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Monday, January 27, 2014

A Time of Change....

Jenn's Food Journey has finally come to that inevitable fork in the road.  It is time for this traveler to make a decision on whether to go down this road or that road.  The first road leads to continuing on as if nothing is about to change, which will bring on a ton of added stress.  The second road leads to the acknowledgement that things are changing rapidly and will be different from here on out. After months and months of trying to figure out which road to actually take, I have come to the conclusion that the second road is the one I must go down.   So, what does that mean for the journey?  Honestly, for now, it only means some time away.... a sort of hiatus if you please.  Times are definitely changing for me and blogging needs to take a backseat for the time being.  This has truly been a very hard decision to make.  Actually, I wasn't lying when I said it's taken me months and months.  I have been toying with the idea of putting my blog on hiatus since early October, but I have just had the hardest time truly letting go.  Blogging has not only been a great creative outlet for me, but it has helped me create some lasting friendships too.

It is time for me to be honest with myself though, and with a baby due in 10 weeks (or less for all I know), blogging must be put aside for now.  This is truly a sad day for me and I will probably regret the decision as soon as I hit the "publish" button...  but the great thing about the internet, I can always come back to it if I need/want to.  And, I hope to do just that sometime in the very near future.

To all of you who have stuck by me since the very beginning and to everyone who has come on more recently... Thank you so much!!!  You have been such wonderful support for me and I cannot tell you how much your comments and emails have brightened each and every one of my days.

To my close friends and family that have continued to read and support my blog... Thank you for your love and support.  You all know how much you mean to me and if not, email me or call me and I'll remind you :)

And of course, to Chris.... who's love and support and help with my blog has helped make this blog what it truly has become.  He is my rock and my love and I would have given up years ago without him.

I cannot truly say goodbye, as goodbye sounds too final... plus, for those of you that have blogs yourself, you know you'll see me out there because I can't wait to see what yummy new recipes you will share with the world!  So for now, with a heavy heart, I say so long and that I hope to be back soon, sharing my love for food with all of you!

Love and happy cooking to you all,
Jenn

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Grilled Sriracha Honey Chicken

If there was ever a extremely simple, extremely flavorful grilled chicken recipe, it would be this one :)  I actually saw this recipe on Comfort of Cooking (thanks Georgia for the great idea) for baked chicken wings, but figured it would be made even easier, by grilling chicken breasts.  And, trust me when I say I was right.  Week night dinners don't get much easier than this!!!

Grilled Sriracha Honey Chicken
Adapted from Comfort of Cooking
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tablespoons Sriracha
2 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Directions:
Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place in resealable plastic bag.  Mix together the Sriracha, honey and soy until well combined.  Pour over chicken, seal bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (the longer it marinates, the better it will be).

Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the chicken over direct heat and grill 8-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to rest 3-5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Favorite Recipe of the Day from Years Past:  Firecracker Chili

Monday, January 20, 2014

Saucy Creamer Potatoes

I'm actually shocked that I have never posted this recipe before.  I have been making these potatoes for years.  Okay, okay, so it's actually been a while since I've made them, so let me change what I just said to:  I FOUND this recipe a few years ago and can't believe I have never shared it with you. :)  It's a simple and delicious way to really jazz up your every day potato.

Saucy Creamer Potatoes
Adapted from Veg4health.com
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
3/4 - 1 lbs red creamer potatoes, cut in half or quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:
Place the cut potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and add 2 teaspoons of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and cook in microwave for 2 minutes.  Carefully remove the dish and shake so the potatoes get mixed around.  Place back in microwave and cook another 2 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender.  Carefully drain out any excess water and toss the potatoes with salt, pepper and enough olive oil to cover them.  Tear out a large piece of aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour the potatoes into the center of the foil and create a packet over them by pulling in opposite sides and folding.  Place potatoes on preheated grill and cook 8 minutes.  Carefully flip packet over and cook another 8-10 minutes.  Remove from grill and allow to rest.

Meanwhile, mix together the butter, sour cream, lemon juice and dried basil.  Pour the potatoes into a bowl and toss with mixture.  Serve warm.  Enjoy!

Favorite Recipe of the Day from Years Past:  Chicken Noodle Soup

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chinese Jalapeno Chicken

What can I say about this chicken dish?  It's so very simple.  It's got a little bite to it.  It's absolutely delicious!!  What more do you need to know?  Now, if you aren't into spicy, this might not be the dish for you, but if you love a little kick in your dinner... well, I highly recommend trying this recipe out.  I wanted to make it again the follow night.... okay, that could be the pregnancy speaking, but no matter.. It was good enough I wanted to eat it again, and that my friends, is always a good sign!!

