Sunday, November 13, 2011

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 36 cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350
1. Sift flour baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a big bowl and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, or another bowl, mix sugar till fluffy and aerated. Then add pumpkin, egg, vanilla and mix well.
3. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients till it is all incorporated. Scoop out with a small ice cream scooper onto a cookie sheet. Wetting your fingertips with water slightly pat down the cookie dough so they bake with a flatter surface (otherwise they will dome out and it will be harder to frost).
4. Bake for 15 minutes, pull out and let sit on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes before moving to the cooling racks.
5. Combine ingredients for the glaze to desired consistency, once cookies are cool frost using a bakers flat spatula.

*Original recipe from Relish Click Here to see their service! The original recipe called for 1/2 tsp of each ground nutmeg and ground cloves, I didn't have either on hand because quite frankly they are spices my household doesn't really like so I omitted them, if you like them feel free to add them in with the cinnamon. Also the orignal recipe called for 3 tbsp of milk for the glaze not 2 but I liked the frosting thicker vs. a surface crunch. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Steak and Israeli Couscous and Smashed Beans on Toast

Just a typical grilled steak, on a bed of Israeli couscous, follow box instructions for the couscous cook with chicken broth instead of water, add a bay leaf, and at the end I added some fresh red bell pepper and zucchini from my CSA bag. Beautiful, tasty, and the fresh veg at the end added a very nice crunch. This is only the second time I have had the bigger couscous but both times we have had it Brian and I oh and ah over how tasty it is!

To add to this meal we had what Jamie Oliver calls "Posh Beans on Toast" it is a mash of fresh fava beans and fresh peas with a little bit of mint, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. It is served on crostini with some mozzarella, I however didn't have fresh mozzarella so I used goat cheese which I did have. It was absolutely delicious. It is bright green, tastes like summer with a pop of flavor from the lemon juice and mint.

Smashed Fava Beans on Toast 
5 oz shelled fresh peas
9 oz shelled fresh fava beans
3-4 leaves of fresh mint (I have orange mint growing in abundance in my backyard that is what I used)\
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
Crusty Bread
Goat Cheese
1. In food processor whiz up the peas, beans, mint, salt and pepper. Add in cheese and lemon juice, and slowly drizzle in olive oil till it is a thick consistency but somewhat loose. Taste! If you want more mint, salt and pepper or lemon juice add to taste.
2. Grill bread, once grilled use a clove of garlic and swipe it a few times over the top of the bread (2-3 max swipes).
3. Spread some goat cheese on toast (use goat cheese to your desire, I liked a lot my husband a little depends on how much tanginess of the goat cheese you want to taste over the freshness of the peas), and then top with the bean mixture. Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spontaneous Mediterranean Meal

I had a whole bunch of veggies from our CSA and didn't really have a meal already planned. I started searching the internet and came across a lamb kabob and couscous recipe via Williams-Sanoma and just improvised. I didn't have lamb, but chicken. I had the red onion and squash but didn't ironically have red pepper (I always have red pepper) and of course I buy couscous in bulk because it is my go to summer side dish staple. Here is what I came up with...
1. I roasted the broccoli with olive oil, salt & pepper and a little garlic powder in a baking dish on the BBQ.
2. On the cast iron grill plate I did the squash and red pepper, that had olive oil, salt & pepper, and some cumin.
3. Skewered the chicken tenders and seasoned with olive oil, salt& pepper, and cumin.
4. Traditional couscous recipe: chicken stock, pinch of salt, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, parsley.

It was extremely delicious, I find that chicken tenders are perfect for kabobs if not for anything else other than ease of use. And yes it was all a little one note (cumin, salt and pepper olive oil to be specific) which critics might laugh at, but for a family dinner at home it was simply delicious and just the right amount of spices for everyone to enjoy. We will have it again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Miso Dressing

So as I am testing recipes from My Father's Daughter, so far I have made 3 things and they have all been great! Including this dressing. It is so tasty, I can't stop eating it on things - my favorite is on top of a poached egg on an English muffin instead of a Hollandaise, I didn't put a piece of bacon under the egg like you normally would for an Egg's Benedict although I could have. I think I was mostly thinking of a breakfast vehicle for the sauce! Yes, it is that good! My husband is not as big of a fan, he doesn't like a lot of soy sauce or sesame oil - and this dressing has both so it wasn't a big surprise but those are two ingredients I love and in fact crave soy sauce every once in awhile. So I did make a few substitutions to the original recipe simply because I didn't have them on hand but I still think it turned out great.

