Chicken Thigh Shawarma

After having chicken in some form for dinner three nights in a row last week, the mister wasn’t too keen on the thought of having it for a fourth.  But once he saw and smelled what I was working on he decided to stay open minded.  He liked it so much that he even decided to take leftovers for lunch the next day!

recipe adapted from: family circle magazine/Aug 2017

kitchen tunes: slide/ calvin harris ft. frank ocean & migos


1/4 C plain Greek yogurt

2 TBSP tahini

6 cloves garlic, grated

6 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 tsp lemon zest

3/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 TBSP olive oil

1/3 C toasted pine nuts

4 TBSP finely chopped parsley

2 C hot cooked white rice

mixed green salad



  • In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini and two cloves of the garlic, 2 TBSP of the lemon juice and 2 tsp of the zest.  Whisk in 2 TBSP water and add 1/8 tsp each salt & pepper.
  • In another small bowl, combine the rest of the garlic, 2 TBSP lemon juice, the cumin, paprika, curry, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Heat 1/2 TBSP oil in a large cast iron pan over med-high heat.  Add half the chicken and cook 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board, leaving any brown bits in the pan. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it thin.
  • Add 1/2 C water to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom.  Add the spice mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic softens and sauce thickens.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet.  Cook while stirring constantly until the chicken is well coated and heated through, 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir pine nuts, 3 TBSP parsley, 2 TBSP lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest and 1/8 tsp each salt & pepper into rice.
  • Top rice with chicken and sprinkle with 1 TBSP parsley (which I forgot to do!) Serve with yogurt sauce and mixed green salad.
  • ENJOY!


Quinoa Bowls


In attempt to eat healthier following a weekend getaway full of indulgences, I whipped up these Quinoa bowls for dinner the other night.  Initially I wasn’t too sure how the mister would respond to these, but I know him well enough to know that if it has any kind of meat AND hot sauce…we’re good!

this recipe is a DG creation

kitchen tunes: mistaken/ marian hill ft. steve davit



1 TBSP olive oil

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin 1 in. strips

chicken seasoning of your choice (I used Don Sazon Chicken Seasoning)

1 C uncooked tri-colored Quinoa (prepared according to package directions)

1 can black beans

other toppings of your choice including, but not limited to: Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomato,salsa, avocado, jalapenos, sour cream, hot sauce.




  • In a large cast iron pan, heat olive oil.  Add sliced chicken and season generously with chicken seasoning. Cook chicken thoroughly
  • Meanwhile, in a seperate pot, prepare the Quinoa, making sure to rinse thoroughly prior to preperation. Set the cooked quinoa aside until you are ready for assembily.
  • Just before the chicken is finished cooking, place the black beans in a small pot and heat thoroughly.
  • Once these three items are finished you can begin assembly.  Start with a layer of quinoa, chicken, then black beans.  Top with your favorite toppings.
  • ENJOY!

Smoked Mozzarella Caprese Salad


I can’t say that I’ve ever previously been interested in preparing or eating a Caprese salad.  It has always been one of those things for me that look nice, but it seems too simple to be classified as delicious.  Boy was I wrong!  You see, here’s how it went… The mister called me earlier in the day to discuss dinner plans.  Since I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet, he suggested that he could bbq.  Its been really hot here in CA so I knew that I wanted to avoid turning on the oven at any cost.  Remembering that I had some tomatoes, and smoked mozzarella left over from other dishes I made earlier in the week, a caprese salad just made sense! I’m so glad that I overcame the doubts I had about the Caprese salad, maybe it’ll teach me to think twice before I snub recipes.  🙂


adapted from bon appetit magazines recipe for: ultimate caprese salad

kitchen tunes: sweet caroline/ neil diamond




3 large tomatoes on the vine

8 oz. smoked mozzarella (regular would work, but the smoked makes this salad even better!)

salt (I used pink himalayan salt)

fresh ground pepper

premium olive oil

1/2 C of fresh whole basil leaves

one loaf of french bread (to be served on the side)



  • wash and slice tomatoes into thin rounds
  • Arrange the tomato slices on a plate and sprinkle with salt.
  • Slice the mozzarella into 12-13 pieces
  • lay the mozzarella slices out on the cutting board and sprinkle those with salt as well.
  • Arrange the mozzarella slices between the tomato slices and generously drizzle with a premium olive oil and season with pepper.
  • Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  This will allow the flavors to marry and juices to escape.
  • After 30 minutes arrange with basil leaves.
  • Serve with bread
  • ENJOY!





