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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Approachable Petits Fours!

Ever been intimidated by Petits Fours?  I know I have!  If you read my blog often, you know I have a love/hate relationship with baking.  I've been known to make some hideous chocolate chip cookies.  But, if there is a recipe for a baked item that actually works for me, I will use it over and over.

I didn't feel great today.  Just felt kind of stressed out and headachey.  There are not many things you can do when you have a headache.  I love to read, but that was a negative.  I'm not good at napping during the day.  I had already gotten my workout in.  So while the kids were napping, I decided to bake.  For some reason this idea just came to me, and I was too excited not to share it with you right away!

Cake Mix Petits Fours 
with Lemon Glaze
What you will need:
1 box White Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
3 Eggs
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Water
about 2-3 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
3-4 Lemons
What you do:
1.  Prepare the Cake in a flat cake pan, by the instructions on the box.  This is where you will use the eggs, oil and water.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups Confectioner's Sugar with the juice and zest of 1-2 Lemons.  Use your judgement on this step.  Add Lemon Juice and Sugar as needed to make the amount you would like and to achieve the consistency that is best.  You don't want it too dry or too runny.

3.  After the cake has cooled, turn it out onto a cutting board and using a serrated knife, cut into small squares.
4.  Place on a decorative tray, or in a large flat tupperware and top with the glaze.
5.  Thinly slice another lemon and cut each slice into fourths.  Top each cake with a tiny lemon wedge.
*Note: You might can tell these are smaller than the first picture.  I sliced the cake cubes in half through the middle to make the petits fours smaller and cuter.

This might not be a totally original idea.  However, it is new to me.  I enjoyed making these and my headache is feeling a bit better now.  I think this idea would be a quick but lovely snack for a baby or wedding shower.  The recipe made a lot.  So I'm going to give some to neighbors and participants of my Bodyflow class tomorrow.  Baking as headache therapy!  Have you ever heard of such?  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Book Inspiration

Anyone who blogs, knows that there is a very important thing you need constantly...Inspiration.  You can find it anywhere.  If you're looking to be inspired, creatively or otherwise, you see it all around you.  A unique mix of colors on a couch cushion, the way the breeze makes leaves on a tree dance, the breeze itself (because I'm not a fan of hot weather, ha!), the smell of garlic and onions hitting a hot pan...these are just a very few of the sights and smells that inspire me.

Lately, the main source of inspiration for me has been my two small children.  I admire how full of life, silly and perceptive they are.  Among other things, reading library books is a favorite activity of ours.  It can be an easy, fun and cheap activity to make children's book-inspired food.  I'll show you what I did this week.

Creepy Carrots
My son's absolute favorite book is "Creepy Carrots" by Aaron Reynolds.  It is a silly story about a rabbit named Jasper.  There is a certain carrot field from where he likes to steal carrots.  The carrots who live in the field decide to scare him away so he won't bother them anymore.  You will have to read the book to find out what happens.  It's really cute.

To make the Creepy Carrots, I peeled the bottom 3/4s of the carrots.  I left the top parts untouched for painting the faces.  Dry that part off really well (I didn't do that and I learned my lesson).  Using a black paint pen, I just went by the expressions on the carrots on the book cover and tried to recreate them on the carrots.  It was a little difficult to get the paint pen to work on the carrots....probably because I forgot the drying step. Ha!  
This was a good healthy snack idea, because my son gladly ate the carrots with faces on them, while we read his favorite book.

(If you want to purchase this book, 
here's the link.)

I love this book!  As you can see, I was inspired by it!  Stellaluna is a baby bat who gets separated from her mother.  She ends up in a bird nest with three baby birds and the mother bird takes care of her.  She has to change her bat ways to fit in.  So she has to learn to stop hanging upside down, sleep at night instead of during the day, etc.  It is not a sad story, because she reunites with her mother and the other bats.  She then has to relearn to be a bat.  But she still loves her three baby bird friends.  It's a sweet story of friendship despite differences.

