Hey There, I’m Jen

Hi, I’m Jen and I live in Carlsbad, California (north San Diego), with my husband, Patrick, and my furry, four legged daughter, Kiwi, and together we WELCOME YOU to Carlsbad Cravings!!! I’m a cystic fibrosis survivor, lung & kidney transplant recipient, LOVER of life and FOOD!

At Carlsbad Cravings (est. 2014), you will find only my tried and true daringly delicious recipes with big, BOLD flavors – or what I like to describe as extraordinary flavors out of everyday ingredients. My #1 goal is to create the best version of every recipe (in my opinion), whether it’s Mexican, Italian, Asian or Greek. And if it’s not the best, then it doesn’t get shared! So, you can cook with confidence from my website, and hopefully you’ll think each recipe is “the best” too and discover many new favorites!

How it began

Some people escape in dreams of sandy beaches and sunny skies, I escape in dreams of mangos, chipotle peppers and bacon.  My creativity as a former interior designer flourishes in the kitchen as I find something so satisfying in creating delicious, flavorful (spices are my forte!), fresh food…and then eating it!
As Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:

“Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. …” or something delicious!

I have been cooking and creating new recipes almost every day of the week since I got married in 2006 (see our love story here) and even created my own binder long before Carlsbad Cravings was born (see recipe binder below). When I was in desperate need of a kidney transplant and would come home from work exhausted with legs and feet so swollen I could only wear sandals and skirts (none of my shoes or pants would fit!), all l wanted to do was cook. Cooking and creating reinvigorated my exhausted self by feeding my mind, body and soul.

After I was blessed with new-found energy from my kidney transplant in October 2013 thanks to my doner sister (my lung transplant was in 1999), my doctor cautioned me about going back to work when I was so immune-suppressed. At that point, I was wondering what to do when my sister-in-law suggested I start a food blog. The words pierced my soul and I knew that was what I was supposed to do. I researched how to start a cooking site, how to turn it into a living and then I jumped in and never looked back!

Since launching Carlsbad Cravings in February 2014, I have shared over a thousand recipes that have reached over 140 million readers. I am honored every day to be invited into your homes. Thank you for making my recipes, trusting my recipes, leaving comments and for following along! You are the reason I’m allowed to do what I do! xo

Getting started – What seasonings to stock

To make every recipe the best version of itself, I rely heavily on seasonings. Seasonings MAKE a recipe! To that end, many of my recipes look like they have many ingredients, but often most of them are just dump-in spices, so please don’t be intimidated. I cook with the same spices all of the time, so once you purchase them, you’ll have everything you’ll need! Here are the pantry spices I recommend (you can purchase them little by little):

jump to recipe button

To help readers succeed and eliminate any guesswork, I include detailed tips and tricks in every recipe post. If you just want the recipe, you can use the “jump to recipe” button located at the top of every post to skip directly to the recipe. With that, everyone wins! Now, I hope you enjoy exploring my site and hopefully will create your own recipe binder full of Carlsbad Cravings favorites!

Want to Know More?

If you are curious about my journey with cystic fibrosis, my lung transplant, kidney transplant, love story
and more of my life, click on the links below:

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Reader Interactions

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  1. Debbie Bullick says

    I will follow you anywhere

    • Jen says

      Ah, thank you! I hope you know I feel the same! xoxox!

      • Nancy says

        Jen, I feel connected to you at the heart. A very good childhood friend’s granddaughter is a CF patient and so was her sister whom we lost last year. I’ve never known of anybody so accomplished and upbeat as these two young women until I met you this morning on FB. To add to my feeling of connection to you, my beautiful next door neighbor had a kidney transplant last year. She just turned 40. I will send your blog to her this morning and try your wonderful carrot cake recipe soon. God bless you and your husband.

        • Jen says

          Hi Nancy, my new friend! I am deeply sorry for the loss of your friend’s granddaughter, CF takes far too many too soon. It sounds like your life has been full of wonderful CF women! I feel like CF forces you to either choose happiness, faith and strength or the opposite. And I am so excited for your neighbor and her kidney transplant – it makes the world of difference! Thank you so much for reaching out and for your kind words. God bless you and yours as well!!

          • Susanna says

            I just found your blog through a Pinterest recipe search and love that you’re the whole package. My cousin, also a CF gal, is one of the most remarkable people I’m blessed to know. In college, she created her own bumper sticker for her car that read, “Don’t postpone joy.” It seems that motto fits your life as well!

            God bless!

          • Jen says

            Hi Susanna, you are the sweetest, thank you! I am so happy you found my blog and am honored by your super kind words. Your cousin sounds like an incredible woman and I absolutely love her custom bumper sticker – what a motto to live by! We all need that daily reminder! A big hug to her and to you!

    • Robin Persson says

      I am so excited about cooking for Thanksgiving your recipes sounds so incredible. I am using quite of few of your recipes! I do have a question. Do you think the Million Dollar Mac & Cheese will freeze well if I prepare up to the breadcrumbs stage. If so, should I freeze before baking or bake and freeze and then when I heat up add breadcrumbs. Thank you

      • Jen says

        Hi Robin, thank you for using some of my recipes for Thanksgiving! As far as the Million Dollar Mac goes, I think it should freeze fine! I would freeze it before baking and make sure to let it cool all the way after you transfer the mac from the stove into your casserole dish. Also make sure to cover tightly before you freeze it. Enjoy!

    • Karen Holt says

      Is this Debbie from Barnett Street? This K aren Holt from Barnett St.

  2. Kathy Amelotte says

    You never cease to amaze me! Now I get to eat the incredible food I always smelled in the office. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Candy Brown says

    Thanks for the Chinese Chicken recipe! My favorite food ever!
    Looking forward to more recipes. Thanks for posting!

    • Jen says

      My favorite food too! So glad you liked it! I have more Chinese to come 🙂

  4. Misty Proctor says

    This Is cool Jen… It all looks so yummy!

  5. Becca Skaggs says

    Holy moly you’re making me hungry! 🙂 I need to get cooking some of these amazing looking morsels! I’m excited!

    • Jen says

      I am excited for you to try them and to hear what you think!

  6. Linda says

    I would love to receive you recipes!!! I live in Fort Worth, Texas and I’m always looking for new ones!!

  7. Jen says

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you for your comment about receiving recipes! You can receive emails whenever I post a new recipe by entering your email on the right column where it says “Never Miss A Craving” – or you can follow me on facebook, instagram, etc. (icons on top right of page). Does that help?

    Thank you so much for stopping by! I just started two months ago and it has been an awesome journey so far with so many more great recipes to share. Getting comments from people like you make my day!


  8. Shirfa says

    Jen your food is as beautiful as you are, thank you so much for sharing a part of you with us. Your truly Amazing! I can’t wait for your next post. Xoxo your new subbie!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Shirfa! You are so sweet to take the time to comment and to make my day! Your kind words brought a big smile to my face!

  9. Debbie says

    I am so glad I found your site. My husband just got out of the hospital Monday and each day of life is precious. I am working to remember that daily and to enjoy it more with him. He has cystic fibrosis and is 49. I appreciate your sharing and your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Debbie, I just saw this comment after I replied to your Carrot Cake Crepe comment. I am sorry your husband had to be hospitalized but glad he is out now. CF is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and like you said, makes you grateful for every moment of every day. Have you read my “Perfect Brightness of Hope” under Soul Food? It is my condensed life story and what lessons I have learned from CF. You might find it helpful. My prayers are with your family!

  10. Marcie Sheard says

    I’m from Carlsbad, too! Used to kayak in that lagoon.

    • Jen says

      Awesome! I feel like Carlsbad is a secret gem – so many great things to do! I am originally from Poway but moved to Carlsbad 8 years ago – we LOVE it here. Happy you found my site!

  11. Karen Bailey says

    Hi Jen,
    I feel compelled to write you and say that I stumbled across some of your recipes while on Pinterest last weekend. I was quite interested as you are located in Carlsbad which is about an hour from where I live and where my husband and I spent a delightful portion of our honeymoon almost 13 years ago. Then I read your story on your blog….and ordered your book. It came Monday and I am almost finished. It is one of the most inspirational stories I have ever read. You and your family are an amazing testimony of faith and love. Thank you for sharing it. (and your husband’s art work is beautiful!)

    • Jen says

      Thank you SO MUCH Karen! I just responded to you via FB 🙂

  12. Barbara miller e says

    Hi Jen was looking for a recipe to make a birthday cake for my husband steve’s birthday tomorrow. i came across your strawberry cream coffee cake. I will give it a go it looks fab.

    Think I might look at some of your exotic recipes in the future too.

    Thank you.


    • Jen says

      Hi Barbara! I am so happy you found my site! I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday with a wonderful cake :)! Can’t wait for you to try my other recipes as well!

  13. Amy says

    Hi Jen!

    Thanks so much for the great site! I’m trying the pizza dough recipe tonight that I saw on pinterest. You’ve got some great looking recipes that I’m excited to try. I love to cook/bake at home so it’s fun to try new things. My husband and kids are excited for the pizza too! 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Amy! I am so happy you are enjoying my site, thank you! You sound like me – always love trying new things! I am excited for you to try my other recipes as well! Let me know how the pizza turns out and thanks again for stopping by!

  14. Donna says

    Jenn….Im not sure how I came across this site….but its FANTASTIC!! I live in Oceanside 🙂 Im such a foodie. Cooking relaxes me and I cant wait to try your recipes. 🙂 Thank you for doing this blog!


    • Jen says

      Hi Donna! I live in north Carlsbad, so you are just up the street from me – so cool! I am so happy you stumbled upon my site – we can be neighbors and foodie enthusiasts together :)! I hope you find lots to enjoy on my blog!

  15. Donna says

    Saw your Toffee Pecan Caramel Pound Cake on Pinterest and had to check it out! I can’t wait to make it. I read about you and your health ordeals and felt a sudden connection to what you have been through. I had a liver transplant a few months ago and am beginning to feel like cooking again. So glad that you are well and healthy. I love to cook for my family and especially my grandchildren and have really missed being able to do that for them. I think this cake is a great way to begin baking again!!! Look forward to more yummy recipes!

    • Jen says

      Congratulations on your liver transplant Donna! It must be exciting to be on the other side of that hurdle and beginning to feel well again! I am so excited and happy for you to be able to feel well enough to do the things you love – like cooking! Food and family truly are some of the greatest joys 🙂 The Toffee Pecan Caramel Pound Cake would be the perfect celebratory dessert! I wish you a very speedy recovery with lots of baking ahead! xoxo! Jen

    • Jen says

      Hi Rachel, I would be honored for you to feature my Berryicious Cheesecake Dip as well as any other recipes from my site! Thank you so much!

      Carlsbad Cravings

  16. Gerri Lee says

    Love your Berrylicious Cheesecake dip. I’ve made it once but when I went to look it up again on your blog, I can’t get the instructions, the message says error. However, I can get the picture. That’s my new favorite dip. Can you share the instructions with me again? I would be so grateful!

    • Jen says

      Hi Gerri! I am so happy you love the dip! Sorry about the “error” you received. The dip directions seem accessible now. Are you still getting the same error message? If so, I can definitely send the you the direcitons but I am hoping it is all resolved. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Chloe! Its my one time to “dress her up” in with a lifejacket 🙂 She loves sniffing the ocean air!

  17. Nancy says

    I just found you on Pinterest, I love to cook, I will be trying some of your dishes. I had a son with CF who passed away in 1991 at age 12, he also loved to cook. I was just in Carlsbad for our daughters wedding at The Crossing, it was beautiful. So to find you I feel a little connection. Keep up the good work, I love to hear happy stories from CF people…thank you!

    • Jen says

      oh Nancy, your comment gave me chills. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your son. There is nothing more painful than losing a loved one too soon. My brother also died from CF. He was 19 in 1998. I am so happy though for the celebration of your daughter – in Carlsbad of all places! We absolutely love it here. Thank you so much for reaching out. I hope you are able to find some foodie joy from my blog! God bless, Jen

  18. Kim Anderson says

    Being a blogger myself I have to say that you are doing an AMAZING job with this blog. You recipes are so good, your pictures are professional and I’m constantly pinning your stuff. Keep it up my dear. You are adding value to my life and the internet as a whole! I can’t wait to make some caramelized pecans as gifts this year!

    • Jen says

      Kim, you are seriously so sweet, thank you for reaching out and for making my day! I just checkout out your blog as well and it is wonderful – useful EVERYTHING! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy lots of pecans :)!

  19. Maggie says

    Carlsbad lovers unite! I can”t believe it took me this long to find your blog! The only thing I love more than a good recipe, is woman with incredible strength. You clearly have both. I look forward to many more fabulous recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Maggie, I am so happy you found my blog – and love Carlsbad 🙂 I am honored by your incredibly kind words, thank you!

  20. Cyndi Harp says

    Just found your blog and love it! I also love Carlsbad. My husband has business in that area on and off and I love to join him. We live in NC on the coast. I look forward to visiting your blog. I also love the pictures of Kiwi, what a cutie! I am amazed as I read your story. It just goes to show what you can do when you are determined. Continued good health.

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you found my blog Cyndi! That is awesome you get to visit Carlsbad with your husband – not a bad place to come for business 🙂 It sounds like you get the best of both coasts! Thanks for your kind Kiwi comments – I would fill my blog with pictures of her if I didn’t think people would get sick of it – LOL! She’s as sweet as she is cute 🙂 Thanks for taking time to read about my story – it has been quite a journey and I feel humbled and blessed every day for all the miracles in my life. Health and blessings to you and yours as well! If you see a French bulldog in a life jacket on the lagoon next time you are in Carlsbad, make sure to say hi :)!

      • Cyndi Harp says

        You couldn’t put enough pictures of Kiwi in the blog as far as I’m concerned!! *L* It is fun to come to the San Diego area in general. It is the best of both worlds. I would love to come back out but may not be for a while. My husband is having his own health challenges right now so it might be a while till we head west. But I’m confident that he will be ok again and we will be out your way. Will be looking for Kiwi in the lagoon when we do come back. Till then I will keep checking back at the blog. Take care Jen!

        • Jen says

          I am so sorry to hear your husband is having health challenges. My thoughts and prayers will be with you, your husband and family. God bless!!

  21. Lindsey Springsteen says

    I am so happy I found your blog! I have been pinning your recipes all day and I’m making the cheesy nacho chicken tonight! Just wondering, do you have a copy cat recipe for the Beer Buddies that I love so much at Pizza Port? My husband is from San Diego (We live in Arkansas now) and took me to Pizza Port on our first visit together to San Diego! I’ve been looking for a recipe ever since! Can’t wait to see more recipes!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lindsey, I am so happy you found my blog and I hope you enjoy my recipes! I am sorry I don’t have a copycat for Pizza Port Beer Buddies – but that is a fabulous idea to add to my MAKE list! If I can get them right, I will let you know. In the meantime, you have a great excuse to make a trip to San Diego 🙂

  22. Juliette Exupery says

    Dearest Jen, I am truly amazed by you. I have been cooking for 50 years and have amassed THOUSANDS of recipes, but I still try and cook something new every week. I LOVE that you are a foodie, and you seem to cook just the right balance of yummy in all the foods I like. Today I cooked the Swedish Meatball Soup and it was amazing. I cheated and used IKEA meatballs, and cut them in fourths to get meat in every bite, but the soup was almost the best I’ve ever made. I love food and the discussions about food. You are a gift of inspiration. I go to Pinterest nearly every day, but you are the first person I’ve ever contacted. I’m too busy cooking, You’ll be hearing more from me. In the meantime keep that fighting spirit your readers love.

    Kindest regards, Juliette

    • Jen says

      Hi Juliette, THANK YOU so much for our super kind words! First of all, I love your love for cooking – you are my kind of women! Isn’t trying something new so fun?! I feel so honored that an experienced foodie such as yourself is enjoying my recipes and I honored that I’m the first you have contacted – thank you! I feel blessed everyday to not only be alive but to be doing what I love and sharing it with others. Comments such as yours make it that much more fulfilling. Happy cooking and more importantly, happy eating :)!

  23. Sheila says

    Hello, your website is wonderful, your photographs and story beautiful! I was wondering if you have, or will be doing, a cookbook?

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Sheila, I so appreciate your compliments! I have not done a cookbook as I just started blogging last February. I don’t have plans to as of now but I am sure there will be one sometime in the future- just not sure how far in the future 🙂 I have been getting requests for cookbooks lately from readers though. As a reader, are you looking for the same recipes that are already on my site compiled into cookbook form or for new recipes in cookbook form? Thanks!

      • Sheila says

        I am interrsted in both the recipes you have posted and new ones! Your cookbook would be beautiful with all the wonderful
        Photos you take.

  24. JANICE says

    Jen, you are an inspiration to me….keep up the good work and God bless you always and ever!
    I’m following you….

    • Jen says

      You are so thoughtful Janice, thank you so much! I am honored. My God bless you and yours as well!

  25. Kim says

    Hi Jen. I love your recipes and more importantly your story. You inspire and humble me. I struggle many days with the care and stress of caring for my daughter of 32 years. Erin has special needs and has since the day she was born. I guess what I’ve learned these last few months from The Lord is gratitude and thankfulness. He’s my rock and my comforter. I find myself many times clinging to Him and crying out for forgiveness for my crappy attitude. He says His burden is light. But only if we quit carrying it ourselves and place it at His feet. Then I read your story and hear your continued gratitude and joyful spirit in every sentence and I’m renewed with what’s important. Thank You. May The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace. Kim

    • Jen says

      Hi Kim, your comment gave me goose bumps. Thank you so much for your kind words and testimony. You are truly a hero in this world. Kim’s hero and no doubt a hero to many others. I don’t think you will know until you pass onto the other side the impact you are having. God bless you for your good works and for your faith and trust in Christ. I know you know He loves you dearly. I am so grateful for the Savior in my life who has literally become my Savior as I have cried unto him and he has saved me from fear and discouragement. Thank you again for your inspiring words. May God bless you with strength, fortitude, hope and happiness!

  26. Elizabeth says

    You are a true inspiration!! I love your recipes that I’ve tried so far……… thank you for sharing your story. Many blessings Jen <3

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Elizabeth! God bless you and your family as well! Thank you for following my recipes and my journey!

  27. Mary says

    Hi there… I was browsing Pinterest for a recipe for Fathers Day, and your site came up…and immediately put a surprised look on my face…my brother-in-law lives there…and our son is going to visit him in Sept…wow. It looks like a beautiful town. My BIL has 2 beautiful retrievers and a gorgeous house that they built.
    And God love you for what you have to live with. I have many issues, but as my mom always told me “there’s always someone worse off than you”… you have tons more than me, but…remember “someone worse off that YOU”… God bless you !!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, what a small world! I love living in Carlsbad! I’ll have to look for a man walking with two golden retrievers 🙂 We must be kindred spirits because I often think of a similar version of that quote that starts with a man who felt sorry for himself because he had no shoes until he saw a man who had no feet. So true for all of us. Being grateful for what we have is definitely the key to happiness. Thank you for reaching out and for the well wishes! God bless you and yours as well!

  28. Debbie says

    I’m having a hard time finding Chili Lime Chicken recipe, help, what am I doing wron?

  29. Cara says

    You are an incredible inspiration! I can’t wait to follow you, and I will forward your website to my neighbor and dear friend who is fighting the same battle as you.

    • Jen says

      Oh Cara, you are too kind, thank you! My heart goes out to your dear friend. She will be in my prayers! xoxox

  30. Ellen Garrett says

    I just discovered your blog. I guess I am excited because we have a few things in common. I live in Fallbrook, I am Mormon, and I have a food blog with my daughter. I look forward to more recipes from you and enjoying the next hour drooling as I look at your food recipes. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen says

      Hi Ellen! I totally know your daughter Aimee, we are in a few FB share groups together :)! I didn’t realize you lived in Fallbrook – what a small world! I love your blog and beautiful photography!

  31. Kevin | KevinIsCooking says

    Hi Jen!
    I find myself consistently Pinning your recipes, enjoy your posts and photography. I just wanted to say hello and let you know I really like your site here. Thanks so much.

    • Jen says

      KEVIN! A reader told me about your site last week (she’s a huge fan of yours) and I found myself going through your recipe index and drooling over everything! I LOVE the creative spin you put on everything – simply amazing! I then noticed you in Nagi’s group and was so sorry to hear your page got hacked – nightmare! Anyway, I have been wanting to reach out so I am so glad you did! I would love to get together with you sometime as a fellow San Diegan 🙂

      • Kevin | KevinIsCooking says

        Thanks for the kind words Jen. Definitely let’s meet up sometime. I work all over SD and Orange counties by day so let me know what’s a good day or we will definitely meet up in November I believe for the Food Blogger Central group. Are you involved with that? Nagi is putting it together with Meggan?
        As for the site, it’s migrating to Media Temple as I type, no more HostGator. PLUS, they still haven’t fixed the evil pop up malware issue on my site (hence I am moving it) Media Temple said they can scan my site in a day and remove it before them migrate my site to their new servers. Hopefully the issues will be resolved and I can get back to my labor of love, Keviniscooking.

  32. Janene says

    Awww, I came across you looking for a Korean stir-fry recipe.
    Carlsbad, my old stomping ground? Curious I clicked, memories flood!
    My first house, Harbor Pointe (off Poinsettia) bought for 120k imagine.
    Hanging out with Big John at Tip Top, he loved me because I was a tall blonde of German descent.
    My in-laws were German and they shopped there whenever they were in town (head-cheese? no thank you).
    John is probably not around anymore, I assume…big lovable John.
    Fireworks at the power plant…life goes by so fast, make the most of it, always.

    Seems like you are Jen. Looking thru your recipes I am now a knew fan!

    • Jen says

      Hi Janene, we love living in Carlsbad! I am just a few exits from Poinsettia – such a small world! and NO I cannot imagine a house, let alone a condo for 120K! I am so happy you found my blog and hope you have fun trying my recipes!

  33. Judy Rininger says

    Your recipes all look and sound amazing. But I have Celiac Sprue. That is an allergy to gluten, and I can’t eat anything with wheat, oats, rye, bran barley, or malt. Do you have any recipes that don’t have any of these ingredients? I have some gluten free all purpose flour that I would like to try, but I’m not sure if it will work on your recipes.

    • Jen says

      Hi Judy, welcome! Many of my Asian recipe don’t have flour or if they do, gluten free flour would work wonderfully – just make sure to also use gluten free soy sauce, etc. Most of my Mexican recipes don’t have flour product either – and you can substitute corn tortillas for any flour. My mother-in-law is gluten free and she makes my recipes all the time just using gluten free ingredients as needed. I really think all of my recipes are gluten free adaptable, so I hope you can have fun exploring and trying new recipes!

  34. Sharla Wilson says

    Amazing is my first thought ~~ My sons’ best friend passed way too soon from C F & David was devastated, I plan to show him your inspiring story & hopefully this will ease his heart… Thank you for sharing “all”. My heart meets yours on the playing field of Kidneys. I have Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease…. But I will not let it get me down, my left kidney is shrinking & some day I may loose it, this does not trouble me. My Grandmother lived many many years with only 1 kidney… I was told early on that I had M.S. phooey not this girl not giving in. To the amazement of my docs. I drove a tractor trailer for 30 years before retiring, would not have stopped but my hubby passed away, and that kinda did for me as for the driving…. We had the gracious pleasure of either driving thru and or stopping in Carlsbad many times. We drove from Atlanta, Ga. to all points in California for most of the 30 years. I love it out there.
    I truly think you are a precious, delicate flower for whom the bell tolls, and for whom the sky turns its colors to blue everyday. I applaud you and your endeavors. The foods are amazing, esp. the Carrot cake with the cream cheese I plan to try it very soon. May God bless you daily. Hugs

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness Sharla, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you for you beautiful, kind words! It sounds like you have lived an extraordinary life and are an extraordinary woman, beating the odds again and again with your courage, determination and faith and positive attitude. I have no doubt you are a blessing to everyone around you. I wish you the very best with your Chronic Kidney Disease and in every aspect of your health and life. Much love and God bless!!! HUGS! Jen

      • Sharla Wilson says

        Thank you Jen, that you would take your time to respond means the world to me… You, young lady are a very valiant fighter, one for whom I will pray daily that God continues to bless you and your journey…. Thank you for all you give to all of us. I know I must speak for others when I say THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER THANK YOU!! I will be checking in on you, not only your recipes, but you yourself. I write poetry, sayings, & small stories. I think you have inspired me to come up with one of these for you. hugs 100 times over.

        • Jen says

          Hugs 100 times over to you! Thank YOU for the virtual big, warm hug with your beautiful, kind words. You truly are a light in this world who just made my day brighter! oxoxo!!

  35. Sandhya says

    I HAD to write to you after reading your interview on FBC. My mom was an extremely passionate cook and I like to believe that I inherited that gene from her.I started to blog about Indian and Indian fusion cooking just last year but have been developing recipes and cooking like a maniac for 30 years! And I am still constantly thinking of innovative recipes. (no exaggeration here:)
    I lost my mom some years ago but I pulled my self together for my kids. Recently I lost my younger sister and my dad and it has been a struggle to pick myself up. Your story has truly inspired me because I feel the same way about sharing my recipes. We do not know how long we have so I want to share my passion and my best recipes with everyone, including my children.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has truly inspired me and also taught me to be thankful fo rmy own health. God bless you, Jen.

    • Jen says

      God bless you Sandhya! What an emotional last few years, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother, father and sister. I can only relate to your loss from losing my brother – but all three so close together would be earth shattering. HUGS to you! It sounds like we are foodie kindred spirits with our love of cooking. I am so happy you have your cooking passion to energize and inspire you – it is truly a blessing. No doubt sharing your recipes with your children and with the rest of the world will be a treasured legacy. Thank you for reaching out and for your kind words. I look forward to seeing more of your Indian/Indian fusion cuisine! xo

  36. Melanie @ Gather for Bread says

    What an incredible story you shared with us on FBC. Love how you can use your story to inspire others. You’ve been through so much and yet you still have your joy. God is good. That’s where is, in the heart. (((hugs)))

    Thanks so much for sharing. I had no idea what you’ve been through!

    • Jen says

      Oh Melanie, you are so sweet! Thank you! I completely agree – “God is good and that’s where its at” – the very reason for my joy 🙂 Thanks for reaching out and for your kind words! HUGS to you!!

  37. Tania says

    Hi there 🙂 I was on Food Bloggers Central last night and enjoyed reading her interview with you. However it left me teary all day today as we lost my step brother to Cystic Fibrosis 7 years ago. He was such a sweet person and I wish I had made him more carrot cakes……his fav! x

    • Jen says

      oh Tania, I wish I could give you a great big hug!! There is nothing like losing a loved one. My heart aches for you and my thoughts are with you!! xoxo

  38. b says

    I am using your sweet & sour chicken, pineapple and peppers recipe. Question, do I put the X 13 casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees uncovered? No temp was provided in the recipe. Seemed reasonable. Also can I make the sauce the day before and keep in refg till next day when making the chicken I’m kind of a newer cook and your site is good for me. Thanks.

    • Jen says

      Hi there! The baking temperature is in line 2 but it can be hard to miss – 350F degrees – so you were right on! I am happy you are enjoying my site – I hope you find lots of new recipes to love here!

  39. Donna says

    I don’t know how I landed on you’d page but plan to keep looking!!! Saw some yum that I’m going to make. I have also been touched by amazing CF people. My sister only lived to 26, leaving us in 1988. A spirited spit-fire she was waiting for a heart-lung transplant, but it didn’t come soon enough. I pray you keep your strength and spirit in honor of those who are no longer with us.

    • Jen says

      Hi Donna, I am so happy you landed on my page – no matter how :)! Welcome! I am so deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your sister, I am sure she was an amazing, amazing woman. I too lost my brother to CF when he was 19, also waiting for a lung transplant and also a spit-fire! I am sure they are in heaven having tons of fun together and watching over us. CF takes way too many too soon but they are ever closer to a cure! May God bless you and yours! xoxox

  40. Brittany says

    I just spent the last hour or so going through some delicious looking recipes. SUPER excited to try some out. Thanks for posting so many flavors I love, with beautiful photos! Happy New Year from Alberta Canada.

    • Jen says

      Welcome from Canada Brittany! I am so glad you found my site and I am excited YOU are excited to try some of my recipes! I hope you find a lot of new favorites here! Happy New Year!!

  41. Frances says

    Hi Jen, i absolutely love your recipes!

    Frances from Bermuda

    • Jen says

      Hi Frances all the way from Bermuda! You are the sweetest, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I am so happy you are loving my recipes – yay! Thank you!

  42. Marijean Jenson says

    I just found your site, and was so touched by your story, not to mention your photography and recipes are out of this world. We have a young man in our small town that has been battling cf for quite some time. His parents own a restaurant in town, and they have a big fund raiser every fall, where they close off the street to town. They have live music, and lots of food, and they raise alot of money to go towards research. He just recently got a long awaited lung transplant and seems to be doing well. Very encouraging reading about your journey. I wish you good luck and continued good health. P.S. I have a French bulldog also. I think Kiwi is adorable.

    • Jen says

      Hi Marijean, welcome to my site, I am so happy you stumbled upon it! As a fellow Frenchie lover, I love you already! Aren’t they the best?! Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful words. What an amazing young man in your town and what an amazing town to rally behind him! I am sorry he got sick enough to need a lung transplant but thrilled he was able to receive a second chance at life! Lung transplants truly are miraculous! Along with your town, I pray for his health and strength. May God bless him, you and yours! xo

  43. Teri Rempel says

    Hi Jen! Like so many others. I too stumbled upon your blog. As I began to read it. it didn’t take long to realize that you too are LDS!I just want you to know that through your beautiful words there flows a wonderful testimony of our beliefs. You are an awesome missionary and I thank you for that. Take care and who knows… maybe someday we’ll meet paddleboarding in the lagoon! I just live in Vista.Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Jen says

      Hi neighbor, welcome to Carlsbad Cravings! If you live in Vista and are LDS, then there is no doubt that we know some of the same people! Thank you so much for your super sweet, thoughtful comment. I am honored and humbled that my testimony comes through – seriously such a compliment, thank you! xo

  44. Danica says

    I just found your site via a post on Big Mama blog. Your food looks fantastic and your story is inspiring. God bless you!

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you stumbled across my blog Danica, welcome! I hope you have fun exploring/trying my recipes! Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I feel so blessed every day 🙂 God bless you and yours as well! xo

  45. Joe says

    Hi there!

    I stumbled upon your site while looking for a recipe for ‘Black Bean Cilantro Lime Rice’ that I remembered having as a side dish somewhere in New Mexico. I was immediate;y impressed with your site. The recipes all look outstanding. and I can honestly say this is my new favorite recipe site. It is clear that you put a great deal of work into this site. Thank you for all that you do… it is sincerely appreciated.

    • Jen says

      What a kind, wonderful comment Joe, thank you! I SO appreciate your thanks and am honored you are enjoying my site! I hope you find many recipes to love and to become new favorites as you explore! welcome and many thanks!

  46. Meredith says

    My husband found your site when he was clicking around looking for something to cook for me on Mother’s Day. He ended up making the Teriyaki Chicken Tacos with grilled pineapple salsa. It tasted every bit as good as it looked, and we made it again when we had his lab (he’s a professor) over for an end of the year bbq. He asked that I make him something from your site for Father’s Day tomorrow (actually he said I can make him anything from your site) so I’m trying the Asian Hoisin burgers. Still pondering dessert … too many choices!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful personal story and for sharing your talents via your blog. You have fans in Oregon!

    • Jen says

      Hi Meredith, welcome from Oregon! I am so glad your husband stumbled across my blog and thrilled the Teriyaki Tacos were every bit as delicious as they looked! I am honored he asked you to make hims something from my site for Father’s Day – and the Asian Burgers are an excellent choice! As far as desserts go, you can’t go wrong with sugar, but a few of my all time favorites are the Caramel Toffee Pecan Cake, Mama’s Hot Lemon Poke Cake and the Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies – if I had to choose 🙂 Thank you for taking time to share in my story! I hope you continue to enjoy exploring my site and trying my recipes! xo

  47. Debbie Roberts says

    Ok… I randomly clicked on a delicious looking recipe on Pinterest, and it came up to your website. I noticed the name and thought, “Hey! I’M from Carlsbad!’ (Although I live in Texas right now.) But I also notice you’re LDS! So I just thought I’d say hi and let you know your story is inspiring to find joy in life in all circumstances. Thanks for sharing it. My family is all still in Carlsbad, so if you know any of the Packards… Well, that’s my family (Mark and Bonnie are my parents… In C1). ☺️ Best wishes in all you do!

    • Jen says

      Hi Debbie, welcome to my site and a taste of home – and oh my goodness, what a small world – I DEFINITELY know Packards- haha! I have known Kristi and Lance for over 10 years (love them), Jared and Erin are in my ward and used to be neighbors and I love your parents! Thank you for saying hi and for your kind words! Best to you and your family as well! xo

  48. Dawn says

    Hi Jen.
    Your Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake caught my eye on Pinterest and as Carrot Cake is my hubby’s favorite dessert, I made it yesterday and WOW!! It was amazingly delicious. I will never try another Carrot Cake ever!!
    Then I checked out your blog and small world, we vacation almost every year in Carlsbad and my grandparents lived in Encinitas so I spent many of my childhood summers at Moonlight Beach, what a coincidence, right?
    I’m a beach girl at heart and hope to make it a reality someday.
    Looking forward to following you and trying many more of your recipes.

    • Jen says

      Hi Dawn, sorry for the delay as I have been moving and things have been crazy but thank you so much for your comment! I am thrilled you loved my Cream Cheese Carrot Cake enough “to never try another carrot cake ever” – the ultimate compliment – thank you! That is amazing that you vacation in Carlsbad and spent your summers at Moonlight Beach – I know that beach very well – what a small world! I hope some day you can make the beach your reality – even better yet Carlsbad 🙂 Thank you for saying hi and I hope you have fun exploring my recipes!

  49. lyann says

    morning! what an amazing story.
    I couldn’t believe your frenchie is named Kiwi, our boston is named Kiwi as well! How funny is that?!
    I’m going to try your pizza crust for a client today. Thanks for sharing.

    Home Cooking in Hillcrest 😉

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Lyann! and oh my goodness, I can’t believe your Boston’s name is Kiwi too – I have never heard of another pet named Kiwi – love it! I hope you loved thee pizza crust!

  50. Rachel says

    I found your blog through Pinterest while looking for recipes and went down the rabbit hole. It’s been hours that I’ve sat here looking at your blog, reading your posts. I remember reading the Ensign article … it touched me then, but probably more so now. Can’t wait to read your book. I also highlighted or copied so many lines from the talk you posted. Thank you for being such a light and for being so generous and faithful. You have touched so many. What a remarkable, beautiful and talented woman you are.

    • Jen says

      Hi Rachel, welcome to Carlsbad Cravings, I am so glad you found me through pinterest! That is amazing that you remember the Ensign article from 10 years ago! It has been and continues to be an incredible journey and I am so honored when lovely people such as yourself are touched in some way. Thank you for taking the time to read my talk and for ordering my book. It is a tear jerker but hopefully an uplifting tear jerker 🙂 Much love to you and yours! xo Jen

  51. Roger D. Libby says

    I just watched your video, and I must say, you are a beautiful and wonderful woman, inside and out. What a heartwarming and inspiring story. Friends of ours have two children, both with CF, and although I can’t imagine what they, or you have gone through, I applaud you for your tremendous courage, perseverance, and positive attitude. God bless you! Oh, and I absolutely love your recipes! Please keep them coming! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Roger, welcome to Carlsbad Cravings! Thank you so much for taking the time to watch my video and for your kind, thoughtful, uplifting comment! I feel like everyone has a story/struggle of some kind and CF has been quite our learning curve 🙂 I am so grateful for wonderful people like you that brighten my day! God bless you and yours as well and your sweet friends with CF!

  52. Rob says

    Wow, your story is pretty amazing! I, too, am a kidney transplant recipient and found your site by chance. I was looking for a good recipe to make carne asada on the grill, rather than on the stove with a flavor packet. I love to cook, especially on the grill. I use a charcoal grill and added mesquite chips to the mix. It turned out better than most mexican restaurants I have been too…and I live in North County too. So that says a lot!

    I am eager to try out new recipes from your site!

    • Jen says

      Hi Rob, I am so happy you stumbled upon my blob and a BIG congratulations on your transplanted kidney! What a small world between that and that you also live in North County! I love that you love to cook (such a fun outlet!) and so happy you loved the carne asada recipe so much! I hope you have fun exploring and trying more recipes from my site! Have a great weekend and God bless your new kidney:)!

  53. Kathe Morton says

    Hi, Jen. Kept clicking on fabulous looking, then tasting recipes on Pinterest (I call Pincrak) that came from Carlsbad Cravings. I had to look further. I grew up in So.Oceanside with the Carlsbad Lagoon at the end of our block in the 1950 – 60’s. Your paddleboarding on it gave me little pangs of jealousy. I spent spare hours surfing and basking in the sun on every beach from the O’slde harbor to Tamarack and the SRF and beyond north and south. Spent years in Carlsbad and miss it a lot here in Oregon. Your story is amazing. You keep fighting that good fight that has brought you what looks to be a great husband and the great outdoor wonderfilled life only available in that fantastic area of the world. Thanks for sharing so much of your self. Namaste’, Kathe.

    • Jen says

      Hi Kathe, I am so glad you found me through Pincrack 🙂 – welcome!!! I live right by the lagoon so we would have been neighbors! What a wonderful place to grow up. We frequent all of the same beaches that filled your childhood and feel so blessed to live an”outdoor wonderfilled life”- love how you worded that! Hopefully you can visit from Oregon! Thank you so much for your kind words! You sound absolutely lovely! All the best to you and yours!

  54. La Viola says

    I just printed like 10 of your slow cooker recipes. SO excited to try them. I subscribed to your e-mail also. THEN I read your bio and I am even happier! You have an awesome soul, thank you for sharing with us all.

    • Jen says

      You are the sweetest La Viola, thank you! Thank you for taking time to read my bio and for your kind, thoughtful words! I LOVE my slow cooker and recipes because they are so easy and yummy! I hope you have fun trying them! Have a beautiful week!

  55. Karla says

    Hi Jen! I was just going through some of your recipes and plan to try your Cheesy Chicken and rice and Broccoli recipe – the one you said reminds you of Chicken Divan. That was my favorite dish growing up, as well. I thought you might try, sometime, adding a dash of mustard and some curry to yours. That’s how my mom’s dish evolved, and I found it added a really intriguing layer to the dish. I suspect that would translate really nicely to the soup as well.

    • Jen says

      YES! we are foodie kindred spirits! I can’t think of Chicken Divan without a fond memory from my childhood and craving it! 🙂 I am totally trying a dash of curry and mustard next time I make the soup or casserole – 2 ingredients I wouldn’t have thought of but sound delicious – thank you! I hope you love the soup and that it reminds you of your Mom’s Chicken Divan 🙂 Thanks Karla!

  56. Margie Choate says

    Dear Jen, would like to start receiving your recipes. Everything look great! I live in Ensenada Baja, Estero Beach Resort with my husband and our Frenchie Rudy he’s almost 11. We both grew up in San Diego. We love to cook and entertain. You sound like a very special lady.

    • Jen says

      Hi Margie, welcome to my site! It sounds like you live in Paradise! My husband heads down that way for surf trips every now and then and can’t get enough 🙂 I know we would be good friends with so much in common 🙂 Your Rudy sounds adorable! – aren’t they the best ?! Thank you so much for your kind words and for visiting my site! I will subscribe you to my email list right now. If you ever don’t want to receive my emails, there is an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom. All the best to you and yours!

  57. Trudy says

    Hi Jen, I stumbled onto your blog today by finding the chicken burritos on pinterest. I can’t wait to try them and many more of your recipes. My husband also has CF and he had a double lung transplant 7 1/2 years ago and a kidney transplant about 2 1/2 yrs ago. I delighted to see someone else who is thriving after all the things life has thrown at them. I look forward to browsing your recipes and meal planing. Hope you have an awesome day!

    • Jen says

      Hi Trudy, I am so glad you stumbled across my site! I am amazed that your husband also has CF, had a lung transplant and kidney transplant – the percentage of people with both is so rare! a big Congratulations to him for all he’s endured and conquered! And I have no doubt you are the rock at his side, his angel and his joy! God bless both of you with much health and happiness!

  58. Lauren says

    Congratulations on your transplants. I am a kidney transplant patient myself with 19 year and going strong! All before age 30!

    • Jen says

      Wow Lauren, that is amazing, congratulations! and 19 years – that is wonderful! God bless you with many years of health and happiness!

  59. Logan says

    How cool is this? I was just looking up random recipes and came across your page. I am 24 years old with Cystic Fibrosis! I am struggling with gaining weight, trying drink supplements and eating fatty foods. Trying to find a balance between my husbands desire for healthy/light weight food for him and our son and me needing more calories. Do you have any high calorie recipes you can share? Thanks so much!

    • Jen says

      Hi Logan, so nice to “meet” you! I hope you are doing well – other than the battle to gain weight 🙂 I don’t have any specific high calorie recipes – in fact many of my recipes are “skinny” or “light” versions but that might be perfect for your family because you could make as directed for your family and add extra butter, heavy cream, cheese etc. to yours. My most caloric recipe though has got to my my Million Dollar Mac and Cheese I think your whole family would love it! My prayers are with you and your family and your continued health! xo

    • Jen says

      Hi Logan, so nice to “meet” you! I hope you are doing well – other than the battle to gain weight 🙂 I don’t have any specific high calorie recipes – in fact many of my recipes are “skinny” or “light” versions but that might be perfect for your family because you could make as directed for your family and add extra butter, heavy cream, cheese etc. to yours. My most caloric recipe though has got to my my Million Dollar Mac and Cheese I think your whole family would love it! My prayers are with you and your family and your continued health! xo

  60. Denise says

    You are truly an inspiration! I admire your courage, creativity and can-do spirit so much!! I knew a girl with CF in high school. She was a cheerleader and had a lot of spunk. And I like your recipes very much….

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Denise for your kind, thoughtful comment! Life is so much more fulfilling when you face it head on 🙂 Thank you for brightening my day! xo

  61. Roberta Comeau says

    The best sites comer unexpected . . .thanks for sharing your wonderful blog, planning to create most of them. My heart goes out to you as a survivor, a fifty year plus Cancer survivor myself. . .you have my blessing of a wonderful life with hubby and your “four-footed” daughter, Roberta at Whispers from the Past in Catskills, New York.

    • Jen says

      Hi Roberta, thank you so much for your kind comment and congratulations on being a 50+ year cancer survivor – yay! I hope you enjoy trying some of my recipes and I pray for your continued health and happiness!

  62. Ocean girl in Victoria says

    I love your recipes and print out the ones I wish to try. I am disappointed that recently when you click the print icon that the recipes now print without a picture……when one is cruising though one’s recipe binder pictures are really nice to have and make it quicker to find recipes.

    • Jen says

      Hi there, so sorry for the delay as we just moved and things have been a lot crazy! I had to change it due to technical reasons but I have passed on your concerns onto my tech guy and I’m hoping he can fix them ASAP- I agree a picture is as must! Sorry for the inconvenience but thank your patience!

  63. Leah says

    I am new to Carlsbad Cravings. I can’t wait to try your recipes, they look so amazing. I just watched your interview with Meg and read your bio on the blog. I will be purchasing your book, as your story inspires me. I am in my mid 40’s and became ill 3 years ago. I have lived my life always appreciative of the small things. Health was one thing I think we all take for granted. I like to listen to other people and how they deal with and continue to soar when faced with health challenges. Your family is beautiful. Such a blessing! Thank you for sharing everything. I love all food. If you any suggestions on some of your favorites I can try, I would appreciate it!

    • Jen says

      Hi Leah, welcome to Carlsbad Cravings! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you as we moved this weekend and things have been a lot crazy getting ready for the big day but THANK YOU so much for taking the time to watch my interview and read my bio! I am honored you are purchasing my book as well-it is near and dear to my heart, I hope it touches yours as well. I am sorry to hear you became ill a few years ago – health can be so unpredictable! It sounds like you have a wonderful outlook on life though which makes all the difference. I pray for your improved health and continued positive outlook! xo

  64. JK says

    I LOVE your site and am a big fan. But I must say that your new recipe format is not as good as your old one. It is great that you get everything on 1 page and that you are not too wordy. That is fantastic! But the new recipe format is harder to follow, the print is smaller and the space between the measurement and the ingredients is too far apart and just harder to follow. Thought you would want to know. Thanks, Jan

    • Jen says

      Hi JK, so sorry for the delay as we just moved and things have been a lot crazy. I had to change it due to technical reasons but I have passed on your concerns onto my tech guy and I’m hoping he can fix them ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience but thank your patience!

  65. Elizabeth Amos says

    Hi, I just made your Mexican chicken-well at least it is in crock pot. You are an inspiration. I am facing a double lung transplant due to PAH. I’m terrified. You look amazing and finding this love of food and sharing is just so uplifting. I hope I can find a new purpose soon. Staying positive is so important. ThAnks for the recipe and enjoy every day!

