Be Bold for Change & Shrimp Curry with Spinach

International Women’s Day is tomorrow. Although it has been around for more than a century, IWD is not particularly well known in the United States. I doubt you’ll find a large stock of cards to choose from at the Colonial Pharmacy or even your favorite gift shop. However, after the historic Women’s March in January, there might be a bit more interest and excitement this year.

So what’s it all about? A National Women’s Day was declared in the early days of the last century to honor the Garment Workers’ Strike of 1908. It quickly went international. From Armenia and Azerbaijan to Chile, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Romania, Zambia and more, people around the world observe International Women’s Day on March 8. It is a day to celebrate women’s achievement s and push for gender equality.

How can you, should you celebrate International Women’s Day? Be bold, be bold for change. IWD is a call to action to help make a better working world, a gender equal world. Think of it as an opportunity to commit yourself to change. Overwhelmed? Don’t be; it’s okay to take one simple step. And please, don’t be shy. Feel free to declare what you will do to help accelerate gender parity in your home, in your state or across the world.

The leaders of the Women’s March have suggested that, if they can, women should take the day off from work. More than forty years ago, the women of Iceland went on one-day strike and it changed the course of history. They skipped the office as well as the never-ending pile of laundry, cooking and childcare. They took to the streets for a massive demonstration and brought the country to a standstill. Schools, shops and offices closed. The businesses that remained open were bedlam with harried fathers trying to get some work done and keep their children entertained.

Next, women can exercise their economic power and stay out of the stores. Women drive seventy to eighty percent of all buying decisions in the United States. Decide to buy nothing on March 8. If you feel you can’t possible stay out of the shops for even one day, stick to small, local women- or minority-owned businesses.

And finally, you can put your pink hat away. The color of International Women’s Day is red. There may not be a march up Main Street in your town or mine. However, when you stroll into the local bookstore or visit a friend in the hospital, your red sweater will show your support.

Don’t forget to celebrate. Read a book by your favorite woman author, visit the Soo Sunny Park exhibition at the Currier Museum or see the stars at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. International Women’s Day is a time to honor women and feel inspired by their long list of social, economic, cultural and political achievements.

Be bold, celebrate and bon appétit!

Shrimp Curry with Spinach
Perhaps you will end your day with a gathering of friends to celebrate your own accomplishments, friendship and solidarity. Enjoy!
Serves 6

About 1/4 cup your favorite curry paste*
Olive oil
1/2 onion, cut in thin wedges
1 carrot, cut in small dice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/2-1 cup shrimp or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1 1/2-2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
8-10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro

Heat the curry paste in a saucepan over medium high. If the paste is stiff, add a little olive oil. Add the onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper and stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté 2 minutes more.

Stir in the coconut milk and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Can be made ahead to this point. Cool the sauce to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.

While the sauce simmers, cook the rice. Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook for 15 minutes. Drain the rice and return it to the pot. Stir in the butter, cover and let the rice sit for 10 minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a large skillet and raise the heat to high. When the sauce is bubbling, add the shrimp and toss to coat. Add the spinach in handfuls and toss to coat and wilt. Continue tossing until the shrimp are pink and all the spinach has wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime zest and juice.

To serve: spoon the rice into shallow bowls, top with shrimp and spinach and generously sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

* Curry paste combines many different and all wonderful spices. You can make your own or find a jar in specialty food stores and some large supermarkets. Look for curry paste NOT curry sauce. You don’t want to overpower the shrimp so start with a mild paste and continue experimenting from there.

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One Year Ago – Mini Tarte Tatin
Two Years Ago – Rainbow Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette
Three Years Ago – Potato & Cheddar Soup
Four Years Ago – Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Five Years Ago – Guinness Lamb Shanks
Six Years Ago – Strip Steak with Gorgonzola Sauce
Seven Years Ago – White Bean Dip
Eight Years Ago – Warm Chocolate Pudding

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What about you? Now that the seasons are changing, how will you spend time outside? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Valentine’s Day DOs and DON’Ts & Scrod Florentine

Valentine’s Day is the most wonderful, romantic day of the year.hearts Alright, maybe from where you’re sitting, it’s just another Hallmark holiday … or worse a painful reminder of a relationship gone bad. Whether you are ready to embrace or shrug off the day, here are a few DOs and DON’Ts.

