January 30, 2011

for the love of mahi mahi

this past week the girls were asking for mahi mahi
Monday or Tuesday of last week
{obviously I cannot remember which night}
we had mahi mahi burgers
courtesy of Trader Joe's
they are delish
if I do say so myself

but every night there after they wanted mahi mahi fillets
so Friday we headed to Trader Joe's
to get those fillets
 they are such a good price at tj's
and taste wonderful
{fyi...they are in the frozen section}

usually I just cook the mahi mahi fillets
very simple because I love their flavor naturally
I typically just rub them in olive oil
and season with lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper
and saute or grill them

but I came across a great recipe in one of my old
Food and Wine magazines
the July 2010 issue

and I said
"that's it"
we are trying something new tonight {Saturday}
and I was so excited that most of the ingredients I had in my pantry
which is not usual
I really wish I could get better at stocking my pantry
but it seems impossible right now

so here we go
the name of the recipe is

Grilled Fish with Artichoke Caponata
recipe by Michael White
from the July 2010 Food and Wine issue

here's the final dish...
but I'll show you step-by-step
with the recipe at the bottom
{lighting in my kitchen is not the greatest so excuse the pictures}

first here's the ingredients:

 make sure you have a deep skillet
{it's just easier}

I'm a big fan of my Rachael Ray pan that my parents got me a couple of Christmas' ago
absolutely *love* it

first four ingredients to use...olive oil, onion, celery, and garlic

start with the olive oil

and heat the olive oil until shimmering in your skillet

add the diced celery and onion
I *always* use a white onion
just my preference

then garlic, thinly sliced

give it a stir and cook on medium heat until softened
about 4 minutes

about like this

add the seasoned tomato sauce
I just bought a basic sauce and seasoned to taste according to our preference
which for my family...is garlic powder {never garlic salt}, basil, parsley, and oregano, and a few other things I cannot remember right now

add a dry white wine
I laughed because I was saving the already opened bottle that had about a 1/2 cup left in it
to make this recipe
poured it in a glass without thinking
and took a sip...since I forgot I was going to be cooking with it
so I guess I had a little less than called for

{obviously I like to cook while enjoying a glass of wine at the same time
so my typical red was poured shortly after}

but it still turned out just fine

and here's the wine...pour in the skillet

next pour in the white wine vinegar

artichoke hearts

pitted green olives

pine nuts
which i completely forgot about
but would have been yummy
if i'd remembered

next I added organic cane sugar

drained, small capers

then add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
*i always do a lot of pepper*

simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced
about 8 or so minutes

lastly...add the shredded basil

i roll my basil leaves and slice that way
it's so much easier
and they stay nicer...
I'm sure you all know that
but took me a couple of years to figure that out

when basil is added, stir
 and let cool while you prepare the mahi mahi fillets

for the mahi mahi fillets
it actually calls for six 7-ounce fillets
I just bought one package for us four which usually has 4 fillets
but the package I picked up happened to have two extra large fillets
so I knew I would have extra sauce
but we are an extra sauce kind of family

on to cooking the fillets...

here's our mahi mahi fillets
that we rubbed with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper

the recipe calls for grilling the mahi mahi
but being that it's super cold and we don't have an indoor grill

I just sauteed them by coating the pan with water
and a little more extra virgin olive oil so they wouldn't stick
you only cook them a couple of minutes on each side
it doesn't take long

and here you go...

next it's time to plate the mahi mahi

just put the amount of artichoke caponata on top as preferred

I did extra
since I loved the sauce and vegetables so much

for sides
I steamed some broccoli while the girls and Bobby made mozzarella cheesy~bread

for the broccoli
i seasoned with my homemade herb vinegar I did a couple months back
it is so yummy and made from freshly grown herbs out of my mom's yard
recipe found from this blog here

I added the herb vinegar while the broccoli was boiling as well as a tiny bit on top after
then I sprinkled the broccoli with trader joe's parmesan cheese

and voila!

1/4 cup EVOO, plus more for rubbing
4 tender celery ribs, diced {1 cup}
1 onion, finely chopped {I always use white onions}
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 pound marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons of sugar {organic cane sugar is the best}
2 tablespoons small capers, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons shredded basil
Six 7-ounce skinless mahi mahi fillets

1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the celery, onion, garlic and cook over moderate heat until just softened, 4 minutes. 
Add the tomato sauce, wine, vinegar, artichokes, olives, pine nuts, sugar, and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced, approximately 8 minutes. Stir in the basil, and then let cool.

2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Rub the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once until cooked through, about 9 minutes. Transfer the fish to plates, top with caponata and serve.

January 27, 2011

turn it around...

tuesday, morning was quite the experience
it was nothing in particular or seriously wrong
just an "after another" kind of morning

it was a morning of waking up to a cold winter
and me trying to press through it

although someone today mentioned a countdown of winter
and I said
that's it!
I need to do one of those
have a winter countdown

Normally every day I wake up telling myself
"it is a new day of winter"
I can do it....
and let's be honest here

that doesn't always work with my subconscious
but I always try telling it that
because I'm hoping one day acceptance will happen

my subconscious is "in training" with "winter acceptance"

usually mid-January to mid/late February is my very difficult and struggling time

but Tuesday morning
my mind was not wanting to play along with my declaration of
"it's a new winter day"

it was a day of a bunch of little things adding up...
waking up late
the girls breaking a lamp before we even left the house
a new carpet stain
my oldest acting like she's running the house
and ordering me around
missing my other half ... like normal
my youngest very "potty trained" child deciding it's okay to tinkle in her cloth chair
because "she didn't want to get up" she said

I took a deep breath after Madison was dropped off at school
packed up Hayley
relieved some stress while running
and life was all good
once again

 I had a few errands to run later that day
so after lunch Hayley and I headed out
 for some quality time

first stop was dropping something off at a client's home
I always have the most enjoyable and beautiful drive
every.single.time I drive to her home

it's seriously pretty...and just relaxing
it makes me smile

I saw so much that made me appreciate winter

you can appreciate it when you are driving in a warm car, you know
it doesn't seem so cold
whatever mind tricks work, right?

it made me realize that although winter is not my best time of year
there is still beauty in it

I remembered I had my camera in my purse from my conference last week
so I grabbed it and we made a stop
at this little quaint church on the way back

I loved it

she was of course game because "snow eating"
is always the first thing she does when there's inches of it 
I only had to bribe her once with gum for a couple more photos
{and once is beyond good in my book}
because she's obsessed with gum
since she's a big girl now
who can chew gum

she seems to dig in my purse "at her convenience" for her favorite gum
which just so happens to be my favorite gum...
plain ole' dark blue Trident

what I love...
is the surprise of an empty pack of gum that I
 just purchased
and inside is a few open wrappers tucked...wadded
 back in the pack
it actually does make me laugh

 it was what was needed by both of us

sometimes you just got to make your happy happen you know
you can't wait for it to come along

if only I remembered that from the beginning of every "not so great mornings"

you know my theory by now, right?

I eventually and sometimes get that figured out in time

we both had some smiles and laughter
finding our happy in what was eventually a great day
then it was off to pick up this little one
and hearing about her great day

January 23, 2011

I really heart...

i heart...

living with choices

and with love

I heart...

my warm cup of coffee

and running

I heart...

going to the beach

and relaxing while watching the girls play in the sand

I heart...

a glass or two of wine in the company of my husband

I heart...

all of my family

and all my wonderful friendships

I heart...

Cadence, our dog

hydrangea flowers

especially blue ones

and Madison and Hayley

I heart...

blue m & m's

fresh fruit, and lots of vegetables

I heart...

all sizes of white pitchers


white ironstone


and seashells

I heart...

the colors white and all sorts of blue

white vintage frames

and vintage metal letters & numbers

I heart...

spring and summer

the pool

and traveling

I heart...

Valentine's Day with Bobby and the girls
and celebrating a day of loving others

I heart...

this past week

full of passion and purpose

with friends that truly care about one another's successes
but also ones that like to have fun, fun, and more fun

{this is all of us going to our traditional place for Mexican along the Vegas strip}

I heart...

being thankful for what I do

and sharing it with others

I heart...

being filled this week with so much love

that in turn, I am sharing with others to help fill them

I heart...

small business owners

who own their own business and love to help others

I heart...
all of you who entered, commented, or shared this give-a-way by Simply Worn
what a treasure each of you are

I also heart Simply Worn for sponsoring a give-a-way this past week
and sharing her business
thank you again so much Katie!

so without further ado...

the winner of her beautiful white hair pins is

{I have no idea how to post the results
from random.org so just trust me}

winner is Lissa ...#16
visit Lissa at Humble Pie

who said 
 "these hair clips are so darling! And I just love the business motto of bring new life to old items!"

contact Katie with your information so she can mail you the flower clips

"love is not what you get but what you give"

Dr. Bertice Berry