Archive | side dishes

onion-roasted potatoes

Don’t you just love those onion soup packs that Lipton makes? My favorite recipe is to add them to sour cream for onion dip. But luckily the box comes with two packs…so my second favorite recipe is the onion-roasted potatoes! They are great at home or for camping {and the kids can help shake the bag} so go check out the recipe HERE or on the box! And feel free to toss in other veggies if you want to mix things up a bit!
 For camping we just stick them in foil and roast them over the fire {but be sure to check often and give yourself plenty of time so that they cook all the way through}! YUM!

cooking with fresh HERBS

{here are a few of my favorite recipes that include fresh HERBS…yum}
::Grilled Chicken with Herbs::
fresh herbs
EVOO or canola oil
garlic, salt & pepper

Take your favorite cut of chicken (for this I prefer boneless/skin-less breasts) and slather it with oil (ExtraVirginOliveOil), garlic, salt & pepper and fresh herbs.  My favorite combo for this is rosemary, basil and sage…but just use whatever you have on hand…thyme or dill would be great too.  Let the chicken and herbs marinade as long as you can (at least 30 minutes) but no longer than 24 hours.  Grill…indoors on a grill pan or outdoors on a BBQ (being sure to leave the herbs on the chicken when possible).  The herbs will crisp up and add a nice flavor as you eat it.

Serve with your favorite sides or even room temperature next to a huge salad! This is one of my favorite ways to grill chicken & a great left over for wraps or chicken salad the next day! Enjoy!

I talked about this recipe {pictured above} last 4th of July.
I also used it for a baby shower {pictured below} a few years ago. We made it the night before & served it cut up {room temperature} along side of Aunt Ev’s Strawberry Salad & a variety of delicious bread. It was filling & tasty!

::Home-made Croutons::

For these easy and yummy croutons I simply cut up some bread of choice (or whatever I have on hand), toss the bread lightly with EVOO (ExtraVirginOliveOil)and sprinkle with fresh herbs (such as rosemary) and salt & pepper. I bake them on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until toasted.If I am making more than one dish in the oven, I actually just pop these in at whatever temperature the oven is already on and adjust the time based on the temp {if it is a lower temp I add time and if it’s a higher temp I set the timer for about 5 minutes and go from there}. You will smell them when they are done!

These are perfect on soups or salads! Good luck not burning them (I’ve done that a few times too)!




I love carrots…don’t you?
These are some old pictures from a few years ago when we harvested our first round of home grown carrots. They are tasty, fresh and flavorful when they are plucked right out of the earth in your own back yard! I seem to eat baby carrots almost daily for their crunch and while they are good… they are not as good as these puppies. If you have not tried them home grown you are missing out!In the spirit of all things carrots: here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy (home grown or not)!
::Grandma Lil’s Carrot Cake::

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated, raw carrots
15 oz can crushed pineapple {drained}
1/2 cup raisins {chopped}*
1/2 cup chopped nuts {such as walnuts}*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together sugar, oil & eggs. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine with wet ingredients. Add carrots, pineapple, *raisins & *nuts. Blend. Turn into 3 greased and floured 9 inch layer pans or one 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes and cool on wire racks. *nuts and raisins are optional {I usually make it with out them}.
1/2 cup butter {1 stick}
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
*nuts {chopped} & orange rind {grated}
Combine butter, cheese, vanilla & cream well. Add sugar gradually, beating well. *Nuts {chopped} & orange rind {grated} may be added if desired.
Spring is a great time to eat your carrots
{after all…the Easter Bunny sure loves them}!

game day FOOD

It’s almost time for the BIG game this weekend, woohoo! If you are trying to figure out what to make or bring to your next Super Bowl Party or any party…you are in luck! Here are a few of my favorite recipes (I took these pictures at an appetizer party that our MOPS team had in December)!
Here are a few of these recipes:
1 cup butter, softened
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies or 1 (4 ounce) can jalapenos
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 loaf French bread (baguette)Directions:
First, combine butter, peppers, cheese, mayo, and garlic powder. Then slice bread 1/4 inch thick and spread with butter mixture. Finally, spread on a baking sheet and broil until cheese bubbles.

I wanted to mention that cutting the veggies yourself (if you have the time) makes a big difference in flavor & freshness! I used a good quality pre-made ranch for the dip.

But if you have the time…here is a homemade recipe that I’m dying to try:

 Homemade Ranch Dressing | The Pioneer Woman



Here are a few of my favorite Zucchini recipes before summerYUM officially ends…enjoy!

::Chocolate Zucchini Cake::
  • 1 medium zucchini or 2 small (grated)
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix (I used gluten-free)
  • muffin cup liners if making cupcakes
1. Grate the zucchini and pat with a towel to get rid of some of the extra moisture.
2. Make cake according to the box directions (adjusting the water slightly so that it’s not too wet; I reduced the water by half) and fold in the zucchini.
3. Scoop the batter into the muffin cup liners (i used a mini muffin tin and a regular size) and bake according to the packaged directions. Enjoy!
*This ended up being a great snack to make with the kids. They filled the muffin cups, helped grate the zucchini and even helped scoop the batter into the mini muffin cups with a melon-baller. I also set out to get the kids into zucchini by helping. I told Paige that she would not be able to taste the zucchini in the chocolate but she was very skeptical.  When she finally tasted them she told me I was right and that she loved the cupcakes…mission accomplished!

::Zucchini Fritters::
  • 1 small zucchini (grated)
  • 1/2 cup flour (or almond meal*)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped, or parsley)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
1. Mix the zucchini, flour (or almond meal), egg, green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Spoon zucchini mix into pan & cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 min per side. Enjoy!
*I used the almond meal because I’m trying to explore gluten-free options in our diet. It came out great!

 ::Zucchini, Eggplant & Polenta Towers::
  • 1 medium zucchini (sliced)
  • 1 medium eggplant (sliced)
  • pre-cooked polenta (sliced)
  • marinara sauce of choice
  • salt & pepper
  • canola oil or EVOO
  • basil (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Slice the zucchini, eggplant and polenta to the same thickness (about 1/4″) and saute in oil until all are cooked. Pat on a paper towel if desired.
2. Meanwhile heat marinara sauce on the stove and keep warm.
3. Layer the cooked zucchini, eggplant and polenta; stacking them one by one. Drizzle marinara over stack and garnish with cheese and basil if desired! Enjoy!
And finally, I wish I could take credit for this amazing Zucchini Bread Recipe, but it’s Paula Deans. There are no words to describe how great it tastes!  Check it out HERE!
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