Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kugel Noodle Casserole

Miss Jackie
This week's Sunday supper is dedicated to my friend Jackie who introduced me to this unbelievably yummy dish when we were in college.   On Sopranos Sundays our senior year we would make a big family meal to eat during the show.  Usually it featured Italian dishes but one Sunday Jackie made her mom's kugel.  My mind was BLOWN.  I never had anything like this before.   It kind of reminds me of our pineapple stuffing which is super sweet and warming.   Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.   It will make a perfect "break the fast" dish for this weekend!! 

Jackie and I back in college

Kugel Noodle Casserole
(recipe from Mom Granata)
1 lb pkg no yolk medium noodles
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into cubes (roughly 12 cubes)
4 eggs beaten
2 small boxes of raisins
8  oz can crushed pineapple with juice
2 large apples, sliced
brown sugar & cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease a rectangular pan 9" x 13". 
Boil noodles 2 minutes under recommended time. Wash off in cold water.  Melt butter into noodles.  Add beaten eggs, apples, raisins, pineapple, sugar.  Mix all together.  Put into prepared pan.  Dot with cubed butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. 

Bake for one hour.  Be sure to check periodically to make sure top is not burning.  If it begins to brown heavily, cover with foil.  


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's all about the butter...

Embrace the Buttah
I'm pretty annoyed at how hot it is outside today.  This past weekend teased me with chilly nights and brisk mornings.  I was all ready to break out the sweaters, get my hot chocolate kettle out and sit in on chilly fall nights watching whatever is on the boob tube.  Then today comes around with its ninety degree temperatures and ruins all my fall weather dreams.  So, despite the horrendous temperatures today, I want to feature a recipe that practically screams fall.  For this recipe, as said in the title, is all about the butter.  Don't be alarmed by the amount because without it you will be dealing with a crumbly mess in your lap instead of a delicious smores delight.  
Can't wait for fall in Boston!

Smores Cups
The campfire treat sans campfire

1 stick of butter melted
7 rectangles of graham crackers
12 jumbo marshmallows
12 Hershey chocolate nuggets
cupcake liners
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F

Using a food processor, grind graham crackers until they are a fine powder.   Add confectioner sugar and pulse until combined.   Add butter and pulse until powder starts to clump.   Add more butter until you can compact the powder to almost a dough.

Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.   Pat down cracker mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Place one Hershey's nugget on top of each.  Place back in oven for another 4 minutes.   Remove from the oven and smear around chocolate to cover the entire top.   Place a jumbo marshmallow on top.   Return to oven for 3 minutes.  Turn on broiler to high and keep smores in oven until marshmallows are golden brown.


"You want a smore?"
"How can I have some more if I haven't had any?"
"You're killing me smalls...."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Baseball and Boat Shoes and Crabs! Oh my!

Sailing into Baltimore

Mom on the helm

A few weeks ago, David and I had the opportunity to spend the weekend on the Chesapeake with my parents on their sailboat.  My parents are avid sailors, navigating the waters to most points surrounding their Rock Hall, MD marina.  On that particular weekend, we set sail for Baltimore praying to the wind gods to give us a push.  Historically (and I am not pointing any fingers...or maybe I am) any time David has gotten near the boat, the winds have died and we have stayed put in the marina, settling for an early happy hour.  However, our prayers were finally answered and we were able to have a gorgeous sail to Baltimore.  
At the aquarium

The weekend was action packed with visits to the National Aquarium, Fell's Point and Camden Yards to see the Orioles play all while wearing our Maryland uniform, our Sperry boat shoes.  The icing on the cake of our memorable weekend was our visit to Harbor Shack Sunday evening to dig into some Maryland blue crabs.  Harbor Shack doesn't typically offer crabs on their menu but, for those with inside information, you can call ahead to order however many dozen you want.  They then contact local fisherman to buy from them.  When you arrive, they are steamed and smothered in Old Bay.  It really doesn't get any fresher than that.  With a surgeon's precision, you dissect and retrieve every ounce of crab meat.  The meal is delicious but also a fun experience.

Go Orioles!
While I am certainly not suggesting we can recreate this feast at home, I thought I would pass along an Old Bay based Maryland crab soup to hold you over until your next (or your first) Maryland blue crab experience! 


Maryland Crab Soup
Serves 10

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen yellow sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Chopped Onions
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
Combine tomatoes, water, broth, lima beans, carrots, corn, onions and Old Bay in 4-quart saucepan.

Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Add crabmeat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Caffeine Charged Beef

So I made a major mistake this Sunday.   A major delicious mistake, but nonetheless this dish I made had me up till all hours of the night. It was Katie's last Sunday in Boston so I had her over for a big Sunday dinner.  I wanted to make something reminiscent of my grandma but kicked it up a notch with a different flavor profile.   Nothing says Grandma Louie like a roast beef with some mashed potatoes.   That was my dinner of choice for this Sunday, with a side of sauteed string beans sprinkled with crispy panchetta.   It wasn't the healthiest of meals but it was delicious.   

To make the roast beef more interesting I wanted to make a rub similar to something I had at this local place called Towne.  It's a coffee rubbed prime rib.  This is where my mistake happened.  I didn't have coffee...I had espresso beans (fancy I know).   I coated this beef with the equivalent of about 10 shots of espresso.   TEN SHOTS.  I was shaking with so much caffeine was going through me.   It was so delicious I had three slices including the "butt" that was completely coated in the rub.   If you are to try this at home, I suggest decaf or eating before a long night of going out.  Enjoy!!

Espresso Rubbed Roast Beef

4 to 6 pound roast 

Espresso Rub
4 tablespoons of espresso beans
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon black peppercorns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend all ingredients in the rub in a spice grinder (or a coffee grinder is what I used) Rub completely over the roast making sure to coat both sides.   Place in a roasting rack and place into oven.   Cook for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees F.

Remove from oven and tent with foil for thirty minutes.  Slice then serve.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm Going (going) Back (back) to Cali (Cali) the Notorious B.I.G. reference but back I go to San Francisco this week for work.  Although I will miss David terribly, the cool northern California temperatures are a nice break from the sweltering, sometimes 3 digit, heat we've been having in Philadelphia.  To tie in my west coast travels to this week's post, I thought I would show a little love to one of my favorite foods and a recent household staple, the California native Haas avocado. 
For years I thought the sole use for avocados was to make guacamole (my previous recipe linked here) which honestly I was fine with since I am a huge guac fav.  However, I've found other ways to incorporate this healthy fruit? veggie? oh whatever... delicious green thing... into other everyday meals.  And speaking to the health aspects for a second, avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6.  

One easy way I've incorporated avocados into my diet is through using it as a spread on toast in the morning.  A small drizzle of agave which has a low glycemic index and won't spike your insulin levels and a pinch of salt and pepper, gives it the perfect combination of sweet and savory to leave you satisfied until lunch.  I also opt for Ezekial bread because it is made with real ingredients and largely unprocessed. 
A quarter of an avocado has about 80 calories and 7 grams of good fat (there is a difference I promise).  And a little secret to keeping your avocado from turning brown is to put the avocado still in the skin in a plastic bag with the pit still in it into your fridge.  By doing this I am able to use one avocado over four days.  

If you're not an avocado fan yet, I hope you give them a try!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Ad Hoc Adventure

There is no reason to be
scared of Ad Hoc!
This summer I'm not taking any graduate classes so I needed something to do.  I needed a goal besides my usual go to the gym more, read more books, be intellectual etc.
My goal this summer was to cook things I'm afraid of.  I'm not talking about live snacks or weird stuff like that.  I'm referring to things that I'm afraid to cook for fear of making something disgusting.  What scares me the most? 
It lies in that dreaded Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.  Yes, that cookbook that we attempted to make the fig stuffed pork loin reminiscent of a spewing baby.   

So ladies and gentlemen my goal for the summer was to cook something different from the Ad Hoc cookbook every week, no matter how uncomfortable or fearful I felt.  I've been going strong three weeks now.  I wanted to share one of my favorites that was buried deep in the pages of this frightening book but was surprisingly easy.   Check it out!!

