Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bunny Trail Mix

Luke and I made our own trail mix filled with lots of our favorite snacks. This is a good activity to do with your kids! Search your cabinets and see what you can come up with to make your own trail mix.
Here is what we filled our bin with....

alphabet pretzels
bunny graham crackers
zoo crackers
golden raisins
chocolate chips
peanut M&Ms
jelly beans
peanut butter bumper cereal

Monday, March 29, 2010

Battle of the Kugel

Since today is Passover I have 2 recipes here for kugel... one is kosher and the other is definitely not but they are equally delicious!! If you like sweet (as opposed to savory) dishes then both of these are a must try.... Jewish or not!!!!! They go great with any meat, poultry, or pork (which is also not kosher but a good savory compliment) main dish.
Noodle Kugel

6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
4 tbsp sour cream
1 lb cottage cheese (creamed, if you can find it)

3 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

Cook noodles according to package and then drain. Add butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, yolks, salt and sugar to the cooked noodles. Beat egg whites and the fold into mixture. Pour into baking dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Apple-Matzoh Kugel (I actually halved this recipe because the below amounts makes 12 servings)- from Epicurious

4 large apples, Granny Smith, cored and cut into medium dices
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
6 plain matzohs
8 eggs 1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice and set aside. Break the matzoh into 2 to 3 inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft but not mushy. Set aside.
While matzoh soaks, beat the eggs with a whisk in a large bowl. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins and apricots. Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzoh and add the matzoh to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Dot the top with the 4 tbsp of butter.
Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if it begins to brown too early. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Here is a basic recipe for a simple Shepherd's Pie. It could definitely be made ahead of time and then heated when you are ready to eat. And you can substitute the vegetables for whatever you have on hand.

1 1lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup peas, frozen
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large potatoes
1 packet of George Washington seasoning mixed with 6 oz of boiling water or 1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes). While the potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in large saute pan. Saute onions, carrots and celery over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and saute until no longer pink. Add the peas. Add worcestershire sauce, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the seasoning mix or beef broth. Cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes over low heat.
Drain potatoes when they are tender and put back in pan. Add butter, milk, salt and pepper then mash potatoes.
Place beef mixture in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Black Bean Soup

Spring is supposed to be around the corner, however it is still cold outside??!!! This soup was perfect last night when I came inside from playing at the park with my kids.

Black Bean Soup (recipe comes from Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet)

1 pound dried black beans, rinsed

4 cups water

3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped

1 Medium yellow onion, peel & chopped

1 pound smoked ham hocks, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

2 teaspoons paprika

3 teaspoons cumin

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken stock

¼ teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash the beans and place them in a 6-quart stove-top casserole with 4 cups water. Cover and boil 2 minutes; shut off the heat and let stand 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer 2 hours until the beans are tender. (You may have to add a bit of fresh water to the pot as the beans should be just covered with water when you begin the second cooking stage.)

At completion, de-bone the hocks, chop up the meat, and return it to the pot. Add the vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and heat through.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Around here we celebrate all holidays... so to get into the "Passover" spirit we made coconut macaroons. First of all, I didn't think my son or husband liked coconut and they both devoured them in minutes!! They are chewy on the inside with a little crunch to the outside... absolutely perfect!!! I am a huge coconut fan and these are definitely one of the best macaroon recipes I have ever tried!! Note: the recipe doesn't make that many macaroons, probably about 10, so you may want to double the recipe if you want them to last more than a day!!

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Put the egg whites and vanilla in another small bowl and whisk until slightly frothy. Add to the coconut mixture and mix well.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased or parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake 325 for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Dip the bottoms of each macaroon in the chocolate and place on wax paper. Place in fridge to harder chocolate (about 30 minutes). Then take out of fridge and store in air tight container.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lemon Garlic Roasted Salmon with Roasted Parsnips and Asparagus

My 3 year old really likes fish and I was looking for a healthy dinner for tonight so this is what we ended up eating. It was simple to make and didn't require a lot of prep work.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Salmon (from Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 large garlic cloves
Juice from 1 large lemon
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
2-4 salmon steaks (makes enough marinade for 4 but can easily double the marinade if you are making it for more people)

Preheat oven to 400. In a small food processor, puree together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Place the salmon in a shallow bowl and pour the mixture over them. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
In a shallow baking dish, arrange the fish so the pieces don't touch and bathe with the marinade. Roast in the oven for 5 minutes then test center with an instant reading thermometer for 115 degrees. **Once it is there, turn off the oven, close the door and leave the fish for another 4-8 minutes or until you see a creamy white liquid escaping from the meat. Now it is ready to eat. Spoon juices over the fish and serve hot.

