HO HO HO-liday shopping

Resident wordsmith, Tuvy, approaches every situation with a little wit and a lot of humour. She contributes monthly columns that will make you think and just might tickle you. 

I love the holidays. The air seems crisper, and I look forward to New Orleans winter aka put-on-sweater-take-off-sweater-then-put-sweather-back-on weather. The streets and parks are illuminating with strings of lights wrapping around the majestic oak trees. What could damper this festive mood?

SHOPPING.  I am not aggressive enough to fight over the last pair of cashmere  gloves, which would then turn into a serendipitous moment over ice cream. Claustrophobia is in high effect if I am sober in a small space full of people. Anxiety reintroduces itself when my online shopping cart suddenly says, “Sorry, sold out!” 

Yes, all of this could be avoided if I had done my shopping early, but then I would have nothing to write complain about. Thank goodness for holiday gift guides and gift cards, am I right? But let’s focus on what really matters during this season: peppermint bark and butternut squash soup. Oh, and spending time with those who are worth sharing peppermint bark.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pesto Spaghetti

A few  months ago, I had the fun opportunity to develop a recipe with Target for The Everygirl using Target's sustainable salmon. It was prime squash season so we created a simple pesto  spaghetti squash to serve as a the canvas for an easy pan-seared salmon. You can read more about Target's sustainability efforts via the original post here

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients (yields 2 large servings)
1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1/4 c. cherry or snacking tomatoes, cut in half
Pesto: 1 c. fresh basil, 1-2 tbsp. pine nuts, 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 2-4 tbsp. olive oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Drizzle each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the halves on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool and then shred the squash with a fork. 
3. While the squash is cooling, place the pesto ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor or blender. Gently pulse while drizzling in olive oil until you get a smooth texture. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Toss the squash, halved tomatoes, and pesto together in a large bowl.

Simple Pan-Seared Salmon

2 4oz. salmon fillets with skin
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
Equipment: A non-stick oven safe frying pan, at least 9 inches in diameter to fit both fillets

1. Place oven on broil. 
2. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil on both salmon fillets and season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat pan on medium high heat and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, place salmon skin side down and sear for 4-5 minutes until halfway cooked through. Do not flip!
4. Carefully place the pan under the broiler until salmon is cooked through, about 2-4 minutes.
5. To serve, place salmon skin side up on top of a serving of pesto spaghetti squash and enjoy!