appetizers & nibbles

chicken wings

kung pao chicken wings

Chicken wings! I mean they’re almost as American as hot dogs and apple pie! Kung pao chicken wings are going to be the easiest wing recipe you’ve ever made! And, you can do it right in your oven! Or, if you would rather, heat up the grill and put those […]

orange marmalade spicy drum sticks

orange marmalade spicy chicken drum sticks

I totally love recipes like this orange marmalade spicy chicken drum sticks! Why? Not just because it’s super luscious and delicious, but also because it’s so versatile. I mean you can use this orange marmalade mixture on any cut of chicken: thighs, breasts, even the whole chicken, but I love […]

avocado tomato crunch

avocado tomato crunch

Super Bowl week brings out the most outrageous snack ideas and recipes that one can even imagine! I mean there’s so much out there and most of it, let’s be honest, is basically unhealthy! It’s full of fat, carbs, cholesterol, sugar and everything that’s really not good for you. Now […]

quick dinner bites

quick dinner bites

These quick dinner bites are so simple and easy. Plus, very quick to prepare. Even in a pinch! Friends stop by during the holidays, unexpected, and you whip this up and you’ll be the kitchen goddess or king! And, if you eat enough of these quick dinner bites, you will […]

double date spicy chicken wings

double date spicy chicken wings

Coming up with new names for things is one of the challenges of being a food blogger. I mean you want to correctly express an idea of what the dish is, but, on the other hand, you want it to stick, maybe be slightly clever and catchy. That’s why I […]

creamy avocado vegetable spread

creamy avocado vegetable spread

Finding easy and healthy ways to trim a few calories and ramp up the nutrition value of what we eat is always on my mind. Of course, avocados are perfect for making spreads and dips that can be used in so many ways. This creamy avocado vegetable spread is perfect […]

pan seared fresh tuna steak

pan seared fresh tuna steak

Have you ever had the chance to see fresh tuna being caught. Or fresh tuna being hauled in from a deep sea fishing boat? Well, if you haven’t, then make that one of your ‘bucket list’ things to see. Can you guess what the top tuna fishing towns are? I mean […]

the art of charcuterie tapas mezze

creating charcuterie tapas mezze: five tips

First of all, let’s decide what charcuterie tapas and mezze mean. To do that, we’ll rely upon our trusty Wikipedia definitions verbatim. And, as you read my thoughts on creating your own masterpieces, yes, I’ll be giving you my five tips on charcuterie tapas and mezze, you’ll also be seeing […]

peach caprese

peach caprese

Thanks to Dole Sunshine for partnering with me for this peach caprese post! All the opinions and creativity are solely mine. Full disclosure, click here! I know you’ve had ‘puzzle gut’. Yes, that’s the situation you’re in when you want something to eat, but you don’t know what you want to eat. Recently […]

Tri-Blend Bean Tomato Dip or Spread

bean + tomato spread

What do you do when you open one too many cans of beans when you’re making chili? Well, in this case, I decided to make a bean dip, which also can be a pretty wicked sandwich spread!  If you can’t find the tri-blend canned beans, then use whatever bean(s) make […]

your reality escape

your reality escape

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso Your imagination is a powerful thing. It’s the brain’s way of seeing what the possibilities are. Everything that we use in today’s world is because of someone’s imagination that sparked dreams and ‘seeing’ what could be. No […]

za’atar spice mixture

za’atar spice mixture

Za’atar a passionately aromatic spice Middle Eastern spice mixture that has so many wonderful applications in your cooking. Generally, the mixture is made with dried herbs like marjoram and/or thyme, but to get a vibrant color with intense fragrance you can use fresh herbs. And, there’s no ‘rule’ that you […]

pimento cheese deviled eggs

pimento cheese deviled eggs

Can deviled eggs melt in your mouth? Well, take one bite of these pimento cheese deviled eggs and you’ll see what I mean! I’m always telling you that food is history, and it’s exactly that with deviled eggs, which date back to the Roman Empire. There’s lots of versions of […]

bacon bleu littl' devils

bacon bleu littl’ devils

Picnics. Family dinners. Tailgating. Covered dish church suppers. Whatever the occasion, this is one platter of goodliness that you’ll sure to get rave reviews on! For those who want a healthier alternative to the traditional deviled egg or if you just want a more hip 21st century version of the […]

asian curried marmalade wings

asian curried marmalade wings

Asian Curried Marmalade Wings ignites two things for me. Challenging myself to just a few ingredients and making quick and easy recipes is one of my goals for the next year. Also, I’m working on making shorty videos of the recipe. You know, those videos with happy catchy perky music […]

sesame chicken drumettes

sesame chicken drumettes

Yes, tailgating is great. It’s camaraderie. It’s great food. It’s excitement and loyalty. But, who says it can’t be done right in your own living room where you have a prime seat watching the big screen, a comfy sofa, wine, a fireplace crackling and the cat purring and sleeping on […]

hatch chili wings

hatch chile wings

Oh, lawsy, what do you do when you have the munchies at 10 pm at night and you want something spicy and hot. And, did I say pretty dang quick! Order a pizza? No way. These hatch chile wings were spot on. I mean in about 25 minutes, start to […]

smoked paprika salmon chunks

smoked paprika salmon chunks

Salmon is a beautiful seafood to prepare. And, there’s so many ways to twist salmon into something new each time you eat it. From the way you cook it, poach, grill, pan sear, bake, to the way you ‘shape’ it, salmon can take on a new profile with a tad […]

adriatic asiago cheese sauce

adriatic asiago cheese sauce

The Adriatic Sea is just amazingly beautiful. And, when you’re on the Dalmation coast of Croatia, it seems even more spectacular and glorious! The waters shimmer and their color is a vibrant turquoise blue. Coastal cities like Debrovnik and Split are now hot hip travel destinations. And, it’s easy to […]

iieana's beef empanadas

lleana’s beef empanadas

This is a sponsored post from Knorr’s and Zooppa~~I was given an opportunity to create five recipes they sent me, photograph them, then enter into the Knorrs contest on Zooppa. So, nothing was ‘boho’d’ but I shall give you some of the things I learned from making the recipes~~here goes […]

English Cucumber Galette

English Cucumber Galette

I love a challenge!  And, when I saw the Lenox/Rozanne Gold 1-2-3 recipe contest, I decided I’d see what I could conjure up.  I had a fresh English cucumber in the refrigerator and some yummy plain Greek yogurt. I decided a English Cuke Galette would be born.  So, with a […]

turkish lamb asiago meatballs

turkish lamb asiago meatballs

Meatballs that you’ll eat like gum balls! These luscious luvs have bursts of asiago cheese in them that’s an unexpected surprise. Then there’s a full canvas of fresh herbs that work together symphonically to create interesting new triggers of happiness on your palate. Then there’s the slight charring and cripies […]

asiago cheese dates & mint toasties

One thing that stands out in my mind about traveling in Italy and especially Tuscany is the cheese, yes, the cheese~~it’s glorious, and one of my favorites is asiago. Cheese like wine is complex, and it takes some investigation into really understanding the differences in various cheeses and between ‘fresh’ […]

~emerald green dipping olive oil~

emerald green dipping olive oil

Sometimes the simplest things are the most striking and stunning.  So, this idea came while Ben and I were in Steamboat Springs, Colorado~~we’d ridden our Harley there, amazing countryside and there’s nothing like feeling the freedom of life with the wind blowing in your face, sitting on the back of […]

fried green tomatoes

fried green tomatoes

If you’re Southern you know Fried Green Tomatoes.  You grew up on FGTs.  You proably like or even love FGTs! If you’re not Southern, I am so very very sorry.  Good news! You can become an honorary Southerner by going through a series of eating assignments, so think about it…could be fun.  […]

~roasted baby peppers with cumin & cilantro~

roasted baby peppers with cumin & cilantro

If you have a gas stove roasting peppers is just so easy and a great way to preserve peppers when they’re in season.  And, if you don’t have a gas stove, then you can use your outdoor gas grill! Sometimes I use baby peppers, other times I use the big […]

lemon pepper rustic farm veggies

There’s nothing more wonderful than sitting down at a big table crowded with platters and bowls full of vibrant colors of the rainbow!  There’s also nothing more beautiful than the most natural state of veggies including the wispy roots on onions and carrots, their colorful tops, and the numbs and bumps on […]

buttermilk drenched crispy fried flying saucer squash

buttermilk drenched crispy fried flying saucer squash

Fried green tomatoes~~yep, popular in the South and kinda trendy in some restaurants now! There’s just something about the crispy warm crust on the outside of a veggie that makes that veggie even more succulent. Now, I’ve fried up some wicked green tomatoes in my life and have also fried […]

skillet steamed fresh mountain trout

skillet steamed fresh mountain trout

Camping is always an adventure! Growing up I never camped—actually, this is one of the new escapades of my life after 50! My philosophy is that I want to experience as much as I can out of life while I’m able and healthy—so, getting hooked on camping has been one […]

~eggo southern hushpuffies~

eggo southern hushpuffies

Cooking contests bring out the best in me!  I love the thrill of the challenge~~after reading the rules carefully and knowing what the parameters are, my head starts to assimilate and go to work.  Now, most of the time, this ‘thinking’ is at the subconscious level~~and, after a few days, […]

~beet mint ricotta salad~

beet mint ricotta salad

When I create recipes, it’s usually because I want to complete a feel, a look, taste, and because I want to fill out a ‘theme’~~so, when I pulled out a leg of lamb to prepare for a dinner party, I knew that the side dishes had to be spectacular and […]

Antipasta Starter

antipasti starter

Italians love their antipasti trays, and I’m loving them more and more, too!  They’re just so easy.  So for a small dinner party with four very good friends, Ben and I, well, I really, decided we’d ditch salads and go Italian!  Since we were also having lasagna, it carried through […]

Sweet & Spicy Saigon Spread

Sweet & Spicy Saigon Spread

It’s just so easy to make your own  ‘designer’ inspired spreads, and you can control everything about it~~the flavors, the textures, the colors, the ingredients!  So starting with my main ingredient, ‘Sweet & Spicy Saigon’ spice from Simply Asia…thanks to them for sending me a box of products…I decided that […]

Rhubarb Raspberry Lemon Mint Sauce

Rhubarb Raspberry Lemon Mint Sauce

My cool husband is SO SO SO supportive of all of my cooking, competing and culinary shenanigans~~in this world of food, it’s important to have the spouse on board!  He loves to try things, always gives his brutally honest opinion, has joined me in a cooking class (in Italy, and […]

Grilled Mango & Raspberry Mint Crostini

grilled mango & raspberry mint crostini

Gotta love Wikipedia! Crostini (meaning “little toasts” in Italian) are an Italian appetizer consisting of small slices of grilled or toasted bread and toppings. The toppings may include a variety of different cheeses, meats, and vegetables, or may be presented more simply with a brush of olive oil and herbs or a sauce. Crostini are typically made using French or Italian baguettes and are often served […]

Sea Salt & Raw Sugar Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts

Sea Salt & Raw Sugar Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts

What happens when you buy the big bag of whole walnuts from Costco?  Well, you do a lot of dishes and recipes with walnuts!  Of course, you can just put some in a bowl and eat them randomly as you pass by, and that’s exactly what I was thinking when […]

