Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grilled Halibut with Pesto

I don't think I ate enough halibut while I was in Alaska because I have been craving it ever since we got back. Halibut is one of my favorites and unfortunately it is a little pricey here but I splurged and got two large fillets. My basil plant was about done and needed to be used so I decided to make a pesto to slather on the fillets. I served the fish on top of a bed of greens dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. This was a delightful summer dish.


2 large halibut fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch sea salt

2 large handfuls of basil (I apologize for the approximation but this is how I do it)
1 large handful of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
a few grinds of pepper
about 1/2 cup olive oil


Heat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Brush the halibut fillets with oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

In a food processor, add the basil, parsley, walnuts, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse the machine on and off until the ingredients look coarsely chopped. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the side of the work bowl. Continue pulsing the machine and slowly pour in the olive oil until the pesto is fully pureed but still has a little texture to it.

Grill the halibut until it just starts to flake apart (about 4 minutes per side). Just before you are about ready to take the fish off the grill, spread a nice layer of pesto over the fillets(there will be lots of extra pesto, refrigerate use in other dishes). Serve immediately.

Recipe by me.

Halibut on FoodistaHalibut

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flag Cupcakes

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July. My husband had to work so I thought I would make a big batch of festive cupcakes for him to bring to the fire station and a batch to bring to the family BBQ. I was searching for inspiration when I came across this blog. Kellyn is a girl after my own heart! Right there on her "about me" section of her blog she says " I don't believe in sweets that are made to look pretty but don't taste good! ". I say AMEN to that. That is exactly why I refused to have fondant on my wedding cake. These cupcakes look very impressive but are very light and they sure do taste great. I love using whip cream as a frosting. I'm not a huge frosting fan unless it is chocolate or cream cheese so this was perfect and reminiscent of shortcake. I do have one warning on these bad boys, serves these on a plate with a folk or they will be all over you and your guests!!!


Makes about 17 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 recipe of your favorite yellow cake or 1 package of yellow cake mix
1 package of fresh blueberries
1 package of fresh raspberries
Whipped cream frosting and filling:
4 cups of heavy whipping cream (might need to make this in two batches, it makes a lot)
1/3 cup of sugar
3 tsp of almond extract
Raspberry Drizzle:
1 (12 oz) package of frozen raspberries thawed and drained, juice reserved
1/4 cup of white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons of raspberry liqueur (I did not have any so don't worry if you don't)

  • Preheat you oven to 350 and center your rack.
  • Mix the cake batter according to directions.
  • Line your cupcake tray with liners and fill 3/4 of the way to the top so that when baked you get a nice domed top that is high enough to cut off and use later for tops.
  • Bake for about 15-18 min. Cool completely on a rack, once cooled carefully cut the top of each cupcake off using a serrated knife.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling make your raspberry sauce. Add enough water to reserved raspberry juice to measure 1 cup (make sure you do this otherwise it will be way to thick in the end) Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a 1-quart saucepan. Stir in juice and raspberries.
  • Heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil and stir 1 min; strain out the seeds and let cool completely, your done. If you want you can add the liqueur after you strain it.
  • In a stand mixer fixed with the whisk attachment, whisk together your whipped cream ingredients - cream, sugar, and almond extract until stiff peaks form. About 2-3 min.
  • In a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip fill with about a quarter of the whipped cream mixture and insert into the center of the cupcake bottoms to fill the centers with cream.
  • In a larger pastry bag fitted with a large round tip put a layer of frosting on the top of the cut cupcakes. Place a small handful of blueberries on top of the cream layer on each cupcake.
  • Put your cupcake tops back on top of the blueberry cream layer. Using the rest of the whipped cream frosting pipe a mound of whipped cream on top of it as high as you want.
  • Put the raspberry drizzle in a ziplock bag and cut a tiny tip off and drizzle that way. Top each one off with a fresh raspberry and your done!
Recipe from K Bakes.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

We just got back from Alaska, and even though we had some great food on our trip, like the “Elks Crossing” specialty wood stone brick oven pizza made with homemade elk meatballs from Prospectors Pizzeria and Alehouse in Denali, I was ready to come home and make some healthy dinners. This dish highlights Italian flavors like oregano, balsamic and fennel. The recipe does not call for a lot of balsamic so I highly suggest using a high quality one. My in-laws brought us back some amazing balsamics from Napa valley. I used an 18 year old pomegranate-balsamic for this recipe and the peppers were amazing. Anything with this balsamic is amazing. It is so good I can just sip on it.

I served the roasted chicken and balsamic peppers over mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. I made the potatoes with plain yogurt and a little bit of horseradish. The potatoes had a slight tang which was perfect to cut the sweetness of the balsamic.


Serves 4

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used two whole, on the bone chicken breasts with skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (I had to use green)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large) (I used half of a sweet onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Brush chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle spice rub over chicken. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute. Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until done.

3. Heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, shallots, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

Recipe from Cooking Light

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