Smoked Salmon Dip

Do you ever have the kind of day or week where all you want to do is go home and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s?


Come on, admit it.  You’ve been there.

I’m having that kind of week.  Work has been slow.  I feel fat.  My dog has been sick all over the house.  One ex-boyfriend got engaged this week, and another married.  Perfect timing, right?

Believe it or not, I somehow didn’t shove my face with Cherry Garcia.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely fixed the problem with food… but this time I decided to make a snack that is more along the lines of my own personal comfort food.  This dip is an ode to one of my absolute favorite meals:  A great Jewish Bagel and Lox spread.  Nothing beats it.

Smoked Salmon Dip


1 8oz tub of Whipped Greek Cream Cheese (or other light cream cheese)

2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill 

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

4oz Smoked Salmon, chopped


1.  In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, fresh dill, and lemon juice.  Add HALF of the chopped smoked salmon.  Process until smooth.  

2.  Add the rest of the smoked salmon and stir by hand keeping the rest of the salmon in bigger pieces.  Serve with Slices of Everything Bagel, Everything Pretzel Crisps, Bagel Chips, or veggies.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light

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A few things about this recipe… besides the fact that it’s super delicious and awesome.

Greek Cream Cheese.  Try it.  It’s amazing!  Light Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt mixed together to bring to you a sweeter tasting product with the same consistency as regular cream cheese.  Lower in fat, higher in protein.  Win-win situation here.

Gourmet Garden.  My new lifesaver.  You can buy these in the refrigerated produce section at your grocery store.  They are pre-washed and chopped fresh herbs in a tube that will last much longer than buying the fresh leaves.  You can freeze them too!

Smoked Salmon.  Every good Jew knows.  Every good friend of a Jew should know too.  This stuff is gold.  Simply delicious and salty.  If you don’t know what it is, get with it.  You can buy it most places but I highly recommend checking out the selection at Trader Joe’s.  They have one variety that is a 4oz container that is already in pieces that will save you some money.  I think it’s <$4.

Now that I’ve consumed almost a quarter of this dip… I can say that I am totally starting to feel better!  🙂

So Crêpe, Philadelphia


So cute.

So delicious.

So affordable.

(sorry, I just had to!)

So Crêpe is an adorable little BYOB restaurant on South Street that just opened up this past fall.  They serve both savory and sweet varieties of crepes, all using fresh and natural ingredients.  The crepes are even made with whole wheat or buckwheat, depending on what type you get.

Dave and I stumbled across So Crêpe on our walk home from the subway this past weekend.  What a lovely addition to our neighborhood!  We both decided on trying the “So Smoked” Crepe since we were stopping in for breakfast.

The So Smoked was a huge, and soooo yummy buckwheat crepe stuffed with smoked salmon, avocado slices, sour cream and chives.  MMM!  I couldn’t believe how much salmon was in there for only $8.50 each.  If only we saved enough room in our bellies to try a sweet crepe!

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photo 2 (16)

I also do want to mention that the staff were just fabulous.  I loved how the kitchen was open and directly in the center of the restaurant.  The chefs chatted with us the whole time and I always like being able to watch them make the food.  I cannot wait to come back here and highly recommend it to anyone in the area 🙂


Smoked Salmon Hash w/ a Baked Egg and Fried Basil

Please excuse the interruption of this month’s Low-Carb menu, and allow me to introduce today’s post… Smoked Salmon Hash w/ a Baked Egg and Fried Basil.  What a mouthful!

One It’s Good to be the Cook’s awesome twitter followers @StephanieMcSher recommended I try to enter Fabio’s Kitchen Academy Challenge.  Wait a second Stephanie… Fabio?  As in Fabio, my all-time FAVORITE Top Chef contestant?!  AHHH!  I had to check this out.

The Contest-  Create a dish using (not exclusively) the following five ingredients:


Olive Oil


Parmesan Cheese


Oh, there’s one small tiny little factor… the challenge for November ends in ONE DAY!  I put my thinking cap on and started brainstorming.  After tearing up Trader Joe’s like the Tasmanian Devil in a Looney Tunes Short, I bought what I needed and headed home to get cookin’.

