Sunday, July 17, 2011

Feature Foodie - Jenna B. (Cue the tears)

Hello! I'm Kelly's sister. I'm the sister who drove the getaway car while Kelly posed for her “awesome picture series.” I'm also the baby sister and the one who very soon will have a tiny baby of my own.

 *cue Kelly crying*

This post isn't about my baby though or even about grown up me. It's about cooking and learning new flavors and like the good sister she is, Kelly introduced me to many of the things I enjoy today.

On one particular day, when I was probably 13 years old, she took me to what became my favorite restaurant in Rochester – Aladdin's. I don't remember much of the lunch. I remember it being warm and sunny. I remember Kelly talking to me about my life, offering advice which I – in my 13 year old way – promptly ignored. And I remember my first bite of Spanikopita. It was one of those moments in my culinary knowledge that will always stand out, a perfect union of flavors on my palate. To this day, I still have to order it if I see it on a menu and each time I have a bite, I think of my big sister and say a silent thank you.

For those that have never had this delicious treat; it's a Greek spinach and feta “pie.” It consists of layers of filo dough, butter and a filling of green onion, spinach, dill and feta. It's perfect for a light, summer lunch or dinner. I serve mine with a side salad or a steamed artichoke. Enjoy!


1 package frozen filo dough (you won't use all of it, but you will use one full roll and half of the other, so buy the two pack)
3 – 12 ounce bags of frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and drained of excess liquid
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 package (6 or 7 sprigs) fresh dill, chopped
1 12 ounce package of crumbled feta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick butter

In a large pan, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Add in green onion, dill and spinach. Cook until soft and heated through, about ten minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely. When cool, mix in eggs, feta and salt and pepper. Set aside.
            Once mixture is ready, butter a large cookie sheet and melt remaining butter. I transfer my butter to a spray bottle I got at the dollar store – it makes life easier and you are less likely to tear the layers of filo than if you use a brush. Working quickly put one layer of filo in the bottom of the cookie sheet, brush or spray with butter; continue with the filo/butter layers until you have about 8 layers. Top these with the spinach mixture and repeat filo/butter layering for another 8 layers.
            At this point, you have extra filo leftover. You can re-freeze it or make tiny cups or do something clever like that – I usually lose patience with the easily torn dough and throw it out. I am not my sister :)
            Trim the edges of the pan to look nice and place the whole thing in the refrigerator for about a half an hour. I like to take a bubble bath during this process while I wait. After the pie sets, cut individual portions with your very sharpest knife and bake for a half an hour or until crispy brown at 350 degrees. Let stand ten minutes and serve.
            I usually eat this for dinner one night, then breakfast, lunch the next day. But I'm a sucker for Spanikopita. Either way, enjoy! And say thank you to Kelly.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

4th of July challenge - The results are in....

I *TOLD* you I'd get schooled!

Denise made these:
Not only is she trendy (hello, cupcakes),
she can feed everyone - intolerance's or none -
and she made them beautiful with locally grown produce!

I am shamed.
Ok, not really 'cause I got to eat pie.

D, your blog is amazing - I felt like I was actually at Brett and Jill's.
I miss my Yelm peeps so vey much!!

And awesome shot of Carolee! hehe!

Next challenge coming soon!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July challenge - Apple pie...with a twist!

Here is what I came up with:

Apple Plum Pie with Coconut Shell :)

The commissary here in Guam, er, doesn't have a wide variety, shall we say....
and when they run out of something, there is no zipping to Walmart.

We are still in lodging so I can't really make my own pie crust and while I was hunting for something,
ANYTHING to make into one, this is what I came up with!
 Fuji apples, red plums, coconut, Saigon Cinnamon, nutmeg and shortbread ready made pie shells.
This is what I made:
I have to learn to center my pics! UGH!

And this is how I did it!

4 large Fuji apples, peeled and thinly sliced
(I chose Fuji instead of Granny Smith, which I normally use, to balance the tartness in the plums)

6 small red plums, blanched in boiling water, peeled and then thinly sliced

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
(this was new to me and I found it slightly more pungent and spicy than regular and a bit more heat as well)

Mix all ingredients well until the fruit gets juicy and has a little syrup.

For the crust I crumbled one of the shortbread crusts and mixed it with a tbsp of real salted butter and the sweetened coconut. I filled the second pie crust with the fruit and then topped it with the crumble mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the crust is browned and the fruit is bubbly.

New family favorite, me thinks.
The balance of sweet and sour was perfect and the extra sweetness from the crumbly top just added that much more!!

Thanks, D, for making me think "outside the box"!! And thanks to my sis Jenna for suggesting the coconut as a nod to Guam - good call!!
Feel free to try the recipe!

Bon Apetite ~K

Friday, July 1, 2011

Steppin' Up To The Plate

On your mark...

