Fiery beef with cashews

This recipe is one that everyone enjoys. I like the fact that I can make the marinade the night before and then skewer the next night for Keith to grill (making it a good option for days when I commute to my office.) Keith and Samantha like the fact that it has a little heat. I like the fact that they both enjoy it!

Spicy beef

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 TB minced ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass chopped or 1 tsp dried lemongrass
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 flank steak, sliced diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 TB chopped cashews
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients except flank steak and then toss with flank steak slices.  Marinate overnight. Skewer the beef and grill a few minutes on each side (or broil) and serve over rice with some chopped scallions and a few chopped cashews. 

Quick dinner

Keith has a 7:00 event this evening so I knew we wanted dinner on the table by 6:15. Since he’ll be active, I thought he would like something on the light side. This salmon served with grilled asparagus was just the thing.


  • 6 oz salmon fillet per person, skin removed and brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TB minced dill
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp capers

Combine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, dill, honey and salt and pepper in a blender.  Slowly add oil with the motor running so it emulsifies.  Add capers.  Preheat grill and cook for about 8 minutes total.  Remove from heat and top with sauce.  The asparagus was tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled for about 6 minutes.

Pork tortillas adobo

Last night got away from me and I never had a chance to blog the specifics of the grilled pesto shrimp. It is pretty straightforward, brush cleaned shrimp with pesto, skewer them and grill until done. We had it with cous cous.

Tonight’s dinner was a pork tortilla. Always gratifying when Samantha takes a bite and says “Yum!” The recipe I adapted didn’t make nearly enough rub – I increased it significantly. It also didn’t call for adding sour cream and pepperjack cheese but we thought they greatly improved the dish!

Pork tortillas adobo

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 TB brown sugar
  • 3 – 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 TB cider vinegar
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • flour tortillas
  • sour cream (optional)
  • pepperjack cheese (optional)

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil and then onions, granulated sugar, water and 1/2 of the salt. Cook until softened and lightly browned about 20 minutes. Add tomato sauce and simmer about 5 minutes.

Combine brown sugar, chili powder, oregano, cider vinegar and another pinch of salt. Rub pork tenderloin with mixture and grill for 15 – 20 minutes until thermometer reads at least 140. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes. (While pork is resting, wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and heat in oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.) Slice pork into thin slices and add to tomato mixture.

Spoon pork mixture on one side of tortillas. Top with pepperjack cheese if desired. Fold over and top with sour cream if desired. (My spicy peeps added jalapenos.) Here it is before I folded it over.

Honey salmon

I was looking for something different and stumbled upon a recipe for honey salmon in a cookbook that I had never used before, The Berghoff Family Cookbook. This is from a Chicago restaurant. Perhaps I was frightened by their recipe for crabcakes which includes red onion, red pepper, corn kernels and cream cheese. Those are not Maryland crab cakes!

The salmon however was easy and had a nice flavor. Not Keith’s “favorite” but he admitted that it was good. When I did the blog on Sunday I planned to serve it with broccoli but I had some spinach left from last night’s pizza so I sauteed some shallot in olive oil and added the spinach until wilted.

Honey salmon

  • 2 salmon fillets (6- 8 oz each)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • 1/3 cup seafood stock
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TB honey
  • zest from 1/2 orange

Combine all sauce ingredients.

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat 1 -2 TB olive in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side down and sear for 30 seconds. Flip and sear other side for 30 seconds. Turn heat down to medium low, pour sauce over salmon and cover. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove salmon to plates and turn up heat so sauce thickens. Pour over fish.

Serve with vegetable of your choice – the spinach went well with it.

Quick dinner

I went into my office today (I go two days a week and enjoy the change of scenery.) I got home about 5:30 and had a virtual meeting from 6 – 7:30. I knew I needed something easy and fortunately, this spicy chicken pizza is one of Samantha’s favorites. I roasted the garlic last night and cooked the chicken when I got home. Keith assembled and cooked the pizza and reheated mine so it was ready as soon as my meeting ended.

Spicy Chicken Pizza

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 small onions, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • garlic to taste (either raw or roasted (wrap a whole head of garlic in aluminum foil and roast at 425 for about an hour)
  • shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • spinach

Preheat oven (with pizza stone) to 425.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add jalapeno and onion and saute 2 – 3 minutes until soft.  Add spices and stir to combine.  Add chicken and cook, stirring until chicken is cooked through.

Spread sauce on pizza crust.  Top with chicken, garlic, spinach and cheese.  Cook 8 – 10 minutes or until done.

