Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

A salad spinner! I think...has anyone used one? Do they really work?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I won!

Many thanks to Cookies and Kate! I won my first giveaway!

I won a copy of The Seasonal Cocktail Companion.

Once I get it, we will try a few drinks on for size and give you guys a review!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Zucchini Oven Chips

Things I learned today.
1. Saks 5th Avenue is crazy expensive, even the sale rack!
2. Clothes look different when you try them on at home.
3. Clothes shopping makes me want to eat more vegetables!

Zucchini Oven Chips, adapted from Cooking Light 

1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c 2% milk
3 small zucchini, sliced 1/4" thick
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately with:
Basil Sauce, adapted from Cinnamon Girl Recipes
1/2 cup Sour Cream, light
3 tablespoons Kraft olive oil mayo
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients in blender, or in my case, in a Magic Bullet! :)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Snickerdoodles, and a long absence

I have been MIA from the blog since September! Oops. Just a lack of motivation I think, no other excuses. Life gets busy, and the blog gets shoved aside. But I will try to be better. I still READ all my bookmarked blogs....just haven't been bloggin' myself!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, I really enjoyed reading all the Thankgiving (and pumpkin/squash) themed blog posts!

This recipe comes by way of Closet Cooking, a really great blog you should totally check out.

Snickerdoodles!, adapted from Closet Cooking

This classic cookie is a baker's must-have-recipe. They are super quick and easy, and so nice with a glass of milk (or almond milk!). Makes 2 dozen.

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • Cream the butter and sugar and then beat in the egg until combined. Add vanilla extract, beat until combined.

  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Form the dough into balls 1 inch across, roll them into a mixture of the sugar and cinnamon and place them on a baking sheet.

  • Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 8-10 minutes.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spiced Lamb Kebabs

Ah, weekends. Now that I am not a resident anymore and don't have to study all weekend, weekends are for wasting time on the internet, television watching, reading for fun, and lounging. Once it gets a bit cooler, we will add dog walking, park going, and other outdoor activities to the list. I also throw in house cleaning, but we won't talk about that. I love weekends. And then they end.

But for the weeknights....

These lamb kebabs are a quick weeknight meal. Pair it with couscous and vegetable skewers (onion, pepper, mushroom. squash) cooked under the broiler.

Spiced Lamb Kebabs, adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 pound boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into cubes
Salt and pepper

Combine yogurt, cumin, paprika, and garlic in a bowl. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Combine lamb and yogurt mixture in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour. Remove lamb, and discard marinade. Thread 3-4 lamb pieces onto wooden skewers. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Arrange skewers on pan; cook for 7 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning frequently. Remove from the pan. Repeat with remaining skewers.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ginger and Beef Stir Fry

Ginger Beef Stir Fry, adapted from Williams Sonoma Meats & Poultry

1 lb flank steak, cut across the grain into long thin slices
1 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 T cornstarch
1/4 lb ginger, peeled and julienned
1 t salt
Grapeseed oil
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1/4" slices
3 T water
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T sherry
1 t sugar

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Add flank steak. Marinate at least 30 minutes.

Toss ginger with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

In cast iron pan, heat grapeseed oil over med-high heat. Add beef and stir fry 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Pour off most of oil, add water and asparagus, stir fry until asparagus is cooked and water is gone. Add ginger, garlic, sherry, beef. and sugar. Stir fry until hot. 

Serve over rice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vegan Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Happily, I received the cookbook I coveted, Peas and Thank You in the mail on Friday. I am excited to try new recipes from the book!

This is a recipe adapted from her blog. I liked it to much the first time, I made some small changes and made it a second time! I make it on Sunday, and bring it for lunches at work during the week. I have been trying to eat vegan or vegetarian at 2 of my daily meals, so this is an easy pack-able lunch.

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 c light coconut milk
1/2 c fire-roasted tomatoes in juice (i.e. Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes)
1/3 c natural peanut butter
3 T reduced sodium soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 t  minced ginger
1 t minced garlic
1 T maple syrup

Noodle Salad:
8 oz. rice noodles
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 c baby bok choy, chopped
2 c edamame, frozen or fresh (thawed)
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/4 c peanuts, chopped

For the sauce, combine coconut milk, tomatoes, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add bell peppers, bok choy and edamame and stir fry until crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes

Add sauce from blender to pan.

Add cooked noodles to pain, stir to coat. Top with chopped cilantro and peanuts.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Pie

I work in a very emotionally draining profession. Sometimes, you just need a little chocolate to soften the emotional blow. This pie was really good. Had a bit of a kick to it, due to the red pepper. And it wasn't all that bad for you!

