Friday, November 19, 2010

Here it comes . . . turkey lurkey day!

I am gearing up for Thanksgiving. I am hosting for the first time . . . EVER! As much as I love to cook, I am deathly afraid of putting on a big holiday meal for others. I think it's as much to do with cleaning my house as it is making a meal to please. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like this that I'm also so afraid of the timing. How the heck am I supposed to have everything warm and ready at the same time? Here's my menu, so far (recipes to come later):

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gyros at home

One of my favorite things to eat at festivals is a gyro. I love that yummy spicy meat, in a nice warm pita wrap, with the cool tzatziki slathered throughout. At the beginning of October every year, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral near our house puts on the awesome Atlanta Greek Festival. It's usually a 4-day extravaganza. One of my favorite parts is their drive-thru. As soon as the festival opens (on a Thursday), I swing through on the way home and pick up gyros and spanakopita. Once the weekend end hits, we all climb aboard the big tour bus that takes you from the parking lot and head to the festival. In addition to more gyros, we always get these greek potatos which are sort of like steak cut fries with awesome spices and more yummy sauce. (They're also smart enough to have some good ol' fashioned pizza and hot dogs for the pickier of kids, like mine.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Big George's Rockin' Spaghetti Sauce (The Best Veggie Sauce Ever!!)

When I try something yummy, I'm not afraid to beg and plead to get the recipe. And when people ask me for a recipe, I always willingly pass along my secrets. (Duh, I have a blog.) Well, a long time ago, up in Highlands, North Carolina, I began begging for the recipe for the yummiest spaghetti sauce I have ever had.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making concessions for others

Have you ever changed a recipe for the sake of another person only to find you regret it. When I was in college, I was new at making meals for others, and being the people pleaser that I am, I always tried to make everyone happy. I offered to make spaghetti one night for a small crowd (4 or 5 people), but one person was a vegetarian. Well, back then, the only way I knew to make spaghetti was using the spaghetti sauce spice packet. Brown the meat, add the spice packet, some water, and a can of tomato paste.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sausage Tomato Spinach Pasta

Once again, the dinner doldrums hit. That's why I love my google reader. I subscribe to a slew of food blogs and every so often one of them hits me with something that sounds yummy. This one came from epicurious. I always pay attention to the reviews listed as "most helpful" there because people often add good tips. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tacos don't have to be awful

(note: my photographer, Frances, disappeared to take pictures of her American Girls in the middle of this project, so I had to take my own photos on my iPhone. You be the judge as to which ones were with a real camera.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summertime Corn

Have you noticed a plethora of corn lately?!?! Every time I go to the grocery the price has dropped even more. Last time it was 10 ears for $2.00! (That's 20¢ folks!)

(And if you want to know how to make the ¢ symbol, just hold down the "alt" key and type "0162". When you let go of the alt key, there it'll be!)

So, we've I've been having corn on the cob a lot lately, but no one else in my house eats it. (Not sure what to make of that, but I've given up.) So today I decided to make one of my childhood favorites: creamed corn, just one of the many food loves I share with my dad.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm-Starving Pizza Dough

I used get my pizza dough from Trader Joes or Publix, but not tonight. Frances and her friend decided to open a restaurant, which I downgraded to a bake sale, so they spent the afternoon in the kitchen making purple sugar cookies (which now look grey) decorated with all colored sprinkles. (I pretty much left them to themselves.) So, it's now dinner time and we have nothing in the house except . . . mozzarella cheese and spaghetti sauce. So, pizza it is! How can I do that in a jiffy? No-rise pizza dough. We'll let you know how it turns out. I'm too hungry to take pictures.

1 1/4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
a pinch of salt
1 cup hot water from the tap
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup additional bread flour

Put flour, yeast, salt, and hot water in a large bowl and mix using an electric hand mixer for 3 or 4 minutes. Add 1 1/4 additional bread flour and mix by had until mostly incorporated. Turn onto the counter and knead until all the flour is incorporated (adding a bit more if needed).

Let it rest under a damp dish towel while the oven preheats the pizza stone to 500°.

