Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon

I am going to be completely honest, I HATE SALMON. I know it’s healthy, high in omega-3s, better than red meat in your diet, etc. I am like a lot of people who think Salmon is very fishy. Turns out if it tastes that strong then it probably isn’t real fresh however…. I just didn’t like it. 

My husband is the one who wanted to eat more salmon. It is an expensive fish, especially if you buy it fresh and wild caught is the best type to get. Now being on a budget, we got 16 oz Wild Caught Pink Salmon bags at Aldi for $ 3.99 on sale. It contained 4 portioned cuts of fish. It worked well to go from frozen to finished in less than 25 minutes. Of course you can use fresh totally up to you. 

This recipe is a keeper since it made change my mind ( and taste buds) of something I hated eating. Maybe it will change your mind too. 

Tools Needed 

  1. Oven preheated at 375 degrees F 
  2. Knife and cutting board 
  3. Ramekin for mixing sauce
  4. Aluminum foil 
  5. Cookie sheet or pan


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons County Crock Spread melted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground Oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion powder 
  • 1/8 teaspoon Black pepper ( plus to season to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (plus to season to taste)
  • 4 pieces of Salmon 

Directions 


1. Mix the melted spread, minced garlic, lemon juice, Oregano, black pepper, salt, and onion powder. Mix well.


2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. 


3. Add the garlic lemon butter mix to the Salmon.


4. Wrap individually and add to oven at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. 


5. Serve with mash potatoes and broccoli. Add some of the juice garlic lemon butter. Delish! 

Lunch will definitely be leftovers. 

Enjoy!

Ericka 

Patelillos Baked or Fried 


Admittedly we haven’t been really in our healthy food kick. However, you can still make food a little healthier just in the way you prepare it. 

Now pastelillos are a staple in any Puerto Rican home. I am mixed (Peruvian and Puerto Rican) however, I really wasn’t taught a lot of Peruvian cuisine. Ask me about pernil, arcapurias or arroz con gandules…. I’m your girl ! 

They really are not hard to make at all and the varieties are endless.

Tool Needed 

  • Pan or cookie sheet
  • Oven at 350 degrees
  • Fork
  • Fryer or pot with oil medium high 


Ingredients

  • 1lb Ground meat cooked snd grease removed. ( I used turkey and beef prepared same way 1 cube of sofrito, Adobo and garlic powder. I had plenty of left over meat. I didn’t make picadillo just flavored ground meat, freezes well)   
  • 20 Goya Discos ( the orange ones or white ones work the same) 
  • Sliced or shredded cheese
  • Fryer or pot with oil 

Directions 

  1. Take out the discos and let sit for 10-20 minutes depending how frozen they are. And preheat oven to 350 degrees f and/ or fryer on medium high. 
  2. Spread out cookie sheet and add a slice of cheese or shredded cheese. 
  3. Add beef or turkey 
  4. Fold and pinch ends then lay to use fork to press in sides to finish sealing them. 
  5. Lay the ones going in the oven evenly.
  6.  Add to oven flip once after 10 
  7. For fried pastelillos, heat oil to medium high. Once heated add no more than 2 at a time. 
  8. Wait 1 minute and flip over and cook another minute. Remove from oil and place on plate with a paper towel. 
  9. Dig in ! 

The baked pastelillos were not greasy at all they had a good crunch and the flavor was awesome. 

The fried pastelillos cooked a lot quicker and did not retain much oil. When you use the oil nice and hot it will not sop up a lot of oil. 

Either way you make it, it is yummy. Use it for an appetizer or (like us) a meal. 

You can stuff these discos with seafood, chicken, guava, just about anything. Just a few ingredients and you have a feast. 

Until next time,

Ericka 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza


When we moved from New Jersey, we left behind some good food. We would frequent some of the local pizza shops and get large pizzas with the perfect crust and toppings …. fast forward 2 years later in Georgia in our town, QT and Little Cesar’s often where we fill the pizza void. That is until I started making it myself. 

Making pizza is not hard. It takes good tools, seasoning and time. The more you make it the more you master it . Buffalo Chicken Pizza is one of our favorites. This is how I make mine. 

Tools Needed

  • Kitchen Aide Mixer
  • Oven 
  • Large Cookie Sheet
  • Several mixing bowls
  • Knife 
  • Spatula 

Ingredients 

  • Dough ( can be purchased made at store or homemade I prefer homemade) 
  • 2 lbs of chicken breast 
  • 8 oz bag of 4 cheese Italian shredded cheese 
  • 8 oz bag of mozerella cheese 
  • 1 cup + drizzling of Frank’s buffalo wing sauce 
  • Ken’s Blue cheese dressing 
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons Goya Adobo
  • Black pepper to your taste 

Directions 

1. In a bowl, season the chicken breast with the garlic powder, Adobo and pepper. Add a little oil when seasoning it will help keep the chicken moist. Place in pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Let sit on the counter for ten minutes before proceeding to next step. 


