Grilled Garlic Lime Fish Tacos

I don’t know about you but I find fish tacos at restaurants frustrating. Very rarely do I find a delicious fish taco anywhere. Do I find a good fish taco? Sometimes. A great fish taco? Not yet. Why am I so picky? I really don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that many restaurants only offer a fried fish rather than grilled. Maybe it’s the lack of a corn tortilla. Many times it’s the use of iceberg lettuce rather than crunchy cabbage. Whatever it is, I have yet to find that fish taco that has me coming back for more.

What’s the solution to my problem? There are probably lots of solutions to many of my problems. This fish taco problem though…I think the solutions is to make my own fish tacos! I sat down for a few minutes and thought about all of the various components of a fish taco which speak to me (not literally of course!). The chili lime flavors, the crunchy cabbage, the grilled and firm fish, the earthy corn tortillas. Then there has to be a sauce that  brings all of the flavors together. After all of these yummy thoughts, I put together what I thought would be my perfect fish taco. And guess what? They were outstanding! I am so looking forward to the leftovers tonight! Now it’s your turn…don’t go out tonight – make your own Grilled Garlic Lime Fish Tacos!

Grilled Garlic Lime Fish Tacos Recipe

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Basil Oil

Basil Oil

After spending too much time watching TV this weekend, I kept seeing a commercial from a popular Italian chain restaurant tempting me to come devour some all you can eat pasta. I was sold but didn’t want to get up and go. I chose to use what I had in my kitchen instead. The big decision though was the sauce…just as it would have been at the restaurant. I had a huge amount of basil so the decision was made for me. It was time for some basil oil.

Basil oil is a very flavorful and amazingly versatile. Not only can you do what I did and add it to you favorite pasta dish, you can also drizzle it over a refreshing caprese salad, spread it on a slice of bread for a tasty sandwich, add it to mayonnaise for a new twist on a condiment, create your own bruschetta, or toss it with some roasted potatoes at your next meal. Think outside of the box for how you might use your batch of basil oil! It will liven up your next meal!

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Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries

Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries

It feels so good to be back! After some health issues and a major job change, it is time to get back to what I enjoy. Without these distractions and honestly, all those energy zappers, I have been dreaming about new recipes. Today’s Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries is one I have tried before. Each time I made it, I was dissatisfied with some minor detail. I think I’ve got it right this time.

First, you have to find your favorite cajun seasoning. Maybe one day I will come up with my own seasoning blend but until then, I will use Weber Grill Creations N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning. Not a plug…just my favorite. It’s got a kick, but it’s not overpowering. Second, go minimal on the salt in your blueberries. If you use too much, it will taste weird…kind of soapy. Third, use a cast iron skillet if you have one. It really does just push the flavor over the top. Once you get the blend of flavors just right, this dish is delicious! It has that mildly spicy kick with the cooling sweetness of the warm blueberries. Try this one this weekend…you won’t regret it!

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Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Aioli

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic AioliMy family loves bold flavors. We make garlic dip for our potato chips, enjoy a garlicky Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Dressing, and add an extra clove of garlic to just about any dish that can take it. So when I was trying to dream up a way to dress up some roasted red potatoes, I of course turned to my friend…the garlic clove.

These roasted red potatoes are drizzled with a creamy, tangy, and yes, garlicky aioli. An aioli is a creamy mayonnaise style sauce. It can be flavored in so many ways but adding garlic is a classic way of giving aioli a delicious kick. It can be fairly addictive so make plenty of potatoes!

