Tuna Burger

Well the first thing I can cross off of my 28 by 28 listing…the Tuna Burger! I don’t know why I wanted to make this so much, it just sounded really good and a different way to eat canned tuna as opposed to my usual tuna sandwich. I found this recipe on Foodgawker and it sounded really really good! This was so easy to make and I like that it is baked not pan fried. The only thing I stress is you’re really going to want a generous portion of the lemon sour cream as a condiment. Without it I think the burger was going to taste too dry. I used the fat free sour cream to save on the calories.


Ingredients
-2, 6 oz cans tuna fish, drained and flaked
– 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
-1 tablespoons dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons fresh minced if you prefer)
-1 teaspoon garlic powder

-1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper 
-2 lemons (you’ll use both zest and juice from each)

-3 tablespoons fat free sour cream (for burger) + 3 tablespoons fat free sour cream (for condiment)
-1 egg 

 1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tuna, panko, parsley, garlic powder, salt & pepper, juice of 1 lemon, zest of that same lemon, egg, and 3 tablespoons sour cream. Mix well and form into 3-4 patties (depends on how big you want them). Place onto greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
3. To make the lemon sour cream, combine the 3 tablespoons of sour cream with the zest of 1 lemon, and the juice of 1/2 of the lemon. Stir.
4. Serve tuna burgers on bun and top generously with lemon sour cream. Garnish with lettuce and tomato if desired.

Source: Can You Stay for Dinner?

Pepperoni Puffs

Finally…the last week of work before 2 weeks of Christmas vacation! I cannot wait for this week to be over, and of course I’m suffering through a cold. Ugh! Well at least I’m getting sick now, and not on Christmas like last year…boy was that miserable.

This weekend my husband and I started some Christmas shopping. We only picked up two things on our list, but at least that is 2 people we can cross off the list! For gifts for the rest of the family, they all need to be relatively small since we need to fit them in our carry-on luggage up to NJ. I’m figuring on hitting up the market downtown to get one-of-a-kind gifts that are unique to Charleston.

This past Saturday I had an all day event I had to work. Usually there is food leftover for me to take home to eat for dinner the next night, but this time there wasn’t any…boo! What was leftover was some fresh mozzarella and this delicious organic pepperoni. I remembered in my stack of printed recipes I had a recipe for a yummy sounding pepperoni puff from this blog. The only change I made was adding the garlic powder for a little more flavor. These little puffs were so good and so incredibly easy to make. Like she said in her blog, these would make for a great little appetizer you could bring to a party, or you could just eat them for dinner like I did!

Ingredients
-3/4 cup flour
-3/4 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-3/4 cup  milk (I used 2%, but for a healthier version use skim)
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 cup diced pepperoni
-1/2 cup pizza sauce (I actually used some leftover Prego pasta sauce)
-2 tablespoons dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan (I only had a 12-cup mini muffin pan so just use whatever you have, you can even make these larger in full-size muffin tins). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and oregano; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake unt25 minutes. Warm the pizza or pasta sauce, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil.

Source: Prevention RD

Merlot Marinated London Broil

So a few months ago my grocery store was doing a ton of buy one get one free deals on meats. Whenever they do that I really take that opportunity to stock up on meats. Sometimes they do buy one get 2 free chicken breasts packs! I try not to have to buy meats when they are full price, I can’t believe a pack of 3 chicken breasts is between $9-$10! So a while back they were doing a BOGO on London Broils. I really wanted to find a new recipe for a marinade and sauce that would be really impressive as opposed to our usual blend of spices. I came across this recipe for a Merlot Sauce and figured I could also use this an overnight marinade for the meat. This was so so good! Just the thing I was looking for and can be used on most cuts of meat, not just a London Broil!

On a side note, one more week of work before 2 weeks of vacation!!!

Overnight Marinade

-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1 teaspoon honey
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 cup Merlot wine
-2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Pierce meat with a fork several times. Top with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub into meat. Top with honey and rub into meat. Place meat in zip lock bag and pour in the balsamic, soy sauce, and wine. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

2. To cook the London Broil, preheat oven to broil. Place meat in 9×13 baking dish and place on oven rack closest to the broiler. Cook 8 minutes, flip and cook a remaining 7 minutes.

Merlot Sauce
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/2 cup Merlot wine
-4 teaspoons honey
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
-5 tablespoons butter
-1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Slowly bring the balsamic vinegar, Merlot, garlic, soy sauce, and honey to a boil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer another 20 to 25 minutes; remove from heat and add the butter to the mixture, stirring to thicken as the butter melts. Serve over meat.

Source: All Recipes

28 by 28

So as I read other peoples’ blogs I come across quite frequently a listing of foods the blogger wants to make before a particular age. For example, 30 before 30, 25 by 25 and so on. Since there are quite a few things that are on my long term “to make” list, I thought it might be a good idea for me to make one of these lists as well…it might help me stay on target and complete all of these! Since, and I’m cringing as I type this, I turn 28 in October 2012, I’ve made this my 28 by 28 list. Some of these are pretty specific, like the two copy cat dishes, but then others are broad, like spaghetti sauce and a lasagna. As I complete these I’ll come back to this list and update each with the link to the recipe and the date completed. Definitely not rushing anything here, I hope it takes a long long time before my 28th birthday is here.

