Spicy Salsa Verde Chicken Stew

On cold snowy days, I like to make spicy soups or stews that are satisfying and warm my bones. I should call this accidental stew since this recipe started as a white chicken chili but it was so spicy that I had to keep adding stuff to it to tame the spice and it turned into a delicious healthy stew. You can omit the zucchini and corn if you want but it actually added nice texture and flavor to this delicious stew.



1 to 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, I like grape-seed oil

1 small onion, diced. I like to use yellow onions

1 to 2 Jalapeno peppers, diced. I used 2 fresh jalapenos and it had a really nice kick but if you don’t handle spice that well go with one jalapeno.

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 pound of chicken. You can cube breast or thigh meat or you can buy a precooked rotisserie chicken and shred it.

1 cup Salsa Verde – jarred or canned from the mexican food aisle.

3 cups chicken broth

1 can white beans (great northern or Cannellini)- rinsed

1 cup frozen corn

1 zucchini chopped in small pieces.

Oregano- to taste about 1 to 2 teaspoons

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of half of a lime

Cilantro, chopped. About a handful

Sour cream, avocado and cheese for garnish



In a large pot /dutch oven heat oil over medium heat.

Season your cubed chicken with salt and pepper or any other seasoning you would like to add.  Cook chicken in oil.

When chicken is cooked about half way, add diced onions and jalapenos. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is soft.

Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add Broth, Salsa Verde, lime juice, rinsed beans, corn, zucchini and cilantro.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and stew has reduced and thickened.

Serve in bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, avocado slices and Mexican cheese blend.


Tex Mex Skillet Chicken Enchilada Pasta


I have been gone FOREVER! Its been almost a year since my last post.The last year has been crazy and I haven’t had much time to blog. Our beautiful, healthy baby girl arrived in November. Its taken some time to adjust to the new schedule, but I couldn’t be happier 🙂 .

I am slowly getting back into the kitchen.

It has been bitter cold here in Ohio. If you are in the Midwest or Northeast you know exactly what I am talking about. Cold weather calls for comfort food and today I couldn’t decide what to make. I was in the mood for something mexican and spicy but Andy wanted a cheesy baked pasta with marinara so I decided to mix the two and satisfy both of our cravings. I adapted this recipe from Jo Cooks Blog, I just made a few small changes to work with what I had on hand.

enchilada pasta skillet

  • 16 oz dry pasta. I use organic whole grain Rotini pasta
  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil- or olive oil, whatever oil you like to sauté with
  • ½ of a Shredded rotisserie chicken. You could use 2 chicken breasts if you prefer. I had half a left over rotisserie chicken so it was perfect
  • 1 small onion, diced about 1 cup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz enchilada sauce, las Palmas mild is what I like
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 bag of frozen corn, or canned if you prefer
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream, the recipe called for heavy cream but I didn’t have any and I had some cream cheese that needed to be used. I blended the cream cheese with 1 cup of chicken broth and made a creamy chicken broth. The pasta turned out nice and creamy
  • ½ cup salsa- I like Frontera green label Jalapeno and Cilantro salsa
  • 1 – 2 cups Tex Mex cheese blend (jack, cheddar, mozzarella)
  • Fresh Cilantro, avocado, chopped green onion and sour cream for garnish

echilada past overhead


Shred the chicken or cube 2 chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper and cook. Set aside.

Cook dried pasta half way ; about 4-5 minutes. Check cooking time on box and cut in half.

Rinse pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet or wide pot (use a larger pot than you think you need so you can fold and mix with no spilling) sauté onion in oil for about 2 minutes over medium heat.

Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste (about 2-3 good pinches of salt) and sauté for about 3 more minutes or until onion is soft.

Add Shredded or cubed cooked chicken and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Wash and drain the canned black beans while chicken is sautéing

If you are using cream cheese blend the cream cheese and chicken stock mixture.

Add to the skillet/Pot  enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, chicken broth/cream cheese or heavy cream, salsa and half of the cheese.

Turn heat to medium low and let it simmer and cook down so that the sauce thickens to your liking.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, green onions , avocado and a dollop of sour cream.

enchilada pasta close up




I’m sorry I haven’t been posting anything delicious lately. I haven’t been cooking much. I have been exhausted. I have a good excuse though… I promise! 

I have been so tired, I have barely been able to function and get through my work day. Luckily I have a fantastic husband and he has access to all of my step by step recipes on this blog, so he has been doing most of the cooking. 

Andy and I are expecting our first baby! We are 13 weeks today and we are super excited!

I will be back with some recipes as soon as I can!




Shredded Beef Tacos with Guajillo and Ancho Chile Sauce

I’m sorry friends….. I have been lazy.

I haven’t posted a recipe in a very long time. I’ve just been so tired and haven’t been cooking much lately. I finally got some pictures today and I am ready to share a crockpot recipe for shredded beef tacos


This recipe is adapted from Sunset Magazine October 2009.

You can leave the beef cooking all day while you are at work and just make the sauce when you get home.

I made the beef a day ahead, shredded it and left it ready to go for the next day.

This is not a spicy dish. The chiles used for the sauce are not very spicy but they are full of flavor. If you want a spicy sauce you can keep some of the seeds instead of discarding them when you clean the chiles.

 For the Beef:

2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 4 pieces

1 dried bay leaf

1 Can Coca-Cola* or another cola (not diet)

a little water

salt and pepper to taste

Beef cooking instructions:

In a crockpot combine chuck roast, bay leaf, cola and salt and pepper. Make sure the beef is just covered with liquid. If the can of coke isn’t enough to cover it add a little water. I have a round crockpot and one can with a little water is just enough to cover the roast but if you have a very large crockpot you will need a lot more liquid.

