Friday, August 13, 2010

Greek Turkey Meatball Pita

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Greek meatballs or traditionally called Keftedes are typically made with lamb or beef.  This recipe from is made with ground turkey and (shhh, don’t tell the kids) zucchini.  I took Gina’s meatball recipe and paired it with her Skinny Tzatziki sauce and put it in a pita for dinner the other night and it was divine!  Here’s Gina’s recipes with a few modifications from yours truly.

Greek Turkey Meatballs

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  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated and liquid squeezed out
  • 2 sliced whole wheat bread (I used the Natures Own Sandwich Thins)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 red onion, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (less if using dry)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh spearmint, chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • about 1 tsp worth of olive oil cooking spray (I use my Misto)

Tear bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Combine with turkey, egg, zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, mint, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, form each meatball 1/4 cup in size. For best results, refrigerate before cooking to help hold their shape. Spray olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and cook over low heat or on the grill. Makes about 17 meatballs.

Skinny Tzatziki

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  • 8 oz fat free greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded (1 cup grated and drained)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper

Strain the yogurt using a metal strainer or a coffee filter for a few hours to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

Scoop seeds out of the cucumber with a small spoon. Place cucumber in a mini food processor or grate with a box cheese grater. Drain the liquid from the  cucumber in a metal strainer and sprinkle with a little salt (this helps release the liquid). You may want to use the back of a spoon to help squeeze out any excess liquid.
Combine strained cucumber, garlic, yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dill, chives and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Makes about 2 cups. Store in refrigerator for about a week

In a whole wheat pita, put two meatballs, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tzatziki sauce, and fat free feta cheese.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Red Velvet Cake Balls

This may not be a new discovery to most people out there, but it’s new to me.  Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake Balls!  How have I missed the whole Cake Ball revolution, lead by Bakerella herself?  I don’t know!!  I claim dessert ignorance.  Just in case you have also missed the Cake Ball boat, here’s how you make them.

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Red Velvet Cake Balls
1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.  Reserve about a 1/2 a cup of the cake to use as a garnish.

2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)

4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)

5. Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  I like this method rather than the microwave method. The chocolate stays warm and is easier to work with.                                                                

6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.) 


Set the reserved 1/2 of cake out on the counter to dry out while chilling the cake balls.  After it has dried a little, place in the food processer.  Pulse three times quickly.  Use the cake crumbs to garnish the cake balls right after they have been dipped in the chocolate so that it will adhere to the chocolate.  Enjoy!!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Up, Up, and Away! {Airplane Cookies}

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I made these airplane sugar cookies for a friend's baby shower last weekend.  They take a little time, but they turned out cute!  I've experimented with a few different sugar cookie recipes, and this one is definitely the best at keeping it's shape. 

Sugar Cookies (via
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups sugar (white granulated)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.  Chill for 1 to 2 hours.

Cut cookies and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Once your cookies are completely cooled, you can frost them.  I like to ice a border of royal icing around the edge of my cookies so that I don't have run-off.  It gives the cookie a crisp, professional look.

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Royal Icing
3 large egg whites
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until they reach the soft peak stage.  Add confectioner's sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form.

To ice your cookies, fill a zippered sandwich bag with icing and cut a little off the corner.  Frost your border and allow a few minutes for the icing to harden.  Finally,  you'll want to fill in your cookie with regular icing.  I put about 2 cups of confectioner's sugar in a bowl and add a little milk until I get my desired consistency (not runny, but not stiff).  Fill another sandwich bag with this icing, snip the corner of the bag, and fill the cookie.  To get an even consistency, use a toothpick or your (clean) pinky finger to spread the icing. 
Once this has set up, you can add any extra details with royal icing.  All of these icings can be tinted by adding food coloring. 

I really love a beautiful cookie!  Here's some more from around the web.

sugar cookies 3 sugar cookies 






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