2. While chicken is sitting, raise the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees. Next, spread the dough out on the greased cookie sheet. It is better to spread by hand but you can use a rolling pin to spread but let the dough rest again for a few minutes to rise again. No need to be perfect. 


3. You can shred the chicken by hand, cut it with a knife or use your kitchen aide * my favorite way *.  Add chicken to your kitchen aide using the paddle attachment. And put the chicken in and put speed on low slowly increasing to medium until shredded to your liking. This will take a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup to a full cup of the buffalo wing sauce and stir the shredded chicken in the kitchen aide. 


4. Add the chicken to the rested dough evenly.


5. Add the mix of cheeses over the chicken. Add as much or as little as you want. I had some more chicken so I added more . 


6. Drizzle some more buffalo wing sauce all over pizza. 

7. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until the sides and underneath are golden brown. 


8. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over the pizza or place in side for Dipping.

Very easy and so tasty ! Kids can have fun making this or pepperoni or cheese pizza ! 

This is a great pizza recipe to have handy for game night or football food etc. 

Enjoy !

Ericka 

Better Than a Big Mac Burger


No need for fast food today ! Having an almost completely made from scratch burger is not as hard as you may think. These are all ingredients you have on hand and the burgers freeze well so you can prep for another time. This made at home version will definitely be a keeper. 

The hubby was feeling good so he grilled for us which made it even better. I totally recommend using the grill for burgers but if you don’t have it handy ( or don’t want to) I would use the oven with a baking rack or a George Forman grill ( be careful not to over cook on the George Forman because it will dry out the burger ).

So let’s get down to business.

Tools Needed

  • Grill/ Oven/ George Forman
  • 1 medium bowl/1 large bowl
  • Wisk or fork
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups and spoons 
  • Large Pan
  • Storage container 
  • Spatula

Ingredients

For Burger 

  • 2 teaspoons Adobo ( you may want more or less. I always make a test mini burger before finishing to make sure I seasoned it well ) 
  • 1 onion soup packet 
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs 
  • 2.5 pounds of 73/27 ground beef ( most of the fat goes away and makes a juicier burger)

For Big Mac Sauce (Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Chef Recipe) 

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann Mayonaisse 
  • 2 tablespoons Wishbone French dressing 
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar 
  • 4 teaspoons of Sweet Pickle Relish 
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon of minced white onion

For the sandwich

  • American or Cheddar cheese 
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Hamburger Dill Pickles 
  • Sesame seed bin 

Directions 

The burger 

  1. Add ground beef into a large bowl and spread it out. This is so when you pour rest of the ingredients it blends out better. 
  2. Add onion soup mix and adobo.
  3. Mix the egg and milk together and pour over the adobo and soup mix. Then add the bread crumbs and mix. Mix until incorporated do not over mix it can make the burger tough. 
  4. Grab a handful of the meat and pat down into a flat circle. Leave a little dent in the middle so they don’t pop up as much. Lay on a pan each time. Depending on the size hands you have it can make about 12- 1/4 pound burgers 
  5. Put in the fridge to cool down for 1/2 hr or put in the freezer for like five minutes. This will help the flavors develop.
  6. Once cooled down grill the burgers to your liking. (We are medium well people but it came out well but they were still juicy. ) 

The sauce  

  1. In a medium size bowl add all the ingredients and mix well
  2. Place in a small storage container and let sit for at least 10 minutes ( the longer the better). This about 1 cup of Big Mac Sauce 

To finish the sandwich:

  1. Use one seasame seed bun, spread a generous helping of sauce on the lid.
  2. Add lettuce and pickles to the lid 
  3. Place cheese on the burger patty … if you want to go the traditional route use 2 patties but that is optional. If you choose to do two … (I strongly suggest putting a layer of sauce in between the cheese and the second patty) 
  4. Top the burger and dig in !


This is a keeper . I have made it twice in a week. The sauce it pretty much dead on for Big Mac sauce.  No more lines, no more paying extra for Big Mac sauce …. just homemade yummy goodness ….

Enjoy ! 

Ericka 

Hasselback Potatoes


In the interest of spicing things up for dinner, I saw a video from Tricia Yearwood that peeked my interest for Hasselback Potatoes. As I researched this recipe it seems that everyone has a different way of making them. The important part of making these potatoes slicing them without cutting all the way through them. This makes for a crispier potato. If you research this further these type of potatoes are a Swedish style side dish. This has so many possibility …. I can imagine making like a “piggy potato” loaded with meat and cheese …… ( stay tuned).

 After reviewing a few recipes ( and what I had in hand) this is my version of Hasselback Potatoes. 

Tools Needed

  • Sharp knife
  • 11 x 13 pan
  • Basting Brush
  • Small bowl or sauce pan
  • Small grater or garlic press 
  • Oven at 400 degrees F

Ingredients


  • 1/2-1 stick of Salted Butter
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 5-6 medium size potatoes 
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Lettuce (optional)

Directions 

  1. Wash and scrub the 5-6 Baking potatoes ( I am using what I have,most recipes say Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes)
  2. Slice as many slices as you want into then potatoes but do no cut through all the way.
    3. Melt 1/2 stick of butter and the grate or use the garlic press to add the garlic to it and add 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.


