Monday, September 21, 2009


This is a light, crisp, refreshing salad that is standard Middle Eastern fare and absolutely delicious! Serve at room temperature with pita bread and hummus, or a grilled kabob.


-1 cup bulgur wheat (couscous or quinoa could be substituted, but wouldn't be as authentic)
-2 cups hot water
-1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
-1 bunch green onions, chopped
-1 cucumber, halved, seeded and chopped
-2 large bunches flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
-1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
-1 teaspoon salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-1 clove garlic, minced
2 lemons, juiced
-1/4 cup olive oil

Put the bulgur in a large bowl and cover with the hot water. Cover with a dish or plastic wrap and let stand for about 30 to 45 minutes to rehydrate. Drain in a strainer, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much water as possible. In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic; whisk to incorporate. Add the tomatoes, onions, cucumber, parsley, mint and bulgur. Toss the salad well to incorporate the ingredients. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

This post is being linked to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. Pop on over there to find a collection of additional recipes.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

White Bean and Artichoke Salad

White Bean and Artichoke Salad

This salad is a simple base recipe and can easily be altered to use, or leave out, what you have on hand. Some  dijon mustard would be a great addition to the dressing, and sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers would be a wonderful addition or replacement for the artichokes. It tastes delicious warm or cold and is great for picnics since the dressing isn't mayonnaise based.

-1 lb dried white beans, cooked according to package directions or 4 cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained
-1 can artichokes, drained and quartered
-1/2 green pepper or red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 red onion, diced
-1 bunch parsley, chopped

-1/4 olive oil
-1/2 cup red wine vinegar
-fresh ground pepper
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Green Bean and Mushroom Saute

I made this Rachael Ray green bean recipe and used button mushrooms and cut the oil and butter by half. It didn't wow us, but it was a good basic side dish that we will definitely eat again.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

weekend card making

today i got to go to a friend's house and do some crafting while we watched a movie and had girl time. these are just a handful of the cards that i made this weekend, apparently i was quite productive!

i like to make lots of cards to keep on hand, because if i wait to make a card when the occasion arises, i will never find the time to sit down and do it. but when i spend a couple hours here and there i can crank out all kinds of cards to keep on hand. i can usually make at least 4-8 per hour. i usually keep generic looking designs that could be used for thinking of you, thank you, congratulations, get well etc, and i try to stay supplied with specialized themed cards for birthdays, weddings, engagements and baby showers.

i'm not exactly sure how much it costs me to make each card, but definitely less than $0.50 as i usually use about 1/3 a page of scrapbook paper per card and scraps for the design. this is a huge savings over purchasing individual cards, and i also enjoy the creative outlet and personal touch with each card.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Curried Couscous Salad

Curried Couscous Salad

I make this same salad with couscous, quinoa or leftover brown rice that needs to be eaten. It's a great light lunch, especially when served over a bed of greens. It can also be a great side dish for any meat, or when using quinoa packs the protein and nutrition to make this it's own meal.

-3 cups couscous, quinoa or rice cooked according to package directions
-3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
-3/4 cup dried cranberries
-4 scallions, sliced
-(optional) 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro

-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 Tablespoons sugar
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1 Tablespoon curry powder
-1 teaspoon thyme leaves
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-zest and juice of 1 lemon
-zest and juice of 1 orange

In medium bowl whisk together ingredients for the dressing. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve, or chill until serving.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick and easy egg drop soup

I threw this together as a quick and easy compliment to the Chinese Green Beans we were having last evening. It doesn't get much easier than this. The scallions are a nice touch, but not necessary. Next time I would also add some cornstarch mixed with water to thicken the soup a little bit.

Egg Drop Soup

-4 cups chicken broth
-a dash of soy sauce
-1 scallion, chopped
-2 eggs, beaten

Combine broth, soy sauce and scallions in large sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly stir in beaten eggs, stirring the soup in long continuous clockwise strokes. Enjoy.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

clean out the pantry and freezer minestrone

This is definitely more of a method than a list of ingredients. After coming home from several days away I wanted to use some of what I already had on hand to make a quick, healthful meal that we could enjoy for dinner, and that would give me leftovers to bring for lunch for the rest of the week. To make a pasta fagioli soup just stir some cooked whole wheat shell pasta in before serving. To really make either of those soups authentic add a parmesan rind during cooking, but I didn't happen to have one on hand. I estimated the measurements of all of these ingredients as I just tossed bits in of everything, this soup is very forgiving, no measuring required.


-1 yellow onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-3 cups broth (whatever kind you have on hand)
-2 cups water
-1 bag assorted frozen veggies (or whatever fresh veggies you have on hand... carrots, green beans, peas and even zucchini would be the most authentic for minestrone)
-fresh ground pepper
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon sugar
-few dashes of cayenne pepper (not authentic for minestrone, but gives the soup a nice kick)
-1 bay leaf
-1 teaspoon oregano
-any combination of crushed, diced, or sauce tomatoes to add up to about a 29 oz can (I used a 29 oz can of diced tomatoes for this batch)
-3 cups of kidney or garbanzo beans (I used 1 1/2 cups of each for this batch)

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in stock pot. Saute onions and garlic until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in all remaining ingredients (except beans) and simmer until veggies reach desired tenderness. Stir in beans, heat until warm and serve.

This post is being linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family, because making a pot of soup to clean out the pantry and freezer works for me.