Posts filed under ‘Sides’

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I’m not sure why this happens, but every spring I start enjoying spinach salads, we eat them throughout the summer, and every fall and winter they disappear. Maybe because this particular version is my favorite and strawberries aren’t plentiful in the winter? Whatever the case, I’m sure glad it is spring time and this salad has found its way back onto our table.  It’s fresh, light, and a great alternative to the traditional side salad.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
½ cup white sugar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp minced onion
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 quart strawberries – cleaned, hulled, and sliced
sunflower kernals (for garnish)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before serving.

Source: Allrecipes


March 23, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

These carrots are delicious! We don’t eat them too often because I think eating carrots this way negates the health of the vegetable, but a little treat once in awhile is a good thing. I usually reduce the amount of butter in these because I think 1 stick is a little too much. They always taste delicious and I have converted many carrot haters with this recipe. If you have someone that won’t eat vegetables – give these a shot!

Whiskey Glazed Carrots
1 stick Butter, Divided (sometimes I reduce this)
2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Carrots, Peeled And Cut Into Thick Circles
½ cups Jack Daniels Or Other Whiskey
¾ cups (to 1 Cup) Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add carrots in two batches, cooking for 60-90 seconds each batch. Remove from skillet.

Pour in whiskey and allow to evaporate 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining butter. When butter melts, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Stir together, then add carrots to skillet. Cover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until carrots are done and glaze is thick, about 5 more minutes.

Pour onto a platter and serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped chives if desired.

Source: Pioneer Woman

February 21, 2011 at 5:00 am 1 comment

Bean Salad

Before Alana was born my friend Jenn gave me a wonderful baby shower. Several people that attended brought dishes to share and Adrian brought this bean salad. While I was pregnant I couldn’t eat beans due to the horrible heart burn that I sufferred so I initially passed right by this salad. After several people told me I had to try it I finally did and it was delicious! I was really sad I couldn’t eat more of it, but you better believe that it is now a staple in our house. We eat it as a snack, served over fish, in taco salads, and just by itself. You name it we’ve probably tried it. This recipe makes a lot, but it keeps well in the fridge. My 13 month old is even crazy about this salad!

Bean Salad
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 can red kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
6 green onions, chopped
2 bell peppers (any color)
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 packages Good Seasons italian salad dressing
vegetable or canola oil
red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 package of taco seasoning or 3-4 Tbps homemade
tobasco or other hot sauce, to taste

Rinse and drain the beans and corn. Place into a large bowl. Add green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and broccoli florets to the bean mixture.

In a 2 cup measuring cup mix up the Good Seasons Italian dressing  per directions (using oil, vinegar, and water) add 1 pkg taco seasoning, and tobasco to taste. Mix dressing well and pour over veggie mix. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve with tortilla chips, over fish, in a salad, etc.

Source: my friend Adrian T.

February 16, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Onion Strings

I have an onion-loving husband. I am almost positive, no I am positive, that no one else could possibly love onions more than this man. He can eat them like an apple — ick! I enjoy cooked onions in many forms, but I especially love onion straws. These wont be something I make often because they are not healthy, but they sure taste great!
Please excuse the awful picture. It was the best I could do before the onion-lover got to them. 🙂

Onion Strings
1 Large onion
2 Cups buttermilk
2 Cups flour
1 Scant tablespoon salt
Lots of black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Canola Oil

Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk for at least one hour.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Coat onions in flour mixture, shaking off the excess, and submerge into the hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown. Repeat with remaining onions.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

April 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm 2 comments

Roasted Asparagus

There are several things that I make quite frequently and my husband always asks if they are on my blog. Most often I reply by saying no honey, these aren’t really recipes. They are boring. He disagrees and always thinks I should post them. And, you know what? He’s right. I should post the simple, tried and true recipes. Here’s one example. Roasted asparagus is great because the asparagus stays nice and crisp. They also have wonderful flavor from the roasting. In my opinion they are best served with lemon slices. Lemon and asparagus is delicious.


Roasted Asparagus
1 lb Asparagus, dry ends trimmed off
extra virgin olive oil
lemon slices, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place asparagus on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast for 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the asparagus and serve immediately.

March 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

I often order Caesar salads when we go out to eat, but have never made one at home. It was finally time. I’m not sure what I was scared of, possibly the anchovies? Several people have told me that anchovies are just salty and nothing to be scared of trying, but I was a skeptic. Even still, I found a recipe using anchovy paste instead of whole filets. However, I know realize that they do infact add a salty flavor and are nothing to be scared of. I wouldn’t eat them whole, but for flavor purposes they are so worth it.


Caesar Salad with Homemad Croutons
For the croutons:
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Cups 1/2-inch white bread cubes (I used whole wheat)

For the salad:
1 large egg
3 Tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
8 grindings black pepper
1 small clove garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium heads romaine lettuce (large outer leaves removed) or 2 large romaine hearts, torn into 1/2 inch pieces

For the croutons: Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix garlic, salt, and oil in a small bowl; set aside for 20 minutes. Spread bread cubes out over a baking sheet. Drizzle oil through a fine-mess strainer evenly onto bread; toss to coat. Bake until golden (about 10 minutes). Cool on baking sheet.

For the dressing: Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Carefully lower whole egg into water; cook 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, crack egg into small bowl with all other dressing ingredients except oil; whisk until smooth. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Adjust seasonings.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated

February 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm 5 comments

Parmesan Risotto

Previously, I posted a shrimp risotto that makes a great meal in itself, but I thought it was time to post my usual go to risotto recipe. I normally serve this alongside chicken, or pork and it rounds out the meal perfectly. It does take a little bit of time to achieve the perfect creaminess, but is well worth the efforts. Sometimes I add some additional veggies or cheese, but no matter what it always turns out great.

I am also the proud new owner of a KitchenAid 12 cup food processor. My husband surprised me with this for Valentines Day. Of course, I had to use it right away and have used it three times in the past two days! One of those was to shred the parmesan for this risotto. Usually, I grate the cheese by hand, my arms gets tired, and it takes forever. This did all the work for me and fast! So, thank you honey! I love you and I absolutely LOVE this gift. 🙂


Parmesan Risotto
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer and keep warm over low heat. In a separate medium saucepan or skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion is transparent and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it is well coated with the butter and starts to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 3-5 minutes. Ladle 1/2 cup of the warm chicken broth into the rice mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed. Repeat this step, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, until the rice is cooked through but still firm, about 20-25 minutes. Add the remaining butter, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of parmesan. Stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: Real Simple

February 18, 2009 at 1:10 pm 3 comments

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