Crafty Cuisine Quartet- Cherry Glazed Pork

May 30, 2019

Sweet summer-time has arrived and so has our Cherry Glazed Pork! Our final dish contains a mix that even picky eaters couldn’t pass up- from the salty crunch of our sautéed green beans to the sweet slice of our homemade cherry glaze, fuel your appetite with our delicious dish. In preparing our meal, we began with pork tenderloins- pan seared and prepped for the oven. Next, we sautéed fresh green beans with just the right amount of spice. Finally, we hand-mashed golden potatoes- with a little butter, salt, and a whole lot of finger-licking-good.

Cherry Glazed Pork: Serves 6

Prep time- 45 min-1 hour


Pork Tenderloin Prep:

  • Place 2-3 1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloins on a baking sheet
  • Remove all fat by gently skimming a knife across the sides and surface of the pork
  • After all fat is removed (or as much as desired), generously sprinkle salt and red pepper flakes on both sides of the pork
  • When the tenderloins have been seasoned, place the meat in a skillet to pan sear on medium-high heat
  • After all sides are a golden brown, prepare to transport the pork from skillet to oven
  • Once the meat has been placed in the oven, allow the pork to cook at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 16o degrees internally

Green Bean Prep:

  • Gently clean 2lbs of green beans by allowing cool water to wash the beans for 30 seconds
  • After washing the green beans, remove the ends by slicing with a small kitchen knife
  • Next, place the green beans in a zip-lock bag and add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper
  • After adding in the salt and pepper, simply seal the bag and give the beans a good shake for roughly 30 seconds
  • Then, heat up the small skillet by turning the burner to medium-high heat
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to allow the beans to sautée
  • Once the pan is heated, gently dump the beans into the skillet and occasionally stir until they begin to slightly brown
  • Add 3 Tbsp of minced garlic
  • If desired, additional salt/pepper can be added once the beans are in the pan
  • Once the beans are a bit softer and seem to be turning a slight brown, this will indicate that the beans are ready!

Mashed Potato Prep:

  • Begin by washing and peeling each potato from two 5 lbs bags of white potatoes
  • After potatoes have been washed and peeled, dice each potato into medium sized pieces to allow for quicker cooking
  • As the water comes to a boil, add 5 tbs of salt to allow for flavorful cooking
  • When the potatoes have been diced, carefully place the potatoes into boiling water (high heat) and allow them to sit- occasionally stirring
  • To test if the potatoes are ready, carefully select one potato dice with a cooking spoon and poke it with a fork to determine the softness
  • If soft, the potatoes are ready to be mashed! If they’re still hard, allow them to boil for a few more minutes
  • When the potatoes are finally soft, grab your strainer and be prepared!
  • After placing the strainer in the sink, gently dump your softened potatoes into the strainer and allow for excess water to drain
  • After rinsing the pot that contained the potatoes, place the potatoes back in the pot and mix in 1 cup butter, 2 cups milk, and 2 tbs of minced garlic
  • Once all ingredients have been added, begin mashing potatoes as the ingredients begin to blend
  • Once mashed, stir in all excess ingredients until desired consistency

Cherry Glaze Prep:

  • Place 3 cups of pitted cherries, 6 Tbsp. of brown sugar, 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, 3 tsp. of cornstarch, and 1 1/2 cups of water in a pot over medium heat.
  • Stir mixture together and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiled, turn to simmer and give the cherries a gentle mash to let out the natural juices.
  • Let simmer for 8 minutes and set aside.
  • Once tenderloin is done and rested, plate and pour glaze over the tenderloin and serve.


  • Mouthfeel/Consistency-10-the pork was tender and juicy while the cherries added an extra texture component
  • Visual-10-it was so pretty we almost didn’t want to eat it but feel it belongs in a restaurant
  • Creativity-9-overall creative but the sides could’ve been a little more diverse
  • Smell-10-the smell from the cherry glaze was the icing on the cake for this dish
  • Taste-10-the juices from the cherries bouncing off of the juices from the tenderloin was satisfying


Chop It Like It’s Hot- Zucchini Burrito

May 29, 2019

Zucchini Burrito

Spice up your Mexican dinner nights with zucchini burritos. This dish contains a unique mix including quinoa and ground turkey. If your family is not a fan, these can be substituted with rice and ground beef. The zucchini shells is a healthier option than using a tortilla shell. Also, using a zucchini for the shell makes this a great gluten free option. This recipe is designed to feed 5 people.


  • 5 large Zucchinis (diced in half)
  • 1 cup Ground Turkey Meat
  • 15 oz can Black Beans
  • 2 cup Quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 cup Medium Salsa 
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Canned Corn
  • 2 handfuls Mexican Blend Cheese (roughly 1/2-1 cup)
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper Flacks
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Step by Step:

*Prep time roughly 40-45 minutes*
  • Prep of the Zucchini
    • Wash the zucchini
    • Cut the stem of the zucchini off
    • Cut the zucchini in half long way
    • Get a spoon and take all the seeds out of the middle making a hollow shell
    • Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and place on a cookie sheet
      • DO NOT oil the zucchini! 
  • Prep of the Quinoa
    • Boil two cups of water
    • Once the water comes to a boil, place one cup of raw quinoa in the boiling water
    • Allow the quinoa to stay on the burner for around two minutes
    • Remove from the burner and place a lid on the pot
    • Once the quinoa is soft and has absorbed all the water, it is complete
    • Add 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Prep of the Filling
    • Place the diced pepper and onion in a skillet
    • Cook until the veggies begin to look a little softer
    • Add the ground turkey meat
    • Continue cooking until the onions look a little brown and the meat is finished
    • Add the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper
    • Lower the heat of the burner to around medium/low
    • Drain and add the black beans
    • Drain and add the corn
    • Mix and allow the beans and corn to become warm
    • Lower the heat to low
    • Add the quinoa, salsa, and cheese
  • Prep of the Burrito
    • Take one half of the zucchini
    • With a spoon add the stuffing along the whole zucchini
    • Each hollowed zucchini may require a different amount of filling. The measurement is a personal preference. We recommend until the filling is level or a little above the shell.
    • Once filled, place in the oven for roughly 20-25 minutes on 400 degrees

Ratings: 1-10 (10 being the best)

  • Taste-  10  This dish has such a unique taste. The filling is to die for and could be eaten alone it is so good. The zucchini shell is very interesting. It adds a nice little crunch.
  • Mouth Feel/Consistency-  10  Like mentioned before the crunch of the zucchini is very pleasant. Also, the filling has the beans and the corn that also adds a little bit of texture to the burrito.
  • Smell-  10  The smell of the filling is out of the world. When the mix is being made on the stove, the aroma fills the whole room. It smells amazing.
  • Visual Appearance-  9   The burrito filling its self is very brown based. There is some color contrast with the black beans and the yellow corn. Also, there is the pop of red from the salsa. The green zucchini really helps makes this meal look more appealing.
  • Creativity-   10   Using zucchini shells instead of tortilla shells makes the a gluten free option. Also, the shells make this meal a very unique Mexican dish most would not think of.

Team Alpha’s Savory Shrimp Tacos

May 29, 2019

Our final dish of the course is a well-know classic: shrimp tacos! However, ours have tons of unique ingredients that make our dish a little bit healthier but equally as tasty as your traditional fried shrimp taco! Instead of frying our shrimp, we decided to saute ours in a pan and load our tacos with a variety of yummy and colorful toppings, like our homemade mango coleslaw, guacamole, and cilantro lime sour cream dressing! Our shrimp tacos are quick and easy to whip up any day of the week! There’s also a lot of room for creativity in this one– choose your own favorite toppings and make it your own!

Savory Shrimp Tacos (serves 5-6)


  • Shrimp Taco Base:
    • 6 slices of hickory smoked bacon
    • 2 pounds of raw peeled and deveined shrimp
    • 2 tablespoon of paprika
    • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
    • 1 tablespoon of cumin
    • 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • Juice from 1 lime
    • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
    • 3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1- 10 count package of taco shells
  • Guacamole:
    • 2 avocados, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
    • 3 tablespoons of lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
  • Mango Coleslaw:
    • 1 mango, diced
    • Juice from 1/2 lemon
    • Juice from 1 1/2 lime
    • 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro and Lime Sour Cream Sauce:
    • 16 ounces of sour cream
    • Juice from 1 1/2 limes
    • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • Garnish:
    • Mexican blend cheese, shredded
    • Avocado, sliced


