Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans & Goat Cheese

1 lb carrots, peeled
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pats
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Few fresh thyme leaves to garnish

Candied Pecans:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c. pecan halves
Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. brown sugar, cinnamon, S&P, then spread pads of butter evenly over carrots.
Place in the oven and bake for one hour if carrot ends are thick (1 inch in diameter), or 50 minutes if carrot ends are thin (under 1 inch in diameter). The carrots will be just fork tender. During baking, turn the carrots 3 or 4 times.
While the carrots are roasting, prepare the candied pecans by melting the butter in a small pan on low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the maple syrup, brown sugar, and pecans. Stir about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Remove the candied pecans from the heat and stir in the flaked sea salt. Set aside to cool.
Once the carrots are cooked, put them in a serving dish. Sprinkle them evenly with the candied pecans and goat cheese. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.

Peas & Pancetta

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 ounces pancetta, 1/4-inch cut, then diced
1 shallot, sliced
1 10 oz bag frozen sweet peas
Salt and pepper
Few fresh mint leaves, julienned

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the pancetta and shallot, and cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until pancetta is browned. Add the frozen peas, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the peas are hot and bright green! Stir in the mint and serve hot. Serves 4 to 5


3 lbs chuck roast
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups beef broth, divided
3 – 4 chipotle chilies in adobo
6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 bay leaves
1/4 c. fresh lime juice

Cut roast into 6 portions while removing any large pieces of fat. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet.
Dab roast dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper. Add 3 pieces to skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to skillet and repeat process with remaining 3 roast pieces. Nestle beef portions side by side in an even layer in slow cooker.
In a food processor, pulse together chipotle chilies, garlic and 1/4 cup beef broth until well pureed, occasionally stopping and scraping down sides of processor.
In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together remaining beef broth with chipotle mixture, cumin, oregano and cloves. Pour mixture over beef in slow cooker, then nestle bay leaves between beef portions.
Cover and cook on low heat 8 – 9 hours.
Remove beef from slow cooker (leave broth) and shred. Stir lime juice into broth in slow cooker then return beef to slow cooker and cook on low or warm 20 – 30 minutes longer.
Strain liquid from beef and serve in tortillas with desired toppings. We chose cilantro and thinly sliced radishes.

Raviolis with Artichoke Hearts, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Capers and Asparagus tips

The way I’m going to write this recipe is a little different than usual because it’s a bunch of ingredients that you can add more or less of depending on what you like the most! I love all these ingredients so I added equal parts of most except the capers because SALT. 🙂

store-bought ravioli (cheese ravioli, or pesto)
2 Tbsp olive oil
sun-dried tomatoes
artichoke hearts
Italian seasoning
asparagus tips, fresh
Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook store-purchased ravioli until al dente. Drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped artichokes, capers, Italian seasoning and cook for 2 minutes. Add fresh asparagus tips, and continue cooking and stirring until the asparagus is bright green.
To the skillet with sautéed vegetables, on medium-low heat, add cooked ravioli, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and stir. The dish should be salty enough from capers. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese when serving.

Thai Peanut Ramen with Chicken

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. Thai red curry paste
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
2-4 squares ramen noodles
juice of 1 lime
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/3 c. fresh basil or cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
chopped peanuts and toasted sesame oil, for serving

Combine the chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, peanut butter, and curry paste in the Instant Pot bowl. Add the chicken, cremini mushrooms, red peppers, ginger, and garlic. Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release and release the steam. Set the Instant pot to sauté. Shred the chicken, it should fall apart. Add back to pot. Stir in the noodles, lime juice, spinach, and cilantro. Let sit 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft.Ladle the soup into bowls and top with peanuts and toasted sesame oil.

$80 Lasagna you’ll make over and over

Your friends will think you’re Italian once they try this dish you’ve spent some time on! This is enough for a family of 6, or two days of leftovers for a couple 🙂

The Sauce:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, finely diced
2 large cloves minced garlic
8 ounces pancetta, diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good red wine, preferably Italian
2 28oz cans Italian plum tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 pound ground sirloin, preferably aged ground sirloin
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
2 eggs
10 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves only, washed and dried
2 large whole cloves garlic
1/2 cup flour
1 pound Italian sausage, a mix of hot and sweet. (you could substitute Belgian country sausage which is more of an herb emphasis)

The Lasagna:
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
2 extra large eggs
2 cups freshly grated pecorino Romano
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped basil
1 pound mozzarella, grated, preferably fresh
16 sheets fresh lasagna noodles, preferably Antica Pasteria

Step One:
For the sauce, heat 1/2 cup oil in a large Dutch oven over low heat. Add the onions, minced garlic and pancetta. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes until the onion are wilted. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Raise heat slightly, add the wine and cook until it is mostly reduced, about 20 minutes. Crush the tomatoes into the pan, and add their juice. Add the tomato paste and 2 cups lukewarm water, simmer for 1 hour.

