Weekly Recipe Challenge #12 – For The Halibut

This week’s challenge is a return to fish.  I love fish and living in the Puget Sound (well, on an island in the Puget Sound to be accurate) gives me access to some of the best seafood around.  We might not have great lobster, but we do have wonderful salmon and halibut.  And just around the corner is Copper River Salmon!! It’s some of the best there is and comes fresh from Alaska.

With that in mind, this whole month is going to be a fish month!  Let’s start it off with:

  • Halibut
  • Rice
  • Artichokes
  • Carrots

That should be fairly simple!  I hope.  I’ve stopped noting in the ingredient list which items are organic because, quite simply, all my ingredients are organic.  Well 95% of the time anyway.  And while I don’t think it’s vital to a recipe to call out which ingredients are and aren’t, I do believe the better tasting food is grown organically most of the time.  That is why you haven’t seen a ton of out of season foods in the challenges, but as Summer is just around the corner, expect to see a bigger variety in the challenges ahead!

Do you have a friend who’s into cooking and enjoys a challenge? Have them subscribe to Help Peter Cook.Com!

Week #11’s Winning Recipe!

Dawn really went all out on this week’s recipe Free For All!   I have yet to attempt to create it but it looks very yummy!  I will be cooking it up soon and THANK YOU Dawn for another great recipe!

Sauteed Herb Shrimp over Fettuccine with Snow Peas & Toasted Almonds along with Fresh Strawberries

The 6 main ingredients for dinner are:
Shrimp (on sale at Payless this week)
Snow peas
Fettuccine pasta
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Peter, here are the additional items needed –some on your lists and some I’m suggesting be added to a kitchen cooking “STAPLES” list – ingredients you probably have on hand on a regular basis in your kitchen or that you may want to consider adding.

For this dinner recipe:

Olive Oil
Lemon juice or lemonade :)
Another spice – Tarragon (it’s great in spring/summer dishes)

And more staples to consider for your kitchen –


1 LB large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/3 c. olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, blanched in boiling water 2 minutes, drained & finely minced
3/4 c dry white wine
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives (or 1-2 tsp dried)
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or (1-2 tsp dried)

Pat shrimp dry. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add shrimp and sauté until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Remove all but about 1 tablespoon oil from skillet. Place over medium low heat, add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Pour in wine, increase heat and reduce mixture by 1/3. Add lemon juice and return to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, chives and tarragon and additional tablespoon or two of olive oil. Taste and season with salt and additional herbs & lemon juice if desired. Arrange shrimp over cooked pasta. Spoon herb sauce over top and serve.


Cook pasta according to package. Add olive oil and salt to lightly coat. Set aside to use as base for shrimp and “shrimp sauce”.

SNOW PEAS with toasted almonds

2-3 cups fresh snow peas
¼ cup sliced almonds
Olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat 1-2 TBSP olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add about ¼ cup sliced almonds and cook until golden brown and fragrant stirring frequently – about 1-2 minutes. Add snow peas and minced garlic and sauté until snow peas are crisp but tender – another 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt/pepper as desired and serve alongside shrimp pasta.


Add cooked/coated shrimp over fettuccine and pour with extra sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional) and serve with the snow peas and toasted almonds. Add strawberries to plate for extra color – or wait and eat afterwards as a light dessert.

Weekly Challenge #11 – Free For All!!

Copyright christine592 That’s right!  This week is a free for all at Help Peter Cook.Com!  What that means for you is limits!  Wait, no, what I mean is, you’re free, buuuuutttt within certain bounds.  This all stems from the fact that I really need to do some grocery shopping and don’t have a likely four ingredients to present this week. :)

This week’s Free For All (and yes, I now have the Ted Nugent song stuck in my head too) is pretty easy.  You can now pick SIX items of your choice, plus the normal items found under Spices & Herbs to form a unique recipe that this amateur chef and Dad can handle.  It should be something a 7 year old would also like to eat (light on the onions and she loves noodle dishes) and the ingredients should be fairly easy to acquire in a smaller grocery store on an island, meaning I don’t have access to a lot of specialty groceries (like Korean and Mexican markets).

The deadline for entries is this Thursday the 30th, at noon Pacific Time.  Think semi-exotic, think Spring time flavors, think something other than Mac N Cheese. 

