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panko crusted fish with key lime butter sauce

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This is summer food. Not too heavy, not too hot and perfect to eat on the patio on a balmy summer evening. Light a beach-scented candle,  close your eyes and you’re at a seaside retreat.

Speaking of summer food, I started making my summer bucket list the other day, attempting to keep things real, especially after last year (you can read about it here) I really shouldn’t call it a bucket list, more like an “idea list” that way, there is no pressure to complete any of it.

Because who wants pressure in the summer? Not me. This is the most pressure I want:

IMG_1615No running.

Take it easy…no running around- there are no schedules of dismissal to adhere to, there is no deadline for homework and pot lucks, and I can stay in my jammies if the need arises.

No running.

No mental lists running around in the middle of the night about clean school uniforms, enough lunch foods to pack, or rushing to the ATM for field trip cash.

I love no running.

Of course there are still the daily tasks, work, and outings to tend to… but in the summer everything takes on a lighter feel… the pressure is off, or lessened in some ways. And, there are some things that you just can’t do in the winter that you get to do in the summer….

IMG_1619Now: summer food…

Like I said this is a perfect summery food, and you can use any firm white fish. I used Golden Tile fish, but I am fully aware that at $17 a pound, that may not be too budget friendly. (My husband caught ours, so it was free)

Some suggestions:

Mahi Mahi

Cod

Tilapia

Snapper

You could even do this with chicken, (I have many times before) ~ it’s just as delicious.

panko crusted fish with key lime butter sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound firm white fish or chicken filets
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • salt/pepper
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS flour
  • ½ cup dry while wine
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp lime juice (fresh)
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbs Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbs capers
  • chopped scallions and tomatoes for garnish
Instructions
  1. Dredge the fish or chicken in the flour, then the egg and finishing with the crumbs, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pan fry in a small amount of oil over medium high heat until golden and cooked through (4-6 minutes per side)
  3. Set on platter and keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile melt the butter over medium heat, stir in the flour to make a paste and add the milk
  5. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and add the wine.
  6. Add the garlic powder, lime zest and lime juice.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Pour sauce over fish (or chicken) and garnish with tomatoes, capers and scallions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer stuff

(sponsored post)

Here we are full force into summer… in all it’s sweaty glory. This summer has been a lot different than previous summers in the fact that despite the heat and humidity, my daughter wants to go outside (YAY!)

Yep, we have had bike rides to water parks…which meant sunblock and sweat: This is the before pic:

IMG_1590You know that sunblock/sweaty feeling?

Yep… and it was only 10:30am.

We were supposed to go out to lunch to a small sandwich shop, but they were closed for vacation- so we ended up going to a Thai/Sushi restaurant.

Remember: sunblock & sweaty and no time to spare… Like this: (you can almost smell us, huh?)

IMG_1614Normally… I have baby wipes around, especially in the summer. But, since my kid has been off diapers for years, they really aren’t a staple anymore, so I forget to buy them.

I did, however… happen to have these:

_DSC1339Normally, I wouldn’t have bought these. (To be totally honest) You see, they weren’t  appealing to me, especially since I live in an old house with very temperamental plumbing- as in, the toilet gets backed up whenever it wants, and- we have to have it snaked every four months, so I am extremely cautious  about what goes down it. I’m total potty police with my girls…

These just got me worried about clogs.

But, I was selected to review them for a sponsored campaign (I even got $1.50 off coupon at CVS) ~ you can get yours here:
http://ooh.li/e50caf6
http://ooh.li/70ce260

 

 

So… with no baby wipes on hand  these worked perfect to get the sweaty sunblock off me and my daughter, and the best part: they smell. so.good. Fresh, and clean… and I didn’t get all sentimental like I do when I smell certain baby wipes. Yay for these not setting off my biological clock.

So, I didn’t really use them as they are marketed. I probably won’t because of plumbing issues…. but, with such a cute (refillable) container that just needs a little washi tape decoration (craft project!!!)… I’ll  keep these nearby. Especially this summer.http://ooh.li/70ce260

 

spinach burgers with feta and mushrooms

Sometimes, you feel like you just “need” to get your green on.

No, I’m not talking about your trusty green T shirt that you pull out of the drawer every St Patrick’s Day, I’m talking about getting your “eating green” on.

You know those days, the ones that hit you generally after a wild feast, be it the local fair, a holiday or birthday or the chocolate fountain at your cousins wedding. Those days when even your sweat pants are tight, and you swear that your dryer must have gone through a hot flash during it’s last cycle… Those are the  days when you feel like you have consumed a vast amount of unnatural foods, and you feel like you need greens like a deer stuck in the Sahara.

But… maybe you’re like me, too… and salads just don’t “do it” for you.

I mean, I LOVE a good salad with dinner. FOR dinner is another story…

(unless it’s bacon ranch buffalo chicken)

But, let’s face it: the bacon-ranch-buffalo-chicken with a side of chocolate fondue is what got us into this mess anyway.

So, let’s get our “greens on”- the tastiest way possible.

Years ago, when I launched this blog, I shared a spinach burger recipe. And, to date it has been shared, stolen and pinned close to a ga-zillion times. (Yes, I said ga-zillion.)

Today, (actually a few weeks ago) it has been revisited, and matured a bit with the addition of caramelized onions, baby portabello mushrooms and feta cheese. (Not too much, though… remember we are trying to get out green on, not our cheese on)

I promise you, … we will be getting our cheese on- that’s an entirely different post, though.

spinach burgers II

There you have it. You can get your green on in a hearty, manly way.

Because I still haven’t been able to create a manly salad that doesn’t involve bacon.

And, I’m a girl who likes her greens manly. :)

IMG_0668These can’t be any easier, either- especially with summer coming!  It’s not heavy, but still feels hearty… and I promise you… those sweat pants will be comfy once more.

spinach burgers II

For the origianl Spinach Burger recipe click here: SPINACH BURGERS

spinach burgers with feta and mushrooms
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bag (16ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 egg
  • 4 TBS crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 ounces chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • crushed red pepper (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash salt
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the mushrooms and onions until tender and golden
  2. Place the drained spinach in a bowl and add the mushrooms, onions and remaining ingredients.
  3. Shape into patties
  4. Cook on a non stick skillet (over med/high heat) that has been coated with cooking spray,
  5. Cook 4-5 minutes per side.
  6. Serve on pita bread, with lettuce and tomato, or eat plain.

 

creamy garlic, spinach and chicken flatbread

creamy garlic, spinach and chicken flatbreadI was recently selected to take part in creating a recipe for a new line of sauces that Progresso recently launched. My assignment? Something quick to prepare.. as in 20 minutes or less.

They must have known that I would have some busy afternoons and evenings ahead of me…because there were quite a few 20 minute meals birthed from this sauce. My favorite, however were these flat breads I whipped up.

The time investment? 10 minutes. MAX. :)

As most of y’all know… I am a homemade sauce kind of girl, and I seldom go for the convenience foods.. but, I do keep several convenience soups and snacks on hand for occasions like hurricanes and late nights at work.

This sauce however… will probable be making a few more appearances aside from late nights and hurricanes.

Mainly, it tastes homemade, has rich flavor and none of the canned taste that sometimes comes with convenience foods.Maybe because it’s in a pouch? Hmmmm….

_DSC1139I started with the creamy roasted garlic sauce, and added 1 cup of chopped (previously frozen/thawed/drained) spinach..

creamy garlic spinach, chicken flatbreadI topped it with cooked diced chicken, a few cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. I had mushrooms to add… but realized I forgot them afterward.. but that may have pushed the time to 12 minutes… :)

5.0 from 1 reviews

creamy garlic, spinach and chicken flatbread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pouch creamy roasted garlic sauce
  • 1 cup chopped spinach (previously frozen/thawed and drained)
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese shreds
  • ½ cup cooked diced chicken breast
  • 4 ready made flat breads
  • cherry tomatoes, mushrooms (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the sauce and spinach
  3. heat though over medium heat
  4. Spread on flat bread and sprinkle chicken, cheese and tomatoes
  5. Place 3″ below broiler and broil for 30seconds to 1 minute to melt the cheese
  6. Serve with side salad or pasta

 

homemade mustard

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There are somethings in life that are worth making by hand… cookies, bread and mustard, is now on my list.

I think  it’s part of a “back to my roots” phase I’m in. Next thing you know I will be knitting.

Wait.

I live in south Florida. Knitting is not a necessary skill for this domestic mama. DIY flip flops? I may have to research that.

Sometimes, I’m just tired of name brands, labels and the mass production of everything.  Some things deserve to shine in the homemade  spotlight on occasion and this time it’s lowly mustard.

But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill baseball stand bland yellow goo.  This mustard is tangy, a bit spicy and is full of complexity from the addition of fresh chopped herbs. Perfect for a hot dog, but sophisticated enough to have with homemade gravlax.

To make homemade mustard, you don’t need any special canning equipment, and the best part is that it “makes itself”. All you have to do is combine the mustard powder, seeds , wine, vinegar, and fresh herbs… add a little salt and let it hang out for a few days… stir once in a while.

(Mustard has antimicrobial properties, so it rarely “spoils”.)

 

Once the mustard has thickened/thinned to your liking, spoon it into sterilized jars and store them in the fridge. Or, better yet… bring it to your next BBQ. Suddenly, those weenies on the grill with become gourmet with a slather of homemade mustard with white wine and dill… tie the jars with a little ribbon and viola – instant hostess gift.

 

 

homemade mustard
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup mustard powder
  • ¼ cup mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marry for three days, stirring daily.
  2. Add water if a thinner mustard is desired.
  3. Spoon into sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator.