Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for Bridget Jones’s Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa and Cookbook review: Ottolenghi Simple

#ottolenghi #ottolenghisimple #tenspeedpress


I was flipping through the book, flagging recipes to try, and read, “This is the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary date in Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” And easy we might add! What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgment.” Okay, I was trying to steer clear of it, and cook absolutely everything else in the book, because it sounds like a one-liner. Curiosity got the better of me. Wowza! Bridget Jones’ Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa is an amazing salmon dish. lol! Continue reading “Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for Bridget Jones’s Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa and Cookbook review: Ottolenghi Simple”

Jen’s Strawberry Spinach Salad with Raspberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette and Grilled Orange Rosemary Chicken

Summer’s on its way! I saw a recipe for a strawberry spinach salad in a Penzey’s catalog years ago. I loved it. It’s the most friendly salad ever. I’ve played with it to make the dressing a little lighter, added grilled orange chicken, and changed the pistachios to candied pecans. It’s perfect with Pellegrino with lime if the kids have talked you into playing outside after dinner, or with a lovely Pinot Grigio if you’re planning to relax.

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Jen’s Avocado, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Breakfast

We eat everything, but I end up with a lot of vegetarian and vegan books because I’m a massive produce-head. I stumbled upon a recipe in The Simply Vegan Cookbook: Easy, Healthy, Fun, and Filling Plant-Based Recipes Anyone Can Cook by Dustin Harder (Great book – at the very healthy end of the vegan spectrum and super easy), where sweet potatoes stood in for the bread in avocado toast. I loved the idea. A total vitamin punch with twice as much vegetables in breakfast – I’m in! I wanted stronger flavors and enjoy a little protein in the morning, so I started playing with the idea.

If you love it, come back and find me again! :D

Continue reading “Jen’s Avocado, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Breakfast”

Jen’s Greek Chunk Salad with all the variations! Carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian? I got you!

Greek Salad is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. I love it filled with chopped vegetables, some sort of topping, and usually skip the romaine. The kids love it, too, but I always saw dishes in the sink with raw onions framing the empty plates. In salads all over Latin America, onions are soaked in vinegar to cut their sharpness. I started tweaking my notes. The plates in the sink are totally naked now.

Below, I’ll give all my variations, starting with my seasoning blend, a raw or grilled salad base, then 5 toppers to pick from. Two are vegetarian, two are for carnivores, and one for pescatarians.

If you love it, please come and find me again! :D

Continue reading “Jen’s Greek Chunk Salad with all the variations! Carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian? I got you!”

Veggiewise Floats


We read Stephen King’s It for bookclub, and I was inspired by Pennywise the Clown to make a nice little produce sculpture to take with. Veggiewise the Clown. I cracked up when my friends were really hesitant to sample my little crudite display. He is a little bit more off-putting than our treats of Halloweens past…..

Edit: September 2019. I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking for a little more detail about Veggiewise, so I thought I’d add it in here. 😀

Veggiewise’s components

Overall face – Cauliflower florets
Hair – Grape tomatoes and irregular slices of sweet red bell pepper
Framing the top of his head – Irregular slices of green bell pepper
Ruffled collar – Green zucchini and yellow squash ribbons create with a vegetable peeler. 
His clown top – Yellow squash, halved the long way and then sliced into half moons
His clown top poofball – Baby carrots standing upright in a happy little bouquet
Eyebrows – Kalamata olives
Eyes – Radishes with green olive irises, and Kalamata olive trimmings and green pepper triangles
Nose – Radish and Kalamata olives
Mouth – The bottom of a sweet red bell pepper. It’s much easier to sculp if you choose a really fat-bottomed pepper. They make the produce world go round. The teeth are trimmed almond slivers over a Kalamata olive background. 

For the dip, I made float out of Kalamata olive slices. They float really well. My dip is ranch, but since this is the old-school Pennywise, it would be heeelarious to make a Curry dip for Tim Curry. I really need to make the new Bill Skarsgård version. That would be some mighty terrifying produce. 

Tools. I am a knife enthusiast. Here’s my collection. I have two very favorite knives for produce sculpture. They are wonderfully comfortable to work with for long periods of time and cut just so well. They are both full tang, which means that the blade runs the full length of the handle, so you don’t have to worry about it ever separating. 

Wusthof Trident Classic Ikon 7” Santoku Knife

Wusthof Classic Ikon 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife


Okay, I am personally addicted to epic fails. Here’s one that someone sent me that cracked me up to no end. 


And here’s a link to my own epic fail… and some flippin’ delicious popcorn if you need a treat right now. Jen’s defeated Santas. Happy Halloween, everybody!

Continue reading “Veggiewise Floats”