Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Daddy's Pickled Northern Pike Fish Recipe

Hey everyone, it's Sheena's sister Shannon, from In Blurred Focus, here today with a "secret" family recipe! :)  You fabulous readers are pretty lucky to be privy to this amazing recipe that our dad has made since we little!  Ha!  Now that I'm a big girl... you know all married and everything, my husband makes this and every time he does, it's like a flashback into my childhood!  Now before you get all weirded out, because a lot of time pickled fish does that to people, I gotta tell you.... this is nothing like pickled herring that you buy in a grocery store.  Because this is a white fish, the consistency is firm... and the flavor of the brine is out of this world!

Our Daddy's Pickled Northern Pike (click here to print recipe)

Note: Typically my husband uses a couple good-sized northern pike... this time he used two 24 inch fish.  When you cut the fish up, don't worry about cutting out the Y-bones because they will dissolve during the pickling process.

Step One:
  1. Cut fish up into small pieces and use about 4-5 heaping cups of the cut up fish.
  2. Combine 2 1/2 - 3 quarts of water with 1 cup of salt or enough salt to float an uncooked egg. (Make sure fish are covered with salt water mixture.)
  3. Let fish stand in salt water in refrigerator for 48 hours, stirring a couple times to make sure fish are not stuck together.
Step Two:
  1. Drain salt water from the fish (DO NOT RINSE FISH PIECES!)
  2. Cover fish in clear white vinegar and let stand in refrigerator for 48 hours.
Step Three:
  1. To make the brine, combine the following ingredients in a saucepan. *4 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon whole allspice, 6 whole dried red peppers, 7 whole cloves, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon mustard seed.* Bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat to maintain a gentle boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let brine cool.  Then add 1/2 of 750 mL bottle of white port wine.
  2. Drain vinegar from the fish (DO NOT RINSE FISH PIECES!)
  3. Slice 2 or 3 onions onto the fish pieces.
  4. Add brine to fish and onions.
  5. Let the fish and onions stand in brine in refrigerator for a minimum of 5 days (the longer you let it stand, the better the taste and texture of the fish).
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On the blog... one year ago: Book Review... All the Lovely Bad Ones

Two years ago: Mediterranean Baked Fish

Three years ago: Mini Pizza Meatloaves

This recipe is shared at these blogs: Inside BruCrew Life, Memories by the Mile, Kathe with an E

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper plus Giveaway!

Have you read the hilarious best selling novel This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper? If you have or haven't, it's coming to the big screen on September 19th with a great cast that we all know and love! Including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda!

Today, you can enter for a chance to win a prize pack with a $25 Visa gift card to see the film and also a copy of the book with the movie tie in cover! Enter to win at the bottom of this post!

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Rated: R
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda

You can find more info here:
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe and a Glimpse at Immaculate Baking Scratch Baking Mixes

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Immaculate Baking through Platefull Co-Op.”

Tis' the season for apple recipes! Fall is one of my favorite foodie times of the year. Slow cooker recipes are everywhere, as well as soups and pumpkin recipes! Love it all!

Today's recipe is a delicious Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. The majority of the time I make my cakes from scratch, but after I heard about the new scratch baking mixes from Immaculate Baking, I knew I'd have to give them a try! Immaculate Baking launched their new dry baking mixes using only wholesome, simple, delicious ingredients, and offering baking options ranging from all natural, organic and gluten free! Totally the same quality as their refrigerated cookies! I also love that they don't contain any artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. These products will fit right it when I need a cake mix for a new recipe. They work and taste just as great as scratch mixes!

I didn't make the cake according to package directions for this recipe, but it turned out wonderful! The pieces of apple make the cake so moist and the hint of cinnamon adds a wonderful flavor! I topped it off with some homemade cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and the finished product was just divine! The whole family will love this fall dessert!

Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
4 cups peeled and sliced apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

1- 21 ounce Immaculate Baking Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 glass baking dish.

Layer apples in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and pour melted butter over the top.

Whisk together the cake mix, melted butter, water and cinnamon until combined. Pour over top of the apples and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Once cake has cooled, Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and cinnamon with an electric mixer until smooth. Evenly spread the frosting on the cake. Serve and refrigerate any leftovers.

For more info on Immaculate Baking products, please visit their website!
Immaculate Baking products can be found in the baking mix aisle of Target stores.

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This recipe is shared at these blogs: Inside BruCrew LifeMemories by the MileKathe with an E

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Salmon, Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo Recipe

Is it Friday yet? I'm so looking forward to the 3 day weekend! I just picked a bunch of tomatoes, so we're cooking Capellini al Fresco for my friend and her daughter on Saturday. Ella has a birthday party on Sunday, and relax on Monday! Sounds like a nice and low key weekend for us! What's your weekend plans??

Today's recipe is a wonderful pasta! I'm always looking for a way to jazz up alfredo sauce and this recipe does just that! The salmon, spinach and mushrooms taste great together and when mixed with some alfredo and pasta, it's the perfect dinner meal. It also looks really great when served in a vintage Pyrex! Don't you just love the barcode pattern? It's one of my favorites! I'm trying to use them more when I photograph for the blog. Hope you love seeing them!

 Serve with a side salad and some garlic bread. 

Salmon, Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
12 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package directions.
1/2 pound salmon fillets
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 ounces fresh baby spinach
1- 14.5 ounce jar alfredo sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper, as needed
parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place in a glass baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, flake with a fork.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add mushrooms, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and dill weed. Saute for 5-7 minutes until mushrooms and onions are tender. Add spinach and cook for 2-3 more minutes until spinach is wilted. Add the alfredo sauce and milk. Reduce heat to low, add salmon and simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Serve over penne pasta and topped with parmesan cheese. 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Barley and Zucchini Mason Jar Salad Recipe and a Review for Mason Jar Salads by Julia Mirabella


I just love mason jar salads! The presentation is beautiful, and they make wonderful weekday work lunches. All the prep can be done a day or two ahead of time, making it super simple! I recently came across the cookbook Mason Jar Salads by Julia Mirabella and I found some really great mason jar ideas! There's not only salads, but smoothies, breakfasts, and other types of lunch recipes. There is also a list of recipes for homemade dressings that accompany the salads. This cookbook is handy and super useful!

I had some zucchini to use up, so when I stumbled across the Barley and Zucchini Salad, I knew it was the one to make! I'm also a huge barley lover and thought they would taste great together. I went and picked some tomatoes and a green pepper out of the garden and got started!

This recipe was phenomenal! It's full of great flavor combos. The toasty flavor from the barley was perfect, along with the favor from the zucchini being lightly fried. When it's all cooled and mixed together, it makes such a wonderful salad. I cannot wait to try more since I loved this one so much!

Barley and Zucchini Salad (click here to print recipe)
1 pint jar sized serving

What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup quick cooking barley
1/2 cup water
1/2 medium to large zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinaigrette
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper
pint sized mason jar

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Saute the barley in the olive oil, until browned and toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pour the 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan, with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Pour in the quick cooking barley, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and barley is cooked through. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sliced zucchini and fry on each side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined place, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cool.

Pour the vinaigrette into the bottom of the mason jar. Add tomatoes, barley, zucchini then bell pepper on top. Seal and refrigerate until serving. 

Mason Jar Salads by Julia Mirabella
Released May 2014, Ulysses Press
144 pages

I received this cookbook for review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

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On the blog... one year ago: Rigatoni Alfredo Bake with Chicken and Summer Veggies

Two years ago: Apple Blueberry Quick Bread