Sweet & Spicy Chicken Thighs

Even though Tahoe cooking is in full swing, my family is still expecting dinner Image result for emoji The nerve! It truly, though, gives me more time in my happy place, the kitchen. My neck of the woods has been hotter than I like lately, so I’ve been trying to avoid using the oven and further heat the house. Especially upstairs, where we’ll be retiring in a few hours. And on some days, there is only so much our A/C can handle. But, since I’m already cooking for Tahoe, what is one more dish?? And what could be better in the summer than a dish that calls for BBQ sauce?? Finally, if I wasn’t already heating the house, I would have easily ‘qued these up on the grill.

My kids at 9 & 11 are still not 100% on board with spicy food, so I was worried about having just the sriracha sauce this recipe called for. To mellow it, but allow it to still have some kick, I added honey. What are some things you would change or do different?  ¡Salud!


2 Tbs olive oil
6 chicken thighs
¾ cup Kinders California Gold BBQ Sauce
1 Tbs Huy Fong Sriracha sauce
1 Tbs honey
Salt and pepper

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs #1


Preheat oven to 400°. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, stir together BBQ sauce, sriracha, and honey. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large, oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown for 3-4 minutes per side. Coat both sides of chicken with BBQ sauce mixture. Bake chicken until cooked through and sauce has browned, about 20-30 minutes.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 40 minutes

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs #2

*Derived from FoodySchmoodyBlog.com

Glazed Salmon

It’s been so long since my last post, and it’s not as if I stopped cooking. No, I’ve still been plugging away, cooking the majority of our dinners. And, I’ve been trying some wonderful recipes! My heart, however, just hasn’t been into blogging. Sometimes updating my blog, after everyone is quietly snuffling in their beds, can be difficult. Sometimes I just want to read. Sometimes I want to get lost in Pinterest. Sometimes I want to check in with my FB friends. Or play Hay Day. Sometimes that is the hard part of being a full-time wife and mom, as well as working outside the home full time. But, as winter sheds it’s coat (yes, we have a Cali version of winter) and spring dawns anew, we can all feel somewhat reborn. Throw aside what has been holding you down, sit outside and soak up the sun. Take a walk and marvel at what beauty springtime brings. Ride a bike and feel the warm breeze  on your face. Ahhh, to start anew. It’s a wonderful thing!

What better way to pay homage to spring than wild caught salmon? Don’t get me wrong, I can eat salmon year-round. But there is something about salmon that speaks to warmer weather.


1 tsp packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 – 2 lbs skin-on salmon filet
Pepper to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 recipe glaze (below)


3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a 12″ oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place salmon, flesh side down, in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on skin side for 1 minute.

Remove skillet from heat and evenly spoon glaze over salmon. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until fillets register 125° (for medium-rare) and are still translucent when cut into, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

*Derived from America’s Test Kitchen


Glazed Salmon

Sticky Honey-Soy Chicken

I make a lot of chicken in this house. It’s better for our bodies and the only beef The Hubs likes is steak. Pork I’m still working on (it’s usually too dry and over cooked). I can and will start incluing more fish. overall, though, that leaves us with chicken. Chicken several times a week can get sooo boring. How do you mix it up, making it interesting? By constantly being on the lookout for something different, even if it’s a little tweek here or there. While this chicken is similar to many other chicken recipes, especially using soy, this one has a secret ingredient. It’s hidden right there in the name, honey. In this instance, I used the honey at the end, to add a sort of glaze. This locked in the flavors and added a very nice, sweet finish. Served over rice, a pretty perfect meal.


2 Lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger (I use Gourmet Garden’s Ginger Paste)
2 cloves minced garlic (Pre-minced can save a few minutes in prep time)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup honey


Mix together soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add chicken to a gallon zip-lock bag, pour in sauce. Allow to marinade from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper. In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, melt butter in olive oil. Grill chicken on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes each side. The last 2-3 minutes each side, brush with honey butter mixture.

Serve with sticky rice topped with teriyaki sauce (recipe to follow).

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Grüner Veltliner

Serves 4

Total time: 40 minutes

  *Derived  from Tyler Florence at Cooking.com

Easy Sweet & Savory Korean BBQ Grilled Beef Short Ribs

My husband and daughter love sushi. Toyo Sushi is our local haunt where D always orders the salmon nigiri and The Hubs gets the Grace roll. They know us so well that, when I’m ordering and I leave something out, they ask me about it. My son and I, however, aren’t wild about sushi. For me it’s a texture thing. For my son, it’s probably that his sister enjoys it so much. I have found one dish, though, that Berto loves; the grilled beef short ribs. He enjoys them so much that on a recent trip to the market, where the butcher had them on display, I bought several pounds. I almost skipped all the way home with excitement! They were perfect! The only thing left was to find the right recipe. Thanks to Food.com, I did just that and the ribs were a huge hit at our Labor Day BBQ. Oh, and if I forgot to mention how ridiculously easy they are to make, let me say it now. Crazy easy! These were so tasty, so good, our friends were convinced we had ordered in, until I showed them the evidence of my cooking.


