This is by far one of the most delicious sides I’ve ever made- it’s so good, in fact, that tonight, this will most likely be my entire dinner! ūüėČ

It’s really simple too- you just need 4o minutes to bake the sweet potatoes, but the prep literally took about 5 minutes.

Anyway, here’s the recipe, from

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 450¬įF. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13×9-inch baking dish. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with thyme sprigs.
Headed into the oven:
And, after roasting for 40-all done!
* Omgoodness, I can’t stop drooling- this is so good! *
You need to make these! ūüôā
(I don’t know what’s going on w/the spacing…annoying!)

After being completely surprised w/a stand mixer from my parents as a house-warming gift (yay!), it just seemed like the time to start trying out recipes that I had been scared off by, bc they involved dough/bread.

I decided to start w/a¬†recipe I found on Pinterest, one for homemade pretzel bites- and honestly, doesn’t the idea of making pretzels sound delicious? ¬†I could eat bread all day, every day, so this was just perfect! ūüėČ

Anyway, here we go- mixing the dough:

Then, let the dough rise for about an hr or so, just until it doubles:

After, divide the dough into 4 parts, and roll them out (I instantly thought of it like making playdough snakes when I was little!) into strips about 2-ft long. ¬†Then, cut the strips into 1″ pieces:

Next, add the bits into a pot of boiling water and baking soda- boil for about…1o seconds? ¬†Just enough for the bits to float. ¬†Remove, add to a greased baking sheet, and coat w/egg wash. ¬†Salt, and place into the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes. ¬†(The recipe said 15-18, but at the 15-minute mark, I felt like mine were looking burned.)

And then…tada, pretzels bites!

Wow, these are so good, and so addicting, and well, I probably put on a few pounds after this experiment bc I couldn’t control myself. ¬†So worth it! ¬†ūüôā

I realize that you don’t often think of having cranberry sauce at any time other than Thanksgiving, but…I decided to break the tradition, and have some in February! ¬†Actually, I only thought of making it after seeing fresh cranberries at our CSA- I bought them for an apple cranberry crisp, but will probably make that another time now. ¬† And, this was even a suggestion for my 2012 Challenge (thanks, Marjorie!)- one more reason to give it a try!

I saw this¬†recipe from Pinterest, and it really looks fantastic- it’s only five ingredients, all of which I had already: ¬†cranberries, brown sugar, white sugar, OJ, and rum.

Here goes- add everything into a saucepan, and cook on med-high for 15-20 minutes:

I used 16 oz, rather than 12 as in the recipe, so I just added in a bit more of each ingredient to balance it out.

Here we go!

(Wow, this smells so good as it’s cooking!)

Boiling and getting frothy

Nearly done- I started squashing the still whole berries to mash them in

This was really easy, and wow, after the first taste, it was also totally worth it! ¬†What a great recipe! ¬†I’m planning to use this tomorrow night w/a roast chicken- can’t wait! ¬†Yum, how¬†good¬†does this look??


I may even give up that canned gel cranberry sauce altogether after this…maybe. ūüôā


Wait, let me guess- that superweird title drew you in? ūüėČ

I found a salmon¬†recipe the other night in my Real Simple magazine (where else, honestly?), and was all set to make it tonight when I realized…it called for real maple syrup, and we had it- but, apparently someone must have used it all. ¬†Oh well. ¬†The recipe was for a maple-glazed salmon, so I went online for new salmon recipes, and chose this one¬†from, bc it’s a sweet-ish one that seemed similar to the maple syrup recipe- it uses brown sugar.

But first, the roasted Brussels sprouts w/red onion:  this was in the Real Simple recipe, and was the most easy thing to make.  And, it looked gorgeous, and tasted great- definitely planning to save this side!

Cut up one red onion into big chunks and toss w/about a pound of halved Brussels sprouts in 2 T olive oil.  Season w/salt and pepper, and add to a baking sheet- roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once:

How pretty is this?

Still looks great after roasting!

When this was in the oven, I started on the salmon.  First, mix the marinade (white wine, butter, Old Bay) and pour it over the salmon; then bake it for about 15 minutes:

Anything's better w/loads of butter!

Then, add the mustard/brown sugar glaze, and bake for another few minutes:

Gotta tell you, I was totally scared at this point! My poor salmon!

The result- surprisingly delicious salmon!  I was pretty skeptical about pouring mustard and brown sugar on yummy-looking salmon, but did it anyway, and wow- this was sooooo good!  After the first bite, E was raving about how good this was- and, he rarely goes on about salmon!  Last-minute salmon recipe=huge success!

Omgoodness, you need to make this!

I can’t even tell you how good this meal was- HIGHLY recommended! ūüôā

So, I bought a butternut squash from our Buying Club the week before Christmas, obviously w/the intention of using it. ¬† Who knew that the week before Christmas is a busy time, when one most likely does not explore new recipes? ¬†Sad to say, we went away for the week, w/said squash in our fridge, only to return to moldy squash- don’t they usually stay fresh for awhile? ¬†Oh well…

That being said, I felt the longing to suddenly use a squash this week (to mourn the needless death of the last one), so I got one from Wegman’s today- and promptly put it to good use. ¬†Had to, right?

I found a good¬†recipe online for a squash/potato mash side, and went w/it. ¬†I had nearly all the ingredients- apart from sour cream, which I subbed w/milk. ¬†Seems good enough- and, smells great. ¬†Just waiting for the roasted chicken, and I’ll let you know how it went!

Photo-dump style:

And, I realize that so far as flavors as concerned, one might not generally serve Brussels sprouts w/roasted chicken, but…I figure that if this is the only meal (or, most likely the only meal) where we’ll all eat veggies, I may as well stuff whatever veggies I have lying around into each and every meal. ¬†Therefore, we have one weird veggie side at every meal- weird being that it might not be a complimentary flavor. ¬†It’s just “veggie.” ¬†For tonight’s dinner, apart from the potato/squash mash, we have Brussels sprouts, green beans, and carrots, in one pot- yum!

After the first bite of the squash/potato side, E said it was “really good, not too over-seasoned either”…high praise, indeed! ¬†Hey, I’ll take what I can get… ūüėČ ¬†Anyway, it has the flavor of the squash, w/the texture of mashed potatoes, w/just a hint of thyme…really good!

Definitely worth it!

Another¬†recipe from the recently-purchased Martha cookbook…and this was really good! ¬†And easy. ¬†It may have just been really delicious lamb chops from our CSA, or the recipe, or both, but wow- even the leftovers were mouth-watering. ¬†Clearly, this is one recipe we’ll be using over and over again!

Some shots to tempt you:

Oh, this wasn’t part of the Martha recipe, but just something I tossed in bc…well, the beets were going bad- had to use ’em! ¬†I roasted them, and wow, sooo good! ¬†They were so much better than boiled beets- wow, just yum. ¬†I found a¬†video on how-to, bc I was thinking of roasting them like potatoes, just in a Pyrex, but I didn’t wanna burn them.

First, I scrubbed them, then put them into a foil “bowl”, added a bit of olive oil- enough to coat them. ¬†After, I closed up the foil, and roasted them for about an hr at 425. ¬†Tada, yummy beets!

Once they were roasted, I put them in a bowl of cold water- it helps the skin come off easily.

And voila, a really tasty dinner- seriously, all of this was just so good! ¬†Definitely planning to make it again! ¬†(Oh, and I know the beets look pretty disgusting on this plate, just giant blobs, but once I cut ’em up, my plate was SO bright pink, it looked just nuts. ¬†I probably could have just put a few beet slices here, but…I didn’t!)

Lamb chops, roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, and brown rice ūüôā

Over the holiday weekend, I bought a(nother) Martha Stewart cookbook. ¬†Bc I love them (and, it’s pretty).

And, bc a few people made fun of me for the purchase (“another cookbook?”), I’ve made a huge effort to immediately use it, just to prove them wrong. ¬†So, here goes:¬†herbed-tomato-soup! ¬†ūüėČ

This is more of a photo-dump kind of post, mainly bc I made this a few days ago, and don’t remember the steps exactly. ¬†But, the recipe is linked above, so check it out. ¬†Also, I don’t have a food mill, so when it was all finished stewing, I poured the mix into a colander (where the juice stayed in a pot), and put only some small portions of the solids (the tomatoes, celery, etc) into the blender. ¬†My “soup” is really chunky, so it’s more like…watery salsa (that sounds gross, but this wasn’t!)? ¬†Anyway, it was great w/the crostini!

I scooped out the seeds before adding in the tomatoes


Definitely worth buying a giant bag of tomatoes for…or, if you’re smart, waiting til the summer when they’re cheaper. ¬†Anyway, super-good!

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