27 August 2009

Tuna Pan Bagnat

Micah and I love road trips and surprisingly we do really well in the car. We've even made it 19 hours in one day! When we do go on vacation we're C-H-E-A-P! We bring a huge cooler with food that we can make throughout the trip and always bring a grill. For the actual road tripping part we love this sandwich. I make it before we leave and wrap it in some parchment or wax paper and they're so great after sitting a couple days. The olive oil begins to seep into the bread and the flavors just meld so much better.

Now you'll have to decide what kind of bread you want to use. My dad raised me on breads with hard crusts. He always said that it wasn't good bread unless it cut the roof of your mouth and I totally agree. Micah on the other hand, does not. It's up to you but Rachel suggests a crusty bread. I'm sure you could make this with some good quality canned tuna but I always make it with the tuna steak.

I don't have any pictures of this but I made it when I went camping last month. They worked out just as good as always and I had leftovers to take to work, too. I made a potato salad to go with it - blog entry to follow!

Happy (late) Fourth of July!

I wanted to find an amazing dessert to make for the fourth and I saw this one on 17 and Baking. I had no idea if I'd be able to pull it off but it turned out being much easier than I imagined. If I make it again I need to try to use 8in pans because the layers ended up being too thin. Also, I didn't cut them very evenly so it made for somewhat of an odd shaped flag. Haha. I will admit that I cheated and used boxed cake. I did doctor it up a bit and made it a lime cake. Instead of using just water I used half the amount in lime juice and also threw in some lime zest. For the frosting I used homemade cream cheese frosting and I subbed in lime juice and zest in that as well. I was worried that it would be overwhelming but it was so great. The link is above that gives detailed instructions on how to assemble the cake. Enjoy!

******Please notice the beautiful flowers my husband sent me (and ignore the beer bottles)******

18 August 2009

Shrimp Scampi on Couscous

I made this as the main dish when I had Liz over last month. I'm not going to lie that I like to impress people with cooking. I needed to have a theme, though. She had us over a couple weeks before and had gone Mexican so I had to find another avenue. I chose Italian. Of course, I took out my Giada cookbook and looked through it. This recipe seemed light enough for summer but still had my tastebuds watering. I have to admit that it wasn't the easiest thing to make quickly or without making a mess. However, if I had worked my time frame out better, you can actually make the messy part the day before. I suggest doing that if you're making this for guests. Enjoy this, sorry the picture isn't amazing. It needs something green in it!

Scampi on Couscous (from Everyday Italian cookbook)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbl EVOO
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (8 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes in their juice
1 ( 8 ounce) bottle clam juice (I used chicken broth)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
about 1 1/4 cups water
2 cups plain couscous
2# large shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbl chopped fres parsley
1 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes

Heat 1/4 cup oil over medium high flame. When almost smoking, add onion, carrow and half of the garlic and saute until the onion is soft (5 minutes). Add the tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, wine, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Bring to a boi and simmer uncovered until the liquid reduces and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth, adding water a couple of Tbl at a time to form a broth consistency. (This is the part that can be made a day ahead. Bring the broth back up to a simmer before continuing.)

In saucepan, combine 2 cups of tom broth, 1 cup of water and 1 Tbl oil. Bring the mixture to a boil, then stir in the couscous. Remove from the heat. cover and sed aside until absorbed. Season with S&P. Keep the remaining tomato broth warm

In a large skilled, heat the remaining 1/4 of oil over a medium flame. Add the remaining garlic and sute until fragrant, about 20 secs. Add the shrimp and saute until the shrimp just begins to turn pink, about 5 mins. remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parley, red pepper flakes and the remaining salt.

Spoon the couscous into the center of serving plates and top with the shrimp. Spoon some of the remaining tomato broth around the couscous and serve.

Triple Chocolate Rum Cake

All I can say about this is....yum!!! Someone at work brought this in for her birthday and I had to ask for the recipe. I had a friend over the other month and I made this for dessert. Frankly, I think we ate more of this than the actual dinner - 2 pieces each! Plus, I was finally able to use the bundt pan that my sister got me at my bridal shower. Please make this, it's amazingly yummy and super easy. I made it the night before and just kept it in the fridge. I brought it up to room temp and dusted with a little powdered sugar before serving.

Triple Chocolate Rum Cake (from recipezaar.com)
1 (18 ounce) box chocolate cake mix
1 (2 7/8 ounce) box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup rum
4 eggs
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

whipped cream
1Preheat oven to 350°F Spray and flour a bundt pan. (As always, I highly recommend Kittencal's recipe #78579 ).
2Mix all cake ingredients *except chocolate chips* in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips and gently swirl them into the batter.
4Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick.
5Pull cake from oven and set it aside on a wire rack.
6Immediately make the glaze by bringing butter, rum, and sugar, to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
7Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the bottom of the hot cake. Slowly pour glaze over the bottom of the cake and let soak in and cool completely.
8Invert cake from pan, dust with powdered sugar and serve with raspberries and whipped cream.

Sorry, I have no pictures. I find it weird taking pictures before eating when you have guests over.