Monday, August 31, 2009

Operation Cod (not the fish)

On a recent trip to cape cod with our friends terra and scott we rented a great little cottage on a cove and set out for some fun in the sun....Fun we found, sun not so much. But that didn't stop us from having another great food weekend!

After some interesting kayaking and canoeing (lets just say erin was a great captain with a not so helpful, hungry crew (me) she wanted to get some snacks into me right away! All we had to say was the word and Terra and Scott whipped out some tasty dips that they had made from Real Simple! There were four different options:

Spicy Black Bean and avocado (with jalapenos from their garden)!
Corn, Cucumber and Goat Cheese (you cannot go wrong with goat cheese)
Asian Shrimp (so light and delicious)
and a mix of the leftovers!!!

all served with tostidos! HOLY YUM. these were delectable. Each had their own flavors and were so fresh tasting! Erin and I were very impressed and I can't wait to make these for our next party!!

After the angry hunger had been taken care of we moved on to dinner plans. Since we were on the cape we wanted to take advantage of the fresh seafood...we all decided to make our own fish tacos!
Quick trip to the store we came back with:
-cod fish
-mango salsa (newman's own!)
-salsa verde
-red cabbage

We decided to marinate the fish in: garlic, cilantro and lime juice and Terra suggested that we also make our own fruit salsa for a garnish. We combined fresh mango, avocado and cilantro and let all the flavors come together in the fridge as the fish marinated. Scott did a great job of grilling it up and taco making commenced.
I had mine with some crunchy red cabbage, homemade mango salsa and a bit of salsa verde for spice. the textures and flavors were great! we also enjoyed some great wine that Scott brought from a winery that Erin and I actually got to visit on our trip to CA: Darioush.
good friends, good wine, good food.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Anything but mediocre...that's what sums up my eats in good old Watertown! typically we tend to cook alot and eat alot of snacks when we visit my parents...but this time around we had quite a bit of visiting and eating out to do! Not that I am complaining in the least :).

So I thought I would take the time to highlight some of my favorite eats/spots in Watertown.
I should start by mentioning that my Dad is a big golfer so in the summertime he spends quite a bit of time at the local Watertown Golf Club! Instead of fighting him on it we decided to join him for dinner post golf game. We may or may not have gotten there early to partake in some pre-dinner cocktails!

Also important to note that we don't typically eat at the golf club because...well we weren't that impressed with the food. UNTIL of erin's (and my) favorite people in Watertown is now the chef at Watertown Country Club and boy oh boy can you tell. David Boucher (gotta give him a name shout out) does an amazing job with the food. You know the restaurant is good when even the side salad before dinner is impressive. His amazing wife, Alice Jean, makes all of the deserts...and of course we took advantage of that as well. Let's just say...the picture does not do his cooking justice!
Another tradition when visiting Watertown is having breakfast at a local favorite and past employer of mine: Tin Pan Galley They have the most amazing breakfast ever and the line around the block on the weekends speaks for it's self. YUM. I always get the same thing: Eggs Rosalie , but this trip I decided to go with their Breakfast Wrap which is basically eggs rosalie in a wrap! So good. They offer about five different types of homemade toast, the home fries are crispy and fresh and they always have delicious fresh fruit too! We try to hit Tin Pan up during the week because the crowds are far more manageable! They are probably most famous for their stuffed french toast, and they always have amazing specials. Everything seems so gourmet...especially for breakfast! Foodies Paradise. They have a great patio and it has a beautiful stone bar and live music on Friday nights. Its pretty much perfect.
Finally after a week filled with eats and fun I have to mention this amazing Cake that my Uncle Danny made erin and I (and my dad) to congratulate us on our engagement. His cakes are incredible. The frosting is delicious (i think its almond flavored) and he always has the best decorations! I have a feeling he will be getting a call from the wedding planner (aka me) in the near future.
Thanks Uncle Dan!!

Sucessful Salmon Burgers

On to cooking with my dad who I think makes just about anything taste good (he's even had me liking venison before...awhile ago that is :).
I love to cook with him. Although I love me some veggies and he is definitely a meat guy...he also is the first one to try just about anything, loves interesting and exotic foods just as much as I do and indulges me in my crazy healthy substitutions . not without comment however :).

He also knows my culinary taste pretty well so when he mentioned that he wanted to attempt homemade salmon burgers...well you can just imagine my excitement! I quickly consulted my go-to-site ( and found this gem of a recipe:
Salmon Burgers with Green Goddess Sauce

Let me just say that there are a ton of salmon burger recipes out there. So many in fact that it got a bit overwhelming. I choose this one because I thought it was a good simple recipe with ingredients i was familiar with and production that seemed just as simple.

We started by opting to get fresh salmon from the Lobster Man in our town (basically a truck with fresh seafood...YUM). After consulting my dad he thought we should add both the onion and scallion option so I went to work. My dad took the skin off the salmon and honestly the most intimidating part was chopping it up. The first thing on the recipe clearly states "The key to perfect salmon burgers is to handle the fish delicately: don't overseason, overhandle or overcook it. " Since i was in charge of the first two I was just a bit nervous...

After successfully completing the chopping I set to make the burgers. My sister Jenny (also a GREAT cook!) helped me scour the burgers (or separate into equal parts) and thankfully supervised the patty making process (ie told me when the patties were good looking). again, I didn't want to "overhandle" the salmon. After all patties were made and safely in the fridge we hit our first snag....I FORGOT TO ADD THE CILANTRO. Now if you haven't cooked with cilantro you may not know that its quite a potent flavor. So if a recipe calls for it chances are it a large flavor profile in the dish...what to do? My mom suggested just putting a bit on top of the burgers and pushing it in, but these burgers were on the delicate side. Jenny voted for reforming the patties...we went with Jenny's idea and good thing because the cilantro was great! (by the way if you aren't a cilantro fan feel free to leave this out...we just all love it!)
We prepped the burgers so far in advance that they had plenty of time to sit together in the fridge before the grill master (dad) came home. i think this helped the flavors come together as well as the patties!

The final step was out of my hands, thank goodness, when dad came to grill them up. I still haven't really attempted using a grill (thanks to living in an apartment my whole adult life) so i left that up to him. He did a great job! (not that we were ever worried).
I also threw together the Green Goddess Sauce

On to the critics reviews:
Erin - also had the option to have a beef bit of the salmon and she was hooked! She LOVE it and claims this was one of her favorites i have EVER MADE!!!!!
Mom - does not eat salmon. i repeat does not eat salmon....LOVE IT TOO!!!!!!
co chef Jenny and Dad loved theirs as well! We had actually made beef burgers because we weren't sure of success of these and no on touched them! We actually had to split the last salmon burger amongst ourselves.
These burgers were so flavorful, perfectly cooked and incredibly fresh tasting!
erin and i loved the green goddess sauce but my dad has a strong aversion to Fat free mayo :) so he wasn't the biggest fan...

Honestly these are a must make for anyone and everyone! I would typically say "if you like salmon/fish" but my mom hates is and she actually ate half a burger!
They took a bit more time and care then some of my recipes but they were well worth the worry!

Blueberry tart! and homemade goodness

I love being home. I love what i eat when I come home. Most of all I love cooking with both my mom and dad when I am home. growing up both my parents cooked and my mom can certainly bake with the best of them. While planning meals for the masses we opted to throw in a few deserts along the way. As we all know blueberries are ridiculously amazing in the summer time (both in price AND taste) and my mom makes homemade blueberry squares that are simply They are basically homemade cake with fresh blueberries tossed in.

Bringing my own style to the kitchen I wanted to try Eatingwell's Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust!

Tart's have always somewhat intimidated me but with my mom's help I figured i couldn't go wrong. As I began to read the recipe i realized just how easy this seemed. I had all the necessary ingredients and I set to work!
I did not have a "tart pan", but a pie pan worked perfectly fine. In fact this was...easy as pie!
Super super simple and delicious I might add! The blueberries were a perfect pairing with the creamy filling and the drizzle of fresh maple syrup on the top added the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish. YUM!

Alongside both the dishes we wanted to make fresh ice cream with their ice cream maker (fancy right?!) why not try the low fat version as well? um....not so great. The picture looks good and this is in face what the real ice cream turned out to look like as well. But the taste...not so much. Honestly it tasted like cold, frozen, plain yogurt...hmmm. My sister did say that this could be tasty as a breakfast with some fruit or granola! I definitely agree, just not sweet enough to satisfy a desert craving.

I think everyone tried a bit of each...except my picking eater of a brother who just tried...MINE. and he loved it! Thanks Will for the vote of confidence :). I will make you dessert anytime!