Monday, April 29, 2013

Honey cilantro salmon....

I was a little skeptical about this salmon. 
  I have never used cilantro with fish, and also...
I am not the biggest fan of honey.

But, it got rave reviews on the Allrecipes.com site, so I thought I would give it a shot.

It was very simple, and I got to try some of my homegrown cilantro from my herb garden.   My cilantro seems to be growing better than any of my other herbs, so I guess it likes rain since we just got over 4 inches in 2 days.


For each piece of salmon, you will need..

1 small bunch of cilantro chopped
2 cloves of garlic diced
2 T honey
2 T lemon juice

Add the 4 ingredients to a small skillet and heat on medium low for about 3-4 minutes until all is mixed well.
Let it cool just a bit.

Spray a small oven dish with nonstick spray and add the salmon with the skin side down.  Top with the cilantro mixture and place it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 425 and cook the salmon for 15-20 minutes.



The result...very interesting flavor, but
this was not my flavor.
I love salmon and ate it anyway, but I will not be making this again for myself.

If you love honey and/or cilantro, you should really try this.  I could tell that it would be good if someone had a 
different taste preference than me.
There are many flavors I like more than others.  For example, I love soy sauce and don't really care for worchestershire.  

As I have gotten older, I have tried to make myself try new flavors.  I have 
often found flavors that I thought 
I wouldn't like, yet I ended up loving.
So, I always keep experimenting...I just don't always make things twice.  

Love what you eat and eat what you love!   :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I just made the best salmon I have ever eaten.

Sometimes all I need to do is see a picture of a certain food, and I will CRAVE it!

Here is my stuffed salmon to make you crave what I just ate...  :)


Today on Pinterest, I saw a picture of cream cheese stuffed salmon, and I knew that I had to make it!


I like to buy fresh salmon and freeze it.
Then all you have to do is thaw it in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes.  It tastes like you just bought it fresh from the store.

The salmon that I used today, I bought at the Farmer's Market in Memphis.  It was the freshest salmon I have ever bought.  It thawed nicely.

For the stuffed salmon, first...you will need:

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

Quickly saute the spinach in a skillet 
and chop it finely.

Add it to a bowl with...
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 T fat free cream cheese
large dash of Greek seasoning

Mix well.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Cut a pocket in the salmon to hold the cream cheese mixture.  
Stuff 1/2 the spinach and cheese mixture into each filet and seal back together.


Mix 1/3 cup panko crumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese together. 
  I used butter spray on the salmon for a binder and then topped it with the crumb mixture.


Spray a pan well with cooking spray and place into preheated oven...



Cook at 450 for 10-13 minutes.  I had a huge slab of salmon, so I cooked it for 13 minutes.

If the salmon browns too fast, you can cover it with foil.  This one browned perfectly...



Plate the salmon and serve with your favorite vegetable.  Mine was such a huge slab that I just ate it by itself.  It was the best salmon I have ever eaten.  


Love what you eat and eat what you love!   :)

Amazing onion rings

I really try to keep myself from eating fried foods.  High cholesterol runs in our family, so I try to eat healthy to keep mine down.  I almost always bake and sautee my foods instead of frying them.

But, every now and then I crave something fried. 
 Today, I craved some good ole fried... 

OnIoN RiNgS!




Like I always do...I looked at about 10 recipes, then I settled on my ingredients.


Slice the onion into rings about 1/2" thick.


For the batter, in a medium bowl, whisk together:

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup self rising flour
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Greek seasoning
1/2 t red pepper flakes

(I added a dash of beer at the end.  If your batter seems to thick, add a dash of beer or milk)


Add about 1/2 cup of flour to a plate just to dip the onions in before dipping them into the batter, this seems to make the batter stick better.



I used a cast iron skillet and about 1/2" of canola oil.   I think the most important detail here is to heat your oil to 350 degrees.  Too low of a temperature and the rings will get oil soaked.  Too high, and the rings will cook on the outside and not enough on the inside.  I have an infrared thermometer that I sell at the auto parts store.  You just point it at the oil, and it tells you the temperature. Works great in the kitchen.  

Once the oil is 350 degrees, dip 
one of the rings into the flour and coat it well.   Then dip it into the batter and carefully place it in the oil.


