Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls

Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls2-text.jpg

How's your holiday planning going?  I've made it home to the Bahamas but I'm currently in the middle of a Christmas maze and I'm not doing well.  In the past two hours I knocked over two reindeer and broke some antlers (R.I.P.).  Then I proceeded to trip over Santa and his sleigh, which had been placed on the floor.  My mom might have a holiday decorating problem.

When I'm not navigating the labyrinth of Christmas decorations in my house, I'm otherwise trying to get back into baking.  I made cookies last month and that's been the inspiration for me to get back in the kitchen and fire up the oven.  I admit that this is sort of "baking" because I'm not making the dough for these crescent rolls, but still, I am making the filing and putting lots of love in there for ya.

My friend had a holiday party last weekend and I made these to go on the dessert table.  However, these could also be used as hors d'ouevres or even as breakfast treats.  If you enjoy cheese danishes, then this will be something you will want to make.  Since we're working with pre-made dough, it's also super quick.  This means I'll be making these exactly 20 more times this year.  "You're welcome" to all my family and friends.

Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls6.JPG

Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls
makes 8 crescents

Print Recipe

For the Crescents:

  • 1 package 8 count refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) FIn a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, lemon extract, and lemon zest.  Mix well to incorporate.

3) Open the crescent roll dough and roll it out.  Separate the triangles.  Spoon cream cheese filling onto the wider end of the triangles.

4) Gently roll the dough up, starting from the wider end and moving toward the smaller end.  Once the croissant is rolled up, tuck the corners in and shape into a crescent.

5) Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

6) Allow the croissants to cool on a wire rack.

7) Once cooled, combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl and mix until smooth.

8) Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cooled rolls.

--recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Rolls5.JPG

Autumn Glow Salad

Autumn Glow4-text.jpg

It's been silent over here for a minute.  So sorry folks.  But now we're back!

I'm a little late with this post, so even though it's kinda sorta winter, I'm coming through with a salad named after my favorite season, Autumn.  No worries about the timing.  I would still recommend that you make this.  Roasted vegetables are a savior for me during the cold winter months and this is no exception.

The original recipe called for a parsley dressing but I'm firmly in the parsley-tastes-like-soap camp, so that's not really an option for me.  However, we all know I love my basil, so why not switch up the herbs a bit.  I'm also constantly looking for a good excuse to add some Herbes de Provence to any dish, so here we are.

Even though this isn't the most festive of dishes before the Christmas holidays, let it be known that it's a necessary addition for me around these times.  This is a quick, easy and healthy meal that I can pull together to make sure I have the energy to make it through the next few very busy days.

Autumn Glow3.JPG

Autumn Glow Salad
makes ~6 servings as a meal

Print Recipe

For the salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa or other grain (bulgur, freekah, etc.)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence, or any other dried spices that you like such as thyme, rosemary, etc.
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup basil, julienned
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1) Rinse the quinoa and cook according to the instructions.  Tip: I've found that I enjoy replacing the water with broth to give the quinoa more flavor.

2) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

3) Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.  Peel and dice the sweet potatoes.  Place the vegetables on a baking sheet (or two) and drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil.  Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper, and your desired dried herbs.

4) Roast for 15 minutes.  Stir the vegetables, then roast for another 10-15 minutes.  Once the vegetables are golden brown and soft, remove from oven and set aside.

5) While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing.  Add all the dressing ingredients in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix everything together until incorporated. 

6) Once the grains and vegetables are done, toss everything together in a large bowl and add the raisins and cranberries.

7) Pour the dressing over the salad right before serving.  Store the salad and dressing separately.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

--recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

Autumn Glow2.JPG

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies3-text.jpg

Ahhh Thanksgiving is over!  Which means that it's REALLY time for the holidays -- even though the Macy's in my local mall has had a Christmas tree up for months now...  Although the department stores have been doing their best to forewarn me, I'm still not ready for this holiday season.  I don't put up a Christmas tree mostly because I don't spend a lot of time at my apartment.  I'm also usually at home in the Bahamas for the actual Christmas Day event, so there's that as well.  Anyhow, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm still not ready!  Can I have another week or two please?  I promise I still won't procrastinate anymore.  Honest.

Also, can we talk about our holiday baking situations?  Where are we with this?  I've actually started to make some headway here.  Shocking!  I know.  However, I can only be successful in this venture if I find recipes that can be made quickly.  Great news...I have just such a recipe for you!