Scallion Potato Pancake
3 lbs of russet potatoes
5 scallions, diced
1/4 cup corn starch
canola oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste

First peel the potatoes and rinse.  Hash-brown your potatoes using a grater ( be careful to not grate fingers as I did). Do this step only moments before frying so they don't turn brown or discolor.   Coat hash-brown potatoes with cornstarch.  Salt the potatoes (I tend to go heavy on the don't realize how much salt these babies need to have flavor).  Toss in scallions and mix until combined.   Place oil into a pan and heat until just smoking.  Cook potatoes in the oil in a pancake form until golden brown on each side.  

This makes about five large pancakes


Monday, July 15, 2013

Revisiting the archives

Winter Storm Nemo in Boston
Hi everyone!  Since I was a lazy bum this past week and didn't write a recipe for this Sunday I found myself revisiting our archives to make my Sunday dinner.  I had bought the rice and the saffron for paella many many months ago but wasn't able to make it because of lovely Nemo.  I thought this weekend would be perfect to whip this baby up!  It was also a little over a month since we returned from Spain so I thought perfect timing!

Such a happy
little corn
As a side dish, I wanted to attempt to make my new favorite thing.  I have many favorite things but this lovely joy has been my craving every time we walk into a Mexican restaurant.  And I know Spanish is not the same as Mexican but let's not get into technicalities.   I wanted to attempt to make Mexican Street Corn.  What is Mexican Street Corn you ask?  Well, it is corn grilled then covered with a lovely, creamy, spicy, cheesy, garlicky sauce. You will be licking the plate when you are done.   So please try to make this at home with corn season coming into full bloom.  This will be a great alternative to the staple of butter and salt.  Also, don't forget to visit out the archives to test out some recipes! Street Corn Topping

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
  1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco plus 1/4 cup for garnish
1 tablespoon crushed garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 teaspoons chili powder
pinch of salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Slather on grilled corn.  Sprinkle with queso fresco for garnish and dig in!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Smashing!'s no secret I love all things English.  The tea and mini sandwiches, the accent, the clothes (TopShop anyone?), the Princess... heck even my own husband holds a United Kingdom passport.  So, it should be no surprise that I spent my Sunday evening glued to ESPN watching the Wimbledon Men's Final rerun (we missed the live show because of an impromptu weekend road trip) and screaming 'Come on Andy!!' in my best English accent.  Well all of that shouting wasn't in vain because the English lad took the championship in three straight sets becoming the first British player to win since 1936.  All Hail the Queen. new thing that I did discover was a Wimbledon tradition that I can now add onto my list of English love.  What I am referring to is the simple yet delicious Wimbledon treat of Strawberries and Cream, washed down ever so appropriately with champagne.  I've included the recipe below for the next time you're in the mood for a cheeky good snack.  

Now that is smashing,

Strawberries & Cream

Ingredients pints strawberries, halved or quartered
1 cup heavy cream
1 rounded tablespoon sugar
A splash of vanilla extract
Pile strawberries into 4 to 6 small dessert cups or glass dishes. Combine cream, sugar and vanilla extract and beat into soft peaks. Pile cream on top of berries.  Wash down with some bubbly!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!!
I'm with him...
Happy birthday America!  Gloriously imperfect but wonderfully free.  Land that I love and my home.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and takes a break from copious watermelon consumption to feel some American pride.

Since undoubtedly barbecue would be the obvious choice for this week's edition, I thought I would pass along a delicious side dish instead that also doubles as a summer salad.  Admittedly, I cannot take credit for this recipe.  I found it in People magazine of all places as a summertime staple for Diane Von Fursternburg.  No no not made by her... made by her chef of course.  Before you implode with judgmental thoughts, I have looked over this recipe and I promise it has all the makings of a healthy dish.  Enjoy!

Green Apple & Macadamia Quinoa
Serves 4

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small green onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup seeded diced cucumber
  • 1 cup diced green apple
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 red Serrano chili, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (or to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp flaky salt (or to taste)
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions.  In a small, dry skillet toast the macadamia nuts until evenly browned, 3-4 minutes, stirring often to keep them from burning.  Once browned, crush the nuts lightly with a knife.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, macadamia nuts and the remaining ingredients.  Toss and check for seasoning; add more lemon juice and salt if necessary.

