Moroccan Lamb Stew with Couscous

Moroccan lamb stew recipe with couscous | jessicagavin.com

I’m a huge SPICE girl fan, and I don’t mean the ones from Britain! I mean the savory, sweet, spicy, earthy, pungent Kung pow kick spices that take your taste buds for a roller coaster ride. That’s why it’s hard not to crave a flavorful and hearty Moroccan lamb stew, especially as the weather starts to cool down and I can finally wear my boots and scarves without looking too silly in California. Stews are pretty awesome because you can use more affordable and less tender cuts of meat and transform them into a glorious, tender and rich meaty feast all in one pot. Cha Ching!… 

Read More »

Summer Succotash Salad

summer succotash salad with dressing | jessicagavin.com

It’s officially summer and with the warm weather brings more time outdoors, especially picnics and barbecues. Strolling the aisles of grocery stores and farmer’s markets, the produce sections are showing much more vibrant colors as the summer fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready to eat. Whenever I see sweet white corn appear that’s when I know it’s time to fire up the grill! To take advantage of the beautiful produce now available, I wanted to create a more hearty yet healthy salad that would be perfect to serve on those warmer days with those savory barbecue feasts. My summer succotash salad features all of these yummy vegetables in one bowl!… 

Read More »

Super Tasty Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

delicious tequila chicken marinade | jessicagavin.com

Very interesting things can happen when you’ve been drinking… some you remember, some you don’t. Well this drunk chicken infused in a margarita inspired marinade sure had a good time! Summer is officially less than a week away (woohoo!) and these hot summer nights I’d rather not be cooking in my sweltering kitchen! My husband certainly appreciates a yummy meal, but there are times I feel like I just did a steamy session of Bikram yoga after cooking for an hour (so not attractive). Since moving into our new house, this is the first time we had the chance to use our “gently used” Weber barbecue left behind by the previous owners. To commemorate the occasion, I decided to make a grilled tequila lime chicken with a refreshing mango salsa…. 

Read More »

Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo

chicken andouille sausage gumbo pot

New Orleans is a melting pot for extravagant culture, exuberant energy, live music and it’s incredible food! I traveled there a few years back for work and I didn’t know it at the time but when I had my first taste of delicious gumbo, I was hooked! It immediately became my favorite dish from Louisiana. While I was there I had to try the various types of gumbo from each restaurant in The Big Easy!… 

Read More »

Guinness Corned Beef Stew

Guinness Corned Beef Stew

I can’t believe St. Patrick’s Day is almost here again. Last year I made baked honey mustard corned beef but this year, I asked Jason how he wanted to celebrate his Irish heritage and he suggested a corned beef stew. I always wanted to try a recipe with beer, so I thought this would be the perfect way to make traditional boiled corned beef more interesting! This Guinness corned beef stew has layers of flavor while the meat and vegetables are incredibly tender. There is a nice richness to the stew liquid. You don’t have to worry about dry, stringy and tasteless corned beef with this recipe!… 

Read More »

Lasagna with Meat Sauce

lasagna with meat sauce

Sometimes for dinner you just want a simple and comforting meal. When my husband came home from work and saw me building the lasagna layers, he was so happy! Jason grew up with an amazing mom who loved to cook from scratch and she created the most delicious and elaborate Italian suppers. So for Jason this lasagna with meat sauce recipe is one of those familiar meals that I like to surprise him with every now and then. … 

Read More »

Fried Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta

Fresh summer squash blossoms

The summer season yields not only delicious summer squash, but mother nature produces wonderful bright orange edible blossoms. You can typically find these eye catching blossoms at your local farmers market, I purchased mine at a recent visit to Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market…. 

Read More »

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Apricot Ginger Glaze

spicy grilled shrimp served with salsa and polenta

Summer is here and it’s time to dust off the grill! My local market was featuring beautiful and succulent jumbo shrimp which is a perfect quick and easy protein to cook on the grill. Shrimp is already so flavorful with little to no extra seasonings, but I decided to infuse some sweet and savory flavors…. 

Read More »

Grandma’s Italian Meatball Recipe

Italian Meatball Recipe | jessicagavin.com

On our wedding day, I made a very special vow to my husband…

“I promise to always nurture, listen, comfort, and feed you, making sure to cook your grandmother’s famous meatballs at least once a month.”

It may seem like a silly promise, however my husband Jason’s love for his Grandma’s Italian meatball recipe always brings him a sense of comfort and happiness. For me to be able to recreate a dish that he loves is really important to me. When he walks through the door at the end of a long day and smells fresh tomato sauce and meatballs broiling in the oven, his big smile is priceless!… 

Read More »

Japanese Eggplant Salad

Japanese Eggplant Salad

Japanese eggplants are elegant and beautiful to serve, they can also be cooked a variety of ways. My dear friend Kaui has an incredible green thumb and graciously gave me some eggplants and tomatoes from her garden. I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to try with the generous gifts from my friend. I had been eyeing a Japanese eggplant salad recipe from Terra: Cooking from the Heart of Napa Valleyby Chef Hiro Sone of Terra Restaurant. The umami and pungent flavors from the marinade and dressings are highlighted in Chef Sone’s recipe.  This Japanese eggplant salad has multiple components, but I promise, the flavors are what you can expect to taste when dining in Japan!… 

Read More »