Monday, May 30, 2011

Salmon Burgers

My friend Adrienne from Knoxville Pixie posted a delicious looking picture on twitter yesterday.  It looked so good and perfect for summer BBQ season that I asked her to please guest post and share her recipe with us. I'm hoping to try this recipe VERY soon because my bother in law just got home from a fishing trip to Sitka Alaska this morning.

My Hubs is a total carnivore and not the biggest salmon fan. However, since turning 35 this year, he has become a little more concerned about the kind of food he is eating and how better he can control his salt, cholesterol and fat intake. So after we scarfed down a smorgasbord of nachos, boneless chicken wings, french fries, and beer at a Sports bar on Saturday yet still awoke Sunday to a mean burger craving, I decided it might be a good time to try out a salmon burger recipe I’d previously been too intimidated to attempt.

I think I was nervous to try out a salmon recipe before due to the (what appeared to be) challenging preparation of the fish. But, it was seriously easy, even for me who owns only a food processor attachment for my blender as opposed to the real thing. So let’s get started, shall we?

After some research, I learned you want to get wild caught sockeye salmon if possible. Apparently it’s the best kind and the healthiest and if you want to know the reasons why, you’d have to ask my Hubs, I was too busy playing Angry Birds to pay attention when he told me. I actually found some on sale at my regular grocery store.  I picked up about 1.75 lbs of skin-on salmon fillets prepackaged at the fish counter. 

For starters, you want to remove the skin (I found it pretty easy to remove most of it by pulling it off by hand, and used a sharp boning knife if it gave me trouble). Once all the skin has been removed, cut salmon into chunks, and place in food processor or lame tiny food processor attachment and pulse until the fish is the consistency of ground beef.

Then transfer the salmon pulp into a large mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp poppy seeds and 1 tbsp grill seasoning. Mix with hands and form into 4 patties. Drizzle patties lightly with olive oil and yell at your Husband to hurry up with the yard work and turn on the grill because in the 6-yrs you’ve owned the pimped out piece of propane machinery, you’ve yet to learn how to turn the darn thing on. Hand the platter of raw fish patties to afore mentioned sweaty other half and bark at him to be sure to use the PAM for grilling spray before putting the burgers on the grill and not to cook the patties any longer than 3 mins per side.

While the burgers cook, make the super simple sauce. Combine ½ cup mayo, ½ cup sour cream and scallions in a bowl and place in fridge until burgers come of the grill.

After precisely 6 mins (or longer if you like your salmon more well done), remove perfectly cooked burgers from the grill, place on yummy crusty hamburger buns and top with scallion sauce, lettuce, and tomato. Serve alongside grilled veg and potato salad or whatever floats your boat. Enjoy!

Salmon Burgers Recipe
adapted from Rachael Ray

Serves 2

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each), cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 3 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Lettuce, for topping
  • Sliced tomato, for topping
  • French Hamburger Buns, lightly toasted

Pre-heat the grill, to medium-high. 

Place the salmon in a food processor and pulse to grind the meat. Transfer the fish to a mixing bowl and season with the grill seasoning and poppy seeds. Mix and form four patties. Drizzle the burgers with olive oil. 

Cook the burgers for 3 minutes on each side for a pink center, or 3 minutes on each side for fully cooked fish.

While the burgers cook, in a bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream and the scallions. Top the burgers with the lettuce, tomato, onion and sauce and serve on crusty, toasted buns.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Salted Toffee Chocolate Bars

I'm headed to my hometown of Greeley today for a party with two of my oldest friends. They've stuck with me through thick and thin for almost 20 years! When I left this cow town for the big city 11 years ago...I had a bit of a reputation for being a Martha Stewart type.

I can't let them know that I've gotten lazy....or that my Martha Stewart Living Subscription has lapsed.

Luckily...I had this recipe sitting in my in box from several months ago and since iKeith won't let me make desserts anymore, I thought it was perfect!

I'll let you know how everyone liked them and post more pictures later.  So far....I've just licked the pizza cutter and it tastes amazing!

Salted Toffee Chocolate Bars
adapted from Martha Stewart

13 graham crackers
1 bag (8 ounces) toffee bits
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted natural almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place 13 graham crackers in a single layer on sheet, edges touching. Spread toffee bits and almonds over the graham crackers.

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat slightly and cook at a rapid simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, 2 minutes. Pour over graham crackers.

Bake until the sugar topping is bubbling for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate and salt over graham crackers. With a pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares. Pull the tin foil out of the pan and let cool completely on the counter or a wire rack. They say that you can store these in an airtight container for up to a week...but I don't think they'll last that long!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Grilling Kabobs!

We love grilling.

One of our favorite things to grill is Kabobs! I've used wooden sticks for years and finally decided that I was ready to be a professional kabob maker.

Of course my favorite store...Sur La Table had everything I needed and more.

I love the long flexible skewers because you can coil them up in a bowl of marinade. They hold a ton of food!

The Appetizer Skewers are really fun for the kids. My husband even used them on Mother's Day to hold cut fruit.

Ready for the Grill
 What are you looking forward to grilling this summer?

**I was not compensated for this post.  I just like to grill and share my finds with my friends and anyone that comes across my blog.**

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lucile's Creole Cafe in Longmont

Before I moved to Utah....I had a long standing date in May with my friends from Greeley.  We'd go to breakfast (usually at The Egg and I) and then spend the morning buying flowers to plant at The Flower Bin in Longmont.

I wasn't much of foodie 5 years ago and would have never sought out a unusual restaurant.

I was missing out on soooo much!

I've been back in Colorado for 8 months and I was so excited to get our ritual started again!  I convinced my friends to go to Luciles Creole Cafe for breakfast.  I sent them the menu to peruse before hand and they were so excited!

We had to try the Beignets and they were so good...little fluffy pillows of dough!  My 4 year old daughter thought they were the most amazing thing she'd ever eaten.  I wish I'd just ordered her more of them for her breakfast....because the giant Rice Pancakes were just too much for her to handle.

Lucile's has several breakfast drinks to choose from.  I went with the traditional Mimosa and I loved that they brought me a small bottle of champagne, a carafe of orange juice and a lovely glass. Making my own was really fun!

For my meal...I knew I wanted to have a traditional New Orleans dish.  The Eggs Rockefeller jumped out at me because of the fried oysters.  This dish was so delicious and rich....the Rockefeller sauce was salted perfectly.  It arrived with a giant buttermilk biscuit that melted in my mouth, and grits and potatoes.  I'd never had grits before and I really liked them.

Lucile's Creole Cafe has five Colorado locations.  Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Longmont and Littleton.  If there is one near you....try it, you will not be disappointed!

Lucile's Creole Cafe
518 Kimbark Street
Longmont, CO 80501

Lucile's Creole Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quinoa with Nuts and Raisins

This recipe is NOT from the 20 years younger book. But it is very similar to one that is in the book.

Keith and I really liked this recipe. He thinks I added too much lemon...he might be right but I really liked it.

Quinoa with Nuts and Raisins

    *  1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
    * 1/4 cup nuts (pine, walnuts or pecans) chopped
    * 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    * 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    * 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
    * 1/4 cup golden raisins
    * 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    * Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

     Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water (or use low-sodium chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, still covered.

Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving:

Calories: 205
Carbs:      27g
Fat:           10g
Protein:     7g
Fiber:        3g
Sodium:   128g

Chad's Grill in Lakewood

Chad's is in my hood. And we overlook it all the time in favor of the big city of Denver. I will overlook no more.....I am HOOKED!

I love comfort food...because I am generally, in need of comfort.  My favorite would have to be Mac and Cheese.  I'm on a personal mission to find THE best Mac and Cheese and I think I already have a tie.

This Grown Up Mac and Cheese has asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.  It's made with Gouda which has to be one of my favorite cheeses and you can add Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Crawfish or Shrimp.  I went with Andouille and it was perfect! I loved every single bite and it reheats beautifully the next day for lunch.

My husband went with the Spicy Cajun Jambalaya and he loved it.  Again...andouille sausage makes this dish.

My boy, who is 5 years old is a connoisseur of fine cheese pizza.  It's mostly his only food group so he knows his stuff.  He told me this is one of his favorites....and he asks me daily when he can eat it again.

They also have one of the greatest activities for children that are patiently waiting for their food.

Real crayons and stickers!

I'm a fan of dessert.....but I never need a full sized, full fat one.  Chad's has several options of treats in a shot glass.  I choose the Tiramisu.  It's the perfect amount of dessert.

Chad's has something for everyone.  They have brunch on the weekends and offer a gluten free menu.  They also have a really decent happy hour from 3pm-6pm every single day.

Chad's Grill
275 Union Blvd
Lakewood, CO 80228
Chad's Grill on Facebook
@ChadsGrill on twitter

**I was not compensated for this review. I just really love to eat and sharing my finds with my friends and anyone that happens upon my blog looking for good eats.**

Chad's Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black Bean Salad

I made a number of new recipes last week from the book. When I read through the recipe section I knew immediately that some of the recipes were not for us.  We aren't smoothie people and my husband didn't know there was any other kind of butter other than peanut.

I may try them down the road....but for now I stuck with stuff he's familiar with.  This week, I'm making the same recipes...but tweaking them ever so slightly.  Because that's what I do.

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to put together.  You can use canned beans or make them yourself from a bag of dried ones.  They are really easy to make if you have time....and have less chemicals and other crap you don't need.  One bag made three meals for us and you can just throw them in a freezer bag in the portion size you need.

Black Bean Salad
adapted from 20 Years Younger

4 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups black beans
2 cups diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 avocado, diced
1 small jalapeno, diced small
Juice of one lime
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir.  

Makes 4 adult and 1 child size serving.  Serve with a piece of whole wheat bread and a teaspoon of olive oil, and fruit.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 253
Carbs: 34g
Fat: 10g
Protein: 11g
Fiber: 14g
Sodium: 298

Monday, May 9, 2011

What I'm Eating for Breakfast

My husband and I are following the 20 years younger plan....mostly.  I've had to adjust the plan slightly for my husband because he just can't eat all of this fruit. Twice a too much for him.

He also loves sandwiches.

But today....I'm going to talk about breakfast.  iKeith was already a big fan of Steel Cut Oats.  Except that he likes his plain without fruit or honey and mostly undercooked.  He's an odd ball....he fully admits it.

I had never had the oats until last week.  I've made them for my husband for years but never tried them.  I like cereal but.... I love these oats!! YUM!

Connie's Steel Cut Oats

3 cups of water
1 cup of Steel Cut Oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons of golden raisins
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

 Bring water and salt to a boil, add the oats.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and Cook for 15 minutes.  Add the apple, honey and cinnamon.  Cook for 10 more minutes.  Add raisins and walnuts.  Take off from heat and put into a container with a lid.

You now  have enough breakfast for 4 days.

To serve, slice off a chunk, stir in milk or soy milk and re-heat.  Eat with a side of fruit.


Twice a week....I like to have eggs. I'm not a fan of egg whites and until the doctor tells me that I have high cholesterol and I have to cut back...then I'm going to keep eating yolks.  If you have issues...then by all means, cut out a yolk or two.

Spinach Scramble with Feta

2 eggs
1/2 cup baby Spinach
2 tablespoons Red Onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Feta Cheese

Heat pan over medium heat and add a smidge of olive oil or use cooking spray. Cook red onions for about 90 seconds until they get soft, add the spinach and cook until it wilts, about another minute.  Add your beaten eggs and cook until done.  Add feta in the last few seconds so that it can melt a little bit.

Serve with a side of fruit.

I'll be posting new recipes all week! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Summer Wine...Clivus Soave Classico

White wine....perfect for summer!

I picked up this wine at Mile High Wine and Spirits this morning because I liked the review of it. Ripe fruit and candied Citrus. I didn't realize it was a white wine until I got it home.

This will be my new favorite summer wine...while I sit on my patio and dream about visiting Italy! And it's only $10 a bottle.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mint Chip Maltballs

These Mint Chip Maltballs from Marich Confections.....are amazing!  I can't stop thinking about them.  I found mine at Marczyk's Fine Foods in Denver.

*disclaimer* I was not compensated for this post.  I just love candy and wanted to share my find with my friends.