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Appetizers

Carnitas Al Pastor Nachos Recipe with Pico de Gallo

As much as I love summer, I always look forward to Labor Day weekend the most.  Not only does most of America get an extra day off, it’s also the official start of football, meaning the BBQ’s and get togethers will still be in full effect.  As much as I like main dishes and proteins at BBQ’s and parties, I really like to graze on a bunch of different delicious dishes.  One of my favorite things to do is make up a loaded nachos recipe, so this Carnitas Al Pastor Nachos Recipe with Pico de Gallo was at the top…

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Homemade Salmon Cakes Recipe with Tartar Sauce

We just got back from Portland, Oregon and it is currently salmon season out there.  Since salmon is as abundant in Portland as Italian beef is here in Chicago, I made sure to overindulge in the local seasonal fare!  The fresh local caught salmon was literally 4 inches thick, no joke, and while I didn’t bring any home with me, it inspired me to make this Homemade Salmon Cakes Recipe with Tartar Sauce!  My wife who is not a salmon fan loved the salmon we had in Portland, so I figured I would try it again at home!   Fresh…

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Sweet Potato Toast with Whipped Ricotta and Kumquats

All aboard, because we are jumping on the sweet potato toast train! It’s a nice change of pace from regular toast, has a little sweetness, and (slightly surprisingly) cooks up perfectly in your toaster. I’ll admit, the first time I made sweet potato toast I had my doubts, but now I’m converted into a believer of the vitamin-packed, gluten-free twist on toast! It really is a nice change from the typical toasted bread, and the topping variations are endless.  I started with some gorgeous purple sweet potatoes. They’re white on the outside but the inside boasts this beautiful purple hue.…

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Farro Dolmades Recipe with Whipped Feta Cheese and Olives

Need a fun appetizer for your next get-together? This’ll wow your guests. Dolmades are a classic appetizer in Greece, served piping hot in gigantic piles for guests to grab. Here in the U.S., they can be a little ho-hum. They’re often packed tightly in little deli containers and taste overwhelmingly of mint. I took these in a different direction, adding lots of fresh flavors while keeping the basic recipe somewhat intact. First on the list is farro! Farro is nutty, a little chewy (in a good way), and adds some great texture and flavor to these little two-bite appetizers. It’s…

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Carrot Jam Crostini with Burrata and Crispy Prosciutto

I love to keep my friends guessing. “What’s in this? This is delicious,” they say as they chug a bright green smoothie. My face forms into a smile as I have them guess the secret ingredient that made it so brightly colored (spinach). I can’t wait for my friends to dig into this one: carrot jam. The flecks of bright orange carrot make it reminiscent of salmon roe (tobiko for all of you sushi fans). But its taste is sweet and citrusy, with a slight hint of earthy carrot flavor. Now I might have you guessing, too, because you’re thinking,…

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Savory Tart with Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese in Honey Wheat Crust

I’ve developed a huge passion for baking the past few years.  Whether it’s making homemade bread, a cake, a pie, or even simple cookies, I’ve fallen in love with baking.  Believe it or not I actually went to culinary school some 17 years ago (dang I’m getting old) to be a pastry chef.  I quickly discovered at the tender age of 18 that I definitely did not have the patience it took to be a pastry chef.  I’m not about to wait all day for a cake to cook and completely cool before icing it. HECK NO!!  So I knew…

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Lobster Roll Recipe with Mayonnaise on Brioche Buns

Since I’ve been married, I’ve definitely adapted how and what I eat.  In the past, I would just eat these huge meals and graze on them all day, but my wife has taught me to really enjoy eating multiple dishes in 1 sitting.  You would never catch me in a tapas bar pre-marriage because I wanted to eat what I like and that’s it.  Now, however, I love trying 2 to 3 appetizers and 2 to 3 small dinner entrees so I can try as many things as possible.  I can’t even tell you how much of a breakthrough this…

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BBQ Chicken Sliders Recipe with Coleslaw and Pickles

One of my absolute favorite times of the year is the first weekend of the men’s college basketball March Madness tournament.  Usually a few of my friends take off that Thursday and Friday and we watch every basketball game of the first round while we slowly go into food comas and slip in and out of naps all day long…  Honestly there is nothing more glorious.  The food situation usually consists of everyone bringing a few things so we can graze from the morning all the way to the night.  While my alma mater won’t make the tourney this year,…

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