Tasty Tuesday–Salmon Tacos

I love tacos, and I love salmon, but for some reason, I’ve never thought of putting the two together! I happened to watch Ina Garten make salmon tacos on the Food Network earlier this summer, and I knew I’d have to try the recipe. I made some changes to the recipe after the first time we tried them, and I think they’re now one of my favorite dinners…and I finally found a way to prepare salmon that even Bunny and Ladybug enjoy!

Slaw

Salmon

Avocado Smash

  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

At least an hour before you plan to serve the tacos, prepare slaw. Toss the cabbage, cucumber, vinegar, dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the cabbage to marinate.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking dish with olive oil and place the salmon in it. Mix the chile powder, lime zest, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning mixture. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the salmon is just cooked through.

Wrap the tortillas in 2 foil packets and place them in the oven with the salmon.  While the salmon is baking, roughly mash the avocados with the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, the Sriracha, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the avocado smash on one side of each tortilla, then some large chunks of salmon, and finally, some of the slaw. Fold the tortillas in half over the filling (they will be messy!) and serve warm.

Tasty Tuesday–A Pioneer Inspired Dinner

Ma had sent them ginger-water. She had sweetened the cool well-water with sugar, flavored it with vinegar, and put in plenty of ginger to warm their stomachs so they could drink it till they were not thirsty. Ginger-water would not make them sick, as plain cold water would when they were so hot. Such a treat made that ordinary day into a special day, the first day that Laura helped in the haying. “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Whenever possible, I try to include a special meal as part of  our summer school. Some years, that’s easier than others. Coming up with a pioneer-themed meal wasn’t too difficult, but I can’t vouch for the authenticity of our dinner. I was more interested in having a meal of foods pioneers might have enjoyed, rather than cooking them the way pioneers would have needed to. So tonight’s dinner included bean soup and homemade cornbread, ginger-water (a last-minute addition!), and a pieplant (rhubarb) pie for dessert. It was a very delicious meal, and I think I’ve found some new things to add to the recipe file!

“‘That’s the way I like it,’ he said. ‘If there is no sugar in the pie, then every fellow can sweeten his own as much as he likes without hurting the cook’s feelings.'” “The First Four Years” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

IKEA St. Louis

It has (unbelievably!) already been almost two years since IKEA came to St. Louis. This was a BIG DEAL. Ever since we moved here over 16 years ago, rumors have circulated about a possible IKEA location, and in the end, they always turned out to be false. We almost didn’t believe it when the news finally came out that St. Louis was actually going to get an IKEA store! But in 2015 it opened, and there was much rejoicing. Even so, I didn’t actually make it there until I went with Chickadee earlier this summer.

We have driven by the store and seen it from the interstate lots of times, but that in no way prepared me for how massive the store is when you’re in the parking lot looking at it!

If the store colors aren’t reminiscent enough of the Swedish flag for you, there is an actual Swedish flag outside:

And once you walk in the door, you are warmly welcomed:

Did I mention how big the store is?!? The map was so intimidating, I almost turned around and left!

The store may be intimidating, but it is extremely well-planned and organized:

Did I mention it was intimidating? The self-serve furniture area puts big stores like Walmart and Lowe’s to shame!

The free lockers are an especially good idea:

And given how big the store is, I think having a planned rest area is really smart!

What I was really there for, however, was the food. I’ve heard about the cafeteria style restaurant and the Swedish meatballs, so I had to check it out. It was also extremely well-organized. In addition to the hot food line, there were also cold options, including some amazing looking desserts:

I especially loved the carts for people who might have multiple meal trays!

Chickadee and I had already eaten lunch, so we just got a side order of Swedish meatballs and a piece of Daim torte to share. We also tried the pear fruit water and the lingonberry drink. Everything was delicious (Chickadee LOVED the meatballs!), and it was SO CHEAP!!!

Here’s a look at the full Swedish meatball meal:

The store also has Swedish treats (to enjoy at home) for sale:

Once we had exhausted ourselves walking around the store, we were ready to head out, and we received a very friendly goodbye, as well!

