Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

This is an economical dish that is easy to prepare.  When I first read the ingredients for this recipe, I thought these were going to be very spicy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find they had a very mild taste and should be palatable to even picky eaters!


1 pkg Chicken Thighs, excess fat and skin trimmed off

kosher salt


Spice Mix:

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder

Honey Glaze

1/2 cup honey

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar


1.  Preheat broiler to high

2.  Trim off any excess fat or skin from the thighs and season with salt and pepper

3.  Mix spice mix together and set aside

4.  Mix glaze ingredients together and set aside

5.   Lay the chicken on a cookie sheet

6.  Rub the spice mix into both sides of the chicken

7.  Cook 10 minutes one one side, flip and cook another 10 minutes

8.  Take the chicken out and cover well with the glaze mixture.

9.  Broil for another 5 minutes or so until the honey starts to thicken up and glaze.  It may smoke a little but this is normal.

10.  Take chicken out of the oven and let rest a few minutes

Brisket Tacos

Making brisket tacos is an excellent way to use up your leftover brisket.  We will usually make a brisket and serve it with all the brisket trimmings such as coleslaw and baked beans on the weekend.  Then, during the week, I will take the brisket and shred it to serve as the foundation for the tacos.  Just whip up some fresh pico de gallo, slice some avocados, and you’ve got yourself a great weeknight meal in less than 20 minutes!


Leftover Brisket (shredded)

Pico De Gallo (recipe follows)

1 Avacodo, sliced

8 corn tortillas (or flour)


1.  Shred Brisket, set aside

2.  Prepare Pico

3.  Slice Avacado

4.  Assemble taco by laying out corn tortilla and topping it with brisket, then pico and then avacado

5.  Fold, eat, and enjoy!

Pico de Gallo

6 Campari or Roma Tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped seeds and all

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2-1tsp Kosher Salt

Mix all pico ingredients together and serve immediately or allow to chill for 30 minutes for best results.


My cousin, who married into a large Italian family, taught me how to make this recipe.  I have been growing my own basil every summer just so we can feast on this wonderful snack frequently.  They key to this recipe is using fresh ingredients.  Using high quality fresh tomatoes, and freshly picked Basil will provide you with a taste of Summer Heaven!


1 pkg Campari Tomatoes, chopped (you can also use one large can of Hunts Petite Diced Tomatoes, drained)

2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped very finely

2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp of Kosher Salt


My Favorite Salmon

Here is another three ingredient recipe.  Well really, it is so simple, I’m not sure  you can call it a recipe.  I cannot describe how delicious Salmon tastes when cooked like this.  Everyone who I have served this too, says it is the best Salmon they have ever eaten!


Olive Oil

Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning

1.5 lbs of Salmon (will feed four so buy more or less depending on your needs)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Brush fish with olive oil

Sprinkle on Creole Seasoning to taste (not too much or it will be too salty)

Place in hot oven and cook for 15-20 minutes depending on how thick your cut of fish is.  Do not overcook or it will be tough.

Geoff’s Brisket

In honor of the Fourth of July, I thought I would share a recipe that the Hugheys have been making  for many years.  We serve this brisket whenever we have a large crowd to feed or just want to experience the wonderful leftovers!  This is about the easiest recipe you will ever make.  All you need is 2 ingredients and a large  pan.  Cook this all day in the oven and your house will smell amazing when you walk in from work!


1 large lightly trimmed brisket (about 10-12 lbs)

1 bottle of Claude’s Brisket Sauce (Found in BBQ sauce aisle)


Marinate Brisket overnight according to the directions found on the bottle.  Place brisket fat side up in a large pan and pour sauce over the brisket.  Cover with lid or tightly with foil.  Cook for 1 hour at 350 and then lower the temperature to 250 and cook for another 8-10 hours.

Refried Beans

I’ve been trying to make refried beans that taste just like my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants for years.  I’ve searched the internet  for a recipe that gives me the flavor I am looking for, but I’ve had no success.  This weekend, Jessica’s boyfriend, Michael made these beans to go with our breakfast enchiladas that we were having for Jessica’s birthday brunch and he graciously taught me the secret to delicious, authentic, homemade refried beans.


2 can of black beans (or pinto) drained with liquid reserved

2 Tbs bacon grease (or olive oil)

2-4 oz of queso fresco cheese (crumbled)

salt and pepper to taste


1.  Heat grease in a medium sized skillet till it is very hot (if you drop a bean into the pan, it should sizzle)

2.  Add beans to skillet and fry (about 5 – 10 minutes).  Stir frequently

3.  Mash beans while adding reserved liquid

4.  Add cheese to taste and stir while it melts

5.  Add salt and pepper to taste

Panko Crusted Pork Medallions

Wow, this recipe is going into my bi-weekly rotation.  So easy to make and it came out perfect.  This recipe can be made with any kind of pork, but I used the pork tenderloin like it called for.  It really doesn’t get any better than this for weeknight cooking, easy, quick, healthy, and economical. 


