better than take-out


I came across this recipe by way of Buzzfeed of all places. You know how they have all of those list posts? I love a good list post, especially when it focuses on food. This is the post right here. Funny enough, it’s title is Easy Weeknight Dinners Your Kids Will Like. My kids though? Yeah, not so much. To say I live with two very picky eaters is an understatement and honestly I can write a whole post about it. Nee, a whole BOOK about it. It would be boring, but oh I’ve got the experience and content to author it, I do.

But back to the good.

I wound up pinning a few of the recipes, and hopefully I’ll give those a go before they fall into my pinterest food wasteland.

The details of this dish:

  • fresh broccoli florets
  • diced chicken breast
  • brown rice

And a fantastic little sauce.

I will admit, it took me slightly longer than 12 minutes. Brown rice takes over 40! But still this was relatively quick and it was very easy and it was VERY delicious.

You can find the original posted recipe here.

Chicken and broccoli.


  • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and mostly cooked through.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, make your sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, cornstarch, garlic, ginger and sesame oil until combined. Set aside.
  3. Once the chicken is browned, add the broccoli and stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green. Stir in the soy sauce mixture, and cook for an additional 1 minute until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

I only made three small modifications. I didn’t have rice wine vinegar, so I used apple cider vinegar in the sauce. Instead of just one crushed fresh garlic clove, I used 4 small ones. I LOVE garlic! Further, I didn’t have any ginger on hand, so that I completely omitted.


chicken sausage tortellini

I came across this one-skillet dinner one day about a month ago. Don’t even ask me how/where/why. It came upon my screen and I thought, yes please! (I mean, I’m sure it was on Pinterest somewhere, but I can’t even find the original pin. Oh wells!) The original post was from last October, so seriously, I must have been sitting on this one a while. You know how you bookmark and pin stuff that you SWEAR you’re going to make? Hundreds of them yo.

chicken sausage tortellini with basil on top

Here’s what I like about this dish: it’s easy and SUPER flavorful. Need any other reasons to whip this up on a weeknight?

On to the details!

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 package pre-cooked chicken Italian sausage (4 links)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (I used homemade, because it’s better!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 18 ounces cheese tortellini (fresh, not frozen)
  • kosher salt & pepper
  • fresh basil

I’m going to include my own instructions because I altered it just slightly for my own preferences and tastes.

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat
  2. Cut sausage links into coins, place in olive oil, let them brown for about 10-12 minutes. (You want a nice caramelization on the edges.
  3. While the sausage is cooking, mince your shallot and garlic.
  4. Remove sausage, let the oil drain off of them by placing them on paper towels.
  5. Leave the bits in the pan!
  6. Put a splash more of olive oil in pan.
  7. Throw in the shallots and let them sweat for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add in your minced garlic.
  9. Give it another minute.
  10. Your pan is getting brown now, but don’t worry!
  11. De-glaze the pan with the chicken broth. Release all those flavorful bits!
  12. Slowly stir in the tomato sauce and the cream.
  13. Add about 1/2 tsp each of black pepper and kosher salt.
  14. Carefully add in the tortellini and sausage.
  15. Give everything a stir.
  16. Lower heat to simmer and cover.
  17. In 12 minutes, it’s all ready!

To serve, chiffonade some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle on each serving. You can also add some freshly grated Percorino Romano cheese. Yum!

I serve this alongside steamed asparagus with lemon zest.

An easy, lovely, delicious 20 minute meal, enjoy!


asparagus salad

A couple of weeks ago I had a bunch of asparagus in my fridge that was dancing around the past its prime date. I wasn’t making anything that required a nice roasted asparagus as a side dish, which is my usual method for cooking the stalks. (Cut the bottoms off, lay them in a line on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper, into a 400 degree oven for about 11 minutes then top with some fresh grated romano and a squeeze of lemon, seriously, it’s PERFECT!)

Since the warmer weather was here, I thought I might like to do an asparagus salad. I searched online and came across a recipe that involved shallots, dijon vinaigrette, red peppers, and feta. I tried and it was quite tasty. Mike liked it too. Lots of flavor.

Flash-forward to today, I was planning on a simple summer meal, veggie burgers with potato salad. I saw that I had a bundle of asparagus in my fridge again and figured I would make them into salad again. Problem is, I COULD NOT find that recipe again. I went to like page 5 in my google search hoping to come across it.

So, I thought, eh, it’s not rocket science, just wing it.

And so I did.

Asparagus salad with avocado and feta

I used a few elements from the previous dish and then just added a few new ones.

As follows:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into approx. 2 inch pieces, blanched in salted bowling water for 2 minutes, then submerged into ice bath for 2 minutes
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, zested and squeezed
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  1. Whisk olive oil, mustard, lemon juice/zest, salt, pepper, oregano, and shallots together until combined.
  2. Add blanched asparagus and tomatoes, mix to coat.
  3. Add feta and stir.
  4. Add diced avocado to top.
  5. Serve chilled.

It will be one of my go-to summer salads from now on. It was refreshing and delicious and the best part, healthy!

The potato salad was homemade too, but it’s not quite as jazzy to talk about!


white peach cobbler

Peaches are in season! Wonderful juicy sweet peaches. There is nothing like a beautiful ripe peach. It’s like candy. But only if they’re good. Peaches are fickle. Much like bananas and pears. Or maybe I’m the fickle one.

  • I need my peaches to be ripe, but not too ripe.
  • Soft, but not squishy.
  • Textured, but not mealy.
  • Or mushy. YUCK.

And well, it doesn’t happen that often that I come across consistently good peaches. So whenever I find ’em, I TAKE as many as I can get in a bag. I’m pleased to say my boys love fresh ripe peaches as much as I do.

Mike ran into the store the other day and I told him to get more peaches ’cause you know I had eaten up the bunch that I bought just a few days prior. However, he doesn’t quite have the nose for a good peach, so the ones he picked up I felt were sort of lackluster. There was no SMELL! I went ahead and looked up some cobbler recipes since I felt like they wouldn’t do as handfruit.

I’ve never made a cobbler before. I’ve made plenty of pies and crisps and crumbles, but never a cobbler. And never a peach cobbler at that. But I came across this recipe and it looked yummy AND easy. I was going to give it a go.

I only had four peaches and they actually were the white variety. But by the time this evening rolled around, they were actually pretty ripe and juicy. Though not so much as I couldn’t peel (with my standard oxo peeler) or slice them without difficulty. I’m certainly glad I didn’t have the boil the skins off. I don’t have the patience for that!

The recipe took me all of 20 minutes to put together and it made our home smell delightful. I served it warm with a scoop of Aldens light vanilla bean ice cream. (It’s my favorite brand of ice cream)

White peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

What a wonderful treat for a Tuesday evening!