Tag: parmesan princess

Chicken with Red Pepper Cream Sauce!

You will definitely be sopping up this sauce with some crusty bread! The red pepper cream sauce takes ordinary, boring chicken to a new level, but the real reason this dish is totally amazing is the cut of chicken. For a flavorful boost, use chicken thighs or legs instead of chicken breasts.  No need to worry about drying out, this chicken falls off the bone!!


To ensure crispy skin, the chicken is browned first in a pan, then roasted in the oven.  You can always pop it under the broiler at the end for an even crispier finish! It looks beautiful topped with fresh basil at the end. Simply serve it out of the pan!


Chicken with Red Pepper Cream Sauce


6-8 chicken thighs
3 tbsp. olive oil +2 tbsp. for sauce
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1- 1-1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
salt/pepper to taste



Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large pan to medium high heat.

Add chicken skin side down and brown both sides, approximately 3-5 mins. per side.
Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. (Chicken will be just browned, not cooked through.)

To additional 2 tbsp. olive oil, add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Golden garlic and cook onion while continuously stirring approximately 2-3 minutes or until you smell the red pepper and garlic.

Stir in chicken stock, heavy cream, Parmesan, thyme, oregano, and basil.

Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer until thickened, approximately 5-7 minutes.

Add chicken back to skillet.(Sauce should only cover the bottom of the thighs.)
Roast in the oven until cooked through, 25-35 minutes.


Top with fresh basil and serve!

Best Of Pittsburgh Summer Restaurant Week 2015 & More!

The rules of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week are totally simple.
1.) Try new restaurants.
2.) Order something new at one of your faves.
3.) Familiarize yourself with an unfamiliar part of the city! Who knows? You just might go back to eat, to play, to shop!


WARNING: Plan your summer vacation the week before summer restaurant week! My eating has not slowed down at all, actually, I can’t stop. I am typing to you with my toes in the sand at a resort on Grand Bahama Island. I have one bathing suit that fits and my evening wear consists of flowing, beautiful, amazingly flattering maxi dresses.


Let’s rewind…
It all began with the Summer Restaurant Week Kickoff Party!
Yummy bites are served to guests cocktail party style and participating restaurants go head to head for the “best preview” award.


There were many amazing showings. Here are a few of my favorites!


The Wooden Nickel

Matteo’s – I visited Matteo’s for the fist time during summer restaurant week 2014 and 20 times since! I didn’t even take photos because I love everything at this restaurant. Bold statement? Nope, I mean everything. My all time favorite entree at Matteo’s… The porcini cappelletti!

The Porcini Cappelletti... Wow!
The Porcini Cappelletti… Wow!

Bill’s Bar and Burger



And the winner was Pork Belly! Pan, a brand new Asian fusion restaurant in Lawrenceville. I have not had the pleasure of dining, but the Andora restaurant family’s pork belly preview was awesome! Can’t wait to visit!



My first Summer restaurant week 2015 menu? Sunday Brunch at Verde Mexican Kitchen and Cantina! After visiting for Winter Restaurant Week I knew I had to go back!

I had the chilaquiles…again!!! Definitely worth the trip!

Monday night was the PRW Blogger Dinner at Grand Concourse! Oldie but goodie for sure. Ok, I forgot how good! I enjoyed a delicious meal and and wonderful night out with new and old friends.

I shared the firecracker shrimp with my new blogger friend Briana White of Breelicious Bites. Check out her blog! She just hosted a mac’n cheese contest!

Followed by the Summer Chopped Salad


Roasted Sirloin with Sweet Pepper Chutney and Chili Oil


And finished with the Creme Brûlée…

My next stop on the PRW Train was Paris 66 Bistro I cannot believe I have not visited this French gem.


I enjoyed the wine and French baguette.

French Onion Soup…

Steak and Frites
Cooked to perfection!

And the cholocate mousse …

Perfect for a lunch stop, date night, or family dinner, visit Paris 66 and its surrounding growing community of Eastside Pittsburgh!

Friday I dined at Sarafino’s in Pittsburgh’s Crafton suburb. Papa bear to my Matteo’s in Lawrenceville, Joe Caliguire does not disappoint. It was the restaurant’s first time participating in restaurant week. I invited a few of my faves to join me for a totally awesome smorgasbord. Blog post coming soon!!

I swore I was never eating again, but the kids and I were running errand Saturday afternoon and ended up at Firehouse Subs…super yummy! This franchise was started by firemen…and they have built the most amazing combinations!

Here was my choice the Sriracha Beef…

I guess this post is really saying, try something new! Support your local restaurants!
And in Pittsburgh, we are sooooo lucky to have the best!

Summer Zucchini Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette!

Do you have zucchini coming out of your ears? I definitely do! It is that time of year when I have had enough- totally zucchini breads, zucchini boats, and zucchini breakfast-ed out! What else can you make? There is always the chocolate-zucchini craze of hiding the veggie in chocolate cake, muffins, cookies or brownies. Chocolate is always a great idea, but how about a salad sans lettuce and a smooth and summery homemade vinaigrette? Now that sounds perfectly summer!


Summer Zucchini Salad
(Serves 4)
2 medium zucchini
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 lemon
salt/peper to taste


Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dijon mustard
6 lemons- squeezed for juice approx. 1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil


Peel zucchini with a vegetable peeler in long strips and place into serving bowl or platter.(I roll-up some of the strips for easy eating and because it adds to the beauty of the dish.)


Cut tomatoes into wedges and add to the salad.

Sprinkle with 2-3 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese.

For dressing:
Whisk all ingredients except oils.


Add oils, lid, and shake vigorously until well mixed.

Top salads with 2 tbsp. of dressing and squeeze a halved lemon over salads.

Add salt and pepper to taste.



Roasted Chicken Salad

For a refreshing summer luncheon or back to school favorite , homemade roasted chicken salad wins the “hits the spot” award. I cannot stand a wet, super mayonnaissy, yogurty, sour creamy (eek!) consistency. So I add the minimum amount ever of mayonnaise to moisten – I know, there is seriously no other word to be used here- some sweet grapes and the crunch of celery to the dressing.


Super short cut. You can totally buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. Take out bones and skin, shred or dice. I like to make a whole roasted chicken for dinner and make this chicken salad with the leftovers. That is why I say 1/2 chicken because that is usually what’s left! Smooth and delicious with a crunch, this roasted chicken salad can easily become your go-to recipe!


Here it is…

Roasted Chicken Salad

1/2 chicken
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2-1 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 tsp. dill
1 cup grapes, halved
3 stalks celery, chopped


Preheat over 350 degrees.

Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 35-50 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.


Cool chicken and dice or shred.

Mix the dressing by adding your comfortable amount of mayonnaise, grapes, celery, and dill.

Fold in diced chicken and mix well.

Add more mayo if needed! Remember, I like my chicken salad on the dry side so feel free to add away!

Chill and serve with crackers or on your favorite bread or roll!



Walleye Tacos With a Roasted Corn Peach Salsa!

My neighbors are awesome fishermen and who do you think gets a bag of fresh caught fish after the trip? The neighborhood food blogger of course. Ha! Thank you so much! The fresh walleye I was given this week soaked up the marinade beautifully and made a delicious base for some fresh fish tacos.


I made a totally amazing roasted corn and peach salsa by cutting spicy pan roasted corn on the cob off the cob and adding the sweet flavors of a diced peach, a small onion, and a handful of chopped chives. Fresh squeezed lime juice pulled it all together!


Seriously, Pittsburgh might just have a new “thing”…fish tacos!
Fish tacos are most definitely one of my favorite dishes to order out in Pittsburgh.  Believe it or not,  many of our restaurants have nailed a fabulous fish taco entreé! Some of my favorites…Penn Avenue Fish Company, Kaya, Täkõ, and Round Corner Cantina. All totally exceptional! Of course I make them at home, too!


Walleye Fish Tacos
1-1/2 lb. raw walleye fillets
1 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin



Cube raw walleye.


Mix lime juice, cilantro, chili powder, and cumin in a mixing bowl.

Add walleye cubes, coat with marinade and refrigerate.


Heat a pan and cook walleye cubes until just cooked through- pink turns white and flake with a fork.

Roasted Corn and Peach Salsa
2 corn on the cob
1 peach, chopped
2 pats butter
2 tsp. cayenene pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1 tsp.cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 lime


Roast buttered corn in a pan or on the grill until desired doneness.
Sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Cut corn off the cob after it cools a bit.


Add onion, chives, cilantro or parsley to corn.


Squeeze the juice of one lime into bowl.

Fish Taco Sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. sriracha

Mix together and add more or less sriracha to taste


Build your taco with your favorite flour tortilla.
Add the roasted corn and peach salsa, and top with sriracha sauce.



Sushi 101!


I totally love sushi! Beautiful colorful sushi rolls, the variety of fresh fish, and the artistic presentation most definitely put sushi making into the art category. Having never attempted to making sushi myself, last week I had the opportunity to take a Sushi making class- part of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Get Creative program.

My first roll ever! Ahhh!



The talented Chef Aaron Hoover led the class by demonstrating and explaining each step. I attended with my food blogger friend Tasha from The Food Tasters Pittsburgh. We started with the sushi, the rice.


So sushi rice, a Japanese rice, is cooked, then mixed with a heated vinegar- sugar -salt mixture. The mixture is added while the rice is being fanned to cool it down to create a shiny rice.


We each had our own stations set-up and prepped with cutting boards, knives, sushi must-haves (pickled ginger, soy sauce, wasabi), and mixing bowls with bright vegetables and fish to add to our sushi rolls.


We chopped a few of the vegetables with Chef Aaron’s instruction. It’s always really cool to see how a pro chef chops a bell pepper. Bonus! You don’t even need to pick out the seeds his way. Just chop the sides of the pepper on the indents leaving the top, all of the seeds, and fleshy middle in tact as the waste. Voila! Awesome!


We made various types of sushi, maki, futomaki, temaki, nigiri, and gunkan sushi. A bamboo rolling mat was provided and we got to take it home!




Inside Out Rolls look so beautiful! Especially with the addition of some black sesame seeds.
I know super fancy, right?

Cones – Temaki Sushi




We even learned how to prepare miso soup! By including stories of Japanese culture, explaining Japanese cooking ingredients, and making the sushi class fun, Chef Aaron was a great instructor. I loved this class and can’t wait to explore other new genres of cooking! Cajun, Creole, and Chinese to name a few! We ate and took home a ton of sushi, recipes, and instructions!


The best part for me…we didn’t have to clean up! HA! Just cook and take your sushi home, leaving the mess.

Other offerings include photography, art, and fashion!
Check out The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Get Creative program!

Does your city offer these “creative” classes? I would love to hear about it!


I was invited to attend the Art Institute’s Get Creative Sushi Class free of charge.  All thoughts in this article are my own. You know me- If I don’t have anything nice to say, I don’t say anything at all.

Honey Garlic Jalapeño Chicken!

Fall-off-the-bone, juicy, flavorful chicken thighs are the absolute best! Since most of the time we don’t meal plan one day ahead, a long marination process can seem impossible. By using a robust marinade, you can easily create a depth of flavor without the 8 hour marination process. By robust, of course I mean garlic, a hint of jalapeño, and honey for sweetness. A quick coating is all it takes!


I suggest grilling the thighs. If you live in Pittsburgh it’s impossible because it rains everyday! You can brown them in a pan like I did. The great thing is the thighs get completely smothered in gooey deliciousness and finished off in the oven, so either works. The marinade actually reduces to a thick sticky coating in the pan, totally ideal for chicken thighs.


I utilized the left over pan goo to pan sear the corn on the cob…this was genius.


Robust garlic and honey flavors with a hint of jalapeño is perfection on corn!!!


All I added was a coating of butter, a shake of paprika, and some finely chopped parsley for a fancy finish.


Garlic Honey Jalapeño Chicken
(makes 6-8 chicken thighs)

1/3 cup honey
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil- 2 tbsp. marinade/ 1 tbsp. for pan
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Handful of chopped parsley or cilantro
6-8 chicken thighs, skin on or off and rinsed


Mix all ingredient together in a mixing bowl.


Coat chicken thighs in a ziploc bag or 9X13 pan to marinate.


Heat oven 350 degrees.
(Overnight or all day is best …if you have time! This marinade is strong so it is not absolutely necessary.)

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pan.

Remove thighs from marinade and add to the pan. Keep excess marinade!


Brown thighs on each side 3-4 minutes per side.

Remove thighs from pan and add to a 9X13 baking dish.


Pour excess marinade over thighs.

Cover with foil and bake 35-45 minutes, make sure juices run clear. Chicken will be “fall off the bone” yum!

Especially if skin-on, crisp the thighs under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until desired crispness.

Let stand 5-10 minutes and serve!



I serve these delicious thighs with Pan Seared Corn on the Cob!(See directions above in intro.)
These two dishes are delicious! Both stars of the meal!


Vegetarian Mexican Manicotti!

Most nights, dinner at our house is an unplanned fridge raid pantry raid mashup. Sometimes I’m missing an ingredient that I want to use and dinner morphs into something a little different. So the day I didn’t have tortillas, but I did have manicotti shells? Yep, Mexican Manicotti… and it is totally delish!


By making a sweet but spicy pineapple jalapeño salsa base, the stuffed manicotti shells can actually be cooked right in a large saucepan. No need to turn on the oven, this light, vegetarian, perfect-for-summer meal is sure to be a family favorite! The dish even looks beautiful. The colors create an amazing presentation!


Shhhhhhhh! Packed with powerful vitamins and protein, Mexican Manicotti is super healthy, too!!

Vegetarian Mexican Manicotti
(makes 12)

1 8oz.box (12) of your favorite manicotti shells- boiled until al dente
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1 medium jalapeño pepper , chopped
1/2 cup black beans- soaked and boiled or canned beans, drained
1-1/2 cup shredded cheese- monterey jack and cheddar blend (1/2 filling 1/2 topping)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (1/2 filling 1/2 topping)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chopped green onions
salt/pepper to taste


Drain manicotti and let dry on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil to keep them from sticking.


