Sunday, May 8, 2016

Best Potato Salad

This afternoon I read an article about potato salad and then immediately wanted some. I had all the ingredients so I whipped it up! This salad is the best I've had in awhile, all because of a new trick I learned.

Serves 2 as a side


3 T mayo
3 T olive oil
1/2 T whole grain mustard
Lots of salt
2 T finely chopped red onion
6-8 finely chopped green olives (can substitute cornichons or pickles or dill pickle relish)
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped (use whatever herb you have on hand)
3-4 medium red potatoes, cubed
Vinegar (I used apple cider)


1. Boil a large pot of water. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender - about 10 minutes. Drain
2. Mix olive oil, mayo and mustard, 1 t vinegar in a small bowl with salt until combined.
3. Once you drain the potatoes sprinkle with vinegar (separate from dressing) and salt, let sit 3 minutes.
4. Toss potatoes, dressing, olives, onion and cilantro in a large bowl. Add salt to taste and serve.

Monday, March 7, 2016

One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies - Revised

This recipe was originally published on this blog in 2008. This time we made it without pecans, with regular chips and with bread flour instead of all purpose. We made huge cookies and the results were crispy on the edge chewy on the inside cookies. This replacement of flour is highly recommended!

A family friend gave me this book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey for my wedding shower and I have been wanting to make some recipe from it but haven't had the chance until this weekend.

I chose to make one-bowl chocolate chunk pecan cookies the key being that they use only ONE BOWL and no mixer PLUS they use melted butter, so you don't have to worry about leaving it out for hours.

Get this book! If this recipe was this delicious I bet the rest of it is outstanding!

A few notes about these cookies:
1. Refrigerate the dough for an hour like it calls for, do not be tempted to bake them before refrigerating.
2. Try to let the pecans cool before adding them to the dough--but add them before refrigeration, if you add them when they are hot the dough gets extra runny
3. Make small cookies, about the size of one scoop from a regular spoon. Small cookies mean big huge chunks of deliciousness
4. One of my friends gave me some extra concentrated vanilla from Penzey's, they say to use half of what the recipe calls for but I always forget so these cookies could be awesomer because I used twice the vanilla the recipe called for. You may want to do that.

My mom has baked the same chocolate chip walnut cookie for years and she volunteered that this cookie is superior and her new go-to favorite.

2 C pecan halves (omitted)
1 C unsalted butter
3/4 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 Large eggs
1 t salt
2 t vanilla extract (technically I used 4t see above)
2 1/4 C bread flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 baking powder
2 C semisweet chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pecan halves 6-8 minutes until fragrant.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted.
3. Stir in sugars until smooth. Add salt, vanilla and eggs, stir until smooth.
4. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder and stir until a soft dough forms.
5. Fold in toasted pecans and chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate the bowl for at least an hour (especially if you didn't find time to cool pecans). Preheat the oven again to 350 if you turned it off.
6. Scoop small regular spoon sized scoops onto cookie trays. Bake 10-12 minutes until they look slightly golden brown.
7. Cool slightly before moving to a rack. Enjoy warm, or cold, or anytime at all, but be sure to make and try these cookies!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Smoked Trout Salad with Citrus Dressing

A few weeks ago, I sent my mom a recipe from Food & Wine magazine about a salad with smoked trout, citrus and a horseradish dressing. She made it and they loved it. Then she brought me an extra piece of smoked trout.  Of course, I had none of the ingredients to make the famed salad, so I made a variation, and it was delicious.

If you've never had smoked trout before, think of smoked salmon - the flaked kind not the lox kind but smokier.  It's delicious, buy some. I made enough salad for one person.

3 oz smoked trout filet, flaked
2 blood oranges
1 avocado, diced
3 Cups spicy spinach/arugula salad mix (or arugula)
1 T brown sugar
olive oil
1/2  lemon

1. Over a small bowl to catch the juices, segment the blood oranges
2. Sprinkle salt over the avocado
3. Toss the avocado, trout, lettuce and blood orange segments in a serving bowl
4. Add the brown sugar, juice of half a lemon to the blood orange juice.  Whisk in oil until the right oil-->acid ratio begins to emulsify
5. Toss dressing with the salad and serve immediately.

This salad was beautiful but because I consumed it during a meeting at the office, I failed to take any pictures.  Nobody complained of a fish smell while eating and I was satisfied for the remainder of the day without a snack before dinner.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Peanut butter chocolate chunk banana muffins

This video from Tip Hero has been floating around Facebook for weeks. We had a few overripe bananas so I decided to give it a try.  My recipe is a bit different than the video. It was easy to throw together and they taste great!  153 calories per 1/2 C size muffin.

3 ripe bananas, roughly sliced
Scant 1C peanut butter (I used creamy skippy)
3 eggs, beaten
2 T vanilla
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 C bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 400
2. Line regular muffin tins with liners
3. Throw all ingredients in a blender except chips and blend well. I used an immersion blender and it worked fine
4. Stir in 1/4 C chocolate chips
5.pour 1/2 c batter into each muffin well. Top with remaining chips.
6. Bake 12-15 min until muffins are no longer jiggly ans toothpick comes out clean. These are best eaten cool and they will sing down a bit.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Apple, Pecan and Manchego Salad

A couple of years ago I bought some Lingonberry vinegar at IKEA. IKEA is really close to our house so we go there all the time just to browse the food area. We don't have a lick of IKEA furniture in our house though. So I got the vinegar, and then I put it on the shelf and barely used it. But whenever I do use it, it MAKES the salad.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to sell it anymore but I bet they have something like it at those specialty vinegar stores

I decided to serve a salad with my pot roast for a little crisp palate cleaner and then I made one up all because the tomatoes at the store looked terrible. Hear that the rest of the world? Tomatoes in CA still don't look amazing in the winter.

Serves 3
1 apple, pink lady or honeycrisp recommended, thinly sliced
3 T pecans, chopped
a few shavings of manchego cheese (or another hard, flavorful cheese)
2 T dried cherries
Spring Mix

5 T olive oil
3 T lingonberry vinegar
dash oregano
2 t sugar
dash salt

1. Add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake, shake, shake
2. Divide all ingredients between 3 bowls

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

I got a pressure cooker (7-1 instant pot) for Christmas. It is amazing!  Basically, it does what a slow cooker thing but in no time at all!  Tonight I made pot roast for my parents and husband. That's right, Tonight. I did not prep in the morning, in fact I didn't even buy any ingredients until 2pm!  My dad raved about the dish. The meat was pretty great actually - maybe the cut was a bit fatty. But the potatoes and carrots were slightly overcooked, so I will give you an adjusted time so you can do it better!

Unfortunately, pot roast + carrots and potatoes is not the healthiest of meals. This recipe makes enough food for 6 normal portions, 600 calories each--but we managed to eat the whole thing with 4 people...

One 3-lb Beef Chuck Roast
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
1 picnic bottle size red wine
1 can beef broth
3 sprigs rosemary
1 onion
4-5 red potatoes
6 carrots, peeled (this is important because if you don't do it the skin will hang off and look kind of gross when you are done)

1. Rub salt, onion powder and garlic powder all over the beef chuck roast
2. Cut onion into chunks
3. Place the beef and onion in the inner pot and pour in the wine and broth. Add a little salt (if you don't everyone will be salting at the end, whoops!) and rosemary sprigs
4. Press the Meat/Stew button and add 5 minutes, the cooker will start after it warms up
5. When the meat is done, use the Quick Release method to release steam
6. Peel the carrots and add them whole or in large chunks. Roughly chop the potatoes and add them
7. Press the Manual button and cook 6 minutes
8. Use the Quick Release method to release steam (or if you want leave it on warm until you are ready to eat
9. Serve the meat, potatoes, onion and carrot on a platter immediately

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian beef dish with peppers, onions and french fries!  I like the one they used to serve at a Peruvian restaurant in Burbank (although I like Pollo Saltado a bit better overall) but this version was pretty good too! Sure to be a family favorite, omit the jalepeno if you aren't into spicy.

And even better, all cards were stacked against my husband going for this dish. We even had soup reserved in case. But it was actually a hit! He said it was good!!  This is 300 calories only as long as you don't have too many french fries. But then again, if you do have more - the main thing was only 300 calories...

Recipe by Skinnytaste along with the Potato Board

Putting it here cause I really want to make it again and don't want them to delete the recipe like sometimes happens!


For the Baked Fries: canola cooking spray
1 medium (5.3 oz) potato, russet or yellow, washed and dried
1/4 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt

 For the Beef:
 1/2 lb lean sirloin, cut into small, thin strips (I got the stir fry sirloin pre-cut)
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
black pepper, to taste
garlic salt/garlic powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into thick strips
2 mini yellow bell peppers or 1 large
1 large jalapeno, ribbed and seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, sliced into wedges
1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut the potato lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick slices; cut each slice into 1/3-inch fries. Place on the baking sheet and toss with another spray of oil to evenly coat. Season with garlic powder, and salt.

 Place on a single layer onto the greased baking sheet. Bake uncovered on the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes or until tender crisp and golden. Meanwhile, season meat with salt, pepper and cumin.

Heat a large wok over high heat. When hot add the oil and the steak, cook about 2 minutes, until browned on both sides. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add the tomato, soy sauce and vinegar and cook 1 more minute.

 *If your fries aren't done yet, turn the heat to low and wait and then heat one more minute on high when ready.

 Season with more salt as needed, remove from heat and finish with cilantro. Serve immediately with french fries and divide evenly between 2 plates.

 Calories: 308.5 Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 522mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 4g Protein: 28g