September 30, 2009

Tomato Avocado Sandwich

Five minutes is all it takes to make this fabulous lunch.  I made these for lunch all last week...they keep really well wrapped in foil and in your lunch bag until you're ready to eat it.

And come on, WHAT is better than avocado on a sandwich?  Seriously.

So first, i got myself this cool new sandwich bread that is pre-split and only 100 calories.  100% whole wheat too.

Then i toasted them with a slice of pepperjack cheese on it.

In the meantime, i got my vegetables ready.

First i layered on the tomatoes and onions...

Then the avocado...oh heavens, i love avocado so much!!

Then topped it off with a few leaves of basil and a pinch of salt.

And literally, that's it!

If you're gonna eat it right away (i.e. not save it for lunch later), it's easier to eat if you cut it in half.

Plus, plating a sandwich like this makes you feel so much cooler than you probably actually are.

Just saying.

Make this for yourself NOW NOW NOW!  Only 250 calories for a fantastic and surprisingly filling sandwich!

September 29, 2009

Steak Fajitas

One of my faaavorite dishes to get at Mexican/TexMex restaurants is fajitas.  I love how they sear the meat, onion, and green peppers with that fantastic fajita seasoning (which is sweet and tangy at the same time).  And the do-it-yourself nature of a fajita is a huge draw for me; I love getting those warm tortillas that i can fill with the hot, sizzling meat n' veggies.

Great thing is, these are also very easy to make at home.  You don't need any special equipment (er, unless you wanna make tortillas from scratch.  that's a post for another time.  when i learn how to do it, that is) 

Okay, let's start!

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
-1 lb sirloin tip steak
-1 onion
-1 green pepper
-1 packet fajita seasoning
-1/3 cup water
-1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-8 tortillas (small kind, maybe just 6" in diameter)

1.  Get some sirloin steak and let it sit on the counter for a bit to get to room temperature.  Slice steak against the grain into strips.

2.  Slice onions and green pepper into strips too.

3.  In a large skillet over medium-low heat, saute onions and green peppers until they are tender.

The onion should look kinda translucent.  Remove onions and green peppers from the pan.

4.  Crank the heat up to high, and saute the meat.

5.  Once the meat is decently cooked through, add the fajita seasoning and water.

Lower heat to medium.  Mmm, can't you just SMELL that right through the screen??

6.  Add the vegetables once again so they can soak up the yummy flavor.

7.  Wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave them for 30 seconds.  These are the ones i used.

8.  Remove the fajita steak, onions, and green peppers from heat.  Let people make their own tortilla.

This is also fabulous with some Lime Cilantro Rice, the recipe for which can be found here.

I absolutely loved this dinner.  It was so savory, so delightful, so fanfreakingtastic.  Even if you're kinda not into green peppers, the fajita seasoning kinda masks some of the really strong flavor.  Give it a chance :)

There aren't a lot of "finished product" pictures of this particular dish because, well, i was in such a hurry to eat it that i didn't really have time to take more than just this shot.

I am totally salivating while remember how delicious that dinner was.  Mmm!  This is a great dish to serve if you're having company.  You can serve it with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo.  You can also make this with chicken, and it would be just as delicious.  Try it this weekend!

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

September 28, 2009

Rum Cupcakes with Rum Glaze

Happy Monday.  Let's talk rum.

A couple of weekends ago, some friends of mine threw their annual Talk Like a Pirate Day Party.  What is Talk Like a Pirate Day?  You can read about that here.

The point is, you say stuff like, "Avast, ye scalawags!" and use "me" as the first person possessive, and randomly throw in a big "Arrrrrghhh!!" here and there.  Though i could have made cupcakes based on the language (e.g. write the letter "R" on each cupcake), i opted to play around with a favorite beverage of pirates, namely rum. 

I found this cute site with cupcake recipes that suited my purpose perfectly.  I had to try it out!

Cupcake Base

-1 box yellow cake mix
-1 4-serving package of instant vanilla pudding
-4 eggs
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup rum

1.  In a large mixing bowl, dump in the cake mix.

2.  Add the instant pudding mix.

3.  Add the 4 eggs.  Eek, this does not fall under my healthy tab. 

4.  Add the milk, oil, and then the rrrrrrrum!

The batter should be nice and smooth but not too runny.

5.  Pour the mix into cupcake pan.  Bake for 27 minutes.

Tada!  Look how pretty they are!

I made them a little oversize on purpose :)

Rum Glaze

-1/4 cup butter
-2 tbsp water
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup dark rum

1.  Melt butter in a small saucepan.

2.  Add water and sugar, and bring to boil.  Stir constantly!!

3.  Remove from heat and pour in the rum. 

4.  Dip cupcakes into the rum glaze and allow to cool.

After you dip your cupcakes, the get kind of a nice wet look to them.  See how pretty they are (left) in comparison to the non-glazed one (right)?

Here are some more glazed shots.  Haha "shots", get it?

I will admit that i couldn't help myself, and ate one after this stage of preparation. 

After the glaze has somewhat set, i iced them with vanilla frosting.

Why are you so cute and bad at the same time?

Oh but it's not over.  The recipe suggested drizzling some of the lovely rum glaze on top of the whole frosted cupcake.  So i did.

Yup.  Now we're talkin'.  YARRRR!!!

Is it okay for pirates to eat cupcakes?  Maybe if they shove one whole into their mouths.  That would work.

These were so fantastic, and everyone seemed to enjoy them :)  I made a few non-alcoholic ones for my friend Heather who is expecting a little one, but the rest of us took part in the rum-tastic goodness.

Thanks to the Cupcakery for this great recipe!!! :D

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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