Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Greek Stuffed Peppers


Hello and Happy New Year!  Pictured above are Greek Stuffed Bell Peppers.  Side note: I can't always guarantee that our pictures will be fabulous like other blogs', but I can guarantee that we will only ever post blog-worthy recipes.  These peppers are just that.  I have adapted this recipe from Food Network's.  I have never made stuffed peppers before but I can tell you that after trying these, I will be making them a whole lot more now!  The  mix of the sweetness from the roasted peppers, plus the saltiness from the feta, and hint of cinnamon made these peppers a total hit.  I recommend reading the recipe once before you start because it has a few different steps.  Recipe below:

Serves 4

Time: about an hour total (maybe less if you have two people working)


4 bell peppers (green=gross, so stick to the red, orange, or yellow)

Ground turkey/beef/sausage/pork (8 oz)
3/4 tspn garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Dash of oregano
1 1/2 C brown rice (we used 1 package of Uncle Ben's instant brown rice.  Feel free to use any filling you want- orzo, bulgur, quinoa, etc)
1/4 C golden raisins
1/2 C toasted walnuts
Big bunch of basil, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella (reserve about half of this for tops of peppers)
1/2-3/4 C feta
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 tspn salt; 1/2 tspn pepper

15 oz. can tomato puree (just plain ole' tomato sauce is what this is)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cinnamon stick (or a few generous dashes of ground cinnamon)
1 tspn oregano
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Drizzle of olive oil for pot


Pre-heat oven to 425.  Cut off tops of peppers; scoop out all seeds; drizzle olive oil inside peppers and on outside and place face down (cut side down) in an oven proof dish.  Roast for 15 minutes or until blistered

Start sauce.  Heat small pot with drizzle of olive oil over medium low heat and add your minced garlic to cook for a couple of minutes.  Now add your tomato sauce and remaining seasonings and allow to simmer while you make your filling.


In a pan, start cooking your meat with the 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or just use real garlic if you don't have this), 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and dash of oregano.  Cook until done.  Set aside in a bowl.

While your meat is cooking, heat up some water in a bowl until very hot- about 2 1/2 mins in microwave. Place your golden raisins in this bowl and cover with plastic. This will re-hydrate the raisins and make them plump.  YUM.

***don't forget to toast your walnuts somewhere in here. Just stick 'em on a sheet pan in with the peppers for about 4 minutes TOPS***

After meat is done, the raisins should be done (maybe 5-7 minutes or so for this whole process).

In a bowl, combine raisins, meat, big bunch of chopped basil, scallions, zest of the lemon, lemon juice, minced garlic, toasted walnuts, feta, and mozzarella (just half).  Mix all this together and season with your salt and pepper.  Add your sauce (only until moist).  (Whatever sauce remains, ladle into the pan in which the peppers are cooking, and even on top of the peppers after filling has been added).

Take your peppers out of the oven, flip them right side up, and add your filling.  Top generously with your shredded mozzarella and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and has some golden brown spots on top.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Hey Friends!

I've decided that since it's been so long since we've blogged, I'm just going to share some links of some recipes with you that I have tried recently and loved and then hopefully as I cook over the holidays, I'll take pics and upload some fun stuff :) 

I made these 'brookies' (cross between a brownie and a cookie) for some friends who just had a baby, then made the rest of the batter for my classmates and I loved them and so did the classmates (I think!?).  I recommend baking one for 8 minutes first, then seeing if it is gooey enough, and if not, adjust the time accordingly for the rest of the batter.  The reason they are a cross between a cookie and a brownie (and make for QUITE the addictive treat) is because while they are completely cooked, they still maintain a gooey center (that's the goal, anyway- hence the need to adjust your baking time if that's not the outcome).  It's the perfect cookie. You don't have to under-bake these and risk having raw cookie dough in the center to maintain that perfect, soft, gooey texture in the middle.  They are best served warm (sorry friends in class) so plan accordingly! Although, these are the kind of cookies that are still great the next day and then some (I find this to be quite the opposite with other types of cookies!) You can find the link to these little treats here.

