Lemon Garlic Asparagus

Here’s another quick and easy recipe for when you’re lost on the side dishes front! This is very similar to my simple green beans, but instead of keeping the veggies warm you shock the asparagus immediately after blanching to stop the cooking process – which is actually my favorite thing about this recipe because the asparagus turn out awesomely crisp and fresh. Because honestly the worst thing you can do to yourself is eat overcooked asparagus.

1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 Cloves Garlic (Pressed)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Start by cleaning and cutting the ends off the asparagus.

2015-07-02 17.24.58 2. Evenly distributed the prepped asparagus across a shallow pan with a lid, I used a sauté pan, and add enough water to just cover them.2015-07-02 17.28.22 3. Cover with a lid, and set them on medium high heat until the water comes to a light boil. While waiting for the asparagus to come to a boil create an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. When the water in your pan begins to boil pierce one of the asparagus with a fork to make sure they are cooked – it should be crisp, but easy to stick your fork into.

2015-07-02 17.36.12 4. Drain the water from the pan and put the asparagus into the ice bath to stop them from cooking further.

2015-07-02 17.37.14 5. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.

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Simple Buttered Green Beans

The other day my friend Zak and I were talking about his desire to learn more quick and simple recipes for everyday meals.  I hadn’t ever given this problem much thought because, coming from a very food oriented family, I learned tons of easy recipes by helping out in the kitchen before dinner. Now that I think about it though, the things I ate growing up really are the things I default to cooking when I’m feeling lazy and not up to looking up a new recipe. Sadly, I haven’t given many of these foods the credit they deserve on my blog. And really it is a shame because I don’t cook extravagant meals every night, nor do I run to restaurants or fast food joints – most of the time I can be found rummaging through my refrigerator until I find some staple ingredients and make something I would’ve eaten at supper with my family. So here’s to the simple recipes I know and love (and that hopefully you’ll love too!)

Simple Buttered Green Beans

1 Pound Fresh Green Beans
½ Tablespoon Butter
½ Packet Goya Salad & Vegetable Seasoning

Start by cleaning and cutting the ends off the green beans. Once prepped add the green beans to a shallow pan with a lid, I used a sauté pan, and make sure to have them distributed evenly across the pan.

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Add enough water to just cover the green beans, cover with a lid, and set them on medium high heat. Honestly, I’m not sure what to call the cooking method we’re about to embark on next. I suppose it’s a combination of blanching and steaming so… blaming? At any rate, keep the green beans on medium high heat until the water begins to boil.

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Once the water is boiling pierce one of the green beans using a fork. It should be crisp, but easy to stick your fork into. If the green beans are undercooked, re-cover them and continue to cook on medium heat. After five more minutes of cooking check back and they should be good to go.

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Drain the water from the pan. Add your green beans back to the pan as well as the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted add in the Goya seasoning and toss everything together until well combined.

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And there you have it, simple green beans for days when you want to make a meal fast.


Let’s Cook: Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with “Delta” Sauce

Before I learned of my gluten intolerance my favorite fast food was Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fried chicken. I remember going there after volleyball tournaments with friends and family to counteract all the exercise we’d put hours and hours into beforehand, seriously happy times. So since one of my best friends, Arenia, is in town we decided to try our hands at making a Popeyes-esk fried chicken recipe from the blog The Way Food Should Be. Since neither Arenia nor I can do gluten, we altered the recipe to be gluten free and guys I’ll be honest… it was freaking delicious.

Instead of posting the recipe I’m going to post pictures of each step and allow you to check out Malcolm Bedell’s post here.

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As always, here are the changes I made to the original recipe. I used my go to gluten free flour, King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour, to substitute for wheat flour. The batter turned out great; it stuck well to the chicken and had a nice crispy finish. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re thinking of battering up some delicious gluten free fried chicken after reading this post. The only other change I made was to the egg wash. I used Frank’s Red Hot sauce and only added half a cup because I had some guests would weren’t super keen on spicy food. Although the chicken was spicy, I’d definitely recommend using the full cup of hot sauce for the egg wash if you love spicy foods. Also I’m going to have to go buy the recommended hot sauce (Texas Pete) to try out sometime because I felt the Frank’s Red Hot added a bit too much acidity where there should have been a smoky, pepper flavor to the chicken.  So do feel free to substitute flour, but think about the underlying flavors in your hot sauce before throwing it into the egg wash.

What else can I say? This recipe makes cooking Popeyes-esk fried chicken fairly simple and straightforward. I’d recommend using a thermometer while cooking to keep an eye on your oil temperature. And don’t be discouraged from trying this out if you don’t own a deep fryer! A deep pot will work just as well, I used my cast iron Dutch oven and the world did not explode. The end result came out moist, crunchy, and spicy – basically everything you could ask for in a piece of fried chicken! I’ll definitely be making this whenever I get a craving for Popeyes from now on. So approximately once a week, honestly I owe Bedell a life debt or something for coming up with the recipe. (^-^;;) And before I finish, I owe a big big big big huge thanks to Arenia, whose blog you can check out here, for all her help cooking and to everyone reading – I hope you enjoy!


Beef Tartar for the Slightly Squeamish

Well known fact about me, I love steak. Typically I’ll order mine medium rare when out, but when I’m at home (where I can OCD-ishly control all sanitation aspects of the kitchen) I like my steak rare. However! When I have the money to throw at a trustworthy, incredible cut of beef I’ll go all out raw and make myself beef tartar.

This recipe is for when I buy a cut of beef that I wouldn’t necessarily trust with my life. Don’t get me wrong I always buy the highest quality ingredients I can when making… well any recipe! But let’s say I’ve decided to purchase the highest quality beef I can from my grocer versus my local butcher. Yeah… the quality just won’t be the same and that’s when this recipe comes in handy. Adding a light sear to the steak kills off any unwanted bacteria so you can rest easy serving it nearly raw.


1 Pound Fresh Beef Tenderloin
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

    1. Remove any fatty pieces and pat the beef dry with paper towels before cooking. Melt your butter with the rosemary on high heat in a cast-iron skillet. Once butter is melted add the beef. Tilt the pan slightly and using a spoon scoop the melted butter back onto the beef for basting. Sear both sides for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
    2. Using the sharpest knife in your arsenal cut the beef into ¼ inch cubes and set aside to refrigerate while working on the sauce.

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2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Dijon Mustard
2 Cloves Garlic (Pressed)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Leaves (Finely Chopped)
1 Teaspoon Capers (Finely Diced)
1 Teaspoon Brine from Capers
1 Teaspoon Manzanilla Olives (Pimento Optional, Finely Diced)
1 Teaspoon Brine from Olives
2 Tablespoons Sweet Red Onion (Finely Diced)
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium, non-reactive mixing bowl (I went with glass) add the olive oil, mustard, caper, and olive brine. Using a grater or garlic press add garlic to the bowl. Now, how finely you cut your other ingredients will vary by personal preference. I like my sauce as smooth as possible so I dice until it looks like my ingredients have been put through a food processor – actually, to be honest if I had a food processor I’d just use that. At any rate, finely dice your parsley, capers, olives, and red onion then add to bowl. Mix everything together using a plastic mixing spatula and season to taste.

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Egg Yolk

Serve your beef tartare by forming a 4 ounce round in the middle of a plate with the egg yolk (optional) and eat immediately.

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Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie

I first tried making shepherd’s pie four or five years ago… it was exhausting. There were so many steps and the end result was kind of subpar to be completely honest. Since then I’ve tweaked and tinkered with the recipe so many times that I’ve come up with something that no where near resembles the original. It’s probably not the most authentic shepherd’s pie, but it’s pretty damn delicious. Also, gluten free! So try it out on a cold day or whenever you need a bit of comfort food.

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Mashed Potatoes

10 Large White Potatoes (Peeled & Cut into ½ Inch Pieces)
1 Teaspoon Crushed Rosemary
2 Cloves Garlic (Sliced)
1 Cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Butter
¼ Cup Sour Cream
1 Egg Yolk
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Place your potatoes in a large pot (I used my 5 quart Dutch oven) and fill it with water so the potatoes are just covered. Add your rosemary and garlic before covering. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and remove the lid, allow the potatoes to boil until they fall apart when poked with a fork.
  2. Remove your potatoes from the heat and drain over a sink. Place them back in your pot before adding milk, butter, sour cream, and egg yolk. Using either a potato masher or a mixer mash the potato mixture to your desired consistency (I prefer mine a bit lumpy). Add salt and pepper then set aside.

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Beef Filling

2 Pounds Ground Beef
1 Teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Shallot (Small Diced)
1 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms (Sliced)
1 ½ Cups Fresh Carrots (Medium Diced)
1 Cup Frozen Peas
12 Ounces Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon Paprika (Optional)

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Begin by seasoning the beef with Montreal steak seasoning. Add the vegetable oil to an oven safe sauté pan and bring to medium high heat. Add your meat and sauté until it is thoroughly browned.
  3. After browning, strain the beef over a sink and set aside. Place your pan back on the heat (still medium high) and add butter. Throw in your shallot and cook until it turns translucent, making sure to scrape up any browned bits for added flavor. Add the rest of the vegetables, sautéing until the carrots turn tender and can be easily pierced by a fork. Turn the heat down to medium low.2015-04-10 18.52.22
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  4. Combine your vegetables, ground beef, and cream of mushroom (I used Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream Of Mushroom Condensed Soup) in the pan adding salt and pepper to taste. Take your filling off the heat and evenly distribute it evenly around the pan. Cover the filling with even layers of mashed potato and finish by lightly sprinkling the top with paprika.2015-04-10 19.02.02.jpg
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  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the mashed potatoes have turned a light brown.

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