** I am not sure if my thermometer is broken or it just never got hot enough in the oven, but it took me awhile to get the fish to read 115. So, if you start to see the white liquid and you haven't turned the oven off, turn it off then wait a couple minutes and check to make sure it is done- but don't overcook it.

Roasted Parsnips and Asparagus
Cut up the vegetables into 2 inch pieces and arrange on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Put in preheated 400 oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. (You can start this before you put the fish in and let it finish cooking while the fish is in the oven too. If the vegetables start to get too brown while the fish is still cooking, take them out and put them back in for a minute or two before you serve them so they are hot.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Using the leftover chicken I made easy chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight. This is a good dish to make ahead and then just pop in the oven when you are ready to cook it. I got the recipe from a friend who made these for me a long time ago and they tasted just as good the second time around! I served it with a side salad.

2 cups salsa
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp chili powder ** If you are serving to kids you might want to reduce this to 1 tbsp- my 3 yr old ate it but it was a little spicy.
1 tsp cumin
handful of fresh cilantro
8 tortillas
monterey jack cheese (or cheddar, whichever you have)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken, diced and cooked

Mix together the salsa, water, chili powder, cumin, and cilantro. This is your homemade enchilada sauce.
Put 1/2 cup of sauce in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Set aside the rest of the sauce.
Take tortillas and fill with chicken, black beans and cheese. Roll them up and place them seam side down in dish. When you are done rolling up the tortillas, pour the rest of the sauce over tortillas.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Take dish out, uncover, and sprinkle remaining cheese. Place back in oven until cheese is melted, which should only take a couple of minutes.
You can serve the enchiladas with sour cream, scallions, hot sauce, avocado or extra cilantro as optional toppings.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chicken in a Pot with wild rice and bulgur with vegetables

This chicken recipe takes a while to cook but the final product is very juicy chicken and it tastes delicious! The chicken juice that is left after cooking the chicken tastes great spooned over the wild rice mixture. I added steamed asparagus sprinkled with goat cheese to round out the meal. Lately my kids have been loving asparagus so while it is in season we will be eating it! And I cut up the leftover chicken to use in tomorrow's nights dinner! Check back tomorrow to see what we make with it.

Chicken in a Pot (recipe from America's Test Kitchen)
1 whole roasting chicken (4 -5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped medium
1 celery stalk, chopped medium
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 fresh sprig of rosemary (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 300 and adjust rack to lowest position. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken over (use a wooden spoon and insert into cavity of bird) and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 8 minutes. Remove from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 when inserted into thickest part of breast. It took about 1- 1 1/2 hours to cook fully.

Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil and let rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer and then use a gravy separator to get rid of the fat. Pour liquid into saucepan and set over low heat. Stir lemon juice into juice to taste and serve with chicken.

Wild Rice and Bulgur with Vegetables (adapted from Gourmet, Jan 2005)
1 quart water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup wild rice
1 leek, cut into 1/4 inch dices
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 small carrots, diced
1 large celery stalk, diced

Bring water and salt to boil. Put bulgur in a large glass bowl, then pour half the boiling water over it and let it soak about 30 minutes, uncovered, until tender. Add wild rice to water remaining in pan and simmer, covered, until tender, about 30 minutes.

Drain bulgur and wild rice together in a large colander. Set aside. (Can do this ahead of time).

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, then lift them out when ready to cook, don't pour liquid out first because then the sand that you are getting rid of will be back incorporated into the leeks.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in rice and bulgur and cook, covered, until heated through.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Corned Beef with Veggies over Sauteed Cabbage

So here is my spin on the traditional corned beef and cabbage. I am not a fan of the boiled veggies and cabbage so next time i might leave them all out and cook the corned beef separately. But I have to say, this was very easy.... especially because I used the crock pot and didn't touch it until dinner time. I served this with Irish Soda Bread... my favorite!!

Corned Beef
Place carrots, parsnips, onion and potatoes in bottom of crock pot. Put corned beef over vegetables and add enough water to just cover the meat. Cook on low for 8 hours or until fork goes threw easily. Remove meat and vegetables and keep warm, discard liquid. Serve over sauteed cabbage.

