Eli's Asian Salmon

I’ve made mention of the wonderful restaurant distributor that I have here in my small town right? Sysco? I’m sure you’ve probably heard of them. They have a “cash and carry” shop, where they sell produce, fresh meats, deli items, frozen foods, etc. More often than not they have an order that’s cancelled, overstocked, expiring, slightly damaged, etc – that they’ll then sell for lock, stock, and barrel just to clear up room up in the warehouse. So, to have a friend or neighbor knock on the door with 5 lbs of feta cheese, or say…a gorgeous side of salmon, is pretty much the norm.

So when Stephanie dropped this slab of sustainable protein on me, there was one recipe that immediately popped into my mind…Eli’s Asian Salmon. I remember seeing Ina prepare this ages ago on “Barefoot Contessa”, and had always wanted to give it a go. But, a side of salmon is expensive. And, with all the other fabulous seafood options available to us…I’d just never gotten around to it, until last week.

I’m pleased to report that it’s a winner. Easy to put together and cook, and it the flavor is just wonderful. And, it came out prettier than I’d expected too! This would be perfect on a Sunday brunch buffet, or paired with something like grilled baby bok choy – it would make a lovely, light summer meal.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I remember the first time I saw this dessert, I was confused – and kind of grossed out. Let’s face it, it’s certainly not the most attractive looking dish in the world. Whenever Jon has a work luncheon party at NASA, it’s always on the potluck menu. And, is usually the first thing to go as well! I shied away from it for years before I finally gave into temptation and gave it a try. And then promptly kicked myself for not trying it sooner…

A layer of crunchy salty pretzels, coated in butter then baked. Then layered with a sweet cream cheese layer, and topped with a layer of strawberry Jello that’s been studded with strawberries. So, I tracked down the recipe from Jon’s co-worker to share with you guys. I made a few adjustments – making my own homemade whipped cream instead of using Cool Whip, and also using fresh strawberries as opposed to frozen. I’m trying to use up the last couple quarts of my flat I bought last week, and this was perfect for it.

This is the perfect thing to bring to a potluck BBQ, because it’s different and fun. For anyone who loves a sweet and salty combo, this is a winner! I hope everyone has a great weekend welcoming summer into our lives. Don’t forget to enter our grilling giveaway going on through Monday! Be safe, kids!

Bourbon & Brown Sugar Ribs

Ribs. Is there anything more appropriate for a Memorial Day BBQ? There are many schools of thought as far as rib preparation goes. Grilling vs baking. Dry Rub vs Sauce. I like to go all out, and do all of those things! A dry rub for a few hours, then baking in the oven til perfectly tender and ALMOST falling apart. Then a quick grill with a delicious basting BBQ sauce.

The sauce itself is magical. The folks at Musselman’s sent me a big jar of their apple butter to try out – and I used it as the base for the sauce. To be honest, I think the apple butter itself brushed on meats on the grill would be wonderful – it’s the perfect texture and consistency. But, I went ahead and added some other delicious things to it – like bourbon and brown sugar – and it knocked it out of the park!

They’ve offered to send one lucky reader a grilling package to kick-start your summer as well – featuring a jar of their delicious apple butter, a sauce mop, and some delicious recipes! Just leave a comment telling me what your plans are for Memorial Day weekend? My mother-in-law is in town visiting, so we plan on spending some quality family time together – and maybe a night out on the town dancing while Grandma babysits! Contest will run today through next Monday (5/27) at 11:59 PM EST.

Congrats to Shannon C! Her entry (#13) was the winner. I hope you had a wonderful hike on Memorial Day, and have fun firing up your grill this summer!

Disclaimer: I received a grilling package from Musselman’s for my review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Blackberry Cream Soda

The Cream Soda has long been one of my favorite cocktails. Such basic ingredients, and it tastes so darn good. I remember being shocked by how much the simple combination of Capt. Morgan’s, ginger ale, and fresh lime tasted exactly like a cream soda. You remember, those sodas from your childhood that no one else would drink? They were always the last thing floating in the cooler of ice, long after all the Cokes had been picked out. But, this one definitely isn’t for the kids…

I recently tried a bottle of Captain Morgan’s newest release, their Black Spiced Rum. It’s darker and bolder than the “OG” – but everything you love about the traditional spiced rum is still there. Notes of molasses, vanilla, and cinnamon. And smooth! An absolutely wonderful rum.

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had a few nights “sailing away with the Captain”, and this is definitely a drink that makes it easy to do. Since I was using the Black rum, I thought it would be fun to add another “black” twist – in the form of blackberries. They added a gorgeous hue and a little pucker that I loved! But still completely tasted like a cream soda.

It’s only Monday, but I’m already looking forward to the weekend. Memorial Day is the official start of summer here at the beach, and we are all ready for it to begin!