July 2014

John wanted our dinner a few Sundays ago to sustain him for
the whole week, since he would be busy with meetings and travel.  Yes! A cooking objective. I love those.  I grilled salmon and a few of these for later in the week, and then
I made mashed potatoes that were creamy enough to feel indulgent on a Sunday,
but healthy enough that you could eat them throughout the week without feeling
like a tub of lard. Success! I think. Just a touch of butter and cream cheese
give these taters tons of flavor, but the addition of chicken broth, skim milk,
and broccoli lighten it up.




  • 6 huge baking potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese (about ¼ of the boxed package)
  • ¾ cup skim milk
  • 1 broccoli head, florets chopped
  • S&P
  • Shredded cheddar and sour cream for serving (optional)


Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain the water, then return
to low heat to allow the potatoes to dry out.
Mash them, while mixing in the chicken broth, butter, cream cheese, and
milk. Stir and mash until smooth.   Steam
the broccoli florets for about 3.5 minutes in the microwave.  Chop into smaller pieces, then stir into the
potatoes.  Serve potatoes with cheddar
cheese and sour cream.


By the way, some of you may be horrified that my ‘light’
potatoes still contain 4T butter and 2oz cream cheese. All I can say is that I
don’t really know. Normally I use at least a full stick of butter, plus sour
cream and/or cream cheese for good measure.
So, my only qualification for making something light is that I use less
of the good stuff than I want.  Plus all
the broccoli in here must count for something. Although I have to admit the whole time I was thinking how great these would be loaded with bacon.

I love a good light, creamy pasta.  Toss in some charred corn, veggies, top with grilled salmon… and you have a perfect summer meal.  This was also great leftover, though the pasta soaks up a lot of the sauce so you might want to make a little extra to keep on hand.  This was a brilliant meal to make for my husband who declared the week earlier he was going to try to cut back on carbs, and then ended up eating this Sunday-Wednesday.  I don’t try to sabotage people’s healthy eating goals, it just seems to come naturally sometimes. Like every Sunday when I bake a batch of cookies large enough to feed a family of 47.


  • 4-5 cups pasta shells (dry)
  • 3/4 cup white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Several dashes nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • Half lemon
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan and Parsley

Start by browning the corn in a skillet – high heat, not stirring too often to get that nice charred look/flavor.  Next, make the pasta according to instructions and start the sauce.  Reduce wine in a saucepan for a few minutes, then turn the heat to low and add in cream, S&P, and nutmeg. Allow it to thicken for a minute or two.  Whisk together the flour and milk, then add into the sauce and bring to a really low boil.  Remove from heat, and squeeze in the lemon juice.  Stir the sauce into the drained pasta, then stir in the veggies.  Top with Parmesan and parsley.  Highly recommend with blackened salmon!

4th of July Cookies


Make these! Hurry! You have a couple days!  Also this is the first time I have ever posted a holiday-themed recipe in advance of the holiday, so I deeply hope that someone benefits from it.

I simply made these sugar cookies, which I also have made here, but doubled the recipe, omitted the sprinkles, added white chocolate chips, and dyed half blue and half red.  Make sure the dough is chilled before baking, and I think using cold butter gives you a puffier cookie.  To get the swirl effect, you simply take a pinch of each dough and roll them into a ball together. Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350.

Enjoy, and happy birthday America!

I don’t know what the defining quality of ‘relish’ is, but I
chose to call this relish instead of salsa due to the lack of spice.  This is sweet, and my favorite summer dish of
2014. Though I guess to be fair I have minimal posts to compete with this
year.  Easy, summery, and oh so good –
make it for the 4th!
  • 4 center cut salmon fillets
  • Oil, S&P or Seasoning for Salmon
  • Lemon
  • 4 ears corn
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 3 heaping tablespoons freshly chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Grill the corn until charred on all sides, 10-20 minutes
depending on grill temp.  Let cool, then
saw the kernels off using a serrated knife. Combine the corn, tomatoes, avocado,
and basil in a bowl.  Generously season
with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice of half of a lemon (or lime would
due too, if they didn’t cost $4,000/lb right now), and stir together with the
olive oil and balsamic.
Season the
salmon with olive oil, juice from the other half of the lemon, and S&P or
blackening.  Grill over medium high heat
until it flakes, then serve with the corn relish.  I love this so much I may never change this
recipe, but it did cross my mind that a touch of cheese or sour cream could be
a magical addition.