Individual Pizza Pasta Squares

These were fun and easy- pasta with a pizza twist.  And individual size, so everybody gets to put what they want in theirs.

1 lb Ziti pasta (or whatever kind of pasta you like), cooked and drained

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 tbsp basil   

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp garlic salt

2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

Your favorite pizza toppings (we used several different; pepperoni for my son, two types of cheese for my daughter, shrimp and feta for me, etc.)

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray the bottom of a brownie pan or muffin pan with cooking spray.  This will make approximately 16 individual squares.

Using a blender or food processer (I used an immersion blender), combine the tomatoes, spices and Worchestershire sauce.  Blend until desired consistency.  I would actually prefer mine to be a little chunky, but the kids would give me all kinds of hell heck.  In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the sauce.

Spoon a bottom layer of pasta in each section of the pan(s).

Then, sprinkle a layer of cheese – then more pasta and your toppings.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Check them after about 10 just to be safe – all ovens cook differently.

Voila! Little baby pasta pizza squares~

Dixie Chik

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Lamb Stuffed Grape Leaves with Greek Salad and Tzatziki

Back from vacation!  Congratulations to our first giveaway winner, Beth Brazil.  We will be having another one coming up very soon!

This recipe is something you will want to make a day ahead, or at least several hours.  (I think overnight is best).

For the Grape Leaves:

1 jar grape leaves, rinsed and drained

1 pound ground lamb

1 cup long-grain rice, cooked

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tsp coarse pepper

1 tsp allspice

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tbsp lemon juice

For the Salad:

1/2 cup olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 cucumber, chopped

1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed

1 can large pitted olives

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

For the Tzatziki:

1 small container plain greek yogurt

2 tbsp finely diced cucumber

1 tbsp dill (fresh would be best, but all I had was dried)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 garlic clove, minced

First, begin the tzatziki.  Secure a piece of cheesecloth over a medium size bowl, using a rubberband around the rim, leaving a little slack in the middle for the yogurt.  Strain the yogurt over a couple of hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.  To make the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil through oregano and whisk together. Cover and chill, until it is time to assemble the salad.

By the way, did you know that if you sprinkle some coarse salt over garlic cloves and let it sit for a little while, its easier to mince?

It makes it a little pasty and easier to work with.

Now, onto the grape leaves.  Bring a large pot of water to a simmer.  Put the leaves into the water, and blanch for about 5 minutes.  Remove from water and let them cool, then pat dry.

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, rice, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper.

Lay several leaves out at a time on your work space.  Give yourself (and the leaves) plenty of  working room.

Begin stuffing the leaves by putting about a tablespoon full of your lamb mixture into the middle of a leaf.  I honestly don’t know how its really supposed to be done; but I folded the bottom part up first, then the sides and rolled the top part of the leaf over to make a roll.

You want them to be a little snug, but not too tight.  Place the stuffed leaves in a large pot, seam side down.  Combine chicken broth and lemon juice; pour over the rolls.  Cover.  Simmer over low 30-45 minutes until tender.  You can serve these now, however we didn’t really love the taste of them warm.  After chilling overnight they were very good – before I refrigerated them I poured some of the vinaigrette over them.

When ready to serve, combine the cucumber, feta, olives, and tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine.

Next, combine the strained yogurt with the rest of the tzatziki ingredients.  Again, give everything a good stir.

and FINALLY…………

Serve the grape leaves with the salad and tzatziki on the side.

Enjoy~

Dixie Chik

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Apple, Pear and Gorgonzola Slaw with Avocado Dressing

We’re going away for vacation – 8 days –  so of course its time to clean out the fridge and try to use up all the fresh produce just lingering.   It was an experiment…..and I loved it.

1 Braeburn apple, washed and diced

1 pear, washed and diced

2 Roma tomatoes, washed and diced

 

1 small Avocado, (of course the mushy insides)

1/2 container greek yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 cup real cream or buttermilk

3/4  cup gorgonzola cheese

1/2 bag angel hair slaw (shredded cabbage)

In a large bowl, combine the pear, apple and tomatoes.  In a food processor or blender, mix the avocado through gorgonzola until smooth.  Mix all together and salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle a little extra gorgonzola on top-

~ This would be great with grilled salmon and a glass of Pinot Grigio~

Cheers –

Dixie Chik

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Giveaway!

Dixie Chik Cooks is so close to 50 fans on Facebook.  If ya’ll can get me up to 100 – a random winner will be chosen to receive these nifty little things…

See the Facebook link below to click…..

Le Creuset Silicone Prep Bowls

~Good luck~

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