side


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 Epicurious.com:

  • 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??

Tada!

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 Epicurious.com, 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

Yum!

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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