    • Jen says

      Hi Elizabeth, congratulations on your upcoming lung transplant but I completely understand how daunting/scary it is! I am excited though for your new life of feeling so much better than you have in a long time with newfound energy and new adventures to look forward to. Such an exciting, terrifying, hopeful time – all at the same time 🙂 My thoughts and prayers will be with you!!!! xo

  66. Kathy Keen says

    Hi Jen

    I’ve subscribed to your blog for around 3 months now and I love it! You are so talented and creative and I’ve enjoyed every single recipe I made. I’m a retired registered nurse and understand some of the health challenges you have had. I must say your courage and your faith are to be admired and example for all. Happy Thanksgiving!!


    • Jen says

      Hi Kathy, thank you for taking time to write such a kind, thoughtful comment! I am so happy you found my blog and have been enjoying my recipes but most importantly a huge THANK YOU for all that you do! Nurses have been a big part of my life and I have no doubt that you uplift and brighten the day of so many in small and big ways every single day. I can still remember many of the nurses I had over 17 years ago during my lung transplant. You truly are angels on earth! xo

  67. Brandon says

    Hey Jen, so excited to find your site. We have a brother with CF and have spent many years working to raise money and awareness for the CF cause here in Utah. Where we also share a passion for Cf we also shares a passion for food! I found your blog looking for recipes and absolutely love the stuff you have posted. Thank you for sharing your story, your faith and your love of food. We will continue to follow you and your journey.

    Many thanks!
    Brandon and Jodi Ross

    • Jen says

      Hi Brandon and Jodi, welcome to my site! THANK YOU for all you have done over the years to raise money and awareness for CF. There has been so much progress in CF research and medications over the years only made possible because of you and people like you, we CFers can’t thank you enough! I hope you have fun exploring my site and hopefully find some new favorites! God bless you and yours!

  68. Anne Flinders says

    So excited to find your blog through Pinterest! I was immediately interested because it’s so pretty to look at, and the writing is upbeat and encouraging. And then there was the Carlsbad connection: I served my mission in San Diego, and my first area was in the Carlsbad Stake. And you called your dog your four-legged dog; love that. And /then/ you have a link to one of my favorite talks by Pres. Uchtdorf? That did it–I was /desperate/ to sign up! Thank you for developing so many gifts and sharing them, Jen. Wishing you the best!

    • Jen says

      Hi Anne, what a small world, what ward did you serve in Carlsbad? We have been hear for over 10 years and love it! Thank you so much for all your kind words. I don’t pay too much attention to how I write, so I am glad it is upbeat and encouraging 🙂 I hope you have fun cooking and find lots of new favorite recipes here!

  69. alejandra says

    Hola!!! me emocionó saber de tu vida, tus bendiciones y tus logros!!! te encontré buscando recetas para la navidad. Gracias por tu grandez, por tu fuerza y por compartir este amor por la cocina!!
    saludos y cariños desde Encarnacion, Paraguay, Sur america!!

    • Jen says

      Estoy tan feliz de haber encontrado mi blog – bienvenido! Me honra que leas sobre mi vida. ¡Muchas gracias por su amable y atento comentario! ¡Dios te bendiga!

  70. Connie D. says

    What an inspiring life and love !!! PleasePleasePLease read the book Medical Medium by Anthony William it will change your journey, so improve all aspects of your health beyond the info and conclusions mainstream medicine provides. Thank you your amazing recipes and beautiful smile and energy !

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Connie for you kind words and your book recommendation! I will have to check it out! I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

  71. Laurie Akers says

    I’m from Omaha Nebraska, and dearly love your recipes! It was a cold snowy night,and I made your “One pot white chicken lasagna soup “– it was awesome. It took me longer than expected prep and cook time, but it was oh so worth it!!! (And Carlsbad is my favorite place to be. ( since 1978!) )
    Thanks, and I’ll be trying more of your recipes!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Laurie all the way from Nebraska! That is so fun that you know and love Carlsbad! I am so flattered you are loving my recipes, thank you so much! The One Pot Lasagna Soup sounds absolutely perfect for a cold snowy night – and I’m so glad/relieved it was worth the time! I hope it warmed you up! Thank you for making my recipes and for your kind words!

  72. Liz says

    Hi Jen,

    Brought to your website from a recipe on Pinterest and it caught my eye that you are a LUNG transplant recipient. Would love to learn more about that particular experience from someone who’s successfully received one. I have COPD/Bronchiectesis, and my doctor has discussed the possibility of a transplant for me. Would love to hear positive feedback on that experience. Is that mentioned in your book?? Thank you for being so open and inspiring to others. God bless you and your family!

    • Jen says

      Hi Liz, so nice to meet you! Yes, I discuss my process in the book but it will be different for someone who doesn’t have Cystic fibrosis. I will email you personally so you we can chat about it – let me know if you don’t get my email 🙂 Wishing you all the best!

  73. Shelley Walton says

    I just forwarded your info to a dear friend of mine. Y’all are soul sisters!!!. She too is a CF survivor and a lung transplant recipient. She’s one of the bravest ladies I know, and is now living life LARGE as it seems you do as well. Thank you for the inspiration, and the crazy yummy food along the way!
    Also, my son is in Escondido in college… wish he could meet you. He’s a foody on a very poor college budget :o).
    God bless and thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jen says

      Hi Shelley! What an amazingly small world that your friend is a CF lung transplant recipient and your son is going to college in Escondido! Thanks for forwarding my info along to her – it is always so nice to meet someone else with CF who has received a lung transplant – I feel like I already know them so well just by those two facts alone! I hope she is doing well! I hope your son is liking college in Escondido even though we have had 300% more rain than we usually do! You can tell him the rest of his college life should be more sunny 🙂 Thanks for reaching out Shelley! All the best to you and yours!

  74. Rachel Campbell says

    Just found your website and love, love, love your recipes! I can’t wait to try them this weekend. You now have a new fan in Calgary (Alberta), Canada.

    • Jen says

      You are so sweet Rachel, I am honored to have a new fan in Canada, thank you! I am excited to hear what you try first! I hope you have fun exploring and trying my recipes!

  75. Maria says

    Hi Jen, just came across your blog through Pinterest..not sure what I was looking for but your recipes all looked so “yummy” !! I’ll have to read your bio soon (I, myself, am going through some health issues) and try your recipes as well ! I’d like to try that “Carrot Cake” recipe I read so much about in your comments !! Love carrot cake

    • Jen says

      Hi Maria, welcome so much to my site! We must be foodie kindred spirits and have the same definition of “yummy” 🙂 I think you will love the carrot cake and its finally feeling a little more like spring – and time for carrot cake! I actually just experimented with more of a traditional 3 layer carrot cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting – it is to live for – posting next month so be sure to look for it 🙂 I wish you all the best with your health challenges – they can seem unpredictable and never ending but at leas we have good food to get us through it!

  76. Hannah Caveny says

    I came across your shrimp and asparagus recipe today, and in turn, and for the first time EVER, I came across a food blog that has recipe after recipe of foods that are right up my alley! Not only that, but I also deeply enjoy your blurbs! I am so happy I found you. So, now I am subscribed, excited to be a part of your food-ing adventures, and thought I’d drop by and let you know. My husband will be every so thankful as well. – Blessings!

    • Jen says

      Hi Hannah, I am so glad you stumbled across my site and thank you so much for saying hi! It sounds like we are truly foodie “kindred spirits!” I know how fun it can be to find someone who shares similar tastes as you – it makes cooking so much more exciting/enjoyable! I hope you have fun trying my recipes and hopefully find many new favorites!

  77. Anita Prater says

    Jen, I’m so happy to have found your site! Your story is such a courageous one! My husband and I both have been through the battle of cancer. Mine was stage 3 uterine cancer and he has stage 4 lymphoma. He is currently battling it for the third time. You definitely are living life the way everyone should, being grateful for today and living life to the fullest! I am honored to follow your site! You are definitely an inspiration to others!

    • Jen says

      Hi Anita, welcome to my site and thank you so much for your kind words! I have no doubt both you and your husband are an inspiration to countless others as well- I am in awe of all you have and are continuing to go through! My prayers will be with your husband and your entire family during this difficult time. God bless! xo

  78. Jannie says

    I discovered a few of your recipes thru Pinterest, just browsing and loved both of the ones I tried! Looking forward to making more of your delicious treats! BTW… Love the Frenchie!! I have a Boston named Chappy!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jannie, welcome to my site! I’m so happy to hear you have enjoyed the recipes of mine you’ve tried! And thank you, we love our little Kiwi, she is such a sweet, fun, funny dog. I love Boston’s too – such fun personalities and the name Chappy – too cute!

  79. Nicole says

    Hi! I made your white chicken lasagna soup last night and it was so amazing that I shared your blog to a bunch of friends at work 🙂
    I tried to click on the instagram link but it didn’t work. Maybe it was user error but thought you’d like to know just in case others are having the same issue.
    Looking forward to making more recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Nicole, I’m so happy to hear you loved the White Chicken Lasagna Soup and thank you for sharing my blog! Thanks for letting me know about the Instagram – I just checked it and it worked okay on my end so hopefully it was a temporary glitch. I hope you have fun trying many more of my recipes!

  80. Sally North says

    You are amazing!!! I just read your story about meeting and marrying Patrick. I think you are my hero. I love your recipes and have tried many of them with great success. Keep up the great work and know that you are great!!!

    • Jen says

      You are so sweet Sally, thank you so so much for your kind words! Thank you for taking the time to read our Love Story and for making my recipes. I hope you continue to find some new favorites!

  81. Brenda LeFort MacLean says

    Hi Jen! Glad I found your blog! I live in Carlsbad Springs, Ontario, , so your blog name caught my eye, then I got hooked on your recipes. I’m also a huge organ donation awareness advocate since a very good friend of mine waited on the heart transplant list for 3 years. He got his heart finally, but there are complications in recovery from having to wait so long. It seems we share a lot of life interests – or coincidents – but am happy to read of your successful life giving transplants and delicious recipes. I’ll be following from now on! Thank you and good health! (Carlsbad in Canada!)

    • Jen says

      Hi Brenda from Carlsbad Ontario! I actually didn’t know there was a Carlsbad in Canada, that is a great coincidence! I am so happy you stumbled upon my blog and are enjoying my recipes. I am sorry your friend had to wait so long for his new heart – that must have been the longest 3 years ever but I am so relieved he was able to finally receive a transplant. I so admire and am grateful for your organ donation advocacy. It is so true – the less time on a waiting list/in need of an organ the better. Just in our short correspondence, I know the world is a better place because of you! xo

  82. Geri Bocchieri says

    Wow stumbled upon your blog impressed with your story, i am a nurse who loves to bake and cook!! Your health story is amazing!! God Bless so happy for those transplants!! Your honesty is refreshing. Wishing you great heath and plan to make your strawberry cheescake !!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Geri for your kind words but more importantly all you do as a nurse! I know a kind nurse can make all the difference! That is awesome you love to bake and cook – I hope you love the strawberry cheesecake as much as us! May God bless you in all your service!

  83. Susan R says

    Love your site!! GREAT recipes.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so so much Susan!!! xo

  84. Shannon says

    So I have to start by saying I have never left a comment on ANY food blog before….until now. I have come back to your blog at least 5 times in the past week and made a handful of your recipes. They have ALL been AMAZING. My husband inhaled the Baha Fish Tacos, I mean, the flavors in there we mouth watering!! I have also made the Chocolate Covered Fresh Strawberry Pound Cake and everyone went back for a second piece, EVERYONE. The Garden Caesar Salad with Lemon Basil Chicken was so, so good. My daughter couldn’t eat the homemade croutons and chicken fast enough. haha! And OH.EM.GEE the Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs were to die for. I mean lick your fingers good!! Seriously, I have fallen in love with your recipes!! I have so many recipes lined up to make. I love how your instructions are laid out making them super easy to follow. Your recipes are full of flavor but nothing to intense that my toddler doesn’t enjoy and eat up! The pictures are wonderful and I love all your additional notes. I just have to say, thank you. Thank you for making dinner fun, full of taste and enjoyable.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment Shannon, you sure know how to make a girl feel loved! I am sorry I am so late in responding (honestly don’t know how that happened) but I am so incredibly honored you would take the time to comment-especially when you’ve never commented on a blog before 🙂 I am beyond thrilled that you and your family are loving my recipes! I love hearing everything that you’ve made and picturing your family inhaling them 🙂 Your comment makes me love sharing recipes all the more. Thank you, thank you for brightening my day! xo

  85. sharon says

    I’m a neighbor from Encinitas and loved reading about your amazing journey. I am looking forward to trying some of your recipes. Keep up the good work.

    • Jen says

      Hi neighbor, so nice to “meet” you! I love Encinitas and and all the amazing restaurants (Hello Taco Stand!). Thank you for saying hi! I hope you have fun exploring my site and trying my recipes!

  86. B Wulf says

    I come from a family that loves to cook, and loves to try new recipes. Recently, though, we’ve become uninspired…UNTIL I stumbled across your blog, “Carlsbad Cravings”. We have tried at least 10 recipes over the past few weeks and loved every one of them. Great combinations of flavors, textures and combinations we hadn’t thought to try before. So glad we found you!

    • Jen says

      What an awesome comment/compliment, thank you SO MUCH!!! I am thrilled you have tried at least 10 of my recipes and have enjoyed them – that seriously makes me so happy! I so appreciate you taking the time to comment and make my day! I hope you continue to feel more “inspired” in the kitchen as you try more of my recipes 🙂

      • Gwen says

        Hi Jen! I love your recipes and the way you express yourself is so inspiring. One thing that would be helpful to me (and probably others) is the nutritional breakdown. I have to watch carbs, sugar, salt (all the good/bad stuff). Calorie breakdown would be very helpful.

        • Jen says

          Hi Gwen, sorry for the delay as I am way behind after recovering from pneumonia, but I appreciate your comment! I don’t provide nutritional information but you can always calculate it specifically for your exact ingredients using http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator

  87. Darlene says

    I discovered you on Facebook as I scrolled through one day. It was about 1 month ago; I have made something new from you each week. So far, love, love, love. Your recipes are just yummy. Thank you for sharing these with all of us. I know that even though I love to cook I get in a rut of cooking the same things over and over. Now I have variety – and its because of your email with your new recipe post.

    Praying for your health. Blessings to you:)

    • Jen says

      Hi Darlene, I am so happy you stumbled across my blog on FB! I am so sorry at my delayed response as I was in the hospital when I received it and have been so behind ever since but I SO appreciate your comment! That is awesome you have made so many of my recipes, I am so happy you are enjoying them and the weekly emails! Above all, thank you so much for your prayers, I know they make a difference! Blessings to you and yours as well!

  88. Lacey says

    I am so happy I read about you, I came across your Shrimp and asparagus recipe which was delicious. I’m from New Orleans and well I think, breath and sleep food – which isn’t a good thing because I live in Mississippi and we’ll there isn’t much variety here. Funny thing – Carl’s bad cravings, pictured you as the perfect husband who makes amazing, tasty recipes that don’t need to be adjusted. My taste buds are real snobs, I was so impressed with the first recipe I tried, that it had so much flavor and I didn’t adjust it at all!

    So with that being said, It is nice to officially meet you And keep the recipes coming because our taste buds must be the same!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lacey, I am sorry for the delay as I am way behind after recovering from pneumonia, but I so appreciate your comment and am thrilled you loved the Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus! I love big, bold flavors, so its sounds like you came to the right place! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes!

  89. Bernice says

    Trying your potato salad for a family BBQ….looks yummy.Read your story ,Feel you are a strong woman…glad you’re here and feeling better. Keep up your recipes… Canadian Pintrest follower.

    • Jen says

      Hi Bernice, I hope you loved the potato salad! Thank you for your kind words and well wishes! All the best to you and yours as well all the way in Canada!

  90. Holly says

    Hi jen..just found your blog this morning while searching for rib recipes. It made me cry….your site is beautiful to the eye and heart! You inspire me to look for the positive. I will not even list all the things which are wrong with me and the many days i am so depressed over things i USED to be able to do. But even in my wheelchair i CAN cook, and definitely do. Thank you for your special contribution to making my world happier this day, more colorful and hopeful. And my husband will thank you at dinnertime, and perhaps my pup too!

    • Jen says

      Sorry for the delay Debi as I am way behind after recovering from pneumonia but thank you so much for your beautiful comment! I am humbled your have found my blog inspiring and hopeful. It sounds like you have had a lot of challenges but I so admire your positivity and gratitude and determination to be hopeful. Thank you for making my own heart smile and I hope you are enjoying my recipes!

  91. Maribeth says

    I keep seeing your recipes pop up on my Facebook page and had to check out your blog when I realized you are from Carlsbad. I am originally from Carlsbad and wondered if we knew each other as children. Are you originally from there? I’m sure it’s a long shot but I couldn’t resist sending a note!

    • Jen says

      Hi Maribeth, thanks for stopping over! I am originally from Poway and moved to Carlsbad about 11 years ago. We love it so much and so my blog name is insurance we will never leave 🙂

  92. Robyn says

    Hi Jen,

    Love, love, love your recipes! Such a flavor explosion each and every time I make something from your site. The layers and depths of seasonings are just perfection and always leaves my husband asking if there is any left. The Thai Orange Peanut Chicken is on the menu for his upcoming birthday party.

    Would love to know if you are planning a cookbook!?!?

    • Jen says

      Thank you so so much Robyn for your awesome comment! I am honored both you and your husband are loving my recipes – it sounds like we share the same foodie palette for flaaaaaavor! 🙂 I hope you love the Thai Orange Peanut Chicken – it is one of my favs! I don’t have any plans for a cookbook at this time but if anything changes, I’ll let you all know!

  93. Katherine M Rolefson says


    I stumbled upon your site after clicking on your Chicken in Coconut Mango Verde Sauce. As I was reading the recipe, the words “cystic fibrosis” jumped out at me from the right side of the page. My 11 year old daughter has CF AND we were just in Carlsbad visiting my sister-in-law who lives there! Worlds colliding!!! I’m always looking for new recipes my daughter and her twin brother will like so I will be sure to try this one and others of yours. I’m so inspired by your story and you give me great hope for my daughter. You truly turn lemons into lemonade. I love your attitude!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Katherine, what a crazy small world! Many prayers for your family and for the health of your daughter! I have a huge amount of respect for you as a mother of a CF individual and all that entails. I know it is a lot of work and a lot of worry and I also know one day she will thank you 🙂 Thankfully, there has never been a more promising time for individuals with CF with so many medical advancements and more and more on the horizon. God bless you and yours! xo

  94. Linda Jenson says

    Hi there! Going to try some of your recipes for dinner this week. I was surprised to learn you have CF! It’s a small world! I own CF Solutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a not-for-profit cystic fibrosis pharmacy serving CF patients in the state of Oklahoma. We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary in January 2018. I have been taking care of CF patients for24 years and I have to tell you that It has been the most rewarding career I have ever had in pharmacy. Best wishes to you and your family for a long and healthy life! I will look forward to exploring your blog and sharing recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Linda, it is a small world! I love my CF pharmacy here in California and know you make such a difference! I have no doubt you have made the lives of so many with CF better and brighter! Thanks for all that you do! I hope you enjoy exploring my site and trying my recipes!

  95. Maryann says

    I have read your blog and see that you have had a kidney transplant. May I ask you if after the transplant, have you had to watch how much potassium/protein you eat? My husband has been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, stage 5 and we count ALL potassium/protein and so many of favorite foods are high. Makes meal planning a challenge. ESPECIALLY tomatoes!! (Sauces, soups). Any suggestions you would be willing to give are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    • Jen says

      Hi Maryann! I was just like your husband and felt like I could barely eat anything before my kidney transplant but now I am on a normal diet. The best advice I can give is to google “kidney friendly recipes” or order some kidney friendly recipe books. There are definitely a lot of resources out there but it does make meal planning a challenge without them! All the best to you and your husband and I hope he can get a transplant soon! It is life changing!

  96. Emily says

    Hi Jen – Just looking up a recipe for slow cooker Mexican style chicken and came upon your blog. My infant son just went through a liver transplant and we are just getting settled back into life and home with all the medicines and trying to keep germs away from him, ect. It has been hard. I can tell that you love Jesus. And cooking! Two of my loves as well. Thank you for being transparent with your life and giving God the glory. I am praying Danny will have a full life just as you are! Thanks again for the encouragement. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Emily, that is SO MUCH to go through with a new baby – what a roller coaster of emotions and adjustments! I am so happy though that Danny was able to get the transplant and he is so blessed to have you as his mom! I will be praying for his health and and strength! My God’s choicest blessings attend you! xo

  97. Janelle says

    Jen! OMG, I never do this but I needed to thank you! I went to a cook out of 100+ people this evening and made your smore’s cookies. They were the biggest hit! I actually had 2 people unknowingly come up to me and say “wow did you try these cookies?” And I said yes I made them! Thank you! Also I was so glad to find you and read your story. My sweet neice has CF and I love hearing stories of other fighters!

    • Jen says

      Hi Janelle, I am thrilled the s’mores cookies were such a hit, thank you! I will be praying for your niece as well – CF individuals are definitely fighters!

  98. Susie Rizzo says

    You are my favorite! Like others I follow you everywhere! You … your life story, pics of you, your hubby and of course Kiwi are fun, touching and genuine. Here’s an idea if you aren’t already planning for it! Create and publish cookbooks maybe in some kind of series format; for example, one for your skinny recipes, holiday meals, etc. Make the cookbooks fun, colorful and personal (you and your family photos) as well. Your Cookbooks would make great Christmas, Birthday and Mother’s Day gifts! Just a thought! I’d buy them all! Best wishes, keep moving forward, stay positive (you are an inspiration … beautiful inside and out).

    • Jen says

      What an awesome comment Susie, thank you so so much! I am honored you “follow me everywhere” :)! I LOVE your cookbook series idea – the smaller different category cookbooks would be great gifts! I don’t know if I am that ambitious right now but I’ll definitely keep it mind! Thanks Susie, and Happy Holidays!

    • Jen says

      That is so kind of you, thank you so much!

  99. Rachel (Packard) Florence says

    Hey Jen,
    I already feel like we are fast friends with a few great things in common. #1 I grew up in Carlsbad, California, so when I was looking for a recipe for flavorful slow cooker chicken and saw “CarlsbadCravings” I had to look. #2 You quoted President (well now Elder) Uchdorf…I’m assuming you are LDS. I am too!!! I sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (so obviously I now live in Utah-Ogden.) My heart will always be in Carlsbad. Thank you for sharing your creativity in this fabulous way. I honor that you have been through a life of health trials…obviously you have survived and flourished…BRAVO!!! I have 3 brothers that still live in Carlsbad…last name Packard (one is a dentist at Packard Dental-go say hi from me.) Let me know if you are ever in my neck of the woods and want tickets to Conference or the MoTab Christmas concert.

