Grilled Feta with Thyme

For the holiday a couple weekends ago, we hosted a BBQ in honor of my family being in town. Not only did we enjoy delicious food, but we also spent time on the patio, breaking in our new outdoor furniture and using the new grill. For appetizers, my mom made incredible guacamole, and I was set on making Grilled Feta with Thyme. This amazingly simple starter was first devoured two summers ago in the Hamptons, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. The feta is seasoned only with olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and then grilled until the cheese is warm and spreadable. The cheese, spread on top of soft pita, is a perfect combo. I love when something so easy is also so delicious!
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Grilled Feta with Thyme

What You Need

  • 1 large block of feta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme, some of the leaves removed and sprinkled on top of the feta
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • Heavy duty tin foil

What To Do

  1. Preheat grill to about 300 degrees.
  2. Place the block of feta in the middle of a large piece of heavy duty tin foil.
  3. Cover the feta with the olive oil. Place the sprigs of thyme and loose leaves on top and around the feta. Generously sprinkle sea salt and fresh cracked pepper on top of the feta.
  4. Wrap up feta in tin foil packet and place on the grill. Grill for about 15-20 minutes, or until feta is soft to the touch and easily spreadable.
http://glorioffood.com/2013/07/15/grilled-feta-with-thyme/

Summer In a Bowl

Summer in a bowl - who doesn’t love the sound of that?!

I discovered this recipe back in March when summer was still a wishful thought. I tucked it away until now when sweet corn, zucchini and tomatoes would be in their prime. I always enjoy a big bowl of pasta, but there is something about this whole wheat spaghetti laced with so many vibrant vegetables that really makes me want to frolic in the sun. With the pasta and veggies lightly coated with only olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly grated parmesan, this recipe is made to showcase the beautiful bounty of the summer. Since the dish is so simple, it’s all about the garlic, fresh basil and hint of mint that makes this taste ever so garden fresh.

If not for the warm weather, this dish will make you wish it were summer all year ’round.
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Summer In a Bowl Pasta

Source: momskitchenhandbook.com

What You Need

  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 lg. cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 med. zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 ears corn, shucked and cut off cob (I used already grilled corn)
  • 3 lg. ripe tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1/3 c. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
  • ½ med. lemon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sm. chunk Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)

What To Do

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Strain.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until soft but not brown. Don’t let it burn.
  3. Turn heat up to medium high and add zucchini. Saute for about 1 minute. Add corn and continue to cook until vegetables are just tender, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and add remaining olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and mint. Squeeze juice from lemon over vegetables; add salt and a few turns with pepper grinder. Stir well.
  5. Add cooked spaghetti to pan and use tongs to thoroughly mix pasta with sauce. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed. Can also add additional lemon and a drizzle of olive oil if needed.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan as generously as you like.
http://glorioffood.com/2013/07/03/summer-in-a-bowl/

She’s a Beaut

My husband and I have been working on a major backyard project. Call us crazy, but we had our pool filled in. When we bought the house last year, that was always in the plans. We wanted a yard and we didn’t want to maintain the pool, which took up the entire space behind our house. The removal is complete and we now have a new patio and grass to enjoy the remainder of the summer.

With the completion of this project comes more exciting things, like patio furniture and a new grill! The grill has arrived and I must say, she’s a beaut! I have never been so excited to get cookin’. Since my husband has been even more ecstatic about this new toy, I let him have the honor of selecting the recipe for the first fire! We made Southwest Turkey Burgers, which are sure to be added to the summer foods rotation. The burgers were loaded with peppers, jalapeno, onions and great spices, making them extremely flavorful. They were then piled with pepper jack cheese and turkey bacon, sending these turkey burgers right over the top! I can assure you, this was the first of many tasty grill recipes to come.
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Southwest Turkey Burgers

Yield: 4 turkey burgers

Source: Slightly adapted from Rachel Ray Foodnetwork.com

What You Need

  • 4 slices turkey bacon or applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 small bell pepper, green, red or yellow, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne hot sauce, several drops
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, pickles and other toppings

What To Do

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. Chop garlic and veggies.
  3. Combine turkey meat, garlic, onion, thyme, cilantro, bell pepper, serrano or jalapeno pepper, cumin, hot pepper sauce, grill seasoning or salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 equal mounds then form meat into patties.
  4. Place patties on preheated grill and cook roughly 6 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through.
  5. While turkey burgers cook, cook bacon on grill or if you prefer, cook in a non-stick skillet on the stove.
  6. Place sliced cheese over the patties in the last 2 minutes of cooking, use 1 slices for each patty. Top cheeseburgers with crisp bacon and place on top of bun. Don't forget to add any other condiments or toppings that you love!
http://glorioffood.com/2013/07/01/shes-a-beaut/

Put Away the Suitcases

With my due date under 2 months away, it’s officially time to put away the suitcases, relax and prepare for our upcoming arrival. To cap off the traveling, my husband and I made one last trip to Chicago this past weekend to see family and friends. It was the kind of weekend that was so nice, I’m still thinking about it on Wednesday! Even though the trip was planned last-minute, my friends saw to it that I try some new restaurants and enjoy the city that I miss dearly.

Friday night my friend and I tried the new Mott Street (from the Ruxbin team). The casual spot featured mostly Asian-influenced dishes and a variety of meats that I’d rather not think of by name while eating them. The highlight of the meal was the giant Oyster Mushrooms, which were roasted and pan-seared and served in a thyme and miso butter. The miso butter was so amazing, I could have eaten it with a spoon. Other standouts were the Stuffed Cabbage with kimchi stuffed with pork butt (ewww) and rice in a kimchi broth, as well as the Tres Leches dessert, with strawberries from the Ruxbin garden.
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Saturday, the weather was a little weird on and off, but the rain held out and ultimately it was a beautiful day in the city. In the morning I got some time with my adorable niece and nephew…
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…followed by lunch at Little Market, manicures/pedicures, and very little downtime before a fun night out at Siena Tavern and a birthday party at Frontier. My friend had been raving about Siena Tavern, and thankfully, it did not disappoint. Although I have few pictures from dinner, I must report that the gnocchi with truffle cream and fried sage, along with the spaghetti with lump crab were particularly incredible. As if there weren’t already enough carbs on the table, I couldn’t resist the Parmesan-Sage Fries with lemon-garlic aioli. They were insane! How cool is this fresh herb wall that surrounds the bar?!
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Sunday morning, before we said goodbye, I had brunch with friends at Little Goat. I couldn’t resist grabbing some amazing treats from Little Goad Bread for the car ride home.
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Lightened Up Strawberry White Cake

July 4th is less than two weeks away, and likely, you’re already planning your Independence Day shindig. With so many tempting summer recipes out there, it’s tough to decide what to make. I have a cake that’s so easy, yet so good, your dessert planning will be a no-brainer. This Lightened Up Strawberry White Cake recipe is, just like the name implies, SO light and fluffy! It’s almost too light since eating a second piece is hardly a chore. This dessert is not what I consider to be homemade, but the slight modifications that are made to this boxed cake result in a great summer treat. With yogurt baked in the cake, and a whipped topping and yogurt frosting, this dessert will be a crowd-pleaser without ruining anyone’s bikini bod!
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Lightened Up Strawberry White Cake

What You Need

  • 1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
  • 3 egg whies
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 6-ounce carton low-fat strawberry yogurt
  • Topping
  • 4 ounces Cool Whip, or other whipped topping
  • 8 ounces low-fat strawberry yogurt

What To Do

  1. In a 9x13-inch pan, prepare cake according to package directions, swapping out the eggs and oil for the 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil and 6 ounces of strawberry yogurt. Pour cake mix in a pan that is greased or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake according to package directions.
  2. While cake bakes, mix together Cool Whip and 8 ounces low-fat strawberry yogurt, until uniform.
  3. When cake is cooled, spread yogurt mixture on top of cake. Serve with fresh strawberries and blueberries.
http://glorioffood.com/2013/06/24/lightened-up-strawberry-white-cake/

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