Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto and Goat Cheese

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8-12 baby red bell peppers (or a combination of red, yellow and orange)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons prepared pesto (I love using Kirklands from Costco)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 ounces goat cheese
  • fresh oregano (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice mini bell peppers in half and remove stem and seeds. Place in a large bowl (or large ziplock bag) and toss with pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar until peppers are completely covered.
  3. Line up peppers on a baking sheet and place into oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Take peppers out and carefully add crumbled goat cheese to insides of pepper halves.
  5. Place back into oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until goat cheese is melted.
  6. Optional: sprinkle chopped fresh oregano over peppers before serving.
  • Psst!  You can marinate and place peppers on a foil lined tray up to the night before if you want to shorten the preparation time right before serving.
Advertisements

Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 32 oz. Chicken Broth
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Finishing touches:
  • 4 green onions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. combine the chopped eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

While vegetables are cooking, bring salted chicken broth to a boil in a medium pot . Add orzo and  cook for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.

Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

IMG_2521

For the dressing, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature or refrigerate.

Just before serving, add the green onions, pine nuts, feta, and basil. Can be served at room temperature or refrigerated.

Enjoy!

Note: I adapted this delicious side dish recipe from Ina Garten.  I originally found it in my now dog-eared Barefoot Contessa Parties! recipe book.  I love almost every recipe in this publication.  Thank you Ina!

Psst! You can boil the orzo in water instead of chicken broth if you want to go vegetarian.

French Greyhound Cocktail

DFTSI French Greyhound Cocktail_2428

I love the sweetness and tartness of ruby red grapefruit juice. Combined with St-Germain (elderflower liqueur) and vodka, you have a winning cocktail sure to please.  You can serve it “martini style” or over ice.  Both are refreshing and sure to be a hit at your next gathering.  My recipe allows you to easily prepare based on the size of your guest list.

Ingredients

1 part vodka (I prefer Kettle One)
1 part St-Germain elderflower liqueur
2 parts ruby red grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed if in season)
raspberries for garnish (optional)
mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Over Ice Method
Add vodka, St-Germain, and grapefruit juice in a glass pitcher.
Fill your favorite cocktail glass with ice cubes (to the top).
Pour mixture into the glsss.
Add a raspberry and mint leave for garnish.
Serve and enjoy!

DFTSI French Greyhound Cocktail_2423

Martini Style

Fill a cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes.
Add vodka, St-Germain, and grapefruit juice.
Place the cap on the shaker and shake vigorously.
Pour into a martini glass and garnish with raspberry and mint leave.
Serve and enjoy!

DFTSI French Greyhound Cocktail_2419

Roasted Grape Crostini

 

DFTSI Grape Crostini_9813YIELDS 12 SERVINGS

Roasted Grapes Crostini

Roasted Grapes Crostini caramelizes sweet grapes with a light balsamic dressing before nestling them on a savory bed of ricotta and crisp, buttery toast. This is one appetizer to remember!

20 min: Prep Time
15 min:  Cook Time
35 min: Total Tim Continue reading

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

I  stumbled upon this recipe for Moroccan Lamb Meatballs and made it last night after browsing Pinterest and I will definitely make these flavor packed meatballs again.  These lamb meatballs are simple to make and there are some fabulous spices in them.  I served them with a simple salad and homemade yogurt sauce.  Store-bought Tzatziki is great too.  Shout out to Claire @Sprinklesandsprouts for the recipe.

img_6818
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion (I used a red onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of white bread ( I used a slice of whole wheat bread)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500 g /1.1lb lamb mince (ground lamb)
Instructions
  1. Peel the onion and garlic and place them in a food processor, then blitz until you have an onion mush. Use a spatula to push the mixture down from the sides.
  2. Crack in the egg and pulse mix until you have an egg mush.
  3. Remove the crusts from the bread, rip it into small pieces and add it to the food processor.
  4. Measure in the cinnamon, oregano, parsley, cumin, allspice, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and salt, then pulse chop until everything is well mixed. Remove the blade.
  5. Place the ground lamb in a medium bowl.  Add the mixture from the food processor using a spatula. Use your hands to squish and squash the mixture together until it is well mixed.
  6. Once the mixture is well mixed, use two teaspoons to measure out a ball of mixture. Roll it around in your hands and then set the ball aside on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

img_6813

  1. I aim for 36 meatballs.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan. Once it is smoking hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the meatballs. (Use a screen to prevent splatters and ease in cleanup).
  3. Cook for 2 minutes and then roll them all about to cook the other sides. They will take about 5 minutes in total to cook.

Hint: I have a pretty packed spice cabinet so I had all the ingredients.  If you don’t, you can take a shortcut and buy spice mix.  Williams-Sonoma has  Ras El Hanout in a jar that has a similar but not equal combination of moroccan spices that you could use instead.  Just replace the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, paprika and smoked paprika and pepper with 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout.

 

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Need an easy appetizer for a party?  Try this one.  It’s always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

2 flatbreads (sold at specialty stores and some grocery stores)
1/4 cup shredded chicken breast
2-4 T. BBQ sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Bold and Smokey Kansas City Style)
5-8 sprigs of fresh cilantro
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3-4 thin slices of a small red onion (peeled)

Directions:

Place the flatbread on a cookie sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of bbq sauce on the flatbread.
Add shredded chicken and red onion slices.
Add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges of bread are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and add fresh cilantro leaves.
Slice and place on a serving dish and serve immediately. Enjoy!

PSST! Shred the chicken from a leftover piece of grilled chicken breast from the night before or cut from a roasted chicken from the deli section of most grocery stores.  If you can’t find flatbread, you can use a lavosh bread instead.

IMG_2194

Aunt She She’s Key Lime Pie

IMG_2735Key Lime Pie

This creamy dreamy pie is a favorite in our family.   We always look forward to Aunt SheShe treating us to this delightful and refreshing goodness.  The tartness from the key limes and the sweetness of the crust makes a perfect combination.  It just might become a family favorite for you too!

Makes one 9-inch pie serving 6 to 8

Crust:

1 ½  cups graham cracker crumbs
3  tablespoons sugar
¼  teaspoon salt
6   tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1  14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3  cup fresh squeezed Key juice or regular lime juice. (If using bottled, look for Nellie & Joe’s brand—(Ralph’s carries it.)
3    large egg yolks
1 ½   teaspoons grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
2    tablespoons sugar
¼   teaspoon salt

Topping:

1  cup chilled whipping cream (in a small carton from Trader Joe’s)
2   tablespoons powdered sugar
1   teaspoon vanilla extract
2   Key limes for garnish, sliced thinly (optional)

For crust: Preheat oven to 350. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and stir to coat well. Press crust into 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake 5 to 8 minutes until crust is set and golden brown. Cool.

For filling: In stand mixer fitted with wire whisk or using a hand-held mixer, beat egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes until very fluffy. Add sugar, salt, and condensed milk and beat for 3 or 4 minutes more. Lower mixer speed and gradually add lime juice and beat just until combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake 10-15 minutes (varies by oven), or until filling is set in center. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

For topping: Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until soft peaks form. Spread over pie and garnish with Key lime slices, if desired. (Can be refrigerated several hours ahead, or even overnight.)

Creds to Cynthia Worth  who originally adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit 1/07 and Food Network and shared with Aunt SheShe (aka Sheila Downs).

IMG_2737