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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mother's Day American Kobe Beef and Kurobuta Ham Dinner

Mother's Day is fast approaching people! I've always had a bit of a strange relationship with Mother's Day. My birthday always falls around Mother's Day weekend and I had a few years as a child where I felt a little slighted because of it. Now that I'm well into adulthood and no longer selfish birthday-crazed, it is easier for me to take the time to fully offer appreciation to my own mother. I may have a lot of Mother's Days to make up for....

Snake River Farms asked me if I'd be willing to review one of their Mother's Day package specials. When someone wants to send you Wagyu (American Kobe) Beef and a Kurobuta ham, you don't say no. These meats are the best of the best. All those fancy restaurants in New York, LA, San Francisco? This is their kind of meat. This is the best of the best. Doesn't mom deserve the best?

Ordering meat from the internet can be scary for some people. No need to fear, it comes in this awesome packaging that keeps the food cold. My food was still frozen upon arrival.

This package came with two Wagyu filet mignon steaks (can I get a drool here?), one Kurobuta ham, and a fancy espresso sea salt rub for the steaks. There are other options available as well, but holy cow is this a package to spoil a foodie or what?

I took a little trip up to my mom's house the day after my package arrived to share this delicious meat with her. I decided to make the ham without any glaze so we could all truly experience the meat by itself. We did serve it with a fabulous pineapple chutney on the side, but holy cow, the meat totally stood on its own. It was obvious to everyone who ate it that this was a quality ham. We had 9 adults and 2 children at this dinner and still had leftovers too. And boy, do those leftovers sing!

Now for those should drool. We don't do the whole coffee thing so all I did was rub the steaks with a drizzle of high quality olive oil and seasoned them generously with salt and pepper and cooked them in a cast iron skillet on the stove. Look at that color and marbling...

Totally easy. We savored every...single...bite. These are the kind of steaks that are fit for kings.

Gourmet, high quality meat doesn't have to be full of technique and special cooking methods. These meats are amazing with the simplest of preparations. If you want to totally spoil your mother, you need to send her one of these packages. She will be blown away.

Now, I realize that a lot of my readers are moms themselves. Ain't nothing wrong with ordering one of these packages for yourself. I totally would! Husbands and children can totally handle the dinner prep on these ones. Serve it up with a simple side salad and some roasted potatoes and you are good to go. This meal will be all about the meat!

What are you waiting for? Treat yo'self and your mom this Mother's day!

Special Offer:  Send your mom (or yourself!) one of these Mother's Day gifts and you'll get free shipping by using the code: LOVEMOM.  Click here for Mother's Day Gifts.  

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snake River Farms/Double R Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sante Fe Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Carl's Jr. Copycat)

This flavorful chicken sandwich brings back a lot of memories for me. I was 9 years old when my little sister was born. I remember going into the hospital room to see her for the first time. My mom was starving and sent us out to get her what she craved...a Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich from Carl's Jr. My mom, as starved as she was, still let me have a bite. As far as fast food goes, it is a great chicken sandwich. We try to avoid the whole fast food thing though. Making food at home gives us complete control over the ingredients and the quality. This sandwich is totally easy to make at home. It's full of flavors and has lots of different spicing combinations in it. You've got basically a teriyaki chicken combined with a spicy curry mayo, with the southwest flavors of the green chili and pepper jack cheese. It totally works! It's a great summer grilling alternative to the plain old burger. Give it a try at your next barbecue!

Prep Time: 30-60 minute marinade time
Hands on Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 4 Burgers


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon crushed garlic
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 hamburger buns
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 whole green chile peppers, from can, patted dry


1. Pound out each of the chicken breasts so that they are a fairly even thickness throughout. Marinate the chicken by combining the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, and crushed garlic in a resealable plastic bag with the chicken breasts. Marinade for 30 minutes to an hour. 

2. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. 

3. Make the sauce by combining the mayo, paprika, cayenne, curry powder, and salt in a bowl and mixing it up.

4. Grill the chicken for about 5-8 minutes each side. Actual time will depend on the thickness of your meat. The chicken is done when it is firm to the touch. Place the pepper jack slices on each piece of chicken during the last minute or so of cooking so it can melt. 

5. Grill the buns face-side down for just a minute or two so that they are toasted. Spread the mayo mixture on the face of each bun. Top with cheese smothered chicken, green chili, and lettuce. 

Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Carl's Jr. Copycat)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Slow Cooker Strawberry-Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork

I'm back at you with yet another tasty, easy slow cooker meal. This one is all about springtime with fresh strawberries turned into a tasty and spicy barbecue sauce with the ever popular chipotle chile. This finger-licking sauce is also found in my slow cooker cookbook made over baby back ribs. I catered a large dinner last summer where I served pulled pork with three different barbecue sauces, strawberry-chipotle being one of them. Each sauce received rave reviews and several attendees were begging for the recipe. Today I'm giving you a simple way to enjoy this sweet and spicy pulled pork in an easy prep slow cooker version that is sure to impress at any table. I like to serve my pulled pork on pretzel rolls, because hello, pretzel rolls are freakin' delicious! Ultimately you can use any bun you'd like. I also make some mean homemade hamburger buns and some buttery brioche buns. This meat is pretty killer any way you roll. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 8 hours, low
Yield: Serves 6 to 8


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups strawberries, hulled
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tablespoon Worcerestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (3 to 4 lb) pork butt or shoulder roast


1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sweet onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic and saute for 60 seconds.

