As a chocolate fan, I adore brownies. There is no way you could not. They are full of chocolate flavor and can be made a variety of ways: chewy, gooey, melty, etc. For this recipe, I wanted to use one of my favorite fruit preserves, and a fruit that goes well with chocolate, cherries. I soaked the cherry preserves with rum so that the flavor gets intensified. The end result is a block of brownies, that are soft, chewy, and filled with chocolate flavor. They are quick and easy to make, and make a great treat or quick gift. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Cooling time: 45 min to 1 hour

Serves: 12 pieces


¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup quality 100% dark cocoa powder

4 oz of quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

5 tbsps of butter, melted

1 cup of sugar

3 large eggs

½ cup of cherry preserves

2 shots of spiced rum

¼ teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 capfuls of vanilla extract


  • First, combine the rum and the preserves and let them sit while you prepare the brownies. This will allow the cherries to absorb the rum. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9×9 pan, covering it with a piece of buttered, parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, sea salt, baking powder, and whisk together. Set aside
  • Melt the chocolate pieces either in the microwave or on the stovetop, being careful not to burn them
  • In a separate, large bowl, add the eggs, vanilla extract, melted chocolate, melted butter, pouring in about 2 tablespoons of the rum-jam liquid. Whisk together until it is combined
  • Slowly pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together until a chocolatey batter forms
  • Pour the batter into the pan. Top the batter with the cherries and any extra juices. You can use the back of a spoon or a knife to blend the jam with the batter
  • Place in the oven and bake until it has risen, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Remove from the pan and place in the wire rack to cool
  • Cut into 12 pieces
  • Serve and enjoy!


One of my favorite Indian foods is Chicken Tikka Masala. So, since I have been craving some Indian food, I decided to take a stab at it and make my own, and I got to say, it came out incredible. While I was making the sauce, it reminded me of making vodka sauce at the prior Italian restaurants I worked at, but without the vodka. I ate so much of it, that I ended up getting the itis. I even made some homemade naan for it, for which you could find the recipe when you click here. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Wait time: 1 hours


            For the chicken and its marinade

2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts diced into nice large chunks

1 cup plain full-fat yogurt

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons of coriander

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of garam masala

1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a lemon)

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried ginger

2 teaspoons red chili flakes

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

            For the Sauce

2 tablespoons of butter

1 medium red onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 chunk of fresh ginger root, about 1 tablespoon, minced

2 teaspoons of garam masala

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of coriander

14 ounces of fresh or canned tomato sauce

2 cups of heavy cream


  • In a large metal bowl, combine the chicken and all its marinade ingredients. Refrigerate for about an hour or overnight if you would like
  • When it is ready to cook, in a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, add the chicken chunks one by one to cook over a medium-high heat. Be sure not to crowd them. Cook them evenly about 2-3 minutes on each side depending on the size of the chunk. Remove them and place them in a paper towel lined plate. The chicken will cook more once it gets added to the sauce
  • Once all the chicken chunks have been cooked, remove any excess liquid from the pan. Add the butter and melt it, combining it with the leftover remnants of the cooked chicken
  • Sauté the onions until they are fragrant and become translucent. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant and they begin to soften. Add the spices and toast them for about 20 seconds in the pan, then begin to mix them with the onions and garlic.
  • Add the tomato sauce and mix. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Then add the heavy cream and mix. Add the chicken and decrease heat to medium
  • Let the chicken simmer in the sauce until the sauce begins to thicken and reduce
  • Once the chicken has reduced, top with some chopped cilantro. Serve with some jasmine rice and naan bread. Click here  for Naan bread recipe!
  • Enjoy!


Grilling time is always a good time, especially when there are burgers on the grill. This recipe combines my Hellenic roots with a traditional American staple, the hamburger. It is a perfect way to introduce something new to the grill, especially since you will also be grilling cheese!!! The grilled halloumi complements the burger well and really adds a sharpness of flavor. This is unlike any burger you have ever had. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Wait Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 4


1 pound of ground pork

1 pound of ground lamb

2 tablespoons of oregano

1 tablespoon of rosemary

1 teaspoon of red chili flakes


Black pepper

Olive Oil

1 block of halloumi or another semi-hard cheese that can be grilled, cut into 1/4 inch slices

2 large tomatoes

1 large green cubanelle pepper

Kalamata olives, pitted

1 large scallion


  • In a large bowl add the meats, and the spices and mix. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and mix further
  • Put the meat in the fridge and let cool for half an hour
  • Once the meat is ready, shape into 4oz patties and press a thumbprint into the center
  • Heat up a grill to medium high heat, or you can cook the patties in a ridge lined pan in a medium high heat as well using olive oil to sauté them
  • Cook the patties about 6 minutes on each side
  • Once the patties are done, cover them in foil and set them aside for about 10 minutes so that they can rest
  • Grill the halloumi, about 5 minutes on each side and set aside once done
  • Prepare a salad using the tomatoes, olives, pepper, and scallion. I was using this as both a burger topping and side salad
  • Assemble the burger to your liking using any condiments you choose. I topped mine with pickles and the salad I made
  • Enjoy!


Baked tortellini9

Baked tortellini10

What can be a more comforting meal than a big, saucy, CHEESY, plate of pasta. In this dish, I am showing you how to make a delicious tangy tomato sauce from scratch that will make any Italian nona proud. The dish is baked and the cheese becomes this beautiful, gooey, stringy companion to the sauce. This is a big hearty meal that should be enjoyed with a nap afterwards. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Bake Time: 35 Minutes

Serves: 4


1 package of tortellini

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 plump Roma or plum tomatoes, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of pesto

2 tablespoons of roasted red pepper paste

¼ cup of chopped parsley

1-pound ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼ thick or crumbled, based on your preference

½ cup grated parmesan cheese or pecorino romano


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook the tortellini to package instructions and strain. Set aside until it is time to bake
  • Time to make the sauce!
  • In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in olive oil until it becomes fragrant. Then add the diced tomatoes and continue to sauté until both the tomatoes and garlic soften

Baked tortellini

  • Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir
  • Add the salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and sugar and stir until they are blended into the sauce. Bring to boil, and then lower the heat to bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Add the pesto and roasted red pepper paste and stir until it is blended. Then add the parsley and stir one last time. Shut the heat off and set the sauce aside.

Baked tortellini2

  • In a baking pan or dish, cover the base with a thin layer of sauce. Add half the tortellini amount and cover with sauce. Sprinkle some of the grated parmesan or pecorino romano across the sauce covered tortellini. Evenly place mozzarella slices across the top of the tortellini. Cover with sauce again and sprinkle more of the grated cheese

  • Add the remaining tortellini and repeat the sauce and cheese cover process

Baked tortellini7

  • Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until the cheese has become golden brown and the sauce is bubbling
  • Let it cool for 5 minutes
  • Serve and enjoy!

Baked tortellini11




There is something about the taste combination of sweet and spicy that I really enjoy. From potato chip flavors, to grilled meat, even to alcohol, the that sweet-spicy combination is very inviting. Particularly on a rack of ribs, that flavor is insanely tasty. Below I have these tender pork ribs that have been dry rubbed with homemade sweet and spicy rub, I even made some potato wedges and used the same seasoning to accompany the ribs. There is no sauce on these ribs and they are still tenderly juicy. Try yours today!

sweet heat ribs6

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Serves: 4


3 to 3 ½ pounds of pork spareribs

½ cup of brown sugar

2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne

Olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a metal bowl, mix all the spices together

sweet heat ribs

  • Drizzle olive oil over the ribs and sprinkle the rub. Using your hands, evenly coat the ribs with the rub on both sides
  • Place the ribs on a metal baking sheet and place on the lower rack of the oven.

