Friday, December 19, 2014

Foodie Friday: Easy Salmon Croquette Recipe



Growing up with both parents from South Carolina meant we ate real soul food - real Southern cooking.  One of the things my parents made that I especially loved were Salmon Croquettes. They were quick, easy, and of course, yummy!

The other night, when I was not in the mood to do anything, let alone cook, I'd remembered my mom had given me some salmon (in the can).  I decided to make some salmon croquettes.  Listen, I haven't made these things since my husband and I first began dating, which is almost 6 years ago.  Therefore, my salmon croquette making skills were a little dusty. Plus, we were all out of bread crumbs or panko, so I had to improvise.  Although I didn't use fresh salmon, and didn't use bread crumbs, my salmon croquettes were amazing! I'm not just hyping up myself.

I posted a photo of the finished product and was asked to provide the recipe.  Keep reading for my salmon croquette recipe, and try it out for yourself.

Ingredients
3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
3 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp kosher salt (or less depending on your likes)
16 oz boneless salmon
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used 3 tbsp of flour... I think)
4 scallions finely chopped
1 small red onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 egg beaten
Canola Oil for Frying

Instructions
1.  Break salmon into pieces in a large bowl. Add the remaining Old Bay and salt along with the bread crumbs, butter, scallions, onions, eggs, and lemon juice. Stir ingredients until just combined.

2. Spoon 1 tbsp of the mixture into your hand, and roll into a ball. Then, flatten into a patty. Place on patty on parchment paper until you're completed with making all of the patties.

3. Add oil to a 12" cast-iron skillet until it reaches a depth of 1/2". Heat over medium-high heat until oil registers 325° on a deep-fry thermometer.

4. Using a metal spatula, gently transfer half of the patties to skillet and cook, flipping once with the spatula, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

5. Transfer croquettes to a paper towel–lined plate and repeat with remaining patties.


Enjoy!

Check out Saveur's version using fresh salmon here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie Recipe for Smoothie Week

This week Williams-Sonoma is celebrating Smoothie Week! The theme for the week is "Not Your Typical Smoothie."

 Smoothies are an integral part of my morning routine; it’s like a crock pot meal. I just throw all of my daily essentials into my Vitamix and voila! They are a healthy, quick and filling breakfast on the go that I could change at a moments notice. If I don’t have a fruit (or vegetable) I would substitute it for something else.

I’m a breastfeeding, first-time mom.  Most breastfeeding mother's main concern is MILK PRODUCTION! Especially when you’re a working mom on the go, like me. Keeping hydrated and making sure that I’m eating enough to sustain my milk supply for this growing baby boy hasn't been as hard as it has been for some new moms but, there are days where I feel completely drained.

My recipe may have a couple of ingredients you wouldn't think to put in a smoothie but when they come together, they make a great healthy and flavorful drink!

Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, which you see in a lot of East and West Indian dishes, especially curries,  is great for milk production, heart health, and as an anti-inflammatory aid. The smoothie also contains steel cut oats, which have been proven to help increase your milk supply as well.  My family is from South Carolina and during the holidays one of my favorite desserts is sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are packed Vitamin C which is great for fighting colds, Magnesium the anti-stress and relaxation mineral, and Vitamin D which is critical for your immune system.

So if you’re looking for a great holiday inspired smoothie recipe that’s healthy, packed with protein and tasty here is mine for all of you breastfeeding moms out there.

Ingredients
¼ Cup dry Chick Peas/Garbanzo beans, soaked
2 cups of Coconut Almond Milk, sweetened
4 cardamom Pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish 
¼ teaspoon of fresh nutmeg plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 small sweet potato, baked skin removed
¼ Cup Steel cut oats, cooked
½ Cup of Ice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract



Directions
1.     Soak the dry chickpeas over night in 1 cup of cold water.
2.     In a heavy bottom saucepan, add the almond milk, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon), nutmeg, and turmeric. Heat until the almond milk is warm. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.
Note: This step may be done a few days in a advance. 
3.     Once the milk has cooled, strain and set aside. Taste it and adjust the amount of spices to your    liking. 
4.     Place the sweet potato, cooked oatmeal, chickpeas, ice and vanilla into your blender.
5.     Add the spice infused almond milk and blend until smooth.


Note: Although I used a Vitamix to make this smoothie, any blender can be used.  Check out all of the blender options Williams-Sonoma has to offer.




This post is brought to you by:
Shani H. Porter
The 71atechef
www.71atechef.com
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sponsored: A little Zazzle for our Holiday Cards

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Zazzle.com. Affiliate links.

Holiday cards are an essential part of our family holiday tradition as they let our loved ones know we are thinking about them during the busy holiday season.  To make the cards even more special we use customized cards, like those found on Zazzle.com that allow us to incorporate photos of our beautiful family, especially photos of our daughter, on nice paper with beautiful, intricate designs.  The cards are aesthetically pleasing, and allow for our family and friends who do not see us as often, see how well and how much our daughter has grown. 

We knew we wanted to send out customized photo cards for the holidays again, but with our conflicting schedules, we really didn't have time to schedule a photo session together as a family. 

This year, we did things a little differently.  Instead of us taking photos as a family, we decided to let mini me have a photo shoot all of her own. She just loves the camera! A family friend, Rayon took her pictures one Sunday afternoon, and said that “She takes instruction better than most adults I've worked with.”  And once he saw how well the pictures were turning out, he exclaimed that we needed to get her signed to an agency.  But, we’ll leave that for another post.  Anyway, the photos turned out amazing!!! They looked like images for an ad.


For her photo session, mini me wore two dresses.  One dress was a metallic gold with blue, ruffled cap sleeved dress.  The other dress was a purple, black and dark gray floral dress.  Both were gorgeous on her, especially the gold dress; she looked like a little princess.  So freaking cute!

Anyway, once the photos arrived, we visited Zazzle.com to check out the many photo card designs they had.  Unfortunately, I am not design savvy so I appreciate the pre-designed cards Zazzle has on their site, and they’re nice, too.  If you’re blessed with design skills there is an option to design a card or any item from scratch via their site, or you can upload your own design.  I did the latter for my sister’s shower invites, and they turned out nice so I knew I could trust Zazzle with our holiday cards.

Back to the holiday cards we created on Zazzle.com…

After searching through the many card designs I stuck with the 'Northern Lights Holiday' design.  It was elegant, yet simple.  I uploaded four of the photos we liked the best from her shoot, changed the wording on the card, picked the shape and type of paper, and once everything was set, I placed my order.  It was easy!  Our cards arrive in less than a week.  Right now, they should be well on their way to our close family and friends.  I hope they love them as much as we do!

Zazzle isn't just for creating and printing cards.  Not only do they have beautiful cards, but they also have some really cute Christmas ornaments, as well as some cool gift ideas like mugs, throws, and more, too! Zazzle is literally a one-stop shop for everyone on your list this year.  Head on over to Zazzle for all your personalized gift needs. You won’t be disappointed.


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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Zazzle.com. Affiliate links.