Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pan Seared Peppercorn and Sesame Tuna

This recipe can be paired with a green salad, steamed vegetables as a light dinner entree or enjoyed on it's own as an appetizer! Bring a piece of your favorite Japanese restaurant home!


For the Tuna
  • 2 6 to 8oz Tuna fillets (try to use a thicker cut of Tuna)
  • 1 T Cracked Black Peppercorn
  • 3 T White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 t Salt
For the Sauce (Optional)
  • 1/4 C Soy Sauce
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 2 t Rice Vinegar or Mirin

1. Wash and pat dry the Tuna fillets
2. Season the Tuna fillets with a sprinkling of Salt
3. In a shallow plate, combine and mix the Cracked Peppercorn with the White Sesame Seeds.
4. Heat a flat bottomed skillet over Medium High - High heat
5. Spread mixture of Peppercorn and Sesame Seeds out in a thin layer on the plate
6. Lay a Tuna Fillet on the Peppercorn and Sesame Seed mixture so that it'll stick to the Tuna
7. Repeat step 6 so that the other side of fillet is covered with the Peppercorn and Sesame mixture
8. When the pan is searing hot, add a little oil to coat the bottom of the pan
9. Place the Peppercorn and Sesame covered Tuna fillet in pan, and sear all sides for about 1-2 minutes each side. Tuna Fillets should be mostly rare on the inside, with a grey opaque layer on the outside
10. Repeat steps 6 - 9 for each fillet
11. Combine and mix Sauce ingredients in a bowl until sugar is dissolved
12. Optionally drizzle Tuna fillets with Sauce and Serve while they are still warm
13. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


My friends and I love playing this game called Subject Predicate. Imagine it as being a cross between Telephone and Pictionary. You get about 5 or 6 friends together and unleash your random, creative and playful imaginations on paper. The more friends you include, the longer the round last but it's really fun. As you play the game, you'll get the hang of it and become an advanced player and come up with more and more elaborate combinations of Subjects and Predicates.

Here's how it works:

You'll need:

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Imagination
  • Sense of Humor
  • Alcohol (optional)
1. Each person receives a blank sheet of paper
2. Each person starts off by writing a Subject on the top of the sheet of paper
3. Fold the top of the piece of paper down so that the Subject written is not visible
4. Pass the paper to the next person in the rotation

*** Remember You too, will receive a piece of paper from the person next to you after each task is complete

5. Without looking at the Subject, Write a Predicate in the space under the region where the Subject is. DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUBJECT!
6. Fold the paper over so that the Subject and Predicate are not visible
7. Pass the paper to the next person in the rotation.
8. Open the piece of paper you receive so that you can view the Subject and Predicate. Keep the knowledge of the Subject and Predicate to yourself
9. Construct a sentence out of the Subject and Predicate
10. Draw a picture in the space below the Predicate on the paper that depicts the sentence that is created by the Subject and Predicate
11. When you're done, fold the paper so that only the Drawing you drew is visible
12. Pass the paper to the next person in the rotation
13. Look at the Drawing you received, and write down a Description of the Drawing in the space below the Drawing on the paper
14. Fold the paper over so that only the Description is visible
15. Pass the paper to the next person in the rotation
Reading the Description from the previous person, Draw a picture depicting the Description in the space below the Description.

*** If you start running out of room, just continue on the back of the paper

16. Fold the paper so that only the Drawing is visible when the Drawing is finished
17. Pass the paper to the next person in the rotation

*** We're almost done. Hang in there!

18. Repeat Step 13 (I'm exhausted writing this :P)
19. Pass the paper to the next person who will unfold the whole sheet of paper
20. Now go around in turns revealing the result of the round and be prepared to laugh, laugh, laugh!

I'll post some pictures of examples when I can get a chance.

Try the game out for yourself!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

If Life Gives you Overripe Bananas...

Make Banana Bread!

  • 1 C mashed bananas
  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 1/4 C margarine
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 C chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan, or two 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  3. Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture.
  6. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture.
  7. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan or pans.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Christmas Cheer - Martha Moment!

Christmas is baking season for me, and 2006 was a big one!

About a week before the Chirstmas holiday, I was milling around Michael's (a craft supply store) when I discovered mini ceramic loaf pans for a dollar each! They were printed with Christmas motifs and were oh so cute! Then inspiration hit me and I had a "Martha" moment! I decided to bake loaves of Banana Bread and give them out as gifts to my coworkers and friends!

In my mind, there was no better way to remind people of the holidays than with baked goods. And wrapped in the right packaging, you can't help but feel cheery when you receive a package of yumminess!

So immediately I loaded down my cart with 20 loaf pans and bought a Christmas foam stamp. I had an idea to create my own packaging using brown paper lunch bags, and decorating it with Christmas stamps. I thought it would look quiant and more homemade and from the heart. And to top it off, I also included the recipe for the Banana Bread on the bag. If you teach a man to fish...

Candlelight Supper - Debriefing

In July, 2006, I actually did stage a Candlelight Supper with Subjectively Predicating Entertainments! I invited 6 close friends to dinner complete with invitations, menus, wine, sport jackets and beef carpaccio! Fancy...

The menu included :
Caprese Salad - Tomato, Mozzerella, and Basil drizzled with Balsalmic Syrup
Beef Carpaccio served with Wasabi Cream and Capers
Grilled Spice Rubbed Sirloin Steak with Sauteed Haricot Vert
Grilled Garlic Butter Portabello Mushroms with Sauteed Haricot Vert

We used so many serving plates! Clean up was crazy!

Had tons of fun hostessing!

Jackie's Blog - One Year Later!

I'm so bad about keeping up with things such as blogs. I usually avoid starting them for fear I'll neglect them soon after and low and behold I have let this blog fall by the wayside for a year!!! OI!!! But this year, I'm resolved to changing my ways, and a couple of successful recipes have inspried me to take up the reins of this blog again. This time, I'll try to provide pictures! Hoohaha!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Honey Is Gone

My honey is going and will be out of town Friday till Wednesday. I miss him already. Dagnabbit!

Party Planning

I had the pleasure of planning a birthday breakfast for 30ish of my colleagues virtually at the last moment this morning. It all started the day before when it was discovered that it was our manager's birthday the next day. We talked it over and decided to stage a birthday breakfast for the next morning. A couple of my senior colleagues appointed me to plan it because I had planned another birthday event earlier. (btw, they were both guys and had no idea what to do).

I have to admit, planning the birthday breakfast was fun and everyone enjoyed the food (there was plenty of it). I learned that when it came down to it, it was the little touches that made the party special. I used the color pink in the decorations to add a personal touch because our manager frequently wears pink shirts. I used unique condiments to add pizazz and compliment the baked goods like bagels and croissants. (Philidelphia Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Spread. Ooo... very yummy....)

After the party, I felt very proud at the job I did and at the many compliments and expressions of satisfaction my coworkers expressed. If I was asked to stage another event, I'd be glad to.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Candlelight Supper and Riparian Entertainment

Here's a crazy idea. I'd like to stage a Candlelight Supper with Riparian Entertainment (a reference to BBC comedy series Keeping Up Appearances).

It'll be a nice sit down dinner with good food and good company and good conversation.

One problem is to find a location to stage it and a kitchen to use to cook the food.

Appetizers and 3 course dinner.

I'll be keeping this idea in the back of my head for a while.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just around the corner. In fact, it's this Sunday. And man oh man... it is the season of feasts! A huge feast to end the year on a good note on New Years Eve, we hold off on New Years Day, and another feast to start off the year on the Day After New Years.

Chinese New Year is just filled with little candies and snacks and food that normally people only see once a year. My family likes to do it up traditionally which means big. :-) I took the day off from work just to help with preparations. I find that this is the one way to really feel the spirit of the season. (Red envelopes of money help too.)

I'll be sure to keep my audience keyed in to the festivities.

Japanese Food Night

It's been forever since I've updated my blog. To be honest, I'm not really proficient in keeping up with things like that. I remember in middle school, I got one of those DayTimer calendars because it was the cool thing to have. I used it for like a week. Anyhoo, on with the cooking adventures!

2 weeks ago, my friends and I had a small cooking excursion where we had a Japanese food night. I must say it was a great success. :-)

Much thanks to my friends Katherine, Julie, Randy, Garo and my sis Christiana for all the cooperation in pulling this dinner party off!

On the menu:

Sushi Rolls (salmon, cucumber, crab stick, avocado)
You can wrap just about anything sushi style. We basically made a simple batch of sushi rice (refer to the bottom for recipe) and wrapped it around combinations of sliced cucumber, avocado, crab stick and salmon.

"Oysters On A Half Shell" (our interpretation of Miyako's popular dish)
This dish is comprised of many elements. It's tempura fried oysters, avacado and crab, wrapped sushi roll style. Then the sushi roll is sliced and tempura fried. It's served with seaweed salad and orange fish roe (caviar) and teriyaki sauce.