Like it or not, if you are a woman, your enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day is tenfold that of your sweetheart. Yes, there are exceptions but for most women, a big romantic gesture is not going to happen. DON’T go out and buy every vase you can find. Unless you are dating a billionaire (and you’re in a movie), you probably won’t be receiving 200 dozen roses. Same goes for packing a suitcase for a surprise trip to Paris; it’s probably not going to happen.

Even with this reset to your expectations, you can have a lovely Valentine’s Day, romantic even. DO get dressed up, DO enjoy a fabulous meal and DO drink champagne. DO insist that your sweetheart do the same.

By all means, remember Valentine’s Day deserves a special venue. Unless there is some delightfully romantic story involved, DON’T pick up dinner at the drive-thru. At the very least, there should be a candle and flowers on the table and a waiter to take your order.

Or forget the restaurant, cooking together can inspire all sorts of passion. DO know your limits; it’s not the night to make your very first beef wellington. DO choose a menu of foods you both love and can have fun with it. Turn on the music, pour some champagne and cook up some magic.

Think outside the box for your romantic gift. Instead of a dozen red roses or a box of chocolates, DO give her an armful of tulips or give him a dozen of his absolute favorite bagels. DON’T give any grown man or woman a giant teddy bear or a star. You have each other to cuddle, you don’t need a giant stuffed animal. As for the star-thing, sorry but that’s more or less a hoax.

Think outside the box for your amorous celebration. DO go on a hike and share a delicious picnic afterwards … or go ice-skating (preferably in Central Park!) or rent an amazing sports car, channel Grace Kelly and Cary Grant and go for a long drive.

If there is no Mr. Wonderful in your life right now, DON’T go and get all depressed. DON’T go and eat a pound of chocolate all by yourself. Instead, DO indulge with your girlfriends. DO girly things like spa treatments, mani-pedis or a chick flick marathon … and DO drink champagne.

However, DON’T drink too much champagne. It’s not a night to drive by an ex’s house six or seven time. DON’T stalk him on Facebook, text him incessantly or call him – even if you hang up before he answers. Remember, he has caller ID; everyone has caller ID so don’t call his new girlfriend either.

If you go out on the town with your girlfriends, DON’T reserve a table at the most romantic bistro in town. DON’T surround yourselves with cooing lovebirds. Instead of one lone sobbing and/or cursing woman at home, you’ll have with a tableful of sobbing and/or cursing women. Although I think I’d prefer karaoke, a sports bar might work. You might even find a new Mr. Wonderful.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day! Bon appétit!

Baked Scrod Florentine
Baked Scrod Florentine is one of those wonderfully flexible dishes – you can make it for two or for a dozen or more. Enjoy!scrod_florentine_04

Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Dry white wine

Per portion:
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
About 4 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1-2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1-2 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pinch thyme
5-6 ounces fresh scrod

Garnish: lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Depending on how many portions you are preparing, butter a baking dish, ovenproof skillet or baking sheet.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Remove from the heat, add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Put the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a bowl, season with thyme, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add a little olive oil, enough to lightly coat the breadcrumbs,and toss again.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and place the portions in the prepared pan. Drizzle with a little white wine. Top each piece of fish with spinach and sprinkle with the cheesy breadcrumbs.

Bake the scrod at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. The fish should be flaky but not dry.

Remove from oven, transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve immediately with a lemon wedge.

