Monthly Archives: January 2014

Zippy Fish Cakes

zfcCold-mageddon is almost over. Are you tired? I am. My family is. My coworkers are. Staying warm is exhausting!

I like food with a little bit of a kick. It warms me up and it reminds me of warmer times, like summer or Mexico. Sigh.

I decided to play around with one of my go to dinners and spice it up a little bit. So we have…

Zippy Fish Cakes
1 1/2 lb flounder or other white fish, cooked, cooled and crumbled
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
black pepper
Old Bay
Celery Salt

1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
2. Shape into patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
3. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

My fish cakes had a nice little kick. I think they would have been great with some chopped jalapeños, too! They were very easy to make and warmed me up very nicely.

Lent is still over a month away. You should certainly pin this recipe to use later. Please also try my other Fish Cake recipe. Frank of Tales from a Middle Class Kitchen also has a fantastic looking recipe for Pesto Roasted Salmon with Spinach and Orzo. And Paula from Call Me PMc has a great looking recipe for Fish Tacos with Mango Avocado relish. All very pinworthy and all will remind you of warmer times.


Southwestern Cheddar Soup

swcsIf we can just hold out a few more days, this current cold snap will be over! I know I’ve had enough. I didn’t move to the South to be frozen like a tater tot in the deep freeze! Do you need more soup to help you through? Then you’ve come to the right place!

If I do say so myself, I’ve become a bit of a zen master of quick and tasty soups. You’ve no doubt heard of my very famous Practically Instant Homemade Potato Soup? Or my Creamy Lentil Soup made fresh in just minutes in the morning? Well here’s another speed-tastic soup to add to the list!

Southwestern Cheddar Soup
Two cups broth
1/2 – 3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup the sharpest of sharp cheddars
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn

1. Combine broth, salsa and cheddar in a blender and blend until the cheese is kind of pulverized. If you have a Vitamix, you can follow the instructions that came with it to heat the soup until the cheese and melted into the broth and salsa.
2. Transfer to a pan, add the corn and beans and heat through.
3. Enjoy topped with some more cheese, chopped green onions, chopped jalapeños.

I made this today before work cold, and heated it at work in the microwave. It was delicious. It was zesty and quite filling and warm me right up. As you can see, this is a very small amount of soup. You can very easily double or triple this recipe. And if you aren’t in a hurry, you can throw everything in the slow cooker and leave it to simmer all day. This would also be pretty good with some Rotel Tomatoes instead of salsa.

I heard there are only 56 days until spring. I have a feeling that I’ll be making this soup several more times between now and day 56.


“Oat” What a Beautiful Morning Smoothie

owbmsSmoothies have become a staple in our house. We’ve been very bold about trying all kinds of fruits and veggies and other ingredients, like flax seed, nuts, almond milk, and oats. Someone has a smoothie every day. And my teenager is really happy to be energized by fresh fruits and veggies each day instead of the caffeine infused energy drinks his classmates prefer.

Yesterday, I wanted something a little different than my usual Great Green Smoothie. I still wanted to make sure that I limited the amount of fruit I used. I wanted some form of calcium, and  some fiber. I came up with the…

“Oat” What a Beautiful Morning Smoothie
1/2 nonfat yogurt
One orange, peeled and sectioned
One apple, cored and cut into sections
1/4 cup water
A handful of oats
Five to six pieces of ice

1. Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed.
2. Start blending on low and slowly increase the speed to high. To avoid foam, keep it on low until everything is really liquified.
3. Serve!

You could also add some cinnamon and vanilla to this, and some whey protein. If you aren’t a dairy user, please feel free to use almond or soy milk.

Keeping with my tradition of sharing posts from other bloggers, here are a couple smoothie recipes from other bloggers:

Evelyn’s Green Smoothie from My Turn for Us
Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

My community was struck yesterday by the tragic mall shooting. I live in Columbia, MD. I am very thankful for all the emergency responders who acted swiftly in dealing with this awful event. My heart goes out to all affected.

The sun is shining today. I’m going to take that as a sign to get up and move forward. I hope you have a great day.


Cauliflower and Spinach Soup

cssSince I learned that my nephew is vegan, I’ve been a bit more focused on making recipes he can afford, that fit in his diet so he isn’t living on Hummus made with a huge can of chick peas from Costco. And since the cold continues, I felt it was time for some more soup.

This is another soup that is smooth and very fast. I really loved it but I was alone. No one else in my home would even try it. Oh well. More for me!

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 big handful of baby spinach (about a cup, depending on the size of your hand)
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4-5 chopped scallions
Broth to cover

1. Put the veggies in a two quart or larger microwave safe dish.
2. Cover with broth. I used chicken broth. Veggie broth would be good, too.
3. Microwave for 15 minutes until the cauliflower is soft.
4. Allow to cool and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth.

This is truly a great smooth vegetable soup base. You can really do so much with it. I threw some blue cheese in my soup and garnished it with more chopped scallions. You could add some roasted cauliflower florets for more texture, pancetta, parmesan; maybe a little chicken. It was very tasty and very green, which my coworkers will tell you is my favorite food color. And since this is a smooth soup, it’s very work friendly! No slippery noodles slithering off your spoon to land squarely on your keyboard.

The bitter cold continues for several more days. That’s what we know right now. Some of you are going to get more snow. We are all tired of the snow and cold. So tired. This soup is a true snow buster because you can have it ready in record speed!

If you’re interested in some other Cauliflower Soup options, search my blog (look for the search box in the top right) for a couple more options.



Four Super Bowl Recipes

Super BowlI’m sure by now, you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that your team didn’t even make it into the play-offs, let alone the big game. Or maybe you are a loyal Seahawks or Broncos fan whose faith never wavered. Regardless of who you are rooting, for here is a collection of four recipes that you can incorporate into your Super Bowl celebration. There’s something sweet, something spicy, something really delicious and something that is just plain fun!


Bacon Beer Cheese Orzo – Imagine this served in mini bacon bowls as little appetizers!


Gadget Free Bacon Bowl – No need to invest in another kitchen gadget. There is an easy way to make bacon bowls with a common dish you probably have right in your cabinet!


Chocolate Almond Bacon Clusters – Every time I make these, they are a huge hit! I know your Super Bowl friends will love them too.


Spicy Glazed Pecans – No bacon here! Just some glazed pecans with a bite that can catch you off guard if you aren’t careful!

The Seahawks and the Broncos may want to try a few of these recipes themselves and bulk up before the big game in New Jersey! It’s going to be a lot different than New Orleans!