Monday, January 30, 2012

Pastitsio a Greek Lasagna

I am sorry for my lack of posting for the last few months. Ever since I got pregnant my love of food turned into more of a disdain. I didn't want to eat anything or make anything. Luckily my husband came to the rescue and got my family through the time with some of his favorite meals and a lot of take-0ut!

I am now back and cooking again, but more importantly my love of food is Back and more than that I think it has doubled!

Last summer my family took a trip back east to visit family, while there my dad's best friends mom Mrs. Karidis, who is the best Greek cook I know, made us some tasty stuff. Which left me with a craving for the Greek! Something new I tried was Pastitsio- a Greek Lasagna. It was so creamy and rich and comforting it even was good cold. So when I was watching a Triple D episode that was featuring that particular dish I decided that was my sign to give it a try. I looked online and found a few recipes that I combined a little to fit my tastes and had at it.

I invited my dad over for the taste test since he grew up eating the stuff, and he LOVED it said it tasted just like Mrs. Karidis's! The family and I loved it as well, It made so much that I think I had it for leftovers like 5 times.

* one of the hardest parts of this recipe was finding a pan that fit it because it stacks really high. I used one of the throw away lasagna pans.



1/2 pound butter, plus 4 ounces melted
  • 2 pounds ground meat
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (12-ounces) can tomatoes
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pound ziti rigate or penne
  • 3 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 5 eggs


In a hot pan melt 4 ounces of butter, add ground chuck, chopped onion, salt, and pepper. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, bay leaf, and cinnamon and cook over medium flame for about 35 minutes.

Cook macaroni in boiling water, strain and put back in pot to keep warm.

Place a 1/4 of the grated cheese in n a 11 by 14-inch pan with very high sides ( I used a lasagna pan) , and then a layer with 1/3 of the pasta. Continue until both ingredients are used up. Spread on the meat sauce.

Mix the final layer, the Pastitsio Crema by mixing 4 ounces of melted, cooled butter and 3/4 cup of flour. Heat 3 1/2 cups of milk and pour a little over flour and butter mixture then pour the rest of the mixture into the milk. Add 5 beaten eggs and stir thoroughly over medium flame until mixture thickens. Pour the crema on top of the meat sauce and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until brown. Cool for 1 hour before cutting.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Homemade Butterfingers

I have always loved Butterfingers, but lets face it there are a couple of problems with them. First they get stuck in your teeth and never come out and Second they make a huge mess! Well what if I told you I could solve those problems and still give you the flavor you love. Interested?? If you aren't than you are not a Butterfinger fan and therefore do not need to read the rest of this post.

I found this gem on Pinterest (where else!) and knew it would be perfect for the "Pinterest" party my SIL was having, where we were all supposed to bring our favorite Holiday treat that we saw on Pinterest. Fabulous Idea right?! I saw these 3 ingredient Butterfingers and knew that they were going to be a crowd pleaser. Was I right, um Heck Yeah I was!!! I think every single person asked how to make them.

So here it is

1 lb. of Candy Corn ( yeah crazy huh)
1 160z jar of creamy peanut butter
1 package Chocolate Almond Bark

Melt the candy corn in a microwave bowl stirring at 30 second intervals. You could also use a double boiler. Once melted add the peanut butter. The candy corn will most likely seize up so you will probably need to microwave for another minute. Stir it together and once it incorporates place it into a 8x8 dish lined with tin foil ( you could also us a 9x13 if you want your bars thinner.) let them chill in fridge till set and cold. Then cut them and dip in melted chocolate. It's messy and hard to get pretty but it don't matter!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No-Bake Energy Bites

I saw these on Pinterest and new immediately I would be whipping up a batch. What I didn't know is that it would only take 5 min. and not only that but that they would be SUPER Delish! The kids think they are cookies and everyone else doesn't care what they are. But that doesn't stop them from dropping by and stealing a handful of them out of my fridge. These are the perfect low calorie pick me up little snack, that you can make specific to your tastes.

This recipe is how I like them made.

