Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Honey Mustard Glazed Tilapia with Sauteed Spinach

Last week's barbeque ribs made me feel pretty confidant about trying new recipes, so I tried another one this past weekend. It was kinda my own concoction. I was inspired by a honey mustard chicken recipe I got from Q's mom. I used her glaze from that recipe on some tilapia, and it turned out pretty good. I paired the fish with garlic-sauteed spinach! To complement the flavors from the glaze and the spinach, I added lightly-seasoned white rice.

Honey Mustard Glaze
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard
2 tbsps lime juice
1 tsp salt
Scotch bonnet peppers (to taste)

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I mixed the glaze first and then put it to the side. I used salt, black pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, scallions and garlic to season the fish and put them into a glass baking pan with some vegetable oil. I baked the tilapia at 400 degrees for 20 min. I poured the glaze on top of the tilapia and then let it cook for an additional 20 minutes at a lower temperature (I think 300). I didn't want to overcook the fish--that's always such a deal-breaker on Top Chef.

In hindsight, I would have poured off the "juices" from the tilapia before adding the glaze. The glaze didn't get very sticky because all the juice in the pan diluted it. I also could have pan-seared the tilapia first, then put the pieces into a pan covered with the glaze, and broiled the fish at a high temperature until the glaze had set. I'll try one of those options next time.

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I love sauteed spinach. This was my first time making it myself. First I made my own garlic-infused oil by sauteing some minced garlic in a pan with oil until the garlic was brown. Then I removed the garlic pieces and sauteed the spinach in the garlic oil until they just started to wilt. It doesn't take very long to do this at all. Just note that what seems like a lot of spinach at first isn't really that much once it's sauteed. I used about 1/2 a bag of spinach to make one serving, so plan accordingly. I seasoned the finished spinach with Adobe Salad & Vegetable Seasoning and some black pepper.

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Everything turned out pretty good. Another edible meal! I congratulated myself with a glass of Gavi. Nice
Little Miss Knight

Monday, February 27, 2012

Barbeque beef ribs - Take 1

This recipe wasn't entirely a fail, but it didn't come out the way I wanted it to. I bought some beef back ribs at Walmart, and they didn't really have a lot of meat on them, but i figured that's just how they were supposed to be. Of course I was wrong.

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I coated the "ribs" with Worcestershire sauce to tenderize the meat and get the seasoning to stick. I seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic and scallions. I baked the ribs with barbeque sauce at about 300 and kept it in the oven for just under an hour to ensure the meat stayed tender.

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It tasted really good. I enjoyed it a lot. There just wasn't enough of it! I made six pieces, but there was BARELY any meat on the bones! Q and I could only laugh. LOL we were definitely still hungry after eating dinner. Then I called my brother to tell him what happened, (he is a beef ribs junkie) and he told me that I should have gotten the ribs on the rack! Of course! All in all, it was a pretty entertaining experience. I'm excited about using the right cut of meat and actually feeling FULL the next time I use this recipe...

Little Miss Knight

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do these make sense?

As I mentioned in my last post, I've become ridiculously addicted to Pinterest. I saw these cute DIY t-shirt pom poms, and immediately I thought they'd look good above my front door...where I have that random looseleaf paper.

Does that even make sense? Will it do a good job of keeping Peeping Toms out? I'm not 100% sure. I'm trying to find a solution that blocks the view, but doesn't block light from coming in. It's proving challenging -____-

Little Miss Knight

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I foresee an IKEA trip this weekend...

Happy Sabbath! Look what I found on IKEA's website...

I think my corner woes have been solved. And IKEA has free breakfast this weekend??? Yeah, I'll be all up in that thang.

Little Miss Knight

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hand stiching

My grandmother once tried to teach me how to use a sewing machine. I must have been about 9. I don't even remember why we thought it was a good idea. But she was a dressmaker, she had a "sewing room" in the garage, and I suppose it just seemed like a logical thing for us to do on a summer night.

I couldn't wrap my mind around the sewing machine. Seriously. I couldn't understand how to thread it, first of all, and then I was confused by the foot pedal and the needle. Needless to say we only had a few lessons. My grandma did teach me how to sew by hand, which has come in handy on more than one occasion. In undergrad I made extra money taking in skirts and dresses and doing hems by hand. When I moved to this area I got lazy so I started taking my things to the dry cleaners for alterations. It's really expensive though, especially for something so easy to do on your own.

I have a few items in my closet that need updating, so I'm taking a stab at doing it hand. I decided to just take the plunge after joining Pinterest (OMG I'm addicted) and feeling inspired by all the wonderful DIY-ers. I miss being crafty! So here are the projects I'm going to be taking on. They're really small-scale, which is why I can do them by hand.

