Salted Olive Oil Salmon

Since we are moving back to Florida, I need to get better at making fish. Salmon is full of healthy omega-3 and thanks to The Kitchn, I now know how to bake it in the oven. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • One 1-pound salmon fillet
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F. Rinse and pat the salmon dry. Place salmon on foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with Pam or coconut oil. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 4-6 minutes per half-inch of salmon. The one I purchased was about half an inch thick at the ends and about an inch and a half thick at the middle, so I baked it for about 16 minutes.

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Matcha Green Tea Latte

I have found an amazing pick-me-up for the afternoon slump! Note: It contains a lot of caffeine. I love the Starbucks green tea latte (not found on the menu, I might add), but it can get pricey when you order it over and over. So, I decided to investigate this matcha powder business. I went over to Dorothy Lane Market and picked up some Republic of Tea Matcha powder for about $14. If I use 1.5 tsp per cup, it will make about 18 servings or so. Not bad!

I found the recipe for the green tea latte on this website.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp hot (not boiling) water
  • 1 tsp sugar (I use 3)
  • 1 cup skim milk

Directions:

Sift the matcha powder through a mesh basket into the cup to get rid of lumps. Add the hot water to the powder and whisk quickly, or use a frother to make a smooth dark green paste. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over high heat, but do not bring to a boil. Small bubbles should be appearing on the surface and the edges of the saucepan when you remove it from the heat. Froth the milk for 20-30 seconds. The volume will double! Pour into the cup. Here, I add a step and froth the latte. Sprinkle with more matcha powder from the mesh basket.

 

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Kiwi Vanilla Protein Shake

Another protein shake for an energized day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 small banana
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 peach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Directions:

Blend banana and water first. Add the kiwi and peach and blend again. Add the protein powder and blend. Finally, add the ice cubes and blend for another minute.

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Cherry Peach Protein Smoothie

It’s cherry season, and that means I’m finding ways to incorporate cherries into all sorts of dishes. I’ll start with a cherry protein shake, using the Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla protein powder I just purchased. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small peach, quartered
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 6 frozen cherries
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Directions:

In a blender, puree the banana, milk, and peach. Add the protein powder. Add the frozen cherries and ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

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Mrs. Fields Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have had the Mrs. Fields Best Cookie Book Ever since 1996, when I was ten years old. As a child I was obsessed with learning how to bake, but my cookies never came out quite right. At first I decided it was our old oven. But as the years went on I realized I was always trying to cut the recipes in half or quarters, or mixing the batters by hand (not a good idea!) and that’s where things started going wrong. This time, I was prepared with my stand mixer, determined to make the FULL recipe, even if it meant having lots and lots of leftover cookies. This recipe turned out to be extremely easy to follow, and I placed the leftover blob of cookie dough in the fridge, where it will stay safe until I’m ready to bake a new batch.

You can find this recipe for Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies on page 6. I made a couple of minor changes, which I’ve listed below.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)–Note: I used milk chocolate chips and the cookies came out great =)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (this is an extra ingredient I added)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the butter and mix to form a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla. Blend at medium speed. Do not overmix.

Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Blend at low speed until just mixed. Add the walnuts. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes (I baked them for 22) or until golden brown.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen (I usually get about 36)

Calories: 1 cookie has 180  (if you make 36)

 

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DIY Day: Lip balms and scrubs!

I’m on a quest to find the perfect lip balm (and scrub) recipe!

I experimented with different ingredients and quantities, and although they came out a bit messy at first (see first batch on the left), they looked decent when I set them out to solidify.

Lip balms

Here are the recipes, starting from the left, and a note on their outcomes =)

First: This came out great!

  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp beeswax (beads)
  • 5 drops peppermint oil
  • 3 drops Vitamin E oil
  • Lipstick shavings

 

Second: This one also came out with a good consistency.

  • 1 tsp. shea butter
  • 1 tsp. beeswax
  • 2 tsp. sweet almond oil

Note: You can try using 1/2 tsp beeswax for a more liquid consistency.

Also, I like Michelle Phan’s recipe. It calls for 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 tsp almond oil, and 1/2 tsp beeswax.

 

Third: Don’t try this at home. It never solidified!

  • 1 tsp. sweet almond oil
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp. beeswax
  • 4 drops vitamin E
  • 1 tsp. honey

 

Fourth: A liquidy mess!

  • 1 tsp. sweet almond oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. shea butter

 

Fifth (scrub): from the website Alyssa and Carlacan’t go wrong with sugar scrubs!

  • 1 tsp. sweet almond oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1.5 tsp. sugar
  • 2 drops peppermint oil

Baked tortilla chips

Need a fast snack to prepare for surprise guests? Take a tortilla and slice it into eighths. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Place the tortilla slices in a single layer on the sheet and brush lightly with olive oil, salt, and any other toppings you would like (I stick to salt and pepper). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so. Check them often, because ovens vary and you don’t want them too browned!

I made these for my husband as an appetizer when we celebrated our 3-month wedding anniversary, right before we sat down to spaghetti and meatballs with crusty garlic bread. As luck would have it, I spilled my glass of wine all over the table, cracking the glass all over the hummus and tabbouleh I had served…but the tortilla chips survived!

This is what it looked like BEFORE I spilled the wine:

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