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A Mystery Basket Challenge, A Remembrance of Thailand and A Really Good Pad Thai Salad

The Creative Cooking Crew’s challenge for this month was a virtual mystery basket and, like the popular program “Chopped”, we had to use the items in the basket along with whatever we wanted from our own pantries to complete a “creative” dish.

The basket ingredients were: green apple, bacon, vinegar and nut butter. I immediately thought of some kind of Pad Thai-based dish. Predictable? Perhaps, because of nut sauces in Asian cuisine. But, I generally decide what to make for the challenge by whatever comes to mind first — and what I want to eat! Continue reading A Mystery Basket Challenge, A Remembrance of Thailand and A Really Good Pad Thai Salad

Apple Challenge: Salmon Tartar, Forbidden Black Rice and Cider Gastrique

Yes, apple is present everywhere in this dish!

I always try to take the theme of these challenges to some place different … some place unexpected. I knew immediately it would be featured in a savory dish: (1) for the obvious reason that I’m not a dessert-maker and (2) I love the yin and yang of sweet and savory.

You might think at first glance that this is complicated or fancy, but it’s really very simple. Continue reading Apple Challenge: Salmon Tartar, Forbidden Black Rice and Cider Gastrique

Improving on an Impulse Costco Purchase: Salmon Burger and Warm Asian Slaw

I’m hardly ever satisfied with the purchase of a prepared food product these days. Perhaps because I really enjoy putting my meals together from scratch, perhaps because I’ve become obsessed with my “Finishing Touches“; perhaps because an impulse purchase is nothing more than, well, an impulse purchase. It generally turns into one of those  “what was I thinking?” moments.

A package of frozen Wild Pacific Salmon Burgers seemed like a good idea for a quick and healthy meal. But after trying the first one, I was underwhelmed. And since it was a Costco purchase, you know there was more than 1 burger in that package. I had to get creative. Continue reading Improving on an Impulse Costco Purchase: Salmon Burger and Warm Asian Slaw