You Are My Inspiration!


I’m always looking for new, creative recipes to try – and you guys inspire me with your creativity! Whenever I read my favorite blogs (and you know who you are 😉 ), I bookmark any recipe that captures my fancy. Currently, my list of recipes I must try is longer than my arm … and my leg … and Maddie’s leg …

When I first saw Lazaro‘s Tostone with Braised Chicken, I knew I had to make this savory dish as soon as possible. The genius of this wildly international dish is its beautiful multilayered presentation. Check out Lazaro‘s blog for his tasty version – and see below for my take on the dish (restricted mostly by ingredient availability 🙂 ).

I began by braising the chicken breast … Lazaro, I know you’re a chicken leg man, so just ignore this part. Then I worked on the various layers. I don’t have Lazaro‘s secret pickled onions – so, caramelized onions it is!

Preparing the roasted tomato layer:

I had leftover broccoli in the fridge, so my economical tendency pushed me to combine it with an avocado to make: green super mash!  I added a little olive oil, sweet paprika, and salt & pepper to the mix.


Smooth and rich.

And of course, the FRIED PLANTAINS.

I used a potato masher to flatten the fried plantain slices, which left them looking like inverted waffles.

Also, I only fried the plantain slices once.  What??  Future-RD here, remember?

Constructed stacks, drizzled with a sauce made from deglazing the braising pan with chicken broth and white wine.

My taste buds are very glad I decided to make this dish. Cheers, Lazaro!

Next up in the recipe queue: muffins from the Muffin Queen!

With a name like Chocolate Mud Muffins, how could you go wrong?? And, I didn’t 🙂

Chocolate chip shot!

And, of course, a Scooby Doo version for Peter:

Thanks for the great recipe, Kelsey!

Q: Where do you get your recipe inspirations? What’s your favorite online recipe? Feel free to provide a link!


  1. Oh Jessie!!! I couldn’t possibly choose – they’re just too many, but I did really like the simple brilliance of your quadrant toast 😉

    Lazaro is very inspiring and those muffins have some crazy chocolate chip action going on *phew*

    I love your take on Lazaro’s recipe AND that avocado and brocolli mash is MINE, you hear? All mine!!!

  2. Jessie,

    Fantastic rendition of the dish. And much healthier to boot! I know I will be learing much useful info from the future RD. Love the broccoli and avocado Super Green Mash. Great flavors going on there, and you used paprika my favorite.

    Funny enough Michelle refuses to eat chicken thighs so her version had chicken breast.

    I am glad you liked the recipe. Two thumbs up!

    Be well…

  3. I am in love with every single recipe you made! I think the muffins look amazing…but I do love plantains as well. 🙂 I am about to go dig into my TJ’s Plantain stash now!!

  4. Jessie!!! This all looks amazing. I just told my roommate that we are finding/trying the chocolate mud muffin recipe. As in, we are probably going to make it this weekend, if there is time.

    Love the site 🙂


    1. Thanks, Katie! Hope it goes well! (And hope you’re doing well and aren’t going too crazy with work!)

  5. I get my recipe inspiration from bloggers! All day, every day. My bookmarked list is longer than probably all of my med school class’s arms and legs combined. And that’s a LOT of arm and leg. These look fantastic! Those chocolate muffins have me swooning.

  6. hey Jessie! Wow, look at you go girl! these are two wonderful recipes that you’ve chosen, and you’ve done such a great job with both of them. the perfect dessert to follow a perfect meal. i love that you decided to keep the plantains in the recipe and only fry them once, rather than leaving them out all together. i have a weakness for deep fried foods…argh. food blogging totally rocks, doesn’t it? and i have to agree with Denise, there are way too many great recipes out there to just pick one. heck, i’d have a hard enough time just picking a few :-P. like you, i have so many bookmarked that sometimes i forget that i have “that one” bookmarked. i usually choose by what i’m feeling like at the time and whether i have the ingredients in the fridge or pantry. also, how easy the ingredients are to get.

    how sweet that you made a Scooby Doo version for Peter! i don’t know if Gary would fall for something like that. he’s not much a sweets guy, but that’s ok, cause more for me right? 😉 Have a great rest of the week, Jessie!

    1. Peter’s not much of a sweets guy either, so more for meeee, tooo! Although, that could be both good and bad … 😀

      Have a great rest of the week, too!

  7. I also get a lot of my recipe inspiration from blog reading. A couple magazines I get – which aren’t food magazines ironically. It seems like magazines nowadays are trying to go w/ the “foodie” movement so carry 1 or 2 recipes in ea. edition. Oh and I might have a slight addiction to buying old cookbooks from yard sales and thrift stores.

