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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Tortellini Pasta Salad

So, like every grocery store I’ve ever been to seems to have some version of chicken bacon ranch pasta salad.  And it always has waaaay to much sauce.  It’s positively swimming!

I suppose that’s just my personal preference but I can’t stand over-dressed salads - pasta or lettuce!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Grated Beetroot Salad with Goat Cheese (Rödbetssallad med Getost) #EattheWorld

Today’s recipe takes us to Sweden for this month’s Eat the World Recipe Challenge!

I had briefly considered making Swedish food a few years ago for a Cook the Books Club post (I ended up making Croissants instead).  The next obvious choice is Swedish Meatballs, but I just made those recently.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Flourless Chocolate Brownie M&M Cookies (Gluten Free)

This past year, Dude had a classmate who doesn't eat gluten, so was my challenge whenever I sent treats to school to find something delicious that the whole class can enjoy AND doesn’t require any special ingredients.

Also – I realize that I’m super fortunate that we attend a school where we can still bring homemade treats!

Anyhow, I wanted to bring cookies but didn’t want to buy any specialty flours, so I went on the hunt for a fabulous gluten-free cookie using everyday ingredients.

These cookies are a total sugar bomb – but hey – no gluten!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Tuscan Roma Pizza #nationalcheeseday

It’s National Cheese Day and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with Tuscan Roma Pizza.  Not only is this pizza topped with the standard shredded mozzarella, but it also boasts a delicious homemade alfredo in place of the classic red sauce.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Burgers Au Poivre #TheLostFamilySupperClub

 *Disclosure: I received a complementary advance copy of The Lost Family in exchange for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Today is fun because I get to review my first ever advance copy book, The Lost Family by Jenna Blum and be part of the food-centric virtual launch party sponsored by the BookClub Cookbook and HarperCollins Publishers.

You can get all the information here at the Virtual Party!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Uyghur Nan Bread #CooktheBooksClub

Well, here I am flying in for Cook the Books Club at the very last second!  I’ve had the book read for ages, but just didn’t have the time or motivation to make a recipe.

Why was I so unmotivated?

Well, you can read my GoodReads review of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop (also if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – anytime a title is *that* long, the book is certain to be pretentious)

Shark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in ChinaShark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was ok for a memoir I enjoyed learning about Chinese culture and how very different not only the food but also the people and culture are in different regions.

At times, the book was overly self-congratulatory. At other times, the foods describes were gag-worthy and I thought I'd scream if I read the words "offal" and "stench" and "tang of urine" describing foods anymore.

Ok, I just changed my rating from a 3 to a 2 - ick.

By the end, I was skimming to get through it. The book should have ended 4 chapters earlier. The book became depressing and boring as the author felt the need to wax on about endangered species, pollution, and climate change. While all of these topics are real issues in modern day China, the way in which they were presented was pretentious and boring.

The final chapter tried to lighten the mood but only mildly succeeded.

And the epilogue went right back to self-congratulatory pretentiousness.

Is this worth reading?

Sure, but I skip around to the good parts

View all my reviews


I wasn’t making offal (*hurk*) or pretty much any of the recipes included in the text – they were either vile or included such difficult to obtain ingredients (remember I’m in the sparsely populated great plains region) that I couldn’t do it.

I thought of just making a stir fry. But since all of my stir fries are basically the same teriyaki-ish base it felt like a cop out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spinach Salad with Gyro Turkey Meatballs

So, I almost missed this month’s Fantastical Food Fight – what with graduate school finals, and romaine trying to kill us and all.

Sarah of A fantastical Sharing of Recipes hosts each month as participants create something based on the monthly theme - this month's food fight is: Salad!

So yesterday, yes yesterday, I finally had some spinach (it will be a long, long time until I trust romaine again *shudder* (ps – if you’re not in the US or are in the US and living under a rock, romaine has been making friends with E. Coli lately and has been recalled)) and decided to try and make something for this food fight!

I had no real dinner plan other than, “swing by the grocery store while Dude is at piano and see what meat is on sale”.

Honestly, I was expecting to buy chicken breasts or pork loin or something.  But no, it was ground turkey that was on sale.  Hmmmm…

It definitely called for some creativity.  I wanted my food fight salad to be a main dish salad with some protein, but ground meat is not general what I think to combine with salad!

I ultimately decided that the ground turkey had to be transformed into meatballs.  But turkey meatballs are boring so they needed some amazing spices.

For some reason, I was reminded of my Gyro-Style Pork Salads and decided to try a turkey meatball version – with an amazing tzatziki dressing this time!

Though I’m the only one who really liked the tzatziki dressing (my family and I are all pretty like-minded when it comes to under-dressing our salads), the rest was a hit with the whole family (and I couldn’t get enough of the dressing *with* the salad!

It was so delicious and a welcome break after eating rather heavily during finals week (I rocked by finals, by the way – woot!!) I’m super glad I was able to participate and stretch myself with this recipe!

Spinach Salad with Gyro Turkey Meatballs
Inspired by Food & Wine 

Tzatziki Dressing
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chives
Salt & pepper
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

1 pound ground turkey
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
1 egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh baby spinach
Cucumber, diced
Kalamata olives
Avocado, sliced
Pita chips

To make the dressing, place the cucumber, yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and chives in a mini food processor or blender.  Pulse until smooth.  Add the feta and pulse to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the meatballs, mix all meatball ingredients until combined.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook meatballs until completely cooked through, flipping once.

To make the salad, place spinach on salad plates.  Top with cucumbers, Kalamata olives, avocado, and meatballs.  Drizzle with tzatziki dressing.  Garnish with pita chips and serve.



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