Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cook-Off Recipes from Team #2

Team 2 - Kathy and Kenyotta

Grilled Salmon w/ Citrus Salsa Verde

Recipe of

Total Time: 23 min / Prep 10 min / Inactive 5 min / Cook 8 min
Yield: 4 servings / Level: Easy


2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons capers rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Vegetable or canola oil, for oiling the grill
4 (4 to 5-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skinned, each about 3-inches square
2 tablespoons amber agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the salsa: Peel and trim the ends from each orange. Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint, capers, orange zest, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Toss lightly and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the salmon: Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the grilling rack with vegetable oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Brush the salmon on both sides with the agave nectar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Spoon the salsa verde on top of the salmon or serve on the side as an accompaniment.

***The side that was served with the Grilled Salmon w/ Citrus Salsa Verde was Steamed Rice.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cook-Off Recipes from Team #1

Team 1 - Stephanie D, Latrice, and Olivia

Orange Braised Short Ribs

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella and Orange dipped in Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Braised Short Ribs

2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
32 ounces beef broth
1 orange, sliced and juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2-3 pounds of bone in short ribs
2 large sweet potatos, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks

Place fennel seeds and peppercorns in a metal tea strainer ball or tie them up in a small piece of cheesecloth.  In the beef broth, mix the orange slices, orange juice, cumin, garlic and the strainer that contains the seeds and peppercorns.

Place the short ribs and the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker and add the spice ball (or bag) and the broth mixture.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the meat is tender enough to fall apart with a fork.

Shred the meat off of the bones, before serving.

***The sides that were served with the Orange Braised Short Ribs was Sweet Potatoes and Sauteed Kale.

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella and Orange dipped in Orange Vinaigrette

This appetizer is their own design for a nice fun twist, they took a more  Avantgarde approach! 

I will post this recipe the week after I have posted teams #5 recipes, so it will be about April 27th for this Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella and Orange Appetizer recipe. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Awesome Fun Cook Off with Friends and Family - First Ever

A couple months ago, a group of my friends and family were talking about the Iron Chef cook off show.  They thought it would be fun to do a cook off amongst each other.  They agreed and started planning for their cook off.  The decision for the main ingredient...  became Oranges since we live in Southern California where oranges are very plentiful.  This decision was made because none of them had ever seen oranges used as the main ingredient on the show.   
There was such a large group that wanted to participate, that there was five teams of three people.  Each team was given a choice of either making an Entree or an  Appetizer and Dessert.
Three teams decided on an Entree and two teams decided on an Appetizer and Dessert.  One of the teams that fix an Entree also decided to do an Appetizer of their own design for a nice fun twist, taking more of an Avantgarde approach!  

Team 1 - Stephanie D, Latrice, and Olivia

Orange Braised Short Ribs

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella and Orange dipped in Orange Vinaigrette

Team 2 - Kathy and Kenyotta
Grilled Salmon w/ Citrus Salsa Verde

Team 3 - Brittney, Alex, and Marissa

Stuffed French Bread Orange Pizza Rustica

Orange Cheesecake

Team 4 - Danielle, Elsa, and Karen

Orange Herb Pot Roast

Team 5 - Stephanie R, Beverly, and Lorean
Spicy Orange Glazed wings w/ Citrus mayo Dipping Sauce
Orange Cream Pound Cake w/ Sweet Orange Drizzle

We had such a wonderful time and everyone wanted to share their excitement and experience with you.... by sharing their recipes.  I will post pictures of each dish along with the corresponding recipe over the next month and a half!

They all commented that this was a real nice way to spend time with one another with a fun twist! 

Here is the scorecard that we made up for the cook off below.

