Rocking it in the Kitchen- Jerk Chicken

Today’s post was not cooked by me at all. I am so proud to say that my 14 yr old son, Jake, was the chef for this one. He’s been on this blog before and I love to brag he can cook scallops that Chef Gordon Ramsay would be thrilled to eat.

My days off from work tend to be in the middle of the week and on those days I pick up Jake from school. We usually hit the mall, go for coffees or something. Well last week we decided to hit the local book store that had the “secret” Starbucks menu posted and give something new a try.  We walked around the bookstore looking , when Jake remembered there was a book he wanted.  I was thrilled he wanted a book but the fact it was a cookbook thrilled me more.  The cookbook Jake wanted was the perfect blend of what he loves, music and food. How can a mom who loves to cook and is a cookbook junkie say no?

The book is “Mosh Potatoes”



This book is filled with recipes from all sorts of heavy metal heavyweights and lots of cool stories too. I asked Jake a few questions since he didn’t want to actually write the post for this one.  He tells me that he heard about the cookbook from one of his friends. He likes cooking because he likes to eat and he likes this kind of music because it’s “just good”.  There you have it.   One of Jake’s favorite bands is Suicide Silence, the late Mitch Lucker being the chef behind this recipe.


Jerk Chicken- Mitch Lucker, Suicide Silence .  Pg 109 of Mosh Potatoes

Serves 4

Spice Rub

  • 2 tsp habanero chili sauce
  • 3 tblsp chopped onion
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 6 tblsp sugar
  • 3 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • 4 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 4 or 5 skinless boneless breast halves (we used tenderloins instead)
  • 1 tblsp butter
  • photo 1
  1. Mix together all the spice rub ingredients in a big bowl. Poke a lot of holes in the chicken pieces with a fork or use a bundle of skewers and go at it. Make sure there are plenty of holes on both sides of the chicken.  Put them in the spice rub and turn to completely coat the chicken breasts. Marinate for 1 hr in the fridge.
  2. Put the butter in a large skillet and place over medium to high heat. Place the chicken breasts (and onions) in the skillet and cook for 6 or 7 mins per side. Make sure all the onions are carmelized.

photo 2

This is made good and spicy. We doubled the recipe with no problem at all and served it as suggested with rice and green beans.




When curry meets burger

Last week I shared a recipe for cookies by Sunny Anderson. Well that same show that had the cookies also featured burger that made my mouth water. I love Indian food and anything curry. It’s been a cold winter here in Connecticut and the spices of a curry warm me up in a wonderful way.

I immediately put it on my menu planner. It didn’t disappoint. She served it up with homemade sweet potato and celery root fries. I’ll have to try those another time as that sounded perfect. I confess to serving these up with regular fries.

I could see using the ketchup on regular burgers too. It might be good to make a batch up and place in a jar for use on all kinds of things. Fries included.

Sadly my pictures of this tasty burger are missing. They turned out great and I had fun cooking them up with the help of my oldest son who is all about burgers. Cooking with your kids makes everything taste better! Even if he is a grown man.

If you make these up, I’d love to hear how you enjoyed them.

Curry Pork Burgers with Spicy Ketchup.

  • Ingredients2 1/2 pounds ground pork
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    2 teaspoons curry powder
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    3 scallions, chopped
    2 large clove garlic, finely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    6 hamburger buns
    1 head butter lettuce
    2 to 3 tomatoes, sliced
    Spicy Ketchup, recipe followWhat you do:
  • In a large bowl, using your hands mix together pork, coriander, curry powder, Worcestershire, cayenne, scallions and garlic, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Make 6 even patties and put in refrigerator until ready to cook. Heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat, add oil. Sear patties until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Cook in batches, if necessary. Serve inside hamburger buns topped with lettuce leaf, tomato slice and spicy ketchup.

Spicy Ketchup

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 cup ketchup
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 scallion, finely chopped

    n a saucepan over medium heat, lightly saute garlic in butter, about 2 minutes. Add ketchup, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallions. Cool before serving.

Some Zen in Branford, CT- Eating at G-Zen

I’ve mentioned before I am not vegetarian or vegan. I just sometimes eat like one. I really hate labels to be honest. Just in our society it just seems like we are always labeling people. I believe the term “flexitarian” fits how I eat. I don’t know. I can say that during the warmer months I do in fact eat less meat and tend to look more like a vegetarian to others. Whatever.

