Monday, April 30, 2012

Snacktime: Simple Guacamole


My truly simple "guacamole" recipe involves just scooping the avocado flesh out of its shell, placing it in a bowl, and roughly mashing it up. However, when I proposed a snack of guacamole to D this evening, he suggested I take it up a notch. So, I amped up this guacamole with the usual culprits: salt, pepper, garlic, lime juice, and just a smidge of salsa.

Simple Guacamole
makes enough for two

1 ripe avocado, pit removed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
juice from 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon salsa
1 clove garlic, finely minced

1. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh of the avocado into a bowl.
2. Add in the salt, pepper, lime juice, salsa, and minced garlic.
3. Stir to combine. I prefer my guacamole to be a little chunky, so I stir more with the side of a spoon to cut up the avocado into small pieces.
4. Serve immediately.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Five

Let's end the week with another random post, shall we?

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1. I am a super-wimp when it comes to picking fingernail polish colors, and I always end up with something super light. My absolute favorite color is Opi's Bubble Bath, which adds the tiniest hint of pink color (I mean, seriously tiny) and seems to last a long time. I've also tried Essie's Ballet Slippers (which is apparently Giada's favorite color), but it doesn't last as long and offers a bit too much coverage for my taste.

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2. Tomorrow I'm heading to New York City for the day to attend a writers conference. Hopefully I'll find time during a break to head to Crumbs and pick up my requisite NYC black & white cookie.

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3. Martha Stewart Living posted a link on their Facebook page today to this recipe for Bing cherry mojitos, and they look beyond delicious. It appears I need to buy another jar of Tillens Farm Bada Bing Cherries. (I swear I post about those Bing cherries about once a week -- but they are sooo good!)

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4. The Van Gogh Up Close exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum closes next Sunday . . . looks like we'll be marking that item off my Philly checklist sometime during this coming week.

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5. Next Sunday also marks the date of the 10-mile Broad Street Run. Thus far, my training has consisted of two five-mile runs and a LOT of cross-training. Are you as interested to see how well spinning, yoga, and Body Pump classes translate into running 10 miles as I am?
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Linking Up

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It's rainy, I had a boring bowl of pasta with marinara sauce for dinner last night, and I have no great cooking ideas for today. So, how about a list of some interesting links I've seen recently?

Grossed out by crushed beetles in your Starbucks frappuccino? (You better skip the ketchup then.) Well, there's more to the story.

Today marks National Pretzel Day. Perhaps the rainy weather we're having in Philly calls for a batch of homemade soft pretzel sticks?

I think I need a set of these. First I need some more disposable income. Maybe I should just start with the Midwest? (Heh, an Ohio pan is only $500!)

I love that Whole Foods has phased out selling red-listed seafood. But why were they selling them in the first place? Do you know which seafood species to buy and/or avoid? Here's a handy guide.

I'm kind of bummed that my favorite Kashi cereals contain GMO soy. Guess it's about time I figure out how to make my own high-protein granola to top my daily Greek yogurt breakfast!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's For Dinner: Grilled White Cheddar and Green Apple Sandwich


Apparently once I get on the grilled cheese train, it's hard to jump back off. So, another grilled cheese sandwich is on order for dinner! When I bought the pear I used in yesterday's sandwich, I also bought a Granny Smith apple -- another perfect accompaniment to white cheddar cheese.

Grilled White Cheddar and Green Apple Sandwich
makes one sandwich

2 thin slices sourdough bread
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons (or more!) whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 green apple, cored and thinly sliced (I ended up using the whole cored apple, and added the extra grilled apple slices to my salad)
white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (cut enough slices to cover both slices of bread)

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
2. Brush the grill pan with olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray.
3. Grill the apple slices for about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
4. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Flip each slice of bread over and add about a teaspoon of mustard (or more if you're a mustard fan like me!) to each slice.
5. Add to the mustard-covered sides of each bread slice a layer of thinly-sliced cheddar cheese followed by a layer of grilled apple slices.
6. Carefully sandwich the two slices of bread together.
7. Place the sandwich on the grill pan and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt. (I like to use my grill press to really smoosh the sandwich to help get the cheese nice and melty.) 
8. Serve immediately.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What's For Dinner: Grilled White Cheddar and Roasted Pear Sandwich


