sandwich 2

(5 Ingredient) Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef

Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend??

I was happy to see the return of Shamrock yumminess.

On Saturday morning, I took my first spin class in like 10 years. Can someone PLEASE tell me why do they make the most uncomfortable seats for spin bikes??! I mean, it took me a good 20 minutes to get over the fact how much pain my hiney was in. I looked around the class to see if anyone had any remedies, like a seat pad or a towel, and no one did. Looks like I have a wimpy butt.

And then on Saturday night, my car battery died when we went to pick up take out pizza…Oh, and I parked illegally in a tow zone. Luckily we have AAA — but it was going to be a 90 minute wait. So the hubby & I ate pizza in the car and then went into Forever Yogurt to wait for the AAA guy to come save us. I was happy to eat this while we waited and people watched…and prayed not to get a parking ticket.

I’m happy to report Sunday was a drama free day. We went out for brunch, wandered aimlessly through the hardware store and sat on the couch judging other Big 10 basketball teams. (“other” meaning all teams except Indiana. :) )

My favorite part about Sunday is dinner. Growing up, we would always have a home cooked meal on Sunday nights. It was usually something meaty – like hamburgers, meatloaf or steaks. These days, I still love staying in and making a hearty dinner. It’s way better than sorting through take out menus at 6pm trying to figure out what to eat.

Five Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef  I  #5ingredients #slowcooker #dinner

A Sunday meal doesn’t get any easier than this – (5 Ingredient) Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef. It would be great to eat like a pot roast with some potatoes or you can shred the beef and serve it as a sandwich. I decided to go the sandwich route…mainly because I wanted to top it with cheese. YUM!

The Tasty Fork  I  5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef  #crockpot #slowcooker #recipe

The marinade for the beef is super easy and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry. To make this slow cooker meal, all you need is an onion, distilled white vinegar, a Hidden Valley Ranch Packet & 2 garlic cloves. Mix everything together and pour over the beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.

I loved how flavorful this beef tasted! The vinegar helps to break down the meat to make it tender and gives the beef some tang. And of course, Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning is the best thing ever invented. I decided to use the seasoning packet to cook with the beef so every bite was infused with a ranch kick!

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Since this meal is so easy, it would also be a great week night meal! Just put everything in the slow cooker before heading off to work and when you’re home, dinner is ready.

I like my Sunday’s to be pretty effortless, and that includes making dinner. I wish all of my meals only required 5 ingredients!

5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef  I  The Tasty Fork

(5 Ingredient) Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef


  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 3lb Chuck Pot Roast, Boneless & seasoned with Salt & Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 Hidden Valley Ranch Packet (1.0 oz)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 6 French Rolls, sandwich size (optional)
  • 6 slices of Mozzarella (optional)


  1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Add sliced onions and place beef on top. Mix vinegar, ranch packet, garlic and water. Stir and pour over beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. To make sandwiches – shred beef and place in french rolls. Add cheese on top of beef. Broil in the oven until cheese is melted.
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Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

Quick post today! First off, I will not be doing my usual #FollowFriday post tomorrow. Instead, I’ll be participating in Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook. Crazy for Crust has organized a way for the blogging community to show support and give tribute to those effected by the shootings last week. (I’ve copied and pasted part of her post from her blog below.)

On Friday, December 21, 2012, we are going to honor the victims, families, and community of Newtown by doing a post in their honor. Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook will be one way we can show support in the aftermath of this unimaginable event.


On Friday, December 21, write a post sharing a cookie or a craft and a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There is no specific requirement…just do or make something to show your support. Maybe something you would make for, or with, your children.

Please spread the word about this united effort wherever you can. You can use the hashtag #BloggersforSandyHook.

Don’t have a blog? That’s okay. You can still share something for Sandy Hook. Take a picture and post it on your Facebook wall, your Twitter feed. Share on Instagram or your Google+ or wherever you can to unite us in our tribute.

