Appetizer · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Simple and In Season

Big Noise

Simple Beet Salad

beets

Summer is most certainly here – hitting over 100 degrees earlier this week before the heat index!  I’m trying to stay as cool as possible in the house, so avoiding the oven as much as possible.  Thankfully the local farmers’ markets are BOOMING with fresh and delicious produce making it super easy to make healthy dinners that don’t require much cook time.  With this simple salad the trick is to slice the beets on the thin side so that they can be cooked in under 7 minutes, nice and crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth delicious in the middle.

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To make it even quicker to get dinner on the table, I prepped them the night before so that they could soak in the oils.   We enjoyed these with a cold pasta salad, which had also been prepped the night before!  I find it so much easier to cook right before bed (and after dessert) and since it’s cooler outside the kitchen doesn’t become a mini-furnace.

Appetizer · Dessert · Gluten Free · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club · Side Dish · Vegan

In my Head

Sugared Wine Grapes & 

Garlic Chive Fries 

fries wine-graps

Welcome to a special themed edition of the Secret Recipe club!!!  Whenever a month has 5 weeks the 5th week gets a special theme and is open to members across all of the groups!  The special theme for today is Picnic/BBQ which is rather perfect for Memorial Day.  I was given The Cookaholic Wife which is run by Nichole who is “owned” by Gidget and Itty von Kat – her adorable cats!  I might be a dog person but totally understand the concept of being owned by a pet 😀  I totally failed this month at picking one recipe – but it’s a special day so that makes it okay to do two, right?!?!?  First up: garlic-chive fries!  Garlic + potatoes = WINNER!!!  We had friends over for dinner and these fries were devoured in minutes – and for once my hubby didn’t feel the need to coat his fries in Old Bay.   Next up: Frozen Wine Grapes.  These were the dessert for the same dinner and omgoodness they just made the entire dinner seem so fancy.  The best part is I was able to make them during baby’s morning nap, freeing me up in the afternoon to tidy up the place.  Love love love anything that can be done in advance!

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With the fries the only change I made was using minced garlic in place of the garlic salt while the grapes were perfect as is so head over to Nichole’s blog for that recipe!!!   These grapes could also be added to a sangria to give it an extra punch or as a practical alternative to a travel ice bag to make sure your food stays cool while heading to a bbq or picnic.

A bonus reason why you should check out Nichole’s blog?!?!  She’s another Maryland blogger!  I’ll overlook that she prefers Delaware to MD’s Eastern Shore, after all nobody is perfect!  I’m actually finishing this post up from MD’s Eastern Shore so I might be a bit partial.

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Appetizer · Baking · FreshTastyValentine · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Side Dish

A Certain Smell

Rosemary Popovers

Rosemary Popover

Welcome to day three of Fresh Tasty Valentines!  I’ve been having so much fun with this blog party thanks to all the fantastic sponsors and bloggers that have joined in.  One of my favorite things about events like this is being exposed to new-to-me vendors – such as Casabella.  When I received their Clip n Strip shears I think all my herbs gave  sigh of relief as I would no longer be torturing them with dull shears or nails in my attempt to get some herbs.  These shears are rather fantastic, especially since they have this awesome little notch in the handle for stripping the leaves off the stem.  Needless to say these scissors made quick work of the rosemary needed for these aromatic treats.  for best results, make sure the eggs are at room temperature and resist the urge to peek as they are baking – just trust in your oven as best you can!

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Are they a dessert or are they a side dish?!?  I served them both ways and suspect they would also be fantastic as a breakfast item with some runny eggs.  Since I don’t have a proper popover pan, I use a jumbo muffin tin which works perfectly.  Now, have you entered the giveaway for a chance to win your own shears? herbs? or zester?

Note: I was gifted the shears and a garlic roaster as part of participating in Fresh Tasty Valentine however all opinions are my own.   

