Monday, June 16, 2014

Day One-Hundred Thirty-Two - Ice Cream (6.14.14)

Yes, ice cream. We had my nephew's birthday party today and had a later lunch. I enjoyed ice cream with my family before heading back and came home to find that Potter fell asleep and hadn't eaten anything since lunch. Some of these days are just crazy and funny when you realize "Well, yea we had a late lunch, but I was hungry for dinner...just too tired."

Day One-Hundred Thirty-One - Petterino's and Chinese (6.13.14)

Tonight I was down in Chicago with my sisters so I had Petterino's. :) I enjoyed a chicken and mushroom pasta dish which had a wild mushroom sauce. Potter had Chinese - Szechuan Beef.

Day One-Hundred Thirty - Bandung Indonesian (6.12.14)

We still didn't go to the grocery store so don't have an updated selection for dishes. We decided to try take-out from a restaurant we've never had but has great ratings. I had the Nasi Kemangi with Chicken and Potter had the Nasi Super. We also had Lumpia for an appetizer (similar to an egg roll).

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Nine - Subway (6.11.14)

It has taken us 129 days to have Subway for dinner...holy cow! We have continued to have it for lunch many times, but today is the first time we had it for dinner. With summer comes a busier schedule and tonight's choice was the product of one of those evenings. We had an ultimate frisbee game and after enjoying after game drinks we needed something since we didn't have anything at home. We chose Subway and both enjoyed a Spicy Italian sub...mmm.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Eight - Curry Coated Tilapia (6.10.14)

  • 2 6 oz tilapia fillets
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • Cooking spray
  1. In a small bowl combine curry, cayenne and salt.
  2. Spray each fillet with a light coating of cooking spray and then sprinkle with curry mixture. Use your fingers to rub the spices into the fish (do this on both sides).
  3. Cook tilapia about 2-3 minutes on each side or until just cooked through...Enjoy!

Potter: This was an interesting dish. It was good and definitely spicy but I felt like it was sort of bland (for lack of a better word), you could taste the curry and spice but there wasn't a lot of depth of flavor. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was good, I just like a little more variety of flavor to my main dish. 

Katie: This dish of tilapia was delicious. The spice snuck up on me in parts but I feel that was due to some of it being thicker in some spots over others. We had the fillets over thai curry rice and mixed veggies which was a good choice. I would recommend this dish as it is flavorful and quick.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Seven - Great Dane (6.9.14)

Ah, we had The Great Dane for dinner again tonight due to being there after our first ultimate frisbee game with our team. We did have different dinners than Friday night though, of course! I enjoyed the Chicken Salad Croissant and Potter had the Madtown Mountie burger (which is a unique burger and just crazy with the toppings!).

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Six - BBQ Pork Chops (6.8.14)

  • 4 (4 oz each) bone-in pork chops
  • Dry rub
  • BBQ sauce
  1. Rub the dry rub onto each pork chop.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Spread BBQ sauce on each pork chop.
  4. Place chops onto grill grate and cook through (about 10 minutes).

Potter: This was a recipe we used to test my BBQ sauce and rub and boy is it still delicious. Pork chops came out perfect and the rub with the sauce was amazing. The rub got a little bit spicier after sitting in the fridge for a bit, which I loved.

Katie: The pork chops turned out great with Potter's BBQ sauce. The sauce did get spicier with time, but it was still delicious.

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Five - Fish Tacos with Summer Salsa (6.7.14)


  • 1 lb halibut or other meaty white fish fillets
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 can (11 oz) whole tomatillos, drained
  • 4 small zucchinis, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 1/2 tsp coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 (6-in) corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Hass avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place the fish in a medium bowl and drizzle with half of the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Using your hands, squeeze the juice and flesh from the tomatillos, 1 at a time, into a medium bowl; discard the skins. Mash the tomatillos with a fork. Add the zucchini, the remaining lime juice, the cilantro and 2 tsp of the salt and toss.
  3. Spread the tortillas on 2 baking sheets and warm in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Remove the fish from the lime juice, pat dry and cover with the spice rub. 
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook fish, about 4 minutes on each side. Break the fish into bite-size pieces and season to taste with salt. 
  6. Arrange the fish in the tortillas with some of the salsa and avocado slices.

Katie: The tacos turned out good. During the cooking process I got slightly frustrated with the tomatillos as I wasn't able to mash it enough. I had to ask Potter to help a bit with that. Unfortunately, the avocado we had went bad (bad timing for this dinner this week on our part), so we did not enjoy the slices in the tacos; although they weren't a must, I would still recommend ensuring that ingredient is included.