Chinese Jalapeno Chicken
Adapted from Blogchef.com
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (or smaller)
2 Tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon teriyaki sauce
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
pinch of granulated sugar

Directions:
In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken and 2 Tablespoons cornstarch.  Shake well until the chicken is evenly coated.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cornstarch, mirin, rice vinegar, soy and teriyaki sauce until well combined.  Set aside.

In a deep non-stick skillet, heat the oil over high heat.  As soon as the oil starts to shimmer, turn the temp down to medium.  Add the chicken and quickly fry, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Add the jalapenos and red pepper and stir fry 3 more minutes.  Add the garlic and stir fry 1 more minute.  Lower the heat to medium low and add the sauce mixture, stirring to coat everything.  Keep on heat until the sauce has thickened (about a minute or two).  Remove from heat.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

 
Favorite Recipe of the Day from Past Years:  The Witch's Marinated Chicken with White Wine and Parsley Aioli


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pasta Soup with Little Meatballs

One day, when I was thumbing through recipes I had ripped out of magazines, I stumbled across this delicious little soup.  The picture just made it look so warm and comforting, I couldn't get it out of my mind.  That same day, I noticed our weather was supposed to get a little cooler, so I put it on my menu plan to make on a Sunday afternoon.  It ended up being the perfect day for soup!  That doesn't happen as often around here as it does in other places of the country, so I love to take advantage of it when I can.

This soup was wonderful!  Okay, so I adore meatballs, so I might be a bit bias, but still.  If you love pasta and you love pasta with meatballs, you will not want to pass this soup up.  It's like a little bowl of soupy heaven!!

Pasta Soup with Little Meatballs
Adapted from Cook's Country Magazine
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
For the meatballs -
1 slice white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 lbs 90% lean ground beef
For the soup -
8 oz dry elbow macaroni (2 cups)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
fresh chopped basil

Directions:
For the meatballs:  mash the bread and milk together in a large bowl.  Stir in the cheese, garlic, thyme, egg, salt and pepper.  add the meat and mix until combined.  With wet hands, form the mixture into 1-inch (or smaller if desired) meatballs.

For the soup: In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the meatballs and cook about 5 minutes, turning halfway through.  The meatballs will not be cooked through.  Drain and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.  Add the macaroni and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Drain the macaroni, rinse under cold water, and set aside.  Wipe the pot dry.

Heat the oil in the now empty pot over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the the tomatoes and broth.  Add the meatballs (do not stir), bring to a simmer, and cook until the meatballs are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Stir the pasta into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle individual portions with Parmesan and basil.  Enjoy!

Favorite Recipe of the Day from Past Years:  The Great Spam Experiment

Monday, January 6, 2014

Parmesan Baked Salmon

With my pregnancy, I have not been able to really eat any fish other than Salmon.  Don't get me wrong, I love salmon, so this is not a bad thing.  BUT, isn't it funny when you are told to stay away from certain things that those are the things you crave more than before?  Ask me what I would rather be eating and I couldn't really tell you, but still, I know I would love to make a nice piece of Halibut or even my beloved tilapia right now.  Okay, so there are a ton of people that would tell you I could still eat those things, but with this being my first child, I might be being a tiny bit over cautious... so judge me, it's okay :)

ANYWAY... I digress....   This simple way to prepare salmon was excellent.  I mean it was so good, I didn't even have to have a sauce with it.  That's right folks, you heard it straight from the self proclaimed sauce queen's mouth... no sauce is required with this recipe.  It is perfect as is!!  So good that while I'm writing this, I wish I had a piece baking in the oven right now!!! YUM!!!

Parmesan Baked Salmon
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
3 Tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Salmon filets

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together the mayo, mustard, parmesan, cayenne and lemon juice until well combined.  Mix the panko with just enough olive oil to moisten them a bit (about 1/2-1 teaspoon) and season with salt and pepper.  Place the salmon on a wire rack that has been set in a sheet pan and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Top each filet with the mayo/mustard mixture and then top with panko.  Place in oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Favorite Recipe of the Day from Past Years:  Sriracha Honey Cashew Chicken

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR From Jenn's Food Journey!!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you're all ready for a brand new year!!  I'll be back on Monday with a new recipe, but couldn't resist the chance to wish you all a happy start to 2014!!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Treats

I have decided to take a break over the next few weeks... I'll hopefully, come back fresh and creative after the first of the year.....  Until that time, here are some treats to help you get through the holiday season!

