What’s Hot.

Jackie’s most popular recipes

Find a new favorite

Tortilla Snowflakes

Tortilla Snowflakes

Sweet and sparkly tortilla snowflakes – an edible version of the popular Mexican folk art, papel picado which will brighten any winter holiday table.

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.

Street Corn Cups

Street Corn Cups

My version of Elote en Vaso. Roasted corn kernels in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile, lime and chives.

Homemade Chile Powder

Homemade Chile Powder

How to dehydrate and grind chile peppers for chili powder and custom spice blends using fresh homegrown and/or exotic store bought chiles. Preserve expensive and/or hard to find chiles.

Old West Style Vegan Chili

Old West Style Vegan Chili

Old West style spicy vegan chili recipe made with plant-based meat, black beans and mushrooms. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

One Pot Arroz Con Pollo

One Pot Arroz Con Pollo

When I asked locals which Tucson centric recipes they would most like to see included in my cookbook quite a few people mentioned arroz con pollo and I’ve always found chicken and rice to be a comforting combo  This is a great make ahead recipe for work day lunches. At first glance salsa de chile fresco may look like pureed tomato sauce 
but it’s got a medium spicy kick of heat that will convince you otherwise.

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

I’m fascinated by the idea of roasting an entire head of cauliflower, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights. You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.

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.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

So quick and easy; you can make this satisfying Sonoran Style Mexican chicken tortilla soup from my Taste of Tucson cookbook in 30 minutes or less!

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai-Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes is inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds a unique smokiness that will intrigue your guests and is fairly inexpensive, but any decent quality caviar will do. The one-ingredient parmesan crisps are a savory, no-carb alternative to blini.

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.

Taste of Tucson Cookbook: Resource Guide

Taste of Tucson Cookbook: Resource Guide

Sonoran cooking resource and shopping guide for the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers, with lists of ingredients, pantry staples and photography equipment recommendations.

Molletes

Molletes

These open-faced breakfast sandwiches are made by slathering refried beans onto toasted bolillo rolls and then heaping avocado slices, a fried egg, hot sauce, and lots of cheese on top.

Homemade Sprinkles

Homemade Sprinkles

Learn how to make homemade sprinkles in custom colors using the royal icing method. From the author of the Sprinkles cookbook.

Taste of Tucson Cookbook: Meet the Chefs

Taste of Tucson Cookbook: Meet the Chefs

I first met most of them while on photography and food writing assignment for various publications over the years, and they are a big part of why I wanted to create the Taste of Tucson cookbook.

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

I ate this for breakfast every day for weeks while writing my Taste of Tucson cookbook. The fat from the chorizo makes the egg really crispy and adds a lot of flavor without too many extra calories.

Matzoh Molletes Rancheros

Matzoh Molletes Rancheros

This crispy matzo based breakfast is a cross between molletes and huevos rancheros. I used beans from a can and my homemade chiltepin salsa.

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. 

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.

Chelada Beer Cocktail

Chelada Beer Cocktail

This super-refreshing citrus beer cocktail is served in a chile and salt rimmed glass over ice. It’s kinda like a beer margarita. I love it because it’s a big drink that lasts a long time and it has considerably less sugar and calories than a margarita. 

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

This recipe is an outtake from my new cookbook Taste of Tucson that was cut for space. It comes from Erika and Jake of Seis Kitchen, who said to be sure and not throw out the hibiscus flowers after you boil them, eat them instead! They said, “They are still super tasty and similar in texture to fruit leather.” This agua fresca isn’t too sweet, so you can drink it all day long and even into the night (perhaps with vodka!) Plus, hibiscus flowers have a myriad of health benefits.

Pomegranate & Earl Grey Whisky Smash

Pomegranate & Earl Grey Whisky Smash

A Tucson Sonoran craft cocktail made with Earl Grey tea and whisky muddled with pomegranate seeds, finished with bitters and fresh ground pepper.

