Pretty “Parslied” Spaghetti

This dish was super easy, and it got thumbs up from the whole family! I used angel hair instead of spaghetti. We did have leftovers, and we ate this for lunch the next couple of days. This is a simple, easy, yummy dish.

rating: 9

Pretty “Parslied” Spaghetti
(Cooking Light May 2017)

serves 4
time needed: 25 min.



1 tablespoon plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Bring a large saucepan of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until pale golden-brown.
Scoop pasta directly into the skillet, tossing to coat. Add parsley and Parmesan, and toss until all the pasta strands are covered. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta cooking liquid to pan as needed to loosen sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.

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Feta-Herb Edamame Succotash

We were all kind of so-so on this one. One kid picked out all the edamame and ate only that. The other kid picked out all the corn and ate only that. Husband and I thought this was okay but nothing special. I did leave off the dill.

rating: 6


Feta-Herb Edamame Succotash
(Cooking Light, May 2017)

serves 4
time needed: 20 min.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I omitted)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
2. Add edamame; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add corn; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl; cool 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, feta, dill, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

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Spring Vegetable Grain Bowl

Have you ever tried farro? It’s my new favorite thing! My kids thought it was okay, but husband and I loved it! I had extra farro left over and ate it again for lunch later in the week! I modified this recipe a little, leaving off the celery and the peas, and substituting feta for the goat cheese. This one will become a regular in our dinner rotation! Yay farro!

rating: 9.5

Spring Vegetable Grain Bowl
(Cooking Light, May 2017)

serves 5
time needed: 50 min.


1 1/2 cups uncooked farro
3 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup roughly chopped beet greens or arugula
1/4 cup blanched English peas
2 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Combine farro, 3 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over medium-low; cook, covered, 25 minutes or until farro becomes tender. Place farro in a strainer; drain well.
Place hot farro in a large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, oil, vinegar, greens, peas, carrots, onion, celery, and beet; stir gently to combine. Top evenly with cheese and parsley.

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Chickpea Panzanella

Do you know what a Panzanella salad is? It’s “a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. It includes chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar.” I sure do love Panzanella salads, and we all liked this variation! My son requested his without tomatoes, and my daughter just wanted to eat the bread and feta. Husband and I ate all of it.

rating: 9

Chickpea Panzanella
(Cooking Light, May 2017)

serves 5
time needed: 20 min.


1 (8-oz.) ciabatta loaf
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (8.5-oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove and discard crust from ciabatta; cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until toasted and golden.
Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, feta, onion, and basil in a large bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, combine oil, vinegar, oregano, pepper, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Pour over salad; toss to combine. Garnish with chopped fresh basil.

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Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

The only thing I would change about this recipe would be to add more spinach! We all liked this, even my 6 year old! She said that she LOVED this (and this isn’t a dessert, so this is major!).

rating: 9

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

serves 4
time needed: 25 min.


½ lb. penne pasta
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
½ tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander.
While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

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Easy Garlic Ranch Potatoes

Yes, these were easy. Were they wonderful? No. Were they okay? Yes.

rating: 7

Easy Garlic Ranch Potatoes

Serves: 4-6
time needed: 25 min.


1.5 lbs. of baby yukon potatoes, sliced in half
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 oz. packet ranch dressing seasoning
½ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 400.
Add all the ingredients into a large bowl. Toss everything together so the potatoes are completely coated.
Evenly spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, flip the potatoes over and bake an additional 3 minutes.

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Waddad Habeeb Buttross’s Classic Pound Cake

I have been watching a lot of The Great British Baking Show lately, and have really been inspired! I checked out three books on desserts from the library, and this is the first recipe in one of the books. There are only five ingredients, so how hard can it be? Well. This cake was good, but wasn’t great. It was barely sweet (which was okay with me, actually), but the texture wasn’t what I look for in a pound cake. My 6 year old loved it (but she loves any cake).

rating: 7

Waddad Habeeb Buttross’s Classic Pound Cake
(Southern Cakes, Nancy McDermott)


1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened
One 1-pound box (about 3 2/3 cups) confectioner’s sugar
6 eggs
1 pound sifted all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract


Heat the oven to 325 degrees F, and generously grease and flour a 10″ tube pan, or two 9-by-5″ loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a mixer at high speed, scraping down the bowl once, until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioner’s sugar and continue beating to combine well, scarping down the bowl often, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just enough each time to mix the egg into the batter.

Add the flour and beat at low speed, or stir with a large spoon, until it disappears. Stir in the vanilla, and then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 1-1.5 hours (55-60 minutes for loaf pans), until the cake is golden and springs back when touched lightly in the center, and until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack or a folded kitchen towel for 10 minutes. Use a table knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Carefully turn out the cake onto a wire rack or a plate to cool completely, top side up.


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