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10 Things NOT to Bring to a Potluck

26 Aug

This list is not meant to offend anyone, quite the contrary. It’s meant to help those that struggle with finding the perfect dish to bring to a potluck. I have had the honor of attending many potlucks in my 35 years of living. Some have been really delicious and some not so delicious.

Here’s a list of what NOT to bring to your next potluck! Bon Appétit!

1. If you can’t cook. Put down the spatula. Grab your keys. Get in your car and drive to the nearest grocery store. Walk into the store and purchase a cake, pasta salad, or rotisserie chicken. Grab anything that doesn’t require you getting involved in the cooking process.

2. If the amount of food you are preparing can fit in the palm of your hand, it’s not enough. It’s a potluck NOT a fasting experiment.

3. If the last time you made your “world famous lasagne” was 25 years ago. Find a new recipe. No one is interested in trying vintage food.

4. Please refrain from bringing dishes that consistent of nuts, fruit, beans, and cheese, all in one dish. YUCK.

5. Please don’t try and pass off your burnt dish as rustic.

6. Please season your food. There is no such thing as the “season fairy.” Most foods do not inherently have their own flavor. You MUST add it. Duh.

7. Your leftovers should NEVER be a key ingredient in potluck dish. Nastiness!

8. Please bring all the required ingredients for your potluck dish. If you’re responsible for bringing chips and salsa. Don’t just bring the chips and wish for someone else to bring the salsa. No one is interested in playing the role of a food genie.

9. If you have scratched any part of your body during the cooking process. Throw out your dish.

10. If you own more than 16 cats. Don’t come to the potluck. Period!

Acceptable Potluck Dish:

Roasted Chicken with roasted veggies in a lemon herb cream sauce!


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Kiki’s Kitchen: Rocky Road Rice Krispy Treats

13 Jul

Oh yeah! This is happening! Rice krispy treats with nutella, peanut butter, pecans, and chocolate chips. It’s AH-mazing! You’re welcome!

We’re stepping up our rice krispy game with a rocky road recipe. I love the combination of nutella and peanut butter with the marshmallows. The nutty-chocolate flavor is so addictive. This recipe is very easy to follow and takes no time to whip up. I promise if you make these rocky road rice krispy treats for your BOO, he will propose to you! I mean who wouldn’t want to marry a women who can make a insanely delicious  rice krispy treat. Duh. Winning!



You will need the following ingredients below to create your insanely delicious rocky road rice krispy treats.


In a large pot melt butter, nutella, peanut butter, and marshmallows. Add in rice krispies and mix all together.


Spread rice krispy mixture in a greased 9×13-inch pan.


Frost rice kripsy treats with jett-puff marshmallow.


Top with chocolate chips, pecans, and mini marshmallow.


Eat. Enjoy. Be Happy!



¼ peanut butter

1 bag of mini marshmallows

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup nutella

6 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup mini chocolate chips

1 container of jet-puff marshmallow


1. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside.

2. Melt the butter over low heat. Once the butter is melted add in  peanut butter, nutella, mini marshmallows cook until mixture is fully combined.

3. Stir in the Rice Krispies until they are evenly coated with the sauce.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Use the back of a greased spatula to press down firmly over the surface of the treats to ensure that they are packed down tightly. Let rice krispy cool treats cool for 30 minutes.

5. Frost rice krispy treats with jet-puff marshmallow spread. Add chocolate chips, mini marshmallowms, and pecans.

5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until set. Cut into bars and serve. Make sure to store rice krispy treats in an air tight container to preserver freshness.

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Kiki’s Kitchen: Ahi Poke Crispy Tacos w/ Spicy Slaw

2 Jul

One of my first loves (speaking of food) is seafood! I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s really no surprise that I LOVE seafood. I remember going to Pike Place market with my mom when I was young girl. She would always buy the most yummy salmon I have ever tasted. The salmon in Seattle is rich, buttery, and silky in texture. To this day I still crave that AH-mazing salmon from Pike Place Market.

Ahi poke crispy tacos are the perfect summer meal. The tacos are filled with crunchy goodness from the spicy slaw and succulent and sweet ahi tuna.  All the flavors in these tacos are simply delicious, spicy, tangy, sweet, and salty. It will be very hard for you to just eat one taco.



Here’s is what you will need for your ahi poke crispy tacos. You can also add some cilantro to your spicy cabbage slaw.


Go to your local market and request a piece of ahi tuna – sushi grade. It’s very important that you use sushi grade tuna. The texture is amazing and its much easier to work with.


In a medium size bowl combine tuna, green onions, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and rock salt.


Mix well and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.


In a large bowl combine green cabbage, purple cabbage, sriracha, cilantro, and mayo.


Mix well together. You can also refrigerate this before assembling your tacos.


Place cabbage in taco shells and top with ahi poke. I added some sliced avocados and lime to my tacos. If you do decide to add the lime, do not use the lime until you eat the tacos.


Eat. Enjoy. Be Happy!



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1 (6-ounce) tuna fillet (sushi or sashimi quality)
1 tablespoon sriracha (use less if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 or 3 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 teaspoon of sriracha
2 tablespoon mayo
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

Cut the raw tuna in tiny cubes. In a medium bowl combine tuna, sriracha, sesame oil, garlic, scallions,ginger, and toasted sesame seeds. Mix well. Serve inside taco shells.

In a large bowl combine green cabbage, purple cabbage, cilantro, mayo, sriracha. Toss and mix well. Taste to see if you need more sriracha or mayo.

Kiki’s Kitchen: Key Lime, Strawberry, & Blackberry GRANITAS!!!

29 Jun

This icy delight is for the grown and sexy! Icy texture. Real fruit. Sweet flavor. Yep! This is definitely an adult slushy. I love ‘granitas’ and they are especially refreshing on a VERY hot day. It’s 102 degrees where I live, so I decided to whip up a quick batch of strawberry, key lime, and blackberry granitas. It only takes a few ingredients to make this simple icy heaven dessert. The only hard part is waiting for it freeze. The treat can actually be enjoyed by all at any age, I just wanted to use ‘grown and sexy’ in a sentence. I think it worked.




Cut strawberries into small quarters. Place in blender. Use the grinder function to blend strawberries until they are puree.


Combine sugar, hot water, and lime juice in a small bowl.


Pour simple syrup mixture into the blender until the mixture is combined with the fruit.


Pour fruit mixture into a pan and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. (See recipe for further directions on the freezing process.)


Garnish with fresh fruit and mint.


Eat. Enjoy. Be Happy!


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(adapted from

  • 1 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 3 cups of strawberries (or your choice of fruit) Chopped in small quarters.


Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Blend 3 cups strawberries in processor until smooth. Add sugar syrup and blend until combined.

Pour mixture into 13x9x2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes. Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours. Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.) Scrape granita into bowls. Garnish with berries and serve.

In NEED of a ‘Cronut’

27 Jun

I’m not sure if you know what’s going on here. Let me explain. This fluffy looking piece of sweet heaven is called a cronut! It’s half donut, half croissant filled with Tahitian vanilla cream and topped with a rose glaze icing. I’m freaking out over here! I NEED a cronut! It’s the hottest dessert in New York City right now. The brilliant chef – Dominique Ansel is the master mind behind the sweet craze. Ansel’s bakery only makes 200 cronuts a day and sell out with in 15 minutes every day. I have a planned trip to New York in August where I will seek and obtain a cronut. Even if I have to sleep in front the bakery until it opens. I will secure a cronut for my taste buds!

Please tweet me, facebook me, or email me if your taste buds have already sampled the rare treat. Check out the video below for induced drooling!






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Kiki’s Kitchen: Brownie & Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

25 Jun

Dark chocolate brownies + peanut butter ice cream = AWESOMENESS! In honor of the summer, I decide to whip a quick delicious cool treat. All you need is a box of your favorite brownie mix, vanilla bean ice cream, and peanut butter. Feel free to get fancy and make your brownies from scratch but I kept it simple with the box brownies. The combination of the rich dark chocolate and cool smooth peanut butter ice cream is out of this world!

ice cream

Here is what you will need in order to make your sumptuous brownie ice cream sandwiches.


Slice brownies into squares for sandwiches. Cut them open to fill with ice cream.



In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of ice cream and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Whip together until smooth. Work quickly, you don’t want the ice cream to melt.


Place peanut butter ice cream onto a brownie square and assemble sandwiches. Wrap each sandwich in parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour.



Eat. Enjoy. Be Happy!



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Kiki’s Kitchen: Hoisin-glazed Pork Chops w/ Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash (Fried Sage Brown Butter)

19 Jun

Can we have a moment of silence for the ‘Fried Sage Brown Butter’ I just made. Pause. Ok. Let’s begin. I’ve been on a bit of hiatus with ‘Kiki’s Kitchen’ but I’m back with another recipe – ‘Hoisin glazed pork chops and Sweet Potato & bacon hash w/ Fried Sage Brwon Butter’. Boy. That’s a mouth full. This recipe is simple. Delicious! Low-cal. Ok. the low-calorie thing I made up. You know any dish with butter isn’t going to be low-cal. Don’t focus on the calories in this dish. Run an extra 5 miles or something. You NEED to make the ‘fried sage brown butter’. Its AH-mazing! The flavors of the sage, nutty brown butter, sweet potatoes, and salty bacon – will change your life or at least your taste buds. As always feel free to ask questions or leave suggestions. Bon Appétit!

pork and sage


Generously season your pork chops with rock salt and fresh ground pepper. Sear meat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

pork chops

Mix hoisin sauce, olive oil, chili garlic paste, and tarragon in a small mixing bowl. Brush hoisin-glaze mixture on pork chops and bake at 425 in the oven for 5 minutes.


Fry 3 slices of bacon in a saute pan and reserve bacon fat. In the same skillet you fried the bacon in, add sweet potatoes, butter, and cinnamon. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are soft.


Combine bacon, fried sage, and sweet potatoes. Toss with 1 teaspoon of fried sage brown butter. Serve with pork chops.

sweet potato hash



Hoisin-Glazed Pork Chops

3 to 5 center cut pork chops
1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic chili paste (add less or more depending on how spicy you want your pork chops)
1 teaspoon of fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste if necessary
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the pork chops:
Heat the oven to 450°F. Generously season pork chops with rock salt and fresh ground pepper. Add olive oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Brush hoisin glaze mixture on pork chops and finish off in oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small garlic clove (minced)
3 strips of fried bacon (chopped)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of unsalted butter
2 teaspoon of fried sage leaves

To make the hash:
Peel sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise, then cut them into thin half-moons. Cut the half-moons in half. Fry bacon in a medium skillet on high. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Reserve bacon fat.  Add sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and butter to the same pan the bacon was cooked in. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.

 Fried Sage Brown Butter

2 tablespoons of  fresh sage leaves
1 stick of unsalted butter

To make the fried sage brown butter:
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to foam. Add sage leaves to saute pan. Cook the sage leaves for roughly 30 seconds, turning occasionally, until they are slightly crisp. Watch them closely, as they can burn easily and become bitter. Remove the sage from saute pan and drain it on paper towels.

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Kiki’s Kitchen: Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

16 Apr

If given the chance I will ALWAYS choose pie over cake. Something about that buttery flaky crust and sweet fruit filling makes my mouth water and my tummy sing. Strawberry and rhubarb are in their peak season in spring, so the obvious thing to do is whip up a sumptuous delicious pie. Mini style! Duh!


STEP ONE: Cut up rhubarb and strawberries into quarter size. Place them into a large mixing bowl and set aside.


STEP TWO: Place dough on a generously floured cutting board. (See pie crust recipe below)


STEP THREE: Roll out dough and and cut circles for mini pie crust.



STEP THREE: Place strawberry rhubarb mixture into individual pie pans.



Brush top of each pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 min.


Eat. Enjoy. Be Happy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

3 1/2 cups  rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced into quarters
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In large glass bowl combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugars, lemon juice, salt, quick-cooking tapioca, cinnamon and mix well together. Place to the side.

Using a cupcake pan or mini pie pan, spray each individual cup with cooking spray – this step prevents your pie crust from sticking to the pan.

