Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ahi Tuna Salad



Ahi Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 oz sushi grade ahi tuna
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 16 sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • rice sticks ( I use Maifun Rice Sticks)
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
Directions
 
- To Make the rice sticks, pour vegetable oil into pan, at lease 2 inches deep, heat to 400 degrees. Add sticks a little at a time, when the noodles come to the top of oil, remove ( they should instantly puff up). Drain briefly on paper towel

- For the snap peas, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the snap peas for about 5 minutes, drain and let cool. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuces, bell pepper, green onion, carrots, bean sprouts, almonds, avocados and snap peas. 

- Season Tuna on both sides with salt and pepper. In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of  oil over medium heat. Sear tuna on all sides, remove from heat and let set. Cut into thin slices. 

- For the dressing, combine the rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and canola oil, mix well. 

- Pour the dressing over the salad, top with the rice sticks and the tuna. 

-Tara

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Giants" Whoopie Pies


If you do not know our family are huge Giants baseball fans. So in honor of them making the playoffs I decided to make "Giants" Whoopie Pies. They may look a little messing in the picture but they sure are delicious! I actually got this recipe from pinterest, since I am not the best baker in the family, but I was able to pull these off. Go Giants!!!

"Giants" Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 package German Chocolate cake mix
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream
  • 1 teaspoon orange food coloring
Directions

1. For the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, water, cocoa powder, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer until moistened. 
2. Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter, 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. 
3. Bake 8 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on a wire racks.
4. For the filling, beat the butter, sugar, marshmallow cream and food coloring in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
5. To assemble the whoopee pies, place 1 tablespoon filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.  




-Tara


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seared Scallops with Pan Sauce



Seared Scallops with Pan Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, small diced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Directions

1. Remove the tough abductor muscle from the side of each scallop (they may be sold with the muscle already removed. Pat the scallops and season with salt and pepper on both sides
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the oil and let it get hot, add the scallops to the pan in a single uncrowded layer. Sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp about 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate, and let the pan cool a little before you start the sauce.
3. Return the pan to the stove and add the butter and the shallots and saute until the shallots begin to sweat and become translucent. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the lemon juice, reduce heat to low and season with salt and pepper. 
4. Return the scallops to the pan with the sauce and gently roll the scallops in the sauce to warm them. Serve immediately with rest of the lemon wedges if desired.

-Tara

Pea Risotto


Pea Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
Directions

1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
2. In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. When the oil becomes hot add the onion and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until slightly translucent.
3. Add the white wine to the pan and let reduce to about half. Add the rice and stir to blend. 
4. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. Keep stirring this will give it a creamy consistency. 
5. Continue adding ladles of stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed for about 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto is not done you can finish it by adding hot water and stirring until it is absorbed. 
6. Stir in the peas, parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately

*This was a great side dish to go with my Pan Seared Scallops! 

- Tara

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sweet Potato Fries


These were the perfect side for the lentil burgers, and I used the avocado sauce for both!

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick fries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Directions
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Line a baking pan with foil.
3. In a large bowl combine the sweet potatoes and the seasoning with the oil and mix well. Place on the baking sheet and cook for about 25- 30 minutes. or until the fries are crispy they way you like them. 
4. Serve with the Avocado Sauce.

-Tara

Lentil and Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Sauce




My husband and I went to Seattle for Labor day weekend and we ate at some AMAZING restaurants, thanks to the suggestion of Erins friend Annmarie! For lunch one day Nick ordered a lentil mushroom burger and it was fantastic. We have been craving that burger ever since. I decided to try to make some, and they turned out pretty good, not as good as the one we had in Seattle, but that is a good reason to go back ;).



 Lentil and Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup dried red lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 7 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon block pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced and sauteed for the top of the burgers. 
Directions
1. To Prepare the burger, combine water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes. Drain and set aside
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the mushrooms, oregano, and pepper and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. 
3. Place onion mixture in a large bowl with the black beans and let it cool for a minute.
4. Add the lentils, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and egg whites. Cover and chill 30 minutes to an hour. (the mixture is going to be really hard to handle until it cools slightly)
5. Divide the lentil mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each portion into 1/2 inch thick patty. 
6. Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add lentil patties and cook for 5 minutes each side. 
7 Assemble the patties how you would like, I put lettuce, avocado sauce and sautéed some onion on mine, you can add cheese or whatever you like. 



Avocado Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper
Directions
1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth. 
2. Season with salt and pepper to you taste and serve with lentil burger or sweet potato fries

-Tara


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pineapple Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing



My girlfriend Brooke Bell who owns Sugar Bell Cookies & Cupcakes makes the most glorious sugar cookies with royal icing.  I have admired her work for years.  And though I cannot come close to her extraordinary talent, I wanted to give this a try.  I found this extremely cute cookie cutter at Williams Sonoma, and bought it on a whim.  I'm so glad I did.  These cookies are so fun.


                           

Pineapple Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Ingredients

SUGAR COOKIES
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pineapple cookie cutter

ROYAL ICING
1/2 cup meringue powder
3/4 cup water
2 pounds (32 ounces) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Yellow gel food coloring
Green gel food coloring
Small squeeze bottles
Toothpicks
2 small piping bags
2 #3 piping tips

Directions

FOR THE COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl mix flour and baking powder.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.  Add the flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing on low until just combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  After the last addition, the mixture will look thick and crumbly.

Now, lets roll!  Line rolling surface with silicone baking mat.  Dust rolling pin with flour.  Roll half of dough on the silicone mat 1/4 inch thinck.  Dip the cookie cutter in flour and cut as many pineapples out of the dough as you can (I managed 4 on my first roll-out).  Remove scraps, re-knead and repeat.

Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet. 

Place cookies in freezer for 10 minutes.  Bake for 9-12 minutes.  Remove from oven when done and let cool for a couple of minutes on baking tray.  Use the cookie cutter again to trim cookies to size, if desired.  Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE ICING
When cookies have cooled, mix the royal icing in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed meringue powder, powdered sugar, water, and corn syrup until combined.  Scrape down sides, and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat until icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.  

Divide icing into two containers.  Since you will be using more yellow icing, make sure one container has about two-thirds of the prepared icing, and the other container has about one-third of the icing.  Tint Royal Icing yellow and green.  

With a piping bag and #3 tip, outline the pineapple in yellow, and the leaves in green.  Once all the cookies have been outlined, return remaining icing to containers. 

Now you have to thin the icing in order flood the cookies.  Add a few drops of water at a time until the consistency of your icing is a thick syrup.  Fill your squeeze bottle with the thinned icing.  Fill the center of the outlined cookie.  Use a toothpick to spread the icing to the edges and slightly over.  Repeat with the remaining cookies and let dry for 24 hours.  

Remember!  Practice makes perfect.  So have fun with these, and don't give up :)

-Erin