Saturday, July 25, 2009


We love chickpeas... in any form. Did you know they are considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat? They are so very good for you. I am always looking for new ways to eat them.. and I found a really yummy one. Marinated. Just dump a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas in a bowl and marinate in some good balsamic vinegar. I marinated mine for about 4 hours. YUM. My intention was to add them to an Italian salad that I made with spring mix, tomatoes, onions, roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Although I did add them, and they were fantastic.. most of them were gone by the time I made the salad. My 2 year old even ate them by the handful!! Try it.. it's a very healthy snack, and try sprinkling them on top of your favorite salad!
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Tilapia with Balsamic Butter sauce, Thyme Mashed Potatoes and Snap Peas

This recipe is so good. I do not really like fish, but I am trying.. I made this and I actually ate a whole filet.. and my husband, a fish lover.. raved. It's yummy.

3 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered
4 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons (or more) warm whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 4- to 5-ounce tilapia fillets
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Thyme Mashed Potatoes
Boil potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Add butter, 6 tablespoons cream, and thyme; mash. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often and adding more cream by tablespoonfuls if dry.
Balsamic Butter Sauce
Simmer vinegar and garlic in small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to thick syrup, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cook snap peas in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Return to same pan; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 large skillets over high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Sauté fish until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
Rewarm balsamic syrup over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1/2 cup butter 1 piece at a time. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to peas; stir over medium heat until warmed. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide potatoes, tilapia, and peas among plates; drizzle with sauce.

Bon Appetit 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tilapia with Green Beans, Corn & Pesto

3-4 Tilapia fillets
salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
1/2 lb green beans (i used frozen green beans, about 2/3s of the bag)
1/2 bag frozen corn
2 green onions, sliced thin
store-bought pesto

heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
season fish with salt and pepper
place fish in skillet and cook on one side for 4-5 minutes (until golden brown)

flip the fish, scatter the green beans and add 3/4 cup water. cover and let cook for another 5 minutes. the vegetables should be tender and the fish opaque throughout.

place the fish on plates, leaving the green beans and adding the corn. cover and let cook another 2-3 minutes. finally, stir in the pesto and green onions. (ok, i only added the green onions after i plated the kids food...)

serve the fish and vegetables with an additional dollop of pesto.

---seriously, i made this meal in about 15 minutes, from start to finish. super easy, super fast and super delicious. my husband told me a few times how good it was, especially with that pesto! a great summer meal!

adapted from real simple, august 2008

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pot Sticker Salad with Snap Peas

proof the kids ate it!

i found this recipe about a year ago in a real simple magazine section on 20-minute meals. (in fact, all of the recipes on this week's menu is from that section!)
and the kids actually love it!

i adapted it for our family...
and i always make brown rice to accompany it, so allow for that 45 minutes of cooking time if you decide to make rice, too.

1 (1-lb) bag frozen pot stickers --- i used fresh pot stickers from our grocery store. it cuts the cooking time in half, if that's possible!
a couple of handfuls of snap peas
2 carrots, cut in matchstick-size pieces
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 T sesame oil --- you'll find it on the asian food aisle
a handful of cashews, the recipe calls for peanuts
2 green onions, sliced

i filled a saute pan with an inch or so of water, then brought it to a boil. over medium heat, i threw the snap peas and carrots in, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes.

remove and set aside.

with the remaining water, set the pot stickers in to cook - if they are fresh, you only need a few minutes. if they are frozen, let them cook about 5-7 minutes. - don't turn them, either! they get too brown/crunchy and not as soft and delicious that way.

combine the soy sauce and sesame oil. (i don't give the sauce, onions, or nuts to the kids)

with rice ready, place on a plate, topped with the pot stickers and vegetables, then the green onions and nuts. pour the sauce on top - and i also used a few dots of the sriracha sauce.

the kids are always very unsure of this recipe - it looks different. but once i (and jayden) convinced them that it was just chinese ravioli (it worked!) they ate it all.

adapted from real simple, august 2008

menu #7

week of may 25

monday: taco salad
chips & salsa

tuesday: chicken with parmesan chive cream sauce
brown rice

wednesday: crisp goat cheese salad
grilled chicken

thursday: open-face burgers (with bacon and cheddar)
sweet potato fries

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My 4th of July Menu

When I think about the 4th of July.. I think American. When I think American.. I think burgers and potato salad. This year for the 4th of July we are going to a park where they have a festival and firework display. We are packin up the neighbors, all the kids and the BBQ. Here is what I am fixing:

Burgers by Bobby Flay. I'm taking his recipe for a basic burger and creating a "burger bar" with all kinds of wacky toppings sure to make me fat. My neighbor, Lori works for Guy Fieri... So we'll have a little burger throwdown.. cuz his are good too.
Bobby's Burgers

Then there's the potato salad. My ultimate favorite potato salad is the Warm Dijon and Green Bean Potato Salad that is on this site. But I'm thinking more of an American style potato salad complete with eggs, pickles.. onions.. the works. So I'm going to try this one and hope its good.

This is Tyler Florence's recipe for Potato salad from his Ultimate Tailgate episode. It has eggs, pickles, onions.. mayo.. I'll let ya know how it turns out. I love to test new recipes on my neighbors, haha. Well if anything- the hundreds of kids we have will eat it.
Tylers Potato Salad

And then there is this:

Strawberry Pretzel Squares. Have you ever made these? They are sooo good. We have a Farmers Market right by our house and this is a perfect way to use up all those delicious strawberries. I think I'll add a little dollop of whipped cream on top of each square and plop in a blueberry.. for the red, white and blue.

Whatever is on your menu for the 4th of July.. I hope you are all surrounded by your friends and family! Happy Independence Day!!