Chicken Souvlaki

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Yup!  I knew this blogging business was not going to be quick for me to absorb.   Figuring out what all the tools do.  For instance.  What on earth is a widget? Guess what, it’s not an Ewok.   I know, I was disappointed too!  Did I mention computers have tried to destroy me before?  Oh well,  I am slowly drudging forward with this silly technology.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think technology is great.  I’m very a very tactile person though.  Pushing keyboard buttons just have never helped me much with learning.  I usually need to be in the mix really using my hands to get a hold of well, most anything.

Pretty basic ingredients for this recipe. Well, except for the tahini sauce.

Though I’m expecting delays with the computer nonsense to start making sense,  The kitchen experiments have been going quite well.  I have  a few new recipes that have been hits. They just need to get posted.  Well…since they are just plain yummy!

First five ingredients mixed and set aside to make the yougurt sauce. Then toss the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, black pepper,and chicken cutlets in bowl. Mix it all together and get ready to skewer the chicken.

We made this Chicken Souvlaki  the other week.  Pictures, well not greatly done.  Food was though.  I’m not tooting my own horn.  This was just a very easy recipe.  All the flavors pair well for a classic Greek taste.

Once the pan is nice and hot then put the chicken skewers on to cook. Turn skewers about every two minutes until all sides are nicely browned.

Souvlaki in Greek pretty much means stuff on a skewer, or in little parts.  What the hamburger is to America, souvlaki is for the Greeks.  As much as I love the widely more well known gyros, this was much easier to make at home than any gyro recipe I’ve tried.  There is no reason this dish shouldn’t be any less popular then gyros.

Those are some jam packed pitas! Yummy and good for you.

The only thing you might want to adjust on this is the garlic in the sauce.  I love garlic!  Others, maybe not so much as me.  For instance, full garlic would be a tad spicy for the wee ones.You may want start off with 3 cloves instead of the 5 depending on how much kick you want added to the sauce.

Chicken Souvlaki

Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

6 Tbls. plain fat-free Greek yogurt

2 Tbls. shredded cucumber

1 1/2 Tbls. tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)

5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice(divided into 1 Tbls. & 2 tsp.)

3 – 5 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. dried oregano (or 2 tsp. fresh)

1/2 tsp.  sea salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1- inch pieces (chicken tenders or cutlets also work well)

Olive oil or cooking spray

4 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half

1 Cup shredded lettuce

1/2 Cup thinly sliced red onion

16 (1/4-inch-thick) sliced cucumbers

16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices roma or plum tomatoes

Directions

  1. Combine yogurt, shredded cucumber, tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, olive oil, and next 4 ingredients (through chicken) in a small bowl.  Heat a grill or fry pan over medium-high heat. Thread chicken pieces evenly onto 4 (8-inch) skewers. Coat pan with oil or cooking spray.  Add chicken to pan; cook 10 minutes or until done, turning every 2 minutes.  Remove chicken from skewers.
  3. Divide chicken evenly among pita halves.  Fill each pita half with 2 tablespoons lettuce, 1 tablespoon, onion, 2 cucumber slices, 2 tomato slices, and 1 Tablespoon of sauce.  Yield: 4 servings(serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves.

CALORIES 390; FAT 8 g(sat 1.3g, mono 4g, poly 2.1g); PROTEIN 37.3; CARB 41.9g; FIBER2.9g; CHOL 66mg: IRON 4.3 mg; SODIUM 398mg; CALC 103mg

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Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burrito

Cooking on a daily basis has made it quite a challenge to come up with new dishes that are not only tasty but hopefully a majority of the time healthy too.  Now there are times I’ve gotten into a rut and just make the same  dishes that I know and have memorized.  It happens though.  The kitchen can get tiring and cooking just one more thing to do.  Blah to that!   To make cooking fun and interesting I need to try new recipes or improve on the ones I have.

When I get in the zone in the kitchen, well that’s where the fun is for me.  Getting to be creative and explore with food is a great outlet.  Many days I’m doing nothing but chasing 3 kids and the nonstop busyness that comes with them.  So me time is in the kitchen.  When I think about it, it seems  weird to pick something that’s considered a domestic chore as a release! Oh well I’ve never been normal anyway.   So I figure get some enjoyment out of something you have to do daily anyway.  Which is feed the family.  Ha ha ha….wouldn’t it be nice if I get that positive attitude to stick to cleaning!  Man I’d be a rock star or maybe just OCD.

Being organized, is not my strength.  A huge part of doing this blog is for me to get all my recipes(old & new) organized and put online.   So to get our favorites up here will be great.   The 300 plus other recipes I have to try….well that’s going to take me a whee bit longer.   I have to admidt that I have some sort of recipe addiction.  Thus my huge pile of recipes that needs some testing!

First 7 ingredients simmering and all ready to go in the sauce pan. Next the beans and salsa mixture is a quick mix.

This burrito recipe was a hit last night.   A whee on the spicy side.  Didn’t consider the heat already in the salsa.  Oh well, kids have to learn to eat some spicy food anyway. ;)  Or if you prefer to make a milder version.  Just omit the red pepper and use a mild salsa.

