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!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Amaretto Carob Brownies

Yesterday I had an unfortunate trip to the dentist that cost a lot of money and a lot of time! My poor jaw is so sore and swollen that I had to stay home from work today. I was starting to go stir crazy because there was only so much work I could do from home so I started organizing my kitchen. As I was organizing one of my baking drawers I realized I had a ton of carob powder. I was not quite sure what I wanted to do with it so I searched the web and found all kinds of carob bread and brownie recipes. I was inspired so I created these fluffy carob brownies. They are not very sweet so you may want to go for a cup of sugar. I decided to skimp on the sugar and topped them with home made whip cream topped, dark chocolate & amaretto sauce with pecans.

1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup of carob powder
2 tsp baking powder

3 eggs, separated
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup amaretto 
1/2 lemon (zest only)

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, carob powder and baking powder and set aside. In another bowl add the egg yolks and slowly beat in the sugar. Next mix in the milk lemon zest and amaretto and mix. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. In a small bowl whisk the egg whites until peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter and pour into an 11x7 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. 

Dark Chocolate & Amaretto Sauce
1 cup coconut milk or 1 cup heavy cream
2 oz dark chocolate
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbs amaretto
1/2 tsp baking powder (if the sauce isn't thickening)

Combine first 4 ingredients and cook on medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Stir in the amaretto. If the sauce is not thickening, sift in the baking powder and stir. Bring to a med/high boil stirring constantly for 30 seconds then reduce heat and let it set until thick. 

Makes 1 1/2 cups. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas

Snow, snow, snow!!  We have had atleast 5 feet of snow fall at our house in the past two weeks which is awesome but holy moly there is so much snow. Wilson has tunnels thought the snow in the backyard and the icicles are everywhere. 

If there is this much at my house imagine how much is at the ski resorts and that is what really matters.Now I just have to get out of the driveway and get the snow off of the car. I still have not figured out how to work the snow blower so for a nice work out I usually just shovel. After more and more shoveling who doesn't want a hearty delicious meal? I don't cook too many Mexican or Tex Mex dishes but I have been craving them lately.  This is not a traditional enchilada recipe but it sure is a yummy one!

  • 3 cups butternut squash, cooked & chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 10 soft taco shells
  • 1 package of green chile enchilada sauce
  • shredded cheddar or jack cheese
  • green onions, sliced
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
Place the butternut squash, black beans and cilantro in a pot and cook on low for 5 minutes. Add in the cilantro and seasoning and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until squash is really soft.  Spread 1/4 cup of green chile sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place 1/4 cup of your filling into a tortilla, roll it up and place it seam down into the baking dish. Continue until you are out of filling. Top with cheese and bake for 15- 20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and green onion. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Curry Soup

Today it has been snowing about 3 inches every hour and it's still coming down. It took over an hour to get home from work (on a normal day it normally takes about 15 minutes). Driving in the snow with holiday tourists is a nightmare so all I could think about on the drive was getting home and pouring a big glass of red wine!  
Wilson sure was having fun in the snow!

Unfortunately, my driveway is a snow trap and I came home to knee deep snow in my driveway. I have no idea how to work the snow blower so I just pulled right over top of it. After an hour of shoveling I realized the was stuck so I gave up and decided to stay in and cook something delicious. Luckily I had plenty of food in the fridge so I didn't have to go to the grocery. I had some very random ingredients so I decided to get creative, hell  I didn't have anything else to do tonight. I opened the fridge and cupboard and found I had a half of a butternut squash, coconut milk and lots of lentils so I went from there and made a very yummy soup. 

Makes 3-4 servings

1 garlic clove, diced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 tbs coconut oil
3 cups of cooked butternut squash
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tbs chopped cilantro
1 cup of cooked lentils

Heat the coconut oil on med/low in a large pot and saute the garlic and onion for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add in the butternut squash and vegetable broth. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes or until butternut squash is very soft. Using an immersion blender puree the soup. Once the soup is smooth add in the lentils, seasoning, cilantro and coconut milk. Serve warm and garnish with cilantro. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Russian Kale Cesar Salad (vegetarian)

One of the vegetables in my basket was Russian Kale. The boyfriend requested that I make a kale Cesar salad (vegetarian of course). After making two trips to the grocery store I realized I forgot lemons so I had to make the dressing with lime juice, and it was quite delicious. 

  • 4 cups of kale, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • croutons (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 2 tbs lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tbs olive oil 
  • S&P
Place dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Toss your kale and tomatoes with the dressing and serve.

*Add as much or as little olive oil as you would like. I don't like oily dressing so I keep it to a minimum. 
* If you have a good loaf of bread laying around I suggest making croutons.

Chard, Leek & Spinach Gratin

Finally a break in the snow and a beautiful blue bird day.There is more snow on the way so I wanted to take advantage of the sunny day. After making snow angels on the golf course and playing catch with the pup I decided to spend the rest of the day in the kitchen doing what I love most, cooking! 

 I had a few goodies left over from last weeks CSA basket so I searched the web for spinach and chard combos and saw a few different gratin recipes. So that was what I decided to do. It was super quick, easy and yummy! If you're vegan just use almond milk instead of the cream. 
  • 1/2 cup leeks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 4 cups spinach, chopped
  • 4-5 large chard leaves, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown Basmati rice
  • 3 oz muenster cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbs heavy cream (vegan? use almond milk)
  • S&P and garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs garlic Parmesan (optional)
Saute the garlic and leeks the coconut oil for 3-5 minutes. Add the chard and spinach, cover and let is steam for another 3-5 minutes until spinach and chard wilt. Once the spinach and chard are ready add in the rice, cream, cheeseS&P and garlic powder. Mix well and place into a baking dish. Top with bread crumbs, garlic parmesan and a drizzle of oil. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baked Chickpea & Red Pepper Wontons

I've been playing around with wontons lately and I have made a few different delicious versions. I had some extra egg roll wraps laying around and opened the cabinet to see what I could fill them with. I found I had a jar of roasted red peppers and chickpeas so I went from there. This is a quick and easy recipe that anyone can just throw together. I hope you enjoy! 
Wonton Filling
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 roasted bell pepper
  • sprinkle of cardamom & cumin
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 6 large egg roll wraps
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • dash of salt, pepper & garlic powder
Place wonton filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Place 6 egg roll wraps on a clean surface. Place 2 large tbs of wonton filling on each wonton in the center of the wrapper. Dip your fingers in the water and moisten the sides of the wonton. Fold the wrapper in half making a triangle and press down sealing the wrapper. Brush with olive oil on both sides. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.  

While the wontons are baking, mix together the topping ingredients with a fork. Serve wontons warm with a dollop of the topping and sliced green online. Yum!! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creamy Potato & Vegetable Soup

Living in the mountains makes it tough to get great produce all year long but luckily we have an amazing CSA program. It is a little pricy up front but it is totally worth it! I get a fresh box of winter vegetables delivered to a location near me once a week for 24 weeks.

It has been two weeks now since the first CSA box arrived but I have been traveling too much and working too hard so I have not had a get creative and come up with fun recipes, until now! I was out of town when the last box was delivered but when I came home the b/f left me some leeks, fingerling potatoes, an onion and some carrots. I immediately thought about making potato soup but I only had about 3 cups of potatoes so I decided to just throw in a few other vegetables I had in the fridge and make something delicious. There are a few steps in making this soup but over all it is pretty simple.


One of my secret ingredients in the soup and lots of other dishes I make is an awesome  a Parmesan Garlic Bread Dipping Blend that I found at Boudin in San Francisco. I'm on my second jar of this goodness because it tastes so good in just about everything from pizzas to sandwiches.
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup leeks, bottom parts sliced into rings
  • 1 small bulb of garlic
  • 3 cups fingerling potatoes, partially peeled
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs parmesan garlic
  • cracked pepper  
  • OPTIONAL - 2 tbs sour cream + 1/2 cup cream or milk
  1. Roast Garlic - Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the top off of your garlic, exposing the cloves. Drizzle olive oil on the garlic until it is covered. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. When the garlic is ready simply squeeze the cloves out one by one.
  2. Boil Potatoes - In a large pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in a dash of salt and olive oil. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes, reserving 2 cups of the potato water for your soup. 
  3. Sautee Veggies - While the potatoes are boiling, saute the celery, leeks and carrots in a pan for 3-5 minutes. 
Place the potatoes and garlic in the large pot, add in the vegetable broth and use a mixer or immersion blender to puree the potatoes until nice and smooth. Season with salt, Parmesan garlic and pepper. If you choose to use milk and sour cream add it now and stir well. Once the soup is seasoned and smooth add in the sauteed vegetable. Cook on low for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm.