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Roast Salmon with Tarragon

Roast Salmon with Tarragon

On our meal plan, Wednesday is our FMB night. This stands for fish, meatless, or breakfast. It is the day that has the most versatility. We love it, because it almost feels like a break from the rest of the week.

When we choose to do breakfast on these nights, our meals are usually super fast to put together. And our kids typically die over our breakfast options.

Other Wednesdays we choose to make something meatless. This is always a good option because it allows us to take a brake from all the meat! It is typically a light and easy meal. We like going this route after we have had heavy meals on Monday and Tuesday.

But with all that said, our favorite thing to serve on Wednesday's just may be fish. It is so fresh and delicious. The meal is devoured and you still feel light and refreshed. It is such a healthy way to eat!

One of our favorite fishes to cook has always been salmon. It is affordable and easy to find. A huge plus is that it is not crazy fishy, so most kids will even eat it. And there's so much you can do with it!

And now this leads us to tonights fish, roast salmon with tarragon. It is so scrumptious, and you won't believe how easy it is!

The only prep needed is to turn on the oven and get out a baking dish. Plus, it is in the oven for less than 20 minutes. It really is that simple!

Another huge perk of this dish is its limited ingredients. The olive oil, salt and pepper, and tarragon add so much flavor you don't need anything else. Even with fish being a little more pricy, you still end up with an affordable meal because it doesn't require much.

Roasting is such an easy, no-fuss method of preparing salmon. But be sure to remove the fillets from the oven before the centers are completely opaque. No one wants to eat dry fish!

We served it with our jasmine rice and roasted veggies. It turned out to be such a satisfying dinner! Other delicious things to serve it with are rice pilaf, packaged rice, broccoli, or french bread.


  • 4 Salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • French Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh or dried tarragon (optional)
  • White wine or lemon juice (for sprinkling on salmon)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Arrange the salmon in a baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the fish and season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the tarragon.

  3. Roast about 10 minutes, sprinkle with the wine or lemon juice, and continue roasting 8 mminutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffles
When I was a young Mother raising all those kids Waffles became one of my back up meals, along with Grilled Cheese or grilled Tuna Sandwiches, German Pancakes, Favorite Pancakes or Classic French Toast. These are the meals that I planned for often, but I also made sure to always these ingredients on hand, so I could easily throw them together! All great Meatless meals as well. On Birthday days each child woke up to Homemade Waffles with Vanilla Ice-Cream and Chocolate Sauce (Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce) drizzled over top the Ice-Cream and Waffle. The kids loved this tradition. I loved it too. I miss those days. Made with our 100 percent All Purpose White Kamut Flour they even taste more amazing. I go out for Waffles on occasion and I know of no restaurant that can beat my recipe made with 100 Kamut Flour. I actually love Breakfast for Dinner! I don’t feel guilty eating Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast or German Pancakes. I don’t like filling up in the morning because I love lunch! If I fill up in the morning I’m not hungry for lunch and end up eating too late in the afternoon. I eat a light lunch, so I will be hungry to cook dinner. If you’re not hungry to cook dinner everyone in the family suffers because you won’t cook!!! So that’s why I stick to what I know works for me. A light breakfast, light lunch, a snack in the afternoon and a nice dinner with a small portion of dessert. Dessert sometimes, not every night. I love my meal plan because it is so liberating! The Theme nights make it so much fun and give you such a variety of food that the entire family is looking forward to dinner!! And for the person who is preparing dinner it makes it even more interesting because it’s the variety that keeps you going!! Without my meal plan I could have never kept putting dinner on the table for all those years. Try our Waffles, with or without Buttermilk. I love our Bacon Waffles, and our Birthday Waffles. All these recipes are in my first book The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner on page 101. xoxo

Buttermilk Waffles

About 5 Waffles

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk (see note)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  1. Coat the waffle iron grids with cooking spray and preheat the iron according to the manufacture's instructions.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a square of wax paper (or mix in a bowl). set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork. whisk in the buttermilk and oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until the large lumps disappear. Fold in the egg whites.
  5. Pour 1 cup batter (or the amount recommended by your waffle iron's manufacture) evenly onto the preheated grid. Close the lid and bake until crisp and golden brown. following manufactures instructions. (Leftover batter can be stored in refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.)
  6. Serve with butter and syrup or other toppings as desired.
  7. Note: If you do not have buttermilk, make sour milk by measuring 2 tablepsoons of lemon juice or vinegar into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Add regular milk to make 2 1/4 cups. Stir. Let stand 5 minutes.
  8. Bacon Buttermilk Waffles: Fry 1/2 pound of bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain well on paper towels. Crumble the bacon and add to the waffle batter before adding the egg whites. Bake as usual. The bacon really dresses up the buttermilk waffles. I am famous for these. We have had wedding breakfasts and served these waffles right off the waffle iron (using more than one iron.)
  9. Basic Waffles: Substitute regular milk for the buttermilk, increase the baking powder to 1 tablespoon, and omit the baking soda.
  10. Happy Birthday Waffles: Explained above.