Butter Flaky Pie Crust     (See “How to make Pie Crust” video below)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 stick of unsalted butter (slice butter into dime size and place in freezer for 20 min)
1 stick of margarine (slice butter into dime size and place in freezer for 20 min)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
8 tablespoon of ice water
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

In a large bowl combine, flour, salt, sugar, and frozen butter and margarine. Cut frozen butter/margarine into the flour until your flour mixture resembles cornmeal. You can use your hands to mix thoroughly.

Mix together water and vinegar into a cup and freeze until the water forms ice chips. Add your frozen ice water by 1 tablespoon to your flour mixture.  Using your hands, mix the frozen water into flour mixture. The flour will begin to stick together creating a ball. Continue adding the remaining water until your dough is sticking together to create a soft ball. Dough will seem a bit crumbling which is totally fine. Be sure not to overwork your dough. Pie crust doesn’t like to be handled too much – it’s a finicky little devil.

Place pie crust into individual pie pans and place rhubarb strawberry filling.


Here a simple and quick way on how to make pie crust. I love Chef John from Food Wishes. Check out the video below

Kiki’s Kitchen: Crispy Spring Rolls

11 Apr

A couple of days ago I was in the mood to recreate one of my favorite childhood memories, crispy spring rolls. My mother use to make these as a special treat on holidays and birthdays. This is a simple recipe and one I enjoy making when I need a reminder of home. I forget the secret spice my Mom uses, so I had ring her for some tips. They’re simple and delicious! #getinthekitchen



1 head of Cabbage

4-6 Pork chops

1 head of Garlic

3-4 large Carrots

Dashida seasoning


STEP ONE: Sprinkle some of the (Dashida) beef stock bouillon on your pork chops. Cook pork chops in a hot saute pan with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil for about 4-5 minutes on each side.


STEP TWO: Saute the minced garlic, shredded cabbage, and shredded carrots into a large saute pan. Add 1 teaspoon of (Dashida) beek stock bouillon to your veggies and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until veggies are soft but not too soft. They should have a bit of crunch to them.  Add chopped pork chops to cooked veggies and mix together.


STEP THREE: Place filling into 1 spring roll wrapper. Be careful with this process as the spring roll wrappers are very delicate and can rip.



STEP FOUR: Continue wrapping until you have a completed spring roll. It should look like this once your finish wrapping it.



Fry your spring rolls in a pan with vegetable oil. Serve with sweet & sour dipping sauce. Enjoy. Eat. Be Happy.


Kiki’s Kitchen: Risotto w/ Sweet Peas & Pancetta

22 Mar

I love risotto! It’s creamy, a bit sweet, salty, and very filling. I decide to whip up a fantastic bowl of sweet pea and pancetta risotto. It’s my favorite way to make it. The salty taste of the pancetta combined with the sweetness from the baby peas is perfection. Making risotto requires patience and dedication. The process is slow but the taste. Oh the taste – makes this dish oh so insanely delicious. YUM!




1 1/2 cup of Arborio Rice

4 cups of Chicken Broth

1/2 cup of White Wine (Sauvignon blanc)

1/2 chopped onion

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 cup of frozen sweet peas (thawed)

1 package of pancetta

1/2 teaspoon of rock salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup of Parmesan Reggiano Cheese (freshly Shaved)

Cooking Directions

1. Heat chicken broth in a medium size saucepan on low heat. Let chicken broth simmer on low.

2. Chop up onion, garlic, and parsley. Set aside

3. In a large saute pan fry up your pancetta until crispy, letting the fat render completely out of the pancetta. Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. Reserve the fat in the pan to cook onions. (medium heat)

4. Pour in 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the same pan you could the pancetta in. Add in onions and cook until soft and golden brown.

5. Add garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.

6. Add in 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice to your onion and garlic mixture. Stir until the rice is completely coated with oils in the pan. (1 minute)

7. Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine and let simmer. Let your rice absorb the liquid from the wine.

8. Once the rice has almost absorbed the wine dd a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process until the rice is cooked.

9. Add in your frozen sweet peas, pancetta, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan Reggiano Cheese.

10. Turn off the heat. Add 1 teaspoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and plate up.



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