    • Jen says

      Hi Rachel, I can’t believe all we have in common! That is amazing you sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – the singing talent is one thing we don’t have in common :). Is your sister-in-law Erin? We used to be in the same ward and were even neighbors – I love her so much! I am also good friends with Kristi Packard Rondo – such a small world! Thank you so much for reading my story and for your kind words. I with you and your family nothing but the best!

  100. Hannah Mulder says

    I absolutely love all your recipes!! I have tried 15+ of your recipes and I have yet to find one I do not like! I enjoy all of the recipes because they are different and the number of spices that you use can make anyone’s mouth water. My family enjoys every time I bring a new recipe home from college because they know I have gotten the recipe from your website. Keep posting new recipes so I can try them, but better yet make a cookbook so I can buy it! Thank you for bringing my family together over our love for food.

    • Jen says

      Hi Hannah, thank you so much for your kind comment! That is awesome you have made so many of my recipes and I am thrilled you have loved them all! I have been approached with several cookbook offers but I don’t know if its for me. I am honored thought that you would buy it! If anything changes my readers will be thee first to know!

  101. Gayla Barger says

    Hi Jen!
    I stumbled onto your website while looking for a crockpot Peanut Cluster recipe like my aunt made at Christmas. My son requested more so I will try your recipe to include in his college care package, with plenty for him to share!
    You are truly an inspiration! I am preparing for a trip to Dallas to see my surgeons again for hopefully my last cancer surgery. I am Stage 4 so I would much rather live my life than spend it in the hospital! I am hoping your book is available in the Kindle edition. I look forward to reading your story during my own journey.
    I look forward to recovering so I can explore your website and try many of these delicious recipes. Creating in the kitchen is a wonderful form of therapy. Thank you for giving me inspiration and hope.
    Warmest regards,

    • Jen says

      Hi Gayla, thank you so so much for your comment! YOU are an inspiration! It sounds like you have been through so so much – I hope your last surgery was a huge success and you are back in the kitchen! I agree, cooking is so therapeutic and definitely something I miss when I can’t do it. My book isn’t available in kindle yet (I have to convert it first) but just on Amazon – you will learn more about me than you ever wanted to know 🙂 I will be praying for you!!! xoxox

  102. Jessica Stevens says

    Hello Jen, My heart is with you. I had two daughters and a son born with cystic fibrosis. My son Tony went to Heaven at age 22 in 1974. Charli, my daughter went to be with him at age 24 in 1978. Danielle, my youngest daughter went to be with her brother and sister at age 45, in 2014, She was not allowed to go on the transplant list because she had taken some marajuanna to ease her symptoms. It was horrible to see her suffer so much because of a doctors opinion. She was forced to go into a six month severe exercise program, even though she couldn’t breath, and at the end of it she died, leaving three children and her husband. NOW IT IS LEGAL EVERYWHERE.
    Blessingd to you Jen, and your family.

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness Jessica, I can’t adequately respond to your comment – my heart absolutely breaks for the loss of your children – absolutely incomprehensible loss. Cystic Fibrosis is a devastating disease that takes far too many people from this earth. I am devastated your daughter was not allowed the chance at a transplant and was forced into a rigorous program – everything you described sounds horrific and so so wrong. I just want to give you a HUGE HUG! I know you are a very special person to be the mother of three CF children. It takes more courage and determination than others will ever understand. I am sure you were their angel here on earth and now they are your angels in heaven. What a sweet sweet reunion it will be some day. Until then, God bless you!!! xoxoxox

  103. Andrea says

    A friend just shared this page with me. I am glad to find it. I am excited to read all of the recipes and find new things to make. It is nice to see something from home and familiar – I grew up in Carlsbad, CA and had a kidney transplant in 2010. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen says

      Hi Andrea, welcome to my site! What a small world – love Carlsbad and love my new kidney! I hope you find many new favorite recipes!

  104. Jan Beckwith says

    Hi Jen, I just happened onto your site today as I’m always looking for a great recipe and did I strike paydirt with you! I remember the days I was a student nurse in the late ’80’s and patients with CF almost always had a death sentence. I am so thrilled to know that that isn’t the case now! Unfortunately, I incurred a severe back injury (in the NICU of all places) after only ten years of nursing, went through a prescribed narcotic addiction that I conquered by quiting cold turkey and now even though I continue to have chronic pain daily, I am happily awaiting my husband’s retirement in Oct of 2019. After that time, we will see this beautiful country with a travel trailer for weeks at a time. I said all that to say this, you give me hope that this will come to pass! I would LOVE to have one of those bumper stickers saying, “Don’t Postpone Joy!” That fits our lives beautifully as my husband has survived four massive heart attacks, the last one, in October of 2016, when his heart stopped completely for seven minutes. The doctors weren’t sure how “intact” he would be when they woke his from his medically indeced coma for three days! After many prayers, he awoke and wrote on a clipboard, “Where am I?” I can only say a heartfelt, “Thank you Lord for answered prayers!” I didn’t mean to be so wordy, but I wanted you to know, He spreads His healing around to many! I cannot wait to read your book and follow you daily, now! Thank you for some really amazing recipes, too! I’m waiting for your cookbook now!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jan, I’m so happy you stumbled upon my blog! First of all thank you for all your service as a nurse – a good nurse can make such a difference! It sounds like you have been through so much both with your husband (7 minutes?! SO SCARY!) and I applaud you for conquering your addiction cold turkey – absolutely amazing! I am so excited for your next exciting chapter of traveling the country! I would also love a bumper sticker of “Don’t Postpone Joy!” – such true words and a fabulous daily reminder to find joy in the journey! Thank you also for reading my book – you are going to find more about me than you ever wanted to know 🙂 Wishing you nothing but h health and JOY! xo

  105. Misty D says

    Hi Jen,

    I found your blog through another blogger that shared a recipe of yours and it’s in my crock pot now. I can’t wait to try many more…so many good ones to try. We live in Alaska and my 13 yr old daughter also has CF.

    Blessings to you,

    • Jen says

      Hi Misty, I’m so happy you stumbled across my blog – I hope your crockpot recipe was a hit! I know you must be an angel on earth as a mother to a CF individual. Even though she doesn’t realize it now, she will thank you later for ALL you do for her. I am forever indebted to my mother and applaud you for all you do for your daughter! xoxoxo

  106. Monica Francescangeli says

    Love your story.. I’m in Canada love cooking and have a daughter with severe special needs I found the healing in food and friends some baking .. but cooking is my thing … loved your beef dip recipe and will follow your site … happiness and healthiness I wish you and yours… xoxo

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Monica! I agree cooking really is therapeutic – and eating too 🙂 I have no doubt you are an amazing other and I applaud you for all the service you give your daughter and family every single day! Much love, health and happiness to you and yours as well!

  107. Denise says

    Hi, read your story about CF disease and know what you and your parents went thru, it’s not an easy road. Our youngest son out of 3 was diagnosed with CF at age of 3, we thought something was wrong b4 this time but back in 1977 they didn’t know much about disease. Our other 2 older sons were tested for CF and we’re fine, Brad wasn’t and he was under CF specialists @ St. Christopher’s Children’s Hosp. In Philadelphia all his younger days. He just had a birthday in which he turned 42. His lungs are in bad condition and doctors want him to go on transplant list, which he doesn’t want. He wants some younger person to live a long life as him. His x-wife and. Him had.baby thru sperm donor and my grandson turns 15 in may, that should be reason enough to do transplant program. I’m so glad that your transplants went well and living a good life. Going to try your lasagne recipe and make it when Brad comes over and tell him About your story. God bless, good health.

    • Jen says

      Hi Denise, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I have no doubt you are an earthly angel to be blessed with a CF son and all the work (physically and emotionally) it entails. What a blessing that Brad has lived this long with CF I but hope he will be open to a transplant when the time is right. If he has any questions, he is more than welcome to email me. I know how helpful it can be to talk to someone who has been through it. May God’s blessings attend you and your family! xo

  108. Shelly says

    Hi Jen!

    I am writing to you because I HAD to tell you that I am somewhat new to Pinterest and while perusing to inspire me in my daily dinner making ritual, almost every single recipe that I saved and had to make came from Carlsbad Cravings! I have told so many friends about you because literally, every. single. recipe. is. yours.!!!! Apparently what you like is what I like and I can’t get enough of your recipes! So thank you, thank you for sharing your cooking expertise and allowing novices like me to create amazing meals because of you!! You are AMAZING!!!

    • Jen says

      That is awesome Shelly! It sounds like we are foodie kindred spirits! I am thrilled you stumbled upon my site and its getting you excited about cooking! I hope you find many new favorites!

  109. Keely says

    You are inspirational! You are meant to be here Jen as I for one would never have been so inspired to cook . Carlsbad Cravings has its own title in my Pinterest. Love you and the amazing recipes you produce. Please keep them coming!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Keely for your super kind, humbling comment! I am honored you are loving my recipes so much and I have my own title on Pinterest! 🙂 I will definitely keep them coming – sharing my recipes with you all brings me so much joy!

  110. Nimet J says

    WOW Jen!
    So impressed with what you have done of your life despite having such a challenging illness. BRAVO. I stumbled on your site looking for a recipe for shrimp tacos for my daughter and ended up reading your story because your recipes jive with the kind of food we like.
    Coincidence is that my husband had a lung transplant a few years ago – Thank You God! He is doing great. I had to share this with you.
    You are an amazing gal! Keep it up and hope you keep on huffing and puffing and moving along for a very long time!
    Thank you for sharing your recipes (and your story!) Very inspiring. Enjoy life every minute of the day.
    luv ya

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Nimet. That is amazing your husband was able to receive a lung transplant – YAY! The are absolutely life changing/saving blessings! I am so happy to hear he is doing well! Thank you for the kind words and well wishes and I pray all the best for your family!

  111. Trish says

    I have made a few of your recipes and they are always homerun hits! Everything has been so flavorful and spot on. You are very talented!
    I really admire you. I am so grateful that you have been willing to share your story. It is inspirational. As a mom to a daughter with a congenital heart defect (who will eventually need a heart transplant as a teen), I can only hope that she loves her life full of gratitude, joy, humility, and charity- characteristics that you have clearly developed. That is what impresses me the most about you – who you have become! You are so positive in every post and you respond to every comment with so much kindness and love. Thank you for spreading your light.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Trish for your super thoughtful comment. I’m honored you’re enjoying my recipes and thank you for showering me with compliments – I feel so unworthy! I owe everything I am to my parents and my faith so I have no doubt that your daughter will become an exceptional woman with you as her guiding light. Transplants are a truly miraculous option and an incredible blessing. I put off thinking of a lung transplant for as long as I could but it was the best thing I ever did so hopefully your daughter’s transplant will be a door to a beautiful beginning. Sending you and your family much love and prayers!

  112. Maureen says

    Hi Jen,

    I have just finished reading your story and I think you are a remarkable human being- what a miracle! I was just mindlessly reading your blog while waiting 15 mins for the ribs to cook before putting them in the oven – best recipe ever!! Third time I’m making them after several requests- and now I feel both hungry ( the ribs already smell amazing!!) and inspired. Thank you for sharing your recipe, your talents, and your story.

    PS I’m LDS too , living in Sydney Australia. I was intrigued when I saw your quote by Elder Uchtdorf and wanted to find out more.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Maureen! I’m honored you took the time to read my story and humbled you were inspired! I’m also so pleased you loved the rib recipe – one of my favs! I hope you find many new recipes to love here!

  113. Sam says

    Hi Jen,
    I can not say enough for all of your courage and Perserverance. You are absolutely awesome!
    So happy to have found your website.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Sam! I am grateful to be able to share my recipes with wonderful people like you!

  114. Jennifer says

    I love, love, love your recipes! What a talent you have for creating food that dances on the taste buds.

    On a side note… I just found out my cousin, Shannon P, knows you. She is LDS and graduated from Carlsbad High. She has 5 older brothers and 1 older sister.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer – what a small world! Shannon was one of my Beehives (yes’ I’m old :)) and one of my favorites (don’t tell)! I am so happy you are loving my recipes! I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  115. shelley radtke says

    Trying red curry recipe tonight, I stumbled upon your recipes, and wow, I am a Respiratory Therapist, and your close to my heart.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind words Shelley and for all you do as as a Respiratory Therapist – you will never know how many lives you have helped! xo

  116. Amy says

    Every time I see a Carlsbad Cravings recipe on Pinterest, I know it will be a “good one.” Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Jen says

      You are the sweetest, thank you so much Amy!

  117. stephanie says

    Hello Jen! I am a registered nurse in Lexington, Kentucky. I tried your Maple Apple Walnut Spice Cake recipe for my coworkers. I made it into a layer cake because I didn’t have a large pan handy. It was delicious, beautiful, and a big hit! Per request, I am making another one this weekend! Thank you so much-

    • Jen says

      Hi Stephanie, I’m so pleased you enjoyed my Maple Apple Walnut Spice Cake and I love the idea of turning it into a layer cake! Thank you for all you do as a nurse – I know the impact a caring nurse can have! xo

  118. Linda Ricardo says

    I follow you on IG and your website came up after I searched for a recipe. This is my first time visiting your website. I was thinking, “Hey! I follow her!!” Glad you are doing well and thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. I was born in San Diego, CA and now live in Escondido. Just stopping by to say hello!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Linda, what a small world neighbor! My cousins group up in Escondido so I’ve spent a lot of time there over the years. Thanks for visiting my site and saying hi! I hope you love trying my recipes!

  119. Tammy says

    Dear Jen,
    I just came upon your website looking for some recipes. Love your site and the fact that you are a local. (I live in Oceanside) I was reading your bio and I just want to say God bless you! It’s so wonderful that you have been through so much and come out the other side! I had a son with CF who was 31 when he passed away in Nov. 2017. He was not a candidate for transplant because they couldn’t get rid of his infections. I became a respiratory therapist after he was diagnosed as a baby so I could take better care of him and it helped but I still couldn’t save him. I’m guessing you probably know my son’s favorite nurse from CF clinic Jessica. She was such a blessing to us! Cooking and baking has been my therapy since lost my son. I don’t have anyone to cook for anymore so I bring what I make to work. I work in a NICU and yummy treats help us get through the day. I look forward to trying your wonderful recipes! God bless!

    • Jen says

      Hi Tammy, welcome to my site neighbor! I am deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your son. I know you were his angel here on earth and now he is your angel on the other side. You sound like an exceptionally strong and giving woman who has given so much to everyone else. Thank you for all your service as a respiratory therapist and now working in the NICU. I hope you enjoy cooking and baking from my site and know I am sending you virtual hugs! All my love! xo

  120. Linda Burton Morgan says

    Jen! I am inspired by your joie de vivre. Your energy amazes me. I stumbled across your chicken enchilada recipe when I was looking for something creamy and delicious that didn’t involve canned soup. Your recipe is perfect. I prepared it accordingly and my family loved it. These enchiladas will be on the menu at my next dinner party for my sailing club. Stay strong. Stay well.

    Linda in Texas

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and well wishes Linda! I’m so happy you stumbled upon my blog and loved the enchiladas so much they will be at your next dinner party! I hope you find many new recipes to love here! Wishing you all the best in 2019!

  121. Sarah Ninan says

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story as well as your recipes. I have just printed out wayyyy to many and cant wait to try them.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Sarah, thanks for taking the time to read my story! I am excited your excited to try my recipes! I hope you find many new favorites!

    • Janet says

      I was meant to find your strawberry syrup recipe today. It is high strawberry season in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada!
      I received my kidney transplant from my sister in November, 2007. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

      • Jen says

        That’s amazing you’re going on 12 years Janet, congratulations! What a blessing transplants – and sisters are! I’m praying for your continued health! xo

  122. Cynthia A Sirk says

    Hello Jen. I am using your Chicken Divan recipe for an elegant Valentine’s dinner party for 25 guests. I can’t wait to wow them with your “from scratch” recipe. I, too, have made this dish with canned ingredients in the past but much prefer a recipe with a real sauce. Thank you for posting this recipe. I signed up for your newsletter and can’t wait to try more recipes.

    • Jen says

      Hi Cynthia, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! It sounds like you are in for a wonderful Valentines, dinner, what a fun night! I hope you and all your guts love this recipe as much as us! Thanks for signing up for my newsletter – I hope you discover many new favorite recipes here!

  123. Kathleen says


    I loved reading your story! The Lord has provided in mighty ways for you. Your culinary creations are amazing and our family has enjoyed every mouth watering bite:). Last night the Roasted Cauliflower Soup was enjoyed by all.

    Your desire to turn obstacles into opportunities is inspiring!

    Thank you for sharing your love of food with The Pinterest family:)


    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Kathleen! I do feel so blessed the Lord has kept me around and continues to shower me with his tender mercies. I love sharing my recipes with all of your – I’m so pleased you are enjoying them! May God bless you and yours!

  124. Shelby Vogler says

    The Lord led me to your site this morning.Can’t remember now which recipe I was looking at.I saw your personal info and saw “Cystic Fibrosis Survivor”.I’m crying now from happiness for you! You beat it !! Your story touches me personally ,as I lost two beautiful daughters to CF.Ages 15 years and 9 years.At that time ,only five years was life espectancy.We fought hard and worked to raise money for research.I would love to know you better.God bless you sweetheart and enjoy every moment…because I know what you’ve been through!

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness Shelby, I have chills reading your comment. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of both your daughters. I can only imagine the courageous fight and devastating heartbreak. I know you were their angel here on earth and now they are your angels in heaven cheering you on. I actually wrote a book about my journey which I share only because you said you wanted to know me better, “https://www.amazon.com/My-Heroes-Ask-Wallflowers-Dance/dp/1466319739” It shares more than you will ever want to know! May God bless you! I’m sending you a big hug with all my love! xoxo

  125. Dawn says

    Hi Jen! I’ve made your Lasagna Soup several times and it is AMAZING! In fact, I told my daughter (who is a freshman at Baylor) while face-timing just now I was making it tomorrow for a group I’m in and she said….”oh man that soup sounds SOOOO good right now.” Dorm food is getting to her. Anyway…my question is …how could I convert this into a crockpot recipe? I have to be there at 8:45 in the morning to my meeting but we won’t be eating until 11:30. So, just wanted to see if you. had any brilliant ideas! Thanks so much and I am so happy I stumbled onto your recipes. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Dawn, I’m so pleased you are enjoying my recipes! In my experience, pasta can be very temperamental in a crockpot because it really needs to be boiling to cook properly. So instead of cooking the lasagna soup in the crockpot, I would keep it warm in the crockpot and be sure your noodles are al dente to start with. I hope that helps!

  126. Shari says

    Just discovered your site and would like to say hi and I’m loving your recipes and reading about your journey. Much love from Brisbane, Australia.

    • Jen says

      Hi Shari, welcome! Thank you for taking the timee to read my story! I hope you find lots of recipes to love here!

  127. Cathy Huesman says


    I’m a 54 year old CF survivor and double lung recipient from Ohio. I clicked on your link for a roasted cauliflower recipe. I am in love with your site and recipes. Keep up the fight!!!

    • Jen says

      That is amazing, congratulations! Isn’t it miraculous what modern medicine can do?! I hope you love exploring my site and trying new recipes! Send prayers for your continued health and happiness!

  128. David says

    Dear Jen,
    I have always said that I love food that offers “big and bold flavors,” and, as advertised, your recipes positively deliver. I am a crockpot devotee and have been working through your offerings over the last year. (I started with the BBQ chicken chili and haven’t looked back.)

    It wasn’t until today that I realized that you had such a compelling. personal story. As an Infection doctor here in the northeast, I know a little of the challenges you face, so in addition to my thanks, I want to offer you my admiration and prayers for good health.


    • Jen says

      Hi David, thank you so much for making my recipes! I love hearing you have been working your way though them – that’s quite a feat! More importantly, thank you so much for your kind words and all you do everyday to improve the lives of others. I have met with many infectious diseases over the years (the last time was when I was hospitalized in December) and I know you deal with some pretty scary situations – so thank you for making them better! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes!

  129. Roxanne says

    Jen- I cannot tell you how much I love your site and especially the Lasagna Soup! I love finding kindered spirits from the medical community.(I am a bone marrow transplant survivor and my son a six organs at the same time transplant survivor) Congratulations on your health and a great blog!

    • Jen says

      Hi Roxanne, I’m so pleased your enjoying my recipes! More importantly, congrats on your bone marrow transplant and your son’s multiple transplants – it sounds like there is a crazy story there! Praying for both of your continued health and happiness! xo

  130. Maggie Williamson says

    Wow, Jen, I am in shock what we have in common! I was merely searching for a chicken divan recipe this morning as I haven’t found the one I truly love. Like, you I am an avid cook and people say I should start my own blog, but just haven’t. I looked at the top of the website and saw you were from Carlsbad, and since I lived in CA for a few years, I thought I would check out your about page. I have cf and have had a double lung transplant as well!! I had mine at Stanford 4 years ago. CFers and food unite! I am originally from Chicago, but now live in the UK with my English husband and I am always looking for American recipes to make our home feel a bit more like American cooking. Well, your chicken divan recipe didn’t disappoint, and I even raved about it to my mom. I have always made chicken divan with a Mornay sauce, but yours was truly spectacular. This is the first time I have come across another cfer and a food blog. You may have just inspired me to finally start my own. Sorry, I am beyond excited about this whole coincidence of finding your food blog! I hope you are doing well!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Maggie, it’s so nice to “meet you!” WOW, we do have a lot in common! Congrats on your lung transplant, that is amazing! Who did you transplant? I have a friend that had her transplant at Stanford and Dr. Starnes who performed mine used to be at Stanford – small world again! That is awesome you live in the UK – I have yet to visit but it is on my to do list! I’m so happy you enjoyed my Chicken Divan and hope you find many more recipes that remind you of home! I will celebrate my 20 year lung transplant anniversary this November and yes, I’m doing well, thank you! I have found my passion with this cooking blog and love getting to share it with the rest of the world. Sending hugs and prayers for your health and happiness!

  131. Laura says

    Wow! Your energy and enthusiasm are inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your recipes. I found your site when on the search for the perfect dinner to serve to my carnivore husband, and am so glad to have checked your about section.
    I love how quick and easy your recipes are to make. Not at all boring, but they seem to need what I almost always have in the fridge, freezer or pantry cupboard. I don’t really have to worry about remembering to buy special ingredients at the grocery store. And, the chicken marinades – I can throw them together in the morning before work and then have an amazingly flavoured chicken breast ready to cook when I get home.
    Thanks so much for rescuing Wednesday night suppers from the same old, same old.

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura, I’m so happy you stumbled across my blog! I’m so pleased you find my recipes simple and accessible! I hope you’ve found many new recipes that have become repeat favorites!

  132. Patrick says

    Your story is very inspirational and your recipes awesome. Funny thing, My name is Patrick and my wife’s name is Jen.

    • Jen says

      Sounds like another match made in heaven! Thanks for your kind words! All the best to you and yours!

  133. Kathryn (Katie) Berg says

    I’m so excited to have come across your sight! “Carlsbad” caught my attention….my oldest, who is 24, moved to Carlsbad almost a year ago from Cincinnati, Ohio! He works at TRU Simulation and Training. We miss him like crazy but he is so happy. It’s a beautiful area!

    As I read further, I see that you must be such an inspiration to all afflicted with CF. Your energy is amazing and your positivity is contagious. I wish you continued health.

    So, as one of my connections to Carlsbad and my son, I thank you for the opportunity to try your recipes!

    • Jen says

      What a small world, we love Carlsbad too! Thank you so much for your kind words. I have found the CF community to be full of incredibly strong, positive people – I am honored to be part of such a special group! I hope you enjoy my recipes and find many new favorites!

  134. Tanya Houston says

    I love to cook and I’m not sure how I even came across your sight but I love it. After reading further on I came to love you even more. I am the mother of 3 adult children with Cystic Fibrosis; I cheer you on with all your successes and I can’t wait to read your book. If I read right from the comments above I am beyond joyful to know you are a 20 year survivor of a lung transplant. I am sure that brings hope to all families dealing with CF. I am excited to try your recipes which all look wonderful! Thank you for sharing your inspirational story.

    • Jen says

      Hi Tanya, I’m so happy you stumbled upon my site! I feel like I know so much about you and love you just by knowing you’re a CF mother – and of three -wow! I know you are a courageous, selfless hero and have done so much for your children! This November will be my 20 year lung transplant anniversary, it blows my mind it has been that long and I am SO grateful for this great blessing. I pray for health and happiness for you and your family! xox

  135. Gary says

    Hi, I started out by looking in google’s search engine on how to tell when a mango is ripe and the second place I found was your webpage and what a blessing it was. I too am a Christian and I view this as a divine appointment. There are life lessons to be learned from your experiences and great recipes as well. Thank you for sharing your amazing life with us as well as your culinary skills. God bless

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Gary! May God bless you and yours!

  136. Erica says

    HI Jen
    tonight, after a long day i was tired but i am trying so hard to loose weight. So instead of eating the frozen pizza my husband is eating, I went to my computer to look up a roasted cauliflower recipe. Yours looked good so I clicked to open it and i see that you are an organ recipient.
    Made me feel like, ” ok, i think i need to reach out to her”
    I work for the OPO in northwest Ohio and I work everyday to save lives of people just like you.
    yesterday i went to the funeral of a young girl who had CF and never got her transplant. I felt defeated like I am not working hard enough, or maybe if i taught one more person about the benefit of registering to be an organ donor , she might have lived. etc….why did she have to leave us? Anyway, i was down in the dumps and also tired. When i saw that you are doing great and you had a recipe and cooking site it really raised my spirits! Thank you for that and I am going to give it a try! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for reaching out Erica and THANK YOU for all you do every single day to touch, change and save lives – I’m sure you have no idea the difference you make whether the patient lives or dies – you make their journey that much better. I’m sure you’ll get to the other side and be welcomed by the throngs of those you have cared for. My God bless you for all you do! xoxoxox

  137. Melanie says

    I’m so glad I came across your gorgeous food pics on IG because now I am determined to cook as many of your recipes as possible. Your ingredients and style of cooking are all right up my alley. I live in OC and my parents have had a condo on Agua Hedionda for 20 years!! A very close friend of mine with CF had her double lung transplant at USC performed by the infamous Dr. Starnes in 1999 – what a gift that was for her. There were about 50 of us in the main lobby that entire day waiting for her to come out of surgery. I’m glad to see how well you’re doing, I assume many hiccups along the way, but still living life to the fullest. Cannot wait to try your recipes 🙂

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Melanie, I’m so happy you discovered it as well – I hope you find many new favorites here! Wow, it sounds like we have so much in common! Your friend had her transplant the same year as me by the same surgeon – how amazing and how amazing you could be there! Yes, there have been many hiccups, but I am grateful to be alive and blessed to be doing what I love. Thanks for taking time to reach out! xo

  138. RW says

    I randomly came across your instagram page and instantly became hooked. I am so happy that you have a blog it is so informative you give great tips and I love that you are sharing all your great recipes. You have an amazing story and I look forward to continue trying new recipes. THANK YOU!!

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m so happy you stumbled across my IG and are enjoying my blog/tips (it’s nice to know the info is getting some use 😉 ). I hope you have fun exploring and hopefully find many new favorites!

  139. Saundra says

    OH JEN, Amazing how the Lord works! Bless you for sharing. Will add you to the Temple Rolls today.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Saundra! Sending hugs and prayers your way!

  140. Karen Kennedy says

    Hi Jen
    I came across your blog today while searching for a chicken and cashew recipe for a birthday dinner tomorrow night.
    I was blown away that you are a lung transplant recipient as I had a double lung transplant also 17 years ago and still going strong. I didn’t have CF though but have met people who did.
    I can’t wait to try your recipes.
    Keep spreading the word on your story to inspire more people to sign up to be organ donors.
    Im in Australia

    • Jen says

      Sorry for not responding sooner Karen as I’ve been in Italy and way behind, but thank you so much for taking the time to comment! That is amazing you also had a double lung transplant so long ago – congratulations, I’m so happy for you and that you’re doing so well! Organ transplants are truly miraculous! I hope you continue to thrive and I hope you enjoy trying my recipes! xo

  141. Kathy says

    jen, like a lot of others, I was looking for a dip recipe and somehow found your site. I also lost 2 boys to CF, I am so happy to hear you are doing well. My boys were in their 20s and never had a transplant. I live on the east coast so we were fortunate to go to John Hopkins. One day I believe there will be a cure. God bless

    • Jen says

      Sorry for the delay Kathy as I’ve been in Italy for weeks and playing catch up, but thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your two sons to CF – I can only imagine the struggle, sorrow and pain. I know you were their earthly angel and now they are your angels on the other side. God be with you until you meet again. All my love!!! xoxoxo Jen

  142. susan blair says

    made the Tom Kha Gai and they loved it and were asking if there is more yum koodos to you. Thank you for your recipe yep will go in my to cook list they will eat this once a week. we look for recipes that will let all or some try

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so happy the soup was a hit and it’s made it to the weekly rotation! Thanks for making my recpies Susana!

  143. Greta says

    Just found this website–very excited to start trying your recipes. (I’m not a cook but I’ve been put on an anti-inflammatory diet … looking forward to expanding what I’m currently able to do.)

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Greta! I hope you love exploring my site and trying new recipes!

  144. Lynn says

    Jen, I came across you on pinterest! I was trying to save your recipe for creamy italian soup. For some reason P wouldn’t save. So, I just came over to your site…and I am truly impressed with your recipes & your inspirational life!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lynn, welcome to my site! Thank you you so much for your kind words! I hope you enjoy exploring and trying my recipes!

  145. Lindy Flatau says

    So I have made 2 of your recipes found thru Pinterest. Usually most stuff I find is meh, but both of yours were awesome!!! So I came to check out your site and was blown away that you are a transplant warrior!!!!!!!!!!! My husband received a kidney 2.5 years ago and I have a customer (I’m a pharmacist) that has received lungs and is now waiting for a kidney. Much love and blessings to you! Love your site and your story.

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased you loved my recipes enough to visit my site Lindy – thank you so much for your kind words! That is wonderful your husband is a kidney transplant survivor and your patient is soon to be – modern medicine is truly miraculous! Sending hugs and prayers your way too! xo

  146. Cynthia Moreland says

    Hi jen my name is cynthia moreland i also hade a kidney teansplant when i was 6 i am now 32 i also have a very rare blood desease calked cystinosis tgere is no cure i have to watch my sodium and mg pitassium abd i was just wondering if there is info on ur recipes where i can find this info just so i know what thsy are i just came across your sight i cant wait to try some ot are your recipes all kidney friendly pkease feel free to email me

  147. Roland Hagge says

    I was surfing looking for dinner for me and my wife and run in to your site and start reading and find a bunch of dinner I will try and I made the 25 min Margherita Pasta, and we lov it. Thank you and we will try some more in the coming days.

    • Jen says

      So nice to meet you Roland! I’m so happy you loved the Margherita Pasta! I hope you enjoy exploring my site and find many new favorites!

  148. Brooke says


    Everything I have made from your website is the new best thing I have ever put in my mouth. You are SO gifted!!! Thank you for sharing your recipes- you make me look like a very impressive cook 😉

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for making my day Brooke! I’m honored you are loving my recipes so much!!!

  149. Kirk says

    Looking forward to preparing your Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log for Christmas Day. Looks fabulous. Happy Holidays to you from Virginia.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Kirk! I hope you absolutely love it, Merry Christmas!

  150. Melissa says

    What a story..awesome food. I too make up receipes. Love flavor in every bite. So glad I came across you. I too, have an amazing story. Im praying daily for you and your husband but I say prayers of praise. Best wishes for the New Year!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much, Melissa, I am delighted you came across my website! I have been working my way through a backlog of comments and see yours somehow got lost in the mix! I appreciate you and your prayers- hope you are well!

  151. Kimbo says

    Dear Jen,

    You inspire me to be a better person! What are you made of, my friend? I wish only the best that life can bring you, and then some! You deserve each and every bit that life can offer just because you are really trying so hard, despite your health setbacks! Here’s to your spirit and all that it encompasses and accomplishes! Oh, and by the way, I have tried a couple of your recipes and I love them! And kudos to that Superman in your life! Priceless!

    Keep on keep in’ on, sister! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Kimbo! I have been working my way through a backlog of comments and see yours somehow got lost in the mix! I appreciate your kind message and support so so much! I am glad you are loving the recipes:)

  152. Dana says

    I happen to stumble upon your Dijon Maple Green Beans and WOW! My husband and I both love them and I am excited to try more of your recipes. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Dana, welcome to my site! I hope you have fun exploring!

  153. Tatiyana pits says

    Amazing cake. Very moist and delicious… how many calories would you say is in each slice ?

    • Jen says

      Thank you, Tatiyana! I have been working my way through a backlog of comments and see yours somehow got lost in the mix! I appreciate you and hope you’re well!

  154. Craig Morris says

    How many calories are in your hot chocolate recipe? Thanks!

  155. Carole Dupre says

    Hi Jen,

    Your story is amazing. You’re a survivor and a thriver!

    Thank you for sharing your recipes online. I prepared the Cajun Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Glaze. As someone who is from South Louisiana with French heritage, I tend to shy away from recipes that say “Cajun” if the person is not from Cajun Country. But when I read the steps you took and the seasonings you used to prepare the pork, I thought, “Well this food artist must be Cajun in spirit!”

    I followed the recipe closely, except to add a little Cayenne to the Glaze. It was outstanding. Can’t wait to make this for a gathering in the future.

    God is Good.


    • Jen says

      Hi Carole, thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and for your kind words! I’m so happy the Cajun Pork Tenderloin did not disappoint -that’s the ultimate compliment from someone such as yourself!1 Thanks for following along and making my recipes!

  156. Dawna says

    How well will the burrito sauce freeze? I’m making steak breakfast burritos and I think this sauce sounds great !

    • Jen says

      Thanks Dawna! Unfortunate the sauce doesn’t freeze well do to the dairy.

  157. Jackie says

    You are seriously an amazingly talented cook and your story is incredible! I love how your ward rallied around you and we are all lucky that God blessed you with more years to share your talents with us all!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Jackie for your kind words! I feel so grateful for such incredible people in my life and all the miracles in my life! Thanks for reaching out and following along! xo

  158. ShannaPaola says

    Hi Jen, my sister turned me on to your site! Look forward to making lime honey chicken tacos tonight! Will make them for my family which includes my 16y.o son who also has CF!! Love that you started out with that in your intro! Awareness is key! As well as great food!! Stay well!
    Thx for sharing!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Shanna! I fee like I know so much about you already knowing you’re a CF mom (selfless, courageous, hard working, compassionate and on and on!). I hope you enjoy my recipes and that you and your family stay safe and healthy during this crazy time!

  159. Brenda says

    hello. I was wondering about your recipe for German chocolate cheesecake. I would like to use 4 blocks of cream cheese instead of the 3… how and will that alter the ingredients?

    • Jen says

      Hi Brenda, I would stick with the 3 blocks. If you want to use 4, then you can use the arrows in the recipe card to increase the servings which will increase all of the ingredients in correct proportions. Good luck!

  160. brenda says

    Thank you Bless you and Happy Easter

  161. Amber Ocheltree says

    Hi Jen!
    I found your blog about 2 years ago and I randomly come back and see what wonderful yumminess I can try at home. Your recipes have always been a hit and I want to say THANK YOU! I have never left a comment here or any other blogs, but I thought it would be so perfect to say keep doing what you are doing! We love it!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Amber! I am honored you are loving my recipes, that means so much to me! Encouraging comments like yours keep what I’m doing fun and fulfilling! xo

  162. David Dabbs says

    Just ran across your website and found a couple of recipes I’m gonna try. Then I read your story and WOW!
    You’re something else. For being a CA girl, you have the spirit and fight of a southerner.
    I’m impressed you went thru all that and still going strong. I know your husband is so very proud of you and your accomplishments. Keep up the terrific work, and I will continue going thru your most interesting recipes!
    Hello to Patrick and KIWI

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment David – I’m honored to have the fight of a “southern girl” :). I hope you enjoy exploring my recipes and hopefully find some new favorites!

  163. Victoria says

    Hi, Jen!

    I was really impressed with how you detail and elaborate on cooking techniques within the instructions. I’m a beginner cook but love a lot of flavor and spices and am in LOVE with your pineapple fried rice recipe. The recipe seems really approachable and I’m really excited to try it! Just wanted to say thank you for sharing!

    • Jen says

      Hi Victoria, welcome to Carlsbad Cravings, thanks for saying hi! I’m so excited for you to dive into cooking. If you love flavor, you’ve come to the right place! I hope love have exploring my recipes!

  164. Annie says

    Hi! My mom sent me your Chicken Fajita recipe and WOW! My family loves it and we like to think of ourselves as foodies–especially my 17 yo son. We are also Jewish and not tall and need to watch our intake. How healthy are you recipes? Ive been cooking from Skinny Taste lately. Tell me more about the healthiness and also what are your top 5 favorites? I just don’t know where to begin!

  165. Nancy Brownfield says

    Thanks Jen. I came across your website as I was researching how to store mangoes. Also saw your recipe for mango salsa. Even though I have made mine before, thought I would check it out. I sounded delicious and then the Cajun salmon. I knew I needed to make that. Anyway, I haven’t made them yet but your description of the food makes me know it is going to be excellent! Then I checked out your about into…my nephew has CF and is also a lung and kidney recipient. And he loves to cook. So I shared the website with him. Just sharing my thoughts. I look forward to diving into more of your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Nancy, welcome to my site! Mangos are one of my favorite foods in the world so I hope you enjoy all my mango recipes! More importantly, that is AMAZING your nephew has CF and both a lung and kidney transplant as well – we are a rare breed – what a small world! Thanks for sharing my site with him – I feel like we are friends already. Thanks for taking the time to comment – I hope you have fun exploring my recipes!

  166. Marsha says

    Bless your heart! You’ve been through medical nightmares and I’m happy you are doing well. My son had a pancreas and kidney transplant 3 years ago and he is alive! I so feared losing him and it came close. The meds however are quite powerful and can cause other issues. Do you take tacrolimus also? I will check out your food ideas.

    • Jen says

      Hi Marsha, I’m so relived your son was able to receive a kidney and pancreas transplant! Modern medicine is miraculous! Yes, I am on many immune suppressants meds including tacrolimus and prednisone and more.

  167. James says

    Greetings from northern Utah although I was born and raised in San Diego and know perfectly well where Carlsbad is. I am happy to have discovered your site and your delicious looking salmon Piccata with asparagus which is on the menu for tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it went. You are truly a survivor and have channeled much energy into your creative skills. Thanks for posting.

    • Jen says

      Thank you James for taking the time to comment and for your kind words! I was actually born in Provo UT – looks like we’ve swapped locations :). I hope you love exploring my site and that the Salmon Piccata is a winner!

  168. Amber says

    My boyfriend and I have been eating nothing but your recipes for three weeks now and have yet to be disappointed, also we have lost weight in the process! I am beyond happy that I came across your blog. Thank you for giving me the tools and knowledge to live and maintain a healthier lifestyle. You are greatly appreciated

    • Jen says

      Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment and make my day Amber! That is awesome you have have been making and enjoying so many of my recipes! I’m honored my recipes are being made in your home and helping you eat healthier! Best!

  169. Trish says

    Hi Jenny
    Love your recipes, and your blog
    Cant wait to read more recipes, the pictures always look so beautiful as well
    And we are neighbors, I grew up in fallbrook, lived in oceanside for years,and now I’m in vista,have always lived in north county

    • Jen says

      Hi neighbor, what a small world! Thanks for your kind comment, I love haring you’re enjoying my site and recipes!

  170. Janina says

    We just made your corn salsa for 4th of July (because of the MSN link!— congrats). It was a hit! Yeah!!!!

    I am a kidney donor (October 2000) and I am inspired by your story. Keep cooking! I’ll keep following.

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Janina, I’m so happy the corn salsa was a hit! And thank you for all you do as a kidney doctor! I know you help countless people in more ways than you know xo.

  171. Kate Bremer says

    What an amazing woman you are!

    I made the cilantro-lime chicken last week and it was the most delicious chicken I have ever cooked. I’m so excited to browse your recipes and make more delicious meals for myself.

    Please be safe through this very difficult time with the COVID-19 virus making life unlike anything we have ever known. Be well and be healthy. Many thanks for your efforts and recipes.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Kate and welcome to my site! I’m thrilled and honored the cilantro lime chicken was the most delicious chicken you’ve ever made! I hope you have fun exploring my site and find many new favorites! I am definitely hibernating during COVID – which means even more cooking 🙂 I hope your family stay safe and healthy as well!

      • Kate says

        I have a question for you. Since my last post, I have also made the Pineapple Glazed Chicken. It is also wonderful. My next venture will be the Chipotle Maple Chicken. The marindades are so tasty I would like to make them in bigger batches and freeze them. Is there any reason this would not be a good idea, and if is OK to freeze them, how long can they remain in the freezer?

        Thanks so much.

        • Jen says

          Hi Kate! Yes, you can absolutely freeze the marinades or even the chicken in the marinades for up to three months.

  172. Heather says

    Can your lasagna soup be made into traditional style lasagna? My husband would prefer lasagna baked, but I truly enjoyed your one pot lasagna recipe! Trying to make the best of both worlds. Lol

  173. Jesse says

    Thank you for all these wonderful recipes. My wife and I are loving them. We just had the Thai Basil Chicken and loved it.
    Knowing that you’re a Christian made me say “of course she is” (since we are also) since in this time of staying home because of Covid we’ve been able to make many recipes. Which we’ve loved every one of them.
    So thank you and blessings for you and your husband.
    Jesse and Sheila

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and blessing Jesse! I am honored you are enjoying my recipes, especially during this crazy time. May God keep you safe and healthy!

  174. Kate says

    Thank you so much! I have chicken marinating as we speak 🙂

    Stay safe!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Kate, enjoy!

  175. Cathy Peterson says

    Hi!! I have recently found your recipes and have loved the food we have tried. I just read your bio and cystic fibrosis caught me eye. I have 3 cousins here in Utah that have CF. I admire you and all that my cousins go through each and every day. Stay strong and keep the faith!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful message Cathy! CF is definitely a unique journey and I feel so grateful for support from people like you!

  176. Vicki Bateman says

    I love your recipes but I have such a hard time getting them to print out. I only have my phone and I hit print, nothing. I send the recipe to my outlook account and still can’t print it. I can’t print from Pinterest. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Jen says

      I’m sorry Vicki but it’s working on my end so it is hard to troubleshoot from here. Can you get other things to print from your phone or is it a connection issue?

  177. Guillermo says

    Your recipes are plenty of flavor. But your story is plenty of live. Thanks a lot. You’re doing the very best and right. Once again, thanks.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful message Guillermo! All the best to you and yours as well!

  178. Nadz says

    Just found your site. Looking forward to trying recipes. They look good! We love Carlsbad! Have been camping there my whole life and dream of moving there someday, and love paddling the lagoon too

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Nadz! That is awesome you know and love Carlsbad – hopefully I will see you in the lagoon sometime!

  179. Laura says

    Hi Jen, I love reading your blog and have tried many of your yummy recipes. My 7 year old son, Matthew, has CF too and reading your posts always gives me hope for his future.

    • Jen says

      I’m honored you’re enjoying my blog Laura! I feel like I already know so much about you knowing you’re a CF mother – strong, courageous, determined, selfless… and on and on. Thank you for being an angel on this earth and all you do for your son. There has never been a more hopeful time for CF research. I pray your son will live a long and healthy life! HUGS!!!

  180. Joan Somers says

    God bless you and keep you in good health! I love Carlsbad and been there many times. Rented a place on Pine Ave before our daughter’s wedding a few years ago. They got married at Wien’s in Temecula. Take care! Joan

    • Jen says

      Thank you Joan, God bless you and yours as well! That’s awesome you’re familiar with Carlsbad, we love it! I grew up in San Diego and have lived in 15 years, my blog name is insurance so we can’t move ;)!

  181. Thomas says

    Hi Jen! Stumbled across your site and I’m anxious to try some of the great looking recipes, especially the Bolognese!

    I also am a transplant recipient, of both a heart and liver, and I await a kidney transplant (dialysis isn’t great fun). I’m glad you are doing well! Thanks!


    • Jen says

      Hi Thomas, welcome to site! I already know you are an incredible person with all you’ve been through – isn’t modern medicine miraculous?! I will be praying for a successful kidney transplant – I am so excited for you to get it – the difference it makes is incredible!

  182. Ranjini says

    Hi Jen,
    Thank you for all the delicious recipes. I just made your salted caramel chocolate cake. So good. I love that cake stand. Can you tell me where can I find one for me? TIA


    • Jen says

      Thanks Ranjini, I’m so pleased you loved the cake! Unfortunately, I can’t be much help because the cake stand was a wedding gift 15 years ago, sorry!

  183. Laura says

    Hi Jen and family !
    I also just came across your site I think from Pinterest where the food there is just magical 🙂 I admire you greatly having survived cystic fibrosis (have also heard this called 65 roses..which is how kids say it I believe) nothing is more important than breathing…I have not had transplants nor any major disorders in life..I do thank God for this and send you angels of love and comfort, Prayers for millions of minutes of love and life, and your food here looks awesome 🙂 GOd bless

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura, thanks for taking the time to reach out! My family was heavily involved in the CF fundraising chapter “65 Roses Foundation” growing up in which I spoke at many events – your comment brought back so many memories! Thank you for your prayers, I know they make a difference! xo

  184. JOAN Q says

    Good morning – I came across your site when a friend in Georgia recommended one of your recipes – turns out we are neighbors – I live in Leucadia. My daughter and I had been discussing Pozole – my mom was Mexican but her recipe did not have any proportions…and I made yours – it’s fabulous – thank you! I truly appreciate the research you’ve done to write about the history of the recipe. My very best, Joan Q

    • Jen says

      Hi neighbor, we love Leucadia, I was just in your neck of the woods yesterday! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pozole! I love Mexican food and post many Mexican recipes, so hopefully you’ll discover some new favorites!

  185. Nikki says

    Your recipes are amazing!!! My family thinks I am an amazing and it’s all because of your amazing food! Thank you for sharing your passion and story. You are truly an inspiration

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Nikki and for making my recipes! I’m so happy your family is enjoying them! And you ARE amazing – props to the cook!

  186. Mary says

    Hi Jen,

    i have been trying to locate pineapple preserves but have been unable to find any. Can i use crushed pineapples in the frosting instead. i plan on making this cake for Thanksgiving. Thank you for your love of food.

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, crushed pineapple won’t have the desired texture and they aren’t as sweet, so I would just skip it. Your cake will still be delicious!

  187. Jude says

    Hi Jen, I’m so glad to find you and your recipes especially since I live in San Diego (Escondido) too! Your story is about true grit and tenacity. Very inspiring. All the best to you and your family.
    My husband and I really loved your recipe for roasted butternut squash. I used your original recipe with maple syrup, brown sugar and it smelled so good while roasting. I roasted ahead of dinner then turned off the oven to keep warm. So good! I will definitely keep this in rotation since everything but the squash is in my pantry. Thanks and nice to know you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to reach out Jude! My cousins (the Sabins) grew up in Escondido so we were there all the time! I’m so pleased you loved the roasted butternut squash recipe and I love the idea of keeping it on warm. I hope you find many new recipes to love here!

  188. Katie says

    Just wanted to drop in and tell you that you NEVER disappoint! LOVE LUV LOOOOOVVVVEEE your recipes- haven’t stumbled on a bad (or even mediocre) one yet. It just doesn’t seem possible. I don’t know how you do what you do, but keep doing it 🙂 Thanks for the deliciousness!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for making my day Katie! I LOVE hearing you’re loving my recipes so much! Thanks for making them and following along!

  189. Lisa says

    Hi , Thank you for the awesome recipes
    Stay strong

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Lisa! xo

  190. Olivia says

    I’m sorry to post this here. I tried to send it through your contact tab but it would never send, so I hope this is okay…
    I’ve read the article in the Ensign and your talk and can’t wait to purchase your book. All you’re recipes are delicious! And if I’m ever craving something your place is the first place I check for the recipe.
    When reading a little about your life I can feel your strong love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. You’re truly beautifully tough. I’m not sure how you do it but I appreciate you sharing your experiences with others so we can have the chance to learn how to push through the trials of life (even if they’re not near as hard as yours), so thank you!
    I’ve got two questions my two year old son has been trialing the vest therapy shaking thing for other health reasons than CF. I assume you’ve used one and possibly still do. Could you please tell me about the company you use yours from? Have you been happy with the customer service? How’s the warranty for your brand (as you may know they are not cheap haha)?
    Also, I may have just missed it but I’ve been looking for some delicious Hawaiian chicken and sauce recipe as well with a side of the YUMMY macaroni salad. Here in Saint George Utah we’ve got this place called Island Grinds who makes this Pu Pu Chicken, name isn’t great but boy is it good. If you’re ever down here you’ll have to try it.
    Thank you for your time and all you do!
    God bless you,

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Olivia! I so appreciate you taking the time to read the Ensign article and the desire to read my book – you will learn more about me than you ever wanted ;). I love the phrase “beautifully tough!” – well, try! I was blessed to be raised by incredible parents with a positive outlook and eternal perspective. I know you are a special parent yourself and angel mother to be raising a son with CF.
      As far as the vest, I have not used one since my lung transplant which was 21 years ago, so I’m sorry but I’m of no help to you there – sorry!
      I don’t have a macaroni salad (adding it to my list) but I do have an awesome Hawaiian Chicken: https://carlsbadcravings.com/hawaiian-chicken/
      Thank you for reaching out Olivia. May God bless you and our family with health and happiness! xoxo

  191. Dean Smith says

    My wife and I never cease to be amazed by your delicious and creative cuisine. We have acquired so many favorites from your website, we have lost count. Our foodie friends even know your website by name! Your enthusiastic descriptions of your recipes are a pleasure to read. Well done, and all the best to you from Kelowna, British Columbia.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Dean and make my day! I’m honored you have discovered so many favorite recipes from my blog and delighted you enjoy reading the descriptions as well! :). Wishing you and your wife a healthy and happy holiday season!

  192. Cathy Lynn says

    Love your recipes and tips. Is there any way you could make your recipe search function easier to access? I understand you want us to scroll down and see adds but it is really time consuming. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Jen says

      Hi Cathy, my site is almost done with its redesign and the search function will be at the top of every page – yay! Hopefully it will roll out in January.

  193. Cherylynn says

    I wanted to wish you and Patrick a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy new year to come.
    Best wishes to you both,

    • Jen says

      You are so thoughtful, thank you so much Cherylynn! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

  194. Sandi says

    I can’t get the search engine to work! I was looking for a rice dish

    • Jen says

      I’m sorry Sandi, it’s working on my end but I want to help troubleshoot. Are you on your phone or computer and which search box were you using? Also, what rice dish were you looking for?

  195. Jasmine says

    I tried your pizza crust recipe and finally realized how to make a decent pizza crust. It was a great family bonding experience and I thank you!

    • Jen says

      Yay for homemade pizza crust, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, thanks Jasmine!

  196. Amber D. says

    Hi Jen,
    I just discovered your fb page, then website, through a friend. I had been in a cooking rut and was so inspired by your recipes (and beautiful food photography)! Your recipes have been my go to for the past couple weeks. They are delicious!! Then something about a kidney transplant in your bio caught my eye on your fb page. I went back to actually read your whole bio and was floored. My daughter is 6 and living with Cystic Fibrosis. Certainly was no accident that the Lord directed me to your sight. Your story is encouraging and gives hope of what the future could be for my little girl. Thanks for sharing your story and your recipes!! ☺️

    • Jen says

      Wow Amber, definitely not a coincidence! There has never been a more promising/encouraging time for individuals with CF with all of the life changing drugs available – when I was diagnosed in 1983, they didn’t even know where the CF gene was! I know there will be ups and downs ahead, but the future is bright for your sweet daughter! I know she was blessed to be born into your home with a warrior mother. Thanks for all you do and will do for her- CF moms are heroes. Sending love and prayer!

  197. Karen says

    Hi Jen! I love your new website and emails! Very clean layout and easy to follow, Congratulations! I know you made some tough decisions with your team on how to organize some of the recipes and it works. I confess your site has made me lazy: I often visit your ‘collections’ (regardless of upcoming holiday) to see what inspires me and you’ve never lead me wrong. Thanks for always making me look like a rock star to my family. Again, congratulations on the new layout! xo

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Karen, I’m so pleased you love the new site – it was long overdue! I love hearing the collections are still serving you well – no reason to not eat deliciously all year round! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  198. Ellen penner says

    Jen – you have some interesting recipes, but if i am honest Your websitE drives me crazy. I am on an iPad and it takes forever for anything to load. I don’t know if its the number or type of of ads or how your site is coded or the database its stored on, but it can take 5 minutes or more to wade through to actually see the recipe so I can decide if I want to try it. I do not need to read the long descriptive diatribe, but getting the recipe just to load makes me avoid your site generally. Just thought you might want to know so you can try to find ways to reduce the time it takes.

    • Jen says

      Hi Ellen, there is a “jump to recipe” button at the top of every page so you can skip right to the free recipe. I am working with a consultant right now to speed up my website.

  199. Dawn says

    Jen, I usually don’t comment on websites but I had to this time. You are my hero! You’re recipes are amazing! I have been a scratch cook 40 years for fun, family and community. I’m a herbs/spices gal where food needs to be flavorful and a great memory. Since being retired I wanted to challenge myself at Asian dishes coz I’ve always struggled with them. I came across your egg roll and broccoli beef recipe and my husband was shocked that “I” made it (not take out) and it tasted restaurant quality! . I’ve tried several more of your recipes and have to admit I’ve replaced some of my own recipes with yours I subscribed to your weekly newsletter and enjoy them every time (I look forward to them ) The website update is perfect. Very organized and user friendly. I’m amazed you share your recipes so freely. Such a blessing. You are an amazing woman Jen with amazing victories in your life. God bless you!

    • Jen says

      You are the best Dawn, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and make my day! I am honored that you are loving my recipes and that I’ve helped you conquer Asian cooking! I hope you continue to discover new favorites! I’m so glad you like the new web design – it was much needed! May God bless you and yours!

  200. Candy Price Byrom says

    Hello, Jen –
    I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much I admire and appreciate you. For several years, I’ve followed “Carlsbad Cravings” (we’re neighbors! I live in San Marcos!). I follow a number of food bloggers, however, yours has absolutely become my go-to for creative, delicious and fool-proof recipes. I love your cooking style, your approach to food, and the fact that you’re in Carlsbad! Today I read a bit about your health journey which is actually more like a health hike up Kilimanjaro!! Just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me on more than one occasion in the culinary sense, but also today in a life sense. Thank you from the president of your fan club!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Candy for your thoughtful message and for being the president of my fan club ;)! And what a small world that you live in San Marcos! I love that we share the same cooking style (and the same weather) and I’m honored I’m your go-to blogger! Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey. There has been many ups and downs but I’m so grateful to still be here and so blessed to be doing what I love, all made even better by people like you! Thank you for following along and for making my day. Maybe one these days we’ll into each other!

  201. Babb Kaaren says

    I found you, of course, in the Internet while noodling about for something. Now, I’m addicted to your thoughtful recipes, through detailed instructions and most of all, the way these recipes work. My “Italian” daughter (by association only, lives in Carlsbad and is the owner of Gelato Love which has a storefront in Carlsbad Village, and a “lab” Carlsbad Gateway Center. She is Italian, authentic, charming, and makes a very delicious product. Check her out: Paola Richard at Gelato Love.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m so pleased you’re loving my recipes! That is such a small world, that your daughter owns Gelato Love in Carlsbad! I LOVE gelato, in fact, my last major trip before Covid was actually to Italy. I will definitely check Gelato Love out this week, thank you!

  202. Jenny says

    I love soooo many of your recipes and a lot of them remind me of my time in SoCal (which I miss) and all the delicious food there! I really loved that white sauce that Rubio’s puts on their fish tacos and I was curious if you happen to have a copy cat recipe or one very similar so I could make my own for fish tacos. I would be forever grateful to you Keep on keepin on with all the yum yum recipes, we love them ♥️

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Jenny for taking the time to comment, I love hearing my recipes remind you of home! I haven’t tried experimenting with Rubio white sauce (but I will!), but a quick google says: 1/2 cup mayonnaise. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. 1/2 teaspoon cumin. 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped or 1 teaspoon dill pickle juice.

  203. Alisha Guess says

    Hi Jen!

    I lived in South Carlsbad for 13 years until I moved to Indiana 2 years ago to take care of my parents and 95 year old Grandmother. LOVE LOVE LOVE it there!

    Your story is amazing and inspiring. You and your husband are awesome! Not going to lie I couldn’t help but cry while reading it.

    I also share your love of cooking. Since my husband and I moved here (our 6 kids are grown and all over the US) I have been cooking like crazy, trying anything and everything. I cook for my parents and grandmother 3/4 nights a week and we frequently have guests over and I like to cook foods that they wouldn’t necessarily try out on their own. Tonight I am using your Pad Thai recipe. I have one that is my go to but I have loved all of yours so far so changing it up!

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Jen says

      What a small world Alisha! We love Carlsbad too and my website name is insurance we never leave (I hope!) 😉 Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I’m touched it brought tears to your eyes. You sound like a saint cooking for your family! We must be foodie kindred spirits – I love that you are so adventurous in the kitchen – it keeps cooking, and life, fun! I hope you love the Pad Thai recipe and continue to have fun exploring all of my recipes!

  204. Roy says

    Hello Jen,
    My life took a turn much later in life than yours. In 2007 the doctors removed part of my lung (cancer) and started me on peritoneal dialysis. My kidney transplant occured in 2011. Just wanted to share that others have appreciated the new energy after the transplant.

    So, back to the main reason I am on your website. I found your recipe for pecan/graham cracker pie crust. I used it as a base in a springform pan for a cream based pecan pie (no syrup). The combination worked great for me. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Jen says

      Hi Roy, welcome! I’m so pleased the pecan graham cracker crust was a win! More importantly, I’m grateful you were able to receive a kidney transplant as well – they are miraculous!

  205. Zuri says

    Could you add estimated calorie amounts for the meals? Thank you

  206. Jeff Woiden says

    Hi Jen,

    I’m writing to you from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. We just finished having the Chipotle Lime Shrimp Burrito Bowls. We loved it, and while eating, my wife said, is this another recipe from Carlsbad Cravings? I’ve been making recipes from your site for at least 2 or more years now. I have lost track how many I have made, but my wife loves the fact that I want to do the cooking LOL!!! Your story is amazing and inspirational, and I am so happy to have stumbled across this site when I did. Honestly, it is my go-to site when I want to make something. I said after supper tonight, I just have to send an email to the person who created this site.
    Honestly, we have have tried so many, and they are all terrific. Stay well, stay safe, and thank you so much for sharing your recipes!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jeff all the way from Canada! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and make my day! I am honored you have been cooking my recipes for years and that my site is your go-to -that means so much to me. I also love hearing that my recipes make you want to cook – now that says something! Thanks for following along this cooking journey with me and inviting me into your home with my recipes. May God bless you and yours!

  207. Carol Ann says

    Hi there you…. just stopping by in search of a strawberry soup recipe….. read your story and thought …. she loves to create … her recipes are going to be yummy! I’m in!

    • Jen says

      Aw, thanks so much Carol! Creating is the best part! Welcome and enjoy exploring my recipes!

  208. Rick burr says

    First, I have been using your recipes forever!!
    I would also like to thank you for your inspiration through your cystic fibrosis journey. I myself was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2019. January 10th 2021 i received a bilateral lung transplant and doing very well with my recovery. I am finally back cooking and for the most part trying to regain some sense of normal. Thank you again for all you do ❤

    • Jen says

      Thanks for your kind words about my recipes and journey Rick and most importantly, CONGRATULATIONS on your lung transplant! It is a huge surgery so I’m so pleased to hear you’re doing well. I’m sure 2020 has been stressful trying to safe but I’m so encouraged things are looking up. Thank you for following along and I will be praying for your health!

  209. Thomas Tice says

    Wow what a wonderful life story. I stumbled on your site and appreciate your loads of info. I grew up on Los Robles dr, by the power plant, from 1956-62. Still miss it! In NM now, love to cook and incorporate our great New Mexico chilies, red and green. Will use the green w your pork loin roast recipe and can’t wait. Thanks for all

    • Jen says

      Nice to meet you Thomas, what a small world! I don’t know if you heard but they are tearing the power plant down after all these years! Piece by piece it’s coming down, probably another year before it’s completely gone – bittersweet! Anyhoo, welcome to my site and I’m so pleased to hear you appreciate the info! I’ll keep the recipes with chilies coming!

      • Thomas D. Timms says

        Just checking out your site and recipes. Going to try out the Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken. I see many recipes I want to tryout over time. I also wanted to throw in that one of my cousins help design and build Los Robles power plant. I also read about your treatments and want to say congratulations, it is always great to find another survivor. Transplants are not easy and multiple transplants can be scary. It takes a strong person to endure. Myself, I am a 14 year and two BMTs survivor (cancer). Creating is great therapy not to mention a whole lot of fun. Enough of this, I will keep in touch.

        • Jen says

          Welcome to my site Thomas! Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. It sounds like you are also a fighter, I’m grateful you’re doing well! I completely agree, creativity is so therapeutic and especially rewarding when you get to eat the end result 😉 I hope you love the Honey Garlic Chicken!

  210. christine lounder says

    I am 77 years old and cooking gives me enormous pleasure.
    I live in Adelaide South Australia.

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Christine all the way from Australia! I hope you find some fun new recipes to try here!

  211. DeeAnn Greene says

    I found your site from Pinterest. My goodness! I want to try every recipe. It appears that we have similar taste and palates. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site DeeAnn! I know how excited it can be to find a foodie kindred spirit! I hope you enjoy exploring my recipes!

  212. jeanne says

    I love your recipes and have used so many of them. I look forward to a new one hitting my email!

    One question—in printing off your recipes, there are always certain ingredients that are very light. Is there a reason for this? I am using some of your recipes for a dinner club that I am hosting and all coming get a copy of recipes. I am having to go in and handwrite the light ingredients because they are very hard to read. I tried changing from Google Chrome to Foxfire to see if it would make a difference but it doesn’t. Just sort of frustrating. Again, so enjoy your recipes and the information you pass on for prep, etc.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jeanne, I think I know what you’re talking about – there is a section to the right of the ingredients that’s “ingredient notes” that must print off lighter. I won’t anything to that from now on. Sorry for the frustration!

  213. Karen says

    I love every recipe I have tried so far! Especially the shredded Mexican chicken! Made the chicken divan for dinner tonight! So good! Would definitely be interested if you had a cookbook to buy! I love your website but can always add another cookbook to the collection!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Karen, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my recipes! I don’t have plans for a cookbook, but maybe I’ll be talked into it eventually 🙂

  214. W Kuhl says

    Hi There

    Just discovered Carlsbad Cravings. Absolutely love the time and effort you put into each recipe! First effort of mine will be your carne asada tacos. Just bought the meat and will marinate tomorrow am. Can’t wait!!!



    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Will! I appreciate that you appreciate all the info! I hope the carne asada tacos will be the first of many new favorite CC recipes!

  215. Karl K Schempp says

    Jen, you keep going girl! I love your passion, and attention to detail. This is Karl from Ontario, Canada. I get your emails. I just skimmed your loaded Potatoe Salad recipe, and it looks awesome. I’ll have to try and make it one day. There are probably more than 50 or 100 variations on how to make a cold potatoe salad including the popular plain German one which is different, and which my mom makes. Keep up the good work, and remember – flavour, flavour, flavour – the most important thing, imo. It’s what wins contests.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Karl, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my recipes and my detailed posts! I couldn’t agree with you more about flavor, I am all about seasonings!

  216. Lynda Wilson says

    Hi Jen, love your recipes. You are such a inspiration. My Grandaughter is 24 and has Cystic Fibrosis. She has been very blessed, lungs look good, no hospital stays and works a 4am to 12:30 shift at work. It is so encouraging that there is hope and life after lung transplants and kidney transplants. God Bless. Can’t wait to try your Carmel pecan dessert.

    • Jen says

      Hi Lynda, thanks for your kind words! What an incredible blessing your granddaughter has been blessed with such great health. There are more tools available everyday for CF individuals so hopefully she’ll never even need transplants! But yes, life is wonderful and such a blessing if needed. I’m so grateful everyday. Sending love and prayers to you and yours! xo

  217. Jennifer Congini says

    I found your food on Pinterest and made your Huli Huli chicken yesterday for Fourth of July (I think this was the best chicken recipe I have ever made—sorry Thomas Keller, yours is now #2). Anyhow, tears came to my eyes when I began to read your story, as my name is Jennifer, I’m from Carlsbad, my ex is named Patrick, and his younger brother had CF. We were very close, and close with his siblings. I’m overjoyed to hear about your successful transplants and how you are thriving. Your food is very inspired and a testament to your journey. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Health and happiness to you and your family. Jen and Lance (now in Temecula)

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Jennifer, I’m honored the huli huli was one of the best chicken recipes you’ve ever made! As I continued to read your comment, tears came to MY eye – I can’t believe the coincidences! We even pass through Temecula on our way to to my husband’s Parent’s house in Murrieta! I’m so sorry for the loss of Patrick’s brother, I’m sure he and my brother are buddies in heaven xo. My lung transplant was a life saving miracle and I am so grateful to my donors everyday. Thank you for reaching out and for your kind words, I hope you enjoy exploring my recipes!

  218. Tanya says

    Your Facebook account appears to be hacked! Someone keeps posting nonsensical stuff and other people’s personal FB pages, in between your recipe posts. You’ll probably want to change your password at the very least! Good luck!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much, I’ll check it out right now!

  219. Maxine says

    Hi Jen,

    I’ve made your Cacio e Pepe recipe for myself and my husband and it’s sublime. I really appreciate all of the tips and comments you include. I’d like to prepare this for some friends and am wondering, if I double the amount of pasta, should I equally double all of the other ingredients as well?

    I’m looking forward to exploring all of your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing your love of cooking and talents.

    • Jen says

      Hi Maxine! This comment got lost in a backlog, but I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed the recipe! And yes I would double the amount of other ingredients as well so there’s enough sauce to go around! Enjoy 🙂

  220. Kristi Brower says

    I love your recipes!!! I am looking for the homemade spaghetti and meatballs in the skillet recipe?! The sauce was to die for and I can’t seem to find it anywhere??

  221. Vanessa says

    I love your recipes, and your personal story touches my heart. I’m very glad to have found you and look forward to cooking more with you.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind message Vanessa. I’m honored you’ve read my story xo. I wish we could could alongside each other for realz!

  222. Beth says

    Good morning! Sorry to bother you with this. I am also a food blogger and wondering what camera and lenses you use? Your photography is outstanding. Some of the best in the business.

  223. Karen Autrey says

    Hi there….first let me say how inspired I am by your story. Truly remarkable.

    Next, your recipes are my “go to” for just about everything! I have never been disappointed!

    I do have a question. I am making your potatoes au gratin with bacon and it calls for 1 tablespoon of butter cut into 8 cubes. Just checking if this is correct? Doesn’t seem like enough…thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Karen about my story and my recipes! Yes 1 tablespoon is all you need to make it nice and buttery without it swimming in grease. Good luck!

  224. Vernon H. Sans Souci says

    I have just taken up cooking as a hobby at a very advanced age. Your recipes are amazing.and as a retired computer tech, I am most impressed with the design and organization of your web page, especially the links in them to get the best ingredients. Wonderful Site. I’m passing the link around to all friends and family.
    Thanks so much for all of this. May God Bless You and all your loved ones

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Vernon! Thank you so much for taking the time to make my day! I’m so please you find the site design helpful and easy to navigate. I hope you enjoy your new cooking hobby with many new Carlsbad Cravings recipes!

  225. Nancy says

    Hi Jen,
    Love all your recipes, you cook the way my family and I like to eat❤️.
    My question is kinda silly, when making wet burritos at what stage do you add the enchiladas sauce? When your ready to serve?

    • Jen says

      Thanks Nancy, I love hearing that! It is in second part of step 6: Fold sides of foil up around burritos (to keep sauce from escaping) and evenly pour enchilada sauce over burritos then evenly top with one cup cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

  226. Lane Pearson says

    Ginger beef looks incredible! Recipe calls for a cup of cornstarch which seems like a lot, plus the video looks like more flour and less cornstarch? Can’t wait to try it, thank you for all your great recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lane, the recipe is correct as written, I think you’ll love it!

  227. Amy Phillips says

    Hi Jen,
    I have a question for you!!! Did you ever have a different Chinese chicken salad recipe? I could have sworn I got a recipe from your site that was a little different from the one you have now.
    Thanks, Amy

  228. Diane says

    Hi. I recently found your website. You’re an extremely talented cook. We’ve loved everything so far. We tried the Dan Dan Noodles then the Thai Chicken Noodle Soup and they’re all new favorites. I’m planning Thanksgiving with my family and am using your recipes. One recipe that I can’t find is one for Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup. I’ve seen notes made about the ingredients you’ve used but never the recipe. Do you think you could post that recipe as well?

    Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for making my recipes Diane! I do need to post that recipe independently but for you can find it directly incorporated into the Chicken Divan recipe https://carlsbadcravings.com/chicken-divan/:

      2 tablespoons unsalted butter
      2 tablespoon olive oil divided
      1/3 cup all-purpose flour
      1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
      2 cups milk
      1 tablespoon cornstarch
      2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
      1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
      1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
      1 tsp EACH onion pwdr, garlic pwdr, dried parsley
      1/4 teaspoon pepper
      1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
      1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
      1/2 cup sour cream

      Melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour then cook, while stirring for 1 minute. Turn heat to low then gradually whisk in remaining 1 ½ cups chicken broth and 1 cup of milk. Whisk cornstarch with remaining 1 cup milk and add to skillet followed by Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, chicken bouillon and all spices/seasonings.
      Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly then reduce heat to a simmer, whisking often until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in ½ cup cheddar until melted followed by Parmesan cheese until melted. Whisk in sour cream until blended. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and spread into an even layer. Top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.

  229. Marie says

    Hi I lived in Carlsbad in the fifties and sixties when it was truly a paradise. I surfed at Tamarack when it was a dirt road up top and no cement to be seen. Will try your enchilada recipe.

    • Jen says

      That is amazing Marie! We love Tamarack and are there often. I hope you enjoy exploring my recipes!

  230. Jocelyn Elliott says

    I love all your ideas, love to cook and love spices, being adventurous is no problem but I need ideas. I have every spice on your list thankyou

    • Jen says

      It sounds like we are kindred cooking spirits, welcome!

  231. Kathy Oelze says

    Jen! I love every single one of your recipes, and my family now thinks I’m a gourmet cook and brag about me all the time! Haha!!

    I wonder if you take requests? Down here in Texas, King Ranch Chicken is a staple meal, but I’ve never found one that I just love. Have any time to give it a go???

  232. Keith Heiken says

    I am so inspired by your story. Mine is about a different situation. I consider myself an Ataxia warrior. I do love good healthy flavorful food. With a full time job I find I don’t have time to cook the way I want, now I think I do with your quick meals.They look good and I can’t wait to try them.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Keith, I’m sure you have quite a courageous story as well! I will try and add some more quick meals to repertoire – and slow cooker meals are always great too for those busy days!

  233. Lisa says

    Wow! What an amazingly inspirational story. You have been through so much! I truly enjoy your recipes. The photographs on your blog make me hungry God Bless you.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Lisa, I truly appreciate your kind words and for following along!

  234. Ben Johnson says

    Hey Jen! We were first hooked on your recipes with your chili lime chicken with the mango chicken salad! Divine! There has been no turning back, and now have quite a collection of your recipes on-going in our kitchen, even our picky 3, 7, and 11 year olds find most of them enjoyable!
    I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but do you have a cook book, or planning on putting one together?
    I’m trying to put the many recipes we have printed out into an organized manner for a gift for my wife, and just thought I’d check with you before reinventing “the wheel.”

    Thanks for all your efforts in the kitchen and sharing on your website! It’s been a gift to our family!

    • Jen says

      Hi Ben, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment/message! I’m honored your whole family is enjoying them. That is so thoughtful of you to create a book of recipes for your wife! I don’t have a cookbook and don’t have plans for one but I’ll certainly announce it if anything changes. Happy cooking!

  235. Nancy Davis, PhD says

    If there is a genius category for creating recipes for incredible dishes, you would be at the top. Your ability to use spices and creativity to tremendously improve every recipes I have made reflects your genius. I rarely search for any recipe any place other than your website because everything I have tried has been outstanding. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I particularly love your Asian recipes.

    • Jen says

      Sorry for my delayed response, but thank you so much for taking the time to comment and make my day. I’m honored you think my recipes are top-notch and that I’m you’re go to! I super appreciate that you love my seasonings – they make a recipe! Thank you so much for following along – more Asian recipes coming!

  236. Barbara Day says

    a month or so ago you published a recipe for Hawaiian Pork Roast. i tried it and it was wonderful. Since that time, unfortunately I have been ill and unable to stay even with the number of emails I was getting, so I unsubscribed.
    I retained a jar of the marinade, which had not been used for therecipe and would like to know how long that marinade will keep if refrigerated.
    could you help me on this?

    • Jen says

      Hi Barbara, I’m sorry you have been ill, I hope you are on the up and up! Unfortunately, the marinade will probably have to be tossed unless it has been frozen. It can stay fresh in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

  237. Charity Dycus says

    Is there a way to search broad recipe categories such as ‘freezes well’, ‘make-ahead’, etc.? Like a #hashtag for when you aren’t searching for a particular recipe or just need some inspiration?

    IMO this is the best cooking site on the web! Your spice/flavor combos are so delicious, you’re a seasoning master.

    Thank You 🙂

    • Jen says

      Great question Charity! I don’t have those specific categories in one place but if you search “freezer friendly” or “make ahead” using the search bar then recipes including those keywords should pop up. I hope that helps! Thank you also for your super kind words, I’m honored to be the “seasoning master” :)!

  238. Cee says

    I love hearing your amazing story. My dad had a kidney transplant at age 70! I just made, adding roasted corn kernels and black beans, your yummy Turkey Chili recipe.

    I plan to try your Chicken Tortilla soup recipe. I BELIEVE YOUR VIDEO HAS BEEN HACKED, though. It never played and seems to have been usurped by someone.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Jen says

      That is amazing your dad had a transplant at age 70 – way to go! They are life changing! My video is working on my end, so maybe try clearing your cache and refreshing the browser? Sorry about that!

  239. Tracie says

    Hi, I wanted to start by telling you that I LOVE every recipe that I have made from your website. These are my go-to favorites! I was wondering if there was a way to print all recipes at once or a cookbook that you have will all (or most) recipes? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Tracie, I’m honored you have loved all of my recipes! I don’t currently have a way to print all the recipes (over 1000) but that is something I can look into – possibly an e-book. Would you want just the main dishes or all recipes?

  240. kristi says

    wow, so impressed by you!

    • Jen says

      That’s so sweet, thank you Kristi!

  241. Gina Buckley says

    Hello Jen!
    Happy New Year to you! My sister JUST sent me your website link for one of your recipes and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your website! You are so gifted! I love to cook and I am really going to enjoy your recipes.
    I have to tell you that the illustrative photos you have on your site here for your recipes are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I’m very impressed. I’m going to make your Zuppa Toscana Soup recipe. Thank you and may the Lord bless you and keep you!

    Warm regards,
    Gina Buckley,
    Corona, Calif.

    • Jen says

      You are so thoughtful to take the time to comment Gina, welcome! It sounds like we have similar cooking styles, so I’m extra excited for you to dive in and discover some new favorites! Thank you so much for your kind words! xo

  242. Jerry Loper says


    I think you are a phenomenal woman and this 74 year old man, that loves to cook, enjoys your recipes.

    I have always told people, it doesn’t matter how bad things get for you, you can always look around and find someone else that is/has gone through worse. That is the main reason I am doing this comment. I have friends that have gone through transplants and I would like to post your experience above on my Facebook page, for you are truly a remarkable woman, if you will please give me your permission to do so.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind message Jerry! Yes, you can absolutely share my story and anything else from my site, my book or my Instagram. You are such a great friend to uplift others!

  243. Walter says

    I found this page on Facebook on one of my good friend’s pages! Unbelieveable! I got stuck on this page and I am sharing it with all of my friends and family! Thank you for the manificent recipes. The videos are great. I hope to support you with purchases from you affiliate accounts and…I want to feature you on my podcast, PROGRESS IN THE WORLD.

    • Jen says

      What an incredibly kind comment, thanks Walter! I appreciate you following along, supporting and recommending my site! You can email me directly about the podcast, best!

  244. Candice says

    How can I more easily see the latest recipes instead of having to go by course? I have blogs I follow daily and this is one of them. The format has changed and I am sure there is a quicker way to look up latest recipes but I cannot figure out how. Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Hi Candice, the latest recipes are listed on the homepage after you scroll past the “about” and large search bar. You can also sign up to get me email updates every time I post a recipe 😉

  245. Tricia says

    Add Boursin cheese to any meatball recipe and it totally elevates meatball

    • Candice says

      So just scroll through readers favorites and that is the latest recipes? Thank you.

      • Jen says

        Scroll past the readers favorites – so below them and below the search box.

  246. Debbie Lynn Thompson says

    I just wanted to say I recently came across a recipe of yours called Blackened Chicken Alfredo. OMG!! It was so so deelishus!! I commend you for it!! I/we loved it so much I am mixing up these ingredients for tonight’s pork tenderloin!! I also loved the fact that all the spices you call for, I have in my cabinet!! Thank you so much!! I’ve got my eye on you for more of your deelishusness!!

    • Jen says

      Welcome Debbie! I’m so pleased the Blackened Chicken Alfredo was such a hit and that you’re excited for more! I hope you discover many new favorites here!

  247. Jim Roberts says

    Each recipe is like a short story or novella. I love reading all of your directions, notes, and tips. I feel I get a very good grasp of the sense of the recipe, not just what and how. You are a gifted teacher. I would absolutely recommend a book.

    And your story is so inspiring. So many misfortunes, but such an indomitable spirit. My hopes go out for a continued happy, productive, and fun-filled life!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind words Jim about my recipes and the well wishes for my life! I’m so pleased you find the tips and tricks interesting and helpful and I’m honored you’ve taken the time to read about my journey! I wish you a joyous life as well!

  248. Caleigh McCaffrey says

    Your recipes are my all time favourite! They are my number 1 go to and they never disappoint. If you had a cook book, it would be the only one I would ever buy and use 🙂

    Thank you again!

    • Jen says

      That is so nice of you, thanks Caleigh! No plans for a cookbook, but I’ll let you know if anything changes

  249. Lois Cotterly says

    You are an inspiration and an amazing cook. Love your recipes. Thank you

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Lois, so nice of you to brighten my day!

  250. Marlene Gold-Beck says

    .Hi Jen,
    First off I want to say I’m not really experienced at cooking rice. I saw your “Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice”. it sounded awesome! BTW, In your tips, you recommended rinsing the rice before toasting it. However Your recipe doesn’t specify what to do once the rice is rinsed . Do I toast the rice in a pot and continue on cooking it Or do I have to let the rice dry overnight? This step is not mentioned in the instructions of Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice?
    BTW, The Smothered Baked chicken Burritos were Awesome as well, I used the uncooked Burritos to make them So much better tasting!


    • Jen says

      Hi Marlene, you don’t need to let the rice dry, just rinse it in a fine mesh sieve, shake off excess water and proceed with the recipe – toasting it will dry it out, hope that helps! It is detailed in the Notes of the recipe. I’m happy the Smothered Burritos were a hit!

  251. Dawn says

    Hi Jen,
    I am thinking of making your beef with broccoli recipe for a person who is highly allergic to dairy. I don’t see any dairy in the ingredients, but was wondering if you think it would qualify?
    Thanks so much… It looks delicious.

    • Jen says

      Hi Dawn, yes the Beef and Broccoli is dairy free but you may wish to send them the recipe to check for any other allergies. Best!

  252. Glo Glossop says

    I was a classical musician, currently a daylily hybridizer and have a very creative brain. Creating unusual form daylilies has been my passion for years.. My husband (previous restaurant owner in Colorado) loves flavor lots of it in his food, We live in Florida and so many of the restaurants serve fried frozen selections. Your comment about flavor caught my eye and dedication to perfection is what I would like to be serving my husband and friends.
    Your personal story is amazing and wonderful.
    http://www.FaboulousGulfCoatsLiving.com is my website

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Glo, our creative brains understand each other! If your husband loves, flavor, you are in the right place!

  253. Pat says

    Hello.. I just wanted to say how wonderful your story is and you make some fantastic dishes! I lived in Carlsbad for 9 years now out in Temecula wine area. Looking forward to making your dishes!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Pat, what a small world! My husband’s parents live in Murrieta, so we are always heading your way. I hope you enjoy exploring my site and making my recipes!

      • Pat says

        We live in Murrieta! . Loving your kabobs!!

        • Jen says

          Thank you so much Pat! What a small world, my husband’s parents live in Murrieta so we are there all the time – beautiful area!

  254. Nancy Renfroe says

    Re: French Dip Sandwiches
    Can you use a sirloin roast instead of a Chuck roast?

    • Jen says

      Yes! It a leaner cut so it naturally won’t be as flavorful but still tasty.

  255. Erin Bogan says

    Hi! I love your recipes and wondered if you have a cookbook that I could purchase. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      That’s so sweet, thanks for making my recipes Erin! No plans for a cookbook for now.

  256. Janice says

    Coconut honey lime chicken.

    I am in Canada and was looking to see if I could purchase the type of coconut milk you suggested.
    You said your grocery store stopped suppling it and this is why. It seems it was pulled off more shelves than just your store. I am sure that you do not want to recommend a brand that does this. I am not offended that you recommended this brand but just giving you what I found when trying to buy it. looks like a great recipe and will still try it.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Janice! Yes, that recipe is years old and I had not gotten to updating all of my recipes using coconut milk yet. Just updated!

  257. Gayle says

    Hi Jen
    I love your recipes and recommend your site to everyone. Quick question about Oyster Sauce; what do you recommend as a substitute? Is Soy Sauce ok? My shellfish sensitivity has increased over the years and made it necessary to be even more careful.
    Thank you for all of the additional tips you provide for cooking ahead and freezing. You are truly an inspiration and your recipes help make our goal of eating “clean” with real food even easier and certainly delicious.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Gayle and for sharing my site! Soy sauce is an “okay” substitute but you’ll be missing the really rich, complex flavor. Instead I recommend Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce which you can purchase on Amazon. I hope that helps!

  258. Ann Packard says

    I tripled your Chinese chicken salad dressing – and it is too salty!! How do I compensate?

    • Jen says

      Hi Ann, so sorry! Whenever I double or triple a recipe, I reduce the salt and the heat and adjust to taste. I would add some canola oil and then you can add some sweet chili sauce or rice vinegar if it needs it.

  259. Mary Beth says

    Hello! I absolutely love your recipes, they are my favourite!
    I do however, struggle with your website. It is overwhelmed with advertisement making it very difficult to navigate. Do you have any recipe books, even digital that I could purchase?

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, I’m sorry for the ads, I know they are annoying but it is how I make my living and am able to provide free recipes. You can always use the “jump to recipe button” and skip directly to the recipe card.

  260. Heather Bart says


    I have made at least 2 dozen of your recipes and they are all absolutely amazing. I have 100% confidence that if I make something from here it’s going to be incredible! It is my go-to site now for recipes and I’ve shared it with more than a few people. That said, is there ever a chance you’d consider adding a “low fat” or “low calorie” section? My husband and I love to eat but are also trying to lose weight and I know we would enjoy any recipe you add on here.

    Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Heather, I’m honored you’re loving my recipes! Yes, I will definitely consider it but it will take some time until it’s ready because I will have to individually categorize every recipe. In the meantime, I definitely recommend checking out my grilling section https://carlsbadcravings.com/category/cooking-method/grill-recipes/ I do try and include healthy swaps in every recipe as well.

  261. Joanne D'Abate says

    I absolutely love all your posted recipes! What I really need is how to cut the recipes for one person. I’m a widow and most recipes make large amounts, but I can freeze meals! Thanks for your wonderful healthy delicious recipes!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Joanne for making my recipes! If you hover over the servings in the recipe card, then a sliding scale will appear and you can scale the servings/recipe down. Hope that helps!

  262. Liana says

    God bless you darling girl. I have only tried one recipe and we loved it. Thanks for quoting Dieter F. Uchtdorf and not surprising me that you are one of the clan, as my friend calls it! Looking forward to lots of yummy stuff and sending your link to friends.
    Liana, Palo Alto, my brother lives in Escondito!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Liana, and welcome to my site! I hope you enjoy exploring more of my recipes – and thank you for sharing with your friends!

    • Grace Ann says

      This is why I’m hesitant to PIN recipes .. I’m interested in the recipe that caught my attention, not your love story, how it all began from humble beginnings, or see personal pics of your family and pets … if I was interested in all that, I’d reach out with a friend request .. here we are and no recipe to be found.

      • Jen says

        Not sure what you’re referring to Grace Ann, as my website has thousands of recipes. Each recipe has a “jump to recipe” button at the top of each post so you can skip directly to the recipe.

      • Jennifer Torres says

        I also came here via a recipe link that sent me to this page instead of a recipe for creme brûlée Imagine my surprise after being gifted with Jen’s inspiring, heartwarming story (I too found baking to reduce my pain and loss of purpose that came with debilitating chronic illness) when I read your nasty comment.

        So in opposition to your belief that everyone exists for your benefit alone, I am going to pray Jen is able to ignore your negativity and continue to be positively transformed and enlightened by sharing her time and talent with all of us — as that is how we too might also come to share in her gifts and enlightenment. THIS, FYI, is (part of) the real reason everyone exists — not to instantly meet your selfish desires. My prayer for you, Grace Ann (not sarcastic, I really do pray!) is that you find people in your life who help you understand why you were named so appropriately and see a world not made up of strangers, but of friends you haven’t “friended” yet. I’m going to poke around the site, like a guest in Jen’s home, and see what I can find on my way to crème brûlée. Bless you Jen!

        • Jen says

          I’m sorry I’m slow to respond Jennifer – we just moved and things have been crazy! I am humbled and honored by your beautiful, eloquent, loving comment. You are such a special person with so much warmth and light; I have no doubt you touch so many lives every single day! Thank you! God bless! xo

      • Aquagirl says

        Boy, that is about as rude a comment as I’ve ever seen on a post. Shame on you! If you can’t say something nice, move on.

        • Jen says

          I appreciate you coming to my defense! xo

      • Pat says

        So rude! She has thousands of fantastic recipes that you can search or go directly to at the top of page. Remember what Thumpers mom said..” if you can’t say something nice , don’t say anything at all!”

        • Jen says

          Thanks Pat, you’re the best!

  263. Pat says

    I just wanted to tell you that for our 4th of July dinner I served your steak kabobs and your strawberry spinach salad. Added a nice couscous dish. Everyone loved both dishes!!

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that, thank yo so much Pat!

  264. Roni Ryger says

    Hi Jen,

    I just recently made your grilled chicken marinade using a whole 3 pound cutup chicken. It was amazing! For 4 people only 2 small pieces were left.
    I just printed out your recipe and will be making it again this weekend.
    I just reread the top of the recipe and you mentioned honey, but I did not see honey listed in the ingredients.
    It was delicious nonetheless. If there is honey in the recipe, can you please let me know the quantity?

    Thank you so much!

    Roni Ryger

    [email protected]

    • Jen says

      Hi Roni! Sorry this must have gotten lost in a backlog, but I am so glad you loved it! There is no honey in the Best Grilled Chicken Marinade, but some variations of the recipe do call for it.

  265. Sue Dingee says

    Jen I am looking for your salmon wellington recipe but can no longer can find it on your site. I am hoping to serve this as a company dinner. Thank you,

    • Jen says

      Hi Sue, I don’t have a salmon wellington recipe, must be another site, sorry!

  266. Laurie says

    I just made your pork carnitas and they we a HUGE hit. The flavors were delicious!!!! We put the meat in a cheese shell with homemade pickled onions. Was ridiculously so good! Thanks for all of your recipes. I have been following you for a while and I have yet to make something that we didn’t like….keep the great recipes coming!!!

    Thank you,
    Laurie Diaz

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for making my day Laurie! I’m so pleased you loved these carnitas and honored you have loved all of my recipes so far!

  267. Tina says

    We made your pork carnitas today. It was great to pop in the slow cooker before work. Supper time made easy! They were FABULOUS!! Definitely will make again. Actually I think this was the third time and they did not disappoint. Keeping warm in the oven for our son who is working until 10 pm and I am sure there will be nothing left!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Tina, I’m so pleased the carnitas are a repeat favorite! Your son will will be grateful :)!

  268. Jannell says

    Thank you for your blog. I found you through Instagram. I was going to tell you how impressed I am with your work, then I noticed, Uchtdorf’s quote. So glad I found your blog. I am an LDS member from St. George, UT. I saved about 15 of your recipes before I found out more about you. Keep up the great work!!!!! (I am also, a nurse). I look forward to learning more about your work. Way to go!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Jannell! We love St. George and have so many friends who have moved there, beautiful area! It sounds like we have similar cooking styles/palate, so I’m excited for you to start trying my recipes!

  269. Lauren says

    do you have a cookbook for purchase or online recipes only?

  270. Colleen Reisener says

    I have made your wonderful frittata recipe several times. I wondered about adding some frozen shredded hash browns. Have you ever tried that? Not sure if I would prepare the hash browns before adding to the frittata with the other vegetables. Any suggestions or would it be better to parboil and give some potatoes instead?

    • Jen says

      Hi Colleen, that would be delicious! Yes, I would prepare them completely/separately before adding so they don’t release any liquid. Please let me know how it turns out!

  271. Karen says

    I often make your recipes and my family always enjoy them. I was bragging about you the other day to hubby and told him that not only are you creative and talented in the kitchen but how sweet you are when you respond to a reader’s comment. He suggested that I tell you and I agree! So thank you Jen for not only being in the kitchen with me when I’m preparing one of your delicious recipes, but being so very kind to all of us! xo

    • Jen says

      You are so thoughtful Karen, thank you for making my day! I’m honored you’re enjoying my recipes and humbled you appreciate my comments. Thank you for inviting me/my recipes into your home xo

  272. Colleen Reisener says

    I contacted you recently about possibly adding frozen hash browns to your wonderful frittata recipe and I wanted to let you know how it turned out. I always prep and freeze the vegetables ahead of time but did the hash browns right before assembling everything. As the hash browns drained on paper towel, I warmed up the other vegetables. In addition to the bacon, I add crumbled breakfast sausage. Then I added the potatoes and remaining ingredients. It was a delicious addition and everyone loved it.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for sharing Coleen, that sounds delicious! I’m sure other readers will find your method helpful as well!

  273. Jon says

    I just want to say that this is the best food blog site ive ever found. Its so well organized, and the recipes are solid. I mean really, i made both the slow cooker barbacoa, and the hunagrian goulash by splitting a 3lb chuck roast between the two. They are both just fantastic! I willbe making a lot more of your recipes, really you should be proud of what you made. Great execution start to finish.

    • Jen says

      Wow Jon, thank you so much for taking the time to make my day! I’m honored you are loving my site and my recipes. I work hard for readers to have a great experience, so comments like yours are so rewarding!

  274. Patricia Fisher says

    Hello, I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they are delicious. I’ve shared your link with some of my friends. I’ve been following you a few years now and I love how you write about each recipe. Makes me want to make them all. Thank you for all you do.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for you kind comment Patricia and for sharing my website! I’m so pleased you find the information helpful!

  275. Jeanne says

    Hi Jen, I live in AZ now (formerly NorCal). My daughter rented us a beach house last week in Carlsbad (4th year in a row) and just love your city. After returning home,I was searching for a Chicken Stew recipe and came a crossed your recipe. I made it last night and was so impressed with the flavors, it was delicious. I started browsing your beautifully laid-out website of recipes and can’t wait to try more of them. I saw your list of favorite spices and I have ALL of them!

    Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jeanne, how fun you got to vacation in Carlsbad – it really is a gem! Welcome to my site, I’m so pleased you loved the stew! It’s a small taste of what’s to come so I’m so excited for you to try more of my recipes!

  276. Ileann O'Donnell says

    I just recently discovered this website, and was captivated by Jen’s incredible and inspiring story (still on-going, I hope). In an effort to cope with, and fight, chronic kidney disease progressing faster than my doctor expected, I have become frankly obsessive about a lowest possible sodium diet. It was this search that brought me to Carlsbad Cravings. (That, and the name, as I grew up in San Diego and lived in Carlsbad for a few years.) I wanted to ask, though, about a number of recipes I see on this site that mention salt or soy sauce or other high sodium Asian sauces. How low sodium are most of the recipes, and do the recipes have a nutritional analysis so one can calculate the amount of various minerals one takes in?

    • Jen says

      Hi Ileann, thank you so much for reading my story and for your kind words! May God bless you in your own journey! xo Unfortunately, this site doesn’t follow any specific dietary guidelines so yes there are recipes higher in sodium like you mentioned. You can calculate the nutritional breakdown here: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator

  277. Barclay says

    Love all your recipes, any chance you can add photo to the print page, I always like a visuals when I’m digging through recipes, if it looks good I’m definitely gonna cook it. Just a suggestion. Keep up the good work. Thanks

    • Jen says

      Thanks for making my recipes Barclay! Yes, you have the option to print it with or without a photo. Click the box above the title that says “recipe image” and a picture will appear.

  278. Melissa Roy says

    Hi Jen. We just love your website. We have tried over 30 recipes and have loved them all. Every time I am cooking, my ten year old son asks if it is a recipe from “our girl”.

    He has helped with several of your recipes and has had so much fun cooking with me. Thanks for sharing your talent with us and you are a true inspiration.

    • Jen says

      Wow, I am honored you have made so many of my recipes and loved them, thank you Melissa! I love the thought of you and your son cooking together, so sweet and so many precious memories he’ll treasure. Please tell him I say hi and I’m proud of his cooking!

  279. Sheila Capito says

    I am new to your blog. I love your style of cooking. I have been scratch cooking for many years and I love to follow new recipes for inspiration. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Jen says

      My pleasure, thank you so much for following along! I’m excited for you to try my recipes!

  280. Liz says

    I just tried my first recipe from your site- tomato basil soup. It was marvelous! I will definitely be trying more.
    Thank you so much and good luck on your continued journey.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Liz, I’m so pleased you loved it! I hope you enjoy exploring my site and discover many new favorites!

  281. Carlo J Bertolino says

    Good morning,
    I made your Pork Medallions with Mushroom Gravy with a slight modification by reducing some of the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce adding homemade dried porcini mushroom powder for the umami flavor. The meal was exquisite I loved your recipe.

    • Jen says

      Sounds fabulous! I’m so pleased you loved it!

  282. John says

    Stumbled on to your recipe for on a search for Albondigas soup. Props for addiing the chayotes.

    Your story is inspiring. Thank you and congratulations for all your victories.

    And thanks for having a great easy to navigate website with lots of great recipes

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for your congrats and kind words John! I am so grateful to be alive and doing what I love! I hope you enjoy the Albondigas Soup!

  283. Sue Miller says

    A few days ago I saw your recipe for honey glazed salmon and thought it looked delish ! I am new to liking salmon so I thought I would try it.. It was such an easy recipe and I already had all the ingredients. I was wonderful! I loved it. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Sue, I’m so please you found it easy and delicious, win-win! I hope you enjoy my other salmon recipes as well!

      • Patty says

        Love your recipes! Do you have a printed cookbook out?

        • Jen says

          Hi Patty! I don’t have a cookbook at this time. Thanks for your support, I appreciate you!

  284. Andrea L. Cashman says

    Hi Jen. I came across your blog while searching for pork loin recipes. I was surprised when I saw name. Live in ct for a long time now but very strong connections to north county. My first apartment on oak street, Carlsbad, grandmother was in Oceanside, uncle in vista, my brothers in Fallbrook. Happy to hear you are thriving, not just surviving. I have some dear friends who are transplant recipients. One recently received a lung, another a liver.

    God bless you and merry Christmas

    • Jen says

      I’m sorry I’m slow to respond Andrea – we just moved and things have been crazy! That is amazing you know Carlsbad/North County so well, we feel so blessed to live here. That is also unique to know so many transplant recipients – it truly is a miracle! I hope you enjoy my recipes, God bless!

  285. Mimi says

    Every time I look for something new and fun to cook your recipes just jump off the page.
    You my girl are an amazing cook! Your food is so approachable and delicious.
    The HoneyBaked ham is a showstopper- my friends and family always flip out when I make it.
    May God continue to you bless you with creativity and good health. Thank you for your work and keep on cookin’!! With Love, Mimi from Texas!

    • Jen says

      This comment got lost in a backlog, but thank you so much for your kind comment Mimi! God bless you and your family!

  286. Rainy says

    Hello Jen,
    I use your website all the time and would LOVE an actual cookbook. Are you planning to publish one in the future? I love your website but often wish I could just grab a book and flip through.
    Thank you for many a delicious dinner!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Rainy, I’m honored you’re enjoying my recipes! I don’t have any plans for a cookbook, but I’m playing with the idea of made-to-order books. Would something like that interest you?

  287. Janet grayson says

    Your recipes look delicious and rhe pictures are wonderful. But since the recipe is impossible to access its basically a waste of my time and yours.

    • Jen says

      All you have to do is click the “jump to recipe button” (hold it down) at the top of each post and it skips directly to the recipe.

  288. Erma says

    I am putting together a cookbook for family and friend of my tried and true recipes of 50+ years. Some of yours have become favorites. May I include them with credit to your site? I was so happy to find your site. I love your flavorful recipes.

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! I’m honored to be included!

  289. Carolyn brill says

    You are amazing, I love your instagram posts. I am an east coaster living in Mystic CT and my son lives in Carlsbad. I was so hoping that you had a food delivery service as he and his partner have a new baby and they would love all your culinary creations!
    Keep cooking. You are so talented!
    Carolyn Brill

    • Jen says

      Thanks for following along Carolyn! That is so exciting you are going to have a grandbaby – congratulations! I only make food for the website, unfortunately, but all the best to your son and his partner!

  290. John Skelly says

    Your enthusiasm is freakin contagious! 🙂

    Your content is wonderful and your posts show there’s something special with you, your story and things that grab your attention. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      You are so thoughtful John, thank you so much for your kind words and for following along!

  291. Tracy says

    I think your recipes are amazing. My kind of food and easy to make. Seriously time for a cookbook! I would pre order it!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Tracy, I’m honored to be foodie “kindred spirits!”

  292. Jennifer Leean says

    Hi Jen
    I just served your Bruschetta Cheese Ball at a party at my house and it was a huge hit! I had several people asking me for the recipe with one person telling me that if they didn’t have to go home, they would have stayed at my house and “stuffed their face” longer. It is delicious!!! Your life story is incredible and wonderful! I too have experience with serious health problems and I toot turned to the Lord for help. And He did!
    Prayers to you and keep up with the delicious recipes!

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased it was a hit, love the visual of others “stuffing their face!” May God continue to bless you with his love and strength! xo

  293. Kay L Bantz says

    I love your site, and use it often. It is creative, practical for the way I cook, and photography is beautiful. However, you may want to look at your strong stand on washing mushrooms. I am not a fanatic about organic or anything, really, except that in the growing season in Wisconsin, I prefer local. Also, I am rather fanatic about spraying all veggies with vinegar to kill germs and then a good long rinse under tap water first and filtered water second. That said, my favorite sources for recipes and personalities was America’s Test Kitchen and a spin off, J. Kenji Lopez Alt. If you trust these sources, please open and read what Kenji (his site is serious eats, and his wonderful book is THE FOOD LAB) said about mushroom cleaning: https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-clean-and-chop-mushrooms I couldn’t eat a mushroom just wiped off when I see all the dirt on them. I also cut off about 1/4 inch of stem. Thank you for all of your experiments and sharing them with, I’m guessing, a larger and larger audience. I love that I can save my recipes as well!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Kay, I love learning, so I really appreciate you sharing and setting me straight!

  294. Kristi Jenkins says

    Hi Jen! I absolutely love your recipes – I’ve made several and have gotten my colleague, who hates to cook, hooked on them, too! I’m about to cook a few meals to take over for my daughter, who’s a junior nursing student over at Gonzaga in Spokane, WA and I was wondering if you had any suggestions on which recipes might do well to freeze after prep and reheat for a quick meal when she’s been at clinicals all day? I was thinking maybe the Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet, but hoping you might have other suggestions! TIA!

  295. Jeannine Upson says

    I have made dozens of your recipes for our family Sunday dinners (8 of us). I have twin boys and they have wives and we have a 6 year old grandson and a close friend.. We are adventurous eaters and every recipe I have made has been a huge hit. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. We are grateful every Sunday. Can’t wait to try the Reuben.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Jeannine, thank you for making my recipes! I am so happy you are enjoying them!

  296. Ian Schafer says

    G’day Jen
    I am a 73 year old Aussie single male that has a passion for cooking.
    Not your everyday meat & 3 veg type of cooking though, I too love my spices & seasoning, I have all that you have listed plus some, & quick is good for me as well, but I don’t like hot spices that burn your mouth out or take your breath away, that I feel takes away the taste of what you are cooking & I’m also allergic to some chillies especially Thai Birdseye Chillies, so I try to stay clear of them.
    I love to cook a lot of different cuisines, Hungarian, Mediterranean, Lebanese, South African & Cuban amungst some of the ones I have cooked.
    I can’t wait to try some of your created delights

    • Jen says

      G’day, Ian! It sounds like you have quite the cooking repertoire! I too like spices and hope you are able to find something on my website that you love!

  297. Amber C. says

    Hi, Jen. I’ve been a huge fan of your cooking and recipes for many years, MANY YEARS and made recipes of yours so many times they have had to be reprinted. Which is why I’d like to inform you of a possible published plagiarism. One of your recipes, the French Dip Sandwich is pretty much exactly copied as well as your bbq sauce from your slow cooker ribs (some differences, possibly inspired but not verbatim copied). The book is called Easy-Freeze Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 freeze-ahead, cook-themselves Meals for Every Slow Cooker by Ella Sanders. Do with this information what you will. Thank you for being an amazing cook.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Amber! It’s so amazing that you have found so many recipes to love! I am grateful for your support, I appreciate you!

  298. Antoine Boyd says

    I read your chicken sausage gumbo recipe. I found it to be interesting. Here in the south, people tend to things their own way and their way is the right way. I have been making gumbo’s since 1981. I now do my gumbo making just before Thanksgiving. I buy the two best turkeys weighing around 13-15#. I smoke them first with a light pecan wood. The skin, I use to make my broth. Breaking down the turkey and putting it into a 4.5 gallon pot, I boil it off the bone. de-bone the meat and remove the skins the day before I make the gumbo. While it is smoking, I cut up my trinity. I hand chop it all. I use yellow onions (Spanish onions). I then make my roux. In a 8″ cast iron skillet under med-low heat I brown 2 cups of AP flour with 1 cup of vegetable oil. If it is cooked at a higher heat, the oil will burn and it will have a rancid taste worth throwing in the garbage. If you want my recipes email me and I will gladly share them with you. Like you, I have put together a binder with recipes, many that the Lord has inspired me to do.

    • Jen says

      That sounds like a spectacular true labor of love! I’m sure the smoked turkey tastes incredible!

  299. Jill says

    Hi! I have a question. I am in the process of making your gorgeous chicken fricassee. It is for a dinner tomorrow. I would like to add th cream today. Store it in the fridge til tomorrow and then add the fresh herbs after it is reheated. Will the cream survive this%? Or should I do the whole cream bit tomorrow?

    • Jen says

      Hi Jill, you should be fine adding the cream today without any problems. Enjoy!

  300. Stephanie DeKors says

    I wanted to say, I am inspired by your story. I suffer from a few health issues as well and find it a real struggle to get up with enough energy to tie my shoes some days. I happened upon one of your recipes a year ago. The picture and flavor combination sounded so good, I had to try.

    Wow! I have to say, true to your word, you pride yourself on flavor! Every recipe is so flavorful, eye appealing and delicious! I honestly have not come across another cookbook/blogger/chef that continually satisfy my expectations for a dish. I love that your meal never fall short in taste. I always look forward to trying another recipe. Thank you for sharing your skills with the rest of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Be well.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind words! I am so glad that you have been loving the recipes and flavors! I hope you’re well:)

  301. Melissa Massy says

    I have treasured every recipe of yours that I have tried!
    When life feels like it has lost its flavor, I just make one of your recipes.
    You are such a blessing to me and I thank God for your cooking talent and beautiful smile.
    I would love it if you published a cookbook… my printer is getting tired!
    God bless you and your family.

    • Jen says

      This means the world to me! Thank you for your support, and I am so glad that you have found so many recipes you love!

  302. Jay Rector says

    I love your site and all the recipes. I shared it with so many friends and family. Like me, many of them cook exclusively from the site now. The time you have put into it is paying dividends for so many in my realm.

    I have a cold spiral pasta recipe you can use on this site if you would like. Let me know how to share it with you.

  303. Amy says

    Your story is amazing, the best of health to you. I have a question, I made your Restaurant Mexican Rice recipe, the best ever, my family loved it. My question is… Can I add ground beef? If so, do I need to adjust any ingredients. Thank you for your time, and your fabulous recipes.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Amy! I am so glad that you are loving the recipes:) The rice would not need to be adjusted. If you wanted, you could use the Ground Beef Tacos recipe to make the ground beef portion! Let me know if you try it!

  304. Terri Emery says

    Your story is so amazing. You are a lover of life and food and I truly admire you. My life seems to pale in comparison, but I love hearing your journey. It makes one feel as though we should appreciate more on a daily basis, and what better avenue than food! You are truly inspiring and you’ve certainly brightened many lives in our circle. I look forward to sharing more you have to offer! God bless you and keep up the good work! We actually aren’t that far from you as the crow flies…hop, skip and a jump away! How I would love if you could come visit us in the mountains. What a super surprise that would be. Believe me, EVERYONE in town adores the lasagna soup recipe!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Terri, your kind message means so much to me! I am so glad that you are appreciating life through food! God bless you and your family!!

  305. Bev Brown says

    I love your recipes! Your talent for seasoning is amazing!! I want a cookbook, One I can hold and browse through!! Please!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Bev! I am thrilled that you have so many recipes on here that you love!!

  306. Terri Germain says

    I started using Carlsbadcravings omg I feel like I’m gourmet CHEF NOW!!!! I have made several and shared with family this site.

    • Jen says

      Yay! So glad you found my site, Terri! Thanks for making and sharing my recipes!!

  307. Jen says

    Thanks for your input and kind words Patricia! I know people are silly and I would definitely hear if readers thought my recipes were too salty which I never do (until now 😉 – but I’ll keep that in mind. What a small world that you’ve had so many interactions with those with CF. I am truly grateful for modern day medicine and miracles! All the best to you!

  308. Nancy says

    This is a basic question, but I have randomly scrolled through your site and have not found an answer. When you have salt in a recipe is it regular or Kosher? I usually use kosher myself and have been using that your your recipes that we enjoy. But maybe we are missing a bit of salt.

    • Jen says

      Hi Nancy, when a recipe doesn’t specify, the user is meant to use regular table salt. Hope this helps!

  309. Barbara Dahl says

    Love your story and your recipes. I am wondering if you have a cookbook for sale?

    • Jen says

      I don’t at this time, but thank you so much for your support! I appreciate you!

  310. April Carnes says

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such delicious recipes with us. I am an experienced home cook and I love feeding my family flavorful, delicious food that is fresh and healthy. I haven’t made a meal from your website that we didn’t love! Looking forward to many more delicious meals.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much, April, comments like yours make my day! I am so happy that you and your family are enjoying my recipes! 🙂

  311. Pat McDaniels says

    Do you have a cookbook?

    • Jen says

      Hi Pat! No I don’t, but thank you for the support!

  312. Bill Woody says

    I just simply LOVE to cook. This is by far the best laid out website I have encountered. Like you I have six Binders

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much, Bill, what a great compliment! I hope you are having a wonderful week and find some recipes you enjoy!

  313. Sarah says

    Everything I’ve made of yours is bomb- and share recipes among friends-thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for making and sharing my recipes, Sarah! I am so happy you are enjoying them!

  314. Sonny says

    Love your blog… love your recipes!
    I am preparing ahead for our church Christmas dinner. If you had to provide an amazing meal for 200 people, what would you choose to cook? I’d love any suggestions for recipes on your site! Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Sonny! I have found that these have been great recipes for big groups: Million Dollar Mac and Cheese Casserole, Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork, Crockpot Chili, and Best Lasagna. Best of luck with your dinner!!

  315. Jeannie Gambone says

    Looking forward to cooking with your recipes

    • Jen says

      Thanks Jeannie! I’m glad you’re here, hope you enjoy!

  316. Kevin & Susan says

    We’ll be in Carlsbad next month, what time is dinner? Just kidding, but thanks for all of your hard work in providing the recipes et al.

    • Jen says

      Yay! Have so much fun! Thank you so much for your support!

  317. Brian Slick says

    Your recipes and presentation of information are hands down the very best on the internet!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind message Brian! I am glad you are loving the recipes!!

  318. Greg Tatom says

    I loved your story and couldn’t resist signing up. I too love to cook, but most of my cooking is on a Green Egg. I just can’t not read a recipe and determine if I can make it on an Egg. I found you when I was researching Huli Huli chicken recipes. Looking forward to getting to know you and your recipes.

    – Green Egg Greg

    • Jen says

      Hey Green Egg Greg! I am so glad you found me and I hope you find recipes that you absolutely love!

  319. Tori Miller says

    I love your recipes and understand your passion. If I can’t create in my garden the kitchen is the next place I go. I never used recipes until I retired and had the time to slow down and read. You are an amazing person to just keep on going.Bravo! Love conquers all

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Tori! I love that cooking is a great creative outlet for you! I appreciate you and hope you are doing well!

  320. Tom Downie says

    I love all the recipes of yours I have made thus far. Can’t wait for “Turkey Bomb” season to be upon us.

    I was just wondering if you would consider coming up with your own version of “ North Shore Garlic Shrimp w/sticky rice”? You recipe always have such complex and in depth flavors.


    • Jen says

      Thank you for all the love and support! I will definitely put it into consideration, there are so many delicious foods I’m excited to make in the future!

  321. Tammi Hild says

    I have been meaning to write a note for the longest time. When I want a recipe I know my family and I will like, that I most likely will have all of the ingredients including herbs/spices for, I rely on Carlsbad Cravings! I recommend your website to everyone. Thank you for your work to consistently supply delicious recipes that the average cook can make successfully. I have even become a fan of oregano–your favorite, it seems! I rarely used it before cooking with your recipes; it has now become a “go to” herb.

    Thanks again!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Tammi! I appreciate your support so much! I am glad that you are loving the recipes and oregano!

  322. Heather Franklin says

    Hi Jen,
    Would you please make a cook book?

    • Jen says

      I think this might be the year!

  323. Andy V says

    Congratulations on your lung and kidney transplant journeys, Jen. I’m a fellow DLT warrior (2016) and found your website by accident when looking for a coconut curry chicken recipe for tonight’s dinner. I like to try new recipes all the time and yours looks like a winner!

    Good cooking and good health to you!

    • Jen says

      Congratulations Andy, I’m so happy for your life changing transplant! I’m just about to celebrate my 24 year DLT anniversary and am so grateful! I’m so happy you stumbled on my site. If you love cooking big flavors, it sounds like you’ve come to the right spot! Praying for your continued health!

  324. Aileen Bell says

    I have been home cooking for 25 years, but I never quite had the flavors where I wanted them, until I found Jen! I have been cooking Carlsbad Cravings meals 2-3 times a week for the past couple of months, and I have yet to find a recipe that isn’t both thoughtfully written and truly delicious! Thank you to Jen for sharing her culinary gifts with the world.

    • Jen says

      This made my day! Thank you for trying so many recipes and for your kind words!! I appreciate you:)

  325. Debbie says

    Thank you so very much!