Blue Ribbon Chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken

This recipe is my super-basic take on the ever-so-delicous Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is typically breaded and fried.  I am trying to lighten up recipes and cut down on bad fats and carbs, so I got creative and simply increased the flavors and baked it!  You will fall in love with this recipe not only because it hits all the flavor notes: creamy, salty, and tangy; but also it does not take long to prep in the kitchen, as the ingredient list is short and sweet!  I lighten up the normally breaded chicken and throw in a flavor boost by substituting Dijon Mustard for the panko or breadcrumbs.  This adds a zippy coating to the outside of the chicken that is absolutely divine.  I also use Smoked Ham instead of regular to increase the flavor depth.  I considered using proscuitto instead of ham, but didn’t want to overpower the chicken with the saltiness of the proscuitto since I was using Swiss and Brie cheese.  This recipe should be easy to change up by trying a different type of meat and experimenting with various cheeses.  I knew I wanted to use the Swiss, because it pairs so well with Dijon, and I just happened to have some leftover brie I needed to use up, so I thought, Why the heck not?!?!  And the results were FANTASTIC!

I thought the most difficult part of this recipe was going to be butterflying the chicken.  I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out not to be as messy and disastrous as I had imagined.  The most important part when butterflying is to be sure you are using a nice, clean dry chicken breast and you have a well sharpened knife.  A good knife will slice through the chicken easily, and not tear or rip the meat apart.  So, just take your time and be careful and I’m sure you will be just as successful as I was!  Now I can’t wait to butterfly more chicken and stuff it with all types of different ingrendients and bake it!  Perfect for a Healthy Dinner!

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese

Spinach, Garlic & Feta

Artichoke, Sundried Tomato & Olive

Pepperocini, Salami & Provolone

All of these options sound like they need to be taste tested… But I digress…….those will have to be tried at a later date.  Now, back to my Blue Ribbon Chicken.


Yummmmmm, looks amazing, doesn’t it???  Ok, here’s how you make it!

First you grab these basic ingredients out of your fridge:

Smoked Ham, Sliced Brie, Sliced Swiss, Dijon Mustard and Black Pepper


Pretty Simple,  just as I promised!  Next, make sure your chicken breasts are clean and dry and give them a quick butterfly then season the inside with Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.


Butterflied Chicken Breasts with Ingredients Ready!


How To Butterfly a Chicken Breast

Place your chicken breast on a cutting board and (with your hand flat on top of it) use a sharp knife to slice halfway into one side of the breast….starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be very careful not to cut all the way through to the other side! Then open the breast up so that it resembles a butterfly.  And voilà, a perfectly gorgeous butterflied chicken breast.  You can also pound it out a little bit now between wax paper to allow the chicken to cook evenly.

Layer the Ingredients inside the butterflied chicken breast.

Now, the chicken breasts are butterflied, opened and seasoned.  Next you start to layer.  First put a small dollop of Dijon Mustard on each breast.  Then layer a Slice of Swiss Cheese, 2 Slices of Smoked Ham and 2 Slices of Brie Cheese.

Coat the Chicken Breast Dijon Mustard and Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Lastly, close up the now stuffed chicken and coat the outside in Dijon Mustard and Fresh Ground Black Pepper.  You can use a bamboo toothpick to help keep the fillings in, but I was OK with some of it leaking out to help create a “sauce” so I actually skipped this step.  Depending on the ingredients,  you might need to use one to help with the seal.  Just be sure to SOAK WOODEN TOOTHPICKS IN WATER for 15 minutes before you use them so they won’t burn in the oven!


This isn’t a gorgeous picture, but here it is, fresh out of the oven. You can see the gorgeous juices  it made and allowed the chicken to stay nice and moist.


Bake 385º for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done (the juices run clear or 160º) and the cheese is all melty and bubbly.  Serve with any green veggie!  I made  Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Peppers with a little EVOO, Garlic Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.


Blue Ribbon Chicken


Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this!  I hope you try it and fall in love.  This one with definitely be making its rounds in my weekly recipe rotation.  You can even make and stuff the chicken ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you are ready!


Heat Oven to 385º.  Spray Casserole Dish or Pyrex  with nonstick spray.  Butterfly Chicken Breasts and season with salt and pepper.  Dollop a teaspoon of Dijon Mustard on each opened breast and smear.  Layer Swiss, Ham and Brie into butterflied chicken.  Close Chicken tightly keeping all ingredients inside and seal with a few toothpicks, if using.  Season outside of stuffed chicken with fresh pepper & salt.   Then coat entire outside of each chicken breast with 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.  Put in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is done!


The salty, smokey, creamy chicken is just oozing with flavor.

And here is a quick pic of my side!

Before Roasting:

Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Peppers heading to the oven to roast!



We like a little bit of char on our Roasted Veggies!


And, I forgot I added a few torn pieces of leftover bacon that we had cooked that morning for breakfast.  I added it to the veggies the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.  The bacon was already cooked, so I just wanted to warm it up and let some of the grease get in those veggies for another pop of flavor!



Follow ME for more recipes!





Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup

Yes, you read that right…..I said CHEESEBURGER SOUP.

And, it is so scrumptious, filling and tasty that you are going to find it becomes a regular in your meal plan rotation.  My husband devoured it and BOTH kids came back for seconds….and the only soup they will eat is the Clear Broth at the Hibachi Style Restaurants and Chili (if you count that!). So, take my advice, and give this one a try… you will NOT be disappointed!  The soup literally tastes like a hot, juicy, delicious cheeseburger.  Although it does not photograph well, please do not doubt the tastiness!  My entire family will vouch for it!  Enjoy!

Cheeseburger Soup


In large soup pot, brown beef with salt, pepper and spices.  Add Onion and Celery and sauté 3 minutes.  Add Carrot and Garlic.  Cook 2 minutes or until Garlic is fragrant.  Add Tomato Paste and let cook out.  Add Mustard and Ketchup.  Mix to Combine.  Add knob of butter and sprinkle flour over mixture.  Stir to combine flour and cook for 3 minutes until flour is incorporated.  Gradually add Beer to thicken mixture.  Add Beef stock and bring to a simmer.  Add Hashbrowns and simmer until soup thickens.  Lower heat and add the Cheese in slowly, by the handful, until melted into the soup.  Slowly pour in Half & Half and stir to combine .  Taste.  Season with Salt, Pepper and Fresh Parsley.  Serve with Crispy Fried Onion Rings, Bacon, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Scallions…..


Follow Me

Instagram: @eatdrinkbe

Twitter: @eatdrinkbeKari

Facebook: Eat, Drink & Be Kari



Cheeseburger Pie

Have you Ever Heard of

CheeseBurger Pie???

…Me neither! 🤣

But, My Kids LOVE it!!!

My MIL made them Cheeseburger Pie when she came to babysit last month,  and now they are BOTH requesting it.  That’s right….


So, I just had to share with you a dinner that I can add to the (very short) list I like to call:  “Dinners Both Kids Will Eat”.  These dinners, as we all know, are few and far between, so when I find one, I feel its my parental duty to share!!!

I made my first one this week, by request, and only have one picture taken right out of the oven, pre-slicing.  The kids (and hubby!!!) gobbled it up so fast, I never had a chance to get a good pic of a slice. I’m sure I’ll be making this again next week. I’ll try and snap a pic then and update the post.  As for now, I wanted to get the recipe out to y’all asap!!! Enjoy and share with all the parents you know!  This ones a life changer!  Nana made the original recipe from and I have made a few adaptations.  Here’s my version below:

cheeseburger pie



  • Heat Oven 400° F.  Make sure the oven rack is in the middle.  Coat one 9-inch pie dish with Cooking Spray.
  • Warm frying pan over medium heat.  Warm 1 tablespoon Oil.  Add diced onion.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 5 mins or so until golden but not brown. Raise Heat to Med-High and add ground beef, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Stirring occasionally until the meat is browned.  Add Worcestershire sauce and stir.  Then add garlic and cook 1-2 mins until fragrant, but not burned!!! Take off heat and Drain Off Fat.  Spread cooked meat mixture evenly into the pie dish.
  • In food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Add the cold butter pats and pulse until mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs.  Add milk and eggs and pulse until mixture is blended.
  • Pour batter over meat mixture in the pie dish.
  • Top with shredded cheese of choice (totaling about a cup).
  • Bake until set and a gorgeous golden brown.  About 25-35 mins or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes.  Slice and served garnished with fresh chopped parsley or chives.


You can change this basic recipe up tons of ways!!! Simple additions depending on your families tastes and preferences.  Heres a list of some simple, delicious ingredients to add:

  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Red Pepper
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Pepperocini
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Tomatoes

If your kids won’t eat chopped Onion and Garlic, you can always try adding 1 tsp Onion Powder and 1 tsp Garlic Powder.

 Or try adding Sliced Scallions or Green Onion.

Experiment with your favorite 🧀Cheese on top.  Feta, Mozzarella, Parm, Goat,Blue, Fontina…the list goes on and on!!!

🌶🌶🌶Spice It Up a little with some Hot Sauce, Crushed Red Pepper or Cayenne.


Be Sure to FOLLOW ME:

FB, IG, Twitter & Pinterest for more great ideas!


Eat, Drink & Be Kari







Mediterranean Pan-Seared Halibut with Zoodles

This dish is light, simple & flavorful.  A gorgeous take on the flavors from the Mediterranean with a healthy twist…..Zoodles. Or, Zucchini Noodles.  Welcome to a whole new world without pasta. YOU WON’T EVEN MISS THE PASTA!!! I PROMISE!

And the Sauce……



The SAUCE……..