Step Two:
Combine the sirloin, cheese and eggs in a large bowl. Chop the parsley with the whole garlic until fine, then stir into the beef mixture. Season lavishly with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix until all the ingredients are well blended. Shape into meatballs and set aside.

Step Three:
Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dust meatballs with flour, shake off excess and lay into hot oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides (do not cook through) and transfer to the sauce.

Step Four:
Using the same skillet, brown the sausages over medium high heat. Transfer to the sauce. Simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Step Five:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, pecorino Romano, parsley, basil and all but 1 cup of the mozzarella. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Step Six:
Remove meatballs and sausage from the sauce, set aside to cool then chop coarsely. Spoon a thick layer of sauce into the bottom of your pan of choice**, cover with a layer of noodles. Spoon more sauce on top, then add a third of the meat and a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat for two more layers using all the meat and cheese. Top with a layer of noodles and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle reserved mozzarella evenly over the top. Bake 30-40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

**I poured the sauce into a separate bowl because I wanted to cook in my Dutch oven. During the layering preparation, I had 3 separate bowls of ingredients plus the Dutch oven I was making layers in.

Enjoy the rest of the wine during dinner.



Squash Bread

This bread smells and tastes like home. I pulled 9 beautiful butternut squash out of my garden last fall and unsure of what to make, I exchanged squash for a pumpkin recipe I had and the results were phenomenal ❤ I am happy to share with you!

2 cups roasted Butternut Squash purée
1 cup Walnut halves
1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
1 ½ cups Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
4 Eggs
½ tsp Nutmeg
1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 cup Canola Oil
¾ cup Buttermilk

Making the purée:

Wash and cut the squash in two halves by the neck, remove the seeds and place the halves in a glass dish, face up, with 1 cup water in the dish. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour minimum, until the flesh is fork tender.
Remove and let cool down before scooping the seeds of the squash out.
Place in a blender (I use my Ninja bread bowl) and mix smoothly.
Let cool down and use 2 cups for 2 loaves. Keep the rest in the fridge for 3 days max, or freeze it for future times. 

Making the dough:

Grind the nuts and seeds to medium. Keep ¼ cup on the side, for the top of the bread.
Turn the oven temperature down to 325 F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
Add the seeds, minus 1/4 cup. Mix with a wooden spoon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and two types of sugar and mix on medium speed, for 4 minutes.
Add the roasted butternut squash purée and continue to mix for 2 minutes.
Then, add one egg at a time.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the flour and the buttermilk alternatively, until the liquid is absorbed each time.
Transfer the preparation in 2 oiled loaf pans measuring 9 x 5 x 3″, 2/3 to the top.
Sprinkle with the reserved seeds.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out dry once inserted in the loaf. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes before unmolding on a cooling rack.

Believe me these loaves didn’t last long! I wrapped them in saran wrap and that kept them tasting fresh out of the oven even days later.




Coffee Chili

Y’all know me, I like to skip to what everyone is here for: The Recipe! If you want to read more about the preparation, its after the details 🙂 Fair warning, this chili is spicy!

  • 5lbs Brisket (brown in 1/4c oil)
  • 2 cups Yellow Onion
  • 1/4 cup Garlic
  • 2 Green Peppers (chop big pieces)
  • 2Tbsp Cumin
  • 2Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1Tbsp Cayenne
  • 1Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 6 Big Tomatoes
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2Tbsp Salt
  • 1Tbsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Coffee
  • 2 cans Kidney Beans
  • 6 Basil Leaves
  1. In a Dutch Oven brown the yellow onion and all garlic.
  2. Add dry ingredients to dutch oven (cumin, chili powder, cayenne and red pepper flakes) until fragrant.
  3. Add Tomatoes and Green Peppers to dutch oven. Stir one minute before adding Bay Leaf, Brisket, 1Tbsp Salt and Pepper.
  4. Cook 2.5 hours.
  5. Add final Tablespoon of Salt and 1/2 cup of Coffee.
  6. Cook another hour.
  7. Add 2 cans of Kidney Beans, stir.
  8. Its done! Serve with 1 chopped Basil Leaf per bowl, trust me!

The coffee intensifies all flavors! This is the best kickin’ chili you will ever have! #ChefWillman

I can eat Chili plain during cold months every day of the week! But if you can’t, I have some other ideas for you: Chili Mac N Cheese, Empanadas filled with Chili, or Baked Potato with Chili on top! Simple is the name of the game here, and you cannot go wrong with a dish that tastes better on day two after flavors come together more. If this recipe is intimidating with my heat warning, just half the spices!

“I absolutely love it and I know good chili.” — Don, at Winter Food Truck Roundup