A Simple Seared Salmon Salad

A Simple Seared Salmon Salad

What is it about Salmon that we love so much?  Is it the beautiful color of the fish?  Is it that its quick and easy to prepare?  Or could it be because of all the yummy vitamins and nutrients we get from it.  Well it’s “Salmon Time!”  Sorry MC Hammer.  You can get all the fresh salmon you want as salmon season started this month.   Salmon season runs from April straight through November.  (So be sure to check your local grocery store or the fish monger.  For the freshest salmon say this, “Excuse me, what day is your salmon delivered?”)  Lol

Here are some of the vitamins and minerals we get from our up-stream swimming friends:  Vitamins B3, B6 and B12; we’ve got Vitamin D and selenium.  But don’t stop there!  We’ve got Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Protein too!

Don’t overcook it nor feel intimidated when you see it in the store instead, feel encouraged and follow the recipe below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Seared Salmon with Salad

4- 4 oz salmon filets

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 tablespoon Blackening Seasoning

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tablespoons butter

Juice of ½ lemon

4 cherry tomatoes

1 peach, diced

2 cups (packed) Arugula

2 cups (packed) Mixed Greens

Balsamic Glaze

Your favorite vinaigrette (I used Lemon – Honey)

Method of Preparation

  1.  Season the filets with the seasonings.  Drizzle with EVOO and rub into filets.  Set aside.
  2. Place a large pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  3. Drizzle the pan with the olive oil and add the butter (when you are ready to put the fish in the pan).
  4. When the butter has melted add the salmon, skinned side a cook until easy to move and nice crisp has formed on the top of the fish.
  5. Place the entire pan into the oven and cook until desired temperature.  The proper cooking temperature for fish is 145ºF.  Please fish, cook and eat responsibility.
  6. Allow fish to sit while you prepare the salad.
  7. Place the lettuce and arugula in a large bowl and mix with a small amount of your favorite vinaigrette.  Place a handful onto each plate.
  8. Add tomatoes and peach bites on the plate.
  9. Dot with drops of glaze around the salad and top with the salmon (crispy, non skin side up).  Enjoy!
Shaking Things Up with my “Shaker Pie”

Shaking Things Up with my “Shaker Pie”

Hi there!  This week I have an old recipe probably long forgotten but let’s revive it!  If you like desserts that are sweet, tart and a little “boozy” then you’ll like this one.  I found this recipe while I was doing some research for another dish.  I found it so interesting that I made it.  Then I made it again until I reached the flavor I wanted.   This Lemon Shaker Pie uses the entire lemon peel and all (well, not the seeds).  Lol I used Meyers lemons but feel free to use regular lemons. Meyer lemons are sweeter as they are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. Most of the time they are smaller and a little more round other lemons.  Also, their skin is smoother and thinner.   I love them!  Use your favorite pie crust recipe or store bought crust is just fine.  For added flavor serve with a lavender or homemade vanilla ice cream.


3 Meyers lemon sliced paper-thin (no seeds)

Juice of 1 regular lemon

Zest of 1 regular lemon

2 cups sugar, granulated

1 tablespoon  Grand Marnier (or lemon liqueur)

4 eggs    + 1egg

double 9-inch pie crust

Whipped topping or ice cream

1 tablespoon of water

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450º.
  2. Place thinly sliced lemon in a shallow dish.  Pour the liqueur and lemon juice over the slices and cover with the sugar.  Refrigerate lemon slices overnight.
  3. When ready to cook remove the lemons from the refrigerator and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Stir.  Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, gently beat the eggs, water and zest together.  Set aside.
  5. Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 pie crust.  Stir the lemon mixture into the eggs until thoroughly incorporated.  Top with the second pie crust.  Seal the edges.  (Here’s your chance to be creative with the edges.)  Cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
  6. Brush the top of the pie with the eggs wash and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes checking the edges of the crust after a few minutes.  If the edges are browning too quickly, use a pie-edge cover or aluminum foil to cover the edges and continue baking until done.  When done, remove the pie from the oven and serve very warm or allow to cool slightly and serve at room temperature.
  7. Serve with whipped cream or  vanilla ice cream!
Books, Cooks, Aprons and more!

Books, Cooks, Aprons and more!

“Eat in Color!” is my new cookbook filled with colorful dishes for you to whip up and enjoy.  There’s nothing quite like cooking and eating with friends and family so I’ve added a lot of meals sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.  For the cooks out there, I hope you will try these colorful dishes and change them up to fit your needs and tastebuds.  I always look at a cookbook as a blueprint, a foundation to build on and grow with and that’s what I’d like you to do with my recipes…build on them and create your special meal.

We also have aprons on sale in both black and white for when you’re cooking (from “Eat in Color!”).  They are beautifully embroidered with my logo and “Cooking with Chef Renée” on them.  Get one for yourself or get two with one to share or as a gift at your cook-with-me-party.


We are also gearing up for our brand NEW monthly events “Meet ‘n Eat!”   “Meet ‘n Eat” is a monthly networking and meet-up opportunity for young professional singles to get together and eat and have drinks and just enjoy one another.  Tentatively the events are being scheduled at Upward Hartford but check each month to see if the venue has changed.  There will be a nominal fee (to cover food cost…guess who’s cooking).  So get your “car washed and your hair done too…come looking fly in your suit…” thank you Beyonce!  This is a great chance to get a delicious meal, enjoy the scenic view (right at sunset) from the 17th floor and meet new and interesting people.  



My NEW cookbook is here! Available for pre-ordering now!

Hello and let me say it seems like forever since we chatted!  Lol. Below is what I’ve been working on…my first ever cookbook!  I wanted to share it with you and let you know how much I appreciate each of you for your support and understanding.  It’s filled with colorful dishes and there’s something for everyone in it (I hope!).  This has truly been a long project but so very rewarding.  I hope you will sit and read a few of the recipes then glide into the kitchen and prepare a delicious, colorful meal for yourself, your family or anyone visiting.  Just enjoy!  Please let me know what you think about it!New Book Cover

Kimchi and Seafood Soup

Kimchi and Seafood Soup


1½ tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil

½ tablespoon of sesame oil

3 ounces fresh breech mushrooms (or your favorite mushroom)

½ small onion, diced

2 scallions, divided (bottoms and tops) bias cut

1 celery stalk, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 quarts of seafood stock

½ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 bunch of bok choy, green parts only, chopped

1 pound cod, cut into chunks

1 pound of shrimp, deveined, shells removed

3 tablespoons miso

2 cups kimchi (cabbage), drained and chopped


Method of Preparation

In a large Dutch oven add both oils and heat on medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms and onions and cook until the mushrooms turn brown.

Add in the garlic, ginger, celery and scallion bottoms.  Cook for another 3 minutes or until fragrant.

Pour in the stock, wine and sprinkle with turmeric.  Bring to a boil uncovered.

Reduce heat and add the bok choy and cilantro and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add the kimchi and miso.  Stir together using the soup to thin.

Add the seafood.  Cover and cook until the seafood is done.

Remove the pot from the stove to prevent over cooking the fish and serve.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro.



“Twisted” Italian Sausage Soup

“Twisted” Italian Sausage Soup

Twisted Italian Soup

I don’t know about you but I love a good, stick-to-my-tummy soup on a fall or cold winter day.  Add a nice glass of wine and you won’t see me until the next morning!  Here’s a soup I made one day for my family while I was developing a new, whole grain, cornmeal cornbread recipe (but please, use your favorite cornbread recipe).

For this recipe, I started by browning some Italian sausage, both hot and sweet.  I then drained the meat and set it aside.  Next, I drizzled a little oil in the pot and added my onions and garlic.  Once the onions were translucent I added chunk, fresh rutabagas, diced carrots, and half of a sweet potato which I diced also.  I browned the root vegetables for about 5 to 7 minutes and then added my broth using enough broth to cover the vegetables.

I cooked this for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to harmonize.  Next, I added fresh, chopped thyme, dried parsley, turmeric, a variety of canned, rinsed beans and peas (cannellini, chick peas, black-eyed peas) and a can of whole, peeled tomatoes.  I used my potato masher to smash a few of the beans, peas and tomatoes.  Doing this will act as a thickener without having to add flour or cornstarch, but if you feel better using either, do so.

I returned the meat to the pot and added a little more broth to cover all the ingredients.  Lastly, I covered the pot with a tight-fitting lid and allowed the soup to cook until the beans and peas were tender and the desired flavor had been reached.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, I added sea salt, fresh, ground, black pepper and chopped, fresh kale.

Optional:  A small amount of heavy cream at this point may be added to the pot for a richer soup.  I served it over a slice of my new cornmeal cornbread and shared some with my neighbors!  I needed the feedback.

For this soup, I really did not measure the ingredients because I make it slightly different each time (trying out a new herb, adding tomato sauce instead of tomatoes, adding potatoes…it just depends). Try it out and use as much or as little of any ingredient you choose.  Send me feedback! I’d love to hear from you.

Eat in Season-It’s so good for you!

Eat in Season-It’s so good for you!

Fall is here and I for one am so excited to see it!  I love fall!  I feel almost as though it has crept upon us as quietly as the tiny caterpillar I saw squirming up the stem of my basil plant today.  Don’t worry, I didn’t eat him…I sent him on his way (with the stem he was so attached to and enjoying).   One of the reasons I enjoy the fall so much is the great outdoors and how my garden changes.  My heirloom tomatoes are still thriving and looking even more beautiful than the day before, my red-veined sorrel which showed up early this spring and is still growing strong.   I enjoy cooking with hearty vegetables like cabbages, parsnips and rutabagas.  Have you ever tried rutabaga French fries with chipotle or red pepper dip?  Yummy to my tummy!  The sweet to my soul in can be found in the magical fruits like apples, pears, peaches and plums all beautifully colored and plump and juicy.  Pies and cobblers here I come.   It’s also a season of roasting and stewing and braising meats until they fall off the bone or melt in your mouth.  To wake up to hot cider and cozy up with a blanket.  So as the world turns and changes in a direction to give us longer nights (more time for smooching….lol) I gear up for extra time in my kitchen preparing delightful, colorful treats the earth has provided for me and only in this special season of oranges, purple, reds and whites!




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