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Archive for April, 2012

I have been running out of blog ideas lately because I realized I was feeling compelled to blog about desserts. While I may be craving all sorts of sweets lately, I am trying to stay away from making them and having only healthier options of fruits and vegetables available in the house, which in the past has never been a problem but for some reason being pregnant for me means craving anything unhealthy…

In any case, when I realized I was being silly about only feeling inclined to post about desserts, I suddenly have so many options to blog about! 🙂 I figured I would start with an alternative option to a food you aren’t really supposed to eat when pregnant: canned tuna fish. I am pretty sure it is ok to eat canned tuna fish in small quantities, but luckily I have not really felt like it lately. However, when my mom sent me Giada’s new recipe book for Easter, there was a recipe in there for what essentially is an alternative to a tuna fish sandwich: a Mediterranean Halibut sandwich which looks delicious!  I have had many fish sandwiches before but it is usually fish with a tartar sauce or fried, etc. This recipe was more of a take on a tuna fish sandwich where you mix the fish into a mayo mixture and it was delicious! In the mayo mixture were a bunch of my favorite ingredients: sun dried tomatoes, basil, and lemon zest, so how could I go wrong! Also this recipe is a great way to make more out of your fish, because a pound of fish can make about 4 sandwiches.

Once again Giada did not disappoint! 🙂 Here is the recipe for those who are interested: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mediterranean-halibut-sandwiches-recipe/index.html

Enjoy!

P.S. Sorry about the poor photo…that is my other downfall of blogging I never remember to take a picture, so this is better than nothing! Now Lacie just needs to remind me to take a picture of the sweet potato soup I made and maybe there will be another post later about that! 🙂

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So I know I am totally stealing this recipe from another blog that I found on Pinterest, but it was soo good, light, and easy to make I wanted to share it with family and friends! Scott and I truly believe that anything is better with avocado so when I found this recipe to add avocado to a simple tomato & mozzarella salad, we had to try it. It was delicious! It also incorporates a lot of lemon juice to help prevent the avocado from going brown which is a nice addition since we don’t normally put lemon juice in a tomato and mozzarella salad.

Here is the recipe that I wanted to share so you can have another go to recipe during tomato season! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 carton of fresh mozzarella, drained
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 c. basil, julienned
  • 2 T. fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Baguette (optional)
Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and parsley. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour over tomato mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
4. Just before serving stir in the chopped avocado.

We had this for lunch over a toasted baguette but I think it would be awesome over salmon or halibut as well!

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I love big Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts, but lately I have just been way to lazy to get up early to make breakfast. Plus I am one of those people that wakes up hungry and I NEED to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up or I get very grumpy. (Often when we go out to breakfast, I eat a bowl of cereal before we go to hold me over, but since I LOVE breakfast food, I can usually still eat the entire breakfast out as well).

Anyway, I have been getting a little sick of the cereal or toast for breakfast routine every weekday as well as weekend morning since I have been too lazy to make waffles, french toast, muffins, etc. I found this recipe for overnight oatmeal that uses steel cut oats which are super healthy for you, so I figured I would give it a try. I mean how perfect to wake up and breakfast already be ready for you! The oatmeal was pretty tasty and it definitely filled me up for longer than a bowl of cereal does in the morning, so when I have my leftovers this week hopefully my stomach won’t start growling on 9 AM like it usually does! The only thing I would change is I didn’t think the oatmeal was sweet enough so I am planning on adding some syrup or dried fruit to the top of it to sweeten it up a little. However, I am posting the recipe as is because I know a lot of people don’t always like sweet things for breakfast. Whereas I could almost always go for something sweet for breakfast (as my friends up North are well aware of my sister’s and my obsession with the Baby Apple at Bickfords!)

Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1 1/2 c. fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 T. butter, cut into 5-6 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

1. Coat inside of 3 1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add additional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.
Enjoy!

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Peep, Peep…

Happy Easter!!

My Momma and Daddy always told me to wait until after Easter to plant the garden…just in case of a late frost.  A late frost seemed very unlikely this year but nevertheless, I waited until today to plant my garden!  It was a beautiful 70 degree day to work, plus my husband offered to help!  First, we went to Lowe’s to get a bell pepper plant.  Well we got that green bell and a few of it’s friends.  We came away with a green bell, a jalapeno, a cowhorn pepper, a gypsy pepper, an anaheim pepper, and an orange bell.  We also got a big boy tomato and a few colored tomato cages (because my garden must have personality).

Then we gardened and gardened…

After we cleaned up, Brett asks “when are we going to dye eggs?” – since we started dating, I’ve forced this man to dye eggs every Easter, and every Easter he would complain and then proceed to make the ugliest eggs (one year he even made one that was brown and spotted…trust me…it was ugly :)) So this year, I didn’t buy any eggs thinking he wouldn’t miss it…well I was wrong.  So we dyed eggs.

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P.S. While I was out buying eggs, I bought some purple peeps – I wanted yellow but they were all out.  Why Peeps you say…because Jaclyn has never had a Peep.  I’ll agree that they are not a culinary treat – but they are an Easter institution – so tomorrow…Jaclyn will eat her first Peep, a purple Peep.

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I named this cupcake after myself *wink *wink :).

In my cupcake making adventures, I’m starting to get more creative.  I was tired of the boring ‘ol strawberry (sorry Jaclyn), chocolate, etc.  So I started thinking up other desserts that could be made into a cupcake.  One of my favorites…lemon meringue.

Recipe

Cupcakes

1 cup cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
1 cup extra fine sugar (not powdered sugar, I used normal sugar that I put in the food processor)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 tbsp potato starch
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons

Lemon curd
1/2 cup lemon juice
7 tbsp butter
1/2 cup extra fine sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue
3 egg whites
1/2 cup extra fine sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees – place 18 cupcake liners in pans
2) Whisk cream, sugar, & eggs until smooth – add flour and zest slowly and continue mixing until smooth (make sure to scrape bottom)
3)Using cookie scoop (I demand the use of the cookie scoop!) to get batter into the pans
4) Bake 15-20 minutes or until cakes are springy
5) For lemon curd – Combine eggs and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Place over top saucepan of simmering water (double boiler method) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. (i know it is time consuming but if you don’t do it right then you have lemony scrambled eggs – yuck)
6) For meringue – beat egg whites until firm peaks form – add sugar a tbsp at at time
7) Assemble – cut a whole out of middle of cupcakes – fill with lemon curd – pipe meringue on top (I used a ziploc)
8) Put cupcakes under broiler for 1 minute to brown them – watch them carefully!!

 

These cupcakes were extremely popular at work today so give them a try and let me know how it goes.

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