Monday, July 23, 2012

Meal Planning Mondays: i'm baaaaaAAAack.

Sad Rae here, and it's recipe time!

Why am I sad?

She started first grade today.

I'll spare you an essay.
Let's just say that between this event 
and the fine lines cropping up EVERYWHERE around my mouth

mortality is
too real.

 I say we forget all this life is so beautiful sort of sentiment and


Summer dinners and a dessert that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF.

We are not huge fish lovers. I adapted this recipe for Salmon and instead used tilapia. The salad dressing is pretty amaze though: worth making and using on any green salad or grilled fish/meat you like.

Crispy Salmon (or Tilapia) Salad w/ Carrot Ginger Vinaigrette*

  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallots, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 4 ounces baby arugula (about 6 cups loosely packed)
    • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
    • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
    • 4 (6-ounce) fresh or frozen sustainable salmon fillets (such as wild Alaskan)
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1. Combine carrot, orange juice, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, honey, ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mini food processor; process 1 minute or until well combined.
      2. Place arugula, tomatoes, and bell pepper in a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, and sesame oil; toss well. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well.
      3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fish to pan, skin side down; cook 6 minutes or until skin is browned and crisp. Turn fish over; cook 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Arrange 1 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 fillet and 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.

    • *And if your family is anything like mine and gives you the look of what have we done wrong that you are serving us SALAD and calling it DINNER? I highly recommend this yum-city side:

    • Herbed Ricotta Bruchettas

      • 2 cups ricotta 
      • 3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
      • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
      • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
      •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 1 round sourdough bread
      • olive oil
      • 1 whole garlic clove, cut in half

      Slice bread and brush with olive oil. Rub with garlic. Broil in oven until toasty. Mix together ricotta and herbs. Spoon onto warm bread and serve.
      Recipe adapted from HERE.

  • ...............................................



Carribean Jerk Turkey Burgers

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 2 pounds turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried or ground thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil or 2 tablespoons cilantro, your choice, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Cornmeal Kaiser rolls, split
  • Bibb lettuce leaves

Heat a large nonstick skillet with EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat.
Place meat of choice into a mixing bowl. Combine the dry spices and sugar in a small dish, then sprinkle evenly over the meat. Add fresh basil or cilantro, lots of salt and pepper to the meat. Mix the meat and spices and form four large patties. Make a divot in the center of the burger. As the burgers cook, the well will swell up and you’ll end up with a flat surface instead of the dreaded burger bulge. Cook the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning once.
While the burgers cook, make the mango salsa: in a small bowl, combine the mango, red pepper, jalapeño, cucumber and lime zest and juice. Season with salt, to taste.
Toast the buns lightly under a hot broiler.
When the burgers are done, transfer them to bun bottoms and top with Bibb lettuce, lots of salsa and bun tops. I also add AVOCADO and CHEESE-YES-PLEASE.

Thank you, Rachael Ray.


Once upon a time back when I was dating Tyler, I spent a semester of college abroad in Jolly Ol' Great Britain. I had literally HobNobbed my way throughout Europe and it showed. Like fifteen extra pounds showed. Worth. every. bit.

I arrived back in the States and decided to immediately crash diet, spray tan myself into a stupor, and drive 17 HOURS WITH MY LITTLE SISTER to SOUTH DAKOTA to see my beloved. While visiting I decided to make a dessert for his buds in the frat house. Ya know, show em a little some'in some'in coming from the chubby girl straight outta England. Let em know what really had Tyler hooked. I got to work in their dung-heap of a kitchen and made an all-time favorite.

And oh boy DID IT WORK. Two months later he proposed, moved back to our hometown...and not one of them questioned his decision. NOT ONE DANG BIT. 

Try it, you'll see.


Package of Pillsbury Sugar cookie dough
one container Cool Whip, thawed
one package cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar

fresh sliced fruit of your choice
(I've tried em all and particularly love kiwis, peaches, strawberries, and any berry combo)

Preheat oven according to cookie package directions. Roll out sugar cookie into a large pizza shape. Bake around 10 minutes or until cookie looks lightly golden. Cooking time will vary dependent on how thin you like your dough. I also err on the side of super SOFT COOKIE. 
Allow to cool completely.

Mix whip cream, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cookie.

Top with all your favorite fruits.



Alexis said...

O.K. You make me cry. You make me laugh. You make me hungry. LILY IN FIRST GRADE - this can't be happening! She looks so grown up and oh so beautiful. My heart aches and jumps for joy at the same time.
Wow you are a great Mom - just look at the great food you feed these munchkins and they get to help make it too. You are far more patient with kids in the kitchen then your ma ma...Keep up the good work. I'm so proud :)

The Mrs. said...

You are cracking me up!

I have to admit, that I went straight to the dessert. YUMM-O!


Ashley said...

Jesse started first grade too! It was a tough day for me. Wondering how he was going to deal with school for 6 hours, is he going to be able to open the things I packed in his lunch, what if he gets lost, oh the things mother's worry about. All in all he was just fine and loves Bud Beasley :) I hope Lily had a great day too!

Sarah said...

Hi Rae, I don't really know you. I taught one of your sisters sewing lessons for a little while and I think I saw you in person like once. That's not the point. The point is that I wanted to say THANK YOU for Meal Planning Mondays!!! Every recipe I've tried has been delicious. Even the ones that sound a little freaky at first, like Sweet Potato Kale Pizza. They're all amazing. So thanks for sharing the goodness.