Chili Oil Noodles

TikTok has quickly become a great way to stumble upon new foods & fun recipes. Enter the above dish compliments of @mikefitnfood

This dish will waken up your taste buds & clean out your sinuses! It’d also be really good with some flank steak.


2 tbsp chili oil

4 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp black vinegar (*I did not have this, nor could I find it so I used Seasoned Rice Vinegar)

3 garlic cloves, freshly crushed

Black sesame seeds

Scallions/ Green Onions, chopped, per taste, divided

Wide Egg Noodles, 12 oz or 340g


Bring a large pot of water to boil, & cook egg noodles, per package instruction.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the chili oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, & crushed garlic. Whisk together. Toss in some green onions.

Once the noodles are ready, drain the water & return to the pot. Add in the oil mixture, sprinkle in the sesame seeds. Dish into bowls, garnish with more sesame seeds & green onions.


Posted in Asian, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Kitchen sink cookies are not just one type of cookie, with only selected ingredients, but a full breadth of ingredients, a run of the pantry & throwing in whatever strikes your fancy e.g., potato chips, toffee bits, nuts, etc. Below is simply my version.


3/4 cup butter, cold & cut into tablespoons

1/4 cup Crisco

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup (or per desired amount) chocolate chips

3/4 cups chopped pretzels

3/4 cups caramel bits


Combine butter, Crisco, & sugars together until creamed & light & fluffy. Beat in the eggs & vanilla. Sprinkle baking soda & salt over the dough & add in flour. Mix until it comes together. Fold in the chocolate chips, pretzels, & caramel bits.

Cover & refrigerate dough for one hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Drop by 1-2 rounded tablespoons. Bake for 9-10 minutes; being careful not to over bake.


Posted in Cookies | 1 Comment

Chicken & Hatch Green Chile Mac & Cheese

There’s a restaurant in town that used to serve this very dish which my husband ordered without fail. Then one day we went in & it was no longer on the menu. He asked about it, the kitchen obliged, & he was happy, but that was a one time occurrence.

We were at the grocery store last week when we saw this brand of chile showcased & we instantly had the same idea: let’s try to recreate the macaroni & cheese at home using this. What’s the worst that could happen?

Turns out it was the best thing that could happen because it was spot on! We both took a bite & realized I’d nailed it. Victory!


1/2 lb large pasta, I used shells

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

8 oz Pepper Jack cheese, shredded & divided

8 oz Colby Jack cheese, shredded & divided

1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded

S & P, to taste

12 oz hot hatch green chile, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta according to package directions, 2 or 3 minutes less, for al dente. Drain; set aside.

In a large pan, over medium heat, melt the butter, whisk in the butter, & stir constantly for a minute. Pour in the milk & stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat & add small amounts of cheese at a time, reserving a 1/2 cup each of the Pepper Jack & Colby Jack, until melted. Season with S & P. Add 1/2 cup of the green chile, cooked pasta, & chicken. Stir to incorporate. Transfer to a large cast iron skillet. Pour the remaining green chile along the perimeter of the skillet & add remaining shredded cheeses to the top, spreading to the chile. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.


Posted in Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese, Pasta | 1 Comment

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Even before the official start of summer, the weather here was dreadfully hot & humid, so much so, even our dogs started to drag instead of their usual bounding on our morning walks. When it’s hot like that, the last thing I want is to turn on the oven. This dish is the perfect solution.


For the dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

For the salad:

1 1/4 cups Orzo pasta, dry

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 English cucumber, diced

1 10.5 oz grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

3 tbsp parsley, chopped

S & P to taste


Cook orzo according to package directions to al dente. Drain & rinse under cool water to stop cooking. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, & minced garlic to emulsify; set aside.

Slice, chop, & dice all vegetables & add to bowl of cooked & cooled pasta. Pour in salad dressing & stir to evenly coat.

Season with S & P, to taste.


Adapted slightly from:

Posted in Pasta, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every once in a while, breakfast calls for a little something sweet. Mixed in between the rotation of eggs or avocado toast is a deserving, subtly sweet muffin.


1/2 cup oil or melted butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/3 cup chocolate chips, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup measuring cup with paper liners; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, milk, yogurt, & vanilla. Whisk in eggs. Sprinkle salt & baking soda over the batter & whisk thoroughly to combine. Stir in cocoa powder, until all lumps disappear. Stir in the flour & cup of chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. They will fill all the way to the top. It will be okay & won’t spill over. Trust the process. Scatter the remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins, pressing in slightly.

Bake muffins for 18 – 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out batter free.

Eat right away, store muffins in an airtight container, or eat some, store some, & place some in the freezer for another day when a double chocolate chip muffin will hit the spot.



Posted in Bread/ Muffins, Breakfast | Leave a comment

Dessert Pizza

Easy, delicious, & just in time for Memorial Day which always symbolizes the beginning of summer. This is the perfect dessert to complement any barbecue. It’s light & cool.


1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

4 oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Assorted fresh fruit


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press the cookie dough onto a 10 or 12 inch pizza pan (depending on how thick you want your cookie crust – the pan I used was 11 inches) & bake for 14 – 16 minutes. Check & bake for an additional 2 minutes at a time until set, being careful not to over bake. Allow to cool completely.

