Happy {Good} Friday

Easter might just be one of my favorite holidays. Well, if you know me at ALL, then you know every holiday is my favorite holiday, but I do particularly enjoy Easter. Beyond the obvious religious significance, it also signals that winter has come to an end and that sunshine and blue skies are ahead — remember, I live in Seattle, where the sun hibernates with the bears, all winter long. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter. It’s my 2nd favorite season (Christmas, duh). But there’s just something special about the world coming back to life — the days are longer, the flowers are blooming, and everyone seems just a little bit happier.

In honor of the holiday weekend, here are a few of my faves from the world wide web…

These banana scones with browned butter glaze might just be on the menu for Sunday morning breakfast:

scones

This tablescape, which sadly will probably only be making an appearance in my dreams:

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These DIY gold dipped + marble Easter eggs:

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This centerpiece, which has been on my Pinterest page for 2 years running, yet I have still not made:

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And I saved the best for last…this bunny, which I really hope ends up in my Easter basket (hint, hint):

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P.S. Not from the world wide web, but something I wish even more would be present for our Easter celebration is my little brother, currently serving in the Marines — he, along with thousands of other troops, don’t get to celebrate with their families this weekend. Remember to say a little prayer of thanks for each and every one of them.

conner

Happy Easter, lovelies.

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“Winter is Coming” Fish Tacos with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa

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Confession: I am shamelessly addicted to Game of Thrones. Not just the TV shows, the books too. Like, so addicted that when I was reading the books I would stay up until 1 AM to read “one more chapter”. My darling boyfriend just didn’t quite understand, and would try to tell me it was time for bed, so I’d turn off the light, wait for his snoring (<— lucky girl), and then go hide in the bathroom to keep reading. I know. It’s a problem.

Season three starts again this Sunday, and if I didn’t think I would lose half the followers of this little blog, I would dedicate an entire post to how excited I am. Instead, I’ll relate Game of Thrones to food. Because I am a nerd like that. Don’t judge.

House Stark’s family words (in Game of Thrones, of course) are “winter is coming”, meaning there are tough times ahead. That’s kinda how I feel about food right now. It’s officially spring, which means summer is coming. Which means swimsuit season. Which means lately when I consider what to make for dinner, a little voice in my head ominously whispers, “Summer is coming”. Which is why the recipe below is for grilled fish tacos, instead of the infinitely more preferable fried fish tacos.

photo 4 (2)If you’re part of the 1% that everyone is talking about lately and were blessed with good metabolism, go on ahead and deep-fry your beer battered fish. If you’re in the 99% percent with me, grill the fish. Oh, that’s not what that whole 1% thing is about? Whatever. Go with it.

These were seriously delicious. The picture, once again, doesn’t do them justice. They can be made with any white fish (cod, halibut, etc.) — I’d recommend going with whatever is on sale. The “salsa” I made can also be adjusted based on your preferences. You could add cilantro and onion, but those are two of my least favorite foods in the entire world. Truly, the day you see a recipe on here that includes cilantro and/or raw onion will be a cold day in hell.

I served these with pinto beans, homemade tortillas (don’t bother being impressed — it’s just Maseca flour + water + a tortilla press that I bought because I apparently have nothing better to spend my money on), the salsa, Mexican sour cream, and topped them off with a little bit of shredded cabbage. Delish.

Recipe:

  • 2 avocados, diced into cubes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup finely diced pineapple
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of yellow corn
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • juice of one lime
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 pound white fish — I’d recommend cutting this up into a couple smaller fillets to make it easier to cook in the pan. Unless you have an enormous pan. In which case I envy you.
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • Tortilla chips to stuff your face with while you prepare dinner. And to taste test, of course.

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Instructions:

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients listed above except the fish and the olive oil. Taste test with tortilla chips. Make adjustments based on your preferences. Test again with more chips. Now put the chips away before you ruin your dinner.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels and then season liberally with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 Tbs. olive oil to your pan and allow to get hot, but not to the point of smoking. I repeat, not to the point of smoking. In case you were wondering, throwing cold water on a hot pan of oil will NOT help. Lesson learned. Add fish to the pan and allow to cook, without moving, for 2-3 minutes, or until they are very light golden-brown. Very carefully flip the fish with a spatula. Continue to cook until fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork.  The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the fish, but it should be about 3-5 more minutes.

To assemble, warm your tortillas and fill with fish.  Drizzle with sour cream then top with avocado-pineapple salsa and shredded cabbage.  Serve with lime wedges and additional hot sauce if desired.

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Serves 2-4, depending how big your stomachs are.

Recipe adapted from: Well, I started here, and then I went here, and then I went here, and then I improvised.

Garlic and Lemon Pan Fried Chicken

pan fried chicken

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I take terrible pictures of food. While I must agree with you, I never claimed to be a photographer. If you want pretty pictures of food, go elsewhere, because by the time I’m done preparing a meal, the last thing I want to do is spend 10 minutes figuring out how to take a presentable picture of it on my iPhone. Yes, iPhone. No fancy pants camera up in here. The other thing you could be thinking is that chicken isn’t all that exciting, and why am I dedicating my 2nd recipe post ever to chicken.

Well, I’ll tell you why. Because it’s quick, relatively healthy, and doesn’t include a list of 18367246827 ingredients. That’s a huge wine..I mean win…for me. But I did serve it with wine. Because I pretty much serve every meal with wine. Or beer. Or margaritas. Ooohh, margaritas sound good right now…

Sorry, back to the food. I also served this chicken with sauteed asparagus and my favorite brown rice (recipe to come), and it came together as a solid weeknight meal. That gets an ‘A’ in my book.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 big cloves garlic, peeled and slightly smashed
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese — finely grated works best
  • fresh lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3 – 1/2 inch thickness is what what the original recipe called for. I just used one massive chicken breast and butterflied it, because honestly, pounding raw meat with a hammer in my kitchen kinda grosses me out. You do whatever your little heart desires — both ways work fine.

Instructions:

Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and softened. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and place in a small bowl. Smash with a fork and set aside.

Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan in a shallow dish. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Add the egg and lemon juice to the smashed garlic and whisk to combine.

Heat the garlic oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then the breadcrumb mixture. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Serve with slices or wedges of lemon, if desired.

Serves 2 people, but I doubled the recipe and packed leftovers for lunch the next day, because who doesn’t love soggy asparagus, reheated in the microwave?

Slightly adapted from: Cook Like a Champion