The Stellaluna snack I made is Nutella Shortbread Cookies in a bat shape.
I used a recipe I found on Pinterest, that I've already blogged about and tweaked it a little.  The original recipe is in this post: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mission
I just about have the recipe memorized, so I'll write it out here as well, including what I did differently for Stellaluna:
2 sticks of Butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups of Flour
2 heaping tablespoons Nutella
1.  Cream the Butter and Sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer.
2.  Add the Vanilla and mix until incorporated (don't mix too much).
3.  Add 1 cup Flour and mix until incorporated.  Add the other cup and mix until combined.  Might need to knead with your hand a bit.  (Need to Knead, Ha!!)
4.  Put the dough in a gallon ziplock bag and add the Nutella.
5.  Roll it flat with a rolling pin to work in the Nutella.
6.  Throw it in the fridge for a couple hours.
7.  Once it has cooled and hardened, preheat the oven to 325 degrees, cut the ziploc bag off of it and place on a floured surface.
8.  Get it ready to cut into shapes by rolling it out perfectly flat with a floured rolling pin.  Cut the dough into shapes.
*Note:  If you don't want to do cookie cutter shapes, skip the rolling pin step and just form into balls.
9.  Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes.
10.  Serve and read an inspiring book!

I know this idea is not healthy, but all things in moderation, right??  You can tell my daughter is excited!  See what I mean about the silliness?

This is not the first time I've been inspired by Children's literature.  Here is a blog post with excellent Honey Cookies and a cute story as well: Bookie Cookies.  I'm thankful for the inspiration my kids give me.  I'm also thankful for the time we can spend together reading books and cooking.  I love any excuse to put my kids to work in the kitchen!  So many lessons can be learned through measuring and mixing.  And I always say, it's never too early to start them on the path toward the Foodie Life!!  Ha!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Neon Pig Cafe

Attention Foodies in or nearby Tupelo, MS!  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of stopping by a very unique establishment on Gloucester Street.  It's called the Neon Pig Cafe.

This place is like no other in the area, because it offers a restaurant and gourmet groceries.  When you walk in the door, you can just sense that you are in a really cool place.  For me, it's a rustic/gourmet feel...if that makes any sense at all!  I know that I'm in the presence of legit Foodie-ness when I am in the Neon Pig...and that's a feeling I like!  It was recently named the Best Burger in America!  Check them out:

This is Seth, the owner.  He gave me the rundown on all the available produce.  It was all very exciting to me, because I get very enthusiastic about that particular food group.  Salt and Pepper Cucumbers, Easter Egg Radishes, Patty Pan/Butternut/Spaghetti Squash, Purple Potatoes, and other interesting selections are available here.  I'm sure the market menu, as well as the restaurant menu, changes based on what's in season.

Right beside the produce fridge is the butcher counter.  Red meats and cheeses are on offer, along with fresh seafood.  I've been really wanting to cook mussels lately.  So I asked if they ever sell them.  Guess what!  They do!  

Will you just look at that ruby red Tuna steak in the back corner!!  I'm currently fantasizing about a quick sear on both sides and my knife cutting through it like it's butter!  Maybe I'm a little strange.  But I'll just say, rare Ahi Tuna is delicious and I enjoy cooking it!...and you should too!

So, how could I decide what to purchase out of all these wonderful treasures??  It was hard, but I already had one thing in particular in mind!...Peruvian Sweetdrop Peppers!  More on them in a moment.  This is the selection I came home with:
Salt and Pepper Cucumbers, 1 white and 1 yellow Patty Pan Squash, Peruvian Peppers, and Tupelo Honey Butter

We had spent the weekend in Memphis, so you can imagine the hearty, heavy food we consumed while there...Can anyone say RIBS??  A quick story on that topic:  I had never in my life, tasted ribs until I was pregnant with my daughter.  I had one taste (at B.B. King's on Beale St.) and that was it.  Ribs became my pregnancy craving for two whole weeks of my second trimester.  I mean, I would eat a whole rack for dinner, most nights of those weeks.  I lived in Jackson, MS at the time and there was a gas station (of all things) that served up really delicious ones.  So a very vivid memory of that time of my life, is standing in line for ribs at that gas station. Ha!!  I've loved ribs ever since...especially Memphis ones.
Back to my original thought:  After some good Memphis eating, I was ready for a veggie meal.  So my goodies from Neon Pig became this:
Socca (Chick Pea Crepes) with Garlic Sauteed Spinach and Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic and Tupelo Honey Butter Roasted Patty Pan Squash and Salt and Pepper Cucumbers on the side.  And as you can see, the most wonderful garnish in the world: Peruvian Sweetdrop Peppers!

Which leads me to a very exciting discussion...
I'm seriously obsessed with these little cuties!  To describe their flavor, I would have to say first, savory (almost garlic like) and then sweet.  It is a very unique flavor.  It's hard to describe.  You just need to try it!  They are so versatile.  You can definitely add them to a salad, top any meat with them, serve them on a flatbread, or on top of a cooked vegetable (the first time I tried them, they were on top of Fried Green Tomatoes).  They even work with breakfast!
...with my hash browns and fried eggs this morning!

So far, Neon Pig is the only place I know of to buy them.  If you know a place in Birmingham, please let me know!  I've checked Whole Foods and Fresh Market.  I didn't find them.  Maybe Bottle and Bone?  Tell me, friends!  I thought about ordering them from Amazon, but they were like a million dollars (as in not really 1 million dollars, but more than I wanted to spend).  Any way you can make it happen, try these!  They are a very interesting and delicious food.  You could simply make any dish gourmet by adding beautiful and tasty Peruvian Peppers as a garnish.

If you want to know how I prepared the Squash, here it is:
I just preheated the oven to 400 degrees, sliced the squash, threw the slices on a roasting pan, topped with splashes of Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil and dollops of the Tupelo Honey Butter, and Salt and Pepper.  Then I roasted it until it looked done and topped with Parmesan Cheese.  Yum!

You might be wondering about the Chick Pea Crepes as well.  They will have to be another blog post.  I have a lot to say about them!  

On Reading Rainbow (a show I was obsessed with as a child and that my kids are now obsessed with, thanks to Netflix), Levar Burton always says, "Until next time...", at the end of the show.  He then fills in something that goes along with the theme of that particular episode.  I'm feeling a bit like Levar right now. Ha!  Until next time...Either go shop at the awesomeness that is the Neon Pig Cafe in Tupelo, MS, or find a place that inspires you like the Pig inspires me!  If nothing else, find a way to experience Peruvian Peppers.  They really are gorgeous! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mission

I've mentioned several times before, that I've never been much of a baker.  I enjoy the type of cooking that allows improvisation and creativity.  Baking is not that!  If you want your baked items to turn out right, you have to go precisely by the recipe and instructions.  I have a friend who is an excellent baker.  She gave me several baking tips and they are IN THIS BLOG POST. 

Lately, I've been on a mission to bake the perfect, most beautiful chocolate chip cookies.  Past attempts have resulted in flat, glob-like objects that are just dried out and crumbly.  Some people may like them that way...and that's fine!  I mean no respect!  You know what they say about different strokes...their for different folks.

Here is one of those past attempts.  Though this is a tad bit better than other disasters, it's still not quite what I was hoping for.  My husband compared them to the bottoms of one of his patients' feet...because of the dry flakiness.  Not very appetizing, I have to say!

There is a place called Marks&Spencer.  It is a department store, but also has a gourmet food section. There are none of these stores in the least that I know of.  I've been to the ones in London and Dublin.  It's really a dreamy place!  If you are fortunate enough to be in one of these cities, and you want to have a lovely picnic, this is where you might shop for treats.  To me, M&S has a smell.  That smell is of Shortbread and Chocolate together.  It could be because the bakery offers chocolate chip shortbread.  Don't we love Pinterest?  In the interest of my Mission, and because of my love for M&S, I decided to look up a recipe for chocolate chip shortbread cookies.

As it turns out, this is the recipe for me!

These happen to be the most beautiful, and best tasting, chocolate chip cookies I've made to date.
Here's the recipe:
It's really interesting to me that this recipe does not call for eggs.  Hm.  I'm thinking, dough eating!

A little tip from a friend who is a CCC expert:  She says not to melt the butter.  Just let it get to room temperature.  That's an important tip.  Just watch out for flying sugar/butter bullets as you blend the two together.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mission is an ongoing effort.  I'm a mom and I believe that this is a required skill for the job!  Let's consider it tasty, on-the-job training.  As I try other recipes, I will share them...if they are successful of course!  I promise to never serve up a recipe that is a total flop.  Thanks for reading about my Mission.  Love!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Orange Parmesan Sopressata Flatbread

I so enjoy cooking a delicious, toasty and melty Flatbread!  I always keep Indian Naan or Pita Bread on hand.  Also Flatbreads are a quick and low-maintenance lunch for a busy, preoccupied person, like myself. Ha!

So today I made up a new Flatbread recipe.  Lately, I've been inspired by blending sweet and savory/spicy ingredients.  As you read my recipe, you might think I'm a little crazy for a moment.  But I'm okay with that.  It's okay to go a little crazy sometimes when you're cooking...though I just like to think of it as creative!  If you give my idea a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Orange Parmesan Sopressata Flatbread
with Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and Almonds
(it seems like I just told you every ingredient in the title, Ha!  I just wanted to include what makes it beautiful.)
Recipe (for 2 flatbreads):
2 pieces Naan or Pita Bread
Orange Marmalade (enough for spreading, yes I said's the sauce!)
8 slices Sopressata (Italian Salami)-chopped
*Note-If you can't find Sopressata, Salami or any other similar cured meat will work.
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 package Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
Handful Slivered Almonds
Crushed Red Pepper to taste
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Spread the Marmalade in a thin layer on each pita.
3.  Throw the rest of the ingredients on top of the bread, except for the Basil, Almonds and Pepper.
4.  Bake for 10 minutes.
5.  Turn on High Broil and add the Almonds.
6.  Stay won't take long for the cheese to start to brown and bubble.  As soon as that happens, take it out and top with the Basil and Crushed Red Pepper.

You might not think those flavors would blend well together.  I wasn't completely certain as I was waiting for it to finish cooking.  It really is a beautiful blend.  The freshness of the Basil and Orange flavors together, leave an almost floral sent/taste on the palate.  And I mean that in the best possible way.  By "floral"  I just mean light and fresh.  This recipe turned out to be a real delight!  So go a little crazy and try it soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Ingredient Staples

Today I want to share with you some ingredients I like to always have on hand in my kitchen.  These are my favorite items to include in various recipes.  There are many, so I will probably have to do multiple blog posts to cover them all.

First up...

Lemons and Limes

I basically use one or the other every time I cook!  The juice and the zest add so much flavor to savory recipes and sweet recipes.  Also, the bright yellows and greens add a fresh and vibrant color to my kitchen counter.  They work as decor and as ingredients for cooking!  Can't beat that!  I can't list every recipe I enjoy making, that calls for lemon or lime juice and/or zest.  But I will include a few...

Giada's Mascarpone Cheesecake (i add the zest of the lemon too)

Fresh Cilantro, Basil and Mint
These beautiful and tasty herbs add a lot to simple and more complicated recipes.   Recipes that can be thrown together in two seconds, like Caprese Salad, become just a bit more pleasing to the eye and the mouth when you add fresh basil.  Fresh herbs are approachable and can easily be added into your cooking  repertoire.  Here are a few recipes that call for one or all of these spectacular leaves:

 Puff Pastry
 Lately, I've come to realize the beauty of Puff Pastry and have decided to always keep a box in my freezer.  It's great for breakfast, dessert, or picnic recipes.  I've recently been introduced to Australian cooking and a famous chef over there, Donna Hay.  An Aussie thing is Sausage Rolls.  They are divine!!...and a bit of an indulgence.  The first time I made them, I went by a recipe.  However, I just kind of make them out of my head now, roughly based on that recipe.

 Aussie Sausage Rolls
1 package Sausage
1 box Puff Pastry (2 rolls per box)
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard (i always use coarse grain)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 cup plain Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper
Sesame Seeds for topping
1. Thaw out the Puff Pastry.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3.  In a large bowl, mix the Sausage, Mustard, 1/4 cup Cream, Garlic Powder, Pepper and Bread Crumbs.  I just knead it together with my hand.
4.  Spread out the Pastries on a greased cookie sheet.
5.  Lay out half of the Sausage mixture on the bottom edge of the Pastry and form into a log shape and roll it up.
6.  Using a serrated knife, slice into smallish pieces.
7.  In a small bowl, mix the egg and the teaspoon of Cream and brush onto the top of the sausage rolls.
8.  Sprinkle with the Sesame Seeds.
9.  Bake for 35 minutes.

One of my toughest critics is pleased!  Whew!

