Roasted Sesame Ginger Carrots with Spicy Tahini and Carrot Greens

Roasted Sesame Ginger Carrots with Spicy Tahini and Carrot Greens

1 1/2 pounds carrots with greens

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

lemon juice

spicy tahini sauce, recipe below

1/2 cup (or more) carrot greens, chopped

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, salt and thyme into a small mixing bowl stir well to combine.
  3. Thoroughly wash the carrots and the greens. Pat dry.
  4. Remove the carrot greens set aside.
  5. Evenly spread the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil mixture evenly on top of the carrots. With your hands, toss the carrots and coat well with the oil mixture.
  6. Place the carrots into the oven and roast for 27 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with a squeeze of lemon juice, spicy tahini, and carrot greens. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

for the spicy tahini sauce
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon tahini paste

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 garlic clove, finally chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Place all ingredients into a medium-size bowl and stir well until thoroughly mixed. Place in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

Instant Pot Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Instant Pot Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Author note: Keep in mind that this recipe also works with electric pressure cookers. This recipe was also featured in The Dallas Morning News, along with two other weeknight Instant Pot recipes. Click here to find the recipes.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3/4 cup heavy cream

8 ounces mascarpone

2 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 pound linguine, broken in half

2 pounds shrimp

1 cup parmesan, freshly grated

4 cups arugula

1/2 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

2 1/2 cups water

  1. Melt the butter using the sauté feature on the Instant Pot. Add the onion, garlic and tomato paste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Add the white wine and deglaze the bottom of the insert. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. After 2 minutes, add the salt, cream and mascarpone. Stir until the cheese is melted and combined with the cream.
  3. Add the water and linguine. Stir well. Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot. Cook over high pressure for 4 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and do a quick pressure release after 4 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and add the shrimp. Stir well to combine. Using the sauté feature, cook the shrimp for 5-6 minutes. Stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  5. Once the shrimp and pasta is cooked add the parmesan, arugula and basil. Stir well to combine. Salt to taste and serve warm.

Cherry Chocolate French Toast

This post is dedicated to my mother 

Nancy Jo Johnson

July 1, 1954 – April 16, 2018

Morning glories—those small parts at the beginning of the day where joy and cheer reside.

Admittedly, morning is not the best time of the day for me. I’m groggy and slow to wake. However, I find myself surrounded by three morning glories (four if you count the dog) almost daily which makes daybreak that much better for me.Breakfast is the sunshine to their already happy start. It’s a meal that I have had to grow into. A cup of coffee with steamed milk is all I crave. They, on the other hand, will shovel as much food as possible into their systems to get their day rolling.

I have grown into the role of morning cook in my (almost) eight years of motherhood. It started off with early morning feedings that evolved into 7:30 am bottle rituals that grew into pureed baby foods and then solid foods.Morning by morning I’ve nourished them to get their day started and I’ve come to love the mornings and their excitement for breakfast.

This isn’t the typical Mother’s Day post where I encourage others to make all the mothers a beautiful spread of food to showcase the love you have for the women in your life.Today, I want to showcase what women do, day-in and day-out for the ones they love. They feed them…




MentallyA mother’s job is done in love every day. It comes in the form of embraces, words, chores, errands, silence—there are too many words to choose from that describe the doings of a mom. These actions feed the lives around them and that’s what makes mothers feeders.

My mother embodied motherhood. She loved, played and worked hard for her daughters. Her devotion to us never faltered.Cooking was a chore for this lovely woman, but there were a few meals she would get excited to make. One being breakfast for her three morning glories.

French toast was one of her specialties. I would remember her cracking the eggs and scrambling them up with a fork. She would always add ground cinnamon to the mixture and a touch of sugar. The bread would be dipped into the mixture and coated on both sides, then browned to golden perfection.We would smother the toast with syrup and smile, sticky faces and all.

I see this same excitement with my children when I make them French toast. Every time I make this breakfast I think of my mom and the way she beautifully and lovingly fed her little family. This Mother’s Day I want to embrace the role given to me seven and a half years ago. I want to feed the ones I love and tell them a story about a woman who loved so incredibly well.

Cherry Chocolate French Toast

8-10 thick slices of French bread

4 large eggs

1 cup half and half

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

unsalted butter

maple syrup for topping

cherry jam for topping, recipe below

whipped cream for topping, recipe below

  1. Combine the eggs and half and half in a large flat bottomed dish. Whisk until well-mixed. Add the salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Continue to whisk until the cinnamon and cocoa powder are thoroughly incorporated. Be sure to break up any pockets of cinnamon and cocoa powder.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and melt.
  3. Coat four slices of bread on both sides with the egg and half and half mixture. Place the bread into the skillet and cook until golden on both sides. Turn only once or twice to get the best sear on the toast.
  4. Set aside and let cool on a cooling rack. Repeat these steps until all the bread is nicely toasted.
  5. Serve warm topped with maple syrup, cherry jam and whipped cream.

for the cherry jam

Author note: This recipe is easily halved. If cherries are not in season, frozen cherries also work, but require a bit more simmering time. Serve on your favorite French toast, biscuits, vanilla ice cream or PB&J sandwich.

3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted

pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Remove the lid, stir the mixture and increase the heat to medium or medium-high. Cook for 35-45 minutes (the cherries should maintain a steady boil). Stir frequently to prevent burning. When the mixture is reduced, thickened and coats the back of a spoon it is finished cooking.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge.

for the Whipped Cream

1 cup cream

1/2 cup crème fraiche

3 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Place a stainless steel bowl (or the preferred mixing bowl) in the fridge and let chill for 15 minutes.
  2. Once the bowl is chilled, remove it from the fridge and place all ingredients in the bowl.
  3. With a whipping attachment, whip the cream mixture on medium until peaks form.
  4. Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Sheet Pan Gochujang Chicken and Broccoli

Sheet Pan Gochujang Chicken and Broccoli

3 1/2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks (with skin on and bone-in)

1 pound of broccolini, woody ends and leaves removed

1-2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and thinly slice

1 onion, cut into bite-size chunks

5 tablespoons soy sauce

9 tablespoons gochujang paste

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons honey

4 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar

cooked jasmine rice, for serving

lime wedges, for topping

chopped fresh cilantro, for topping

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the vegetables and chicken into a large bowl.
  3. Place the gochujang, soy sauce, ground ginger, sesame oil, honey and rice wine vinegar into a medium-size bowl. Whisk well to incorporate. Set aside.
  4. Pour 3/4 to 1 cup of gochujang sauce on top of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir well to thoroughly coat the chicken and vegetables. Set aside the remaining sauce to use later on.
  5. Pour the chicken and vegetable mixture onto a foil lined baking sheet. Be sure that the chicken is on top of the vegetables to evenly cook the chicken.
  6. Place baking sheet into the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and serve on top of cooked jasmine rice. Top each serving with a bit of remaining gochujang sauce, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro. Season to taste with soy sauce.

Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

No matter the season, soup always sounds good to me. I do realize this isn’t the case for everyone. For some, once the warm weather hits, slow simmers have no place in the kitchen.

That’s why I’m squeezing a soup recipe for you into this last bit of moderate weather.Sausage, Kale and Potato soup is a perfect spring soup that has a bit of kick, a handful of greens and a lot of comfort that requires a touch of simmering.

The “kick” to the soup is really up to you. I like to use a mild to hot pork sausage, because I like my soups to be a bit spicy. Your local Market Street’s butcher has a wonderful and varied selection of sausages to choose from that would be perfect for this soup.Don’t be afraid of the bit of green in this soup. Kale is an ingredient I don’t cook with often (to see oven baked sausage and rice stuffed kale leaves, click here), but every time I do I am happy that I did. It’s a nutrient packed green (full of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and LOADs of vitamins) that when cooked down with a spicy chicken broth tastes similar to southern collard greens. And to be honest, I could eat multiple servings of collards every day of the week.

Potatoes yield a cozy and comforting element when cooked in soups. I love a soup that utilizes potatoes in the perfect proportions (and size!). Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup has the perfect ratio of potato to broth.Now that I’ve broken down the three main components of this recipe, let’s review my soup must-have checklist:




Dunking Vessel—oops, I forgot!Be sure to snag some crusty bread at the Market Street bakery (toasted sourdough goes great with this soup!) when passing through the produce department. It will be the cherry on top of this delightful spring meal. Maybe you’ll even get to eat a bowl (or two) during one of those refreshing spring showers.

Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

1 pound spicy pork sausage

1/4 cup carrot, diced

1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

10 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

small bundle of fresh thyme, tied

1/2 pound kale, stem removed and leaves rough chopped

2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

  1. Place the sausage, carrots and onions into a large stock pot or pan. Cook over medium heat for 13-15 minute, or until the sausage is cooked and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the chicken stock, oregano, salt and thyme. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the kale and potatoes and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the kale is softened and the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Stir in the vinegar and let warm through for five minutes. Serve warm.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

30 Second S’mores

30 Second S'mores

marshmallow crème “fluff” (see recipe below)

graham crackers

semi-sweet chocolate chips.

  1. Spread the marshmallow fluff onto the graham cracker. Top with chocolate chips. Serve immediately.

for the marshmallow crème “fluff”

Author note: This recipe requires a candy thermometer.

1 cup sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon water

4 egg whites

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup into a sauce pan. Stir to combine. Cook over high until it reaches 240 degrees (about 15 minutes). Do not stir while the corn syrup mixture is cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer on high whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large stainless steel bowl until stiff peak forms, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract to the egg whites.
  4. Once the corn syrup mixture has reached 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Lower the mixer speed to low and slowly pour the corn syrup mixture into the egg white peaks. Once the syrup has been poured into the egg whites, increase the speed to medium high and continue to whip until the marshmallow crème is fluffy, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Let the marshmallow crème “fluff” cool. Place in airtight containers and store in the fridge up to two weeks.

Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Baguette

Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Baguette

8 ounces cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

zest of one lemon

french baguette

fresh mint

Author note: If you prefer toasted bread, slice the baguette and then lightly toast in the oven before adding the horseradish cream, smoked salmon and mint.

  1. Remove the cream cheese from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium-size bowl add the cream cheese, vinegar, salt, horseradish and lemon zest. Stir well to combine.
  3. Slice the baguette in half (hot dog style). Add a generous smear of horseradish cream on each slice of baguette. Top the cream with slices of smoked salmon and fresh mint. Serve at room temperature.

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