Smoked Salmon Hash w/ a Baked Egg and Fried Basil

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook

Serves:  4

What you’ll need:

3 Russet Potatoes, peeled

1 Sweet Onion

Olive Oil (you’ll need enough to cover the bottom of a large pan + a little bit more for drizzling)

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

1 Package Smoked Salmon, maybe 8oz (I used Trader Joe’s Smoked Salmon Pieces since it was going to be cut up anyway!)

Fresh Basil (1/2 cup Chopped plus 8 leaves)

1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated (1/2 Cup or less)

Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Smoked Paprika

4 Eggs


1.  Pre-heat the oven to 450.  Cut the Potatoes into small cubes, as evenly as possible.  Throw them into a big bowl with a few shakes of salt and cold water.  Soak for at least 10 minutes to remove some of the starch.  Drain and place on a few papertowels to pat off as much water as possible.  Meanwhile, chop the onion and chop the smoked salmon.  

2.  Meanwhile, heat enough Olive Oil to coat the bottom of a large non-stick skillet (with high sides if possible).  Once the oil is hot enough (test with a drop of water), place the Fresh Basil Leaves in the oil.  Let frizzle in the oil for 30 seconds, then using tongs, flip the basil over and cook for another 30 seconds on that side.  Remove to a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt.  

3.  Using the basil oil, dump the soaked then drained and dried potato chunks into the oil (carefully!).  Add a sprinkle of Sea Salt, a few grinds of Black Pepper, and a few shakes of Smoked Paprika (will give it GREAT flavor and color!).  Leave the potatoes alone frying in the oil for about 5 minutes, then flip/stir and add the onion right ontop.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Flip/stir.  Add garlic , flip/stir again.  

4.  Test a chunk of potato with a fork.  It should go in very easily, but taste it to make sure it’s cooked and also for seasoning, you probably need to add a bit more salt (be careful, you’re going to add salty smoked salmon so don’t oversalt).  

5.  Once the potatoes are cooked but not browning, add a handful of chopped basil (between 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup, reserving some for garnish) and your chopped Smoked Salmon.  Flip and stir.  Now you’re going to want to leave it be for 5 minutes to let the cooked potato mixture brown and get a little crispy.  Flip/Stir and wait again for 5 minutes for the next side to brown up.  Once it’s reached your desired crispiness, take the entire mixture and drain in a colander to remove extra grease.

6.  Prepare individual ramekins, crocks or a baking dish* with non-stick spray.  Spoon the drained salmon/potato mixture into the dishes.  Sprinkle a small coating of Panko Bread Crumbs onto the top (don’t overdo it!).  Next, grate some fresh Parmesan Cheese ontop to fully coat the top of the surface.  Season with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, a sprinkle of Fresh Basil, and a pinch of Smoked Paprika.  

7.  Using a spoon, make a small indentation or divot into the center of the surface.  Crack an Egg into a separate dish, then pour onto the top into the divot.  This will keep the egg in place.  Spray with a touch of Olive Oil.  Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, checking after 5.  Keep in the oven until the whites are fully cooked (they will appear WHITE instead of clear).  

8.  Carefully remove the ramekins or baking dish once the egg whites are cooked (leave in longer if you don’t want a runny yolk).  Top with 2 of the reserved Fried Basil Leaves and serve hot!


WHEW!!!!!!!!!!  I know it’s a LOT of steps, but it really is easy and sooooo worth it.  This recipe passed not only the Boyfriend Dave test, but the Mom and Sister test too.  The flavors of this dish are so warm with the smoky Paprika and Salmon.  I also loved how the potatoes were nice and soft against the crispy Panko/Parmesan topping and the crunchy Fried Basil.  YUM!

So, there you have it- my very first entry into TC Fan Favorite Fabio’s Kitchen Academy Challenge!  Now it’s up to you to help me win when the recipes are posted on Fabio’s Pinterest.  Stay tuned for info on how to help me win!!!

Could he get more adorable?

Could he get more adorable?

Check out Fabio’s Kitchen Academy Challenge Here!

Now, time for some serious food porn… MMMMMMMMM!

The 5 Ingredients for the Challenge:  Potatoes, Parmesan, Basil, Olive Oil, and Eggs.  MMM

The 5 Ingredients for the Challenge: Potatoes, Parmesan, Basil, Olive Oil, and Eggs. MMM

Sizzlin' Basil

Sizzlin’ Basil

Set aside your fried basil for later... okay maybe snitch one... and make a few extra while you're at it. :)

Set aside your fried basil for later… okay maybe snitch one… and make a few extra while you’re at it. 🙂

This is the size I got my potatoes down to, thanks to my brand new knife :)  What a lifesaver!

