Saturday, November 28, 2009

What To Do With Turkey Leftovers

After 3 days of left over turkey I always ask my self "What do I do with my Turkey leftovers?" So I went looking on the Internet for some ideas and I found these easy recipes from Wiki How they list 11 but these were my favorite:

Make a Turkey Salad - Mix the left over turkey with boiled potato cubes, chopped hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, chopped celery, chopped onion, and mix. For a green salad, top a bed of lettuce or spinach with the left over turkey along with fresh cranberries, cucumber slices, cashew nuts, and a cranberry or honey mustard dressing.

Make a Turkey Omelette or frittata for a wholesome breakfast. Just put Turkey in your favorite egg omelette.

Make Turkey Tacos - Just use your leftover turkey instead of chicken or beef. I use soft tortillas. You can put your favorite cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and anything else you regularly put in your tacos. Easy and my kids loved it.

Make Turkey Sandwiches - I used the leftover gravy. My family actually grew up eating Pan Con Chumpe or turkey sandwiches for Thanksgiving. They are the best but that recipe will have be a topic for another post.

Freeze the left overs. Follow the steps on Wiki How on how How to Prevent Freezer Burn. Also be sure you eat your turkey within 6 months for best flavor.

Make a Turkey Calzone. This video shows you how make a turkey calzone. The best part about the video is his explanation on how to make the Calzone dough. Easy and tastes good. You could use the same dough for making pizza. Also if you are short on time Pillsburry pizza dough works good too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pecan Sticky Buns

My sister-in-law stars in this video and she shows us how to make pecan sticky buns. We had the pleasure of having these when we visited her and my brother. She baked them for breakfast and they were so delicious. Please note this recipe is different from her explanation.


  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup of the butter or margarine, 1/2 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend 30 seconds with mixer on low speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in remaining 3 cups flour. (Dough should remain soft and slightly sticky) Knead for 5 minutes, or about 200 turns on a lightly floured board. Cover dough and allow to rest for half an hour.
  2. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12x7 inch rectangle. Spread each half with 1 tablespoon soft butter and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon. Roll up the halves, beginning at the wide side. Seal well by pinching the seams. Cut each roll into 12 slices.
  3. Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans in each pan. Place 12 dough slices in each pan, leaving a small space between slices. Let rise until doubled.
  4. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 30 minutes. Invert pans onto serving plates immediately.

Carving A Turkey

Carving a turkey is the one thing I feel like I can always do better. Anyone else feel this way? Today I found this video to have a great explanation so I am sharing with y'all. Later on this week I will be posting my Turkey recipe. My turkey recipe is simple, but we love it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Homemade Manicotti

This recipe is quick and tastes so much better than the box stuff. I found it online a while back and we love it.

Manicotti Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • oil, for pan
Cheese Filling

  1. 2 lbs ricotta cheese
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  4. 1/3 cup Romano cheese, grated
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Stir milk gradually with flour, until smooth.
2. Add, stirring constantly, the beaten egg, to which the salt has been added.
3. For each shell/crepe, brush a six inch teflon coated fry pan with oil or butter.
4. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter in the bottom of pan, tilting back and forth so it spreads evenly.
5. Cook slowly until just set, do not brown.
6. When set on one side, turn over and let other side set.
7. Slide off pan and onto plate to cool slightly.
8. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
9. Place 2 TBS of your cheese filling into the center of the crepe/shell, bringing sides over so they overlap to hold filling inches.
10. Arrange side by side in baking pan with your favorite sauce (I use Classico with Sweet Basil), topped with shredded cheese.
11. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

I serve my manicotti with some fresh chopped basil from my garden and a garden or Greek village salad.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Coffee Granita

What To Do With All That Extra Coffee?

Every morning I have lots of extra coffee and I usually throw it away. So today I decided to look and see what you could do with extra coffee. I came across this real easy, yummy looking recipe. Sorry I can't say I've tried it but am posting it here because I thought my discovery today was interesting. Um, and truth be known I don't have any heavy cream in the house today. So I also looked up, embarrassed to say, how do you make cream? Look below I am still blushing thinking of how did I not know that. Dairy cow farmers please excuse my non-dairy farm city girl ignorance. Well, if you give this a try let me know. I will be trying it just as soon as I can get myself some cream from the store.


  • 1/2 c. espresso
  • 1/2 c. regular coffee
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream

  1. Mix the coffee, espresso and sugar together, preferably while the coffee's still hot.

  2. Taste the mixture. It should taste like extra-strong, extra-sweet coffee.

  3. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and place it in the freezer, uncovered.

  4. Meanwhile, chill the cream well.

  5. As a film freezes on top of the container, break it up and stir it with a fork every 20 minutes or so. This step will create the granita's characteristic grainy texture.

  6. As the mixture freezes it will harden faster, so stir it more often to keep it from freezing too solid. The final texture should resemble chipped ice.

  7. Whip the cream until frothy but pourable - just before serving.

  8. Spoon the granita into small cups and top with dollops of the lightly whipped cream.

If You Don't Have Cream

Here is my emberrassing discovery today, you can not make cream. Cream is actually the fat that naturally occurs from cows milk. It usually is separated in the process of making milk for our consumption. You can read more about it at this great site called OChef where you can post your vexing cooking questions. In his Q&A article titled, Is There A Recipe For Cream?, he states,

"And like salt, chicken livers, and apples, it is not the product of another recipe, it is a naturally occurring food that you cannot make yourself — it is an ur-ingredient, if you will. In modern milk production, cream is separated from milk with the use of a centrifuge called a separator. In less technical times, milk was poured into shallow pans and the cream rose naturally to the top. In Britain, cream that was skimmed from the top after 12 hours was called cream or single cream. Cream that wasn't separated until 24 hours had elapsed was called double cream"

Monday, June 15, 2009

Balsamic Vinegar Mango Salad

This is a simple salad and it always looks pretty too. You can serve this salad with chicken or shrimp. You can also just enjoy it without meat. I show it here with my Lemon shrimp kabobs.


- 1-2 mangos (almost ripe)
- 1 bag of mixed salad greens
- olive oil
- salt
- pepper
- italian seasoning


1. Cut Mangos into squares.

The easiest way to cut a mango is to put it on its side and cut two wedges of the large sides. The other two small sides can be cut the same way. You just need to cut until you can feel the seed in the middle. After you have cut the wedges, cut the mango into small squares while the skin is still on. Pull the mango apart by bending it skin side down. If you then run the knife between the mango meat and skin the little squares will come right out. If the mango is too ripe it might not look as neat, but it will still taste good.

See below for a video on how to cut a mango.

2. Put your salad greens on a nice plate and drizzle olive oil and a little bit of balsamic vinergar syrup. 

The balsamic vinegar syrup can be found at your local market. It might cost a little more, but you will find it is sweet and very tasty. You might want to experiment with it before you drizzle to0 much on your plate. The calories in it are also minimal so if you like it...drizzle away.

I also have to mention that this syrup can be a little pricey, but a little goes a long way and keeps for a long time. Plus, buying this is like buying wine, some are more expensive than others. See below for more links of example of balsamic vinegar syrup.

3. Layer your mango on top of your salad and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar syrup and some salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste.

4. Put your meat on top and enjoy!

Extra Links:

Mayo clinic has a nice recipe you can follow for grilled fruit with balsamic vinegar and you can try with the vinegar syrup too. It is so healthy and delicious. 

Balsamic Vinegar Syrup Example - The prices on here range from under $20 to $25. This is just an example. At your local market you will find cheaper versions. 

Make your own balsamic vinegar syrup - If you have a little more time, then this is a great recipe from one of my favorite blogs called Gourmetmomma's Blog on how to make this syrup. And as she puts it, this syrup, "...can make an every day meal feel special."

How To Pick Out A Good Mango

How to Cut A Mango
For this salad I use example two of this video.

Grilled Lemon Shrimp Kabob

The Grilled Lemon Shrimp Kabob recipe is easy and the shrimp always comes out super delicious! And if you serve it over mango salad, you will get some points in the presentation category. As my husband said when he first glanced at the meal, "now that's a tasty byte!"

I buy shrimp frozen, so I usually take the skin off when it is frozen. I find it is easier and the shrimp that they sell in our market is the same that I buy frozen. I like to keep the bags frozen in the freezer until I need them. 

