Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy New Year - Resolutions


 Another year almost has past, do you believe it?  I know!  Where has the year gone?  Is it just me or does it seem that the year literally flew by?

I have had many changes in my life this past year.  The first 3 quarters for me, were horrific, literally.  I'm not going to go into details, but I can tell you that many, many tears were shed. Too many sleepless nights, and too many bottles of wine consumed.
It wasn't death or illness thank goodness, but financially it was horrible.  However, glory given to GOD and only GOD, the last quarter has been a blessing, and those blessings continue to unfold.
We are slowly getting back on our feet, and count each day as a blessing.

Even though this past year was very difficult, it never ceases to amaze me how many blessings I have in my life on a daily basis.  From my beautiful children, to my amazing doggies, my wonderful husband, my home, my spice collection...
What?  Last but not least, my amazing, out of this word beautiful inside and out friends.  Real life friends, cyber friends, foodie friends, foodie fellow bloggers...

 
Kecia from Kecia's Flavor Breathrough and I at the farmer's market.  We had such fun, and it was bitter cold!!

You guys rock my world, and that is one of my blessings!!

So my resolution this year is to get back into blogging, making videos and just being more active in the "cooking arena" than I have been in almost, well I would say two years.  I have been making celebrity chefs recipes, and recipes from cookbooks as well, and some were amazing, and some were...
Right!

I figure that I should start reviewing and sharing my experiences with you all.  How does that sound?  For instance, Ina Garten has become one of my favorite chefs, like ever!!  Her recipes rock!
I'm also thinking of opening up my Facebook page again.  Still pondering on that one, because it is so time consuming.  When you work full time, it's hard to do it all, even though heavens knows I try!  We will see about Facebook.  As for my blog, I will definitely be sharing with you my reviews, along with guest posts and my own recipes as well.  I might even throw in some videos and pics from my amazing granddaughter!!

 
Trust me, she's the love of my life!! ♥

I love it when you comment, so please feel free to do so!

So "from my house to yours", HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ♥ ♥ ♥



Till next time!


Dishin with Didi

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper One Pan Meal (Crockpot) - Freezer Meals Dinner




 Talk about easy and delicious!!  These stuffed peppers and potato side dish will welcome you home with the most amazing aroma!! The aroma alone wafting from your slow cooker will have your running in for a taste...
Oh wait, that's me!!

That being said, I recently discovered, that my "other kitchen lights", over my sink are bright.  Not as bright as daylight obviously, but bright enough that I can start blogging again.  Mind you, I am still not a professional photographer (never claimed to be), but am so trying to get those amazing pictures that have all of us drooling.  Will I get there?  It's not looking that way...
Alas, I'm really descriptive, does that help?  *Didi looking around the room*

Okay, back to the recipe!!
So over the summer I bought 1/2 bushel of peppers.  I promptly took 1/4 of them and wash, diced and froze them on cookie sheets to have fresh diced peppers for the winter.  All the while, trying to drown out my mothers nagging voice incessantly minding me to watch out for the seeds.  Ugh!!
Then I took the rest of them of them and made them into stuffed peppers.  We had fresh summer stuffed peppers the first time, and then I proceed to make another 2 pans full, which gave me 4 freezer meals for the future.


This is the recipe I used for stuffed peppers; 

Stuffed summer vegetables - yemista 

I then prepared a couple of baking sheets full.


Froze them, then divided them by 5-6 in a package for later meals.  I know!!  *batting eyelashes profusely*

Ready for the other part of the instructions for the slow cooker meal?  Here we go;

Ingredients:
4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 can condensed cream of tomato soup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped *optional*
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
-Add your quartered potatoes to the bottom of your slow cooker.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and set aside.

-In a small bowl, dilute your 1/2 cup water with your condensed soup and pour 1/3 of the soup over the potatoes, and then sprinkle with half of your chopped parsley.


 -Nestle your frozen stuffed peppers into the potatoes so they are standing upright.


-Pour the rest of the tomato soup mixture over the peppers and sprinkle your bread crumbs over the top of the peppers.



 -Now let's add on that amazing fresh parsley, just for a fresh flavor don't you know.  It's totally optional, but I highly recommend it!!


