Watermelon, Feta, Jalapeno Salad

I love a good summer salad. One of my favorites, includes the sweetness of watermelon, the saltiness of feta cheese and the richness tartness of balsamic vinegar. I wanted to play on these flavors and created my Watermelon, Feta, Jalapeño Salad. The slight heat of the jalapeño is the perfect addition to this summer time favorite. 


watermelon, feta, jalapeno salad

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Bang Bang Shrimp

bang bang shrimp

There are many recipes on the inter web for bang bang shrimp. I’ve learned that many of these are a copy cat recipe of Bone Fish Grill. I have not tried their bang bang shrimp, but decided I wanted to try it at home!  This has also been served as an appetizer; I thought could be served with rice as an entrée! 

bang bang shrimp

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Game Day Bites

spinach artichoke dip, dip, spinach dip, football game food, game day bites, tailgating, seahawks

I grew up watching football, college and professional. Sundays, Monday’s and Thursday nights from September until the Superbowl in February, were spent watching football.
My mom a Dallas Cowboys fan. My dad a Detroit Lions fan. My sisters and I, didn’t have strong opinions until years later when Deana became an Indianapolis Colts fan, Mona a Lions fan and myself a Seahawks fan.

Yes, I was a fan of the Seahawks before I moved to Seattle, met Russel Wilson and they won the Superbowl!

It was in 2007 when the Superbowl was hosted in Detroit, when I really became a Seahawks fan. I bought an oversized Seahawks sweat shirt and wore it in Downtown Detroit where the Steelers fans growled and booed at me!

Fast forward a few years and I was living in Seattle with my husband, Hussein. My sister Mona came to visit and we went to the mall and I casually said “Oh, hey!” to Russell Wilson as he walked past. My sister asked “who is that?”. “Russell Wilson” I responded. She quickly turned to follow him, grabbing my arm as she hurried towards him. She asked for a picture with him and to our delight he agreed! This was just a few weeks before the Seahawks Super Bowl win!

russell wilson with seattle fans, seahawks, 12th man

As I reflect on football and my family, I can’t help but think about all the amazing food we would snack on while watching the game! The Superbowl always had the most elaborate menu, as it usually falls on my birthday!

Game Day spread

Some of my favorite Game Day Bites include:

Turkey Burger Sliders

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Key Lime Cupcakes

And my spinach artichoke dip:

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Serves 6
A rich and creamy spinach artichoke
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
312 calories
7 g
90 g
29 g
8 g
16 g
121 g
586 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312
Calories from Fat 253
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
Saturated Fat 16g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 586mg
Total Carbohydrates 7g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
  2. 1 ten ounce frozen package of shredded spinach, defrosted
  3. 1 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons sour cream
  5. 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + more for topping, if desired
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne, optional
  9. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
  2. Strain spinach and squeeze out all water
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. Spread mixture into an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Top with additional Parmesan cheese and brown the top under the broiler for 2 minutes
  6. Serve with slices of baguette or your favorite chips!
  7. Enjoy 🙂
Amanda's Plate http://amandasplate.com/
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Homemade Candy Corn Marshmallows

homemade marshmallows, marshmallows

I’ve never known how much I loved homemade marshmallows until I made homemade marshmallows.

There’s really never been a reason to make them from scratch, but I looked up a recipe from Ina Garten on FoodNetwork.com and had everything I needed to make them in my pantry.

To be honest, it was National S’mores Day and I wanted to impress my husband, Hussein. I knew making marshmallows from scratch would do just that 😀

And to my surprise, it was so easy! I was blown away. It was like the first time I baked a cake with my mom; completely magical.

I decided that I did not want to share the basic marshmallow recipe because there are already thousands on the web.

I had been thinking about layering different colored marshmallow fluff and to my delight it worked! I decided on candy corn as it is fitting for the crisp, colorful, festive, fall season. And thus, my homemade candy corn marshmallows were born!