2. Put the Shrimp on the skewers with both the tail and body.
- I mention this because I have seen some people only put one part of the shrimp onto the skewer and then the shrimp falls off the skewer to easily.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon or lime, along with the fresh pressed garlic.

4. Marinate the shrimp for a little bit in the bowl.
- Don't marinate for too long or the lemon/lime will cook the shrimp.  Marinate for about 3-5 min. I usually just brush the shrimp a few times, just enough that the shrimp gets a coating of the marinade. 

5. Grill your shrimp until they are nice and pink.
- Be sure to brush and coat the shrimp often with the lemon/olive oil mixture. This will make the shrimp tastier. We also like the shrimp when they get a tiny bit burnt. This gives the shrimp a crunchy texture along with a carmelized taste. 

 6. Optional - grilled green pepper.
 - If you like green pepper, like I do, I usually grill a green pepper after taking out the seeds. I brush the same mixture from the shrimp on it and flatten it as I grill it. You will see what it looks like on the right of the plate below.

   I serve this with a mango salad (see recipe) or fresh garlic, parmessan and olive oil mixed with linguini. I also like to make raspberry margaritas to go along with this dinner or a nice white sangria.

This is a very tasty meal that will make you feel like you were taken to a Caribbean island.  Cue the steel drums please! 

Tonight's Music Bob Marley, Buffalo Soldier

Monday, May 18, 2009

Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken

Ingredients for Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken:
4 chicken breasts

4 garlic cloves crushed
olive oil to taste
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice

1. Marinate the chicken with the garlic clove, olive oil and lemon juice.
2. Grilled the chicken at high heat
3. Every so often brush the chicken with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice mixture

Ingredients for Mozarella Bread:
1 unbaked loaf of french bread
- I get mine from my local grocery store's bakery. I just ask the bakery to give me a frozen un-baked one.
1/2 cup of Mozarella Cheese
Butter to taste
1 crushed garlic clove
oregano to taste

1. Cut your bread in half if needed
2. Spread the butter & garlic on both sides of the bread.
3. Sprinkle with some dried oregano
4. Add the mozarella cheese as the last layer
5. Fold your bread back together again and wrap in aluminum foil
6. Cook at 350 until golden brown and the cheese is melted

Ingredients for Yellow Rice:
1 cup of Uncle Bens Rice (or your favorite white rice)
2 1/4 cups of water
1 Package of Sazon Goya Azafran (you can find this in the latin section of your grocery store)

1. Boil the water with the package of azafran
2. Add the rice
3. Simmer covered with a tight lid until tender - about 20 minutes

If you can not find these products at your grocery store you can order Goya Products Online at

Tonight's Music

Saturday, May 16, 2009

No Bake Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Silk Pie

I make this yummy peanut butter silk pie on a graham cracker crust. It has a thin layer of fudge and a cream cheese peanut butter filling. I cook the chocolate fudge into a soft ball stage, but you can use your own favorite fudge recipe.

graham cracker crust for 9-inch pie

Resee's peanut butter cups for garnish

Fudge Layer:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups whipped topping

Fudge Directions:
1. Cook sugar, chocolate, milk, corn syrup together, stirring occasionally, to the soft ball stage or about 234° to 240° on a candy thermometer.
2. To test for soft ball stage: Use fresh cold water each time you test the candy. In about 1 cup of cold water, spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of hot candy. Put you hand into the water and push the candy to form a ball. Gently pick the formed ball up. If it will not form a ball, it is not done. The soft ball will flatten slightly when removed from water.
3. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter. Beat lightly for a few minutes; pour into bottom of pie crust. Chill thoroughly before filling.

Filling Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk.
2. Fold in whipped topping until well blended. 
3. Spoon into fudge-layered pie crust 
4. Garnish with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups
5. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Southern Chicken & Dumpling

My family and I love this recipe, it is a wonderful and easy recipe to prepare. Whenever we can, Sunday afternoons are relaxing times in our home. We are all happy not to have anything scheduled. So we usually come home after church and make brunch and then I set-up the crock pot. Today, I made this simple chicken and dumpling recipe. I set-up it up earlier in the day and about four hours later when we are done gardening or hanging out together, we sit down and enjoy this very yummy meal.


