional way of serving Caprese by turning it into little, single serving bites and drizzling with a little balsamic vinegar. The combination of the juicy sweetness from the tomatoes, the smooth mild flavor from the mozzarella, the fresh flavor and crunch from the basil and the tanginess from the balsamic vinegar is sure to please any palate.  Not to mention they look pretty!


1 package of grape tomatoes
1 container of bite size fresh mozzarella balls (appx 25 count)
1 bunch of fresh basil, if you buy it packaged it will be appx (.66 oz.)
Olive oil to drizzle
Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle
25 toothpicks


Rinse and cut all of the grape tomatoes in half, drain the mozzarella bites from the container, rinse the basil and rip up the larger leaves into smaller pieces making sure you have about 25 pieces total (one for each bite)
Take one toothpick, skewer one of the tomato halves, then a basil leaf, one mozzarella ball and cap it with the other half of the tomato (see picture below) repeat until all bites are assembled
Arrange all of the Caprese bites on a platter, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve
Right before serving, drizzle each bite with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and finish with a sprinkle of salt.

Appx 25 bites

Friday, March 16, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes

I made these twice baked potatoes the "traditional" way one night to go along with some steaks, PJ and the boys loved them! A little bit of extra time than the ordinary baked potato (obviously) since they are baked twice, but very simple ingredients and well worth the effort.
Try playing around with the ingredients by substituting the bacon and cheddar that I used with some diced green chile and shredded pepper jack cheese for a little Mexican flare, or make a meal by topping it with some shredded chicken tossed in buffalo sauce for some zing. There are so many different spins to put on this hot potato, just use your imagination and run with it!

3 large russet potatoes
2 garlic cloves minced
1 bunch of chives, chopped (leave a few uncut for a garnish if desired)
1 c sour cream
1/3 c margarine or butter (softened)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
2 t salt
1 t pepper


Preheat the oven to 425•
Scrub the potatoes under running water, pierce each one a few times with a fork then place the potatoes directly on the rack in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until done (you can always use the microwave instead to speed up the process, usually takes about 8 minutes to fully cook)
Once removed from the oven let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes before handling
Slice each potato in half length wise, using a spoon, scoop out the insides into a medium bowl leaving about 1/3 of an inch of potato in the shell (see pic below)
With a potato masher, mash the potato in the bowl until somewhat smooth
Add the garlic, chives, sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash together until mixed well
Add the potato mixture to an icing bag or to a ziploc bag with a small amount snipped off from one of the bottom corners to pipe the mixture into the shells
Place the filled potatoes on a cookie sheet and into the 425• oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top, garnish with the chives and serve

6 servings

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Pork Chops

What's that you say?
Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Pork Chops?
Sound too fancy and difficult to make?
You're fooling yourself...

With only 6 simple ingredients, including the pork chops, you will have dinner ready in under 30 minutes guaranteed, and all at under $ 3 per serving. Can't beat that!

I have to say I LOVE mixing the flavor notes of sweet & spicy together. The raspberry preserves in the glaze add that nice sweet flavor while the chipotles in adobo sauce give the extra zip of spice that it needs.
Perfect. Combination.

And hey, if you're not a big raspberry fan try substituting any other fruit preserve you would like ie: pineapple, peach, blackberry, strawberry, ect. The possibilities are endless...


4 thick cut boneless pork loin chops (you can also use bone-in if you would like)
2/3 cup of veg or chicken broth
1&1/2 c. raspberry preserves
2 T of vinegar (whatever type you have on hand will work, ie: apple cider, red wine, white wine or just plain old white vinegar)
2 T of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped

***I have made this glaze using both the store bought preserves or using fresh raspberries and granulated sugar with water, bringing to a boil to cook and then strain. Honestly they both taste the same, so go with the preserves. Not only will it save you time, it will save you some money too


In a food processor or blender add the preserves, vinegar, chipotle chiles with adobo sauce and garlic. Blend until smooth. Add the glaze to a small pan, stirring occasionally heat until just to a boil, turn down the heat to low to keep warm

Preheat oven to 350•

Heat a large, oven safe sauté pan over medium-hi. While you are waiting for the pan to heat generously salt & pepper both sides of the 4 pork chops.
Once your pan is heated add 2-3 T of olive oil to coat the pan, then carefully add each pork chop one at a time, sear for about 3 minutes on each side or until a nice golden brown color
Once done searing, remove the pan from the heat and add your broth, brush both sides of the pork chops with the glaze and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until done, brush once more with the glaze halfway through the cooking time.
Remove from oven and coat both sides with the glaze again before serving
* Side note- you can reserve some of the glaze for a dipping sauce if desired

4 adults

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Strawberry Feta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Spring time is just around the corner... what a better way to add a little color and zing your Easter spread than this healthy and delicious salad?

