Archive | May, 2011

Tandoori Chicken and Grilled Veggies

26 May

My husband had two collaborators on a project over to the house the other day.  They were planning to meet at lunchtime and hubby mentioned carry out or getting something delivered.  I have issues with getting carryout for a couple reasons, it’s usually expensive and unhealthy.

Continue reading


Road Trip

24 May

On Saturday I took a drive down to Kentucky to visit my Mom and Grandmother.  My Mom is providing 24/7 care to my Grandmother and it was my goal this trip to provide a little respite for my Mom.

Continue reading

Veggie Pizza and New Jersey Drama

16 May

After the party this weekend I find my house full of leftovers, mostly zucchini, summer squash and a whole tub of cherry tomatoes.  I was talking to my friend Liz over Gchat and immediately became overcome with a desire to make pizza with all these veggies.  I had Real Housewives of New Jersey on while I was cleaning the kitchen and working in the office so I think their loud, fabulous, super-Italianess might have influenced my craving.

Continue reading

Happy 30th Birthday Andrew!

16 May

This weekend was the 30th birthday of someone very dear to me, my best friend Andrew.

Drew and I have been the best of friends since our freshman year at DePaul University.  He has been a constant source of support and encouragement for me over this last crazy decade and he is someone I can always count on for a smile and a song which he usually has for just about everything.

Yup, this guy:

So, I was more than happy to host a party at our place to celebrate the milestone of turning 30.  Drew requested a middle eastern menu and I got to work Saturday morning after getting my house together after work Friday night.

Let’s do this!

The Menu (for about 20 people)

Baba ganoush
Pita wedges
Beef, Chicken, Veggie kabobs
Bulgur wheat salad
Mixed green salad
Spinach and feta pastries
Iced Mint Tea
Grapes and feta cheese cubes

I jazzed up my table with a vibrant tablecloth, candles from World Market, and a floral arrangement.  It was my intent for this to be an outdoor party after a lot of work in the garden but the weather had other plans.

I picked up the hummus, baba, and pita from the Pita Inn Market because let’s be honest, making homemade pita for 20+ people is insane.  The orangey/red stuff is Muhammara, a Syrian spread, that is a lot like olive tapenade but made with roasted red peppers.  It was really tasty and I will probably make it again for gatherings.  Recipe from Bon Appetitt via Epicurious.

Beef  and chicken kabobs with yogurt marinade were the main course.  It was just my luck that the propane ran out on our grill right before guests arrived so I grilled them on my cast iron grill and finished them in the broiler.

Yogurt Marinade:

1 cup plain yogurt
1 chopped medium onion
2-3 garlic cloves
Red wine vinegar
Lemon juice
Red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients with meat and let marinade for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).

Spinach and feta puff pastries.  I sautéed some organic baby spinach and a couple of cloves of garlic, added some crumbled feta and placed a spoonful of the mixture into a square of puff pastry.  General rule: pretty much anything tastes good wrapped in puff pastry.

Jasmine Rice

Flowers for the birthday boy and hostess.  Thanks George! 🙂

There was a lot of chatting, mingling, and munching as people joined the party.

I was worried that we might run low on wine but I walked into the kitchen and saw the variety of wines our guests brought.

And finally Mike came home from the theatre…

…and the showtune books came out.

Ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery.

Happy Birthday Drew!  Welcome to the club, I no longer feel so old 😉

Speaking of birthdays, I’m looking forward to my 29th birthday in August 😉

Homemade (Kinda Organic) Granola

9 May

My husband has become a fan of these organic granola bars called Fruition by Pro Bar.  While I am happy that he is snacking on organic granola bars full of dried fruit and sweetened with brown rice syrup, they are $2.25 a piece- yikes!

I took this as a challenge to make from scratch something just as tasty and healthy but cheaper!

I picked up this bag of organic oats from a health food store, 2 bucks.

Continue reading

Roman Style Pizza on the Grill

7 May

This has been quite a week and both the husband and I have been very busy.  I was so excited when Friday rolled around which means the weekend is finally here (at least for me- hubby has work all day today.  Sad face)

Now, I have never been to Rome but I have both read and seen the movie inspired by Eat Pray Love and the author’s detailed description of the crispy cheesy goodness of Roman pizza gives me an idea of what makes this pizza so unique and delicious 🙂

All serious pizza endeavors start with fresh dough…

Continue reading

Roast Chicken and Broccoli

3 May

We have finally eaten our way out of the food extravaganza that was Easter!  I think the ham held out for over a week.  Ham sandwiches, ham salad, ham frittata, oh my!  To pull us out of total pork overload I made a roast chicken.  This looks like it takes a while but it is really easy and you can do a lot with the leftovers.

I picked up this chicken at Village Market for less than $5.  I made a rub of EVOO, black pepper, salt, herbs de Provence, and McCormick’s chicken seasoning.  Place in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  I chopped some fresh broccoli, covered with a little EVOO, salt and pepper and placed it all around the chicken.  Then, placed the whole thing back in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Served with some brown rice.

With the leftover chicken you can make your own chicken stock or chicken salad for lunches.  I highly recommend this one!  Lately, I have been working on lowering our monthly bills as much as possible.  I am going back to school to start working on my doctorate and no longer working full time so we will have a limited income.  One way to save money is to cut back on the grocery bill so prepare to see some healthy budget recipes on AGIHK over the next months!

%d bloggers like this: