Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Ice Ice Baby

Yesterday’s snow day was beyond AWESOME. It was like playing hookie, guilt free.

Apparently I was really missing the “dining” part of this blog because I felt like every meal we ate yesterday was exciting and therapeutic to make. With 2 jobs, wedding planning and my romance with the gym rekindled…there has been very little time for experimenting in the kitchen.

The snow day helped ease all that.

When I wasn’t checking my work e-mail, or organizing (because let’s face it, I just can’t sit still for an entire day) I was making us a yummy breakfast, unique lunch or tasty dinner.

Lunch was a tuna sandwich on an everything bagel. I added some cheddar and mozzarella cheese and put it in the broiler to melt. I mixed in some red onion, salt and pepper with the tuna and topped it off with some iceberg lettuce, apple slices and some carrots for a hearty, warm and healthy lunch.

Dinner was a couscous bowl with tofu and I did not follow a recipe. Instead I just diced up some red and green peppers along with a  jalapeno pepper, red onion and some tofu. Placed it all in a wok, added a little TJ’s low sodium soy sauce, cumin and lemon juice. Mixed it all together and threw it in a bowl with a glass of Pinor Noir on the side!

So side-not in the midst of all the excitement of a snow day, I broke my toe. How does one do this you ask? Well in attempt to re-arrange my living room furniture, I stubbed my toe HARD!

Has anyone ever seen the movie, “Because I Said So?” Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore play a mother and daughter who both have tendencies to re-arrange their furniture as what can only be described as an alternative to therapy. I have this sickness….feeling cabin fever? Rearrange furniture.

(source)

Anyway, moving along, it hurt so bad that I literally dropped to an Indian-style position on our living room floor and had Daisy so worked up she was racing circles around me. Meanwhile Chris  was just trying to get me to verbalize what had happened instead of grunting. He wrapped my toe, which apparently is all you can do when you break one.

It still hurts and I’m even more bummed that it looks like heels are out of the picture for the next few weeks.

Tuesday morning we woke up with a 2-hour delay at our office. Being so far out, I opted to stay home in hopes that Wednesday would bring drastically different conditions and I could actually make it into the office.

The lovely snow has now turned into ice and the novelty of this inclement weather has officially died off.

Daisy and I went for a short walk, but even she was annoyed. Everywhere we stepped there was cracking beneath our feet.

For breakfast I decided to use the last bit of bread we had to make apple cinnamon bread pudding. This was quick to throw together but took about 45 minutes in the oven. I cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, threw in a load of laundry and did some work to kill time.

I was ready to scarf it down once the timer went off. This nice breakfast treat along with some hot chocolate is definitely a silver lining for having to take  PTO.

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Gotta get back to checking my e-mail and maybe a podcast of pilates since my gym is still closed 😦  Hope everyone is staying warm and safe in this weather!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lg. loaf french bread
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups apple sauce, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 small lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cut the loaf of french bread into one inch chunks. If it is stale already, move onto the next step. If it is fresh, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring once. This will remove some of the moisture from the bread allowing it to soak up the custard mixture.

While your bread is in the oven drying out, prepare the custard. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 cup of apple sauce, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk until well combined.

Spray the interior of a glass casserole dish with non-stick spray (I used a large 9×11 dish. You can use an 8×8 to make a deeper/taller bread pudding). Fill the baking dish with the bread chunks, pressing down if needed.

Pour the custard liquid over the bread chunks as evenly as possible.  Drop chunks of butter on top if desired (2 Tbsp total). You can add the second cup of apple sauce on top before baking (drop dollops of it on top and wiggle it down between bread chunks) or you can add it after baking. I like to add it cold after baking because I like the temperature contrast.

Bake the bread pudding at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

A Celebratory Weekend

Saturday night I went uptown to Crave, a dessert bar, to help celebrate my friend’s Jane and Stephanie’s birthdays! There we feasted on some really great food, had laughs and caught up.

The menu had lots of great dishes and so we dove right in. First we ordered the crab cakes which were delicious, but then again I’ve never met a crab cake I didn’t like….

Chocolate cake was next up on the list, I chose not to eat it but heard it was awesome.

After gabbing and dancing the night away, the next morning I wanted to go to the gym but was still sore from upping my weight load at Group Power or dancing,  hard to tell. For breakfast I went with my usual but added a half bagel with cream cheese, YUM!

I just love this mixture, it’s a perfect combination: oats, yogurt and fruit. TRY THIS! You can add whatever fruit or yogurt flavor you wish. It reminds me of a parfait but healthier version and for some reason does not get old.

