Category Archives: Dinner A la Diethood

Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches with Herbed Goat Cheese Served on Focaccia Bread

Remember those tasty, squared little focaccia samwiches from my focaccia bread post?


If you are entertaining at home this weekend, these mini samwiches (I love calling it a “samwich”) are something that you will want to serve. They are crunchy, creamy and delicious.

Serve them at your next party, or you can just stick them in your lunch box; they are great any way that you want to enjoy them.


You will need:

  • 1 homemade focaccia bread, cut up into squares
  • Red Peppers, 1 per sandwich (my bread recipe should yield 8 to 10 sandwiches)
  • baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • Herbed goat cheese spread

For the goat cheese you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package (3 oz.) of goat cheese


Directions:

For the Peppers:

  • To roast the peppers, preheat the broiler and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, or grease it lightly.
  • Cut peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stems.
  • Place peppers cut side down on the sheet pan.
  • Broil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Peel when cooled.

For the Herbed Goat Cheese Spread:

  • In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the goat cheese, mix well.
  • Coat the goat cheese with the mixture, press the mixture into the cheese with a fork and combine well.
  • Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you have the time, prepare this a day ahead; the longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Assembling the Sandwiches:

  • Spread the herbed goat cheese on two squared slices of focaccia.
  • Layer the portobello mushrooms on one slice, then follow up with the roasted pepper.
  • Cover with a slice of focaccia, and serve.


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Semi-Homemade Cream Cheese Pizza

Judging by some of the comments and emails I received regarding my last post, it seems as if though I was either unclear or I was misunderstood. I think I was misunderstood. Blame it on my accent. (I don’t really have one)

Some of my readers seem to think that I might be a food snob?!? Me?! The girl that makes Pistachio Pudding from a box?

I am far from a food snob – and I do not aspire to become one, either.


The hosts of that party invited us to a “Dinner Party”, and they made it sound as if the party was going to be some sort of a Black-Tie Affair. They even asked me to bring, “that incredible” Chocolate Pie.

I spent four hours on that Chocolate Pie, plus chill time. They spent an hour at Sam’s to buy all the pre-packaged food, and probably another hour to set up.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I do not care that they bought it all from Sam’s, I just wish I wasn’t told that this was going to be a fancy, shmancy “Dinner Party”.

So now I am going to prove to some that I am definitely not a food snob, and that I do make things that come in a box! 🙂


Take this pizza for instance. You will probably never ever see me at a Pizza Hut, but you will definitely see me in the Baking Aisle at the grocery store reaching to grab one of these pouches:

I’ve blogged about this before. It is my favorite mix for a pizza crust and I use it very often.

Sunday was a day to relax, so instead of whipping up something from scratch, I decided that we were going to have a semi-homemade pizza, topped with cream cheese, ham, mozzarella, parmesan, onions, and baby portobella mushrooms.

Semi-Homemade Cream Cheese Pizza

You will need:

  • 1 Betty Crocker Pizza Crust mix
  • 1/4 (2 oz.) of a package of cream cheese, or you can use Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup of your favorite ham, diced, or you can use leftover baked/grilled sliced chicken
  • 1 small onion, red or yellow, sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup of part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 450.
  • Make the dough according to the directions on the package.

  • Bake the dough for 7 minutes.
  • Let it cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 400.
  • Once cooled, spread the cream cheese evenly over the crust.

  • Add the rest of the toppings.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until the mozzarella cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with a handful of parmesan cheese, cut and serve.

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Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread

I love a good bread.

And I especially love that bread when it has been made for me by someone else.

You want to know what I don’t love?

(I’m not going to mention any names)

When I get to a dinner party and discover that everything on that table was prepared by the hands of your local grocer; petite quiches, jalapeno poppers (at a dinner party?) and other finger foods from Sam’s… a cake from Sam’s bakery… and, the one thing that infuriates me the most… sliced bread… also bought at Sam’s.

Are you kidding me?

You just invited me to a dinner party that was catered by your local Sam’s. Why on Earth didn’t you just tell us to meet you at the cafe over at Sam’s instead?

Come on, at least make the bread!

Please allow me to show you how easy it is to make a really good bread that you can wow your guests with. It tastes oh so yummy good, it takes one hour flat to make it, and your guests will love it just because it sounds foreign. 🙂

Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread

You will need:

  • 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 package (.25 oz.) instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup of water, divided
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 475.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, and garlic salt; stir well to combine.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of water, mix, then stir in the rest of the water slowly, until all of the flour is absorbed.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. I always put it on top of my warm stove and the rise is done within 20 minutes.
  • Grab the dough and knead it again, briefly, on a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 1/4 inch thick, and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Dimple the bread with your index finger.

  • Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano and rosemary.
  • Bake the bread for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness.
  • With a sharp knife, slice the focaccia into wedges and serve it with garlic sauce, or cut it into squares and make little bite-sized sandwiches.

(recipe soon… it’s a darn good samwich!)

That’s it! How hard was that?

Please, if you’re going to have friends over for dinner, bake something, anything! The bread is probably the easiest thing you can attempt to make.

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My Guest Post at More Than A Mount Full: Dublin Coddle & Soda Bread

Dublin Coddle

I am so thrilled to announce that today I have a guest post over at my friend Chef Dennis’ place, More Than A Mount Full!

If you have never visited his blog, prepare yourself for a great read and oh-so-yummy-good treats. It’s the one place where you either need your recipe book and a pen in front of you, or the printer next to you because you do not want to miss any of his delicious bites.

Please hop on over and join us for a lovely Irish meal that I prepared in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! I know – there’s not an ounce of Irish in me, but isn’t everyone Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? 🙂

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Roasted Carp on a Bed of Caramelized Onions by Sitno Seckano

You know that “oh-wow” feeling that you get when you first run into a certain food blog? You know what I’m talking about, right?

Of course you do!

That is what I felt when I first stumbled upon a blog that had this gorgeous photo of a baklava on the front and then a mouthwatering recipe to follow. The moment I set eyes on that blog I knew I was in love with it, and with every recipe and photo thereafter.

Because I feel that I should not keep these great foodies all to myself, I finally found the courage to ask them to be my guests here at Diethood.

It is my great pleasure to finally introduce to you one of the most fabulous Macedonian kitchens in the blog world, Ситно Сецкано – Sitno Seckano (Seet-no Sets-kah-no). This duo, or is it a trio (?), of foodies never cease to amaze me with their wonderful food creations and stunning photos.

Their kitchen consists of centuries old Macedonian dishes, as well as modern, but they will also surprise you with an American staple, such as a peanut butter cookie, or an Italian tartlet.

I have been following them for a long time and I could not be happier when they accepted my guest post invitation.

Please welcome Bojana, Maja, and Daniel!

Hello Everyone!

We are so excited to be Kate’s guests today. We come from the same country as Kate, Macedonia, and we hope you enjoy our guest post!

Kate, thanks so much for having us here!

About Us

Sitno Seckano (which means “finely chopped” in Macedonian) is the blog of two food-obsessed sisters. We are inspired by lots of chefs and home cooks, and love finding unusual foods, thinking about what to cook next, and people enjoying our kitchen creations. We read food blogs every day so we asked each other; how come we don’t have a blog when we cook so much and so often? Thus, in March 2009, Bojana started the blog with a post on honey and oatmeal pie.

Bojana lives in Skopje, Macedonia and Maja lives in The Netherlands. Daniel does most of the photos. We want to share our ideas, recipes and the food we’ve enjoyed.  Sitno Seckano is like an extension of our individual kitchens where you are always welcome!

And now here’s the recipe:


Roasted Carp with Onions

Macedonia is a landlocked country but the rivers and lakes have several delicious freshwater fish. Carp is an oily freshwater fish which is available in the rivers in Macedonia. The carp fish contains high amounts of calcium and protein, and fatty acids which help prevent heart disease. While there are free-floating bones in the flesh, this fish is very tasty, especially when prepared in the following way.

This is a traditional Macedonian recipe; we hope you’ll like it as much as we do.

You will need:

  • 1 – 1.3 kg. (2 – 2 ½ lbs.) whole carp
  • 1 kg. (2 lbs.) white onions
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. paprika powder
  • 3 – 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. all purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

  • Dice the onions and add them to a frying pan in which you’ve first heated the oil.
  • Sauté the onions for about 10 – 15 minutes on medium heat until they are soft and translucent, but not brown.
  • Add the salt, paprika and black pepper.
  • Brush a deeper roasting pan with oil and transfer the onions to it.
  • Place the cleaned fish over the onions.
  • In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of water with the flour and lemon juice and pour over the fish.
  • Roast for 1 hour in a pre-heated oven at 180°C (350°F).
  • You can add couple of tablespoons of water to the pan if your onions start to dry up while roasting.
  • Serve with crusty bread and red wine (or beer).

  • Serves 4.

Enjoy!

Please don’t forget to head over to sitnoseckano.com for more of these delicious creations!

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