Category Archives: Main Dishes

Capirotada and Stuffed Poblanos from Real California Milk

Hispanic dairy products can really transform ordinary meals into a new cultural food experience– adding a ton of flavor.  Cotija cheese is like Mexican feta– it’s an amazing salad topper.  Oaxaca is mellow and buttery and could replace traditional mozzarella on pizza.  Queso fresco can be folded into omelets or even in a grilled cheese sandwich. These cheeses are so versatile, you can use all of them in both savory and sweet dishes.

Hispanic dairy is the star of classic lent dishes like corn and cheese stuffed poblanos and capirotada, which is like Mexican bread pudding.  In the poblanos, fold a cup of Real California Asadero cheese, as well as oaxaca for maximum melty delish!  The cotija is the finishing cheese!  The combination of hispanic dairy packs major flavor and tastes so authentically Mexican.

Check out the corn and cheese stuffed poblano recipe on Real California Milk’s website.

Now let’s talk dessert.  The capirotada’s bread has soaked in all of that creamy, yummy dairy.  The combination of cotija and oaxaca cheeses layered into the bread pudding totally takes it over the top!

What I love about these recipes is that they look and feel fancy, but they’re so easy to make.  All of the ingredients are easy to find at local supermarkets in the dairy section– and they’re affordable too.  Just look for the Real California Milk seal on dairy products, made with milk from California’s 1300 hard working dairy farm families.  

Click here for the Capirotada recipe.

Check out the live segment below with these recipes on Great Day Houston

*This post was sponsored by Real California Milk.

balsamic pork chop

Balsamic Pork Chop with Cranberry Horseradish Sauce and Shaved Green Mango Salad

balsamic pork chop with cranberry sauce

When cranberries come to mind, most people think of a Thanksgiving dinner table with all the lush fixings.  But even though this healthy, antioxidant rich super fruit is harvested in the fall, it’s the perfect ingredient to take your summer entertaining to the next level.

fresh cranberries

Cranberries are extremely versatile and are the perfect addition to sweet or savory summer recipes including cocktails, smoothies, salads, desserts and this…..Does that pork chop right there make you want to lick your screen?  I thought so!  This cranberry horseradish sauce only has 4 ingredients, but the layers of flavor are so nuanced and balanced, you’d think it was super complicated.

balsamic pork chop

One of the things I love about cranberries is that they come in so many forms (fresh, frozen, canned, sauced, dried, etc…) that you can get really creative.  This recipe uses the jellied cranberry sauce variety and when you warm it up on the stove, it melts down into a beautiful “saucy” consistency.  Adding the savory balsamic marinated pork chop and you’ve got a winner-winner cranberry pork dinner!  This cranberry horseradish sauce would also work beautifully on a pork tenderloin.

balsamic cranberry pork chop

Balsamic Pork Chop with Cranberry Horseradish Sauce
A savory summer dish with a tender, balsamic marinated pork chop and a cranberry horseradish sauce
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For the balsamic marinade
  1. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  2. 1/3 cup olive oil
  3. 2 garlic cloves smashed
  4. 2 Tb honey
  5. 2 thick center cut pork chops
  6. 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb butter (to saute pork chops)
  7. kosher salt
For the sauce
  1. 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
  2. 2 Tb fresh garlic chopped
  3. 1 Tb olive oil
  4. 2 Tb horseradish
  5. 1-2 Tb brown sugar (depending on how much sweet you want to add)
  6. fresh thyme for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients well and marinate pork chops for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes take pork chops out of marinade and dry off on both sides with paper towel.
  4. Sprinkle chops with kosher salt.
  5. Heat up the 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb butter on a cast iron skillet or heavy duty non-stick skillet on medium heat.
  6. When butter is bubbling, add chops to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, being careful not to move chops around. Let them sit in place in pan to caramelize.
  7. Put chops in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Let chops sit out while you make the sauce.
For the sauce
  1. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add jellied cranberry and stir on medium heat until it melts down to a sauce-like consistency.
  3. Add horseradish and sugar and stir to combine.
  4. Pour sauce over pork chops when serving and garnish with fresh thyme
  1. You can use a pork tenderloin or pork roast with this sauce and it works beautifully.
What's on Parker's Plate?
You can feel even better about this dinner because a new survey reveals cranberry eaters are healthy, active and adventurous!  

