Friday, November 13

Festive Chesse Platter

The Holidays are just upon us, hard to believe but Thanksgiving is about 2 weeks away!! 

Do you need a show stopper tray to take to family gatherings, have a potluck,
or do you simply have stressful work days and crave CHEESE!!! The answer is here... make this beautiful cheese platter & lets be honest your wine needs a companion too!

These can be arranged in any shape or form.

CHEESES: Smoked Gouda, Pepper Jack, Sharp Cheddar & Dill Havarti
Red and green grapes and thyme for garnish.

I want some cheese now!

Slow Cooker Pot roast

FALL IS HERE! Try these comforting recipes....

3-4 lb chuck roast
2-3 celery ribs, chopped
3lbs potatoes
2-3 carrots, large sections or baby carrots
2 onions, chopped or pearl onions

optional, chopped mushrooms

1 cup red wine
1 pk. Ranch dip
1 pk. Gravy mix
I add like to add in whatever herbs I have on hand,
such as thyme or rosemary.

Set slow cooker on low for 8hrs. or high for 4 hrs... depending on how much time you have. Chopped your onions, carrots and celery and throw those veggies in the pot. Wash and dry the potatoes and throw in whole. Next you want to lay the meat on top of those veggies, pour in some wine & place herbs on top. Now that everything is in, we need to season this bad boy.... In a small bowl combine dry packets with a bit of water and pour into the pot. Prep work is done, so cover it & walk away!
Let the magic happen.

7 1/2 hrs later......

During the last 30 mins, I like to take the meat out, slightly shred and throw back in with the veggies on top this time. Your whole house should be smelling like pot roast and that's when you realize you've done something right.

Serve, garnish with parsley and crusty bread!!!


Pioneer Woman's Easy Chili


2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup maseca
One 15-ounce can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
One 15-ounce can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)

Shredded Cheddar
Chopped onions
French Bread

Place the ground beef in a large pot with garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Combine & cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour. At this point check chili every 15-20 and stir.
After an hour, place the maseca in a small bowl, add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings.  Lastly add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with shredded Cheddar, chopped onions,  & French bread for dipping.


Green Pesto Pasta

This Pesto was adapted from Giada's spicy pesto recipe.... which is incredibly yummy. The original recipe calls for 1 jalapeno. I omitted the jalapeno and used half an avocado instead, I figured it would give it a nice creamy touch and besides I was cooking for my girls. Let's get started!

1 lb Pasta (your choice)
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup arugula
1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 avocado
2 garlic cloves
5-8 oz cheese (I used a parmesan, romano & asiago mix)
pinch of salt and pepper to taste

While the pasta cooks to perfection, blend the pesto ingredients together. If mixture is to thick, feel free to add a bit of pasta water, this will ease the blending process.

You pesto should look something like that!! Now taste to adjust the seasonings. Once pasta is cooked, place in a large bowl and incorporate pesto. Garnish with chopped walnuts and more cheese!! Easy right!

This is perfect on its own, or aside grilled chicken, fish or even a shredded rotisserie chicken.


Wednesday, May 13

Breaded Pork Chops with Green Bean and Mushroom Quinoa

Pork Chops:

1 Pork Chop per serving
Salt & Pepper
garlic powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs

Season chops with salt and pepper (both sides), in 3 plates arrange the flour with garlic powder, egg wash (1 egg mixed with a tb of water), and seasoned bread crumbs. Dip each pork chop in the flour, followed by the egg wash & finally into the breading. Once all chops are breaded, heat up (medium high) a large skillet with olive oil & 1 tb of butter. Sear each chop about 8-10 per side, depending on the thickness. Drain on paper towels before serving.

a side of Quinoa:

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup halved green beans
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic

I love to flavor my quinoa by sauteing a minced garlic in a it of olive olive, I then add 2 cups of water, 1 tsp of salt & bring to a boil, add your washed quinoa and cook for 25 mins. Uncover cooked quinoa. Wash and slice your mushrooms, cup green beans in half & mince a clove of garlic. Heat up a large saute pan, add 2 Tb of olive oil, saute garlic for 20 secs. Next add mushrooms, mix a bit and leave them alone, resist the temptations to stir  or they will release all their yummy juices and won't brown. After about 3 mins, stir and cook another 2 mins, take them out on a bowl. Add your green beans and saute for 5 mins, I like my greens beans to maintain their crispiness. Incorporate mushrooms once again & mix in the quinoa. Turn heat off!

