Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki Sauce

Sheet Pan Chicken Pitas that are salty-briney-crunchy in all the right ways! Marinated chicken, roasted peppers, feta cheese with an easy homemade tzatziki sauce. Other optional toppings that would be tasty, simply add fresh cucumber and kalamata olives.

It’s comforting, light, creamy and of course filling. But mostly crunchy and fresh.

Pile that on a plate and grab a fork – or grab a piece of warm, soft naan, or pita, or socca (YUM), and get to eating. You’ve got the crunch of the peppers, and the cool-creaminess of the cheese and the puckery-briney of the sauce all happening in one big joyful bite.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into very thin strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1–2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin, smoked paprika, and kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • black pepper to taste

Peppers:

  • 2–3 bell peppers, sliced
  • olive oil and salt

Tzatziki:

  • 3/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber (about one half of a large cucumber)
  • 1–2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated 
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pepper to taste

Other optional:

  • diced cucumbers
  • diced red onion
  • kalamata olives
  • feta cheese
  • some kind of flatbread (pita, naan, socca)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix chicken ingredients in a bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Mix all tzatziki ingredients.
  • On a sheet pan, toss the peppers with olive oil and salt. On a second sheet pan, place the chicken pieces. Roast both for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked and peppers are browned.
  • Serve chicken, peppers, sauce, and all the other fixings on a big platter and everyone can build their own pitas / bowls / salads.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Guacamole Salsa

This Guacamole Salsa recipe combines salsa verde and guacamole to create an addicting appetizer and salsa for tacos! Made from tomatillos, jalapenos, avocados, cilantro and lime juice.

If salsa verde and guacamole had a baby, you’d get this Guacamole Salsa. It’s the best of both worlds! The tangy and zesty flavor from the tomatillos and the smooth and creamy texture from the avocados – there’s seriously nothing better.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and deveined
  • 2 avocados, pitted
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 a large lime)
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Fill medium pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add in tomatillos and jalapenos. Cook for 10 minutes, until tomatillos and jalapenos have softened.
  • Drain water and place tomatillos and jalapenos in a large blender. Add avocados, cilantro, garlic, onions and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
  • Taste and season with salt.
  • Serve immediately or transfer to an air-tight container to chill in the refrigerator.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce – juicy jumbo shrimp butterflied and breaded in sweetened shredded coconut, fried to a delicious crisp and served with an incredible spicy mango dipping sauce.

This coconut shrimp recipe is a keeper, trust me. The shrimp is juicy with a crispy coconut crust and is the perfect addition to a big appy spread or a pot luck. If you feel the urge to just make these and snack on them all by yourself I certainly won’t try to stop you!

Ingredients:

For Shrimp:
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp tails on
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooked the Shrimp in this AirFryer

For Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 mango cubed
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro

Directions:

  • Make the dipping sauce first by adding all the ingredients to a blender and blend for 1 minute or 2 until the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate the sauce until shrimp is ready for serving.
  • Butterfly your shrimp; slicing them down the center. Add the breadcrumbs to one plate, beat the eggs with salt and pepper in another plate and place the shredded coconut in the 3rd plate.
  • Dredge the shrimp through the breadcrumbs first, then dip them in the egg mixture, then finally dredge them through the coconut, making sure enough coconut sticks to them.
  • Place the shrimp on the wire rack of your AirFryer and cook until cooked through.
  • Serve the shrimp along with the spicy mango sauce together.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Vegan Crunchwrap Supreme

This vegan crunchwrap is INSANE! You can stuff this bad boy with whatever you like – I made this one with sofritas tofu. SO GOOD! Favorite vegan recipe to date. But you can make this non-vegan! Make it with your favorite meat, make it your OWN!!

Now, I am NOT totally 100% vegan. Every now and then I have a craving for tofu and wanted something spicy to accompany the tofu in this recipe. So here we are!

I loaded this crunchwrap with an obscene amount of browned spicy tofu, black beans, crispy tostada, tomatoes, and cheese. Yummmm…!!!!!

Ingredients:

Spicy Sofritas Tofu

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • 1/2 cup salsa

Crunchwraps

  • huge burrito-sized flour tortillas
  • something crunchy: tostadas, tortilla chips or, Doritos
  • roasted vegetables
  • black beans
  • avocados
  • fresh stuff: tomatoes, cabbage slaw, lettuce, cilantro
  • salsa

Directions:

  • Sofritas Tofu: Heat oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add tofu and break apart into crumbles. Add taco seasoning, salt, chipotles, and salsa. Get it all going in the pan, nice and hot. Finish by letting everything sit without stirring for another 10+ minutes (adding oil to prevent sticking as needed) until you get some nice browned, almost-crunchy pieces.
  • Crunch Wrap Time: Lay a large tortilla on a flat surface. Layer: tofu, cheese, crunchy stuff, and any other extras you want in there. Fold in the edges of the tortilla toward the center. Place in a hot oiled skillet, seam side down. Cook for a few minutes on each side until the exterior is firm, crunchy, and golden brown. Cut and serve!

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Chicken Tortellini with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Today’s Chicken with Creamy Tortellini and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is a recipe made with ingredients we always have on hand: a bag of dry tortellini (either fresh tortellini or frozen), a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh garlic, shallots or onions, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream – and, of course, boneless chicken breasts, and fresh tomato sauce.

The prep for this Chicken Tortellini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes is quick and easy too!  While the pasta cooks, sauté bite-sized pieces of chicken until golden brown in the flavorful oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes.  Then make a creamy sauce with the rest of the ingredients and toss at all together to create one fantastic meal!

From start to finish, this Creamy Tortellini and Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes dinner will be on your table in about 40 minutes. (If you use fresh tortellini instead of frozen – it will take even less time!)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dry cheese tortellini (or one pound fresh tortellini may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons of the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup shallots, cut into half circles
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups oil packed sun-dried tomatoes drained, coarsely chopped (about one 16-ounce jar)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Optional, croutons/breadcrumbs for topping

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and once boiling, add the teaspoon of kosher salt. Then add in the dry tortellini and cook to slightly less than al dente. (it will continue to bake in the oven)
  • In a large skillet, add two tablespoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar. Sauté garlic, shallots, tomatoes. Once hot, add chicken and brown on both sides. Do not cook through. Center should still be pink. Slide all contents from the pan onto a casserole dish including all liquid.
  • In a casserole dish, add chicken, tortellini mix together. Top with cream and tomato sauce, stir again.
  • Top with Parmesan and croutons (it’s a nice crunch, I promise).
  • Bake at 350 degrees, for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Homemade Gnocchi with Sausage Bolognese

Homemade Gnocchi takes a lot of time to make, but I am hoping that you will give it a try. This recipe is pretty easy to follow, and once you have plated those delicious pillows of cheesy, goodness it will be ALL WORTH IT.

Lately for me it’s been very therapeutic for me to cook in the kitchen, listening to my favorite Spotify playlist and really put some love in what I am cooking for my husband and I to enjoy together.

Gnocchi is pasta made with potatoes and this homemade version with Sausage Bolognese is so easy!!

Ingredients for Gnocchi:

  • 4 Medium Sized Russet Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Bolognese:

  • 1 lb of bulk Italian Sweet Sausage, or 6 links (casings removed)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 c. tomato sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste

SO, HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE GNOCCHI?

For this recipe, you’ll need Russet potatoes, eggs, all purpose flour, grated Pecorino Romano cheese and Kosher Salt. 

  • Start by boiling the potatoes with the skins on until they are fork tender. Do not cool the potatoes. Remove from the hot water one at a time, peel off the skins (carefully, they’ll be extremely hot!) and using the back of a fork, gently mash the potatoes. Repeat for each potato, add to a bowl, then let cool 10-15 minutes.
  • Form the potatoes into a ball shape, form a well and add the cheese, egg and salt.  Next add 1 cup of the flour and gently keep folding all of the ingredients together with a spoon until it is all incorporated. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky. If it is, gradually add more flour as needed. (It all depends on the actual size of your potatoes). 
  • Cut the dough into ten pieces. Take one of the pieces and turn it onto a floured board. Gently roll lengthwise forming a log shape the thickness of your thumb. From there, cut into eight pieces (about the size of the tip of your thumb to the first joint). Gently using the back of the fork, make an indentation on the top. Repeat for all ten segments of dough.

Next, bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently drop in the Gnocchi. They are done when they start floating, approximately 2-3 minutes. Pull them out using a slotted spoon.

If you aren’t going to cook the gnocchi right away, place them in a single layer on a floured cookie sheet in the refrigerator until you are ready to do so or layer them with parchment paper sprinkled with corn meal and place in the freezer.

HOW DO YOU MAKE SAUSAGE BOLOGNESE SAUCE? 

To prepare, I recommend boiling your potatoes for the gnocchi first; then while they are cooking, prepare your sauce so you can let it simmer while you roll out the dough.

For this recipe you’ll need 1 lb. Bulk Sweet Italian Sausage (or 6 links with the casings removed), EVOO, scallion, garlic, fresh basil, tomato sauce (homemade or store bought) and shredded Asiago cheese. 

In a large, non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and add the sausage. Break the sausage apart by using the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once sausage has cooked and there is no longer any pink center, add the garlic, scallions, basil, sauce and cheese. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until you’re ready to add it to your gnocchi. 

You can plate this dish any way you really want. If you want to combine the gnocchi into the sauce pan and stir, Go for It! If you want to plate your gnocchi first, then top with sauce, Do It! Either way you enjoy this dish, you will LOVE it!!!! From start to finish it took about 90 minutes to complete this dish. Not ideal for a busy weeknight meal but for a weekend, Sunday Dinner it was perfect. You can alway make your gnocchi first, freeze them and cook ’em up during week when you want.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

3 Classic BBQ Side Dishes

These 3 classic summer barbecue side dishes are my families summertime favorites. They are always on the menu and always requested.

Be sure to check out all our favorite recipes.

Baked beans – full of sweetness and a bit of tangy-ness.

Jalapeño poppers – served warm, full of crispy, crunchiness and a kick of heat.

Baked Mac and Cheese – loads of cheeses melted over delicious elbow noodles.

Every cookout must have these staples. They reminds me of family time and sharing stories with one another.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!
(or on the back patio)

Baked Mac and Cheese

Classic Summer Barbecue Staple – Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

Homemade recipe with 5 creamy types of cheese. Perfect for Summer Parties, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup parmigiano reggiano shredded
  • 1 cup fontina cheese shredded
  • 1 cup pecorino romano cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup muenster cheese cut into small chunks
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • pinch of salt pepper, and onion powder

Another great BBQ side – Jalapeño Poppers

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Boil a large pot with salted water over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the macaroni and rinse with cold water. Reserve some of the water from the pasta in case you need it later.
  • Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
  • Once melted, add the flour and whisk. This will create a slurry. Continue to whisk until the four is fully combined.
  • Add the milk and heavy whipping cream and stir.
  • Add half of the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Add the seasonings and taste repeatedly.
  • Return the pasta to the large pot. Drizzle the liquid mixture over the pasta and stir until fully combined.
  • Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Begin to layer in the pasta. Start with the pasta, then add a layer of all of the shredded cheese and muenster chunks.
  • Add another layer of pasta, and then another layer of cheese.
  • Ensure there is adequate liquid throughout these steps (additional milk or reserved pasta water work well). This can be tricky. You do not want the dish to appear like soup, but you do not want it to be dry.
  • This step is important because without adequate liquid the dish will dry out while baking.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbly
  • Cool before serving.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers are my obsession! Fresh jalapeños are sliced in half and filled with a rich creamy cheese filling and topped with a crisp Panko topping. These poppers are baked until golden and bubbly for the perfect summer BBQ snack!

This easy Jalapeno Popper recipe makes the perfect bite; crispy, creamy, spicy, cheesy… and quite honestly the best appetizer ever!

Making homemade poppers is super easy and tastes way better than frozen store bought!

Ingredients:

  • 12 jalapeno peppers
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chives finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Wearing gloves, slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes.
  • In a bowl mix cream cheese, garlic powder, cheddar cheese and chives (if using).
  • In a separate bowl, combine Panko crumbs and melted butter.
  • Fill jalapenos with the cheese mixture. Top with crumbs.
  • Place on a baking pan and bake 18-22 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!
Another great BBQ side – Baked Beans

Baked Beans

Our absolute favorite baked beans recipe! They are syrupy and loaded with flavors of BBQ sauce, dijon, smoked paprika and chipotle. Delish!

Ingredients:

  • 2 sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 (22 ounce) cans baked beans

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat a large (oven safe, if you don’t want to transfer) skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until it’s brown and crisp and most of the fat is rendered.
  • Stir in the onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until everything softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar until combined.
  • Stir in the baked beans directly from the can. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat.
  • Place the skillet (or transfer to an oven-safe dish) in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and syrup. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
  • You can make these ahead of time – cook them in the skillet then let cook to room temperature and cover, placing in the fridge. Bake the next day (or whenever you’re ready!).
  • These also freeze well!

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!
Another great BBQ side – Homemade Mac and Cheese