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Lemon Poached Pears with Salted Caramel

When we head to the Seattle area, on the way back to Idaho we always stop at this neat produce store just outside of Yakima, Washington. They have some of the best produce around and this time was no different. The wife found some amazing pears and as usual her eyes were bigger than her stomach which left us with a lot of leftover pears. So to the test kitchen I went. Wow, rereading that last sentence makes me want to have a test kitchen. If I didn’t have to feed those teens a test kitchen could be a possibility.

Lemon Poached Pears

Ingredients

  • 4 Pears peeled with stems left on
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Have a pot big enough to hold the pears and add the water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon slices and lemon zest. Bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling add the peeled pears and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. To check for doneness, use the tip of a knife and pierce the bottom of the pear

  3. Allow pears to cool and then drizzle with the salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Once sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high and bring sugar mixture to a boil.

  3. Allow to boil until the mixture turns an amber color. This took about 8 minutes with my stove. Yours may take less or more but when it turns amber remove from the heat

  4. Whisk in the cream slowly. The sugar mixture will boil up so be careful

  5. Once the cream has been mixed add the butter, salt and vanilla and incorporate. 

  6. Pour the caramel sauce into a mason jar or a bowl, cover and then store in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

I went to my trusty bible… The Flavor Bible and looked up pears. I immediately saw caramel and lemon. Caramel and lemon sounded like the perfect match for these wonderful pears. I have also been on a poaching kick lately so I figured I would poach the pears with lemon juice and water, then finish it off with a homemade caramel sauce.  Oh yeah… salted caramel sauce I had my taste testers, Landon and Colton, come down and try it out. They loved it so much. Landon would not stop eating them and I thought Cole was going to get into a fight with him right there in the kitchen. You just have to love brothers… how many more years until they move out? Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn. Products Used for this recipe. Help support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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Asian Glazed Salmon

  Glazed salmon is one of those fish that I don’t make frequently enough considering how healthy it is. It is a great source of protein, high in  Omega-3 fatty acids and high in potassium. Salmon also can taste amazing. So for this dish I choose to add a little Asian flavor. I also made some Miso red lentils to complete this dish. The glaze is a very simple recipe to make. Heck, I don’t even know if I could call it a recipe at all. It is just equal parts Hoisin sauce to equal parts sweet chili sauce. For some reason the kids just love this sauce to death. Baking is a snap also. Preheat your over to 350 degrees, spread the glaze over the salmon and in about 20 minutes you are going to have an amazing salmon that you could eat with rice, noodles or even by itself.

Asian Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 green onion cut on an angle

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Mix hoisin sauce and sweet chili sauce and brush over top of salmon

  3. Place salmon in a foil lined baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes or an internal temperature of 145 degrees

It really is pretty easy to have a nutritious meal on the table in about 30 nights. Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn
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Chili

This recipe for traditional chili really hits the spot on a cold night. There is really nothing better than coming home from work and having a ice cold beer, a warm bowl of chili and a piece of cornbread. Life really doesn’t get much better. Now, when I say traditional I mean the chili I grew up with and it includes beans. My family didn’t always have a lot of money for meat so beans acted as a hardy filler. I know in Texas there are no beans in their chili and in Cincinnati that love theirs on top of spaghetti. Heck there is even vegetarian chili. The point is depending on what part of this country you visit or are from you will find a different version of chili. So is this version traditional? It is for me and my childhood.  

Chili Seasoning

Ingredients

Chili seasoning

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients

Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cans Pinto beans 15 oz
  • 2 cans Kidney beans 15 oz
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 15 oz
  • 2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies 10 oz

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef in bacon grease over medium high heat. Once cooked strain fat from beef

  2. Add chili seasonings to strained beef and cook for an additional 3 minutes

  3. Add pinto and kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chilies and seasoned ground beef  to crock pot and cook on low heat for 4 hours

  4. Add toppings of your choice

My point is that you can put almost anything in chili and it could/will be amazing. The toppings are what you prefer. I love sour cream, cheese, crouton cornbread (because I need my free hand to hold a beer not a piece of cornbread) and jalapenos. Just add what you like and omit what you don’t. Just be sure to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn. Help Support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualify purchases. If you like this recipe, try this one for dessert!
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Shrimp & Grits

Shrimp and grits. Are there any other food combinations that just excite the heck out of you? PB&J, bacon and eggs, rice and beans, grilled cheese and tomato soup? Those are all great combinations but for me the best has to be shrimp and grits. Growing up on the Gulf side of Florida, I never had an issue getting my hands on some amazing shrimp. They were so plump and flavorful. My mother would make a pot of cheesy grits, quickly cook the shrimp and dinner was served. This recipe is just that easy. You can season your shrimp with just salt and pepper, Old Bay or Creole seasoning. I love to flavor the grits with butter and cheese. There is just something about cheesy grits that makes this dish so savory.

Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking grits
  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green onion cut at a angle 1/4 thick
  • oil
  • 2 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 cup roasted corn heated

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle Creole seasoning on shrimp 1 hour prior to cooking

  2. Bring broth to a boil and slowly add grits while whisking. Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add butter and cheese to grits and combine. S&P to taste

  4. Heat oil over medium heat and add the shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes per side

  5. To serve spoon grits into a bowl, top with roasted corn, add shrimp and sliced green onions

It really is that easy. I was raised on shrimp and grits and i think I pretty much nailed down the way my mother would make them. If you want to really step it up you can even cook diced bacon and them cook the shrimp in the bacon fat. Not that’s really amazing. As always, thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn Please help support our site our website. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualify purchases.
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Fish Sticks with Spicy Tarter Sauce

Fish sticks always brings back childhood memories for me. I think growing up I had them once a week. Usually it was after one of those days that my mother said at least 10 times “wait until your father gets home”. We then knew that frozen fish sticks with store bought tarter sauce was on the menu. We also prayed that our father had to work real late and mom would forget everything we put her through that day. I think we all remember exactly what I am referring to when I say frozen fish sticks. They came from some unknown type of fish or fish like product and were frozen hard as a rock. You would throw them on a baking sheet and into the oven they went. Then in 15-18 minutes you would be enjoying overly breaded fish like substance with bland tarter sauce or ketchup. What was my mother thinking? Well today we are going to throw away everything you know about processed fish sticks and make our own with a spicy tarter sauce. It is really simple and takes almost no time to prep. The first thing you want to do is combine all your ingredients for the spicy tarter sauce. You really want to make the tarter sauce a few hours before making your fish sticks so that the flavors have time to come together. Another note is I added two tablespoons of Sriracha because my family really likes the heat. You can decrease it to one tablespoon or none if your family doesn’t care for as much spice. Once your tarter sauce is made and has time to rest you want to chop your fish into stick shapes of about an inch wide. Now they are not going to be a perfect replica of frozen fish sticks but I think that is the point. I used rock fish but you could also use cod or halibut. Once the fish is cut sprinkle lightly with S&P. I will admit that I am not the cleanest of cooks. Sometimes I make to big of a mess in the kitchen, especially when I am frying something. One thing that has really helped with the amount of mess is a dredging station. Get your beaten eggs with water in a bowl, seasoned flour in another and Panko bread crumbs in one more. I like working from left to right so I will grab a fish stick, place into the flour and lightly cover the fish, then dip into the egg and lastly into the bread crumbs. Set the breaded fish aside.
Next you are going to heat some oil in your pan over medium high heat and once heated cook the fish sticks for about three minutes per side. The fish will not take very long to cook. You also want to cook the fish in batches and not overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding will cause the oil to cool down and could cause your fish to be way too greasy.

Spicy Tarter Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup dill pickle diced
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • S&P to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix by hand or use an immersion blender

Fish Sticks

Ingredients

  • 1 pound firm white fish seasoned with S&P cut into 1 inch strips
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • oil for frying
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water add to egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt add to flour
  • 1 teaspoon pepper add to flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder add to flour

Instructions

  1. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to flour. 

  2. Add egg and water to a separate bowl and beat

  3. Set up dredging station with flour, egg and Panko bread crumbs

  4. Dredge fish in flour, then dip in egg and cover in Panko. 

  5. Heat oil to medium high heat and once heated cook fish sticks until golden brown about 3 minutes per side

  6. Serve with spicy tarter sauce and enjoy

These fish sticks are really that easy to make. The key points to remember is to adjust the spicy tarter sauce to your taste, set up your dredging station and do not overcrowd your pan. I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did… I still thing one of the teenagers took one of my fish sticks but they would never confess to it. As always thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn. Please help support our website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Fried Mashed Potato Bites

We were just sitting at home this Labor Day weekend enjoying the fact that neither the CEO or myself had to go into work on Monday. It was the perfect weekend, except the teenagers were going to be there too. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Anyways we get a text from some good friends of ours that wanted to know if we wanted to swing by for a barbecue. We said sure and the CEO said we would bring a side. No problem at all, until I realized I had no clue what to make and I knew there was no way I was going back to the grocery store. I mean I barely made it out alive a few hours ago.

Staring blankly into the pantry like a deer in headlights nothing was coming to mind. I walked out of the pantry and there right in front of me I saw them… beautiful Idaho potatoes. I could make potato salad or roasted potatoes or twice baked potatoes or… wait a minute. Fried mashed potato bites. Yes, fried mashed potato bites. But did I have everything I needed?

To make these fried mashed potato balls, you need to have leftover mashed potatoes. If your house is anything like ours that’s like finding Sasquatch outside holding beef jerky offering to share some with you. I had to make some mashed potatoes quick and then cool them off. Just peel the potatoes and boiled them until soft and tender. Drain the water and added butter, cream and S&P and mashed them until they were just right. I threw them into the refrigerator to cool off for a few hours.

I begin my search praying that everything I needed was present. No way am I heading back to the store after this morning. Butter, check. Cheese and cream, check and check. I was almost there, I could feel the sweat dripping down my forehead, did I have breadcrumbs? Slowly walking back into the pantry. I mean I could always make breadcrumbs but time was not on my side. I searched up and down and no breadcrumbs were to be found (wow, maybe I should be a poet). Just beside the beans and rice and there they were incredible, life saving bread crumbs. I was never so happy to see bread crumbs before.

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp water add to beaten eggs
  • 1 jalapeno finely minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Let mashed potatoes sit a room temperature for about 30 minutes. Mix in mozzarella  and minced jalapeno and shape into 1 inch balls

  2. Heat oil in skillet to 375 degrees

  3. Take each potato ball and mix in beaten eggs and then roll into bread crumbs

  4. Place mashed potato balls into skillet and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Continue with remaining mashed potato balls.

This recipe is so easy to make. I ended up getting about 20 mashed potato balls and I am sad to say they did not last very long. These were long gone before the tri-tip was even finished. And that tri-tip was amazing. Great job as always Greg. Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, Laugh, Love & Learn

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