June 2010

Strawberry Festivals!

It’s that time of year again—when everything is ripe and juicy and berrylicious. The scent of strawberries is in the air, and not just because the round red fruits are in season. There are strawberry festivals popping up all across the country—be sure to find and hit yours or you’ll be sorry you missed it!

I don’t know how the strawberry festival near you works, but the one near us is always heavenly. Sure, it’s hot outside, but the homemade strawberry lemonade (doesn’t that just make your mouth water?) makes it all worth it. Plus, there are bushels of ripe strawberries ready for purchase—along with strawberry ice cream, strawberry pie, and of course, my favorite, strawberry shortcake. Strawberry festivals are a strawberry lover’s dream!

Tasty, Healthy and Easy Salmon Fillets with Lemon Relish

Salmon is of course a staple cuisine of the Pacific Northwest and there are literally hundreds of different ways to prepare it, most of them quite tasty. Recently, I decided to cook up some salmon a la ex-con Martha Stewart, who has become my new kitchen Guru at long last for her simple, healthy recipes despite her criminal history.

The recipe called for lemon zest, roasted pine nuts, and raisins to be put into a bowl ad covered with boiling water. To make the lemon zest, either thinly slice one entire lemon or grate one lemon peel. In the photo of this particular recipe, the lemon zest was sliced into slivers. While I was preparing the combination, I substituted the raisins for cranraisins and added in the zest of an orange- both choices proved to be delightful.

The Deceptive Simplicity of Steak

A proper steak is easy to cook, though by "easy" I just mean "involving relatively few steps and a short list of ingredients". It's the details that make the difference between an okay steak and a really excellent one. So, first, let's look at the simple version of the steak-cooking process.

  • Procure meat
  • Gently massage meat with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Brown one side of the steak in a heated pan for approximately 1-2 minutes
  • Turn steak and place the pan in a 475 degree oven for no more than 2 minutes
  • Carefully retrieve the pan, then let the steak rest while covered for at least 5 minutes

And voila! You have steak. But it's really not as easy as that.