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Friday, April 27, 2012

Grilled Salmon with Mustard Sauce

 School pick up, home to change for dance classes { pull salmon out of freeze and put in cold water}, leave for dance class, gossip with other moms, return home, make rice{salmon perfectly defrosted}, throw together dinner in less then half an hour, book club {glass of wine} - phone call from husband telling me dinner was one of the best.

Grilled Salmon with Mustard Sauce

dinner in 15 minutes!
by Jamie Samford

4 (6 ounce) wild caught salmon fillets, with skin

salt and pepper

1/2 cream

1/4 cup dijon mustard

freshly grated horseradish to taste 

  1. Heat cast iron grated/grill pan medium high heat
  2. Spray pan with a bit of oil
  3. Salt and pepper salmon
  4. Place salmon in pan skin side down
  5. Turning once until crisp on the outside and just barely cooked though about 8 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine cream, mustard and horseradish - season with salt and pepper
  7. Spoon sauce over salmon and serve
fabulous day two as well

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Egg less Coffee Ice Cream

I really do not like eggs, so I decided after days, weeks, months of begging for ice cream to find an egg less recipe.  Lo and Behold, a recipe by Mark Bittman via the New York Times caught my eye.   The harshest critic in the house gave rave reviews to this recipe and I am so so happy because it is so easy.  Although the recipe states you can use lowfat milk and half and half, I stuck with regular milk and cream.  By the way, the ice cream stays soft in the freeze akin to soft serve.

I am a gadget freak and one of my newest and favorite is the "Stir Chef".  It stirs so I don't have to!  Mixed reviews on Amazon but, I love it.

Egg-less Coffee Ice Cream

by Mark Bittman

2 cups whole milk 

1/2 cup  cream

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch [non gmo I used Rumford]

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

coffee to taste - freshly ground

  1. Mix milk and cream together
  2. Pour all but 1/2 cup into saucepan along with sugar and salt over medium-low heat [I used my stirchef for a constant stir]
  3. Cook until mixture begins to steam
  4. In a bowl, blend cornstarch and remaining milk mixture - there should be no lumps
  5.  Add cornstarch mixture to pot
  6. Cook, stirring, until it starts to thicken and barely reaches a boil
  7. Stir in vanilla extract and freshly ground coffee [I used Trader Joe's French Roast]
  8. If mixture has lumps, strain it into a bowl
  9. Cover and chill until cool, a couple of hours
  10. Remove from refrigerator and blend in blender [lucky me I used my vita-mixer] for optimum smoothness
  11. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Yield: 1 generous pint.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blood Orange Sorbet

About five or six years ago I planted a blood orange tree and we have waited and waited and waited for a bud and nothing so finally I had enough and last year I threaten the tree with removal.  My youngest laughed at me.  Lo and behold this year we have buds and fruit! Who says talking to your plants is a load of butter spread?  So, I am happy my youngest amazed and the tree gave me the finger by only fruiting on one side - so bizarre but I will take what I can get.
My oranges will not be ready until December; however, I found some at Trader Joes and decided to give sorbet a whirl in anticipation of my crop.

 visit my garden blog for tips on growing blood oranges

Blood Orange Sorbet

sorbet base from

The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto

Simple Syrup
makes 1 1/3 cups

1 cup of filtered water
1 cup sugar

~Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan
~ heat on medium high heat
~ whisk and bring to a boil
~ reduce heat to medium
~ continue to whisk and simmer 4 minutes until sugar is dissolved
~ remove from heat and cool
~ place in a Pyrex and refrigerate at least 1 hour

1 cup blood orange juice [adjust to your taste]
1 recipe of simple syrup
1T key lime zest
splash of vodka

~ blend all ingredients together
~ make according to ice cream makers instructions


Monday, April 9, 2012

Roasted Asparagus

ugh, looks so nasty but tasted so good! While they roasted a rich lush smell wafted throughout my house causing my daughter to rushed in and excitedly asked if we were having steak for dinner.  Upon seeing the blackened and wilted roasted asparagus she turned her head and declared, "yeech I am not eating that!".  "Just try it you will like taste like steak."  "I will take a small bit."  Which defined is a piece the size of the dot above an i.  In the end she grabbed the plate declared shear happiness and would not share with anyone else.  And yes oddly enough the roasted asparagus tasted like one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. Perhaps this occurred because we grow our asparagus.  It is a mystery to me and a repeat.

visit my garden blog and learn how to grow asparagus
I have dirt therefore I grow

fern shoots marking the end of our season

asparagus grown among boysenberries, mint and bananas

Roasted Asparagus

a bunch of asparagus
extra virgin olive oil
szechuan pepper
Himalayan sea salt

~ Preheat oven 400
~ Toss all ingredients in a square glass baking dish
~ Toss once while roasting
~ Roast until asparagus begins to brown and wilt about 15 to 30 minutes

We are so happy to have a spice shop in our neighborhood now - finally I can run down the street and pick up just about any spice I desire, yeppy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Portuguese Mini Lemon-Orange Cakes

How did this happen?  Why do I find myself baking so much?  The only answer I came up with, disappointment with local bakeries.  We were so excited when a new bakery opened next to Trader Joe's only to have our happiness dashed upon eating their product.  Really a chocolate croissant with a dab of chocolate, flavorless cupcakes, looks can be deceiving unfortunately.  So, I learned to bake; not to over mix the flour or measure the flour incorrectly and so on…

One blog I have followed for several years (and p.s. I like the old lay-out better) is Leite’s Culinaria. - fabulous recipes with interesting anecdote (opps almost used the word antidotes) and reviews written for each recipe. When I spied this recipe I thought perfect for my lemon-head friend (one who adores lemons) who just called me over to watch a movie. I whipped this up in no time and at all and I must say they are tasty delights.


Portuguese Mini Lemon-Orange Cakes

by David Leite

check out his blog Leite's Culinaria

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pans
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, whisked
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

~ Position the rack in the middle of the oven and crank the heat to 400°F (200°C)
~ Brush two 12-well mini-muffin tins (1 3/4-by-7/8-inch) with butter and set aside.
~ Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted
~ Remove the pan from the stove and let the mixture cool until warm
~ In a large bowl, rub the lemon and orange zests into the sugar with your fingers until fragrant
~ Dump in the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine
~ Stir the egg, yolk, and vanilla into the warm milk mixture and then pour it into the flour ~ mixture in several additions, stirring gently until the ingredients are just incorporated ~ and the batter is smooth
~ Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, three-quarters full
~ Bake until the cakes are well-risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes
~ Transfer the pans to a rack, cool for 5 minutes, and then pop out the cakes
~ Serve warm piled high in a napkin-lined basket.

CRASH AND BURN ~ my computer

frustration beyond belief
I cocooned
horrible food
I lost two years of pictures
boo hoo
I have learned the importances of backing up everything
I am back in the kitchen
totally in love with my garden
growning my own food
gives me so much joy
as does finding new gagets, recipes...
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