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Finding Family through Food: My Grandfather’s ‘Klinker Spaghetti’

Grandpa Klinker receiving Promotion with U.S. Army

Before I share this family recipe with you, I should explain that it appears to have been created in Germany while my grandfather was stationed there with the United States Army after World War II. While my ancestors are of German descent as far back as I have researched, the Klinker side of my family settled in Delaware, Ohio around 1837. Much of the Klinker family still resides in Ohio. My grandfather, Ronald William Klinker (b. 30 Aug 1927, d. 16 Dec 1978), was raised as a meat and potatoes kind of man. My mother remembers living her early years in Germany eating a decidedly Mid-Western diet of nothing but meat and potatoes. My grandmother was a native German and would feed my mom and her brothers authentic German food sometimes but meat and potatoes topped the family’s menu. However, when there was a little extra money for fresh produce (not always available or affordable in post-war Germany), Grandpa Klinker would get a wild hair and go Italian…well, kind of. Klinker Spaghetti was my very German/American Mid-Western family’s version of Italian.

Klinker Spaghetti truly is delicious and is a hearty rendition of Spaghetti and Meat Sauce. What makes it ‘Klinker’ you might ask? Klinker Spaghetti is chock full of mushrooms, onions, green peppers and, wait for it…kidney beans. The addition of kidney beans threw me for a loop but after eating my bowl clean, I decided that Grandpa Klinker knew what he was doing!

Klinker Spaghetti

A funny part of this family recipe is that my Mom grew up  thinking that Klinker Spaghetti was her mother’s concoction. Although really, she should have known better since my Grandmother’s tastes lean towards pickled pigs feet, head cheese, and authentic German food. Only recently did she learn that this was her father’s recipe, giving her a new twist on her fond memories of growing up in Germany. Mom tells me that Klinker Spaghetti was what she thought Italian food should taste like all her life. When she finally had authentic Italian food she was surprised that the ingredients were simple and minimal. So when Mom wants “real” Italian food she opts for her family’s version…Klinker Spaghetti. We hope you enjoy!

Grandma and Grandpa Klinker at Marriage Ceremony, 12 Oct 1948


Klinker Spaghetti Recipe

1 1/4 lb ground beef

1 large can tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste

3/4 cup Water

1 large onion (large dice)

8 oz mushrooms sliced

2 cans light kidney beans, drained

1 tbls Chili powder

1/2 tbls garlic powder

1 tbls garlic salt



1. Brown hamburger. When browned,  drain fat. Add spices, onions, and green pepper. Sauté with meat until vegetables are softened.

2. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste with ¾ cup water. Add more water to the consistency you prefer. We prefer a thicker meat and vegetable sauce. As the sauce cooks, you may want to add even more water if it gets too thick.

3. Add kidney beans and cook at medium low for about one hour.  Add mushrooms and cook for another 30 minutes on low.

4. With 10 minutes remaining, cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water and cook according to package directions.

5. Serve with spaghetti and garlic bread.

Grilled Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham Steak

Grilled Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham Steak

Do you ever crave a big home cooked meal but you have no big family meal planned for weeks? Sometimes I want a turkey, roast beef or ham dinner but the extended family is nowhere to be seen. A single ham steak is a perfect way to solve this little problem.

When I think of a thick slice of perfectly cooked ham, I automatically think of a sweet and slightly tangy glaze. For this particular meal, I wanted maple syrup as my sweet so I decided to combine it with dijon mustard and a grill. The glaze is a perfect complement to the smoky flavor of the grilled ham and fed my home cooked meal craving without all of the big meal fuss. Perfect! And the leftover sandwiches make this feel so homey!

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Bacon Country Gravy

Bacon Country Gravy

Biscuits and gravy is one of my favorite breakfasts. Every weekend, I wake up wondering what I can make and biscuits smothered with a country white gravy always comes to mind. If you aren’t up for making your own biscuits, you can keep some frozen biscuits in your freezer at all times. Although, I have to tell you that biscuits are so easy to make…see my homemade biscuits recipe here.

Back to Bacon Country Gravy. I don’t always keep sausage in the house but I usually have bacon in the fridge or freezer. So one day I woke up and I was craving biscuits and gravy and found bacon. I imagined what the gravy would taste like cooked in the same pan as the bacon and voila…YUMMY! Give this delicious Bacon Country Gravy a try this coming weekend!

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