Fresh Fish Friday…

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This week our Friday night dinner was a play on a fish fry.  However, instead of doing our usual beer battered fish I made a coconut, flaxseed and wheat germ crust.  Here is the recipe…

Fresh Fish Fry…

Crust
1/2 Cu of unsweetened coconut
1/4 Cu of What Germ
1/4 Cu of Ground Flaxseed
3 T of Mexican Oregano
1 T of Salt

Cabbage Slaw
1/2 Head of Red Cabbage
1/4-1/2 Cu of Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

1 lb of Tilapia (or any firm white fish)
3-4 egg whites
Chile Powder
Lemon
Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
Serrano chiles
1/4 Cu of Oil
Tortillas 

First dry off the tilapia fillets and sprinkle with chile powder, salt and pepper on both sides.

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Put the oil in a pan and get it med-hot.  You can bake the fish too and make it more healthy, in this recipe I pan-fried the tilapia. 

Put the egg whites in a bowl and mix all the ingredients onto a second bowl to get ready for the breading process.  One trick I’ve learned from breading, is to keep one hand for the dry ingredient and the second hand for the wet ingredients.  That helps to keep it from getting too messy. 

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When breading, make sure to completely cover the fish in the egg whites and then gently cover with the crust mix on both sides and place on a dish to get ready for the pan frying. 

When the oil is hot, gently place the fish into the pan and fry on 3-4 minutes on each side.  You want the pan to be hot enough so it turns a nice golden brown and don’t overcrowd the pan.  Set the finished fish on paper towels. 

While the fish is in the pan, chop up the cabbage and mix with the yogurt and set aside.  (I know this may sound weird to some people, try it once please).  Chop up serannos, lemons and cilantro and place on a plate.  Warm up the tortillas and the fish fry is ready to serve. 

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Here is how you put together the taco… finish with a lemon and Enjoy!!!

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Knowledge is power…

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I came across an article for the second time and thought it was something great to share.  I know most people out there would love to eat organic and reduce their carbon foot-print as much as they can.  However, since every company has jumped on the band-wagon who can you trust?  Like companies using “gluten-free” on products, “organic” is something that is being used to make people feel better about themselves.  Unfortunately not many people really think about the farming process and how farmers create the food we eat.

Here is an article about the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15.”  This is to help the shopper who is deciding where to cut corners and become more educated about what is in the grocery aisles.

I hope you find this helpful…

Happy Birthday My Olivsita…

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My Olivsita’s birthday is coming up…not knowing the exact date she was born, but know it was in October, we naturally made it Halloween. Being a black cat, it fits. Poor Olive gets a bad rap. She is a little quirky and overweight so of course she gets picked on by the haters. But, I’ve never known a better foot warmer. Plus, she oddly understands tears and always comes to my rescue. Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to a wonderful big sister and loving kitty!

This is one of the best pics of Olive… she looks crazy!!!

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Olive is great at getting comfortable…

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This cat is made for the wild, what a huntress…

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Olive celebrating the U.S. of A…

My Olivsita can work the camera every once in a while…

She isn’t a fan of my costumes but she just looks so darn cute…

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We love you Olive!!!

Happy Halloween to everyone from the hill…

Creamy Cauliflower, Leek and Potato Soup…

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I received my first “Clean Eating” magazine this week and I was very excited to give it a shot.  I am extremely happy with the magazine, sometimes you buy certain magazines hoping that their articles will be about their focus (workout magazines are the worst about this)  and all you get are silly one-liners and advertisements.  The magazine is not huge, but is 90% recipes so you get a bang for your buck.

The first recipe I wanted to try was the Creamy Leek, Cauliflower and Potato Soup.  We love soups, but usually stick to our basic beef and barley and chicken tortilla.  This soup reminds me a lot of my mashed cauliflower but is a great alternative for a fat-induced potato soup and is perfect with the cold weather approaching.  I made a few changes so below is my revised recipe with the changes marked by an asterisk…

Creamy Cauliflower, Leek and Potato Soup…

2 t olive oil
2 leeks sliced, white and light green parts only
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 large Russet or Yukon potato peeled and dice
1 Cauliflower head chopped into florets
3 Cups of Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Cu of Water
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 sliced Serrano Chiles*
1 cu of mushroom sliced*
1/2 cu of low-fat cheddar
2 sage leaves*

Saute the leeks, garlic, mushrooms, serrano chiles down on med-high heat in the olive oil for 5-10min.  Watch carefully…

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Throw in the chopped cauliflower, potato, broth, water and pepper and salt.  Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 20 minutes or till it is tender…

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Transfer into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  I think that a tip would be that you can’t puree too much.

