I came home on Saturday afternoon after taking my most recent Newfoundland dog foster to meet his forever family. Fostering Newfoundland dogs for Big Dogs Huge Paws Rescue is something I dearly enjoy because it allows me to give back in gratitude for the Newfoundland dogs I’ve adopted, helping other good dogs find loving forever families.
That morning I’d taken Riggs, an 8-year-old senior Newfie, down to Aurora to meet his adoptive family. By the time I returned home it was nearly 5 p.m. and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I wanted something quick and easy, but fresh and fun — it was Saturday, after all.
I opened the fridge and this is what I ended up making: An entire meal that was ready in 30-40 minutes. As you’ll see, I used lime juice and chili powder throughout the meal to create a unified flavor palate.
The next day, while I was enjoying a Sunday afternoon read, I wanted something sweet to go with a pot of tea. My lavender and lime shortbread was the perfect solution. Dump all the ingredients in a food-processor, run it until a ball forms, bake, and you’re done.
Super Green Dipping Sauce and Dressing
This is amazingly easy, flavorful and fresh. It plays double-duty here when I use it as a dipping sauce and salad dressing.
1 bunch basil
1 bunch cilantro or parsley
2-3 glaric cloves (depending on your love of garlic)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice (or the juice of one lime)
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Adjust the consistency by adding more lime juice or a splash of water, season with salt and pepper.
Blackened Steak Fingers
Salt and pepper
This will work with any cut of steak — flank, skirt, flat iron or sirloin — buy what’s on sale. You could also substitute chicken or fish. Cook the chicken or fish on the stovetop or place on the baking sheet with the sweet potato fries during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time.
Season steak with a squeeze of lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper. Allow meat to come to room temperature. Cook in a cast iron skillet at a high temperature, blackening both sides, but do not overcook. Remove from pan and allow to rest for five minutes. Then cut meat into 1/2-inch slices and serve with sweet potato fries and super green dip and dressing.
Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries
1 sweet potato per person
Extra-virgin olive oil
Chili lime seasoning mix or lime juice and chili powder
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into ¼-inch sticks, spread out on baking pan, sprinkle with extra-virgin olive oil, seasoning salt, and Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning mix (if you have it) otherwise sprinkle with lime juice and chili powder. While the sweet potato fries are roasting in the oven, prepare the rest of the meal.
Quick Caprese Salad
1 English cucumber, cut into small dice
1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup fresh basil torn
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
Mix all together and top with Super Green dressing.
One-Bowl Lavender and Lime Short Bread
A gray day here — perfect for an afternoon with a good book, a pot of milky tea, and lavender and lime shortbread. This recipe is so easy, it’s perfect for kids to help with.
1 cup flour
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon culinary lavender
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place all ingredients in food processor and process until a ball forms. Pat dough into the bottom of a lightly greased 9-inch round pie dish, bake for 35–40 minutes. While it cools, sprinkle with sugar or chopped pistachios and use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into triangles.
Suzanne Anderson lives in Breckenridge.