After breakfast it was time to meet my mom and sister for a bit of bridesmaid shopping. I loathe this process. I hate them all. I’m trying to walk the fine line between picking something the girls will really like AND trying to keep it affordable. The hunt continues…

After the errands we decided to head back to my mom’s house to make homemade pizzas. It was my step-dad’s birthday and so the agenda included dinner followed by  cake and a hilarious movie, Despicable Me.

Ta-da!!

Not the best looking pizza, but it was good. My sister did a great job baking and icing the cake…she is definitely the baker in the family.

I pretty much headed straight to bed when I got home in order to feel rested for the beginning of the week. BUT, then we got this SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!

Charlotte is officially having a snow-day today! I was surprised that my boss urged me to work from home but I am relishing every bit of it. Chris and I instantly knew we had to celebrate with this:

Hope every one is having a great Monday and for all you Charlotte readers, wa-whooo if you get to stay home like us!

How do you like to spend your snow-days??

The Countdown Begins!

The countdown to what you ask?

1.) Christmas, obviously!

2.) Post holiday- get in wedding shape project

3.) A little blog revamp

It is once again Monday and what a weekend we had. Lately it seems like we have been squeezing everything into the weekends and I’ll be thankful for the quietness that comes with January and February. I, like most people, fully intend on hibernating in the coming months.

Working backwards, Friday was a blur. I vaguely remember eating my favorite breakfast treat along with some un-pictured Salsartia’s. The strong love I have for Mexican occasionally needs to be un-leashed.

Friday was a slew of pot-luck treats due to attending a phenomenal Christmas Party (thanks Shannon!) It was a great time and by far the best that I’ve been to this season.

Do you know how hard it is to get this big of a group to look and smile at the same time?

Saturday I woke up, looked outside and saw this special treat…

It’s not much snow, but it’s snow none the less. This prompted me to bake our breakfast! 🙂

I have been on quite the apple kick lately so I decided to try this recipe that I saw on Simply Recipes.

 Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake

Ingredients: (I halved everything so we only had 2 servings)

Cake:
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup of milk or water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tart green apple, cored, peeled, sliced

Topping:
1/3 cup Bisquick mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease 8″ square pan or 9″ round pan. Mix cake ingredients. Spread cake batter in pan. Insert apple slices into the batter evenly throughout the cake.

Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread topping mix over top of batter in pan. Add slices of butter all over the top.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

After delving into this, I tried to tackle some house-hold chores before our busy day and evening we had scheduled. We had my cousin’s graduation at UNCC at 3:00pm and directly following we had intended to go see the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights. I say intended, because we didn’t end up being able to go. 😦

With my grandparents in town from GA for the graduation and our entire family being together for the first time since the cruise last January, I found it pretty impossible to bail on the family get-together. I felt bad that we had to cancel our plans, but with an uncle in and out of the hospital recently and my grandparents getting older, you can never take those moments for granted.

At the family get together we were able to see my cute little nephew. Chris wouldn’t put him down, and quite honestly it was one of the cutest sites I’ve ever seen.

I think he may be getting baby fever, hehe 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I also landed a holiday job. I know what you are thinking…WHEN am I going to have time to do that? My answer? I’ll figure it out. With the wedding, Christmas and expenses everytime I turn around, it will be beneficial for us, for the next few months.

Sunday I had to work from 9-1, I only had time to grab quick leftovers from Saturday morning.

Still good, albeit not as pretty.

When I got home I was starving AND tired. That combination warrants a good ol’ fashioned, PB&J. It was just what my stomach wanted.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and finishing up laundry (Chris did help a bunch). For dinner, I was craving something healthy and colorful. Colorful=good nutrients my body was lacking! RED tomatoes, GREEN veggies, DARK olives and bright ORANGE salmon.

Baked Salmon with a Mediterranean-type salad. Tomatoes,  kalamata olives, basil, red wine vinegar and some chopped onion. DELISH.

As stated in the beginning of this post, I told you there was a countdown to Christmas, a new work-out regimen for the wedding as well as a blog revamp. Please take this survey so that I can better understand what it is you like about Dine-in-Dash. (It’s only 5 questions long and the answers are private!)

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BNEQP2CDW/ 

For the 2011, things will be changing on Dine-in-Dash. I want to make sure I change things for the better and not eliminate what readers might like the most. It would really help me out if you would click on the link to take the sruvey! Thanks!!

 Hope your weeks are slow and lazy, I know mine will not  be with retail during Christmas!! Yikes!

Gah-Gah Gorgeous Weather!

I can not get over how beautiful this weekend was, we enjoyed perfect weather in Charlotte. The leaves are absolutely breath-taking and my run today was border-line hot.