How pretty is this dish??????


Cilantro Garlic Chicken

Sooo much flavor in this chicken, and the color is fun too!!

Blend a bunch of fresh cilantro with
4 garlic cloves
2 green onions
olive oil
salt and pepper
Marinate for about 30 minutes of larger if time permits. Grill for about 6 minutes per side until juices run clear, allow to rest for 10 minutes and slice. I served this with brown rice and cauliflower ceviche.

Grilled Pork Chops

Summer is just around the corner!! Super easy chops, serve along side rice, a quick salad, or quinoa.
Season with:
Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Lemon Zest
3-4 minced garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper
Grill for about 5- 6 minutes on each side,
use a meat thermometer to check meat (135 degrees).
Under cooked pork is not safe to eat :)


Apple Cranberry Salad

 Green apples, Balsamic vinaigrette, and fete CHEESE!!! Yes!!

1/4 C. Olive Oil
 Few springs chopped parsley
Pinch dried oregano
1 minced garlic clove
Sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes
Chopped cranberries
1/2 Tb Raw honey
salt and pepper to taste

I filled a large bowl with equal parts of each green.
{Romaine hearts, mixed greens, and baby spinach}
1 thinly sliced green apple
a few slices of red onion
1 container of baby tomatoes
handful of cranberries
walnuts to garnish
1/2 lb. feta cheese


Tuesday, July 8

Steak Salad with Homemade Cilantro dressing

 Dressing Ingredients:

1 cup Cilantro (no stems)
1/2 plain greek yogurt
2 Tsp Fresh Lime juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp white wne vinegar
Salt to taste

Puree all ingredients in a blender!!

For the Salad:
1 head romaine lettuce chopped or torn
1 pint baby tomatoes (halved)
Sliced red onion
1 carrot (grated)
1 diced Red bell pepper
1 can organic black beans (rinsed)

 For the steak:

I marinated my meat like I would for carne asada. Add the juice of half a lime, season with garlic salt and seasoning salt, chopped onion, chopped cilantro. Set aside for 20-30 minutes. Grill to a medium rare or medium... I did about 3-4 minutes per side. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

To assemble the salad, add some greens and veggies to your bowl, top with meat & drizzle with yummy dressing!!!


Saturday, June 21

Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Salad

This recipe was adapted from Pinterest, I thank the quinoa gods everyday for allowing me to come across this recipe.... I know my mom & sister do too!! It's pretty amazing, very flavorful.
 It's perfect alone or as a side dish, and the long it hangs out in the refrigerator the better.

1 cup cooked Quinoa (red & white variety)
1 Red  & 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (roasted & peeled)
1 can of peeled Garbanzo beans
1/4 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
1/4 bunch Chopped Cilantro
1/2 lb Crumbled Feta cheese

1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
2 minced Garlic cloves
1/2 cup Olive oil
2 Tb Red wine vinegar
2 Tb Lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

You can make this dressing in the blender, by throwing everything in or slowly incorporating the oil with the vinegar and then adding in remaining ingredients. Either way will work.

Cook the quinoa & allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, roast the bell peppers, peel and dice. Peel the garbanzo beans, thinly slice the red onion and chop the cilantro. In a large pretty bowl, add the cooled quinoa and its veggies. I like to add half the crumbled feta and half the vinaigrette, mix to incorporate all ingredients & then add remaining dressing, mix again!
 Lastly crumble remaining feta on top, makes it look pretty... I like pretty things! 
Refrigerate until your ready to eat or not! Don't forget leftovers are amazing!!


Wednesday, June 18

Amazing Seafood!