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Transfer the mixture to a pan and put in sage and cheddar cheese…

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One thing that I left out was turkey bacon, I didn’t have any, but I am sure it would be great with chopped scallions.

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Like I said, this soup is perfect for a cold night, also it works great for leftovers as well.  I would say that this batch makes between 3-4 servings based on how much soup you love!

Enjoy!!!

Preppy Sunday…

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I have chosen every Sunday to be my prep day for the week.  Since this is the first time I have ever done it, it will be a work in progress.  What I like about the prep day is that I can still eat homemade food, but it will keep me on track for my goal.  I have decided to make the following meals for the week that will supplement my snacks and lunches…

1. Turkey Meatloaf Muffins by Jamie Eason

2. Crockpot Chicken: I am just putting chicken breasts in a crockpot with canned tomatoes and chipotle peppers and cooking it down.  The shredded chicken can be used for many things during the week.

3. Big batch of Quinoa

As of right now, breakfast and dinner will be made everyday.  Because of the girls, I have unlimited egg whites for breakfast and will be using my “Clean Eating” magazine for dinner ideas.

Please tell me if you have any great meals that I can try!!!

A dinner a la Joey Tribbiani…

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This blog thing has gotten the best of me.  I have been terrible at keeping activity up because I think I need something “special” if I want to post, but I cook everyday so why not share those meals as well?

So, here comes a Friday night dinner a la Joey Tribbiani (this is a “Friends” reference for any of those who were not alive during the 90′s).  The man of the house, like most men, is also a fan of sandwiches.  Here is one of his favorites…

Horseradish Cheddar and Pastrami Reuben with grilled veggies…

Deli Pastrami
Horseradish Cheddar (or your favorite cheese)
Thick cut sandwich slices
Large yellow onion
Garlic clove
Garlic Salt
Olive oil spray
1 T unsalted butter
Sauerkraut
Thousand Island Dressing

Shish-kabobs:
Red onion
Bell pepper
Whole mushrooms
Canned whole white potatoes
Terriyaki Sauce (if you don’t have terriyaki sauce use equal parts sugar and soy sauce with a little bit of catsup)

We love shish-kabobs and grilling.  They are super easy to make and a perfect side-dish.  I also love doing shish-kabobs without the protein because I can reuse the marinade.  Below I put all the veggies and potatoes in a plastic bag with the marinade.  For those of you who have never used canned potatoes, you are missing out!  They are perfect for two things…shish-kabobs and breakfast (the sliced canned potatoes).  Try them at least once and if you don’t like them don’t use them.  I also like to use pineapple, but completely forgot them.  Put the bag in the fridge and let marinate while you get the sandwich started.

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The next thing to start are the grilled onions.  Obviously if you don’t like grilled onions, don’t do this.  But we love them.  The key to good grilled onions is to not rush them.  I always use my nice stainless steel skillet.  I sautéed them in oil and 1 T of unsalted butter.  Remember, low and slow… add the garlic half way through so it doesn’t burn.

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If you are using a charcoal grill (the only thing we use)  I would get the coals going while the onion starts cooking down.  This is when I get the shish-kabobs put together.  A trick, if you are using the wooden shish-kabobs, is to soak them in water.  That way they don’t burn during the grilling process.  I also save the leftover marinade so we can reapply it while they are grilling.

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Once the veggies are on the grill, I get the sandwiches going.  I spray one side of the bread with olive oil and use my secret ingredient, garlic salt on the same side.

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Place the bread with the sprayed side down, add the cheese and meat and grilled onions as well.  This cooking process also has to be pretty low and slow.  You don’t want to burn the bread before the cheese is melted.  I use the lid periodically so it helps melt the cheese.

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Just like a grilled cheese, flip and cook the other side…

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Bring in the finished shish-kabobs…

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I serve the sandwich with the sauerkraut and thousand island on the side, so it doesn’t get too soggy.

