Friday, December 19, 2008

Grandma's Rocky Road bars

This is one of my favorite holiday recipes. It comes from my grandmother; every year when she would send us our Christmas gifts she would include a package of these wonderful bars :). The recipe is very simple but the bars are rich and delicious!

You will need:
  • 1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 pkg mini-marshmallows
  • 1/2 canister of peanuts
Step one:

In a double boiler, combine and gently melt down the chocolate and butterscotch chips

Step two:

Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the marshmallows and peanuts. (This must be done quickly as the chocolate mix will begin to cool.)

Step three:

Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan and let cool. Cut into small bars and serve.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

If you haven't been able to tell yet, I'm completely in love with Cooking Light magazine! I know that the majority of my post have originated from there...this is no exception. Today I made the MOST DELICIOUS Cranberry-Oatmeal bars and I couldn't wait to share the recipe with you! :) Here it goes.

Makes ~24 servings.
You will need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats (quick-cooking or old fashion)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • Cooking spray

  • 1 1/3 cups dried cranberries (~ 6 oz)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Step one:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Zest orange. To prepare crust, combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Step two:

To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
(For Cherry-Oatmeal Bars: Substitute dried cherries for the cranberries and lemon rind for the orange rind in filling.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Curried Chicken Salad with Fruit

I just love this chicken salad recipe. What's not to love: chicken, dried cranberries, curry, apples...what else could you ask for?
Makes 4-6 servings
You will need:
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (Or 2 cans of cooked chicken)
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts, almonds or cashews
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup grapes (optional)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • ~1 cup Curry Mayonnaise (see directions below for Mayo)
Steam chicken to cook and dice. Combine with remaining ingredients.
For the Curry Mayo you will need:
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fat free mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
To prepare curry mayo, in a small skillet over low heat, stir together the curry powder and vegetable oil for 30 - 60 seconds, until fragrant. Let cool and whisk into the mayo then add lime juice, honey, and salt.
You can serve this rolled up in lettuce leaves or on buns or bread.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pumpkin Cookie Dip

This Pumpkin Cookie Dip was a huge hit at our Halloween party. And since I know at least one person will be asked to make this for their husband, I thought I would share this tasty treat.

Pumpkin Cookie Dip
Makes 4 cups
You will need:
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 jars (7 oz each) of marshmallow creme
  • 1 can (15 oz) of solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • Nilla Wafers
*Note* make sure you buy canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix. The ingredients will only say pumpkin if you have the right can.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and orange peel. Transfer to serving dish. Serve with Nilla Wafers. Store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

This recipes is one of my favorite. It's really easy and REALLY good. I've finally managed to get the proportions down to an appropriate level so now I'm sharing the recipe with you!

What you will need:
  • 1 Med onion, chopped
  • 2T. margarine
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (approx 3 c.)
  • 1 (~24+ oz) jar picante sauce
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (medium or mild)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2-3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 18 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8-10 flour tortillas
Step 1:
Place chicken breasts in crock-pot and cover with Rotel and cook on med heat until chicken shreds apart with fork (approx 3 hours).

Step 2:
Once chicken is ready, cook onions in margarine until tender. Drain off approximately half of liquid in chicken mixture and place mixture in large skillet with cooked onions.

Step 3:
Stir in cream cheese and cumin (can add more cumin to taste). Cook until heated. Stir in 2 cups cheese.

Step 4:
Lightly cover bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with picante sauce. Spoon about 1/3 cup mixture in center of each shell. Roll up.

Step 5:
Place seam side down in baking dish on thin layer of picante. Cover with remaining picante and cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Fresh Fruit Pizza

The picture isn't that great but the dessert is AMAZING!!

I made this for a Grey's Anatomy premier party and it was a HUGE hit! It's really easy and tastes great.
You will need:
  • 1 (17 oz) package sugar cookie dough
  • 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond, lemon or orange extract
  • 3 cups fruit, fresh bananas, pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries, fresh oranges cut into rounds and peeled, blueberries, strawberries and peaches
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out cookie dough large enough to cover a round pizza pan. Bake 8 to 15 minutes or until firm. Cool completely. Mix together cream cheese and extract. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled cookie dough crust. Arrange fruit in circles (like a bulls eye pattern). Slightly warm marmalade in a pan or in the microwave and brush over fruit. Serve immediately

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cool, Creamy Chocolate Dessert

I made this dessert for a Labor Day get together and it was more than a hit. The dish was practically licked clean once I served the first piece!

This is, again, another recipe from Cooking Light (May 2008) but it is SO delicious that NO ONE would guess it. This isn't the fastest or easiest recipe to make but it is definitely worth the time and effort.

Cool, Creamy Chocolate Dessert
Yields 15 servings

You will need:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 (3.9-ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
  • Unsweetened cocoa (optional)
Step one:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.

