My Belated Christmas Post

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Not that I haven’t eaten any new or interesting foods. I’m going to start at Christmas and then fill in the gaps later. Hopefully, I won’t let things go for so long again.

This Christmas, my family actually celebrated early. We have three kids who all have significant others and have to do the typical holiday sharing routine. This year we got them all together on Christmas Eve day and had our big meal and gift exchange then.

On the 23rd, we had some of the kids over and had a nice meal together. My oldest and her fiancee were in from Nashville and since we don’t see them often, we wanted to enjoy a family meal. We decided to show them a few of the new recipes that I’ve learned to like. We had Southwestern Salmon, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, rice pilaf, white rice, and some steak.

Christmas Eve Eve Dinner

 

Erin and Jared both really enjoyed the salmon. I expected that since they love salmon. However, they said they weren’t fans of Brussels Sprouts. Well, they loved mine. They didn’t roast theirs so they had a whole different taste and texture. I need to remember to send them the recipe so they can make them down in Nashville.

The next day (Christmas Eve) we had everyone together. My wife was up around 6 AM starting all the food. We had roast turkey (which we didn’t brine this time), rib roast, mashed potatoes, red potatoes, peas, green beans, and rolls.

Christmas Eve Dinner

 

I skipped the rib roast as it is a little too fatty for me and I love turkey. I think there was another side, but I didn’t have that either. It was a great meal that everyone enjoyed thoroughly.

Snickerdoodles

We also made up some treats for later. My wife and I baked brownies, snickerdoodles, and the more traditional Christmas cookies. I love snickerdoodles and have ever since I was young and my mom made them for us. We made them from a Krusteaz mix, but they were delicious.

Christmas Cookies

After dinner we opened gifts. Later, we all played a game of Cards Against Humanity and continued to make a dent in the treat plate. I cleaned up – both the treats and in the game.

We didn’t have all our kids together for long, but it was the most fun we have ever had during the holidays.

 

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Southwestern Cod Recipe

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I have done a lot with southwestern spices lately. I’ve done tilapia, salmon, and chicken so far. Now it’s time to add cod to the list.

My wife was having king crab the other day and I hadn’t yet tried it at Joe’s Crab Shack so I made something different for myself. I wanted to stay with the seafood theme, so I decided to try cod. It’s another mild fish so I expected that it would turn out well.

Ingredients:

  • Cod fillet
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime (or lime juice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a food storage bag, mix spices together.
  3. Add olive oil to the bag.
  4. Squeeze lime juice into the bag.
  5. Add the cod to the bag and shake until thoroughly coated.
  6. Bake around 15 minutes or so – until flaky.

 

 

I don’t measure things so when I pulled the cod out of the bag, it didn’t seem coated quite well enough. I shook a little black pepper and chili powder on it for good measure. I cooked it in a glass pan as I did with the salmon and tilapia. I like my fish thoroughly cooked so you may want to give it a little less time if you like them a bit less done.

As expected the cod was delicious. I’m slowly becoming more of a seafood eater. At some point I’ll have to try lobster. I’ll probably steer clear of clams because of the texture though. Now that I’m finding more fish that I’ll eat I need to look for some new recipes so I don’t get tired of the same southwestern flavor on all of it.

Any ideas?

 

Trader Joe’s Rice Medley

A couple of weeks ago Trader Joe’s opened up just 10-15 minutes from my house. I didn’t go during the first week because it was a complete zoo with police directing cars to parking spots. They are still there during peak hours and I’m sure they are getting tired of that by now. My wife and I decided to stop on our way home from some other shopping and  parked at a nearby frozen yogurt place (not TCBY). We grabbed some frozen yogurt (since I now like the stuff) and then headed over to Trader Joe’s.

It was pretty packed inside, but we did manage to look over everything. Personally, I prefer the produce at The Fresh Market. They have a much larger selection. The meat selection was decent as was the seafood. They had a section for gluten free food too – not that we really look for that sort of thing.

We picked up a few things here and there – some burger meat, bananas, and a rice medley. It looked rather interesting and also included barley. We figured we’d give it as shot.

I’d never heard of red rice before, but I like brown rice. How different could it be? The best part was that is cooks in the microwave in about 3 minutes. Just toss the bag in, wait 3 minutes and you’re done. I like that kind of simplicity. It took longer than that to make the Southwestern Salmon that we had with it.

The rice was pretty good. It did taste a little different than our usual brown rice, but it wasn’t bad at all. It came with several pouches so we can have it again a few times before we need to brave the parking lot at Trader Joe’s again.

Southwestern Salmon Recipe

I’ve recently taken a liking to some southwestern recipes like Tilapia and Chicken. It seems to me that the same basic ingredients could probably work with Salmon as well. Since Price Chopper recently had a BOGO (Buy One Get One free) deal on salmon, I happen to have some on hand. The amounts shown are a basic guideline. I don’t tend to do a lot of measuring. I seem to recall Emril Lagasse saying that cooking isn’t rocket science. I tend to agree when it comes to cooking – baking is another story. Anyway, here are the approximate amounts and directions for a nice Southwestern Salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 4 6 oz fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime (or lime juice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a food storage bag, mix spices together.
  3. Add olive oil to the bag.
  4. Squeeze lime juice into the bag.
  5. Add the salmon to the bag and shake until thoroughly coated.
  6. Bake around 15 minutes or so – until flaky.

I mixed everything up during lunch and let it set in the fridge. I took it out about 15 minutes before I put it in the oven to give it time to get back to room temperature. I cooked it in a glass pan which I’ve heard can affect cooking time, but I’m not sure in which direction. I cooked it for 15 minutes and then turned off the oven, but left them in another couple of minutes. I wanted to make sure the salmon was completely cooked.

Oddly enough, when it comes to fish, my wife Linda is a little more fussy than I am. If the salmon was the least bit slimy she would have no part of it. I’m kind of the same way, but I am a little more open to fish. When it looked like they were completely cooked through I took them out and plated them.

Cooking may not be rocket science, and I may not always measure everything, but apparently I do need to pay a little more attention to how much red pepper I put in. The salmon was quite hot. However, I’d have to say that it wasn’t bad. My wife was taken back by how hot it was. She wasn’t expecting it to be that hot either. She almost put it in the stroganoff column, but decided after a few more bites that she could work with it. I actually liked it. That’s good considering I still have quite a few more pieces left from the BOGO at Price Chopper.

I probably should have made more to go with the salmon though. They were kind of small and we were both a little hungry an hour or two later. Any ideas on what goes with salmon?

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