Looks as Lovely as It Tastes! Saint Martinique Salmon and Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans

Looks as Lovely as It Tastes! Saint Martinique Salmon and Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans

I was so psyched to make maple-dijon salmon fillets for dinner this week. We had some frozen salmon in the freezer, and maple + dijon always equals so, so good. But then, when I started to make dinner and put together the sauce, I realized that our maple syrup had gone bad! Cue, saddest face.

Bill was on fillet duty since he is the fish boss in our house, so we scrambled together to improvise something to replace the icky syrup. Enter: MOLASSES!

I will admit, I was skeptical at first – won’t that be too sweet? It would overpower the fish? Right? WRONG!

Turns out, molasses is a truly delicious salmon glaze. The heartier taste of the fish stood up to the smoky sweetness of the molasses, and it was helped along by the herbaceousness of all the other delicious ingredients. We definitely needed to brighten up and serve as a base for this savory and sweet salmon.

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The next addition to our party: green beans! Shallots, cranberries, and red wine vinegar made a delicious, complex base of flavor, with some saltiness added by a last-minute addition of parmesan cheese.

All together, this was a truly delicious dinner and it photographed up so pretty too 😉 I asked Bill what we should call it, since molasses salmon doesn’t sound tasty. He decided that, based on the French flavors in the recipe and the Caribbean influence of the molasses, plus the salmon (of the sea) – a French island colony would lend the perfect name. Enjoy!

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Saint Martinique Salmon

Ingredients:
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, 4 ounces each, boned
  • 4 Tbsp molasses
  • 1½ tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all the non-salmon ingredients until you have a thick paste. Add more spices and/or molasses to taste.
  4. Generously baste the salmon fillets with the molasses mixture. Use up all that molasses-y goodness!
  5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook until the salmon is just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove skin, and plate!

Based on a recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck

Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • ½ tsp granulated roasted garlic
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  1. Steam your green beans – personally, I like the steam-in-the-bag ones I grab from HEB.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil, salt, and green beans.
  3. Saute green beans for 1 minute, then add the shallots and roasted garlic.
  4. Saute green beans for 1 minute more, then drizzle with the red wine vinegar and add the dried cranberries.
  5. Continue stirring the green beans for 2-3 minutes more, or until they reach your desired crisp-ness.
  6. Top with the parmesan cheese, stir until cheese begins to melt, then serve!

Based on a recipe from Food Loves Writing

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The Fizzy Pomegranate

The Fizzy Pomegranate

Tuesday was a really odd day for me.

My post-work day had an in auspicious start when… I almost got hit by a car! Like legit, it came to a screeching stop just a few feet from me.

So, when I got home, I decided a nice adult beverage was in order. After pawing about the fridge, I discovered a few yummy looking ingredients, and went about whipping up something tasty with pomegranate juice, bourbon, liqueur and club soda to make it nice, fizzy and refreshing.

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Unfortunately… that didn’t go well either. Pro tip: don’t use a blender bottle as a booze shaker, particularly when you’re mixing carbonated beverages!

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That would be our kitchen walls above the cabinets, as well as the ceiling, just coated with fizzy, sugary, juicy beverage.

Fortunately, though, the drink turned out delicious, and I got a little tipsy waiting for the day to finally end.

Now I present to you… The Fizzy Pomegranate!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 shot pomegranate liqueur (We love Pomecello)
  • 3 shots bourbon or whiskey (I used Neversweat, but we also love Gentleman Jack!)
  • ice
  • 24 oz seltzer or club soda
Directions:
  1. Combine pomegranate juice, pomegranate liqueur, and bourbon in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake it up until well-combined!
  3. Combine shaken combination with seltzer and serve over ice.

Makes 4 8 oz. drinks

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Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

On a trip to Penzey’s Spices, I idly picked up the catalog as I purchased my delicious shallot salt. As Bill drove us back home, I was perusing the listings and recipes when I stumbled across this muffin recipe. Since Bill is a HUGE fan of cinnamon, we both love muffins, and it looked super-simple, I decided to make muffins for dinner that night.

Since then I have not been able to stop making these muffins! Bill took them to school of the first day, I made them this weekend for a lacrosse coaches meeting, and I think we’ve had them for breakfast every other weekend for a few months now.

It’s basically a one-bowl recipe, no mixer required, and I have all the ingredients on hand in my pantry just by default. Try them, and let me know if your family loves them too!


Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour, separated (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. sugar, separated
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oats (any kind will work)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. butter, melted
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, ¼ sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the oil, egg, vanilla, and milk. Stir only until moistened.
  4. Gently stir in the oats.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. S
  6. Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
  7. Sprinkle each muffin with topping.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

based on recipe from Penzey’s Spices

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Oy, I fell off the wagon!

Oy, I fell off the wagon!

Alternate Title: Back to School = Busy Times for Teachers’ Wives

Hi everyone,

I got off to a great blogging kick last week, and then haven’t had a chance to produce any content at all this week! Womp womp. School started back up for Bill on Monday, so it was a busy weekend of preparation and now the change in schedule and routine has me absolutely pooped in the evening.

In exciting news, this is Bill’s fifth year at the school! Please enjoy some school-aversary related pictures 🙂

Never fear though! Until I make my glorious return (hopefully soon) please enjoy my Instagram and Twitter. And keep your eyes peeled for some recipes, my first StitchFix review (of my 15th box), and more!

Thanks for your patience,

(a very sleepy) Emily

That’s Mancktastic: Cappuccino Edition

That’s Mancktastic: Cappuccino Edition

About a month ago, Bill randomly got a wild hair to go out for cappuccinos one night just before we went to bed. (Honestly, I think it was an excuse to drive around in his “new” car)

I decided to go with him for a mini-date night and was blown away by how much I loved the foamy, rich coffee!

Sidenote: I gave up caffeine this year, completely unintentionally. I went a few days in the New Year without it, and decided to just roll with it. My caffeine-addict of a husband finds this beyond the pale.

As the weeks went by, I customized my Starbucks order to just how I liked it: grande, decaf cappuccino with sugar-free vanilla syrup. Then… my (cappuccino) life changed forever when we went up to Albany for vacation and visited our favorite coffeeshop: Perfect Blend. -cue the angels singing for THE BEST COFFEESHOP OF ALL TIME-

There, the espresso was delicious, lacking the burned quality of most Starbucks roasts, and they were GENEROUS with the foam. Over our two week stay, I watched the baristas like hawks to deduce all their secrets.

Since we’ve returned to Houston, I am getting close to mastering the perfect homemade cappuccino – which is good for my wallet – and here’s a That’s Mancktastic! of my favorite tools 🙂


Espresso Machine: IMUSA 4-Cup Espresso Machine

We bought this espresso machine a few months ago to try and wean Bill off his Starbucks addiction since we needed to buy a new car and he had one priiiiicy habit… It’s super-easy to use, cleans up easily and, most importantly, is cheap!! I mean, $30 for an espresso machine? That’ll do. It’s a no-frills work-horse that doesn’t take up a lot of counter space and it’s just what we needed.



Milk Foamer: Kuissential Deluxe Automatic Milk Frother

One of my main loves of cappuccino is the FOAM! After our New York trip, and the deepening of my cappuccino obsession, a ManckWhite household decision was made that we must needs get a milk frother of some sort because I am incapable of steaming milk.

After watching this very informative video about which milk frother is right for you, we settled on the Kuissential because we wanted the heating and the frothing to happen all together instead of several steps. In addition to the hot foam for cappuccinos, it also makes warm, non-frothed milk and cold milk froth for iced drinks in COMPLETE SILENCE.

We’ve had this frother for a week now, and it’s just great. Works really quickly, easy to clean, and make yummy, yummy foam. I use the foam on every coffee now, not just cappuccinos 😉


Espresso: Lavazza Decaffeinated Ground Espresso

Before I was spoiled on the Perfect Blend home-roasted espresso, we’d been contenting ourselves on Starbucks brews and the in-house beans from HEB. Since we’re back, we’ve upgraded to the Lavazza which Bill said was his go-to before grad school made him poor 😉 Now that we’re DINKS (dual income, no kids), we’re back on the good stuff! Flavorful, no burnt essence, and beautifully ground.



Vanilla Syrup: Torani Vanilla Bean Syrup

This is the main takeaway from my Perfect Blend addiction – Vanilla Bean is the key! Something about the extra oomph of vanilla BEAN as opposed to straight vanilla brings the whole cappuccino together. The drink is traditionally unsweetened, but this makes it perfect for me.


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So, there you have it. The perfect ManckWhite cappuccino tools are simply… Mancktastic!
Let me know what your home barista secrets are!

(note, these are affiliate Amazon links – thanks!)

S’mores Crunch Cookies

S’mores Crunch Cookies

These cookies are one of those baking miracles that occasionally happen. Let’s say you suddenly remember you want to make cookies for your husband’s co-workers one evening after work, but didn’t prepare at all and don’t really have an idea in mind. So, you comb through your Evernote “Cookies” notebook, looking for something you can make with what you have in the house.

You stumble upon Toffee Crunch Cookies from Shugary Sweets, a recipe you saved years ago and completely forgot about. The ingredient list looks a little intense and random, but behold! the pantry contains everything you need. Plus, your husband loves toffee. The cookies come together quickly, only dirtying one bowl, which your dishes-hating self loves.

So, you make the cookies as he attends some weird coaches’ training and are shocked to discover, upon removing the cookies from the oven, that they taste NOTHING like toffee. But they are delicious! A renaming is in order as you nom your delicious cookie, crunchy with rice crisps, hearty with oats, and chockful of little baby marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Well.. duh! They must be s’more crunch cookies! All of the delicious flavors of the fireside treat, plus the crunch and heartiness you remember from the elementary school’s cowboy cookies, and a side of wonderful, ooey, gooey baked goodness.

Take them to your husband’s co-workers. They will love you, they will be impressed. Take them to your co-workers. They will love them, they will demand the recipe 🙂

S’mores Crunch Cookies
(makes approximately 28 medium cookies, or two cookie sheets worth)

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening (or another stick of butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1-¼ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • I think that pecans or walnuts would be delish as a mix-in too. Customize the shiz out of them!

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with a silpat or parchement paper.
  3. In your mixer bowl, beat butter, shortetning, sugar, and brown sugar together on medium until light and fluffy.
  4. While the beater runs on low, add eggs one at a time, then add almond extract.
  5. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder to mixer bowl, then beat on medium until well-combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer, and fold oats, Rice Krispies, chocolate chips and marshmallows with a spatula until everything is well distributed.
  7. Roll batter into 1-2 Tablespoon balls, and place on cookie sheets, 1-2” apart.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until centers are set.
  9. Cool on the cookie sheets for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!
  10. Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Based on a recipe from Shugary Sweets

 

Red Wine Braised Calamari with Pearl Couscous

Red Wine Braised Calamari with Pearl Couscous

Soooo…. I wrote this post almost a year ago and then fell off the blogging wagon. As I updated my theme and all that jazz, I noticed that it was still floating around. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 pound squid, cleaned
    • I get the frozen tubes and tentacles from Harvest of the Sea, in the HEB seafood department. Then cut the tubes into 1-inch rings.
  • ½-1 cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or a couple sprigs of fresh thyme)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Italian blend spices (I used Sandwich Sprinkle from Penzey’s, which is garlic, coarse salt, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, black pepper)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pearl couscous, prepared using package instructions, including “optional” butter and salt

 

Procedures

  1. Put 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet (with a lid), and heat on medium-high. Add garlic to skillet, and brown.
  2. When garlic is browned, add the squid, sauté for 30 seconds or so (they’ll puff up a little), then reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Add ½ cup wine, thyme and 1 teaspoon of spices to the skillet, stir to combine all, and cover.
  4. Cook at a slow simmer (just little bubbles) for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
  5. When the wine is reduced to basically nothing, and squid is of a pleasing texture, remove the cover and add remaining wine and the remaining spices, as well as salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Reduce the wine over medium heat until you have a nice little amount of luscious sauce.
  7. Top the prepared couscous with squid and sauce. Enjoy with the rest of your bottle of red wine!