Friday, March 29, 2013

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti Nests - Caity

I threw this recipe together one night after work when I was starving but too lazy to go out to eat. I didn't want to make anything hard and I wanted to use things I had in my fridge; Lemon Pepper Spaghetti Nests were born! 

This recipe is great because its easy, full of flavor and most importantly, it does not require you to go to the grocery store. Feel free to add any additional items you may have around like pine nuts, shrimp, chicken, zucchini, etc. This is also a great Meatless Monday meal. 

Two years ago: Paprika Shrimp Pasta

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tutu's Macaroni and Potato Salad - Caity

This is Tutu’s way (the best way!) of making a very standard dish in Hawaii.  Every picnic must have it; every plate lunch you buy has at least one scoop of it.  I think most versions use just macaroni, but this is so much more delicious and interesting.  As with most of Tutu’s recipes, she teaches you how to make it rather than giving you specific amounts—you’ll figure out how you like it.  

When we would visit our family in Hawaii my mom always wanted to have a family picnic on her last night home, and Tutu was always nice enough to do it—usually at Ala Moana Beach Park over on the Magic Island-side where the cousins could swim in the shallow water and throw sand at each other, and she almost always made this salad.  It is best served with grilled Asian-style meats (like Kalbi Short Ribs or Kalua Pig!), rice, Tutu's Cucumber Kim Chee, Hawaiian-kind juice or soda—just before sunset on a beach in Hawaii with your family.  

Two years ago: Paprika Shrimp Pasta

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of mashed potatoes with either cooked cabbage or kale.  There are versions that also add green onions, or if you add those and leave out the cabbage then it's called champ--just to confuse things even further... Either way, it's delicious and the perfect accompaniment to Irish Beef and Guinness Stew, and Killian's Irish Brown Bread (named after one of our beloved Golden Retrievers).

Though I generally don't follow an actual recipe when I make Colcannon, for the sake of giving some proportions, I also referred to "Irish Traditional Cooking", by Darina Allen (though I've adapted her method a bit).  She runs the Ballymaloe Cooking School in County Cork and is considered to be the authority on traditional Irish food.  This is sooooo good with the stew, but should you have any leftover you can make it into potato cakes the next day.  Just make them into nice small, flat shapes and fry them up in a bit of butter until nicely browned on both sides. Heaven for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

One year ago: Cheater's Pavlova, Cuban Rice "Moros y Cristianos"
Two years ago: Balsamic Asparagus with Parmesan, Paprika Shrimp Pasta 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beef and Guinness Irish Stew - Caity

With St. Patrick's Day coming up and green beer and corned beef and cabbage being advertised everywhere, it's hard not to think about Ireland. My Auntie Jo has worked very hard and has traced our branch of the Walsh family back to Ireland where my great great great grandmother Catherine Joyce left on a boat from Galway City with her family in 1849 (at my last family history briefing, my great great great grandfather Martin Walsh possibly immigrated in 1846 -- any updates Auntie Jo???). My great great great grandparents were married in Pennsylvania and since then the Walsh family has spread far and wide across the US. 

I was lucky enough to visit Ireland in 2007 with my family.  We toured a large part of the country and visited many ancient Irish historical sites. We even got to crawl inside a mound that people lived in a long long long time ago (the sleeping area was covered in rocks... I don't know how they did it). We also visited a large number of pubs for some traditional Irish pub fare. Beef and Guinness Stew was offered at nearly every pub we visited country-wide. While every pub had their own recipe, it's pretty much the same stuff - delicious!  

This recipe is from Darina Allen's cookbook 'Irish Traditional Cooking' (you can't get more legitimate than that!). 

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so skip the corned beef and cabbage and try some Beef and Guinness Irish Stew this year!  Disclaimer: I still like corned beef and cabbage, so I'm going to make both. Serve with Killian's Irish Brown Bread, Colcannon and a nice, cold Guinness. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lucky Green Smoothie - Caity

Green is in! Especially with St. Patrick's Day coming up, you need to increase your green!

Initially I was hesitant to make a green smoothie but after my first one, I was hooked. I have tried a variety of green smoothie recipes and through trial and error, I found this one is my favorite. It is (literally) packed full of spinach and it doesn't taste like spinach at all. In combination with the chia seeds (for more info on chia seeds see Easy Refrigerator Berry Oatmeal), oatmeal, yogurt and peanut butter (optional), this smoothie is bursting with calcium, protein, fiber and omega-3's. 

I like to make a full blender of Lucky Green Smoothie and pour into two to-go cups and take it as an on-the-go breakfast. My sweet co-worker, Rebekah, made me a cute reusable plastic tumbler with plastic straw and lid that has my name on it in neon letters (my favorite!). I find that is perfect to pour my smoothie into and if you drop it on floor of your car, I can tell you from personal experience, it won't spill. My mom and sister like to enjoy them before their intense workout at BIFG in Salt Lake because it doesn't weigh them down. According to my mom, "With a Lucky Green Smoothie, you won't lose your breakfast at BIFG, no matter how much Eliza challenges you."

It's healthy and easy and you should get past the color and try it! You can add in any additional fruit you like but I will warn you; while blueberries and strawberries make it taste delicious, it can turn the smoothie a rather.... odd color of brown. It tastes fine but will alarm any unsuspecting family members or co-workers. My favorite additional fruit are frozen mangos or peaches but when I'm drinking it at home, I love blueberries for an additional kick of antioxidants. 

Serves approximately 2 (depending on how much smoothie you drink). 

One year ago: Pavlova, Cheater's Pavlova