My favorite pizza in the whole world is Dion’s Pepperoni and Green Chile pizza.  Named the “505” this slice of heaven is New Mexico’s most popular pizza.  Dion’s is a New Mexico favorite serving pizza, subs and salads for as long as I can remember.  I’ve been craving it for the longest time and decided it was time to make my own because Dion’s wasn’t going to deliver all the way to Kansas!  I can make pizza and I can make pepperoni pizza but I wasn’t so sure this pizza would look or taste like Dion’s unless I found the right green chile.  I finally found what I was hunting for in a brick of frozen Hatch diced green chile at our local Sprouts store.  When you thaw it, it is submerged in chile juice.  It is meaty and a bit lighter in color than the chile that I have roasted and packaged at home.  It was perfect and tasted so good with a little kick of heat. If you ever have the chance to visit a Dion’s, make sure to order a side of ranch dressing to go with your pizza.  It’s tradition to dip or drizzle your pizza with ranch, until you’ve tried it you can’t know how good it is!


I’m taking a break from the winter soups and pastas.  Most of the time it’s just Joe and I at the kitchen table and we enjoy a good sandwich as much as anything.   I picked up a skirt steak and some veggies to make my version of the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich.  Stir frying the steak and veggies makes such a quick and easy meal.  I have a mini wok that I love to use for just the two of us.  It’s seasoned just like a cast iron skillet and everything tastes so good in it.   Philly cheese steaks are traditionally served with onions, mushrooms and green bell peppers but I personally love the taste of the sweet ornamental peppers.   I can say without a doubt that these peppers add a great new taste to an already famous sandwich.


It’s that time of year to share Josh’s Birthday Cheesecake.  For the past dozen years I have made the infamous cheesecake for Josh.  He is one who stands by tradition and every birthday his cheesecake must have chocolate and it must have peanut butter cups.  Each year I try to change it up a bit .  .  . sometimes it comes out amazing  .  .  .  other times it doesn’t.  This year was a complete success! We all enjoyed having a bite or two of these little cheesecake squares without all the guilt. Celebrating several birthdays right after the holidays can make for sugar overload if you know what I mean. When I dipped each square in chocolate it was like each piece had it’s own personality. Some would drip down the sides while others would harden instantly. They have a decadent flavor followed by a melt in your mouth sweetness.  Your taste buds will definitely smile!!


I had this sandwich in mind when I made the Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon.  It may be the ultimate chicken sandwich with so many layers of flavors to tempt your taste buds.  The grilled chicken is seasoned with some chiles and spice.  Then I topped it with a thick slice of tomato that’s been warmed on the grill, 3 slices of brown sugar bacon and an avocado cilantro mayo that brings it all together.  And just one more thing, add some candied jalapenos on the side.  It gives this sandwich a little kick of sweet heat.  Here’s another idea, add olive oil to any leftover avocado cilantro mayo to make a salad dressing.  Drizzled over a grilled chicken salad with brown sugar bacon crumbled on top would taste so good!


Some people believe everything tastes better with bacon.  I have to admit I have a weakness for bacon too.  Bacon is my go to breakfast meat but it also perks up a salad, adds flavor to soups and makes any sandwich taste better.  So when I heard about brown sugar bacon I was intrigued.  The sweetness was evident in the brown sugar but I wanted some spice too so I added some chile flakes.  It was an amazing combination.  Before it all disappeared I saved a few slices for my favorite pasta sauce, a grilled chicken sandwich and a spinach salad.


When I need some comfort food and a quick meal I think of Chicken Parmesan.  You can’t beat the taste of crispy panko breaded chicken with melted mozzarella alongside spaghetti topped with the tastiest marinara sauce.  Most marinara sauces are made from canned tomatoes but I like to use fresh tomatoes when I can.  There’s just something special about fresh tomato sauce with fresh herbs.  This is also a frugal meal as I can make a meal for 4 using just one chicken breast.  Don’t worry, no one goes away hungry.  A hunk of french bread and a salad makes this a complete meal.


Any chocolate lover will love this rich lava cake.  It’s one of the most decadent desserts I’ve ever tasted.   So rich with chocolate and a molten center that tastes like a thick gooey brownie.  The Espresso Whipped Cream is like the ultimate exclamation point!  I found a great recipe from “Dulce Desserts from Santa Fe Kitchens”.  There are so many decadent chocolate recipes in this cookbook to choose from but the lava cake was calling me.  If you can’t find Mexican chocolate locally you can order online through Taza or Amazon.  Taza has a variety of flavored Mexican chocolates and I can’t wait to try some new recipes using the flavored chocolate discs.


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