Lunch

Carne Asada Crunch Quesadillas

Carne Asada Crunch Quesadillas

Soft flour tortillas on the outside, crispy corn tortilla chips inside! Grilled meat! Cheese! Everything you always wanted in a quesadilla, and more.

BLT Lettuce Wraps

BLT Lettuce Wraps

Tomatoes are at their best, and something about the heat and humidity of the Arizona monsoon season makes me almost totally inert and immobile. This is about all I can muster dinner-wise, so I’m lucky that it’s fairly healthy… It turns out that mayo and bacon are better for us than expected, and my versions is also low-carb.

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

Parmesan Pepperoni Crisps

Parmesan Pepperoni Crisps

Bring a little sunshine into your life with these bright and happy two-ingredient pizza flavored cheese crisps.

Chile Colorado Tostadas with Crispy Tofu

Chile Colorado Tostadas with Crispy Tofu

I replaced the beef with crispy tofu, which adds just the right amount of heft and bite, and served it on crunchy baked tostada shells topped with Queso Fresco, scallions, radish and sliced pimento-stuffed olives. Recipe link in profile.

Beef Patty Tacos

Beef Patty Tacos

Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe.
Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.

Chicken Molé Amarillo

Chicken Molé Amarillo

Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

The Moist Maker

The Moist Maker

The Moist Maker is inspired by “The One Where Ross Loses it Over a Sandwich.” My version uses leftover dinner rolls instead of bread.

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

This no-recipe recipe is my tribute dog to Sweathog, Vinnie Barbarino. This recipe has become very popular since I first created it for my monthly column on the FoodNetwork.com. The people of the Internet have spoken, and they have said that it’s a cross between a pizza and a hot dog, and that is not untrue.

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine. 

Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug

Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug

For centuries, people believed that it was impossible to make a chicken pot pie in the microwave. I have proven them wrong.

Spicy Sonoran Chicken Salad

Spicy Sonoran Chicken Salad

This spicy and crunchy Sonoran chipotle chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads.

Sprinkles Fairy Bread Sandwiches

Sprinkles Fairy Bread Sandwiches

Make any day a celebration! Just barely sweet, these sparkly sandwiches make a fun breakfast surprise, after-school snack, or party food.

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Fairy Bread” from A Child’s Garden of Verses, fairy bread is a popular treat at children’s parties in Australia, New Zealand, and other little pockets of the world.

This recipe is from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts. The photograph is previously unpublished

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Apparently, in the olden days, every casino in Las Vegas offered a $1.79 chicken dinner. If you won a $2.00 bet, you’d have enough money to buy one, so the dealer would shout, “Winner, winner chicken dinner “. Chicken is still pretty cheap, so you, dear reader, can be a winner every time you make one of these recipes.

Greek Country Salad

Greek Country Salad

A classic Greek Salad of chunky vegetables and feta tossed in a light vinaigrette will prove that you can indeed win friends with salad.

Johnny Marzetti Three Ways

Johnny Marzetti Three Ways

To demonstrate the various ways that a recipe can be modified I came up with two versions of Johnny Marzetti based on the original recipe from the Columbus Ohio restaurant which I also posted.

Fennel, Blue Cheese & Spanish Chorizo Mini Pizzas

Fennel, Blue Cheese & Spanish Chorizo Mini Pizzas

The fun thing about pizza is that I can throw a bunch of seemingly unrelated items together and make something new. I’ve been experimenting and have found that almost any combination that tastes good on a salad will also be good on a pizza.  For these mini pizzas I started with a classic herb and cheese crust. I used good olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of tomato sauce. For the toppings I did a hot layer of fennel and blue cheese, and then a cold layer once it came out of the oven. of meats and fresh tomatoes.

Chicken Parmesan in Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

Chicken Parmesan in Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

I want to eat warm hearty meals in Autumn colors. Casseroles baked in stoneware dishes with rich sauces. Meat, cream, smoked cheeses, tomato sauce, and, I want the recipe to be fast, and easy, so that I can eat right away. Something that I can make from memory because I’ve been doing Atkins and I find I instantly become insanely hungry.

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

These shrimp go great with a glass of wine and a conversation. It’s a dish to be shared, because if everyone is eating it, you won’t have to worry about reeking of garlic… or you could just eat it all by yourself when no one else is around to the same effect. It’s fun either way.

Fettuccine With Whole Clams

Fettuccine With Whole Clams

Recipe for a more creamy, cheesy white clam sauce than the traditional version of Fettuccine with clams. This recipe is per person, so if you have a crowd, you’ll need a bunch of cans of clams.

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

My Arizona Cowboy Caviar recipe is made with lentils, chile peppers and red onion in a spicy citrus vinaigrette.

Thai Green Papaya-less Salad Recipe

Thai Green Papaya-less Salad Recipe

Here in Tucson it can be hard to get fresh green papaya, so I use packaged coleslaw mix instead in this spicy Thai cabbage salad inspired by Som Tum.

Rotini With Caviar and Parmesan

Rotini With Caviar and Parmesan

Rotini pasta mixed with a hearty dose of caviar and Parmesan cheese. You will love the way the caviar sinks in between the pasta’s nooks and crannies.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

I’ve been having an unyielding urge for deviled eggs. Since I like a salty-spicy combo I’ll use caviar for a garnish when I’m feeling fancy. Otherwise I’ll just use capers. I feel that it’s important to buy organic eggs and I always try to buy eggs that come from chickens that are fed flax seed, giving their eggs a healthy dose of Omega3. They’re a great idea for vegetarians.I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person… on her website). Here’s the link if you want to check out her instructions.This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.

Homemade Thin and Crispy Pizza

Homemade Thin and Crispy Pizza

It took me forever to figure out how to make a thin crust pizza at home. I practiced stretching the dough for months. First I tried to roll out the dough onto a pizza stone. That did not work. Then I purchased a non-stick 16″pizza tray with holes in it which was perfect, but it still took me awhile to get the process down. There were a lot of misshapen hole filled crusts that I would have to peel off of the pizza tray and  wad up in a ball for another go around. Below is my step-by-step procedure for getting the dough almost paper thin. I also posted an IPhone video below my husband Jason made of me that illustrates the whole procedure.

Easy Pita Sandwich

Easy Pita Sandwich

Hummus and nonfat feta add protein without a lot of calories to this easy vegetarian dish so feel comfortable adding as much as you see fit.

Jackie’s Famous Gazpacho

Jackie’s Famous Gazpacho

My husband woke up, looked at me in from his side of the bed and declared this the “Week of Gazpacho”. And so, it is.

Classic Caesar Salad Recipe

Classic Caesar Salad Recipe

CAESAR SALAD DAYS | This is a story about choices, creativity, personal power, and a salad. Specifically, the Caesar salad from the 1967 Joy of Cooking.

Onion-Barley Matzo Ball Soup

Onion-Barley Matzo Ball Soup

A hearty vegetarian version of traditional matzo ball soup modified from an onion and mushroom soup recipe that my mother used to make when I was a kid.

Baked Falafel Recipe

Baked Falafel Recipe

How to make baked falafel. I knew I wanted a healthy falafel sandwich with the falafel baked, not fried. So after a little internet research on how to construct a baked falafel, I came up with this recipe. It makes 3 sandwiches with two falafels each.

Recipe Index

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Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

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