Recipes, Seasonal

Orange & Honey Baked Ham

Sticky, sweet, tangy, and full of flavor… this orange & honey glazed ham is one that you’ll be happy to have as the star of your holiday meal or Sunday dinner!

Ham is perfect to serve for family holiday gatherings. There is not a lot of prep, it feeds a big crowd and it can be served warm or at room temperature.

Making a glazed ham is really simple, as the ham is already fully cooked, you’re just heating it up and adding a great glaze.  So don’t be intimidated here, I highly encourage you to give this recipe I try! 

Trust me when I say that you’ll be wanting this ham for MORE than just holidays or just Sundays!

Ingredients

Glaze 

  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin spice 
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 orange sliced, thin 

Ham 

  • 1 bone-in spiral ham (approximately 8lb.)
  • 10 whole cloves 
  • 1 orange, sliced 

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 325°. 

In a saucepan, whisk all the ingredients for the glaze. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until it is well combined and smooth. Remove the pot from the stove.

Place one whole clove throughout the ham just push the clove into the ham.

Place the oranges slices in between slices of ham. 

Place the ham in a large roasting pan and cover top of the ham with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Every 20 minutes, remove the ham from the oven and brush all over with the glaze. 

After 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove foil from ham, brush with the glaze & cook for additional 25 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 135°. 

Transfer the ham to a platter and tent with foil. 

Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. 

Healthy, Recipes

Pan-fried Orange Glaze Grouper

For Christmas Eve this year my sister-n-law and I decided to do something a little different… 

In most Christmas comedy movies, the family ends up getting Chinese after the home cooked dinner goes wrong, so we decided let’s make our own Chinese dinner for Christmas Eve. 

This homemade Asian Orange sauce is so easy! Make a tasty, quick and healthy dinner ready in under an hour, that you can use over fish or chicken! 

This sauce has a delicious umami flavor and it’s full of ginger and garlic plus a little heat from the red chili paste. The best thing about making your own sauces and condiments is you can adjust the recipe to suit yourself. 

Serve this fish with my Garlicky Ginger Green beans and white rice. 

Ingredients

  • 6 -4 oz. portions Grouper or white filets
  • 6 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Red Chili Paste
  • ¼ cup Orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • Zest of one orange, for garnish
  • Green onions, for garnish

Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a saucepan over medium high heat add orange marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and paste.  Stir until thoroughly combined and just beginning to boil. Set aside.

Add olive oil to an ovenproof frypan and turn to medium high heat.  As it warms, pepper both sides of the fish and add to the frypan.  Sauté fish 3-4 minutes until browned.  Flip filets over and spoon about a tablespoon of sauce over each filet. 

Place in the oven for 5-6 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

Spoon remaining sauce over baked portions.

Top with orange zest and cilantro.

Healthy, Recipes

Alfredo Squash & Zucchini No Noodle Lasagna

This delicious twist to a classic lasagna recipe will have your family and friends asking for more! It’s made with white Alfredo sauce, chicken, bacon, squash and zucchini slices. Layer it all together and bake for a creamy, cheesy and delicious low carb dinner.

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s ideal for an easy homemade dinner since it uses simple ingredients (including store-bought Alfredo sauce), makes a lot, and is great for leftovers. This recipe is sure to be a favorite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash (about 3 large)
  • 1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon truffle olive oil, optional
  • ½ cup bacon, crumbles
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 cup shredded chicken

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease a deep 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, Italian seasoning, bacon crumbles, salt/pepper and truffle olive oil until well combined.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the Alfredo  sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Then layer 1/2 the squash &  zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella cheese and ¼ of the chicken. Repeat by layering the remaining Alfredo sauce, squash & zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, chicken and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes, Seasonal

Red Chili Roasted Turkey Thighs

These turkey thighs are garlicky, herby, spicy, and a little tangy, perfect for whether an ordinary weeknight meal or a special holiday feast, they will be a hit! You can honestly use any meat with this recipe, chicken, fish, pork or even steak- the seasoning is delicious!

