Bacon-Chocolate Twists with Black Lager Affogato

As a foodie and craft beer chef, my brain is always in overdrive brainstorming ideas for combining two of my favorites…beer and dessert.  Many people can’t imagine beer and desserts going together, but they are SOOOOO WRONG!  True…BAD beer doesn’t work well with dessert, but EXCEPTIONAL beer is perfect for a dessert. This dessert has…

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches aren’t just for kids anymore

Let’s face it; on the comfort food scale, grilled cheese sandwiches rank pretty high. They’re great regardless of the season; they can be eaten alone or with a bowl of soup; they have endless possibilities.  And, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them.

Father’s Day Fare: Cider Braised Pork Belly Tacos #SundaySupper

It’s Father’s Day, and unlike Mother’s Day, where pretty, lady-like meals are in order, Dad doesn’t want quiche and salads and tea sandwiches.  No, dad wants hearty, manly meals. Dad wants meat, and since we can’t order up a rack of Flintstone ribs, let’s give him a manly, unpretentious, no-holds-barred pork belly. Pork belly is…

Not Your Average Sausage Pizza and done in only 30 minutes!

As usual, when I’m testing recipe ideas, I’m asked multiple times, “what’s for dinner?”, to which I reply, “a new recipe.”  That, undoubtedly is met with, “what’s it called?”, to which I sadly snap, “It doesn’t have a name.” I don’t mean to be short with my husband and kids, but when I’m trying to…

Caldo de Camaron (Shrimp Stew)

Have you ever had a dish that, years later, you still dream about and crave?  For me, that’s Shrimp Stew.  When I was pregnant with my oldest son, 14 years ago, there was a little Mexican restaurant in our town that made it, and I’m pretty sure I had it weekly. The hurricanes of 2004…

Summer Craft Beer Tour: Playalinda Brewing Company

This summer hordes of families will head to Florida for vacation, and a great majority of them will wind up in Orlando visiting the theme parks. As much as I dislike the whole theme park vibe, I understand that for families with children, visiting the mouse is inevitable.  However, for all of those who do…

Kid Friendly Recipe: Zuppa di Ravioli (Ravioli Soup) #SundaySupper

With 2 kids, who, at times, will complain about everything put in front of them, I need to use ingredients that they are guaranteed to like, while sneaking in healthy stuff like spinach, squash, peppers, celery.  While I don’t advocate lying to your children, bending the truth and playing dumb are perfectly acceptable. If my…

Coconut Crusted Mahi with Tropical Slaw & Avocado Crema

Being from Florida, when I’m asked to create a dish that represents me and where I’m from, seafood, fresh produce, and fruit are always at the top of my list.  When Cooks vs. Cons threw party dip into the mix, I had to get creative, but considering that I could eat dip by the spoonful,…

Sirloin Patty Melt with Balsamic Figs, Onions & Brie

If you’ve never had a patty melt, it’s what happens when a cheeseburger and a grilled cheese have a baby.  It’s a cheese burger served on (usually) thick sliced & grilled bread, dripping with cheese, and topped with caramelized onions.  Before competing on Cooks vs. Cons, I’d never had one.  I knew the principle, but…

Sunset Wine-tini with CK Mondavi Wine (recipe)

This summer has been all about adventures. From Guinness in Dublin to Watermelon Punch in St. Pete and Mango Cocktails in St. Augustine, no summer would be complete without a trip to the beaches of Southwest Florida. The sunsets over the Gulf are epic and the inspiration for an unforgettable wine cocktail. 1 bottle CK…

3 Daughters Cider Braised Pork Belly Tacos with Salsa Verde

Taco Tuesday may be gone, but I still LOVE tacos, especially pork tacos. So when, I was challenged to use 3 Daughters Brewing’s new hard cider in creative, interesting ways, I knew that we would incorporate it into savory recipes. Pork belly is a boneless fatty cut of meat from the belly of a pig,…