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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Salmon with Mustard Sauce

And an extra mustard sauce recipe to boot!

If you are looking for something quick and delicious to make during this busy Christmas season, this should definitely be on your list of “must” try recipes.

There are still a few packages of Alaskan salmon in our freezer that my husband caught a year ago and I am getting a little reluctant to cook it because once I do it will be gone and I will be back to buying it from the grocery.

While in Austin after the birth of number 5 grandson last May, (wow that was 8 months ago) his Grandmommy took GA and I to lunch downtown. We had a great lunch at a little Italian restaurant close to her work. I, of course, had eggplant parmesan which is hard for me to ever pass up. She had a salmon topped with a mustard sauce which looked so good. I could just taste the tartness of the mustard with little twinges in my cheeks. After being offered a taste a couple of times I finally did taste it and the sauce was bold and creamy. They called the sauce a Mostarda sauce but a Mostarda sauce has fruit and mustard; and this had no fruit so I turned to the Internet for a mustard sauce for salmon.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ Pasta

Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, and Linguini

A fond food memory of Italy.

What is it about remembering names and other things, like where did I put my phone, give me such a problem sometimes and then on the other hand I can think of a dish I had someplace and remember all the circumstances surrounding it.

For instance, it has been about eight years since we went to Italy but I will not forget one rainy night in Chinque la Terra going to dinner at Ristorante Miky (pronounced Mickey like my Michie). I started saving menus like my sister (she has some beautiful ones) and that rainy night there was one menu outside on a table and it was getting wet so I decided to rescue it from the rain and it now occupies a place along with my other menus. So I went back and took a look at the dish I had that night.

So, that rainy night the six of us were seated outside in a tented area and we had one of the nicest waiters and he talked us through everything on the menu and promised us a meal we would not soon forget. He even told us about his cousin who was a waiter over in Montecino and told us we should check out his restaurant while we were in that area the next week.

This was the first time I had ever had clams and mussels and I was a little hesitate in ordering it. It was delicious and will always be one of my fond food memories. I decided to add some shrimp to the dish the night I made this recipe.

I love looking back at old menus I have picked up during travels and recreating dishes that helped to make a great vacation. I have a journal full of great dinners from travels and love reading about what I thought of the meal.

When we were in Seattle for our anniversary trip back in August we had eaten so much fish in Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle that one night we just wanted some simple Italian food. I ended up ordering a dish similar to this Mussel, clams, linguine dish but it had the addition of tomatoes. So delicious and that brought up all the memories of our trip to Italy and the great food we had while there.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ Side dish

Israeli Couscous with Tarragon

With or without the seafood you should try this.

Tarragon is one of those herbs that I never use. Besides putting it in chicken salad for sandwiches (which I’m not crazy about) I don’t really know what to do with it. We did add it to our herb garden this year but I have to admit I just watered it and looked how pretty it was growing but never got out and snipped a little for a dish. (*NOTE– big confession below.)

One night in Vancouver CA (hub) had that wonderful Green Pea Risotto with pan seared Halibut; I had scallops and tiger prawns with a chili citrus butter sauce and it was perched on top of Israeli couscous. Normally I feel like I can pick out all flavors in a dish. Every bite I took of this dish got better and better, and I could never identify the flavor that I was loving in this pile of tiny pearl shaped pasta. The pancetta was easy (it was listed on the menu) but I could not come up with that mystery ingredient. Finally I flagged down the waiter and he said he would ask the chef. Surenuf, it was tarragon. Both our plates had roasted golden beets, baby carrots (with green tops) standing up on the plate and mine had broccolini, which all really went well with the couscous.

When I was buying the ingredients for this, I bought a container of tarragon, totally forgetting we had planted it this year. Well, maybe after the tarragon I bought withers and gets thrown away I can find a new use for what I have growing outside.

Blue Crab Restaurant in Victoria was where we had both of these wonderful meals and what made it even better is that we were perched right on the water where we could watch all the ships and cute little water taxis come and go. So, another toast to our 45th anniversary.

Some info on couscous.  It was voted as the third-favorite dish of French people in 2011. It is known as a North African dish and is made from two different sizes of husked and crushed semolina and is normally cooked by steaming but can also be cooked in a liquid.  You know when it is done when it is tender, not al dente and not mushy.  The grains should be separate and taste moist, not wet or dry. So, now that you have that information, venture out and try this recipe.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ Side dish/ Vegetables

Green Pea Risotto (with Pan Seared Halibut)

Not only is this risotto beautiful, it’s delicious too.