Our Judges
Selena, Ken, and Dora
And our very own Commentator,

And we don't want to leave out our photographers,

Nick and Miss Katelyn Grace

Recipes following over the next few weeks! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Apron Sewing Class - Part 2

About a year ago Stephanie and Latrice wanted to learn how to sew.  I posted back in August 2012 about when they first started their aprons and this is the finishing blog of their apron project.  They had both asked me to teach them some basics sewing techniques.  We had a sewing class once a week to learn some basic skills.  Both of them wanting to make aprons because of their creative side in the kitchen, they both love to cook and bake.  I'm sure we will be doing more sewing projects but we lightly hit the basic sewing skills enough for them to complete their aprons.  

 We'll the reason for this second blog on the apron project is explained right here....  if you seen the first blog you will have noticed that they both got about half finished with their aprons and then things came up and they both got a little preoccupied with other things and this all kept them from finishing the aprons. Recently they both convinced each other they needed to finish their aprons.


They finished their aprons just in time for the iron chef cook-off that they planned with some more friends....  Come back next week for the cook-off results!   


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Homemade Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

There are no pictures of our the past years making chunky homemade applesauce, but the empty jars that await me with the coming of every fall.   I was very young when my mother and her sisters did their first canning of pears and peaches.  I learned a lot by observing and helping them peel and cut up the fruit. 

Many memories over the years and I'll share a few with you here....

1985 ~ My first time I ever challenged myself and made homemade cinnamon applesauce on my own, I was in my early 20's.  Tim and I were living in North Carolina in the middle of High Hopes apple orchard.   It was almost fall and at the orchard they were getting ready to pick all the apples for the season.  One night I decided that I would go pick a few apples and make an apple pie.  As I was picking apples for the apple pie... I started thinking about the apples that where on all these trees... this orchard was about 100 acres.  We'll with all this being said... I went back in the house and double a couple brown paper grocery bags and went back out and picked some apples.  The next day, I went out and bought my big enamel canning pot, canning jars and the other supplies that I needed.  Then I started on my adventure... within a few couple days, I had made about 24 quart jars ~ 2 cases of cinnamon applesauce.  

2000 ~ Several years went by without any homemade applesauce after those jars ran out.  My husband kept asking when I was going to make some more applesauce.   There was a group of us that had been talking about going up to (Apple Hill) Placerville, California in the fall.  We had such a great time on that trip, there was about 20 of us, all ages.  This is when we lived in the bay area... well Vallejo, California.   Again... I was gathering up everything up that I would need because several years had past by since making homemade applesauce the last time.  This time I decided to make 48 quart ~ 4 cases.   After I finished making this batch of applesauce I had a little bit of applesauce left over after filling all the jars, so I decided to have a brunch with all that went on the trip to apple hill and a few other of our elderly from our church that couldn't make it.... we had such a wonderful time that day.  There are a few that still talk about that day, now and how much they really enjoyed it.  "What Great Memories!" 

If you live in Northern California here is a site you might want to check out.  It is a great day trip... fun with family and friends at Apple Hill... Placerville & Camino, California Area.

2005 ~ A couple years after moving to New Mexico, we bought a home in Corrales, a real country setting where there was an old orchard that had been turned into a small subdivision of homes nestled in the middle of this old apple and pear orchard.  The property that we bought had 30 apple trees.... needless to say there were more apple than what we needed.  We gave apples to all our friends and then gave some more!  I couldn't tell you how many apples we canned those two years, but there was apples to freeze for futures pies and applesauce for us and all our family/friends!  We even gave apples to a homeless shelter there in the area. 

2012 ~ Here in Southern California we found a place that we can go pick Apples, so we can make applesauce again... our cupboard is bare, it only has empty canning jars!  If you live in this area here is the site you can check out, this is also a nice day trip... Oak Glen, California, Oaktree Village Oak Glen ~ 14 Acres of Family Fun,  Things to do in Southern California.


I usually use red and yellow delicious apples and some rome apples, but this year I changed up and used some different brands.  It my little secret and I'll see if my family can tell the difference.  I hope that they are recieved well... time will tell. 
Just a few jars of chunky spiced applesauce to get us through this next year, we even was able to can up some apple butter and and freeze some apples to make apple pies for the upcoming holidays.