Get set....


And we're off;
my sweet friend Denise over at
has issued a holiday challenge!

And yes, she is the one I'm always telling to shut it

She understands my brain and that's why I have 
to say that!!
For the record, she doesn't listen anyway - just look at her comments!
Snarky, snarky, snarky! And THAT is why I love her!!
True friends are honest friends!

Anyway, she recently started her food blog 
and we decided to challenge each other
I'm about to be schooled. Meh.

People, check out her blog.
Aside from being the real deal,
she makes delish dishes.
She has gluten issues and still manages
to make scrumptious meals!
Her recent posts include:
GF Chocolate Chip Cookies - Chillin-and Grillin
An amazing scramble - I'm hungry.

Check her out - your tummy will be happy!

So the challenge:
make an American, 4th of July classic,
with a twist.
Ok......insert lots of smack talking here.

Uh-huh, I'm about to be schooled, ya'll.

So I'm thinking, what's more American than
Apple Pie?
thank you, internet

Oh yes I am.
Apple pie with a twist.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hot Chocolate - Ashley-style!!

And this, my friends, is how Hot Chocolate is done!!
A big smacking of thy lips to Ashley over at
A Sew Chic Boutique for linking up and 
taking the time to share this beautiful
treat with us!!!

Thanks to Kelly for having be on her blog today! I know it may seem a little early for hot chocolate, but I can't help but share this tasty recipe with you. This recipe will show you how you can make this lovely hot chocolate below in the famous crock pot/slow cooker.

Almond Hot Chocolate
4 to 5 cups nonfat dry milk
1/2 to 3/4 cups baking cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
11 cups water
2 teaspoons almond extract

Combine all ingredients into a 4 1/2 to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally. Makes 10-15 servings.

Top each cup of chocolate with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.

I hope you all like today's recipe and if you are looking for some helpful hints with a slow cooker then check out my post here.

Bon Apetite! ~K

Korean Feast

* I plagiarized myself with this post - I originally used it on The Six of Us.* 

I don't know if I have ever mentioned that the hubs is half-Korean, but he is and my awesome Mother-in-law taught me how to make a few dishes that we eat on a regular basis. And now I will share them with you because I have nothing better to write about at the moment you eat, sleep and breathe in anticipation of my next blog post. I know you do, and I am quite ok with that, ya stalkers!! Ok, slap me back into reality!

Here is the photographic evidence that *I* really did make this yumminess:

Chopped Napa cabbage

Kimchi "sauce" ingredients

Ingredients all mixed together


Kim Bap

Yaki Mandu (Fried vegetable dumplings)

Kim (seaweed)

Rice and steamed edemame

Yummy! Yummy, yumminess!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Comfort food is, well, comfortable.

Tonight for dinner I made a meal that always brings me foodie comfort like no other. Spaghetti with meat sauce, a big, fat, mixed greens salad with zesty Italian and crusty toasted Italian bread. MMMM, lovin' in my tummy!!

This is how I made the sauce...not healthy, not complicated, full of cheats, but sooo good!

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup white onion minced

Saute in olive oil until translucent and fragrant. Add:

1 lb lean ground beef (I like 93% for sauce because it has a bit of fat and fat has flavor)
Brown through. Add:

1 can of Hunts tomato sauce ( I know, I know - this is the cheat!!!)
Warm through.

In the meantime, boil water for pasta. I don't add salt or oil to the water because it hasn't ever really made a difference to me. I think the oil makes the pasta slippery and the sauce doesn't "stick" as well. Only my opinion.....

Cook about a lb of good spaghetti - I like good pasta and will make it myself on occasion - boxed or fresh-from-the-store is just fine for this meal. I like it al dente - which actually means "to the tooth", in case you were wondering - but cook it however you like it. Pour the sauce over and mix to coat. The meaty bits always sink to the bottom, so stir it well!

The salad:
Tonight was organic baby greens, plum tomatoes, cucumber, and broccoli. Kind of a strange combo, but veggies work together don't they? I like to add lots of things to my salads - fruits, nuts, sweets and sours. This one was basic and very yummo!

The bread:
What's a meal without bread, huh? This is where my NY side shines on through - NOBODY has better bread than NY - not even kidding!! This may be my most favorite side dish! I like anything bready! I scored a fresh, crusty Italian at the *gasp* commissary, took it home, buttered it up and stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes! So delish!! And perfect for scooping up extra sauce!

Share your comfort foods with me!!! Bon Apetite! ~K 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let's Talk: Pasta!

