panko-crusted salmon

I am back with another salmon recipe. My apologies for the lack of protein diversity, but we’ve been trying to eat more fish around here lately, and salmon is so versatile.

I don’t have any nostalgic stories associated with this recipe, and eating it for the first time wasn’t a life-altering experience, so I won’t extemporize on it at length. Panko tossed with lemon zest and parsley gives a nice crunch, and Dijon mustard adds some zing to keep things interesting. This salmon is tasty, simple, and perfect for a night when you are tired and need to get something fresh and healthy on the table in a hurry. Try it, and I bet it will go right into your weeknight rotation (it’s in mine!).

I do want to ramble a bit about search terms people use to find blogs. Search engines often do a good job helping people to find the information they’re looking for – lots of people have stumbled upon my blog by searching for sweet potato casserole, for example. Other times, people enter rather amusing/bizarre terms and somehow end up here. I’m not sure how much I help them. But below are some of my favorite examples.

1. “Can you use the same sauce on green beans that you would use on asparagus”. Probably? It depends on the sauce? But really, the green beans aren’t going to protest that no, you see, this sauce really only goes with asparagus and they’d prefer that you sauce them with something more appropriate. If it sounds good, try it – if it’s not so good, try something else next time.

2. “Has anyone eaten moldy hummus?” “What happens if you eat moldy hummus”. Please, no. Throw that moldy hummus away. I don’t even know if it will harm you, but it just sounds gross. I wonder if the second person typed this into a search bar after having consumed the moldy hummus, and then wanted to confirm that they weren’t going to be hospitalized. And did the first person hope to find someone else out there who had eaten moldy hummus and then proudly shared their tale with the internets? Just in case some other poor soul finds herself here searching for the same answer, I will state my opinion on this matter: just don’t do it.

3. “Crepes sweetened cocoa frugal student”. Was this person searching for a frugal student who had posted a recipe for crepes with cocoa? If so, they found what they were looking for, since I was indeed a frugal student when I posted chocolate crepe recipes. But what an oddly specific thing to look for! On the other hand, maybe this person was a frugal student looking for a chocolate crepe recipe that would fit their budget. And since I set my frugality aside to buy fancy cocoa, I probably wasn’t much help here.

4. “Exquisite dinner”. Hey Google, tell me what is the most exquisite dinner of all! I don’t know if my recipes satisfied this person’s demands, but I guess I’m amused/tickled that some search engine decided that my blog was an ideal provider of exquisite dinners.

That’s all for this installment of Curious Search Terms People Use to Find My Blog. On to the recipe!  Continue reading “panko-crusted salmon”


salmon en papillote

Ok, let me acknowledge right away that this is perhaps not the greatest looking photo I’ve ever posted on this site. Maybe my photography skills are to blame, or maybe we can peg this one on the salmon – I’ve posted two other salmon recipes, and I wasn’t super happy with either of those photos either, however much I liked the food itself. So salmon may not be the most photogenic fish in the sea/on your plate – that doesn’t mean you should pass it up for more attractive-looking proteins!

Enough about the photo, let’s talk about the fancy title for this recipe. “En papillote” may sound snooty and French, but it really just means that you cook the fish in a parchment paper packet. You can add all kinds of flavorings – here we will use lemon, garlic, and oregano – and any kind of fish. The fish steams in its packet, absorbing the flavors from whatever seasonings you’ve used. Back in the day, I baked salmon inside a tin foil packet, and while that was kind of easier, going the en papillote route sounds way more sophisticated and gives you that snooty French cred. Two things worth considering.

If you’re worried about calories, this is a much lighter way to cook fish than sauteing or frying, and more exciting than poaching (which always kind of grosses me out, though probably just because I haven’t done it properly yet). And if getting your fish into a fancy parchment package sounds tricky and stressful, not to worry, I have step-by-step photos to accompany this recipe!  Continue reading “salmon en papillote”

lemon yogurt olive oil cake

My birthday was yesterday, so tonight I’m having a little birthday dinner with my family. I decided to cook my own dinner rather than going out. I like a tradition I’ve noticed at a few food blogs of making an elaborate cake for one’s own birthday – most days in life do not call for elaborate cakes, but one’s birthday seems an appropriate excuse to make just the cake one would enjoy the most, right?

This cake is by no means elaborate, but it has a gorgeous, bright lemon flavor. One can’t really talk about cake and health in the same sentence, but with olive oil and tangy Greek yogurt, this is certainly healthier than the buttercream-laden grocery store concoctions I loved so much (so much!) at birthdays as a child. And my adult palate finds it way more enjoyable.

I sampled some before dinner (it’s my birthday cake; I’ll eat it whenever I please!), and I can say it is a perfect complement to a cup of afternoon coffee. It would also be an easy dessert to bring to any bbqs you may be attending this weekend – I know citrus is really a winter food, but it also seems summery and refreshing (like lemonade!). Not only is this cake easy to make (no mixer required!), but it is also easy to transport and not too messy to eat standing up. Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

Continue reading “lemon yogurt olive oil cake”

german apple pancakes

American-style pancakes may be delicious, but they can also often be quite heavy, and you may find yourself (or at least I find myself) in need of a change. Even better, these German pancakes, unlike their American counterparts, are cooked primarily in the oven, and thus do not require you to stand over the stove flipping pancake after pancake. While these pancakes are baking away without requiring any attention from you, you can fry up some bacon and make the coffee to complete this leisurely weekend breakfast.

You start by sauteeing apples in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until they are soft, then pour in the pancake batter and transfer the pancake to a hot oven, where it puffs up and gets a little curly around the edges, as you can sort of see in the picture below. Some of those edges may look a bit burnt, but they are in fact caramelized and consequently the best part of the pancake, which is crispy on the edges, and custard-y in the middle. The original recipe recommends serving with caramel sauce or maple syrup, but I thought the pancake was perfect on its own.  Continue reading “german apple pancakes”

apple and cheddar scones

I just recently discovered the wonder of apple and cheddar combinations, thanks to a delightful apple cheddar scone I had at a local bakery, Made with Love. After trekking to the bakery several times in just a few days for these delightful scones, I finally decided I’d better learn to make them myself. The recipe I chose, from the SmittenKitchen, came out perfectly – a little crisp on the outside but soft and tender on the inside.

A brilliant thing about making scones is that, unless you have enough people around to eat the whole batch, you can bake just as many as you need, and freeze the rest for another occasion. A little bit of work one afternoon means that you can have fresh scones for breakfast for the next few days, instead of the usual cold cereal or oatmeal.  Continue reading “apple and cheddar scones”

blueberry buttermilk pancakes

Here’s another entry for the lazy weekend breakfast category: light, fluffy, buttermilk pancakes dotted with little bursts of blueberry. Having someone make pancakes for you is a great way to enjoy a slow weekend morning. When I was still living at home, my dad used to make pancakes and bacon for us every Sunday. When I went away to college, my roommate, Stacey, would make chocolate chip pancakes from time to time, which were always a treat. I make the pancakes myself these days (at least until I teach Mark some pancake skills), but that is fun too, because I get to try all kinds of different flavors.

These are my current favorite. I’ve been let down many a time by recipes promising buttermilk pancakes or biscuits that had virtually no taste of buttermilk in the end, so when I saw the large quantity of buttermilk in the ingredient list on this recipe, I knew it would be a winner. I promise you can taste the buttermilk here, and the sweet, juicy berries are the perfect complement to the buttermilk’s tanginess. I highly recommend that you make these tomorrow, or next weekend, and share them with a friend.  Continue reading “blueberry buttermilk pancakes”