Entomatadas with Refried Beans
Welcome to my BONUS Secret Recipe Club post for November! When I saw that there were two orphans from last week, I jumped as quickly as possible. I wound up being greatly rewarded as I got Leslie’s La Cocina de Leslie’s blog, which I had once before, one that I had marked around a dozen recipes to try. So rather than narrow it down to one pick, I went with a full meal – including a prep recipe. For the main course we enjoyed her Entomatadas (Tomato Enchiladas) while her pinto refried beans were the perfect companion – especially after using her precooking technique to make sure they were ready to go. I did have to swap out the cheese in her tomato enchiladas as my local grocery store did not have queso fresco – reminding me why I drive to the county every weekend to go to Wegmans! Thankfully Google let me know that I could use plain feta so Google to the rescue!!!!
La Cocina de Leslie’s blog has so many delicious treats that settling with just three recipes still had me wanting more. So with that two of her other recipes, 3 Bean Chili and Austin Black Beans, were converted to freezer meals and are currently in my freezer waiting to be enjoyed once baby arrives! I might have gone a bit overboard but everything looked so amazing – I just couldn’t decide!
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One more sign of fall – Football season is here! I’m not a huge fan of football, more of a hockey girl, but now that we are living in a football town I feel like I have to at least show some team spirit. So with that in mind, below are some awesome dishes perfect for tailgating.
Sweet Potato Chili
Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
Garlic Feta Dip
Hot Artichoke Dip
These are also the same dips that I rotate in and out for gaming days – with the Garlic Feta Dip being everyone’s favorite. It also makes a great burger topping, be it meat or otherwise. Chili is also the perfect group dish since it can easily be doubled and switched to a stock pan if it becomes too much for the slow cooker.
Watermelon Feta Salad
Getting back in to the swing of things and also getting back in to the swing of /r/52weeksofcooking. One of the weeks I missed was a tribute to melons, no other rules or restrictions just all about the melon. I knew from the start I wanted to do something with watermelon, it’s hard to pass by a stand on the Eastern Shore and not be amazed by the size and number of watermelons they have for sale. As an added bonus, I inherited half a watermelon a few weekends ago when Joe and I went out to the shore. After a quick internal debate of gazpacho vs. salad, I decided to go with the salad since there was only half left and I wanted something edible at the end of the adventure. The first time I heard of a watermelon salad, outside of the typical fruit salad, was on Top Chef back when Richard Blais made his first appearance. I then had it for the first time a number of years after, at a friend’s baby shower. Recently I’ve seen it popping up on seasonal menus around the Baltimore area, including a rooftop BBQ hosted by a friend! There are a few different versions with the variation normally in the herb choice. Some use basil, others use mint, and some use both, because why not? I went with basil alone, but as with any recipe there is no one way to make it.
This salad was fantastic! I served it alongside my SRC recipe and it provided the perfect light and sweet contrast to the spicetastic dish. I still had some watermelon left over, even after making another round of salad – and looking forward to sharing that sweet treat sometime next week!!!
Green Bean Salad
After my delicious pizza earlier this week it was time to get healthy again, and with that back to the basics. I’ve never been too big on salads, they are the easy option for vegetarians and vegans which is why most restaurants think they can saw they have vegetarian entrees if they have salads on the menu. However salads can be more than just greens and random wilted vegetables or in this case have no lettuce in them. Beans are always on my must have list and with that something I always have in my pantry. This salad was the perfect excuse to clean out the pantry of some beans since I tend to open multiple bags and forget about them. The only thing I had to add to my grocery list were the green beans which are always in abundance thanks to a local hothouse, gotta love easy dinners!
For the dressing I decided to use some of the leftover garlic feta dip from my Downton Abbey Viewing party, but any Greek Yogurt based dressing would go great with these beans. To add more healthy and delicious stuff to the salad serve over a bed of kale or spinach or wrapped up in cabbage.
Hot Artichoke Dip
Garlic Feta Dip
Welcome to the February installment of Secret Recipe Club! This month I got to meet Melissa who is the chief behind Born to Cook which is a blog that has a little bit of everything and then a whole lot more. Her recipe box is chocked full of all sorts of goodies, so much so that I couldn’t decide on just one this month. The Super Bowl probably had something to do with my dip indecision but nobody who tried either of these delicious dips was complaining! These dips were so easy to make, in no time at all I had two bowls ready to bring to the party. The best part was how well these dips went together, the strong Garlic Feta dip and the more refined Artichoke dip, making sure that everyone had something they would enjoy.
One of the guys at the party liked the garlic feta dip so much he was adding it to everything: chicken sandwich, potato salad, cheesy crackers, and everything else he could. I’m just happy there are some leftovers so that I have something to look forward to when I get home from work tomorrow! Thanks Melissa for giving me two great dips, I have a feeling I’ll be bringing these out again at my Downton Abbey viewing party in a few weeks. I also plan to Veganize the artichoke dip, just haven’t decided if I want to go with soy or coconut yogurt…
Make sure to check all the other Secret Recipe Club entries! New posts every Monday during February 🙂
Note: Way to go Ravens!!!!
Wild Rice with Spinach, Feta, and Tomatoes
I think it’s finally safe to start packing up the winter sweaters and jackets and start bringing out summer dresses and shorts. Mother nature seems to have finally made up her mind regarding the weather and I could not be more pleased! Joe and I got our garden planted yesterday and now I’m looking out the window keeping my fingers crossed that something will grow. I have dreams of juicy tomatoes and yellow squash with some nice peppers to add even more flavor and color to my summer recipes.
I have done wild rice recipes before but I’m trying to incorporate more leafy greens into my diet. With that I’m also trying to not saute them to death or coat them in butter in an attempt to make them into something they’re not. With this recipe I added them straight to the rice, allowing the heat of the dish to wilt them until they were perfect and tender. At the last moment I also added some chickpeas in order to make it a more well rounded dinner, instead of the side for the bbq tofu that never happened.
I served the rice with oregano bread and it was just right although in the future I’ll probably add a nice side salad.
The wedding is a week away and my brain is more than slightly fried at this point, so the testing of new recipes has not been going as planned. I’m hoping that with all the Farmer’s Markets opening in the next few week that I’ll be able to get back on track. I was hoping to do a number of recipes featuring winter/early spring produce such as kale, spinach, chard, and other leafy greens. This recipe on the other hand uses my old faithful: eggplant. Instead of experimenting with the main ingredient, I decided to experiment with different spices. Everything turned out perfectly plus the recipe came together in record time, making it perfect for crazy weekday nights.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to work on a few more recipes before next weekend…
Also a very happy first birthday to my favorite nephew!