Caprese Meatball Sliders

Caprese Meatball Sliders

I just love a big, thick juicy burger; but lately I’ve been making smaller slider style burgers.  The great thing is I find I eat a lot less when I make them.  It was almost as if when I had a big burger, I felt compelled to finish it.  And soon after finishing said burger, I was stuffed.  That’s why I actually prefer sliders; I find I eat quite a bit less. The other reason I’m hooked on them is you can put anything on them and still call it a slider.  If you put chicken between two normal hamburger buns, it’s … Continue reading

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo

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I love chorizo (also known as chourico) in all its forms, from the fresh Mexican variety with its heavy dose of chile to Portugese style that’s gently smoked and of course Spanish which comes hot or mild depending on the type of paprika used, smoked and unsmoked and 1000 different variations of such.  As with any variety of sausage, quality counts.  For example, commercial varieties of Mexican chorizo mainly use variety meat that’s leftover after butchering (don’t read the label) while freshly made chorizo at your local Mexican market will likely use ground pork and lots of fresh chile. For this … Continue reading

FYB House Chili

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This is the house chili here at Fill Your Belly headquarters A.K.A. my kitchen.  It’s a great allpurpose chili with just enough spice and heat to please adults yet mild enough to keep kids happy.  As I said on yesterday’s blog, all the normal accompaniments were served with it – cheese, diced onions, sour cream, avocado, fritos and the perfect side of Buttermilk Cornbread. The great thing about chili is once it’s in the pot simmering, other than the occasional stir, you can pretty much forget about it.  In fact the longer it cooks the better the flavors get.  And for those … Continue reading

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad with herb ranch dressing

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Nectarines and other stone fruits are everywhere right now.  Every grocery store I wander into seems to have piles of them and at great prices too.  That’s how this salad came to be.  I’ve actually had the idea of making this salad for a few weeks-even bought the ingredients numerous times.  But life gets in the way sometimes…and family members eat the ingredients.  Really son?  I could never get you to try a nectarine before and now you eat two.  Oh well, at least he now likes nectarines. After getting my ingredients this time and fiercly protecting them from prying hands and … Continue reading

BLT Pasta

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Everyone loves a great BLT.  Thick cut bacon, juicy mouthwatering tomato and crisp lettuce on toasted hearty bread is a hard combo to beat.  So when I was thinking about what to make for dinner and a BLT came to mind, I wondered how I could twist things up.  I ventured into my refrigerator bravely pushing through the minefield of varied tupperware items that held remants of meals gone by.  And that’s when it came to me-I really need to clean out this fridge!  I digress; back to the search. After finding some arugula and fresh mozarella, it suddenly struck me.  A small plastic barb from one of those stupid tupperware lids (well not techniquely stupid as that would … Continue reading

Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga

My family and I are taco and burrito fanatics; having some version nearly weekly.  Sometimes it simply ground beef with some spices while other times it may be slowly braised beef or carnitas.  This time it was shredded chicken for burritos. Tinga refers to any kind of shredded meat simmered in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce.  It’s extremely easy to make and the heat level can be adjusted for whatever your tolerance.  The recipe below is middle of the road with enough kick to satisfy the heat seeker in your family while not blowing the roof off the wimp (sorry … Continue reading

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Between setting the clocks back and the change in the weather, there’s no doubt that fall has arrived.  While still ridiculously mild compared to most of the country, there’s still a noticable difference here in Southern California.  So on that note I decided it was time for a spicy tortilla soup with all the trimmings.  While some versions might be easier than this one here, such as opening up various cans and adding them to a pot, this one will excite your taste buds.  I’m blessed to live in an area that has a wide variety of chiles available, but if you can’t … Continue reading

Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

There are two ingredients that I love more after roasting; red bell peppers and garlic.  Roasting the peppers over a flame until blackened and blistered, then removing the skin and seeds enhances their natural sweetness and they are miles apart in their flavor from the jarred variety.  Garlic as well is transformed when it’s roasted in the oven, becoming soft and sweet and far more subtle than in it’s raw state.  So when I was coming up with a new sauce, I knew I wanted to use both of these ingredients roasted to perfection. This is such a simple sauce but it does … Continue reading