Thursday, August 25, 2016

Zucchini and Squash Bake

I wish I could remember where I originally saw this recipe because I adjusted it to use what I had on hand.  And incredibly, it came out wonderfully (I say this because I'm not particularly good at changing up recipes).

When I mixed it up (it was still warm) I thought it was good as it was.  But the recipe I was working from said to bake it for an hour.  So I did bake the next serving and it was even better!

This amount made about 4 single servings.  I think it would also be good to add some pasta sauce and use only mozzarella (omitting the Velveeta and cheddar).  I added a bit of anise seed because the Italian sausage I used didn't have enough flavor for my taste.

ZUCCHINI and SQUASH BAKE (4 servings)

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
4 oz Italian sausage, crumbled
1 small zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
16 grape or cherry tomatoes
2 oz Velveeta
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1 1/2-2 cups cooked rice
1/8 to 1/4 tsp anise seed, optional

Saute the mushrooms in equal amounts of EVOO and butter until cooked.  Set aside.

Saute onion and Italian sausage until sausage is cooked.  Add zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.  Saute until until vegetables are cooked.  Stir in cooked mushrooms.  Add Velveeta, mozzarella, and cheddar.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cooked rice and anise seed.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fish with Chorizo Tomato Sauce

OK, I finally put my old photos on my laptop (since the desktop crashed) and found a couple of old recipes I didn't get to post. 

This is a Publix demo recipe and it is so good!!!  I just happened to have everything on hand and am so glad I made this.  The chorizo and capers are a new and unique (to me) addition to a fish dish.  Easy to make on top of everything.


1 shallot, finely chopped
2 fresh medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 oz cured chorizo, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp capers
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 (6 oz) flaky fish fillets (ex: orange roughy, tilapia, Swai, flounder)
1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped, optional

Chop shallot (2 Tbsp), tomatoes, and chorizo.  Preheat large saute pan on medium 2-3 minutes.  Place oil in pan, then add shallots, capers, and chorizo; cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until shallots have softened.

Stir in tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and red pepper; cook and stir 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes are softened and saucy.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Nestle fish into sauce, pour wine over fish, and cover; simmer 5-6 minutes or until fish is 145F (or opaque and separates easily).  Meanwhile, chop oregano (if using).  Spoon sauce over fish and sprinkle with oregano.  Serve.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Spiced Salmon with Mango Salsa and Cauliflower "Rice"

Greetings, again!

It's been a difficult month but I have some recipes I've been wanting to share.  I'm still having computer problems so I'm having to copy photos from other sources.  Probably a good thing since I'm not a very good photographer.

Also, Jim has been working out of state for several months and, therefore, I'm just not doing much cooking.  But I want to keep a record for myself of those really outstanding recipes I don't want to forget.

And this one really tops the list.  Another demo from Publix, this is the simplest and one of my favorite salmon recipes.  Our Publix happens to have sockeye salmon on sale and it's the best I've had in a long time.  I've already made this recipe three times in the last two weeks.  And I've actually simplified it by simply spraying the fillet with cooking spray and then just sprinkling both sides with smoked paprika, cumin, and salt.  The complete recipe is below.

And this cauliflower "rice" recipe is wonderful!!!  The cauliflower gives you that bit of texture and the hominy really adds a new flavor dimension.  The cheese and chives really round it out.


1 mango
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 limes, for juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 lb sockeye (or coho) salmon fillet, skin removed
Cooking spray  

Preheat grill (or grill pan).  Peel mango and cut into 1/4" cubes (1 cup).  Chop onion (2 Tbsp) and cilantro.  Squeeze limes for juice (1 1/2 Tbsp).  Combine mango, onion, cilantro, lime juice, agave, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Combine all spices and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Cut salmon into four equal pieces.  Coat both sides of salmon with spray and spice mixture.  Place salmon on grill (or in grill pan); grill 3-4 minutes on each side or until salmon is 145F (or opaque and separates easily).  (Or bake salmon in oven preheated to 400F for 8-10 minutes.) 

Serve mango salsa over salmon.

Cauliflower "Rice"                        

1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 (15.5-oz) can hominy, drained and rinsed
Cooking spray
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
tablespoon dried chives

Cut cauliflower into florets and place in food processor bowl; pulse until finely chopped (resembling rice).  Transfer into medium bowl.

Place hominy in same food processor bowl; pulse until finely chopped, then stir into cauliflower.

Preheat large saute pan on medium 2-3 minutes.  Place cauliflower mixture in pan and coat with spray; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until tender.  Remove pan from heat; stir in cheese and chives.  Serve.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th & Nathan's Famous


Happy 4th of July!!!  And another exciting play-by-play of Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.  Joey "The Jaws" Chestnut came back to reclaim his Mustard Belt by beating last year's champ, Matt Stonie, by a landslide!

How he did it, I can't start to imagine.  In ten minutes, I ate one Nathan's dog (natural casing, of course) while Joey ate 7-0.  That's seventy.   70 hot dogs in 10 minutes. And buns.  7 hot dogs per minute.  More than 1 every 10 seconds!!!!

Every bite they take it looks like they're about to hurl.  Surely this happens.  Surely.  Thank you ESPN for not showing that part.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


My postings have been few and far between of late.  Sorry.  And now I need to go out of town and I have a bad feeling my desktop computer has died.  So I'm going to take some time off and try to get things in order.

I shall return.

See you later!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Make-Ahead Raspberry-Peach Crisp Breakfast Parfait

I am not a big fruit and/or yogurt fan.  So whatever possessed me to try these (is it that they're just so pretty?), I'm glad I did.

What a great healthy and very filling make-ahead breakfast.  The oatmeal mixed into the yogurt gives it a wonderful chewiness and the almonds give the crunch.  Make sure your peaches are ripe!

I made two and ate the second one on Day Three, so they keep well for several days in the fridge.  For step-by-step (and much better!) photos, click on the link below.


2 (5.3 oz) containers vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 cup (uncooked) old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup milk (any kind)
2 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
2 peaches, chopped
6 oz raspberry
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Stir together yogurt, oats, milk, chia seeds, and vanilla.  In a large bowl, scoop 1/4 of the mixture into the bottoms into the bottoms of two 16 oz mason jars with lids.  Top each with 1/4 of the peaches and raspberries, and 1 Tbsp of almonds.  Repeat layers then screw lids on top and store in the refrigerator.  Parfaits will stay good for 2-3 days.

Recipe Source:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

This is just kind of a note for myself.  Years ago working at a restaurant in Red Wing, MN, we used to make pico de gallo.  It's really the simplest recipe you can find.  I recently had a craving for it, even with the addition of cilantro (see the info on cilantro-soap gene).  You can make this as spicy as you like....traditional pico calls for using jalapenos (with seeds for even more heat).  I choose to use poblanos as they have much less heat (see the difference on the scoville chart). 

With summer approaching and tomatoes coming into season, this will be a staple in many homes.  Keep a couple of avocados on hand (I'll buy them at different stages of ripeness so they ripen at intervals) and can always make this traditional guac or the different nouveau guac (Balsamic Guacamole).  

PICO de GALLO and GUACAMOLE (8 servings)

For the Pico de Gallo:
5 whole plum (Roma) tomatoes
1/2 large (or 1 small) onion
3 whole jalapeno peppers (I use equal amount of seeded poblanos)
lime juice 
salt to taste

For the Guacamole:
3 whole avocados
Pico de Gallo
lime juice
salt to taste


For the Pico de Gallo:

Chop jalapenos, tomatoes, and onions into a very small dice (leave seeds in your jalapenos for a hotter pico).  Adjust amount of jalapenos to your preferred temp.  Next, chop up a nice-sized bunch of cilantro.  Just remove and discard the long, leafless stems before chopping.  No need to remove the leaves from the stems completely.  Place all of these ingredients together in a bowl and give it a good stir.

Squeeze the juice of half of one lime and into the bowl.  Add salt to taste and stir again.

For the Guacamole:

Start with buttery-soft avocados.  Halve them lengthwise and remove the pits.  Next, with a spoon  scrap the "meat" out onto a large plate.  Next, with the bottom of a clean cup (or with a fork) mash the avocados, making sure to leave it relatively chunky.  Add just a couple of shakes of salt to taste.  Next, add a generous helping of Pico de Gallo.  Fold together.  Lastly, squeeze the juice of half a lime over the top.  Give it one last stir.

Recipe Source: