Creamy Barley with Spring Vegetables and Sauteed Shrimp

As you all probably know by now I am not a “health nut”. But, if I can find a food that is good for you and tastes good I am all in.  I love to cook with barley! I put it in soups, salads and as a side dish. Whole grain barley is a great source of fiber, potassium, folate and B6. And… if you mix it with a ton of vegetables you have a healthy side dish or snack.

This recipe I served for dinner with sauted shrimp. The whole family loved it-even the most picky one!!! Trust me that is huge considering the kid would eat steak for EVERY meal. Occasionally he will ask for fish (which is even stranger), but every single day he asks for steak for dinner. Since he is my third boy I am kinda like, screw it, eat steak-its not worth the fight. I mean we put all our effort into the first two lets just experiment and see how the third one […]

2022-01-25T20:53:08+00:00March 29th, 2017|Meats & Fish, Sides|0 Comments

Mashed Turnips

I have said this before and I’ll say it again-side dishes are hard! They are hard to come up with ideas, hard to incorporate into whatever else you are making and they are hard to find recipes that are easy.  I feel like I spend a lot of time on the main course and I don’t have the energy to make a complicated side dish.  Plus, my kids hate all vegetables-except broccoli, go figure! 
So, I have tried to come up with some side dishes that are easy and tasty.  I think we all get stuck in the rut of steamed broccoli/cauliflower or mashed potatoes or green beans.  There has to be more!!!  Well there is! There are a lot of vegetables that we are not taking advantage of such as turnips.  I know, I know the bitter root vegetable.  Well, it doesn’t have to be bitter.  I made these the other night and everyone inhaled them.  Probably because they were so excited to have something other than green beans, but none the less they ate it! 
Try this instead of mashed potatoes […]
2018-02-15T21:34:54+00:00March 28th, 2017|Sides|0 Comments

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

When I need to make dinner in advance, because I will not be around the kitchen at 6pm, I try to think of recipes I can make in the morning or early afternoon-that still taste good at dinner time. It’s hard!!! This is a great recipe that is a no brainer and can be made a day or two in advance if needed.  It is great to serve at a casual dinner party as well.  
I don’t really have measurements for this recipe it is just how you like it.  I typically use the store bought pre-made mashed potatoes (Hormel, Country Crock, Simply Potatoes). No one can tell the difference and it is a HUGE time saver. If I am feeling really Julia Childish then I will peel, boil and mash Russet potatoes. But, honestly I love to cook, but I have other things to do in my day than spend hours in the kitchen making dinner.  I want to serve a homemade meal to my family, but if I can find a shortcut that does not compromise the taste […]
2018-02-15T21:28:16+00:00January 19th, 2017|Sides|0 Comments

Hassleback Potatoes

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, side dishes are HARD. It seems like they take so much time and have so little impact on the meal, especially a rushed weeknight meal.  If your family is like mine then they just want to eat, they barely notice the side dish, and get the hell on with their evening.  Since I make my boys wear a shirt and take off their hats at the table the faster they can inhale the meal the better.  My husband and I do try to engage them in trivia or riddles and that typically keeps them in their seats for about 20 minutes.  Hey, baby steps, right?  But, my point is I don’t spend a lot of energy on side dishes.  The easier they are the better.  

These potatoes are so easy and everyone loves them because they are crispy and salty like french fries, but they are not fried.  All you need to make these are a wooden spoon, sharp knife and an oven.
You want to use Yukon Gold potatoes because they hold up to […]
2018-02-15T21:28:17+00:00January 10th, 2017|Sides|0 Comments

Arugula Salad

I love arugula!  Not everyone does because it has a very strong flavor, but hey its not stronger than the it’s hip kale counterpart.  You can put arugula in everything!  Wilt it in a soup, serve it raw with lemon and olive oil, put it on a sandwich.  It’s just so good! It’s peppery and kinda lemony.  Give it a try.

I don’t know about you, but if I get the main course cooked I feel like I won a prize! I can barely think about sides and salads, especially if they take any brain power.  This salad is an awesome no brainer salad.  It literally takes about 4 minutes.  And, you can make it while you are preparing the main course and yelling at your kids to help set the table or feed the dog or do their homework, is that only my house? Anyway, you can put this salad together and because the arugula is so hearty it can sit with the dressing on it for 20-30 minutes and it won’t affect the taste.  I have to do things […]
2018-02-15T21:28:17+00:00January 9th, 2017|Starters, Soups & Salads, Sides|0 Comments

Citrus Salad with Honey Lime Drizzle

During the winter I crave fruit, especially citrus fruit. We go through a lot of oranges, grapefruits and tangerines and I peel every one! Because my precious offspring just cannot do it.  They can whip a lacrosse ball 75 miles an hour into a goal, but they cannot peel an orange. Go figure! But, I guess that is why they keep me around:) 

This is a great salad to serve with dinner or for a snack after school.  My kids love it!  It’s tangy and sweet and so refreshing. 
When making this salad you are going to peel the fruit with a paring knife.  Make sure your knife is sharp and cut off the ends off first.  Set the orange on the cutting board with the flat cut off end on the board. Using your knife cut the peel and pith (the white layer between the fruit and the peel) off in strips.  Once all the peel is off, cut the orange into rings. Do not worry about it looking perfect.  Just do your best to get off all the white parts […]
2018-02-15T21:28:17+00:00January 9th, 2017|Starters, Sides|0 Comments

Bourbon and Smoked Turkey Gravy

Gravy! I think it one of the hardest parts of a Thanksgiving menu. Not because making a gravy is hard, but because most gravy recipes call for the drippings from the turkey. When you finally have the drippings from the turkey it is time to get everyone off the couch to come to the table and the kitchen is crazy. That is not the time to be making one of the most important dishes. Gravy can make or break the turkey! So, make this recipe ahead of time and save yourself the frustration of trying to pull off a fabulous gravy 5 minutes before its time to eat.

You can make this recipe earlier in the day of Thanksgiving or you can make it up to a week in advance.


Bourbon and Smoked Turkey Gravy

This make ahead gravy is easy and delicious and takes the pressure off on the day of. Make up to […]
2019-11-27T19:17:00+00:00November 8th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Brisket Jalapeno Dressing

Brisket Dressing 2

There are a million different dressings or stuffings around the country.  Everyone has their “usual” that they expect every year on the table.  Well, we are no different.  In Texas we have a cornbread dressing, not a stuffing.

My paternal grandmother passed down our traditional Thanksgiving dressing and it is fabulous!  But, of course I cannot leave well enough alone and I have fiddled with it and come up with my own “Texas Thanksgiving Dressing”.  Some day I will post the original recipe.  But, for this year we are having Brisket Jalapeno Dressing. Typical cornbread dressing calls for breakfast sausage instead of brisket.  The grocery stores already have the extra large containers of sausage in stock. But, in my dressing I use a smoked brisket.  No, I do not smoke a brisket along with all the other dishes of Thanksgiving. I go buy about a pound of smoked sliced brisket from the BBQ restaurant down the street.  If you are really ambitious and want to smoke your own then by all means do it, but I […]
2019-11-21T19:56:44+00:00November 7th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Cranberry Pear Pear Relish

Who’s Thanksgiving table has the jellied canned cranberry sauce? Well, I have to admit that mine does, but only because my brother-in-law loves it.  But, you can’t blame hime, he is from Philly:) Just kidding, so is my husband and I love him anyway.  

But, I cannot in good conscience serve only the jellied guck with the lines in it from the can.  So, here is my cranberry “sauce” that I make every year.  It is a great combination of sweet and tart and pairs perfectly with juicy roasted turkey.


Cranberry Pear Pear Relish

Makes about 3 cups

2 Tablespoons butter
3 cups fresh cranberries
2 pears, peeled and diced
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 of an orange, zested
1/4 cup orange juice, about 1 orange

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the cranberries soften and begin to pop.  

Chill 2-3 hours before serving.

This can be made up to 4 days in advance.

*Warm up the leftovers and spoon over pancakes or waffles

2018-02-15T21:28:18+00:00November 7th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted Root Vegetables are the easiest side dish you will make for Thanksgiving, I promise!  A monkey could do this or my 11 year old. So whichever you have on hand assign this dish to them. Ok…maybe cut up the vegetables for the monkey, but still.

Do not be too particular about the vegetables you buy.  Just buy what you like or what you think your family will eat. Even the non-veggie lovers will love these veggies.  The roasting makes them sweet and brings out the true deep flavor. 


