Make me Something Pretty, Mom: Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Ganache

Beware! I made this sweet Valentine’s treat for my daughter one Saturday morning and she even ate the leftovers for the rest of the week. You know what my daughter never eats? Leftovers. OF ANYTHING. And now she asks me for it all the time. And, I’m like, ‘Um, no. That dish took me hours to create. Eat your cereal.’

Parents, you’ve been warned.

Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Ganache


For the pancakes:
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup *regular* cocoa powder
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
3/4 cups whole milk

For the ganache:
1/2 cup whole milk
5 oz semi-sweet, finely chopped chocolate
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To plate:
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
Powdered Sugar


For the pancakes:

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flower, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. (What is sifting?)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, and the milk.
  • Once you have both the dry and wet ingredients prepped, mix the liquid ingredients in and stir the batter until it is moistened and lumpy.
  • *If you want to make a shape, you will need a cookie cutter in that shape. Since I made this for Valentine’s Day I went with a large heart-shaped cookie cutter.
  • Heat your non-stick or Cast Iron Skillet to medium heat.
  • Grease the pan with a liberal amount of butter.
  • *Place your cookie cutter onto the skillet and pour the batter in. The batter is very thick and will form a dense cake. You will need to go medium heat and babysit it as this much thicker cake batter will take about 4-5 minutes to cook. Poke it occasionally to test if the batter is cooked through. When you are getting fairly clean pokes with the fork, gently slide the spatula underneath and flip the whole thing over, cookie cutter included, to keep the shape. Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. You don’t want to burn it. The end result should poke clean, but be a decadent, gooey end result when you actually dig in.
  • When finished, transfer to a plate to let it cool.

For the granache:

  • In a small sauce pan, heat the 1/2 cup of milk, the 5 ounces of Finely chopped, semi-sweet chocolate, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Whisk over lower heat until the sauce is smooth.

For the plating:

  • Place the pancake on the plate and pour the chocolate sauce over the cake. If you want to get creative, you can drizzle the sauce on the plate as well.
  • Arrange the raspberries on the plate next to the pancake.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over the whole dish and serve.

Nom your besotted, fussy-patns on!

~Love, Crunchy

Santa’s Table: A Very Merry Nogmas

We’ve all been there. The kid is looking at us with wide, glowing eyes and asking us if Santa exists and will he grant them their precious wishes. I’m still trying to encourage my cynical child to believe he does exist, so I have to bring my A-game. Well, if I had to stuff myself down a chimney (which I don’t have) and leave over priced toys for a kid I don’t even know … would I want to be sober for it? Certainly not.

Enter The Nog. I’m not talking about the nasty stuff they sell in cartons at the grocery store that should not even be allowed to be labeled Egg Nog. There really out to be a law, that stuff is such a travesty. I am talking about the real deal. I prefer to make the Puerto Rican varietal that uses Spiced Rum called Coquito. And since I was going with the very merry nogmas theme for that jolly old fatty, I went with Egg Nog Snickerdoodles as well.

Santa’s Merry Nogmas Table

Let’s start with The Nog

A word of warning about The Nog. This is NOT a cheap dish to make. I never spend less than 100 bucks, but it is so. worth. it. Instead of polluting the ingredient list with a bunch of *Don’t be cheap alerts, I am just going to apply it to the whole list. Go organic on the dairy products, get free range eggs, get the top shelf booze, and get the highest quality French vanilla ice cream. They all affect the flavor. Egg Nog is a magical experience and you’ll only have it once a year.


  • 24 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Quart Heavy Cream
  • 2 Quarts Whole Milk
  • 1 Liter of Brandy (British), Bourbon (American), or Spiced Rum (Puerto Rican.)
  • 1 Quart French Vanilla Ice Cream, softened.
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Ground Nutmeg (for garnish.)


  • In one 5 quart mixing bowl and 1 1.5 quart mixing bowl seperate the eggs. I have tried many methods and the fastest way to do it is to crack each egg and use the shells to dash back and forth until the whites separate from the yolk. The yolk goes into the 5 quart bowl and the whites go into the 1.5 quart bowl.
    If you want to see how this method works, you can check out this video:
  • Once you have finished separating the yolks and the whites, add the sugar to the yolks. You will need to beat the yolks briskly with a wire whisk for 3 minutes. They should be thick and lemon-colored.
  • Next, you will fold in the dairy. Add the milk and cream. Keep whisking.
  • Now, this ingredient is really important. It’s what will have you muttering to yourself like Cap’n Jack Sparrow … “but, why is the rum gone?” Pour in the rum!!
  • And after that it’s time to fold in the french vanilla ice cream.
  • By now your arms should be pretty tired and you’ll be wondering why you read my blog or why you bothered engaging on this particular project. But don’t worry, you’re almost done.
  • It’s time to add a pinch of salt to the egg whites, bust out the hand mixer and whip them until they form soft peaks. This should take about 5 minutes. I have tried to do this by hand so many times. Don’t bother. I have only gotten the soft peaks with a hand mixer. I find it best just to accept one’s inadequacies and let the robot take over the world. If you don’t know what soft peaks are, here’s a video:
  • Now that you have your soft peaks, it is time to fold them in to the 5 quart bowl with the rest of the mixture. Folding is yet another technique that may be new to you. So check out this video:
  • After you have finished all that, cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • The customary garnish is ground nutmeg. Just give each cup a sprinkle, and, well, Bob’s your uncle.

And now, the Egg Nog Snickerdoodles

I created a hybrid recipe that was essentially a cheat, but, after laboring over the Nog itself and my requisite peanut butter cookies (I mean, how would you even know it was the holidays if you didn’t have peanut butter cookies?) I ended up going with a route that made heavy use of convenience ingredients. The result was still quite yummy, so the peanut gallery told me.


  • 1 Pouch (17.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
  • Butter and eggs called for on cookie mix pouch
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract (but, why is the rum gone!)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup store bought egg nog


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Microwave the butter in a small bowl for about 30-45 seconds to soften.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar cookie mix, the egg nog, 1/2 of the nutmeg, the rum extract, and the softened butter. Stir until a soft dough forms.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate small bowl to make your mixture to roll the cookies in.
  • Once the dough is done, roll the cookies into 1 1/4 inch balls and roll each cookie in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • place on a greased cookie sheet. You will have to do them in batches, but keep the cookies about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake each batch for 7-9 minutes, until the edges are set.
  • Immediately transfer the cookies on to a counter or a cooling rack and let the cookies cool for 20 minutes. This is an important part of the baking process.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

So there you have it, Santa Clause’s Very Merry Nogmas table of goodies and salvation from sobriety on his longest and hardest night of the year.



Chicken Pot Pie Muffins: The picky 7-year old liked it

Cast your mind, it’s late-ish. You have left over rotisserie chicken, a can of cream of chicken soup, a 6 serving muffin tin that fits in your tragically small toaster oven, and a picky kid to feed. Now you might be thinking, oh, she decided to dump all that in some sort of muffin situation to feed the kid. But what I was really thinking was … I see a new series for my blog! Everything muffins!!! Oh, but yeah, I did make some sort of chicken pot pie muffin situation and, wait, for it, the kid liked it!!! I repeat. The. kid. liked. it.

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins


  • 1 Cup diced rotisserie chicken *(Budget-Conscious Foodie Alert – this is a great recipe for using up left over rotisserie chicken!)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 can of Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (Picky Eater Alert: I made this from several different crusts and the kid liked the Grand Biscuits version the best.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prep muffin tin with either a coat of EVOO or non-stick spray.
  • Combine chicken, half of the bag of frozen peas and carrots, salt and pepper, and cream of chicken soup.
  • Press one biscuit into each muffin cup and spread it out so that it covers the surface.
  • Once the crust is prepared, spoon the mixture into each crust base and fill to about 3/4 quarters of the way.


  • You can sprinkle a little cheddar or parmesan cheese on the top of the muffins if you wish.
  • You can also sprinkle a little freshly minced parsley as well!

Pop the tin into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. I recommend coating the crust with a little butter to give it a nice brown on the crust.

Cool for about 5 minutes on a rack and well, nom on!


Juicy Baked Pork Chops: Perfectly Spiced and Everything Nice

You know how it is. You see that package of pork chops on sale and you’re like, ‘Oh, Damn! That’s a good deal! I can feed the 5th battalion with that! Word.’ And so you buy it and stick in the fridge and some days go by. You open the refridgerator door several times a day and those pork chops stare at you. And then, they start editorializing. “You know we are going to go bad soon, right?’ ‘SLAM!’ The next day … ‘You know you didn’t save any money if you just end up throwing us away, right?’ ‘Huff! SLAM’

And then it gets really sad, because the editorializing pork chops turns into a conversation. “We’re still here, you haven’t cooked us. You had grand plans to feed the fifth battalion. Basting and spice options were pondered and considered. And yet, here we are. Still sitting here about to turn gray. It’s fine. We already knew you were a failure as a human being.” You can’t take the pressure any more so you yell back, you know, at the pork. “Gosh darn-it, the 5th battalion isn’t coming. I don’t even have a phone number! It’s just that thing you tell yourself when meat goes on sale!’

