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Category Archives: Produce

17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

Coming up with ways to make easy, fast and healthy dinners can seem impossible sometimes. There are many days when the last thing you want to think about is what is for dinner and wish something could magically appear that you can cook quickly. Instead of turning to pizza delivery or fast food, start using some of these 17 ideas and tips Bon Appetit offers to keep healthy and easy dinner options right in your kitchen so you can throw something great together in just minutes and look like you have been thinking about it all day. Check it out!

Tomorrow should be the day our new appliances come, and hopefully, that will complete our kitchen. It’s been tough trying to cook meals just using an electric pressure cooker, a sandwich press and two small electric burners we borrowed, so it will be great to have a stove again that I can with each day. Fingers crossed it works out tomorrow, and I can get back to recipes!

Source: 17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

 

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More Than 23 Delicious Dinners in 5 Ingredients Or Less – Recipes from NYT Cooking

Like most people, finding time to cook regular meals during the holidays can be even more difficult then the typical weeks that go by. On top of everything going around to get prepared for the Christmas goes work, school, afterschool activities and more. For us, things have been really hectic around here as we are getting our kitchen renovated right before the holidays! I won’t be doing much cooking since the kitchen is going to be gutted and made over from top to bottom (something long overdue), but once it is done we will have a brand new space to work in and try new recipes. In the meantime, here are 23 great recipes from New York Times Cooking that use a minimal amount of ingredients and can be cooked quickly, both ideal for this time of year. Check it out!

Source: More Than 23 Delicious Dinners in 5 Ingredients Or Less – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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100+ Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes : Food Network

Sure, the turkey is the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal, but the side dishes you serve can really help the dinner shine and be what people remember the most about the meal. Choosing new, interesting or classic side dishes is easy when you take a look at over 100 different side dish recipes that Food Network provides for you. Check it out!

Source: 100+ Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes : Food Network

 

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Our 20 Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes from NYT Cooking

It’s that time of year again – when people begin to think about Thanksgiving and what the meal will contain. It’s never too early to start planning out your menu and the more organized you can be the smoother the days leading up to and Turkey Day will be for you. A good place to start is to consider some of the side dishes that you will want to make for the day. New York Times Cooking has put together 20 of their most popular Thanksgiving side dishes so you can see some classic recipes or give something new a try this year. Check it out!

Source: Our 20 Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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How to Use Squash, from Frying to Dips | Bon Appetit

Fall weather is upon us and winter is not far behind and among the bounty of great vegetables available this time of year or all the different types of squash that you can get. The choices seem almost endless and if you are looking for some ideas of what you can do with the different types of squash out there Bon Appetit has 23 squash recipe ideas you can try out that are ideal for all different types of cooking and baking. Check it out!

Source: How to Use Squash, from Frying to Dips | Bon Appetit

 

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Kitchen Pantry Cooking Essentials – Key Ingredients and Recipes – Food.com

The key to good cooking and easy cooking is having some basics in your pantry all of the time. When you have the right ingredients around you can put together a meal in no time at all. Food.com has a list for you of the 50 most common cooking essentials you want in your pantry so you can do anything at any time. Check it out!

Source: Kitchen Pantry Cooking Essentials – Key Ingredients and Recipes – Food.com

 

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School Has Started! Time to Find Easy Dinners – Sheet Pan Sausage Supper

School started here last week for us so it was pretty busy as every tried to get back onto their routines of getting up early and starting the day, especially Sean. It is no easy task getting a 15-year old up and out of bed before 6 AM to get ready for school, but so far it has worked out just fine. Just as Sean gets back into his routine, it means that I have to try to get back into one myself. It means trying to get all my work done in the early part of the day so I can have more time to do things around the house, including getting dinner prepared each day. That’s why September (or really any month of the school year) is a great time to start pulling out those one dish meals. I have been making a lot of sheet pan suppers lately. They are easy to do, give you everything you want all in one pan, and make clean up a real breeze so I don’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning afterwards. Sheet pan suppers are ideal for just about anything – beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey or even just vegetables – and it really all is a matter of timing everything right and chopping everything to a uniform size so all the ingredients cook at the same rate and are done at the same time. I came across this recipe from Food Network for a sausage sheet pan supper from Ree Drummond and thought I would give it a try.

Sheet Pan Sausage Dinner

1 pound trimmed whole Brussels sprouts
3 parsnips, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
2 red onions, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Sprinkle of kosher salt
Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
12 Italian sausages

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the Brussels sprouts, parsnips, sweet potatoes and onions to a baking sheet. Add the olive oil, sage, salt and pepper and toss all of the vegetables together so they are well coated with the oil and the spices. Prick the sausages with a fork and then put the sausages in and around the vegetables on the sheet pan.
Bake the mixture in the oven until the sausages are cooked through and the vegetables are tender and nicely roasted, about 40 to 45 minutes, turning the sausages about half way through the cooking process. Serve together on a platter.