  1. Heat large skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Cut bacon slices in half. Lay pieces flat in the hot skillet. Cook the bacon until browned on one side. Flip each piece over and continue to cook until both sides are crispy. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel covered plate, leaving the left over grease in the pan. Once cool, chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Cut the tails off of the shrimp. Discard the tails and rinse the shrimp thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel and place the shrimp in a large bowl. Add the paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, juice from 1 lime and half of a lemon, and roughly 3 tablespoons of the fresh cilantro. Toss the shrimp in the spices until evenly coated.
  4.  Add the shrimp to the skillet that contains the left over bacon grease. Cook, stirring and flipping frequently, until the shrimp turn pink on both sides– roughly 7 minutes. Once cooked, spoon the shrimp into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Discard the left over bacon grease.
  5. In a small bowl, add diced mango, lemon and lime juice, and red cabbage. Stir together and set aside.
  6. Open the tub of sour cream. Add the juice from 1 1/2 limes and 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro to the sour cream. Stir together.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the avocado, garlic powder, lime juice, lemon juice, and cilantro until combined and relatively smooth. Set aside.
  8. In a clean skillet, heat up one taco shell. Remove once hot and place on plate. Add as much shrimp, bacon, coleslaw, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and additional avocado as you see fit and enjoy!
  9. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in air-tight containers. Our tacos are delicious reheated!


  • Taste: 9
    • Our tacos were jam packed with tons of flavor– full of umami with some added sweetness from the mangoes!
  • Consistency: 10
    • Our tacos had tons of different textures all loaded into one shell! The sour cream and guacamole provided a smooth and creamy addition to the crispness of the coleslaw and bacon, as well as the meaty texture of the shrimp.
  • Smell: 9
    • Even though there was a whole lot going on with our dish and its toppings, the kitchen smelled super good as we were cooking! The only downfall was maybe it was a little bit overwhelming with the different smells from the separate toppings we were working on at one time.
  • Visual Appeal: 10
    • Our tacos were super bright and colorful!
  • Creativity: 8
    • Though tacos are a pretty common dish, we put a lot of our creations into our recipe! Instead of using ground beef, we chose shrimp and loaded our tacos with many colorful and healthy ingredients, along with a unique array of spices that was unique to each topping!



Chef Dropouts – Three Layer Oreo Cake

May 29, 2019













As a team, we have prepared a myriad of dishes including foods that would typically be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Therefore, to round out our cooking experience, we thought it was fitting that we try to prepare a dessert for our final project. We decided to design a tasty cake for the class to enjoy. With that said, we created a three layer cake incorporating flavor pairings from the food bible.  Two layers of the cake are chocolate and the middle layer is vanilla, mimicking the appearance of a large oreo cookie. In between each layer, we added a nice oreo cream filling. For the top of the cake, we chose strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries because they compliment both chocolate and vanilla flavors.  And of course, our last step was to add some whip cream.



Cake mix

2 boxes of Betty Crocker German chocolate cake mix

1 box of Betty Crocker French vanilla cake mix

3 ¼ cups of water

1 ½ cups of vegetable oil

9 eggs

Oreo Filling:

2 sticks of butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of milk

1 cup of strawberries

1 cup of blackberries

1 cup of blueberries

Vanilla Icing

1 Can of Whipped cream 

Ice cream



Part 1: Cake Mix

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Get 3 cake pans and spray with vegetable oil

(Repeat the following steps for each cake mix) (2 Chocolate, 1 Vanilla)

  1. Pour the cake mix, ½ cup of vegetable oil, and 3 eggs in a large bowl. Use a mixer on medium speed or beat vigorously by hand for 2 minutes.
  2. once the mix is at the desired consistency, pour each mix into a separate baking pan
  3. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes

Part 2: Prepare Oreo Cream Filling (While the cakes are cooking)

