Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Forty Two – Washington – Cedar Plank Salmon, plus Golden Apple Yogurt Coffee Cake

Welcome to week 42 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the state of Washington, who joined the union on November 11, 1889.  It’s nice to be back on my regular schedule again! Actually making s dish on Tuesday and posting the same day…remarkable.

So if you have been following the dates of the last several states, you will see that four were admitted in quick succession; North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington. There was a period of 13 years when no states were added to the union. But an act of congress was passed in February 1889 (it was called the Enabling Act) that allowed these four territories the right to seek statehood. All four passed state constitutions and all four were admitted by President Benjamin Harris. An interesting piece of information about Benjamin Harris; he holds the honor of admitting more states than any other president, with six. The 13 original colonies were already states when they started, so George Washington does not get the honor. Nor does Andrew Jackson, as he was responsible for “re-admitting” the states that had succeeded during the Civil War, but again, these were not new states. I have already given you four of Harris’s states. Who are the other two? Well I guess you will have to stay with me for a couple more weeks!

The state of Washington is named after George Washington, and it is the only state to be named after a president.

In looking for a recipe for this week, two foods came to the surface. The first was salmon, which is what I think of when I think of Washington. What I discovered is that salmon in the Pacific Northwest were nearly wiped out, and if not for the federal government placing 16 species of salmon of the Endangered Species list, we probably would not have these beautiful fish today. I am glad we saved them! I enjoy salmon, but the men in my house do not, so I don’t make it very often. In fact, I only made a single serving of it tonight, because I knew I was the only one who was going to eat it.

Since the point of New Recipe Tuesday is for everyone to enjoy it, I moved on to the second food known in Washington, and that is the apple. I found that Washington produces over 25 different varietals of apples. The oldest orchards in the state date back to the mid 1800s, when farmers came west in search of opportunities other than gold mining. They brought saplings with them and found that the soil and weather conditions were perfect for growing.

So two recipes this week. The first was my salmon entrée. I decided to try a recipe for Cedar Planked Salmon with Honey Balsamic Glaze. Many plank recipes I have seen require the use of a grill, but this one gave pretty good directions on how to use the broiler. I liked how easy it was and even though I thought the cooking time was a bit long, it actually came out perfect. The sweet and savory glaze was just right and did not overpower the fish. I would make this again.

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Balsamic Glaze

The other recipe is for Golden Apple Yogurt Coffee Cake. This recipe uses the Golden Delicious variety of apple, which is perfect for baking as it is soft but not mealy. I liked the cake, but I think if I made it again, I would increase the butter, sugar, cinnamon that creates the ‘top’ of this upside down cake. I would also double the streusel, as it seemed like there was too much cake and not enough of the yummy filling stuff. So this one as written gets a B, but I am thinking that it will be pretty good tomorrow morning with a cup of coffee.

Golden Apple Cake
Golden Apple Yogurt Coffee Cake

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by. See you next week in Idaho!

Recipe for Cedar Planked Salmon with Honey Balsamic Glaze:


4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Melted butter, for brushing salmon
2 untreated cedar planks, each about 5 by 12-inches, soaked in water to cover for 1-2 hours
Extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling the planks


Preheat the broiler.

Slice about 8 to 10 sliced angles into flesh of each filet, to help the fish more completely soak in the glaze.

In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, and dry mustard.

In a medium glass bowl, heat the honey in the microwave for 30 seconds to liquefy further. Remove from the microwave and whisk in the balsamic vinegar.

Brush the top of the salmon (not the skin side) with the melted butter. Season the flesh side with the spice mixture. Brush with the honey-balsamic mixture, reserving some for later.

Put the soaked planks under the hot broiler, about 5-6 inches from the heat source (this was the second ‘rung’ in my oven), until the wood is lightly browned on top, about 3-4 minutes. With tongs, carefully remove the planks from the oven.

Immediately brush the browned surface with olive oil, and then lay the salmon fillets on the oiled surface, skin side down.

Put 2 cookie sheets in the oven below where the planks will go to catch any glazes or juices that run off. Return the planks to the oven and cook the fish for 7 minutes. Baste with honey-balsamic and place return to oven. Cook until it is done to your taste, about 7-10 more minutes.

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Recipe for Golden Apple Yogurt Coffee Cake:


1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and sliced
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 oz.) plain yogurt
Streusel Filling

Streusel Filling
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ chopped walnuts or pecans


Combine melted butter with brown sugar and cinnamon in 9 X 9 X 2-inch square baking pan. Smooth mixture evenly over bottom. Arrange apple slices over brown sugar mixture.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition.

Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with yogurt.

Spread half of batter over apple slices. Sprinkle Streusel Filling over batter in pan. Spread remaining batter over filling.

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until cake tests done when wooden pick is inserted near center. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. Serve warm. Golden Apple Cake slice

Golden Apple Yogurt Coffee Cake


Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Forty One – Montana – Bison Burger

Welcome to week 41 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome Montana, who joined the union on November 8, 1889.  Sorry this one is actually coming up on a Thursday. I was travelling last week and still trying to get back into my normal routine. Add an illness to the mix of my elderly father (he’s 93!) and well, you get the picture.

First, I would like to give a big shout out to the state of Minnesota. I know it is Montana’s turn, but I spent a whole week in the Twin Cities and had a great time. From sticking my toes in the Mississippi River, to seeing Adele in St Paul (I know, you’re envious about that one), to seeing both The Lion King and South Pacific, and a visit to Paisley Park, it was a whole lot of fun. I even got to spend the Fourth of July with my nephew Travis. Oh, and I had a Juicy Lucy! Lots of memories, all good.

My week in the Twin Cities

Alright, on to Montana. Montana is the 4th largest U.S. state by area, behind Alaska, Texas and California. Interestingly, it is one of the least populated, with only 6 people per square mile. And although the name Montana comes from the Spanish word montaña, meaning “mountain”, it has the lowest elevation of any of the Rocky Mountain States.

When I think of Montana, I think of Indian Territories and Bison. In 1908, the National Bison Range was created to protect bison, which were nearly extinct at that time. Protected, nearly 500 live in the range today.

And here is an interesting fact; especially in light of the pretty warm temps here is Philly this week. The coldest temperature in the lower 48 states ever recorded was -70°F in Rogers Pass, MT on January 20, 1954. In January of 1972, Loma, MT, broke the national record for the greatest temperature change within a 24-hour period by recording a 103 degree climb from -54°F to 49°F. I have no right to complain about weather…ever.

In looking for a recipe for this week, I discovered that Montana is really known for only two things; Rocky Mountain Oysters and Bison Burgers. In case you do not know, a Rocky Mountain Oyster is not seafood. It is a deep fried bull testicle. Not only are they not available in the greater Philadelphia area, I wouldn’t eat one if you paid me. So I went with the Bison Burger.

MT Bison Burger 2

Bison meat is very lean and I like the flavor. I know that making a burger from bison can result in something very dry, so I went looking for a recipe that would help it with both flavor and fat content. What I settled on was a recipe that uses Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce, along with a little bacon fat. The result was very tasty, served with some melted cheese and caramelized onions.

A very simple dish but with loads of flavor, I would highly recommend swapping out your everyday ground beef for some bison. A nice change, it comes together very quickly and I would make it again. This gets a solid A.

Thanks for your patience! I promise to be more timely next week when we move on to Washington State. See you Tuesday!

Recipe for Montana Bison Burger:


1 egg
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp melted rendered bacon fat
1 lb. ground bison

Toasted sesame rolls
caramelized onions


Combine all the burger ingredients. Form into 4 patties and refrigerate for 2 hours (if you have the time) to meld the flavors.

Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add a little oil, and then fry the patties until your desired done-ness. I recommend about 3 minutes a side, making the burger about medium done.

Serve on toasted rolls with your choice of condiments. I recommend the onions and bacon.

MT Bison Burger

Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Forty – South Dakota – Peach Kuchen

Welcome to week 40 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome South Dakota, who joined the union on November 2, 1889, the same as its neighbor to the north. As I talked about last week, both North and South Dakota have the same date as admittance into the United States because then President Benjamin Harris randomly selected the bill order and did not officially record which one was signed first. Even so, ND is usually listed before SD (if for nothing more than the alphabet) and that is how I am proceeding.

Unlike North Dakota, I have never been to South Dakota although it is on my bucket list. As luck would have it, I am actually in Minneapolis this week, in the neighboring state of Minnesota! But where I would like to go see Mt. Rushmore, it is 9 hours away, so I guess that will have to be another time.

Speaking of Mt. Rushmore, I learned that the original design was to include the four presidents from head to waist. Unfortunately, the Sculptor Gutson Borglum died before the work was completed and funding was cut by Congress because of WWI. Regardless, I hear it is quite magnificent and I hope to see it in person some day.

In addition to Mt. Rushmore, the state is also home to the Lakota leader Crazy Horse, located in the Black Hills. It is designed to be the world’s largest statue when it is completed, extending 563 feet high and 641 feet long. The head was completed in 1998 and measures 87 feet. Again, something I think I would like to see in person.

When working on a recipe this week, I was again intrigued by the large influence of German settlers to the region and the foods they brought with them from the old world. I discovered a dessert dish that actually reminds me of my childhood called Kuchen, which is sort of a cross between a cake and a cheesecake, usually with a fruit such as peach or pineapple. When I was growing up in Rochester NY, there was a department store called Sibley’s that my mom used to shop at. They had a bakery counter (yes, a department store with a bakery!) and one of the best things they sold was kuchen. I loved it and always looked forward to our trips to the store to get one.

The recipe I found uses peaches and although it was very delicious, it was not the same as my childhood. Wish Sibley’s was still around. Do you think they would have shared their recipe??

Peach Kuchen

Anyway, this dish was very tasty and everyone in the house liked it. It is not too sweet and has a nice texture to it. I would have liked the custard part to be a little more custardy, but I guess that is just how they make it in South Dakota. I think I will continue my search for the Upstate New York version, but for now, I will give this one a solid A and hope you will give it a try.

Oh, and so you know. I actually made this dish last week, since I knew I would be in a hotel in Minnesota and not in my kitchen. Not to miss a week, I hope it’s not a foul that I didn’t actually make this today. I should be home by next Tuesday (we are driving), but if not, I will catch you all up on Wednesday.

Until then… I guess I need to start planning for Montana!

Peach Kuchen

Recipe for Peach Kuchen:


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 large can (28 oz) peach halves, drained and sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices

For the Custard Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt


Preheat the oven to 400˚F
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and stir well.
Add the cold butter pieces and use a pastry cutter to incorporate until it resembles small peas (think pie crust).
In a small mixing bowl, whisk milk and egg together. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork just until it becomes wet.
Grease a 9-inch spring form pan and spread the batter on the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the peach slices on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the custard cream. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cups of cream with flour and whisk together to get rid of big lumps. Add the rest of the cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well to mix.
Take the cake out of the oven and pour the cream mixture on top. Put the cake back in the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes.
When the cake top is puffed, and the edges are deep golden and starting to separate from the pan, the cake is done. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely.

Peach Kuchen