Well, fear not, well-meaning, if not over-committing, fellow travelers. I, too, found myself in this situation. And yeah, I yelled at my slowly graying pork. But I snatched them back from the oblivion and knocked it out of the park. Here’s how.


  • 6 boneless pork chops
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Ground Cinnamon


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a 9X13 inch glass baking dish with EVOO.
Place pork chops in the baking dish. The pork needs to fit snuggly together to tenderize and conserve juices. If you put them in the dish and they look like a bunch of married people after the sex went out of the relationship, knock it down a size.

Now, for the fun:

For my recipe I used EVOO liberally, salt, pepper, cayenne, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon. I measured nothing. It was all on a wing and a prayer and, lord have mercy did it turn out amazing.

Now that you have had fun bedazzling both sides of your pork chop and you have made sure they are all snuggly tucked together, your oven should be ready!

Pop them in on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes, uncovered. You want to reach an internal temperature of 145. Let the pork rest for about 5 minutes.

That’s it. Seriously. 10 minutes of prep, 20 minutes of cooking while you pound pinot grigio and spoil your appetite, and dinner is ready.

Whoa, wait a minute, what about sides?

Oh, honey, the sky is the limit. You can pair pork with anything. My rub is spicy, with a hint of ‘what the hell?’ because of the cinnamon. It paired well with stuffing. If you want a really low carb meal it would be lovely with some french green beans sautéed in butter and salt and pepper. Want to get a little fancy, lay it on a bed of asparagus.

Honestly, this pork turned out so well – juicy, complex and delicate at the same time – your side doesn’t matter. Stick with your own dietary goals and restrictions. Otherwise, the protein stands alone. It’s the star of the dish, as it should be.

~Nom On, my over-commiting friends.

A Whole Chicken and Hard Choices: A Soliloquy on the value of social networks.

You’ve seen ’em sitting there, wrapped in that ubiquitous yellow and blue bag, in the meat section: A Whole Chicken. Is that a thing? I mean, I can buy the individual pieces parts and toss them in the skillet and be done with it, or whatever. You’re curious so you look at the price tag. Wait. Why is a pair of chicken breast cutlets twice the price of a whole chicken? I confused. Still, it’s intimidatingly large and you only ponder a whole bird for thanksgiving so….let’s move on…

As it turns out, cooking a whole chicken is something a one handed chimp can do. It’s not just a way to economize, if you don’t need to, but it’s a way to make something delicious in it’s simplicity and be a basis for making other really delicious food that is unparalleled in quality and flavor, because all the best flavor come from freshness. Allow me to free you from the overpriced precut meat, readers, unless you have a real need for fillets.

Boiling a whole chicken does take a fair amount of time, so first, let’s get that bad boy on the stove, and then I will tell you a story.

Get yourself a big pot. You know the one I am talking about. It comes with all basic cookware sets and most people just shove it in the back of the cupboard and store their lids in it. Yeah, go get that thing out. Next, take the whole chicken out of the bag and pull the neck out of the cavity. That’s the one nasty part. You’ll want to give the chicken a good rinsing off to clear out the collected juices. Rinse the cavity out, too. Put the chicken in the pot and then add enough water to completely cover the chicken.

Now, for the next bit, this is personal preference because you will be making stock as well. If you like the stock very plain or want to use it in a recipe that will be adding spices and such to a sauce, I recommend you just quarter a big, yellow onion and pop it in there along with a tablespoon of peppercorn. If you want a little more flavor you can add chopped celery, carrots, a sprig of Thyme. That’s a nice route if you want to use the stock for chicken soup. If you want to add garlic, just take a head, cut it in half, and place the half in the pot that is held together by the stem.

Ok, now you need to turn the flame on high and bring your water to a boil. Once you have it rolling, reduce the heat down low enough to maintain a gentle boil. Make sure you set the lid ajar so the steam can escape.


