Friday, July 31, 2009

Fish Tacos

So, yesterday I go to take a picture of dinner for my dear old blog, but I couldn't find the memory card for my other camera (the one that takes the more appetizing shots.) I had to use my point and shoot. Did you know that a memory card can be run through the washer and the dryer? Neither did I. I have got to get better about cleaning out pockets before I wash them. All's well that ends well, I suppose. And now, onto dinner.

Last night I made fish tacos and boy were they tasty. I used Mahi Mahi. And then I wondered why I don't make it more often when I make fish. It is so dense and meaty and delicious. It would have been really good on the grill, but it was raining last night so I baked it. It turned out pretty good that way.

You know that I love cheese, right? Well, I also love ranch dressing. I always like making things that I can put ranch on and tacos are no exception. It sounds kind of gross, but it was really good.

Fish Tacos

I took a 1 lb. piece of Mahi Mahi (with the skin taken off) and drizzled extra virgin olive oil on top. Then I put the zest of 1 lime, a sprinkle of ancho chile powder, lime juice (from the zested lime), salt and pepper on top. I baked the fish at 400° for about 20 minutes (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145°.)

To serve the tacos I put a piece of the fish in a tortilla topped with shredded red cabbage and ranch dressing.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Granola Bars

My sister-in-law Emily sent me this delicious recipe for granola bars. She thought Max might like them. In fact, we all love them! I think I baked them a little bit too long, so they were a bit too chewy. Other than that they were great. Max loves them as a snack. And I love them because when I am feeling lazy they make a great breakfast.

Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup wheat germ (I used flax meal)

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 ounce unsalted butter (I used 1 ounce of flax oil)

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

6 1/2 ounces dried fruit (I used golden raisins and craisins)

Spray your pan before you bake the bars. Preheat oven to 350. Spread oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto pan. Place in oven for 15 min to toast, stir occasionally.

In the meantime, combine honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until brown sugar dissolves completely.

Once oat mixture is done, remove from oven and reduce heat to 300. Add oat mixture to liquid mixture, add dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture into a 9X9 (9X13 halt-sheet pans works also) sprayed with cooking spray, evenly distributing. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool COMPLETELY!! (otherwise it falls apart) Cut up and enjoy! (lasts about 2 wks)

Thanks Emily!

Bon Appetit!


Cobb Salad

Warning: The picture does not actually look very appetizing, but this salad was really good!

As I have said before, it is stinking hot in Austin right now. That is why there has been an obscene amount of salad recipes these days. Not to mention that salads are so easy! Maybe once it cools off (October?) I will actually start cooking again. But, I do love a good salad, so I can't say that I am too disappointed about having lots of salads. Cobb salad is one of my favorites. It is a wonderful combination of all the best things to eat: bacon, olives, bleu cheese, ranch dressing. What's not to like?

Cobb Salad

chopped Romaine lettuce
tomatoes, diced
Kalamata olives
bleu cheese
bacon, crumbled
avocado, sliced
grilled chicken, sliced

Assemble salad and dress with ranch dressing.

Ranch Dressing

1 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 t. dried chives
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried dill
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

This makes a ton of dressing. I think next time I will half it, just so you know.

See how easy a salad is!

Bon Appetit!

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Jeff's sister, Claire, came to town last weekend and we went to Central Market Sunday morning. It was like hitting a food jackpot. There were all kinds of samples, it was great! They had a sample of this salad and it was so delicious, I knew had to make it. It was light and easy to prepare- perfect for a summer weeknight. I didn't change anything about the recipe except that I used one can of tuna instead of two.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad
(Central Market recipe)

1 can beans (I used chickpeas)
1 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 c red onion, finely diced
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 t fresh oregano or rosemary, minced
2 cans tuna, water or oil packed, drained
4 T capers, drained
1/2 c lemon juice
4 T extra virgin olive oil
8 c of fresh salad greens
Freshly ground pepper and salt

Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, herbs, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 2 T of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine remaining 1/4 c of lemon juice and 2T of olive oil in a large bowl with salt and pepper, whisk to combine and toss with salad greens.

Serve tuna on top of greens.

Bon Appetit!

Fusilli with Spinach and Tomatoes

I can always watch either Everyday Italian or Barefoot Contessa and come away with a delicious recipe for something that I just have to make. These two ladies both have personalities that irritate me to high heaven, but boy do they know how to make some tasty food. I think I may have over wilted my spinach, but the pasta wasn't ready and I wanted to keep the "sauce" warm. And I may or may not have been paying attention! Other than that it was very good. I will always love a good pasta dish.
I followed this recipe exactly, except that I did use whole wheat pasta. And, in case you are wondering, it is not so kid friendly. At least it wasn't so my kid friendly. He loved the pasta, but he wouldn't touch the spinach or tomatoes with a ten foot pole.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pimiento Cheese

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love cheese. And, it only seems right that I would love pimiento cheese. But, I really don't like the premade stuff they sell in the store. This is much better and only slightly more involved than opening a container of the other stuff. I did make my own roasted pepper (which is really easy), but you could certainly use the jarred kind. So, try this pimiento cheese and go throw the other grocery store stuff out. Now.

1 8oz. package of cheddar/jack cheese
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 thinly sliced green onions (white and green parts)
3-4 T chopped fresh dill

To roast the red pepper: I put the red pepper over the burner on my gas stove. The outside of the of the pepper will become charred. Keep turning the pepper over the flame until the outside is all charred. Then put the pepper in a brown paper bag for about 15 minutes. The steam from the pepper will make the charred skin easier to get off. Peel the charred skin off of the pepper and dice.

For the pimiento cheese: Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

Nicoise Salad

So, when the heat index is 109° we eat a lot of salads. Some people might feel like salads are kind of a light dinner, but this one really is very hearty. I mean, any salad that has potatoes in it will surely keep you full.

Nicoise Salad

Mixed greens or spinach
8-10 small red potatoes
green beans
olives (nicoise is available, but I prefer kalamata)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 or 2 cans of tuna
Champagne Vinaigrette

In a small pot put the washed potatoes in cold, salted water. Once the water has started to boil put the eggs in the pot and cook for 12 minutes. Pull out the potatoes when they are tender. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes in 1-2 T of olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside. Set the eggs aside when they are finished cooking. Put the washed green beans in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 min. When the green beans come out, place in an ice water bath to stop them from cooking any more. Set aside. (So at this point you have cooked the potatoes, green beans and eggs in the same pot and set them aside to use when you put the salad together.)
To put the salad together: Place the potatoes, olives, green beans, sliced hard boiled eggs, and tuna on a bed of lettuce. Dress with the champagne vinaigrette.

Champagne Vinagrette

Once again, I have no actual measurements for this. This recipe is my best guess.

Whisk together 1T of dijon mustard and 2-3T of champagne vinegar. Add 1-2T of fresh chopped dill. Slowly whisk in olive oil (be sure to keep the whisk moving the whole time so make sure the dressing emulsifies.) Voila!

Bon Appetit!