Good Taste

A celebration of food

Crispy Asian Salmon with Noodles, Bok Choy and Sugar Snap Peas

Marinated salmon served on a bed of savory rice noodles and veggies.

2 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes


2 (¼-pound) salmon fillets

For the marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the stir-fried noodles

  • 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ red chili pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 1 medium bok choy, sliced (can substitute spinach)
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro


  1. Make the marinade by mixing together all the ingredients. Place the salmon fillets in a small bowl and spoon the marinade over the fish, turning the fish so it’s nicely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit for 10 minutes (or longer if you have time).
  2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions, then drain and set them in a bowl of cold water.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, and cook for 3 minutes. When the skin is slightly crispy, flip over and cook for 3 minutes more on the other side.
  4. Just before you remove the fish from the pan, add any remaining marinade and let it sizzle for 10 seconds. Place the fish on a plate, skin-side up, adding any juices from cooking, and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. In a frying pan or wok, heat the canola and sesame oils over a high heat.
  6. Add the green onion, garlic, chili pepper and ginger; stir constantly for about 1 minute.
  7. Add the sugar snap peas, bok choy and red pepper; stir for another 1-2 minutes, then add the cooked noodles. Toss well, then add the soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice; mix until well combined and the pan is sizzling.
  8. Remove noodle and veggie mixture from the heat and divide between 2 bowls. Top each with a salmon fillet and drizzle with any remaining juices. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

Posted: February 18, 2019, 2:37 pm


Orange Chicken

A healthier take on traditional orange chicken, sautéed instead of breaded and fried. This flavorful dish marinates overnight in a simple sauce and cooks up in just 15 minutes. Delicious made with sweet Sumo citrus or navel oranges.

2 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 4 hours marinating time


  • 8 ounces all-natural organic chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 Sumo citrus or 1 large orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced (use less for less heat)
  • Dash kosher salt
  • Couple of turns of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil or canola oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. Place all ingredients except peanut oil and green onions in bowl or Ziploc bag and mix together, then cover and place in refrigerator to allow to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat a wok or nonstick skillet to medium-high and add peanut/canola oil.
  3. Add the chicken a few pieces at a time and then turn to coat and begin cooking, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the marinade to the wok or skillet, mix with the chicken and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer, continue cooking until marinade is reduced by half and chicken is cooked through, at least 3 minutes or more.
  6. Add green onions and turn to coat.
  7. Serve over brown rice with additional green onions to garnish, if desired.

Recipe source: The Enchanted Cook

Posted: February 17, 2019, 8:10 pm

Salmon Tacos with Sriracha Cream Sauce

Tired of the cold weather? Try this twist on tacos from Twin Cities blogger greens & chocolate to help you turn your table into a tropical paradise.

This time of year I try to lighten up my meals to balance out all of the indulgent eating I did in December. Plus, with the new year and all, it just feels good to eat fresh and light. My pregnancy cravings have had me wanting, no NEEDING, hot sauce on top of everything I eat, which, in addition to wanting a healthier dinner, is how I came up with these Salmon Tacos with Sriracha Cream Sauce.  

Another reason to make these salmon tacos? Along with a bowl of chips and guacamole and an ice-cold Corona or agua fresca, they make you feel like you are in sunny Mexico instead of the cold tundra of Minnesota. Don’t get me wrong – I love Minnesota winters. Really, I do. But every once in a while (say, in the middle of a week of subzero temperatures) I like to step away from the pot roast, cook up something tropical and pretend my toes don’t go numb every time I step outside. 

I like to keep my taco toppings pretty minimal with a sprinkle of red onion, cilantro and jalapenos for more spice, but you could load yours up with all of your favorites: Salsa, guacamole, lettuce, sour cream…the works. I’m begging you, however, not to skip the Sriracha cream sauce. It makes these tacos! If you’re not a fan of super spicy things, you can definitely scale back the amount of Sriracha to just a half a teaspoon, and it will be much more mild.  

So whether you’re also trying to eat a little healthier this year or wanting to wish away the cold weather, give these tacos a try!  

Salmon Tacos with Sriracha Cream Sauce

4 servings (2 tacos each)

Sriracha Sauce:

  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-3 teaspoon(s) Sriracha (depending on how spicy you prefer)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Juice of 1 lime


  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 corn tortillas (I like to double them up for each taco)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Jalapeños, for topping
  • Other toppings: salsa, guacamole, tomatoes, etc. 


  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine cumin, chili powder, and salt. Rub over salmon.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. I love using my cast iron or All-Clad skillets.
  4. Once oil is hot, add salmon, skin side down. Cook 4-5 minutes, then flip. Cook another 4-5 minutes, until salmon is cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon.  If you are cooking one large piece of salmon, you will likely need to cook it closer to 6-7 minutes on each side.  
  5. Once salmon is cooked and flakes easily, divide chunks of salmon among the tortillas. Top with preferred toppings (mine are cilantro, red onion and jalapeños) and drizzle with Sriracha cream sauce.  
  6. Tip: I put my cream sauce in a plastic baggie, then cut one of the tips off a corner, which makes drizzling much easier! Alternately, you can drizzle with a spoon.
Posted: February 17, 2019, 7:52 pm

Mini Baked Ham Sandwiches

These irresistible hot ham and cheese mini-sandwiches are so easy to make. They’re a great way to use leftover ham and make enough for a crowd!

12 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration


1 pound cooked ham, sliced
1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons dried minced onion
1 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds
1 package Hawaiian rolls or slider buns


  1. Melt butter and mix in mustard, Worcestershire, minced onion and poppy seeds.
  2. Slice rolls in half horizontally. Place bottom halves in a baking dish and cover with ham and cheese.
  3. Cover ham and cheese with the top halves of the rolls.
  4. Drizzle butter mixture over the top of rolls, distributing evenly.
  5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow sauce to soak in.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until heated all the way through and cheese is melted. Separate individual sandwiches for serving.

Recipe adapted from King’s Hawaiian

Posted: February 17, 2019, 5:08 pm

Smash Burgers

Make restaurant-quality smash burgers at home! Using meat with a higher fat content, such as ground chuck, ensures juicy, flavorful burgers every time.

Makes 4 burgers
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Vegetable oil (for the pan)
1 pound 80% lean ground beef
Kosher salt
4 slices American cheese
4 potato rolls, toasted
Ketchup, mayonnaise, shredded iceberg lettuce and dill pickle slices, for serving


  1. Heat a cast-iron griddle or large heavy skillet over medium-high until very hot, about 2 minutes, then lightly brush with vegetable oil. 
  2. Divide ground beef into 4 equal portions (do not form patties).
  3. Working in batches if needed, place portions on griddle and smash flat with a spatula to form 4-inch diameter patties (craggy edges are your friend). 
  4. Season liberally with salt and cook, undisturbed, until outer edges are brown, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Flip patties, season with salt, and place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Cook until cheese droops and burgers are medium-rare, about 1 minute.
  6. Serve patties on rolls with ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce and pickles.

Recipe source: Bon Appétit

Posted: February 16, 2019, 9:27 pm

Walnut Crusted Eggs over Greens

Made with heart-healthy walnuts and a blend of organic greens, this simple recipe is a delicious way to enjoy eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

1 serving
Preparation time: 10 minutes

2 teaspoons California Olive Ranch Olive Oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups Earthbound Organic Power Greens blend
1 teaspoon San-J tamari, reduced sodium
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons L&B Walnuts, finely chopped, divided
1 L&B Organic Large Egg
Optional: Finely diced fresh tomatoes, for serving


  1. In a nonstick sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. 
  2. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add greens, tamari and lemon juice. Toss with tongs until greens are wilted, about 1 minute. Do not overcook. Set aside in pan to keep warm.
  3. In a separate nonstick sauté pan, heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. 
  4. Sprinkle 1 ½ tablespoons of finely ground walnuts in center of pan and crack egg on top of walnuts, sprinkling the remaining walnuts on top of the egg. Cook until whites are firm, about 1 minute. 
  5. Carefully flip egg, being careful to not break the yolk. Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Place greens on plate and top with walnut crusted egg. Chef’s tip: Top with finely diced fresh tomatoes, if desired.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 5:59 pm

Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas

Making delicious, tender flour tortillas is easier than you think! Wonderful for quesadillas, tacos and more.

Makes 12-14 tortillas
Preparation time: 1 hour

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup shortening or lard
1 ¼ cups hot water


  1. In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder and salt. 
  2. Add shortening ½ teaspoon at a time, pulsing the mixture together until combined but not overmixed.
  3. Slowly add the hot water and pulse until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Turn wet dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 10-12 equal parts.
  5. Lightly flour the dough and roll into balls; gently press to flatten them slightly.
  6. Cover with a damp (not wet) tea cloth or linen and rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough balls until they are about the thickness of a penny.
  8. Heat a skillet or sauté pan to medium-high heat. One at a time, place tortillas in the pan and cook for 30-45 seconds. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 5:50 pm

Sea Salt & Vinegar Smashed Red Potatoes

Just like your favorite potato chips – but even better! This easy side dish is crispy, salty, tangy and addictively delicious. Serve with ranch dressing, fresh tomato salsa or just as-is!

