Gruyere Artichoke Dip

This is one of my go to appetizers for most clients. It is always a crowd pleaser. I’ve been asked many times to share the recipe so I figured this would be the perfect outlet to do so. I serve this dip with grilled flatbread and a vegetable crudité. It will also work with tortilla chips. For a little heat add in some red pepper flakes or chili oil when sautéing the shallots and artichoke. If you can’t find gruyere, swiss is a great alternative. I hope y’all enjoy!

Ingredients Gruyere Artichoke Dip
Makes 8 servings.

2 tbs butter
2 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 -14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
S&P to taste
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallot, garlic and artichokes, cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add in the cream cheese and stir until cream cheese is smooth. Remove from heat, add in 2/3 of the gruyere and fold.

Place the artichoke mixture into a deep baking dish and sprinkle with remaining gruyere and Bake for about 20 minutes, until heated through and lightly golden on top. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm with flat bread & vegetables.

Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!


Teriyaki Chicken Salad

I’m always looking for healthy salad variations for the summertime. This teriyaki chicken salad is quite tasty, easy to put together, and good for you. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables and chicken and tossed in a light dressing. The crunchy noodles are totally optional, but they just give the salad a little extra something something. Feeling zesty? Add in avocado or some fresh chopped pineapple. Make sure to marinate chicken before grilling to lock in that yummy teriyaki flavor. Get creative and enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken SaladTeriyaki Chicken Salad
Serves 4

Salad Fixins
1/2 English cucumber
1 cup sweet mini peppers
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup roasted macadamia nuts
¼ cup shaved shallots
½ cup La Choy crispy rice noodles
8 oz mixed greens

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, use a spoon to de-seed, then slice into crescents. Slice mini bell peppers into rounds and cut mandarin oranges in half. Place all fixins on a plate and set aside.

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tbs lime juice & zest
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs orange juice

Place ingredients in a blender or use an immersion blender to emulsify ingredients. Taste and add sugar and more oil as needed.

Teriyaki Chicken
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Place chicken in a Ziploc bag with teriyaki sauce. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours. Remove chicken from bag, discarding any remaining marinade. Pre-heat grill. Spray each tender with non-stick spray and grill for 6 to 8 minutes each side or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

Toss the mixed greens in desired amount of dressing. Layer the salad with fixins. Top with grilled chicken and serve.


Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!


Grilled Salmon with Watermelon Salsa

One of the best summer dinner combinations is fruit and fish! I just love making a fresh salsa and adding it to grilled fish. The options are endless. Strawberry basil salsa on halibut, mango salsa with salmon or peach salsa on Mahi Mahi. Get creative and make this recipe your own! When grilling the salmon make sure to keep the skin on, it provides a layer between the flesh and the grill. It’s much easier to slide a fish spatula under the salmon’s skin than under its delicate flesh.

Grilled Salmon with Watermelon SalsaWatermelon Salmon
Makes 4 servings.

2 lb salmon filet, skin on and pin bones removed
S&P to taste
Oil for brushing

For the salsa.
2 cups seedless watermelon, diced
½ cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
S&P to taste

Place all salsa ingredients into a large bowl and toss it together. Taste and season as needed.

Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Dry the fish with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper. Brush the grill with oil. Place fillet skin-side down onto hot grill, close lid and grill for 7- 10 minutes, depending on thickness. When the fish is almost cooked through and opaque in the center, brush the salmon flesh with a little oil then carefully slide a large spatula under the fish and flip. Keep the lid open and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Watch the fish closely, making not to overcook it. Remove from the grill. Place the fish on a platter and top with salsa. Serve and enjoy!

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!


Summer Shrimp Pizza

Summer is here, and that means the heat is here. When it gets hot, I try to eat a little lighter with more raw fruits and vegetables. I love fresh toppings on my pizzas like raw arugula, fresh herbs, and even avocado. This fun pizza is a little twist on a shrimp taco but even more delicious. I hope you enjoy!

Summer Shrimp PizzaSummer Shrimp Pizza
Makes 1 large pizza

1 ball of dough
flour for dusting
2 ears of corn, shucked & cleaned
½ cup crumbled cojita cheese
½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbs blackened seasoning*
1 avocado, sliced
cilantro for garnish
crema for garnish

Preheat your oven to 500° F, and start up your grill. Rub the ears of corn with a little olive oil. Place the ears of corn on the grill and cook on all sides. Remove the corn and let them cool. Slice the kernels off the corn before you slice the kernels into a bowl.

