all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Monday, March 20, 2017

Healthy Cod Fish Bites

From the days of the Vikings, the Early Middle Ages, cod was essential in enabling them to sail across the ocean.  

Photography,Viking Museum, Oslo, Norway

They dried freshly-fished cod in the cold North Sea winds, until it became hard as a stick, and could be easily preserved and carried on their Atlantic voyages.  

On the boats, they broke “stockfish” into pieces and chewed on it.  It was definitely not a culinary delicacy, but it did serve as a great source of proteinRemarkably, cod contains 18% protein, which rises to almost 80% when dried.  

Cod has always been a good quality and fairly inexpensive fish that is available throughout the year, but like other species, it may be overfished.  It’s a mild buttery tasting fish that is adaptable to virtually all methods of cooking ~ but I draw the line at drying it!

 Drying cod at Å, Moskenesoy, the southernmost tip of the main Lofoten Archipelago in Norway, 
known for its dramatic scenery, with peaks like the Svolværgeita pinnacle jutting up into the sky, 
with the Himmeltindan Mountain nearby. 

Forget about the frozen fish sticks in the grocer's freezer section, and opt for these nuggets, they’re so much better, and your whole family, kids and adults both will enjoy them!

Make a crisp savory coating of Panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and paprika, mixing garlic in for a little kick. 

I especially like them made the healthy easy way in my Power Air Fryer, but the oven works well also, for cutting calories without sacrificing flavor.

This is a speedy easy weeknight dinner that you can feel good about eating.

Crispy crunchy goodness with a dollop of tartar sauce!

Cod Fish Bites


1 pound cod
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder


Slice fish into 2” pieces.
Mix the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl.
Place panko, flour and remaining ingredients in a large plastic food storage bag and combine well.
Dip fish into egg mixture.
Place fish in bag with panko and flour and shake gently to cover fish.
Place fish in fry basket and into Power Air Fryer.
Cook for 12 minutes at 350° setting, flipping once.
Or, place fish on baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes, until fish flakes easily and panko is golden brown.
Serve with tartar sauce
Printable recipe


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

St Patrick’s Day & Irish Coffee with Memories

St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of our first trip to San Francisco, which reminds me of  The Buena Vista Café, which always reminds me of Irish coffee!      

I’m of English and Dutch descent, Bill is of Swedish and German, no Irish here that we know of but that doesn’t stop us from loving that Irish coffee and the occasional green beer.

As the story goes, Irish coffee started way back in 1942, at Foynes Airbase, Country Limerick, Ireland…

On a miserable winter evening, A Pan Am flying boat landed, and a plane full of chilly passengers disembarked.  Joe Sheridan, the head chef at Foynes, concocted a drink that would warm their bodies as well as their spirits, a brew of hot coffee with a healthy splash of Irish whiskey.  A passenger asked Sheridan if they were served Brazilian coffee.  The chef told them, “No, that’s ‘Irish’ coffee!

By 1945, the Flying Boat was ended, making way for land planes and a new airport, Shannon International Airport.  Joe took his innovative drink along, and worked there until 1952.  Today, there is a plaque honoring his creation outside the Joe Sheridan Café Bar.

The man who started it all.  Stanton Delaplane at the Buena Vista in 1975.

Thanks to Stanton Delaplane, an international travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, the drink made its way to the United States and The Buena Vista Café in San Francisco.

On November 10th, in 1952, Delaplane persuaded George Freeberg, Buena Vista’s co-owner, to recreate the coffee beverage, but it didn’t work out as planned, there was a problem ~ the cream would not float.  According to legend, Mr. Delaplane, after sampling dozens of failed experiments, nearly passed out on the cable car tracks.

They sought help from the mayor of San Francisco, a dairy farmer, who informed them that they should age the cream for 48 hours and froth it --- then, it would float as daintily as a swan on top of the coffee.  Voila!

Deleplane mentioned the drink numerous times in his travel column, which was read across the United States, popularizing it.  Success was theirs!

