Thursday, July 28, 2011

Falafel and Tzatziki Sauce

I made falafel pitas with tzatziki sauce (using up some of my garden's cucumbers!)

I used Anne Burrell's falafel recipe They tasted awesome and I've made them twice now for dinner.

I used 1 can of chickpeas that I drained instead of soaking dry beans

One thing to note, everyone in the comments said to NOT flour these patties until you are ready to pan fry them. I chilled my chickpea patties without flouring them. When I was ready to pan fry them they needed some reshaping and then we floured them.

Ingredients for a falafel pita sandwich

Pita with pockets cut in half
Cooked falafel patties
Tzatziki sauce

I used Emeril's recipe for tzatziki sauce as a guide. It was really good and I will be making it again. I think I'll be making this whole dinner again very soon.

1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
Fresh chopped dill
Fresh ground pepper
Dash of hot sauce (this was my kicked up addition, I didn't add Emeril's Essence ingredients)
I also threw in a few leaves of the fresh thyme since it was used when boiling the chicken peas in the above falafel recipe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Creamy Taco Mac

This recipe has been circling several blogs. I finally caved and tried it out. It was fast to make but I felt like it needed more seasonings and the sauce was too liquidy.

About 1 pound ground beef
Half a pound of dry pasta shells
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
14 ounce canned diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 an 8 ounce block of light cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Mexican cheese
Dash of hot sauce

Bring salt water to boil for the pasta. While the pasta is cooking start browning the ground beef. When the beef is almost cooked through add the onions and garlic. Stir in drained diced tomatoes and taco seasoning. Drain the cooked pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the water. Add the water, pasta, cream cheese and sour cream to the beef mixture. Simmer everything together for several minutes to remove some of the liquid. After taco mac is added to your dinner bowl you can top with the Mexican cheese blend and a dash of hot sauce.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

This was my first time making swiss meringue buttercream and I think I can never go back to my usual frosting recipe again. It was so good!

I used this recipe from Chef Mommy. My only change was I did 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract to try to get more lemon flavor into the cupcakes.

Monday, July 25, 2011


As you can see in our harvest photo we have many cucumbers and this is after I've given neighbors some of our extra cucumber, squash, and zucchini away! I made three jars of pickles with some of our cucumbers. We are growing pickling and slicing cucumbers.

I used this refrigerator pickle recipe and also added some sliced onion to my jars.

Three clean jars with lids
pickling-type cucumbers, sliced into spears
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch fresh dill
1 Tbs. pickling spice (I bought mine at Williams Sonoma)
1 quart water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
4 Tbs. kosher salt (I used pink sea salt)
Half of an onion, thinly sliced

Add the water, vinegar, and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the mixture come to room temperature.

Layer in the jars the dill, a garlic clove in each jar, some of the pickling spice in each jar, the cucumber spears, and top with the onion slices. Pour the room temperature brine into the jars. Refrigerate pickles for at least 2 days before opening and eating. We waiting exactly two days and we were very happy with how the pickles tasted.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

For my husband's 30th birthday I baked him a German Chocolate cake. I used the recipe on the back of the Baker's German Chocolate bar. The recipe can also be found here on the Kraft website. The cake was so soft and fluffy and the frosting had lots of coconut flavor and was really rich.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Eggplants and Cucumbers

Our eggplant and cucumbers are now ready for harvest. We also had a baby honeydew melon. We have two types of eggplant in our garden.

This long skinny purple one has produced three eggplant so far

Watermelon Cookies

I made these cute cookies for 4th of July this year :)
I was inspired by these!
I used Martha Stewart's Sugar Cookie Recipe
and Royal Icing (a bag of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons meringue powder, and 7 tablespoons water) in plain, pink, and green
To make the watermelon shape I used a circle cutter and then ran a knife across the center to cut the circle in half
I probably spent about 6 hours on these cookies from making the dough, chilling the dough, rolling, cutting, baking the cookies, and then decorating them (that took about 2 hours). I made the cookies 6 days in advance and kept them in ziplock bags in the freezer. I took them out of the freezer on July 4th and decorated them. They tasted yummy


I love our panini press. I bought it at Target for Christmas a few years ago. I just love how the bread comes out crunchy and the cheese is soooo melty.

For reubens we use rye bread, corned beef, sourkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. When using the panini press the bread gets a good dose of butter too

Using up Pizza Dough

I made pigs in a blanket using leftover pizza dough. It tasted the same as using crescent dough and I happened to have both pizza dough and hot dogs in the fridge :)

Lemony Pasta

I made my own version of the Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Fusili with Arugula.

I made just a few changes. I substituted asparagus for broccoli and skipped the tomatoes. I also made some chicken breast to go with it. We didn't dive into the leftovers so my husband ended up adding sausage and lots more cheese and rebaking the whole thing. I just wasn't crazy for this recipe. I'd rather have Cajun Chicken Alfredo