Soy Maple Salmon

Soy Maple Salmon

7/24/13 — This salmon recipe has just four basic ingredients, and it’s ready in a jiff! Try it out for a peaceful experience, all the way around…

Salmon

1 lb. salmon
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt
Salsa for serving, recipe below

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic.

Lay the salmon in a baking dish, and lightly sprinkle the fillets with salt. Pour in the marinade, and massage it into the fish. Turn the salmon skin-side up, to help the marinade soak in. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, and preheat oven to 450F.

Flip the fillets back to skin-side down, and then bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve with side-dish salsa.

Side Salsa

1 avocado, chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients, and toss well to coat. Top fish (or meat of choice) with salsa, and serve.

*This recipe is ideal for 1 lb. of meat.

Simple Chopped Salad; Beautifully Refreshing for Summer

Simple Chopped Salad; Beautifully Refreshing for Summer

6/5/13 — Take it back to the basics.  This simple, ultra-refreshing salad is fresh, bright, and beautiful. It will make you feel that way too.

Israeli_salad

Simple Chopped Salad

•3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
•1 pint cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
•4-5 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
•3 scallions, finely chopped
•1 large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
•Olive oil
•Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions and parsley in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serves 8.

Spinach and Roasted Garlic White Pizza

Spinach and Roasted Garlic White Pizza

5/29/13 — I love pizza, but it can be super heavy and bloating. This Spinach and Roasted Garlic White Pizza isn’t weighty like a pepperoni pie, and it’s full of high quality stuff. It’s a tasty, comforting way to get your pizza fix, and your greens too!

Spinach & Roasted Garlic White Pizza

•1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
•½ cup Parmesan cheese
•½ cup mozzarella cheese
•3 tbsp water
•1 Boboli crust, ideally whole wheat
•1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•6 cloves garlic, sliced
•Salt
•10 oz. bag baby spinach

Preheat oven to 450F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella and water. Mix well.

Spread the cheese mixture over the Boboli, and bake for 8 minutes, directly on the oven rack. In the meantime, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and salt and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes, until the leaves become bright green and tender.

Remove the pizza from the oven and add distribute the spinach mixture over the top. Bake a final 2 minutes.

Serves 2-4.

Sweet Failures and a Delicious Dessert

Sweet Failures and a Delicious Dessert

5/23/13 — In Denzel Washington’s UPenn commencement speech, he said “

I was reminded of this concept recently, when my dear friend Andrea shared pictures of the birthday cake she tried to make for her niece.

Here was her inspiration.

Andrea_cake1

…and here was her creation.

andrea_cake2

 

Andrea clearly recognized at a certain point that the whole thing was a bust, but she still “finished” the project, took a picture and unashamedly relayed the experience at work.  I dig that.  Between Facebook and PhotoShop, you would be tempted to think there’s no such thing as imperfection or failure.  But the truth is, we all fall on our faces sometimes. No offense girl.

Molasses Cookie - use

I made these recently, and a friend told me they “taste like a foot.” And now I know something about him.

At that UPenn graduation, Denzel also pointed-out that Thomas Edison failed a thousand times with his landmark endeavor.  Finally attempt #1,001 yielded the light bulb.  His advice for 2011 grads:  “Fall forward.  Every failed experiment is one step closer to success.”

I’d say Andrea definitely “fell forward” in her baking (from the looks of it, she landed directly on the cake).  But I admire the way she ventured outside of the box (in multiple senses) and just went for it.  She handled the subsequent disaster pretty well too, first with a whimper, but then with a fork, camera and hearty laugh.  A few days later she tried again, and crafted the cutest Little Mermaid-themed sweets ever.  Just look at this stuff!

Andrea_cookies_cupcakes

Like Denzel says, a resilient spirit can serve us so well, and it ultimately leads to some form of deliciousness.  It may not be a cake, but it will still be sweet!

So thank you for the inspiration, my sweet friend.  I think it’s motivation for us all to brush-off our respective smushed  cakes, and just keep on cookin.’

 

Andrea’s Rainbow Cupcakesandrea_cupcake_bite

Betty Crocker White cake mix (plus ingredients called for on the package)
Several shades of food coloring
Cupcake papers
Stiff icing recipe here, add blue food coloring as desired

Follow the instructions on the box to prepare the cake batter.  Once the batter is mixed, divide it amongst five bowls.

Mix a different food color into each bowl.

Take a tablespoon of batter from each bowl, and drop it into the cupcake paper.  Repeat with all the colors, until cupcake papers are filled 2/3 of the way.  Using a knife, make one large swirl with the batter, from the outside-in.  Be sure to wipe-off the knife between swirls, and don’t over-swirl!

Bake & ice cupcakes as normal.

Andrea’s Clam Cookies

1 package Pepperidge Farms Lemon Cookies
**Stiff frosting, recipe here
Wilton brand Candy Eyeballs (sold at HEB)
White jelly beans or yogurt-covered raisins

**Use 3 cups of powdered sugar. Set aside 2-3 tbsp of white frosting. Add red food coloring the rest of the batch, until it turns pink.

Put your PINK icing in a Wilton piping bag (or Ziploc plastic baggie) and snip the corner.

Place half of the cookies face-down on a platter, and squeeze a layer of icing over the bottom surface.  Place a white jelly bean (or yogurt raisin) in the icing, about an 1/8 inch from the edge – it’s a pearl in the shell!.

Gently lay another cookie on top of the frosting, to make resemble a cracked-open open clam shell.

For the eyes, place the WHITE icing in another Wilton piping bag.  Snip the tip of the bag, just enough to let out a little bit of icing.  Squirt 2 dots of the white icing onto the top cookie. This will be the “glue” for the eyes. Gently stick the eyes to the white frosting.

andrea_ingredients

Energetically Refreshing Asparagus Soup

Energetically Refreshing Asparagus Soup

5/15/13 — You don’t even need to love asparagus to dig this soup!

Asparagus Soup

1 onion, chopped
½ tsp. dried tarragon
⅓ cup brown rice
1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed, cut into chunks (optional: reserve some tips for garnish)
3 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook until tender, about four minutes.

Stir in the tarragon, rice, asparagus and broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

With an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2-4.

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Homemade Caesar Dressing

5/8/13 — Forget the store-bought stuff that’s weighty and full of unpronounceable ingredients! You just need a few basic items (and about 1 minute) to whip-up this simple, healthy, feel good food.

CAESAR SALAD WITH HOMEMADE DRESSING

•1 tsp. anchovy paste (or 1-2 anchovies, mashed)
•1 garlic clove, minced
•2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
•1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
•1 head of Romaine
•½ cup croutons*
•1/3 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Combine the anchovy paste, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Use this dressing over a salad with romaine, croutons and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

*Make your own croutons by tossing bread cubes with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Bake at 350F, for about 12 minutes, stirring half way through.

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