Step two:

To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour. (Immediately proceed to Step three)

Step three:

Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer.

Step four:

Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Warm Sourdough Crouton Salad with Chicken and Pine Nuts

This is one of my favorite salads. I honestly was surprised that I had yet to blog about it. I know several of the blog readers who have eaten this at my place have been requesting this for awhile. At long last here it is!

Warm Sourdough Crouton Salad with Chicken and Pine Nuts (modified from Sara Foster)
Makes Four Servings
You will need:
  • 4 cups sourdough bread, cut in bite size chunks
  • 3T olive oil
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 2T golden raisins (or more if you like)
  • 3T pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • pepper & salt
  • roasted lemon garlic vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Tip: If you don't have time to prepare chicken ahead of time use a roasted chicken from the grocery store. Just shred off the white meat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss bread chunks with the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Combine croutons, chicken, raisins, pine nuts and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle half of he prepared vinaigrette over the mixture, add pepper to taste. Toss to coat evenly. Spread the mix out over a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Remove and place in a large salad bowl. Toss with the arugula and green onions. Add remaining vinaigrette. Toss and serve while still warm.

Roasted lemon garlic vinaigrette

You will need:

  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic, skin still on
  • 2T of olive oil plus 5T olive oil
  • 3T white wine vinegar
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 1T fresh Parsley, chopped
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Places lemons, cut side down, and whole garlic cloves in a baking dish. Drizzle with 2T of olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft and golden. Let cool to the touch. Juice the lemon into a small bowl. Peel garlic cloves, add to bowl with juiced lemons and smash with a fork. Add in the white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Gradually whisk in the 5T of olive oil. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with pepper.

Jell-O Poke Cake

This is a family favorite at my house. It is one of the most simple creations. I always find it a little bit odd when no one else has ever had it let alone heard of it. I recently made this to take to my book club meeting and I think people were really hesitant with the red Jell-O and not knowing what it was. Those who did try it out though had more than one piece. It is just too delicious to stay away from. :)

Jell-O Poke Cake
Makes 24 servings
You will need:
  • One 9X13 cake or 24 cupcakes (It can be any flavor you choose)
  • One large box of Jell-O gelatin or two small boxes (please no sugar free)
  • One container of Cool Whip

Prepare cake as directed. If you make them as cupcakes you MUST use silicone baking cups. If you use paper then the cups will get soggy and the Jell-O will leak out! For this cake I made a basic white cake and paired a strawberry Jell-O with it. Let the cake cool COMPLETELY! This step is crucial, don't get hasty. After the cake has cooled, poke holes about a half inch to an inch apart all over the cake. You can use the handle of a wooden spoon, chopstick, finger, etc.

Mix the Jell-O powder with two cups boiling water. Be sure to whisk well to get all lumps dissolved. Pour slowly all over the cake (or use a spoon if you are doing cupcakes) trying to cover the whole cake surface with the gelatin. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least one hour (Jell-O won't be fully set up for a couple hours, but can be eaten before completely set-up).

Top with Cool-whip. Cut into slices. Enjoy! Leftovers should be covered and refrigerated.
Other good flavor combos are chocolate cake/black cherry Jell-O and white cake/strawberry banana Jell-O.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Perfect Pancakes

Pancakes are quite possibly one of the best breakfast foods. They can be eaten any time of day, topped with any sort of fruit or syrup, or slathered in butter. They are simple enough that you can just whip them up on a moments notice. I can't claim the above photo, I forgot to take pictures so early in the morning, but I will replace it the next time I make them. I also can't take credit for the actual making of the pancakes. C always makes them as I am to impatient to make them, I always try and flip too soon. Sigh.

I hope you enjoy my grandmother's perfect pancake recipe. It makes just the right amount of cakes for two people.

Perfect Pancakes
You will need:
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (not soda!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Preheat your griddle or fry pan over medium heat. Stir all dry ingredients together. Whisk all wet ingredients together. Combine the liquid into the dry. Pour out desired size pancakes onto your griddle. Heat until bubbles stop or stay dry looking upon popping. Flip. Cook until golden brown. Top with syrup.

Skillet Peach Pie

This skillet peach pie is a new spin on a summery treat. Now that peaches are in season in Texas and berries are still fresh you should try out this delicious dessert. I apologize for the pictures, my white dishes seem to be much harder to photograph and I didn't use my fancy camera. This is my variation of a Better Homes and Garden recipe.

