Category Archives: Guest Posts

Recipes made from fellow aspiring chefs like me!

Guacamole

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If you’re entertaining for the Super Bowl then you’re probably thinking about serving chips and salsa. It’s such an easy staple to throw into a bowl and it’s always a crowd pleaser. Most people will want to serve salsa with guacamole. Understandable. Guacamole is delicious, and almost everyone loves it. Why spend $$$ on pre-made guac from the grocery store when you probably have all the ingredients you need to make a delicious and bountiful bowl of guacamole !

Before I start telling you about how to make this delicious dip, I want to give credit to Chris because he is the guac expert in our house. He gets really fancy with the mortar and pestle and always produces a delicious bowl of guacamole. I don’t actually question anything that he does or ingredients he includes.

DSC00342Chef Chris in deep guacamole mashing concentration

What you’ll need:

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Avocados, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, green Tabasco sauce, and optional: bloody mary mix. The mix is something that I LOVE when Chris includes it. If you think about the ingredients in a bloody mary, they are fairly similar to those in guacamole. Sure you’re not adding avocado slices to your drink…but maybe you could? The mix is optional because not everyone has bloody mary mix at home. We are fortunate enough to have a bottle that is used more for cooking than actually drinking. Tomato juice could work or even salsa.

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Saute onions, bell peppers and jalapenos until onions are soft

In a large bowl or mortar, combine sliced avocado, peppers, onions and remainder of ingredients. Mash up to a consistency of your liking.

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Top with cheese, cilantro and enjoy with homemade tortilla chips !

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Guacamole
 
Prep time
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Serves: 1.5 Cups
Ingredients
  • 1 Avocado- Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Green Tabasco Sauce
  • ¼ Red Pepper-Chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic- Minced
  • 1 Jalapeno- Chopped
  • ⅛ Cup of Bloody Mary Mix- OPTIONAL
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne (you could use less or omit if you do not like spicy)
  • ⅛ Cup Onion- Chopped
  • ⅛ Cup Tomato- Chopped
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to Taste
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic until onion is soft. Keep heat at medium low to ensure garlic does not burn
  2. In a medium bowl or mortar add remaining ingredients and sauted ingredients. Mash to combine.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste

 


Bloody Mary Burgers

Last weekend Chris and I continued our new tradition of seeing A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theater in downtown Chicago. It’s a wonderful show and we really enjoy going to see it. The show started at 8:00PM and I was at yoga until 6PM which left me with very little time to get ready and make dinner. Chris took the reigns for making dinner, and made his famous bloody mary burgers. These are so delicious and as skeptical as I was when he first told me about them… I am hooked.

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These burgers are very juicy and maintain their flavor very well. It’s the worst when you make a burger and put a lot of effort into it and then take it off the grill and find that it’s hard as a rock. They are very filling burgers, and are a sure way to impress anyone you serve these to.

Here is how Chris prepares these delicious burgers:

1lb Ground Beef
1/2 Bloody Mary Mix – the spiciest and tastiest you can find.
1 Egg
1 TSP Salt
1 TSP Pepper
1/2 TBSP Celery Salt
Dash Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Steak Sauce
Dash of Garlic
Srircha or Hot Sauce to taste
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Whatever the heck else you enjoy in your Bloody Mary

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Mix all ingredients and shape into patty’s.

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Set grill to medium and grill to about 145 degrees (medium rare) or to taste.

DSC00052Once everything is all cooked up, add the cheese of your choice.  We went with sharp cheddar but let’s be honest, any cheese is good.  Garnish with any of the hamburger staples you’d like.

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Burgers don’t just need to be eaten in the summer. Enjoy these bloody mary burgers all year round!

Bloody Mary Burgers
 
Prep time
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • ½ Bloody Mary Mix - the spiciest and tastiest you can find.
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • ½ TBSP Celery Salt
  • Dash Lemon Juice
  • 1 TBSP Steak Sauce
  • Dash of Garlic
  • Srircha or Hot Sauce to taste
  • ½ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional: Add assorted ingredients that you enjoy in your bloody mary
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients and shape into patties.
  2. Set grill to medium and grill to about 145 degrees (medium rare) or to taste.
  3. Once everything is all cooked up, add the cheese of your choice.
  4. Garnish with any of the hamburger staples you'd like.
  5. Yields 4¼ lb burgers

 

 


Yummy Ginger Peanut Sauce Noodles with Chicken

As you saw on last week’s post for Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings, Chris took over dinner for me on a very very busy Monday. This week he did not cease to disappoint yet again. I went straight from work to get my hair cut and colored, and then went straight to tutoring. I was SO pleasantly surprised to come home and see that dinner was almost done, and it smelled incredible. Chris was cooking a peanut butter soy noodle dish.

