Easy Whipped Feta

Lately I’ve been trying to “jazz up” our week night dinners.  I’ll either try a new interesting recipe… bake some beer bread… or in this case whip up some, well, whipped feta!

I was inspired to make this simple side from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Jessica from How Sweet It Is (…to be loved by you!  Go ahead, sing the song… you know you were already doing it in your head) who had me drooling at her post about it a few weeks ago.

The recipe is so simple, there is hardly any room for adjustments… except instead of using real whipped cream cheese, I decided to try out my new obsession:  Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese.  It is a combination of Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt, creating a new product higher in protein and lower in fat than typical cream cheese.  LOVE.  We tried it for the first time this weekend spread over some toast and it is just so good.  I’m a convert.

Highly recommended people!

Highly recommended people!

Well, see for yourself and try this one out… Greek Cream Cheese or not… it’s going to WOW you!

Whipped Feta

Recipe slightly adapted from:  How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

8 oz Feta, crumbled

3-4 oz Whipped Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese (or reg. whipped!)

Optional: Olive Oil, Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, Italian or Greek Seasoning, etc.

Directions:

1.  Toss the crumbled feta into a food processor and blend until the pieces are very small.  Add cream cheese.  Blend for another 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.  

2.  Serve with a sliced baguette & the optional garnish I suggested, roasted tomatoes, garlic, or really anything!

The whipped feta is awesome.  I served this alongside an Italian meal I cooked for friends (Chicken Parm, WW Pasta, Green Beans) with some sliced baguette and topped with a tiny drizzle of EVOO, parsley, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning.

Soooo yummy.
Soooo yummy.
Close-Up!

Close-Up!

The whipped feta and roasted grape tomatoes were an A+ combination.

The whipped feta and roasted grape tomatoes were an A+ combination.

The only hiccup in this recipe for ME personally, is that my “food processor” is just an attachment to my juicer, which is on it’s way out I’m sorry to say :(.  Halfway through my blending, the motor stopped running so I had to be happy with the consistency I was left with after about 2 minutes (stopping and scraping maybe 5-6 times.).  It was still fabulous, but I’d love to make this again and do it even more whipped.

Some other “Cheesy” Recipes to spice up your weeknight menu:

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Blue Cheese Spinach Orzo

Blue Cheese Spinach Orzo

Southwest Chicken Melts w/ Roasted Poblanos & Avocado

Southwest Chicken Melts w/ Roasted Poblanos & Avocado

 

 

White Beans & Salami

So this recipe originally started off as me throwing some stuff together to make some kind of Chicken, Pasta, & Red Sauce (“gravy”) concoction.  I had no idea where I was going with this, so I kept on opening the fridge to see what I had to work with.

First I started with the obvious:  some onions and garlic.  Then I saw the carrots and celery.  Why not?  Oh yeah!  I have some Salami… I’ll add that too… Oh and some beans… that’ll go well too.

Before I knew it I ended up with a pretty yummy side dish!  I luckily had decided to taste the bean/veggie/salami mixture before dumping the red sauce in… and it was so good!  I immediately called Dave into the kitchen just to be sure.  I got the head nod and thumbs up approval from Dave and there you have it- a new side to eat along with our Chicken and Green Beans!  (I even got to save a jar of pasta sauce!)

I wasn’t going to share this, just out of shame at how truly random the ingredients are.  But hey, if we liked it, you’ll probably like it… right?

White Beans & Salami

Serves 2 (as a side, double for main dish!)

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil (or EVOO)

1/2 Onion, diced

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1 Large Carrot, peeled and cut into circles

2 Celery Stalks, diced

Sea Salt, Black Pepper, to taste

Crushed Red Pepper, to taste

1 2″ Piece of Salami (I used TJ’s Chianti Artisan Salami), cut into thin slices and cut in half again or diced.

1/2 can White Beans, drained and rinsed (I used Cannellini)

1/4 cup Chicken Broth

Parmesan Cheese, optional

Directions:

1.  Slice, dice, and cut all your veggies.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and season.  Saute, stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes or until the veggies are soft and starting to lightly brown.  

2.  Add in the salami and continue to saute, stirring occasionally.  Add the white beans a few minutes later.  Cook for another few minutes.  

3.  Add in 1/4 cup of chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of the good stuff that is stuck on there.  When the mixture is dry again and the broth has cooked in, you’re all done!

4.  Top with some Parmesan Cheese if you’d like… yum…

TJ's Salami Wrapper... you can get a similar one pretty much anywhere.  Check the fancy cheese section?

TJ’s Salami Wrapper… you can get a similar one pretty much anywhere. Check the fancy cheese section?

Everything in one pan ready to be sauteed up.

Everything in one pan ready to be sauteed up.

Close-Up of this delicious side

Close-Up of this delicious side

And there you have it, dinner!

And there you have it, dinner!

 

Feel free to try this as a side like we did, or you could even just add some more veggies and top with a grilled chicken breast for a complete meal!  Dave and I ate ours with a side of green beans (my fav) and some BBQ chicken.

 

 

Cranberry Sauce (Donny Style)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It’s probably no surprise that this is one of my favorite holidays.

