Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seared Tuna with Arugula and Fettucini

I really love Bon Appetit, and have bought both of their large cookbook collections, The Bon Appetit Cookbook and Bon Appetit: Fast Easy Fresh. The Cookbook is more of an anthology of all their best recipes. FEF is a collection of their "Fast, Easy, Fresh" column that appears in every issue of their magazine.

I chose this recipe for Seared Tuna over Fettucini with Green Olives and Arugula because I wanted something really fresh and a bit strong tasting. That sounds weird, but after eating out a lot, I crave food that really tastes like what it is - simply and cleanly. This dish is just that.

I chose to use whole wheat pasta because I truly do love the flavor - rich and a little earthy. The tuna is simply seared with a little lemon zest, salt and pepper. All you have to do is boil the pasta, stir in the bruschetta spread and a little lemon juice and cooking water to smooth out the sauce.

My only tweak with the recipe was to not add additional oil. I cooked the tuna misted with an olive oil spray and a dry cast iron skillet. I made my own bruschetta spread since I couldn't find it in the store. I'm glad I did, because I will be mixing it up all the time. I just used a mix of pitted green olives, sundried tomatoes, capers, lemon juice and oil. The sundried tomatoes came in oil, and I felt that was enough for both the oil in the tapenade, and for the pasta.

Toss the arugula in at the end, plate the pasta and voila! It was delicious and was super satisfying.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I heart my office!

I work from home - so I really wanted my office to be a place that I didn't mind spending almost all of my time. And that's exactly what I do - often I even eat lunch at my desk just like the old days when I worked at my company's main office. But I also made it really comfortable and bright, and non-corporate, so often I find myself in here on the weekends, enjoying a DVRed show and a cup of coffee before hitting the real world.

I ended up with an office that I don't just not mind - I absolutely love it. Here it is:

This is my happy place.
My favorite things are: the green shades that I got on sale on Pottery Barn's website - and they magically fit exactly! My painting my husband gave me for the first Christmas we were dating (in the gold frame on the left) and my awesome houndstooth, caned back arm chair that my Nana found in an antique store covered in dust! I love it so much, I'll give it it's own post one day. I also love my cow rug from Ikea and the little needlepoint footstool my husband gave me for Christmas this year - it's a little bit of everything and it's a happy, creative place. And I do all my best thinking and a fair amount of neurotic stressing out in here. It's just my way.

So here's what I didn't like:

1. I'm OCD and I hate paper. I love paper in a feel-that-thick-cardstock-letterpress-makes-me-palpitate way. But I hate piles of it. I hate wasting it. So having a stack of it on my desk makes me go to a dark place.

2. I  love postcards, invitations, etc, but I don't want them in a stack on my desk. I want them displayed adorably. So I did what all super intelligent decorating geniuses with a budget do and I went to Ikea.

3. I do not love wasted space. See that big white area between the bookshelves, behind my desk? No good. There had to be a use for it. There has to or the universe will implode. (Yes, there is a lot wrong with me).

I bought the Spontan magazine rack and the Dignitet and Deka system of curtain rail and clips.

So after some drilling into sheetrock and a limited amount of swearing, here's where we ended up!

No more wasted space!

clutter and cuteness has a place to live!
All is right in the world.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Master Bathroom: Before and After

Thought you'd get a kick out of this. I'll post better pictures next week, but for now:



Saturday afternoon at Tuesday Morning

I have a love-hate when Tuesday Morning stores. They're like a dirty, dusty HomeGoods and you never know when the stuff is going to change. But today I thought I'd share a cute purchase:

I got four of these adorable Bodum Pavina with silicone grip mugs for $9.
They were originally $16 for a set of two. I'm not sure I needed glass mugs to drink coffee out of, but I like them. So there.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Home Improvement: Bathrooms

So, we love love LOVE our house. But the bathrooms are a little outdated. They have amazing tile from the 1960's, so we don't want to rip them out. Also that would cost a million billion dollars. Instead, we are updating them.

We started with the master bathroom, because you gots to look out for numero uno, ya know? I love the tile in the master bathroom. It's a really pretty, sunny key lime color. This is a picture from when the previous owner lived here with her lovely collection of bliss bath products. See how pretty the tile is? It even looks a little sad in this picture - it's really bright and pretty.

Part of me just didn't want to have to try to
find those lightbulbs when they burned out.

To see what that cabinet under the sink looks like - here's a picture from the identical one in our guest bathroom - the Mamie Eisenhower bathroom. That's a nice way of saying that the bathroom is pink.
Mamie Eisenhower says, "this cabinet would look better white."

