Friday, March 30, 2012

sesame tuna with soba noodles

like i said, asian invasion :)

i have to admit, even though i LOVE tuna,
i was a bit nervous to cook it in my own kitchen.

let's just say i was hesitating for a while before actually throwing the tuna into the pan.

honestly, even after all that fuss, i have to say...
there are very few ways you could actually mess this up.
if anything, i would have cooked it slightly less.

i did about 3 minutes on the first side (per the instructions)
but then reduced that to only about 1.5 for the other side.

so delicious i kind of couldn't believe it came out of my own kitchen!

the noodles were awesome both hot and cold.
i also paired this with my new favorite asian coleslaw!


4 ounces soba noodles
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
(6-ounce) U.S. yellowfin or albacore tuna steaks
(obviously, i just cooked two)
cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons canola oil

(recipe from cookinglight)


1. cook soba noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat;
add edamame for last 3 minutes. rinse with warm water; drain well.

2. combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, lime juice, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a medium bowl.
add soba mixture and cilantro; keep warm.

(these are also super cold)

3. combine white and black sesame seeds in a shallow dish.
coat tuna with cooking spray, and sprinkle evenly with salt.
coat both sides of each steak with sesame seeds, pressing gently to adhere.

4. heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
add oil to pan; swirl to coat. add steaks to pan; cook for 2.5 minutes
on each side or until desired degree of doneness. slice tuna thinly against grain.

(sorry, kinda blurry)

5. serve with noodles, slaw, and soy sauce for dipping!

asian cabbage slaw

this week there has been an explosion of asian cooking in my kitchen.

i honestly have never liked coleslaw
until i tried this recipe. AMAZING.

i loved how it was packed with veggies, and it was ready in 15 minutes.

great asian flavors....
this might need to become a staple of my kitchen.

1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 cup julienne-cut yellow squash
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrot
1/4 cup diagonally cut green onions

*recipe courtesy of cooking light


1. combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

2. add remaining ingredients; toss well. let stand 10 minutes.


i served mine two nights in a row.
the first night with shrimp and the second night with seared ahi.
YUM! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

s'more brownie fudge

    i'm a sucker for s'mores.
    i mean hello. it's like summer in your mouth.

    i found this recipe here.
    i really thought they were going to be brownies until i actually tried them.
    it was then that i realized it was most definitely fudge.
    so dense and thick and rich. WOW.

    you literally need like a 1" square and your dessert quota will be filled for 2 weeks.


    2 cups graham crackers
    2 tablespoons sugar
    7 tablespoons butter melted.
    16 oz of dark chocolate (65% cacao), melted
    1 cup of whole milk
    2 cups of Cocoa Pebbles
    4 cups mini marshmallows, divided use


    1. preheat oven to 350 degrees

    2. smash up your graham crackers.

    3. place graham crackers, sugar and melted butter in a bowl and mix to blend.
    firmly press mixture into the bottom of an 11×13 pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.
    set aside to cool.

    4. melt chocolate with milk in a pan over medium low heat and whisk to combine.
    transfer mixture to a new bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to cool
    (transferring the mixture to a new bowl will help to cool it faster)

    5. add cocoa pebbles and 2 cups of marshmallows to
    cooled chocolate mixture and mix to combine.
    pour mixture over crust.

    6. pour remaining 2 cups mini marshmallows on top
    and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to toast tops of marshmallow layer.

    7. transfer completed dessert to fridge and chill for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.

    8. enjoy!

*your graham mixture should be moist all the way through.
if it's not, add more butter. mine fell apart a little after baking.
*watch your marshmallows very closely while broiling - they brown up super fast!
mine honestly took like 30 seconds!
*as silly as the cocoa pebbles are - they add a needed crunch to the fudgyness of this recipe.

super good :) and a HUGE hit with friends.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

homemade croutons

who doesn't love an amazing crouton?
it's like the bright spot in my day salad.

so, i decided to try to make a homemade version...
so crazy easy, and totally worth the effort.

i didn't have any left over bread at my house,
although i hear these are even better with some stale bread.

4 slices of french bread
4 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic (i always add more)
1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 tablespoon grated parmesan

*recipe adapted from allrecipes*


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. slice bread into crouton sized pieces
place in a large bowl with cheese

(i doubled the recipe)

3. in large saucepan, melt butter, garlic and seasoning together for 2 minutes

4. pour melted butter mixture over bread and stir to coat

5. spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
bake for 15ish minutes or until dry & crunchy.
check frequently and stir a couple of times to prevent burning.

if your bread is stale, bake time will be shorter,
if it's fresh, you'll need to bake for longer
(mine took about 30 minutes)

i seriously could not stop eating these.
so tasty. like only half made it to my salad. ha!

creamy spring pasta

i just loved this fresh spring pasta dish.
okay, yes, it had a cream sauce, but still :)

(thank you cookinglight)


2 ounces French bread baguette, torn into pieces
(i used panko!)
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 1/2 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
1 cup frozen green peas
6 ounces uncooked fettuccine
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon


1. bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot

2. place torn bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form.
OR use panko like me. i'm lazy :) 
melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
add 1 garlic clove to pan; sauté 1 minute.
add breadcrumbs; sauté 3 minutes or until golden brown and toasted.
remove breadcrumb mixture from pan; wipe pan clean with paper towels.

3. add asparagus and peas to boiling water; cook for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water; drain.

UM... this seriously made the most perfectly cooking asparagus!

4. add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. drain and keep warm.

5. heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
add onion and the remaining 2 garlic cloves; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
place flour in a small bowl; gradually whisk in chicken broth.
add broth mixture and milk to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil.

6. reduce heat; cook 1 minute or until thickened.
remove from heat; add cheeses, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheeses melt.
add pasta, asparagus, and peas; toss well. sprinkle with breadcrumbs and tarragon.

7. ENJOY!!

*i would cut my asparagus slightly smaller next time - think bite-size peices :)
*LOVED the breadcrumbs and taragon on top - would do more than the recipe suggested

happy springtime :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

layer cake

 what do you do when one of your favorite people's
birthday falls on st. patrick's day?

make them a green layer cake :)

rosemary parsnip fries

i decided i should probably eat more
vegetables to balance out all the goodies.

this recipe from bon appetit had amazing flavors.

i'd never cooked with parsnips before,
and they definitely have a strong rooty flavor.

if you're not wild about parsnips or veggies in general,
i suggest trying this out with carrots.
i think it would be amazing!!

loved the ease of just baking them up in the oven,
and the rosemary smells coming out of my oven probably
made my next door neighbor think i was harvesting the plant. LOL!

enjoy :)

2 1/2 pounds parsnips or carrots, peeled, cut into about 3x1/2-inch strips
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


1. preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. mix parsnips, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet.
season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
spread out in a single layer. scatter rosemary sprigs over.

3. roast for 10 minutes; turn parsnips and roast until parsnips 
are tender and browned in spots, 10–15 minutes longer.

4. crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs over; discard stems and toss to coat.
sprinkle 1/2 tsp. cumin over. season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cumin, if desired.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

chocolate chocolate cookies

this weekend was a lot of fun.

it included but was not limited to the following...

1. dinner at brouwers with my parents
2. helping my future sis-in-law with wedding invitations
3. trying to make ham & cheese waffles
(more about that later)
4. double date, take out thai food, and a bad movie
5. a spring walk through UW
6. being #1 in my office march madness tournament
7. almost finishing season 1 of friday night lights
(slightly obsessed)
8. good times with dear friends
9. a secret adventure

and....... drumroll please.............

10. making these cookies with my mother

this recipe was found here and was adapted from epicurious.

nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
(yes - these cookies don't have ANY flour or butter. crazy, huh?)

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray

2. melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave,
stirring about every minute. cool slightly.

3. using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks

4. gradually beat in 1 cup sugar

5. continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme

6. whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend

7. on low speed beat dry ingredients into meringue

8. stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate ships
(dough should become stiff)

TIP: wait for your chocolate to be lukewarm.
mixing it in too quickly makes the cookie hard to work with in step 9

9. place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in bowl.
roll dough into 1.5" balls, roll in sugar, coating thickly.

10. place on baking sheet 2" apart

11. bake until puffed and tops looked cracked ~ about 10 minutes
cool on rack for 10 minutes

(makes about 18)

we ate these cookies right away - while still gooey.
we couldn't resist!

once cooled however, they turned into more of a brownie texture.
very dense and rich and chewy. delicious!

not your classic cookie by any means.

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