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
Carrots, celery, onions to taste
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Makes about 6-8 servings


1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
2. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours on high.

2. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker.
3. Cook on high for 30-45 minutes until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

Here is a slow cooker receipe book.

Here is a slow cooker.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Battle of the Eggs

During our the Greek Orthodox Easter celebration it is tradition to make red eggs. The eggs are hard boiled and then dyed red. The red color is symbolic of the blood of Christ. 

It is also tradition for the Greek youth (pedia in Greek) to play the red egg game. 
Watch the video to see how it is played.

The first person to crack their opponent's egg wins. As you can see my boys enjoy the battle of the eggs and they battle round after round against each other. The house rule is you have to eat the egg if you play.

1 Package of Rit Dye Powder
  (Scarlett) - they sell red dye in the Mediterranean stores but I don't have one close by so we use RIT instead, and it works great. It can be tricky to get them to turn red and not pink so be sure to follow the directions below.
2 doz. eggs

1. Put the eggs, if they are coming out of the fridge, in warm water
2. In the meantime boil water with about half of the RIT package and about 2 tablespoons of vinegar
3. Boil the eggs in the RIT vinegar mix for 10 minutes
4. Take out the eggs and put them in cold water
5. Let them dry on a newspaper
6. When they are completely dry use a little olive oil and a rag to make them shine

Friday, April 10, 2009

Greek Easter Bread or Tsoureki

Tsoureki is a traditional Greek Easter bread. Red eggs are sometimes woven into the dough, a practice that probably dates back to very ancient times. Easter is one of the Greek's most important religious feast and it arrives accompanied by the smells of spring and the rebirth of nature. The red eggs are used to symbolize resurrection.

Before the Easter festivities occur the Greeks will fast for 40 days. They do not eat animal products only olive oil and vegetables during this time. This is a tradition that goes back thousands of years. On Easter day my family and I usually go to an Easter Glendi and enjoy lamb and other open fire roasted meats. It is a nice treat after fasting for so many days. It is also the best fun and I will be posting video and pictures to our festivities in 2 weeks. The Greek Orthodox follow a different calendar than the calendar we follow in the USA so our Easter occurs usually a few weeks after the American Easter.

15 cups of flour
2 1/2 cups of sugar
2 sticks of butter
5 lbs. of yeast
3 1/2 cups of milk
4 eggs
Almonds- blanched, browned and coarsely crushed
Optional Ingredients:
1 tsp. of mastic
1/2 tsp. of mahlepi (an oriental seed-type herb)


1. Dissolve the yeast in a little warm milk and add 3-4 tablespoons of flour.
2. Leave the yeast to rise in a warm place. When it has risen sufficiently, put the rest of the flour into a bowl and make a well in the center.
3. Put the yeast mixture in this well.
4. Warm in a saucepan the rest of the milk, the sugar, the eggs and the mahlepi (if you are using it), and half the butter. Combine well.
5. Slowly pour half this mixture in the bowl with the flour and yeast.
6. Knead well.
7. Melt the rest of the butter and keep it aside.
8. Add the rest of the mixture (eggs, milk, sugar, mahlepi and butter) to the flour and the yeast mixture.
9. Continue to knead, greasing your hands with the melted butter, which you set aside.
10. The dough should be a good consistenxy, neither stiff nor runny. More flour may be needed if it is runny.
11. Place the dough, covered with a clean cloth, in a warm place to rise.
12. When it has risen enough, it is ready.
13. Seperate the dough into 3 thick strips and make the bread into braids, circles or what ever shape is desired.
14. Paint the bread with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle them with almonds.
15. You may place a read bolied egg at one end for decoration.
16. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Tonight's Music is by Kostas Mantzios

This a link to the book I use when I have to look up a Greek recipe. I highly recommend it since it not only gives you good recipes but it also tells you a little history about the food. Also listed is the CD to the music I feature in my video.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Curtido: Spanish Cole Slaw

This Spanish cole slaw is usually added to the top of the pupusas. My mom mentioned to me that eating pupusas without curtido is like eating pizza without the tomato sauce. It is definitely a must try and can be a nice accompaniment to other foods.

1 small to medium Cabbage
1 green pepper
1 bag of shredded carrots
4 garlic cloves
1 onion (we used vadelia because my kids will eat it)

Chop all the vegetables and fry them in a pan with a little olive oil until it is all soft and tender. Serve on top of the pupusas with a little hot sauce if you like. Enjoy!

Tonights Music:
Bambaleo by the Gipsy Kings

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pupusas - Stuffed Tortillas

(Salvadorian stuffed tortilla or flatbread)

Pupusas are similar to corn tortillas, only thicker and stuffed with cheese, beans or meat (usually finely chopped pork-rimes). The pupusa originated in El Salvador, but it is also popular in neighboring Honduras. These are one of my favorite Salvad
orian foods. Eating these always brings back some very fond memories, because as a kid we would go to the Pupuserias as a family and enjoy these tasty stuffed flatbreads in some very rustic little restaurants called pupuserias. In El Salvador you will find pupuserias, usually small family restaurants, everywhere on the streets. Since these are one of our traditional and popular foods the ladies who run these little restaurants
will sell you pupusas for pretty cheap. Probably the easiest thing I can compare a pupuseria to are the fast food restaurants we frequent in the USA for cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries, etc. Except that these pupuserias are much humbler and rustic in structure. They might just have a few tables, maybe not even have windows, a cooking stove or open fire stoves, a very loud lady who cooks the pupusas on a flat skillet and nothing more. We usually eat pupusas with a cabbage, onion, garlic, green pepper and carrots cole slaw. The cole slaw is sometimes spicy and there is nothing like eating spicy cole slaw, or curtido, with a pupusas.

Ingredients & Tips
4 cups of mixed corn flour (Harina)
I mix these two types of corn flour:
2 cups of Maseca Masa
2 cups of Masa Arepa
- I like to use 1/2 of each of these harinas because I have found that their
consistency is the closest to the masa you would use in El Salvador.
- You can find these Masas in the Spanish section of your grocery store
2 cups of Warm water -- this is an approximation since you will need adjust it until you have firm yet soft in consistency like play dough
2 cups of Filling (see variations)
- You can fill the Masa with refried beans, cheese or meat.

I like to make them with white cheese and try to chose a cheese that
melts well but isn't to stringy. I use sometimes use low-fat
skim milk mozzarella and mix it with white shredded taco cheese.

Be sure to watch my mom and I making these on my you tube video. You can watch us cook and prepare them. Plus, you can see what the filling and ingredients look like.

Tonight's Music
Bem, Bem Maria by the Gipsy Kings
My mom's name is Maria and this video and song is dedicated to her. She is my inspiration and my best friend. I am so thrilled to be able to share these recipes of us cooking online with you. I hope we have inspired to try something new today!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meatballs with Egg Lemon Sauce and White Rice

Tonight's dinner is also called youvarlakia avgolemono in Greek this means meatballs in lemon sauce. The meal is especially easy to make with the time saving items I add to the recipe and you could make it in less than 20 minutes.

1 package of pre-made meatballs or you can make them fresh
1 Box of Beef Broth - I used Swanson's organic beef broth
1 cup of white rice - I like Uncle Ben's Original
2 lemons
Fresh Broccoli
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a sauce pan heat up boil 2 1/4 cup of the beef broth
2. When the beef broth is boiling add a cup of rice
3. In a separate pan boil the broccoli in water covered

While all the above is cooking make the lemon sauce - called avgolemono in Greek
1. In a large sauce pan heat about a cup of beef broth on low
2. Beat eggs and the juice of 2 lemons until well blended
3. Add a little bit of the warm beef stock to the sauce and blend well
4. Add the egg, lemon and beef broth mix to the pan and stir constantly
5. When it is well blended add the meat balls and cover
6. Cook just until the broth and meatballs are fully warm or cooked

Tonight's Music

This a link to the book I use when I have to look up a Greek recipe. I highly recommend it since it not only gives you good recipes but it also tells you a little history about the food. Also listed is a great CD that my family and I enjoy listening to when we cook Greek Food or just feel like Greek dancing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Galaktoboureko: Custard-filled Phyllo Pastry