Makes about 8-10 servings

1 lb. celery root, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lb. baby carrots with stems
1/2 lb. leeks, cut into chunks and rinsed well
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 lb. frozen pearl onions
1/2 lb. Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
Preheat oven to 425°
In a large bowl, combine prepared vegetables, olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. 
Spread evenly between two baking sheets.  
Roast 20 minutes.  Stir vegetables and roast an additional […]
2018-02-15T21:35:56+00:00November 7th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

I don’t think there is any table in America that does not have the traditional green bean casserole.  I HATE casseroles, but this one is just a classic and I love it!  There is nothing new or fancy about this recipe-just the same ole’ recipe off the mushroom soup can.

Trust me I have tried to make this dish a bit more modern, but it just never comes out as good as the original.  So here goes….


Green Bean Casserole

The classic green bean casserole! 
  • 1 can Condensed mushroom soup (Campbells)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 14.5oz cans cut green beans (not french cut), drained
  • 1 1/3 cup french fried onions, (French's Fried Onions in the can is the traditional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°

  2. In a large bowl, combine soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup of onions.

  3. Pour mixture into a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. 

  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  

  5. Sprinkle with remaining onions and bake for an additional […]

2019-11-25T16:42:05+00:00November 7th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

As promised, here is another recipe for a healthy, easy squash dish.  Now, I know that some people (mostly those healthy, skinny, marathon runner, yoga people-no offense to my marathon yoga friends) say that they can make spaghetti squash and serve it with pasta sauce and meatballs and it tastes just like spaghetti and meatballs. GIVE ME A BREAK! That would never fly in my house.  Trust me I have tried and it was one of those order pizza nights. I learned from that mistake and now I just serve the damn vegetable on its own and my kids love it.  Go figure!
This is SO good and SO easy! Serve it with just about anything-grilled chicken, meatloaf, pork chops…. And you can change it up by mixing in sauteed mushrooms, alfredo sauce (ok thats not healthy, but it’s really good), ricotta, pesto, steamed broccoli…. the list is endless.
Give it a try!


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

A delicious and healthy side dish that is perfect any time of the year

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive […]
2020-01-10T18:38:24+00:00October 28th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Roasted Butternut Squash

I think the Fall is the busiest time of the year and then you go right into the Holidays without a break-Good Lord! It is not even Halloween and I am already thinking about Christmas lights on the trees. Lights and the tree are about all I do to “decorate”. I am not a big “decorate for the holidays” kind of person.  I have never have been-maybe in my next life I can come back as my friend Susan:).  Thank the lord I had boys and they never notice that there are no Easter, Halloween or Valentines decorations up.  Score one for an all boy family!!! 

So, the fattest holiday, Thanksgiving is coming up, but we have a few weeks so lets concentrate on eating “healthy”. I mean after you devour the “kids” halloween candy this weekend.  I am going to TRY and post recipes that are lower calorie and lower fat than normal.  I know, you laugh! Notice I did not say low cal or low fat, I just said lowER.  To start this trend I have come up with a few […]
2018-02-15T21:28:19+00:00October 27th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Carrot Salad

I mentioned before that I am trying to incorporate more vegetables and salads into our meal rotation.  I know that making a main course and then a side dish is not easy. Trust me there are many nights that I serve sliced flank steak and a glass of milk and call it a day! But, keeping with the cupcake mom image I am trying to portray, I need to start serving more well rounded meals, right?  So, if I have to serve a main dish and a side dish the side better be easy!

Most kids and adults love carrots, especially with ranch. But, I can’t very well serve carrots and ranch as a side dish, or can I? No!  As a “food blogger” I should be making more complicated things, uh yeah, no! So, below is an EASY recipe that is very, very common in France.  They serve it cold as a side dish and many times you can find it on sandwiches in France as well. This is one of those “recipes” that is a pinch of this and a pinch of […]
2018-02-15T21:28:19+00:00October 18th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Grilled Artichokes

Ah artichokes!  I love them and thankfully so does my entire family.  If I see fresh artichokes in the grocery store I immediately buy a few.  They have a short season of March to May with normally a bumper crop in October.  Well…its October!!!  

I was at Costco (one of my favorite places on earth) and they had a bag of 4 artichokes that looked beautiful so of course I bought them. Side note, be sure and buy the ones that are green, firm and heavy.  They need to look fresh, not brown on the tips and starting to flower out.  
Once you get home with your fresh artichokes try and cook them within a couple days.  Store them in the fridge until you are ready to use.  When that time comes, snip off the thorns on the tips of the leaves with kitchen shears and cut off the end of the stem, but not all of it-it is edible.  
This vegetable looks daunting, but it is one of the easiest side dishes or appetizers to make.  And, they are fun to eat […]
2018-02-15T21:28:19+00:00October 17th, 2016|Starters, Sides|0 Comments

Autumn Brussels Sprout Salad

When Fall hits we want comfort food.  Who does not love warm soups, stews, pot roast….? Yes, I love those things also and so does my family, but my waist does not.  It is so hard to find healthy Fall recipes that still taste like comfort foods. 

