Pita Chips

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It was Mediterranean night for the group this week, (and because I am a food snob) I knew I would need to make pita chips to go with my fave tzatziki sauce. After a quick search, I stumbled upon this simple recipe. Caution: These are highly addictive! the kids and I eat them plain – they are perfectly crunchy, salty and a little savory 🙂 I think they’ll be a great addition to their school lunches instead of pretzels or chips. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Pita Chips – adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Topping –

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

1) Mix and knead the dough ingredients together to make a soft, smooth dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until just about doubled in bulk.

3) Preheat the oven to 450°F, with a pizza stone on the bottom rack. If you don’t have a pizza stone, see tips, below.

4) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces.

5) Shape each into a ball, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

6) Working with two pieces of dough at a time, roll each into a 6″ circle. Transfer them to the hot stone.

7) Bake for 4 minutes, until puffy. Turn them over, and bake for an additional minute. Remove from the oven, and place on a rack to cool.

8) Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

9) Once the pitas are cool, carefully separate the two sides of each to make 16 thin rounds.

10) Brush rounds with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

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11) Cut each round into 8 wedges. Divide the wedges between two parchment-lined baking sheets.

12) Bake the chips in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp; turn the chips over after 10 minutes of baking.

13) Remove chips from the oven, cool completely on the pan, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature.

Best Grilled Chicken Sandwich EVER

I could eat these weekly! I love grilled chicken sandwiches and there are two things necessary to make these truly amazing. You must marinade your chicken and you must put all this goodness in between bakery fresh ciabatta rolls! I need to find a recipe for these, but I have no hesitation about purchasing these from our local club store. As long as I can pronounce all the ingredients, I will happily pay whatever price!
I love these ingredients for my chicken marinade. It’s so easy and extremely flavorful and it hasn’t failed me yet! Fresh ingredients are best with anything, especially when you’re using those ingredients are the main flavor component. I marinade my chicken for at least four hours, longer if I’m using thighs and I try to watch the amount of acid I use in marinating. If there is too much acid, you can run the risk of “cooking” your meat and changing the texture of the final product….yuck! I don’t measure my marinade ingredients because I have made this so many times, but I will give some estimations of amounts for you. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Chicken Marinade –
  • 1 1/2 lbs – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split in half
  • the zest and juice of one lemon
  • fresh garlic (2 cloves, roughly chopped)
  • fresh thyme (8-10 sprigs, pull the leaves off if you’d like)
  • white wine (a splash – maybe 2 TBSP)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Sandwich toppings –

  • cooked bacon
  • avocado
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • sliced Swiss cheese
  • split and toasted ciabatta rolls, *once these are off the grill, rub with cloves of garlic*

Place prepared chicken pieces into a zip top bag. Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour over top the chicken pieces. Mush the bag to distribute marinade and place in a glass baking dish. Be sure to mush the bag ever hour or so.

Preheat an outdoor grill. Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Assemble sandwiches as desired ( you’re going to lose some while eating – there are lots of slippery toppings in these )

Rosemary Olive Oil Potato Bread

Quick Post: This experiment was inspired my husband who told me he likes potato bread. I haven’t bought it in years, but I decided to search for potato bread recipes. I always like to try new breads and this one seemed easy enough. I like the addition of rosemary, and thought this would be a great bread to go with steak or chicken. These kind of loaves are great because they have that “wow” factor. It looks and sounds fancy, but it isn’t at all difficult to make. The texture is soft, with a dense crumb and a chewy crust – perfect for sopping up juices on your plate or bowl of soup. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Rosemary Olive Oil Potato Bread – adapted from What Megan’s Making
  • 1 cup cold, roasted mashed up potatoes, skins removed (*Can also use mashed potato flakes to make 1 cup of mashed potatoes)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 envelope (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Directions:

In a small bowl mix together the mashed potatoes and olive oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes, or until bubbly. Add the flour, whole wheat flour, salt, rosemary, and potato/oil mixture and mix together. Add more water or flour as needed to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Clean out the mixing bowl and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place dough in the bowl and cover with a dishtowel. Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Turn risen dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Flatten the dough with your hands and fold up like business letter. (You could also separate the dough into two smaller loaves at this point.)Turn it seam side down, form into a plump oval shape, and place on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with flour, cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 400. Using a sharp knife make 3-4 diagonal slits in the bread to make a criss-cross pattern. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap on it. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Quick Post: This pesto has rich flavor and was perfect mixed in to goat cheese for stuffed chicken breasts. I plan on using this again in some pasta and probably tossed with some kind of mild white fish. I bet it would taste amazing spread onto a grilled chicken sandwich – I’ll have to try that too 🙂 I had just enough sun dried tomatoes left for this and the food processor makes this a breeze to whip up. Also, the recipe makes about two cups and keeps well in the fridge for up to six weeks according to the author. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto – adapted from Imafoodblog

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
An hour before you make this, soak your sun dried tomatoes in hot water for at least an hour. Drain and slice, set aside.

Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.

In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.

Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.

Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.

Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Fettuccini Alfredo with Grilled Chicken

Quick Post: Super simple dinners that can be whipped up quickly are a mom’s best friend! I thought this one up while looking through the weeks sale items on the Publix website. I was happy to find boneless, skinless chicken on sale and snapped up a few packages. Hopefully I can come up with good ideas for the four or so pounds of chicken that I have in the fridge! Thanks for reading:)

Grilled Chicken and Fettuccini Alfredo – a Mom Makes original

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • juice of one whole lemon
  • salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast – pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 pound fettuccini noodles
  • 1 jar of alfredo sauce (I had a few jars I needed to use, or I would have made this one)

Directions –

1. Mix the oil, lemon juice and seasonings together then pour over the chicken. Let marinade for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat your grill and cook the chicken about 10-15 minutes or until done.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a generous amount of kosher salt and add the noodles – cook to package directions, drain and set aside.

4. Take the chicken off the grill, add the alfredo sauce to your cooked and drained noodles. Slice the chicken, serve up the fettuccini alfredo and top with the grilled chicken. Serve with a nice green salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!


Grilled Portobello Mushroom “Burger”

M requested hamburgers, homemade buns and baked beans (with bacon, of course) for dinner…not health food by any stretch of the imagination! The other day, I saw portobello mushroom caps for sale at Publix which started the wheels turning in my brain…”what could I do with those?” I typed “portobello” in the TasteSpotting search for inspiration – it never fails me! There were several recipes for burgers using marinated caps, some topped with caramelized onions, others with pesto, brie or roasted red bell pepper. I combined a few different ideas to come up with what sounded good to me. Mine will have the roasted (on the grill) red bell pepper, pesto and some traditional burger toppings. I know the hubbs is going to look at me like I have a third eye or something, but I’m not making him eat it!;o)

Anyway, this meal was so tasty and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on the beef. Portobello mushrooms are pretty hardy and it absorbed the marinade perfectly. I would definitely make this again, although I would be the only one eating them next time too. M hates mushrooms and bell peppers, so I don’t think I could pay him enough to try them. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Marinated Portobello Mushroom “Burger” – a Mom Makes Origional

  • 2 Portobello Mushroom caps, gills removed and brushed clean
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings –

  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 TBSP Arugula pesto
  • small handful of salad greens
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 split Parmesan cheese bun

Directions –

Place the mushroom caps in a zip top bag, mix all the remaining ingredients and pour over the caps. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Grill the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes a side add cheese half way through cooking time if desired.

Toast your bun, spread pesto on both sides, add a slice of beefsteak tomato, some salad greens, half a roasted bell pepper then top with your mushroom cap. Enjoy!

Arugula Pesto Ingredients – adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced

Directions –

Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Cheese Burger Buns – adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 6 ounces lukewarm water
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 3/4 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 7/8 ounce sugar
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese or the finely grated cheese of your choice
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional but good
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant
  • butter for brushing on top
  • *Use 3/4 teaspoon salt if you use cheese powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt if you use grated fresh cheese

Directions –
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, somewhat tacky dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container large enough to allow it to at least double in bulk, cover, and let it rise for about 60 to 70 minutes, till it’s just about doubled.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 8 pieces.

Round each piece into a smooth ball, and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten the balls to about 3″ diameter

Cover the buns and let them rise till they’ve expanded nicely, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush each bun with melted butter.

Bake the buns till they’re a light, golden brown, about 18 minutes.

Remove buns from oven, and brush with melted butter again. Place them on a rack to cool.

Yield – 8 big buns

Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad

Last night I decided I needed to find some simple and tasty recipes that were full of vegetables. Fruits for me lately haven’t been an issue, but there are so many ways to eat a green salad, right? So I came across this little gem of a salad with no lettuce! The dressing sounded easy enough, so I went with it. You could easily double the amounts of veggies and make this salad for two people with the amount of dressing it makes. This is a light, fresh and refreshing salad and it’s full of the great “stuff” your body needs to work efficiently. Today I went to the gym – spin class of all things, which I had missed for the past three weeks…I thought for sure I was going to kill myself on that bike – I don’t know how to slow down or take it easy. It’s all or nothing! Anyway, I felt so much different than I usually do: I wasn’t exhausted, drained or out of breath like I normally am. Changing my diet has really made an impact on my energy level and I just feel lighter. It’s amazing and extremely motivating to keep it up. I will post another salad recipe without lettuce soon – it’s so good, especially if you love black beans! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad – adapted from Jessica’s Food

  • 1 cucumber ( I always use English cucumbers )
  • 1 tomato ( I seeded a Roma tomato )
  • thinly sliced red onion to taste
  • 2 TBSP crumbled feta cheese

Dressing ingredients –

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of half of a lemon

Directions –

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing* over the chopped vegetables and feta cheese, refrigerate for several hours. I dressed the vegetables in a Tupperware so that I could occasionally give it a shake and redistribute the dressing.

* I recommend pouring just half of the dressing on at first and tossing with the vegetables. Then if it needs more you can add more. Depending on the size of your vegetables you may need all or less of the dressing.