Today I have an expiring gallon of milk so I decided to make my all time favorite Greek Desert. In Greek: γαλακτομπούρεκο, pronounced ghah-lahk-toh-BOO-reh-ko. It is called Galaktoboureko because it is made with lots of Gala which means milk in Greek. BTW How long does milk last after the expiration date>>

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Tonight's Music Blip


* 6 eggs
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 cup of semolina (fine grind), cream of wheat, or rice flour
* 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
* 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
* 6 cups of whole milk (1 1/2 quarts)
* 1/2 - 1 cup of butter, melted
* 1 pound of commercial phyllo dough sheets, defrosted
* ------------
* For the syrup:
* 1 1/3 cups of sugar
* 1 cup of water
* 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
* 1 slice of lemon peel


1. Make the syrup: In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-low heat. Add the lemon peel, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice (do not stir) and set aside, away from the heat, to cool.

2. Make the filling: With an electric mixer on high speed, beat 2 eggs with 1/3 the sugar until light and frothy, add 2 more eggs and another 1/3 of the sugar, and repeat. Continue beating for 2 minutes. Add the semolina, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel. Continue beating and add the milk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Beat for another 5-6 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C)

4. Pour the filling into a pot and heat over medium heat. Stir vigorously with a whisk until it thickens to the consistency of ketchup (or puréed baby food). Remove from heat immediately and set aside.

5. Make the dessert: I like to use a rectangle pan the same size of the phyllo dough but you can also use an 11-inch diameter round baking pan. Brush the bottom, sides, and rim of the pan with melted butter. Open the phyllo dough and count the sheets. Half will be used on the bottom, half on top.

6. Lay one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the pan, starting at one side and letting excess phyllo extend over one side if you are using a round pan. Brush the phyllo on the bottom of the pan with butter. Lay another sheet over the first, brush with butter, and continue until half the phyllo sheets have been used.

7. Give the custard a quick whisk and spoon with a spatula over the bottom layer of phyllo sheets, spreading evenly so it covers the bottom out to the sides with no gaps and no air bubbles.

Note: If you are inexperiened with phyllo, check my video to learn how butter and add the syrup to galaktoboureko.

8. Top layer of phyllo: Brush each phyllo sheet with with butter, then one at a time, fold in the extending pieces butter the tops. If you are using a round pan fold in corners as well so all the phyllo is inside the pan and brushed with butter. When all the phyllo has been used brush the top with butter.

9. Cut the galaktoboureko into serving-sized pieces (I cut 20) using a very sharp knife to cut all the way through to the bottom. The phyllo and custard filling are delicate so cut with care. (My mother-in-law uses a razor to do the first cut and then follow up with a knife. I've also heard that some use an electric knife.)

10. Bake on one rack lower than the middle of the oven at 350F (175C) for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

11. Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup evenly over the hot pastry. Pour up to and around the edges. Set aside and allow to cool and absorb the syrup (a few hours). Serve sprinkled with cinnamon if desired.

Yield: 20 pieces

Galaktoboureko should be eaten within a day or two. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For a change of taste: In the filling, substitute the grated lemon peel and lemon juice with grated orange peel and strained orange juice.

Piggies in a Blanket

Piggies & A Blip

If it was Halloween I would call these cute little piggies, "mummies," but being that today is a cold rainy day my 5 year old called, these yummy quick dinner bytes, piggies in a blanket. He said they looked real cozy in their blankets.

To make them extra cute we added eyes made of mustard and a mouth made of ketchup. They're the perfect, fun and fast energy food before an evening of baseball practice. I also served it with cut up apple for desert.



11-ounce can of Pillsbury Croissants or Breadsticks
12-pack of hot dogs - I buy the low fat Hebrew National Hot Dogs
Yellow mustard


1. For each piggy separate one Croissants from the roll.

2. Wrap one strip at a time snugly around the hot dog. Depending on the size of the hot dog. Leave about 1/2 inch of hot dog exposed for the face area and continue wrapping the top of the hot dog.

