I am generally inept when it comes to cooking fish. Don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t tell you.
It’s stupid, I know. But I’ve found a cooking method for fish that even I can’t screw up. This is it: baking in foil.
- salmon fillets
- lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pat the salmon dry and set each fillet atop it’s own sheet of foil. You don’t need a ton of foil, but make sure that the sheet is large enough to fully enclose the fish in a pouch once you fold the sides up and crimp the top together.
Drizzle or brush a bit of olive oil on each piece of fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set a lemon slice or two on top. Now roll the foil up to enclose the fish.
Put each foil packet on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is just done. It should flake easily in the middle (using a fork) when it’s done.
One of the great things about this is that you can change things up to suit your tastes. Feel free to change the spices, or to maybe add some vegetables in the foil package, too. Enjoy!
Here’s another delicious recipe that my cousin Sarah prepared for Julia’s bridal shower. Seriously, she always makes the cutest desserts. You can see her Stuffed Strawberries in the background! But she also made some really cute chocolate dipped pretzels for the occasion, and made these awesome cutout sugar cookies with royal icing for Christmas. Whatever she makes is always delicious and visually pleasing, too.
Here’s the recipe that she used to make them: It can be found on the blog Iowa Girl Eats. She used the Betty Crocker cake mix, too, but you can definitely substitute your favorite red velvet cake recipe.
These were delicious! Though they’re a little more time and labor-intensive than just a regular cupcake or something, they are definitely worth it.
My cousin, Sarah, made these adorable and delicious stuffed strawberries for my other cousin’s (her sister’s) bridal shower this past weekend.
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- strawberries (amount depends on how big yours are… but ~2 of the clamshells you’d get at the grocery store)
- vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Put in a piping bag with desired tip or put into plastic zip top bag and use as a makeshift piping bag.
Wash strawberries and remove the hulls. Using a paring knife, at the end where the hull used to be, hollow out a bit of the berry. Discard or snack on removed strawberry innards.
Pipe cream cheese mixture into the hollowed out berries. Top them with the crushed vanilla wafer cookies. Enjoy!
I made these cute little skewers for my cousin’s bridal shower this past weekend. They’re very easy to make, and are quite tasty. I’ve seen these all over Pinterest, so I can’t attribute this to any one site/blog in particular.
- grape tomatoes
- fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks approximately the same size as the tomatoes
- basil leaves
- optional: pesto, balsamic vinegar, balsamic vinaigrette (for drizzling or dipping)
All you need to do is skewer the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil onto your toothpicks/whatever you’re using in any order and quantity that you’d like.
You can drizzle them with some pesto or balsamic vinaigrette if you’d like, or just provide some for dipping. Or let the little skewers go naked! Whatever you feel like.
This recipe was originally inspired by a friend, Sarah, who suggested that I give broccoli pesto a whirl. I’m so glad that she did (thank you!!), because this is really delicious! Granted, the pasta isn’t the healthiest, but you can feel a little better about your dinner when eating this super healthy sauce. The Greek yogurt makes it creamy, and adds a nice tang, as does the lemon juice.
- 4-5 cups broccoli florets
- 1 lb pasta (I prefer short pasta and used elbows)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- juice of 1 lemon
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved
Put a large pot of water on to boil. While the water is coming up to temperature, chop your broccoli into florets. Boil it for 3-4 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it in a food processor or blender.
In the same pot of water, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Just prior to draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
While the pasta is cooking, add the garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and basil to the food processor. Pulse until everything is relatively smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and process/blend until the pesto is creamy and smooth. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Pour over the hot pasta and stir until pasta is well coated. Eat immediately.
I hope you enjoyed all of the festive recipes leading up to Cinco de Mayo! Now it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming…
This recipe came from the blog Mix it Up. To be honest, I was initially a little skeptical about this. But it ended up being pretty good! I usually eat pineapple cold, so having it hot and on the spicy side was different. But different in a good way! Give it a shot; I think you’ll like it.
- 3 large/5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained (but reserve the juice)
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1-2 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have any on hand so I subbed 3/4 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp cumin)
- Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in a zip top bag and slosh it around until everything is coated. On a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray, bake the sweet potatoes and pineapple for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from the oven to toss everything on the baking sheet around every 10 minutes.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! Do you have any fun plans for the day? Whipping up any particularly tasty foods and beverages?
Let me level with you: Up until a few days ago, I really had no idea of the true significance of the Cinco de Mayo holiday. I had some vague notions of it being associated with Mexico’s independence day. All I really knew was that it provided me with an occasion where it was socially acceptable to drink margaritas and eat Mexican food in excess.
Now let me lay some knowledge on you. After consulting Wikipedia, I learned that Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May, for those of you who don’t habla) is in fact not Mexico’s independence day. It is celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It was originally celebrated in the United States to commemorate freedom and democracy during the early years of the Civil War. Now it is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. And two-for-one margaritas and tequila shots.
I hope that this has been educational, since I sure as heck didn’t know what Cinco de Mayo was all about. Anyway, regardless of why you’re celebrating, you’ll need some delicious foods and drinks to go along with your partay. Check out some of the links below if you are in need of inspiration.
Recipes from A Nerd Cooks:
Recipes from other lovely blogs: