Posted in Food and Beverage

Bittersweet BBQ

I took a little break from the blog and California and ran to Vegas. This was a planned trip, and it came at the perfect time. I really needed to see my family and get away from life for a minute.

It was nice seeing my family, my brother and my nephew especially. I plan on going back out there in about three months.

You’re probably like, “Eryn, why are you going back out there in three months?” Well, my brother left to go to Boot Camp. It was no surprise that he joined a military branch. He was an ROTC in high school. He was ready to go to Boot Camp last year when he graduated high school in May, but something happened. Now he’s finally been able to go. 

I don’t know how his Boot Camp will be -the only understanding I have with any military training is from Mulan.

I very much doubt that’s what he’s going through. So he will be training to be a marine, and I’ve learned their Boot Camp is 13 weeks or something like that. All that time with no phone I would cry.

He requested that for his going away meal, my mom makes barbecue. I have been dying to learn how my mom makes her bbq sauce, so this was perfect. This sauce is so good; I’d put it on everything if I could.

She makes her brisket, spare ribs, and baby back ribs, all with the same sauce and rub.

I think I’ve mentioned a few times my mom doesn’t measure. So when I write down her recipes, it’s best to measure how you usually would.

My Mom’s Baby Back Ribs

The Rub

  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Red chili flakes
  • Chili powder
  • Two tablespoons of instant coffee (literally the only thing she measured)

The Sauce

  • One tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • one tablespoon of minced garlic
  • one cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • One tablespoon of yellow mustard or, as my mom said, a hint of mustard. 
  • Two tablespoons of the rub seasoning 
  • Brown sugar
  • Juice from the meat


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Season the ribs with the rub before placing them in a baking dish, meat side down
  1. Wrap the dish with aluminum foil and bake for two hours until tender.
  2. Remove the foil, take the juice from the meat and ingredients for the barbecue sauce in a saucepan, and simmer for ten minutes until thickened.
  3. Pour sauce on the meat and place the meat back in the oven for thirty minutes.
  4. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. Enjoy!!
I didn’t get the best picture of them finished. I was trying not to lose a hand to the hungry mob behind me.
Posted in Food and Beverage

Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta

Of course, I wanted all my fall cravings when it was impossible to find them.

I usually always make a meal with pumpkin or butternut squash. I just couldn’t think of a fun recipe this year until now. And Trader Joe’s sells a pumpkin pasta sauce that I love, but once October is over, everything pumpkin-related gets swiped off the counters.

Literally try this next October. It’s amazing.

So for my Friendsgiving dinner on Monday, I decided to experiment. I wanted something significantly fall. I wanted that pasta sauce, but I couldn’t have that. So I decided to try to make my own sauce. A better sauce; something a little savory and a little spicy.


  • 3 TBS butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Minced garlic
  • onion powder
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can chipotle peppers 

I recently noticed I stopped measuring seasonings and measured by a bit of this and a bit of that. I literally hate that about myself.


  1. Heat a pot over medium heat, and add butter. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté both in a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat, until the onion is soft and transparent.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, crushed tomatoes, and chipotle peppers, and seasonings. Stir until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to low Add the heavy whipping cream and cook for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
  5. Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions, and serve with pumpkin sauce on top.  

I added spicy sausage to this, but you could also use chicken. For a little extra step I recommend adding a little grated Parmesan and a little cracked pepper, when you serve.

When I told everyone pumpkin was in the pasta, everyone kept expecting some sweet pumpkin-spiced mess. And I was like, guys; pumpkin is in the squash family.

The pumpkin and crushed tomatoes blend nicely with fresh herbs, then topped with heavy cream for the perfect creamy texture!

Posted in Food and Beverage

Chicken Enchiladas

Lately, I’ve been craving my mom’s enchiladas. More specifically, her sauce, but I don’t know how to make her sauce. My mom is a little of this, little of that type of cook-like all moms. She doesn’t write recipes. She feels I should know how to cook everything she did by remembering times of helping in the kitchen as a child and how it tastes.

So my mother’s enchilada recipe, as she explained it to me, is:

Dried peppers





Chicken broth

Boil everything and then blend it.

I was a little confused and annoyed when she initially told me that. After calling her a few times while I was in the store and asking her what to grab, I made a version that tasted like hers.


• 3 ancho peppers

• 3 guajillo peppers

• Half on one onion

• 2 ripe tomatoes

• 4 garlic cloves

• 4 cups water or chicken broth

• 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

• A pinch of salt

You can also add 2-3 dried Arbol peppers if your want the sauce to be spicier.


1. Lay the dried peppers on the skillet and toast them each for a minute or two until they become fragrant. Remove and set aside. Next, place the onion, garlic, and tomatoes on the skillet and toast until lightly browned.

2. Remove the stems from the peppers. Slice the peppers open and remove and discard all of the seeds and the membranes

3. Bring your peppers in chicken broth to a rolling boil. Once at a boil, remove from heat and let them sit for 20-30 minutes until soft.

4. Boil tomatoes, onion, and garlic in water

5. Place the peppers and their liquid along with the onion, tomato, garlic, and all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth.

6. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil to a pot, then add red sauce. Simmer it uncovered for about 30 minutes. The sauce should be the thickness of heavy cream.

Add a little more water if you prefer it thinner.

And I’ll continue with the recipe with how it was told to me.

  • Cook and shred chicken and drown it in the combined salsa
  • Dice onion and shred cheese, and mix in a bowl
  • Dip tortillas in the red sauce and fry
  • Add onion cheese and chicken
  • Top with lettuce, red sauce and more cheese and onion
  • Serve with beans, rice.

Does anyone else’s parents who cook give them vague instructions? Is this the trend? When will I know to stop trying my hardest to write down everything as I do it and just say cook with a little of this and a pinch of that?

Posted in Food and Beverage

A Little Bit Of Lawless Cooking

Thanks to @mommacusses on TikTok for adding the term lawless cooking to my vocab. I love the idea that you cant break rules that don’t exist. 

 The best lawless cooking to me is when I have a craving. I made extreme versions of things when I was vegan because vegan options weren’t as standard as they are now. 

Today I decided to make a meal, knowing I didn’t have everything I needed. Anyway, it came out pretty good. The meal is loosely chicken alfredo. This is one of those recipes I will never be able to remake the same way. Primarily because I didn’t measure how much seasoning I put. The recipe came out well, and I suggest maybe trying it yourself.  

  • 1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • One small White Onion, diced
  • One head of Garlic, minced 
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
  • Italian seasoning
  • Crushed red peppers
  • Paprika 
  • Parsley
  • Two Cups Broth
  • 1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream
  • One box of spaghetti noodles
  •  Broccoli Florets
  • Two handfuls of Mexican Cheese or whichever cheese you have available
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over low to medium heat. Add the oil and onion. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften, then add ½ of Garlic. Cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the chicken, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. The chicken will turn white but won’t be cooked through.

Add mushrooms, parsley, paprika, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until the mushrooms soften slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. 

Add in the broth and heavy cream. Stir to combine, add the noodles, and press down into the liquid.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 17 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir occasionally.

Remove the lid, add the broccoli, and stir. Cover again, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Uncover, and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Posted in Food and Beverage

Cheesy Chicken Nachos

This is one of those recipes that changed names and a few ingredients every time my mother and I made it. I’ve called it Cowboy chicken, crack chicken, and dirty chicken casserole.

Today it is cheesy chicken nachos. Because I had a bag of tortilla chips and no idea what to do with them.

It never really mattered what we called it because it looks like dog food but tastes fantastic.

It reminds me of something out of Napoleon Dynamite


  • One can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup salsa verde or pico de gallo
  • One cup of milk
  • Two cups cheddar cheese
  • One 4oz can of green chilies
  • ½ bag of crushed tortilla chips.
  • One can of corn (optional)
  • One tablespoon butter
  • One pound of chicken (shredded or cubed. I cubed my chicken this time.)
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • ½ onion
  • One can of drained black beans (you can also use garbanzo beans)


  1. Sauté onion and pepper for 3-5 minutes, adding chicken and beans and corn.
  2. Add soup, salsa, and milk to the meat mixture. Stir till incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Layer tortilla chips, meat/soup mixture, green chiles, and cheese twice in a baking pan.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Side note. You can replace tortilla chips with tater tots. And instead of baking it throw it in an insta pot or crockpot. My only recommendation would be to leave out the tortilla chips when throwing it in the cooker.

This is great for the Super Bowl or just a regular Monday dinner.

Posted in Blogmas, Food and Beverage

Squash -Cheesy Casserole Bake

My mom likes to talk about my grandfather and how he used to cook a lot and her absolute favorite recipe was a squash casserole. She hates that she never got the actual recipe for the casserole.

I don’t know why but when I hear the word casserole I automatically think 1950’s, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some random ingredient that doesn’t belong in a casserole dish.

There was a lot of trail and error and I remember my mom trying to find a version that reminded her of what her dad made. A few weeks ago my mom was going through some of my grandfathers boxes and pictures and found an old faded recipe. After all this time we found the original recipe and of course I had to share.


  • 3 eggs – separated 
  •  1lb, crooked yellow squash 
  •  1 lb. zucchini 
  • 8 to 10 slices bacon fried & crumbled
  • 1 to 1& 1/2 cups of sour cream
  •  2tbls of flour
  • about 1 cup bread crumbs
  •  2 to 3 tbs butter melted
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/2 white onion


  1. Slice squash and zucchini into 1/8″ to 1/4″ pieces
  2. Mince your onion.
  3. Add your squash zucchini and onion into a pot of slightly salted water. Boil until al-dente. Drain thoroughly. 
  4. Separate the eggs 
  5. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.
  6. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, flour, and egg yolks, mix well, and FOLD the egg whites. The egg whites add air & volume to the batter.
  7. Preheat oven to 375.
  8. In a casserole dish, make a layer of squash and zucchini top with egg batter, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon
  9. Repeat squash, batter, bacon & cheese layers, ending with the bread crumbs last.
  10. Put in the oven, about 15 to 20 mins.

Watch casserole, so it doesn’t burn. Let it cool & cut it into squares

Im very excited to make this version of the recipe myself since every new year my mom would make a version of this.

the recipe we’ve used for the past few years is almost completely different looking at them side by side.


  • 2 – 3 medium zucchini about 2 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons butter or a mix of butter and olive oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and diced
  • 1 cup baked ham cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and prepare a large pie plate (10-12″) with cooking spray.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove alternating strips of zucchini peel. Cut the squash into 1/4″ or thinner pieces. Use a mandoline for best results.
  • Heat butter in a large skillet or dutch oven and saute the onions until they soften and begin to change color.
  • Add the zucchini slices, baked ham, and fresh thyme. Stir to coat in the butter and distribute the onions. Cook briefly to warm through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the zucchini mixture to the prepared pie plate, avoid transferring any liquid that may have accumulated.
  • Pour the eggs over the zucchini and use a spoon to open up space in the mix to allow the eggs to spread.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then top with the shredded cheese. Bake for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the eggs are set, and the top is golden brown.
  • The zucchini will release more liquid as it bakes. Allow the pie to stand for at least 15 minutes before cutting it into 8 pieces.
Posted in Food and Beverage

Oh, My, Gourd, Becky, Look at her Squash

It’s time to dust off those skeletons in the closets and put them in the front yard if you haven’t already. Halloween is Scary close.

Since the weather wants to be unbe-leaf-able, I’ve decided to force a vibe. Can California pick a season? Somedays it’s super hot and sunny and others we’re getting nice windy days.

I just want to get a taste of fall. And since today is the perfect day to stay bundled up I’ve decided to make a fall favorite. It’s nothing too fancy, but I love the autumn feel that butternut squash and sweet potatoes give off.

I originally made this meal when my boyfriend met my grandmother for the first time. So whenever I make it now, I think of her. I miss her, and I’m still sad she’s gone, but she is in a better place now.

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 cup fingerling potatoes cubed
  • 1 cup baby carrots 
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup broccoli 
  • 1 cup Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*For a keto diet, replace fingerling potatoes with turnips

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Generously coat a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the vegetables out on the sheet pan in a single layer.
  3. Mix together the olive oil, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. 
  4. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over the top; use your hands to toss the vegetables around to evenly coat.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes before using a large spatula to flip the vegetables.
  6. Resume roasting for another 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and starting to caramelize. Then serve.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts

  • 6 chicken breasts (thin, boneless, and skinless)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl. Stir well to blend. 
  2. Coat the chicken breasts in the flour mixture and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  4. Once the skillet is hot, place flour-coated chicken breasts in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown on both sides. Turning once between cooking, about 8-10 minutes. 
  5. Remove chicken from pan and serve 

The best side for this meal is a Halloween playlist my friend made.

Posted in Food and Beverage

Mummy meatloaf and mashed boo-tatoes.

My niece told me a joke, and I just had to share it. It’s soo terrible, and it’s soo freaking cute.

What does a panda ghost eat?



 Last year I lived with my religious grandmother, so my fall theme was pumpkins, nothing fun or spooky.

Since I couldn’t decorate, I had to find a new way to get creative and get my nieces into the Halloween spirit. I found that making fun recipes not only got them to eat, but it made eating fun.

Today’s recipe is a family favorite: Mummy meatloaf and mashed boo-tatoes.

Oh, My Blog! I’m telling you this is the best meatloaf! Ever!


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Progresso™ Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the onion, garlic, milk, oats, egg, salt, and peppers in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to soak up the liquid. Add in the ground beef and mix gently with your hands, just until combined. 
  3. Place ground beef into 4 (6×2-inch) loaves. Bake for 45 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, remove dough from the can; unroll and Cut into 4 rectangles.
  5. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into 7 strips. Alternately cross 7 strips over each meatloaf to look like “bandages.”
  6. Bake 17 to 20 minutes longer or until golden brown
  7. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before cutting.


  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp reserved liquid from cooking potatoes
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Put potatoes into a saucepan.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Add water until potatoes are covered.
  1. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until done.
  2. Melt butter and stir in cream.
  3. Drain water from potatoes, reserving some.
  4. Put hot potatoes into a bowl.
  5. Add cream and melted butter and 1 Tbs reserved liquid.
  6. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed.
  7. Use a spoon to continue stirring/mashing, adding more liquid until you get the desired consistency.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Now stir in parmesan cheese and 1 already beaten egg.
  10. Put potatoes in a piping bag, or Ziploc with a corner cut off, and pipe your ghosts onto a lined baking sheet.
  11. Put black peppercorns in for eyes (black sesame seeds work too)
  12. Put in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Mashed potatoes were one of the first things I learned to make. I’m not going to lie; I’m usually tired and lazy when I cook and use a bag instead of making actual ones.

You can use instant mashed potatoes and achieve the same thing by piping the mashed potatoes out into ghost form!

Eat, drink, and be scary.