Jalapeno Cranberry Freezer Jam Spread

Jalapeno Cranberry Freezer Jam Spread

Jalapeno Cranberry Freezer Jam Spread

Serve with: Use on Turkey Sandwiches page 275 or Veggie Sandwiches page 283. Variation: Omit jalapeno; or, use more Jalapeno for more kick.

3 cups (about 1½ lbs.) fresh cranberries rinsed, ground

    3 cups apples (about 5 medium) any kind, cored, skins removed, ground

      2½ -3 Jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, ground

        1 1.75 oz. package Fruit Pectin (I use Sure Jell or MC)

          8½ cups sugar

            9-12 half pint containers, glass or plastic with lids

              Grind the fruit and peppers in a food processor to make 6 cups. Pour

              1. into a large pan, add the pectin, stir and bring to a boil.

              Add sugar, stirring well and bring to a full boil again. Pour the hot sauce

              1. in jars or plastic tubs. I have used both. Put the lids on and let sit out on
              2. the counter over night. Freeze. Will keep for months.




              WEDNESDAY FMB NIGHT Serves 4 Time: 35 minutes Plan Ahead: Make polenta the night before or in the morning. Have everything else chopped and ready to go when you prepare the sauce.


              • 4 cups water
              • 1 cup polenta corn meal
              • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan
              • cheese
              • 2 Tablespoons butter
              • Dash of coarse salt
              • 1 Tablespoons olive oil

              Mushroom Sauce:

              • 2 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
              • 1 Tablespoon celery with
              • leaves (chopped fine)
              • 1 Tablespoon leek (minced)
              • optional
              • ½ shallot (minced)
              • 6 white mushrooms (sliced)
              • ¼ cup white wine (or apple)
              • juice
              • ½ teaspoon beef bouillon cube
              • for flavor
              • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
              • cheese
              • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy
              • cream
              • Coarse salt
              • Fresh ground black pepper
              1. In a medium size saucepan bring 4 cups water to a boil and put in 1 cup polenta corn meal. Stir. Turn the heat down to low and continue cooking and stirring for about 4 to 5 min. until thick. Add Parmesan cheese, butter and a dash of salt. Stir well.

              2. Lightly brush olive oil on the bottom of a Jelly Roll pan 17 x 11. Pour the hot polenta out onto baking sheet and even it out with a spoon. Let it sit on the counter until the steam goes away. When the steam is gone place the polenta in the refrigerator for 15 min. or until it is firm.

              3. Use a 2½ inch biscuit cutter to cut polenta into shapes. (I use a round biscuit cutter). Freeze any leftovers in a plastic bag.

              4. In a large frying pan or a grill pan, fry 4 pieces of polenta at a time in 1½ Tablespoons olive oil. Sauté on both sides until warmed through. Continue frying adding more olive oil as needed. Set aside on a plate. Cover and keep warm. While the polenta is sautéing make the mushroom sauce:

              5. In a pan over medium heat, using a little olive oil to sauté garlic, celery, leek, shallot (optional) and mushrooms until the leeks are soft. Add white wine or apple juice, bouillon, Parmesan and heavy cream. Simmer slowly until thickened. Sprinkle with coarse salt & fresh ground black pepper.

              6. Arrange two polenta pieces on each plate. Pour on the mushroom sauce. Serve immediately.

              7. Serve with: French Baguettes page 242 or Sourdough Bread, Arugula salad, Roasted Beets page 229.





              • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (2 medium size potatoes, do not peel)
              • Water for boiling potatoes
              • 1 large egg (well beaten)
              • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
              • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
              • ½ cup all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
              • 3 quarts water (plus)
              • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
              • Bowl of ice water

              Simple Sauce:

              • 1 28 oz. can Italian branded tomatoes (very important. (Look for the yellow and red label San Marzano in your grocery stores.))
              • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
              • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
              • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
              • 2½ Tablespoons olive oil
              • Fresh Parmesan cheese (grated for garnish)
              1. Leave the potatoes whole. Do not peel. (Keeping the peels on keeps water out of the potatoes, very important.) Scrub them lightly. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about 3 inches. Boil until soft and tender but not breaking apart. About 30 - 40 min. Drain potatoes. Let cool to warm.

              2. While the potatoes are boiling start the sauce. Drain ¾ of the juice off the tomatoes. Discard juice. Place tomatoes in a medium size shallow saucepan. Add salt, pepper and oregano. Stir occasionally and simmer uncovered for 20 min. (The rough texture on the tomatoes is most desirable). Stir in the olive oil. Cover and set sauce aside.

              3. Peel the warm potatoes with a paring knife. Mash them with a potato ricer, potato masher or use your electric mixer. Stir the egg, butter and salt into the mashed potatoes. Add the flour a little at a time, and work into a smooth manageable dough. The mixture should hold its shape and be pliable but not sticky.

              4. Dust your counter top with flour. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into about a 1-inch thick rope, no more than 1-inch, and about 2 ft. long. Dust the counter top with a little more flour as you go if needed. (If it is easier for you, divide the dough into thirds, and roll shorter ropes, about 1 inch round and 1 ft. long – 10 gnocchi per rope.)

              5. Using your dough scraper cut 20, 1-inch gnocchi per rope. Take a table fork and quickly but softly run it over the edge of each little gnocchi. This makes a nice little mark and will create a space for sauce to stick to it. Cut all the gnocchi before poaching.

              6. Start 3 quarts of water boiling in a pot. Add 1 Tablespoon coarse salt. When the water is ready and boiling, poach the gnocchi in 4 batches (about 10 to each batch) by dropping them into the boiling water. Leave enough room for them to move without touching until they rise to the surface and roll over. This will take only about 2 min. They cook quickly.

              7. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, carefully remove them with a slotted spoon to drain. Warm the sauce and serve immediately. Pass the Parmesan.

              Serve with: Green salad. Great Garlic Bread page 237.

                Plan Ahead: Make the gnocchi ahead of time, freeze or warm up in microwave. Make sauce ahead of time. Re-heat. Purchase fresh gnocchi, eliminate one step.

                CLASSIC FRENCH TOAST

                CLASSIC FRENCH TOAST
                Wednesday Breakfast for Dinner Who doesn’t like French toast?! It’s a comfort food. I remember the times when we were coming home from a late-night game and fixed French toast. We would even stop for it occasionally at the local diner. French toast made right is so good and goes down so easy! But you can’t just throw eggs and milk together and expect it to be good. I have been perfecting it for years and have come up with this winning combination.

                CLASSIC FRENCH TOAST

                • 8 (3/4-inch-thick) slices firm white bread
                • 3 large eggs
                • 1 cup milk
                • 1 teaspoon sugar
                • 1 teaspoon sugar
                • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
                • Pinch nutmeg
                • 1 tablespoon canola oil
                • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
                1. 1. Preheat a large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium.

                2. 2. Trim the crusts off the bread and set aside.

                3. 3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg if desired. Pour into a shallow dish suitable for dipping.

                4. 4. Combine the oil and butter in a small bowl. Spread 2 teaspoons of this mixture over the surface of the skillet. Dip one slice of bread into the egg mixture, turning to coat evenly, and carefully place it in the skillet. Fry until the bread is light brown on both sides. Spread additional oil/butter mixture as needed and continue with the remaining slices.

                5. 5. Serve the slices as you fry them, or transfer to a platter and keep warm in a 175-degree oven until all slices are ready to serve. Serve with butter, syrup, and jam as desired.


                Tuesday Italian Night My friend Annie shared this recipe with us. She likes it with cottage cheese, and we like it with ricotta. The dish is another wonderful meatless dish and easy to put together. It also makes a great do-ahead dinner— prepare up to the baking point, refrigerate, and then bake as usual.

                Three-Cheese Manicotti

                • 1 28-ounce Tomatoes
                • 1/4 cup chopped onion
                • 1 garlic clove (garlic clove)
                • 2 tbsp canola oil
                • 1 teaspoon sugar
                • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
                • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
                • 1 small bay leaf
                • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                • 12 manicotti shells (uncooked )
                • 2 eggs (beaten)
                • 1 1/2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
                • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
                • 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
                • 1/4 cups chopped fresh parsley
                • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                • 1 Pinch ground black pepper
                1. 1. Optional step: Pulse the tomatoes in a blender until crushed. Set aside.

                2. 2. To make the sauce, cook the onion and garlic in the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until the onions are tender but not browned. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring often. Add water if needed to thin the sauce. Remove the bay leaf.

