Kalua Chicken or Pork in a Crockpot


Ok, I have to admit that I am glad this is a food blog rather than a photography tutorial. ūüėČ I wish the photo had turned out better and you could really see the juicy flavors percolating through the tender meat. I love that this is a slow cooker recipe. I can make a fabulous dinner that has many variations for serving in a matter of minutes. Another bonus is that dinner can just magically appear the minute hungry tummies start to moan and groan.

Kalua Chicken or Pork

1 whole chicken (or cut up chicken, or chicken thighs, or pork roast of any kind… you get the idea)
3 Tbsp. Smoked Hawaiian sea salt, course ground sea salt, or Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
black pepper to taste

Using a fork, poke wholes throughout the meat
combine salt, liquid smoke and black pepper; massage into meat

Place in a crockpot on low and cook 8-10 hours, turning the meat once during cooking time (if possible, it will still turn out if you don’t. I promise). When you are ready to serve, remove the meat and shred as if making “pulled pork”. Add as much of the cooking liquid as desired for flavor. Serve.


You can use the meat to make sliders or sandwiches. Serve on buns, you can offer a side of BBQ sauce (you can view a recipe for BBQ sauce by clicking on the word BBQ), and coleslaw. This is also a great option for using up the leftovers (if there are any) for lunches the next day.

Happy Cooking!
Kitchen Diva


Schnitzel with Spatzle


This is an awesome fall dish. ¬†Just as the weather starts to cool down and the leaves turn brilliant colors, this dish leaves a wonderful aroma in the air and makes a great comfort food. ¬†While you can easily purchase Spatzle in a box, there is nothing quite like homemade. ¬†Its the difference between high quality homemade pasta and mac n’ cheese that comes in an all too familiar blue and yellow box. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†This dish originated in Germany and is considered a “hunters dish”. ¬†When I make this dish it is easy to dream of the days of old when a man would put on his furs, go out into the forest, track down dinner and bring it home to cook in the fire. ¬†While I realize this is probably a Hollywood portrayal of what life was really like for hunters, its a little more pleasant to envision than the alternative (which would be life as the hunters really knew it).


Boneless pork chops (you can also use chicken, beef, or veal), pounded thin, butterfly if necessary

¬Ĺ C. flour

Combine 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp milk, dash of salt, pepper, and nutmeg (this is an egg wash)

1 C. bread crumbs

Dredge pork in the flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs. Fry in butter and olive oil until mostly cooked through, should only take a few minutes. Remove from pan.

In frying pan combine:

6-8 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 can beef broth

¬Ĺ C. white wine

1 lemon, juiced

2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

Capers to taste

Cook this mixture down until reduced by about half. Combine 2 Tbsp flour and 3 Tbsp. butter until a paste is formed, Dissolve butter/flour in hot water and add to the condensed gravy in the pan and cook until thick and bubbly. Add pork chops back to the pan and continue to heat until pork is finished.


3 C. flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 C. water

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. ¬†Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt as you would for pasta. Place two Tbsp batter on a cutting board and use a knife to scrape thin slices of batter into boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from water and toss with butter (you may need to make this in batches). ¬†If you really find you love Spatzle, I suggest looking online for a Spatzle Board that sits on top of the pot of boiling water and you can then “press” the dough through.

Happy Cooking!

Kitchen Diva

Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

Armadillo Chicken

Armadillo Chicken is a simple but tasty main course for dinner. ¬†I have to admit, I got this idea from a daily special one of the cook’s I used to work with made up one day that seemed to be pretty popular as I remembered. ¬†I took the idea and made my own twist on it.


4 Chicken breast
6 Slices of bacon cooked to a crisp
1 Cup chopped tomatoes
2 Scallions chopped
1 Cup of shred cheese of your choice, I like mozzerella or swiss but any will do
Your favorite BBQ sauce

Start by grilling the chicken breast either on a BBQ or George Foreman.  I grill the chicken breast with some garlic powder and Mrs. Dash
When chicken breast are done (do not overcook or they will be too dry).  Usually on a George Foreman 3-4 mins each side.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken on a baking sheet or pan and layer toppings on each chicken breast.  I start with bacon, tomatoes, half the onions and then top with cheese.
Bake for about 15-20 mins at 375 or until warmed through and cheese melted.


Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM  Comments (6)  

Spinach Manicotti

I’ve been playing around with trying to master Manicotti for years but I made one the other night with a different twist of flavors blended and even went for a little more healthy flare. ¬†My audience didn’t even know that it was definitely a “better for you” dish and I didn’t give up flavors for sure. ¬†If anything, I experimented with some new flavors. ¬†As with all Italian food, it tastes better the 2nd day when everything has had time to marinate together.



  • 1 pkg. chicken italian sausage
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 pkg. (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained, squeezed dry or you can use fresh spinach
  • Fresh garlic to taste
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¬Ĺ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¬ľ teaspoon salt
  • ¬ľ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Italian seasonings like basil, oregano (optional) to taste
  • Green onion
  • 1 jar (24-26 ounces) marinara sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1 pkg. (8 ounces) manicotti shells or large sea shells, cooked, drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook manicotti noodles to package direction. ¬†I usually add a teaspoon of ¬†olive oil in the boiling water so the noodles won’t stick. ¬†Boil for about 7 mins. ¬†Drain and lay out on foil so they don’t stick to each other.
Pour half the Marinara sauce in the baking pan you are going to use.  Some store bought sauces could use a pinch of sugar to even out the flavors
Fry up the chicken sausage, onion and garlic and drain if any fat from pan.
Add thawed squeezed dry spinach, ricotta cheese and continue to cook on low heat for a couple of minutes and turn off heat.
Add parmesan cheese to mixed and 1/2 cup of the mozzerella cheese, salt, pepper, green onion, and Italian seasonings.
Add egg and mix thoroughly.
Pre-heat oven to 350-375
You are now ready to stuff the Manicotti shells.  I use a small spoon and stuff as full as I can without breaking the pasta shell.
Place in baking pan with sauce
When you are all done, pour remaining sauce over top of shells and top with the mozzerella cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving
Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM  Comments (4)  

Turkey Meatloaf with Apple

Good food does not have to be bad for you.¬† My neighborhood is something special and my neighbors are my taste testers.¬† Currently we are all trying to eat a little more healthy during the week; because on the weekends we are bad, bad, bad!¬† Weekends in my neighborhood produce some of the most delicious, amazing, wonderful food you could ever eat, and LOTS of it!¬† We all eat a little too much and enjoy each others company into the wee hours of the morning.¬† Anyway… enough about the neighbors.¬† I will be introducing you to them and some of the recipes they have so graciously agreed to share, later.¬† Right now, its meatloaf.¬† I created this recipe as a lighter version of traditional meatloaf.¬† I also added a few surprise ingredients that boost the nutritional value a little bit.¬† My neighbor, Anna, when I brought samples around for everyone to try before sharing this recipe with all of you said “It’s really good!¬† It shouldn’t be, but it is!”¬† I love Anna, she will always say it like it is.¬† I hope you will give this flavorful, and healthier meatloaf a try, and feel free to leave comments of your own letting me know what you think!

Turkey Meatloaf with Apple

1 LB ground pork

1 LB ground turkey

1 egg, whisked

3/4 C. old fashioned oats (do not use the quick cooking variety!!)

1 small onion, diced

1 apple, diced

1-2 carrots (depending on the size), diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp.cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently by hand until all ingredients are incorporated.  Shape into a loaf and place on a baking sheet (I use parchment paper for easy cleanup.  I use a baking sheet rather than a bread pan so that the grease will drain away from the meat).  Bake for 1 hour, or until juices run clear and meat is cooked through.


