Monday, November 29, 2010

Maybe Not So Daring...

Happy end to Holiday break Monday!!  Man, with Jack being off school since November 19th, it feels like it's been a really long Holiday Break!  Along with that holiday bird, came a nice case of a stomach virus for Jack. Not only Jack but a minimum of 4 people in attendance were sick by Saturday! Ahh, and so it goes...*g*

We did manage to get the tree up and decorated yesterday and we all had a wonderful time doing that!

I promised a peek at the new rug, which I called "daring" in my last post.  However, after living with it for a week or so, I've decided that probably no one else would consider it daring and that I have just become boring and non adventurous!

I really like how it looks, but best of all, it's not going to show those doggy foot prints
when he runs past me as I let him in from outside!

Here's another view. This is exciting eh? ;)
Sitting on the sofa is my awesome burlap pillow that I got from Ambers Black Rooster Cottage .  I love it!
I'm thinking she is in the process of re stocking her wares,
so their may not be anything available on line at the moment, but check often as she always has such special things! (Amber, I'm longing for that pendant to be offered! ;)

And for good measure, a bonus shot of the tree! The mantel nor the rest of the house is decorated yet, but Jack just had to get those stockings up!

Hope everyone enjoyed their family time, stayed well and are getting in the Christmas spirit!  I just LOVE this time of year and felt all sorts of excitement as I drove Jack to school this morning and made stops at the post office. It always feels like love is in the air this time of year!

Happy Monday!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Winters Winds Are Blowing In...Sort Of

Happy Monday before Thanksgiving Everyone!

Jack is already on holiday break!  It's so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here, with the Christmas season just beyond.  Where the heck did this year go? Anyway, today we were blessed with temps in the 70's but with the promise of thunderstorms dropping the temperatures to more seasonal levels overnight.  I thought what better time than now to get out and get the roses trimmed back so they won't be whipping in the wind as winter creeps in.  Of course I forgot to take the camera out while Jack and I were working, but I did run back out and take some photos so you guys could see what a difference Autumn makes around here.

btw...I already DID the leaves, several times actually. What's left is just gonna have to be left! :)

And of course the reason for being out there....

These are on their last leg, but I couldn't resist saving them to bring inside anyway. They smell heavenly!

Once we were back inside I had promised Jack that he could give his Chia Kung Fu Panda another go round.   This silly thing was a gift from one of his brothers last year.  After it died back, we set him and the extra seeds aside to re do it at a later time. So that was today!

Jack loves this thing!

Hope everyone is having fun getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner and precious time with family and friends!   We celebrate Thanksgiving at my sisters house, so I won't be having any Turkey recipes or photos to share on that matter, BUT...I did get a daring new area rug over the weekend and will be posting that this later this week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baked Lemon Tilapia with Sauteed Swiss Chard


Where have I been you ask?  Heavens if I know, and I'm just going to call it a mental vacation!  Actually I'm having a harder time getting back in the groove of being a "Mom" than I ever expected with Jack starting school.   It sounds silly I know after having already raised four, but boy am I ever out of practice with the whole school routine!  Not to mention the Stock Market part of my life keeping me on my toes this past month.

Now that Halloween has passed and we are officially entering the holiday season, I thought it was time I got back in the groove of things and climb back on this horse of mine.  Never easy for this sidetracked girl!

Jim and I were recently discussing my delima's with dinner planning and came to the conclusion that it's ok for me to repeat a meal.   I know most people have certain meals that they repeat over a couple of weeks, but I've never been one of them.  For instance, we love spaghetti, but I would never dream of making it more than once a month. Same goes for many of our favorites, and I need to get past that  if I am to stop making things so much harder on myself than they have to be. So, I am in the process of gathering up my favorite recipes and trying to create a repeatable menu. I might or might not share it with you when I finalize it, it all depends on whether it looks decent or embarrassing when I'm done!

I'm not terribly fond of fish, but am aware that it would be a good thing for it to be more prominent in our diet, so I went searching for fish recipes recently and came across this one from the Food Network.  It's a recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson that actually calls for Sole.  I had Tilapia though, and will more than likely never have Sole readily available, so I switched it up.  I'll tell you up front, the recipe was delicious and Jim and Jack both loved it, but as much as I love lemon, it was a bit much for me.   When next I make this, I will add half of the lemon juice while making the sauce, and taste and add as need be.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  I'll post some images and then have the recipe follow.

Gather your Ingredients

Prepare you bread crumb topping then season the Tilapia and lay in a buttered baking dish.  Set aside while you make the sauce

In a small saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add the lemon juice and capers.

Pour butter mixture over fish, and sprinkle tops with bread crumb mixture. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.
I also sprinkled just a very small amount on Panko bread crumbs over the top, just to ensure a crispy topping.

While your fish is baking, you want to prepare the Swiss Chard.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat and saute the minced garlic.

Add the Swiss chard and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot with the Tilapia.

Out of the oven!

Dang, I'm posting this at 11:30 am, having had no breakfast as of yet! This looks so yummy!

Picture is a bit blurry, but I wanted you to see how crunchy it was before I spooned the extra sauce from the baking dish over it.

So there you go!  Fast and easy and VERY flavorful!


Baked Lemon Tilapia with Sauteed Swiss Chard

For bread crumb mixture:

* 4 slices fresh white bread, crusts discarded and bread quartered
* 1 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1/4 cup walnut halves
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 2 tablespoons olive oil

For Tilapia:

* 4 Tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for casserole
* 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 tablespoons capers 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves removed and chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor combine bread, lemon zest, walnuts and cheese. Pulse until almost uniform in texture. Continue pulsing while drizzling in the olive oil. Set aside.

Season fish with salt and pepper. Place 4 fillets in a single layer on a buttered 9 by 12-inch casserole. In a small saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add the lemon juice and capers. Pour butter mixture over fish, and sprinkle tops with bread crumb mixture. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Infuse the oil with minced garlic, then add the Swiss chard and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot with the Tilapia.

Notes: Rinse the capers. It didn't say to, I didn't and should have. Taste as you add the lemon so as not to go too strong. I think different lemons have differing strengths of tartness. Obviously any vegetable would be wonderful with this. I actually didn't have enough swiss chard and threw some spinach into the pan to fill in.   Also, if your topping doesn't look crunch as you're approaching the end of cooking time, go ahead and turn the broiler on for the last 5 minutes or so, just watch it carefully.