Yam Fries


Yam fries are currently my favorite side dish and snack.  I’ll usually make a double batch of these babies and use a portion to go with whatever I’m making for dinner that night and use the rest to snack on in the coming days.  They taste great served hot or cold straight out of the fridge! Really!

This recipe is a DG creation.

kitchen tunes: drop it like its hot/ snoop dog ft. pharrell



3 medium yams OR 2 large yams

1/4 C premium olive oil

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

cayenne pepper (to taste)





  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Wash yams and slice into fries
  • In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, pepper, garlic powder, nutmeg and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.  (Use more or less according to your personal preference).
  • Toss the yam fries into the olive oil mixture and coat evenly.
  • Transfer to a large cookie sheet in a single layer making sure that the skin side is up.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with salt upon removing from the oven.
  • ENJOY!



Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry


Quite often, something in the grocery store will catch my eye and almost in a compulsive manner, I’ll toss it into my cart unknowing of what will come of it.  That was pretty much the case with these snow peas.  I love snow peas.  And I love stir fry.  It just made sense!

kitchen tunes: You Found Me/ The Fray




1 LB lean beef, cut into 1/4 in thick strips

3 TBSP soy sauce

2 tsp.  toasted sesame oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 LB snow peas

1 onion, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, sliced thin

2/3 C chicken broth

2 1/2 TBSP sherry

1 TBSP corn starch

3 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

sesame seeds, toasted

garlic chili sauce

steamed white rice




  • Mix beef, 2 TBSP soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the chicken broth, sherry, 2 TBSP water, remaining 1 TBSP soy sauce and the cornstarch.
  • Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir-fry the beef until browned, this takes only a few minutes. Transfer the beef and any liquid to a plate.
  • Add the remaining TBSP oil to the skillet.  Add garlic, onion, bell pepper and sugar snap peas and stir fry until slightly softened but still crunchy to the bite.  Next add the chicken broth mixture, lower heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the beef and juices back into the skillet and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  • Serve over rice, garnish with sesame seeds and garlic chili sauce.
  • ENJOY!

Buttery Banana Muffins


Having two growing boys with insatiable appetites and minimal time to grocery shop, I often tend to go over board on the healthy items that I know they are willing to eat.  Hence the reason that I brought home six pounds of bananas last weekend!  The mister warned me that they’d go brown before they had a chance to get consumed, I of course had other plans….like smoothies and BANANA MUFFINS! 🙂

kitchen tunes: The Next Episode/Dr. Dre




1.5 C all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 large bananas, mashed

3/4 C sugar

1/3 C butter, melted




  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a muffin pan by coating with a non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl combine the mashed banana, sugar and melted butter.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the banana mixture.
  • Scoop into the muffin pan.
  • Bake at 350 for approx. 25 minutes or until golden.
  • ENJOY!


Vanilla & Chocolate Conchas

This recipe takes a rather long time to prepare, but believe me, its worth it.  These pastries are a little more dense than what you would purchase in a Mexican market, but the flavor is almost identical  I’ll definitely be making these again.

kitchen tunes: Destiny’s Child/Bug A Boo

recipe from BH&G/May 20017



1/2 C lukewarm water (110 degrees)

2 TBSP active dry yeast

3/4 C, plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar

3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 C for dusting

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp. salt

3 TBSP. unsalted butter at room temp

1/2  TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 C all-purpose flour

1 C powdered sugar

8 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled and cut up

2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder



  • In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP granulated sugar.  Let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Place 3 1/2 cups of flour on a clean working surface; make a well in the center.  Pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, the eggs and salt.  Using your fingers, mix until dough comes together.  (Dough will be very sticky; use remaining 1/4 C flour and a dough scraper to help knead until you have a well-formed dough ball.)
  • Add 3 TBSP butter; knead until elastic and very smooth, about 10 minutes.  Grease a large bowl with olive oil; place dough in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap; allow to rise about 1 hour.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.  Divide into twelve 2 inch pieces.  Roll into balls.
  • Place balls on two greased baking sheets.  Cover with plastic; let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile for sugar topping, in a large bowl combine 1 C flour, the powdered sugar, and 8 TBSP butter.  Mix with hands until a moist dough forms.  Divide in half.  Add cocoa powder to one half; mix until well incorporated.  Divide the plain and chocolate dough into six balls each.  Flatten to a 1/4 inch thick disk; place on each concha.
  • Using a sharp knife cut through sugar topping.  Flatten each concha slightly; let rise 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 20 minutes or until puffed and edges are golden.
  • ENJOY!