Tag Archives: Food

How Tuesday: Make the Best Tasting, Easiest Fish Ever

3 Apr

This is my favorite way to make fish. It’s healthy, yet gives you all the crispy goodness you love from fried fish. It uses only a couple of ingredients, is super quick, and makes you look like a culinary genius with extremely little effort. You can do this with lots of fish; I’ve prepared cod, tilapia, and halibut this way, but salmon is my favorite and what we’re working with today. Please forgive the blurry photos, my kitchen light isn’t the best right now.

Ingredients:

2 (or however many servings you need) 4 oz portions of salmon, cleaned, skin on
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Light mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
Panko bread crumbs
Cooking spray (I used canola)

Preheat oven to 425°.
Rinse fish off and pat dry with a paper towel. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place fish skin-side down on the foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small dish, mix together mayonnaise and mustard and lemon juice. Or you could go fancy and use a flavored mayonnaise and omit the juice. It’s up to your taste buds.

Spread mayonnaise mixture on the top of your fish. Aim for an even layer, just thick enough that you don’t see much fish showing through.

Sprinkle panko crumbs on top of the fish, pressing them into the mayonnaise mixture to make sure they stick.

Spray lightly with oil, so that the panko will crisp.

Pop into the oven for 15-17 minutes or until fish is opaque and panko crumbs are toasty brown.

Ta da!

If you got the skin crispy enough you can eat it, or just eat the fish leaving the skin behind for an even healthier meal. I love serving this with asparagus, but we went with sweet potato puree and peas tonight.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Friendship Without Food Dates #1 and #2

24 Jan

my friends and i totally look like this when we hang out. from the girl with the popped collar on tumblr

So far my year of intentionality is going well, but wouldn’t you know it? I’m having to intentionally make an effort to make it happen. Funny how that works. 🙂

One of my stated goals for this year was to find ways to hang out with friends that don’t revolve around food, which coincidentally helps me with my goal to nurture the relationships I have. I thought this one was going to be a slam dunk, but it’s hard to think of fun things to do that don’t revolve around food! I didn’t set this goal because I’m anti-food. Far from it! I just grow tired of our collective cultural obsession with food, and how it seems like we don’t get together anymore without the interaction revolving around what we’re going to eat. What to hang out after church? Let’s grab lunch! Haven’t had time to catch up with a girlfriend for a while? Meet for coffee! Want to move that friendship with the new-ish friends in your life forward? Invite them over for dinner! What to go catch a movie? Might as well grab dinner beforehand! All in all I don’t think this focus on food is inherently bad, but since several of my goals for living intentionally this year is to focus on relationships I want them to be the focus, not where and how and when we’re going to eat.

So I had two successes this week. For my first Friendship Without Food date I met up with a friend who is fun and outdoors-ey, who loved to run before I learned how fun it could be (I believe I called her ‘stupid’ when we met and she told me she loved to run. Oh, the Lord has a sense of humor.) and who’s fairly new to the area and has many trails yet to explore. I’m blessed to live anywhere from walking distance to a ten-minute drive from three excellent trails that exist to give walkers, runners, bikers, dog walkers, and stroller-moms a place to get some exercise. Most follow some kind of creek, and are pretty freaking scenic for being in the middle of heavily populated cities. So I took my friend to a new (to her) trail. We did an easy three miles – out and back from the park to a nice bridge that does a great job as a 1.5 mile marker. Good sport that she is, we brought my raggety-taggity dogs along, and walked most of it because my pooches be lazy. The conversation was fluid and easy. We stopped to take pictures of a white heron and when I got a rock in my shoe. Our talk matched our walking pace, and wasn’t interrupted by us shoveling food into our mouths or making the “sorry, I’m chewing, but I so have a comment to make” face we women are so good at. We both felt great afterwards, as we’d gotten to be lazy and sleep in on our day off but also were active and got in our exercise. I call unequivocally successful Friendship Without Food date.

FWF date #2 was with my bff, and here’s where the water gets a little murky. We had food during our date. (Cue dramatic music: Dum dum DUMMMMM!) We had dinner with her family (and her kids, whom I adore) before settling in for one of our long catch-up nights. I’m still calling this a successful FWF date, because our interaction didn’t hinge on whether or not we ate. We would still have had a great evening had I showed up an hour later and not been around for the meal, but as it was dinner was a nice (and delicious) bonus to an evening that was about us hanging out and catching up. With really great friends you don’t need much more than their company to make it a great night.

So that’s where I’ve come to on my quest to do friendship without food: that food can still be around, so long as our time doesn’t hinge on it. Meeting for lunch to catch up doesn’t count. Going for a run and deciding to grab a bite afterwards because we’re both starving does. Going to Monterey to walk along the coast and grabbing dinner while we’re there counts. Going to Monterey because we want to have dinner at that one place we went to once and loved doesn’t. It’s a fine line, and I intend to spend the rest of this year walking it.

Do you have ideas for FWF hangouts? I’ve been trying to come up with some creative ones, and it’s tough! How do you and your friends enjoy each other’s company without food?

My New Everyday Pinot

23 Jan

I love pinot noir. It’s fruity, yet dry. Juicy, but cleansing. Flavorful, but not overpowering. I also love my local Whole Foods’ sommelier. Every time I walk in and am looking for the perfect wine to match my newly crafted attempt at cuisine, she’s there with a rocking recommendation that fits my budget. The other day I walked in, requesting an affordable wine (under $15 for me) that would compliment scallops and steak. She suggested this:

Fat Cat Pinot Noir, from Fat Cat Cellers in Napa, California. $7.99 at Whole Foods.

To quote my new sommelier bff: “It goes great with everything…fish, beef, watching tv on my couch with my cat…” I’ve taken this to two dinner parties, one home group meeting/impromptu cheese tasting, and one gift exchange, and it has never failed to please. I am constantly in search of a good wine that drinks just as well on it’s own as it does with food at a everyday wine price-range, and this definitely fits the bill. I just found out that they make a lot more wines than just a pinot, and I can’t wait to try the whole Fat Cat family!

Friday Five – A Week in Gratitude: Frugality, Food, Free Time, and Fire

13 Jan

Five things from this week that I’m grateful for:

freshly baked cookies await upon check in

1. (Frugal) Time Away With My Husband

A few weeks ago A called me at work, saying he got an email from one of our favorite Inns in Carmel offering rooms at 60% off. He asked if I’d like to go away for a weekend before tax season got started. My response? “Are you kidding me?!? Of course I want to go! How soon can we get a room?”

a little wine, sipped in a garden, with an artisinal cheese plate at georis

2. Good Food and Good Wine

We go to Carmel a lot, so this trip we wanted to do something different. It was unseasonably sunny and warm (mid-60’s all weekend) so we decided to explore Carmel Valley instead of doing our usual downtown/beach routine. We sampled offerings from local wineries and ate an amazing lunch crafted to pair with the wines in the area. Food in Carmel never disappoints, and I am always grateful to God that not only are we so richly blessed to have food to eat, but that it’s good food, our choice of food, prepared with care.

see that sink on the right? next to the microwave? saved our lives

3. An Opportunely Placed Sink

Our last night at the Inn, we decided to have a classic Aylesworth night in after dinner and enjoy champagne and popcorn while watching a movie. Except the microwave was faulty. And burned our popcorn. And when I say burned, I mean burned, as in caught fire. Thank the Lord I was standing right there and saw the bag ignite. I had a split second’s hesitation of “holy crap, what do I do?!?”  before I glanced down and remembered that because we were in the deluxe suite there was a deep metal sink right next to the microwave. One faucet blast later and we were staring down in shock at the charred, soggy mess that was our popcorn. We chose to use the stove to pop the corn after that.

buy local, eat local

4. Living in California, Where Good Local Produce is Always Available

While we were driving to Carmel Valley from Carmel-By-the-Sea (yes, it’s actually named that. Because it’s not a place, it’s a lifestyle.) we drove past a lot of farm land. As we came upon a sign for one of the farms, A and I pointed to it at the same time, because we recognized the logo as our preferred brand of leafy greens for salads. I try to buy local as much as possible, so I’d known that this farm was near our hometown, but actually seeing the sign pop up on our weekend getaway made it all so much more real. Not only does my food not have to make the trek across state lines, (using up fuel, oil, and being harvested prematurely so that it will survive the trip) but when I buy from this company I’m putting money back into the pockets on people in a community I love. It was a great reminder of the importance of buying locally, and a wonderful edification of my goal to live intentionally this year. I’m so grateful that it’s so easy to buy local in California, where we can grow fruits and veggies year round because our state freakin’ rocks.

give us a place by the sea, and we'll be happy

5. A Well-rested Hubby

A is an accountant. He works very hard all year round, but never more so than between January and April. Those months take the work load from steady to extreme. This year, he’s been working near-tax season hours since October, and it’s been really tough on him and on us. Right before he got the offer from the Inn in Carmel, he decided that despite the work piling up, despite the busyness, despite the crazy pace he and his co-workers were keeping, he was going to take the first week in January off. He’s taken some time to rest and renew, sleep in, gotten some housework done (but not too much!) and spent a lot of time conquering the universe on his games. He’s taken care of dinner the last few nights, letting me have time to fit in a run, and turned into the extra-wife-pampering husband he always becomes when he has some time off. I’m so grateful he has a job, especially one that recognizes the value of rest and let him get away before he burned out.

What are you grateful for today?

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