I LOVE pasta!
Oh man, when it comes to pasta, there a zillion ways to eat it!
Here are a *few* of my favs:

Penne Arrabiata - I first tried this in Germany at one of my absolute favorite restaurants of all time - Ill Cappriccio in Germany. I know! Italian in Deutschland - odd. I used to go there so much that the owner (?) would kiss (on my cheeks) me all through the meal because he was so delighted that I was so delighted with my meal! This beautiful tomato sauce is spiked with red pepper for a spicy little kick! 

Pad Thai - this is typically a dish of rice noodles with fish sauce - I've never really had it the same way twice, though. It usually has a little heat and can be served with veggies like sprouts (I think mung bean???), cabbage, carrots, green onion and sometimes even with peanuts. Don't be afraid of fish sauce, people, it's not   super fishy! Pad Thai can be made with meats, too!

Pho - Vietnamese noodle soup - so, so, so delish! I adore Vietnamese food and could go on and on and on.....anyway, this is usually made with really thin strips of beef that are cooked by the heat of the broth.  Again, rice noodles are used and there are about 3 billion spices involved; coriander, cardamon, cloves, star anise, and fennel. Not a lot of kick from the spices but add some cilantro (I LOVE to say ceee-lahn-tro) and some ginger and garlic and it can leave a warm little tinge on your tongue! When served, there is typically a plate of lime, fresh cilantro, sprouts and mint that you add as you eat! Ohhhhh.emmmm.geeee! And don't even get me started on the BBQ pork sandwiches...yet!

Angel Hair (this is what I like, but you can use any pasta YOU like) with Vodka Sauce - my sister got me hooked on this - it's so creamy and delicious - you cannot go wrong with this one! The quality of the Vodka isn't a huge deal either because it cooks off and the sauce is very rich anyway - it's the flavor you're looking for! I will say that a little goes a long way; the sauce is made with heavy cream so it's a heavy dish! 

Mac and cheese - Homemade is the way to go - no boxes here, baby! I love the old-fashioned cheddar recipe, but am really enjoying the "grown-up" trends that have been out recently. They include a wider variety of cheeses like Swiss or Gruyere and have add-ins like bacon or mushrooms. Fabulous!

I also love just plain old egg noodles with butter and salt or a beef gravy with mushrooms! I prefer the extra wide ones because they seem to hold whatever topping you have on them better, but my kiddos love to slurp the skinny ones, too!

Please tell me about your favorite pasta dishes - I love big, bold flavors and simple ones, too! Oh, and if you are a foodie blogger, link with me - it would be fun to share recipes!!

Bon Apetite! ~K

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First course - new local delights....

Much to my disappointment, NOTHING is 
locally grown in Guam. 
That's a big BOO on my part...
but, alas, that doesn't mean there are
no good eats!

The locals love a good BBQ!
Not a BBQ-sauce-on-meat type either.
I have heard that they will put anything on a grill.
Oh, yum to the umpth degree, baby!
Every Wednesday night in
Chamorro Village,
there is a tent city of BBQ's
and I intend to take full advantage of the local hospitality!

I'll take some pics and show you what I find,
but in the mean time, 
I'll share my snack with you!!

Hineksa' Aga'ga'
"Red" rice:

We tried this at a friends' house this weekend...
it's just rice, red onion and Annato spice
which is really the coloring and flavoring left over from soaking
Achiote seeds. You just throw everything in a rice cooker and 
cook it as you would normal rice!

I don't know yet where you get the seeds....
I DO know that I can get the spice at the commisary!

They add a "sauce" called Finadene (pronounced fin-a-dinny)
 to the rice that consists of soy sauce, white vinegar,
onion, jalapeno (chopped), lemon juice and green onion.
You just throw everything into a bowl and stir!

Finadene Sauce. Photo by Pikake21

So YUM!!

Bon Apetite! ~K

* All pictures have been taken from the Web*

It's so easy.... create a blog, isn't it? My hubs asked what the normal number of blogs a normal person has is. My answer: I'm not normal.

I want to begin by telling you what this blog is, but I think I'll start by telling you what it is NOT. I am NOT a professional chef, food critic, sommelier, or anything else; I just like to eat. Maybe I am a professional consumer. You will NOT find anything but opinions here! I will probably include a recipe or two, occasionally, but most likely, I will just tell you about new things I find or old favorites I enjoy.

I was not always a lover of all things edible. In fact, I used to be quite picky; no peppers, no onions, everything on the side. No seafood or fish. Nothing spicy. Boooring! And then I met the man who ate anything. Hubs introduced me to a whole new world of delicious offerings. He is half Korean and the food he was used to was way outside my tasty comfort zone. And so my love affair began...

No! Not with him, sillies! (Well, yes, with him, too.) With food - the premise of this bloggy!

Now, an experienced eater, I will try just about anything.
*Just about*

Join me at my table, won't you? 
I promise to bring new culinary delights to you and hope that you'll bring
some to me, too!

Bon apetite!