Turn it into a main course by topping with grilled chicken breast or shrimp, serve as a side dish to jazz up your week night dinner, or keep it just the way it is for a light lunch.


1/2 head of green leaf lettuce
1 bag of mixed baby greens
1 carton of strawberries
1 c. Feta cheese

for the citrus vinaigrette

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
zest of 1/2 of an orange
juice of 1 orange
salt and pepper to taste


for the vinaigrette...

in a small bowl add the vinegar, orange zest, juice and salt/pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside

rinse the green leaf lettuce and mixed greens, add to a large bowl and hand toss with paper towels (or use a salad spinner) to remove any excess water, set aside

rinse the strawberries, cut the tops off then cut in half width wise and then slice into small chunks

add 1/2 of the cut up strawberries and 1/2 of the feta cheese to the mixed greens
drizzle about 2 T of the citrus vinaigrette over the salad and toss, you can always add more dressing If desired
top the salad with the remaining strawberries and feta cheese, serve immediately

as a side dish 6-8 servings
as a main dish topped with a protein about 4 servings

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Not your ordinary Jalapeño Poppers

The Super Bowl is just around the corner! If you are having a party or attending one you'd better plan on adding these to your list of munchies, trust me, you won't regret it. Here's some proof that they are pretty damn good...if you will notice there's no picture of the end result.  I was hoping to get a great shot of the crispy delicious bacon wrapped around the cream cheese/pineapple filled jalapeno, but that didn't happen.  Because after plating them up about 5-10 minutes went by as I was prepping other goodies in the kitchen for my guests, finally I got a chance to grab my camera, I turn around and the next thing I know they're gone!

I've been making these for years for these 3 reasons
1.  They are easy
2.  They are so delicious
3.  No matter what the event, function, celebration they are always requested!
So you all should feel honored that I'm sharing this recipe with you, and if you end up making them make sure you give me and my blog the credit!
Kidding.  Well, kidding about the feeling honored part, but not about the props to my blog part :)


20 medium jalapenos
2 pkgs. cream cheese (I've used both the reduced fat and regular cream cheese and they both taste the same to me, so if your cuttin calories go for the reduced fat!)
2 pkgs. of bacon
1 small can (about 6 oz.) of crushed pineapple
40 toothpicks


Pre-heat your oven to 375
Set out the cream cheese to soften a bit
Rinse the jalapenos, cut the tops off and cut in half length wise
With a small spoon scoop out the white membrane and all of the seeds, those two things are the spiciest part of the jalapeno (if you have sensitive skin you might want to wear plastic food gloves to do this because you will probably feel a burning sensation, but really it's not that bad, just thought I'd throw the warning out there)
Drain all of the juices from the can of crushed pineapple
In a medium bowl mix the cream cheese and pineapple until combined
Fill each jalapeno half with about a teaspoon or more of the cream cheese mixture
Cut all of the bacon in half
Take one piece of the bacon and wrap around each of the filled jalapenos, securing each one with a toothpick
Place all of the wrapped jalapenos on 2 foil lined baking sheets, cook in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes depending on how crispy you want the bacon
*Note, some of the cream cheese will leak out during the cooking time, that's normal

40 appetizer bites

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders

For those of you wondering "What is panko?" let me tell you you're in for a treat. Panko is a Japanese style bread crumb. Panko, unlike your "normal" finely ground/dense bread crumb is a larger, more airy crumb which results in more of a lighter, crispier coating.
It's perfect for breading so many things: fish, chicken, shrimp, pork and it also makes a great crunchy topping for so many different casseroles or to add a little crunch on top of some homemade mac & cheese. Panko bread crumbs can be found in almost any grocery store, so go out, buy yourself some and give it a try!