Repeat until you have the skillet full of rings.  Watch them closely and when they seem to be getting golden brown on the underside, flip them one at a time.   They will cook quickly, so you need to be on your toes.   Once you flip them, the second side seems to cook even faster.   When they appear golden on the underside, remove them and place them on paper towels to absorb some of the grease.  Repeat in batches until all rings are done. 
Some of my rings were small, so I actually left 2 rings attached and cooked them together. 

Here is my onion ring tower...


   If you like onion rings, you will LOVE these.

Here is the volcano of onion rings with ketchup lava....


Love what you eat and eat what you love!   :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In a sammich kind of mood

For some reason, since vacation, I have been in a sandwich kind of mood.

It might have been mainly because I had bought a huge loaf of ciabatta bread, and it was lying on the counter screaming...eat me!  It was such a pretty loaf.   

The first sandwich I made was tilapia with a sour cream dill sauce and sliced grape tomatoes.  


The tilapia was a beautiful filet that I had bought at the Farmer's Market.
I just seasoned it with a little salt and pepper and lightly fried it in a tiny bit of olive oil.

For the sauce, I mixed a couple of tablespoons of fat free sour cream, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, black pepper and some dill weed.  I just sliced a few grape tomatoes on top because I looove tomatoes.  I sliced my crusty ciabatta bread and toasted it lightly.

This was a messy but yummy sandwich!

The next sammich has marinated chicken tenders on it.


The marinade was one I found in a cooking magazine that I had.  I altered the ingredients to take out some of the fat, it originally called for 1/2 cup of oil.   

The ingredients I used were:

1/2 cup dry white wine
3 minced garlic cloves
2 T olive oil
2 T chopped fresh basil
1/2 t dried oregano
2 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes

Mix the marinade well and reserve 2 T for a sauce.  Add 4 chicken breasts or 8 tenders to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  The longer it sits, the more it absorbs the flavors.

For the sauce, add the 2 T of marinade and mix with 3 T fat free sour cream and one more squeeze of lemon juice.

Lightly fry the chicken in a bit of olive oil until done.  I used tenders and they only took about 3-4 minutes per side.

Toast up 2 slices of your favorite bread and top with what your heart desires.  I used shredded lettuce, tomatoes, fresh parsley, and some of the sour cream sauce.  


Once again, this one was messy, but yummy!!

Love what you eat and eat what you love!












Vacation in the mountains.



 Last week, this was the waterfall that was just a 10 minute hike from our anniversary vacation cabin in North Carolina.   It was the most amazingly relaxing weekend ever!   

Basically, all we did was a little sightseeing and alot of hiking and exploring.

We passed this huge motorcycle on the side of the road.  They let you take your picture on it for donating to breast cancer.  I donated and hopped on...it was just too funny!


This is the secluded cabin we stayed in. It was awesome!


I did a little grilling while we were there.  I grilled cornish hens for the first time and they were very yummy.  They will definitely be on my menu again soon!


I also grilled steaks and tilapia one night.  We ate them by the creek that you can see in the background.  It was wonderful!




I even grilled my asparagus over the charcoal....will be doing that again as well!



The weather for the trip could not have been more perfect.  It was in the 40's at night and about 70 during the day.  The cool nights made the hot tub feel great, and the daytime was perfect for hiking!   We did see a couple of snakes...almost stepped on one.  That part I could have done without, but the rest was absolutely my kind of vacation!

Here is me beside the falls...so fun!



I came back completely refreshed...at least for a day or 2.  ;)


Monday, April 15, 2013

Super low calorie...Shirataki noodle experiment!


I have been reading Hungrygirl.com for years now and have always wanted to try the Shirataki tofu noodles that she raves about...I finally got my chance.

My parents and I made a trip to Memphis this past Sunday to see my precious aunt in the hospital and on the way home, we stopped at the Farmer's Market.

I had never been and I LOVED the huge variety of food that they had.

One of the new things that I decided to buy and try was the Shirataki noodles.  The cool thing about these noodles is the fact that they have 40 calories as compared to the same regular noodles that would have about 200 calories.


The BIG question for me was....are they good?

For me, the answer was YES!

Although, you really have to pay attention to the cooking process in order to make them enjoyable.

