The sun is shining, breeze is blowing, I’m grilling salmon burgers…but I forgot the sauce. S**t. I know this has happened to all of you at least once (me, more than I’d like to admit). I’m not one to just up and run to the store, so what did I do? Made my own of course!
I never gave a second thought as to what goes in to tartar sauce, but it’s a lot easier than you think. I’m almost positive you already have all of the ingredients.Plus, I don’t know about you, but I could never use a whole bottle of the stuff before it expires. So the next time you’re cooking and have an “oh, s**t” moment, don’t panic!
1/2 cup mayo (Miracle Whip if you like it really tangy, Hellmann’s if you like it creamier)
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsps minced onion (if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it)
2 tsps lemon juice
Mix it all together, and I mean really blend it. Put a dollop on your salmon burger (or fish tacos) and you’ve officially saved yourself a trip to the store.
Can I just tell you, I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE the Morrocan chicken salad at CPK (You know California Pizza Kitchen, yes food blog people DO go to chains) Anyway, I am obsessed with it, BUT its SOOO expensive! Literally, I spend $16-$18 on the salad (the range is because the tax/tip usually makes it $17) which is totally cray to spend on a salad and yet I do. A) because of the convenience of grabbing it after work en route to my night MBA class B) because it is beyond delish! It has all the taste bud pleasing elements you can think of: sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, etc! Anyway work was slow this week and I have an online class this semester so I am not running around as much and I figured its time to replicate this salad. Especially because I need to save my money for pedicures. Oyi my feet are looking rough! woof! Ok back to the tasty salad prep. As always this is going to reuse ingredients from other recipes. At CPK they use a champagne vinaigrette, so I grabbed a bottle of the Trader Joe’s pear champagne vinaigrette used in one of our salad recipes and a chicken dish to toss my greens with. Then the beets were in the last salad recipe as well-ha can you tell I really like them?! Might be the new truffle, lol just kidding that would never happen.
1/3 cup Dates (Sliced in halves or quarters depending on how big yours are, I did mejdool dates)
1/3-1/2 cup Toasted almonds (I tossed them in a pan to toast when I was boiling the eggs)
6 oz. Beets (Drain all the water if using the canned stuff and chop vs. slice)
10 oz. Roasted butternut squash (I just did it with salt, pepper, and paprika)
1/2 cup Cranberries (I bought dried packaged ones from the store)
3 Grilled chicken breasts (I just did it with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, & paprika)
1 Avocado (dice into cubes)
1 medium Red bell pepper (try for the same sizes as the beets and avocado).
1 package or 8-10 oz. Mixed greens (tossed w 1/3 cup of the bottled dressing)
Chopped up boiled eggs (I did 2, but 3 without the yellow of the 3rd would be good too)
Heat up a nonstick pan (I used my grill pan since it was washed & ready from the last time I made burgers) with some olive oil and sear the chicken breasts (I had them coated & rubbed in with the spices on both sides of the breasts) until cooked through about 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest before slicing and adding to salad. While you are cooking the chicken you can toss the squash with some oil & spices as well and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While the chicken and squash cools, chop the other veggies and eggs and mix well. This is how pretty the colors look:
I called this recipe the pseudo salad because its a knock off of the one from the restaurant and its much more filling than a regular old salad. This is meant to be an entrée and that’s why there is a bit more cooking involved than most salad recipes. Anyway its yummy, don’t worry about what the title means, just devour.
Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese. Oh right, like I wasn’t going to trash up the health benefits of a salad by pan frying cheese. Puhlease. I don’t eat to live, I LIVE to eat. I need it to be tasty! Now, some of you a) don’t want to take the time to fry the goat cheese b) hate goat cheese and its strong flavor. Don’t fret, my pet: use gorgonzola or mozzarella instead! Be your own boss. Anyway, I was jamming out to some beats on the way to work this morning and told myself I was going to make a salad for dinner tonight (you know more time for a dance party when there is no hard cooking involved). Hmm what do I have lying around that could make my salad awesome, yup canned beets. Now I know you are thinking “ew canned veggies” gross on the preservatives etc etc. BUT, I don’t have the time or energy to deal with real beets so get over it. Plus “lipstick” as I used to call it when I was younger (you know because of the way beets stain your lips with that gorgina red/purply color). Anyway, “lipstick” doesn’t need to be fresh, if anything the fresh stuff requires tons of work with either boiling or pickling and listen here, Id rather focus my prep time on my cheese, so there. Oh and now I am going to be a total “Cheeseball” and play MJ’s “Beat It!” for my beet salad. LOL #nerd #corny.
