The Unsung Fish

What do you think of when you hear “mackerel”? Ok, ok, aside from the late 60’s “Batman and Robin” tv show, with Robin and his quips; you don’t think much of this fish.

In other countries they have special dishes featuring this little fish. What about here?

We know it’s there, but admittedly as a creature of habit- tuna has been a go to.

Recently Wild Planet Foods shared with me their canned wild mackerel. I was excited to receive the box of goodies. As I unpack the box, I find myself looking at the box of mackerel

For some reason the smaller the fish the more we hesitate. Keep in mind though that this little fish is packed with Omega 3 and protein.

I’d like to try something simple but will compliment the fish not “spoil” it.

Because Wild Planet Foods is the closest to being just like fresh from the market, I’m thinking maybe broiled?

Got it! Broiled Spanish Mackerel-

Now this is a super simple one, all you need are lemons, a little paprika, of course salt and pepper

So I lined up my fillets gave them a sprinkle of paprika and then the lemons

I didn’t add any olive oil, the mackerel was canned in extra virgin olive oil.

Best part if this is that it only takes a few minutes in the broiler and it’s done!

It was light, but meaty at the same time. There was no “fishy” smell or taste. Just a clean fish taste.

This could make a great appetizer, tapas!!!

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Milestones

When the saying, “Time flies” feels like an understatement……

We recently celebrated our son’s high school graduation!! What a mix of emotions! On one hand we’re so proud of all he’s accomplished and how he’s grown to such a great young man. Then you step back and think how did it go from him playing with his LEGO’s in the little red wagon to walking across the stage receiving his diploma!!!

As you guessed there was a party with family and friends gathered. Food, and fun!!

We like to do a lot of our own cooking and baking. With that being said, we also take pride in the ingredients we use. A favorite brand of mine to bake with is Miss Jones Baking Co., good clean ingredients with now hydrogenated oil or trans fat- and no artificial flavors!!

I wanted to provide a sweet treat that was easy to eat. Cookies are always a “handy” treat. So many flavor choices…Now I don’t know about you, but Confetti pop sounds like fun!

Lets get baking!

I’m sure you saw the lollipop sticks… let’s say the “pop” in confetti pop led to the inspiration of making cookie lollipops- why not??

Since I was already using my cookie scoop, I gave them and extra roll to give a firmer cookie ball and inserted the lollipop stick.

The cook time stays the same as listed on the directions.

Pulled them out of the oven, so far so good- they didn’t fall off the stick.

Festive, but not done yet!!

I was distracted by chocolate. I dipped just one side of the cookies. I have something different planned for the other side.

Need to commemorate the day!

Here’s the finished product

What fun it was to bake these! And super easy! You might say that I cheated by not doing it from scratch. But with Miss Jones Baking Co. and the care they put into their products, it’s as if I did!!

Thank you to Miss Jones Baking Co. for generously sharing their product with me and allowing me to share on my blog my honest feedback after trying it!

When You Put Two Classics Together

Summer is finally here!! The season that we look forward to.

Why?

It’s the season where we can take it slow. School is out so no need to set that alarm clock early. The days are longer giving more time to either get things done, or just chill by the pool or on the back porch.

I know at some point the kids will complain that they’re bored. That’s when you brush up on your board game library. And have I got a game for you!

Telestrations !! Brought to you by USAopoly. What’s so great about this game? It maybe cliche to say, the the fun is endless. Lots of laughing, great for different ages.

But what is it you ask…. the best way for me to describe it? It is two classic games in one. Remember back in the day when a typical party game was playing “telephone”? Where you started off with “Mary had a little lamb”, and end up with “Mary dances with a kitten and a lamb”. It’s part “telephone” and part Pictionary. But no expert art experience required. Which is good since I’m lucky I can draw a stick figure!!!

And there you have it- two games that on their own leave you in stitches. Can you imagine the riot of laughter when you put them together.

The game comes in two sizes, an 8 player and a 12 player. Good clean fun so it’s great for all ages. And you can play at anytime, with not a ton of small pieces so you can play almost anywhere.

