Mon Petit Parfait

People who will devour a gallon of ice cream in one sitting, eat a slice of cake the size of their head, or have three donuts for breakfast have always confused me. I just don’t have that kind of relationship with sugar. For me, whatever language you want to use – dolche, bonbon, a sweet – it should be that je ne sais quoi at the end of a meal or a long day; that breathy, little kiss goodnight. Eating a gallon of ice cream while you sit on the couch bing watching Netflix is kind of like going to a frat party, standing around while jocks pound jello shots watching 20-year old girls wrestle in a ball pit filled with whipped cream. I mean, yeah, you could do that, but do you ever really feel good about it after?

Ok, judgement aside, I have a lovely little confection for you that you can whip up in less than 15 minutes and will promise you that lovely, little kiss goodnight. It’s light, delicate, and extremely versitale depending on the ingredients you have on hand. So put down that jello shot and follow me. Your parfait and better judgement awaits…

Mon Petit Parfait


  • Fresh Whipped Cream (Don’t be Lame! Alert: I swear if you plan on using ‘whipped cream’ that comes out of a tub or a can to make this parfait, please, just swipe left.)
    • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
    • 2 Tbsp Sugar
    • Chilled Stainless Steel Bowl and Hand Mixer Blades
  • Berries: You need to go fresh and seasonal. This is the first layer of your flavor that you will base your additional ingredients off of.
  • Herbs: Depending on what you are making, mint, basil, or lavender paste could provide complex additions to your parfait.
  • Texture: This is where you pair your flavor and things get really fun. Think cereals, crumbled-up crunchy cookies, or crumbled-up pie crust. The goal with this layer is a flavor that plays off the fruit, but a texture that juxtaposes the rest of the ingredients.
    Note: I don’t recommend cake or soft, chewy cookie crumbles because between the cream and the fruit, you might end up with a parfait that is less than exciting if you make all the layers soft. You really are looking for a flavoring pairing, BUT, a texture contrast.


  • Step One: In a small mason jar, cup, or glass, spread a layer of your freshly whipped cream. Layer it evenly on the bottom using a spoon. (You may have noticed I keep my leftover jars from Yoplait’s Oui yogurts. I LOVE THEM. They make perfect servings for mini-sundaes, cups for the kiddos, mini vases, and of course, petit parfaits!)
  • Step Two: Next comes your texture. Crunch up your cereal or sprinkle in your granola or whatever you plan to use. Then add your layer of berries.
  • Step Three: Add another layer of cream, another layer of texture, and another layer of berries.
  • Step Four: Add your final layer of cream.
  • Step 5: Garnish with flair! I suggest a little topper of berries and maybe a cookie to enjoy with your parfait.

Ummm… Crunchy? Can’t y’all just tell me what you made in that thar picture?

Oh, yeah! Sure! Sorry.


  • Fresh Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate Chex Mix
  • Blackberries
  • Fresh Mint Leaf
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon (Or you can just cheat like I do and buy them from the farmers market.)

So there you have it! A very simple, light, fresh, and delicious dessert you can whip together to delight your little one, delight your loved ones, or delight yourself.

Nom your sweet little kiss goodnight on,


The Versatile Crepe: Frances Anathema for Anxiety

I’ve been making crepes for many years and for some reason I have hesitated to write this blog post. I think my ‘piece de resistance’ was the year I made crepes stuffed with Rosemary Turkey Breast, smothered with Sherry Shallot Gravy and drizzled with Cranberry Coulis. The crepe, while a delightful pain in the ass to make, is at once both humble and elegant.

But, Crunchy, why would you call it an anathema for anxiety? That seems a little …. I don’t know … bombastic? A Hyperbole? Grandiose? Well, my love of my thesaurus aside, I’m not wrong. No matter how cranky and anxious I’m feeling, 45 minutes of highly focused, yet surprisingly ‘chillaxy’ ladling and swirling later, I hate the human race at least 40% less. The end result is a tangible batch of perfect crepes ready to be stuffed, folded, drizzled, and smothered in any number of other delicious and decadent ingredients.

The Versatile Crepe

The Versatile Crepe



Don’t be Cheap! Alert: The French live and die by the care, quality, and technique that goes into … well, just about everything they do. You will commonly find French recipes to have very few ingredients because every one of them count. For the Milk, please go organic. For the eggs, free-range organic. For the salt, it needs to be kosher. Finally, for the butter, choose a high-quality brand. Just do the best you can and remember that the money you spend on the ingredients will make a huge difference in the quality of your end result.

  • 420 ml or 1 3/4 cups Whole Milk. Reserve an additional 1/2 cup in case your batter becomes too thick. You may need to add a little more as needed.
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 190 g or 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter. Melt 6 Tbsps of butter for the Crepe Batter. Reserve the remaining 2 Tbsps from the butter stick for greasing your pan.

Batter Preparation:

As I have mentioned, I have made crepes many, many times. I distilled the essentials of the batter preparation in the order that you need to construct it, and it goes like this:

  • Milk, Eggs, Salt. Blend.
  • Flour. Blend.
  • Melted Butter. Blend.
  • Shove blender carafe into refrigerator for 60 minutes.

And now to let all your worries swirl away for 30 minutes:

  • Heat your crepe pan on low heat. You don’t want your crepes to burn so I suggest about a level 2.
  • Drop a sprinkle of water. If it sizzles you are ready to party.
  • Take your remaining 2 Tbsps of butter and grease a piece of paper towel.
  • Gently coat your crepe pan with the buttered paper towel. (Don’t be Lazy! Alert: If you just grease your pan with the stick of butter you will end up with too much and it will result in over caramelization.)
  • Quickly dip your soup ladle into the batter and pour a circle that covers 3/4s of the pan.
  • Immediately pick the pan up and rotate it in gentle circles, allowing the batter to spread and thin out to the outer edges of the pan. If you end up with any little holes you can dribble a little additional batter there.
  • The crepe will take less than a minute to cook. You are looking for the edges to just start to dry up. I like to gently test if I can slide my spatula underneath the crepe after about 30 seconds.
  • Flip the crepe over. Don’t be alarmed if you need to help it out a little with your hands. They are difficult to flip so don’t think of it like a pancake. I usually have to help the little dude out by readjusting it. Cook the second side for about 15 seconds.
  • Slide it onto a waiting plate.
  • Repeat the cycle for another blissful 30 minutes.

Don’t be Distracted! Alert: Unless someone is bleeding or on fire and there isn’t another individual in the house who isn’t bleeding or on fire also that can deal with that situation, this is all you are going to be doing. Period. It’s just you, a heated crepe pan, carefully pouring, swirling, delicately flipping, sliding onto a plate. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

“Wait, why was I having a bad day again?” You’re welcome.

Ummm, What Should my Crepes Look like?
If you want to make a traditional crepe, it should be very thin and pale as the driven snow. Ok, maybe not the snow, but you get the idea. The reality is, butter browns. If your crepes have some color on them, fear not. They will still be delicious, I promise. But as you work your way through your batch, that is what you are looking for.

Nom On.


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 and 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 with yo fussy, fusion tacos on!