While we were there, we bought some Swedish treats to bring home and share with everyone, so we got to have a full IKEA meal at home…Swedish meatballs with the amazing IKEA gravy, lingonberry drink, and Kakor Choklad:

I loved our visit to IKEA, and I can’t wait to go back with the whole family…it’s one of the few places I can think of where we can all have a nice walk, look at some interesting things, and enjoy a filling meal, all without breaking the bank…as long as we don’t decide to redecorate our entire house while we’re there!

Tasty Tuesday–Dinner by Turkey

Turkey has been wanting to make dinner for us this summer, and he had a great idea for a tri-color pasta salad (he dyed the pasta himself!), and Italian sandwiches. He finally got to make it last night, and it was delicious!

I’m not going to give away his secret recipes, but they were really good, and I enjoyed watching (and tasting!) how he put things together!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: The Brisket Mac Attack!

About two weeks ago, Beast Craft BBQ debuted a new “sammich” on their menu, and it had been a long time since I tried one of their sammiches! So on the way home from the grocery store, we stopped and I got the “Brisket Mac Attack”–Texas chainsaw brisket, smoky bacon mac ‘n’ cheese, shredded cheese, and grilled onions on Texas toast. I also got a side order of the mac ‘n’ cheese, because I don’t think I’ve tried it since they landed on their current recipe.

This sammich is not for the faint of heart…the sauce packs some major heat. But it was the perfect combination, because the mac ‘n’ cheese and shredded cheese helped cool it down some, the onions added a nice flavor, and the bread was toasted perfectly…well, the top piece, anyway. The bottom piece had completely disappeared under the meat and sauce, but I assume it was just as good!

Beast has had some other new menu items recently, as well, including pork taquitos which are AMAZING, and grilled peaches topped with blackberry butter and mint, the perfect summer side dish!

I will warn you, if you want to carry out food, especially on a Sunday in our experience, you need to be prepared to wait. Ryan was in the restaurant for almost half an hour waiting for my sammich and his turkey to be prepared, even though it wasn’t overwhelmingly busy, and he was a little frustrated by the time he made it back to the car. Calling ahead definitely alleviates some of that, but I think that on the weekends, you just need to expect that you’re going to have to wait it out.

A German Feast for the Fourth

I wasn’t really feeling the Fourth of July this year, so I wanted to do something different for our holiday dinner. I decided that a meal that celebrates part of our family’s heritage would work, so I set out to make a German Feast for the Fourth.

We started by making pretzels this afternoon, which is always a family favorite food and activity! In addition to nacho cheese (so not German!), we also had a delicious German pub mustard for dipping.

For dinner, I decided to make pork schnitzel with a Jaeger sauce, German potato salad, gerkensalat, sauerkraut, and homemade spaetzle. The dinner was a big hit!

For dessert, I made a Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen. Also a big hit!

This wasn’t our usual Independence Day dinner, but it was festive and delicious…what more can you ask of a holiday meal?

Tasty Tuesday–Three Kings Public House

I have been wanting to go to any of the Three Kings Public House St. Louis area locations for so long. But their prices are high enough that it just wasn’t feasible for our whole family of seven to enjoy a meal there. But when The Bigs were at Kantorei Kamp last week, I realized that Chickadee and I could enjoy a meal out together, without breaking the bank!

We went to the location on Manchester in Des Peres. The interior is just what I was expecting…very pub-like.

The one thing that surprised me, however, was the portrayal of the “Three Kings.” I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the combination of Elvis, Henry VIII, and King Kong!

As I did before we went to Muldoon’s in Wheaton, I studied the menu, so I knew exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to try the house made chips (to compare them with the ones Seamus McDaniel’s makes), along with the Irish cheddar rarebit. They were delicious. For my entrée, I had to try a burger, of course, so I went with the Pogue Mahone, which was topped with a fried egg, carmelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and cheddar and Swiss cheeses, all on a pretzel bun. Of course it wasn’t a Seamus burger (what is?), but it was really good. I ordered it rare, and it was almost as rare as I prefer, and the combination of toppings was excellent, if not very messy!

Chickadee and I walked around a bit after we were done eating…the whole restaurant is charming!

There is quite a bar, as well:

I would definitely like to go back to Three Kings. I’ll have to take another look at the menu, though, and see what I would like to order next time!