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 8 medallions (about 3/4″ thick)

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Salt and pepper the pork and then rub mustard evenly over pork medallions. Combine panko, thyme and parsley  in a large bowl. Dredge pork in panko mixture. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork; sauté 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn pork. Place skillet in oven; bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until pork reaches 145°. Let stand 3 minutes.

Serving Size:  2 medallions

Calories for:  210

Fat:  9.4 grams

Carbs:  5.1


Pasta E Fagioli Soup (Copy Cat of Olive Garden’s popular soup)

This soup is honestly one of the best soups I have ever made.  It is so easy to throw together and the flavors are so fresh.  If you dice your vegis while your meat is browning, you should be able to get this soup into the crockpot in less than fifteen minutes. 

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannellini beans (or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 (26 oz.) container beef stock (or 3 cups)
1 jar (24 oz.) of Barilla Marinara Sauce
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (or your favorite pasta shape)
Salt, to taste (about ½ tbsp. kosher salt)
1.  Brown hamburger
2.  While hamburger cooks, dice the onion, celery, and carrots
3.  Place all ingredients except pasta into a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours
4.  Add pasta for last 30 minutes

Spicy Brisket Tacos

Here is a perfect weekend recipe.  Put it in the oven in the morning and forget about it.  You can spend your afternoon doing chores and running errands and when you get home, you will have a delicious, spicy meal waiting for you.  Just be sure and pick up some refried beans from your favorite Mexican restaurant before you get home!  This brisket is a little spicy so adjust the heat level if you are feeding kiddos.

The ingredients:

2-3 lbs. of brisket

1 tablespoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cups beef stock or water

2 cups tomato sauce

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoon ground ancho chili powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke

12 warm tortillas

Cilantro, lime wedges, and chopped onion for garnish


  1. Heat oven to 325. Season the meat with salt and pepper all over..
  2. In a dutch oven, heat oil over high heat.  Brown meat for about 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Add tomato sauce, broth, and onion.  Cook covered for four hours in a 325 degree oven.  Check the meat.  If it is starting to get tender, it is time to add seasonings
  4. Add seasonings and more water if the brisket is dry.  Cook the last hour uncovered so that the gravy will thicken up.
  5. Shred the brisket with a fork.

6.  Serve on warmed tortillas with lime, cilantro, and onion.

World’s Easiest Pot Roast

This is a foolproof way of making a perfect pot roast in your crockpot. You can make this recipe before church on Sunday  and it will be ready when you get home if you cook it on high.  Or you can cook it all day while you are gone to work if you cook it on low.  Either way, the result is delicious!!!!!


2 (10.75 ounce) cans  condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

1 1/4 cups water

4 pounds pot roast


  1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.    (I usually brown my roast before placing it in the crockpot, but you don’t have too)

2.  Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Ever since I ate the Pecan Crusted Trout at Roaring Fork, I’ve been using pecans to crust all kinds of things.  Some dishes have turned out better than others, but this one was a winner!  When Geoff bit into this salmon, he said, “Wow, that is good!”  I found this recipe at Kalyn’s Kitchen.  If you would like a great resource for South Beach friendly recipes, you should visit her blog.  She is very passionate about the South Beach Way of Living and I’m sure you’ll find many delicious recipes there!


1 lb salmon

Creole Seasoning (or any other seasoning rub you like)

4 T finely chopped pecans

1 T Dijon mustard

1 tsp. mayo

Preheat oven to 425

Sprinkle salmon with whatever seasoning you are using
Finely chop the pecans with a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
Mix together the Dijon mustard and mayo in a small bowl and spread it over the surface of the salmon, until it’s completely covered.
Sprinkle the pecans over the fish, pressing them down so they stick.
Roast the salmon for 10-12 minutes, or until it feels barely firm to the touch when it’s pressed with your finger.  (I had to cook a little longer because my salmon fillet was really thick on one end)

Apple, Cheese and Walnut Salad

Quick, easy, and delicious.  Enough said!

8 cups torn, mixed salad greens

2 medium pink lady apples, halved, cored, and sliced very thin

Vinaigrette dressing (see recipe below)

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup coarsely chopped, toasted, walnuts


3 Tbs olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 tsp digon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed

Whisk all dressing ingredients together

In a large bowl, combine salad greens and apple slices.  Andd vinaigrette to salad; toss gently to coat.  Arrange salad on large platter, sprinkle with cheese and walnuts

Tex-Mex Carne Guisada

The best thing about this recipe (apart from the wonderful taste) is that after you brown the meat and get it all mixed up, you can just place it in the oven and forget about it for 1-2 hours.  This is a great weekend meal served with warm tortillas and maybe some beans and rice.

