RECIPE: Just in time | Cinco de Paulo!


This marinade was inspired by the freshness of everything GREEN!  Well, that and MAY 5th, Cinco De Mayo...which is the perfect time of year to start up the grill... This is a perfectly balanced marinade for chicken or one of my favorite marinated and grilled meats, Skirt Steak.  Once the skirt steaks is grilled, sliced thinly across the grain and make tacos!  So simple to make...for the most part, rough chop everything and toss into blender or food processor...ready to go.

I made this with my sister Sue at her home in Florida over the winter while visiting.  We used it with chicken and those breasts were so juicy and flavorful with the perfect char...of course we doubled the recipe so there was plenty to use for dinner one night and she and her hubby got all creative and used it as a sauce over pasta another night.  I hadn't even thought of that...she said it was amazing.  So I encourage you to make this and get creative with how to use it...let us know in the comments!

Jalapeno, Cilantro & Lime Marinade

2017, Paul Strabley

Prep Time: 15 min

Level: Easy

Serves: Approx 2 Cups marinade

Ingredient LIST | PREP

Liquids | COMBINE

½  cup olive oil

¾  cup local honey

¼  cup rice wine vinegar

Herbs & Vegetables | ROUGH CHOP

2   jalapenos, seeded

5   cloves garlic, roasted, optional, if not roasting garlic, only use 3

4   stems fresh green onion, use both light and dark green parts (save white parts for another recipe)

1   bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems  

½  bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves and stems

Fruit | ZEST & JUICE

1  zest from fresh lime

3  juice from fresh lime


1 ½   Tablespoon kosher salt

2  teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1  tablespoon light brown sugar, lightly packed


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. The mixture will be a beautifully fresh green color.  For more heat, use the seeds or ribs of the jalapeno…adjust to your liking.  Use more olive oil if needed to adjust viscosity…depending on the amount of the herbs it may take more liquid to blend properly.

2. Pour marinade in a zip-lock bag and add selected protein (chicken, pork, etc).  Remove excess air from bag and seal.  Meat can marinate in the mixture between 2 - 4 hours.  Due to the acid from the limes, it is not recommended to marinate overnight…the texture of the meat could end up mushy.  If you like ceviche, you might try shrimp in this marinade, but double the lime…in which case you would want the acid to basically ‘cook’ the shrimp over time.  

3. Fire up the grill or oven, cook the meat to your preference.  Heat any extra marinade (to 165 degrees)  for a dipping sauce or brush on meat during grilling process.  Enjoy!

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Holiday Cutout Cookies
frosted cutouts

One of my FAVORITE cookies would be a frosted cutout...especially around the holiday.  I've played with many recipes over the years and I created one for my online store that is a cross between Cheryl & Co and Panera Bread's frosted cutouts.  I'd love to share that recipe, but it's a total secret so I can't!  BUT... I do have a couple shortbread recipes I'd love to have you try. 

First, here's one from the Barefoot Contessa herself..Ina Garten.  I've made these many many times and they always turn out perfectly.  They are buttery delicious with the perfect shortbread texture.  Don't over-bake!  Nobody likes a hard, dry cookie!

christmas cookies

Then, my other favorite recipe for shortbread is from an american treasure (whom I did actually meet once!), the delightful Julia Child in her 'Baking with Julia' cookbook...this is THE best baking cookbook, FYI.  This is a must try recipe...the technique is very unusual and sounds crazy to freeze and then grate the dough....but,'s everything!

If you get a chance to try either of these, please make a comment below and let me know what you thought.  I'd love to hear from you.

holiday cookies
Master Summer Grilling, Just Add Coffee

Let’s face it, the BEST part of summer isn’t the heat & humidity, or the longer sunny days, not even swimming in the lake or pool.  Well, actually those are certainly not bad…  For many of us the BEST part is summer grilling! There is nothing like firing up the grill to turn up the flavor on all your favorite foods.  How about that charred golden crust and smoky flavor? What about creating the most tender juicy steak or succulent fall off the bone ribs? Now, THAT’s summer!  And I have a secret ingredient for you… Coffee.   It’s not only the best part of waking up…it’s in my dry rub!

Why coffee in a dry rub for grilling?

There are two reasons I use ground coffee in my dry rub and it’s not for the coffee flavor. In fact, you probably won’t even taste coffee in my rub. There is just enough in my secret recipe to add depth of flavor to the meat giving it a richness that enhances the natural flavor. The acidity of the coffee also aids in the process of tenderizing the meat. So, as long as you don’t overcook, you’ll get that perfect, tender bite!

