Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mahi Mahi Tacos with Lime Yogurt Sauce

Hola, foodies!

I recently moved into a new apartment and tonight I made my first "real dinner" since moving in. With the help of my roomie, of course!

I've always wanted to make fish tacos. For this recipe I used pre-packaged frozen mahi mahi filets from Trader Joe's. So convenient - and surprisingly fresh, too!

I came up with the sauce on the fly. I used plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because it basically tastes the same except it's fat-free and has a ton of protein. So yummy.. the sauce really made the tacos, for me.

  • 1 pound mahi mahi filets
  • flour
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 10" flour tortillas
  • pico de gallo (store-bought or homemade)
  • any color bell pepper, finely chopped
  • red or white onion, finely chopped
  • cucumber, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • shredded cheese of your choice
  1. Combine yogurt, garlic, lime juice, and honey. Set aside.
  2. Slice fish filets into 1-inch sections. Coat with flour.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until fish is completely opaque throughout. Transfer fish to a plate and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place fish pieces on warm tortillas. Drizzle with a good helping of yogurt sauce. Top with pico de gallo, peppers, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, and cheese. Enjoy!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thai Pasta Salad

Just wanted to share a simple, easy, and VERY tasty recipe I tried recently. :)

Thai Pasta Salad (adapted from TastyGalaxy's Pasta Salad with Peanut Sauce)

  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti
  • about a cup of chopped carrots
  • 2 or 3 scallions, chopped
  • a big handful of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 or 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, water, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Drain again, very well.
  4. In a big bowl, combine the pasta, carrots, and scallions.  Mix in the peanut sauce.  Add the cilantro and toss.  Top with sesame seeds.

This was really really good cold, but I think it would also work if you served it warm.

There are not many things I love more than recipes that are as easy as they are yummy.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

“Cooking is an art, but you can eat it too.”
― Marcella Hazan

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

I am an iced coffee addict.  I don't know what it is about hot coffee... it's not that I don't like it, but coffee just tastes so much better to me served over ice and sipped through a straw.  I am one of those people (are there others...?) who orders iced coffee in the dead of winter.  By now, I've come to expect the "You said iced?" with eyebrows raised.

I don't know how I've gone so many years without discovering this recipe.  Just thinking about all the crappy attempts I've made at homemade iced coffee over the years, and all the money I could have saved... makes me cringe!

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

This makes such delicious coffee. Better than the majority of iced coffees I've purchased, anywhere from Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts to a slew of independent coffee shops.  I love how the bitterness is removed and you are left with a smooth, refreshing taste. What an awesome way to start off the summer.  Iced coffee every morning and I don't have to leave the house.  I should follow Deb's lead and put $2.00 in a jar every time I make this.

If you are an iced coffee addict like me, and you haven't tried this... DO IT! DO IT NOW!!!

Happy Summer :)


Monday, May 30, 2011

Welcome, Summer!

It's only fitting that I write my first post of the "summer" on Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff of the season.  It's a lovely 93 degrees F and humid outside... that part of summer I'm not so excited about, but I am excited about the food.  Summer food is the best.  Fresh delicious produce, simple salads, classic American cookout dishes (who doesn't love burgers/hotdogs fresh off the grill, potato salad, and a refreshing glass of iced tea ?).  It's even better when some -- or most, if you're lucky! -- of the ingredients come from your own garden.

A couple months ago I wrote about my burgeoning container garden.  Well, it was mostly an epic failure.  All that survived out of those many tomato seedlings is this one bad boy, who is still hanging on for dear life:

He's still growing little by little every day. I'll be quite impressed if he actually ends up producing any tomatoes!
In light of my tomato seedling failure, I gave up and purchased a cherry tomato seedling, which I'm excited about:

And as for basil...
The bunch you see to the left is all that's left of the basil I planted months ago.  The bigger plant on the right was a store purchase (there's another one too, not pictured).  All are growing like wildfire! :)
Sigh, cilantro.  This was grown from seeds, and was going pretty strong, but has started to wilt quite a bit the last couple days, despite plenty of sunlight, allowing the water to drain, and not over- or under-watering.  Cilantro seems to be a pretty fickle herb to grow.  Any pointers??
I purchased this lavender plant for the wonderful aroma and beautiful purple flowers that will bloom (and have already started to bud).
As for what's been cookin' lately...

In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, I felt compelled to make some sort of BBQ stable, so I went with this basic pasta salad recipe, with the omission of chickpeas and eggs, and the addition of fresh basil from my garden.

In the words of Paul, "Can you make this again??? I could eat this all week..."
And, nothing says summer like a simple caprese salad (again, basil from the garden).  I hope someday soon the tomatoes will be from my patio, as well. :)

Simple Memorial Day lunch.

What summer foods are you most excited about?


Monday, March 28, 2011


In the mood to bake a simple, easy, quick, classic crowd-pleasing dessert using ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry? This one's for you.

These will be sure to disappear fast at work tomorrow...

Brownies (adapted from TD's Brownies III)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and oil with a whisk until blended.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients. Add to the egg mixture and mix well (but don't over-mix!)
  3. Spread batter in a greased 9" x 13" pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
(Pssst... In the midst of making these brownies, I realized I only had one cup of white sugar left. I substituted the second cup with light brown sugar, and they turned out just fine.)

Simple as that.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Mini Garden Update #2

I'm happy to report that I have actual basil (not a weed this time) and tomato seedlings growing! The tomatoes are going a little wild... I did not expect such a big turnout! ;)

Tomato seedlings gone crazy!

Baby basil plants. :)
Homegrown fruits, veggies, and herbs... here I come!

Are you starting a garden this year?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mini Garden Update

Meet Henry. My first baby basil sprout. He was just planted 2 days ago! Look at him go! He is already about a 1/2 inch tall. (Can you tell I have too much free time?)


SAD UPDATE:  I showed that picture to a seasoned gardener I work with, who is also sprouting some basil right here in the office, and she thinks Henry is just a weed. He looks nothing like the basil she is growing in her office. :(

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Beginnings of My Summer Garden...

Not too much to blog about these days, but there is something I am quite excited about. This past weekend I started my summer garden.

On the left we have basil, and on the right we have tomatoes (they're in there, somewhere). The tomato planter is a lot bigger than it looks in the picture. I'll keep the basil in its original planter, and when the tomato seedlings grow to about 5"-10", I'll transplant to a bigger container. For now, they'll rest in a warm spot here in the office where there is AMAZING sunlight in the morning and afternoon. They'll stay inside here until it gets warm out. This is my first time planting anything from seeds, so I really hope they grow successfully. Keep your fingers crossed for me!  I hope to be making plenty of pesto and caprese salad with the fruits of my labor. I hope to also plant thyme, rosemary, mint, sage, oregano, and of course all-time favorite herb. Hopefully some peppers, too. And flowers, of course, 'cause they're pretty. :)

One last thing I'd like to share... there are few things more delightful than treating yourself to a nice, quiet, solo sushi lunch.
Miso soup.
California roll (goin' back to the basics), tuna roll with cream cheese & avocado, tuna roll which was supposed to be yellowtail but oh well, and salmon roll. After I finished my rolls and tasting how fresh the salmon was, I ordered some salmon sashimi, but I devoured it before I could remember to take a picture. Whoops.
I love that no matter where you go for sushi, or how simple your order is, the chef always takes the time to place the food so artfully on the plate. It makes the experience of eating your favorite food so much more enjoyable. :)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

At work, the word "meeting" usually makes people groan, but when they involve a smorgasbord of delicious lunch and dessert, as they often do at my workplace... my eyes light up. We have a lunch meeting this Monday, and I eagerly volunteered to provide a homemade dessert. Lately, I haven't so much as stepped foot in my kitchen other than to whip up a PB&J for lunch or heat up a quick dinner. This was a perfect opportunity for me to get back in the game.

This winter has been particularly crummy (and I'm not just referring to the weather), and I wanted to make something that evoked sunshine. These cupcakes just seem to scream spring. This morning started out dreary and gray, and as the hours spent in my kitchen wore on, the sun came out and the sky is now as blue as can be. A day like today... just me, my sunlit kitchen, and powdered sugar all over the place... was long overdue.

I've made this strawberry frosting a couple times before with fantastic results. I tell everyone it tastes like strawberry ice cream. I love, love, love it. It just makes me smile. This time I paired it with a basic vanilla cake. I'd love to pair it with a chocolate cake or brownies sometime.

And might I add... my blog's header is a huge photo of a cupcake. It's about time I wrote a cupcake post.

Strawberry Frosting (adapted from Sprinkles)
makes enough for 12 cupcakes (I doubled the recipe for 24 cupcakes... seven cups of sugar! ahhhhhhh!)
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, just barely cool but still firm
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Process the strawberries in a food processor until a smooth puree forms.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Lower the speed on your mixer. Gradually add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the vanilla and 3 tbsp of the strawberry puree. Mix well. You can mix just until blended for a dense frosting, or you can keep going and incorporate more air for a fluffier frosting. It's up to you. I went fluffy this time.
Note: I added a lot of extra strawberry puree this time around because the berry flavor wasn't strong enough. I think it's probably because they're not in season yet. Just add however much strawberry fits your taste.
Butter...butter...and more butter.
Glorious buttercream...
Glorious buttercream after the addition of strawberries.
Darn right I licked the beaters!
This is how you get popular at work. Just kidding. Kinda.

How did you spend your Sunday?


P.S. My poor little hand mixer. It's an off-brand, sorta chintzy mixer I got for like 7 bucks at Kmart about 4 years ago. I thought it (not to mention my arm) would die today, with the amount of frosting I made. But it was the little engine that could! Still, it made me yearn for one of these beauties.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Photo Blog: What I've Been Up To...

It's been a while since my last blog because, well, sh*t life happens. Here's what I've been up to food-wise since then, in photo form :)

My "inventive" curried tofu and sweet potato stir-fry, served over thin rice noodles.

My mom's cherry congealed salad.

My mom's savory chicken casserole. Yum!

Savory chicken casserole and rice.

Glorious sushi!

Everything was so, so, so good.

The green lights were actually very bright and flashed like strobe lights. A bit distracting, but cool. It was New Year's Eve, so I guess the chef figured, "why not?"

Red = Ahi tuna. Light pink = a fish we never quite figured out. Still tasty though!

Happy New Year! More posts in 2011. :)