Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Tonight we had fish tacos for supper. I wanted to do a post about those, but we ate them up before I got a photo. I used tilapia and the marinade and sauce recipe from Guy's Big Bite. I wasn't a huge fan of the sauce, but the marinade was much better than just sprinkling the fish with some spices. I didn't bread the fish, and just sauteed the pieces in a skillet.
These were placed in corn tortillas with the sauce, some shredded cabbage, some crumbled queso fresco, and homemade guacamole.
I LOVE good guacamole. This means made fresh, and I prefer that it be a little bit chunky. I'm okay with diced tomatoes, but I don't put them in mine since Greg wouldn't eat it if I did. My method is simple, and one I developed as I tried different recipes.
First off, make sure your avocadoes are ripe. That means a little bit soft when you give them a gentle squeeze, but not too soft, and keep the squeeze really gentle. I cut the fruit in half, remove the pit, and scoop into a bowl with a spoon.
Add finely diced red onion (white onion works, but I prefer red). Diced finely, remember, unless you're running it through the food processor.
A splash of lime juice - I prefer fresh, but bottled will do.
A sprinkle of salt - trial and error here. Just remember you can always add, but you cannot remove...
If I have fresh cilantro, I'll chop some finely and toss it in.
Mash it together with a fork. Let it sit awhile before scarfing it down - lets the flavors "marry". My guacamole is smooth, not spicy, and so VERY yummy!

Oh, and avocadoes are GOOD FOR YOU! YEA!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Touch of Summer

The weather today gave us hope. Hope for an end to this long, long winter. So for supper tonight I made something I saw on "Everyday Italian" the other day. I think the show was done in the summertime because she had some fresh heirloom tomatoes. I had some "on the vine" from WalMart, but you can bet I'll be making this again come summer - and probably before.

Giada cut her tomatoes into 1/2" thick slices and arranged them on the serving plate. Then she mixed some soft goat cheese with cream to thin it out. I used fat-free half and half. No amount to give you, just keep mixing it in little by little until the cheese is creamy. Dollop on top of the tomato slices.

Then Giada put a bunch of fresh basil and fresh mint in the food processor to chop it up, then drizzled in about a cup of olive oil. This she spooned on top of the dollops of cheese.

I simply plucked some fresh basil leaves from my plant (that has stayed alive all winter and I love it!) and made a chiffonade. Sprinkled over the cheese, and added a teeny drizzle of olive oil.

We both sprinkled with some salt and pepper.

This was very tasty and I'm thinking the leftover cheese will be used to make it again tomorrow for lunch.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Seven Things

My friend Maisie tagged me to post seven things about me on this blog. I did a post of seven general things on Play for a Moment, so this one will be geared toward food and cooking. Let's see what I can share...

1. The first time I remember cooking was when I was 4 years old. I'd been invited to eat supper with the neighbors and their mom handed me a can of biscuits to open and put on the pan. I'd never seen those before and when the can popped open, it startled me. I don't remember anything else about that meal, just the biscuits.

2. After Mom went to work full-time, Tonita and I were responsible for making supper and washing the dishes each evening. Mostly whoever cooked had to do the dishes - we tried having one cook and one wash, but that caused some problems with one thinking the other was using too many dishes to cook. :o) We usually traded off each week.

3. We also did the grocery shopping. On Saturday morning Mom would leave a signed check on the table before she left for work. One or both of us would walk to the grocery store downtown (only about 6 or 8 blocks away), do the shopping, pay for the groceries with the check, then call Dad to come pick us up. We pretty much bought the same kinds of things each week, and our limit to spend was $50 for a family of seven.

4. I don't consider myself to be a picky eater, but like everyone, there are things I don't care for. Some things I never thought I would like, but as an adult I found I do, are asparagus, lamb, caviar, broccoli, cauliflower.

5. My Royal Prestige stainless steel cooking pans were purchased from a salesman I met at Village Inn when I was waitressing. He was staying there and making sales calls in the area, and asked if he could come to the house and talk to me about this stainless steel cookware. Since Mom and Dad had a set of waterless pans, I knew the benefits of owning my own. I was 18, Tonita was 17, and we each bought a set from him. We're both still using them. Oh, and that salesman? He was a young college student, and was incredibly handsome. It was not a problem to listen to him talk about those pans. :o)

6. With a few exceptions, I don't like sweet on my meat or my vegetables. No glazes, thank you. I will eat barbecue sauce, but I'm kind of a snob. I like K.C. Masterpiece Original.

7. I learned to cook by making basic, inexpensive dishes at home. I did take Home Ec, and learned a few things there, but before I went to my first class, here's what my mom told me, "The teacher will have her ways for you to do things that are different than we do here. You need to just do it her way in class, then you can do it our way at home." :o)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Meal of Love, Kinda

I had already purchased the ribeye steaks to cook for Valentine's Day before Pioneer Woman posted her four-part "Meal of Love" tutorial on her cooking blog. I hadn't planned on the garlic mashed potatoes, but she reminded me of our love for them, so that's what I made.
We did not, however, pan-fry the steaks. Just couldn't do it. So Greg went outside in the 18 degrees (above zero, though) weather and grilled those babies. I just sprinkled them with a little Lawry's. I also sauteed half a pound of mushrooms (wiped clean, sliced thick) to put on top.
[I never used to want any seasoning or topping on my grilled meat (except burgers, of course), but thanks to my new best friends Tyler Florence (I wish he'd come cook for me, I wish he'd come cook for me, I wish he'd come cook for me - I said it three times, think it'll come true?), and Alton Brown (Greg's hero), I know now that seasoning is not evil. Seasoning is good - over-seasoning is not, and we won't discuss how I know this...]
So I made the garlic mashed potatoes - roasted three heads of garlic in the oven, used real butter and fat-free half and half, oh, and some salt. Seasoning potatoes is a good thing, too. Who knew?
This photo doesn't show the salad or the wine. Just a regular salad. The wine was a Merlot-Cabernet blend from Columbia Crest Winery in Paterson, WA, very near the wineries we visited while on vacation in Seattle. It was just dry enough for Greg, and not too dry for me, and really went well with the steaks.
The photo does show the whole grain ciabatta roll - we like the "take and bake" type from the grocery store bakery section. We just tear it up and then dip in a little olive oil with fresh-cracked black pepper. Good and good for you.
So that was it - our own little "meal of love". We didn't do dessert since we went to the movie and Greg had popcorn. :o)