So it's oak. Oak is not my fave. It's my un-fave. Not always, but for sure in this case. I hates it. It was too orange. The varnish was  bad and scratched. The little drawer pulls were a bit precious for me. It also had this mirror/vanity that is not my scene.

This mirror came down.
Inside were 45 half empty bottles of pink nail polish.

I just wanted to update it and make it look nice. The other thing I did not like was the old crystal ball faucet. No good. So I replaced it with this one:

Much, much better.
Price-Pfister faucet from Lowe's

 Now I feel like I'm washing my face in a pump well from a mountain spring. Like Heidi.

So I sanded. And sanded. And primed twice. And painted twice. And bought adorable matching bronze hardware. And this is what it looks like now!

I'm the prettiest sink in Sinkville!
Also, in case you care - that's a more accurate depiction of the color of the tile. It's creamy and pretty. Love it or else.

So next up, I have to sand and paint the bathroom walls again, since we had to drywall behind that old medicine cabinet, hang the new medicine cabinet, and then you'll get to see the new lighting as well! 

Yay! I love my new bathroom already. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

2 quick things

1. My kitchen torch is here!

2. I'm a huge loser.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken!

Pow! I love Kung Pao Chicken. So does my dad. It's his favorite meal that he gets at P.F.Changs. Mine didn't taste quite like it - it wasn't as hot. So I'm looking into what the sauces are that they include with their meals - I think the chile oil would give it a kick. But it was really easy, and it had that great, syrupy texture that chinese food often has, but with way less sodium and MSG. In fact, it had zero MSG because I'm not down with that.

Also, I'm obsessed with my wok. It was $12. Thanks and bye.


  1. 1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  3. 2 tablespoons sherry
  4. 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  5. 2 teaspoons sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  7. 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  8. 1/3 cup water
  9. 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  10. 1/2 cup peanuts
  11. 4 scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2-inch pieces
  12. 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes


  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, and the 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water, and the remaining 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sherry, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
  3. In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the peanuts and stir-fry until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy-sauce mixture and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the peanuts.


Variation: Cashew Chicken: Substitute the same amount of cashews for the peanuts.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

last night's dinner: red chicken curry!

Right after college I was hired at an ad agency in Boston. I worked on the new business team with this great girl who became a really close friend of mine. She and her husband were from South Africa and had lived all over the world. For awhile they lived in Singapore, and that's where she fell in love with all kinds of Eastern food. The one we both loved the most was Thai food. We used to go to this hole in the wall place in Symphony and have cheap red wine and stuff ourselves to a warm, happy coma with pad thai, satays and curry.

Before I met her, I was basically all-pad thai, all the time. I was scared of curry because it was red and it was spicy and I was scared of red, spicy things. I have very sensitive taste buds! But I got up the courage to try her curry, and it was spicy, but in the way that spices are spicy. There's definitely a bite, but it wasn't the blow your mouth up, hides the taste spicy that you get from chicken wings.

Last night I made my first attempt at a Chicken curry and it was absolutely delicious. It's from a book called "Fresh Thai," which is full of healthy, fresh thai recipes. It's really easy though.

Basically, you stir fry a little red curry paste (1-2 oz) in a wok. Throw in some thinly sliced chicken breast, and let that fry up for a minute or two. Then you add 3/4 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup chicken broth and 2 Tbsp of Fish Sauce, a Thai condiment that is a lot like soy sauce. At this point I was supposed to add palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves, but I didn't have those, so I just added a little less white sugar and a few squirts of lime juice. It did the trick. That simmers for about 5 minutes, and you ladle it over rice. It's somewhere between a soup and a stew and it's absolutely delicious.

Do you have a favorite curry recipe?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Publix Greenwise: Obsessed.

Okay, so you know how grocery stores sometimes have recipes that they give out or email you and most of the time they look kind of gross or are just sad attempts to shill a bunch of their products at the same time? I usually walk right by these things and never look twice. Well, Publix Greenwise is a different kind of grocery store. First of all it's more like a Whole Foods or a Fresh Market, with a really gorgeous, eco friendly vibe and lots of international items, a huge wine section and a ton of fresh produce. I loves it.

One of the really cool things they do is focus on cooking as well as just the grocery items. They sell Le Creuset and All Clad cookware, and they have a mini kitchen in the middle of the store, where they cook meals and hand out samples. This isn't like Costco, where the lady is sent there by the company to make you decide you can't live without a 4 gallon vat of corn salsa.

In fact, there are no brands at all. It's just delicious samples and a free recipe to take home. They even have them on their site for you to enjoy from your homes. But I suggest you go to the store, if you can. I enjoy it immensely.

Here's what I had today - and oh my my is this delicious. This will be recreated in our house, very very soon.

Blackened Steak with Horseradish Cream and Butter-Basted Potatoes.