Salmon, again

I cook a lot of salmon. Other little fishies have received limited attention (white fish, snapper, tilapia, swordfish) but nothing makes my boy Jonah happier than seeing me prep 4-5 salmon filets when dinnertime is near. So I indulge him, often.


Cole Slaw

My New Friend, Ken, smokes ribs. He owns a smoker so large it must be hitched to the back of an automobile to move it from one place to another. I really like New Friend Ken, don't you?

Last month, Ken asked me for a make-ahead side dish to serve with the ribs he was entering at Most Holy Redeemer's Ribfest Competition in Evergreen Park, IL. He made this slaw and liked it a lot.

My New Friend Ken didn't win ribfest, but he had a really good time. Maybe it was the slaw.


Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

If your meal-mates love chicken drummies and thighs like mine do check out this crazy good one tray meal.

This dish is extra-special thanks to the chicken skin dripping down onto the veggies, perhaps canceling out their nutritional value. I take vitamins just in case. But if greasy veggies don't make you happy skip the olive oil on the vegetables, and/or increase the amount of vegetables to soak up the grease.


Beef Chili


Adapted from the Kitchn's recipe.

In a large pot, 6 quarts or larger, brown:
  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef from Whole Foods (sprinkle meat with salt)

Set aside meat in a bowl.

In the same pan heat over medium:
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola oil

When oil is hot toss in:
  • 1 onion, diced

Stir and cook until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Then add:
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed & diced

Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, not mushy. Then add:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Stir about 30 seconds and add:
  • 1 cup red wine

Stir and scrape bottom of pan (this is deglazing) until wine is almost absorbed. Don't fret if there's a bit of liquid at the bottom after a few minutes.

Add the meat back into the pan along with:
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Bring to a simmer and turn down to lowest heat that keeps it bubbling just a bit. Simmer 45-60 minutes, until it's thickened to your liking.

Add in:
  • 1 28 oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans

Simmer 10-15 minutes more. Serve with:
  • diced avocado, corn chips, chopped cilantro


Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few weeks ago Sister-in-law Amy asked if my chocolate chip cookie recipe was on my blog. "It's on the back of the chocolate chip package," I told her. "But don't you make changes?" she replied. Ah yes, she wanted my secrets.

In order to respond I had to visualize myself alone in my kitchen, tweaking with reckless abandon. I went through each step in my head, then texted her as much as I thought could help. Later that day she reported success.

There has been no record of the liberties I take with this classic recipe. Until now. Enjoy with reckless abandon.


Granola, again

Another granola recipe is in order. Here's why. It's no bake. Sort of. You toast some ingredients in the oven, then freeze the concoction for 30 minutes. Easy.

The best part was I used honey from the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island-a gift sister-in-law Amy brought back from a recent trip for my brother's job. Apparently the Ritz makes 5-star honey. Those must be some bees.



I have a complicated relationship, strictly one-way, with the folks at Bon Appetit. I used to scoff at how easy they make their oh so difficult recipes sound. Yet those finished product photos kept me trying.

In June of 2012 the stunning cover photo of a Slow-Roasted Salmon filet catapulted me into the magazine to find the recipe. Whoa Nellie...there was a yogurt sauce and tomatoes and couscous that accompanied the fish. That was lot for someone like me. Instead I mastered the fish, saving the yogurt sauce and couscous for another time. Baby steps, people!


Roasted Mushrooms

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It's been 2.75 months since my last post. I blame the polar vortex, also responsible for me wearing pajamas to chauffeur family members, refusing to take out the trash, and clinging to my bed until someone holding a backpack and a trumpet cries out, "Mom...I'm gonna be late!" Never mind that all the while I was cooking, baking, and not sharing. Finally it's warm enough to type.

Miracles are everywhere, at least that's what it says on the wall of the bathroom at my yoga studio. I consider this mushroom dish to be right up there with the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team upsetting the Russians in 1980. Husband Todd says I exaggerate. Perhaps. Still, when it's negative 55 degrees with the wind chill, a healthy, hot meal feels like a miracle to me.