Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

I'm a huge fan of Ina's. I think I have mentioned before that I own three of her cookbooks and often turn to her for simple meal ideas that usually don't take too much prep time. I found this recipe for her greek salad, which has rave reviews online, and decided to add orzo and make it a pasta salad. Since I am not an olive fan I left them out, but you can definitely include them if you are an olive lover. This is a great, flavorful side for summer that is colorful and your guests will love. I served this with burgers on the grill over the weekend for my in-laws and received rave reviews. This pasta salad was even better the next day once it sat in the fridge overnight.

Source: Foodnetwork.com

You Will Need For the Salad:
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, large-diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked

You Will Need for the Vinaigrette:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil

Here We Go:
  • Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables
  • Add the feta and toss lightly
  • Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend
  • While salad is set aside, cook orzo according to package directions
  • Add orzo and toss
  • Serve at room temperature

Serves 6
Happy Feasting!


Nat's Black Bean and Corn Salsa

This has been one of my tried and true summer dips ever since college. One of my best friends from college gave me this recipe and, although I am not sure who Nat is, I am ever so thankful that my friend decided to pass it along. Without fail, every time that I serve this dip, I am always asked for the recipe and with only four main ingredients it can be whipped up in a hurry for a last minute cookout or dinner with friends.

Given to me by EPope

You Will Need:
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 2 cans of yellow corn
  • 1 bundle of green onions; chopped
  • 1 container of feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Here We Go:
  • Drain corn and black beans well and rinse with cold water
  • In a large bowl, mix together green onions, corn and black beans
  • Whisk together sugar, apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil
  • Pour dressing over black bean mixture
  • Chill in fridge until ready to serve
  • Mix in feta just before serving
  • Serve with Tostitos scoops

Happy Feasting!


Ginger Balsamic Glazed Mahi Mahi

I know, I know. I have been away for over a month! Things have been crazy around here. The month of June had me in Chicago and LA for work, and it will be two weeks this Saturday that we moved into our new house! Although we are definitely loving our new digs, we were without air conditioning for about ten days. And, of course, those ten days were the hottest days that we have had all summer! The worst part about having no AC, besides not sleeping well and sweating every time you move, is that we had yet to cook a meal in our new house. We even tried ordering take-out but as we were devouring our dinner we seemed to be sweating into the food - not appetizing. HVAC finally came on Tuesday and we were back up and running by Tuesday night. I hope to get back into the kitchen this weekend as we make our way through the last few boxes that we have yet to unpack!

One of the last meals we made before we moved was this ginger balsamic glazed mahi mahi.  This white fish is light and flavorful and will flake with the slightest touch of your fork. I also love it because my husband does the grilling while I take care of the sides (i.e. less clean-up inside). We served this with brown rice and steamed teriyaki veggies for an easy summer meal.

Source: A Hint of Honey

You Will Need:
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 6 oz mahi mahi fillets
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Here We Go:
  • Season fish fillets with salt and pepper
  • In shallow dish stir together honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, and olive oil
  • Place fish into the dish
  • Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Remove fish from marinade, draining it into a shallow pan
  • Grill fish for 7 to 10 minutes, until it easily flakes with a fork
  • While the fish is on grill, place the reserved marinade in a shallow pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer several minutes
  • Spoon glaze over fish, and serve

Serve 2
Happy Feasting!