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Grilled Garlic Lime Fish Tacos

I don’t know about you but I find fish tacos at restaurants frustrating. Very rarely do I find a delicious fish taco anywhere. Do I find a good fish taco? Sometimes. A great fish taco? Not yet. Why am I so picky? I really don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that many restaurants only offer a fried fish rather than grilled. Maybe it’s the lack of a corn tortilla. Many times it’s the use of iceberg lettuce rather than crunchy cabbage. Whatever it is, I have yet to find that fish taco that has me coming back for more.

What’s the solution to my problem? There are probably lots of solutions to many of my problems. This fish taco problem though…I think the solutions is to make my own fish tacos! I sat down for a few minutes and thought about all of the various components of a fish taco which speak to me (not literally of course!). The chili lime flavors, the crunchy cabbage, the grilled and firm fish, the earthy corn tortillas. Then there has to be a sauce that  brings all of the flavors together. After all of these yummy thoughts, I put together what I thought would be my perfect fish taco. And guess what? They were outstanding! I am so looking forward to the leftovers tonight! Now it’s your turn…don’t go out tonight – make your own Grilled Garlic Lime Fish Tacos!

Grilled Garlic Lime Fish Tacos Recipe

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Sweet Grilled Cheese and Tomato

Sweet Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

I LOVE this sandwich! I visited a sandwich cafe this weekend and tried one of their specialties…a grilled cheese with honey. It was delicious!  I quickly began devising my version of a sweet grilled cheese and came up with this…Sweet Grilled Cheese and Tomato sandwich. The mix of creamy havarti cheese, juicy tomato, sweet honey, and buttery toasted sourdough bread is absolutely scrumptious! Give this easy sandwich a try today!

Sweet Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich Recipe

Serves 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

4 slices sourdough bread

1/2 cup sliced havarti cheese (cut straight off a block of cheese for thicker, gooey slices)

2 Tbls honey

4 slices tomatoes

2 Tbls basil, sliced julienne

1 Tbls butter

Directions

1. Build sandwiches by spreading honey on all four slices of bread and layering the cheese, tomatoes and basil between the bread.

2. Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 Tbls butter to melt.

3. Add sandwiches to skillet. Cover in order to fully melt cheese. Flip sandwiches when evenly browned, adding remaining butter. Cover skillet again to continue to melt cheese.

4. Serve sandwiches straight from skillet.

Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries

Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries

It feels so good to be back! After some health issues and a major job change, it is time to get back to what I enjoy. Without these distractions and honestly, all those energy zappers, I have been dreaming about new recipes. Today’s Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries is one I have tried before. Each time I made it, I was dissatisfied with some minor detail. I think I’ve got it right this time.

First, you have to find your favorite cajun seasoning. Maybe one day I will come up with my own seasoning blend but until then, I will use Weber Grill Creations N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning. Not a plug…just my favorite. It’s got a kick, but it’s not overpowering. Second, go minimal on the salt in your blueberries. If you use too much, it will taste weird…kind of soapy. Third, use a cast iron skillet if you have one. It really does just push the flavor over the top. Once you get the blend of flavors just right, this dish is delicious! It has that mildly spicy kick with the cooling sweetness of the warm blueberries. Try this one this weekend…you won’t regret it!

Cajun Tilapia with Roasted Blueberries Continue reading

Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage

Guinness Corned Beef and CabbageIt is that time of year when everyone is drinking beer (even green beer), wearing green, and rediscovering the merits of their local pub. For me, this weekend calls for trying something new, specifically Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage. And while my version of this Irish classic is not traditional, I find it delicious. My favorite part? The leftovers, of course! Corned beef on Rye bread with homemade Thousand Island dressing? YUM!

Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe Continue reading

Tonight’s Family Dinner: Baked Ziti

Baked ZitiDo you ever wake up knowing what you want for dinner? Today, I know I want a big Italian style meal. Yes, it was about 6:30 am when I made that decision. My feeling on this early morning decision is that anticipation will make for a great Sunday!

So what exactly am I anticipating? My Baked Ziti is very lasagna like but without the work. Easy homemade marinara, crumbled sweet Italian sausage (the key to a tasty Baked Ziti in my humble opinion), and lots of cheese! Add a fresh green salad, some extra garlicky garlic bread and I am a very, very happy girl. Treat yourself to an Italian feast tonight!

Baked Ziti Recipe

Baked Ziti with Homemade Marinara Sauce

Serves 8

First, make the Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine

1. Heat large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, then onions. Cook onions until translucent.

2. While onions are cooking, add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth.

3. Add wine and tomato sauce to onions. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium low, stirring occasionally.

Second, make the Baked Ziti:

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground sweet sausage (not in casings)
  • Marinara sauce (see above)
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6-8 slices provolone cheese (not smoked)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking disk to prevent sticking.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ziti and cook to al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Do not overcook the pasta here or your Baked Ziti will be mushy. Drain.

3. In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions and sweet sausage. When sausage is browned, add marinara. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. While meat sauce is simmering, add ricotta, salt, garlic powder and parsley to a medium bowl. Stir until combined. Set aside.

5. Layer the ingredients in the baking dish as follows: 1/4 cup meat sauce, 1/2 of ziti, 1/2 of ricotta mixture, 1/2 of provolone cheese, 1/2 of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 of remaining meat sauce,  1/2 of parmesan cheese, then repeat with remaining 1/2 of ingredients. Cover with tin foil.

6. Bake for 15 minutes with foil. Remove foil and bake for remaining 15 minutes until cheeses are melted and gooey. Allow ziti to sit for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the dish to set.

Home Cooked Comfort Food: Fried Pork Chops

Fried Pork Chops

In the middle of winter there is a tendency to crave comfort food…fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes. You get the idea. I certainly didn’t say anything about healthy…just comforting. This particular plate of food is one of my favorites. Fried pork chops are homey and comforting and pair perfectly with a healthy spoonful of mashed potatoes and some sweet applesauce.

During my high school years, I spent many of my weeknight dinners with a family friend. Her mother cooked what I consider comfort food on a regular basis. My recollection is that she would cook fried pork chops at least once a week. I don’t recall what we ever ate with those pork chops because they were just so delicious. When I make these Fried Pork Chops, I remember those fun weeks hanging out with friends and looking forward to home cooked comfort food. Delicious!

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Missing Turkey? Turkey Salad Sandwich with Havarti Cheese and Cranberries

Turkey Salad Sandwich with Havarti Cheese and Cranberries

 

So, it’s January and I miss the long holiday weekends of November and December. I even miss the leftover turkey sandwiches. It’s time to pick up some turkey breasts and ensure there are plenty of leftovers for my favorite next day sandwich: Turkey Salad with Havarti Cheese and Cranberries.

Turkey Salad Sandwich with Havarti Cheese and Cranberries Recipe Continue reading