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Author Archives: Victoria

Tabbouleh and Feta Pita Sandwich

Tabbouleh and Feta Pita Sandwich


To me, Tzatziki sauce is just about the best sauce mankind ever created!! I could “bathe in that sauce” (to quote Gilmore Girls) ;). 

If you are in the mood for a meditterean flare then you’ll love this meal. You can eat this in a pita as a sandwich or use the tabbouleh as a side salad (warm or cold). With some grilled salmon fillets or kabobs….

Enjoy!

TZATZIKI SAUCE

1 cup greek yogurt

1/2 chopped & partially peeled cucumber (seeds removed)

1/2 tbsp grated red onion

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

juice from half lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

salt to taste

In a small bowl add greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, grated red onion, chopped fresh mint, chopped fresh dill, the juice from half lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil and salt. If the sauce is too thick, add 1/2 tbsp of water at a time until desired thinness is reached.

THE TABBOULEH

1 cup cooked couscous

2 tbsp chopped scallions

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped mint

2 tbsp chopped tomato

The other 1/2 of the cucumber – partially peeled and chopped (seeds removed)

1/2 tbsp olive oil

juice from 1/2 – 1 whole lemon (depending on how you like it!)

I also add 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – but this is totally optional

Add couscous , scallions, parsley, mint, tomato, cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice (starting with half a lemon) & chickpeas to a small bowl and mix.

Salt to taste.

let it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors will have a chance to blend. 

THE SANDWICH

1 pita (cut in half)

2 tbsp tzatziki,

1/4 cup romaine lettuce

2 tbsp halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 tbsp chopped red onion

2 tbsp tabbouleh 

1-2 tbsp feta cheese (or you can use Goat cheese)

a few mint leaves

a few parsley leaves

a few sprigs of dill

Heat the pita until it’s soft. Add tzatziki to the center (I like to spread it all on the inside of the pita covering every surface – mmmm) and top with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, tabbouleh, feta cheese, mint, parsley, and dill, then more tzatziki sauce on top :).  Serve immediately.

 If you have left over Tabbouleh, it is good the next day as a cold salad to go with your meal…topped with a little TZATZIKI Sauce, of course!! 

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Decadent Apple Cake

Decadent Apple Cake


This cake is such a wonderful fall treat! We ate our first piece warm, that’s why it’s still in the center of the tube pan (we couldn’t wait) 🙂 , however, it’s really good cold too. If you want to serve it out of the Tube or Bundy pan you need to let it completely cool before removing. Either way, pair it with a cup of hot coffee or tea and I promise, you will have a little slice of heaven!

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 taps. vanilla

3 cups raw apples, peeled and finely chopped

Instructions:

Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Sift together flour, salt, soda. Mix into first mixture. Fold in pecans and apples. Grease tube or bundt pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Sauce:

1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
¾ cup butter
Mix and cook ingredients to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over hot cake while cake is still in pan. Let cake cool completely before removing.
Enjoy & Happy Fall!

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in Baking, Cake, Comfort Food, food, Yummy

 

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Shrimp, Potato & Kale Tuscan Soup

This soup is kind of on the line of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup… except it doesn’t have sausage in it…but if you like sausage you could certainly add that.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

1 package (1 lb) peeled & devined shrimp (chopped into smaller pieces)

3-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 tsp basil & 1 tsp oregano

1 TBLS olive oil

64 oz vegetable broth

2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

6 Russet Potatoes (washed and cut in half lengthwise and then sliced 1/4 inch thick)

1 – 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 cups chopped fresh kale (chopped)

12 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 Bay leaves

1 TBLS flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat oil in a large pot, add shrimp, or if your using Italian sausage here’s where you’d add 1 lb of it. However, if you are using sausage – completely eliminate the oil!! Cook shrimp (or sausage, or both) until it’s almost cooked, then add the onion & garlic. Cook until onion turns translucent.

Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then add potatoes, cook for approx 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Reduce heat to low and stir in the heavy cream and kale. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with toasted French bread or hard rolls!


Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Comfort Food, food, potatoes, shrimp, soup, veggies, Yummy

 

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Baked Shrimp Egg Rolls

Baked Shrimp Egg Rolls

Here is a yummy recipe when you’re just wanting finger food on movie night. Or you can add your favorite main dish – like fried rice, Lo Mein or Kung Pao to it and make it a meal. This recipe makes about 8 a 12 egg rolls (depending on how full you fill them) – so double, or triple as needed 🙂

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 cup green cabbage, sliced thinly

1 carrot, shredded

5 green onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1/2 lb shrimp (cut into small pieces)

12 egg roll wrappers

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Additional sesame oil for brushing once egg roll is wrapped

Heat oven to 400 F.

Line baking pan with parchment paper. You can either place the finished egg rolls directly on the parchment paper or use a rack (like you would cool a cake on) set inside the cookie sheet to bake your egg rolls. My filling mixture was a  little more juicey than I would have liked so next time I’ll use a rack – like below – when baking.


Heat the olive oil and the sesame oil in a pan, add cabbage, carrots, onions, and stir fry until slightly tender (about 1 minute). Move veggies to the outside rim of the pan and add the shrimp, garlic, ginger, salt & pepper in the center. Cook until no longer pink. Remove from heat. Allow mixture to cool.

Place one egg wrapper on a flat surface and add a good full tablespoon (or more  if you like) of the cooled filling to the center of the wrapper. (Cover unused wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying out while you roll your egg rolls). Roll as the pictures show:






Brush each roll with sesame oil


Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with your favorite sweet and sour sauce or peanut sauce.


Enjoy!!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Comfort Food, Egg rolls, fish, food, shrimp, veggies, Yummy

 

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Southwestern Spring Rolls

Southwestern Spring Rolls

In honor of National Taco Day, I made these for supper last night. They were super yummy. I made the vegetarian version of these and made a dipping sauce out of sour cream, taco bell brand southwestern ranch dressing & salsa. I fried these briefly in a little vegetable oil and olive oil mixed, but I want to experiment with them and bake them to see if that will give a similar result of crunchiness without the oil.

Enjoy & Happy National Taco Day!!

 

Ingredients:

16 oz. black beans (rinsed and drained) – I used seasoned black-eyed peas, rinsed & drained.

16 oz. organic corn (you can find it 🙂 )

2 cups fresh washed & drained spinach

1-2 fresh jalapenos, de-seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, pressed & minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup onion, minced

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend

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15 large soft flour tortillas

Cooking oil

Salsa of your choice

Sour Cream

Directions:

1 . Combine & mix well all ingredients except oil, tortillas, sour cream & salsa.

2. Put approximately 2 TBLS of mixture on the end of each tortilla and roll tortilla into a thin tacquito.

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3. Heat a dry frying pan to med/high heat.

4. Add 1 TBLS oil per 2-3 taquito’s and shallow fry the taquitos just until browned on the outside….drain on paper towels.

Dipping Sauce:

I combined sour cream, Taco Bell brand southwestern ranch dressing & Salsa to make a dipping sauce.

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  • As I mentioned these were vegetarian rolls but all you’d need to do if you want to add meat is marinate some chicken breasts in a Mexican seasoning and cook them on a foreman grill or in the fry pan. Then thinly slice or shred your chicken and add to your tortilla mixture

ENJOY!!!

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in food, Mexican food, Tacos, vegetarian

 

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Pickle Pasta Salad

Pickle Pasta Salad

I love salads of all kinds and am always looking for creative, new ways to make salad. I love pickles and always put pickles (dill or sweet) in my pasta salads and in my potato salads. So, when I saw this salad I had to give it a try – it is yummy!! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 lb dry pasta (about 3 cups) – you can use shells, elbow, corkscrew or whatever pasta you think will work for this…

3/4 cup sliced dill pickles

2/3 cup cheddar cheese, diced

3 tablespoons finely diced white onion

2 tablespoons fresh dill

1/2 cup pickle juice

Dressing:

1/3 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise – depending on how thick you like your dressing

1/3 cup sour cream

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons pickle juice

salt & pepper to taste

I didn’t have any onions so I added a stalk of finely chopped celery instead and just added onion powder to my dressing 


Add pasta to boiling water and cook al dente. Run under cold water to stop cooking.



Toss cold pasta with about ½ cup of pickle juice and set aside for about 5 minutes. Drain & discard pickle juice.


Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.


Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. 

– I didn’t have enough cheddar so I also added what cheese I did have (don’t be afraid to experiment 🙂 


Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving


Serve as a side with your favorite meat or sandwiches – I’m serving mine today with Salmon fillets. 

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Pasta, Salads, vegetarian, Yummy

 

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Spaghetti Bake and Apple Crumble Bars 


It’s finally fall and that’s when I really feel like cooking. The smells of fall are so good, the cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg…couldn’t be better. 

Today the house smells so good and because of that I’m in the mood to give you two recipes! 

First is a Spaghetti bake that I’ve adapted somewhat from the Taste of Home cooking site. 

Here’s the recipe:

1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 jar (24 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese

4 cups (16 ounces) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Spices I added were: Italian Seasoning, Dried basil (from my garden), oregano and salt & pepper. I also sprinkled in some red pepper flakes…

Note:  I am pescatarian  (meaning a vegetarian who eats fish) so I substituted the ground beef for chopped mushrooms and 3 large gloves of chopped garlic. Also, I didn’t have any cottage cheese, so I substituted some leftover homemade Alfredo sauce that I had. 

Directions:

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef (or mushrooms – or both) and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 


Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese.



 Repeat layers.



Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 10 servings.

Then either for dessert – or earlier for breakfast that morning and dessert later, I made an Apple Crumble that is kinda like apple crumble bar cheese cake – so good!! I wish I could share with you how wonderful these dishes are making the house smell!! Oh my…welcome Fall!!


Sour Cream Apple Crumble Bars


INGREDIENTS

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Filling:

2 cups apples, peeled and shredded

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note: again, I didn’t have something (really need to go shopping) – I was out of walnuts…I never run out of walnuts…so I substituted finely chopped peanuts. 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl or mixer until fluffy and lightened in color.

Add in oats, flour and walnuts, then mix in baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice until combined.

Pour 1/2 crust mixture into lined baking dish and use your hands or a flat-bottomed surface to press crust into an even layer.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

While crust is pre-baking, mix together sour cream, sugar, egg, honey and vanilla extract in a large bowl, then mix in shredded apples.

Pour mixture over baked bottom crust and spread into an even layer, then top with remaining crumble mixture by dropping pieces until it is completely covered with a thin layer.


Bake for 35 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Cover with aluminum foil if topping is browning too quickly.



Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Enjoy and enjoy the tastes and smells of Fall!!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2016 in breakfast, Comfort Food, food, Pasta, vegetarian

 

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