Quick and Easy Sausage Carbonara

quick and easy sausage carbonara
Sometimes you just need something fast and comforting. Those days when I work an 11 hour shift and cannot stop thinking about Sonic chili cheese dogs are the days I make this beauty. A classic carbonara typically has pancetta or bacon, but I really wanted a more comforting Italian vibe. I used a spicy Italian sausage, but you can honestly use anything that has a higher fat content. Even ground beef if that is what you have on hand. 

Can we talk about this gorgeous bright green parsley? This is my favorite time to shop for veggies and herbs. Everything is so green and ripe. Parsley is not necessary, but I think it gives this dish a fresh pop in a world of gooey cheese.

quick and easy sausage carbonara

If you have never tried a cabonara before try and imagine your favorite noodles with a light creamy sauce bites of sausage (or pancetta) then tossed with tons of grated Parmesan topped with crushed red pepper flakes. If you wanted to go the low carb route you could even swap the noodles for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

Quick and Easy Sausage Carbonara
Recipe type: Pasta, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Light creamy carbonara pasta with sausage.
  • 2 servings of dried pasta
  • Water for boiling
  • 2 tbsp of salt for the pasta water
  • 3 eggs room temp
  • ½ pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. Cook pasta following directions, add the 2 tbsp of salt to the water before boiling
  2. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of cooking water
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 2 egg yolks
  4. In a large pot (preferably the one used for cooking the pasta) cook the ground sausage until golden brown
  5. Add in the dried herbs and garlic
  6. Pour the drained pasta into the pot
  7. Add in the eggs and reserved cooking water
  8. Mix with a large spoon quickly until the pasta is evenly coated
  9. The pasta and the reserved water should still be very warm
  10. Add cheese, parsley and crushed red pepper
  11. Toss to coat
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper

This is one of the best go to meals for a late night when you just hate the thought of standing over the stove. It comes together so quickly. If you skip the sausage the longest part would be waiting for the pasta to cook, but don’t skip the sausage – it is just too good!

quick and easy sausage carbonara

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20(ish) Minute Tuesdays : Chicken Kabobs With Fresh Jalapeno Chimichurri


I have been dying to make a chimichurri sauce ever since my mom send me a new food processor. Seriously, the most handy device in the kitchen. Most of the sauces chimichurri sauces I love are amazing straight from the processor. This sauce I brushed onto the kabobs as they grilled. The result was perfectly juicy chicken and veggies with crispy edges. This meal can be prepared in around 20 minutes! It is so fast and flavorful!

Side note- Patrick and I found this tiny restaurant tucked away on a back road Sunday. The menu was a mix of Korean flavors with a Mexican twist. Korean BBQ tacos with freshly pickled jalapenos and cabbage slaw tossed in a light vinaigrette. They served a side of double fried french fries seasoned with sesame oil and lemon pepper. Such a great find! Last Friday we took the kids to the food truck friday event down town and shared some of the most amazing treats. My favorite indulgence was a homemade biscuit topped with buttermilk fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, bacon jam and fresh pimento cheese. I cannot even describe how amazing each bite was. Fluffy buttery biscuit with crunchy tomato and juicy chicken. I see many more food truck visits in my future!

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20 Minute Tuesdays : Chicken Kabobs With Fresh Jalapeno Chimichurri
Recipe type: Chicken, Kabobs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Juicy chicken kabobs brushed with fresh jalapeno chimichurri.
  • 1 pound of chicken breast
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ of a white onion
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig of fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ stick of melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 fresh jalapeno
  • 1 bag of mini red potatoes
  1. I use a charcoal grill, but preheat any grill you have available.
  2. Quick tip for cooking potatoes fast- dump potatoes in a tupperware. Poke a few holes in each. Set the lid on top, but do not seal the entire way. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes. Set to the side to cool slightly.
  3. Cut chicken, onion and pepper into even chunks. Slide onto a kabob skewer. I prefer metal.
  4. On a separate skewer add all the potatoes.
  5. In a food processor blend herbs, spices olive oil, jalapeno and butter.
  6. Lay the skewers on the grill and brush the chimichurri onto the meat and veggies.
  7. Cook on each side for 10 minutes.
  8. Brushing extra chimichurri as you flip.
  9. Cook until chicken temp reaches 165 degrees.
  10. Let rest.

If you want something a little extra smash all the potatoes with a fork when you remove them from the grill. Top with garlic powder, cracked pepper and cheddar cheese.

I am pretty sure I will make this meal a few times a week. It was so amazing. Light and healthy, yet filling!

