Recipes, Weeknight Dinners

Cheesy Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Pork chops topped with honey, mustard, orange juice, garlic, paprika, bacon, Gouda and baked. Ready in under 30 minutes. Serve over rice and you have yourself an easy and quick weeknight dinner! Free to switch out the pork for chicken and use your favorite cheese!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 to 8 boneless pork chops
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1½ cups shredded gouda cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Season pork chops with garlic powder, salt and pepper on both sides. 

Heat oil in a skillet and cook pork chops 2 minutes on each side until they are starting to brown. Place in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Combine honey, garlic, mustard, juice and paprika. Pour over pork chops. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Top pork chops with bacon and cheese. Return to the oven, and continue to bake until the cheese is melted.

Healthy, Recipes

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms over Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Whether you’re entertaining or making these Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms for a weeknight dinner, this recipe will not disappoint. I love to serve these stuffed mushrooms over a simple shaved Brussel sprouts but feel free to serve over rice, pasta or even as an appetizer on their own. 

Where to find the crab meat?

Look for pasteurized jumbo, lump crab in the seafood section of the supermarket. The regular lump crab or even claw meat blends perfectly with the sour cream mixture and goes a lot farther.

Here’s another trick…  for mushrooms that’ll hold their shape when stuffed: roast them first, before adding the filling, to draw out some of their extra moisture. 

The Brussel Sprouts Salad

Whoever made Brussel sprouts the new cool veggie, thank you! For a while, roasted was the only way I ate Brussel sprouts and then one day I tried the shredded brussel sprouts salad at Cooper’s Hawk and my mind was blown! It’s so simple and doesn’t require a salad dressing, just shredded parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. 

I like to use my food processor to shred the sprouts but you can also use a mandoline slicer or sharp knife. For this recipe, I also like to roast about a ½ cup of the sprouts to add a little more flavor and texture. You choose what you like! And you feel free to serve this salad alone or with my crab stuffed mushrooms. 

INGREDIENTS

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 24 large baby Bella mushrooms (about 1 lb.)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 8 oz fresh lump crabmeat
  • ¼ cup scallions chopped
  • 6 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
  • ¼ cup Parmesan grated
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika

Brussel sprout salad

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon zest and juice of one lemon
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

Stuffed Mushrooms

Preheat the broiler, setting the temperature on high. Set an oven rack in the middle of the oven (this will prevent the mushrooms from scorching under the broiler). Line a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Use damp paper towels to gently wipe the mushrooms clean. Gently twist the stems off. Spray the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Broil in the middle of the oven until just tender, 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Transfer the crabmeat to a medium bowl, feeling through the meat to make sure no shell pieces remain.

Add the remaining ingredients except for the paprika and mix well until fully combined.

Spoon the crab mixture into the mushrooms, dividing it evenly. Each mushroom should hold about 2 tablespoons of filling. Pack the filling into the mushrooms and pile it high. 

Sprinkle the stuffed mushrooms with paprika.

Arrange the mushrooms, filling side up, back on the baking sheet. 

Lightly spray them with olive oil.

Broil the mushrooms briefly, just until the filling is warm and golden, for about 3 minutes. 

Brussel Sprouts Salad

Shave the Brussel sprouts using a food processor and place in a large bowl, breaking them up with your hands and discarding any tough pieces.

Take ¼ cup of the sprouts and place on a baking sheet. Broil for ten minutes until the edges are brown and crispy. 

Toss the cooked and raw sprouts in a large bowl with the lemon zest and juice until coated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow the sprouts to soften and the flavors to combine.

Before serving, toss in the grated parmesan and taste again for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve stuffed mushrooms over the salad.

Healthy, Recipes

PAN SEARED SCALLOPS WITH WARM ASPARAGUS, KALE AND CITRUS SALAD

This light and healthy meal, Pan seared scallops with warm asparagus and salad with orange dressing comes together in just 20 minutes. It can be made with scallops or with other fish like salmon, cod, snapper, halibut, or sea bass… or even grilled chicken. The dressing is very universal- citrusy and flavorful and perfect on so many things!