Mediterranean pan-seared Halibut with zoodles


Heat Non-Stick Pan to  Med-High.  Season Halibut with Sea Salt and Fresh Groud Pepper. Sear in Coconut Oil about 3 mins per side. Remove from pan and lightly tent with foil.  Using the SAME Hot Pan, add your Garlic and sauté 2 minutes or until fragrant, being careful not to let the garlic burn!  Add in the White Wine, Artichokes, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to med-low.  Simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce is just reduced.  (Taste for seasoning.  Might need to add Fresh Ground Pepper, but not a lot of salt because of the brininess of the olives and capers!)  Add in Zoodles and cook 2 minutes or al dente.  This step will not take long….just long enough to heat the Zoodles through.  Finish with a pat of Butter, a spritz of Lemon, and some fresh Parsley.  Plate Zoodles and Sauce.  Top with Halibut, and a bit more Sauce.  Serve with fresh  torn Basil (and Pine Nuts, if desired).

Eat. Drink. Be

Eat. Drink. Be

All about zoodles

So, a Spiralizer takes……. NOT MUCH PRACTICE AT ALL!!! It is super convenient, simple to use, and pretty easy to clean.  I strongly suggest investing in one asap.  You can also use it for other veggies too….cucumbers, carrots, etc.  It really opens up some RAW and Healthy options for you! The best way I have learned, is to start at the bottom of the Zucchini, and hold the top part were it was attached to the plant.  It seems like less waste that way.  If you are nervous at first, I suggest watching a video online!  You’ll be shocked and amazed how quick and easy it is!  I think that’s what I had to do my first time! #NoShame

Also, I’ve found the easiest method is to lay out a few sheets of Paper Towels and Spiralize right onto the Paper Towel.  This helps absorb any extra moisture from the Zoodles, and its perfect for storage.  I will spriralize a few extra Zucchini because the Zoodles keep beautifully for about 5 days!!!! Simply roll the leftover Zoodles up in the paper towels, place in a ziplock bag, and store in the refrigerator to eat on all week!!!! It doesn’t get any easier than that!!!


Eat. Drink. Be

Facebook Eat, Drink & Be Kari

 Instagram @eatdrinkbe

Twitter @eatdrinkbeKari

Tumblr @eatdrinkbekari


Sage Butter Pork Chops with Beet Puree and Swiss Chard

This recipe popped up on my email the other day from and it looked absolutely GORGEOUS! Take a look….

C John Kernick

© John Kernick

See, I told you!!! The vibrant colors. The simple, rustic plating. It was also right down the hubbys alley! So, I got the ingredients and gave it a go….and the outcome was mouthwatering delicious. The meat was succulent, savory perfection atop the sweet, rustic beet (and potato!!!!) purée.  The combo was killer, and I can not WAIT to make the purée again and again. Honestly, it was the star of the show. I had no idea it was going to turn out bright magenta and my favorite item on the plate. Surprisingly, my hubby agreed. The beet purée was his favorite as well. I followed the Food and Wine recipe as closely as I was able, but I did make a few adjustments. Here is the basic recipe from Food & Wine:

Pork Chops in Sage Butter with Beet Purée and Swiss Chard


2 large red beets (1 pound), halved
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1/2 pound)
1 stick unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Four 12-ounce bone-in pork rib chops, cut 1 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sage sprig
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves chopped


In a large saucepan, combine the beets and potatoes. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the beets and potatoes are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and potatoes, and then coarsely chop; transfer to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Rub the pork chops all over with 2 tablespoons of the olive 
oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, 7 to 8 minutes.Turn the chops and add the garlic, sage and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook until the chops are golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the pork chops to plates and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the butter into the skillet; season with salt. Strain the sage butter through a fine sieve over the pork chops. Reserve the crispy sage leaves and discard the garlic.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chard in large handfuls; let each batch wilt slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the chard is wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pork chops with the beet puree and Swiss 
chard and garnish with the crispy sage leaves.

The beet puree can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
Pair this dish with a lightly earthy Burgundy.

Ok, so there is the original recipe. I only changed up a few things. A few simple additions to brighten the flavors of the purée a bit and a small addition to the lemon-butter sauce made this recipe a bit more Karified….you know I can’t follow a recipe if my life depended on it! I’ll make the final adjustments and share the version with you all! But, I had to give credit to the F&W peeps for this creative, vibrant, luscious, rustic dinner and share the recipe with y’all asap!!! TRY THE BEET PURÉE….YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!!






Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas


Ok, we’ve all seen this recipe floating around.  I’ve personally seen it so many different places, I can’t give proper credit to the original.  For that, I apologize.  As for you, dear readers, I decided to try it out!  I made up my spice mixture, and the results were DELICIOUS!!!! I couldn’t wait to share it with y’all!  Try it, you’ll love it.  Skinny, delicious, and easy clean-up!  The perfect recipe for a Weeknight supper!  These are the ingredients I had onhand, so this is what I used!  Feel free to add or omit as needed! For example, if you don’t like mushrooms or tomatoes…leave them out! Only like red bell peppers and not green….no problem, double up on the red or add an orange or yellow.  The recipe is basic and pretty much foolproof.  Make it like you like it!!!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

Slice Ingredients

Add Sliced Ingredients into Greased Dish


Coat with Spice Mixture

Coat with Spice Mixture & Oil.  Mix to Combine.


