I think some of the best recipes come from scavenging in your fridge. I needed some lunches for the week but did not feel like going grocery shopping. I had a lot of different individual items so figured why not throw it into a pasta salad; that always ends up turning out well. Here is my little creation, I don’t know how greek it really is, but that’s the name I came up with.
1/2 Cup Cherry/Grape Tomatos, quartered
2 Cups Spinach
1/2 Cup Olives, halved, Kalamata or Green
2 Cups Cooked Rotini
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Cook the noodles per package instruction, make sure you cook it al dente.
Prep the rest of your ingredients.
Grab a large bowl and place spinach on the bottom, then pour the cook pasta over top, add in the olives + tomatoes + feta cheese + olive oil and toss. This allows the spinach to slightly cook due to the warm pasta.
Season with salt + pepper and enjoy!
Have for your weekly lunches or for a quick pasta side dish.
I planted a small herb garden on my patio, my very small patio. One of the herbs, dill began to completely take over, in a good way. I decided that I needed to use some to clear up some space and let its herb neighbors grow. I had some potatoes in the pantry and found this recipe from the Kitchn which is a Ukrainian Dill Potato recipe. I edited the recipe a bit, I prefer a crunchy potato with the grassy dill. This is a perfect summer side.
1-2 Large Potatoes, cut into cubes
2 TSP Duck Fat [optional]
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Dill
Let’s Get Cooking
After cutting the potatoes into cubes, boil in salted water until a fork can pierce them easily, but does not fall off.
Preheat the oven to 420F. Place the par-boiled potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with the duck fat. Roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.
Once the potatoes are done, place in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, and chopped dill.
Breakfast on the weekdays can be hard, but I do not need to tell you that. Sometimes meal preps for the morning can be gross too, all soggy, and sometimes they do not heat up right. These Muffin-Tin Quiches from Eating Well are the complete opposite. I was a little concerned with re-heating eggs, but they reheated so well without getting slimy and I was able to freeze them for 3 weeks. This recipe includes adding potatoes, spinach, and cheddar. You can also add any ingredients you like. I added smoked ham in some of mine and they were amazing. One important note is to use cupcake papers when making these, the tins get messy and extremely hard to clean.
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Finely Diced Red-Skinned Potatoes
1 Cup Diced Red Onion
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Fresh Spinach
8 Large Eggs
1 Cup Shredded Smoked Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Low-Fat Milk
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Preheat the oven to 325F and line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over MED heat. Add in the potatoes + onion + salt. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs + cheese + milk + pepper + salt. Stir in the spinach and cooked potato mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until firm on top.
Reserve a few to eat for the week, and freeze the rest! I would pull out a few from the freezer the night before, put in the fridge, and they would be ready to be reheated the next morning.
To reheat: wrap in paper towel and microwave for about a minute.
Truly, is there anything better than a steak sandwich? It makes it 100x better when it’s homemade and used with bread that you made yourself. But it does not even have to be that extra. Most likely you have these ingredients hanging around in your fridge/pantry so why not make it into something beautiful.
2 Slices of your fav bread (sourdough)
1LB Bottom Round Steak
Mayo, enough to spread on the bread
1 Slice Provolone Cheese
1/4 Cup Onion, sliced
1 TBSP Butter
1 Garlic Clove, diced
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Melt your TBSP of butter into a small pan. Add in the onions and begin to caramelize, this is a long process so if you don’t want to wait just saute them. If you would like to caramelize, let the onions cook in the butter on low for about 30-40 minutes.
While the onions are cooking marinate the steak. Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, add in the Worcestershire sauce + garlic + steak. Let marinade for about 20 minutes.
Heat up about 1/2 TBSP of olive oil in a large pan. Add in the steak and cook about 4 minutes on each side for med-rare. Let the steak cool, then cut against the grain into strips.
Add the steak back into the pan with the heat on low, add on the cheese, and cover with a lid. Add a little extra water to create steam to melt the cheese.
Once the steak is ready, toast your bread and lightly coat one slice with mayo, add on the sliced pickles, steak, then caramelized onions.
Serve with french fries or whatever side you desire.
I do not know a lot about making Ramen, I know it’s delicious and I know that there is a wonderful culture surrounding it, but I have never made it myself before. A co-worker of mine provided me with the cookbook, “Lets Make Ramen” which is this brilliantly designed comic cookbook detailing the culture surrounding ramen as well as easy to follow recipes. If I am to try a new recipe, I want to go all in, that means making my own broth and preparing all the accoutrements. I did not make my own ramen noodles [I will try that next time], but this follows the Lets Make Ramen chicken broth recipe!
5 LBS Chicken Bones/Caracases, including skin
1 LB Chicken Feet [if available]
1 Bunch Green Onions, trimmed and cut length wise
2 Apples, honey crisp, gala, fuji, quartered
1/2 LB Fresh Ginger, unpeeled, sliced 1/4 in thick
1 Bulb of Garlic, cloves smashed + peeled
1 TBSP Salt
Crispy Chicken Skins
Ramen Noodles [package works fine]
Let’s Get Cooking
Prep all of the broth ingredients and place in a large pot and cover with 6 quarts of cold water [that’s 24 cups]. Bring to a simmer over med-high heat then lower to maintain a slow simmer.
Cook the broth for about 4-5 hours, skimming off any of the scum that goes to the surface. Be sure to stir every hour or so.
The stock will reduce, after the 4 hour cooking time. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp.
Strain and discard all the other ingredients, store the stock in a tightly sealed container overnight.
There will be some fat on top once you are ready to use it, which is good. Melt in a small pot whenever you’re ready to use.
When you’re ready to eat prepare you’re toppings before hand so everything is warm and ready.
To soft boil eggs: begin boiling the water, once boiling, place in the egg and boil for 8 minutes. Run under cool water and let the egg cool down. Peel then cut in half and add to your ramen.
Crispy Chicken Skins: Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the skin off of chicken thighs. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the chicken skins on top. Season with Salt + Pepper. Place another sheet of parchment on top with another baking sheet on top so they do not curl up. Cook for about 35 min.
Ramen: Boil the ramen according to the package, or until they begin to break apart/get soft, which takes about 4 minutes.
Once you’re both is hot and so are your toppings it’s time to move fast. Pour your broth in a bowl, followed by noodles, egg, crispy skins, and nori.
A picnic classic that just about everyone has their own version of. It’s the perfect meal to pair with warm weather and a crisp white wine. Make this as a bunch, or single serving, and serve on your choice of bread. I like croissants, but that’s just me.
1 Granny Smith Apple, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 Rotisserie Chicken, both white and dark meat shredded [save bones to make broth]
1/4 Cup Craisins, finely diced
1/4 Cup Celery, finely diced
3 TBSP Olive Oil Mayo [to start, add more if needed]
1 TBSP Dill
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Start off by taking all the meat off the chicken, shredding it along the way. If you’d like save the bones to make stock.
Dice the apple + celery + craisins and add in with the chicken.
Add in the mayo, stirring to make sure it is well incorporated.
Add in the dill + salt + pepper and mix. If needed add extra mayo now.
Now you have chicken salad!
Serve on a croissant, with crackers, I love it with potato chips as well.
Salt and vinegar potato chips are my absolute favorite. I tend to eat them until my mouth is completely destroyed. I’ve been into smashed potatoes lately, crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. I figured making salt and vinegar smashed potatoes is like being able to eat potato chips for dinner. This is my own creation from messing around in the kitchen and I wanted to maximize the vinegar flavor, that’s why I used 3 different. To get the best flavor, I feel that you at least need the white vinegar and the apple cider vinegar.
4-5 Dashes of Red Wine Vinegar
1 TSP + 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar [ACV]
5-6 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes
Let’s Get Cooking
Dig through your yukons and pick out a few of the smaller ones. Boil water, enough to cover the potatoes. Heavily salt the water and add in the red wine vinegar + 1 TSP of white vinegar.
Once boiling, add in the potatoes and boil for about 15-20, until they can be pierced with a fork but do not immediately slide off, you don’t want them all the way cooked or they won’t smash well.
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with foil. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and place on the foil. Lightly smash the potatoes with the back of a fork. Brush the potatoes with 1/4 Cup of ACV, making sure you’re saturating the potato. Bake for about 10 minutes then pour over the white vinegar and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the edges have browned and get crispy.
COVID is slowing down, vaccines are making their way to the general population, which means it’s time to get back to restaurants in-person. Take away was a great adaptation to the circumstances that we were in, but it’s not the same as dining in person. I’ve been slowly making my way through my Yelp ‘EATS‘ list, here are a few of my favs I’ve visited in Cleveland, OH.
Thyme Table is a small restaurant located in Bay Village, OHIO. The restaurant is cozily decorated and provides a perfect vibe for you to sit down with your friends and family and enjoy a delicious meal. I visited to have dinner with family and friends for my 25th birthday. I made a reservation easily though the RESY app and everything was smooth sailing. The menu was small, which I personally love, it means that there are few meals that are all made excellently. We started with asking the server her preference on wine based on our taste, and she was able to pick out two bottles, one dry and one sweet red that were delicious. We started out with chips and dip and the lobster tots. They were both so delicious, I could have put the onion dip on everything. For meals there was something for everyone, burgers, chicken sandwiches, pasta, and short ribs. Picky eaters are definitely welcome. The general manager came to check on us after the meal was over. It appeared to me that he was genuinely interested in how the meal and our experience was, which I appreciated. I would return for sure!
Avo Modern Mexican
One of the newer restaurants in Ohio City that a lot of people are talking about is, Avo Modern Mexican. I’ve gone twice now and I would make it a regular spot if I lived closer. When I returned the second time I server recognized our party, which makes you feel welcome. You have multiple different choices of guac, salsa, and margaritas that allows you to switch it up every time you visit. I also recommend the fundido, it is so cheesy and warm and delicious, you just have to order it. I recommend this place when you want to hang out with some friends and stay awhile. It does fill up though, so I recommend placing a reservation through their website or arriving before the dinner rush.
We all love brunch don’t we? If you are looking for another great lunch spot close to Ohio City, look no further than Heck’s Cafe. Stopped by to do some homework and grab some brunch, only to be completely charmed by the cinnamon coffee and the AM fries. I could write a book on how much I love these AM fries it is unhealthy. They are french fries, covered in a blue cheese sauce, topped with sunny-side up eggs. It should be known that I HATE blue cheese, I despise it. BUT THESE FRIES, OMG. The blue cheese adds this tang that is needed and just brings the whole thing together. I had the crab cake Benedict which was delicious as well. Everything was cooked so perfectly, it would be a crime not to return.
I love trying out new restaurants and cuisines, so share some of your fav CLE restaurants!
After taking a week [or two] off for my birthday we are back with some new recipes! This recipe is from Half Baked Harvestwho if you don’t know about, you’re missing out on some amazing recipes. I will say, be prepared, this recipe packs some heat, so be careful and maybe don’t make the mistake in taking this to work for lunch like I did.
2 lbs Chicken breast/thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 Cups Plain Greek Yogurt
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 TBSP Ginger
2 TSP + 1 TBSP Garam Masala
2 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Turmeric
1-2 TSP Cayenne
Salt + Pepper
2 TBSP Olive Oil
4 TBSP Salted Butter
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
1-2 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup Tomato Paste
1 14oz Can Full Fat Coconut milk/ 1 Cup Cream
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
Let’s Get Cooking
Toss together chicken + yogurt + 3 garlic cloves + 1 TBSP ginger + 2 TSP garam masala + 1 TSP cumin + 1/2 TSP turmeric + 1 TSP cayenne + 1 TSP salt in a large bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. I let mine sit for about 2 hours in the fridge.
Heat your oil in a large skillet over MED-HIGH heat. Add in the chicken and any of the remaining paste and sear on all sides, about 2-4 min each side. The chicken will finish cooking in the sauce. Add in 1 TBSP of butter and toss to coat the chicken. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
In the same skillet add in the onion and cook until softened. Add in 2 TBSP butter + 3 garlic cloves + 1 TBSP ginger + 1 TBSP garam masala + 1 TSP cumin + 1/2 TSP turmeric + 1/2 TSP cayenne + pinch of chili flakes + salt + pepper. Cook until you begin to smell all the spices, it will take over the kitchen. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add 1 cup water + coconut milk. Stir to combine, making sure the tomato paste is fully incorporated. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add in 1 TBSP of butter. Add in the chicken and cook until the chicken is finished cooking, about 5 minutes. Stir here and there.
Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Serve with rice and naan.
Make sure you have a glass of water nearby, it has some spice, but won’t ruin your tongue.
We all love Claire Saffitz, right? High-key very happy she left Bon Appetit and the now madness that is that magazine. But that’s besides the point. I got her book Dessert Person for Christmas and finally got around to making one of her recipes. I decided to go with the Focaccia, it’s so crispy and warm and soft on the inside, UGH. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t stand in front of the oven and try and eat it when it was still incredibly hot. It’s recommended that you have a stand mixer for this, I do not have one in my little apartment and it still turned out good; just have a strong arm on stand-by. Eat this on it’s own, slice in half for sandwich bread, do whatever you want with it really I don’t care, just enjoy it.
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
6 Cups/780g Bread Flour
2 TBSP/17g Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup/110g Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1/4 Cup for topping and for oiling hands
First we are going to dissolve the yeast. In a small sauce pan, warm 1/2 cup water over low heat, just until it’s lukewarm, about 105F. Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk in the yeast to dissolve. Set this aside until the mixture is cloudy and slightly puffed, will take about 5 minutes.
Add 2 1/2 cups [567g] room-temp water to the yeast mixture + add in the flour and kosher salt. Using the dough hook, mix on the lowest speed until a loose dough comes together, for about a minute. Then increase the speed to med-high and mix until the dough is smooth and wrapping around the hook, about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Mix again on med-high speed, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and pulling away from the bowl, for about 10-15 minutes. ** THE DOUGH WILL BE STICKY**
In a separate bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a separate large bowl and coat. Scrape the dough into the bowl and coat the dough. Take a photo before covering so you can gauge the rise. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings. For this recipe that involves crushing and chopping the garlic.
Drizzle 1/4 cup oil across a cookie sheet, coating the entire thing. With your oiled hands, slide your hand around either side of the dough and lift it out of the bowl. Let the dough weigh itself down back into the bowl. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this process two more times. This allows the dough to rise more. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet. Stretch the dough out in all directions, it’s not going to fully cover the pan yet, don’t stress. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
Uncover and stretch the dough again so it fits all the sides of the sheet. Cover again and let rise in the fridge for 24 hours. OR you can let is sit for another 40-55 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 450F, place two oven racks on the highest and lowest positions. Uncover the risen dough with oiled hands and with wide hands, press your finger tips into the dough making dimples across the surface.
Top the focaccia as wanted: I added 1/4 cup olive oil+ chopped garlic + salt.
Bake on the lower rack for about 20-25 minutes and then transfer to the top rack until it begins to brown for about 5 minutes. Pay attention to the color here.
Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes [hardest 10 minutes ever]. Scrape out with a spatula and let cool on a wire rack.