The Perfect Make Ahead Dinner-Chicken Marbella

The Perfect Make Ahead Dinner-Chicken Marbella












First, I must thank my dear friend for treating us to such a fabulous dinner! I must admit the thought of prunes and olives was not mouth watering at first. If you can get past the ingredients list and just make it, you’ll be in for a delicious surprise, I promise. For those of you looking for the perfect make-ahead dish, look no further. You marinate this the night before and just pop it in the oven the next evening. It’s so easy but will taste like you spent an entire day slaving in the kitchen. Don’t forget to serve it with some fresh Italian crusty bread for dipping in the juices. (the best part) My friend made a fresh green salad and oven roasted asparagus on the side. It was the perfect combination! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

Buon Appetito!









“There’s No Crying In Cooking!”

“There’s No Crying In Cooking!”













The other day I was in the kitchen chopping onions in my nifty Vidalia Chop Wizard. (this is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets) Tears were just gushing down my face and it was burning like crazy.  I happened to glance over on the counter where my sunglasses were. I decided to put them on to see if it would help. It totally worked! No more tears! I now store a cheap, but cute pair of sunglasses in my utensils drawer. They’ve worked every time. Yes, it’s a little dark, but only for a few minutes.









Look at these chic glasses I scored for only a buck at the dollar store! They fit perfectly in my kitchen drawer.








Of course, you can always purchase kitchen goggles but you’ll save money and look more stylish my way.

Caffeinated Cows

Caffeinated Cows








I’m sharing one of my secret steak marinades today! That’s right. It’ll be floating in cyber space forever now. I rarely order steak out at a restaurant because I think my version tastes just as good, if not better. My secret ingredient is espresso. It adds a subtle earthy flavor, while tenderizing the steak.

My first choice cut of meat would be a rib eye bone-in. Otherwise, you can choose whatever cut is your favorite, just be sure it is a high quality choice. (no slow cooking beefs)

Marinade: (4 steaks)

  • ½ cup espresso (or really strong coffee)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • coarse salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

 What to do:

  1. Salt and pepper your steaks generously.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together in a shallow pan (like a casserole dish). Place your steaks in the marinade. The longer you let them sit, the better. I usually marinade them 2-6 hours depending on how prepared I was that day. At your halfway point, flip the steaks on their other side in the sauce. Note: If you’re letting them marinade for more than 2 hours, be sure to cover your pan and refrigerate.
  3. My preferred method of cooking the steaks is on the bbq. Nothing can replicate that unadulterated smoky flavor. If you do not have access to a barbecue, you can use the oven or stove top grill pan.
  4. It’s very important to let your steaks rest for ten minutes after they’re done cooking. This allows the juices to stay in. I always finish with a little bit of salt right before serving. It melts perfectly into the steaks. (My mouth is watering as I type this!)

How long to cook your steak:

Every barbecue, oven, and stove work differently. These are just general guidelines. Please adjust as necessary. For a 1 inch thick steak, 4 1/2 minutes per side for rare, 6 1/2 minutes per side for medium and 9 minutes per side for well done. The more “give” or “bounce” you feel when pressing into the steak with your finger, the rarer it is. Try not to cut into the steak to check if it’s done. That will provide an escape path for all those wonderful juices.

Buon Appetito!

Easy DIY: Wine Box Turns Recipe Box

Easy DIY: Wine Box Turns Recipe Box











Wine boxes are not only cool looking, but they may hold some sentimental value for us. What can we do with them? My husband had a kinda genius idea. This past year we made a rule to give each other handmade gifts. Since I’m a foodie and a winey girl, he came up with this idea for me. (I’m still having trouble believing he didn’t get some help! wink,wink)

What’s extra amazing is he killed two birds with one stone on this diy project. Check out my old technique for storing my recipes…










Yes, I had recipes on napkins, index cards, Post-it notes, magazine pages and print outs. You could find them in any crevice of the kitchen too. I’m notorious for sticking Post-it’s inside my cabinet doors with recipes. Not exactly the ideal organization technique. Because I would just set the recipe papers next to me while cooking, they are covered in every ingredient imaginable. Just look at my favorite recipe…










I could re-write it at this point, but I love the character it shows from all the years I’ve been making it. Think wrinkles for recipes. In fact one day it might be fun to frame it. But for now, it is protected in one of my binder pages neatly organized under the appetizer section.

















I just store my wine box on my kitchen counter. It not only matches the decore, it’s practical and serves a daily purpose! All this thanks to my genius hub












Tutorial Here


  • This makes a great wedding gift. Gather recipes from friends and family to add to the binder. Mod Podge their wedding invitation on the top of the recipe book or on the inside of the box somewhere.
  • If the box comes from a winery you visited, line the bottom (see tutorial) with a map showing the vineyard location.
  • Add a “take out” menu binder to store in the box along with the recipe binder. There’s plenty of room for both.



Sunday’s Supper: Braised Short Rib Goodness

Sunday’s Supper: Braised Short Rib Goodness











Sorry I didn’t make any soup this week, therefore it’s Sunday supper instead of soup. I think you’ll forgive me after you see what I have in store for you…short ribs! I normally use another recipe, but decided to try out this one from my new cookbook, How To Cook Like A Rock Star. Anne’s recipe has more of a tomato flavor base. It’s very satifying and will have even the pickiest of eaters singing praises!

Short Rib Recipe Here

Changes I made to the recipe:
  • I used 1/2 cup tomato paste only.
  • Instead of short ribs on the bone, I used boneless.
  • I made mashed potatoes for my side, which I think is the perfect compliment. My second choice would be pasta, given the tomato flavors of the dish.








In case you’re wondering why Sunday supper is posted on Friday night, it’s so you have time to get the groceries and plan for Sunday!
Buon Appetito!



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