It’s a blustery day here!

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So, it seems our Chicago friends are all under snow right now. You all are so lucky. We had an ice storm last night that covered everything. The trees had an inch of ice on each branch. The driveway was a complete sheet of ice (unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of Michael taking the sled and going down the driveway. It was quite funny). Even our dish was covered, which meant my TV went out a few times. Yes, of course I tried to get my dear husband to go out there and fix it. Which, God bless him, he did try (ladder on ice, not a good combo…trying to spray hot water on the dish).

Today, all is well except for some wind (and an icy driveway). It’s TJ’s birthday (the DOG). Kids were sad that I didn’t plan any special baking or treats for her, but she is just lucky that we have let her live here for 5 years, haha! Especially since even this morning she was naughty, and chewed a hole in Alyssa’s coat. Apparantly there was a little leftover bite of granola bar. Dumb dog.

Last night we had a delicious dinner. I made some blackened salmon and some pico de gallo rice pilaf. It was delish! Here are the recipes if you are interested:
Yield: serves 6

Blackened Salmon with Pico de gallo rice pilaf

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

for the salmon:

  • 2 lb salmon fillet (or 4-5 individual salmon steaks/fillets)
  • 2 Tbsp smoky paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup butter, melted

for the rice pilaf:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup white rice (not instant)
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, seeded
  • handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • salt

Instructions

for the salmon:

  1. In a small bowl, mix seasonings. Brush salmon with butter and sprinkle evenly with seasoning. Because I leave the skin on I only do one side, but if you remove the skin you can certainly do this to both sides. In a large skillet (that can go under the broiler...I use stainless steel), cook salmon butter side down (skin side up) for about 3 minutes over high heat.
  2. Flip and put under broiler for an additional 7-10 minutes, until fish is easily flaked with a fork. You may need to adjust times depending on the thickness of your salmon, enjoy!

for the rice pilaf:

  1. Heat olive oil in sauce pot over medium heat. Add orzo and toast until golden. Stir in rice and broth, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. In small bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Season with salt to taste. When rice is cooked, fluff with fork and stir in tomato salsa. Serve and enjoy!

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