Mexican Chocolate Pie, from Cooking Light

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 cookie sheets), divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons egg white
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups 2% milk
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. To prepare the crust, reserve 1 tablespoon crumbs for topping. Combine the remaining crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well. Stir in egg white and butter. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool completely on a wire rack.

For filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar and the next 7 ingredients (through egg yolk) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place the milk in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until milk reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until mixture cools, stirring occasionally.

 Spoon filling into crust, and cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours or until set; remove plastic wrap.

Spread the whipped topping over filling; sprinkle with reserved cracker crumbs.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Double Chocolate Muffins

These muffins are only about 200 calories each, not to bad for a breakfast.

Double Chocolate Muffins, from Cooking Light

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine 1 cup water and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups, and coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

4. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips evenly over batter. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

I want to try Paella. Therefore, I need a Paella pan!

That's What I Want this Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sirloin Tip and Sweet Potato Salad

Sirloin Tip and Sweet Potato Salad

Serves two
8 oz sirloin steak, but into bite size chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
Mixed greens
1 tomato, cut into chunks
Crumbled bleu cheese (4 oz should be enough)
Steak seasoning
Kosher salt
Cooking spray
1 T olive oil

Coat a small non stick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium heat. Preheat oven to 400. 

Coat sweet potatoes in 1 t kosher salt and pepper to taste, coat in olive oil. Place on baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 min until done. 

Season steak pieces with steak seasoning, and add to skillet. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and draining any steak juices that accumulate. I like mine medium well, but cook to taste.

Plate mixed greens, top with cheese, tomato, sweet potato, and steak. I didn't think this salad needed dressing. The soft sweet potato, seasoned steak, and bleu cheese added enough flavor.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Honey Lime Fish with Blueberry Lime Salsa

How Sweet It Is is probably my favorite food blog. I love her writing (hilarious) and her recipes are delish. I tried this recipe the other day. I used Grouper, instead of Tilapia. Bad idea. :) I should have stuck with Tilapia or Cod. The Grouper had to strong of a flavor, and was to tough. I marinated the fish all day (prepped it before work), which worked out well. I also got to use my brand new cast iron pan! yay!

P didn't really like this recipe, but I think it was mostly because of the Grouper, and he doesn't like fruit salsa. I thought the salsa was great, I even ate it the next day (without the fish!) for lunch. I also really liked the flavor of the marinade for the fish. 

Honey Lime Fish

4 fresh (or thawed) tilapia filets or cod
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying

In the morning,season fish with salt and pepper then lay in a baking dish or into a large ziplock bag. In a bowl, combine olive oil, honey, lime juice and zest, and crushed garlic and whisk until combined. Pour over fish and let marinate all day (although 1 hour would also be fine). Add flour and a bit more salt, pepper, and lime zest to a bowl and set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or a non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat and add olive oil. 

Dredge each piece of fish through the flour until you have a very light coating. Making sure the pan is hot, add fish to the oil and cook until flaky and crispy on each side – about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel for a few minutes. Serve with blueberry lime salsa.

Blueberry Lime Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries
5 medium strawberries
1/4 red onion
1 teaspoon lime zest
juice of one lime
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 avocado, chopped

Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse. I left about half of mine chunky. Fold in chopped avocado. Serve with pita or corn chips, or on top of fish or chicken.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jam Thumbprint cookies

We recently visited Philadelphia. In Philly, there are all these little bakeries, and they sell boxes of assorted cookies. These are cookies my boyfriend adores. One of the cookie types is a fruit filled thumbprint cookie. I decided to try and recreate those cookies. Well, these cookies are really nothing like the bakery cookies in Philly. The cookie base is to buttery, and I should have used fruit instead of jam. But, they are good in their own right, buttery and sweet. 

Adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
2 c. flour
Raspberry jam, although you can use your preferred flavor

1. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Lightly beat the egg yolks and add to the mixing bowl. Add vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Add the flour slowly, mixing with each addition.

2. For each cookie, roll slightly more than a teaspoon of dough into a ball. Place on a baking sheet, make an indentation in the center with you thumb and add a dollop of jam. Repeat until done.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strawberry Vanilla Vegan Overnight Oats

It has been over 100 degrees outside for weeks. With no end in sight, and no rain. Ugh. This is the worst summer I've had in Texas! Given the heat, hot breakfasts don't sound very appealing.

I have seen Overnight Oats all over the food blogging world, and decided to give it a try. I have to say, perfect for a hot morning! This was really good, I recommend trying it.

