Zucchini, Beef, and Halloumi Cheese Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

It’s finally grilling season again! Last weekend it actually snowed in Park City so I am saying that cautiously… but with the Fourth of July right around the corner and sunshine in the forecast I think we are safe. I love grilling because it requires less clean up in the kitchen, which is always a bonus in my book. This recipe is from Sarah Waldman’s cookbook Feeding a Family and pretty much the only cookbook I have cooked out of in the last year. This is a fun summer BBQ dish that packs a ton of flavor. Hope you enjoy!

Zucchini, Beef, and Halloumi Cheese Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce from Sarah Waldman’s Feeding a Family
Serves 4
Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilarntro
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds steak tips
  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese
  • 4 to 6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 10 minutes
  1. Heat the grill to medium high
  2. Make the chimichurri sauce by blending all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until finely minced.
  3. Prepare the ingredients for the skewers. First, using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into pile of thin ribbons. Cut the steak and halloumi cheese into 1-inch cubes. *note I had a hard time cutting the halloumi into cubes so I sliced it and grilled it separately instead of putting it on the skewers.
  4. Assemble the skewers, alternating between zucchini, beef and cheese if you choose to put them on the skewers. Pour the chimichurri sauce into a shallow platter, reserving 1/2 cup in a small bowl. Roll the assembled skewers in the sauce on the platter, cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to a few hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Grill the skewers for 5 minutes per side (same with the cheese), brushing them occasionally with the reserved chimichurri sauce, until grill marks appear and the beef is medium rare. Serve hot or warm with reserved chimichurri sauce on the side.

Slow Cooker/Insta Pot Indian Butter Chicken with Sweet Peas

This recipe is from my absolute favorite cookbook – Feeding a Family by Sarah Waldman. All of her recipes are flavorful and easy, which pretty much defines my style of cooking these days.  I have been experimenting with my InstaPot (if you don’t have one – I highly recommend you invest ASAP). This recipe calls for 8 hours in the crockpot, and if you’re like me – I don’t have time to think about preparing a meal 8 hours before I want to eat it. 45-60 minutes and the meal is done for most dishes I prepare in my InstaPot. It is a life saver. Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken with Sweet Peas from Sarah Waldman’s Feeding a Family 
Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken pieces (thighs and/or breasts)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger-root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • One 6oz can tomato paste
  • One 13.5oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain full fat Greek yogurt (I like to sub Sour Cream)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet peas (thawed if frozen or blanched if fresh)
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving
  • Toppings (optional) – Chopped fresh cilantro, toasted coconut flakes, Toasted silvered almonds
  1. Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks. Fill a 6 quart slow cooker (or insta pot) with chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the butter, tomato paste, and coconut milk. Mix again. If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours until the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork. If using the insta pot lock the lid and hit the poultry button then using the + button add 10 minutes. Chicken should cook at high pressure for 40-50 minutes and allow the steam to release on its own before opening the lid.
  2. Before serving, stir in the Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream, lemon juice, and peas (I added the peas frozen at the end and they thawed on their own). Allow everything to heat through, then serve the butter chicken over a bed of basmati rice. Top with cilantro, toasted coconut, and toasted silvered almonds, if desired.

Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Leeks and Potatoes

This recipe for sheet pan chicken has quickly become one of my favorites. First off, I love any recipe that calls for leeks because they are so yummy and give any dish a ton of flavor. Secondly, I love that it is a one sheet wonder… Meaning less clean up and more time to hang with family and friends. Harissa is a North African spice blend that is packed with flavor and gives this dish a Moroccan vibe that I love. Also this recipe was a community pick winner on Food52 so you know its an awesome dish. Enjoy!

Recipe from Food52

Serves 3-4 people

  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 by 1/2-inch chunks
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • tablespoons harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk (if using Greek, thin it down with a little milk to make it drizzle-able
  • small garlic clover
  • cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed
  1. Combine the chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  4. Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
  5. While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  6. Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking sheet (or you can transfer everything to a platter if you want to be fancy about it). Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and serve.