Chicken mixture, beans & salsa mixture, and cheese. Ready for wrapping. Flipped one burrito so you can see the nice browning on the tortilla.

I had to modify the original recipe.  I used cheddar instead of monterey jack.  Also leeks instead of green onions.  I don’t make an extra trip to the store if I don’t have to.  So by all means use what you have if you like.  I  will admit that monterey jack is the better cheese for this. :)

Pressing the burritos in the pan until browned and hot!
Last but not least. A beautiful burrito. Yummm!

Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burrito

Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

1/4 Cup low sodium ckicken broth or water

2 Tbls. fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. red pepper

2 Cups shredded chicken breast

1/4 Cup thinly sliced green onions

3/4 Cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 Cup refrigerated salsa(fresh if possible)

4 (10 inch) flour tortillas

1/2 Cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cooking spray or olive oil to coat pan

Directions

  1. Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in shredded chicken and green onions.
  2. In another bowl combine beans and salsa.  Spoon 1/4 Cup bean mixture and 1/2 Cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese.  Roll up.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat with cooking spray or olive oil.  Add 2 burritos.  Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of burritos.  and cook for 3 minutes on each side.  Remove from pan and repeat procedure with the remaining 2 burritos.  Yields 4 Burritos.  Note there will be extra mix after the four are made. You could get up to 6 out of this recipe.  Garnish with some cilantro,  avacados, or light sour cream.

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Glazed Strawberry Scones

 Glazed Strawberry SconesImage

Well time to just jump into this new venture.  I’m pretty excited to blog about food.  I mean come on who doesn’t like good food?  Hopefully most the recipes will stand up in your kitchen as they have in mine.

There is still a good part of my brain that believes that my husband has churched up my cooking skills.  Thus making me want to share recipes on this blog.  He is thankfully a person who will eat most everything I put in front of him. Aside from polenta and mushrooms.  I will keep trying though.  It would be nice to find some version of these two that he might enjoy. I am thankful for him though.  He encourages me in the kitchen even though he knows food gets a whee bit interesting with me. Of course can you really complain when someone feeds you everyday!  I think not. ;)  So if some recipes get posted that he loves and they aren’t quite up to par, well then we will blame him.

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I definitely analyze too much.  Sometimes I love a recipe. The next time my foodie brain won’t stop picking apart the texture, look, and flavor combinations.  So hopefully I can just silence some of the critiquing going on in my head and just enjoy the food.  So time to enjoy and not think so hard!

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So as for the scones.  I love scones!  Eat alone, with tea or coffee.   Either way these will disappear quickly!  They sound a little fancier than a muffin. Yet, they are just as easy to make. Scones give you the same yummy factor without a muffin pan.  Very easy to mix up and shape the dough together and kids like shaping the dough.  We’ll go with strawberries this time since, well summer and berries just go together. For price and for freshness, definitely go with what’s in season.

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Gazed Strawberry Scones

Ingredients

For Strawberry Scones:

2 1/4 Cups flour

1 Tbls. baking powder

3 1/2 Tbls. sugar

3/4 tsp. sea salt

5 Tbls. cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

14 strawberries, hulled and quartered

3/4 Cup half and half cream

Glaze:

1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar

2 Tbls. half and half cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Use hot pizza stone or baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mix resembles crumbs.                                           Add strawberries and lightly coat with flour mix.  Next add half and half and fold it together gently until mix starts to come together and starts to form a ball (you can add more cream if you need).  Do not over mix the dough.
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and pat into a one inch thick rectangle.  Cut the rectangle into 6 squares, then cut the squares at a diagonal to make 12 triangles.  Place scones on prepared baking surface(pizza stone or baking sheet) and bake 16-20 minutes, or until scones are baked through.
  4. Place parchment paper on the counter, then put a cooling rack over the parchment.  Remove scones from pan and place on cooling rack.  Let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. While cooling, mix up the glaze.  Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and half and half until it’s smooth. If it’s too thick then gradually add more half and half by the tablespoon. If too thin then gradually add in powdered sugar a couple tablespoons at a time until desired thickness.
  6. Take a spoon and coat scones with the glaze.  Go ahead and coat the whole top of the scone if you like(yum!) or drizzle a pattern to pretty them up if you like.  Great warm or at room temperature.

Just like muffins, these are best the day of.

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Food is our common ground, a universal experience. -James Beard

Well hello to blogging!  I can’t say that I ever thought I’d be blogging well, about anything.  I am not a writer, never understood journalising, and computers have not always been on my side.  

I am however curious.  Curious to the point that I have to many projects and interests to usually persue one and stay on track.  Being that I’m usually easily distracted and too many pots on the fire, my attention wanes quickly with many interests.  The interests that have not faded so far for me are cooking, baking and food.  

I say all three since I do enjoy both cooking and baking.  Some I know really only enjoy one or the other.  If I’m in the kitchen, then I’m pretty much a happy camper.  Food offers endless possibilities.  I’m fascinated with where we get our food, how we bring it to our tables, and different cultures and the history that comes with their classic dishes.

I hope to explore really anything related to food.   Of course recipes and creating dishes to delight in!  Also I’ll be looking into local suppliers of produce, artisian foods, wine, & brews.   So hopefully we can meet some of these good people together and share some delicious dishes along the way.

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