Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spinach Pie for #SundaySupper

Our challenge for this week's Sunday Supper, chosen by Marion of  Life Tastes Good and Coleen of The Redhead Baker is food that travels.

Sunday Supper Movement

They requested food that travels well.  Food that can be taken on picnics, to potlucks or that you might deliver to a friend who is under the weather or just brought home a new baby.

I decided to share a recipe for Spinach Pie.  What is better than nutritious and delicious spinach and feta filling wrapped in crispy, flaky dough?  Not much in my book.  This is a great dish that can be served warm or at room temperature making it the perfect portable treat to take to your next destination.

Spinach Pie
adapted from It's All Greek to Me by Debbie Matenapoulos

1/2 of a 1 lb box of Phyllo dough, thawed (18 sheets)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 (10 oz) pkg fresh spinach leaves, tough stems removed, leaves thoroughly washed
1/4 of a large sweet onion, diced
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1 (4 oz) tube of Dill paste
2 eggs, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 T. olive oil in large skillet over med high heat.  Add the onion and saute until translucent and softened.  Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and saute just until wilted. Remove from heat.  Line a colander with cheese cloth.  Turn the spinach mixture into the colander and allow to cool. 

Once cool enough to handle, enclose the spinach in the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and add the feta, dill and eggs.  With clean hands combine all ingredients together.  Set aside.

Remove one sheet of phyllo dough (keep remaining sheets covered) and place in the bottom of an 8" square baking pan allowing the extra to hang over the sides. Brush the bottom and sides with olive oil but don't oil the parts outside of the pan.  Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first with the overlap hanging over the opposite sides of the pan and brush with olive oil as you did the first. Repeat this step until you have 10 sheets of phyllo, 5 in each direction.  Turn the spinach mixture into the baking pan and fold the excess phyllo over onto the spinach mixture.  Place the remaining phyllo over the top of the spinach mixture, brushing each with oil until they are all used. Trim the phyllo sheets to fit the top of the baking pan and pour any remaining olive oil over the top.

With a sharp knife precut the spinach pie into desired serving pieces, going through the top layers of the phyllo and into the filling but not through the bottom layers.  This will make it easier to cut and serve after baking.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 50-60 minutes or until cooked through and crispy, golden brown. Print Recipe 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest boardWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!!

Image result for america the beautiful

I may have mentioned this before but my nephew, Jacob, was born on the 4th of July!!  He's my Yankee Doodle Dandy and always will be, even though he is a grown man of whom we are very proud.  His Dad's birthday is July 5th. 

My brother, Larry and his wife, Mary and their grandson, Jack arrived on July 2nd so we started our celebrating early with a family dinner last night.  Not all the family....that party is on the 18th....but my other 2 brothers and their spouses and my sister and her husband and son's whose birthday's were mentioned above.  My brother, Dan is no longer with us.  His birthday is the 24th of this month along with my Pop's birthday.  They celebrate together now in heaven but they were both with us in spirit last night.  Also in attendance were my daughter Amy and her guy, Doug.  Our daughter, Tingting and granddaughter, Melody. And our friends John and Kirsten because they are more family than friends.

Our Sibling photo from left to right.
My brothers, Dick, Gary. Larry, my sister, Dawn and me.
And there, hovering in the background, between Dick and Gary is my brother, Dan.
I know he was there, I could feel him.

I baked hams on the grill, made some cheezy potatoes, baked beans and broccoli salad.   I had gotten more rhubarb from Kirsten and made a rhubarb chutney to serve with the ham.  It turned out wonderfully and I am sharing the recipe with you.  

Today we are going over to our friends, the Bendas, for their son's engagement party and Greg's deployment party.  What better day to celebrate his going to Afghanistan to protect our country than on Independence Day.  May God bless him, keep him and return him safely home to us in 6 months time.

I have never made rhubarb chutney before or chutney of any kind for that matter so I did what I always do.....I flipped through cookbooks, I looked on pinterest, I did a google search and I looked over every rhubarb chutney recipe I saw.  Then I made my own rhubarb chutney.   It's a keeper.

Whatever you do today, please do it safely and have fun!!!

Saute up your aromatics.
Add the wine. sugar, spices and dried fruit.
Add the fresh fruit and let simmer until softened.

Rhubarb Chutney

1 T. Olive Oil
1 small, sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. ginger paste
Kosher salt to taste
1 c. dry white wine
1 c. dried cherries
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
4 c. rhubarb, cut into 1/4" moons

Saute onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant and translucent.  Season to taste with salt.  Add wine, sugar, dried cherries and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add 1/2 the rhubarb, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes until the rhubarb begins to lose shape.  Add remaining rhubarb, simmer for a couple of minutes until rhubarb softens but retains it's shape.  Remove from heat. Let cool completely.  Print Recipe

Friday, July 3, 2015

Another Rhubarb recipe or is it Another Strawberry recipe?

