Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Berry Apple Crisp

Berry Apple Crisp is my all-time favorite non-chocolate dessert! I have dreams about my fiance's Great Grandma Daniel's Apple Crisp recipe, which is delightfully autumnal with apples and cinnamon. What's a girl to do in the summertime? Throw in some berries! Strawberries and blueberries taste like summer to me, and with the addition of bright lemon zest and honey, this dish is transformed into the perfect summer cookout/picnic dessert! 

Berry Apple Crisp
Makes 10-12 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

5 Fuji apples
16 oz strawberries
6 oz blueberries
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

1. Grease a large baking pan (at least 9 x 13) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Slice strawberries.
3. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon.
4. Mix apples, strawberries, blueberries, lemon zest, honey, and half of the brown sugar mixture and pour into the greased pan.
5. Mix white sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Mix in one egg with a fork until the mixture is uniformly crumbly.
6. Pour crumble topping over fruit. Top with the remainder of the brown sugar mixture, followed by the melted butter.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Serve cold or warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

Grease a baking pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. And wash your berries! Mmmm pretty summer berries.

Peel and core the apples. I'm admittedly not very good at this... I cut too much apple away with the skin! I think it's just something that takes practice.

Thinly slice the apples. Don't munch on too many slices as you go or your berry apple crisp won't be very apple-y!

Slice the gorgeous strawberries.

Zest the lemon and get ready for your kitchen to smell amazing!

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon *googly eyes*

Mix the blueberries, strawberries, apples, lemon zest, honey, and half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and pour into the greased pan.

Mix white sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Mix in one egg with a fork until the mixture is uniformly crumbly. This will take a minute or two, but eventually the egg will moisten little chunks of the dry ingredients and the mixture will have little crumbles throughout.

This is what it will look like! Some crumbles are bigger than others, but there aren't any smooth floury parts anymore.

Pour the crumble mixture over the fruit.

Pour the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the crumble topping.

And here is where it gets REALLY heavenly... pour a stick of melted butter on top of the whole darn thing.

Just... Ugh. There are no words.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve warm OR cold with a dollop of whipped cream! Paul's family traditionally serves it cold, but I think I like it warm.

I actually LOVE this more than apple pie! The crumb topping is crispy and buttery and sugary and perfectly contrasts the soft, saucy fruit. And the gorgeous purple color from the strawberries and blueberries? So good! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Watermelon Margaritas

It's Saucy Jocey's Kitchen's 1st birthday! I can't believe it! This experience has been an absolute BLAST and I can't wait to continue experimenting with food, dirtying-up my kitchen (my fiance and I have a clutch deal going - whoever cooks doesn't clean), and showing you all what I come up with :) Although the school year leaves me pretty swamped, it's summer again, which means more free time and more blogging! I can't wait. As for the coming year, a few of my goals for my blog are:

1. Improve my food photography. Get a new camera too?
2. Post at least once a week on average. Note - that's about what I averaged this past year, but next year I will be even MORE swamped than I already am, with more school, work, and planning a wedding :) I'm DEFINITELY not complaining - I'm a lucky girl! I'm also a busy girl though, so once a week blogging is a reasonable goal I think!
3. Redesign my blog. I've dabbled a little in html (surprisingly little considering my major - computer science), so I can figure my way around some website designing I think! 
4. Cook healthier. Don't get me wrong, I love the occasional fried chicken and sugary baked good, but for every day, my goal is to eat healthier than I do now. I would like to make a not-putting-as-much-garbage-into-my-body lifestyle change. Paul and I joined an organic produce buying club recently, which keeps fresh organic produce in the house at all times, which I LOVE. 

To anyone stopping by to read my blog, thank you :) sharing recipes and stories with you all this past year has been a joy, and I look forward to many more!

To celebrate year one - a fruity summer cocktail of course! Margaritas scream summertime to me, as do watermelons. This marg is definitely a lighter cocktail as far as alcohol content goes, as opposed to Beergaritas which are more on the potent side. Feel free to add more tequila to your liking! A bit slushy and not overly sweet, this is the perfect poolside cocktail! 

Watermelon Margaritas
Makes 5 (1 cup) servings
Total Time: 10 minutes

3 cups chopped watermelon
1 1/2 cups limeade (simply limeade ideally)
1/2 cup tequila
salt for the rim of the glass

Puree 3 cups of chopped fresh watermelon. Mix watermelon puree, limeade, and tequila. Serve over ice with a salted rim!

It's a little baby watermelon! We got this mini guy in our organic produce share from Annie's Organic Buying Club. It's been such a nice change to have organic fresh produce always around to snack on and cook with! Paul and I get the 3/4 share, which two people can finish in a week if they put their minds to it, but it's a tiny but of a challenge. But that's good, because it forces us to eat more fruits and veggies than we used to :)

Give the watermelon a rough chop so you can measure out 3 cups, and puree in the food processor!

Mix the pureed watermelon with limeade...

... and tequila! These margs are definitely on the easy-drinking side of the cocktail spectrum. Feel free to add more tequila if you want!

Serve over ice with a salted rim, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Big Fat Greek Recipe Collection

In honor of Greek Easter on Sunday, I thought I'd compile and share my Greek recipe posts! Greek Easter as a youngster for me meant celebrating with loads of family, loads of food, and an Easter egg hunt with hundreds of eggs filled with candy and cash (not just coins my friend, bills. The Greeks don't mess around with Easter).

Even if you don't celebrate Greek Easter (or Easter at all), look at Sunday as an excuse to eat Greek food! It's also Cinco de Mayo - What's a girl to do? Greek for lunch, Mexican for dinner probably. Check out my Cinco de Mayo Pinterest board for recipes and entertaining ideas!

Pictured to the left is little-me and my Papou :) Some of my fondest memories of him are of him coming over to my house and cooking for us, dictating the recipes to my parents. My parents gifted me with those written recipes a few months ago, and I was so happy I was brought to tears.

I feel the most connected to my Greek culture when I'm cooking! Below are some recipes from my family, some from me, and there is a whole recipe book full of more to come! Enjoy!

  Not only is Greek Salad undoubtedly DELICIOUS, but Greek Salad Dressing is extra virgin olive oil and vinegar based, do it's healthy! I love making a chunky salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and red onions. One of my go-to pot luck/tailgate/picnic dishes is Greek Pasta Salad, which is just the normal salad with rotini pasta and chicken! It's wonderful with or without the chicken.

One of my favorite dishes of all time is a Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce. For me, the more garlic, the better, which is why I could pretty much eat tzatziki sauce plain by the spoonful. There's only one time in my life when I uttered the words "Well that's just too much damn garlic." I was eating skordalia at a restaurant and my dad (the only full-blooded Greek at the table) was the only one who could eat the seemingly half potato, half garlic spread, which is usually very tasty, but had gone a little overkill this time. Anyway, the point is, if you love garlic, you will love tzatziki sauce! Try it if you haven't already!

These 3 recipes are straight from my grandparents' recipe book. Tiropita is a savory cheese pie, which is enticing enough I think! The phyllo dough is buttery and flaky and the cheese filling is hot and creamy... You can't beat it. You just can't. 

Dolmades are stuffed grape leaves, and just about every recipe for the filling is different. Ours is ground beef and rice based, but there are quite a few vegetarian versions out there too! These little bite-sized meaty bundles are the perfect hor d'ouevre!

Last but not least, for dessert - the simple, understated perfection that is Rice Pudding. It's nothing fancy, but it's my FAVORITE. I even like it better than baklava! I know, I know, where's the baklava? It's still in the book! Coming soon though :) don't worry.

Check out My Big Fat Greek Recipe Board on Pinterest! 

I hope you all enjoy my family's recipes :) It makes me happy to be able to share the love and share the food. It's the Greek woman in me - I need to feed people. Now go eat some Greek food!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing

Talk about an EXPLOSION of Asian flavors. I managed to cram quite a few Asian ingredients into one salad dressing, and let me tell you, I get cravings for this stuff. 

Sweet honey, savory sesame oil, bright ginger, and salty soy sauce goodness all come together with a hint of orange in the background. There's also some rice vinegar of course, for good measure. Pull those Asian staples out of the pantry and refrigerator door and whip together a delightfully fresh salad!

As pictured above, I love mandarin oranges, cabbage, red bell peppers, green onions, sesame seeds, shredded carrots, and crunchy noodles with this salad. There's such a wide variety of flavors and textures that your mouth goes crazy, in a good way. Isn't it colorful and enticing? And guess what? It tastes even better than it looks!

Featured in La Petite Fashionista Magazine!

Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing
Makes 1/2 cup
Total Time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together all ingredients, and enjoy!

Greek Salad Dressing

This salad dressing tastes like home to me :) I didn't have lettuce in my salads growing up, just chunks of cucumber, tomato, red onion, and feta like so, covered in dressing like this.

I'm warning you all, this dressing is tart. I wouldn't have it any other way, but if you want to dial down the vinegar and lemon and add more olive oil, my feelings wouldn't be hurt. The garlic and oregano round out the classic Greek flavors, and I'm doing my happy food dance.

I LOVE making a meal out of a big Greek salad with this dressing and grilled chicken on top. We do this for dinner at least once a month! I hope you all enjoy this recipe straight out of my family's kitchen.

Featured in La Petite Fashionista Magazine!

print recipe
Greek Salad Dressing
A tart, light vinaigrette that brings together classic Greek ingredients like lemon, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Whisk together all ingredients, and enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1/2 cup

Balsamic Vinaigrette

I'm not the only one who loves straight, plain balsamic vinegar, right? Admittedly, this salad dressing is has a higher vinegar-to-oil ratio than normal, but I can't help it - I love me so balsamic! 

While the flavor of balsamic vinegar is bright and beautiful on it's own, this vinaigrette adds a little more deliciousness to the classic salad dressing. There's a new sweetness from the sugar that highlights the natural sweetness of balsamic, and lemon zest adds citrus flavor without upping the sour factor like lemon juice would! 

Obviously this dressing is perfection on the classic Caprese salad. And why not use this as the dressing for pasta salad? Just shake or whisk all of the ingredients together, and enjoy!

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 1/2 cup
Total Time: 5 minutes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together all ingredients, and enjoy!

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