Lobster Mango and Cranberry Salad

Speaking of healthy, a friend of mine recently introduced me to green mangos which are basically unripe mangos.  If you shave them with a peeler, they are a scrumptious not-too-sweet but perfectly tangy base to a salad.  I added dried cranberries, almonds and avocado to this salad and fresh Maine lobster with a sweet buttermilk dressing that is creamy and refreshing.  The cranberries give the salad a gorgeous pop of color and flavor, while the almonds lend the perfect textured crunch in every bite.  And well, lobster is pretty much my favorite kind of seafood, so it adds a decadence all on its own!

mango cranberry salad with lobster

table set with lobster green mango salad

Shaved Green Mango and Cranberry Salad with Fresh Lobster
A refreshing summer salad studded with cranberries and fresh lobster
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For the salad
  1. 1 pound fresh Maine Lobster
  2. 1 green mango shaved with a vegetable peeler
  3. 1 cup dried cranberries
  4. 1/4 cup almond slices
  5. 1 ripe avocado diced
  6. chives for garnish
For the dressing
  1. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  2. 2 Tb sour cream
  3. 1/8 cup sugar
  4. 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
  5. pinch of kosher salt
  6. sprinkle of black pepper
  7. 2 Tb fresh chopped chives
  1. Top shaved green mango with fresh lobster, avocado, dried cranberries and almonds.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and fold onto salad.
What's on Parker's Plate?
All of this cranberry talk transports me back to the bogs of Cape Cod!  2 years ago, I had the opportunity to learn how cranberries are harvested when I visited the Rhodes family from Cape Cod Select.  It was so cool to put on those waders and immerse myself in a sea of cranberries!

Parker in the cranberry bog

80% of the U.S. population enjoy cranberries, according to a new survey commissioned by the Cranberry Marketing Committee. It turns out, eating cranberries—which ranked in the top three most popular berries—might have more benefits than many may realize. The nationwide survey found that in general, more cranberry eaters than non-cranberry eaters say they work out and are health-conscious, and are more likely to describe themselves as positive, and feel less stressed and more adventurous.  So, make this delish cranberry studded dinner and then plan your next adventure!

Check out some of my other cranberry recipes here:

Cranberry Dream Martini

Cranberry Bacon Jam

Cranberry Salsa

No Bake Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake (Low-carb)

You can also check out for recipes.

*This post was sponsored by the Cranberry Marketing Committee but all opinions are my own.


Chipotle Gouda Stuffed Chicken

Chipotle Gouda Stuffed Chicken with Cream Sauce

Chipotle Gouda Stuffed Chicken

What’s that old saying about feeding a man for a lifetime if you teach him how to fish?  Well, in my case, give me a chicken and I’ll teach you how to stuff it….Give me a chicken with chipotle gouda cheese and you’ll be getting requests for it for a lifetime, LOL!  This is one of those recipes where I tested it out on my man, JP, and he put down his fork, threw back his head and uttered something along the lines of, “OOOOOOOOMYGODPARKERTHISISTHEBESTCHICKENEVER!!!”

In the last 8 years, I have fed this man many a chicken dish, so I promise you, this one’s a keeper!

Stuffed chicken sounds fancy and complicated, but this recipe is really easy– you just need to pay attention to your cook time to make sure you don’t dry out the chicken.  I think the best way to cook chicken like this is frying it on the stove top and then finishing it off in the oven for a few minutes.  Always, always test it first to make sure it’s cooked through.

I created this deliciousness for the Western Dairy Association, who works on behalf of dairy farm families in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming.  WDA is celebrating 80 years of helping dairy farm families tell their stories. Check out the Western Dairy Blog  to read about the families who have been dairying for over eight decades!  A whopping 97% of dairy farms in the US are family owned and operated, so it’s pretty cool that every dairy purchase supports those hard working families!  And, at about 25 cents a glass, few foods deliver milk’s powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable and available way.

You can make this recipe with any cheese you like– sharp cheddar would be delish, swiss cheese would be scrumptious, but I wanted to really take the flavor to a new level with the hint of chipotle peppers. The subtle spiciness of the chipotle gouda doesn’t overpower the dish at all– it’s actually really balanced.  I also really dig the textures of this meal– the crunch of the panko breaded chicken and the smooth, velvety cheese sauce are guaranteed to impress.

And, I mean, just look at that creamy, melty cheese in the middle!  

