Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce

I wanted something light and easy for tonight since I was dining alone. This recipe in the new Everyday Food magazine caught my eye the other day, and seeing as I could use up some goodies from the garden, it was an easy pick tonight. It was just what I needed. Nice flavor, light and quick! (Granted...that doesn't include the time for roasting tomatoes, but since I didn't have to tend to them while they roasted, I didn't count it towards the actual time)

So...step 1: Cut 10 plum tomatoes in half and lay cut side up on an edged cooking pan. Sprinkle with sugar and roast in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees. (I used my toaster oven)

coarse salt and ground pepper
10 roasted tomato halves, roughly chopped
1/2 c evoo
3 tbsp capers (optional)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 lb spaghetti
handful fresh basil leaves, to taste

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine tomatoes, oil, capers (if using), and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot; toss with tomato mixture. Serve pasta topped with basil.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Feta & Olive Stuffed Mediterranean Chicken

A few weeks ago, I had to make a deliver some wedding goods to my friend Tricia. I couldn't go empty handed, so of course I brought the most wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie. And as a trade for wedding goods and pie, I was fortunate enough to experience a delightful chicken dinner. I requested the recipe on the spot, but it wasn't until Tricia started her own blog that I decided to give it a go. It was as great as I remembered. Carl loved it. It will become a regular.

I am copying Tricia's exact recipe notes as they are very helpful...and funny.

the goods:

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (the bigger the better)
2 oz. crumbled feta (i just buy a small tub)
1 small can of chopped black olives (do not drain)
1 c. fresh salsa (i like to use Chuck and Daves)
1 bag (5 oz.) of baby spinach
1 large lemon
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper

here's what you do:


1. combine can of chopped olives and crumbled feta together in a bowl. drizzle in OO until a paste is made. set aside.

2. after you clean and trim the chicken of excess fat, cut a pocket in the side of the breast. make sure you dont cut all the way through.

**dont panic if you do cut all the way through- it will be ok.

3. stuff as much feta-olive mix in the pocket of each breast of chicken as you can, season with pepper and salt. set the left over feta-olive mix aside.

4. in a large skillet, heat 2 TBS. of OO on med-high heat. brown both sides of the chicken until golden brown (RS says this should take 2min).

**again- do not panic if some of the feta-olive mix falls out of the breasts- if you made the mistake of cutting through the breast- just be careful when turning and transfering.

5. when chicken is just starting to brown, transfer into a baking dish. (i use a glass 9*13). drizzle with OO and top with the remaining feta-olive mix. bake for 15-18min until cooked through.

6. when chicken is about 2min from being done. heat the salsa on the stove until hot, then remove from heat.

7. top chicken with slices of lemon (this really makes the meal in my opinion) alongside the salsa-topped spinach.

* I however did not do the spinach and salsa portion- I just had a side of fresh homegrown steamed green beans and baked potatoes. DELISH!!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Why haven't I thought to make these sooner? Seriously? They are my favorite thing to get at a fair/festival/carnival and I was craving one hardcore tonight. Carl said to just make one myself, so after a few minutes of googling, I was off and running. These are seriously easy and seriously delicious! I found the recipe here.


* Refrigerator biscuits - 1 roll
* 1 cup cooking oil
* 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (I made a mix of 1/2 c sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon)
* Paper lunch bag


Place cinnamon sugar in paper lunch bag. Heat cooking oil in large frying pan. Test for hot enough: Drop of water will sizzle.

Separate dough into individual biscuits-"ear". Stretch each biscuit until they just about have holes in them. They do not have to be perfect. Gently drop each "ear" into the hot oil. As soon as one side becomes golden, flip them and let second side get golden. DO NOT WALK AWAY. They burn quickly.

Place "ears" on paper towel to soak up excess oil. Shake "ears" in paper bag of cinnamon sugar. Serve warm with ice cream or just plain. Make lots, they will go quickly.

Cost to make these? Maybe $3 for 5 smallish ears. Much better than $5 for one crappy one at the fair! What are you waiting for? Stop reading, go make these!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pizza on the Barbie!

Mmmmm pizza. Mmmmm grilling. Why didn't we do this sooner? I took tips from Lindsay, and it went well. Next time, we'll make the grill a little cooler as it burned the one portion of the crust a little bit, but it was still REALLY good. We will definitely do this again...and again.


* 1 tube pre-made pizza crust (We used a Jiffy mix)
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
* 1 cup pizza sauce (we used more than that...we like it saucy!)
* Meat and veggie toppings of your choice (We did pepperoni, green pepper from the garden and black olives.)


1. Preheat an outdoor grill for low heat and spray grate with cooking spray
2. Roll out prepared pizza dough to a size that will fit your grill.
3. Place on grill for 5 minutes, or to desired doneness, and flip over. Now add the sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
4. Cover the grill and allow to cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moist Zucchini Bread

My boss grows zucchini, and it's coming in faster than she can eat it, so she brought in a few to share. Zucchini is actually one of the things I prefer not to eat, and so at first I was going to decline the offer. But then I remembered! ZUCCHINI BREAD! So I grabbed a piece and headed home. I searched my favorite online site, and found this one. I made it and took it up north with us, it was perfect, really moist and really flavorful! And don't worry if you aren't a zucchini fan, it tastes nothing like it.

I only have one loaf pan, so I just made one loaf, and then I made 12 muffins. The muffins only took 20 minutes, so if you are in a time crunch, it's a great option. Plus, they are already personal size :) And sorry for the craptastic picture. Like I said, I took it up north, I had to work with what I had.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt and nuts; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.
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