Sauteed Cabbage (from Barefoot Contessa)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small cabbage
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Cut cabbage in half and slice it very thinly. Discard the core. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, kosher salt, and pepper and saute about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender and starts to brown. Serve hot.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Irish Potatoes

Another treat for St. Patrick's Day.... and my favorite one too!!!

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 (of a 8 ounce) package of cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes and then roll in cinnamon. Place on a cookie sheet and chill to set.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dinner Spanakopita

I decided to make this favorite appetizer of mine into a dinner meal. I made the filling from the Barefoot Contessa and put it into a casserole dish because I was too lazy to roll each triangle individually.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1 (16-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted
4 large eggs
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp dry bread crumbs
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces small diced feta cheese
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
20 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for another 2 minutes until the scallions are wilted. Meanwhile, gently squeeze most of the water out of the the spinach and place it in a large bowl.
When the onion and scallions are done, add the spinach. Mix in the eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Then carefully fold in the feta cheese and pine nuts.

In a 13x9 baking dish, layer 10 sheets of phyllo and brush in between each layer with the melted butter. Spread in the spinach filling. Then layer another 10 sheets of phyllo brushed in between with the melted butter. Tuck the edges down and score the top into serving size pieces. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

Ok let's get into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day! Here are my basic sugar cookies decorated for the upcoming holiday!

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
egg wash= 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp water

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Then add flour and baking powder and mix until well incorporated. Put dough on a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap, roll into a disc and wrap up with wax paper. Refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to make cookies.
Preheat oven to 375. On a floured surface, roll out some or all of the dough using a rolling pin and use cookie cutters to shape cookies. Place cookies on cookie sheet, brush with egg wash, and decorate with sprinkles. Bake 375 for 7-8 minutes.
Cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crab Cakes with Roasted Vegetable Salad

We typically have pizza on Friday night but tonight we changed it up a bit! Easy crab cake recipe and "semi-homemade" salad.... delicious!

Crab Cakes
2 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat
6 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp finely minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg

Place breadcrumbs on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside.

Combine the crab, mayo, parsley, shallot, lemon zest, old bay and pepper and toss well trying not to break up the crab pieces. Form into 7 or 8 patties. Chill, if you have time, so they set up better. Mix the lemon juice and egg in a small bowl.

In a large saute pan, add the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Gently dip the patties in the lemon/egg mixture and then place it on the tray in the breadcrumbs. Lightly press the crumbs on all sides of the crab cake. Once the butter is melted turn heat up to medium high and cook patties for 3-5 minutes per side. You want each side to be lightly browned and crispy.
Serve immediately.


Spinach lettuce
roasted vegetables (we used artichokes, eggplant and peppers)
goat cheese, crumbled into pieces

Layer above ingredients and then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Apple Coconut Muffins

Today I did a lot of baking... starting making some St. Patrick's festive treats... which I will post later but here are some delicious and very easy muffins! They were made for a special person and I hope she likes them!

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (if you need to buy it, buy the whole nutmeg and use a grater to grate it.... it keeps longer than the ground nutmeg and it produces a much better flavor)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled apple

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 muffin tin cups. Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat the eggs and milk together in small bowl. Combine well the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Blend until just combined. Stir in the coconut and apples. Fill the cups full and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then remove from the tins to cool further on a cooling rack.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Garbanzo Burgers with Roasted Potato Wedges

So I definitely didn't think my 3 year old would eat these because they were made with cilantro and sprouts but he did and he said he liked them!! He dipped them in ketchup along with his "fries." My sister came for dinner and we both really enjoyed these. There are so many different things you could fill them with... so be creative and let me know what you do!

2 1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cans)
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 small onion, chopped
grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts (alfalfa or broccoli sprouts)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp olive oil

Filling ideas:
more sprouts
cipollini onions (sweet onion)
dollop of sour cream

Combine the garbanzo beans, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the mixture. Now make into 12 mini patties. If the mixture seems to be too moist, add some more bread crumbs. At this point you can put the patties on a baking sheet and store in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to cook them.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the patties and cook for 7-10 minutes, covered, until the bottoms begin to brown. If they are not brown after 10 minutes, turn the heat up a little bit. Flip the patties over and cook, covered, another 7 minutes or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cook the remaining patties.

Carefully cut each patty in half and insert your favorite fillings. (I used more broccoli sprouts and avocado.) Enjoy immediately.

Roasted Potato Wedges
4 Idaho potatoes
Preheat oven to 425. Cut potatoes into wedges. Put potatoes on baking sheet and sprinkle with canola oil and kosher salt. Put in oven and roast until browned, turning half way with a spatula.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Barley with Green Onions, Walnuts and Asparagus

Ben said this dinner was 5 stars!!! The best he has had in awhile... not sure what that means but I'll take it! It really was delicious with lots of flavors yet comprised of very simple and healthy foods. Definitely a must try!! My 1 year old loves barley and he ate it all!! The chicken can be done ahead of time (about 4 hours) and refrigerated until time to bake.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, (pounded thin- I used a meat mallet and pounded between two pieces of wax paper)
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried, crumbled basil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cheese, green onions, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread mixture lengthwise over half of each chicken piece. Tuck the smaller ends in and roll chicken up, starting on one long side. Brush chicken with egg, and then roll in breadcrumbs.

Place chicken in baking dish and pour melted butter over them. Bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Cut chicken into rolls crosswise and fan on plate.

Barley (adapted from recipe in Super Natural Cooking Cookbook)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup barley
1 tbsp olive oil
6 green onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (put in oven on baking sheet while chicken is cooking for about 10 minutes to toast them)
creme fraiche, optional
freshly grated parmesan cheese, garnish

Combine broth and barley in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped green onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt. Using a hand blender or mini food processor, lightly puree them, but don't over do it.

When the barley is almost done, stir in the asparagus. Let them cook until asparagus is a vibrant green color. Some of the broth may still be in the pot, but as the barley continues to cook off the heat it will be absorbed. Stir in the zest, walnuts, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Put on plate and top with dollop of creme fraiche, a sprinkle of parmesan and the green onion puree.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rice Krispie Treats

And since both boys napped today I had 15 extra minutes to make dessert... nothing special but always delicious!! (And sprinkles on top because I am obsessed with them!)

Lemon Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots, and Snow Peas

So I typically don't cook dinner on Friday night... but I am back from vacation so I decided to give my husband a good meal since I have no clue what he has been eating while we were gone.
I make this chicken all the time and we love it. The mashed sweet potatoes/carrots were a new recipe and we all ate them so I would say the review was definitely favorable.

Lemon Chicken
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (and pounded very thin, I always ask my butcher to pound them for me so I don't have to do it)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (if you don't have it, you can definitely make it without)

Rinse and pat dry chicken. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Heat oil in large saute pan over medium high heat. Dredge chicken in flour mixture on both sides and then place in the oil. Brown chicken about 3-4 minutes each side (depends how thin chicken has been pounded- you want it to be cooked through). Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add lemon juice and wine and cook 1 -2 minute until thickened. Swirl in butter. Add chicken, turning to coat in sauce then sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots with Sweet and Sour Walnuts (Bon Appetit Nov. 2005)
1 pound sweet potatoes
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tbsp water
pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 400. Bake potatoes until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly then peel. If you have a food mill, put them through it into a large bowl. Or if you don't you can use a kitchenaid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until mashed. Set aside.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, 1 tbsp water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Add the second tbsp of water if they get dry). Add 2 tbsp butter. Using a potato masher, mash carrots coarsely and stir potatoes into carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Can cover and chill at this point for up to 1 day or serve.

Stir honey and vinegar in a small saucepan to blend. Add walnuts and boil until sauce is thick and syrupy, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly (if they cool too much they will stick together and you will end up with one big block of walnuts... if this happens just reheat it to melt the syrup.) Serve on top of potatoes.

Snow peas
Saute snow peas in 1/2 tbsp butter over medium heat until cooked through.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roasted Red Potatoes & Roasted Asparagus

I am still in Florida so haven't been cooking this week.... but tonight we did eat in and these are the side dishes we had with stone crabs. Simple, easy and delicious!

Red Potatoes
small red potatoes (amount depends on how many people you are feeding), cut into quarters
1 small onion, chopped
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes. Take out of oven and add onion. Toss potatoes with onion and put back in oven for another 20 minutes.
You can do this ahead of time and then reheat them in the oven when ready to serve.

Cut off the bottoms of asparagus and spread on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Roast at 400 about 15-20 minutes.
If you have thin asparagus watch towards the end of cooking because they tend to shrivel to almost nothing quickly.