Life, Love and my passion for cooking

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Carson City, NV, United States
I grew up in Illinois in a small town. I moved to California in May of 2000.In that time I have experienced life, love and my passion for cooking. We now live in Nevada. I hope to take my passion for cooking to a new level.


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Monday, April 30, 2012

smoked salmon on the grill

Apricot Whiskey Salmon

This sauce is a mixture of apricot preserves, whiskey, butter and some pepper. We decided to spread it on some fish and smoke it on the grill.

We have this whiskey sauce every year at our family Thanksgiving table. You can put this sauce on anything chicken, turkey and salmon. This sauce is so good all you need is a spoon or if you prefer a few crackers:)

Friday, April 27, 2012



I made Doughnuts! This was a fun one time experiment. My husband works with guys who love a good Doughnut. Once in a while they will bring Doughnuts to work. I decided I was going to make them from scratch! ha! let me just say it was a challenge. I saw the recipe on 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taco Pizza

     This pizza was inspired by a cold taco pizza my mom made when I was growing up. It was great to have on a hot summer day. It was made up of cream cheese and sour cream mixed with taco seasoning. Then she would spread the mixture on a Pillsbury roll crust. Wow! if we could all just eat like that everyday it would be nice but since we shouldn't I came up with a new cold taco pizza. My mom and I talk on Skype every morning and she even put a few ideas in making this new pizza with me so I want to give her some credit too:)

Taco Pizza


1 crust cooked and cooled. when I made the pizza I brushed a light amount of the green sauce on the crust before cooking it. (see my recipe for my beer pizza)

1-can black beans- I used Cuban black beans from Traders. I blended them up in the food processor.

1-can green chilies

1/2 cup green enchilada sauce

2- bone in skin on chicken breasts cooked and shredded

Cooking the chicken- boil enough water to cover the chicken. When the water is boiling put the chicken in and turn the heat down to simmer and cover. Set the timer for 30min. Take chicken out and let cool then shred it.

1 bag of blue corn tortilla chips

4 oz queso fresco cheese

fresh cilantro- enough to cover the pizza- chop and sprinkle on top. If you don't like cilantro some lettuce would also be good on top.

Also a little dash of Trader Joes Jalapeno hot sauce on top!

Assembling the pizza

When the crust is cool spread the black beans on the crust. Then spread the green sauce. Then sprinkle the green chilies. Then the Shredded chicken. Top with the cheese, onions and cilantro. I sprinkled each individual piece with blue chips. I didn't sprinkle the chips all over the whole pizza because they will get soggy on the left over pizza over night.

NOTE: Any other toppings would also be good.
Tomatoes, olives, bell peppers and hot peppers.

A few tips: you can also buy premade crusts. Traders Joes has ones you just roll out and cook. I also have bought a whole cooked chicken from the store those are also fast and easy.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Asian Wontons

I learned to make these while working for a caterer in Pasadena. I made hundreds of these at a time. They freeze really well and are very simple to make. When I catered we fried them in a fryer, it was a fast way to get them out for parties. Here at home we put them in a cast iron and toast them for 3 min then put a few tablespoons of water in the pan and cover for 8min. They come out nice and crispy.

I start with a pound of ground turkey. Usually a half a pound makes about 35 wontons. I freeze the other half a pound of turkey for next time. I mix the half pound turkey, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic paste, green onions finely chopped and some nori flakes(or also called on the container (Furikake traditional blend with toasty sesame seeds and nori) this can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. mix all that up and put about a 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture in the wonton. Seal the wonton with a little water all around the edge- they show you on the package of wontons. Fold in half then take the corners and bring them together.

Ground Turkey- 1 pound
Soy Sauce- about 1/8 cup
Sesame Oil- 1 tablespoon
Chili Garlic paste- I use 2 tablespoons because I like them spicy.
Green Onions- two of them chopped fine
Nori Flakes- about 1 teaspoon

Fold them and you can either make them right away or freeze them for a week in a freezer container.

If you are making them right away- heat up a cast iron or non stick pan and add a teaspoon of sesame oil add about 6 wontons depending on the size of your pan you don't want to crowd them. Let them toast up nicely for 3-4 min then add about two tablespoons water and cover for 8 min. I like to mix soy sauce and wasabi together for dipping. I like a lot of wasabi it makes eating them very spicy and fun to eat!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


We could eat these tacos almost every night! they are simple and so tasty. I make them so many different ways. I think this is our favorite. Adam smoked some chicken and potatoes on the grill over the weekend so I decided to make tacos. The chicken added a nice smokey flavor. We put some potatoes, chicken, guacamole, red onions and topped it with some queso fresco cheese.

Homemade dog treats

Chance(left) Myles(right)

     I make these treats for my parents dogs Myles and Chance. They live in Illinois. I love to send them in a little box through UPS. I send them UPS because Myles and Chance know the truck. They have their dog food delivered through UPS. My parents are very strict when it comes to people food. They only get dog food for meals no table food. So I came up with a healthy dog cookie so they could have a treat. My mom could never find very healthy cookies to buy. When UPS comes Myles will lift his head in the air and howl and bark when the truck pulls up. He then flies off the couch as if he is taking off in flight. When we visit them they are always happy to see us but love to smell around our bags to see if we brought them any cookies.
     I decided to try them out on another dog. Our friend Jeremy has a dog named Daisy. She gets her share of table food so I wasn't sure if she would like them because they are healthy. No butter or eggs are in these cookies. I offered her one and she loved them. All evening we were there visiting she kept coming over to me asking for more.
Dog Treats

1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter- NO SALT, SUGAR or OIL ADDED
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup apple juice or water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 & 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a saucepan, whisk honey, peanut butter, apple sauce, juice or water and oil. Cook over med heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in oats. Allow to cool for 15 min. Stir in flour. Then Stir in enough all purpose flour to form a stiff dough. Divide in half.

2.On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a favorite cookie cutter or dog bone shaped cutter, cut each cookie. Place the cutouts on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3.Bake 20 min. Turn treats over; bake 15-20 min more. When done making all the cookies turn off the oven and place the treats on one large cookie sheet. Place the cookies in the oven for 1 hour as the oven cools down. This makes them nice and crispy. 

I love grilled cheese!

I decided over the weekend to try a sweet and savory grilled cheese. I thought apricot preserves and a nice aged white cheddar would compliment each other in a grilled cheese. Our favorite bread is sourdough wheat bread from Trader Joes. It makes a nice and crunchy grilled cheese. The sweetness from the preserves and the tart and saltiness from the cheese was so amazing!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sweet and Savory

 It is raining and cloudy today. I am thinking of something warm and cozy to have for dinner. I am remembering those days in the kitchen with my mom. These are a few of my favorites. I remember that first apple pie I made as a kid. The first dough I watched rise for hours. The smell of the bread when it was baking in the oven. The bubbling of the sweet apple pie. The chewyness of those cookies I loved to have after school. Memories of home always remind me of my sweet and savory favorites!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Soup and Sandwich

     Easter is always a nice time for us. My mother in law makes spaghetti and sausages. They are the best sausages I have ever had. It has always been tradition to have this instead of ham or turkey. We always get lots of left overs that are packed with care in containers to take home. We leave knowing it was all made with love.

     We like to make sausages sandwiches with the left overs. I buy a nice crusty bread from this amazing Italian market called Claros. I decided to make Celery soup to go along with it. I put the sausages with the sauce in a cast iron and warmed it all up. Then toasted the bread. I took a few sausages and sauce and put them in the bread and topped it with a little Romano and mozzarella cheese. So tasty!

Sausage sandwiches & Celery soup

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Healthy Cookies
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup finely chopped Pepitas
(any favorite nut is good. I also used pecan halves)
2 tablespoons oil
1 tsp Vanilla
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Mixing a little with your hands helps all the ingredients come together. They will be slightly crumbly. Just take about a tablespoon of the cookie mixture in your hand and make a ball them press them down into a circle and place them on a cookie sheet. Then put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
I updated my photo!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Crockpot cooking is so easy!

I love cooking in my crockpot. You can put any combination of your favorite meal that you would normally put in two or three pans on the stove and put it all in your crockpot. The best part is you can throw it all in and leave for the day. Here is one of my favorite recipes to make.

Spicy Enchilada Crockpot Chicken

You will need these ingredients. I love the taste of Kosher chicken. It is very hard to over cook and is very tender.

I like to brown the chicken first in a cast iron pan Cast Iron is also one of my favorite pans to use.A good seasoned cast iron makes an amazing meal. If you don't have one any pan will work to brown your chicken.
Season the chicken on each side with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and rub a little olive oil on each side.

Then place the chicken in a hot cast iron pan that has been oiled lightly with canola oil or olive oil. Brown each side for 3 minutes. If you are using a non stick pan spray it with cooking spray then add a little oil.

while the other side is browning chop your onions and peppers roughly and add them to the crockpot along with the Enchilada sauce.

Then add
the browned chicken to the crockpot. Cover with lid and cook on low for at least 6 hours.
When the dish was almost done I toasted up some rice in my cast iron and added a can of tomatoes with chipotle seasoning along with the water required for cooking the rice. Any sides go well with this dish. I like toasting up some tortillas if I don't have rice.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dark Chocolate Whiskey Rice Krispie Treats

I took a break from cleaning and decided to throw these together while listening to "You shook me all night long" by AC/DC
Jameson is good in just about anything!

Pretzel roll deli sandwich

I was inspired to make this from my friend who posted on her blog about enjoying a pretzel roll with a good beer. I thought a nice deli sandwich would be really good on that bread. I went to my local butcher and got some meat. I got crack peppered turkey, pastrami, black forest ham and some smoked chicken. The meat is really good and all comes from Boars head. It is not your average processed slimy deli meat. This meat is so tasty. You can pick from smoked, peppered, low sodium and many more. I usually have to have avocado on my sandwiches. It makes a cold sandwich complete for me. I put a spread of whole grain mustard on the bread. Then I decided on a combo of cracked peppered turkey and a little pastrami. I sliced some red onion and roughly mashed up a half an avocado. I then sliced some trader joes Cheddar melange & Gruyere cheese. This cheese is amazing it is a combo of both kinds. Then I topped it with some lettuce.

I also made some kale chips. I thought that would be a nice healthy side rather than potato chips. The kale chips are easy. Rinse the kale and pat it dry. Then just start tearing the leaves off the stem. Place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and mix up the leaves slightly to coat them. Then grind some fresh pepper on top with a sprinkle of salt. Place them in a 300 degree oven and toast them for about 20 minutes. Check them in 10min and turn the pan just to make sure some are not burning. I let them cool and put a nice handful next to my sandwich. It was so good!