Tomatoes and basil are like an Italian match made in heaven. You can almost guarantee that anything made with those two ingredients will be amazing. One of my favorite ways to bring them together is in a classic bruschetta made up of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. So simple but so damn good! Now imagine that fresh bruschetta spooned over a juicy chicken breast smothered in zesty pesto and a layer of melted mozzarella cheese. That my friends, is one hell of a tasty main dish for dinner.
I like to just eat this chicken on it’s own but with the carb monsters I live with, I tend to serve it for them with a side of rice pilaf or over a bed of pasta alfredo. This recipe is so easy to put together, but it looks fancy enough, that you can totally serve it for dinner guests.
BAKED CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 3–4 boneless skinless chicken breast salt & pepper 1 c pesto 2 c mozzarella, shredded
BRUSCHETTA INGREDIENTS 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced 8–10 basil leaves, chopped 1 tsp garlic, minced 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Place the chicken breasts in a lightly greased baking dish and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Spread the pesto over the tops of the chicken breasts and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely through and mozzarella is just starting to brown up.
While the chicken is cooking, combine all the bruschetta ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
When the chicken is done cooking, transfer them to a plate and finish with a big scoop of that fresh bruschetta.
Quick one pot dinners are some of my faves. My husband’s too since he does the dishes. Ha ha! Basically, any noodle bowls are a hit with my family and I love them because they are usually quick, easy, and they are a great way to get an assortment of veggies into the mix. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make and it is so versatile. You can swap out the beef for shrimp or chicken and you can really use any veggies you want. I also recommend snow peas, bell peppers, zucchini, and mini corn as great options. The sauce has lots of great flavors that the noodles, meat, and veggies all take on. Just the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy. We also like to serve this with a side of egg rolls or pot stickers to get that whole “take out” vibe.
Hello grilling season! It is great to have you back in my life! (And all of you amazing followers too!) Nothing says summer like lazy days with friends, sun shining on your skin, hot grilled meat, and some tasty side salads!
With 4th of July just around the corner it feels like the perfect time to share one of my favorite summer side dish recipes with y’all. This Red White and Blue Potato salad is packed with all my favorite flavors and by favorite flavors, I mean bacon and blue cheese.
This salad is an amazing complement to any bbq dish, but we especially love it with a nice steak and some red wine. Just something about the way all those flavors come together is top notch. *chef’s kiss*
Note: I like to set aside some of the bacon, blue cheese crumbles, and green onions to garnish the top of the salad with.
INGREDIENTS 3 lbs baby red potatoes, chopped into 3/4” cubes 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 tsp dill 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground mustard 1/2 tsp onion powder 8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped 3/4 c blue cheese 1/2 c green onion, sliced
Place the chopped potatoes into a large pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 12–15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and tender.
Drain the potatoes and transfer them into a large bowl and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, salt, ground mustard, and onion powder.
Add the bacon, blue cheese, and green onion to the bowl with the potatoes.
Pour the dressing over the top of the potatoes and other ingredients and stir to combine.
Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Here are some other amazing summer side dishes to try out!
Last year in my garden we were harvesting more tomatoes than we knew what to do with! We were having Panzanella Salad and Marinated Tomatoes almost every week. Once my jalapenos came in, I was all about that fresh salsa! Who doesn’t love that fresh salsa flavor!? Store bought salsa just does not compare.
This recipe is pretty much goof proof. You just add all the ingredients to the blender and blend. Yes, it really is that simple!
Just serve up with a side of some crispy salty tortilla chips or along with your favorite tacos or burritos.
Note: If you over blend your salsa, it can become sort of frothy. If this happens, just cover and store in the fridge for a couple of hours and it should settle. Fresh salsa can last in the fridge covered for up to two weeks. The flavors get better and better with time.
INGREDIENTS 1/4 white onion 2 tsp garlic, minced 1 jalapeno 4–6 medium sized tomatoes 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves juice from 1 lime pinch of sugar (optional, to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)
Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to chop.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend to desired consistency.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to really come together. (Optional)
I follow a LOT of foodies on social media and over the last year I have seen this trend of people posting photos of these delicious looking meat and cheese filled tacos served up with a dish of red sauce for dipping. This delicious looking meal is called birria or quesabirria tacos and now it seems like you see them everywhere! I scoped out some of our local Mexican restaurants and could not find anywhere that had birria tacos on the menu, but I had to have them! Sooooo… to Pinterest I went!
I found quite a few recipes out there and of course every one of them was different, but none of them had me sold. Being who I am, I picked and pulled elements from several different recipes and came up with my own recipe.
I was absolutely thrilled with how these tacos turned out. The meat was flavorful and juicy and the broth was so rich and just the right amount of spicy. I served my husband, son, and I each up with three tacos to start with but we kept going back to the grill for another one, and another one, and another one until we were about to pop. These seriously lived up to all the hype. I can honestly say, these were not only the best tacos I have ever made, but also the best tacos I have ever eaten!
Note: These are relatively easy to make but time consuming since you slow cook the meat on the stovetop. It is the perfect recipe to make on a rainy Sunday while you watch some football and just want to indulge in some good food.
BIRRIA INGREDIENTS 3 lbs short ribs (bone in) 1 large white onion skin removed, halved and cut into 1/2″ thick slices 1 garlic bulb with skin on, top cut off 2 carrots, cut into quarters 5 bay leaves 8 dried guajillo chiles, stems cut off and seeds removed 3 chicken bouillon cubes 2 tsp chili powder 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp salt
TACO INGREDIENTS corn tortillas jack cheese, shredded white onion, chopped cilantro, chopped cotija cheese, crumbled
In a large pot add meat, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, and dried peppers and cover with water.
Add the chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin, and salt.
Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat.
After 30 minutes of cooking, skim any foam off the top of the water.
Remove the peppers, onions, and carrots and place them in a blender.
Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb into the blender and add 1 cup of the liquid from the pot.
Puree the ingredients in the blender until smooth.
Pour the vegetable puree back into the pot.
Add the lid to the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 hours stirring every 30 minutes or so.
Transfer the meat and bones to a large cutting board.
Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.
Using two large forks, shred the meat and set aside.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.
Dip a corn tortilla into the broth left in the pot and place the tortilla on the griddle.
Top the tortilla with jack cheese, chopped meat, diced white onion, and some cilantro.
Fold the taco in half and press down with the back of a spatula.
Continue cooking until the tortilla is golden and cheese is melted, about 2–3 minutes.
Flip the taco and continue cooking the other side.
Transfer the tacos to a plate or serving dish as you finish them.
Garnish the finished tacos with cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese.
Ladle some of the broth into a ramekin and top with fresh onions and more cilantro and serve with the tacos.
Dip the tacos into the broth and enjoy each and every sauce-soaked cheesy bite.
I have been sitting on this recipe for months now just waiting for the right time of year to share. After getting record amounts of rain in Sacramento this last weekend and it FINALLY feeling like fall, I think we are finally ready for one of the best soup recipes ever! Now I can’t even take credit for this soup recipe. My friend made this Olive Garden “copycat” soup for me back in July when I was recovering from a medical procedure, and I was absolutely smitten. I had to ask for the recipe and made it for my family less than a week later. It is now a family fave. I just absolutely love that spicy sausage with the rich creamy broth and the loads of kale. (Not gonna lie, the kale makes me feel like I am eating healthy.)
Note: If you are watching your carbs you can easily leave out the potatoes for a fantastic low carb soup.
12 oz pack of bacon, chopped 16 oz hot Italian sausage, ground 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 2 tbsp garlic, minced 64 oz chicken broth 5 medium potatoes, cubed into 1/2″ squares 2 bunches kale, stems removed and leave chopped 1 pint heavy cream 2 tsp salt 1 tsp ground pepper freshly grated parmesan
Add the bacon to a large pot and cook over medium-high heat.
When the bacon is cooked to desired doneness, remove it from the pot and set aside.
Add the sausage to the pot breaking it up as it cooks.
Once the sausage is cooked through, drain off most of the grease leaving about 1–2 tablespoons.
Add the chopped onions and garlic to the pot with the sausage and cook stirring occasionally until the onion starts to brown, about 5–6 minutes.
Add the broth and potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer the soup for about 15–20 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender.
Add the kale, cream, salt, and pepper to the pot and simmer for another 5–10 minutes.
There are some recipes that are summer staples, this recipe is one of those in our household. Zesty citrus grilled pork tenderloin medallions paired with cheesy grilled stuffed peppers. Looks and sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
One of the reasons we primarily make this in the summer is because that is when peppers are in season, and you can usually find pretty large ones at the store. The bigger the better when it comes to this recipe! That way you can pack them full of all the cheesy goodness.
I absolutely love pork tenderloins. They are so lean and are actually a really great grilling meat. With this recipe, the meat is so flavorful and juicy, and takes on really great citrusy and smoky flavor as it plumps up on the grill.
There are so many things to love about this recipe. It is relatively easy, looks amazing, tastes amazing, and all the components of this dish are cooked outside, so you don’t have to deal with a hot oven during warm summer nights. What’s not to love?
TENDERLOIN INGREDIENTS 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 c fresh squeezed orange juice 2 tsp olive oil 1 tbsp garlic, minced 1 lb. pork tenderloin
STUFFED PEPPER INGREDIENTS 3/4 c queso fresco, crumbled 3/4 c jack cheese, shredded 1/2 c cilantro leaves, chopped 1 small tomato, diced 4 anaheim or hatch chile peppers, sliced open lengthwise, seeds removed
1 lime, cut into wedges additional chopped cilantro
Combine the apple cider vinegar, oregano, orange juice, olive oil, and garlic in a large resealable bag.
Add the tenderloin to the bag and marinade in the fridge for 2–12 hours.
In a medium bowl, mix together the queso, jack cheese, cilantro, and diced tomato.
Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper half.
Preheat the grill to 400º.
Add the pork tenderloin to the grill and cook for 10–12 minutes.
Flip the tenderloin and cook for another 10–12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145º.
Remove the pork from the grill and allow it to rest.
While the tenderloin in resting, add the stuffed chiles to the grill and cook for 10–12 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.
Slice the pork and serve with the grilled chiles and sliced lime and garnish with additional fresh chopped cilantro.
Summer is upon us! Well not quite, but we are so close! I can literally smell it! The smell of grilled meat has infiltrated the warm evening air in my subdivision and I am itching for a good ol’ fashioned cookout.
One thing I absolutely love about summer BBQs are all the cold salads. Macaroni salads, potato salads, mmmmmmm… mmmm… mmmm! (I really should not write these posts when I am hungry because right now, I am salivating just thinking back to this potato salad.)
I have a go to potato salad that is loaded with bacon, olives, bell peppers, onions, and so much more and it is amazing, but sometimes I am looking to mix it up with something a little more simple and lighter.
The red potatoes really come out fluffy and then the super creamy dressing is a little tangy from the vinegar and sour cream and then you have this delicious dill flavor. So simple and so lite. Perfect for these warm summer days!
INGREDIENTS 8 large red potatoes, diced 1 c sour cream 1 c mayonnaise 1/2 c red wine vinegar 1 1/2 tsp dill salt and pepper 4 green onions, chopped
Add 1–2 tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
Add the diced potatoes and boil for 10–14 minutes or until fork tender.
While the potatoes are boiling whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, dill, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
When the potatoes are done cooking drain them in a colander and transfer to a large bowl.
Add most of the green onions (saving a handful for garnish) and dressing and toss to coat.
Garnish with the leftover green onions and a little bit of the dill.
Cover with a lid or saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. The longer it rests, the better the flavors.
If you like this recipe, then I highly recommend you check out these other awesome salads that make for great additions to your BBQ menu!
Hello cold weather! It is finally starting to feel like winter out here in California. Just this week we finally have some back to back days of rain and some serious wind going on and I freaking love it! It’s the kind of weather that just makes you want to wrap yourself in a heavy blanket and eat hearty bowls of soup all day long. This soup recipe is awesome because there is so much good flavor and it is really filling, and best of all, it is one of those meals that you can have on the table in 20 minutes. You do not have to be a well-versed chef to make this. You are basically just adding ingredients to a pot and letting your stove do the rest of the work. Sounds like the perfect lazy rainy-day meal to me!
Note: If you have a busy week ahead, chop the onion, carrots, and celery over the weekend and store in a container or a zip loc bag so they are ready to go!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 c chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
3 c baby spinach
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
Add the sausage to the pot and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes making sure to stir occasionally.
Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and cook for another 3–4 minutes making sure to stir occasionally.
Add the broth, beans, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for 8–10 minutes.
Add the baby spinach to the pot and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
Hey everyone! With weather finally cooling down and Thanksgiving just around the corner, is everyone finally feeling those fall vibes? I know I am! You may recall that over the summer I partnered up with UNIQUE Programs and did an Instagram Live cooking demo. Apparently it went well because they have asked me back to do another! So with that said, I am excited to announce that coming up on this Wednesday, November 18 at 12:00 pm PST I will be going live once again and this time making a fall feast! This will be a completely FREE virtual event where you can tune in on Zoom and learn how to make my Apple Pie Pork Chop and Individual Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups. That’s right, essentially a completely free one-hour cooking class!
You can tune in via Zoom using this link (https://csus.zoom.us/j/86190043772) our you can enter the Zoom ID from the graphic below. There is no need to sign up or create an account.
There will be no cooking show foolery here, I will be cooking in real time so you can make both these dishes right along with me! I have provided a list of the ingredients below for both dishes if you want to make sure you have everything on hand. If you are at work or unable to cook live with me that is absolutely okay too! Just tune in, say hi, be entertained, and get some tips for when you want to make these awesome dishes another time!
The pork chop recipe I will be making has all the staples of a tasty fall dish. It is a pan seared herb crusted pork chop topped with apple pie filling and stuffing and finished off in the oven to give the stuffing just a little bit of crunchiness. I use a little bit of cinnamon and rosemary to bring in some bold flavors. It’s like having apple pie with a side of pork for diner. What’s not to love!?! I have been making this recipe for years! Not only is it delicious but it is super affordable.
My pumpkin pie mousse cups aren’t even on the blog yet so you are going to be the first to get the recipe. (Don’t worry, it will be posted soon!) This dessert is so easy to make and has all the flavors from a traditional pumpkin pie. I love it though because it is light and fluffy and doesn’t require any baking.
GIVEAWAY ALERT! Also, UNIQUE Programs will be doing an awesome giveaway on Tuesday so make sure you go follow them and me on Instagram if you don’t already. You may just be able to get your hands on some kitchen products from my new online boutique! 😉
I really love connecting with my followers in a more personal way so I truly hope you will tune in on Wednesday to join me. At the very least pop in and say hello! I look forward to chatting with you all and answering any questions you may have as we spend an hour together! See you then!