Spicy Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Friday, July 20, 2018

Our family loves salmon. My boys could live on salmon and pork. They never get tired of either. I am always on the lookout for salmon recipes that are new and fresh. A friend recently sent me a link to The Cookie Rookie blog and this salmon recipe. I will eat avocado with every meal if I could, so there was no question I bookmarked the recipe to make for dinner . I usually have every ingredient for this meal in the house. So it was a no brainer for me. And ya'll : It was good! The spice mixture was perfect for the salmon and the salsa, well, the salsa will be made weekly for us to eat with chips , or on lettuce for a quick lunch. It is yummy! I tweaked the original recipe a bit to our liking, and it will be a staple salmon dish for us. Thanks, Cookie Rookie!

Spicy Salmon with Avocado Salsa

recipe adapted from The Cookie Rookie



4 salmon fillets (@2 lbs total)

1 T olive oil ( I use persian lime olive oil)

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp black pepper


2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

juice from 1 lime

2 T cilantro, chopped small

1/4 tsp salt



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix the salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and black pepper well.

3. Place the salmon fillets on the cookie sheet and brush liberally with persian lime olive oil.

4.Rub the spice mix into the salmon fillets, making sure to cover the entire surface.

5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork.

6. Serve topped with a generous helping of avocado salsa (recipe below)


Carefully mix all of the salsa ingredients together. Chill well. Use to top salmon fillets. Print Friendly and PDF

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I make zucchini bread and yellow squash bread all throughout the summer months, and happened to have a few ( actually 4!) pints of fresh, plump blueberries to use up before they went bad. So blueberry zucchini bread it was. Sweet, with a hint of cinnamon ! I make it in a bundt pan, but one large loaf pan, or 6 mini loaf pans would be perfect! Plan to double the recipe and share with friends. They will thank you!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 T ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sugar
2 c shredded zucchini
1 pint fresh blueberries

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan ( or loaf pan) and set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs, oil, applesauce,vanilla and sugar until creamed.
4. Stir in the flour mixture a cup at a time, until the flour is incorporated into the batter.Fold in the zucchini . Then gently fold in the blueberries.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake 1 hr 10 minutes for a bundt pan, and @ 50 minutes for a loaf pan, or until the center of the loaf is cooked through.
7. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Rustic Peach Tart

Sunday, July 8, 2018

This rustic peach tart is so easy to make. It is a perfect summer dessert when you use fresh peaches. You can make your own pie crust, but I cheat and use a premade one. If you do not have heavy cream, I would use an egg wash and not regular milk. It will seep into the dough and make it soggy.


9" pie crust
5 peaches,  sliced
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 T cornstarch
2 T heavy cream
2 T coarse sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment and roll out the pie crust. Set aside  in the refrigerator to stay cold while you make he filling.
2. In a large bowl, toss together peaches, lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cornstarch. Mix well.
3. Take the sheet pan out of the refrigerator and pile the peaches and juices into the middle.
4. Fold and pleat the crust over the peaches.
5. Brush the crust with the cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
6. Bake 40-45 minutes or until peaches are tender and the crust is golden.

Summer Avocado Corn Salad

This salad has become a staple on our summer dinner table. It is one of those salads that are super quick to put together and the longer it sits the better it gets. And you really can add or delete the ingredients to your liking. You can add fresh sweet tomatoes , jalapeno pepper instead of the poblano. Even give it a mexican twist by adding diced jicama and black beans. See, it is a great recipe! I use fresh corn, but you can definitely use canned corn in this when fresh is not available. Canned sweet white corn is my favorite in a pinch.

Summer Avocado Corn Salad


2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 poblano pepper, small dice

2 avocados, diced

1/2 cup purple onion, diced

1 T sugar

1 T white balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper


In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to meld the flavors.

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A few years ago, a Peruvian restaurant opened in our town , and ever since then, I have been hooked on their roasted chicken. It is super flavorful and everyone in my family loves it. But what sets it apart , imho, is the green sauce that is served with it. Spicy, creamy,tangy.  So much awesomeness! I always ask for extra sauce and use I on everything from chicken to top shrimp tacos, spread over eggs, potatoes or rice. I may or may not have just eaten with a spoon :) I cannot say enough about the sauce.  So I set about recreating the chicken and the sauce a home.  I have to say, the chicken was easy. I just made a spicy marinade to put under the skin and all over the outside. Let it sit for a few hours in the fridge, then roast off. I didn't use a whole chicken like the restaurant does, I just used skin on breasts, thighs and legs and slow roasted them on a bed of onions on a rimmed cookie sheet.