Serve them with my Thai Roasted Brussel sprouts and butternut squash and of course crusty bread to soak up the mouthwatering drippings. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Turkey thighs or choice of meat
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 stick butter 
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning 
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium limes, for garnish
  • Cranberry sauce, optional for garnish 

INSTRUCTIONS

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Mince 4 garlic cloves. Mince 1 large shallot (about 1/3 cup). Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems from 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro until you have 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

Place the garlic, shallots, 3/4 cup of the cilantro, stick of butter,  2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Pat 2 turkey thighs dry with paper towels. 

Season with the poultry seasoning, coating each side. 

Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add turkey thighs skin-side down, then use tongs or a spatula to press down on the thighs to create good contact with the hot pan for even browning. Cook until the skin is golden-brown and fat has begun to render, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Flip the turkey and pour the red chili butter sauce over the turkey. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven.

Every ten minutes, remove from the oven, baste each piece of turkey with the melted butter and turkey juices in the pan.  Cover and return to the oven.  Repeat this every ten minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 40 minutes. 

When the turkey is ready, uncover and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, cranberry sauce and serve with the lime wedges.

Recipes, Small Bites

Caponata

I’m excited to add one more tasty eggplant creation from Italy to my go to dishes: Caponata!

And it’s a dish from Sicily! I love learning about dishes from where my family is from. My parents and I first tried this delicious appetizer at Casa Santo Stefano restaurant in Tampa. After my first bite, I knew I had to recreate this dish. 

What is caponata?

Caponata Sicilian is one of Sicily’s essential dishes. Pronounced ka·puh·naa·tuh, it is a vegetarian eggplant salad–more like a relish, really–made of eggplant, onions, bell pepper, celery and tomatoes with briny olives and capers. Some describe caponata as the Sicilian version of ratatouille.

You’ll love the combination of savory, sweet flavors in this creamy eggplant dish with onions, tomato and olives! A great make-ahead appetizer to serve over crusty bread or drizzle over chicken or fish!

It is the perfect make-ahead appetizer as it is better the next day, but if you need to serve it on the same day, let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. 

Ingredients 

1 large eggplant 1 ¼ lb or so, cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt

EVOO

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 small celery stalks thinly sliced

Black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoon capers

¼ cup Kalamata olives roughly chopped

¼ cup raisins

2 teaspoons honey or more to your liking

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the eggplant cubes with salt (if you have the time, set it aside in a colander to sweat out its bitterness for about 20 or 30 minutes, while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Pat dry with paper towel).

Place the seasoned eggplant cubes on a sheet pan, add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (about 3 tablespoons or so) and toss to coat. Roast the eggplant in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned.

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. 

Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, tossing regularly until softened.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are about to burst, 3 minutes. As the tomatoes begin to burst, mash them and stir. 

Add capers, olives, raisins, honey, bay leaf and crushed pepper flakes. Pour in the vinegar and white wine. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir in the roasted eggplant and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes in the sauce. 

Finish with fresh parsley. 

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers

There’s something about the smell of stuffed peppers that gets me every time. It’s the best of simple ingredients–fresh beef, onions, tomatoes, cheese and seasonings that come together in their own little portable, edible bowls. 

In this recipe, I slashed the calories and carbs of traditional stuffed peppers by swapping white rice for cauliflower “rice.” 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower, riced 
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage 
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 
  • 1 ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bell peppers, tops and cores removed
  • 1 cup. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp. beef broth 

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preheat the oven to 400°

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add ground sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.

Place cooked meat aside. 

In the same skillet, cook onion and mushrooms  until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. 

Cut the cauliflower into large chunks and place in a food processor. 

Add to the skillet with other veggies and sauté for 5-8 minutes. 

Return sausage to skillet, and stir in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 

Let simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

Place peppers cut side-up in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish and drizzle with oil. Spoon sausage mixture into each pepper and top with cheese.

Pour the beef broth into the bottom of the dish, then cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbly, 10 minutes more.

On the Side, Recipes

Bacon Jalapeño Cheesy Cornbread

These Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Skull muffins were perfect for our Halloween get together! Of course, you can make these in any muffin pan.

