Thai Peanut Satay Shrimp Pasta

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Hello all!

I realized just what a long title I gave this post, as I do have a tendency to do that. But let’s just roll with it!

I originally was inspired a few weeks ago to create a new recipe utilizing thai sweet chili sauce. Now, I’ve been struggling to attain that delicious sweet and spicy taste at home and I’ve been testing out a few other bloggers’ recipes but I still can’t seem to master the taste I’m looking for without it turning out too vinegar-y or lacking in that vibrant red color. (Help a sista out if you have any favorite recipes, I’m always looking to try them!)

Anyways, I ended up deciding to do a peanut satay sauce for a spaghetti with shrimp and veggies, which definitely turned out as expected! In undergrad, I became slightly obsessed with pad thai and stir fry day at my campus’s cafeteria. They usually always had a certain day in which they offered a spicy peanut sauce to go with the stir fry, which obviously I always devoured. So I figured it was time to get back to business with figuring out a new recipe to try that involved peanut satay.

This recipe is easy, but does involve a bit of multi-tasking. I tweaked a new peanut satay that I wanted to try and I really enjoyed it. Compliments of She Simmers–here. I did omit the vinegar and I only used a little bit of sugar and salt, but other than that, I would highly recommend giving this recipe a try!

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Ingredients: (Yields about 4-6 servings) 

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat linguine
  • 3 cups cooked, peeled frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 12-ounce can water chestnuts
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiraled
  • 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp thai garlic chili paste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 13.5-ounce condensed unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, cook linguine according to packaging and then drain.
  2. In a large wok, or saucepan with lid over medium heat, combine carrots, water chestnuts, shrimp and carrots and sauté for 5-7 minutes with garlic powder.
  3. While the ingredients in the wok are cooking, in another medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, chili paste, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and continue to simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the peanut satay mixture over ingredients in the wok. Top with chopped peanuts and serve warm.

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza Rolls

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Happy New Year all and I hope your holidays were full of tons of fun, good eats, and quality time with family! Mine sure were. Dare I say, full of too much food. Yep, I said it. I’m on food overload and ready to start back with some simple and healthier recipes.

Now, that said, these buffalo chicken rolls aren’t exactly the healthiest, but they are simple. We’ll save the healthy for later this week.

But, trying to save myself with the healthy thing, the first time I made these rolls, I did use whole wheat pizza dough. Fair’s fair.

Back to business…these are super yummy, are great for a snack, meal, or party appetizer. I made these for a New Year’s Eve party. The right amount of heat and then the dough together are a great savory combination.

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  • 1 can crescent roll dough (about 8 rolls)
  • 3/4 package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or ground through a food processer
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Frank’s red hot sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you want it.
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/3 cup shredded mixed cheddar cheeses.
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • flour, as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer, combine the cream cheese, ground cooked chicken, hot sauce, and ranch dressing until well mixed, about 5-7 minutes on a medium speed.
  3. Unroll out crescent roll dough onto a floured surface and being to scoop buffalo chicken mixture onto the middle of each of the crescent triangles. About a tablespoon works best.
  4. Top each roll with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and fold over and pinch shut to ensure no filling spills out while baking and place in a baking dish.
  5. With a brush, brush the melted butter and garlic over the rolls. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

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Cinnamon Chocolate Pie

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Hello all! It’s been a bit of time since I’ve been posting consistently and I fear that’s only going to get a bit worse. Oh well. I’ll figure this thing out eventually.

Anyways, happy holidays to all and to all a good night! Something like that, too, I suppose.

So in between baking, shopping, work, and preparing for travel, I’ve been going a bit crazy. Who’da thunk, huh? But I figured for this post, I wanted to work on something that reminds me of the holidays with a bit of a twist.

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I always love pies, I mean, come on, who doesn’t? But I recently had the most amazing chocolate pie, compliments of my boyfriend’s mom. It was this rich, Hershey chocolate no-bake pie. And the recipe (I do believe!) can be found here.

I made a few changes. First, I used a regular milk chocolate Hershey’s bar and added about 10 extra Hershey kisses for more of the chocolate richness. I used mini marshmallows instead of large, and then I added cinnamon and vanilla for the flavor. Here’s my adaption!