My Flag Cake

Happy day before the fourth people, or as I like to call it national 'cruise the internet, counting down the minutes, until you can leave work' day.  This morning I have looked at Google images "cute puppies" and Pinterest "holidays" for the past hour.  Today is also the day where everyone starts making their flag cakes.  Ninety percent of the BBQs you go to on the fourth will have flag cakes.  These cakes are pretty standard - yellow cake with whipped cream (cool whip) topping and strawberries and blueberries arranged to look like a flag.  Well, I'm here to give you a bit of a twist on this classic flag cake.  I have to warn you it's not going to look like a flag (I know, you're disappointed.)  It will however be red, white and blue, and most importantly delicious.  Try this out at your families BBQ tomorrow!

Traditional Flag Cake

Strawberry/Blueberry Mascarpone Tart with Pretzel Crust

Pretzel Crust
2 1/2 cups of crushed pretzels
3/4 cup of softened butter (unsalted)
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until combined.  Press into a 9 inch pie pan and place in oven for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely until adding pie filling

2 8 ounce containers of mascarpone cheese
4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (long ways)
1/2 cup blueberries

Whip mascarpone cheese with powdered sugar.  Adjust sweetness to your preference. Spread into completely cooled pie crust.  Arrange strawberries and blueberries on top to make as patriotic as you like.  


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Shrimp (actually) on the Barbie - Joanne's Savory Summary

Look, I am going to level with you. I had the 'barbie' (or as us Americans call it - a grill) and I didn't have much success either.  As Jen mentioned I think the key to flavorful shrimp may be all in the spice rub.  My marinade seemed thin too so as soon as I put it on the shrimp they seemed to repel it.  This was especially the case as I cooked the shrimp on the grill grates.  Instead of my shrimp basting in flavor, my grill served as a mere drip pan for the discarded marinade.  Well lessons learned.  Still, it was nice to have some shrimp during the summer even if I ended up only using it as the protein in my salad.  

We'll do better next time.  We promise!

Fresh Shrimp Sign
Yea it was kind of like this...

Shrimp on the Barbie- Jen's Savory Summary

First, let me start off with an apology.  This recipe was terrible, awful...worst one yet.  I don't know what happened but my shrimp did not turn out well at all.  Let me say I think this is where I went wrong - I have no barbie. So shrimp on the barbie was bound to be problematic.  I had to use just a plain old pan.  I surmise this where the horribleness came from.  When the shrimp went into the pan the marinade just kind of seeped out and I was basically boiling the shrimp in this liquid.  The result was just not good.  To put it kindly, it was rubbery and very tasteless.   To imitate Gordon Ramsey: BLAND.  Looking back, it would be better to either have a BBQ or just do a spice rub and call it a day.  Again fellow Sunday supper people my sincerest apologies.  I hope yours turned out much better than mine.

There's always next week...

Finished Dish - Meh

Friday, June 28, 2013

Grown Up Pasta Salad

Whenever July 4th comes along I always think of it as the kick off of the beach season.  In high school this is when I would pack up my car and drive down to Avalon on a Friday night staying at one my friends' homes that they had rented for the summer.  I was pretty lucky that on most weeks there was someone who had a house there.  Growing up as a kid, we would go to Avalon as a family too.  We'd rent a big house usually with my aunt and uncle and cousins.  Every morning we'd traditionally wake up to a grease stained bag of Kohler's donuts.  No matter where I get a doughnut,  no cream doughnut will ever live up to Kohler's donuts.

Later in life, I've transplanted my family in Boston.  I've quickly fallen in love with everything up here.  Last year was our first time spending time on the Cape and I loved the old classic charm of it.  It was so quaint and everywhere you went there were little towns and small donuts shops too.  My favorite things to get on the Cape are chocolate covered cranberries.  They are unbelievable.   The tart cranberry with a milk chocolate and also, that I found out by badgering the lady with questions, a hint of orange in it too.  When we vacationed in Nantucket for a week, I went through probably five full bags of these goodies.

This summer, we are going to Martha's Vineyard for a week, the rival island.  One anticipated spot may have doughnuts that will help satisfy my Kohler's doughnut cravings.  It's a small little place called Back Door Donuts that only sells doughnuts late into the evening.  The best part is that they come straight out of the fryer.  If you have never had a doughnut straight out of the fryer I suggest you run to this place to have one.  You will of died and gone to heaven.

Well, with all this greasy doughnut talk, what recipe would be better to counter balance our crazing than a lovely salad. I know...I'm disappointed too.  Today, I'm featuring a grown up spin on the typical pasta salads of your childhood.  No, it doesn't have alcohol in it, but it will be delicious none the less.  

Hope everyone has a great July 4th holiday!

Grown Up Pasta Salad

12 ounces of dried penne pasta (about 4 cups cook) 
2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
1 medium cucumber, skinned, seeds removed, and diced into cubes
1 medium red onion diced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
kosher salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 cup of crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)

Cook pasta according to instructions.  I tend to leave mine a bit toothy but it's up to your preference.   Strain and place in colander in a ice bath to cool down. 

In a small bowl mix lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, basil and olive oil until combined.

In a separate bowl combine chopped vegetables and toss to mix.  Add cooled pasta and toss until mixed.  Coat with the lemon juice olive oil mixture.  Top with crumbled feta cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Make sure to not add feta cheese until the pasta is completely cooled.  You can cool the mixture without feta for two hours prior to serving then add feta right before guests arrive.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shrimp on the Barbie

KO Pies
Hello Sunday Supper People!  After thoroughly neglecting this blog for practically the entire month of June, I have come back with a fabulous recipe for this upcoming Sunday supper.  Last week Jason and I tried this Australian meat pie shop in Southie.  It was f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s.  If you have never had a meat pie, I highly suggest it.  It is very popular drunk food in Australia.  I would get a nice beef meat pie over mushy peas.  Delicious.  Well, I'm not featuring a meat pie. Sorry to disappoint you.  I suggest buying one of these nice pastry delights from a shop that makes them.  Some things are better left to the pros so I would never attempt to replicate them. 

Sharp Girls,
one summer many years ago
Instead of meat pie goodness, I want to recreate another dish we had there.  Get ready for the horrible Australian cliche...we had some shrimp on the barbie. So fellow Sunday chefs, this weeks recipe is Shrimp on the Barbie!  This will be perfect for all those Fourth of July cookouts.  It's simple and healthy too.  Healthy shrimp means more room for flag cake and chips and dip!

Tomorrow, we will be featuring a great salad to serve them over as a part of our Friday Summertime Salad Series


Shrimp on the Barbie!

Raw Jumbo shrimp (fresh, thawed from frozen) 10 to 15 count

Shrimp on the Barbie
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canned sweetened coconut cream
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 good shake hot sauce

Combine all ingredients for the marinade.  Skewer the shrimp on soaked wooden skewers.  Place in the marinade for 2 hours, flipping occasionally.

Place on a hot grill and cook until just pink.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Taste of the Keys

First off let me say this blogging thing is hard in the summer.  With nonstop trips and activities and work amping up at the same time, we have unfortunately been neglecting our pet project.  But our lack of attention has all been over fun things so really no complaints here.  

The Newlyweds!
One fun excursion was David's and my trip to Key West last week to see our good friends get married.  It was an absolute blast!  The bride was gorgeous, the vows were touching and the booze was flowing.  All a wonderful combination that results in a memorable wedding. 

 Also, there is no shortage of a party scene in Key West so, even though we managed to stay up to 1am only one night, we still had a ridiculous amount of fun.  Although now I am so tired I need a vacation after my vacation.  

One dish that the Keys are known for is obviously the Key Lime Pie.  Although it comes in many versions, my personal favorite is one that has a graham cracker crust.  The tangy lime filling is a perfect end to your next summer barbeque.  I found this one on the Martha Stewart website so I think we can trust this will be delicious:

Key Lime Pie


  • 1 1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key-lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
Key Lime Pie 
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch pie plate, and bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

Lower oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, Key lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.

Return pie to oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I'm back people! After a nice week long vacation in Spain all I'm thinking about is my next vacation!  I'll write more details on the trip later this week.  It was full of delicious food and wonderful weather (ugh, I want to go back now).  I thought today I'd talk about a favorite past time of my dad's, seeing as Father's Day was yesterday.  I'll start with a bit of back story.

As a kid, I was kind of weird.  I used to like to tape record myself doing impressions and play them over and over again to annoy my sisters.  One of my favorite people to mimic was Jim Carrey.  When I was around ten the movie "The Mask" came out.  I automatically tried to mimic the "Smoking!" tag line to play over and over and over again.  There are probably still tapes of me doing these silly voices.  Now looking back at this creepy picture of Jim Carrey, I wonder how I didn't get nightmares....

What this has to do with my dad is when we were in high school my dad got fascinated with smoked meats.  So much so that he had to get this Big Green Egg smoker thing.  This thing was HUGE!  Katie, my mom, and I had to go drive to pick this thing up.  Poor Katie had to sit in the trunk of our SUV straddling it so it didn't roll and crash.  Many summer nights my dad would strap on his smoking shirt, a green flannel shirt, and smoke up some meats.  Whether it was chicken or pork, it was always delicious.  Except that one year at Christmas where we had the black lung inducing ribs.. but we can forget that one incident....

Hope you all had a 'Smoking!' Father's Day with your dad!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema (Healthy Version)
Favorite Bar in Key West!
Things are about to get awkward.  Meaning I am going to shamelessly gloat about where I am going next week and consequently you'll be sent into fits of jealous rage (I kid of course).  You see this time next week I will frolicking, drink in hand of course, in Key West, FL.  For those of you who haven't been there before let me explain.  Key West brings together in perfect harmony tropical weather, small town cuteness and rich history (Hemingway...hello?), all with a strong emphasis on boozing and having a good time.  Leave your heels at home ladies because walking along Duval Street is for flip flops only.  This will be my fourth time there so I am speaking from experience here.  David's and my good friends are getting married in Key West next Friday and, as you can tell, we are beyond excited!   

Southernmost Point 2012
Since Key West seems to be about the only thing on my mind these days, I figured we would also bring some southernmost point flare into the weekly recipe as well.  I absolutely love fish tacos so when I saw this recipe I decided to make it this week's edition due to the lime flavor.  Get it?  Key Lime?  Am I reaching here or what?  Nevertheless, I think this will be a fresh and new summer recipe for us to try.  Plus, I have modified it to make it diet friendly which is always a plus in my book.

Happy Cooking!

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

Photo Credit -
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds mahi mahi or any firm white fish
  • Cooking spray 
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.  Or preheat your grill to medium.
  2. To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. You can also cook the fish on the grill if available (this is probably what I will do).  Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Family Barbecue Side Dish

One of the best things about summer is all of the outdoor time.  Whether you're spending it being active or simply eating outdoors, there is nothing like being in a pair of shorts feeling the sun on your face.  This Sunday, David and I spent time with his family at a family barbeque (barbecue?) celebrating Sara's (my sister-in-law) and Michael's (my brother-in-law) birthdays.  The weather was perfect for outdoor eating so we took advantage and dined al fresco.  With the new addition of our 2 month old niece Mackenzie, I'd say this family event was a perfect ending to the weekend.  

Introducing Mackenzie!

Not only was the company great, but the food was delicious too.  One dish I wanted to highlight was the German potato salad brought by Lisa, my other sister-in-law.  David quickly staked his claim on the leftovers and demanded I get the recipe from Lisa.  Well, she was kind enough to share and I thought I would pay it forward by showcasing it here.  This is definitely something that can be made ahead of time and brought to share.  But good luck deciding who gets to take home the leftovers (if there are any!)

Authentic German Potato Salad
serves 8

Photo Credit -
  • 6 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  1. Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add onion to the bacon grease, and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and parsley. Crumble in half of the bacon. Heat through, then transfer to a serving dish. Crumble the remaining bacon over the top, and serve warm.

P.S. Jen is back from Spain on Thursday to regale us with her adventures and maybe even a meal or two!