Potter: This was the first time I've ever had fish tacos (I generally just go with beef or chicken) and they were delicious. This is definitely a recipe I want to play with, maybe add some taco seasoning and a bit of spice. Regardless, the balance of the spiced fish and the salsa was delicious, if you don't like salty food I would cut the salt in the salsa in half. If you like fish tacos give this recipe a try, pretty easy and absolutely delicious.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Four - The Great Dane (6.6.14)

Tonight we were at the Dane for a "retirement" party, so ate dinner there as well. Potter had the Cuban Sandwich and I enjoyed the Mayan Chicken Wrap.

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Three - Crispy Coconut Shrimp (6.5.14)

  • 1 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail on)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Bottled sweet-and-sour sauce, for serving
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. In a food processor, pulse together coconut and breadcrumbs until coconut is in small pieces; transfer to a shallow bowl and scatter a handful over a baking sheet. Set aside. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites.
  2. Toss shrimp with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Working in batches, dip shrimp in egg whites to coat completely; lift from whites (shaking off any excess), and dredge in coconut mixture. Lay on prepared baking sheet.
  3. In a large, deep heavy-bottom pan, heat oil over medium heat until 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Cook half the shrimp, lightly shaking to separate shrimp, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer shrimp to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining shrimp.
  4. For the optional sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, mustard and curry powder. Serve the sauce with shrimp; garnish with lime wedges if desired.

Katie: This shrimp was delicious. We had sweet and sour sauce and a yogurt-based sauce on the side, but the shrimp was very good just on its own. I enjoyed the flavor compliment the yogurt-based sauce provided to the shrimp much more than the sweet and sour sauce. The sauce did have strong flavor though with the curry and lime. I recommend just trying and eating the shrimp by itself. :)

Potter: This was great shrimp. Better than getting coconut shrimp at a restaurant. I was a bit disappointed in our dips for it but the shrimp itself was great. It took quite a while to but together since I was hand dipping the shrimp in the egg and breading mixture but the actual frying part only took a few minutes. If you have a strainer with large holes or a wide mesh screen you could probably just dump the shrimp in the eggs and then shake them in the breading on the screen/strainer to speed up the process.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Two - Bean Burritos (6.4.14)

  • 3/4 cup rice (brown or white)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp group cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 (10-in) burrito-sized flour tortillas
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salsa and sour cream, optional
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Add beans and 1 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil , reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in scallions.
  4. Heat tortillas according to package instructions; fill with rice, bean mixture, and cheese.
  5. Assemble: Mound 1/4 cup rice, 3/4 cup bean mixture and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down and prepare remaining burritos.
  6. Serve immediately, with salsa and sour cream, if using, or wrap individually in plastic and freeze up to 3 months.

Katie: These burritos were really good. The bean mixture was spicier with some bites then others but overall delicious; it had great flavors. This was my first time wrapping a burrito and it went surprisingly well; it doesn't take a lot and isn't really tricky, but I guess I thought that it would be harder to keep the tortilla tight and not have everything fall out. I had mine with salsa and sour cream and both were great additions as well.

Potter: These turned out great. Good flavor and very filling. You can play around with the spices to give yourself a variety of flavors with this one too, try using taco or fajita seasoning to vary it a bit or cayenne and crushed red pepper to give it some heat. I would recommend mixing the rice with the bean mixture before filling your burritos just to get more even bites.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-One - Pork Burgers with Crunchy Apple and Celery Slaw (6.3.14)


  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 crisp red apple, such as Gala
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup, optional)
  1. Place the pork in a large bowl. Coarsely grate half the apple and add to the bowl along with the thyme, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper; mix to combine. Form the mixture into 4 patties.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers, covered, until just cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with fail to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil. Cut the remaining apple into 1/2-in pieces. Add them to the lemon mixture along with the celery, scallion and parsley and toss to combine. Fold in the blue cheese (if using).
  4. Place the burgers on buns, top with the apple slaw and serve with salad, if desired.

Katie: These burgers were good. For the slaw, we substituted the crunchy portion of romaine leaves for the celery; it worked out well. The slaw added good flavor but I would have probably put a little bit less lemon zest into the pork mixture as that a stronger lemon flavor that was almost overpowering other flavors. I would definitely make these burgers again.

Potter: This was an interesting take on burgers. Definitely delicious but not as savory as you would expect burgers to be, more sweet and citrusy. It was a great blend of flavors, the slaw was a great balance to the burger patty. 

Day One-Hundred Twenty - Southwestern Chicken Lasagna (6.2.14)

  • 1 (10 oz) package lasagna noodles
Cottage Cheese Mixture
  • 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp canned diced green chili peppers
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 sweet red or green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz) cans 99%-fat-free condensed tomato soup with 1/3 less salt
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked chicken breasts torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz) finely shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sweet purple or green pepper rings (optional)

  1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, stir together the egg whites, cottage cheese, parsley and chili peppers in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Lightly spray an unheated large skillet with no-stick spray. Add the onions, chopped red or green peppers and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until tender.
  4. Stir in the condensed soup, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9 baking pan with no-stick spray. To assemble the lasagna, place four of the noodles in the pan. Then spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with half of the sauce mixture, 2 cups of the chicken and half each of the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
  6. Repeat layers with the remaining noodles, cottage cheese mixture, sauce mixture chicken, cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Cover with foil. Bake about 50 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. If desired, garnish with the pepper rings.

Katie: This is not your typical lasagna, but it was great. The only thing that I may have changed was adding a bit more spice to the dish; however, it still had great flavor and wasn't bland, so that would just be if you also like spice.

Potter: This was a pretty delicious take on lasagna. The taste was similar to enchiladas (I'm sure the enchilada sauce had nothing to do with that) in the shape of lasagna. I agree  with Katie that it could have used a little more spice but I'm sure you all knew that. Try it topped with salsa, sour cream or guacamole for delicious treat.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day One-Hundred Nineteen - Chicken and Asparagus Pasta (6.1.14)

  • 3 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 12 spears asparagus, chopped
  • 1-2 chicken breast, bone and skin removed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushroom
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional; we used mozzarella sprinkled on top)
  • 1 medium tomato (optional; use for garnish)
  • Pinch of red or cayenne pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-sized cubes and place in skillet with olive oil.
  3. Cook chicken until partially done (white on outsides, about 5 minutes over medium to medium-high heat).
  4. Add asparagus and mushrooms, continue cooking until chicken is done.
  5. Add chicken broth and cover pan, cook until asparagus is crisp tender (about 2 minutes over medium to medium-high heat).
  6. Add pasta, red pepper flakes (to taste), and feta cheese. Remove from heat. Stir.
  7. Serve with fresh diced tomatoes to garnish. Enjoy!

Katie: The dish tonight was good. This dish was easy to make, but definitely pay attention when you add the asparagus as it is fairly easy to overcook. When the asparagus comes out crisp tender, it is great (we've previously overcooked asparagus in a different dish)! The dish is also a good one for playing with some flavors as the ingredients are pretty basic, but room to experiment. The mozzarella for feta substitution we did was just fine - instead of stirring in with the dish, we just sprinkled the cheese on top with the tomatoes. Since we like things spicier, I used more than a pinch of pepper but still actually could have used more.

Potter: This was good. Great summer dish, nice light flavors but still filling. We'll be making this one again and I will probably add more red pepper but I like spicy foods. You could definitely do this one with different veggies as well. 

Day One-Hundred Eighteen - Spare Ribs with Rub and BBQ Sauce (5.31.14)

  • 1 rack of pork spareribs (2.5 - 3 lbs)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced and crushed into paste
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (if desired, you can cut back on the pepper by only using 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
The sauce recipe was great and Potter decided it was so great he wants to keep it as his secret recipe. What we will say is that it was a sauce that was an awesome balance between sweet and spicy, so go with that type of sauce if you make these!

  1. Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix together to make a paste.
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil (make sure you have enough over hang to wrap ribs). Place ribs on foil and coat evenly with rub. Wrap tightly so no moisture can escape (you may want to do several layers). Place on center oven rack and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until tender and meat starts to pull away from the bone. 
  2. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat (or light your charcoal). Remove ribs from foil and coat in sauce. Place on grill and cook 10-15 minutes a side until desired doneness. 

Potter: There are just too many good things to say about these so I will start with the one not great thing. They weren't quite as fall of the bone tender as they should have been, make sure to leave them in the oven for long enough. The rub and the sauce came out better than I could ever believe, I didn't want to give you guys the recipe for either one but Katie convinced me I had to give you something. I may have left out a secret ingredient or two for the rub.

Katie: These ribs were AMAZING! I really don't know what more to say.