Spiced Beef Kebabs with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce

 

Like most everyone I know, I sometimes feel absolutely uninspired when it comes to meal prep and dinnertime.  Cereal anyone?  Besides flipping through cooking magazines and cookbooks, I often find that wandering through a spice shop or even just the spice aisle in the grocery store will spark some new dinner ideas.  This month is all about the Harvest Package and I was once again putting the meat grinder through its paces and wanting a different take on a ground meat patty.  I’d done meatballs, burgers, sausage, and was rather at a loss for something new when pursuing the spices at World Market I remembered that kebabs can also utilize ground meat; a glorified tasty treat on a stick!

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National Pizza Day: Featuring the BakerStone Pizza Oven Box

 

The contest portion of this post is over but you can still enjoy the recipes!

Though this post isn’t part of our “Back To School Series”, I can say that pizza night at our house is a pretty fun event and the perfect ending to a busy week of school, work and sports! It is also a meal that the whole family takes part in. Especially after we brought home the BakerStone Pizza Oven Box. I was first introduced to this product at the International Housewares Show in Chicago back in March. My family LOVES pizza so I was intrigued by this box that goes on my grill (works on gas or charcoal), replicates a wood fire oven and bakes a pizza in less than three minutes. BakerStone graciously sent me one to test out and told me if I liked it and wanted to feature it on the blog they would give one away to one of our readers! Talk about a WIN WIN for everyone!! And just in time for National Cheese Pizza Day!

You can read more about the PizzaStone Box on their website but I’ll share a few tips I learned along the way and then will share some of my family’s favorite pizza recipes/toppings.

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Tomatoes! The base for every good condiment!

 

As we reach the height of summer here in Georgia, the tomatoes are turning from green to a beautiful bright red and childhood memories start pouring in. I set out to create this post as one of our bonus posts for subscribers only. As I tested recipes I realized it was much more than just bonus material. This post began to morph into three actual recipes. A basic ketchup recipe, a “fancy” ketchup recipe and a basic pizza sauce. The “fancy” recipe is a bit of a cross between ketchup and bbq sauce and the pizza sauce will have a bit more of a feature in September when we dedicate an entire post to pizza!

Now, the really funny part about this post being one that I created, is the fact that I really don’t like tomatoes. I like ketchup just okay, I’m pretty picky about pizza sauce, not really a fan of marinara, and I absolutely can not eat a tomato raw! My husband actually laughed when I told him my subject for this post. My dislike for tomatoes goes pretty far back into my childhood. I believe I was around 13 or 14 years old and though my parents had always planted a garden each year, this particular summer, my dad decided to plant 96 tomato plants. Yes, you read that correctly. 96 TOMATO PLANTS! My parents had four new dehydrators and they were playing around with the idea of slicing the tomatoes, dehydrating them for several days until they were dry and crispy, and then they would blend the dehydrated tomatoes in a food processor making a tomato powder. It was pretty ingenious as they were able to put up 800 tomatoes that summer in just 8 quart-size jars. My mom was then able to use that powder in soups, stews, re-hydrate with just a bit of water to make her own tomato paste and even added the tomato powder to tortilla and pasta dough. All of that was wonderful but to a teenage girl who already didn’t care for this particular piece of produce, the act of picking several 6 gallon buckets of tomatoes, slicing and laying them in the dehydrator just to repeat the entire process three days later was not my idea of a fun summer activity. With all that said, I actually enjoyed testing these recipes and I hope you enjoy them as well.

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