Set the Table

Part of what I love to do is prepare meals.  I enjoy making breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   Link here for recipes and more. Since I have been home I have made mealtimes more of an event rather than a means. It really does not take much care to make a meal time more engaging with those you share your meals with. Link here for recipes and more..

Salmon is a family favorite. Like I have said before I love the Farmers Markets and Whole Foods. They are ideal and I have to say present their food so beautifully.  Now when it comes to salmon the fresher the better, that is the case for all fish.  Now, I have prepared just about every variety of salmon from frozen to fresh off the coast of Alaska. I am completely and totally biased on fish, frozen is not delicious. I have purchased frozen fish hoping to love it, but have found myself and most of the family discarding it, which is not the hope when preparing meals.  

I must say Whole Foods takes the cake on fresh salmon.  I always buy it fresh and if you show up often you get to know your fish man and more often then not he will hook it up. Today I went in and the salmon pieces are 5.99 each. Now that may seem like a lot but, when you consider the reality your family will eat each last piece and wish for more that is more than I can say for a bag of frozen salmon at 9.99.  

J is watching his girlish figure and I am still trying to drop these nagging last 8 pounds, so I can say fish has been at the top of our meal menu each week. Last night we had Salmon salad. S loves raw fish and would be happier if it were not cooked, but we have baby H to consider. I prepare it at 350 for 10-15 min with sea salt, lemon juice,,olive oil and a bit of cilantro.  When it is fresh it really is like butter on top of a mixed green salad with heirloom tomatoes and avocado. WE loved every bite, I think I even spyed S eating some greens.


It is no secret i am nobaker.  My problem with baking has to do with my desire to follow the rules. So, more often than not i do not make an attempt, especially living in new york, where you can find so many beautiful sweets already pre-made. 

So, I say when it comes to entertaining approach it with ease. A relaxed hostess is the best kind. All that being said, I know myself so, i leave the arena of desserts to the experts. 

My go to dessert is berries mixed with chocolate in some form along with a plate of cheeses.  The colors and textures of the berries is perfect for a little something sweet without any guilt.  If your like me, mixing berries justifies the chocolate intake. 

Dessert: two bite brownies with organic strawberries

in the city that never sleeps and take out at the tips of your fingers it is hard to imagine it can be difficult to decide whats for dinner.  Often when J and I can't decide we go for whatever is left in our shelves. 

since i cooked all weekend(hurricane irene) i did not have much energy this evening to make anything fancy with our random items.  when in doubt fancy sandwiches are at the tips of your fingers. 

Tortas......(sandwiches in Spanish)

For Jake I made him a sliced turkey sandwich with a twist. First of all I just have to say it is cheaper to buy your deli meats from the butcher at Whole Foods than buy pre-packaged sliced meats. I swear it is true and they taste so much better. I grilled our bread on a grill pan with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Then I layered the sandwich with Jarlsberg lite, oven roasted turkey, heirloom tomatoes, and arugula.  
Now, i wasn't feeling like eating anything heavy, so i toasted my peasant bread slice on the grill with a bit of olive oil and salt.  When the bread was nice and toasty, i added peanut butter and apricot jam. The torta was pretty delicious. 

As a sweet we went with simply sliced mango. The mexican way to prepare mango is with a little lime, chill, and a little salt. We stuck with the mango in its natural state, it was pretty sweet and refreshing. 


Comida Mexicana
I love making authentic Mexican food(no tex-mex, nachos, etc...  found here).  I know most people don't think of it as fresh and healthy, but when you get to the root of savory mexican flavoring there is nothing more healthy or delicious. I steer clear of heavy sauces, oily cheeses, and creams. Those ingredients are not true to its' roots. 

Last night we cooked a summer favorite, Calabasas aka..yellow squash, sweet corn, fresh green chills, seaside cheddar, y cilantro.  This meal is so simple and an easy way to get everyone to eat their veggies. 

uno... sauté some garlic with a splash of olive oil, then toss in the corn(off the cob, just the kernels), the squash and let that slowly simmer. 

dos....roast your chili before you begin sautéing, then when the green chili is cool dice it nicely and add this beautiful flavor to your sauté. 

tres.... add a cube of chicken or beef bouillon to your veggies along with oneish cups of water, depending on the consistency you desire. I keep it on the slightly soupy side, remember the veggies will produce water when they are cooking, so easy on the h2o.  

Al fin...  when the veggies are tender turn off the heat add a half cup of cilantro and a    cup of shredded cheese then let those amazing flavors collide.