Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Mint and Lemon Tahini Sauce

This recipe is part of the main course to a 1-Hour Middle Eastern inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!   As a child of the 80s and 90s, the notion of tahini being a regular on my white-girl-with-Italian-roots shopping list still tickles me.  I grew up with the blandest versions of casseroles, steamed and boiled veggies, lots of potatoes, ground meat in everything, and a way-too-thick bolognese sauce.  Something as simple as veggies roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper never crossed my childhood plate.  This boggles my mind.  Exotic ingredients like tahini and sumac?  Forget about…

Middle Eastern Green Salad with Dukkah Olive Oil

This recipe is the first course on a 1-Hour Middle Eastern inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!   My favorite salads are topped with all of the things!!  If you can barely see the greens below? Even better. Great salads follow an equation.  Its not exactly mathematics, but its still an important formula.  Salads need at least one sweet, tart, salty, and crunchy component!  THAT is the equation for the perfect salad.  This formula has limitless combinations! Once you have your sweet, tart, salty, and crunchy sorted out, you can go to town on the flavor and texture…

1-Hour Valentines Day 3-Course Middle Eastern Inspired Menu (+ Shopping List!)

2018 Here We Go! Whooohooo!!!! I am super super excited to make this 1-Hour 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu the first official fresh content of 2018!!  This menu is consistent with the direction I want to take Almost Properly: simple, original, gourmet-feeling recipes for hosting and entertaining!  And, I may have agonized over the details and tweaks on this menu to an obsessive point, but I am so so happy with the end results that it makes it 100% worth it! 3-Course Valentine’s Day Dinner in 1-Hour If you reject the idea of crowded restaurants with prix-fixe V-Day menus, we should be friends.  Hi, I’m Maria!   Instead, make your own…

8 One-Pot Winter Soups, Chilis, and Curries

Until our recent move, our house was fairly small.  Big kitchen, but small otherwise.  We had a massive back deck and patio perfect for the summer months, but since this is Seattle, we have essentially 3 seasons: rainy, rainy and cold, and summer! But, since we aren’t big on limiting the our number “Come on over!” invitations.  Not to mention the sheer size of my Italian family.  Our little bungalow wasn’t exactly built for massive numbers.  Forget about obvious dilemmas like seating; we are talking sheer spacial scarcity.  Woah, that sounded overly scientific, but you get the picture.  Lots of people crammed into a small space can be um….(What’s a…

Top Healthy Meal Recipes

The “New Year – New You!” health kick every January is certainly nothing revolutionary.  People throw around trendy of-the-moment diets. Or boldly state, “I’m cutting out _______.”  Or “I’m going to exercise ____ times per week.”  Goals are great!  Structure is great!  And, if having a set diet, number, or system helps you achieve your health goals, feel better, have more energy, or accomplish whatever you set out to achieve, then more power to you! I tend to avoid strict limitations and overt rules when it comes to my diet or the foods I feed our family.  Instead, I find thoughtful meal planning of healthful meals works best for us.…
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