The end of April is quickly approaching, and I had yet to make a grilled cheese sandwich in honor of National Grilled Cheese Month. In order to rectify that situation, I opted to make a grilled cheese sandwich for last night's dinner. It was a particularly good choice, given that we're in the midst of a little cold snap, and a toasted cheese sandwich sounded like just the thing to warm me up on a cold night. This grilled cheese sandwich features sourdough bread, super-grainy Dijon mustard, roasted D'Anjou pear slices, and thinly-sliced white cheddar cheese. If your pear is ripe, go ahead and use it as-is. Since my pear was a little under-ripe, I opted to grill the slices first before constructing my sandwich.

Grilled White Cheddar and Roasted Pear Sandwich
makes one sandwich

2 slices sourdough bread
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons (or more!) whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 D'Anjou pear, cored and thinly sliced
white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (cut enough slices to cover both slices of bread)

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
2. Brush the grill pan with olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray.
3. Roast the pear slices for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
4. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Flip each slice of bread over and add about a teaspoon of mustard (or more if you're a mustard fan like me!) to each slice.
5. Add to the mustarded (technical term) sides of each bread slice a layer of thinly-sliced cheddar cheese followed by a layer of roasted pear slices. If you'd like, add another layer of each to each slice of bread.
6. Carefully sandwich the two slices of bread together.
7. Place the sandwich on the grill pan and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt.
8. Serve immediately.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

What's to Drink: Cherry-Vanilla Rum & Cola


Depending on the time you read this, perhaps it's a little early in the day for a cocktail, but put this one in your pocket for your next happy hour. Instead of just having a plain rum & cola, mix it up with the addition of cherry and vanilla flavors.

Cherry-Vanilla Rum & Cola (adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe)
makes one cocktail

5-6 small ice cubes
1/2 cup cola
3 tablespoons rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cherry syrup (the juice from a jar of cherries)

1. Place the ice cubes in a 12-oz glass.
2. Pour in the rum, vanilla, and cherry syrup.
3. Carefully pour in the cola.
4. Stir to combine.
5. Garnish with a cherry.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

What I'm Doing: Making a List

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We're leaving the City of Brotherly Love in a few months, but before we go, there are a few things I'd like to do/see and places where I'd like to eat and/or drink before we go. I think it's time to make a list of all these things so that I can mark them off, one by one!

Things to Do:
Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (though I have already done the traditional Rocky-style run up the museum steps) -- we've got to get there before the Vincent van Gogh exhibit leaves town! [Whoops, missed van Gogh!]
Go to a Phillies game [complete as of 5/23]
Revisit Independence Hall and see the Liberty Bell (I was last there during a 4th grade field trip . . . I wonder if the Liberty Bell looks more or less impressive now.) [complete as of 5/28]
Do the Broad Street Run (we're signed up!) [complete!]
Hit up John's Water Ice (President Obama's pick for water ice)
Check out the Rodin Museum if it re-opens in time
Visit the Franklin Institute (it's a science museum; perhaps the Philly office needs to take a field trip for work purposes?)

Where to Eat:
Vedge [complete as of 5/15 -- order the cheesecake!]
Talula's Garden [complete as of 5/22 -- delicious farro risotto]
The Franklin Fountain [complete as of 5/29]
Bassett's Ice Cream
Brunch at Supper [complete as of 5/26 ... and 5/27]
Federal Donuts
Kanella
Le Virtù
Grab a bite from one of the food trucks in LOVE Park -- maybe a tostada verde from Guapos Tacos and a cupcake from Buttercream?

Where to Drink:
R2L [complete as of 5/8 -- delicious Pimm's Cup]
Mixto [complete as of 4/20 -- awesome mojitos!]
The Franklin Bar
XIX

So, Philadelphians -- what have I missed? What should be on my must do/see/eat/drink list before we leave town?
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

What's For Dinner: Wild-Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Tacos


I couldn't let the week go by without posting another Alaskan fish taco recipe, could I? Tonight's fish taco dish -- the last of the bunch -- featured Alaskan wild-caught sockeye salmon.

Wild-Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Tacos
makes two servings

2 6-ounce Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets
2 teaspoons Garlic Gold, divided
freshly ground black pepper
fine sea salt
1 teaspoon taco seasoning, divided
1 cup black beans, cooked
1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 cup spring greens
4 flour tortillas

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the fillets onto the covered baking sheet.
3. Spread a teaspoon of Garlic Gold evenly over the top of each salmon fillet. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Sprinkle about a half a teaspoon of taco seasoning evenly over the top of each fillet.
5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a food thermometer registers 145 degrees.
6. While the fish is cooking, prep your additional ingredients. My prepwork included heating a can of black beans and shredding some pepperjack cheese. I also cooked up some rice and refried beans to serve on the side.
7. Once the fish is cooked, use a fork to pull the fish apart into large flakey pieces.
8. Fill the flour tortillas with spring greens, black beans, and the flaked salmon. Top with shredded pepperjack cheese and salsa.
9. Serve immediately.

I was recently invited to participate in an Alaskan Fish Taco promotion held by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). As part of the promotion, I received a $25 gift certificate to purchase the fish I would need to make my taco creations. 

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's For Dessert: Boozy Hot Fudge Sundae


Vanilla ice cream + homemade hot fudge + rainbow sprinkles + a mini shot of peppermint mocha kahlua + a Bada Bing Cherry. Sounds like a good dessert to me! 
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's For Dessert: Hot Fudge Dipped Waffle Cones with Vanilla Ice Cream


D and I stopped at a dairy bar on the way home from a trip to the Pine Barrens in New Jersey on Saturday. I was tempted to splurge and get my twist cone in a fancy waffle cone, but I held back and went for the standard cake cone instead. However, I couldn't get those yummy-looking chocolate-dipped cones out of my mind. Cue Sunday night, and D came home from work bearing a gift of waffle cones and a package of sprinkles. Since I still had a container full of homemade hot fudge sauce in the fridge, I decided it was about time I gave making my own fudge-dipped waffle cones a whirl. 

Step one: Set up your work area. I had a few juice glasses on hand, as well as a wax-paper covered work surface. I also prepped my ingredients, which included the container of hot fudge, sprinkles, chopped peanuts, and plain waffle cones.

Step two: Heat the fudge sauce until it is thoroughly melted. Let cool slightly.

Step three: Dip the waffle cone into the hot fudge sauce. Spoon a thin coating of hot fudge around the outside edge of the cone. (I did about a one-inch edge of hot fudge coating.)

Step four: Carefully shake off any excess hot fudge. Evenly sprinkle the toppings of your choice along the fudge-covered outside edge of the cone.

Step five: Spoon a small portion of hot fudge into the bottom of the cone. (As a kid, that final chunk of fudge was my favorite part of eating a Drumstick Ice Cream Cone treat.)

Step six: Set the chocolate-dipped and decorated cone into a juice glass and place in the freezer to let the chocolate set. Keep the cone in the freezer until ready to use. (Ideally, prepare the cones 20-30 minutes before serving.)

Step seven: Fill with ice cream and eat immediately!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

What's For Breakfast: Fried Egg Sandwich with Salsa and Fresh Cilantro


Yesterday's breakfast was a collaboration between D and me. While I made the sweet potato hashbrowns in our electric skillet, D cooked up the fried eggs on the stovetop for our English muffin egg sandwiches. I topped my egg sandwich with some shredded mozzarella cheese, a tomato slice, a spoonful of salsa, a few fresh cilantro leaves, and of course a dash of salt and pepper. Egg sandwiches are an easy way to start your day off with a healthy serving of protein!
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Friday, April 13, 2012

What's For Dinner: Alaskan Wild-Caught Cod Tacos with a Coconut-Curry Sauce


Another day, another taco recipe. Today mixes Alaskan wild-caught cod with some of my favorite flavors -- coconut and curry. I initially considered using naan to wrap around my ingredients, but given its thickness, I couldn't figure out a way to make it work as a taco. (Though naan would make a great base for a tostado-style recipe!) Even though it initially sounded weird to me, the hard corn tortilla really works well in this recipe and gives it a nice crunch. I think this may be my new favorite non-traditional taco recipe!

Alaskan Wild-Caught Cod Tacos with a Coconut-Curry Sauce (adapted from this Cooking Light recipe)
makes two servings

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped (white parts only)
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons tamari (or soy) sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt salt, divided
1 (14-ounce) can light organic coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 (6-ounce) Alaskan wild-caught cod fillets
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
1-2 cups spring greens
4 hard taco shells

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat 1/2 t sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add the minced garlic. Cook for about 1 minute.
4. Add in the chopped green onions and red pepper. Cook for one minute more.
5. Add curry powder, ground ginger, curry paste, and ground cumin. Stir to combine, and cook for an additional minute.
6. Stir in tamari sauce, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk.
7. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
8. Once mixture begins to simmer, remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
9. Brush each cod fillet with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and season with the remaining salt.
10. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the fillets on the prepped baking sheet.
11. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish easily flakes when touched with a fork.
12. To construct the tacos, add a layer to the bottom of each hard taco shell. Top with the spring greens. Add a layer of flaked cod over top of the greens. Finally, spoon a generous portion of the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

I was recently invited to participate in an Alaskan Fish Taco promotion held by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). As part of the promotion, I received a $25 gift certificate to purchase the fish I would need to make my taco creations. 
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

What I'm Trying: PB2


 OK, so in my "less processed life," my preferred type of peanut butter involves unsalted dry-roasted peanuts and my Vitamix. But, I've read about PB2 on a number of blogs, and given that I do indeed have a love for peanut butter, but not-as-much love for its fat content, I decided to give this powdered peanut butter product a try.

First, let's take a look at the nutrition facts. A two-tablespoon serving of reconstituted PB2 has 45 calories (13 calories from fat), 1.5 grams of total fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 94 mg of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of protein. In comparison, a similar serving of typical natural peanut butter has about 180 calories and 16 grams of fat.


To make one serving of PB2, you add one tablespoon of water to two tablespoons of the peanut powder, and stir to combine.


But, here's the real question: How does it taste? Honestly, not so good. It had a really salty (and kind of "off" flavor) to me, though the end note (what is this, a glass of wine?) did taste peanut buttery(ish). I had to slather the rice cake above with an additional layer of raspberry jam to make it a palatable snack. I don't think PB2 will be a common substitution for straight-up peanut butter in our household. However, I could see myself using it to make peanut sauces or in baking where I want a peanut butter flavor without all the fat. I purchased my PB2 from Amazon, and it came in a two-pack with a chocolate peanut butter powder, so I'll have to give that one a whirl and see if it's any better. 
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What I'm Searching For: Grilled Cheese Inspiration

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? (And apparently tomorrow is National Grilled Cheese Day -- oh, the excitement!) Celebrating grilled cheese is definitely a bandwagon that I can get on. I'm currently formulating a grilled cheese sandwich in my head the combines fig butter, caramelized onions, fresh greens, and cheddar cheese. Or maybe brie. Or possibly havarti? Oh, the options are endless! Meanwhile, hmm . . . maybe I should enter the Wisconsin National Grilled Cheese Month recipe contest. That could be fun.



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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's For Dessert: Angel Food Cake


The purchase of a package of gorgeous organic strawberries was an easy inspiration for dessert. Strawberries and angel food cake was a common summertime dessert during my childhood. Just like old times, I hulled about a cup of strawberries, mashed them, and added a teensy bit of sugar to help bring out the juices. Unlike old times, instead of purchasing a store-baked angel food cake, I opted to make my own. After an Internet search, I opted to go with a Martha Stewart recipe for my cake. The only difference between her recipe and mine is that I decreased the amount of vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons and added in 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. Also, rather than cracking open 12 eggs, I instead opted to use (most of) a container of egg whites. My cake didn't quite come out of the cake pan without a hitch, but despite its rustic looks, it still tasted quite delicious, particularly when slathered with fresh strawberries and a dollop of homemade whipped cream. 

Angel Food Cake (adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe)
makes eight servings

1 cup cake flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add the blade attachment to the bowl of a food processor. Pour in the sugar. Process for two minutes, or until the sugar is super-fine. Pour the sugar into a bowl and set aside.
3. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Pour the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip at medium-high speed until the egg whites are frothy.
5. Add in the cream of tarter and beat until soft peaks form. This should take several minutes.
6. Once soft peaks form, gradually beat in the super-fine sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. This should take about three to five minutes.
7. Once soft peaks form, beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract.
8. Carefully transfer the whipped egg white mixture into a large shallow bowl.
9. Sift in the flour mixture in several batches. Gently fold in the flour mixture between each addition. 
10. Once the flour is incorporated, carefully spoon the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Use a knife to cut through the batter to remove any air bubbles. Use a spatula to even out the top of the batter.
11. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched.
12. Invert the pan on a wire rack and let cool for one hour.
13. After an hour, use a knife to cut around the edge and center cone of the cake pan. Gently shake the remove the cake. Use a knife to remove the bottom of the pan from the top of the cake.
14. To make a strawberry dessert, top with mashed strawberries and a healthy dollop of freshly whipped cream. Add a sprinkle of sliced almonds if you'd like a little extra crunch. Serve immediately.


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Monday, April 9, 2012

What's Baking: Wildberry Coffee Cake


Apparently Saturday marked National Coffee Cake Day (who knew?!), and Whole Foods tweeted out a link to a delicious-sounding coffee cake recipe. On Sunday, after determining that I had all the ingredients on hand, I set to making the cake to have with our breakfast. I opted to use a mixed berry blend with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries rather than just blueberries, since that's what I had in my freezer. Other than that, I didn't stray too far from the original recipe. The resulting coffee cake was moist and full of sweet berry flavor.

Wildberry Coffee Cake (adapted from this Whole Foods recipe)
makes 12 servings

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups frozen, thawed and drained berries, divided into one-cup portions (alternately, use fresh berries)
1/3 cup sliced almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9" round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
3. Combine the two tablespoons of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Use a fork to incorporate the chunks of butter. The resulting streusel should have pebble-sized clumps. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, sift together the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract, and eggs until just combined.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
7. Gently fold in half the berries.
8. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Cover with the streusel. Add the remaining berries over top the streusel.
9. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over top the berries.
10. Bake in the oven 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
11. Let cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.
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Friday, April 6, 2012

What's For Dinner: Simple Alaskan Coho Salmon Tacos


I was going to hold off until next week to post another fish taco recipe, but why stop the taco party now? Here's one last simple salmon taco recipe to finish out the week. Sometimes simple is just the way to go. After picking up a package of wild-caught Alaskan coho salmon at a local grocery store, I spied a package of pineapple mango salsa. Salmon + a sweet fruit-infused salsa? Sounds good to me! (And, spoiler alert -- the tacos were really good!)

Simple Alaskan Coho Salmon Tacos
makes two servings

2 6-oz wild-caught Alaskan coho salmon fillets
2 tsp olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

4 corn tortillas
pineapple mango salsa

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Place the salmon fillets on the prepped baking sheet, skin-side down.
3. Drizzle each fillet with the olive oil. Use a brush to evenly coat the top of each fillet with the oil.
4. Season each fillet with salt and pepper.
5. Place in the oven and bake until opaque and flaky. The interior temperature should be around 145 degrees.
6. Use a fork to break each fillet into flakes.
7. Fill each taco with greens and pineapple mango salsa. Top with the salmon and serve.

I was recently invited to participate in an Alaskan Fish Taco promotion held by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). As part of the promotion, I received a $25 gift certificate to purchase the fish I would need to make my taco creations. 
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's For Dinner: Curry-Spiced Alaskan King Salmon Tacos


Another night, another taco dinner. I've been on a roll lately since buying several fillets of Alaskan salmon at the grocery store the other day. Tonight's dinner featured Alaskan king salmon. I topped the 6-oz fillet with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and about a teaspoon of vindaloo spice blend. I wrapped the spiced fillet in aluminum foil and placed it in a baking dish. The salmon cooked in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

While the salmon was cooking, I prepared some quinoa and green peas. I mixed the cooked quinoa and peas together along with a tablespoon of red curry paste. To make the tacos, I put a healthy dollop of the quinoa mixture into the center of each corn tortilla, then topped it with the flaked cooked salmon and a garnish of pineapple mango salsa. I really liked the curry flavor of these tacos -- it was a nice change from my typical black bean and salsa versions.

I was recently invited to participate in an Alaskan Fish Taco promotion held by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). As part of the promotion, I received a $25 gift certificate to purchase the fish I would need to make my taco creations. 
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's For Dinner: Alaskan Coho Salmon Deconstructed Taco Salad


What do you do when you have a lot of leftovers from the previous night's Tex-Mex salmon taco fiesta? You make taco salad, of course! I'm a huge fan of a deconstructed taco salad, as I've posted several versions before. This version include a base of blue tortilla chips, spring greens, pinto beans, black beans, sharp cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, pre-cooked coho salmon (cold), and a healthy dollop of mashed avocado.  Totally filling and totally delicious. Plus it took about five minutes to throw together, so it's super quick to make, too!

I was recently invited to participate in an Alaskan Fish Taco promotion held by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). As part of the promotion, I received a $25 gift certificate to purchase the fish I would need to make my taco creations. 
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Taco Tuesday: Tex-Mex Seasoned Alaskan Coho Salmon Tacos



I was recently invited to participate in an Alaskan Fish Taco promotion held by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). As part of the promotion, I received a $25 gift certificate to purchase the fish I would need to make my taco creations. First up? Wild-caught Alaskan coho salmon.

Tex-Mex Seasoned Alaskan Coho Salmon Tacos with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
makes two servings

2 6-oz wild-caught Alaskan coho salmon fillets
2 tsp olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons taco seasoning, divided
ground cumin
chili powder

4 corn tortillas
pico de gallo
Tex-Mex roasted sweet potatoes (see below)
black beans, cooked

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Place the salmon fillets on the prepped baking sheet, skin-side down.
3. Drizzle each fillet with the olive oil. Use a brush to evenly coat the top of each fillet with the oil.
4. Season each fillet with salt and pepper.
5. Spread one teaspoon of taco seasoning over each fillet. Gently rub the seasoning into each fillet.
6. Sprinkle each fillet with ground cumin and chili powder.
7. Place in the oven and bake until opaque and flaky. The interior temperature should be around 145 degrees.
8. Use a fork to break each fillet into flakes.
9. Fill each taco with greens, roasted sweet potatoes, pico de gallo, and black beans. Top with the salmon and serve.

Tex-Mex Roasted Sweet Potatoes
makes two servings

2 sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Slice the sweet potato into 1" cubes.
3. Place the cubes in a glass baking dish.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the potato cubes. Toss to coat.
5. Season the cubes with cumin and chili powder; toss again to coat.
6. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. The sweet potatoes are done when they are lightly browned and fork-tender.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

What I'm Drinking: Is It Summer Yet? White Sangria


After a week of summer-like temperatures a while back, we have since returned to a decidedly-brisker weather pattern. However, I am fully ready to embrace warmer temperatures. Even though it's just 57 degrees outside, I figure now is as good a time as any to make up a pitcher full of white sangria. I looked to a few recipes for inspiration, but ended up making up my own version of this refreshing summertime drink.

Is It Summer Yet? White Sangria
alternate title: Is There Too Much Fruit in My Wine? White Sangria
makes one large pitcher

750 mL white wine (I used a super-classy (ha!), yet wallet-friendly chablis)
1 cup 100% white grape juice
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup halved green grapes
1 cup quartered strawberries
1 peach, cut into bite-size pieces
1 granny smith apple, cut into bite-size pieces
1 orange, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces.
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1. Pour the wine into a large pitcher.
2. Add in the grape juice and brandy; stir to combine.
3. Carefully drop in the chopped and sliced fruit.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
5. Add ice cubes to the pitcher just before serving. (If you're feeling super-special, add in a cup of sparkling fruit juice or Italian soda before serving as well.)
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