Rocket Soup with Smoked Salmon (Arugula Soup)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
10 oz arugula
4 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan with high sides.
Add the sliced onion and sweat for a few minutes, until transparent and not changing in color.
Add the garlic and cook a few more minutes.

Add the heavy cream and vegetable stock.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the basil and arugula, setting aside a few pieces of arugula to garnish.

Allow mixture to come to a brief boil and then turn off the heat.

Blend until smooth, adding a little salt and pepper, to taste.
Return to pan and reheat gently, not bringing back to a boil.
Serve warm, garnished with smoked salmon and arugula leaves.

Smoked Pork Spareribs

Total Cook Time: 4 hours
Mesquite Smoked

2.5 pounds pork spareribs
Seasoned with Alamo Dust
Put in the smoker at 250 F

After 1.5 hours and an Internal Temperature of 145 F
applied some Raspberry Peach Chipotle Glaze
and wrapped in butcher paper

3.5 hours in with an Internal Temperature of 190 F
removed the butcher paper
applied some more Raspberry Peach Chipotle Glaze
put it back on the smoker for 30 minutes
to carmelize the glaze a bit
Internal Temperature sitting at 200 F when removed

You can let it go for longer, an hour will put you at a very nice spot and likely an Internal Temperature of 205, which is the highest we recommend leaving on for.

Smoked Salmon

Total Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Texas Smokehouse Post Oak

Sea salt
Rainbow Peppercorn
4 tablespoons Kalona SuperNatural butter

We are sticking to a basic recipe because the salmon will be used in other dishes and we don't want it to change the flavor of that dish.
With that being said, following this recipe will guide you into adding whatever you want extra and trying different variations.
Since we are only using three ingredients to go with the salmon, we chose the best butter we could find.

Instead of buying a whole salmon filet, we chose two center-cut pieces so that the salmon would cook evenly and could be done on a single cedar plank. Each center-cut salmon filet weighs 1 pound.

Melt the butter and let cool for a few minutes, then brush it across the top side of the salmon.
Sprinkle on your desired amount of salt, then pepper.

Once the smoker is at a steady 250 F place in the middle away from your hot spots if you know where they are. Otherwise monitor both pieces at once during the entire cook.

After 1 hour in the smoker brush on the other half of the melted butter from before. You will be more than halfway done with the cook at this point.
Your desired Internal Temperature for the salmon is going to be 145 F.
Make sure that you are monitoring both pieces at once so that you will know if you need to rotate the cedar plank to keep it at an even cook.

Smoked Beef Chuck Short Ribs

Total Cook Time: 6.5 hours
Mesquite Smoked

4.5 pounds Beef Chuck Short Ribs
Crawford's Barbecue Season All
Chupacabra Rub Brisket Magic

Start off the smoker at 275 F.

After 1 hour, use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to spray the ribs once an hour until wrapped.

Once the ribs reach 160 F, wrap tightly and return to the smoker.
In this case, it took just over 3 hours to come to temperature.
For the remainder of the cook, turn the temperature up to 300 F.

Once the ribs have reached 205 F Internal Temperature,
pull them from the smoker and let rest at least 30 minutes.

Charro Beans

This dish is very versatile and has so many possible variations of flavor depending on the meat you decide to use. The spice level is all based on preference. Add as many peppers as you want, or none at all. We cook a big pot of beans in the slow cooker. 4 cups of dry beans will take about 4 hours on high. We only add half an onion to go in with the pinto beans while they cook, because they will have so much flavor added during the next steps. It's best to salt them at the very end, so you don't end up with too much salt in the final product. 

6 oz bacon (half a pack)
6 oz chorizo sausage (2 links)
6 oz pork and venison sausage (1/2 of a full link)
1 garlic clove, chopped
Dash of paprika, cumin, oregano
2 or 3 diced Roma tomatoes
1/2 a bunch cilantro, chopped
half of a yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups pinto beans, water from beans

Add bacon to a large pot and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the chorizo and cook all the way through.

After about 5-6 minutes, add the pork and venison sausage.
Add the garlic clove and a dash of paprika, cumin, and oregano.

Next, add the tomatoes, cilantro, and onion.
Jalapeno or chipotle (optional)

Add the cooked pinto beans and the water they were cooked in.