I still had rhubarb in my refrigerator from the CSA and Kirsten and John were asking me if I wanted more.  I hate to turn down rhubarb because the season only comes once a year so I gladly took more from them for a rhubarb chutney that I want to serve tonight with the grill baked ham that I am making for dinner.

Now that I didn't need the rhubarb I was hoarding in my fridge for the chutney, I was free to use it along with my last quart of Michigan strawberries to make a Strawberry Rhubarb pie.

It was delicious.  I made this on Tuesday with the idea of serving it for dessert for Mary and Jack's first dinner last night but then I ended up serving half on Tuesday along with the Baklava and we and Larry finished all but one piece on Wednesday.  Shhhh.....Don't tell Mary and Jack that we ate all their pie.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

2 pie crusts 
4 c. sliced rhubarb
1 qt. strawberries, hulled and halved if large
2 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 egg, beaten

Place 1 pie crust in the bottom of a deep dish pie pan.  In a large bowl. combine fruit, sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch.  Pour into pie shell and top with second pie crust, crimping edges and cutting slits to allow steam to vent.  Brush top crust with beaten egg wash.

Place on a baking pan and bake in a preheated 425* oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350* and bake for another 50 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and crust is golden brown.  Let cool before slicing.  Print Recipe

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Second Local Flavors Swap

I have joined my Second Local Flavors Swap.  You might remember last year when I was joined up with Jennifer who lived in Seattle.  We had a wonderful time getting to know each other and she sent me some great local gifts.  You can read all about it in this post.

So I was very excited when the Chaotic Goddesses decided to host another Local Flavor Swap again this year and couldn't wait to sign up.

You still have time to join us by going to the link above.  Hurry because the sign ups close on Monday, July 6th.

It is a really wonderful way to get to know another blogger and another locale.  I learned many great things about Seattle including the fact that this is where Starbucks and Microsoft bot started.

I enjoyed sharing a little bit of our Local Flavor with Jennifer and I look forwarded to making a new friend to share my little piece of Pure Michigan with this year.

Grilled Italian Sausages with Peppers and Onions for #WeekdaySupper

Sunday Supper Movement Summer is now in full swing and we, here in the good ol' US of A are getting ready to celebrate our Independence Day.

I love summertime.  I love spending time with family and friends, having cookouts, sipping cocktails, playing horseshoes or volley ball, lounging in the pool.  I especially love July because July is when my brother and his wife, who live in California come to stay with us.

My brother who is 17 yrs older than I has ridden his motorcycle from California to Michigan numerous times and he did so again this year.  He left his home on June 25th and arrived yesterday.  His wife and their grandson, 5 yr old Jack, arrived in the wee hours this morning having come by train.  Jack LOVED that.  It is going to be a great month and we will be doing a lot of  entertaining and day trips.  That is where Weekday Suppers is going to come in so handy.  Each day a member of our group is going to share a quick, delicious meal using common ingredients that can be put together and served in 30 minutes flat.  How helpful is that when you are planning your Weekly Menu??

The recipe I am sharing with you today is a delicious, juicy Italian Sausage grilled to perfection, placed in a bun and topped with grilled sweet peppers and onions.  Throw a handful of chips on the plate, pop a beer for the adults and a pop or juice for the kids and dinner is served.  Paper plates on the deck or patio and clean up is a snap leaving you the rest of the evening to enjoy your summer....Now where is that Super Soaker????  I owe Jack a payback LOL......

Grilled Italian Sausages with Peppers and Onions

6 Italian Sausages
6 Hot Dog or Sausage Buns
2 Sweet Bell Peppers ( I used 1 Red and 1 Yellow) cored and cut into strips
1 Sweet Onion, peeled and cut into strips
1 T. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Light the grill to med high heat.  Place the peppers and onions in a bowl. Add the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Pour into a vegetable grill pan and place on one side of the grill.  Place the Italian Sausages on the other side of the grill and cook, turning the sausages and tossing the vegetables as needed until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes.  Print Recipe

Stop by each day for more amazing 30 minute or less recipes!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream for #FoodieExtravaganza

This month our Foodie Extravaganza party is hosted by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Cam chose Creative Flavors of Ice Cream as our theme this month.  I think this is a perfect challenge to bring on the month of July.

Yes, in addition to Independence Day, during the month of July we also celebrate Baked Beans, Hot Dogs, Pickles, Picnics and, of course, Ice Cream.  Yep, these are all national food holidays for the get your picnics on people and have some hot dogs, baked beans, pickles and ice cream for dessert.  The entire meal is covered!

A few weeks ago, I told you about the Golden Girl Granola Blogger Challenge that I had entered and posted the recipe I created using their product.  I also told you that I had not read the directions completely before ordering which granola I wanted and ordered up the Chocolate Decadence Granola thinking that I would make ice cream, then I read the directions and found out I had to make an entree!

So when Cam chose Ice Cream for this month, I was all set!!  I just made the dish I had planned to make for the Blogger Challenge and it's too bad that I couldn't have entered this into the contest because I think it would have been a winner, in my humble opinion, of course LOL.

I made a simple vanilla ice cream and added the granola during the last few minutes of churning using my ice cream maker. The Chocolate Decadence Granola is chock full of almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks and wonder the ice cream was so wonderful!!

Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream

1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 c. sugar
pinch of salt
3 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 t. vanilla paste
1 c. Golden Girl Chocolate Decadence Granola or your favorite Chocolate Granola
Chocolate syrup and extra granola for topping if desired

Using a mixer on low speed, combine all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Pour into an ice cream maker following manufacturers directions.  During last 5 minutes of churn time add the granola to be mixed in.  Freeze for at least 2 hours.  Serve topped with chocolate syrup and a sprinkling of additional granola.  Print Recipe

So during this first full month of summer, it's all about ice cream. But that can include gelato, semi-freddo, and even popsicles. Go wild!

We hope you all enjoy our delicious frozen creations this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

I Scream, You Scream.....The next time They Scream for Ice Cream you will be ready for them.
Here's the Scoop!

Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Chocolate Malted Whopper Ice Cream by My Daylights
Crushed Pineapple Ice Cream by Food Lust People Love
Custard Cream & Strawberry Swirl No Churn Ice Cream by Baking in Pyjamas
Éma’a (Syrian Ice Cream) by Tara's Multicultural Table
Fruity Fruit Popsicles by The Freshman Cook
Lemon Basil Ice Cream by Our Good Life
Lemongrass Ginger Coconut Ice Cream by The Joyful Foodie
Maple Bacon Ice Cream by Cooking With Carlee
No-Churn Chopped Macaron Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Rhubarb and Honey
No Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
No Churn Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream by
Oat and Dulce de Leche Swirl Ice Cream by Passion Kneaded
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream by Cherishing a Sweet Life
Rhubarb Ice Cream by From Gate to Plate
Root Beer Barrel Ice Cream by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Tahini and Lemon Curd Ice Cream by Sew You Think You Can Cook
The Bees' Knees Semifreddo by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Taking a moment to breathe...

We have been busy little soldiers around here.  Sunday after Mass we went out to lunch with John and Kirsten, then we walked around the Art Fair.  The sun came out, the sky was was a perfect day AND....I picked up 3 Christmas gifts.  When we got home we worked around the house and yard.  Frank replaced the washtub, fixed the pool filter and got the pool up and running, started working on putting in the dog fence and began making a tv stand for Tingting out of an old dresser she picked up at a garage sale for $25.

He had to close the opening that was in the middle of the dresser.
Then he put decorative edging along the front to hide the seams.

Frank began painting it yesterday after he was done with work but ran out of paint.  It will be completed tonight.  While Frank was busy with his projects, I cleaned out the storage area, scrubbed the carpet and furniture, prepared the guest room for Larry and Mary, prepared Melody's room for Jack and Spence and gave the stinky dogs a bath.

This morning I got up early and began running errands.  I stopped and saw Mom who was sleeping again.  It seems like she is sleeping every time I stop by lately.  We visited for a little while and then an activity was starting so I left her with her "gang" and started my errands.  I hit the bank, the dollar store for the food pantry, Lowe's for more paint for the dresser, the grocery store and the feed store. When I got home I cleaned out the refrigerator and put together a Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie before the fruit was no longer usable.  That was the end of my strawberries and rhubarb, at least until the next CSA visit.  I boiled up some beets to use in our Greek Salad tonight when John, Kirsten and her family join us for dinner tonight.

While I was busy with all of this the puppies wanted in.  I let them in and Shadow went and sat down for his treat.  Sherman ran straight into my bedroom.  Curious I went to see what he was doing.  He was chewing up a baby robin that he had brought in from outside.  Aaaargh...poor little thing....the bird not Shermy!

During these crazy days of summer when we are entertaining and running continuously I try to stick with tried and true meals that are not only easy peasy but delicious.  So for tonight I am serving a Greek Feast that includes dishes I have shared before, Greek Meatballs, Pilafi, and Baklava.  We are starting with a Greek Salad and I noticed that I haven't shared this recipe with you before so I will finish this post with that.  Enjoy!

Greek Salad

6 c. of your favorite lettuce ( I used an assortment from my CSA)
1 English cucumber, cut into slices
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion. thinly sliced
1/2  jar Greek Olives
2 beets, cooked, peeled and cut into eighths
 pepperoncini to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. good olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. oregano paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. feta cheese, crumbles

Line a platter with the cleaned and dried lettuce.  Top with the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives, beets, and pepperoncini.  Place lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper in a small jar and shake well to combine.  Pour over the salad.  Sprinkle with the crumbled Feta and serve. Print Recipe