Wonderful Weekend!

It’s so sad that today is Monday again, but Tony and I had a wonderful weekend!ย  Hannah worked most of the day Saturday and then went out with friends, and yesterday she spent the day with my Mom – so it was as if Tony and I were empty nesters! Not that I didn’t miss my daughter, don’t get me wrong, but Tony and I enjoy each others company so much it was nice to have an “us” weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Breakfast yesterday was 1/2 a poppy seed bagel with 1 ounce ham, 1 Pam fried egg and 1 slice of swiss cheese – with green Tabasco! ๐Ÿ˜€

It is so weird – growing up I was the pickiest eater.ย  The only vegetable I ate was cucumber!ย  And now I panic when I am low on baby spinach!ย  When I saw In Praise of Leftovers make falafel, I knew immediately I wanted to try it.ย  Here’s the kicker though – I’ve never had it before! I’ve wanted to try it, but there is the onion factor.ย  Anyone who hates onions as much as me and Tony can attest that we avoid certain foods because you never know when you’ll bite into onion!ย ย  So below is my adaptation of her recipe:

Makes 22 servings (Each ball:ย  26 calories, .3 fat, 4.8 carbs, .9 fiber and 1.2 protein)

This made 22 balls, so you’ll have to multiply how many you eat!

Falafel (printer friendly version here)


1/2 cup canned chickpeas
4 tablespoons cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
2 dried red peppers
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons flour


  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and process until it forms a dough. Refrigerate mixture for several hours (you can’t skip this step otherwise they’ll fall apart when frying).
  2. Shape into golf size balls and deep fry at 350 degrees until browned.
  3. Eat in pita with cucumbers and tzatziki sauce.

I used canned chick peas.

I also added two Thai dried chiles - um, too spicy for Tony!

You have to refrigerate the dough for several hours, otherwise they will fall apart when frying.

I weighed the dough ball and decided that each golf ball size portion would be .6 ounces.

Into the deep fryer!

I fried in two batches

The best part is that because our fryer holds the temperature, these were not greasy at all!

The outside was nice and crispy, but the inside was tender – I could definitely taste the cilantro and garlic – I think next time I might add lemon juice and lemon zest to the mix!

My sandwich:ย  1/2 pita, 2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce, cucumber and 3 falafel.ย  This was so good!!ย  I can’t believe I waited so long to try this!

I had bought a ham last weekend and we decided to grill it up last night.ย  We absolutely love uncooked ham – it takes about 3 hours to grill, but it is totally worth it!ย  This whole ham was only $7!

While we were driving yesterday running errands, I was reading my May issue of Cooking Light.ย  They had a recipe for risotto with spring vegetables, so I decided to make my version of risotto.ย  I have my mother in law to thank for the addition of green apple.ย  She knows I don’t like onions, so when she made it the last time, she subbed in green apple for the onions – its delicious!!

Biz’s Spring Risotto (printer friendly version here)


2 ounce edamame
2 ounce asparagus
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 cup rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
3 ounce green apple
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook edamame from pods in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cool and remove seeds from pods.
  2. Heat olive oil and add carrots – cook for 4 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook for 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
  3. Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25-30 minutes total).
  4. Stir in edamame and asparagus with the last addition of stock.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, salt and pepper.

Good risotto starts out with good rice!

start out with the carrots and rice - add the green apple half way through

Add the edamame and asparagus with the last 1/2 cup addition of stock – you don’t want to overcook them.

While Cooking Light’s recipe called for 1 cup (4 ounces) of Parmesan cheese, since we had really good Parmesan cheese, I reduced it to 1 ounce for the whole recipe.ย  It was so creamy and delicious!

And the grilled ham:

My plate: 4 ounces of ham and 3/4 cup risotto:

It was a beautiful end to a great weekend – we dined outside – beautiful sunset!

And our dog Ed was just wondering what we were going to do with all the leftover ham!

One of the best things I like about summer is that you reconnect with neighbors after the winter!ย  Case in point – our 3 year old neighbor Charlie – now this is how you eat a fudgecycle!

He’s so cute!!!!!!

Hope everyone has a great Monday!ย  Come back tomorrow for baked chile rellenos ala Christina!

44 thoughts on “Wonderful Weekend!

  1. Looks like you had a fantastic weekend!

  2. Wow, your falafel looks great! And you are right – they don’t look greasy at all.

  3. Your falafel is picture perfect and sounds delicious. My husband and I love onions. I love cilantro. He hates it. So, I’m constantly tweaking recipes. The spring risotto looks like a winner. Any ham from Smithfield, VA is a ham worth eating (I’m originally from Virginia and love ham)!


  4. oh wow! The falafel looks amazing!! How cool! I’m also very into this egg with swiss and green tabasco – it looks awesome!

  5. Charlies rocks a fudgecycle!

  6. now why cant falafels look that good when i order them from a restaurant! wow amazing girl- and amazing is an understatement.

    cant believe u dont like onions! actually sorry, i can. i think i didnt like them as a kid. i can see how u would have to be cafeful cuz many places add onion to everything eh…


  7. The falafel looks amazing. I’m always afraid to deep fry for fear I don’t know how much oil I am consuming. Love the fudgecycle look! Adorable!

  8. Oh my gosh….the falafel looks absolutely perfect. I’ve never had falafel, and I’m dying to make it so I can try it!

    Charlie is SO adorable. I often look the same way when eating a fudgesicle. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you and Tony had a wonderful weekend!

