Mmmm Monday- Southwest Chicken Salad

How much do we love recipes from The Culinary Cafe? LOVE LOVE LOVE. This one is no exception. TASTY!!

Creamy Avocado Dressing
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, seeded and coarsely mashed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Chill in fridge.

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
half of red onion, chopped

3 cups frozen corn

Salt & pepper

1 tsp. cumin, or more to taste

2 tbs. pickled nacho jalapenos, chopped

1-2 handfuls cilantro, chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

tortilla strips

1 rotisserie chicken, pulled off bone and chopped

Saute the onions and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook them for 2 minutes. Now add in the corn and beans. Saute for about 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Don’t forget the jalapenos…all salsas need a kick.

Divide chopped lettuce among plates. Top each plate of lettuce with some chicken. Spoon black bean/corn salsa over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped red bell pepper. Drizzle each serving with Creamy Avocado dressing and top with tortilla strips. Serve!


Mmmm Monday – Tacos w/ Cilantro Cream Sauce

Happy Monday ya’ll! Another great recipe from our favorite Chef, Catherine Skipper, from The Culinary Cafe

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, mince 2 of them
Salt, pepper, and cumin
1 small can tomato paste
taco shells
diced tomatoes
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
16 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 bunch cilantro
In your food processor or  bender, add in sour cream, 1 big  handful cilantro, 1 clove garlic, salt, pepper, and heavy cream. Pulse until combined and creamy (if too thick, add in more heavy cream.) Chill in fridge wile preparing tacos.
In a skillet add in 1 tbs.  vegetable  oil in onion, and 2 minced cloves garlic. Saute about 2 minutes until softened. Add in ground beef and cook until browned. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Drain off fat. Add in can of tomato paste. Stir together until well combined. Layer taco shells with cheese, meat, and diced tomatoes. Top with cilantro cream sauce, and enjoy!! this sauce is great as just a dip by itself too!

Mmmm Monday – Roasted Marinara Sauce

Since my internet was down yesterday, we’ve  moved Mmmm Monday to today for this week. Enjoy!!

Another GREAT recipe from the Culinary Cafe




I adore pasta…and all the possibilities that it entails. You can mix any sauce with any pasta and it tastes fantastic…well usually! Certain pasta shapes are designed for certain sauce, in many cases. Like twisty, cavatappi and rotini have their ridges which hold chunky sauces and cheese well. And then tiny pastas like orzo are great in soups and salads, because they don’t necessarily need to be catching a sauce.

This Roasted Marinara Sauce is a staple in my fridge. I make it often and use it for all sorts of dishes. It’s yummy on spaghetti or even better for sopping a big slice of garlic bread in. I’ve also used it as a pizza sauce…it’s DELICIOUS, but don’t take my word for it. Try it your self!!

The ingredients:

2 cartons of cherry or grape tomatoes

2 shallots, sliced

4-5 heads or garlic, I like lots of garlic…but what ever suits your fancy

fresh basil, cut chiffonade style (Like thin ribbons)

1-2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper

olive oil

First do all your chopping. Just slice the shallot, and the garlic, nothing needs to be finely minced or anything.

Then add all the tomatoes, shallot, and garlic to a rimmed baking sheet. Generously coat with olive oil. Season it all with salt and pepper. Toss it around to make sure everything is oiled up!! Now pop the baking sheet into a 400 degree oven. Roast for about 20-25 minutes. You’re house will smell incredible. I mean roasting shallots and garlic, what’s not to love!!

Scrape everything into a mixing bowl. Even get the olive oil in there, it has tons of flavor!! I like this sauce kinda chunky, so I use a potato masher to “sauce” it up. But you could put it all in the food processor if you want it smoother, just be careful…it’s hot!!

Now add in your balsamic vinegar, just gives it a tiny bit of a tang.

And last but certainly not least…the fresh basil. Oh Lawsy Mercy…fresh basil is one of my food weaknesses. I can’t pass by the big beautiful bunches of it at the grocery without buying a little. It’s good stuff…salads. sammies, on your eggs…but I’m losing focus here. Back to the marinara!

Mmmm Monday – Dip by Mistake

Another wonderful creation by Catherine Skipper of The Culinary Cafe! Happy Monday!!

I created this recipe by mistake. Honest! The original goal was to have a corn side dish along with the main dish I was cooking for dinner one night. And after I made it, I tried it on a tortilla chip…that was it’s new purpose in life!! I usually serve it warm, but you can chill it and add in some diced tomatoes, and it’s just as good.

The ingredients:

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

half of red onion, chopped

3 cups frozen corn

Salt & pepper

1 tsp. cumin, or more to taste

2 tbs. pickled nacho jalapenos, chopped

1-2 handfuls cilantro, chopped (it’s not in the picture cuz I was waiting on my husband to bring it home from the grocery store, bless him!)

I like to get all the chopping out of the way first. So chop your garlic, onion, and cilantro…if your husband would get back from the store already!! (I love you, honey!) I have recently developed a love for canned nacho jalapeno slices…I know you were wondering! They give this salsa a tangy kick, I like them better in this particular recipe over fresh jalapenos.

Saute the onions and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook them for 2 minutes. Now add in the corn. Saute for about 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Don’t forget the jalapenos…all salsas need a kick.

The last step is to add in the cilantro. I LOVE cilantro, I think I have said that before, but I didn’t want you to forget! It is sooooo good, it brightens up so many dishes, and salsa is not salsa without cilantro. So go forth, and use cilantro!!

And there you have it! My family loves this as just a dip, or it’s great in quesadillas, burritos, or on a salad. It’s so simple, yet so tasty!



Mmmm Monday – My Chicken Parisian by The Culinary Cafe

Another Mmmm recipe from The Culinary Cafe

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Plum (or Roma) tomatoes, sliced

1 rotisserie chicken (Italian flavored, if available), pulled off bone

5-6 strips thick cut bacon

sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

4 Kaiser rolls

Slice up your tomatoes and cheese. Do nice thick slices of cheese, you want plenty of that on there! Then fry up the bacon, I like it crispy. Turn the oven on LOW broil and toast the bottom half of the Kaiser rolls. Watch carefully, they toast quickly! Now you want to assemble the sammies. Layer the toasted bottom half of roll with mayo, chicken, bacon, then PLENTY of cheese.

Now put the assembled sandwiches under the broiler. You also need to put the tops of the rolls in the oven so they can get nice n’ toasty too. Remove when the cheese is melted and bubbly, make sure to watch carefully so you don’t burn!

You can add more mayo to the tops if you like, that’s how I like them! Place the tops on the sandwich. Serve with chips, salad, or some French fries to make it a complete meal!