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Making authentic cowboy steaks is really easy. When I asked Bryan Keith, the Grill Master from Pinnacle Peak Steak House if he had any additional tips he said, “Put some love in it!”

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.

Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka

Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka

Recipe for Shakshuka made with leftover Thanksgiving stuffing. Be sure to make extra-extra stuffing for Thanksgiving so that you can make my Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka the next morning with the “leftovers”

Candied Yam Waffles

Candied Yam Waffles

A fun Thanksgiving leftovers brunch recipe that is sure to please, waffles made with leftover candied sweet potatoes. 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Recipe for a pumpkin pie spiced baked oatmeal casserole infused with bits of actual leftover pumpkin pie.

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

This recipe was originally developed for TasteCooking.com. This pasta is quite spooky looking, yet elegant enough to serve at a Halloween themed adult dinner party.

Walnut Pesto Linguine

Walnut Pesto Linguine

Walnuts are less expensive and easier to find than the traditional pine nuts and I think they taste even better in pesto, plus they’re loaded with healthy fats. Spinach linguine keeps everything a lovely shade of green.

Buffalo Chicken “Rumaki” Bites

Buffalo Chicken “Rumaki” Bites

Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Beer, cheddar cheese, and pretzels — what more could you want? How about that it’s only got two ingredients and you can make it in ten minutes or less?

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.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites With Sprinkles

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites With Sprinkles

We all know that rainbow sprinkles make the world-go-round and this super-easy recipe is fun, festive and good for you too. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave which makes it the perfect treat for a hot summer’s day.

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

A healthy recipe for creamy, cheesy, supreme pizza flavored spaghetti squash, for the pizza flavors that you crave in cute single servings. They are fairly low in calories, very filling and taste like pizza. So it’s win-win-win.

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

These individual brownie pan pizzas are baked and served in Lodge 3.5-inch cast iron skillets. The options for different toppings are endless. Have fun experimenting with different combinations or set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their own.

Black and White Oreo Bark

Black and White Oreo Bark

Three ingredient white chocolate bark with Oreos that can be made in 30 minutes or less for a quick dessert or snack.

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

A beautiful looking stacked dessert that’s easy to make using boxed brownie mix, berries and whipped cream.

Beautiful Brownie Bites

Beautiful Brownie Bites

These rich, mini bits of extra-gooey brownies are decorated to look like fancy boxed chocolates. The topping are a great way to try out new flavor combinations and play with the contrast of the colors against the dark background of the bites.

Rainbow Sprinkles Cream Cheese

Rainbow Sprinkles Cream Cheese

Rainbow sprinkles for breakfast? Yes! A crunchy and slightly sweet sprinkles cream cheese recipe for everyone who needs more rainbow sprinkles in their lives.

Lasagna Dip

Lasagna Dip

A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.

Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Some people believe that grilled cheese sandwich must be made on the stovetop or over an open flame, but my secret to a perfectly melty grilled cheese sandwich is toasting it in the oven instead of over a burner.

The Elote Hot Dog

The Elote Hot Dog

Inspired by Mexican Street Corn, this whole beef jumbo hot dog is topped with roasted corn, mayo, lime and spices and served in a top-cut, whole grain bolillo roll. Food photo and recipe by Jackie Alpers.

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. 

S’mores Brownie In A Mug

S’mores Brownie In A Mug

A decadent single-serving brownie in a mug with marshmallows and a soft, melted chocolate center. Make this recipe just for yourself, day or night.

Chocolate, Coffee, Pistachio Biscotti with Sprinkles

Chocolate, Coffee, Pistachio Biscotti with Sprinkles

Biscotti means “twice baked” in Italian. First you form the crumbly dough into one stiff mass and bake it whole. Then you let it cool, slice it, and bake it again at a lower temperature. That’s what gives biscotti an almost cracker-like quality, which goes especially well with coffee. This triple-chocolate double-baked treat is dipped in a dark chocolate coating with sprinkles on top.

