Miami Chili


1 lb ground turkey
3 tbsp olive oil
1 carton sliced white mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cans (14.5 oz each) chopped tomatoes with diced green chilies
1 can (16 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 12-oz bottle Dos Equis
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
Garnishes: Sour Cream and Sharp Cheddar

1) In  large 4-quart pot, cook turkey in 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Drain turkey and spoon onto a paper-towel lined plate.
2) In same pot, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey, tomatoes with their juices, beans, beer, vinegar, oregano, basil, bay leaves, chili powder, salt, and cumin. Bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Pecan Pie


This is exactly as good as it sounds.

9-inch frozen pie crust in foil baking tin, thawed per package directions
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups pecan halves

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the corn syrup, melted butter, and Jack Daniel’s until well combined.
3) Sprinkle 1/3 cup chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie crust. Pour pie filling over top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans over filling. Then sprinkle the remaining chocolate pieces, and top with remaining 3/4 cup pecans.
4) Bake the pie for 50-55 minutes. When done, turn off oven, but leave the pie in with the door closed for an extra 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours.


Found in Food to Die For by Patricia Cornwell.

Herbs De Provence Crusted Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons herbs de provence
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder

1) Preheat oven to 425.
2) Season pork with kosher salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Then rub on the herbs de provence until coating all sides of the tenderloin.
3) Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes under foil. Enjoy!

Le Pappardelle del Cantunzein


In interest of full disclosure, I have no idea how to pronounce this. But I liked it so much I made it three times in one week for different groups of people. I found this recipe after reading about it in one of Patricia Cornwell’s books about Kay Scarpetta. There are over 20 books in the series about a medical examiner who is also very Italian and loves her wine and cooking good Italian food. In each book she references several different meals she’s making, and when I read about this one my mouth watered. Sweet Italian sausage and two kinds of bell pepper with spinach pasta? Simple, but incredible flavor. I served this with herb-crusted lamb chops on the side, but it’s just as good by itself.

1 package spinach pasta
2 large links sweet Italian sausage (make sure you get sweet, it makes all the difference in flavor)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, julienned (not chopped)
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium to large fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
kosher salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup Parmesan

1) In a large pan, cook Italian sausage over medium-high heat until brown and thoroughly cooked (about 10 minutes). Drain the sausage on a paper towel-lined plate.
2) In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add red and yellow peppers, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sausage, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
3) While the rest is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions.
4) Drain pasta and toss in a large bowl with butter and parmesan. Stir in the sausage and pepper mixture. Enjoy!

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes


I get really bored with chicken breast and stumbled on a whole list on Bon Appetit of “not-boring” chicken breast dinner recipes, so decided to try one! This was definitely not dry, flavorless chicken breast. The herb-roasted tomatoes I could have eaten by the bowlful. This recipe is for two! Use the same skillet for all of this, because you’ll keep “setting aside.” This helps with easy clean up too!

1 carton cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
kosher salt to taste
fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon

1) Preheat oven to 450.
2) Combine tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, and herbes de Provence in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
3) Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook for about a minute.
4) Transfer skillet to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes from pan into bowl, and stir in Worcestershire.
5) In same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then sear on both sides in skillet until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.
6) Transfer skillet to oven and roast for about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
7) Heat another few teaspoons of oil into the same skillet and add shallot, cooking for about 1 minute. Add vinegar and stir, deglazing pan, scraping the bottom.
8) Add tomatoes back in and simmer about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9) Slice chicken and add to plates. Spoon tomatoes over each piece of chicken, and garnish with fresh parsley and tarragon.

Italian Baked Salmon


Baking salmon in foil is an easy, little clean-up recipe that I love. You could cover the salmon with all sorts of spices or vegetables. This is an Italian style I found from Giada de Laurentiis.

2 salmon fillets
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
fresh black pepper
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes, more to taste (or cut up fresh tomatoes)
shallot, chopped
fresh lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano

1) Preheat the oven to 400.
2) Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and a little olive oil.
3) Stir together tomatoes, shallots, oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
4) Spray pam or slightly oil a piece of foil. Place salmon in the middle of the foil.
5) Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon, then wrap up the foil over the salmon to seal the foil. Place on a baking sheet.
6) Bake for 25 minutes.

Roasted Artichoke


Artichokes are one of my favorite favorite favorite foods. I could eat them every day. For years I’ve just steamed them, but last night decided to try roasting them. If you’re jonesing for an artichoke and want one in under 30 minutes, steam them. If you’re patient, roast them stuffed with garlic. I liked this version even better than steamed.

Extra virgin olive oil
Half fresh lemon
Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1) Cut off the top third of the artichoke, and then cut off the stem.
2) Drizzle a little olive oil on a large square of foil. Place artichoke in the middle of the foil, then squeeze juice from half of a lemon over it.
3) Stick the garlic inside the leaves of the artichoke, then sprinkle with kosher salt.
4) Wrap up the foil around the artichoke and bake for an hour and a half on 400.