Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars and Tomato Basil Tilapia

To preface this post, instead of saying G-d, Jewish people refer to him as Hashem in casual circumstances. The Torah forbids us from saying the word G-d when not in prayer.

A few months ago I was shopping at Whole Foods with the Princes. As we were loading the groceries into the car, the door slammed shut on it's own, which took us all by surprise. When they asked me who closed the door, I told them Hashem. They started laughing hysterically, they thought that was so funny.

That remark has come to bite me in the tush. Now, I constantly hear them use the saying:

Who tooted? Hashem did.

Who peed in the (empty) bathtub? Hashem did.

Who peed all over the floor? Hashem did.

Who made this mess? Hashem did.

Who ate half the pan of the sugar cookie bars? Hashem did.

Well, one thing is for sure, it wasn't Hashem. But, I will tell you I would eat half a pan of those sugar cookie bars too.

Sugar Cookie Bars

1 stick margarine or butter
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda

1 can Pillsbury vanilla frosting
food coloring- your choice of color

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 7x11 pyrex with non stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until combined. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix until dough comes together.

Put the dough into the pyrex and use your hand to pat evenly to fill the inside.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, 20 minutes if you like it doughy, 25 for more cookie like.

Once the cookie has cooled, mix a few drops of food coloring into the icing. Spread the icing on top of the cookie, I only used half of the can. Then sprinkle with sprinkles. To serve, cut into squares.

Even though this afternoon I snacked on a HUGE portion of the sugar cookie bars, I was starving for dinner. My dinner was simple and excellent, I made: Tomato Basil Tilapia, Green Bean Almondine, Portobello Pilaf.

Here are the recipes:

Tomato Basil Tilapia

This amazing recipe is Paula Deen's, I just added my own colorful touch by using red, orange, and yellow tomatoes. This would be good to serve to company because it is simple to make, but looks super fancy.

2 (8 oz.) tilapia fillets
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 T. fresh basil, minced (I used more because I love basil)
1 t. fresh oregano, minced
1 t. onion powder
1 t. minced garlic
3 T. olive oil
1 large tomato, or 3 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a shallow 1 quart baking dish with non stick spray.

Sprinkle the fish evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange it in the baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the basil, oregano, onion powder, and garlic. Drizzle with 2 T. olive oil. Arrange the tomato slices on the top, and drizzle with remaining 1 T. olive oil.

Bake until tilapia flakes easily with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and serve immediately.

Green Beans Almondine

This classic dish is so easy to prepare and goes great with just about anything.

1 lb. French Green Beans
2 T. sliced almonds
2 T. margarine or butter
1 t. lemon juice
salt and pepper

Steam the green beans in a pan filled with 1 inch of water until crisp tender.

Melt the margarine in a saute pan over low heat. Add the almonds and cook until golden brown stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Pour over the green beans, and mix around to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Portobello Pilaf

I was planning on making plain rice, that was until I realized I had a portobello mushroom that was about to go bad, and then I came up with this recipe. It rocked, I will be making this all the time now.

1 T. olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 portobello mushroom, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 T. margarine or butter
1 C. jasmine rice
1 1/2 C. water

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan, over medium. Add the onion and saute until it softens a little, 5 minutes. Add the diced mushroom and cook stirring occasionally until it starts to release it's liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Then add the salt, thyme, margarine, rice, and water. Stir to combine, raise heat and bring to a boil, lower heat until it is simmering. Place a tight fitting lid on it, and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.


All this Hashem talk...I was driving the boys home from school the other day and one of them asked me why did Hashem create the world? I didn't really know a good answer to the question. I'll leave you with that to ponder.


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