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Southern Fried Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches


I don’t claim to be southern, but fried chicken has a special place in my heart. Growing up my dad, brother and I used to sit around the kitchen eating chicken biscuits drenched in texas pete hot sauce. Flakey butter biscuits wrapped around an extra crispy chicken breast. I personally cannot eat fried chicken without hot sauce. Something about that salty crunch dipped in a vinegary punch of pepper just creates the perfect bite for me. The juicy chicken under those fried bits are just a bonus ūüėČ

Growing up in North Carolina we didn’t have many restaurant options. My roommate and I would drive over the state line to Georgia after work¬†to pick up Chick Fil A sandwiches and buffalo sauce. Of course we would have to eat them on the way home before they were cold!

Now I am lucky enough to have a plethora of restaurants to choose from, but there is just something about cooking in your own kitchen. Deciding on exactly what ingredients you want to form your meals.

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These sandwiches are made with my go to fried chicken recipe dipped in a mild garlic buffalo sauce. I made my own buns, but potato buns would be a great alternative. Something with a really soft buttery texture. I didn’t have any lettuce or pickles on hand, but they would be a great addition!

Southern Fried Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Recipe type: sandwich, fried chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Southern fried buffalo chicken sandwiches.
  • 1 pound of chicken breast lightly pounded out
  • 1 cup of AP flour
  • 1 cup of panko crumbs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 heaping tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • For the sauce
  • ½ stick of salted butter
  • ½ cup of texas pete or hot sauce equivalent
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • fresh ground pepper to taste (I like mine very peppery)
  • Toppings
  • Mayo
  • Tomato
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toasted Buns
  1. Preheat a fryer or skillet of oil to 350.
  2. Mix together the egg and milk.
  3. Dip the chicken in the mixture.
  4. Whisk together the flour, panko, salt, garlic, and pepper.
  5. Dip the chicken into the flour one at a time.
  6. Let rest for about 5 minutes.
  7. Drop gently into the fryer and fry until golden brown and cooked through.
  8. I usually pull my chicken out at 160 degrees internal temp and let rest.
  9. Sprinkle with salt.
  10. In a sauce pan melt butter.
  11. Add hot sauce and seasonings.
  12. Whisk together and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  13. Dip chicken into the sauce.
  14. Coat evenly.
  15. Spread 1 tsp of mayo on the top bun.
  16. Add sliced tomato and season with salt and pepper.
  17. Add chicken and close.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have been!

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California Burritos | Luxury Therapeutics Voting

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Patrick has been talking about California burritos for months. An extra large pillowy tortilla packed with cheese, carnitas, avocado, french fries, sour cream, and hot sauce. Yes please. These fries are what makes the whole burrito. Soaked and double fried then tossed in a spicy seasoning. Traditionally beef carnitas are not left to marinate, they are simply seasoned then grilled. I wanted the meat to be packed with flavor so I marinated the steak in my favorite red enchilada sauce. The meat comes out so spicy and juicy. Just make sure the steak is cut very thin. I used chipotle tabasco sauce to smother my burrito in, but your favorite hot sauce will do the trick!


On a quick side note, my best friend’s mother and grandmother opened a luxury hot and cold therapy line¬†and are competing for a grant to help grow their business. Please take the time to read their story and vote for their business!


Click here to read their story and vote!

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These chips were so easy to make! I just sliced up some corn tortillas and fried them in canola oil then liberally salted. ¬†Although these are not exactly the same burritos you can find in Cali they are still delicious and filled with flavor. Feel free to change up any ingredient just don’t forget the fries!

California Burritos | Luxury Therapeutics Voting
Recipe type: Burrito
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
California inspired burritos packed with flavor!
  • XL flour tortillas
  • cheddar cheese room temp
  • 2 avocados smashed with salt and pepper
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsbp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large russet potatoes sliced into wedges or sticks
  • canola oil for frying
  1. Marinate the steak in the enchilada sauce for at least one hour
  2. Heat and pan over medium high heat and add the steak
  3. Sear on both sides
  4. Remove steak from pan and let cool slightly
  5. Slice very thinly then add back to the pan
  6. Season with paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper
  7. Heat canola oil to 350 degrees
  8. Add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Drain on paper towel and salt liberally
  10. Heat tortillas in a pan until warmed throughout
  11. Add cheese, then fries, carnitas, sour cream and avocado
  12. Top with hot sauce and wrap
  13. Enjoy!

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A Play On Banh Mi (Pork Sandwiches)

pork sandwich

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Banh Mi is widely known in my neighborhood. There are at least 5 restaurants within a mile of my house that specialize in these Vietnamese sandwiches. They are traditionally loaded with pork belly, head cheese, jalapenos, and fresh veggies. I wanted to take something traditional and make it my own. Something bursting with Asian flavors while also comforting.

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I used chopped garlic, ginger, lemongrass, soy sauce, brown sugar, and chilis to make my pork. It created the most tender mouth watering meat. The crock pot is really your best friend here. It allowed me to use a leaner cut of pork without losing flavor.