    4. Add salt and pepper to taste into the potatoes and then use a brush to add the garlic butter to the potatoes. Make sure you open slices parts and add the mixture and salt to it.


    5. Bake in the oven 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Take out the oven and cost again with the garlic butter. They start to open up like an accordion. 


    6. Put back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes. Take out add cheese and place for another 10 minutes. 


    7. Add your fixin’s and chow down.


    There are other recipes that have you use a mix of olive oil and butter with a higher cooking temp to make it crispier. I was happy with this because it was like a crunchified baked potato!

    This was a great side dish to add the pork chops hubby made. I added small lettuce and tomato salad and you have a pretty well balanced meal. It did take some time and I started my prep work at 4 am ( so I wasn’t rushing at 6 pm to get it all started) but well worth the time and effort. 

    Enjoy !

    Ericka 

Undone Egg Roll


I was paroosing Pinterest since I needed some inspiration. Chicken is getting pretty boring as the main protein ( to me anyway, the husband can eat it everyday). I also did not want to go to the store just yet to get more ingredients. So what do to with some spicy sausage, half a head of cabbage and some carrots……

Most recipes say ground pork or pork sausage but the sausage being spicy was more satisfying for me.  I also added eggs because it isn’t an egg roll without some eggs. This is also a low carb option since it hardly contains any carbs. But if you need the extra crunch you can add some chow mein noodles or fried wonton strips.

This takes about an hour to make including the prep of ingredients. It all depends on how crunchy or soft you want your cabbage and/or carrots to be. I only have a small hand grater so the carrots almost disappear( I have a ninja but didn’t feel like getting it and cleaning it up later).

Tools Needed 

  • 1 large deep pan 
  • 1 small frying pan
  • Knife/ cutting board 
  • Grater
  • Spatula or slotted spoon
  • Wisk or fork 
  • 2 small and 1 medium bowl 
  • Oven on medium 


Ingredients 

  • 1lb of pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped 
  • 4 cups of cabbage cut into small striped ( it doesn’t have to be perfect )
  • 1-1/2 cup of shredded carrots 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of  soy sauce 
  • 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder 
  • 2 tbs of olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup of water

Directions

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and ginger. Let sit until ready.
  2. Add tablespoon of oil to the pan and add onion cook down until they start to get translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn. 
  4. Add sausage and breakup as it cooks.
  5. Once it almost all the red is gone , take out some of the grease ( I took out about 6 tablespoons) and add cabbage, carrots, soy sauce mixture and water. Mix it well.
  6. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending how soft you want the cabbage.
  7. While the mix is cooking, mix the eggs with 1 tsp of soy sauce and cook in the small frying pan.
  8. Do not over cook the eggs, they get fluffy, chop up and place to the side.
  9. Once the mix is cooked down to your liking add the chopped eggs and mix in.
  10. Dig in!

Some of the recipes I read used a bag of coleslaw mix and low sodium soy sauce. I didn’t add any additional salt to it and I never find that coleslaw mix has enough carrot in it. Variations are endless.

Enjoy ! 

Ericka 

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash 

Happy Wednesday ! I hope you had a great one. Today was the day for the ever adverterous and daring me to make something new on a weekday …. but as they say no pain no food…. 🙂 

Spaghetti squash has always interested me but I could never find it. Low and behold last week at Aldi’s they had a few and I picked one up to finally try it. I decided to try something simple to know how it would taste and open my tastebuds to trying it in different ways. Here is how I prepared it. 

Tools Needed

  • Cookie sheet 
  • Sharp Heavy Knife
  • Spoon
  • Cutting board 
  • Fork
  • 2 Tupperware containers
  • Oven at 400 degrees F

Ingredients 



1 Spaghetti Squash ( mine was about 1-1/2 lbs)

Salt

Pepper 

Olive oil

2 table spoons of grated Parmesan 

1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder

Directions 

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon.
  2. Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper all over in side and poke holes throughout. 
  3. Flip over so the inside is facing down. Cook at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. 
  4. Take out of oven and with a fork scrap in long strokes the inside of the squash. It really does resemble pasta . 
  5. Dump the spaghetti into a Tupperware or bowl. Mine yielded about 5 cups. 
  6. I took about half and placed in another container. Add Parmesan and garlic powder and mix well. 
  7. Done ! 

This was very simple. For the first time trying it, I could have eaten it just fine without the garlic or Parmesan. It had a nutty flavor so it paired well with the Parmesan  and I want to try it next with alfredo sauce or to add meatballs and tomato sauce  . I did reserve half so I can try something else with it. This will have infinite possibilities.

How have you prepared it ??? Any suggestions? Leave me a comment ! 

Enjoy ! 

Ericka