 For my birthday week celebration, yes week!
 My parents took my to this fabulous seafood restaurant out in East LA, seriously the seafood is the bomb to say the least! It's call Mariscos 4 Vientos and it's located on Olympic Blvd. and Lorena St. Apparently there are 5 restaurants on the road with the same name, we ate at this one, which my family claims is the best one. So there you go!! I had a tostada of Agua chiles (spicy shrimp in a Serrano/ jalapeno sauce) my favorite. My entree consisted of a Campechana ( Shrimp and seafood cocktail) and a large Mexican coke... Of course I tried everyones food, which was also delish!! 
I hope I've convinced you to try this place!!!


Saturday, May 3

Kale/Spinach/Romaine Chopped Salad

This week I was visiting my parents for dinner, my mom loves when I help with dinner so I decided to make a different type of salad. Keep in mind my mom always has a well stock pantry and refrigerator so this salad came together quite easy. There are many variations of similar salads out there, I always mix and match ingredients and vinaigrettes from salads I've tried in the past.
This salad seriously filled me up & left me craving more. I can stress how delicious it turned out!!!I'm always looking for ways to incorporate kale into my dishes. I decided to add ingredients I love the most and would of course blend well together. As far as the vinaigrette I made, it's a very basic recipe, for the most part I make my own dressings. Sometimes I add dijon mustard to this recipe and other times I omit it. If you want to make it alittle more "Greek" for a Mediterranean salad add oregano to the mix. It's so versatile!
For the Salad:
Half head of kale 
1 romaine heart 
1- 1 1/2 cup spinach leaves 
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Lots of crumbled feta
1/2 of chopped Pecans 
1/4 cup dried cranberries 

Let's get started, wash & chop your greens very finely and place in a large bowl. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and chop pecans (set aside for now). Now for the dressing... 

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tb red wine vinegar 
1 Tb Dijon mustard
6-7 chopped sundried tomatoes 
1/2 tsp salt
Ground pepper 
Pinch of raw sugar

Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix together. Add remaining topping to your salad bowl (pecans, tomatoes, cranberries and crumbled feta). Add dressing and completely toss all ingredients together. Add more cheese or pecans if desired. Serve immediately!! 

Ask for seconds! 


Tuesday, April 15

Baked Fish in foil packets

When it comes to seafood I rarely discriminate. I love it!
 I've been craving baked fish, something pretty... Individual foil packets were the way to go. I'm all about eating with my eyes, I'm such a freak. Anyways, the simplicity of this recipe & variations can make this a staple in your book of recipes. Use any veggies and/or herbs of your choice, & wrap in foil. Impress your honey with this eye pleaser.

1 1/2 lb chunky tilapia filets
 (or halibut, bass, cod, flounder, mahi mahi etc.)
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
(Veggies I choose)
Red bell pepper, jalapeño, onion, asparagus (thinly sliced) 

Marinate your fish if time allows, place in a large ziplock, add crushed garlic, and 1Tb oil. 

Chop veggies for later use. 

Pre-heat oven at 400. Cut large pieces of foil, add a piece of fish, season with salt & pepper,

add some veggies,

finish with a slice or two of lemon, 1 piece of butter

& wrap tightly.

Place packets on a baking sheet & in the oven they go! Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 25 minutes was perfect!
Opening up the packets of fish smelled heavenly!

I probably made more food than our stomachs can handle, but everything was delicious!
My sides included black beans, barley, & Roasted Broccoli.
 The kids fish packets didn't included veggies, so these sides were perfect for them. 

XOXO, Enjoy!!!