The Buena Vista Café, at the corner of Beach & Hyde Streets

According to The Buena Vista Café, “Today, it’s still the same delicious mixture, and it’s still the same clamorous, cosmopolitan Buena Vista.  Both… delightful experiences."  

And that’s a fact, delightful, for sure!  A charming little café, with atmosphere and an outstanding Irish coffee!

It serves up 2,000 to 3,500 Irish Coffee’s a day - until the bartender's white jacket sleeves are spattered with coffee and the century-old tavern closes at 2:00 a.m.

Veteran bartender, Jack Nolan, with 37 years service, and his brother, Larry, who has been lining up glasses at the Buena Vista for 40 years, estimate they've served up over 3 million Irish coffees over the years...

The Buena Vista Café Irish Coffee


2 sugar cubes
6 ounces brewed coffee
1 1/3 ounces Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey
Heavy cream, lightly whipped 


Pre-heat a 6-ounce heatproof glass by filling with hot water.
Add 2 sugar cubes to the glass, then pour over coffee until the glass is ¾ full.
Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved.
Add 1 1/3 ounces of whiskey to the coffee.
Float a layer of whipped cream over the top of the coffee by pouring gently over a spoon. 
Printable recipe


I think I did leave my heart in San Francisco more than once, and wish Bill and I were there now sipping on an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista...


s. ᴘᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ's ᴅᴀʏ,

ᴍʏ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅs

xoxo Pam

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops w/Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

 I decided many years ago,
there was a special place 
in hell reserved for
Brussels sprouts!

Ready for harvest

They’ve have been around forever, they’re almost older than dirt…

Along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi, they were all cultivated from the same prehistoric plant between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago.

After all this time, since first eating them years ago, I chose to try the sprouts again.  Maybe they just needed a different method of cooking ~  like being roasted instead of boiled ~ a proper cooking!

What developed was a good sweet roasted flavor, they tasted pretty good this go around, especially along side the chops and potatoes!

The secret for these pork chops is in the Italian salad dressing marinade.   Using the shortcut marinade in this recipe, the meat turned out tender and delicious on the inside.

On the outside, the crumb coating delivered a good crunch, almost like the breaded chops Grandma used to make.

And who doesn’t like roasted potatoes?

This is a perfect comfy dinner for a snowy day…

Our winter here in Cary, has been a bit weird this year!  Warmer than usual, with no more than a trace of snow in January and February.  
This morning we have 4” snow on the ground, more on the way tomorrow. 

Spring is just around the corner…

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops w/Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts


4 boneless pork loin chops
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons lite Italian salad dressing, divided
4 potatoes, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
½ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
½ cup Italian bread crumbs, or plain
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 tablespoon butter, melted


Place pork chops and ½ cup salad dressing in a large resealable plastic bag, turning to coat.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange potatoes and Brussels sprouts on a large baking pan coated with cooking spray.
Drizzle vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons salad dressing, toss to coat.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Drain pork, discarding marinade.
Stir vegetables, place pork chops over top.
Roast 25 minutes longer or until pork is cooked through, thermometer reads 155°.
In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt and pepper, stir in melted butter.
Top pork with crumb mixture.
Place under broiler, 4 to 6 inches from heat for 1-2 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
Printable recipe


Monday, March 6, 2017

Roasted Chicken w/Herbs ala Power Air Fryer

I considered this home cooker for a long time before buying 
yet another small appliance that would 
just take up space and collect dust.  
Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long 
as it turned out to be a great purchase!

It’s a 5 quart Power Air Fryer XL.  Using no oil or only a tablespoon or two of oil when cooking foods, this great home cooker lets you bake, steam, grill, sauté or fry your favorite foods, without the guilt.  

It probably resembles a convection oven, more than a deep fryer.  It cooks quickly, it’s easy to use and clean-up is a breeze.

Mmmm, mmm!  Crispy and delicious!

The best part was the delicious taste of the chicken it roasted, with its even, crispy crust on the outside, and its moist and tender meat on the inside. The heap of seasonings ~ rosemary and thyme, garlic and onion powders, was simple and perfect for flavoring up the chicken.  

Most of us like chicken and it goes well with about anything on the side, the price is right and it smells mouth-watering as it cooks.

We were very impressed with the end result of the chicken, and I know this small appliance is a keeper, as is the recipe!  

It was a delectable chicken and I’m really looking forward to a chicken sandwich with a dab of mayo for lunch today!

Roasted Chicken w/Herbs


1 (5 pounds) chicken, whole
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme


Coat the chicken with olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the 6 seasonings and rub over chicken.
Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before cooking.
Place chicken breast side down in the Air Fryer basket.  
Press Power button and set cooking time to 20 minutes at 360°.
When cooking time expires, turn the chicken over and repeat cooking time and temperature.
At end of cooking time, thermometer inserted into chicken should register 165°.
Let chicken rest for 10-15 minutes.
Printable recipe



Disclaimer:  The opinions here are my own, no compensation for products.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Honeyed Winter Citrus Salad

Growing up, my parents and brother were crazy about fruit; there was never a shortage of it in the kitchen, with Mom dishing it out every chance she got.

I didn’t get it…  

Then Bill and I married…  Two sons, a grandson, and many years later, fruit lovers still rule in my family.

And I still don’t get it…

Am I alone in this?  Maybe I’m missing out on Mother Nature’s bounty, but I could never eat another piece of fruit for the rest of my life and be OK with it!

Colorful anyway!

With the exception of the very few fruits I do enjoy occasionally (rarely):  grapefruit, cherries and pineapple, blueberries and blackberries, plus apple pie and banana bread.  The first 2 are why I love this fruit salad!

If there's no pie, a simple fruit salad can be the perfect ending to your dinner, maybe more appropriate than an elaborate combination.  

Ruby red grapefruit tastes great with it’s tart and tangy flavor, it’s higher in some nutrients, such as Vitamins A and C, than white grapefruit, making it the better choice for us grapefruit lovers.

Navel oranges, the “winter” orange, have a lack of seeds, easy to peel skin, and juicy flesh.  The orange grows a second “twin” fruit opposite its stem.  The second fruit is underdeveloped, but from the outside, it looks like a human navel, hence the name.

Peeling and segmenting grapefruits and oranges is a breeze, here’s the method I’ve been using for years.  If you’ve never tried it, give it a try, it’s easy peasy!

And who doesn’t like maraschino cherries!  The cherries are preserved, sweetened cherries, typically made from light-colored sweet cherries such as Royal Ann or Rainier varieties.   

They’re the “cocktail cherry” in many cocktails, or used as a garnish on foods ranging from fruit salads to baked ham, to ice cream sundaes and pastries, with no pineapple upside-down cake being complete without maraschino cherries.

Toss it all together with a light dressing of honey and lime juice with a touch of strong, spicy, citrusy, aromatic cardamom for added flavor.  

Hope you like it!

Winter Citrus Salad w/Honey Dressing


2 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and ends trimmed
4 navel oranges, peeled and end trimmed
6 maraschino cherries or more, sliced
¼ t ground cardamom
2 tablespoons honey 
1 tablespoon lime juice


Peel the grapefruit.
Place a sieve over a medium bowl.
Hold a grapefruit over the bowl, and using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment.
Free the segments and let them fall into the sieve.
Repeat with remaining grapefruit and oranges. 
Place the fruit segments in a salad bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together cardamom, vinegar, honey and lime juice, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Pour over fruit.
Add sliced cherries and toss lightly.
4-6 servings

Printable recipe


Monday, February 20, 2017

Seasoned Pork Loin Roast w/Basting Sauce

Thought you knew 
all there is to know about pork?

 Let's see...

*  Throughout history, pork has been the most widely eaten meat in the world, and still is today.

*  It has an impressive consumption rate of 40%, compared to 29% for chicken and 24% for beef.

*  We evidently can’t get enough of bacon, since a third of pork consumed is via bacon.  No surprise there!

*  Most food folklore suggests that New Year’s feasts should include pork and sauerkraut to ensure good luck in the coming year.  We concur!

*  Cincinnati, Ohio celebrates its pork slaughterhouse heritage with the “Flying Pig” marathon each May.

*  Around 20% of pork is made up of protein, making it an important muscle building meat.

