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…..


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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!!!!!






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!



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Skinny Sweet Potato Fries

Simple, Healthy, Skinny Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Here is a quick, simple and healthy recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries.  I had a request for the recipe, but was unable to locate all the pictures I took.  But, I’m gonna go ahead and post what I have and I’ll update if I can find the other pics.  Work with whatcha got, right!?!?!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries are super easy to make, and super easy to mess up.  There are a few basic steps NOT TO LEAVE OUT to prevent soggy, unpleasant results.  Stick to these, and  you are guarenteed crisp delicious fries!  There are also a thousand and six different ways to prepare these fries.  Honestly, trial and error is the best way to perfect “your” recipe.  Here’s my advice to follow:

  1. SOAK the cut fries in COLD WATER for AT LEAST 20 mins and up to 2 hours before baking.
  2. RINSE, RINSE, RINSE the starchy water off after soaking.
  3. Let dry COMPLETELY before Baking.
  4. Experiment with different Oils….Coconut, Grapeseed & EVOO have been my Favorites!
  5. Change up the Spice Mixture each time….so many options!!!
  6. Bake on Parchment Paper.
  7. DO NOT crowd the baking sheet.
  8. Experiment on Oven Temps and Times until you find the right one for your oven.

I’ll elaborate a little more on Oils and Spices at the end of the recipe to help give you some ideas!


  • 2-3 Sweet Potatoes, about the size of you hand
  • Oil
  • Seasonings

yep.  that’s it….pretty simple, huh?  (unless you count a bowl, cold tap water, and a knife!)


Try and Slice 1/4 inch Matchsticks Consistently.  The more uniform in shape and size, the better results!

Slice the Sweet Potatoes into fry shapes!  You can use and thicker or thinner slice depending on your preference, however, I have found that the slimmer fries tend to give better results.  Thicker fries sometime burn too much on the outside before the inside is cooked, resulting in a limp yucky fry.  Nobody wants that. If you like them thicker, be sure to adjust your Oven Temp LOWER so they will cook properly…and you will need to bake them longer as well.

Also, I use Organic Sweet Potatoes and keep the skins on for a more rustic fry.  You can peel them if you’d like.  A lot of a potatoes nutrients are in the skins, so if you can buy organic, I recommend leaving the skins on!!!



This will help remove some of the excess starch from the potato, which makes MUCH crisper fries.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.  Even if you only have 10 or 20 extra minutes to soak them….do it.  An hour is even better.  And after, be sure to rinse the fries really well!!!  Get all that starchy water off the fries!

Lay them out on a dishtowel to dry

Lay them out on a dishtowel to dry

Make sure they are good and dry BEFORE moving on to the next step!

Make sure they are good and dry BEFORE moving on to the next step!

I usually lay mine out on a dishtowel for a bit to air dry.  If you are in a rush, you can towel-dry and pat them off real good….just make sure you get them nice and dry!

Next step is changeable and I do not have the pictures to help demonstrate.  So, I’ll try and walk you through the options.  I used to put all the dry fries into a big bowl and toss them REALLY GOOD TO COAT with 3-4 T EVOO, Kosher Salt and Pepper.  They turned out fantastic.  Then, I tried a lighter Grapeseed Oil to replace the EVOO and cut it down to 2-3 T.  This also worked and the fries came out great!  I used a mix of cinnamon, chili powder, brown sugar and garlic salt.  Freakin’ Delicious.  Then I decided I wanted to experiment a little and cut down the Oil to as little as possible and see what would happen.  Trying to keep it as healthy as I can, but not limit the flavor and crispness of the fry, I used Organic Coconut Oil Spray.  Lemme tell ya……IT WORKED!!!!  Coconut Oil + Sweet Potatoes = French Fry HEAVEN!!!  Wonderful combo and baked absolutely beautifully!!!!  The ends didn’t burn as much (like with EVOO), and they were light and crispy and not limp at all.


Spray with Coconut Oil, Season with Salt and Pepper

Be sure to lay your fries in a SINGLE LAYER on a parchment covered baking sheet.  DO NOT CROWD the fries and do not let them touch or overlap!  This will allow all your fries to cook evenly and to get the right amount of brown crispness to them.  SUPER IMPORTANT if you don’t want soggy limp fries!  Use 2 baking sheets if you need to.  And, this is a wonderful recipe to let the kids help with.  They loved helping me line them up.  Get your kids involved in the kitchen and cooking process….they will be more inclined to eat what they have helped cooked.  Dash told me “These are the best fries I’ve EVER had!”….and that’s saying a LOT from Captain Picky!!!


Cook until Brown and Desired Crispness

Set Oven to between 350 and 450 depending on your oven.  Best to start at 400 and see how your oven is cooking.  I have a new oven, and it cooks SO FAST….almost like a convection oven.   The first time I cooked SP Fries here I did it on 425 and it burnt the crap out of them.  I now back it up to 350, but I feel like in my old oven that temp would be closer to 400.  So, I’d start there and let the experimenting begin.  Be sure to flip them about halfway through (15 mins).  Once you can see them starting to brown, flip them and bake another 15 mins or so.  If  you think they need a bit longer after those 15 mins, flip them once more and turn down the oven about 15 degrees and cook for about 5 mins more.  Your total cook time should be 30-45 mins depending on the thickness of your fries and your oven.

That’s the last pic I can find.  So sorry I don’t have a “plating picture”.  But, at least I had the basics!  I hope this helps on Homemade Sweet Potato Fries.  They are so tasty and simple, that you might never use frozen again.  By the way, if you do use frozen fries, I have found Alexia to be the best brand!  (

Now, as promised, here are some flavor combos that I love:

  • Plain Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Rosemary, Lemon & Sea Salt
  • Thyme & Black Pepper
  • Cayenne for a Kick (1/4 tsp)
  • Chili Powder, Cumin, Onion & Garlic Powder (1/2 tsp each)
  • Curry Powder, Turmeric & Cumin (1/2 tsp each)
  • Garlic Salt, Black Pepper & Onion Powder (1/2 tsp each)


Tip: All of this applies to your regular Russet Potato Fries as well if you don’t care for Sweet Potatoes!



Salmon, Bruschetta, Potatoes…..OH MY!!!

Champagne Dill Mustard Salmon

Accordion Garlic Herb Potatoes

Killer Bruschetta

Champagne Dill Mustard Salmon, Accordion Garlic Herb Potatoes & Bruschetta

Champagne Dill Mustard Salmon, Accordion Garlic Herb Potatoes & Bruschetta

Tonight’s dinner was simple to make, not too many ingredients, and pretty healthy (well, except for that small amount…. OK, hearty amount, of butter!) But the rest…healthy, healthy, healthy!!!

Let’s start with the Salmon. Easiest item on the menu.

Champagne Dill Mustard Salmon over Greens

Salmon, Champagne Dill Mustard, Organic Coconut Oil Spray, Pink Salt, Tricolor Peppercorns

Salmon, Champagne Dill Mustard, Organic Coconut Oil Spray, Pink Sea Salt, Rainbow Peppercorns

Simply Spray a foil lined pan with Coconut Oil

Season Salmon with Salt & Pepper

Coat Salmon with Mustard

Cook 400

20 mins or until desired doneness

Serve it over Fresh Organic Arugula and Spinach.  TIP: Squeeze 1/2 Fresh Lemon, Drizzle GOOD EVOO, s&p over Greens.

Serve it over Fresh Organic Arugula and Spinach ~TIP: Squeeze 1/2 Fresh Lemon, Drizzle GOOD EVOO, s&p over Greens~

Serve it up with my Accordion Roasted Potatoes

Serve it up with my Roasted Garlic Accordion Potatoes

OK. Like I said, pretty simple, eh??? Now, onto those potatoes. These were simply AMAZING!!!

Organic Garlic, Organic Parsley, Organic Garlic Chives, Potatoes, Organic EVOO, Organic Butter, Salt, Pepper and WOODEN SPOON

Organic Garlic, Organic Parsley, Organic Garlic Chives, Organic Potatoes, Organic EVOO, Organic Butter, and WOODEN SPOON

That’s right. I said, WOODEN SPOON. SuperHuge TIP: The spoon acts as a holder for your potatoes when you are slicing them super thin. Holds them still and acts as a stabilizer! Pretty Neat! Let me show you:


Now, slice your garlic superthin and insert 4-6 cloves in each potato.

Slice Garlic Thin

Slice Garlic Thin and Insert a few Slices

Use the Wooden Spoon to Stabilize

Use the Wooden Spoon to Stabilize

Repeat until you have enough potatoes to fill up your dish.

Arrange in pan

Arrange Evenly around Dish

Now, for the decadent part:

Parsley Chive Butter Sauce

Melt Sick of Unsalted Butter, 2 T EVOO, s&P

Melt Sick of Unsalted Butter, 2 T EVOO, Season with S & P

Chop Parsley & Garlic Chives

Chop Parsley & Garlic Chives, Reserve for later

Spoon 3/4 of Melted Butter mixture (without herbs) over Potatoes

Spoon 3/4 of Melted Butter mixture (without herbs) over Potatoes. Season with Salt & Pepper

Bake in Oven 400 about 45 mins

Take out of Oven

Baste with Pan Drippings

Grate a little Fresh Parm Overtop Potatoes

Bake about 10 mins more

The outside should get crisp and delicious!

TIP: Before Serving, Spoon Reserved Butter Mixture with Herbs Mixed In Overtop Potatoes. Creates a bright green finish!


Now, for one last tip. And listen up, this is a good one.

It’s going to change the way you make crostini for the rest of your life.


What to do with that itty bitty clove of garlic that has been bathing in the butter/oil/herb mixture?

USE IT to make a Bangin’ Bruschetta!!!

Oil both sides of Crostini and Grill on Grill Pan

Oil both sides of Crostini and Grill on Grill Pan

After both sides are done, RUB THE GARLIC CLOVE all over the hot side of the crostini. The side that just came off the pan. This releases a subtle garlic flavor on the crostini without having to bite into a huge chunk of garlic.

It is delicious.


You will thank me later for this one!!!!

Now. let’s kick it up one last notch and make it into a healthy Bruschetta.

Simple Bruschetta

Simple Bruschetta

Lay Down a Basil Leaf of the Crostini

Top with a Mixture of Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Garlic, Shallots and Basil

Season with Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Drizzle Aged Balsamic


Seriously.  Good.

Seriously. Good.

Now, Sit Down.



Honestly, with a few simple ingredients, a healthy gourmet meal was created

Honestly, with a few simple ingredients, a healthy gourmet meal was created

Bon Appétit!!!




Grillin’ Season

So, the weather is warming up and we wanted to grill out.  Whenever we use the grill, we like to be economical.  That means Grill EXTRA so you have some leftover.  I love a meal that can fill you up one night and be delish in a totally different way the next.  I love leftovers that don’t TASTE like leftovers!!!!  So, with the leftover Chicken, I made a super healthy VEG-OUT Chicken Salad served over Lettuce the following night for Dinner.  The next day I put it in a Spinach Wrap for Lunch!!!  3 Meals in 1!!!  That’s what I’m talking about!!! Now, I know that Chicken on the Grill is that way to go….but how to keep it moist and not under or over cook it can be tricky.  Well, the under/over for cooking is really in your hands…….but, I CAN help you get a super moist, flavorful piece of meat if you can cook it right!  Lucky for me, I have a Hubby who knows how to Man the Grill!


Tonight’s Menu

  • Organic Buttermilk Grilled Chicken
  • Organic Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Dried Cherries
  • Faux Wedge Salad: Organic Grilled Romaine w/ Pinot Grigio, Cucumber & Feta Dressing
  • Spring Onion & Jack Organic Grilled Sourdough 

First things first.  Make the chicken marinade and let marinade for AT LEAST 24 HOURS (if possible)!!! I did this one that morning, and it was still delish, but I really think overnight brings something even tastier to the table!  The Buttermilk Marinade is super easy and doesn’t really require too many ingredients.  I bought an Organic Grilling Pack of Chicken at Kroger.  (Private Selection, maybe?) It came with 2 breasts and 4 legs.  Skin On & Bone In. Perfect for Grilling.  Then I mixed up the marinade and threw the chicken into a glass bowl, covered it & let it sit in the fridge all day.  Every now and then I would come by and toss it around a little.  Make sure all the sides were getting some time in the bath!

Buttermilk Marinade

Buttermilk Marinade

I didn’t have any actual Buttermilk, so I made my own.  I’m sure you can use regular Buttermilk if you have some….its a great way to use up Buttermilk that you need to get rid of!  Or, to make your own Buttermilk:

3-4 cups of Organic 2% Milk into a glass bowl

Add 3 T Organic Lemon Juice (or white vinegar)

Stir Gently

Let Sit for 5 Min before adding any other ingredients

Now that the Buttermilk is done, it’s time to add some flavor!

Again, this is a BASIC RECIPE….

Alter to YOUR TASTE!! If you like garlic…add more.  If you like it spicy…add a LOT MORE!!!


  • 3-4 cups Organic Buttermilk
  • 3-7 cloves chopped Organic Garlic
  • 3-5 Organic Bay Leaves
  • 2 T – 1/2 bottle Hot Sauce of Choice (depends on your spice level)
  • 2 T Organic Dry Mustard
  • Kosher Salt & Organic Crushed Black Pepper or Whole Peppercorns


So, that’s it.  KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid sometimes IS best.  This is basic and can be added to or subtracted from at any time.  Pull it out of the fridge about an hour before grilling to get meat to room temperature.  DO NOT PLACE COLD MEAT ON A HOT GRILL!!! or you just wasted a day of work!!! Same goes if you were cooking it in the oven, btw.  Now, the tastiness is in the hands of the griller.  Good Luck!  Grill until juices run clear, but don’t poke and stick the everliving hell out of it.  Also, let it rest 15 mins after coming off the grill so the juices can redistribute.

Now, On to the Sweet Potatoes.  These are probably the easiest thing on the plate.  Cook the SP in the oven.  Peel. Mash. Serve. Enjoy.

Sweet Potatoes with

Dried Cherries

Bake Organic Sweet Potatoes (or Yams) in the oven 350 for 45 min to 1 hour.  Let Cool a bit.  Slide out of peel into bowl.

Melt 1/2 stick organic butter, 3 T Organic 100% Pure Maple Syrup, 2 T Organic Cinnamon & Pinch Salt

Butter, Syrup, Cinnamon & Pinch Salt

Butter, Syrup, Cinnamon & Pinch Salt

Pour Over Sweet Potatoes and Mash/Mix together.  Add in a handful (1/3 cup) organic dried cherries.


the Faux-Wedge

grilled romaine w/

pinot grigio, cucumber &  feta dressing

Now, there’s nothing quite like a Classic Wedge Salad, am I right?  You know what I’m talking about.  The half (literally) head of crummy iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing…maybe a few tomatoes tossed on for color, and if you’re somewhere fancy…maybe even some bacon?!?!?!?!  Well, I thought the Classic Wedge needed a little Updating and Pizzaz added to it.  The Hubs loves the original wedge, let’s see if I can Karify it some…, to change it up I:

  1. Change the lettuce from crummy-no-healthful-benefits Iceberg to Yummy Lovely Organic Romaine
  2. Still Cut the Head in Half, but this time I’m gonna throw that bad boy on the GRILL
  3. Change the Dressing. Adding a little wine to the mix seemed to dress it up a bit!
  4. Top it with beautiful fresh, organic tomatoes & cucumbers
  5. CHOP IT BABY! Instead of serving the entire half, which does make for extremely pretty presentation…but is much more difficult to eat, I chopped the heads of Romaine after Grilling to make it easier to eat
Slice Romaine In Half, Drizzle EVOO S&P, throw "facedown" on grill until edges have slight charr

Slice Romaine In Half, Drizzle EVOO S&P, Grill “facedown” until edges have slight charr

Chop Romaine

Drizzle with an AMAZING Dressing (recipe to follow)

Top with Fresh Chopped Organic Grape or Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumbers

The Classic Wedge, Kari-Style

The Classic Wedge, Kari-Style

TIP! Be sure to cut your tomatoes & cucumbers ahead of time, lay on a paper towel, and SALT.  This will help draw out excess moisture and keep the dressing/salad from getting soggy

TIP! Be sure to cut your tomatoes & cucumbers ahead of time, lay on a paper towel, and SALT. This will help draw out excess moisture and keep the dressing/salad from getting soggy


Slicing the Cucumbers is pretty easy.  First wash and pat dry.  Peel it or not…your choice. I suggest peeling if its not organic and not peeling if it is organic and a softer skin variety.  Lots of good vitamins and nutrients in the peel!

Halve the Cucs lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  i've found that a babyspoon is the PERFECT tool for this!

1. Halve the Cucs Lengthwise and Scoop Out the Seeds (I’ve found a Baby Spoon is the PERFECT Tool!)

Then Julienne into long strips

2.Then Julienne into Long Strips (repeat for both sides)


Chop into Pieces

3. Keep Lined Up & Chop into Bite-Sized Pieces

salt paper towel

4. Lay on Paper Towel and Salt to help release excess water


Now, Let’s Get Dressed!!!

I just concocted this dressing with ingredients I had on hand…..and it turned out absolutely AMAZING!!!  I tried to lighten it up by using greek yogurt, adding cucumbers….and adding wine???!!!???  I leave the cucumbers on the paper towel draining, and mix them in right before serving the salad.

1. chop garlic, shallots and add greek yogurt

1. chop garlic, shallots and add greek yogurt

other ingredients

Lemon Juice, Pinot Grigio & Champagne Vinegar


Organic Lemon Zest, Salt & Pepper

Holy Yummers!!!

Feta, Salt & Pepper on Top. Holy Yummers!!!


Pinot Grigio, Cucumber & Feta Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup Organic Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • rest of glass of Pinot Grigio (1/4 cup)
  • 2 T Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • Organic Lemon Zest
  • 1/3 Cup Crumbled Feta
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Add a little over 1/3 Cup Chopped Cucumber before Dressing Salad


Spring Onion & Jack Organic Grilled Sourdough

Organic Butter & Scallions

Organic Butter & Scallions

Take a loaf of Organic Sourdough and slice lengthwise.  Drizzle with EVOO.  Combine half stick organic butter with 1/3 cup chopped spring onion (chives or  scallions would work as well!) Salt & Pepper.  Mix.  Spread over both sides of bread.  Add layer of Monterey Jack Cheese.  Put bread back together (sandwich style).  Wrap in Foil….throw on Grill! Tastetacular!!!!!

Slice Bread and Drizzle EVOO

Slice Bread and Drizzle EVOO

Smear Butter/Onion Mix

Smear Butter/Onion Mix

Layer Cheese

Layer Cheese

Wrap in Foil

Wrap in Foil

Ooey, Cheesy, Oniony

Ooey, Cheesy, Oniony, Smokey


……and Dinner is SERVED!!!!




Even Story Liked It!!!


Not-Yo-Mama’s Shepherd’s Pie



Fresh Outta the Oven!

Fresh Outta the Oven!

So, it is a SNOWDAY!!! And, I have a few cheeses left over from St. Patrick’s Day (and some organic red potatoes, organic carrots, organic onions & organic parsley).  Thus, Not-Yo-Mama’s Shepherd’s Pie was created!

Don’t forget My Motto:


Prosecco & Snow! Ain't Life Grand?!?!

Prosecco & Snow! Ain’t Life Grand?!?!

Irish Cheddar & Beer Cheese

Irish Cheddar & Beer Cheese

little BUBBLY,


Mommy’s Little Helper!!!!


Fresh Ingredients

Fresh Ingredients

Lookin Good!

Lookin Good!

Chop Carrots & Onion

Chop Carrots & Onion

Wash & Prep

Fresh Ingredients

Slice Mushrooms

Dice Onions

Slice Carrots

Mince Garlic





IRISH BUTTERSoften Irish Butter, Mix in Parsley, Chives, S&P

Another Leftover St. Patty’s Day Creation

Super easy to make, delicious, and versatile!

*Presentation: When I originally made it, I used this ramekin as a mold.

And, remember, when using the herbs:


Soften Irish ButterAdd herbs of choice (I used parsley, chives, s&p)Mix to combinePut in fridge to set!

Soften Irish Butter
Add herbs of choice (I used parsley, chives, s&p)
Mix to combine
Put in fridge to set!


Melt 2 T butter with a dash of  EVOO

Melt 2 T butter with a dash of EVOO

Add carrots, onions, and seasoned beef

Add carrots, onions, and seasoned beef

Break up beef & add mushrooms

Break up beef & add mushrooms

Brown and Soften Vegs

Brown and Soften Vegs

Add Spices

Add Spices: 4 Cloves Garlic, 1T Dry Mustard, 1T Garlic Powder, 1 T Onion Powder, 2 T Thyme, 1 T Rosemary

Add Beer & 3 T Worch


Add 2 T Worcestershire Sauce , 3/4 of a Beer, 2 T Tomato Paste, 2 T Chocolate Balsamic



Secret Ingerdient

Secret Ingredient & Flavor Booster!!!

Now, the mixture should look something like this

Now, the mixture should look something like this


I thought it was still missing something, so I added:

Prob about 1-2 T of each

Prob about 1-2 T of each

Dijon & Whole Grain Mustard

Dijon & Whole Grain Mustard

Now Add 1 Cup Frozen Organic Peas

Now Add 1 Cup Frozen Organic Peas

Mix and put into greased casserole dish

Mix and put into greased casserole dish (yes, I know, it doesn’t look too appetizing yet…..but it tastes DELISH!!!)
















Get your Potatoes Boiled & Ingredients Ready

Get your Potatoes Boiled & Ingredients Ready

Irish Cheddar, Beer Cheese, Peppercorn Gouda

Irish Cheddar, Beer Cheese, Peppercorn Gouda

*Homemade Buttermilk: Simply Add 1 T lemon juice to milk and let sit for 5 mins)

I had no butter milk

Horseradish, SourCream, Herbed Irish Butter,     *Homemade ButterMilk, Grated Cheeses

1 Cup ButterMilk

1 Cup Sour Cream

2-4 T Horseradish

1/4 Cup Irish Butter

start mashinAdd All Ingredients into Boiled Potatoes and Mash for a Second

Then Add Cheeses and S & P

Mash until Combined and Creamy

DO NOT OVERMASH! These are RUSTIC!!!!  Leave a little cheese for the top!

DO NOT OVERMASH! These are RUSTIC!!!! Leave a little cheese for the top!

Nice & Creamy! Rustic and keeping the nutrients by leaving the skins ON!

Nice & Creamy! Rustic and keeping the nutrients by leaving the skins ON!

Now, the easy part. Just Top the Meat Mixture with the Smashed Potatoes

Now, the easy part. Just Top the Meat Mixture with the Smashed Potatoes

Cover with Cheese and Bake 350 until brown & bubbly (45 mins to an hour)

Cover with Cheese


Place on a Baking Sheet covered in Foil in case of spillover!

Place on a Baking Sheet covered in Foil in case of spillover!

Bake Until Brown & Bubbly45 mins to an Hours

Bake Until Brown & Bubbly
45 mins to an Hours

Take Out of Oven and Let COOL for 10 Mins before Serving. Top with Fresh Parsley

Take Out of Oven and Let COOL for 10 Mins before Serving. Top with Fresh Parsley

Bon Appetit

Bon Appétit



Skinny Mustard Hashbrown Casserole

Skinny Mustard Hashbrown Casserole

No Cream of Crap Soup, No Mayonnaise, No Sour Cream, No Butter

No Cream of Crap Soup, No Mayonnaise, No Sour Cream, No Butter



Skinny Mustard HashBrown Casserole

1 bag (20 oz) frozen shredded HashBrown Potatoes

1 cup Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup low-sodium broth (i used veggie..chicken would be fine too)

1/4 cup 2% Milk  (use at least 2%….need the fat to work as a binder)

1 heaping T good Grainy Mustard

1/3 Onion (i used red…whatever you have on hand) grated in for juice, then dice a bit up

2-3 cloves minced Garlic (or you can grate this in too)

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp Dry Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1 cup FRESHLY GRATED Shredded Cheese (i used a nice quality sharp cheddar…. don’t use cheap, pre-shredded or low-fat cheese!!! Trust me,  it won’t melt right and the HB consistency will be off)

Mix all together in a bowl.  Spray glass or ceramic dish…DO NOT USE METAL!!! Never use metal pans when working with yogurt!!! The acidity will affect the taste….not in a good way!

Pour in GLASS or CERAMIC dish and bake 350 for at least an hour.

I also topped mine with smoked sweet paprika before baking.  You could use chili powder, reg paprika, etc…

***if you don’t have fresh garlic or onions you can substitute 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder***

This SKINNY version was soon tasty….and, even better the next day!



Breakfast is served!


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Bon Appétit!!!

Sea Salt & Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Salt & Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Sea Salt & Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Here is a sensational side that could not be simpler to make!  I used an old cast iron skillet and it turned out beautifully!  You could change this basic recipe up by using different vinegars or adding in herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc) But, sometimes it’s best to KISS (keep it simple, stupid) and let the bold flavors take your tastebuds for a delightful ride.  If you like salt and vinegar potato chips, you will adore these!!!

Preheat the oven to 425…you want it nice and HOT!  Use red or yukon potatoes (or a mix). Cut them in half and PARBOIL THEM IN A MIXTURE OF HALF WATER, HALF VINEGAR until partially cooked, probably about 8-10 mins. Drain and toss with Sea Salt and Pepper {you do not want them soft or overcooked…you still need to roast them in the oven to get the outsides crisp!  I originally used plain white vinegar, but you can definitely change it up and use Malt, Apple Cider, Balsamic….whatever you fancy. I just didn’t want to waste a bunch of good, expensive vinegar…and the white turned out delicious! } Put your cast iron skillet, or oven safe pan, in the oven to get hot.  Carefully remove and add 2 T EVOO swirl around the skillet, then add potatoes.  Be sure some are facedown. Drizzle another T EVOO over the top. (now is when I would add Herbs if using)  Roast until Golden Brown and outside is Crisp, 10-15 mins.  Take out and splash with Vinegar and Sea Salt before serving.  WOW!!! So good!!!!