Coffee can be used in both ground and brewed forms for your summer grilling.  Ground coffee is perfect for dry rubs, while brewed coffee is great for liquid marinades and sauces. Just add brewed coffee to your favorite marinade or sauce and taste how the flavors explode.  It just takes the flavor to the next level.  Here’s another secret ingredient idea…add brewed coffee to your baked beans! You might have to experiment a little just based on your brew strength. Remember, you’re not looking for your food to be coffee flavored.  Use just enough to enhance what’s already there.  Leave people wondering…  Don’t hit them over the head with COFFEE…

The next question is when...sit overnight? Or, just before grilling?

Many cooks/chefs have strong opinions on when to apply a dry rub -- some say to allow at least a couple of hours and ideally overnight. Others only will apply it as they are placing them in them on the grill.  I believe it just comes down to preference.  Food science would give pros and cons to either, but whatever overall effect timing would have is most likely little.


Applying just prior to cooking tends to not allow time for the moisture to be pulled form the outer layers of the meat.  Some feel this produces a more succulent result to the meat.  Letting the rub marinate creates a paste because it draws out some of the moisture from the meat. It could seem from this process that the meat could have a dry texture.

From my experience, I like to apply my dry rub at least 8 hours to overnight.  I feel like this gives more time for the protein to absorb flavor and for the coffee to do its work in tenderizing the meat.  Yes, the salts will pull some of the liquid/moisture from the meat. But, not enough to leave it dry and I like the paste that is created with the meats juices…it creates a great crust (or bark) when grilled.

This summer, get creative with your coffee AND your grill. Encrust your pork tenderloin with a mix of peppercorns and ground coffee, or add some left over brewed coffee to your baked beans or favorite barbecue sauce. 

No time to play with your food? 

With Coffee Dry Rub by Paul Wayne, you will be the master of your grill and your family or guests will be clamming for more! It’s the most flavorful blend of herbs, salts, sugars and spices that will have people talking about your food for days.


Here’s my simple summer grilling recipe for pork tenderloin… Just place meat in a plastic sealable bag and add my Coffee Dry Rub.  Use enough to coat the meat.  Seal the bag (releasing any air as you seal) and squish the seasonings all around the meat until it’s evenly coated.  Place overnight in the refrigerator.  Pull from refrigerator a half hour prior to grilling.  Grill on high heat for two minutes each side to sear the meat, then turn down the heat to medium and grill for another 5-8 each side depending on meat. 

Don’t overcook.  You’re done on the grill when you squeeze the meat and it gently pushes back.  If too squishy, it’s not done.  If there is no pushback, you’ve gone too far.  Remember, it will continue to cook while you let it rest 10 minutes.

In the last 5 min of grilling I love to brush on some apricot jam/jelly to finish it off with a sweet glaze.  Happy grilling this summer!

Coffee Dry Rub
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Are you a fan of adventure in food trends?  Or, are you more apt to stick to the classics? Let's face it; as much as you love your favorite comfort foods, there’s no real harm in getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to trying some of the popular food trends every year.

As you probably know, every year there are some emerging food trends that get a bright spotlight. The coolest food trends we are noticing in 2016 are no different - and put an accent on a variety of foods that deserve some glory. From turmeric to cauliflower and a bunch of new superfoods, we are listing the top 5 food trends below that are stealing the show so far this year.

1. Ube



The color purple… Ube is a root that is popular in Philippines because of its royal color and sweet taste.  With this ingredient many sweet foods that were definitely in need of change, are getting a well-deserved facelift.  If you are getting bored with standard ice creams, puddings, icings and donuts…Ube is the change you are looking for. And, you also experience that gorgeous natural color too!

Another advantage of this unique root is it's 'healthy' image. Since it is technically a vegetable and we know health advantages of blue and purple foods, Ube is recommended and is healthy to consume.  Keep that in mind while consuming it along with your donuts and cupcakes in some of the hippest restaurants and bakeries in the US. We certainly hope that Ube will find its way to the restaurant scene as well.

2. No - waste restaurants

This is not actually a food as a food trend - but more like a movement in the restaurant industry. While a few restaurants have been part of this movement now for two years, it’s now becoming a trend that many restaurants are catching onto.  It’s said that a typical restaurant produces eight gallons of trash per hour.  Sending all of that to that trash becomes a huge amount of waste. Could any of that waste be used further to reduce landfill?  The answer YES, is certainly trending this year.

It is estimated that Americans waste almost 40% of their food - which is why we need a change. All the food waste can be repurposed, and this revolution started with the chef and restaurateur Dan Barber who served dishes made of food waste for 19 days straight. This has emerged into a massive trend; so, don't be surprised if you see more restaurants of this type.

21 Frightening Food Waste Facts

3. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower anything could make this list - and not just cauliflower rice. If you are a fan of the food trends and eating out is your modus operandi, you have certainly heard the term cauliflower. It is an alternative to dough, rice and everything else which is full of gluten. 

I picked cauliflower rice as the major trend, since it is an easy option to prepare at home and an affordable one for eating as well. Oh, and it is 100% healthy and gluten-free!

 4. Grass-Fed Beef & Meat

Animals that are fed with grass - rather than other foods - are proven to produce better meat and have a lower fat content… 65% lower fat and 50% fewer calories than grain fed beef. If you are NOT a vegan, I strongly recommend trying out a grass-feed beef or meat of any kind. There is a big flavor and texture difference in making the perfect steak from a grass-fed animal. And although it demands more time to prepare it, grass-fed meat is a new experience when it comes to taste. This trend is moving in concert with other consumer awareness to consume healthy, organic and whole foods.

5. Turmeric



Turmeric is trending big this year! This is one of the top trending functional food and has been a long staple of Eastern medicine. Originating in India and being a major part of the culture, it can be served and prepared in a lot of ways - as a spice, in a soup or even a lemonade drink.  It is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.  I also uses this in corn chowder, just for its color…

It took a while for the modern world to accept turmeric as a part of the industry, but fortunately, it's finally here. It boasts with anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful anti-oxidant that can also assist in the prevention of cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's and a number of other fatal diseases.


Hipster or not, these food trends are here and on the rise.  They can be used in many ways - and finding your favorite one is not tough as they are readily available in most grocery stores. A lot of casual restaurants have adopted them already and the Internet has turned on its fire gaze. So, have fun with your food!  Try these food trends for yourself (or be a part of them) and be on the lookout for new trends every year that are introduced to us by the food industry.

BLUEBERRIES! July is National Blueberry Month

I thought you might enjoy reading a few fun facts about Blueberries.

Blueberries are one of the most popular fruits in North America and here’s your first fact: along with the cranberry and the Concord grape, they are one of only three fruits to be native to North America.  No wonder they’re so popular!

You shouldn’t be surprised to know that this makes the blueberry muffin the most popular muffin in North America; so the next time you’re chowing down on one, rest assured that you have fantastic taste in muffins.  They are also the official state muffins in Minnesota (go Vikings…I think?). 

Reverence for the good old blueberry doesn’t just stop at Minnesota, oh no!  New Jersey’s official state fruit is the blueberry, as it was the first place that the highbush blueberry was cultivated.  Every year for a full week in September, the residents of New Jersey paint their entire bodies blue and wear only blue clothes to celebrate the blueberry (OK, so that doesn’t really happen, but it would be fun right?).

Now, I imagine a lot of parents at this point are saying to themselves… “Yes, they’re delicious, but what about the blueberry stains?” Nothing like the little ones covered in blueberries all over those fingers.  Well, here’s another fun fact to fix this, should your little one decide to paint themselves… a mixture of equal parts vinegar, water and liquid dish soap works a treat on clothes and if you can bear the lingering smell, wine vinegar works on fingers and hands.  (Now, if they get really carried away you might need to re-paint walls…good luck!)

In fact, blueberries are such an effective stain that Native Americans used to use them to paint all manner of things.  From houses to furniture and artwork to private yachts; the Native Americans truly understood the staining power of blueberries.  And the good thing about blueberry stained clothes is that you can be as messy as you want with them!

So there you have it; some fun facts about our beloved blueberry!  Happy blueberry month!  Don't forget to comment and share by clicking below... I'd love to hear any of your blueberry facts or tips!



Several months ago I received a text from a friend.  It was simply this: "Where do I find lemon zest at the grocery?"  Ok, now I know what you're thinking...Really?? Um, yes. After what I'm sure could be taken as a sassy comment of disbelief I say, "in produce?" So, Of course I think I'm being punk' could anyone seriously be asking this question??   But, no, she really didn't have any idea that lemon zest, as the recipe called for, was on a lemon. 

I realized a few things here... A)  No, not everyone knows some of, what seems to be, the simple things in the culinary world that we just assume everyone knows.  B) If one person had this question, I'm betting there are even more in the world that have the same question.  C) If not lemon zest, there are probably other ingredients or processes in the kitchen that people might have questions about.  And lastly, without the sarcastic tone, I could be a resource for these people that just need a little help in the kitchen.  

My hope would be that this blog can be a place where you might come to find inspiration, feed your creativity and release your passion for food:  Ingredients, Colors, Textures, Flavors

Check out this article I found on Cooking Light: 10 Things to Know About Lemons.

Did anything on that list grab you? Personally, I use lemon zest in many things.  Some things might seem obscure...but, when you need to really enhance a flavor, consider lemon zest.  In baking, if the recipe calls for and kind of lemon juice, I always add some zest as well. It just really enhanced the lemony flavor of the final product.   In savory dishes I even use it in my Chicken Pot Pie and the Bechamel/cheese filling layer in Lasagna.  Just a slight touch, careful to not go overboard.  You want people to think, "wow that tastes great, what did you put in that?" Not, "Oh, your lasagna is so lemony tasting."

I'd love to hear your comments related to the article. Post in comments some of the ways you use lemon zest in recipes.  Any unique way or recipe that you use lemon zest for in the kitchen?

RECIPE: Rosemary Cashew Crusted Chicken Breast

Last week I was talking with my friend Jeff Amsden about some of the products I have in the online and local stores.  I was describing the Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix and he almost immediately had an idea that I thought was brilliant...   I can't believe I didn't even think of it myself! Lol. So, not only is that product great as a snack, he suggested it sounded like the perfect coating/crust for a chicken breast.  The lightbulb went off over my head and I got into the kitchen... So, while I can't share ALL my secrets, I will walk you through what I did to create a very flavorful chicken breast with the perfect crust.  AND... It's baked! Not fried...  (although, I suppose you could do that if you wanted...)

Servings:  2

Equipment Needed:  Sheet Tray, Cooling rack, Tongs, 2 Shallow dishes

Ingredients:  2 Eggs, 2 TBS Dijon Mustard, 3 TBS Honey, 4.5 oz Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix from Paul Wayne, 2 Chicken Breasts  (for 4 Servings:  x1.5 Eggs, Mustard & Honey.  8 oz Snack Mix and 4 Chicken Breasts)


1.  First, Fire up the oven to 350 in the bake mode.  Line a sheet tray with parchment or foil. Then, lay a cooling rack (like you'd use for cookies) on the tray.  This will allow air to circulate under the chicken to ensure a crust on all sides of the chicken.

2.  Whisk together 2 Eggs (I use just the whites, but you could use the yolk also in this mixture.), 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 Tablespoons Honey in a shallow dish.  (You don't need seasoning in this mixture because the Snack mix already has all of the necessary seasoning.)  Set aside.

3.  Crush up all of the Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix and place into another shallow dish.  I like to use a rolling pin to crush these ingredients.  Crush to small pieces, not to a powder.

4.  Using your tongs (or a Fork) coat each chicken breast first in the wet mixture. Make sure both sides are coated and let excess drip off the chicken.  Then, dredge each breast into the dry mix to coat both sides and place on rack/tray.

5.  Bake Chicken Breasts for 35-40 minutes.  Rotate the tray front to back 15 minutes thru the bake time.  You should not need to flip the breasts. Juices will run clear.  Don't over cook the chicken, nobody like dried up Chicken!  

Enjoy!  Please try the recipe and come back to give your comments or feedback...  

PRESS RELEASE: Paul Wayne Opens Online and In Store, Chicago

A new specialty ‘go-to’ food brand to consider when cravings of chocolate chip cookies or sweet and salty snacks overtake you.

Chicago, IL, April, 2016 – PAUL WAYNE, the producer of gourmet fine foods, has launched a new website aimed at being a one-stop destination for the food lover that hungers to experience that perfect bite. The site offers both sweet and savory food selections all designed to tease and tempt your palate.  Currently, several baked goods, like cookies and fudge along with some specialty items, such as Rosemary Cashew Snack Mix, are available.  In the future, there will be prepared meals available.

Chef and Owner, Paul Strabley, produces all food at the Lakeview Kitchen & Market located in Chicago’s vibrant Lakeview East neighborhood at 3109 N Broadway.  This location used to be the old House of Fine Chocolates and is now a licensed commercial kitchen used by several food businesses in the preparation and packaging of their foods.  The retail store in the front is great for local foodies to stop in and pick up their fix of Paul Wayne. Some items are only sold in the store location.  Custom orders are accepted; email to inquire. 

What is that perfect bite? “To me that perfect bite is all about the texture, color, flavor and ingredients all coming together in just the right way so that each element is experienced at its finest, yet all in one bite,” explains Paul.

Much time has been spent on creating just the right Flavors, Colors and Textures for each menu item.  “It’s not about having unlimited items available just to have something to sell, it’s making sure each item offered is as perfect in every aspect as it can be,” explains Paul.  The signature Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, for example, was three years in the making.  “I don’t want you to be just ok with it, I want to excite your passion for it.”

Paul Strabley says, “I have a very high level of attention to detail.  I think this comes through in the food offered and even in the packaging.  It’s important to me that people really love what they are buying, whether for themselves or sending as a gift. I’ll take the time to make it perfect, so they don’t have to.” 

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