THE 12 BIG-IDEAS OF CHRISTMAS

December 8, 2015 by Debbie Kuehn
In the tradition of that famous, time-honored song heralding this special time of year, here are 12 great ways to dress up your dinner table and perk up your holiday menu.

Big-Idea No. 1
Transform your home for the holidays with elegant and innovative table décor. Create unique candleholders out of birdseed-filled clay pots or core a few perfectly shaped red and green apples and insert tall pillar candles. Place apples on top of doilies or other décor to catch wax drips.

Big-Idea No. 2
Another great apple idea: place a mound of red and green ones in an antique wooden box or tray––or stack them tall on a platter––for a delightful twist on traditional centerpieces. Or lay two groups of Christmas tree branches end-to-end, tie together with ribbon and nestle small ornaments and votive candles (in glass holders) among branches.

Big-Idea No. 3
When guests arrive, direct them to your beautifully decorated table where you’ll be serving delicious Crab Rangoon Appetizers made with imitation crabmeat, cream cheese and spices fried in tasty won ton skins.

Big-Idea No. 4
A starched white linen tablecloth and crisp white linen napkins pleated and bound with attractive homemade napkin holders make a great base for a dazzling dinner table. For napkin holders, try red and green felt holiday-theme cutouts glued to a felt band or ribbon wrapped around the napkins.

Big-Idea No. 5
Dress up glassware by wrapping small silver or gold wire “bracelets” or charms around the stems or by hanging small bulbs and ribbons from the glass rims. Then write each guest’s name on the ribbon with a gold or silver glitter pen for an instant nameplate.

Big-Idea No. 6
For the main event, try this zesty dish: Broiled Tilapia with Sweet Potato Crust and Vanilla Cream Sauce. Ready in just 20 minutes using 5 to 6-oz. tilapia fillets, the topping is made with sweet potatoes; crust with graham crackers, roasted pecans and butter; and sauce with heavy cream, vanilla, stock and Creole spices! It’s delicious.

Big-Idea No. 7
A tasty alternative entrée is this amazing Spinach Pot Pie made with Morey’s Seasoned Grill Tilapia fillets. Lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms and sour cream mixed with fresh baby spinach and placed between two crescent roll sheets will delight your guests, no question.

Big-Idea No. 8
After dinner, you’ll open gifts (or maybe you’ll do it before dinner if you’ve got impatient young ones around, like at my house). Wrap gifts in gorgeous handmade giftwrap made of old sheet music found in a piano bench, wallpaper from grandma’s attic, old magazines or even brown paper bags or postal wrap. Instead of bows, trim with sprays of wired glass beads, tiny ornaments, tassels, medallions or fun napkin rings.

Big-Idea No. 9
Top your exquisitely wrapped gifts with handmade gift cards. Cut interesting images from antique post cards or old magazines and color-copy them onto cream-colored heavy or textured paper for a lovely old-fashioned look. Add a touch of lace or gold netting to complete the look. Spray with a bit of perfume or include a small potpourri sachet.

Big-Idea No. 10
Depending on how hard you all worked opening all those presents, you may need to serve a small snack before your guests leave. Try some easy Smoked Salmon Fajita Roll Ups made with Morey’s Cajun Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, fajita seasoning, Mexican cheese, onion and red pepper rolled in flour tortillas!

Big-Idea No. 11
Better yet, tell guests to stay overnight then serve yummy Marinated Salmon and Potato Pancakes in the morning. These scrumptious pancakes take just 20 minutes to prepare using Morey’s Seasoned Grill Salmon along with onions, spices, potatoes and sour cream with chives.

Big-Idea No. 12
Don’t let guests leave empty handed. Give them a homemade food gift (chutney, jellies, jams, preserves) or cooking ingredients (bottle of olive oil or seasoning) in attractive glass jars or bottles with stoppered tops or cover lids with colorful fabric and a bow. Another idea: put cookies, nuts, popcorn or other food into a cute drawstring gift bag (gingham, felt or velvet) and decorate with jute twine, wooden beads and more. Wicker baskets also made great gift boxes.

