Almond Coated Tilapia

Heaven help me,  it was the best fish I’ve ever made in my life,  and I am trying very hard not to go eat the rest of it. See, dinner got started late because of a certain incident involving “Tori” and her soiled diaper, but I digress. So DH and the boys had to leave before dinner was ready.

I signed up for eMealz. It is very fun to have a shopping list made up for you, and a menu, and the recipes. It’s totally worth the five dollars a month. Anyway, tonight’s recipe was Parmesan Tilapia with Almonds. I was in a hurry, because I was trying to get it done in time for everyone to eat. So I skipped a step, (Thawing the Tilapia filets), which kind of messed it up. In a perfect world, the filets would have been thawed out, then I could have properly done the egg/milk wash and then the dredged in flour/parmesan/spices mixture. As it was, I dumped every thing in one bag, shook it up, and poured it out into the casserole dish. So it took longer to bake, since it was frozen. So skipping the step didn’t save me time at all. But the beautiful thing is, even though the fish wasn’t evenly coated with the toppings, WOW. Flavorful, moist, buttery, crunchy…Outstanding.

So you put the fish in the casserole dish, then pour a bunch of melted margarine and almost the whole six ounces of slivered almonds all over the top. Baked it for forty minutes or so. I was making involuntary obscene vocalizations while eating it. I can hardly wait for DH to come home and eat it. I think he will love it too. You should check out eMealz. It’s cool. The thing that sold me on it, was that they have menus for ALDI. Awesome!

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Holiday Eating

Now that I’ve had time to digest the holidays, I’ll talk a little about food over the holidays. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re celebrating, food is intrinsic to your holiday celebration. Challah bread if you’re Jewish,  Hushuur if you’re Mongolian, and so on. Our Christmas food traditions are non-negotiable, if you are one of my kids. Christmas Eve lunch is crackers with summer sausage and assorted cheeses. We used to get a Hickory Farms assortment, but we’ve also gotten Wal-mart gift sets, K-Mart sausage and cheese sets and so on. 2009 we did something I’ve wanted to do for years. We bought the “Holiday Feast” from Figis. Whoa Baby! Smoked sausage, many different cheeses, little jellies, strawberry hard candy, two fruit cakes and two chocolate tortes. Oh, it was so much fun. We also cracked open a couple sparkling juices.

Now, in 2008, we ordered Chinese food for Christmas Eve. You should have heard the caterwauling when DH and I decided to hold off on ordering for a couple days. When we did get around to ordering Chinese, this is what we ordered: Two large General Tso’s chicken, Hot and Sour soup and egg rolls. My belt feels tight just typing about it. The kids crack me up. A couple of them are pretty picky eaters, but they chow down on the oriental food like college co-eds. We got chopsticks too, and they enjoyed practising eating with them.

The fun doesn’t end with our Christmas Chinese food. New Year’s Day we carry on the tradition started by DH’s mom. It’s snacking, Hors d’œuvres and finger food all day long. By the end of the day, the cocktail weiners are black and swollen from cooking in the crockpot for twelve hours.

This year, my Sis and her family joined us. Behold the spread:

Devilled eggs

Cream cheese/olive/lunch meat pinwheels with flour tortillas

Assorted crackers

Summer Sausage

Assorted cheeses

Meatballs in savory tomato/soy sauce/chili sauce

Cocktail weiners in grape jelly/chili sauce

Mushroom tarts (thank you Janet is Hungry!)

Bagels and two different cream cheeses (thanks, Sis!)

Brownies

Blueberry mini-muffins

Vegetable tray (carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, olives, peppers, scallions) with Ranch dip

Chips and dip

We stuffed ourselves silly. What a way to start the new year!

I haven’t even mentioned the cookies and cakes and baked goods that were given to us over the holiday. E’s friends brought a big tin full of fresh baked cookies. Her Ginger Snaps were INCREDIBLE. Another neighbor brought a plate full of goodies, cookies AND high quality chocolates. Friends from church brought a Christmas tin full of cookies. (Farley found them, carried the tin around until it opened, and ate the Hershey kisses off the tops of all of the peanut butter kiss cookies.)

I wonder why my pants don’t fit.