 -Drizzle with the olive oil, cover and cook on low for 6.5 - 8.5 hours.  My slow cooker always uses the 8.5 for some reason.

Now, when you come home, all you have to do is dish this baby up and watch your family dig in.  

Family friendly, easy, economical and best of all, delicious all in one pan!!  I love my slow cooker, her name is "Lola"!!  Cuz she is sexy and all...



Till next time!
Dishin with Didi

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Corn Casserole





I know, trust me, this was delicious!

So Thanksgiving just passed and for the first time ever, I made a corn casserole!  I have no idea why I had not realized how truly delicious and easy of a side dish a corn casserole was before, but, as they say; "you learn something everyday".   It was creamy with the addition of soup and sour cream, but not too wet.  It had just enough cheese, but not too cheesy and heavy.  Then the butter crackers crumbled on top, provided just the perfect crunch.  The result was as Goldie Locks said;  'JUST RIGHT' 
What I learned this past week from one of my amazing managers that generously gave me this recipe is:


 a) This is very easy to make using pantry items
 b) Everyone will love it
 c) It will be on your must have list at every function

Now I know there are a zillion variations of some sort of type of corn casserole floating out in internet land, however, this is the recipe that was given to me, and I did not divert from altering this recipe.  

When I make a recipe for the first time, I always, but always make it like it states.  Unless one of my foodie friends have warned me in advance regarding seasoning, heat, time of cooking/baking etc.
Then, if I like the recipe and decide I will be making it again, but it needed  a smidgen of say this or that, that is when I alter it.
I find it highly insulting to make a recipe and alter it so much the first time you make it, that it is really not anything like the original recipe in the first place...

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

On to the original, delicious recipe.  Ready?  Here we go;

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes
Yield 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
4 cans corn, drained and rinsed
1 can cream of mushroom or celery soup
4 oz sour cream
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp minced dried onion
1 sleeve buttered crackers (like Ritz crackers)
2 cups (1 pkg) shredded cheese

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350F.

-In a buttered (sprayed with non stick spray) 13 X 9 pan, place your drained and rinse corn and set aside.

-In a small bowl, mix your soup, sour cream and spices.  

-Add the soup mixture to your corn and stir to thoroughly incorporate.

-Sprinkle on your shredded cheese and finely your buttered cracker crumbs.  No need to be precise when crushing the crackers, a good squeeze with your hands will do.

-Place in oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or till cheese has nicely melted, the cracker crumbs are nicely golden and the corn has been heated thru with the soup mixture.

 Before baking

The result will be a pan of goodness that is light, sweet, and delicious!!

I know this will be on my "to do list" for many years to come!  So get that can opener out...

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

White Bean, Lamb & Kale Stew Fricasee - Slow Cooker


I know, trust me, it was so good!!   

Growing up, I remember my dad cooking up his best dishes on Friday and Saturday nights, because those were his weekends.  Sunday's?  Well they were left up to my mom, and though her cooking was killer, I have to admit as an adult, my dad's cooking rocked my world!!  I lost my dad when I was 13, it was a very tragic accident and he was so very, very young, only 46.  
I remember his amazing sense of humor, his love of family, and his cooking!!




I've been feeling nostalgic lately to be honest! I miss my dad most days, but lately, maybe because I am middle age myself, or who knows... 
But, I find myself thinking of his cooking more and more each day...
So on to my daddy's version of this recipe.  

Fricassee to me, growing up meant an egg lemon sauce w/ dill of some kind.  Wikipedia tells me that Fricassee means to braise meat separately from the sauce and then add the sauce.  "Whatever"!!   I will stick to the rustic, hearty version I grew up with and love, thank you very much!!  Today's chefs can make up rules and words, but at the end of the day...
It's all about love and memories!! ♥


On to this very easy, healthy recipe that the whole family will love, yes??

Ingredients:
1lb (16oz) white beans, soaked overnight
4 cups Kale, chopped and course stems removed
4 tbsp olive oil
4 lamb chops
2 large celery, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large onion, roughly diced
32 oz (1 container) vegetable broth
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 lemon, juiced
1 egg, white beaten frothy & then yolk added and tempered w/ broth
1 tbsp salt (+)
2 tsp black pepper

Directions:
-Prep your vegetables the night before and have them ready soaked in water to put in the slow cooker very easily the next morning.  Prep all vegetables, except your fresh herbs.  They need to be prepped fresh, or they will wilt and loose their flavor.  Takes just a few minutes, trust me.

-The morning of; in a large skillet, add your olive oil, heat to high.  Season your lamb chops with salt & pepper.  Add to skillet and brown nicely on both sides.  Turn off heat and set aside.

-Meanwhile, as chops are browning, drain and rinse your beans.  Add to the bottom of your stock pot. 

-Add your now drained vegetables, season w/ salt & pepper.  No, it's not a lot of seasoning.  You have 1lb of dried beans, plus vegetables, plus the KALE to season.  Trust me, you do not want to give your family and friends unseasoned food!!  *gulp*  

-Let's add in those amazing chopped herbs now, stir to incorporate.

-In goes the vegetable broth, and the water.

-Last but not least, add on the top the browned lamb and all the seasonings and all.

-Cover and cook on low 9-10 hours.


-When you come home, remove the lamb and set aside on a plate to shred.  Taste for seasonings, it's amazing how much salt those beans and Kale take.  Season accordingly.  Return shredded lamb to slow cooker and turn the heating up to high.

-Beat the egg white in a plate till very nice and frothy.  Add in the lemon juice, and then continue beating the egg yolk.  Let's incorporate about 1 cup or so of hot stew liquid to temper the egg so it doesn't curdle shall we?  I know!!

-Fricassee sauce is ready.  I know, how quick and easy right? 
Let's add in that amazing Fricassee lemon sauce, cover and let cook for about another 5 minutes or so on high to ensure the egg is safe.


-Turn off heat and ladle into bowls!!  Are you ready?

The best way to serve this is with amazing crusty bread, for you know,  your DUNKING pleasure f... 
Let's add an extra small slice of lemon, well, just because, lemon is the citrus of life!! *grin*



Rustic, homey, family, easy, dinner that is bursting with LOVE, and above all is delicious...
Easy, peasy dinner, yes?  Slow cooker love is what I call it!!  Family recipes at their best!  Especially since it gives me enough to freeze for a future meal!!


Till next time! ♥
Dishin with Didi

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Elvis Cupcakes - Guest Post from Recipes Re-Mixed



I would like to introduce you to my friend Linda from "Recipes Re-Mixed".  



Linda and I have been good friends for about 4 years now.  We met on our favorite recipe site ever;  Just a Pinch   and have been foodie loving friends ever since.  Linda is originally from New York, and her NY accent is still as pronounced as the day she left I tell you.  Linda also has a wicked sense of humor, which is right up my alley, and...
Laughter is what makes true friends! ♥




Linda's recipe are her spin on lowering the fat content and keeping the recipes healthy, but still tasty!  Linda's blog can be found;  Recipes Re-Mixed

Linda is an amazing cook, having participated two years in a row in the World Food Championship in Las Vegas.  
I love Linda's diverse taste, cultural embrace and kind spirit!  I was thrilled when I asked Linda to be a guest poster and she accepted.  Linda was kind enough to share her absolutely mouth watering "Elvis Cupcakes" with us.  

This is what Linda shares with us, and she links for the full recipe.  But most of all, her humor shines thru!!

My friends were All Shook Up when I announced I was working on a recipe for Mini Elvis Cupcakes. I told them, "Don't Be Cruel, I Can't Help Falling in Love with all sorts of combinations, especially when it comes to baking. You guys all have Suspicious Minds."
By now you've guessed, I'm an Elvis fan. And this is my sweet tribute to three of his favorite foods: bacon, bananas and peanut butter. This recipe placed 1st in the blogger dessert category for The World Food Championships on-line recipe contest in 2013 which was definitely a Love Me Tender moment for me. Those who enjoy this combo will adore this recipe. Those who don't, well you're just Hound Dogs. Here's the recipe for these little darlings. Just watch the Fools Rush In and gobble up a cupcake or two. They'll be gone before you know it! They're really decadent, just like Elvis!
Here's the link for the blog:
And thanks so much Didi doll. Not just for the invite to be a guest blogger, but for the phone call tonight. Love you to pieces!