3 Lbs beef short ribs (Flanken style or Korean style)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup soy sauce (I always opt or low sodium)
2 Tbs sesame oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced (I used 1 cup diced white onion that I had from a previous meal)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (while nothing beats fresh garlic, Spice Island makes an amazing substitute of a jarred minced garlic)


In a gallon ziplock bag (or whatever you like to marinate in) combine the sugar, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, onion, and garlic. Dissolve the sugar as much as possible, though it will likely not completly dissolve.

Completely submerge the ribs and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Keep in mind, the longer you marinate the better the flavor of the meat.

On medium heat, grill the ribs 5-7 minutes on each side.  Open your mind to all serving options, over rice, on skewers, with traditional BBQ sides. The options are endless!

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Cabernet Franc

Serves 10 small portions

Total time: about 40 minutes

*From Food.com

Lemon-Butter Chicken with Asparagus

Before I started grilling I kind of thought it was really simple.  I mean, why else would that be most men’s sole form of cooking?  I’m learning, however, how wrong I was.  I’ll give you that burgers and dogs are simple, once you get used to the grill.  And that’s the key, getting used to your grill.  Like oven and stove tops, they are all pretty unique in how they heat.  Some can take forever, such as the case with my crappy stove top, while others heat like a stove top is supposed.  I’m finding this pretty much sums it up with grills, too.  Also, finding that perfect spot to grill where the outside doesn’t get charred while leaving the inside raw.  And timing, when to turn it, when to move it, etc.  I’ve found a whole new appreciation for those that grill, and grill well.  But don’t tell them or I’ll deny it.  🙂


Kosher salt
4 chicken pieces, with bone & skin, about 10-12 oz each piece
1½ lb asparagus
Olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges (for garnish – optional)

Lemon Butter:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (as a time saver sub Litehouse freeze-dried parsley)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (which is super simple since you just zested one)
2 garlic cloves, minced


In a small bowl mash the lemon butter ingredients, including ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper, until thoroughly blended.  (This can be a bit challenging as the lemon juice and butter do no naturally combine well)

Carefully lift the skin of each piece of chicken, being careful to not puncture the skin.  Spread 1 tablespoon of lemon butter around under the skin.  Lay skin back in place.

Transfer remaining lemon butter to small saucepan and melt over medium heat.  Set aside

Prepare grill for direct and indirect heat over medium (350° to 450°F).

Remove and discard the tough bottom of each asparagus.  This is done easiest by taking one and bending it gently at the bottom until it snaps at its natural point, then line the rest up and cut them at about the same location.  Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Brush chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill chicken, skin side up over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until nicely marked on the bottom, about 5 minutes.  Without turning the chicken, move it over to indirect medium heat, close the lid and continue cooking until the meat is opaque all the way to the bone, about 30 minutes.  About 5 minutes before the chicken is done, brush the tops with some of the melted lemon butter and then turn chicken over to skin side down.  Slide over to direct medium heat, close the lid, and continue cooking until the skin is brown, basting once more with the lemon butter.  Remove from the grill, cover, and let rest 3 – 5 minutes.

Grill asparagus over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until crisp tender, 6 – 8 minutes.  Turn occasionally.  Arrange asparagus on serving platter and drizzle with remaining butter.  Serve chicken warm with asparagus and garnish with lemon wedges.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes / Grilling time:  43 minutes

Lemon-Butter Chicken with Asparagus

*Derived from Jamie Purviance


Grilled Tri Tip Steak

There is something about grilled steak that just screams summer.  That summer reminder seems so important right now as the kids head back to school and summer hours at my office come to an all too quick close. Grilled steak, done right screams, “You can’t take summer from me!  I will Not go gentle into that good night!”  But, as the mornings dawn a tad chillier and the evenings beg for a sweater, I realize Mother Nature could not be held back and I celebrate one of the last grilled steaks of the season.


3 lb beef tri tip steak
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper


Combine ingredients, except tri-tip steaks. Mix well and pour into a resealable bag.  Add tri-tip, close and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat grill. Remove tri-tip steaks from marinade and discard marinade. Place steaks on hot grill. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally to get an even sear. Remove steaks when the reach your desired doneness. Rest steaks for 5 minutes and serve.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon

Serves: 6
Active time: 20 minutes; Inactive time: 2 hours

Grilled Tri Tip

*Derived from AboutFood.com

Maple Salmon

We know I like salmon, that is an undisputed fact. But did we know I like maple, because apparently I do. It seems like I make a lot of salmon and maple recipes. I can’t help it, I love the savory with the sweet. If done right, the salmon almost looks pickled by the syrup, in that you can see that the fish has completely accepted the syrup, invited it into its flesh. THIS is when I know I’ve got a great dish emerging before my eyes. This one, I’ll be honest, I questioned. I made it completely off the cuff. I overslept by, oh, I don’t know, maybe an hour this morning ( 1 FULL HOUR! Hello office, I think I’m going to be late . . .). So, in the mad dash to get the four of us out the door I grabbed what I thought I could work with when I got home from work. Of course I had salmon. 🙂 I didn’t even have to stand, tapping my foot, in front of the pantry wondering, “What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” I spied the brown sugar. I spied the maple syrup. A dish was coming together.


3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets


Combine sea salt, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Spread evenly over salmon fillets.  Let stand 30 minutes.  About 5 – 10 minutes before salmon is done, preheat broiler to high.

Spray broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Add salmon, skin side down.  Broil 12-15 minutes, check for doneness after about 10.  Serve with salad, rice or mashed potatoes, and some warm, buttery bread.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Pinot Gris

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 25 minutes


*Original Serves 4 Recipe

Grilled Salmon

So I seriously might have just found a new “Go To Salmon” recipe. And I almost feel a little guilty (I’m very loyal to my favorites). Almost. But this was so good, there is no way I could feel guilty.  I mean, who could blame me?  I think my usual salmon recipe would understand.  This is THAT good.   I marinated the salmon for about 8 hours. And grilled it for about 6 minutes. The salmon was almost caramelized at that point. So very lovely.  This just in!  The Hubs said it reheats great for lunch!


1 1/2 lbs salmon filet
1/3 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil


In a ziplock bag, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil. Squeeze bag until sugar is dissolved. Place salmon in bag making sure it is completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill to medium high. Lightly oil grill so fish does not stick. Place salmon on grill, be sure to discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6-8 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time (with minimum marinating time): 2 hours, 31 minutes


*Derived from AllRecipes.com

Grill for Less

We are now in the thick of grilling season!  Who doesn’t love their food hot from the grill?  The smell of grilling conjures up some really great memories of summers past.  Whether it be hot dogs (grilled is the only way I’ll eat a hot dog), chicken, beef, or anything in between, grilling is  the quintessential summer activity.  The kitchen, and therefore, the house doesn’t heat up from the oven or stove.  There is usually not a big mess of dishes that go along with grilling.  And for some reason, clean-up overall just seems to go quicker.  I don’t know, I could also be a little crazy!

If you’re like me, though, you don’t want to spend a fortune on one meal.  But you still want to enjoy the same quality of pricier meats.  Well, have I got some substitutions of beef for you!

If you can’t live without melt in your mouth filet mignon, but your wallet reminds you that you just might have to, you are going to want to try Flatiron Steak.  This steak is a boneless cut from the shoulder and is almost as silky-textured as the other cuts, and tastes just as rich.  The difference is it’s more forgiving because it has lots of marbling.  Even when grilled well-done, the flatiron tastes tender.  And the bonus?  This cut will save you a whopping 55% over filet mignon!  Look, it’s not has if I’m suggesting buy a pair of knock-off heals or a reproduction handbag.  I do have my priorities, after all!  Besides you can put the savings towards those to-die for pumps or that must have handbag.  And don’t worry, your secret will be safe with me

If a nice, thick rib-eye is your thing, check out chuck-eye instead.  Both of these cuts are from the same muscles, so they have an equally hearty flavor.  Chuck eye, however, costs about 50% less because there is a bit more connective tissue that may need a quick trim.  I’m more than willing to perform a quick trim to save myself 50% .  I’m thinking with that savings, you just might be able to treat yourself to a mani/pedi (ok, after several of those savings, but who’s counting?)

Or how about the mac daddy of all summer barbecues, baby back ribs.  You could try the St. Louis-Style Ribs instead and save yourself 20%.  It all comes down to supply and demand folks.  See, those small, tender pork baby back ribs are very popular, so grocers jack up the prices.  Full spareribs (the lower part of the ribs that has the brisket attached) are cheaper but trickier to cook.  St. Louis ribs, however, come minus the brisket, so they cook more evenly.  To me, 20% equals a Starbucks run!  And we all know how important it is to stay caffeinated!

So, get out their and grill, people, and save yourself some money at the same time!


*Derived from RachelRaymag.com

Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

I will never tire of salmon. It such a wonderful fish with a beautiful color and rich flavor. With salmon, you can add a lot or a little and it tastes great! Oh, and an added bonus, it’s fairly quick and easy to prepare.


3 Tbs light brown sugar
1 Tbs honey (I like to use orange blossom, it adds a really wonderful flavor)
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs finely grated ginger (Natures Blend ginger paste is easier and quicker than fresh ginger)
Vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 salmon fillets, 6 oz each


In a small pot, melt brown sugar, honey, and butter over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and ginger. Let cool.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush salmon with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon, skin side down, on grill. Coat the salmon fillet with the brown sugar mixture. Grill for 6-8 minutes to medium doneness, turning once after 5-6 minutes.

Serves 8


*Courtesy of Bobby Flay