Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something New

I tried out a few new things for dinner tonight.
I made salt and vinegar baked chicken thighs, brussel sprouts and rice pilaf. 
Basically, I just marinaded the thighs in vinegar, vegetable oil, and poultry seasoning then baked it in the oven.
I broiled them for the last five minutes to make the skin nice and crispy.

Next I made a balsamic vinegar reduction with garlic and onions for the brussel sprouts.
Then I simmered the sprouts in the reduction with some chicken stock.

The chicken didn't turn out to be our favorite-Seth wasn't too excited about the flavor.
But we really liked the brussel sprouts and rice pilaf.
I just whipped up the pilaf from a box-sometimes I opt for convenience.

We don't want to forget about my delicious glass of White Zinfandel!
It probably was not the 'correct' choice for this meal, but I enjoy sweet wine.
See ya next time I'm in the kitchen!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Seth found his love for sushi on our honeymoon. 
He wanted sushi for lunch and dinner every single day that week.
Since his wife wasn't too thrilled with that idea, I promised that I would make him sushi once we got home.
Ten months later, and I finally fulfilled that promise.

Prepping the veggies.

Gettin' ready.

Sticky rice.

Crab and veggies.

More veggies.

All rolled up-not too shabby for a first-timer.

Ready for my husband's hungry tummy.

I definitely foresee many more sushi making parties with Seth. 
I roll, he eats.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Tomato-Peach Salsa

This recipe is on the front cover of my latest Cooking Light Magazine, and before I even opened it up I knew I just had to cook this.
Cooking Light does not disappoint-it was such a light, fresh meal!
 I was in charge of all the prep work-Seth is still learning his way around the kitchen.
This is the tomato-peach salsa all prepped-a peeled peach, quartered ambrosia tomatoes (they're a slightly larger, but a lot yummier version of cherry tomatoes), basil, mint, shallots (I substituted these for red onion-I prefer their more subtle taste), jalapeno pepper, garlic, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.

 While I was busy prepping, my husband was busy grilling away. We like to use a simple baste of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to make sure the fish stays moist.

Doesn't this color-combo read 'summer' all over it?!?

Finished masterpiece.

I was craving mashed potatoes, and Seth loves asparagus, so we added to the menu.

One of my husband's favorite jobs in the kitchen-mashing the potatoes.
I think its mainly because spuds are very high up there on his 'favorite foods' lists and the sooner they get mashed, the sooner he gets to enjoy.
He likes to use oven mitts to protect himself from the steam.
For some reason, husbands are not a big fan of the heat from an oven.
Those mitts are his best friends in the kitchen-besides me, of course. :)

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos is one of the things I actually miss about California.
I know, besides the warm sunshine year round, I've never really missed much about living there.

Anyways, I have been dying to make this meal for a while now, and it was totally worth the wait.

First I grilled some Mahi Mahi from Trader Joe's.
I used the same exact baste I used when grilling the chicken in the previous post.
I felt like I grilled a huge amount of fish, but we had Micah over for dinner and we also wanted leftovers.

The taco consisted of grilled Mahi Mahi, black beans, salsa, avocado, cheese, shredded cabbage (the secret ingredient!), lime juice, sour cream, and cilantro.
The taco paired with the big bowl of watermelon made for one stuffed lady!

O, and the leftovers were just as fantastic the day after-I highly recommend giving this a try.
But be sure to use a sparing hand, all those condiments can easily add up to a lot of extra calories.
 (As you can see, I got carried away the first time and overloaded-I guess it's allowed once.)

Grilled Chicken

When I know I am going to be in a time crunch, or I don't really want to worry about dinner, I move a couple chicken breasts from the freezer over to the fridge in the morning so I can come home to some defrosted chicken, ready for cookin'.

I have been finding myself doing that a lot lately, but I don't think Seth or I really mind.

Summertime means grill-time in our family.
I always make extra protein and veggies so we have easy leftovers for lunch the next day.

We have learned that basting is the key to a successful grilled chicken breast.
I wanted a Spanish flavor to this dish, so my baste consisted of-lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and vegetable oil.

I whipped up a box of Spanish rice to pair with our grilled chicken, tomatoes, and onions.

Close-up of the finished product.
Grilled ambrosia tomatoes and white onions are my new favorite food.
The onions become so sweet once grilled and the tomatoes burst with flavor and juice.
I find myself adding them to almost every meal for that extra 'ummph.'

Of course I ended up smothering my meal in cilantro-I am seriously in love with this herb!
Needless to say, it is one of the few things my husband very much dislikes. 
His taste buds' loss. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trader Joe's

 I have been really enjoying my grocery shopping experience at Trader Joe's, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite finds.

Edamame covered in dark chocolate may sound gross, but it is a tasty little treat.
I love dark chocolate, and there's 7 grams of protein in 1/4 cup!
Of course I would never eat 1/4 cup in one day.

Organic Jasmine Rice is a staple in our freezer.
It is so fluffy and aromatic, and it's ready in 3 minutes!

Chicken sausage is normally what I eat for lunch. 
Trader Joe's has many different flavors for all taste buds.
It's a perfect way to get in lots of protein.

This cheese is one of my favorite finds.
This yummy mix of my two favorite cheeses is always in my fridge.

I have found that I really enjoy all three varieties of these Soy & Flaxseed chips.
I like dipping them in the hummus right under this.

This is one of my other favorite finds. 
The combination of the price and flavor, not to mention that it can go with anything, make me want to always have it in my fridge.

Okay, I'm sure everyone is asking themselves if I accidentally came home with the wrong thing after seeing this picture.
No! I really do love the flavor of Seaweed.
Yes, it has an interesting texture, but it is the perfect snack for the munchies.

Everyone needs to go the Trader Joe's immediately and check out their 'butter' section.
They have all sorts of nut butters, and their prices are super cheap!
This is my favorite of the ones I have tried.

I love sweet potatoes, so it was so suprise when I opened up this bag and could not stop munching!
I can't allow myself to buy these very often because they are so addicting.

I have to the credit for this one to my mother.
I have never like tomato soup, until she convinced me to give this a try.
A bowl of this with some cheddar & gruyere cheese and crackers is such a comforting meal.

These delicate chips are another item on the favorite list.
I had my friend Brigette try them and she put it perfectly, "They're like an entire mexican meal in one little bite!"

I grew up eating these-they were like a dessert for me and my brothers and sisters.
They're so sweet and I can really taste the fruit flavors.

What is your Trader Joe's staple? Or guilty pleasure? :)