Sweet Corn Paletas

Sweet Corn Paletas

Why isn’t corn used in more desserts? It’s naturally sweet, and the kernels add a nice pop! There is a popular sweet drink called Atole sold by street vendors that’s made with corn masa and flavored with cinnamon, which served as inspiration for this flavor combination. 

Three Sisters Pizza With Corn Masa Crust

Three Sisters Pizza With Corn Masa Crust

Corn, beans and squash are three of the earliest domesticated crops grown by Native Americans in the Sonoran region. For this recipe, prepared corn masa, which is usually used to make tortillas or gorditas, is pressed into a cast iron skillet for the crust. If you’ve never tried tepary beans, this recipe is an excellent way to experiment with them, but you can substitute black beans instead if you want.

Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough

Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough

This Greek yogurt pizza dough recipe has only two ingredients! With this pizza dough trick, you’ll be a pie-making pro in no time.

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.

Chocolate Caramel Apple Pops

Chocolate Caramel Apple Pops

Cute, kid friendly recipe for slices of apples dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles candy or nuts. This recipe was originally developed fro Refinery29.

Baguette Breakfast Casserole

Baguette Breakfast Casserole

This visually stunning breakfast casserole is elegant, yet quick and easy to prepare. Tuck savory Canadian bacon, eggs, herbs, and cheese inside slices of crusty baguettes. Recipe and food photography by Jackie Alpers

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Everyone needs a good buttercream frosting recipe. Here’s yours! From my cookbook, Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches With Sprinkles!

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches With Sprinkles!

This may be one of the easiest recipes ever. It was originally written for and published on Refinery29 where you can find seven more of my Oreo recipes. I literally wrote the book on sprinkles, so if you’re interested in learning more ways to cover everything in sprinkles, pick up a copy of Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

Sweet Pepper Poppers

Sweet Pepper Poppers

How To Make Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers. I first developed this recipe for the Food Network.

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.

Funfetti Layer cake

Funfetti Layer cake

Sprinkles melt away during baking leaving behind little confetti-like poufs of color in this deconstructed cake that shows off the sprinkles hidden inside.

Black & White Cookies With Sprinkles

Black & White Cookies With Sprinkles

Look to the cookie. These soft and cakey half-and-half cookies are the perfect palette for your favorite sprinkles, jimmies, confetti, or dragees in elegant shades of black and white.

Sonoran Breakfast Taco Cups

Sonoran Breakfast Taco Cups

Tacos for breakfast? Of course! Especially when it’s these pretty breakfast taco cups filled with eggs, bacon, pinto beans, cheese and salsa.

Fleur De Sel Caramels

Fleur De Sel Caramels

Fleur de sel (flower of salt) is a hand-harvested sea salt with distinctive flavor. Look for variations that have a pink or gray tone. You’d think that something with such a fancy-sounding name might be complicated to make, but in fact these sweet and savory bite-size treats are as easy to concoct as they are to devour. Still, if you want to let your friends believe these caramels are a feat of culinary magic, your secret’s safe with me.

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Ohio meets Arizona! Cincinnati style chili cheese nachos, “Cincinnachos” as they will henceforth be known. The best of everything for snacking season. Start with My Recipe for Cincinnati Style Turkey Chili, substituting ground grass-fed beef or vegetarian ground beef crumbles if you prefer.

Mini German Pancakes

Mini German Pancakes

These healthier German pancakes are topped with fat-free Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, reducing the sugar content. I added a little spreadable fruit and garnished them with confectioners’ sugar so they still taste sweet.

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. All of the ingredients for authentic Thai cuisine are available at most grocery stores. Sambal Oelek and Thai fish sauce can be found in most Asian food sections.

