Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pomegranate Feta Salad

I actually blogged this recipe long ago, but for some reason did not have any photos of it. Which isn't surprising considering how fabulous it is! Really, ask my husband. It gets eaten before I can remember where I set my camera. Check my recent post for tips on how to get your pomegranate seeds out without a mess.

Here are some approximations of what you'll need to make a large salad for a family or gathering. Adjust for your personal preference, I never measure this out:

Pomegranate seeds of 1 piece of fruit
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 pound fresh spinach

For the dressing:
3 1/2 Tbl Olive oil
3 Tbl Red wine vinegar
1 Tbl honey
S&P to taste

If you're making a smaller salad, just put the left over seeds in a container for another recipe or to snack on.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.

Put your spinach into a bowl and toss with the dressing. Top the spinach with the pomegranate seeds and feta.


I really love this salad, I think I'll go make one now!

And if you're on facebook, please head over and check out (and hopefully "like") my new page:


I'm working on a couple of posts that include pomegranate seeds and so I wanted to insure that everyone knew how to properly get these delights out of the pomegranate! I decided to put this in it's own post so I can refer to it rather than rewriting this over and over again!!

My husband and I love pomegranate seeds. They're delicious! On salads, ice cream, in drinks, as a snack, I could keep going! But if you've attempted to get the seeds from the fruit, you're aware that it can create a huge mess. Staining your counter, clothes, and making it look like there was a battle in your kitchen. And end up with only a few seeds still in tact. Or you can do it the easy way.

All you need is a pomegranate, a knife, a bowl, and some water.

Fill a bowl with some water and slice your pomegranate in half. Place it in the water, I usually let it soak for about 5 minutes. Unless I'm short on time!

Now just set about getting the seeds removed. You can take your hands and break the pomegranate apart and simply pull the seeds out. They'll come out without much effort at all. And this way if you break any they won't stain your counters!

The easy part is that when you're done, any left over pieces of the membrane will float to the top while the seeds rest on the bottom.

Use a sieve or even a slotted spoon to remove them. (Sorry about the bad photo quality!) Then all you need to do is drain the water off of the pomegranate seeds and you're good to go! We love snacking on these and adding them to everything. =]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tomatoes & Mushrooms

This weekend has been a lazy weekend. One of those where making a bowl of cereal feels like a daunting task. I had some recipes planned out, but they all seemed like too much work. This weekend was made for Sangria, blue skies, and the beach. My couch and a good movie, because reading a book takes too much energy also.

So I found myself digging in the fridge Sunday afternoon looking for a quick fix for two hungry people who were late for lunch. I saw tomatoes and I saw portabella caps. Then I saw a fresh chunk of feta and we were in business.

  Here is what you'll need to grab for two people:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Approximately 1 1/2 TBL olive oil
(1) large tomato of your choice, sliced
(2) Portabella caps
Approximately 1/4 cup crumbled feta (adjust to your taste, I didn't measure it!)
1 teaspoon of italian seasoning (I used an Italian blend grinder by McCormick)

Pull the stems off of the mushroom caps, saving them for another recipe. White down the mushroom to remove any dirt. Drizzle olive oil over the gills and wipe a little on the top side. Spray a cookie sheet with some nonstick spray and place the caps on it gill side up. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Pull your caps out and place 1-2 tomato slices on top of each one. Sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning and then top with feta cheese. Stick them back in the oven for about 5 minutes. You want the tomatoes to be soft and the cheese a little brown. If you want, you can switch your oven to broil for this step to insure the cheese gets brown.

Pull out and enjoy!!

I hope that everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!! I know that we did. I also want to wish a very, very spectacularly happy 6th birthday to my precious niece! I'm very lucky to have such an amazing and beautiful girl as my niece. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Overfed Mushrooms

  It was Friday night and we had a cart full of the ingredients to make Sangria when suddenly we realized that we lacked any food for our evening. Which I have to admit happens more often than I should admit. I suggested stuffed (or overfed) mushrooms since we hadn't had them in forever. And this is where we ended up:

2 packages of baby bella mushrooms, stemmed
Mushroom stems
1 TBL olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2-3 Tbl Olive Oil (to moisten the mixture, can substitute a couple of eggs)
Oil for brushing

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Stem your mushrooms and wipe them off gently with a damp rag. I use about half of the mushrooms and save the other half for a pasta sauce or something else. Chop half of the mushrooms stems.

Heat1 TBL of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the onion, stems, and garlic cloves. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes) and put into a small bowl.

Add the bread crumbs, approximately 3/4 cup of the cheese, the parsley, and the oil or eggs and mix together well. The mixture should hold together but not be too wet, just damp enough that it doesn't fall apart.

Take your baby bellas and lightly brush some olive oil over them. Or, sometimes I toss them into a bowl with a little oil to coat them.

Arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet so that they aren't touching. Then fill each one with some of the mixture and top with a small amount of cheese.

Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. The tops should be slightly browned and crispy.

Pull out and enjoy!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Where did May go???

Life has been slightly busier than normal around here the last few weeks. First I was getting pounded by homework, for each paper I wrote it felt like there were two more due. Then finals. Yikes. Yuck. I detest taking tests. Once all that was finished and cleared off my plate, I geared up for a flight back to visit family and introduce myself to my newest nephew.

  He only seems slightly frightened of me, which I consider a win. Considering that I'm only slightly frightened of newborns these days, which is a big change from horribly terrified. 

  The trip started with heading straight from the airport to the local zoo. I love, love, love, love (that's an extra love over normal) the zoo. I especially have a blast watching the kid's reactions to the various animals. The zebras are my all time favorite.
We rode the little train around the zoo and it was a huge hit!
Although my nephew was a little unsure of how he felt about the dark tunnels...

I love finding that I've caught a look like this on my niece's face. She's been growing up way too fast ever since she was born, it's nice to find a picture where I can still see the little girl in her. =]

  She's also the best big sister ever!!

During my visit we found colorful umbrellas and leis to entertain us in the backyard. 

And when that got old, we turned to my nephew for entertainment. I think he might dislike my photos of him when he gets older....
You might be realizing the same thing I did about this point, where is the new baby? I went to meet my new nephew, yet have the fewest photos of him. Fail!! I did try to work on his crochet skills while I was there, and found out I can crochet while holding a baby.
  A few times I tricked my other nephew into smiling for the camera!

  As always I had a fantastically perfect time with them, but now I'm attempting to recover. I'm not really sure how all you parents do need a lot! :) I kept falling asleep instead of them. Although I did make them a couple of meals and they actually ate them. They might have just been being nice. Now I am back home, where it seems extremely quiet and boring now, and working on getting back into the swing of things.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper & Broccoli Quiche

I'm a freak for quiche. It's so delicious and you never get tired of it since the combinations are endless! I'm personally way too lazy in the morning to make a pie crust (or most anytime of the day), so I buy mine. I've had good luck with Mrs. Smith's deep dish pie crusts that you can find in the freezer section. The key to quiche is keeping the ratios of the ingredients correct so that it comes out nicely. In this recipe you can change around the vegetables in it, just make sure they still add up to about two cups or less. You can add meat if you want also, just keep it between 1/4 and 1/2 of a cup. We like turkey sausage or ham!


1 Pie Crust, thawed
1/3 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup broccoli (steamed and chopped)
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup Italian cheese blend, grated

For the filling:
4 eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk (any type)

First off preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take a fork and poke some holes into the bottom of your pie crust. This will keep it from bubbling up when you cook it. Now, bake your crust for 12 minutes. Pull out and set to the side to be filled.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

  Have I ever mentioned how much I love cheese? I usually have to grate more because I eat half of it. Oops.

  Mix your two types of cheese together and layer about 3/4 of it on the bottom of the pie crust.

  Mix all of your veggies together in a bowl

Layer your veggies on top of the layer of cheese. Then top with the rest of the cheese.

Take a small bowl and mix together the filling ingredients. Whisk them together until blended

Slowly pour the egg filling into the pie crust.

Did you notice that talent? I poured and took a photo at the same time! Impressive, eh?

Back to the quiche. Be aware that if you are using a different pie crust you might have less room in it...stop pouring if you get to the top! Do not over fill or you'll have a smelly mess in your oven.

Is it just me, or does the quiche already look good? I love this stuff!!

Sorry, I keep getting distracted. Okay, put your quiche in the oven and cook it for approximately 60 minutes. Or 1 hour. Until the egg is set in the middle.

Now comes the really, really hard part. You need to let it cool for 20 minutes to finish setting. It's so difficult! It smells so good and you just want to eat it.

But...I won't tell if you cut it early. I always cave in and do.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hummus & Spinach stuffed Portabellas

I got this idea from the hummus melts I previously blogged about here. I love Portabella mushrooms, no matter the size. They are great for so many different recipes. The large caps are fantastic to use as a bun or to replace the meat on a burger. They are my newest obsession as I find places to get rid of bread and use them in place. And this is my favorite!

  What you'll need to make 4

(4) large portabella caps
Olive Oil...maybe 3 Tablespoons total (or any other oil)
(4) large handfuls of spinach (or if you purchase a 5 oz package, use it all because it'll cook down a lot)
(2) garlic cloves, diced
Hummus, find the recipe here
Cheese for the top (I use an Italian blend with some feta)

First you need to prepare the mushrooms Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the stems and wipe them down. I save my stems to use in a pasta sauce. Put your caps gill side up onto a baking sheet and drizzle a little oil onto them, not too much. You can also crack some pepper over the top if you want.

Cook your caps for about ten minutes. While they're cooking I get the spinach started. Heat approximately 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and and sauté your garlic until fragrant, just a few minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Pull out your mushroom caps and turn the broiler on high.

  Fill each cap with hummus, I put a couple of spoons full. Then top each with 1/4 of the spinach and sprinkle the cheese over it all.
I'm not sure why I took a photo before I put the cheese on. I might have been too busy sneaking bites of cheese. Once they're ready, put them under the broiler for a few minutes. Just long enough to make the cheese crispy. Enjoy...I know I did! :)

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