Monthly Archives: February 2012

Weeknight Chicken Gyros

Every so often, I feel like I know what I’m doing in life. The past week was not one of those times. From memo writing to freaking out about summer job prospects to a mouse situation, things have been interesting. Luckily, I have tons of friends with whom I can commiserate, which makes the stress of everyday life a wee bit more bearable.

That being said, I found myself turning to easy solutions for weeknight meals in order to maintain some sanity, and I am really excited to share today’s recipe with you. I love Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food. The blend of spices, plus the combination of savory meats and cool, crisp vegetables easily satisfies most of my hunger cravings. My sister is a pro at making Persian cuisine, but combination of marinating and cooking time means that her kabobs and rice are not exactly an everyday staple. Needless to say, I was thrilled to come across this recipe on interest from one of my favorite food blogs, Annie’s Eats. I changed it up a bit by adding a few of the ingredients from Liz’s kebabs, and the result was deeeelish. With a thirty minute marinade, you can enjoy a chicken gyro any night of the week.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Happy eating!

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“Stardust” Chocolate Pancakes

I walked into CVS yesterday morning and immediately spotted a wide array of bright pink and red decorations, cards, and bags of candy. Needless to say, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. It’s not difficult to get annoyed by the messages advertising “Couples Specials” or suggesting new ways to surprise one’s significant other. That being said, I’m not one of those people who completely shuns the holiday. I used to love Valentine’s Day as a kid. You got a ton of cards from people telling you how great you are, and all of those messages were conveyed through images of your favorite cartoon characters. What was not to love? Sure, it’s commercialized and makes me ever cognizant of the fact that I am, in fact, single, but it also gives me an opportunity to express my gratitude to all of the people that I love and to enjoy the general feel-good, happy thoughts floating around society. So, no bitterness here. That being said, I do still want a Lisa Frank card with a unicorn on it, so, if anyone feels the need to indulge, feel free to pass one along.

Anyway, here’s an idea for a cute V-day breakfast–either for yourself or for someone special. This recipe makes a lot of pancakes, but extras can be popped into a Ziploc bag and thrown into the freezer. Just toast them when you are ready to eat. Now, I must warn you, these are not the sweetest pancakes. In fact, I’m sure some of you may want to add more sugar. Feel free to do so! I personally like my chocolate on the more bitter side, so these suit me just fine. Plus, if you top them with fruit and powdered sugar, they’ll be sweet enough. As always, happy eating!

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Crostini di Polenta, Funghi e Uova

Sorry about the lighting! This is from the "forgotten camera dinner" last week!

If you can’t tell already, when Caroline and I get together and make dinner, we tend to remake some of our favorite foods from Florence (case in point: affogato, pear and pecorino ravioli, etc.). So, naturally, last week’s dinner followed suit. During our wanderings one day in Florence, the two of us happened across Ristorante il Teatro and decided to stop in for lunch.

In Italy, it’s traditional to order at least a primo (first course) plus either a contorno (side dish) or antipasto (appetizer) for lunch. The two of us both love polenta and adore mushrooms so we had a hard time resisting the crostini di polenta e funghi porcini as our appetizer. It’s an incredibly simple concept: grilled polenta squares were topped with a confit of porcini and caramelized onions. Since we planned on making ridiculously rich hot chocolate for dessert, it seemed like a perfect, light meal to adapt on a Tuesday night–especially when topped with an egg!

Serve this with a side salad for a light winter dinner. Happy eating!

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