Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

 Folks, I am a pregnant woman on a mission. The very food that I have been craving is one that my husband does not love - salmon. You'd think with his namesake he would like it, but it's just not his favorite. He likes tilapia, grouper, catfish, and tuna, but he has never once ordered salmon at a restaurant the entire time we've been together! You could accuse me of using my pregnancy to my advantage, in which case you would be completely right. Thankfully my husband is a good sport. 
This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs (damn delicious) and I thought with the teriyaki marinade it would remind him of his favorite asian dishes. I'd be lying if I told you that he begged me to make this again, but he did finish the filet and really liked the sriracha cream sauce on top. I made this with roasted broccoli and quinoa, and slathered the sauce over everything. This sauce would be good on just about anything, though hot crispy french fries immediately come to mind. 
If you have a go to salmon recipe that you love, please share it with me! I was thinking of making a grilled Mediterranean salmon with a kalamata olive tapenade next week. 

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce
from Damn Delicious

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp honey
2 salmon filets

Sriracha Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk

  1. Make the Sriracha cream sauce and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder, honey, and one cup water, and bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. In a glass bowl, combine teriyaki marinade and salmon filtets. Marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with nonstick spray. Place salmon filets and marinade onto baking dish and bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. 
  6. Serve immediately with Sriracha cream sauce, and top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The little choices matter the most.

I had a revelation at the gym this morning. As Oprah would say, an aha moment. It's an idea that I've really thought was true for awhile, and when I follow the rule I find myself so much happier and living the life that I want to live.

Last week was my first week back at the gym. The month before that, I would come up with some excuse on my days off to miss my favorite aerobics class or my morning run. I know that I'm a brighter, happier, healthier person when I exercise, yet I still manage to come up with excuses when the alarm goes off early. Here's a preview: My only day to sleep in. A headache. The temptation of a lazy coffee sipping morning. It goes on and on. 
Today, I got up and made it to my class with enough time to run a few miles on the treadmill before hand. I left the gym brimming with energy and ready to tackle a few items on my project list. I'm now typing this blog with clean sheets on my bed, salmon marinating in teriyaki sauce for dinner, two clean boxers, and a priceless outlook. 
  • Going to the gym = little choice.
  • Eating a salad for lunch - little choice.
  • Taking 10 minutes to read an article in your favorite magazine = little choice.
  • Not complaining and being grateful for a day = little choice. 
  • Sitting on a quilt in the yard with your dogs to just enjoy the sunshine = little choice.
  • Sending a small birthday package to a friend = little choice.

The thing is, all of these little choices after a short period of time have a BIG impact. One choice, maybe not. Habits form and goals are met because we repeatedly do the little things without making excuses, which leads us to that beautiful place where we are living the life we want. 

Old School Fruit Dip

Last weekend we threw my friend Lexi a birthday party that was a complete throw back to the '90's with fruit pizza AND old school fruit dip. We sat outside in the sunshine, drank good summer beer, listened to the Rolling Stones station on pandora, and played games. It was the first time Josh and I had a little party at the new house so the day felt extra special. Nothing beats having your best friends over for an afternoon of fun. 
I've been craving fruit lately and remembered this old favorite from my elementary school years, though honestly I love it just as much now as I ever did. It would be perfect for pool parties, a beach snack, or your next BBQ. For the traditional version, you can use regular cream cheese, though the strawberry is pretty amazing. 
Old School Fruit Dip
1 (8 ounce) package strawberry light cream cheese, softened
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
2 Tbsp orange juice
Serve with strawberries, grapes, bananas, orange slices, and apples.

Using a mixer, blend ingredients until mixed thoroughly. Keep cold prior to serving.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tupelo Honey Sweet Tea

Today I am combining two of my favorite things on the blog: tupelo honey from Savannah Bee Company and sweet tea. Savannah is the quintessential southern town, and this quaint honey shop has two locations on River Street and Broughton. On trips we visit the store once daily for a honey sampling, and last time were happily surprised to taste their Mead (honey wine). The whipped (white) honey is also a favorite, and is amazing drizzled on fresh fruit.
I like the Lipton cold brew tea for two reasons. It's easy and it's how Martha Foose makes sweet tea. You make the simple syrup by heating equal parts honey and water.

Tupelo Honey Sweet Tea

3 lipton cold brew tea bags
2 quarts water
Honey Simple Syrup (I used 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup water)

Infuse tea bags in cold water for 30 minutes, then remove. Add honey simple syrup to reach desired sweetness. Serve over ice with fresh mint and lemon slices.

Mixes well with bourbon or sweet tea vodka (so I hear...!)

It's a...

Josh is one of three boys, and so far there are only grandboys in the family, so it's with no surprise that we are continuing the tradition and having a little boy! We are naming him Charles Everett (Charlie) after Josh's father and grandfather. I have a feeling I will have my hands VERY full come October, so in the meantime I'm just going to keep nesting and chasing my husband around the house with a broom while we tackle our project list! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I can't begin to explain to y'all how much fun it's been to move into a new house and begin nesting! This week, I've learned about natural rugs and the significant differences between jute, sisal, and seagrass for my dining room. Here is a link to the jute rug I'm pining after.  I applied a coat of Swilley's wood rub to my reclaimed trestle table. I kept my ferns and garden watered, and gave all the rabbits the stink eye to warn them against digging under my garden fence. I'm having a blast, though it's been awhile since I cooked my husband a nice dinner.
When this recipe popped up on my pinterest feed, I knew it was meant to be. We LOVE pizza, and I'm always looking for new healthy or easy variations. Nothing beats real pizza, but I was simply not in the mood to fuss with homemade crust, especially when I have to decide on the perfect shade of gray to paint the nursery! Priorities, friends.

6 large (10-12 inch) flour tortillas
Olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried oregano or Italian Seasoning
1 jar pizza sauce or marinara, heated

Pizza toppings:
Sliced black olives
Cooked Italian sausage
Thinly sliced green peppers (cook for 1-2 minutes in the microwave to soften a bit)

Prep all toppings and cheese and have them close-by as the pizzadillas cook quickly and you need to be able to get everything assembled fast. I set everything out by the stove in small ramekins (because they look great on my pretend cooking show).

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl pan to coat. Add tortilla to pan. Sprinkle with a little parmesan then a good handful of mozzarella (about a heaping cup). Sprinkle on a little oregano or Italian seasoning. Place desired toppings on cheese.

Lift up one side of the tortilla after about 1-2 minutes to see if it has browned. Once it’s nicely browned and crispy, fold half of the tortilla over onto the other half. Remove from pan and cut into wedges.

Serve with pizza sauce or marinara for dipping.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos)

I've recently gotten into canning, and was in search of an easy recipe to get the hang of the process and using my Grandma Shirley's vintage cold pack canner.
This recipe appeared in one of my favorite bloggers (Jenna @ Eat Live Run) instagram feed, and it had only a few cheap ingredients so that a mess up wouldn't cost me too much. Let me just tell you - WOW - these are addictive, spicy, and a new house favorite! We had a little happy hour on our front porch tonight and nearly ruined our appetites we could just not stop munching. I'm already planning to make burgers on Friday night topped with Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, and these jalapenos. 
If you find a jar of these in your mailbox, you know I really like you! 

Candied Jalapenos
from Foodie with Fam
3 pounds fresh, firm jalapeno peppers (washed)
2 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp celery seed
3 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems. 
Slice the peppers into uniform ⅛-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within ¼ inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.

*If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!

Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.

Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t. I won’t tell!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GaryTalk # 8: Choose Your Crowd

Think for a few minutes about the different camps of people out there. I know there is a gray scale between the extremes but I'm looking for the sense of a person being closer to one or the other.

Optimist or Pessimist
Sedentary or Active
Positive or Negative
Bright or Dull
Adventurous or Cautious

My parents were in town last weekend, and our late night conversations were about risk taking, pushing your limits, and the hard work and joy that comes from home ownership and tackling a (forever expanding) project list. We were able to do a lot in two days, including building a heavy duty work bench and planting a vegetable garden. I am so lucky to have parents that don't mind a "visit" which entails hard work. 
On the drive downtown to hear a blues band, dad shared a new way he's started thinking about people. There are those that sit around and talk about other people, and those that give them something to talk about. 

One group is out there living, being adventurous, trying new things, looking stupid and silly, and at the end of the day having a hell of a lot more fun. Clearly, by now you know what group my dad falls in. It's up to me to behave (or misbehave) such that I am there as well. You know the moment you're about to do something ridiculous and you know you will be the talk of the neighborhood, and you shrug your shoulders and do it anyways? 
a quick trip to the dump required a ride in the back to hold down the brush

Life is too short to care what other people think, to gossip, to observe life happening. Get out there and jump in. Look stupid. Laugh at yourself. Be crazy. Give the other folks something to talk about. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Honey Pecan Baked Brie

Ladies, if you want to make lots of friends and win over a crowd of women, bring this appetizer to your next book club or wine night. A brie dish is the perfect host gift, and worse case scenario they already have one and can recycle yours when they totally copy your winning move.

My friend Cindy brought this over last night, and my mom and I went crazy over it. The brie shines, and the pecans and honey give it the perfect crunch and sweetness. After dinner, we had a few more bites for dessert and went to bed happy. The end. 
Honey Pecan Baked Brie
1 round Brie cheese
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp good honey
1 Tbsp butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a dish, combine the pecans, honey, and butter. Cut the top off a round of Brie cheese, and stuff with the mixture. Place the top back on, and place the wheel of brie in a round baking dish. 

Bake the cheese for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pecans and sugar begin to carmelize. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Serve with apple wedges and table crackers.