Breakfast Ideas:




Appetizer Ideas:




Dinner Ideas:




Dessert Ideas:





Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Jenn's Food Journey!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mustard Cream Sauce

What can I say about this sauce? I mean I have posted a lot of sauce recipes and they are all so extremely good.... This one is no exception!!  I could have eaten it with a spoon, but decided against it and served it along side a wonderful piece of baked salmon.  Actually, I topped the salmon with a little of the sauce, then topped it with some panko and THEN served it with some of this delicious sauce.  And it was perfect!!!

Mustard Cream Sauce
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Can be made up to three days in advance.  Serve with chicken, fish, shrimp, pork or french fries!  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Death by Chocolate Cookies
Two Years Ago:  Christmas Goodies
Three Years Ago:  Guest Post - Crab Delights


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chicken Biscuit Pie

One of Chris' favorite meals is chicken pot pie.  I have never been a fan of chicken pot pie, so I have actually only made it once for him... and it was just for him, and it was VERY early on in our relationship.  After that... he may have eaten one, but it wasn't from my kitchen!!  A couple weeks ago, I was scanning through my new Food Network magazine, when I ran across a recipe for turkey biscuit pie.  Sort of a spin on the old pot pie... this was done in a cast iron skillet and used a biscuit topping and, to my surprise, looked AMAZING!!   So, I thought what the heck, let's make Chris happy and feed my little sudden craving all at the same time... it's a win win situation in my book!!   I'm so glad I tried it.. it was delicious!!  My chicken mixture got a little thick, which I didn't mind, the one thing I don't like about pot pies is sometimes they can be too soupy.  And, of course, I took a short cut and used Bisquick mix to make the biscuits.  Despite those little differences, I was very happy with the dish and so was Chris, so as I suspected... it was definitely a WIN WIN!!

Chicken Biscuit Pie
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
For the biscuits-
1 1/2 cups Bisquick mix
1/2 milk (maybe more.. sorry I didn't measure)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a cast iron skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes or until the veggies are tender.  Stir in the mustard then sprinkle in the flour.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Whisk in broth and milk.  Add the chicken.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the biscuits by mixing the Bisquick and milk together until combined.  Drop dough in randoms areas on top of the chicken mixture.  Place skillet into oven and bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.  Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Cornflake Crusted Tilapia
Two Years Ago:  Jalapeno Pesto Chicken
Three Years Ago:  Every Chip Cookie

Monday, December 9, 2013

Speedy Shrimp and Red Pepper Pasta

Although being pregnant has not made me dislike any foods... most foods sound amazingly delicious to me right now... it has brought on a sense of not wanting to cook as much.  Or maybe it's the fact that I don't have much imagination anymore.  Either way, I am searching even more and more for simple meals.  And these days, they need to be not only simple, but healthy for me.  Honestly, I could eat a meal of mac and cheese and french fries each and every night... and I'm sure the baby wouldn't mind either... but I'd also be about 300 pounds and I really don't want that just yet :)   So, when I came across this recipe on the What to Expect website, I knew it had to be something I made... and soon!!  This truly is speedy and although it's nothing extremely special, it is filling and delicious and perfect for a weeknight meal!

Speedy Shrimp and Red Pepper Pasta
Adapted from What to Expect
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
8 oz whole grain penne
1/2 lb medium shelled and deveined shrimp
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:
Place the shrimp in a shallow dish and season liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Toss to coat.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, spray a non-stick skillet with oil or cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add the shrimp and cook 3 minutes per side.  Remove from pan.  To the same pan, add the red pepper; seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes or until they are just softened.  Remove from pan.   Add broth to pan and bring to a boil.  Add tomatoes and parmesan cheese.  Allow to simmer for 3 minutes.  Add the shrimp and red pepper back to the pan and cook for a minute or two until the shrimp is heated through.  Toss the sauce with the pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and serve.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago: Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies
Two Years Ago:  Chili Glazed Pork Ribs
Three Years Ago:  Grilled Pork Chops with Chipotle Honey Sauce

