Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Morning Motivation from the Psalms

"Because you are my help I sing in the shadow of your wings.  
My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me".
Psalm 63:7-8

Thank you Lord for the shadow of your wings.  Thank you, because you uphold me in all things, that I have the strength to sing:-)

Happy Monday Everyone!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New England Style Fish Cakes from Home Chef

New England Style Fish Cakes with Romaine and Tomato Salad
from Home Chef
I gathered my ingredients... (Recipe as found on Home Chef)
  • In The Box

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets
  • 1 Lemon
  • 4 Parsley Sprigs
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • 1 Romaine Heart
  • ½ cups Panko Breadcrumbs 
  • 1½ oz. Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1½ fl. oz. Poppyseed Dressing
  • In Your Kitchen

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Baking Sheet
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • 1 Large Non-Stick Pan

    Before Cooking

Roast the Fish

Rinse tilapia fillets, pat dry, and season both sides with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Place tilapia on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil, and roast until fish reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully transfer to a plate, and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. While fish cooks, prepare ingredients.

Prepare the Ingredients

Halve lemon lengthwise. Cut one half into two wedges and juice other half. Stem and mince parsley. Halve and peel shallot. Slice half the shallot into thin strips and finely dice other half. Core Roma tomato and cut into ½" dice. Hold romaine head at root end and chop coarsely.

Prepare the Fish Cakes

Once tilapia has cooled, shred lightly with two forks or your hands. Add panko breadcrumbsmayonnaisehalf the Old Bay seasoning (reserve remaining for garnish), 2 tsp. finely diced shallothalf the parsley (reserve remaining for garnish), 2 tsp. lemon juice, and a pinch of pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Add shredded tilapia and mix until combined and able to be formed into cakes.

Cook the Fish Cakes

Form tilapia mixture into four evenly-sized fish cakes, about 4" in diameter. Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add 2 tsp. olive oil. Add fish cakes to hot pan. If necessary, cook in batches to avoid crowding pan.Cook until browned and warm throughout, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove cakes from heat and set aside. Repeat with remaining cakes as needed.

Toss the Salad

Toss together romainetomatosliced shallot (to taste), and poppyseed dressing in a medium mixing bowl.

Plate the Dish

Place a serving of salad on a plate. Add two fish cakes to plate. Garnish with remaining parsley, remaining Old Bay seasoning (to taste), and serve with a lemon wedge.

I love receiving recipes from Home Chef.  It is always an adventure in cooking.
I would rate this meal 9/10 on my cooking scale.  
I loved the Poppy Seed Dressing from Pepper Mill.  I need to find out where to buy it.
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Check out how to dice shallots at...How to dice a shallot

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Linville Falls Winery in the Mountains of NC

After our somewhat strenuous hike down to the lower falls of Linville Gorge Erica and I decided to reward ourselves with a visit to a local Winery, Linville Falls Winery All the way up the Gorge Trail on this somewhat warm fall day we kept encouraging ourselves with the promise of wine and relaxation.  And it was just as we imagined...wonderful:-)
Here is a description from their website..
"Family owned and operated, Linville Falls Winery is the culmination of a life-long passion for wine by owner, Jack Wiseman. Wiseman has dreamed of growing grapes and opening a winery for more than 25 years, and now he and his family are pioneering a new High Country wine in Linville, North Carolina. Nestled in the lower end of Avery County near the Blue Ridge Parkway is a state of the art tasting room on a 40 acre farm with its staple grapes Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, blueberries and raspberries. The winery is perfectly situated at 3200 feet with warm days, cool nights and minerally balanced soil. This magical combination of high elevation and microclimate terra produces a wine unique to the region with complex flavors creating award winning wines."

Christmas trees and grapes what a wonderful combination...
More from their website...
"With over a million Christmas trees in production, Jack Wiseman has been at the forefront of the world-famous Fraser Fir Christmas Tree industry. Jack's passionate desire to grow, cultivate and harvest trees has led him to do the same with his vineyard."