*  The record for the longest sausage ever made is 59.14 km (36.7 miles) long, people just love sausages.

*  The average person will eat 28 pigs in their lifetime.

*  Pork tenderloin cuts are almost as lean as skinless chicken breasts.

*  The first recorded recipe for a pork pie was 1390 in the kitchen of the Court of King Richard and today’s pork pie is still a direct descendant of the medieval pie tradition.

*  Scientists believe that pigs are one of the most intelligent animals, ranking close behind apes and dolphins.

*  Pigs are truly a clean animal.  They don’t have sweat glands and pale pigs sunburn; hence, they roll in mud to keep themselves cool.  I grew up on a farm and saw my share of pigs rolling in the mud.  

*  The word “barbecue” derived from French-speaking pirates, who called this Caribbean pork feast “de barbecue et queue,” which translates “from beard to tail.”  In other words, the pig roast reflected the fact that the hog was an eminently versatile animal that could be consumed from head to toe.

*  The word “earmark” which we now use to mean 'to designate’ or ‘to set aside for a particular purpose’, actually has a very simple origin:  for centuries, farmers marked their livestock with distinctive notches in the animals’ ears.  Earmark in the figurative sense, 'to designate' arose in the last 19th century.

And if all that’s not enough, who could’ve imagined this:

*  There are approximately 80 people in the United States listed on with the last name ‘Pork.’  I don’t know one of them, do you?

What I do know is that a good pork roast will never let you down, especially when it’s rubbed with herbs and then basted with a tangy sauce while roasting; it’s equally delicious cooked on the grill as in the oven.

This seasoned pork loin roast is affordable, elegant and perfect for your dinner, and any time you want to feed your guests well.

Bill and I were amazed how delicious it was. 

Leftovers for sandwiches?  Now that's a bonus!

Seasoned Pork Loin Roast w/Basting Sauce


1 (5 pounds) pork loin roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons seasoned pepper
Basting sauce, recipe below


Preheat oven to 350°.
Rub outside of the roast with oil.
Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and liberally season all sides of the roast.
Place the roast on a rack on top of a roasting pan.
Bake, uncovered, 2 to 2½ hours, until thermometer registers 155°.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the basting ingredients.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Brush over roast occassionally while baking. 
Let roast stand 10 minutes before slicing.
About 18 servings

Basting Sauce


3 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
½ teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
½ teaspoon lemon zest

Printable recipe


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Make Your Own No-Salt Montreal Steak Seasoning!

I’m a big fan of Montreal Steak Seasoning, 
with the exception of the 
large quantity of salt it contains; 
I’d rather add salt to food separately.

Montreal Steak Seasoning was the signature blend used by Montreal butchers to dry-brine grilled and smoked meats.  Its flavor is similar to Easter European pickling spices, and is at its best when sprinkled on beef; however, it’s the perfect seasoning to perk up other meats, seafood, plus vegetables, and stews.

There are a ton of versions of this seasoning, that works well as a dry rub also. You could substitute smoked paprika, thyme, or rosemary, the possibilities are endless.  It’s super easy to make, especially in a Ninja processor.

By the way, if you’ve never used the Ninja Master Prep, you should go for it.  It can perform every function of a food processor, and more, in a flash, just like a Ninja warrior would.  I use it for everything…  from chopping ice to blending smoothies, shredding meat, to chopping veggies for salsa.

I’ve had more than my share of expensive food processors and threw them all to the curb after Bubba introduced to the Ninja!  

The price is right, cleanup is a snap, it takes up little space. It’s powerful, more than words can say!

And this No-Salt Montreal Steak Seasoning is powerful also ~  about as close to the real thing as you can get! 
Give it a try!

No-Salt Montreal Steak Seasoning


2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dill seed
1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
2 teaspoons mustard seed


Combine all ingredients, mix well, crush slightly, using mortar and pestle or pulse once or twice in a food processor.
Store at room temperature, tightly capped in an airtight container away from heat and light.
Keeps for 1 year.
Printable recipe


Disclaimer:  The opinions here are my own, no compensation for products.