So please come back tomorrow to see what treat I’ve made. I still have no idea what to do. I tried making cookies yesterday and it was a total epic disaster. I used to think it was my oven’s fault, but now that I see a pattern, it’s probably just me. :)

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich The Tasty Fork

Do you love turkey? How about turkey sandwiches? I sure do but doing the typical turkey, mustard and cheese thing gets pretty boring for me. I came up with a Mediterranean sandwich spread, almost like a tapenade, to switch up the everyday turkey sandwich. The spread consists of artichokes, roasted red peppers, onions, banana peppers, balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Add to a blender or food processor, and then you have a low-calorie and flavorful sandwich spread. You won’t miss the mayo or mustard with this sandwich!

If you’re having guests in town for the holidays, this sandwich is great for everyone and it’s a little different from what you can get anywhere else. Pair it with some sweet potato fries and you’ve got a filling meal.

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

  • 10 oz can artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/2 banana peppers, mild
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 8 sandwich rolls
  • 1 lb deli turkey
  • reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
  • lettuce
  • shredded carrots


  1. In a blender or food processor, add artichokes and the next 6 items. Blend until is a paste consistency.
  2. Warm sandwich rolls in the oven. Split and spread both sides of bread with the artichoke mixture.
  3. Top with turkey, feta cheese crumbles, lettuce and shredded carrots.

BBQ Meatball Sliders

BBQ Meatball Slider The Tasty Fork

I may have a slight obsession with meatballs…but can you blame me? I have yet to meet a meatball I didn’t like.

Meatballs are easy to make. You can mix & match ingredients and know it’s always gonna taste good. My favorite part about making home-made meatballs — they bake fast and clean up is easy as long as you remember to line your baking sheet with tin foil. (please don’t forget this step!)

BBQ Meatball Sliders @ The Tasty Fork

I made BBQ Meatball Sliders for dinner the other night, but sliders are the perfect party sized snack! All of the prep work can be done before guests arrive and the meatballs go under the broiler for just 12 minutes.. so they’re super quick to pass around when guests are getting hungry. Not to mention, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of enthusiastic “oohs and aahs” when offering this slider to party goers. Let’s give two scenarios – The Everyday Slider vs. BBQ Meatball Slider.

Scenario #1

You – “Hi Uncle Bob. Would you like to try this slider?”

Uncle Bob – “Oh sure. Thanks.”

Scenario #2

You – “Hi Uncle Bob. Would you like to try a BBQ Meatball Slider.”

Uncle Bob – “BBQ Meatball Slider??!! I love meatballs! Ooohh my!”

Obviously, scenario #2 will generate the praise every party host wants and you can be happy you’ve made an amazing party snack people will talk about for years. Ok, “for year”s might be slightly over exaggerated but I’m sure you’ll get requests to make BBQ Meatball Sliders again.

Or you can be like me and eat BBQ Meatball Sliders on a random Monday just because they taste good. :)

BBQ Slider The Tasty Fork

BBQ Meatball Sliders, makes 12 meatballs

For the meatballs:

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & Pepper

Coleslaw Recipe:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage mix
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • Salt & Pepper

Additional Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray
  • You favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 12 dinner rolls or slider buns (I used Hawaiian Bread Dinner Rolls. Perfect size for a slider!)


For the Meatballs: 

  1. Combine the bread, onion, parsley, and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the milk and Worcestershire, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beef, eggs, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and gently combine. Form into 12 meatballs (about 1.5  tablespoons each)
  3. To cook immediately: Place the meatballs on foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Broil for 10-12 minutes, or until no longer pink.

For the Coleslaw:

  1. Toss the cabbage and scallions with the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and celery seed; season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.

When you’re ready to assemble the slider, place meatball on the slider bun and top with BBQ sauce & coleslaw.

Inspired by Real Simple

Pork Banh Mi Inspired Sliders

One of the things I love most about living in Chicago is the food. Always a new restaurant to try, creative food concepts and lots of diversity. Strangely enough, I never had a banh mi sandwich until this weekend… in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

My husband and I were out running errands on Saturday afternoon. I saw a wine tasting going on in a parking lot. My husband noticed a food truck. We both went to our areas of interest. I finished my wine by the time he had a duck banh mi sandwich.

At first, I wasn’t interested in his little sandwich…but I watched him take a couple bites and he looked so darn happy. He noticed I was staring at meal and offered me a couple bites. I wasted no time and went in for a huuuge bite. I could hardly believe how delicious this sandwich tasted and I was floored it came from Fort Wayne!

So in the spirit of my “inspiring others to stop ordering carry out” blog, I decided to recreate this sandwich at home. I can’t say this is completely traditional but it was very good! I did a quick pickling of veggies and made a spicy BBQ sauce. The pork patties are a mixture of ground pork and pork sausage. I made sliders, but I can totally see myself having this as a big ol’ burger.

I’m happy I tried something new and even more thrilled I re-created the sandwich at home. Whats your favorite restaurant inspired food you like to make at home? If you’re a blogger and you’ve got a recipe posted on your site, share it in the comments. I’d love to see it!

Pork Banh Mi Inspired Sliders, makes 10 patties

  • 4 medium carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1  cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 4-5 large radishes, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 scant teaspoon sea salt
  • A handful of cilantro
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 8 oz pork sausage
  • 1/2 red onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1-2 long french bread baguettes, split


  1. Combine the carrots, cucumber, onion and radishes in a shallow dish. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup water, sugar, vinegar and salt until dissolved. Pour the hot dressing over the vegetables, then let cool until ready to serve. Combine with the cilantro.
  2. Make the pork patties – Combine the ground pork and sausage in a large bowl. Grate onion and ginger over the bowl. Add garlic cloves and Salt & Pepper. Mix with your hand and create 2 oz patties. (about 1/4 cup size) At medium heat, warm up skillet with vegetable oil. Cook patties 5 minutes per side.
  3. While patties are cooking, make the spicy BBQ sauce. In a saucepan, combine honey, soy sauce and sriracha. Once it reaches a boil. Turn off the heat.
  4. When the patties are almost done cooking, drizzle bbq sauce over each patty.
  5. To make sliders, slice bread according to the size of the pork patties. Put BBQ sauce on both pieces of bread. Place veggies mixture on one side of the bread,top with pork patty add the top piece of bread. Enjoy!

Slow Cooked Root Beer Pulled Pork with a kick…

I’m pretty sure most people like me because of this pulled pork recipe. I’ve brought it to football parties, potlucks and picnics. It’s always a hit and I rarely have leftovers. As someone who complains about leftovers, I get a little sad when all of the pulled pork is devoured.

I made Root Beer Pulled Pork for The Bears Monday Night Football game last week. I was looking forward to having a lazy night on the couch and eating a couple pulled pork sandwiches. I got a call from my hubby mid-morning asking if he could have a couple of friends over for dinner. I hesitated slightly. I wasn’t worried about not having enough pork, but I wasn’t totally thrilled about not having a pork sandwich for lunch the next day. But I decided to put my greediness aside and said of course he could have friends over. I love entertaining and pulled pork is perfect for a Monday night meal.

However, I didn’t get enough pulled pork for my liking. So over the weekend, I made more. It was a nice break from the massive cheesy meatball lasagna I made on Friday night.

I know there are a lot of root beer pulled pork recipes out there… but dare I say, this recipe is the best. Root beer provides some flavor, but I want more. So I like to add additional spices to turn things up a notch. Trust me, you don’t even need BBQ sauce. (but you still can if you want. I won’t judge you.)

And since this is made in a crock pot, it’s the perfect meal for any day of the week. It requires no attention until it’s time to shred the pork.