Last night I made some homemade panko crusted chicken tenders and my little boys ate them up! I also made a roasted red pepper aioli for dipping (stay tuned for that recipe)

Let me tell you these are so much more flavorful and healthy than frozen store bought or fast food chicken nuggets that kids always tend to love.
Now I'm not saying these are a great low fat food, they are in fact deep fried, but it helps that I use lean chicken breast rather than the processed chicken "parts" that go into the store bought/fast food and even most restaurant chicken tenders.

Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders


1/2 c. of flour
1 t of salt
1/2 t of pepper
1 t of garlic powder
3 eggs
about 1 & 1/2 c. of panko bread crumbs
3 large chicken breasts cut into strips or nuggets and removed of all fat
about 1 & 1/2 - 2 c. of canola or vegetable oil


Make a little assembly line... first put your flour in a ziploc bag along with the salt, pepper and garlic powder and shake to mix the seasoning.
Crack your eggs in a bowl and whip with a fork.
Spread out the panko on a large plate. At the end of the assembly line have a large empty plate to place the chicken tenders on
Take your cut up chicken breasts and add them to your ziploc bag, seal and shake to coat with the seasoned flour. Add a few of the chicken strips to the egg and coat, then to the panko to coat and repeat until all of the chicken is breaded

In a large sauté pan add your oil (about a 1/2 inch deep) and heat over med-hi heat for about 8 minutes. To test if the oil is hot enough add a few panko crumbs, if they start sizzling the oil is ready. Place some paper towels on a large plate to have ready for when the chicken is done

You will need to fry the chicken in about 2-3 batches depending on how big your sauté pan is. Cook the chicken tenders for appx 2 & 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.

You may need to add more oil in between batches to keep it at least 1/2 inch deep, if you do make sure you give it a minute or two for the oil to heat up again before you add the next batch

4-6 servings

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Perfectly Grilled Steak Fajitas

These fajitas are so simple, they only take about 35 minutes to make. You will have yourself a delicious meal in no time with just a few fresh ingredients, spices and a slab of beef!  Oh, and some tortillas too

The cut of steak I prefer to use is top sirloin, it is a reasonably priced meat, without too much fat and if you grill it right it will come out juicy and tender every time. But really, you can go with whatever cut of steak you prefer or have on hand


1 top sirloin steak, about 1-1.5 lbs
1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 large white onion
10-12 small flour tortillas
2 T of canola or veg oil

*Dry rub for the steak*
1 t of cumin
1/2 T of paprika
1/2 T of garlic powder
1 t of salt
1/2 t of pepper
Mix in a small bowl and set aside


Pre-heat your grill to medium-hi
Take your steak and rub both sides with the seasoning blend, set aside

*for the peppers and onions*

Pre-heat a large sauté pan over med-hi heat
On a large cutting board cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and white membrane
Slice the bell peppers and onion into strips (see pic below)
Add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the peppers and onion and sauté for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are not crisp anymore

*for the steak*

Now, I wish I could tell you exactly how to grill your steak but unfortunately we all like our meat cooked to different temps, ie: medium, medium-rare, medium-well ect.  Then factor in that all steaks have a different "thickness" to them and every grill is different, most have hot spots (I know mine does) so you know better than I do as far as grilling your own steak.
What I can tell you is how I grilled the steak on MY grill to a medium. I preheated the grill on med-hi for 15 minutes, placed my steak on and let it grill with the lid open for 8 minutes, then I flipped it and grilled for another 5-6 minutes with the lid closed, leaving the temp of the grill set at med-hi the entire time

When done grilling your steak place it on a cutting board, cover with foil and let sit for 10-15 minutes
When you are ready to slice the meat, make sure you slice AGAINST the grain, this helps ensure that it will be tender. If you slice with the grain your steak ends up being more tough and chewy

Once all of the steak is sliced and the veggies are cooked take a flour tortilla, place a few strips of steak, some of the peppers and onion on it and serve

About 4 adults

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stuffed Shells

A family favorite in our household! This recipe will make enough to feed a crowd...which is what I did.

One of my dear friends from NM came to stay with us over New Year's weekend with her husband and kids. She has 3 little boys, we have 3 little boys, so to say the least there was a whole lot of mouths to feed! The stuffed shells did the trick.
This recipe will make two trays (about 32-36 shells.) Keep in mind you can always cut the recipe in half, or just freeze the other half for an easy weeknight dinner.


