Balsamic Ginger-Marmalade Glaze for Salmon

How to make a quick and easy sauce for seared salmon

Ever wondered what to do when cooking your favorite fish, other than add good old salt and pepper? This glaze is your answer.

It’s easy and fast to make with ingredients you have at home. I used this recipe for salmon, but it is versatile and will go great with any  fish. I used ginger jam for this recipe since ginger offers great health benefits. Ginger has well known  anti-inflammatory and  anti-oxidant properties that make it ideal for incorporating in everyday recipes. The combination of the gingery spice with the sweetness from the jam, make your taste buds want to dance with joy. However, you can substitute any fruit jam/preserves/marmalade when making this recipe yours (look for all natural ingredients, minus the high fructose corn syrup when choosing your jam)!

Let’s get started!

ginger-salmon-sauce

Ingredients

(for the sauce)

  • 3 Tbsp of ginger jam
  • 1.5 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried chives
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

(for the fish)

  • skin-on wild salmon ( 6-7 inches)
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for searing

Preparation:

  1. Start by adding salt and pepper on your fishwild-salmon
  1. Next, sear your fish on a heavy skillet with a drizzle of oil. You will be using the remnants to make the sauce .

  2. Take out your fish after a quick, high heat sear (about 2 mins each side), and bake the remainder in the oven for a 5-7 mins. Total cook time of sear and bake should be less than 10 mins.

  3. Use the searing pan for the sauce. Scrape up all the remnants.

  4. On low heat, add all the ingredients for the sauce

  5. Whisk until desired consistency is achievedIMG_4944-01

Thanks for reading and following!

-Ankitha Gadag

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Lemon-lime pound cake with vodka drizzle

Learn how to make easy, step by step pound cake from scratch !

lemon-lime-pound-cake“Cake, Cake, Cake Cake….”

“Lemme get that pound cake”

From Rappers to Pop Singers, everybody loves them some cake. This lime pound cake is the perfect light desert after dinner or for a quick sweet bite with your morning coffee/tea. (I love dipping pound cake into a cup of hot coffee for a slight coffee cake flavor)

What I loved about this cake is all in the drizzle. It incorporates Tito’s Lemon vodka for a sweet yet tart frosting. It’s sweet but not overwhelming, zesty in all the right ways and moist with every bite. Guaranteed to be an intoxicating hit for your next dinner party or an indulging weekend with yourself.

On to the recipe!

For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lime (about 1 packed tablespoon)

 

For the frosting:frosting-vodka-lemon

  •  1 cup powdered sugar
  •  1 tablespoon lemon vodka
  •  2 tablespoons lemon juice
  •  zest of 1 lemon.
Method:
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Coat your favorite pan with a spray or butter down.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps; set aside.lime-zest-pound-cakepound-cake-ingredients
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes more. (Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides occasionally.) Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two additions, mixing each until just incorporated. (Do not overmix, or your cake will be tough.) With a rubber spatula, fold in lime zest. Spread batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven.
  5. Bake until top of cake is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes.
 lime-poundcake-no-frosting
 For the glaze:
  1. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon vodka, lemon juice and lemon zest, until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove cake from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan. Stir lime glaze again, then brush top of cake with glaze (use it all). Cool completely before serving.
  3. Enjoy.

Vitamix Pear-Green Smoothie

Great for a detox after a long weekend or as a juice cleanse! This green smoothie is low sugar, low carb and great for weight loss goals!

healthy-green-smoothie

Green smoothies are a great tasting alternative to get in all your daily vitamins and key nutrients. If taken in the morning they provide a great source of energy and keep you feeling full longer. If you prefer to drink them in the evening they are a great way to end the day with a meal that won’t be too heavy and keep your metabolism working all night. If you live a busy lifestyle, then this recipe is perfect for you. It’s super easy to make and involves little to no prep time (AND if you own a Vitamix – you know how easy clean up is :))

Feel free to mix up this recipe to incorporate your favorite greens. Remember, keeping a variety of deep greens is key to getting all the important nutrients.  You can also switch up the fruit – fruits that I find go well with green smoothies are:  apples, limes, lemons, and pears.

You will need:

pear-green-smoothie

  • 1 leaf rainbow chard (substitute with any green you like, for example: Kale)
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 pear
  • 1 small handful of parsley
  • 1/4 th large cucumber

 

Method

  1. Add all your ingredients to the blender
  2. Add about 1 cup of water and a few ice cubes

vitamix-green-smoothie

  1. Blend and Enjoy!

 

Let me know how you like it guys!!

Watermelon Limeade with Beer

A fizzy watermelon beer-rum cocktail that makes a perfect day drink!

watermelon-beer-limeade-cocktail

What’s better than a cocktail? A Beertail!

Another seasonal drink that is perfect for summertime patio weather. Enjoy this gorgeous watermelon beer cocktail while it’s still hot outside. It’s fizzy, light and refreshing. With a boost from the rum, it’s sure to get the job done – quickly and efficiently 🙂

watermelon-beer-rum-orange

You will need:

  • 4 oz of your favorite Rum
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 watermelon ice cubes
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 4 oz of watermelon beer

 

Method

  1. Muddle the mint leaves in the serving glass
  2. Combine the rum, lemon juice, orange juice and beer with ice cubes in your shaker
  3. Shake and serve in your serving glass. Top with the watermelon ice cubes.

 

As always, love to hear your feedback! Let me know how you made it yours 🙂

-Ankitha

 

How to brew the perfect cup of coffee (using coconut!)

