New Book!

The Skinnytaste Cookbook- Light on Calories, Big on FlavorI purchased a new cookbook this week! I’ve been following this author on Facebook and receiving blog updates for the past couple of months so I figured it was time to bite the bullet. All her recipes look amazing! I made the BLT & Avocado Salad tonight which was delicious and also tried the Baked Bananas Foster a’la Mode which was pretty good, too! Can’t wait to try more!

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Baked PORK Buns!

Ladies and gentlemen…I present to you: Baked BBQ Buns!

Same filling as the steamed buns but different (much easier to handle but longer to prepare) dough and BAKED! These were absolutely a-mazing! According to the recipe, after baked, the buns can be frozen for up to 2 months. I think this small batch of 12 will be gone in 24 hours, though. The cookbook my pork bun recipes came from is “The Chinese Kitchen” by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. A beautiful hardcover cookbook with lots of traditional Chinese recipes. I’m a little afraid to attempt to cook my way through this one, though. Here is the introduction from the book for this recipe:

This dum sum bun is perhaps the most well known outside of China. People who are not even familiar with the term or concept of dim sum know “pork buns.” I have over the years experimented with different fillings for this Cantonese classic baked bun, but the traditional pork filling remains my favorite.

Cap’N Crunch Seared Tuna

Yes, you read right. Cap’n Crunch. As in the cereal. I’m just going to post the picture and the recipe and let you know it was really good. It would’ve been better if I hadn’t cooked the tuna a little too much as a result of trying to do 10 things at once while cooking dinner.

1/4 c mayonnaise
1 T yellow mustard (I used wasabi powder instead)
2 c regular Cap’n Crunch (yes, he said Cap’n Crunch)
2 T oil
1 lb fresh tuna, cut into long rectangular blocks
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Sriracha sauce
1/2 c finely decided green onions

Mix the mayo & mustard together. Set aside.

Put the cereal in a large zipper top plastic bag and crush the hell out of it. You want it like dust. Spread the crushed cereal on a large plate. (Note: this made a LOT of “breading.” I suggest only 1 c of cereal.)

Lightly oil the tuna, season it with salt & papper, then press down into the cereal, making sure it’s covered well on all sides.

Heat a nonstick pan really well first and then add a tablespoon of oil. When it starts to smoke, add the tuna and sear it quickly on all sides until lightly browned. If the pan is hot enough, you need probably no more than about 15 seconds a side.

Remove and carefully slice into 1/2″ pieces.

To serve, spread the mayo mix on a plate, top with the sliced tuna and drizzle the Sriracha around it. Sprinkle with green onions. Make sure you have some of everything in each bite.

Note (again): We had this for dinner instead of an apperizer so I served it on a bed of lettuce. I also added some milk to the mayo mixture to thin it out and use as a dressing instead of a dip. I left out the green onions and Sriracha and drizzled everything with sesame oil instead.

“Old Folks” Finger Food?

My father in-law is turning 70 next month and my mother in-law is hosting a party for the occasion. I have offered to bring appetizers to the shindig and we agreed on chicken wings and meatballs. When I told Mike what “we” were bringing he turned up his nose at the idea of chicken wings. Apparently he didn’t like the last ones I made (but everyone else did…unless they were lying). When I suggested “Maid-Rites” to my mother in-law she said all the “old folks” there might have trouble eating them. Apparently loose-meat sandwiches are more for the young ‘uns! So the meatballs are still a go. Like these which are very similar to the “Motor Home Meatballs” I made earlier in the month. Other things on the menu are: Little Smokies, cheeseburger dip, baked beans, veggie tray, chips, chex mix and of course, cake & ice cream. I need one more thing to bring. Any suggestions?

p. 67: Blue Cheese & Bacon-Stuffed Dates

A big thanks goes to my sister for cooking these for me. It was a recipe I wasn’t looking forward to eating but after her review, I might change my mind!

I made the bacon-wrapped blue cheese-stuffed dates tonight. Not a great one to photograph but they were certainly yummy. To quote Bob Banner, “These are surprisingly good! These are really good!” He put one in his mouth a little skeptical of the concoction, but then his eyes went wide with delight as the bacony, cheesy flavor filled his mouth. Then he ate another one.

~Andrea Taylor, Guest Food-Blogger

p. 52: Simple Won Ton Crackers

I made a small batch of guacamole and found I had nothing upon which to dip into it. I DID, however, have half a package of won ton wrappers in the fridge. Doesnt’ everybody? So I whipped up a batch of these because, let’s face it, sometimes you just need something besides your grubby fingers to get that delicious dip into your mouth. Perfect for when you want to taste the dip, not the cracker.