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One Year Ago – Lemon Risotto with Spinach & Herbs
Two Years Ago – Black Bean & Beef Chili
Three Years Ago – Coq au Vin
Four Years Ago – Crostini with Beef Tenderloin & Stilton
Five Years Ago – Flatbread with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Spinach
Six Years Ago – Lemon Cheesecake
Seven Years Ago – Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms
Eight Years Ago – Raviolis in Broth with Meatballs & Escarole
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What about you? How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Feast of Fishes Special

Christmas_MantleFrom Stockholm to Sicily and New England’s rocky shores, seafood is a Christmas Eve tradition. It is also a delicious choice anytime during the holidays. If you have family flying in this weekend or just want to get together with friends, think seafood.

Start the evening with salmon. Who would not love a thin slice of Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce. No time; then try my Smoked Salmon Mousse. it comes together in minutes.

When you are ready to sit down, enjoy a colorful salad. Toss together colorful reds and greens for my Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad or Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula Salad.

For the main course, why not toss together my delicious Garlicy Shrimp with Tomatoes & Olives. It comes together in minutes. If you’d like to go all out and New England to boot, then you should stir up a batch of my Lobster-Corn Chowder.

You’ll want to end the evening with something sweet. If you are thinking creamy delicious, then try my White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle or Maple Mousse with Apple Compote. Then again, when was the last time you had a really good brownie? Not just any brownie … an over the top, no holds barred brownie. If it’s been a while, give my Espresso Brownies a try.

Happy holidays and bon appétit!

… by the way … if you are looking for a Feast of the Seven Fishes Menu, search no further.

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going.

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2016

What NOT to Give this (or any) Christmas & Garlicy Shrimp with Tomatoes & Olives

santa_sleigh_presentsIf you have finished all of your Christmas shopping, well then today’s post is not for you. However, if you have a long list of friends and relatives that you still need TO buy for – well, read on. Unfortunately, I’m not up on the latest and greatest, so, I can’t tell you what to buy for your spouse, your mom and dad or your best friend. However, I can make a few suggestions of what NOT to give to more or less anyone.

Fruitcake. A perennial non-favorite, fruitcake is THE what-not-to-give gift. The world’s most popular re-gift, this sticky-sweet cake is an acquired taste; one that few acquire. I’m guessing that hundreds, even thousands, of re-gifted fruitcakes have been bouncing from one house to the next for decades.

Socks and underwear. Forget coal, socks and underwear are what bad little girls and boys find in their stocking on Christmas morning.

Appliances. Unless you are ready to sleep in the garage for the next month or two, never, ever give your spouse a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. Same goes for a dish washer or washing machine.

Exercise equipment. Buying a loved one exercise equipment is a sort of like hesitating before answering the question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” The same holds true for a gym membership, a diet book or, heaven forbid, a scale.

The obvious re-gift. Re-gifting is somewhat controversial. While few admit, many do it. Controversy aside, there are re-gifts and, then, there are re-gifts. If your initials are monogrammed on the cuff, don’t re-gift that shirt. Yes, even if it makes your skin look sallow. Keep it for a Halloween costume or donate it to Goodwill.

Now, are there exceptions to any of these rules? Of course, there are always exceptions. Well, make that usually exceptions. I can’t think of a soul who is pining for a fruitcake. As for that canvas bag with your initials? Sorry, throw it in the truck of the car. Orange may not be your color but it will be great for grocery shopping.

Anyway, back to exceptions. You can break the socks and underwear rule if your gift is beyond special. The key to socks is finding pairs that your friends would never buy for themselves. Simple black, navy and brown or athletic socks are not for gifting. Colorful rainbows, alligators and pink flamingos work for me. Nor should you give a three-pack of tidy-whities to your sweetheart. Think lingerie, silk and sexy. (But make sure you get the right size. Otherwise, you could be sleeping in the garage until Valentine’s Day.)

While a vacuum cleaner never works, a young foodie who is assembling her first kitchen will be delighted with a gourmet gadget or fancy cookware. Think food processors, stand mixers and pasta makers. Or one of those fabulous French cast-iron pots.

Although they make great clothes racks, forget the treadmill or stationary bike. However, it may be okay to give the kids the latest athletic status symbols. Or maybe not. If one of the kids on your list failed the bean bag toss and has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, well, you might want to think again.

Happy shopping and bon appétit!

Garlicy Shrimp with Tomatoes & Olives
This quick dish is perfect for the busy holiday season (and that fabulous French cast-iron casserole). Enjoy!

Serves 8 for dinner & 12-16 as a small plate, tapas or appetizer

Olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch or to taste red pepper flakes
About 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes*, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
About 2 pounds extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
About 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
8 slices thick cut ciabatta or country bread, toasted

Coat a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and sauté until they begin to bubble. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about 1/3.

While the tomatoes simmer, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium high, add the shrimp and toss to combine. Cook the shrimp, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until pink.

Transfer the shrimp to individual shallow bowls.

Add the olives, capers and butter to the skillet and toss to combine. Stirring frequently, cook the sauce for about 2 minutes.

Spoon the sauce over the shrimp, sprinkle with chopped basil and parsley and serve immediately with a slice of toasted ciabatta or country bread to soak up the sauce.

* You can use regular tomatoes but I find that the ones in my grocery store have little taste during the winter months. If you use regular tomatoes, seed and chop.

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One Year Ago – Wild Rice Pilaf with Roasted Mushrooms & Kale
Two Years Ago – Maple-Nut Sundaes
Three Years Ago – Rosemary Cashews
Four Years Ago – Greek Stuffed Mushrooms
Five Years Ago – Ginger Crème Brûlée
Six Years Ago – Aunt Anna’s Pecan Pie
Seven Years Ago – White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle
Eight Years Ago – Chicken with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Penne
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What about you? How do you get in the holiday spirit? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

It’s Not Fall Yet Weekend Special

Pleasant Lake cloudsIt’s not fall yet! If you can; say this phrase in a somewhat squeaky English accent, à la Monty Python. Think Holy Grail and the plague when you say it. And then, get on the phone or email and contact your best buds for some weekend fun.

No matter how you spend the day, plan for some quality grilling time for the evening. Here are some suggestions for a Not Fall Yet cookout:

Start with a delicious appetizer. Okay, maybe two … Unfortunately, they need a week to marinate in the vinegar and spice – otherwise, I’d recommend my Dilly Beans. They won’t be ready for a week or two but please, do yourself a favor, make up a big batch to enjoy next weekend and throughout the fall. For this weekend, how about some savory, cheesy shortbread. It’s the perfect time to try my Savory Parmesan Shortbread with Tomato Jam and/or Gorgonzola & Walnut Shortbread with Savory Fig Jam.

Next, how about a great salad … I can’t get enough corn or tomatoes these days. How about you? If you agree, give my Corn, Tomato & Arugula Salad or Heirloom Tomato Salad with Grilled Corn, Cucumber & Feta a try.

And for the main course … Grilled seafood sounds delicious. Think Grilled Salmon, Scallops or Shrimp with Lemon-Herb Quinoa Salad.

And finally, for dessert … chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate … You can’t go wrong with my Double Trouble Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes. Unless you’d rather go nuts with my Chocolate-Peanut Butter Tart. Or finally, for the quick and easiest dessert ever, enjoy my Pot de Crème.

Have a wonderful weekend and bon appétit!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2016

Romance & a Bench Seat & Grilled Shrimp & Vegetable Salad

What’s happened to romance? Well, for starters, we text instead of talk. Forget “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Today’s lovers share emoji and shorthand. Call me boring or old fashioned but ?♥U 123 lacks the intimacy of Mrs. Browning’s verse.

Next, when things get serious, we go overboard, often in very public ways. Hopeful husbands-to-be enlist all of their friends and family, hire the local high school band and a film crew to help them pop the question. Sure, these flash mob proposals are fun to watch. However, no matter how clever, the resulting video doesn’t have Lizzie BB’s soulful passion. Even if it does go viral.

If you want something or someone to blame for the sad state of romance, blame Detroit. That’s what I’m doing, Sure, the automobile industry has had and continues to have its troubles. Between the dull designs, gas guzzling engines and the faulty ignition switches, it’s not been easy. In time, the American public will probably forgive all. However, my sympathetic nature can only be stretched so far. There are some things beyond acceptance and killing off romance is one of them.

So how did Motor City start the death knell for romance?1962_land_rover

It all comes down to bucket seats. Yes, bucket seats. It dawned on me the other day while I was idling at a stoplight. In the old days, cars had bench seats. They were perfect for holding hands and watching the moon rise over the mountain. They were also perfect for smooching. Sure, bucket seats are comfy but between the gearshift, emergency brake and cup holders, you can’t even play footsie with your passenger. Attempting a hug could turn you into a pretzel or pull your back out.

If you are too young to remember kissing in the front seat of your father’s sedan or mother’s station wagon then it’s possible you were conceived on it. Those big benches weren’t just good for transporting a pile of kids; they helped make a few as well.

Although bucket seats originated in Europe, the last car I remember driving with a bench seat was a 1962 Land Rover. Although not an antique, it was close to ancient when it showed up in our driveway. Its top speed hovered around 40 mph, the brakes failed regularly and the heater barely worked. All those things were secondary. The Land Rover took me to work and everywhere else the summer between high school and college. Although noisy and a bumpy ride, it was a bit of a man magnet. I was never very sure if that summer’s love interest was more intrigued with the car or me.

Since the boyfriend’s vintage MG was in a thousand pieces on the floor of a nearby barn, the Land Rover was our ride for the summer. The bench seat was perfect for goodnight kisses. At least a couple of times, the evening farewell lasted long enough to arouse the suspicions of a patrolling police officer. No arrests were made so don’t go looking through old police reports.

As often happens, the romance cooled by Labor Day. The boyfriend and I headed off to our respective schools. Dad got tired of repairing the Land Rover’s brakes and sold it. As for the police patrols, I’m guessing they found plenty of other steamy windows to knock on.

Here’s to summer romance, bench seats and bon appétit!

Grilled Shrimp & Vegetable Salad with Salsa Verde
So what if you don’t have a nice, big bench seat in your car. You can always find a quiet spot for a romantic picnic and stargazing. Enjoy!
Serves 2 with leftover veggies and Salsa Verde

3 cloves garlic, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sriracha to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh oregano, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons dry white wine
Olive oil
8-12 ounces extra-jumbo (16-20 per pound) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
1-2 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1-2 thick slices red onion
1 red bell pepper
2 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes
4-5 Kalamata olives, quartered
1 tablespoon capers, drained

Make the Salsa Verde: Put 2 cloves minced garlic, the juice of 1/2 lemon, vinegar and 1-2 drops sriracha in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the lemon zest, scallions and herbs and whisk again. Set aside.

Preheat the grill to high.

Put the remaining lemon juice, garlic, 1-2 drops sriracha, the white wine and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with herbs de Provence, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Tossing 2-3 times, marinate the shrimp for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the vegetables with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables until tender or tender-crisp, about 3 minutes per side for the eggplant and pepper and about 2 minutes per side for the zucchini and onion.

Thread the shrimp on to the skewers and grill, turning once, until just opaque, 1-2 minutes per side.

To serve: roughly chop the vegetables and spoon onto individual plates, top with shrimp, sprinkle with olives and capers and drizzle with a little salsa verde. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Everything can be made ahead, covered and stored separately in the in the refrigerator.
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One Year Ago – Fresh Berries with Creamy Lime Custard
Two Years Ago – Grilled Tomato Crostini
Three Years Ago – Strawberries with Yogurt Cream
Four Years Ago – Watermelon & Feta Salad
Five Years Ago – Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Basil Aioli
Six Years Ago – Mediterranean Shrimp
Seven Years Ago – Grilled Hoisin Pork

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How will you celebrate the long holiday weekendt? Feel free to share.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

A Different Kind of Celebration & Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Herb Quinoa Salad

Alzheimers Assoc BraceletsLast week I wrote about some of the fun and funny holidays that keep us busy celebrating in June. This week, I’d like to share something a bit more serious. Along with days to commemorate ice cream, yo-yo’s and donuts, June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

This tribute is particularly important in the Nye family; my mother has Alzheimer’s disease, as did her father. We are not alone. My mother is just one of the more than 5 million Americans with this disease. Even more worrisome, that number is expected to grow forty percent in the next ten years.

