#SundaySupper Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Greetings from cow country, ya’ll (sorry, but we’re in cow country, and in cow country we say ya’ll)! I’m in Pennsylvania for the weekend visiting my family for Memorial day. The drive up here was beautiful and smelly all at the same time- Pennsylvania air is tinged with cow manure, skunk, and road kill. Pleasant, right? It may be smelly, but it’s the smell of my childhood. We’ve been traveling up here since I was born, and the  smell reminds me of long hours in the car, I spy games with my brother, “are we there yet” whines, and my grandparents. The smell meant that we were getting closer to seeing two of the very most special people I know, my mom-mom and pop-pop. Today, I get to spend my first #SundaySupper with them.

I decided to make grilled chicken caesar salad for supper since my grandmother is diabetic. It’s low carb and delicious. I marinated the chicken in a lemon, olive oil, and dill mixture. It imparts mucho flavor into the chicken and helps the chicken stay super moist and juicy.   It gets grilled to perfection, topped on fresh salad greens, and drizzled with homemade caesar dressing. I promise, this salad does not disappoint.

I let my mom choose the cocktail for #SundaySupper, and when I asked her what she wanted me to make, she got all giddy and excited and breathlessly replied “cocojitos.” Here’s a look at what my day was like:

I juiced over a dozen limes for a measly cup of lime juice. The limes weren’t giving up their juice as easily as I would have liked, and I ended up with a gimp hand. It’s okay, though. God gave us two hands, so I held my cocojito with my other, non-gimpy hand.

I know what you’re thinking, “Jennie, why are you showing us a picture of raw chicken?” Well, because this is my favorite part of the chicken making process. It’s the part where you get to beat the chicken into submission. I like my chicken to be consistent in size, so I beat it.

Place the chicken in-between two pieces of plastic wrap and beat it with a meat tenderizer or improvise, like I did, and use a sauté pan. It’s a great method if you need to take out some unruly anger. Bad day at work? Beat the chicken. Troublesome mother-in-law? Beat the chicken. Kiddies plucking your nerves? Beat the chicken. You get it. Plus, it’s just plain old fun.

Add the chicken to a bowl and pour in the marinade. Chill for at least 2 hours before cooking, longer if you have the time.

Have a wonderful #SundaySupper gathered with family and friends around the table.

Happy eating,


Make sure you stop by the other sites and check out what everyone is cookin’ up for Memorial day:

Perfect Cocktails:


From the Grill:



Our recipes will be perfectly paired by Wine Everyday


4 chicken breasts

2 lemons, juiced

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tsp. lemon and pepper seasoning

1 tsp. dried dill (3 tbs. fresh dill, chopped)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

In a medium-sized bowl, add the lemon juice, olive oil, lemon and pepper seasoning, dill, garlic, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Pound out the chicken to 1/2-inch thick. Place the chicken in a bowl and pour in the marinade. Chill for at least 2 hours (I chilled my chicken for 5 hours before cooking and the flavor was amazing).

Heat the grill or a grill pan. Add the chicken to the hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until the chicken is fully cooked. When the chicken is finished cooking, let set for 5 minutes before slicing.

Caesar dressing:

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

4 anchovy filets

3 tbs. mayonnaise

1 tbs. dijon mustard

1 tsp. worcestershire sauce

4 tbs. fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a bowl of a food processor, add the garlic and anchovy filets, pulse to combine. Add the mayo, dijon, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, pulse to combine. Through the small hole at the top of the food processor, add the olive oil in a steady stream while pulsing. Add the parmesan cheese, and pulse to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


3 romaine hearts, chopped

Grated parmesan cheese


Add the sliced lettuce to a bowl and top with croutons, grilled chicken, and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with homemade caesar dressing.

