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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Penne al Greco

With the weather getting cooler, I keep getting cravings for pasta so in keeping with my latest exploration of "exotic" flavors, I bring you a tasty Greek-inspired pasta dish.

Penne al Greco

1 lb. box penne pasta
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. Kalamata olives, minced
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped

Prepare noodles according to box directions.  While those are boiling, prep the sauce.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent.  Mix in tomatoes and Kalamata olives, drop temperature to medium-low.

When the noodles are done, rinse with hot water and allow to drain.

Meanwhile, add feta cheese, fresh chopped dill and fresh chopped oregano to the sauce and mix well. 

Serve sauce over the prepared noodles, or blend them all together and enjoy! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Turkish Tacos

Found a new ground turkey recipe I love and changed it up a bit to make an awesome taco filling...because crunchy food is fun and tacos rock.  You're welcome. :)

Turkish Tacos

1 small onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1-1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped olives
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raisins
2-3 tbsp. capers
salt and pepper, to taste

corn taco shells
shredded lettuce
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

In a large skillet, sauté the onion, pepper, and garlic until onions are translucent.

Add in the ground turkey and cook until cooked through. Mix in the tomato paste, cumin, ground red pepper, and cinnamon.  Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.

Add in the diced tomatoes, almonds, raisins and capers.  Continue to cook uncovered for 5-6 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust spices as desired.

Stuff into taco shells with shredded lettuce and cheese.  Just try to stop at one, I dare you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saucy Jezebel

Thanks to my friend Laura, I have a new church cookbook. If you don't have one in your kitchen collection, you should rectify that. They are a great source of tried and true recipes, family hand-me-downs and family favorites.

I turned my book over to the parents for their review and selections, so tonight I am brining you the first of Dad's many choices. This is a great quick fix for a party or snack before dinner for guests.


1 (12 oz.) jar apple jelly
1 (12 oz.) jar pineapple preserves
7 tbsp. horseradish
1-1/2 tbsp. dried mustard

Blend everything together and serve up on crackers with a nice spreadable white cheese.

I used Brie on Water crackers, but you can use cream cheese on Ritz, or a Neufchâtel on whatever cracker you want.

FYI, the longer you let the spread sit, the better the flavors will blend together.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Check It Out: The Vortex (ATL)

Hello!  No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, was just peeking over the edge for a bit.

These past couple of weeks have been Crazy!  The weekend before Labor Day, I was helping my favorite food samplers celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  (Yay, Mom & Dad!)  Because they did not want me to be any crazier than usual, I did not do all the catering, just their cake and my famous super secret recipe meatballs...that will probably show up in a post soon because seriously they are too good not to share. So ha-ha tease with that.

Then Labor Day weekend I was off on my annual trek to Hotlanta for Dragon*Con. (wooHoo!)  It was a weekend filled with fun stuff to see and do, made some awesome new friends and checked out a new eatery or two, which brings us to tonight's post.

The Vortex has two locations in/near downtown, but we went to Little 5 Points because to enter the restaurant there, you have to walk through a giant open-mouthed skull (and who wouldn't want to do that).

Not only is the vibe cool but there's lots to look at, the place is usually hoppin' and the food is to die for...almost literally.  Gonna apologize to all the vegetarians and non-red meaters who read this blog, but this is definitely a write-up for my meat-n-potatoes crowd.  The Vortex is famous for their crazy combo burgers and they have LOTS!

You like bacon?  You can get it on practically everything.  You a fan of the tots?  Then don't not order the ginormous bowl of tater tots, complete with cheesy dipping sauce.

If these photos don't convince you, then check out their menu, its a good read and good fun.

After a long weekend of mind-melting entertainment and activities, The Vortex was the perfect cap to a perfect trip. So when you're in Atlanta next, my meat-eating friends, make sure to check it out.