3. Bake the piggies on a cookie sheet at 350º for 15 to 18 minutes or until the Croissants wrapping is golden brown.

4. Remove the piggies from the oven and cool them for 5 minutes. Add yellow mustard eyes and a mouth made of ketchup just before serving. Makes 12 piggies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pizza

Tonight's Music Blip

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lasagna with Italian Sausage & Meat Sauce

Tonight's Dinner & A Blip

Today while listening to one of my favorite artists, Peter Gabriel, I cooked one of our favorite meals, lasagna with Italian sausage and meat sauce. The best part about making lasagna is that I can clean up and then sit and relax for a little bit before we eat.

Tonight's Music Blip
The Album: Peter Gabriel, "So"

16oz. 1/2 Package of Lasagna
2lb Part Skim Milk or Regular Ricotta Cheese
2 cups of Mozzarella cheese
6 oz Parmesan cheese - 1 bag I like the finely shredded kind
2 cups Italian Five Cheese -1 bag the package says: Provolone, Asiago, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Romano
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 - 8oz jars of Ragu Organic Garden Veggie Pasta Sauce - I used this sauce because it is the closest and healthiest to making it fresh from my garden tomatoes
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 lb of sweet Italian sausage without casing
1 tsp of Fresh Oregano and Basil or dried if fresh is not available
Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Boil your water and prepare your lasagna according to the package. While the lasagne is cooking for about 10 minutes I start my sauce.
3. I first chop or press garlic into some olive oil and cook it for a little bit. I then add the lean ground meat and sausage until the are cooked. When they are almost cooked I add the fresh chopped basil and oregano. Once the meat is cooked I add the sauce. I let all of it simmer for a little while.
4. While I wait for these to finish cooking in a medium bowl, combine Ricotta Cheese and all the the cheeses, and eggs; mix well. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the cheese without mixing it with the ricotta and cheese. You will be using this to top the lasagna at the end.
5. By now my lasagna is ready and I add a little cold water to help it not stick together.
6. After everything is ready I start layering the meat sauce in a 9"x13" pan.
7. Spread 1 cup of meat-sauce at the bottom of the pan.
8. Place 3 cooked lasagna noodles over suace.
9. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the noodles, top with 1/3 of meat sauce mixture.
10. Repeat layering until you reach the top of the pan. Be sure finish it with meat sauce and top it off with left over cheese mix.
11. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the lasagna is bubbly.
12. Uncover for a few minutes and cook for about 5 minutes until the cheese is finished melting.
13. Enjoy!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pasta Alfredo & Garlic Bread

Friday Night's Dinner & A Blip

Today we were short on time since we went to a birthday party until 6:30. So I was looking in my pantry for some quick bites for dinner. Not to mention I was running low on supplies, but luckily I found a packet of Alfredo sauce thanks to the Knorr Sauce Mixes I stashed a few months ago. We also had Linguine, which with the Alfredo sauce turned out to be a great meal. I served it with garlic bread and it came out awesome! The best part is I was done in 15 minutes. Talk about a quick Tasty Byte!

Tonight's Music Blip
The song I was listening to while cooking up this pasta symphony was a tribute to the much awaited 1st day of Spring!

This is the most beautiful time of year in Georgia! The flowers are blooming and everything is waking up... as my 5 year old told me today.

Tonight's Quick, Cheap & Tasty, Tasty Bytes Recipe

Alfredo & Linguine Ingredients
1 Packet of Knorr's Alfredo Sauce Mix
1 3/4 cup of milk or non-fat milk
1 tsp. of butter or margarine
16 oz. of linguine
Pepper, Oregano & Garlic Powder

If you crave protein you can also add chicken cutletts.

Garlic Bread
1 Pillsbury Frozen Garlic Bread.
-You will find this in freezer section and it is YUMMY!

Boil the linguine and in a separate sauce pan follow the directions on the back of the Knorr Alfredo Sauce packet. While it is cooking add garlic powder and black pepper. After the sauce has thickened add it to the linguine. Sprinkle with some oregano and serve.

I added a nice glass of white wine and I felt like we had visited Macaroni Grill with out the big bill. I would say it all cost me about $5.00.

The best part is that my picky eaters (the daddy too) loved it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patty's Tasty Bytes

This is my first post on the Tasty Bytes Website. In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day I have posted a review this week of our visit to Beef O'Brady's.

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