Serves one
1/3 c oatmeal
1 c vanilla almond milk
2 T chia seeds
Toppings (optional)
6 strawberries, halved
1 T peanut butter, microwaved for 30 sec
1/2 T maple syrup

Add oatmeal, chia, and milk to bowl. Stir. Place in fridge overnight. In the morning, add your toppings!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bacon Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Started the new job this week. So far, it's been crazy busy. I haven't really been cooking anything exciting so far this week. I have a couple recipes lined up for this weekend tho!

The other thing tho....when it is 105 degrees outside every day, the idea of heating up the stove sounds awful. I've really been craving cool foods like fruit, salad, yogurt. For some reason, while meal planning this week, soup sounded ok! Go figure!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light:

6 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup prechopped onion
1/2 cup prechopped celery
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/3 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through minced garlic) to pan, and saute for 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.
2. Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure lid on blender. Or use immersion blender to blend 2 cups. Blend until smooth. Return pureed corn mixture to pan. Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in half-and-half, pepper, and salt.

This is a quick, 30 min or less weeknight meal! I really thought it was filling and tasty. Yum!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

I want Mama Pea's new book:

Peas and Thank You Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love

I find her blog so fun to read. The pictures are cute, she is a witty writer, and the recipes are healthy. I am not vegan, nor do I ever intend to be, but I do enjoy vegan/vegetarian meals! I think this book would be a great addition to my cookbook collection (and I don't have ANY vegan cookbooks right now!).

That's What I Want this Wednesday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vegi Enchiladas

While in the process of moving, I stayed with a friend for two weeks while I was still working at my old job, but the lease had run out on my apartment. This friend (you know who you are!) is a vegetarian, which was great because I got to try out a couple vegi/vegan recipes I had been saving for awhile! Unfortunately, this is the only one I remembered to snap pictures of, but I also tried a chilled avocado soup (delish!) and a vegan peanut noodle vegi bowl (yum!!). These enchiladas are A-mazing. I didn't miss the meat at all! If only I didn't have to cook meat for P, I could easily go veg-only (or, mostly veg at least!). 

Vegi Enchiladas
Adapted from Martha Stewart, then adapated from Kokocooks

4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs ground cumin, divided
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ c all purpose flour
¼ c tomato paste
3 c vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) corn kernels, drained
1.5 c grated pepper Jack cheese (or about 9 oz)
16 corn tortillas (6-inch)
Fresh cilantro, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp of the cumin, garlic powder, coriander, flour, and tomato paste. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened. Add spinach and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in the black beans, corn kernels, remaining 1 tsp of cumin, and 3/4 c of the cheese.

Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Lightly spray 2 8-inch baking pans with nonstick spray. Set aside. Spread tortillas onto a large baking sheet. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Spread a second layer of tortillas on top of the first layer. Lightly spray the top layer with nonstick spray. Bake until warm, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon about 1/3 c of the enchilada filling into each tortilla and roll up. Place in the baking dish, seam side down. Pack the filled tortillas tightly in the baking dishes. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the enchiladas. Pour sauce over them, making sure to cover the entire surface. Bake uncovered until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Another installment of WIWW! It's baaacckkk!

What I Want Wednesday. To be able to do this:

And this:

And maybe my kitties will join in?

Can you tell I am recently obsessed with Pinterest?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chimichurri Halibut Tacos with Pineapple Avocado Salsa

I had the most delicious chimicurri pork loin sandwich recently, at the Buenos Aires Cafe. A few weeks later I saw this recipe in my issue of Cooking Light and knew I must try it. The fish was delicious. I do not recommend topping the tacos with the salsa, the flavors overwhelm each other, but the salsa was a lovely side dish. Tasty, light summer fair. If you have a grill, unlike me, you can even avoid heating up the kitchen in this 100+ degree weather (bonus!).

Recipes adapted from Cooking Light, June 2011

Chimichurri Fish Tacos

2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 (6-ounce) halibut fillets (or cod)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until finely chopped. Slowly pour oil through food chute; process until smooth. Place fish in a shallow dish; rub mixture over fish. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill to high heat or grill pan to medium-high.
Sprinkle fish with salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack (or grill pan) coated with cooking spray, and grill for 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill. Break fish into chunks. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • serrano chile, minced
  • avocado

  •  Preheat grill to high heat or grill pan to medium high.
  • Combine oil and honey, stirring well. Brush oil mixture over pineapple. Place pineapple on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from grill; cool 5 minutes. Chop. Combine pineapple, onion, and next 6 ingredients (through serrano); toss gently.
  • Peel, seed, and dice avocado. Add avocado to the pineapple and mix.
Serve on the side with tacos.