Coastal Kitchen

Separated by circumstance but still sharing a love for a healthy lifestyle …

Easy Baked Mexican Chicken


The other night it was windy, rainy and really cold outside and while we will grill outdoors in most inclement weather…that night was just too much. Not wanting to leave the comfort of home and fireplace, I rummaged through the kitchen pondering how to bake the chicken breasts that we had without them tasting bland and boring and this is what I came up with. It was AMAZING! I had been craving comfort food but without all of the bread and extras – comfort food without the food coma.

I pulled out two chicken breasts, some of my homemade taco seasoning, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and some Mexican blend shredded cheese that we had leftover from our Thanksgiving Day omelets. In no time we had a juicy, yummy, cheesy, Mexican tasting dish served up along side a crisp salad.

This is definitely going to be a go-to recipe from now on!

~ Enjoy

cheesy chicken collage


(Serves two)


• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

• Salsa

• 1/4 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

• 1 tablespoon taco seasoning

• Olive oil

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1/4 tsp black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

2. Coat both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil, taco seasoning, salt, pepper and place in an oven safe glass dish.

3. Cook for 10 minutes then flip each breast over and cook for another 10 minutes.

4. Sprinkle cheese on top of the chicken breasts and cook for another 2 minutes.

5. Take chicken out and cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.*

6. Serve and top with some salsa!

* Refrain from cutting into the meat too early as once the juices drain, the meat gets dry and loses a lot of the flavor.

Print Recipe Here

Kirsten’s Rotisserie Chicken Salad


Kirsten made this chicken salad when she was home visiting recently and all I can say is that it is out-of-this-world delicious! She took a warm rotisserie chicken and whipped up this dish in no time and it was pretty much devoured in the same short amount of time!

I recently roasted a chicken at home and recreated the dish and it tasted just the same. A quick, easy, fail-proof recipe!


~ 4 cups rotisserie chicken

~ 1/4 cup green onions/scallions (just the white parts)

~ 1 – 1/2 tsp. fresh dill

~ 2 tbsp. parsley (fresh or dried)

~ 1 cup mayonnaise

~ 2 tsp. lemon juice

~ 1 tsp. mustard

~ salt and pepper to taste


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Meme’s Blackberry Cobbler


Just the other day, I was looking for a dessert to bring to a small summer gathering and this is what I came up with. Who doesn’t love blackberries, comfort food and a rustic presentation?

This recipe comes from a cookbook that I received from our Southern Coastal Kitchen girl, Sydney. For Christmas, Syd sent us a little taste from the south with a copy of, “Bon Appetit, Y’all” by Virginia Willis. The book is packed with amazing recipes that originate from three generations of Southern cooking. While Willis is a French-trained chef, she stays close to her roots and combines the two into a fabulous book of delicious down-home recipes.

This cobbler was super simple, absolutely delicious and since there were only four of us, I cut the recipe in half. I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to leftovers so I made sure there would be none!


Xo Mama Ferg

View Recipe here


Grilled Halibut


One of our most favorite things about being home in Jamestown, Rhode Island in the summer is the fresh fish at Zeek’s Creek. Just the other day we bought some fresh, local Halibut and as we left Greg Zeek (owner and fisherman) offered up a great idea for marinating the fish before grilling and this is our version of his recipe! It was SOOO delicious!

1. Fire up the grill so that it’s hot

2. Heat up a skillet with butter (as much as you like)

2. Add one clove of crushed garlic – careful not to burn

3. Drop the fresh fish in and coat with butter and garlic on both sides

4. Sear on the grill for 2 minutes/each side then remove

5. Drizzle the leftover butter and garlic on top of the fish and top with some fresh Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Check out a few of our other favorite things to do in the summer on our beautiful island! Click here – Island Life

Basic Sourdough Bread


“Before the 1950’s, most bread bakeries ran two shifts of workers because the dough was fermented throughout the night with a long and slow process using a culture that contained the lactobacillus bacteria. This slow process was necessary for bread to be properly digested. In the process of making sourdough bread, the bran in the flour is broken down during the long rising time, releasing nutrients into the dough. Only when wheat gluten is properly fermented or sprouted (to learn more about sprouted breads click here) is it healthy for human consumption. When not, it is potentially one of the most highly allergenic foods we eat. The phytic acid in grain needs to be 90% neutralized in order for the minerals to be absorbed by the human body. When you naturally ferment or sprout bread, you eliminate all phytic acid. About 90% of the phytic acid remains in breads made with instant yeasts, unless it is sprouted bread.” – Cultured Food Life

In order to make sourdough bread you need to begin with a “starter.”

“Sourdough starter is likely the oldest, being reliant on organisms present in the grain and local environment. In general, these starters have fairly complex microbiological makeups, the most notable including wild yeasts, lactobacillus, and acetobacteria. They are often maintained over long periods of time. The Boudin Bakery in San Francisco for example, has used the same starter dough for over 150 years. A roughly synonymous term in French baking is levain.” – Wikepedia

Many starters have been nurtured from as far back as the 1700’s and shared throughout generations. I loved the idea of being able to share it with friends and neighbors. The thought of going back to a simpler time is warming.

A healthier option for bread and the whole science behind this living and fermenting process had me hooked. After researching a little more I decided to order a starter online rather than attempt to make my own. Once the starter arrived, the science experiment began!

I used a recipe from “The Bread Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum. The directions may seem daunting at first, but be patient and read them thoroughly before you begin. I have since made many loaves and each time it gets easier. Eventually you won’t have to even look at the recipe. Enjoy the process. The final product is worth it!

~Enjoy, Mama Ferg

View Recipe

Print the CK Version of recipe

This is the starter I used

sourdough Collage

Grain-Free Almond & Butter Tea Cookies


It sure has been a long winter and we’ve been craving a little something sweet to go with our afternoon tea.

With the Stella D’oro almond biscuits from childhood on our mind, we set out to recreate a similar cookie without all the preservatives.

Here’s our recipe and it’s a good one!

Print/Review Recipe


almond & Butter Cookie Collage

Newport Cooks!

Bill the Baker collage

After two years in San Francisco surrounded by an abundance of cooking schools, it was hard to come home to Rhode Island, as I thought I would have to drive at least an hour to neighboring cities to find culinary inspiration.

Much to my surprise I found the nearby gem that is Newport Cooks, and this past weekend I took my first class with guest baker Bill Reichman of the Cooking Skills Academy in Chicago. It was an incredible experience. I have always loved making bread but my eyes were opened to a whole new level of baking this wonderful food. In three hours, Bill got into the science behind the art of baking bread and took us through the different types of dough and techniques. We learned to make bagels, lavash crackers, flat bread pizza, rustic loaves and ciabatta bread.

Let me honestly tell you that the bagels were the best bagels that I have ever tasted, no lie, and the rustic bread was out of this world. Even better, I learned to make these creations on my own! I walked away with a whole new tool in my culinary belt, and it was money well spent!

Newport Cooks has a whole line up of classes that are definitely worth checking out. I know that I plan on taking many more of these classes.

XO Mama Ferg

Bill the Artisan Baker

Newport Cooks -Cooking School

Suggested Reading:

Artisan Breads Everyday, Peter Reinhart

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

Baker 1 Baker 2





Our Favorite Oatmeal – Steel Cut


This oatmeal is delicious, filling and quick to make. People tend to get turned off at the thought of making oatmeal if it’s not “instant” but trust us this steel cut oatmeal breakfast is as quick as making a package of couscous.

All you’ll need is 20 minutes, water, steel cut oats and some maple syrup. We like to add strawberries, blueberries and sometimes even some candied pecans for a little more sweetness. Give it a shot, live on the edge by taking 20 minutes out of your day and ditching the microwave…you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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favorite oatmeal Collage

Banana Kale Cashew Shake


Are you having trouble convincing your kids or your spouse to drink a “green drink?” Well, this might do the trick. We discovered this recipe a month ago and at first thought it tasted almost too decadent for breakfast, but with super foods, like cashews, kale and bananas,  how could it be?

Remember, you will need a very powerful blender to make this drink. We use a Vitamix or a Nutribullet

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ps. We stay away from Agave Nectar as a sweetener and stick to organic maple syrup or honey.

Favorite Sugar Cookie


This is our favorite recipe when it comes to making sugar cookies. These delicious, buttery and shortbread-like cookies are reminiscent of the ones you might find in a European bakery. During the holidays one of Scott/dad’s favorite things to do is make these holiday cookies.

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Sugar cookie Collage

Chicken Soup for A Dog’s Soul



A favorite for our dogs in the winter is a homemade chicken broth-chicken broth without all of the additives found in store bought stock. It’s definitely tastier than the bone broth posted earlier as you can see from Gilbert’s face.

In this version we use a whole raw chicken (USDA Organic) and simmer it for 24 hours in a crockpot. Once the broth is done and strained into jars you can take the meat from the bones and use to spice up their normal dish along with some of the cooked carrots. Just pour some warm broth over your dog’s normal meal and voila, you have a happy pet!

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Garlic and dogs

chicken broth for dogs

Smoked Salmon Triangles


If you are looking for a delicious appetizer to bust out in less than 20 minutes while rushing out to a party, look no further! That is exactly what we did on Christmas Eve and these little smoked salmon triangles were a hit!

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Best Buddy Bone Broth


Bone Broth is a simple and inexpensive way to enhance your dog’s meals. Often considered a “super food,” bone broth can help to boost your dog’s immune system by helping to heal the gut and detoxify the liver.

Since moving back to Rhode Island I have spent some time volunteering at the North Kingstown Animal Shelter and that’s where I met dear sweet Logan (photo below). Every once in a while you meet a dog that just has something special. I can’t really explain it but Logan is that dog. He’s such a beautiful and kind soul that makes everyone who meets him smile. He’s going to make someone very happy!

Logan came into the shelter with a very sad story and honestly one that I won’t go into because as Andrea Czabok said it so beautifully, “We don’t look back, we only look forward. Their new life begins now.”  Andrea is a part-time ACO on staff as well as a dog trainer. Holly Duffany, the full-time ACO, along with Andrea and countless volunteers all take turns caring for Logan and the rest of the gang. They make an incredible team! So, with that said, I can honestly say that within a few weeks at NKAS Logan has gone from a very sick, submissive and shy boy to a bubbly and wiggly unleashed soul! He’s absolutely AWESOME and because of Logan I stepped it up and went into healthy treat mode bringing in some of our bone broth and homemade sweet potato treats. Both of these options are very inexpensive to make and will nutritionally blow away the pricey toxic crap found on most grocery shelves. My rule of thumb: the more natural and unprocessed the food source, the better.

Have a beautiful holiday season and don’t forget the dogs! If you cannot give the gift of time, a tax-deductible donation would be worth a million wet noses and dog kisses!

Check out two of my favorites:

North Kingstown Animal Shelter

Rocket Dog Rescue

Read about “The Great Christmas Escape” it will warm your soul!

xo Mama Ferg

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More on the benefits of Bone Broth for dogs

Best buddy Bone Broth collage

Roasted Acorn Squash Bowls


One of my favorite fall and winter side dishes is a roasted acorn squash. As a kid I never liked sweet potatoes as the only time I remember having them was at Thanksgiving baked with marshmallows and brown sugar (Ok, I am quietly gagging right now) so the same goes for the squashes… cut the sugar out and trust me, the taste is great.


1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Fill a baking dish with about 1/4-1/2 inch of water.

3. Cut an acorn squash in half (doesn’t matter which way) and scoop out the seeds. If the halves don’t sit flat then cut a slight bit from the bottom to help them lay flat.

4. Place the halves face up in the baking dish and place 1 tablespoon of butter into each little acorn bowl adding sea salt and pepper to taste.

5. Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until soft.

