Mind-blowing Artichokes

There are other recipes that could be posted, but I have been preoccupied with graduate school. I rarely post a recipe right after I make it unless I have an abundance of time.  Tonight is different! Yesterday, I made grilled artichokes that were absolutely amazing. I had grilled artichokes for the first time at The Cheesecake Factory.  Last night I tried replicating this recipe.  Having never cooked artichokes before (or even attempted to cut one open) I was fairly nervous.  However, this blog has pushed me to try new things.  I looked up several grilled artichoke recipes online to get an idea of how I wanted to make mine. I was extremely happy with the results of my creation and no dipping sauces were needed!  They were delicious on their own.

Grilled Artichokes


  • 2 artichokes
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, 2 smashed,3 minced
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil with 1/4 of the lemon squeezed into it (and rind) plus two cloves of smashed garlic.  Right before you add the artichokes to the boiling water trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut them in half lengthwise. Add artichokes to boiling water right away, to prevent them turning brown, and cook for 15 minutes. (You can put them in cold water that has lemon juice in it to help this.  Make sure to keep them submerged under the boiling water. Meanwhile, preheat the grill.
  2. Drain artichokes and squeeze the rest of the lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. You can adjust the taste by adding a little more olive oil or lemon juice.
  3. Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5-10 minutes, basting with the dip and turning frequently until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.

Printable Recipe!

Observations: I actually cut my artichokes well before my water was ready boiling.  You live and learn, and I learned artichokes brown faster than apples.  I quickly squeezed lemon on them and put them in cold water.  It prevented them from browning any more.  I also did not boil mine long enough and they were not completely submerged.  I’ve read putting parchment paper on the surface of the water helps keep them under so I plan on trying that next time (I still have 2 more in my fridge!)

Analysis:  The grilled flavor is so wonderful that I will never miss the stuffed version dipped in butter.  This is a very healthy way to eat artichokes and I see myself enjoying this all summer! I hope to try varying the flavor profiles, but still include that grilled flavor.  Balsamic vinegar would be delicious without adding unnecessary calories.


Filet Mignon with Garlic Toasts

While organizing all the recipes I’ve saved over the years, I came across this elegant looking appetizer. Some co-workers of mine came over last week, and I wanted to have finger foods that weren’t on the “cheesy” side.  This recipe actually turned out a lot better than I originally thought it would. It was also packed full of flavor and perfect to carry around and eat. It can also be served at room temperature or on the colder side. I’ll type the original recipe and add what I changed in bold.

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Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

This past week has gone by so fast. I am piloting a new science curriculum and basketball season has begun.  Tryouts were last week and today.  I am pretty confident in the 13 boys I chose out of 44…a lot, I know. I am making sure to post the list of boys that made the team by the office and not by my door.  I don’t know if I can stand to see the sad faces of all those boys who desperately wanted to be on the team. It was a very difficult decision, and I am completely drained. After looking at my photos when I got home, I realized I have several recipes to post.  This recipe was made last week because it was fast, easy, and I have a ton of chicken in the freezer. Fortunately, it ended up being delicious!

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Stuffed Cucumbers with Smoked Salmon

When I was in college, I made something very similar to this version of a stuffed cucumber.  However, mine was the simple college version with all store bought ingredients.  Now, I have my own herbs I can use to brighten up the dish.  I remember cutting the cucumbers into slices, smearing on a teaspoon of herb cream cheese, and topping it with small slices of smoked salmon.  For my revised version, I made it appetizer friendly for a crowd.  I actually brought this dish to Ravinia to see Carrie Underwood.  A quick tip though…..put it in Tupperware with a lid.  I had mine on a plate with plastic wrap…not such a good idea.


  • 1 pkg mini cucumbers (mine came with 7)
  • 8 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 8 oz. smoked salmon, cut into strips
  • 2 T fresh chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 T fresh tarragon (or dill), chopped
  • reserved inside of cucumber
  • salt for seasoning

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Ravinia Bound!

Last weekend I went to Ravinia with some friends to see Carrie Underwood.  Lawn seats at Ravinia are all about food, wine, music and friends.  I definitely wanted to make sure the food part was covered, so I brought the following appetizers with for the concert…roasted red pepper hummus, stuffed mini bell peppers wrapped in bacon, and spinach dip.



  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (found in the international isle)
  • 1/3 C tahini (Buy a large jar because it lasts over a year and is cheaper)
  • 1/2 large jar (16 oz) roasted red peppers, drained
  • lemons (1-2)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 T Extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • salt to taste
  • paprika for garnish

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