This Sunday marks the end of winter. Well, not officially by way of the calendar and moon, but our governing officials have deemed it the end of winter whites with the setting forward of clocks across the land thanks to Daylight Savings Time. In every state except Arizona, that is. What’s up with Arizona’s special treatment anyway?
Springing forward means much to many: spring bulbs bursting from crusty patches of dirt as kids bound about searching for Easter eggs; a sense of anxiety knowing that swimsuit wearing is just around the corner; and afternoons of lazily cat napping in a lounge chair as the sun warms your 4-months-previously-frozen-apendages.
However, Daylight Savings means something entirely different if you’re a food blogger. It means there will be light. Light! LIGHT I TELL YOU! Light to photograph dishes a bit later than normal, to make our days that much more productive. Or at least to compensate for the procrastination that nap in the lounge chair took out of the schedule. Eeeh. Who cares about schedules when you have spring fever?
This little greek inspired appetizer of Spinach and Feta Pies is a great welcome to spring. Light but savory, these phyllo wrapped tastees are great as an appetizer, or pair a few with a side dish of Laurie’s Lemon Orzo Pasta and you have a simple meatless meal. Can you say Monday with me? One of the things I like best about these beauties is they’re equally as tasty warm from the oven or cooled at room temperature so they’re perfect for entertaining too.
- 1 (8-ounce) sleeve frozen phyllo dough, thawed at room temperature
- 1 pound fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup butter, divided
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 ½ cups Feta cheese, cubed (I prefer it in ½-inch cubes for maximum Feta flavor)
- 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
- sea salt flakes
- In a large fry pan with high sides, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add spinach in 3 batches. Add lemon juice and season with salt as you go. Cook until spinach has wilted, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander and gently squeeze excess water from leaves. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan and saute shallots for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add to spinach mixture with lemon zest, eggs, panko bread crumbs, Feta and pine nuts. Stir gently to combine.
- In the microwave or in a small pan, melt remaining ½ cup of butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough flat on counter and brush lightly with butter. Repeat process 3 more times, brushing each layer with butter and carefully positioning the phyllo on top of one another. Cut phyllo in half lengthwise. Place ¼ cup of filling in the bottom corner of the dough strip and fold from corner to corner, diagonally, like a flag. Fold again over flat end, then on the diagonal again, continuing folding to top of sheet. Brush edge of corner with butter to seal. Brush top of hand pie with butter and flakes of sea salt. Continue folding hand pies in same manner until filling is gone.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
And now how about a few Friday Faves?
1. Averie’s homemade chocolate peanut butter has me dreaming of using it for dipped frozen bananas with chopped peanuts on top. Heaven on a nana. 2. Now THIS is a springtime deal and I hope you have a Whole Foods Market near you to take advantage of it because today they’re having a one day sale of 3 ten-stem tulip bunches for just $10. I think I’ll grab a sushi roll while I’m there.
3. Vijay from Nosh On It was visiting SLC this weekend for a bachelor party (que the calls for the excedrin and a greasy breakfast) and treated some Utah bloggers for lunch at one of SLC’s most popular Mexican restaurants, Frida Bistro. And may I just say my fish tacos were killer by the way. If you haven’t made your way over to Nosh On It yet, what are you waiting for? They’re building a great community of food bloggers you may or may not have discovered yet.
4. I am such a sucker for smart typography and killer packaging. Give me a pretty label and you have a customer in me. Add wine and I’m gushing. Which is just gives me another reason to love trolling the wine racks. Wine labels have evolved over the past few years from old school scripts and woodcut photos of grapes to some dynamically hip looks. You won’t find the old guard sporting copy like, “Winemaker and Water Witch Extraordinaire.” Marc Mondavi’s Divining Rod is a new favorite. And for around $13.99, it tastes darn good too.
5. Speaking of cool packaging, this graphic and totally differently engineered box of wonderfully curated goodies were delivered to me from a*pour toi. It’s a great gift idea for any foodie you’re aiming to please, especially if they have an eye for design and a penchant for sweets. BTW, the cute bag has been commandeered by Smudge as her new lunch bag. See? Smart and delicious.
6. I’ve had a simple won ton wrapper lasagna recipe like this in mind for a while. Looks like Elaine has done all of my work for me. Thank you. Thank you. 7. I need a spring pick me up and Essie’s new hue Avenue Maintain just might be my ticket to blue skies. Let’s see if I can pull this color off as a styling mama or an aged bag lady with too many scarves and crazy painted fingers.
8. My good old trusty “nifty 50” died a while back. I dropped it and that plastic casing exploded. I’ve since been waffling on which lens to replace it with. Keep with the inexpensive Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II camera lens or go for the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM lens? Debating, debating. I need it mostly for portraits etc. Any opinions out there? And as if on que, Russell gives a lens pic-torial on the differences between the two. Why isn’t he a teacher?
10. Aaaannnd. Just when I ended my drama with finding juuuuuuust the right email application as of last week’s post, Mailbox shows up. Yes, I signed up for a reservation. I’m a glutton for punishment. Bonus: And finally, here’s something to perk up your weekend. I met Amee with Madame Deals when I spoke at Mixed Conference. We felt like you guys deserve a little spring in your step so she’s inviting YOU to enter to win a KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. Ah sure, why not? Let’s whisk those winter blues away.
Here’s how to enterStep 1: Click here and follow all of our hosts
Step 2: Create a board on Pinterest and name it #SpringIntoSavings
Step 3: Visit our Contest Pinboard and re-pin at least 3 of your favorites from this board.
Step 4: Add your own additional favorite money saving pins and recipes pins (make sure to label ALL pins with the hashtag #SpringIntoSavings) .
Giveaway starts March 8, 2013 at 12:01 am EST. All entries must be entered no later than March 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST to be eligible to win. Contest is open to US only residents. The winning board will be picked via Random.org and winner will be emailed. Winner must reply to confirm within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn. The winner’s name will be posted on this post.
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