In a large saucepan, combine canned tomatoes, garlic, crushed pineapple, and chopped jalapeños.


In a mixing bowl, combine black beans, shredded cheese, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, chili powder and cumin. Gently stir to mix well.


Carefully fill manicotti shells with black bean mixture.


Place filled manicotti shells in sauce pan – 1 inch apart.


Cover with pineapple salsa from bottom of pan.

Cook 8-10 mins. until bubbly.

Cover with cheese and cook an additional 5 mins. until melted.


Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and serve!

This recipe is soooooo great you probably won’t have leftovers…We never do!!



New Adventure: Between The Eats!

So we totally have something to celebrate…drumroll, please… I am co-hosting a new cooking show called Between The Eats!! My quiet, recipe sharing, Pittsburgh food website “hobby” has turned into a crazy fun roller coaster and I never want it to stop!


I am co-hosting Between The Eats with the very talented Chef David Carmine, Executive Chef at Andora Restaurant in Sewickley. After his award-winning journalism career, Chef David decided to switch gears and enter the growing Pittsburgh food scene. With a flair for the unique, his foodie website foodnique.com was born. Great name, right??


After our paths crossed over Pittsburgh foodie social media, David decided I would be a great co-host. Laughable…I know. He was serious. So in true princess fashion I held my head high, studied my lines, impressed when possible, and tried to maintain a cool, calm , and collective nature. BECAUSE ON THE INSIDE I WAS A CRAZY PERSON!! Thus, a star was born. Lol!


About the show…
Between The Eats was created to fill a void in food video content. Creator of Pittsburgh’s food channel www.sgoeet.com and Between The Eats Producer, Bob Steranko saw a need to push more video across Pittsburgh’s growing food scene. His company Reel Mill currently produces online video marketing in Pittsburgh.

Putting a fun, creative twist on everyday recipes, Between The Eats showcases new recipe trends and everything “in between.” Light, fast-paced, and entertaining, the shows co-hosted charm shines through with the the pro chef/home chef dynamic. We are ecstatic about our new partnership with Whole Foods Markets!


The show is available right now on Between The Eats You Tube channel or visit the website for more info and to get the recipes!
Click the Link below to WATCH EPISODE 1: Rethinking Mexican ! Don’t forget to Subscribe!

Episode 1: Rethinking Mexican

Celebrate with us Friday June 26th 12pm in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Market Square!! Live Launch Open to the Public! Hope to see you there!

Follow Between The Eats on Social Media!
Instagram- BetweenTheEatsTV

Party Time With Athens Mini Fillo Shells!!

A fillo shell is a simple, flaky, bite- sized vessel that is neither savory nor sweet. Fully baked with a perfect crunch, the fillo shells can be absolutely priceless in comparison to working with thin sheets of fillo dough. The tedious process also includes adding butter to the dough sheets- definitely unwanted calories! Mini fillo shells are an easy button time saver without losing quality, crispness or taste!


My favorite ready made shells are Athens mini fillo shells! With just two or three ingredients, you can make the most amazing party appetizers or desserts! As Athens puts it, “Just fill ’em!” The first time I ever used Athens mini fillo shells I filled them with goat cheese and caramelized onions and popped them in the toaster oven for 10 minutes! Everybody loved them!

Here are a few of my easy and delicious mini fillo shell recipes!


Chocolate Chip Cannoli

1 package Athens mini fillo shells, contains 15 shells
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup mini or full size chocolate chips (1/2 for filling and 1/2 for topping)

Whip all ingredients, except chocolate chips until light and fluffy.
Fold in 1/2 chocolate chips.
Fill shells and top with extra chocolate chips


Ham and Goat Cheese

1 package Athens mini fillo shells, contains 15 shells
Crumbled goat cheese
Your favorite cooked ham, diced
Chopped parsely for garnish

Carefully fill shells with ham and goat cheese.
Bake or broil in toaster oven for 7-10 mins. until cheese melts.
Top with chopped parsley.


Pulled Pork Taco

1 package Athens mini fillo shells, contains 15 shells
1/3 cup pulled pork (Slow cook pork shoulder roast all day seasoned with chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, or your favorite taco seasoning. Definitely can be made the day before and refrigerated.)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tbsp. Mexican cheese blend
cilantro for garnish
sour cream, optional

To serve warm, carefully fill shells with all ingredients, except sour cream or cilantro.
Bake or broil in toaster oven 7-10 mins. until cheese is melted.
Top with sour cream and cilantro.

To serve cold, fill shells with all ingredients.


All opinions expressed belong to Parmesan Princess! I seriously love Athens mini fillo shells and would love to share more easy and delicious small bite recipes with you soon!



Connect with Athens Foods on Facebook for even more mini fillo recipes!