This recipe is such a great salad to serve as a main course or as a side dish or to take to a holiday party or Thanksgiving dinner.  It saves in the fridge for about 3 days and it still tastes great and has a wonderful crunch.  I love crunch so anything that gives me that crunchy texture in recipes I am a fan.  
You can alter this recipe to fit what you like or what your family likes.  I have to be honest and say that my boys are not huge fans of this recipe, but that does not stop me from making it.  I figure one day they will begin to love veggies. But, if your kids love veggies then make this salad.  You can add shredded chicken, blue cheese crumbles, pomegranate seeds, […]
2018-02-15T21:28:19+00:00October 10th, 2016|Soups & Salads, Sides|0 Comments

Israeli Couscous with Basil Pesto

Here is another quick side dish that goes with just about anything you make for a main.  I like Israeli Couscous better than regular couscous because it has more of a bite to it and it doesn’t clump as badly. But, if you prefer the smaller granules then use regular couscous.

This is also a great side dish to take to a party if you are going to a pot luck or take to a picnic or make and save for lunch throughout the week.  It saves beautifully and it can be eaten hot or cold.

Israeli Couscous with Basil Pesto

A delicious side dish that is easy to make and can be adjusted to your liking. Add cherry tomatoes, feta, toasted pine nuts… the possibilies are endless.

  • 1 Cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Prepared Basil Pesto
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
  1. In a medium sized pot, heat water until it comes to a boil.  Add salt and couscous.  Stir to […]

2021-03-09T19:00:26+00:00September 19th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Peas with Pancetta

I feel like yummy side dishes only come out during the holidays or if there is an outdoor BBQ party.  I admit that cooking a main dish and two sides every night is hard, especially when there is a dog that must lay right in front of the stove while I am cooking.  I swear I am going to break my neck falling over that damn dog.  

In my house we normally have a main dish and a VERY easy side, such as salad or roasted potatoes or sauteed spinach. But, we get tired of those all the time so I have worked to find some new sides that are just as easy and delicious. The first one is Peas with Pancetta.  If you cannot find pancetta then just use bacon.  However, there is a difference between bacon and pancetta.  Both are pork belly and both are cured, but bacon is smoked after it is cured.  So, by using pancetta in this dish you get the salty, pork flavor without the smokey elements of American bacon.  Sometimes bacon can make a […]
2018-02-15T21:28:20+00:00September 19th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Rosemary Beer Bread

I am going to try and not sound too cupcakey here, but I made bread this weekend!!!  Whatever, right? Well, it is SO easy and is So good.  I pulled this bread out of the oven and it was literally gone in about 12 minutes. 

A very dear family friend, Kristy gave me this recipe.  It has 5 ingredients and takes about 4 minutes hands on time. Give it a try and impress your family and friends.  I serve this bread (if there is any left when dinner is served) with soup, salad, or a huge tub of butter. Oh hush, butter is good for you!  I swear there is going to be study that comes out that says that all the butter bashers are going to die early and the butter eaters are going to live to be 104:)


Makes 1 loaf

3 cups Self Rising Flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 (12oz) can/bottle of beer (any kind will work) 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter, melted for basting
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, […]
2018-02-15T21:28:20+00:00September 12th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

I don’t know about you, but this for me summer was full of bad, bad things, like queso, chips, pizza, tacos, hamburgers… There is just something about vacation that makes you throw all your good eating habits out the window. And let’s face it that once June 1 hits we all think we are on “vacation” until September 1, or until school starts for the little ones. 

Well, school has started! And yesterday was not a “good” day for the Hood family.  It was the first day of school and everyone was half asleep during breakfast.  I literally gave my kids a few slices of bacon and a smoothie and shoved them out the door. And, for dinner I was even a better mom!  We had study group and parent meetings and my husband had a business dinner so my family, lovingly, got Chic-Fil-A for dinner.  Can I get a woo hoo! I really do hope and promise to do better this week. But, hell we can only do so much.
Back to eating healthy (I’ll have you know I got a salad at […]
2018-02-15T21:28:21+00:00August 23rd, 2016|Soups & Salads, Sides|0 Comments

Quinoa with Summer Vegetables

I am up in Colorado with the family for some cool weather and relaxation.  But, of course having three boys, two of which are teenagers, relaxation is hard to come by.  My oldest broke his elbow and had to have surgery, while on vacation.  Needless to say, it has put a bit of a kink in our plans.  I am basically in the house playing nurse.  But, my sweet husband did most of the heavy lifting and took him to the hospital, which was 2 hours away, for the surgery and I stayed back with the other two boys. So, while I was going crazy waiting for updates on the surgery, I cooked!  It took my mind off of the idea of my son having 3 screws put in his elbow.  

I had a ton of vegetables in the fridge and I found some, dare I say, quinoa, in the pantry.  So, I came up with a side dish or a main meatless dish.  It would be great for lunch.  


Makes 6-8 side servings

1 cup cooked […]
2018-02-15T21:28:22+00:00July 23rd, 2016|Soups & Salads, Sides|0 Comments

Confetti Corn

I think side dishes are so hard to come up with.  We all kinda get stuck in a rut when it comes to veggies-steamed broccoli, green beans, blah, blah…  And, lets face it the kids don’t like veggies and I know a lot of adults that don’t like veggies which makes it even harder to get those greens down.  I will make it my mission to come up with some new, healthy side dishes this summer.  I’ll keep ya posted! Send me your thoughts!!!

Now the dish of the hour is not “healthy”, but it is so good.  I will work on a “healthy” version of this dish and post it. But, in the meantime this side dish goes perfectly with BBQ, grilled chicken, shrimp, pork… Put it with anything and it makes whatever you are serving better:)


6-8 Servings

8 slices bacon, chopped
2- 12oz. packages of frozen corn kernels, white or yellow
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1- 2.5oz can mild green chilies (use canned diced jalapenos for spicier)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 of a large bell pepper)
4oz. cream cheese, […]
2018-02-15T21:28:22+00:00June 27th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments


Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan salad that uses day old bread and ripe tomatoes.  It is a great way to use leftover vegetables and all those tomatoes that you have growing in your back yard.  But, I don’t like raw tomatoes…I know, I know how can I not like tomatoes???  I so wish I did, but I hate them!  So I have come up with a “Panzanella” ish salad. It’s a bit more hearty and if you want you can add chicken to it for a full meal.


About 6 Servings

1 loaf crusty French bread-leftover from the night before is great, cubed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 English cucumber (they are the cucumbers wrapped in cellophane), cut into half moons
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
20 mini Bocconcini mozzarella balls
6 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into strips)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°
Toss cubed bread with olive oil and […]
2018-02-15T21:28:22+00:00June 15th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese, who doesn’t like it?  If you raised your hand then I just don’t understand you.  It is such a fabulous “vegetable”.  If you call it a vegetable side dish then you don’t feel as guilty when you inhale the entire bowl.  It goes with anything and everything and no one ever gets tired of it.  Even fancy, elegant, chefy restaurants are serving mac and cheese.  So come on and give it a try!

Ok, you by now know that I am not one of those vegan, low fat, low calorie, no dairy, paleo people. But…if I can make something at home that eliminates strange ingredients, like yellow dye #4,  from my kids meals I will make it.  As long as it is easy.  I mean I am not going to make my own yogurt. My kids do need a healthy dose of sucralose in order to fit into society.
I promise this mac and cheese is super easy.  It is not low calorie, but hell it’s easy.  Let’s keep our priorities straight!! 


6-8 Servings

1lb. large macaroni noodles, […]
2018-02-15T21:28:23+00:00May 23rd, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Pickled Cucumbers

Growing up I can remember my parents going to the Farmer’s Market during the spring or summer and coming home and declaring that, “Tonight we only eat veggies”!  Ick I remember thinking.  What kid wants only vegetables for dinner? Well, of course the older you get the more you like your vegetables and I am no exception.  One of the dishes I remember my mom making was pickled cucumbers.  I know, you are saying, Pickles.  Well, yes, but not really.  These are quick pickled cucumbers and they are so fresh and tangy and light.   They go perfect with any spring/summer BBQ you might be having or attending.

You need to slice the cucumbers thin so they “pickle” quickly. You either a very sharp paring knife or a mandolin. I have linked a mandolin I like.  It is one of those tools you will use over and over again. They are not expensive and so worth it!

