• Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup seedless grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, stir together mayo, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serves 2.

NOTES: You can use any color of apple or seedless grape. I usually put chopped walnuts into a pie tin and place the tin in the oven at whatever temperature I happen to be baking at the time. I shake the tin every couple minutes. It takes about 8 minutes or so to toast the walnuts. If you’re not a mayo fan, try plain yogurt.

  • Ingredients
  • Fresh (or frozen and thawed) salmon
  • Sesame seeds
  • Favorite seasoning salt
  • Oil

Slice the salmon into evenly sized strips, about 1″ wide. I used three strips per person. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto a plate. Let’s call the salmon skin the bottom. Press one side of the salmon into the sesame seeds on the plate so that the side is well-coated. Heavily salt the other side, the side that is facing up toward you. That’s it for prep.

Heat just a little oil in a skillet until very hot. Place the salmon in the skillet, sesame side down, and sear it for a couple minutes. Do not crowd the fish. When you see the salmon turning pink about half way through, turn the salmon over so that the salted side is on the skillet. Let it finish cooking, a couple more minutes. Remove from skillet and let stand for a couple minutes. Serve.

This tastes really good sauced with tahini sauce.

NOTES: This tastes AMAZING!!! No joke. My son in Juneau (pictured below) made these and used blueberry salt for the salted side. He said it was AMAZING! I used garlic salt the last time I made these. I cannot overstate how good these are. It’s as though I discovered the perfect way to make salmon. Oh, but credit must go to Jamie Oliver for introducing me. Thank you.

How I ended up with more salmon than I know what to do with, but I’m working on it . . .

Last summer I bought 30 salmon from my friend Sandy. She has a small processing operation in Naknek. She fileted the fish for me. In Alaska parlance, that means she gutted the salmon and split the fish in half, removing the backbone. My memory from working at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game in King Salmon during summers 1975-1977 as a fish ticket editor and radio operator tells me the average size of a Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is 8 pounds. If you remove the guts and split it in half, that’s about 2.5-3 pounds of meat. I see salmon recipes online talking about filets and I just don’t know what that means. They clearly are using the word “filet” differently than I’m accustomed to. Oh, well. To me, a filet is half a fish. If it’s a Kasilof fish, it’s not very much. If it’s a Bristol Bay fish, it’s a lot.

Sandy asked me if I wanted the collars and bellies removed. I was trying to catch up on the lingo and told her I didn’t care, whatever was easiest. She left them. Thank goodness because that’s what I’m used to. I cut them off myself and boil them to make salmon broth for use in salmon chowder and other seafood chowders. Sandy asked if I wanted some bellies. She cuts them off for her customers outside Alaska. The filet makes a neater appearance that way. Sure, I took some bellies. I smoked and canned them, but they’re nearly all oil so it wasn’t very appetizing. I tossed some on the smoker, but still . . . too oily for me. I don’t think I will order them again. She also threw in some scrap meat. It’s the odds-and-ends, mostly from around the backbone. There were several pounds in my order for free. She’s trying to develop a market for it, so was seeking recipes. Now that’s been a wonderful boon. I really like that. It’s good for salmon burgers and chowder. I like it better than the bellies.

Well, that’s how I ended up with 60 salmon filets, plus more extra pieces. I created a checklist so I know how many to order next year. It’s December 20 and I’ve used 19 filets. How many will I have used by July 4, 2023? We’ll see. We’ll see.

Merry Christmas!

Paula

  • Ingredients
  • 12 oz. white baking chips
  • 1/2 cup shelled, salted pistachio nuts, whole
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, a silpat, or grease/butter.

In a microwave-safe bowl, using 30-second increments in your microwave, melt the baking chips until smooth, stirring well after each increment. Stir in the nuts and cranberries. Spread onto prepared sheet pan, as thin as you can without leaving any holes. Place into the refrigerator, or out on a countertop, until it’s hard. Remove to a cutting board and slice or break apart into serving-size pieces. Yum.

NOTES: Make sure to separate your dried cranberries so that they’re not in clumps when you stir them into the baking chips. I had a 1-lb. bag of white chocolate chips the first time and I used chopped dried cherries and lightly salted pistachios. It was great. The next time I had the ingredients I’ve listed above. The recipe is very forgiving, you don’t need the exact measurements. The add-in amounts should be to your taste, as long as you can spread the mixture out on a sheet pan. I live in a cold climate, so leaving the candy out on the countertop to harden works just fine, but you may have trouble if it’s too warm in your kitchen.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups salted dry roasted peanuts, shelled
  • 1 10-1/2 oz. package miniature marshmallows

Prepare a 9×13″ dish by greasing it or lining with parchment paper.

In a large pan, melt chocolate chips with butter and sweetened condensed milk over low heat until smooth. Stir in peanuts and marshmallows. Spread mixture into the prepared dish. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares. Yield: 3-1/4 lbs.

Here are photos of before refrigeration and another to show you how much it makes — huge amount! This is an expensive recipe, but it’s super easy and takes just a few minutes to throw together. Make sure you use a really large pan to melt and stir everything together in. Those marshmallows take up a lot of space. It’s very pretty when sliced and served. Tastes REALLY yummy, too.

This quick and easy meal comes from Dash of Mandi. It is REALLY YUMMY! I keep tweaking the recipe based upon what I have on-hand. The part that takes the longest is cooking the rice. I used black “Forbidden” rice that I found in the back of the cupboard. I didn’t have any edamame (I barely know what that is) or garbanzos, so I did without this time.

