Salmon Peri Peri with Tomato Salsa and Chickpea Salad

Tasty and delicious. This is a simple yet healthy dinner option that offers exotic flavors with half the calories. Salmon Peri Peri (Swahili for Pepper Pepper) is spicy and flavorful while the chickpea salad is cool and refreshing. I don’t eat much red meat but I do order salmon quite a bit and enjoy trying it in a variety of ways. This one is a must keep in my recipe book.

The chickpea salad can be served as a side dish as it is here but also as an appetizer. Pair this meal with a crisp Chardonnay and it’s the perfect summer dinner.

Salmon Peri Per


  • 1/4 cup sambal chili sauce
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salmon

  1. Whisk the chili sauce, oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl
  2. Coat the salmon in the mixture and let is sit in small bowl to soak up the flavors for 2 hours in the refridgerator.
  3. Heat the oil mixture in a skillet over medium heat and cook approx 4 min per side or until done (your preference).

For the Tomato Topping

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and spoon over salmon when read to serve.

Chickpea Salad


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs minced ginger
  • 1/2 small jalepeno pepper, minced and seeds removed
  • 1 Tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 Tbs of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 Tbs parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a small saute pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. cook until the garlic is slightly gold. Set aside until the mixture is room temp.
  2. Mix the tamarind paste into the mixture.
  3. Add the onion to the mix and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Pour chickpeas into a medium bowl and add the spice mixture, tossing to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for an hour.
  5. Right before serving, add the cucumber, tomato, lime juice, and parsley.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Chocolate Chip Brown Butter Cookies

These cookies are delicious and never fail to please. They were gone in a jiffy, lasting no more than 3 days in our house. They were such a hit, that the boys requested that I make them again. I think the secret ingredient that makes these cookies so delicious is the browned butter. I mean, nothing tastes bad with a little extra butter, right? Add in the chocolate and it’s cookie paradise.


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oat
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks or chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let cool 5 minutes or so. How to Brown Butter.
  3. After the butter has cooled, mix in the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Then, fold in the chocolate.
  4. Roll the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to set on the edges.
  5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky salt (if desired).
  6. Enjoy!

Sunflower Butter, Hershey Kiss cookies

Who doesn’t love a yummy Christmas cookie? Baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite activities at Christmas and this recipe is a family favorite. My kids love this cookie and let’s just say, they don’t last long in our house. But with both boys having a peanut allergy, I have to get creative and tweak the recipe a bit using Sunflower Butter, instead of peanut butter. To me, it tastes just a good as the original recipe but of course, you can use either butter option.

I’ve already made one batch and yes, they are now gone. Guess I’ll be making more of these in the coming weeks. Happy Baking, friends!


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower butter (or peanut butter, your choice)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Hershey Kisses to go on top
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the butter, sunflower butter, and sugars in a bowl until smooth and combined.
  3. Add in the egg and mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly, add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and combine to form the cookie dough.
  6. Add a few tablespoons of sugar to a small, separate bowl.
  7. Scoop the dough into balls using about 1/5 Tbs of dough. Roll them between your hands and then into the sugar. Place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes. They should spread slightly and be golden on the bottom. Once baked, place the cookies on a cookie rack.
  9. Quickly, place a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie.

Enjoy, and try not to eat them all at once!

Totchos for the Win

Homemade Totchos, with a side of broccoli, were on the menu last night. I know this is a dinner that both boys will eat. While it’s not the healthiest dinner I’ve ever cooked, it’s fun and tasty and well, why not?

In case you were wondering, Totchos are “nachos” made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips. Add whatever nacho toppings you like to make this dish your own. We eat nachos quite a bit in our house so I decided to change things up a bit with the totchos.

This recipe is based off of Woody’s Lunchbox Totchos at Hollywood Studios. FYI…I decided to stick with just cheddar cheese here since the original recipe calls for a jar of queso dip (of which I’m not a huge fan).

So, here it goes….


  • 1 (2 lb bag) of tater tots
  • 1.5 cups of Frito Corn Chips
  • 1 can of chili (your favorite or homemade)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 Tbs of sour cream
  • 2 Tbs of chopped green onions
  • Broccoli or any other green veggie to add as a side


  1. Cook tater tots according to package directions.
  2. Warm up the chili while the tater tots are cooking.
  3. Once the tater tots are done, divide them evenly among 4-5 bowls.
  4. Top with corn chips.
  5. Add the chili on top.
  6. Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese.
  7. Add a dollop of sour cream.
  8. Top with chopped green onions.
  9. Add a side on the side.

Viola! Dinner is served and you won’t have to tell them twice that it’s time to eat.

Dole Whip Delight

The iconic Disney Pineapple Dole Whip, a pineapple flavored soft serve ice cream, can easily be made at home with only a few simple ingredients. This sweet, frosty fruit treat is the perfect dessert to cool off on a hot summer day or especially when in the Disney parks.

Dole Whip was originally created by the fruit company, Dole, but became available at Disneyland’s Tiki Bar in 1986. It has become a staple at Disney parks and fans will wait in a very long line just to get one on a hot day. Disney has now added different flavors to this dessert including raspberry, cherry, and mango.


  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 big scoop vanilla ice cream (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar , optional
  • splash of lemon juice


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and ultra creamy.
  2. At this point you can pour into dessert cups or freeze the mixture for 30-40 minutes. Once frozen, then transfer to a piping bag with a 1M “star” tip (to get that iconic Dole Whip swirl.)
  3. Swirl into glasses or freeze in Popsicle molds.


Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Hola amigos! Happy Cinco de Mayo. How are you celebrating today?

In case you didn’t know why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, let me share a little history with you.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s unexpected victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is NOT Mexican Independence Day which is Sept 16th. The conflict between the two countries had begun in 1861, after Benito Juárez, then the president of Mexico, suspended the nation’s foreign debt payments, and Napoleon III responded by sending French troops to invade.

The victory in Puebla galvanized the Mexican forces but turned out to be short-lived, and France later occupied the country, installing Maximilian I as emperor. Not until 1867 did the new Mexican Republic finally expel the French, execute Maximilian I and regain control of the country.

Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s unlikely victory occurred, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration.

Our Cinco de Mayo Dinner

I set everything up on the island in the kitchen. I added festive place mats and my Happy Everything platter for serving. We enjoyed chips, soft tacos (mine were veggie), churros with chocolate sauce, and margaritas with a special mix that we wanted to try. Alexa was playing some Mariachi music as an added festive addition to our celebration.

To make the Churro’s:

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon divided
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Combine water, butter, salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in 1 ½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring pot to rolling boil. Reduce heat to low.
  2. Add flour and stir until mix forms a ball. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-7 min. Add eggs, one at a time and stir until combined. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in medium skillet or 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat or until temperature reaches 350˚F.
  4. Spoon dough into piping bag fitted with large star tip (I did not have one so I rolled the dough into strips). Pipe 1-inch strip of dough over saucepan, cut with knife, and drop into hot oil. Repeat until churro bites fill saucepan with room to fry.
  5. Fry churro bites until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or mesh spider strainer and drain churro bites on paper towel.
  6. Mix sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl. Toss in churro bites until coated. Place on serving plate and serve with favorite dipping sauce.

To make the Margarita’s:

  • The Resident Chef’s Margarita mix
  • Patron Tequila
  • Limes
  1. Mix 1 cup of the mix with 2 cups of Tequila.
  2. Add 6 cups of water.
  3. Add the juice of 1 lime.
  4. Place in the freezer until slushy or serve over ice.
  5. Enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed a nice celebration too!