Cook on low for at least 6 hours until meat is falling apart.

Shred beef and discard any fat.

 For the Sauce:

3 medium dried ancho chiles

2 large dried guajillo chiles

2 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

2 large garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano*

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

Make sauce for beef:

Wipe chiles clean with a damp cloth, stem and seed, and chop into pieces.

taco chiles chopped

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.

Sauté onion and garlic until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

taco onion and garlic

Add chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

taco chile saute

Add 1 1/2 cups water, the cumin, tomatoes, oregano, and salt- I used about 3 pinches.

Bring to a boil, then reduce, until chiles are softened, about 10 minutes.

taco chiles add tomato

taco chiles cooked down

Purée sauce in a blender until very smooth.

taco sauce blend

In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil and add shredded beef and fry for a minute.

taco shredded beef

Pour sauce over mix and combine.

taco beef sauce simmer

Cook down the sauce until thick, about 10 minutes.

taco beef cooked down

Serve with corn tortillas and make tacos. Top with Guacamole and cilantro

Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna

seared ahi 1Today I was checking out the seafood counter at the grocery store and I saw a beautiful piece of sashimi grade tuna. I love love love seared tuna but I have never made it at home so I decided to give it a try.

raw ahi

It was super easy to make and delicious! You can serve this with a soy dipping sauce and eat like sushi, with a salad or with steamed rice . I made a salad with a jicama and radish slaw.

ahi on salad

If Andy was a fan of seared tuna I would make this again with wasabi mashed potatoes and a sweet and savory sauce drizzled over it. But no luck, he hates it… More for me! 😉


2 Sashimi grade Ahi tuna steaks cut thick

black and white sesame seeds

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons grape-seed oil

Dipping sauce:

3 parts low sodium soy sauce , 1 part good quality rice vinegar


In a small shallow bowl, mix dark and light sesame seeds until combined.

In a small prep bowl combine paprika, salt, pepper, and coriander.

sprinkle a little bit of grape-seed oil on tuna steaks and rub seasoning mix all over.

ahi seasoned

dip steaks in sesame seed bowl until steak is fully covered all around.

ahi sesame crust

Heat grape-seed oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. Once the pan is really hot place steaks on pan and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, longer if you want it less rare. I cooked mine for 2 minutes on each side. I like tuna very rare.

searing ahi

Remove  from pan and place on cutting board and cut.

seared ahi

serve over a salad or with rice vinegar and soy sauce dip.

Easy Chocolate Soufflé for Two

I saw a chocolate soufflé picture in a magazine a few days ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I decided to give my first chocolate soufflé a try.

This is a Martha Stewart recipe. I picked this one because it’s for 2 small soufflés and it didn’t have any crazy ingredients and it didn’t require heavy cream. Most recipes are for 8 soufflés, way too much for a family of 2.

Not too shabby for my first chocolate soufflé….

Chocolate Souffle

Don’t you agree?



3  tablespoons  butter, 1 for greasing the ramekins and 2 to melt with the chocolate

1  teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, if you don’t have cocoa powder, you can use sugar to coat your ramekin instead

3  ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate – chopped

1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract – I use Mexican vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons  sugar

pinch salt

pinch cream of tartar


Heat oven to 375° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease one 16-ounce or two 8 ounce ramekins.

Coat the ramekins with the cocoa, tapping out the excess. I just put one teaspoon of cocoa in the ramekin and kind of swirled it around until the bottom and sides were coated, then I transferred the remaining cocoa powder leftover from the first ramekin, into the second ramekin.

souffle cocoa

Simmer water in a large pan. You will be placing a large bowl over the simmering water to melt the chocolate.

Put 2 tablespoon of butter and chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Place the bowl over the pan with simmering water and stir occasionally until fully melted.

souffle chocolate bath

Remove bowl from heat and add the vanilla and quickly whisk in the yolks until smooth and set a side.

 souffle chocolate add egg yolks

In a clean bowl, with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.

souffle egg whites

Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the chocolate until completely incorporated but not over mixed, be gentle with the folding.

souffle fold in egg whites

souffle ready to pour

Spoon into the ramekins.

If you are making this recipe a day ahead, stop at this point and put plastic wrap over ramekins

Bake until puffed and set, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé,

20 minutes for two smaller ones. (If baked directly from the refrigerator, add 5 to 10 minutes.)

Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving and serve immediately (before they deflate).

souffle 2

I baked this in my smart oven on convection bake for 17 minutes. Every oven cooks differently; I think 15 minutes would have been better. I will definitely make this again and serve with some vanilla gelato.


Quick and Easy Bruschetta

Two posts in one day…. I was seriously having blog withdrawls !

I made this yummy and healthy Bruschetta to eat with my delicious crusty bread -click this link for the recipe.

This Bruschetta is quick, easy, healthy and always a crowd pleaser.

bruschetta on bread 1

I toasted my bread in the toaster oven with a little bit of olive oil to crisp it up. If you aren’t making the homemade bread just grab a french loaf from your local bakery and ask them to slice it for you.

I made a small batch for Andy and me, but if you are making this for more people just double or triple the recipe.

bruschetta in bowl


3 Roma tomatoes , diced

1/4 cup fresh basil- chopped in ribbons

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons high quality balsamic vinegar. I always keep an eye out for good oils and balsamic vinegars when I go to Home Goods or TJ Maxx, they always have great deals.

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt- taste and add more if needed.

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated pepper

1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano- Reggiano


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for at least half an hour so that the tomatoes marinate well.

bruschetta on bread