Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I think I have some sort of tuna noodle casserole addiction... I keep trying different recipes. But this addiction is paying off. Because this was awesome. Seriously, crazy yum. It was totally worth the 30-minute tantrum Benjamin threw about us making him try some. Especially when, after all that fuss, the little punk ended up liking it. Enjoy.

Edited to add: Try to eat this all the first day you have it. The leftovers are a little overwhelming because when the sauce reheats, it gets runny and somehow even creamier.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Courtesy of Cooking Light


8 ounces wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 3/4 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked
Cooking spray

Preheat broiler.

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot; cook 6 minutes or until carrot is almost tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thick. Stir in cream cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in noodles, peas, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and tuna. Spoon mixture into a shallow broiler-safe 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Chipotle Black Bean Soft Tacos with Guacamole and Tortilla Chips

Jonathan wasn't crazy about these since he usually wants something with a little more "tooth" to it. But since I usually get vegetarian soft tacos when we go to Mexican fast food places, it was good for me.

I did end up using two cans of black beans rather than a mixture of black and kidney beans since that's what I had in the house already. I also made this meal into soft tacos instead of the burritos that the original recipe calls for since I got tortillas that were too small.

The guacamole was also very good. Though I think I may have used too much garlic (did I just say that?)... I doubled the recipe, but I think I could have halved the garlic I used and been good to go.

The homemade tortillas are kind of awesome. I highly recommend trying them. The original recipe calls for corn tortillas, but I only had flour ones. I think the corn ones would have made them even tastier.

Chipotle Black Bean Soft Tacos
A variation on this recipe from Cooking Light


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
3 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
6 flour tortillas
1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 3)
1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
6 tablespoons light sour cream

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about cheese, tomato, lettuce, onions, and sour cream.



2 ripe peeled avocados, seeded and coarsely mashed
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.


Tortilla Chips
Courtesy of

4 corn tortillas
1 teaspoon canola oil
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lightly brush one side of each tortilla with about 1/4 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stack the tortillas and cut into 8 wedges; arrange on prepared baking sheets. Bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Herbed Parmigiano-Reggiano Rolls

These rolls are kind of a pain in the butt to make, so it's likely that this will be the only time I make them. The dough is sticky and hard to work with. I could hardly knead properly. And it takes pretty much all day to make because of the rising times. But they're tasty. And if you have the time, I'd say go for it.

I did substitute the Asiago called for in the original recipe with Parmigiano-Reggiano I had gotten from Di Bruno Brothers in Philadelphia. Jonathan gave me a gift card from there for Christmas for the express purpose of me buying some delicious foods that I wouldn't normally splurge on. Hence, the hunk of delicious Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese I have in my fridge. Yum...

I served these with the Winter Minestrone that I've made before. The editing that I did on that entry (as well as the picture that's there) was from this last time. Mmmm... Kale...

Herbed Parmigiano-Reggiano Rolls
A variation on this recipe from Cooking Light


2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
11.25 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cooking spray

Dissolve 1 tablespoon honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon honey and egg. Weigh or lightly spoon 9 ounces (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces flour, 1/2 cup cheese, and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to yeast mixture, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 2.25 ounces (about 1/2 cup) flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Working with one portion of dough at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into a ball. Place the balls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Uncover balls; sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over tops of balls. Bake for 18 minutes or until browned. Remove from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on wire rack.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chocolate Crinkles

These Chocolate Crinkles were the last Christmas cookie I made this year... I apologize for being negligent in posting about all of the other ones. My computer was just too slow to make it reasonable for me to post all of the food I was making during the holiday season. BUT... My wonderful father-in-law got me a new computer for Christmas, on which I am typing right now. I can't believe how quickly pictures upload on it and how non-choppy my typing is coming out right now. It's so nice to be technologically modern again.

So there will be even more food to see now that I can blog with less trouble. Woo! Now here are these delicious and easy cookies...

Chocolate Crinkles
Courtesy of Real Simple


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.

Form the dough into balls (each equal to 1 level tablespoon). Roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are firm and the tops crack, 13 to 15 minutes.

Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.