Monday, October 21, 2013

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

A friend of mine brought this lovely salad to a picnic and I couldn't stop eating it. She told me she got the recipe from one of Barefoot Contessa's cookbook. I immediately found it on the food network and printed it out. I made it for my family reunion this summer. It is a great summer salad but you could make it any time of year. What makes it wonderful besides all the amazing flavors is that you can serve it immediately and can also sit room temperature for quite some time. 

I altered this recipe slightly because I don't like egg plant and feel the pine nuts were not necessary. If you want to follow the exact recipe click link above. 


1 red bell pepper (1 inch diced)
1 yellow pepper (1 inch diced)
1 red onion (1 inch diced)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo pasta
4 scallions minced white and green parts
3/4 pound feta (1 inch diced not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne

For the Dressing

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss red, yellow pepper, red onion, garlic, olive oil on a large sheet pan with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes or until browned turning once with spatula.

While roasting cook pasta in boiling water for 7 to 9 minutes until tender. Drain and add to large serving bowl. Add roasted vegetables, scraping all the drippings from pan to bowl. 

For the dressing combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let cool room temperature. Add feta, scallions and basil leaves. Check the seasoning and serve room temperature. 

Enjoy and let me know what you think. I feel this is a great recipe to bring as to potluck  

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I've been making cosmos since Sex in the City introduced it to me. I've had really bad ones and really good ones. The trick to this is fresh lime juice and not too much cranberry juice. It should be a pale pink color and if you order one that is red then you will probably not like it. I find it taste too chalky and might as well be a vodka cranberry. You don't have to rim the glass with sugar but I like to make mine a little more tart so I enjoy the extra sugar with each sip. Try this and let me know what you think.


1 1/2 ounce vodka
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)


Before making the cocktail put martini glass in the freezer. In a shaker add first 4 ingredients plus a few ice cubes. Remove glass and rim it with lime juice and sugar. Shake your cocktail rigorously to get a nice froth. Pour into glass and serve. Makes one at a time. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lin's Restaurant Style Salsa

Every year I go home for the summer I look forward to my brother-in-law's fresh salsa. This year I was surprised to see my sister Lindsy made one just as good but with canned tomatoes. I didn't think it would be as good but I was pleasantly surprised. What I liked most about it was the canned tomatoes made it taste more like restaurant style salsa that I grew up on. I also liked that I could use canned tomatoes and then I don't have to worry about the tomatoes being in season or too mealy.

It is ridiculously easy to make and quite affordable. Since I've been back from vacation I've made it 3 times and can't seem to keep in my fridge for longer than a week. Try it and let me know what you think. 

1 (16oz) can of Hunts diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno seeded
1 lime
1 handful cilantro
1/2 red onion
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste


In a food processor add can of diced tomatoes. Then add jalapeno cut into about 4 pieces, squeeze lime, add cilantro, add 1/2 onion depending on how big it is cut up into four big pieces, add garlic, and salt. Pulse until you get the consistency you like. Taste and add more of what you like. 

My sister does not add garlic to hers but I just add one clove because I love the taste. You can choose to leave it out. I seed my jalapeno because it can get super spicy. Sometimes however I only add half of a jalapeno and leave seeds in. Red onion and garlic also add spice to this so you have to be careful that it can get too spicy. Add more lime juice to help bring the kick down a bit. 

Try it and let me know what you think.