Spicy steak salad

When I add a new cookbook to my collection, I hope for 3 – 5 inspirations. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. One of my very successful purchases was the Cooking Light Big Book of Salads. I have used it so many times that it is falling apart. That doesn’t stop me from turning to it for further ideas.

I gave it to Samantha on Sunday and asked her to choose a salad. She picked a spicy beef and rice noodle salad. She ended up being a little disappointed because the recipe calls for habanero pepper and I had to substitute jalapeno. The bright side is that you can add the peppers after the fact so I skipped the heat altogether and let Keith and Samantha divide the minced jalapeno.

Spicy beef and rice noodle salad

  • 4 oz rice-flour noodles
  • 12 oz flank steak, trimmed of fat
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray
  • shredded lettuce
  • sliced red onion (or scallion)
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or jabanero pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 TB fish sauce
  • fresh basil leaves

Cook needles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Chop.

Freeze steak for 5- 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and slice thinly across the grain. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and cook steak until done (about 4 minutes).

Combine steak, noodles, lettuce, onion, cucumber and peppers. Whisk together lime juice, sugar and fish sauce and pour over salad. Top with basil. Serve.

The joys of a well-stocked freezer

The original plan for tonight was for grilled steak sandwiches. They look delicious but the weather forecast called for pouring rain all evening – not very conducive to grilling. I was in my office today so facing an hour commute home and a trip to the grocery store to get the steak. I checked in in with Keith at lunch and we agreed to change plans. He suggested we order delivery but I know how slow that is when it rains.

I started thinking about the freezer. I knew there was a pizza crust so I started from that. Then I remembered that there are frozen shrimp and that there is fresh pesto in the fridge (my basil has done really well this year and I’ve made two big batches of pesto.) A shrimp and pesto pizza will be just the thing to cook inside! Samantha doesn’t like shrimp but she remembered that there was still some chicken left from the chicken hummus bowls so she had chicken on hers.

Easy and delicious!

Crustless quiche

I love quiche and usually rely on my old standby herb quiche (a recipe that I’ve been making since getting it from a teacher in 6th grade.) But a recipe for greens and Gruyere mini-quiches caught my eye. I tweaked a bit – the recipe says you can use any leafy greens (kale or chard, for example) but we like spinach. The recipe also calls for anchovy paste and olives but those are not ingredients that Samantha loves so I omitted them. She was helping me make them and pointed out that bacon would be a great addition – maybe next time.

Green and Gruyere mini crustless quiche

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 TB water
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of spinach, chopped

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add onion and cook stirring until soft. Add water and reduce heat. Cover and cook until very soft and slightly caramelized (about 10 minutes). Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl and add cheese, garlic, pepper and cooked onion. Mix spinach into egg mixture. Fill muffin cups with mixture and cook 25 – 30 minutes until set. Remove from cups. (Cooled quiches can be frozen for up to 3 months but Samantha already claimed the leftovers for breakfast so we won’t be freezing any.)

New fish tacos

I make fish tacos with tilapia fairly often. I saw a recipe that mixed it up a little and thought I would give it a try. The honey in the slaw gave it a nice sweetness and the onion in the marinade added great flavor. It looks like a lot of steps but it didn’t take very long.

Citrus fish tacos


  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 TB orange juice
  • 3 TB lime juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tilapia filets

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Season tilapia with salt and pepper. Put half of the marinade in a glass dish, place fish on top and pour remaining marinade over top. Let sit for about 30 minutes.


  • 2 cups of bagged slaw mix
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit.

Avocado crema

  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • juice from 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.


  • corn tortillas
  • pickled jalapenos

Heat corn tortillas one at a time in a non-stick pan and place on plates. Top with slaw. Cook tilapia over high heat, about 3 minutes a side. Flake fish and place on top of slaw and top with jalapeno crema and jalapenos (and leftover chopped onion if desired.)

Delicious! Samantha doesn’t like tilapia but I had kept back some cooked chicken from last night’s chicken hummus bowls so she had a chicken taco. Here is the fish version:

And here is the chicken version – Samantha loaded it up with jalapenos!

Chicken hummus bowls

I found a recipe for a hummus and chicken dinner that sounded light and easy. The original recipe called for chicken thighs but Samantha prefers chicken breasts so I changed it up. Use whatever your family prefers.

Chicken hummus bowls

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • 2 cloves chopped garlice
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • hummus
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • chopped parsley
  • warmed pita bread

Toss chicken with 2 TB of oil and spices. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and broil for 7-10 minutes. Combine garlic with pinch of salt and whisk in lemon juice and about 3 TB of olive oil. Add chicken to mixture. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

Divide hummus between bowls and top with chicken and vegetables. Serve with pita bread.