Ingredient Spotlight: Fresh Herbs 2012

I love growing fresh herbs in the garden.  There’s something lovely about wandering out to the backyard and pulling fresh basil leaves to add to the dinner pasta.

Or enjoying the scent by running my hand through the lavender while I water the plants.

Basil is my favorite fresh herb to grow.  It grows well and adds so much flavor to dishes.  But I also like growing chives, rosemary, thyme, mint…  I grow lavender just for the scent.  I’ve never tried cooking with it.  Have any of you? I’d love to see some recipes that use lavender, whether for food or homemade soaps or lotions.

Here are some of my recipes that use fresh herbs:  [Read more…]

Tropical Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice – Easy & Special!

This is one of those dinners that tastes special, like you’ve gone to extra trouble.

Good news!  This dish is quick to fix.  I had it finished in about 30 minutes and that included time to line up ingredients, take photos and jot down my recipe.  Not bad.

I did start with another recipe as inspiration.  I wasn’t sure what should go into the Pineapple Salsa, so I searched Tasty Kitchen and came up with a recipe for Tropical Chicken and Coconut Rice Bowl.  It’s from Katie at The College Culinarian.

I wanted fish instead of chicken, so I turned the marinade into a sauce for the tilapia.  And I tweaked her salsa recipe a bit too.  The result was delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Summertime Tuna Tomato Salad

This is not your typical tuna salad.  There’s no mayo.

Instead, the tuna is served over avocado slices and topped with tomatoes, cilantro and a simple vinaigrette dressing.  The flavors are out of this world.  For complete happiness, serve it with good, crusty bread.

Oh yeah, you don’t need to turn the oven on for this dinner either.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Fresh Herbs

Do you grow your own herbs?

I don’t have much of a green thumb, but I do like to try to grow herbs.  Right now I only have basil and chives, but in the past we’ve had parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, mint and lavender.

Basil is my favorite to cook with.  I love to walk out to the garden boxes and gather a handful while the pasta boils.  Small pleasure.

Here are a few of my recipes that use fresh herbs:  [Read more…]

Black Bean and Corn Salsa/Salad

black bean and corn salsa done

I thought I was making a salad, but my family decided it was a salsa.  It did taste good scooped up on chips.

There must be a kachillion ways to make this dish.  I put mine together based on what I had available in the pantry.

[Read more…]

Shrimp Tacos

shrimp tacos done

I have the best neighbors.  I asked my boys what they wanted for dinner the other day, and they both requested Fish Tacos.  The Chipotle Dressing calls for cilantro.  I have some growing in the garden, but there wasn’t much.  I took it in the house, determined to make it work and then the phone rang.  It was my neighbor asking if I needed cilantro.  She had a bunch that she wouldn’t be able to use up and offered it to me, not realizing that I needed some at that exact moment!  It’s such a blessing to have neighbors like that!

Back to the tacos – I had 1 bag of Tilapia fillets in the freezer and also a bag of shrimp, so I decided to make both kinds.  I seasoned the shrimp with plenty of Old Bay Seasoning and sizzled them in a hot, iron skillet.  This time I only had romaine lettuce, instead of the slaw mix or cabbage, but it made a good substitution.

[Read more…]

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