Blackened Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  1. Mix together the paprika, salt, cayenne, cumin, thyme, white pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Oil the chicken breasts with cooking spray on both sides, then coat the chicken breasts evenly with the spice mixture.
  2. Heat ~1 Tbs of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken breasts, and cook 3-5 minutes until golden brown, flip and cook until the internal temperature is 180°, or approximately another 3-5 minutes.
  • If chicken is browning too quickly on the outside (ie you will have burnt chicken on the outside and raw on the inside) cook the second side on medium for a longer period of time.
  • Blackened chicken is great over pasta with cream sauce.
Yields 4 servings.

Peanut Butter Cups

  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter, preferably all natural
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 36 1 3/8-inch paper candy cups

  1. Combine sugar, peanut butter, and butter with a fork until combined. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or Ziplock bag and set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Keep melted chocolate over hot water near work area. Use a small spoon or small paintbrush to coat insides of the paper candy cups with the melted chocolate, making sure to cover the bottom and sides well. Transfer cups to a rimmed baking sheet or muffin tins (which will keep the cups from sliding around). Transfer to freezer until set, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove cold chocolate cups from the freezer. Pipe peanut-butter filling into each cup until three-quarters full. Spoon melted chocolate into each cup to cover, then jiggle the pan to eliminate any bubbles, and even the surface of the chocolate.
  4. Return to the freezer until set, 15 to 25 minutes. Peanut-butter cups may be served right away, or kept tightly sealed in the freezer for 2 to 3 days. To serve, remove from freezer, peel off paper, and eat cold.


  • If you have chocolate molds available they work wonderfully instead of paper cups!

Yields 36 peanut butter cups.

Melt-in-your-Mouth Truffles

Truffle ingredients:
  • 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (either chips, or chopped in small pieces*)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Different Coatings for Truffles:

  • Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • Confectioners Sugar (Icing or Powdered)
  • Toasted and Chopped Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
  • Toasted Coconut
  • Shaved Chocolate

*If you use chocolate chips, get Ghirardelli or some nice brand that doesn't have wax added (or basically read the ingredients on whatever you select to ensure there isn't wax, or if there is hopefully not too much)

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. (or in a microwave safe bowl microwave in 30 second increments at ~50% heat until it begins to bubble)
  3. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.)
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).
  5. Later, Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator.
  6. With your hands, a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls.
  7. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm.


  • Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months.
  • Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • The last time I made these, I used chocolate molds, and used my fingers to fill them with the ganache. Messy? Yes. Worth it? YES.

Yields 30 small truffles.


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