  9. Yum! I’ve also never had a falafel…but need to try one! We also love summer nights so we can eat outside!

  10. I don’t know who is cuter – Charlie or Ed! ๐Ÿ™‚

    What a great idea to add the green apple to the risotto (which looks delicious, btw) – of course, onions don’t bother me, so it would be in addition to, not instead of.

    Glad you had such a good weekend – nice to get a taste of empty nesting!

  11. We love our empty nest ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love falafel!! There is a middleastern grocery store here that has a takeout section and I can’t begin to tell you how many times on the way to the beach I stop and get their falafel salad with tahini dressing. They put these pieces of pickled beets in it – ah it is divine.

  12. The last three pics made the post! OK, your food looked amazing and I’ve really got a hankering for falafel now, but your adorable dog smiling over the edge of the picnic table and that messy chocolate face are just the best.

  13. I need to buy a deep fryer. I really like falafel but I haven’t been able to deep-fry it. It looks so much better that way!

    $7 for that ham is an awesome deal. I would love having it for breakfast!

  14. Love the fudgy face!

    Falafel is so delicious! I think lemon would be a great addition!

  15. Your falafels and spring risotto are looking wonderful!

  16. The next time we have lunch together by me, we can go to Grape Leaves, their falafels are awesome!

  17. mmmmm the falafel and the risotto both look awesome, now I’m craving falafel I might have to work on that this week… But I will probably bake it as I don’t have a fryer and I can never get the temperature quite right on my craptastic stove…

  18. Oh my! I’m totally excited for the falafel! I’ll probably tweak it a bit but you just affirmed my need to make a falafel sandwich. IT MUST BE DONE! *drools*

    Thanks for stopping by my blog by the way. I’ll have to try the Cabot cheese. It’s from Trader Joe’s right? Will hunt it down!

  19. Yum I love falafel! Haven’t made it in awhile, thanks for reminding me!

    How cute is Charlie?! hehe

  20. Oh, those falafel balls look awesome!! And the stats are pretty impressive too. I might have to try making these with GF flour. Thanks for the recipe!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Oh my gosh-Charlie is out of this world adorable! Glad you guys enjoyed your time together ๐Ÿ™‚ The falafel looks like it came out PERFECT. Such a great vegetarian dish. Happy Monday

  22. DiningAndDishing

    i have never seen such perfect looking falafels before. very lovely!! :).

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  23. bigblackdogs

    LOVE…LOVE…LOVE falafel! I’ve never made it though but I should have by now.

    Wanted to let you know that the Chinese Palace is in Barrington on RT 14 ie Northwest Highway. Just google it and it should come up.

  24. I’m from Roanoke in the “toe of the boot” (southwestern tip of the Shenandoah Valley). Of course I know Richmond, Virginia Beach, have a niece in Midlothian and am familiar with Mechanicsville as well. My sister lives in the Charlottesville area. It’s such a beautiful state. Our part of the midwest is flat. I do love Chicago, however.


  25. If you are at Smith Mountain Lake, you must go in and visit the Roanoke City Market. If you look back on my blog, there is a post about it from several weeks ago. My sisters and I meet back in Roanoke every October. There used to be a really first class restaurant on the lake but it moved into Roanoke and is just off the City Market on Campbell Ave. I can’t remember the name.

    Small world!


  26. Love the risotto. Last one I made I screwed up and they’re so hard to screw up!

  27. Your cooking is really an inspiration! So creative, and always so good looking! Homemade falafels? I’m jealous.

  28. Apple in risotto? Interesting. I would like to try that out, even though I do like onions ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. The falafel looks amazing!!! Love that you added something spicy!

  30. I LOVE falafel and never thought of adding the chilies – I bet that was an amazing addition.

    Charlie is so cute!

  31. […] me and Tony to try – she will definitely make that for herself again! Our side dish was my spring risotto, only subbing in zucchini for the asparagus. next time I'll add the zucchini later in the […]

  32. I have never had falafel either; but I definitely want to try them. Yours looks sooooo good! And the risotto with green apples? I love that idea. I’m definitely going to give it a try. I love a sweet/savory combination in foods, as well. Thanks so much for stopping by to see me today. I’ll be back for the baked chile rellenos!

  33. […] Pork chops Milanese with spring time risotto […]

  34. […] I texted Tony yesterday afternoon โ€œdoes chicken parm and risotto sound good for dinner?โ€  I got the green light .  My MIL was the first one to teach me how to make risotto โ€“ and because she loves me, she made it with diced green apples instead of onions.   My spring time version of her risotto is here. […]

  35. […] chicken thighs I never cooked up, so I decided to make crispy chicken thighs with risotto.  The risotto recipe is here, except this time I left out the apples.   And my shelled edamame were frozen, so in a […]

  36. […] is the magic number for rare meat.  On the side I made my spring time risotto with carrots and edamame โ€“ I almost forgot the green apple until Tony reminded me.  I added […]

  37. […] in each risotto Iโ€™ve made โ€“ itโ€™s a nice sweet balance to the salty Parmesan.  I used my spring time risotto recipe as the base, and then added 1/2 a pound of bay scallops for the 4 […]

  38. You’re right. This is a great risotto. I’m going to “steal” the idea of using apples. I’m anxious to taste the result. You should have warned that Charlie’s pics were coming. I really did laugh out loud at his 2nd shot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. […] make risotto โ€“ and knowing my distain for onions, subbed in green apple and Iโ€™ve added that to my risotto ever […]

  40. […] family was coming over for an early Sunday supper.  My SIL marinated some pork, and I made spring time risotto, macaroni and cheese and my PIL brought some crusty […]

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