Chicken Salad kicked up Grandma Annie Style

Chicken salad is a menu staple for lunch, but rarely does the thought of it excite the taste buds. It’s an easy and generally healthy option as long as its not weighed down in mayo. Thankfully, my grandmother knew how to take the flavor to another level.

I have taken the basics of her recipe and made a few changes, but it’s basically the same in terms of taste. I’ve also adapted it for vegans by using products like Soya chicken chunks, Gardein Chicken Strips, or Beyond Chicken.

To be sure to give you all the tips to make the chicken taste it best from the start.

  • The biggest complaint people have about chicken breast is it’s dry and if overcooked, easily gets that sawdust texture. My grandmother would use one a chicken back that she saved for soup and would put it in with the chicken breast. She’d bring it to a slow simmer for about 45 minutes, when she saw the foam rise, she’d skim it off, and remove the chicken breasts to a plate to cool down. The chicken was always moist.

To make the chicken:

2 pounds chicken breasts plus one chicken back

2 quarts of water

Add water to a large pot with chicken and chicken back.  Cook over low heat to simmer for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove chicken breasts to a plate and discard of the chicken back.

Chicken Salad recipe

2 pounds cooled chicken breast, cut into chunks or pieces (2 pounds vegan chicken substitute.)

2 small sweet onions, fine diced

2 celery stalks, fine diced

2 Cortlandt, Fuji, or Honey Crisp apple, diced

  ½ cup plain yogurt (dairy, low-fat, whole milk or Greek) (non-dairy soymilk or almond milk plain yogurt)

2 tablespoons Mayonnaise (Olive oil, or vegan mayo)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

     1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

    ½ teaspoon sage

   ½ teaspoon onion powder

   ¼ teaspoon celery seeds

  ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  ½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup golden raisins or raisins optional

¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)

¼ cup unsalted pepitas (optional)

  1. In a food processor, pulse chicken breast in batches, do not over process, you want some texture.
  2. To a large bowl add the chicken, celery, onions, and apples. Toss to distribute.
  3. In another bowl add the yogurt, mayo, Dijon mustard, and the seasonings. Mix well
  4. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and stir well. Working from the bottom to the top and vice versa.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed or to your taste. If it seems dry to you add a little more yogurt until it’s to your liking.
  6. If using, add the raisins, cranberries, or pepitas and stir well. Serve as a sandwich or over lettuce.

Additional tips,

This is also a great recipe to use for leftover turkey. Makes for great sandwiches during the game. You can also add almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, or pecans too. All are great.

Southern Bake Shop Muffins Recipe From Cooking With My Nanas, Discovering Family, Traditions, and Love In The Kitchen

My great-grandmother Nandy was an amazing baker. People from all around their small South Carolina town would come over for tea, and others would buy cakes from her. She made cakes with ingredients sourced from the farm and around the area. One of the ingredients she used was sorghum. The origins of sorghum can be traced to Africa. It grew wild and was also cultivated. It’s actually a part of the grass family, but it closer to corn than wheat. In Africa it is used for flour, beer, and a syrup. Sorghum syrup was once equated with molasses, however it’s closer to raw cane syrup.

When Nandy was born in 1889, both her mother and grandmother were former slaves. Access to the soft white flour and to sugar would have been harder for them to procure. At the time, sorghum was used as a part of animal feed. Therefore, it was easier to grow it themselves and they were able to procure it fairly easily through the back of the town store.  They made everything from pecan and black walnut pies, to a spice cookie. Their ingenuity was astonishing and beyond delicious. Moreover, it turns out to be a healthy choice. Sorghum has been shown to have a lower glycemic index, which is perfect for everyone, especially if you are watching your A1C levels. So, if you or someone you love has Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, sorghum flour is a great choice, since it’s heavier, it also has more protein.