6. Remove and serve.

xo Mama Ferg

Acorn Bowl collage

DIY Gift Guide


Get creative this holiday season and try out some of these easy and fun “DIY” gift ideas. Currently we’ve made jelly jar travel and teacup candles along with lavender scented bath salts. We put our own spin on things, but followed instructions for both at Real Simple.


Below are some more ideas that we plan to try out in the future…

DIY Gift Guide

(Clockwise from left)
Homemade Wreaths – Cupcakes and Cashmere
Paper Mache Decorative Bowls – Kelli Murray
Personalized Cork Coasters – Martha Stewart
DIY Baking Mix – Put it in a jar


Sweet Potato Dog Treats

kitchen Dogs(Gilbert, Daisy, Olive & Rascal waiting patiently)

What treats do you feed your pets? We like to keep some organic sweet potatoes on hand for roasting. Not only are they healthy, they are easy and inexpensive to make.

Just for comparison, we grabbed a bag of Pup-peroni treats to compare cost and ingredients. Not only were we disturbed at the long list of ingredients but also completely surprised to see onion extract on the list, as onions can be toxic to dogs. Granted, we imagine that it would take quite a bit to make your dog sick but handfuls of these snacks over long periods of time cannot be good!*


2 organic sweet potatoes (makes 2 cups, 16 oz) = $1.01


1 bag of Pupperonis (10 sticks, 2.7 oz ) = $2.49

pupperoni collage


Organic sweet potato, olive oil


Beef, meat by-productssoy grits  (also most likely GMO) sugar (not good for any of us), liver, salt, propylene glycol (a derivative of anti-freeze), garlic powder (even the ASPCA says no to garlic), caramel color (our dogs never seem to choose food based on color, do yours?), natural smoke flavor (nice wording…could it be MSG?), potassium sorbate, Red 40 (oops, more food color, also a known carcinogen), BHA (banned in England, Japan and numerous European countries), onion extract (onions are toxic to dogs), AD03.000QA (????)

As Dr. Greg says, ‘Feed your pet to avoid the vet.’ Watch his video here.

sweet potato collage

Sweet Potato Dog Treat Recipe:

1. Set the oven to 425 degrees

2. Chop up some sweet potatoes into ¾ to 1- inch cubes (no need to be exact)

3. Lay them out in one layer onto a foil-lined glass dish (foil allows for easy clean up)

4. Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil (no canola or corn oil –no GMO)

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until soft and/or slightly crunchy – personal preference.

Save in the fridge for up to 3 days. We even throw some into our skillet when cooking up eggs for breakfast. Everyone will love them!

* The information gathered here is our opinion, interpretation and conclusion from our own research.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Gingerbread


“The taste of this dense and lovely gingerbread smacks delightfully of cocoa and ginger spice. The texture is akin to pound cake. This is a perfect not-too-sweet cake for afternoon tea with your best friend, or an edible sigh-inducing respite from wrapping gifts. Nibble it playing Scrabble by a crackling fire.”  – The Gluten-Free Goddess

The Gluten-Free Goddess does it again! We just love her recipes and her writing. She has a way of capturing your taste buds and your imagination with her photography and words. We whipped this bread up over the weekend and the entire house was filled with the smell of warm gingerbread. The bread was absolutely delicious and a perfect compliment for listening to the classical Christmas station on Pandora while decorating the Christmas tree.

~ Enjoy xo

Print/View Recipe

PS. How to line a bread pan with parchment paper- watch here

Chocolate gingerbread collage


Pecan Tart

Pastry 5

We do try to keep most of our recipe posts on the “healthy” side but every now and then there comes a holiday where a sweet binge is expected. This past Thanksgiving we were craving a pecan pie and decided that we could make it a little healthier by eliminating the traditional Karo syrup (high fructose corn syrup) by replacing it with a local, organic maple syrup. No, Mrs. Butterworth’s doesn’t count.

For the crust we used the Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s, “The Pie and Pastry Bible.” It’s a big book but any of her books are worth the investment. You can purchase it used on Amazon.

We brought this tasty tart to a friend’s house over the holiday and it was gone within minutes, not a crumb left on either of the 10 plates!

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Pecan pie collage

Bacon, Chive ‘n Cheese Biscuits

Bacon Chive

Looking for something different to dip into your Thanksgiving Day gravy? Look no further as these savory little biscuits can handle the job and even take on next day’s leftovers like no other. Be careful as once you taste one, you might not be able to stop!

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bacon chive 'n cheese collage

Crock Pot Chicken Stock


In the past, I was intimidated by the idea of making my own chicken stock and thus resorted to buying “organic” chicken stock for making soups. Although, in the last year and after reading Michael Pollan’s book, “Cooked” I have learned to enjoy the process of making it on my own and better yet, knowing exactly what’s in our food.

The next time you are at the market, check out the list of ingredients on a container of “organic” chicken stock and you are likely to see sugar and chicken flavor…what exactly is “chicken flavor” anyway?

So, without further ado, just whip out your Crock Pot and let it do the work for you!

xo Mama Ferg

Print/View Recipe for:

Chicken in a Crock Pot

Chicken Stock in a Crock Pot*

*I also added 1 leek, the chicken giblets (I know, it sounds gross-ha), 2 tsp sea salt, 1 bay leaf and no parsley. I use a 6 quart Crock Pot and was able to make 2 quarts of stock.

Crock Pot Chicken Stock

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, comfort food is on our minds and our rendition of the Chicken Pot Pie hits the spot. We topped this gluten-free dish with a paleo gravy, which uses coconut milk and almond flour instead of the traditional ingredients – it was is so good we could drink it with a straw (see the link to that recipe below along with the dairy-free mashed potatoes).

Print/View Recipe
Paleo Gravy
Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes (our original recipe will be posted next week)


CK Lady Update

CK home collage

In less than a month, Coastal Kitchen will be celebrating its first birthday (December 2nd), and this impending event has us reflecting on the past year and brainstorming the future.

We are all Rhode Island natives, but when we began this blogging adventure, we were spread between San Francisco and Miami, and still “getting our feet wet” in both places. Coming from a small New England town, it is hard to break through and find your own little community, so Coastal Kitchen became an outlet where the three of us could stay in touch and share with each other, and our readers, some of the things we love most.

None of us have a culinary background so this past year we have joined our followers on this journey to wellness – posting everything from recipes, fitness regiments, and favorite products to lifestyle pieces highlighting people we look up to.

Over the course of this fall, we have all uprooted again (Sydney in South Carolina, Kirsten in Pennsylvania, and Kim back in Rhode Island); however, this time we have a few more tricks up our sleeve. As we delve into our new homes, we will be cutting back the number of posts to improve on their quality and originality, pairing down our previous Monday through Friday schedule to three days a week.

If you have any requests or ideas, please reach out to us at

Grapeseed and Rosemary Skin Serum


When it comes to skincare products, oil-based concoctions have always been something that many ladies steer clear of, for fear of causing breakouts. However, Glamour Magazine hit the nail on the head in its beauty article this month, “The Surprising Thing You Should Use on Your Skin.” The article explained that there are certain plant-based oils (like carrot seed, rosemary, grapeseed oil) that have healing properties, and help to clear pores and slow down the over-production of sebum. We tried out one of the magazine’s skincare recipe yesterday and are already singing its praises.

DIY Serum – mix two ounces of grapeseed oil with 10 to 12 drops of essential oil (we used rosemary) in a spray bottle. Blot your skin with the mixture daily.

Download the this month’s Glamour issue here


Poğaça – Turkish Cheese pastry


These delightful little pillows of bliss can be found in most pastry shops throughout Istanbul. This recipe was inspired by Sydney’s travels to Istanbul as well as our love for anything to do with bread and cheese! We decided to experiment with using our gluten free pastry dough instead of the traditional Turkish dough recipe and they were delicious!

Fluffy recipe

Traditional recipe

Print/View CK Gluten Free recipe

Pogaca collage

Crock Pot Chili


This chili was inspired by our favorite recipe, and the one my mom always made which comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook. However, last night when making this dish I didn’t have all of the ingredients so we made an adapted version, which was delicious.

Just like our CK meatballs, sweet Italian sausage is the key to success. Stay tuned for another version of chili in the next few weeks with even more of our favorite ingredients.

xo Mama Ferg

Print/View recipe here

Against all Grain


Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Danielle Walker, blogger and author of the New York Times Best Seller Against all Grain, during her book signing and presentation at Barnes and Noble in Pittsburgh, Pa. Having struggled with an autoimmune disease (ulcerative colitis) for many years in her twenties, Danielle talked to the audience about how she finally had enough and decided to stray from the traditional western medicine route and instead cure herself with food. After cutting out grains, lactose, legumes, and refined sugar from her diet she started to see her symptoms dissipate from the inside out. Now she is healthy and uses her website to educate those with similar issues as well as people just interested in living in healthy lifestyle.

I have always been an avid reader of her blog, but it wasn’t until I attended the book signing that I picked up her new cookbook, and last night I tried out my first recipe from it (pictured above: shaved brussel sprouts with bacon, leeks and pomegranate seeds). It was the perfect mix of salty and sweet and Chris and I devoured it. The pictures on each page are mouth water worthy and seem to have sprouted from some of my favorite comfort foods. If you want to try out the recipe, or any others, I recommend purchasing this gem!

Read more about Danielle:
Purchase Against all Grain at


Hydration: Simple and Efficient

scott Laser MAster

This two-time Laser Master World Champion, Oracle Team USA wing engineer and two-time America’s Cup winner is also a serious weekend warrior when it comes to anything sports related. How does he stay fueled up? Coconut water.

Scott is super conscious of what he puts into his body and lately has become much more aware of the long list of ingredients in popular sports drinks. Because of this, he was looking for a non-artificial alternative for getting hydration with potassium and electrolytes. So, in keeping with his inquisitive ways, he did a bit of research and after multiple experiments he came up with this simple solution:

8 ounces of water

8 ounces coconut water

Shake it up and you are good to go.

scott hydrating drinkCollage

Tarragon and Chive Baked Flounder


The great thing about dedicating time to Coastal Kitchen over the last year is that now I have almost every spice known to man and a fridge stocked with staples. This past Sunday, when I did my weekly grocery shop I was flabbergasted to see that $78 was able to get Chris and myself three hearty dinners, five days of morning green drinks and breakfast along with my lunch through Friday. Though it took me a while to get here, I’m starting to feel like a master shopper!

Last night’s dinner was probably the most expensive of the bunch due to the fresh herbs that I had to buy (chives and tarragon), but I plan to fix this soon by cultivating my own herb garden. I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, please try this recipe. I’ve never experimented with flounder, but this is divine, and the perfect meal to impress houseguests with.

Dinner for two cost breakdown: Baked Flounder and Sautéed Spinach
Already had: butter, minced garlic and Dijon mustard
Two skinless sole/flounder fillets (wild caught) $5.64
Fresh tarragon $2.99
Fresh chives $2.99
Panko Bread Crumbs $2.19
Bag of Spinach $1.89
Total = $15.70

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~ Kirsten


Slim Cinnamon Roll Scones


There is something about scones that complement a chilly fall morning and these skinny (literally) versions are perfect for dipping into your ritual coffee or tea. Our only advice is to not leave them in the oven too long or you will miss out on their flakey croissant texture.

View/Print Recipe (we skipped the glaze step and they are still tasty)

Grilled Wings, Spinach Salad and Homemade Ranch


The fall season is upon us and with that comes football, and with that comes football-worthy snacks and meals. We used to love ordering wings out at restaurants until we found out how many heavy ingredients go into the making of them.

We opted out of the fried version and made these grilled wings from a recipe in the 2012 edition of Cooks Illustrated “Cooking for Two.” They were amazing! The key to success is to make sure not to skip the brining step as it helps to bring out the flavor, and keep the meat tender when it’s on the grill. Also, making your own ranch dressing is a must; it takes less than five minutes, and you skip all the preservatives found in store bought versions. Pairing this with the spinach salad completes the meal.

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