                3. 3. While the sauce is cooking, cook the manicotti shells according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Rinse in cold water and drain. Separate the cooked shells and lay them out on a 15-inch sheet of aluminum foil to keep them from sticking together (you will reuse the foil to cover the baking dish). If you tear the shells, you can put the torn sides back into place after you fill them.

                4. 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

                5. 5. In a medium bowl combine the filling ingredients: eggs, ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

                6. 6. Working on the foil, stuff the filling into the shells with a narrow rubber spatula or your fingers. Do not overstuff or you may run out of filling.

                7. 7. Pour half the cooked sauce into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Arrange the filled manicotti in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish with the foil. You may refrigerate the prepared manicotti for up to 24 hours before baking.

                8. 8. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil cover and serve with Italian or French bread and a salad.

                CAN DO AHEAD

                This dish can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Lower the
                oven temperature 25 degrees and add 15 minutes to the baking time. This dish can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Lower the oven temperature 25 degrees and add 15 minutes to the baking time.


                Serve with a green vegetable or a salad and your favorite Italian bread. Note: For a smoother sauce, puree the tomatoes first in a blender for a few seconds.


                • 1/4 cup olive oil
                • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
                • 1/2 small white onion (minced)
                • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (undrained (see note))
                • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling
                • 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
                • 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, about 2 oz
                • 20 fresh basil leaves (or)
                • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
                • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
                • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
                • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper (crushed)
                • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti or pasta of your choice
                1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the garlic and onion until you smell the aroma.

                2. Remove from the heat and add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, cream, ricotta, basil, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, if using. Cook over low heat until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes.

                3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
                4. Divide the pasta among four plates and spoon the sauce over each. Serve, passing additional cheese

                Note: For a smoother sauce, puree the tomatoes first in a blender for a few seconds.

                Serve with a green vegetable or a salad and your favorite Italian bread.

                CONVERSATION STARTER: You had a pretty good report card this time. That B+ in math is great! But I know you could do better in science. What can we do to help you with that?

                Salmon with Garlic Butter and Pine Nuts

                Salmon with Garlic Butter and Pine Nuts

                Salmon with garlic butter and pine nuts.......such a delicious and fun new twist on a regular salmon fillet. It doesn't get much easier than this!!
                We LOVE Salmon! We will try just about anything on it! Our darling cousin Beth gave us this Salmon with Garlic Butter and Pine Nuts "recipe" (if you can even call it that it's so simple:)) and we thought it was pretty darn good! This is an easy way to mix it up and add so much more flavor than your average Salmon fillet plain. Serve it with some rice and a yummy salad and you have an amazing meal! Our kids even devoured this! Hope you enjoy this fresh, simple Salmon with Garlic Butter and Pine Nuts! XO

                Salmon with Garlic Butter and Pine Nuts

                • Salmon Fillet
                • Garlic Butter (we used Chef Shamy from good!)
                • Pine nuts
                • Lemon
                1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You could grill this on your BBQ as well!
                2. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place Salmon on foil.
                3. Dab some pats of Garlic Butter on Fillet (as much or little as you really cannot mess this up!) and sprinkle with Pine nuts.
                4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the salmon can flake easily when touched by fork.
                5. Remove from oven and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top!! ENJOY!!

                Simple Meatless Nachos With Beans and Cheese

                Simple Meatless Nachos With Beans and Cheese

                Food Nanny Food & Lifestyle Photography
                Food Nanny Food & Lifestyle Photography

                Food Nanny Food & Lifestyle Photography

                Sometimes you just need some simple Nachos with bean and cheese to spice up the day! Our kids love it when we make this for a lunch or dinner. We always try and serve a yummy salad along side or something to make it a "meal", but surprisingly these are very filling! Nachos are also just a great appetizer for a fun gathering. Dinner doesn't always have to be fancy! Mix it up!!

                You may add any toppings that you like on your nachos, but we keep it simple with just bean and cheese and jalapeño slices! There will be no disputing at the dinner table.......cause everyone will be pleased!!! Give our simple nachos with bean and cheese a try:)

                Simple Nachos With Beans and Cheese

                • 8 ounces tortilla chips
                • 1 16 ounce can refried beans
                • 1 cup shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese
                • Jalapeno chile slices
                • sour cream
                • salsa
                • black olives
                • avacado
                1. Spread the tortilla chips on an ovenproof platter
                2. Heat the refried beans in a microwave-safe dish. Spoon onto the chips
                3. Sprinkle the cheese over the beans and top with thin slice of jalapeño.
                4. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately with sour cream, black olives, avocado slices, and salsa.