Yummy Dinner!!

Things have been really busy around here the last week or so--last week was Billy's birthday and we've just had a lot going on around here! But we just had the yummiest dinner and I just had to tell you about it.

I've been trying to plan our meals ahead of time and shop according to the menu plan, while also keeping things light and healthy to work with our fitness and weight-loss goals. Something we really like to eat is tilapia and we tend to buy it in bulk at Costco every few weeks, repackage it into 2 filets in a freezer bag, and just pull it out of the freezer a day or two ahead of when we plan to cook it.

I came across a tilapia recipe in Bon Appetit (I think in the January or February issue) and it looked easy, quick, and tasty so I gave it a shot tonight and BOY, WAS IT GOOD!! So good, I ate it right up before I could get a photo, but here's what it looks like:

Image from BonAppetit.com

Doesn't that look good? All you do is pat the tilapia fillets dry and sprinkle salt on both sides. Whisk an egg white until frothy, and brush the fish with the egg whites--I suppose you could dip the fish in the egg whites, too, if that floats your boat! Then you dredge the fish in the panko breadcrumbs. Cook in 3 tbs of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet for about 2-3 minutes until the panko is golden brown and crispy. Put on paper towel to drain any remaining oil on the fish. That's pretty much it!

I did a little steamed broccoli with our fish and the whole thing was done in less than 15 minutes. It was light and fresh, healthy, and EASY. Perfect for a busy night after work or if you really just don't feel up to the whole production of making a big meal.

I also made a little lemon aioli with it--sort of like a fancy tartar sauce. I don't really measure the stuff, but I guess it's about a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (we use the light version), a bit of lemon zest, juice from half a lemon, a clove of garlic (minced), and salt and pepper. Some fresh dill would be good in there, too. Stir until combined and add more lemon juice if it looks too thick.

Trust me! Try it! It is so good!


My Valentine

In honor of today's totally ridiculous commercialized holiday, I thought I'd share some pictures of my very special Valentine.

My Valentine is funny, goofy, quick to laugh...

My Valentine is kind, sensitive, caring, and thoughtful...

My Valentine is silly and fun and always puts a smile on my face...

My Valentine loves my family like they are his own...

...and loves my friends as much as I do...

Happy Valentine's day to the most amazing man, my best friend,
my husband, my partner in crime.
I love you!

And then there's this guy...

I love you, too, Murph!


Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper

A few weeks ago I was at Costco and guess who hopped in my buggy?

The Barefoot Contessa.

I just love her cookbooks. She actually hopped in my buggy twice--I also got her newest cookbook How Easy Is That? One of the many things I love about her food is how simple yet elegant it is. So, I flipped through and decided to try:

The Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper. So, I got all my stuff ready...

This recipe actually calls for egg noodles. I've never cooked with them before and I can't recall that I've ever had them before, but you just cook them like regular noodles.

Now, if there was a tricky part, this would be it. Once you get the noodles back in the pan, you have to work quickly. Reading the recipe before hand, it seemed that having all of my ingredients ready to go would be super helpful here, so that's what I did, and it worked great. You throw in the cream, butter, salt, pepper, cheese!, and parsley and toss it all together.

And this is what you get...

The creamiest, most perfect and delicious bowl of pasta! The egg noodles were tender and definitely had a different flavor to them than the regular whole wheat pasta I normally cook with. A nice departure from the norm, and I think I'll cook with them more in the future. I've not cooked with Pecorino much either, and it seems to me like it's a softer version of Parmesan. Nutty flavor, kinda salty. Coming from someone whose favorite pasta dish is anything involving Alfredo sauce, this was definitely a very simple yet elegant (and yummy!) recipe.

That Ina doesn't disappoint!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday and a fun time watching the Superbowl! I don't really have a preference to who wins today, but I'm looking forward to our friends coming over and spending time with them. On the menu: Taco Soup (since it's easy and feeds a lot of people), spinach dip, and chocolate chip cookies!

And just an FYI--"buggy" in the south is the same thing as a shopping cart. ;)


The Best Tuna Salad.

A post two days in a row? Someone check my temperature!

I wanted to share my lunch with you today. I made a yummy tuna salad sandwich. I grew up on them. They are comfort food for me, and probably for my brother, too. We ate so many growing up, I'm kinda surprised we didn't turn into a tuna sandwich at some point. Anyway, let's get down to the nitty gritty...

I make my tuna salad...in the food processor! I tried it once and it was so light and creamy that I will never make it the regular old way (in a bowl) again. Today, I started with 3 cans of plain old albacore tuna in water, and dumped it in the food processor.

Then, I add mayo a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until it's the right consistency. And here's my little secret: lemon juice. That's what really lightens it up and gives it a super fresh flavor. Keep adding the mayo and lemon juice and pulsing until it's the consistency you like. I used the juice from 1 large lemon.

