Flavors & Family

It’s about time for a new post, isn’t it?  Jinkies, I’m sorry for the lack of postage lately but you see I’ve been on the road…to New York and back with lots of stops along the way.  It was a wonderful trip because I got to see beaucoup family, eat tons of delicious food and my mom and I found an amazing apartment in Hoboken for Jordan and I to live in come August!  It’s kind of like something out of a dream – I can’t wait to show you pictures once we move in!

So my trip started by driving to Ohio then to Venango, PA and finally to Buffalo, NY for my beautiful cousin Jessica’s baby shower.  My cousin Denise (Jess’s mom) owns an incredible restaurant called Dock at the Bay and the head chef, Karl, catered an incredible lunch for us.  If you ever find yourself in Hamburg, NY this place has got to be your first stop.  After the weekend, I drove to my folks’ home in State College, PA where my dad made me his version of Salmon Nicoise Salad for dinner….mmmmm!  I think it was – by far – one of the best meals of my life.

Salmon Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinagrette

Yield 3 servings


3 small salmon filets (pin bones removed)
Fresh dill
French cut green beans
6-7 small red or golden yukon potatoes
Bib lettuce, washed and torn
2 handfuls edamame (ready to eat)
2 hard boiled eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.  Dot the salmon filets with butter. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and freshly chopped dill. Roast for 10-12 minutes until tender and flaky — do not overcook. Let cool.  Remove the bottom skin.

Cover the potatoes with water and boil just until tender. Rinse with cold water and let cool.  Blanche green beans for only two or three minutes then place in ice water so they retain their color and a bit of crunch. Drain and toss with just a little of the vinaigrette and set aside.

Assemble the Salad:

Place a small bed of greens on the plate with a little of the edamame. Place one of the salmon filets on the bed of lettuce, or break the salmon into bite size pieces if you prefer. Arrange a serving of the potatoes (cut in half) on the plate, followed by a serving of the green beans. Garnish with one or two quarters of hard boiled egg. Dress the salmon and potatoes with the vinaigrette, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Dijon Vinaigrette
1/3 cup of olive oil
2.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.

I really lucked out because I got to spend Father’s Day with my dad!  He requested lemony sour cream pancakes for his Father’s Day breakfast so of course I obliged 🙂  The recipe I used is actually the one I posted previously under Lemon Yogurt Pancakes only I used sour cream instead of yogurt for a little extra indulgence.  We also slathered them with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam that we picked up from the Union Square Farmer’s Market…..!!!!!!!!

Needless to say we had a great day!  I also got to open my birthday present early….a new set of Giada Di Laurentiis pots that my mom scoped out at Target!!!  Boy am I a lucky f….duck – or what?!

The other treat I would like to share with you is a recipe I’ve been playing around with.  Ina Garten has this recipe for Carrot Cake Cupcakes that my dad and I both adore, but the problem is there is SO.MUCH.DAMN.OIL in these things that not only do they feel greasy sometimes but they also end up kind of slumping and sinking after you take them out of the oven no matter what I try.  The problem is they are so good but I’ve been trying to degrease them a bit.  So I’d like to share with you the latest version of my own Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe.  It’s nearly where I want it – just a few more tweaks but they are still very good.

Kiss My Carrot Cupcakes

Yields 15 cupcakes


1 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

1/2 c vegetable oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 c grated carrots

1/2 c craisins

2/3 c chopped walnuts

Zest of one orange


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper or aluminum cups and fill the empty cups with water.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and all spice.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the sugars and eggs for 4-5 minutes until nearly homogenous.  Slowly beat in the oil and vanilla. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet in two or three batches.  Don’t over-mix, just make sure the mixture is smooth.  Add the carrots, craisins, walnuts and orange zest and mix to combine.

Fill 15 paper-lined muffin cups about 3/4 full with batter.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.  Let cool, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!!

Bon Appetit!

This entry was published on June 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm. It’s filed under Culinary School, Culinary Student, Dinner, Roasting, Salad and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Flavors & Family

  1. For your carrot cake-o-awesome, try applesauce as an oil substitute. My grandmother used to teach Home Ec (and us) way back when, and she used applesauce instead of oil in cakes and cookies. Maybe try using applesauce instead of half of the oil, and if that still doesn’t solve your problem, go for all applesauce instead of oil.

    Good luck! Blog looks delicious!

  2. Thanks Kait! I definitely plan on trying that – my mom uses that trick when she bakes too! Thanks for the tip! We need to hang out soon 🙂

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