Menu Plan Monday: Shrimp Greek Salad, Taco Tuesday and more.

Menu Plan Monday: Shrimp Greek Salad, Taco Tuesday and more.

We always use our chalk-paint wall in the kitchen to keep track of our weekly menu. Everyone knows what’s cooking–and sometimes I don’t have to be the one cooking it!


Farmer’s Market Saturday: Storing Fresh Herbs

Herbs in a vase are fragrant and fresh all week long.

I love, love, love summer Saturdays at my local Farmer’s Market. I am lucky to live within 15 minutes of a bunch of markets; but my favorite is the Blackwood Farmers Market in downtown Blackwood, NJ. It is a great little market, run by a local volunteer committee of sweet, produce-loving volunteers.

One of my favorite finds every Saturday: fresh herbs. I have a spattering of herbs in my home garden; but I certainly don’t have everything. The basil from the market is always so lush and fragrant and I simply cannot ever resist picking up a bunch.  Today I snagged  giant bouquets of basil, cilantro and dill (for pickle making tomorrow). The herbs were cheap ($2 a bunch or less), locally grown and just picked.

If you store fresh herbs the wrong way–they can go bad within a day. Basil, in particular, does not like the cold, so never, ever refrigerate it (the leaves go black quickly). And who wants black basil leaves?

Here’s my simple trick for keeping herbs fresh all week-long: treat your herbs like flowers. Grab a vase or pitcher, fill with fresh, clean cold water, a handful of ice cubes and pop your herbs in the container.

Not only is an herb bouquet gorgeous and fragrant–it lasts forever (like a week or more!). I change the water  every other day and snip bits of herbs whenever I need it.  Whatever is left when the week ends, I pop in the food processor with a little olive oil and pine nuts for a quick pesto!

Head north to Alaska: King Salmon with Lemon and Rosemary

salmon3My husband went to Alaska and left me alone with all 19 children (I really have 3. but they are loud. and messy. )

He travels on a regular basis, so I am used to flying solo for multiple days in a row. However, there was something about Alaska that made this stint as a single parent seem particularly adventurous.

It is not like PHL has hourly flights to Sitka, Alaska.

Anyway, Mike left. Caught a whole lot of fish. Then returned. And a couple days later, this arrived on my doorstep:


A cooler filled with 39 pounds of king salmon and halibut and rockfish (the hand belongs to one of the children. It was not shipped with the fish).

My husband can go to Alaska anytime he wants.

Typically I am a roll-up-your-sleeves-I-can-cook-anything kinda girl. But I was a little daunted by this beautiful fish. Mike and his fishing buddies caught it–what if I ceremoniously screwed it up?

We didn’t eat dinner until 8 p.m because I was staring at the fish willing it to magically explain how it would like to be cooked. After hours of googling, I settled on aEmerile Lagasse recipe for Foil Wrapped Side of Salmon with lemon, rosemary, garlic and shallots.

It was magnificent and simple.

I had to quickly scale the piece of salmon (which I did with the back side of a knife).

And then I popped into the oven for 20 minutes and out popped perfection:


And it was so easy! (All I had to do was send my husband to Alaska! )

Here is the recipe. I think you could any type of salmon and have a fantastic and quick dinner. King salmon has a nice firm, meaty texture, different than the Atlantic farm-raised salmon that is so readily available.

And don’t be afraid of the skin–it peels off right after cooking with zero effort.

I served it with some lemon rice and the last of the spring peas.

If there were any leftovers, the salmon would be perfect on top of a spinach salad or with a little mayo on a crusty roll.

I’ve got 38.5 lbs of fish left and I really, really don’t want to share.

Coming soon: Halibut Fish Tacos, Grilled Salmon and rockfish (whatever this is. . ..)