Now, here is a sandwich that would make Joey Tribbiani proud…

Let me know what you think!

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It’s not delivery, it’s homemade…

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I LOOOVE pizza, however living 30 miles from town, delivery is non-existent.  I guess I’ve never actually executed a plan but I am guessing the regular delivery guy would turn around at the 11 mile marker…we can’t even get PG&E to be consistent on a call.  However, just because I live on the hill doesn’t mean we can’t experience pizza night every once in a while.  I have tried many pizza recipes and everyone has their favorite, but my favorite to make and eat is out of “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” cookbook by Ree Drummond…

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/02/my-favorite-pizza/

The only difference I made to this dough was to substitute half of the white flour for wheat flour.   Of course wheat dough isn’t as chewy and soft, but I’m trying to be good.

I decided to make calzones with the dough.  What’s nice about calzones is that you can fill them up with anything you have in the fridge and you don’t have to worry about how pretty it looks…

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This calzone has arugula, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, ground turkey and tomato-basil pesto and some salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil to taste.

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I sprayed the top of them with olive oil and sprinkled some herbs and garlic salt over the top.  Wheat dough doesn’t really get the golden look that white dough achieves…but again, if I was going to make calzones I wanted to be somewhat good.

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Here is the finished product inside….

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You can cut up the dough and make personal calzones, or you can make one big one to share…either way, channel your inner italian and give it a try!

Better safe than sorry…

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Fridays are usually great.  You go out to lunch with coworkers, you have the weekend to look forward to and 5 o’clock is a much-anticipated hour.  However, a few Fridays ago I was having lunch with a client and walked out to my new car and my stomach dropped…

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My car was broken into!!! Now anyone who has had this happen to them, you understand the feeling, and for those who haven’t I hope you never will.  After a rollercoaster of emotions and an end of a “learning” experience, I decided that I should throw out one tip to everyone.  Have RENTERS insurance (for homeowners, I think this falls in the same category)!  The only reason I received money back on stolen goods from inside my car was because of renters, not auto.  I am not an insurance agent, so that’s all I got on information but I hope this helps.  The police don’t want to have anything to do with auto break-ins, it’s a waste of their time and truthfully I never spoke to an officer, they had me do everything online.  But, my insurance was great because… I had renters.

That’s my quick tip…better safe than sorry…TGIF

Step right up to the cake-ball event…

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So it’s wedding season and that means all girls in their 20s to 30s are dealing with weddings, wedding showers and/or bachelorette parties.  I have a wonderful girlfriend in SF that is doing a carnival themed wedding and wanted her shower to start off the theme.  I was in charge of the dessert and I decided to do a cakeball-cake.

I started off by building the stand by using styrofoam rounds, hot glue, ribbon and spray paint.  Penelope of course had to help…

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Here is a pic of the stand, finish product.  I also made paper flowers.  Here is the link to the Michael’s website that taught me the origami:

http://www.michaels.com/Origami-Flower-Ball/JpFB1Vm2125,default,pg.html

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I also created favors for the girls by making my own paper flower and by purchasing mini cupcake holders on etsy.com…

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Here is the final product at the party,  I did lemon cake balls and red velvet cake to try and fit the carnival theme.  The girls got just enough to fulfill their sweet tooth and one to-go…

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The week before I made some favors for a bachelorette party my friend was invited to and she put them in their goodie-bag…

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I had a wonderful time putting these together.  I think home-made adds a little touch of love that store-bought can not and I was able to buy everything at the local craft store.  If you have never made cake-balls then you are missing out.  They are SUPER easy, versatile and I have never met anyone who didn’t try at least one, if not TEN.  Let me know what you think!!!

Happy 1st Birthday Penelope!!!

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It is a special time up on the hill.  We are celebrating Penelope’s first birthday and all the happiness she has brought to our household since I picked her up from her biological mommy.  Here are a few pics from the year of Penelope…

Here is Penelope and her sisters, Penelope is on the far left bottom corner…

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Here is Penelope the first week we got her, she has always been a hungry girl…

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Penelope is a natural in front of the camera…

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Penelope loves sleeping on her back, love her…

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Celebrating her first Christmas…

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She fits right???

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Classic Chic Penelope…

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Penelope with her best friend and big sister…

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Have a wonderful weekend!

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