all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wine Marinated Spicy Grilled Catfish

The thrill of the grill last night was catfish for us, no matter that it was really chilly out there, and like a late September day!

Most of the time, I cover the fish with a spicy rub, but recently I saw this recipe on a card at the grocery store, and had to give it a go.

Wine in addition to lime juice, chopped parsley, dry mustard, chili powder and seasonings are stirred together for this marvelous marinade.  

The recipe called for Chardonnay, I had Pinot Grigio on hand, and used it.  The catfish marinated for a short time and was cooked over a hot grill for a really tasty catfish dinner.

Here’s the recipe:

Wine Marinated Spicy Grilled Catfish


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup Pinot Grigio
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 pound catfish fillets
Lemon slices, optional


Combine all ingredients for the marinade, in a medium bowl, except catfish and lemon slices.
Add catfish to bowl and let marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Drain fillets, reserving marinade.
Place fish on hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, and basting occasionally reserved marinade.
Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.




Monday, August 24, 2015

Sweet Pepper-Cucumber-Red Onion Summer Salad

I had a variety of small sweet peppers in the refrigerator, plus a cucumber and red onion that needed to be used ~ this recipe did them all justice!

We like refreshing salads such as this in the summertime with grilled meat.  

The flavors are zippy ~ it’s a wonderful salad on a hot summer night!

Sweet Pepper-Cucumber-Red Onion Summer Salad


12 small sweet peppers, seeded and cut into small chunks
1 cucumber, sliced thin
1 red onion, sliced into strips
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a large bowl.
Add vegetables and toss lightly.
Let rest 15 minutes before serving or refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Shredded BBQ Salmon on a Croissant

Salmon is nearly impossible to screw up, it’s very forgiving!  Its oily pinkish-orange flesh and skin keeps it moist, making it a versatile fish, whatever the cooking method.

BBQ salmon croissant
It was time for a change-up, time to come up with something different, and this totally blew me away on the first bite.  It was truly delicious!

Could be because I like shredded meat and barbecue sauce in a sandwich, think pulled pork/shredded chicken ~ so now shredded salmon is added to my list of favorites.

Shredding salmon
Bill cooked a slab of salmon on the grill and basted it with this spicy BBQ sauce of butter, brown sugar, celery seeds, soy sauce and ginger. I shredded the salmon, placed it on a croissant with a small helping of coleslaw placed on top.  Perfect, easy and very delicious, delectable!

I’m wondering why I didn’t think of doing this many moons ago…

Shredded BBQ Salmon 


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 pound slab of salmon
Croissant or bun/bread of your choice
Coleslaw, optional


In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients.
Cook for a couple of minutes and stir, until sugar is dissolved.
Place salmon on grill over medium heat.
Cook for about 8 minutes per side, until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting with the sauce occasionally.
While, salmon is cooking, prepare slaw with a spoonful of slaw dressing (I use Marzetti.)
Let salmon cool for a minute, then shred with 2 forks.
Split croissant or roll, fill with scoops of shredded salmon, top with slaw, and serve.



Monday, August 17, 2015

Grilled Beer-Battered Pork Chops

This is good eating for you pork chop people out there!

These chops were soaked in a hearty beer-based brine.  Brining is like a marinade, keeping the meat moist, tender and juicy.  There are few rules regarding it, but generally it starts with water and salt.  Though, too much salt, or brining the meat for too long, will result in salty tough meat, or even mushy.

Beer molasses

This is an old recipe from Bon Appétit, with appealing ingredients.  The salty bath, with dark beer, brown sugar, molasses, sage and seasonings, is a fail-safe way to make the meat juicier and more flavorful.  

The brine is delicious ~ filled with great flavors to make the chops more succulent and flavorful.  

Grilled Beer-Battered Pork Chops


2 cups water
2 cups dark lager beer
¼ cup coarse salt
3 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoon light molasses
1 cup ice cubes
6 (1¼-inch-thick) center-cut-bone-in pork chops
7 large garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried sage leaves


Combine water, beer salt, sugar and molasses in a large bowl.
Stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
Stir in ice.
Place pork chops in large resealable plastic bag.
Pour beer brine over pork chops, seal bag.
Refrigerate 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Preheat grill on medium-high heat.
Remove meat from brine and pat dry.
Mix, garlic, pepper, 2 teaspoons salt and sage in small rub; rub over both sides of pork chops.
Grill pork chops until cooked, about 10 minutes, per side and instant-read thermometer inserted until center of chops, away from bone, registers 150 degrees.
Transfer pork chops to a platter, cover with foil, and let stand 5 minutes before serving.



Friday, August 14, 2015

Grilled Chicken w/Whole Grain Mustard and Cider Vinegar Marinade

Kudos to Livia Youngdahl!

I was lucky to be given a jar of her seasoning salt, and I knew buried deep in my recipe stack, was this great chicken recipe that would do her seasoning justice.

Here’s the lowdown on the salt:

The product is Livia’s Seasoning Salt.  Check out the website here!  The story goes that, with her Swedish heritage and culinary style, Livia Youngdahl developed her seasoning salt, which she shared with family and friends for decades.  

It consists of 3 ingredients:  Kosher salt, garlic salt, and coarse ground black pepper.  Order yours now, and the next time you start to reach for the salt and pepper, use Livia’s Seasoning Salt instead.  Your food will taste better, for sure!

This chicken is bursting with flavor, thanks to the marinade of whole grain mustard, along with cider vinegar, herbs, garlic and Livia’s Seasoning Salt.  It took minutes to put the marinade together, with on-hand ingredients, and then marinated in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  

The result was tender, slightly piquant, juicy chicken, without much effort ~ hope you give it a try!

Grilled Chicken w/Whole Grain Mustard and Cider Vinegar Marinade


2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano, rosemary and thyme (mixed, 2 teaspoons total)
¼ cup whole grain mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Livia’s Seasoning Salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


Place vinegar, herbs, mustard, garlic and oil in a large resealable plastic bag, close and shake gently to combine.
Drop chicken in the bag, coating it evenly, seal and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Heat grill to medium-hot, grill to internal temperature of 165 degrees, turning once, halfway through.
Great with a little pasta salad and fresh cooked green beans!



Friday, July 31, 2015

Stuffed Cucumbers ~ the 2nd Time Around

Thanks to Alice, my late mother-in-law, it’s the same old question every summer:
“When are you making stuffed cucumbers?”

The truth is, it’s my pleasure to make the dish, I enjoy cooking it, and I wouldn’t dream of not making stuffed cucumbers!

1 this cucbowl
My MIL introduced me to stuffed cucumbers many years ago; I posted it over 5 years ago, way back here ~ it begged to be posted again, it’s that good! 

A little time consuming, it might be, but it’s easy, not a plethora of ingredients; with the results amazing you, making your diners happy to be around your table.

To start, peel the cucumbers, and removed the seeds carefully.  Let them soak in salt water while you tend to the rest of the recipe.

I used canned tomatoes, incorporate fresh tomatoes from your garden, if you wish.  
Add chopped onions, seasonings and a touch of brown sugar to cut the acidity.  
Simmer on medium-low heat while stuffing cucumbers.

This time, to season the meat, I used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Seasoning, plus a sprinkling of ground basil.  This was the best, all the meat needed, and I will be doing that from now on!

Stuff the cucumbers with the meat, place in the sauce and simmer until transparent.

A perfect summertime meal to us, with a crusty bread and a salad of mesclun greens ~ I’m hoping you give it a go ~ and like it too!

Stuffed Cucumbers

6 cucumbers, ends cut off and peeled

For the sauce:
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomates
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the meat:
3 pounds extra-lean ground beef*
4 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 teaspoons dried basil

Peel cucumbers, cut off ends until you can see the seeds; carefully scoop out seeds with a knife, without cutting through meat of cucumber.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt to water in a large bowl.
Add cucumbers and let soak for 30 minutes or so (while you make the sauce and meat.)
In a large pot, add tomato products, onion, brown sugar and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer while preparing meat and cucumbers, stirring occasionally.
Combine ground beef and seasonings for the stuffing and meatballs.
Drain cucumbers.
Stuff cucumbers carefully with the meat.
Place stuffed cucumbers in tomato sauce.
Cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cucumbers are slightly transparent, stirring occasionally. (Cooked too long, the cucumbers will break apart.)
Serve stuffed cucumbers in a bowl with a couple of meatballs.
*Use less meat if you do not want meatballs.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Blackberry Cobbler

 Tell me, what’s your summertime little guilty pleasure?  Share with me ~ I’ll keep it a secret! 

One of mine is fresh homemade Blackberry Cobbler!

BBriesand ice cream
The juicy blackberries had my name written on them when I saw them at the farmer’s market yesterday ~ I knew exactly what to do with them ~ cobbler!

BB bowl
BB baked
The plump bites of tartness sweetened up with a little sprinkling of sugar; depending upon sweetness of berries, plus a touch of lemon zest and cinnamon.  Baked over the berries, is a simple homemade biscuit cobbler topping.   It’s easy to pull together and a perfect little dessert for anyone. 

We enjoy blackberry cobbler warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream ~ it’s oh so delicious!  

Pure bliss…

Blackberry Cobbler

For the berries:

4 cups fresh blackberries
¼ to ⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ tablespoons instant tapioca

For the cobbler topping:

3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten


In a 9” x 9” baking dish, combine berries, sugars, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and cornstarch, combine well.
Let berries set for 30 minutes to macerate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bow, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 
Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center and stir in milk and beaten egg until just moistened, do not over-stir.
By large spoonfuls, place mounds of dough over the berries in the baking dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and a golden brown.
Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream