Modern Portrait Photography


Cajun Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe { Rifle, CO Photographer }

This is another one of our favorite recipes. We were first introduced to this meal by my good friend Kim and I had to get the recipe.  What I love to do, as I do with most of my meals, is make a ton and freeze some for later. With this meal I freeze the chicken in the marinade and then all I have to do is cook it and add a few fresh ingredients when I am ready next time. And I’m sorry I don’t have the original source… maybe Kim can remind me!

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Here’s the recipe:

Lemon Cajun Chicken Pasta


½ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbl Cajun seasoning

Juice of one lemon

2 Tbl minced fresh parsley

2 Tbl brown sugar

2 Tbl soy sauce

2 chicken breasts, sliced

1 lb linguini

2 Tbl olive oil

Zest from 1 lemon

Juice from one lemon

3 green onions, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper freshly ground

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk lightly before pouring into a Ziploc plastic bag. Pat chicken dry and toss in with marinade. Refrigerate 3-12 hours. (I freeze extra bags at this point). When ready to cook, preheat skillet over medium heat and pour contents of plastic bag into the skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked. Combine juice of one lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, green onions and fresh parsley together in a small bowl. Set aside. While the chicken is sautéing, cook linguine in boiling salted water until done; drain and return to warm pot. Pour lemon juice/olive oil/green onion mixture over pasta and mix lightly. When chicken is finished cooking, add hot pasta to the skillet with the chicken and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss in parmesan cheese. (We do dairy-free in our house and it still tastes great without the cheese). Serve warm. Give it a try and enjoy!


Pizza Factory Breadsticks Recipe

When I was in college we would do breadstick runs for these tasty treats! Forget the pizza… just these delicious breadsticks. Bread is one thing I can not live without! So I searched online and found a few different recipes online- I tried the recipe I found from this site There was a simpler recipe where you use Rhoades dough instead if you want to be a little quicker. Aren’t these at least the prettiest breadsticks?! It’s all about the presentation with these beauties… and they taste pretty good. Pizza Factory is better- but I haven’t had them in forever so maybe my memory is fading. Give them a try!

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Pizza Factory Breadsticks
1 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 C. warm water
1 T. oil
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. melted butter – divided
3/8  tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp. Season All
1 T. Parmesan cheese
8  – 1/4 inch wooden dowels
cut into 18 inch lengths (craft store)
or 8 – 12 inch skewers
I tried them both ways and decided
I wanted the long wooden dowels like
Pizza Factory uses, but the skewers worked too.
Mix the yeast, sugar and water and
let sit for a couple of minutes to dissolve
the yeast.  Add the oil, salt and flour and
knead by hand or with your mixer with a
dough hook for about 5 minutes.
Cover and let rise until double.
Divide dough into 8 equal parts,
about 4 oz. each if you want to use
a kitchen scale.
Lightly flour your hands and roll
the dough into about an 16-18 inch
long “snake”.  Moisten the top of your
dowel or skewer and begin wrapping
the dough around loosely.  Moisten a little where
the breadstick will end too.   Pinch to secure
the dough at the top and bottom.  Leave about
5 inches at the end of the dowel, if you are using
the longer dowels.
Hang over the edge of a 9×13 inch cake
pan with all of the dough inside the pan.
Let them rise until doubled.
Brush with 1/4 C. melted butter.
Heat oven to 375.  Bake at 375 for
about 15- 20 minutes or until just golden.
Meanwhile mix the remaining 1/2 C. melted butter,
seasonings and parmesan cheese.
When the breadsticks come out of the
oven, brush them with the seasoned melted
butter mixture. Best served hot and fresh.

Favorite Gyros Recipes

So we love gyros (yeer-oh!) We live in a small town where there aren’t many options for going out to eat… which saves us some money! One our favorite places to get Greek food when we visit my family in Denver is Yanni’s Gyro Place in Lakewood, CO. Their food is reasonably priced, quick and super delicious! A friend of ours from Denver is Greek so we asked her where in Denver was her favorite place to eat Greek food. She said besides her mom’s house… Yanni’s. She said the food tastes pretty authentic.

So when we are craving gyros at home in Rifle, CO, I have to make them. I’ve tried a few different recipes that I have liked. I have 2 recipes that I like that I need to do a side by side comparison to see which is better. I don’t remember where I got these recipes from. I’m pretty bad about that! I remember they came from one of the hundreds of cookbooks I have checked out from the library. When I discover the source I will update this to give the credit deserved.

Anyone that knows me knows that I can not cook without making super large batches of whatever I am making! So my favorite thing to do is to quadruple the recipe so we can have some frozen saved for a quick meal later. The photograph I have pictured below is from the “Gyros” recipe I have posted below.


1 lb lean ground beef

1 lb lean ground lamb

1 small onion, grated

1 tbl black pepper

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp dried thyme

¾ tsp salt

Pita bread


Sliced red onions


Tzatziki sauce

Combine sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Preheat broiler or grill. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine gyro loaf ingredients. Shape into a flattened loaf about 2 inches thick. (I triple of quadruple the recipe and freeze the extra loaves at this point that way you can cook it hot and fresh when you are ready). To broil place on broiler pan and broil 4 inches away from heat, turning occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes per side, or until the center is at least 155 degrees. Remove from broiler. Let loaf rest 10 minutes, then slice as thin as possible. To grill, prepare loaf as directed above. When coals are ready (coated with a layer of ash) place loaf about 4 inches above coals. Cooking takes about 5 to 10 minutes per side, depending on your grill and preference. Assemble each sandwich by placing a few slices of meat in a pita and adding some tomato, onion slices and lettuce. Drizzle sauce on top. Fold up and fasten each sandwich with a toothpick.

Luleh Kababs

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp crushed dried mint (optional)

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp cumin

1 pound lean ground lamb

½ lb lean ground beef

Pita bread

Tzatziki yogurt sauce

In a large bowl combine onion, parsley, garlic, salt, coriander, mint, pepper, and cumin; add beef and lamb. Mix with hands until well combined and smooth. Using wet hands, form mixture into eight 4” x 1.5” logs. Thread on skewers (or form mixture into ¾” think patties and omit skewers). Grill kababs on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 16-18 minutes or until thermostat reads 160 degrees, turn occasionally. (Grill patties for 14-18 minutes until 160 degrees). Or place kababs or patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan; broil 4 inches away from heat for 10-12 minutes or until 160 degrees, turning once. Serve in pita bread with sauce and desired toppings.

I’ve tried a few different tzatziki sauce recipes and my favorite is from Annie’s Eats in her post about chicken gyros. I’ve linked to her recipes below. Her chicken gyros recipe is delicious! What I like to do is make the marinade for the chicken and freeze the chicken in the marinade and cook it hot and fresh later when we’re ready to eat it again. I have to cook everything dairy free so I use a soy yogurt in the sauce and marinade.

You have to make fresh pita bread- that’s what helps make the meal extra yummy! The store-bought options around here seem to be mainly the flat pita pockets. I did see the other day thick puffy pita breads at City Market (Stonefire is the brand)- haven’t tried them yet- but they look like the best store-bought option we have around here. I like Annie’s Eats recipe for pita bread that I have linked below. Usually when I bake I use 100% whole grain. I used to never have white flour in our house at all. But recently I haven’t been as good about that. I do like to try recipes as they are first to know that they are good- then I convert the recipe to 100% whole grain. (all I usually do is a little barley flour with the rest wheat flour. I will update my 100% whole grain when I figure out the precise measurements. For those of you that like all white, Annie’s eats also has a good all white pita bread recipe.

Hope you enjoy these recipes!