Monday, February 25, 2008

Orange You Loving This Pan-Seared Tilapia with Citrus Vinaigrette

Crunch time is upon me at work. Beauty show week has arrived and starting Friday, you won't hear a word from me till Tuesday. It's stressful but it'll be over soon and then I'll have a silly amount of new product to sit and play with till it's legitimately warm out.

My saving grace has genuinely been the gym and my STOCKED fridge, freezer and cabinets. And I even organized it all yesterday so I can find stuff (why do I keep buying chopped tomatoes and breadcrumbs?) I've been pulling clips and have a gorgeous stack of recipes to get me through my grocery store booty (and maybe minimize the other one). Seriously kids, it's gonna be good eating in Wicked Park AND it's going to be documented.

Enough kissing (now that I'm all recharged anyway ;) It's time to get cookin'.

Tonight I picked something that I knew would be quick as I had my workout at night tonight. In fact Chester surprised us with a fitness test (did just fine:) so I was happy I'd thought about dinner in advance.
Even tired, sweaty people can cook.

Tonight's choice was a full menu out of Cooking Light. This is something that usually overwhelms me. I will make one or two items and sub in an old standby typically. However. Cooking Light's "Dinner Tonight" segment even tells you what order to do things in and doesn't make more than one item at all tricky (even the tricky is relative. Can you follow directions? Ok , go). Plus this page had a LOT of favorite things so I figured I could get all kinds of exponent on my gym endorphins by coming home to chop fresh Italian parsley and zest a lemon. Plus pan-seared fish, cherries, whole wheat couscous, was a shoe-in. I'm cliche CRAZY tonight, apologies.

This may be my new favorite dinner. I'm also really excited because timing everything is still pretty tough for me and this would be great dinner party fare. Fresh, quick, full of flavor and healthy . And DELICIOUS if I didn't make that clear. Everything came out exactly as promised and from the shallot sauce to the couscous with dried Traverse cherries (Cam, they sell them at Jewel!) ...ridiculously good and DONE in 20 minutes. I even zested a little orange on top of my fish for presentation. Sometimes I think you just need to go the extra mile for yourself.

TKTC Note: I know toasting almonds sounds like a pain but they keep for awhile so if you do a batch in advance, just store them right and they will keep on giving. The ones I used tonight came from THIS recipe session.

The only item I think can improve on would be the roasted Brussels sprouts. I'd never so much as eaten one till last year and this was my first time making them. There weren't real directions so I think I'd really coat them with my Olive Oil Pam next time and leave them in about 5 minutes longer (did about 10 min this time, shook the pan once). All I did was cut them in half, throw em in a jelly roll pan and do a quick salt/pepper shakeshakeshake. Pretty easy and they have their own spiciness which I really love.


I was a little out of it/hungover for my Dominick's bender Saturday AM so when Annie Lennox's No More I Love You's came on and I was out by OHare (read: not going to run into anyone I know, save maybe a very amused Jenn), I just sang along. Up and down the aisles...never missing a word and really siiiinging it. Like I do when I'm singing into my rearview mirror and should really be watching for the stupid CLybourn light to change. I love it- have since I was 12 and had it on repeat in my Dad's car (poor guy). I don't care if that makes me mentally 57 years old. And probably divorced.

This started an interesting kick in the kitchen tonight...playlist as follows:

Heart of the Matter by India.Arie (obviously)
China Grove by the Doobie Brothers
Are We Different by Priscilla Ahn
Please Come to Boston by Kenny Chesney
Let the River Run by Carly Simon
Call Me by Blondie
Moonlight Kiss by Bap Kennedy (this is the perfect snowy night song, thank you Serendipity)
I'm Gonna Be by the Proclaimers
Extraordinary by Liz Phair
Free Man in Paris by Joni Mitchell
The Rising by Bruce Springsteen

Now in honor of the Oscars, Netflix delivered Gentleman's Agreement to my door on Friday and I'm going to go sit and pull more clips. And try to stay out of my leftovers.

Oh...just got an interesting Match email:) Not that one (still...ugh) but a newbie. I'm intrigued so maybe I'll just be a computer rat instead...


Susie said...

Yummm...nice work!! I think brussel sprouts are really hard to do properly.

And nice choice in listening to "Please Come to Boston" (and the Kenny Chesney version, at that). So soon!

ToKissTheCook said...

I. Can't. Wait. 2.5 weeks!!! We are verrry due for a catch-up session in advance of this. Life archives and such.

Mag said...

Reading your blog this morning and just wanted to say that I make a mean brussel sprout (a la papa clement).... you should come over sometime and I will make them for you!! :o) MIss you darlin, and GOOD LUCK on your big BEAUTY week!!

Cheryl said...

Oh I am going to try to make that some time cause it looks sooo good. I never had a brussel sprout until about 4 years ago when it was part of the diet I was on, and I haven't had any since. I can take them, but not a top choice.

Shanti said...

you know that part where you said you were going to stay out of your leftovers? well, then can i come over and raid them? thanks.

i loooove the song moonlight kiss. i was helping clean up after a friends wedding that was in her huge backyard on the lake/river/whatever it is in barrington and that song came on and it made me all sorts of warm and fuzzy.

good luck on your beauty week, love! i know you'll be great and look amazing doing it. that's just what the best PR girls do. :)

Nilsa S. said...

I want to hear more about ... (1) Your workouts with Chester - I am intrigued!!! and (2) this new match email - cuz I love that stuff and want it to work for you!

camille said...

YUM, all around!
They sell TC cherries at Jewel now??? Well a trip up there for the cherry festival is in order this summer anyways (you would LOVE it, I promise!)

The Ex said...

TKTC! Thanks so much for calling me! You're so freaking adorable.

That being said - HOW CAN PEOPLE LISTEN TO KENNY CHESNEY! I do not understand it. He annoys the everloving piss out of me.

seeleigh said...

That looks sooooo good. I'm starving now... :(

You should also know... I don't give guests frozen treats... we will bake up a fresh batch of lemon squares upon your arrival!! hehe
Boston is excited for you!!! :) :) :)

Jenn said...

Have I ever told you that your blog makes me so hungry? It does! I'm with Shanti, can we have the leftovers? :P

erin said...

When can I come over for dinner?

I saw that brussel sprout recipe in CL and really wanted to make it. Thanks for reminding me.

But seriosuly, I sing in stores all the time. And dance. I have embarrassed many a friend and relative.

ToKissTheCook said...

Mag: Any nail polish requests?

Cheryl:I would never cook anything "I could take." So don't push it if you don't love it. Any suateed simple green would work!

Shanti:I just had my leftovers for dinner but next time you're in town we shall have a little dinner party. If I'm here, that's a promise!

Nilsa: 1) Oh Chester, we do just love him. Mostly we love the new stomach shape he gave me for winter this year!!! (real name Matt) and 2) Just got off the phone with him...we'll see. Tentatively going out for drinks in a week!

Cam: I KNOW I would LOVE the cherry fest I just can't ever seem to find a weekend!

Ex: That was such a fun game. And I'm with you but for some reason I like him on this song. I like some country but not his as much as others.

Seeleigh: For real??? Oh I feel so honored!!! I am actually so so pumped for my Boston trip. It is just sprinting forward!

Jenn: I seriously thought I might run into you at Dom's. And I would have smelled like the Sheraton and bourbon cocktails and been singing Annie Lennox. No coming back from that.

Erin: Any time you want. So serious. I'm gonna post a big list of the recipes coming up and you can just pick your night. So much more fun to cook for more than one.