Drooling with anticipation of your suggestions….

Week #10’s Winning Recipe – Salmon, Pears, Pasta and Asparagus

090424-211924-8700 This is the first week I’ve been faced with not one, but TWO great, easy recipes to choose from!  After a couple of weeks of no entries, it was nice to have a couple entries.  In the end I went with Dawn’s suggestion as Patty and Erik had already done a great job of cooking theirs and photographing the results!  Their recipe can be found at their Family Diners blog.  Take a moment to check them out, they have some other great recipes on there as well.

Dawn’s recipe got a thumbs up from Sabrina although we edited it a little.  We didn’t add the pepper to the salmon (Sabrina’s not a fan) and we substituted lemonade for lemon juice (a chef’s gotta do, what a chef’s gotta do).  Eeek! I just realized we left out the cheese topping too.  That would have been good.  At any rate, the video will be ‘coming soon’.  Until then, here’s the recipe as Dawn wrote it.

Penne Pasta with Asparagus & Salmon

Prep Time: not much, 10 minutes?

Cook time: maybe 20 minutes depending on fish

Post Cooking Prep Time: 10 minutes if the fish is boney



  • Pear (slice & serve with pasta dish)
  • Penne pasta (rice based in this case)
  • Asparagus
  • Wild salmon
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • 1- 2 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Put the asparagus in a baking pan (or cookie sheet with sides) and pour a little olive oil over it. Crush a clove of garlic on top and add few grinds of pepper and a little salt. Roll the asparagus around in the pan so that everything gets well coated.

Place the de-boned salmon in another baking pan (with skin side down if it still has some on it). Crush a clove of garlic on top, a little salt & pepper, Old Bay and a splash of olive oil. Coat & rub it all in a little. Bake both asparagus & salmon at 425 degrees until the asparagus is tender and the salmon is just cooked through. (The asparagus will take about 15-20 minutes to get tender; the salmon should take about 10-15.) Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

When the asparagus is done, cut it into one to two inch pieces. Break the salmon up into bite size pieces with fork.
Once the pasta is cooked & drained add olive oil until well coated, then add the lemon juice, parsley (and any extra garlic) to make a light sauce. Combine the pasta and asparagus in a large bowl and toss well. Then add the salmon and toss gently so that the hunks of salmon stay relatively intact; finish off with sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Serve with sliced pears and enjoy!

Week #10 Recipe Challenge

This week’s challenge should be fairly easy, I hope.  I rooted around in the freezer and found some fish, so fish it is!

Take the following ingredients and post a yummy dish of your own making:

  • Wild Salmon filets
  • Pear
  • Brown Rice Penne Pasta
  • Asparagus
  • Up to two ingredients of your choice!

If you haven’t played along before, check out How This Works above. Basically, post a recipe here or on your site and let us know about it!  I’ll then cook up the meal and give it a whirl!

Week #9’s Recipe with Ground Lamb, Baked Beans, Onion and Rice

Last week’s challenge was another, errr…challenge.  I was left to my own devices and trying to come up with something Sabrina would like at the last minute.  But we got it done!  Sabrina once again filmed while I cooked frantically and made some substitutions.  In the end, we made a simple but yummy Ground Lamb and Rice dish originally taken from Cooks.com site.  I didn’t have any tomatoes or squash, so I swapped in some other items.  Here’s the recipe we ended up with and as you’ll see in the up coming video, Sabrina even liked the onions!!  Sorry there are no photos, we were hungry!

Ground Lamb and Rice – Careystlye

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes, tops

Eating Time: We were hungry, it went fast



  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 lg. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup pasta sauce (your choice)
  • 1 Portobella Mushroom
  • Olive Oil (yum!)
  • Rice cooked for 4

How To Cook It:

  1. In a small fry pan, heat olive oil on medium and then saute the sliced mushroom.  I like to slice it in long strips and then cut those in half for this recipe. About 3 minutes should do it.  Set aside
  2. Oh yeah, start your rice and cook as you like or as the package tells you to.
  3. In a medium fry pan, heat olive oil and brown the ground lamb.
  4. Add in onions and cook another couple minutes until they are getting soft
  5. Add cinnamon (yes, cinnamon….I thought it was odd but it turns out great!), wine and pasta sauce
  6. Mix all that up for a minute or two then throw on the mushroom, stirring for another 1 minute
  7. Heat up the backed beans.  I know, they don’t really fit, so leave them out if you don’t want them.
  8. Serve lamb mixture over rice with beans on the side!

Weekly Recipe Challenge #9 – It’s A Tough One And Organic!


This week’s challenge is a tough one! Things are a bit bare in the kitchen at the moment and while a shopping trip is on the horizon, I’m making due with what I have.  If you need help with how this challenge works, you can find it here.  It’s pretty simple, just take the four ingredients listed below and add in two of your own if you like.  Then post your recipe here or reference your own site.  I’ll then cook up, video tape it and share with the world my and my daughter’s thoughts.

This week’s ingredients are:

  • Ground Lamb from Thundering Hooves (raised on organic feed with no hormones)
  • Onion! (organic too)
  • Rice (yup, also organic)
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Bean (which is organically organic)
  • Two ingredients of your own choice (or just one, or none!)

Now I can see this one coming a mile away, at least with the beans.  Yes, you can use ingredients in side dishes as this isn’t meant to be a one pot wonder meal. 

So show me what you would do to make a scrumptious meal fit for a 7 year old and her Dad!

Thank You! And A Small Change

Thank-you First off I want to once again thank all of those who have helped so far make Help Peter Cook.Com what I consider a success.  Does this site get thousand of hits each day and will soon be featured on Oprah?  Nope.  Has it won awards all across the globe for its culinary expertise and presentation?  Nada.  Have I received help in keeping myself cooking, putting together healthy meals for my daughter and guests and in general making myself more adept in the kitchen? Absolutely!!  And for that I send out a big THANK YOU! to all those who have helped.

From the latest suggestion by Kitchen Gadget Girl for some scrumptious salmon to the first big help I got from Kayotic Kitchen when she kindly pointed out, after suggesting a tantalizing recipe for the halibut I had on hand, that I really need to learn to cut onions better (and who’s food photography I totally adore!).   My Sister-In-Law Jess, Mike Rupp from Seattle Coffee Roast, my ex-coworker Gypsy,  my friends Jill, and Liz and Jesse who hosted me in San Francisco (and who’s awesome video will be out tomorrow, hopefully!).  I want to once again say THANK YOU for the help!  And also to my first grade teacher, who still takes the time each week to grade my efforts. :)

While I fine tune this site and let it morph as it will from my initial intent of making use of items in my kitchen to being…..I don’t know what, thanks for coming along on the ride! 

Oh!  And the small change.  I am going to start sending out the challenges on Tuesday with a deadline for submission by Thursday at 10am.  It seems to work best to give a two day limit especially with subscribers from all over the planet checking in.

And The Salmon Surprise Recipe Is….

090409-185303-8172A quick recap.  Week #8’s challenge was to take the following ingredients and make a yummy recipe.

  • Line and Hook Caught Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Ginger Root
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Red Potatoes

The winning recipe was sent in from Kitchen Gadget Girl.  I’m still amazed at not only the support I’ve received for my crazy, wacky idea of a website, but the resources from those like Kitchen Gadget Girl’s website and tweets on Twitter. Thank You, Thank You!

I followed her plan almost to the letter.  I let salmon sit with some wheat-free soy sauce and fresh grated ginger.  I’d say go sparingly on the ginger as it was a bit much for my liking.   Her times in the oven were close enough for me.  I added about 15 minutes to the fish because of thickness and that ended up giving the sprouts a nice roasted flavor on top.  here’s what she sent in:


Ok, I am thinking some sort of ginger soy marinade for the salmon, then roasting all together in the oven.

I would start the potatoes first, cutting them into similarly sized pieces as the Brussels sprouts (definitely in half, but if the potatoes are larger, then cutting them into quarters). Toss in olive oil and salt, then roast for about 20 minutes at 375-400F.  [NOTE: I also added rosemary and dried cilantro]

Add in the Brussels sprouts and push the potatoes and veggies to the outside of the pan. Put the salmon in the middle and continue roasting the whole thing for 15-20 more minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Timing and temperature are uncertain, depends on your ovens characteristics….