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the scallops

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 12 scallops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 small bunch asparagus cut in about 3 inch pieces
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 oranges peeled and cut into segments
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Cook the scallops

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Working in batches, lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper, and sear for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Flip the scallops and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, until the other side is also golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Make the salad

Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a deep-sided skillet or sauté pan. When the water is bubbling, salt the water, then drop the asparagus and cook the asparagus for about 2 minutes, or until bright green. Strain the asparagus in a sieve, running it under cold running water. Set aside.

Return the skillet to the stove and heat it over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and drop in the kale and red onion. Stir the kale and cook for about 1-2 minutes, then add the asparagus and about 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

Transfer the asparagus and kale into bowls. 

Top with scallops, orange segments and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve with additional dressing.

Cookies, Recipes

Oreo Rocky Road Cookies

Who doesn’t love a chocolate cookie? How about a fudgy chocolate cookie LOADED with marshmallows, chocolate chunks and Oreo cookie crumbles. These delicious rocky road cookies stay soft for days, come together in 30 minutes, and are a serious crowd pleaser!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Cocoa powder 
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup marshmallows

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Cream sugar and margarine in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the creamed mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips, crushed Oreos and mini marshmallows. 

Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges are set and centers are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Let sit briefly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Cookies, Recipes

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies

Christmas is my favorite time of year! I love spending the day in the kitchen, creating new recipes like this White Chocolate Cranberry Orange cookie!

This cookie is bursting with flavor from the cranberry and orange flavors and a sweetness from the white chocolate chips. These cookies are so soft and delicious!

These White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies will be the star of your cookie exchange!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Zest of one Orange
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 
  • 1 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)

Instructions

In mixing bowl, beat melted butter with sugars until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla. Slowly beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in white chocolate and Craisins.

Drop by large teaspoons onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove, cool and enjoy!

Recipes, Soups

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Colder weather means it’s time for chili!! 

Heartier than a soup but different from a traditional chili, this is a twist on White Chicken Chili. Lots of flavor from green chiles and fire-roasted tomatoes plus a little heat from the buffalo sauce are balanced out with some sweet corn yogurt, and cream cheese. Top it all off with blue cheese crumbles! This is great to serve at a party, take to a tailgate, or a potluck. Oh, and the best part this is all made in the crock pot- a fix it and forget meal!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced 
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup Franks Buffalo Sauce
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Blue cheese, for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Add the chicken breasts and all of the other ingredients except the cream cheese and Greek yogurt to the slow cooker. Stir everything together then cover it with the lid. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until the chicken breasts are cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and onto a plate. Use forks or your hands to shred it. Add the cream cheese into the slow cooker and whisk it in until there’s no lumps. 

Add the shredded chicken back in and cover with the lid. Cook on low for another 30 minutes.

Turn off the slow cooker and quickly stir in the Greek yogurt. Don’t let it sit or it may curdle. Taste for seasoning. 

Top the chili with blue cheese crumbles and extra hot sauce if desired.

Seasonal, Small Bites

Sausage Stuffing Bites

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we all are face to face with the Leftover Problem. Well have no fear, I have the perfect solution for all the leftover stuffing. These Sausage Stuffing Bites are perfect to use leftover stuffing to make! They can be used for an appetizer at your Friendsgiving celebration. You can also make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake and serve them. They are perfect for parties and family gatherings during the holidays.

Ingredients

Sausage Stuffing Bites

  • 2 boxes Savory Herbs Stuffing or 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • ½ pound of hot Italian sausage
  • ½ pound of mild Italian sausage
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese or shredded cheese cheddar
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, minced
  • 2 beaten eggs

Gravy Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¾ stick of butter
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, more to taste 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add the garlic and cranberries, mix and cook for 5 minutes. 

While the sausage is cooking, cook the stuffing.  

Once sausage and stuffing is cooked, combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix with your hands. Do not ocean out the sausage pan, we will use the drippings for the gravy. 

Using a cookie scoop, (or hands) scoop the sausage balls onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are browned on top.

While sausage stuffing bites are cooking, make the gravy dipping sauce. 

Over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle on half the flour and stir so that the butter soaks it all up, then add more little by little. Stir it around and cook it for another minute or so, then pour in the broth, stirring constantly.

Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. (This may take a good 10 to 12 minutes.) Sprinkle in the salt and pepper and continue cooking until very thick and luscious. If it gets too thick too soon, just splash in another 1/2 cup of broth or more if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Place dipping sauce in a serving bowl and serve with Sausage Stuffing Bites

Recipes, Small Bites

Beer Cheese Dip

Let’s get ready for some football!! This Beer cheese dip is perfect for any game day party. 

A combination of your favorite beer, a variety of cheeses, and ranch seasonings this recipe is a welcome addition to any appetizer spread! Serve with pretzel bites, tortilla chips or even veggies!

What kind of beer do you like best? Then that is the beer you should use!

  • Dark Beers like stouts, and malts will produce a deep and bitter flavor.
  • Light Beers like ales and IPA’s will give a lighter kind of flavor (this is my personal favorite).
  • Non-Alcoholic beers work just fine in this recipe too!

Think about what you are dipping into this gooey cheesy dip and choose the flavor from there! The darker beers are best with pretzels, pretzel sticks, tortilla chips, and bread. 

For the lighter side, use carrot sticks, broccoli and cauliflower or zucchini.

I use a combination of cheddar, gruyere and cream cheese. The cheddar and gruyere add flavor while the cream cheese adds a creamy texture. Choose any cheese you like! 

This Beer Cheese Dip is super easy to make ahead! All you need to do is cool it and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to reheat it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Pkg. Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Dip 
  • 2 Pkg. Cream Cheese 8 oz. each (softened)
  • 8 Oz. Beer about (1/3-1/2 Cup) 
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • ½ cup Gruyère Cheese, Shredded 
  • 4 Green Onions (optional) Diced

INSTRUCTIONS

In a bowl, mix the dip mix, cream cheese, beer, and cheddar cheese. Mix together.

If you want to serve this dip warm, bake in the oven at 350 until bubbling. 

Top with chopped green onion.

Recipes, Seasonal, Sunday dinner

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Happy Fall Ya’ll! We may not have the fall weather here in Florida but we can create those delicious fall flavors! 

Acorn squash gets roasted to perfection and tossed with chicken sausage, kale, cranberries, pecans and melty goat cheese for the perfect salty and sweet combo.

Ingredients

Acorn squash

  • 2 acorn squash medium
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more
  • black pepper freshly ground

Squash filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 10 oz chicken sausage, crumbled
  • 4 oz kale, chopped 
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese 

Instructions 

Roast acorn squash

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut off the top and the bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base. Make sure not to cut too deep into the base of the squash. 

Slice each squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.

Place acorn squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. 

Drizzle the cut sides of acorn squashes with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Make squash filling

Make the sausage filling while the squash is being roasted in the oven.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add diced onion and garlic, and cook it on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred.

Add the chopped mushrooms, and saute until soft. 

Add crumbled sausage and rosemary, cook on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.

Add fresh kale and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the kale wilts.

Add dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix everything.

Season with salt and pepper. 

How to stuff acorn squash

By this time, you have roasted the acorn squash for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn cooked squash halves cut sides up.

Divide the sausage filling among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher. Sprinkle each half with goat cheese. 

Bake the stuffed acorn squash in the preheated oven at 350 F for 10 or 20 more minutes until the sausage mixture is heated through.

Cookies, Seasonal, sweet tooth

Apple Whiskey Cookies

Who’s ready for fall? Buttery, soft, and oh-so-delicious, these Apple Whiskey Toffee cookies boast all your favorite fall sensations. Trust me these homemade cookies are hard to turn down.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 apples, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 1 cup whiskey 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 

Add that mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir to combine.

Stir in the whiskey, applesm, chocolate and toffee. 

Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or more. 

Heat the oven to 375F degrees.

Spoon the batter using a medium cookie scoop onto a lined cookie sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Let rest for 5 minutes. Then, remove to a cookie rack to continue cooling.