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  • 1 8-ounce milk-chocolate Hershey’s bar & 10 hershey kisses
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plus 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch pie crust



  1. Over a double-boiler, heat the milk and marshmallows until they start to form a paste and the marshmallows get smaller.
  2. Add in the chocolate and 1 1/2 tbsp of ground cinnamon and mix together thoroughly until fully melted in with no clumps.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with the 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla extract until soft peaks form and it is thick.
  4. Wait for the chocolate mixture to cool to at least room temperature  and then fold in the cream mixture.
  5. Pour into a pre-baked or ready-made pie crust and refrigerate for 4 hours or until it begins to solidify and voila! You’re done!

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Garlic Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Bake

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I have this sort of tendency to watch Ina Garten when I’m off from work. Yeah, I mean she can be pretentious and what not, but her food is pretty damn good.

Pesto Ingredients
Pesto Ingredients

Anywhooo. I wanted to make a chicken bake. I’m going to a Christmas party on Saturday and I wanted to try out a new recipe before I brought it to the party. I remembered one episode she made a garlic lemon-y chicken bake that sounded pretty superb ( And I bet it smelled pretty superb too). And I mean, come on, who doesn’t love garlic? Amiright? I’m pretty sure I season more with garlic than I do with pepper. That is not even a joke.

Okay. I really need to learn to stay on topic. So partially inspired by Ina’s little chicken bake, I decided I wanted to do a pesto with a garlic sauce for the chicken to bake in. Let me tell you…the smell was outta this world. Basil-y and garlic-y and and fresh. It smelled so warm and delicious. I added mozzarella on top before baking and a little parmesan. This chicken bake is perfect for your next weeknight meal or easy holiday bake.

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For the Pesto: (Yields about 3/4 cup pesto)

  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Simply blend or pulse all ingredients in a food processor for about 2-3 minutes or until mainly smooth with tiny chunks still visible.

For the Chicken Bake: (Yields 4 chicken breasts)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup pesto (see above)
  • 8 oz fresh whole mozzarella cheese, sliced into chunks
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 4 slices (optional)
  1. In a medium baking dish, pour wine, lemon juice, and olive oil and garlic.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and then place in the baking dish and fully coat with pesto.
  3. Top with mozzarella on the chicken breasts and tomatoes in the dish.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes, until chicken in cooked thoroughly.

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Apple-Bourbon Palmiers

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I have been very excited to try my hand at palmiers (elephant ears) ever since I watched an episode of the Barefoot Contessa a few weeks ago where she made savory palmiers using pesto and goat cheese (Umm hell yes. Sign me up.)

That episode got me thinking; why couldn’t I do that with a homemade jam or jelly??

Now, in the meantime, I have been infusing bourbon with chai spices and a pinch of vanilla extract. I had been waiting for the right moment to try out an apple-bourbon jam and I was even thinking about giving some out for the holidays (I think I missed the bar this year!).

Let me just say, about the bourbon that had been infusing: Holy wowza. I mean, that smell, though. I could have drank that straight from the jar. (Not saying I still didn’t). The smell was a beautiful marrying of the spicy chai and the boozy bourbon.

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I made the jam over the stovetop and it turned out to be just enough for the amount of palmiers I wanted to make. I basically sautéed two apples and then reduced water and the chai bourbon with cinnamon and sugar. Super easy and this jam can be multi-purpose!

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For the Jam:

  • 2 large apples (I used Honeycrisp)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup chai-spiced bourbon**
  • 3-4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

**I simply poured and divided bourbon into 2 mason jars with 2 tablespoons loose chai spices and 1 tsp vanilla. I sealed jars for 3 weeks and only used one jar for this recipe.

For the Dough:

  • 2 pre-packaged puff pastry
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

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  1. Peel and cut the apples into small chunks and soften in a medium saucepan over medium heat until soft.
  2. Add in lemon zest and 1/2 cup of the chai bourbon and reduce for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in water, cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon until jam begins to thicken and add the remainder of the spiced bourbon and then remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Thaw out puff pastry dough and roll out onto a sugared surface, ensuring the surface is covered in sugar (this helps with caramelization).
  5. Spread the jam mixture onto the dough and from either side, roll inwards until both sides touch.
  6. Freeze the rolls for about 20-30 minutes (freezing them helps when cutting so the jam isn’t a complete mess)
  7. Cut into 1/8-1/4 inch slices and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or spray.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until dough is golden brown.

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Smoky Cider-Glazed Meatballs

Smoky Cider-Glazed Meatballs
Smoky Cider-Glazed Meatballs

Apple cider season is nearly over! I can’t believe the holidays are upon us. I feel like this past Autumn really flew by in a whirlwind of busy days. But alas, all good things must come to an end and new seasons must start.

Not to get off on a rant or anything, butttt I kind of love all seasons. I just really enjoy the changing weather, clothes, activities and what not. I guess it’s one of the perks to living in Pittsburgh. The weather is literally always changing. I don’t think ‘consistent’ is a word that Pittsburghers are familiar with when it comes to weather. Now, I’m probably also not the first to say that the winter weather is really slushy and gross. Bottom line: It generally sucks, but there are a few days here and there with some nice crisp snow.

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Anyyyywho, little rant over. Back to business. So I’ve been wanting to try my hand at meatballs for a while now. It’s kind of embarrassing to say that I’ve actually never made them. But of course, since I can’t have things normal like your regular Italian meatballs with spaghetti, I wanted to try my hand at cider-glazed meatballs. Yep, that’s right. The sweet, tangy cider with savory spiced meatballs. Ohhh yeah.

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I had done some research earlier in the week about y’know, the meatball basics; what I need to bind everything together, basic savory flavors that would pair well with the tanginess and tartness of the cider, etc. This was pretty helpful, though, I gotta say. (I need to tone it down on the commas. I know.) I knew I had some frozen ground pork and so I went with that. (You can also use ground turkey for a healthier, leaner option.)  It did not take me very long at all to make these little guys and they turned out exactly how I wanted them to!

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Ingredients for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs (Italian crumbs also work well for this recipe!)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Ingredients for the Cider Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Meatballs: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two medium baking sheets.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly with hands until well-combined.
  3. Roll out tablespoon-sized balls and place onto the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, remove about 10 minutes before timer is up to pour some of the glaze on and then resume baking until cooked completely and brown all the way through.

For the Glaze: 

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the corn starch and whisk well.
  2. Over medium heat, pour mixture into a small saucepan. Add the cornstarch and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and pour half of mixture over meatballs and save half of mixture to pour after meatballs are done cooking.

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Ginger Spiced Pear & Raspberry Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is one of my go-to breakfasts. It’s easy, takes on whatever flavor you want to add to it, and you can make overnight oats and eat them cold or have the warmness of some hot oatmeal in the morning. There’s just a lot of flexibility! And I love me some flexibility with my food. Especially when you’re having a busy day. Or simply just want some oatmeal.

One thing about oatmeal that I think I would shy away from when making my own (not the store-bought flavor pack instant oatmeal) was the whole lack-of-flavor thing. Sometimes oatmeal can be very boring. And I despise boring food. Ahem. The reason for this whole blog; to make food and flavors exciting and never boring.

This time of year particularly, pears are at their sweetest. One combination that I love is pear and ginger. It’s just so yummy and underrated. Ginger really adds a different dimension to food and a little bit goes a long way. I figured pear and ginger, yes. But I was missing another element. And that’s when I thought: Raspberries! Yes, of course. The tartness from the berries really pulls this oatmeal together. It’s a delicious flavor explosion.

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Ingredients: (Yields 1 serving)

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (I used quaker)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 pear chopped
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger


  1. In a small pot over high heat, bring almond milk to a boil.
  2. Add the rolled oats, water, sugar, and salt and cook for 5-7 minutes until all milk has been absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in ginger. Top with berries and pears and stir together.

Super easy, full of flavor, and perfect for workday mornings or even as overnight oats, which I did yesterday. To do that, just simply place all ingredients in a mason jar or container and let the oats soak overnight. I hope you enjoy! What are your favorite oatmeal combinations?


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