Easy & Delicious Potato Side Dish

Potatoes are often difficult. They’re either too dry if you try to bake them, don’t crisp up properly when you try to turn them into french fries, or take too long when you try to mash them (plus I don’t always want that added butter!). I found a delicious recipe for what I call Smooshed Potatoes on the delightful blog The Pioneer Woman. She calls them Crash Hot Potatoes, but I needed something a little more descriptive in there.  Whatever you call them, they’re a super easy side that delivers delicious results. Most of their cooking time is either boiling or baking, so there isn’t a lot of hands-on work. You can easily make them in the background while you’re cooking/grilling something else. They end up crispy, full of flavor, and dangerously addicting. They’ll go perfect with a burger or a steak, and are even dainty enough to serve alongside a salad – mine went alongside a grilled steak salad (recipe coming soon). Enjoy!

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Our Favorite Salmon – Pecan Crusted Salmon Bake

I love salmon. I have always loved salmon but I’ve found that many of the million salmon recipes out there are just blegh. They either let the salmon get too dry, or they use some pansy seasoning like half a lemon wedge. If I’m going to make salmon, I want it to be tasty and moist! My mom passed this recipe to me one day, and it has become one of our favorite salmon recipes. Ok, maybe our favorite. It’s insanely quick and super easy. It is for a serving of six, so keep that in mind if you’re only making it for two (I would at least halve the recipe for two people). It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, but it doesn’t require any fancy techniques or tools.

Pecan Crusted Salmon Bake a.k.a. Our Favorite Salmon

Serves 6

Pecan Salmon Bake


  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (I use about half and it’s still great, but if you love butter, go for it!)
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 lemon wedges
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
  2. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

Yum yum! Thanks mom!

Easy and Quick Fish Dish!

I’ve been trying to mix it up in the kitchen lately (avoiding any chicken recipes) and fish has been one of those items I’ve been looking to tackle. Sure I can cook a basic salmon filet (or a really yummy one – recipe to come), but when I saw this recipe in one of the latest Cooking Light magazines, I thought it was worth a try. And it was delicious! My husband (who is a picky eater), loved it, and has already requested a round two. The best part is that it’s super quick and super easy to cook, and it’s from Cooking Light, which makes it pretty guilt free! I served it with a basil couscous (one of the Near East flavors), and it was a great, quick dinner.

Panko-Crusted Cod with Tomato & Basil Relish

Panko-crusted cod with tomato and basil relish


  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 (6-ounce) cod fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place egg whites in a shallow dish; place panko in another shallow dish. Dip fish in egg whites; sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dredge in panko. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned and very crispy. Turn fish over; place pan in oven. Bake fish at 450° for 7 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
  3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Serve with fish.

Serves 4, about 25 minutes total. Full recipe can be found here.