Salmon Cakes

This is a great way to use leftover cooked salmon. In fact, it’s a reason to cook enough salmon to have leftovers.

7-8 oz. salmon
2 slices of bread, diced small
1 egg, slightly beaten with a fork
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce -OR- lemon juice
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs oil (for frying)

Flake salmon into a mixing bowl, making sure to remove bones and skin. Add the diced bread and stir to distribute evenly, then add the egg and stir again. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, onion, mustard powder and salt. Mash with fork or hands (surgical gloves recommended) to further mix the ingredients and break up the bread, then form into patties.

Fry the patties over medium heat until they are golden brown on each side. Drain and serve.

Spring Rolls with Chili Dipping Sauce

Chili Dipping Sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 T. sesame oil
1-2 t. sweet chili sauce (e.g. Mae Ploy)

Mix together all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spring Rolls

8 spring roll wrappers
24 fresh cilantro leaves
16 large mint leaves
1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
1 green onion, cut into 2″ sections and then thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin 2″ strips
1/8 cucumber (seeds removed) cut into thin 2″ strips
1/2 medium carrot, cut into thin 2″ strips
32 cooked small shrimp (~2 oz.)
1 T. chopped peanuts

Prepare one roll at a time as follows: Soak one wrapper in warm water (e.g. in a round cake pan or pie plate) until flexible and transparent (about 2-3 minutes). Place wrapper on working surface. Arrange 3 cilantro leaves and 2 mint leaves on half the wrapper, leaving a 1″ border around the edges. Layer on strips of avocado, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and carrot. Top with 4 shrimp. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll tightly to enclose the filling completely. Rolls can be kept refrigerated in plastic wrap for up to 2 days.

After all the rolls have been prepared, cut then in half and serve with the dipping sauce and chopped nuts. You can also put out plum sauce and Siracha sauce as additional condiments.

Plum Conserve

I first made this conserve with Satsuma plums. These have a dark, solid red skin and a dark red flesh, giving a rich color to the jam. Other dark fleshed plums (e.g. Elephant Heart, Black Beauty) also work well with this recipe.

3 lbs plums (dark fleshed plums preferred)
3 lbs sugar
1/2 lb raisins
1/2 lb broken walnuts (less is OK)
2-3 oranges, relatively thin-skinned (i.e. not Naval oranges)

Wash and mince, grate or grind oranges, reserving juice and discarding seeds.
Remove stones from plums and cut into quarters.
Combine oranges, plums, sugar, and raisins.
Simmer approx 90 minutes, stirring to avoid scorching.
Add walnuts and cook another 45 minutes or so until “thick” (i.e. 222-225 degrees).
Pour into sterile jars and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

For a custom touch, try adding a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamon.

Gingerbread Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended and set aside.

In a mixing bowl (e.g. KitchenAid) beat butter and brown sugar until creamy, then add egg and mix at medium speed until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended, scraping down the bowl if needed. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
(Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated and then returned to room temperature if you plan to roll it out for cut cookies.)

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart. Flatten the balls for a thin crisp cookie, or leave them as they are for a cookie that is crunchy on the outside with a softer center.


Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface, and sprinkle flour over dough. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick, dusting rolling pin or keeping the dough between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Use additional flour as needed to avoid sticking.

Cut out cookies and space them 1 1/2-inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes for flat cookies or ~12 minutes for round cookies. Cool on a rack and then decorate (or not) as desired.

Citrus Glaze Icing

From the zest and juice of citrus fruits, the glaze can then be made in an amount that will ice about 30 cookies by combining:

Thin Glaze

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. juice
1 t. extract
~1/4 – 1/2 t. of the zest

Combine the powdered sugar and juice in a small bowl and stir until well mixed.  Stir in the extract.  Stir in the zest.  The icing should be of a consistency that will spread slightly when applied to the cookies so that it forms a thin, smooth glaze.  If the icing is too thick, add  juice in small amounts to correct.

Thick Glaze

3/8 c. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 T. juice
1/4 t. citrus oil

Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and work in the juice in small amounts until there is just enough to dissolve all the sugar. Add the citrus oil and stir. Food coloring may be added at this stage, but do this very carefully as adding just one drop directly from the bottle may produce a color that is too intense (try using a toothpick instead).


A.  When you remove the zest from the fruit, you want to just skin the surface, without taking the white pith.  Using a microplane with a light touch works well for this.

B.  It may seem like you are adding a lot of extract or oil, but you will need this to allow the citrus flavor to emerge over the sweetness of the sugar.

C.  This citrus-flavored glaze works well on sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies.

D. This glaze sets up quickly, so if you want to use sprinkles for additional decoration, shake onto each cookie right after spreading on the glaze.

Sugar Cookies

These are less sugary than most, so they can be decorated with icing or chocolate without becoming overly sweet. Alternatively, you can add 1/4 cup of brown sugar to the recipe and leave undecorated.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are well combined. In another container, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, mixing until well blended. Cover bowl or wrap the dough and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into ~1 inch balls and flatten on parchment paper to about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness -OR- on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness and cut use cookie cutters. Arrange the cookies ~2-inches apart and bake 14-16 minutes until moderately browned all over. After the cookies have been cooled, apply cookie icing or chocolate.

NOTE: If you bake these cookies just until the edges start to turn brown, they will taste mealy. These turn out best when the are rolled thin and baked until crispy.

Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Mix in the egg yolk until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Scrape onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times to smooth out the dough, taking care not to overwork. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, wrap up and refrigerate for several hours.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. 7 Line baking sheets with parchment. Slice the dough into slices about 1/8″ thick or roll the dough out and cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies on sheet about an inch apart. Bake until JUST beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 16-17 minutes.

Blender Hummus

1 can (10.5 oz) garbanzo beans
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/3 c. olive oil
1 T. sesame oil
1/2 t. garlic paste
1/8 t. cayenne
1/8 t. salt
chicken stock ( as needed)

Drain the garbanzo beans and place in the blender container. Process, adding chicken stock in small amounts, as needed, to get a smooth mixture. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sesame oi, garlic paste, salt, and cayenne. Process to combine. While blending, add the olive oil in a slow stream, and continue blending until you have a smooth, even mixture. Serve immediately. Also can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.

Cheese Rounds

A savory cheese-flavored cracker with the texture of shortbread.

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, warmed to room temperature
6 oz. shredded hard cheese (e.g. cheddar, parmesan)
1 c. flour
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne

Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. Place the butter and cheese in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until well-blended. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix until blended. Wrap the dough, forming it into a cylinder, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Unwrap the dough and slice into rounds. Place these about 1″ apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and, if desired, sprinkle the tops with chopped nuts, sesame seeds or freshly ground pepper. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned, then cool on a rack. Enjoy!