4-6 servings
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

2 pounds small red potatoes
1 ½ cup white vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic reduction
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Coarse sea salt, to taste


  1. Rinse potatoes and place them in a large pot.
  2. To the pot, add vinegar, then add enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Add ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very tender, but not falling apart, about 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain vinegar water off.
  3. Heat oven to 450 F.
  4. Return potatoes to pot and add butter. Gently stir to melt butter and coat potatoes.
  5. Brush large sheet pan with olive oil. Spread out cooked potatoes on sheet pan.
  6. Using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or mug, smash potatoes to ½-inch thickness.
  7. Roast in oven until golden brown on bottom, about 15-20 minutes, then flip potatoes and roast for another 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Sprinkle with chopped basil and coarse sea salt to taste. Serve warm or cold.
Posted: February 11, 2019, 2:42 pm

Make Your Valentine’s Day Flowers Last

If your sweetie surprised you with a stunning selection of your favorite flowers this Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to enjoy them as long as possible. Although different varieties of cut flowers naturally vary in the length of their vase life, there are a few things you can do to keep those blooms looking beautiful longer and get the most out of that loving gift.

  1. Stay Cool. Cut flowers aren’t crazy about heat! To avoid dehydration, keep them in a cool place that’s between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure they stay out of direct sunlight and away from vents or drafty areas.
  2. H20h Yeah. Just as you need to hydrate daily, so do your blooms! Add cool water to their vase each day. (Warm water will make the flowers open more quickly.) If the water becomes cloudy, pour it out and replace it entirely with fresh water.
  3. Snip, Snip. If you’re giving your flowers fresh water, it’s a good idea to give them a fresh cut as well! Go 1 to 2 inches up from the bottom of the stem and snip at a 45-degree angle. This angle prevents the stems from being able to sit flush at the bottom of the vase and collect any unwanted bacteria. It also gives the stems more surface area to take in water.
  4. Mmm, Good. Each time you replace the water, sprinkle in a packet of floral food for added nutrients. Floral food is a combination of additives that nourishes your arrangement and discourages bacteria from growing in the water.

Here’s to beautiful, long-lasting blooms from Bachman’s!

Posted: February 7, 2019, 7:37 pm

Berkshire Bone-in Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

This recipe originates in the Burgundy region of France, where pork chops are traditionally served in a sauce made with mustard, cream and white wine. Simple, but delicious!

4 servings
Preparation time: 35 minutes

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 (1 ¼-inch-thick) Berkshire Bone-in Pork Chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped green onions or shallots
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup chicken or veal stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Melt butter in the oil in a large deep skillet over high heat. 
  2. Season chops with salt and pepper and add them, browning well, about 2 or 3 minutes a side, reducing the heat slightly if chops brown too quickly.
  3. Remove chops to a platter and pour off most of the fat. 
  4. Add green onions or shallots and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 1 minute.
  5. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping brown bits off the bottom. 
  6. Stir in the stock and return chops to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer; cover and cook until chops are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the chops to a warm platter; cover with foil to keep warm. 
  8. Raise the heat and boil pan juices to reduce by half, about 2 minutes. 
  9. Add cream and boil 2 minutes more, until sauce reduces a bit and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in mustard and the parsley, if using. Taste and add more mustard if desired.
  10. Immediately spoon sauce over the chops and serve.

Recipe source: New York Times

Posted: February 7, 2019, 3:10 pm

No-Bake Baileys Cheesecake

Rich creamy cheesecake made with a touch of Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur, featuring a chocolaty crushed Oreo crust and topped with fluffy Baileys-infused whipped cream. A wonderful special-occasion dessert recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate. The best part: no baking required!

There’s something about the holiday season that gives me the urge to break out our bottle of Baileys Irish Cream. It must be the twinkling lights from the tree and the crackling of the fire that makes me want to put a splash (or three) in my hot cocoa. Who knows. Regardless, this year I’m not just drinking my Baileys. I’m eating it, too!

This Baileys Cheesecake is definitely a show-stopping dessert. In fact, I said to my husband (as we stood over the kitchen counter devouring it) that I thought this was one of the best things I’ve ever made. I don’t say that often because as a food blogger, I cook a LOT. I create a ton of new recipes and, while I only publish the ones that I absolutely love, I can’t say they’re all my favorite.