I was fortunate enough to receive the 12 player Telestrations from USAopoly and Tryazon, to try it out.

Go figure! After giving it a trial run- it became part of a sleepover!

Ok… they were practicing before the other girls arrived!

How about a casual get together just chilling on the deck?

You know a game is a keeper when everyone can play together!! Though, I’m not sure what happened that the Dads got edged out. Oh well…..

Where can you find Telestrations? On the USAopoly website of course!

http://www.usaopoly.com

Want to be part of a great community where you get to give honest feedback and try out something new?

Join http://www.tryazon.com like I did.

**The Telestrations game was sent to me compliments of USAopoly and Tryazon for the purpose of trying, testing, and sharing their product. All reviews and opinions are solely mine and those who participated in the trial. All of which are pure and organic, never a “copy and paste” review or company generated.

Dip with substance

We all love dips at gatherings, but, sometimes it’s the same dip at every gathering. Which isn’t a bad thing we all have our favorites- my friend makes a fabulously addicting spinach dip!!

With the ladies coming over, we all want to serve something different, a little something to show we want to show how special we think they are.

Went to do a little shopping….saw hummus, yeah ho-hum. Oooo- is see lobster pate. Umm, maybe too much for the little container.

There’s got to be something else…. back home I go and let’s do some “net surfing”.

And there it is salmon rillete- courtesy of : http://www.foodnetwork.com

As I take a look at the recipe, I begin to really get excited about this one. Especially since I’ve never cooked with creme fraiche before.

Uh-oh, it calls for salmon- salmon that I didn’t pick up at the grocery store.

BUT WAIT!! I do have some Wild Plant Foods Wild Pink Salmon!! Ha ha! Problem solved.

Here’s everything I used

Heated up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and added the tablespoon and a half of shallots. I let it sauté until it was beginning to become translucent, it really brings about a sweet onion-garlic flavor.

Time to add in the Wild Pink Salmon! This is the part of the recipe I modified for what I had on hand. I added the salmon to the pan to help its flavor “marry” with the shallots. Don’t forget a smidge of salt and pepper to season!!

By adding the salmon to the pan not only do the flavors marry, I am able to break down the salmon to get the pate texture.

While it is cooling I put the other ingredients together. Into the bowl goes the couple of tablespoons of creme fraiche, and the tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon.

My one-third cup of butter was not softened prior to making this dish, but the salmon mixture was warm enough to soften- not melt the butter.

It’s from here that you can mix in the creme fraiche mixture. Combine it all well together. Plating options are up to you. You can do individuals or in a pretty serving dish. You can store it in the fridge until you need it.

I tastes best when it is at the “spreadable ” stage- just add crackers or crispy pita chips

*Note: final picture was courtesy of My Recipes website*

I want to thank Wild Planet Foods for their generosity with giving me the opportunity to try and share their wonderful products. Which in turn gives me the pleasure of sharing with many others the fabulous quality and value of all the Wild Planet Foods has to offer.

Fancy with a touch of down home

This time of year there are many seafood dishes that we gravitate towards, not just because they’re yummy- but because their light and fun!

It’s also around this time of year that there are parties, big and small. I’ve recently hosted a big party, celebrating my son’s high school graduation. So, of course we want to make it special.

I’ve been seeing a lot of different crab cakes in restaurants and stores. But, it can be pricey. I could make it, but I want something different. What other seafood is popular and versatile?

Wild Planet Foods Salmon!!

I’m thinking Salmon cakes! Let’s add some fun to it- corn chowder style!! This recipe is based off of the Mini Salmon corn chowder cakes found on the Food Network. I have added my own spin to it to make it a more “me” dish.

So we’ll start with some bacon

For the big crowd I used 4 cans and 8 cooked 8 pieces of bacon.

Don’t throw away the oil! We will then cook our one and three-fourths small diced yellow onions, half cup of small diced celery, one cup of fine diced red bell pepper and lastly a cup and a half of corn (frozen or canned drained). You can adjust the amount of red bell pepper and corn depending on your preference.

Add about 2 teaspoons thyme.

Once the onions have become transparent and the celery and red bell pepper has softened just a touch; I have added the canned salmon. A good mix in the pan and the bacon follows.

