Blackening Spice

Dinner last night was supposed to be a Caesar salad with blackened salmon. Too late we realized we didn’t have a few key ingredients. Instead of a Caesar I just made a regular salad with Balsamic and Oil.

Michael blackened the salmon with his special concoction.

Blackening Spice

Makes 1 Cup

4 tablespoons paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon white pepper

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons thyme

2 tablespoons oregano

It’s very spicy!! Be warned!

We used it a lot for different things. Sometimes Michael will pick up an Ahi Tuna steak and sear it with the blackening spice. We use it a lot on salmon.

I ended up putting my blackened salmon on my salad and it was a delicious combo!

For lunch today I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a Sandwich Thin. I’m pretty sick of ham and turkey sandwiches right now. I need to figure something else out asap!

QUESTION: Is there a food item you’re sick of eating lately?

I Hate Cooking

I have a confession to make: I hate cooking. I read a lot of foodie blogs and I see these very creative people cooking all their food and buying all their organic food at Whole Foods. Who has time for that? Who has the money for that?! Certainly not me!
Something I DO love to do is cook with Michael. He’s really good at cooking and has the creativity to create his own recipes as well. It’s pretty impressive what he can create. One of his specialties is Mac and Cheese. It’s a Martha Stewart recipe. I think it’s the Gruyere that makes it soooo fantastic! It’s a HUGE hit every time he makes it. A few times he also made it will sausage cubed in it. Yum.

The picture above right is Michael looking cute during last night’s bike ride. 🙂

Here is the recipe (photo courtesy of


Serves 12

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
  3. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
  5. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce
  6. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.

From Martha Stewart Living, January 2001