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italian sausage stuffed zucchini

italian sausage stuffed zucchini

fellow gardeners, you know this tale well. you step away from your garden bed for 1 minute (or a weekend) and come back to find a monster zucchini hiding in the greenery.

sometimes the plant warns you. regular zucchini production starts slowing down, odd for early summer. the reason? all of the plant’s attention is going to feeding that one humungous baseball bat of a zuke.

fortunately, those ginormous zucchinis are perfect for stuffing!

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lentil salad with arugula and feta

lentil salad with arugula and feta

i could eat this salad every day! it has all the elements i love in a salad: something crunchy (pine nuts and red onions), something salty and tangy (sherry vinaigrette and feta cheese), something sweet (dried currants), and some tasty greens (peppery arugula).

it makes a great lunch all by itself when you’re in the mood for a salad. it also pairs well with anything coming off the grill or with simple roast chicken if you want to serve it for dinner.

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steak salad with arugula and parmesan cheese

steak salad

when summer finally hits its stride, you begin to understand italian food.

think of figs, arranged on a pretty plate and drizzled with honey. or perfect peaches macerated in white wine and strewn with lavender. or fresh-picked, fat asparagus, peeled, steamed, doused with fruity olive oil and topped with finely shaved shards of parmesan cheese.

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panna cotta with summer berries

panna cotta with summer berries

there are certain desserts that are so easy to make and so stupendously rewarding that they should be at the very top of your list for special occasions.

panna cotta is definitely one of them.

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sautéed zucchini with dill

sautéed zucchini with dill

when the zucchini in your garden is still slender and about 7-inches long – before they get big as baseball bats — the seeds will be small and the flesh will be sweet.

zucchini at this stage hardly needs any adornment. i like to cut my zucchini into thin coins and toss them in a hot skillet with some oil until they start to turn golden brown. that’s it!

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blueberry pie

when blueberries are in season, what better to do with them (other than eating them straight from the basket) than make blueberry pie?

blueberries have been found to be a “superfood”, so good for you that you should go out of your way to eat them. (as if we need a reason, right?)

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mixed berry chia seed jam

mixed berry chia seed jam

berries, berries, berries! nothing beats a bowl of ripe berries on a hot summer day.

i often get carried away at the farmers market and buy far more berries than i can eat within a week. one way i use up the extras is making this easy chia seed jam!

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grilled sausage and mushroom bowls

i get so excited when grilling season arrives because it means easy dinners and easy cleanup!

these grilled sausage and veggie grain bowls are quick, healthy, and vibrant. i find them to be a perfect weeknight meal, but they’re also nice enough to serve company!

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tomato galette with parmesan whole wheat crust

tomato galette with whole wheat crust

summer tomatoes! so many things to do with them, so little time.

here’s one more for your “make soon” list: a rustic tomato galette made with candy-sweet cherry tomatoes and a crispy, cheesy whole wheat crust.

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skillet chicken puttanesca

skillet chicken puttanesca

puttanesca is a spicy and highly seasoned italian tomato sauce. it’s usually tossed with pasta, but today, i’m serving it with boneless chicken breasts.

this sauce is so good, it will make you want to grab crusty bread and wipe the plate. you can’t ask for a meal that gives you more, considering how little time you spend making it.

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skillet chicken puttanesca

skillet chicken puttanesca

puttanesca is a spicy and highly seasoned italian tomato sauce. it’s usually tossed with pasta, but today, i’m serving it with boneless chicken breasts.

this sauce is so good, it will make you want to grab crusty bread and wipe the plate. you can’t ask for a meal that gives you more, considering how little time you spend making it.

continue reading "skillet chicken puttanesca" »






tomato galette with parmesan whole wheat crust

tomato galette with whole wheat crust

summer tomatoes! so many things to do with them, so little time.

here’s one more for your “make soon” list: a rustic tomato galette made with candy-sweet cherry tomatoes and a crispy, cheesy whole wheat crust.

continue reading "tomato galette with parmesan whole wheat crust" »






grilled sausage and mushroom bowls

i get so excited when grilling season arrives because it means easy dinners and easy cleanup!

these grilled sausage and veggie grain bowls are quick, healthy, and vibrant. i find them to be a perfect weeknight meal, but they’re also nice enough to serve company!

continue reading "grilled sausage and mushroom bowls" »






mixed berry chia seed jam

mixed berry chia seed jam

berries, berries, berries! nothing beats a bowl of ripe berries on a hot summer day.

i often get carried away at the farmers market and buy far more berries than i can eat within a week. one way i use up the extras is making this easy chia seed jam!

continue reading "mixed berry chia seed jam" »






blueberry pie

when blueberries are in season, what better to do with them (other than eating them straight from the basket) than make blueberry pie?

blueberries have been found to be a “superfood”, so good for you that you should go out of your way to eat them. (as if we need a reason, right?)

continue reading "blueberry pie" »






blueberry pie

blueberry pie

when blueberries are in season, what better to do with them (other than eating them straight from the basket) than make blueberry pie?

blueberries have been found to be a “superfood”, so good for you that you should go out of your way to eat them. (as if we need a reason, right?)

continue reading "blueberry pie" »






15 recipes for a summer cookout with california ripe olives


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this round-up is brought to you in partnership with the california olive committee.

dreaming up a menu for your next summer cookout? look no further than one of our favorite pantry staples, olives.

the buttery, mild flavor of both california green and black ripe olives are a fantastic contrast to all of the smoky flavors coming off the grill this summer. you can chop them up into a quick tapenade to serve with chips, make a quick relish to spoon on top of burgers, or toss them with fresh summer vegetables in a pasta salad.

here are fifteen recipes that put a can of olives to work, guaranteed to make your next cookout a memorable one!

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pressure cooker chipotle chicken and rice bowls

pressure cooker chipotle chicken and rice bowls
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my husband is a big fan of chipotle – both the spicy, smoky peppers themselves and the restaurant chain. he declared this dish to be better than chipotle’s fast-casual burrito bowls, so i’m calling it a win!

this is certainly more budget-friendly than ordering take-out for four people. it also cooks in about the same time that it would take us to drive over and pick up dinner!

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memphis-style pork ribs

memphis-style pork ribs
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there are wet ribs, sticky with a succulent, spicy barbecue sauce, and there are dry ribs, where the flavor is all in the dried mixture of herbs and spices, melded into something greater than the sum of their parts by time, smoke and pork fat.

this is what they do in memphis, tennessee, and it’s why memphis-style ribs are some of the best in the world.

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mint and lime mojito

mojito
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we can wax on about the glory of the mojito – this perfect concoction of rum, mint, sugar, lime juice, and sparkling water — but i’m guessing you won’t need a lot of convincing in that regard.

instead, let’s discuss the building of the mojito, which in my opinion, is what distinguishes a “good” mojito from a “truly incredible” mojito.

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