Pictures for the Moments – Recipe: Tzatziki

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One of the things that I love about looking through my pictures each month is looking back on the things that we did as a family.  While I journal and try to keep up with pictures and  memories, it is the actual moments that are sometimes forgotten in the busy days.  However, when I look at the pictures, I am taken back to that exact moment, and I love looking back and remembering everything about it.

PhotobucketI back up all of my pictures to a few sources.  Recently, my external hard drive crashed, and as I was moving everything onto the new external hard drive that my sweet husband bought me, I saw some pictures that I had forgotten about.

PhotobucketAfter one of our mall dates, Summer immediately wanted another one…like that very week.  Since I am not much of a shopper, I decided that we would take a different kind of a mall trip, one to the great outdoors…the outlet mall.  We had not been in almost a year, and Summer had all but forgotten that it even existed.  So, her play land was new and exciting and filled with new memories for her.

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Looking at the pictures made me so happy that I have taken the time to take so many pictures each day, week, month, year.   I know that there is no way that I will ever be able to sit down and go through each one of them.  But, when I am having a moment of wondering about a specific event or moment, I know that I can always count on the pictures to take me back, to remind me, to bring that immediate smile to my face.  And, I love that.

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PhotobucketAnother thing that I love…Greek food.  I wanted to share that love with you so that you can make that Chicken Gyro on Thursday.  🙂  You will need this Tzatziki to use as a sauce on the gyros.   There are many, many tzatziki recipes out there.  I did some research and created my own.  In my opinion, it was good…and a little bit perfect for the chicken gyros.

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Tzatziki

Tzatziki

Ingredients

16 ounces Greek yogurt (I used The Greek Gods brand)

1/2 hothouse cucumber, peeled and seeded (You can use a regular cucumber, but I prefer hothouse cucumbers)

2 gloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 tsp. dill weed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Strain the yogurt to remove any extra liquid.
  2. Finely chop the cucumber.
  3. Mix together the strained yogurt, diced cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, dill weed, kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Refrigerate.
  5. Enjoy on gyros, with fresh vegetables, or with pita chips.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/01/03/pictures-for-the-moments-recipe-tzatziki/

Note – I took all of these photos on my iPhone with the Instagram app.  You can follow my feed here

Trying New Things – Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprouts

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Yesterday I learned a hard lesson.  I baked some cupcakes for someone, and I had never tried the recipe before.  I actually baked them on Tuesday to be delivered on Wednesday.  When they came out of the oven, I knew that they looked different.  But, honestly, I did not feel well and did not want to start over.  I had tried the batter, and it tasted great.

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Well, fast forward to yesterday.  The cupcakes were not great.  They were not even good.  And, everyone knew it.  My husband had to deliver the bad news to me.

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Baking can be very unpredictable.  I should have tried out the recipe before I ever made them for someone.  We have just been so crunched for time between appointments, events, traveling, and getting ready for Christmas.   However, even though cupcakes do not always turn out the same every single time, I would have known that this particular cupcake recipe was not going to work if I had just tried it first.

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Sometimes, though, trying new things turns out wonderfully the first time around.  Such was the case with Martha Stewart’s Shredded Brussels Sprouts that my sister made for Thanksgiving.  It was fantastic.  Out of all of the things at the feast, it was the Green Bean Casserole and the Brussels Sprouts that had me wanting seconds.  I know that people either love or hate Brussels Sprouts.  But, even if you have never been a fan, I honestly think that this recipe might change your mind.  It is truly delicious.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1/2 pound thinly sliced pancetta, diced small

Extra-virgin olive oil, if needed

1 3/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded (10 cups)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook pancetta over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. With a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain.
  3. Pour off all but 1/4 cup drippings (if necessary, add enough oil to measure 1/4 cup).
  4. Add Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in pancetta.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/15/trying-new-things-recipe-shredded-brussels-sprouts/

And…if you ever make a huge baking blunder, I hope that you have a husband as sweet as mine.  He knew that I needed a little pick-me-up yesterday.  Because, for some reason, it is in human nature to beat ourselves up for the bad days instead of lifting ourselves up about the good days.  However, ending the day with my favorite flowers put a smile on my face and allowed me to reflect on the good that I had learned, in spite of the bad experience.  Trying new things is good…just make sure that it is with family first. 🙂

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Sisters and Friends – Recipe: Green Bean Casserole

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I know that I have mentioned my sister several times.  She is not just a sister.  She is one of my best friends, my neighbor, our school nurse, and a wonderful aunt to my littles.  She is great at everything that she attempts.  And, yes, that includes cooking.

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I actually called her the other day to see if she wanted to just hang up her nursing shoes and open up a cafe with me.  But, then I thought of my littles and how sad they would be if she was not at the school every day, and I said, “Never mind.”  Sometimes it is hard to be selfless.  🙂

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We had Thanksgiving with my sister this year.  She and Todd always put together an amazing feast.  When we tried  Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole that Darla had prepared, we declared that it was the best that we had ever had.  Seriously.  I know that there are a ton of green bean casserole recipes out there.  This one, in my opinion, surpasses them all.  Simply delicious.  I had to get a picture of it right then and there because I told my sister that this recipe was too good not to share.

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As a matter-a-fact, I kind of see my sister the exact same way.  Share her I must….because, she truly is so good that it would be a shame not to share her joy, talents, and natural abilities with others, especially when those others come in the form of sweet children, like my own precious littles.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

This is Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole, and it is truly delicious.

Ingredients

Green Been Casserole

1/3 stick butter

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups sliced green beans

3 cups chicken broth

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings

Pinch House Seasoning

1 cup grated Cheddar

House Seasoning

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  3. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter.
  4. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain.
  5. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture, and stir well.
  6. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.
  9. House Seasoning:
  10. Mix together salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/13/sisters-and-friends-recipe-green-bean-casserole/