This chocolate recipe comes from Jen at Bake or Break.  I will admit now that my cookies did not turn out as fudgey as hers did, but but BUT, they were still very tasty and I think this recipe still deserves to be posted.  Which is what I'm doing today!

Tip - I've heard that I probably needed to beat the eggs even more vigorously than I did if I want to see that fudgey center that Jen has.  I haven't tried this yet personally, so if you try it, please let me know how it works out!


Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes ~2 dozen cookies, depending on size

Print Recipe

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring in between intervals.  Heat until the chocolate is almost completely melted, then stir vigorously so the residual heat will melt the remainder of the chocolate.  Set the bowl aside.

3) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

4) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla at high speed using a mixer.  Make sure the batter is light and fluffy.

5) Stir in the melted chocolate.

6) Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.

7) Drop the dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the dough 2-3 inches apart.


8) Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies appear to be shiny on the outside.  They won't look as if they're done.  (My cookies needed about 12 minutes in the oven.)

9) Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, before removing the cookies and allowing to fully cool on wire racks.

--recipe from Bake or Break

    Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies4.JPG

    Chimichurri Grill East: A Review


    I love Argentinian food and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Chimichurri Grill East.  There are actually two locations in Manhattan - one on the East Side and one on the West Side.  This night, I was visiting the newer location on the East Side. 

    The facade of the restaurant does not adequately portray the size of this place.  There are 3 rooms inside, each leading from one to the other.  You will enter in the Tango Bar, which holds the bar and seating for 16 people.  From there, you can walk into the Pink Room, which is a bit more casual and can also seat 16.  The Pink Room then opens up into the Main Dining Room, which is elegantly decorated with a gorgeous Italian crystal chandelier, custom made chairs, an Argentinian cow hide mirror, and walls lined with beautiful photographs of herbs and spices taken by co-owner and chef Carlos Darquea.  The Main Room seats 60.

    The Main Room will be rearranged each Tuesday night to accommodate Tango Nights, starting December 5th from 7-10pm.  Tango dancers will be able to come and enjoy dancing underneath the beautiful chandelier.  These are not professional dancers, but rather dancers who just enjoy to dance.  A few weeks ago, New York City removed the prohibition-era ban on dancing in restaurants and this has allowed Carlos to create such an event.

    Before I get into the food, I also want to mention that there is a happy hour in the Tango Room and the Pink Room every Monday through Saturday from 4-8pm.  It includes Argentinian bar bites and small plates, special Argentinian wines by the glass, martinis, and beers.

    Once we arrived at the restaurant, Carlos greeted us and presented an impressive tasting menu, which paired 7 of his favorite dishes with unique wine pairings, in addition to a dessert.  He and his wife worked on assembling the wine pairings and impressively, they were spot on with all of them!


    Our first course was Ostras, or grilled oysters.  I confess that I'm not usually a fan of oysters but these were amazing.  I spritzed the oysters with the lemon juice to make it a bit more tart.  Carlos also added a bit of Argentinian regianito cheese on top of the oysters which was very tasty.  You might not think of adding cheese to seafood or oysters in particular, but it really worked here.  This was paired with an excellent dry Argentinian sparkling wine.


    For our second course, we had the Berros salad, which consists of watercress, tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro with a squeeze of lime and olive oil.  I truly enjoyed this salad.  It was light and fresh and included all of my favorite ingredients.  It was paired with a nice Torrontes wine.


    Next up, we had a lovely grilled Branzino filet - Branzino a la Parrilla.  This was served over grilled asparagus and with a grilled Meyer lemon on the side.  The grilling of the lemon gave the juice a smoky flavor when the lemon was squeezed over the fish.  The fish was flaky and tender and paired nicely with a glass of Chardonnay.


    For our fourth dish, we enjoyed the Cerdo San Pablo.  This is grilled pork with an agave glaze which is served over sauteed red cabbage, apples, onions, and bacon lardons.  While I really enjoyed the pork, when it was paired with the sauteed cabbage mixture, it truly stood out to me as one of the best dishes I had that evening.  This was successfully paired with a Meritage wine (80% Malbec + 20% Cabernet).


    At this point, we took a quick pause for a homemade raspberry sorbet to cleanse out palates.  This was nice, clean, and refreshing, as it was intended to be.


    Up next, we have the fifth course.  Since receiving the tasting menu, this was the course that I was most looking forward to.  I absolutely love empanadas and can never get enough of them.  These were small tasty bites filled with organic chicken, grass fed beef, and swiss chard and manchego cheese.  On the table we had small bowls containing two types of chimichurri sauce - red and green.  Yes, there is such a thing as red chimichurri sauce.  These made excellent partners for the empanadas.  This dish was one of the highlights of the meal for me.  These were paired up with a Pinot Noir.


    For our sixth course, we started to delve more into the meats.  We had beautifully grilled lamb chops served with a fresh mint and fava bean mash.  The lamb was plated over a syrah au-jus sauce.  This was another excellent choice by Carlos.  The meat was simply delicious and I ate every last bit of it.  I cannot say enough about the mint and fava bean mash either.  This was paired with a Syrah.


    We finally made it to our seventh course!  This was a wet-aged black angus filet mignon, which was perfectly cooked so that it turned out tender and juicy.  It was also served with an Argentine blue vein cheese sauce and polenta fries, which were quite delicious.  This was paired with a Malbec.


    For dessert, Carlos brought us a Panqueque de Dulce de Leche.  This is a thin crepe, served warm and filled with dulce de leche.  This was the perfect end to this meal.  It was paired well with a beautifully sweet Torrontes ice wine.


    I would highly recommend checking out the Chimichurri Grill.  Everyone there is really nice and friendly, as well as very knowledgeable about the food and wine that was being served.  I can't say enough about the food.  It was a great experience and I really look forward to dining there once again.


    *Disclaimer - I was provided with this meal in exchange for my opinion.  All opinions above are my own.

    Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies5.jpg

    The pumpkin extravaganza continues!  I haven't baked in oh-so-long!  I took the day off recently and whipped up these cookies at a leisurely pace.  I definitely need to get back into baking.  My apartment gets super hot in the summer when I turn on the oven, so now that we're rolling quickly into winter (I mean, it WAS freezing in NYC this past week!) I'm no longer apprehensive to crank up the heat in the kitchen.

    These pumpkin cookies were super super easy to make.  There's no annoying wait time for the dough to cool down.  You really only need 2 bowls to get this recipe going.  You can also choose to add in chocolate chips (which I obviously went for) and/or nuts.  You can also make these cookies without any of the add-ins, though I highly recommend adding the chocolate chips because who hates chocolate?  Don't answer that if it's you...

    Can I make a recommendation that you bring these to a Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving shindig?  These will make you one of the more popular people there, I assure you.  You can tell everyone "how hard you worked" on making these and I won't spill the beans!

    Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
    makes 3 dozen cookies

    Print Recipe

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chip cookies

         Vanilla Glaze

    • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
    • 5-6 tablespoons almond milk or regular milk
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease the baking sheets with butter or cooking spray.

    2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Set aside.

    3) In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until incorporated.

    4) Add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract.  Beat until smooth.

    5) Slowly fold in the flour mixture.


    6) Fold in the chocolate chips until incorporated.

    7) Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets.


    8) Bakes for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are firm and the bottoms of the cookies are browned.

    9) Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving them to wire racks to cool completely.

    10) Make the glaze by mixing together all the ingredients.  Make sure the consistency of the glaze is slightly runny.  Use a fork to scoop up the glaze and drizzle it over the cooled cookies.

    --slightly adapted Peapod

    Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies3.JPG

    Pumpkin Hummus with Herbes de Provence

    Pumpkin Hummus with Herbes de Provence1-1-text.jpg

    Now that it's November, is anyone else super into the holidays?  I'm a holiday person, but I'm not yet ready to fully embrace the Christmas music and Christmas trees.  Also, I'm dreading the snow.  Fall is my happy place.  Thankfully, we still have a few more weeks of fall weather (I hope!).  In that case, let's continue to put pumpkin in errrything!

    This time we're making some hummus!  I went through a pretty serious hummus phase last year.  I swear I need a new hummus category in my recipe index to capture all those recipes.  However, I've been slacking off on making it lately.  Now it's time to get back into the swing of things.  In this case, we mixed the pumpkin with the chickpeas, added some herbs and blended it all together to the desired consistency.  You can use any herbs you like, really.  I chose to use Herbes de Provence because I'm in love with it, but you could use rosemary or thyme instead, for example.

    Pair the hummus with carrots, pita, and/or whatever else you like.  I wouldn't be mad if you smear this on top of a slice of toast and just eat it like that.  No shame!

    Pumpkin Hummus with Herbes de Provence
    makes 4-6 servings

    Print Recipe

    • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
    • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, depending on taste
    • salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    1) Add all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until it reaches the desired consistency, adding more olive oil and/or water if necessary.

    2) Serve with pita and vegetables.

    --adapted from Pinch of Yum

    Pumpkin Hummus with Herbes de Provence4.JPG

    Easy Chow Mein

    Easy Chow Mein1-text.jpg

    I'm taking it back to my quick and easy meals for a sec.  I saw this recipe on Lauren's Latest blog and immediately thought, "Yes, I'm gonna need to make that."  I'm a sucker for quick and easy recipes.  I just don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen these days.  I'd rather be doing things like reading, or catching up with friends, or researching new places to travel.

    Speaking of traveling, I just came back from a fabulous trip to Pittsburgh!  This is one of the places that I travel to almost every year.  I went to college there and didn't really start appreciating the city until after I left.  There are also so many new things to do and see every time I return!  My friend and I spent a day roaming the city, visiting the Andy Warhol museum, having brunch on Mount Washington, and visiting our old college campus.  We also went to the Steelers game on Sunday and it was a glorious, warm day, which was capped off nicely by a Steeler win!

    So yeah, there are other things to do than spending all day in the kitchen.  This Easy Lo Mein recipe was the perfect thing to whip up in a few minutes!

    Easy Lo Mein
    makes 4-6 servings

    Print Recipe

    • 4 packages ramen noodles
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 small onion, diced
    • 10 oz. shredded cabbage
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    • 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

    1) Add the ramen noodles to a large pot of boiling water.  Stir the noodles to break them apart as they cook.  Once the noodles are a chewy consistency and just cooked through, drain the water from the pot and set it aside.

    2) In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, cabbage, salt, pepper, and ginger together in the pan.  Stir to incorporate everything and allow the mixture to saute until the onion and cabbage are softened.

    3) Add the onion and cabbage mix to the pot containing the noodles.  Gently toss everything together.  Pour in the sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Stir everything together until heated through.  Serve hot!

    --recipe slightly adapted from Lauren's Latest

    Easy Chow Mein6.JPG

    Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

    Pumpkin Sausage Pasta-text.jpg

    Here she is!  I told you the pumpkin was coming.  It was inevitable, right?

    Fall is here!  Also, can I please direct you to my favorite McSweeney's post - It's Decorative Gourd Season.  Warning, it's not safe for work.  I first read this years ago, but every Fall I re-read it and I still get a kick out of it.  Mostly, it's funny because it describes myself during the Fall season.  I'm not ashamed.

    After I made this, I couldn't actually eat any of it unfortunately, because I had gone to the dentist and decided to bleach my teeth.  Did you know that you can't eat anything with color for 24-48 hours afterward?  So this pumpkin pasta was a no-go.  Sad face!   You know what else I couldn't have? COFFEE and RED WINE!  Two of my staples in life.  I'm crushed.  I mean, I know these are the reasons that I had to bleach my teeth in the first place, but that's really not the point I'm making right now.  Sadness!

    Just because I wasn't able to enjoy this doesn't mean that I would deprive you of having it.  Please go forth and enjoy this pasta because it's super tasty and flavorful (so I've heard).  Note that it's not a super fast recipe since there is a time period where you need to simmer the sauce (yours truly definitely did not read that part of the original recipe...), but be aware there is a bit of down time when making this.

    Pumpkin Sausage Pasta
    makes 6-8 servings

    Print Recipe

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound Italian hot sausage, casings removed
    • 1 cup onion, chopped
    • 10 garlic cloves, sliced thickly
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    • 3 cups chicken stock, separated
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
    • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 pound of pasta (penne or penne rigate recommended)
    • 6 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    • Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

    1) In a large skillet, pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes.  Place the sausage in the pan and break into smaller pieces.  Cook the sausage for a few minutes, until it is mostly cooked through.

    2) Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the pan and place in a medium bowl.  Place a plate on top of the bowl to keep the meat warm.

    3) Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan. Pour in the remaining 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and allow to heat for 1 minute.  Add in the onion, garlic, and sage.  Saute the mixture for 5 minutes, until the onion and garlic soften and start to brown.

    4) Pour the sausage back into the pan and stir everything together to incorporate.  Pour in 1 cup of the chicken stock.  Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

    5) Stir in the pumpkin puree and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Pour in the remaining 2 cups of the chicken stock and add the cinnamon.  Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down slightly and allow the mix to continue cooking for 25-30 minutes.

    6) In the meantime, cook the pasta per the directions on the package.  Drain the pasta, then add it back to the pot.  Pour the sauce into the pot and allow to simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes, so all the flavors will meld together.  Stir in the mozzarella cheese.

    7) Taste the pasta and add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using, to taste.  Before serving, grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the pasta.  Serve warm.

    --recipe slightly adapted from Lemons and Lavender


    Curry Beef & Potatoes

    Curry Beef & Potatoes2-text.jpg

    In case you were questioning how much I am invested in the Fall season, I went to the gym this morning and my instructor came over to adjust my form at one point.  Her first comment: "You smell like pumpkin spice."  Why yes I do.  Thank you for noticing!  In pure seasonal bliss, I picked up some pumpkin spice coffee creamer to ensure that I'm starting my day off right with some of the season's best scents and flavors.  I know some people (i.e. one of my best friends) absolutely hate all things pumpkin and seasonal but it's basically the reason I don't mind exchanging warm summer days for cooler temps.

    Speaking of cooler temps....Just like that, we're into October!  It was cooler a few weeks ago but now we're having some 80 degree days.  I'm not upset about it.  As long as it's not heating up to the 90's I'll manage.  Never fear, I have pumpkin and squash recipes planned for the very near future.  I also have an upcoming trip and a few weekend activities planned soooo I'm not sure when everything will be posted, but just know that they're definitely coming.  In the meantime, I'm just easing into the swing of things by turning out a flavorful curry beef and potatoes meal.  Just to start dipping our toe into the new season.

    Curry Beef with Potatoes
    makes 6-8 servings

    Print Recipe

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • pinch crushed red pepper
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
    • 1 cup broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
    • 1 teaspoon flour
    • 1/2 lb frozen peas
    • salt and fresh black pepper to taste

    1)  In a large saucepan, add the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

    2) Add in the ground ginger, curry powder, turmeric and red pepper flakes.  Stir to mix together and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.

    3) Place the ground beef into the pan and cook until fully browned, making sure to break up the meat into smaller pieces.


    4) Add the potato pieces to the beef mixture, as well as the broth and the flour.  Stir everything together, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then uncover and allow to simmer for another 1-2 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened.  If the broth evaporates before the potatoes are done, add a little bit more water or broth and allow to continue cooking.

    5) Pour in the frozen peas and allow to heat through.  Add any additional salt or pepper, to taste.  Serve hot over rice.

    --slightly adapted from Budget Bytes

    Curry Beef & Potatoes1.JPG

    Herb Butter Salmon & Asparagus Foil Packets

    Herb Butter Salmon and Asparagus Foil Packets3.jpg

    Can we take a break from all the zucchini please?  A short one at least.

    Today, I'm throwing something at you that I haven't made in a while -- Salmon!  I love salmon and I love to order it when I eat at restaurants.  It's super easy to make it at home as well, but I rarely have full meals at home.  Food blogger life.  When I do make full meals, it's usually with the intention to take lunch to work.  Let me tell you that I will NEVER heat up fish at work.  I just can't.  Let it be known that I'm judging you if you do this.  Loveyoumeanit.

    So anyhow, that usually leaves me in a state where I hardly cook seafood.  But recently I managed to squeeze it in!  This recipe is so quick you won't even know what happened.  You do have to use the oven for this one but I let that slide for now.  Heating up the oven won't be such an issue as the days get cooler, but somehow, we are managing to hit mid-to-high 80 degree F temps here in the Northeast (!).

    I'm not complaining for now.  I'm a complete Fall lover.  Give me a sweater, boots, leggings, and a scarf any day.  But I'm definitely feeling as if I could use another week or two of summer.  So here we go.  Squeeze in that last summer picnic and grab a glass of rose...which would actually pair quite nicely with this dish.


    Herb Roasted Salmon & Asparagus in Foil
    makes 4 servings

    Print Recipe

    • 4 boneless skinless salmon fillets, ~2 ounces each
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus more wedges for garnish
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 3 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
    • 3 teaspoons minced garlic

    1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    2) Season the salmon fillet generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

    3) In a 12x12 section of foil, layer 2-3 lemon slices in the center.  On top, add one of the salmon fillets and 1/4 of the asparagus stalks.  Repeat with the remaining lemon slices, salmon and asparagus, so that you end up with 4 foil packets.


    4) In a small bowl, combine the butter, Herbes de Provence, and minced garlic.  Mix together until incorporated.  Add a quarter of the butter to each foil packet, making sure there is some on both the salmon and the asparagus.

    5) Fold the foil packets tightly around the salmon and vegetables.  Make sure the ends are sealed tightly so that the melted butter will not escape. Place the foil packets on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the salmon is flaky.

    6) Serve right away, with freshly squeezed lemon juice drizzled on top.

    --recipe slightly adapted from Creme de la Crumb

    Herb Butter Salmon and Asparagus Foil Packets1.JPG