So to all of my friends, here is my recipe. I guess I’ll need to come up with another recipe to get me invited to shindigs. :)

Slow Cooked Root Beer Pulled Pork

  • 1 cup root beer, additional might be needed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp grill seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 lb boneless supreme pork roast
  • 4 to 8 buns
  • BBQ sauce, if needed


  1. Pour root beer into slow cooker. Add all the spices, seasonings and garlic. Gives everything a good stir. Add onions and pork. Add more root beer if needed. You don’t want the pork to be submerged, just nicely floating.
  2. Set the slow cooker on the lowest setting. Cook for 5-6 hours.
  3. When the pork is cooked, shred meat in the slow cooker. Turn the setting down to warm and let the shredded pork hang out for 20 minutes. Serve on buns and BBQ sauce.

A year ago today….

I married the best guy.

It seems hard to believe a year has gone by since our wedding day but I think that’s good. It means we’re having a lot of fun!

I met my husband on Sunday afternoon watching football. Since that day, I’ve spent almost every Sunday with him cheering on our teams. This past Sunday was no different…except I didn’t really have as much enthusiam as I usually do. My Chicago Bears had a bye. However, Jim had some serious words for his Indianspolis Colts. (Things I really can’t post on this blog.) Soooo to dull the pain of another Colts loss, I did the best thing I could do for my groom. Make Food.

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin & Blue Cheese Potato Salad. It made me forget about the numerous Jets Touchdowns….

This isn’t a Miss Tasty Orginal Recipe. I saw this on the Butter Queen’s show while working out last week. (Am I the only person who watches Food Network while sweating away on a stair climber??!!) Anywho, I thought this meal would be the perfect lunch while watching some football on Sunday — regardless of my hubby’s mood!

Trust me, you want to make this. Miss Paula knows what she’s doing. The rosemary & garlic on the pork gives it such a strong flavor and you can smell it cooking away after a few minutes in the oven. Its the type of scent I wish was in my house year round. Well, that and chocolate chip cookies.

I know not everyone is a blue cheese fan, but this potato salad is devine. I love the combo of blue cheese and horseradish. Creamy & peppery. YUM. Plus, the dressing for the potato salad is thick and hearty. It’s perfect for fall.

I think making this meal was a good choice for me. My husband’s mood was suprisingly better after eating his lunch and he even cleaned up the kitchen! I knew I married this man for a good reason! :)

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches & Blue Cheese Potato Salad, from Paula Deen

Pork Tenderloin:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon Paula Deen’s Silly Salt (I used seasoned salt)
  • 12 dinner rolls or small sandwich rolls
  • Sandwich Spread, recipe follows

Sandwich Spread:

  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped flat parsley leaves
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons freshly chopped green onions
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix garlic, rosemary, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce. Remove wrapper from the tenderloin and separate the 2 halves. Rub the mixture to the top of meat. Add Silly Salt to all sides of the tied tenderloin. Place in oven for 1 hour; covered with foil for 30 minutes and then uncovered for the remaining 30 minutes. (Note — I didn’t cook the tenderloin for that long. Mine was more like 45 minutes. I like to cook pork to a temp of 145 degrees. It’s safe, trust me!!)
  3. Let the pork rest covered in foil for 10 minutes. Cut the pork tenderloin into slices. Slice dinner rolls. Place a slice of pork and a teaspoon of sandwich spread onto each dinner roll.

Sandwich Spread:

  1. Add ingredients to a bowl and thoroughly combine.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad, from Paula Deen

Potato Salad

  • 5 pounds red and white table potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Blue Cheese Dressing, recipe follows

Blue Cheese Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (5-ounce) container crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large shallow roasting pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, tossing gently to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, until potatoes are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and cool.
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions; cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add vinegar. Stir until vinegar evaporates, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onions, and Blue Cheese Dressing. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, blue cheese, sour cream, horseradish, and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate.