  8. First Maddie is adorable…your rendition of the tostone with braised chicken, is great and you really captured the essence of the dish 🙂 And those muffins are fantastic 🙂

  9. Those muffins look chock-full of chocolate goodness! I am going to have to be giving those a try. I love visiting my favorite blogs for inspiration…and I have a great collection of cookbooks that receives quite a bit of love. Thanks for sharing this with me!

  10. Those muffins could be bad news if I had a whole batch in my kitchen – they look amazing! And fried plantains?? Girl, you have outdone yourself again!!

  11. Oh wow, you’ve been busy in the kitchen. Lovely dishes! I’m still recovering from my first successfull muffin baking experience, but I would really love to make these too someday 🙂

  12. Wow I want one of those muffin things. Your chicken dish looks beautiful. I may not eat chicken, but I can still say you made a lovely presentation.

  13. I love trying out blogger recipes! Andrew went through a plantain phase about a year ago and made us fried plantains left and right! I need to encourage him to get back in that phase ASAP, haha! 😉 And those muffins you made look soooooo yummy!! 🙂

    Hope you’re having a great day Lovely Lady!! 🙂

  14. Great recipes! I have a LONG list of “must make” recipes I’ve found on blogs. Even if I don’t end up following the recipe, I get tons of inspirations from blogs…

  15. That dish looks incredible!
    I love reading blogs because of so many great recipe ideas. I swear, whenever I make something it is usually from a blog!

    How cute is Maddie…love how she has her foot rested. Too cute!

  16. I’ll admit…I have a problem with bookmarking recipes and not making them.I don’t mean to do it. I just get distracted and the list is getting so long!!

    Both of your dishes look really good. The chicken is a culinary masterpiece! 😉 So fancy!! And Kelsey’s muffins are something that I’ve been meaning to make as well. They look amazing.

    Love the picture of Maddie! 🙂

  17. Whenever I find a recipe in the blog world that I would like to try, I write it on my fridge white board. If I have it to look at every day, as I open the fridge, I am more likely to make it! Right now I have some pumpkin things on my list, broccoli pesto, and some type of quinoa salad with dill. I’ll hopefully be posting about all of them in the future!!

    The plantains sound marvelous. I LOVE fried plantains, and frying them just once is perfect.

  18. Lazaro has quite a talent for impressive recipes–and kelsey’s looks great too! I get my inspiration all over the web and in magazines. There are so many good creations out there to try!

  19. Thanks for sharing this w/ Friday Firsts Jessie! Did I mention I looove fried plaintains? Never have done it myself, though. I just purchase and devour from TJ’s!

  20. What a beautiful tribute to your favourite sites. I try to do that now and then, too… but I have such a back log of posts to post, it isn’t easy.
    I could feel the love!

  21. Oh my, that looks good!

    ..and the muffins…today you are my inspiration 😉

  22. Love Lazaro’s blog! He is so talented…his stunning dishes always look like they have the perfect balance of flavors. I’ll have to check out Kelsey’s blog, the muffins look delicious too! Hope you have a great weekend, Jessie! 🙂

  23. That is beautiful muffin! I love the chocolate chips 🙂 and there are so many of them!

    Your fried plantain makes me laugh 🙂 they did look like waffles! I had tried to oven toast it but with no luck. seems frying them is the key!

    1. Haha, yes, I wish oven toasting them gave that nice, crispy texture, but it looks like frying is the only way to go! 😉

  24. Haha, I love that you fried them once. Why go for a second…they’re healthier and just as good after one! Lazaro’s recipes are wonderful and Kasey’s muffins…wowza! Those’ll knock your socks off just LOOKING at them!

  25. Oh my goodness!!! I am seriously drooling over Lazaro’s creation. He is a freaking genius, and I MUST hop over to pay my tribute.

    I don’t really follow recipes…I make them. Which is why they’re usually kind of weird. hahaha!

    1. You never were a follower, Sophia 😉 I love your recipe creations!

  26. great job with both of those recipes!! I know what you mean about inspiration, their are just not enough hours in the day to make all the wonderful foods I see on my friends blogs! Inspiration comes in waves from all the creative bloggers we know! But it certainly keeps us thinking and trying our best to stay up with all of them!

  27. Lazaro’s recipes are the best, aren’t they? 🙂

    I get inspiration from alllll over the place. Sometimes it’s from a random website, sometimes it’s from a book (culinary or not), sometimes it’s from watching the Food channel… but mostly I get a lot of awesome ideas from the food blogs I read. So much creativity. 🙂

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