Greek Pasta Salad with Zesty Vinaigrette

This. This is it. This is the pasta salad you’ll want bring to your next cookout. You’ll be the talk of the town and the same question will be on everyones mind…”Can I get the recipe?”

Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but if there was ever a pasta salad that called for drama, you’re looking at it. 

Greek Pasta Salad with Zesty Vinaigrette

I love this recipe because it’s light, refreshing, and chalked full of crunchy veggies. Also all the Greek flavors combined with the zesty vinaigrette will make it super hard to stop eating. You’re taste buds and stomach will be like “More!” while you’re brain is wondering if eating this much pasta in one sitting is a good idea. 

Greek Pasta Salad with Zesty Vinaigrette

Let me tell you something. It’s always a good idea.

Greek Pasta Salad with Zesty Vinaigrette
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound pasta, cooked
  2. 1 cucumber, deseeded and chopped (I did a larger chop)
  3. 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  4. 1/2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  5. 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  6. 1/2 cup basil, torn
  7. 1 cup feta, diced (or crumbled)
  8. zesty vinaigrette (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. For best results, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
Notes
  1. May be made a day ahead of time.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
Zesty Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  3. 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  4. juice from 2 lemons
  5. zest from 1 lemon
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. pinch of pepper
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a mason jar. Shake for about 15 second. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to let the flavors come together.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/

   

Street Festival Corn on the Cob

You know it’s summer time when every weekend there is a different street festival happening. And if you’re in the Midwest there’s corn. Lots of corn. When you can get corn at a street festival then you’re really in business. 

Mariah, Clint, Chris, and I went to the Columbus Rib and Jazz Festival last weekend where the guys ate an impressive amount of ribs while Mariah and I stuck to the pulled pork sandwiches and corn on the cob. Eating BBQ and corn on the cob picnic style while listening to jazz is a pretty stellar way to spend a Saturday night, especially when the corn on the cob is covered in melted butter, spices, and parmesan cheese. It was so stinkin’ good. After having corn on the cob like that going back to basic butter and salt would be nearly impossible, so I knew I would have to recreate it at home.

Street Festival Corn on the Cob

 

The spice rub for this corn is really simple (I bet everything you need for it is in your pantry right now) and when you pair it with the parmesan and cilantro, well, lets just say it’s a winning combo. In fact, Clint and Chris both said it was the best corn on the cob they have ever had. So yea, that’s saying something coming from two born and raised Midwest boys. 

Street Festival Corn on the Cob

 

The corn on the cob was such a hit that we ended up having it for both lunch and later for dinner on the same day. And don’t think the spice rub can only be used for corn. It would go great on chicken, cheeseburgers, steaks, pretty much anything you could throw on the grill. 

 

Street Festival Corn on the Cob

You know what they say, once you have street festival corn you’ll never go back. Or something like that.

Street Festival Corn on the Cob
Yields 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 ears of corn, husked
  2. 1 tablespoon paprika
  3. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  4. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  6. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  7. 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  11. 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  12. grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and boil for about 8 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, make the corn rub by mixing, in a small bowl, the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, dry mustard, onion powder, Old Bay, pepper, and salt.
  3. Once the bowl corn is finished boiling, remove and place on a platter. Brush on melted butter and sprinkle with the corn rub, parmesan cheese, and cilantro.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
   

Skillet Peach and Raspberry Cobbler

If you’re located anywhere in the Midwest, most particularly Ohio, you know that the rain has been relentless. Our usual hot summer days have been absent and in place we’ve had non-stop wetness and dreary fall-looking clouds. Luckily though, summer produce has been a subtle reminder that not all is lost of our summer. Specifically, sweet, ripe peaches.

When Coty and I decided to grill out over the weekend (in the rain), I needed a quick, summer dish, and a peach and raspberry cobbler was just the dessert. It’s easy, can feed a crowd, and hello…who doesn’t love a warm cobbler with milk poured on top? And if you have not tried milk on top of your cobbler, do it. I was introduced this method by my husband and Coty’s family.

Skillet Peach and Raspberry Cobbler

Baking this cobbler in a cast iron skillet made it even more rustic and perfect for entertaining. Feel free to swap out the raspberry for any other berry you may have on hand.

Don’t get discouraged by the rain – make a fruity cobbler and top it with milk to lift your spirits!

Skillet Peach and Raspberry Cobbler

Skillet Peach and Raspberry Cobbler
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Ingredients
  1. 5 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  2. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  3. 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  4. 2 Pinches of salt, divided
  5. 1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  6. Cooking spray
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/2 cup butter, softened $
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  12. 1 1/2 Cups of fresh Raspberries
  13. 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Place peaches and raspberries in a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar, one pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons flour to peach and raspberry mixture; toss to combine. Arrange the mixture evenly large cast iron skilled buttered.
  3. Whisk together your flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring well. Place the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in blueberries.
  5. Spread batter evenly over peach mixture; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place skillet on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for at least one hour, until golden brown and bubbly on top.
  7. Top with cold milk and enjoy!
Adapted from Myrecipes
Adapted from Myrecipes
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
  • This is so beautiful and I love the peach/raspberry flavor combo :) Pinning!ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous cobbler! Funny enough it was raining pretty heavy last weekend here in Los Angeles, which is a rare thing for July. But no matter what weather it is, I am sure this cobbler will brighten up the day. Love the sweet peaches and tart raspberry combination! I gotta try what the milk is all about. 😉ReplyCancel

    • That is rare for Los Angeles! We hope you like the cobbler, and let us know what you think about the milk:)ReplyCancel

   

Southwest Turkey Burger with Chipotle Sauce

The past couple of weeks my diet has been…suffering. In a crazy whirlwind of travel and helping everyone pack, move, and unpack I’ve gotten lazy and have been grabbing whatever was convenient, leaving me feeling sluggish and well, gross. 

Things have finally calmed down and I was able to go to the grocery store and stock back up on fruits and veggies. I also wanted some dishes I could make for dinner that were lean and filling. Enter the Southwest turkey burger. 

Southwest Turkey Burger with Chipotle Sauce

I always give Mariah a hard time because every time we go to a burger joint she gets a turkey burger. I would always argue that when I go to a burger place I want a burger. A real burger. 

I think I owe Mariah an apology. I am a turkey burger convert. 

I know just saying the word turkey burger conjures up images of dry, bland turkey patties but this burger is packed with flavor and crazy juicy. To get a juicy turkey burger make sure you don’t over mix the meat. Use your fingertips to gently fold in all of the ingredients and once they are pretty much combined throughout, stop. Don’t keep mixing. Don’t smash it. Don’t smush it. Step away. 

Southwest Turkey Burger with Chipotle SauceBy subbing ground turkey for beef you are going to be getting less fat and sodium, both good things when trying to drop a pound or two. The chipotle sauce is mayo free so you are going to be saving calories there too. I served mine with a simple black bean and corn salsa, also really healthy. You are going to feel like a million bucks after eating this.

Southwest Turkey Burger with Chipotle Sauce

Don’t make fun of your best friend for getting the turkey burger. Follow in her footsteps.

Southwest Turkey Burger with Chipotle Sauce
Yields 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  2. 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  3. 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 shallot, finely diced
  5. 3 heaping teaspoons diced green chills (you can find them canned in the Mexican food aisle at most grocers)
  6. 1 garlic glove, grated
  7. 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  12. 6 slices pepper jack cheese
  13. 6 burger buns
  14. Chipotle sauce (recipe below)
  15. Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, etc..
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the cilantro, bell pepper, shallot, green chilies, garlic, worcestershire sauce, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the ground turkey and combine gently with fingertips until all the ingredients are mixed through. Do not over mix!
  3. Use your hands to form 6 patties. Set in a plate and sprinkle the top with salt.
  4. In an oiled cast iron skillet on medium heat or on a grill, cook the turkey patties until cooked completely through, about 5-7 minutes on each side.**
  5. Add a slice of pepper jack cheese to each burger. Cover the cast iron for about 20 seconds to let the cheese melt.
  6. Remove the turkey burgers and place on buns.
  7. Top with chipotle sauce and any other toppings.
Notes
  1. *Do not press down on the patties while they cook. They will lose their juices.
  2. *Do not keep flipping the patties over and over. Lay the patty down. Let it cook for about 6 minutes and then flip. The more you flip the less juicy the burger will be.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  2. juice from 1/2 a lime
  3. 2 chilis in adobe sauce, very finely diced and 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce (you can find canned chilies in adobo sauce in the Mexican food aisle at most grocers.)
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors come together.
  3. Serve with the Southwest turkey burgers.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/

   

Blackberry and Lemon Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Oh man, these quinoa breakfast bowls are my newest morning obsession. High in protein and low in sugar (if you desire), you can’t find a better breakfast to start your day. They’re so customizable too, it’s ridiculous – but this blackberry, lemon combination will have you hooked.

With nutrients like iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber, you can see why quinoa considered a super food.

Blackberry and Lemon Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Cooking quinoa is so easy. I like to cook a big batch on Sunday and use it for various things throughout the week. While cooking this batch I added some lemon zest and used almond milk as my liquid – and let me tell you, it smelled like a lemon cookie. I couldn’t wait to prepare myself a bowl and dig in.

If you don’t have blackberries, blueberries would be a great option as well to pair with the lemon quinoa.

I wanted to make this breakfast bowl have a light and summery taste, so I made sure to top the dish with a bit of mint and a little bit of crunch from some hemp seeds. It’s perfect for the summer months.

Blackberry and Lemon Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Blackberry and Lemon Quinoa Breakfast Bowls
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup of rinsed and dry quinoa
  2. 3/4 Cup of almond milk
  3. 1 Teaspoon of grated lemon zest
  4. 1/4 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  5. 1 Teaspoon of honey
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 1/3 Cup of fresh black berries
  8. 1 Tablespoon of fresh mint
  9. 2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds (or any seed you like!)
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa, almond milk, vanilla extract, honey, lemon zest, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool at least 10 minute and serve right away by topping with your blackberries, mint, and hemp seeds.
  3. Or refrigerate.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/

Have you made breakfast bowls? If so, share some of your favorite toppings!