Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (can substitute half the amount with baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can substitute with chopped walnuts)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil leaves and pine nuts first.
Then add all of the rest of the ingredients and blend together.
The less in contact with air the pesto is, the longer it will last.

Ways to use Basil Pesto
  • Appetizers and Dips
  • Salad Dressing and Mix-In
  • Sandwich Spread
  • Sauce and Garnish
  • Filling or Stuffing
  • Pizza Topping
  • Breakfast Condiment
  • Pasta Dish Ingredient

BBQ Bone-In Chicken Thighs

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs (skin on)
  • Chicken Rub
  • BBQ Sauce (we used honey-chipotle)

Generously season chicken thighs with your favorite rub or seasoning.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to 400F.
Sear chicken on both sides for 3-5 minutes per side until the skin turns golden brown careful not to char.
Move chicken to the unlit side of the grill and cook, covered, until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
Start applying bbq sauce at this point and turning every 3 minutes.
Once the internal temperature has reached 170F put the chicken directly over the hot coals for one last little crisp on top of the glazed bbq sauce.

Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies have oats in them which makes them extra chewy!

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2.5 cups rolled oats
    • I pulsed my oats in the food processor to break up the oats a bit, like a rough flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 oz chopped chocolate
    • I like to use bittersweet chocolate. I am also a big fan of a nice gooey chocolate bite in my cookies so I leave some bigger chunks of chopped chocolate. 

  • If you have not processed the oats; Pulse the oats in the food processor and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs (one at a time) and the extracts; mix to combine. 
  • In a separate bowl combine the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture and fold in the chopped chocolate. 
  • Drop spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. 

Tater Tot Casserole

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (10.5oz)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheese
  • Approximately 1 pound of frozen tater tots

Preheat oven to 350F
Brown the ground beef 7-10 minutes
Season to taste (salt and pepper)

Stir cream of mushroom soup into the cooked ground beef
Pour into a casserole dish

Layer tater tots across the ground beef

Top with 1-2 cups of shredded cheese
(Depending on your preference)

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until tater tots are golden brown

Frito Pie (Quick & Easy)

👨‍🍳 Frito Pie (Quick & Easy)

There is always a much easier way of doing things 😎
For this quick preparation of Frito Pie, you can create servings as small as 1-2 people. Little to no leftover mess to deal with.


1 bag of corn chips (9.25oz)
1 bag of shredded cheese (8oz)
1 can of chili (15oz)


Empty contents of chili into a small pot and heat medium. 
(If you turn it on too high to speed it up, the air bubbles in the chili will pop shooting hot chili in all directions 🤣 ouch)
Pour as much fritos onto a plate or bowl that you need, close and store the rest.
Pour hot chili onto chips.
(1 can will create 2 decent size servings)
Cover with as much as cheese as you want, close and store the rest in fridge.
(The hot chili will melt the cheese)

Start to finish in 10 minutes or less 🙌

Frito Pie with Brisket

For National Corn Chip day we are making the Classic Frito Pie, but instead of using ground beef, we will be using smoked brisket.

  • 1 bag of corn chips (9.25oz)
  • 1 bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8oz)
  • 2 cans of chili (15oz each)
  • 1 pound of chopped brisket (or ground beef)

Additional Toppings Can Be:
  • onion
  • jalapenos
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • refried beans
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a medium pot heat the 2 cans of chili
  • Heat and then Stir in chopped brisket
  • Pour bag of corn chips into a baking dish
  • Pour chili over corn chips and top with the desired amount of cheddar cheese
  • Put in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt and everything to heat through

Tofu Carnitas

This is definitely a different twist for Taco Tuesday. This dish is vegetarian and super easy to make! 

  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu

  • 2 limes juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt

  • corn tortillas
  • chopped onions and cilantro to garnish

Place tofu in a container and prepare carnitas marinade.
In a mixing bowl combine juice from 2 limes, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 minced jalapeno, and 2 tablespoons white vinegar.

Pour carnitas marinade over the tofu.

Inside the container cut the tofu each direction causing strips to form. Put the lid on and shake it gently to get the marinade on all pieces of tofu. It works best if you let it sit in the fridge overnight, but the marinade will start soaking in at as little as 2 hours.

Use 1 tablespoon olive oil over med-hi heat to saute tofu.

Add a dash of chili pepper, paprika, cumin, and salt.
To taste.

Tofu will cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the desired amount of crispiness.

Heat your tortillas and ENJOY!

Chicken Marinara

Sometimes I want a dish that brings me comfort and really fills me up without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This dish hits all those notes!


  • Thin chicken breast cutlets
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Seasons, to taste
    • I used salt, black pepper, powdered onion, powdered garlic, dried parsley, and chili powder
  • Flour
  • 1 egg beaten with a little water
  • Pasta of choice
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cheese, I used a blend of parmesan, asiago, and romano
  • Rinse the chicken cutlets, pat dry with a paper towel and set on a dish to the side. In a shallow bowl pour enough panko to coat the number of chicken breasts you have, add a little bit of flour and the seasonings; stir to combine. In another shallow bowl or plate, crack one egg and whisk with a little bit of water. In a third plate or shallow bowl, add some flour. 
  • In a pan add about 1 inch of oil and set to heat till a wooden skewer or chopstick begins to bubble when placed in the oil. 
  • Take the chicken cutlet and dredge in the flour, then the egg, followed by the seasoned panko. Add to the oil and cook for about 5 minutes on each side till golden brown; once the second side is close to the 5th minute check the temperature of the cutlet with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. Once done, set over a paper towel-lined wire rack to cool.
  • In another pot, bring salted water to a boil and add your pasta. Cook to al dente
  • Heat the marinara sauce and season to taste; I like to add a ladle of the finished pasta water to loosen the canned sauce. 
  • You can serve the dish any way you like, some of my family like to have a bed of pasta with a little sauce topped with the chicken, more sauce, and cheese. I like my chicken cutlet on the side of my pasta. 

Garlic Parmesan Baked Wings

Four pounds of chicken wings yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen. The sauce recipe will thoroughly cover 1 dozen wings or lightly cover the whole batch. If you want the whole batch to be garlic parmesan then I suggest doubling the recipe for the sauce.

  • 4 lb chicken wings
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup unsalted organic butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Lay wings out on to a pan and lightly cover each side with onion and garlic powder
  • Put in a ziplock bag and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours
  • Bake in the oven at 400 F for 45 minutes
  • In a saucepan slowly melt 1/4 cup butter, then add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Slowly add in the grated parmesan cheese.
  • When thoroughly mixed pour into a large bowl and toss chicken wings to desired amount of coverage.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Today we are making one of my all-time favorite cookies: Scottish Shortbread!

It is my favorite because of its simplicity as it only calls for four ingredients, and that shortbread highlights the star ingredient butter. The real "insider" secret to this recipe is using the highest quality butter you can get. For the batch, we used Kalona SuperNatural butter and you can really taste the quality of the butter in the final cookie. 
Shortbread originated in Scotland with the first printed recipe, in 1736, from a Scotswoman named Mrs. McLintock. Shortbread is widely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay festivities in Scotland. These cookies are traditionally baked in trays as one dough and cut into bars or baked in a disc and cut into triangles. 
To make these cookies more indulgent I added a drizzle of bittersweet chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

1 cup flour
1 stick butter, softened 
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (we will pulse the sugar to make it finer, or if you can use baker's/caster sugar in place of granulated sugar) 
Pinch salt,  plus some to sprinkle over the drizzled chocolate 
Half a bar of baking bittersweet chocolate

If using granulated sugar, pulse the sugar in a food processor to make the granules finer, but not as fine as powdered sugar. If using caster sugar, add it to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the flour and salt, pulse to combine. Add the butter to the bowl of the processor with the dry ingredients and pulse until a coarse sand-like texture is achieved.  
To make traditional bars, turn out the dough into a lined baking tray and push the dough into the tray. Dock the dough with a fork and if desired pre-cut the dough to make cutting easier after it bakes. 
To cut the dough with a cookie cutter, turn the dough out onto wax paper or plastic wrap and use the paper to push the dough together. Cover the dough with another layer of wax paper or plastic wrap and roll out to the desired thickness. Cut the cookies out, place on a baking tray, and dock with a fork. 
Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. If you are making bars or triangles, cut the cookies while still warm. 
While the cookies are cooling melt the chocolate and place in a piping bag. Once the cookies are cool, drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.