This Baileys Cheesecake, though? Absolutely a favorite. Without a doubt, I will be making it again this year. Likely, every year from now on.

So, let’s talk about why this Baileys Cheesecake is so good. First, the Oreo crust. It’s my go-to for most cheesecakes and goes perfectly with the chocolate and Baileys filling.

Second, that chocolate filling. It’s a pretty simple combination of whipped cream, cream cheese, sugar, chocolate and Baileys, but it’s so so good – rich, creamy and simply delightful. Bonus: it’s no bake! Just whip it up and put it in the refrigerator to set up.  

Since I couldn’t stop with just the cheesecake filling, I topped it all off with a Baileys whipped cream and a sprinkling of some Oreo crumbs. The Baileys whipped cream really highlights that Irish Cream flavor and the lightness of it complements the cheesecake perfectly.

Obviously, this cheesecake isn’t an everyday treat. It’s a special-occasion dessert, absolutely perfect for the holiday season. Bring it to a Christmas party or serve it after a special meal with friends and family – they will thank you for it!

No-Bake Baileys Cheesecake

10-12 servings
Preparation time: 1 hour + refrigeration time

For the crust:
32 Oreos
6 tablespoons butter

For the cheesecake:
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup white granulated sugar
⅓ cup Baileys Irish Cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Baileys whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

2 additional Oreos, crushed, for topping

For the crust:

  1. Place Oreos in a large food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. 
  2. Add butter and pulse until well combined.
  3. Press Oreo mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
  4. Place in the refrigerator.

For the cheesecake filling:

  1. Place heavy cream into a large bowl. Beat on high with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside. 
  2. Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set it over a pot of hot water (not boiling). Stirring occasionally, heat until it is melted. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. 
  4. Add the chocolate, mixing until combined.  
  5. Add the Baileys and vanilla, mixing until combined.
  6. Finally, fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Top the cheesecake crust with the filling, spreading it out evenly. Refrigerate.

To make the Baileys whipped cream:

  1. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and Baileys until medium peaks form.
  2. Spread over cheesecake layer. Top with additional Oreo crumbs. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. Enjoy! 
Posted: February 5, 2019, 9:02 pm

Cleansing Breakfast Soup

Start your day feeling great with this comforting, nutrient-rich soup.

4 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes

4 cups water
⅓ cup shiitake mushrooms, dried
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon L&B Sea Salt
½ cup cabbage or bok choy, sliced thin
¼ cup celery, thin bias cut
½ cup carrots, julienned
½ cup firm organic tofu, diced
1 heaping cup Earthbound Farm Organic “Zen” Greens
1 cup snow peas, thin bias cut
3 tablespoons organic white miso
¼ cup green onions, thin bias cut


  1. In a small saucepan add water, dried shiitakes, ginger, garlic and sea salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. This will help concentrate the broth.
  2. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer, discarding mushrooms, ginger and garlic bits, so you are left with a clear broth. 
  3. Place broth back in saucepan; add cabbage, celery and carrots, then simmer for 7-10 minutes. 
  4. Add diced tofu, greens and snow peas into the saucepan and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until greens are wilted.
  5. Remove from heat. Dissolve miso in 2-3 tablespoons of your prepared broth then stir into soup. Divide into bowls and garnish with green onions.
Posted: February 5, 2019, 7:09 pm

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Two

Rich, creamy vanilla bean custard topped with a crispy, crackly layer of caramelized sugar. A classic dessert recipe for date night from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate.

I’ve never been one for going out on Valentine’s Day. A fun, perhaps fancy, dinner at home is what I much prefer to celebrate with my honey. Actually, the past few years we’ve been getting together with some friends for what we call PALentine’s Day.

We gather at one of our homes, kids and all, and cook a yummy dinner for all of us to celebrate the love we have for each other. It’s always a super fun night.  

Whenever I think of a Valentine’s Day dessert, anything deeply chocolate and crème brûlée comes to mind. I’ll also make an exception for my Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse Cups on Valentine’s Day because those are 100% yummy and pretty pink!

The problem with a lot of dessert recipes is that they make a pretty big quantity. While an entire flourless chocolate torte will be perfect for our PALentine’s Day dinner this year, it’s probably not ideal for a date night in. Neither is six servings of crème brûlée.  

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Two will fix that! This recipe is a pared down version of the one I made for Christmas this year and it turned out perfectly. While crème brûlée might seem like a difficult recipe to make, I promise you it is not.

Making vanilla bean crème brûlée involves three simple steps. First, you heat up the cream and sugar; then, you add the egg yolk and vanilla bean paste. Next, you bake it and chill it in the refrigerator for four hours. Lastly, sprinkle some sugar on top and caramelize it. Easy peasy!

If you are making this for Valentine’s Day, I would definitely prep it a day in advance. While the minimum chilling time is 4 hours, I think chilling them overnight is the way to go. Do everything except for caramelizing the sugar on top, and then chill in the refrigerator to ensure the ramekins are completely set up.  

Another key for success? Using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste has the vanilla bean pods, which gives the crème brûlée the little specks throughout the custard. It’s basically a much easier method than using actual vanilla beans – I love using it for all my vanilla-flavored baked goods.

One thing is for sure: you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant anymore to get delicious crème brûlée!  

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Two

2 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided)
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
⅛ teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar, for caramelizing


  1. Heat oven to 300 F.
  2. In a small saucepan, add heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar over medium-low heat.
  3. Bring the cream mixture to a light simmer (it will begin to steam) and then remove it from heat. Set aside and let cool.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt.  
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Add another 2 tablespoons, whisking to combine. This will keep the eggs from scrambling from the warm cream.
  6. Add this tempered egg yolk mixture to the saucepan of cream, whisking continuously as you add it, and whisk until combined.
  7. Place two (6-8 ounce) ramekins in a baking dish. Divide crème brûlée mixture between the two ramekins. Fill the baking dish with water, about halfway up the crème brûlée dishes.
  8. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until just set. They will still be jiggly in the middle. Cool at room temperature for an hour and then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or (preferably) overnight.
  9. Once ready to serve, top each ramekin with about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Melt the sugar with a crème brûlée torch, until golden brown. You can also do this under a broiler. Serve and enjoy!
Posted: February 5, 2019, 6:11 pm

Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce

Pan-seared salmon layered with sautéed root vegetables and baked in a creamy white wine dill sauce. 

4 servings
Preparation time: 45 minutes

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 pound salmon, skin off, cut into 4 portions
1 bunch carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small celery root, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, roughly chopped
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dill, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add salmon and sear until golden brown on the bottom. Remove salmon from pan and set aside.
  3. To the hot pan, add carrots, parsnips and celery root; sauté for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Lower heat and add butter, garlic and shallots. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Pour in the white wine and let it simmer for 1 minute.
  6. Add chicken stock and cream; return mixture to a simmer. 
  7. Stir in chopped dill. Add salmon to the pan seared side up.
  8. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Posted: February 5, 2019, 5:03 pm

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

When you have several bananas that are on the verge of becoming a little too ripe, try these moist, frosted dessert bars! A classic recipe from The Best of Byerly’s cookbook.

Makes 50 (1 ½ x 2-inch) bars
Preparation time: 60 minutes

½ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas (2 large)
1 (8-ounce) container dairy sour cream
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
Cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)


  1. Grease and lightly flour a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan.
  2. Heat oven to 375 F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar; blend in eggs, vanilla, bananas and sour cream.
  4. Combine dry ingredients; stir with pecans into creamed mixture just until blended. Spread in prepared pan. 
  5. Bake until bars test done with a wooden pick, about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool; spread with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together all ingredients until smooth.

Posted: February 4, 2019, 7:38 pm

How to cook the perfect steak

Follow these simple steps to make a perfectly seared, perfectly juicy steak every time – no grill required!

Heat oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Pat steaks dry and season heavily with salt and pepper; place steaks in HOT skillet.

Sear steaks 4 minutes, turning once. Do not turn until the steak releases from the skillet on its own. If the steak is sticking to the skillet it is not ready to turn.

Place skillet into 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Turn once, halfway through the cooking time.

Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 120 F for rare, 130 F for medium rare, and 140 F for medium doneness. Always use a thermometer to determine doneness.

Remove steaks from skillet; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. (Temperature will continue to rise about 5°)

Posted: February 4, 2019, 6:50 pm

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

These simple sandwiches are great for a crowd!

12 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 package King’s Hawaiian Rolls
4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
4 tablespoons basil, chopped, divided
3 cups pulled chicken or chopped chicken from a L&B Rotisserie Chicken
1 cup L&B Marinara Sauce
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
½ cup butter, melted
2-3 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Without separating rolls, slice in half lengthwise and set the top portion aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped basil, pulled chicken and marinara sauce.
  4. Distribute chicken mixture evenly on bottom buns.
  5. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella.
  6. Put the tops of the rolls back on and brush with mixture of melted butter, garlic, 2 tablespoons basil and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake 20 minutes at 350 F, until buns are golden brown on top.
  8. Cut into individual sliders and serve.
Posted: February 1, 2019, 9:03 pm

Appetizer idea: Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs

These little meatball appetizers will get everyone talking! You can make them with ground chicken or ground turkey.


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ⅓ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup white whole wheat flour (or another flour of your choice)
  • ⅓ cup rolled oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

For the kung pao sauce

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Scallions, chopped (optional), for topping


  1. Heat oven to 400 F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place all meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Make 1-inch meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Tip: moisten your hands with water to make handling the raw meat easier.
  4. Bake meatballs for 25-28 minutes, or until tops begin to turn golden brown.
  5. While meatballs are cooking, mix all the kung pao ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. Once the meatballs have cooled slightly, toss in the sauce. Serve hot, topped with chopped scallions.

Recipe adapted from Fit Foodie Finds

Posted: February 1, 2019, 3:20 pm

Slow Cooker Meatball Tortellini Soup

This simple soup recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate is perfect for busy families!

We recently welcomed our second son into our family, and can I just say that everyone who told us that it’s a big adjustment going from one to two kids was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CORRECT?! I can’t believe we ever thought having one kid, especially a newborn, was difficult. I mean yes – hello, sleep deprivation. But instead of having two adults and one little human, it’s two versus two. All hands on deck.  

I’d say the most challenging time of day for us is the evening. The baby gets a little fussy, and since it gets dark so early, the toddler needs to be entertained inside.

So far it works out best for my husband to manage our two-year-old and for me to keep the baby happy, typically wearing him in a baby carrier. So when it comes to dinners, I pretty much have three requirements. For one, it needs to take less than 30 minutes MAX. Second, not a lot of chopping or standing over the stove. Grease splatters and leaning over just isn’t going to work. Third, if it’s a slow cooker recipe, I am in.

A slow cooker recipe means that I can throw it together in the morning when I get a chance. It’s not as time-sensitive as “oh my gosh it’s 6:00 and we need to figure out dinner.” That’s where this soup comes in.  

This Slow Cooker Meatball Tortellini Soup is absolutely perfect for busy weeknights. Aside from a little chopping of onion and carrots, you simply add it all to the slow cooker and let it cook all day. Since we love this recipe so much, I typically make a double batch and put one in the freezer. Then all I have to do the day before I want to make it is take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in my refrigerator until the next morning.

Also, can I let you in on a little secret? This soup can easily be made on the stovetop as well. Just sauté the veggies in a little bit of olive oil, then add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for 20 minutes. So just in case you didn’t have time in the morning to throw it all in the slow cooker or you just didn’t think that far ahead, this soup will still save you.

We serve this with a side of garlic bread and a salad, and we personally love it topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Enjoy!  

Slow Cooker Meatball Tortellini Soup

6 servings
Preparation time: 6-8 hours

1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) package frozen Italian meatballs
1 (8-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 cups beef broth
1 (16 ounce) package cheese tortellini
Shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, for topping


  1. Place all ingredients except tortellini in 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  3. Add tortellini for the last 30 minutes.
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy!  
Posted: January 31, 2019, 5:39 pm

Winter Snack Mix

An irresistibly sweet and salty combination of popcorn, pretzels and peanuts drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with L&B Maple Bacon Sugar. Created by FoodE Expert Lennea Leefeldt from our Ridgedale store. Great for parties!

8 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes + cooling time

1 (9-ounce) bag Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popped Corn
1 (10.7-ounce) bag M&Ms
2 cups Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels
1 cup L&B Deluxe Gourmet Virginia Peanuts
2 teaspoons L&B Maple Bacon Sugar
1 (11-ounce) bag Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Chips
1 cup Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips


  1. Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Melt chips in separate dishes in a microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until just melted.
  3. Add melted white chocolate to popcorn mix. Mix well until completely coated. Sprinkle L&B Maple Bacon Sugar onto mixture and stir.
  4. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet. Drizzle melted chocolate chips over the popcorn mixture.
  5. Let cool until set, about 1 hour, or until chocolates are firmly set. Timesaver tip: You can also cover with foil and put the baking sheet in the fridge to set faster (about 10 minutes).
  6. When the chocolate is set, pour the snack mix into a bowl and enjoy.
Posted: January 31, 2019, 3:48 pm