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Home-grown Chinese Take out

10 Oct

This meal was one of those “here’s what I have in my pantry” meals that ended up turning out quite nicely. Risotto makes for surprisingly great fried rice, and the combination of Asian, BBQ and citrus flavors in the chicken made my taste buds dance. I hope you guys like it too.



4 Chicken breasts

Splash of OJ

2 fat spoonfuls of crushed pineapple

Soy sauce

BBQ sauce

Dijon honey mustard

3 large garlic cloves (minced)

¼ red onion (chopped)

1 Italian red pepper (chopped)

1 small head of broccoli

1 cup of risotto rice

3 cups of chicken (or veggie) broth

Olive oil

Sliver of butter

Salt & pepper

Italian herb blend



  1. Season the chicken breasts with S&P, Italian blend and allspice. In a separate bowl, combine the pineapple, soy, BBQ and mustard with S&P. Then, let the breasts marinade in the sauce blend.
  2. In a small pot, sauté half of the onions and one garlic clove in butter and O.O. for three minutes, and then add the risotto and stir for two more minutes. Slowly add in the chicken/veggie broth one cup at a time. Season w/ spices. Leave the rice on medium heat and stir occasionally until the water has absorbed.
  3. Coat a pan with a little bit of O.O., and dump in the chicken and marinade. Cook at medium heat. Once the chicken is done, take out the breasts and keep warm on the side. Add in the OJ, and turn up the head to high. Dash in a bit of pepper and allow to reduce.
  4. Grab another pot, and sauté the remaining onion and garlic until tender. Season. Throw in the rest of the veggies, season, and continue to let it cook for about five minutes. Splash in soy sauce.
  5. Once rice is done, mix it in with the veggies. Season with S&P and other spices as needed.



Sweet Potato & Apple Pork Chop dinner

10 Oct


Whether you’re having a blast-tastic type of day that makes you jump out of your shoes from happiness, or if you’re at the end of a day when you need to drink a large bottle of wine immediately or risk killing the next person you see, a solid dinner is in order. And in both cases, I think that the wine is too.

This dinner is comfy like your pink bunny slippers and will make you feel cozy as hell no matter what the day has put on your plate so far.

The Supplies


  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 4 pork chops
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Large piece of tinfoil (maybe two)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub the pork chops with garlic, S&P, nutmeg, thyme and marjoram
  3. Toss the potatoes, apples, onions and garlic with mustard, spices, and salt & pepper. Cut up 3 tbs of butter into pieces and scatter around the
  4. Wrap the mixture in tinfoil so that it is completely covered. Place it on a baking sheet, and leave it in the oven for at least 18 minutes (the potatoes should be tender).
  5. While the potato mix is roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan on medium heat and brown up the porch chops. You want to make sure there is no pink on the inside, about 7 minutes on each side depending on how thick your cut is.

Ready for the Oven

Fish & Veggie Pockets

5 Oct

Once again, my favorite Food Network Italiano, Giada, has won with these fish and vegetable pockets. This easy-bake fish dish is just as simple to throw together as it is healthy. I got my hands on some tilapia for this one, but any white fish you enjoy will do. I threw a slightly different spin on Giada’s version based on what was available in my own kitchen, but that really is the great thing about cooking…making it your own. Enjoy.

  • 1 lemon; zest it, get the juice, slice it up
  • 1 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • ¼ sweet onion sliced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • A small head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • Drizzling of soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 (4-ounce) white fish fillets, skinned (or other fish about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 2 large pieces of aluminum foil (or parchment paper)

Ready for the oven

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss the veggies with the soy, lemon juice and olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper.
  4. Split the tossed veggies in half and place one pile in the middle of each piece of tin foil. Get all the juices in there too.
  5. Place a fillet on top of each veggie pile, and sprinkle the zest mixture on to each one. Throw the lemon slices on top.
  6. Fold the tinfoil in half around the fish and veggies, and continue to fold the excess foil over in half until it is tight. Then fold in the sides of the tinfoil pocket so that it is as air tight as you can get it.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes. The fish will be flakey when it’s done.

Served with roasted potatoes and more fish.

First trip to the Farmer’s Market

5 Oct

The Boulder County Farmer’s Market pops up every Saturday from April 3 to November 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on 13th Street between Arapahoe and Canyon right next to Central Park. The market is just a few short blocks from the bustling Pearl Street Mall, where you are just as likely to see a skinny Jamaican pack himself into his clear soapbox, as you are to see a six-foot shaggy dog/man barking a passers by.

"Making a living in a box is tough. Stay in school."

This market was jam-packed with people, and with good reason. There were bountiful harvests of produce everywhere, and lots of samples to go around, which doesn’t hurt when you’re broke as a joke like me. All the things you can imagine falling out of a Thanksgiving cornucopia were there with some friends; fat pumpkins, speckled corn, peppers in every color of the rainbow…bellisimo.

Ehhh...what's up Doc?

Colorful Sweet Peppers

Fall is in the flowers