Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Smoked Salmon Ravioli

This summer I have been eating quite a bit of smoked salmon. It makes a great snack, sandwich addition and surprisingly a yummy filling for ravioli. If you enjoy making pasta at home I suggest you try this recipe. It only calls for a handful of ingredients, all of which are easy to find and inexpensive to buy. 
The recipe below is just a small batch of only 10 ravioli, if you are cooking for a crowd just double the ingredients and it will turn out just as delicious. 

Makes 10 Ravioli

8 oz of cream cheese, softened
6 oz smoked salmon, diced
2 green onion, diced

Mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Place in the fridge until ready for use.

1/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup of "00" pizza flour or white flour 
pinch of salt
1 egg
1/8 cup water (only if needed)

Place the flour on a smooth surface and create a well in the middle. Crack the egg into the well and slowly beat the egg. Once the egg is scrambled, start slowly adding in a little flour at a time with and continue to mix with a fork. Keep mixing until you can't use the fork and start kneading the dough with your hands. Add water if needed, a little at a time. Continue to knead for 10 minutes. If the dough is sticky add in a little flour at a time until you have an elastic ball. 
Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. 

If you have a stand mixer, place all ingredients except the water into the mixer and turn on med/low until a ball starts for form, adding water if needed. Once the ball starts for form decrease speed to low. 

Putting it all together
Flatten the dough one sheet at a time with a roller or through a pasta machine. Lay out the dough and place a small dollop of filling evenly on one side of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and cut using a ravioli stamp or pastry cutter. Set each ravioli aside and dust with flour. Carefully place the pasta in lightly boiling water, when they float they are ready (about 3-4 minutes). Remove and drain quickly. Make sure to have the sauce ready so it is warm when serving. Have some sliced lemon on hand for garnish. 

I tested out two different things to toss the pasta in, one was butter and the other oil. Both were tasty but the butter won hands down! If you decide to use oil make sure to add a little extra salt or toss in some capers. 

4 tbs butter
2 tbs capers
pinch of salt

Place the ingredients in a sauce pan until the butter melts. Pour lightly over the pasta and serve immediately.
(pasta tossed in olive oil with chopped chives)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Baked Falafel & Tabouleh with Tzatziki

This is one healthy meal that I can't get enough of. I love making baked falafel and homemade tzatziki, it's easier than you might think. I don't use egg in my falafel so it is vegan friendly as long as you leave out the yogurt.

I like to serve falafel with Tabouleh. Tabouleh is super simple and very good for you side dish that takes no time at all and tastes better the longer it sits. Another yummy addition to this meal would be some warm pita bread with a katamala olive tapenade or Greek Feta Dip. As always taste as you go and add more seasoning as you go along. Everyone has different tastes so it is up to you to manage the flavor. I hope you enjoy!! 

1 1/2 cups bulgar wheat
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
2 tomatoes diced
3 cups chopped parsley

Bring the water to a boil. Rinse the bulgar wheat then place into a glass or ceramic bowl then pour in the boiling water, lemon juice, zest and the olive oil. Season with S&P then cover tightly with a tight lid or plastic wrap. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Once the bulgar is fluffy and cool add in the parsley and tomatoes. Taste and season again if needed. At this time you can add more lemon juice as well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

2 cups Greek yogurt
juice from half a lemon
1 handful of dill, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, shaved thin 

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use. Add as much or little dill as you like, I love the taste so I sometimes double it up.


1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup parsley
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1 tbs cumin
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup breadcrumbs

Place all above ingredients except the bread crumbs into a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth. It is okay to leave it a little chunky. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a bowl. Slowly mixing small amounts of the bread crumbs at a time until you are able to form a ball that will hold together and is not too sticky. Next place the mixture into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Keep some breadcrumbs on hand in case you need a little more after the mixture chills.)

Preheat oven to 400. After 30 minutes remove the mixture and form you patties or balls then place each patty or ball onto a non-stick baking sheet. Continue until you have used all of the mixture. Bake at 400 for 15-20* minutes on each side. Serve warm and enjoy! 

*Baking time depends on your oven. Use one patty as your test patty and sample it after 15 minutes on each side then decide if it needs more time. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pistachio Crusted Cod

Yum! From the first bite to the last I was loving this dish. This recipe is easy, quick and amazingly delicious. You can use just about any kind of white fish but cod was on sale so gave it a try. I hope you like it! Enjoy! 

4 cod filets
1/4 cup parmesan, finely shredded
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
stone ground mustard

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the parmesan, pistachios and bread crumbs on a plate and mix well. Dry off each cod filet then spread a little stone ground mustard on each filet. Place the mustard side of the fish into the pistachio mixture and coat evenly. 
Carefully place each filet onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes(time is based on thickness of the fish). Serve warm and enjoy!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Forbidden Stir Fry

Have you ever heard of forbidden rice? Legend has is that this grain was eaten exclusively by Chinese emperors to increase longevity and health. Not only is it high in many nutrients but it is also tasty! Forbidden rice is a great source of iron, vitamin E and very high in antioxidants. Take a look in your nearest specialty grocer and pick up a bag of this rice. You will not be disappointed. 
This recipe is vegetarian but as you can see from the pictures I did use shrimp.... but I cooked it on the side and added it separately. It tasted great either way! If you use shrimp just peel it and toss it in 1 tsp of sesame oil and a tsp of red chili paste and saute for 2 minutes on each side. 


1 cup black rice 
2 1/2 cups broth 
1 tsp sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs soy sauce (plus more if needed)
1 tbs red chili paste
3 cups chopped bok choy
2 cups mushrooms (preferable shitake or oyster)
1/2 cup water chestnuts
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small strips

To make the rice, bring the broth to a boil add in the sesame oil & rice. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until ready. (If needed: When the rice is soft pour it through a sifter to drain)

While the rice is cooking heat the sesame oil in a large pan and add in the garlic, ginger, onion and red chili paste. Saute until fragrant then add in the rest of the vegetables* and cook until the bok choy wilts. Toss in the rice when the vegetables are to your liking. Season with more soy sauce and red chili paste as needed and serve. 

*If you like your peppers crunchy wait to cook them until the last 2 minutes. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spinach Ravioli in Butter Sage

Are you up for a little challenge in the kitchen? Try making a colored ravioli. It is not as hard as you might think and lots of fun! Once you figure it out you can start playing around with other colors like orange pasta (using red bell pepper) or red pasta (using sun dried tomato paste). You can also add any other ingredients you might like into the filling like mushrooms or ground meat. Have a look at my Chestnut Ravioli Recipe for helpful images on making the ravioli.  
Happy cooking!

1 cup of ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino
dash nutmeg

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

2 cups of flour (plus more if needed)
1/2 cup of sautéed spinach, drained and pureed
2 eggs

Place the flour and salt into a mound on a smooth floured surface; create a well in the middle. Crack the egg into the well and lightly beat with a fork while adding in the spinach. Gradually pulling in the flour from the sides in a circular motion until you can't use the fork. At this point start kneading the dough with your hands and continue for 5-8 minutes. If the dough is sticky add in a little flour at a time until you have an elastic ball. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. 

Flatten the dough one sheet at a time with a roller or through a pasta machine. Lay out the dough and place a small dollop of filling evenly on one side of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and cut using a ravioli stamp or pastry cutter. Set each ravioli aside and dust with flour. Carefully place the pasta in boiling water, when they float they are ready.

1 stick of butter
6 sage leaves chopped

Grated parmesan (for topping)

Melt the butter in a large pan with the sage and let it sit on low heat until the pasta is ready. Place the pasta into the butter and top with parmesan. Serve warm.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Creamy Polenta with Poached Egg and Kalamata Olive Tapenade

This week I was forced to eat only soft foods due to a not so fun dental procedure. The doctor suggest mashed potatoes and ice cream but that just seemed a little too boring.  I had quite a bit of cornmeal in the cabinet so I thought polenta would be the perfect soft meal. This is a quick and easy dish to make that can be eaten for any meal. I had it for dinner but this would surely make a great brunch. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup pitted kalamata &  olives, chopped
1 tbs capers, diced

1 tbs olive oil (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped

Make sure all of the ingredients are chopped. Set aside until the dish is ready.

Creamy Polenta
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups of medium grind cornmeal

1 cup shredded finely shredded pecorino romano or paremsan 

Heat the water and broth in a large pot, once it is boiling slowly pour in the cornmeal. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. If you want the polenta creamier just add a little more broth. Once the polenta has absorbed all the water remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. 

Poached Egg
4 eggs
1 tsp white vinegar

Crack each egg into a small bowl. Fill a medium pot with water and add in the vinegar and bring the water to a simmer. When the water is simmering give it a little whirl making a gentle cyclone effect. Slowly pour in each egg, one at a time. Keep a spoon handy to keep the eggs separate. The eggs should only take about 3 minutes each. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon. If you've never poached an egg I suggest watching this you-tube video and give it a shot. 

To serve
Spoon the polenta into your serving bowls, top with a poached egg then the tapenade. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the polenta. Serve warm. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blackened Red Snapper with Crawfish Cream Sauce

One things I miss most about home is the seafood. I grew up surrounded by some of the most tasty and fresh seafood in the country. When my parents were planning their trip to visit me in Tahoe I just had to request that they bring me some good ol' Louisiana seafood. And boy did they deliver! My mom brought me crawfish tails and jumbo shrimp, for the past few weeks it has all been in my freezer and on my mind! 
The one dish I could not stop thinking about once I saw the crawfish was red snapper with crawfish cream sauce. I don't remember the first place I ate this dish but I always remembered it tasting scrumptious. I looked though some recipe books I had from home but didn't find what I was looking for so I gave it a shot on my own and it turned out perfectly! 

If you have access to crawfish and haven't had this dish I highly recommend you give it a try. Ans stay tuned because I already have plans for the last pound of crawfish in my freezer,  crawfish bisque and crawfish etouffee... Yummy!  

Makes 4 Servings

2 lbs red snapper 

blackened seasoning (I use Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends but you can also make your own
juice from 1/2 lemon 

Crawfish Sauce
1/2 lb crawfish tails
1 tbs butter
1/2 small onion, minced
5 sprigs of parsley, leaves minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 small green bell pepper, minced
1/2 tbs oregano
1 tbs paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 pint heavy cream

Coat the snapper in lemon juice then blackened seasoning, let it marinate whhile you prepare the crawfish sauce. 

Place a small pot on the stove and turn to medium/low heat. Place the butter in the pot and let it melt. Make sure your vegetables are finely minced then add them along with the seasonings to the melted butter, cook or 5 minutes or until softened. Once the vegetables have softened and add in the cream and increase to a simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Let it set on low heat while you cook the fish.

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once the pan is hot add in the fish. Cook for two minutes then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. If the fish is thicker cook it a little longer on each side. 

Place the fish on a plate and top with the crawsfish cream sauce and sprinkle with green onions. This dish goes great with a side of brown rice or cornbread. If the butter and cream are enough for you, don't worry this dish taste great any way you eat it!  

Buon Appetit! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chicken, Pepper & Mushroom Rice with Arugula Pesto

I was in need of a filling and healthy lunch for work for this week but I had to get creative with what I had in the fridge, lucky me I had some yummy things to choose from. What makes this dish extra delicious is arugula pesto. I keep my homemade pesto frozen in an ice cube tray so I cand use them anytime in order to make meals like this quick and easy. If you are looking for a good lunch this week I promise this is a yummy one! 

Makes 4-6 servings

2 tbs olive oil
2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 portobello mushroom caps, diced
3 cups of cooked brown rice
1/3 cup or 3 cubes of arugula pesto
white pepper 

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and toss in the garlic and onions once it is warm. When the onions and garlic become fragrant and add in the chicken, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cover and cook on low 5-10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Once this is ready add in the rice and pesto, coat evenly. Serve warm and enjoy! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken Curry Soup

Typically I leave meat out of my recipes because my boyfriend is a vegetarian but this dish is just for me so I decided to add some meat. Today I decided to make a chicken curry soup because soup is always tastes better the next day making this a perfect healthy dish to bring to work for lunch. This soup was super quick and easy and tastes amazing!! I didn't have all of the ingredients I wanted for this soup like lime and cilantro so I went with what I had. I added a few extra yummy fixins to the recipe below so you can add them if you would like, but if not the soup taste amazing either way.

2 tbs coconut oil
2 chicken breast or tenders, cut into cubes
3 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk

1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tbs ginger, minced
1 tsp basil, chopped
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder 
1 pinch salt

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin ovals
1 celery stalk, chopped

Other Yummy Fixins
cilantro, chopped
lime juice
snap peas
green onions
tofu (in place of chicken)

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot until it melts then add in the garlic, onion and ginger until the become fragrant. Next add in the basil and the rest of the seasonings and saute for 1 minute then add in the chicken, tossing to coat the meat. Once the chicken looks like it is almost cooked add in the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce and the vegetables. Cover and let cook on medium/low for 10-15 minutes. 

Serve warm as is or over rice. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Roasted Cod Filets with Parsley & Shallot Panko Crust

What an easy, yummy and healthy dinner! This was my first time cooking cod and it was a total success. The flavors of the lemon and parsley taste so wonderful with this fish. I'm sure the recipe would work with any white flaky fish but I chose a nice thick piece of cod. Your cook time will change based on the thickness of the fish you purchase. You should cook fish for 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness. If the fish starts to flake while cooking it is most likely over done. Make sure you check it 8 minutes into the dish and most importantly make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Fish is so easy to cook and great for you so go ahead and give this yummy recipe a try! 

4 cod filets
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup, loose parsley1 shallot
2 garlic clove
zest from half a lemon, save other half for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. Dice the parsley, shallot and garlic. Heat the 1 tbs of the oil in a small pan to medium heat then add in the parsley mixture along with the lemon zest. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally, careful not to fry the mixture. Remove from heat and stir in the bread crumbs with 1 tbs of olive oil, mixing well. Place the cod in an oiled baking pan, lightly coating both side of the fish with oil from the pan. Carefully place the bread crumb mixture on the top of the fish making sure to coat as much as possible. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 

Serve with lemon wedge.