cooking = therapy

I’ve been a tad stressed out lately and I find that whenever I cook it’s a stress reliever.

I’ve been cooking a lot lately.  Here are a couple of the recipes I’ve made lately.

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos by and (Modifications by me in Red)


2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 green onions, sliced, white parts and tops separated
3 tablespoons canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 shredded, cooked, whole chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup salsa
1/2 (12 ounce) package tortilla chips
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/2 large tomato, diced
Refried beans
Sliced olives


> Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
> In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the garlic and white parts of the green onions in canola oil until tender.
> Mix in shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated with oil.
> Stir in the salsa.
> Arrange tortilla chips on a large baking sheet.
>Spread refried beans on top of chips
> Spoon the chicken mixture over tortilla chips.
> Top with Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend and tomato.
> Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
> Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onion tops before serving.

** TIP: Heat the chips for 5 minutes before cooking the nachos to avoid sogginess. Can also add jalapenos, fat free sour cream and taco seasoning to chicken mixture.

I add olives, sour cream, jalapenos, and guacamole on top of the nachos after it comes out of the oven.

My husband LOVES when I make these randomly or for game day.  They taste like the chicken nachos at Taco Bell… actually even better.

I actually made a smaller portion that what is called for (I believe the version above calls for a serving size of 6).  I didn’t want to make the full portion as I made sliders earlier for the 10am games.

Of course with Hawaiian bread.  It plays up that sweet and salty feel.  Potato Rolls are awesome with sliders too.   I don’t have a recipe for sliders.  Just get a some good ground beef (Sirloin or Chuck) with a good fat content (80-20).  Make them into mini patties and season with salt and pepper on both sides and grill or place on the griddle.  Toast up the bread.  Ketchup and mustard and either pickles or caramelized onions.  YUMMY!  Don’t forget a nice cold beer with that!

Last week you  might’ve seen my farmers market buys.  I bought some figs which ended up molding (I know gross) after two days sitting out, so I had to throw them out.  I did however still have butternut squash and made this.

Saffron Rissoto with Butternut Squash by Ina Garten


  • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

For some reason my risotto ended up being salty, probably because I used the powdered stock instead of low sodium stock in a box or homemade risotto.  But it was still pretty tasty.  I also crisped up some extra pancetta and put it over the top for texture.

Keep posted for a couple more easy peasy recipes I’ve whipped up.  As well as a DIY.

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