Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tomato Casserole

So Kerri originally posted this recipe in August 2007, but no pictures and she was kinda mocking it...I will give it the post it deserves...

This is our first haul from our garden.
So... We made Tomato Casserole

5 tomatoes peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
olive oil or butter
bread crumbs
shredded cheese

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer tomatoes and salt and pepper. Then, add a layer of cheese and breadcrumb topped with a little butter or olive oil. Repeat until you end with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for about an hour.

This is so delicious because the tomatoes get so sweet:) This is a classic family recipe for us and we look forward to it every year!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Black Beans with Cilantro


Ok, I like a lot of beans. My almost 2 year old is a bean eater and these are the only vegtable he will eat...not even sure if beans counts as a veggie, but I'll take it. At any rate, I discover this recipe last year to make for a church dinner and I have made it a few times since. This is a very simple recipe, but the results is very Gloria's black bean dip-like. This is really the first time I made it as written. Usually I make it with a full pound of beans (and a bigger pot). As written in a 2 qt pot, I had a hard time reducing the liquid.


To be quite honest, I always have trouble reducing the liquid. It never seems to reduce enough, and you can tell a lot had evaporated.

However, the beans were still good. I added a bit more salt and some fresh ground pepper. YUM! I served it with tacos made with penzey's taco seasoning...not bad!


Roasted Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts

I started with this recipe and modified it a bit (used onion for shallot and substituted pine nuts for hazelnuts). I actually served it over pasta for a meal, but it would be a great side.

I had never roasted green beans before and, oh man, they are good. My 4 year old ate about 4 helpings and asked me to make them again soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Squash Casserole

We got about 15 lbs of squash last week from our CSA, so I've been trying different recipes to use it up. I found this on It was fantastic. The kids thought it had too much onion and didn't love the texture, but I loved it. I upped the sour cream a bit and sauteed fresh garlic with the onion instead of the 'house seasoning.'

Monday, May 17, 2010


I realize the request this month is for side dishes, but I have a condiment that is so worthy of posting, I must. Plus, I doubt there will be a month dedicated to condiments!

This chimichurri recipe is from Central Market. It is the best chimichurri I have ever tasted, and although I made it Saturday, just thinking about it makes me drool a little.

You can serve this on steak, chicken, or even some empanadas. We served ours with steak simply seasoned with salt/pepper. Wow!!

You must make this dish for your spouses. They will drool, think you are amazing, and ask when you are making it again.

Here you go:

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantra, finely chopped
3 Tb capers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tb red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt (I used about 1.25 tsp and it was perfect. It does require a lot of salt)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil

Put parsley, cilantro, capers, and garlic in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Add vinegar, salt, red and black pepper and stir. Pour in olive oil and mix until well combined. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving so the flavors blend.

For our version, I split it in half just before the oil. I added about 1 Tb oil to my section (yes, I'm a freak), and I added 3-4 Tb for DH's version. Both were excellent and I was delighted to have something healthy and low fat to enjoy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blog stalker

So, I have been blog stalking Michelle. I have added her personal blog to the blog roll (sorry it took so long) but she has a separate blog just for food. I have made a lot of things from it, and so far, have made two things for this challenge that I got from this blog. I think for her family, both of these would be considered "main dish" but for us, they are sides.

The first one is mushroom orzo.


I really need to learn to take better pictures. At any rate. This one looked easy, but good. I made it friday night and served it with some grilled pork tenderloin. I did like this, I really liked how the soy sauce gave it some color and flavor, liked how the mushrooms turned out, did think maybe it needed a shower of some parm cheese, but it was a good side. Mark said he loved it, but then picked out the mushrooms. What a waste!


I have to add, I did intend to have a veggie with this meal, but we played at the park too late, then the fire wouldn't start, then the painter showed up, so we had meat and carb.

The second recipe I made this evening. This meal was inspired by a friend who gave us some homemade sauerkraut. We got some brats and I made this recipe for pinto beans.


Again, no green, but boy howdy this was good! The beans were a nice addition, it was a good basic recipe. I even had the feeling that there was some meat in there. I personally needed more salt...maybe double, but it was still good.

And I would hate to out myself even more, but I might also be making chicken and orzo and black bean tortilla bake from the same blog...I am just a blog stalker!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

This is my favorite way to cook asparagus. I use the Cooking Light recipe, but I double the sauce. No longer 'light,' but oh so good. Me and butter? We love each other.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower

So, this had become a bi-weekly staple for us. I found this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower when I bought a head of ORANGE cauliflower from a local farmer's market and did a search! We have REALLY been enjoying it. I don't even put the cheese on it:) My mom was recently in town and she liked it too...I think. She was surprised at the new and delicious flavor the cauliflower took on:)

Sweet Potato and Pecan Salad

This is another recipe that I got from my mom. Unfortunately the girls weren't wild about it, but Kevin and I loved it. Another plus is that it is good for you and easy to make. My mom got the recipe from the TV show The Biggest Loser.

1 sweet potato, 12 oz, baked
1/2 large red delicious apple, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp pecans, chopped
Peel of 1 lemon, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Cool the sweet potato slightly, then peel and cut into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the potato, apple, celery, and pecans. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon peel and juice, apple juice concentrate, oil, parsley and pepper. Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and toss to coat.

Note: We left out the celery and used more potato and apple than called for. It was even yummy as lunch leftovers.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lemon Linguine

Since Olivia was born, my mom has been coming over and helping out with the older girls and cooking for us. Yeah, Mom! Anyway, we've had some new things since she's cooking and here's one we had last week.

1 (8-ounce) package linguine
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1 tablespoon milk
1 3/4 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
1 whole lemon, zested
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Cook linguini according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

In a skillet, cook onion or shallots and garlic in butter, stirring constantly until tender, not brown. Stir in sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, milk, lemon-pepper, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over linguini. Toss gently, adding chopped parsley, chives, and remaining Parmesan. Serve warm.

We used onions not shallots and left out the chives because we didn't have any on hand. Ella Grace was the only one who didn't like it. We think the lemon flavor was too strong for her. It reheats well too because I had leftovers one day for lunch. We served it with some honey roasted turkey that my mother in law had bought.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mexican Rice


Its hard to take a good picture of rice.

I saw this thread on my cooking light message board about a CI recipe for mexican rice. I have tried it a couple of times and made it again this past week. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly as written. This rice does turn out very similar to what you get in mexican restaurants. I think many of you would like it. The only thing, I really prefer the beans and am not sure if this rice is really worth the effort. Still, it is impressive and makes a ton. A good one to keep in mind if you have a large fiesta coming up.

I served it with the layered chicken enchilads from the freezer.


Andy LOVED this rice.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May - Super Sides

Hello all,

Sorry I am slow to getting to this. I have been super sick and haven't really eaten since last week. Hard to think about monthly challenges in such conditions. At any rate, my main dishes usually get all my attention, but I would like to focus on my sides this month. Could be a side salad, grain, pasta, or veggie....really anything!