Bake in Oven

Bake in Oven…it smells YUMMY!!!


It's Taco Time!!! Top with fresh Cilantro and a squeeze of fresh Lime!

It’s Taco Time!!! Top with fresh Cilantro and a squeeze of fresh Lime!

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas


  • 1 lb Organic boneless, skinless Chicken (Breasts or Strips), cut into strips
  • 2 T Organic Grapeseed Oil (or light Oil)
  • 1 Organic Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Organic Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Organic Red Onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 Organic Yellow or White Onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 Package Organic Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, whole
  • 3-5 Cloves Organic Garlic, chopped


  • 2 T Organic Chili Powder
  • 1 T Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 T (Roasted) Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Organic Oregano
  • 1 tsp Organic Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Organic (Smoked) Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Organic Cayenne
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper


  • Tortillas of Choice (La Tortilla Factory)
  • Organic Greek Yogurt or Light Sour Cream
  • Organic Cilantro
  • 1 Organic Lime
  • Organic Lime Wedges

*Preheat Oven 400.  Combine all Seasonings into small bowl and mix to combine.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 Baking Dish.  Add all Ingredients to the dish.  Sprinkle Seasoning over Chicken and Veggies.  Drizzle Oil.  Mix with your hands to combine and evenly distribute the Seasoning.  Bake 30-45 minutes, stirring once.  Enjoy!



* Pop chicken in the freezer for 15 mins before slicing.

* Like it spicy?  Substitute Poblano Peppers or add in a few Jalapeños.

* Have some Leftover?  Make a Fajita Taco Salad or a Fajita Wrap, or add some chicken broth and have a nice Soup the next day for lunch or dinner!!!


Follow Me:


on Facebook: Hotcookin’




Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasted Cabbage “Steaks” & Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper

 with Rosemary Mustard Roasted Reds

Farm Fresh Ingredients

Farm Fresh Ingredients


How gorgeous are these farm fresh goodies?!?! I mean, WOW.  Simply stunning. There’s nothing I love more than roaming through my Local Farmers Market and pick up some gorgeous produce (and, who are we kidding…possibly some cheese, maybe some honey….and, really, who can escape without a loaf of crusty fresh baked bread….).  I can’t wait to create a meal out of this! Here’s what I came up with.  And, it was absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious.  I turned a simple cabbage into a hearty “steak” of a meal.  You won’t even believe how filling it is.  It was so darn good, I just had to share it with y’all!

This is what a Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper Cabbage Steak looks like before it goes into the oven!

This is what a Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper Cabbage Steak looks like before it goes into the oven!

Honestly, this is so easy to make, it’s going to blow your mind you’ve never cooked cabbage this way before.  I’m not a superhuge fan of cooked cabbage.  Especially if it gets all smushy and mushy and slimy.  No thank you, I’ll pass.  Now, when you ROAST it something divine happens…it caramelizes and crisps and is so wonderfully delicious that you forget you’re eating cabbage.

Red New Potatoes, Rosemary and Garlic

Red New Potatoes, Rosemary and Garlic

I bought some red potatoes and was feeling kinda lazy, so I decided to do a one pan roast.  Who’s not for easy clean up, am I right!?!?!  I cut a few long stems of Rosemary from my garden and placed the red potatoes and a few whole garlic cloves on top.  Drizzled with EVOO and seasoned with Salt and Pepper.

Sliced and Seasoned Cabbage "Steaks"

Sliced and Seasoned Cabbage “Steaks”

Next, slice the Cabbage and Onion into large round discs.  Layer the Onion slice on top of the Cabbage slice.  Season with EVOO, salt & pepper.

Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper with Jalapeño

Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper with Jalapeño

Unfortunately, I didn’t take step-by-step pics of the bacon wrapped peppers.  No worries, its super simple.  Just slice the Red Pepper into chunky pieces.  Take a slice of jalapeño and place it inside the red pepper.  Then, take a slice of nice applewood bacon and wrap it around the 2 peppers.  I used a few different methods for wrapping…the basket-weave, the spiral, the wrap and tuck.  They all turned out perfect.  So, do whatever works for that particular hunk of pepper!  I also added a small slice of jalapeño on top so that my diners would know a jalapeño was inside. TIP: I would NOT recommend leaving it on top (like I did!!!!) while you roast it.  Leave it off and add the fresh green jalapeño on top before serving.  That way my guests know their dish may have a kick, but the small jalapeño piece on top won’t burn in the oven and looks wayyyy prettier!

That Red Pepper is snug all wrapped up in baaaaacon!

That Red Pepper looks all snug and delicious wrapped up in baaaaacon!


And, if you notice the potatoes in the background, I had a little bacon and red pepper leftover.  No to waste, I tucked it in between the rosemary potatoes and let the bacon drippings kick up the flavor!  This turned out to be an excellent idea.  TIP: Keep the bacon strips on the larger side if you use any in the potatoes so it will all cook evenly!

Here's a Birds Eye View

Here’s a Birds Eye View

Not too shabby for a one pan dinner!

If you don't like spice, you can always use a fresh herb (basil) instead.  But, top it AFTER roasting!!!

If you don’t like spice, you can always use a fresh herb (basil) instead. But, top it AFTER roasting!!!

Pop into a preheated oven!


Just imagine that bacon grease dripping down the onion and over the cabbage seasoning each bite from start to finish!

Roast 400 for 35-45 mins until desired doneness.

Potatoes are Perfect!

Potatoes are Perfect!

Spoon the Roasted Reds into a bowl.  Add any crispy, non-burnt pieces of Rosemary and squeeze the roasted Garlic out too!  Don’t leave that little piece of deliciousness behind!!!

Roasted Red Potatoes with Mustard, Rosemary & Roasted Garlic

Roasted Red Potatoes with Mustard, Rosemary & Roasted Garlic

To finish the potatoes, add a dollop of Whole Grain Mustard.  Season with Salt and Pepper and add a dash of EVOO if needed.

This is how we like it!

This is how we like it!

“Desired Doneness” is personal preference.  Our household (read: my hubby) likes bacon extra crispy (read: burnt!!!).  We also like the cabbage more done and crispy on the sides and top.  Feel free to take it out sooner or later depending on how you like it!

Cabbage Steaks, who knew?!?!

Cabbage Steaks, who knew?!?!

I served this to my husband and his best buddy Travis.  They are meat eaters…..def not vegetarians.  They both DEVOURED this!  I couldn’t believe how much they raved over it.  I was not expecting such delicious results!

Plate It Up!

Plate It Up!

Looking good, but see….this is where the fresh jalapeño or herb would look loverly on top instead of my seriously roasted chipotle pepper (read: burnt jalapeño).

Served with a side of Farm Fresh Corn with Local Butter and Sea Salt

Served with a side of Farm Fresh Corn with Local Butter and Sea Salt

Last, lightly drizzle a nice Aged Balsamic over the Steaks or use a Balsamic Glaze.  This puts it right over the top!

Fresh Tomatoes with Spicy Thai Cucumbers

Fresh Tomatoes with Spicy Sweet Thai Cucumbers

I also served a fresh, light side of Tomatoes & Thai Cucumbers.  Amazing.

Yeah, I'm gonna need to share this recipe with y'all soon!

Yeah, I’m gonna need to share this recipe with y’all soon!

Plate and DEVOUR!!!

Ready to Eat!!!

Ready to Eat!!!



Roasted Cabbage “Steaks”

1 Organic Cabbage, outer leaves pulled off, then sliced into rounds

1 Large Onion, sliced into rounds (I used Vidalia)

1 Red Pepper, sliced into chunks

Applewood Smoked Bacon, sliced in half if necessary (just need enough to wrap pepper)

1 Jalapeño, sliced into rounds (deseeded if you want less heat)

Good Quality EVOO

Good Quality Aged Balsamic

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

*Preheat Oven 400. Lightly Spray Baking Sheet with Non-Stick Olive Oil Cooking Spray.  Lay Cabbage Rounds down first, then place the Onion Rounds on top.  Drizzle with EVOO, Salt & Pepper.  Slice Red Pepper into long chunks, place a jalapeño slice inside (if using) and wrap with bacon.  Place the “tucked sides” underneath the bottom of the pepper and put the bacon wrapped pepper “tucked side down” on top of the onion.  Roast 35-45 mins until bacon is done and cabbage edges are brown and crispy!  Remove and carefully transfer to plate.  Drizzle with a nice Aged Balsamic before serving.


TIP: You can make this dish completely vegetarian by omitting the bacon wrapped pepper.  Cabbage Steaks are still delicious!  Add the Onion or leave it plain…..just add some garlic to up the flavor some!  I’ll post a recipe soon for Garlic Roasted Cabbage Steaks!

I also made this for the first time (as pictured) using parchment paper because I was afraid of the cabbage sticking to the baking sheet.  I found that when I used the parchment paper, the bottom of the cabbage steak didn’t brown and crisp as much.  So, in the directions I changed that part.  Feel free to experiment!


Rosemary Mustard Roasted Red Potatoes

Red Potatoes

Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

Applewood Bacon Slices

Red Pepper Slices

Whole Garlic Cloves


Sea Salt

Fresh Cracked Pepper

1-2  T Whole Grain Mustard

*Preheat Oven 400.  Spray Baking Sheet with Non-Stick Olive Oil Cooking Spray.  Lay Potatoes, Garlic, and Bacon & Red Pepper Slices ON TOP of Rosemary Sprigs.  Drizzle with EVOO, Sea Salt & Pepper.  Roast 35-45 mins until done.  Transfer to bowl and add 1-2  T Whole Grain Mustard. (you just need enough to lightly coat the potatoes.  Add 1 tsp EVOO if needed.) Season with Salt and Pepper.  Enjoy!  TIP: Be sure to add any delightful crispy bits of Rosemary that made it through the roasting without getting burnt!


I hope y’all try this.  You won’t be disappointed!



Facebook: Hotcookin’












Southern Tomato Pie

Southern Tomato Pie

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Summ-Summertime!!!

 Absolute perfection in two words: Tomato. Pie.

Sweet, Juicy, Ripe & Plump. Little colorful bursts of heaven.

Easily grown with a HUGE variety: Heirloom, Big Boy, Chocolate Cherry, Yellow Pear… these delightful tomatoes serve up spectacular dishes from snacks and apps all the way to the main course!

Savory Sweet Southern Tomato Pie

Savory Southern Tomato Pie


As Elegant and Lip-Smackin’ Good as this dish is,it is surprisingly,fabulously, summertime-tasticly, super simple to make!  Thank the Summertime Gods for smiling down on us with ripe, juicy tomatoes-a-plenty!  Here’s a tasty solution for what to do with your overabundance!  Lemme Break it down for ya.

This is what it looks like right before popping into the oven.

This is what it looks like right before popping into the oven!

Now, first things first.  Slice up those juicy plump tomatoes and lay them out on a couple layers of paper towels. Sprinkle them with Salt.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!  If you do, you will have a watery pie…and NO ONE likes a watery pie!  It’s best to let them sit out for at least a half hour on the paper towels.  Then, be sure to blot the topside as well with a paper towel before layering!  I only had a few gorgeous red tomatoes, but mixing up heirloom and different varietals in this recipe is always a plus!

Salt Tomatoes to Release Excess Moisture

Salt Tomatoes to Release Excess Moisture


To simplify tonight, I even used a pre-made piecrust and just jazzed it up a little.  Karified it! 🙂

Savory Rosemary Crust

Savory Rosemary Crust

Press a little fresh Chopped Rosemary and Coarse Ground Black Pepper into the unthawed pre-made piecrust lightly with your fingertips.  Bake 400 10-15 mins until just brown, or per instructions.

Rosemary Black Pepper Crust

The aromatic Rosemary will make your Kitchen smell divine!


While this is baking in the Oven, you want to go ahead and make your Shallot/Cheese Mixture.  Here’s whatcha need:

Shallots, Garlic, Chiles

Shallots, Garlic, Chiles

Finely Chop Shallots, Garlic and a few Chiles to taste!

Kitchen is starting to smell AMAZING!!!

Kitchen is starting to smell AMAZING!!!

Cook the garlic just a minute or two until fragrant, be careful not to burn it or it will turn bitter!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients


You can keep this super simple and just use Mayo and Cheddar Cheese, but…who are we kidding…When have I been know to do that?!?!?!  This is gonna be SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Add Ingredients to Garlic and Shallot Mixture

Add Ingredients to Garlic and Shallot Mixture

Horseradish, Duke’s Mayo, Herbed Goat Cheese, Shaved Parmesan, Lemon Zest, Salt & Pepper

Leave Mozzareall

Do NOT add Mozzarella, Chiles and Lemon Juice yet!

Fresh. Basil.

Toss is a few handfuls for Freshly Torn Basil

Next, Mix to combine cheeses.  The Shallots should still be warm, which will make this step easier.  Use Lemon Juice to thin out the mixture.  Depending on the size of your lemon, you will need about 1/2 to  the whole lemon.  I had a large lemon and only needed to use half!  You don’t want your mixture runny, just a thick but spreadable consistency.

Spread a THIN Layer onto your pie crust

Now, Let’s start assembling this Tomato Pie!

Start by spreading a THIN LAYER of the cheese and shallot mixture onto the bottom of the Pie Crust.  This extra step will help in keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy!

Layer your Delicious Tomatoes

Layer your Delicious Tomatoes

Next, add a Layer of Tomatoes

Cheese/Shallot Mixture & Fresh Mozzarella

Goat Cheese/Shallot Mixture & Fresh Mozzarella

Dollop the Goat Cheese Mixture and tear some Mozzarella on top the Tomato Layer

IMG_2443 IMG_2440


 Repeat if needed:

<— Tomato Layer

Cheese Layer —>

Absolutely Gorgeous!

Absolutely Gorgeous!

Finish Pie with Goat Cheese & Mozzarella.  Top with Shredded Parmesan, Fresh Basil, Chiles & EVOO.  Season with Salt & Pepper.

Oh My, now THAT'S A PIE!

Oh My, now THAT’S A PIE!



Pop in the Oven and Bake.


Fresh Out of the Oven!

TIP: Do NOT serve Immediately!

TIP: Do NOT serve Immediately!

As hard as this will be…..LET THE TOMATO PIE COOL for at least 15 mins.  It needs to set!!!