Downeast Maine Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

This recipe for pumpkin bread is not my own however I did decide to add chocolate chips on my own because everything is better with chocolate! You can find this recipe all over the internet but it is one of my absolute favorites because it is moist and packed with pumpkin flavor. I also love that it makes 3 loaves which means its great to share with friends. If you’re in the mood for some festive fall flavors – this bread is for you!

Downeast Maine Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Makes 3 loaves

  • 1 (15oz) Can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (12oz) bag chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Stir in bag of chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Panzanella

Hey friends! Its been a while… over a year! Boy has life changed a lot in the last year, which is why I have not posted in so long.First, I got pregnant, was deathly ill and couldn’t even look at food, then had a beautiful baby girl and was too tired to cook. Truth be told, I kind of fell out of love with cooking for a while. I felt uninspired and bored with everything. I guess that happens when you’re nauseous and don’t have an appetite. My husband did a lot of the cooking and some nights we just ate cereal and went to be at 8pm. It has only been recently that I have found my desire to cook again. Much of that is because of my new favorite cookbook by Sarah Waldman called Feeding a Family. I have been cooking my way through her delicious cookbook which has time and family friendly recipes. Everything I have cooked from her book is flavorful yet simple to prepare. This recipe for panzanella salad is a perfect fall dish – tomatoes and peaches are plentiful and the sweet and salty combo is to die for. I hope you enjoy this and many other recipes from Sarah’s book – I will definitely be posting more soon! 

Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Panzanella Salad from Sarah Waldman’s Feeding a Family
Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 French Baguette, Torn into 1 inch pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
  • 3 large tomatoes or 3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 large peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  1. Preheat Oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the bread pieces with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Arrange the bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway, or until evenly toasted.
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the tomatoes and peaches with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Transfer the tomato-peach mix to a colander set over another large bowl; set it aside to drain while the bread toasts.
  4. Lift the colander of peaches and tomatoes out of the bowl and set it aside. Whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, and black pepper into the tomato-peach juices. Add the toasted bread pieces, toss to coat and let them soak for 10 minute, tossing occasionally.
  5. Add the tomatoes and peaches, red onion and basil to the bowl with the bread and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Simple Scones


One of my weaknesses is baked good. I love them all, sweet, savory I just can’t stay away. I try not to buy or make them however because if they are in my house, I will eat them all. One treat I will make are scones. Maybe because they are so simple, or maybe because they are so delicious – its hard to say. I have another great fall recipe for scones, these cranberry orange ones from my Morning Glory Farm cookbook are to die for. This recipe is one that my mother always makes, she got it out of the cookbook “Perfect Recipes for having people over.” I love that this recipe uses raisins instead of currents which give the scones some extra sweetness. Also the sour cream gives these a perfectly flaky texture. You’ll love these anytime of day! Enjoy.

Simple Scones (Makes 8)


  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen


  1. Place oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk sour cream and egg in a small bowl until smooth.
  3. Mix flour 6 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and raisins in a medium bowl. Grate butter into flour mixture, using large holes of a box grater; toss to combine.
  4. Stir in sour cream mixture until large clumps of dough form. Use your hands to press dough against sides and bottom of bowl to form a ball.
  5. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 7 1/2 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake until golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for a least 5 minutes. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Cowboy Caviar

IMG_0318Summer is in full swing which means its BBQ season! We just recently outfitted our patio with some bistro lights, a grill and outdoor table, it is the perfect place to eat dinner on warm summer nights. I typically prefer to cook outdoors in the summer because cooking inside gets so hot and using the BBQ while drinking a glass of wine just screams summer. I also prefer to eat cold dishes rather than hot ones in the summer months- when it’s 85 degrees out after work, I rarely feel like cooking. One of my favorite appetizers is this super simple cowboy caviar made with fresh corn, tomatoes and avocado. I like to cook my corn on the grill in tin foil or with the husk still on, however if you prefer to boil it on the stove that is great also. Stay cool out there!