That’s all there is to this recipe. I find pricking the sausages works well so that they don’t burst in the casings and let some of the fat run out to flavor the vegetables a bit more. While turning them half way through cooking might seem unnecessary, I like to do it so the sausages get nicely browned all over. You can also mix up the vegetables a bit at the same time you turn the sausages so you can get more even browning on them as well. Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to prepare them since I think they get better flavor this way. You can vary the mix of vegetables if you like, but you may want to stick to items that are a little bit thicker if you are cooking everything together so that the vegetables do not overcook and burn before the meat is done. Carrots would work pretty well here, along with vegetables like cauliflower, squash, fennel or beets.I actually used a couple of carrots in my recipe.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Dinner, One Pot Meals, Produce, Sausage, Vegetables

 

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Don’t Dill-y Dally – Make These Dill-icious Homemade Quick Dill Pickles

As much as I love sandwiches it only makes sense that I love the things that can help them make them extra-special for lunch or dinner. That includes having a great side dish like potato salad, coleslaw or another kind of salad, just the right condiments and. of course, pickles. The thing about pickles is that there are some really good ones that you can get when you go out or buy them from the store or farmers’ market and then there are some really bad ones. You know the bad ones as soon as you get them – limp, lifeless and they have no flavor at all or have been sitting for too long. As much as I love pickles, the price for a good pickle is pretty darn expensive today. The good ones in the stores are three or four dollars a jar and you pay just as much or even more at farmers’ markets for good pickles. Now I have never been much of a person when it comes to canning and preserving myself; I just don’t have the space for everything you need or the space to store anything. However, I did want to find a way to make a good, quick batch of pickles so I could have some on hand when I wanted them. I got myself a good jar and set about looking for a recipe and I found this one from Food and Wine that seemed just right for some homemade dill pickles.

Homemade Dill Pickles

1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

3/4 teaspoon dill seeds

2 cups hot water

2 pounds Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick or sliced into spears

3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

In a large, heat-proof measuring cup, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and dill seeds with the hot water and stir the mixture until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let the brine cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with the fresh dill and the garlic. Place the cucumbers, dill and garlic into a jar with a tight seal or leave them in the large bowl. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and turn to coat the cucumbers (if they are in the bowl; if you have them in the jar they are fine as is). If you are using a bowl, place a small plate over the cucumbers to keep them submerged in the bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If you have the pickles in a jar, close the jar tightly. Refrigerate the pickles overnight, stirring once or twice. Serve cold.

When I first looked at the recipe I was skeptical that I would be able to get good flavor out of pickles with such an easy recipe and with them just sitting overnight, but boy I was wrong. These pickles have fantastic flavor that they pick up from all of the spices, the fresh dill and the garlic. If you like garlic with your pickles these are ideal because the flavor is there without completing overpowering the pickles. If you really like garlic you could always add a few more chopped cloves to the mix, but  I thought they were perfect as is. I have been making these pretty consistently for a couple of months now and once you have all of the ingredients on hand the only cost of making them is buying the pickles. I get a package of 6 Kirby cucumbers for $2.50 and it makes lots of pickle spears that last me for weeks, so the cost savings is pretty good in my opinion. These pickles are perfect to go with any type of sandwich or a burger and will be great for picnics, barbecues or any party. I brought a jar with me to the Outer Banks a few weeks ago and every ate them up. It’s definitely worth the little bit of time it takes to make them.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Savor the Summer for Lunch with This Tomato Sandwich

Summertime brings about some of my favorite vegetables and fresh fruit to make all kinds of great things with. I love to go to the farmers’ markets and see what I can get from some of the local farms and I always come back with something great and delicious. Know that Monroe finally has its own farmers’ market every Sunday I can just drive to town and get some great stuff, which I did this past weekend. I got a great haul of strawberries and peaches, but I also picked up some local beets,  cauliflower, honey, heirloom tomatoes and even a chuck roast from one of the local farms that raises organic beef. Tomatoes are just starting to hit their stride now and instead of turning to what you can get at your local supermarket and pay lots more for sub par fresh tomatoes, go to your nearest farmstand or farmers’ market and get some great heirlooms. I got a basket of heirloom tomatoes which had 6 good-sized tomatoes in it for only $6.00 where they easily sell for at least four dollars a pound in my local store. Now that I have some great tomatoes to use, I needed to find something to make. The first thing I thought of was to have a great lunch with a classic and simple tomato sandwich. You probably don’t even really need a recipe for a tomato sandwich, but I took this idea from Melissa Clark at New York Times Cooking, followed her idea and added a bit to it to really make it my own.

Tomato Sandwich

4 slices crusty bread

1 fat garlic clove, halved crosswise

1 ripe, soft tomato, halved

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mayonnaise, as needed

1 ripe heirloom tomato, sliced

Thinly sliced red or white onion

1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced thinly (optional)

4 slices cooked bacon (optional)

Toast the bread slices until they are golden. Take each slice and rub one side all over with the cut side of the garlic clove. (The clove should start to disintegrate into the bread.) Rub each slice with the cut sides of the soft halved tomato, pressing so the tomato flesh sticks to the bread. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil, then sprinkle each slice with a bit of salt.

Spread the mayonnaise over the tomato pulp on the slices of bread. Place the sliced heirloom tomatoes on top of 2 pieces of the bread. Cover the tomato slices with the onions and sprinkle them with salt. Top with the avocado slices or the bacon if using, sprinkle on some freshly ground pepper to taste and then use the other 2 slices of tomato-rubbed bread to make sandwiches.

You have lots of options of course, as you do with any sandwich. I omitted the bacon she suggested as I just wanted the taste of the tomato and avocado with the onion. I prefer the bite a red onion provides, but if you like something mellower a white onion is also good. The combination on the sandwich of the great-tasting tomatoes with the onion, avocado and the little hint of garlic on the bread makes it all a perfect lunch. I put a little bit of parsley on mine for some extra flavor and you could do the same with some lettuce, arugula, spinach, fresh basil or anything else you might like. I made the sandwich on my favorite homemade bread and it was divine. It is the perfect sandwich to have during the summer and it makes me wish I could get heirloom tomatoes like this locally all year-long.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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50 Easy Weeknight Summer Dinners, So You Can Relax – Bon Appétit

It’s summer and it’s hot out so avoiding the elaborate dinner becomes almost a necessity for most of us. Bon Appetit is here to help you out with 50 easy weeknight summer dinners so you don’t have to slave in the kitchen to have a good meal. Check it out!

Source: 50 Easy Weeknight Summer Dinners, So You Can Relax – Bon Appétit

 

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