handful of hemp seedsHemp seeds, which are full of all kinds of good stuff for the body, are finding their place on the shelves of many grocery stores. Look around the next time you’re shopping; you’re bound to find them. Once you discover them, take the next leap and actually try them. They’re wonderful, little, nutty things.

Ok, before we get any further, I’ll answer a question that’s probably on your mind. “Yes, hemp seeds are related to marijuana.” They’re like cousins, but hemp comes from a completely different part of the plant and has no drug value.

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Poached salmon with herb and caper vinaigrette

Serves: 4 

PointsPlus® values per serving: 8


2 lemons, one cut into slices, the other one cut into wedges

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, stems reserved

2 Tbsp., chopped tarragon, stems reserved

1 large shallot, minced

½ cup der white wine

½ cup water

4-4 oz., salmon filet, skinless

2 tbs. capers, chopped

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Arrange lemon slices in a single layer across bottom of a 12 inch skillet. Add herb stems and 2 tbs. of shallots. Add wine and water to the skillet. Place salmon filets in skillet, skinned side down, on top of lemon slices. Set pan over high heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until sides are opaque but center is still translucent. (This is for a medium rare salmon. It will take about 10-15 minutes. )Transfer salmon with lemon slices to a platter.

Cook down liquid until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 Tbsp.  Combine chopped herbs, remaining shallot, capers, oil, and honey in a medium bowl. Strain the reduced cooking liquid and add it to the bowl. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Serve salmon individually with a spoon of vinaigrette on the top. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe by Chef Isabella.

Show Your Cast Iron Skillet Some TLC

Show Your Cast Iron Skillet Some TLC.Before I get into the TLC part, I just want you to know that I believe that everyone should own a cast iron skillet. I’m such a believer that I proudly own two; a large one that I purchased and a smaller, cute one that belonged to my husband’s grandma. These pans can so durable that the can last almost forever, if you take good care of it. This is why so many are passed along from generation to generation.

You can cook, fry, sear and bake everything, and I mean everything in your pan. I’m talking vegetables, meat, fish, pancakes, and  corn bread. And these are just some examples! No matter what you put in it, keep in mind that because of the iron, it will heat unevenly.  You can help the cooking process by moving the skillet around the burner to assure that you’re getting most of the inside of the pan hot. In no time, you’ll get the hang of it.

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The Poor Artichoke: Shunned, Dissed & So Misunderstood! (by Chef Isabella)


My heart aches for the artichoke. This edible thistle plant is shunned, dissed and misunderstand.  I get it. Besides being a little on the ugly-side, a lot of people push their carts right past them in the produce section for two other reasons: 1) they don’t know how to clean and prep them and 2) they don’t know how to prepare or use them. If you’re one that strolls on by with your nose in the air,  quit hating! You’ll thank me!

First off, purchase some. (easy enough, right?

Secondly, once you get them home, prep them. With a sharp knife, begin by cutting the a good bit of the end off (not the stem). Then trim off the first couple of layers of leaves because they’re just way too tough to eat. Continue reading