Ree's, Quick Italian Salad

Who loves Olive Garden salad?? Or any fab Italian salad for that matter? ME! ME!
This recipe was adapted from Ree Drummond also known as Pioneer Woman, she's amazing!
Click the link to view her recipe: Ree's Italian Salad
I made this salad for a family BBQ and it was a total hit! I'm sharing it because some of you may not be familiar with Pioneer Woman & if you are yay!! You'll love this side.
I followed the dressing recipe to a T! It's so yummy, why mess it up!
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (pre-grated in a pack from the store)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, pressed
Juice of 1 lemon
In a blender add the olive oil, mayonnaise, Parmesan, parsley, sugar, vinegar, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
You can also use a good store bought Italian dressing,
but if you have these ingredients on hand, try it!
For the salad I used the following, 
2  romaine hearts (chopped)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce (chopped)
6 whole pepperoncini
1/2 cup whole black olives (sliced in half)
1/2 cup whole red cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion (sliced into thin cirlces)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or more
Wash your veggies and dry. In a large bowl add the lettuce combination and mix together, top with the remaining veggies, I assembled them on top neatly. Looks pretty! 

I set the dressing in a bowl near by, as well as extra parmesan cheese.


Spicy Tequila Fajitas

Here's my special kicked up take on fajitas... more habanero please!

2lb Flap meat (Carne Ranchera)
1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper (sliced)
1 small onion (sliced)
1 tomato (sliced)
(2 habanero peppers (thinly sliced)
1-2 shots Tequila
Pinch of Cumin
Salt & pepper to taste

Slice all veggies & set aside. Pre heat a large skillet. 

Season meat with salt, pepper & cumin. Sear on both sides until brown (about 2-3 mins per side).
Take meat out, allow to rest on your cutting board for about 10mins. Then cut into strips.
 Throw veggies in and sauté for about 4 mins until slightly tender. Take veggies out onto a plate, throw sliced meat back into the skillet, make a hole in the center of the pan & pour in the
  Tequila shots.. Yay PARTY!! 
Mix meat into the tequila & cook for 1 min, pour veggies back in & incorporate all together. 

Turn heat off!!

 It's spicy & has a kick... I love taking chances with food, I hope you enjoy this dish as well!


Roasted Broccoli

Roasted broccoli takes on a whole new flavor, it's really yummy
and easy especially if you're already using the oven. 

Cut large broccoli florets, wash and dry! Don't skimp on the drying stage, it will pay off.
 Preheat oven at 400.

Place broccoli florets in a baking dish, season with salt & pepper.
 (I snuck in small chunks of butter, 1Tb cut).. don't tell my husband.

Bake for 15-20 mins & done!!


Saturday, March 29

Organic Salad Mix topped with Spicy Salmon

This is my favorite go to salad, super flavorful & filling.
1 Salmon steak per person
1/2 to 1 cup cooked Quinoa
1/2 onion (sliced)
2 Jalapenos (sliced)
Salad mix
1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper
Let's get started, cook about 1/2 (2 servings) to 1 cup (4 serving) of quinoa. Meanwhile season the individual portioned salmon steaks with salt & pepper, set aside. Slice 1/2 onion, 2 Jalapenos & in a medium sauté pan heat up a Tb of olive oil & cook for 4-5 minutes. Move onion and chilies to the outer edges of the pan, place salmon seasoned side down to brown. Remember to only flip once, cook about 5-6 minutes per side (or until desired readiness). Turn heat off. Now to assemble your salad... I used a combination of organic kale, spinach & Swiss chard salad mix, lay a bed of this on your plate, spoon on a good portion of quinoa (1/2 cup cooked) & top with a portion of salmon & the onion pepper mix. The dressing for this salad is very complicated.... Lemon wedges! Enjoy!  

Tuesday, March 25

Mini flat bread Pizzas

Here's another great lunch idea for kids!! 


Thin (whole wheat) Sandwich rounds
Pizza sauce or (canned tomato sauce)
Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Dried oregano 

Preheat your convention oven to 400
Break open a sandwich round & use one half per pizza. Spread on some pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni's, oregano & Parmesan & bake until crispy. My girls devoured these! I'm not gonna lie, I only planned on having 2 pizzas ( 50 calories per half bread slice + toppings calories). But I may or may not have had more than 2. Anyhow, be creative with your toppings, I added onion, bell pepper & jalapeños to my pizzas!! Yumm! Can't wait to make this again!