Be Back In A Little While




Well, I'm all packed and ready to go.



Heading on a jet plane to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a "sisterly" visit.

See you all soon,

Zucchini Lasagna

This recipe is a non-guilty, low-fat, low-carb pleasure.  I wasn't really sure about it when I  started out.  I've never made lasagna before without the noodles.  But, THANK YOU blog-land for all the ideas and inspirations.  My husband is a die-hard meat lover, and I can take it or leave it.  I'm definitely not a vegetarian though--love it all, except red meat.  I told my husband that I was going to experiment with a vegetable-turkey lasagna, sans noodles and he gave me a very perplexing look.  He loves my spinach lasagna, but NO noodles??   I told him that it would be ok, "It's on our diet".  I got another frown.  I said, "Trust me".  He said, "OK, but I'm really hungry-- you have me on a diet, remember".  The end result was great, even hubby thinks so.  We both had two servings.  We had to put it away--Thank you DIET.

Zucchini Lasagna


1 small onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound 97% lean ground turkey meat
3 small tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced and seeds removed
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 zucchini, sliced thin
1/4 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons low-fat parmesan cheese

In a large non-stick pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender.  Add turkey meat and cook until browned.  Add tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, oregano, garlic powder, fennel seed, and celery seed.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes until all mixed well and tomatoes and jalapenos are softened.  Add milk and cook for 10 more minutes.  Meanwhile heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8x8 inch pan with olive oil spray and spread 1/2 of ricotta cheese on bottom of pan.  Place zucchini slices on top of cheeses.  Spread meat mixture on top.  Then top with mozzarella cheese.  Continue to layer ending with cheese.  Add parmesan cheese to the top.  Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly and browned.




Enjoy,


I'm linked up with

Mangia Monday
Tasty Tuesday

Bathroom Chair Re-Do

The chair in my bathroom was in dire need of a pick-me up.  Dated fabric, dark wood...  just kind of sad.  So I got out my handy-dandy paintbrush and went to town.


The finished product turned out even better than I expected.  My plan is to add this creamy white color to many of the spaces in my bedroom/bathroom.  I will have chocolate and "goldish" accents.  I absolutely love the greek key fabric that I found at a local fabric store.


I started by removing the seat and sanding the entire chair with a fine grit sand paper.  I painted the chair Benjamin Moore's Milkyway  (2 coats).  Next, we (my husband) stapled the new fabric to the seat base and attached it.  Tada!!! --new chair.



Fish Tacos with Sour Cream Sauce & Chocolate Sheet Cake

Wow, it has been a day.  I started out by wanting to post my 5th fish recipe for the week.  But, I had an "accident" with my camera.  Completely the camera's fault, not it's user, btw, and I accidentally erased my photos of the fish tacos after they were ALL eaten.  Trust me they are great.  I promise that I will post photos the next time I make them (probably in a week or so).  So, I am going to give you a bonus---Chocolate Sheet Cake!!  WARNING!!!! It is NOT diet friendly!!!!

But, oh well, it's Friday and if you can't eat cake on Friday, when can you??

But first, the fish tacos--

Living in Northwest Louisiana, you gotta love Tex-Mex.  I really think that it is probably my favorite kind of food, especially when you combine it with seafood or fish.  The inspiration for this recipe is from  a restaurant an institution in Shreveport --- Superior Grill.  They serve great fish tacos (an everything else too, especially the margaritas), steaks, and killer fajitas.  I usually get the fish or shrimp tacos almost every time we go there (which is a lot).  Well, here is my version.  I think that this fish recipe is my all-time favorite.  I especially love the sour cream sauce and slaw for the crunch.  I just wish that I could make the salsa and chips to go with it.

Fish Tacos with Sour Cream Slaw

2 Tilapia filets
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
salt and pepper
1 package shredded cabbage
1 cup low-fat sour cream
juice from 1 lime
corn or flour tortillas
1 jalapeno, sliced for garnish
1 avocado, sliced for garnish
1 tomato, diced for garnish

Heat grill to 350 degrees.  Place tilapia and garlic on non-stick foil and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle fish and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and salt and pepper.  Rub to coat.  Cook fish until flaky.  Meanwhile to make slaw, combine shredded cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, sour cream, and lime juice.

Place tortillas on grill for 5-10 seconds until warm.  Serve tilapia and slaw on tortilla and garnish with sliced jalapenos, avocados, and tomatoes.


Friday Bonus--Chocolate Sheet Cake


This has to be my family's all-time favorite cake.  I make it and it last approximately 30 minutes.  This recipe came from my late-grandmother, Nanny Vera.  She was an excellent cook.  I think that hers was a little better, even though I have her recipe and notes.  My sister swears that there is a missing ingredient in the recipe.  She says that she can't make it taste the same even with my grandmother's pan!  Either way, it is delicious.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup Crisco
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Mix well.  In a medium saucepan combine butter, water, Crisco, and cocoa.  Bring to a boil.  Pour over flour mixture.  In another bowl beat eggs, soda, buttermilk, and vanilla together.   Mix well and add to first mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees in an oiled sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake shrinks from the sides of the pan.

For the icing:
1 stick of butter
6 tablespoons whole milk
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In a medium saucepan combine butter, milk, and cocoa.  Let ingredients melt, but not boil.  Turn off heat and add remaining ingredients.  Stir well.

Poke holes in the top of the cake and pour icing over while cake and icing are both hot.

Let cake sit for 30 minutes for icing to harden.


( I have tried this recipe with numerous substitutions for the Crisco--it just doesn't taste the same.  Please let me know if you find a substitution that doesn't interfere with the taste.)




Hope you enjoy both recipes,


I'm linked up with
Foodie Friday
Savory Sunday

Grilled Redfish

My husband goes fishing every once in a while at  "Big Lake" close to Lake Charles, LA  and always comes home with an ice chest full of fish.  My favorite are the speckled trout and redfish.  This recipe is for grilled redfish.  Redfish has a little bit stronger taste than trout or grouper.  I really like it with strong spices or blackened.


Grilled Redfish


4-6 redfish filets or red drum filets
Creole blackening seasoning
olive oil spray
lemon

Heat the grill to 400 degrees.  Spray the fish with a small amount of olive oil spray and season the fish with a generous amount of the blackening seasoning (this will be very spicy, so season with caution).  Place the fish on a large sheet of non-stick foil on the grill.  Grill the fish for 8-10 minutes or until flaky.  Remove from the grill and place on a large plate.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish immediately.


This grilled redfish is great with light, creamy sides such as risotto or pasta salad.

Enjoy,

Baked Tilapia with Spinach and Tomatoes

This year our tomato harvest has been huge.  I mean really huge, like a colander full of tomatoes a day huge.  I give away a bag or two a week.  Also, I am adding them to everything that I make.   In this recipe,  I used whole "Better Boy" tomatoes, but you could use cherry or even Roma tomatoes.  Just make sure that they are sweet.  The sweetness really compliments the fish and spinach.  Also, this recipe is waist friendly.   Perfect for dieting.  My husband and I are on Day 17 of our diet and get to add natural starches starting tomorrow.  Can't wait for brown rice (thought I'd never say that in a million years).

Baked Tilapia with Spinach and Tomatoes


3-4 tilapia filets
10 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
2 small tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and add the spinach.  Sprinkle the spinach with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Add the chicken broth.  Sprinkle the tilapia with salt, pepper, and creole seasoning.  Arrange the filets over the spinach and sprinkle with the tomatoes and green onions.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.




Enjoy,

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Summer Vegetables

This fish dish is one that I have made for years.  You can use whatever type of fish you like.  I really like mild, white fish, so I chose Mahi Mahi.  I have made this recipe with Grouper, Catfish, and Tilapia in the past and all taste wonderful.  Non-stick foil is the life-saver here.  It is a completely amazing product.  You can grill virtually anything with little or no oil.  I made this recipe for just two, because we are soon becoming empty-nesters and I am trying to make smaller amounts.  Also, I made A LOT of vegetables, because the diet that we are on encourages eating a lot of vegetables.  You can alter this to suit you and your family.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Summer Vegetables


2 Mahi Mahi Steaks
2 tablespoons creole seasoning (I used Zatarain's), divided
2 summer squash, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
2 cups green beans, cut in half
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat grill to 350 degrees.  Place the fish on a large piece of non-stick foil.  Season liberally with creole seasoning.  Cover fish with another piece of non-stick foil to form a packet.  On another piece of foil, place squash, zucchini, and green beans.  Season with creole seasoning and garlic powder.  Toss with the olive oil.  Cover with an additional piece of non-stick foil and form a packet.  Grill vegetables, stirring gently every 3-4 minutes until tender.  Add fish when vegetables start to wilt.  Cook fish until flaky and opaque, about 10 minutes total.



Enjoy,


I'm linked up with

Tasty Tuesday
Delectable Tuesday
This Week's Cravings
Savory Sunday
Mangia Mondays

Chili -Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon

One of our favorite meals to eat is fish.   
It's quick to cook and healthy.

This is a great dish for all of you dieters out there.
There is no butter in this dish, just a few tablespoons of olive oil.
It's spicy and full of flavor.


Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon
(adapted from EatingWell.com)

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound tilapia filets, or 3-4 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Place trimmed and cut asparagus in a steamer bowl and steam for 4-5 minutes, or until tender, but still crisp.  Remove and transfer to a large plate.  On a large plate, combine chili powder, garlic powder, and salt.  Cover each filet with chili powder mixture.  Heat oil in non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add the fish and cook until opaque in the center.  You will have to flip the fish after 3 to 4 minutes, cooking 7 to 8 minutes total.  Remove fish and place on individual plates.

Add lemon juice and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes.  Serve with the fish.



Enjoy,


I'm linked up with
Savory Sunday
Mangia Monday
This Week's Cravings
Tasty Tuesday
Delectable Tuesday

Watermelon Margaritas


This time of year in Louisiana
the watermelons are starting to appear at the local farmer's market, grocery stores, and even on the side of the road in the back of  pick-up trucks.  
It is definitely one of my favorite melons and I get so excited every year when I see the dark green melons.  
I decided that it would be delicious and refreshing to use my favorite melon to make my favorite cocktail---
Watermelon Margarita!!



Watermelon Margarita


1 cup watermelon puree
1 cup tequila
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 cup Midori Melon Liqueur
1/2 cup simple syrup
3 tablespoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons coarse sugar

Place 4 cups of watermelon in a blender and puree.  Remove and place in the freezer.  Allow the puree to chill until slushy, about 2 hours.  Place 1 cup of the puree in the blender.  Add tequila, lime juice, Grand Marnier, Midori, and simple syrup.  Pulse until blended.   On a shallow plate, mix sugar and salt.  Rub a lime wedge on the edge of each glass and rim with salt and sugar mixture.  Pour watermelon mixture in each glass.

Makes 2 Margaritas

Enjoy,



I'm linked up with

Pink and Green Thursdays

Rotisserie Chicken and Willow Point Slaw

I don't know about you, but I love to buy rotisserie chickens from the grocery store for an easy dinner or to add to soups, chicken salads, or casseroles.  If your grill has the attachment, though, you should definitely attempt a rotisserie chicken.  It is delicious and so easy.  The grill does all the work for you.



For the chickens:

2 large chickens
olive oil
cajun seasoning
twine

Place both chickens on the rotisserie attachment and tie legs and wings with twine.  Coat chickens lightly with olive oil and season liberally with cajun seasoning (I used Tony's).  Cook over medium heat until chicken is at least 165 degrees using a meat thermometer or until juices run clear (about 3 hours).

One of the best sides, that I have found to serve along side the rotisserie chicken is Willow Point Slaw.  My sister gave me this recipe many years ago.  It is light and has just the right amount of sweet and salty flavors.




Willow Point Slaw


For the salad:
2 packages shredded cabbage
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 package Ramen Noodles (chicken)

For the dressing:
Spice package from Ramen Noodles
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Heinz Gourmet Salad Vinegar

In a large bowl, mix cabbage, green onions, sunflower seeds, and almonds.  Break Ramen Noodles and mix into cabbage mixture.  In another bowl, mix all ingredients for dressing.  Add dressing to cabbage mixture just before serving.


Enjoy,


I'm linked with
This Weeks Cravings
This Chick Cooks

Master Suite Ideas

I am planning on redecorating my master bedroom and bathroom in the near future.  The bedroom probably sooner than the bathroom though.  However, I do want to start planning both to start preparing for the cost/labor/headache!!

Here is what it looks like now.




 I LOVE my bed, but am wanting to change out some of the other heavy furniture.  I primarily want to change the wall color and curtains.  Everything is really dark.  I did like these colors 10 years ago, but am feeling the need for cream, white, and antiqued gold.  I recently bought new linens from Restoration Hardware in Garnet.  I would love to have cream or white, but 3 dogs beg to differ.  I think that the red, cream, and gray will be beautiful if I can find the right color for the walls.



I also found this fabric, and feel that it must be in my room somewhere.  


and some type of mirror or large piece of art in place of the dresser--something like these



Cote de Texas

The walls are currently painted a dark sage green (circa 10 years ago) and make the room feel really dark.  Good for sleeping, not good for seeing.    I'm thinking a color like one of these ( my favorites so far are Glass of Milk and Velum).
Pearl Ware

Mercury Glass

Velum

Magnolia White


Butter White


Muslin

Glass of Milk

We are also planning on replacing the carpet later this year with hardwood floors throughout the entire house (except bathrooms and kitchen).  I'm thinking dark, wide planked, and hand scraped like





I really want the bedroom to be calm and restful.  A few ideas--

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle

Decor Pad
The Trendy Home


Sarah Richardson


Decor Pad

Suite Suite

Unidentified Lifestyle


So I'm just starting to gather ideas, but any suggestions or ideas would be great.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.


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