Another aspect of baking we take for granted is flavorings like vanilla. Today, vanilla and other extracts and flavorings can be found in supermarkets and grocery stores everywhere. It’s even easier to get vanilla beans. Pound cake is one of the oldest types of cakes, and in many of the old recipes, you won’t find any added flavorings we recognize as extracts. To me, the quality and taste of the butter must have been heavenly. There was no such thing as giving livestock antibiotics and steroids to increase production. The butter was rich and creamy in a way we can only imagine. That said, they did have access to liquor. You will find so many recipes that use rum, bourbon, rye whiskey and the like. Liquor imparted flavor to a cake while getting the baker a little sauced. Once again it’s old-fashioned ingenuity and genius at work. Now, for Nandy it’s more likely than not, that she used moonshine too, but for this bourbon or rye did the job with a citrus chaser, a pre-cursor of an Old-Fashioned. Whatever she did, cheers to a great woman and muffin recipe.

Nandy’s Blueberry Bake Shop Muffins

Makes 12 regular and 6 jumbo muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all purpose flour, sorghum, oat”, or brown rice flour)

1 1/4 cups sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup milk (dairy: whole, 2%, or fat-free) (non-dairy milks: almond, rice, soy. light coconut, and oat milk)

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs ( 1/4 cup Aquafaba, 1/2 cup silken tofu plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, or egg replacer)

2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen is fine)

4 teaspoons sugar (turbinado, raw cane, or coconut sugar)

2 teaspoons Bourbon or Rye whiskey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest finely grated, divided

Directions

Step 1

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon or orange zest and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl stir the milk, eggs, oil, eggs, bourbon, balance of the zest, and vanilla (if using) together. Make a well in the center of the flour and add in the liquid ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir together gently, making sure not to get any flour pockets in the bottom without overworking the batter. Fold the blueberries in. It’s a thick batter but don’t be alarmed. Spoon batter into 12 greased or lined muffin cups. Sprinkle batter evenly with 4 teaspoons sugar.

Step 2

Bake at 400° for regular size muffins bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. For jumbo muffins bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the muffins at the halfway mark. When done, remove from pan immediately, and cool on a wire rack 5 to 10 minutes.

  • For gluten sensitivities, when looking for oat flour, make sure it is certified gluten-free. Some oat flours are processed in the same machines as wheat flours, and therefore may have hidden gluten.
  • You can make the batter ahead. Fill tins as directed in the recipe, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Take the muffins out of the fridge and let it sit for at least thirty minutes before baking.

Lasagna (Need We Say More)

As the daylight begins to fade a little earlier and the temps begin to fall, many of us turn to food that comforts us for the long nights ahead. For many of us, pasta means yummy food, your grandmother’s or aunt’s table for Sunday dinner. These days with so many different dietary needs, some of the favorites you grew up with, may not agree with you. However, there are still ways you can still enjoy partaking.

For Vegans, gluten-free, and low carb: You can use Tinkyada, Brown Rice Pasta with Rice Bran, lasagna noodles or Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta, or any other low carb pasta of your choice. You can also make your own carb-free pasta from vegetables like zucchini and eggplant using a mandolin to make sheets to layer the lasagna. Also, feel free to use the gluten-free pasta of your choice.

Meat substitution for Vegans- Beyond Beef Ground. I like this product for the taste and mouthfeel.

Dairy-free cheese- Daiya Mozzarella Shreds Just remember to be sure whatever product you’re buying is labeled dairy-free or vegan; those labeled non-dairy or lactose-free may still contain dairy ingredients

Meat Lasagna

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef (85/15 80/20) (Beyond Beef Ground 2 packages)
  • 3 to 4 cups marinara (your recipe or favorite jar sauce)
  • 1 small onion, fine diced
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 packages of oven ready lasagna noodles (for vegetable noodles, it will depend on the size. Generally. three medium zucchini or 2 large eggplants will suffice for the recipe
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded mozzarella (Daiya Mozzarella shreds)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

