Posted in Chef Lane, Food

Chef Lane: More Ridiculously Easy Meals

For dinner tonight, I grilled, cedar plank salmon and made savory garlic pasta.  It took 20 minutes, and I didn’t have to light the bbq.  How did I do it?

Mmmm, salmon!

Cedar Bay, pre-packaged cedar planked salmon.  The salmon filet comes on a plank, and you pop that plank in the oven on 425 for between 14 and 20 minutes, then you eat it.  How easy is that?

The filet is large enough that Thor and I usually share one–one which I cook to well done because I cannot stand half-cooked fish.  I cook one rare for B, and serve it up with any number of sides.

Tonight was a lazy night for me, so I served the fish with pasta shells.  While the salmon was in the oven, I cooked my pasta (I like to put veggie bouillon and oil in my pasta water for some flavor), drained it, and mixed in a heaping spoonful of my new favorite cooking aid:

I love anything that makes life easier.


I picked up the Philidelphia cooking creme on a whim, and I am so glad I did!  It is amazing.  It is really flavorful and light, easy to mix into your recipes, and turns plain shells into something special.

So B’s meal ended up looking like this:

B got the Lemon and Dill spiced salmon from Cedar Bay.

And Thor and I had our well-done salmon chipped up into the shells with a little parmesan cheese on top.  Ours looked like this:

Thor and I had the lightly seasoned salmon chipped into the shells.


I think it speaks well of the fish that Thor asks to have it for dinner.  I give it major thumbs up because it isn’t fishy smelling, or tasting.  I would say you are getting a restaurant quality filet with these.  You can find them in the freezer of the seafood section at your grocery store.




Posted in Chef Lane, Food

Chef Lane: Effing Delicious Cherry Cobbler

I made a test cobbler for our upcoming Godfamily Thanksgiving Dinner.  It is so good, I want to go bury my face in it and pretend I am in a cobbler eating contest and just slurp it up.  But I won’t.  Instead, I will just share the recipe with you.  This is the easiest dessert recipe you can imagine, and I’ve yet to serve a disappointing cobbler.  I usually make peach, so this was my first try at cherry–very happy with the results.

I found the recipe at Betty Crocker online, and it goes like this:


  • 1 21oz can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup of Bisquick
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 TBS of sugar
  • 1 TBS of butter, melted
  • (I added) 1 TBS vanilla extract

You need a cold oven.  Put your cherry filling in a casserole dish and pop that in the oven, then pre-heat it to 400.  While your filling is warming and the oven is preheating, mix the bisquick, milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla until you have a soft dough and everything seems evenly distributed.  Drop your dough on top of your cherry filling in 6 spoonfuls, then bake at 400 for 18–20 minutes, or until your dough is a pretty, light brown.

I doubled the recipe for my test cobbler, so I could take it to work.  It looks like this:

What is good about the way the dough sort of biscuits up is that it is easy to get a nice scoop of crust and an equal amount of filling.  Makes serving sizes easy to determine, and makes it that much easier to plate for your desserts.  What is delicious is the way the dough flavor marries up with the cherries.

You’ll want to serve it a la mode.  I prefer Blue Bell Vanilla Bean.

Looks like this.


Tastes like this.



Posted in Chef Lane, Food, Uncategorized

Chef Lane: Sunday Morning Floor Picnic Sandwich

I loaded these pictures from my phone, so this will be a Backwards Recipe Post

This is a real winner because Thor asked for two of these breakfast sandwiches, and it took under 15 minutes to make.  Pre-heating your oven to cook the biscuits is what takes the longest.  It is also a winner because you can pre-make the egg patties and refrigerate or freeze them, then warm them up when you’re ready to eat.

Thor, enjoying his Sunday Morning Picnic breakfast sandwich. The second one.
The finished breakfast sandwich. This one has just a tiny amount of bacon on it because I miscalculated how much of the bacon I could eat before making the sandwiches. Oops! Mmm, bacon.
This is what your little egg patties will look like when they come out of the microwave.
Fill your microwavable egg poaching dish about 1/4 way full with your Egg Beaters, or whatever liquid egg you prefer. Top with a pinch of the cheese of your choice. We like sharp cheddar.  You could crumble your COOKED bacon (sausage/tofurkey/whatever) into this mix and have your meat cooked into your egg patty for convenience.  Thor doesn’t like his food mixed, so I didn’t do that here.
Want an easy breakfast sandwich? Here’s one! You will need liquid eggs, cheese, bacon (or sausage, or tofurkey, or whatever), canned biscuits, and a microwavable egg poaching dish, or some small, circle shaped thing you can throw in the microwave.  Get your bacon and biscuits cooking, then–er, scroll back up to see what to do?
Posted in Chef Lane

Icing on the Cake

You all know that I adore Julie Anne Rhodes, and give her a lot of the credit for my new kitchen confidence.  You might not know that I write for her blog now and then.

This week, I wrote about the work that went into creating Thor’s 7th birthday cake.  All the practice cakes, the fondant messes, and the little lessons I learned in my quest for something that looked better than the cake I made for his 1st birthday.

The cake Julie Anne made for her daughter’s 4th birthday.

I also made a couple of silly videos to show how to roll fondant icing (because it took me a LOT of trial and error), and cover a cake with fondant icing (see previous parenthetical.)  Those are found here:

and here:

If I can do this, YOU can do this. 

Meanwhile, check out Julie Anne’s website, and seriously consider membership.  I have gotten a lot of miles out of my mine!

Posted in Chef Lane, Food, movies, Reviews

3 Breasts: A recipe and a review

I used 3 chicken breasts (on the bone with rib meat) and made 4 different meals.  To cook the meat, I warmed EVOO in a stewer over medium heat with 2 Tbs of garlic paste, and 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.  When that was warm, I browned the breasts, skin side down, then added water to cover.  To that, I added 2 Knorr chicken flavor cubes, sea salt and a variety of herbs that smelled nice.  I brought that to a boil, then simmered for 45 minutes

I shredded the meat of all 3 breasts, added about 1/4 of it back to the broth with a cup of carrots, a cup of cauliflower and 1 1/2 cups of lentils to make soup (cooked for another 20 minutes before adding the chicken back in.)  With the next 1/4, I made shredded chicken tacos with fresh, homemade salsa, and used the final 1/2 for a plain chicken meal for Thor, and shredded chicken sandwiches for dinner.

To make the salsa, coarsely chop 2 large tomatoes, and finely chop 1 banana pepper, 1 small jalapeno, 1 small onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and juice 2 limes.  Put the peppers, onion and garlic in a strainer and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them and let drain well.  This softens them and brings out some flavor.  Mix everything together with salt and chili powder to taste, then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

For shredded chicken sandwiches, mound the cold, shredded chicken on foil and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, then broil until cheese is bubbly.  Serve on hamburger buns with horseradish sauce.  Tasty!


B and I went to see Total Recall last week.  While the 3-Breasted Hooker made it back into the film, the bomb-mask (my favorite thing from the original, other than Arnold’s accent) did not.

I didn’t have high hopes for the film, so I wasn’t disappointed when it wasn’t great.  I was surprised at what was the whole trouble, though.  First, Collin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale were very good in their roles.  Farrell was believable as an Everyman who might be a revolutionary.  Beckinsale was the perfect sociopath.  Both are very easy on the eyes, and stood out against the perfectly dystopian backdrop.  Their chemistry was right on target.  They reminded me a bit of Pitt and Jolie as Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

The first quarter of the film was promising, though I did lean over to ask B why everyone spoke in an American accent if the only places left on earth were the UK and Australia, and why everyone other than the main characters were Asian.  That was a startling defect.  How can the whole of the world be Asian, but the only people important to the plot be white, pretty people?

But I could suspend my disbelief.  The action was good, the gadgets were cool, and I could get behind Rekal as a possibly safe, possibly sinister place.  Then, something horrible happened.  Jessica Biel.

Biel has gorgeous hair, beautiful skin, and has an amazing figure.  She cannot act.  Period.  Every scene she was in was diminished by her presence.  I wish I could be nicer about that, but it’s sad and true.  She brought absolutely nothing to the role other than pretty hair, and really just served the purpose of making me think, “Dang…I never realized Kate Beckinsale could act.”  Listen, Beckinsale playing dead was better than Biel playing anything.

Brian Cranston was woefully miscast, as was his wig.  Bill Nighy was wasted in his role.  He should have had Cranston’s part.

Overall, I had a fine time.  It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen (The Messenger), and it wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen (you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.)  It was all right.  The bad did outweigh the good, so I only give it 2.75 out of 5 stars.