Smoked Salmon

smoked salmon

It feels like summer, fire up the grill! In this case the smoker. A friend gave us a smoker and everything needed to get started with the instructions to ‘Have fun with it, you can’t go wrong!’. True enough, randomly planned I did little to prepare the salmon other than a sprinkle of salt and a thin rub of brown sugar.

smoker wood chips

We set up a table and chair under the trees for a little cook camp by the work shed and invited all those around the dock to join us for a meal in honor of Memorial Day. Nothing fancy, a simple can of 3 bean salad and some coleslaw rounded out the plate. The salmon was divine.. close your eyes and savor every bite good!

Smoked salmon plate

We noticed our neighbor who complains about the dog going into his yard sitting in his backyard. We cautiously approached him with a plate of food as a small peace-offering. He loved the salmon so much he went inside and came out with a big piece of his home-baked cake from scratch. Said he’ll bake us a whole cake today! Amazingly, in a few minutes our relationship did a 180 turn around.

cake from scratch

Goes to show the power of a small and random act of kindness, and food to bring us together. I wish we lived in a world where there was no need for the existence of military. Where problems could be solved with a piece of cake or by sharing a meal and stories of the ones we love. Till then I give gratitude to all those who have bravely served for our freedom!

memorial

In loving memory and admiration of veteran Renee Esposito.

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Birds Nest Pancakes

Birds Nest pancake

Pancake bird’s nest and veggie sausage patty

Hey Lori, what’s the good eats word ?!!

Many years ago your Dad Charles introduced me to the bird’s nest breakfast by cutting a hole in a piece of bread and dropping an egg in it. Breakfast game changer! I love it and have made it many times since. I’ve never been a big fan of pancakes, too bready and sweet, but a dippy egg in the middle balances the sweet with savory and is a good alternative to bread onboard – just add water and presto.

pancake with hole

Make up a batch of pancake batter as usual and heat a skillet on low. Add a generous pat of butter to coat the pan. You’ll need a round object that will withstand resting in the pan heat for a minute (glass or metal) to create the hole you’ll drop the egg into, nothing too big. Pour pancake batter around the edge of object, letting the batter set up a minute before removing your egg place holder. Drop your egg in the pillowy center. You’ll want the pancake and egg to do most of it’s cooking on this one side before flipping to quickly finish off the other side. The batter will puff up and bubble when ready to flip. Now the tricky part – flip with a spatula careful not to break the yolk! Keep the heat low. Cook for a couple more minutes, just enough to finish setting up without over cooking the yolk.

osprey

The osprey are back in the Chesapeake from their winter hiatus south, busy repairing their waterfront nests atop navigational sign posts from winter damage. Gotta take their lead this year and follow them south!

Pesto Spinach & Feta

spinach and feta

I was craving spinach pie without all the fuss of phyllo dough so I made this spinach and feta mixture that I used as both a topping on mini spinach pizza pies and filling for an easy breakfast scramble made underway while towing a neighbors sailboat to a mooring ball down the bay.

red onion and garlic

Sauté red onion and garlic in olive oil. Thaw and press out as much liquid from a bag of frozen chopped spinach, add to sauté, warm through. Add 1-2 Tbsp of pesto sauce and stir covering spinach mixture evenly. Top with a couple spoonfuls of garlic and herb feta crumbles.

  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Clove of minced Garlic
  • 1 bag of chopped Spinach (drained if frozen)
  • 1-2 Tbsp jarred Pesto
  • 3 Tbsp Garlic & Herb Feta cheese crumbles
spinach pizza pie

Mini Spinach Pizza Pies

spinach scrambled egg filling

Flavorful leftover spinach filling used for breakfast.

spinach egg scramble

Spinach pesto and feta egg scramble cooking underway.

breakfast tortilla

A warming breakfast tortilla with salsa, yogurt and diced avocado.

katt & jazzy

Katt & Jazzy

Thomas Shoal Lighthouse

Passing the festive Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Seafood Cobb Salad

Seafood Cobb Salad

The marina and restaurant next door has a Seafood Cobb Salad on its menu that is killer. Though expensive to eat out, this salad still has pricey ingredients to make at home though for a much bigger portion and left over ingredients. It’s nice on special occasions, like for this past Easter Sunday dinner. It’s such a rich and luxe salad on its own, it doesn’t need a dressing though I think creaming some avocado with a bit of lime juice would work well as a simple dressing.

  • 3-4 cups Baby Spinach / salad greens
  • 1 ear of Corn off the cobb
  • 1 Avocado Sliced
  • 1/8 cup chopped Red Onion
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs sliced
  • 6 Strips chopped crisp Bacon (fat trimmed & broiled)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Blue Cheese
  • 1/3 cup of Lump Crab Meat
  • Peeled and steamed seasoned Shrimp (3-4 per person)
  • 1 filet of Blackened Seared Tuna cubed (optional)

seafood salad

Pina Colada Smoothie

pina colada smoothie

Behold! The Pina Colada Smoothie!

Hey Lori, Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain?…. Such a cheesy song but it can’t help but make me smile.

I hear ya about wanting to trim down with salads and smoothies. I’ve been trying to replace some meals with smoothie shakes, it’s fast and easy. You are right about needing to add enough protein and good fat to make a smoothie substantial enough to hold you over. This mornings smoothie was one of my favorite tasting ever! It confounds me I haven’t made it before. Pineapple is a good known weight loss food, high in vitamin C. Banana for creaminess. Yogurt and almond milk for protein and calcium. Coconut oil for good fat and lowered blood sugar spikes and other health benefits.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

And if you’re not much into health food but are into champagne… you can add dark spiced rum. 🙂

Ginger Jicama & Fruit Salad

IMG_3698 jicama salad A departure from my usual salads I thought I’d try a new vegetable, Jicama. Jicama (pronounced HICK-ah-mah and fun to say!) is a root vegetable, but so crunchy, full of water and slightly sweet and nutty it could be confused for a fruit. It tastes like a combination of radish and apple. Pairing the jicama with fruit, tart citrus, zing of ginger and earthy walnuts makes for a nice light and bright morning  salad. I think I’ll cube the jicama and apple instead of strips, they reminded me of french fries ha! Looks appetizing next to barnacles, eh?!

  • 1 Jicama – Outside skin removed and diced
  • 1 Apple (Gala) peeled and diced
  • 1″ piece of Ginger peeled and grated
  • 2 Mandarin oranges – peeled, segments cut in half
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 juice of fresh squeezed Lime
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper

Sail Mix

sail mix

It’s snowing again today… what the heck, ENOUGH WITH THE SNOW ALREADY! It’s suppose to be Spring! The last of the cold weather feels like the remaining miles of a marathon. I deserve a T-shirt  that says “I SURVIVED 12 WINTERS ABOARD” or something like that, who knows.. I’ve lost count.

sail mix

I’m not sure how this will go over with your sugar-free detox but this is a snack mix I’ve been making for a while now. It’s basically a knock off of a ‘Ginger Zinger’ trail mix I like that goes for $6 a (1.25 cup) bag. If you do get a sweet tooth craving, dried fruit is a decent option. I found Aldi’s to be the cheapest supplier of nuts around. I get a bag of walnuts (or cashews), roasted almonds, mixed berries and raisins. From Trader Joes I get the specialty items: uncrystalized candied ginger and hazelnuts. Then I make a big batch and portion them into 1/4 cup snack bags, or else its way easy to over indulge. Makes for a good snack on the go to help keep from getting famished.

  • 1/2 cup of oven roasted unsalted Almonds
  • 1/2 cup of dry roasted unsalted Hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup of shelled Walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup of Mixed Dried Berries (cranberries, blueberries and cherries)
  • 1/4  cup of Raisins
  • 1/4 cup of chopped of Candied Ginger

Jumble it all up, makes 10 servings. With all the leftover bagged nuts and berries you can make it several times over again.

summer sailing

Sail On Silver!

Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Mustard Dill Sauce

salmon cake platter

I’m gonna go on a limb here and guess that canned salmon is probably not most peoples first choice of ingredients, but when it comes to cooking aboard making meals from shelf stable canned foods is unavoidable at times and when done well, is an admirable quality of a good galley-slave. This is one of my time-tested goto canned meal recipes.

  • Can of Salmon
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Garlic
  • 8-9 Saltine crackers or bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • Tbsp of Chef Paul’s Magic Salmon Seasoning or seasoning of your choice
    (“sugar, salt, spices, granulated onion & garlic, mustard seed, paprika”)
  • 1 tsp dill

Open and drain well the liquid from can of salmon and place in a mixing bowl. As you gently flake apart the meat into large chunks, remove any bones and fatty skin you find.

salmon cake mixture

Finely mince 1/4 of a large onion, 1/4 of a large pepper, 2 cloves of garlic and add to salmon. Crack an egg into the mixture. Crumble a few crackers at a time in your hand over the bowl till they break into fine bread like crumbs and add your seasoning.

salmon-cake-patties

Roll up your sleeves and gently mix together with you hands being careful not to over mix the salmon chunks. You’ll want the mixture moist enough to hold together into patties without crumbling apart. Add more breadcrumbs or egg if necessary. Shape into palm size patties and refrigerate till ready to cook. I found from making crab cakes that cakes tend to hold together better when allowed to refrigerate before cooking.

fried salmon cakes

Add enough olive oil to your frying pan to partially submerge the cakes, I used a small frying pan so it took a bit less oil to coat the pan and a smaller pan heats quicker. You’ll want the pan and oil nice and hot when you drop the patties in, be careful of oil splatter. Watch for the bottoms to brown before flipping, a good 5 minutes or more per side. When fully browned on both sides, place on a plate with some paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Add more oil to pan as needed to finish browning all your patties.

yogurt, mustard, lime and dill sauce

I made a cool dill yogurt dipping sauce that really complimented the flavors and crispy texture of the salmon cakes nicely.

Yogurt Dill Sauce

  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp of stone ground horseradish mustard
  • 1-2 tsp of dill
  • Juice of a lime wedge

Salmon burgers

To offset the heaviness of the frying, it was lighted up with a fresh green salad of baby spinach, mini heirloom tomatoes, chopped basil and fresh mozzarella cubes.

Caprese Salad

caprese saladLight lunch, snack, sophisticated appetizer, side dish, I love this classic combination of flavors.

Stacked in layers:

  • Tomato slices with S&P
  • Fresh Basil leaf
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Glaze

I used a store-bought Balsamic glaze, but I’d like to try making my own reduction one of these days. You simply slowly simmer a bottle of Balsamic vinegar till it reduces to about a quarter of the liquid you started with, it becomes a thick rich glaze. Some add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the vinegar as it reduces to heighten the sweetness. Yum!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Hey Lori, Man we’ve sure have been on the same wavelength with the sweet potatoes lately. I’m a convert now, preferring them to the white – so much more flavor and health benefits! And your right Love and thoughtful preparation is a key ingredient to good food. So much to be grateful for, I have fallen out of the habit I was raised with, of giving grace or pause to appreciate all the efforts that go into making nurturing meals.

veggies on stove

Spaghetti squash is in season and it’s an ingredient I’d only ventured to try once before, lured by it’s noodle like texture. My first thought was to roast it and mix it with pesto sauce like traditional pasta, but with a little inter-web searching I found this recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai that intrigued me. Veggies on top of veggies! It was a hit, no noodles were missed. I’ve made it twice now, varying the ingredients slightly according to what I have.

  • spaghetti squash (1 large or 2 small)
  • 2-3 shredded carrots
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • bean sprouts
  • 2 eggs
  • bunch of scallions
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1″-2″ minced ginger (optional)
  • cilantro (1/2 bunch chopped)
  • peanuts to garnish

spaghetti squash

Cut squash lengthwise, you’ll need a sharp knife and some muscle! Scoop out the stringy guts and seeds, but wait! don’t toss those seeds, you can season and roast them like pumpkin seeds! Rub the insides with some olive oil, salt & pepper and place in pan cut side down. Roast on high at 400 until tender, a knife should easily pierce the skin, about 40-45 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork and scrape the squash ‘noodles’ out.

chopped veggies

While this recipe isn’t complicated, it does involve a bit of chopping so while your squash is roasting, cut up the remaining veggies into thin slices…carrots, red pepper, garlic, ginger, scallions, cilantro. You can save time by using pre shredded carrots, a julienne peeler (on my wish list) or a food processor. I used bean sprouts the first time I made this, but they went bad by the second time around so I threw in some red cabbage instead.

sauce

In a small bowl stir together the ingredients for your sauce. I added peanut butter the second time too and liked it even better. Don’t feel the need to stick hard and fast to measurements here, just strike a balance of Salty, Sweet, Spicy and Sour. Let your taste buddies be your guide.

SAUCE:

  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey/ brown sugar/agave
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 juice of a lime

veggies in pan

Time to put it all together! Heat 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil in pan on medium high heat. Add garlic and half of your chopped scallions for 1-2 minutes, letting it fragrance you oil. Add 2 beaten eggs and scramble to almost cooked. Add the squash, red peppers, carrots, bean sprouts (or red cabbage) and ginger. Pour sauce over top and gently toss to combine. Cook for a few minutes more till heated through but vegetables are still crisp and crunchy.

Plate of Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Garnish with chopped cilantro, scallions peanuts and a wedge of lime