Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Almond-Crusted Tilapia

I'm packing up my classroom today for the summer...pretty exciting! Might just fix me up some-a this for supper tonight as my reward. It's that good.

Almond-Crusted Tilapia
As you can see, this recipe isn't really healthy. Obviously what makes it so amazing is that it sizzles away in not just olive oil, but butter. Doesn't butter make everything taste better?

1 cup sliced toasted almonds, divided
1/4 all-purpose flour
4 tilapia filets
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Process 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, and combine with flour in a shallow bowl.
2. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper; dredge in almond/flour mixture. 
3. Melt butter with olive oil in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron is the best!) over med-high heat. Add fish and cook until golden brown on either side (about 3 minutes). Don't over cook!
*4. Remove fillets from skillet. Add remaining 1/2 cup almonds to skillet, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute or until golden. Remove almonds with a slotted spoon and sprinkle over fish.

*I completely left off step 4. I didn't read to divide the almonds and so I processed them all. This step is completely optional, but sounds like it would make this dish even more delicious!
I also only used 2 fillets, but it isn't necessary to change the amount of any of the ingredients. 

I found an old recipe book of mine at my parents house recently, and that's where this recipe was written, so I'm not sure of where it originally came.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Song Friday--Summertime!

Today is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!! It's been a loooong, stressful school year, and I'm definitely ready for Summer. However...I will miss those little boogers. Just a little.  In honor of this wonderful day, enjoy some "Summer songs." Click the song to hear!

Yes...another Sam Cooke song

Karate Kid, anyone? This video is prrreeety awesome. I dare you to try not to laugh.

Hi beach. I will be with you soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Tomato-Basil-Asparagus Pasta Salad

Nice light recipe for summer. Add grilled chicken or shrimp for a full meal.

I think I got the recipe from Southern Living, but it was a long time ago so I'm not sure. The only change I made was making my own lemon vinaigrette rather than using store bought dressing.

Tomato-Basil-Asparagus Pasta Salad

1 package bowtie pasta
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2 in. pieces
lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 (1 oz.) package fresh basil, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain and rinse with cool water. Stir together the lemon vinaigrette and basil and pour over the pasta and asparagus. Stir in tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Toss pasta salad before serving. 
I served it sprinkled with feta cheese!

Lemon Vinaigrette
The measurements may not be completely accurate, so just taste as you go.

About 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. salt
cracked black pepper

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Five Song Friday, finally. And more stuff...

So...my Five Song Fridays have been kind of slack. And, yes, I realize it is not Friday anymore. I promise once school is out, I'll do better! I know you all just wait every Friday in anticipation to see what songs I feature. Riiiight.

Five more songs for your listening pleasure and that I've been slightly obsessed with lately...

Van Morrison's original version of course will forever and always be my favorite. But this one is right up there, too. You know I gotta have Tupelo Honey on here. Warning-video isn't the best quality.

Love, love, love this song. And Sam Cooke. Our first dance at our wedding was a Sam Cooke song.

Okay, I know I'm the bazillionth person who has told you this, but you MUST get Adele's "new" album if you haven't already. It has been on repeat on my ipod for the last week.

4. You Are My Face--Wilco
Just really good. I love it.

5.  California Dreamin'--Eddie Hazel
This funky version of the song is so good. I could listen over and over.

Hope you enjoy! Have a wonderful weekend!
I know I will! Sunday is my birthday which means...

pool today...

dinner with all of these people tonight...
Mom and Dad

Matt, Ellen, and perfect niece Lucy (dressed as a 50's girl for Halloween)
I love them all, but mostly excited about seeing this one...

  and boat with these beautiful people tomorrow!

My first birthday present came in the mail from my sweet in-laws, who are in Italy right now visiting my brother-in-law...
Oh yeah! Haha...this came along with a beautiful cookbook "Sundays in the South"
Please ignore that this was taken after a long day of "teaching" crazy 3rd graders and sans makeup.

Jack and Sally, my in-laws, and us in Yellowstone Park last summer.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I hope this long post kinda made up for all of the missing ones lately!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Dijon Salmon

It's Tasty Tuesday....on a Wednesday. So I guess we'll call this "Mouth Watering Wednesday". I have been terrible about posting lately. The end of the school year is always SO crazy! Two more weeks, and I won't have a care in the world and you'll be hearing a lot more from me!

I made this last night and loved it. My favorite way is probably still the simple grilled salmon, but it was nice to change it up a bit. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com.

Baked Dijon Salmon

1/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
4 salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
3. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Brush each salmon fillet with the honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the bread crumb/pecan mixture.
4. Bake salmon 12 to 15 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. 

One good thing about allrecipes.com is they give you all the nutritional information on each recipe:

Calories: 421
Carbs: 17.6g
Cholesterol: 96.6mg
Fiber: 2.3g
Fat: 29g
Protein: 24.3g
Sodium: 480.3mg

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Squash Casserole

I make this all the time. It's so easy and so, so good. It also is a recipe from the company who catered our wedding, Hamby's.

Squash Casserole
Makes 4 Servings
I always double this...good for two nights

1 pound yellow squash--(add some zucchini for some color if you'd like)
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup onions (about 1/2 of a small yellow onion)
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
2 cups Ritz crackers, about 1 sleeve, crumbled
*If you want to make this EVEN better, use crushed Cheezits instead!

Preheat oven to 350. Cook whole squash in a small amount of salted boiling water until tender. Drain well and chop. Combine butter, eggs, flour, salt, pepper, onions, and cheese and mix well. Stir in squash. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1-2 qt. casserole dish (if doubling the recipe, use a 3 qt. dish). Top with the cracker crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Maple Pecan Chicken & Rosemary Mushroom Risotto

Sorry for being slightly slack about posting lately. One of my oldest friends got married this weekend and I've been busy with fun wedding festivities! I will post pictures when I get some. She was probably the most beautiful bride I've seen. Everything about the wedding day was beautiful!

On to Tasty Tuesday. I was going to post a Mexican dish this week, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, but I already have the Oven Carnitas and Chicken Tortilla Casserole on here...so there's your Mexican.

This chicken is to. die. for. It came from a Good Housekeeping cookbook. The maple syrup makes this dish!

Maple Pecan Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil (or veg. oil)

1. Brush the chicken on both sides with maple syrup (I kinda used a "heavy hand" on this step!). On waxed paper, combine chopped pecans, bread crumbs, and salt; use to coat chicken, firmly pressing so mixture adheres.
2. In a nonstick skillet, melt butter with oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until chicken is golden brown and loses its pink color throughout, about 4 minutes per side.

Baked Mushroom and Rosemary Risotto
Yes, you read right..."baked" risotto. This was super-duper easy. The results were still creamy goodness without the constant attention required for typical risotto. It was pretty mushroom-y, but even my husband, not a mushroom fan, ate two servings. This recipe came from the cookbook "Not Your Mother's Casseroles"--Faith Durand.
*You will need a 3-qt. stove top-to-oven covered casserole or Dutch oven.

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 cups boiling water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
One 4-inch sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup Arborio white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 oz. mascarpone cheese (couldn't find mascarpone at the grocery--used sour cream instead)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Rinse the dried mushrooms lightly to remove any dust or grit. Place the mushrooms in a ceramic bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Set aside.
2. Heat the butter in the casserole over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until soft and golden.
3. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and rosemary sprig to the pan and saute on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have sweated out some moisture and the garlic is fragrant and golden.
4. Add the rice and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 4 minutes, or until the rice begins to turn transparent.
5. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, broth, and reserved mushroom steeping liquid. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
6. Remove and stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mascarpone cheese (or sour cream). Return the casserole to the oven for 15 minutes.
7. Remove and stir vigorously. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan cheese.