Ingredients

4 packets Martha White Cornbread Mix Buttermilk Cotton Country plus water as directed on package

1 cups haberno cheese, shredded

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup diced pickled jalapenos, drained

6 strips thick bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Prepare cornbread as directed on package

Stir in bacon, both cheeses and jalapenos.

Bake in the oven until lightly browned. 

#whiskawaykitchen

Healthy, Recipes

Southwest Salmon Burgers with a Chipotle Drizzle

These Salmon burgers are so deliciously satisfying plus a light and healthy alternative to a regular burger. Each bite is hearty and juicy bursting with southwest flavors and topped with a creamy Chipotle sauce that takes it to Rockstar status. 

Here’s what to know about making this salmon burger recipe:

Fresh Salmon… I like to use fresh salmon but you can use canned too. 

A food processor is handy, but a knife works too! 

Refrigerate before cooking. Firming the burgers for 15 minutes does wonders for the texture.

Pan fry for 5 minutes per side. 

They will come out lightly crispy on the outside and browned to perfection.

Once you’ve cooked up your salmon burger, pair it with this tasty and delicious Chipotle drizzle for maximum deliciousness!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ pounds salmon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup green onion chopped
  • ½ cup fresh corn
  • ½ cup zucchini, diced fine or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon water

Chipotle Drizzle

  • ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt, (*see vegan note)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, (Sir Kensington’s is best here)
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, using your hands combine the salmon, green onion, corn, zucchini, garlic, cilantro and ½ of the black beans.

In a food processor combine the remaining black beans, avocado, lime juice and pulse well. Add egg and the spices, pulse until blended.

Add the mix to the salmon mixture and stir well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Heat a large pan with a small amount of oil. 

Fry patties over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve over salad or with a bun!

Don’t forget the Chipotle drizzle!

Chipotle Drizzle

In a food processor, place the yogurt, mayo, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and generous pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend until smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Store in a small jar in the fridge, or in a squirt bottle for easy use.

Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Recipes, Small Bites

MARGARITA GRILLED SHRIMP

These Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers are loaded with flavor and charred to perfection. If you like grilled shrimp, you are going to love this recipe! 

They can be served as an appetizer or turned into a meal, just serve over rice. 

It’s the perfect weeknight meal or poolside dish! This past weekend, I served them with mini taco shells, a spicy mango dipping sauce and a chili lime aioli.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon  cumin
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon tequila, optional
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Wedges of fresh lime, for squeezing over top of grilled shrimp

Chili Lime Aioli

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • 2 2/12 tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 lime zest

Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Small Mango ,peeled and diced, about 3/4 C
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh cilantro ,chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Canned coconut milk 

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & marinate shrimp for 20-30 minutes.

Thread shrimp on skewers and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from skewers and place in a serving bowl.

Chili Lime Aioli & Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or in the blender. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

Serve shrimp on a platter with both dipping sauces.

Healthy, Recipes

Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked lemon pepper salmon only takes 12 minutes in the oven before dinner is served! 

This baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is such a delicious and easy way to prepare salmon in the oven. It only takes 12 minutes at 400ºF to whip up this healthy dinner idea!

Salmon cooks up so fast, has a beautiful mild flavor without the fishy-ness, and is very easy to find at your local grocery store. You don’t need a whole lot of effort and time to make this salmon taste amazing.

Feel free to turn this into a one pan meal by adding some of your favorite veggies like broccoli, asparagus or even potatoes. 

INGREDIENTS

2 5-oz. salmon filets

1.5 teaspoons lemon pepper

salt, to taste

2 lemon, sliced into wheels

Lemon zest, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

First, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Next, prepare salmon, by placing a double piece of paper towel on a large plate. Place salmon filets on top of the paper towel, skin-side down and then place another piece of paper towel on top. Use your hands to press the paper towel into the salmon in order to remove as much moisture as possible.

Next, prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.

Then place the salmon filets on top skin-side down.

Sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. And, season with salt to taste and place lemon wheels on top.

Bake at 400ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through a