I wanted to share one of the recipes Donny gave me during our Friendsgiving Celebration last week… it is the easiest recipe ever!  Seriously, anyone can do it.  This Cranberry Sauce tastes absolutely amazing and will beat the giggly stuff with the can marks ANYDAY!

Are you ready for the ingredients??

………………

You’ll need TWO cans… only one pictured

Yup… that’s IT.  You’ll need 2 cans of Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, 1 bag of Frozen Raspberries, and 1 packet of Red Jello (we chose Raspberry).  

Directions:

Open the can of Cranberry Sauce and plop (I was going to say pour, but it’s definitely a plop) the entire thing into a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in the frozen raspberries.  Stir often but not constantly until the raspberries are thawed.  Finally, add the jello packet and stir until dissolved.  Put into a tupperware container and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  That’s ALL!

This cranberry sauce was a hit at our Friendsgiving.  It seriously is so good.  I’m going to make it again later on in the year… who needs Thanksgiving to eat cranberry sauce?  Not this girl!

I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving & Black Friday Shopping!  I will be back next with a recipe for Donny’s unbelievable Stuffing that I’ll be cooking up for my family’s dinner… get excited.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Wegmans just opened up in King of Prussia.  We have a new Wegmans!!!!!!!! YAYYYYY!

I have been a little bit addicted to shopping at Wegmans since we first visited the new location last month.  I cannot stop raving about their fabulous produce.

Giant boxes of blueberries, $4.99… same with Raspberries.  Locally farmed Zucchini and Squash.  So many types of melon you haven’t even heard of.  Pick your own green beans.  YUM!

When I spotted Green Tomatoes, I was inspired.  I had to try fried green tomatoes… you know… now that I don’t hate tomatoes and all.

Fried Baked Green Tomatoes

A Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Serves:  4 (2 slices each)
Ingredients:
1 Green Tomato, thinly sliced into 8 even pieces
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or eggs, scrambled)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Powder
Directions:
1.  Combine a pinch of Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder into the flour.  Place the flour, egg beaters, and bread crumbs into 3 separate bowls/plates.  Preheat the oven to 400.
2.  Dredge the tomato slices one at a time, first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs.  You may have to press the Panko crumbs down onto the slices to make them stick.  Sprinkle with Cayenne Pepper if you’d like, and Paprika.
3.  Place the breaded slices of tomato onto a rack on a baking sheet.  The rack will keep the tomatoes from becoming soggy when you bake them.  Bake the tomatoes, checking and flipping them every ten minutes until they are crispy and starting to lightly brown.
4.  Remove from the oven and enjoy!  Dip in any sauce… ketchup, ranch, etc.

My Mom and I both thought these reminded us of fried Pickles?!  Weird!  They were so delish, and were a nice treat without being overly un-healthy.  You definitely don’t miss the frying of these… the panko combined with using the rack keep the tomatoes super crunchy and crispy.  I can’t wait to make them again!

Yup- they’re green!

Before baking… see the rack? It’s clutch! I used a baking sheet covered in foil underneath for easy cleaning.

Mashed Sweets & Apples

Do you know how healthy sweet potatoes are?  After making a personal pact with myself to eat more sweet potatoes… I decided to look up the details.  Here’s just some of the stuff that makes up a sweet potato that’s good for you:  Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Beta-Carotene, Potassium… the list goes on!  ALSO, they are fat free!  I have always loved sweet potatoes but have had a new-found respect for them after learning how healthy they are.

My mission for this post was to create a Sweet Potato side-dish that could turn any non-believer into a SP lover!  My very own boyfriend, Dave has only recently started to admit to liking them.  He used to not like the Thanksgiving-Style super-sweet w/ Marshmallows ontop type of sweets, so I didn’t want to kill it with sweetness.

I think this recipe has just the right amount of flavor and sweetness without compromising all of the great nutrition that the Sweet Potato already has to offer.

Mashed Sweets & Apples

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Makes:  4 Servings
Ingredients:
3 Sweet Potatoes
1 Apple (I used Gala, because that’s what we had in the house)
2 Tablespoons Skim Milk
1 Tablespoon Light Butter
1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar (on the heaping side, not packed)
Zest from 1/2 of an Orange
Cinnamon, Sea Salt
Directions:
1.  Boil water over high heat.  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes, gently placing them into the boiling water.  Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice the apple into 1-inch chunks.  You can add it into the boiling potatoes once you’re done chopping.
2.  Test the “done-ness” of the potatoes by sticking a fork in it.  If the fork goes into the potatoes with ease, they’re done!  Drain, keeping the potatoes and apples in the pot.  Return to stove but lower heat to medium-low.
3.  Add milk, Butter, Brown Sugar, Orange Zest, and just a sprinkle of cinnamon and just a shake of sea salt.
4.  Using a potato masher or just a fork, mash together until it reaches your desired consistency.  The apples do not mash as well as the sweets.  Don’t worry… it will still taste delish!

Chopping all those sweet potatoes was a lot of work!

So it's not pretty... but its very tasty! You won't want to share 🙂 ... I didn't!