Home Cooking · Italian

Little Bitty

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

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After a very mild few weeks, fall is 100% here and I’m becoming okay with that.  Something about having those extra few weeks of nice temperatures is somehow making it easier – feel like we “cheated” in a way.  The nice weather also made for some strange food overlaps as cherry tomatoes kept trickling in to the markets which are normally long gone by this point.  Again it feels like we’re cheating!  With that, I wound up with a bunch of random vegetables at the end of the week so I decided to just take everything out of the fridge and see what I could do with it.  In the end it came down to a pizza or lasagna and a rogue sweet potato made the decision for me: lasagna!

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 For a different twist switch out the sweet potato for any type of squash – or use a variety of wild mushrooms.  Spinach, swiss chard, or kale would also go fantastically in this dish either fresh or pre-cooked with the mushrooms and onions.  Since my main mission was to clean out the fridge I just used what I had on hand, and it worked fantastically!  If you don’t have alfredo sauce on hand a simple bechamel sauce can also work, tho you might want to add more garlic/salt/pepper in order to keep the dish from being too bland.

In other news, our little one made her appearance last Friday (11/27) and we are 100% smitten.  She arrived at 7:02 am weighing 8lbs 13oz and has the cutest chunkiest little cheeks!.  After years of fertility treatments and wishing/hoping/praying it is such a relief to have her home!

Home Cooking · Side Dish · Vegan

What about Angels

Garlicky Green Beans with Confit Tomatoes

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

I apologize for the repeat photo but none of the ones of the green beans straight on were in focus – so a repeat it is!  Since I had been falling behind a bit for my 52weeksfood challenge, I decided to do two challenges in one week.  The Turkish dish being the delicious stuffed eggplant I posted about this past Thursday, and the confit dish being today’s feature.  While I had heard of confits before (thank you Top Chef), I always assumed it required skills well beyond mine.  Nothing like being proved wrong and getting a delicious meal out of it!  BTW – this is not an appropriate side dish for people that don’t enjoy garlic.

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The tomatoes can be done a day or two in advance – just add them a little bit earlier so that they can get heated up.  Taste wise they reminded me of sundried tomatoes, just a real concentrated WOW of tomato goodness.  The tomatoes would also go well on top of pizza, pasta, or as an alternative to brucshetta.

Appetizer · Mexican · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Simple and In Season · Vegan

Perfect Storm

Vegetable Quesadilla

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Ignoring the random snow we had yesterday (none of which stuck), I think it might be safe to say that spring is finally here!  I am ready for the ground to thaw so that I can start clearing out all the old beds and start figuring out my plan for this year.  As far as gardening goes this year is going to be a pot garden, since there is no established garden at our new place and I have no idea what areas of the yard will get the right amount sun – with the exception of the patio.  The few flower beds in the front of the house are home to a few types of ivy, both poisonous and non, so odds are nothing new will get planted there until I know the nasty stuff is gone.  However the first step is going at least a week without frozen precipitation.  Today’s recipe is wishful thinking in that it features all the vegetables that I’m hoping to grow in my garden.   From tomatoes to spinach to red onion – this cheesy treat is packing with the good stuff!

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I’ll always be a fan of dishes that allow for easy seasonal switches.  Garden overflowing with zucchini?  Toss them in!  Growing three types of tomatoes?  Add them all!  I decided to stick with the spring greens but look forward to trying a summer variety in the coming months.  With that in mind I’m sending this over to the amazing Ren and her  Simple and in Season April blog challenge, which is being hosted by Michelle who blogs over at Utterly Scrumptious  I can’t wait to see all the early Spring treats everyone will be sending in!!!

Home Cooking · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club · Vegan

Starts to Snow

“Franks” and Beans

"Franks" and Beans

Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting!  This month I’m featuring an orphan blog from Group C as part of Group D’s link-up, with my normal Group A recipe coming next week.  I’m so excited to be starting another year with SRC, I have meet so many amazing bloggers and found so many incredible recipes.  Which is why I jumped at the chance to adopt and orphan blog, and what led me to Mary Anne and Mariel’s Feast on the Cheap.  This mother-daughter duo focuses on meals that can feed your entire family on a budget that won’t break the bank.  They also have one of the more extensive recipe pages out there, focusing not only on the type of meal but also what budget category it fits in.   I was immediately drawn to the picture for the $10 meals, but made sure to check all of her categories to insure I found the perfect recipe.  In the end I “narrowed” it down to five recipes before finally deciding that the Franks and Beans were too good to pass up – after a slight twist.  I’ve never been a fan of cold beans while Joe is not a fan of raw red onions, so I decided to serve this salad hot.

