Tzatziki Sauce

Pita with tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, and zuchini
So, funny story; when I initially posted this recipe two years ago, I included instructions on how to strain regular plain yogurt to make Greek yogurt.  Back then,  Greek yogurt wasn't something found in all grocery stores.... Now folks can't get enough of it, to the point that producers are paying to get rid of the waste product.  The operations manager in me is totally fascinated by the business-aspect of the food industry, sorry for nerding out... Anyhow, regardless of the environmental and economical impact of Greek yogurt, tzatziki is delicious, and I recommend spreading it liberally on most edible surfaces.


Spagetti Aglio et Olio

I have an impressive capacity for Food Network.  I can watch it, without ever getting tired.  Heck, I've watched the same episode multiple times in one day.  Don't judge.  Conveniently, E doesn't seem to mind.  Every now and again, he even plops down and enjoys it too.  And sometimes, he sees a recipe and is like "OMG we need to have this for dinner.  Tonight."  This was one of those recipes.  He's a total pasta guy, so this was right up his alley.  And while I'm totally not a pasta girl, this was absolutely delicious.  And, I'll let you in on a secret, it's even better left over.  Seriously, the extra time the noodles get hanging out with the garlicky, cheesy goodness just amplifies the tastiness.  

Spring Roll in a Bowl

Some food speaks for itself.

But in case you like words... how about delicate rice noodles, topped with crisp carrots, cucumber, fresh mint, cilantro, and thai basil with a rich peanut sauce finished with crunchy, salty peanuts? 

Kung Pao Chicken

I have a long list of guilty pleasures....
  • Trashy reality shows, like The Bachelor and The Million Dollar Matchmaker.  
  • Heavily caffeinated anything (Monster Kaos, anyone??)
  • Impractical shoes
  • Ben and Jerry's Phish Food
  • Rihanna.  And Demi Lovato.  Their songs rank amongst the top 25 most played on my iTunes.  I sing along.  Don't judge.
  • Takeout Chinese food
Unfortunately, eliminating the guilt in garbage TV, ice cream, and Rihanna is out of the picture, but I can eliminate the guilt in Chinese food.  Everything delicious in kung pao chicken is encompassed in this tasty recipe, without the guilt of deep fat frying usually involved with takeout. (+ without the mess.  score.)  

Fluffy Banana Waffles

In case fluffy, crisp banana waffles weren't enough... I speckled them with chocolate chips, and topped them with sweet maple syrup, fresh bananas, and chocolate covered almond with coarse sea salt.  I'd call that a good morning.


Blackening Spice Mix

Blackening Spice Rub

1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Combine the garlic, black pepper, salt cumin, onion, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe from Guy Fieri.


Gourmet Hawaiian Pizza

Awhile back I had the most delicious hawaiian pizza at a restaurant in town, Farm Bloomington.  So I called them up the other day to check if it was still on their menu.  It wasn't.  The girl that answered the phone didn't even know what pizza I was asking about.  Blasphemy.  So that left me only one option... make my own.  What made Farm's pizza so deliciously memorable was the presence of macadamia nuts.  That nutty, fatty crunch really brings a lot to a pizza.  Seriously, nuts on pizza- try it.  Also, since I generally find Canadian bacon disturbing, I subbed pancetta-- a substitution I would highly recommend.  Overall, this is a pretty killer pizza-- I guess I can forgive Farm for taking it off their menu.


Brussels Sprout, Grape, + Goat Cheese Pizza

This isn't so much of a step-by-step recipe, but a list of ingredients that taste quite lovely together :)

For crust: 14-19 oz. Pizza dough (I use the 5-minute Artisan Crusty White Bread recipe).
Bake the crust without toppings for 8-10 minutes in a 500°F oven.

Sauce: 5-7 cloves of roasted garlic + 3 Tbs apricot preserves + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar + salt to taste
Mash it all together.

Spread the sauce over the crust, then add some shredded parmesan, brussels sprouts, halved grapes, pine nuts, goat cheese and another drizzle of balsamic.

Bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until brussels sprouts are roasted and crust is golden.

Greek Yogurt Cornbread

This 20° weather as of late has really made me crave comfort food.  Hence, chili and cornbread.  This cornbread just tastes really great, and the addition of the Greek yogurt makes for a very moist, rich cornbread.  Perfect for sopping up every last flavorful bite of chili.

Lightened Up Dark Chocolate Crème Brülée

This year for Christmas, my sister-in-law gave E and I a kitchen torch.  It is pretty much the greatest thing ever.  I come up with every excuse possible to torch something, from deeming the pineapple on my pizza not caramelized enough, to addressing the unmelted corners of cheese on burgers.  If you don't have a kitchen torch, you should probably go get one.  Stat.  And start torching things.  Immediately.  

My first order of torch business was a traditional crème brülée, because isn't that what one makes with a torch?  Well it was wonderful, but when the primary ingredients are heavy cream and egg yolks, it's not something I will be making often.  Sorry E.  I then stumbled upon this lovely recipe-- dark chocolate crème brülée without any heavy cream.  I'll be honest, it is not as luxuriously creamy as traditional crème brülée and the chocolate formed a bit of a separated layer on top, but it was good enough I'd make it again.  Plus, how can you dislike crème brülée you don't have to feel terribly guilty about?


Healthy Caesar Salad Dressing

Like my Snapware?  I keep it classy up in here...  For instance tonight me & E ate our salsa verde chicken enchiladas on paper plates.  We even used coated paper plates with gaudy flowers on the edges, which nearly requires we break out the stemware.  We're pretty impressive.  Really though... I actually do have nice serving bowls and platters, but those are reserved for when we have dinner guests.  Therefore, when I'm making myself Caesar salad for tomorrow's lunch it will be in Snapwear, and I will photograph it.  Hopefully one can look past the Snapwear to appreciate the deliciousness of Caesar and the fact that this dressing doesn't deliver fat content in the double-digits.  That way, if you like to eat some lettuce with your dressing, you don't need to feel guilty about it :)  


Lemon Chicken

The sir in my life is trying to eat healthier,  so we have been eating a lot of salad.  Today, in celebration of Thursday, we decided it was time to fry something.  (But it's totally justified because we ate it with like a gallon of steamed veggies...)  If you have more discipline than I do, feel free to sub in baked chicken.  My baked sweet & sour chicken (less the chinese five spice) would work great with this lemon sauce.


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