Smoky Hickory and Brown Sugar Cured Salmon

This salmon is quick cured first to draw our extra moisture, then hot smoked over hickory wood for a firmer texture. Morton’s Tender Quick is a curing mixture available in the spice section of the grocery store.

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Morton’s Tender quick
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 ounce salmon fillets, skin left on or off

Combine the brown sugar, Old Bay, Tender Quick, and pepper in a small bowl and blend well.

Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Cover the fillets evenly on both sides with the brown sugar mixture and pack them in a large nonreactive baking dish, covering them with any remaining sugar mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and let cure, or marinate, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Prepare an indirect fire. When it’s ready, throw on 1.5 cups of hickory chips. Place the fillets on the pit, cover, and cook until the fish flakes easily, 40 to 60 minutes.



Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My friend Daria O’Toole made this recipe one night and I fell in love. Low carbs and healthy with amazing flavor I couldn’t resist to share it with all of you!

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb small cubed chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp low sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup cashews chopped
  • 1 head bibb lettuce or romaine
  1. Sautee chicken in coconut oil
  2. Add peanut butter, soy sauce and teriyaki to chicken
  3. Add onion and cashews
  4. Simmer all together for 5 minutes
  5. Garnish with broccoli slaw or crunchy veggies (carrots, cucumber, apple, etc).


Romaine, Arugula and Spinach Salad

This salad is a great starter or main course (add Chicken for extra protein). I topped it with several toppings, but you can add whatever toppings your heart desires. I threw this together today and it was superb.

  • 3-4 oz Spinach
  • 3-4 oz Arugula
  • 3-4 oz Romaine
  • 1-2 handfuls shredded Carrots
  • handful Walnuts, chopped
  • handful Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 Red Onion, sliced thin
  • 2-3 tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley, minced
  • 2-3 Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 Chicken Breast, cubed (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients and toss to mix. Add Parsley to Tomato’s and toss to cover. Add Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion, Green Onion, Walnuts and Sunflower Seeds. Add Chicken individually if needed to each bowl. Top with Balsamic Vinaigrette of your choice and serve. YUM!

Cucumber, Lemon and Mint Water

This yummy concoction reminds me of my good friend Ea. She use to make this right in her Brita pitcher. I fell in love with it in one sip. I always wanted to make this water and finally today I did. I added in some mint as I followed Kim Vallee’s recipe. I hope you enjoy the fresh taste of this water as much as I do. It’s such a great way to give your every day water a new fresh flavor. It will now be a staple drink in our home.

In order for the cucumber to fully release its juice, you need to prepare it the day before your intend to drink it.

  • 1 cucumber, sliced and unpeeled + 6-7 cucumber slices for decoration
  • 1 1/2 to 2 liters of water
  • 3 mint sprigs + 2 mint sprigs for decoration
  • Half a lemon, sliced and unpeeled
  • Ice cubes
  1. In a pitcher, mix the water, cucumber, 3 mint sprigs and lemon. Let it rest on the fridge for 24 hours. If you prepare the water at the last minute, cut the first cucumber in three or four pieces. Then, squeeze the cucumber pieces to release all the juice.
  2. Before serving remove the cucumber slices used to flavor the water. Then stir with a wooden spoon, add some ice cubes, 6 or 7 fresh cucumber slices and the remaining 2 mint sprigs. Enjoy this refreshing drink.

Cucumber water improves the taste of tap water. Spa experts already experience the benefits of cucumber water for improving the look of your skin. On top of it, this drink is simple to make at home.

Mushroom-Barley Soup

I made this for the first time today and it was delicious! This soup reminds me of my good friend Sabrina Daisley who would make a similar soup that I adored. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups sliced celery
  • 1.5 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion
  • 1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium, fat-free vegetable broth or beef broth
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot melt butter over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onion; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in broth, 1 cup water, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste; bring to boiling. Stir in barley. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in parsley, and serve.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

These biscuits are AMAZING and are made every year at Thanksgiving. It has been a Lumsden family tradition for many years. A must try recipe, they are wonderful!

Heat oven to 450°

Mix together in small bowl

  • 3/4 c mashed sweet potato
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 4 tbsp melted butter (1/2 stick)

 In separate larger bowl 

  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir. Blend to a soft dough. Lay out on floured surface and pat to about 1″ thick. Use floured  cookie cutter or glass to  cut into 2″ circles. Put on greased cookie sheet. Cook in 450° oven for 15 minutes. Top with melted butter, if desired.

You could use potato flour, or other flour instead of wheat flour if you would like a gluten-free variety. In the past I often wanted to use much more sweet potato than called for. I found it made a really heavy biscuit when I did. Also, biscuits are best when not overly mixed- so don’t spend a lot of time kneading it. The little pockets of butter not totally incorporated into the flour are what give it a lighter touch.

Spinach & Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Toasted Almonds

This recipe is so delicious! I had a similar salad at one of my friends baby showers recently and fell in love with it. So I went to find something similar online today and found a recipe that came out of the Cooking Light  April 2010 issue. It can either be a starter salad or main dish. I use it for both (main dish for lunch and starter salad for dinner). The herb vinaigrette dressing is very tasty!  I made some minor modifications to this recipe which I’ll note as optional below.

Spinach & Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Toasted Almonds

  • 1.5 cups quartered strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Easy Herb Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint (optional – I didn’t have this so I used a little dry mint in the dressing)
  • 1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (6 oz) package of Arugula (optional – I added this as I like arugula)
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to coat (only add a little of the vinaigrette, 1-2 tbsp, as the lettuce will wilt). Sprinkle with almonds and pepper; serve immediately.

Easy Herb Vinaigrette

This recipe makes plenty of dressing to keep on hand.  It’s just plain tasty.

  • 9 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp wildflower honey
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh chives
  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; slowly whisk in oil until combined. Stir in basil and chives. I puréed it so I could keep it in a dressing container but you don’t have to. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 5 days.