Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I've been waiting to find a good recipe to try quinoa for the first time, and thought this was the perfect first meal to make with it. Simple, and I would really get a feel for how to cook and what to eat with quinoa. If you haven't tried it for yourself, this would be a great recipe for you because of it's simplicity. I picked up some quinoa at Whole Foods in the bulk section, and it worked perfect.
Rinse quinoa and add three cups of water to a pan on the stove top.
Cook for around 25 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
Dice one medium sized cucumber.
Quarter one cup of cherry or grape tomatoes.
Finely chop 1/2 cup of basil.
Once the quinoa has finished cooking fluff and add to a bowl.
Add the cucumbers, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. I also added some hard salami, but you could just as easily use chicken or not meat at all.
I made this for dinner and was amazed how full I was from it. It's a great light dish that adds some extra protein to your diet. The lemon juice and olive oil marinate everything perfectly together. Quinoa has a little crunch to it, which I really enjoyed.
Have a great day everyone!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Daily Garnish
1 1/2 cups of dry quinoa, rinsed
1 medium cucumber, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup of salami
1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
sea salt to taste
feta cheese to taste
Rinse quinoa and add three cups of water to a saucepan.
Cook for 25 minutes on the stove top until all water has been absorbed.
Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and basil.
Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff and add the vegetables.
Then add the lemon juice, oil and seat salt.
Pour into the quinoa mixture.
Let flavors marinate for a few minutes, then serve with feta cheese on top.
Monday, August 29, 2011
As we're getting toward the end of summer I think this is a perfect summer meal to make. It's light and healthy, and very tasty! Plus, it's so colorful, it will impress your family, friends, or who ever you're cooking for.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat two tablespoons of butter. Set aside one tablespoon of shallots, and add the remaining to the saucepan. Cook until they're soft, but not browned.
Add peas and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered until the peas are tender. Puree the pea mixture in a blender until it's smooth. Add a little water if needed.
Season with salt and pepper and return to the sauce pan. Set aside on stove top to keep warm.
Pat the halibut dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it starts to smoke. Cook fish until golden brown and just cooked through, around three minutes on each side. Set aside on stove top to keep warm.
Add remaining butter to another skillet, swirling pan constantly until butter turns dark golden brown.
Add the walnuts and cook until fragrant, around 30 seconds.
Remove the pan from heat and stir in the parsley, thyme and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour walnut butter over the halibut and serve with the pea puree. I also served on a bed of brown rice. The pea puree is so tasty, and could be used in a lot of different dishes. It tastes great with the halibut and the crunch of the walnut. Although you'll have you use a few pans to make this dish, it's worth it.
Halibut with Sweet Pea Puree
Adapted from 30 Minute Supper Magazine
4 shallots, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless halibut fillets (6-8 ounces)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Set aside one tablespoon of shallots.
Heat the remaining shallots in a large sauce pan over medium heat with two tablespoons of butter.
Cook until the shallots are soft, add the peas and broth and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered until peas are soft.
Puree pea mixture in the blender until smooth, adding water if needed.
Season with salt and pepper and return to saucepan.
Cover and set aside to keep warm.
Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking.
Cook fish until golden brown, around 3 minutes on each side.
Set aside and keep warm.
Add remaining butter to a saucepan swirling constantly.
Add walnuts and cook until fragrant, around 30 seconds.
Remove pan from heat and stir in parsley, thyme, and lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour walnut butter over fish and serve with pea puree.
Friday, August 19, 2011
I am completely on board on the Nutella train. If you aren't, get with it! It's the new chocolate, and like chocolate it goes with everything. This is a very tasty cake, it's similar to banana bread but in a sheet cake, with the Nutella frosting. Get ready to say "yum" out loud as you're eating it.
Here are all your ingredients, except the dry ingredients. Buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas. I used two bananas and that was plenty.
Beat the butter and sugar together, until light and creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add this to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, and mix well.
Add the bananas, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Gently combine and mix together for around two minutes.
Pour the batter into a 9x13 inch baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for around one hour, until a inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack, to cool completely.
For the frosting beat the butter and Nutella until completely combined. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, until everything is smooth. Add the condensed milk and mix until glossy.
Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake. Please don't judge my frosting skills, they need some work!