Cocktail Time

I’ve been mixing up a lot of cocktails lately. I love concocting summery alcoholic beverages. Last week I found a recipe for a cocktail called the Latin Lover on SheKnows, an article written by Claire Gallam from The Realistic Nutritionist. I didn’t realize it at first, but it’s a skinny cocktail. I had my doubts at first, but after tasting it, those doubts disappeared. It’s one delicious cocktail. If I didn’t tell you it was skinny, you’d never be able to tell.

The recipe calls for Voli orange vanilla fusion vodka. Apparently, it has 25% fewer calories than regular vodka, and it’s made with French wheat. I suppose that’s what makes it healthier than regular vodka. I thought I’d have trouble finding it because it’s fairly new, but there it was on the shelf at my regular liquor store. I realized it was a skinny cocktail when I checked out at the liquor store.

Me: Hmm, I thought I was going to have trouble finding this particular vodka.

Salesman: Did you see it in an article or something?

Me: Actually, I found the recipe on a website. I’ve never heard of the stuff.

Salesman: Yeah, it’s pretty popular. It has fewer calories than regular vodka. Most people just mix it with club soda.

Me: Fewer calories? Ewww! I don’t know. Does it still taste good?

Salesman: Actually, it’s very good.

So, I bought it. Looking back, the recipe called for sugar-free lemonade, pineapple juice, and agave nectar. How could I have missed all the “skinny” signs? Well, I did. I’m so glad I decided to give it a try because now it’s one of my favorite summer cocktails.

I adapted the recipe to make a full pitcher because I’m not a fan of mixing up individual drinks when I have guests over.

This cocktail is fresh, crisp, and fruity. My guests loved them. They were convinced that they didn’t have alcohol in them, but I can assure you they do. And, a lot of it. They go down so smooth.

When I told them it was skinny, they were all shocked. “No way! But it’s so good; it doesn’t taste skinny,” is the reaction I got from my girlfriend as she was guzzling it down. For some reason we relate low fat and low calories to tasting bad, but that’s just not the case most of the time. If something is made with fresh, wholesome, natural ingredients it’s going to taste amazing, and this drink does.




2 cups Voli orange vanilla fusion vodka

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

3 cups sugar-free lemonade (I used crystal light)

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 lemon, sliced

1 liter club soda, chilled

In a pitcher, add the vodka, pineapple juice, lemonade, agave nectar, and lemon slices. Stir. Store in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

Add ice to a fancy glass, pour in some of the cocktail mixture, and top with a splash of club soda to taste. Add a lemon slice to the glass and enjoy.

#SundaySupper Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

Yay! It’s time for another #SundaySupper celebration. I was unable to attend last Sunday because of that dreaded 20-page research paper, but I’m back, and I couldn’t be more excited. We are  celebrating Cristina Ferrare’s cookbook for #SundaySupper this week. I don’t personally own her cookbook, but I hear it’s amazing. I chose a recipe from her website, which is absolutely beautiful.

You can find Cristina on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Foodily, and on her site. Her recipes are amazing. I made her cheesecake with fresh berries, and it does not disappoint. The filling is smooth and creamy with a hint of lemon. The entire cake gets topped with fresh summer berries and glazed with a sweet sauce. It’s excellent!

This is the first cheesecake I have ever made that didn’t crack. I was thrilled. I felt like a real professional. I thought to myself, “Dang, it didn’t crack. Well I’ll be darned. This cake is a winner.” I took it out of the oven and it was all smooth on top. I was theatrically clapping like a small child. What can I say, a smooth cheesecake makes this girl happy.

Oooo, look at the sweet strawberry sauce dripping down the sides of the ripe berries. That’s a dreamy sight, indeed.

Happy #SundaySupper. A big thank you to Cristina Ferrare for joining us this Sunday. Enjoy your time around the family table.

Make sure you check out the other Cristina Ferrare recipes my fellow #SundaySupper foodies are cookin’ up:




adapted from Cristina Ferrare


1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup pecans

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tsp. lemon zest

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1 pint fresh strawberries, halved and arranged on top of the cake

1/4 cup strawberry jam

To make the crust:  In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 cup of pecans. Pulse the pecans until they become a fine crumb. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, pecan crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter until moistened. Using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the bottom of a 10-inch by 3-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes, and cool completely.

