Grilled Honey Mustard GLazed Chicken Thighs

Grilled HOney mustard chicken breasts

Grilled HOney mustard chicken breasts

Okay grill people…this is for you and one of those quick week-night dinners that uses very few ingredients but is amazingly delicious.

Grilled Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs

You already know I love anything honey mustard-like especially this recipe that I make in the oven.

Summer begs for a grilled version so the scorching oven heat doesn’t have to compete with the air-conditioned interior of the house and we made this recipe the other night with just a few staples from my pantry and it was absolutely wonderful.

glazed honey mustard chicken

Marinade the meat for at least an hour, reserving 1/2 cup of the marinade to brush on the finished grilled chicken thighs. It’s a great summer weeknight dish that you’ll come back to!

Grilled Honey Mustard GLazed Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 c. whole grain or stone ground mustard
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 /4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  1. Mix together all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.
  2. Reserve ½ cup for the glace and pour the remaining mixture over the chicken thighs in a shallow long container, tossing with tongs to complete coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour but overnight is really wonderful as well.
  4. Cook on medium heat grill for 5-6 minutes per side
  5. In the last two minutes of grilling, brush both sides of chicken with remaining honey mustard sauce or wait until you plate it on a platter and brush then. Serve quickly!


Grilled Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs 3

Coral Snake Salsa (Apricot Tomatillo)

Iguana grill coral snake salsa recipe

Coral Snake Salsa 1

This salsa.

Has me hopelessly addicted.

Since I noticed fresh apricots in the store 2 weeks ago, I’ve made it no less than 4 times. (Revision: I have since made it many more times and when fresh apricots are out, the canned ones either in natural juices or the sweetened ones rinsed of their juices are just as good, maybe better!)


The first batch I made, I couldn’t stop eating.

First off, because the flavor is so unusually wonderful, but secondly, because it was so flippin hot that I couldn’t stop or my mouth would combust. No worries! I’m going to solve that problem, even for kids!

Recently Produce for Kids asked me to feature a recipe featuring fresh produce in the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign which will raise money for Homeland’s designated local charity – the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Backpack Program.

Produce for Kids logo

Oh, THIS is something I believe in, I thought and was so excited to help. I wish I could go back in time and build healthier habits in my kiddos. It’s not too late, and I’m converting them every day to yummy and fresh recipes (as we speak). Kids love salsa in Mexican restuarants here, at least Oklahoma kiddos do, so I thought I’d scale the heat down and use this for inspiration.

Since 2011, Homeland has raised nearly $60,000 for local children’s organizations. Homeland is one of nine retailers participating in the national campaign, which is expected to pass $5 million in overall contributions in 2014! To help Homeland increase its donation, shoppers are encouraged from June 1 through 30 to add more produce to their grocery carts. All participating fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a consumption-based donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Iguana grill coral snake salsa recipe

If you have kids, or know someone who needs healthy cooking/buying options for their kids, please follow them on the following social media sites or share these with your loved ones!

Also, be sure to check out Produce for Kids on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for more info on the campaigns, healthy eating tips and tricks and delicious recipes that call for spring produce!

One thing I would encourage parents to do is to “buy seasonal”.

What does this mean, exactly? I mean you hear it all the time.  Simply put, it means if asparagus is on sale in the spring -BUY IT!  This helps your budget but also encourages you to try new produce and recipes for them all the time.

This week I saw apricots and something clicked in my mind.  A salsa recipe that we absolutely LOVE that was created by Chef Ryan Parrott here in Oklahoma City when he was the chef at Iguana Grill. Ryan tweeted this recipe once upon a time, which I missed, but when I begged him for it, he generously accepted and told me it is not a deep dark secret so I wanted to share.

Apricots are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C so make the mild version of this salsa and your little ones will scoop it up with joy because the flavors are outstanding. I will offer the original (very hot) rendition of this salsa ..and, shall I say “the weenie” variation for kiddos and adults alike who can’t handle the heat.

Start off with 2 cups of halved apricots. The beauty of many salsas are that you toss all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse them giving you fresh and delicious salsa in all of two whole minutes.

This is one of those recipes.

Slice apricots (no need to peel) in half until you can throw them into a 2 cup measuring cup and fill it.  

coral snake salsa

The first time I made it, the large apricots I had only required 4 1/2 apricots to fulfill this requirement, but the second time, I got smaller ones…much smaller, and it took eight, so you’ll have to go with what you buy.

Photo Jun 14, 1 03 24 AM

Next up, you’ll need two tomatillos.  Tomatillos look like a green tomato and are covered in a papery husk that has to be removed.  They lend a tart and slightly spicy flavor to anything they are cooked for and are wonderful.   They are also a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Niacin, Potassium and Manganese.

fresh tomatillos Coral Snake Salsa

To prep them, simply pull off the husk and then give them a rinse, because for some reason, they have a sticky residue on them when you do.

tomatillo husk Cut these in fourths and along with the apricots, add them into your food processor bowl.

apricots coral snake salsa

Now, if you are making this for kids, please look away.

The next ingredient? 

habanero recipe

Two habanero peppers.

Please in the name of all that is right and good use precautions when using these babies. I keep a box of beautician rubber gloves under my sink for just such a evil ingredient as this.  I learned when putting my contacts in, you should ALWAYS do this, without fail. Well, you know, if you want to have sight for the rest of your life and all.

gloves habaneros

 I cut these open and removed the stems and ribs, but if you are one of those people who can eat lit fire, go ahead and leave them in. 

Habanero peppers

If you’re making this for kids, use 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper with the stems and ribs removed. It’ll lend a bit of spice but nothing too drastic.

jalapeno peppers

You’ll need two tablespoons of cilantro but I just grabbed a small hunk of leaves and threw them in. Also add in 1/2 of a red onion roughly chunked.

red onion coral snake salsa

Add 1/2 cup orange juice and a tablespoon each of salt and pepper (the second batch, I reduced the salt by 1/2).


Then just hit pulse on your food processor until it looks kind of chunky, but is pureed somewhat.

Coral Snake Salsa

Then eat and enjoy….and keep eating…

Coral snake salsa from Iguana Grill recipe

Because it’s addictive.

Pour it over chicken or fish or shrimp.

It’s SO addictive.

Author Note:The following recipe is the original, I usually adapt it by omitting the jalapeno and using one habanero, stems and seeds removed. I also LOVE It with canned apricots in off season. It’s also really good to make with fresh peaches!

Coral Snake Salsa
  • (Recipe courtesty of Ryan Parrott)
  • 2 c. apricots (or 2 cups rinsed and drained canned apricot halves)
  • ¼ c. orange juice
  • 2 habeneros
  • 2 T. cilantro
  • 2 Tomatillos
  • ½ jalepeno pepper
  • ½ small red onion
  • 1 T. kosher salt (I used ½ T.)
  • 1 T. black pepper (Also used ½ T.)
  • Kids version - substitute ½ small jalapeno, seeded with ribs removed)
  1. Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until still chopped and not totally smooth. No need to peel the apricots. For the tomatillos, peel off husks and rinse to remove the stickiness, no need to peel, just quarter.

Corral Snake Salsa Recipe apricot

See what other wonderful food bloggers are making this week in Food Network’s Summer Soiree featuring “no cook” dishes!

Feed Me Phoebe: 5 Farmer’s Market Summer Salad Recipes
Healthy Eats: Ovenless Entertaining
Dishin & Dishes: Coral Snake Salsa (Apricot Tomatillo)
The Mom 100: Simple Raspberry Fool
Domesticate Me: Arugula Salad with Shaved Zucchini, Pistachios and Parmesan
Taste with the Eyes: Santa Barbara Sea Urchin à la Jean-Georges
Homemade Delish: Delicious Ceviche
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich with Basil-Garlic Scape Pesto
Red or Green: Gott’s Gazpacho
Swing Eats: Green Grapes, Drunken Goat Cheese, and Jalapenos on a Toothpick
Bacon and Souffle: Scallop Ceviche
FN Dish: A Complete Menu of No-Cook Recipes for the Whole Day

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca (Aguas Frescas)

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 2

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 4


A couple of years ago, when I was finishing my book, Mr. Wonderful and I went on a trip to the Los Angeles area for a week. He worked for two days and I sat on the beach with my laptop writing. Then, we traveled up and down Highway 1 along the coast stopping at every beach and staying at various hotels along the way.  One in particular near Santa Monica was absolutely wonderful. It had an outdoor lobby in the center and had lush groupings of fire-pits with beautiful couches and chairs, complete with the ability to privacy with long resplendent curtains you could pull around them. The pool had cabanas around it with lounge chairs at ground level built down into wooden platforms. It was by far, one of the most-glamorous and enjoyable hotels we’ve ever stayed at.

By day we would traipse down to the beach and enjoy watching the surf-dudes try and conquer the waves, and then we’d come back for a clothing change and head out to a local place to have lunch. When we returned to the hotel from the beach, however, man were we thirsty!

In the hotel lobby were giant glass urns full of ice water infused with various fruits and vegetables, and I fell in love with one in particular – watermelon and jalapeno. At first, it seemed off-kilter to me but I fell in love with the sweetness of the watermelon and the soft heat of the jalapeno flaring up after the fact in the back of my throat.

That is the inspiration for this agua fresca.

Agua frescas are common to Mexico, Central America and parts of the Carribean. The term agua fresca means “fresh water” and is nothing more than a blending of sweet or sour fruits or sometimes rice (in the case of horchata) with water and some sort of sweetener. They are extremely refreshing in the hot summer and exceptionally good for you too! Watch how easy this one is to make.

Start out by getting a really good watermelon.

Photo Jul 21, 1 59 27 AM

I have the best luck looking for one that has a yellow spot on it and thumps hollow-like when I rap it with my knuckles. The yellow spot means it has rested on that particular spot on the ground for awhile ripening and this peculiar method of selection has usually ended up with sweet ripe results in a watermelon.

Cut it up into slices, remove the rind and cut into rough chunks until you get six cups. This was about a half of a medium-sized seedless watermelon. Except it had seeds, so I’m not sure what’s up with that.

Watermelon cut collage

Now slice off the tail end of a jalapeno and slice it in half. Scrape the seeds and white ribs out with the pointed end of a spoon. If you think the jalapeno is too adventurous for you, simply leave it out. The plain ol’ regular watermelon agua fresca is delicious by itself!

jalapeno slice

Place both the watermelon chunks and the pieces of jalapeno into your blender and then pop the lid on. If need be to get your blender going, add a bit of water (maybe a couple of tablespoons) to the blender. Then whiz it up! If you can’t fit all six cups, do about four and then when it begins to liquify, you can push the other remaining chunks through the hole of the blender. Puree this to a very smooth consistency and then pour it into a bowl or pitcher through a fine sieve. You can press the solids (kind of foamy-looking stuff) in the sieve with the back of a large spoon or spatula to really get all the juice out.

Blend watermelon for Agua Fresca

Now add in the juice of two limes, one and one-half cups of water and two tablespoons of either honey or Truvia (maybe less depending on your sweet preference). Also take your jalapeno slices and 2/3 cup of fresh mint leaves and two more limes sliced thinly and add them in along with 2-3 cups of ice cubes.

watermelon agua fresca collage

Stir up the pitcher with a long spoon.

pitcher of watermelon jalapeno agua fresca

And pour some into glasses.

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 3

Refreshing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

AWatermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca (Aguas Frescas)
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 6 c. watermelon, cut in chunks
  • ½ medium sized jalapeno, ribs and seeds scraped out
  • 1½ c. water
  • 2 large limes, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 T. honey or 2 T. Truvia
  • Garnish: 2 limes, sliced into rounds, 1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds, seeds removed, ⅔ c. fresh mint leaves
  1. Place watermelon and jalapeno in blender. If needed, add a little of the water to start the blending process.
  2. Once the mixture is finely blended, pour it through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  3. Squeeze in lime juice and add any remaining water and honey or Truvia.
  4. Pour into large pitcher and add ice, lime and jalepeno slices and mint
  5. Serve in glasses with ice

Want some more some more watermelon inspired recipes? check out what other wonderful food bloggers are featuring in Food Network’s Summer Soirée below!

Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita
Homemade Delish: Refreshing Watermelon Salsa
Healthy Eats: Pretty in Pink: 6 Dishes Made Better with Watermelon
Creative Culinary: Margarita Watermelon
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Watermelon and Peach Salsa
Dishin & Dishes: Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Salsa
Red or Green: Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad
The Mom 100: Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie
Taste with the Eyes: Unique Watermelon Salad – Pomegranate Syrup, Feta, Cucumber
FN Dish: 6 Party-Ready Ways to Take Watermelon Off the Rind







how do you make agua fresca

A Modern Way to Eat – Cookbook Review



Hello, my name is Katie and I have a vegetable addiction.

Other than eggplant, whose squishy weirdness I just can’t get an affection for, there has not been a vegetable that I don’t fall in love with. Its not secret if you know that I adore my vegetable garden and a good portion of my meal almost often involves numerous vegetables.

I also love this book.

Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat is a gorgeous and divergent set of recipes that are unlike anything I’ve seen before except maybe for Yotam Ottolenghi’s masterpieces Plenty and Plenty More. In A Modern Way to Eat, Jones pieces together vegetarian dishes that combine less than usual sets of ingredients to make some beautiful dishes.

Don’t let the cover of this book fool you. It is pretty uninspiring and pristine-looking with a kind of boring picture on the front but when you start to turn the pages of the book, the photos are gorgeous and full of life and color.

I am less than halfway through perusing through its pages and already have a rainbow set of tabs marked of recipes I can’t wait to try.

A Modern Way to Eat cookbook review

A sampling of the recipes I’m drawn to is the “A New Eggs Benedict”, a play on the traditional dish but using roasted sweet potato slices stacked up, and then topped with caramelized red onions and sautéed spinach topped with a poached egg and avocado cashew nut modern version of Hollandaise.

This is representative of Anna’s take on updating an old classic but making it more vegetable packed but keeping deliciousness as well.

Another thing I really love within the book are the mint green colored pages in each section that offer many varieties of making something.  There is a base starting point and then each additional column offers additions to continue the recipe or to make it different with a list of ingredient suggestions. It opens your mind up to the many different creations of a salad, a soup, a pesto, etc. that you can invent by following her suggestions.

If you are a very traditional recipe person, this book might intimidate you with its flavors and spices from around the world, but to me it’s a challenge ….and a healthy one at that!

*In compliance with FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received this book through Blogging for Books for this review (but I would totally buy it had I not).

Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Chops

Grilled Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Pork Chops


Grilled Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Pork Chops

This week I sauntered into a grocery store near my house looking for something different.  I’ve had just about enough of chicken over the past few weeks and needed something different. My eyes came to rest on some rather large pork chops and I looked at the label.

Porterhouse Pork Chops.

Stuffed Porterhouse Chops


Although I am a lover of anything bacon, I tend to steer away from pork in general, especially pork chops.  Most folks attempts at them come out dry and rather bland so I guess that being my taste experience, I gave up on them.

A few years back the pork industry decided to re-invent the names for pork chops so us common folk could get a clue about what we were cooking thus offering what once used to be “chops” into Ribeye chops (what a Ribeye is to steak…well you get the picture right?), porterhouse chops and New York chops. These names replaced what used to be some confusing names like loin chops and rib chops. Who named these things anyway?  Pork butt has always confused me because, well it isn’t from the butt but from the shoulder. And funny thing, ham is actually from the butt, but it’s not called “butt”.

Somewhere there is a butcher laughing at the confusion in all of us.

Since most of us know our steak cuts, we can now get what the heck these chops are about and how they are intended to be cooked.

The Porterhouse chop often has part of the pork loin attached to it, contains a T-shaped bone with loin on one side of it, and tenderloin on the other. If you get one with more tenderloin on it, the price will be a bit higher. This along with the fact that they are usually cut pretty thick, allows them to be a good candidate for grilling.

And that’s exactly what we did.  I just chopped up some mushrooms.

Photo Jul 12, 4 28 32 AM

And I added them into a pan and sauteed them with some chopped onions and garlic.

Photo Jul 12, 4 31 03 AM

Just for fun, but you could skip this step, I poured in about 1/4 cup of dry red wine to deglaze the pan and let it bubble until it was almost gone.

Photo Jul 12, 4 31 16 AM

Then I removed the pan from the stove and allowed it to cool on the counter top for a bit. When it was cool, I stirred in a couple of tablespoons of the Kale Pesto (click here for the recipe) that I made the other day. You don’t want to stir the pesto into a hot pan and mushrooms or the oils in it may separate.

Photo Jul 12, 4 32 26 AM

Then I slit the Porterhouse chops all the way through to the bone so that I could stuff them with the above goodness.

I spooned in a couple of tablespoons of this mixture into the center of each chop, then I sealed them with toothpicks, brushed them with olive oil and seasoned them outside with salt and pepper. Then they went out to the grill where the Wonderful guy took over.

grill Porterhouse chops

He’s really good about making those pretty diamond grill marks on meat. It’s one of his many talents.

grill porterhouse pork chops

As the meat cooks, it will start to seal shut around the edges. We grilled these for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until the center temperature was about 145º.

how to grill Porterhouse pork chops

These were so huge we just had a meager side of grilled asparagus to eat alongside of them.

Porterhouse Pork Chops

The filling keeps the meat nice and moist.

Stuffed Porterhouse Pork Chops

I believe I actually might like pork chops now.

Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Chops
Recipe type: Meat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 Porterhouse Pork Chops, at least ¾ inch thick
  • 1 recipe Kale Pesto (see link in blog post)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¼ c. dry red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • olive oil for brushing
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
  2. Also heat up a sauce pan and add 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. Chop mushrooms, onions and garlic and add to pan. Saute over medium heat until mushrooms are softened and browning. Pour in wine and stir until wine has reduced almost to nothing.
  4. Remove pan from heat and let cool (put in refrigerator to speed this up)
  5. When cool, add pesto into pan and mix to combine
  6. Cut slit across the center of pork chops all the way to the bone to make a pocket to stuff.
  7. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of pesto/mushroom mixture into pocket and use toothpicks to seal the edges shut.
  8. Brush both sides of chops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Grill about 4-5 minutes per side or until meat thermometer reads 145º when poked into center of meat.
  10. Remove and allow to rest at least 5 minutes before eating.

Do you love pesto like I do? See what other fabulous bloggers made for Food Network’s Summer Soiree this week featuring pestos!

The Lemon Bowl: Lemony Pistachio Basil Pesto
Dishin & Dishes: Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Chops
Creative Culinary: Pesto Potato Salad with Parmesan Walnuts
Weelicious: Kale Pesto
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Garden Salad With Basil-Pesto Vinaigrette
Red or Green: Corn On The Cob With Basil-Jalapeno Vinaigrette
Homemade Delish: Spinach and Kale Pesto
Domesticate Me: Ratatouille Quinoa Bake with Pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella
The Mom 100: Crusted Loin Lamb Chops with Mint Basil Pesto
Taste with the Eyes: Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal – Carrot Top Pesto
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chicken Breasts with Coconut and Cilantro Pesto
Healthy Eats: Green Is the New Black: 5 Must-Try Pestos
FN Dish: 6 Non-Pasta Ways to Go Big with Pesto

Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops


Mixed Berry Rustic Tart (Galette or Crostata)

Mixed Berry Galette 2

Mixed Berry Galette 2

This is a go-to super easy dessert to make for when you have a last minute get-together.

Mixed Berry Galette

However, your friends will think you baked for hours when you bring this out to the table.  I am including a recipe for the crust, but in a pinch, you can just use a store-bought crust – you know, the kind by the refrigerator pop open biscuits?   You can unroll the pie crust, mix up the berry filling and have it in the oven in literally five short minutes.

Mixed Berry Rust Tart 4

Because it’s a free form “rustic” tart, it doesn’t even have to be crimped all pretty-like either. In France they call this a “galette” and in Italy they call this a “crostata”.  I call it a “rustic tart” because I’m not exactly sure how to pronounce that first one properly, although I think it’s (gah-leht). Anyway, you can slice this up and add a scoop of ice cream to each slice, and you’ve got a delicious dessert with very little effort. You no longer have an excuse not to bake! Anyone can do this!

To make the tart – use one 10-inch pie crust. Roll it out fairly round but it doesn’t have to be perfect and put in on parchment paper or a Silpat sheet on a large cookie sheet. You could also use a baking stone without the paper.

Photo Jul 12, 3 35 33 AM

See what I mean about round? I think mine is almost a square! Somehow me and pie dough don’t play well together very often.

Preheat your oven to 400º.

Measure out four full cups of mixed berries. I used raspberries and blueberries, but you could also do blackberries and slice strawberries or you could even just use one berry like blueberries if you are one of those OCD people who don’t like mixing things up.

Zest one large lemon right into the bowl with the berries, then cut it in half and squeeze half of the lemon’s juice in as well. Add in 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the bowl as well.

berry filling ingredients

Now take a large spoon and gently fold the berries over until you get a glossy-opaque coating over all of them.

Photo Jul 12, 3 15 01 AM

Man do I love raspberries. That picture alone is killing me right now.

Spoon your berries into the center of your pie crust, leaving at least an inch around the sides.   Then take one small section and fold it over the berries.

Galette crust

Continue to fold the crust over the berries, making sure your last fold is overlapped by the one you’re folding.

folding galette crust

Until you get all the way back around to where you started.

Photo Jul 12, 3 37 57 AM

Then take one egg, drizzle about a tablespoon or so of water into it in a bowl and beat it up with a fork to mix it.  Using a pastry brush, brush the egg all over the crust of your tart.

egg wash pie crust

And take some of this stuff. (Or just use regular sugar).

Photo Jul 12, 3 17 45 AM

Turbinado sugar is really wonderful to top things with. It lends a nice crunch factor that reminds me of rock candy.

Photo Jul 12, 3 17 59 AM

And sprinkle it over the top of the berries and crust. (About 2 tablespoons).

Photo Jul 12, 3 41 14 AM

Pop your tart into the oven for 35-40 minutes and don’t be like me and be where you can’t hear the timer.  Mine crust got a tad overdone.

Mixed Berry Tart Final

Slice it up and top each slice with a scoop of ice cream. Wasn’t that easy?

Mixed Berry Rustic Tart (Galette)
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 (10 inch) pie crust
  • 4 c. mixed berries
  • ½ c. sugar
  • juice of ½ large lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ T. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. water
  • 2 T. turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Add cornstarch, sugar and salt together and wisk to mix well
  3. Add berries, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla to bowl and gently fold berries to mix
  4. Add dry ingredients and gently fold again to mix
  5. Spoon berries onto center of pie crust leaving about an inch and one-half around the edge to fold over berries
  6. Begin folding crust over berries in about 1½-2 inch sections overlapping each section to encase berries
  7. Mix egg and water and brush over the edges of crust
  8. Sprinkle sugar over berries and edge of crust.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown
  10. Let cool 10 minutes before serving


Mixed Berry Galette

Kale Pesto

how do you make kale pesto

how do you make kale pesto

We have a really healthy crop of kale in our garden this summer, mostly because I have stopped trying to fight those dadgum cabbage moths that kept munching them down to the ribs last year. Instead, this year, I just loosely draped some netting over my second raised bed.  You can see the bed in back from when I covered it in late spring this year in the photo below.

Growing kale

I also have broccoli in there that’s being rescued from the critters. Even though I’ve covered them, this year I have taken to running around the yard brandishing whatever weapon I can find and hunting those darn white moths down.  I told Mr. Wonderful that I feel like I’ve become a cabbage moth serial killer. I have to remind myself often that they are not pretty white butterflies but the savage and greedy destroyers of my hard gardening work!

A few have still found their way back in, but for the most part, I am picking healthy stems almost daily!

Last night I whipped up a quick batch of kale pesto to stuff some Porterhouse pork chops with and it is so pretty and vibrant-green, I will probably freeze several batches of this for the winter as well!

You make it pretty much the same as other pestos and as I have a ton of basil as well (Three kinds this year including Osmin purple), I still added that in for flavor as well.

Osmin basil

Just make sure you remove the kale stem (or ribs) before you use it. I just fold the entire thing at the stem and rip the kale off with my hands, but some people prefer to slice it off (while folded) with a knife.

kale collage remove ribs stem

Then toss all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz it up, drizzle in some olive oil and you’ve got some healthy kale pesto which you can use in a variety of ways.  There are two cups of kale, one cup of basil, 1/2 cup of walnuts, one garlic clove and some salt and pepper along with one-fourth of a cup of olive oil (see the easy printable recipe at the bottom of the page!)

kale pesto recipe ingredients

Spread it on toasted bread and sprinkle with some good shavings of cheese, mix it with your favorite pasta, toss it with roasted or grilled vegetables,  or use it as the base for a vinaigrette and pour it over fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for a summer salad.

I’ll be posting the recipe for the stuffed Porterhouse chops later this week, so stay tuned!

Whatever way you use it, know that you’re getting some super health food additions to your diet! Eat more kale!

how do you make kale pesto

Kale Pesto
Recipe type: Sauces/Spreads
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 c. kale, stem removed and roughly chopped
  • ½ c. walnuts
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ c. parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until fairly small chunks are created of all
  2. Turn processor on and drizzle olive oil in tiny stream
  3. Consistency should be thick but spreadable


how do you make kale pesto recipe


Pecan Crusted Steelhead Trout (or Salmon)

Pecan Crusted Salmon


Pecan Crusted Salmon

Eating Steelhead trout for the first time sparked an instant love in me.

Steelhead Trout filets

I had it first at one of our favorite restaurants. Chef Carlos told me it was just like salmon. He knows because he detests salmon and therefore was probably not thrilled with cooking it.


But it was delicious to me.

