BBQ Style Country Pork Ribs

I have a love/hate relationship with my crock-pots.   Or more accurately I could say, I’ve felt skeptical by their convienience. I’ve previously felt that no matter what, they compromise the texture and flavor of what could otherwise be a delicious meal.  I knew this couldn’t be completely true, I mean if it were, why would woman continue to use them decade after decade?! 

As a busy working mom, I’m finding out that when used properly, crock-pots can be life savers!  A goal of mine is to someday master the art of crock-pot cookery!  In the meantime, I’m going to file this creation under the “WIN” category! 🙂


3-4 lbs. boneless country style pork ribs 

Salt & pepper

1/2 tsp Garlic powder 

2 TBSP Olive oil 

1 C beef stock

1/2 onion; diced

1 C BBQ sauce


  • Season the ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder on all sides
  • Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan over Med/High heat
  • Sear the ribs on all four sides; then place on the bottom of the crock-pot
  • Pour beef stock over the ribs and layer with the diced onion
  • Cook on low for 4 hours
  • Drain excess liquid
  • Pour BBQ sauce on top and allow to cook for another 15 minutes
  • ENJOY!

kitchen tunes: gorilla – bruno mars

Broccoli & Beef

If you were a blogspot follower of mine, you’ll likely recognize this recipe. This dish will forever be on repeat in our household. It ranks in our top three favorites and it’s prepared at least once a month. 

That’s why I had to repost and allow it a debut on the new and improved WordPress blog. 🙂 

Try it! You won’t be disappointed. Pinky promise. 😉

***I highly recommend that low sodium soy sauce be use as indicated in the recipe. Using regular soy sauce makes this recipe very salty.  And that’s coming from a girl who enjoys her salt. ***


1.5 lbs flank steak

2 broccoli crowns

Steamed white rice

For the marinade:

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sugar

1 TBSP cornstarch 

1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

1 TBSP water

2 TBSP toasted sesame oil

For the sauce:

1/2 C low sodium soy sauce

2 TBSP brown sugar

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 TBSP flour

1 TBSP sherry

3 TBSP toasted sesame oil 

Preparing the beef:

  • Allow the beef to come to room temperature.  (This takes about a hour and a half.)  Once the beef is at room temp, slice against the grain into thin strips while using a sharp knife. If the strips become too long, cut them in half or even into thirds. 

Preparing the marinade:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients.  
  • Add in the beef strips and thoroughly coat them in the marinade. 
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set aside and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Now is a good time to get your rice started. 

In the meantime:

  • Trim your broccoli and set aside.

Preparing the sauce:

  •  In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 C low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, flour, sherry.  Set aside. 

When the meat is ready:

  • Heat 2 TBSP of sesame oil in a wok over high heat. 
  • Add the brocolli and sauté in the oil for 4-5 minutes. Transfer the cooked broccoli to a dish and set aside. 
  • Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the remaining 1 TBSP of sesame oil to the wok. 
  • Add the beef and pour in half of the prepared soy sauce/brown sugar mixture on top. Sauté until the meat is no longer pink, this takes only a few minutes. 
  • When the beef is finished add the broccoli back in along with the remainder of the soy sauce/brown sugar mixture. 
  • Sauté for another minute
  • Serve over steamed rice
  • ENJOY!

kitchen tunes: send my love by adele 

Spicy Asian BBQ Skewers

Ten years ago, I took up running. I’ll never forget my very first attempt. I told myself “I’ll start small”, and I did. I mapped out a route that was less than one mile in distance which would lead me straight to my sisters front door. It would be perfect! I would stop for water and visit for a few and then I would walk back home to cool down.

That very cold morning, I laced up my old pair of New Balance tennis shoes (which were absolutely not running shoes!), I put in my ear buds and pressed play on my iPod Nano (remember those?!). 

I didn’t bother to take the time to warm up, I just RAN. At pretty much a full sprinting pace!

We lived in a neighborhood where each morning the sidewalks hosted its regulars who went out for their morning strolls, runs, bike rides and what not. I was determined, that one day soon, I would be one of those regulars.

As the song “Cyclone” by Baby Bash pounded in my ears, my feet hit the pavement trying to keep up with the beat.
It took me approximately a half of a block to realize that…running ain’t easy!!! And I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing!!!

I continued to sprint and walk, sprint and walk, until I found myself on my sisters front lawn. I spent what seemed like ten full minutes coughing, or perhaps a more accurate description would be “barking” and dry heaving. After that, I laid on my sisters bed and cried real tears because my ears and teeth hurt sooo bad!

It’s for this very reason that the song “Cyclone” by Baby Bash will always be a favorite running song of mine. So when the song came on the other morning as my grandma was getting into my car, I did the opposite of what most good granddaughters would do, and I turned the volume UP! As we drove away from her house, I asked “do you like this song grandma?”. Her response was “I don’t know it, but I really like the beat!”.  I have one of the coolest grandmas ever! 


