Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So Good Salmon and Roasted Asparagus

I realize I've been posting more "sweet" recipes so far. Although I could pretty much eat anything sweet any time, I'm sure I wouldn't live very long. Thankfully, there are simple dishes like salmon and asparagus that give my diet some nutritional benefits. This recipe is great for a quick weeknight meal, but also nice for company. I'll often add cous-cous as a side dish.

I came across a great salmon rub from one of my favorite Food Network stars, Ellie Krieger. She recently posted this to her Twitter feed. Good stuff.

Salmon and Roasted Asparagus
(Salmon rub courtesy of Ellie Krieger)

Salmon Rub Ingredients:
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
salmon filet (for two people)

Combine salmon rub spices in a small bowl. Place salmon (skin side down) on a broiler pan covered with foil. Drizzle some olive oil over the salmon, spread to thinly coat. Rub the spices onto the salmon.

Asparagus Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
olive oil

On the same foil-covered broiler pan as the salmon, lightly coat the foil with cooking spray. Put asparagus on the tray and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Turn the asparagus to spread the olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the salmon, you may need to add a few more minutes, but be careful not to overcook it otherwise it will get tough.

One of the best things about this dish is that it's a one pan meal, which means cleanup is a breeze!

Alternate coating for the salmon: I often like to use pesto to top the salmon. You can use any store-bought pesto (or make your own if you have time). Instead of making the salmon rub, I will just lightly coat the salmon with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Bake the salmon for the same amount of time as noted above. In a separate pan, heat the pesto for a few minutes over low heat. Top the salmon with the pesto when you're ready to serve. The pesto-topped salmon is an especially elegant (and tasty) dish for company.

My mom often makes her own pesto, so I'll see if she will let me share the recipe. My parents are lucky to have a garden and they grow lots of great things such as tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, lettuce, and lots of basil to make pesto.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What the World Eats

Came across a fascinating article about "What the World Eats," along with photos of the food that families across the world eat in a week. The families list their weekly food costs and their favorite foods. Check it out:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Breakfast in a Pinch

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, probably because a cup of coffee (or two) accompanies anything I eat for that meal. It can be hard to be creative for breakfast, especially if we want to eat protein rather than just carbs. So on Saturday, after a week of eating fried eggs and eggs over easy, I decided to make a low-carb crustless quiche. That's easy enough, except that when I looked over the available ingredients in my fridge, I was missing some key elements (spinach, chorizo, and cream) needed for the recipe I usually make. And even though we're close to the neighborhood Whole Foods, I really didn't want to leave the house. So I took a risk and made some substitutions (like subbing skim milk for cream). Thankfully, when my husband said, "This is the best quiche you've ever made," and took a bite myself, I realized that the risk paid off. Here's the recipe for you to enjoy, especially if you're in a pinch.

Crustless Quiche
(Courtesy of Kelly Oliver)

8 eggs
1/2 cup cream or skim milk
2 Sweet Italian turkey sausage links
1 cup shredded monterey jack or cheddar, or a combination of those
1/4 cup roasted red peppers (I used jarred red peppers to save time.)
2 or 3 teaspoons jarred salsa (optional)
1 teaspoon minced onion
crushed pepper, to taste

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Beat eggs in large bowl, add cream (or milk).

Remove casings from Italian turkey sausage, crumble, and saute until browned.

To the egg mixture, add cheese, red peppers, minced onion, pepper, salsa, and turkey sausage.

Use a rectangular baking dish or a deep dish pie pan coated with cooking spray. Add egg mixture to the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until center is set. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

If desired, top with an extra teaspoon of salsa as a garnish.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fabulous Food Friday: The Dairy Godmother

I'm starting a new feature to commemorate my first week of blogging which began last Friday. On Fabulous Food Friday, I'll highlight some of my favorite DC metro area restaurants and food finds.

I'll begin this week with something sweet. If you haven't yet tried The Dairy Godmother in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA, you must visit soon. They make homemade ice cream, and my husband Chris and I will often go there for a treat on Sunday afternoons. Almost needless to say, but the ice cream is simply fabulous.

Here's their info and a great YouTube video:

The Dairy Godmother
2310 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22301

Making Granola

One of my favorite recipes is for "Nutty Granola" from Ellie Krieger, who offers a lot of food inspiration. I particularly like this recipe because I know what ingredients are going into my granola, and it's really simple to make. I often add this to my vanilla yogurt along with some fresh blueberries for breakfast or for a snack. My friend Amy came over the other night to make a fresh batch.

Nutty Granola
(Courtesy of Ellie Krieger, "The Food You Crave")

Cooking spray
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients, mixing well to coat everything with the maple syrup. Spread on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 2 weeks. (Note: I haven't stored mine in the refrigerator and it tastes just fine.)

My friend Amy making granola.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


So I'm happy to report that the reactions to the Apple Galette (with my first homemade pie crust) have been positive. I will have to keep trying to perfect this pie crust though...that's a warning to all my friends, a.k.a. taste testers. If you would like to be on my Taste Testing Team, please let me know. :-)

In other good news, my day has been made by the discovery of a Julia Child Cooking Class being offered by Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda, MD, in October. I'm grabbing a friend and we're going to learn how to make Classic Onion Soup au Gratin, Beef Bourguignonne and Chocolate Mousse. Ahhh....I cannot really explain how exciting this is. I promise to take lots of pictures and share the recipes with you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Pie Crust

So I finally decided that I needed to try to make my first pie crust rather than buying the Pillsbury ready-made crusts (which are delicious and very handy). I made the crust and used it in an Apple Galette recipe. It looks beautiful, but I'll have to let you know how it tastes later. I have a friend stopping by tomorrow night and that will be our dessert. (Ahh...patience.) It's certainly made our home smell like buttery pie crust...yum!

Apple Galette
(Courtesy of the Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook)

Pastry for 1 crust pie
5 medium apples (2 lbs.)
1/4 cup sugar
2 T butter or margarine, cut up
2 T apricot jam, melted

Prepare pastry through chilling. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough to 15-inch round. Transfer to large cookie sheet.

Peel apples, cut each in half. Remove cores and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Fan apple slices in concentric circles on dough round, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle apples evenly with sugar and dot with butter. Fold dough up around apples.

Place 2 sheets of foil under cookie sheet; crimp edges to form a rim to catch any drips during baking. Bake galette 45 minutes, or until apples are tender. Place cookie sheet on wire rack. Brush apples with jam. Cool slightly to serve warm.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mom's Cornbread

So one of the best, most-used recipes in my collection is for my mom's cornbread. I'm making some today to go along with a big batch of chili that we're having for lunch with some friends.

Here's the recipe:

Mom's Cornbread
(Courtesy of Jean Walmsley)

3/4 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg

Combine corn meal, flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add milk, oil and the egg to the dry ingredients and stir together by hand. Bake in an 8-inch square pan (metal or glass) at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (I use a glass pan because I have a gas oven.)

This is seriously easy to make and very delicious. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Beginning

As I sit here thinking about where to begin, the writer in me realizes that there are so many directions I could go and then begins to get overwhelmed. So I'll just begin by saying welcome to my new blog. This is kind of like a food diary, though I think it will be a great way to share tips, recipes, observations, restaurant suggestions and other food finds - which is what I always share with my friends in person or on Facebook, but with more room to do so.

While this blog will focus on food, the theme is Clarendon, my home with my husband. We got married at Cherrydale Baptist Church near Clarendon, and had our reception at the Clarendon Ballroom. I'm grateful to live in the neighborhood where we began our marriage and this blog is a fitting reminder of that wonderful beginning.

The picture is from our wedding day on April 23, 2005.