Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tilapia Meuniere and Oven Roasted Potatoes

Well, it's been a while since my last recipe post. Life has been busy...but all busy in a good way. This past week, Daniel and I purchased our first home!!! We have been super excited about it...and this is to say the least. We close the end of May, so we still have a couple months till move in, but we can't wait. We are crossing our fingers that the inspection goes well in a couple weeks, so prayers would be appreciated.

Since life has been so busy, the wifey has not been able to cook gourmet meals as much as she would like. We have been eating healthy meals at home though, just nothing exciting enough to blog about. And to top it off, I've been so tired from long/crazy weeks that the last thing I want to do is get on the computer!

Tonight I made what is Barefoot Contessas "Easy Sole Meuniere," but I used Tilapia instead of Sole. Check out the recipe here.

Along with the tiapia, I made Oven Roasted Potatoes with small red potatoes...yum, they were delish! See the basic recipe here. I didn't use all the herbs the recipe calls for, but I improvised and just used a lot of garlic (we're garlic lovers!), olive oil, some salt and pepper and a parsley/oregano mix I had on hand. It was perfect! To make this meal complete, we had asparagus and a spinach salad. Yum!

For dessert, we're going to have Chocolate Toffee cookies I got at the Fresh Market. I rarely buy premade cookies, because why not just make them yourself?? But, these looked irresistible, and after a busy weekend of running at 10K (in pretty good time!), working at the gym, and meeting with the realtor to sign papers for our new home, I knew I'd be tired after cooking dinner. These looked like a good idea. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

American Honey

This is my favorite country song right now...especially love the lyrics. Check it out: American Honey

Some of my favorite lyrics:

Get caught in the race
Of this crazy life
Trying to be everything can make you lose your mind
(life sure is crazy right now, and sometimes I do feel like I'm loosing my mind!)

Oh nothing's sweeter than summer time
And American honey
(oh how I LOVE summer time...and yes, honey too)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

We were lacking cookies in our household and so I decided it was time to make some. The hubs and I always have something sweet after dinner, so what to make? I found these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from a blog called "Almost Slowfood"...I found the blog from my mother in laws blog. I made these tasty treats right after dinner, so I only let them cool about 5 mins. before we began eating them. When I first made them, I didn't really love them, but the more and more I've been having them this week...they have turned out amazing. I think it's because I didn't let them cool enough when we first tried them...they were more of like a cake. The bars have white whole wheat flour in them that gives them a slightly nutty taste. They are delicious! So yummy, that I don't have a picture because Daniel and I have about finished them. Follow this link to the blog post, or read below the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
(The beauty of these bars is you don't have to wait for the butter to soften and you don't have to put tray after tray of cookie dough in the oven. When a craving strikes, you can meet it head-on in about an hour... maybe 90 minutes.)

What You'll Need:

2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 heaping tsp Salt
1 c Butter (2 sticks)
1 1/3 c Brown Sugar
2/3 c Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
2 cups Chocolate Chips (About 12 oz)

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Place the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and zap it for about 30 seconds or until the butter is partially melted and very soft.

Using the paddle attachment to your mixer, beat the butter and sugars on high until light and fluffy. Turn the the second lowest setting and beat in the eggs one at a time. Then the vanilla. Wait until it's fully incorporated and then turn it down to the lowest setting and add the flour mixture. Turn off the mixer and incorporate the chocolate chips by hand. Pour the dough in the pan and spread it out evenly. Bake until the top is brown and the dough are pulling away from the sides. About 30-40 minutes. Let cool at least 15 mins., or more if possible.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

School Lunches

Did you eat school lunch every day as a child? If so, what was it like? Was it healthy? Thankfully, being raised from a Mom who is a dietitian, we had our lunches made every day. Mom would make delicious lunches, and I thank her for that! Sometimes I didn't think they were the most delicious meals compared to my friends fried chicken sandwiches...but I ate my homemade lunch, am now am very thankful I did.

The point of this post is that I'm a huge advocate of children eating healthy. I want schools to get healthier meals in their cafeterias. People say that eating healthy is expensive, and I do agree with that to a's our government that decides prices and we are all working to get those prices down on fruits, veggies and other healthful foods. I hope one day our school system changes back to the basics of food and gets rid of the fast food, and nasty things. I could go on and on about this, but I will spare you.

Please take a few minutes to check out this article (sorry it was too long to put a link to) and then if you're interested, check out this ladies blog.

Very fascinating!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


If you haven't donated, please do so for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) cause. Tears were pouring out of my eyes as I watched this video evening. Help find a cure

This cause means so much to me. Please donate...we want CF to stand for Cure Found.

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Peanut Chili Sauce

On the menu tonight at the Hoffman's were Meatballs in a peanut sauce served over brown rice with green beans and fruit salad. Dinner was only wish was that the meatballs were in more of a "sauce," however; the hubs said he liked it how it was. Poor Daniel is suffering from strep throat, thankfully this agreed with him. Follow the link to the meatball recipe: Meatball Recipe

Thanks to Trader Joe's (my favorite grocery store EVER!) I was able to get the chicken meatballs with no preservatives and no added ingredients. The Trader Joe's in Richmond is a hike from our home, but I just had to make the run out to get our weekly grocery's. I've decided to make the trek more often because of their awesome prices and awesome food selection.

This meal was horribly easy...just what I needed though with a busy week. I hope you enjoy! :)


Sunday night, Daniel, me and my parents went to see Wicked! The traveling Broadway show came to Richmond for a few days. Ever since they announced that Wicked would be coming to Richmond...I wanted to go! I ask for tickets for my birthday, and my wonderful parents granted my wish. Wicked was amazing!!!! I love Broadway musicals! I have seen many, each one is very different, yet all so good. I highly recommend seeing Wicked if it comes to your area (or if you're in NYC).

Follow this link to one of my favorite songs in Wicked, "For Good." I loved the lyrics in this song...very meaningful.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh weekend, are you here yet?

Yet another long week has left me completely exhausted. hunting...attempting to study for my Personal Trainer's Cert...taking care of two puppies...being a good wife, etc. This has been a long week, and I haven't felt too great. I have lost my energy this week...not sure where it went. I haven't even had energy to work out---you know something's wrong with me when that happens! Nevertheless, I am very much looking forward to this weekend, as my Mom and I are hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Amanda in Northern VA. Amanda and my brother, Michael, are expecting a baby boy on April 23rd. We are all so very, very excited! Daniel and I will be staying with his brother Scott and his wife, Erin in their new home in Burke. I am so excited to see them and their new home. :)

The hubs and I were supposed to start Zoey tonight with puppy training classes, but I begged Daniel for us to wait and start them next week. I've had something every night after work this week and I wanted to enjoy one evening relaxing, cooking and spending time w/Daniel and the pups. Although not having much energy, I mustered up some to cook us Smoked Paprika Shrimp with a Red Pepper Agave Sauce served over polenta. Yum! I also whipped up a Blueberry-Lemon Coffee Cake to bring with us to Scott and Erin's. It smells delicious! Enjoy the recipes below.

Smoked Paprika Shrimp with a Red Pepper Agave Sauce


Red Pepper – Agave Sauce:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey (I used honey)

1 jar (12 – 13 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

Smoked Paprika Shrimp:

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 tsp. McCormick’s Gourmet Collection Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp. McCormick Gourmet Collection Sicilian Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. coarse grind black pepper

2 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

Poblano Polenta:
1 quart (4 cups) milk

1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Sicilian Sea Salt

1 cup polenta

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded Manchego cheese

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

1/4 cup finely chopped roasted Poblano chile (See Test Kitchen Tip below) or 1 tablespoon chopped drained pickled jalapeno pepper


Red Pepper Sauce:

Heat 1 Tbls. oil in small skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2 minutes or until softened. Add agave nectar (or honey); cook and stir 1 minute or until onion starts to caramelize. Place peppers, stock, cream, tomato paste and onion mixture in blender or food processor; cover. Puree until smooth. Spoon into medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Keep warm.


For the Poblano Polenta, bring milk and sea salt to simmer in heavy 2-quart saucepan on medium heat. Whisking constantly, add polenta in thin stream. Stirring frequently, cook 10 minute. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, corn, cheese and chile until well mixed. Keep warm. (As I said before, quick cooking polenta works just fine with this. Just follow cooking time on the package.)


Toss shrimp with 1 Tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet on medium -high heat. Add shrimp, cook and stir 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. (Or, grill, works great)

Spoon polenta onto each plate. Drizzle sauce around polenta. Arrange shrimp on polenta. Sprinkle with green onions.

Blueberry-Lemon Coffee Cake

Blueberries and lemon are a natural match, and they come together nicely in this fruit-filled snack cake. Almond paste, a sweet mixture of ground almonds and sugar, contributes a mildly nutty flavor and moist texture. Almond paste is found in the baking section of the grocery store. (Don't substitute marzipan, which is sweeter and has a smoother texture.) If it is hard, soften it by microwaving at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds. Recipe from Cooking Light.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup almond paste
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Cooking spray

1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Place 1/2 cup sugar, almond paste, and 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg and lemon juice, beating well. Add flour mixture and fat-free milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries and rind. Spoon batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, combine 1/4 cup sugar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, tossing with a fork until moist. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information
196 (30% from fat)
6.5g (sat 2.1g,mono 3.2g,poly 0.8g)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Every dollar counts

Have you ever donated to a special cause? Do you know of friends or family members suffering from a chronic illness? Do these family and/or friends mean a lot to you? If you answered "yes" to these questions, then you know where I'm going with this post. If you answered "no," then you are very lucky, but sadly enough you'll most likely be hit with this later in life.

My good friend, my Matron of Honor, Jenny, suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. Jenny is a ray of sunshine and the happiest person I've ever met. Her positive attitude and outlook on life is amazing. Jenny is a daughter to two awesome parents, a sister to two sisters, a wife to a great husband, and very importantly-a Mother to a sweet, happy, fun 1.5 year old girl, Maddie...who really is a mini-Jenny. One can tell that Maddie has two great parents...she is the most well-behaved, sweet, fun, loving child. She listens well and Jenny is even very good about making sure she eats her fruits and veggies...go Mads! :) In my eyes, she's the perfect child. ;) Check out this precious video Jenny took of Maddie starting to talk:

Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary disease that affects the entire body. It referes to the scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated, not cured, by antibiotics and other medications. A multitude of other symptoms result from the effects of CF of other parts of the body.

There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, but I want you to help me get one step closer to finding a cure. Please help those like Jenny get one step closer to a cure. Hopefully soon, CF will not stand for Cystic Fibrosis, but it will stand for CURE FOUND. I am walking in CF's Great Strides walk in Richmond in May. This walk raises money to help find a cure for CF.

Please click on the box below...$1 even helps toward this cause. Thank you, thank you...God bless.

donate to my cause

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cajun Cabbage Casserole with Pear Salad

It's been another busy week, so I sadly have not been doing much cooking. Thankfully our refrigerator is slammed packed with wonderful leftovers (red beans and rice, pork chops, etc.), so these have been our quick and easy re-heat dinners! I did have time last night to make a recipe I got from my Mother in law's blog (Susie). The casserole has cabbage, chicken, onions, mushrooms, cream of celery and mushroom soup, brown rice and panko...all of these things I love, so I had to try it. It was especially perfect on a cold, rainy evening. Along with casserole, we had my mother in law's pear salad. I used spinach, canned pears and toasted almonds....made my own pear vinaigrette to go along with this. Perfect side to the casserole!

Please check out Susie's blog to find these recipes:

And now we have even more leftovers for quick meals...horray. (This makes a ton!) Enjoy!