Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alfredo Sauce

Want to know when my boyfriend stole my heart? It was when he made me this Alfredo sauce for our first Valentines day together :P Really though, I was all his long before this Alfredo, but it didn't hurt at all. The way to a man or woman's heart is through his or her stomach, and you can't help but fall in love with whoever puts this plate in front of you. The ingredients for Alfredo sauce crack me up! Butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. I really don't think it gets any better than that!

Alfredo sauce
Makes 3-4 servings (enough for about half a box of fettuccine)
Total time: 12 minutes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan
A sprinkle of pepper

1. Melt half a stick of butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Pour in heavy cream and turn heat to  medium. Bring cream and butter to a boil.

2. Add parmesan cheese to cream mixture. Reduce heat to low and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the cheese gets incorporated with the liquid. Add a little sprinkle of pepper and serve over fettuccine. Enjoy!  

*Jaw drops* Look at these heavenly ingredients! Oh, and some pasta with it too. 

Melt half a stick of butter (I know) over medium low heat.

Whisk in the heavy cream, turn the heat to medium, and bring to a boil.

Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk for 2 or 3 minutes, until the cheese is incorporated. It will be very thick and cheesy!

Well talk about rich. This sauce is LUSCIOUS and lovely. And how could it not be with such decadent ingredients?! It's also oh so simple to make. It's practically just prepare some pasta, whisk sauce for a few minutes, and voila!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

 This stir fry recipe is VERY versatile. The sauce has a great mixture of flavors that would taste great on whatever vegetables and meat you wanted to use! Salty soy sauce, rich sesame oil, some zesty lime juice, a kick from red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. You really can taste each element individually. Once the sauce is done, switch up the veggies and meat as you like! I'm in LOVE water chestnuts and bell peppers so they always make it into my stir fry. Go with whatever you're in the mood for and whatever is fresh!  

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
Makes 4 servings
Total Time: 35 minutes

1 1/2 cups rice (brown rice if you'd like)
3 cups water
2 tsp chicken bouillon 
3 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 chicken breast
1 bell pepper
1/2 onion
1 head broccoli
8 oz water chestnuts

1. Mix water, rice, and chicken bouillon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes.

2. While rice is cooking, chop florets off broccoli head and set aside. Slice bell pepper, onion, and chicken breast. Slice skin off ginger and grate. Chop garlic.

3. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, ginger, lime juice, red pepper flakes, chicken, bell pepper, onion, and water chestnuts. Set aside.

4. Bring a pot of a few cups of water to a boil and add broccoli florets. Cook for 2 minutes and strain. Return pot to the stove and turn heat to medium high (or use a wok instead if you have one!).

5. Add strained broccoli and chicken and vegetable mixture to the pot and cook until chicken is fully cooked, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve with fluffed rice and enjoy!

First, get the rice set up because it takes a while to cook. Bring rice, water, and chicken bouillon to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes. Chop the florets off the broccoli and set  aside. These will have to cook for a few minutes before getting stir fried with everything else! 

Slice the skin off of the ginger before you grate it.

Mmm is smells delightful!

Slice up the veggies and chicken! 

Mix together everything but the broccoli and (obviously) the rice mixture.

Bring a few cups of water to a boil in a pot and cook the broccoli for two minutes. Strain the broccoli and return the pot to the stove on medium high. 

Return the broccoli to the pot along with the chicken and veggie mixture. Stir constantly and cook until the chicken is done! About 5 minutes. By this time the rice will be about done!

Serve stir fried veggies and meat over the fluffed rice and enjoy! Switch it up with steak instead of chicken and use your favorite vegetables. The spicy sauce will season your favorite stir fry ingredients beautifully!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rice Pudding

I get CRAVINGS for this rice pudding. It's so simple, nothing fancy or exotic. But it feels like such a treat when I get to eat it, which is usually just at a bakery in my little Greek home town in Florida, until now! My parents gave me my gradparents' recipe book and I was beyond excited to find the rice pudding recipe in it. I usually eat it cold but it's FANTASTIC warm as well. And the cinnamon sprinkled on top is a must! Just to give you an indication of how addictive this rice pudding is - my boyfriend almost ate the whole batch before I got a chance to photograph it! I had to restrict his rice pudding intake, which he was not happy about :P We all have to make sacrifices haha but now I can share the recipe with everyone! Enjoy!

Rice Pudding
Makes 5 cups of pudding
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon for sprinkling

1. Stir milk and sugar in a large pot over medium heat. When milk comes to a boil, add rice and reduce heat to medium low. 

2. Let mixture boil uncovered for an hour and 20 minutes, stirring lightly (trying not to scrape the bottom) every few minutes.

3. Turn the heat off and let cool for 10 minutes. Mix eggs and vanilla and slowly pour into the rice mixture while stirring quickly. *warning – eggs are only cooked by the residual heat in the rice mixture. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes if cooking the eggs longer is desired. Sprinkle with cinnamon, chill and serve cold (or eat warm!) and enjoy!

WOW a whole 1/2 gallon of milk seemed like a ton to me, but I was surprised at how much it reduced. It needs to be a pudding after all, not just cooked rice. Stir a half gallon of whole milk with a whopping cup of sugar in a large pot over medium heat!

When the milk comes to a boil add the rice and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir every few minutes for an hour and 20 minutes, being careful not to scrape the bottom. The bottom gets a little toastier than you might like haha.

The milk reduces quite nicely! It will thicken up well. Just keep stirring! 

Turn the heat off on the rice mixture and let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk together 2 eggs and a tablespoon of vanilla.

Slowly poor in the egg mixture and stir vigorously so you don't just end up with scrambled eggs. The eggs will cook a little from the heat but to be honest, I don't know if it's hot enough for them to completely cook! This doesn't bother me, but if it bothers you, turn the heat back on to low and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes.

Let cool (or not!) and sprinkle with cinnamon. You get all of the wonderful sweetness and that little extra something from the cinnamon. And the creaminess is just divine. Mmm. I wish we weren't fresh out because I want more now! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


This is another recipe from my Papou! It's a Greek savory cheese pie called Tiropita, and its wonderful. It's made with phyllo dough, the pastry used in baklava! The mixture of textures from the flaky, crunchy phyllo dough and the creaming cheese is absolutely divine. It's almost like a savory version of cheesecake, if you can imagine that. It's commonly made in a triangle shaped version with the cheese wrapped in the phyllo, but my Papou's recipe said to make it in more of a pie form, so I listened! Straight from my Papou's recipe book - rich, crispy, cheesy goodness!

Makes 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
8 oz phyllo dough, thawed
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

1. Melt butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix cream cheese, ricotta, salt, and eggs.

2. Carefully unroll phyllo dough. Wet and ring out a dish towel and lay over phyllo dough. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray.

3. Uncover phyllo dough and peel one layer away. Lay sheet of phyllo in casserole dish. Cover unused stack of phyllo with damp towel immediately. Brush phyllo dough with melted butter. Repeat for 8 sheets of phyllo dough.

4. Pour cheese mixture on top of phyllo dough layers. Repeat phyllo layering process for 8 more sheets on top of the cheese mixture. Brush the top layer with melted butter. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Cut into individual servings and enjoy!

Melt butter in a bowl. You will need a brush for the melted butter. The phyllo dough is SO delicate. I think trying to spoon the butter and spread it with anything else would probably be a bad idea.

Mix ricotta cheese, cream cheese, salt, and 3 eggs. Every other tiropita recipe I looked at online had feta cheese in it but my Papou's recipe didn't. But I dare not question the wisdom that is written in front of me! I followed his recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully. Maybe some other time I will experiment with some feta in the mixture!

Unroll the phyllo dough VERY CAREFULLY. It is extremely delicate.

Place a damp paper towel over the phyllo dough. It dries out very quickly because the sheets are so thin. This will help keep it from cracking! Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Uncover the phyllo dough and gently peel a single layer off and place it into the casserole dish.

Immediately cover the unused phyllo dough with a towel again! It will crack quickly if you don't.

Repeat the layering process until there are 8 layers.

Fill with the cheese mixture!

Add another 8 layers of phyllo dough on top with the same layering process as before.

Does it get much better than cheese and pastry and butter?! I don't think so. Melt in your mouth filling with delicate flaky pastry - I could eat this every day. I would weigh 12949135 lbs, but I really wouldn't mind eating this every day of my life :P

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pita Melts

Feeling creative at lunch? Check this out! These pita melts are kind of like pizza but with hummus instead of tomato sauce and pita instead of dough and sliced chicken or turkey instead of pepperoni! Ok, I guess it really isn't like pizza... But you eat it like pizza. And it sure is tasty. And easy. And a nice alternative to a turkey sandwich for lunch! 

Pita Melt
Makes 1 serving
Total Time: 10 minutes

1 whole wheat pita
2 Tbsp hummus
3-4 slices turkey or chicken lunch meat
1 roma tomato
1/2 Tbsp red onion (chopped)
1/4 cup shredded white cheese (whatever you like)

1. Chop roma tomato and onion.
2. Spread hummus on pita. Add turkey or chicken, chopped tomato and onion, and shredded cheese.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese. Slice and enjoy!

Start off with a pita and hummus! I've been spreading hummus on my sandwiches lately instead of mayo. Much healthier and a little different!

Put on a layer of your favorite sliced turkey or chicken.

Next - tomato and onions! You could switch the veggies up and use whatever you have. I feel like black olives and green bell peppers would be nice too!

Top with your favorite white shredded cheese!

Bake for 5-7 minutes just to melt the cheese. Slice and eat like pizza! The hummus and cheese make the melt so moist and warming everything up really makes it seem like not your typical lunch. And these are ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already! So instead of making your normal sandwich for lunch, heat this baby up!

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