Have you noticed a grilling theme going on? Gold star for you if so. As soon as it warms up I’m all about throwing anything and just about everything on the grill. Including vegetables. Sometimes I even get a little crazy and sprinkle them with sugar. Glorious I tell you. Glorious caramelized crunchy outsides. Pass the plate please.
This past weekend we got started planting our deck container garden. I can not tell you how incredibly excited I am to have an abundance of fresh cherry and Roma tomatoes, herbs and PEPPERS right off of my kitchen at my finger tips. I like variety so in the pepper department we’ll have: chile peppers, giant Marconi as well as yellow and red bell peppers (no green ones for me thank you). When they start producing, they come in hot and heavy. Meaning we eat them every which way we can. Including stuffing them a gazillion different ways.
I don’t know why I have been hesitant to embrace the flavor combination of beans and eggs before. Before now I should say. Honestly, I don’t know why this flavor combination works, all I know is that it does. I think it falls under the crazy but true tab. I’m going to be making up for all the time I passed on this amazing dish. Silly girl. It’s going to breakfast and brinner (breakfast for dinner) for a while now. I hope my family likes it as much as I do.
I have a confession to make. I fully intended on cooking and posting these lovely lamb chops last week in time for Easter. Guess what? Life got in the way of that. Did it make these any less special? Absolutely not. In fact I’m pretty sure these are going in my category of Weeknight Wonder meals. Fast and flavorful. How fast? 30 minutes tops. A quick 15 minute marinade and 15 minutes to grill the chops (don’t worry I didn’t grill them for 15 minutes – because that would mean I would have served lamb jerky – we won’t even talk about how wrong that would be. I had to grill in batches because my grill pan is not that large).
One of my absolute favorite vegetables is asparagus. I love it steamed, roasted, grilled or sauteed. I like it cooked just enough so it still has a little bite to it. Al dente if you will (mushy is not a term I’m going for with asparagus). I fell in love with asparagus in Italy. My neighbors grew white asparagus. I watched year after year as they tended to these long mounds of dirt, and then one year, up popped the most beautiful asparagus I have ever seen. It was worth the wait. Most good things are. These days white asparagus is not easy for me to come by so green it is. When it’s fresh and in season I grab as much as I can. I’m not picky I like it: grilled, baked, roasted even sauteed. The smaller, skinnier bunches of asparagus are absolutely perfect for sauteing.
Did you happen to see those skinny RANCH chicken tenders yesterday? It was made with our homemade ranch dressing. We’ve lightened up our usual recipe by substituting the mayo with Greek yogurt! It’s thick, creamy and in my opinion beats mayo any old day of the week. It still has all of the zing and tang that you expect from ranch dressing just lightened up. Which lets face it I totally need, I’m already dreaming about skirts and shorts and sunshine. Where are you groundhog? Sigh.
If you’ve ever met someone who says they don’t like brussels sprouts chances are they’ve only ever had them boiled to death. Yuck. I wouldn’t eat those either. Roasting or sauteing is the way to go. Adding bacon well that’s just a given. We all know bacon makes everything better. It’s true. Yes even with chocolate. I’m crazy like that.
If I had to pick my most favorite chicken recipe this one would be it. Chicken Cacciatore. Doesn’t that just sound delicious rolling off the tongue? It’s a one pot wonder and it full of deep down home flavors not to mention you can feed a crowd with it on the cheap. I make it A LOT in the fall/winter months when it’s cold out and I need something to warm me from head to toe (I can only drink so much espresso every day people). I originally shared this recipe when I first started my food blog and I’m pretty sure only 3 people saw the recipe. It might have something to do with that awful photo. Thank goodness my photography skills have improved.
Did you know that making your own compound butter is ridiculously easy? Yep. Sure is. Compound butter is simply butter that you’ve added flavor or additional ingredients to. It’s the quickest way to add a little flair and fancy to your dinner table with minimal work. If you wanted to go crazy you could even cut it into fancy shapes after it’s firm with small cookie cutters but really a knife and a smear of that buttery bliss does the trick for me.
For me food = memories. There are so many foods that I associate with very specific people, places or events. For instance, I can’t think of Divinity without thinking of Christmas. My Grandma. My Mom. My Grandma, who I miss dearly, was a whiz in the kitchen. She was a pinch of this, a smidge of that and “baby just look at it, it’ll tell you when it’s done.” She was one of those people who you knew you wanted whatever she was cooking. Especially when she made divinity.
I have to apologize. I haven’t posted anything Nutella in way too long (covering eyes with hands). The shame. I hope I can make it up to you with this peace offering. Cake. Who doesn’t love cake? Especially one that is a cross between a brownie and a cake and is overflowing with Nutella-liciousness. AND since it’s flour less it’s practically healthy right? If not, please don’t ruin it and tell me. I’m holding onto that one thank you.
I love a reason to break out my mandoline. It makes the most beautiful perfectly uniform slices of just about anything you feel like sliding across it’s insanely sharp blade. Yes, use the cover. It’s not there as optional. It’s sharp. Trust me. As much as I’d like to think I have mad knife skills I simply can’t make uniform slices like the mandoline can. Not to mention it takes seconds to slice things vs. the hour it would take me to even try to get them close.
I’ve been taken to ordering items from my CSA that I’ve never cooked with before. It keeps things interesting and I really do enjoy trying new things. I saw Sweet Dumpling Squash on the list and with a name like that how could I not order it. They look like mini pumpkins and have the most unique green and yellow striations I have ever seen. And yes their flesh is sweet like their name suggests.
I know what you’re thinking. A cake without flour? I’m the first to admit that it sounds crazy but it’s true and oh so shockingly good. Since it has no flour it’s practically healthy cake right? Okay so not quite but it sounded good. This is the most fantastic gluten free cake I have tasted to date. If you wouldn’t have told me it was flourless before taking a bite I would have never know. It’s chocolate-y, fudge-y, and so decadent you’ll want a glass of milk nearby.
Scallops make me swoon. The only scallops I’ve ever met that I didn’t like are overcooked scallops. There is a fine line between ridiculous (as in you want to lick the plate they’re so good) and rubbery. I love them because they’re sweet, succulent and when you sear them my knees buckle. A little butter, a little olive oil, a simple sprinkling of sea salt and pepper and you’re halfway there. Honestly they would be just fine like this but I am saucy ehem a sauce girl so we press forward. With whiskey. And cream. And butter. Because I love you.
Are you looking for a light and refreshing alternative to white wine, champagne and traditional ciders that you can enjoy year round? Try the newly released Michelob ULTRA Light Cider. It’s a light, naturally sweetened and gluten-free cider made from crisp apples. You can drink it straight up out of the bottle or serve it over ice. Best part, it has 1/3 less calories than an average bottle of the leading regular hard ciders. Weighing in at ONLY 120 calories each for a 12 ounce bottle ; ) How’s that for a skinny hard cider? Now you can go ahead and splurge on that piece of cake you’ve been eyeing ; )
Who needs skewers when you have rosemary? That aromatic herb can be used for so many things. Which is a good thing considering I have a bush of rosemary as large as my car. I’m ALWAYS looking for uses for that hearty herb and one of my favorites is to use it as a skewer. You don’t ever have to remember to soak it for 30 minutes prior to using (pesky wooden skewers) and it lightly flavors the food you’re skewering. AND there’s no washing a metal skewer afterwards (you know how much I hate doing dishes)!
I haven’t met a potato I would turn down, but I have to admit I have a special thing for new potatoes. They’re small, round and have beautiful deep color. Totally superficial I know but what can I say. They’re pretty. Pretty delicious too. I like to keep a bag or two of a variety of potatoes in my pantry, they go with just about anything and let’s face it they’re fairly cheap. Having them on hand means I’m always looking for new ways to make potatoes. Besides eating them on their own, because for me a big fat creamy potato dripping in butter and okay loaded with cheese is pretty irresistible but probably not the most reasonable dinner choice eh?
If you’re looking for a healthy appetizer you’ll love this super simple endive recipe. What exactly is endive? “Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole and curly endive. It is often called the queen of vegetables and is prized the world over. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness — great served raw or cooked.” And did you know that endive is ALWAYS in season. So you can make this and other endive recipes all year round.
To say we’re pretty fond of the pig is an understatement. The pig gives us so many fantastically delicious cuts from: Bacon, to Pork Tenderloin, to Pork Shoulder to well I could go on and on, so it’s only fitting that the pig should be a big deal, right? ; )