Just look at those trees! I enjoyed the beautiful scenery as I did an easy 4  mile run with Daisy…

She was really tuckered out once we were done. I almost felt like I ran her too hard so I made sure to pamper her the rest of the night. Poor doggey is a little out of shape…just look at her staring into space.

For lunch I was feeling something easy and since we haven’t grocery shopped, I had to get a little creative. I settled on an easy tuna melt.

This was actually better than it looked and with such raw ingredients, it was ready in minutes. I also had some yogurt and triskets on the side.

For dinner we needed to use the salmon that was in the fridge but I wasn’t really feeling them as fillets. I wanted something different so I decided to make salmon cakes. These really hit the spot and were easy to prepare.

Salmon Cakes

Recipe courtesy of Eating Well

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 15 ounces canned salmon, drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked salmon (I used fresh)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (Trader Joe’s organic breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley; remove from the heat.

Place salmon in a medium bowl. Flake apart with a fork; remove any bones and skin. Add egg and mustard; mix well. Add the onion mixture, breadcrumbs and pepper; mix well. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, about 2 1/2 inches wide.

Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties.

Bake the salmon cakes until golden on top and heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

One of my favorite things to do on Sunday evening is to delve into some wedding planning. The plans are coming along nicely and if anyone is dying to know some details, I can post if you wish! 😉

Hope everyone has a good night. I’m excited for a 2 day work week and then going home to San Francisco for the holidays.

What are you doing? Any big plans?

Ending Negative Behaviors

Lately I have been feeling like I’m pulled in a million different directions.

After doing some soul-searching over the last few weeks, I’ve realized that I have too many obligations and not enough hours in the day. While it’s not exactly time for New Years resolutions, I’m making one of mine early.

I’m going to try to focus on the authentic things in life. Mind, Body, Soul.

  • Mind-I’m attending a meeting tomorrow regarding Wake Forest’s Graduate program. I’ve been longing to go back to school and have been complacent and lazy in taking the steps I need in order for this to become a reality. Wake Forest has a great MBA program for people who work full-time.
  • Body-Still training for Thunder Road but after the half-marathon, working on trimming down and building strength are two things I’m striving for next year. The wedding is in May people!
  • Soul-Being a better friend, sister, daughter and soon-to-be wife. There are many people in my life that I take for granted and too many people who I honestly don’t need to occupy my time with. I have always been social but as I’ve grown up, that area of my life is dwindling and I need to make sure that when I’m spending the little  free time  I have, it’s with the people I love.

Sorry if that is too heavy for a Tuesday morning! On to Dining and Dashing!

Lunch yesterday was a sub. Jersey Mike’s has the best subs and since I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet this week-food out was my only option. There might have been some Baked Layes in there too but I can’t be certain…;)

For dinner last night, Chris and I were both exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking or grocery shopping for that matter. We decided to go to Edomae, one of our favorite restaurants that is just around the corner from our house. It took me a good 10 minutes to decide on sushi vs. chicken hibachi but I was glad I did by the time the meal was over.

(Can you say un-healthy??)

After sushi it was of course pitch black even though it was not even 7:00. (I loathe Daylight Saving Time) I wasn’t up for a dark run and didn’t feel like hopping back into the car to the gym-so I reluctantly went with a TV work-out. I hate working out in my living room but I’m trying to really amp up my fitness level prior to the holiday foods and general lack of laziness that seems to come with this time of year.

The only person I can stomach when I do a living room work-out has to be Jillian Michaels. I hate this women and love her at the same time. She is the only one that doesn’t strike me as corny and she is really motivating.

I will be excited to do a Tuesday run tonight!

Over the hump…

I have a new obsession. Cycle class.

I’m starting to feel like myself again after getting hit with some type of bug last week and so I decided to try a cycle class last night at the gym. While some people may find it annoying to race, race, race, in one place-I think it’s fabulous. I’ve never sweated so much in my life!

While I love to run outside, it’s been cold and rainy here lately so I see more visits to the gym in my future. After the Thunder Road Half I am excited to do more group classes and take a little break from running.

Lunch yesterday was Panera! I opted for the soup and salad vs. the soup and sandwich. My apple was surprisingly good yesterday too…

Mid-day snack was some Calm Tazo tea in a “Better Smarter Faster” mug 🙂 Clearly, I have to keep myself motivated…

some almonds on the side along with a granola bar helped to keep me full till dinner.

Soy-Glazed Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine, or water
  • 2 pounds salmon fillet
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. with a rack in the center. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir brown sugar, olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and white wine until the sugar has dissolved.

    Cut salmon fillet into 4 equal-size pieces; arrange, skin side down, in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour glaze over the fish, and turn to coat evenly.

    Bake until fish is opaque but still bright pink inside, basting every few minutes with glaze from baking dish, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

    (I was  craving some bread so I whipped up some biscuits to go along with the meal-as well as steamed some brocoli.) Total time for dinner=30 minutes.

    Squeezing A Lot into a Little.

    This weekend has turned out to be pretty successful as far as productivity goes. Friday night I decided to go out to the restaurant Killington’s and have a few draft beers with friends. Work was a little hectic over the week and a $2.75 Fat Tire was too tempting to miss out on. After blowing off some steam on Friday, I was up and ready to go early Saturday morning. I was on a mission to finally finish my save-the-dates so that they could be sent out on Monday. I’m happy to report after finalizing our guest list, compiling all our addresses, printing out our return labels and hand writing everyone’s personal envelope, we are DONE 🙂 No turning back now! Before we got started on them I felt the need for a hearty breakfast for the long day ahead and I had been dying to make the bacon, egg and toast cups I had seen in a Martha Stewart magazine.

    Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

    I took a slight short-cut by not rolling the toast or cutting off the crusts. It was still very good but I think next time I will follow the directions, for no other reason than giving the bacon and egg more room in the baking sheet.

    Ingredients:

    • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 8 slices white or whole-wheat sandwich bread
    • 6 slices bacon
    • 6 large eggs
    • coarse salt and ground pepper

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups. With a rolling-pin, flatten bread slices slightly and, with a 4 1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to the edge of the cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps. Brush bread with remaining butter.

    In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until almost crisp, 4 minutes, flipping once. Lay 1 bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes. run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. Serve immediately.

    Saturday night, Chris and I decided to go see the new Ben Affleck movie, Town. It was really entertaining and it was nice to go so early in the evening to miss the crowds. After the movie I was in the mood to cook. I started tinkering around in the kitchen and with my weekly grocery ship on Sundays, there was slim pickin’s in the pantry and refrigerator. I realized I had salmon in the freezer that I never made last week and scrounged up just enough baby potatoes to complete a meal. I was happy to realize I could make “salmon skewers” and “smashed potatoes” from the same Martha Stewart magazine (love her!) Knowing I could have left it at that, I really wanted to use the baking dish for some type of veggie tart. We only had a few mushrooms left over so I sautéed those along with some broccoli florets and some cherry tomatoes. Using a pie crust I used the same cookie cutter from earlier to make little tartlets.

    Salmon Skewers with Smashed Potatoes and Veggie Tartlets

    After placing the circular pie crust cut-outs in their individual cups in the baking sheet I filled it with the sautéed vegetables as well as shredded Gruyère cheese. They baked in the oven for about 10-12 minutes and till they were golden brown. The dinner plus the two sides was a really good Saturday night meal and Chris was thankful for the surprising cooking motivation. 🙂

    Ingredients:

    • 1.5 pounds potatoes
    • coarse alt and ground pepper
    • 1.5 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 3 cups baby spinach
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    Directions:

    Heat broiler, with rack in top position. In a medium saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, thread 3 pieces salmon onto each of eight 6-inch wooden skewers. Place skewers in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil over exposed areas of skewers to prevent burning.

    Broil salmon until opaque throughout, about 6 minutes, flipping once. Remove from oven and drizzle with honey (this was the best part!)

    Drain potatoes. While still hot, gently smash each potato with the back of a spoon to flatten slightly and place, along with spinach and butter, in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine. Serve salmon skewers with potatoes and spinach.

    Sunday I went to Trader Joes to go grocery shopping and picked up some really good stuff! I’ve been wanting to make some Black Bean cornbread as well as some apple crisp for dessert one night this week. I’m excited for this week’s meal plan because I will be focusing more on sides and desserts rather than just the main course. Whenever I get back from grocery shopping I’m always starving. Chris has been studying rigorously for his PhD qualifier test he has coming up next week so I’ve been trying to be a good fiance by cutting him some slack on the household chores and making sure he has a full belly. He was craving a BLT so a BLT is what I made. I spruced it up a bit (thanks to my TJ’s companion cookbook) and opted to use Herb Focaccia bread over regular sandwich bread. I also used turkey bacon and balsamic vinaigrette to give an old favorite a little kick…

    As good as this looked, I wasn’t feeling bacon twice in once weekend so I opted to go with a salad, mainly because I picked up some cranberry walnut Gorgonzola dressing that I was salivating over.

    This dressing made my salad like a dessert. My salad included spring mix, blue cheese crumbles, walnuts and this dressing, and together, was a little slice of heaven! The weekend is coming to a close but I’m off to run 7 miles. Apart of me wishes I hadn’t waited till the last minute but it’s a beautiful day out and not to hot. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I have fueled my body enough to handle the run and that it’s a positive one-Wish me Luck!