happy dance

Sometimes when I cook a delicious meal upon tasting I do a little happy dance because it’s so good I could dance. ¬†ūüėõ ¬†Or I just dance randomly. ¬†Ask my husband. ¬†If theres background music from a show or any kind of music playing while I’m cooking or standing around, I’ll start dancing if I feel like it and I won’t really notice. ¬†There’s a constant party in my head and I’m invited.

When I tasted this meal, which is a recipe I’ve mastered, I did a little happy dance. ¬†We haven’t had it in about a month and a half and it was DELISH! ¬†I recommended either Giada DeLaurentiis or Ina Garten’s recipe. ¬†Either one is delicious. ¬†I didn’t want to open a bottle of white wine just to cook as part of this recipe, so I went with Giada’s recipe instead. ¬†PLUS it’s quite easy to make. ¬†This is also a husband favorite. ¬†I paired it with rice as usual, but you can easily pair it with some whole wheat pasta or mashed or roasted potatoes.

CHICKEN PICCATA by Giada DeLaurentiis


2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large 10 or 12-inch skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Reduce heat to medium low and add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whiskvigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.


or better known as arugula. ¬†I LOVE arugula. ¬†The bitterness of the greens is just intriguing to the¬†pallet. ¬†When I was younger in Italy I remember eating arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan cheese, pears, and salt and pepper. ¬†YUMMY! ¬†I tried it again as an adult at an Italian store in New Jersey and then multiple times in the UK. ¬†I didn’t buy it regularly until I loved to California. ¬†I didn’t know where to find it in Virginia or I wasn’t looking hard enough. ¬†I was in the mood for some after I got back from my last trip to the UK and have had it in multiple dishes (mostly lunch).

This is one of my FAVE lunches to prepare:  Salad Pizza


Pita Bread
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Rosemary (dried or fresh)
Basil (Dried or Fresh)
Oregano (Dried)
Tomatoes (any kind:  plum, cherry, sun dried, grape, etc.)
Lemon Juice
Parmesan Cheese
Pine Nuts
Bacon (optional)


Drizzle olive oil on pita bread.  Sprinkle garlic powder, rosemary, basil, oregano, salt and pepper on pita bread.  Put into toaster oven/oven until pita bread is toasted.  About 3-5 minutes.

While this is happening, heat a small pan and fry and season egg to liking. ¬†An over easy or sunny side up is good in this recipe. ¬†I would not recommend a scrambled egg. ¬†The reason an over easy or sunny side up is good is because the yolk serves almost like a dressing to the salad or sauce to the “pizza.”

Put arugula in bowl and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and peper and toss. ¬†Paced tossed arugula on top of toasted pita bread. ¬†Then add parmesan cheese, tomato, and pine nuts on top. ¬†Then top with egg. ¬†If desired, sprinkle bacon. ¬†I also consider this a breakfast salad pizza sometimes if I’m in the mood for a “healthier” breakfast on the weekends.

MMMMM…. looky at that runny egg.

Veggie Breakfast English Muffin Sandwich

This is super easy.


English Muffins
Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper


Toast English Muffin.  Fry and season egg to liking (in this case, I did a scrambled egg).  When english muffin is done toasting, butter the muffins.  Then fill with egg, cheese, tomato, and arugula.

I hate leftovers.  I know that most leftovers depending on what you cook as the taste just develops more the longer you cook it.  But growing up I hate leftovers.  I still do.  Unless I can figure a creative way to put them together.  For the pot roast we had leftover, I made a sandwich using the leftover meat with some arugula and dijon mustard.  DELISH!

Pot Roast Sandwich


Crusty Bread
Leftover shredded pot roast meat
Mozzarella Cheese
Balsamic Vinegar


Toast bread.  Spread mayo on one side and dijon mustard on the other.  Heat leftover pot roast.  Pour a splash of balsamic vinegar onto the leftover pot roast and mix.  Then place the meat on the bread and sprinkle or lay the cheese on top.  Pile on the tomato and arugula.  Sandwich together and enjoy!

I know… some of you may be weirded out by the Balsamic Vinegar but I promise its SOOOO good with the mustard. ¬†The tangyness with the richness and fattyness of the meat is TO.DIE.FOR. ¬†I like simple yet complex flavors.

Every week, I try to cook my husband and I a seafood dinner. ¬†Sometimes twice a week. ¬†I really try to keep our dinners balanced. ¬†No chicken or pork more than 3 times a week. ¬†No beef more than twice a week. ¬†He’s not really into no meat dinners. ¬†It just doesn’t work that way. ¬†He’s not a carnivore but he just prefers to have substance… plus he’s not a huge veggie fan. ¬†So again I tried this salmon recipe from Giada and put it on a bed of arugula dressed with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon. ¬†It paired perfectly well because the recipe suggests you squeeze lemon juice over the salmon plus the bitterness of the arugula works so well with the tangyness of the mustard and lemon. ¬†YUM! ¬†Definitely a a recipe to save for later.

Broiled Salmon with Herbed Mustard Glaze on top of a bed of arugula salad by Giada DeLaurentiis

2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
6 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 lemon wedges


In a mini food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard. Grind the mustard sauce until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard to the sauce and stir to combine. Set aside mustard sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes. Spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets. Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

I had lots of veggies leftovers from the pot roast that we made, so I made some soup (you’ll see the remixed version in another post), but I wanted some bread with it, but didn’t want plain bread with butter or grilled cheese, so I decided to make a semi healthier veggie grilled cheese with the arugula.

Grown up veggie grilled 3 cheese sandwich


Crusty bread (I used french here)
Colby Jack


Butter bread. ¬†Then one cheese on top of bread. ¬†Then top tomato and arugula and remaining 2 cheeses. ¬†This way you have cheese “glue” on both sides of the bread. ¬†Grill you bread until cheese is melted. ¬†Enjoy with soup especially on a crisp fall day. ¬†YUM!

So fresh so light

I wanted something light and heavy for dinner, so I¬†thought¬†why not salmon. ¬†But I didn’t want to make the usual miso salmon glaze or honey broiled salmon. ¬†So I found Giada’s recipe for Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree. ¬† I decided on this because the husband loves him some peas. ¬†I’ve made fish and chips with mushy peas before and he loved it. ¬†One of his other favorite dishes is ground beef¬†saut√©ed¬†with peas and pasta carbonara with lots of peas.

The only modification that I made was instead of mint (because I didn’t have any), I used parsley. ¬†It was still delicious.