I’m gonna shish your kebab


I remember when I was a kid, my mom would always turn phrases into a threat.  If I would say “hey mom, I want some Subway,” she would say “I’m going to Sub your Way.”  Does anyone else have a mom that does that?  Or is mine just completely weird (just kidding, love you ma).  Monday night I gave in and snipped back my herbs, (which was very hard for me to do) and used them in my first recipe!  My mom told me that I need to begin to snip them back to make sure that they have strong roots.  A herb that has really tall growth at first will be top heavy and have less sturdy roots.  Therefore, I did as I was advised and plucked them back!  I used some oregano and parsley in this recipe, and put some cilantro in the fridge.  You can see in this picture that my basil is really starting to sprout up!  I think I’m getting really lucky with those.

Herb Update

Shish Kebabs with Spanakopita orzo

(courtesy of Rachael Ray’s Look+Cook)

Ingredients

1/2 pound orzo
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or dried)
5 tablespoons EVOO
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds New York strip (or another thick steak), cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup stock
3 cups spinach
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

1.  Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat.  Soak wooden skewers in a bowl of water for 20 minutes (or use metal skewers).

2.  Bring large pot of water to boil over high heat and add in the orzo.

3.  Combine oregano, 3 tablespoons EVOO, onion powder, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper.  Toss the beef cubes in the mixture to coat.

4.  Thread the beef cubes on skewers and grill them 2 to 3 minutes per side.

5.  While the beef is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the remaining EVOO.  Once heated, add in the onions, garlic, and parsley.  Cook 5 minutes.

6.  Add stock and 2 cups spinach to a food processor and process until smooth.

7.  Add the spinach puree to the onion mixture and warm for about 30 seconds.

8.  Add the onion/puree mixture into the orzo and serve shish kebabs on top of the orzo.

This was one of those meals where you definitely wanted a bite of both the meat and starch.  The mixture of the tastes were so amazing!  I hope everyone else enjoys it!

Gurlin’ Potatoes


Who said grillin’ was only for the men?  Hold up, we will get there in a second.

I’ve got a new hobby to look forward to during the summer time!  I used to be a winter-girl, and pray for colder seasons.  Although, living in the south…you don’t get much of those.  So, I’ve begun to embrace the summer and look forward to all it has to offer.  Shedding my cute boots, bright colored peacoats, and leggings and enjoying short shorts, sandals, and tank tops!  Thankfully we live right near a lake, so we don’t have to endure the summer heat without any fun accompaniments.  Now, that new hobby…I’ve decided to start (trying) to grow…

HERBS!  I’m super excited about this and hopefully I can keep them alive and growing!  I’ve bought parsley, cilantro, oregano, and I bought some seeds for basil.  I know it seems silly to buy one herb just as seeds when the rest are already established, but I just want to prove to myself that I can (or prove to myself that I can’t…we’ll see).  I’m going to get some soil today so I can plant them in their cheap pot (hey, what can a college girl do?  It was either this cheap $5 pot or a super cute $20 pot).  I’ll be posting updates on how my herbs are coming along, and maybe if I learn a thing or two, I’ll share some tips!

Now,  back to this nasty matter of men are the only ones who grill!  What’s up with all of these TV shows with only grillin’ men?  Okay, maybe not all these TV shows, but I can think of Grillin’ with Bobby Flay!  The other day when I tried my hand for the first time in grilling, my boyfriend immediately said “when we get married, you can leave the grilling to me.”  He automatically assumed that he would have the grilling duties because it was the manly thing to say.  Well I have other news.  I like to grill, so I think I will have the grilling duties, thank you very much.  (Just kidding baby, you can grill for me whenever you want to!)  Now that I’ve discovered this grilling thing I’ve begun to try just about anything on the grill.

We are a little low on groceries, and I was trying to come up with something to eat besides my go-to meals that get very boring from time-to-time.  So, I came up with a new side dish that I am very proud of.  While I was cutting up the ingredients and putting them in their grill basket, my stepmother said “I don’t think that is going to taste very good” but after they were complete, I made her try one and she said they were delicious.  I am very happy to say I told you so with this one.  This will definitely become a staple in our go-to recipes.

Ingredients

Russet potatoes, chunks
Onion, chunks
Sage*
Oregano*
Parsley*
Nature’s Seasoning
Garlic Salt
Butter
EVOO

Cut your potatoes and onions into chunks and place them in an aluminum foil lined grilling basket.  Then, season the potatoes to your likening with the rest of the ingredients.  I did about five tablespoons of EVOO and 3 tablespoons of  butter.  Cook them over direct medium-heat on grill.  My grill was at about 300 degrees the majority of the time.  Mine took about 30-45 minutes to cook, but as long as the texture is to your likening, that is all that matters!

* You can use either dried or fresh.  I used dried, but next time I think I’m going to take a little from my new fresh herbs!

I just paired these with some more grilled chicken and french-style green beans.  It was delicious!

Summer Lovin’


Image

Okay, maybe it isn’t summer YET but it sure feels like it down here in the South.  Actually, I don’t think we ever left summer but for maybe two weeks.

Before my boyfriend and I enjoyed a long motorcycle ride, I felt a little spunky and decided to grill up some chicken and vegetables!  I paired it with my favorite rice pilaf recipe and BAM we had a great summer meal.

For the chicken:

I food processed some jalapeno, onion, vegetable oil, soil sauce, vinegar, natures seasoning, oregano, and garlic.  I let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge and then popped them on the grill!

For the vegetables:

I used a grill basket and wrapped some vegetables in tin foil in the basket with some EVOO, natures seasoning, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper.  You can use pretty much any vegetable you have on hand in this.  I happened to have some fresh garlic, orange pepper, and onion.  I really wanted to add some tomatoes and green beans but we didn’t have any fresh!  I should’ve put this on the grill before the chicken, because I didn’t let them cook down long enough but it was still delicious!

Rice Pilaf:

I can’t express to you how much I LOVE this simple recipe.  My boyfriend and I lick the pan we cook this in because it is so good (okay, maybe not).  I’m a big fan of Rice-a-roni and I find this to be even more delicious than that.  I take 1/4 cup of orzo and let it crisp up a little with EVOO over low heat.  I then add a cup of rice (not the easy cook rice, the real rice), and then add a can of chicken broth (or water with chicken granules/bouillon cubes), and then I season it with garlic salt!  I let it cook down for about 30 minutes covered and it is so good!