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Cioppino

The classic fish stew from Northern California that gets a kick from wine and spices.

All you need to add is a crusty loaf of French bread (sourdough is perfect, actually) to make this a meal.

INGREDIENTS
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 2 large onions, chopped
• 1 cup minced celery
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
• 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 tsp. fresh
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 small bay leaf
• 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
• Pinch of ground allspice
• Pinch of ground cinnamon
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup white wine
• About 12 mussels (cleaned and soaked in water for about ½ hour to remove grit and sand)
• 1 pound cod, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
• ½ pound bay or sea scallops

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, parsley and garlic; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with their juices; simmer 10 minutes. Add red wine, red wine vinegar, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, allspice and cinnamon. Simmer 30 minutes.
  2. Add water, white wine and mussels to stew. Simmer until mussels open, about 10 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).
  3. Add cod, shrimp, and scallops and simmer until fish and shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Ladle into large bowls and serve.
Featured

Kung Pao Fried Rice

All of the flavor of the Chinese classic in a fried rice variation – and the flavors are awesome!

Ingredients

• 1 cup diced onions
• 3 cups diced red, green, or yellow peppers (or any combination)
• 1 Tbsp. canola oil
• 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
• 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
• 3 dry whole red chilis
• ¼ tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. pepper
• 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
• 1 Tbsp. Sriracha Sauce (green or red)
• 3 cups cooked rice (day old is fine!)
• 1½ cups cooked protein (chicken, shrimp, or pork), cut into bite-sized pieces
• ½ cup salted roasted peanuts
• ¼ cup chopped scallions
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Method

  1. Heat oil on medium-high in a wok or large skillet. Sauté garlic, ginger and chilis until fragrant.
  2. Add onions and peppers. Cook on high heat for couple of minutes. Don’t overcook – keep them firm.
  3. Add hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Add steamed rice, breaking up large clumps gently.
  5. Add pork, chicken or shrimp. Heat through
  6. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and peanuts.
Featured

Grilled Burgers with Red Wine Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

No one will know that you aren’t a gourmet burger chef with this recipe and it’s super easy to make.

Ingredients

2 lbs. ground chuck

1 large red onion

2 Tbsps. olive oil

1/2 cup Cabernet

I small log goat cheese (plain or herbed)

Salt and pepper

Good hamburger buns (I used the brioche kind)

Method

Burgers

  1. Pat out burgers to desired size. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill or fy to desired doneness.
  2. Just before they are done, add goat cheese to the top of each burger.
  3. Set aside and keep warm.

Red Wine Caramelized Onions

  1. While burgers are cooking, Add olive oil to small skillet and heat on medium. Slice onion and add to skillet. Add a pinch of salt to prevent burning. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes, being careful to reduce heat if the pan needs it.
  2. When the onions are a nice caramel color, add the wine and continue to cook until most of it has evaporated. Set aside.

Assembly

  1. Add burgers to buns, and then top with caramelized onions. Serve! These are so good they basically don’t need any condiments, but use them if you like.
Featured

Butternut Squash Soup with Crunchy Sage Leaves

Try this delicious fall soup either as an appetizer for Thanksgiving or a light meal. This recipe can be made completely vegan, too.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

3 to 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh sage leaves

Olive oil

METHOD

Soup

  1. Warm 2 Tbsps. olive oil in a large pot. Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ginger and stir until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crunchy Sage Leaves

  1. Heat 2 Tbsps. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and sauté until the edges curl. They will be dark! Serve on top of soup with a dollop of cour cream.
Featured

Do you like to eat?

When I was a kid in North Georgia, my grandparents on both sides always had amazing vegetable gardens.

And, when I was out of school in summer and was basically free labor, I was always asked to help in the garden.

It didn’t always sit very well with me that I had to give up my summer school break to pick cucumbers or pole beans on hot July days in Georgia.

“Why do I have to work in the garden?” I whined to my grandmother one day. “I don’t like it.”

“You like to eat though, don’t you?” she answered.

Needless to say, I picked cucumbers and pole beans that day.

Now, I’m not saying it requires that much work these days to eat well. In fact, it requires a lot less work, and even if you think it’s too hard or that you don’t have the right kitchen skills, I promise that you can cook well, and that you don’t need to be a fancy chef or buy fancy ingredients to eat very well.

Try some of my recipes out and you’ll see – you can cook, too.

Breakfast Tart with Bacon, Eggs, and Tomatoes on Phyllo

If you need something to serve for a weekend brunch, this tart fits the bill, and it’s very easy to assemble and bake.

INGREDIENTS

Cheese spread

  • 1/2 cup soft cheese (feta, chevre, cream cheese)
  • 1/3 cup grated swiss, mozzarella, or fontina
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Tart

  • 10 sheets phyllo dough
  • Oil-based cooking spray
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, drained on paper towels for five minutes
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup grated swiss, mozzarella, or fontina
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

METHOD

Cheese Spread

In a small bowl combine cheeses, oregano, salt and pepper; combine until completely blended. Set aside.