2 – 2.5 lbs of beef chuck roast or bottom round cut into 1 inch pieces (or use stew meat)

kosher salt and coarse ground pepper

2 tbs oil

1 cup diced onion

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced

6 Tbs flour

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 large, good quality tomato, diced (I use about 5-6 of the small campari tomatoes)

1 1/2 cups hot water

1.  Heat oven to 325

2.  Heat oil in a dutch oven, salt and pepper the meat  and then brown

3.  Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 additional minutes

4.  Add flour, cumin, and chili powder.  Cook about 1 minute and then slowly add the water and tomatoes

5.  Cover and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally and add additional water if necessary.

6.  You will know when the guisada is done because the meat will flake easily and the gravy will be thick.

7.  Serve with warm tortillas

Sausage-Stuffed Jalapenos

I made these little guys for Super Bowl Sunday.  I was looking for a low carb snack and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly.  The peppers were not hot at all and were balanced out nicely by the cream cheese mixture.  Jessica, who will not normally eat jalapeno peppers loved these!

Jalapeños20 fresh jalapenos

1 16 oz pkg regular breakfast sausage

1 8 oz packages cream cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1.  Cut stems off and slice jalapenos lengthwise in half.  Remove seeds.

2.  Heat oven to 375.  Brown sausage, crumbling while cooking; drain.

3.  Combine cooked sausage, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and garlic salt in a mixing bowl.

4.  Stuff each jalapeno with sausage mixture.

5.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the tops are browned and jalapenos are cooked and soft.

Tomato Pesto Appetizer

I have been looking forward to trying this recipe for a long time.  I clipped it out of the San Antonio Taste section of the paper in January and vowed to make it for Super Bowl Sunday.   All I can say is that it was worth the wait!   Just four ingredients, yet so delicious!

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese

English: A pack of organic cherry tomatoes, fr...

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1 7 oz jar pesto

1 6 oz container freshly grated parmesan cheese

6 oz cherry tomatoes, halved

crackers for serving

1.  Heat oven to 350.  Place both blocks of cream cheese in an 8 x 8 baking dish

2.  Pour pesto over cream cheese; sprinkle on parmesan cheese and tomatoes

3.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with crackers

Creamy Italian Dressing aka Olive Garden Italian Dressing

I am not a big fan of Olive Garden, but I love their Italian Salad dressing.  This recipe allows you to make your own dressing and control what goes into the dressing.  I make mine in the blender and then store it in a mason jar. 

2 envelopes Good Seasons Italian dressing
1 1/2 c. olive oil
3/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper (or more or less to taste)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2c. plus 1 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Store in a container with a tight fitting lid so that you can shake it well before each use.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce

Geoff and I recently ate at the Roaring Fork and I had a Pecan Crusted Trout with a caper sauce that was really fantastic.  I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe ever since.  I found a recipe for pecan crusted trout from Cooking Light and found the lemon caper sauce here.  We used Tilipia because it is so much more economical and it came out wonderful.

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

All-purpose flour for dusting fish

1 egg, beaten to blend

¼ cup finely ground pecans

¼ cup Panko bread crumbs, unflavored

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

1 – 2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper the fish, coat lightly with flour and dip in a beaten egg. Combine the pecans and bread crumbs and dredge fish in nut mixture. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet large enough to accommodate the fish. Do not crowd the fish and, if necessary, cook in batches. Place the fish in the pan and cook, turning once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the fish, cover and keep warm. Serves four. If desired, drizzle the Butter Caper sauce over fish. 

Optional Butter Caper Sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 lemon wedges

 1.  Pour white wine into the skillet, and allow to boil as you dissolve the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon juice, and allow to come to a boil, cook for a few minutes until reduced by half.

2.   Sprinkle the cubed butter into the boiling sauce. Swirl and shake the pan vigorously to dissolve the butter, thus thickening the sauce. The butter must never come to rest, or the sauce will separate and become oily. Once the butter has completely incorporated, remove from heat and stir in capers.

Broiled Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

Geoff and I love Buffalo Wings.  When I learned how easy they were to make, and how diet friendly they are for South Beach, I began to make them quite frequently.  We have these often during the football season while we watch our favorite games.

2 1/2 lbs chicken wings

3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot (get the heat level you prefer, but we like ours hot!)

3 large ribs celery, cut into sticks

1 recipe blue cheese dip (recipe follows)

Preheat broiler to high

1.  Place the wings on a broiler pan (make sure it is about 5 to 6 inches from the flame)and broil until the skin begins to blister and brown, about 10 minutes.  Turn the wings over and broil 10 minutes more.

4.  Transfer the wings to a large bowl and coat with Franks Hot Wing Sauce


1/4 cup plain Greek style non-fat yogurt

2 tbs mayonnaise

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

salt to taste

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayo, vinegar, and blue cheese.  Mash any large chunks of blue cheese with the back of a spoon to integrate the cheese into the dip.  Serve at room temp.

1/4 of the wings + 1/4 of the dip = 260 calories, 5 grams of carbs, and 14 grams of fat.