All posts by Chef Moya

History of Father’s Day

Hello and Happy Fathers Day!
In honor of dear old dad, today I will focus my blog on the history of Father’s Day. Sadly, retailers and marketers, in an effort to make a quick buck, have bastardized the original meaning of Father’s Day. A holiday that was supposed to honor dad and enumerate his special qualities, now is used to sell chili pepper ties and shop vacs. Hopefully by understanding why the concept of Father’s Day was created, we can better celebrate and honor the fathers who raised us into men.

Fathers DayThe first Father’s Day was celebrated. According to some accounts, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Washington state on June 19, 1910. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. She felt as though mothers were getting all the acclaim while fathers were equally deserving of a day of praise (She would probably be displeased that Mother’s Day still gets the lion’s share of attention).

Sonora’s dad was quite a man. William Smart, a veteran of the Civil War, was left a widower when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. He went on to raise the six children by himself on their small farm in Washington. To show her appreciation for all the hard work and love William gave to her and her siblings, Sonora thought there should be a day to pay homage to him and other dads like him. She initially suggested June 5th, the anniversary of her father’s death to be the designated day to celebrate Father’s Day, but due to some bad planning, the celebration in Spokane, Washington was deferred to the third Sunday in June.

So please join Moya’s Kitchen Concepts In wishing all the fathers around the world HAPPY FATHERS DAY

One Skillet Tuscan Chicken – Quick and Healthy Series

Hello my Friends, I hope you all tried and loved my last one pot meal. In my opinion eating healthy is not easy mostly because fruits and vegetables are very expensive and most supermarkets have limited categories. And who really has the time to go food shopping? …and food labeling!!!  Do not get me started! Did you know labels can indicate 100% fruit and not have any real fruit in it??  It happens more then you know.

That’s why I cook all natural from scratch.  For example, do not buy organic chicken pre-cut; instead, buy a whole chicken and cut it down yourself.  Take the bones, neck, heart, and liver to make your own chicken stock.  You can add your own seasoning and flavors, including as much (or as little) salt as you want. Further, you will know exactly what is in it your stock (i.e. no chemicals).  It is much easier then you think.

For help on breaking down a chicken and making your own stock, see my video links below.

My next “Quick and Healthy” dish is:

One Skillet Tuscan Chicken
Serves: 6
Nutrition per serving: 270 calories, 11.9 g fat (2.3 g saturated), 157 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (4.2 g fiber, 5.4 g sugar), 27 g protein (calculated without salt)

What you need

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • 1/2cup Black Olives
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped for garnish
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1 – In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the cubed chicken pieces and cook for about 8 minutes on both sides, until cooked through. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate.
One Skillet Tuscan Chicken2 – Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and sauté the sliced mushrooms 5 – 7 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the juices have evaporated. Set aside.
3 – Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet and the diced onion. Sauté the onions 3 – 4 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic to the onions and sauté  together one more minute. Add salt and pepper to taste while cooking.
4 – Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet and toss the diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, Cannellini beans, and black olives. Season again with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle in the oregano, thyme and drizzle the balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir a few minutes.
5 – Next, add the cooked chicken and mushrooms to the skillet – stir and cook 1-2 minutes, or until chicken is heated through. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
6 – Serve hot, garnished with the fresh basil.

Be sure to tweet to us or send us email with your feedback.  We love hearing from you!  Enjoy your family and your food, and God Bless!

making your own chicken stock:
Part one
Part two
How to break down a chicken:
*If you need any help with these steps, feel free to send me an email:

One Pot Burrito Bowls – Quick and Healthy Series

Hello my Friends ~

As promised, here is the first installment of my Quick and Healthy Food Saver Vacuum SealerSeries – One Pot Burrito Bowls.  As a side note, I would highly recommend a home vacuum sealer; I personally use the Food Saver brand.

One pot burrito bowls

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

One Pot Burrito BowlsIngredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of one fresh Lime
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 pound lean hamburger
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Cilantro Chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Each Jalapeño diced remove seeds and inside (Optional if you like it hot dice whole)
  • 1 cup jasmine rice (or any long grain)
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock (chicken broth works too)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (Optional Love Spice)

Optional toppings:
Sour cream
Green Onions
Guacamole or sliced avocados

In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and red peppers. Add in hamburger and cook until browned. Stir in salsa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, jasmine rice, taco seasoning and chili powder. Pour in chicken stock and then bring to a light boil. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is all the way cooked.

When rice is done, S&P to taste. Top with your favorite toppings. We like to serve over lettuce in a salad bowl and eat with tortilla chips.

Try this recipe out and let me know how you and your family enjoyed it.  I love hearing from my audience!

Much Respect and God Bless
Chef Moya

Healthy Eating and Batch Cooking

Hello everyone ~
In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, it is increasingly becoming difficult to eat healthy AND stay on top our commitments.Batch Cooking - Stew Between running to work, dropping off and picking kids up from school, sports and other after-school activities, our time is limited. It is getting harder to eat healthy, so to address this and provide information on healthy “one pot” meals, I would like to focus on keeping it simple. One pot meals and batch cooking allow you to prepare quickly and also preserve with vacuum sealing, allowing you to cook for the entire week.

The keys here are healthy eating, active lifestyles and spending time with the family. These upcoming Blogs will help explain the overall Freezer Bag food storageprocess and also include some tricks and hacks to augment the process. Eating healthier meals gives us the energy we need to stay alert at work and school and also reduce the risks for a multitude of health issues. Planning our meals ahead of time helps us avoid stress over trying to figure out how to eat and live healthier. A healthy lifestyle should be fun and enjoyable, so try thinking of new recipes, different ways to get your kids involved, and stress-free meal planning.

Active Children

For more information on healthy eating and meal planning contact or email me directly at we are here to help you in any way we can So keep your eyes out for my next few blogs and GOD BLESS you all.

Mother’s Day Celebration

Happy Mother's DayMother’s Day is a holiday celebrated annually as a tribute to all mothers and motherhood. It is celebrated on various dates in many parts of the world. Although the origins of the holiday date back to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the modern form of the celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States began in the early 20th century.

Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother Ann Reeves Jarvis who, in turn, many years earlier had founded Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in five cities. Anna Jarvis began a campaign to make Mother’s Day a national holiday and she succeeded in 1914.  U.S. President US President Woodrow WilsonWoodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day.

So, what shows your mother or wife you really care about them more than making brunch at home?  Anyone can take mom out, but taking family time with the kids, in the kitchen, is not only educational but fun!  And mom will enjoy the food so much more knowing the family made it together with love.

Make sure to treat your mother or wife with respect and love.  Take the time to make something from the heart; it is so much more special.  Remember, you only have one mother!

Happy Mother's DayAs a way for Chef Moya to help you celebrate Mother’s Day, a delicious recipe has been posted especially for Mother’s Day.  Feel free to add this special dish to your routine.
You can find it here – “Waffled French Toast with Maple Cream” Waffled French Toast with Maple Cream

If you have questions or need ideas or even recipes, just reach out and we will help in any way we can…we are here for you.

Happy Mother’s Day and God bless.

Chef Moya

Grilling Season

It’s that wonderful time of the year ~ Grilling season

Whether you like gas or charcoal, here are just some tips on the best grills out there. Remember, when it come to grills, any grill can be a smoker and size does mater.  I recommend if you choose gas, have at least three burners.

Weber, once again, owns more spots on our Top 10 Gas Grill ListsWeber Gas Grill than any other manufacturer, but competitors are turning up the heat.  We love Webers because they are built so well, come with great warranties, and Weber is renowned for its tech support and huge inventory of parts going back many years.

Coming back from our 2015 list for another round against the champion are US manufacturing giant Char-Broil and Canadian grill makers Onward Manufacturing and Napoleon. Though all Char-
Broils are now made in China, their heritage goes back to 1853 and The Columbus Iron Works in Columbus, GA. Onward Manufacturing owns Huntington, Broil-Mate, and Broil King which occupy our first Char-broil Charcoal Grillthree low cost picks. Though they make many great mid to premium priced gas cookers that compete well with Weber, it’s hard to beat their entry level lines in the low cost market. And Napoleon, offers a quality selection of both charcoal and gas grills and smokers.

Many feature smoke boxes, and gas grills, with a little practice, can produce lovely smoked meals, but their extensive ventilation means they use a bit more wood than charcoal grills or smokers.  Be advised, cheap manufacturers often include “bells and whistles” like cut-rate sear burners, side burners, and rotisseries to entice you to buy their flimsy, low quality junk.  Many times the grills are built with low grade stainless steel held together with crumby fasteners that will rust and break apart after a couple seasons.

Please remember, if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.  Feel free to send me an e-mail to

Happy grilling everyone!
And let us “Put A Little Latin Love in Your Kitchen.”  God Bless.

Dyeing the Perfect Easter Egg

Hello my fellow Easter egg artist,
I have to say I love dying egg with the kids; it’s one of those simple things that can really be a fun family event.  Here are a few tips for dying your eggs.
Paas Egg HeadsNow the most important part of this whole thing is the boiling of the eggs.  There is nothing worse than having all that fun and then be sabotaged by under cooked eggs…what a bummer!  So for the perfect hard boiled egg, every time, just watch my video on the “perfect hard boiled eggs.”

  • Everyone should wash their hands in hot, soapy water, before and after handling eggs(even if they’ve already been cooked or decorated)! This protects everyone from any bacteria on the egg, and protects the eggshell from any oils on your hands that may make the dye not adhere properly. Make sure an adult supervises all projects to ensure common sense food safety precautions are observed.
  • Kids don’t have to be highly creative to create an eggceptional egg. Help kids use their imagination to create cool looking eggs by gluing on fun materials found at craft stores, like fake gems, sequins, trims and ribbons. They can also use paint, including gold or silver metallic paints, to make their eggs “eggstra” special!
  • To create an egg with a face, create a light flesh color by dipping your egg in a dye that’s made of a little bit of red and yellow coloring; for a darker flesh color, use a little red, yellow, and green. Then let kids “eggspress” themselves – with a smile or other design they paint on (or use the method below to create a “Pysanky” face). PAAS® Egg Heads™ and stencil kits are a fun and easy option to create egg faces.Pysanky Egg
  • To make eggs with several different colors(sometimes called a “Pysanky,” or Ukranian egg), have kids draw on their egg with the clear wax crayon” found in many decorating kits. Each time they use the crayon, they protect that color from the dye. For example, keep an area white by drawing on the egg before they dip your egg in any color. Then dip the egg in the lighter colored dye first and then move to darker colored dyes. Just be sure to let the first dye color dry before dipping it into next color “bath.” Cover up more areas to keep the color, and peel the wax off of other areas to add color. When they’ve finished dying your “Pysanky,” peel off all the wax layers to reveal an interesting multi-color design. Polish the egg by rubbing in any remaining wax (heat egg slightly in hot water).

Happy Easter to you all and God Bless.

Quality Cutlery

Hello everyone, Easter is right around the corner.  Here are some tips to make that holiday meal extra special.  After all the kids have gone through their Easter baskets and found all of their Easter eggs, it’s time for the best part of the day:  Easter Dinner.Wüsthof

Whatever your traditional meal is for Easter, you will be spending time in the kitchen.  Regarding your cutlery, always remember these simple tips:
Keep your knives sharp! A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. As a trained chef I am very particular about the knives I use. Professional knives can be very expensive, but with care and tender love, a lower quality knife can be just as effective. If you want to purchase a high end knife, my preference would be Wüsthof knives. It’s an excellent quality of knife and they go from moderately priced to super expensive.  Wüsthof is a German company that has been in business since 1814. For over 200 years they have continued to make quality knives using great craftsmanship. Knives are all about the balance. Balance is how it levels off when you lay the flat side on your finger, in the middle of the knife between the handle and the blade. Wüsthof knives have fantastic balance.

If they are a little expensive for your taste the next best would be another German manufacturer, JA Henckel. JA Henkel knives have been around since 1731.  JA Henkel makes quality knives at JA Henckelsaffordable prices. JA Henkle knives have great balance as well.  No matter what knife you have, always remember to keep them sharpened. Tender loving care can make any knife effective. Never put them in the dishwasher; always wash them by hand and dry by hand. Taking care of your knives will make them last longer and stay sharper. And remember for that wonderful holiday meal you might just want to have a little “Latin Love” in your pantry to give your meal a little Latin “kick”.  Happy Easter everybody and God bless you all.

Fresh herbs you should always have in your pantry

Hello and welcome to my first Blog.  Let’s get started.

Cooking begins with understanding flavors.  You want flavors that are enhanced by fresh herbs; they induce “intoxication” or stimulation to the mind and senses.

When you walk by an herb garden and smell the aroma of lavender, juniper, sage, and mint your senses come alive and you feel peaceful, happy and even energized.  Imagine taking those same fresh smells and using them to enhance your taste sensations.  Cooking with fresh herbs will change your palette and give you the flavors you have longed for.

Seasons add Sensations
Well seasoned Tomahawk Pork chop

One of my favorite herbs is cilantro.  Cilantro has an earthy and bright flavor.  When you eat fresh guacamole your senses identify it immediately.  To properly store and preserve cilantro, I recommend a glass jar allowing the roots to be covered in water.  Put the glass jar in an air tight Ziploc bag and store in your refrigerator.  This will keep it fresh.

Two more favorite and essential herbs are rosemary and thyme.  Rosemary has an aroma that is also earthy and will remind you of a warm summer day.  Rosemary should be stored the same way as cilantro.  Thyme, however, has a citrus smell and flavor, yet it also has a clean earthiness.  Thyme is stored between two moist pieces of paper towels in the refrigerator.

If you really want to enjoy the aroma of fresh herbs and have them available for daily meal preparation, I suggest an herb garden.  Outside gardens are optimal, but are not the only options.  You can use a compact window sill herb garden allowing you to enjoy the visual, aromatic and tasting sensations.  Come back for more of my flavor sensations!
Chef Moya

Chef Hector Moya
Welcome to my kitchen