Can I Do My Taxes After I Finish Cooking?

Main Course / April 15, 2019

For some reason, the thought of a spreadsheet filled with numbers makes me a bit queasy. I am always compiling and totaling my expenses and income for the year at the very LAST minute. Insert image of husband with hands clenched, approaching my neck to wring it; I mean, it’s not like I, or anyone else look forward to taxes each year. The date is not circled on my calendar with hearts all around it. But I rationalize my procrastination in the most twisted way finding bizarre activities to replace completing my 1040 or Schedule C. I would ask you to indulge me when I say that I think putting an apron on is also an activity that falls into that “sorry, I can’t count right now…” category. Right?

It’s funny, really, because when I cook I appear to be quite a mathematician. My ‘mis en place’ looks similar to the vertical columns of my ignored spread sheet: Straight and tidy. Yet I still would rather be splattered with sauce than splayed out with a calculator in hand.

I see you nodding your head in agreement. So let’s continue with FOOD! (For those shaking your heads “no,” and linking arms with my frustrated husband, NO dinner for you.)  🙂

I will attempt to mitigate my folly by presenting you with several recipes that prove salivating is the perfect way to side-track your Federal duties. Let’s take a look:

Brown Sugar Moroccan Salmon With Sautéed Apple and Cucumber Relish

Serves 2


2 6 oz. salmon filets, skin removed, patted dry
2 small Fuji apples sliced into 1 inch square pieces or your choice of shape
1/3 English cucumber, halved then sliced into 1/8” slices
1/8 C slices of sweet white onion
2 large garlic cloves sliced thin
3 fresh basil leaves julienned
2 t fresh ginger minced or chopped finely
Handful fresh Italian parsley leaves chopped
1/3 C light packed light brown sugar divided
2 t Moroccan spice rub
3 T butter
1 T light oil
2 t kosher salt, 1 t black pepper for seasoning
1 C jasmine rice, cooked
1 C Spring greens for presentation


  • Rub 1 T of the light oil on the salmon filets, then rub with half the brown sugar, and rub with the Moroccan seasoning. Place in small baking dish (with a bit of oil on the bottom,) allowing filets to be about 1 inch apart. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place salmon in hot oven. Bake until salmon is done, about 12 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the apple and cucumber mixture and sauté until apples are soft, about 6-7 minutes. Put lid on keep warm until filets are cooked.
  • Plate by putting spring green dressed with a little red wine vinegar on plate, nestle cooked rice next to it. Top with cooked salmon and top with the apple relish mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve!

The Best Meatloaf With a Plum Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Serves 8


2 lbs. 92% ground sirloin
½ C chopped sweet white onion
½ C golden raisins
3/8 C plain bread crumbs
1 large clove of garlic minced
1 large egg
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
1 ½ t kosher salt ½ t black pepper (to taste)
2 T heavy cream
1 ½ t Froelich’s Marrakesh Mix (or one of your favorite spice blends. This one is pro prietary and tastes like Chinese
5 Spice meet Greek Blend.)


  • Mix all. Form into a long brick and place formed meatloaf on a foil lined baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F.


1 C Port Wine
3 T good quality Balsamic Vinegar
2 t red wine vinegar
½ t salt
¾ C chopped soft prunes
2 T butter

Simmer the wine, and the vinegar on medium high until it has reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon.Add the prunes and let gently simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the butter, stir,and serve over meatloaf.

Bacon Wrapped Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Serves 8


6 complete boneless skinless breasts, cut in half and pounded out thin
1 15 oz. container full fat ricotta cheese
½ C grated parmigiana reggiano cheese + more for sprinkling on top
1 large egg
½ C chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 10 oz package frozen spinach
2 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
¼ C white onion chopped finely
¼ C good olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
12 thin slices of bacon


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread a bit of olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the 12 stuffed breasts easily. Empty the spinach into boiling water and reduce heat to simmering, breaking up the spinach just until thawed and hot. Drain, push spinach through sieve to remove all water, then wrap in paper towel and squeeze hard to remove all the rest of the water. Add the spinach to a bowl and add the ricotta, grated cheese, egg, garlic, onion, half the parsley and about 1 t kosher salt and ½ t black pepper. Combine well. Set aside.
  • Lay out each pounded piece of chicken. Place two heaping tablespoons of the mixture in the center and wrap over each edge of the chicken until closed and it becomes round. Rub with a bit of the oil. Then tightly wrap each with a slice of the bacon, overlapping so that the fat from the bacon seals the circle tightly. Place seam side down in dish. Sprinkle with a little more grated cheese, some parsley, and a bit of black pepper. When all breasts have been stuffed and wrapped and place in baking dish, bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is 140 degrees. Can use the broiler for the last few minutes to brown and crisp the bacon. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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