Saturday, July 31, 2010

Using up in season Tomatoes

All the gardens are really starting to swing into full production, and I've been enjoying using all the perfect tomatoes in my cooking lately!

From Creatively Domestic: 
 This Corn Salad tastes like summer!

Here's a way to freeze tomatoes for those dreary winter days!

My family can polish off a whole bag of chips with this Pico de Galo

Not a total fan favorite at our house, but I still really enjoy Okra and Tomatoes


From other great blogs I'm reading:

Grilled Tomatoes from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Angel Hair with Cherry Tomatoes from $5 Dinners

Crockpot Stewed Tomatoes from A Year of Crockpotting

Tomato Basil Bruschetta from Rookie Cookie

Marinated Tomato Salad from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures



Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Friday, July 30, 2010

Orzo Greek Pasta Salad


I bought some orzo as a fluke on one of my stockpiling trips. I was buying about 10 boxes of pasta, and I couldn't throw another box of penne or spaghetti in my cart...I just knew I'd be on here the next month, moaning about how much spaghetti I have.


So I purposefully added some new pasta to my stockpile, and it's been great to try new shapes. When my husband picked out a new recipe with orzo, I jumped all over it.

Easy Greek Pasta Salad
recipe adapted from Fast & Healthy Cookbook

6 oz (1 cup) uncooked orzo (rice shaped pasta)
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons honey
1 medium cucumber, seeded, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used green onion)
12 medium pitted ripe olives, halved (omitted)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (omitted)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo to desired doneness as directed on package. In a small bowl, combine lemon peel, lemon juice, oil, mustard and honey; beat with wire whisk until well blended. Set aside. Drain orzo; rinse with cold water. Drain well.


In a large bowl, combine cooked orzo cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives and mint. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently until well mixed. Refrigerate for a couple hours or until time to eat. Sprinkle with cheese.

The verdict?
I left out the olives and mint, the olives because I have sworn to never serve olives to my husband, (it's almost in our wedding vows) and the mint because unless I get it in my produce basket, I very rarely buy fresh herbs except cilantro. It's usually a big expense for one dish...but I could have made motijos with the mint leftovers.....hmmm.....oh well!

I tasted this before I added the feta, and I was worried it was too bland, but the feta really added great flavor. I'm sure the olives would have added a great salty punch, but it still tasted light and fresh, and I enjoyed the cucumber in the salad.

This recipe also made a LARGE amount of salad...I think we've eaten it for almost 4 days, and it held it's flavor very well.

I'm also sharing this at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap and at Mommy's Kitchen Potluck Sunday.


Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sausage Egg Casserole


We had a casual potluck Baby Shower for a friend in my Mom's group from church. It was so nice to oogle at a very cute Baby Ben, chat about babies, and watch all the other bigger kiddos run around and steal toys from one another.


The verdict?
This recipe is very forgiving, in that, I forgot to combine the egg/milk mixture and put it over the bread the night before. I remembered when making breakfast the next day, so it only sat together for about an hour and half, and it still turned out great. I like Egg Bakes where you can see the chunks of bread in the casserole, and not a runny egg squares, so I like high proportion of bread in it.


So after it came out of the oven, I wrapped in a towel, packed it up in a box and drove it straight to the shower. It was still perfectly warm, and joined all the other goodies that the moms had brought including: Fruit Salad, Cheddar Biscuits, and Mini Carrot Muffins.


If you're looking for more Egg Bake Casseroles, check out my Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole and a Crustless Zucchini Quiche.  Also, check out Mommy's Kitchen for Weekend Company Breakfast Casserole.

This recipe is now included in my Creatively Domestic's Freezer Meals ebook for sale on Amazon. To view this recipe and many others, please visit (and buy if you're interested) from that site.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Pizza Crust


I recently posted how to cook pizza on the grill, but I should post the crust recipe that has been gracing our table lately.  I'm always trying new pizza crust recipes because I'm never satisfied, so of course I wanted to try Pioneer Woman's Pizza Crust recipe from her cookbook.

Pizza Crust
recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Pour warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. In the separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture, and drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture, mix until the dough forms a ball.

Drizzle a little more olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.
Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
 
To prepare the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (I cooked mine on the grill)
Divide the dough in half. Lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet. Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing the dough into the pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. Lay desired toppings over the dough and bake the pizza for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden brown.