Salami Pesto Picnic Roll
1 Puff Pastry 
5 slices Hard Salami
4-5 slices Mozzarella Cheese
Handful of shredded Parmesan Cheese
Handful of Fresh Basil
1 Egg
1. Thaw out Puff Pastry.
2.  Preheat oven to whatever degree it says on the box.
3.  Slice the Salami into small pieces so that when you take a bite, it doesn't pull out a big hunk of it (don't you hate it when that happens??)
4.  Line the bottom edge with the Mozzarella, Salami pieces, Basil leaves, and Parmesan.
5.  Roll it up.
6.  Beat the Egg in a Small bowl and Brush onto the top of the Pastry. 
7.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake whatever amount of time is on the Pastry box.
8.  Pack it up as is for your picnic and slice as you serve! Yum!

Chocolate and Vanilla Protein Powder
I very recently did a blog post about my love for Protein smoothies and Protein Coffee drinks.  I like to keep Greenwise Whey Protein Powder on hand for a variety of yummy smoothies.  Here is the link to several of my recipes:

As I'm writing this, I'm already thinking of more ingredient staples to talk about.  So consider this Part 1. be continued....

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fuel for Fitness

For many years, I have been just in love with exercising.  Nothing clears my head quite like a run.  Flexibility training through Yoga and Pilates just makes me excited!  Lately, really challenging workouts, such as Circuit Training or Cross Training have been my jam!  Endorphins are an absolute gift that I am so thankful for! I know I'm using a lot of exclamation marks...but there is no other appropriate punctuation for communicating how I feel about exercising!!!  Haha!

It all started with this very dated, but very effective workout video by my (vanity) hero, Cindy Crawford.
My mom purchased this on video cassette when I was in some elementary grade.  I'm not even sure which grade.  I would do the workout with her.  I'm not sure how well it adheres to current AFAA guidelines, but it's a great workout.  Also, the music is hard to beat.  I downloaded all the songs from the video onto my iPod and still run to them.  A few years ago, I ordered my own copy on DVD.  Ha!  I went through a phase of doing it 3-4 times a week, post-pregnancy.  I credit it for getting my pre-baby body back.

Recently, I've been introduced to the wonderful world of Les Mills.  It is a company based in New Zealand, that offers choreographed workouts to a unique and beautiful selection of songs.  Their "menu" includes: BodyPump, BodyFlow, BodyAttack, CXWORX and Sh'Bam.  For more information, check out their website and find a gym close to you that offers it.  

It didn't take me long to realize that I wanted very much to be a BodyFlow instructor.  BodyFlow is a Yoga Fusion class...a mix of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates.  Aside from having just an excellent song selection for each choreographed track, it is also a wonderful and relaxing workout.  
Training for BodyFlow instructing involves a 2-day course.  It was a bit nerve-wracking because we did have to present two tracks and be assessed on our teaching performance.  However, it was a wonderful experience as well.  Along with seven other people, I was taught the ins and outs of being a Les Mills instructor.  They really have a good thing going.  We are considered a "tribe", which is a New Zealand thing and just pretty cool in my opinion.  My "classmates" and I became good friends in just two days (because we bonded over the challenges of the training) and still keep in touch.  I have two gyms that I'm currently teaching at: subbing at my home gym the Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham and I actually have my own class on the schedule! at Gold's Gym in Vestavia!!  
Dancer's Pose in the Balance Track.

I've realized that when you work out often (every day-ish), you need fuel!  Protein is your best friend!  Since I do have a tendency toward migraines, I have to stay on top of my water and protein intake. Caffeine, in moderate amounts, does not hurt either.  I've come up with some yummy recipes for Protein Smoothies and Protein/Coffee Smoothies.  As always, I want to share them with you.

Green Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie
In the Blender:
1 Banana
1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (I use Greenwise)
Handful of Spinach
1 cup Milk
1 cup Ice
Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Blueberry Vanilla Protein Shake
In the blender:
1 cup Frozen Blueberries
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Strawberry Kefir
1 cup Ice
Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Orange Dreamsicle Coffee Smoothie
In the blender:
About a cup Orange Flavored Coffee (from Fresh Market, It's called Cafe L'Orange)
*Note-don't put it in hot.  Brew some with breakfast and then about mid-morning, once it has grown cold, add to the you time to get your workout in.
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 cup Milk
1 cup Ice
Blend until smooth...and you know the drill!

