This is one of my all time favorite “quick and easy” dinners. I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so I’ll turn to it on those nights when dinner doesn’t go as planned. Coincidentally, those are usually the same nights that a heaping helping of pasta in a luxurious cream sauce is just what the doctor ordered. It’s got a ton of flavor, and a good kick of heat. But, not too much – the boys are both able to enjoy it. Feel free to scale down or amp up on the seasoning per your liking.

I like the addition of chicken stock to the sauce. It’s a great way to inject flavor into a dish, that doesn’t involve a ton of fat or calories (which, would be the case if this weren’t a cream sauce). The wine is a great touch, but if you don’t have a bottle open, I’d just skip it. Then again, you could see it as an excuse to open a bottle. Whatever floats your boat! It’s also absolutely wonderful with shrimp swapped out for chicken.

I’ve lamented before about my ability (or, lack thereof) to get decent ethnic foods here on the Eastern Shore. One nationality that is well represented on our little island is Greece. I may not be able to get a burrito for 25 miles, but I can get a great gyro! I’ve come around to many Greek favorites in more recent years – feta, kalamata olives, and most importantly, tzatziki. It’s so deliciously cool and refreshing, and pretty much guilt free.

I’ll make a huge batch up whenever I make souvlaki for gyros, and leftovers keep great in the refrigerator for a couple of days. It’s a great afternoon snack, with a few wedges of pita bread. I’ve also discovered that oven fries (I made them with a bit of a Greek flair last time; lots of oregano and garlic) dipped in tzatziki is out of this world. I think it would also be wonderful along side grilled fish.

The key is to make sure you squeeze as much water as possible out of the cucumbers after shredding them. Tzatziki should be a relatively thick consistency. If you like it thinner, add some more red wine vinegar or lemon juice. I like to add a little bit of dill, just because I think it makes it a little prettier, but it’s optional. Dried dill doesn’t have that much flavor, so it’s not like it’s bringing that much to the party. Try this soon, it’s a healthy option that’s still full of flavor and very versatile. Opa!

I had a nice healthy post scheduled to share with you today. But, it’s Friday, and I wanted to “throw caution into the wind” (heh, no pun intended) and post this Hurricane recipe. I made a batch of these to celebrate Mardi Gras this past Tuesday, and I loved them. So fruity and delicious, but with a strong punch of rum. It actually uses both light and dark rum, which is kind of dangerous in my opinion.

I went out and bought grenadine for this, but honestly, I think maraschino cherry juice would be better. I think I’ll definitely be tucking this recipe away for the warmer months ahead. I think it would make a great “big kids” punch for a backyard barbecue. It’s been absolutely gorgeous here the past few days, already has me itching to get to the beach. If you’ve been in the same mood as me the past couple of days, don’t wait for summer to make these! Treat yourself to a taste of it this weekend, and make this wonderful cocktail!

What’s more comforting than a loaf of banana bread baking in the oven? Few things my friends, few things. So, in honor of National Banana Bread Day, I wanted to share my favorite recipe with you guys. It’s from the Better Homes And Gardens Cookbook, you know, the one that EVERYONE has on their bookshelf. Great cookbook, by the way. So many tried and true recipes to be found inside!

I’ve tried several other recipes for banana bread, but I always end up coming back to this one. It comes together in minutes, and stays fresh for days. It also uses more mashed banana than most recipe I’ve seen call for, which I like. I’ll usually have 3 bananas left at the end of the week,  and that’s just about what this recipe calls for. It’s great to whip up on a Friday night to munch on all weekend long. Toasted, with a smear of butter or honey, along side a cup of tea. Heaven!