1 C. ketchup

1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Mix and place on top of meatloaf the last 20 minutes of cooking

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 8:39 AM  Comments (4)  

Piccata ~ Just add Pork, Chicken or Veal

I love Piccata.  This simple, light meal is great when you have a lighter appetite or on summer nights when you just want something refreshing to eat for dinner.  The Lemon Scented Pasta is a great accompaniment for this dish (recipe will follow).  Serve with a green salad and Viola!  dinner is served!


2-4 Thin cut, boneless medallions (pork, chicken breast, or veal)

1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp. water to make an egg wash

Flour for dredging

2 Tbsp. oil for frying

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C. White wine or cream sherry

1/4 C. Lemon juice

4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. dried Thyme

1-2 Tbsp. capers (get the brined capers, not the salted capers)

3 Green onions, chopped (set aside 1 Tbsp.)

Salt and Pepper to taste

lemon slices for garnish

Lightly salt and pepper meat medallions.¬† Heat oil in skillet (I like cast iron, but stainless steel would be a close second.¬† Don’t use non stick cookware if you can avoid it.¬† We want a nice golden crust on the meat).¬† Dip medallions in egg wash, then dredge in flour and place in preheated oil.¬† Fry on both sides until cooked through (time will vary depending on the thickness of the medallions as well as choice of meat).¬† Remove medallions from pan and add the chopped garlic, cook and stir for 1 minute.¬† Add wine, lemon juice, and thyme¬† to skillet and cook down until reduced by half.¬† Stir in butter, and capers.¬† Return meat medallions to pan and heat through.¬† Serve over Lemon Scented Pasta.¬† Garnish with the reserved green onion and lemon slices.

Lemon Scented Pasta

zest from 1 lemon

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

8 oz. cooked pasta (Angel hair, spaghetti, or fettuccine), reserve some of the pasta water

(1 Tbsp. reserved green onion)

Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.  Remove from water with a pasta fork or slotted spoon and toss with lemon zest, juice, and olive oil.  Add enough pasta water one spoon at a time until pasta is loose and well coated.  Top with Piccata and garnish with the reserved green onions and lemon slices.

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 12:13 PM  Comments (2)  

Perfectly Roasted Chicken

This chicken recipe is inspired by Ina Garten.¬† Roasting chicken is so easy and the chicken so flavorful that I usually roast two chickens at a time.¬† One chicken becomes that nights dinner; the second chicken I pick the meat off the bones and put in the freezer for quick meals later.¬† I don’t like to waste any thing when I cook, so I also use the bones to make a delicious and flavorful chicken stock that I can also freeze for later use.¬† The pan drippings from this recipe make excellent pan gravy to drizzle over the chicken meat or mashed potatoes.

Preheat oven to 425*

2 (5-6 pounds each) chickens

Large bunch of fresh thyme (or 2 Tbsp. dried thyme)

2 Lemons, quartered

2 Whole heads of garlic, sliced in half legnthwise

2 Large onions, sliced

1/4-1/2 C. Melted butter

1/2  Small package of baby carrots

2 Bulbs of fennel, sliced

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry.  In a large roasting pan place the carrots, onions, fennel and 20 sprigs of thyme (or approximately 1 Tbsp. dried).  Toss salt and pepper in with the veggies and drizzle with olive oil.  Liberally salt and pepper insides of the chickens.  Stuff cavity with lemon, garlic, and thyme.  Brush melted butter over the outsides of the chicken and place on top of veggies in roasting pan.  Roast chicken uncovered for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until joints move easily and juices run clear (chicken should be 160* when removed from the oven, it will continue to cook a little while it is resting).  Remove chicken from roasting pan to a large platter and let rest under a foil tent for about 20 minutes.  Remove caramelized veggies to a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm until serving.

Pan Gravy:

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. butter (or fat from pan drippings)

1 C. pan drippings, fat skimmed off (if you don’t have enough liquid you can use prepared chicken stock)

In a skillet add fat (butter or fat from pan drippings) and cook until flour is completely incorporated and smooth.  Add pan drippings slowly and whisk until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.  I like to add a little ground sage and nutmeg to my gravy.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.



Published in: on March 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM  Comments (5)