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Posts Tagged ‘tuna’

I am always on a lookout for easy dinners. Recently, I have discovered a new dish… One Pan Creamy Tuna Pasta.

I have been subscribed to the Martha Stewart Living magazine for a super long time. Over the years, the magazine has evolved; however, recipes have always been spotlighted throughout. In recent editions, towards the back of the magazine you can find four recipes that are printed on a perforated page, which can be torn into four small recipe cards. I have discovered a bunch of good finds over the years. The pasta dish is one of them and is definitely a keeper!

The recipe is simple… shallots, pasta, broth, water, a couple of veggies, tuna, lemon zest and juice, and cheese. What I really like about it is that you make the entire dish in one pot! Super easy cleanup! You simply add the shallots, broth, water, pasta, and salt and pepper and boil until the pasta is tender. Next you add your veggie. Once the veggie is tender, you remove the pot from the stove and add the tuna, cheese, and the lemon zest and juice. That’s it!

The first time that I made the dish, it came out very dry and I had to keep adding water to it while cooking the pasta. I later realized that the recipe required 8 oz of pasta and I used 16 oz. It made perfect sense why my version was so dry. Since I like to make enough to have leftovers, I adjusted the amount of water. I usually add enough to cover the pasta, which I think that it is somewhere between 4.5 or 5 cups of water, depending on the pasta.

Speaking of the pasta, I used gemelli and penne and both worked. One thing that I would like to mention is that my version has never had a sauce. If you look at the recipe photo, it includes the clear sauce on the plate. Not sure how that is realized. I just made the dish using penne and this is the first time that I have actually had some sauce, but definitely not enough to add it to the plate. Not sure if the gemelli absorbs more liquid during cooking or not, but when I used it, I never had a sauce.

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The recipe requires asparagus and arugula. The first time that I made the dish, I did not have either, so I used peas and spinach since I did have both. I have also used peas and kale. All worked! I am sure that you can also use green beans or any other veggie such as corn and broccoli. As far as the greens go, I am sure that swiss chard or any other greens would work as well.

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Another adjustment that I have made is the required cup of shallots. I tend not to like a lot of onion in my dishes, so I have cut it to 2 small shallots and it was plenty. Same goes for the cheese… the recipe requires a 1/2 a cup of Paremsan. I used about 2 tablespoons of Romano cheese and that also seemed plenty. But if you are a big onion fan, use the full amount. Same goes for the cheese.

One last thing that I would like to mention is the salt. I use the Better Than Bouillon (which really is better than any bouillon) for the broth and it is a bit salty, so I never add salt to my dishes until the very end. Most of the time it is plenty salty.

I hope that you will enjoy the dish as much as we do! It is one of Julia’s favorites!

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Sometimes when I find a new place that I fall in love with, I do not want to share the news in fear that it will become super popular and will be difficult to go there. This was the case with The Village Bakery in Pittsford. I have been thinking about dedicating a post to it for a while now, but I could not do it. But it is so good, that I had to share. Plus it has become popular, so I already lost that battle.

As I was driving home through the village last fall, I noticed some construction behind the Starbucks. I kept an eye on it and one day the sign went up… it said “Bakery”. I got excited. I could not wait to check it out. As soon as I walked in, I knew that I was going to spend a lot of time in there. It reminded me of Le Pain Quotidien in DC. The communal table, the fresh breads, the sandwiches, and the pastries… perfect! So the Saturday following my first drop in visit, Joel and I went there for breakfast. I remember ordering the breakfast sandwich that included a poached egg, arugula, pesto, and goat cheese. It was delicious!

We continued to go there for breakfast several more times. Then one day we went there for lunch and I ordered the tuna melt minus the cheese. Oh my! It was the best tuna sandwich that I have ever eaten. I am not kidding! We practically go there almost every weekend and that is what I order each time. I just cannot get myself to order anything else. The bread is perfectly toasted but still super soft and fresh and the tuna salad is just so tasty. I am not sure what they put in it, aside from the obvious ingredients such as tuna and dill. But it’s just amazing!

Ok, maybe I have ordered other sandwiches here and there. The B.A.L.T and the Turkey sandwiches are very good. Joel has ordered the Croque Madame several times and that is pretty good too. The only sandwich that I did not really care for was the Chicken Salad. I really wanted to like it, but I found it too dry. It needed a tomato or something. The actual salad is pretty tasty but as a whole, it is just ok. Same goes for the Egg Salad… it was good. It was tasty and not drenched in mayo, which is a plus in my book. If you like egg salad, I would definitely give it a try.

Each time we go there for lunch, I also have to order 2 cake bites. These are the most delicious and moist cake bites ever! What a brilliant idea… make a cake and roll it in a bite sized ball. My favorite is the vanilla followed by the chocolate peanut butter. The perfect ending to a perfect lunch!

The breads are really nice too. One of my favorites is the VB Table Bread. It’s a really nice everyday bread. It’s not super crusty and the inside is soft. My kind of a bread. I have also tried their brioche and it is good, but does not compare to the brioche at Le Pain Quotidien. That is still the best brioche that I have tasted since having it in France.

I am looking forward to the summer since they have a very nice patio that is decorated with beautiful potted flowers. I spent some time there last summer once Julia was born and I was on maternity leave. It was the perfect location to kill some time while Julia was napping in her stroller. In fact, she has practically grown up there. The place is great for her too. She loves it there. I guess it helps that we have taken her there since she was in my belly. :)

Julia at the Bakery

Julia in the big girl high chair at the Bakery.

Now please try not to go there too much or if you do and is crowded, please save us a seat.

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After years of talking about escaping the Rochester winters, we finally did it. We booked a trip to St John in the US Virgin Islands for 9 days. That’s right… 9 days! And as an added bonus, my brother, Patrick, and his wife, Jeni, and baby, Jack, decided to join us.

The magnificent view from our villa's porch.

St John is… well… heavenly!! It truly is! The weather was in the 80s, the beaches were pristine and not crowded, the water was super clear, warm, and calm, and the island is very green, since most of the island is a national park.

View of Trunk Bay.

Aside from going to the beach, swimming, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and just relaxing, we, of course, ate. We did not eat very many dinners. Since our trip to the beach started at around 10:00 am and ended around 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm, we ended up eating a late lunch, which meant that we were no longer hungry for dinner. We did, however, have a few delicious outings.

Jeni and Patrick

One of my favorite spots was called Shipwreck Landing. The service was super friendly and the food was delicious. I ordered the Curry-Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi sandwich. The curry-nut crust was a blend of curry spices and peanuts. It was really nice!

Jack, Patrick, and me

A very popular dish in St John was conch fritters. We of course tried them… at two different restaurants for that matter. They were pretty good. I am glad that I tried them, but I would not go out of my way to eat them every time.

Conch fritters

Another great place was called Donkey Diner. We had a delicious breakfast there! I, however, had breakfast envy. Typical! Jeni ordered the stuffed French toast, which included homemade cinnamon bread stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a homemade Mango and Pineapple Chutney. YUM! The chutney was so delicious! I ended up ordering a side of it and savored every bite.

The last place that I would like to mention is La Plancha del Mar. Oh my! We had the most amazing dinner there! If you are ever in St John, this place is a must! The food and the service were outstanding! Our server (who apparently went to school in Ithaca!) was super friendly and made our outing even more pleasant.

To start, we ordered the bruschetta, which included a perfectly toasted baguette slice topped with herbed goat cheese, an almond mushroom tapenade, and caramelized onions. Need I say more??


For my entrée, I ordered the seared Wahoo, which was served with a fire roasted red pepper and tomato purée and a butternut squash polenta. My mouth is watering as I am typing this post! Apparently Wahoo is a local fish and it was prepared similar to tuna. It was great! The best part of the dish, for me at least, was the butternut squash polenta. Who would have thought about making polenta with butternut squash? It was so delicious!! I could have eaten the entire pot! :)

Joel ordered a special, which was supposed to be an appetizer but they agreed to make it as an entrée. The dish included tuna served with a tomato foam, Israeli couscous topped with crisped basil leaves, and a side salad. The dish looked and tasted equally delicious! In fact, the dish looked so good that the head chef came to our table to snap a photo of it as a marketing piece. :)

For dessert we settled for a pineapple flambé. The fresh pineapple was topped with this really delicious cake. YUM!

Their drinks were very good as well. The drink menu reminded me a bit of the drinks that are on the Lento and Good Luck menus. They used a very interesting mixture of ingredients. One of those ingredients was habanero bitters. It worked really nicely in the drink.

Beautiful island, wonderful company, and delicious food. What more can you ask for?? I cannot wait to go back!!

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