Suburban girl dropped in the Cities, cooking as much as possible and learning along the way.

Category Archives: Lunch or Dinner


Hello, all!  This might be the first recipe I ever made that wasn’t a baked good, back four years ago.  I figured it was time to share it, since the reaction I got from my family when I fed the completed chicken to them all those years ago has stuck with me, encouraging me to keep cooking.

Overall, this recipe is exceedingly easy to prepare a day ahead of time, just toss the marinating chicken in the fridge before you go to bed (or before you leave for work in the morning, if you’re me) and fry it up when you return.

Lets get started!


  • 5 chicken breasts
  • 12 ounce bottle of ranch dressing
  • 1/4th cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • A pinch of rock salt



  • Make certain you have the required ingredients


  • Place all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag and mix thoroughly.


  • Split whole chicken breasts into halves and place into marinade in the bag.


  • Make sure the marinade is coating the chicken halves completely.


  • Let the chicken rest in the marinade in the fridge for at least four hours.  I’ve found it to be best done before twelve hours, but it was fine all the same.
  • If you’re at home, shift around the bag from time to time, just to make sure the marinade is still covering the chicken.


  • Remove the marinated chicken from the bag.
  • Tip: You can wipe off some of the marinade after you take the chicken out of the bag so the chicken doesn’t become greasy while cooking. (It depends on personal taste.)  The picture above is how the chicken looked after squeegeeing some of the marinade off.


  • After those hours are up, take each chicken slice and fry it in olive oil on about medium heat until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.


  • It should look like the above picture when it is nearly done.


Congratulations, you’ve made Ranch Marinated Chicken!  Pretty easy, huh?  Let me know what you think in the comments below!



About two years ago, my aunt found out I loved to cook, so she bought me Barbara Kingsolver’s fantastic book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” which chronicles Ms. Kingsolver’s life for a year while she grew and ate local-based food.  It is chock-full of recipes and wisdom regarding food and eating practices, I recommend it highly to anyone interested in agriculture, gardening, or food in general.  Here is her website regarding the book.

ANYHOO, this recipe came from her book.  It wasn’t my favorite recipe of all time, but it smelled amazing.

Lets get started!


  • 1 1/4 pounds raw ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/8 cup (Or 2 tablespoons, depending on the measuring system you use) chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (Or 1/2 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (Or 1/2 teaspoon dry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)



  • Grab all of your ingredients to prepare them.


  • Chop whatever fresh ingredients you are using!  I have fresh oregano from my herb garden, so I used that.


  • Add all of the seasonings and onions and toss until mixed well.


  • Add ground turkey.  If the meat seems a bit dry, moisten it with a little bit of olive oil.
  • I made around nine patties.


  • Fry on medium heat with a bit of olive oil in a frying pan.


  • This is about what the completed patties should look like!


  • An easy, complete meal with a simple salad and brown rice.



Back in April, I took a trip to the wonderful Pizza Lola in Minneapolis with a foodie friend.  (Brilliant place, you should definitely check it out if you ever get the chance.)  We ordered a simple Margherita Pizza and fell in love with the medley of ingredients.  I just laugh, laugh, and laugh when people try to tell me that there isn’t any tastable difference when the produce comes from the supermarket versus when it comes from a local farm.

Now, for this recipe, I didn’t have any farm-fresh produce on hand, but I just HAD to attempt to recreate the magic Pizza Lola created.  This recipe isn’t a copy of what Pizza Lola made, but it is pretty dang good for a home-chef.

Lets get started!



  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) instant dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A few shakes of garlic powder (optional)
  • A few shakes of dried basil (optional)
  • A few shakes of oregano (optional)


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 5 medium-large plum (also known as Roma) tomatoes
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper



  • Add the water, yeast, sugar, and a 1/2 cup of the flour into a mixing bowl. Stir well and let sit for 20 minutes. It might get bubbly.
  • Add olive oil, salt, garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, and 2 cups of the flour, and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until it’s together enough to turn out on to a lightly floured work surface to knead.
  • Knead for about 10 minutes, while adding more flour a little at a time, to produce a soft, elastic and slightly sticky dough. Do not add too much flour, just enough to keep it from sticking to the work surface as you knead.


  • Form the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Drizzle a few drops of oil and coat the top of dough to prevent the surface from becoming dry.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.


  • Once the dough has risen for 2 hours, plop it onto a greased cookie sheet and squish or pat it into a 11 by 13 inch rectangle.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, after all, it’s just going into your mouth and stomach , where your eyes can’t see!
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pop the pizza dough into the oven for 8 minutes.


  •  While it is baking, take out those deliciously plump tomatoes and fresh basil.  Thinly slice the tomatoes, shred the basil, and halve the garlic clove.  I could probably have sliced the tomatoes thinner, but it worked out all the same.
  • Also, mix 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar and whisk until combined.
  • Once that is all done, the 8 minutes should be up.  Remove the pizza from the oven and brush it with olive oil before rubbing it with the halved garlic cloves.  Mince the garlic cloves into tiny pieces after rubbing the crust with the halves and sprinkle over the crust.
  • Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheese.


  • Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

IMG_6049 IMG_6048

  • Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza.  Serve to your very impressed guests!