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So tonight I had no idea what to do for dinner and it was after 7pm. Ed likes to eat by 7pm so this was not the best of circumstances. I did know that we would be having roasted green beans, as we had some of those to use up, but the rest of the meal was still a mystery. As I stood in the middle of the kitchen just looking around Ed reminded me that we had a lot of frozen fish in the freezer that we had not been using as frequently as he would have liked. Taking the hint I asked him what kind of fish he would like. His reply was the first one you grab. As it happened tuna was the closest at hand. When I made sushi bowls a while ago Ed came home with some Wasabi Sauce to use in the recipe. This was not near spicy enough for my tastes, I could eat a spoonful and not feel a thing, but it did have a very pleasant taste. I stood there and thought to myself “tuna and wasabi go very well together”. The question was how to keep the wasabi on the tuna while cooking. The answer…panko. This turned out surprisingly good. I thought that there wasn’t enough wasabi taste but Ed like the milder taste and raved about this meal. As I was eating I came up with many other ways to try and make this fish. 1. add powdered wasabi to beaten egg, coat, and dredge in panko. 2. sprinkle wasabi powder on tuna steaks directly and sear. 3.Coat in egg and add wasabi powder to the panko. Iam sure that there are still others. If you happen to try one of the other methods please let me know how it turned out. For now here is the process/recipe that I followed.

P.S. I served this with goat cheese and lemon infused quinoa.

panko and wasabi tuna

Panko and Wasabi Encrusted Tuna by Me

tuna steaks – we cooked 3
3/4 cup panko
1/3 cup Wasabi Sauce
olive oil for cooking

Coat tuna steaks in the wasabi sauce and then dredge (covering well) in panko.

Heat olive oil in a flat bottom pan. When hot add tuna steaks and cook for approx. 4 mins on each side and until coating is a nice medium brown.

Dinner didn’t come out as well as I’d been hoping last night so I decided that we should make some cookies. Isn’t that what anyone would do? I had come across these White Chocolate and Lime cookies earlier in the day and they just kept calling to me. Partly because I love anything anything with lime in it and because they made me think of spring which I am anxiously awaiting. Well these didn’t bring about spring weather, as I am told it was actually snowing here today, but they were very tasty and Gabriel and I had fun making them. I didn’t change anything about the recipe. Next time however I will add a little more lime juice.

white chocolate and lime cookies

White Chocolate Lime Cookies from Evil Shenanigans
Yield 5 dozen cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 – 12 oz bag white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, sugar and butter until combined but not fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, lime juice and lime zest. Mix to combine.

Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Mix into creamed mixture until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into 1″ balls, and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the centers are just set. ** Mine took 15 mins but that is probably because I only got 46 cookies out of the dough instead of 60 so mine where a little larger than what this recipe calls for.**

Allow to sit on the pan for three minutes before moving to wire racks.

General Tso’s Shrimp

For Christmas, about 5 years ago, my parents gave me an awesome wok. It was an electric, professional quality wok. I had wanted one for awhile and was so excited when I opened that present and had such grand plans for it. I used it for the first time TODAY! This was a long time coming but I can now guarantee you that it will not be such a long wait til the next time. Today I made myself proud! This was one of the easiest and most delicious things I have ever made. I have enjoyed General Tso’s from many a Chinese restaurant but this surpassed a lot of them. It was light, sweet, and spicy all at once. Ed was in heaven but I had one reason to be a little sad. I now had one more thing that I was afraid that I would no longer be able to order out because it was better at home. I am so excited to submit this to the Tasty Tools Wok event hosted by Joelen’s Culinary Adventures. Check it out.

general tso's shrimp 2

General Tso’s Shrimp
adapted from Blog Chef

1lb peeled and deveined shrimp with tails removed – we used 31-40 count
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup wok oil
3 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp sherry
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 scallions sliced with white and green parts separated

In a large bowl combine the cornstarch and beaten eggs. Mix well to create a batter. Add the shrimp and coat well.

In a small bowl combine rice vinegar, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, the white parts of the scallion, and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.

Add oil to wok and heat to 375 degrees. Add shrimp to the wok in batches and cook untill shrimp are white. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. *Note – when frying the shrimp a lot of the batter fell off. I am not sure how to really correct this problem but we did not feel that it took anything away from the finished dish.

Add crushed red peppers to the oil remaining in the wok and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Return the shrimp to the wok and stir fry for a minute or two.

Add sauce mixture to the wok and stir until the sauce becomes thickened and coats the shrimp well. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions.

Serve with broccoli and white rice

Enjoy!!

