Life Hack & the Herb Pesto Salmon

I was going through Publix and in the mood for Salmon. They had giant long fillets for sale as well as the usual individual portions. I inquired about ways to make salmon when it’s on a long fillet. The gentleman behind the counter went on and on about cedar planks and grilling. I did not have time to grill or feel the desire to find a cedar plank…it was Friday evening after all and I was ready to be home, with the kids, eating and drinking  a glass of wine!

Lucky for me, the conversation continued by leading me to a free booklet which held salmon recipes perfect for my oven!

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I flipped through the pamphlet and while there were several that sounded delicious, the one that stood out was the Herb Pesto Salmon due to the fact that I had a bottle of pesto at home. The remaining ingredient list was quick (and would allow me to make it AGAIN withOUT purchasing anything) so I went with it!

Kellen, my 6 year old, LOVES food. And when I say LOVES I mean LOVES!!! He is continually asking us when the next meal is and by reminding us that there are more meals left to be had in the day. A perfect example is today – we had lunch at home (sandwiches); we then went to a shower where there was food. He ate a lot. Then we came home and he kindly reminded me that the food at the shower was a snack so we still needed to have dinner. As a toddler I would find boxes of (unopened) food and cans under his bed….

So Kellen opted in to helping mom cook! First I had him juice the lemon. I helped a little bit, but he did the bulk of the work. His little hands had trouble at first making the handles pull together, but with a little help from mom we did it!

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Next I had him scoop out the Dijon Mustard and the Pesto together and mix it with the lemon juice. They we added a little salt and pepper.

He was pretty impressed with the size of the salmon and made me flip it over so he could see the scales. The recipe called for skin off, but the butcher told me he thought salmon with skin on was better (and I agree).

Now for the life hack!

I was out of baking sheets – which means the only one I have was dirty:) I scrounged around the kitchen to figure out what I could use. Normally, I would pull out my stone to cook on, but the salmon was too big (and I didn’t want to cut it!).

I looked under the counter and found a cookie cooling wrap…I then remembered that I had aluminum foil (which I was supposed to put on the baking sheet) and presto! I wrapped the aluminum foil around the cooling rack and the salmon fit perfectly!

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So hack finished, I then let Kellen put the pesto mixture on the salmon and then I put it in the oven.

Literally 15 minutes later it was done! I added green beans and Long Grain Wild Rice to it and suddenly we had a meal!

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A seriously long piece of salmon!

The kids and hubby gave it 2 thumbs up (and Tim might have dug a piece of salmon off the sheet before I had a chance to get a good pic:) and even better news – there was plenty for leftovers too!

Yet another reason I LOVE Publix!

Ingredients:
Nonstick aluminum foil
1 lemon, for juice
3 tbps basil pesto sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 salmon fillets (about 1 1/2lbs)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Prep:
Preheat oven to 375F, line baking sheet (or cookie sheet!) with foil.
Squeeze lemon for juice (1 tsp).
Check fish for bones (or have the butcher do that for you!).

Steps:
1. Combine pesto, mustard, and lemon juice. Season fish with salt and pepper; place on baking sheet.

2. Top each fillet evenly with pesto mixture; bake 14-16 minutes or until 145F (or opaque and separates easily). Serve.

 

*This is not a promotional post – I did not get any type of monetary contribution for this – I just love Publix THAT much…and the meal was pretty awesome too:)

 

Put Down the Patron!

First off, let me just say that I have friends that work for Patron and I care about them. A lot. However, when my parents and I go to their local Mexican restaurant they are CONSTANTLY ordering Patron margaritas. All. The. Time.

A few weeks ago I looked at my mom and said, “I love you, but you are sending my friends’ kids to college – not mine!” and although laughing it sort-of struck a nerve with my mom…and when we’re together she will now order another margarita featuring a different brand…like Hornitos or Tres (I’m sure you really wanted to know!).

Now, for those of you who don’t know, I work for a local beverage distributor and I LOVE my job. I love supporting my brands…and it KILLS me when my family uses a brand we don’t distribute. They roll their eyes when I make comments (let it be known that while I do give them crap about it – I also am not super psycho – if my mom lived by Patron, obviously I’m not going to get into a bar room brawl about it…but she might hear some verbal digs…I’m loyal – what can I say? 🙂

Okay – so what is this really about? Well, I was driving home today and I started thinking about our finances. This is not unusual…I have a long drive home and my brain tends to wander through various items while I stare at cars on the interstate.

I was thinking about this side hustle I have going on…building a side business while I work full time is a little crazy. I honestly thought I would never be able to do it, but I have a vision of not being held hostage by debt and so I’m pushing through:) Anyways, I started thinking about Starbucks. I LOVE Starbucks… In fact, back in the day, my parents had Starbucks stock and I would joke that my stops at Starbucks were just “supporting my inheritance.”

I was suddenly struck. I’m supporting someone else’s kids college funds by going to Starbucks. And that’s awesome – I’m all about giving back…but right now I need to be focused on my kids. They’re young…but time is FLYING by…

And so I am making this pledge in front of God and WordPress and you fine folks that have opted to read this blog today…I’m GIVING UP Starbucks…now if someone happens to throw me a gift card for a birthday or something I will be more than happy to indulge…but as for my hard earned dollars…They are no longer going to be visiting my favorite coffee house.

I have big dreams. I have big goals. My kids have bigger goals (my 8 year old wants to be a paid writer…that follows the Falcons around the nation…in a camper).

What are you hanging onto today that is keeping you from going after your dreams? I’ll be honest, hanging onto Starbucks as silly as it may sound is a roadblock for me.

That changes today.

So long Starbucks! I bid you adieu!Signature_Pink

 

 

Meal Plan: 12/28/15 – 1/2/16

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Our New Year’s resolution (ok, mine) is to be consistent about cooking meals that our whole family can sit down and eat together AND to waste less food that I’ve purchased. We’ll see how well we do…I admit that I am more of a recipe-follower vs a creator of my own recipe person.

Breakfast (will be the same everyday):
Kids: cereal/milk
Adults: Superfood, nutrient-dense shake

Lunch:
Kids:
Peanut Butter Sandwich
Apple
Fruit Leather (*homemade)
Drink: Water

Adults:
Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Greek-Style Pita Chips

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*Update – My first attempt went well. Assembling was super easy, pretty much chop and toss. My pita pieces were super thin so some were super browned, but nothing burned. Next time I’ll watch them a little bit more closely. I used this Greek seasoning. I liked it, but Kellen (5), thought it was a bit spicy (there’s some heat on the finish)…it was the only available at my grocer. I’ll continue to use it for Tim and I, but for the kids I’ll keep looking.

Couscous Chicken Salad

Dinner
Chicken with Tomato, Basil & Feta, Orzo with Pine Nuts
Chicken with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, Mashed Potatoes