Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bourbon Ginger Salmon

We're on the precipice of a three day weekend, one that signals the end of summer.  No more lazy summer days.  No more white pants.  No more grilling?  Ha!  Over at the Sweet Pea home, we grill Postal Service style:

Neither snow nor rain nor...just about any weather will keep us from grilling if the mood strikes.

But if you're looking for a tasty grilling recipe for your last summer grill-out, here's a good bet:

Bourbon Ginger Salmon

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (use GF to make this recipe GF)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 - 1inch piece ginger, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 - 4-6oz filets of salmon

Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, bourbon, oil, ginger and garlic in a small bowl:

Rinse and pat dry salmon and place in a dish:

Pour the marinade over the salmon:

Stir to ensure full coverage:

Let marinate for 1-2 hours:

Preheat grill to medium high and grill, skin side down, for 6-8 minutes, or until it flakes gently when pressed with a fork:

Serves 4.

Life is sweet,

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Best DIY Fruit Fly Trap (Easy Peasy)

Summer has a lot going for it, but one thing I cannot stand is the day the fruit flies arrive in our kitchen.

I've tried many different techniques, using wine, dish soap, my oven and vinegars, but this my friends is the easiest and most effective fruit fly trip I've ever tried.

DIY Fruit Fly Trap

2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (makes sense to use a *fruit* based vinegar, wouldn't you say?)
1 teaspoon sugar
plastic wrap
small shallow dish

First, gather your items:

Then, pour the vinegar and sugar in the small shallow dish and stir for a second:

Cover with the plastic wrap, so it is tight across the top:

Poke holes in the plastic wrap that are approximately twice the diameter of a toothpick (put the toothpick in and make a little circle with it):

Place in your kitchen or an adjoining room at watch with glee as they enter the trap (and don't feel too bad because really, don't fruit flies only live one day anyway?):

Look!  No flies on our fruit!  Victory!

Life is sweet,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Easy Garden Gazpacho (Gluten-Free, Vegan), aka, Salsa Soup

Got Tomatoes?

Our garden is slowly starting to produce (finally!) tomatoes, along with some mild peppers, cucumbers and cilantro...the perfect base for a really tasty gazpacho.

Gazpacho is a Spanish soup that is served cold, but when I serve it to the boys, I call it Salsa Soup.  They love calling it this, and I think it has helped their willingness to give it a try.

All you need is a blender or food processor and this soup is ready for you in mere minutes...or make it a little more chunky by using a knife.

Gazpacho is the ultimate healthy fast food.

Easy Garden Gazpacho (Gluten-Free, Vegan), aka, Salsa Soup

1 1/2 - 2 pounds tomatoes, cored (estimated)
1 cucumber, seeded
1 bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 small red onion
3 cloves garlic
juice of one lime
1 jalapeno (optional), seeded
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, lime juice, jalapeƱo and cilantro in the blender.

Blend well.  Scrape sides and add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Blend again.

Taste.  Season additionally, as desired.

Chill until cool.  Serve with chopped tomato and fresh cilantro on top, if desired.

**Note:  I used yellow tomatoes and yellow pepper because that's what I had on hand--if you used all red tomatoes and red pepper, it will be a more "salsa-y" color.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Life is sweet,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Easy Overnight Vanilla Cinnamon Granola

I love recipes like this:  simple, delicious, fast and custom-made to make my life easier.

All you do is mix together the short list of ingredients, place on a baking sheet, cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave it be until the next morning when you will be greeted with the most heavenly smell drifting from your kitchen.

Best of all, this recipe is gluten-free (just use GF oats), nut-free and dairy free.  A recipe everyone can hopefully enjoy!

I have a wonderful fellow cook and former food blogger for sharing this idea with me.  Thank you Jill!

Easy Overnight Vanilla Cinnamon Granola

7 cups whole gluten-free oats (conventional oats are fine if you don't need to be GF)
1/2 cup ground flax (optional--I use it to add a nutritional boost)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the oats and flax, then add the cinnamon and salt.

In a microwave safe dish, combine the brown sugar, honey, oil and vanilla, stir well and cook on HIGH for 1 minute.  Stir well and pour over the oats.

Stir well.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat liner.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Turn off the oven, but keep it closed until morning.

In the morning, remove the tray and begin to break up the granola.

Break into small pieces and place in airtight containers.

Feel free to customize as your family desires:  we've done cranberry pecan, coconut, walnut and raisin.

Makes about 7 cups granola, at a fraction of the cost of store-bought granola (and tastes so much fresher too!)

Life is sweet,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Giveaway Winner...

Teresa Young!

Teresa, please email me at so I can gather your information!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kitchen Club Kids Giveaway!

Ahhh...the waning days of summer vacation.  Have you noticed my slower pace?  I'll be back after Labor Day with more great Healthy Meal Plans and more frequent blog posts, but this summer I've been soaking in fun and time with the boys.  It.  goes.  too.  fast.

Later this week we will march to school with our list in hand for the PTO School Supply Sale.  Then next week?  School begins!

With all these transitions afoot, and folks all ginned up with buying school supplies and books, I thought I'd share a great book that I recently stumbled upon that I want to share with you.

That's right, folks...a giveaway!

Kitchen Club Kids is a line of kitchen adventure books that promote healthy eating.  But don't tell your young child...they'll just love the bright pictures and the fun, lively rhymes and stories...and will be none the wiser that they're also learning the basics of good nutrition too.

End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad is an adorable book about making a colorful fruit salad while teaching counting too.  It would be perfect for any parent or grandparent of a young child.  Check out the fun pictures:

Looks fun, doesn't it?

If you'd like to win a copy of this book for your family, you can enter by sharing this giveaway on Facebook (be sure to link to Sweet Peas and Pumpkins so your entry can be counted!) or leave a comment on this page.

You can enter two times, once on Facebook and once by leaving a comment.  Enter by Monday, August 19 at 6pm EST.  I'll choose a winner Monday night and email you to let you know if you've won!

Life is sweet,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fresh Chimichurri Sauce

What does fresh taste like to you?  Chances are, if you try this sauce, you might find yourself saying "Chimichurri!"

Sort of like a South American twist on pesto, Chimichurri uses parsley instead of basil, along with fresh garlic, olive oil and vinegar.

Bright and vibrant, Chimichurri is the perfect antidote to plain grilled chicken, fish, steak or pork.  We used it on grilled Portabellas most recently, and I've even used it as a topping for pasta.

Chimichurri deserves a place on your plate, if nothing else, to be able to say to your dinner guests, "chimichurri."

Side bonus:  parsley is a nutritional powerhouse...because think about it, it's basically a leafy green, like kale or spinach.

Fresh Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley, packed
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
dash of ground cumin
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place the parsley, garlic, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and cumin in a food processor or blender:

Blend well, and then scrape the sides.  Add the olive oil and process or blend some more:

Continue blending and scraping until the sauce is the desired consistency:

Serve over grilled anything, pasta or a salad!

Makes about 1 cup of sauce.

Life is sweet,