Greek Panzanella

So... this name is a bit misleading. Greek panzanella. Panzanella is traditionally an Italian bread salad - usually made with croutons and various Italian veggies. I had a bag of Stacy's pita chips on hand that I stole from after hours at a wedding I was at... (thanks Josh!) and decided to go Greek! This is super delicious and refreshing. Great for a light dinner.

You'll need:
- chips or croutons
- tomatoes
- cucumbers
- red onions
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- parmesan cheese (feta would be luffly too.)

First, dump the chips in the bottom of a bowl. This recipe is easy to make for 1, or for 100, so I didn't provide measurements...seeing as I didn't actually take any while making it.

Then, chop up your veggies into bite-sized chunks. Add your cucumbers....


And red onions. Feel free to add the red onions just raw as they are... or use this trick. I personally don't like the taste of raw onions. It's way too strong for me. What you can do is give the onions an ice bath. I'm not even kidding.

Let them sit there while you're putting together the salad. It helps take the bite out of the onion. Sounds weird, but it works!

Go ahead and add the cheese at this point too.

I use fresh grated parmesan...but that's because I'm a snob.

While your onions are bathing, we can get the "dressing" ready. I use dressing in quotation marks because I hesitate to call it anything, since it's so easy.

So here's what you do. Pour extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add balsamic vinegar. It's about a 3:1 ratio.

Isn't that a sweet picture?

After you're done admiring (take your time), stir.

Now, add your onions, salt and pepper, and stir in dressing.

Cover and let sit in the fridge for a half hour. When you bring it out, it'll look like this!

All the dressing and tomato juices soak into the chips. It's so good. The chips are hearty enough that they don't get all soggy. Make sure you eat it that day though... once it's sat over night it definitely gets that gross mushy quality. I was very upset at lunch the next day.

That's it! Enjoy!

<3 Courtzilla


Dimply Strawberry Cake

This is kinda less of a cake, and more of a fat kid breakfast. It's not super sweet...and yet you find yourself craving milk. I loved it! Clearly, I belong in fat kid camp. Who wants to watch Heavyweights with me??

But seriously. This was originally going to be the cake to show off my uber cute baby plums... but they went bad before I could use them. And I cried. For DAYS. And then I ate cake and got over it.

You'll need:

-1 1/2 cups of flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- zest from one orange (which I didn't have, and I didn't think lime zest would be the best alternative....)
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- cute baby plums.... orrrr whatever fruit you've got.

First thing's first... preheat your oven to 350 degrees!

Then, butter and flour your pan. Seriously, it's exactly how it sounds. You rub butter around the inside of the pan, then sprinkle flour over it. It helps the cake to come out of the pan clean!

Ok, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Perfect, you're doing so swell.

Alrighty then. Take your softened butter, and put it in another larger bowl. You'll want to mix the butter until it gets light and creamy. Once it's at that stage, add the brown sugar. After a couple minutes it'll look like so...

SUPER appetizing, right?

Ok, now you'll want to add your eggs, one at a time. Afterwards beat each egg on high for about 1 minute. This will thicken up your batter.

At this point, add in your vanilla, zest, and oil and beat until incorporated. I bet this would've been great with the zest. Sighhhh.

Ok, now slowly add in your flour, until it looks like this:

Beautiful! Now pour it in your pan, and level it out so it'll bake evenly.

The swirlage is not necessary in the least.

Now you'll want to add the fruit. As I said, all I had were strawberries... so I wanted to make the most of it. I made this.

Not bad right?

Ok, now you just throw it in the oven, and let it sit for about 40 minutes.

Or at least it should be that simple.

If you used less juicy plums.

If you used strawberries or another juicy fruit (remind me to tell you about my blackberry scone failure), let me show you a trick.

So, I peeked in the over at about the 20 minute mark.

Action shot blur, that's when you know this is getting intense.

Basically what was happening, was 1) my strawberry flower was doomed, and 2) the outsides were cooking way quicker than the middle where all the juicy strawberries were keeping things moist. Moist. What a gross word.

Here's what you do. Make it a foil jacket. It'll totally thank you later.

Just look at it! All dressed up for it's first day of school.

But seriously, the foil will help protect the outsides, while allowing the middle to cook all the way through. How I bombed chemistry, I'll never know.

Twenty minutes later, BAHAHAH!! Perfection.... other than my fail-tastic strawberry flower thingy.

Look how cute and dimply it is.

You'll want to let it cool for about 10 minutes, by the way.

To take it up a notch, I sprinkled a bit of powdered sugar on top.

Beeeeeautiful. Ain't she pretty?

Then cut it up into squares, and serve!


Nom nom nom.


<3 Courtzilla

Dill Chicken Salad

Ok, when you think of the words "chicken salad" what do you think of? I think of crappy restaurant choices and disappointments. Depressing, I realize. THAT NEEDED TO CHANGE. Whenever I order chicken salad, I'm always thinking eh...it's ok. Unless I'm at Penn Station, but I'm fairly certain they put some sort of crack in their recipe.

Chicken salad is one of those classic lunch recipes that can be so individualized, that everyone has a "chicken salad, my way" recipe. Well, you do if you're me. And here's mine.

You'll need:
- A cut up whole chicken. I believe they're called "fryer chicken".
- 1/3 cup low fat mayo
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
- handful of fresh dill
- pinch 'o paprika
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 stalks of chopped up celery
- couple handfuls of halved grapes
- green onions if you've got any (oh wait, I didn't)

Ok! First - the chicken. The main component. The heart of the meal.

Rinse off the raw chicken, and place it in a pot of water. A BIG pot.

Put the pot on the stove, and bring to a boil. Once it hits the boil point for around 5 minutes, bring the heat down to a simmer. You'll want to let it sit and cook for about 40 minutes.

While the chicken is bubbling away in it's hot bath, I start the sauce! Basically, you'll want to combine your sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, paprika, lemon juice, brown sugar, and whatever else floats your boat into a small bowl. Pretty sure I added some other stuff, but I'm so behind on posting I can't be bothered to remember.

Just mix that all together! You can also chop up your dill and add it to the sauce at this point.

Have you ever had fresh dill? It adds a distinctly pickle-y flavor, and I don't have to add weird pickle texture. It's the best compromise ever.

Okie dokie. When your chicken is done, take it outta the pot.

At this point you can do one of two things. I like my chicken salad chunky, so i rip the meat off the bone and chop it into cute chunks. Some people like their chicken salad all one texture - if that's your preference, go ahead and shred up all the chicken with two forks at this point.

Then, add the chicken to a bowl with your chopped up veggies, like so!


Guess what the last step is.

Dump in your sauce, and MIX!!

Yummo! Put it on a bun, or on some lettuce with some cute cherry tomatoes! Go crazy and TOAST the bun. I know, I know, I push you too far.

Hello, lover. Slash lunch for the next 4 days.


<3 Courtzilla