Hearty Beef Bolognese Sauce with Pappardelle Pasta

Chunky Beef Bolognese with Pappardelle Pasta | jessicagavin.com #italian #foodblog

My comfort food growing up was a shiny blue box of Kraft macaroni and cheese which I will still love forever and ever. My husband Jason on the other hand, can’t resist a big bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce. Sometimes the simplest and most wholesome ingredients make the best dishes.

Nostalgia is a big hit in my family, so every once in a while I let Jason indulge in a huge bowl of carbs and some crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. My hearty beef bolognese sauce is the perfect chunky, meaty goodness that goes oh so nicely with some pappardelle pasta. Ciao bello!… 

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Jumbo Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Tomato Skillet

Incredible Spicy Garlic Shrimp Ready To Eat | jessicagavin.com #skillet

I’ve been craving shrimp and grits in the worst way since Mardi Gras, so now is time to feed the beast! The movie Forest Gump really put shrimp on its well deserved pedestal, so much so that the popularity of the movie spurred a chain of Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurants!

Shrimp on it’s own is so yummy, with the slight sweetness and mild flavor, versatility and rapid cooking, it’s everything you would want in a healthy meal. This spicy garlic shrimp and tomato skillet is super quick, easy and delicious, leaving you licking your fingers clean and asking for more!… 

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Crunchy Honey Mustard Salmon with Ginger Citrus Sauce

crunchy-honey-mustard-salmon-with-ginger-citrus-sauceCool salty ocean breezes, warm white sand beneath my toes, ahhh I am so ready for a trip to paradise! But alas, my dreams will have to wait until the fall. I’ve been doing a lot of travel research for an upcoming trip to the Caribbean. My best friend Jasmin is planning a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, and boy do those all-inclusive resorts with endless food and drinks look a-mazing!

I got a little food inspiration from day dreaming of fruity rum cocktails with those cute colorful umbrellas on the beach. To give our salmon Monday’s a little bit of island and Asian twist, I came up with an irresistibly simple crunchy honey mustard salmon with ginger citrus sauce recipe. If you’re ready for an exotic food getaway then keep reading…

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Easy Skillet Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage

Gnocchi with chicken sausage and creamy tomato basil sauce | jessicagavin.com

Gnocchi’s are cute Italian pillows of potato dumplings that are perfect bite sized pieces. They are a nice alternative to pasta and each forkful is beyond satisfying. It’s simple to make homemade gnocchi, but with limited time during the weekdays and needing to nourish my dumpling cravings while feeding my hungry family, packaged pre-made potato gnocchi are a tasty timing saving blessing. This super easy skillet gnocchi with chicken sausage is just what you need to add to your weekday meal plan. This recipe quickly keeps your tummy  and taste buds happy without all of the fuss…. 

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Tuscan Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage

Tuscan tomato tortellini soup with Italian sausage | jessicagavin.com #recipe

My husband is half Italian, so we eat a lot of pasta at our house. Typically it has been ravioli that makes its way to the dinner table at least once a week. It’s sort of my special treat for Jason because I know he loves those little fluffy cheesy pillows of goodness, I don’t blame him! However, lately I’ve been in a pasta rut. I’ve been making the same meal each week mostly because it’s easy, and because I need simplicity as James is starting to crawl. Yikes! Little man on the move!

tomato soup with cheese filled tortellini | jessicagavin.com #recipe

One day as I was searching for some dinner inspiration, I came across this enticing tortellini soup by Two Peas and Their Pod. It was like I was struck by lightning because as I began to drool over their pictures.

I was totally inspired to try something like this for our next pasta dinner. For my recipe I added some fresh Tuscan kale and spinach to the tomato tortellini soup with Italian sausage. I always try to get some healthy greens into each meal. I also toasted up some nice crunchy sourdough bread and dinner was ready in no time!… 

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Hearty Chicken Ale Stew with Vegetables

Hearty Chicken Ale Stew with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com

Brrrr, oh it’s definitely time to make some stew to take the chill out of your bones! I may be experiencing “Cali winter”, aka I still occasionally wear shorts and flip flops on the weekend, but I still crave warm winter foods. To get started we are going to need some chicken (check!), vegetables (double check!), and some beer (check! Wait, whut?!?!).

Oh yes, some BEER. If you haven’t tried adding a little bit of bubbly fermented goodness to your soups and stews yet, then you have been missing out. Not to fret, I have a hot and delicious, bowl scraping, ask for seconds recipe for a hearty chicken ale soup with vegetables coming your way! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be born before 1993 to enjoy this savory dish (gosh I feel old!)…. 

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Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipe | jessicagavin.com

Nothing says I love you like a piping hot plate of pasta and layering on a crispy breaded chicken is the icing on the cake! My husband grew up eating homemade Italian food that his mom and grandma would prepare. The sauces were always made from scratch (lucky guy!) and the food carefully made with love. Jason’s mom Joan and grandma Rose are amazing cooks! Over the years they have taught me how to make meatballs, fresh rolled pasta, and chicken spadini to make sure Jason always gets to indulge in his favorite foods.

I never try to compete with mama, but I like to make some of Jason’s favorite comfort foods to remind him of home. Nothing puts a smile on my husbands face than a crunchy tender piece of Chicken Parmesan, topped with fresh tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese. Oh yes, I get major points when I make this which I redeem for trips to get  ice cream cones!… 

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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!… 

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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!… 

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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…. 

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