My birthdays have finally caught up with me and I've had to face the tough reality that my vision is no longer what it used to be. I've been living in denial for quite a while now. I've used glasses for my near sightedness for years but now that I'm 47, apparently I'm both near sighted AND far sighted! I'm not even sure how it's even possible to not be able to see near OR far.
Growing older may equate to deteriorating eye sight but I feel like with each passing year, my taste buds have become proportionally more intense. Maybe my sense of taste is compensating for my declining eye sight. Ten years ago, I would have never been able to pick up on the subtlety of a shitake mushroom, truffle oil or an aged gruyere in a risotto dish. To be honest, I'm really not sure that I would have even eaten a risotto dish a few years ago.
There are a lot of downsides to maturity and I won't go into that lengthy list, but I do seem to gain a new appreciation for food with each trip that I make around the sun. I'll hold onto each and every advantage that there is to getting older. I love that the flavor of fruit seems more intense than it did when I was younger. Herbs are more vivid and vegetables more crisp. I can truly appreciate a really great 3 ingredient dessert like Strawberry Lime Sorbet now, even more than ever before.
Strawberries, limes and sugar is all it takes to make this really sweet and delicious frozen treat. This sorbet is absolutely bursting with fresh flavor. You NEED to try this.
Puree ingredients in blender.
I've love this Strawberry Lime Sorbet so much that I've made it multiple times this summer already. I can tell you from experience that it's equally delicious if you swap out the sugar for TruVia sweetener. I keep a container of the stevia sweetened strawberry lime sorbet in my freezer for nights when I crave a little dessert but don't want the extra calories and sugar. It's REALLY good.
I'm learning to thrive in the gray areas of eating. I'm also learning to accept the fact that not all of my daily decisions can be as black and white as I would like. Sure there are some decisions that are very clear cut: Should I get out of bed? Should I each some chocolate today? I can answer YES to both of those questions without even giving them a second thought.
The problem is that black and white rules don't apply to healthy eating. These days the rules of healthy eating are constantly changing. One diet "expert" makes the claim that we should eat salmon at least once a week while another warns us to avoid it at all costs. Eat only farm raised salmon, eat only wild caught salmon, eat coho salmon, eat only Alaskan salmon. What are we supposed to believe? It's all very confusing and quite honestly - overwhelming.
Thriving in the gray area, means finding balance in my diet. Shrugging off my guilt for indulging in something "forbidden", listening to my body and allowing myself to eat the things that are right for me and not removing sugar completely from my diet to the point where I obsess over it. Thriving in the gray area. Balancing my ice cream binge sessions with some vegetables.
Today I cooked salmon tacos for dinner. Salmon is a hot topic right now in the healthy eating world and there is a LOT of information regarding both the benefits and the disadvantages of its consumption. The fact is that I enjoy salmon and eating it makes me happy so I eat it at least once a week. These Smoked Salmon Tacos are a great way to really enjoy salmon in a delicious and healthy way.
Smoked Salmon Tacos
1 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pound salmon filet
1 cup wood chips
2 Tablespoons apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 small granny smith apple, peeled and chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
12 (6 inch) flour tortillas
3 cups salad greens
Add salad greens.
I cook a lot of salmon and I don't like to repeat recipes. (I'm a food blogger after all.) I had explored what I thought was every possible way to prepare this delicious seafood - then I discovered the salmon taco. I wasn't sure about the idea of a salmon taco at first but I was ready for a new way to enjoy my salmon so I agreed to give it a shot. I am so glad that I did. This may just be my new favorite way to enjoy salmon.
What's your favorite food? I never know how to answer that question so I usually give chocolate as an impulsive answer without really giving it much thought. But, if I really search the depths of my soul, I would have to say that my love of fresh raspberries trumps my love of chocolate. There's just something special about those little bright red fruity gems.
My wonderful husband surprised me a raspberry pie from my favorite raspberry farm for my birthday this year. (Doesn't everyone have a favorite raspberry farm?) Sometimes I think Ben knows me better than I know myself, but then again, it didn't really take much deductive research to figure out that I'm obsessed with raspberries. I blogged about them here, and here and here.
Even though I often overlook the apprized raspberry, I am always delightfully surprised at just how happy they make me. These little ricotta toasts are one of my new favorite way to enjoy raspberries. It doesn't hurt that pistachios also hold a place near and dear to my heart. Oh, and ricotta cheese is my guilty pleasure so when you drizzle in a little bit of honey over these tiny creations - ridiculous. This recipe couldn't be any easier - or more delicious.
Raspberry Ricotta Toasts
1 cup ricotta
1 Tablespoon honey
4 slices country bread, toasted
pistachios, roughly chopped
Top with fresh raspberries, pistachios and a drizzle of honey.
This is one of those delicious foods that crosses all traditional food boundaries. It's the perfect brunch food, a delightful little side dish for a ladies luncheon, an elegant appetizer, a sweet little dessert or if you're me ... it's DINNER. I struggled to figure out where to put them in my recipe index. Breakfast foods, appetizers and desserts all seemed like perfectly appropriate places to add this delicious treat. (Just in case your curious, the recipe landed on the appetizers page of my recipe index.)
We've reached the height of summer. And it's not just the mosquito overlords attacking every exposed limb on my body that makes me aware that it's summertime. I know that we've officially reached the pinnacle of summer when the fresh berries hit the supermarkets. Plump raspberries, giant blueberries, divine blackberries and the juiciest, most delicious strawberries. I actually break into an embarrassingly awkward happy dance in the middle of the produce section when the shelves are filled with fresh summer berries. It's true.
I go a overboard when the berries arrive and I bring them home pounds. (Yes, that was plural.) Keenly aware of the fleeting season, I live in constant fear that the berries won't be available when I return to the store. Sooooo, I panic, buy them all, and we go on ridiculous berry eating binges in a race against time to consume every last delicious berry while it's still at its peak.
When the summer berries are at their best, they should be the star of every summer dessert. Just my opinion. A simple shortcake, a slice of pound cake or a piece of angel food cake and a dollop of whipped cream is the only thing you need to bring out the very best of these summer berries. We eat a lot of strawberry shortcake, blueberry cobbler and angel food cake with fresh blackberries and raspberries. I love dessert recipes that really highlight the taste of the fresh summer berries. That's why I'm introducing you to the amazing Grilled Balsamic Strawberry Pound Cake. I just know that you are going to love it as much as I do.
Balsamic Strawberry Pound Cake
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
6 slices pound cake
Serve strawberries over grilled pound cake.
This is a great example of how an uber simple dessert can be over the top delicious. I you feel like you want to make your own pound cake - check out my recipe here: Cream Cheese Pound Cake. If you're short on time, pick up a pound cake from the grocery store and don't feel the least bit guilty about it because once you grill it up and add some fresh berries - it will be delectable.
Perhaps I'm just naturally a skeptic but when I read the title "One Hour Pizza" I immediately begin to question whether or not it's even possible to make really great homemade pizza in an hour. It's just too good to be true. I'm pretty sure that I can't even call and order a pizza and have it delivered to my house in under an hour.
I was so intrigued by the idea of making pizza in an hour that when I saw this recipe in my cooking magazine - I had to try it immediately. I suspected that this was either going to be my new favorite go-to meal OR, it was going to go horribly wrong. I was prepared to spend at least three times that amount of time since that's about what it normally takes for me to make homemade pizza.
I'm happy to report that the scrumptious looking mushroom and olive pizza that's pictured on this post was prepared in ONE HOUR!!! It's true. I anticipated that I would have to have all of my ingredients prepped and measured and sitting on the counter in order for me to hit the one hour mark. I even made the homemade pizza sauce for this amazing pie.
In the end, I followed the recipe as written, from start to finish and I even stopped along the way to snap pictures for the blog and much to my astonishment, I was pulling the first pizza out of the oven at exactly the one hour mark. And it was SUPER tasty. Looks like I have a new go-to pizza recipe.
One Hour Pizza
1 1/3 cups bread flour 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup semolina flour 1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water 1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup mild lager 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Bake in 500 degree oven 8-12 minutes.
How do you top your pizza? For me its olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella for a perfect pie. I only had olives and mushrooms on hand for this creation but I have to say - it was one incredible pizza.
This recipe is such a game changer for me. Now that I've added homemade pizza to our quick and easy dinner meal rotation - I'm thinking we're going to be eating a whole lot more of it.
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