Toss the shrimp in blackened seasoning. Brush the pizza with olive oil and sprinkle with cojita cheese. Next place the corn, shrimp and cherry tomatoes evenly on the pizza. Bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust has cooked to your liking. Remove from oven and garnish with avocado, cilantro and drizzle with crema.

*I buy Paul Prudhomme’s seasoning; you can find one online or just use a little salt, pepper, and paprika for to season the shrimp.


Beef Ossobuco

To expand upon my love of food, I took a culinary journey through Europe this May. Six different countries gave way to hundreds of new flavors and combinations along with the most incredible experience. I took dining to a new level, fully immersing myself in the cultural norms as experienced through food. Guided through one-on-one cooking classes with chefs in Italy, I am now equipped with more skills that intend to expose in Tahoe. This week, courtesy of an Italian mentality, I will share my Ossobuco recipe with ya’ll. Traditional Ossobuco calls for veal – one of my least favorite meats. My iteration calls for slow-cooked beef, so prepare for a little extra time in the kitchen; it’s well worth it! (If you prefer veal, feel free to use it in place of beef.) Buon appetito!

Beef OssobucoBeef Ossobuco
Makes 4 servings.

3 cups chicken broth
4 beef or veal shanks
2 tbs flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 small onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled & minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
3 tbs chopped parsley
1 lemon, zested
4 anchovies, deboned

Place the broth into a pot on the stove and keep on low heat. Season the shanks with salt and pepper then dust lightly with flour. Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet. Sear the shanks on both sides and remove from the skillet and set aside. Place the butter, onion, carrot, and celery, in the pan cover and cook slowly over medium/low heat until the vegetables are soft. Return browned shanks to the pan, add the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more chicken stock as needed. The level of cooking liquid should always be about half way up the shank.

While the shanks are cooking prepare the gremolata. Chop the lemon zest with the anchovies and mix well with parsley.

The ossobuco is ready when the meat is tender and starting to fall from the bone. Before serving, top the shanks with gremolata, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove each shank from the pan and serve warm. It goes great with risotto or even mashed potatoes! In this photo I served it with sautéed peas and bacon.


Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!


Grilled Artichoke with Lemon Aioli

During spring I often eat grilled artichokes; I just love them and can’t get enough! Artichokes are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamins C and K. Don’t let this prickly vegetable intimidate you, they are super easy to cook once you figure out how to clean them. If you’ve never cooked an artichoke, I recommend going online and looking for a quick video on cleaning and trimming, as well as, removing the choke. This recipe is great as a snack or even as an appetizer to share with friends. If you’re like me, you’ll devour the whole thing on your own! For the aioli I like to add a little Sriracha for extra flavor, but you can replace it with diced garlic or your favorite hot sauce. If you don’t have a grill you can skip this step and serve the artichoke after boiling. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!

Grilled Artichoke with Lemon AioliGrilled Artichoke
Makes 2-6 Servings

Lemon Sriracha Aioli
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice as desired.

2 whole globe artichokes
2 garlic cloves
1 tbs butter
½ lemon

Fill a large pot ¾ of the way with water, bring to a boil. Place rinsed and trimmed artichokes directly into the pot of rapidly boiling water with garlic, butter and lemon. Cover the pot with the lid and cook , flipping halfway through. Simmer until artichokes are tender, about 30 to 45* minutes. Test doneness by pulling away a leaf, it should come off fairly easy when the artichoke is ready.
Heat grill over medium high heat. Slice the artichoke in half lengthwise. Carefully cut out the choke with a paring knife or spoon. Brush the inside of the artichoke with a little olive oil. Place on the grill cut side down and grill 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Flip the artichoke and continue to grill another 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly charred. Serve warm with aioli.Grilled Artichoke

* Make sure to check the water level as the artichokes are cooking. Add more boiling water if needed.

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!

Tangy Brussels Sprout Salad

Each year as the season for brussels sprouts nears an end, I always find myself trying to find yummy ways to enjoy the last of them. Brussels sprouts are loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidants making these odd looking little cabbages crazy good for you!

Tangy Brussels Sprout Salad Tangy Brussels Sprout Salad
Makes 6 Servings

1 1/2 pounds of brussels sprouts
1 shallot
1 honey crisp or lady apple
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
2-3 tbs of extra virgin oil
1 tsp agave syrup or sugar
Pinch of salt & pepper

Make the vinaigrette by whisking ingredients together until well blended, taste for seasoning. Add more sugar and salt as desired. Set aside.

