Vegetable & Shrimp Hot & Sour Soup


I don’t love being interrupted while running on the treadmill at 5:00 am on a Monday morning.  And I absolutely don’t love being interrupted while running on the treadmill at 5:00 am on a Monday morning to be told that I was successful at setting the timer on the coffee pot, however, I was UNsuccessful in placing the carafe below the drip.  In fact, I didn’t even place the carafe anywhere near the drip! It sat somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen sink. Oh, Mondaze!

After that mess I was determined to “get it togetha” and end my day with a bang.  And that is exactly what I did with the help of this Vegetable & Shrimp Hot & Sour Soup! Yum!


kitchen tunes: confident/justin bieber ft. chance the rapper


3 TBSP sesame oil

1 onion, sliced thin

1 TBSP grated ginger

1 jalapeno, minced

6 baby bok choy chopped (white parts separated from the green)

1 C carrot, diced

8 C chicken broth

1/2 C low sodium soy sauce

1/3 C rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 C water

1/4 C cornstarch

2 tsp olive oil

1 zucchini, diced

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 C jaune flamme tomatoes

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined




  • In a large soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat.  Saute the onion, ginger and jalapeno for a few minutes.
  • Add in the white parts of the bok choy and the carrots and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the olive oil.  Saute the green parts of the bok choy, zucchini, mushroom, tomatoes, and bell pepper until they begin to soften.
  • While the soup is simmering and the vegetables are sautéing, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, water and cornstarch.
  • When ready, add the sautéed vegetables to the broth pot and continue to simmer for 5-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the soy sauce/vinegar mix
  • Lastly, add in the shrimp and simmer 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink
  • ENJOY!



Spiced Salmon Kebabs


Cleaning up the dinner dishes after we had this meal took me back to my childhood for a minute.  I stood there realizing that I was able to distinguish who’s plate was whose simply by inspecting the remnants of what was left uneaten.  Growing up wasn’t much different, mom insisted we have a little of everything on our plate, but whether it got eaten was a different story.  I suppose I’m a lot like my mother in that sense.


The plate that was brought back into the kitchen with a single, completley untouched Kebab, of course had to belong to none other than Carson J!  The plate with nothing left but a pile of lemons (and of course skewers) had to be Doms.  The plate left with its skewers and only the rind of the lemons must’ve been Francisco, and the last plate…nothing but skewers, rinds eaten too….well, that was ME! 🙂  Detective work at its finest.


recipe adapted from: spiced salmon kebabs/ bon appetit magazine June 2013

kitchen tunes: passonfruit/ drake (I’m on a drake/ rhianna kick lately, I can’t get enough of those two!)




2 tsp dried oregeno

2 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp crushed red  pepper flakes

1 1/2 lbs skinless wild salmon filets, cut into 1 in pieces

2 lemons cut into thin rounds

2 TBSP olive oil

16 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 1 hour




  • Preheat an outdoor to medium heat
  • In a small bowl mix together the oregeno, sesame seed, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  • Beginning and ending with salmon, thread the salmon and folded lemon wedges to make 8 kebabs total.  Use two skewers for each kebab, this will help with stability.
  • Brush the kebabs with olive oil and season with the seasoning mixture.
  • Grill while turning occasionally until the fish is opaque, 5-8 minutes total.
  • ENJOY!



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!