Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca

I am a huge fan of Mediterranean-influenced dishes. When I was in Italy, I fell in love. Looking at a recipe, it seems very simple with only a few steps and a few ingredients. But a lot of work goes into producing and cooking the food there, and you can bet your butt a lot of love is added into those pots too.

The result is something like this dish. Very simple and clean tasting but delicious nonetheless. Make sure you use prosciutto in this recipe. It crisps up much better than bacon would and provides a distinct salinity. If you are getting it sliced at the deli counter, I would suggest the imported kind (to me, the American versions just can’t compete with Prosciutto di Parma) and ask them to slice it thin, but not shaved.

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Uncle Eric’s Dinner

As a relatively recent tradition, my family has started visiting California every summer- picking a new city to explore each time we go. My uncle joins us and we have a fun week of rude jokes and adventures. He makes a chicken and salad dish and eats it every night for the past 3 years. That’s right. Every day. I don’t blame him; it is wonderful in its simplicity and has a clean taste. I’ve already asked for it twice this week. To round it out, we added my Mom’s recipe for roasted potatoes.

Each part of the meal has its own ingredients and directions, so you can make individual parts, although I recommend making it all together. The portions depend on how much you can eat, but it is easily saved for leftovers the next day (or two). Also, the measurements are estimates, so you may need to play around with the recipe to suit your own tastes, oven, and altitude.

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Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

I was walking around today and got the greatest urge to bake a cake. And not just any cake; I specifically wanted to make a lemon-poppy seed cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

I also really wanted the pride that came along with making some kind of recipe of my own, so I went for it, and here is the delicious results. Although the frosting came out more like a glaze, it is still good and still really worth making. Since I didn’t need a lot of cake, this recipe only makes one cake round and enough glaze to cover it. You can multiply the ingredients by the number of layers you want to make a stacked cake. I apologize for the long recipe name.

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Marshmallow-Lemon Snowdrifts

Usually I leave the cookie making up to other members of my family, but this year, my mom and I decided to contribute to the group by trying out this cookie. We are both a big fan of citrus flavored things, and this cookie has a good citrus bite to complement the sugar cookie and marshmallow frosting. They were a bit labor intensive for a cookie, but the result is worth it.

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Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

I have to add this recipe before I lose it again. This is one of the easiest and best marinades you will ever find and ever make. Although the recipe asks you to let the chicken marinade for at least 2 hours, I have done it for 20 minutes and they still taste great. Your chicken may not be as tender as if you let it soak for 2 hours, but the flavor is all there.

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Roasted Salmon with Soy-Marmalade Glaze

I’m really becoming a fan of good salmon, and this recipe has had a lot to do with it. The beautiful combination of soy, garlic, and citrus come together to complement the taste of salmon- it covers it up just enough for you to forget that you’re eating a fishy fish, but you still get a good flavor of the protein. As a bonus, it takes less than half an hour from start to your mouth. I chose to serve it with a heap of green beans and a rosemary roll, but this recipe can be paired with many more options.

As a side note, when choosing fish fillets from the store, be very involved in your selection. The flesh should look firm and shouldn’t have an indent if a finger was pressed into it (this actually goes for all meats). It shouldn’t be dry, slimy, or off-color. If you can, ask to smell the fish. I know it sounds weird, but fresh fish should have a sea smell. If you smell fish, say thank you to the fish person and walk away. One time, I failed to ask to smell the fish, and I took home some mahi mahi that smelled like the fish you give to dolphins at SeaWorld. Clearly it had gone bad and I was unable to eat it. In the best scenario, you find a reputable fish monger and become best friends with them and trust that they won’t sell you bad fish. That’s just bad business. Now onto the recipe.

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Pan-Fried Trout with Tomato Basil Saute

Fish is a healthy protein we (U.S. Americans) do not consume enough of. Not only does it have protein levels comparable to chicken, pork, or beef, but it can also contain those precious omega-3 fatty acids that we also do not consume enough of. Some people choose to take fish-oil capsules, I prefer to just eat fish. There is such a variety out there, I’m sure there is a kind of fish for everyone.

I have made this recipe twice so far, and both times I have been very pleased with it. Trout has a very mild taste and is perfect for people who are trying to consume more fish but are weary of that fishy taste. Northwest Seafood sells fillets with the skin on, so when I do this recipe, I sauté the flesh-side first and then flip it over to the skin side.

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