Shannon O'Donnell: Rainy Day Cafe

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Rainy Day Cafe with Shannon O'Donnell

This is my favorite recipe for fish tacos--I love that it calls for fresh ahi.  It's very quick and easy, plus healthy to boot.  You may want to double to have enough for your family.


*  1/3 cup sour cream
*  1/4 cup diced red onion
*  3 T chopped fresh cilantro
*  1 tsp minced canned chipotle chilis (this comes in a MUCH larger can than you'll need...I use what the recipe calls for, then freeze the rest, using it as needed when a recipe requires it)
*  1 8-ounce ahi tuna steak, cut into 3/4" pieces
*  1 T taco seasoning mix
*  1 T vegetable oil
*  Package of hard or soft taco shells--whichever you prefer
*  Small package of cole slaw salad mix, sans dressing
*  Any other sides you like to add to tacos...chopped tomatos, avocados, etc.
1)  Mix first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. 
2)  In another bowl, add tuna and taco seasoning.  Toss to coat.
2)  Heat oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add tuna and saute to desired doneness, about 3 minutes (that's it!) for medium.  Reduce heat to medium low.
3)  Stir in sour cream mixture.  Cook until just heated through, coating tuna, about 2 minutes.
4)  Heat taco shells in a warm oven if desired.   Fill with small amount of cole slaw salad topped with the warm tuna mixture.
Pass with condiments.  Serve with spanish rice and spicy black beans (quick recipe in the next blog).

This is a nice little 'one pot' meal...quick and easy on a busy work night.  My Mom sent it to me after seeing it on the 'Good Things Utah Show' several years ago.

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In the 2000’s, my girlfriends and I went out to dinner A LOT (this was before we all had children and free time and extra money became a distant memory), and one of our favorite spots in San Francisco was Via Vie. We all loved this antipasto salad of theirs, and this is my best guess at the recipe. I remember madly scribbling down all of the obvious ingredients that I could pick out on a napkin while we were there one night. Add some crusty bread to this mixture, and you’ll have panzanella. But I like it this way with my bread on the side…

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Here is a wonderful spring soup to go along with those Chevre-Pepper sandwiches (previous blog).  You can either serve it warm or at room temperature.  Healthy and delicious!

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Here's an easy little sandwich to put together for a nice spring time supper (but it'll do year round!).

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Why not have your salad AND your pasta at the same time?  This unusual recipe combines both in each bite.  My husband wasn't a fan, but I thought it was pretty tasty.

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I learned to ski in Junior High by signing up for the 'ski bus'...the Lake Washington School District program that took students up to Alpental on winter Saturday mornings.  Often we 13-year-old girls would do sleepovers the night before, even though we had to get up at about 5 in the morning to catch the bus at 6.  Even so, my friends Shaney, Amy and I would get up even EARLIER (how did we have that much energy?) to make ROLLER pancakes...essentially crepes.  I still have the recipe that I jotted down way back then, with my carefully handwritten directions circa 1987.  You can 'roll up' anything you'd like in them, even if it's just plain old maple syrup.  This recipe makes a LOT...goes to show how much food teenage kids can put away.  I halved the recipe today and it was plenty for my entire family.

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My best friend Roz moved here from Iran when she was five.  While we were growing up, I remember that she and her Mom often made snickerdoodle cookies, and while they were good, they were lacking that little 'something' that kicks a snickerdoodle's flavor up beyond the typical sugar cookie.  What is that ingredient?  Cream of Tarter, or course!  But, lost in translation (with Farsi being their first language), my bestie and her Mom thought that ingredient referred to TARTER SAUCE, and certainly didn't want to add that to their delicious all-American cookies...! 

My son Nicholas loves to help me bake, but isn’t much into making cookies if they don’t include chocolate chips. When he was begging to make cookies recently, I told him that I only had the items on hand to make snickerdoodles. He pulled out some vanilla paste rather than vanilla extract, so we put that in instead. Between that and a good dose of Cream of Tarter and cinnamon, they were fantastic. Not exactly chocolate chips, but little dark flakes, regardless…
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I ripped this recipe out of Ladies' Home Journal's pretty decent!  It definitely fit my needs as a busy working Mom:  quick and easy.  And I loved the exotic flavor combinations, which are apparently a nod to Sri Lanka.  Give it a whirl!

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As I sat whipping the dang egg whites for these pancakes with a fussing 4-month-old baby and her two brawling big brothers in the background, I thought, "why on earth did I choose to make these?  How did I ever have the time?"  

I always keep notes on the recipes I've made, and the last time I made these was apparently c. 2004.  Ah.  Pre-kids.  The things I could pull off pre-kids!  My notes went on to say how delectable these were, and once this batch was finished, I understood why I'd gushed about them:  they are DECADENT.  With a fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth texture and light lemon flavor, they blow the instant version clean out of the water.  However, if you have small children to contend with, you might as well save the time and just make the quickie kind for the next few years.  YOU may be able to tell the difference between these and the Bisquick flapjacks, but they probably won't have a clue...!

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Rachael Ray really does have some great recipes...this is another '30 Minute Meal' with a bit of a Middle Eastern flair.  And I love all of the fresh veggies and interesting flavors.  As she would say:  DELISH!

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Shannon O'Donnell: Rainy Day Cafe


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About Shannon


When she's not forecasting, Shannon O'Donnell enjoys putting together tasty, season-appropriate meals and goodies for her friends and family.

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Shannon O’Donnell: Rainy Day Cafe

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