Easy step by step method to brew your own pour over coffee with an added touch – sweetened shredded coconut!

Mornings aren’t mornings without my ritualistic cup of coffee. Problem is, I am a perfectionist and if my coffee isn’t absolutely perfect, I will justify splurging at the nearby hipster coffee-shop (there are PLENTY of those in Austin).  A meager $5 cup of coffee a day quickly turns into a $35/ week habit and pretty soon I might as well have invested in part ownership of the hipster coffee-shop…

That is why I have invested in a manual pour over coffee drip. The one I have is called a Clever, and it is excellent. You can pretty much find a similar version at your local grocery store/ coffee-shop. I highly recommend that you also grind your own coffee beans as well, that way you can control the grain size (fine or course). Finer grains tend to be more bitter, while coarser grain tends to lack the robust flavor – clearly, it’s an art of balance. Either way, it isn’t a requirement.

My coffee tends to have another element in it which adds a touch of sweetness, body and balances out the palette. Sweetened coconut flakes gets mixed into the coffee grinds and trust me when I say this magic. You really have to taste it to believe it.

Alright, on to the recipe.

You will need:

-grinder (optional – but highly recommended)

-pour over coffee-maker

-6-8 oz hot water (212 degrees F)

-3 tbsp coffee beans ( I love the Ethiopian roast!)

-2 tbsp coconut flakes (Optional – but highly recommended)

coffee-beans

Method – 

  1. Start by rinsing out your paper filter. This removes the paper taste and allows for the flavor of the coffee bean to penetrate. coffee-filter
  2. Cover your drip with the coffee filter. Add your ground coffee into the cup
  3. Add in the coconut flakescoconut-drip-coffee
  4. Add your boiling water. While you are adding the water you want to pour slowly and in a circular fashion to allow the grinds time to aerate. Then,cover with a lid. Wait about 1.5 minutes, remove the cover, and stir to mix the grinds with the coconut flakes. Recover for an additional 3 minutes.perfect-drip-coffee
  5. When the infusion time is up, stir one last time and place the dripper directly on top of your coffee mug. pour-over-coffee
  6. Enjoy!

That’s it, hopefully you are now on a path of financial savings from making your own perfectly brewed cup of coffee at home!

-Ankitha

Chilled avocado & cucumber soup

Light, refreshing and creamy with cool flavors from mint and dill

You don’t normally think of soups in the summertime, especially not in Texas. However, this COLD cucumber and avocado soup hits the spot with its refreshing ingredients. It’s creamy, with a slight heat from the garlic & serrano. It gets layers of flavor from the fresh  dill and mint. Contrary to traditional hot soups, this chilled soup is absolutely delightful on a hot summer afternoon on the patio (margaritas recommended).

I was inspired to create this soup when a friend put me up to a food challenge. Her criterion was “cucumbers” and “chilled.” This was out of my comfort zone. Normally, my recipes pack heat from various spices and they normally involve a protein of some form. This was such a fun challenge, because it was so easy to make with relatively few ingredients that I would never think of combining. More than likely, most of these ingredients are already in your fridge.

Anyways, give it a shot (before the summer ends!), and let me know how it turns out 🙂

chilled-cucumber-soup

You will need:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 serrano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 english cucumber (peeled)
  • fresh mint (1 bunch)
  • fresh dill (1 bunch)
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

 

cucumber-avocado-soup

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients above in your blender.
  2. Puree to a fine, creamy texture
  3. Add salt, black pepper to taste. I topped off with some smoked paprika for a little kick 🙂

creamy-avocado-cucumber-soup

That’s it! Easy peeezzyyyy 🙂

Let me know how it turns out, would love to hear from you!

-Ankitha

 

How to make your herbs last longer!

This technique will help your herbs last over 2 weeks in the fridge!

I hate buying fresh herbs.

I mean, for nearly the same price as you would pay for an ounce of herbs in the refrigerated section, you can buy an ENTIRE PLANT. Kinda ridiculous, isn’t it? Dried herbs just don’t do the trick for me since they lack the robust flavor and plants die when you don’t water them… so I end up falling for the grand scheme – refrigerated herbs.

Sometimes, it truly makes sense to buy herbs, especially when they are hard to come by fresh. Take for example, Thai Basil. Extremely rare herb to find fresh, and can completely alter the taste of your Thai dish (if you’ve been cooking Thai all this time without FRESH Thai basil – you’re not doing it right, FYI)

Recently, I came across Thai Basil at the local Central Market, and  I was thrilled to say the least. I grabbed the remaining bunches and brought them home to save for another week, without the fear of them dying on me.

Normally, herbs last 4-5 days in the fridge (if you’re lucky). With this technique, I have had herbs last me for over 2 weeks.

Lets get started!

Fresh-Thai-Basil
Look at this beauty…
  1. Start by prepping your fresh herbs. This means, remove all the dead leaves and pat them dry.
  2. Find a nice little container to fit them. Nothing fancy, but nothing you will need any time soon. Fill it up with 3/4th’s water Thai-Basil-storage
  3. Now find a plastic bag to cover. You can normally use the same plastic bag that came with the herbs in the grocery store. Loosely cover the herbs with the bagRefrigerated-thai-basil
  4. Voila! Now you are ready to refrigerate your bouquet of herbs until you use them next.

 

Hopefully, this helps increase the longevity of your fresh herbs! Let me know how long you manage to make them last 🙂