Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking
With Easter just around the corner I am wrapping up my Friday fish meals for Lent with Sea Cuisine. I’ll admit, I will not stop eating all the awesome things I’ve been writing about just because Easter has arrived. The Sea Cuisine fish is so good and is such a wonderful way to get a healthy seafood meal on the table any night of the week! For this week’s meal I went back to our favorite Herbed Cod and served it over some fresh Parmesan Polenta topped with roasted tomatoes. It was a simple weeknight meal that was a huge hit with everyone.
When Sea Cuisine sent me their Beer Battered Cod as a part of our seven week Seafood Cook-a-Long I jumped for joy! Who doesn’t love the chance to enjoy a little fish and chips now and then?!! The good news is that making fish-n-chips at home is generally much healthier than the greasy fish in a newspaper bag you buy curbside in Scotland. To give our Friday night cod a traditional British feel, yet with a healthy twist, I decided to skip the deep fryer and make spicy baked sweet potato chips to go alongside instead.
I am a big fan of the dinner sandwich. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with serving up a hearty sandwich filled with protein and fresh vegetables any night of the week. In fact, it can be quite fun to do. In a way it feels like eating lunch for dinner which can provide a welcome break to any weekly dinner routine. Today I am sharing this great Herbed Cod BLT I made for dinner on Monday night. It is perfect for our Sea Cuisine Cook-a-Long for Lent. It is probably one of the easiest dishes I can think of to make at the end of a busy week!
This week we had yet another cold snap. While I did my best to envision warmer temperatures via tropical-inspired fish dishes, I had to face the fact that I wanted something warm and hearty. More like a comforting pasta than a light fish taco. So, I decided to make this easy risotto with Sea Cuisine Mediterranean Salmon. Most people don’t consider risotto an easy weeknight meal but I beg to disagree. With this simple technique you stir the risotto slowly – easily done with a baby on one shoulder – then top it with freshly baked salmon before serving.
This week I am continuing my seafood cook-a-long for Sea Cuisine with this easy coconut tilapia dish that is a perfect weeknight meal. I cooked this over the weekend in a fit of desperation. Will winter ever end? Will it ever be warm enough to wear shorts again?! Is it possible to look so pale that I closely resemble Wednesday Adams?? Harkening back to last year’s trip to Thailand I decided to pair Sea Cuisine’s delicious Coconut Crusted Tilapia with fragrant jasmine rice, coconut and greens. While I wouldn’t consider this Thai cuisine, it is definitely Thai-inspired.
I am frequently asked about preparing fish on weeknights. It seems a lot of people think that seafood needs such special handling that it should be reserved for cooking on weekends or nights without time constraints. I always beg to differ with this opinion, preparing seafood for a quick weeknight meal is so easy! One of the ways we enjoy seafood on any given evening is by picking up frozen fish that has already been prepped like this Tortilla Crusted Tilapia from Sea Cuisine. It is not that I am trying to skirt preparing the fish, it is just that Sea Cuisine actually takes the time to prepare the fish correctly and the flavors are delicious. Plus, it is a company I can stand behind since they fiercely committed to sustainability, a cause that is deeply important to me.
One of the favorite things my mother made for us when she came were these moist turkey meatballs. They are a little lighter than normal beef meatballs and were perfect for thawing and tossing with some fresh pasta and tomato sauce on a night when we needed a substantial, yet comforting, meal.
We are really in the final stretch now. In less than two weeks (I hope!) we will be meeting our new baby. I am so excited! At the moment I am feeling extremely heavy and slow. I remember this feeling from my pregnancy with my daughter and know that it won’t last forever. So I just take it one day at a time and keep my eye on the prize. As for cooking, well, I am all about (maybe only about) powernap recipes. At this point there is simply no other option. While I have a normal appetite, I have no interest in standing on my feet for any longer than a few minutes and am relying strictly on those little, quick meals that satisfy without being too involved.
One of my favorite meals with my daughter is breakfast. We are both morning people and I love talking with her over cereal or waffles before we kick-off the day. I often find this is her chattiest time and we talk about things we are looking forward to in the hours to come. Both of us are also big fans of breakfast food and spend a lot of time dreaming up new recipe ideas. Just the other week we thought of making oatmeal pancakes because it would be the ideal combination of two breakfast dishes we love.
To follow-up on yesterday’s overnight panettone french toast today I am talking about a favorite make-ahead egg-based breakfast – asparagus and mushroom strata. There is something about serving a strata that seems so old school. I remember my Mom making stratas when she entertained at brunch, and I even remember my grandmother making them for dinner when I stayed at her house. It is a true classic that always fits the bill. This is definitely one of those recipes that you always need in your back pocket year-round, and is perfect for the holiday season!
It is finally the time of year when we start thinking about homemade holiday gifts. Yes, I did make my big batch gifts like Homemade Vanilla Extract and Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce earlier this year, but my smaller batch gifts are just getting started. This is the food that is easy and fun to make in small batches as needed throughout the season.
Even though our postponed Halloween celebration just took place on Saturday I am in Thanksgiving mode. This year we’ll have a small family celebration in Boston. It will be nice and easy which is just what I’m in the mood for since I am definitely slowing down a bit. Next year I am sure we’ll happily host a huge family bash, but this year I need a little break. In light of this I’ve had some fun spacing out some of our Thanksgiving favorites over the past week. Just because we aren’t having a huge feast doesn’t mean we should skip our favorites for an entire year. Last week I made some of Gwyneth’s Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Olive Oil and they were as delicious as ever. Over the weekend I made a classic Roast Chicken and paired them with these Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme. Next week I plan to indulge in our favorite Thanksgiving dessert so stay tuned!