Monday, April 21, 2008

No laughing...Fish Tacos

Mmmm....mmm. These were so good and so easy. No original recipe this time, I saw a picture of tacos on the homepage of and decided I wanted fish tacos for dinner. I worked with what I had.

Whisk together:
Fresh lime juice
Chipotle season
Marinate the fish in that for as long as you have. Place the fish on a baking sheet, then mix the marinate with panko breadcrumbs and spread on top of the filets. Oh, I used tilapia. Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes. Then flake the fish apart with a fork to make it bite-sized for the tacos.

2 parts plain fat free yogurt
1 part fat free mayo
Chipotle seasoning

1 can corn, drained
1/2 an onion, diced
Fresh lime juice

Then I topped them off with some chuncks of avocado and served with Mexican rice.

My Potted Garden

So, not gonna lie, I really don't have much of a green thumb. I really want to grow some veggies this summer though. I've decided that aside from being pretty, flowers don't really give me anything in return, and that's probably why I end up neglecting them and they die. But veggies, I get something! Here goes nothing.

Here is my cute little deck-garden.

Cherry tomatoes
Jalapeno peppers

Friday, April 18, 2008

My new salad bowl!

I got a new salad bowl last weekend and I can't wait to use it. It's almost obscenely large, but I love it. It's too large for when it's just me and R, but I'll be whipping it out at my mom's 50-th b-day party and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Here she is, b/c I know you were just dying to see her.

Pasta Primavera

The inspiration recipe for this came from Great website, btw. I changed it up a bit based on what veggies/pasta/cheese I had in the kitchen. Below is my adapted recipe, but check out the website I referenced for the original and other great recipes.

Pasta Primavera

Saute the following in EVOO
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Two handfulls of chopped mushrooms
Red, yellow, & green pepper, chopped
Or whatever veggies you have.

Toss those in a big bowl once they are cooked to your liking. Boil pasta, drain and toss in bowl w/ veggies.

1 cup chicken or veggie stock. I made chicken out of water and bouillon cubes.
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4/ cup milk
1/2 cup parm cheese
1/2 cup mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup asiago cheese

Dump the sauce over the pasta and veggies and mix. I topped it with more parm cheese.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Egglant Sundried Tomato Calzones

As you know by now, I love eggplant and am always looking for new wasy to prepare it. I was flipping through the Best Vegetarian Cook Book. I think that's what it's called, I'll double check and update this if I'm wrong. These were so good, I will make them again.

I never got a really great picture. I served it with scalloped potatoes and assparagus.

Eggplant, peeled and diced
Sundried tomatoes, chopped
shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (I used 2)
Puff pastry (I used pie shells, one for each calzone, fill, then fold over into half-moons. Cut in half when done for four servings)

Saute the eggplant, tomatoes, shallot, and garlic together until just tender. Fill puff pastry with mixture and bake at 350 for about 15 min.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tomatillos are so hard to find in Toledo

But once in a while, I get lucky and there they are! Anderson's almost always has them. After researching many many recipes, this is what I came up with for tomatillo sauce. It's quick and easy, and we really love it.

Tomatillo Sauce
5-6 tomatillos, boiled for about 5 min.
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
salt and pepper

Toss it all in the food processor until smooth, add about 1/4 cup water to thin it.

We like it over cheese enchiladas. Put a spoonful of sauce in each tortilla, then fill with cheese and roll the enchiladas, cover with tomatillo sauce and bake for about 20 min at 350.

Cheesey Goodness

I finally made the broccoli rigatoni. It was so good. I have to say, I was surprised at how easy the bechemel sauce was to make. I think my favorite part of the whole meal was scraping up the extra cheese sauce with pita bread. YUM. The original recipe came from

3/4 stick of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
2 tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup light cream
Cheese (amounts are approximates): 3/4 cup asiago, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/3 cup fontina I used asiago, mozzerella, and shredded parm.
Dash of nutmeg

1 pound rigatoni I used some pasta I had in the pantry that was similar
4 slices prosciutto, chopped Didn't use this
1 large head broccoli, chopped into florets
I added chopped sundried tomatoes

Boil water, cook pasta til still slightly firm, drain
Heat oven to 375; put broccoli in a baking dish and toss with just a touch of olive oil; roast for 6 minutes
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil and butter.
Add garlic and shallots, saute for 2-3 minutes
Add flour slowly and whisk until you have a nice roux
Slowly add milk and cream, whisking the entire time
Bring to a simmer and then add cheeses. Whisk until creamy.
Add a dash of nutmeg
Pour the pasta into a baking dish. Add broccoli and sundried tomatoes. Add sauce and mix until all of the pasta is coated. Top with a few pinches of asiago cheese. Bake covered on 375 for 20 minutes; bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Meal Plans for Week of 4/7

Roasted asparagus, artichoke, tomatoes, and mushrooms w/ tarregon vinaigrette. Probably with grilled fish.
Baked tortellini (I never made this last week)
Cressent roll artchoke cheese braid w/ salad
Curry vegetable stir fry w/ chicken or maybe leftover fish for R.

What else? I don't know. I need to come up with one more thing. Maybe tomato tortellini soup.
I'll credit things when I blog about them.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Meal Plans--a little late.

Meal plans from week of 3/31:
Pineapple Blackbean enchiladas -- CHECK
Greek bread salad (w/chicken for Ryan) -- CHECK
Broccoli Rigatoni
Tortellini bake w/spinach, tomatoes, and garlic
Tomato soup w/ cheese enchiladas & tomatillo sauce

Eggplant Rolatini and Amazing Scratch Scallops

I had an eggplant that I needed to use, I didn't feel like baked eggplant, so I attempted eggplant rolatini. It turned out pretty good. But the star of this meal, for sure, was the scratch scalloped potatoes. The eggplant is my own concoction, and the potatoes were from

Eggplant Rolatini:
One eggplant, sliced length wise
Ricotta cheese
Mozzerella cheese
1 egg

Put the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, let them sit for about 10 min. Drizzel them with EVOO and bake for about 5 min at 350. Lightly scramble the egg, mix with ricotta & mozzerella to your own liking. Then scoop cheese mix onto a slice of eggplant and roll it. Place in baking dish, tightly together so they don't unroll. Cover with tomato sauce and more mozzerella cheese. For sauce, I just blended a can of italian seasoned tomatoes, some basil, and some parm cheese. Bake for about 20 min. at 350.

Scalloped Potatoes:
1 pound of yukon gold potatoes (or Russett)
1/2 cup cream
salt & pepper
parm cheese

Cut the potatoes into thin slices. I held the potato with my PC onion holder. In a sauce pan cook the cream & spices on low heat. Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish, overlap them, pour in some of the cream mix, sprinkle with parm cheese, another layer of potatoes, cream mix, two pats of butter, parm cheese, then two more layers. Then top with rest of cream mix and parm cheese. (I added some mozz cheese to the top). Bake at 375 for 45 min. Then broil for 5 min. to brown the cheese.

Ryan's Birthday Cake

For Ryan's birthday, I love to find recipes that incorporate peanut butter and banana's. This year I found the best bundt cake ever. Plus it was nice because it gave me an excuse to use my cake stand that my MIL got me for christmas. I got the original recipe here I followed this one exactly, I didn't see anything worth changing.

For Peanut Butter Fluff frosting:
1 (1.5oz) package Jello sugar free/fat free instant Vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (12oz) container Cool Whip Light

For cake:
1 (18.25oz) box Golden Vanilla flavor cake mix
1 1/3 cups bananas, mashed
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Travel: Sonoma & SF

I haven't put anything on here since last week's meal plan. I have Ryan's b-day cake to post and a dinner from last week--eggplant rolatini w/ the most amazing (from scratch) scalloped potatoes. I promise I will get them in here tonight.

Sanoma and San Francisco, California

We loved this trip. It was absolutely amazing. So relaxing. We flew into SFO, picked up a car (we rented a Prius so we could drive it for a week before deciding for sure to buy one), and drove out to Sonoma. While there we stayed at Windhaven Cottage, it was really great. The owner's, Bob and Wendy, were great. Very nice people. They have two small cottages, detached from their house, but on their property. The cottage had a living/kitchen with a fireplace, a bedroom, full bath, and a fabulous private patio w/ a hot tub. Here is a pic of the view from the patio.

We visited so many wineries. Some of our favorites were Kunde, Wellington, Nicholson Ranch, Homewood, and many more. We got to go on a tour of the wine caves at Kunde, which was awesome.

We also drove north on Pacific Highway 1 to Redwood City, that was absolutely beautiful.

And of course, we ended our trip in San Francisco. It is a beautiful city with tons of things to do. We only had two days there and I don't think that is quite enough time, but it was nice none-the-less. We stayed at the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf. I do not recommend them. It seemed like a nice hotel, but we are pretty sure we left there with bed bug bites--GROSS. They insist that the room checked out clean, but yet they refunded our full bill of nearly $400. I tend to think we would not have gotten that much money back if the room checked out clean. I even told the guy he could fax me the report, but he declined. Yeah, that's what I thought.