Skillet Peach Pie
Makes 2 to four servings
You will need:
  • 1 Sugared Pastry (recipe to follow)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 4 to 6 peaches
  • 1/4 cup peach nectar
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries and blueberries
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • mint leaves (optional)

Sugared Pastry

You Will Need:

  • 1 15oz. rolled refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the rolled pie crust stand at room temperature (still rolled up) for 15 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Unroll pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Brush with 1 Tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Cut pastry in half and then into strips. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on the cookie sheet. (if you have more strips then you use you can freeze them for up to 3 months)

Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Cut peaches into quarters, remove pits. Add, peaches skin side up to the skillet. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes turning once. Remove peaches to bowls. (When I make this again I will probably take the skins off first, they ended up sliding off anyways)
Reduce heat to medium. Add the nectar and the brown sugar to the skillet. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. It is done when all the sugar is dissolved and a syrup forms.
Spoon syrup over the peaches. Top with the berries, mint (optional), and sugared pastry.
Top with ice cream. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

For those of you who were wondering...

I have a guest writer. I convinced my BFF Stephanie to share her cooking triumphs on my blog as well. Since we are so far apart it is an excellent way of sharing recipes.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cherry-Berry Jam

I went berry picking yesterday and could not resist making homemade jam and putting it on some fresh, hot biscuits. It's amazing to me how naturally sweet berries are and how little sugar is required to help turn them in to a delicious jam.
What you will need:
  • 2 cups pitted fresh cherries, halved (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

To make this jam simply combine all ingredients in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2 cups (about 1 1/2 hours), stirring occasionally. Spoon into a bowl. Cover and chill. The jam should stay fresh for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

(The biscuits are simply Bisquick :)

Garlic and Cumin-Seasoned Potato Wedges with Chipotle Ketchup

These seasoned potatoes are delicious. I have a very difficult time stopping myself from devouring them all...but that's not such a bad thing since this recipe is an adaptation from one found in Cooking Light. I would probably recommend these for the fall because you have to turn the oven up so high but you may be able to adapt this to the grill somehow (I don't have a grill or I would have tried it by now ;).
Here is what you will need:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon grown cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into quarters or wedges
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • cooking spray

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place the baking sheet in the oven.

Step 2:

To prepare the sauce combine ketchup, sugar, lime juice, and chile powder in a small bowl and place in refrigerator while preparing the remaining items. In a separate small bowl combine cumin, salt, and garlic powder (do not worry that the cumin mixture seems very small, it will sufficiently coat the potatoes).

Step 3:

Toss potatoes with oil. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on preheated baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, turn potatoes, and bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Place potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle 1/2 of the cumin mixture and gently toss; sprinkle potatoes with the remaining cumin mixture and gently toss again to coat. Serve immediately with ketchup mixture.

This recipe makes 6 servings (sizes are 1 cup of potatoes and 1 tablespoon of ketchup mixture).

Chicken-Orzo Salad with Feta

This salad is very delicious. It is a nice refreshing summer meal. I would actually be happy with leaving the arugula out and just making the Chicken and Orzo as a pasta salad...but that's probably because I LOVE orzo :)

This recipe is an adaptation from Cooking Light's recipe with Goat Cheese one bonus though is that this recipe is fairly good for you.

What you will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips (I used the frozen Tyson ones)
  • 1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup prechopped red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled low fat feta cheese
  1. Start by cooking the the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.
  2. Combine pasta, chicken, arugula, tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, basil and oregano in a large bowl and toss well.
  3. Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over past and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

This makes about 6 (1 1/3 cup) servings.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


The horseshoe sandwich is infamous in central Illinois. By far the best horseshoe around is made at Darcy's Pint. However, not even the cooks there know the secret to their delicious cheese sauce. It is a very well kept Irish family secret. C's mom makes a pretty good horseshoe sauce as well. C is always bugging me to make horseshoes since we are 900+ miles from the horseshoe's native home. A local restaurant, Hyde Park bar & Grill has one on their menu, and while it is good, it just doesn't measure up to Darcy's or C's mom. So I looked and looked for a recipe and had no luck finding one I wanted, so I did what I do best, I made my own!

I give you the horseshoe, not for the light at heart or the artery clogged. It is something you should try though, even if Illinois is not a place you call home.

Horseshoe Sandwich
You will need:
  • Fries (country style, unseasoned)
  • Meat of your choice (hamburger patty, chicken, ham, roast beef, etc)
  • Toast
For cheese sauce you will need:
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • flour
  • milk
  • 1/4 cup beer (Guinness is preferred)
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1 T. Worecestershire sauce
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups Monterey jack cheese
  • paprika
  • pepper
  • chili powder

  • cumin
Start baking the French fries and making your meat. I made a hamburger for myself and C had Roast beef lunch meat.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet with the onion and garlic. Once the butter is melted and the onions have softened at flour one Tablespoon at a time stirring vigorously. You will have added enough flour when it becomes a sticky paste and balls up on itself. Add milk, while stirring constantly. You have added enough milk when the mixture is rather thin (~3 cups). Add in the beer, mustard and Worecestershire sauce. Slowly stir in the cheeses. If the sauce becomes too thick to stir, add more milk. add in paprika (~1/4 tsp), pepper, and chili powder to taste. Add a dash of cumin. Let the sauce thicken.

Toast your bread and then put meat on top. You will have two pieces of bread for a true horseshoe and one for a pony shoe (I always have a pony because it is pretty filling).

Top all that withFrench fries. Add as many as desired.

Top all of that with cheese sauce, the more the better!! Makes about 6 horseshoes. If it is just you and the hubby you can use the remaining cheese sauce to make mac and cheese or broccoli and cheese soup etc. Hope you enjoyed this IL classic! :)

Friendship Bread

This is one of my favorite summer-time meals. It is just so fresh and tasty. It is best eaten with you closest friends and at the peak of tomato freshness. If you have the extra few minutes you should make the Balsamic dressing yourself (recipe to follow) and the focaccia bread as well. This time I did not have time to make my own bread so Central Market's focaccia had to do.

Friendship Bread
You will need:
  • 1 loaf of focaccia bread, preferably something with sundried tomatoes or basil or both
  • 1 large tomato
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • fresh basil leaves
  • balsamic dressing
Place the focaccia loaf on a serving plate. Slice tomato and then cut slices in half. Tear or cut basil leaves into small pieces. Place the basil on top of the focaccia and top with tomato slices. Sprinkle the desired amount of feta on top of that. Slices the bread into the number of wedges desired. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. Serve up the slices and eat immediately (sitting too long will make the bread soggy). Add more balsamic if desired. Makes eight to ten wedges.

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing recipe
You will need:
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. White wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together all ingredients until creamy. Do not refrigerate leftover dressing. Yum!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Grilled Salmon and BLT Sandwiches with goddess dressing

This sandwich is delicious. Sometimes I am not a huge fan of salmon, but this marinade makes all the difference. I highly recommend that you use a grill pan to make these. I got one from "Santa" for Christmas and I love love love it. I use it for all sorts of things now, it really does make a difference in cooking. Dressing recipe to follow.

Grilled salmon BLT sandwiches (modified from Sara Foster)
Makes two sandwiches
You will need:
  • 2 Salmon fillets ~4-6 oz. ea., skin on (I recommend wild salmon)
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • Juice of half an Orange
  • 6 - 8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Arugula
Rinse slamon under cool water, pat dry with a paper towel. Place skin side down in a shallow dish. Rub with olive oil, drizzle with soy sauce and orange juice, sprinkle with basil. Turn fillets over in the marinade (skin side up). Cover and refrigerate one hour to overnight.

Heat grill pan over medium heat, almost smoking. Remove salmon from marinade (reserve marinade). Season with salt and pepper. Lay fillets, skin side down, on grill pan for four minutes. Brush flesh with reserved marinade. Meanwhile cook bacon. Turn fillets over and grill for four more minutes. Spoon marinade over them as they cook. Fish is cooked through when opaque and flakey.
Toast bread, spread two pieces with goddess dressing, top with tomato slices, salmon, and bacon. Top with arugula, close sandiwch, and cut in half, enjoy!!
Goddess Dressing
You will need:
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Add all ingredients, except salt and pepper, to a blender/food processor. Blend until dressing is smooth with green specks. Add salt and pepper. Stir. Refrigerate to thicken. Yummy!

Lemon Lush

This is a recipe from my grandma (paternal). She made this last year for dessert after Christmas dinner. It had been so long since she had made it, that I had forgotten how delicious it was. I set my sister up with the mission to get the recipe from my grandma (my experience getting them from her has not gone well). Wallah! She got the recipe and I decided to make it as my dish for a scrapbooking get together. It is a very light and airy dish, perfect for summer (or if you don't give a hoot, Christmas).

Lemon Lush
Yields about 24 servings
You will need:
  • 1 stick oleo (that's margarine for you modern folk)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (you could also use walnuts)
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large container of cool whip
  • 2 SMALL packages of lemon instant pudding
  • 3 cups milk
Step one

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the stick of oleo and the cup of flour together until smooth and well mixed. Add in the 1/2 cup chopped pecans and mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Use the inside of the oleo wrapper with your fingers to make spreading it easier. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Step two

Cream package of softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar. Fold in one cup of the cool whip. Spread onto crust. (I forgot to take a picture of this step, use your imagination)

Step three

Mix 2 small packages of lemon instant pudding with the three cups milk. Let it thicken for a minute or two, but DON'T let it set up completely. Pour on top of the cream cheese mixture. Let it firm up for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. (You can let it set up for only 5, but it makes the next step harder).

Step Four

Top with cool whip. If desired you can add chopped nuts, cherries or chocolate chips to the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. YUM!