Wednesday, December 25, 2013

3rd Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party!!

Red Beans and Rice with Puerto Rican Fried Chicken

Red Beans and Rice is a staple in Puerto Rico. They enjoy this meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is one of Ivan's favorites and I try and make it for him every couple of weeks.

Ivans Dad visited us from Puerto Rico!

Chicken Corn Chowder

All I have to say about this soup is...yummy. I love a good corn chowder. Add chicken to that, and I am in heaven. This soup was really tasty and now I am ruined from eating anyone elses corn chowder- this is by far my favorite recipe!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

General Tsos Chicken with Egg Fried Rice

I  don't love General Tsos Chicken when we order take out from our favorite Chinese restaurant. Ivan only orders it so I figured I would recreate the dish to please both of our palates. I was amazed how much I LOVED this meal!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This Weeks Dinner Menu

I was actually pretty productive today.. and went grocery shopping for the week!
Lately I have been just shopping daily as I can't seem to get up and fight the
Sunday crowds at our grocery store. Today I fought the crowds
and feel so much more relaxed I don't have to go to the 
store every day after work!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Multi Squash Soup

Do you love squash? I do.. and when fall rolls around I usually make butternut squash soup multiple times. Today while at the grocery store I saw dozens of beautiful squash and thought to myself... why not? I picked 4 of the prettiest ones and decided to make a 4 squash soup using Butternut, White Acorn, Gold Acorn, and Gold Nugget. I toasted the seeds from all 4 and topped the bowls off. The flavor from each squash gave the soup a beautiful dimension and I am excited to make this again many more times.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly Dinner Ideas

I go days without posting and it's not because I haven't been cooking, but because some meals I just don't think are picture worthy. I decided each Monday to post our dinner line-up for the week. This way if you are being budget conscious ( as we are this week) you can still cook a deliciously simple meal. 

Weekly Menu
For the week ending Friday, August 30th

Ham and Swiss Panini- Black Forest Ham and Swiss Cheese
melted on 12-Grain Bread served with Tater Tots

Buttermilk Fried Chicken- Seasoned Fried Chicken served with Macaroni and Cheese

Cinnamon French Toast- Home Made Cinnamon Raisin French Toast served with Bacon and Scrambled Eggs topped with Cheddar Cheese

Spaghetti and Meatballs- Angel Hair Pasta with Chunky Marinara topped with Beef and Pork Meatballs, Parmesan and served with Garlic Bread 

Sweet and Sour Chicken- Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken served with Egg Fried Rice

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

Whats for dinner tonight??Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise!

Grilled Chicken with Pasta Salad

What for dinner tonight???Grilled Chicken with Pasta Salad! I have been craving pasta salad and I only  ever make it for BBQ's. I decided to make this tonight as our side to grilled chicken. Wow! So simple to make and you can prep everything a day before to make this an easy 20 minute meal the day of. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Birthday Surprises

My 26th birthday falls on a Wednesday this year so we decided to celebrate over the weekend. One of our friends came into town, and we planned on doing lots of eating and drinking. Little did I know, Ivan and my friends had a plan all along. The girls took me out for a few drinks, and at our second bar I got a text from Ivan that he locked himself out. When I got home, the girls and I walked inside to.... a very big SURPRISE!! All of my friends were there to celebrate my birthday! The house was filled with decorations, a keg and lots of food. What a great surprise! Here are some photos:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Red Beans and Rice Topped with Fried Egg and Avocado

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs


1 Lb lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
2 Eggs
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 C Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 C Parsley, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
2 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
1 C Lukewarm Water
Olive Oil
Marinara Sauce


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl combine the beef and pork. Add cheese, eggs, onion, parsley, garlic, and seasonings. Mix together with your hands until the mixture is blended.

Add the breadcrumbs and mix.

Slowly add in the water. Mix for another minute.

Pour olive oil on a baking dish and set aside.

Shape the meat into balls ( whatever size you prefer- I like larger meatballs)
Place the meatballs on the baking dish

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until browned.

Once you put the meatballs in the oven you can begin making your marinara sauce.

I used a jar of store bought sace but made a few changes. First I added olive oil to a pan and cooked some minced garlic. I then added a can of diced tomatoes, and seasoned the pan. Once the tomatoes were simmering with the garlic, I added 1/2 jar of  my store bought sauce. This made the sauce really flavorful, without taking much time and effort in making my own marinara sauce.

I served the meatballs and sauce over angel hair pasta with parmesan and parsley as a garnish.

Cucumber Avocado Minto Gazpacho

Cucumber Avocado Minto Gazpacho


1 English Cucumber, seeded, skin on
2 Cucumbers, peeled and seeded
3  Green Onions , chopped
1/2 C Mint, chopped
1 cup fresh Spinach, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Cilantro
½ to ¾ cup water
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 teaspoon Lemon zest
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
1 Avocado
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Pinch White Pepper


1/2 C roasted walnuts
 Olive Oil
Mint leaves, finely chopped


Add cucumbers, green onions, mint, spinach, and water  in a large pot, and with an immersion blender puree.

Add garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil. Pulse to blend.

Add yogurt, avocado, salt, and pepper and puree for 2 minutes

If the gazpacho seems a little thick, you can add 1/4 c water.