The dish he decided to make for us his self titled ” Yummy Ginger Peanut Sauce Noodles with Chicken ” . It was SO Yummy, I could not have been more impressed. The peanut butter worked so well with the soy sauce and was very creamy and also extremely filling. We ended up adding a dash of soy after we had our first bites but that is because we didn’t want the PB to overpower the dish. If you like PB a lot then you may not want to add the extra soy… just taste test it first and cater this recipe to your liking.

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I’m not going to lie, I am reaaaaallly getting used to not being home on Mondays until 7:45 and having my dinner cooked for me. It is extremely difficult not to watch over everything he does and what he adds, but I think (and hope) that i’m getting better at not being such a back seat driver cook. I could not be luckier to be able to come home to such delicious dinners from such a wonderful boyfriend.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

 

Here is Chris’ recipe for Yummy Ginger Peanut Sauce Noodles with Chicken:

 

In a blender or food processor, mix the sauce ingredients listed below until completely mixed.  If it’s too peanut butter-y for your liking, try adding more Soy Sauce or Srircha to negate the taste.

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Bring water to a boil and cook the spaghetti, this is your chance to add some salt if you’d like!

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In ANOTHER pan, sauté the rotisserie chicken, Andouille sausage, and red peppers.

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When everything is all cooked up, strain the paste and mix your delicious concoctions together.  Top with minced green onions, chopped peanuts, bean sprouts or whatever you’d please to add a little crunch.

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As usual, we topped with a lot of Srircha.

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Sauce:

1 C Water

½ C Peanut Butter

5 TBS Soy Sauce

3 TBS Rice Vinegar

1 TBS Brown Sugar

1 TBSP Ginger Power

 

½ Box Angel-Hair Spaghetti

Left Over Chicken, Approximately 1-1/2 Cups

1 EA Andouille Chicken Sausage

1/8 C Minced Green Onions – Is that what those are?

¼ C Roasted Red Peppers


Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Guest Post: Chris cooks dinner
I’d like to start this post by saying thank you to my wonderful boyfriend who stepped up immensely and made us an absolutely delicious and different dinner last night. These honey sriracha chicken lollipop wings were amazing.

Now here is Chris’ post and recipe:

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“You need to give that poor girl a break!” That’s what I hear from my Mom every time we see her.

Well, Steph had a hard day of work, barre method class (whatever that is), and volunteering so my Mom’s voice rang in my head. So I vacuumed, put away my laundry and, finally, cooked for Steph.

For years, my close High School friends and I would go to a bar in Bucktown named “Cans” on a weekly basis to meet for wings and a beer. On one fateful day, Cans decided to sell their space and it was turned into a retail store. So we cancelled our friendship. But I never forgot Cans wings and their lollipop style.

The process is started by cutting approximately 3/4″ up from the bottom of a drumstick. It’s not easy, but you need to cut the skin, meat and tendons and peel it back from the bottom of the bone. You can use a rag to help get a grip of the meat. You then pull up on the upper portion of the drumstick so you’re left with a lollipop shaped wing. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also remove the small bone and cut away the loose tendons.

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Next, I mixed the lollipops in a mixture of olive oil, paprika, salt and garlic powder.

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Grill for 30-45 minutes on medium-high heat.

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Mix the wings with your Honey-Srircha mixture.

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Since the wings were still a little undercooked, I added them to the oven until they reached approximately 165 degrees.

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Add an optional cup of blue cheese or ranch and enjoy!

Wing Glaze:
2.5 TBS Olive Oil
1 TBS Garlic
1 TBS Paprika
1 TSP Salt

Wing Sauce
1 CUP Srircha
1/3 CUP Honey

1/3 CUP Greek Yogurt

1/8 CUP Soy Sauce

1/4 CUP Butter

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings
 
Prep time
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Chicken Wings- "Lollipopped"- top portion removed and deboned.
  • Wing Glaze:
  • 2.5 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Garlic
  • 1 TBS Paprika
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • Wing Sauce
  • 1 CUP Srircha
  • ⅓ CUP Honey
  • ⅓ CUP Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ CUP Butter
  • ⅛ CUP Soy Sauce
Instructions
  1. Prepare lollipop wings by removing the top tendons, meat and small bones.
  2. Glaze wings by tossing wings with glaze ingredients.
  3. Grill wings for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Place wings in a baking dish and spoon sauce to cover wings.
  5. Finish cooking in oven on 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until wings internal temperature is above 165 degrees.

 


Guest Post- BarbaSandwiches

Yesterday was the start to what will be an insanely busy next few weeks for me. One of my projects was just getting started up in Sycamore, IL and on top of that I have a million other projects going on in the office. I started my day at 6AM driving from downtown Chicago to Sycamore. For those of you who are not familiar with Sycamore. It’s near DeKalb (NIU) which is about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes from my apartment. I’ve gotten used to this drive and pass the time listening to my audio books on Audible. It’s really not that bad. After spending 3+ hours in the car, traveling to every park in the park district, and making a stop for a site visit in St. Charles… I was tired. I still had tutoring Monday evening until 7:30pm, so when Chris asked if I would like for him to make dinner I accepted without question.

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One thing you should all know is that I am dating a very good cook. I won’t even attempt to make shrimp and grits after he made this for us last winter…that’s how good it was. I have full confidence in what he makes whenever he cooks for us. Chris has made barbacups for me before and they were delicious. Think BBQ sauce with onions and ground turkey (or beef) placed atop biscuits and then topped with cheddar cheese and baked.

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Yum. I was pleasantly surprised when I got home from tutoring that the dinner menu was barbacups minus the cups and instead made into sandwiches.

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It was a delicious meal and perfect for a night of much needed relaxation.

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Enjoy!

Guest Post- BarbaSandwiches
 
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Delicious barbeque ground turkey sandwiches
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ½ LB Ground Turkey
  • Dash Salt
  • ¼ Onion- Diced
  • 1 TBS Brown Sugar
  • 1 TBS Paprika
  • ½ C Barbecue Sauce (We used Open Pit)
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Sandwich Buns (We used Torta buns)
Instructions
  1. Saute turkey with salt for 10 minutes
  2. Add onion, brown sugar, barbecue sauce and paprika.
  3. Mix, and saute for 5-7 minutes, until heated through.
  4. Place atop buns and top with cheddar cheese.

 


Guest Post- Zoodles with Corey!

Tonight’s recipe is coming to you from one of my oldest friends, Corey. Corey and I have been close friends since we were in middle school. Corey invited a few of us over for dinner tonight to see her new (and beautiful!) apartment. On the menu was something for dinner which I have been dying to try. Zoodles aka zucchini noodles. These are SO easy to make but also so delicious. They are a great substitute fro regular noodles and a carb free way to enjoy “pasta”.

 

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Here is a link to a zoodle maker I have been eying for a while and it was used for dinner tonight. After tonight, there is a very good chance I will be purchasing this.

We started our dinner with a wonderful kale salad which was superb. There were tomatoes, pine nuts and dried cranberries in there.

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Quote from Chef Corey “I’m really proud of this dish…I’m a very simply chef and this sundried tomato + olive pesto chicken knocked it out of the park!”. Now you really can’t argue with that! Really this dish was a delicious, and fun recipe. I enjoyed watching Corey put the entire meal together, and it really turned out so well.

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Below is a photo of the three of us after enjoying a delicious meal. (The chef is in the middle!)

Corey Zoodles

Enjoy!

Guest Post- Zoodles!
 
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Zucchini noodles with a sun dried tomato pesto and chicken
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 Zucchini- Spiraled into Zoodles
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • ½ C Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 TBS Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 Tomato- Sliced
  • ¼ C Parmasean Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook zoodles with EVOO on a hot saute pan
  3. After cooking 5 minutes. Add pesto
  4. Cook 10 minutes
  5. Cook chicken fully. 20 minutes
  6. Top with pesto and cheese.
  7. Cook 5 mins
  8. Enjoy zoodles with chicken and top with more cheese (if desired)!