• Best Ever Focaccia Pizza

    How to make Best Ever Focaccia Pizza

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 45 minutes

    You can use the same amount of active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast. Simply allow the active dry yeast to proof for five minutes with the water before adding in.


    For the dough:

    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm (110-115°F) water
    1 teaspoon instant yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    2 1/2 cups (11.3 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    For the toppings:

    1 (15 ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    4 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
    Fresh basil
    Pizza toppings


    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and half the flour. Stir to combine. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and on low speed add in the remaining flour, salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, or until smooth and soft. If the dough is really sticky, add in another tablespoon or two of flour.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 1 hour. OR place the dough in a large plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature. Proceed with the recipe.

    Coat a 9 by 13-inch pan with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Put the dough onto the pan and begin pressing it out with your fingertips to fit the size of the pan. Coax and stretch the dough to fit the entire pan, or just about. Spread your fingers to make little holes all the way through the dough.

    Cover the dough with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

    In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush the focaccia with the olive oil on the pan. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the dough. Reserve the remaining sauce for another use (it freezes pretty well). Top with the cheese and other desired toppings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

    Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

  • How to Make Empanadas

    How to make Empanadas

    Yield: about 20 empanadas

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours


    For the dough:

    1 cup water
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons fine salt
    Pinch paprika
    2 3/4 cups (12.4 ounces) flour

    For the beef filling:

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
    1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 pound ground beef (85-90% lean)
    Kosher salt, to taste
    1 small russet potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled
    3 scallions, trimmed and chopped (optional)
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (optional)


    For the dough:

    Heat the water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add in the salt, paprika, and flour. Remove from heat and stir with a wooden spoon until a wet and oily dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    For the filling:

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, bell peppers, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and cumin until onions are soft. Add the beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until the beef is browned. Drain off the fat. Add in the potatoes and scallions, if using.

    Preheat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 5-inch circles. Roll each circle slightly to further flatten before placing about 2 tablespoons of filling on each circle. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, if using. Fold over the dough and press the edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Turkey Pot Pie Soup

    How to make Turkey Pot Pie Soup

    Yield: 6 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes


    1 tablespoon butter
    1 small yellow onion, diced
    2 celery stalks, diced
    1/4 cup all purpose flour
    2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 cups low sodium chicken broth
    1 cup half-and-half
    2 carrots, peeled and diced
    3 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


    Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and flour and cook for 1 minute. Add in the potatoes, sage, and pepper. Pour in 2 cups water, chicken broth, and the half-and-half. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the shredded turkey and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute.

    Add in the parsley and season with the salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary before serving.

  • Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

    How to make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

    Yield: about 6 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 5 hours 30 minutes

    The cook time will vary depending on the size of your turkey and your slow cooker.


    1 large onion, quartered
    1 (5 to 7 pound) bone-in whole turkey breast with skin
    3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
    2 bay leaves
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the gravy
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    1 tablespoon dried rosemary
    1 tablespoon dried sage
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    Place the onion, turkey breast (breast side down), broth, and bay leaves in a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, and sage.

    Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

    Carefully transfer the turkey to a carving board and loosely tent with foil while preparing the gravy.

    Strain the liquid in the slow cooker into a saucepan. Let it settle for five minutes then skim the fat from the surface. Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water and stir into the gravy. Simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring, until thickened completely. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

    Remove the skin and discard before carving the turkey into slices. Serve alongside warm gravy.

  • Pumpkin and Sausage Stuffed Shells

    How to make Pumpkin and Sausage Stuffed Shells

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 12 minutes


    20 jumbo pasta shells (about 6 ounces)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    2/3 cup pumpkin puree
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (or 3 cups homemade)


    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool completely.

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the skillet and brown, breaking up into small pieces, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and let cool completely.

    In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, pumpkin, egg, Parmesan, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cooked sausage.

    Spread two thirds of the marinara in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Fill each shell with the sausage-cheese mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Pour the remaining marinara over the shells. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until bubbling.