  • In a large skillet heat oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and red pepper and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the meat and cook for 10 to 14 minutes until cooked through. Be sure to break the meat up occasionally to be sure it cooks evenly. At the last minute stir in the garlic, and let it cook for one minute. Turn the heat off. Allow the meat to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the fat from the meat, then add to a large sauce pot or Dutch oven. Stir the marinara in and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Here is where you can adjust the seasonings for your taste. I like to add a bit more basil and parsley. There are no wrong answers here, suit yourself. If you want to bake your lasagna after layering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees now.
  • When the sauce has heated through take your baking dish (sizes 11 X 7 X 2 /13 x 9 x 2 /rectangle) and spread a little of the meat sauce on the bottom to begin layering.
  • This image is from Cooking Classy, it’s a great visual way to see the layering from start to finish. It’s Sauce/Noodles/Cheese/Meat Sauce/Noodles/Cheese, and so on.
  • When you are finished layering, cover the lasagna with foil that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Place into a preheated oven 350-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes, for the last ten minutes, remove the foil and bake for an addition ten minutes. Remove from the oven and let it set for at least 45 minutes up to an hour.
  • Notes
  • You can also make a hearty sausage lasagna using sweet Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage. Follow the same directions as you did for the beef. Remember to remove the casings and cook until it’s no longer pink
  • You can also make a vegan sausage lasagna with Beyond Meat’s Italian Sausage. They make Sweet and Hot flavored Italian sausage
  • If you’re using regular lasagna noodles, follow the package directions, but remove before it reaches al dente, the noodles continue cooking in the lasagna and you don’t want them to be mushy.

To Make your own marinara, I use a Lidia Bastianich recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE
    OIL
  • 8 GARLIC CLOVES, PEELED AND
    CRUSHED
  • 3 POUNDS RIPE FRESH PLUM
    TOMATOES, PEELED AND SEEDED
    OR ONE 35 OUNCE CAN OF PEELED
    ITALIAN TOMATOES, SEEDED AND
    LIGHTLY CRUSHED, WITH THEIR
    LIQUID
  • SALT
    DIRECTIONS
    In a medium-size, non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil
    over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly
    browned, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes and
    their liquid. Bring to a boil and season lightly with salt and
    crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to simmering and simmer,
    breaking up the tomatoes with a whisk as they cook, until the
    sauce is chunky and thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil
    about 5 minutes before the sauce is finished. Taste the sauce
    and add salt and pepper if necessary. NOTE: When using fresh
    plum tomatoes, the extra virgin olive oil can be increased to
    1/2 cup for optimal results.

Food Glorious Food- Italian Chicken Meatballs (There’s a vegan version too)

Although my great-grandmother wasn’t from Italy, she was known for her Italian food. This petite little lady from Saint Kitts made a spaghetti and meatballs so memorable, it garnered wistful oohs and ahs at her memorial service. Nana made Italian food sing like Pavarotti or Caruso if I want to be closer to the time when she first began to make Italian food.

My great-grandfather, Hannibal, died before my grandmother’s youngest sister was born, but he had roots in the Genoa region of Italy with family in Venice and Rome. It’s a trip I hope to take one day soon. However, in the meantime, I can enjoy a taste of it with this take on Nana’s meatballs. I make it with chicken, and I’ve found a way to make the ingredients sing in a vegan version as well.

Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken breast (Vegans can use 2 packages of Beyond Beef Ground)

1 pound ground chicken

2 slices of day old bread (any type. Including gluten-free)

¼ to 1/3 cup of milk (dairy 2%, whole, non-fat) (non-dairy milks rice, soy, or light coconut milk)

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs, divided  (including gluten-free)

3 tablespoons granulated garlic

1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan

2 celery stalks rough chopped

1 large sweet onion, rough chopped

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 egg (3 tablespoons Aquafaba)

Peanut oil for frying

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Add celery and onion to a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Set aside.

Crumble or tear the bread in a bowl and cover with milk. Set aside.

Add the ground chicken breast and chicken to a large bowl. Add the celery and onion mixture, and work to combine until it just comes together. Do not over work it.

 Sprinkle the granulated garlic, parmesan and Italian seasoning on the chicken. Squeeze the bread to release any excess milk and add it to the chicken. Gently combine the ingredients until it comes together. 

Add the egg and breadcrumbs. Here is where you’re going to eyeball it a little to determine how much of the breadcrumbs you’re going to need.. Gently work the mixture together until it’s combined. Again, it’s important not to overwork the mixture. It will make the meatballs dense and heavy.

 If you find you’ve used more than a ½ cup of breadcrumbs,  but less than ¾ cups, that’s fine. You’re going to use the reserve to roll the meatballs in once you’ve formed them.

Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Add the remaining breadcrumbs to a shallow plate or pie plate.

In a large frying pan or skillet, heat up about 4 tablespoons of peanut oil over a medium heat until it shimmers. Add the olive oil just before you begin pan frying the meatballs.

To make the meatballs, scoop anywhere from one to two tablespoons of the mixture and form it into a ball.  Roll in the breadcrumbs and set aside until you’ve made as many meatballs as you’d like. This recipe will make about 60 mini-meatballs and 40 small size meatballs or 30 medium size meatballs.

You will likely roll out enough meatballs for two small sheet pans. Leave one the fridge while your frying.

Add the meatballs to the hot oil and leave enough space in between not to create steam. This way you are sure the meatballs will brown fairly evenly. Depending on the size of the meatballs, you will fry each batch anywhere from 8 to 11 minutes. Be sure to mind the frying pan but resist the urge to keep moving them.

My tip for frying meatballs is to do so at intervals.  If you are frying for eight minutes, I turn them every two or four minutes.

These meatballs are great by themselves as an appetizer served at room temperature. They are great in a marinara over spaghetti or as a meatball hero with marinara and mozzarella, the choice is yours. Enjoy.

For Vegans, the best product is Beyond Beef Ground. It has the texture and the taste to sing in this recipe. As far as vegan Parmesan cheeses, Follow Your Heart Dairy Free Parmesan Cheese, Go Veggie Parmesan grated topping, and Violife Grateable Vegan Parmesan Cheese are good choices in terms of taste.

Fun and Flirty Fashion- Active Wear

Maybe you remember the workout wear mania after Olivia Newton John’s Lets Get Physical hit the radio airwaves and the new medium of music videos. Multicolored sweats with leg warmers and headbands were all the rage. Looking back it was pure kitschy. Today they don’t call in workout gear. It’s active wear and it’s pretty cute.

With an ever expanding market for active wear, we have choices while we keep fit and stay a little flirty. Keliana is a company worth taking a look at.

The goal of the company is to promote a sense of well-being in women. Most of us devote out lives to caring for and nurturing others. Thinking about ourselves sometimes is way down on our list of things to do. However, one of the advantages of being north of forty is coming to the realization that we are our own best resource. It is important to take care of our mind, body and soul.

My morning yoga routine is what helps me focus for the day ahead. I love the ease of active wear and it’s cute to boot. With so many brands to choose from, it’s easy to miss some newer names to the game. That is the case with Keliana. Their core of their philosophy is the image of a tree with its roots embedded in rich soil. When the tree is nourished, all parts of the tree benefit. The limbs grow longer, the branches get stronger and the leaves are brighter. A tree is a great metaphor for women. When we are fed mind, body and soul, everything in our lives gets stronger and better for it. With a focus on establishing a network of growth and positivity. Their yoga/active wear and accessories will help us in our growth. Whether you do yoga, take a spin class, or just run errands with your Fit-Bit. Keliana makes active wear exercise and to be seen in. While looking cute.

Piper Set
Keliana New Arrivals
Oksana Marble Set
Keliana sets
Britt Bra
Active Wear for All Bodies
All Body

I’m a new brand ambassador to the company. It’s the first time I’ve ever accepted the offer, I base my decisions on the quality of the products, their mission statement, affordability, and body/size inclusiveness. Keliana checked all the boxes. Check them out for late summer/early fall active wear and accessories. I know you won’t be disappointed.