Chipotle stuffed chicken  I prefer frying the rolled up cutlets first, but you can bake them as well— just keep them in an oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.  If you do decide to fry them, make sure the oil is not too hot.  I keep it on medium heat, just hot enough to hear a sizzle, but not snapping, popping hot.  If the heat is cranked too high, you’ll end up with a burned outside and raw inside– no bueno!

I suggest serving a simple salad with these— they’re rich enough and loaded with enough veggies on the inside that you really don’t even need another side dish!

chipotle stuffed chicken

Chipotle Gouda Stuffed Chicken with Cream Sauce
Chicken breasts stuffed with chipotle gouda, roasted red peppers and spinach with a creamy, cheese sauce.
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For the Chicken
  1. 4 chicken cutlets (or breasts pounded thin)
  2. 4 roasted red peppers drained
  3. handful of fresh spinach
  4. 4 slices of chipotle gouda (or chipotle cheddar) *not too thinly sliced!
  5. Italian seasoned panko or breadcrumbs
  6. flour
  7. egg wash
  8. canola oil
  9. toothpicks
For the sauce
  1. 1/2 cup chipotle gouda
  2. 1/2 cup full fat mayo
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 1-2 Tb adobo sauce (the sauce that's in a can of chipotle peppers)
  5. kosher salt to taste
For the chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Wash and dry the cutlets.
  3. Lay out the chicken flat and layer with spinach leaves, then roasted red pepper, then cheese. The peppers won't be a perfect fit on the chicken, so cut them in pieces to lay flat on top of the chicken.
  4. Roll up the cutlets and secure with toothpicks.
  5. Dredge rolled chicken in flour first, then egg wash, then panko
  6. Heat up about an inch of canola oil in a wide rimmed frying pan on medium heat.
  7. Using tongs, place rolled chicken in oil and fry on all sides until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes total.
  8. Drain on paper towels and put chicken on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Make sure to test chicken before you put it in oven, and then again after 10 minutes or so. If the cutlets are super thin, they'll cook faster.
For the sauce
  1. Combine cheese, mayo, milk and adobo sauce in a small saucepan until melted and combined. Season with kosher salt to taste.
  2. Pour sauce over chicken when ready to serve.
  1. If you prefer to bake the rolled chicken without frying, bread the roll ups, then bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
What's on Parker's Plate?
 Happy National Dairy Month!  For the perfect dairy delicious dessert, check out my mini no bake key lime cheesecakes.

*This recipe and post were created for the Western Dairy Association but all opinions are my own.

Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Bacon Cheddar Burgers

A Star Studded Memorial Day is pretty awesome.  But a BACON and CHEDDAR studded Memorial Day is even better.  Better with cheddar…. see what I did there?  Of course you did, because resident Burger Bacon Babe is here with the delish!  Introducing bacon cheddar burgers…

Just look at those beefy nooks and crannies with cheese and bacon!  OMG.bacon cheddar burger

bacon cheddar burger

Just look at that cheese crust that forms on the burger patty!  ^^^^^  Aw, yeah, baby, that’s my kinda burger!

Bacon Cheddar Burgers
Bacon and Cheddar studded beef burgers
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  1. 2 pounds ground beef
  2. 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  3. 6 slices bacon thinly snipped with kitchen shears
  4. kosher salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fold cheddar and bacon pieces into ground beef. Do not over work or the meat will get tough. Form into patties and sprinkle salt and pepper on each one.
  2. Grill until cooked through to desire temperature.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Seriously, you can mix up the flavors and do any kind of cheese your little heart desires– swap up with blue cheese and mushrooms, or a spicy havarti with jalapeno– the options are endless. I found these adorable star ramekins at Target and created a little burger bar on set when I was doing my segment at NBC in Macon. 

What a perfect way to wrap up my tour with the Georgia Beef Board and to pay tribute to the 15,000 beef cattle operations in Georgia– there are cattle in every single one of Georgia’s 159 counties, believe it or not!  

And don’t forget the health benefits of beef…(OK, so bacon and cheddar aren’t exactly a health benefit– I consider them an accessory to the healthy part!)  But the stats are legit:  There are 29 lean cuts of beef and only 160 calories in 3 oz of beef.  Plus, it’s loaded with protein, iron and Vitamin B12. 

B also stands for Burger.  And Bacon.  And the next letter is C.  Which stands for Cheddar.  You see where I’m going with this, right?

Happy Memorial Day!  Get your grill on!

NBC Macon

Memorial Day Deals and Delish


I love an excuse to fire up the grill and entertain friends– and Memorial Day is the perfect holiday– it’s got an awesome theme (Thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed for our country!) and with a few simple recipes, you can really take your party to the next level!

Let’s start with the must-have accessories and then we’ll get to the delish….

I partnered with Lowe’s to showcase their Char-Broil Advantage 4 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill.  What I like about this grill is that it is reasonably priced at $269 (and the purchase earns you a $50 gift card, so SCORE!) But it’s also a great size– not so monstrous that it’s intimidating– and it fits on patios or decks easily without taking up too much room.  But there’s plenty of room to fit all of your favorite grilling items with those 4 burners, baby!  While you’re shopping, check out these gas grills ratings and recommendations to get helpful advice. 


Now that you have your grill ready to go, let’s talk patio accessories…. This is my new favorite patio set!  It’s the Garden Treasures 3 Piece Lunburg Balcony-Height Patio set, on sale TODAY, but not later this weekend, so hurry up and pick it up with the discount!


The set works beautifully on my patio (my pitbull Tom thinks so too!) but it is also the perfect size for balconies in high rise condos.  A lot of my friends have spectacular skyline views, and the raised height of this set is a must so you can take in the scenery!  Plus, Lowe’s has a huge selection of patio pillows to dress up the chairs.  I picked out these blue flower patio pillows that work perfectly with the burnt orange cushions.

Ready for Memorial Day eats?  Let’s kick it off with sausage, y’all!  I’m a huge fan of Johnsonville  and have worked with them on a number of yummy segments over the last year.  If you thought regular old burgers were good enough for your cook out, then hold the phone, y’all.  Can we talk about bacon and cheddar IN the sausage?  Um, yeah.  Johnsonville’s got these new Grillers in the flavors you would normally have to make as a side dish or topping on the sausages….like Swiss Cheese and Onion and Buffalo Bleu.  Hello, delicious!  In full disclosure, I was grilling these up for my Atlanta & Company segment and I had to keep adding to the grill pan because, uh, I was eating them.  More like CRUSHING them.  Alone.  In my kitchen at 2am.  Yeah, that’s how I roll.  So swap out the burgers for sausage– you won’t be sorry!  A fun thing to do when serving your sausages is to set up a “Brat Bar” and have all the toppings your guests will love with their bratwursts and grillers….But honestly, you really don’t need anything else to top them with because the flavor of these new sausages is so freaking good!


This adorable family watched my segment live and tried the sausages for the first time….their reactions are priceless!

 My go-to “grilling wine” is Wines of Sicilia DOC, which bring out the smoky, spicy flavors in the sausage.  Sicily’s signature grape, Nero d’Avola is the perfect match for grilling season — as soon as you feel that smokiness with a hint of spice, there’s a surprising fruitiness that hits your palate.  It’s divine and it transports me back to my travels through Italy when I was in college!


Now let’s get back to that cheesecake.  One of my most pinned recipes is the Guilt Free Lemon Cheesecake. I decided to take it up a notch and do a layer of peanut butter cheesecake and strawberry cheesecake and make it “no bake,” because let’s be honest.  Who has time for baking on a holiday weekend?  It’s basically the love child of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cheesecake!  Look at those layers….OMG.


Peanut Butter and Jelly No Bake Cheesecake
The love child of cheesecake and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
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For the crust
  1. 1 stick salted butter
  2. 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
For the peanut butter cheesecake layer
  1. 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
  2. 1 tub of Cool Whip
  3. 1/3 cup sour cream
  4. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 Tb vanilla
  6. 1 cup powdered sugar
For the strawberry cheesecake layer
  1. 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
  2. 1 tub cool whip
  3. 2 cups frozen strawberries
  4. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  5. 1 Tb vanilla
For the topping
  1. Whole strawberries (with the tops cut off)
  2. Blueberries
For the crust
  1. Melt 1 stick butter in pan.
  2. Add graham cracker crumbs and vanilla.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Cut out a circle of parchment paper and put it on the bottom of a springform pan.
  5. Spoon out the graham cracker crust on top of the parchment and press down (I use the bottom of a mug or measuring cup)
For the Peanut Butter Layer
  1. Mix ingredients in food processor with paddle attachment until smooth. Pour over graham cracker crust.
  2. Freeze for 30 minutes before adding strawberry layer.
For the strawberry layer
  1. Pulverize frozen strawberries in food processor until they are a puree consistency and set aside.
  2. Mix the rest of ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  3. Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of batter and put in fridge (this will be the top layer of the cheesecake.)
  4. Add frozen strawberry puree to batter and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour strawberry layer on top of peanut butter layer and wrap entire springform pan in tin foil.
  6. Put in freezer for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve
  1. Take cheesecake out of freezer 30-45 minutes before you want to serve it. Spread the 1 1/2 cups of topping on top of strawberry layer and decorate with strawberries and blueberries.
  1. Freezing the peanut butter layer is not totally necessary, but it helps keep the layers separate.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Now let’s talk about appetizers, because chips are not the answer!  This peanut curry dip is another recipe I worked with the Georgia Peanut Commission on and I am so excited about it.  Everyone on set who tried this was blown away!   Peanuts are a great way to power your day, keep your energy levels up (and your hunger levels down.) Peanut butter is easy and fun to incorporate into recipes because it’s “eat it out of the jar with a spoon) kinda good!


Peanut Curry Dip
A high protein, delicious dip for entertaining
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  1. 1 cup greek yogurt
  2. 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  3. 2 tsp fresh ginger (I love the tubes of fresh ginger from Gourmet Garden)
  4. 1 tsp fresh roasted garlic smashed
  5. 1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  6. 2 tsp curry powder
  1. Combine ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve with fresh veggies or pita chips.
  3. For the roasted garlic, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Slice off the top 1/3 of a head of garlic. Put cut side (face side down) in a small baking pan with about a cup of water. Cover with tin foil.
  5. Bake for an hour.
  6. Let cool and squeeze out garlic-- it will come out like a paste!
What's on Parker's Plate?
 Happy Memorial Day, y’all!

Check out my Memorial Day Deals and Delish video with Christine Pullara on Atlanta & Company!


Meatball Lollipops


Can we talk for a minute about meat on a stick?  This is not the carnival style version or boring old shish kebabs.  These are meatball lollipops, people!  And they will make everyone at your party come back for seconds– including the kiddos.

My grandma Ronnie taught me the best trick for tender meatballs while avoiding those chunks of onion and garlic and parsley that can sometimes ruin the mouth feel of the best bite.  Instead of doing the work to chop and dice, simply pop the onion, garlic and the parsley together into the food processor (or blender) and pulverize it.  You get a savory puree that gives the ground beef all of the flavor without all the chunks.  Brilliant!  Granda Ronnie was a baller in the kitchen– she LOVED making Italian food and I’m still working to replicate her sauce recipe.

You can sear off the meatballs in a fry pan before putting them in the oven, but I’ve found baking them is easiest and super low maintenance.  You can also make a larger portion of the meatball batter and freeze it for a later date. Or add some variety to the menu and pop the meatballs into slider rolls to serve at your next party.  They’re always a hit!


Meatball Lollipops
Tender, savory meatballs dressed up with sauce and lollipop sticks for easy eating.
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  1. 2 pounds ground beef
  2. 1/2 large sweet onion
  3. 3 garlic cloves
  4. handful of parsley (about a cup loosely packed)
  5. 3/4 cup grated parmesan (not the bottled fake stuff)
  6. 1/4 cup tomato pesto (sub tomato paste if you can't find the pesto)
  7. 1/4 cup cream
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 Tb Italian seasoning
  10. 1 Tb garlic powder
  11. 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  12. 3/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  13. Lollipop sticks (you can find them at your nearest craft store like Michael's or Hobby Lobby)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Put onion, garlic and parsley in food processor or blender and pulverize until pureed.
  3. Add puree to beef mixture and fold in the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Shape into golf ball sized meatballs.
  5. Spray a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray and bake meatballs for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Flip over half way through cooking.
  6. Insert lollipop sticks and lay out on a tray.
  7. Spoon your favorite tomato sauce on top of meatballs lollipops (and more cheese if you'd like) before serving.
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley.
What's on Parker's Plate?

Beef Burrito Bowls

beefbowltortillaGet out of the taco box and INTO THE BURRITO BOWL, y’all!  

These are my new favorite dish because they’re simple, but the homemade burrito bowls make your guests feel special– and you can eat the whole thing without a fork, a knife or a plate!

This month is National Beef Month and Georgia Beef Month, and I’ve partnered with the Georgia Beef Board and the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association to create some outstanding beef recipes in May.  Twist my arm, why don’t you….you know I’m a low-carb lover and beef is something I crave for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Believe it or not, 3oz of lean beef only has 160 calories so you can power your day with protein and won’t get that dreaded snack attack mid-morning.  

For the burrito bowl, mix and match your favorite toppings– from sour cream to guacamole and black beans.  If you have a crowd coming over, it’s awesome to set up a “burrito bar” and let people help themselves and build their own bowls.  I cooked New York strip medium rare and then diced it up into bite size pieces for the mini burrito bowls, but feel free to change it up with another cut of steak– or even ground beef with taco seasoning.

Click here for a look at the burrito bowls live on WTVM in Columbus, GA!

Beef Burrito Bowls
Layers of burrito delicious inside an edible tortilla bowl.
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  1. taco size flour tortillas (corn tortillas don't hold their shape as well)
  2. sliced New York strip steak, cooked medium rare
  3. Mexican rice
  4. black beans
  5. guacamole
  6. roasted corn
  7. chopped cherry tomatoes
  8. chopped jalpenos (seeds removed)
  9. cotija cheese (or Mexican crumbling cheese)
  10. Hellman's Chipotle mayo
For the bowls
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and press tortillas into tins. Sides of the tortillas will fold inward a little-- just press them to the side and they'll end up in a cool shape.
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes until hardened and slightly browned.
To build the bowls
  1. Layer with rice, beans, corn, guacamole and assorted toppings in whatever order you prefer.
  2. Drizzle with chipotle mayo.
  3. *To make your own chipotle mayo, mix 2 Tb adobo sauce from a can of chipotles into 3/4 cup mayo. Add 1 Tb honey and stir to combine.
What's on Parker's Plate?

Easter Entertaining Part 1

tomatoplate Easter was never my favorite food holiday because I’m not a huge fan of ham.  The thick, spongey, salty ham that everyone serves?  Not my jam, ham.  So now that I’m hosting the holidays (most of them, anyway) I get to pick out what I want to cook!  And that means changing it up a little and getting creative.  I partnered with some really awesome brands this week to showcase scrumptious ideas you can bring to your Easter table.  

Minute Rice’s Mutli-Grain Medley includes 4 gluten free grains including quinoa that is so easy to make!  Try substituting chicken stock for water in this recipe for a boost of flavor!  (Try using apple cider or juice instead of water and then adding fresh fruit and nuts for a yummy breakfast idea too.)


What I love about this dish is that there is so much flavor and texture– little bits of feta and mint totally elevate the Mediterranean vibe.  

Minute Rice Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
A Greek inspired rice combination with garlic, feta, currants and mint.
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  1. 1 bag Minute® Multi-Grain Medley, uncooked
  2. 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth, optional
  3. 6 large tomatoes, ripe but firm
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 1 each fresh garlic, chopped
  6. 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  7. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  8. 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  9. 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  10. 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  11. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 2 quart baking dish. Prepare Multi-Grain Medley according to package directions, substituting chicken or vegetable stock for water, if desired.
  2. Place a mesh strainer over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut the tops off of the tomatoes (as you would a jack-o-lantern), reserving the tops, and scoop the flesh out into the bowl using a spoon. Using the same spoon, press as much of the tomato mixture through the strainer as you can and discard the remains. Add the cooked rice into the tomato mixture as well as the garlic, oregano, parsley, mint, feta, currants or raisins and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  3. Lightly salt and pepper the insides of the tomatoes, stuff each one with the rice mixture and place into the prepared baking dish. Put the tops back on each of the tomatoes, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake for about 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are almost collapsed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
What's on Parker's Plate?
 Instead of traditional ham, beef up your Easter dinner with tenderloin.  I partnered with the Georgia Beef Board to showcase this showstopper dish- beef tenderloin in a shiitake mushroom cream sauce.  It tastes so exotic and it couldn’t be easier to make!  Plus, 3oz of beef has less than 200 calories and is packed with protein, B12, zinc and iron.   


The shiitakes give the sauce an earthy, rich flavor, and the cream is thickened over medium heat until it’s velvety smooth!  I always keep Dairy Pure cream and half-and-half in my fridge– not just for my coffee, but for cooking, y’all!  Dairy Pure’s Purity Promise means that there are never any artificial growth hormones in their products and they’re cold shipped from your trusted dairy.

