Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fish Tacos

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This one has been on my to-do list for quite a while, although I'm not too sure how authentic my version is. Some of the best fish tacos I've had have crispy breaded fish and some sort of slaw. My version skips the breading for the fish and instead of a slaw I threw together a black bean and pepper salad. Oh, I also tossed in some avocado. All of it wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla tasted pretty darn good. 

I kind of made this whole thing up as I went along and most the work is in putting the black bean and pepper salad together. I recommend making it ahead and storing it in the fridge to allow the flavors to mix and mingle. I wasn't paying too much attention to measurements, so here's the gist of what I did...

I diced a 1/2 each of a red, yellow and orange pepper along with approximately a 1/2 of a can of black beans. In a small bowl I combined the juice of 1/2 each of lemon and lime. To that I added a smidge (seriously, like less than a tablespoon) of mayo and a couple tablespoons of chipotle sauce. I whisked it all together and poured it over the beans and peppers. I also chopped up some fresh cilantro and stirred that in the salad. I let it sit in the fridge for thirty minutes or so.

For the fish I used a cod fillet (although I'm sure any white fish would work) and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I cooked it in a hot pan (with some olive oil) for a few minutes on each side until it was cooked through. After removing it from the pan I cut into bite sized pieces and squeezed some lemon over it.

I layered the beans and peppers, fish and some avocado on a whole wheat tortilla and voila! The fist taco was ready to eat. Although different from what I was used to, this version was easy to make and tasted really fresh. I think it's pretty healthy, too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Photos: Sky

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I have a new job that requires travel, so I've been spending a lot of time on the road since the beginning of September. I took the above picture with my phone on a drive between Tucson and Phoenix, AZ. I'm not sure the picture does the sky justice -- it was one of those amazing sunsets where the sky looks painted. Almost not real. A sky that you can't stop looking at because it's so beautiful. Except I was driving so I had to stop staring, so I snapped a picture. While I was driving. Yes, I know. Don't worry it was just me on the road with no other cars around.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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The great thing about making banana bread is that it normally comes together pretty quickly. Hence the name "quick bread". Unless you're me and your oven is not working right and it ends up taking over two hours to bake when it normally should only take an hour.

About an hour and 15 minutes into the bake time I realized something was wrong and I had no idea how long it was going to take to bake. The only thing I could do was keep resetting the timer and checking on it every 10-15 minutes. I was frustrated, but I wasn't going to give-up.  Perseverance paid off because the bread was fine even after a long bake time. Also, the addition of peanut butter makes a simple banana bread a little more special... and tasty.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl mash the bananas. Add in the sour cream, peanut butter,  and melted butter. Once it's all combined add in the eggs and sugar.

In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients stirring just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for a bit before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Monday, October 15, 2012


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Cold brew, hot brew, what's a girl to do?

This was the question I faced when I decided to make affogato, which is a simple coffee and ice cream Italian dessert. The ice cream part is simple-- just scoop and serve. However, there are some decisions that need to be made for the coffee part of the dessert.

There are a lot of people with strong opinions about the coffee preparation for this dessert. On one end it's totally acceptable to just brew some coffee and pour it over the ice cream, but I'm not sure how I feel about coffee soup. Another camp believes strongly in cold-brewing the coffee, a process that takes up to 12 hours. Apparently, cold-brewing results in a more mellow and less bitter cuppa joe, which is a nice compliment to the ice cream. 

I didn't feel like putting in all the effort of cold-brewing and I really didn't want to pour hot coffee over the ice cream, so I found a middle ground.

I brewed a nice cup of coffee and then let it chill in the refrigerator for a while.


I'm sure I violated some sacred code, but my shortcut resulted in a great dessert. A ridiculously easy and tasty dessert. I paired the coffee with some vanilla bean ice cream with a little grated milk chocolate over the top. I am curious about the whole-cold brewing thing and plan to try it out at some point, but in the meantime I am perfectly happy to serve this shortcut version instead.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lots 'o Meatballs

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 Every once in a while I get organized. The result? A whole bunch of meatballs to freeze for later. Oh, and a whole lot of sauce to go with them, too.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Good Morning, Sunshine

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I am so in love with eggs and potatoes. It's almost embarrassing considering I've written posts about this great combo about... um, I don't know, like, a million times (like this one, this one and that one).

This new version didn't take any time at all. I  mean, who wants to slave away on Sunday morning making breakfast, especially after drinking large amounts of prosecco the night before. Not me, that's for sure. Not that I did, of course. I just imagine that it would be a challenge to make this from scratch while hung over.

I think I need some aspirin.

 Anyway, whenever I make potatoes for dinner I always make extra for breakfast the next morning. This time it happened to be baked potato wedges, which served as the perfect base for a sunny-side up egg. Add in some fresh diced tomato, cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of chopped parsley and the result is tasty, savory weekend breakfast. The best part is cutting into the yolk and letting it ooze down into the potatoes. Gotta love a built in sauce.

So, yesterday's potatoes are today's amazing breakfast.
All in the time it takes to fry an egg.


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