Visit them at https://keliana.com/

Gluten Free Blueberry Scones

The one thing I’ve found to be the trickiest of dietary needs/food allergies is gluten. You don’t realize all gluten does for baked goods until you can’t use it. Two of my clients wrote a food allergy cookbook several years ago. They did a fantastic job for Skyhorse Publishing. However, they’re no longer with the publishing company and their book has returned to its original title Entertaining Allergies. In it they have recipes for all the seasons with very detailed instructions. We are hoping to bring the book back with another publisher to give those with food allergies a book that isn’t just about eating with food allergies, it’s about enjoying food again without feeling left out.

I will be posting a recipe or two from their book as the months go forward.

This recipe comes courtesy of the Minimalist Baker. While not a completely vegan or gluten-free site, they have a number of good gluten-free recipes, and this one caught my eye. The crumb was tender and a bit flaky like you’d expect from a scone. It feels like an indulgence, but it’s gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened.

At about 20 grams of carbohydrates, this recipe is good for those who are watching their sugar intakes or diabetics.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones

Plate with a stack of Blueberry Gluten Free Scones
Photo from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

US Customary – Metric

  • 1/2 batch flax egg (1 ½ tsp flaxseed meal + 1 ¼ Tbsp (19 ml) water as original recipe is written)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 – 1 ¼ cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground from rolled oats // ensure gluten-free for GF eaters)
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 ½ Tbsp organic cane sugar, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 tsp fresh chopped rosemary (organic when possible // optional)
  • 3 Tbsp room temperature coconut oil (scoopable, not liquid or frozen* // or cold vegan butter)
  • 1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or leave bare).
  • Prepare flax egg in a small mixing bowl, then add almond milk.
  • In a separate larger mixing bowl, combine potato starch, almond flour (starting with the lesser end of the range), oat flour, baking powder, organic cane sugar, salt, and rosemary (optional). Stir to combine.
  • To the dry ingredients, add room temperature coconut oil and use a pastry cutter (or fork) to cut it into the mixture until only small bits remain.
  • Whisk the flax-almond milk mixture once more and add to the dry ingredients a little at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon. The dough should not be crumbly, and it should also not stick to your fingers. If too sticky/wet, add more almond flour and potato starch a little at a time. Add frozen blueberries and gently stir once more to incorporate.
  • Gently transfer to a floured surface (we recommend almond flour or gluten-free flour) and use your hands to form it into a disc about 3/4 – 1 inch in height.
  • Use a large knife to cut the circle into 8 even wedges (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Then use a floured spatula to carefully transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with a bit more cane sugar.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until fluffy and light golden brown on the edges. Let cool slightly before enjoying.
  • NOTE: Best within the first 24-36 hours after baking. The texture tends to become dried out after that. Once completely cooled, store leftovers at room temperature in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. These are delicious plain, but they would also be elevated with a bit of vegan butter.
  • Note: You have to use coconut oil that is solid enough to be scooped. If it’s runny or you’re able to pour it, instead of working with the flours, it will scorch, smoke, and burn in the oven. To be sure it can be scooped, put it in the fridge for up to an hour before baking. Resist the urge to put it in the freezer.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 scone Calories: 135

Carbohydrates: 20.8 g

Protein: 0.8 g

Fat: 5.7 g

Saturated Fat: 4.3 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.35 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 0.53 g

Trans Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 233 mg

Potassium: 29 mg

Fiber: 0.8 g

Sugar: 4.2 g

Vitamin A: 28.02 IU

Vitamin C: 0.11 mg

Calcium: 109 mg

Iron: 0.47 mg

Want more recipes like this? Go to https://minimalistbaker.com/

Bliss

Bliss Inc.

Paige Baldwin and Matthew Smythe meet when Paige ditches another endless blind date and Matthew escapes his brother’s engagement party. The only single man there, he feels like the door prize. They end up in each other’s arms, just for one night. But, oh, what a night!

