Apple Cider Glazed Meatballs

Fall connotes different things to different people. For me, it’s apple cider, which is versatile on its own (hot or cold) or as an ingredient for seasonal dishes. Adding a sweet cider glaze to meatballs transforms them (also, it makes them addictive!). It’s easy to make this recipe gluten-free by replacing the breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs or flour and the soy sauce for tamari. You can also turn this recipe into a burger and use the glaze to coat the burger patties after cooking, serving it on a sweet roll with some caramelized onions!

Apple Cider Glazed Meatballsapple cider meatballs
Makes about 20 meatballs

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup shallot or onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup peeled shredded apple, drain on paper towel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients. Mix to combine. Roll into one-inch balls. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Pro tip: When making meatballs be sure to make one sample ball and cook it for taste before rolling the rest of them. This way you know if you need more seasoning before preparing the entire batch.

Apple Cider Glaze
1 cup apple cider
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp chile sauce or red pepper flakes
2 tbs cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Place into a large skillet. Cook on medium-high heat until thickened and bubbling. Once the sauce is thick, add in the cooked meatballs and coat with sauce. Cook until meatballs are warmed all the way through. Transfer glazed meatballs a serving dish. Serve warm 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!


Open Faced Salmon Sandwich

I’ve really been enjoying these sunny days when I tend to eat lighter dishes featuring raw ingredients. Salmon is filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid. Pumpernickel bread is loaded with protein and fiber, plus it’s gluten free, making this a pretty healthy meal. This recipe is super simple and doesn’t take any cooking, just prep!

Open Faced Salmon SandwichesOpen Faced Salmon Sandwich
Makes 2-4 servings
4 slices thin-sliced pumpernickel or rye bread
5 oz. crème fraiche
1 cucumber, sliced thin
4 radishes, sliced thin
8 oz. smoked salmon, sliced thin
1 bunch fresh dill
¼ cup capers, drained
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to taste

Spread desired amount of crème fraiche on each slice of bread and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Evenly arrange the cucumber and radishes on each slice of bread. Top with smoked salmon. Garnish with dill sprigs, capers and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve.


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!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

It’s soup time! I am a very seasonal eater. Soup is one of those dishes you won’t find me cooking or eating in the summertime unless it’s a gazpacho or chilled cucumber soup. But this weather has me in the mood for the warm comfort of soup. Did you know it also makes the best leftovers? This recipe calls for grilled corn and grilled chicken. Alternatively, you can use canned corn, drained. For the chicken, you can shred a rotisserie chicken or use your own roasted chicken. You can also substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth and leave out the chicken to make this soup vegetarian and vegan friendly!

Grilled Chicken Tortilla SoupChicken Tortilla Soup
Makes 4 servings

2 tbs avocado or olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup grilled corn, or drained can of corn
2 cups grilled chicken, chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Sauté the onion, jalapeno, and garlic with seasonings. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add in the chicken broth and crushed tomatoes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. While the soup is cooking grill the corn and chicken. Add the black beans, corn, and chicken to the soup. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes.

Garnish options:
3 small corn tortillas, cut into strips
Sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, shaved jalapeno, and cilantro

While the soup is cooking prepare the garnish. To crisp the tortillas, place 2 tbs of oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add tortilla strips and cook until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Slice the avocado, cut the limes, shave the jalapeno, and pluck the cilantro.

Pour the soup into a bowl and garnish with all the fixins. Serve warm 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!

Salmon Cakes

Salmon is a flavorful and versatile fish. It is delicious raw in sushi, grilled with salsa in tacos, roasted with teriyaki sauce, or my favorite, smoked with herbed cream cheese. This recipe is a tasty and different way to enjoy salmon, especially if you have extra leftovers from another dinner. I serve it as an appetizer with a spicy aioli, but you can also use it to top a salad, or as an appetizer.

Salmon Cakes with Sriracha AioliSalmon Cakes with Sriracha Aioli

Makes 4 appetizer servings.

1 lb salmon filet
¼ cup roughly chopped celery stick
¼ cup roughly chopped red pepper
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 egg
1 tbs mayonnaise
1 cup bread crumbs, separated
½ tbs Cajun seasoning (like Tony’s Chachere or Old Bay)

Sriracha Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp Sriracha, or more if you like the spice
salt & pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients together. Taste for seasoning. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat oven to 400⁰. Place salmon on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fully cooked. Let cool. Place cooled salmon in a bowl and flake evenly with a fork, making sure there are no bones.

Add celery stalk, red pepper, and green onions in a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Place mixture into the flaked salmon along with egg, mayo, ½ cup of breadcrumbs, and Cajun seasoning. Mix well*.

Shape the mixture into silver dollar size patties. Place the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate and lightly coat each side of the patty with breadcrumbs. Cook in oil in skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Turn once while frying. Serve with dollop of aioli. Enjoy!

*If the mixture is wet and not forming well, add in a few more breadcrumbs. You can shape a small patty and cook it as a sample for seasoning and to make sure it holds shape.

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


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!