Enjoy!  These would be great for a cookie swap or any other holiday get together! 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

caramelized brussel sprouts with lemon zest

I had this dish with some dear friends at P.F. Chang's as an appetizer and LOVED it.  They shaved the brussel sprouts really thin, caramelized them, and added a squeeze of lemon for bright flavor.  They were YUM.  I warn you: you've gotta like brussel sprouts.  Although, I think with the brightness of the lemon in this dish, along with the caramelization of the brussel sprouts, if you didn't like brussel sprouts before, you will more than likely enjoy them after this dish.  It was so simple, SO delicious, HEALTHY, and only had 4 ingredients.


-canola oil (1-2 tablespoons)
-brussel sprouts (2 good handfuls fed me- that would equate to about 1 package if that's how they come at your grocery store)
-1 lemon


-shave/thinly slice your brussel sprouts (make sure to take that little end off)
-pour oil into stainless steal pan (not a non-stick pan) and turn on to medium-high heat
-allow your oil to get hot, then add your brussel sprouts to your pan and listen to that glorious sizzle...
-sprinkle with a little salt and stir the brussel sprouts around, allowing all of them to caramelize
-peel 3 strips of lemon peel. 
-chop up the lemon peel and add to the pan
-once the brussel sprouts have developed beautiful brown sides, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan and stir the brussel sprouts in that juice (just a half a lemon will do)
-transfer to a plate and ENJOY!!

These are great as an appetizer or as a side.  They've got that great bitter flavor that brussel sprouts have, plus the brightness and acidity of the lemon zest and juice, plus a balance of flavor from the salt...just a real winner all around.  I highly encourage everyone to try this!  I was VERY pleased!  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Salad

For those of you who haven't given up on this blog yet, 1) wow, 2) we're sorry to be so neglectful (4 months is embarassing) and 3) new post! YAY MEREDITH!

I have SO many more recipes I want to share with you all but this one is being posted by popular demand.  I originally obtained this recipe from one of my Columbus besties, Kristi.  She made this for us when she and her hubs were living with us a while back.  Now that I write that, I'm getting deja vu as if I've already blogged this. Oh well, I'm doing it again if I already have simply for the sake of blogging SOMETHING on this poor, neglected blog.  I have made this salad SEVERAL times for SEVERAL different people and it always gets RAVE reviews.  The dressing is the secret, I think.  So here's the recipe:

Feta Dressing

2 T white wine vinegar (can use regular white vinegar)
1 tsp honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp minced fresh thyme

Other Ingredients:
Mixed greens
Scallions/basil (scallions are cheaper)
Your choice of vegetables (I typically use a purple onion, a zucchini or squash, a bell pepper [anything but green], and asparagus [which roasts for a lesser time than the other vegetables])

Whisk first 6 ingredients.  Slowly whisk in olive oil.  Stir in feta and thyme (often times I only stir in the thyme and put the feta directly on the salad and drizzle the dressing over when time to serve).  

Grab your favorite vegetables. Pre-heat oven to 425. Cut the veg into thick pieces (everything minus the asparagus because they don't need any extra slimming)  and lay them all out flat on a cutting board.  Sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for about 10 minutes (this is really only necessary with squash and zucchini).  Blot the water off of them (getting rid of some of that water in the veg helps them brown better)
Lay out your veggies on a sheet pan- don’t let any of them be all over each other otherwise they won’t evenly roast.  Drizzle them with olive oil (I’d start with 1 tablespoon then if you miss some veg, add a bit more- but don’t drench them) and season with about 1 teaspoon of salt.  (I know it sounds like simple seasoning but the roasting develops flavors for you so you don’t have to worry about other seasonings)
Get a good bed of greens, an avocado, and some scallions (or strips of basil would be divine).   Let the vegetables roast for about 20 minutes (or more- depending on where they are at in the browning stage) turning once at the halfway point.  They may take around 25 minutes, just keep an eye on them.  They should be soft, but caramelized looking in some parts (ie; not all completely brown- but you’ll know it when you see it). 
Cut up your avocado, scallions, and put your beautiful roasted vegetables on top of those greens (I like a spring mix- more nutrients than romaine) and top with the avocado and scallions.  Drizzle over your dressing and you are good to go!  The vegetables can be served warm- if you serve them piping hot, they will wilt the greens.  But hey, there's nothing wrong with a wilted salad from time to time.  ENJOY!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Potato and Corn Chowder

(picture compliments of Weight Watchers)

Guys.  I made this soup tonight and it was DELISH.  Find yourself some fresh summer corn and make this dish!  It's got great texture, sweetness from the corn, a hint of heat, and it's hearty- but still a perfect soup for summer.  Serve with some sweet cornbread and a dollop of sour cream and chives. You won't be sorry.

Serves 4-6


  • Turkey bacon (4-5 slices, chopped)
  • 1 russet potato, chopped
  • 4 ears summer corn (I used both white and yellow)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery heart, chopped
  • Milk (1/2 C to 1 C)
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 C white wine (optional)
  • Sriracha (or any other hot sauce you have)


  • Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees and throw your shucked corn on a baking sheet to roast.  While the corn roasts, chop your veg
  • In a stock pot and with a touch of olive oil, sautee your bacon over medium heat until crispy (as crispy as turkey bacon gets, I guess)
  • Add your veg and add a dash of salt, allowing them to sweat
  • Cover the lid of the pot to allow the vegetables to become tender
  • Once tender, deglaze the pan with the white wine (or stock, instead)
  • Add your stock and allow soup to come to a strong simmer
  • Check your corn- there should be some brown spots
  • Carefully, cut the kernels off the cob (you could also just throw a bag of frozen corn kernels and roast them I suppose)
  • Add the corn to the pot and simmer for a few minutes (It will probably need a bit more salt- turkey bacon doesn't have near the amount of salt that regular bacon does, so you'll need to add some)
  • Add your milk until desired creaminess and continue to simmer for a couple minutes
  • Stir in a couple swigs of sriracha and let the flavors merry for 15 minutes before you serve.
  • If you want your soup the be thick, use an immersion blender to blend half of it (or stick half of it in a blender)

Deliciously satisfying- the sweet corn not only provides sweetness (obviously) but also a wonderful texture.  There's a lot of flavor in this simple soup and it's SUPER easy to make!  


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Uncle Bob's French Onion Soup

A few months ago I spent a weekend with Uncle Bob and Aunt Kay up in Dallas. Uncle Bob is a "food scientist"...and while I am still unsure of exactly what that means or what he does... I do know that he has a food expertise that shines when he makes this incredible french onion soup. It was a cold February weekend when he made it for me, and it warmed me down to my bones. We should feel pretty special that he agreed to share the recipe with us; Aunt Kay was convinced that he would never reveal the secret. Thank you, Uncle Bob!!!

"Here's my mods on a standard French Onion Soup recipe. It's hard to go wrong on any of the recipes I've tried, but I do like to spend a long time on the onion saute step, and don't mind a few crunchy bits    on the pan bottom.  Stop when you like the color, then deglaze with the white wine, while enjoying a glass.

I like sliced sourdough toasted to dryness in the oven for the top layer, then use grated Swiss to crown it.  Most people don't notice the red pepper kick, so I probably got a little heavy handed on the batch you sampled. 

This soup is great for leftovers, not just in the dead of winter. It is much better day 2 and 3. The flavors meld and complement each other.But it's hard to not eat it day 1!"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

penne with zucchini pistou

Wow has it been a while! 

This dish is from a while ago, and GOSH was it delicious. (Forgive the phone snap shot of this pic, I accidentally deleted it on my photos).  It's vegetarian, but so filling and packed with flavor that you won't miss meat!  A 'pistou' is the French's version of a pesto, essentially.  This pistou has caramelized zucchini in addition to the already fabulous flavors of a regular 'pesto.'


  • 2 large or 3 small/medium zucchini
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • a good handful of fresh basil
  • any type of nut (optional), about a palm full
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1/2-1 C reserved pasta water
  • Olive Oil
  • Chop your zucchini into medallions
  • Heat some olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium/medium high heat
  • Add your zucchini and allow the zucchini to caramelize (like the picture)
  • Once the zucchini are tender and are golden brown, remove from heat
  • Boil your pasta water (add salt!) and add your box of penne
  • In a food processor, add 1/3 of your cooked zucchini along with your basil, parmesan, garlic, salt, and nuts (if using)
  • While blending the ingredients, stream olive oil into the food processor to make the pistou
  • Taste for flavor
  • Once the pasta is done, add it (using a slotted spoon) to the zucchini that still hangin' out in the pan, and then dump your pistou mixture on top.  
  • Add a little bit of pasta water to the mix as you stir everything together
  • Grate some fresh parmesan over the pasta to incorporate, as well
This will easily be one of my favorite go-to dishes during the week because it's simple to make, it's PACKED with flavor, doesn't cost a lot, and saves well for leftovers!