I love you to pieces as well my sweet friend Linda dolly!! ♥  Thank you so much for guest posting with me, but most of all, thank you for your amazing friendship!! ♥

So head on over and pay our friend a visit my friends, for amazing good for you but TASTY recipes, and some laughter, for you know...
We all need it!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stuffed summer vegetables - Yemista


I know, trust me...

Trust me, even the most finicky eaters will eat this!  This is literally summer, on a dish!  The flavors, literally explode in your mouth!

This is one of the most traditional of Greek recipes, made in all the regions of Greece.  The name "Yemista" literally means "stuffed".  You know my fetish for stuffing things, right?
Every region as I have mentioned before, has their little tips and ever so slight variation of herbs that they use.  Nevertheless, I haven't had one variation that I have not loved and wanted more of.






This dish takes a little bit more time because of the prepping of the veggies, however, it is worth every extra minute.  But I love the fact that it is a one pan meal.  Okay, okay, I can come over and help you!  

Ready for this delicious recipe?  Here we go;

Prep: 35 minutes
Bake: 55-65 minutes
Yield:  6-8 servings

Ingredients:
3-4 fairly large green peppers, seeded
5-6 medium tomatoes
6 medium potatoes, quartered
1 large onion, diced
1-1/2 cups rice
1lb ground beef
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp mint, chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano (if you have fresh even better, add 2 tbsp)
15.5 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs *optional* 
2 cups water

For the potatoes:
-1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp (1/4 cup) olive oil

Directions:
-Wash your vegetables and seed the peppers leaving them intact, set aside.  To your tomatoes, you can cut around the top, leaving it attached by a flap.  I have tried this and my flap always breaks, so I just cut the top part off and play the memory game, where I try and remember which flap belongs to what tomato.  What?

-Scoop out the inside of the tomatoes, seeds and all, RESERVE them.  Cut the bigger pieces into small if need be.  This is what gives this dish the amazing summertime taste.


-In just a few minutes, you should be all done with the hardest part of prepping the peppers and tomatoes.  I highly recommend getting yourself something to drink now.



-Chop your onion and herbs, set aside.

-In a large skillet, add your ground beef and cook till no longer brown.  Add in your onion and cook till just starting to soften.
Let's add in the rice and stir to incorporate.  Pour in 1 cup of water and let simmer for a few minutes.

-Let's add in the inside of the tomatoes.  Can you hear it?  They are singing...



-Pour in the remainder of your water along with your fresh & dried herbs.  Let simmer till water has evaporated.  The rice should be almost cooked, that's how you want it.

-Okay, it's time to play!  Let's stuff the vegetables.  I like to stuff almost to the top, leaving just a little bit of space for the rice to have enough room to continue cooking, does that make sense?

You know how I love stuffed...

-Continue stuffing till all the veggies have been stuffed.   

-In a medium bowl, add your olive oil to the potatoes, salt, pepper and dried oregano, toss to incorporate.  Surround the vegetables with your potatoes.  You can't add the potatoes unseasoned, right?  I know!  Blasphemy I say!

-Pour your tomato sauce over the top of your veggies and a little over the potatoes.  Sprinkle with your breadcrumbs.  


-Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, till the potatoes are cooked thru and you cannot wait to dig in.  



This my friends, is "summertime" in a bite!  The freshness of the filling and the vegetables, the succulence of the potatoes, and that little crunch from the breadcrumbs?  Heaven I say, heaven!
Let's not forget the ease of a one pan meal...




Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, August 11, 2014

Spiced Apple Butter - Guest Post by Canning and Cooking at Home

 "Spiced Apple Butter,  I love making this in the slow-cooker"!!!

Apple butter is one of my ultimate favorites.  I don't know why I love it so much, but I surely do.  So do my children come to think of it...

I've never made it, and with apple season literally around the corner, I have had a hankering for making apple butter for a while now.  "What to do, what to do"? I ask myself.  
Then...

 

It hit me like  a ton of bricks.  "Diane from Canning and Cooking at Home".  She is an expert canner, cook, and just all around amazing!  Her heart is bigger than the Grand Canyon!  I reached out to Diane, and am honored to say she accepted my invitation.  

