Seafood & Sausage Paella

Well hello stranger, long time no see. As you may or may not have noticed, I took quite a lengthy hiatus from blogging (roughly a year-and-a-half-ish), and although I never stopped cooking and experimenting with food, I felt that I just needed a little break from writing. But I’m back! Well, at least for today. You see last night I made an awesome paella dish, then I went and bragged about it on Facebook like an idiot, and as a result, I was asked by a few people to share the recipe. So…that’s what I’m doing.

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Tuna Casserole for Grownups

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Okay, this title may be a bit misleading. I don’t want to imply that this casserole is ‘R’ rated or anything, it’s just a little more sophisticated than the 4-ingredient medley that mom used to make growing up. Although now that I think about it, my mom never made casseroles when I was young, and somehow I feel like I was robbed of this very 70’s food trend. Anyhow, the first time I tried tuna casserole I was in my early (okay, mid)-thirties, and my husband and I had just started dating. We had planned to spend a rainy weekend at home and I desperately wanted to cook for him. Still unsure as to what his food preferences were (other than pizza and beer), I asked him what he was craving most. Much to my bewilderment, he requested tuna casserole. I had never made tuna casserole before, let alone tried it, but I was certain that it was something I could handle. Continue reading

Fireside Mussels

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Almost two years ago my parents decided to add a deck onto the back of their kitchen, and somehow in the planning process, my dad miraculously talked my mom in to allowing him to build a brick pizza oven along with it. I don’t know how he managed to convince her, but I’m pretty sure a bottle of Merlot was involved. Regardless, I was delighted. By association, I became the proud owner of a beautiful cooking device that I use almost of every time I’m home. In addition to crafting homemade pizzas (of which we’ve made dozens), we use it to cook calzones, empanadas, and, just recently, mussels. Now, I realize that a brick oven isn’t something you can just go out and buy, like a waffle iron or a ice cream maker, so I’ve also included cooking instructions for these Fireside Mussels using a regular outdoor grill (which is how I cook them whenever I’m not visiting my parents). No matter what vessel you use to bake these succulent bivalves, they’re going to taste amazing! Just promise me you’ll serve them with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the extra cooking liquid – believe me, you’ll thank me for it! Continue reading

Shrimp Ceviche

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Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish made of chopped seafood (usually shrimp, scallops, or geoduck), citrus juice, and a few other salsa-like ingredients. It’s delicious, it’s refreshing, and it’s really easy to make. So easy, in fact, that it cooks itself! You see, by combining citric acid with raw seafood, you’re able to cure the shellfish in a flavorful lemon/lime bath and essentially “cook” it without actually using heat, making it the perfect summer snack food during these hot August days. Now, I’m not sure what it is in the acid that causes the little fishy proteins to magically change, but it’s pretty cool to watch the uncooked shrimp slowly turn pink before your very eyes. I considered doing some extensive online research on this cooking method and then blowing you away with my vast knowledge on the subject, but that sounded exhausting. Instead, I’m including a link for some extra credit reading for those of you really interested in learning something new today. Continue reading

Cider Salmon in Parchment

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Howdy, ya’ll! Sooo…it’s Monday again, and if you guys are anything like me, you may have gone a bit overboard on the indulgent eating this weekend, and perhaps are feeling a little sluggish and somewhat guilty about it today. Well, I’ve got good news for you! It’s the beginning of a new week, which means you get to start fresh, plan some delicious meals, and get back on that healthy-eating wagon I like to call “The Never Ending Summer Diet.” Continue reading

Seared Sea Scallops in Coconut-Key Lime Curry Sauce

Aside from being a mouthful of a title, this Thai-inspired dish packs a mouthful of flavor! Sweet coconut milk, tart key limes, and spicy curry set the perfect backdrop for luscious, perfectly seared sea scallops (which I’ll teach you how to make in your own kitchen). Now I know what you’re probably thinking: This dish sounds a little too fancy for a weeknight, maybe I’ll just call in an order of Pad Thai instead. No – don’t do that! Sure, it may be easier, but come on, live a little! I’m telling you, make this simple dish tonight, Instagram your photos, then return to work tomorrow feeling like Mario Battali. I promise you’ll be a better person for it. Continue reading

Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Tartar and Quick Pickled Cucumbers

IMG_8913While my husband and I were on our Alaskan cruise in June, I had one of the best salmon burgers I’ve ever eaten at a local brewery in Skagway. It was one of those meals that while you’re eating it you keep saying, “Wow, this is good. No, this is really good!” over and over and over again. About halfway through devouring the burger I came up for air long enough to take a picture of it so that I could recreate the deliciousness in my own kitchen. After sitting down and talking to my grill-master husband, we concluded that the best course of action was to lightly season the fish, then grill it over low heat on a cedar plank to give it some smokiness. And I must say, it was delicious. Whether eaten by itself or in burger form, this method should be the new way you cook your salmon. Continue reading