If you're not a fan of exercise, let me just encourage you for a moment.  It is a process, not a competition.  Just do the workout that is right for you.  Just go for a walk.  It is so so important for our health that we do some kind of physical activity for at least 15, if not 30 minutes per day...15 minutes is the minimum.  
Just do it because Cindy says so, and then make one of my smoothies when you're done. Haha!  Love you people!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Moroccan Night

The summer my husband and I visited Southern Spain, we were so close to Morocco.  We could have easily done a day and overnight trip there.  I wish now that we had taken that opportunity.  Though I've never experienced the place, I have experienced the flavors and I know I like them!

A common way to prepare Moroccan food is in a dish called a Tagine.  This is a clay shallow bowl with a cylindrical lid.  The food steams and cooks inside while minimal moisture escapes through the small hole at the top of the lid.  You can do Chicken, Lamb, Beef or Veggie dishes...Seafood too!  Tagines are very versatile.

I prepared a tagine recipe I found on Pinterest.  Here it is: Moroccan Veggie Tagine

You can see the steam escaping through the hole in the lid as the veggies cook.  I felt so weird about just placing the thing on the eye of my stove like that.  I just knew it would explode and put my eye out or something!  I was nervous while it was cooking.  Haha!  I read that you should soak your tagine in water overnight before using it.  That is a good idea.

Another recipe I did was Moroccan Lemon Meatballs.  However, I didn't go right by the recipe.  Last minute, I decided to make it into meatloaf form instead of meatball form.  I just thought it would be quicker.  Also, I didn't make the sauce that accompanies it, though I'm sure it is divine!

My Moroccan Lemon Meatloaf.  
I have a favorite Giada Turkey Meatloaf recipe that I use a lot.  As I was putting the ingredients together for these meatballs, it reminded me of her recipe.  So I thought, why not just cook it the same way?  I went by her instructions for cook time and such: Giada's Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes.  I recommend that recipe as well!

Dessert was a disaster!  It was a total cooking flop!  I won't even disgrace this post by sharing the recipe.  But I will begrudgingly show you a picture of it...
Did you just throw up in your mouth a little bit?  I did!  It was supposed to be Moroccan Chocolate Cake, but something went horribly wrong!  However, I have made an excellent Moroccan dessert before and here is the recipe for it: Moroccan Orange Cake.

...and a redeeming dessert picture:
Moroccan Orange Cake 

My taste-testers for the night were some great community friends of ours'...That is, if they are still our friends after the sad dessert I served them.  Ha!

Meet Lauren, Collin and their son, Carter.  Isn't that a cute little guy?  
Lauren is a journalist, but is busy at home with the baby right now.  Something interesting about Collin is, he is the Editorial Director of The Gospel Coalition website.  He works closely with Tim Keller, who is a prominent Christian author and is gifted with much Biblical wisdom to share with the world.  Collin has also written a couple books of his own.  Here's the link for one of them:


I hope I've inspired you to do a Moroccan night at home!  There are so many yummy recipes to be found on Pinterest...just search "Moroccan Recipes".  You don't necessarily need a tagine to cook this type of food.  But it does add an interesting spin on your dinner party!  I purchased my tagine at HomeGoods.  Amazon has them too.  It was definitely an adventure cooking with this interesting piece of pottery.  


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Zucchini Feta Flatbread

I wanted a quick but tasty lunch for my family today.  I had some Naan from Aldi that needed to be eaten.  Naan is the Indian version of Pita Bread.  I keep it on hand because it's so good just to throw in the oven with garlic powder and a bit of butter, to serve with curries.   Or you can do gyros or wraps with it. 

You know I always like getting a little creative when I'm cooking.  Today's result was delicious!

Zucchini Feta Flatbreads 
with Honey Drizzle and Crushed Red Pepper

2 pieces of Naan or Pita Bread
1 small Zucchini
Red Onion Slices (however much you want)
1 container of Feta Cheese
about 1 and 1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
Crushed Red Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and slice the Zucchini into very thin slices.
2.  Place the bread on a cookie sheet and top with 1 layer or Zucchini.
3.  Add the Red Onion.
4.  This is a sauceless flatbread...but I have a secret for making you believe there is sauce on it! ;)  In a small bowl, mix the Feta Cheese and about 1/2 cup of Shredded Mozzarella with 2 tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream.  Ooh la la!
5.  Top the flatbreads with the cheese/cream mixture and the rest of the Mozzarella Cheese.
6.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Then High Broil for about 3-5 minutes (watch it and take it out when it starts to brown).

7.  Top with Honey Drizzle and Red Pepper, slice and serve.  Yum!!

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