The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use or frozen for up to 6 months. This is how I save my pizza dough!

The verdict?
Did you really think a Pioneer Woman recipe would not turn out well? Obviously, it was a great recipe and I was very happy with the results!


I liked that the ingredient list was small, and much easier to put together then my usual go-to recipe. I also tried it with 1 cup whole wheat flour, and it worked great. I made two crusts, stashed one in the freezer, for another night to grill away!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Plum Crisp



I bought a whole bunch of plums at the store last week, and the remaining ones were beginning to look almost over-ripe. I debated jam, but didn't want to have to go buy more jars, so a rendition of the ever popular Apple Crisp came to mind.


Plum Crisp 
recipe adapted from The Betty Crocker Cookbook

4 cups sliced plums
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan (I made a half batch in a smaller pan) with nonstick cooking spray. Spread plums in the bottom of pan.


Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over plums. Bake for about 30 minutes (I used my toaster oven to save the AC bill!) or until topping is golden brown and plums are tender. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.


 The verdict?
We put the kiddo to bed, and had our own dessert...all to ourselves. It felt totally decadent to have an "adult only" dessert, even if it was just Plum Crisp! The plum became a tart layer of goodness, and the topping was a crisp, sweet compliment. We finished off the entire pan (which was a small pan in our defense!) and didn't make me feel as guilty as pounding down some cookies...'cause it's fruit, right?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Meal Plan for Monday July 26


I went to the library last week, picked out about 10 healthy cookbooks and my husband went through and marked recipes he would eat, so we have almost all new recipes this week. It was actually his idea, so there was no nagging involved. It's a great way to add some new recipes to the rotation!
 
Crockpot Megan's Pork Chops, Broccoli, Mashed Potatoes

Freezer Manicotti (Toaster Oven) w/ Green Beans


Hubbie working late - Leftover Night or Eat Out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Crock pot Beef Stroganoff


My mom makes a great Beef Stroganoff, and it was one of my favorite meals growing up. Only her version is with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Very easy, and to my childhood tastebuds, very tasty. My adult tastebuds have evolved since then, but I still crave my childhood tastes.

I've found a few Beef Stroganoff recipes that get close to my childhood flavor without the can-who-shall-not-be named, but they are labor intensive and still just "off". Browning mushrooms, removing them from the pan, reducing the sauce, throwing everything back into the pan, and gently warming the sour cream involves lots of steps and even more "standing at the stove" time, which at this stage in my life, I don't have.

So while browsing through my mother-in-law's library books, (what? normal people don't snoop through extended family member's pantry's and library book piles?) I saw this recipe and knew it was worth a try.

The verdict?
I followed the directions and found the mixture needed more time to thicken in the crockpot than 30 minutes. So after giving it 30 minutes to cook on it's own, and having an uncharacteristically starving husband and son, I pulled it all into a saucepan and heated it up on the stove. So I included directions for both preparations.

Cooking issues aside, this was a great dish! My son loved the noodles and "steak" but adamantly passed on the mushrooms. Since this made so much, we ate it again another night and my husband and I were very happy about it. I could go for even more mushrooms in the dish, and while sometimes meat cooked in the crockpot can have a weird texture, this one turned out fine.

Slow Cooker Crock pot Beef Stroganoff
recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens: The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book
Serves: 6

1 pound beef stew meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup cold water
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Paprika, for garnish

Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 1-inch pieces. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook meat, half at a time, in hot oil until brown. Drain off fat, set aside.
In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine mushrooms, onions, garlic, oregano, salt, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Top with meat. Pour broth over mixture in cooker.
Cover and cook on Low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours. (I cooked mine for 6 hours on Low - I think my cooker must run hot?)
Thickening Sauce in Slow Cooker:
Remove bay leaf and and turn to high heat setting. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, the cold water, and cornstarch. Stir about 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid into sour cream mixture. Stir sour cream mixture into cooker. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes more or until thickened.
Thickening Sauce on Stove with Saucepan:
Remove liquid from cooker and place in a large saucepan. (I found it easiest to take out the meat and mushroom bits first, and pour the remaining liquid into a pan) In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, cold water and cornstarch. Stir about 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid into the sour cream mixture. Stir cornstarch mixture back into saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until thickened. Add meat mushroom mixture from crockpot into saucepan and heat thoroughly.

