Mediterranean Cooking

It’s been awhile since my last blog post. Life gets busy, and I don’t always feel like I have anything interesting to say. But I also have to remember that I said I was doing this blog for me and not for the approval for others. I especially need to remind myself of that when I check how many people have clicked on my blog to read it.

I used to collect cookbooks. I loved buying new cookbooks and trying out recipes. But again, life gets busy, and I stopped doing that also. Recently, I bought the Complete Mediterranean Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. I’m not big on dieting, but when I do pay attention to what I eat, I try to follow a Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have many health benefits.

So a couple weeks ago, I decided that I would start cooking lots of recipes from this book and take pictures and then write a blog post about it. I’m already feeling a little burnt out by it though. I remember why I stopped cooking so often. Time is valuable on the weekdays after work, and sometimes I just want to sit around and be lazy. Cooking from a recipe involves not only chopping, prepping, and time in the kitchen, but then it involves a pile of dishes. I also have the tendency to buy ingredients for recipes and then not use the leftovers before they go bad, which makes me feel bad about food waste. So for the past week, I’ve had several dinners of grilled cheese or bagels.

I am no food photographer, but here are some pictures of the recipes I’ve made over the past couple of weeks. First, I made some garlic and rosemary white bean dip which was tasty and easy.  I also made two batches of pita chips. The first olive oil-sea salt pita chips were flavorful, but toasted too much.  I cooked the second batch for less time and they came out better. Those were rosemary parmesan pita chips.

Next, I made some baba ghanoush. These took more effort than the other dip due to roasting the eggplants.  It had good flavor though. I dipped pita in it.

My next picture is a whole meal. It includes more of the baba ghanoush.  along with some roasted winter squash with tahini and feta.  It was very flavorful and included pistachios and mint.  I also made a lemon tahini salad dressing for a side salad. The dressing recipe made enough to have several salads.

For my next couple recipes, I bought some pistachios for cooking. I love pistachios, but it is work to open them all up to use for cooking.  I made some roasted chicken thighs with Moroccan pistachio sauce. It was delicious, but I did have the whole house smoking with my cooking.  Oops. I also made couscous with dates and pistachios. I make boxed couscous but added a bunch of stuff to it. I roasted some tomatoes for another side.  I also made a dessert of roasted pears with dried apricots and pistachios. I cooked these far less than the stated time because they were burning.

The last recipe I made were some prosciutto wrapped stuffed dates. It’s not a great picture, because I did not take the care to assemble them perfectly. The flavors tasted good together – walnuts, parsley, orange zest, olive oil, dates, and prosciutto, but they weren’t really presentation worthy.

We’ll see how long it takes for me to get back in the kitchen, but it is fun to test out some new things now and again.

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