Secret Recipe Club!

Happy Happy Monday y’all!
Well, it’s time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal. Seriously, this is the highlight of my month. This month my secret food blogger was the couple from Eliot’s Eats. Now, since starting their blog, the couple have chosen to remain anonymous….oooo love it! It just leaves more to the imagination. They named the blog Eliot’s Eats, after the wife’s fave poet, T.S. Eliot. Then, a stray cat showed up on their doorstep, and what do ya know? They named him Eliot, after which they found out that it was actually a girl cat. Haha! Anyway, I just loved their blog, where the couple posts about their many travels, love of fresh, local ingredients, trips to the farmer’s market, and of course, their love of food.

The first recipe that really caught my eye was one for raspberry jam, and being that raspberries are my fave fruit, oh, and the fact that it is summer and canning season, I took it as a sign.

Best. Idea. Ever.

This raspberry jam is super simple to make, and might I add…delicious.

The raspberries are seasoned with fresh ginger, and slightly sweet from the combination of their own juices and the addition of honey.

The jam gets a kick of heat from red pepper flakes…what the what? I know, it’s genius! 
Just look at that color!

 I put a dollop of the jam on my waffle for a mid-morning snack!

Out of

 this world!

Normally, I would make adaptations to the recipe to give it my own spin, but this just looked irresistible! All I did was cut the recipe in half for one. Thanks to Eliot’s Eats for the recipe and be sure to check out their blog!

Raspberry Jam with Ginger and Chili:

2 c. frozen raspberries
1/4 c. honey (all I had was agave nectar on hand)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 T. freshly grated ginger

1. In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Simmer until very thick, mashing with a potato masher and then stirring, about 10 minutes total.
4. Transfer to sterilized jars; cover and chill at least 4 hours. Store for two weeks in the refrigerator, or put in freezer containers and freeze for freezer jam.

Makes 1 half-pint jar of jam.


Not French Fries.

Happy Tuesday y’all!
Yes, it’s only the second day of the week, but just think of it like this: one more day and we will be over the hump and the weekend will hit us like a tray of frozen margaritas. It’s not even 8 o’clock and I have definitely been craving comfort food, specifically, fries. Now, while I love me some good ole’ fashioned greasy, crunchy, french fries (I’m actually more partial to waffle fries…don’t bring me to Chick Fil’ A…it will be madness), today, is all about the sweet stuff. Surprise, surprise. 
Beware sweet potato lovers…

you will eat these for 
 breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, and dinner
because it’s totally acceptable, and because I definitely had a handful with my strawberries this morning? 

These things are simple. I like simple things. Two ingredients: coconut oil and sea salt.
Life changing. 
 Oh, but only use this delicious cilantro-coconut dipping sauce for lunch, linner, and dinner. 
Maybe. You might just have to come over and pry it out of my hands.
Is it Friday yet? 
Coconut and Sea Salt Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro-Coconut Dipping Sauce:
For the sweet potato fries:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced into thin strips, lengthwise
1/4 c. melted coconut oil, divided
sea salt, as needed
For the dipping sauce:
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 c. Greek yogurt
3 T. light coconut milk (full-fat is fine too)
juice of 1/2 an orange
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Distribute the cut sweet potatoes evenly between the two baking sheets.
3. Toss each set of sweet potato fries with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. 
4. Lay the sweet potato fries out in a uniform line and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.
6. While the sweet potato fries are baking, make the dipping sauce.
7. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, garlic, and Greek yogurt using a spatula.
8. Whisk in the coconut milk and orange juice.
9. Add sea salt and black pepper to season to your liking. 
10. Allow the sweet potato fries to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Serve.
Makes about 30-40 sweet potato fries and about 1 cup of dipping sauce.

Game Face On.

Happy Saturday all!!!

I know what you must be thinking. Really, Chelsy? A post on Saturday? Well, all I have to say is that I am on fire, well, not literally, but to put it simply, I have been having a blast rolling out the recipes this week. I am really getting acclimated to being my parents’ personal chef and I have finally begun to discover what they like to eat. Basically, it’s all about quick, simple, and flavorful meals in this house. While I really do enjoy slaving over a hot-cooked meal…there is nothing better than biting into a slow-roasted chicken at the end of a long workday, there is nothing wrong with a little convenience now and then. I have spoiled myself with these simple recipes! Seriously, not the “oh my gosh I am sixteen and I just spent all my Daddy’s money at the mall on shoes and a Coach hand bag kind of spoiled,” but more of the “I am exhausted from a week full of work and now I am going to go get a much needed pedicure and a massage for myself kind of spoiled.” Yes, simplicity is the name of the game people. Speaking of games? Isn’t there some big game played with a brown pig-skin tomorrow between hot guys in tight pants? O yea, well this recipe would be the for Sunday’s Super Bowl game. 

There is nothing wrong with chopping up some fresh veggies (do it ahead to save time)
 Add some fresh herbs…you can see where I am going with this right?
Add some turkey, mix it
 all together now…
 Bam! Mexican-Style Sweet and Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Maybe even top it with some fresh Pineapple Apple Salsa.

It doesn’t get more healthier than that, people. Do it. Do it now. Then you can share with your friends and family sit in a corner with the entire platter, surrounded by a fortress of ice coolers on Super bowl Sunday. Game face on.


Mexican-Style Sweet and Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps:

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey (I used 97% fat content)
1 orange bell pepper, seeds discarded, roughly chopped
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. ground chipotle powder
1/2 t. ground Spanish paprika
1/2 t. ground chile powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. green onions, roughly chopped
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 large head of iceberg lettuce

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. 
2. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, saute for about 3 minutes, just until the mixture has “sweat down” a bit.
3. Add the spices and mix thoroughly, cook for around 1 minute.
4. Add the ground turkey and salt, cooking over a medium-high heat. Make sure to break apart the turkey with the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks. 
5. Cook the turkey for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown.
6. When the turkey is lightly browned, add the green onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.
8. Spoon 2-3 large spoonfuls of the turkey mixture into each piece of lettuce. Top the meat mixture with salsa (see recipe below).

Pineapple Apple Salsa:

1 Serrano pepper, seeds discarded, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds discarded, finely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 c. pineapple, cut into small chunks
1 pink lady apple, peeled and cored, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 T. distilled white vinegar
salt, to taste

1. Prepare everything as noted. Place all ingredients, except for lime, vinegar, and salt into a large bowl.
2. Toss everything together with the lime juice and vinegar.
3. Season to taste with salt.


Not yo’ Mama’s Almond Butter

Happy Wednesday all!

I hope you are enjoying the hump to get you over the week. I have some exciting news…only 4 more days to Christmas! I know, i know, I am super stoked. Currently, I am rubbing my sore feet as I sit on the couch watching “The Price Is Right.” Let’s just say work was a little hectic yesterday, so I am gearing up for round two this afternoon. Gotta make that money! Today is usually a day that I will post something absolutely wordless, but you must know by now, I am a girl of many, many, words. What can I say? I like to talk and there was absolutely no way, in a million years, that I was going to let this recipe go up without a few words. I have a confession. I made something pretty freaking spectacular this weekend. 
Now don’t get freaked out, it’s not peanut butter

It’s almond butter. Yes people, I said it, almond butter. Now, this is not your ordinary almond butter, this is your “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of stuff” (yes, I watched a lot of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies growing up). Let me tell you how this almond butter thing began. Last week I made some almond butter that was more like a thick almond paste than a creamy almond butter. It was so unbelievably tough and chewy that I didn’t waste a second forming it into a makeshift basketball and dunking it into my trash can…alley oop style. 

Anyway, after that disaster I had given up on almond butter recipes and decided to stick with peanut butter. I was so frustrated with my almond butter failure of the century that I started to picture my go-to getaway, which always involves me on an island, lounging under a big palm tree, drinking coconut water from a fresh coconut. Wait, that’s it (I thought to myself), coconut…coconut + almond butter. Now, I know what you are thinking, coconut in December? Really, Chelsy? Let me tell you a little something, coconut season lasts all year round’ for me. All day, every day…end of discussion. Now, to add a hint of some Christmas flavor to the mix I added some of the good stuff. 
What says Christmas more than a fresh vanilla bean? 
Let’s just say that this is the best, not to mention, the only almond butter recipe that you will ever need.

Coconut Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

You have absolutely no idea how satisfied I am with this recipe. It definitely lifted me right out of my almond butter funk. Almond butter + coconut + coconut oil + vanilla bean…do I need to tell you anything else? I know I tell you to do stuff all the time because I am the boss, right? Well, I am not telling you, but I am ordering you to get in the kitchen and make this now. I’m signing off to shovel about 50 spoonfuls of this into my mouth  spread this on an apple for a wholesome, hearty, snack. Join me on my island getaway…trust me it is going to be absolutely fantastic!

Coconut Vanilla Bean Almond Butter:


1 1/2 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut

1 1/2 c. raw almonds 

pinch of sea salt

3 T. coconut oil, melted

1 whole vanilla bean


1. Preheat your oven to 300 F. 

2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. 

3. While the almonds are toasting, add the shredded coconut to your food processor and blend until it breaks down. This takes about five minutes or so and will require you to scrape down the sides with a spatula to keep everything moving.

4. After the coconut begins to break down, stream in the coconut oil and continue to mix. 

5. Once the almonds are finished baking, add them immediately to the coconut and blend. This works best while the almonds are still warm.

6. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean into the almond butter and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend and pulse, scraping down the sides of the processor until the butter comes together. 

Note: The almond butter will do fine if you refrigerate, but I love to keep mine stored in a small jar on the kitchen counter at room temperature. It will get firm regardless. Refrigerate after about two days. 


Secret Recipe Club and another Meatless Monday!!!

Happy Monday all!

Today I am prepping for Thanksgiving, i.e. writing my grocery list for the batch of goodies I am making. One of those goodies includes an appetizer consisting of thinly sliced prosciutto, spread with tangy goat cheese and sweet homemade jam. I haven’t decided what kind of green veggie I am going to use in these prosciutto roll-ups, maybe slices of romaine, or maybe peppery arugula. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment speaking your mind. Now that I have exhausted y’all with Thanksgiving chatter, let’s get on to the good stuff!

I am excited to announce that my Secret Recipe Club reveal for the month of November is Lisa, the Authentic Suburban Gourmet. Can you guess where she lives? Not in Texas, y’all. However, like myself, Lisa has a passion for the countryside (especially if it involves wine tasting…I hear ya, girl), entertaining, shopping @ Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table (O.M.G. it’s like crack), and of course, sharing her love of food and cooking with her readers. Plus, she is from San Francisco which gives her an A++ in my book. Lisa, I am so jealous right now…so jealous! After spending hours salivating over Lisa’s scrumptious-looking recipe collection, something occurred to me. Why not make a recipe that could assist me in prepping for my Thanksgiving appetizer. Bam.boom.done deal.

Lucky for me, Lisa is the queen of condiments and has some fantastic homemade jam recipes. Anyway, her recipe for Green Fig, Peach and Balsamic Jam looked particularly delicious and it had my name written all over it! Of course I had to make it my own, and because peaches aren’t really in season right now, I decided to call up my bff, Ms. Pear, and she and I arranged for her substitution for this fabulous recipe. Ms. Pear is totally in season right now, and if you haven’t noticed, we have become quite good friends. Plus, she accents holiday meals quite well, weather it’s being drizzled in honey, or the main event of a crisp dessert tart.

I mean, how pretty is that?

Ms. Pear and Mr. Fig met for the first time today…it was magical

Also, instead of using regular sugar, I substituted brown sugar…something about brown sugar just gets me every time. Plus, I totally forgot sugar at the grocery store and brown sugar was all I had on hand. Anyway, I made the old switcheroo and bada-bing, the pears and figs complimented each other very nicely, while the balsamic vinegar added an extra kick of flavor and a smidgen of sweetness to the jam.
This is what happens when pears and figs make a baby…glorious jam!

Love me some crackers and jam!

I lightly processed the jam at the end using an emulsion blender, just to make it a bit smoother. However, you can use a blender or food processor, or if you prefer a chunkier consistency, just let it be. It’s your call. I hope you all enjoy this fabulous recipe. Big thanks to Lisa for the recipe and inspiration, you are a rock star! I cannot wait to feature this in my holiday appetizer, its going to be ah-mazing! Don’t forget to check out the Secret Recipe Club and feel free to join in on all the fun! Tip: These also make great holiday gifts!

Fig, Pear, and Balsamic Jam:

1 1/2 lb. figs, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. pears, peeled and pit removed and coarsely chopped
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

1. Combine the figs, pears, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a large saucepan.
2. Bring to a simmer over medium to high heat. Then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook.
3. Break up the large pieces and stir periodically until the jam thickens.
4. Remove from the heat and squeeze about a tablespoon of lemon juice, stir.
5. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.
6. If too chunky, you can use a food processor to quickly pulse a bit smoother.
7. Spoon the jam into a container with a lid.
8. Using sterilized jar, spoon into jars, seal with jar and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
9. Let cool and lids should seal.


Follow the links below to enjoy all the recipes from this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal!