Weekly Challenge #8 – Salmon Surprise!

It’s time for Weekly Challenge #8.  Wow!  It’s already been two whole months since I started this crazy idea and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the response and great recipes!  It really has got me into the kitchen more, helped me learn some basic skills and it has produced some yummy recipes!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now for the challenge!  This week I’m mixing it up a little andwe’ll see what happens.  The four ingredients are:

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

You have until 10am on Thursday the 9th to come up with a recipe a newbie like me can handle.  You may add up to two of your own ingredients if you like, just let me know what they are!  Add the recipe as a comment below or point me and the readers of Help Peter Cook to your own website where we can find your suggestion.  If your suggestion is picked as the winner, I’ll cook it up and post a video! (sorry there was no video last week, a hungry child prevented proper videoing!)  As there has been just one entry for each week, your odds are good of getting your recipe cooked up if you just suggest ANYTHING!  Give it a whirl.  If you need help, check out How This Works and Herb & Spices in the tabs above.

Good luck!

Week #7’s Recipe!

This week there is no winning recipe. Insert frowny face here.  But that’s ok, I whipped something up anyhow!  I didn’t have enough time to film and cook as I had a hungry 7 year old and she took precedent over the filming this week.  I’m still getting down this whole process and appreciate those who have subscribed to the blog and are hopefully learning along with me.

Now then, with the previously mentioned ingredients in mind, this is what I whipped up.


  • 2 Free Range Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Fettuccine Rice Pasta
  • Carrots.  Well, actually, I skipped the carrots.  So ignore this!
  • Olive Oil
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Thyme
  • Dijon Mustard


  1. Boil up the pasta
  2. Cube up the potatoes so they are the size of dice.  The six sided kind, not the Dungeons and Dragons 20 sided monsters.
  3. Place the cubed potatoes in a 13×9 backing dish.
  4. Douse potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, basil and garlic powder
  5. Set in oven at 375F for about 25 minutes.  Or until your kid complains a lot.
  6. Heat up the pasta sauce to your liking.  I actually just put the pasta in a Pyrex bowl on the burner I used to boil the noodles with it off.  It worked well and didn’t require nuking it.
  7. In a medium fry pan, preheat some olive oil (have I mentioned I love olive oil?).  Then cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place them in.
  8. Sprinkle with thyme, basil and rosemary.
  9. Goose about a tablespoon of dijon mustard over this yummy goodness.
  10. Cook on a low-medium heat until just about done, stirring occasionally, or lots, whichever you like.
  11. Then throw your fry pan in the oven with the potatoes.  I’d suggest something that can take the heat, like a nice All-Clad Stainless-Steel Fry Pan.  Put it in when the potatoes have about 15 minutes left to cook.
  12. Remove everything from the stove and serve the chicken over the pasta and top with pasta sauce.  Add the potatoes on the side.

I know what you’re thinking.  Huh?  You’ve got two starches in there!  And mustard with pasta sauce?   But it worked!  And further, it worked for my daughter who loved it.  If you’d like, leave out the pasta sauce and maybe add some honey to the mustard chicken over the noodles.

Either way, don’t stop cooking!  Until next week, have fun in the kitchen!

Recipe Challenge #7 – March Of The Chickens

Even before the video for week #6 comes out, it’s time for the next weekly recipe challenge!  A recent trip to the grocery store brought home some more simple ingredients so this should be an easy one.  If there is more than one recipe offered up, I’ll pick one at random.  Unless I’m bribed with organic chocolate.

The ingredients this week are:

  • Free Range Chicken breasts
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Fettuccine (yes, I’m in a pasta kick after last week’s recipe)
  • Carrots

For those new to the site the idea is simple; take those ingredients and up to two of your own and post a recipe in the comments section of this post (or link to your own site).  You can use any of the Spices & Herbs listed here.  It’s just that simple!  You have until 10am on Friday, that means a whole extra day!

Good luck and good cooking!

Back From San Francisco, Here’s Week #6’s Recipe

090327-202944-8012-1  It was a good trip down to California for the filming of week #6’s recipe challenge.  My friends Liz and Jesse were gracious hosts and even helped with the filming! Jesse manning the camera while directing and Liz as my stylish co-host for episode #6.  The video will be ready in a day or so, but first I thought I’d list out the selected ingredients and recipe.

Liz was in charge of picking ingredients and we did it on the fly while visiting a local market in Oakland.  Her choices were:

  • Chicken Sausage
  • Red onion – chopped
  • Garbanzo Beans – 1 can, drained
  • Linguine

Liz also added fresh spinach and some kale we picked up for free at the meat market, as well as Romano cheese.  You will also need olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 cup chicken stock and 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic.

  1. Boil Linguine until it is al dante, set aside
  2. Pre-cook kale in salted water, set aside
  3. In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and cook onion for 1-2 minutes
  4. Add chopped garlic and cook another minute
  5. Throw in the sausage that has been sliced into 1/4" thick ‘coins’.  Stir and cook for another couple minutes.
  6. Add drained garbanzo beans while stirring, cooking for 3 minutes
  7. Mix in greens and stir until spinach is wilted while adding in 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  8. Drop in pasta and add rest of chicken stock.  Stir for another minute to let pasta soak up taste.
  9. Serve and top with grated Romano cheese.
  10. Add salt & pepper to taste


Help Peter Cook.Com Goes On The Road!


This week I’ll be on the road, heading to San Francisco so I’m changing up this week’s challenge a bit.  I’ll be staying with friends and have asked them to pick the four ingredients and, since I’ll be cooking for them, to also pick the recipe.  The time frame got kinda crunched with time on the road.

I’ll still have a video and recipe to post from this week, fear not!  And the kitchen will look all different!  But next week it’ll be back to my white, white kitchen and with my daughter hopefully handling the camera again (I’ll get her to be a bit more stable this time :)).

Weekly Recipe Challenge #5 [VIDEO]

The only entries for this week’s challenge didn’t quite fit the bill (didn’t use all ingredients and seemed, well, tough!) so I ended up winging the recipe this week.  Here’s my best bet at what I did, followed by the video.  And in the video, my seven year old daughter took over the camera action and added in her own commentary, at one point telling me what I was mixing looked like poop.  Wow.  I know I’m not artful, but poop?  Cummon!   She ended up loving what I made so it wasn’t THAT bad.


  • King Salmon Steaks
  • Asparagus
  • Brown Rice
  • Red, Yellow and Green Peppers
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Mustard Powder
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Dijon Mustard


Cut Salmon into steaks and lay in 13×9 baking dish.  Mix together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder (to your liking) and Old Bay.  Sprinkle Old Bay Seasoning on the salmon cakes and the then coat with sauce.  Cover with cut peppers and sprinkle with more olive oil. 

Place asparagus on aluminum foil covered cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and Dijon mustard and mix to coat.

Cook rice per instructions.

Place salmon in 375F oven for 15 minutes.  When 15 minutes are up, place asparagus on top rack and switch to broil, but with door closed, for 10 minutes.  If you have  convection feature, turn it on now too.

After that 25 minutes, all should be done!  Place salmon, asparagus and peppers over bed of rice and serve!

Weekly Cooking Challenge #5!

I know I said I’d announce the ingredients on Wednesday but I just went shopping and am sooooo excited.  Yes, I’m actually excited about food.  Especially after my daughter commented that I have a lot of processed food in the house (ignoring the fact that I showed her how to chop mushrooms last night when we had salads!).  So without further such and such!:

This week’s ingredients are:

  • Wild Alaskan King Salmon Steaks – you know, that part just back from the head that isn’t fillets? Yeah, that part.
  • Asparagus
  • Red, Yellow and Green Peppers
  • Brown Rice
  • Up To Two Of Your Own Ingredients

I’m thinking this list should be pretty easy, but see how creative you can get!  Don’t forget to check the Spices & Herbs page for other ingredients you can use for free!  

To enter, just drop a link or your entire recipe in the comment section below!  All entries must be recieved by 10am PT on Thursday the 19th.  Good luck!

Are You Looking For Help In The Kitchen?

Now I realize there are probably two different kinds of readers to my blog; those who have mad kitchen skills looking to help little old me out, and those who are in the same boat, that is, looking for help.

If you’re the latter and looking for help, I’d like to suggest Bruce Tretter’s excellent site "Gotta Eat".  Bruce has spent a lot of time putting together a ton of videos and posts for those of us that are amateurs in the kitchen.  It’s a great reference to bookmark and check back often.  You can also catch him Facebook, MySpace and all the others with these handy links!


Weekly Challenge Moves To Wednesday

As mentioned in the last video the weekly challenge is moving to Wednesday!  This will help on the weeks I have produce delivered and with scheduling.  Hope that doesn’t mess people up too much.  If desired, and if you let me know, I can easily post the items on Monday and then close the contest on Thursday at 10am as planned.  If that would work better for you, let me know!