not your typical tuna: dill tuna steaks

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

this past week i spent in kiawah isaland, south carolina was one of the best of my life. we enjoyed wonderful weather, peaceful days, endless bike rides and delicious meals. on our trip we ate lots of seafood including fresh crabs, shrimp cocktails, orange ruffy, halibut, grouper and the best of them all: dill tuna steaks.

matty whipped these up for us one of the first nights there. it was a real simple and easy recipe that tasted fantastic, not to mention the presentation was delightful.

2 large tuna steaks
1 lemon slices for garnish

1 lemon, juice and zest
1-2 tablespoons of dried dill


preheat oven to 400 degrees. mix together last 4 ingredients in small mixing bowl. place tuna steaks in baking dish and pour marinade over. let sit for a couple of minutes to soak in, but not too long because the acidity of the lemon will break down the fish. bake for 10-12 minutes based on your preference. i don't like my tuna rare so we cooked it a bit longer. garnish with lemon wedges (cut in half) and a sprinkle of more dried dill and you have yourself a wonderful piece of fish.

there's the cook.


my inner fat girl comes out: bacon potato salad, creamy deviled eggs with bacon bits, mini pepperjack sliders, lemon-pepper chicken skewers, bbq meatballs, & tomato, cucumber and feta salad

>> Wednesday, September 16, 2009

this past sunday, the fam and i decided to have an end of summer/welcome tailgating season party at the house. we fired up the grill, threw back some brewskies, and watched the tv light up in maroon and gold. nice try, redskins.

anyway, peg put me in charge of the menu. so i opted for a few of my summer favorites and quickly realized i had forgotten my inner fat girl would be joining us for dinner -

bacon potato salad
creamy deviled eggs with bacon bits
mini pepperjack sliders
lemon-pepper chicken skewers
bbq meatballs
tomato, cucumber and feta salad

here's how i did it:

bacon potato salad
boil potato cubes until tender (test with fork) - make sure not too mushy. fry up some bacon. in bowl, cut up and mix up diced carrots, celery, green onions, and chopped bacon. once potatoes cool, mix with vegetables, bacon, s&p, dijon mustard, and equals parts of light sour cream and light mayo. add condiments until you hit your desired creaminess.

creamy deviled eggs with bacon bits
hard boil eggs and let cool. cut in half and place egg yolks in mixing bowl. stir in crumbled bacon, light mayo, dijon mustard, and s&p. scoop back into egg whites and garnish with paprika and parsley leaves.

mini pepperjack sliders
combine ground beef with worcestershire sauce, hamburger seasoning, parsley, minced garlic and s&p. form into mini burgers and grill up. let pepperjack cheese melt before placing on mini burger buns. love all things mini. because you can eat more.

lemon-pepper chicken skewers
combine lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, evoo and s&p. marinate chicken in mixture for up to one hour. cut chicken, bell peppers and red onion into bite size pieces. stack chicken and veggies on wooden skewers and grill up. be sure to soak skewers for at least one hour in water to prevent them from getting toasty.

bbq meatballs
stir up frozen meatballs and bbq sauce in slow cooker. use enough bbq sauce to coat balls. cook on low for two hours and you're done. how simple is that? i used a chipotle honey bbq sauce for that extra kick.

tomato, cucumber and feta salad
mix together chopped tomatoes, cukes, minced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and a greek vinaigrette. sprinkle with s&p and you're done. i threw in some parsley too because i had it on hand. and it's pretty.

i realize i didn't include any measurements...these recipes are oldies and goodies so i just make it up as i go along. but feel free to email if you need more specifics.

in closing, i can say the inner fat girl was happy and so was the clan.


my own version of heaven

>> Friday, September 4, 2009

this weekend, i'm leaving for a vacation to kiawah island with MZ's family. all i can think about is how i am not going to be sticking to my diet. i don't believe diet & exercise goes with vacation. however, i do believe the word vacation goes with the word chip.

anyone who even slightly knows me, knows i have a love/love relationship with chips. ton (stepdad) jokes that i'm not a good person to share a bag of chips with because the other person will only get the crumbs. whenever someone tells me they had chips for lunch, i just have to ask, "well, what kind? did you have a dip to go with those?" i like to think it's genetic. peg loves a good chip and dip combo as well.

so i got to thinking - i should write a blog post on my favorite chip. this is no small task as i've never met a chip i didn't like. so i narrowed it down to my top 6 favorites because i could not even narrow it down to 5.

miss vickie's jalapeno kettle cooked chips

lay's sour cream and onion chips


cool ranch doritos

ruffles original potato chips with homemade french onion dip

tostitos chips and queso dip (peg's #1)

mini sourdough pretzels with hidden valley buttermilk ranch

if i had to guess sis's favorites, i would say it's a close tie between crunchy cheetos and bbq chips. am i right sis?

(photo credits -,,,,


¡me amo MEXI! grilled chicken with avocado cream sauce and stuffed tomatoes

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

no joke, i'm in love with mexican food and i know my sis does too. i can't pinpoint what makes me adore it so much - it's like every bite encompasses heavenly mexi goodness and each new morsel is better than the last...
maybe it's the hot spices that get me going!
or the cool avocado!
or the creamy cheese and sour cream combination!
but clearly it's because me and the mexi food makers share the same philosophy on chips - and that philosophy is they should always be bottomless.
anyway, whatever it is, i can't get enough of my favorite cuisine.

the other day, like most days, i was already thinking about dinner halfway into my morning. on top of that, my belly was craving all the flavors described above. so i came up with this snazzy quick-fix mexi meal. i call it...

sis's grilled chicken with avocado cream sauce and stuffed tomatoes
2 chicken breasts
s&p - just eye it
chili powder - just eye it
garlic powder - just eye it
1 large avocado
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. light mayo
handful of cilantro
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 beefsteak tomatoes
1 package of zatarain's black beans & rice (i'm telling one does rice & beans like them)
shredded cheddar cheese

cook rice according to package. cut tops off tomatoes and scoop out insides. turn upside down on paper towel so remaining juices come out.

toss some s&p, garlic powder, avocado, sour cream, mayo, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice into a food processor. blend together until smooth and creamy.

hit grill pan with evoo. combine s&p, chili powder, and garlic powder in small bowl. rub over chicken breast and grill on high heat for 5-6 minutes per side (depending on size). the high heat will ensure a toasty brown, yummy crust to your chicken.

while chicken is cooking, scoop rice into tomatoes and top with cheese. broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese until it reaches gooey perfection.

when plating, scoop a generous amount of the avocado sauce over warm chicken breast.



fresh from the market: herbed sweet corn and tomato salad

>> Tuesday, September 1, 2009

as i was perusing through my google reader this morning, the lovely sight above jumped out at me - courtesy of the kitchn. since visiting the courthouse farmer's market over the weekend, i've been hoping to come across a recipe that requires all my freshly scooped up ingredients.

so when this recipe came my way, i thought, "yesssss." the recipe calls for any fresh herb you have on hand. my roommates and i have been caring for a basil plant in our apartment all summer so i'll definitely throw in some of that. i'm leaning towards the vegetarian version complimented by crusty, warm garlic bread and lightly seasoned and grilled squash. (peg and i got a fresh baguette from costco on sunday). i usually do like some protein with my meals, but tonight i'm feeling like a quicky easy supper. sounds just delicious, right?

eat up:

herbed sweet corn and tomato salad
6 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked
4 medium tomatoes, as ripe as possible
1/4 cup (or small handful) fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup (or small handful) fresh mixed herbs — like Italian parsley, basil, rosemary, sage
1 tablespoon evoo
s&p, to taste
3 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled and crumble

bring a large pot of water to the boil over medium-high heat. add the corn and boil for five minutes. drain and let cool. meanwhile, chop the tomatoes in quarters and scrape or squeeze out the juices and seeds. (reserve, if you want, for a future batch of tomato sauce, or to mix into cream cheese for a fresh sandwich spread.) chop the seeded tomato quarters into a rough dice. pat dry with a paper towel to remove any extra moisture. when the corn has cooled, stand each ear up in a wide, shallow bowl and slice the corn kernels off with a chef's knife. toss the corn with the tomatoes. finely mince the mint and herb leaves. toss with veggies along with evoo. season to taste with s&p , then crumble in the goat cheese and toss gently.

note: feel free to toss in any other mix-ins too - grilled eggplant, pine nuts or a touch of balsamic vinegar.

(photo credit - faith durand via


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