Holy Guacamole! THE Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Round Up

Craving Mexican food?? I know I crave it seriously regularly.

Cinco de Mayo is a widely celebrated holiday that includes lots of Mexican-inspired dishes and drinks, and a fun reason to have get-togethers and celebrate what many people think is Mexico’s freedom.

Aaaaannnnddd…..It’s right around the corner.

Mexican Street Fries by Yours Truly

But, Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—is actually celebrated on September 16, commemorating the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

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Nevertheless, we get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with amazing food and cocktails! No need to go and wait for a table at your local crowded Mexican restaurant when you can have you very own fiesta at home. Just skip that annoying shit.

Grilled Mezcal Margaritas by A Nerd Cooks


Chicken Tostadas by Confetti and Bliss

Here are 11 amazing recipes for you to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Go here to check out all 11 recipes in The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Round Up.


This article was originally published on Parade Magazine by me.

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Pepper Steak over White Cheddar Grits

I look at Pepper Steak the same way I look at every other dish; it’s a blank canvas for me to play with.

Although I didn’t completely annihilate this dish (like I tend to do sometimes in a very good way), I merely made it Shea’s way (or changed some of the typical elements to suit my palate).

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For real, y’all will thank me.

Now, this time I incorporated jalapeno peppers, which typically aren’t in everyday Pepper Steak recipes, but y’all know me. I also used a pepper called Aloha. Have you ever heard of such a fantastically named pepper?? I adore finding new things – especially if they turn out to be damn good.

Look how pretty…

I found them at Publix; you should try to get your hands on some. If you can’t find Aloha peppers, you can definitely use green or red bell peppers, or both!

I remember being a kid, and every time my mom or dad made something with bell peppers, like steak and peppers or stuffed bell peppers, I thought they were horrible for some reason. I absolutely love them now; which reminds me I definitely need to share my stuffed bell pepper recipe.

I think y’all will love it.

I would roll my eyes and think “what in the fuck are they doing with those things again?”. It didn’t take long for me to finally understand how good they were; I was just being a snooty little kid and of course, I thought I knew everything. 

The cheese in these grits offset some of the heat in the peppers, but you can also control the heat by the amount of jalapeno peppers you use versus aloha peppers (or whatever peppers you choose). The spiciness of the peppers, and the richness of the steak combined with the cheesy grits is such a beautiful combination.

I hope you can find the Aloha peppers. They aren’t hot at all, but a little bit like a yellow bell pepper with a bit more sweetness. I absolutely LOVE them. Share with me if you have them locally and how you use them!

Here’s your printable-

Pepper Steak over White Cheddar Grits

Pepper Steak over White Cheddar Grits
A slight twist on traditional Pepper Steak, jalapenos and Aloha peppers over white cheddar grits.


  • 2 cups grits
  • 1 lb. sirloin or flank steak, cooked to medium rare (it will cook more later with the peppers, so you don't want it too done), sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, deseeded, deribbed and sliced thin
  • 1 Aloha pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 large white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 can French Onion Soup
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz. [Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp White Cheddar](https://www.cabotcheese.coop/extra-sharp-cheddar-cheese#tab=dairy%2Bbars&slide=68, shredded
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Make grits according to package directions (I use 5 min grits), cover and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add pepper and onion slices, stirring to combine until tender.
  4. Add steak strips, soup, broth and vinegar; stir to combine, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.
  5. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and remove from heat.
  6. Add beef broth and cheddar to grits; microwave for 2 minutes covered, stir and microwave for 2 more minutes.
  7. Serve steak and peppers over grits, sprinkle with parsley.
  8. Enjoy!


*If you're not a fan of heat, decrease the jalapenos and add more mild peppers.

*Remember that grits soak up moisture very quickly, and you may need to add more broth than called for in the ingredients.

*If you can't find Aloha peppers, substitute red or green bell peppers

Here’s your pinnable-

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Chinese Takeout Recipes You Can Make At Home

Chinese is one of the most popular takeout cuisines, but it doesn’t have to be the case in your home. I mean, for real, who knows what the hell they’re putting in your food – I don’t even want to think about it. It makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.


Making it at home can be easy, quick and much less expensive than ordering. (Think about how much we waste from leftovers – money down the drain.) It’s also one of my most favorite cuisines to make; you can change the recipes up a little depending on your taste and level of heat you prefer. 


Most of these recipes are customizable and easy to prepare.

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Think subbing seafood for beef or vice versa. These dishes also reheat well, which is great for work or school lunches the next day, and that makes mornings easier!! 

They also freeze well, another bigass plus. If you haven’t made my Teriyaki Wraps (below), they’re definitely a must-make. 

Ditch the takeout menu and give one of these a try in your kitchen. Here’s 17 Incredible Chinese Takeout Recipes to put in your dinner rotation.

Go here to see all 17 – you’ll thank me!!! 

This article was originally published on Parade Food & Drink Online Magazine.

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Pulled Pork, Sherried Mushrooms and Cheese Sauce on Ciabatta

How about luscious pulled pork with sherried mushrooms, covered with cheese sauce on warm Ciabatta bread??