Wash the brussels sprouts and remove any outer leaves that look bruised or dirty. Make sure to leave the stem on so you can safely and carefully shave them on a mandolin, or chop thinly with a knife. Alternatively, you can use a food processor with the shaving blade attachment to shave the brussels sprouts. Remove the skin from the shallot and slice thin. Cut the apple in quarters and remove the seeds. Use a mandolin knife to thinly slice the apple.

Toss all ingredients together with the vinaigrette and serve. This salad can be left in the fridge overnight and can taste even better this way.

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!

Cauliflower Soup

Enjoy a classic comfort meal with a healthy twist. While I always enjoy a loaded baked potato soup made with pureed potatoes, sour cream and cheddar cheese, I try my best to eat healthy by making modifications for a healthier meal. This recipe uses cauliflower in place of potatoes and can easily be made dairy-free by using any milk alternative of your choosing. The cheddar cheese provides a tasty touch, but it is optional if you wish to make this recipe vegan. For an extra garnish you can add chopped green onions or crispy bacon for some added protein.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup Cauliflower Soup
Makes 2-4 servings.

2 heads cauliflower
2 tbs olive oil or butter
4 garlic cloves
1 white onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese (reserve some for garnish)
½ cup milk (or dairy-free milk substitute)

Prepare the cauliflower removing and discarding any leaves. Cut in half then cut out the large stem, discard. Separate the florets, roughly chopping the florets and any remaining stem.

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cauliflower, salt, pepper, and broth, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and continue to cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

Use an immersion blender, or transfer to a traditional blender, to puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the milk and cheddar cheese (after transferring back to the pot if needed). Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, as desired. Garnish with reserved, shredded cheese. Serve warm.

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite appetizers to serve at a cocktail party. They are super tasty and simple to make, as well as gluten free and vegetarian-friendly. The cremini mushrooms make for a nice one-bite appetizer, or you can use baby Portobello mushrooms if you’d like a more “fork and knife” style appetizer. I like to buy micro greens or sunflower greens to lay on the bottom of the plate so the mushrooms don’t slide around, plus it adds a pop to the presentation. Serve this crowd-pleasing dish at your next dinner party, I promise they won’t disappoint!

Pesto Stuffed MushroomsPesto Stuffed Mushrooms
1 lb cremini mushrooms
1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup pine nuts, reserve half for garnish
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, reserve half for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and clean the caps. Place the cap side up (the stem opening will be face down) on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes to remove excess liquid. Remove from the oven and let cool. Place mushrooms cap side down on a fresh parchment lined baking sheet.

Combine the cream cheese, basil, half the pine nuts and half the Parmesan cheese in food processor until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon or a pastry bag to fill each mushroom. Sprinkle the tops with some of the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tops start turning golden brown. Place on a serving tray or plate and garnish with the remaining pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!

Thai Chicken Pizza

Thai Chicken Pizza

Typically, I am a very traditional red sauce and mozzarella pizza eater. But recently a friend introduced me to her version of Thai Chicken Pizza. I loved every bite and had to go home a re-create it immediately. I just love the red curry béchamel. I even double the recipe and use the extra to dip the crust in. There are quite a few steps to this recipe but I promise it’s worth it! If you’re pressed for time you can purchase pre-made pizza dough at just about any grocery store. You can also make the chicken and prep the fixin’s the night before so you can just make the béchamel and throw it all together when you’re ready.

Thai Chicken Thai Chicken Pizza
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup green curry sauce

Red Curry Béchamel
2 Tbs butter
1 tbs red curry paste
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs flour
½ cup coconut milk

1 ball of pre-made pizza dough
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
½ red onion, sliced into thin strips
¼ cup roasted, salted peanuts
¼ cup cilantro, stems discarded

To make the chicken: Preheat oven to 400⁰. Toss chicken breasts in green curry sauce. Place on baking sheet cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool. Shred chicken, add salt and pepper as desired.

To make the béchamel: Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add curry paste, flour, salt, and whisk constantly until it is a paste-like consistency. Pour in the coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, whisking constantly. Let simmer until thickened. Add more liquid as needed to reach a pizza sauce consistency. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 450⁰. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to desired thickness. I typically roll mine out to 16 inches in diameter. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

To assemble the pizza: Spread a thick layer of the béchamel over the pizza crust, lay down pieces of shredded chicken, bell peppers, and onions. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and top with peanuts and cilantro. Slice and serve warm!

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!