Chili Cumin Roasted & Charred Brussels Sprouts

Chili Cumin Roasted & Charred Brussels Sprouts

I’m a veggie oven roasting fanatic!  Within in a short amount of time in a hot oven, your veggies caramelize, the sugars come out, and the flavors burst like exploding stars!  These Brussels sprouts also are packed with even more taste bud tingles with the chili mixture and the cumin!  I’m especially […]

Madras Curry Shrimp with Green Onions

Foods from India~~I’ve never even ventured into that kind of ethnic cooking and now I’m getting my toes wet with trying this very first dish.  Maybe it was the intriguing movie ‘The Life of Pi’ that sparked my interest even more so~~I’ve always loved the design flair of the women’s […]

Fresh Crab & Campari Tomatoes

Fresh Crab & Campari Tomatoes

We have more crabs than Carter’s got pills in our inlet!  Ben will just bait the crab traps, toss ’em out from the floating dock, leave them for about 48 hours or more, and when we pull them in, they’re usually loaded with big fat crabs!  Throw ’em in a […]

Spicy Jalapeno Bacon Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are always a great snack or side dish for holiday meals.  Seems that’s the main time that I think of these petite treats, and they’re usually on my Easter dinner table~~the egg mood time!  While the standard recipes for deviled eggs works, finding ways to change them up, […]

Wicked Smokey Bacon Deviled Eggs

wicked smokey bacon deviled eggs

There are just so many ways you can put new twists on your deviled eggs!  Since I’ve boiled up a big batch (14 to be exact), I decided to about 3-6 each differently.  One batch was done with jalapenos and bacon, so this one got the smokey slant with paprika […]

Grilled Pork Chop & Mustard Green Bites

This would be a ‘Southern’ appetizer created for a girlfriend party!  Now why pork chop and mustard green bites?  Well, most of my ideas come from ingredients I find the day I’m shopping for them.  I like to shop and buy local, seasonal and on sale, so both of these […]

Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Chowder

Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Chowder

One of the best things about being a foodie and blogger is the number of talented and generous other foodies you meet via social media.  Many of my friends, whom I’ve never met in person but feel like I know as well as real ‘brick and mortar’ friends, have written […]

Crispy & Savory Shrimp Brie & Prosciutto Wrap

Crispy & Savory Shrimp Brie & Prosciutto Wrap

Creating this recipe for the Ile de France Cheese ‘Holiday Recipe Contest’ was a lot of fun!  Living on the coast of South Carolina means I have access to some of the most succulent shrimp you could ever put in your mouth, so finding new ways to prepare, plate and […]

Crispy & Savory Shrimp Brie & Prosciutto Wrap

This creation was for the Ile de France Holiday Contest…since I love brie cheese, I decided to combine my inlet living shrimping with some brie cheese…now, granted some culinary ‘experts’ may say seafood and cheese don’t go together, but in my world of food, whatever makes your tastebuds happy, works! […]

Roasted Baby Bella Mushroom & Cherry Tomato Dip/Spread

roasted baby bella dip

Roasting about any veggie does something magical to the flavors~~when I say roasting, I’m talking about oven roasting.  The veggies, or fruits for that matter, caramelize and get a little charring on them, which gives a burst of flavor.  I decided to try my mushrooms roasted…tomatoes were a no brainer. […]

Spicy Hot Olive & Almond Romesco

If there’s ever something that I could bottle and sell and make so many people happy, it’s this ‘Spicy Hot Olive & Almond Romesco’!  This is the second in a series (hummmm, that sounds important, huh?) of Romesco sauce-making for me…who knows what might be next. My first was an […]

Artisan Lettuce Romesco Anthropologie Nibbles

Artisan Lettuce Romesco~~Anthropologie Nibbles

I was introduced to Romesco by Chef Anthony Sasso of Casa Mono Bar Jamon in NYC.  Now I’ve made ‘Artisan Lettuce Romesco’!   Chef Anthony came to cook in my Colorado kitchen preparing a spectacular meal for Ben and me and ten of our most favorite guests!  That entire soiree was an […]