Are you too chicken?

This is an adapted version of the Fig Pear Champagne Mustard Chicken recipe. It’s not that I am afraid to try anything new, its because its one of my favorites. So why not try and recreate it to a more practical, week night version? I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t have the time to roast a whole chicken. Especially after work & when I don’t have others to feed. Anyway, this recipe is easier, quicker, and has the elements of the same flavor profile. For example, instead of fig butter, this recipe requires maple syrup for the sweet smooth flavor. Then, the champagne vinegarette is substituted with the rice wine vinegar. Now, I am not telling you all this to say we aren’t creative with our recipes. It is to show you, as the reader, that many times if you are stuck on what to make or if you are too chicken to try something other than your regular “go to meals”, you don’t always have to come to for help. You can make up your own new recipe or favorite dish, when you identify the flavor profile of what you like and emulate them with various ingredients. Don’t be afraid to try something new. I know you aren’t too chicken, even if this dish is. Now go give your taste buds a good time, with this 5 ingredient little wonder.

  • 1 package of skinless chicken breast (thighs would work too)
  • ½ c. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ c. Maple syrup (actual maple, no aunt jemimas)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Then, mix together 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of rice/rice wine vinegar. Put the package of chicken breasts into a foil-lined, oven-proof baking dish. (Six chicken breast came in my package, which made enough to serve 3 people.) Then, salt and pepper the breasts . Pour your maple mustard mixture over them, turning the breasts in the mixture so they are fully coated. Put the chicken into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. Sprinkle over some fresh rosemary. (If there is ever a time to use fresh herbs now is undoubtedly it!)


Happy Eating, XO.

The Salad Dressing to End All Salad Dressings

I swear this salad dressing will ruin you for any other dressing you’re currently using. It’s light, tangy, and goes with oh-so-much. I found it while making our chicken piccata recipe. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I use a little more to up the tang factor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix it all together and drizzle in to your favorite salad.  I know you’ll want to use it again, so feel free to throw the leftover dressing in the fridge.

Happy eating, XO.

Jess’s Not So Secret Sauce

Being from Pittsburgh you would think that I would always have at least one bottle of Heinz ketchup in my fridge at all times. Not so. My husband hates ketchup. So instead of buying it and letting it go bad, I’ve resorted to stashing the little squeeze packets from restaurants. (I’m really not kidding). One day over the summer while grilling burgers, the unthinkable happened – I had no more squeeze packets! Just use mustard you say? There were three of us and only enough mustard for half a burger. I began rummaging frantically through my fridge to see what I could conjure up. Here’s what came out of it:

  • Equal parts mustard (yellow or dijon) and worcestershire sauce
  • The tiniest pinch of salt and pepper

That’s it.

The sauce is a tangy and subtly sweet mixture that works great on burgers, hot dogs, and even steak. Feel free to experiment with additions to the recipe or on different foods. It’s really versatile!

XO, Happy eating.

Crabby Cakes

For most of us (ok, maybe I’m just speaking about myself here) but I never dare dreamed I could make a crab cake. That was what the yearly vacation to Philips Seafood and Steak house in Ocean City, MD was for. Well, I recently faced my fear and tried it out. And guess what? It wasn’t that hard at all! Most of the ingredients were already on my shelves. I picked up a few extras from the store and I was ready to go.

  • 1 egg (this is a must since you need glue for the crab cake)
  • ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs (if doing Italian breadcrumbs cut down to ½ cup since they are denser)
  • 1lb lump crab meat (make sure there are no remaining shells)
  • 1 large or 2 small stalk of celery finely chopped (make sure they are tiny, the celery is great for the added crunch but you don’t want chunks to overpower the crab)
  • 1 teaspoon old bay (or seasoned salt or tony Caceres seasoning, you get the point)
  • A pinch of crushed chili flakes, if you like more heat do cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of paprika for color is optional
  • Splash or teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (you could technically use ground or yellow but I think Dijon adds a specific tang that I wouldn’t mess with)
  • 2 ½ tablespoon mayo
  • 2 or 2 ½ tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (can’t be substitute for dried, if you don’t have or like just leave it out)

Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hr. (this is so they don’t fall apart when pan searing, realize this is a legit crab cake. Crab being the star of the show with minimal filler so when cold they won’t crumble in pan or when you have to flip them) and then pan sear for 4 min on each side (makes 4 large or 6 appetizer portion crab cakes) serve w parsley leaves & lemon wedges to class it up.

Oh and check out Sauce Boss for an easy, fridge friendly dipping sauce.

Happy eating, XO.


Wild Watercress Salad

Watercress is usually pretty tasteless, right? Not anymore! Citrus, sweet, and savory all play leading roles in this watercress salad.

  • 4 cups watercress (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (that is about 1 small bulb, and the thinly isn’t just so it looks pretty, it also monitors how much you get in one bite because fennel is a strong flavor)
  • 3 oranges sectioned and sliced (if you prefer less citrus or sweet cut down to 2)

Now for the dressing (in a time crunch, any light vinaigrette or dressing would work, but this one is damn delish and easy):

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (aim for fresh, but bottle stuff won’t kill it)
  • 1.5 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (to mix it up you can use coarsely ground mustard since you are the boss)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Dash of sea salt (regular salt is OK, but it’s a bit too fine when trying to flavor a dressing)
  • Dash of black pepper (don’t be a bum, use freshly ground, it makes a world of difference)

Whisk and pour on top. Don’t pre-make this it will all separate and be nasty. Make right before serving, it takes 5 minutes.

Also note, this salad like our others, has the multitude of taste bud components to fit that “sultry” feel we swear salads can accomplish.

Fennel: crunch & the anise flavor

Orange: citrus & soft

Maple syrup: sweet & smooth

Lemon juice & Mustard: tangy

This is important to know so you can liven up any boring salad or also substitute, add, or remove ingredients you like better (e.g. throwing in some beets for color & softness or some nuts for an extra crunch element).

Happy eating, XO.