To make the filling:  In a mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese for two minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar in an even stream, and mix for 2 more minutes, until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition to incorporate thoroughly, and scrape down the sides of the bowl each time. Add the  of sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Process until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and spread evenly in the pan. Lift the pan and tap it on the counter several times to release any bubbles in the batter. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is set. If it wiggles slightly, that’s okay. Do not overbake.

Cool the cake completely in the pan overnight. On the next day, release the springform pan from the cake. Arrange the halved strawberries attractively on top of the cake. Heat 1/4 cup of strawberry jam in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Using a pastry brush, brush the strawberries with the jam to give it a sweet, shiny coating. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

Maple Nut Granola

I’m extremely happy to be back after missing in action for almost two weeks. I’d like to apologize to all of my followers for my short sabbatical from blogging. I have been extremely busy with school. You know, all the boring things that need to be done in order to graduate. I’ve spent hours at my computer typing up a 2o-page research paper on an eighteenth-century gothic novelist. Blehk! Boring. I’d much rather talk about food. But, in today’s world, you have to be certified smart. You just can’t walk around telling people you’re smart. No, you have to have a piece of paper that says, “Hey, this girl really is smart. Here’s the paperwork.” I suppose some good came out of all of my hard work. My professor approached me yesterday and had nothing but good things to say about my paper. He wants me to consider publishing it. What? Me, publish a paper. I was completely shocked and totally honored that he considered my paper worthy enough to publish. Who knows, I may be a published author soon. I’m thrilled!

It felt great to get back in the kitchen. I haven’t held a whisk in almost two weeks. I almost didn’t know what to do with it. Just kidding. I was born with a whisk in my hand. I decided to make my maple nut granola. I’ve been stress eating a lot lately. I mean, a lot! I need something to balance out all of the stress donuts, s’mores, and cupcakes. Granola sounded like an awesome snack, so I went with it.

This granola is super easy to make, and it’s so good. You can’t even tell that you’re eating something healthy. First things first. Dump all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Stir to combine. Easy, right?

Whisk the wet ingredients together.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until all of the ingredients are equally coated with the syrup mixture.

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, and spread the mixture evenly onto the pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the granola is a toasty, light brown color.

Feel free to eat the granola by the fist full (I do it all the time), or sprinkle it over greek yogurt and top it with fresh berries for breakfast.

Greek yogurt sprinkled with granola is my favorite breakfast. It’s quick, healthy, and filling. It keeps me full until lunch. I can’t say that for too many other breakfast items.

Mmm, a heaping pile of granola- yum! This granola is full of good stuff. Tons of oats, flaky coconut, piles of nuts and seeds, and dried cherries.

A spoonful of this will make you happy. Trust me. Enjoy!

Love and sweet treats,



4 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup whole almonds

1 cup whole pecans

1 1/2 cups dried cherries or cranberries

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup + 1 tbs. canola oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, and dried cherries. Stir to combine.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine maple syrup, honey, and canola oil. Whisk to combine. Slowly add the syrup mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until all of the dry ingredients are equally coated with the syrup mixture.

Divide the mixture equally among the two sheet pans. Spread the mixture evenly onto the pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the mixture becomes light brown in color, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet pans before serving and storing.

Eat the granola by itself or sprinkle over greek yogurt and top with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

#SundaySupper Red Potato and Grilled Corn Salad

Happy Sunday! Today’s #SundaySupper theme is garden recipes. I was thrilled when I found out what this weeks theme was going to be. I love growing fresh herbs in the summer and using them in my recipes. They really brighten a dish. I made red potato and grilled corn salad with a chipotle lime vinaigrette for this week’s #SundaySupper. It’s perfect for summer picnics, barbecues, and deck parties. Not only is this salad delicious, it’s healthy. There is no mayo in this salad.