Beat the cream cheese with the vanilla extract & sugar until well combined & creamy. Spread over cooled cookie crust & assemble with fruit of your choice. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Posted in Cookies, Desserts | 1 Comment

Carrabba’s Copycat Sogna Di Cioccolata “Chocolate Dream”

The number 1 searched recipe on this site on any given day, regardless of season, is single handedly Carrabba’s copycat Mama Mandola’s chicken soup. Hands down. I’m predicting this recipe may very well give the soup a run for it’s money, if not surpass it altogether. Plus, when I tell you, just how easy it is to make and how much it tastes just like when enjoying at the restaurant, you may find yourself doing the ultimate happy dance.


1 box Ghirardelli’s Dark Chocolate brownie mix, made per package instructions (you’ll need an egg, 1/2 cup vegetable, & 1/4 cup water)

1 1.5oz box Jell-O sugar free chocolate pudding, made per package instructions but instead of using 3 cups fat free milk, use 2 cups heavy cream & 1 cup milk

2-3 cups homemade whipped cream (place a pint of whipping cream in a bowl & beat on high until stiff peaks form then add 2 – 3 heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar to get desired sweetness)

Ganache for drizzle


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a square 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, coat the parchment paper with nonstick spray; set aside.

Make the brownie mix, per the package instructions & once oven ready, bake for 42 minutes; careful not to over bake.

While the brownies are baking, make the pudding (using heavy whipping cream & milk will create a mousse filling) & once whipped, keep in the refrigerator.

Also, while the brownies are baking, make the whipped cream & store in the refrigerator until needed.

Once the brownies are done baking, transfer to a cooling rack & allow to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the brownies & slice in the middle, creating a bottom & top layer. Place the bottom layer (sans parchment paper) back in the 8×8 pan. Evenly distribute half of the mousse mixture & then top with half of whipped cream. Add the remaining half of the brownie, & repeat layering process first with the mousse mixture, & then the whipped cream.

Drizzle with ganache.

Return to refrigerator & allow to sit for 1-2 hours before serving.


Notes: a little of this dessert goes a long way.

If you don’t want to have discernible chocolate chips in the brownies, before making the brownie batter, sift the dry ingredients to remove the chocolate chips.

Posted in Bars/ Brownies, Copycat Recipes, Desserts | Leave a comment

Brisket Topped Burgers

Just looking at this picture makes me want one of these burgers, that & I haven’t had lunch. From the power (read: suggestion) of YouTube, my husband came across this recipe & tweaked it to make it his own. This isn’t a recipe per se, but an outline of ingredients to assemble.


2 lb hamburger

Uncle Chris’s Steak Seasoning

Cheese of your choice

Onion Buns

1 lb Brisket

BBQ sauce

Condiments, per choosing


Instead of grilling, which he normally does, my husband made these burgers in a cast iron skillet. He does not shy away from using the following seasoning. For a long time, he used Montreal Steak Seasoning, which is good, but we’re on a kick of using this seasoning. He sprinkles it on before mixing it into the hamburger. He makes half lb burgers, but you do you.

We buy the brisket from a local barbecue place & they supply the sauce as well.

Once the burgers are cooked to your liking, add the patties to a toasted bun, add a slice of cheese, top with brisket & barbecue sauce. Add condiments, or don’t. You get the drift, do your own thing. Serve with homemade steak fries & chef’s kiss, you’ve got a great dinner.


Posted in Beef, Meat | 1 Comment

Coffee Cake Cookies

The high temperature was set for cold, blustery, & snowy 28 degrees today and while the closest I got to venturing outside was letting the dogs in & out, I’m fairly sure the wind chill prohibited it from getting anywhere near the projected high. In other words, it was prime baking weather.

I’ve yet to meet someone who isn’t a fan of cookies or coffee cake, so when the two worlds collide, say no more, I’m on it.


For the cookie:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups flour

For the streusel:

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 – 1/2 cup flour *see note

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

For the icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk

Splash of vanilla extract


For the dough: beat together the butter, oil, & sugar & mix together until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg & vanilla & beat together for another few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients & mix together until just combined.

For the streusel: combine all the ingredients in a bowl & using a fork, spoon, or your fingers, work the ingredients together. *Note: start with a 1/3 cup flour. The mixture should stick together, but should also crumble when you run it through your fingers. If it isn’t crumbling, add 1 tbsp flour at a time until it does.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Using a large cookie scoop, or a 1/4 measuring cup, roll the dough into a ball. Using a spoon or fingers, make an indentation into the center of each cookie & sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of streusel.

Bake for 12 -14 minutes or until light golden color. While the cookies are cooling, assemble the icing. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle the icing over the tops of each.



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Spicy Green Beans

What’s there to say? I love me some spicy green beans & they went perfectly with the Katsudan pork cutlet & rice bowls I made for dinner tonight.


1 1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/3 cup peanut oil (sesame or canola works)

8 – 10 garlic cloves, minced (you can use less, but I wouldn’t)

2 – 3 inch ginger root, peeled & grated

Red pepper flakes, per taste

1/4 cup red wine vinegar


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans & boil for 1 – 2 minutes, until the beans turn bright green. Strain them & run under cold water to stop them from cooking.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the sliced almonds & toast until golden brown, tossing frequently, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Return skillet to burner & heat to medium-high heat. Once heated, add the oil, a few pinches of salt, garlic, ginger, & pepper flakes cook just until garlic starts to brown. Add the vinegar & let cook down for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat & toss in the beans to coat thoroughly & evenly with dressing. Stir in the toasted almonds.


Posted in Asian, Vegetables, Vegetarian | 1 Comment