16 oz. log fresh goat cheese
1 can of the DelMonte sliced beets (14.5 oz. and drain them obvi).
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons of Italian blend seasoning (I added a pinch of red chili flakes since goat cheese has such a sharp flavor)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups of mixed baby greens (or the Sorrento bagged mix at Trader Joe’s)
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of candied pecans, if you don’t like the sweet some toasted walnuts would work too
Freeze the goat cheese for about 30 minutes until its solid but not totally frozen. While the cheese is hardening, mix together panko bread crumbs, seasoning, salt, pepper, set aside. Set up a breading line in the following order: flour, egg, bread crumbs, parchment/wax paper covered large wooden cutting board. Remove cheese from freezer and slice into 1/2 inch rounds by using plain dental floss or a knife. If using a knife make sure to wipe it off after each cut to stop it from crumbling. If any of your pieces fall apart just pat it together and try to keep a somewhat round shape. It does not have to be perfect. Take goat cheese rounds and dip in flour, then egg and then goat in panko/herb mixture. Lay onto lined cutting board. Continue until all slices have been coated. If your cheese is really soft pop it into the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill. Take a large high-sided skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil and add to range over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, fry goat cheese rounds until crispy on both sides. Gently remove fried goat cheese from the skillet onto a paper towel lined plate to help soak up any remaining olive oil. Serve fried goat cheese warm. Toss greens with the nuts and balsamic vinegar, add the beets before laying 1-2 goat cheese rounds atop the salad.
One of my favorite memories growing up is the dessert my sister and I used to get just before bed. Most of the time I would choose vanilla ice cream…and not much has changed since then. I may not eat dessert right before bed anymore, but I still looove vanilla ice cream. I wanted to put a fresh twist on my fav dessert by adding some hot cooked peaches. It makes this cool dish, cozy. Who knew a summer dish could actually be cozy?!
3-4 fresh peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp of water
2 tbsp of brown sugar
A dash of salt
1 sprig of mint leaves
1 pint of vanilla bean ice cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cover a cookie sheet in foil with enough slack on the sides to form a packet. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, cinnamon, vanilla extract, water, sugar, and salt. Slowly add in the sliced peaches and mix until fully coated. Lay the peaches flat on the cookie sheet and close the foil over top. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly soft and they have a glaze on them.
Place two scoops of ice cream in a small bowl for serving, and top with the hot peaches, garnishing with a mint leaf.
My ex bf used to call me the “muffin man”, I know, how sexy! LOL but seriously, I just love making muffins. I think they are so easy and filling. They can be used as breakfast, a snack, or dessert (dollop anything with whipped cream child and its a dessert!) Anyway, to impress him early on when we were dating I made my scrumptious pumpkin muffins, and you know I just tossed my leftover veggies in some muffins just last week. So clearly, there is no stopping me on my muffin mania rampage. I realized I needed to do something more traditional and since its still summer and the berries are in abundance, I wanted to do a mixed berry muffin. Watch out Dunkin Donuts low fat blueberry, you may now be my 2nd favorite. Hope you love these as much as I did!
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar (honey works as well)
1 cup milk, at room temperature (original recipe calls for buttermilk, but I don’t have that stuff on hand so I just used the 1% I had in my fridge for cereal).
½ cup canola oil (don’t skip the oil, this will make the muffins moist, you could use melted butter, but this muffin is better w the oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (340g) mixed berries**
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top if you wanna really be like Dunkin Donuts.
In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. Avoid over-mixing which will make for tough, dense muffins. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy. Very gently to avoid them from leaking their color, fold in 1 and 3/4 cups mixed berries. ** For a little culinary twist I like to add some citrus zest or peel to the muffins. Lemon tends to be a good tart compliment to blueberries and orange works well with the raspberries and strawberries. You pick which one or both you want and throw in a tsp. if you feel so bold.** Then, spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Using 1/4 cup of the berries you have leftover, press a few into the tops of each muffin. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if you fancy. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes and let cool before serving.