Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho with Garlic Tuna, Bacon and Avocado

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Have you ever tried gazpacho before?
It's one of my favorite things to make when the days start to get hotter especially when those summer tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers are in season and super cheap! Everything gets blended up, chilled and topped with a little something for texture at the end. Sometimes it's croutons, extra diced tomato and cucumber or, you can use my favorite new combo and top yours off with rich olive oil garlic tuna, chopped bacon and avocado slices!
This is my second entry for the Tonnino Tuna Blogger Recipe Challenge and I think it will be on repeat all summer long at my house! It's easy to make ahead, gluten free, cool and refreshing in this summer heat, beautiful to look at and pairs perfectly with a side salad, grilled chicken, grilled crusty bread- literally anything you have on hand.
The Tonnino Garlic Tuna is the perfect light protein to go with all of the fresh summer veggies in this chilled garden fresh soup!
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho with Garlic Tuna, Bacon and Avocado
1 1/3 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped cucumber
¼ cup chopped red onion
3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

1 jar (6.7 oz) Tonnino Garlic Tuna
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 avocado, sliced

Place the roasted red bell peppers, tomato, green bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until smooth. Place in the fridge to chill.

When ready to serve, drain the tuna and gently flake it with a fork into bite size pieces. Place an equal amount of the flaked tuna into 4 shallow soup bowls. Pour the chilled gazpacho around the tuna. Top with crumbled bacon and avocado slices and serve.

Serves 4

Be sure to follow Tonnino on Facebook and Instagram  for more recipe ideas 
and to find out more about their delicious products!
You can find 8 flavors of Gourmet Tonnino Tuna Fillets made from 100% Yellowfin tuna which is low-mercury, Dolphin safe and wild-caught at your local Whole Foods
#temptingyourtaste #tonninobloggerchallenge

Monday, June 24, 2019

Lemon Pepper Tuna Napoleons with Herb Oil

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I am participating in the Tonnino Tuna Blogger Recipe Challenge and Tonnino was nice enough to send me three jars of of their wild-caught, gourmet tuna filets to work with!
My first entry is a gorgeous appetizer that's perfect in this summer weather when you need an appetizer that won't heat up the whole kitchen or take too much time to put together.
Buttery crisp toast rounds layered with chunks of lemon pepper oil packed tuna, kalamata olive, fresh tomato and salty capers. All that would be delicious by itself, but then it's all topped off with a super easy but delicious parsley and scallion oil! Almost too pretty to eat!

Lemon Pepper Tuna Napoleons with Herb Oil
¼ cup packed parsley leaves
¼ cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt

12 slices good quality bakery bread
(I used English muffin toasting bread. Brioche or sourdough would be a good substitute)
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise

2 (6.7 oz) jars Tonnino Lemon & Pepper Tuna, drained
½ cup diced tomato
¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
4 teaspoons capers, chopped

Place the parsley, green onion, olive oil and salt in a small food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set in a small bowl to remove any pieces that may not have been completely pureed.

Using a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut out 12 rounds of bread. Spread both sides of each bread round evenly with a very thin layer of mayonnaise. Place the bread rounds in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until toasted and lightly browned.

Place the drained tuna in a small mixing bowl and gently flake the fish with a fork. Add the tomato, olives and capers and stir to combine.

To build the napoleons layer one toasted bread round, a scoop of tuna, another bread round, and another scoop of tuna on 6 appetizer plates. Drizzle with the herb oil and serve immediately.

Makes 6 appetizer portions
Be sure to follow Tonnino on Facebook and Instagram  for more recipe ideas 
and to find out more about their delicious products!
You can find 8 flavors of Gourmet Tonnino Tuna Fillets made from 100% Yellowfin tuna which is low-mercury, Dolphin safe and wild-caught at your local Whole Foods
#temptingyourtaste #tonninobloggerchallenge

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ricotta Cheddar Corn Cakes

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When it comes to breakfast or brunch I am team savory all the way. And most of the time, if there's an Eggs Benedict situation on the menu, that's what I'm getting. Secretly, I love when my kids get some type of pancake or french toast and I can steal one bite of something sweet at the end of my meal, but generally that's all I want.
These cheesy corn cakes are the perfect savory brunchy item that has just a hint of sweet from the roasted corn but nothing overpowering- just the way I like it. Melty sharp cheddar cheese and creamy ricotta keep these cakes tender and fluffy. 
If you're feeding a large crowd, serve these with a side of crispy bacon and fresh fruit! 

Ricotta Cheddar Corn Cakes
3 eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fire roasted corn kernels, drained (canned or frozen)

Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whisk until frothy and stiff peaks are just barely forming. 
Combine the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, sugar, salt and 2 ounces of the butter in a separate large mixing bowl. 
In a medium mixing bowl toss together the flour, baking powder, corn and shredded cheese. Add the mixture to the ricotta mixture and stir until just blended. Do not over-mix. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
Heat a large non-stick pan or griddle over medium high heat. Brush lightly with some of the remaining melted butter and ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot pan. 
Cook for about 3 minutes or until the surface of the pancake is bubbling. Flip and continue to cook an additional 3 minutes or until the pancakes are golden brown and set. 
Makes 16.



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Bacon Smoked Cheddar Bites

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If you've visited this blog ever before, you will know that I frequently enter recipe contests. It's been my little side gig for the past 12 years, and although I've enjoyed numerous wins, behind every Grand Prize are a handful of entries for various contests that just didn't make the cut. This is one of those recipes that wasn't picked for a prize, but I felt it was just too good to not share. Even though this wasn't exactly what the judges were looking for I think it's a delicious and easy appetizer that would instantly make you friends at your next happy hour, book club or girls night.
How perfect do these little cheesy bites look?! Filled with sharp cheddar cheese and rolled in crispy panko breadcrumbs and bacon....pour me a glass of wine and give me 5!
Feel free to make the cheese mixture well in advance. The more chilled it is, the easier it is to roll. Once you're ready, roll it in the crispy bacon and panko mixture and then serve. If you need it to be a little more substantial serve them with crackers, pita chips or sliced baguette

Bacon Smoked Cheddar Bites
8 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Montreal style steak seasoning
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1/3 cup chopped tomato
5 ounces shredded Smoked Sharp Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup parsley leaves
2 ounces cooked bacon
1 cup panko breadcrumbs



In a medium mixing bowl stir together the cream cheese, garlic, steak seasoning, olives, tomato, cheese and mayonnaise. Once the mixture is well combined, place it in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.

While the cheese mixture is chilling, place the parsley and bacon in a food processor and pulse until it is very finely chopped. Pour the mixture into a small mixing bowl along with the panko and stir to combine.

When the cheese mixture has firmed up, use a small ice cream scoop or Tablespoon, and scoop small balls of the cheese mixture out. Drop the ball directly into the bacon mixture and roll until evenly coated.

Makes 30 bites.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Summer Burger Roundup

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Right now, Pepperidge Farm is hosting a contest called 
They're looking for the most delicious cook-out worthy burgers and hot dogs using their buns and the winners will get $10,000! This is the second year I'm entering and I thought it would be fun to look at all of my entries from last year and re-live the deliciousness all over again.
Bacon, hard boiled eggs, blue cheese, avocado; I'm all in.
As amazing as this burger combo is, I think the real star of the show on this beauty is the Ranch Butter Buns. Yep, you read that right- Ranch. Butter. Buns.

I topped a perfectly grilled burger with all of the goodies you'd find on an Italian Sub; peppered salami, ham, melty provolone cheese, a sweet and spicy cherry pepper spread and tons of fresh crunchy veggies. As delicious as all of that is, I didn't forget the bun. I brushed it with Italian Vinaigrette and toasted it. Kinda like an Italian crouton. Sooooo good!

Have you ever tried those baked slider sandwiches before with the sweet and sticky glaze, ham and melty cheese? They are absolutely decadent and delicious and I think I just raised the bar by making them into burger sliders!

 All the flavors of a big Italian Sunday supper loaded into a toasty garlic parmesan bread bun!

A turkey burger patty flavored with taco seasoning, a zesty jalapeno cilantro mayo spread, bacon, creamy lime roasted corn salad and crispy corn chips all piled on a toasted pillowy potato bun

Ok, I want to know.......which one is your favorite?


