Friday, August 28, 2009

Tilapia in Parchment Paper

This is one of my favorite fish recipes and my very own creation! I use tilapia because it is a nice mild, white fish and it's inexpensive. But any white flaky fish will work - like grouper or snapper. The recipe will be for one serving (because I usually just make it for myself), but go ahead and multiply it if you want to feed your family or guests. Just a note: My ingredient amounts are rough estimates as I just generally eyeball it. Use how much you like.


1 Tilapia filet (or any white fish filet)
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice (or 1 half lemon)
3 Tbsp. Dry white wine
1 small clove garlic, sliced thin
1/4 C. chopped fresh tomotos
1/4 C. sliced green pepper
1/4 C. sliced red onion
1/4 C. sliced yellow squash
1/4 C. sliced zucchini
1-2 small red potatoes
salt, pepper to taste


1. Pre-boil the red potatoes, skin on, until tender. Set aside.
2. On cookie sheet, lay out a piece of parchment paper about a foot and a half long. Put the bottom half on the cookie sheet and let the top half lay off the edge.
3. Place fish filet directly on bottom half of parchment paper (on cookie sheet). Leave room at the bottom and sides of the parchment paper to seal it closed.
4. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil.
5. Put all of the sliced garlic on top and around the fish. Drizzle lemon juice on top.
6. After you have sliced all of the vegetables (again, measurements are rough - use as much or as little veggies as you like), place them all on top and around fish.
7. Cut cooked red potatoes into quarters or bite size pieces and add to dish.
8. Drizzle the remaining Tbsp. olive oil on top of veggies.
9. Pour the 3 Tbsp. white wine on top.
10. Season entire dish to taste with salt and pepper.
11. Fold top half of parchment paper over top and roll up the edges all the way around to seal. (Sometimes I use staples to keep it closed).
12. Place cookie sheet in 350 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
13. Be very careful when opening the parchment paper. I have gotten steam burns from this too many times to count! When you do have it open, the whole thing should just slide right out onto a plate.

Some notes: You can use any veggies you like. Broccoli, snap peas, carrots... whatever you like. Although I will say, the garlic, onions and pepper are what really give the meal it's flavor. Also, if you don't want to use potatoes, another good alternative is to place the entire dish on a bed of steamed rice. Or leave them both out and go carb free! This is one of my favorite home-cooked seafood dinners and it is also so healthy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Simple and Affordable Coastal Kitchen Accessory Ideas


You probably spend a lot of time in your kitchen, right? I know I do. Use some of these simple kitchen accents to turn the heart of your home into your very own seaside sanctuary!

We're not talking complete kitchen renovation here. Just a few decorative, yet functional, accessories to give your kitchen a "beach house" feel without breaking the bank.

Bamboo Cutting BoardI recommend starting with one or more of the 3 most important kitchen necessities to make the biggest impact on your room: the cutting board, kitchen towel set and salt & pepper shakers. These are the things that you will not only see the most, but also get the most use out of.

Tempered Glass Cutting BoardsCutting boards come in all shapes, sizes and designs. My favorites are the tempered glass cutting boards that you can leave out on your counter all the time for a dramatic decorative touch. You can also opt for wooden cutting boards made of artisan bamboo. With or without a shore-inspired design, bamboo accents definitely lend a tropical feel.

Stories of the Sea Kitchen TowelSometimes, our kitchen towels are the one thing in the room that are for display only. Whether you actually use them or not, they can be an eye-catching accent hanging from your oven or refrigerator. The theme choices are endless. From a flip flop or lobster motif to seashell and nautical designs, whatever your coastal kitchen inspiration is, you can definitely realize it with matching towels, pot holders and oven mitts. P.S. Get a coordinating kitchen apron to wear during your next clam bake!

Coastal Collage Salt & Pepper SetBy far, the most frequently used item in most kitchens are the salt & pepper shakers. Instead of stashing them out of sight in a cabinet somewhere, you can use them to decorate too! Keep your beach-themed S&P handy and on display on your stove, counter or dining room table. Lighthouses, palm trees, flamingos, blue crabs and more, you can find a design to highlight any coastal kitchen.

Now that you've considered the basics, feel free to add as many, or as few, other kitchen accessories as you'd like. From serving trays to spoon rests, canisters to coasters, the possibilities are endless in creating your very own coastal cottage kitchen. Turn your kitchen into your family's favorite room, for more reasons than just the food!

For these and other great beach decorating ideas, check out - Beach Decor

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September 19, 2009 - International Coastal Cleanup Day

On September 19th, Ocean Conservancy is sponsoring the 24th Annual International Coastal Cleanup. The purpose is to encourage people "to remove trash and debris from the world's beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris, and change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place."

You can enter your zip code to find a cleanup site near you. There are nearly 100 sites registered for the cleanup within 25 miles of my house. Or if you don't see the site you are looking for, you can propose a new site and organize your own cleanup. And they aren't just cleaning beaches and shorelines, but marinas, waterways and even underwater reefs!

I hope you check it out and spread the word. Let me know if you do attend one and send pictures!