sweet heat ribs 2

  • Keep an any on the ribs. About half an hour of cooking, flip the ribs and cover with aluminum foil, and move onto the middle rack. If you also see the brown sugar darkening, you can flip the ribs then as well. Continue cooking for the remaining time
  • Once finished, let ribs rest, and serve with your favorite side
  • Enjoy!

sweet heat ribs5

For the Potatoes

  • Peel and clean about 5 or 6 large Russet potatoes and let them soak in hot water for about 10 minutes
  • Dry them off and cut them in wedges
  • Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them. Sprinkle some of the dry rub on them
  • Place in the over for the last 30-35 minutes of the ribs baking or until the potatoes become fork tender
  • Serve with the ribs

sweet heat ribs 3


lamb chops with spinach3

lamb chops with spinach4

I love cooking lamb chops. They are very easy to season, do not take long to cook, and have an immense flavor. They are, in my opinion, the easiest meat to use in creating a quick dinner and you don’t need to over-season them to get a flavor. My recipe for lamb chops is perfect for a weekday dinner where you don’t feel like taking a long time to cook. 20 minutes is all you need. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 8 Minutes

Serves: 2


8 lamb chops

1 pound of spinach

3 tbsps olive oil

2 tbsps oregano

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tbsp red chili flakes

1 tbsp Aleppo pepper or harissa powder


  • Preheat your grill or stove top grill pan to medium-high.
  • Arrange lamb chops in a single layer on a plate and season both sides.

lamb chops with spinach

  • Once seasoned, transfer to the pan or grill and cook about 4 min on each side
  • While the lamb chops are cooking, prepare the spinach.

lamb chops with spinach2

  • Add some olive oil to a pan and season with some red chili flakes. Heat on a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the spinach and cook it until it has wilted and cooked
  • Plate the spinach and top with the lamb chops
  • Enjoy!


Sun spot2

Sun spot3

I had been wanting to make a custard based dessert for a while, but could not decide on what. I did not want it to be too basic, but also not too complicated either. I finally decided on making what I call the Sun Spot. It is inspired by the Portuguese Pasteis de Nata, however, rather that using a tart crust as the pasteis, I turned to my Mediterranean roots and opted for phyllo dough instead. What came out was a creamy, buttery, crispy, mixture that I could not stop eating, and, because they are small bite-sized cups, I had no issue doing so. I called them Sun Spots because when I took them out of the oven, and looked below at them, they looked like the sun. Try them today!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 12 cups


10 sheets of phyllo dough

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup white sugar

6 egg yolks

1 capful of vanilla extract

Orange peels

1 cinnamon stick


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the egg yolks, the sugar, the corn starch, and the vanilla extract and blend well with a whisk until sugar begins to dissolve and a creamy mixture forms
  • In a medium sized saucepan, heat the milk with the orange peels and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer
  • Using a ladle, slowly pour one scoop of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to blend. Transfer the mixture slowly into the milk and stir until it begins to thicken. Once it thickens, transfer it to a clean bowl through a sieve or strainer to remove any lumps and the orange peels and cinnamon stick. Let the cream cool and while it cools, prepare the phyllo dough

Sun spot5

  • Butter up a muffin tin
  • Carefully butter one sheet of phyllo and place it on your work surface. Butter another sheet and stack it on top of the first. Cut them into six square pieces. Stack two pieces one over the other to make a star. Place it in the muffin tin hole. Repeat process until all muffin tins holes are filled

Sun spot6

  • Pour the custard into the phyllo dough slowly until it is ¾ of the way full

Sun spot4

  • Place into the oven to bake. Bake until the phyllo is golden brown, about 15 minutes. While it is baking, make the syrup
  • To make the syrup, add a tablespoon of sugar, a little water to barely cover the sugar, and some orange peel and simmer until sugar is dissolved and it thickens a bit
  • Once the cups have finished baking, remove them from the oven and brush them with the syrup
  • Let cool down before serving
  • Enjoy!




The blondie is the cousin of everyone’s favorite, the brownie. It substitutes the cocoa powder for vanilla and brown sugar. This dessert is quick and easy to make, and very versatile for anyone who is on the go. My recipe uses brown butter in the mixture which adds a nutty flavor with hints of caramel. Together with the addition of sour cherry preserves and spiced rum, it takes the taste of the blondie to new levels. Try yours today and wash down with a nice, cold glass of milk!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yields 20 blondies


1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cups regular sugar

2 cups flour

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

4 tablespoons of jam or preserves of your preference (I used sour cherry preserves)

½ cup of mini chocolate chips

1 shot of spiced rum


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan and cover with parchment paper, going up the sides. Grease the parchment paper. Set aside
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Cook after it has melted until the color begins to darken and the butter becomes more fragrant. This will add, a nutty, almost caramel flavor to the blondies. Once the butter has browned, transfer to a bowl and let cool until it just begins to solidify. You can place the butter in the refrigerator to cool
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Take the butter out from the fridge, add both sugars, and whisk until smooth. Then add the eggs and vanilla and whisk
  • Add the dry ingredients and stir until they’re incorporated. The consistency will be thick


  • Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips across the batter. Add the jam across the batter and either swirl, or just drop in. Place it in the middle rack in the oven


  • Bake until it begins to golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. About 20-25 minutes
  • Let cool and serve
  • Enjoy!


shepherd's pie7

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It has everything from sauteed meat and veggies, to creamy mashed potatoes, all stuffed in a flaky, buttery crust. Although it is customary to make the Shepherd’s pie without a crust, I decided to take the path less traveled and make it into an actual pie like it’s name suggests. The result is a meal that will leave you full and satisfied. This is a hearty treat, perfect for those cold wintry days. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 55 minutes

Serves: 6


2 lbs. ground beef

3 cups mashed potatoes

½ cup shredded cheddar

1 large carrot, cleaned and diced

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 package of cremini mushrooms, chopped

Fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Fresh oregano leaves, chopped,

Fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1 cup corn and peas mix

½ cup red wine

1 teaspoon Korean chili paste

1 cup tomato sauce


Black pepper

Red pepper flakes


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick of cold butter, chopped

2 to 3 tablespoons cold water


  • Before cooking the meat and veggies, prep the dough
  • In a food processor, add the flour, salt, and butter, and pulse for 5 seconds to blend it
  • Slowly add the water, little by little, and pulse until the pastry starts to come together. When you touch it, you should be able to press and mold it
  • Transfer it to your work surface and roll it into a ball and flatten it into a disc. Plastic wrap it and refrigerate it until it is chilled. While it is in the fridge, prepare the filling
  • In a skillet, or large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle some red chili flakes. Simmer over a medium heat for two minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the meat and cook until one side has seared and it has begun to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and flip the meat over so that it cooks and browns evenly.
  • Remove the meat from the skillet or pan and strain the oil from it. Put aside. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the carrots and onions. Cook on a medium high heat until the onions become translucent and the carrots begin to soften
  • Add the mushrooms and cook on a medium high heat until all the water from the mushrooms has begun to evaporate. Add the Korean chili paste, garlic, oregano, parsley, and thyme and stir. Season with more salt and pepper

shepherd's pie

  • Add the meat to the veggie mixture, the wine, and tomato sauce, and stir. Once the sauce has been mixed in, add the peas and corn and mix. Set aside

shepherd's pie2

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and, on a floured working surface, roll it out to 12-14 inches depending on the size of your baking dish. I used a cast iron skillet. Butter the base and sides of your baking dish. Place your dough in the dish and press it against the base and sides. Using a fork, poke holes on the base and sides. We are going to parbake it. Place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges begin to golden

shepherd's pie3

  • Take the crust out. Scoop the meat into the crust and level it so that it is even throughout

shepherd's pie4

  • Mix the cheddar with the mashed potatoes and spoon them evenly throughout the pie

shepherd's pie5

  • Bake until the edges begin to golden brown and mashed potatoes begin to crust.
  • For the last 5 minutes, broil on low so that a nice char forms on the mashed potatoes
  • Serve and enjoy!

shepherd's pie8