This is the size I got my potatoes down to, thanks to my brand new knife 🙂 What a lifesaver!

Here we are with the fried potatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and smoked salmon.  Right now I'm letting it sit to get a little crispy and browned.

Here we are with the fried potatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and smoked salmon. Right now I’m letting it sit to get a little crispy and browned.

This picture is of the SS Hash in my individual baking dish topped with the Panko and Parm.

This picture is of the SS Hash in my individual baking dish topped with the Panko and Parm.

I also made a batch of the hash without the egg to be split into 3 for my family.  For this version, I fried up eggs on the stove and topped each individual serving.

I also made a batch of the hash without the egg to be split into 3 for my family. For this version, I fried up eggs on the stove and topped each individual serving.

The beautiful finished product.  Wow.

The beautiful finished product. Wow.

Close Up!

Close Up!

Seriously... nom nom nom

Seriously… nom nom nom


I LOVE me some runny yolk.  On anything... seriously.  Wow.

I LOVE me some runny yolk. On anything… seriously. Wow.

Smoked Salmon Hash




The Ultimate Jewish Omelette

Check this recipe out on Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!

If you didn’t believe me before when I told you how much I love eggs, do you believe me now? This is now my fourth Omelette post and tenth post about Eggs.  This is the best one yet. (Better than my Salami Omelette & the Portobello Omelette too!)

My family hosts the yearly “break-fast” (as in breaking the fast, not your morning meal) dinner after Yom Kippur, serving delicious bagels with your typical Jewish fix-ins… Lox, Whitefish Salad, Onions, Tomatoes, Cukes, etc.  This year we had tons of leftovers… YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!  Here’s where I went with it:

The Ultimate Jewish Omelette

A Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook


1 Tablespoon Butter

3 slices of Onion, chopped

2 slices of tomato, chopped

3 slices Lox, chopped

2 Egg Whites & 1 Egg

2 Tablespoons Fat Free Cream Cheese

Ground Pepper


1.  Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan (or just use spray) over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir until they start to soften/brown.  Add the lox and stir in with the onion.  Cook for another 4 minutes or so until the lox cooks (it will turn a lighter pink).  

2.  Meanwhile, scramble the eggs together with a teaspoon of water.  Pour over the cooking onion and lox.  Continue to cook over medium heat until the top is no longer runny or almost solid.  It may help to put a lid on, it will help steam the egg and cook the top half.

3.  Add the chopped tomatoes and using two spoons, dollop 2 Tablespoons of Fat Free Cream cheese as evenly as possible.  Fold the omelette in half and let sit for another minute or two so the cheese will melt.  Serve with some pepper.

YUMMY YUMMY!  I obviously already looooooove Lox/Eggs/Onions, but Dave had never tried it before.  He was pretty skeptical but enjoyed it too :).  The cream cheese was awesome and it got super melty/creamy.  MMM.


I couldn’t resist some good Jewish Rye and of course Whitefish Salad.

The onions were almost caramelized and look how creamy the cheese is!

I had big eyes and wanted to use some other leftovers and ended up eating this with a piece of Rye and Pumpernickel Toast w/ some Whitefish Salad… and (random) sauteed spinach.  If you’ve never tried Lox in your eggs, please do!  It sounds strange but it works.  I promise.  OH, and don’t add extra salt!  Lox is really salty as it is.

Lunchtime Tuesday

Now that we’ve gone over two different Lunchtime Tuesdays where I’m eating a Turkey Sandwich, I wanted to change it up a bit.

Today, I made myself a little lox sandwich, with some leftovers from what my Mom brought home on Sunday.

I put some of the leftover smoked salmon in a plastic baggie, measured out a Tablespoon of Low-Fat Veggie Cream Cheese (which was half of a serving), and wrapped up a Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat British Muffin (English Muffin… get it?).  When it was lunch time at work, I popped the muffin in our toaster, then spread on the cream cheese and lox on top.

Although I normally might eat lox with a fresh everything bagel, the whole wheat English muffin worked well and was MUCH healthier.  The sandwich was a great change in my routine and was very filling.  I ate the sandwich with a peach and then later on had my normal Fat Free Cottage Cheese w/ Strawberry Polaner All Fruit.  Yum!