  1. In a bowl, beat softened butter with mixers for 3 minutes
  2. In the same bowl, mix a ½ cup of powdered sugar into bowl at a time, until all 3 cups have been mixed in.
  3. Next, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of milk
  4. On a cutting board, crush up 10 Oreo cookies and mix into bowl with the rest of the ingredients
  5. When the cakes are done baking, place a toothpick in the center of the cake and make sure it comes out clean, if it does, the cake is ready to cool.
  6. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan

 Part 3: Prepare Fruit

  1. Wash the strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  2. Pour blueberries and blackberries into a bowl
  3. Grab a cutting board and slice strawberries in either halves or quarter slices (depending on size of strawberry)

 Part 4: When cakes are done baking

  1. When cakes are done baking, let them cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan, also, let cakes cool completely before frosting
  2. With a knife, ice the first chocolate cake with oreo frosting. Next, place the vanilla cake on top of the chocolate cake and ice with oreo frosting, then place the remaining chocolate cake on top.
  3. Using a knife, ice the top and outside of cake with vanilla frosting
  4. Decorate the top of the cake with ½ cup of crumbled Oreos and fruit mix



 Taste: 9/10

  • Was so delicious but could have used some more Oreo filling

Mouth Feel/consistency: 9/10

  • The cake was very moist, and the fruits and crumbled Oreos added a little crunch

Smell:  8/10

  • It was an amazing smell, however, it didn’t have a super unique aroma

Visual Appeal: 6/10

  • While it was scrumptious, we should have let the cakes cool longer, or put them in the fridge so they won’t fall apart.

Creativity:  7/10

  • While cake is a rather traditional dessert item, our cake was unique as it adhered to an Oreo flavor profile and also looked like an Oreo in appearance.

Video link;



Theory of Mind – Cordon Bleu with Dijon Cream Sauce

May 29, 2019

Feeling a bit fancy? Try out our own version of Cordon Bleu at the comfort of your own home! This dish features a black forest ham, prosciutto, and swiss stuffed chicken breast over a bed of al dente fettuccine noodles. Also, don’t forget the mixed vegetable blend with our homemade dijon cream sauce to top it all off! Enjoy this dish with your loved ones and treat yourselves with our Cordon Bleu today!


  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 large chicken breast
  • 1 box of Fettuccine
  • 1 container of sliced baby bellas (8oz.)
  • 1 container of seasoned bread crumbs (15oz.)
  • 7 Tbsp of all purpose white flour
  • 3/4 stick of  salted butter
  • 16 oz of heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz black forest ham
  • 2 bags of Shredded Swiss cheese
  • 4 oz of Prosciutto
  • 1/2 pound of bacon



  1.  Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F
  2. Mince garlic
  3. Dice onions into 1/4in cubes
  4. Cut all fat off the chicken and cover it in saran wrap. Proceed to pound out the chicken.
  5. After tenderizing the chicken, fill each flattened chicken breast with a piece of ham, prosciutto, and 2 tablespoons of Swiss cheese.
  6. Continue by rolling up the chicken and keeping them in place by inserting toothpicks.
  7. Place chicken in the preheated oven for 30min, (check periodically)
  8.  In a medium pot, begin making the roux by combining 7 Tbsp of flour and 3/4 stick of butter on low heat. Afterwards, add 16 oz of heavy whipping cream into the roux.
  9. In a separate sauce pan combine the bacon, broccoli, onions, and garlic. This will be done over medium heat.
  10. To make creamy mustard sauce: 1 cup of swiss cheese, pint of heavy whipping cream, 4oz of dijon mustard and season with basil, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper (flavor to taste*) *Keep stirring
  11. Combine the creamy sauce to the pan with the bacon, broccoli, onions, and garlic. Put on low to medium heat to keep warm.
  12. Begin to cook pasta as directed on the box
  13. Once the pasta is finished, serve on plate (or bowl) with chicken on top and pour the sauce over the dish

How-To Video:


Taste: 10

  •  Nice balance of flavors, not too mustard in sauce

Smell: 10

  • Smell of flavors really mixed well together

Visual:  9

  • The broccoli cooked into the creamy sauce made it turn a little green

Mouth: 10

  • All flavors balance really well, strong flavor, incredible

Creativity: 10

  • We were able to incorporate mustard into the sauce



Pork Meatballs With Tropical Fried Rice – The Macaroons

May 28, 2019

Pork Meatballs With Tropical Fried Rice

This dish is a nice and re-freshing warm summers dinner that will take you on a trip to the tropical oceans of Hawaii. It includes savory pork meatballs with a splash of hoison and soy sauce on top of a sweet pineapple infused fried rice. You can cook this meal for your family’s evening dinner or for a friendly summer’s beach bash.

How-To-Video (Ingredients & Instructions are below)


-1 lb ground pork

-1 Pineapple

-1 Fresh green onions

-1Tbsp of Fresh Ginger

-2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic

-2 eggs

-1/4 cup of Panko Crumbs

-1 Bell Pepper

-1 cup of Jasmine Rice

-3 Tbsp Hoison

-1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

-1 Tbsp Soy Sauce



1.Chop Green Onion and separate the white and the green into 2 bowls

2. Mince Garlic and Ginger and add to the bowl with the white of the onion

3. Cook garlic, ginger, and onion whites on medium high until fragrant

4. Put pork, bread crumbs, 1 egg, and cooked aromatics into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.

5. Form pork mixture into bite-sized balls and set aside.

6. Bring rice to a boil in a pot with 2 cups of water and cook until water is absorbed.

7. Cook meatballs until all sides are brown and meatballs are cooked through. Leave juices in the pan.

8. Dice bell pepper and pineapple (keep separate)

9. Add bell pepper to pan with pork juices and cook until slightly softened.

10. Add cooked rice, 1 egg, and diced pineapple to the pan with the bell pepper, mix thoroughly.

11. Mix Hoisin, Soy Sauce, and Sesame oil in a bowl.

12. Put fried rice onto a plate, top with meatballs and mixed sauces, garnish with the green part of the green onion.

13. Enjoy!!


-Taste: 7  The Meatballs were fantastic (9) while the rice was bland (4). The rice definitely needs more flavor.

-Mouth Feel/Consistency: 10 The rice was perfectly moist and the meatballs where very tender.

-Visual Appeal: 9 The dish all together looked very colorful; it illustrated the vibrant sunset over the tropical islands of Hawaii.

-Smell: 9 The smells of this dish mixed well together to produce both a sweet and savory aroma.

-Creativity: 10 This dish was entirely created from scratch as a result of mixing Asian cuisines with tropical Hawaiian flavors.




The Crafty Cuisine Quartet: Fresh Market Salmon Fillet Dinner

May 24, 2019

Our honey mustard glazed salmon with a lemon and olive oil infused quinoa and traditional cooked garlic spinach is sure to be a hit in any household.This meal is healthy and satisfying all at the same time! The lemon aroma coming from the quinoa, the honey and red pepper flakes exploding with flavor in the salmon, and the subtleness from the spinach all tie this dish together. It is pescatarian friendly, fresh, and could almost be kid approved (if we had a one) because the salmon is that good!


  • 1lb. of Atlantic Salmon Fillet
  • 50z box of organic spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared chopped garlic
  • 1 cup of dry quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil (2 Tbsp. for quinoa & 1 Tbsp. for spinach)
  • 2 lemons (1 whole lemon & 1 sliced lemon)
  • lemon peels (from 2 lemons)

Honey Mustard Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Start by making the honey mustard glaze. Combine the honey, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until mixed together well.
  3. Take the lb. of salmon and place in the honey mustard glaze and let sit for a few minutes while waiting for oven to preheat.
  4. For the quinoa, combine the dry quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiled, turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Let the quinoa sit for 15 min. and fluff together with a fork. Add the juice from one lemon and the lemon peels from the one lemon and replace the lid. Let sit until the end.
  5. Once the oven is preheated, remove the salmon from the honey glaze and place on the baking sheet. Take a knife and make a slit in the middle of the salmon for proper cooking.
  6. Take the honey mustard glaze left in the bowl and spoon over the salmon fillet, being sure to get in the slit. Take the sliced lemon and place it all over the salmon. Place in the oven for 30 min.
  7. While the salmon and quinoa finish heating up, take a pan and place it on medium heat. Once heated, add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and the prepared chopped garlic and heat up for 2 min.
  8. Add the whole box of spinach to the olive oil and garlic and place a lid over it to wilt the spinach for 5 min. Open lid and stir spinach around for 5 min. and put on the side.
  9. Remove lemon peels from quinoa and give one last fluff then add a cup to a plate as well as a couple scoops of cooked spinach.
  10. Remove fully cooked salmon from the oven, cut in half, and place on plate with quinoa and spinach.
  11. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for the next day.


Visual:10-appealing but subtle

Mouthfeel/Consistency: 9- melt in your moth

Smell: 9-the aroma filled the room

Creativity: 7- creative glaze but simple dinner

Taste: 10-the lemon taste came through the way we needed it to


Team Alpha’s Chicken Paella

May 23, 2019

For dinner, we decided to put our own twist on a traditional Spanish dish: paella! Instead of using a mixture of seafood in our paella, we decided to use chicken, which is usually much less expensive and more accessable to college-aged students like ourselves! Not only does our dish not break the bank, but it’s also loaded with high energy-yielding, nutrient-dense ingredients! And it doesn’t stop there: it also just so happens to be delicious!

Chicken Paella (serves 5-6)


  • 1 1/2 pounds of raw chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Splash of white wine of your choice
  • 1 1/4 cups of brown rice
  • 2- 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)


  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts. Season with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once olive oil is heated, add the chicken to the pan and cook until brown on both sides. Once browned, place the chicken on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven at 415 degrees to finish cooking.
  3. In the same large pan the chicken was just taken out of, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add in onion and garlic. Cook until the onion begins to soften. Stir a splash of white wine into the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. After the onions, garlic, and wine have cooked together for about 2-3 minutes, add the brown rice, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and turmeric. Allow mixture to come to a boil.
  5. Add the bell pepper into the rice and broth mixture. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
  6. Take off the heat and stir in the chicken. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Add chopped cilantro on top and enjoy!


  • Taste: 9
    • Some of us opted out of putting cilantro on top, but the overall taste with or without this garnish was really good– lots of umami from the rice and chicken with some added heat from the spice combination we chose!
  • Consistency: 7
    • The rice was a little crunchy, so in the future, we would let it cook a little bit more before digging in!
  • Visual appeal: 9
    • The tumeric and vegtables in our dish made it very colorful and bright!
  • Smell: 10
    • The delicious aroma of our dish filled the room (and even the main floor of Blue Ridge, evidently!)
  • Creativity: 8
    • Paella is typically made with a variety of seafood, so using chicken was definitely an “American” twist on this traditional Spanish dish! We also wanted to cater this recipe to the college crowd, so realistically in terms of budget and availability, chicken was the right choice for us!



Chop It Like It’s Hot: Panini Taco Pizza

May 23, 2019

Panini Taco Pizza

Total prep time ~ 15-20 minutes 

This Panini Taco Pizza is a quick and simple way to keep pizza healthy and simple. This dish can be cut up into slices or even rolled up to eat more like a taco. Any way you want it you can have it! Adding different spices can make this dish anything you want it to be. Want something super spicy? No problem, add what ever kind of spice you want and you can change the salsa on top to and level of spice (mild, medium, or hot). This can be prepared with your family, so it is fun and healthy for everyone.


  • 1 Panini Bread (per pizza)
  • 2 Avocados– smashed
  • 1 Can of Black Beans
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper– diced
  • 1 Onion – diced
  • 3 pieces of Corn (could substitute 1 can of Corn)
  • Salsa – varied to preference
  • 1 lbs of choice Ground Beef 

Step by Step:

  1. Add diced vegetables into pan on stove to saute (used vegetable oil).
  2. Add choice meat.
  3. Add seasoning (as much as wanted): garlic powder, cayenne salt, red chili pepper flakes, oregano
  4. While vegetables and meat are cooking add corn into a pot to boil.
  5. At this time peel and mash the avocados.
  6.  Once corn is done boiling (around 5 minutes) take it our and cut corn off the ear.
  7. Add corn to mixture on stove.
  8. At this time the meat and veggies should be done.
  9. Once corn is added, add the black beans to the mixture (make sure you stir!)
  10. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  11. Add avocado mash onto the Panini.
  12. Add meat and veggie mix on top of the avocado.
  13. Add salsa on the very top (add as much as wanted).
  14. Put in the oven for ~5 minutes.
  15. Cut up/ Fold it and Enjoy!!

Comments and Ratings (1-10  : 10 being the highest):

Taste- 10   This dish gave a more Mexican play on the typical pizza. It had a nice crunch to it with all the vegetables in it. Adding the spices was a good call, because it gave it more flavor. Overall, you could add as many vegetables as you want and that is what makes this dish so good.

Mouth Feel/ Consistency- 10   This dish took a nice bread and added some avocado which gave it a nice sauce feel while the vegetables gave it a nice crunch. The salsa on top gave it almost a taco kind of feeling. Cannot go wrong with a taco inspired pizza.

Smell- 8   While this dish smelled good throughout the whole process adding even more spice could have made it smell better. With the smells of the sauteing vegetables and the meat gave a nice aroma.

Visual Appearance – 10   This dish was very nice to look at. It had a lot of color and it looked exactly like a taco pizza. Tacos and pizza are always appealing looking and this combined the two very well.

Creativity- 10  None of us had made this before, so we took a leap of faith. That leap turned out well, with a great option for a healthy dinner. You do not see this being made very often, although it should be.


Chef Dropouts–Crispy Cobb Salad

May 23, 2019

Crispy Cobb Salad


We decided to make a cobb salad because it is nice to know how to prepare a light weight yet fulfilling meal in the summer. With that said, we combined leafy greens, avocados, and tomatoes along with some key protein sources including, bacon, chicken and eggs. What really made this Cobb salad special was the homemade dressing being the ultimate complement.


1 fresh roma tomato

1 fresh avocado

3 bunches of romaine lettuce

5 cloves of garlic

2 tbs of lemon juice

3 tbs of vegetable oil

2 tbs of balsamic vinegar

1 tsp of black pepper

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of all-purpose adopo seasoning

½ lb. of crumbled feta cheese

1 lb. of boneless chicken breast

½ lb. of bacon


Phase 1: Vegetable and Egg Preparation 

  1. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water at medium heat. When boiling, place 4 eggs in water, eggs should boil in 25-30 minutes. Place boiled eggs in cold water to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash each bunch of romaine lettuce and the roma tomato
  3. Cut stocks off the ends of each bunch of romaine lettuce and chop up 1-2-inch slices lettuce
  4. Slice the roma tomato in half and slice into 1-inch cubes
  5. Take your avocado, and slice in half—be sure to cut around the core to get an even two slices. Remove the core of the avocado, slice each half into strips, then cut horizontally into 1-inch slices.
  6. Place cut up romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes, and avocados in a bowl
  7. Peel and slice hard boiled eggs in half and place on bowl

Phase 2: Protein Preparation

  1. Wash and dry the chicken breast, using a knife, slice into 1-inch strips, season with a teaspoon of black pepper, salt, and half a teaspoon of minced garlic.
  2. Heat up a pan at medium heat, once the pan is heated, cook chicken strips for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Rinse pan and heat pan at medium to high heat, once the pan is heated, place 9 strips of bacon on pan and cook on each side evenly until desired crunchiness, this should take about 10 minutes.
  4. After the bacon is cooked, place the chicken back in the pan in which the bacon was cooked in for 2 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken in the middle of the bowl and the bacon strips around the perimeter of salad.
  6. Once all the ingredients are placed in the bowl, place desired amount crumbled feta cheese over the salad.

Salad Dressing recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbs of lemon juice, about 3 tbs of vegetable oil, 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 pinch of salt, and about a teaspoon of all-purpose adopo seasoning.

*The garlic will have a more pungent flavor if grinded

  1. Place bowl in fridge to cool and take out when ready to eat!


Taste: 9/10—The chicken infused bacon mixed with the salad dressing brings the lemon juice flavor. The salad becomes whole with the dressing.

Mouth Feel/consistency: 8/10—Watery mouth that is craving more!

Smell: 9/10—Summer vibes from fresh veggies and citrus from the dressing.

Visual Appeal: 8/10—Colorful rainbow in a bowl with a glossy glaze from the dressing.

Creativity: 6/10—Chicken is cooked in bacon greasy and bits. Dressing is Ethiopian homemade tradition brought to a classic American Salad.