Monday, January 31, 2011

Kid's Cooking Academy and Baked Fish Sticks with Roasted Red Pepper Tartar Sauce

Recently, Foodbuzz and Frigidaire joined forces and are donating $50 to Save the Children for each kid-friendly food post!  All I have to do is post about kid friendly food and mention them!  How could I not!?

Frigidaire started a Kid's Cooking Academy, which you can find at their website:  Make Time for Change.  Anyone can join Make Time for Change and get how-to videos, recipes, and tips all designed to involve kids in the kitchen.

What a great idea!  I grew up experimenting and learning techniques in the kitchen and loved the creativity and immediate outcome/benefit cooking provided me.  I believe teaching young children to cook will foster a life long relationship bound to reduce food costs and promote good health.  

My kid-friendly post transforms the "Frozen Fish Stick" into a healthy option for lunch or dinner.  Plus, your kids are going to love coating the fish in flour, egg, and then breadcrumbs.  It's certainly going to make your kitchen a mess, but it's also a fun and safe activity!  I think this recipe has enough zest to make both the adults and the kids happy, healthy, and full. 

Assemble your ingredients and cut the fish ahead of time.  Then make the tartar sauce while your kids coat the fish in flour, egg white, and then breadcrumbs.  Show them one or two sticks and bam, you got yourself a sous chef.

A word of advice:  Use one hand for the dry ingredients and one hand for the wet ingredients.  This helps avoid big clumps of gooeyness sticking to each and everyone of your fingers.

Coat the bottom of the baking dish with a good amount of olive oil (maybe 2 Tbsp).  Then prior to baking sprinkle additional olive oil (1 - 2 Tbsp) on top.

A fun and colorful twist on Tartar Sauce!  Any healthy!  Part low fat mayo and part low fat sour cream.

I have decided this delicious little pickle, cornichons, needs to migrate it's way into more of my dishes!

Bake until golden brown and crispy!

Serve with a side of herb salad greens tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  

Baked Fish Stick with Roasted Red Pepper Tartar Sauce
Serves 4

Fish Stick Ingredients:
1 lb Tilapia cut into approximately 3/4" by 3" long pieces 
1 Cup Flour
2 tsp Herbs De Provence
2 tsp Paprika
3 Egg Whites 
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Cup regular Plain Breadcrumbs
3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
Olive Oil

Tartar Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 Cup Low Fat Mayo
1/2 Cup Low Fat Sour Cream
1/2 Roasted Red Pepper
1/2 Cup Cornichons chopped finely 
1 Tbsp Juice from the Cornichons Jar
1 Tbsp Chopped Dill
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Fish Stick Directions:
Preheat oven to 450˚F.  Mix flour with 1 tsp Herbs De Provence, 1 tsp Paprika, Salt, and Pepper in one bowl.  Beat egg whites with a fork until frothy in another bowl.  Mix both types of breadcrumbs, parmesan, 1 tsp Herbs De Provence, 1 tsp Paprika, Salt, and Pepper in last bowl.  Dip pieces of fish in flour, then egg whites, then breadcrumbs.  Press to adhere.  Place in a well oil baking dish.  Repeat.  Note: Repeating this procedure is perfect for your kids!  Have them use one hand for the dry ingredients and one hand for the wet ingredients.  Sprinkle with additional oil right before baking.  Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown.

Tartar Sauce Directions:
Place mayo, sour cream, red pepper, lemon juice, and pickle juice in a processor and blend until smooth. Remove and place in serving dish.  Mix in chopped cornichons and dill.  Season to taste with Salt and Pepper.

Serving Directions:
Serve with a fresh simply salad, lemon wedges, and tartar sauce.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My New Camera

I got a new camera!  It's a Canon Rebel T2i and I am in love!

I don't know how to use it yet, but I am excited to learn about F-stops, apertures, and the like.  

You can see a little of my room in this picture.  I have an amazing stained glass window, which lets in beautiful light during the evenings.  

Me and my girlfriends before we went out to brunch on Saturday!  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Honey Glazed Carrots


My apologies, because I haven't posted in awhile!  I have been absolutely slammed at work and just haven't had any energy after work. 

But, today my new camera comes in the mail and you won't be seeing anymore pictures from my point and shoot.  I am counting down the minutes till I get to play with my new Canon Rebel T2i.  This is my last post with pictures from my point and shoot!

Coming up on my blog:

1.  A Fish Stick and Macaroni and Cheese Post for all you kids out there - or those who are young at heart :)
2.  Revamping my Recipes page with clickable mini pictures

My new recipes page should be up and running in about a week and I hope it looks and works better for all my fellow foodies.

Now back to the food:

If you know me, you know I love carrots.  Usually I love carrots on salads, or dipped in hummus or ranch, or even plain.  However, I rarely eat cooked carrots.  This recipe is awesome for a fresh and slightly sweet side dish.  Perfectly paired with turkey or chicken.

A little honey, carrots, white wine, shallots, and dill goes a long way in this delicious side dish!

 I hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seared Scallops over White Bean and Vegetable Saute

I went skiing in Tahoe this past weekend and it was so hot!  By lunch time I was only wearing a thermal.  Now believe me when I say that I am usually the type of girl who likes (needs) to wear 6 layers.  The slushy and heavy snow this weekend was not something to write home about, but I'm not complaining.  I still got to be on the mountain :) 

We went to Tahoe to celebrate one of Trevor's best friends birthdays.  Dave turned 30 years old!  We had a blast celebrating, but now it's back to work!  

I unfortunately did not have MLK off.   However, all my girlfriends did and I was pretty jealous after my long workday.  But we all met up, watched a movie, and ate Pho and candy.  So by the end of the day I was pretty happy :)

 Last week before Trevor and I plunged into a few episodes of Lost (we are only 8 episodes into the first season, so don't tell me anything!) I made scallops for dinner. 

I have actually never made scallops before, so I was slightly hesitant when Trevor told me he bought them on sale at the grocery store.  What the heck, I thought, I'll give them a shot!

Scallops really aren't as scary as I thought they would be.  I dried them off, coated them with salt and pepper, and seared them in a pan with butter.  I am pretty sure anything would taste pretty good that way :)

Saute onion, garlic, carrots, thyme, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper in olive oil.

Add beans and cook for only a minute or so to heat through.

I mixed together a vinaigrette for a light sauce.  The vinaigrette included dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, white wine, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Pretty simple!

Add cherry tomatoes, spinach, and your vinaigrette to the bean mixture.  Heat through until hot and spinach has just wilted. 

Make sure to dry off your scallops for a nice brown and crispy crust.  Add salt and pepper and sear in a large heavy saute pan with about 2 Tbsp of butter.

Top with parsley and serve!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Portobello and Goat Cheese Burger

Earlier in the week some of my best girlfriends, Allison, Niky, Alex, and I went to see Blue Valentine!

The movie was great, however also very real.  Not the romantic comedy I thought it would be!  Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling did an awesome job and I heard they even improvised some of the scenes!

After the movie we went to a local Russian Hill wine bar called Black Sheep.  Brought us right back to one of our favorite bars in SLO (San Luis Obispo)!

We all brought dinner to eat during the movie.  Allison brought a Portobello Burger from La Boulange and it looked delicious!  I was quite jealous!

So I decided to recreate my own version of a Portobello Burger.  With goat cheese of course! 

This meal is perfect for meat eaters and vegetarians alike!  

I mixed the goat cheese with salt, pepper, lemon juice, chopped basil, and a little bit of honey.  The combination of the crispy ciabatta, savory balsamic/garlic portobello, slightly sweet and tangy goat cheese and fresh tomato and micro greens was amazing!

Soak the portobello mushroom in balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic

Roast some veggies as a side.  I roasted asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

I got this cute container from my Mom for Christmas!  Perfect for leftover tomatoes!  She also bought me a red onion and garlic container.   It's a great way to reduce my Ziploc bag consumption :)

I seared the portobello mushroom in a saute pan and then finished cooking the mushroom in the oven with the asparagus.

Time to assemble!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I am off to the mountains to go skiing at Heavenly!  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cakes

I made this dessert for Christmas this year and I must say it was delicious!

The chocolate cake was warm and gooey.  The coffee ice cream and raspberry sorbet melted into all the little nooks and crannies.  Also, it was my own individual chocolate cake!  All to myself...just the way I like it :) 

Sometimes cakes can be dry and usually I will not order or make cakes for this particular reason.  However, this chocolate cake was moist and not too sweet.  This cake is definitely a keeper and I have been craving it since Christmas!

Butter your ramekins and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tsp of sugar.  This prevents sticking and creates a nice sugar crust.

Chocolate and butter....nothing better :)

Beat the eggs until they are pale yellow and really thick!

Gently mix in the melted chocolate/butter mixture in intervals.  Don't mix all the chocolate into the eggs at one time because you will literally cook the eggs and there will be chunks of cooked eggs in your cake!!  Oh and by the way, this technique is called tempering.

Just the tiniest bit of flour does the trick!

This cake is nice because you can make everything ahead of time and pour the mixture straight into the ramekins and refrigerate until dinner is over!  They only take about 11 minutes and they are ready to serve immediately!

My Dad and I at Christmas Dinner :)

I had such a hard time taking pictures of this dessert.  The smell was overwhelming and the temptation to dig in was too strong to handle.  I devoured my cake right after taking this picture!