3. Stir in strawberries, chipotle chiles, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ground mustard, and black pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

4. Transfer to a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth.

5. Place your pork roast into a slow cooker. Pour sauce over pork.

6. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. 

Slow Cooker Strawberry-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

This one is a keeper for sure. It took several rounds of testing to get this recipe just right and we were happy to eat each and every version. This is all the goodness of cajun chicken pasta, without the pasta. You can serve it with buttered pasta. I did and it was great. Or you can skip the carb loading and serve it up with veggies as shown. Either way no one is going to complain about that gooey cheese oozing out of the middle with mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion all stuffed inside a deliciously seasoned chicken breast. 

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4


4 large chicken breasts
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 large white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 white onion, diced
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
4 teaspoons cajun seasoning*
4 tablespoons butter


1. Use a meat tenderizer to pound out the chicken breasts until about 1/4-inch thick. 

2. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, bell pepper, and onions for 5 minutes, until par-cooked.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

4. Place a pinch of cheese in the center of each chicken breast. Place a large spoonful of mushroom and bell pepper mixture on top. Finish off with another pinch of cheese. 

5.  Carefully roll up the chicken so stuffing is completely inside. Secure the chicken with toothpicks. Place in the prepared pan.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until chicken is cooked through, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 30 to 40 minutes. 

7. Remove toothpicks before serving. You can serve the chicken whole, or slice in half, or in 1-inch slices.

Cajun seasoning can be bought in the seasoning section of the grocery store. Each brand will be slightly different in their ingredients and proportions. I like to save myself the money and make my own. Bonus, I also get to control the exact flavor. I mix it up in a ziploc bag or small jar. If you want to make a big batch, just change all the measurements to tablespoons.

2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper (if you don't have it, just substitute black pepper)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 tsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Chili-Lime Mexican Shredded Beef

Easy slow cooker recipes are always a favorite. The easy chili-lime shredded beef is great plain, or for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, see where I'm going here? I love versatile slow cooker meats. I can throw it in the crock in the morning and then I have a whole 8 hours before I have to actually decide what we're going to have for dinner. Leftovers? Guess you've got a completely different dinner for tomorrow night. I do love the slow cooker. In fact, I wrote a whole cookbook of easy prep recipes using whole, real ingredients. Soda walks the line on being a real ingredient, but I do love the way that soda flavors and tenderizes beef. It's easy, and totally delicious.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 8 hours, low
Yield: Serves 6 to 8


1 (2 to 3 pound) beef chuck roast
4 cups lemon-lime soda 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed 
2 limes, juiced


1. Place the chuck roast into the bottom of a 5 to 8 quart slow cooker.

2. Pour soda over chuck roast. 

3. Season with chili powder, salt, and garlic.

4. Cover with lid and cook on low for 8 hours until easily shredded with a fork.

5. Shred and pour lime juice over. Serve hot. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado

These avocados are stuffed with a flavorful southwest mixture of tuna, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro. No mayo necessary here! This is straight up healthy. You mix in a bit of the avocado itself to add that creamy factor you need. This is an easy, tasty lunch, snack, or even dinner. I ate two, but you could totally get away with eating one for a light lunch or snack. 

Pro Tip: I prefer to buy tuna that is packed in olive oil, rather than the majority that are packed in water. Seriously, it makes all the difference in my opinion. 

Time to Make It: <10 minutes
Yield: Serves 2 to 4


4 avocados, halved and pitted
3 (4.5 oz) cans tuna, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper


1. Scoop out some of the avocado from the pitted area to widen the "bowl" area. Place the scooped avocado into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mash it with a fork.

2. Add the tuna, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro to the mixing bowl. Pour lime juice over. Stir it all together until everything is well mixed.

3. Scoop the tuna into the avocado bowls. Season with salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BLT Deviled Eggs

I first brought these babies to a little Easter party with friends a few years ago. I wasn't sure how people would respond to deviled eggs. Are they out of fashion? I wasn't prepared for the response. They were gobbled up and everyone was raving about them! Candied bacon, tomato, and basil in lieu of's a BLT!  One friend even said they were the best deviled eggs she'd ever had. Now, you can totally use regular old cooked bacon in this recipe instead of the candied bacon, but let's face it, if bacon makes everything better then candied makes everything even more better. Yes, that's right, I totally just said more better. 

Time to Make It: <10 minutes
Yield: 24 deviled eggs


1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey mustard
4 strips candied bacon, diced small
2 handfuls small cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 handful basil leaves, chopped
Chili powder to dust


1. Slice each egg in half lengthwise and remove the yolk. Put all the yolks in a small mixing bowl and all the whites on a platter.

2. Add mayo and honey mustard to the yolks and mix until well combined and sort of fluffy.

3. Fold in the diced bacon, tomatoes, and basil (reserving a little of the basil for a garnish)

4. Spoon filling into the centers of the whites. Garnish with basil and dust with chili powder.

How to make the perfect hard-boiled egg:

1. Use "old" eggs that have been in your refrigerator for a week. They will be easier to peel.

2. Place eggs in a pan and fill with cold water. The water should cover the eggs by about an inch.

3. Place on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a boil.

4. Once the water is boiling, cover it with a lid, turn off the heat and set a timer for 10 minutes.

5. After 10 minutes, use tongs carefully remove the eggs from the water and transfer them to a bowl filled with ice and water. 

6. Let cool for 15 minutes and refrigerate until ready to use.

This post first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef on March 25, 2013


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