Pickled Cucumbers

A light and tangy side dish that is perfect with a BBQ pulled pork sandwich or grilled chicken

2020-04-10T19:10:33+00:00May 23rd, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

This is a side dish that could be the easiest dish I make.  And if you prefer your veggies a bit more crunchy than soft then you might want to cook them this way when making pot roast.  

Seriously a monkey could do this!


Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

Serves 4-6

1lb. bag of yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
1lb. bag of baby carrots or 5-6 large carrots peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°

In a large bowl toss all ingredients together. Pour onto a foil lined baking sheet.

Roast for about 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are a tender as you like them. 

You can add any herb you like-rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender... You can also add any root vegetable you like-parsnips, celery root, sliced onions...

2018-02-15T21:28:24+00:00May 11th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Roasted Spring Vegetables

Spring Vegetables
Roasting anything is the easiest way to cook and roasting vegetables is a no brainer.  You just drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over whatever vegetable your family will eat and roast in the oven and you have yourself a side dish.
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of veggies and the addition of vinegar helps them keep their color and off sets the sweetness with a tang.
You can use whatever vegetable you can find, but I like a mixture of colors.  And I’ll say it again, try radishes!  I promise they are so good and roasting makes them sweet.

Roasted Spring Vegetables

Such an easy way to make vegestables. Roasting them brings out the sweetness!

  • 1 lb. Baby carrots (if you can't find true baby carrots then use the ones in the bag)
  • 1 lb. Fingerling potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 bunch Radishes, tops trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 lb. Asparagus, cut into thirds
  • 1 bunch Baby spring onions, greens removed
  • 1 Tablespoon Shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 […]
2022-04-30T17:27:54+00:00April 29th, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are not rocket science, but I thought what the heck I am making them for dinner tonight so I might as well post it.  Because I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seat for me to post something.  

It’s 5:45 and my kiddos are all vegging on the couch. Don’t worry they have been to practice and one has done his homework.  One out of three is not bad, right?  So….I have opened a bottle of wine, got most of dinner prepared, set the table, turned on some music and waiting for my husband, Ward Cleaver, to get home.  No, don’t start thinking life is always this calm.  This is a rare moment-even the damn dogs are napping.  It will be mass chaos in about 10 minutes when everyone realizes the house is too quiet. 
Back on topic… mashed potatoes! Yes we do eat carbs, gasp! They are so good and go with just about anything, oh and they are so easy.  Below is my recipe for homemade mashed potatoes.  
But first I need to confess something. On […]
2018-02-15T21:28:27+00:00March 31st, 2016|Sides|0 Comments

Cucumber Carpaccio

While we were in San Diego for a lacrosse tournament last year, my husband and I snuck away and had a wonderful glass of wine and a dish similar to this at a restaurant on the beach. I’ll have you know we did not miss one game-this was during a practice time.  I am sure the atmosphere made this exceptionally delicious, but none the less I wanted to make it at home. 

There are many variations of this, but this is the one that we like.   


Cucumber Carpaccio

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced very thin
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon olive oil

If you have a mandolin then put it on the second thinnest setting and slice the cucumber.  Arrange on a plate.  If you are doing this in advance then stop at this point and place the plate in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, drizzle lemon juice, oil, salt and chili powder on cucumber slices. If you do this ahead of time the cucumber will get soggy.

2018-02-15T21:28:27+00:00March 31st, 2016|Starters, Sides|0 Comments

Fennel with Lemon Salad

I used to hate fennel, but a friend of ours came to stay with us many years back when I was pregnant with one of the little people, I can’t remember who, and introduced me to raw fennel.  It actually has a less anise flavor than cooked.  I have learned to really love cooked fennel and I have been trying to recreate a baked fennel dish I had in North Carolina, but I can’t seem to get it right so stay tuned…
The recipe below, if you can call it a recipe, is light, crisp and pairs perfect with that bottle of wine that is so necessary at the end of the day.  I don’t think I would sit down to a bowl of this, but it is really good as a side dish. And bonus it has practically NO calories.  Don’t be afraid of that funky looking vegetable in the grocery-give it a try.

Fennel with Lemon Salad

I great way to use this unsual vegetable. So tangy and delicious and […]

2020-11-18T21:01:50+00:00March 31st, 2016|Sides|0 Comments
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