Seared Salmon with Buttered Green Onions

Hey there!!!

I’m back with a recipe that is worth the wait! :) Well…at least I hope so! Turns out, getting ready for a baby is hard work. And time consuming work. Time consuming work that leads to #1 not that much time to make delicious foods and baked goods and #2 even less time to blog! But I haven’t forgotten you – I promise!

This recipe is based off of one my mom used to make all the time when I was a kid. Last month when we were up in Seattle, we stocked up on fresh, wild caught, Copper River Salmon so we’ve been enjoying it pretty much weekly since we’ve been back. I thought I’d get to try out some new salmon recipes with all the fillets we got, but I made a huge mistake. This was the recipe first and now my husband won’t let me make it any other way!

But who could blame him? How bad can a recipe be when it starts like this…

Am I right?!?! :)

This recipe is a perfect weeknight meal – cooks up in a jiffy and you can even use one pan to make it if you want – less clean up = more time to watch the bachelorette!

The key to this dish isn’t the butter (although it helps!), it’s really, really good salmon. If you don’t have a bunch straight from Seattle, don’t worry! Head on down to your local seafood market and grab some wild caught Alaskan Salmon and it will be just as delicious.

Searing the salmon couldn’t be easier. My husband and I have a favorite seafood restaurant in San Francisco called Gigi’s. They make all kinds of seafood all kinds of different ways, but our favorite is the pan seared. The salmon gets a nice crispy crust and as an added bonus it cooks up really fast!

While the salmon is cooking (or right after if you want to use the same pan!) cook up the green onions. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the chopped green onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Pretty easy huh?

When the onions are done, top the salmon with a big scoop of onions (don’t forget to scoop up some of that butter!). You’ll have a dish you’ll want to make again and again.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Seared Salmon with Buttered Green Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 pound wild salmon, cut into 2 fillets
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, let oil preheat for about 30 seconds.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to oil, skin side up. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Until crust forms and inside is just barely cooked though.
  3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add chopped onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  4. Serve salmon with a big scoop of onions and butter, season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Guinness and Jameson Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday I was issued a challenge. My friend Mike sent me a link to this recipe saying nothing but, “Thanks in advance.” Now, I’m not one to back down from a challenge, but as soon as I looked at the recipe I dropped everything and started baking.

And that’s what you need to do right now. Drop everything. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And bake. More specifically, bake these.

These will be the perfect way to start off your St. Patrick’s Day!!

Enjoy!

Find the recipe here.

 

 

 

 

Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Hey there!

Are you scrambling to finish up your Christmas Shopping? I am! Every year I try to get everything done early, but somehow I always seem to have a few people left on my list with just a few days to go. And it’s no different this year! So, if you’re in a similar position, here are some ideas that might help you cross a few names off your list!

#1 A Glass Water Bottle from bkr

These things are awesome! I was this close to winning one at our gift exchange last night, but it got stolen! I was sad but totally understanding..it’s so awesome, how couldn’t it get stolen. They are functional, eco-friendly, and come in millions of bright colors. It’s a perfect gift for anyone on your list who wants to stay hydrated and look cool doin’ it.

#2 Marc Jacobs clutch from the Neiman Marcus Collection at Target

Have you guys checked out the Neiman Marcus Collection available at Target (and online!)??? It is awesome! I’m drooling over a few different things, but especially this gold clutch/pouch. It super cute and big enough to fit all your “night out on the town” accessories plus your camera! Even if you don’t have anyone on your list this would be perfect for, snatch it up for yourself!

#3 The Perfect Shave from The Art of Shaving

Do you have a guy on your list you just can’t figure out what to get? Problem solved! This kit from The Art of Shaving will bring a smile to any dude’s face. Not only do you get the essentials for the “Perfect Shave” – pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm, and a shaving brush, but it also comes unscented! No girlie smell for these manly men!

