Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking
Last month I received a wonderful email from Patty at Sucre, the New Orleans bakery known for their outstanding macarons. They invited me, along with 11 other bloggers, to participate in a macaron baking challenge. All month long a group of us will be sharing our own riff on Sucre’s top secret macaron recipe on our blogs and everyone can vote on their favorites. The top three finalists will then have their recipe made by Chef Tariq and a winner will be chosen. While I don’t typically participate in contests like this I couldn’t resist this one. I adore baking and have always wanted to improve my macaron making skills so I immediately accepted the challenge.
My family has been all about Easter this week. We’ve been very busy dyeing our eggs and decorating the table for Sunday. We’ve also been planning our annual Easter egg hunt and planting fresh flowers on the front porch. Easter has always been a happy time for me and is full of so many good memories. This year in particular I’ve been thinking of our old neighbors who recently moved away, the first year we held an Easter egg hunt for our daughter in our New York apartment, and my grandmother’s carrot cake.
To wrap up my amazing delicious month of everyday seafood meals with Sea Cuisine I made a delicious, and very easy, dish of Tuscan Herb Cod with Tomatoes & Arugula. The beauty of this meal is that the lengthy preparation is already done for you. The cod is perfectly seasoned with Italian flavors and is ready to be baked to perfection. To make mine into a healthy meal I added a side of baby arugula with halved tomatoes and a simple vinaigrette.
Sometimes the trick to coming up with new dinner ideas is to take an old favorite and give it a new twist. It isn’t about reinventing the wheel entirely. It is about breathing new life into the tried and true and ending up with something completely new. This is how I came up with this rice bowl idea using RagúRagú Old World Style Traditional Sauce. I wanted to make my favorite cacciatore from a new angle. So, I decided to serve it over brown rice instead of pasta and, voila, a new meal was born.
I hope you all celebrated National Grilled Cheese Day yesterday! I’ve been celebrating it all week on behalf of my new roll this spring as the national spokesperson for Arla Dofino cheese. I am so excited about this partnership because I am a bona fide cheese nerd and I totally love their product. Last week I celebrated the beginning of our partnership with a launch in New York City at an amazing food space called Freshmade. In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, I worked with Arla Dofino to create a few upgraded grilled cheese sandwiches featuring the brand’s delicious Creamy Havarti cheese. The cheese melts beautifully and is an easy upgrade on a traditional grilled cheese. You may have even seen my #HavartiParty images from Arla Dofino’s Grilled Cheese Day celebration this week!
For my next weekly fish meal using High Liner Foods’ delicious prepared fish, I am focusing on salad. It isn’t because I am on some crazy health kick. It is because this Parmesan Crusted Tilapia was totally made for Caesar salad. It might not seem obvious at first, but is so much better than just serving it with rice and vegetables. The Parmesan crust mimics the same flavor usually found in Caesar dressing, and the breaded coating means you can skip the croutons, too.
Pairing up with my friends at Sea Cuisine to talk all about fish tacos was a no brainer this year. I adore tacos (who doesn’t?!) and their recipes for getting them on the table with minimal fuss and maximum flavor are perfection. Last week I talked about the classic Baja fish taco. I have never been to the Baja peninsula, but if the fish tacos are that delicious I’m putting it next on my destination vacation list. This week we are highlighting another family-friendly recipe that is perfect for weeknight meals or casual weekend entertaining.
This month I am going to be sharing some delicious and easy fish dinner ideas with my friends at Sea Cuisine. I first started working with this company when they sent me to Thailand in 2012 to research Thai seafood. I came to appreciate their product even more when I returned home and started eating it regularly. Their commitment to sustainability and freshness is something I really admire and can stand by. This year Sea Cuisine is going to be highlighting lots of great fish tacos you can make at home with their products. I, for one, adore fish tacos and couldn’t wait to try their first recipe for classic Baja fish tacos made with their Tortilla Crusted Tilapia.
I didn’t plan to write about this because I’ve been beating you over the head with so much citrus lately. But after I made this last week I was so smitten that I had to share it. It really is that good. The orange and ginger combination tasted like my favorite spiced winter cocktail. The scent almost reminded me of a pomander. I call this recipe “simple” because it is just that. I don’t use any complicated slicing and dicing techniques. In fact, I used mostly mineola oranges but threw in two naval oranges I had on hand to make the measurement a full eight cups. You could really use any kind of orange you want.
Given that I am still working my way through the incredibly generous citrus care package I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been making! My friend Barbara turned me on to this awesome marmalade cake recipe that was in the New York Times last month. It makes sense since she’s the one that got me on my marmalade making kick to begin with. Since I have plenty of Meyer lemon marmalade on hand, as well as a dozen or so oranges, I decided to combine the two to make my own citrusy confection.
Given that the our winter weather seems to have no end I am sneaking in one last great soup to cap off the season. This is a riff on my favorite caramelized onion soup. I make it with shallots, add a little season, and skip the cheese topping. I know, I know, it is sacrilege not to have the cheese topping so I’ll go ahead and say you can add it if you want. However, if you don’t, I don’t think you’ll really miss it. This is one of those soft, nourishing soups that is filling without being too heavy.
It is time to think spring. I am ready to put this winter and all of the snow days and icicles behind me. Luckily, a pretty little package of Ball Heritage Collection Spring Jars arrived recently and put me right in the mood. The cheery green color of this vintage-style jars are perfect for spring. If I hadn’t been the mood for more marmalade I might have used them as flower vases for our dining room table and pretended it was summer!