June 24, 2013

Pepper Jelly Baked Salmon

Look, a post not related to secret recipe club!  As much as I've enjoyed having something to force me to blog over the (long, ugh) ankle recovery, I think it's time to get back to cooking what I like and what inspires me.  While I've had some great recipes and really appreciated being featured twice on the site in as many months as I was apart of the group, it is time for me to move on.  Last month was just the perfect storm for reflection on the whole situation and I came to realize that I am no good at blog groups like secret recipe club.

Don't get me wrong, I did love being apart of the 50 Women Game Changers group started by Mary of One Perfect Bite and would be pleased to do something similar again if given the chance.  In terms of secret recipe club, however, I'm not the bubbly, cheery post-a-comment-on-everyone's-post kind of girl.  I didn't like that one person pretty much copy and pasted my instructions and that another person chose to post a recipe of mine that they didn't like.  If you don't like it, then try something else!  Isn't that the whole point?  I get that it is sometimes hard to cull from someone that has completely different taste than you.  I ran into that obstacle myself when I was assigned blogs with oodles of casseroles and crock pot meals because I don't cook that way (not to knock, just not my style at this point).  But I would try multiple different recipes and variations, really do my research, and try to find something that excited me.  Seeing members that didn't give me the same courtesy disillusioned me to the whole outfit.

So I thought I would post today about a blog that inspires me, not in a forced sunny way that isn't me.  Every day for the past five years, I've listened to the super hilarious Kane Show on Hot 99.5.  Since my sister moved back in the area, we will talk about our favorite parts of the show almost every night.  A couple of years ago, Kane posted a link to his wife Natasha's blog Little Pink Monster.  I devoured all of the content in an afternoon, pouring over the adorable toddler clothes, inspired meals, and beautifully honest posts about what is happening in her life, the things that most of us are afraid to say.  Some of my favorite posts were 10%, Transparent People, the chalk hair dye, and any and all disney princess tutorials!  I love her writing and really respect what she has to say.

Last week, she posted a recipe method that I knew I had to try for myself: Cheater's Salmon Florentine.  Her idea was to take a filet of salmon, creating a pocket for stuffing by butterflying the filet, and using spinach dip to "cheat" in the flavor of spinach florentine.  Instead of spinach dip, I used my favorite spicy and sweet pepper jelly and cream cheese dip (the one that is always out for tasting at Harry and David's).  I've made pepper jelly on here before, but tonight I "cheated" too and used a prepared jelly from my quarterly trip to the Foggy Bottom Trader Joe's.  To avoid the dreaded soggy breadcrumbs Natasha warned us about, I baked my stuffed and panko-topped salmon filets at 350 F for 15 minutes and then finished under the broiler for about a minute.  The salmon is perfectly cooked, the dip inside adds an easy spicy-sweet kick that pairs beautifully with the fish, and as promised the panko is perfectly crisp.  

Simple method, simple execution, simply delicious.  I can't wait to see what else Natasha has in store! (And I hope my fan-girling won't lead to her and her husband unfollowing me on twitter...)

June 10, 2013

Buffalo Turkey Burgers - June Secret Recipe Club

Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal!  Just a quick ankle update before we dive in - I'm basically all better!  Still get a little puffy and uncomfortable, but there is definitely less strategic planning of my life based on how much time on my feet I can take.  My foot is finally fat enough to wear real shoes without any padding!  My rainbow of $10 flats is obviously frowned upon by my surgeon, so I am slowly building a collection of grown up responsible shoes in various bright colors (neon pink added yesterday, thanks Mamabear!).  I tried scar massage therapy to help sort out all the muscle weirdness around the metal bits and it seems to have helped out a lot.  All I need now is to pick up some speed for running so I can get back on the kickball field without having to yell at people not to peg me whilst hobbling to first base.  Progress!

But please forgive me for trying to catch up on regular-legged life and neglecting my kitchenly duties.  My sister and I have consisted on chicken burgers, buffalo chicken dip, and salsa the past couple of weeks, oops.  Which brings me to today's topic, the epic combination of our favorite go to dinners inspired by Jenny of Jenny's Cookbook: Buffalo Turkey Burgers!  This girl is awesome - mom of two with tons of inspiring recipes, drool-worthy desserts, and creative crafts to do with her girls.  I know I will be coming back to try these Yazdi Cupcakes, the inside of the cake looks incredible!

When I saw her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf and the story of the meat balls being turned into meatloaf, I was instantly inspired to make her meatloaf into a burger!  My store ran out of chicken, so I chose lean ground turkey.  I added my usual grated onion and garlic to the burger base, took out the typical meatloaf ingredients, and went to town with the buffalo sauce!  Instead of adding melted butter to the meat, I cooked the burgers in a little butter and then recreated the melted butter - buffalo sauce combo to toast up the buns in the pan.  An easy sauce of bleu cheese, lemon juice, and sour cream with thinly sliced celery and red onion topped the burgers.

The result?  A spicy bleu cheesy mess of a burger that evokes all of the best parts of buffalo wings and Jenny's meatloaf.  Thanks for the inspiration!

And for some more inspiration....

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