Miso Dressing
1/3 cup roughly diced Vidalia onion (I used a sweet yellow onion from my CSA because that is what I had)
1 tsp garlic minced
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp white miso (if you get the little tubs that are quartered it is half of the miso in the container)
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp mirin (I didn't have mirin so I substituted Marsala- but it was a dry Marsala and generally you should substitute a sweet Marsala for mirin so I added a tsp of sugar)
2 tbsp water (now that I read the recipe I am not sure I added water... must thin it out a bit but I liked the consistency of mine so if you don't want the recipe to pack a too powerful punch and maybe be a little runnier than add the water but I obviously thoroughly enjoyed mine even if I did miss this step)
Large pinch of kosher salt
A few fresh grinds of black pepper
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp veggie oil
1. Put all but oil in food process and pulse until smooth. While blender is going slowly stream in oil.

I bought this dressing container at Crate & Barrel I love it, I have pretty much stopped buying dressing at the grocery store all together because I have this little baby. I have to say though that this dressing would be better in just a reused empty glass bottle, it is a little thick for this pour spout. But I used the last one I had available on another one of her recipes from the book (a good for you seed topping mixture for oatmeals, yogurt etc) so I just put it in my usual container. For other thinner dressing though this thing is a must own!

The perfectly poached egg on muffin, would have been even better with maybe a slice of Canadian bacon a la Egg's Benedict style, or maybe even with some sprouts or a slice of fresh from the garden tomato, so good. I am thinking I am becoming a more savory breakfast person versus the sweet...

What kind of breakfast person are you?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Easy Summer Pasta

Clearly I love Ina Garten and I was watching her show two weeks ago and she made, what looked like a really delicious, summer pasta salad. Click here for the original recipe! I made half the amount that she did, and we still had a lot of left overs for lunch the next day. But this was super fantastic, the entire family LOVED it! And when you have a garden, or CSA (especially later on in the summer) this is the perfect meal to use up a lot of those cherry tomatoes!

Summer Pasta Salad
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
6-9 fresh basil leaves, julienned
*small pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper, or more to taste (I liked this with a lot of black pepper but you can always add that at the end before you dig in!)
1/2 lb Angle Hair Pasta
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
*Shaved Parmesan for Garnish
1. Put tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper into a bowl mix together thoroughly and cover with plastic wrap leave on the counter to mingle/marinate for up to 4 hours - the longer the better!
2. Cook pasta according to package directions but it should take less than 5 minutes. Angle hair is perfect for in the summer because it cooks quick and anything that won't heat up your house is a bonus!
3. On top of tomatoes add Parmesan and then noodles, tossing well to have everything combine, serve with shaved Parmesan on top for garnish. (buy a big wedge of Parmegiano Regiano it keeps forever in the fridge and then get out your carrot peeler and make a dish like a pro!)
*Don't forget to add a little more freshly cracked black pepper before serving too if so desired, super good!

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Cookbook (or 2)

I just bought My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow and I love it, I have thought differently about Paltrow every since I watched the entire series "Spain- On the Road Again" on PBS staring Gwyneth, Mario Baltli, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols (a Spanish actress). You wouldn't know it by looking at her but, Gwyneth loves food! More recipes to come from this book, as I test them out. Right now I am just reading through it like a novel. I am a cookbook geek! As if there was any doubt! So far there are lovely pictures, fantastic tips on how to eat more healthy (I can't wait to get some Veganaise, which she swears by instead of regular mayo, although I can't find it in my traditional stores so I am going to have to hop on over to either Trader Joes, New Seasons, or Whole Foods I guess but the way she goes on and on about it, and after watching Anna's and Kristina's Grocery Bag -a show devoted to testing cookbooks- they also thought it was pretty fantastic). Also the premise behind this book of cooking and enjoying food with family fits right in with my philosophy!