1 box of jumbo pasta shells
1 lb of ground mild Italian sausage
3 jars of your favorite pasta sauce or about 6 cups of homemade sauce (will post my recipe for that later)
3- 15oz containers of part skim ricotta cheese
1 C of grated or shredded parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 T of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
6 cloves of finely chopped garlic (you can also use the chopped garlic in a jar that you buy at the store, if so you will need about 2 T)
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T of finely chopped fresh basil, when using herbs fresh is always better but you can substitute dried basil if that's what you have on hand
2 t of kosher salt
1 t of pepper
2-3 C of shredded mozzarella cheese


Boil shells according to package directions, when they are done run under cold water to cool, set aside
Preheat oven to 350•
Preheat a medium sauté pan over med-hi heat
add the ground sausage, chop up while cooking and cook until no longer pink, drain the fat then set aside and let cool

In a large mixing bowl add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper, mix all ingredients well

Place the cooled sausage on a cutting board and chop until there are no large chunks
Add the sausage to the cheese mixture and mix until well blended

Grease two 9 by 13 oven safe dishes and add a cup of pasta sauce to coat the bottom of each dish
Spoon the meat/cheese mixture into each shell until just full and place the shell stuffed side up in the dish
When finished stuffing all of the shells top each one with the remaining pasta sauce and the mozzarella cheese
Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes

Yield  about 10 adults
Cut the recipe in half it will yield 4-6 adults

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Garlic-Roasted Asparagus

If any of you out there are not asparagus lovers this dish will turn you into one! A great, simple but tasty weeknight side dish that can be paired with almost any main course. Hey, it's a great way to get those greens in too!


1 bunch of fresh asparagus
2 T of olive oil
2 T of chopped garlic
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper to taste


preheat your oven to 425•

Take one asparagus stalk holding it closer to the end and snap, toss the bottom piece and keep the greener part, line that piece up with the rest of the bunch and cut off the rest of the ends making the whole bunch even in length, this is to get rid of the woody, chewy end that is not really edible
Place all of the asparagus in an 9 by 13 baking dish and drizzle with the olive oil, add the chopped garlic, salt and pepper
With your hands toss all of the ingredients together until well coated
Roast for 15-20 minutes tossing the asparagus half way through the cooking time
Remove from the oven and squeeze the juice from half of a lemon, give one last toss and serve

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oven Baked Ribs

My first choice to cook ribs would be in a smoker, but really how often do we have the time to stand over a smoker for hours?
The next best thing... oven roasted ribs. These are so delicious and so easy to make, and yes they will turn out so moist and tender that they will fall off the bone!
I make these with my homemade BBQ sauce but if I'm short on time I will use my favorite store bought sauce, nothing wrong with that!

BBQ sauce~


2 T of vegetable oil
6 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 of a small white onion grated
2 T of tomato paste
1 T of chili powder
1 T paprika
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups of water
2 cups of ketchup
1/2 c of firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 T of soy sauce
1 T of worcestershire sauce
1 T of kosher salt
1 t of freshly ground pepper
1 T of stone ground mustard


Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, grated onion, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika and red pepper flakes, then stir and cook until the paste is a dark red. Add the water, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, worcestershire, salt, pepper and mustard. Cook over med low, or at gentle simmer for about 30 minutes



1 3-4 lb slab of pork spare ribs (or whatever type of ribs you prefer)
1 T of kosher salt
1 T of fresh ground pepper
1 T of garlic powder
1 T of paprika
1 T of chili powder
2 cups of apple juice or you can use veg or beef broth or water, whatever you have on hand (this is just to keep the meat moist)


Preheat oven to 325•
Grease a roasting dish with a rack inserted with non stick spray. In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and chili powder to make a dry rub, set aside.
Remove the membrane from underneath the ribs, then cut the rack in half and place in your roasting dish.  Coat both sides of the ribs with the dry rub, then add your liquid to the bottom.  Place in the oven to cook for 2 hrs.  Remove from the oven and baste both sides of the ribs with your bbq sauce then place back in the oven. Baste the ribs with bbq sauce another 4 or 5 times over the next hour and a half
*total cooking time should be about 3.5 hrs*
Remove the ribs from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before slicing

1 3-4 lb rack of ribs should feed about 4 adults with a side dish