Simplest Grilled Salmon with Fresh Cucumber Dill Sauce…..

If you’ve never grilled salmon before, it’s time.  It cooks in a matter of minutes.  Season it very simply with olive oil, salt and pepper and serve it with a fresh cucumber dill sauce.  This creamy sauce is made with fat free greek yogurt and is incredibly delicious with the grilled salmon.  Make up to a day ahead.  Today I served it with sauteed rapini but you can serve it with most any side.  Try it with oven roasted dijon potatoes or why not with orzo pasta salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette dressing? Delish~

Simple Grilled Salmon with Fresh Cucumber Dill Sauce

For the sauce:

1 cup non fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup seeded and peeled cucumber, finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh dill, chopped
2 large cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4-6-8 ounce skinless salmon fillets, about 1″ thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 pinches of kosher salt
1-2 pinches of coarsely ground black pepper
1 lemon cut into wedges and seeds removed for garnish
1 small bunch of fresh dill, chopped

1)  In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients, gently mix well to blend.  If too thick and you’d like a slightly looser consistency, simply add a small amount of milk.  If you’re making it ahead, give it a stir before serving.  Of course, refrigerate immediately.
2)  Rinse the salmon fillets with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place on a plate.  Drizzle the olive oil over the fish, rub with your hands to coat.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.  You’re ready for the grill.
3)  Preheat the grill for about 5 minutes.  When cooking fish, you want to only turn it one time and you do not want to turn it too soon, so be sure your grill is good and hot.  Cook the salmon over medium-high heat.  Place the fish presentation side down.  Cook it with the lid down for 4-5 minutes.  The  fish will begin to turn to a lighter pink color around the edges and about half way up the fillet.  With a grill spatula, gently turn the fish.  Allow it to cook an additional 4-5 minutes.  Serve immediatly with the dill sauce. 

*enjoy any leftover salmon cold with the cucumber sauce, so good!
*if you have fillets with skin, no worries.  Cook it the same way.  When you turn the salmon and the skin is on the grill, once it’s done it is very easy to get your spatula under the skin when removing the fish from the grill.  Some people enjoy the crispy skin.

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Lemon…..

If you haven’t tried quinoa, this is the perfect recipe to introduce yourself!  It lends itself beautifully to the subtle flavor of the artichoke, lemon and garlic.   Love to serve this high protein grain alongside a delicious piece of grilled fish or chicken.  It’s fresh and light, perfect for bikini season, right?  Make this for your next picnic or barbecue, it’ll have your friends oohing and ahhing.

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Lemon

2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
1 14 ounce can artichokes, drained well and quartered
1 large bell pepper, I used yellow, red would be beautiful too
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove fresh garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
2 tablespoons fresh or bottled lemon juice

1)  Cook the quinoa according to package directions.  Place into a large bowl to cool.
2)  Once the quinoa is cool, add the artichokes through the black pepper.  Gently toss to coat.  Add the lemon juice to the mixture and toss to coat.  Taste.  Add additional salt or pepper to your taste.  Makes about ten 1/2 cup servings. 

*Only 2 Weight Watcher’s points per 1/2 cup!
*Add any of your favorite vegetables, hearts of palm would be a lovely addition.
*One half cup of cooked quinoa has 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

Grilled Lemon and Herb Marinated Kabobs…..

Often times you’ll see kabobs with meat/chicken, onion, and tomatoes, etc.  I’ve never cooked kabobs this way as none of these items have the same cooking time.  By the time the meat is done, the tomatoes are falling off the skewer and into the fire and the onions are undercooked.  Cook each individual item on it’s own skewer.  I recommend cooking  onions and mushrooms on metal skewers as bamboo even after soaking can char and break apart.  If you are using bamboo skewers be sure to soak them in water for 45-60 minutes.  This will prevent them from burning up too quickly on the grill.

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I’ve actually become very fond of boneless skinless thighs as a less expensive and extremely flavorful alternative.  Marinade the chicken in this simple marinade for about an hour, skewer, and grill.  They cook in 12-15 minutes.  Serve with simple rice pilaf or oven roasted dijon potatoes  and a grilled vegetable salad (recipe below).

Grilled Lemon and Herb Marinated Kabobs

2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
3 large cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano or one tablespoon fresh chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1)  Trim the chicken pieces of any fat and cut into bite size pieces.  Put into a medium size bowl that has a lid.
2)  Mix all marinade ingredients together and whisk to blend.  Pour half of the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.  Refrigerate the remaining marinade as well.  If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak in water until you’re ready to skewer chicken.
3)  Preheat grill.   Remove chicken from the refrigerator and skewer.  Place the kabobs on the grill.  Resist turning them too soon, you want nice grill marks on the chicken before you turn.  Cook for 12-15 minutes or until juices run clear.
4)  Place the kabobs on a platter and cover with foil.  Microwave the remaining refrigerated marinade for 20-30 seconds to take off the chill.  Spoon over the chicken before serving.  Makes 8-10 kabobs.

I’ve Been Busy!

Well, I have been cooking up a storm!  It started with the stormy holiday weekend.  Couldn’t go the beach in Michigan, so I spent most of my time cooking and baking.   Let’s see….I made a corn salad with leftover corn on the cobb.  If it hadn’t been raining, I’d have grilled them before cutting the corn off the cob.  So, corn, cilantro, julienne radishes, sweet onion, grape tomatoes, fresh lime juice, a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I think I’ll be posting a grilled corn salad recipe soon only I’ll add a little avocado and bacon.  I also made two half sheet pans of cinnamon rolls.  I’m telling you, if you haven’t tried these, please do!  They are SO delicious. 

Of course, the day we had to leave Michigan to get back home the weather was gorgeous.  Had to return on Monday to make a luncheon for 17 to be delivered on Tuessday at 12:15.  I did my shopping on Friday.

Luncheon Menu:

Grilled Lemon and Herb Chicken Kabobs
Caramelized Onion and Toasted Panko Pasta
Mixed Greens Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Craisins, and Feta, with Sweet Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Grilled Vegetable Salad


Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This was a fabulous summer menu!  Will be sharing most of these recipes with you as soon as I can photograph them!  The grilled vegetable salad was one of the prettiest salads I’ve served.  I simply grilled zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, mushrooms, and assorted bell peppers.  I drizzled a simple balsamic vinaigrette over the warm vegetables.  Terriffic served warm or at room temperature.  This was a keeper!

Mother’s Day Makeover…..

For Mother’s Day, Ryan’s kindergarten class hosted a Mother’s Day Makeover……

The hour long celebration consisted of a concert filled with singing and dancing and just being silly….

The package also included special pampering with makeup application and hair brushing.

And artwork from my favorite artist in the world.  Ryan writes that his Mom is good at cooking:-)   The celebration was topped off with an oreo cookie, a mini cupcake, some m & m’s and a nice glass of fruit punch.  It really doesn’t get better than that!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful day of love and appreciation!


Wondering Where I’ve Been?

Good Morning!

Geeze, my regular routine has been turned up a couple of notches.  I’ve got a senior who will soon be going to prom, graduating high school, and going for college orientation (I can’t believe it!) My two other boys are preparing for the long awaited summer break!  Anyway, tons of stuff going on in my house!

I’ve been feeling like I’ve been neglecting one of my kids not writing on my blog!  I promise new posts are coming soon.

I’m having a fabulous new grill delivered tomorrow, not sure when, have to be home the entire day!  I’ll have plenty to cook up and post there as well. 

The sun appears to be trying to come out!  Could use some sunshine!

Have a wonderful day!


Oven Roasted Dijon Potatoes….

These remind me of my Mom’s pan fried potatoes kicked up a bit.   Enjoy these crispy oven roasted potatoes with Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze, a perfect flavor combination.  All ingredients go into a bowl and get tossed together, then into the oven, super easy.

Here we go…..

Preheat oven to 375′.  Cut about 2 pounds of red potatoes into bite size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme.

Add 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard….

Add 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder….

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and about 5 grinds of fresh ground pepper.  Toss to thoroughly coat.  Place on a non stick foil lined cookie sheet, try not to crowd.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until nicely browned.  Give the potatoes a turn after about 20 minutes of baking.  Serve immediately.

Oven Roasted Dijon Potatoes

2 lbs. red potatoes cut into bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1)  Preheat oven to 375′.  Non stick foil line a cookie sheet, set aside.

2)  Place cut potatoes, thyme, dijon mustard, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, and black pepper into a large mixing bowl.  Toss to thoroughly coat.  Spread over the foil lined cookie sheet.  Place in the oven.  After 20 minutes, give them a turn.  Bake another 20 minutes or until nicely browned.  Serve immediately.

Our Easter…..

Easter Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day.   My lovely Mother in Law Patricia treated us to Easter brunch, so good!

My three sons.  Chris, Ryan, and Jack.  Ryan is pleased as punch for his Easter basket, but also for being sandwiched between his two awesome brothers!

I hope you had a lovely Easter!


Gruyere Swiss Scalloped Potatoes, Best Accompaniment to Easter Ham!

Easter is truly one of my favorite holidays.   Spring is time for earth and faith renewal.    For me, the celebratory feast is centered around a lovely Easter Ham.  Make it stress free by serving menu items that can be made a day ahead.    That being said, these by far are the best scalloped potatoes I’ve ever had and are best served the next day.  I acquired this spectacular potato recipe from my friend Mickey.  I call them “Mickey potatoes.”    I normally serve this decadent recipe a couple of times a year as the recipe calls for gruyere swiss cheese and cream.  These will make your Easter holiday “over the top!”

Thank you ever so much for visiting.

Have a blessed Easter Weekend!


I hope you have wonderful Easter Holiday!


This is the very first bloom in our garden for spring 2011!  Is this not the sweetest little flower?   Joe had 5 yards delivered a week ago and he mulched the entire yard.  It looks beautiful and now we just have to wait for more rain and lovely warm sunshine.  I am still feeding the birds but had to compromise and put out shell-less sunflower seeds as the shells make a huge mess.

Slowly, spring is rolling around.  We all want it to be warm and summer-like but we’re still in the month of April.  Technically, it is still spring and we should expect cooler weather and plenty of rain.

Let’s enjoy the newness of spring and what is yet to come.

Have a great day!