Bring to a boil, and then let simmer for 15 minutes.

Pistachio Shortbread

Pistachio is one of our favorite nuts and my favorite flavor of ice cream. A cold front came in and I decided to make a batch of shortbread with a hint of pistachio. I used pistachio essence, crushed pistachio nuts, and a few drops of green food dye. My favorite thing about shortbread is how customizable it is! If you are avoiding or sensitive to food dyes you can omit it completely or go for a natural dye. Feel free to switch the type of nut, spices, and flavors to create your favorite cookie 🍪


1 cup softened butter 
1 /2 cup white sugar 
1 teaspoon almond extract 
2 teaspoon pistachio extract 
2 teaspoons water 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 cups flour
1/4 cup crushed pistachio nuts
3 drops green food dye


Preheat the oven to 325F. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the extracts and water, followed by the salt. 
Add the flour one cup at a time until well combined, then add the remaining cup. 
Add the crushed pistachio nuts and the green food dye until the color and nuts are well distributed. 
Wrap the dough and chill for 30 minutes to an hour to firm up. Once chilled, roll the dough out and cut out with the cutter of your choice. I went for star cutters in two sizes. 
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges have turned a light brown. Let cool on the sheet and enjoy! 

Azuki Bean Paste Filling featuring an Heirloom Empanda Recipe

When I lived in Hawai'i, I tried a lot of new foods from different cultures I had not previously been exposed to. One such food was azuki bean paste- as a Latina, I am very familiar with beans in their savory applications and was very excited to try beans in a sweet way. I was blown away and it almost immediately became one of my favorite things. Recently I wanted to try making it and felt that using the azuki bean paste would taste amazing in an empanada. 
My grandmother has an empanada recipe that has been passed down now to at least 2 generations and is something special to me. She uses beer in the dough to give it a lift as well as a distinct flavor. For sentimental reasons, I am not yet posting that recipe in our cookbook.

Azuki bean paste ingredients
  • 1 cup dried azuki beans
  • Water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher sea salt
  • Rinse the beans and throw out any broken beans
  • Put the beans in a deep pot and cover with water about 2 inches over the beans
  • When the water boils, strain the beans and throw out the water, add the beans back to the pot.
  • Add fresh water to the pot and cover about 2 inches over the beans again
  • Bring to a boil again and boil until the beans can be squished in between your fingers
  • Drain the beans, reserving a little bit of water to add to the blender
  • Add the beans to a blender or food processor and add some of the reserved liquid. Blend until very smooth. 
  • Add the mixture to a pot and simmer over medium-low heat. Add half the sugar, once incorporated add the remaining sugar. Add the salt. 
  • Continue to simmer, constantly mixing, until you can see the bottom of the pot when you scrape a spoon across the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a baking pan to cool. 
  • Once cooled you can use immediately or store in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Smoked Turkey Breast

Cook Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes at 275 F
Post Oak Smoke

4.5-pound turkey breast
Alamo Dust by Crawford's Barbecue
Cluckalicious by Chupacabra Rub

Maintain a constant smoking temperature of 275 F

Once an hour, spray the turkey with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar 1:1, to keep the outside moist.

The turkey is done when the thickest part of the breast reads 165 F.

Smoked Turkey Club Sandwich

Country White Bread
Monterrey Jack Cheese
Smoked Turkey
Country White Bread
Lettuce Tomato
Monterrey Jack Cheese
Smoked Turkey
Country White Bread

Cabbage and Potato Soup with Caraway


2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, halved
3 cups shredded/sliced cabbage
4 potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp sea salt
5 cups of water

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and soften the onion.

Add the garlic and cabbage, cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes, caraway seeds, sea salt, and water.
Bring to a boil then simmer until potatoes are cooked all the way through, about 20-30 minutes.

Use a blender or food processor to create a creamy consistency.
Garnish with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a few caraway seeds (optional).

Fire Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa

Yields 3.5 cups of salsa


8 Roma Tomatoes
4 Hatch Chile
6 Garlic Cloves
1 White Onion
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/2 Bunch Cilantro
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Sugar

Fire roast the hatch chile, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on the grill.
Cut the stems off the hatch chile and place everything into a blender or food processor.
Leaving the seeds in will make a batch of salsa that is between mild and medium in spice level.