Tasting room.  Look there is Erica.

Nice Patio and View

Yes, we found another great winery.  If you are in the Linville Falls area and you like wine I suggest you stop in and enjoy the wines of Linville Falls Winery.  You will be glad you did.
Happy Travels and Wine Tastings!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blue Apron Recipe Review Baked Campanelle Pasta

Happy Day it is here.  My first Blue Apron delivery.  I am so excited.
I received 2 recipes with all the ingredients delivered right to my front door.  If I had any questions about the ingredients or how to handle or prepare them I could go on their site for a quick tutorial.
First up, Baked Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower and Fontina Cheese...Sounds good.
I studied the recipe and gathered my ingredients...

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut out and discard the cauliflower core; cut the head into bite-sized florets. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Small dice the Fontina cheese (discarding any rind). Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems and finely chop the leaves.
Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Wipe out the pot.
While the pasta cooks, in a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the bowl of cooked pasta.
While the vegetables cook, in the pot used to cook the pasta, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and reserved pasta cooking water; cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add ¾ of the Fontina cheese and up to half the rosemary; cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened and thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the Mornay sauce to the bowl of cooked pasta and vegetables.Toss to thoroughly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese,remaining Fontina cheese and as much of the remaining rosemary as you’d like; season with salt and pepper.
It was fun to use all the new ingredients.  I learned the best way to cut my cauliflower and and to chop my garlic.  I read about Campanelle Pasta and Fontina cheese.  What fun...

So what was the end result?

Yummy creamy goodness with a crunchy top.  It was very good.  I would give it a 9/10 on my cooking scale.  As far as leftovers.  It was a bit dry, but just add a touch of milk and the creamy goodness returns.
I can't wait for my next Blue Apron meal to arrive.
Happy cooking!

Nichole Nordeman - The Unmaking (Lyrics) Motivation Through the Music

I love this song and as I was listening to the lyrics I thought how appropriate for someone going through an unwanted separation and pending divorce.
The Beginning
"This is where the walls gave way
This is demolition day
All the debris, and all this dust
What is left of what once was
Sorting through what goes and what should stay"
The Unmaking

My goodness did the walls give way.  Many promises broken and all my dreams cast aside.
It was a demolition day for my heart my home my future and my family.

"What happens now
When all I’ve made is torn down
What happens next
When all of You, is all that’s left"
The Unmaking

The Journey
"Before each beginning
There must be an ending

The longer and the tighter that we hold
Only makes it harder to let go"
The Unmaking

To say this is an easy journey would be far from the truth.  It is the most difficult and all encompassing event  I have ever experienced.  What is true is that it is a new beginning and we need to let go and start our new journey.  It is a process and takes a lot of time be we can do it by holding onto our faith and building new relationships. 

The Joy
"Sitting in the rubble
I can see the stars"
The Unmaking

The joy comes in seeing the stars while in the rubble.  
The stars are there although at times it is hard to see them especially in the beginning.  
I am thankful for the beauty that is all around us even in our pain.   Thank you God:-)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Restaurant Adventures....Woodlands Bar-B-Que in Blowing Rock NC

One place that has become a regular stop for me on my Blowing Rock Adventures is Woodlands Bar-B-Que.  Rustic atmosphere, great barbecue and, every time I have been there, live music.
"Our Restaurant’s Menu features barbecue beef, pork, chicken and ribs plus home style Mexican food. Family oriented with a rustic atmosphere."

"Serving North Carolina Barbeque in Blowing Rock NC since 1977."
It was my first time getting their chicken BBQ.  It was great.
One of my daughters favorite desserts at Woodlands is the Blackberry Cobbler.
They ran out the night we were there.  No worries because we will be back:-)
If you find yourself in the Blowing Rock area I suggest you visit Woodlands Bar-B-Que.  I know you will enjoy it:-)
Happy travels and eating.