I also got Ina Garten's Back to Basics for my birthday, as I previously stated in my broccoli post I am trying out recipes from this book as well over the coming weeks. FYI the Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts that I made from this book were AMAZING! Look for it in a post coming soon. I personally love Ina, and love her show on Food Network. I love her ease at entertaining and who wouldn't love to have her house! I mean the kitchen and garden alone are to die for, but I digress! This book also has wonderful photo's and fairly easy recipes with not that many ingredients and includes tips like using premade puff pastry, and store bought pesto if you dont' have your own. I do like to follow recipes in a step 1, step 2 format and this book is written in paragraph form, so that is my only complaint. Other than that I have tried at least three of her recipes and they have all come out amazing so far.

                                            I give them both 4 out of 4 forks!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Iced Coffee Anyone?

So I saw the blog post over at Pioneer Woman for the Perfect Iced Coffee and the pictures were so enticing I had to try it myself. I went to target, that saucy minx (does she seduce you into buying things you don't need every time you step through those doors like she does me?), anyway I bought an iced tea container for $6 and preceded to make a batch.

You are basically making a super concentrated mix, and I think it is important that you figure out how to make it taste to your liking. Over many a cups I have found that if I use my little insulated cup full of ice, I put in about 1/4 of the coffee concentrate, a couple tablespoons of water (it is powerful stuff!) 2 tsp of sugar free hazelnut syrup, and then top it with some milk. It is great every time, especially on hot summer days on my way to swimming lessons with Molly.

At first the original recipe says that it lasts Ree a couple of weeks, but when I first made it I was thinking there is no way I was downing it! Then I ran out of milk so I haven't had any for awhile but it is seriously very tasty. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roasted Broccoli... on the BBQ?

As I was telling everyone on FB yesterday I had a religious experience with my broccoli last night, I had received a huge head of broccoli in my CSA last week and I needed/wanted to use it; however I don't have AC in my house. For those of you wondering why that should matter I have to get creative in my cooking during the summer so as not to heat up my house. I basically use things like my microwave (I also used to use an electric kettle often as well, but that now has a permanent home in my camper), toaster oven, and BBQ like they are going out of style. Think of it this way, anything you do in an oven can basically be done on your BBQ (just use baking sheets or grill pans for the small stuff). The toaster oven also works for smaller things and takes way less energy and heat to cook what you are doing. And my go to side dish for the summer is couscous, which is easily done in the microwave vs. burner on the stove!

Anyway as I was staring at this head of broccoli, I was stumped! Because how do we all cook broccoli? We steam the crap out of it! Well, my house was already 77 degrees and it was mid 80's outside I didn't want the thermometer to keep going up. So I thought in my head, you can roast it can't you? So I pulled out my i phone and checked my How to Cook Everything App (which if you have a smart phone, love to cook, and don't have this app what are you thinking? GET IT! Worth every penny! I check it all the time just for quick reference! You can of course by the big ol' tome too but still...) any surprisingly there wasn't anything in that app for roasted broccoli besides a gratin which I didn't want to do. However I have been cooking out of the recent cook book from Ina Garten Back to Basics, and low and behold she totally had a recipe in there for roasted broccoli - probably why it came to my mind in the first place, since I have been perusing it so much. Anyway I modified the recipe a tid to suit my needs and family's taste buds and voila (insert church choir hymns and all that) it was freaking amazing! I couldn't stop moaning my appreciation as I was eating it. I will have to tell my CSA provider today how it changed my life, seriously, I can't see eating broccoli a different way ever again!
Roasted Broccoli (on the BBQ)
(serves 4) or 3 greedy people!-like my family
1 good sized head of broccoli
Olive Oil to coat
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Garlic Powder
**Need a baking sheet or grill pan for BBQ
1. Leave the broccoli florets good sized so they don't burn on the grill, coat in olive oil (2-4 tbsp depending on the amount of broccoli) you want it to look like it has a slight glaze on it but not drenched, I usually do this on a cookie sheet/baking sheet.
2. Few pinches of salt (I always use Kosher salt, if you haven't switched yet what are you waiting for?) and fresh ground pepper all over each one. Then about 1 tsp of garlic powder again sprinkled evenly over each floret. Then toss with your hands to make sure it is all well coated.
3. Put on grill pan, or straight into BBQ with cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.
NOTE: they will get a little dark/burnt looking and crunchy, this gives it a sweet nutty flavor, trust me!

Served with microwaved couscous, and grilled steak with cilantro/lime compound butter. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day Breakfast

On Saturday I made breakfast that was delicious; pancakes, fruit and the best bacon ever! On Father's Day Brian requested Egg's Benedict, and I must say it was another fantastic meal. Brian said, "That was a great $30 breakfast, only at home!" The eggs are from my aunt Peggy, she has about 40 chickens and whenever I see her she gifts me the most delicious eggs. And thanks to this video, on how to poach the perfect egg I must say I was able to whip this all out rather quickly. I only took 30 minutes because the home fries take that long, untouched, in the oven! The strawberries are from our CSA, and maybe from our neighborhood foraging (there is a big strawberry patch planted in front of our neighborhood, that I am convinced no one picks but me! I have picked in the last two weeks 12 cups worth! I have even made a small batch of strawberry rhubarb jam in my bread maker from these free berries! That will come later in a post!) And the berries were dressed with honey from my CSA, a new feature this year that is just to die for!

Look at that egg!

When I was a little kid I thought this breakfast was so gross, of course that was only from afar I had never tried it. I would like to think that had I only tried it I would have fallen in love with this dish much sooner, but alas it wasn't until I was an adult that I truly understood that truly great qualities of this dish. Now my daughter on the other hand, doesn't have my hang ups, she dives right in with both hands, literally! Who says three old's are picky eaters!

**See previous posts on roasted potatoes for the recipe.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Vacation is Here! Special Grilled Cheese

As I begin my first full week of summer vacation I am trying to get back into the swing of things and posting a lot more. I still have occasionally been taking photos of things that I have cooked when I think about it, so this first entry is a backlogged entry from the beginning of June, daddy was busy for First Thursday at his shop and Molly and I were on our own. Daddy had this when he came home but I think he didn't fully appreciate how good I personally thought it was. Molly, by the way, ate the entire egg first then dove into the grilled cheese. You never know what she will dive into, to be honest.

I am looking forward to our summer starting, we have camping, swimming, stories and crafts, lots of walks, and sports classes to help keep us busy and doing things. Not mention the up keep of our gardens, yes Molly has her own container garden going (fully of pumpkins and watermelon seeds, plant starts of parsley and cilantro we will see if she doesn't drown them before they start to produce - the girl really loves to water!) More on the gardens to come!

Now for the recipe of the day:
Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Egg, Spinach Salad and Hash browns
Serves 4
10-14 WW pts (depends on what butter you use and how much, as well as your servings of salad and hash browns!)
(4)Thick sliced sourdough bread
8 oz Gruyere Cheese, shredded
2 tbsp Butter
(4) Eggs
*Spinach Salad Kit
*Frozen Hash browns (this is a fast week night meal! you will have a few pans going at once though)
1. Cook hash browns according to packet instructions, slather one side of bread with butter and build with cheese in the pan on medium high heat (use cover to help melt the cheese but don't forget about them, which can lead to burning!). Flip when one side is golden brown.
2. In a nonstick skillet on medium heat with a little pad of butter crack the eggs, and salt and pepper to taste. Once the whites start to solidify toss in a few tablespoons of water and cover with lid. Cook eggs to desired doneness, I like my yolks a little runny! 1-3 minutes. Don't forget your sandwiches!
3. In a salad bowl put together salad kit, serve the sandwiches with the eggs on top and dinner is served!

Thanks to Relish for this dish!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kid Friendly Stroganoff With Great Flavor!

I know, I know, long time no post! This dinner we had last night was so good, and I tried taking a picture with my new phone to see ease of use, and to see if it helps get me motivated to bang out a quick post while on my break at work. This was a recipe from Relish, and it says that it is kid and friendly and man is it ever. My child ate so much last night, and it is a great stroganoff recipe, easy and great flavor!

Meatball Stroganoff
Prep and cook time: 35 minutes 10 WW points Easily serves 6! (lunch leftovers!)
10 ounces egg noodles
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 white onion , diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 cups frozen turkey meatballs, thawed
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

[1] Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until cooked through but still firm to the bite. Drain, toss with butter, and cover to keep warm.
[2] While the noodles are cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add half the oil, then the mushrooms, and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
[3] Add remaining oil to skillet, then add onions, paprika and cayenne and sauté until onion is soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine to skillet and deglaze. Simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir.
[4] Whisk in broth. Add lemon juice and mustard; simmer until thick, about 8-10 minutes.
[5] Stir in meatballs, cooked mushrooms, sour cream and dill. Cook until meatballs are heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over noodles.
* served with steamed garlic/almond green beans

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meatless Monday #1 Enchiladas

First post in awhile! No excuses, I was too busy with work, a 2.5 year old, and I got sick for a couple of weeks. I have had a few people question if I am still cooking or not, a big fat yes is your answer! And for the most part I have been taking pictures, so I have a back log of stuff to write about. It is just a question of getting down to it and writing it out. I do have to admit though that until recently we have been eating home made meals but not always sitting down at the table. The last couple of meals though we have been sitting down to a proper dinner and both my husband and I have commented on how nice it is; to sit instead of in front of the TV at the table, and be able to talk to each other, laugh and smile at Miss Molly, and generally enjoy each other's company. Turn on a little soft/smooth jazz on the TV as background music and you have a nice ritual end to a busy day! Which is why I started this blog anyway so it just reinforces the point really.

I am going to attempt to do more "meatless" meals from here on out, we aren't going totally veggie but as Michael Pollen says, "It doesn't hurt to have a few meals a week that are meatless." I do have a vegetarian (well now vegan as of the first of the year) in the family so I am constantly, not that I cook for her, but I am constantly thinking in my head as I am eating my creations how easy and/or hard it would be to make it "meatless."  So this isn't a stretch and I think overall it is a great idea. This is one of those "meatless" meals that we had this week.

Now over the years I have tried different enchilada recipes and not really found one to my liking, one had an absurd amount of cinnamon in it -which I questioned at the time but still did it anyway- it ruined the dish, well at least for my family it did! That is something that people need to think about as they read over a recipe, really look at the ingredients and if there are too many that your family -on their own don't really like- then don't use the recipe, or if there are some pieces that you can sub out something in place do that, and most of the time you can custom make a recipe to your families tastes. So for example my husband hates olives, so I generally leave those out of all recipes. Or when it comes to spicy flavors, I am real careful no matter how much the recipe calls for because I can't deal with too much heat. Or if I don't have Oregano, think of what you can sub in place (like Italian seasoning, or dried basil). Because bottom line, not all recipes are going to hit the nail on the head every time at least by being quick on your feet you can salvage a recipe for the whole family. This recipe was a SUPER WINNER! Regardless of the fact that it is meatless, not vegan though, it is now my new enchilada recipe! SO GOOD!

Black Bean Enchiladas 

Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
14 WW pts
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 red onion , chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
12 ounces frozen soy crumbles, thawed (can sub BOCA burgers)
1/2 cup prepared chunky salsa (I used half sweet mango salsa, and half HOT salsa)
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (this is 2 oz on your cream cheese pkg)
1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese Mix
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 can high-quality enchilada sauce
4 green onions , chopped
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
[1] Add a little oil and onion and saute until tender, 3 minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder and garlic. Add the beans and soy crumbles and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
[2] Stir in salsa and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and add cream cheese and a 1/2 cup of the Mexican cheese mix, stirring until the cheese melts.
[3] Spread half of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread bean mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll up and then arrange them, seam sides down, in the baking pan.
[4] Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. (you might think you need more sauce, you don't make sure you cover evenly with cheese but overall you don't need more sauce it is the perfect amount)
[5] Bake until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted, 20 minutes.
[6] Top with green onions and serve

*Something to think about, making this lasagna style so you don't have to roll the tortillas...

These were so good, my husband and I were still raving about them the next day as we ate them for lunch. Really a stellar recipe.

Easy Corn Side Dish
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp butter
3 cups frozen corn
(For a little heat you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper, but be careful!)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Splash of milk
1. Saute the bell pepper, butter, corn, and salt and pepper till warmed through.
2. Right before serving splash in a bit of milk. Taste to make sure it is nicely seasoned and serve.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Molly Bento #2 This Week

This one has leftovers of pasta and sun dried tomato sauce, with a cheese dinosaur on it.

Molly loves dinosaurs right now! Her favorite show, of only 3 that she really watches, is Dino Dan. Have you seen this show? As a teacher I just laugh at the main character, poor kid, but regardless my daughter loves the show!

Then there are some carrots, lightly steamed broccoli, two grape tomatoes with seashell picks, and two small ends of an all beef hot dog.

*Positive side note, Molly loved the hot dogs although she has two days in a row mentioned that her little boy friend at daycare ate at least one of her hot dogs! Too funny! She was talking with her daddy about how to tell the little boy to lay off her dogs!

Bento Lunch

Greek Pitas

These were very good but for some reason Molly didn't want to eat the meat, which is an odd occurrence she usually eats most meat. There was only oregano in the hamburger so I guess that must have been the answer, so we took the meat out and had her eat it with some cucumber, hummus and tzatziki and she was a happy camper. Go figure!
Greek Pitas
WW 8 pts
1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 pita breads
3/4 cup prepared hummus
3/4 cup prepared Tzatziki sauce (cucumber yogurt sauce)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 red onion , sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 whole lemon(s), cut into wedges

[1] In a large mixing bowl, mix ground beef with salt, pepper and oregano.Shape into miniature patties. In a skillet, brown over medium heat, 2 minutes per side for medium.
[2] Using a little bit of olive oil, brush both sides of the pita and then quickly heat on both sides in a medium hot pan, then transfer to a tin foil packet to keep warm.

[3] Divide hummus & Tzatziki among the pitas, top with the patties, parsley, sliced red onion and feta cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with lemon wedges.

*No matter how small I make the little patties they always end up big, we usually slice them in half and use those two halves inside the pita.
*Lemon drizzled on the whole thing is key!

Served with a Greek side salad: mixed greens, red onions, kalamata olives, feta cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, and homemade croutons.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Crock Pot~ Pot Roast

I love pot roast, this version was fairly good but could have been cooked a little bit longer. I loved the combination of veggies from the pot and oven new potatoes!
Italian Pot-Roast

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours on LOW
2-3 pounds beef roast (some like chuck, I prefer even leaner roast so your choice)
freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion , finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots , peeled and sliced
1 cup red wine
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
 [1] Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan with sides, over medium-heat. Add the meat and cook, turning for 10 minutes until browned on all sides.
[2] While meat is cooking add all veggies and wine into the slow cooker, once meat is finished add to slow cooker.
[3] Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours until the meat is tender. Garnish with parsley.

I make the potatoes on the plate all the time. Basically cut up potatoes put them on a cookie sheet, pour over some olive oil, liberally use salt and pepper over all potatoes then sprinkle about 1 tsp of garlic powder and chili powder over the potatoes. Using your hands toss the potatoes until they are all covered evenly with spices and oil and pop in the oven. About 350 for 25 minutes, and whatever you do don't touch them. Leave them be! Seriously, put them in the oven and walk away, once your timer goes off in 25 minutes pull them out of the oven and using a good spatula scrape them all off the pan. If you leave them alone they will develop a great crunchy golden brown crust on the one side that was on the pan and be butter smooth on the inside. Best potatoes EVER!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken Cordon Blue #2

This is something that I just put together no recipe while I did it so I will try and write it down for  you.

Chicken Cordon Blue
2 chicken breasts
4 small slices of Canadian Bacon
2 slice of swiss cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup parmasean
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat 350
1. Between saran wrap beat out chicken breasts until about 1/2 inch thick. Then lay down 2 slices of canadian bacon and a slice of swiss cheese per breast. Then roll up, you can use tooth picks to secure if you want to, or just keep them rolled in your hands to bread.
2. Mix breading in a shallow dish, and egg in a seperate shallow dish.
3. Dip rolled chicken in egg and then roll in breading and place chicken seam side down on a cookie sheet.
4. Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes until outside is golden brown and center of chicken is cooked through, when in doubt cut one open.

Simple as that!

Also on the plate for dinner was corn bread muffin (alas from a box) and noodles and candied carrots see this post for recipe on the carrots (I make them so much now no need to look for a recipe).
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