Shrimp and Grits

This is an incredible comfort dish to eat and cook.  Extremely butter, satisfying, and delicious.  I wanted to try something a little southern with a touch of the Rugged Cook.  I stayed very much to the recipe with the exception of adding mushroom.   Remember here that Vital Farms butter is the key.   The more the merrier.

Shrimp Pad Thai

This is one of my favorite dishes to eat but was a little more difficult than I thought.   It tasted great with a nice peanut sauce but fish sauce is not my thing.  A fun dish to dig into especially if you love a challenge.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Let me start off by saying this is one of the best dishes I have ever created and cooked.   Nothing fancy here just make sure you get the ravioli of your tasting.  The biggest things I did was to sauté my mushrooms, garlic, and onions in Vital Farms Ghee.  Ghee is clarified butter.   It makes things POP.  For my sauce I just used a olive oil and the left over ghee with of course a touch of cheese on top. The photo below shows a light and fresh cucumber, tomato salad with low-fat italian dressing. Delish!

Stuffed Butternut Squash

What an easy and great tasting meal.  My only suggestion is to add as much cheese as you would like.  I love cheese.  I used a Mexican cheese mix.  I also used brown rice instead of white.   1 squash will feed at least 3 people, it’s a lot of food for just a few ingredients.

Garlic Mussels with Red Sauce & Linguine

It’s time to get cooking Italian again!   I tried my hand at cooking mussels.   This was a first.   I always enjoy making my own sauce and a chance to add a new flavor to the mix was awesome.  This recipe made will make you say “Mangia!”   Remember to add a pinch of sugar to your sauce to give it that touch of sweet.   The two things I changed on the recipe was adding red wine instead of white and I added more garlic then called for.  Hope you have as much fun as I did making this. 


Skinny Eggplant Rollatini

Time to get back in the kitchen.

Today I wanted to make some eggplant parm, but didn’t want the extra calories.   I decided on a new recipe, Eggplant Rollatini.   This recipe was fun, easy, delicious and a much lower calorie and fat intake.  Great taste with very few ingredients and it was incredibly easy rolling up the eggplant around the spinach filling.  The only thing I would have done different is to be more generous with the sauce.  

Enjoy Rugged Cook friends!


Thank you “Not Enough Cinnamon” for the amazing recipe.


G.O.A.T. Chili (aka: Tom Brady Chili)

Just in time for the Super Bowl, this tribute chili is both sweet and savory. I made two versions of this chili, one vegetarian, and the other will give you the meat sweats! With cheddar cheese, sour cream and avocado on top, it was f***ing delicious, but if I were to change one thing, I would have put in less brown sugar. If you follow this recipe, below, put in 1/2 or 3/4 cup brown sugar instead of a full cup.

Honey butter cornbread made the perfect companion to this chili!

Bowls Out. Apron On. Let’s Go Patriots!



Mushroom Parmasean

Mushrooms, Sauce, and Cheese! How can you go wrong?   This was a great alternative to Chicken Parmasean.   I took the mushrooms basted them with olive oil and garlic.   Put them on the grill for 5 minutes on each side.  The secret weapon I used here, was firing up my smoker to give the mushrooms an additional kick.  I also put together a tasty tomato sauce, adding basil, oregano, sugar, and some red pepper flakes.   This was off the charts awesome!!!  Can’t wait to cook this one again.  Happy eating from the Rugged Cook! 

GET THE RECIPE >  thanks Giada!


Mushroom Parmasean

Smoked Ancho Chili Rubbed Chicken

Talk about some chicken with a kick…. this is it!!  I used an Ancho Chile Rub and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours.   I used my new Lynx Smoker Box with HEB Apple Woodchips to give it a great added taste.  For our side dishes, I made some roasted zucchini and squash.  I put olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano with some mozzarella cheese. We finished off the night with some mashed taters!   Great comfort food eating on a Sunday evening!

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken, Roasted Mushrooms AND Baked Asparagus and Potatoes

Trying a little Asian flair on this chicken dish.   It was so crunchy, moist, and tasty.  The key is the “double-dipping” into the flour before pan frying.  5 minutes on each side is all you need.  Oh yeah, the mushrooms were so buttery and garlicky. I added a little cheese on top because cheese is AWESOME.   Bowls out and let’s get cooking!

Oh yeah, Roasted Mushrooms and Baked Asparagus and Potatoes on the side!  The mushrooms were so buttery and garlicky!! I added a little cheese on top because cheese is AWESOME.

Bowls out and let’s get cooking!


Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken GET THE RECIPE >

Roasted Mushrooms GET THE RECIPE >

Baked Asparagus and Potatoes GET THE RECIPE >



Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

Homemade Flatbread Pizza

Everybody loves Pizza!!  This was a great Sunday meal.  Fresh Mozz, Fresh Basil, Fresh Parsley and Fresh Mushrooms!!  Rolling my own dough brought this up a notch.   I used my own sauce recipe on these babies.   The 2 keys for me on this dish was grilling the dough for a few minutes on each side and adding sugar to my sauce.  I hope everyone tries it and lets me know how the “PIES” came out!!  Eat up and enjoy!


Ricotta and Spinach Calzones

Alright ladies and gentlemen!!  
This was my favorite dish so far.  Not to be modest but the calzone tasted restaurant quality.  The spinach mixed with the cheeses was out of sight!! 

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