From our first wails in the delivery room, we baby boomers have fueled everything from hula-hoop sales to suburban sprawl and technology breakthroughs. The first of the boomers hit sixty-five in 2011 and the explosion of potential AARP members won’t begin to slow down for another fifteen years. Fueled by aging baby boomers, the number could jump to 7 million by 2025. Barring medical breakthrough, almost 14 million could suffer from Alzheimer’s by 2050.

In spite of the already big numbers and astounding projected growth, Alzheimer’s research is seriously underfunded. Alzheimer’s may rank sixth for cause of death in the United States but it falls way down to number fifty-one in federal research funding. Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top ten causes of death in the United Sates that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

At just under $600 million, research funding may be relatively low but costs of care are skyrocketing. Direct costs of care for Alzheimer’s patients in the United States are an estimated $226 billion, yes billion, for 2015. Half of those costs are borne by an increasingly burdened Medicare system. The patients and their families bear the remainder. This figure does not include the almost 18 billion, yes again, that’s billion with a b, hours of unpaid care which family and friends provide loved ones.

The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people across the country to join forces on June 21st and raise money to fight Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the longest day of the year so we’ll have plenty of time to complete our efforts. I’ll be cooking up a feast and inviting friends and family to make a donation and then join me for some good food and a glass of wine. Together, we will celebrate friendship and my mother’s unflagging optimism in the face of this awful disease. The 21st is also Father’s Day so I’ve corralled my dad into helping out. You can learn more about my longest day event on my website.

Alzheimer’s disease is different for everyone and every family. Progression can move at a snail’s pace or frightfully fast. Although we are not exactly sure when it began, Mom has been on her Alzheimer’s journey for probably twenty years. Along the way, this progressive brain disorder has stolen much of her memory. She can no longer complete simple tasks or sentences. That said, even as she struggles in severe, late stage Alzheimer’s disease, Mom continues to amaze me with her enthusiasm for life, her fortitude and courage.

If someone you know has Alzheimer’s, I hope that you will support them and their caregivers on the longest day. If you are a patient or caregiver, please accept my hug.

Thank you and bon appétit!

Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Herb Quinoa Salad
Fish, along with leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and olive oil, is brain food. Be good to your brain and try this delicious summer dish. Enjoy!
Serves 4-6

Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons or to taste extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Put the lemon zest and juice in a large bowl, add the garlic and mustard, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk and slowly add the olive oil until well combined. Let the mixture sit at room temperature while you prepare the quinoa.

Put 1 1/4 cups water in a saucepan, add the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Add the quinoa to the lemon and olive oil and toss until well combined. Tossing several times, cool to room temperature. Add the nuts, herbs and scallions and toss again.

Can be made ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator for several hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Grilled Salmon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds salmon fillet, skin-on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the grill to high heat. Drizzle the salmon with lemon juice and olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the salmon, skin side up, on the grill. Depending on the thickness of the fish, grill for 5-6 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon with a wide spatula and grill for 3-5 minutes more or until cooked through but not dry. Transfer the fish to a cutting board, skin side down, and let the fish rest for 5 minutes before cutting into thick slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Can be made ahead, cooled to room temperature, covered and stored in the refrigerator for several hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

To serve: mound the quinoa on a large platter or individual plates and top with slices of salmon.

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One Year Ago – Chocolate-Peanut Butter Tart
Two Years Ago – Salsa Verde
Three Years Ago – Blueberry Crumb Cake
Four Years Ago – Peanut-Sesame Dipping Sauce
Five Years Ago – Strawberry Gelato
Six Years Ago – Asparagus Soup
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have a favorite healthy meal? Feel free to share. Let’s start a conversation.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015