Grilled Halibut with Tomato-Olive Herb Relish

I adore halibut and usually just prepare it simply, it's mild flavor and meaty texture make it a perfect partner for interesting finishes, such as this light and healthy fresh relish.

The uncooked relish is also fabulous on other fish, grilled chicken, chops, as a topping for toast slices, or mixed in with your favorite pasta.

You can either prepare it up to an hour ahead, or mix it up right before serving.

This time I served with fresh, steamed green beans with toasted pine nuts, along with grilled Russet potato slabs. To make them, I nuke the potatoes until just tender, when they are cool enough to handle slice 1/2 -inch to 3/4-inch thick slabs. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and grill until as crispy as you like. To finish I sprinkle some Piment d'Espelette (or Cayenne pepper) over, lightly.

If you would like the recipe for the relish, and some suggestions for variations ~

Please visit my recipe blog for a printable copy of the recipe.

Click HERE for the recipe. :)


Snickerdoodle Cookies ~ A Classic

I don't know of anyone who doesn't like Snickerdoodles; the crisp-tender, buttery cinnamon-sugar cookies!

My mother had been making them long before I was born, and apparently the recipe dates back to the 1800's or beyond.

Such an easy cookie to make, and they make the kitchen smell so heavenly as they bake. :)

Some recipes call for a combination of solid shortening blended with butter or margarine; and those are very good ~ the one I use is an all-butter recipe; you can find it on my recipe blog ~

Please click HERE if you would like a printable copy of the recipe.

Absolutely delicious with a glass of icy-cold milk, a cup of coffee, or hot or iced tea. :)


The General's Chicken

Are you familiar with my friend Monique's blog, La Table de Nana ?
Monique and I have been internet friend for a couple of years now ~ she is an absolutely delightful person and has nurtured so much inspiration for so many of us.

You must go visit her blog and prepare to be wowwed.

We've discovered that our tastes are similar, and I always know if Monique recommends a recipe that my family will love it too. This one is no exception.

Usually with this dish the sauce is tossed with the chicken to completely enrobe it, this time I drizzled it over so each person could add as much or a little as they like.

Next time I'll toss the chicken with the sauce ~ it is DELICIOUS! And unusual that in addition to the Sweet Chili, the sauce is sweetened with pure maple syrup. Monique suggested to add a little crushed red chili pepper to the sauce, so that's what I did; it added the perfect little kick.

The other thing that sets this apart from other General's chicken dishes that I've made is that it is not deep fried, it is shallow fried. The batter is exceptionally light, crispy-crunchy and airy.

This one went directly into my KEEPER file. I look forward to making it again, soon.

If you make it, I hope you love it, too.


Aromatic Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Prepared a little differently this time.
Use any raw, minced meat (or even veggies/grains if you prefer) for the stuffing.

If you know me, or have been following my blog for a while ~ you KNOW I am the kind of cook who loves to improvise, and quite often "wing-it" rather than follow a recipe exactly. 

This one is no exception.
I had a pound of good organic ground lamb, and some colorful bell peppers. I wanted to season the lamb a bit differently than I usually do. I saw Nigella Lawson's
Lamb Meatball Recipe (click)

and followed it almost exactly. Instead of the seminola, I used fresh bread crumbs, I also added some garam masala seasoning and a few flakes of dried hot chili pepper.

Rather than the traditional way of halving, or cutting tops from the peppers I sliced then into 3/4 to 1-inch "rings" and filled them with the lamb mixture, patted evenly then sprinkled lightly with more fresh crumbs.

I browned them very quickly in a little olive oil, stovetop ~ then transfered them to the oven to finish baking:

Hot from the oven I plated them atop a pool of warm Cumin-Yogurt Sauce.

To make the sauce; "Toast" the ground cumin in a small pan until it releases its fragrance, stir in a little whole milk Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of salt, stir until warmed through.
A shower of fresh mint chiffonade to finish the dish.

For a side I made cous cous, steeped in chicken broth with toasted pine nuts and plumped golden sultanas (raisins), with a squeeze of lemon.

If you don't care for lamb, I'm sure this would be delicious with other minced/ground raw meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken), or a combination of cooked vegs/grain that you would like.
If you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. :)
Leftovers are fabulous at room temperature, too!


It's All About the Roses ~

It's a Darling Bakers Event ~ this time the theme is ROSES!

In my area of Oregon our roses begin their show in June, so cuttings were slim for our party. Only the very earliest have begun to bloom, so I cobbled the meager offerings from the garden ~ there will be more next month.

Once again, most of these recipes just sprang from my head ~ there are no formal recipes, just general directions, and lots of pictures! I hope you enjoy. :)

Let's start with cocktails ~ and a toast to our host
Jain, at Once in a blue Moon ~

Rose Martinis ~ Vodka, with Rose Water in place of Vermouth.

They are VERY good!

Next, I thought a refreshing soup would be welcome ~


Chilled Mango Soup with a little yogurt, a dash of rose water and
garnished with rose petals and violas.

The rose petals are from climbing "Golden Showers".

Next month I'll highlight some of the roses from the garden.


I'm an organic gardener ~ so the flowers are completely edible.

Our main course ~ Chicken Bundles

Boneless Chicken Breasts, topped with goat cheese mixed with Herbes de Provence and minced rose petals, then enclosed in Filo pastry then baked.

I served them on a pool of Lemon Beurre Blanc ~

And garnished each with a rosebud, a couple of blooms of the early Lavender, and a lemon slice.

The fragrance was heavenly!

Here's what the inside looks like.


For dessert ~ I served Rose Hip tea ...

Along with Vanilla & Rose Scented Cupcakes ~
baked in a Nordic Ware Sweetheart Rose Mini Bundt Pan

The rose is David Austin, old fashioned Mary Rosa. The earliest blooms are always smaller, the blooms increase in size as the season progresses.

Mary Rosas are incredibly prolific bloomers in my garden, giving an incredible show throughout the entire summer. The pink blossoms fill the air with the delightful scent of honey and almonds.

Interestingly Mary Rose (also his sister's name) was named after King Henry VIII's flagship of the same name, when it was recovered after sinking 400 years earlier.

It's been so warm here lately, I also served ...

Strawberry - Rose Frozen yogurt

Showered with rose petals to carry out the theme

I use the electric ice cream maker all year round for all sorts of frozen desserts, not only ice cream but sorbets, gelatos, custards, and often for frozen yogurt. I appreciate being able to control the quality of the ingredients ~ and custom flavors you can't find anywhere else. :)

I always keep the canister in the freezer so fresh, frozen treats can be enjoyed within minutes.

Helpful Tip~ get an extra canister, it really comes in handy if you want to serve two kinds of frozen desserts, and if you store it in the freezer there is no waiting for a canister to freeze.

Someone in my family has sugar issues, so this time I sweetened the frozen yogurt with Spenda, it turned out creamy and delicious.

Thank you for visiting me today ~ I only wish you could have been here in person to attend our little party. :) xo~m.

A Sampling of my food . . .


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