FullSizeRender (2)Cowboy Caviar


  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cooked ears of corn cut off the cob
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with Frito Lays or Tortilla Chips


  1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir. Can be made a day ahead but keep the avocado out until ready to serve.

Coconut Sticky Rice & Chicken


Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Before I get into this super yummy recipe I must tell you how much I have missed writing and cooking over the last few months! I took a little hiatus from the blog because I just started a new job. I have been getting settled and used to my new schedule and finally this week I was feeling ready to cook again. I am hoping the summer months will bring me some new inspiration for cooking. I love the summer farmers markets and fresh produce and I am looking forward to getting creative again!

Last weekend I was lounging around the house because the weather was truly awful… rain, sleet and thunder. It was a mixture of everything! Well my favorite little Italian chef, Giada De Laurentiis came on the TV and per usual, I got sucked into her show. She was doing a Dim Sum themed party and was making this recipe for sticky rice and chicken burritos. I thought that it looked so delicious that I would give it a whirl, however when I was ready to start cooking, the thought of making individual Swiss chard burritos seemed daunting. So I simplified the recipe to make it my own and instead of wrapping the chicken and rice in the Swiss Chard leaves, I chopped them up to make it a rice bowl. It turned out fantastic! I also used my favorite ingredient… rotisserie chicken. All in all this recipe was quick to prepare and was packed with flavor. It’s great to be back… Enjoy!

Coconut Sticky Rice and Chicken Bowls (Serves 4) 



  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain sushi rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded and chopped
  • 6-8 Swiss chard leaves, chopped


  1. For the rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, coconut milk, 1 cup water and the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin, salt, black pepper, garlic and shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic and shallots have softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and Swiss chard and stir to coat with the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chard has wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Place a few scoops of coconut rice in a bowl and top with chicken and enjoy!


Grandma Knowles’s Famous Lasagna


If you follow this blog regularly you know that I am a sucker for pasta. I would like to attribute it to my Italian heritage – but mostly likely it is because carbs are delicious… especially when you cover them in yummy sauce. I thought I had found the ultimate lasagna recipe my “Red and White Lasagna” that was until I tried this recipe. This is a family recipe from my friend Ingrid – it was her great grandmothers. I could tell by the recipe Ingrid forwarded me that her grandmother did not need to follow printed directions to make this dish. The email basically read “a little bit of this, a little bit of that, layer it and bake” the measurements were not exactly precise! So I used my best judgement and I am happy to say… its really hard to F*CK up lasagna – so it came out great! This recipe definitely wins lasagna of the year… Thanks Ingrid and family for sharing!

Great Grandma Knowles Bomb.com Lasagna (Serves 8-12)


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground sausage (spicy or mild)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 12oz can tomato paste
  • 24oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 32oz small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • No boil lasagna noodles


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, add beef and sausage, season with oregano and garlic powder and cook until brown. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile combine cottage cheese, shredded Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Coat a 9×13″ lasagna pan with olive oil. Start with a layer of noodles, half the cottage cheese mix, half the sliced mozzarella slices and half the hamburger mixture. Repeat with the remaining noodles, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella and meat.
  5. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. ****Now the family secret is to bake the lasagna for 1 hour and then let it cool (either over night or for a few hours) When you are ready to serve re-heat the lasagna in a 325 degree oven until it is heated all the way through****

Giada’s Roman-Style Chicken

Giada is one of my favorite chefs, I own almost all of her cookbooks (along with Ina Garten!) I love to watch her shows and cook her recipes- they are always flavorful and delicious! Unlike Bon Appetit magazine, Giada’s recipes are usually pretty simple, which makes them perfect for week nights. This recipe is a classic, the chicken comes out tender and moist. I served it with creamy polenta and roasted veggies (making the whole meal gluten free and amazing!) It is perfect for 6 people or double the recipe if you have a crowd- either way it is a healthy crowd pleaser that everyone will love! Enjoy!

Giada’s Roman-Style Chicken (Serves 6)


  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
  • 2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve.