Monday, March 12, 2012


This is an Irish dish I like to make for St. Patrick's Day every year.  I think this recipe originated from Martha Stewart, but really I'm too lazy to go to her site and figure it out.  It really is tasty!  Since we'll be out of town for St. Patty's day this year, we enjoyed our Irish feast a few days early.  On the menu was Lemon Garlic Tilapia, Colcannon, Zucchini, and homemade Ginger Ale.  Really, other than the colcannon, I'm not really sure what any of them have to do with Ireland, so just humor me and pretend like they're traditional Irish dishes.  Music Man and I both decided that we should make this more often then just once a year.  It's hearty and tasty like mashed potatoes, but the cabbage makes it not quite as heavy (Does that make sense?  It does to us any way).  Try it, its delicious!

  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes (about 2 or 3 large ones)
  • 1 savoy cabbage, tripped pale-green leaves finely shredded
  • 1 leek, pale-green and white parts only, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (or if you're like me and like your salt, live on the wild side and make it salted)
  • 1/4 Tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Course salt
Peel and quarter potatoes, and place in a medium saucepan; add enough cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.  Drain potatoes and return to saucepan.  Mash with a potato masher or pass through a ricer; cover pan to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine cabbage, leek,  milk, 2 Tbsp butter, and nutmeg; season with salt.  Cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage and leek are soft but not browned, about 15-20 minutes.  Stir into potatoes.

Spread mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish.  Make a small well in the center, and place under the broiler until lightly browned on top, about 5 minutes.

Remove from broiler.  Place remaining 2 Tbsp butter in well (or if you're like me, you may have done this before you put it in the broiler, but no worries, it's still tasty!).  Serve immediately, spooning melted butter from well onto each serving, if desired.

Lemon Garlic Tilapia (or whatever fish you have on hand)

I got this recipe from my sister.  It really is a "wing-it" kind of dish.  I really don't measure out the ingredients, just squirt a lemon over the top, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and pepper, then pop in the oven.  Easy peasy!

  • 4 Tilapia (This time I actually used wild Alaskan could also use cod or orange ruffy as well.  Any of those light white fish really would work.)
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted (if you're lactose intolerant, you could probably use EVOO or coconut oil instead)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or about 1 Tbsp garlic salt)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F (middle rack).  Spray baking dish with Pam or (for those soy-sensitive folk like us) line dish with foil.  

Place fillets in dish, pour (or squeeze) lemon juice over fish.  Add butter on top.  Sprinkle garlic, parsley, and pepper over top.

Bake until white and flakes when pulled with a fork.  Check every ten minutes for 30 minutes (It may be done in 10.  Mine this time took about 20 minutes)  Remember that the fish keeps cooking even when you remove it from the oven, so be sure not to over cook it!

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

As I've mentioned MANY times, Marvel has many allergies, so I'm always in search of good Marvel-friendly food.  I came across this recipe today and decided to try it out.  Looking at the recipe, the only thing I didn't like about it was that it calls for walnuts.  I do NOT like walnuts.  Well rather they do not like me!  Am I the only one out there who gets canker sores from walnuts?  Well I do.  And they bother Marvel too (I'm sure he has some allergy to them too...he IS allergic to walnut tree pollen...).  Anyway, I omitted the walnuts.  If you want walnuts in your cookies, go to the original recipe and see how much you need and how to cook them and all.  Here's my adaptation of these cookies (oh, and by the way, don't attempt these if you don't have parchment paper unless you want to eat them with a spoon.  I didn't have any and I sorely regretted it!).

  • 3 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar (if you have corn sensitivities, make sure you use corn-free powdered sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 320°F.  Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  

In a large bowl, whisk (or combine in an electric mixer on low speed) the confectioners' sugar with the cocoa powder and salt.  While whisking (or once you change the speed to medium), add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not over beat or it will stiffen).

Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds, and bake for 14-16 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking (I only did one pan at a time and I have a newer oven that cooks pretty evenly, so I didn't do this).   Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks.  Let cookies cool completely.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Some Good Zucchini

I'm a fan of all kinds of squash.  I think zucchini is the most used and easiest to find.  It's fun to grow and more fun to eat!  We haven't had this for a while, but it's one of my favorite ways to enjoy zucchini.  I'm made it tonight and it was SOOOO good!

  • 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 6 Zucchini , sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt to taste
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  When butter has melted, add zucchini.  Sprinkle on salt to taste.  Cook until to the softness of your liking.  If you're wanting it to go a little quicker, put a lid on it, but watch it because they cook quick!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

There Was an Old Lady...

I've been going through my pictures and noticing all of the things I've missed posting about.  Its a bit off season to be thinking about Halloween right now (seeing as St. Patrick's Day is less than a week away), but I think this post could possibly relate to all seasons (if you have the right book).

My boys love these series of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a... series.  We have a Swallowed a Bell for Christmas.  I think we have one for Thanksgiving too.  So for Halloween we read this one:

I printed out a big ol' lady (I can't remember where I found her from, so if its from you, let me know so I can give you credit where credit is due!), colored, and laminated her.  Then I found different pictures on google to go along with the "items" the old lady swallowed.

As I read the book, Marvel and Cap would take turns putting the items in the old lady's belly.

When we were all done, Marvel decided he wanted to be the old lady, so we retold the story as Marvel swallowed a...

Like I said before, if you have the other books, you can do this for the other seasons as well.  I made items for the Christmas book too (just forgot to take pictures).

Homemade Ginger Ale

I'm slowly, but surely, warming up to ginger.  I used to hate it.  I still don't quite appreciate its strong taste and the burning sensation it causes when you accidently bite into a chunk in Asian food, but I do finally like Reed's Ginger Beer.  Took some getting used to, but I can proudly say that I really really enjoy it!  I've made homemade ginger ale a couple times now and I actually find it very tasty.  I'm a big fan.  Ginger is so good for you.  It settles unhappy tummies (especially when in ginger beer or ginger ale...the bubbly helps too), is quite handy in treating cough, cold & congestion problems, can relieve burns, season food, reduce toothaches...really its good stuff.  Check out 10 Health Benefits of Ginger.  So ginger is good stuff and homemade ginger ale is super good stuff.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, its SO easy to make!!!

  • 2 cups rough chopped fresh ginger (about 3 large pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Large bottle of sparkling water
  • Fresh limes (each beverage requires one half)
To make the Ginger Syrup Mix:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the water and ginger pieces until barely simmering. Simmer for five minutes, turn off heat, cover and let steep for one hour. Drain the ginger water over a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Discard the ginger pieces. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan, add the sugar and gently heat this mixture until the sugar dissolves. Let cool and store this Ginger Syrup in the fridge.

To make a Ginger Ale:

In each tall glass, add ice, 2 parts ginger syrup, 1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice, 3 parts sparkling water. Stir and taste. Adjust amounts to your liking (I added more sparkling water).