New Recipe: Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwiches

This recipe is something I’ve been making for a loooong time. It’s probably my favorite vegetarian sandwich. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but this sandwich is amazing.

I think the marinade makes this sandwich better than any portabella sandwich I’ve had in a restaurant. It’s filled with fresh herbs…. I guess it helps I work for a fresh herb company, but since it’s summer, all of these herbs (rosemary, thyme & parsley) are available at your local grocery store or farmers market.

Have I told you I’m obsessed with goat cheese?? I’m pretty sure I have… I try to sneak it into ANY meal where it makes sense. This sandwich makes sense. Load on the goat cheese. Please don’t be shy….

Not only is this sandwich great for a vegetarian at a BBQ, but meat lovers will enjoy it too! Portabella mushrooms are so thick and juicy. Then combine it with some roasted red peppers, grilled red onions, fresh basil and goat cheese on artisan bread — any carnivore will be lining up for this sandwich.

Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwiches, serves 4

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium portobella mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 red onion, sliced in rings
  • 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Loaf of artisan bread. (I used ciabatta)
  • 4 oz goat cheese log
  • 8-10 basil leaves


  1. Heat your gill to medium.
  2. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, red chile flakes, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. In a zip lock bag, add marinade and mushroom caps. Marinade up to 4 hours.
  3. Remove mushrooms from marinade, but save the marinade. Place the mushrooms on the grill, cap side down, and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Drizzle olive oil on red onion. Grill 4 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the grill and cut into slices. I did about 4 slices per mushroom. Place the mushrooms in a large bowl, add the marinade, and toss to coat. Chop onion and add to marinade. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Toast bread on the grill. Let it get slighty charred. Remove from grill and spread goat cheese on both sides of bread. Top with basil leaves on both sides of bread. Add the mushroom onion mixture. If you have a crusty bread, make sure you get some of the marinade on the bread. It will soak right into it. Add roasted red peppers. This sandwich can be served warm or cold.

New Recipe: Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Mango BBQ Sauce

I’m not sure why, but every time shrimp is involved in a meal, I think “OOOh, classy.” Shrimp Scampi. Shrimp Cocktail. Shrimp Fajitas… all things shrimp seem to “dress up” a meal.

I could have made a burger for dinner, which would have been great. However, to make a burger blog posting, it’s really gotta be unique and rock your socks off.

Then I had my “Ah-ha” moment and thought Shrimp Burgers would be a great variation to your everyday burger recipe. Since it was Monday, I didn’t want to spend all night in my kitchen making dinner. If you have a good blender or food processor, this meal will come together very easily.

The second best thing about a burger are the toppings. I didn’t want to go over board since I was using shrimp as my burger….but i didn’t want to go the easy route and top it with just mayo. I thought a citrus and spicy BBQ sauce would be a great thing to try out with this recipe…and of course, top it all off with some avocado. I really think avocado is the new bacon. It makes everything better.

The shrimp patties have a shrimp cake texture. If you’re looking for an alternative appetizer to a crab cake, this recipe would definitely work.

If you make the Chipotle Mango BBQ Sauce, you’ll have a lot of sauce left over. It’s awesome, so you’ll want to use it again. It would be great to put on some chicken or pork… or you could add some greek yogurt to it and it could be used as a salad dressing. Trying using it as a sauce for a pizza or spice up a taco. It’s pretty versatile and just different enough to make people ask, “whats in this sauce??!!!”

So go ahead and “class up” your everyday burger…. I promise you’ll love it!

Shrimp Burgers & Chipotle BBQ Sauce, makes 4-6 burgers

  • 1 lb uncooked, deveined shrimp (remove tails)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • Handful of parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne red pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Burger Buns
  • Chipotle Mango BBQ Sauce (recipe to follow)
  • 1 avocado, sliced


  1. In a food processor or strong blender, add 1/2 of the shrimp. Blend until the consistency is like a paste. Transfer shrimp to a bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the shrimp to the bowl.
  2. Add all of the veggies, garlic and parsley to the blender/food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes to a fine chop. Add it to the shrimp bowl.
  3. Add cayenne pepper and zest to the shrimp bowl. Give it a good stir. Season with salt & pepper. Add in the panko crumbs. Panko will help the burger mixture to firm up.
  4. Make 6 burger patties and add olive oil to a warm skillet. Cook burgers 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Toast your burger buns and top with Chipotle BBQ Sauce. Add burgers and avocado.

Chipotle Mango BBQ Sauce, makes 2 cups

  • 2 mangos, chopped
  • 2  chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


1. Put all ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add sauce to a sauce pan and cook for 10 minutes.

Curry Honey Mustard Vinaigrette & Fruity Chicken Sandwiches

Wow. This was a mouthful. A delicious mouthful.

Grilled chicken sandwiches are great… but just the same ol’ recipe won’t do it for me. I changed up my everyday honey mustard vinaigrette recipe by adding in some curry and cilantro. YUM!

Switch out the traditional sandwich toppings with apple slices, red grapes and spring lettuce mix.

This isn’t your same ol’, same ol’ chicken sandwich.

I like this sandwich mainly because it’s tastes good (duh!) but it’s a great week night meal. It doesn’t require a lot of work, it’s healthy and you’ll love the way the curry flavor pairs with the apples & grapes.

Spice up your everyday chicken sandwich with this recipe…. and doesn’t it look like summer??!!

 Curry Honey Mustard Vinaigrette & Fruity Chicken Sandwiches, serves 2

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2-1 tsp curry powder (depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grapes, halved
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup spring lettuce minced
  • 2 sandwich buns


  1. In a bowl, add garlic, mustard, honey, cilantro and curry powder. Wisk. Stream in olive oil slowly while wisking. Taste. Add salt & pepper. Set bowl aside
  2. Turn grill to medium heat. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Grill chicken 8 minutes each side, or until no longer pink. Drench chicken with vinaigrette, cook one more minute.
  3. Toast your sandwich buns. Top sandwich bun with chicken, apples, grapes, green onions and lettuce. Drizzle vinaigrette over sandwich and on the top half of the bun.

Chicago Style Italian Beef, made in your kitchen

One of my favorite things about Chicago is the food. We’ve got our own style of hotdogs & pizza. Chicago has areas around the city which highlight ethnic cuisines – Little Italy, Chinatown, and Little India. If you forced me to eat only one kind of Chicago food for the rest of my life, I’d pick an Italian Beef.

I’m sure you can get an Italian Beef sandwich in many other cities, but Chicago does it right. There are Italian Beef Restaurants that battle it out for the Best Beef in Chicago.  Personally, I’m a Portillo’s Girl. I grew up eating it and all of the other restaurants fall short in comparison.

I was out of town this weekend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bring the taste of Chicago Beef with me where ever I go. I think my popularity level rises when I make things like this for other people. :)

If you have access to a crock pot, there is no reason why you can’t make this. I needed the beef to cook for 10 hours, so I put everything in the crock pot when I went to bed. I happened to wake up in the middle of the night, all I could smell was the Italian beef cooking away. I could hardly wait until lunch!

Lunch time finally came. I couldn’t have been happier. The beef was juicy and perfectly seasoned. If this is the only thing I could eat for the rest of my life, then sign me up!

Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwiches (10 servings)

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans beef broth
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 (.7 oz.) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 5 pound rump roast, seasoned with salt & pepper
  • Crusty hoagie rolls
  • Giardiniera (if you like things hot!)


  1. Put everything in the slow cooker except for the rump roast.  Stir it a few times so the seasonings are distributed throughout the crock pot. Add the seasoned rump roast. Cook for 10 hours.
  2. Shred meat. Skim the cooking liquid for fat. Add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker. Serve on crusty hoagie rolls & top with hot giardiniera.