Photo Jul 07, 4 18 27 AM

Steelhead trout is in the same member of the Salmonid family which also includes certain cold water trouts including coastal rainbow trout which is what a Steelhead is.  Also, a fun food fact is that the Steelhead is the official state fish of Washington.

12345, Tue Jun 11, 2002, 10:58:11 AM,  8C, 2230x3302,  (193+477), 50%, A. I. Basic, 1/100 s, R79, G67, B79

12345, Tue Jun 11, 2002, 10:58:11 AM, 8C, 2230×3302, (193+477), 50%, A. I. Basic, 1/100 s, R79, G67, B79

It is rich and buttery  like salmon, and I may actually like it just as much, if not better than salmon.

We also recently ate at a local restaurant near our home called Tommy’s Italian American Grill and I have fallen in love with their Pecan Encrusted Salmon.

Steelhead trout has popped up in our markets here and I thought I’d make a stab at replicating Tommy’s recipe.  Except Tommy’s has a champagne beurre blanc sauce and I opted that out because we were trying to be healthy and …well…butter is the base of it and butter doesn’t really go well with my tummy area .

While not exactly like Tommy’s (I always have to add something a tad spicy these days), it is pretty doggone good if I do say so myself. And…




First off, mix up the topping.  I used one cup of chopped pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and some salt and cracked black pepper.

pecan crusted salmon breading

If you wanted to be really bad, you could melt some butter (1/4-1/2 cup) and mix it in with this stuff, which would be absolutely heavenly. However, I was trying to be reasonably healthy and opted not to and it was still fantastic. We used an olive oil spritzer to mist the top of ours.

Take your trout filets (we cut ours somewhere around 6-8 ounces each) and drizzle a bit of olive oil into a skillet and get it pretty hot. As in, turn up the burner on your stove to high. This will guarantee your nice crispy skin.  Place the fish skin-side down in the skillet and then press each fish fillet with the pecan mixture. You might want to use a large spoon for this and not live dangerously like I did with my hands. (I have the burn marks to show how stupid I am from various other times!).

pecan crusted salmon recipe

Don’t worry about any that falls into the pan as it becomes yummy goodness to scrape out later!

pecan crusted salmon recipe

Sear this on high heat for about 2-3 minutes then transfer the skillet to a 400º oven for 8-10 minutes.

Photo Jul 07, 4 01 41 AM

The top should be slightly browned.

pecan crusted salmon Oh man, was this fantastic.

pecan crusted steelhead trout

We served it with some sauteed spinach and a garden fresh tomato-cucumber salad with some of the pesto buttermilk dressing we made a few nights back.

Pecan crusted steelhead trout

It was absolutely fantastic.

Photo Jul 07, 4 16 49 AM

Pecan Crusted Steelhead Trout (or Salmon)
Recipe type: Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 4 (6-8 oz) steelhead trout or salmon filets, skin on
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. Panko bread crumbs or almond meal
  • ½ t. garlic powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ t. ground black pepper
  • ½ c. melted butter (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Mix all ingredients but fish together in bowl to make topping
  3. Drizzle olive oil in oven safe large skillet and heat up over high heat on stove.
  4. Add fish, skin side down then using a large spoon, spoon a generous helping of nut mixture over top each filet. Press down with your hand or back of spoon onto entire top of filet. Don't worry about stray nut mixture falling into pan. It's really good to scrape out later.
  5. Sear for about 3-4 minutes on stove and then transfer to a shelf placed in your oven in the top third of the oven.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until top of nuts begins to brown in places.


Salsas and Moles, A Cookbook Review

Salsas and Moles cookbook

Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More

Salsas and Moles cookbook

I knew when this book arrived in the mail (from Blogging for Books for a cookbook review), that I was going to love it.

It closely resembled one of my favorite cookbooks that I adore and also, like Tacolicious, featured many salsa and mole recipes using dried chiles, which I’ve fallen in love with!

One thing Salsas and Moles does well, and is completely necessary for anyone who wishes to start playing around with dried chiles. is it gives a go-to-guide for dried chiles. This helps when you experiment with the recipes, because, as I’ve found, you can use the guide to adjust the recipes to your heat-preference. The book gives reference to most of the common dried chiles complete with photos, descriptions, and taste and heat offerings (although I would have liked the Scoville rating added).

There are more sections with tutorials following the chile reference like how to work with the chiles, and some common pantry staples to have on hand to make the recipes in the book.

The following chapters contain sections on Classic Table Salsa, Hot Salsas, Mole and Enchilada Sauces, Salsas for Tacos and Chunky Salsas and Botanas.  Botanas are sort of like the Mexican version of Tapas, and feature different appetizers, similar to nachos, but more like a crazy wonderful layered dip of various sorts.

I adore Moles and can’t wait to try a few of the recipes like the Quick Mole and the Mole Poblano and Negro. These last two will probably take the better part of a Saturday or Sunday to make.

Being the salsa freak that I am, it’s a given I”ll be trying most of them!  This is a great cookbook if you love authentic Mexican flavors.



Photo Jun 23, 7 25 43 AM

Photo Jun 23, 7 25 15 AM


Miles may separate them but they pick up right where they left off when they are reunited once more.

It was such a treat to have both my girls in the same place the other night. Mr. Wonderful and I are currently empty nested and it’s been a little tough on me at times.

