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!
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.
I’m a huge fan of spring – warm weather, colorful flowers, and all sorts of delicious vegetables popping up to be enjoyed. Last weekend we were fortunate enough to get a huge bag of asparagus, and I went straight to work figuring out how best to use them. There are so many amazing recipes out there from soups to tarts to dips – the possibilities are endless! In the end I decided to take inspiration from our amazing honeymoon, seeing as how it was almost 2 years to the day it just seemed fitting. Our meal at Steirereck still ranks as one of the best, if not THE best, meal of my life and part of that fantastic meal was a bowl of Spargelsuppe or Asparagus Soup. While theirs included tuna tartar, I kept things simple and basic – and vegan!
Sweet Potato Fries
Hello! Welcome to my May installment of the Secret Recipe Club! This month I was sent over to BCmom’s kitchen which is packed with simple and delicious recipes to get you cooking! I love that her blog focuses on standard pantry staples, don’t get me wrong I ❤ Wegmans but I can only spend so much time shopping – I want to cook! After much debate (yummy, spinach!), and schedule checking (cuz surgeries requiring bedrest are fun), I decided to go with her Sweet Potato Fries. I’ll be honest, the little kid in me just wanted to shake the fries up all shake n’bake style (do they still sell that???) and it was totally everything I thought it would be. I added a few more seasonings since my herbs are starting to explode, and just added them to the bag.
These fries were fantastic! The clean up was a breeze and the fact that these were baked, not fried, means they are a nice healthy(ish) alternative to the standard bbq/grill side. I also have plans to vegetarianize her zucchini hamburger pie – something involving beans I think as I love the idea of baking all that veggie goodness in a nice flaky crust. Before I sign off just a quick Happy Birthday to my awesome SiL and my incredible BFF who both happen to be Cinco De Mayo babies! Now, go check out the rest of the recipes from the awesome bloggers of The Secret Recipe Club 🙂
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
I’m so thrilled to be getting back to Random Recipes, hosted by the awesome Dom. Random Recipes is a bit different than my other challenges in that it sends me back to my books, some of which can get rather neglected. This month the challenge was to pull out all our new books and randomly select the book from that group. I was lucky enough to get four books this year: Indian Slow Cooker, Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, Dining with the Doctor, and The Heart of the Plate – which was the “winning” book! I used my same random method (Joe picking a number) to select the winning page which led me to a Mushroom Bread Pudding, and wow did I wish for a different page at that point. The last time I made a bread pudding was Home Ec back in middle school, so it’s been a fair bit of time. However I had some leftover sourdough bread so with the addition of some fresh peasant bread I at least had the basic ingredients. I also adjusted the ratio a bit, along with the seasonings, as things didn’t look quite right at first and I was worried about it being a bit bland as written.
I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their eggs challenge since I rarely, if ever, prepare dishes that feature 5 eggs. This is the first of their challenges for 2014, and if things go as planned the second one will be up on Wednesday!
Summer Squash Sauce
For one of my Secret Recipe Club entries this month I did a delicious baked polenta, however I needed a topping for it. Since I’m trying to avoid grocery shopping right now I was stuck using whatever was in my fridge: onion, garlic, squash, tomatoes, a variety of beans, a bit of yogurt, and a lot of herbs. I decided to start throwing things together to make a thick and very colorful topping for my delicious polenta. The resulting dish was healthy and gorgeous, and delicious enough that the next day I got a lunch time text from my hubby saying he “loved the polenta squash stuff”.
I enjoyed this dish as is while Joe topped his with some Parmesan cheese, either way it was incredible! I used yellow squash for this but zucchini would work just as well, and this time of year both vegetables are certainly in abundance. As I mentioned, I served this over polenta but would also work great over brown rice or orzo.
Rosemary Thyme Brussel Sprouts
Confession: I didn’t have a Brussel Sprout until I was in my mid-20s as my mother is not a fan. Once I had one I realized how amazing they were and have been making them regularly ever since. However I had to figure out a way to get Joe to eat them as he was not a huge fan. I quickly eliminated roasting them and any variation involving balsamic vinegar before figuring out the right combination of herbs and oils. While this might not be the most creative use of herbs, it’s one of our favorites which is why I’m sending this over to r/52weeksofcooking for their herb weeks. I served these as part of our Seder dinner and they were a huge hit – including with one other person who was also late to the sprouts are awesome party.
The only down side of figuring out the perfect recipe is having to buy large amounts of Brussel Sprouts in order to insure there’s enough for everyone. If you wind up with any leftover sprouts, they make a great omelette or quiche filling!
Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Sauce
Fall is officially here, even if the temperatures aren’t fully reflecting that fact. However the air is crisper and the leaves are starting to change colors, an early indicator of what’s to come. I enjoy fall, as long as I don’t think about the fact that winter comes after fall which is a season I just don’t appreciate. However I will do my best to ignore the fact that “winter is coming”. Another indicator of the weather to come: the arrival of winter squash in the grocery store! I’m still trying to incorporate as much seasonal and local food in my diet as possible, so when I saw the sign indicating the spaghetti squash came from a farm in the county over I grabbed one and started thinking about what I could do with it. I had made spaghetti squash one last year, and while it was good, it certainly wasn’t memorable. I decided to cook it similar to how I do butternut squash and decided to use one of my go-to-sauces as a topping. The result was perfection! Instead of bland limp mush, the squash actually resembled spaghetti. The sauce was the perfect complement, the garlic working with the squash instead of overpowering it.
I know that adding cayenne powder sounds a little strange, but it gave the sauce just the right pop! For a full meal serve with some crusty Italian bread to help soak up all of the sauce. I’m sending this on over to /52weeks since Squash is the theme of the week…perfect timing!
I’m also submitting this to the latest (and greatest) Simple and In Season link up (once the link goes live) Spaghetti Squash is some of the first winter squash to show in my neck of the woods, and I’m looking forward to seeing acorn squash and butternut squash in the next few weeks!