Place the soup in the refrigerator for 1 hour

Once refridgerated, taste to ensure seasoning is sufficient

Pour in bowls and garnish with olive oil, chopped mint leaves, and toasted walnuts

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Watermelon Gazpacho



1 large tomato, seeds removed ( or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 avocado


In a food processer, chop the tomatoes, onion, 1/2 the cucumber  and  watermelon until it has reached your desired consistency (I like to leave mine a little chunky). Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse a couple of times.

Pour into chilled bowls and garnish your bowls with the remaining  cucumber,  your dill, avocado, and feta and season with salt and pepper.

BBQ Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers



1/2 cup cooked brown rice
 3/4 C Peanuts, roasted & salted (process until crumbly bits)
2 Sweet Potatoes (oven baked)
1 Can Cannellini White Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Can Black Beans, drained rinsed
2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce
1/4 Cup Onion, diced
2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp.  Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

Burger Buns
Avocado (tossed in lemon juice)
1 Tomato
BBQ sauce


Cook the sweet potato in the oven at 425 degrees for about an hour, or until fully cooked. Then peel off the skin. Mash.

In a food processor, process the peanuts until they are fully chopped.

Cook the rice according to the package to yield 1/2 a cup.

Add the sweet potato, peanuts, rice, chopped onion, beans, BBQ sauce, and seasonings in a large bowl. Mash together until thick and creamy.

Mold patties together: about a handful a patty and place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Pull the patties out of the oven.  Cook in a skillet with a touch of olive oil for 2 minutes on each side. This will crisp up the patties.

 Serve on a bun with mayo, BBQ sauce, tomato and avocado!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Fried Chicken Sandwich and Sun Dried Tomato Mac and Cheese

I have made this before- this time the only twist is.. I chopped up sun dried tomatoes and while making the cheese sauce, I tossed them in.... Definitely a great addition, and the flavor of the mac and cheese was delish!

Fried Chicken Sandwich
  • 3 Boneless chicken breasts
  • 2  C Buttermilk
  • 1  1/2 C Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp Adobo
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Parsley
  • Buns
  • 1 Tomato
  • Mayo
  • Oil for frying


Day Before:
Place the chicken in a large ziploc bag. Add the flour, buttermilk, and seasonings.
Zip the bag up and shake. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
The next day:
Heat vegetable oil ( enough to cover all your chicken) or peanut oil in a large stock pot until 300 degrees
Place chicken in the boiling oil and cook until the chicken is browned.
Cut the chicken and make sure that it is fully cooked.
Serve on a bun with mayo.

Sundried Tomato Mac and Cheese

Pasta ( 1 box, any kind you prefer)
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Flour
1 C Whole Milk
1/2 Chicken Broth
5 Oz Shredded Sharp Yellow Cheddar
8 Oz Shredded Sharp White Cheddar
Sundried Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

In a pan cook onion and garlic in a little bit of butter until translucent. Add seasonings.

Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in milk and chicken broth for a few minutes.

Add the cheeses and sundried tomatoes.

Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes or until all cheese is melted.

Taste for flavor, and add more seasonings if you need.

Boil water and add the pasta.

Cook the pasta al dente and drain.

Pour cheese sauce over noodles and serve


Monday, June 3, 2013


  •  -------------Ingredients------------
    1 Lb Ground Beef
    1 Lb Ground Pork
    1 C Chopped Pancetta
    1 Onion, chopped
    3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 Bay Leaves
    1/2 C Red or White Wine ( I used red)
    2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
    1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
    1 C Beef Stock
    Olive Oil
    Pasta of your choice


    Heat 3 tbsp of  olive oil and butter and add the pancetta.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden…

    Chop your vegetables as small as you can and add them to the pan with pancetta

    Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

    Add beef and pork, and season and cook until browned

    Once the meat is cooked, add the wine and turn up the  heat to cook for another  3-5 minutes to burn off alcohol…

    Lastly add the tomato paste,  tomatoes and beef stock…

    Summer for an hour... season more if needed.

    Let the sauce cool and refrigerate for at least 1 day to absorb all the flavors.

    One day later, cook the pasta and serve the sauce over the noodles. 

Asopao de Pollo


While we were in Italy, Ivan's dad made this soup that was so delicious I just had to have his recipe. I switched a few things up but in the end the taste was very similar and this is a meal we are going to keep making over and over again. so good!!

The things I changed so if you want to make this a bit differently you can to
I roasted the chicken in onions, garlic, and olive oil.  I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, parsley, oregano, and adobo.  Ivan's dad used the pressure cooker- which definitely saves time- you can do either way

I used saffron seasoned rice because I couldn't find saffron, but you can also use long grain white rice and season yourself with saffron.

Asopao de Pollo

  • 3 Split Chicken Breasts 
  • 5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1  Large Onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 Whole Garlic Cloves
  • Garlic Salt
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Adobo
  • 1 Cup Rice ( or saffron rice)
  • Saffron
  • 5 Cups Chicken Broth

Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, parsley, oregano, and adobo
 and let the chicken marinade in olive oil for 4-6 hours

Chop onion and place in the pan with the chicken, then add garlic cloves

Cook chicken in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees for 1 hour

When the chicken is finished cooking, take out of the oven and place on top of the stove

Heat your pressure cooker, and add the red pepper, chicken broth, and rice. Cook on high for 25 minutes

Once the rice is done, shred the chicken and add to the pressure cooker