I made three layers and used the colors to mimic candy corn. Orange, yellow and white. But feel free to use any colors you like! Or just keep them white 😀
I cut them into triangles so they became even more like candy corn and substituted some of the corn syrup for honey!

homemade marshmallows, candy corn dessert, halloween dessert, easy dessert But they also look cute when cute into squares. I would use a ruler to help ensure they are equal in size! I made them in a 9×13 inch pan, but an 8×8 would probably work better, as it will be easier to cut even sized marshmallows 🙂 You do need a candy thermomater but there are plenty of reasonably priced ones on the market! 🙂


Homemade Candy Corn Marshmallows
Yields 40
Fluffy, colorful, easy to make marshmallows!
Write a review
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
2 hr
69 calories
18 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
30 g
19 g
14 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 69
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 19mg
Total Carbohydrates 18g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 3 tablespoons gelatin
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  4. 1/4 cup honey
  5. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla
  7. 1 cup cold water, divided
  8. 1 cup powdered sugar
  9. orange and yellow food coloring
  10. sprinkles, optional
  1. Place gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment; this allows the gelatin to bloom.
  2. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, mix together sugar, salt, corn syrup, honey and 1/2 cup water.
  3. Stir the mixture and heat to a temperature of 240 degrees.
  4. Begin whisking gelatin and slowly stream in sugar mixture.
  5. Add in vanilla extract
  6. Continue whisking until light and fluffy; about 15 minutes.
  7. Once the mixture resembles marshmallow fluff, divide into 3 equal portions.
  8. Add food coloring and whisking until color is evenly distributed. Repeat with remaining colors.
  9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust it with powdered sugar.
  10. Evenly spread your first color of marshmallow. Allow it to set for 10 minutes.
  11. Layer on the next color and repeat until all three colors are layered.
  12. Allow to set for a minimum of an hour.
  13. Remove from pan and cut into desired shape.
  14. Dust with more powdered sugar and sprinkles, if desired.
  15. Enjoy!
Amanda's Plate http://amandasplate.com/


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Mini Turkey Burgers and Blue Cheese Sauce

turkey burgers, easy turkey burgers, blue cheese sauce

I love burgers.

How could one resist a juicy, flavorful, messy, cheesy, greasy burger?

My husband requested a lean burger and I decided on turkey. I added onions and bell pepper to the patties for added flavor and crunch and it worked beautifully.

I decided on a blue cheese sauce, after I had some fun at the cheese counter at Whole Foods. The sauce can be used on just about anything and is a perfect blend of flavors!

I made these indoors, in a skillet, so don’t worry about grilling 🙂 I picked up some delicious brioche slider buns at Macrina Bakery.

BunsYou can use any burger buns you like 🙂 I decided to make slider sized burgers but feel free to make regular size!

Also; you should be warned… the blue cheese sauce is ah-mazing!



1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/6 teaspoon ground Cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
–Blue Cheese sauce
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of Cayenne pepper (optional)
Tomatoes, sliced
your favorite burger buns



Blue Cheese Sauce
In a medium size bowl, mix together blue cheese, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, kosher salt, Cayenne, and black pepper.

blue cheese sauce
Allow to sit in the refrigerator while you make the burgers. This allows the flavors to blend.
In a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, bread crumbs, diced bell pepper, onion, garlic powder, Cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt.

burger mix
Form into 6 or 12 patties. For slider size, use 1/4 cup mixture. For regular size use 1/2 cup mixture per patty.

burger patties
In a skillet, heat olive oil. Place patties into the oil and allow to cook until golden brown on each side; about 3 minutes a side.

Toast your favorite buns and add your favorite veggies. I choose butter lettuce and heirloom tomatoes.
Spread blue cheese sauce onto burger buns
Enjoy 🙂

burgers with blue cheese sauce

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Turmeric Cake Honey Buttercream and Candied Pistachios

The base of this cake is a play on the traditional Middle Eastern Dessert called sfouf. Sfouf are usually prepared in a 9×11 pan, cut into squares or diamonds and topped with pine nuts.

I decided to a traditional recipe and put my twist on it! I love Sfouf, the vibrant golden color and depth of flavor that the turmeric provides makes Sfouf unlike any other cake. But I like cake with icing!

And I like mini dessert. They somehow make dessert guilt free… I mean it is just a few bites 😀

I was recently at a cool shop in Seattle called Marx Foods buying some micro orchids for a cake I was making, when I came across these Rose Flower Crystals. I bought them because roses and crystals, but it wasn’t until I was developing this recipe that I knew what I was going to do with them. I used rose water in candying the pistachios, so the crystals were the perfect addition (and perfect color too).



Turmeric Cake Honey Buttercream and Candied Pistachios
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14 cupcakes
Turmeric Cake
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
Honey Buttercream
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2¼ cups powdered sugar
Candied Pistachios
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons rose water
  • ½ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted pistachios)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine sugar, vegetable oil and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together all purpose flour, turmeric, salt, and baking powder. Still in semolina flour.
  4. Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Using a small ice-cream scoop, evenly distribute batter into the lined tins.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes; until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when placed in the center of a cake.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
Honey Buttercream
  1. Using a mixer, mix butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, honey and sour cream and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Place in piping bag and place in refrigerator until ready to decorate.
Candied Pistachios
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, toss pistachios with sugar and rose water.
  4. Spread evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool and chop into smaller pieces (if desired).
  1. Pipe honey buttercream onto cupcakes and sprinkle with pistachios
  2. Enjoy 🙂



Turmeric Cakes, honey buttercream, pistachios



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Easy Chicken Dinner

easy chicken dinner, amandas plate dinner idea, chicken dinner

We’ve got a winner… winner.. chicken dinner! 😀

This is the perfect meal for those evenings after a long day at work and your family responds with “I don’t know” when asked what they want to eat.

Yes, we all get that response. And we all need a super easy chicken dinner! A dinner that is made quickly, but does not lack on flavor or nutrients.

When creating this recipe, I wanted to ensure it was nutritious, packed with flavor, have some crunch and versatile (so you could make it your own).

I love cherry tomatoes, and had some on hand from the Farmer’s Market. I also knew I wanted to roasted some chickpeas for crunch, as they are a great source of fiber!

I first tossed the chickpeas in spices and olive oil, spread them on a cookie sheet and placed them in the oven and made the rest of the dish.


(Warning: you may eat all of these crunchy nuggets on their own!)



1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/4 inch thickness
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups of your favorite rice or other grain, prepared to package instructions
Parsley for garnish



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line baking sheet with foil.
3. In a bowl, toss chickpeas in salt, garlic powder, cumin, turmeric and olive oil. Spread evenly onto baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, until golden brown and crunchy.

4. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness
5. A bowl, stir together all purpose flour with salt, garlic powder, black pepper and paprika.
6. Dip chicken into flour mixture. Shake off excess.
7. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden brown on each side; about 4 minutes a side. Place on a rack.

8. In same skillet that chicken was cooked in, add additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add in cherry tomatoes and garlic. Add spinach and salt and sautee until tomatoes are blistered and spinach is wilted.

spinach and tomato
9. Place 1/2 cup rice on plate and spoon over tomato and spinach. Sprinkle with chickpeas and top with chicken breast.
10. Garnish with parsley
Enjoy 🙂

easy dinner, chicken dinner, easy dinner idea

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Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

Peaches are one of summers best treats! Sweet, juicy, easy to eat and a great addition to almost any dessert! While at the Farmer’s Market, I picked up some beautiful peaches that were grown in Cashmere, WA.

Washington Peaches

I knew immediately that I would make a favorite; peach cobbler. But I couldn’t just make an ordinary peach cobbler. I wanted to add another fruit and decided on the beautiful blackberries that I also picked up at the Farmer’s Market.

peach, peaches, blackberries
Aren’t they beautiful together?


I made individual cobblers, because I L-O-V-E serving up cute, individual portions of dessert 🙂 There is something special about an individual treat.

Be sure the make my Peach and Blackberry cobbler before summer is over! Serve with a large scoop (or two) of your favorite vanilla ice cream! So may say the ice cream is optional… but I think not 😛


Here is my recipe:



2 cups peaches, peeled and cut into segments
3/4 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
For the Topping:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
mint for garnish, optional
vanilla ice cream



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar. Add in peach segments and blackberries, vanilla, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and melted butter.
  5. Spoon fruit into baking dish or individual ramekins.
  6. Drop topping on top of the fruit. Leave some spots open for the fruit to peek thru!
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream and mint for garnish!
  9. Enjoy 🙂
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So Many Ways to Toast

Eggplant toast, eggplant and jalapeno toast,

Many often ask where I find inspiration for my recipes or what my process is for developing new recipes. I sometimes have an idea after seeing something at the farmer’s market or on the web. But most of the time, I have no idea what I am going to do until I actually start doing it! I just get in my kitchen and start working.

My husband does not like this! In his words, he “needs to know what’s for dinner” so that he can “get excited about it”! I think he’s learned to accept that my menu planning is non-existent and this is the best way for me to be creative 😛

I know which flavors I like and which flavors and ingredients work well together; this helps a lot! I rarely have a recipe that is totally off!

I’m also inspired by all of you! When you tag me in your beautiful culinary creations, it inspires me to create something using those flavor profiles! So keep tagging me: Twitter and Instagram and by using #TeamAmandaSaab

My best friends mother, Mona Elhelou send me a picture of her eggplant toast! I loved it so much, I created my take on an eggplant toast! 🙂 These make for a great appetizer! I served them with a BBQ chicken salad 🙂

How do you toast? Tell me on Instagram




1 large eggplant
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
1/2 cup micro greens
2 jalapenos, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar



1. Placed jalapeno slices in bowl. Heat vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar until boiling. Pour over jalapenos and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Roast eggplant on open flame, until skin is charred.

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast
3. Peel away skin and mix eggplant flesh with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons lime juice.
4. Brush bread with olive oil and toast until broiler until brown.
5. Toss micro greens and pomegranate arils with remaining olive oil.
6. Drain jalapenos.
7. Assemble: spread eggplant over toasted bread, layer on jalapenos, sprinkle on micro green mix and almonds!
8. Enjoy 🙂


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Crispy Quinoa Cakes and Arugula Fig Salad

Quinoa is not only a fad food. I believe it is here to stay in the Western markets. It is so versatile and delicious. Oh, it is also healthy :D. It is packed with protein and is gluten free. It is a very filling grain that mainly comes from Peru and Ecuador. It absorbs flavors well and is not only great accompaniment to a meal, but also can be the main attraction!

These quinoa cakes are crunchy, flavorful and pair beautifully with this salad. The peppery notes of arugula balance out the sweetness of the fruits and the saltiness of the feta cheese creates a perfect harmony of flavors. A must try! 🙂



Here is my recipe:

Makes 8 cakes

3 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped

2 eggs

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking

 quinoa ingredients

For the salad:

2 1/2 cups arugula

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

5 ripe figs

1/4 cup blueberries

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice of 1 lemon



1. Combine cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, bell pepper and shallots in a bowl. Add in eggs. Using the best tool in your kitchen, combine the ingredients. Allow to set.



2. Form mixture into 8 even patties. Use approximately half cup of mixture per patty. Allow to rest.


3. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Cook quinoa cakes on medium heat until browned and a crispy outer crust is formed. About 7 minutes on each side.  Allow to rest on paper towels (which will absorb the excess oil).


4. To make the salad, mix together 1 tablespoon olive oil and juice of one lemon. Toss arugula in dressing. Arrange on plate and top with tomatoes, figs, blueberries and feta cheese.

5. Slice quinoa cakes and arrange on top of salad. Or serve along side the salad.

quinoa cakes

6. Enjoy 🙂

Quinoa Cakes and Arugula Salad

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