Best served warm with lightly dressed mixed greens

Best served warm with lightly dressed mixed greens

For a quick, healthy side….serve with leafy greens.  I dressed mine super simple and it was perfect.  Squeeze the last half of the lemon over Greens. Drizzle 1 tsp EVOO.  Season with Salt and Pepper. Toss. Serve.


Southern Tomato Pie

1 PreMade Pie Crust

2 Sprigs Rosemary, chopped

Coarse Black Pepper

2-4 Ripe Tomatoes, sliced

Handful Basil, torn


2 Shallots, minced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Chiles or Jalapeño, minced (to taste)

1/3 Cup Duke’s Mayonnaise

2 T Horseradish

8 oz. Herbed Goat Cheese Log, crumbled

1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan, divided

4 oz. Mozzarella, torn & divided

1 Organic Lemon, juice & zest

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

*Preheat Oven 350.  Slice Tomatoes and place on paper towels.  Sprinkle with Salt and allow to drain.  Set Aside.  Next, take pre-made Pie Crust and sprinkle with Rosemary and Coarse Black Pepper.  Press lightly with fingers into crust.  Bake according to piecrust instructions until just browning.  Remove from Oven and let cool.

*Meanwhile, Add 1 T EVOO to small Sauté Pan and sweat Shallots, Chiles, s&p about 3-5 mins until translucent.  Turn down heat to Med-Low.  Add Garlic and cook 2 mins more.  Stirring some so you don’t burn the garlic! Next, add your Dukes Mayo, Horseradish, Goat Cheese, 1/3 Cup Parmesan, Lemon Zest, Torn Basil, Lemon Juice, salt & pepper.  Mix to combine.

*In Cooled Savory Pie Crust, spread a THIN LAYER of Goat Cheese Mixture on the bottom.  Add a Layer of Tomatoes.  Then a Layer of dollops of Goat Cheese Mixture and Torn Mozzarella.  Add another Layer of Tomatoes.  Top with Goat Cheese Mixture, Torn Mozzarella, Torn Basil, and a few fresh chiles.  Drizzle with 1 T EVOO and Season with Salt & Pepper.

*Bake 350 for 30 Mins or until top is brown and bubbly!

*Let cool for 15 mins before serving!



  • Substitue ANY cheese you like.  Swap the Goat Cheese for Feta.  Use Shredded Mozzarella if you need to.  Swap Parmesan for Asiago. Really, anything goes here.
  • Even if you DESPISE MAYONNAISE… REALLY REALLY REALLY need it for this recipe.  I cut it down to a super small amount.  I PROMISE you won’t even know it’s in there.  My hubby HATES mayo, and he LOVED this!  Trust me.
  • If you want to make your own crust….go for it!  Add the herbs in at the end as its coming together!  Using a pre-made pie crust that you roll out…no worries.  Simply add the Rosemary and Pepper on top and press it in with your fingers or a rolling pin before you lay it in the pie plate.
  • For the Love of All Things Soggy…..DON’T FORGET TO SLICE, SALT & DRAIN YOUR TOMATOES.  I can not emphasize this enough.  That’s the last I’m gonna say about that…
  • If your Crust Starts to get to brown, use a pie crust shield or some foil around the edges to prevent burning!
  • Experiment with different types of tomatoes.  The result is sure to be Gorgeously Delicious!!!


And that’s that.

My Version of Southern Tomato Pie, Baby.

Enjoy! Kari






Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Under the weather?  Feeling a little blah? Or just need some soup to help you warm up?  The normal “go to” recipe would be basic Chicken Noodle Soup.  But, I am not a huge fan.  So I created a new “go to” soup for the sick soul.  A Thai version of Chicken Noodle Soup that packs a little heat to help open up my stuffy nose.  I’ve also cut the fat and calories down as much as possible to create a “skinny” version.  This soup is packed full of so much flavor, you don’t even miss it!  The onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and fresh lime juice add some serious health benefits to get me back on the road to recovery!

Warm and Comforting with a little KICK!

Warm and Comforting with a little KICK!

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 TBS Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Stalk Lemongrass, cut into 2 inch pieces and smashed
  • 2 tsp Grated Ginger, plus a disc size to sauté in soup
  • 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 2-3 Limes, zest & juice
  • 2 TBS Green Curry Paste
  • 2 32 oz Boxes Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 15 oz can LITE Coconut Milk
  • 2 TBS Fish Sauce
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz Rice Noodles, broken into thirds
  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

*Heat Grapeseed Oil in large soup pot over Med-High.  Add Onion, season with Salt and Pepper, and cook about 8 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown.  Turn Heat to Med add Garlic, LemonGrass, Ginger & Kaffir Lime Leaves.  Sauté 2-3 mins until fragrant, stirring occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn!  Add Green Curry Paste & Lime Zest and sauté another minute or so.  Add Chicken Broth, Coconut Milk & Fish Sauce.  Turn up heat and bring to a slight boil.  Add Red Bell Peppers & Rice Noodles and simmer about 3 mins until noodles are al dente.  Add uncooked sliced chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 3 mins.  Turn down heat.  Add Crushed Red Pepper, Lime Juice and Cilantro.  Taste.  Adjust Seasonings as needed; fish sauce, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, etc. Serve with a sprinkle of Cilantro and a Fresh Lime Wedge!

A great "go to" Feel-Better Soup!

A great “go to” Feel-Better Soup!

Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Leaves

Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Leaves


*The heat of this soup is easily adjusted.  Cut the Green Curry Paste in half, and leave out the Crushed Red Pepper Flakes if you don’t care for too much spice.  The garlic and ginger gives it a natural heat!

*Lemongrass.  Amazing flavor.  I used a whole stalk.  If you don’t grow your own, or can’t find it, you can use 2 tsp dried lemongrass.  For the stalk, I simply cut it into 2 inch pieces, sliced it lengthwise, then smashed it with my knife.  That was the soup can absorb all that amazing flavor.  I also took about a 1/2 inch and THINLY THINLY THINLY chopped it up into the soup.  It is very woody, so you really need to get it chopped up as fine as you can!

*Kaffir Lime Leaves.  You should be able to find these in the International section of your grocery store.  They are not usually in the regular herbs and spices section.  I hope you can find these.  It will change and intensify the flavor of the soup!

*UNCOOKED CHICKEN!?!? What??? Is this OK??? Yes.  My tip here is to pop 2 cleaned chicken breasts into the freezer when you start to prep for the soup (15 mins).  If it is slightly frozen, it is MUCH easier to slice crosswise into small “shaved” pieces.  They really do cook up superquick in the soup.  Literally, like 3 mins if you have the soup hot enough and chicken thin enough.  Just don’t overcook the chicken…it will become rubbery and a tad chewy.  This soup is best served right when finished.  If you need to have is simmer for a bit, do so after you added the Broth.  The Veggies and Broth are fine to simmer, just wait to add the Coconut Milk, Red Peppers and Chicken as you don’t want to overcook them!

*I used 2 Limes.  One for zest, added to the soup.  1 1/2 added for juice.  And 1/2 cut up into wedges for serving.  I was only making this for the hubby and I last night, so we have some serious leftovers for lunch today!!!! Yippiee!!!  But you need at least the juice of one whole lime to really brighten up this soup!

*If you don’t like Cilantro, try replacing it with Thai Basil!

A healthy, satisfying spoonful!

A healthy, satisfying spoonful!


Follow me on FaceBook: Hotcookin’

Follow me on Twitter: @eatdrinkbeKari


Baked Spaghetti

CopyCat K&W Baked Spaghetti

CopyCat K&W Baked Spaghetti

CopyCat K&W Baked Spaghetti

What’s better on a cold, winter day than Spaghetti????  BAKED SPAGHETTI!!!  I have tried to recreate one of my favorite comfort foods from K&W.  It’s a restaurant I used to go to in Roanoke, VA that is like a cafeteria.  Since I have recently relocated to Charlotte, NC, I have been missing a lot of foods and have been attempting to recreate them at home.  This is a super easy and simply spaghetti….and I think really close (if not better) than the K&W version!  If you’re familiar with K&W, give it a try and see what you think!  This spaghetti always had a unique flavor, almost a slight BBQ taste to it.  Little did I know, it was WAY easier to make than my normal spaghetti recipe!  There’s nothing quite like a heaping plateful of warm spaghetti on a cold winter night!  Keep it Cozy!

Baked Spaghetti

Oh My Stars!

CopyCat K&W Baked Spaghetti

  • 8 oz. Spaghetti Noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Mustard
  • 2 TBS Parsley
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/4 Cups Ketchup
  • 1 heaping TBS Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella

*Cook Spaghetti until AL DENTE; drain and set aside.

*Brown Beef and Onions in large skillet. Add Garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 mins.  Drain.  Add Chili Powder, Ground Mustard, Parsley, Salt, Pepper, ACV, Worcestershire, Ketchup, Mustard, and 1/2 cup Cheddar.  Simmer 5 mins.  Add Beef Stock and Cooked Spaghetti Noodles.  Toss to combine.

*Spoon into baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar and Mozzarella.

*Bake 350.  25 mins or until cheese starts to brown.  (or cover and refrigerate until ready to bake!)

Brown & Bubbly

Brown & Bubbly

Dish full of LOVE!

Dish full of LOVE!

Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy Comfort Food

Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy Comfort Food

TIP: Divide into 2 portions and freeze some for later!

TIP: Divide into 2 portions and freeze some for later!



Presto Chango Tips:

Use Whole Wheat or Rice or Gluten Free Pasta

Lighten it up with Turkey, Chicken or Soy Crumbles

Switch out the Stock and use Chicken or Veggie

*and, as always, try to use Organic, Local, Non-GMO ingredients whenever possible!