Posts Tagged ‘tuna noodle casserole’

muesli? I hardly know her!

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Obsessed. I don’t know exactly what happened – all of a sudden I’m just not even mildly interested in cooking my oats. Perhaps, despite the fact that it’s supposed to snow today, it’s the feeling of encroaching spring?

Our mix yesterday morning was muesli with frozen mixed berries defrosted into a juicy delicious mess, almonds and honey.

Muesli, if you’re not familiar, is uncooked oats mixed with yogurt or milk (or water, I guess) until they’re a little bit soft. The mixture above is pretty dry – it’s about 1/3 cup rolled oats with an equal amount of yogurt and a splash of water. When Crockett ate it he said ‘this isn’t as pasty as I expected’.

High praise, y’all. High praise.

“Em, stop taking before-coffee and after-coffee pictures.”

“Ok. How about before-breakfast and after-breakfast pictures instead?”

Do you see that six days later the beautiful irises Laura brought me are still going strong?

When I was packing my lunch, I cut open this kiwi and I was hugely distracted by how gorgeous it was on the inside. Ain’t that just beautiful?

I finally finished the tuna casserole from Sunday while I was on campus. I have to say it help up pretty damn well.

Then, of course, I semi bombed a quiz in my Formal Automata class.

Sigh.

You know what makes me feel better about bombing quizzes?

Banana bread. I keep buying bananas – I hate wanting a banana and not having one – but we don’t eat them that fast, so I keep throwing the old ones in the freezer. The thing I love about banana bread is that it’s virtually foolproof. The sweetness of the bananas, the chocolate chips, and the crunch of the whole wheat – even if you’re not a baker, this will turn out well. Just what you need after a bad quiz, maybe.

Banana Bread (with chocolate chips, pecans, and a nod to whole wheat)

  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed like brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed (optional)*
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, roughy chopped*
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan, and 8×8 baking pan, or an 8×4 loaf pan.
  2. Beat or stir together the butter and sugar, then add the bananas and make sure to smoosh them in good. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Dump in all the dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking powder, and flax if you’re using) and stir them up a little bit before you mix them into the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Scrape into your prepared pan and put into the oven for 45-55 minutes (25-35 minutes if you’re using the 8×8 pan). If testing with a skewer, you’re not looking for dry, you just want it to not look like it was dipped in melted butter.

*I meant to use the flax but forgot, to it’s not in the loaf you see above. Also, I didn’t chop my pecans and while I like the big bites of nut, it made the bread hard to slice.

This is from a smaller dish that I made, because I was worried about the 8×4 loaf pan not being big enough.

I spent last night at my mom’s house with her dogs, because she’s off being a superwoman (USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships) and she didn’t want them to get lonely.

Based on the reception I got, I’m thinking they weren’t pleased to have me as a replacement.

“What do you want, lady?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, did you want me to look at you? Um… nah. Thanks for the offer though.”

I probably should have brought them some banana bread.

wordless and partially cameraless wednesday

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

papa-paparazzi

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

I’m not going to say that Crockett brought home a ‘Glee Greatest Hits’ CD from his trip.

But I’m not going to say that he didn’t, either.

Yesterday I woke up ravenous. Like, waiting for oatmeal seemed ridiculous even though it only takes like four minutes ravenous.

Fortunately, Frosted Mini Wheats are always there for me. This was the bottom of the box, too, which is totally the best part because of all the little sugary nubbins that end up down there – you know, the ones that turn to sweet mush in the milk? I love those things.

Yes, I did spend all morning doing homework.

No, I don’t find anything amusing about S -> aSS. Unless you do. In which case I totally do too.

Leftover tuna casserole = good. This kiwi = bad. This is why I hate buying fruit in packs – four kiwis in a plastic container may seem like a good deal (it really was, from a price-per-kiwi perspective), but if one or more of the kiwis is icky you won’t know until you get home.

I ate it anyway, because I paid for it. Damn it.

Eating with the door open and the spring breeze blowing into the house made the kiwi very slightly more bearable.

Ha. Bearable. And there’s a mug from the Black Bear Inn of Vail. See what I did there? BEARable? I’m awesome today.

Then I walked the dogs, ran myself, grocery shopped, dog food shopped, and painted my fingernails.

All this and the only thing I’d had to drink with lunch was peppermint tea. Nary a coffee bean in sight.

Also, the pet food store I go to has a frequent buyer card – buy 12 bags of the same dog food and get the 13th free. Yesterday was my 12th bag, so I took home my free 13th bag at the same time.

I love free stuff.

For some reason all day long I was thinking about quiche. I never actually got it together to MAKE quiche, but since it stayed with me all day I scrambled some eggs with goat cheese for dinner. Crockett brought home all of this boy food from the mountains – you know, generic ‘wheat’ hamburger buns and the like – and the bottom of one of those made the perfect squishy plate for my eggs.

I did the asparagus for 45 seconds in the microwave with a little olive oil and salt. Sure, it wasn’t quite as delicious as if it had spent 30 minutes in the oven and gotten all crispy around the edges, but for the level of effort? Totally acceptable.

Turns out at some point in my getting-stuff-done day I’d broken the garbage disposal.

How dare you mentally accuse me of breaking it just so I could watch Crockett be all handy-manny. I would never do such a thing.

Probably.

Progressive

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Guess who came home last night?

And guess what he brought?

He bought presents. Presents for my dogs.

Does he know the way to my heart or what?

In honor of his homecoming, I made Tuna Noodle Casserole – Redux, from food52.

Why does this honor his homecoming?

I don’t know, honestly. It felt a little like meeting him at the door with a martini and a dress with a circle skirt – except without doing either of those things. As a feminist, I wholeheartedly reject the idea that that any woman should be expected to do that – but I like the idea of an optional throwback every once in awhile.

Anyway. The casserole:

Tuna Noodle Casserole – Redux
Very slightly adapted from the recipe available on food52

SERVES 4
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, minced
  • 1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon bouillon paste (or 1/2 cup stock)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces mixed or single type pasta, cooked until al dente and drained
  • 2 cans oil packed tuna, drained
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large sautee pan, heat 1 Tbs. of butter over medium-high until foaming. Stir in mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have given off all of their liquid and cooked through (10 or so minutes). Season lightly with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add another 1/2 Tbs. butter to the frying pan, then cook onion, shallot and celery together for about 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the herbs and the sherry and cook for another 2 minutes. Add to the bowl with the mushrooms, then set this aside.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 3 Tbs. of butter over medium-high until foaming. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for about 2 minutes. Then whisk in the milk and chicken stock, bit by bit, to make a smooth sauce. Cook, stirring, until just slightly thickened (another minute or two). Then add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Flake the tuna and combine the tuna, the white sauce, the mushroom-onion mixture, and the noodles all together. Grease and 8X8 inch baking pan and transfer the casserole mixture into it.
  5. In a small pan, melt the last Tbs. of butter. Stir in the minced garlic and the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until the crumbs are golden brown. Sprinkle this all over the casserole. Put the casserole in the oven and bake until it is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve!
  • I used fusilli and some plain old spaghetti for the pasta part.

    In true 50s style, I served it with roasted asparagus.

    I would like to say that I included a jello salad of some kind for dessert, but I’d be lying.

    Also: gigantic bowl of oatmeal with cottage cheese and grated apples.

    Isn’t it amazing how beautiful flowers can make even oatmeal look classy?

    Buffalo chik’n salad.

    Also, looking at these pictures, I’m wondering how many cups of coffee I had yesterday. I think perhaps it was a lot.

    Mmm, coffee.