1. Pierogi
2. PF Changs Copy Cat Lettuce Wraps Posted on 3/20
3. Lasagna
4. Macaroni Grill Copy Cat Penne Rustica Posted on 5/7
5. Fried Green Tomatoes Posted on 7/18
6. Banana Cream Pie
7. BBQ Pork Hushpuppies
8. Fettuccine Alfredo Posted on 4/23
9. Swedish Meatballs
10. Baked Macaroni and Cheese Posted on 1/5
11. Stuffed Cucumber Cups Posted on 4/26
12. Dijon Crusted Salmon Posted on 1/29
13. Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
14. Spaghetti Sauce
15. Cannolli
16. Apple Turnovers
17. Potato Souffle-Made on 8/8 (just “eh”, not blog-worthy)
18. Tuna Burger– Posted on 12/14
19. Stuffed Peppers
20. Lemon Squares
21. Ranch Dressing
22. Ravioli
23. Tiramisu
24. Crock pot French Dips
25. Watermelon Salad Posted on 6/28
26. Pasta Carbonara Posted on 8/1
27. Baklava
28. Fried Chicken Tenders with Dipping Sauce Posted on 1/9

Cookies n’ Cream Brownies

If there is one thing I shouldn’t to when I’m starving, it’s look at Pinterest. Yesterday I was pinning tons of recipes that I want to add to my “To Make” listing and I came across the most decadent photo of Oreo Cookies n’ Cream Brownies. I knew I had to make these last night. These are extremely rich but they are oh so good. The combination of the ice cream and hot fudge in the brownie batter keeps them incredibly moist. My photo does not do justice to this delicious treat.

Ingredients

-1 box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix
-Eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
-1 heaping half cup of any brand cookies & cream ice cream
-1/4 cup hot fudge topping (room temp)
-1 box Oreos

1. Preheat oven & spray an 8×8 baking dish generously with cooking spray.
2. Combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil as directed on the back of the box, but do not add the water. Add ice cream and hot fudge to the brownie batter and stir to combine. Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking dish, layer with Oreos, then top with remaining batter. Bake for 40 minutes or as directed on the back of the box.

Source: Oreo Brownies

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Once again it has been way too long since a recipe post! Work has been super busy with holiday events, but there are only a few more events to get through before my Christmas vacation can begin! One of the pluses of working for a college is we get about 2 weeks off for Christmas, and after the chaotic past few weeks it will definitely be a well-deserved break.

My little brother’s birthday was back on November 4th and I really wanted to bake him something special to send him at college. I didn’t want to just do a cookie, and I remember a while back reading about a cookie dough filled cupcake on another blog. The thought of eating something that tasted like raw cookie dough was incredibly tempting. If there is one food safety rule I completely disregard over and over without any concern, its eating raw cookie dough. As a hypochondriac and having an intense fear of food poisoning, I seem to let my guard down when it comes to cookie dough, cake batter, and brownie batter. What I like about these cupcakes is you can safely eat this since the mixture is made without any raw eggs!

Mini-Cupcakes
-I used my mini-muffin tin and I used boxed cake mix, bake as directed. (yes I cheated, if you’re in a baking mood just whip up your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe)
Cookie Dough Filling

-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
-6 tablespoons  light brown sugar, packed
-1 cup plus 2 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
-7 oz sweetened condensed milk
-½ teaspoon. vanilla extract
-¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour. **(Whoops, I completely missed this step when making mine)**

To assemble cupcakes, carve out a small hole in the center of each cupcake, fill with a spoonful of the cookie dough mixture. To top, use your favorite vanilla frosting recipe. Because I was shipping these, I chose to top them with drizzled melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Enjoy!



Thanksgiving

I had an abolutely amazing Thanksgiving!!!! I was so so happy that my mom and little brother were able to drive down from NJ and spend a few days here in Charleston with me and my husband.

On Wednesday, they got in a little later than expected since there was bad weather all along the East coast so we went to a small local bar & grill right by our house called Blue’s. Not only was it 1/2 price burger night, but ladies got 1/2 off their liquor drinks too! At dinner, my mom and husband lovingly pointed out to me that I made a crucial error in my mashed potato calculation. I had only bought 3 large potatoes to make mashed potatoes with and they were both aghast by this lack of potato. Of course, we made an emergency run to the grocery store to buy a sack of potatoes.

Thanksgiving day was a blast. We started with the tradition of watching the parade and eating Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns. During the day we eat snacks and play board games. This was my first year making a turkey, and I kept having nervous thoughts that it would turn out like the one from Christmas Vacation! With my mom’s help though, it came out perfect. It was so moist and juicy with the perfect amount of crsipyness to the skin. Here are some pictures of my table, turkey, and plate full of food!

Chicken Saltimbocca

So upon returning from an Atlantic City bachelor party trip (think an Italian version of The Hangover), my husband asked for an Italian dinner. One of the nights there they ate at an amazing Italian place called Carmine’s. I’ve been to one in NYC, and apparently they have a few locations. So I checked out their menu and saw that they had a Chicken Saltimbocca and that is something I’ve been wanting to make. So after searching around and using an Italian cookbook I have, I came up with this delicious dish! I love the combination of the prosciutto and sage…I’ve never even cooked with sage before!

On a side note, T minus 1 week until my little brother and mom roll into town for Thanksgiving! I’m so excited, I bought my table decor last night at Bed Bath and Beyond and it looks amazing! I’m using a stark white table linen with ivory satin napkins, gold chargers with my china, and centerpiece of floating candles, gold sequin votives, and glittered pine cones. I’ll definitely be posting a pic next week!

Ingredients- Serves 2
-2 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
-Salt and black pepper
-4 thin slices prosciutto
-4 sage leaves, more for garnish
-Flour for dredging
-2 tablespoons butter
-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup chicken stock
-Lemon wedges
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1. After you butterfly your chicken, season with salt and pepper. Top with 2 slices of prosciutto and 2 sage leaves. Place chicken between 2 sheets of parchment, waxed paper or plastic wrap. With a mallet or rolling pin, pound cutlets to an even  thickness,  pounding the prosciutto and sage into the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder.

2. Spread the flour on a shallow plate and dip the chicken in it, lightly coating both sides. Heat one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large pan. When the butter begins to foam, add the chicken to the pan placing the prosciutto side down. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm.

3. Add wine to the hot pan and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and reduce again. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in remaining tablespoon of butter. Serve with lemon wedges.

Source: Whole Foods


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

There are only 3 soups I eat. The first is a one-of-a-kind seafood chowder only made at the York Harbor Inn in York, ME. The others are tomato bisque and potato soup.  I credit my severe distaste for any broth based soup to my childhood (what a shock). Anytime I was sick with the stomach flu, which was quite frequently, my mom made me Campbell’s Chicken and Stars soup. God, it’s making me nauseous just thinking about that stuff right now. Anyway, thankfully potato soup doesn’t seem to be affected by this food aversion!

I searched around a little to find a loaded baked potato soup and then made some of my own modifications. This was really good and the husband loved it too! You don’t even need to serve anything else with it since its full of potato, bacon, cheese, and a ton of flavor!

Ingredients
-3  bacon strips, diced
-1 scallion, chopped for garnish
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 clove garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2  teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
-2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 cup fat free half-and-half
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crispy. (I like mine extra crispy).  Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Dice bacon and aside. Saute minced garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper.
2. Pour stock into a large pot. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the sauteed garlic mixture and bacon pieces, and then add the potatoes and cream. heat through but do not boil. Garnish with cheese and scallions.

Tzatziki Shrimp

Wow, Ok so yet again I’ve majorly slacked on blogging. I’ve still been cooking and taking photos of the dishes, but I’ve just been letting them pile up and never get around to posting! So now that this week things will be a little slower at work, I can get back to posting my dishes.

First, I am so so so excited that my brother and mom are driving down to Charleston next week to spend Thanksgiving with me and my husband! This will be my first Thanksgiving dinner that I’ve prepared. When it comes to Thanksgiving, I don’t like stepping outside of my comfort zone with trying new dishes or trying anything too ambitious. Just give me my usual stuffing, turkey, and canned cranberry sauce (yes, I love that stuff). The only thing new I’ll be making with be chocolate dipped gingerbread cookies as dessert.

I made this dish about 2 weeks ago, using the last of the shrimp my husband had caught from shrimping season. I really am trying to use my new food processor he got me as much as possible and I wanted to make tzatziki sauce in it! I’ve made tzatziki before, but prefer the way this one tasted more since I felt there was more of the cucumber flavor in it. This was a perfect little dinner for me! Use as much shrimp as you want, that’s not really going to change anything…I only had about 8 shrimps left so that’s what I used here.

Ingredients
-8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
-2 soft taco wraps
-2 tablespoon EVOO plus 1/2 teaspoon
-1 teaspoon Greek seasoning (or more if desired)
-2 teaspoons garlic powder
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-5oz plain Greek yogurt
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and de-seeded, diced
1. To make the chips, preheat oven to broiler. Brush wraps with the 1 tablespoon EVOO, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of the Greek seasoning (however much you desire), and about 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder, season with salt. Place under broiler for about 6 minutes, or until wraps reach desired level of crispiness. Remove from oven and cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the other tablespoon of EVOO. Cook shrimp 2-3 minutes each side, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning, and salt and pepper.
3. To make the tzatziki, in a food processor combine the yogurt, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon EVOO, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and the diced cucumber. Blend until smooth.