Friday, June 14, 2019

Greek Style Grilled Corn Salad

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Grilled corn on the cob just screams summer, doesn't it?!
It's super sweet right now, and since it's in season, it's been super cheap as well.
I'm in love with this simple, fresh and totally gorgeous salad and I hope you love it just as much as I do! It's the perfect side dish for a picnic, potluck or BBQ since it only gets better as it sits and marinates. No wilty greens here!

It's no secret to anyone that knows me how bad I am at growing anything. I'm like hospice for plants; once they come to my house it's just a matter of time before they're withered and brown. But, lucky for me, my awesome neighbors love to garden and love to share. I was gifted some gorgeous tomatoes the other night (Thanks Doris and Tony!) and the combo of the just picked tomatoes and super sweet corn sparked my idea for this salad.
Grilled corn kernels are tossed with fresh tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, briny kalamata olives and a bit of jalapeno (if you're a ninny, just leave that out) - all dressed in a lemon Greek vinaigrette and topped with feta cheese and you're good to go!
Tell me, what's your go-to side dish for all of your summer parties?

Greek Style Grilled Corn Salad
6 ears corn
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 Teaspoon dried Greek seasoning
½ teaspoon minced garlic
3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup halved assorted cherry tomatoes
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
1 small jalapeno, sliced
½ cup feta cheese crumbles

Pre-heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Brush the ears of corn with the oil and place on the grill, turning every few minutes for 10-12 minutes total, or until charred on all sides. Remove from the grill, allow to cool slightly and cut the kernels off the cobs.
Place the Greek seasoning, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a small mason jar and shake well to combine.

Place the grilled corn kernels and vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl and stir to evenly coat all of the kernels. Gently stir in the cucumber, tomatoes, olives and jalapeno. Pour the mixture onto a large serving plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Coconut Crusted Orange & Ginger Salmon with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa

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My third and final entry in the  “Cedar Bay Grilling Blogger Recipe Challenge”
is a tropical dream! I took Cedar Bay Grilling Company Applewood with Orange & Ginger Cedar Planked Salmon Filet and crusted it with crunchy panko breadcrumbs and sweet flaked coconut. Served atop fluffy coconut rice and topped with a sweet and spicy mango salsa, this salmon dish is packed with flavor!
This dish was inspired by one of my son's favorite appetizers- coconut shrimp. Crunchy sweet coconut wrapped around tender shrimp usually served with a sweet and sour sauce to dip. It's absolutely delicious but not exactly the quickest dish to make and, raising a teenage boy I can tell you, it takes a ton of shrimp to fill him up! This salmon takes all of the flavors of that appetizer and turns it into a full meal.
Since the salmon is already marinated in a flavorful orange and ginger seasoning, most of the work is done for you, all you have to do is place it on a cookie sheet, place the crunchy topping on and throw it in the oven- so simple! While the salmon cooks, the rice is cooked and the salsa is stirred together. In less than 30 minutes, you'll have a teenage boy approved dinner!

Coconut Crusted Orange & Ginger Salmon with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa

Coconut Rice:
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice

Coconut Crusted Applewood with Orange & Ginger Cedar Planked Salmon:
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs


Mango Salsa:
1 cup diced mango
1 jalapeno, chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a large saucepan with a lid, stir together the coconut milk, water, sugar, salt and rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is cooked and fluffy.

Stir the coconut and panko together in a small bowl. Remove the Planked Salmon Filet from the wrapper and place directly on a foil lined rimmed cookie sheet. Gently press the coconut mixture onto the top of the salmon. Place in the oven and cook for about 18 minutes, or until the coconut is browned and the fish can be flaked with a fork.

In a small bowl stir together the mango, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Set aside in the fridge to chill.

Serve the salmon on beds of rice and top with mango salsa to serve.

Serves 4
You can find delicious Cedar Bay Grilling Company's award-winning frozen Salmon products that bring the best of Atlantic Canada to homes around the world HERE
Kroger, Publix, Hannaford, Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, Giant, Giant eagle, Stop n Shop and Roche Bros
#cedarbaygrilling #cedarbaysalmon  #cedarbayrecipechallenge
Be sure to follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter 
for more recipe ideas and to find out more about their delicious products!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Salmon BLT Tostadas with Avocado Green Goddess Sauce

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I am taking part in the  “Cedar Bay Grilling Blogger Recipe Challenge” and for my "On The Grill" Category entry I took the Sugar & Spice Cedar Planked Salmon and made the most gorgeous summer ready tostadas you ever did see. Bonus points are in order since they only take 25 minutes to throw together too!
These "Salmon BLT Tostadas with Avocado Green Goddess Sauce" start with crunchy tostada shells loaded with the classic BLT flavors and then made even more crave-worthy with flaked cedar planked sugar and spice salmon!! Drizzled with a creamy avocado green goddess sauce loaded with herbs - it's a match made in summer heaven.

Salmon BLT Tostadas with Avocado Green Goddess Sauce
½ cup basil leaves
½ cup parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons tarragon leaves
½ cup cubed avocado
2 Tablespoons chopped shallot
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
10 tostada shells
2 ½ cups shredded romaine lettuce
2/3 cup chopped tomato
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped


Pre-heat a grill to 425 degrees. Remove the Planked Salmon Filet from the wrapper and place directly on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 18-20 minutes.

While the salmon cooks place the basil, parsley, tarragon, avocado, shallot, mayonnaise, lemon juice, water, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a small food processor and blend until smooth.

Once cooked, use a fork to gently flake the salmon into bite sized pieces, discarding the skin and plank.

To assemble, top each tostada shell with shredded lettuce, tomato, bacon and flaked salmon. Drizzle with the sauce and serve immediately.

Makes 10 Tostadas
You can find delicious Cedar Bay Grilling Company's award-winning frozen Salmon products that bring the best of Atlantic Canada to homes around the world HERE
Kroger, Publix, Hannaford, Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, Giant, Giant eagle, Stop n Shop and Roche Bros
#cedarbaygrilling #cedarbaysalmon  #cedarbayrecipechallenge
Be sure to follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter 
for more recipe ideas and to find out more about their delicious products!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Cedar Planked Salmon Guacamole

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When I saw the “Cedar Bay Grilling Blogger Recipe Challenge” I immediately knew I had to enter. I absolutely love salmon and jumped at the chance to create recipes that highlight one of my favorite ingredients. I totally did not expect the level of deliciousness of the samples I was sent. It is literally the easiest product I've ever worked with - you open the package, set it on the grill or in the oven and in 20 minutes it's done. For real. That's it.
What comes out is showstoppingly (made that up) gorgeous and the flavor is through the roof. As much as I love cedar planked salmon, I usually forget to soak the boards before I want to use them. This has completely fixed that problem. All the work is done for you and the smokiness from the cedar board and the seasoning blends on the salmon just can't be beat.
For my Entertaining / Appetizer Category entry I took the Sugar & Spice Cedar Planked Salmon and mixed it up with one of my absolute party favorite appetizers!
Cedar Planked Salmon Guacamole
The sweet and spicy flaked salmon has a slight smokiness that pairs perfectly with the fresh lime, creamy avocado and spicy roasted jalapenos. Served with toasted garlicky naan flatbread wedges and tortilla chips, I'm in heaven!
I know this is an appetizer, meant to share with family and friends, but if you decide to make this your meal I would totally understand.
Cedar Planked Salmon Guacamole
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 jalapeno peppers
4 garlic flavored naan flatbreads
6 large ripe avocados, peel and pit removed
6 Tablespoons lime juice
6 Tablespoons minced red onion
¾ cup chopped cilantro
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 large bag corn tortilla chips

Pre-heat a grill to 425 degrees. Remove the Planked Salmon Filet from the wrapper and place directly on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 12 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, brush the oil evenly over the jalapenos. Once the salmon has cooked for 12 minutes, place the jalapenos on the grill next to the plank, close the lid and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the salmon when it easily flakes and the jalapeno when it is well charred and place on a sheet pan to slightly cool.
Place the naan flatbreads on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until warmed through and slightly crisp. Remove from the grill, slice into wedges and place on a serving platter.

Remove the stem and seeds from the charred jalapenos and chop them. Using a fork, gently flake the salmon into bite sized pieces, discarding the skin and plank.
Place the avocado in a large mixing bowl and coarsely mash them with the back of a fork. Gently stir in the lime juice, red onion, cilantro, salt, chopped jalapeno and most of the flaked salmon, reserving ¼ cup for garnish.


Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and top with remaining flaked salmon. Serve with warm naan flatbread wedges and tortilla chips.
You can find delicious Cedar Bay Grilling Company's award-winning frozen Salmon products that bring the best of Atlantic Canada to homes around the world HERE
Kroger, Publix, Hannaford, Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, Giant, Giant eagle, Stop n Shop and Roche Bros
#cedarbaygrilling #cedarbaysalmon  #cedarbayrecipechallenge
Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 

for more recipe ideas and to find out more about their delicious products!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Cheesy Chipotle Mini Meatloaf Benedicts

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So, something super exciting happened yesterday!
I won the Healthy Solutions Spice Blend's 2019 Recipe Challenge!
They streamed the judging live on Facebook which was really awesome, I loved being able to see the judges taste each dish! Here's their LINK to see all the video coverage of the judging.
The Top 5 dishes were made and judged at Red Arrow Diner in Concord, NH and my  "Cheesy Chipotle Mini Meatloaf Benedicts" came out on top! The prize is $500 and my dish will be featured on the Red Arrow Diner menu!! How cool is that?!
 The contest asked for your best healthy diner dish using one or more of the Healthy Solutions Spice Blends seasonings, so my meatloaf is a combo of lean ground beef, oats and black beans to bump up the protein and nutrition. Stuffed with melty smoked cheddar cheese, glazed with a chipotle honey ketchup sauce and topped with a poached egg and cilantro - it's a Tex-Mex diner dream!

I won the Grand Prize years ago with my Greek Style Baked Turkey Taquitos with Tzatziki Drizzle and I'm still kind of in shock that I won again!

2 Tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo
2 Tablespoons honey
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup canned black beans
1 pound ground beef
1 egg
6 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, cut into 8 cubes
8 eggs
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the chipotle in adobo, honey, Chili/Taco Spice Blend and ketchup. Set aside for later use.
Place the oats in a food processor and process until oats are the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the garlic and onion and pulse until the vegetables are very finely minced. Add the black beans and Chili/Taco Spice Blend and pulse until the beans are coarsely chopped. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the ground beef and egg. Combine the mixture, being careful not to overwork the meat. 
Form the mixture into 8 mini loaves and place one of the cheese squares into each meatloaf. Wrap tightly to make sure none of the cheese is exposed. Brush each stuffed meatloaf with some of the glaze and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaves reaches 160° F. 
While the meatloaves are baking, add 2 inches of water to a large deep skillet and cover. Bring the water up to a simmer over high heat. Once the water is simmering, gently lower 8 eggs into the water. Place the lid back on, turn off the heat and set a timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place them on a clean kitchen towel to drain.
Once the meatloaves are ready, remove them from the oven and brush them with more of the glaze. To serve, place a mini meatloaf on each plate. Top with a poached egg and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately with extra glaze on the side for dipping. 
Serves 8 
Are you following me on Instagram yet? If not, please do! You can find my latest recipe postings and  updates on Beignet and Roux!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Chile Relleno Cornbread Avocado Toast

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Remember that Chile Relleno Cornbread I made?
It's absolutely delicious served as a side to a bowl of chili, slathered with butter straight out of the oven or since I can't get enough of  avocado toast - toasted and topped with mashed avocado and fresh tomatoes!
If you really want to, I bet a fried egg would be amazing on this as well.
All that's missing is the mimosas and this would be the perfect brunch!
Tell me what your favorite brunch dish is.....
Chile Relleno Cornbread Avocado Toast
2 ripe avocados, mashed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked coarse black pepper

Turn broiler on high.
Place the cornbread slices on a small cookie sheet and place on the highest shelf of the oven. Watch very closely to prevent burning, and toast for about 3 minutes, or until the bread is browned around the edges. Remove the pan form the oven, flip the bread over and toast the other side, an additional 3 minutes.
Top each piece of toast with mashed avocado, tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately. 

Are you following me on Instagram yet? If not, please do! You can find my latest recipe postings and  updates on Beignet and Roux! 

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho with Garlic Tuna, Bacon and Avocado

Have you ever tried gazpacho before? It's one of my favorite things to make when the days start to get hotter especially when those...