Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Seared Ahi Tuna with Sesame Noodles


I know on Monday I was all like, "go away summer", but now I'm like, "make all the summery foods"! It's my blog. I'm allowed to change my mind. Right? Today I bring to you a simple seared ahi steak, which might not be the prettiest thing I've ever photographed, but it's sure felt good as I devoured it alongside some creamy udon noodles and spicy cucumber spears. The tuna is just barely warmed through, and the cool noodles and cucumber are the perfect pairings for the end of summer. Today, I'm traveling to some local Sonoita wineries with some of my co-workers to enjoy some wine and cooler weather. It's a tough job, but someones gotta do it. My motto: Love the Wine You're With. 

Seared Ahi Tuna with Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. ahi tuna steak
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
 Sesame Noodles
  • 1 pkg. pre-packaged/cooked udon noodles
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1.4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. sriracha
Heat up the pre-cooked udon noodles in the water for 2-3 minutes, until loosened up. Drain the water and add the noodles to a medium mixing bowl. 

To make the sesame noodles, add the garlic, ginger, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the dressing over the noodles in the mixing bowl and stir until the noodles are completely covered. Place into the fridge while you cook the tuna.

Pour sesame seeds into a shallow dish large enough to fit the tuna steak. Coat both sides of the tuna in 1/2 tbsp. of oil, salt, and pepper. Press each side of the fish firmly into the sesame seeds. To sear the tuna, heat the remaining coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat and set on a large cutting board. 

Cut the tuna across the grain diagonally with a very sharp knife and place a few slices on each plate. Serve alongside the sesame noodles, and some spicy cucumbers if you would like for some added texture!

To make spicy cucumbers, cut 1 large cucumber into matchsticks and toss with 2 tsp. soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and salt. Serve cold.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

HDFB Review: Fractured Prune Doughnuts


I've been waiting to post about this incredible jem of a confectionery until I could find the right words to describe it, but after 2 weeks, I still can't seem to put together a coherent sentence that doesn't sound like "me likey douhgnuts". So, I am scratching all drafts and just writing this in the moment. I had heard about Fractured Prune about a month ago from friends on Facebook and Instagram. And after seeing things like "chocolate covered cherry" and "cookies and cream" doughnuts, I knew that I had to treat the boyfriend to this one of a kind place. Upon walking in, we were greeted by 3 extremely friendly and outgoing employees. A girl behind the register kindly came over to us and explained how everything works, seeing as it was our first rodeo.


Simply put, you can order from their menu of 16 pre-designed doughnuts, or get creative and make up your own confectionery concoction.


We decided to order 6 doughnuts, some from their menu, and others we designed ourselves. While they don't offer a variety of doughnut types, cake doughnuts only, they do offer a multitude of glazes like marshmallow, mocha, and key lime, and toppings from your standard sprinkles to bacon, sea salt, or vanilla wafers. What I love most is that nothing is pre-made, they don't even begin to fry up the dough until you order, and then while you wait they offer you samples of their glazes and toppings. For the curious eater like me.


Once they handed us our box of warm, freshly-made doughnuts, we couldn't wait to dig in. And. Oh. My. Douhgnut-Loving-King-of-all-Doughnuts. These are what heaven tastes like. No joke. I could write about these all day long, but instead why don't you just drive over to Fractured Prune in Chandler and grab one or a dozen for yourself!


Fractured Prune Doughnuts
4910 W. Ray Rd., Suite 1
Chandler, AZ
(480) 820-5438

Pictured above: Clockwise from top left- Carmel Bliss, Carnival, Fresh Toast, Maple Bacon x2, S'More

Monday, August 25, 2014

HDFB Buys a House

I know everyone across the states are loving celebrating in all of their summer glory. Lake trips, summer BBQs, and outdoor concerts. And though I say this every summer, "it's just a dry heat", I am so over the AZ summer and ready for fall. Pumpkin everything. Cosy sweaters and scarfs. Football. Halloween. My obnoxious obsession with Halloween has already begun. At Costco this weekend and I begged my boyfriend to buy the 4-foot tall skeleton display. And though I may not have walked out of the store with it, you will be mine Mr. Skelly. You just wait and see.

{via}

Plus, moving into a house in the summer is insanity. So if the weather could just cool down a mere 10 degrees, my skin and unpacking skills would really benefit. Something about unpacking boxes in 100+ degrees just isn't right to me.  Luckily someone was smart enough to mark all of the boxes (thanks Andrew!), so we could at least drop them in their potential "area" for the time being. Everything actually went pretty well, especially since we moved everything between just the two of us. Except for when our realtor helped us go pick up our couch with this trailer, and then we almost lost some pillows on the highway. Damn, I wish I had a picture of that for the scrapbook ha! Or when Andrew's car battery died as we got ready to take over our final load of stuff. Or when we turned off the power to the house and installed a ceiling fan in the darkness with the light from a cell phone. Remind me to put flashlights on the list for my next Home Depot run. Can't wait for everything to be placed into it's new "spot" so we can get started on new traditions in our new home! What is your favorite summer and fall traditions?

 The boyf hard at work!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cashew Chicken


By now we know that I love re-creating Chinese takeout at home. I've done my take on General Tso's, Sesame Chicken, and Pad Thai. And today I carry on the torch and cover the classic cashew chicken. This weekend we will be moving into our new house, and with lots of moving comes less time for homemade meals and more likelihood of takeout and fast food. But when you have a recipe as simple as this, you can have "takeout" at home for a fraction of the cost and calories.



Cashew Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 6 tbsp. water
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey 
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Then add in the soy sauce, honey, Sriracha, vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.

In a medium pot, add 1 cup water to the bottom, then steam the carrots and broccoli in a steam basket for 10 minutes, 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, preheat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and cashews. Cook until fragrant and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and cook, stirring until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. 

Drain the steamed carrots and broccoli and add them into the chicken. Lower heat to simmer and add in the sauce that you whisked together earlier and the whites of the green onions. Cook, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened and the chicken and veggies are well coated.

To serve, place a large spoonful of brown rice onto a plate or into a bowl, top with the chicken and garnish with green onion tops.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Orange Basil Ricotta Pancakes


Now that we have a new house that I can fill with whatever my heart desires (and my bank account allows) I cannot wait to build a garden in the backyard. And the main herb that I wan to produce? Basil. My obsession continues with this amazing breakfast recipe. I recently saw these pancakes here, and decided to make an HDFB version, complete with an orange glaze to finish them off.  My boyfriend is the one with the sweet tooth, so this was the perfect "meet-in-the-middle" breakfast. It's somewhere between his desire for chocolate brownie pancakes topped with oreos and peanut butter cups and my desire for savory bacon corn chive pancakes. The batter is a bit thicker than a standard pancake because of the ricotta, so just be patient. These babies are worth it!


Orange Basil Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped basil
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup almond milk
Orange Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. orange juice, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest

Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest, and chopped basil. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, ricotta, vanilla, butter, and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Add more milk if you like your batter to be a little thinner.


Once the batter is mixed, spray the griddle with non-stick cooking spray and use a ladle or 1/4 cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto the griddle. Allow them to begin to bubble around the edges before carefully flipping them to the other side.


Once all batter has been made into delicious pancakes, mix together the glaze just before serving. Whisk together the orange juice, powdered sugar, and orange zest until smooth. Stack your pancakes high, drizzle with orange glaze, and serve!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chipotle Sweet Potato Tots


Remember in the elementary school cafeteria, when you would walk in wondering what weird brick-shaped concoction they were going to serve you that day, and once you slid your tray up the counter that you could barely see over, your eyes met the most glorious of sights. A large batch of tater tots. Embarrassingly enough, I still get just as excited when I see tater tots on the menu at restaurants, or even being served at my office. It's one of those things that take you back to a memory of swing-sets and recess. But these are a more adult version of the classic, made with sweet potato and a smoky spicy kick. I love that you don't even have to make these immediately, you could make the tots, and freeze them for future use. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't have a gallon freezer bag of them at home right now.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Tots

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. chipotle in adobo sauce (found in the international/Mexican food aisle)
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in the chopped sweet potatoes.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are softened. Drain and set aside to cool.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooled to the touch, add them to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients. No wit's time to get messy. Using your hands, mix the tots mixture together, making sure all of ingredients are well combined.

Now form the tots using your hands, making a traditional tot shape, or whatever circle/square/shape that you want. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to set. If you are wanting to save these for future, then place into a ziplock bag and place back into freezer.


When you are ready to bake the tots, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the tots on the non-stick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes before flipping to the other side and baking for another 10-15 minutes until crispy.

If you are baking them from a frozen state, you will need to bake them for 20 minutes on each side, or longer depending on the temperature of your oven.


Serve hot with Srirachup or your favorite condiment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spicy Chicken Sandwich with Cilantro Lime "Mayo"


I recently obtained this amazing little "tree stump" stand, but really had no idea what it's purpose was supposed to be. I thought maybe a candle holder, or a trivet for a hot plate, but then I ultimately decided that it was perfect for holding up these perfectly crispy chicken sandwiches. I love using simple and fresh ingredients whenever I can, and that can really make or break a sandwich like this. A spicy marinated chicken breast, rolled in crispy bread crumbs, and then placed atop some freshly crisp lettuce, tomato, and onion, and finished off with some zesty "mayo". I have never been an advocate for mayo, but substituting Greek yogurt is definitely something that I have grown fond of. Let me know what you think, and if you make these at home be sure to tag it on instagram with the hashtag #HDFB.


Spicy Chicken Sandwich with Cilantro Lime "Mayo"

Ingredients:
  • 2 chicken breasts, halved
  • 1/4 cup milk or milk substitute
  • 3 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 4 kaiser rolls or buns
Cilantro Lime "Mayo"
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Place chicken breast halves into a freezer bag, squeeze any excess air out of the bag and seal. With a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until the breasts are evenly flattened, about 1/2-inch thick. Open the bag and add in the milk, hot sauce, and dried cilantro. Shake well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

To prepare the cilantro lime "mayo", mix together all oft he ingredients and place in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Once the meat is done marinating, prepare the breading. In a shallow dish, place the panko, salt, and pepper. Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and shake off the excess marinade. Press each chicken breast firmly into the breading on both sides. Add breaded chicken to the hot skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes, crisping both sides until browned and cooked through, flipping after 5 minutes.

To serve, spread a large spoonful of the "mayo on each bun bottom, place the chicken on top and then garnish with tomato, onion, lettuce, and the bun top. Serve hot. 

 

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