Posts tagged ‘sides’

December 13, 2011

Food: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, apples…and bacon.


Brussels Sprouts are good.

Bacon and apples make them better.

Bacon makes anything better really.

The Husband even approved, with seconds of course. They are soft but still have a bite. Carmelized which adds a sweet texture and enhanced flavor. The apples are disguised (what he said). And thick cut bacon and some grease…come on, what is not to like.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts, apples…and bacon


  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 green apple, chopped


1. In a small sauce-pan, cook bacon on medium low, until crispy. Drain fat into container and let bacon dry on papertowel.

2. In a large non-stick pan, add brussels sprouts, butter and salt and pepper. Turn on heat to medium high. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Turn heat down and deglaze pan with 2/3 cup water. Put lid on pan and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Remove  lid. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of bacon grease and chopped apple. Continue to stir occasionally. When all water is evaporated, add chopped bacon.

4. Taste test. Add salt and pepper if needed. Test the texture of the sprouts too. Don’t overcook them – you want them to still have a bite/crunch to them! Enjoy hot.

October 11, 2011

Food: Ancho Chili Sweet Potato Fries with Siracha Ketchup.

This was my dinner the other night. It was between cereal or these.

I think I choose well.

The sweetness from the meaty potato and the slight heat from the ancho chili and paprika are a perfect combination…even before they are dipped into the Siracha ketchup. So simple yet so flavorful.

Ancho Chili Sweet Potato Fries with Siracha Ketchup

Yield = 1 person


  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, cut into fry shapes
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pinches ground ancho chili powder
  • 2 pinches smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Siracha hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Coat potato fries in olive oil on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Pull out and sprinkle chili powder and paprika on fries. Return them to the oven, until tender – another 6 – 8 minutes. For the last 4 minutes, I turn the oven to broil so they become a little crispy.

2. While fries are cooking, combine Siracha and ketchup. Taste test for the level of heat you are looking for.

3. Remove fries from sheet pan and sprinkle with more salt if desired. Serve and enjoy right away!

*I use a toaster oven for 1 sweet potato. Less energy and heats up much faster.


September 28, 2011

Food: Herbed Asiago Rolls.

I used to be scared of yeast. It’s pretty scary. I mean check it out sometimes.

Okay actually looking at it isn’t scary at all. For me it used to be the whole concept of getting the right temperature of the water and not killing the yeast. That was before a thermometer entered my life. Now it is finally complete!!!

Thanks to Cooking Light magazine..circa December 2009 for the inspiration.

Herbed Asiago Rolls

Yield = 12 rolls


  • 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup 105 degree water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 Asiago cheese, grated and divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon herbs d’  Provence
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Cooking Spray


I used my KitchenAid with a dough hook attachment to make the dough, then transferred it to a floured surface to knead for a few minutes.

1.  Dissolve 1 tablespoon honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees) in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon honey and egg. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 cheese, and next 4 ingredients (through thyme) in a bowl, stir with a whisk to combine.

2. Add flour mixture to yeast mixture, stirring (KitchenAid is doing the work here) to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic – add remaining 1/2 cup of flour in 1 tablespoon portions at a time. Place dough in large bowl coasted with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Gently press two fingers into center of dough and turn over. Cover and let rise for another 1 hour or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Gently press two fingers into center of dough and turn over – cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Quickly roll each portion into a ball. Place on sheet pan that is coated with cooking spray – rolls should be 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

5. Uncover and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 18 minutes or until browned. Let cool on wire rack. Serve with warm soup…or just plain with butter!

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September 19, 2011

Food: Roasted Brown Sugar Acorn Squash.

Okay people, this might be the easiest recipe to date on SL.

Sorry, calling you ‘people’ is slightly rude. But please listen up…actually please read this and please make this. You will thank me.

Let me just tell you that flavors are not compromised by the ease of this recipe. If you have an oven, then you are more than half way finished with this dish.

Great for lunch. Great for a side to your main dinner protein.

Check out the close up of the caramelized brown sugar and melted butter and lovely Kosher salt. Yum.

Roasted Brown Sugar Acorn Squash


  • 1 or 2 or 3 Acorn Squash
  • 1 tablespoon butter per half of squash
  • 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar per half of squash
  • Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. In a 9×12 glass baking pan, pour in 1 1/2 cups of water. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down. Roast in over for 40 minutes.

2. Turn squash halves over.  Place 1 tablespoon of butter in the bottom and sprinkle brown sugar all over each squash. Place back into oven until done- about 8-10 minutes more.

3. Remove from dish and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Dig in but not too quickly, these things are hot!!


August 23, 2011

Food: Jalapeno Cheddar and Asaigo Cornbread.

Cornbread is something that I can eat anytime of the day and with any kind of food. One thing for sure though – I have to have butter with it.

In an effort to change things up a bit – jalapeno’s cheddar and asagio cheese is added.

Sometimes cornbread can be dry and tasteless – not this one. It is moist and has a kick. Just want you need on a warm summers evening.


Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, At Home.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter, melted
  • 2 cups extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons asagio cheese, grated


1. Combine flour,  cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and the butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved – don’t overmix (Ina Garten said so!). Mix in the 2 cups of Cheddar cheese, scallions and jalapenos. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat over to 350 degrees and grease 9x13x2-inch glass baking pan.

4. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with asagio cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes – or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes for slicing into. Serve warm with butter and sprinkled scallions on top!



August 8, 2011

Food: Apricot and Jalapeno Marmalade.

I know what you are thinking.

Apricots and jalapeno’s?? What a strange combination! But trust me, just this once.

The freshness and unique flavors from the apricots and the heat from the jalapeno’s are a match made in marmalade heaven. I slathered this on toast and I couldn’t believe my eyes…I mean my taste buds.

Marmalade. Jam. Jelly. They are all intimidating to me to make from scratch. At least it was before. This was super easy.

I made a small batch, since I knew that I was going to be the only one in my household that would be consuming this. Plus I didn’t want to have to go through the whole bottling and canning process with 16 jars. Enough said. This amount will last me.

Apricot and Jalapeno Marmalade


  • 8 ripe apricots, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pectin 
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse salt (Kosher or sea)


1. Place the quartered apricots, jalapeno, water, and sugar in a non stick pot over medium high heat. Stir every once in a while. When it starts to bubble, turn heat down to a light simmer (basically you want just a few bubbles to form). Let simmer for 15-20 minutes – stirring every 3-5 minutes.

2. Add pectin. Stir to combine. Simmer another 8 minutes. Mixture should be liquidy – don’t fret.

3. Using a mini food processor/blender/or regular sized food processor, add half the mixture and pulse 2 -4 times (this equals about 2 -3 seconds processing). Remove and place into glass jar. Add the remaining of the mixture and process. *If there is a lot of liquid, remove 1-2 heaping tablespoons of that and throw away – this is what I did. Place into glass jar with the rest of the marmalade. Add salt and stir to combine throughout. Taste – may have to add more salt.

4. Place in refrigerator uncovered to cool. Once cooled, a lid can be added.



June 15, 2011

Food: Smashed Red Potatoes with Gorgonzola.






Potatoes are a usual side at our house. Mr. A is a huge fan while I seem to eat 1 or 2 – but when gorgonzola cheese is added, I can’t stop eating them! And they just happen to be pretty easy to prepare when I haven’t really thought about sides to our main entrée.

The crispy brown crunch that forms around the potatoes and then the contrasting melting gorgonzola is a hit! It is so nice to cut through the crunching outside into the warm soft center of each potato.

Smashed Red Potatoes with Gorgonzola


  • 12-15 red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese


1. Par-boil or microwave potatoes for 10 minutes or until slightly soft.

2. Heat cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Place potatoes in pan (make sure water doesn’t drip into pan for it will spit back at you – dry potatoes are best!). Using a metal spatula or large fork press down on the middle of each potato – so that they break/crack open. Potatoes should be about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Heat for 8 minutes on one side, then flip. Turn heat down to medium after they have been flipped – the pan will stay hot. Place butter into pan – great for flavor and color – mix around.

4. When ready to serve sprinkle gorgonzola on top of potatoes. I keep more on the side for people to add to their plates, if they are like me and like more cheese!

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