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 C low sodium soy sauce

1/3 C packed brown sugar

2 TBSP sesame oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 TSP chili garlic sauce

1/2 C thinly sliced scallions

1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds



  • Cut each thigh into strips, 1 1/2 inces thick.
  • Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, garlic, and chili garlic sauce in a medium sized bowl.
  • Reserve 1/3 C of sauce and set aside.
  • Marinate the sliced chicken in the remaining sauce for at least one hour. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Thread the chicken onto wooden skewers, you may need to cut the skewers short enough so that they will lay flat on the bottom of the crockpot.
  • Pour the remaining marinate onto the skewers.  Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours.
  • Turn the skewers over and cook for another hour.
  • Remove skewers and place on a platter.  Discard the cooking liquid and spoon the reserve sauce ontop of the skewers.  Sprinkle with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
  • ENJOY!


this recipe was prepared while listening to “cyclone” by baby bash

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

The one and only time I’ve ever been shooed out of my own kitchen was all because of this lovely dish…

I believe that the kitchen should be a place to gather, to laugh, to dance, a place to feel love & gratitude and of course a place to enjoy delicious food. But God forbid that it happens while I’m cooking! I tend to get intense while in chef mode. I feel the need to have free range of my limited space. And with the attention span of a goldfish, it’s important that I also have zero distractions. After all, that’s how food gets itself burned! 😉

So one evening last week, the aroma of garlic (one of my most favorite smells in life!) led me straight into the kitchen. Francisco was in full on chef mode and quickly shooed me out. He was busy preparing this delicious dish, and you know what? I had to stop to laugh… because the tables had turned and I completely understood!

The garlic. The parm. The mushrooms in the cream sauce. I’m salivating all over just thinking about it!!


1 lb. Chicken tenders, cubed

2 TBSP Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

8 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, sliced


1/4 C Butter

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 TBSP flour

1/2 C water

1/2 tsp Chicken Flavor Boullion

1 C Heavy Cream

1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1 C Spinach, chopped



  • In a large pan cook the chicken in olive oil over a Med-High heat until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
  • In the same pan, add the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender, this takes just a few minutes.  Remove these and set aside as well.
  • To prepare the sauce (again in the same pan): Melt the butter.  Add the garlic, stir constantly and cook until tender.  Whisk in the flour and chicken boullion to form a roux.  Next, whisk in the water, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Add the spinach and allow it to simmer until the sauce thickens and the spinach wilts.
  • Add the cooked chicken and mushrooms back into the sauce.
  • Serve over pasta


this recipe was adapted from:

Blackened Lemon Pepper Salmon

With both boys in little league, baseball season can quickly turn my household upside down if I don’t stay on my toes!  At least twice a week we have what I refer to as “baseball dinner”, which means that we eat something that was prepared quickly and consumed later than typical.  I am constantly on the prowl for quick & healthy dinner options for my so-called “baseball dinners”.  This recipe for Blackened Lemon Pepper Salmon fits the criteria perfectly!  The crispyness combined with the juiciness of this filet will not leave you disappointed. I promise.


3 TBSP butter

4 (5-7 oz in size) Boneless Skinless Salmon fillets. *Wild caught when possible. I purchased mine (from Costco) with the skin on and removed it at home.

Salt & pepper

1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper

Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Lemon wedges for garnish

  • Melt butter in a cast iron pan over med-high heat
  • Using tongs, dredge salmon fillets in the hot butter and set on a plate
  • Season both sides with salt, pepper & lemon pepper
  • Carefully place the fillets back into the hot pan and cook on each side for aprox 2-3 minutes.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the top
  • Enjoy!

NOTE: Preparing this recipe as directed will create a large amount of smoke. It’s a good idea to crack open a window & turn on your exhaust hood

prepared while listening to: “fake love” by drake

Cast Iron Pizza


It feels so good to be back! You can find all of my previous blog posts at:

Sadly, for the past two years I have allowed a passion of mine to get pushed aside by the distractions of life.  They say that we learn as we grow and as a result, I have learned that I MUST make the time (notice I did not say “find”) to do the things that I love.  As a mom and a wife my responsibilities are endless and if I don’t MAKE time for myself, then who will? Life can quickly become monotonous if we don’t make the time to do the things that we enjoy.  It all ties into self-care.

With that said,  I am ecstatic to present to you, my first blog post in two years!!!

With the boys (now ages 5 and 12) both being ridiculously picky eaters, and the husband and I having semi-sophisticated palates, I attempt to find a crowd pleaser meal at least once a week.  What’s more of a crowd please than Pizza?!



1 pkg. of store bought Pizza Dough (or you can find my favorite homemade pizza dough recipe at

1 C Pizza Sauce (you can find my favorite “Perfect Pizza Sauce” recipe at

1 TBSP Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

1 C freshly grated Mozzarella

1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

toppings of your liking, I used: pepperoni cut into quarters, red onion, green bell pepper, sliced mushroom, and sliced olives



  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees
  • Stretch out the pizza dough into a uniform round
  • Set a 9-12″ cast iron pan over burner set on med-high
  • Allow the pan to heat, then place the stretched dough inside the pan making sure to pull the dough up the sides of the pan.
  • Allow the dough to bubble then brush the dough evenly with olive oil
  • Season with salt & pepper
  • Distribute the pizza sauce evenly (its ok if it gets onto the crust!)
  • Top with a mixture of mozzarella & parmesan
  • Next, top with your favorite toppings
  • Sprinkle with garlic powder
  • Slide the cast iron pan (careful…the handle with be VERY hot!) into the preheated oven and allow to bake for 12-18 minutes.
  • Let the pizza rest a few minutes before slicing, this will give you time to enjoy its beauty!
  • ENJOY!