Our 45th wedding anniversary was August 16th, followed the next day by my husband’s birthday. He married an older woman (by 9 months); I was 21 and he turned 21 the next day so his mom had to “sign” for him to be able to get married.

So, to celebrate our 45th we took off for Seattle/Vancouver/Victoria/Seattle. We called this our “planes, trains, and automobiles” trip (after the movie) but it turned out to be planes, trains, automobiles, water taxis, whale boat, ferry boat, tour bus (to Butchart Gardens), hop on hop off bus trip.

The trip started in Seattle, one night there and then caught Amtrak for a beautiful 5 hour ride to Vancouver which was almost totally overlooking the water. Once in Vancouver we walked the Calpilano Suspension bridge, tree top adventure and cliff walk along the edge of the park.

A whale watching boat took us on a 4 hour trip across to Victoria where we saw lots of whales. While there we saw Butchart Gardens and of course had to have tea at the Empress Hotel where we were staying.

One night we had dinner at the Blue Crab Restaurant and took a water taxi over to the restaurant since the walk was a little long with the sore foot I developed while hiking through the Cilpilano Park (:() ) It seems like ever dinner we had (they were all great) we called our anniversary dinner.

That night at the Blue Crab, GA (hub) had a pan seared halibut with summer green pea risotto and tarragon butter sauce. It was so beautiful I almost wanted to trade but I had Sea Scallops and Tiger Prawn with pancetta and garden pea couscous and chili citrus butter sauce which I did not want to share. (We did share a bite.)

This was definitely one of our favorite trips and ranks right up there with trips to France, Spain and Italy.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

A fisherman’s tale. (by George)

Since this dish would not be possible without the fish my husband caught I decided maybe he should be the one to write his fisherman’s tale.

NOTE: My Corn Dog Shrimp recipe just got picked up by They linked back to my website. Hopefully that will give me more traffic.

A fisherman’s tale — by George. 

My recent fishing trip topped off a year of fishing than has run the gamut from remote wild river salmon fishing and off-shore halibut trips in Alaska to white bass fishing in Texas and now most recently going off-shore for yellow fin tuna near Venice as in Louisiana (not to be confused with Italy). Venice is about an hour or so south of New Orleans on the peninsula that forms the tip of the Louisiana boot and the mouth of the Mississippi river. It’s literally the last town at the very end of the last road that follows the western side of the river deep into the thick Louisiana marshland to the river’s end, the Mississippi River delta. It’s not a fancy resort type area like you would find along the Florida coast but it has world class fishing and it is a major staging area for off-shore drilling companies and on-shore natural gas processing (which I used to know a little about)

We were hoping to get into some yellow fin tuna as more are caught here than anywhere but after catching our live bait near  a nat gas platform and then a 40 mile  ride out to the deep blue gulf waters (around 1500 feet plus) and hours of very hard fishing we gave up and starting trolling for Mahi Mahi. The highlight was when 3 of them all hit at exactly the same time. The reels seemed to spin out of control and we learned first hand how fast and strong these fish really are.  It’s hard to describe how vibrant their colors are in the water. Unfortunately for us that was all we would land for the rest of the day. We blamed it on the weather – what else?

Most people think you only catch them in Hawaii but Mahi Mahi is a type of saltwater fish commonly found in warm coastal waters around the world, including Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and even some parts of Australia and yes – the Gulf of Mexico.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Honey Walnut Shrimp

What’s the secret ingredient?

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend. I always think of my dad on Memorial day and the letters I have read that he sent back to his mom. He was just 17 when he signed up and this one particular letter he talked about cookies his aunt was going to send him and that all the guys wanted him to go out drinking but he didn’t want to. He was just thinking of home and probably his mom’s cooking.

I thought of him yesterday when I bought a Vitamix and remember at least 25 years ago him seeing an ad in one of his magazines and telling me this machine would make ice cream and soup and how could one machine make both hot and frozen things. Well, I don’t remember the machine but it had to be the Vitamix because it has been around since 1921.

I can’t wait to try out this new appliance — like I need one more appliance. But I say, why not! Both of my kids in Austin have one and they love it.

It’s been almost three weeks since we were in Austin for the birth of our newest grandson, Thomas. We were there almost two weeks and I missed him the minute I walked out the door. I always miss all our grandsons as soon as the kisses, hugs and goodbyes are said. One of the weekends we were there before his birth we went to an Asian restaurant and had a honey walnut shrimp dish that was so good and it had a sweetness (just like my babies) that I could not figure out.

For all my surfing the internet for a recipe for Walnut Shrimp ALL results came up with the same secret ingredient. The secret is out and the secret ingredient of Walnut Shrimp has sweetened condensed milk.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with condensed milk and it seems like everyone loves the sweet gooey mixture in many desserts. But for an entree? Yes. Believe me you will go back for seconds.  The truth is there’s only about two tablespoons of it in the sauce that coats the tempura battered shrimp.

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Appetizers/ Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ HotApp

Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp


  • 1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • Egg mixture:
  • 3 egg beaten
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • Breading mixture
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Slap Your Mama seasoning or Old Bay
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • Lettuce leaves or shredded lettuce to line dish
  • Oil for frying


  1. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  2. Beat the eggs in a shallow pan and set this aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the 1/4 cup flour, cornstarch, panko, salt pepper, onion, garlic powder and Slap Your Mama.
  4. To bread the shrimp first dredge in 1/2 cup flour. Shake off excess flour.  Next dip the shrimp 5 or 6 at a time into the beaten eggs then put in bowl with the breading mixture and toss to make sure they are coated well. Arrange the breaded shrimp on a plate and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or cook immediately.
  5. Heat the oil to 350. Use about 1-2" of oil in your pan. When oil is hot fry shrimp 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on rack or paper towels. When you have fried all the shrimp put them in a large bowl that contains the sauce mixture and toss the shrimp until coated. Sprinkle in the green onions and put in dish and serve.

DO NOT USE honey — Ok, the story about this honey is I was fussing at my husband one day about him using so much honey for his cereal (sometimes 3 times a day) and when I need it to make a salad dressing or some other “real” food, there’s no honey. So he goes out and buys two huge bottles of honey and writes “do not use” on the bottle”. SORRY GA, I had no honey to call my own and had to use his honey for the Bang Bang Shrimp.

Appetizers/ Fish/Seafood/ HotApp/ Side dish

Shrimp Foo Yung

Ugly duckling, but oh so good.

There are recipes that my sister and I have been making for a couple of decades maybe even three decades. Isn’t that a long time to use the same recipe. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I’ve been saying I want to make more Chinese (Asian I guess is politically correct) food and this is a recipe that’s been in our collection for so long, we don’t even know where it came from.

Not the cutest kid on the block by far, but it is so tasty you will go back for another one and then maybe even one or two more and the sauce that you pour over it is just the right touch.

While visiting my sister a while back we were iced in for several days and all we did was make tamales and cook. One night we (she) made our Shrimp Foo Yung recipe and I remembered just how good it was and scold myself for not making it more often.

Hope you like this.  It is delicious served with my Beef and Pea Pods (her recipe too) or my Chinese Fried Rice or if you have a hankering for some Asian style ribs, this would be a wonderful side dish.

My sister and I both want to try making these using egg rings so the end result will be a perfectly round circle of goodness.  When I do, I will repost picture of what they look like.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts is a pretty carb friendly dish. It only has a tiny bit of whole wheat pasta and the remaining “pasta” is made from zucchini.  Since I posted this 1/12 I’ve had almost 2000 views of the recipe.  (Someone’s looking.)

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Poached Salmon with Fennel and Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce

Simple but delicious.

I can’t believe we’re still eating Salmon from my husband’s fishing trip to Alaska last summer and will for some time to come.

Every time I take out a piece of fish I can just see that fish jumping up out of the water begging to be let go knowing all the while it doesn’t stand a chance for a reprieve from the dinner table. Maybe at least he/she will envision what type of tasteful dish it will become and how others will enjoy the life they gave up.

Whatever it’s last thoughts were, I have enjoyed coming up with new ways to prepare all this salmon and halibut.

I would like some new recipes though, especially for the halibut. So, if you have any, please pass them this way.

I’ve never tried poaching salmon before and I think just about any poaching liquid would work. I just happened to have some fennel fonds on hand and a left over bottle of white wine so I used those ingredients. Giada had done this Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce on one of her shows and it’s delicious with the fish. Wished I had thought of using some of my preserved lemons in the sauce or in the poaching liquid.

Hope you’ll give this a try.

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Fish/Seafood/ Garnish/ Side dish

Preserved Lemons

These make me pucker just thinking about them.

I had a jar of preserved lemons that I bought several years ago in a mark down basket at a gourmet kitchen store. By the time I got around to cleaning my pantry out last week (I do this at least once a month) the jar of lemons looked like a jar of something not even resembling a lemon, they were dark gray and those definitely got thrown out.

We have a Meyer Lemon tree that was potted but then put in the ground. This is the third year for it to take up residence in our yard. Last year, some critter pulled all the lemons off and we ended up with 2 in the late Fall. Something happened this year, maybe the predators went to someone else’s yard because I had 16-18 beautiful, almost baseball size, Meyer lemons. So, since one can only drink so many lemon drop martinis, I decided to try to make preserved lemons and believe me, they were the easiest things I have ever made.

You say, “what am I going to do with preserved lemons since I don’t own a tagine and I don’t make Mediterranean food”. Well, you can make my Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Preserved Lemons that I will be posting in two days (can’t give you lemons and then make you wait 6 days to post another recipe.

After a bit of research, I found quite a few things to do with preserved lemons — use them in salad dressings and sauces, in salsas and dips, pasta dishes, risotto, Tagines (there’s that word again), hummus, and just about anything that would benefit from a tart bite of a piece of lemon.

Of course when you take these out to use them you want to rinse off all the salt and tear out the inside of the lemon and throw this away as you are only using the rind.

The good thing about this recipe is you can make just one jar or whatever amount you want.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Alaskan Salmon Cakes

Straight from my husband’s pole.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! And thank you for coming to my blog. I can’t believe this June I will have been doing this for five years and I’m still going. I guess I have to cook so why now share what I’m doing with you all. I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year’s and ready for 2014. I have a new grandson making an appearance in April. This will be our fifth little boy and my daughter’s first baby so it’s going to be so much fun seeing her and her husband become parents. I have to say it again even if I have said it a hundred times — the best part about being a parent, I think, is watching your own kids become parents.

We have been eating salmon and halibut, at least once a week, since my husband got back from his fishing trip from Alaska last August.

Growing up we had salmon patties or croquettes (whatever you called them back them) quite often. They were always made from canned salmon and you will never believe what we like to pour over them for a sauce — canned mushroom soup.  Believe me it’s good. I’m not going to pour canned soup over Ina’s recipe but when I make salmon patties from canned salmon I STILL heat up some thick mushroom soup and my husband and I pour it all over our crispy patties.

I wanted my husband’s salmon to be the STAR of the cakes not the vegetables so I added twice the amount of salmon that Ina’s recipe called for. I tried baking some and frying some. The ones fried were a little harder to turn and the ones I baked were not as oily tasting.  Either way, they are delicious. Baking is a lot easier if you have a bunch to cook.

Seems like all the crab cake recipes I have ever tried were pretty simple — crab meat, red onion, and red pepper, maybe a little mayo and a couple of tablespoons of breadcrumbs to hold them together. This recipe could be done in stages.  For one thing, I would mince all the veggies the day before; this would save a lot of time.  In reading through some of the comments people made on her recipe a few people said they froze uncooked cakes and cooked them at a later time with great results. I did this as it make about 15 cakes and even though we love fish even we could not eat that many salmon cakes.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes

And grilled watermelon never looked so good.

Over Labor Day weekend my husband had the yearning to buy some oysters. I remember the last time we did oysters this summer and he broke two of my oyster knives and luckily the third held up to his prying the shells open. Then on our trip to Nashville we stopped into a little kitchenware shop that was piled to the ceiling with all kinds of kitchen utensils; and I think the owner must have bought out every kitchen store in the state. He did have some unusual things and we found a professional quality oyster knife so this one should hold up for a while.

Before we get to the recipe I want to tell you about that worn out tray that the crab cakes are setting on just waiting to be fried. Ok, so go down and take a look. Now does that tray have a history for both of us. They were my grandmother’s tv trays.

As kids my sister and I spent EVERY Saturday night with our grandparents, afterall, they lived next door to us. Anyway, we could not eat or sit in the family room floor without sitting or laying on a blanket and of course our snacks/food had to be put on these trays, and that’s over 50 years ago and these trays are still around.  Even over the years when my husband would be there eating something in the family room, my grandmother would get out one of these trays for him to put his food on. When we cleaned out my grandmother’s things I knew that I wanted two things for sure, a couple of her handled brown chili bowls and also these TV trays.

I use these trays all the time. For things like holding these crab cakes and my husband and I actually eat off of these old beaten up trays all the time.

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