There are lots of arguable lists of “super foods” or the “20 best foods you can eat” and I’m all over them, particularly right after the Super Bowl–why not? Any or all of them are probably useful if you’re trying to improve your health; choose one that speaks to you and eat up. Somehow an amalgamated list of “super foods” sits most easily for me to remember lately and I try to eat and serve at least one of them every day. Sometimes, if I eat my homemade granola, for instance, I get several at one time! My list currently looks like this:
I adore Thanksgiving. It loves me back. It is my favorite holiday out of the whole year. There’s nothing that makes me more thrillingly anticipating than to bring the last of the sage in, save bread for dressing, take stock of my canned pumpkin supply, or bake cranberry bread along with any pie you can name. To say nothing of the fact that I don’t like Christmas decorating (or shopping or wrapping), but can’t wait to put up pumpkins, corn stalks, leaves, scarecrows, and all things autumn come October. Ok, September. Continue reading
It is the time of the year when zucchini gets a bad name. There are boring jokes bantered about, lots of eyes rolling, and tired recipes for zucchini bread dug out of old recipe boxes. While good cooks guard against eating anything but the tiny, tender cigar-tube-shaped baby bitty zukes, some of us still end up with nearly Little League-sized bats on our counters. (Below are medium-sized squashes perfect for grating or stuffing grown by my old neighbor, Wendy Ruble.) Continue reading
My apologies if you received an unfinished version of this post earlier. Somehow instead of saving an edit, I inadvertently published the post. Please discard that mistake. Here’s the finished product that should make more sense!
I’m a fan of cooking once, eating three (five, ten) times and it’s true for fish, too. If I have leftover salmon –which we’re supposed to eat a couple of times a week–I often make soup or a salad. I DO realize salmon has hit this blog a few times lately, but somehow summer and salmon simply go together. I keep having bunches.
Last December, these good cooking friends came to take a short Italian class with me and liked it so well (ah, gee) they returned en masse to redeem the class gift certificate one gave to the rest for a Christmas gift–on the condition that we attempt a grilling class. Onward, upward. “Sure,” I said. I also said, “I’m not a big outdoor griller. I grill inside. A lot. I have at least 3 stovetop grills. Dave, however, grills outside. I eat.” (Why should I learn to grill outdoors?!) But I figured between Dave and I, we could come up with a full grill menu everyone would lust after. Or, rather, I’d come up with the menu, and Dave would light and “man” the behemoth gas grill we bought to try and keep up with all his grilling love.
Often, on the blog, you see Dave thus:
And while, to you, it might appear his typical pose, he actually works very hard at his daily job, practices trombone as much as possible, takes excellent care of me, and then, in good weather, looks like this at home:
Did I say he cleans the kitchen quite a bit? All right, he walks on water.
If you’re looking for an entire meal on the grill for Memorial Day or any other day, this one just might be it. It’ll feed 6-8 people generously and could provide a few leftovers at the end of the day. First are a long slew of happy pictures, beginning with an overview of the menu; the recipes follow. At the very end is a link to click so that you can view the recipes in a printable form. ENJOY YOUR GRILL!
(Basic grilling technique link here.)
Grilled Caesar Salad (Chardonnay)
Grilled Lemon Salmon and Tinfoil-Packet Vegetables with Avocado Mayonnaise (Oregon Pinot Noir or Chardonnay)
Grilled Pineapple with Ice Cream and Maple Syrup (Sparkling Rosé)
Last Friday, I taught a class called, DESIGN YOUR OWN WHOLE MEAL SALAD, at First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs. This active church sponsors an excellent Health Ministry with lots of great wellness-promoting features including cooking classes that run from March – October. (If you’d like a copy of the booklet from the class, leave a note in the comments or email me/message me on fb.)
The class consisted of a couple of favorite salads, Salmon Caprese with Asparagus… (shown below in a bit neater variation than my very quick to fix and eat photo above… along with lots of tips, talk, and helps about making salads a weekly mainstay in your house)…
and Israeli Couscous Salad, right below here in all its attendant glory. I do love this salad! Both of them, if the truth be known. I’d like to have nickel for every time I’ve made either one, but especially the couscous. Continue reading
A little Irish music to set you up for a bit of cooking: click here. And, in the Irish, as they say, “La fheile padraig!”
I’ve been making Salmon Chowder for a good long while; there’s a really easy and light version in my soup cookbook, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON. If by chance you’ve made it, you’ll know it’s perfect spring or summertime fare for the day after you’ve grilled a big piece of salmon and don’t know what to do with the leftovers. Likewise it’s for fall or winter if you’ve roasted a side of salmon for company and only used the big fat inner slices for the dinner table, leaving the skinny ends smelling up the fridge. This year, though, I was into something a little different…
Late summer, 2014 in Dunsmore East, Ireland (the port for Waterford)
The Irish, along with my fair Scots, have some of the best salmon in the world, but more often make a mixed fish and seafood chowder such as Donal Skehan’s Howth Head Seafood Chowder.
Quick version of recipe at bottom of post.
I clearly remember the first time I heard someone order fish tacos at a Tex-Mex place called Chevy’s (it may still be around somewhere.) I couldn’t get my mind around it, but the person ordering it, who happened to be my brother-in-law Bill, assured me it was out of the world luscious.
I don’t think so, thought my younger and more naive self twenty years ago. And this despite the fact that I had, indeed, spent four years in San Antonio, where tacos of any sort in the universe reigned supreme. (Had there been fish tacos, though? I didn’t remember them.)
Fast forward a few years and find my sister cooking fish tacos in my kitchen. Addiction. Totally. I hijacked her recipe with a few embellishments. And made it and made it and made it. Dave then began ordering fish tacos from restaurants and I kept thinking…
My cooking brain is sometimes most creative when first given a few desperate (or not so desperate) things with which to work. For example, it’s cool to see there are almost-spotted sweet potatoes on the counter, bell peppers in the fridge shrinking, and come up with dinner. I like a conservative approach to cooking and often think of the old, “Waste not, want not” adage. I’m not perfect at using every tidbit, but I work on it. I hate throwing things away.
Last week I had some olives and peppadews leftover from a birthday antipasti tray and had just bought a bag of frozen, wild salmon fillets — two pounds for $22.00. A real bargain. You know how I love salmon.
Eggplant, red bell peppers (and a few other things) languished–leftover from making a veggie lasagna. I needed dinner in a half hour. I stuck the individually-sealed salmon fillets in a pot of water to thaw and made the nearly-instant couscous. Next, a quick sauté of the eggplant with peppers and onions while grilling the asparagus. 4 minutes in the grill pan for the salmon and I think it was done just about exactly in the time I had allotted. Try this, making the components in the order that suits you:
Some of us cook for one every day and every night; some of us only on the rare occasion. If you’re a parent who’s had to cook for a big family most of your life, cooking for only you might seem like one of the highlights of the year, a cause for celebration. You can cook what you like, for as long as you like. You can set the table exactly as you want or choose a tray and do the previously unthinkable: read or movie your way through dinner. On the other hand, you might be totally mystified and ready to pour a bowl of cereal or order pizza. Take heart.
While the weather holds, I’m still outdoors when evening comes. The candle is lit, the music turned on, and I make sure I’m in a place where I can be grateful and enjoy the beauty of plenty to eat. I mostly like to cook for myself and I cook fish a lot. It’s maybe the fastest and easiest thing to cook for one person. Needless to say, I love fish. I encourage singles to decide you’re worth cooking for. (No more, “Oh, it’s just me.”)
I am, however, a tad cautious outside at dinner lately….
(photo courtesy C.P. Perry–right down the street from my house) Continue reading