Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zucchini, Baby!

Steph 1: Buy one of these bad boys at the farmer's market.
Step 2: Make it into a cake.

But wait!
Before you eat your cake made from a vegetable, eat this fish for dinner!

Oh yeah, THIS fish.  Topped with butter and cheese. Mmmmm.

Parmesan topped Tilapia

What you need:
4 tilapia filets (thawed if frozen)
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp fresh thyme

How to do:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Pat down the filets with paper towels.  Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

In the meantime, mix together the butter, cheeses, garlic, and thyme.  

When the fish is finished baking, take it out and turn on the broiler. 

Flip the fish over and top with the mixture.   

Broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is beautifully golden and bubbly and your kitchen smells wonderful.  (Please note: the smell is of garlic and parmesan, not fish)

recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats
--back to zucchini--
Serve with zucchini and onions with basil, unless you follow a recipe from a not-to-be named website that has poor directions and so it gets done 25 minutes after your main dish. 

I know this might seem a bit heavy and maybe even (gasp!) unhealthy, but it really isn't.  I love Brummel and Brown butter spread and it's only 3 tbsp.  Shoot, I make cookies and muffins with WAY more butter than that on a regular basis.  Cheese is always good, so it doesn't neccessarily count.  I used the two different kinds because I think shredded parm has a much different flavor than the grated kind in the plastic container and Breeze isn't a huge fan of it.  It really isn't heavy either, it's very light and delicoius.  Also, we don't eat a lot of fish at the Breeze house but I know Omega-3's are very important. 

This is a great dish to fit in some fish. 
I think I'll end on that. =)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Burritos! Whole Foods!

Clockwise from the left:  7 layer dip, Nancy's avacado garlicky dip and homemade pita chips, veggie chips, burritos, and an assortment of veggies with ranch dip. 
 Do you have foods that when they are cooked or even mentioned they remind you of someone or something??

Burritos are that way for me.  They remind me of Salon 9 and Brian Hendrickson.  He makes the best burritos ever!  That's them on the left.  The mixture of meat and beans paired with the crispy shell is ba-nanas!  For my last day of work on Thursday, the Salon 9 staff had quite the spread of deliciousness to send me off.  Even Kennedee, who I'm pretty sure is scared of the kitchen, made some ah-mazing seven layer dip!  I so appreciate what they did for me and I was so happy they went with the Mexican theme. 

Nancy made me white texas sheet cake.  Yummmmmm.
Somebody had a few bites before I got to take a pic.  I don't blame them, it is out of this world fabulous.  The almond flavoring is nothing short of amazing. 

I'm so going to miss everyone at the shop AND their food.  As my last attempt at being in charge, I pulled everyone together for a group photo.  It took an act of congress, but look how good the picture is!  Isabel needs to be a model! 

What a good looking group!

On another note, Friday I got to go to Whole Foods with my mom!  It was really fun!  I had to hold back and not buy everything I wanted, but I grabbed a good amount of things that I can't find in the Burg. 
My favorite finds:
I've never even seen Quinoa pasta! 
My sister and I always talk about how celeberties love coconut water but we tried the regular flavor and both think it is sick!! So I got some flavored kinds to test out. 
Seseme crisps- a super healthy snack!
Veganaise!  A much healthier alternative to Mayo.
Pop Chips!! 3 bags for $5 at that! 
And the best find of all:
Synergy Kombucha!! I'd give anything to be able to buy this in town!

Did you notice all the exclamantion points?  Exciting stuff!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken

When things seem out of the ordinary, like when you are approaching your last day of a job you've been going to every day for the past eight years, sometimes all you want is normal.  Well, tomorrow is my last day at Salon 9 and so tonight all I wanted was taco meat and my favorite orange blackberry muffins. 

But last week everything seemed totally normal, so I took a walk on the Asian side!

Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, whisked
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like spicy!)
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

How to do:
Pre-heat your oven to 350. 
For the chicken:
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
You'll want to do this in two batches.
Roll the chicken in the cornmeal, then in the egg.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook until just browned on the outside, not fully cooked.
In a 9x13, place the battered chicken in a single layer. 
For the sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, agave, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes. 
Pour half the mixture over the chicken and place in the oven for about 40-45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes.
In the meantime, pour the remaining sauce in a small saucepan, and reduce the sauce over medium heat, stirring frequently.
When the chicken is done, pour most of the remaining sauce over the top.  I reserved just a little bit of sauce to have on the side. 
Pour the sesame seeds on top of the chicken.

On a side note:  Next time I would either use less vinegar or more agave/sugar.  Breeze thought it tasted perfect though so do what you please!
Recipe adapted from  this Tasty Kitchen Member. 

Follow these photos for a wonderful dinner:

Everyday ingredients you have in your cabinet to make sweet and sour chicken!

Brown the chicken covered in cornmeal.

Bake the browned chicken for about less than an hour.

 Thicken the sauce over medium heat.
Serve with brown rice and mixed veggies!