Monday, August 30, 2010

Honey-Cilantro Salmon with Rice

Honey is such a great addition to salmon. The way it makes it crisp up is so delicious. I love the way this turned out, but I think I might use even more honey in the future. Mmmm....

*Adapted from Bon Appétit


1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons finely grated lime zest
4 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup sliced shallots (I didn't have these, so I substituted with onions)
1-1/2 cups basmati rice
3-1/4 cup chicken broth
4 5-6 oz. salmon fillets


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk together lime juice, lime zest, honey, cilantro, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large, deep, ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots (or onions) and sauté until just beginning to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, then 3-1/4 cups broth. Bring to a boil. Cover skillet tightly with lid, place in oven and bake 10 minutes. (Rice will be almost coked through and most of the broth will be absorbed.)

Remove skilled from the oven. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and arrange on rice, pressing the salmon in lightly. Spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of lime mixture over each salmon fillet. Cover skillet and return to oven. 

Bake until salmon is just opaque in center, about 8-10 minutes.

Drizzle remaining lime mixture over fish and rice, sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve from skillet.

VARIATION: To make this an all-inclusive, one-skillet meal, add some fresh vegetables (broccolini, carrots, snap peas, etc.) into the skillet at the same time the salmon is added. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fresh Herbs and Lemon Pasta

Simple, fresh, delicious. The perfect meal for the day before you go grocery shopping (when there is no more food in your kitchen). 


Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (about one lemon's worth)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon's worth)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and chives. Tarragon and Rosemary are also good options.)
cheese (feta, goat, and parmesan are all good options)


Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and return to pot.

Add butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add some pasta water to adjust the consistency, if needed, and top with cheese.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fresh California Orange Cake

From the second I found this recipe, I have been dying to make it. Having my family in town was a perfect excuse to make a dessert and this did not disappoint. Apparently this recipe has won some blue ribbons at county fairs. I love it because even thought it is a cake, it still uses fresh ingredients. Love me some fresh oranges. And love me some Fresh California Orange Cake.

*Recipe and picture from


(for the cake):
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1-1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh orange juice, minus 2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate

(for the frosting):
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
dash of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the cake. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by greasing (generously) with shortening and flour. Cream together butter, shortening, and rind. Very gradually add sugar, creaming until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for five minutes.

Sift together dry ingredients and add alternately with orange juice to creamed mixture. Add in orange juice concentrate. Beat only until smooth after each addition. 

Pour batter into prepared round pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Cool for about 20 minutes then remove gently from pan and cool completely.

For the frosting, cream butter and cream cheese. Gradually beat in sugar alternately with orange juice, beating until smooth. Stir in orange rind and salt. Beat until creamy and thick.

Smooth frosting appropriately onto layered cake, cut, serve, eat, and savor every bite.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cooking for One: Macaroni and Cheese

I've been on a mac and cheese kick lately. There is an LA food truck, Worldfare that sells Mac and Cheese in the form of truffles. My oh my. I decided against trying it when they were stopped in front of my work the other day, but I'm not sure why. I'm obviously still thinking about it. To satisfy my craving, I found this quick and easy version for one serving mac and cheese.


2 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheese
1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion, chopped
1/2 cup elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk in milk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Add the cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Stir until cheese is melted. Add cooked macaroni. Transfer to a small, greased baking dish (I actually used multiple cups of my cupcake pan). Sprinkle with bread crumbs/saltines and dot with remaining butter.  

Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cool serving dish and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cooking for One: Stuffed Pepper

Did you know that one yellow bell pepper contains 569% of your daily value of Vitamin C? By comparison, one orange has 160% of your Vit-C daily value. Bell peppers have a strong, crisp consistency which several people don't like but when cooked well, they develop into a softer shell which works perfectly for stuffing.

This is a great recipe for one or two (if doubled).

*to double the recipe, double each ingredient except for the tomato sauce and egg

1 medium bell pepper (color of your choice)
1/4 lb. ground beef
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce, divided
1/8 cup uncooked rice
2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the pepper by cutting the top off, removing the seeds and blanching in a pot of boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine beef, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, rice, 1 Tablespoon cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well (with your hands if you feel the need). Stuff the peppers with the mixture.

Place the stuffed peppers in a small ungreased baking dish (I used a loaf pan) and pour the remaining tomato sauce over the pepper. Cover with a lid or tin foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and pepper is tender. 

Sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven for another five minutes, or until cheese is melted. 


Monday, August 9, 2010

Cooking for One: Pita Pizza

Brad is on a hiking trip until Saturday which means I have five days of cooking for myself. There is a reason this blog didn't get started until AFTER I was married and was responsible for feeding another person. Cooking for one is hard. The other night, I decided to make a one-serving pizookie and found myself using one tablespoon of a raw egg. Yes, it was a waste of over half an egg.

This week I will attempt to make recipes for one that do not waste food or have exorbitant amounts of leftovers. My first post is a pita pizza. 


1 piece of pita bread
3 Tablespoons hummus (or more if you like more)
Toppings (you can use whatever you have but good pairings with hummus include: avocado, tomato, carrots, chicken, nuts, bell peppers, goat cheese, ground beef, garlic)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread hummus on the pita and top with desired toppings. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until pita bread is slightly toasted. 


Use any remaining toppings (i.e. the other half of a tomato or avocado) and plate it as a side salad.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Heaven...

Unfortunately I don't have a recipe to accompany this post, but I'll consider this an inspiration post. This is a picture of the gorgeous and equally delicious heirloom tomato, ricotta, and fresh basil pizza I had for lunch today at Pitfire Pizza

There is no substitute for FRESH ingredients!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spicy Cajun BBQ Chicken

There are a couple great BBQ joints in LA. One is Baby Blues. Another is Mr. Cecil's. I have a couple of Texan co-workers and we seem to end up eating at these two places more than once in a while. The key to any good BBQ dish is definitely, definitely the sauce. After my great satisfaction with the homemade BBQ sauce made for the BBQ chicken pizza, I decided I needed another dish to pair with that sauce. Trusty chicken came through. Some BBQ chicken recipes use a rub. Some use a sauce. This one uses both.


2 Tablespoons chili powder
1-1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (click here for homemade BBQ sauce recipe)


Combine chili powder, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. Generously coat chicken breasts, one at a time, with the rub mixture. Using a George Foreman grill (if you're me), or an actual grill (if you have a backyard), grill chicken for about 10 minutes until fully cooked through or when all pinkness is gone. Serve with BBQ sauce on top and mashed potatoes on the side. 

Grub down!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Grilled Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce

Brad has this thing against purchasing farm-raised fish. He doesn't like it. And our local Ralph's usually only carries farm-raised salmon. Every time I beg for it, he jokes, 'Just wait 'til we move to Alaska. You can have all the wild-caught salmon you like.' Truly, I am jealous of the salmon abundance there. But back to the grocery store. Last week, Brad spotted wild-caught salmon at our local California Ralphs and we jumped on it, so excited to get our healthy fill of Omega-3s.  

Ah, the simplicity of cooking it with this recipe. Being healthy and tasting mouth-watering goodness never felt so easy.

*from Gourmet Magazine, July 2006 (Ian Knauer)


3 (6 oz.) salmon fillets
3/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest 

(for lime butter sauce):
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted


Make lime butter sauce. In a blender or food processor, purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds. 

Grill salmon. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. Place fillets on a lightly olive-oiled grill. (I used a George Foreman grill and left it in there for about 8 minutes.) Sprinkle fillets with zest and top each fillet with one tablespoon lime butter sauce.


Serve with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes (seen in picture) and a summer salad of fresh greens, tomato, avocado, goat cheese and Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette dressing.

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Classic, delicious, chunky mashed potatoes.

For an additional picture, see Grilled Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce.

Serves: 4
Total cooking time: 25 minutes

*adapted from Gourmet, November 2004


2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about six potatoes, depending on the size)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup whole milk (or a combination of a lower % milk and whipping cream)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Prepare potatoes with potato scrubbing gloves if you have them, or by peeling if you don't have scrubbing gloves. Once potatoes have been scrubbed or peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a 3-quart heavy saucepan and add 5 cups cold water and 1 teaspoon salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes in a colander, then return to pan and cook over moderate heat, shaking pan occasionally, until dry, 1-2 minutes. Heat milk, butter, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Add melted mixture to pan and using a potato masher, mash all ingredients together until just combined.