  • Dressing Ingredients (all quantities are approximate–this is not fussy)
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sriracha
  • Bowl Ingredients (all quantities are approximate–this is not fussy)
  • 1 cup dry rice, any kind
  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 lb. salmon, skinned, deboned, and cut into 1-1/2″ cubes
  • Salt, or seasoning salt
  • Olive oil
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced avocado
  • Edamame, or garbanzo beans
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp. of sesame seeds

Stir together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Start cooking the rice by stirring together rice with 1-3/4 cup to 2 cups liquid in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes. Do not peek. Brown or black rice will take longer than white rice. You can use any kind of liquid you want. I used water this time, but have used broth previously.

Stir together sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha. Set aside.

Sprinkle the salmon cubes with salt. About ten minutes before the rice is finished, heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add salmon in a single layer. Gently turn salmon pieces to cook on all sides. Stir in sweet chili sauce mixture. Heat through.

Into each bowl, place a portion of rice, half the salmon including the sauce, and half the cucumber, avocado, and edamame. Sprinkle with dressing and then sprinkle with sliced green onion and sesame seeds. Serve.

YIELD: 2 bowls

  • Ingredients
  • 3 golden delicious (cooking apples) apples, pureed
  • 1lb. golden raspberries (or red), fresh or frozen
  • 1-3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Yield: 3-1/2 cups

Stir all the ingredients into a large cooking pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for jelling by putting a spoonful on a small dish. Once cool, run your finger or the spoon through it. The track should stay. This is very forgiving, so a little longer than necessary shouldn’t hurt anything. Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe the rims, tighten lids onto the tops, and tip the jars over for a half hour. Turn right side up and let cool. Lids should be not bounce when pressed.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 Tbsp. rum
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups apples, chopped 1/2″
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ springform pan or spray with non-stick (if you use a regular 9″ cake pan, grease or spray AND line the bottom with parchment paper).

In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Beat in the vanilla and rum.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat this mixture into the butter mixture under slow speed until just mixed. By hand, fold in the chopped apples. Dollop into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the top with sugar, about a tablespoon.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake should be golden-colored all over.

Let it cool in the pan. Run a knife around the sides to make sure nothing is sticking to the edges. If using regular cake pan, invert onto grate or plate, and remove parchment paper, then gently revert onto serving plate. If using springform pan, then unbuckle the sides and slide onto serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

NOTES: Recipe from onceuponachef.com. This is really rummy tasting. Yum! It was easy to make. I used red delicious apples because I bought too many of them for another purpose and was trying to find something to do with them. The original recipe calls for using a cooking apple. Oh, well. Did I say how easy this was? Yes, really simple. And rummy. So there.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 handful fresh dill

In a skillet, heat olive oil. Stir fry onion over medium heat until nearly transparent, then stir in garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in the green beans. Make sure they are well-coated with the onion-garlic mixture. Stir in tomatoes and water. Let simmer about an hour, uncovered, stirring frequently. The tomato should cling to the beans by the time an hour is up. Just prior to serving, check the salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice and fresh dill.

NOTES: I don’t eat green beans often, not a huge fan, but I do like them like this. It’s very flavorful. I originally acquired the recipe from Great British Chefs.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded apple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl stir together oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the oil mixture into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Fold in the shredded zucchini and apple. Distribute batter equally into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

NOTES: I did not peel either the zucchini or the apple. I did drain the zucchini a bit before using it, but I don’t think it was that important. A wetter batter would take a few minutes more to bake, that’s all. Full disclosure, I had a giant zucchini and was making something else. I scooped out and discarded the seeds, then shredded the zucchini flesh. I had about a cup of shreds leftover from my original purpose, so saved that and used it to make these delicious muffins.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (or dried parsley flakes)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups salmon stock, or water, or chicken broth
  • 2-3 potatoes, chopped (peel or don’t, however you like it)
  • 2 cups boneless, skinless salmon, cut into chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups milk or half-n-half

In a large pan, fry the bacon until nearly crispy. Stir in onion, celery, and carrots, Stir fry until onion is translucent. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over the vegetables and bacon. Stir until the flour has absorbed the bacon fat. Add salmon stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the vegetables are nearly cooked. Stir in the potatoes and continue to simmer, covered, until they are fork tender. Don’t overcook them. Stir in the salmon and stir gently. Gently stir in milk and continue stirring occasionally until the salmon is cooked through. Taste for salt. Serve warm with crusty bread.

NOTES: I don’t usually measure any of this. If you get to the part where you’re adding the milk and it just doesn’t seem thick enough, go ahead and whisk a couple tablespoons of flour into the milk before stirring it gently into the pan. Optional ingredients to stir in are corn or shredded cheddar cheese or fresh jalapenos. I don’t usually peel my potatoes, but a lot of people do. Today I used chunks of salmon filet and also some ragged pieces, boneless and skinless, scraped from beside the backbone. I’ll go out on a limb and say that you could probably skip the bacon and use olive oil if you wanted to make this vegetarian. It would be a much lighter dish. I suppose you could compensate by using smoked salmon for a portion of the fish called for in the recipe. Be careful at the end while stirring so as to maintain the salmon chunks as much as possible. You’ll have a rather unappetizing mess if you break down the salmon too much. Yes, experience is the best teacher.

I made my own salmon stock by simmering bones and fins in water for a few hours. Then I strained everything out, leaving the broth. I should have added salt, pepper, onion, celery, carrots with the salmon pieces to make the stock REALLY good, but I was out of time and in a hurry. Next time.

What kind?