This salad is full of fresh garden ingredients:  red potatoes, radishes, grilled sweet corn, scallions, and fresh cilantro.

The vinaigrette that tops the salad is amazing. It’s made with spicy chipotles, tart limes, and sweet honey. Sweet, tart, and spicy is my favorite combination.

This salad is extremely easy to throw together. That’s what I love about. If you have a last minute party to attend, don’t worry, this salad can be made in 15 minutes.


Check out the other garden recipes that my fellow foodie friends are cookin’ up for this weeks #SundaySupper:

Cocktails and Wine Pairings: 



Side Dishes:





adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 lb. red potatoes, scrubbed and chunked into 1-inch cubes

3 ears fresh corn, husked

6 radishes, thinly sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tbs. fresh lime juice

2 tbs. chipotle in adobo (I keep a bowl in my fridge already chopped and ready to use)

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup light olive oil

4 tsp. honey

pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the water begins to boil, add some salt to flavor the potatoes, about 1/4 cup. Reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife or fork, about 15 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, drain and rinse with cold water. Add potatoes to a large bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking, preheat a gas or charcoal grill (feel free to use an indoor grill). Drizzle corn with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook the corn directly over the heat until the kernels are brown all over, turning often, about 8 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels off the cob. Add corn, scallions, radishes, and cilantro to the bowl with the cooked potatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, chipotle in adobo, garlic, honey, and cayenne. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour vinaigrette over potato mixture. Toss to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

I’m craving summer like I crave chocolate. I want to run around it flip-flops and sundresses. I want to sit on the beach with a tropical drink under my umbrella while I read a sappy romantic novel. Summer is so carefree. There are bonfires to enjoy, beach parties to attend, and music by the water. And, here in Baltimore, summer means crab season. There’s nothing like a deck party with good friends, beer, and steamed crabs.

To help assuage my craving for summer, I decided to make a lemony dessert. I made a lovely and light poppy seed pound cake. If you like lemons, you will adore this cake. The lemon flavor is front and center. I love that this cake has a delicate tartness, causing your lips to pucker ever so slightly. Oh, and there’s glaze. Yum! The glaze gets drizzled onto the cake while the cake is still warm, creating a sweet, crunchy crust, and a moist center.

The crust is so crunchy and delicious.

Mmmm, glaze!  It makes a cake just a little more special. I love watching it ooze over the sides of the cake.

This cake really is a beauty. And, even better, it’s absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

Happy eating,



from flour bakery

2 cups cake flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup plus 3 tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

3 tbs. grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

4 tbs. poppy seeds

1 tbs. fresh lemon juice

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

Lemon Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick liquid. If the butter hardens into lumps, heat the mixture gently until the butter melts again. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until it’s a light and fluffy lemon color. If you use a handheld mixer, it may take a little longer.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg-flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture just until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the middle. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

To make the glaze:

While the cake is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough lemon juice to make an easily spreadable, smooth glaze.

When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, pop it out of the pan and place it on the rack. Spoon the glaze over the top of the warm cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.

Slice and enjoy.

April Foodie Pen Pals

This month was my first time participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program. I loved my first experience. It was so much fun. It was like having Christmas in April. And, I love presents, so I was supper giddy when I received my foodie package in the mail. I was like a little kid, jumping up and down saying “It’s here, it’s here. My foodie package has arrived.”

Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean came up with the Foodie Pen Pal program. It’s a program that pairs food bloggers and foodies together to send delicious packages to each other. It’s so much fun!

I really enjoyed shopping for my foodie, Laura. I created an Italian themed package for her. I loaded the box with whole wheat pasta, puttanesca sauce, roasted red pepper and eggplant spread, pesto, sweet and spicy mustard, and chocolate biscotti. I secretly wanted to keep the box for myself, but I stayed strong and mailed it to Laura. She emailed me after she received her package with lovely comments on how much she enjoyed all of the products.

Here’s what I received from my Foodie Pen Pal, Lee.

Lee lives in Atlanta, Georgia, so everything in the package was from the Atlanta area. Her friend owns The Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta. Everything was delicious. The puffy meringue in the front was so light and fluffy. Oh my, it just melted in my mouth. I started chowing down on it (as you can see from the large chunk missing) as soon I took it out of the box. In the package was also a really moist almond cake, and a lovely crumbly shortbread. I ate it all.

Then there was this. What? caramel popcorn, you say. Yes, but not just any old caramel popcorn. This caramel popcorn was made with bacon fat. It. Blew. My. Mind! I didn’t know popcorn could be that good. I ate the entire bag. Did you expect anything less?

She also gifted me some toffee dipped in chocolate and pecans. It was beyond good. And, yes, I ate it all. Thank you, Lee. I really enjoyed my Foodie Pen Pal package. I’ll be participating in the May Foodie Pen Pal program, and I’m super excited.

Love and sweet treats,


#SundaySupper Meatball Subs

Meatballs, anyone? I decided to use the leftover marinara sauce from the chicken parmesan I made last Sunday to make meatball subs for #SundaySupper this week. I’m known for my meatballs. It took me a couple of years to get the recipe just right. They have a lovely depth of flavor, and they are super moist and tender. Everything a meatball should be. They really are the perfect meatball.

My dad claims that his meatballs are better than my meatballs (um, this is so not true). This argument has been going on for years. So, I decided that we need to do something to end the ongoing argument. We’re going to have a meatball throw down- Bobby Flay style. I’m going to gather up some taste testers, and we’re going to have a full on meatball battle. We’ll see who has the best balls in Baltimore. That’ll be me. This girl right here. If you’re reading this, dad, it’s on like Donkey Kong! Sorry, but you’re going down.  I’ll keep you posted on who wins this epic battle of the balls.

Okay, I’m not going to lie, photographing the meatball sub was a challenge. They’re just not aesthetically pretty. They taste damn good, but they’re hard to photograph. You have to be quick because the cheese starts to melt, and the sub begins to open and spread apart. Like I said, quite challenging.

You know what else is challenging? Getting your mouth wrapped around the sub to take a bite. It took some squeezing and stuffing, but I managed to fit it in. I had to expand my jaws a bit.

Have plenty of napkins on hand when eating this sub because it can get pretty messy. You know it’s a good sub when it’s a messy sub. Oh, there will be a marinara mustache. Enjoy your #SundaySupper with your loved ones.

Check out what my foodie friends are cooking up for #SundaySupper:

Lane from Supper for a Steal is making her Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe

Sasha from Rambling Notebook  is making her Crock Pot Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

Amrita from Beetles Kitchen is making her Vegetable Manchurian Recipe

Pam from The Meltaways is making her Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Carla from Chocolate Moosey is making her Sweet Chili Wings Recipe

Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is making her Creme Brûlée French Toast (Yum, breakfast for dinner)

Lyn from Lovely Pantry is making her Butternut Squash and Aspragus Risotto

Karen from Notes from the Cookie Jar is making her Chickpea Masala Sandwiches

Anuradha from Baker Street is making her Blueberry Lime Bread


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (I used 85/15)

1/2 lb. ground pork

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

3 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chunked

1/2 cup onion, chunked

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 egg

1/2 tsp. italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. season salt

2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 recipe marinara sauce

2 cups shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

6 sub rolls

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cooling grate on top of the aluminum foil.

In the bowl of a food processor, add onions, green peppers, and garlic. Pulse until the mixture becomes a fine mince. If the mixture becomes watery, drain some of the juice before adding it to the meat mixture.

In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, salt, pepper, season salt, italian seasoning, parsley, egg, worcestershire sauce, dijon, veggie mixture, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. Mix to combine.

