Monday, August 30, 2010

Balsamic Vinaigrette with Filet Mignon

This salad is a great summer dish. Of course you can put your choice of protein on top, Ryan just happens to love Filet Mignon grilled. Since he is the man of the grill, he chooses the meat!
The salad dressing is to die for, I make a big batch and then keep for side salads through the week.

If you are trying to not eat a lot of meat like I have been doing lately, I made my own salad topped with mandarin oranges, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes (from our garden), pecans, and blue cheese (or gorgonzola-whichever you have on hand). I am not sure why I didn't take a picture of my salad.... bummer!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs dijon mustard
2-3 Tbs honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 small shallots, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup olive oil

Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Once everything is well blended, gradually begin to which in the olive oil.

It is that simple and equally as delicious... much better than anything you will find in the store. Get creative with your salad toppings and if you find a good combo, pass it along to the Pearce's Kitchen

Monday, August 23, 2010


I made this Granola a week or so ago and I am still munching on it. I loved the taste and I also split the recipe in half.... just a thought cause even half a recipe makes a ton!

Mom's Granola - From the Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

6 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup maple sugar (too expensive... I used regular sugar)
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sesame or sunflower seeds (I used sunflower because that is what I had in pantry)
1 cup chopped nuts or raisins (I did 1/2 nuts and 1/2 raisins)
1/2 cup craisins or another dried fruit
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat over to 350

Spread the oats on baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the oats to large mixing bowl, add the sugar, wheat germ, coconut, seeds, nuts, raisins, and dried fruit. Stir to mix well, then add the oil, syrup, vanilla extract and combine until everything is moistened.

Spread one layer on baking sheet, may have to bake in 2 batches if using the whole recipe. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring half-way thru to ensure even browning.

Allow the baked granola to cool on the pans, then place in airtight container and stir the granola until crumbly!

Enjoy! This was a great snack option, light and healthy. I liked the flavor a lot. Let me know if you try this and what you might add it to!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Warm Mango Salsa and grilled Tuna Steaks

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Mango Salsa

Tucher anxiously awaiting his ''leftover'' plate!

WOW! Things around our house have been super busy lately-lots of out of town trips can make you really appreciate a night-in with a fresh and delicious meal. That is just what we did on Friday night. I had to work on Saturday and then we headed to ATL to celebrate a 30th Bday party with awesome friends - so Friday night was low key.

I made this delicious dinner for Ryan and I and it is something that you need to make soon! This recipe is a keeper, promise!

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for searing
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (2 onions)
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 ripe mangos, peeled, seeded, and small diced
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, to taste (1 pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tuna steaks


Saute the olive oil, onions, and ginger in a large saute pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mangos, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and jalapeno; cook for 10 more minutes, until orange juice is reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the mint. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Heat a saute pan over high heat for 5 minutes until very hot. Season the tuna liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and then the tuna steaks. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the outside is browned, but the inside is very rare.

Serve the tuna on top of the mango salsa.

Here are a couple of pics from our fun weekend celebrating a birthday in ATL.
Ryan and I

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

San Francisco vacation and the Kind Diet

We just got back from San Francisco and visiting the surrounding areas of Saulsalito, Napa, Sonoma, and the coastline on US 1. It was a fun trip with lots of great food and great times with the hubby. We drank more wine than one should followed by lots of great California Food. Now it is back to reality, unpacking the suitcases (the worst part of a trip), laundry, cleaning, etc....But first, a few pics from our wonderful trip!

Details about the trip:
Stayed at Hotel Monaco. Loved the decor of this hotel and the location was wonderful! They had daily wine tastings for free in the lobby from 4-6. Great coffee bar in the am and the service was amazing. We didn't have time on Sunday to mail all of our wine back to Alabama, so we left it in their luggage room. On Monday, one of the men who work there went to a packing store, bought the boxes to pack the wine in and shipped it to us... Talk about SERVICE! Oh, and he didn't charge for the boxes.... They also are pet friendly which says a lot about a hotel in my opinion (they will walk your dog daily for you while you are out exploring the city).
Restaurants: We ate at Zuni cafe, recommended by a friend. Loved the drinks and the food was so fresh and seasoned perfectly. Didn't get to go to Chez Panisse though... One day i will get to Alice Waters restaurant, love her Slow Food Movement influence and her cookbook! We also enjoyed Scoma's Restaurant. Of course you cannot forget the SOURDOUGH bread! Ate several sandwiches and clam chowders that included this amazing bread!
Saulsalito: We LOVED saulsalito. I could move there tomorrow! NOT KIDDING. We ate at Sushi Ran which had amazing sushi. Great place to walk around or get on a bike and explore further.
Activities: Walked through China Town, explored Golden Gate Park, drove down Lombard Street, went to Alcatraz (wouldn't do again, but recommend to do at least once), saw the Golden Gate Bridge, experienced the stench associated with Fisherman's Wharf (my least favorite thing we did, likely because it was so touristy), and did lots of shopping around Union Square

The Golden Gate Bridge with all the clouds that pour over San Francisco during this time of year... making it freezing, highs around 60 and lows in the 50's! Nice refreshing break from 110 degrees and very humid!

Ryan and I in Napa, heading into Pejo Vineyard

Wine Tasting at our favorite... Cakebread!

In the tasting gardens at Cakebread

On our trip I read the "Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone, recommended to me by Sara. It got me thinking a lot about vegetarian diets and adding more veggies to all of our meals. I of course support local and organic ingredients, grass fed beef, cage free chickens, etc...which I always thought was good enough... however, how can I eat even better for my health was what I started debating. So, starting on Monday, I started eating less meat, more veggies, more fruit, and being even more aware of what is in food. I went on a large grocery store shopping spree, buying different veggies that I had never worked with. I made roasted chick peas (amazing), homemade granola (yummy), and a delicious pasta dish that even Ryan liked!

The basis of this book focuses on a macrobiotic diet, protecting our furry animals (she is very pro-animal fyi), eliminating "nasty" foods and eating "kind" foods that support our energy and the environment. Am I saying that this book made me believe in global warming... no. Am I saying that I will never eat meat again... no! But, I am trying to change the choices I make, adding more nutritious things (veggies, fruits, whole grains) to my diet and trying not to crave meat all the time. This type of change definitely doesn't occur overnight, but hopefully in the long run I can make it work for us here in the Pearce Family! Trying to convince meat lovers like myself and Ryan is hard to do, but this book has really got me thinking a little differently!

Look at this picture...

This is my Nephew petting our limousin and angus cows
Our cows on our farm are well taken care of by my brother... they get petted and roam wherever they want... If only all cows were treated like this, maybe we wouldn't have the animal cruelty cases that are appearing in lots of slaughter houses...

Here is a yummy new recipe to try, it makes a lot so you will have great leftovers!

Rustic Pasta - from the Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
  • 1/4 pound pasta, whole wheat
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced(if in season, if not just a yellow or white onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup shoyu (by the soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 5-6 tbs of organic or homemade marinara sauce (look for ones with no sugar)
Cook the pasta, until al dente and drain.
While the past is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat and add the onions. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until they are softened, add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes longer, until the onions are turning golden and the garlic is fragrant. Now add the celery and saute for 4 minutes. Then stir in the shoyu, salt, garlic powder, and cabbage. Saute for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer. Now add the pasta to the skillet, add the marinara sauce, and toss all together. Cook for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat until everything is simmering and well mixed. Serve!

On a side note, I picked about 10,000 tomatoes from my garden, so I added 3 of these tomatoes to the mixture and it worked very nicely with the flavors.

Give this recipe a try, serve with a nice salad, and you have a delicious, hearty, vegetarian meal!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Where are the Pearces???

This should give you a little cue:

Enjoy your week/weekend, we will!

And Tucher wants Jaxon to know that he misses his play partner... too cute of a pix not to post!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ice Cream!!!

The Heat Advisory today suggests that people stay inside and down water. It is supposed to be up to 106 degrees! I love it, much better than snow in my opinion. I love it because I can stay indoors with little interaction with the heat. I love it because I can whip up this ice cream, head to the gym while it freezes, and then eat the calories that I just worked so hard to burn! At least I added some fresh blueberries for some antioxidants...

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - From the Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

  • 1 cup organic milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cups organic sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (I used a vanilla bean from Penzey's)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups organic heavy cream

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.

2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill completely, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

As soon as it is ready, get ready to dive into the most delicious vanilla ice cream! Ryan loves it and requests is all the time! This recipe is a keeper. Please enjoy this ice cold ice cream while watching the beautiful butterflies in your backyard (until your dog chases the butterfly away!)