Posted in Dinner, Quick

Easy Orange Chicken

My kids love orange chicken! Even my self proclaimed 10 year-old vegetarian will take a night off for the sweet and spicy chicken. I surfed the internet for an easy recipe and every one I tried has not compared to take-out, or it took forever to make. So…I created my own that was super fast. I also took a short cut and bought precooked organic chicken strips that I threw in the oven while I zapped up the orange sauce. Because… When I want orange chicken… I want it now. Seriously…now! Easy Orange Chicken

By: Bekie A

1 cup of orange marmalade

2 garlic cloves minced or pressed

1/4 low sodium fermented soy sauce

A Splash of Worcestershire sauce (about 2-3 tsp)

Dash Red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp of Chili powder

Dash of salt if needed depending on the saltiness of the soy sauce

2 Tbsp Terra Verde Mandarin balsamic vinegar (or use regular balsamic vinegar if you don’t have orange balsamic)

1/4 Tsp of ground ginger

Dash of cayenne or siracha hot sauce

2 Tbsp of garlic Grapeseed oil (or Olive oil with an extra garlic clove minced)

2 Tbsp of cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp of water

Sesame seeds for garnish

For extra fancy– garnish with sliced oranges and chives too.

Mix everything together in a large glass measuring cup.  Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for 45 more seconds. For stove stop, combine in a small pot and stir constantly on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly infused. Allow to sit a couple of minutes and pour over the chicken and toss. 

Bake chicken strips as directed

cut into chunks

pour this glorious sauce over the top and toss

sprinkle sesame seeds on the top

Posted in Dinner, Quick, Seafood

Kim’s Cookin’ School Linguini

Linguini with Shrimp, Mushroom and Fresh Peas
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt, pepper and paprika
1 cup sliced mushrooms (any variety)
1/4-1/2 cup fresh garden peas  (how much do you like peas?)
4 large garlic cloves crushed, then chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Red hot pepper flakes
28 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand in their juices
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup or more to taste grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb fresh of dried linguini, cooked al dente

Warm a large skillet over med heat.  Heat a large stock pot of water to boil for the
pasta. Once pasta water starts to boil, add 3 large pinches of salt to the water. Cook linguini as per box instructions for pasta until just al dente, firm to bite, as it will finish cooking in the sauce.

If using fresh pasta, cook the noodles after the sauce is put together. Fish out the pasta as it floats to surface and add to the sauce.

Reserve about two cups of pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.

shrimpRinse shrimp under cold water, drain, than pat dry.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Using half of the chopped garlic, rub into the seasoned shrimp, then set aside.

seasoned shrimpIn the warm skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil and increase heat to med high. Add 1 tablespoon butter, a dash of pepper flakes and the shrimp. Stir and cook shrimp until just pink, about 2 minutes, as they will finish cooking in sauce.  Remove to a bowl and set a side.

sauceIn the same pan add another tablespoon olive oil, heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter. Put in the remaining garlic, and if you like spicy, another dash of red pepper flakes. Sauté and stir until garlic is fragrant then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are lightly brown and have released their juices, about 5 minutes.

mushroomsIncrease heat to med high, add tomato sauce, cream, and peas, and stir until sauce come to a boil. Then reduced heat to a simmer and cook until peas are tender and sauce has reduced, about 5-7 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.

pasta in sauceReturn shrimp to sauce, stir to combine. Add cooked pasta to sauce, tossing to coat all the pasta with the sauce over medium heat. If pasta sauce is dry, add some of the pasta cooking water to loosen. Taste for seasoning.  Turn off heat and toss in cheese.  LinguiniServe promptly in warm pasta bowls.  Bon Appetite!

Posted in Quick

Almost Hamlin’s White Dip

This is for all of my Muskogee friends and family that grew up like me thinking all Mexican Restaurants were supposed to have a white dip. The glorious white dip must have been a sister to the red dip with a hefty amount of salty chip relatives to accompany. The first time I ate at a Mexican Restaurant outside of Muskogee, I was so confused by the lack of white dip. Here is a recipe that strongly favors the dip. It is kicked up with jalapeños and lightened with a little Greek yogurt because the thought of dipping chips into straight mayonnaise seems so wrong in many ways. Don’t worry, you won’t miss it.  

