lemon cucumber couscous salad + tzatziki

I am typically very much in favor of seasonal dishes, but when the temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s in February, I tend to throw all of that out the window. Who wants something hot and steamy when you’ve just spent the afternoon outside getting a tan? Not I. And yes, I actually picked up some new tan lines this Saturday.

So instead I decided to go all Greek and springy and make this fantastic lemon cucumber couscous salad with tzatziki. I simply adore Greek food and my husband and I eat Mediterranean meals almost exclusively during the warmer months. Our house is always stocked with loads of hummus, seafood, sun dried tomatoes, pita chips, and white wine. This couscous salad incorporates everything I love about Mediterranean flavors and pairs perfectly with salmon or grilled chicken and a nice, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Tzatziki is a traditional Greek dip that is delicious with just about everything, and although I have it pictured here with pita chips – I would be lying if I told you I didn’t put a fair dollop on top of my couscous as well.

Lemon Cucumber Couscous Salad

Ingredients

1½ to 2 cups couscous
2 medium cucumbers
¼ bunch parsley
1 medium lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the couscous to boiling water, stir once to combine, cover with lid and remove from heat.

Cut the cucumber into quarter rounds and place them in a large bowl. Take a big handful (or about ¼ bunch) of parsley and pull the leaves from the stems. Roughly chop the parsley and then add it to the bowl with the cucumber. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to remove the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon and add it the bowl with the other ingredients.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl (you should get 2-3 tablespoons of juice). Add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine and then pour the dressing over the cucumber, parsley, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

Add the couscous and crumbled feta to the bowl. Gently stir to combine all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.

*recipe adapted via

Tzatziki

Ingredients

½ English cucumber, peeled
2 cups cold plain Greek yogurt
4 cloves garlic, pressed
⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
1½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp salt, or to taste
⅛ tsp black pepper

Instructions

The Cucumber should be peeled, finely diced and strained of it’s juices. I squeezed it really tight by the fistful. You can use a cheese cloth if you wish. Getting rid of excess juice is important so that you tzatziki sauce isn’t watery the next day.

Combine the strained and chopped cucumber with 2 cups plain greek yogurt, 1½ Tbsp lemon juice, 4 pressed garlic cloves, ⅓ cup chopped dill, ½ tsp salt (add more to taste) and ⅛ tsp black pepper.

Mix everything together and add more salt to taste if needed. It’s best to refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving to let the flavors meld. It tastes even better when refrigerated overnight!

Share

andes mint cookies.

One of the “rules” that southern girls learn growing up is that you are never to show up to a party empty handed. I’m typically all for bringing a nice Malbec, but lately I’ve been consuming more cookies than wine and it turns out – they are quite the crowd pleaser.

These particular cookies are such a fun alternative to my old faithful, chocolate chip. I’ve kind of been on a chocolate-mint kick lately, which can most likely be blamed on Girl Scout cookies, so this batch really hit the spot for my pregnant hankerings. They are great for a get together with friends, and even better when you have some leftover with a glass of cold milk at home.

Which I may or may not have had for the last 5 nights in a row.

Ingredients

12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips

Instructions

Cream together the butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar until lightly and fluffy with a handheld or a stand mixer.

Add in the egg and cream everything together.

Slow mix in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt until the cookie dough has formed.

Fold in the Andes Creme De Menthe baking chips.

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator at for least 3 hours or up to 72 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Scoop 1.5-2 tablespoons of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

recipe via Gal On a Mission

Share

transitioning into motherhood.

I’ve been struggling to produce regular content as of late, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything (although for several weeks during my first trimester that was exactly the case!), but I am still trying to figure out how to transition into motherhood. I am not typically a “tell-all” kind of person, so the odds of me sitting down and writing all of the gory details of my pregnancy are highly unlikely. However, my life is drastically changing and that means changes will inevitably be coming to this space as well.

I will obviously still be cooking because we have to eat and I am incapable of eating fast food or boxed dinners (the horror!). So those of you who come here for the sweet and savory will not be disappointed, I assure you. I’m also already planning our first vacation as a family of three, so if you stop by for travel tips – never fear. But I’m also hoping to add in more about pregnancy and motherhood as well.

As I’m learning and growing (literally) I want to share bits and pieces of that journey with you all as well.  If I stumble upon good advice or great, stylish products, then I want this to be a place where I can gush over that too. Speaking of, if you haven’t read Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, then you need to drop everything and pick it up now. I cannot recommend this book enough and I am so glad it was the first book I read after finding out I was pregnant. It’s chock-full of practical tips for raising children who sleep, wait patiently, and eat real food. Not to mention, plenty of advice and reminders for parents to calm down and retain their identity as individuals and spouses after delivery. Pretty excellent stuff.

I hope you will all hang in there with me as I figure this new role out and exactly how it’s going to fit into the blog. 2017 is looking to be a very exciting year!

Pacapod Mirano Diaper Bag / Bannor Toys Classic Rattle /  Adorababy Striped Shoes / Hazel Village Juliette Rabbit

Share