Friday, June 13, 2014


Such an odd word for such a strangely tasty item. 
What is Tzatziki you ask? A traditional Greek cucumber yogurt sauce. Sounds weird, tastes delicious. 

2 cups of Greek Yogurt (I used Fage)
1 cup of cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1-2 TBS of lemon juice
2 TBS of chopped italian parsley
1 small clove of garlic, minced
+1/4 tsp of salt

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until well mixed. It will not be smooth, but will still be slightly chunky. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Refrigerate and serve. For optimal results, serve within three days. 

What can this be served with you ask? Well just for a few ideas-it can be used as a salad dressing, as a dip for veggies or as a cool sauce for a chicken wrap, but really the possibilities are endless! 


Hummus is one of those foods I have always found scary. The color looks bland and I'm not a big dip person anyways so I always find myself apprehensive to try it. Once as I made this hummus all my fear were rushed away. How could anyone be scared of something so simple easy and delicious?

1-15 oz can of chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
3-4 TBS of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup of tahini
1 small clove of garlic, minced (I used a microplane to grate it)
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
2-3 TBS of water
+1/2 tsp of salt

Place all of the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Add water as needed to get hummus to desired texture. Let the machine go for at least a few minutes so it can get nice and creamy. Taste and adjust as needed. Depending on how salty and flavorful the item you are serving with the hummus is you may need to add a bit more salt or lemon etc to get the right taste.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Breakfast Strawberry Coffee Cake

Don't you hate it when your berries mold over before you get the chance to eat them? I ended up with a large quantity of strawberries that needed to be used, and I needed something to feed the fam-bam who all came in town for my graduation. Strawberry coffee cake came out as the winner for what to make.

*Note: I used melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. It provided for a beautiful combination with the cinnamon, nutmeg and strawberries. The spices added warmth, the strawberries freshness and the coconut oil richness but in a subtle exotic way. If you haven't cooked with coconut oil, I highly suggest it. Your local grocery store probably has it, but don't by it at your regular supermarket. Most likely it will be cheaper at a place like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's

3 cups of Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 cups of strawberries, roughly chopped 

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the oil, eggs and sugar until well mixed. Add the flour and stir. Add the strawberries and stir into the batter. The batter will be very thick. Pour into two greased loaf pans, or in this case I used a bundt pan. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes-1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, May 26, 2014


(I used 5 oz Dixie cups and filled them up a little less than half way. This made around 35 fudgesicles.)

4 ounce semisweet chocolate
1 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup +1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 1/4 cups whole milk
Heavy pinch of salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
       In a large saucepan over very low heat, gently melt the chocolate. Stirring until smooth. Pour in sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, milk and salt, stir and raise heat to medium. A whisk may be needed to fully incorporate the sugar, chocolate and cocoa into the milk. Cook mixture, stirring frequently until it thickens, coating the back of a spoon*, anywhere between 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and butter and stir until combined.
      Set aside to cool. slightly then pour into popsicle molds. (I used 5 oz Dixie Cups. The waxy interior provides for easy removal. Just cut or rip away the cup from the popsicle) The colder the mixture is when it goes into the freezer the quicker it will freeze. The shorter the freezer time, the smaller the ice crystals will be, which means it will have a more smooth creamy texture.
      I filled the Dixie cups up about half way. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until slightly set, and then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze the rest of the way before serving. They do melt fairly quickly, so once as they are removed from the freezer, be ready to enjoy!

*Note: What does "Coating the back of a spoon" really mean? It's a way to test the thickness of a sauce. If it is thick enough to "coat the back of the spoon" when a spoon is dipped in the sauce and a streak is wiped away, the rest of the sauce will hold to the spoon. See picture below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Braised Zucchini Bundles

-2 Zucchinis
-1 Roma Tomato, seeds and juiced removed
-2 tbs of Onion  
-1 Garlic clove 
-1 tbs of EVOO
-2 oz of Chicken Stock

This was inspired by one of the components of the meal that our culinary team competed with at regionals and state for FCCLA. I'm not even a fav on zucchini, but this recipe won me over.

After washing the zucchinis and trimming the ends, with a vegetable peeler peel the zucchini into long thin strips (See picture). Once as you get to the middle of the zucchini that is filled with seeds, flip the zucchini over and make long slices from the other side. Once you get down to the very middle, save for a later use. (I diced the left over part, roasted in at 400 with EVOO, salt and pepper and roast until slightly golden and soft. This is great served along in a rice pilaf or quinoa and other veggies for lunch.)
After both zucchinis have been cut into the thing slices, lay 4-5 pieces on top of each other, overlapping, but not completely (See picture). Lightly salt and pepper the slices before rolling the slices up into a bundle. Lay aside, seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the bundles. In a medium skilled heat the oil. Add the minced garlic, onion and chopped tomato to the pan. Sauté until soft. Push to the side of the pan and then add the zucchini bundles to the pan. After all of the bundles are in add the chicken stock. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook until zucchini is tender. Taste for need of additional salt pepper and serve.

*This is a great dish served along side roasted chicken, a rice or quinoa pilaf of meatloaf. The possibilities are endless!