Carb-Free Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cups

Carb-Free Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cups

There’s no flour in these breakfast muffin cups, yet they’re still light and fluffy! The secret is to beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

Savarin Chantilly – French Bundt Cake with Apricot Glaze

Savarin Chantilly – French Bundt Cake with Apricot Glaze

My niece got married in a field in Oskaloosa, Kansas last weekend. Afterwards we had lunch under a tent. My mother-in-law made all of the desserts including this Savarin, a rich airy cake soaked in a simple syrup and topped with apricot glaze and whipped cream. It’s traditionally served as a feast-day dessert in France. This is her recipe. It’s a little more complicated than the recipes I usually post, but I think it’s worth the effort.

Mini Ice Rings filled with Sprinkles & Fruit

Mini Ice Rings filled with Sprinkles & Fruit

In my latest article for the Food Network I give step-by step instructions with photos on how to make individual ice rings to cool down and brighten up summer drinks. They are easy enough to make for everyday celebrations, or make them all different for parties so...

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.

Fair Food At It’s Easiest: Fudge Puppies Recipe

Fair Food At It’s Easiest: Fudge Puppies Recipe

Covered in chocolate, whipped cream, and all your favorite toppings, Fudge Puppies are a carnival and state fair food classic. Here’s how to make them at home. I like to make them mini so they fit in cupcake wrappers for a pretty presentation at parties, picnics, and other get-togethers. This recipe is excerpted from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts. 

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

Hand Painted Flower Cookies

Hand Painted Flower Cookies

Celebrate spring with hand-painted watercolor flower cookies. Herbs, fruit juice and plant dyes can all be used as food coloring.

Sparkling Cranberry and Brie Crostini

Sparkling Cranberry and Brie Crostini

Visually stunning sugared cranberries are a study in contrast. The tart, dark berries which appear to have been encrusted in tiny jewels, add a magical quality to these brie crostini.

Monster Eggs

Monster Eggs

Looks can be deceiving; my favorite monsters are scary looking, but innately good. Just like these monster-ized eggs, which have been turned green and frightening looking, but are completely delicious. These fried eggs with pesto and Parmesan are also monstrously easy to make.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings

These wings are hot! The spiciness will vary greatly though, depending on the heat of the chili flakes you are using, and the barbecue sauce you select. This recipe also works well for boneless skinless breasts or thighs.

The Bakepedia Interview

The Bakepedia Interview

I had a wonderful time doing this interview for the magnificent Bakepedia, written by the equally magnificent Lauren Chattman.  Here's the link to the whole Q & A.: http://www.bakepedia.com/blogpost/jackie-alpers-sprinkles-interview/

My Sprinkles Food Network Column

My Sprinkles Food Network Column

Sprinkles Food Network column by Jackie Alpers. Seasonal & holiday recipes, fun projects and entertaining ideas that use sprinkles from Jackie Alpers for The Food Network.

The Sparkling Pearl Tropical Cocktail

The Sparkling Pearl Tropical Cocktail

A variation of the Bushwacker glamorized with sparkling sprinkle bits and pearl sugar dragees in tropical hues, this is a seafaring drink said to be invented on a Caribbean island founded by pirates. Ahoy! This recipe is excerpted from my book Sprinkles Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

Christmas Cookie Season

It’s christmas cookie season, and while biscotti isn’t technically a cookie per-se, they often find their way onto the plethora of platters that mark the season. From cookie swaps to office parties, to host/hostess gifts, cookies are part of what defines the winter holidays.This chocolate/coffee pistachio biscotti recipe is excerpted from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

Sprinkles! Cookbook Trailer

Sprinkles! Cookbook Trailer

Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicous Desserts cookbook trailer by Sundance award winning filmmaker Jason Willis.

Postmodern Art Popsicles

Postmodern Art Popsicles

What is the nature of art? Can it exist in popsicle form? Is it still art after the popsicle has been eaten? How does the process of melting affect the piece? These are some of the questions that I pondered while creating, and then ingesting this popsicle. made it from diamond shaped sprinkles in primary colors and Sno-Caps candies.

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.

Low-Carb Cheesy Cloud Buns

Low-Carb Cheesy Cloud Buns

made this low-carb bread replacement (often called “Oopsie Bread”) out of eggs and cream cheese from a recipe I’ve seen all over the internet. It turned out great. It smells like cheesy-bread while it’s cooking, and it’s very light, and well, bread-like. Often hot dogs are too much about the bun, so this turned out to be a perfect alternative housing for the Sonoran hot dogs in my Taste of Tucson cookbook.

Consider the Artichoke

Consider the Artichoke

There was a basket of cute purple and green baby artichokes in the produce section of the market. My intent was to buy the larger globe artichokes for my recipe but these charmed me. I figured that I would grill these up and serve them with lemon-butter. Then I realized that was all wrong. They needed to be marinate, not dipped and scraped like their larger counterparts. So, I boiled them up and placed them in a big bell jar with a simple italian style marinade.

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.

The Wedge

The Wedge

The Wedge salad is one of these very classic, simple recipes that’s accessible to everyone. One that’s been loved for generations and modified along the way to accommodate changing tastes. This version is topped with a lighter vinaigrette.

I Want Some Figgy Pudding!

I Want Some Figgy Pudding!

I want some figgy pudding! How could I not after hearing that song year after year. So, I came up with this recipe for Chocolate & Coffee Figgy Pudding. Make your Christmas past a Christmas present. 

Pretty in Pink: Candied Lady Apples

Pretty in Pink: Candied Lady Apples

These easy candied apples are a healthy, sweet treat that are fun for kids to make. I used Lady Apples, which are stunning, tiny, sweet apples that resemble crab apples. Also called Christmas Apples, they are generally available in stores starting in mid-October.  The candy melts are small discs that come in a variety of colors and are available at Michael’s and other craft stores as well as some supermarkets. I chose pink because I thought it looked nice with the red apples, but it’s fun to play around and find the colors you like best.

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.

Eating Los Angeles: Baco Mercat

Eating Los Angeles: Baco Mercat

Baco Mercat may be the most casual restaurant that my brother in-law has ever worked at, but I think it's the best. Bon Appetit & Esquire agree with me, naming it to their list of best new restaurants for 2012. I loved that the super-endearing wait staff all get...

Northern Style Southern Biscuits

Northern Style Southern Biscuits

Until recently, the only biscuits I ever made at home came from a Pop n’ Fresh can, so when friends from overseas asked me for a real American biscuit recipe, I scoured every book I could find, starting with the biscuit tome Southern Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, and ending with Alton Brown’s always insightful analysis in I’m Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking.

Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Bacon

Brussels sprouts and bacon compliment each other so perfectly that this may be my favorite food of all time. You cook the bacon in with the sprouts so that a little bit of bacon grease seeps into them and makes them crispy. I can’t explain why this dish is so good… it just is. I cooked up a batch for the photo and ended up eating the whole pan for dinner along with a glass of wine, and I was happy. VERY happy.

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos

Yay! It’s National Taco Day! Here’s a recipe of one of my favorite kinds – Carne Asada, from the book Knack Mexican Cooking by Chelsie Kenyon. Please note: these are not the Sonoran Style carne asada tacos from my Taste of Tucson cookbook but they are damn good none the less! Photos by me.

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.

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

A can of pumpkin’s been staring at me from the counter top for two weeks now.The internet recipe sites are all screaming at me that it’s pumpkin season, and I am indeed ready for fall. So today I finally got to work and invented something to celebrate the beginning of my favorite time of the year.

Scrambled Eggs With Gorgonzola & Salsa

Scrambled Eggs With Gorgonzola & Salsa

This recipe is the result of an early morning haze wherein I emptied random things from the refrigerator into a pan in a blurry attempt to make breakfast. It came out better than I expected, and now my husband and I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast this way almost every day. Sometimes just a little twist on a traditional dish really makes it shine.

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.

Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Cincinnati chili does not exist in Arizona, except for in a suspicious canned variety, so I went on quest and figured out how to cook it up myself.

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home. I modified this recipe from one in a cookbook that I photographed for Chelsie Kenyon a couple of years ago.

Lavender Limeade

Lavender Limeade

Here’s an easy summer beverage. Lavender Limeade is super easy and you don’t need to add a bunch of sugar. The lavender flowers add their own sweetness.

The Calypso Cooler

The Calypso Cooler

Recipe for a beautiful blue ice cream soda for adults made with fresh fruit muddled with wine coolers and ice cream.

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.

The Muddler Tropical Cocktail

The Muddler Tropical Cocktail

I’m a bit muddled thanks to the help of my friends, and it smells a little bit like tequila in here. Lately, people have been sending me wonderful presents and coincidentally two of them were based on smashing citrus fruits and various high quality liquids together.

Snack of the Day!

Snack of the Day!

This is a great snack when you want something sweet with not a lot of calories. It’s high fiber with balanced protein and very tasty
4 Triscuits or Woven Wheat Crackers

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.

Spicy Sonoran Potato Salad

Spicy Sonoran Potato Salad

Here in Southern Arizona, our famous Sonoran style Mexican food is often garnished with pickled red onions and Mexican limes. I’ve incorporated those flavors into this spicy potato salad tossed with a chile-lime vinaigrette.

Grilled Chipotle-Lime Mexican Style Corn

Grilled Chipotle-Lime Mexican Style Corn

Every year on the 4th of July I make a different version Mexican grilled corn, along with the Sonoran style hot dog is a popular Tucson Sonoran street food. Grilled Chipotle-Lime Mexican Style Corn Recipe for Sonoran style elotes 2 T light mayonnaise2 T non-fat Greek...

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole for the win! I swear the recipe from my cookbook Taste of Tucson is the best ever… it’s spicy, salty and creamy yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and just a tiny bit of crunch from the fresh Serranos.

Some people avoid avocados because they are higher in calories than other fruit, but they are filled with the good fat, the kind that’s been shown to actually help you lose weight and lower cholesterol levels. Here’s some more information on avocado nutrition from Hass. Avocados are really good for you!

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.

Black and White Nachos

Black and White Nachos

This recipe makes a white nacho cheese sauce instead of the traditional yellow. Black beans add contrast, fiber and a bit more protein. There are more colors here than just black and white. but you get the point.

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.

Who Needs Green Beer When There Are Margaritas?

In Arizona we tend to forgo the green beer in favor of a lovely pale green margarita on St. Patrick’s Day. You can make them easily at home without the high-sugar mix. If you use high end tequila and Grand Manier instead of tripe sec it’s called a Cadillac margarita which are usually served in bigger proportions than a regular margarita.

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.

Bear Canyon Ranch Dressing

Bear Canyon Ranch Dressing

I started with my old standby non-fat Greek yogurt, as well as buttermilk which is naturally low in fat. To that I added chives along with onion flakes, a clove of garlic, Parmesan cheese and more.

Healthy Vanilla-Cinnamon French Toast Recipe

Healthy Vanilla-Cinnamon French Toast Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:
4 pieces light whole grain bread
1 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup non-fat milk
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. 100% pure maple syrup
light butter

Instructions:
Spray a large skillet with canola cooking spray & heat to medium/low.
Whisk together the egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla until frothy.
Soak the bread in the mixture for 10 seconds on each side.
Add the soaked bread to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown
Remove the skillet from the heat and cover. Let sit for 2 minutes. This makes the french toast fluffier.

Serve with light butter and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, or dust with confectioners sugar.
Enjoy!

Happy, healthy recipes for everyone.

Happy, healthy recipes for everyone.

At the urging of my friends and family, I’ve put together a new blog of easy, healthy and hopefully fun recipes that I’ve developed over the years. It’s illustrated with food photos that I took just for this project.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This