Remember, from serving tantalizing sweet potato-encrusted tilapia to hand-making napkin holders and name plates, even the smallest touches will leave big impressions on your dinner guests.

Bon appetit and Happy Holidays!

NATIONAL SEAFOOD MONTH: TIME TO CATCH UP ON YOUR SEAFOOD SERVINGS

Written by Debbie Kuehn

October is National Seafood Month, which is a great time to remind of the health benefits of eating fish and shellfish.

While most of us eat some seafood, we’re still not eating enough to meet federal dietary guidelines, according to studies conducted by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In fact, about 80 to 90 percent of us don’t meet seafood-eating guidelines.

Both fish and shellfish are nutrient-rich protein foods and eating them has been linked to reduced heart disease risk. Seafood contains healthful natural compounds known as “omega-3 fatty acids.” The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recommends eating two servings of seafood (8 ounces) weekly to get at least 1,750 milligrams of two omega-3s.

Easy Ways to Eat More Seafood

Here are a few easy ways to eat more seafood, a lot of which can be found right here on Morey’s website along with dozens of tasty recipes and inventive meal ideas.

  1. Eat a variety of seafood

Twice a week, make seafood­­ the main protein on your plate. Include some that is higher in omega-3s and lower in mercury, such as salmon, trout, oysters, mackerel, herring, and sardines. Mix it up and keep things interesting by trying a different fish each week.

  1. Keep it lean and flavorful

Try grilling, broiling, roasting or baking seafood, which doesn’t add extra fat. Avoid breading or frying, which adds calories and fat. Use spices or herbs, such as dill, chili powder, paprika or cumin. Use lemon or lime juice to add flavor without adding salt.

  1. Keep seafood on hand

You are more likely to prepare seafood if you keep it readily available. Remember that most seafood can be cooked from thawed or frozen in 30 minutes or less. It’s easy to prepare seafood right from the freezer in the microwave, on the stovetop, in the oven or on the grill. Keeping seafood frozen also prevents it from spoiling if not used right away.

  1. Get creative with seafood

Eating more seafood and getting more creative with it does not have to be expensive or difficult. Just think beyond the fish sticks or fish fillets of yesterday. Try a mouth-watering salmon steak, a shrimp stir-fry, grilled fish tacos or clams with whole-wheat pasta. Add variety by trying herring or lox. Or top a salad with some tasty surimi. For more ideas, there are a lot of great recipes at https://www.aboutseafood.com/recipes.

After nearly 80 years in the business, Morey’s has collected more than just a few great seafood recipes. It has also collected lots of great insight about how to run a business responsibly. Morey’s has a deep commitment to sustainable practices and caring for the environment, which has spanned many generations. You can read more about this commitment here, but don’t forget to enjoy your twice-weekly recommended servings of seafood!

Here’s to happy, healthy eating.

 

 

Hot Eats and Cool Reads

It’s fun hearing from foodies and seeing the bloggers out there who choose Morey’s. One recent blog came from Sheena at Hot Eats and Cool Reads. Sheena is wonderfully creative in the kitchen and she developed an amazing summer salad using Garlic Cracked Pepper Atlantic Salmon, along with other fresh ingredients like sweet corn, cucumbers, basil and bowtie pasta.

Visit Hot Eats and Cool Reads today and Sheena will teach you how to make this fresh salmon salad for your family’s next meal event. Her blog also has some other flavorful creations made with Morey’s, so check those out too!

Good Food, It’s a Wrap.

A perfect meal event doesn’t have to be artistically presented on a plate. You’ll find some of the tastiest creations right in the palm of your hand. For example, these yummy Tilapia Wraps. They’re ideal when you’re pressed for time to not only prepare a meal – but also when you’re in a hurry to eat one. Think of it as a succulent, nutritious lunch or dinner on-the-go.

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Making these wraps is fast and easy. I like to use Morey’s Seasoned Grill Tilapia in mine, along with the following goodies that come fresh from my little vegetable and herb garden: diced tomato, chopped onion, thinly sliced radish, fresh cilantro and minced basil.

As the fillets bake according to the package directions, I prepare my vegetables, shred some sharp white cheddar cheese and warm the flour tortillas. After the fish is baked and flaked, then it’s as easy as adding the ingredients in the amounts you like. I drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar and grind some fresh black pepper on top too. Then you just roll the tortillas up into handy wraps and enjoy.

Give it a try, and also check out some of the recent meal events that bloggers from around the country have developed with Morey’s. Cheers!

Pasta Primavera With Salmon: http://www.lemonsforlulu.com/pasta-primavera-recipe-with-salmon/

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon With Pesto: http://www.azestybite.com/pistachio-crusted-salmon-pesto/

Pineapple Mango Mahi Mahi Rice Bowls: http://www.hoteatsandcoolreads.com/2015/04/pineapple-mango-mahi-mahi-cilantro-lime.html

Pineapple Mango Mahi Mahi and Veggies Over Rice: http://www.afamilyfeast.com/pineapple-mango-mahi-mahi-and-vegetables-over-rice/

Honor Your Father With Food

One of the nicest ways to spend time with loved ones is around a dinner table. So this Father’s Day, celebrate your Dad with a memorable meal event. You can make it extra special by whipping up a home-cooked creation that shows him how much you care.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to slave for hours in a hot kitchen. You can prepare an amazing culinary experience fast and easy with a little help from Morey’s. I don’t know about your Dad, but mine absolutely loves salmon. He likes peppers too. So what I’m planning for June 21st is this unique meal event:

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Salmon Stuffed Peppers
The first thing you do to make this is to bake some Morey’s Garlic Cracked Pepper Atlantic Salmon fillets (according to the package directions). Also pre-cook some delicious wild rice and sauté some sliced baby portabella mushrooms and diced onions. Mix the rice, mushrooms and onions in a low-heat pan with a splash of Worcestershire, a tablespoon of sour cream and about a 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Salt and pepper too. Then gently fold in the cooked, flaked salmon.

Now you’re ready to fill your hollowed out peppers with the mixture. I like to overfill mine so they’re extra hearty. Then place them on a baking dish, sprinkle the top with fresh Parmesan cheese and bake at 350° for about 25 minutes. And presto, they’re done!

Serve these Salmon Stuffed Peppers with some chewy French bread and pair the whole meal with a hoppy India Pale Ale in a chilled glass. Dear old Dad deserves a nice warm meal and an ice-cold brew. Every day. But especially on Father’s Day!

Cheers.

Score a Direct Hit With Super Salmon Submarines

If your family is like mine, then summer and sandwiches were meant for one another. Whether it’s a PBJ and a glass of milk on the deck for a quick lunch or a grilled cheese on a rainy day, a sandwich hits the spot. This summer if you find yourself wondering what kind of sandwich to have next, try this salmon sub.

Super Salmon Submarine

Super Salmon Submarine

It begins with Morey’s Garlic Cracked Pepper Atlantic Salmon. Simply place the frozen fillets in what I call “aluminum foil boats” along with all the savory marinade that they’re packaged in. Put them on the grill according to the package directions. While they grill in bubbling goodness, prepare your other simple ingredients, which include Swiss cheese, fresh spinach, sliced ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced Vidalia onion and shaved carrots. All those veggies are of course chosen for their wonderful flavor – but also for the nice mix of pleasing color that they bring to your meal event.

Now this part is important, because a great sandwich needs great bread. I recommend using soft and chewy focaccia rolls for these subs. Spread a thin layer of butter or mayo (your choice) on the open rolls and sprinkle a little garlic salt on that. For the last few minutes of the salmon bake time, put the rolls on the grill too, so that flavor melts in and the edges of the rolls get a slight “crisp” to them.

Lastly, build your sandwiches from the bottom up in this order: bottom roll, salmon, onion, spinach, carrots, tomato, cheese and top roll. If you’re a wine lover, a buttery chardonnay is a great pairing. Or for beer connoisseurs, try a hoppy pale ale alongside your submarine. Enjoy, and have a happy summer!

Foodies share their love of fine fish

As much as I like writing about my appreciation for fish and all the tasty ways to prepare it, I enjoy reading about the subject just as much. So when I come across different bloggers who walk me through amazing meal events with fish and seafood, I’m hooked. Especially when they include tantalizing photographs of their creations!

Recently there have been some great blogs with really nice meals with Morey’s, so I thought I’d share them with you. A Family Feast, which is a MOR5664_AprilBloggreat destination for foodies, whipped up a delicious and beautiful Smoked Fish Chowder that you can literally make quickly by the bowl or in a large kettle to feed a big crew.

Another blog that loves Morey’s is The View From Great Island. The savory smoked salmon cheesecake she made is as appetizing to look at as it would be to eat! A fellow food blogger (who just happens to live near Morey’s Seafood International in Minnesota) has a family-favorite salmon burger and she shows you how easy it is to make on her Hot Eats and Cool Reads blog.

In addition to fish inspiration from the blogosphere, Morey’s has fun Pinterest boards with all kinds of tasty pictures. No matter how you get your fresh cooking ideas, Morey’s makes it fast and simple to turn them into meal events for your family and friends.

Eat well!

A New Twist on Fish & Chips

In March, and on the 17th in particular, all eyes turn to the Emerald Isle – Ireland (in honor of St. Patrick). Corned beef, cabbage and green beer all around! But there’s also another staple from Ireland that’s synonymous with the island and its people, and that’s fish & chips.

The typical presentation for Irish fish & chips is to take white, flaky fish like cod, haddock or pollock, dredge it in thick batter and give it a hot oil bath. The unbattered chips (potatoes) get the same deep-fried treatment. Everything gets a generous blast of salt. Napkins are a definite must!

While traditional fish & chips are certainly tasty, it’s not the most heart-smart way to enjoy treasures from the sea and soil. So, from Morey’s to you, here’s a more nourishing spin on a fish & chips meal event for St. Patty’s day or ANY day!

Crisp Broiled Tilapia with Pan-Seared Baby RedsMOR5605_Memes_Blog

Morey’s Seasoned Grill Tilapia is a beautiful white, flaky fish that’s perfect for fish & chips. To prepare it, simply take the thawed fillets out of their packages, squeeze the built-in Seasoned Grill marinade right over the top and bake the fish at 375° F for 12 minutes.

Then, remove the fillets and dust them lightly with seasoned breadcrumbs. These will stick nicely to the moist marinade on top. Switch the oven to broil and finish the fish for 3-4 minutes. The breadcrumbs will toast on top and give the tilapia an authentic fish & chips “crunch!”

While the magic is happening in the oven, heat up a frying pan to medium-high on the stove. Get the tiniest baby red potatoes you can find (smaller than golf balls). Pre-boil them and allow them to dry. Then coat the potatoes in olive oil and dust them with coarse sea salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. If you like a little “bite,” introduce a little cayenne too.

In that hot pan, keep those baby reds rolling around to sear the entire surface and lock in all that seasoned flavor.

On your plate, the crispy Morey’s Seasoned Grill Tilapia and seared baby reds will look delightful, especially with a garnish of fresh parsley and sliced lemons. You’ll get all the crunch of traditional Irish fish & chips but without the guilt of deep-fried batter.

Bain sult as do iasc!

Which is Irish for “Enjoy your fish!”

The Temperature of Contentment

As I write this from a cold climate in the northern hemisphere, frigid winds surround the house. Even the birds seem to be holed up somewhere to escape winter’s icy clutches. But inside, snug as a bug in a rug, something wonderful is happening at 375°F.

I’m trying something new for dinner. Well, several things to be specific. We have friends coming over for a nice meal and some wine. On the menu? Fish, wild rice with almond slivers, warm ciabatta bread and a fresh mixed green salad with ripe cherry tomatoes. The table is set for six.

I don’t know what kind of fish all six guests will enjoy most. Some folks love salmon. Others prefer white, flaky fillets and there are those who delight over fresh fish from the sea. With Morey’s tonight, I’m going to dazzle every palate. I’ll look like a culinary queen when the food hits the table, but in reality this comfort-food smorgasbord is as easy to prepare as a glass of water!

It begins with selecting the Morey’s fish and flavors you want. For this dinner party, I’m preparing six unique fillets. People can choose exactly what they want. However, I’m going to encourage everybody to sample a little bit of each fillet. Tonight’s Morey’s variety lineup is:

• Wood Roasted Atlantic Salmon

• Lemon Pepper Tilapia

• Pineapple Mango Mahi Mahi

• Garlic Cracked Pepper Wild Pacific Salmon

• Seasoned Grill Tilapia

• Lemon Dill Atlantic Salmon

Each fresh portion comes sealed with tasty marinades in individual pouches. To prepare, I just set the oven to 375. Then I make six small aluminum foil “boats” and put a fillet in each one. I pour the marinade from the pouch over the top. All six servings can then go on a baking sheet and bubble in their own marinated goodness at the same time.

When the guests arrive, this comfort meal will warm our bodies as well as our hearts. We’ll enjoy it with selections of Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – all fantastic wine pairings with flavorful fish. I can’t wait!

Cheers!

 

How to swim through the New Year as a new you!

Did you know the first two weeks of January are the busiest weeks of the year at health clubs? A lot of people start the year by “turning over a new leaf” when it comes to taking better care of themselves. The problem is, of those who make New Year’s resolutions with gym memberships, about 80% lose their enthusiasm by mid-February.

Establishing an exercise routine can be tough. It takes discipline. However, there is an easier (and more enjoyable) way to take good care of your body. It begins with what you put into it, because nutritious food is the cornerstone for improving your physical condition and the vitality of everyone in your family.

Protein is essential to everyone’s nutritional well being. On planet earth, some of the finest sources of lean, high-quality protein and other key nutrients come from fish and seafood. Nobody serves up that tasty nutrition better than Morey’s.

In addition to providing protein, Morey’s products contain valuable Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have proven that adding Omega-3s to your diet may decrease your risk for heart disease, certain cancers, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Given these findings, it’s not surprising that the American Heart Association encourages two servings of fish or seafood per week in their dietary recommendations.

Luckily for all fish and seafood lovers, something that’s this good for our bodies is also equally delicious. Morey’s marinated salmon, mahi mahi and tilapia are great examples. There are so many distinct flavors available, you can have Morey’s twice a week and never lose your craving for its delectability! The marinade creations include flavors like: Lemon Parmesan, Wood Roasted, Seasoned Grill, Garlic Cracked Pepper, Lemon Dill, Pineapple Mango, Sweet Mango and Garden Pesto.

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New Year. New You. Eat better in 2015.

So as you kick off 2015, make a pledge to enjoy a Morey’s meal twice a week. Plan two particular days of the week to make fish and seafood days. Many opt for one of them to be Saturday, because it’s a relaxing weekend day when the family can gather around the table to share good food and conversation.

Take a poll from all the hungry eaters in your house to determine which signature marinades they prefer for Saturday’s meal. This will help you select the ideal side dishes to accompany your fish. For example, many Morey’s fans have reported that the refreshing citrus zest of the Lemon Dill Salmon goes great with the nutty richness of squash and asparagus. Another flavor, like Morey’s Garlic Cracked Pepper Salmon, really complements fresh green beans, wild rice and a nice buttery chardonnay as a wine pairing.

Whichever initial day you decide is “seafood day,” pick the next to be a few days later. So if you make Saturday special with Morey’s, then choose Tuesday or Wednesday for your other day. It’s a very easy and tasty routine to get into!

Remember that the way you prepare each Morey’s dish will add even more uniqueness to your meal events. Bake it, broil it, grill it… it’s up to you, and every method imparts a different quality to the fish. If you’re crunched for time on a particular day, Morey’s is quick and easy to microwave too – just minutes from freezer to table! Every package contains the perfect serving size for a meal, with all the savory marinade sealed in with the fish. Morey’s has done all the work for you and your busy lifestyle.

As you embark on a year of better eating, you can choose to keep track of your progression. Maybe monitoring your weight is important. Perhaps gauging your general wellness (on a daily 1-10 scale of how you “feel”) is a strategy you’ll find helpful. Whichever track you take, eat great food throughout 2015 and make it a wonderful year!

Good luck and bon appétit.