August 2014

Risotto risotto risotto.
I love it. And I always make it generally the same way, but I’ll
experiment with different add-ins. This past weekend it was roasted
carrots.  I knew it needed something else
to make it more interesting, and my sister geniusly suggested raisins.
Raisins! Perfect! I only had golden raisins so I used those, but I think the purple
ones would be prettier.
  • 2 cups roasted carrots (chopped into 2-inch pieces, drizzled
    with oil and S&P, 400 for ~25 min)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch minced garlic (I used jarred)
  • 1 cup risotto
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
Roast the carrots, set aside.  Sautee the onion in a bit of olive oil until
translucent.  Add the garlic and
butter.  Over medium heat, add the
risotto and stir to coat.  Add the wine
and cook down for a few minutes.  Add the
chicken stock about a ½ cup at a time, continuously stirring while the liquid
cooks into the rice (keep at a low boil/simmer). I typically use about 3.5
cups, and when all the liquid is gone the risotto should be done (takes 20-30
minutes I think?).  Stir in the parmesan
to melt, and add the carrots and raisins.
If I were fancy, I would garnish it with a sprig of mint. And maybe some slivered almonds.
I don’t marinate salmon too often, because I love the
simplicity of lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper with the delicious
fish.  But when I do marinate, my
favorite is a sweet soy sauce flavor – I think it pairs perfectly. This
past weekend we did marinated salmon kabobs with pineapple and onion on our
Firewire skewers, courtesy of my sister-in-law. These are so simple to throw
together and had tons of flavor – even after only marinating for about an
hour.  Plus it was the first thing my
husband and I could agree on after he asked me if I wanted beef
bourguignon.  No. No I don’t want beef
bourguignon in the middle of August in Texas.
Although maybe I do. I love beef bourguignon.
  • 2 lb salmon
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped garlic (the jarred kind – more if you’re
    into garlic)
  • Pepper
  • Chopped pineapple and onion for the skewers
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a Ziploc bag. Cut
the salmon into about 2-inch pieces and add to the bag. Marinate for about one
hour (up to 8 if you have time).  Add all
your onions to the same skewer (s), as these take longer to grill.  Brush these with olive oil and salt, and
grill for about 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Add the pineapple and salmon together on the other skewers, and grill
until the salmon is cooked through.  Don’t these Firewires look fun? Plus I love saying Firewire. Firewire Firewire. Highly recommend!
loved this, and I ate the leftovers on a salad the next day with Kraft toasted sesame dressing.
So so good!

Hatch Chile Corn Fritters

Delightful, that’s what these are. Sweet corn with a little
bit of heat from the chiles…..big payoff for minimal effort.  It’s Hatch Chile season, which is a type of
chile from New Mexico that makes it’s way into every grocery store in Texas. Central Market goes nuts for hatch chiles this
time of year, incorporating it into everything. Literally everything:
tortillas, bread, chocolate, brownies, cheese, chips, etc.  So, I wanted to make Jalapeno corn fritters
but decided to get a little more festive with the hatch chiles.  Jalapenos would be delicious too!




  • 2 1/3 cups fresh or canned corn, divided
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped green chiles
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Sour cream (for serving)


Using a food processor or blender, pulse 2 cups of the corn,
the corn flour, sour cream, egg and salt 2 or 3 times (you don’t want to turn
it into a paste).  Add the chiles and do
one more pulse. Mix in the cheese and remaining 1/3 cup corn, and do a mini
pulse (you want to leave some big chunks of corn).  Form the corn mixture into patties, coat with
breadcrumbs, and place on a plate. I would recommend putting the patties in the
freezer or fridge for 15-30 minutes to help solidify the shape, but I didn’t
have time to do this and they turned out fine.
Heat enough olive oil to coat the pan over medium-high heat, and cook
the patties until brown on each side (2-5 min per side).  Serve with sour cream, duh!

Dr. Pepper Can Chicken

I’d like to give a shout out to the dinner captain this past
Sunday night, my husband. He decided on beer can chicken. Decided Dr. Pepper
might be tastier. Decided to buy two whole chickens to try one on the grill and
one in the oven. Decided to rub it with our favorite BBQ dry rub. All great
decisions that resulted in one fantastic Sunday dinner.


I would also like to give a shout out to my sister who was
in town, and took on the role of drink captain.
This is what happens when Ingri is the drink captain:



Amazing things.




  • 1 3-4 lb chicken
  • Dry rub of choice (we use a spicy brown sugar pork/poultry
  • Olive oil
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • Beer can chicken stand (optional) – find at Amazon or BBB


You can do this one of two ways: Grill or oven.  In either case, preheat to 350.  If using the oven, line a large roasting pan
with aluminum foil.


Pat the chicken dry.
Sprinkle it with tons of your favorite dry rub or spices. Drizzle with
olive oil.  Pour out about ½ of the Dr.
Pepper. Poke holes along the top of the can and sides (high enough so you don’t
leak all of the Dr. Pepper like John did the first time around – his only fail
of the evening).  Place the can in the
chicken stand, fit the chicken around it (right side up), then cook for about 1
hour and 15 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 160.  Let sit several minutes before carving.
Here’s the oven variation:


Loved this. Will make it again and again.

Sometimes my husband gets dinner inspiration from the most random places.  Last weekend, it was a bag of pre-washed butter lettuce at Trader Joe’s. Butter lettuce. Who has ever been inspired by butter lettuce? No one. But from this “spotting” came the most delicious and satisfying and easy weeknight meal.  It tasted so indulgent for a salad, and is loaded with nutritional super stars like salmon, avocado, and black beans.

For the record, this
recipe does NOT require butter lettuce from Trader Joe’s (I actually
wasn’t even allowed to get butter lettuce at Whole Foods – had to be
TJ’s).  Any old lettuce will do.


  • 2 grilled salmon fillets
  • 1 package butter lettuce
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Feta or cheddar cheese


  • 1/4 cup light ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk (more or less to reach desired consistency – we like thinner)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash onion powder
  • Dash cumin
  • Juice from 1/2 lime (optional)

We grilled our red pepper and onion to give a nice caramelized charred flavor, but you wouldn’t have to.  If we didn’t have time to grill, we would probably omit the onions all together.  Mix the dressing ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.  Divide salad ingredients into two giant bowls (why are salads so much more appealing in giant bowls?), adjusting ingredients quantities as your heart desires, then toss with dressing and enjoy!