Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Salmon Cakes

Even if you don't love crab cakes, or seafood for that matter, I am convinced you will still love these.  This a great way to use up leftover salmon from the night before and throw everything in the fridge in them. You can make it your own with veggies you have on hand or keep it simple. Here is how I made them.

Salmon Cakes:
1 pound of sauteed salmon shredded from skin and bone.
1 cup corn (I used fresh boiled corn)
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup to 11/2 cups bread crumbs
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs Cajun seasoning
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup coconut oil

Start by sauteing corn, zucchini, onion, and pepper in olive oil just slightly. Add vegetables to salmon in large bowl. Add egg, mayo, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Mix well together and form patties. Cook until brown and crispy on each side in coconut oil or olive oil. 
Ta da!
 Super easy, very tasty, and my kids loved them. I am sure you can hide any veggies in these. Not only is the salmon and veggies good for you, but I am reading great things about cooking with coconut oil. Let me know if you try them!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chinese Chicken Salad

 I have two things to say about this recipe: 1)This is only like the best salad ever. 2) The above picture actually isn't horrible.  I know! Miracles can happen with a cheap digital camera! This seriously is the epitome of summer all in a healthyish meal (yes I made up that word). It is a bit more tedious to put together compared to most salads, but well worth it. This recipe is adapted from (

Ingredients for salad
12  3-inch wonton skins, sliced into 1/4″ strips
1/2 cup canola or corn oil for frying
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 chicken breast, shredded (I used rotisserie)
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted lightly
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 cups cooked fusilli pasta noodles, cooled

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable  oil
6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil (add more to taste if you prefer a strong sesame taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Heat canola or corn oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, fry wonton skins in batches of 5-7 strips for 30 seconds each side or until lightly browned, working quickly so they don’t burn. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels until cooled.
2. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, chicken breast, green onion, almonds and pasta.
3. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk well until sugar dissolves. Dress lettuce mixture with 2-3 tablespoons of sesame dressing and top with sesame seeds and wonton strips and serve.

Fun Tip: I doubled the dressing and lots of everything else leftover. I really wanted to have it the next day, but feared it being a soggy mess. It turns out putting it all in a mason jar really does work. I kept the dressing aside, but put the rest in a jar, with lid, and it was all crispy and perfect the next day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

My sister-in-law introduced me to this little dish and I am in love. When she explained to me that there was not going to be in frying involved I was hesitant. It turns out that not everything needs to be fried in order to be tasty. This actually taste fresh, healthy, light, not to mention they make for  a pretty fun hands on meal.

Hit up your local Asian market for a few of the ingredients and the rest at your favorite grocery store. You can also personalize this dish with your own favorite ingredients. Just experiment and decide what you like. The following is what is inside the above horrible picture. Pork, rice sticks, lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and avocado.

Pork Roast
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup shredded carrots
Three Ladies brand rice paper (Asian market)
Maifun rice sticks
Sliced cucumber slicked into small matchstick size
Sliced avocado (optional)

Sauce Options:
Teriyaki Sauce
Peanut Sauce
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce (Asian Market)
Soy Sauce

Sprinkle Pork Roast with salt and pepper and cook in crock pot on low heat for 6-8 hours. It is best served sliced in small chunks, but not shredded so cook accordingly trying to avoid cooking it to the point of shredding. In the last hour of cooking, prepare the rice sticks by boiling water and then turning off the heat and letting noodles sit in hot water for 10 minutes. Place the fresh ingredients in seperate bowls along with the noodles to be selected for the insides as desired buffet style. Boil water and pour about a cup of it into a pie plate to soften the rice paper. Take one rice paper and slowly place the paper into the water while turning it so the entire paper is able to soften in the water. Once the paper is soft and sticky place on a clean plate and fill with desired ingredients. Fold like a burrito and select your favorite dipping suaces to dip the spring roll in. Serve and Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Scones with Blackberry Sauce

I hope I placed this picture big enough that it practically punches you in the face with its awesomeness. It was delicious. If scones throw you off, you can also call this Indian fry bread.  This makes for a tasty breakfast or dessert. Blackberries were on sale this week so I topped my scones with a tasty sauce.

Scones or Indian Fry Bread Recipe


For the Dough:
1.5 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast OR 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
4 1/4 bread flour
2 tablespoons  butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
oil for frying


In your bread machine, add all the ingredients as instructed by your bread machine manufacturer.  Usually its the liquids first, followed by seasonings, then flour - and very last you make a well in the flour and add the yeast.

Set your bread machine on the 'dough cycle'. When it is done, remove the dough and wrap in plastic wrap leaving room for it to raise. Place in warm space and allow to rise. Once it is done raising, heat up 1- 2 cups of oil in fryer or pan sufficient for frying with enough 2 inches of oil. Slice off large serving size off of dough and stretch carefully on all sides and place in oil. Fry each side until golden brown and then place on paper towel to dry.

For the Blackberry sauce that can be made ahead:


2/3 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
2 c. fresh or frozen blackberries
Dash of salt

Combine butter and cornstarch in saucepan. Add sugar, salt, orange juice and blackberries. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick. Strain and remove stems before serving.

Take one fried scone and top with honey, blackberry sauce, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Thank you to everyone who entered my little giveaway. My comments were humble in numbers and therefore the selection was fun. Congratulations to Manda! Look for your box of goods soon!
If you didn't win, you know I love you and hopefully there will be more fun stuff to come! Thank you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mediterranean Entertaining with Peloponnese

Phew! That title is a mouthful literally and figuratively. Peloponnese offers some tasty Mediterranean goods and I am so happy to have tried them. This is what came packaged in a pretty box ready to enhance our dinner with the flavor straight from the warmth and finesse of the Greek climate:

                     -            Peloponnese® Artichoke Spread
-          Peloponnese® Hummus Spread
-          Peloponnese® Halved Kalamata Gourmet Black Olives
-          Peloponnese® Florina Whole Sweet Peppers
-          Peloponnese® Baba Ganoush
-          Peloponnese® Antipasto Party Olives
-          Specialty Olive Bowl

That's a lot of tasty goods!

The hummus spread is delicious. I love any kind of artichoke spread and this version did not disappoint. Both are great on pita chips or any kind bread. The party olives are always a hit served as an appetizer and I was especially excited about the little serving platter that came with the olives. In summary, this is all great stuff, but let's talk about what I made with the Kalamata Gourmet Black Olives and the Florina Whole Sweet Peppers:
With the help of these two ingredients, my sister, and this recipe, I made a pretty tasty dip.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 block (1#) of feta cheese  (I don’t like the pre-crumbled kind because I think it is dry)
tomatoes (any kind)…I use about 4 Roma’s
1 bunch of green onions
1 Peloponnese sweet pepper finely chopped
1/4 cup of Peloponnese Kalamata olives finely chopped
1 baguette
1-2 tsp of Greek Seasoning (see pic below) (I used more to taste)
1 large platter

Dice all ingredients into small pieces. Add olive oil and seasoning and mix well. Slice baguette and arrange on a serving platter with dip in a bowl in the middle. Serve and enjoy! I sure did!

The whole box of goods can be yours if you simply leave a comment, like their facebook page, and visit their site for future inspiration in the kitchen. It's a whole lot of tasty Greek flavor that could be yours. The winner will be picked one week from today! Good luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Strawverry Shortcake Cake Pops

Every chef needs one of these, a Babycakes cake pop maker. This is the most fun I have ever had. My mother-in-law gave this to me for Christmas. Why yes I do have awesome in-laws for several reasons.
The possibilities are endless with this little gem. One day on a lovely Sunday afternoon I needed dessert, an easy one to be exact. I had strawberries and cool whip, but no shortcake. Thanks to this little gadget I was able to whip up some vanilla cake pops super quick and it made for a fun dessert.

(I halved this recipe)
1 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour ( I substituted in half whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1 pound strawberries
1 container of cool whip

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients with the wet and follow instructions for your cake pop maker to bake.

Top with sliced strawberries and cool whip for a refreshing fun dessert. It's a great one for the kids.

Stay tuned for a review and giveaway of some great Mediterranean tasty goods!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pesto and Artichoke Chicken Alfredo

I don't mean to pat myself on the back, but this was pretty tasty and came mostly from my small-ish head. It is easy to switch up the ingredients and make it your own with what you have in the fridge. I love to cook, however, lately it seems my purpose in the kitchen is a little less noble. The hubby is a firefighter and it turns out a lot of those guys at the station can really cook. I now try to outdo every recipe my lover tells me was delicious that he experienced at work. Isn't that creepy of me? He sure doesn't complain.

3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
2 cups milk (depending on how thick you like it)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup feta cheese (I just had this in the fridge, a good Italian cheese Asiago, for example, would be good)
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 jar of artichoke hearts
4 Tbs of pesto (in a jar in the Italian section, or homemade if you are incredible)
1 box of whole wheat penne pasta cooked
1 pound of chicken grilled with Italian seasoning


Cook the first 3 ingredients like a basic white sauce, add seasonings as it thickens. Stir in cheese and pesto and remove from heat once cheese is melted. Grill the chicken while the sauce and pasta are cooking. When the pasta is done, drain and set aside while dicing up the grilled chicken into bite size pieces. Mix pasta and chicken into a large bowl and add artichoke hearts. Pour sauce over the pasta and chicken and mix. Serve with a salad or veggie and homemade bread sticks. Recipe for that to come! Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Teppinyaki Valentines Dinner

I love Benhihanas! I loved it more back in the day when we could afford it. I thought it would be cool if I could somehow duplicate those flavors even without the large tabletop skillet. I found what I thought were almost the exact flavors from the Benihanas' dipping sauce. I found them here.

Mustard Sauce:
Makes about 2/3 cup
Preparation time: about 5 minutes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons Oriental mustard (can be found in the international or Asian food sections of most supermarkets)
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Ginger Sauce:
Makes about 1/2 cup
Preparation time: about 5 minutes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 ounce ginger root (a nickel-size slice), peeled and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
For Mustard Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, mustard, cream and garlic powder. Stir or whisk until well combined. Chill before serving.

For Ginger Sauce: In a blender combine the onion, soy sauce, garlic, ginger root, lemon juice, sugar and white vinegar. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds or until the ginger root and garlic have been pureed. Chill before serving.

Once you have the sauce prepared, here is what you do for the rest.

2 cups cooked zucchini. Slice two zucchini in half and cook in skillet on medium high heat with garlic butter once the under side begins to brown slice into bite size pieces and cook a little longer with the addition of 1 cup sliced onion and 1 cup mushrooms. When just tender they are done.
1 pound steak cooked on the grill or broiled to your liking and cut into bite size pieces.
I pound chicken cooked in skillet with garlic butter. Cut into bite size pieces.
1 cup fresh shrimp cooked in pan after chicken with garlic butter.

When protein and veggies are done serve with individual servings of dipping sauce. Chopsticks make it super fun and a little more tasty.

You could also serve fried rice on the side. I made mine with garlic butter, diced green onion, egg, and salt and pepper with rice of course and lots of soy sauce.

This is a super fun meal for the kiddos as well. Just poke toothpicks in the each bite for the kids to dip and they will have just as much fun as the adults with chopsticks! As always, serve and enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Egg Rolls and Chicken Wrapped Pies

In my last post we talked about stir fry. This week let's talk about the egg rolls. I have a really hard time eating egg rolls from restaurants after eating these. My mother has always made them and now that I can make them, I would prefer to not have any other kind. It would be an easy recipe to make your own with the ingredients that you love. Here is what I love in mine.

2 chicken breast cooked and shredded ( I used one rotisserie)
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
1 carrot julienned
1/2 cup celery diced
1 medium head cabbage finely chopped
3 green onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup of tofu (drained and chopped)
1 cup bamboo shoots
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon accent (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and season to taste. Place a little over a tablespoon amount in center of wrapper, wet edges of wrapper with water and follow folding instructions as pictured on package. Heat about 6-inches of oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Fry egg rolls 3 or 4 at a time until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

WAIT!! What do you do with the leftover egg roll wrappers? You make Chicken Wrapped pies! You will probably also have celery and carrot left over. Throw it in with this recipe and you will feel very clever using your leftovers in such a tasty new way!

1- Place egg roll wrappers in cupcake tin.

2- Make chicken pot pie filling as shown here.

3. Then place 1-2 tablespoons of mixture in wrapper and fold over. Bake until crispy and delicious!
Here is the exact recipe that I adapted for my own: Chicken Pot Pie Bundles


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Curried Beef Stir- Fry

I don't usually have much luck with Chinese food even with a recipe. Somehow it just never tastes right. This recipe redeemed myself in the kitchen and was delicious. I also made homemade egg rolls which I will explain on another post. Hope you're fabulous!

3 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 pound boneless sirloin steak cut into 1/8 inch pieces
1 large onion cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 large celery ribs, sliced
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 cup cold water
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
Cooked rice to serve with

In a bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger and 2 tablespoons oil. Add beef; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. In a large skillet or wok, heat remaining oil. Stir-fry beef over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove beef and set aside. In the same skillet, stir-fry onion for 1 minute; add peppers, celery,and carrot. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, return beef to skillet. Combine water, cornstarch, and curry until smooth; add to skillet. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Chicken Mushroom Soup (and a bit of everything else)

I love Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup. I am not crazy in love with the spicy sausage. My ideal soup is a chunky, creamy soup with chicken, lots of veggies, and that tasty kale and red potatoes found in the Zuppa Toscana recipe. I combined two recipes together and came up with the best of both worlds in this tasty soup. It was a HUGE hit at my house. It didn't hurt to add some homemade cinnamon rolls on the side either.

6 tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon garlic puree
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 cups chicken broth
chicken bouillon to taste (optional)
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup sliced celery
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 cups quartered baby red potatoes
1 cup chopped yellow squash
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 bunch of kale slightly chopped
2 teaspoons thyme
2 cups light cream
1/2 bunch
2 cups chopped cooked chicken

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and mix until smooth. Gradually add the broth, then turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Add the mushrooms, celery, carrots, potatoes, squash, corn, and thyme. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Add the cream,kale, and chicken. Heat the soup for an additional 10 minutes, but do not let it boil.
Serve and Enjoy!
Makes about 15 cups.

Raw Spice Bar

Raise your hand if you love to cook, but find yourself just finishing up your 8,987th meal and you are fresh out of ideas. Just me?  I h...