Matthew, a high school history teacher, wants to see Paige again but doesn’t know where she lives. Paige, who owns Bliss, Inc., a wedding-planning company, can’t stop thinking about him either. When she wins a prestigious contract to plan the wedding of Michael Smythe and Jennifer Klein, it turns out that Michael is Matthew’s brother. The duo is formally introduced, and their love affair burns up the rails between Long Island and Harlem. Will love triumph over race and class?

Easy One pan healthy and adaptable meal

There’s nothing better than having a meal that’s easy to make when you’re finished with your work day. Nowadays with most of us working at home, it can be even harder to remember to take something out for dinner. Particularly when you have a family buzzing around. By the time you remember, it’s easier to call Grub Hub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, or whoever can deliver quickly.

That’s why this recipe caught my attention when it was in my feed. It comes from The Black Peppercorn. A man who is a confirmed foodie and self-taught chef. This recipe is flexible, in that the salmon filets can be frozen and the dish still works. The other great thing is one pan does it all it the oven or even on the grill.

You can also use another protein like codfish or chicken breasts. You just need to be mindful when baking not to overcook either. If you want to make this with frozen chicken breasts, you have to bake it for a little longer.

Also, the veggies are a dealer’s choice. If you use potatoes, get the small ones, like fingerlings. It’s best if they are uniform in size for even roasting.

If you have fresh boneless chicken breasts, use a simple brine to ensure that you don’t wind up with that sawdust texture overcook chicken breast gets.Fill up a bowl with enough water to cover the chicken. For every pound of chicken, use 2 tablespoons of vinegar (white distilled) 1 tablespoon of white sugar, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I prefer kosher salt, but table salt is fine. Cover with plastic and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour up to one day. It will keep your chicken juicy. You can also use this brine for shellfish. For every pound, depending on the size of the shrimp.


For Vegetarians you can omit the protein and substitute Beyond Meat Plant based Italian Sausage


Shrimp-Raw

Super Colossal U/12 2-3 shrimp Colossal U/15 3-4 shrimp Extra Jumbo 16/20 4-5 shrimp Jumbo 21/25 5-6 shrimp Extra Large 26/30 6-7 shrimp Large 31/35 8-9 shrimp Medium Large 36/40 9-10 shrimp Medium 41/50 10-12 shrimp Small 51/60 12-15 shrimp Extra Small 61/70 15-17 shrimp Tiny 71+ 18+ shrimp

For a pound of Super colossal, colossal, extra jumbo, extra-large, large use 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of white and brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt

For medium-large, medium, small, extra small, and tiny use 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of white and brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. The general rule to brine every size of shrimp is to brine for no longer than 20 minutes.

Sheet Pan Salmon with Mixed Vegetables by The Black Peppercorn- Adapted by me
Ingredients

20-25 mini potatoes , halved

4 tbsp oil , divided

1/2 medium onion , thinly sliced

1/2 yellow pepper , diced

2 medium zucchini , cut into chunks

2 cups mushrooms , quartered

4 frozen salmon fillets , approx 100 g each

1/4 cup melted butter

2 navel oranges , sliced

12 sprigs fresh thyme

12 grape tomatoes , halved

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F.Toss the mini potato halves with 2 tbsp of the oil. Spread, cut side down, on half of a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.Toss the onion, pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms with remaining 2 tbsp of oil. Spread the vegetables on the empty half of the baking sheet. Put back in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes.Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Flip the mini potatoes over. Make some room for the salmon in the middle of the baking sheet, by pushing the potatoes and vegetables each over to their side of the baking sheet.Place the frozen salmon filets on the baking sheet and brush them with melted butter. Place the sprigs of thyme and orange slices on top of the salmon filets. Spread the grape tomato halves on top of the baked vegetables. Season everything with salt and pepper.Put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.Take the baking sheet out of the oven when the salmon is finished cooking and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the mixed vegetables.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.