I think I've briefly mentioned my cooking club to you all before.

Every Monday morning (well, probably a little closer to afternoon than morning), I meet with some friends (usually 4 or 5 of us total) for cooking club. We all pick a house, a time (then, mentally set the time back a 1/2 hour or more), and a recipe that serves 4.

We all share our chosen recipe through email, usually Sunday night--sometimes Monday morning, then tell each person whether we want their meal or not.

I tally up my partakers, and set out shopping for my recipes ingredients multiplied by however many people want my meal.
For instance, if 3 people responded yes to my recipe--I shop for 4 times that recipe (myself, plus the 3 others). 

I keep my receipt, of course, then divide my total cost by 4 (or however many people I shopped for)--and that's how much each person owes me! It ends up coming out to $7-$12 per meal--although this week, I got a fantastic $2 meal!

With this system--I don't really have to go grocery shopping ever, I don't have to make dinner, we have TONS of food (plus leftovers!), and it only costs around $40 a week (for 4 meals--l usually only end up getting 1 or 2 meals since there are only 2 of us--which brings it to under $20 a week for us!)

Get it?

We meet at the designated house on Monday morning afternoon, at the designated time (that's been mentally pushed back at least a half hour by all), and we all cook our designated chosen recipes.

We all bring containers (which I usually forget, oops!) for the meals we've ordered from everyone, for easy transport back home.

It's genius, really.

That way, if I've chosen to get everyones recipe, I end up with 4-5 meals and I don't have to cook for the rest of the week! It's sort of like a I have my own personal chefs.
Insert Advertisement: Need a personal chef? I am know a recent graduate who is looking for clients!

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We even have time while our meals are cooling to do fun activities... Like go to a greenhouse and pick out lots of pretty flowers and plants! 
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With all the fun we have, you'd think we never had any time to get cooking done.

But we do.
We sure do.
And it's delicious!
It's fun to see what other people normally have for dinners, and to experience their cooking. It's fun to try things you never would have thought to make yourself. 

I'll try to share at least one recipe a week from cooking club...Maybe I'll make a Cooking Club Monday post every week.

Yes. I will. I will dub every Monday as Cooking Club Monday. 
But this week, and this week only, it will be Cooking Club Wednesday

This week I have for you:

Sausage Tortellini Soup

Printable Recipe

This recipe was made at cooking club, so these are the only steps I had to take at home in preparing the meal = Excuse for lack of pictures.


I told you I'd show you a picture of my pretty blue pot with its pretty blue lid.


See? Pretty.





Thank You!

Wow! I'm astonished!

I won the NoshGirl Chef Challenge!
Can you believe it?!

Thanks everyone for your all your votes... You guys pulled through!
And thanks to Serena at Big Apple Nosh for hosting the challenge--It was a lot of fun!

I'll share my prize with you all once it comes!

Woot Woot!

Fish Tacos with Avocado Tartar Sauce

Just a reminder! Voting is open at Big Apple Nosh for the NoshGirl Chef Challenge! Be sure to vote for this recipe on that blog here!
Just leave a comment in the comments section (again, here).



Let me pause for a moment so we can all drool over this:


It seriously tastes as good as it looks.
Just ask Paul, he literally applauded while eating.

I made this dish for a challenge I entered on a blog I enjoy reading... It's called the NoshGirl Chef Challenge. Serena, over at Big Apple Nosh chooses 3 different bloggers, gives them 2 ingredients to cook with, then everyone votes and chooses 1 winner. (Like my counting there? 3,2,1.)
(Yeah, so I'm gonna need you guys to vote for me starting on Monday!)

Sounds fun, right?
Heck yea!
It's like a bloggers take on Chopped.

The ingredients for this challenge?
Avocado & Cornmeal

After several days on writing down any ideas that popped into my mind of uses for cornmeal and avocado (yes, I dreamt about it too), I finally decided (with the Boo's input) to make those bad boys up there.

Cornmeal-Crusted Fish Tacos with Avocado Tartar Sauce

(Printable Version)

The items you will need for 4 servings:
2 firm white fish fillets
1 avocado
2 cups cornmeal
1 lime
salt & pepper
chili powder
chipotle chili puree
taco sized flour tortillas
1 egg
tartar sauce

For garnish:
grilled corn, cut off the cob (we grilled out last night, so I snatched a leftover cob)
shredded red cabbage
shredded cheese (I used chipotle white cheddar)
sour cream

Phew--that's a long list.

This is how it's done:

This is the fish I used...

I would have preferred to use mahi-mahi, but I couldn't find any. You can really use any kind of firm white fish you prefer.
If it's frozen--thaw it by putting it (in a sealed bag) in a bowl of cold water. It only takes about 20 minutes to thaw.

There, thawed.

Once thawed, cut it into strips and throw it into a medium sized bowl.
To the bowl, add the juice of one lime, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped cilantro.

Let me say, it's really nice to be able to walk out my back door and get my cilantro from this:

Isn't she getting so big!?

Give the fish a stir, fulling coating it in all the goodness..

Then set it aside.

While that's soaking up the goodness, grab a big plate and put the cornmeal on it.

To the cornmeal, add some salt (about 1 tablespoon), and some pepper..

Then add about 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
Oooh, like a volcano.

Mix it all together with your fingers

Then, in a bowl, crack one egg and add a splash of milk to it. (no milk? water will do!)

Whisk it up with a fork.

Now we're ready to go! Woot woot!
Let's preheat the oven to 375˚ F.

To crust your fish, take a piece and roll it in the cornmeal

Then the egg wash...

Then back to the cornmeal.
Lay it on a baking sheet line with foil.

Repeat this until they are all coated. Make sure they aren't touching on the baking sheet--you want them to get nice and crunchy all the way around.



Stick them in the fridge for 10 minutes, then bake them in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the crust is crunchy and the fish is flaky.

Next, prepare the avocado tartar sauce.
Cut an avocado in half.

Remove the pit.

Scoop out one half of the avocado into a small bowl.
Mash it up and mix it around.

Add 1/4 cup prepared tartar sauce (or just mayonaise will suffice).
Then add the juice of one lime.
1 teaspoon of salt.
A couple dashes of cumin.
And a spoonful of chipotle pepper puree (I had a can of chipotle peppers, I used the juice from inside the can.)

We like it hot around here, so I added 2 more spoonfuls of the chipotle (we still felt it could have used a little more heat.)

I'm getting so excited now, we're getting close to the end!!

By this time, your fish should be done and it's time to start assembling!

Spread a little bit of sour cream onto the middle of a tortilla, then layer with some shredded red cabbage, the cornmeal-crusted fish, grilled corn (off the cob), some shredded cheese, diced avocado, some chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Serve with the avocado tartar sauce.


You're in for a treat!!

A beautiful, refreshing meal. The fish is nice a crunchy, the tartar sauce tangy and spicy--a nice balanced mouthful.
This stuff is for real.




Remember, the voting starts tomorrow! I'll post a link then, so make sure you all go vote!


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