Now for the goodies. Here are my favorite pickles. If you live near a Trader Joe's, go get some now. If you don't, let me know and I'll send you some (only kidding!). These are the best pickles! I even try to sneak drinking the pickle juice, it's so good. And I know it's pretty much just vinegar. Let's ignore that fact, shall we?

So, I like some onion in my tuna salad. I usually use red onion, but today I had a sweet Spanish onion. I dice it up real small because I don't like a surprise mouthful of onion when I bite into my sandwich.
Then I dice up a few of those pickles, about the same size as the onion...
Throw'em both in the bowl. Add a pretty good bit of salt and pepper...
Mix it up. It's ok to sneak a few bites while you're stirring. You're just making sure it tastes great, right?
And now it's time to make your sandwich. I did two perfectly toasted slices of Honey Wheat. And another trick: I spread on a little Miracle Whip on both pieces of bread before I put the tuna in it. I know, you're thinking "Mayo AND Miracle Whip? You're crazy!" Trust me! You get a little tangy zip from it and it is delish!

Apparently I couldn't control myself and had to take a bite.

It was worth it.



First I want to start by throwing out a BIG thank you to Mother Nature for sparing Nashville in her latest little temper tantrum here in the US. I've had enough snow to last me for A WHILE. Either it's 2 feet of snow and blizzard conditions or solid ice and rolling black outs--which happens to be what my Texas friends are dealing with at the moment. I'm just really thankful that we didn't really get anything but some rain and colder temperatures.

Anyway, I fiddled with my blog design a little bit (which, honestly, I didn't even realize I could fiddle with and was about to curse blogspot for crappy templates...but duh!) and looked back on some old blog posts and it got me thinking a little bit about 2o1o. Let's look at last year's goals and take a look at how I did, shall we?

1--P90X--Ok, I tried. It's hard. I think the longest we made it was 60 days and I was EXHAUSTED. BUT as of today, I'm 26 days into POWER 90 and LOVE IT. It's night and day. Let's be honest. I can't commit more than 30 minutes to a workout. I'm not as fit nor do I care to be as fit as Jackie Warner (but love her show!). I like food and I like to eat food. Power 90 suits me just fine, and I know I can do it and I'm determined to finish. I might try Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred next.

2--Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University--Things are going well here! We paid off some things in 2010 but 2011 is going to be our big year to do some real damage. Good damage. I just paid off my car (and a year early! Booyah!) and that is going to give us some real momentum to pay off some other lingering debts that we accrued, oh from say buying a house and getting married. That stuff's expensive. Like with anything else, discipline is the key here.

3 -- Find a church we like and go regularly. We found a great church! Need to work on the going regularly part. Lucky for me, they record their services and have a podcast, so even if I'm too lazy to make it even to the 11:30 service, I can still listen. And you know you live in Nashville when your pastor is in a Taylor Swift video. Not kidding.

4 --For Billy and me to keep working on having a healthy marriage. This is always going to be a priority. I'm working on my patience and concentrating more on not letting things just fly out of my mouth.

5--Try at least 1 new recipe a week. Done and done. I have several new cookbooks and just love trying new things! I still want to finish my Everyday Italian project, but like I said, it's not going to be very consistent. But I will cook every dish in that book and my two new Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Yum!

6--Eat locally. Easy. Nashville has a great independent restaurant scene. I couldn't tell you the last time we ate at a chain restaurant (yes I can, on our road trip) and the times we do are few and far between. I've already planned my SFG (square foot garden) and will be hitting up the Home Depot soon to get my seeds going. Fresh veggies here we come! Anything else I'm going to make it a point to get at the Farmer's Market. Since it's literally 2 seconds from our house.

7--Keep up the reading. Major success here!! I really need to keep better track of what I'm reading, so I've started a list to count all the books I finish in 2011. I've already finished 5 and should finish another this weekend. Current read: The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. It might be for teenagers, just like Twilight is but I cannot read them fast enough.

8--Learn to sew. Baby steps! I've watched the DVD and figured out how to thread my machine and even did a few practice runs on some scrap fabric. I have some projects picked out and cannot wait to get to the fabric store! Stay tuned, I might suck!

9--Take more pictures. We all know I got a new camera (thanks babe!!) and my photography is DEFINITELY improving. I only shoot on Manual mode, now I just need to shoot MORE and post the photos I take. Definitely enjoying this hobby. Want to up my badass-ness on my editing, but learning more all the time! Trying to not let myself get discouraged when I submit things in a Pioneer Woman photo contest and don't make the cut. One day...

10--Get up earlier. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yeah, right.

11--Get better at the housekeeping thing. WHO CARES. It gets done. Whatever.

So, all in all, not bad! 2010 was full of blessing, family, friends, and good food, and I know 2011 won't be any different. I'll leave you with, what I think, is a pretty cool shot from my brother's graduation in December. The kid wears his Converse with EVERYTHING. So, of course, I had to get a shot of them with his cap and gown. So here ya go.