Almost Hamlin’s White Dip

By: Bekie A

2/3 cup of Faga 2% Greek yogurt or 0% will work too

2/3 Cup of mayo

1-2 Tbsp of bleu cheese (how strong do you want it)

2 Tbsp feta

1 Tbsp of relish

1 Tbsp of diced pickled jalapeños

2 Tbsp of diced black olives

1-2 tsp of garlic salt

1 tsp of onion powder

Salt & pepper

Pinch of sugar

1/2 tsp of vinegar

2-3 Tbsp of milk

Combine the mayo and Greek yogurt first. Add in vinegar. Stir baby stir. Add in remaining ingredients. Garnish with cilantro and paprika. The flavor will build in the refrigerator as it sits. 

Warning: if you are not a former Muskogeean, you may not get it. But try it anyway. 

Posted in Dinner, Quick


Do you need a fun twist to eat up leftover taco meat? This is fast and glorious! When Sara brought me a spicy bowl of pulled pork, the Tacovado was born. This is Tex-Mex in a creamy avocado bowl. 


By: Bekie A

2 ripe avocados cut in half with seed removed

1 cup of cooked seasoned taco meat or veggies (season with your favorite taco seasoning and add in pico for spice)

1 cup of Mexican shredded cheese

4 dashes of salt & pepper

  – Place avocados upright on a sheet pan. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Top each with 1/4 cup of meat and then 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake for 8 minutes on 350. Top with sourcream or hot sauce. Serves 4. 



Posted in Breakfast, Quick

Buttermilk Baked Pancakes with a Maple, Cinnamon Cookie-Butter Swirl

My kids always want a special homemade breakfast on the weekends. Pancakes are their favorite. However, by the weekends, this momma is tired. This is my pancake shortcut. This recipe will feed tons in a jiffy. The fun part is that you can flavor it with whatever you have on hand, or your favorite nut butter.

Fancy in a hurry 

Buttermilk Baked Pancakes with a Maple, Cinnamon Cookie-Butter Swirl
By: Bekie A


3 eggs

1 cup of Buttermilk (don’t have it? Add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar to the cup of milk)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup of melted salted butter (1 stick) or substitute half or all for Greek yogurt for a healthier version

2 cups self rising flour

1/4 cup of rolled oats (optional-makes me feel healthier;)

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp of salt

Fun optional add-ins if you don’t want to do the swirl: 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or blueberries with lemon zest.

–Mix together wet ingredients first beginning with the eggs plus the sugar. Then add in milk and room temp butter. Add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil and spread the batter evenly into the pan. If you don’t have time to do the swirl, move on to the baking step. Otherwise, Make the swirl next. See below.

Maple Cinnamon Swirl

1/3 cup cookie butter (or your favorite nut butter)

1/3 cup maple syrup

Healthy dash of Cinnamon 

–add into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds. Stir until combined. Spoon in dollops over the batter and swirl with a knife making loops. See below:


 Baking time:

Place in a preheated oven at 350 and bake for 15-22 min until puffed and no longer jiggly. A knife will come out clean. 


 Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with honey, maple syrup, nuts, or as it’s beautiful self. Enjoy! 

Posted in Quick

Chipotle-Garlic Hot Sauce

Need a kick in your dip? How about a smokey sauce that won’t run screaming off your chip? The spicy-sweet marriage of chipotle and garlic will be perfect on any Texas dish. Top it on tacos, eggs, chips, enchiladas, or whatever your Texan heart desires.

finally a sauce that matches my personality
because it’s nice to share

Chipotle-Garlic Hot Sauce

By: Bekie A

2 Tbsp of dried cilantro or 1/2 cup fresh chopped

4 garlic cloves

28 oz can of Crushed tomatoes (I like Cento)

1 roasted jalapeño (broil in oven or over stove top) remove the stem and if you prefer mild, remove the seeds as well.

1 roasted poblano or banana pepper  (broil in oven or over stove top) remove stem

1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 Tbsp onion powder or 1/4 cup of chopped onion

1 tsp of ground chipotle chili pepper

5 Tbsp of vinegar

1 Tbsp sea salt

Cracked pepper to taste

Place in a good blender/processor and pulse until it becomes a chunky sauce. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This is also a great recipe to can.

Posted in Quick

Strawberry Herb Champagne Vinaigrette

Strawberry Champagne? Yes please! My greens look better in pink! This strawberry dressing screams “summer, summer, summer-time” with the girls. Slice some fresh pears, toss in the toasted walnuts, and a sprinkle of feta cheese for one fancy Tea-Room salad. Can’t find champagne vinegar? Don’t stress, now you have an excuse to buy a bottle of champagne. Just reserve 2 cups and set aside in a wide glass jar for 2-3 weeks.Then…🌟BOOM👉👇Champagne Vinegar.   

Hello beautiful!


Strawberry Herb Champagne Vinaigrette

By: Bekie A

1/3 cup of honey

1/3 cup of champagne vinegar

2 basil leaves

3 mint leaves

2 tsp of raw sugar

1/3 cup of lemon Olive oil (don’t have it? Add 1 Tbsp of lemon zest or 2 tsp of lemon juice to regular Olive oil)

1/3 cup of regular Olive oil plus 3 Tbsp

1/2 tsp salt

Cracked pepper

4 large strawberries plus 1 separated

-Put all of the ingredients except for the separated strawberry in a blender and purée until smooth. Dice the separated strawberry finely and add to the dressing. 


Posted in Breakfast, Quick

Maple-Brown Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream

My Eli loves pancakes. His little chef spirit will not let me make the same kind every time. Therefore, on Sunday mornings, we like to create a new crazy recipe. These are sweet with holiday spice and don’t need any additional syrup. Just top these with Cinnamon Cream and one bite will transform you to a fancy downtown breakfast cafe.

Maple-Brown Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream

By: Bekie A

Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup maple syrup

5 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup of coconut milk (or sub regular)

1/2 cup of whipping cream with 2 tsp of vinegar

2 tsp molasses

2 eggs beaten

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 Tbsp of water


1/3 cup of brown sugar

2 cups of self rising flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 heaping tsp of cinnamon

Extra butter for cooking

–Mix together wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Slowly whisk in dry ingredients to wet until smooth. Brush an iron skillet with butter on medium low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the batter. Once it begins to bubble, flip over for an additional 30-45 sec. These pancakes will have a crisp buttery edge and slightly brown color from the spices. Serve with fresh cinnamon cream.


Cinnamon Cream:

1 1/2 cup of cold whipping cream

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add cold cream to a chilled mixer bowl. Turn on mixer to high. Once peaks begin to form, add in sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. 

Posted in Dinner, Quick

No-Cook Cheese Sauce 

I am not a fan of powdered cheese in a box, nor a gelatin mold of processed cheese. However, sometimes I don’t have time to whip up a rue and fancy cheese sauce every time my kids crave Mac N Cheese. This sauce is a fast, yummy, healthier option for Mac N Cheese.

No-Cook Cheese Sauce

By: Bekie A

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp onion powder

A pinch of mustard powder

A pinch of red pepper (if preparing for adults)

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 tsp garlic salt

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1/4 cup half n half or whole milk

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

1 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese or smoke Gouda for adult version

Black pepper & sea salt to taste

–Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and set aside. Cook a box of 12 0z rotini or pasta of choice according to directions. Stir in sauce    Immediately once pasta is drained so cheeses can melt. You may add 1-2 Tbsp of butter to pasta before adding the sauce. Salt & pepper to taste. 


Posted in Quick

Fresh Herb Greek Garlic Sauce

I love this on any style of Greek seasoned meat. My favorite way to serve it is with grilled lemon chicken, or Greek style wraps. It’s fast and addicting. My 3 year-old daughter whipped this up tonight since I set out premeasured ingredients. We had our own imaginary voyage to Greece.

Fresh Herb Greek Garlic Sauce

By: Bekie A

3/4 cup of Faga Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves pushed through a garlic press)

Juice of 1 small lemon

2 Tbsp of mayo

2 Tbsp of cream or whole milk

1 Tbsp of garlic Olive oil 

4-5 mint leaves minced

1/4 tsp dill

1/4 tsp sea salt

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Black pepper

3 tbsp of feta

Optional-2 Tbsp of minced olives

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Refrigerate immediately and allow to sit 5 minutes before serving. To serve as a dressing, add an extra tablespoon of Olive oil and milk.