The End of the Deep Freeze and a Warm Supper of Cauliflower Rice and Salmon

Today I am going to share a recipe I “stole” from BeautyBeyondBones, a favorite blog by a wonderful young woman following Jesus.  However, while she does it in 20 minutes, it took me closer to 45, but this cooking thing is new for me; maybe in a few years? 🤠  This recipe is my variation on it as we do not care for garlic and I am still learning.  Lots of customizable options according to your tastes, but it IS delicious and easy enough even I could do it.

2021-02-20 Traffic CamFirst, a long, longing goodbye to the wonderful Deep Freeze we have enjoyed in Kentucky.  This is not to be unconcerned about those who have suffered so badly in states further south, completely unprepared for such a stunning chill in the weather (proof of global warming, right? 🙄).  But in our neck of the woods, we seemed to adapt to it pretty well.  The CCP (Communist Chinese Party) virus already had most of us oldsters home-bound, and food delivery services were able to navigate the icy roads for those that needed it.  Main roads were cleared pretty promptly, thanx to a competent city council, mayor and dedicated road crews, and the clouds kept the sun from the melting/refreezing cycle that warmer climes experienced, only coming out a few minutes in these weeks.

1 Foot Deep IceAn elderly neighbor’s garage roof slants toward his drive, so when icy rain/sleet came down on Monday, February 15, it rolled into a mound in front of his garage to make a 12 inch deep mogul that his daughter could not drive over!  Neighbors cleared his drive while I attacked a handicapped neighbor’s drive.  When I checked on their work, they had cleared the drive but said the mound was beyond their scope or energy; we HAD cleared all our own drives so we were all pretty tuckered from our labors and called it a night.

The next morning, though, being the only retiree on our cul de sac, I pulled out my 15 pound wrecking bar and a 10 pound sledge, and went to work.  The 20⁰F (-6⁰C) meant I wore long johns under my jeans, used the hand warmers described before, and had on my Mongolian hat and Canadian coat.  However, after a few minutes of hammering and chipping at the pile of ice, I had to loosen my scarf and open my coat that eventually had to come off completely.  I told a passing neighbor walking his dog, “If I die of a heart attack shoveling ice and snow, grab my phone and text all my contacts that I died happy!” 😇

But it all worked out as I kept a slow pace, took breaks and kept my fingers and toes warm.  The next day, I hit the walks between the neighbors as we still had a couple days of subfreezing temps until Sunday.  Another neighbor built a fort for his children from the ice blocks he had taken off his neighbor’s driveway, with the same orientation and pitch of the garage roof sloping toward the drive.  One of the neighbors “rewarded” me with unbelievably delicious homemade milk chocolate balls! (Gotta get her recipe! 😉)

It will finally “warm up” to  45⁰F (+7⁰C) on Sunday, but still hover below or near freezing at night for a few nights while everything begins melting in the daytime.  Tuesday finally hits the 50s (10-13⁰C) and stays above freezing at night.  So today is probably the last day with diamonds on the trees and skating rinks beneath the 3 inches of snow we got last Wednesday.  The diamond studded trees take a better photographer than me to capture on my phone, but the icicles and sparkling trees look amazing.  A strange phenomenon I have never seen before, the ice on our deck table kind of melted, but somehow stayed together as it dropped through the holes of the metal grate.  I won’t even try to understand the physics of how this happened!  And the last pic is of the gentle white miracle falling on February 16 that made the scenery look so pure.  So now it’s goodbye to the Deep Freeze Winter Wonderland of the last two weeks.

IMG_1733For the delicious and simple Cauliflower Rice and Salmon, as usual, I recommend gathering all your ingredients before beginning:
Two Fillets of Salmon (halibut or other fish, or even chicken or steak!)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 lemon, Rosemary leaves, Ground clove, Salt & Pepper

Cauliflower Rice:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 onion (or less)
Salt and Pepper
Baby bella mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Avocado
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil on which to place the fillets.  Drizzle them with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Top it with the rosemary, a sprinkle of clove, and a slice of lemon.  Bake fish fillets for 20 minutes, until they begin to flake when pricked with a toothpick.  (Obviously, adjust the temperature/bake time for chicken or steak.)

While it’s baking, make the cauliflower rice.  Caralyn used her food processor, but I prefer the Royal Cutter from Prestige Cookware for more control.  Break the cauliflower into florets and use a coarse cone so the “rice” will not be too fine.  There may be a couple larger pieces of cauliflower – that’s okay!  (I save the cauliflower greens for a side dish, but some people find them too bitter.)  Grind the onion in the same way or dice it smaller if you prefer.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the cauliflower and onion, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Cook for about three to four minutes.  Do not overcook or the cauliflower rice will become too soft.  Then add the mushrooms and green beans and cook for another 3 minutes.  Finally, add the soy sauce and sesame oil and spinach, and stir it until it wilts, about 2 minutes.

Slice the avocado and place on top of the rice mixture on the plate.  Add the fish and eat like you’re at a five star restaurant in NYC!  Thanx, Caralyn, for a great meal!