The sauce was a bit more tricky. I used sour cream as the base at first and I could not get the taste right. Way to tangy. So I threw it out and started again, this time using old reliable, Duke's Mayonnaise. And that was exactly what I was looking for. Now, I have to say, the flavor may be altered a bi if you use Hellmans or Miracle Whip. I only use Dukes brand mayo , and it tends to be a bit sweeter than other mayos. Just experiment and adjust the salt, pepper and cilantro to get the taste you like.

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 T ground cumin

1 T paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 T olive oil
1 T distilled white vinegar
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 whole chicken or 1 cut up chicken ( 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs)
1 sweet onion, sliced

1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest and combine until mixed well.
2.In a 9"x13"  baking dish, place the sliced onions in an even layer. Place the chicken or chicken pieces on top of the onions.
3. Carefully lift the skin off of the chicken and massage the garlic spice mixture under the skin and then all over the top of the skin. Refrigerate the chicken for 30 minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees . Roast the chicken on 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, then reduce the het to 375 degrees and continue to roast for an additional hour, basting with the juices every 15 minutes or so.
5.When the chicken is cooked through, take out of the oven and let the chicken rest for  few minutes.
6. Serve with green sauce ( recipe follows)

Green Sauce
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper , to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine the jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, mayonnaise, lime juice, and vinegar. Blend until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Shirley Temple Popsicles

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

When I was a little girl, there was a seafood restaurant in the town we lived in called Neptune's Galley. I have no idea if that restaurant is still in business or not, but I remember it vividly. There was a huge statue of Neptune on the roof of the building and it was dark and nautical on the inside. I have to admit, I do not remember the food that was served there. I remember first being introduced to Shirley Temple's! At the time , my favorite movie just happened to be Shirley Temple in The Little Princess. And my daddy knew that and ordered me a Shirley Temple to drink...and the rest is history. I think I requested that drink at every restaurant  we ate in for the next five years after that! Cold , bubbly sprite, grenandine and a cherry on top. Oh , how I loved getting that pink-tinted drink brought to me. I felt so grown up! Flash forward 25 years. My boys and I were at Red Robin and I introduced them to Shirley Temple's. Ummm, they were not impressed. I guess it is a  girl thing. They ended up with root beer floats. But I was determined to get them to like them! So last week I set out to make Shirley Temple Popsicles. At first I tried with just Sprite and maraschino juice. Eh. Then I added cherries  to the mix. Still not right. So  after a few trial and errors, I added   fresh orange juice , sprite, cherries and cherry juice. Perfect. And the boys ate them all. So here is to nostalgia. And Shirley Temple!

Shirley Temple Popsicles

2 cups Sprite or 7-Up soda
scant 1/2 cup fresh orange juice ( I cheated and used Simply Orange brand)
grenadine ( I find this in the aisle with the margarita mix, etc)
maraschino cherries

In a large mixing cup,combine the soda and the orange juice .Set aside.
Fill popsicle molds with marachino cherries . (Mine were smaller molds, so I used 3 cherries in each mold)
Add about a teaspoon of grenadine to each mold.( you could use the cherry juice in the bottle of cherries, if there is enough, in place of the grenadine)
Add the soda/oj mixture to each mold, about 2/3 full. Don't fill to the to the top of the molds. It will expand after freezing .
Place tops on popsicle molds and freeze.

Mini Blueberry Galettes

I seem to always have blueberries in the refrigerator. I think they secretly multiply in there :) I love blueberries and eat them every morning. Problem is, no one else will willingly grab them out of the fridge and snack on them. So I have to make something that involves sugar and butter to sway their taste buds. I usually just end up making blueberry muffins, but every now and then I will make these galettes. They are perfect for a small dessert, travel well and make great gifts for friends and neighbors. And you can use any fruit you have on hand. Strawberries, raspberries, peaches. Yum! They are super easy to put together , especially if you use a package of store bought pie crust.

Mini Blueberry Galettes
1 box refrigerated pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 lemon
1 egg
1 T water
cinnamon sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 425*. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, 1 tsp lemon zest, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, vanilla, salt. Combine well and set aside.
2. Unroll the 2 pieces of dough. Using a 5" bowl, trace 3 circles on each round disc of dough. Reroll the leftover dough and make 2 more circles.
3. Place the dough rounds on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using a 1/4 measuring cup , place a mound of blueberries in the center of each piece of dough. Fold the edges of the dough over the blueberries , creating a crimp.
4. In a small bowl , whisk the egg and water. Brush the edges of each galette with the egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
5.Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake at 425*  for 15 minute, or until the crust is golden and the filling is hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let the galettes rest on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes to cool.
6. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
* you can garnish with fresh herbs for a pop of color. I used mint in the picture.

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