Brittany wrote this on 4 March 2014
Never mind that this is quite obviously a salmon dish or that a How To recipe involving tilapia and parchment paper is coming up. Pure coincidence. Really.
As for today, doesn’t the recipe just sound fun? Salmon noodle bowl. Yup. If I heard someone order that a restaurant I would definitely turn around and look. But I would do it in a friendly, make eye contact and smile enviously at her food, kinda way. Not like the lady I saw once at this bistro who glanced over her shoulder at me when she heard my Osso Bucco be announced, and then went pale at the sight of my plate. She was either a vegetarian or pregnant.
So yeah. Not like that.
I found this recipe on the Better Homes & Gardens site and glanced at it because it had such a small ingredient list. After I read through it, I realized how truly genius it was! I really love to make dressings and sauces from scratch, but sometimes, the energy and time is just impossible. If I can make it ahead, fine. If not, the addition of using a store bought vinaigrette here is a life savor. And a tasty one at that, when you make this and see for yourself just how fantastic the flavors go together.
I don’t like to put times on my recipes because any number of factors come into play in your kitchens. I don’t want you to be going along and thinking something is wrong because a 30 minute meal is taking you 45. That said, the last two times I made this, I did something I never do-timed myself. Once it took me 20 minutes and once it took me 30. My point? You can easily throw this impressive, one pan dish together on a weeknight. It is so wonderfully satisfying you won’t want to leave leftovers.
Salmon Noodle Bowl
Adapted fron BHG
The flavors here would be wonderful over whole grain pasta. Because of the simple dressing, the different texture of gluten free pasta would work great also!
1/2 lb linguini, cooked according to package directions
1 large sweet bell pepper, cored and sliced or diced into bite sized pieces
1c grated or julienne carrots (for ease of use, I use half of a bag of the pre cut julienne carrots in the produce section)
4 c (or two large handfuls) baby spinach
3/4-1 lb wild salmon, skinless
1/2 c homemade or store bought balsamic vinaigrette
While pasta is cooking, film a large sauté pan with olive or grape seed oil over medium high heat. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and sear 2-3 minutes per side, or until just barely cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm. Alternatively, you can just roast the salmon on a sheet pan in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. In the same skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil if dry, and add the peppers. Season with salt and pepper, and toss, letting the heat quickly sauté the peppers for just a minute or two. Add the carrots, toss together, and top with the fresh spinach. Let steam for a minute, toss all vegetables together, and before the spinach has a chance to do anything more than start to wilt, empty the pan into a large serving bowl. Add the pasta and HALF of the balsamic dressing. Toss gently to let the ingredients absorb the vinaigrette a bit, then add the rest of the dressing. Serve topped with desired amount of salmon.
Brittany wrote this on 1 March 2014
The recipes that appear here are tested, reliable, honest, and usually fairly simple. Right? Right. Todays post is a perfect example of that; something I make regularly that always works, is always good, and is the basic classic recipe I always use.
My one regret is the name. I know meatloaf is called ‘meatloaf’ for obvious reasons. I just wish the name didn’t sound so….you know….’loafy’.
I realize that there are those of you out there who shudder when they hear that word, but for the rest of you who have had the good fortune to have grown up with someone who makes great meatloaf, thereby solidifying its reputation as fantastic comfort food-BEHOLD!
Essentially, this is what I grew up eating and doggone it, you don’t fix what isn’t broke. Capisce? It has oatmeal in it because that is what my Mom always used. And it has barbecue sauce in it instead of ketchup because that is how my Mom made it. And I don’t make it in a loaf pan because my Mom taught me to put it in a roasting dish. Ok? Good. I’m glad we understand each other. If you have issues with any of the above, take it up with her.
I basically make two kinds of meatloaf. This kind, when I have 15 minutes or more to throw it together, or this kind, when I have 5 or LESS minutes to throw it together. Todays version is unprocessed and undoubtably healthier. I guess my Mom really knew what she was doing, huh? I bet that is why I am so smart….
Two Years Ago: Roasted Sweet Potato Fries & Corn Cake Muffins
There is no way around it. This is just good. You can make this fairly low in fat as well if you watch the percentage in your beef. This tastes great with the cheapo 80% ratio, but the egg and sauce add enough moisture that it is just as good with the very lean 95% beef. Heck. Ground turkey is good too!!
1 lb ground chuck or sirloin
1/3 c quick cooking oats
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 c your favorite barbecue sauce, plus more to glaze the top
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a shallow, oblong baking dish with foil and set aside. In a medium bowl, gently mix all the above ingredients together until well combined. If mixture seems dry, add 1 T of cold water or a bit more barbecue sauce. Don’t squeeze and overwork the meat or it will bake up tough. Place the mixture in the lined dish and gently shape into a ‘loaf’, pressing on it until it is a bit more flat, allowing it to cook faster. Pour a good amount of barbecue sauce over top and spread it all over with the back of a spoon. Let bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven and the fat content of the meat. It will be caramelized and brown and the juices bubbling out will be clear. Remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Brittany wrote this on 26 February 2014
I never had Fig Newtons growing up.
If it wasn’t a generic brand or purchased in bulk (Hydrox cookies all the way!!), I didn’t eat it. In high school on the bus to a swim meet, a friend of mine passed me my first Fig Newton. Now, I learned a lot of things from my fellow chlorine addicted athletes. They taught me how to whistle, what a fish tail braid was, and introduced me to the benefits of facial moisturizer. But these? I was a bit underwhelmed, to say the least. What was all the fuss about? I knew what they were of course, the 80′s and 90′s being filled with the slogan, “A cookie is just a cookie, but Newtons are fruit and cake.” Remember that? Yeah. They don’t tell you that you need three glasses of water handy just to get one of them down. Dry, tasteless, and with a weird figgy crunch, I never saw the need to eat one again.
After this, I assumed I just didn’t like figs. Fast forward a few years to me eating a slice of pizza at a vineyard in Temecula CA. I don’t remember the specifics, but the super thin crispy crust, roasted fresh figs, arugula-and maybe some cheese?-had me hooked. Obviously I was missing out.
When I found this recipe in this cookbook, I raised my eyebrows. Lots of foods taste good dipped in chocolate (peanut butter, strawberries, bacon…) but figs? You have to draw the line somewhere and I assumed it was well before this combo. But I love little bites of things I can make ahead of time and if it is good for me, even better. So I gave them a try. And you know what?
Eureka! The sweetness of the figs is more than enough to satisfy any sugar craving, so naturally, my kids devoured them. They found the crunch of the fig seeds highly entertaining…My husband inhaled his share, confessing that he has always loved figs and then asking why I didn’t cook with them more often. Apparently, they were a hit. The few people I passed them along to went wild for them as well, despite my constant skepticism about wether they would appeal to most people. I mean, I liked them, but I’ll eat just about anything and therefore tend to try not to use myself as a chocolate barometer. I can’t wait to tuck them into goodie containers during the holidays and these are SO going on my list of treats to send along with dinner when I have a friend in need. My daughter took one in her lunch today. I’ll think of it as this generations version of a Fig Newton…
One Year Ago: Sweet Potato Hash
Two Years Ago: Strawberry Avocado Salad W/Honey Lime Vinaigrette & Bite Sized Cinnamon Rolls
Mission Fig Bites
Recipe adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
I am not a calorie counter, but I noticed that these little babies are only about 60 calories a piece. Yippee!! Fortunately, the figs in them are so sweet, I only need to eat one!
3 c roughly chopped dried mission figs, stems removed (about 14 oz)
2-3 T almond butter
1 bag good quality dark chocolate chips
1 T vegetable or grape seed oil
In a medium microwaveable bowl, dump in the chocolate chips and pour the oil over top. The oil makes the chocolate just a tiny bit easier to dip and gives the set chocolate a smooth and shiny appearance. Melt them together in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one and stopping just before completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the last lumps are out, being careful not to overheat. In the meantime, combine the figs and just 2 T of the almond butter in a food processor and let run until combined and chopped together. If the mixture won’t hold together when you pinch it, add the last tablespoon of almond butter. This will depend on how dry your figs are. When it is done, use a teaspoon to scoop out a ball the size of a large grape. Press and squeeze the mixture into a ball, rolling it gently into an even circle. Dip it in chocolate-a fork is best for this-letting the excess chocolate run off. Use a toothpick to slide the balls off the fork and onto a wax or parchment paper lined sheet pan. This will keep the tops perfect and smooth. If you don’t care if they are pretty, just plop them down onto the pan. Let cool for about an hour for the chocolate to set and harden. Store in an airtight container on the fridge for a week or two, or freeze for up to 1 month!