Chicken Paillard

Chicken Paillard is the perfect quick, tasty weeknight meal your family will love! The chicken turns out perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  I finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of fleur de sel to add brightness to the dish.  Pile on some fresh greens and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner!

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Cranberry Orange Sauce



I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!  Being a super foodie (is that a thing?), it is absolutely my favorite holiday.  Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is great too, but as far as cooking and eating goes, Thanksgiving wins hands down.  Now, to all of you out there who buy canned cranberries…you know who you are.  Technically, this is actually only a 3 ingredient side, but I elevated it with orange peel, zest and a cinnamon stick.  The half cup of sugar keeps it a little tangy.  It’s the way I like it and let’s face it, my family eats what I like and the way I like it.  Sorry kids, you may never know what mayo out of a jar tastes like, I just can’t do it.  If you want it a little sweeter, feel free to adjust to 3/4 or a full cup of sugar.  The beauty of great cranberry sauce is that it’s even better the next day.  Therefore, it’s perfect for leftovers or on a turkey sandwich with toasted sourdough, yum!

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French Onion Soup


It is a rainy weekend here in the SF Bay Area, but after years of a bad drought, rain is always welcomed here.  Whether as an appetizer or it’s own meal, soup is perfect on a day like today.  It’s always cozy, warm and comforting…easy, cheesy French Onion Soup!

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White Chicken Chili


White Chicken Chili is a hearty, yet light meal, perfect for lunch or dinner and packed with flavor.  As I near the end of my 30 days of clean eating, this recipe has been a family favorite.  Clean eating for 30 days is definitely a challenge for me, I’d be lying if I said differently.  I definitely have to supress some of my creative juices for cooking and creating with my normal free range.  However, I always feel so great after I’m done, so proud that I did it and losing a pants size doesn’t hurt either.  It also forces me to think outside my comfort zone about healthy meals I can create that also taste great.

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A Little Bit of Chicken Fried



There’s a few reasons why I call this A Little Bit of Chicken Fried….First off, we are big country music fans and we love the Zac Brown Band.  Every time I hear this song, it makes me smile and think of summertime, hanging out by the pool and relaxing with family and friends.  The second reason is that there are so many “secrets” to fantastic fried chicken and my recipe is really a little bit of lots of those tips and techniques.  It’s a little bit of Ina Garten, a little bit of Tyler Florence and a little bit of Paula Deen…they each have inspired different ingredients or techniques in my recipe.

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Adventures in Culinary School – Pedrone Peppers


I am currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Diablo Valley College.  It’s our local community college and the facility was completely renovated from the ground up about 3 years ago so it’s a top notch facility.  Right now, I am taking a farm to table, organic urban farming class.  We meet at a ranch at an offsite location, close to the college.  This week, we were making observations in the beds of organic ingredients and I noticed a plant in between all of the tomatoes growing Pedrone Peppers.  These are my absolute favorite peppers in existence.  My eyes immediately got big, I knew I had hit the jackpot! During the summer months, you can find them at Whole Foods or a farmer’s market during July-August and that’s about it.  We always buy a big bag at the farmer’s market on a weekend where we plan to entertain and fire up our wood fired pizza oven.  We throw them into a cast iron pan with some vegetable oil and cook them for a few minutes.  At 800 F, that’s all they need.

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Light & Easy Turkey Chili


A couple times a year at our house we focus on clean eating for a whole month, usually right before summer begins and then again in early fall, before the holidays hit.  I really believe in living life in moderation, in all aspects, as much as possible. This light & easy Turkey Chili is the perfect meal to whip up when you’re looking to prepare a quick healthy meal.  It’s so flavorful, you’ll never notice it’s missing beef and/or sausage.  The ground turkey seems to absorb all of the chili flavors, so it ends up tasting like a delicious bowl of chili and not necessarily like turkey at all. Clean eating is cooking with fresh, organic ingredients, eliminating all processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, sugar, dairy and soy.  I find that doing this a few times a year is like a reset button for my body and I end up feeling great.  Of course I also end up feeling like I’m really ready for a glass of wine!

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Coq Au Vin


Coq au Vin is a classic French dish of braising chicken with wine, mushrooms, garlic and bacon.  You can use bacon or pancetta, it’s a win-win either way, right?  Julia Child helped make this dish increasingly popular in the United States, it was often thought of as one of her signature dishes.  Red wine, specifically Red Burgundy is typically used, although you could always try it with a different varietal if you want.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

I’m not sure there’s a better combo that exists than Roasted Tomato Soup and a Grilled Cheese with Gruyere on Sourdough.  I make this Roasted Tomato Soup all year long.  Even though tomatoes are at their height of ripeness during the summer, this method of slow roasting them will bring out natural sweetness even when they’re not at their peak.

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Roasted Vegetable Beef Stew


Fall is in the air…football is on tv, temperatures are dropping, I hear some places are getting quite a bit of rain!  None for us here yet in the SF Bay Area but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t waiting anxiously for it.  I love cooking comfort foods, they are such a perfect weekend meal!  Roasted Vegetable Beef Stew is another great recipe you can put together during the day, let it simmer and it will be ready for you by the time dinner rolls around.  Plus, your house will smell wonderful, cozy and inviting. Continue reading →