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This dish was perfection!  Per the original suggestion I served with some leafy greens, massaged kale in this case, and added some fresh sourdough bread to round things out.  Originally this dish had corn in it, but from the grocery store to my house the corn went MIA so I added a bit more sweet potato which worked very well – tho I do want to try this dish again with the corn.   I’m also hoping to make her s’more brownies because they sound beyond insanely good.

 

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52Weeks · Home Cooking · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Vegan

Close Your Eyes

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

I’m a HUGE fan of one-pot wonders, mostly because I am NOT a fan of dishes – and while hubby does his part more often then not I’m the one on dish duty.  Needless to say this week’s challenge (yes – posting on time!) for /52weeksofcooking was right up my alley.  I actually made a few dishes for this “challenge”, mostly because this time of year I tend to rely heavily on my slow cooker and dutch oven.  Any recipe that allows me to toss everything in and then forget about it for a bit of time is a winning recipe, and while this requires a bit of massages for the most part it really is a fix it and forget about it.

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This dish was fantastic and much better than any boxed versions I’ve had – makes me wonder why I resorted to them in the first place.   I topped mine with a bit of sour cream while Joe added cheese, lots and lots and lots of cheese.   For lunch the next day I enjoyed it naked, adding a little water to the bowl before reheating.  I’m not sure how traditional this dish is but it was insanely good and will probably join the monthly rotation!

52Weeks · Baking · Gluten Free · Side Dish · Vegan

Moving on Up

Zucchini Tian

Zucchini Tian

Greetings!  Sorry for the long space between posts, turns out that running a food blog while moving is much harder than I thought.  Luckily I am all settled in my temp place so had lots of time test out some new recipes, and in theory should be covered until the official move ends.  Luckily this isn’t a long distance move, just heading on up 95 from DC to Baltimore – which is still enough of a transition to make things interesting.  Add in the gov’t shutdown and things have been a little more stressful than normal.  We are still hoping to close on our new place on time, but unless the IRS goes back to work (feels so wrong to say that) by the 8th our closing will most likely be delayed.   Until then I’ll be camping out at my mom’s place – and her awesome kitchen – while my hubby is up north starting his new position.  Not the most ideal living situation, but at least we can see each other on weekends so could be much worse.

This past week I decided to make a list of all the blog/cooking challenges that I have over the next month in an attempt to organize my life.  This first recipe comes from /52weeksofcooking who are just finishing up a week dedicated to the incredible Julia Child.  While most of her recipes aren’t exactly vegetarian, or vegan, friendly I found a few side dishes that needed just a bit of tweaking in order to go from awesome side to spectacular entree.  In the end I decided to go with her zucchini tian since squash in all forms are in abundance at the local markets – wahOo Indian Summer!!!   In order to make this in to a healthy veggie friendly entree I added some chickpeas for protein, switched the white rice for brown, and left the butter out.   I also used almond milk in place of dairy and vegan shredded cheese.

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When it came time for serving I enjoyed  it with just a bit more pepper while my mom went for Parmesan cheese, which is exactly how my hubby would enjoy this dish so I was entertained.  For lunch the next day I added a bit of fresh avocado to perk it up, after debating to serve it on top of salad greens.  This might not be the prettiest dish out there, but it’s certainly delicious.

52Weeks · Home Cooking · Salad · Side Dish · Vegan

In the Birds

Dill Potato Salad

Dill Potato Salad

Welcome to the official end of summer – when bbqs and picnics have one last blaze of glory before grills are covered and picnic baskets are put away.  This past weekend we went to two different bbqs, and I decided to bring along one of my favorite potato salad recipes.  While my family normally goes for the yellow potato salad, on occasion things get switched up and we go for the classic white potato salad.  This recipe is slightly tweaked from the original version in an attempt to lighten up this traditionally mayo heavy dish.  I decided to use one of my standard “tricks” and switch out the mayonnaise for yogurt.  While in most cases I go for Greek yogurt, I decided to use standard yogurt in order to keep the dish moist.  The main key is making sure it’s low-fat and plain flavored – and while I tend towards coconut milk, standard dairy or almond based would work just as well.

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The real key with this dish is layering everything, giving all the ingredients a chance to meet each other if you will.  Which is probably why this dish is best done the night before a gathering, or early morning.  I’m sending this over as a late submission to /52weeksofcooking classic family recipes week – in my attempt to get back on schedule with everything.  My mind set isn’t back to 100% yet (see last post for explanation) but it feels good to be back in the kitchen, and hopefully my mojo is just chilling behind the flour raiding the last of the chocolate chips.