We were very excited to try to make this dish because it's one of our favorties. And when we broke it down and dissected the steps, this dish became a piece of cake. Our guests loved it! They said it was better than the original. Bonus praise for the cooking team!!!
Tempura (shrimp, broccoli, sweet potato, onion, bell pepper)
Mmm... crispy sweet vegetables, lightly battered, golden fried bites of heaven!
Udon Noodles
Soupy-Noodly goodness. Thick and chewy flour noodles served in piping hot seafood stock garnished with seaweed shreds.
Bright green soybean pods blanched and lightly seasoned with salt. Served hot or chilled. Guaranteed to keep your guests' mouths busy. ;-)

Basic Sushi Rice - yields 4 cups of rice

2 cups Sushi rice or Medium Grain Rice
2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar

5 sheets of Nori (black, roasted seaweed sheets)
1 Bamboo sushi rolling mat or plastic wrap
Miscellaneous sushi items (i.e. cucumber, avacado, crab stick, spicy tuna, etc...)

To Prepare the rice:
  1. Cook the rice according to the directions on the packaging. Typically, the ratio between rice to water is 1:1. If the rice turns out too hard, don't worry, it may soften after you add the vinegar mixture.If that doesn't work, you can try to soften it by mixing a little more water in it and microwaving it for 30sec intervals until it softens.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with the 2 Tbsp of sugar until all the sugar dissolves.
  3. After the rice is finished cooking, remove it from the heat and pour the vinegar mixture over the rice.
  4. Stir rice and vinegar mixture gently to incorporate evenly and to cool the rice. Stir until steam stops emitting from the rice.
  5. Let sit for 10-15min. Check to see if rice is cool enough to handle with hands.

To wrap the sushi:
  1. Lay a sheet of nori on the sushi mat.
  2. Spread 1/4 of the sushi rice in a thin rectangular layer 1/2 - 3/4 in thick on the seaweed. Try to spread the rice as close to the borders as possible. Leave a 1in strip uncovered by rice on the far side of the seaweed. This flap will be used to seal the roll.
  3. Place the item or items you wish to wrap length wise about 1/4 of the way from the riced edge of the seaweed.
  4. Use the sushi mat to fold the seaweed and rice over the sushi items and begin to roll the sushi over. Be sure to wrap the sushi tightly and be sure not to roll the mat into the sushi roll too. ;-)
  5. At the end, moisten the riceless flap of the seaweed and smooth it over the edge of the sushi to seal the roll.
  6. You can wrap the sushi roll with the bamboo roll or plastic wrap and squeeze it to tighten the sushi roll if necessary.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Toronto Blitz


Just got back from a 2 day blitz of Toronto and Niagra Falls. Most of which was spent on a bus. It's a 6hr drive from Montreal to Toronto and another 1.5hr drive from Toronto to Niagra Falls.

I did discover the charm of a chain of fast food restaurants called Tim Horton's. It's like Starbucks but more homey and country-er.

A word to the wise, the sales tax in Canada is 15%. The exchange rate is 1 US dollar to 1.15 CA dollars. So, really, you're not saving too much money spending over here versus in the US.

Anyhoo, time to relinquish the computer.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Little Cousins: PWNED in Canada

Highlights so far, are all the scrumptious food I've had the pleasure to eat, skiing down a mountain for the first time ever, and playing video games with kids half my age.

I'm not ashamed to say, I pwned 2 cousins in Smash Brothers Melee! It was a stroke of chance really. They happen to be playing Smash when I walked in, and I watched my brother play with Kirby and got brutalized by 2 kids ganging up on him with Peach and Sheik. Well... being Wilson's big sister I had to step in. And so, I picked up a controller and I humored them with a couple of 5 stock games. These kids are totally brutal. When they Smash, they put their whole body into the motion and they give off war cries. Yeah totally weird I know. The first game was against the most arrogant of the kids. Oh yes, I took much pleasure in schooling him.... Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha... He used Young Link against me. At first I thought, CRAP!!! I better not lose to this kid, especially since I play the game virtually everyday. I must represent S.B.P.A (Smash Brothers Players Anonymous) I chose to use Marth. I remained cool and collected and predidcted his moves very swimingly. I finished him off only losing 1 life and had 67% damage left. Mwahahahahahahahahaha!!! The second game was more brutal. I didn't lose a single life. Hehehehehehehehehehe... I avenged my brother and garnered much respect from those arrogant Smashers!

Yeah!!! Oh skiing was fun. I fell like 10 times and rescued someone on the slopes. Oi I'm sore.

Christmas In Canada

I'm spending the Christmas holiday in Montreal, Canada with my family here. Yes, it's freakin' cold here. It was 9 degrees F when we got off the plane... Don't ask me why we chose to come here in the winter.