Appetizer · Gluten Free · Mexican · Secret Recipe Club

Orioles Magic

Nopal Dip

nopal_dip

Welcome to a special August edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  A few months ago it was decided that instead of the 5th Monday of the month being a “buy” week, it would be a time for all four groups to get together around a common theme.  The first theme: Tailgating!  While we’re not really tailgators in this house, we are huge fans of chips and dips and all those other delicious finger foods – we just tend to serve them during (board)Game Days.  This year we did treat ourselves with (partial) season tickets for the Orioles, so have had a few more opportunities to indulge in tailgate treats while at the game.  For this special feature, I was sent to check out Micha’s Cooking Mimi blog which has a bunch of delicious treats.  In fact, the recipe I settled on in the end is really a 2 for 1 as for the perfect Nopal dip you have to first make her Pico de Gallo salsa.   I had to make one change to each recipe, dropping the lime juice from the salsa (allergy) and subbing some black beans in for the ground beef in the Nopal dip.  I’m sure a beef substitute would work, and that had been my original plan, but I’ve had a hard time finding my favorite one lately – which of course is store brand so limited in options.  Anyway – this dip came together super fast and was delicious!

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We enjoyed it with chips (of course) and some burrito bowls for a perfect Mexicanish dinner.   The salsa had the right amount of bite thanks to the two jalapenos which is always an issue for us as many are a bit too mild.  I did notice my salsa came out a bit thicker than Micha’s but not exactly sure why.

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Appetizer · Gluten Free · Secret Recipe Club

Highs and Lows

Corn Blinis

corn_blinis

Hello again! It seems I’m only around for Secret Recipe Club reveals but I’m hoping that with my third trimester quickly approaching I’ll finally be back to regular posting.  We were hoping that my HG would let up in the second, and it did for a bit, before coming back with a vengeance.  Still, I had rather be dealing with that then back at the RE figuring out another infertility treatment.

With that said, once again my SRC buddy gave me the inspiration I needed to get back in the kitchen.  This month I was partnered with the incredible Vicky of Things I Made Today and WOW! is her blog incredible.  I was blown away by all the incredible options, and the blog’s crisp clean style made it oh so easy to find tons of delicious treats.  Given my constraints, I had to limit myself to things that were quick and easy – and seasonal so that I could do the bulk of my shopping at my office’s Farmer’s Market.  That still didn’t narrow things down as I tried to focus in on my top 5: Cauliflower Fritters, Roasted Vegetables, Baked Ricotta, Carrot Fritters,  and Corn Blinis.  In the end the corn won out thanks to a delivery of fresh Eastern Shore corn from my fantastic MiL.

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While VIcky topped hers with some mango salsa, I mixed up a quick topping of peaches and feta which worked perfectly.  These delicious little treats were a huge hit and can only imagine how well they do at a party.  In our case, they were a great pre, during, and post dinner treat.

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Appetizer · Home Cooking · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Side Dish · Vegan

On the Shore

Waldorf Salad

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Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman – again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode!   In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe.  In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish.  I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color.     I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way.  The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.

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I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture.  The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!).   I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party,  and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!

Appetizer · Gluten Free · Mexican · One-Pot · Side Dish

A Beautiful Mine

Chile Rellenos

mad_men_chilli_rellenos

When I first saw the call for bloggers to help with a Man Men Party to kick off the last season of the series- I was very interested but a bit perplexed.  When I picture meals in the 1960s, many menus and ideas come to mind and not one of them is vegetarian.  So I inquired and was thrilled to find out that this fantastic ode to the food of featured in Mad Men included a more than a few vegetarian recipes – in addition to classic drinks and fantastic treats.   I was so excited to open up my copy and get to work deciding on a recipe, narrowing it down to a whopping 5 dishes that begged to be enjoyed.  However with my inpending kitchen renovation, I knew that whatever I picked had to be quick and easy and low mess – so hello Chili Rellenos!  I’ve had Chili Rellenos before but always fried, so the fact that these are sauted made them even better – plus no breading so a great gluten free treat as well.  I had a bit of an issue with the technique, however for these delicious treats looks don’t matter – it’s all about the taste!  I also turned it in to a one pot dish but heating up the sauce at the very end while the peppers cooled a bit – this also allowed me to get all of the cheesy and eggy goodness out of the pan.

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Since I was serving these to my in-laws, I did a mixture of poblano chilis and standard green bell peppers – same technique just a less spicy pepper.  I served the sauce in a bowl on the side, and let people add as much (or as little) to their peppers as they wanted.  To take it from an appetizer to a true entree, I added some black beans and rice for the perfect meal. I am so beyond happy that I decided to join in the fun – and can’t wait to try out more recipes (Sour Cream Coffee Cake!) and even try my hand at bartending.

Make sure to check out all the other recipes featured as part of #PartylikeaMadMan

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