If you love to fiddle in the kitchen.  Would like to harvest your summer and autumn bounties, and are looking for amazing step by step instructions along with killer recipes.  Look no further!!  Diane fulfills all that and then some.  You can follow Diane at;



Let's see what Diane has to say...



If you don't want to can, you can refrigerate the butter for 2-3 months, or freeze for up to a year. 

Yield: About 6 half-pints or 3 pint jars. 

6 pounds apples, cored and peeled only if necessary, cut into quarters 2 cups apple cider 4 cups water About 1½ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves 
½ teaspoon ground allspice 
½ teaspoon ground aniseed (optional) 
1 cinnamon stick (optional) 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Put the peeled, cored apples in a 6- or 8-quart heavy-bottomed pan. Add the cider and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat (I added a cinnamon stick to pot and removed after boiling) 
Boil, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely broken down and the peel apples are soft, 30 to 40 minutes. 

For the slow cooker: 
Pour the softened apples into a slow cooker, and stir in the sugar and spices. Puree with immersion blender. Cook on the low setting with the lid propped up or set askew to allow the liquid to evaporate for 9 to 12 hours, stirring occasionally when you can, until thick and dark. (Keep in mind different slow cookers cook at different temperatures.) 

For canning: 
Bring the apple butter to a boil (you can turn the slow cooker on high for 10-15 minutes, or transfer the butter to pot to achieve this). Ladle hot apple butter into hot jars, leaving ½-inch head space. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Remove the jars from the canner, and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check to see that the lids have sealed, and immediately refrigerate any jars that haven’t sealed. 

Recipe Adapted from: 'Canning for A New Generation' by Liana Krissof 
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home


Easy and delicious right?  That's what I mean!!  I know how delicious first hand as I was humbled by her generous homemade gifts to me.  Diane out of the blue sent me an amazing package.  I made good use out of her spicy relish and her vanilla infused cherries in light syrup.  Talk about killer cheesecake and appetizer for my daughter's grad party.  





I love my foodie blogger friends, they are like a second family to me!  Their doors are always open, and they always want to feed me!! ♥

Till next time!


Dishin with Didi

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Zucchini & Potato Salad with Green Pepper and Fresh Herb Dressing


I was planning on video taping this episode.  I actually curled my hair, I KNOW!!  However, you know what they say about the best laid plans!!  Of course it started to "thunderstorm" when I started to prep, but of course it did!  The skies grew dark and black, I had to turn my lights on and the rest as you say is; "history"... However, have no fear, this salad/side dish is delicious, I PROMISE YOU! 

That being said; the zucchini season is upon us, yes? 

 
Earlier today I had about 1 hour to play around in my herb garden.  My veggie garden is all shot, literally because of the amount of rain we have had for almost two weeks straight.  However, my herb garden is thriving.  So after cleaning out the baby plants that will never grow because of the weather.  I was ready to tackle my herb garden.  Out went another 22 sprigs and roots of mint (the most unruly of herbs), and trim down the rest.  They looked so good after the trim, I almost kissed them, well I caressed them, does that count?

So I harvested; chives, oregano, thyme and tarragon.  Then walking up to my deck, I heard my name being called.  Yes, yes I did.  I heard; "Didi, oh Didi, we are here, ready for your picking".  
Me being me, I  looked around the deck, and then looked at the dogs, thinking I was imagining things along with hearing voices...
Well lo and behold, there was a bright light upon one pepper that caught my attention.  I swear it "swooned" as I drew closer...

So I picked it.  Off to make that awesome dressing with now the star of the show, the green pepper.

Ready for this simple and delicious recipe?  Here we go;

Yield:  6 servings
Prep:  15 minutes
Cook time:  10-12 minutes

Ingredients:
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1-1/2 tbs salt (to boil and season vegetables)
2 medium zucchini, scrubbed, seeded and cubed
1 medium green pepper, seeded and quartered
1-1/2 cups chives
1/2 cup herbs of choice, fresh - I used tarragon, oregano and thyme.  (Any herbs will do except for the minty kind, they will take away from the fresh onion flavor)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Zest of 1/2 of lemon
2 garlic cloves
3/4 tsp  
1/4 tsp pepper

(easy enough right)

Directions:

-In a cold water basin, sink, swirl your fresh herbs a few times till they are rinsed thru.




-Place on a paper towel

-Roll the herbs in the paper towel and set aside till ready to use.



-In a small food processor (I used my silver bullet), place your green pepper, herbs of choice, chives, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt & pepper into the processor.  Pulse till smooth and creamy.  Adjust for seasonings as needed.
I found the 3/4 tsp of salt perfect for my taste and so did my family, please adjust according to your taste.  Set aside.

-Place your potatoes in your salt seasoned water and boil till tender, about 8-10 minutes. 




-A few minutes before the potatoes are ready, add the cubed zucchini.  Why dirty another pot, right?  I know!



- Zucchini cooks fast, so it should take bout 2-3 minutes.  

-Drain potatoes and zucchini, set aside.

-Meanwhile, as zucchini & potatoes are drying, add 1/3 of your dressing to the bottom of the same pot you just cooked your veggies in.  Add in the zucchini/potatoes.  Top with other 1/3 of the dressing.  Finally add the rest of the zucchini potato mixture and top with the remainder 1/3 of the dressing.   Toss to incorporate.

-Plate on your favorite platter and enjoy with your favorite meat, or as an amazing vegetarian mean!  This can definitely be served room temp, and I have to be honest with you, I prefer it that way!!


 All I can tell you is that even my "non zucchini loving" daughter, loved it and wanted seconds.  Darn this weather...
Next time, and trust me there will be a next time, I plan on adding a few cherry tomatoes just for color don't you know, sans the seeds.


Till next time! 


Dishin with Didi

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cavatelli Pasta - Guest Post by Cooking on a Budget


Tell me about it...

I asked my very good friend Patty from "Cooking on a Budget" if she could guest blog for me, as I;
1.  Love her recipes
2. They are budget friendly, (duh the name Didi)
3. Are super easy to make
4. ARE ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS

Imagine my surprise when she said "yes"!  I was over the moon I say, over the moon!
I have to say, Patty's recipes are always delicious, but what I love most about Patty and her amazing blog is the ease of her recipes with no "out of this world, I have to buy this $$$ zillion dollar bottle of spices to use but for one time" kind of blog.  Well as you know my friends, I am all about the money!  So this spoke well and true to my heart...
Let's just say, we connected.  I am honored to showcase one of Patty's amazing recipes on my blog.  I am more honored to call her my friend!! ♥

You can find Cooking on a Budget at:  Patty 
Awwww, come on, follow her on FB   Patty's Facebook Page 
Love Pinterest? Follow Patty on Pinterest:  Patty on Pinterest  



 This is another one of Patty's recipes that literally made me drool and is on "make now" list!!  One Pot Farfalle Pasta Sausage Dinner

On to Patty's recipe... 



Hello everyone. My name is Patty Anderson and I am owner of a food blog titled, "Cooking on a Budget". Didi and I met on social media (Facebook) this past winter season. We instantly connected and formed a wonderful friendship on line.
Most recently Didi has recommitted herself to spending more time cooking and blogging her own recipes and decided it was time to have a little make over on her blog. With that in mind she also thought that it would be great to have an occasional guest blogger come over with a recipe. How delighted am I that she chose me? I was thrilled, excited and it felt really, really good to be asked.
The recipe I chose to make and showcase here on Didi's blog represents the whole idea behind my blog which is to feed your family well and still maintain a decent food budget. This is a simple and inexpensive recipe that you could actually eat as a meal for lunch or dinner. It's delicious and filling. It would also make a lovely side dish to any poultry recipe. It would go absolutely wonderful alongside my Panko Crusted Chicken Cutlets for instance. I have fresh sage growing in the garden so that basically was my inspiration for this delicious and tasty pasta recipe.
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage - chopped
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  1. Over medium heat add the half and half to a sauce pot and let it get nice and warm, but not bubbling around the edges.
  2. Then add in the Parmesan cheese and mix really well. Cook for a couple of minutes or so on medium low heat.
  3. Add in the sage and stir and cook for a few minutes to allow the sage flavor to develop.
  4. On the side mix the cornstarch with the chicken broth until the cornstarch is fully incorporated.
  5. Add that mixture to the pan and turn the heat to medium low and keep stirring until incorporated and allow the sauce to thicken just slightly. You want to sauce to coat the back of a spoon nicely. It only takes a few minutes.
This dish comes together so quickly and is not expensive at all. If you had to purchase a small amount of fresh sage the total cost for the dish is about $4.72, feeding four people. My cost was around $3.43. If you want to substitute dried sage for fresh sage, use 1 teaspoon of the dried sage.

