"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

30.5.13

Skillet Taco Pie #Foodie Friday

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I am back from the Adirondack Mountains. It was a bit raw and wet up there, but I managed to read a really entertaining book called: 


The Golem and the Jinni 
 

very entertaining with just a little bit to think about... Got a weekend ahead of softball, and hopefully if the weather is good some pool time.

It is really feeling like summer here in New York and when summer comes I want to eat Mexican food. How about you? This Skillet Taco Pie has become a favorite in my family I hope your's will enjoy it too. 


Skillet Taco Pie
Skillet Taco Pie: Whole Pie in the Skillet

I am involved with two excellent giveaways that you should check out now because they will be ending soon. 



man cave giveaway

iPad mini giveaway




Skillet Taco Pie

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com


preparation: 20 minutes                             serves: 6 - 8

Ingredients:

Cornbread Topping:

2 cups corn meal
1/2 teaspoon of salt
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 egg
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup of whole milk 


Taco Filling:

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large onion chopped small
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 pounds of ground beef
1 teaspoon of salt and some pepper
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of chunky salsa (Whatever spiciness level you like.) 
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Hot Mexican Chili Powder (I used McCormack's)
1 cup of shredded Mexican Mix Cheese or Sharp Cheddar


Directions: 

1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center.

2) Whisk the dry ingredients for the cornbread topping together in large bowl: cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. 

3) In a small bowl whisk the egg, milk and vegetable oil together. Slowly add the wet to the dry mixture and whisk. You want the mixture to be pretty wet and easy to spread, so add a tablespoon more at a time of milk if it is too thick. Set aside.

4) In a large cast iron skillet heat olive oil on medium high heat. Saute the onions and garlic until they begin to wilt. 

5) Add the beef to the skillet and cover it with the Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper and Mexican Chili Powder. Cook until it is no longer pink. 

6) Mix salsa into the beef mixture and warm through. Take the skillet off of the heat.

7) Spread meat out evenly in the pan with a spatula and top with cheese.

8) Pour cornbread mixture on top of the cheese layer and spread it out with a spatula.

9) Put the skillet into the oven and bake until the cornbread topping is cooked through,  about 15 minutes. If it does not get golden brown turn the broiler on and brown it for 3 - 5 minutes. 

10) Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Garnish it with sour cream and guacamole. Great with a side salad or some dark greens.

Mexican recipetaco piecornbreadsalsachili powderground beef recipe 




Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple she has different features and a wealth of information about family and home care. 




Foodie Friday Features:


From: Feeding Big

Cucumber Radish Salad
Cucumber Radish Salad with Burrata

Radishes are in season now and I have a hard time thinking what to do with them. This salad is great because the cucumbers and cilantro balance the astringent quality of radishes... and burrata or mozzarella, make it a meal.



From: Easy Natural Food

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Salad
Vietnamese Beef Noodle Salad

Bored making burgers with that ground beef? Check out the summery flavors of this dish: ginger, lime, cilantro.


From: Farm Flavor

Triple Citrus Rosemary Almond Shortbread Bars
Triple Citrus Rosemary Almond Shortbread Bars

This dessert has so many interesting contrasting flavors I can't wait to see my guests trying to figure out the ingredients.



                        This post is shared on the following wonderful food/craft parties.
                                                           Be sure  to check them out:


Tuesday Food:






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Friday Food:


  Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:

This is a food party please link up only 3 food related posts. Thank you. 

Click on at least 3 other recipes.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PARTY HOSTS:  BY EMAIL OR RSS... 

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SPREAD THE WORD: PIN, FB, TWEET ETC... this party. It is good for you and me.



1) Copy the Foodie Friday Button's html from this website's sidebar.

2) Paste this html to the html page of the recipe you want to link to Foodie Friday. You can also make a word link or post our button on your sidebar.   Please link back.
3) Copy the link to the recipes you want to add to Foodie Friday, not your homepage. 
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By posting in this party you are giving this blog permission to reprint (with a link to your post) in recipe roundups and featured posts any recipes/articles you share with us.



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Avocado Appetizer: Anne leBlanc's Pistachio Avocado

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avocado pistachio oil

After a weekend in the Adirondack Mountains and a Memorial Day parade and barbecue I was relieved  that French Friday's recipe was so simple... or so I thought? If it wasn't for the pistachio oil this recipe would have been a cinch. Oh Dorie, you always have to push us a little beyond our limits. I spent a morning traveling around to speciality shops looking for an oil that no one has ever heard of: walnut, orange, lemon, peanut, even avocado oil,... but pistachio oil: jamais entendu parler de lui. 

So I sent an all points bulletin out to the Dorista's and within a short while Theresa came to my rescue with a recipe to make my own pistachio oil. It was simple and the result... OK, pistachio oil. 

This appetizer was very Mediterranean to me, the dishes I ate that were flavored with pistachio simply had chopped pistachio sprinkled on top of them. I can remember a delicious dessert cheese in Turkey that was topped with honey and pistachio, and a not so great Lebanese raw ground lamb dish that was doused with olive oil and pistachios. 

With the memory of these dishes in mind I sprinkled some ground pistachio on top of my avocado appetizer, a eureka moment,... next time I make this dish I will just put good quality olive oil on it and pistachios. The pistachio oil is just not necessary to get the flavor, and I like the contrast of the crunchy pistachios to the velvety avocado.

The verdict from the family: my husband loved it and so did I and my son said, "It was interesting... not like stuff I usually have, different." I consider that comment a thumbs up. My daughter has nut allergies so she made guacomole with her avocado which she enjoyed very much.


avocado pistachio


Avocado Pistachio Appetizer

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan Anne leBlanc Pistachio Avocado recipe
Preparation time: 7 minutes                    Serves: 4
Ingredients:
2 ripe Hass avocados sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin or speciality olive oil
2 tablespoons of ground roasted salted pistachios
1 teaspoon of fleur de sel or other course salt

Directions:
1) With a mini food processor or coffee bean grinder grind the pistachio into fine pieces.

2) Slice the avocado plate them on 4 dishes and brush the pieces with lemon juice.

3) Drizzle some oil on the the slices and top them with a small amount of pistachios and salt.
 avocadopistachios,olive oil fleur de selmediterranean recipe,appetizer 


Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


Click here to see how the other Dorista's did.






SOME GIVEAWAYS YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:


man cave giveaway

iPad mini giveaway



This post will be shared on the following food/craft parties:
Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with Grace
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Traditional Tuesdays @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug Blessings
Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Wednesday Food:
Wholesome Foods Wednesday @ This Chick Can Cook
Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl
Thursday Food:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Friday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Related articles
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29.5.13

Natural Allergy Remedies #Simple Living in Practice

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dogwood tree


"I feel like I'm coming alive again... it's Spring what a lovely time of year." When I would hear these words spoken by my friends in my mind I would think, "Crazy, Spring is the time of year when I can barely stay awake. I have to blow my nose constantly, and the sight of a blooming flowers brings tears to my eyes (not out love, but allergies). 

Since I have been seeing an naturopath, Dr James Mullane in Danbury, Ct for my food allergies my seasonal allergies have improved too. I highly recommend seeking this type of health provider for a holistic solution to any of your health problems, but in the mean time here are some natural remedies that I find helpful for dealing with seasonal allergies.

Sleep with your windows shut. Pollen peaks in the early morning hours and if you don't want to breath it in as you rise it is best to close your windows. It may mean that you need to run an air conditioner. If you do, make sure it is well cleaned, or you will just be blowing more allergens into your bedroom.


Don't exercise outside early in the morning. As previously stated pollen is highest earlier in the day, so doing an exercise video in your house, or a trip to the gym is your best option for exercising in the AM during your allergy season.


Rinse your sinuses with a neti pot. It is a strange sensation to get use to... but flushing your sinuses with a neti pot clears them of allergens and reduces nasal swelling. You really feel relief. It is good to use for sinus infections too. Just make sure you use distilled or boiled and cooled water to prevent a life threatening infection from tap water (very rare, but why take a chance).

Rinse your nose during the day with a saline mist. This has a similar effect as the neti pot, but not as dramatic, and it can be done anywhere, were as the neti pot requires some time and privacy to use.

Eat raw local honey. The evidence is still antidotal but many of my friends and my family claim that raw local honey taken daily really reduces their allergies. It makes sense that it might work as a kind of natural vaccination against the local pollen that the bees interact with. 

I would love to hear your natural remedies for allergies please share them with us by leaving a comment.





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27.5.13

iPad Mini Giveaway! Happy Memorial Day!

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iPadMini  
Welcome to the iPad Mini Giveaway!
The iPad Mini is the newest addition to Apple’s iPad family with all of the features of the iPad but at a smaller and more convenient size. With a 7.9-inch display, fast and fluid performance, FaceTime and iSight cameras, thousands of available apps, and a 10-hour battery life, the iPad Mini has quickly become one of the most popular tablets on the market.

Greek Vegetarian: Celebrating Mediterranean Diet Month #Healthy Eating #Weekly Menu Plan

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Greek Salad



Hello everyone! My name is Lisa, from the food blog Greek Vegetarian and I'm delighted today to be writing a guest post for Diane's wonderful Simple Living and Eating blog – especially given it's Mediterranean Diet Month!

Although the Mediterranean diet has been around for thousands of years, it has only recently gained recognition as one of the healthiest in the world. But the Spaniards, Italians and of course the Greeks knew that a long time ago. Lentils, for example, have been a part of Greek cooking for millennia. High in protein and loaded with minerals, the ancient Greeks knew they were on to something when they introduced lentils as a staple in their diets over 8,000 years ago.

Many people don't know that the Greek diet is largely plant-based with a very low meat component. When you think of Greek food you might imagine a big plate of shaved lamb off the spit. It's true, this dish represents an element of Greek cuisine, but meat isn't really considered an essential component of the Greek diet and spit roast lamb is usually only served up on special occasions. In fact, for a significant part of the year, many Greeks observe fasting periods such as those leading up to Easter and Christmas which means abstaining from meat, fish and sometimes even eggs and dairy products. 

The Greeks have become quite the masters of vegetarian eating, making the most of beautiful fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes. And not just because of their fasting periods. In earlier times most families couldn't afford meat, but their own fields provided them with such an abundance of plant-based foods to feed their families that meat was not missed.

Today's Greek diet is still rich in fresh produce and unprocessed ingredients, and having a low red-meat content it is no coincidence that the Mediterranean diet can protect against heart disease and stroke. Studies also show that eating as the Greeks do can lessen your chances of developing cancer, diabetes and obesity, and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.

As a vegetarian, I focus on the vegetable, grain and legume aspects of Greek cuisine and let me tell you, there is no shortage of deliciously healthy dishes that can be created from the plethora of fresh ingredients that make up the vegetarian Greek diet.

Olives, eggplants, tomatoes, honey, feta cheese, mint, pistachio nuts, oregano, almonds and cinnamon are just a few of the many flavor sensations that are found in traditional Greek recipes, and with ingredients like these, it's no wonder Greek cuisine lends itself so well to a healthy, vegetarian diet.

I swear my Aunt Koula has a Greek recipe bible stored in her head and her cooking skills and techniques are well practiced. Needless to say she is my main source of inspiration and education when it comes to Greek cooking. Last year she and I shared some time in the kitchen on the Greek island of Limnnos where my dad's family is from. We have an old family house where we stay when we are on holiday on the island (I know, we are very lucky!) and family members come from the mainland of Greece and from Australia to spend the summer months together in Limnos. 

Lunch with the family outside on the terrace is the best part of the day and usually involves lots of laughter, waving of hands, good conversation and clinking of drinks. On the table would be a basket of warm crusty bread from the bakery around the corner, a huge Greek salad made from vegetables freshly picked from the garden that morning, and a tray of rice and herb stuffed tomatoes that Koula had only just taken out of the oven.

The recipes for this simple but gorgeously colourful and healthful lunch are what I want to share with you today.



greek salad



Greek Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Feta and Mint (Horiatiki Salata)


Serves 4
Ingredients


  • 200g mixed lettuce leaves
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 continental cucumber, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small red capsicum, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 large flat green beans, blanched and sliced
  • 1 small handful of fresh mint, roughly torn
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Instructions


  1. Arrange lettuce leaves in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
  2. Place remaining vegetables, followed by the mint and feta cheese over the lettuce leaves.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice and vinegar until combined and pour over salad.


Vegetarian Stuffed Tomatoes



Vegetarian Stuffed Tomatoes (Yemista)


Serves 4
Ingredients


  • 8 tomatoes
  • 100g long grain rice
  • 8 spring onions, white part and some green finely chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced lengthwise
  • 200ml water

Instructions


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the tops of the tomatoes and reserve for later. Carefully scoop out the tomato flesh using a spoon, taking care not to pierce the skin. Reserve half of the pulp and discard the rest.
  3. Place the tomato shells in a baking dish and set aside.
  4. Fry spring onions and zucchini in 50ml of oil over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring, until lightly golden. Add tomato pulp, parsley, mint, rice and 100ml of water and stir well. Allow to simmer uncovered for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Fill the tomato shells almost to the top with the rice mixture, leaving room for the rice to expand, and replace tops on tomatoes.
  6. Arrange the potato pieces between the tomatoes to help keep them in place and carefully pour the remaining 100ml of water, followed by the remaining 50ml of oil around the vegetables.
  7. Cook for around one hour.
Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with Grace
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Traditional Tuesdays @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug Blessings
Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen

Wednesday Food:
Wholesome Foods Wednesday @ This Chick Can Cook
Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl

Thursday Food:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch


Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes
Friday Favorite Finds @ Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Friday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 



Weekly Menu Plan:


Sunday: Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Green Salad


Meatless Monday: Classic Burgers, Potato Salad, Tomato Salad


Tuesday: Black Bean Enchiladas, with guacamole


Wednesday: Spaghetti with Clam Sauce & Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Oil


Thursday: Slow Cooker Asian Pork with Brown Basmati Rice


Friday: Red lentils and Green Beans with Garam Marsala seasoning and Indian Rice







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