I finished up with a couple slices of banana on top. I brought this into work for a work lunch and everyone loved it. This is a great recipe to try if you want to see if you like Nutella!
I hope you all have a great weekend. I'm moving this weekend, so it'll be busy, but I'm excited to get it all done with. See you back here on Monday :)
Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting
Adapted from All Cakes Considered - Melissa Gray
9 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup Nutella
3 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 big tablespoons of condensed milk
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick.
Beat together the butter and sugar until white and creamy.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add this to the creamed butter mixture, and mix well.
Add the bananas, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
Gently combine for around two minutes.
Pour in the prepared pan, and cook for around an hour.
Cool the cake in the pan for around 15 minutes, then invert on a wire rack.
Beat the butter and Nutella until combined.
Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until it's smooth.
Add the condensed milk and mix until glossy.
Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and enjoy!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Sitting outside in the middle of summer. Without sweating.
Having family around to help with anything and everything.
Old friends laughing at old jokes.
Pontooning.... need I say more?
Enjoying sunsets on the lake.
Watching fireworks while holding hands with friends I've known for going on 9 years.
Miss all of you, I'll be back soon :)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
When C and I first started dating we were long distance and would travel back and forth between Milwaukee and Texas every month. During one of his trips to Milwaukee we went out to an authentic Italian restaurant. We really enjoyed ourselves, but my favorite part of the whole meal was when C was trying to order. The whole menu was in Italian, so we were kind of guessing what each dish was. When it was his turn to order he asked the waitress (who had an Italian accent and all) what he should get that had steak and pasta. She seemed very offended, and told him that no Italian eats steak with pasta. It's now a joke between us whenever we order either of those meals. I dedicate this post to him, because even if it's not true Italian, it sure was delicious!
I bought this flank steak from whole market. At the time I thought it was going to serve around 8 people, but we ended up eating a little more than normal just because of how good it was.
Place the steak in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder on each side. How much you use of each spice is up to your taste. I added a little extra chili and garlic powder.
Sprinkle each side with Worcestershire sauce, about two tablespoons on each side.
Place the the steak in a zip lock bag and cover with 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Roll the bag, removing as much air as possible. Leave in the fridge for at least two hours, up to 24 hours. I let it sit overnight and cooked for dinner the next day.
Grill to medium or medium rare.
Slice against the grain.
I cooked until medium rare, and served over pasta with a light tomato sauce on it. You could also use the steak for burritos or fajitas, or even serve by itself with potatoes. It was so tasty, and letting it marinate over night adds so much flavor. No matter what you serve with, you'll enjoy it.
Flank Steak Marinade
Adapted from Blue Bonnets and Brownies
1 lb flank steak
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Place steak in a casserole dish.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder on each side.
Sprinkle each side with Worcestershire sauce, about two tablespoons on each side.
Place steak in a zip lock bag, cover with 1/2 cup of soy sauce.
Roll bag, removing as much air as possible.
Leave in the refrigerate for at least two hours, but up to 24 hours.
Grill to medium or medium rare and slice against the grain to serve.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Welcome back!! I had only planned on taking a week vacation, turns out I needed a week to recover from my week of vacation. I'm back in full force though, and have a lot of good recipes and pictures to share with you. I thought these oatmeal pancakes were a great welcome back meal.
Cook one cup of oatmeal over the stove.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter, milk, the cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs.
I used organic raw honey in the recipe, and it was the first time I've used something like this. It's a lot healthier and tastes the same, so if you have the opportunity to try it, please do.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix together, the batter should be thick with a holey surface.
Rub a skillet or griddle with butter, and heat over medium-low heat. Working quickly, dollop batter into the pan. Once the bubbles have begun to form, flip and cook until the bottom is dark brown. Repeat until the batter is all used.
I served with strawberries and bananas on top, dusted with a little powdered sugar. These were very tasty pancakes. The oatmeal added some crunch and texture to the pancake. Add the fruit on top and it's almost like a dessert, who can complain about that?
Serving size 18 pancakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs
Cook the oatmeal on the stove.
Whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Butter a medium pan and heat over medium-low heat.
Dollop batter onto the pan and cook until the batter starts to bubble.
Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.
Serve hot with fruit, powdered sugar and maple syrup.