First, drain and rinse them very well.
Then, cook them in the microwave for 1 minute.
Next, pat them dry with a paper towel.
Then cook them for 30 more seconds in the microwave.

They looked like this after cooking....


For my sauce, I used 2 T of fat free cream cheese and 2 T of fat free sour cream warmed slowly in the microwave.  Then add 1 t of chicken broth or a small bullion cube dissolved in 1/4 cup water.  I also added some new all purpose seasoning that I purchased recently and a dash of garlic powder.   

I had just cooked a whole chicken on the grill, so I added about 3/4 cup of chicken breast.

With a large slice of toasted ciabatta bread that I got at the Farmer's Market, I absolutely loved it!   I am very glad I bought 4 packages of the noodles.   :)


Love what you eat and eat what you love!   :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Enchilada casserole....oh yeah!

I have been seeing several enchilada casserole type photos floating around Facebook.  It has caused me to CRAVE a spicy Mexican casserole.  



I have finally got all of the ingredients, so I am going to put a few recipes together and tweak it to my taster.

Jill's Enchilada Casserole

1lb lean ground beef
1 large onion diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
large dash of salt and pepper
1 small can green chilies
cheddar cheese (slices or shredded)
8 inch flour tortillas (6-8)
1/2 15oz can refried beans 
1 10oz can red enchilada sauce
1/2 15 oz can of white cheese sauce
lettuce
chopped tomato
salsa
fat free sour cream

Pic of major ingredients...



First, cook the ground beef and onion over medium heat.



Add spices and stir well.




Add chilies and cook for 5 more minutes on low heat.



   Spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray and place a tortilla at one end.  Spread about a tablespoon of refried beans on the shell and top with enough meat mixture to cover and top with a bit of your favorite cheese.



  Roll it and tuck the edges under.  Repeat with enough shells to fill the dish.  



Top with the enchilada sauce.  



Then pour the white cheese over the entire thing and blend it with the enchilada sauce.



Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, it should be nice and brown and bubbly.



To make them good...top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream and fresh cilantro (I grew this cilantro!)



Love what you eat and eat what you love!  :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cheese stuffed burgers..

The husband was craving a grilled burger and had decided to make it himself because I was working in the yard.

For starters, this is something he NEVER does.  I always do the cooking and grilling, but I was determined to pull all of the grass out of my front flower bed.

I came up with a compromise.  
You pull the weeds (also not one of his favorite tasks, hehe), and I will grill you some burgers!

I wanted to make the burger special since he would be working hard, so I decided to stuff it with cheese!

I have come up with a favorite way to make my burgers very thin in order to stuff them with cheese.  I use wax paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and put the patty onto the paper.


Fold the paper over and SQUASH it with your hand.  
Make sure that the whole thing is about the same thickness, you can feel it through the paper.  


Now, open it up, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and put the cheese in the middle...


Then fold all of the edges up and make a sealed patty around the cheese.


Now it is ready to grill.  Just grill like you would a normal burger, except you may want the heat just a tad lower so that they cook through without burning the outside first.

Here they are on the grill almost done...it is okay if some of the cheese drips out.  The better you seal the patty, the less it should though.


I even added some grilled bacon on there since EVERYTHING is better with bacon.

I topped it with an extra slice of cheese and loaded it up.  I also added some sweet potato fries that 
I found frozen at Kroger.  
They are tasty.  You can either bake or fry them.


Love what you eat and eat what you love!   :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

The sparkle top fashion remake!

I have seen this look recently on Pinterest and decided to try it on for size.

I love the look of the sparkle underneath a jacket and since spring is FINALLY going to bring its wonderful warmness, I figured I better wear the jacket while I still can!

Here are a couple of inspiration photos that I found on Pinterest to show the look that I wanted.


I just really think this is a casual but snazzy look for late spring. 

I tend to stay cold when the weather is changing, so the jacket 
worked out great!





The lighting is terrible in my house, but you can get the idea.

I was debating if the earrings were too much sparkle, but they matched really well and didn't seem like too much since I was not wearing a necklace.







Here is the headless version in my closet with a little different lighting.  

This top is really long, so I tucked it in.  It is a sheer tank that I think will look really good in the summer with a tank underneath.


My outfits really affect/reflect my mood. 
 If I wear an outfit that I like,
 I am a happier me!
Wear what makes you feel good!