Roll your dough, dress your dough, and stuff it in the oven!

(The verdict: it was a little bit chewy and not salty enough for me, but the toppings made up for it - Paul Newman's marinara & freshly shredded whole milk mozzarella. In a pinch, it'll do!)

UPDATE: Here's the kind of post I was looking for. I'm trying this next.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's for dinner?

I've been having the hardest time lately coming up with meals. Not because I can't think of something fun to eat, but because I don't have time right now ('cause I'm too busy blogging!). I've been working during the day, and once the girls get home from school, everyone is having too much fun to want to get in the car and go to the grocery. I can't blame them because it's been gorgeous out and we all have a little spring fever. Here are a couple of my go-to meals when there's nothing in the house.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I did it! I made bread!

I cannot believe it! I actually did it. And it was relatively easy! Here's my finished product:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mmm . . . bread!

Who doesn't love bread. If you don't, I'm not sure we can be friends. How does this sound? Chewy, crusty french boule? Mmmmm . . . I sure hope it's as good as it sounds. I'm in the middle of making it now. I can't WAIT to see how it turns out. I'll let you know. Pictures to come.

Dinner tonight? Chicken parmesan . . . with yummy french bread!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dinner for a friend - Bean Burrito Casserole

My friend, Weatherly, had the sweetest little baby, Kate, a couple of months ago. Yesterday I brought her dinner. She had her choice of Maggie's Magnificent Meals (just came up with that one now). Her choices were: 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Puh-MIN-a Cheese (aka Pimento Cheese)

My friend, Weatherly, had a small party and gave all the guests a container of homemade pimento cheese (also spelled pimiento). (What a hostess! Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?) It was delicious. I have always struggled with pimento cheese, because I LOVE it, and it's so simple, but hard to master. I have played around with Weatherly's recipe, and here's what I use now. We recently were invited to a cookout, and I brought pimento cheese to put on burgers and hotdogs (yum!). John and I also LOVE to eat grilled pimento cheese sandwiches - made just like a grilled cheese, but with . . . you know . . . pimento cheese!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A birthday . . . blondie???

Frances's birthday is on Wednesday. She'll be 8. But even though I love making birthday cakes, all she wants is a birthday blondie! I made blondies a few months back and she loved them. I guess it's sort of like a cookie cake. Oh well. More to come when I actually get baking. Her party is next Saturday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I know it's been a while. Not much cooking going on around here. But here's a great little thing on making a great burger to keep you busy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Brunch with friends (old & new)

Cuban Sandwiches

The other night I made baked porkchops. They were pretty good, but we were left with some leftover pork. I also happened to have some ham, so I decided to do a little research and make Cuban Sandwiches.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What's with that dirt flavor?

I love to make fish tacos. My mother showed me how years ago, in her attempt to duplicate the fish tacos at Taqueria del Sol. I usually make them with talapia, but recently I've noticed a funny dirt type flavor in my talapia.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Homemade Pizza

You gotta love Trader Joe's! My friend, Lauren, from book club introduced me to their awesome pizza dough. It's $1 and it's in the refrigerated section (over by the cheeses and fruit). They also have marinara sauce for maybe $1.29 or so that does great as pizza sauce.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kindergarten Soup

Elsie's teacher put together a soup cookbook for the parents for Christmas, and E's been bugging me to make something. Tonight I made a modified version of Curly Noodle Soup. A few years ago, Frances went to Mud Pie cooking school and made Chicken Soup with Many Little Meatballs. I remember that the meatballs were so good, that I added them to the Curly Noodle Soup. If I had to do it over again, I would have just done the meatballs and skipped the cut up chicken from the original recipe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches!)

My first introduction to Vietnamese sandwiches was at a great little sandwich place on the west side called Pangaea. It is no longer there, but it left a taste in my mouth for Banh Mi. Epicurious recently posted a recipe that showed up on my google reader for Pork Meatball Banh Mi. I made them the other night and they were SO good. Like many of the reviews, we skipped out on the radish and replaced it with julienned cucumber. But it was really very easy to make. And SO good. John loved them!