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

White Truffle Garlic Aioli

We received lots of great wedding gifts... one of my favorite came from a co-worker.  She gave me this really cool oil/vinegar holder with dispensers... but along with it came a Herbs de Provence olive oil, a white balsamic vinegar and ...... wait for it....   a bottle of white truffle oil!!!  YUM!!  So, of course, my first thought, was to make an aioli.  Now, one thing I learned, you can use too much truffle oil.  The first batch I made was over powered by the oil and was almost inedible.... almost :).  But, never fear, I don't like to give up when it comes to sauces, so I tried again, and the next time I nailed it!  I have made this sauce quite a few times since.. I mean it goes so well with the one thing I have pregnancy cravings for - FRENCH FRIES!!!   Oh yes, I haven't craved too many things, but fries... oh my gosh, I can't seem to get enough of them.  I have done very well with not going over board, and when I have do have the, more times than not I bake them at home, so they are a little better for me... but I guess if you are dredging them in this sauce, it sort of wipes that out, huh?  Oh well... it's worth it!!

White Truffle Garlic Aioli
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white truffle oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Can be made up to 3 days in advance.  Serve with chicken, fish, shrimp or french fries!!  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Tailgating Asian Chicken Strips
Two Years Ago:  Balsamic Chicken Pasta
Three Years Ago:  New England Clam Chowder
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!  We had a wonderful day with some of Chris' family and we very much enjoyed our long weekend!  I could totally get used to not working!!! lol

Anyway, this is a simple baked chicken recipe that I probably wouldn't have posted because I've done this same thing with fish... BUT... it's all I have in my bag of goodies right now, so it's what you get.  Simple, delicious and ready (from start to finish) in less than an hour.... that's hard to beat these days :)

P.s... about the sauce... I just doubled the dijon mixture and mixed half of it with about 1-2 Tablespoons of mayo... simple as that!

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust
Adapted from Ted Allan
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded down so they are both an even thickness)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix the mustard, thyme, salt and cayenne in a shallow bowl.  Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat completely; set aside.

In another shallow bowl, combine the parmesan and panko.  Dredge the chicken in the panko mixture, coating evenly and heavily, and pressing the coating into the meat.

Place the chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and put the sheet in the middle of the oven.  Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.  Let rest 5 minute before serving.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Pan Seared Cod with Garlic Dill Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Peanut Butter Pie with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Three Years Ago:  Pots de Creme

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Short Break....And Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving!!

With all my photos gone, gone, gone... I really don't have anything to share with you this week, so I am going to take a short break and enjoy the holiday with no pressures of feeling that I MUST post something :)

I will hopefully be back after the holiday with some new and delicious recipes to share with you.... Until then...  here's wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving filled with family, love and most of all delicious food!!!

Ciao!
Jenn
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kansas City Style Pork Back Ribs

(Image courtesy The Neely's - Food Network)

Another borrowed photo - sorry.  I am still so upset with myself for deleting so many photos off my camera.  I said it before.. it's heart breaking!!!  For the last two posts it hasn't been too big of a deal, as these were adapted recipes... but I had two posts for next week that were my own creations... THAT is the most upsetting!!  But alas, I guess there could be worse things that happened to me this week, right?  oh wait.. there just might be.. some of you may have noticed I haven't been commenting on your blogs much this week.. well, one more depressing thing - my internet connection is spotty.. if that.  I am having troubles even connecting to the internet, so don't think of me as rude, just know I will get back to commenting as soon as my issue is fixed... what a week, huh? :)

Anyway - these are ribs that I have made a couple of times and each time I've had a problem with the photo.. lol... this time, I said forget it.. I'll just politely borrow a photo and finally post this delicious recipe!!!

Kansas City Style Pork Back Ribs
Adapted from The Neely's, Food Network
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 rack pork back ribs
For the Sauce -
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons water

Directions:
Mix together the first 8 ingredients until well combined.  Sprinkle and rub into both sides of the rib.  Cover in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, add all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to low (stirring occasionally).  Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes; stirring occasionally so nothing burns.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Remove ribs from the refrigerator about 30-45 minutes before you are ready to cook them.  Preheat grill to 275-300 degree F and set up for indirect cooking.  Remove the ribs from the plastic wrap and wrap in foil (I cut the rack in half to make it easier and I pour just a tiny bit of beer in the foil wrap too for added moisture).  Place ribs over indirect heat and grill (turning occasionally) for 1 hour.  Carefully remove ribs from foil and place over direct heat.  Continue to grill 15-20 minutes over direct heat.  Remove from grill and allow to rest before digging in.  Enjoy!!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Fish with Chinese BBQ Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Guest Blogger:  Cheese Cornbread
Three Years Ago:  Baked Tilapia w/Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce