Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese


kitchen tunes: lush life by zara larsson


six slices of sourdough bread

3 TBSP butter

1/2 C mascarpone cheese

1 C cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 jar of trader joes Hot & Sweet Jalapenos slices




  • Preheat a cast iron griddle over medium heat
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread
  • On the other side of the bread, spread evenly with mascarpone cheese
  • Once the griddle is hot, place three slices of bread onto the grill, butter side down.
  • Top with 1/3 C of the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Top the cheddar cheese with 7-8 slices of jalapeno slices
  • Next, place the second slice of bread on top, butter side up, and gently press into the griddle using the backside of a wooden spatula.
  • Grill for 2-3 minutes, and carefully flip, grilling an additional 2-3 minutes or until evenly browned on both sides.
  • Cut in half.  ENJOY!

Smoked Paprika & Bacon Tomato Soup


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my post this Saturday about my family and I picking farm fresh tomatoes, right off of their vine!  Talk about farm to fork! It was suggested during the picking process, to maybe use some of the harvest for tomato soup.  Being that its starting to feel more and more like fall each day,  I felt that tomato soup would be an excellent idea.  I made Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to accompany the soup. (Recipe to follow.)

kitchen tunes: Issues by Julia Michaels

recipe adapted from: Williams Sonoma




14 whole Roma tomatoes

1 lb smoked bacon ends & pieces

1 TBSP butter

1 small yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 TBSP heavy cream

1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper



  • Wash the tomatoes and using a sharp knife, score the underside with an X.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Carefully add the tomatoes to the pot and boil for 8 minutes.
  • Drain the water and allow the tomatoes to cool enough to handle.
  • Carefully peel the skin off of the tomatoes and cut out the pith, return the meat of the tomato to the pot.
  • Crush the tomatoes using a potato smasher, set aside
  • Over Medium heat, fry the bacon pieces and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Using the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  • Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup.
  • Next, stir in the cream, paprika and salt.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the bacon pieces.
  • ENJOY!


Ginger Lime Shrimp Over Spicy Wilted Napa Cabbage



I love visiting the farmers market on Thursday’s.  I try to look for things that are locally in season, but that we don’t necessarily have easy access to here in the central valley.  I mean, sure you can get Napa Cabbage in the grocery store, but you won’t see it in every grocery store.  So this Thursday I chose a HUGE head of Napa Cabbage while not having a plan for it in mind.  By that evening, I knew exactly what I would go for…something Asian inspired! And of course, SPICY!

kitchen tunes/ smells like teen spirit by nirvana




1 1/2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 TBSP butter

1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated

6 cloves of garlic, minced and seperated

juice of one lime

One 1 1/2 lb head of Napa Cabbage, washed, dried and sliced thin

6 green onions, sliced thin

3 TBSP soy sauce

1 TBSP sesame oil

1 TBSP water

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp sugar

2 TBSP olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted




  • In a small bowl, whisk together 2/3 of the minced garlic, a pinch of salt, 2/3 of the sliced scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, water, red pepper flakes and sugar. Set aside
  • In a wok, heat the olive oil over high heat.
  • Add the cabbage along with a pinch of salt and stir fry using tongs to toss. Continue until the cabbage is wilted, 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and pour the dressing over along with the sesame seeds and gently toss.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP butter in a cast iron pan.  Once the butter is hot and melted, toss the shrimp in, in a single layer.  Add in the remaining garlic, ginger and lime juice.  Allow the shrimp to cook for about two minutes on each side.  Stir well to combine juices and removed promptly to prevent over cooking.
  • Plate by placing a pile of the cabbage, top with a few shrimp.  Garnish with extra red pepper flakes and green onions.
  • ENJOY!



Salmon & Sun Dried Tomato Risotto

In an attempt to use up what I had sitting around in my cupboards and my freezer, I got a little creative for Sunday dinner this week and created this recipe of “Salmon & Sun Dried Tomato Risotto”.  In a nutshell, this was my thought process…”Well this goes with this, and that goes with that, and I have a little bit of those…so….yea, it should totally work!?” And guess what???? IT TOTALLY WORKED! Even the 12 year old, who can be even more picky  of an eater than the 6 year old liked it!



kitchen tunes: E.I. By Nelly




2 salmon fillets, blackened and flaked

2 TBSP unsalted butter

5 C Chicken Broth

1 small onion, chopped

1 1/2 C Arborrio rice

3/4 C White cooking wine

3 oz. sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

zest of 1 lemon

2 TBSP Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped




  • In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  • In a heavy sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the rice and coat with the butter, allow to cook for just a minute or so
  • Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about one minute
  • Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and stir until it is almost completely absorbed.
  • Continue to add the broth in, in 1/2 C increments while stirring continuously and waiting to add each additional increment in until the previous has almost absorbed.
  • When adding in the last increment, also add in the sun dried tomatoes, salmon and salt & pepper
  • Once the last of the liquid has absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the parm cheese, lemon zest and chopped parsley.
  • ENJOY!!

Spanish-Style Mussels


In Dublin’s far city, where girls are so pretty, I once met a sweet girl named Molly Malone.

And she wheeled her wheel barrow, through the streets broad and narrow,

singing “Cockles and Mussels Alive Alive oh!”


Kitchen tunes:     manifest /russ



4 lbs mussels

1 TBSP olive oil

2 cured Spanish Chorizo links, diced

8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large shallot, minced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 red cooking wine

1/2 C fresh chopped parsley

2 C marinara sauce (I used my recipe for marinara sauce which can be found at thedailygarlic.blogspot.com under “sauces”)

serve over cooked pasta & a baguette alongside




  • Place the mussels in a large pot of cold salted water
  • Debeard each mussel (YouTube.com is a great source if  you are unsure how to do this)
  • PLEASE NOTE: if a mussel does not close after tapping it on the edge of the pot, it should be discarded
  • In a separate large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat
  • Add in the chorizo and cook for a few minutes
  • Stir in the garlic, shallot and paprika
  • cook for another couple of minutes, until the garlic and shallot are softened
  • Pour in the red wine and simmer for a minute.
  • Add in two cups of marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • After carefully draining the mussels, stir them into the pot.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes or until the shells open up and are cooked through.
  • Stir in 1/2 C chopped parsley.
  • Discard unopened mussels
  • Serve over cooked pasta and baguette


Spiced Zucchini Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Another creative zucchini recipe of mine.  My little inquired about the green specks…he really enjoyed the “apple cake”, I mean is it even lying if there truly is “apple” sauce in the recipe!?

This recipe was created by thedailygarlicblog.wordpress.com

Kitchen tunes: somewhere only we know/keane



3 C all purpose flour

2 C sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

4 eggs

1 1/2 C applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 C zucchini, grated



8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 C butter, softened

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 C powdered sugar




  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 13 X 9 glass pan with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients
  • In a stand mixer, mix together all the wet ingredients
  • Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet while using the stir setting of your stand mixer
  • Once the ingredients are combined, stir in the zucchini
  • Bake on 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting:
  • In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter.
  • Beat in the cinnamon and vanilla
  • On a low speed, beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Once the cake is cool spread the frosting evenly over the cake
  • ENJOY!

Chocolate Brownie Zucchini Bread


This was a mom win for me! My zucchini plant has been the only productive plant in my garden this season and it has produced more zucchini than I know what to do with!  We have been consuming zucchini in some form at least three times a week for the past month or so, and sometimes the kids have no idea that they’re consuming vegetables, such as with this Chocolate Brownie Zucchini Bread.  🙂


Recipe adapted from Onceuponachef.com

kitchen tunes: This Is What It Feels Like by Jasmine Thompson




1/2 C unsalted butter

3/4 C plus 2 TBSP brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 2/3 all purpose flour

1/3 C cocoa powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 C grated zucchini, gently packed

1/2 C milk chocolate chips




  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray
  • Melt butter and stir in the brown sugar
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Mix the butter/sugar mixture into the dry ingredients
  • Stir in the grated zucchini and milk chocolate chips
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  • ENJOY!