It’s all about the sherry, my www friends, AAAALLLLLL about the sherry.

However, I absolutely love ciabatta bread, and that’s another element to this very special, yet simple sandwich.. Have you ever made ciabatta?? It’s quite a process, but so worth it. It’s not difficult, just takes a little bit of time and patience. Don’t worry, it’s not a requirement for this recipe, but if you want to, please do if you like to make fresh bread, (or want to learn how to).

Go here to see the last time I made it – 

Ciabatta makes the most fantastic sandwich. It has this crunchy, but not too crunchy outside, and soft in the middle. It’s a perfect bread for a sandwich. 

This sandwich is made with a pork loin that I slow cooked in my Le Creuset (my Caribbean colored baby) over about 5 hours. I absolutely LOVE slow cooking food; the aromas, the anticipation of a fantastic dish.

There are two big differences between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is usually very thin and lean. A pork loin has more fat, and has the appearance of a small roast. When you’re making a pork loin, always start cooking it with the fat side up, so the fat side up, so it slowly melts down around the entire loin to make it juicy and tender. 

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Nobody wants a tough ass hunk of pork. I know I don’t.

One of the things I love about making things like this is having leftovers. It’s just fun to me – I get to make something completely different than what I originally made the pork loin for. 

This was something so simple, but was so damn good, and felt like comfort food. 

The pork was so very tender, juicy and fell apart. For this sandwich, I sautéed the mushrooms until tender and fragrant, added beautiful things like Worcestershire and sherry. I have a love for sherry that is indescribable. Then,I mixed the beef and mushrooms together. To round it all out, I made this damn good cheese sauce from Cabot that I’ve made for several different things in the past.

Y’all, this sandwich is just pure joy in your mouth. 

Seriously, how amazing does this simple, but oh so luscious sandwich look?? 

I love to eat things like this cold for breakfast – like pizza. Don’t even call me weird – everybody has their own quirky little food habits.

Here’s your printable – 

Yield: 4 Sandwiches

Pulled Pork, Mushrooms and Cheese Sauce on Ciabatta

Pulled Pork, Mushrooms and Cheese Sauce on Ciabatta



  1. Melt butter over medium heat, add mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, Moore's, Sherry and garlic powder, stirring until mushrooms are soft.
  2. Toast each slice of bread, and brush with butter.
  3. Combine approx 1 cup shredded pork with mushrooms, add to bottom piece of bread.
  4. Ladle cheese sauce over the top and add top piece of ciabatta.
  5. Serve!
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The Reubenator

 For those of you that are obsessed with everything Reuben…

You’re welcome.

I made this as a part of Kita Roberts’ Burger of the Month Club, which is the brain child of Kita Roberts. This woman has to be my kindred spirit. She’s all things burgers, grilling, real ass food.

She very first reeled me in with her tagline, “Because boys aren’t the only ones who like to play with their meat“. 

And, since I moved (Imma update y’all about that story, I promise) and my grill/smoker is in storage for a while, I’m loving living vicariously through her. 

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Every month she sends an email with a surprise list of ingredients for us to make a bomb ass burger. Burger month is the epitome of fun. Seriously.

This month the list was cabbage, corned beef, and potatoes. My first thought was to make homemade potato buns, but then I thought ‘nah that’s cliche as shit’. So, it hit me that I love potato chips and fries on my burgers and sandwiches, so that took care of the potatoes.

For the cabbage, I made a relish with sauerkraut, carrots, pickles and onions. The combination really needs no binder because of the moisture in the sauerkraut and pickles.

For the burger, I mixed ground chuck, corned beef and pastrami. There’s really something about that mixture that was off the charts amazing as AF.

I made a homemade fry sauce, which is basically Thousand Island, but I love that stuff. That meltiness you see on the bottom is baby Swiss.

This is definitely a knife and fork burger.

Y’all, I know I say this shit all the time, but I think this is my favorite burger. 

It’s one of those divine things that make you say OMG everytime you take a bite. Don’t you love moments like that?

Here’s your printable – 

The Reubenator

The Reubenator


  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1/2 lb. corned beef, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 lb. pastrami, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, diced
  • 1 cup pickles, diced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, diced
  • 1 russet potato, thinly sliced into fries, adding to a bowl of cold water
  • 3 cups canola oil (I like sunflower oil for frying but sometimes it's not easy to find)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp relish
  • 1 package burger buns
  • 8 oz. Swiss cheese, sliced


  1. Combine ground chuck, corned beef, and pastrami until thoroughly incorporated; form into patties and refrigerate.
  2. Make slaw by combining sauerkraut through carrots in a bowl.
  3. Drain fries and pat dry thoroughly.
  4. Bring the oil to 375 degrees; fry in batches TWICE and drain on paper towels.
  5. Combine ketchup, mayo and relish.
  6. Pan fry or grill burgers.
  7. To assemble burgers, add sliced cheese on bottom side of bun, add relish, burger, fries and top with fry sauce.
  8. Serve with knife and fork!
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