Beef Tenderloin with a Shiitake Mushroom Cream Sauce
Tender beef tenderloin with an earthy, sherry cream sauce
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  1. 2 beef tenderloin filets
  2. 2 Tb butter (to cook filets in)
  3. 2 cups shiitake mushrooms (stems removed, sliced)
  4. 1 Tb butter (to saute mushrooms)
  5. 1/4 cup dry sherry
  6. 2 cups Dairy Pure heavy cream
  7. 2 Tb tamari
  8. kosher salt to taste
For the tenderloin
  1. Dry off beef tenderloins and sear on both sides with melted butter. Make sure the pan is very hot.
  2. Cook off in a 425 oven for 15-20 minutes until meat is medium rare.
For the Shiitake Cream Sauce
  1. Saute shiitakes in 1 Tb butter on medium heat until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add sherry and crank up the heat-- coat mushrooms and cook down sherry until almost completely absorbed.
  3. Add cream and tamari and bring to a simmer. Turn down heat to medium and let sauce thicken.
  4. Serve with steaks.
What's on Parker's Plate?
When you’re whipping mashed potatoes, add in some half-and-half for super smooth, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes!


For dessert, look no farther than the iconic Lindt’s Gold Bunny.  It’s the perfect centerpiece to any Easter celebration, for favorite traditions, whether filling baskets, decorating tablescapes, or creating new holiday memories with family and friends with a Gold Bunny Easter Egg hunt!

Even more awesome, this is the only bunny that gives back…Lindt has partnered with Autism Speaks for the 8th year to raise funds for the cause, and now through Easter (March 27), Lindt will donate 10 cents to Autism Speaks for every 3.5 oz Bunny bought.


How cute are those little gold bunnies?  They make a great table decoration for your Easter spread as well….not to mention, they’re EGGceptionally delcious!  Happy Easter!


Peanut Coconut Curry Soup


This is delicious on so many levels– the layers of spicy, sweet and savory are elevated by the combination of textures with the velvety soup and the crunch of the peanuts!  It could literally double as a sauce for chicken, beef, pork or shrimp.  It’s also so decadent, that you can serve it with a simple salad and call it dinner.  The “wow factor” comes from creamy peanut butter which is folded into the soup, while a can of full fat coconut milk adds to the exotic feel and taste!

I partnered with The Georgia Peanut Commission this month for National Peanut Month to create a series of scrumptious recipes with peanuts and showcase them on TV shows across Georgia, which happens to be The Peanut Capital of the World!  Peanuts are such a versatile nut– they can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and dessert so easily.  Plus, they help power your day with loads of protein!  In addition to their monounsaturated fat content, peanuts feature a number of other nutrients that, in numerous studies, have been shown to promote heart health. They are good sources of vitamin E, niacin and folate.

This is also the perfect time to really celebrate the hard working 3500 peanut farmers in Georgia, dedicated to an industry that provides over 50,000 jobs!  Stay tuned for utterly yummy recipes over the next couple weeks and make sure to hashtag #parkersplate if you post your versions on social media!

'I was meant to become a peanut butter, but someone forgot to cross the final t.'

Peanut Coconut Curry Soup
A creamy, savory Thai inspired soup
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  1. 1 Tb canola oil
  2. 1/2 sweet onion diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic diced
  4. 1 red bell pepper diced
  5. 1-2 Tb red chili paste
  6. 1 Tb fresh ginger
  7. 2 Tb brown sugar
  8. 1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  9. 1 tsp fish sauce
  10. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  11. juice from 1/2 a lime
  12. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  13. pinch kosher salt
  14. crushed peanuts for garnish
  15. fresh cilantro for garnish
  1. Saute onion, garlic and pepper in canola oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add red chili paste and continue stirring another 30 seconds until fragrant. (I added 2 Tb to my recipe because I like it spicy, but add less if you want to bring down the heat!)
  3. Add the rest of ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
  5. Serve with crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro sprinkled in middle of soup.
What's on Parker's Plate?

A Romantic Valentine’s Day Surf & Turf


Heart Pastry with perfect mid-rare filet inside!

Heart Pastry with perfect mid-rare filet inside!

What a perfect occasion to create the kind of meal my man says, “OMG, Parker, this might be the best dinner you’ve EVER cooked.”  Ever??  “EVER.”  Well, then.  It’s no surprise, because he’s a steak and potato lover and this takes them both to the next level of DELISH.

I partnered with the Georgia Beef Board and the Idaho Potato Commission to create a signature meal and I promise, it’s easier than it looks!  Let’s start with the beef….I chose tenderloin because it’s so lean and because it’s such a high quality cut, it doesn’t need much by way of seasoning or marinating.  A 3oz portion of tenderloin has 24 grams of protein packed in!  Portion control is always the way to go– it’s such a decadent cut that you don’t need a massive steak– plus, the pastry around the meat adds texture and will fill you up!

I wanted to do a spin off of my favorite Beef Wellington which involves a caramelized mushroom puree and puff pastry.  I was initially worried that the beef would be overdone, but it came out perfectly– mid-rare is always best for flavor and juiciness!  Adding to the flavor finale for the beef is a marsala glaze that I served on the side so the pastry wouldn’t get soggy.  Wow.  It is sublime!

For my Idaho Potato, I thought I would combine the best parts of a crab cake with the smooth, creamy and cheesy texture of a twice baked tater.  Hello, decadent!  One Idaho Potato is loaded (no pun intended!) with potassium– almost twice the amount of potassium in one banana, believe it or not!  This is important because potassium lowers blood pressure and a whopping 97% of people don’t get their minimum daily intake!  Idaho potatoes are also cholesterol free, gluten free, sodium free and fat free!  I love that they can take on the flavor of whatever you serve them with (or stuff them with!)  It’s Potato Lovers Month and Heart Month, so let’s celebrate with some scrumptious!

On set!

On set!

Table set for 2

Table set for 2

So here’s the yum factor, ready to rock and roll…Click here for the video! 

Valentine's Day Surf & Turf
Pastry wrapped Beef Filet and Crab Cake Stuffed Idaho Potato
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For the Filets
  1. 4 filet mignons
  2. 2 Tb butter
  3. 1 box puff pastry dough brought to room temperature
  4. 1 pound of mushrooms (diced small or chopped in the food processor)
  5. 2 shallots diced
  6. 1/4 cup cream
  7. 1/4 cup sherry
  8. egg wash
  9. kosher salt to season steaks
For the Marsala Glaze
  1. 2 Tb shallots
  2. 1 Tb butter + 2 Tb butter
  3. 1 cup Marsala wine
  4. 1 Tb fresh thyme
  5. 1 cup beef broth
  6. salt and pepper to taste
For the Crab Cake Stuffed Idaho Potato
  1. 4 Idaho Potatoes
  2. 6 Tb butter
  3. 1/2 cup cream
  4. 8 oz fresh or canned crab
  5. 1 Tb worcestershire
  6. 1/2 small sweet onion diced
  7. 1 celery stalk diced
  8. 1/4 cup pimientos
  9. 1 Tb dijon mustard
  10. 3 Tb full fat mayo
  11. 1/2 cup panko
  12. grated parmesan
  13. salt and pepper to taste
For the filets
  1. Dry off filets with paper towel and season with kosher salt.
  2. Melt butter in frying pan and when hot and bubbly, put filets in-- sear for 1 minute on each side.
  3. Remove and let cool completely.
  4. In the same skillet, add shallots and mushrooms and saute on medium heat until water is cooked out of mushrooms, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add sherry to mushroom mixture and cook off alcohol, about 5 minutes. Add cream and bring to a simmer to thicken. Once cream thickens and reduces some, remove mushrooms from heat.
  6. Lay out puff pastry and place one filet in center. Scoop mushroom mixture on top and wrap in pastry, cutting off any excess pastry. You can cut out little hearts from the extra pastry and put them on the top of the "pastry filet package." Brush with egg wash and bake in an oven at 450 for 20 minutes until cooked through. If filets are thick, you may need to bake longer.
For the Marsala Glaze
  1. Saute shallots in butter until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add marsala wine and thyme and bring to a simmer. Reduce until liquid is only about 1/3 a cup. Add beef broth and whisk in 2 Tb butter until melted.
  3. Serve with beef.
For the crab cake stuffed Idaho Potatoes
  1. Bake Idaho Potatoes on 400 for 45 minutes until cooked through. (Poke them with a fork and wrap in tin foil before you put in oven.) Let cool and then scoop potato out of skins. Mash with 6 Tb butter and 1/2 cup cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Saute onion, celery and pimientos in butter until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and add crab, panko, worcestershire, mustard and mayo.
  4. Combine crab mixture with mashed potato mixture. Stuff into potato skins and top with parmesan. Bake at 400 until heated through and cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
  1. This goes very well with a simple arugula salad. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon into 1/2 a cup of olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt. Shake and drizzle on arugula.
What's on Parker's Plate?