Now for the story. When I was 18 I followed my boyfriend at the time to Minnesota. I have not had a very close relationship with my family, so the decision didn’t seem like a big deal. I do have wanderlust, so it felt like an adventure. The reality was something else entirely and it made me understand something I had to move 2000 miles away to appreciate: Social Network. We babble about this as a website or a way to ‘stay in touch.’ Friends, that is not what a social network is. A social network is having people close to you, who GIVE ENOUGH OF A SHIT ABOUT YOU to pick up the phone and drop what they are doing to come help you when you need them.

I locked my keys in my car one day, when I was working in Edan Prarie and it was over an hour away from Brooklyn Park, where I resided. I tried calling the boyfriend but he didn’t answer. I tried calling the ONE friend I had, Chris Marteness, but his mom didn’t know who I was and refused to help me get ahold of him at work and hung up on me. I tried to ask the one co-worker left in the office for help, but she thought I was a snooty Californian and found it funny that I was verily stranded. I managed to get the back window of the shell top open and climbed inside the back of the truck. It was raining out and I just sat there, shivering. I was hungry, and tired, and just, alone. Not alone in my head, like I often think I am, but truly realizing what that means.

After a spell, I crawled out of the truck bed and went back into the office. The last thing I could think of was, maybe the police? I finally got lucky. An officer came out and used a slim Jim to open my door. That’s not something a cop will do for you in Cali, that’s for sure. I was so grateful and relieved. When I got home I asked douche bag, uh, I mean the boyfriend, why he didn’t answer the phone when I called a million times? Turns out he just shut off the ringer because the noise was disturbing his slumber. No, hadn’t bothered to listen to my frantic messages on the answering machine either. Anyway, I was home now, so what’s the big deal? He was going back to sleep.

It’s a simple example, but I know that today I have about 20 people I could call on for help, any kind of help, and they would be there for me. My heart felt thanks to the warmth, and laughter, and shared misery of modern life to you all and it is my pleasure and honor to be there for you if you ever need me. As I watch my daughter grow and thrive in the sunlight of your affection, I can honestly say, I get it now. But also I am going to shop for a pocket slim Jim, just in case.

So, its been about 90 minutes. Let’s check on the chicken. Mmmm….that’s perfect. Falling off the bone.


All you need to do now is remove the chicken from the pot and prep it. You can serve it whole on a plater and go at it cave man style, shred it for salads and soups, or slice it for sandwiches. The stock, depending on how you prepped it, can either be used as a base for chicken noodle soup, to boil veggies and noodles to serve with the chicken, or as a base for a sauce like Mole.

So there you have it. Chicken and a story. Not as good as dinner and a show, but not a kick in the nuts either.

~Nom On

Tomato Bisque

Tomato Bisque and I go way back. My mother served it often with it’s very best friend, grilled cheese sam’iches, and it was the only decent meal we were served when I taught up in the mountains at Outdoor Science School. I’d always just eaten the canned stuff, until one day I decided to give it a shot and make it from scratch. I remember my girl was about 18 months old and hated everything I made her. But when I let her try a spoonful of this delicious, silky soup her face broke into a huge grin and she said “MMMmmmmmmMMM!” Be still my beating heart.

Tomato Soup

Tomato Bisque

Ingredients (Yields 8 cups)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups water and 1 and 1/2 large chicken bouillon cube OR 3 cups chicken broth
  • 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes and juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


in a 5 or 6 quart dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir occasionally and ensure it doesn’t get brown. Reduce the flame to low when its done.

Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.

Add the remaining ingredients and return the flame to medium-high. Stir the mixture to ensure the flour isn’t sticking to the pan.

Once you bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. I like to check on it every 10 minutes and stir it a little.

Once the time’s up, let the soup cool down a little. Pull out the sprig and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until its silky and creamy. You will have small bits of onion no matter how much your puree it, but I think it makes for a nice texture.

Note: If you don’t own an immersion blender I strongly recommend you invest in one. It makes so many pain-in-the-ass tasks easier. But in the meantime, you can transfer the mixture into your blender and puree in batches. Return the soup to the pot for serving. 

You can garnish with a little freshly ground pepper, a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of dill, finely diced chives, or a grating of parmesan cheese.

