Greek Meatball Wraps

On one of those beautiful pre-spring days I wanted to put something together for dinner that was filling but lighter. This hit the spot. These Greek meatball wraps were warm, cool, crispy, meaty, and crunchy. I was really happy with these and will definitely make these again.
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Ingredients:

16 oz ground chicken
1 tsp ground garlic
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cinnamon
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup oatmeal
1 shallot, chopped

Directions:

Mix meatball mix together and let sit for 5 minutes before baking.
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll into balls and bake for 30 minutes.
greek_meatball_formed_590_390I use a cooling rack ontop of a baking sheet. It helps keep the meatballs crispy and not soggy from the grease (there’s not much grease since I used ground chicken rather than beef).
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I served them on wheat naan wraps with tzatziki, veggies, hummus, and feta. Check out whose nose was a bit too close for comfort!
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These were really good. The meatballs were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I don’t fry my meatballs since a) I hate frying for the mess & the oil and b) it’s much easier and healthier in the oven.

I liked the wraps. The naan was perfect. Since it’s more pricy, leftovers were in wheat pitas. The pitas worked fine. I liked how doughy the naan was.
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Curry Chicken Salad fit for Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss! This Curry Chicken Salad was the best I could do to honor the late writer of The Butter Battle Book, the Lorax, and Sneetches as an example of ooblek or wumbus because of the zing, bam, wow, pow this has.

I expect my birthday tomorrow to have the same kind of impact! My birthday food theme might be my best yet!

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I pretty much only like sandwiches when I make one myself and eat it immediately, or if it has all sorts of crazy things on it and it gets pressed, and occasionally when a restaurant makes it. That might sound like all the sandwiches you can think of, BUT I don’t bring them to work as lunch. If I’m going to have one, it has to be packed separately and assembled and eaten immediately.

I thought of curry chicken salad because it doesn’t have to be a sandwich and it is different. It was a great use of some leftover rotisserie chicken.
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Ingredients:
2 cups, chicken breast or rotisserie chicken
2 tbs curry sauce
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 tbs light mayo

Directions:
Shred chicken into bite size pieces
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Mix chicken with curry sauce, grapes, and add mayo to taste.
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Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
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This made about 3 size-able servings. I had one as a sandwich and two other servings topped salads. I think the grapes are necessary to cut the spice with some sweetness. The zing makes this great.
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Four Leaf Clover

I’m lucky to work in the heart of downtown Boston with more lunch restaurants around than I know what to do with. I rarely take advantage of them. One hot hot hot day my office had plants to rendez-vous with our sister office at the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market for lunch.

It was so hot hot hot that I’m surprised I could remember what I ate (or how good it was)! Clover was a welcome relief from the mind-numbing heat. They worked the crowed and kept it moving. I was so impressed with the ordering process via iphone and the options. Check out how many of them there were working inside the truck! Wow!
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I didn’t check out twitter that morning to see what they were serving but was pleasantly surprised and was too hot to ponder. I quickly chose the chickpea fritter sandwich.
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It was really good, though I’m not sure what made it different than falafel. It had great flavor. The chickpea fritters were soft with a light crunch on the outside and a surprisingly fluffy center. The sandwich was on an oversized pita with carrot and cabbage slaw.
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Somebody got rosemary fries. It was such a lovely flavor added to really great quality fries.
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Their food is so good and I really need to eat at Clover more often. Do you watch Great American Food Truck Race? It’s awesome and a truck from Boston, called Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, is on!

Quality Ingredients Make a Quality Lunch

Since I rarely order lunch it always seems like a big occasion when I buy it. Lately I’ve just been working non-stop and the week prior to my event I didn’t have the energy to grocery shop, pack lunch, or make anything.
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When my office moved I knew I’d miss my favorite Thai and favorite Indian restaurants but that’s about all that prior location had going for it. Now, there’s a plethora of options!As an avid watcher of Phantom Gourmet I’d seen Al’s State Street Cafe featured on there. They feature a $6.25 special for small sub, chips, and a soda.
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I got the State Street Cafe Special with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and prosciutto with balsamic vinegar on warm fresh bread.

These quality and fresh ingredients made this sandwich delectable. The bread was warm and soft. The experience is half of the fascination. They work the line and keep. it. moving.
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Stop by, but don’t linger at the menu board or it’ll be a no-sandwich-for-you situation.

I’m off to Florida for a long weekend, wedding, and hopefully some Chick-fil-A. Stay tuned!

Picnic (Sans Ants)

Sis and I LOVE a good theme party. We were trying to think of something special for Mother’s Day this year. We thought for a half second about a picnic in the Arnold Aboretum for Lilac Sunday. This is apparently the only time a year you can picnic there. Sitting on the ground to eat there just because we can’t normally didn’t quite fit. Also, with the rain on Saturday, we weren’t convinced Mother Nature would play nice.

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That seems like a baby-stroller activity and nobody in our fam is quite there yet. It also kind of seems like something to take a mom to do if her children aren’t around.

We had a picnic at our parents’ house! The picnic theme was super fun and delicious.

We took inspiration from Bobby Flay since in his throwdowns he always tries to make the everyday a bit better or more special.

We served:
BLTs with pesto mayo and thick cut bacon
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Roast Beef Sandwiches with horseraddish dijon spread
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Tabouli since Mum doesn’t love macaroni salad as much as the average person.
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And pickles, fruit, and Cape Cod chips. I got some delectable treats from Lyndell’s Bakery since I didn’t acquire all the baking skill my mum has (and since I worked about 9 hours on Saturday).

I made a drink too:
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Ingredients:

4 cups lemonade (I used crystal light yellow)
4 cups zero calorie lime seltzer
1 lime sliced

Directions:

Prepare the lemonade as instructed. (I planned to use raspberry lemonade but was short on pitcher space since yellow was already made)
Mix chilled soda
Serve with lime slices (freezing lime bits into the ice would be very cute too)

Just add some cheap-o red baskets & napkins and you’ve got yourself an indoor picnic!

Wish me luck! By the time you see this I’ll be UBER close to the end of the production week and the start of my event. Watch out world, I become a whole new person after I rejoin society!

Make-Your-Own-Falafel

I looove falafel. I think there’s something about the nutty crunch, the cucumbers, tomatoes, and creamy tahini. I hadn’t really even thought about making it myself until a couple of years ago.
falafel_plate_290_200At that point  a few years ago, I soaked the chickpeas overnight, I cooked them for an hour, mashed them, etc… It’s such a process unless you’re mass producing falafel! The mix is the way to go…10 minutes and it is ready to cook. I bake them instead of frying them, partly for ease and partly for health. They get crispy and delicious.

Ingredients

1 package falafel mix
2 wheat pita pockets
2 cups lettuce
1 tomato
1 cucumber
¼ cup feta cheese
Italian, Greek, or Balsamic salad dressing
3 tbs tahini

Directions

Prepare falafel mix with water (as package directs)
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes on each side.

falafel_baked_290_200Chop lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and toss with feta and dressing.
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Serve in pita, drizzled with tahini.
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I’ve made these as appetizers like a slider in halved mini pitas. They’re always a hit and super easy to make. I definitely don’t think you need my instructions, BUT I think falafel is something that doesn’t always come to mind to make at home.

Not-Your-Average-Sandwich

Mr. J and I had lunch with my parents at their house and were lucky enough to join while they recreated a restaurant favorite. They ride bikes on a trail in Bristol, Rhode Island and pass an unassuming sub shop called Ricotti’s. One sandwich has captivated them. Our lunch was a recreation at home.
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Turkey, bacon, cranberry, tomatoes, and melty cheese are the highlights in this. Mum made one big sandwich and we all dug in.

Ingredients

oversized loaf of white bread, uncut
turkey breast, cut in thick slices
3 slices bacon
3 slices cheddar
jellied cranberry sauce
1 tomato sliced
lettuce

Directions

Hollow out the bread by slicing off the top and scooping out some inner bread.
Layer slices of turkey, cheddar, and bacon.
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Replace the top and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes just to melt the cheese and warm everything through.
After removing from the heat, layer tomato and lettuce before replacing the bread top.
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Slice and enjoy!

They were right, it was a really good flavor combo. Mum thought baking it mid-way through layering the fillings was key. This meant the sandwich was warm and melty but still had the crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes.

I liked the cranberry but since I love tart cranberries so much, I would have liked whole-berry cranberry sauce. Mum and Dad like a marinated turkey breast that they had for dinner and used some leftovers for this lunch!

Everyone liked it…definitely a crowd pleaser. It was a fun lunch and Mum even whipped up dessert. Stay tuned for that!

Flour

Flour Bakery & CafeI’ve enjoyed all different foods at Flour and I will miss working right near the new Central Square location when my office moves. This one bakery/restaurant shines above all the others and I’m so glad they took a chance on Central Square Cambridge.

Everything is good. Everything is unique. Everything tastes like they made it just for you. Some of my favorite sandwiches there I COULD make myself, but they do it better.

I recently had a great tomato, mozerella, pesto sandwich and one of the homemade oreos. The sandwich is so great because instead of basil leaves, they smear pesto on and you can smell the freshness even before taking a bite.

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Another fantastic choice is the smoked turkey, vermont cheddar, and cranberry chutney. You can get any of the sandwiches pressed which brings out the love in this one. The roasted lamb, goat cheese, and tomato chutney is good, but might have too much goat cheese.Bakery items are to die for…you can’t go wrong! I had the oreo for the first time recently and thought it was great! I expected it to be more spongy, like a whoopie pie. It was perfectly crisp and delightful.

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I look forward to more of Flour’s goodies.Likes: oreos, cookies, and sandwiches
Dislikes: pricey