Posts made in February 28th, 2012

crispy baked fish and sweet potato chips

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Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Food

You know those dive restaurants that are so incredible and well-known that they can pretty much do whatever they want and still stay in business? They usually have crazy inconvenient hours (10am-11:30am) and ridiculous policies (cash only) but even though they are totally not customer-friendly, the food makes it 100% worth the inconvenience of it all?

Well, in a nearby town growing up, there was a seafood joint and it was one of these places. Thanks to being über landlocked, finding good seafood in Indiana is always a struggle, but this place was on its game. Freshly flown in seafood daily means you can have all kinds of crazy demands as a restaurateur. Everyone looked past their shoddy dinning room and ridiculous hours because the food was so good.

It was also all completely deep-fried. And pretty much the picture of unhealthy.

I was thinking about this place the other day and decided I needed an ode to this restaurant of my childhood. I wasn’t about to drop my heart-healthy fish into a deep frier, but this oven-baked method gives a really great crunchy texture that, in my book, tops its deep-fried cousin.

Instead of pairing it with the standard french fried potatoes, I went with a new sweet potato fry method I discovered on Pinterest. Thanks to the Art of Doing Stuff, I will forever and always have an awesome sweet potato fry recipe in my repertoire. What would I do without Pinterest?

I used a really nice wild-caught cod fillet that I found in the seafood case at my local grocery store, but any firm fish would work for this method. My parents’ have a lake stocked with catfish. You better believe that I’ll be doing this to some fresh catfish fillets this summer. Salmon would also work fine, but, as always with salmon, the flavor will be pretty fishy and pronounced. The beauty of a mild fish is that the breading doesn’t get overpowered.

Crispy Baked Fish

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 15

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound white fish fillet, cut into 2″ strips (cod recommended)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice cereal, crushed
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, adds a cheesy flavor)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 475°. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray rack liberally with cooking spray.

In a shallow dish, combine brown rice cereal, panko, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together egg white, egg, and milk. In a third shallow dish, add flour.

Bread fish strips by dredging in flour, then egg mixture and then pressing into the panko mixture, coating all sides. Place on rack and then repeat with remaining strips. Spray all fish with cooking spray.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until breading is crunchy and fish is opaque and flaky.

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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large zip-top bag, add cornstarch and sweet potatoes. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove sweet potatoes from bag and shake off excess. Place on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes, using hands, toss to coat. Spread potatoes out in one even layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until potatoes are tender and crispy.
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Do you have any dive restaurants you like to go to?

About 2 minutes away from my house is a hamburger joint that has been around since the 1930s. They have crazy weird hours, are cash only, and completely out-of-the-way of our touristy downtown, but the burgers are incredible and totally worth the hassle. If they’ve been around for over 80 years, they must be doing something right.

things i’m digging…

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Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Lifestyle

1. Clinque Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder.

I got this stuff on a whim before I went to an awards show last summer, and I fell in love with it. I just ran out a few weeks ago and I figured I didn’t need to shell out the $20 to get more makeup when drug store stuff would do. Within a few days of wearing the drug store stuff, my face broke out. Then I tried mineral makeup I had stashed from a few years ago, same deal. After two weeks of a broken out face, I decided to suck it up and buy from Clinque. I’m happy I did. I love how light and sheer this stuff is. I don’t wear makeup all the time, so it’s important to me that when I do, it doesn’t look like I’m a totally different person. And this stuff fits th bill.

2. fun.

(Source)

I’m totally late to this game, but I’m in love with this band! Think Mika meets Vampire Weekend meets awesome. And they totally live up to their name. I can’t wait for summer so I can roll the windows down in the car and blast it.

3. Google Chrome.

I’ve been a Firefox girl for years, but over the past few weeks, my beloved FF has been really struggling to run all my app tabs (Gmail, Facebook, BTHR, Google Calendar, TeuxDeux, Pandora, MyFitnessPal, etc.). Babyface switched to Chrome and said it handled multiple tabs much better and boy, is he right. Everything moves totally smoothly now. My favorite part? You can set up different users. So with a click of a button, I can toggle between my BTHR Google accounts and my personal ones. Beyond that, I LOVE all the apps and extensions available. Like the extension that automatically continues Pandora for you. Total Chrome convert.

4. Sparkle tip nails.

You all know I love fun nail designs, but my favorite recently has been these cascading sparkle tips. I’ve done them in all kinds of colors (I think my favorite was hot pink with gold) and they remind me of fireworks, which I love. They are so easy to do and create a really interesting design even on short nails. Quick how to: (1) put on your base color and let dry (2) using a sponge eye shadow brush (you can get them in multiple packs at CVS for cheap) pat on layers of a contrasting color in a gradient fashion—thick and opaque at the tip, more transparent as you get down the nail (3) touch just the tip of the nail with chunky sparkles (4) top coat.

5. Audiobooks.

I never got into audiobooks, mostly because I felt like the whole point of reading a book was to actually stimulate your brain while reading. But I’ve recently found myself out walking for hours at a time thanks to my Avon Walk training schedule. Music gets boring after a while and it’s almost impossible to read while walking, so audiobooks have come to the rescue! I check them out from my library, plop them onto my iPhone and off I go. I barely even noticed I was outside walking for almost four hours this weekend. Still, I’m reserving my must-reads for the printed (or Kindle) version. And I’m not counting any audiobooks to my 50 books in 2012 goal. Sidenote: I’m sure podcasts would accomplish the same thing. If you have any good podcast recommendations, I’d love ‘em.

What are you digging?