No Bake Energy Bites
adapted from

2/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup quick oats
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or not)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup Wheat Germ
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix in a large bowl, then drop onto a lined cookie sheet using a cookie scooper, and chill for about an hour. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. ( If they last that long!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carmelized Onion Sammy's & a whole lot More!

I'd like to start with saying I LOVE Bunco! But every year and a half ,there comes a time when I am in charge. Which stresses me out more than it should, mainly because I take on entirely to much work and make it harder than it really is. This meal would never have been completed had my friends and family not come over in time to help me put it all together.

Because of my recent obsession with Pinterest, I have found all of these amazing things I want to do, see, make and of course EAT! So therein lies my inspiration for this meal.

We have Veggie Cups - which is just julienne sliced veggies (any kind you like). I chose cucumber, carrots, bell peppers & celery. Arrange them in a clear cup with a good portion of ranch dip on the bottom!

Next Meatballs- which could not be simpler and completely delish! I bought a bag of frozen meatballs, dumped them in a crockpot on low with a jar of grape jelly and a jar of chili sauce. Let it cook about 3 hours.

Caprese Salad on a stick- I halved little mozzarella balls stuck a toothpick in them, then folded up a small basil leaf, pushed that on the pick and then stuck them into a halved grape tomato with the flat side down. After that I let them marinate in dish of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt.

Fruit & Dip- For the dip I used vanilla flavored yogurt and nutella.

Carmelized Onion Sandwiches- I found some nice soft sliced sourdough bread/ french bread. Carmelized a ton of onions. Then made some good old fashioned grilled cheese. Buttered the bread, then added Gruyere cheese and Fontina Cheese and the onions. Then grill on both sides till it gets nice and brown and the cheese melts.

I am proud to say that each item was a Hit!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pork Carnitas

For so long I have been looking for a Pork Carnitas recipe. I decided to check Pinterest and of course found my self a great one! It was also amazingly simple. My mom and hubby thought it was one of the best things they have EVER eaten. I think I quite agree. It came from the For the Love of Cooking blog. Just make sure you put some good mexican cheese and tasty toppings like red onion, guac, cabbage and cilantro.

Pork Carnitas:
Recipe by For the Love of Cooking
Recipe adapted from Noble Pig and Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Corn tortillas, warmed
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Red onion, thinly slice
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Cotija cheese, grated
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges
In a large Dutch oven over high heat, combine pork, garlic, sea salt, pepper, and 8 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Drain well. In the same Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork, 1/2 cup fresh orange juice and 1/2 cup milk then cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and pork has browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. The pork will start browning after liquid has evaporated. Season well with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve carnitas in corn tortillas with cilantro, red onion, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cotija cheese and fresh lime wedges. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jello Slices

As soon as I saw these cute things on Pinterest I knew I had to make them. I was worried they might be more than I bargained for but they were actually pretty simple. The kids loved them and had so much fun eating them.

First Hollow out the fruit of your choice.
I used lemons and oranges.
( My kids tried helping me with these but only Jackson my 7 yr. old was capable enough to accomplish the task)
Make your jello.
I used 8 oranges and 8 lemons and used 4 boxes of jello

Make sure they are pushed together enough that they are level when you pour in the jello.
Carefully put it in the fridge. It only took about 3 hours to set up and then I sliced them. Using a small serrated knife.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken roll-ups

I love when I am able to make a meal that cleans out my fridge. I saw a version of these on pinterest . Since I didn't have all the ingredients I just pulled out everything I had that would taste good in something like this and had at it. They actually turned out really good. The little guys would make a great little finger food at your next gathering or a simple lunch for yourself.

Don't be afraid to make this your own and experiment with your own tastes and the items you have on hand!
Chicken roll-ups

Tortillas for rolling
1 12.5 oz can of shredded white meat chicken (kirkland) / or shredded chicken
1 cup of diced tomatoes/ 1 can diced tomatoes
1 bunch of scallions chopped
1 cup shredded cheese
1 tbsp. chipotle in adobo (optional - depending on your heat level)
1/2 of a container of Santa Fe blend cream cheese

Mix all ingredients together. Spread on the tortilla, roll it up without folding in the ends and refrigerate. Then cut into sections and serve.

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