Roll the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place them on the cooling grate. Bake for 25 minutes to brown. When your meatballs are finished baking, add the meatballs to the pot with the marinara sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Slice the sub rolls and add 4-5 meatballs to each roll. Top with desired amount of cheese (um, tons) and bake for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Helpful kitchen tidbit:  To make it even easier, you can add the marinara sauce and browned meatballs to a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Some-Like-It-Hot Stuffed Jalapeños

Holy hot fire, these stuffed jalapeños are good. I’m not lying. I pounded down 15 of these spicy green gems the other night. That’s right. I said it.  FIFTEEN! I’m surprised my stomach wasn’t a burning hole of fire the next day. I love spicy food! Like, sweat-while-you-eat spicy. That’s probably why I adore mexican and tex-mex food so much.

These jalapeños are loaded to the brim with a delicious cheese and sausage mixture, and then topped with, you guessed it, more cheese.  Hello, cheese! My husband tried to tell me they were too cheesy. Uh, too cheesy? Is there such a thing as too cheesy? The answer is “NO!” There is indeed no such thing as too cheesy. I took a vote, and it just doesn’t exist. Yet, he proceeded to eat the remaining stuffed peppers. Too cheesy my arse.

Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I love brown, charred cheese. It. Is. Good. Guess who was picking at the bits of crispy, browned cheese and waving them around saying “This is my favorite part.”  The same man who said the words “too cheesy” in a sentence.

I have made these stuffed jalapeños numerous times. They’re a favorite at parties, dinners, and barbecues. There are never any of these left over. So, if you had hopes on taking the leftovers home for a midnight snack, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. There won’t be any. I’m sorry.

If you like spicy, you’re gonna adore these stuffed peppers. Don’t worry, they’re not knock-your-socks-off hot, but they do pack a small punch. They have more of a warm, lingering heat. And, if you eat enough of them, you may notice a few beads of sweat gathering on your forehead. Enjoy!


adapted from Guy Fieri

20 jalapeño peppers, cut in half, seeded and deveined

1 lb. hot sausage roll (I used Jimmy Dean)

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

4 dashes Tabasco sauce

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the jalapeño halves on the sheet.

In a large bowl, add the softened cream cheese, worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbs. of olive oil. Add onions, red pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the hot sausage, making sure to break it apart as it cooks. Cook until sausage is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the cooked sausage mixture to the bowl with the cream cheese. Stir to combine. With a spoon, scoop the cream cheese mixture into the jalapeño halves. Top the peppers with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Turn the broiler on hi, and broil just until the cheese chars a bit and turns brown. Serve.

Coffee Break Muffins

Does anyone else struggle to get themselves out of bed on a Monday morning, or is it just me? I don’t know about you, but Mondays are rough for me. What? The weekend is over already, but it just got here.

I’m a bit scary in the morning. You don’t want to mess with me until I’ve had at least 1 cup of coffee. I trudge around the house in zombie mode, arms extended, feeling my way around the house until my eyes finally realize they should be opened- kind of like Frankenstein. I even moan and grunt like Frankenstein in the morning. Like I said, a bit scary. Oh, and the hair. The hair is just awful. Half of it’s sticking up as if someone took a balloon to it, and the rest is plastered to my face. Scary! Some people thrive in the early morning, but I’m not one of them.

Don’t worry non-morning lovers, I’ve got your back. I made coffee break muffins to help us out of our morning stupor. They’re packed with espresso powder, strongly brewed coffee, and mini chocolate chips. They’re a dream come true in the morning, and they’ll get ya moving in no time.

These muffins taste like a mocha latte. They’re a moist, cakey muffin.

These muffins took no time to whip up. I used a jumbo muffin tin because Monday morning calls for a jumbo muffin. Nothing else will do.

Hope this muffin helps shake you out of your Monday stupor. Enjoy!


adapted from Dorie Greenspan

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbs. instant espresso powder

1 tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 cup strong coffee, cooled

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin. Feel free to line your pan with papers instead of greasing them.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the coffee, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and, with a rubber spatula, stir to blend. A few lumps are okay. Fold in your chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin.