Recipes             Menus              Entertaining             About

Starred Recipes

3 Stars - A Family Favorite
2 Stars - Really Good, Will Make Again
1 Star - Good Recipe, Probably Won't Make Again

June 30, 2012

Baked Zucchini Chips

Baked Zucchini Chips

I have seen this recipe in a number of places on Pinterest, in magazines, and on Facebook.
I thought I'd try it out and see how we liked it.

I think it's a great veggie side.  We all liked it and it took very little prep - perfect for the summer!

In addition to the zucchini, I tried this recipe with a squash that I had on hand.
Worked great for both.

I sliced up both vegetables rather thinly and laid them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Then I sprinkled them with Kosher salt and Italian seasonings.
You don't want to overseason because the vegetables shrink so you'd be biting into a lot of seasoning.

Then I baked them at 225* for 30 minutes, turned the sheet and baked another 30 minutes.
The longer you bake them, the crispier they get.  Some recipes call for 45 minutes, turn, then another 45 minutes.

And serve!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


Good, but probably won't make it that often

June 25, 2012



David requested Tabbouleh this week, so I went to my folder full of recipes and found two that looked like great, basic Tabbouleh recipes.

I made Mexican Tabbouleh and shared it previously.  It was really good. 
This is the traditional Middle Eastern version that is customizable. 
My recipe below is combination of's recipe and The Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook recipe, along with my own likes and pantry items on hand.

Tabbouleh comes from the Arabic word for "seasoning" because in the Middle Ages Middle Eastern cultures began eating edible herbs with most of their dishes.  I like this salad because it has a nice fresh taste due to the lemon, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs.

I cooked a cup of bulgur wheat, which just takes minutes.
While it was doing its thing, I chopped my cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint.

Some recommend peeling the cucumbers, others say not to.  I left the peel on this time and seeded them.  Not sure it makes a huge difference.

I love the colors in this dish!

When the bulgur had soaked up all the water, I added the lemon juice, olive oil, and more sea salt.

Then I tossed the bulgur with the herbs and vegetables.

Some Tabboulehs have a lot more parsley and mint than I ended up with, so you could easily add more. 

I really like this salad the next day too. 
I eat it after it's been out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, but not heated.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

بالهنا والشفا
(Arabic for Bon Appetit!)

A great side dish that is easy to make and versatile!

Easy Black Beans

Easy Black Beans

We eat a lot of beans in our house.
Black beans, chickpeas, and green beans are our favorites, but we eat all kinds.

I've shared a couple of black bean recipes already including one of my go-to meals Black Bean Enchiladas which my boys ask for all the time, and how I cook Black Beans and Rice from dried beans.

This recipe is my way of turning a can of black beans into something a little more special, to use in tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, naked burritos, salads, or just with rice.

I had 7 different "spiced black beans" recipes in my arsenal, from great chefs.
 I've taken something from each of them to create my own version.

I usually make this recipe with 2 cans of black beans, and I'm lucky if I have leftovers once the family gets through dinner.

If I don't get my onion chopped up small enough (see below!), then I have been known to puree the cooked beans to make refried black beans so that I don't pick out the onion at the dinner table. 
Refried black beans are delicious in quesadillas.

We do make-your-own quesadillas a lot using this inexpensive quesadilla maker the boys got me from Target a few years ago for Mother's Day.

Refried or whole black beans are a staple for our quesadillas.
We also usually have shredded cheese, scrambled egg, avocado, cilantro, and salsas to choose from.

Tonight I made whole bean black beans and the boys ate them in taco shells and with heated corn tortillas with lots of salsas and chopped romaine (we're out of cheese).  The beans were completely gone, and the boys were happy - win!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

Buen Provecho!

Easy to enhance regular canned black beans, a staple in our house

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it out to go along with our Avocado Pita Pizzas with Cilantro sauce.  While I had out the fresh cilantro and food processor, it seemed a perfect accompaniment.

Angela from Oh She Glows made this recipe and I modified it only in that I did not use diced onion.
We're just not onion fans around here, and I wanted to give this recipe a fighting chance!  I also replaced the spinach with fresh kale.

I chopped the kale finely in the food processor, then added it to rinsed and drained chickpeas.

Then I made the dressing by pulsing lime juice, cilantro, Dijon mustard, sugar, garlic, cumin, and oil in the food processor (following the directions that I didn't even need to rinse out the food processor after chopping the kale - super easy!).

It just makes a little bit of dressing, which is all this recipe needs.

I tossed the chickpeas, kale and dressing together, then served the salad over a bed of brown rice that I had in the fridge.  Others on Pinterest recommended serving it on romaine, quinoa, and Basmati rice.  I'm sure they'd all be great!

Really delicious!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


Avocado Pita Pizza with Cilantro Sauce

Avocado Pita Pizza with Cilantro Sauce

This recipe comes from Two Peas and Their Pod, and it was really good!

After a long family bike ride on Sunday, then a quick stop at Dairy Queen, we came home and were ready for a meal.  This recipe was a pretty quick one to pull together.

You make a Cilantro Sauce by processing together in the food processor fresh cilantro, garlic, lime juice, green onion, and a little bit of minced jalapeno.  Then you drizzle in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Then take your pitas and place them on a baking sheet, and top with the cilantro sauce. 

Then I added a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 for 8 minutes.
Then top with sliced avocado, slice up and serve!

Next time I will get the pita bread instead of pockets, but since we were slicing them up to eat like pizza, it was actually just fine.


Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


June 21, 2012

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

Good Housekeeping's
Grilled Shrimp Scampi

In the July 2012 Good Housekeeping, they had a "Healthy in a Hurry" recipe that looked delicious.
Like something I'd order in a restaurant if I was in the mood for shrimp and pasta (which I usually am).

We made it earlier this week and it really was good.

It's a lighter version of the original, and the flavors are great.
I personally think that the roasted bell peppers make the dish.

Brennan thought the peppers "contaminated" his beloved pasta and shrimp.

But we all ate this meal, and had plenty of leftovers for the next day's lunch (win!).

You start by putting a large pot of salted water on to boil for your pasta.

Then you make a vinaigrette by whisking together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano and black pepper. 

Then you slice up your bell pepper and grill them, or saute them in just a splash of olive oil as I did.
The original recipe called for two small red bell peppers.  I had one large yellow so that's what we went with.

The pepper looks orange in this photo for some reason...

Now they're yellow!

Once they're lightly charred, you transfer them to a cutting board and dice them.

Then you saute (or roast, or grill - it's your choice) your seasoned shrimp and toss the cooked shrimp in the vinaigrette.

Then toss the shrimp, vinaigrette, and drained pasta together and top with parsley just before serving.

So good!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


June 19, 2012

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

Southern Living's
Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

My boys are not long on patience - especially waiting in the car.
When they get in the car they always have a book, and if they forget one, the trip around town to do errands or take someone somewhere is always that.much.longer.

The other day we were waiting outside of the high school for Thomas to finish band practice, when Brennan realized he didn't have anything to read.  So, I handed him the June 2012 Southern Living that I had brought along for myself. 

And he chose this delicious Icebox Pie recipe to try out.

I modified the recipe ever-so-slightly.  It was delicious and is perfect for the summer.

Brennan started by making the crust.  We made the pie entirely in the food processor, but you could also use a mixer.

He crushed pretzel sticks, then mixed in melted butter and light brown sugar.

Look at those long piano fingers!

He pressed it into a greased pie pan and cooked it for 11 minutes, then cooled it on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

While it was cooling, Brennan promptly forgot about the rest of the pie and went out to play.
I finished it up for him.  He was thrilled to see the end result at dinner the next day!

I then blended sweetened condensed milk and light cream cheese together.  I added in strawberry gelatin and chopped fresh strawberries, and about 1 cup of light Cool Whip.

I froze the pie overnight.

The next day I topped the frozen pie with more Cool Whip and set it back in the freezer for an hour.

While we had dinner I set the pie out to soften up a touch.

It was delicious!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


June 18, 2012

Slow-Roasted Tomato Quarters

Slow-Roasted Tomato Quarters

I found this recipe in the June 2012 Vegetarian Times and clipped it for its simplicity.

You simply quarter plum tomatoes and place a slice of garlic on top of each.
Then sprinkle with Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning and Kosher salt.

Drizzle olive oil on top and roast for an hour.

This is a great, simple side dish in the summer!

I find it hard to drizzle olive oil without dousing food with too much.
So next time I will toss the tomatoes in a little bit of oil before lining them up on the baking sheet and sprinkling on the herbs and salt.

The original recipe calls for Herbes de Provence which I did not have on hand, so I improvised with Italian seasoning and no one was the wiser!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.


June 17, 2012

Herbed Mushroom Caviar

Herbed Mushroom Caviar

We found this recipe in the June 2012 Vegetarian Times. 

Brennan found this recipe and wanted us to try it rightaway because a) he loves mushrooms, and b) caviar??  He even wrote "caviar?" at the bottom of the recipe.  He was intrigued.  Although - he must not have read the entire recipe because there is actually no traditional caviar in this recipe.  It comes from the look of diced mushrooms on baguette slice.

We changed it up a bit and made this recipe as a side dish while Thomas (our non mushroom fan) was sleeping over at a friend's house.

This is a fast, easy side dish that would be great with any meat main dish.

Instead of going for a caviar look, we quartered the button mushrooms after cleaning them.

Then we sauted them in olive oil. 

Once all the liquid had evaporated, we added lemon juice to deglaze the pan and let the lemon juice cook off.

Then we added minced garlic and fresh thyme.

We topped it off with parsley and served the dish warm.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

Bon Appetit!

June 11, 2012

Wild Rice Salad with Beets

Gillian McKeith's
Wild Rice Salad with Beets

I'm perfectly willing to share this recipe with you, even though it is certainly not one of my favorites.

Maybe it's the beets.
Or maybe it's the beets/rice combo.

My 3 men seemed to like it just fine, but after one helping, I was not interested in putting it up for leftovers, against protests from my family.

Hey - if they're willing to eat wild rice salad with beets the next day, who am I to toss this dish out and mark it down as a fail?

I'm new to beets. 

We saw them at the Farmers' Market Saturday and Brennan had to have them (this is a theme, isn't it?)  He went through 3 cookbooks and chose this recipe, which we modified.  I had my doubts going in, but I figured we'd give it a try.

I'm not giving up on beets though. 
I'm going to try them again in a different way and see if I can become a beet fan like so many people I know are. 

I used 1 cup of Lundberg Wild Rice Blend that I had on hand (found at Kroger).
I really like the Lundberg brand in general.

The recipe called for 4 cooked beets, diced.  I wasn't sure where to start, so I looked online.

I removed the leaves and then scrubbed the beets well.
Then I cut off the two ends and peeled the beets. 
Then I cut them into large chunks and boiled them for about 5 minutes.

It turns out, I could have trimmed them but peeled them after boiling them.
And, I think next time I'll roast them instead of boiling them, but they were fine, regardless.

I cooked the rice according to the package directions, then let in cool while I diced the beets.

I tossed the cooled rice with the diced beets and added the juice of 1 lemon, chopped fresh mint, parsley, chives. 


Everyone ate the salad again tonight at dinner, and I certainly didn't require anyone to, since I wasn't going to.  When I asked if I should keep the remaining salad - they all 3 said yes.  Well, OK.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.