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Fresh bread is crucial to making a good sandwich. Something with a crunchy crust and light fluffy center. Baguettes are a great option because the soft insides soak up the juices from the meat and the crust holds everything together. I stir fried some red and green peppers with mushrooms, soy sauce and fresh garlic. Then I loaded the whole thing up with plenty of sriracha!



A Play On Banh Mi (Pork Sandwiches)
Cuisine: Pork
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Juicy Asian style pork made easy in the crock pot.
  • 1 tbsp lemon grass paste
  • 3 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 pound pork loin
  • loaf of fresh bread
  • veggie toppings
  • hot sauce
  1. Cut the pork into 4 pieces and place in the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Add in the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, red pepper, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
  3. Let cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  4. Pull apart with a fork and serve!

I hope you try out my spin on Banh Mi! If you aren’t a big sandwich eater I also recommend trying this pork on top of some jasmine rice!


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Crispy Spicy Lemon Grass Chicken Thighs With Pan Seared Potatoes

chicken thigh

Chicken thighs can always be found in our kitchen. Boneless, skinless or bone-in. We do not discriminate! Thigh meat is so much more forgiving when compared to chicken breast. The meat stays so juicy and tender.

And these potatoes! O. M. G. They have a nice crispy skin with a fluffy center. They are perfect with these chicken thighs.

chicken thigh

Chicken thighs are also incredibly versatile. We make them in so many different marinades. Today I wanted to try something different. I picked up some lemongrass puree over the weekend and I have been dying to use it in a marinade. These thighs have a crisp skin and really tender meat.

Crispy Spicy Lemon Grass Chicken Thighs With Pan Seared Potatoes
Recipe type: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Crispy chicken thighs with a spicy lemon grass marinade.
  • For The Chicken-
  • Bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp pureed lemon grass
  • 3 cloves of vodka chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • For The Potatoes-
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh lemon
  1. For The Chicken-
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the chicken and marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 or set up a grill. (I use a charcoal grill)
  4. I grilled on each side for 15 minutes.
  5. Grill the thighs until internal temperature is 165.
  6. For The Potatoes-
  7. Slice the potatoes about ½ inch thick.
  8. Place them in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Microwave for 5 minutes or until tender.
  10. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add olive oil.
  11. Sear the potatoes until golden brown.
  12. Salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Squeeze fresh lemon to finish.

You can swap the potatoes for fresh greens and make it a low carb meal! These chicken thighs are always a hit in our house. So fast and easy. I love the twist with the lemon grass and ginger. The thighs came out so light and fresh while the potatoes were salty and crisp!

chicken thighs

Please please say you will make these! They will be your new summer best friends!

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Smoked Chicken Sausage, Bean, Kale and Parm Stew

kale stew

Sometimes you just need a go to 20 minute meal. I know when I am coming home after a long day all I want is something comforting and hot as fast as possible. It definitely helps if it is something healthy as well.

This creamy stew is milk and cream free. I start out cooking down onions with garlic and kale then add in smokey chicken sausage. The white beans are what give the dish the thick hearty texture. Topped with lots of Parmesan cheese of course!

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4.0 from 1 reviews
Smoked Chicken Sausage, Bean, Kale and Parm Stew
Recipe type: Soup/ Stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Smokey chicken sausage, kale, white beans and Parmesan.
  • 1 can of white beans
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 4 oz smoked chicken sausage
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz shredded parm plus more for topping
  1. Heat butter or oil in a saute pan, add garlic and onions.
  2. Add in the kale and start to cook down.
  3. Add in chopped sausage and cook until the edges slightly crisp.
  4. Pour in the beans and stock.
  5. Mix in spices.
  6. Simmer until stew begins to thicken.
  7. Add cheese.
  8. Serve!

This is one of my new favorite meals. The cheese and spicy broth make it such a satisfying dish. I love how quickly this dish can be thrown together. You could even make it vegetarian by skipping the sausage and adding more kale. Sooo good!

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Spicy Fried Chicken

spicy fried chicken

There ¬†comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to decide: breast or thigh? I very rarely had fried chicken growing up. In an Italian home you typically have chicken roasted and incorporated into dishes. In my adult life I became very fond of the grilled chicken thigh, but never did I ever think I would be partial to frying chicken thighs. I always preferred breast. I even prided myself in being able to fry such juicy pieces of chicken while using the leanest part available.

Today I am here to introduce you to the fried chicken thigh. And I have no regrets. My signature spicy coating over a boneless skinless thigh retains so much juice and flavor while still being very easy to pull apart. This is crucial if you are serving as a sandwich. That is the biggest problem with fried breast on a sandwich. Trying to take a bite without pulling the entire piece of chicken with you.

For the seasoning I highly recommend using the Kroger brand pork seasoning. It has low salt and is almost 50% paprika which is the key to getting that super dark rich fried chicken coloring. You are welcome to make your own. It is a blend of paprika, brown sugar, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of salt.

chicken thigh

Spicy Fried Chicken
Recipe type: Chicken, Poultry, Fried
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Spicy fried chicken bursting with juices and flavor.
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups of AP flour
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 tbsp pork rub
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps red pepper
  • 2 cups of milk
  • canola oil for frying
  1. Marinate the chicken thighs while the oil is heating in the milk with 2 tbsp of the pork rub.
  2. Heat the oil to 350.
  3. You know it is ready if you sprinkle a little flour over the oil and it immediately bubbles.
  4. Mix together the flour, panko, and seasoning.
  5. Add the chicken making sure to pat the mixture heavily on top.
  6. I like to shake off a little then drop the thigh back into the flour.
  7. Fry 2 at a time or as many as you can without crowding.
  8. The batter will be a deep reddish golden brown.
  9. Cool over paper towels to soak extra oil and lightly salt each piece.


Try this recipe as a sandwich! My favorite way is sriracha, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and chicken on a potato bun. Or with creamy slaw!

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Cajun Alfredo With Grilled Chicken and Shrimp (AND ZOODLES)

cajun alfredo

So I finally made it. I am only one day away from completing my first 14 day cycle on this carb and sugar cleanse. I bought a veggie spiralizer so I can replace my pasta with zucchini. I know that is not for everyone – including my boyfriend. So, for this recipe to help ease you into the low carb lifestyle I have included some fresh pasta as well. I can eat this without the pasta. The sauce over the zucchini is delicious.

You do not have to add chicken and shrimp, but I personally just like the variety. The zucchini noodles soak up the cheese sauce perfectly.

I bought a $15 grill from target I like to use for these kind of recipes. It is so easy and chars the shrimp exactly the way I like it.


Cajun Alfredo With Grilled Chicken and Shrimp (AND ZOODLES)
Recipe type: pasta, low carb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Cajun shrimp and chicken over fresh pasta mixed with zucchini noodles sauteed in alfredo sauce.
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 2 oz fresh pasta
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 4 oz shredded Parmesan
  • ¼ heavy cream
  • ¼ chicken stock
  • ½ pound of large peeled shrimp
  • ½ pound of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ stick of salted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp red pepper
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  1. Set up the grill then prepare the chicken and shrimp.
  2. Liberally season the chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill until the shrimp are pink and blistered and the chicken is cooked through,
  4. Spiralize the zucchini.
  5. Melt the butter in a sautee pan and sautee the zucchini and garlic.
  6. Add the chicken stock and cook until "noodles" are tender over medium high.
  7. Add the heavy cream and cook at medium.
  8. When the sauce starts to thicken add in the cheese and spices.
  9. Reduce to a simmer and let the sauce finish thickening,
  10. Add in the fresh pasta.
  11. Toss in the shrimp and chicken.
  12. Top with parm.

If you are feeling adventurous skip the fresh pasta altogether! Enjoy!

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Best Pizza Dough I’ve Ever Had

best pizza dough recipe

Pizza is usually a staple in our household. It is something super easy you can throw together with whatever ingredients you have on hand. We always have a variety of meats, cheeses and veggies. This dough is my all time favorite because it is so easy. It takes hardly any time to make and tastes just as good, if not better, than a more complex dough.

If you have noticed the lack of posts lately, it is because I made a bet at work. 14 days no diet coke, no pasta, no bread, no potatoes, no popcorn, no fruits, no sugar of any kind. 14 days of water, more water, protein, veggies, and even more water. Of course with some exercise thrown in.

I have been making so many excuses of how I am way to busy to go to the gym or I am just so tired I want to eat something comforting. This “diet” bet will hold me accountable and help me cleanse all the garbage I’ve been ingesting this year. So far I am day 6. Went cold turkey on the diet coke and wine. No more chocolates or treats after dinner. Today I finally made it back to my yoga class and we took the kids to the skating rink after.

Long story short- enjoy this pizza for me! It is delicious.

By the way, the pizza shown above is mozzarella, prosciutto, jalapenos, olives, cherry peppers and mushrooms.

Best Pizza Dough I've Ever Had
Recipe type: Pizza, Dough
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pizza
Thin fluffy crust made from this easy dough recipe.
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • olive oil
  1. In a mixture attach the dough hook. Pour in the yeast, sugar and water. Let sit until bubbles form and you can smell the yeast activating. Add 2½ cups of flour, the salt, butter, garlic and herbs. Turn the mixer on medium low speed and allow all the ingredients to mix together. Use a spatula to scrap the sides if needed. If the dough still looks sticky add in more flour. The dough should be tacky to the tough, but not wet. Once the dough starts to form a ball pull from mixture and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead one or two times as you shape the ball of dough. Once you have the shape to your liking place the dough in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1½ hours. Now you are ready to make that pizza!

pizza dough

Seriously, make one of these and eat it for me!

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