The fact is I just love good food. I could careless what it is, as long as it’s good. Simple as that.

Recently though, I have been really wanting to go to two local places. Both vegetarian/vegan. One I have been to several times over the past 10 or so years. The other was new to me. I had not heard of it before and was honestly doing an online search of where someone with my food sensitivities could eat without worrying too much about the menu.

Hello G-Zen.

When I landed on their site and looked over their menu options I was thrilled that I could safely order and not worry about a thing. It went right on my list of places to try. My husband , a happy carnivore by the way,  suggested we go and check it out and so we did.

Located on the coast in Branford, Ct , G-Zen lives up to its Zen like name the moment you step on to the grounds. A beautiful garden awaits you, beautifully landscaped and sprinkled with Buddhist statues. I felt like I had walked out of Connecticut somehow and was at a retreat. But wait, when you walk inside your going to be just amazed at not only what you see but what you feel. The Zen theme carries on inside and enhances you’re wanting to relax and enjoy your meal mindfully. I didn’t take any pictures of the inside as we were seated at a window seat in the front where we could look over the garden, see the charming New England Charm of downtown Branford and enjoy the coming and goings of the folks where enjoying the Branford Festival that day. Besides, the food is what got me.

We came on a Saturday when they offer a Buddha Brunch. Lots of wonderful items on the menu from fresh juices made right there to dairy free, gluten-free deserts. Lots of raw options for those who go that way and some items to make even a carnivore happy.

photo 1

Hubby ordered a fresh juice and I went for a tropical green smoothie. Both worth being the only thing you ordered if stopped in to get something quick. So good.

Dim Sum plate

Dim Sum plate

We are that kind of couple that when we go out to eat at a new place, we are going to go at least three courses at a new place. I usually know after appetizers if we are going to dessert or not. If we blown away it’s going to be an investment. So we started off with the “G-Zen Dim Sum Plate. It arrived and all I could do is lick my lips. It was hard to believe it was all vegetarian. Crispy tasty tempura fried veggies, the most delicate but tasty spring rolls and these steamed vegetable dumplings that were out of this world.  The spicy cilantro peanut sauce was heavenly and there was a ginger tamari sauce that was so good too.

My plate with both sandwiches and the blueberry ketchup.

My plate with both sandwiches and the blueberry ketchup.

It turned out both of us were torn between two entrée so we ordered both and shared. Hubby had the Crabbie Patty, which I giggled when I told him it wasn’t crab but seasoned tempeh. I have to admit, if you hadn’t told me I wouldn’t have known either. It was so incredibly moist and flavorful. They serve it with sweet potato fries and a homemade hickory ketchup.

I had the special that day which was a falafel wrap that came with sweet potato fries and a homemade blueberry ketchup. Yeah I know wait….blueberry ketchup? Yes you read that right and I have to say it was odd but that kind of odd you can’t stop eating and I really should have asked if I could have bought a jar of it somehow. It was like a jam but like a ketchup if that is possible and that is the only way I can explain it, besides saying I loved it.

After enjoying our lunch in a peaceful environment our very sweet waitress brought us the dessert menu and told us about what they had. No mind you I can’t have diary. I am so used to turning down dessert because honestly, there never is a dairy free option. If there is it usually has my other allergy, corn syrup. Well not at G-Zen. You wont find those and you can get gluten-free if you so wish. Hello dessert heaven!

mmmm dairy free cheesecake

mmmm dairy free cheesecake

Months of seeing cheesecake demo’s at my part-time job I was feeling left out and wanting to try some cheesecake so I jumped at the chance to have a piece of non-dairy cheesecake with chocolate ganache. That had to be the best dessert I have ever eaten in my entire life. I really need to learn to make this for myself.

Coconut dreams on a plate

Coconut dreams on a plate

Hubby had a dairy free coconut cream pie. Hello, my other favorite treat I miss!  It was amazing when I tasted it but I got lost in eating my cheesecake and savoring ever bite I could.

Ami, the owner and chef came over and introduced herself and we had a wonderful time talking to her about her place, the food truck they have and how it all got started. She offers juice fasts that they make fresh for you as well as classes.

We walked out of there feeling full but not stuffed and tired. We walked the town green and took in the festivities of Branford day.

I look forward to going back and taking a few friends there too. It’s perfect for a date night or meeting up with friends. Now that I typed this up I am craving the cheesecake again. Better go look for some chocolate

Check out G-Zen’s website for more info.