How do you go about life differently, when for the past 25 years, you’ve been all about a series of things like diapers, ball games, birthday parties, school functions, band concerts and the like?

Photo Jun 23, 7 25 20 AM

Okay, I will confess that coming home at night and not having a schedule to keep is pretty darn nice at times. Also pulling random leftovers out of the refrigerator for dinner (something that probably wouldn’t have flown with the kids there) has been awfully cool as well.

“Hey Babe, tonight we’re having Tacos Al Pastor, green beans and ummmm….leftover Korean bulgogi okay?”

No, that seriously happened last night. You think I’m kidding?

But there are nights I miss my kids endlessly.

Conner is away in Chicago with the Navy now and Kayla lives in California and will start her third year of ministry school soon.

When Tori moved out last year, I think I expected her to be dropping by every night but apparently she has friends and a life…can you imagine?

However, Kayla is home this week and the girls sat in our new hot tub the other night and it was just …fun.


My girls are old enough and have somehow become really wonderful grown-ups …and also —my friends.

Photo Jun 23, 7 25 43 AM

Except sometimes they are not grown-ups and asked me to try to do the “hair flip” picture.  And yeahhhhh….it didn’t quite work out.

Photo Jun 23, 7 26 19 AM (1)

Photo Jun 23, 7 26 23 AM (1)

It’s supposed to be one of those…hair flying upward beautiful faces kind of pics….

So ummmm….

Photo Jun 23, 7 26 24 AM

We didn’t quite get the hang of it.

Photo Jun 23, 7 26 57 AM (3)

But laughing, however…we did do.

Photo Jun 23, 7 26 57 AM

Sisters…it’s so nice having them together.

Photo Jun 23, 7 25 06 AM

Southwest Hatch Chile Salmon Burgers

Southwest Hatch Chile Salmon Burgers

Southwest Hatch Chile Salmon Burgers


So last month was National Hamburger Month.

Who knew there was such a thing?  To celebrate, the good people of TOURISM Sante Fe sent me some Hatch green chile goodies and asked me to feature them in a hamburger recipe.

Hatch green chiles

You may remember my post titled “How to Roast Hatch Green Chiles” from last August.  August is the time when these bright green chiles start showing up in our grocery stores and there is quite the craze for them.

Hatch Chiles Whole Foods

So follow my lead and roast some yourselves or buy a bag of them already done for you like the picture I shared above. They impart major deliciousness in any recipe you put them in. If you can’t find them, try substituting Anaheim peppers for them instead. My friend Kelly (from Red Dirt Chronicles and Every Point on the Map) pointed out the similarities to me last year and I have to say, I agree!

Last night we used them to make salmon burgers.

Salmon Burgers with Hatch Chiles

And oh were they good!

Whole food Salmon Burger recipe with Hatch Chiles

To begin, get some really good salmon. I usually get Coho or Sockeye salmon and look for sales at Whole Foods and stock up.

Coho salmon filet

Have your fish monger remove the skin from the salmon, or gently pull or slice it off with a filet knife.

Then cut half of the salmon into chunks and put it into your food processor fitted with the attachment blade.

Photo Jun 16, 3 04 10 AM

Pulse it several times so that the consistency is pretty fine. This will help hold your burgers together.

Photo Jun 16, 3 04 21 AM

Next take the remaining salmon and chop it up into small chunks.

Photo Jun 16, 3 05 34 AM

Scrape the pulverized mixture from the food processor into a bowl along with the half you chopped.

Photo Jun 16, 3 08 04 AM

Take 3-4 of your chiles and cut off the ends, slice them in half and either scrape out the seeds, or just rinse them off under running water.  Cut each half of chile into thin slices then rotate your knife and cut them into little pieces.

Hatch Chiles cut

Add them into the bowl with the salmon, along with some other ingredients.

Photo Jun 16, 3 23 54 AM

Add in one pressed or chopped garlic clove.

Photo Jun 16, 3 23 20 AM

Add in a beaten egg.

Photo Jun 16, 3 21 49 AM Photo Jun 16, 3 22 37 AM

Also add in 2/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs (or almond meal if lo-carbing), Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 of a medium-sized lime and also its zest.Add in about 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper.

salmon burger ingredients

Take a spoon or spatula and gently mix this up well taking care not to smash it too hard.

mix salmon burgers

Take your spatula and lightly press down to make the top of the mixture level in your bowl.

Photo Jun 16, 3 44 00 AM

Then draw two lines in the shape of a plus sign which will allow you to make even-sized patties.

Photo Jun 16, 3 44 13 AM

Take one pie section out of the bowl and roll it into a ball in your hands.

Photo Jun 16, 3 44 38 AM

Then flatten it on a platter or cutting board into a patty.

shape salmon burgers

Now this is important. Make sure you put your patties into the refrigerator for at least an hour or more so they can set up and solidify from the cold again. This helps keep them together when grilling.

Salmon burgers

At this point you can grill your salmon burgers in a skillet with a tiny bit of oil coating the bottom, toss them onto a grill pan, or my personal favorite – putting them in a burger basket and flipping them onto the grill outside.

Top them with some light mayo mixed with tabasco and layer on some lettuce, tomato and avocado slices for a truly different southwest-style burger!

Salmon Burgers with Hatch Chile Recipe

I really love the lightness of these burgers…and the flavor as well!

And aren’t the colors absolutely GORGEOUS?
Southwest Hatch Chile Salmon Burgers

Hatch Chile Salmon Burgers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. wild salmon like coho, sockeye or king, skin removed
  • ½ c, roasted Hatch Chiles, seeded and chopped
  • ⅔ c. Panko bread crumbs or almond meal
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ medium-sized lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 T. cilantro, chopped
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • ½ c. light mayonaisse
  • 1 t. tabasco sauce
  • Good quality buns, avocado, lettuce, tomato for servin
  1. Place ½ of salmon, cut into chunks in food processor. Pulse until pulvarized.
  2. Chop remaining salmon with knife into small bits
  3. Mix both salmon mixtures together in bowl with chiles, Panko, egg, lime juice and zest, garlic, salt and pepper
  4. Lightly press salmon mixture evenly into bottom of bowl then divide with spatula marking a plus sign across bowl to evenly divide patties.
  5. Form each patty into ball in hands then lightly smash into patty
  6. Refrigerate at least an hour for patties to solidify
  7. Grill or pan grill or fry about 4-6 minutes per side.
  8. Works very well on outdoor grill using a grill basket.
  9. Mix mayo and tabasco sauce together
  10. Serve on buns with tabasco mayo, lettuce, tomato and sliced avocados

See what other wonderful bloggers are making featuring delicious burgers for Food Network’s Summer Soiree below!

Feed Me Phoebe: Greek Lamb Burgers with Mint Tzatziki
The Lemon Bowl: Filet Burgers with Tahini Garlic Mayo
Creative Culinary: The Canyon Creek Burger from Ted’s Montana Grill
Healthy Eats: Beef and Beyond: 6 Reasons to Cook More Burger
Weelicious: BBQ Chicken Burgers
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Crispy Mexican Black Bean Burgers
Homemade Delish: Stuffed Bleu Cheese Burger with Buffalo Sauce
The Mom 100: Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders
FN Dish: Now, That’s the Stuff: Stellar Stuffed Burgers

Hatch Green Chiles recipe


How to Make an Inexpensive Fire Pit

How to build a firepit

How to build a firepit

For the past couple of years, as we lay in bed with our iPads at night, I have been trying to get Mr. Wonderful to see the light about Pinterest.   I would “ooo” and “aaaaah” over some other things…I even tried to lure him into its addictive ways by showing him there were cars on it, but he would simply nod, put his headphones back on and go back to his usual watching of YouTube videos that often lead him down the rabbit trail of everything from water ski tricks to hot rod races to those horrible “fail” videos that always make me cringe.

And then one day I showed him how one could search for “how to make a fire pit” and with all the ideas that came up, the man was hooked.

He is slowly transforming our backyard into something special with everything from raised garden beds to a new deck made out of pallets. But this was his first project and I just think it’s beautiful.

He started out by buying these stones at our local Home Depot. They are called Pavestone Rumblestone and with a sale and some finagling by Mr. W., he ended getting them for about $2.00/each I believe.

firepit stones

Next came the leveling of the area. He had to dig up grass and using pieces of wood with a level on them, worked on scraping the soil and getting it level.  Then he laid down his first ring of stones.

Lay first ring of firepit

He used 12 in all.

Firepit DIY

As you can see, Max helped by sniffing his approval.

Next he poured pebbles inside and about a foot around the outside of the first ring of bricks.   If you aren’t using flagstone like we did, you could use pebbles as the base of your fire pit ring and pour it out three or four feet to make the “patio” aspect of the fire pit area for a seating area.

Photo Mar 06, 11 54 32 PM

Again he laid the board across the first layer and check for it to be level.

Level one firepit

Next came the second ring. You place one stone directly centered on two stones below making sure the space between the two lower stones is directly down the middle of the stone you’re placing on top.

We opted not to glue these as the stones are heavy enough to stand by themselves and just in case someday we wanted to move them.  Like I said, we’ve never had a problem with them shifting or moving. They are pretty darn heavy. I would also like to say, I didn’t get may pictures from this point on, because I was helping place rocks. I do help with something every once in a while other than taking pictures ya know.

Photo Mar 07, 12 06 04 AM

Next came the third layer of the stones and then Mr. Wonderful add a couple of bags more of the pebbles, to provide a nice thick rock bottom for the pit.

Photo Mar 07, 12 08 34 AM

And then we set about placing all the stones…I say “we” because, again I helped!

Photo Mar 07, 2 29 05 AM

We will probably fill in the dirt spaces around the flagstone at some point with more pea gravel or even cement to make it more stable for benches or chairs.

We have a path leading down the backyard made out of the same flagstone.

Photo Mar 07, 12 24 49 AM

Mr. Wonderful also laid the flagstone from the fire pit area leading out to the main path going down the backyard so it matches.

Photo Mar 07, 2 29 09 AM

And then strategically, he placed some iron tiki torches around the pit area and walkway.

Photo Mar 07, 4 49 51 PM

The end result has been really nice.

Photo Mar 07, 5 00 41 AM

We tested it out that first weekend.

Photo Mar 07, 8 24 42 AM

And man, was I ever glad Mr. W. found Pinterest.

how to build a firepit