To give it the “cake” portion, most recipes call for boiling potatoes and creating a mashed potato. I took a short cut, and made instant mashed potatoes and combined it with the salmon mixture.

Combining well, a little at a time. Next comes the 2 eggs to hold it all together, if it doesn’t hold together like s snowball or “mud pie” add another egg.

Once you’ve reached the right texture, you can also chill it for about 15-20 minutes so you can form the cakes. I form the cakes and place them on a lined tray

Now comes the traditional frying method.

I have Malaysia Palm Oil heating in my pan, remember Malaysia Palm Oil can hold a higher heat.

While the oil is getting ready, I have my egg wash, and Panko bread crumbs all set. The Panko will give it an extra crunch

In the pan they go. And I do put them on a tray with paper towels to catch any extra oil that may come from the frying.

Plate them on a fun or fancy tray and it makes for a great appetizer that give a little extra to the meal. They are great just as is, but if you want just a smidge more for it, a garlic aioli goes great with it.

Pressed for time to make the aioli? Many stores now carry ready made aioli, you can find it in the dressing/ mayonnaise aisle. I won’t tell if you won’t!

This delicious recipe was made possible by the generosity of Wild Planet Foods . Once you’ve tried them, you won’t forget them!

http://www.wildplanetfoods.com

Learning the Fun Way

Classes have begun…. not those classes- the Maggiano’s Kids Cooking Classes!! YAY!!!

With most of the schools out and summer vacation beginning all parents want the kids to have fun but have quality activities.

Cooking covers a lot of school subjects without the kids even knowing!

Let’s see….. there’s reading. Won’t know what the recipe calls for without reading the recipe first.

Math is covered, especially when you have to make more that one batch of the recipe.

Finally, if there’s any baking to do, and you know you’ve heard this before… there is a science to baking!

Throw in “art” for the creativity each personal chef adds to a dish!

At the May class they began with preparing dessert first. Our favorite, the apple crostata!

Besides the science and “exactness ” of baking, creativity plays a part when it comes to adding or not adding caramel sauce or a whipped topping.

That’s just a quick sample of what they do.

Don’t worry parents, you start the class with coffee and fresh made Maggiano’s pastries!

The class doesn’t end until all have had lunch!

All the dishes prepared by the kid chefs are packaged up and ready to take home and share with the family.

Check your local Maggiano’s restaurant for time and days of their Kids Cooking Class

Don’t just shake off Winter dust

Spring went by in a flash and Summer is now here. But not without a few souvenirs to remember Spring by. You know, dust, pollen and allergens to add on to what we normally have in our homes.

From past posts you’ve heard me talk about Winix Air Purifiers. I absolutely love mine!

Though I think I can always use another one, especially the Winix QS!!!! Why, you ask?

This particular model is perfect for absolutely any room in the house!! It not only cleans the air, it plays music!!!

Functional and fun!! The JBL speaker is built right in, can you see it? It’s the small rectangle in the front. Being it’s JBL you know the sound will be amazing. Now, excuse my mini “geek out” here…. it has two 8 watt speakers. Part of the signature sound that JBL is known for, it has dual passive radiators to do the job.

Let’s go to the functional side. Here’s how the air travels through

Check out the 4 stage air cleaning system. Features such as hair collecting pre-filter too.

I like the the air quality indicator, it shows it’s working. I can be a skeptic when it comes to caring for the family and there are times that “seeing is believing “.

Don’t worry about changing the filter, “easy-peasy”.

A little tech talk, Bluetooth capability is always a plus. For the JBL speakers verified at 320 sq.ft. There are Smart Sensors that can constantly monitor the air quality giving it that famous “set and forget”!

Where can you find it?

It is offered on the Home Depot website, along with Wayfair, and of course at the Winix website

(http://www.winixamerica.com)

The Winix QS is not only a great idea for your home. They make great gifts, truly the gift that keeps on giving. Great for wedding gifts, graduation gifts (those dorms do get stuffy), and Father’s Day is right around the corner!!

Clean air and great sounds! What more could you ask for???