Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Asparagus

I absolutely love this dish in the summertime. My dad is growing a rosemary plant and it smells soooo goooood! Makes me want to cook with rosemary constantly!

I came home very late a few nights ago, absolutely worn out, and I was ready to just eat anything, especially if it was¬†unhealthy. I hate when that happens! I decided not to let my exhaustion get the best of me, and besides, that’s what I preach as Chef Stef, that you can cook a healthy meal quickly, so stop eating food that is NOT good for you!! ūüôā

Put up a pot of rice, or water for pasta.  Start prepping your other ingredients.

Grab some chicken breasts, one per person. Or, make extra for leftovers! Cut into pieces. Rinse a quarter of a bunch of asparagus per person.  I made half a bunch, enough for two people, which is about 10 stalks. Snap off the end parts and discard. Snap the rest of the stalks into small, 2 inch pieces.

When your rice or pasta has 10 minutes left on the timer, in a saucepan or wok, heat 1 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of rosemary. Saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the chicken. Add 1 tsp of salt and pepper, and the juice of half of a lemon, which is a little less than 1/4 of a cup. Stir together and cover.  Let the chicken cook on medium/low heat for 3 minutes. Uncover and place the chicken in a bowl on the side. Leave some of the lemon and chicken juice in the pan.

Add the asparagus to the pan with some of the leftover juice. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. ¬†Add the chicken back in. ¬†Stir and it’s ready!!



Super simple and SOOO delicious. Not only will your nose be thrilled, but your tastebuds will certainly be thanking you ūüôā

Have a classy week!
Chef Stef



Pesto Shrimp Pasta

Gourmet meal in 20 minutes! Under 500 calories,¬†under $7 a serving and it’s deeeelicious!

My friend Brad sent me a recipe a few weeks ago. ¬†I was busy when the message came through, but glanced quickly and thought, “asparagus and shrimp and pesto??… weeeird”. ¬†I tried it a few days ago, with some modifications, and it was amazing!! Very simple and as Brad called it, “Chef Stef worthy”. Thanks, Brad!

You’ll need:

1 asparagus bunch

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 lb. pasta

3 tbls olive oil

2 cups fresh basil

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 tsp of salt

Put up a pot of water to boil, with salt, for the pasta.

Rinse the asparagus and snap off the ends. ¬†They will break where they should, if you cut them, you may cut off more than necessary! There’s no need to dirty a cutting board and knife! Once you snap off the rough ends, snap the rest of the spear¬†into thirds.


In a large skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the asparagus and 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir and cook on medium heat. By now, the water should be boiling, so add the pasta!

Time to make the simple pesto sauce. In a small blender, add the basil, lemon juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth, just a few seconds.

When your pasta only has 4 minutes left to cook, add the shrimp to the asparagus. Spread them out so they are evenly distributed. After 2 minutes, flip the shrimp to the other side and then mix together with the asparagus.

Drain the pasta and add the pesto sauce. Gently toss to coat. Add the shrimp and asparagus to the pasta and again, gently toss. That’s it!¬†IMG_8713

Serve with grated cheese and squeeze some lemon on top! IMG_8719

Doesn’t get much easier than that! You can do it, I believe in you ūüôā

Happy cooking!




Back to Basics: Peppers and Onions

Summer is around the corner! Peppers and onions are perfect for picnics!

The purpose of the Back to Basics videos is to show you how to cook¬†healthy food in a simple way. ¬†You can’t make sausage with peppers and onions, unless you know how to make just the peppers and onions first! Well maybe you can, but you get the gist ūüėČ

For every 4-5 people, use 2 medium sized yellow onions and 3 peppers. Cut your onions in quarters and then cut into thin slices, lengthwise. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or a wok. Add the onions and let them cook for a few minutes while you prepare the peppers.

Wash¬†and dry the peppers. Cut in half to take the stem out and all of the seeds on the inside. Cut into thin slices, about 1/2″ thick.

IMG_8570 IMG_8572


By now, the onions should be a little brown. Add in your peppers. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Mix together. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.


And that’s it! Super simple, right?!



Chef Stef

Delicious Chicken Meatballs

Watch to find out how to roll meatballs without getting your hands dirty! ¬†Oh, and to see a really awesome recipe ūüôā

This can be made into mini meatballs for appetizers or big meatballs for a meal!  Double the recipe with ease when preparing for lots of people. Eat as it is, try with barbecue sauce, hot sauce, or serve with pasta and marinara sauce! It pairs very well with zucchini as a vegetable.

I know this recipe has lots of options, but isn’t it better and easier to have options?! ¬†That’s why I make recipes that don’t involve.. 1/32 of a tsp of skdufbsjybf. Wait, you mean, you don’t have that in your cupboard?!?!

I don’t eat bread (unless it’s whole wheat), so I wanted to experiment with quinoa in place of the breadcrumbs… and it worked! ¬†What an incredible texture. Doesn’t change the taste much. If anything, it makes it taste¬†better!

Set your oven to 350¬ļ. I bake them to make them healthier rather than frying. ¬†Not only are they healthier, but less time consuming and less of a mess! ¬†Who likes getting splattered with hot oil when you put something in a hot frying pan? Not me!

Grease a 9×13 tray with olive oil. I used a stone, but a baking tray does the trick, too!

Beat 1 egg. Add 1 pound of ground chicken… or beef, sausage or turkey. ¬†Your choice! The recipe works with any meat. Add 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Add 1/4 cup of an herb. I used cilantro, but parsley, oregano, basil or dry Italian seasonings works, too. ¬†Personally, I like fresh herbs. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Or 3 or 4.. if you’re a garlic-a-holic. Gently mix.

The final option you have is…. breadcrumbs or quinoa! ¬†We often have leftover quinoa in our fridge. ¬†We throw it in everything. ¬†Salads, burgers, eggs, eat it plain, add veggies, etc. ¬†Lots of ways to play with quinoa. ¬†But if you don’t have leftovers, in a small saucepan mix 1/4 cup of quinoa and 1/2 cup of water. ¬†Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for less than 15 minutes, or until the water has absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of the cooked quinoa, or 1/2 cup or breadcrumbs to your mixture.  Mix allllll together.

I’m not a fan of working with ground chicken and turkey. It sticks to your hands and makes such a mess. Kinda gross. So I started using my two spoon method to try to not touch the meat. THEN, I realized, oh my gosh, my cookie scooper is the perfect size!! And it was! ¬†Definitely try it if you have one.

Place your tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your balls. (If you just giggled, get your mind out of the gutter!) If you want them a bit crispy on the outsides, leave in longer! I accidentally left my second tray in for about 40 minutes.. and they looked burned, but they actually tasted amazing!


Eat and enjoy!!

Have a grrrrrreat week!
Keep it classy,

Chef Stef

Dad’s Simple Chicken Marinara

Yep, that’s my dad! Could you tell that it’s thanks to him that I learned how to ham it up in front of a camera? He showed me how to start making my own movies sometime around middle school. He’s been making his own movies and taking selfies before “selfies” existed. He’s pretty creative and I’m grateful some of those genes got passed down to me! He’s also someone who taught me to make meals in one pot, instead of making the kitchen a disaster zone!

Dad makes this meal a lot. It’s so simple and great to leave cooking on the stove (or in a crockpot) for a few hours. The meat falls off the bone! Delicious.

Also, for the record, in the beginning I said, “He’s the one responsible for half of my musical genes“… not genius! Someone thought I said that… just wanted to clarify that I wasn’t having a diva moment ūüôā

As for how much chicken to cook, 1-2 pieces per person. Family of 4? Make 8! OR – make 10 and have some extra for leftovers! ¬†This is great for leftovers. You’re already making it, so why not just add a few pieces to make leftovers?

You need:

Your choice of chicken legs/thighs

1 cup chicken broth

2 tbls olive oil

1 tsp of salt and pepper

1 yellow onion

28 oz. can crushed tomato with Italian seasoning

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Step 1: Dice your onions. Use a sharp, straight edge knife! If you use a serrated knife or dull straight edge knife, it will not cut through the membranes cleanly and will make you cry!

Step 2: Cut off excess fat and skin on the chicken. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry. Rub the chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder and rub it in. At this point, you can flavor your chicken with whichever seasoning you love. We do garlic because we’re Italian and we like the whole, red sauce with garlic and Italian seasonings thing. ūüôā You can, of course, use real garlic instead of powder! Even better!

Step 3: Put a splash of oil in a pot and saut√© your onions for 3 minutes. Brown the skin on the thighs¬†by placing skin side down for 1-2 minutes.¬†Do the same with the legs, rotating to get all sides of the skin brown. While cooking the chicken, cover so the oil doesn’t splatter on your walls, or more importantly, on YOU!

Step 4: Add the crushed tomatoes to the chicken. Add some chicken broth. If you like it thinner, add more broth. If you like your sauce thicker, add less. My great grandma always used a liquid to make sure every little bit of the sauce was used¬†from¬†the can, which is where my grandma and my dad¬†picked up that habit. (Check 3:55 if you’re not sure what I’m trying to say, haha)

Step 5: Stir everything together. Cover with the lid. Lower the temperature to simmer. Cook at least 45 minutes. But, it can stay simmering on the stove or in a crockpot for hours. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes! Every once in a while, stir it! If you want, add a vegetable like celery, kale, spinach or squash! Serve¬†on top of pasta or rice! Mmmm, I’m hungry.


Like dad’s flash of an apron at the end? I bought that for him when I was in Italy, in case you couldn’t tell, it was “David”. ūüėČ The apron he is actually wearing is pretty sweet though, isn’t it? My cousin got it for me for Christmas, in my Chef Stef colors! Black, pink and white!

If you enjoyed this video, you’ll have to check out my dad’s dad, my grandfather in his video! He’s the ultimate ham.

Until next time…

Keep it classy!

Chef Stef





Chocolate Banana Bars

I don’t know how this happened, but time is flying and I haven’t had a chance to catch up on blog posts! ¬†So – check out the new video from yesterday! You certainly won’t regret it.

Seriously, every time I would walk into my college¬†apartment and smell these, it was heavenly. It turned into a comfort food very quickly. ¬†I do love bananas and chocolate! Very simple to make. Good hot or cold… prepped and melting in your mouth within 45 minutes! I really was going to make this recipe for a video, but then she got engaged and it was even more of a reason to make it! YAY!!!!

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup white sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cup flour

3 bananas

3/4 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

Set the oven to 350¬ļ.

Use a fork to mash up the 3 bananas.

In a mixing bowl, add the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Cream together. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix!

Add the bananas and gently fold it into the mixture with a spatula.

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and combine.

Grease a 9×13 inch pan with some butter. Add your mixture and spread evenly.


Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean! Let it cool and then cut into even squares!


YUM. ¬†I’ll be impressed if they last more than a day.

By the way, I made another one of my roommates recipes… it doesn’t have to be holiday, just cover with white sugar if it isn’t December!! Or… July is coming, maybe red, white and blue sugar?!

Happy baking!

Keep it classy,

Chef Stef