Sunday, March 17, 2013


This week has carried with it a load of sadness.  Not so much for myself, but for several that I care about.  This week came with the death of four different individuals who are family or friends of friends of mine.  Even though I do not know well those who passed away. my heart still feels heavy and sad.  In a year where I have lost several loved ones, I know quite intimately the pain of death.  Whether it comes as a surprise or as an expected experience, the passing of a loved one hurts.  Tonight my heart goes out to the friends and families of the two women who lost their lives in car accidents, to the parents and community that lost a baby with an illness, and to the friend whose father passed away this morning.  My prayers and sympathy are with you all.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just a Few Notes

I have so much that I could talk about, including another recipe.

I had a friend ask me last week if I plan on turning my blog into a cookbook.  Probably least not anytime in the near future. But for the time-being, I will post recipes as I am inspired to do so.

This past weekend, I took a trip to Abilene.  This is where I went to college...many moons ago.  I still have a couple of friends who are there, but this past year my friend Wendy moved to Abilene as well.  She was one of my roommates a few years ago and she became a wonderful friend.  I stayed with her and we had a lot of fun.  

Some of my high points of the weekend were meeting my dear friend Olivia's daughter.  Long story here, but basically I don't know if I have ever been as excited to see a baby as I was with this one.  She is absolutely amazing!  On Saturday, Wendy and I went shopping for some new work clothes and then we went to the opening game for the Abilene Roller Derby Dames.  This was the first Roller Derby for both of us.  On Sunday we chilled out and played games at a coffee shop.  Then on Monday, on my way out of town, I had lunch with a fabulous friend, Lauren.  

In addition to having fun time with friends, this trip was also about making some space for my heart to explore some things.  I needed some time-out with God and an opportunity to ask Him what He is wanting to do in my heart, mind, body, and soul.  WOW!  I had some treasured time with Him, and then on the way home prayed for 3 straight hours declaring all of the places in my life that I want freedom.  I had an amazing time of honesty with my Maker, telling Him what I want, asking Him what He wants, and discussing what I think I am and am not ready for.  Not to negate the special times that I had with my friends, but I think this was the true purpose and need of this trip.

I got back home, and pretty much jumped back in to life as normal.  However I feel like I have a better sense of peace and resolve as I walk into a season where I am expecting change and healing!  Just fabulous!

And now for another recipe (or two).

Last night I made an Herb Baked Salmon.  I was at Whole Foods and the Sockeye Salmon (a personal favorite) was on sale for 9.99 per pound as opposed to the standard 14.99 per pound.  I got a whole fillet and it was just over a pound.  I cut off 1/3 of it on the tail end and pan cooked those pieces for tonight's dinner.  The other portion I baked in the oven with some fresh herbs from my patio garden.  So here are the recipes.

Herb Baked Salmon

1 Sockeye Salmon Fillet
Fresh Herbs - thinly cut (I used Indian Basil, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Marjoram, and Chive)
Sea Salt
1 lime thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1-2 Tbsp Bacon Drippings
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (if desired)
Drizzle of Lemon infused Olive Oil

In a baking dish, drizzle Bacon Drippings.  Rinse Salmon, remove pin bones, and make certain it is cut to fit the baking dish.  Place skin-side down.  Sprinkle Sea Salt and herbs across top of Salmon (include Crushed Red Pepper Flakes if desired). Drizzle Lemon infused Olive Oil and Honey over herbs and then  place a single layer of thinly sliced limes over the top.  Thinly slice 1-2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter and layer on top of the limes.  Cook in oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until cooked.  DO NOT overcook this fish or it gets dry, rubbery, and kind-of yucky.  

I paired this with some baby carrots that I steamed and added a little honey, cinnamon, and cloves to.  It was YUMMY!

Now for tonight's dinner: 

Ok - so anyone who knows me well knows that tuna fish salad makes me gag like nothing else.  I find it to be detestable!!  Some may consider this is a upgraded version of tuna salad, but it is YUMMY!

Creamy Salmon Salad:

Here is what you need...

Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon (keep reading for how I made this) (about 1/4-1/3 pound)
Fresh Herbs (I used the same combo that I did the night before)
1-2 Ribs of Celery; finely chopped
1 small Apple (I used a Pink Lady; but Gala, Winesap, and Honeycrisp are all great options)
1-2 Green onions with chives; finely chopped
Raw Honey
Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Sea Salt and Pepper
Earth's Best Olive Oil "Mayo"

To make the Pan Seared Salmon, I took the tail end of the fish and cut it into 1 inch thick strips (with skin), salted with sea salt, and squeezed fresh lime on top.  In a hot pan, I added about 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and then placed the salmon skin side down in the pan.  LEAVE IT BE until it lifts itself away from the pan surface.  If you mess with it, the skin will stick and the fish will fall apart.  Once it will easily move, flip it and sear the top.  Flip again to cook the sides.  All together, the fish is in the pan for less than 10 minutes.  Refrigerate and leave for the next day.

To make the Creamy Salmon Salad, heat a small skillet on the stove top and add butter to melt.  Add in the celery, apple, and onion and cook until the colors are bright and mixture is just beginning to soften. Add in the herbs, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 2 tsp Raw Honey.  Cook a minute or two longer.  Set aside to let it cool.

In a small bowl, take each salmon piece and pull off skin and flake the salmon.  Add 1 Tbsp "Mayo", 1-2 tsp Chia Seeds, lemon zest and juice, and celery mixture.  Stir together and place in freezer for a few minutes to "chill".  

I paired this with some pre-made rice crackers and Garlic Broccoli.  I cut up four crowns of broccoli, including the rabe.  In a hot skillet, I placed 1 Tbsp Bacon Drippings, broccoli and rabe, and 2 tsp chopped garlic.  Stir quickly to cover all broccoli with garlic and fat.  Add a small amount of water for steam.  Cook for about 5 minutes so broccoli still has a small amount of bite and is bright green.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Bacon Basil Burger served on Thick Cut Roasted Sweet Potato "Bun"

This dinner was super easy to make, but it did take a total of 3 pans.  Not a huge deal around my house, but I can see how it may be a challenge for some.  One way to "simplify" this would be to cook the bacon in the microwave instead of on the stove top.

The Burger:
1/2 lb Ground Bison
1/2 lb 10% fat Organic Ground Beef
6 Fresh basil leaves (Chiffonade)
2 Tbsp fresh Chives (Chiffonade)
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (more or less to desired taste)
1 tsp Dry Ground Mustard
Cracked Pepper (to desired taste)

The Sweet Potato:
2 Large and Round Organic Sweet Potatoes
Organic Canola Oil

Maple Ketchup:
4 Tbsp Organic Tomato Paste
1 1/2 tsp Organic Dark Maple Syrup
1 tsp Lemon Juice

4 Slices Thick Cut Bacon (I use an All Natural Applewood with No Preservatives)

Mix all of "The Burger" ingredients together in a large bowl, divide into 4 portions and round into patties.  Place in an oven-safe skillet and put in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes (to desired temp.).

Slice the sweet potatoes into 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick slices (to make 8 slices total).  Lightly oil each slice with canola oil and place in an oven-safe baking dish.  Cook for approximately 20 minutes while cooking the burger patties.  Tip: You don't want to overcook or you will not be able to make a "bun" with this.

While burgers are cooking make the Maple Ketchup by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small glass bowl.  Store leftover covered in the refrigerator.  

Pan fry 4 slices of bacon.

1 Sweet Potato Slice
One Burger Patty
A smear of Maple Ketchup
One slice bacon
Top off with 1 more Sweet Potato Slice