• Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Sauces

    Tangy Avocado Sauce

    Concocting luscious dips with Greek yogurt is one of my favorite cooking pastimes – almost it’s own little mini-cooking project for me. This recipe gets me excited because it has avocados (one of my favorite foods) and it goes great with pretty much any Mexican meal – which made it a huge hit with my family! Another special feature to this sauce? Once you’ve enjoyed it for dinner, it morphs into a dip – just add another scoop of Greek yogurt to thicken it up a bit. Tangy Avocado Sauce Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 1 1/2 cups Love the flexibility of this sauce – you can decide how spicy you…

  • Appetizers,  Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes

    Chipotle Salsa

    Chips and salsa are big in our house, so I’m always trying to come up with new versions. I made this salsa for the boys’ first night home from college – Mexican is always their favorite meal – and they all loved it! Of course with three college boys in the house, the whole batch of salsa, and the bag of chips, was gone by the next morning! Chipotle Salsa Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 3 cups Another reason I love this recipe? It’s so quick and easy to make! The salsa would also make a delicious topping to grilled chicken, seafood or steak. Happy cooking! Ingredients 2 (14.5 oz) cans…

  • Pasta,  Recipes,  Salads,  Vegetables

    Orzo and Vegetable Pasta Bowl with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

    This time of year, there’s an amazing abundance of fresh vegetables, and it’s a great opportunity to get your children to try some new produce. Think about hitting a farmers market this weekend, and let your kids pick out something new to try. When you get home, make this recipe. With it’s grown-up and child-friendly versions, everyone in your house is guaranteed to eat dinner. The adults get to enjoy a delicious dijon vinaigrette while the kids sample the new vegetables with the buttery pasta they always enjoy. The slow-roasted tomatoes and onions are delicious, but this dish will be tasty even without them. Although they do take a while in…

  • Appetizers,  Recipes

    Zaxby’s Sauce

    My five years in Brentwood, Tennessee were wonderful in countless ways…beautiful surroundings, a warm and close-knit community, incredible schools, wonderful people and Zaxby’s. I love Zaxby’s! I don’t eat fast food often, but Zaxby’s is one of my favorites. Every time we head to Charleston, Jeff knows that we have to swing by Zaxby’s on the drive from Charleston to Kiawah. What makes Zaxby’s my favorite is the sauce. It is sooooo good. Having a Zaxby’s craving? Try my version, it’s lightened up a bit, but totally delish! Zaxby’s Sauce Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 1 1/2 cups I lightened this recipe up significantly but there’s still mayo. If you want…

  • Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Cowboy Beans

    Inspired by Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday, these beans are my take on a beloved Mexican restaurant side. These beans were for the older boys first dinner home from school for the summer. Along with Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos, Mexican rice and Creamy Guacamole Sauce, big servings of Mexican comfort food were devoured at dinner. Smoky, a bit spicy, Cowboy Beans are sure to become a favorite with your family. Cowboy Beans Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6 Use this classic Mexican bean side to inspire all sorts of flavor combinations. You could add pickled jalapenos, roasted red peppers, or change things up and make a black bean version. Fresh cilantro would…

  • Lunch,  Recipes,  Salads

    Dilly Chicken Salad

    Chicken salad with dill is just a summertime classic…ideal for a lunch at the pool, a picnic, dinner on the deck. Not only does dill taste like spring and summer to me, I always think of the first time I had chicken salad with dill. It was at Cafe Hon in Hampden. I know lots of people go for their comfort food, but for me, that chicken salad with the dill vinaigrette, it’s the only thing I’ve ever ordered. Don’t have any chicken? Try my fail-proof poached chicken recipe for tender, flavorful chicken every time http://gatherconnectempower.com/2016/06/poached-chicken/ Dilly Chicken Salad Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 6 Consider this recipe your template for perfect…

  • Flavors,  Italian,  Pasta,  Recipes

    Spinach & Ricotta Papparadelle

    Searching for a delicious and quick pasta dinner? Need to get out of the red sauce rut? Look no further than this luscious meal – simple to prepare, full of flavor and easy to customize to fit your family’s tastes. And although it’s delicious on it’s own, this pasta is also a terrific compliment to chicken, seafood or fish. I topped ours with seared halibut which I had brushed with some of my oregano marinade. Dinner couldn’t have been easier to pull together! If you’re adding protein to this dish, try my http://gatherconnectempower.com/2017/04/oregano-marinade/ Seared fish is a terrific addition to this pasta dish http://gatherconnectempower.com/2017/05/seared-halibut/ Spinach & Ricotta Papparadelle Author: Kate Wagner Serves:…

  • Proteins,  Seafood

    Seared Halibut

    Knowing how to expertly sear a piece of fish is a great skill to add to your cooking repertoire. While fish is expensive, it’s a terrific source of nutrients. So, find the best source you can for the freshest fish and keep an eye on sales. Halibut is a great choice to feed your family, and can often be found at a good price. Below is a template for cooking halibut, but feel free to substitute other fish. Try one of my savory marinades to amp up the flavor. Simply brush a tablespoon of marinade on each fillet before searing. Serve additional marinade on the side for an instant and delicious sauce. To…

  • Chicken,  Dinner,  Flavors,  Grilling,  Proteins,  Recipes,  Southern

    Grilled Honey Barbecue Chicken

    A perfectly grilled, juicy chicken breast is a thing of beauty – and once you have mastered this take-it-slow technique, chicken success on the grill will be guaranteed, every time! Don’t be afraid of the lightly spiced paste, I was worried my children wouldn’t go for it. But slathered in the sweet honey glaze? They gobbled dinner right up! Honey Barbecue Chicken Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 6 Consider making a double batch of the spice paste and honey glaze. With dinner insurance in the fridge, you are just a step away from a savory dinner – simply brush some on grilled or seared meat, pork, fish or shrimp. The flavor…

  • Chicken,  Love your leftovers,  Lunch,  Recipes,  Salads

    Curry Chicken Salad

    Curry chicken salad…a marriage of my deep love of Indian food and good chicken salad. This builds on my classic chicken salad recipe with a few Indian twists. While deep in chicken salad recipe development a few weeks ago, I had a craving on my curry version, but not sure Jeff would like it, I still made a traditional one for him. Surprise! The person who claims not to like Indian food couldn’t get enough of this salad! Don’t have any chicken? Try my fail-proof poached chicken recipe for tender, flavorful chicken every time http://gatherconnectempower.com/2016/06/poached-chicken/ Curry Chicken Salad Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 6 You will notice that my chicken salads tend…