Serve with egg noodles (I used whole wheat) and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, if desired.

I am sharing this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap and at Mommy's Kitchen Potluck Sunday.

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baking flop: Banana Oatmeal Bread

I was trying to make Banana Oatmeal Bread for my son's playgroup, and for some reason that night my baking skills weren't working! Yikes! I realized it was half-baked (tee hee) when I went to flip it out of the pan. What a bummer.



I ended up running to the store the next morning for doughnuts since I didn't have much other baking supplies in the house. It has been a long time since I bought doughnuts, because the price of a dozen totally shocked me! Oh well! All the kiddos (including my son) were very excited about doughnuts.

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tomato Vegetable Soup


Summer is not the time for soup, I know. I fully recognize this is an out of season post. But.....

My husband has been bringing his lunch to work for a couple of weeks, and to make sure his lunches are interesting enough for him, I like to ask if he has any special requests instead of schlepping boring dinner leftover to work everyday. This week, he was thinking he would like vegetable soup for lunch, so I whipped this up.

It also has the added bonus of being vegetarian (if you swap out the beef stock), but still with protein from the beans.

Tomato Vegetable Soup

1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large head cabbage, diced
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup frozen lima beans
1 15 oz garbanzo beans
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
5 cups V8
3 cups water (or beef stock and remove bouillon cubes)
4 beef bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot, add the onions and garlic for a few minutes to soften, then add cabbage and cook for a few minutes until lightly steamed. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil over High heat, stir, then reduce heat down to medium-low and simmer with the lid off for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I like to simmer my soups for a few hours, so however much time you have!)

The verdict?
I had my husband check this a few times while it was cooking to make sure it was what he was thinking, and while I thought it needed salt (I know, I have a problem), he thought that it was almost too salty. So if you're salt sensitive, reduce the beef bouillon cubes. I did sprinkle my bowl with Creole Seasoning and it was perfect for me.

He has eaten this a couple times so far this week, and he said it has hit the spot. I have also enjoyed it for my lunch, since it made such a large amount. Next time I whip this up, I'll freeze half for another night.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preparing Meals while on Vacation

We just got back from vacation last week, and stayed at a great cabin with all my family. We rotated who was going to make the meals at night, so my husband and I were in charge of two nights. We made:

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, Summer Picnic Salad, & Steamed Broccoli & Carrots

Dorito Chili Bowls (we were on vacation after all!), Toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, chopped onion, Lettuce Salad as a side

Each family was in charge of their own breakfasts, (I got to try out my brother's infamous egg poacher) and we left the last evening for leftovers. Lunch was out each day.

It's an interesting experience to get off a plane, then drive to the grocery store and buy the items to make two meals and your own family's needs for the week. We tried to be prepared and write our list at home before we left, which was very helpful to keep us on budget and make sure we didn't forget anything. We only had one bottle of barbecue sauce that we left untouched. My brother lived nearby, so he brought the spices for the chili, so that was a great help on the expenses for only one teaspoon of cumin!

Some things that made our week easier:
  1. My mom & sister-in-law brought plastic plates, cups, and silverware. Obviously, this isn't great for day-to-day use, but kept the unwelcome task of doing dishes (and cleaning up after each other) to a minimum.
  2. We hadn't planned for a leftover night, but we had such a full frig that the last night made for a nice break.
  3. I made as much of our meals ahead of time so that I could enjoy putting the meal together and not be rushed. On my two days, right after the breakfast rush, I put together the chili and made the pasta salad (actually my husband prepared the salad while I showered that day!). Then I pulled out the chili at 4 pm, and let it simmer on the stove leading up to dinner.
Of course, we found plenty of great food while we were out. This was the Rushmore Mountain Taffy Shop. Even with my braces, look at all the great flavors we sampled. My favorites were Choco-mint and Watermelon.

Simple Bites also has some great tips for How to Cook for a Family Reunion.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Meal Plan for Monday July 19


I am finally back into the groove after being on vacation for 10 days. This is our first week "back to normal" so it's nice to get back into real meals. Thankfully my freezer was pretty stocked, so it made it easy to fill in holes and give me an easy week back.

Black Bean Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce, Mexican Rice (from freezer), plus toppings like lettuce, onion, tomatoes, sour cream, grated cheese

Crock pot Beef Stroganoff with whole wheat noodles, Broccoli

Chinese Stir fry with snow peas and carrots, Brown Rice (or Fried Rice as a backup)

Tomato Vegetable Soup with cabbage & garbanzo beans, Garlic Bread (freezer)

Megan's Pork Chops, (found a deal on pork!) Rice, Zucchini

Quiche (to use up bacon in the freezer and leftover veggies)


Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for some great Menu Plans!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese


My family loves Macaroni & Cheese, so I use it as a side dish when the main dish is questionable or I really want everyone to walk away from the table happy. I have Barefoot Contessa's Macaroni & Cheese, but that recipe can be a lot of work sometimes...whisking the white sauce, cooking the noodles seperately, then baking the whole sha-bang.

I wanted a recipe that was easier, and now that I'm back on my crock pot kick, this recipe seemed worthy of a try!

Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese
recipe adapted from A Year of Slowcooking

8 ounces (1/2 pound) uncooked macaroni or hearty pasta
3 1/2 cups of milk
1 egg
4 cups shredded cheese (I used all extra sharp cheddar - grate your own, I beg of you)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried mustard



Spray 4 quart crock well with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whip egg and milk together. Stir in spices. Add cheese and noodles, and stir well to combine.


Pour the mixture into the crockpot. It will be very liquidy.


Cover and cook on low for 2-5 hours, or on high for 1-3. The cooking time will vary depending on what size crockpot you are using, and how quickly it heats and cooks. I cooked on Low for 1 hour, then stirred every 30 minutes. It was done after 2 hours. (although I pushed it for another 30 minutes and shouldn't have!)

The verdict?
This was a little more hands-on than a typical crock pot recipe, in that I had to stick around the house and stir it every 30 minutes. But since the cooking time was so short and it was a late afternoon, it didn't bother me.

This was my timeline: (I even wrote it down as I went!)
2:00 Turned on Low
3:00 After 1 hour on Low, making progress, cheese is melting, noodles still hard
3:30 Sticking a little, cheese not all melted
4:00 A little separated, OK after stirring, noodles look just about cooked (this should been my first clue!)
4:30 A little overcooked, but done. Very thick!

The taste of the dish was excellent; the dried mustard added a great kick, and the cheddar was perfect. The texture on the other hand, was very mushy, and if you are accustomed to boxed mac n' cheese, the texture of homemade will be a little grainy. But, my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe is a little grainy, too, so it didn't throw my family.

This was still a hit at dinner, my husband did not care at all about the texture issues I was all wrapped up in, and I think we both ate 2 portions with enough for both of our lunches for the next day. The texture thickened up as it cooled.

Next time, I will turn off my crock pot after 2 hours, and let it sit and be "Warm" until dinner. It will be a trial-and-error issue for your individual crockpot, but now that I've made it, and know what I'm looking for, I think it will be easier every time.

I'm also sharing this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bacon on the Grill

I really hate frying bacon. But I love to eat bacon, so it's a bit of a catch-22 for me. I hadn't had bacon in a few months, then I went to my Mom's Club Brunch, and the bacon I ate tasted heavenly. So of course, the menu in our house has included more bacon because of it! I planned for BLT's one night, but was dreading having to fry up all the bacon.


Once way to keep the heat, smell and grease out of your kitchen is to do it on the grill. I bring out my cast iron pans, preheat the grill with the cast iron pans inside, and cook away!


I have also brought my electric skillet outside and cooked the bacon on my grill stand, which worked just as well!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Print Feature!

I'm so excited about the new "Print Friendly" button for recipes!

If you want to print one of the recipes featured on my blog without the photos, 
and in black & white for your printer, click this link at the bottom of the post!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce



Finding a Barbecue Sauce recipe that is based on tomato paste and not ketchup has been a struggle for a few months. While avoiding HFCS is one reason to avoid ketchup, the bigger reason for me is that I always have tomato paste in my pantry.
 
Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce

recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


The verdict?
This is really similar to my Homemade BBQ Sauce, but without any onion or pepper chunks. The preparation reminded me of Taco Sauce, and the sauce was really good with our Shredded Chicken Sandwiches!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grilled Cheese



I worked as a cook at a Boy Scout camp one summer in college. It was a totally humbling and overwhelming job, and it was hot. Boxed scalloped potatoes, gravy from a mix, and mashed potatoes from a box. Jamie Oliver would not have been proud. My clumsy self also learned how bad 2nd degree burns hurt.

We had a weekly menu, meaning we made the same thing every Sunday for about 2 months straight. The two most favorite meals that those Boy Scouts liked to eat is Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Garlic Bread, (Monday night) and Baked BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, and Green Bean Casserole. (Thursday night)

I did learn how to check every single thing I prepared with a meat thermometer, how to cut dozens upon dozens of pizzas, how to bake really good BBQ chicken, and this grilled cheese preparation, which has served me well for almost a decade.

This grilled cheese makes an evenly toasted surface, and I feel like it's quicker than trying to spread butter on the surface of all those pieces of bread.

Grilled Cheese
Heat 1/2 tablespoon (or less to taste) in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until melted.


Take your first piece of bread and rub one side around in the pan to completely coat that side with butter. If you are doing more than one grilled cheese, do all the tops at the same time.


For the bottom, take one piece of bread, and top with your favorite melting cheese.


Melt another 1/2 tablespoon in the skillet, match up a bottom and top, and put it in the skillet.


Move the sandwich around to coat with the bottom with butter. Let cook until lightly toasted, then flip. The top will cook a little faster than the bottom, so make sure you watch it!

Remove from skillet, cut how you like, and serve. It is a crime to eat grilled cheese without ketchup according to my husband, so that's how it's done at our house!

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gryos with Tatziki Sauce

I always think of my college days whenever I eat gyros. First of all, there was a gyro cart stationed religiously in our Campustown outside the bars, so gyros became one of my first drunk foods...along with Totinos Pizza Rolls, but that's a story for another day.

Also, there was a food stand operated by our Dining Services outside the library in the warmer months, and they had just as good of gyros, only in the daytime when I was supposed have my 'learning brain on.


I have wanted to make gyros at home since it's been a few too many years since having a gyro in subzero weather with no coat, walking home from the bar, (this was in the Midwest, remember? brrrr) but the meat portion of the sandwich intimidated me. When I saw this recipe in Clean Eating, I thought I'd give it a try.



Gyros with Tatziki Sauce
recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
Serves 4

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground black-pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil, divided

1 lb eye round beef steak, trimmed of visible fat
1 large red onion, thinly sliced

4 whole-wheat pitas

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup Tatziki (recipe below)

In a small bowl, mix together oregano, cumin, paprika, black pepper, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tsp oil. Rub mixture onto steaks, place in zip-top bag and let marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Grill steaks for 7 to 10 minutes, or to desired doneness, remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes; slice thinly.
To assemble, cut pitas in half, open pocket and place 2 oz. steak, a couple onion slices and 1/2 cup tomatoes in each pita half. Top each with 2 tbsp Tatziki.


Tatziki
Makes 3 cups

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded
2 cups nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
1 clove garlic, smashed

1/2 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp red wine vinegar

Finely grate cucumbers and wring out in a clean cloth dishtowel to remove all the liquid. (It will seem like a lot!) Combine with the rest of the ingredients, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

The verdict?
These were good....not exactly the same as the great takeout gyros I can get, but if all I ever get out of this recipe is Greek yogurt, then this recipe is a winner. We have using the leftover plain Greek yogurt (not the cucumber sauce) as a replacement for sour cream on potatoes and Mexican food, and it's been such a fun swap!

The marinade for the meat was really good, and my husband kept swiping pieces while I was cutting the steak. Overall, I think it needs tweaking to get closer to takeout, but I was in gyro heaven, since I ate 2 whole gyros myself!

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking

Friday, July 2, 2010

Julia Child's Dressing

I made this very easy salad dressing and used it to marinated the grilled chicken for our dinner. It was pretty tangy, so I don't know if I'll make it strictly as a salad dressing, but it worked great to jazz up some plain chicken breasts!

Julia Child’s Vinaigrette
From Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
8 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried basil or other herb

Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a screw on lid and shake well.

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking