Friday, July 28, 2017

Parmesan Crusted White Wine Dijon Salmon and Daycations

We have recently coined a new phrase in our family..."daycation".  When there is not even enough time for a "staycation", where you can relax, chill at home and pretend you are on a vacation of sorts, a daycation is the perfect remedy.  A daycation is a one day escape to anywhere you want to recharge your physical and emotional batteries.

We recently did a daycation to Glenwood Springs for a little hot springs, zipline, sunshine and take in mother nature's beautiful views.  Just what the doctor ordered...and a few girly selfies along the way (which my daughters are teaching me how to accomplish)!

Whether you are on a daycation, staycation or cooking on your vacation, this salmon recipe is so delicious and best part...easy!!

Parmesan Crusted White Wine Dijon Salmon
Courtesy of The Cookie Rookie

For The Salmon:
2 lb. salmon filet (or 4-6 salmon fillets)
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp each; fresh parsley, thyme and chives; finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 Tbl (1/4 cup) butter, melted
1 fresh lemon

For The White Wine Dijon Cream Sauce:
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 chicken bouillon granule cube, crushed
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Place the salmon filet on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs.  Mix well.  Add melted butter and mix.

Spread her/butter mixture over the top of the salmon filet and press down slightly.

Transfer salmon to oven and bake 10-12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and crust is golden.  If necessary, turn the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes, but watch closely so crust does not burn.

While salmon is baking, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle butter with flour and whisk until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Continue whisking while slowly pouring in the milk, cream and pepper.  Whisk until sauce is smooth.  Add the wine, Dijon mustard, crushed bouillon cube and Worcestershire sauce.  Continue cooking over medium low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

Leave sauce in the pan and cover the pan with a paper towel (to absorb any extra moisture).  When ready to use, remove the paper towel and reheat the sauce.  Serve immediately.

Drizzle salmon with squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve with White Wine Dijon Cream Sauce.

One Year Ago: One Skillet Tuscan Chicken
Two Years Ago: Lemon-Blackberry Olive Oil Cake
Three Years Ago: Pork Schnitzel, Sawtooth Hotel and Redfish Lake
Four Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Watermelon Bruschetta

Every now and again you find an awesome new recipe in the most unsuspecting places.  I recently found mine in the local grocery customized coupon flyer that is mailed to us every month....who knew?

I usually just open it up, clip my applicable coupons and away it goes.  This time, I perused through the pages and noticed they had a lot of recipes.  Since it is summertime, the watermelon page really caught my eye.

Oh my goodness, these little sweet, salty, savory, delectable Bruschettas were amazing!  If you're looking for a new appetizer to serve up this weekend...this is a must make!!

Watermelon Bruschetta
Courtesy of King Soopers' My Magazine

Watermelon (cut into cubes)
Minced Garlic
Italian Seasoning
Ricotta Cheese
Fresh Basil, cut chiffonade
Balsamic Vinegar
Baguette (cut on the diagonal into slices), toast in oven lightly

In a medium-sized bowl, gently mix together watermelon cubes, minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside.  

Spread ricotta over slices of toasted bread. Top with ribbons of prosciutto followed by the watermelon mixture.

Garnish with chopped basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.

One Year Ago: One Skillet Tuscan Chicken
Two Years Ago: Lemon-Blackberry Olive Oil Cake
Three Years Ago: Gloria's Shrimp and Avocado Dip
Four Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Friday, July 21, 2017

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake...Happy Blogversary!

Four years ago today I took the plunge and created Front Range Fork and Cork, where I have most definitely been "Cooking It Up In Colorado and Corking Life's Moments".  So much has happened in what has seemed to be a lightning fast four years.  New extended family babies, moves, loss of loved ones, weddings, "big" birthdays, start and graduation of high school, sports and academic achievements and milestones, illnesses, memorable trips, obstacles and struggles, and personal growth.  Only God knows what's in the future...but I'm ready for the journey.

Until then, here are some fun Blog facts (thanks to Google Stats) from the past four years...

This is post #305...there have been 28,471 page views by visitors.

The top 5 most viewed pages these past four years (click link of page if you're curious) are:

Volleyball Cookies and Lessons in Icing (2,148 views)
Champagne Margaritas (324 views)
Lemon-Blueberry Buckle (193 views)
Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins (143 views)
Hotel Chocolate Cupcakes and Volleyball Catering (124 views)

Now I'm no genius and don't have a PhD in Psychology, but it's quite apparent to me that by the looks of those stats, there are a lot of volleyball moms out there that like to drink adult libations and have a sweet tooth...just saying.  However, in their defense (as I am) one of those moms, if you have ever been to a weekend girls volleyball tournament, you would completely understand!  To those moms out there (and everyone else)...thanks for visiting and following!!

Here's to four more years of "Corking Life's Moments"...Cheers!

This cake is one that takes time, patience and love.  It is fancy and reminds me of one from a Ritz Carlton dessert menu.  This is not a cake to whip out for a five year old's birthday party...but rather one for a very special occasion, it is rich, light and decadent all at the same time.  Enjoy!

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake
Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Prosecco Cake
4 eggs
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup Prosecco or sparkling rose

Fresh Peach Filling
4 medium ripe peaches, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Prosecco or sparkling rose
2 Tbl sugar

Whipped Cream Frosting
3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

For cake:  Allow eggs to stand at room temperature 30 minutes.  Meanwhile grease and flour three 8-1/2" round baking pans.  In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt;  set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In an extra large bowl beat eggs with a mixer on high 5 minutes or until thickened and light.  Beat on medium an additional 5 minutes while gradually adding sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.  (Batter will be light and fluffy).  Beat in flour mixture on medium-low until just combined.

In a small saucepan heat and stir mile and butter until butter melts.  Add to batter, beating until combined; beat in almond extract.  Divide batter among prepared pans.

Bake 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.  Transfer pans to a wire rack; cool 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans;  cool completely on wire racks over a shallow pan or tray.  Using a long-tine meat fork, poke cakes all over.  Slowly pour Prosecco over cakes.  Wrap in plastic wrap;  chill 2 to 24 hours.

For fresh peach filling; In a large bowl combine peaches, Prosecco, and sugar; stir well.  Let stand, covered, 30 minutes , stirring occasionally.  Using a potato masher or fork, mash into a coarse mixture.

For whipped cream frosting; In an extra large bowl beat heavy cream, sour cream, sugar and vanilla with mixer on medium until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate.  Spread with half of the fresh peach filling.  Top with second cake layer; spread with remaining peach filling.  Top with third cake layer.  Spread top and side with whipped cream frosting.

Garnish with fresh peach slices and fresh mint leaves.

*If you want to eliminate the Prosecco and step up the cake process time, you could have the same type of beautiful dessert by purchasing a store bought angel food cake, cut horizontally in thirds, add the peaches filling and frost as shown.

One Year Ago One Skillet Tuscan Chicken
Two Years Ago Lemon-Blackberry Olive Oil Cake
Three Years Ago Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Bake
Four Years Ago For Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Raspberry Crumb Muffins and Redecorating Bug

Summer is half way over and with things finally settling down in our home, I have had "in the words of Styx"...(too much time on my hands), which is never a good thing.  My self-induced three month Pinterest rehab didn't go so well and I "went off the proverbial wagon", as they say.

I am back to finding new recipes and re-purposing/redecorating...I actually don't know which is more fun to take on. As we are preparing to go into the empty nest chapter of our lives, I am finding my self going into nesting mode and redoing different areas in the house with accessories I already have or that need to be relieved from our storage boxes...all with the intent of minimal fill in purchases.

I completely stripped the Family Room's fireplace wall and front porch entry.  I am seeing how much I can move around, re-purpose and change it up to go with our summer season.  Check back in a week to see the end results. 

In the meantime, I found these most unbelievable Raspberry Crumb Muffins.  Oh my Heaven are these delicious!  So easy and even with my altitude challenged baking, these came out more than perfect!  My first bite and they immediately took me back to one of my favorite places to vacation...Cambria, California.  Their famous restaurant Linn's Fruit Bin makes the most incredible, freshest muffins every day...(they even have an online store you have got to order and experience)!  If you're finding yourself one morning with a little free time, you must try these won't be disappointed.

Raspberry Crumb Muffins
Courtesy of Creme De La Crumb

1-3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries

1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
8 Tbl butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Make the crumb topping by stirring together flour, sugar and lemon zens.  Add melted butter and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a larger bowl mix eggs, greek yogurt and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients to set ingredients and mix until incorporated (don't over mix).

Fill muffin liners 3/4 full with batter.  Top with raspberries (about 4-5 raspberries each to cover the batter( and then distribute topping over the raspberries.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (a few loose crumbs or bits of raspberry are okay but no wet batter).  Allow to cool in muffin tins for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or store in airtight container.

One Year Ago: Chicken, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza & The Frederico
Two Years Ago: Spaghetti Squash Fritters and White Sangria Sparkler
Three Years Ago: Grilled Vegetable Salad

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Graduation Chronicles

Something Old
Something New
Something Borrowed From Pinterest
Something To Pin Just For You!

It has been exactly two months since my last posting.  First, forgive me for the brief before, during and since graduation of my first, last, and only children (twins) has been a whirlwind, to say the least...hence my brief hiatus.

So, let's catch up from where I left off on May 3rd...

The month, weeks and days leading up to graduation were a roller coaster of events and emotions. There were events that I was prepared for emotionally and others that I didn't see coming.  It was a month of "lasts", "final times", and "end of".  For example, at the Senior Night Awards Event, a few days before actual graduation, the school jazz band played and sang "Time Of Your Life" by Green Day. Don't ask me why, but I completely lost it...flood gates fully opened...yeah, didn't see that coming! 

The second flooding was at their Leadership Academy Awards Night.  All was well until they showed the senior slideshow..and there they were on the big screen.  That's when it really sunk in...this is it.

Graduation Commencement was a success...and leave it to the Class of 2017 to be the first class to hold ceremony inside school for the first time in history thanks to our unpredictable Colorado weather.

One final note...being that our last name starts with "Z", we are 9.8 times out of 10 the last person in any alphabetical line.  So my youngest twin was literally the last in line out of 281 students.  She had a great sense of humor with her cap decor..."Last But Not Least"  My older twin had a more personal approach...representing all three states we have lived and she has grown in.  Heartwarming.

Senior Walk Out Day - Their "official" last day of school.

Senior Year - In A SnapShot(s) - Collage Frame - Kirkland's Home

"Through The Years" welcome table at front entry.

...and The Dining Room

Okay, now for the fun stuff.  THANK YOU to all the creative, amazing, inspiring people out there on Pinterest.  I truly don't know how I could have survived grad week without you.  I am quite certain I spent more time planning their grad celebration than I did my own actual wedding.  Heaven help my girls, if they ask me to help plan their weddings!

Here is a compilation of some highlights from the day for you to "Pin", should you be in the need to start planning your grad event a year in advance (like I was guilty of)...

Custom Made Cupcakes in School Colors - King Soopers

Custom Macarons - Whole Foods

"Diploma" Cookies - Pirouette Cookies wrapped in school color ribbon.

Sweets Table

School Spirit and Volleyball Highlights

Various Flavors Starbursts

Various Flavors Ring Pops

Smarties Candies

Custom Printed Mini Blowing Bubbles - Bubble Dispensers - Dollar Tree

Mini Tootsie Rolls

Hershey's Hugs and Kisses

Mini Sour Patch Worms

Beverage Table
Monogrammed Galvanized Buckets - Kirkland's Home
Clear Beverage Dispensers - Wal Mart

Charcuterie Plate - Courtesy of my sister-in-laws Cathy and JoAnne

The Ever Popular Veggie Platter

Orzo Salad With Everything - Recipe Click Here

BLT Macaroni Salad - Recipe Click Here

24 Hour Salad - Recipe Click Here

My Mom's Famous Potato Salad
I don't have recipe, but know her secret ingredient is fresh dill.

Every Portrait From Then 'Til Now - Window Pane Frame - Kirkland's Home

Their First Day of PreSchool

Very Last Day of High School

Congratulations Ladies!

Two Years Ago: Traeger BBQ Beef Ribs
Three Years Ago: Apple Pie Cake