~Nom On

Chicken Mole, Demystified

Until a year ago mole was this dish I’d heard mentioned a few times, always with a certain amount of reverence from my Mexican friends and family. Considering my Latin Cuisine savvy didn’t get much further than some form of meat, beans, and salsa intersecting with tortillas, fried into some clever shape to get goods in my mouth, I wasn’t sure what the big deal was. When my daughter turned one my husband informs me with awe that the little princesa will have mole made from scratch for her party. I am a spicy food addict so when I tried it, I remember mostly being confused. I wasn’t sure what I was tasting exactly, it wasn’t sweet, it wasn’t savory, it wasn’t spicy. It was just … mole. Weird.

I forgot all about it until a few weeks ago when my salsa lady at the farmers market asks if I want to sample her mole. There’s that word again. Sure, I say, and imagine my surprise when she hands me a jar of … what I can only describe as goop. She proceeds to explain how to use it to make a sauce and off I go, more than a little freaked out. And now, after much research and experimentation I bring to you the simple, cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater way to make both dark and green mole.

Green Chicken Mole

Green Chicken Mole

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 8 oz – 12 oz shredded, poached chicken breast
  • 2 – 3 heaping tbsp of green mole paste, depending on how thick you want the sauce
  • 1 pd tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 cups chicken-tomatillo broth (you’ll have this after the first two steps)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Start by poaching your 8 oz of chicken breast for 20 minutes. This can be one huge one or two smaller ones. I am assuming you are using frozen chicken, but you can start with fresh as well. Here is the full process.
  • Remove the breasts from the broth and set aside. Add your husked tomatillos into the broth and boil for 20 minutes, until soft. Shred your chicken with a fork while the tomatillos are boiling.
  • Remove the tomatillos and add to a blender. Take about 2 cups of the broth which is now infused with chicken and tomatillos and add to blender. Add two heaping tablespoons of the green mole paste to the blender as well. Blend ingredients until you have a smooth sauce.
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the shredded chicken and the mole sauce. Simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Everything is technically cooked but you want to boil the sauce down to a thick gravy and that is a slow process.
  • While the sauce is thickening and simmering, slice a red onion into thin rings. Cut the rings in half once. Put them in a bowl and squeeze one whole lemon and stir to coat. They can sit and marinate while you are heating tortillas.

When everything is ready, serve the mole with a side of Spanish rice, tortillas, the red onions, maybe cilantro, and marinated jalapeño pepper chips.

Dark Chicken Mole 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 8 oz – 12 oz shredded, poached chicken breast
  • 2 – 3 heaping tbsp of dark mole paste, depending on how thick you want the sauce
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (recommended) or organic, low sugar peanut butter
  • 2  cups chicken broth reserved from poaching chicken
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 disks Mexican chocolate (optional)


  • Start by poaching your 8 oz of chicken breast for 20 minutes. This can be one huge one or two smaller ones. I am assuming you are using frozen chicken, but you can start with fresh as well. Here is the full process.
  • Remove the breasts from the broth and shred your chicken with a fork. Set aside.
  • Take about 2 cups of the broth from poaching the chicken and add to blender. Add the dark mole paste, almond butter, cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper to the blender as well. Break up the chocolate and add into the blender, if using. Blend ingredients until you have a smooth sauce.
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the shredded chicken and the mole sauce. Simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Everything is technically cooked but you want to boil the sauce down to a thick gravy and that is a slow process.
  • While the sauce is thickening and simmering, slice a red onion into thin rings. Cut the rings in half once. Put them in a bowl and squeeze one whole lemon and stir to coat. They can sit and marinate while you are heating tortillas.

Just like with green mole, when everything is ready, serve the mole with a side of Spanish rice, tortillas, the red onions, maybe cilantro, and marinated jalapeño pepper chips. The left over mole chicken is excellent in tacos and burritos.

If you want to get a little creative, you can actually use the green or dark mole sauce to make enchiladas. Just make your casserole as usual but your mole sauce is substituted for ranchera sauce. For dark mole, I would use a smokier cheese like gouda and for the green mole I would use pepper jack.

So there you have it folks, mole demystified. The process of making the mole paste from scratch is insane and, from what I am told, is something that even the most accomplished Mexican home cooks don’t bother with more than a few times in their life. Know I know why it was a great honor that my mother-in-law made mole from scratch for her reina pequena.

~Nom On

BBQ Chicken Street Tacos

Ok, so I have posted a previous recipe for the mighty street taco with instructions on how to pack it up for work and save yourself from the daily sandwich miasma. Now that you have mastered that, why not go fusion by making your tacos with shredded chicken smothered in sweet heat BBQ sauce? I’m pretty sure I just made your tummy rumble.

BBQ Chicken Street Tacos

BBQ Chicken Street Tacos



  • In a small sauce pan, mix the shredded chicken and BBQ sauce together until the chicken is fully coated.
  • Heat the mixture over a very low flame, stirring often.
  • In the meantime, heat up a non stick or cast iron skillet and add the olive oil.
  • Heat up the tortillas until they are warm, soft, and have just a hint of crisp to the surface.

If you are taking this to work for lunch, transfer your tortillas to a plastic bag and seal. Transfer the warmed mixture to tupperware and put the chopped onion in cilantro into a small separate container as well. Whether you warm the mixture up again or not is your choice. If you want to reheat your tortillas just toss the bag in the microwave and heat for about 10 – 30 seconds. Don’t over do it or they will be rubbery.

When you are ready to eat, just assemble the tacos by layering two tortillas, spooning about 2 tbsp of the mixture and sprinkle onion and cilantro down the center.

~Nom on with yo fussy, fusion tacos!

Poached Chicken

Although I do love making me some crazy stuff, I also like to share the basic techniques that help us launch yummy dishes or just get something healthy and simple on the table so we can get back to that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy marathon on Bravo. Enter the poached chicken. It goes in any recipe you want cooked chicken for or you can steam some veggies, season with a little lemon, salt, and pepper and check ‘behaving yourself’ off your list. It’s a must have technique.

Poached Shredded Chicken

Poached Chicken


  • 1 6-8 oz frozen chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2-8 cups water
  • 1 large chicken boullion cube
  • Aromatics such as fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, sage, or dill can be added if desired.

Note: Aromatics is your chance to fold in some complex and delicate flavor that can either enhance the meat if you are eating with sides or you can pair the aromatics with flavors and spices you’ll be using in the dish the chicken is intended for. 


  • In a medium-sized pot, place the chicken breast inside and begin adding water, 2 cups at a time until the breast is covered. Add the 1/2 cup of wine. Add in aromatics if using.
  • Turn on the flame to a medium high and cover with a well fitted lid.
  • Bring to a boil. Remove the lid and crumble the bouillon cube into the boiling water. Replace the lid and continue boiling for one minute.
  • Turn off the flame and leave the lid on. Allow the chicken to poach for 20 minutes.

Note: You can use pre-made chicken broth or homemade stock if you have those on hand. Just swap them for the water and bouillon. 

Poached Chicken

Remove from the water and place on a cutting board. To check for doneness, I like to pull off a few large chunks with a fork. It should come apart easily if its tender. If you see any pink parts, you can return them to the water and let sit with the lid on for a few more minutes.

You now have moist, flavorful poached chicken that can be a base for TONS of recipes or served with veggies and a starch for a weeknight meal. You never need to buy an over priced can of shredded chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken again. It’s low fat and hands off so you can be making other parts of your dish or even be poaching chicken to take to work in the morning while you get ready. And as a bonus, the toddler loves it.

~Nom On

Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce

Sauces are one of those things that seemed hard or mysterious to me. After all, if they weren’t hard, why is buying them pre-made such a prevalent practice, even among those who consider themselves good cooks? Why do we surrender the biggest flavor payload in our dish tos omething that makes a gloopy sound as it oozes out of plastic or glass jars? A few weeks ago when I hosted my late summer BBQ, I decided to make my own sauce and it was really pretty easy.

Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce

Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup organic or reduced-sguar ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 molasses
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Finely chop your onion and garlic.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat your EVOO. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes until soft.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  • Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Keep scrapping and folding the sauce off the sides of the pot and stirring. If the sauce seems a little thin you can simmer for another 2 minutes, but keep stirring and folding so it doesn’t get gooey.
  • Taste the sauce and add a little more salt and pepper, as needed.

The end result should be a crowd pleasing, sticky sauce with a nice balance between sweet, savory, and heat. I personally prefer ridiculously spicy sauces like Famous Dave’s Devil Spit or the Memphis/Kansas City varietals, which are hotter and more vinegary, but this sauce was lovely and hit the right notes for a crowd where you can’t go to far in one direction or another. You know a sauce is great when people lick their fingers instead of using a napkin and I saw a lot of that going on.

~Enjoy the bragging rights for making your own sauce and Nom On