Fresh Pineapple Salsa

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Nothing tests my patience more than sitting in traffic or cutting a pineapple.
But oh how I love sweet, ripe, juicy, fresh pineapple,  and so I endure.  I like to cut up a whole pineapple and just store it in my fridge and snack on it during the week, or make juice,  or smoothies.  And sometimes I make a pineapple salsa for fish.  If you don’t have fresh pineapple or don’t want to cut one up (which I completely understand), you can always use canned pineapple or buy the pre-cut spears.  This salsa is another great summer recipe, bright, refreshing, sweet, and slightly spicy! This week  the temperature has been consistently above 100 and it’s been rough. But to think only about 1-2  more months of summer…wow time flies.  Enjoy the summer recipes while you can!

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Pineapple Salsa for Fish (enough for about 3-4 small fish filets)
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
½ cup chopped cucumbers
¼ cup chopped white or red onion
2 tbs honey
1 lime, juice of
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp paprika
pinch of salt (to taste)
2 tbs chopped fresh mint (optional)
½ jalapeno seeded and diced

1.   Mix all ingredients together.
2.   Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes
3.   Serve over grilled fish.

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Meet Blondie: Cousin to the Brownie


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Blondies! One of my favorite baked treats. Have you ever had them?  I first made them about 6 years ago when I was craving a certain something but couldn’t pin my finger on it.  After searching for recipes and inspiration, I found something called Blondies and they seem to be the thing I was needing.  Gave them a try and since then I’ve been hooked.  They’re like the cousin of brownies in terms of texture, but since no chocolate is added they bake into a nice caramel color. Why would you NOT add chocolate you ask??? I don’t know! But just try it! Trust me, they’re wonderful. They are fast and simple to make.  You can probably bake a batch and clean up in 45 minutes tops.  I love the texture of these blondies, soft, chewy, sweet…perfection.   They’re perfect when you’re craving something sweet from the oven.  I always add nuts to mine, preferably walnuts, but I had pecans at home and they were just as tasty.

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Blondies (makes 9 blondies)
½ cup butter
1 cup unpacked packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup nuts, Walnuts or Pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly spray a square 8×8 baking pan.
  3. Melt butter, add sugar, vanilla, stir together and let cool.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  5. When butter is cooled add egg and quickly whisk.
  6. Whisk flour into butter mixture.
  7. Fold in walnuts.
  8. Bake 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean at center.

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No sifter, so I just whisk all my dry ingredients together.
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Butter Sugar Mix 01c352a5359597335bebd91bef0d357f16338c6554
Added the egg

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Added the flour

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In 20 minutes you’ll have a delicious baked treat 🙂

Caesar Dressing

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Easy as Sunday morning…
Such a relaxing Sunday day . Today’s high is 102.  That means staying indoors, staying cool, and bumming around.   Not that I’m complaining about having to stay in.  It’s been more hectic than usual this week so it’s nice to just, sit. I wanted to make something special for dinner this weekend. Actually I want to make something special for every weekend.  For one, it is the weekend.  And two, hubby had a weekend off.  Two reasons to celebrate.  So I decided to have Filet Mignon.  Steak is always a special occasion food for us.  This time,  I wanted to do something different than my usual mash potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms.  Especially because of the heat, I wanted a side dish that was refreshing, simple, and cooling…Caesar Salad!

When I first learned that anchovies were used in Caesar Salad, I really had no desire to make it myself.  I had rather let this delicious creamy dressing stay mysterious to me.  But over time resistance gave in to a sense of self accomplishment and I became interested in making Caesar dressing. So  I felt yesterday was as good a time as any to tackle this,Caesar dressing once and for all!

I looked up lots of recipes, some using egg yolks, some with a lot of mayonnaise,  and some with a little.  I decided to go with this recipe I found that got great reviews and changed it for a smaller serving size. The dressing was so tasty, lemony, and creamy.  And it tasted like Caesar dressing (!) but with a homemade fresh flavor.  I dare say the salad was better than the steak.  Here is my version of Caesar dressing. I eyeballed the measurements so this is my best recollection of what i used for each amount.

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Caesar Dressing (makes about 1 cup)
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼  cup milk
2 anchovy filets
3 garlic cloves (about 1 tbs garlic)
juice of small lemon (1 tbs lemon juice)
½ tbs Dijon mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch (about 1/4 tsp) of salt and pepper or to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in mini food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. That’s it!

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Cilantro Lime Salsa for Tacos

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I’ve loved tacos since I was little.  It was always a special occasion when my parents made it for family dinner.  The way my parents served it was simple but delicious, ground beef, bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, with hard shell tacos.  It was always fun and always delicious.

It wasn’t until I met my husband that my way of having tacos eventually changed.  The most important change was introducing me to a cilantro lime salsa, and now I can’t have tacos without it.  Over time I also realized I liked my tacos better without bell peppers. And we’ve learned the only hot sauce we enjoy with our tacos is La Victoria.  So my husband and I now have our own way of having tacos. And though it’s little different than what I learned from my parents, it’s something I would be proud to serve them.  That’s the thing I love about food, cooking, and recipes, there’s usually (some exceptions) no wrong or right way to eat, just what feels good and tastes good to you. And don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!

I guess when I have a family this will be our way of serving tacos to my kids, and hopefully they’ll have as great memories of family taco night as I did. 

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Cilantro Lime Salsa for Tacos

  • Half a bunch of cilantro
  • Half a medium white onion
  • Half a large jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 large lime
  1. Roughly chop cilantro and push aside.
  2. Roughly chop white onion and push aside.
  3. Chop jalapeno and push aside.
  4. Combine all ingredients together on cutting board and chopped together.
  5. Squeeze lime on top of mixture and continue chopping the mixture until all ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  6. Transfer to serving bowl.  Add more lime if desired.

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Compact deliciousness
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Taco salad is a perfect leftover recipe.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Tomatoes

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Only one more day of work for many of you, well at least those celebrating 4th of July.  I was excited until I found out my husband has to work his call shift this Friday. That means I won’t be seeing him till Saturday :/. That aside, I’ll still look forward to the fireworks, and of course, the precious weekend.

Today I tried a new recipe I came across while searching for chicken breasts recipes.  It’s call Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes from bon appetit.  It seemed like a good main dish to go with the Brussels sprouts I was making, and I had most of the ingredients so I figured why not?  I substituted for Balsamic Vinegar instead Red Wine Vinegar because I think balsamic pairs well with tomatoes, and I know I’m not the first who thinks this.  Ok, I don’t want to hype up this dish too much, but I’ll just say this won’t be the last time I make this dish.

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Chicken with Balsamic Tomatoes adapted from bon appetit

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1-2 cups cherry tomatoes

Half a red onion, sliced (about 1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs)

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbs mixture dry herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, parsley..etc) or use Italian Herb Seasoning like me

salt pepper

olive oil

Fresh chopped parsley or basil for garnish.

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Mix balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs in a small bowl
  • Season chicken with olive oil salt and pepper
  • In a oven proof skillet on medium high heat coat the bottom of pan with oil.
  • Once oil is hot, brown chicken on both sides about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Transfer pan to oven for about 7-10 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to platter and place pan back on stove.
  • On medium heat, add onions and garlic and sauté until soft about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté until soft about 5 minutes.
  • Use back of spatula to lightly smash the tomatoes if necessary. (Careful for splatter)
  • Add herbs, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce mixture and stir until thick about 1 minute.
  • Pour over chicken.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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Happy early 4th of July! Have a fun and safe one!

Italian Potato Salad

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Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  My weekend was uneventful but still nice. And I just now realized that this Friday is the 4th of July…. food and fireworks baby!!! I suddenly feel giddy again.

Over the weekend I roasted a tri-tip and wanted to have it with potatoes.  Now, I love creamy potato salad and I love creamy mayonnaise based potato salad, but this weekend I felt like making a light potato salad to pay homage to the  warm and wonderful summer weather.  After some searching on the web I found this recipe for Italian Potato Salad and it seem to be what I had in mind.  I did my usual modifications, mainly to adjust for a smaller serving size.

The potato salad came out to be exactly what I wanted.  Light, refreshing, and tasty.  I added fresh chopped basil, and instead of pepperoncini, I used pickles.  I think pepperoncini would have been fantastic if I had them,  but the pickles worked well.  Adding some salami would have be great also.
If you’re ever in the mood for light refreshing potato salad that uses olive oil instead of mayonnaise give this recipe a try, maybe this 4th of July? 🙂

Italian Potato Salad
4 medium potatoes
½ cup thinly sliced red onions
1/3 cup pepperccini peppers or chopped pickles

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
pinch salt and pepper
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
pinch thyme
pinch red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

  • Mix together all ingredients for dressing.
  • Clean and peel potatoes
  • Cut into 1 inch cubes
  • in a pot, cover with just enough water to cover potatoes
  • Add about 1 tsp of salt
  • Cover and bring to boil
  • Once boiling, uncover and turn heat to medium
  • Cook for another 5 minutes or until potatoes or tender
  • Drain and move to bowl, add thinly sliced onions.
  • In same pot on medium heat cook dressing till boiling.
  • Once boilng turn off heat and pour over potatoes and onions
  • Mix to incorporate.
  • Add pickles and chopped basil

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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