coconut water oatmeal in a bowl with apricots and cardamom

At any given time, there may be upwards of three different varieties of oats in my kitchen cabinet. For baking, I’ve got my traditional rolled oats. When I’ve got time on my hands, I pull out the steel cut oats and treat myself to a bowl sweetened with just a tad of maple syrup. And then there are the typical days, where I want a warm, filling breakfast that’s ready in five minutes. It’s on these days that I rely on my McCann’s Quick Cooking Rolled Irish Oats.

I was never a fan of quick cooking oats. To me they lack texture and flavor.  Then, a few year’s ago I tried out McCann’s version hoping they would be redolent of my beloved traditional Irish steel cut oatmeal. I was pleasantly surprised by their chewy texture and full-bodied flavor. 

Here, I’ve upped the ante by cooking these oats in coconut water, which imparts a delicate sweetness. Continue reading→

lemon chicken and vegetable soup in a bowl

Lovely spring we’re having. It got up to 86 degrees on Sunday. Tuesday night it snowed. Typical spring…playing with my emotions.

So we’ve got an all-seasonal soup today. It’s a livened up version of chicken soup, bursting with the bright flavors of lemon and herbs.  It’s the perfect remedy for those pollen-filled… or snowy spring days.

bowl of lemon and cauliflower chicken soup

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apricot and rosemary cookies on a cooling rack

Have you ever tricked yourself into thinking an oatmeal raisin cookie is an acceptable breakfast? You tell yourself it’s okay because eating an oatmeal cookie is essentially the same as eating a bowl of oatmeal…with lots of sugar and butter and flour. The only problem is an oatmeal raisin cookie isn’t  as filling as a bowl of oatmeal, so you eat two…or three…or four. And your morning is off to a great start! Sugar crash impending.

FAIL.

If you ever get the urge to eat cookies for breakfast, these apricot and rosemary oatmeal cookies are the way to go.  They’re like oatmeal raisin cookies, minus the raisins, butter and brown sugar. So in other words, they’re nothing like oatmeal raisin cookies. 

oatmeal cookie with rosemary and apricots close up

They are however, every bit as delicious!  The fresh rosemary, dried apricots, and olive oil bestow a Mediterranean charm. Be sure to use a good fruity olive oil, rather than a peppery or spicy one, as it will keep the cookies from leaning too much to the savory side.  Trader Joe’s President’s Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an excellent choice. Continue reading→

sweet potato ready to bake in the oven

No one ever told me, so I’m going to assume you probably don’t know either, but it is NOT a good idea to dry your hand-washed tights in the oven.

It seemed like a very good idea at the time. The tights I had hand-washed the night before were still damp and I needed to leave for church in about 40 minutes. I also needed to bake a sweet potato to eat after I finished my 11 a.m Bikram Yoga class. So since the oven was going to be on and I’m still without a dryer, why not kill two birds with one stone?

I’ve never been good at multitasking. I was probably the only person in the world baking tights and a sweet potato at 7 a.m. in the morning. And hopefully the last person to attempt such a feat. At 7:15 a.m, thanks to a 350 degree metal oven rack, I had a delicious pair of melted black tights. Talk about a wardrobe malfunction. 

They say experience is what you get when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. Lesson learned. I will never dry my clothes in the oven again. We all make poor decisions from time to time.  Oh yes. I’ve made quite a few recently, including not posting to this blog as often as I would like.  Moving, work, other commitments and the winter of my discontent have left me zapped.

But good news! Spring has sprung and although I still have several unpacked boxes, I am finally getting settled into my new home.  The rest of my house may seem to be a little chaotic, partially because I devoted much of my spare energies into getting my kitchen organized and fully stocked. So with that said, the recipe posts will recommence this week! And so will the search for an affordable gas dryer.

bbq pulled salmon sandwiches with brussels sprout fand ennel slaw

Quite tasty are pulled pork and pulled chicken, but you haven’t really lived until you’ve noshed on a “pulled” sockeye salmon sandwich. 

“Intrigued. What is this you speak of?” 

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Glad you asked. This barbecue pulled salmon is my wholesome take on the very good, but by no means good for you pulled pork sandwich. Sockeye is my absolute favorite type of salmon and one of my favorite types of fish. Its rich, red flesh is packed with flavor and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. I love it smoked, seared, broiled, baked and barbecued.

Of course because it’s the best salmon for you, health and taste wise,  it’s also the most expensive.  You can however enjoy it without breaking the bank completely. Chicken of the Sea, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods all make canned versions of sockeye salmon that are semi-affordable. I usually buy the 14.75 ounce can of Chicken of the Sea Red Salmon at Target, which sets me back about $7.  It’s what I use in this dish to accompany my homemade dried cherry barbecue sauce. 

Sweet dried cherries combine with tomatoes spices, vinegar and molasses to create a wonderful smoky barbecue sauce. Since the canned salmon is already fully cooked, once the sauce is made, this dish comes together in no time. I love it with my brussels sprout and fennel slaw which adds a nice crunch factor to the sandwich. Add a couple spoonfuls of the sauce drenched salmon to a whole wheat hamburger bun, top with brussels sprout and fennel slaw, and lunch or dinner is served. Voila!

barbecue pulled salmon sandwich with brussels spout and fennel slaw on a plate

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