Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick Avgolemono, Orzo and Chicken Soup

This soup called Avgolemono (ahv-goh-LEH-moh-noh) is a tangy Greek soup that combines chicken broth, eggs, and lemon juice.  I got the recipe from the Cooking Light Magazine January 2006 issue.  I made it today and it meets with my son's approval.  It can be served with Ricotta Garlic Pita Wedges and a Greek Salad.  You can also use rice if you don't have orzo.

Quick Avgolemono, Orzo and Chicken Soup


  • 6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces


  • Bring broth and dill to a boil in a large saucepan. Add orzo. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until orzo is slightly tender. Remove from heat.
  • Place eggs and juice in a blender; process until smooth. Remove 1 cup broth from pan with a ladle, making sure to leave out orzo. With blender on, slowly add broth; process until smooth.
  • Add carrot, salt, pepper, and chicken to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook 5 minutes or until chicken and orzo are done. Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in egg mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly (do not boil).


Preheat broiler. Combine 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 minced garlic clove in a small bowl. Place 8 pita wedges on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes until toasted. Top each wedge with 4 teaspoons ricotta mixture. Broil 1 minute or until cheese is lightly browned.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Not a Hurricane - A Margarita

Hurricane Irene just blew through Maryland on Saturday night into Sunday morning.  It was scary listening to the wind howling and wondering what type of oz we would wake up to on Sunday.  All in all, we were very lucky.  We had electricity throughout the whole event but I found out that many of my friends had to endure a day and a half without any.  We had no cable or Internet through Monday afternoon but really it wasn't that bad.  I took my son to Panera Bread to have breakfast and get online.  That was where we saw how many others were without electricity and/or Internet service.  I felt so bad that I called my sister to ask her if we could go over there to use her Internet service.  She said sure. I gave our outlets at Panera over to two nice ladies who looked like they really needed an Internet fix.  Actually, I think they needed to do some real work.  It made me feel better to give our seats up to them.  I guess the worst thing about Hurricane Irene for us was that one of our trees broke in half (almost).  We  had tree limbs and branches covering our driveway.  I have to thank my nephew for coming out to "save" us.  He cut up the tree and we hauled the branches out to the back of our house where we have a mini forest anyway!  It all worked out just fine.  Thanks Steve, Laura and Henry!  We also enjoyed a delicious dinner of grilled steak, broccoli and rice at their house last night.

Cleaning up the aftermath of Irene

More Clean Up Needed

Bradford Pear - Buh Bye!

Broken Bradford Pear Tree Thanks to Hurricane Irene

I really wanted to make Hurricanes in honor of Hurricane Irene but I did not have any passion fruit syrup.  Here is the recipe that I found for the "Original" Hurricane Cocktail.   The legendary Pat O’Brien’s Bar in the French Quarter, New Orleans is where the Hurricane is said to have originated. Pat O'Brien's Bar opened its doors on December 3, 1933, two days before the end of Prohibition (well, ya had to have a few days to get ready).  Sadly, I have read that the Hurricane Cocktail that is currently served at Pat O'Brien's Bar in NOLA is no longer made with the original recipe.  It is said to be an overly sweet concoction now.  So, if you want a "real" hurricane you will have to make it yourself with this recipe.

4 oz Dark Rum
2 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a hurricane glass (or in its absence a pint glass will do) filled half-way with ice.  Garnish with orange slices and a cherry with stem.