#4 The Olive Branch Shave Gel from Lush

Let’s not forget the ladies! This shower gel is amazing. I actually received it as a gift a while ago, and I kinda wish I hadn’t because now I can’t live without it! Ok, ok, I could…but I wouldn’t want to! It smells divine and leaves my skin feeling great. This is a gift you know she will love – no need to worry about size or style – you know you’re good…just make sure to get the big bottle! :)

#5 Fifty Shades of Chicken (buy it on Amazon)

Need a silly gift for a Christmas Party or gift exchange? This book with have people rolling on the floor with laughter! But it’s not all just fin and games – there are real (and delicious!) recipes that look as delicious as the descriptions are funny!

 

Hope this helps with some last minute shopping! I’m off to bake a batch of cookies in between online ordering ;)

 

 

 

Last Minute Thanksgiving Ideas!

Hey there!

Happy Thanksgiving (almost)!! If you, like me, tend to leave things to the last minute, here’s some wonderful Thanksgiving ideas that you can pull together in time for an early dinner tomorrow!

For Breakfast:

Cantaloupe Protein Smoothie with Chia Seeds

(Low Fat!) Lemon Blueberry Scones

Roasted Strawberry Scones

 

Appetizers!:

Simple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce

Mashed maple sweet potatoes with toasted pecans

How to…Roasted Garlic

Caprese Skewers with Black Pepper Balsamic Reduction

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Leek and Potato Flatbread

 

On the side:

Butternut squash and quinoa soup with kale pesto

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Herbs

Ginger Honey Roasted Carrots

Maple Cayenne Roasted Cauliflower

 

In the bread basket:

Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers

Perfect loaf of bake-at-home bread!

 

Get your greens:

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Kale

Raw Kale Salad with Onion and Cherries

Dessert:

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Blondies

 

Cocktail! (It’s orange!!)

Ginger Peach Whiskey Smash

 

Now…get shopping! :)

Enjoy!

 

Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Hey there!

Guys, I have so much to share with you! Last weekend Michael and I went to Las Vegas! It was one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in awhile and I am so excited to tell you about our travels, all the fun we had, and the food! OH THE FOOD! One particular meal may have changed my life. Just sayin’.

But first…It’s Thanksgiving week! Yipee! I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t? A holiday centered on food? Sign me up. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the variety of food you get to eat. And it’s not just dinner, oh no, there are appetizers too. And if you are in the need for a Thanksgiving appetizer that will knock your socks off, look no further.

Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins.

You’ve got all the things you love about a corn dog (don’t lie, you know you do) packaged up in a perfectly pop-able bite. Just for good measure add a kick of jalapeño and you’ve got a crowd pleasing app that will keep everyone around the coffee table and outta your hair in the kitchen. Just make sure you keep a few in there for yourself!

This recipe starts with a pretty basic corn muffin recipe. Mix it up and all you need are a couple “embellishments.”

The only trick to making these super simple muffins is filling the muffin tins. You need to grease the pan really well, then add a little bit of batter to the bottom, then drop in the hot dog, then fill the batter up the rest of the way. As an alternative, you could chop the hot dogs up into small pieces and stir them into the batter with the jalapeños. I’m sure it would taste delicious, but I like having the hunk-oh-hot dog in the middle like a Thanksgiving surprise!

I’m telling you, this quick and easy appetizer might just become part of you Thanksgiving tradition!  Give it a try and you’ll see!

Enjoy!

Recipe: Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 hot dogs, cut in 1/2″ chunks
  • 2 jalapeños, finely chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • mini muffin tin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine the first 3 ingredients.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add milk mixture; stir just until moist.
  4. Stir in chopped jalapeño.
  5. Coat mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon a little batter into the bottom of each well. Add hot dogs. Fill with batter to just below the top.
  6. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for about 5 minutes then remove from the pan and serve warm with a side of ketchup.
  8. Note: You may find that the tops crack due to the steam created from the hot dog…don’t worry, they taste just as good! :)

 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Happy Halloween!!!

Today I’m doing, “What I’m eating Wednesday” as I’ll be having this for dinner tonight!

When I was a kid, every Halloween was the same routine. We’d get home from school and get ready in our costumes. My mom was pretty handy with a sewing machine and created some pretty awesome looks for us over the years. Some of my favorites? One year I was a pirate with a coffee ground beard. Also, I loved my 50′s girl costume so much I think I wore at for at least 5 or 6 Halloween’s. After getting all gussied up, we’d sit down to dinner at about 4 o’clock. I remember so well how early it was because it was strange, but also because it was so exciting to know that after we scarfed down dinner we’d get to stuff our bellies with tons and tons of candy!

Every single Halloween we’d have a big pot of soup or chili. Every year. Growing up in Washington, Halloween was usually a pretty chili (hahaha totally didn’t mean to do that!) time of year. Like, long underwear under your costume kinda chili. So we’d always get started off on our marathon bell ringing night with something warm in our bellies. So this Halloween chili is a tribute to my mom and all those warm-your-body-and-soul Halloween dinners.

This chili will warm your body, soul, and tongue! It packs a punch with a spicy chipotle sauce.

Usually, when I make chili I use canned beans. They are so easy to work with and really cut down on cooking time. But for this recipe, I used dried black beans.

The extra cooking time adds so much depth of flavor to the chili. And cooking the dried beans in the chili lets the flavor and starch of the beans seep into the chili broth in a supremely delicious way.

Speaking of flavor…

There’s lots of it in here! Mexican Oregano, Chili Powder, and Cumin help make this chili a flavor bomb before you even add anything else in! (But you’re still gonna!)

This is a vegetarian dish that won’t leave you missing meat at all. It’s also so hearty and packed with protein and fiber from the beans, that you’ll be full enough to walk door to door all night long.

The big chunks of sweet potato not only add lots of substance to the dish, but also balance the spicy chipotle flavor really well. I leave the skins on, what can I say? I like the skins! But if you are a skin-less sweet potato person, by all means, peel em’!

Despite a long cooking time, this is actually a pretty hands off dish. After you get everything mixed in, you just add water and let it do its thing for about 2 hours.

Don’t forget to get all your fixins ready! I used all these and a big dollop of greek yogurt. Pile lots and lots on top and dig in.

Just don’t forget to save a little room for candy! :)

Enjoy!

Recipe: Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 2 chipotle chiles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • About 4 cups diced sweet potato (peeled or not)
  • Fixins: diced red onion, greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeño, cornbread, etc.

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Sprinkle chili powder, Mexican oregano, and coriander over; stir 1 minute.
  2. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, chipotles, and oregano. Add 10 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
  3. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Stir sweet potato into chili. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until potato chunks are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide chili among bowls. Serve with fixins.
  7. Chili can be made up to 2 days ahead.

***NOTE: If you are making this with canned beans use about half the water. You don’t need as much because the beans won’t soak it up! (thanks Rachel!)

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Halloween Bark

Hi!

So, I was going to save this post till Wednesday since it is called “Halloween Bark,” but I made it this weekend and it was such a hit I just couldn’t wait any longer!
This past Saturday I went over to some friends’ house for dinner. I was in charge of bringing a veggie side dish so I made these. Delicious, but I wanted to do something else…a little more…fun.
What’s more fun than chocolate topped with tons and tons of Halloween candy?
We brought this out while we were all watching the Giants’ game (World Series CHAMPS!!) and the only word to describe it is irresistable. You would take a small piece, break off a corner, you know, so you don’t feel bad, but then that tiny piece would be gone far far too quickly, and you’d be going back for more. Some of the boys were even accusing me of mixing in one of any number of addictive substances into the candy! :) Nope guys, just full of Halloween goodness!
You know you have some halloween candy lying around the house right now. And, if you’re anything like me, you buy the candy you love to eat. Every year I say I’m not gonna do it. Every year I think, “get the candy you don’t like as much, then you won’t eat it!” But alas, as I stand in the overflowing candy aisle at Target I cannot bring myself to put that bag of Almond Joy in my basket (sorry if you like Almond Joy!), and instead fill it with all the good stuff. I buy twice as much as I need for trick or treaters since it’s not really a big deal if I have leftovers. :)
The great thing about this bark is it’s kind of like a blank canvas. Whatever candy you have around works! I used a pretty good variety of standard halloween candy.
First, start with some good chocolate and just melt it down. Since the chocolate is the base of this bark, make sure to use good quality chips.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler over medium low heat. You want it to melt slowly so it gets silky and stays shiny.
Then get your paintbrush/spatula ready and spread the chocolate on a piece of foil. This recipe is inspired from one I found on Bon Appetit and they don’t say to grease your foil, but I sprayed mine with a bit of nonstick spray which I think made things much easier in the end.
While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle on the candy. You really have to try and sprinkle it evenly because you want some of each in every piece! It is really funny to watch people sift through the pieces to find one that has all the candy they love on it. It’s like treasure hunting for sugar hyped adults!
Then, just stick it in the fridge and let it cool at least 30 minutes. I left mine in the fridge till we were ready to eat it, I just think it tastes better chilled, but after it hardens you can peel off the foil and break it up into pieces. Unfortunately, you might be left with quite a few chocolate shavings and candy scraps after you are done, and you will just have to snack on them to clean up your cutting board. Bummer. ;)
I’m telling you, this is a halloween treat that will please both kids and adults. Not to mention it will definitely give you the sugar rush you need to stay up for those late night trick or treaters!
Enjoy!

Recipe: Halloween Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Assorted halloween candy!
  • Suggestions:
  • M&M’s
  • Reses pieces
  • peanut butter cups
  • Twix
  • Milky Way
  • Snickers
  • Whoppers
  • Whatever your heart desires!

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Stir chocolate chips in a double boiler set over medium low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch.
  3. Pour chocolate onto foil; spread to desired thickness – I did mine about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Sprinkle with candy, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere.
  5. Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes.Peel off foil.
  6. Cut bark into irregular pieces.

4th of July Cake

Hey ya’ll!

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately. What can I say? I LOVE summer…and I’ve been taking full advantage of it! :) By that I mean lots of outside time and some fun getaways including my most recent adventure – camping! Last weekend a few friends, Michael, and I went camping and it was a blast! Complete with fishing, wildlife (my friend and I almost got attacked by a fox! ok slight exaggeration-we saw a fox), and so so SO many s’mores!

And now, it’s back home and time to start celebrating one of my favorite holidays. Who doesn’t love the fourth of July?! It’s all about BBQ, beer, and the good old U.S.A. I’ll have some of that!

If you want to impress your 4th of July guests, this cake will surely do the trick. It’s delicious and it is just plain FUN.

Plus, this cake is super easy to make. Just take your favorite white cake recipe (or use a box-no one will know! ;) ) and douse it with food coloring. Bonus: you can make fun designs! Call it abstract art!

Bake each in a loaf pan and let completely cool. Once they are cooled, you need to even them  out using a serrated knife.

Whatever you do, don’t throw away those tops! They make delicious snacking material :)

Then just grab a white frosting and layer things up. Make sure to use enough frosting between the layers so that they really stick. You don’t want the red, white, and blue, getting droopy on you!

This cake will brighten up your Independence Day party- no fireworks needed!

Enjoy!!

4th of July Cake
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • 20 drops each red and blue food coloring
  • 2 jars white frosting
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions
  3. Divide the cake mix into 3 loaf pans
  4. Stir in 20 drops food coloring in the red loaf and the blue loaf
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
  6. Let cool completely
  7. Even out cakes with a serrated knife
  8. Layer cakes, frosting each layer well to ensure they stick
  9. Slice and enjoy!

 

Grapefruit Pound Cake

Today is a good day.

It’s Friday! It’s almost Mother’s Day! Aaaand… Sugar, Spice, & Bacon is the featured blog on Yummly! Head over to Yummly and check it out! It is so exciting for me-I love sharing my food adventures with all you guys!

Now, back to Mother’s Day. Want a sure fire way to make absolutely certain that your mom will like you better than any of your siblings this Mother’s Day?? (that IS what we are all after, anyways, right??? ;) )

MAKE.THIS.CAKE.

Can I make a confession? When I photograph food for the blog, I usually don’t eat it all. Food just photographs better in bigger portions. I mean, can you imagine if I ate all of these?!? So, when I cut a giant hunk of this cake to photograph for this post, I had no intention of eating it all. Then I took a bite. Holy Moley! I proceeded to stop, standing in my kitchen and eat the entire piece. There was nothing stopping me, it was just too good.

So, as I said, need some huge mom points?? Look no further.

Another great part about this cake? It is a lightened-up version of a pound cake (so I didn’t feel SO bad about my dinosaur sized portion!). Did you guys know that the name pound cake came from the original recipe? Pound of butter, pound of sugar, pound of flour. While I’m sure that version is outta this world, this version is considerably less artery clogging. Instead of all that butter, we use reduced-fat cream cheese, non-fat milk, vegetable oil, and just a bit of butter.

And lots of grapefruit zest!

Continue reading →

Watermelon Mint Margarita – Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo Friends!!!!

I absolutely love food/drink based holidays. But then again who doesn’t?! My love for Cinco de Mayo probably has to do with these three factors: my love for chips and salsa, guacamole, and tequila!

So today to celebrate I’ll be drinking lots of these! My sister is coming down to visit and it’s supposed to be really nice today and I can’t think of anything better than sitting in my backyard, catching up with my sis, with one of these in hand!

Lets be honest, well probably also be drinking these, and these, and these!!! ;)

I first tried this refreshing libation on our New York trip. We had just spent an uncharacteristically warm afternoon at the Yankee game and needed something cool with a little zing. This definitely fit the bill! Almost as soon as I got home I set off to recreate the magic!

The trick of this cocktail is that the watermelon isn’t juiced or blended, it just gets muddled right there in the cocktail shaker with the lime juice, honey (you could also use agave syrup) mint, and tequila. Then, you add the ice and shake it like a salt shaker so the watermelon breaks up even more. Speaking of salt, I LOVE salt on margs, but this version doesn’t really need it- I think I might try a sugar rim though, it is a holiday! Also,  I always use blanco tequila for margaritas, I just think it tastes best.

The recipe I recreated is for one drink, but if you are having a Cinco de Mayo fiesta you could easily make a big batch, stick it in a pitcher in the fridge, and make all your guest very happy!

Enjoy!

If you need some more Cinco de Mayo cocktail motivation…

Avocado Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

La Paloma Hermosa

 

What are your Cinco de Mayo plans???

Watermelon Mint Margarita
 
Ingredients
  • watermelon, cut into about 1″ cubes (4 cubes per drink)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 3.5 oz blanco tequila
Instructions
  1. Muddle about 4 watermelon cubes in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add honey, lime juice, and mint
  3. Muddle again
  4. Add tequila and fill shaker with ice
  5. Shake well-very well!
  6. Pour drink, ice and all into your glass or mason jar
  7. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of watermelon

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March Madness! And a Makeover!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope everyone has a fantastic day filled with lots of Irish food and tons of green beer! What are your St. Patrick’s Day Plans?

I am so excited for today because two things I love are coming together: holidays, and college basketball! Have you all caught March Madness yet?? I have!!! But then again, I catch it round this time every year ;)

 

Today my Gonzaga Bulldogs play against the Ohio St. Buckeyes. Go Zags!!! I’ll be watching with a Guinness in one hand and one of these in the other. It is still rainy and gloomy here in northern California so I won’t feel bad at all staying inside all day watching basketball! Do you have a March Madness team? Did you fill out a bracket? Every year I fill out a bracket and pick all the upsets. I just love rooting for an underdog! Usually it doesn’t work out so well for me, but I am doing pretty good this year (thanks Duke!!)

Do you like our new look?? Over the past few weeks we’re been revamping the site so I hope you love it as much as I do! We were experiencing a few glitches, but I think we have everything straightened out now. Enter your email and subscribe! We’d love to have you!

 

Last but not least, if you are looking for something special to make for your St. Paddy’s Day/March Madness party today, here are a few ideas…

Irish Lamb Stew

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread with Lime Glaze

GUINNESS BROWNIES

Jalapeño Basil Martini (it’s GREEN!)

 

Have an awesome St. Patricks Day Everyone!

GOOOOO ZAGS!!

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