Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh Mighty Hunter and Gatherer

As soon as I began to post today's recipe, I began to laugh about my husband's Alaskan adventure. My dad invited my husband and two brothers to accompany him on his yearly "Man Trip" to Alaska to fish. Rob, who was raised by his grandmother after his father died when he was a child, was very excited about the expedition. Now I can't fill you in on too many details due to: What Happens in Alaska - Stays in Alaska. However, I can tell you that the men returned with a great bounty of salmon and halibut. Later that night as we were feasting on fish, our conversation went something like this:

Me: "So who caught the fish we are eating right now?"

Rob: "I don't know, any of us could have."

Sara: "How many fish did you catch?"

Rob: "ugh I don't know."

Sara: "Oh"

Rob: "I might as well tell you that I'm not such a good fisherman."

Sara: "What do you mean?"

Rob: "Well, pretty much most of the fish we brought home....everyone else caught....except for a few small ones I caught and the one I kicked to shore."

Sara: "Did you say Kicked to shore?"

Rob: "Well, when the Salmon were spawning, they kind of start dying and well....I kicked a fish to shore."

Sara: "oh...wow...um...that's great honey, must be why the fish is so tender."

Good thing he didn't go hunting!

Fishing for a Great Recipe?

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day...
Teach a man to fish, you get rid of him for the weekend.

Halibut with Strawberry Salsa

3 Tablespoons plum jam
3 Tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoons fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 cup strawberries, chopped
½ cup cucumber chopped
2 Tablespoons green onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons cilantro
½ small jalapeño, finely diced

4 halibut steaks or Salmon if you prefer

Mix together the plum jam, juice, and ginger in a small cup. Combine the cucumber, strawberries, onions, jalapeño, and cilantro. keep refrigerated until fish is prepared.
Place the halibut on a lightly sprayed broiler pan. Brush with reserved plum sauce mixture. Broil for 6-9 minutes. Serve immediately with salsa.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Panna Cotta

What is Panna Cotta?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. An Italian phrase which literally means "cooked cream", it generally refers to a creamy, set dessert from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is eaten all over Italy where it is served with wild berries, caramel or chocolate sauce. It is not generally known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish used boiled fish bones in place of gelatin; however, sugar, a main ingredient, would not have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. After years this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, flavored with vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and served chilled. Similar versions of this dish are also found in Greece and France.

This is a great quick dessert that will get rave reviews. It is the perfect treat on a hot summer night. I like to serve it with berries. Thanks to Tricia Porter for sending in a picture of this recipe. She served it on Valentines day to her family. Tricia will receive a bottle of home-made jam for sending in a picture!


2 tablespoons water
1 ¾ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/4 cups whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

Pour 2 tablespoons water into small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Whisk 1 cup cream, yogurt, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and cream comes to simmer. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve gelatin. Mix hot cream-gelatin mixture into yogurt mixture in bowl. Divide mixture among ramekins. Refrigerate desserts uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is Your Chicken Boring?

Chicken, can be the most dried out and dull dish you can prepare. It's great when you can find a great recipe that adds more flavor and even makes it a bit juicier. Most people's problem is that they overcook the chicken. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees. I prefer to remove my chicken from the cooking surface at about 160 degrees - it will continue to cook without getting dried out. As with all foods the lower the temperature you cook at the better your product will turn out. Here is a great sassy recipe for chicken. I hope you enjoy it.


3 scallions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 fresh habanero chili stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
5 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3 lb), halved crosswise
2 1/2 to 3 lb chicken thighs and drumsticks

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If you prefer, you can blend in a blender, but I like the look of the ingredients whole. Divide chicken pieces and marinade between 2 seal able plastic bags. Seal bags, pressing out excess air, then turn bags over several times to distribute marinade. Put bags of chicken in a shallow pan and marinate, chilled, turning once or twice, 1 day.
Let chicken stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
To cook chicken using a gas grill:
Preheat burners on high, then adjust heat to moderate. Cook chicken until well browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust heat to low and cook chicken, covered with lid, until cooked through, about 25 minutes more.
Serve chicken with a fun fruit salsa.
• If you can't grill, you can roast chicken in 2 large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans in upper and lower thirds of a 400°F oven, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, 40 to 45 minutes total.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hurry And Sign Your Men Up Now!

Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things--Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live--Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM , location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime Means Yummy Pies

This may top my list of comfort foods. Fresh and juicy blueberries packed into individual pie crusts, topped with a giant blob of whipped cream...oooh yea.

1 tablespoon egg white, lightly beaten
4 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried
1/2 liquid cup and two tablespoons water, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whipped cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F at least 20 minutes before baking.
Line the pastry with parchment, pleating it as necessary so it fits into the pan, and fill it with rice or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully lift out the rice or beans with the parchment. With a fork, prick the bottom and sides, and bake 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is pale golden. Check after 3 minutes and prick any bubbles that may have formed.
Cool the crust on a rack for 3 minutes, so it is no longer piping hot, then brush the bottom and sides with the egg white.
Measure out 1 cup of the blueberries, choosing the softest ones. Place them in a medium saucepan together with the 1/2 cup water. Cover and bring them to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Set it aside.
When the water and blueberries have come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juices begin to thicken. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch mixture, the sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for a minute or until the mixture becomes translucent. Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
Spoon the mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with lemon whipped cream.


1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water

Cut butter into pieces. In a bowl with a pastry blender or in a food processor blend or pulse together flour, salt, butter, and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 5 tablespoons ice water and toss or pulse just until mixture forms a dough, adding additional ice water, a little at a time, if dough is too dry. Divide dough in half and flatten each piece into a disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap

I have returned

I am back! I have returned from California with my husband's grandmother in tow. Check in later for a new recipe.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cancelled Class and New Class Info

Hey all. For those of you signed up for Tuesday's class at The Finishing School, I am sorry but that class will be cancelled. However, the same class will be held on the 22nd of July. I will be going to California to pick up the grandmother in law and move her out to Utah to live with us......yes, I did say that...she is going to live with us. For those of you who know the background....you know what this means. Clearly I will be in need of major counseling when this is all over with. So please wish me luck.

July 15th Thanksgiving Point, Lehi
Perfect fare for your patriotic parties! Crispy Fried Chicken, Sara's Best Ever Potato Salad, Pickled Cucumber Salad and Fabulous Cherry Pie.

July 22nd The Finishing School, Holladay
Kick off this summer with fresh new BBQ recipes from Sara! Come learn how to make 3 zesty barbecue sauces and a delicious potato salad. Sara will share great grilling secrets and a recipe for tender baby back ribs. End the night with the ULTIMATE
banana cream pie. You won't want to pass up this class!

And here is a sneak peek of next months menu at The Finishing School-This class will only be offered once, so hurry and sign up.

August 19th The Finishing School
We will start off the evening with a fantastic appetizer - Black bean egg rolls with avocado aoili. The main dish will be Succotash with seared scallops and shrimp, served with a Delicious summer spinach salad. And we will finish off the evening with a scrumptious Blue and orange cake.

If you aren't local, post me a comment with your e-mail, and you might be one of the three monthly recipe winners, and I will send you the recipe packet.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Sweet Summertime

Need a sweet treat to cool those hot summer days? Here is a simple but elegant answer to your needs. If you are extra daring, you might drizzle this dessert with a bit of Basalmic vinegar. mmmmmmm....

Strawberry Sorbet Surprise

2 10-ounce packages frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups quartered fresh strawberries
2 teaspoons sugar
Vanilla Bean ice cream

Place first 3 ingredients in blender. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer's instructions.You could even just chill it in a glass bowl in the freezer (make sure you stir it regularly).

Smash remaining strawberries with the sugar and let sit for fifteen minutes. Put about ¼ cup strawberries in a bowl. Scoop one serving of vanilla ice cream and one serving of sorbet and place on top of the mashed strawberries. Serve with a cookie if you want.