I seem to be on a little baking kick lately which is very unlike me. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that Gabriel now enjoys “helping” and it is something we can do together and it gives him such a sense of pride. Well my little sous chef and I rolled up our sleeves again last night and made Blondies. These are incredibly easy to make and allow you to be creative with the add-ins. This time we added white chocolate chips and cinnamon chips. These are so rich and yummy! I think I undercooked them just a bit and next time I might reduce the amount of butter just a bit but neither issue is going to stop me from eating these!! It also appears that I am the ONLY one to have any issues whatsoever with how they turned out. We’ll just see how many of these I actually get to eat. LOL I hope your family will enjoy these as much as mine is.
blondies

White Chocolate and Cinnamon Blondies
adapted from a Blondie recipe found at Joelen’s Culinary Adventures from 2005 America’s Test Kitchen Live! cookbook

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup cinnamon chips

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with two pieces of foil. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the morsels and the nuts and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, about 22 to 25 minutes (it took me at least 30 mins.). Place the pan on a rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.

Simple Baked Salmon

We eat salmon a lot in this house. It is definitely the household favorite and it is the one fish that my very picky daughter actually requests. This our go to preparation. It is simple, flavorful, and allows the salmon to shine through. If you are looking for an new way to season your salmon give this a try. Yummm.
simple baked salmon

Simple Baked Salmon by Me

1 1lb salmon filet
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8-1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 cup shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place the salmon filet on a foil covered cookie sheet and then cover with the lemon juice, lemon pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, and finally the parmesan cheese.

Cook for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. Salmon will flake easily when done.

Oh My Gosh! I couldn’t stop eating it!!! I have only made quinoa once before. It was at one of my cooking club dinners. I liked it but it wasn’t until later that I learned of it’s amazing nutritional value. After finding out how good it was for you I added it to the list of rice/seeds/grains/legumes that I wanted to experiment with. The box of quinoa has been sitting in my cabinet for a couple of months now just waiting for it’s time to shine. Shine it did! This really hit the spot this evening. It was fresh, light, and tasty. The lime and cayenne complimented each other well. I just kept eating more of it and more of it. Good thing it is so good for you! The only thing I would do differently next time is add a little more of the dressing. If you are looking for an easy, tasty recipe to enjoy quinoa this is definitely a winner.

quinoa and black bean salad 3

Quinoa Black Bean and Corn Salad
adapted from American Institute for Cancer Research
1-1/2 cups quinoa
1-1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups cooked corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 small red onion minced
1 tsp. garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil

Prepare quinoa per directions on package and allow to cool.

While quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl toss black beans with vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

Add corn, bell pepper, onions, garlic, cayenne, and quinoa. Toss well.

In a small bowl whisk lime juice, salt, cumin. Add oil in a stream while whisking. Drizzle over salad and toss well with salt and pepper. Salad may be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!!

I know, right now you’re thinking to yourself “really, brussel sprouts?!” Well you’d be surprised. I have been wanting to try stuffed shells for awhile now. I’m not really sure how I’ve never made them before but so it is. Anyways, once I decided to make them I was having a hard time deciding what to actually stuff them with. I didn’t want them to be just cheese and the next natural thought is spinach but it just wasn’t appealing to me. I remembered a sauteed shredded brussel sprout side we’d had awhile back and started to think that it would go well with the ricotta cheese mixture for stuffed shells and as luck would have it I had bought a large container of brussel sprouts just a couple of days ago. It turned out that we also had a container of mushrooms in the fridge so brussel sprout and mushroom stuffed shells it was. To Ed’s credit he didn’t even bat an eye when I suggested it. This turned out very good. The only thing I would do differently is increase the amount of the brussel sprout and mushroom mixture in the filling by a half. The recipe below is how I made it today. Give it a try…you just might like it! That means you brussel sprout nay sayers too. Oh, and it is a great way to get the kids to eat some veggies. Gabriel didn’t know what hit him.
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Brussel Sprout and Mushroom Stuffed Shells by Me

3/4lb brussel sprouts trimmed, cleaned, and shredded – you may want to increase a little
8oz mushrooms minced – you may want to increase a little
3tbsp butter
32oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups marinara sauce
4oz mozzarella cheese
12oz jumbo shells prepared per instructions on box
**I forgot to add some garlic which you may want to do.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add brussel sprouts and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are soft and have released their juices. Lightly salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, eggs, thyme, and parmesan cheese and mix well. Add brussel sprout and mushroom mixture and combine well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9×13 baking pan (note that there will probably be enough shells to fill a smaller pan also) spread a small amount of marinara sauce across the bottom. Fill each shell with ricotta mixture and place in pan. When finished top shells with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 mins or until cheese is melted.

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