Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grilled Cedar Paper Salmon

Looking for a creative new way to cook salmon and veggies? Grill it wrapped in cedar paper!  The cedar wood adds a nice smokey flavor that compliments the salmon and intensifies the flavor. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is great for a heart healthy diet! The American Heart Association recommends 2 servings of fish a week.

Cedar paper or wraps are not difficult to find. You can purchase them in supermarket, specialty kitchen stores or even online.  We have used products from both Outdoor Gourmet and Fire & Flavor, and we have been extremely satisfied with the results!

3 - 4 oz Salmon filet (per person)
Yellow Squash
Extra virgin olive oil

Kitchen Essentials:
Cedar Paper
Kitchen twine
Kitchen tongs
Cutting Board
Outdoor BBQ grill

Soak the cedar paper and kitchen twine in water  for 10 - 15 minutes or according to instructions on the package. Slice the zucchini, yellow squash and lemon evenly into 1/4 inch slices. In a bowl lightly drizzle olive oil over the zucchini and squash lightly coating them, mix them well. Finely chop the fresh dill.

Lay a piece of pre-soaked cedar paper on a clean surface. Place two slices of zucchini in the middle of the paper. Add a little salt and pepper to the zucchini.  Next, stack two slices of lemon on top of the zucchini. Then place the salmon filet, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add about a teaspoon of chopped dill, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Lastly, stack two pieces of the yellow squash over the salmon. Add a little salt and a little pepper. Fold the cedar paper upwards in order to wrap the salmon and veggies. Close with a piece of kitchen twine.

Repeat these steps for the remaining servings of salmon you will be needing.

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium/low. The idea is to grill these little cedar packages slowly, therefore don't use high flames. Place on the grill and char each side for about five minutes, until the fish is cooked. Serve in the package and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hearty Chili

We know chili isn't exactly a popular summertime recipe, but sometimes you just feel like eating something hearty and filling even when it's 90 degrees outside. Besides, we get a lot of rainy days in the summer in Miami, therefore chili is usually well-received. It's totally okay to enjoy some chili, then slip into a bikini or swim trunks afterwards. This light recipe cuts a lot of calories but none of the flavor by substituting some of the beef for chicken and turkey. Tons of veggies in it too! This is a perfect recipe to feed a crowd as it serves up to 10-12 people!

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large onions
1 green pepper
8 garlic cloves
1 lb. of lean ground beef
1 lb. of ground chicken
1 lb. of ground turkey
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bottles of light beer
1 15 oz. can of black beans
1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans
1 15 oz. can of red kidney beans

Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips
Fresh tomatoes

Kitchen essentials:
Dutch oven or large pot
Cutting board
Wooden spoon or spatula
Measuring spoons
Can opener

Chop the onions and peppers finely. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. When the oil is hot, throw in the onion and peppers. Add a little salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Finely chop the garlic and cook for about a minute. Next, add the ground lean meat, chicken and turkey and cook thoroughly. Add some more salt and pepper. It is important to season each layer for intense flavor. Once the meat has browned, add the tomato sauce, beer and diced tomatoes. Add the rest of the spices and cook for a few minutes until the sauce is bubbling.  Strain the liquid from the canned beans. Lower the heat and add the beans. Simmer on low for about 45 - 60 minutes and allow the flavors to marry. Stir the chili occasionally. Taste to make sure the seasoning is right. Serve with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cheddar cheese and cilantro. We like to crumble up tortilla chips on top and give it a squirt of lime juice. Enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cucumber Cocktail Sandwiches

Who says you have to cook when entertaining? These easy-to-make cocktail sandwiches require no cooking at all and are great little bites that your guests will love. Best of all you don't have to break a sweat in order to make them! The goat cheese in the spread gives it a nice little tang and the cucumber provides a juicy crunch. Don't let this recipe scare you, even picky eaters crave these miniature bites!

8oz of cream cheese
4oz of goat cheese
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped thyme
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 cucumber
Sliced bread

Kitchen Utensils:
Cutting Board
Mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Stand mixer (optional)
Measuring spoons
Mandoline (optional)
Butter knife
Serving Platter

Allow the cream cheese and goat cheese come to room temperature, this will make mixing and spreading allot easier. Chop the fresh thyme and parsley and set aside.  Slice the cucumber thinly with either a knife or a mandoline. 

Add the room temperature cream cheese and goat cheese to a mixing bowl. Add the chopped thyme, parsley, salt and pepper and mix by hand or with a stand mixer.

To assemble sandwiches, get two pieces of bread and spread about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture to each side of the bread. Add a layer of sliced cucumber and stack the bread. Cut the crusts off the bread, to give it a nice clean look. Finally cut into four small triangle and place on a serving platter. Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Patriotic Decor for Your Home

Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays! July 4th calls for fireworks, family, friends, fun times and food! What more can you ask for? A few weeks ago, Mrs. P saw some cute DIY fourth of July lanterns on Pinterest. She got inspired to make some of her own. After a quick trip to Target, she put together 7 patriotic lighted decorations for our winding walkway. Here's how she did it:

1) Shop for the following items:
-Tin candle holder or lantern that emits light
-Small American flags
-Red, white and blue ribbon
-Tealights or battery candles
-Plastic tie wrap

2) Secure the flag onto the handle of the lantern with a tie wrap. Make sure it is nice and tight!

3) Cut the end of the tie wrap and make a knot around it with your ribbon. Make a bow and adjust the flag so that it is standing up straight.

4) Place your tea light or battery candle in the lantern and enjoy!

Have a festive and joyous 4th of July!

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