Tart

  1. Lightly grease a jellyroll pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place 1 phyllo sheet on the bottom of the pan and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  3. Layer two more phyllo sheets, spraying each phyllo sheet with cooking spray before adding the next.
  4. Add 1/3 of the prepared cheese spread over the third phyllo sheet dropping it evenly over the dough (don’t worry, it will spread out while baking).
  5. Continue to layer 3 more sheets, spraying each phyllo sheet with cooking spray before adding the next.
  6. Spread 1/2 of the remaining cheese spread over the stack of phyllo sheets.
  7. Layer the last 4 phyllo sheets, spraying each phyllo sheet with cooking spray before adding the next.
  8. Spread the remaining cheese spread over the last sheet.
  9. Add halved tomatoes on top.
  10. Make three indentations in the dough and crack one egg into each.
  11. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
  12. Top with cheese.
  13. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until phyllo is a golden brown and eggs are cooked.
  14. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Grilled Hanger Steak

If you haven’t tried hanger steak, you should! It’s easy to make an oh-so-tender – and with this marinade, packed with great flavor.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup cabernet

1 tsp. minced rosemary

1 tsp. minced chives

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

METHOD

  1. Place steak in resealable container (a ziplock bag works)
  2. Mix other ingredients well and pour into container with steak.
  3. Reseal container, making sure to squeeze out air if using bag. Make sure steak has marinade on all sides.
  4. Marinate steak, refrigerated, for at least 3 hours, but up to 8.
  5. When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high. Grill steak for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.

Parmesan Zucchini Fries

These are not actually “fried,” they’re baked, so don’t worry about the calories.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 cup Panko or Italian breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 4 medium or two large zucchini, sliced into 4-inch long ½-inch wide fries
• 2 large eggs, beaten

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine panko or bread crumbs and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Working in batches, dip zucchini into eggs, then dredge in panko or breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat.
  4. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon Sunday Chicken

If you are looking for a great, easy chicken recipe for Sunday dinner, this is it.

INGREDIENTS

1 4-5 lb. chicken

1 stick butter

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. rosemary, minced + 1 whole sprig

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 onion

4 lemons

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dry chicken off throughly with paper towels. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken.
  3. Melt the butter and add the olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and zest of four lemons.
  4. Insert 1/2 onion, 1/2 lemon, and sprig of rosemary into chicken cavity.
  5. Baste outside of chicken with butter mixture. Use all of it!
  6. Roast chicken at 425 for 45 minutes. Check to make sure the outside isn’t burning. If it is, tent it with aluminum foil.
  7. Baster bird with juices and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Keto Taco Pie

Keto, gluten-free and so yummy.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey

• 1 package taco seasoning

• I 14.5-Oz can crushed tomatoes

• 3 green onions, thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup salsa

• 1 cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded, divided

• 4 large eggs

• 2/3 cup heavy cream

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Prepare an 8×8 inch casserole dish by greasing with butter or Pam.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When skillet is hot, add ground beef, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. 

3. Drain beef and stir in taco seasoning and canned tomatoes. Cool while continuing with the next step.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Stir in the green onions, salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the salt.

5. Stir prepared taco meat into the egg mixture. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. 

6. Bake pie in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is brown and the pie is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

7. Serve with toppings such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, or whatever else you like.

Pork Souvlaki

Add some Tzatziki sauce on the side to amp up this already amazing flavor.

Ingredients

2 lbs. pork tenderloin

1 bell pepper, any color

1 red onion

Marinade:

3 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic

1 lemon

2 tsp. dried oregano

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

Method

  1. Cut tenderloin into 1-inch chunks and place in resealable plastic bag or container.
  2. Mix all marinade ingredients together well. Add to bag.
  3. Marinate meat for at least 24 hours in refrigerator.
  4. Just before grilling, alternate meat and chunks of bell pepper and onion on skewers.
  5. Grill over medium-high heat until slightly charred on the edges. When the pork is done, it will feel firm to the touch.

Horiatiki Salad

Simple, fresh, full of Greek flavors. Perfect way to use summer tomatoes and cucumbers.

INGREDIENTS

Produce

  • 5 large tomatoes, large, sliced into bite-sized sections
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives

Baking & Spices

  • About 2 tsp. Sea salt
  • About 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Dairy

  • 1 (4-ounce) container Feta cheese

METHOD

  1. Add tomatoes and onions to bowl. Sprinkle with salt and oregano. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour to draw out the juice from the tomatoes.
  2. Add bell pepper, olives and cucumber to bowl.
  3. Place feta on top of salad and drizzle olive oil over. Finish off with black pepper.

Marinated Grilled Pork Chops

This marinade gives the chops a nice, golden crust on the outside that tastes amazing.

INGREDIENTS

  • Four large bone-in pork chops
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

METHOD

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Place chops in a sealable bag and pour marinade over. Marinate for up to 8 hours refrigerated before cooking.
  3. Grill pork chops until inner temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

OPTIONS

When you feel like changing it up, these make great additions to this marinade:

  • 2 tsps. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger

Apple, Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Pecans

This is a delicious side salad that goes great with grilled meats like chicken or pork chops.

INGREDIENTS

Salad:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach (or arugula)
  • 1 large firm apple, diced or sliced thinly
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grainy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions (1/2 cup uncooked quinoa in 1 cup boiling water, usually). Let cool.
  2. Add pecans to skillet and toast until they become fragrant. Watch to make sure they don’t burn. Cool pecans.
  3. Add spinach, apples, cranberries, and apple to salad bowl. Drizzle some lemon juice over apples to make sure they don’t turn dark.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  5. Add cooled quinoa and pecans to salad bowl and toss.
  6. Add dressing to salad just before serving.

Strawberry Crumble

Easy to make. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.


INGREDIENTS 

4 cups strawberries, sliced (one large container)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, cut into cubes

METHOD

  1. Put strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar in 8×8 baking dish. Let sit while mixing topping. 
  2. Add sugar, flour, baking powder and salt to medium bowl.  Mix well. 
  3. Add egg and combine well with flour mixture. When dough comes together sprinkle over the strawberries. 
  4. Cube butter and arrange evenly over the dough. 
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.