No Slivers Here

June 28, 2009

Greek Orzo salad

Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 10:35 pm

I will admit that I bought some of the ingredients for this salad on a total whim!  I was in the pasta aisle in the grocery store when what should appear to my wandering eye but pasta on sale, 3 for $5.  How can I say no?  It’s like a Buy One Get One Half Off sale on shoes.  You can’t pass it up.  So I tossed the pasta I was there for into the cart and I tossed in another box of a kind I knew we would need eventually and then I decided to toss in the orzo in hopes of making this salad eventually.

I was inspired by a former coworker who now teaches at a different school.  Whenever we had potluck type gatherings she would bring this salad.  I always asked for the recipe but got the ever classic, “Oh!  It’s so easy!  I just toss a little of this and a little of that in and viola!”  Argh!  I don’t do well with that type of response when I’ve never made the recipe.  So I searched all over the internet for a recipe that sounded like it would taste similar to the fabulous salad Sue always brought.  I added a few extra ingredients to the recipe to suit my own tastes.  I thought it turned out wonderful.  I suggest making this for a large gathering rather than just two people otherwise you will be eating this for a week, like me!!



Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette



  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped I added this
  • 24 ounces cherry tomatoes, stemmed, halved


Cook orzo in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well. Transfer to large bowl.

Whisk lemon juice, 5 teaspoons marjoram, mustard, and lemon peel in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Add remaining vinaigrette, cheese, onions, and olives to orzo; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate salad and remaining vinaigrette separately.)

Toss tomatoes with reserved vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix tomatoes into orzo. Sprinkle orzo with remaining 1 teaspoon marjoram and serve.


May 26, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:20 pm

A few weekends ago for Mother’s Day weekend we did a combination Mother’s Day dinner and a birthday dinner for my husband.  My mom and her boyfriend came down to our place for dinner.  They were on their way to the airport for their flight the next morning to Mexico for a week.  Must be rough huh!?  So the meal had to be things that both my mom and my husband would enjoy as well as her boyfriend.

I went to the Farmer’s Market the Saturday before my mom came down.  I thought that Asparagus would go well with the Baked Pasta I was making for dinner.  My husband’s friends had just told us about how much they loved roasted asparagus and how they will never boil it again after having it this way.

Amidst all my cooking, it was the busiest day ever, I assigned my husband the task of finding a recipe for roasted asparagus.  He hit the jackpot with this one!  He even prepared this recipe because I was frosting his birthday cake (recipe coming soon).

I strongly suggest you try this recipe, even if you say you don’t like asparagus, you might surprise yourself!  Enjoy!


Roasted Asparagus

source: Simply Recipes


  • 1 lb asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • Lemon juice


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.

roasted-asparagus-1.jpg roasted-asparagus-2.jpg

2 Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly distributed.

3 Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice before serving.

Serves 4.

January 16, 2009

Potato-Cauliflower Gratin

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 2:12 pm

This is yet another successful recipe from my new Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: One Pot cookbook.  I promise to make more recipes from my other cookbooks!  I saw this recipe and knew that I wanted to try it because I haven’t had cauliflower in a long time.  I was in luck because cauliflower was on sale at the grocery store too.  This recipe was quite easy to put together once you’re done prepping the potatoes and cauliflower.

This turned out delicious too.  My husband and I would have had seconds but we were so full from the rest of our dinner!  I strongly suggest you make this for your next gathering or your family.  We have leftovers!  Enjoy!


Potato-Cauliflower Gratin

source:  Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: One Pot


2 cups Heavy (double) cream

3 cloves garlic, smashed

2 sprigs fresh Thyme

salt and pepper

1 small head Cauliflower, separated into florets

2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup Fresh Bread Crumbs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a 2-qt baking dish.  In a saucepan over high heat, combing the cream, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Bring to a boil, add the cauliflower, reduce the heat to low,  and simmer until the cauliflower is just tender and the sauce has thickened, 8-10 minutes.  Remove the garlic and thyme and discard.

Layer the potatoes in the prepared dish and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup each of the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower from the sauce and arrange in the dish.  Top with the remaining cheeses.  Pour the sauce evenly over the vegetables and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Bake until the potatoes are just tender and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let it cool about 5 minutes before serving.


December 1, 2008

Cranberry Ginger Jelly

Filed under: Fruit, Holiday, Side Dishes, Turkey, Uncategorized — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 9:20 am
As I mentioned in my previous post I was bringing rolls and Cranberry Jelly to Thanksgiving dinner. I saw this recipe on the Martha Stewart show and decided I would use that recipe! It was quite easy to put together. I was hoping that the jelly would set up a bit more but I think that was because I was thinking it would be like the Cranberry Jelly that comes out of a can. This was much tastier than the can stuff! On Martha’s show she warns that passing the mixture through a sieve will take some time and I couldn’t agree more! Give this recipe a try for your Christmas dinner. The bags of fresh cranberries freeze and thaw quite easily.

Cranberry Ginger Jelly

source: Martha Stewart


Makes about 2 cups

  • 2 (12-ounce) bags fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin


  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Cover, and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until berries have burst and softened, about 10 minutes. Pass through a sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water in a bowl. Let soften 5 minutes. Add cranberry mixture; stir until gelatin has dissolved. Refrigerate, in an airtight container, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 week).

November 18, 2008

Rice Pilaf with Pecans

Filed under: Side Dishes — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 5:35 am

This recipe was part of my birthday dinner this weekend. To me, the best thing about birthdays in my family is choosing my birthday meal. My family has had this tradition even when I was little. I always remember choosing meals that I loved or meals that we didn’t have very often. I also got to choose my birthday cake. i remember being on a Pineapple Upside Down Cake kick for a while and then it was a German Chocolate cake kick too. There were probably others but those stick out the most!

For my birthday dinner this year I chose Cornish Game Hens, Rice Pilaf, and Butternut Squash. For dessert I chose a Carrot Cake without walnuts because I’m allergic to them. These past few years I have been choosing recipes that I’m not brave enough to make or don’t know how to make yet. The Cornish Game Hens are definitely one thing I’m not brave enough to make yet! The Rice Pilaf though, is something that I can make! I found this recipe on Cooking Light and it was another success! My only suggestion for the recipe is to cut it in half otherwise you will be eating rice for a while! We halved the recipe and even with 4 people we had leftovers!

Enjoy!100_3373Rice Pilaf with Pecans

source: Cooking Light


12 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (1-inch) julienne-cut carrot
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped pecans


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot and onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and orange juice, and bring to a boil. Add rice, raisins, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with pecans.

November 5, 2008

Parmesan Potato Rounds

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:56 pm

Yummy! These were a favorite around my house when I was growing up. My grandma or my mom found this recipe in a magazine and we have been making it ever since. I found this recipe on recipezaar too, so someone else must be making the recipe as well! The recipe is very similar to scalloped potatoes but without the heavy cream. I love these potatoes and the onions add a wonderful element. I like to pair these potatoes with roasted chicken or even meatloaf. As you can see in my picture I paired them with roasted chicken leg quarters and green beans. We also had a wonderful bottle of Pinot Grigio with dinner. Thanks Brooke!!



Parmesan Potato Rounds




  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter a small baking dish.
  3. Place a layer of sliced potatoes in the bottom of the dish, then season with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder.
  4. Sprinkle with some sliced onions.
  5. Drizzle with a little melted butter.
  6. Repeat layering in the same matter ending up with a layer of potatoes.
  7. Drizzle the top layer of potatoes with melted butter, and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake uncovered for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

October 23, 2008

Acorn Squash

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:49 am

Ahh squash! I was absolutely stuffed when I neared the end of my meal but I’m silly and made myself power through and finish the last of my squash! I love squash. I told my husband that I wasn’t going to finish the pork chop on my plate because I can have that anytime of year but squash only comes around for a few months! I grew up having squash prepared this way. My mom and grandma would make it in the microwave instead of the oven. I’ve attempted to make it in the microwave several times but it never turns out quite right, probably because I haven’t cooked it long enough.

I modeled tonights recipe after what my mom makes and this recipe. My changes are below in red. Enjoy!!

Classic Baked Acorn Squash Recipe

source: My mom and this recipe

1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar ( I filled each squash half with brown sugar)
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup (I omitted)
2 slices bacon
Dash of Salt


1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Using a strong chef’s knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up.

3 Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. I place a slice of bacon on top of the tablespoon of butter then I fill each half with brown sugar.

4 Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.

October 1, 2008

Roasted Winter Squash

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 9:34 am

Let me just start out by saying that I LOVE squash! I get so excited when I see the big bins of it in the grocery store! I have loved squash since I was a baby! I’m about to embarrass my mom with my impending story! She fed me a lot of squash when I was a baby! She fed me so much that I turned orange! Yes, new moms, it is possible! My mom said that she didn’t notice until she took me to the doctor for a check up. The doctor asked if I liked squash and my mom said yes. She asked how he knew and he said that I was a little orange! My mom was so embarrassed and then asked what she should do. He said not to worry but to feed me some green veggies and that should do the trick! I still love squash to this day!

This will probably not be the last squash recipe you see on this blog. My mom usually prepares Acorn Squash a different way and I was looking for a different way for last night. Again, Cooking Light did not fail me! Don’t worry, you will get to see the way my mom bakes squash. I really don’t think that squash can go on sale fast enough!

This recipe was good but I still like my squash a bit sweeter with some brown sugar. I am looking forward to finding new recipes for roasting squash. Enjoy!

Roasted Winter Squash

source: Cooking Light


  • 3 pounds butternut squash, acorn squash, or spaghetti squash (I used 1 acorn squash)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Remove stem from squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Cut each half into 4 wedges, and place on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. (If using spaghetti squash, cut each half into 2 wedges.)

Stir together butter and honey until blended. Brush squash evenly with butter mixture; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Bake at 450° for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender, turning once. Cut skins from squash wedges, and discard.

September 23, 2008

Chicken, Ham and Cheese Roll-ups with Couscous and Peas

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Pasta, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:13 am

These will be made again! I found this recipe in an old Everyday Food magazine. The combination of all the ingredients was perfect. The only slight change was that I used chicken breasts that I had pounded a bit and then cut them into 4 strips. I was really nervous about the chicken getting done (bad experiences in the past) but it turned out fine. I also didn’t want to cut into the roll-ups and ruin the presentation!! I paired the roll-ups with couscous and peas. Enjoy!

Chicken, Ham and Cheese Roll-ups with Couscous and Peas

source: Everyday Food


Serves 4

  • 8 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 4 slices deli ham (about 4 ounces total), halved lengthwise
  • 12 thin slices Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces total), halved lengthwise into 24 strips
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup couscous


  1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place cutlets on work surface, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread cutlets with mustard; layer with 1 slice of ham and 2 strips of cheese. Starting at a short end, roll up cutlets; place, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Top each cutlet with 1 piece of remaining cheese; broil until browned and chicken is opaque throughout, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring peas, butter, and 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; fluff with a fork. Serve couscous with roll-ups.

September 19, 2008

Parmesan Rice

Filed under: Side Dishes — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 10:42 am

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was looking through old editions of Everyday Food for inspiration for my menu for the week. This recipe was on the same page as the Sage Pork Chops. This was delicious and so tasty! It reminded me a lot of Trader Joe’s Rice Pilaf with peas. We will be having this again for sure! Enjoy!

Parmesan Rice

source: Everyday Food Magazine


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and teaspoon salt. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Add butter, Parmesan, and parsley; fluff gently with a fork.
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