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Showing posts from May, 2017

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Simple salads are really my jam. Other than chopping, this salad comes together in a jiffy. I like to serve this alongside a richer piece of meat, like steak or lamb. The briny saltiness of the cheese and olives, the crisp, freshness of cucumbers, the juicy tomatoes and the combination of herbs play really well off one another. I hope you’ll give it a try! Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced ½ cup of kalamata olives, quartered ½ cup of feta cheese, crumbled 2 green onions, sliced 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon minced parsley 1 tablespoon minced dill Salt and freshly cracked pepper 2 to 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil ½ a lemon, juiced Method: In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together. Taste, adjust for seasoning. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Caesar salad with seared salmon steaks

Growing up, on Friday nights we would have pizza and Caeser salad. The pizza invariably had a Boboli crust, and we made our Caesar salad from a kit in a box. It was the most delicious meal to me in the world. Nowadays, I have ordered a Caesar salad in almost every restaurant I have visited, and added the usual grilled chicken to make it a balanced meal. The other day, though, I found a place that offered a salmon fillet as well as grilled chicken as an option. I had to try it; and bow howdy am I glad I did. The crunchy romain coated with the creamy cheesy dressing, the delicate salmon, juicy and flaking perfectly and the buttery croutons came together in a delectable meal. I knew I had to try it at home. I had some homemade croutons on hand, so all I needed to do was make the dressing and fry some fish. I opted for salmon steaks; they are a little fattier than a typical fillet and made for an even more decadent meal. What can I say, it was Friday and I wanted to treat my

Cinnamon Swirl Sour Cream Pancakes

Sometimes I have an intense craving for cinnamon rolls, but no time or desire to go through the effort of making yeast dough. I want the cinnamon rolls flavor with no effort. Or, I really want cinnamon rolls and I also want pancakes, but eating so many carbs for breakfast is unseemly and too much work. In come cinnamon roll pancakes!   I have seen these all over facebook and Instagram, and knew I had to try them out and give them my own spin. I love an old-fashioned sour cream pancake (the tang, the creaminess, the surprisingly light texture). They are fluffy and soft, but add the cinnamon swirl that gets ever so slightly caramelized in the pan, then top it with cream cheese glaze- well then. It is extraordinary! The result is the dream wunderkind of the best cinnamon roll and the fluffiest sour cream pancake. Once bite and you’ll be hooked, which is dangerous since these are so easy to whip up when you have a hankering for them. Ingredients: Batter: 1 cup sour cream (

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I prefer an indecent crisp-to-fruit ratio; I tend to double the amount of crisp called for in a recipe. I love the buttery, nutty, sweet topping, what can I say. I also like the texture I achieve by cutting in half of the butter cold and the other half melted; somewhere between cookie and pie crust, perfect against the soft, tart fruit. Rhubarb, however, is not truly a fruit, it is a vegetable. It is often referred to as a pie plant, since it is treated as a fruit in the kitchen, used in many sweet preparations like preserves and pies. Where I grew up, it grew like a weed. I would often eat it raw, dipping the end in a bit of sugar to tame the tartness. I am lucky to live very close to my childhood home; I also have a patch of rhubarb that grows without any effort on my part. It seems to have sprung up overnight this spring; as soon as the stalks looked long enough I harvested a few for my crisp. Strawberries pair beautifully with rhubarb; they enhance the red color and th

Tex-Mex Tacos

Who doesn’t love a taco? Infinitely variable, you can make a taco all your own to suit your tastes best. Fish tacos, shrimp tacos, puffy tacos, corn tacos, flour tacos, hard shell tacos, soft shell tacos, breakfast tacos, taquitos, tacos sudados, tacos al pastor- to many variations to list here completely! I have even made a dessert taco; I shaped a waffle cone like a taco, filled it with ice cream and dusted it with chopped nuts (very much inspired by Choco-Tacos). This taco pulls inspiration from so many places: taco bell for the taco shell, various youtube videos for the beer and the addition of pork, and my own childhood for all my favorite toppings. I really like the shell; the soft/ hard shell combination filled with gooey cheese is hard to beat. I like deep frying my own corn tortillas to make the hard taco shell; I find the hard tacos I buy at the store have very little flavor and shatter easily. I love combining pork and beef together. The fatty pork mixed with

Tres Leches Cake

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make a Tres Leches Cake. This is a popular dessert in Mexico, and the recipe is believed to have originated there. I like to serve mine with a fresh strawberry sauce, but maraschino cherries are quite popular as well. This cake is soaked in three different milks (tres leches), including evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cream. Typically, this cake is topped with whipped cream as a kind of frosting. The cake itself is a sponge cake; the light, airy quality of the cake allows it to soak up the milk mixture. Whipping the eggs whites until they reach stiff peaks then gently folding them into the batter ensures a light, fluffy cake. Rather than turn the cake out onto a platter, I prefer to soak and served the cake in the pan I bake it in. Therefore, I select a ceramic 9 by 13 pan that I think looks pretty. After soaking and frosting the cake, I cut out the squares and spoon on the strawberry sauce onto individual slic

Easy Fajitas Two Ways

I cannot pretend that this recipe is authentic. It mostly reminds me of my childhood. Quick weeknight meals- chicken breast and a fajita kit. This recipe is a more refined version of my childhood recipe, since I still do use the fajita seasoning spice mix, which enables me to make the signature sauce of the dish in my childhood. I like to dip my rolled up fajitas into this extra sauce; sometimes there is no way to improve upon nostalgia. However, we never made steak fajitas growing up; those I have either enjoyed at a restaurant or  from studying and testing recipes. A steak fajita is the most authentic protein for this dish. Fajita is a Tex-Mex, Texan-Mexican American or Tejano, diminutive term for little strips of meat cut from the beef skirt, the most common cut used to make fajitas. However, these days fajitas can be made with chicken, pork, shrimp, lamb, salmon and all cuts of beef.  I like to slice my steak after searing it in a very hot pan; I get a lovely