Didi has been so kind in that she wants me to put my social media links here on the page, so you can follow me on:




I hope you have enjoyed today's post, and are already following Patty as I am.  I plan on asking my amazing foodie friend bloggers for more of their recipes, because, "diversity is the spice of life", and "talent is to share not hoard".  That's my philosophy, and I'm sticking to it...

Till next time!


Dishin with Didi

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Greek Gyro Pizzas

 Trust me, I know....
You can definitely recreate this at your dinner table/gathering and be the star of the show too...


My daughter's grad party is next week, so I am cleaning out the fridges and freezer to make room, you so know how that is, right?
I know!  Low and behold, I thought I had used up the last of the vacuum sealed homemade gyro slices, but I found one more package.  Yay!!  Oh no!  I have no pita bread in the house, and I'm plumb out of tzatziki sauce!  What is a Greek girl to do I ask??  "Ahhhaaaaa" {insert Mr. Portakalos from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding}. The ideas were 'a rollin'.

So, me being me, I decided to make "Gyro Pizzas".  Yes, yes I did.  And I have to tell you my friends, they were 'rockin out of this world good'!! ♥  My family loved them, and actually the two girls and MY HUSBAND <sigh> were actually fighting for the last piece.  "What am I going to do with that man"?

The pizzas contain a nice garlic olive oil base, fresh herbs, those succulent gyro slices, feta cheese, green onion, and fresh summer tomatoes...
Need I say more?  These individual pizzas are light, bursting with flavor, and easy, peasy to make.  Did I mention delicious?  The combination of the crispy Naan bread, along with the flavorful gyro slices, and then the fresh veggies?  "Oh yes"!  But better yet, there super easy!!

The recipe for the Homemade Gyro along with step by step video instructions can be found HERE.  

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time:  15 minutes
Bake time: 20 - 25 minutes
Yield: 4 individual pizzas

Ingredients:  
8 Gyro slices, diced
2 medium vine ripened, or summer tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, diced (including white part)
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled, divided
4 Naan Flat breads
Dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed (mashed, I used a mortar and pestal)
3 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, or 1-1/2 tbsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions: 
-Preheat your oven to 375F

-Mash your garlic gloves using your preferred method and then add to a small bowl, which you will add the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Using 2 cookie sheets, add 2 of the Naan flat breads to the cooking sheet.  Baste with the garlic infused oil, and then sprinkle 1/2 of your fresh herbs or dried herbs.  Reserving the other half for the other 2 flat breads. 

 
-Now take your knife, and slice just a smidgen slice of that decadent Gyro loaf for yourself.  You know, "cooks rules and all"...



-Taste and savor... I know! Okay, okay, more more wee slice...

-Sprinkle on your diced green onions. 
Now slice off 8 more slices of that amazingly delicious Gyro, and dice.  Using just half of the diced slices, add to the  two flat breads.



-Let's add on those amazing tasting diced tomatoes shall we?



-I know, right?  Somehow, I don't know how and why, a few of those tomatoes pieces ended up in my mouth.  It's the strangest thing I say...

-Let's finish these babies off with 1/2 of the crumbled feta cheese.

 
 -Bake these individual pizzas for approximately 20-25 minutes till nicely golden and crisp and everything has been warmed thru.

 

-As pizzas are baking, prepare the other two flat breads.

These can be served as is, or better yet, I love to serve a nice summer salad with them!  Easy, delicious and made in no time.  My kind of dinner!!
The Gyro meat/loaf will actually hold in the refrigator for at least 2 weeks cooked.  Frozen, up to 6 months.  I love to have this meat vacuum sealed and on hand for fast week night dinners!!  Heck, life is busy as can be, my philosophy is that dinner doesn't have to...



Till next time!

Dishin with Didi