    Let cool for 5 minutes before garnishing with additional Parmesan cheese serving.

  • How to Make Fried Chicken

    How to make Fried Chicken

    Yield: 4 to 5 servings

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours


    For the marinade:

    12 chicken parts (I use drumsticks and thighs)
    1/4 cup table salt (NOT kosher salt)
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons paprika
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 garlic cloves, peeled
    2 bay leaves, crumbled
    1 quart buttermilk
    Tabasco sauce

    For coating and frying:

    4 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    3/4 teaspoon onion powder
    4 cups peanut oil for frying


    Place the chicken in a large non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper and toss to coat. Add in the garlic cloves, crumbled bay leaves, buttermilk, and a few splashes of Tabasco sauce (just enough to color the buttermilk). Stir, making sure the chicken is immersed, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 2 to 3 hours. If time permits, remove the chicken from the brine, shaking off any excess, and place it in a single layer on a large wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours to help make the crust more crisp, flaky, and shattery. The chicken can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 6 hours longer. Bring to room temperature before coating and frying.

    Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven (should be about 3 inches deep) to 350°F. While the oil heats, reheat the oven to 200°F. Place a second wire rack over a second rimmed baking sheet and place it inside the oven. Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels.

    In a bowl, mix together the flour, cayenne, and onion powder. Place a paper bag inside another paper bag and transfer the flour mixture into it. Shake each chicken piece, one at a time, in the paper bag until completely coated in flour. Return the chicken to the wire rack.

    Place half of the chicken pieces, skin side down, in the oil and cover. Fry until deep golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. The oil should drop down to 325°F, adjust the burner if necessary to maintain that temperature. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue to fry, uncovered, until deep golden brown on the other side, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to the paper towel-lined plate. Let stand for 2 minutes to drain then transfer to the rack in the warm oven.

    Return the oil to 375°F and place new paper towels on the plate and repeat the procedure with the remaining chicken.

  • Grilled Fish Lettuce Tacos with Mojito Marinade

    How to make Grilled Fish Lettuce Tacos with Mojito Marinade

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes



    1 pound firm, white fish filets such as cod, sea bass OR halibut
    1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint
    4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
    1 tablespoon Mazola Corn Oil
    1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cumin
    1/2 teaspoon sugar

    Lettuce Tacos

    16 large crisp lettuce leaves such as Bibb, butter OR leaf lettuce
    1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
    1 large jicama root, cut into matchstick strips
    Fresh lime wedges


    Preheat grill to medium heat or about 350°F.

    Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag or mixing bowl and set aside.

    Combine marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse 6 to 8 times or until well chopped. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade in a small bowl and set aside. Pour remaining marinade over fish, stir to coat and set aside to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Separate lettuce into 16 large leaves. Rinse and pat dry; cover and chill until ready to serve. Combine pepper strips, jicama and reserved marinade in a bowl and stir to coat.

    Spray grill with grill spray and preheat for direct grilling over medium heat. Remove fish from marinade and discard marinade. Grill fish for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until firm and cooked through. Transfer cooked fish onto a plate and break apart into 16 equal portions.

    To assemble tacos, arrange chilled lettuce “cups”, open side facing up on a serving platter. Spoon grilled fish into each lettuce cup, add pepper and jicama mixture and serve immediately with lime wedges.

  • 50+ Easy Meals
  • Peanut Noodles

    How to make Peanut Noodles

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 38 minutes


    12 ounces buckwheat soba noodles, or any other whole grain noodle
    1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1/2 cup natural peanut butter
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (Asian chili sauce)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    1 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
    8 ounces snap peas, strings removed
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
    1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    2 green onions, sliced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    Lime wedges, for serving


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions, about 5 to 6 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

    Meanwhile, in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, honey, chili sauce, and salt.

    Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the peppers, peas, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the ginger, green onion, and garlic. Cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.

    Add the peanut butter mixture to the sauté pan with the vegetables and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 4 minutes. Toss with the noodles and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold alongside lime wedges.