Cropped Sweater
 I have a thrifted turquoise sweater with a mock neck and 3/4 sleeves that would look GREAT if it was cropped. I would definitely wear it more often.

Tight Mini with Split
 I bought a houndstooth-print pencil skirt on super clearance at Zara 2 years ago. It's really long and difficult to walk in because it doesn't have a split. Rather than give it away, I think an updated cut and added split would look amazing. Clearly it works for Karla.

Loose-fit Mini
 I love the fit of this skirt. My other grandma gave me a wool pencil skirt by Tahari with very similar draping in the front. I've had it professionally altered once before to take in the waist, but it's a midi, and I'm more into short skirts right now. A hem job would make me look taller, and would make the skirt much more versatile.

[Find source information for all photos on my Pinterest]

I'm really excited about these new pieces, and I can't wait to wear the finished products. Eventually I will need to invest in a good sewing machine and some lessons so I can cross "learn to sew" off my list. Until then...I'll invest in a good thimble.

Little Miss Knight

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I've got to do something about this corner

I have very little decorating left to do in my apartment. I do have one problem area. No, it's not my abs (though they could use some work). It's a little corner between my futon and my wooden shelf tower. There you can find my dirty laundry and an old television.

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I have tried selling that tv on Craigslist and I can tell you right now, nobody wants it. For any price. No one cares. I'm really tempted to put a sign on it that reads "It Works" and leaving it on the corner of D Street and 16th Street NE (not too far to walk with this ridiculously heavy tv, but just far enough away from my home). As far as the hamper, I need to find made of some sort of organic material like seagrass or bamboo. Oh, and it has to have a lid. I'm not sure my company would appreciate the scent of my week-old laundry. If they do...that's really weird.

Little Miss Knight

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This is what happens when I watch Top Chef

I have a new "something" on my 30 by 30 list: Make 30 new meals. I'm really excited about it. I can do a lil' sumn sumn in the kitchen, but I cook the same things all the time. YAWN! So I'm branching out so I can have a decent recipe repertoire.

I was watching Top Chef last week (love that show) and felt inspired to start cooking...right then. It was almost 11:00 PM, and I should have been getting ready for bed. Instead I made my own buttermilk and started a brine for fried chicken. I modified the recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen, which is a great blog (and she's coming out with a recipe book. Yay!) Now I've definitely made fried chicken before, but I've never soaked my chicken in buttermilk brine. I've never used buttermilk. As much as I was raised in Florida, the city where I grew up is more Caribbean island than Dirty South, so maybe that's why? At any rate, peep the recipe:


Buttermilk Fried Chicken
5 chicken legs (or approximately 1.25 lbs of other chicken pieces)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk to make your own buttermilk)
1/3 cup Kosher salt (I used sea salt...that's all I had)
2 tbsp chicken bullion (the recipe calls for paprika...and that's it? Nah son...)
1/4 cup brown sugar
garlic (to taste)   

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I let the chicken soak almost 24 hours. When I got home from work on Friday, I took the chicken out of the brine, dried it, and then rolled it in some flour mixed with just a pinch of salt and pepper. I fried the chicken until it was a nice brown color (lighter than what you see in the photos above). I was so excited to try it! I'd been thinking about frying that chicken all day at work.

Too bad I had to throw all the chicken away. It was sooooooo salty!!!!! I'd either used WAY too much salt in the brine or let the chicken soak for WAY to long. Regardless, I couldn't eat any of it. I was so disappointed. I forced down one piece because I hate wasting food, but then I realized it would suck more to die from high sodium intake.

Sigh. I think I ended up having peanut butter & jelly for dinner that night. What a disaster. The rest of the recipe was perfect, so I think I'll reduce the amount of salt and use only 1/3 of what I used (so that would be 1/9 a cup? What does that even mean?). I'll try again eventually. I haven't tried anything new since this debacle, which was a few weeks ago now. I'm literally discouraged. Bleh.

Little Miss Knight

Friday, February 3, 2012

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

Turning 30 is nothing like dying, but these top five regrets made me really think about the way I live my life. What if I did die at 30? Or tomorrow? Would I have these same regrets?

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I can say that #3 and #5 would probably be the ones I'd have. Sometimes it's hard to truly express how I feel to people I love...I don't want to hurt them! And I don't always choose happiness. Sometimes I purposely stay upset...there's a weird sort of self-pitycomfort in being upset "for a reason."

This was an interesting exercise. You only live once!!! Why waste the time doing things you'll regret? You CANNOT get that lost time back. My brothers and I decided to live 2012 without regret, and I intend to do so from now until I'm 30...and hopefully for many years after that =)

Little Miss Knight