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Old-Style Mustard and Rosemary Asparagus

10 Mar

(Review by Denise)

I may have mentioned before that my family loves asparagus. This is no small joy because we’re a family of five. Pleasing everyone at once is not something I expect to accomplish at mealtime. I also happen to love any excuse to eat grainy mustard. Old-Style Mustard and Rosemary Asparagus seemed like a winning pin to me! Check out the recipe from Serious Eats right here.

Let me first tell you that the photo above is not really this recipe. (Sad, I know.) I made this recipe before I upped the ante on being careful with copyright conundrums, and it happened that I had a photo on my phone of asparagus. (What? You don’t snap phone pics of food for no reason?) But truth be told, it didn’t look much different: asparagus spears laid out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. But did it taste different from plain ol’ roasted asparagus? Yep.

Verdict? Pass. Here’s my recommendation to you: If you aren’t already a card carrier for the Asparagus Fan Club, this is a great recipe to try. It is easy and it adds enough flavor to “break in” your palette for the wonders of this spring vegetable. We prefer it with just olive oil, salt and pepper. But if the ingredients appeal to you, so will the taste.

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Caramelized Onion Tart with Gorgonzola and Brie

2 Mar

(Review by Denise)

I am not an onion person. For 2/3 of my life I thought I was an onion hater. Then I learned something: onions don’t have to be raw, crunchy, and ruiners of burgers and quiche. They can be sweet! Caramelized onions are winners. For that reason, check out the recipe for Caramelized Onion Tart with Gorgonzola and Brie on Simply Recipes right here: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/caramelized_onion_tart_with_gorgonzola_and_brie/ (*Sorry folks, I’m having trouble with the hyperlink today.)

I confess: I was afraid of the puff pastry. Anything that involves flouring a countertop usually ends in disaster for me. But this was a cinch! I also learned that you can refreeze puff pastry as long as you thawed it out in the fridge like the box says. (I was going to make this on Saturday, but circumstances made it a nosh for Thursday friends, instead.) The scent of caramelizing onions is so wonderful. The scent of gorgonzola: not so much. But stinky cheese = yummy cheese. And Brie is brielicious.

Verdict? Pass. I think next time I will pay closer attention to Simply Recipes photo and not put quite so much onions on–but it was still delicious. One friend half-joked, “This is all for us, right?” Three of us came pretty darn close to eating most of it.

So…think you’ll try it? Have you already? Are you an onion convert like me?

Crash Hot Potatoes

1 Mar

(Review by Denise)

Does anyone not love The Pioneer Woman? I just tend to trust anything she makes, and she provides photos all the way through. Crash Hot Potatoes are her recipe and you can find it here.

I made these the other night to go with our Quinoa Burgers. I was a big dork and totally forgot to add the fresh rosemary. And our new potatoes are huge compared to Ree’s! Other than that, no changes.

Verdict? Pass. Quick, easy, yummy. I think using red creamer potatoes would up the ante for next time. (Have you had those before? Prepare to die of potato deliciousness.)

What do you think?

Quinoa Burger

28 Feb

(Review by Denise)

Have you been eating quinoa? I was slow to get on this train, but we really like it. I struggle to get enough protein in my diet and quinoa seems a good addition. Enter: The Quinoa Burger by Eating Well Living Thin. Check it out here.

You should know that from the get-go I never intended to call this a “burger” like Linda does in her recipe. Afterall, you say “burger” and I say “Hodad’s.” (You simply must go there next time you’re in San Diego.) I knew that no matter how divine this quinoa patty turned out–it would never be a burger.  You should also note that I used zucchini instead of carrot (she gives the option) and I omitted the green onion. I normally despise cottage cheese but I was happy use it in this incognito way. Again, more protein for me.

Verdict? Fail. (I know, right?) I couldn’t even call it a quinoa patty, because the batter was liquid. Despite adding big spoonfuls of cooked quinoa to thicken it up, it never got away from pancake consistency. And then…they stuck to my well-oiled nonstick skillet like skillet sticking was going out of style. They turned out pretty pathetic looking. For a side dish I cooked up the rest of the shredded zucchini and some carrots in a skillet, and just added those veggies to the quinoa disaster skillet to incorporate the browned pancake bits. My man actually liked them, which usually warrants a passing grade here, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pass them. I reread the recipe and swear I did everything like she said to. Could the green onions really have fixed my problem? I have my doubts.

Please let me know if you had better success! Eating Well Living Thin received comments from readers who successfully made her recipe. Maybe you will have better luck than I did.

Roasted Potatoes

23 Feb

(Review by Denise)

Last night was a chicken pot pie kind of night and we usually serve it up with twice-baked potatoes. I thought I’d change it up and try this Roasted Potatoes recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, instead. (It may look like the link took you to the wrong page, but scroll down. I promise the recipe’s there. )

Kristin tells the truth when she says they’re easy. There was a lot less involved in these puppies than our usual twice-baked goodness. I had one potato fail, though, when it seemed cooked through until I cut it in half and discovered a raw middle. Learn from my mistake and be patient with the baking so they really cook through. (I mean good grief, this is microwave baking! Sometimes I lose perspective like that.) In the end the little chunks of potato could easily be picked off and given to the smaller, pickier eaters in our house and disguised as French fries. My man, however, complained that they were too dry. Nothing a lot of butter can’t correct, right?

 (Just a FYI, my man is not very critical. But I asked his opinion for the sake of the blog. Much like in The Princess Bride when the six-fingered man asked Wesley to “please be honest about how you feel” before torturing him. Only with less torture. Also less fingers.)

Verdict? Pass. They were simple and good. I think the Man and I prefer our twice-baked standby, but these were an easy and acceptable alternative.

What say you, dearest reader? (Is this Downton Abbey talk? I’m not sure where that came from.)

“Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Parmesan”

12 Feb


(Review by Denise)

As soon as I saw it I knew this pin would be a winner: I love green beans and the rest of the family loves mushrooms. And who wouldn’t like balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese? Get the recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen right here.

One thing I liked about her recipe is that she called for 8oz of mushrooms and a pound of fresh green beans.  That’s exactly how they sell them at the store–so just buy your packages and use them. I made no changes to the recipe. It was simple and perfect with our chicken dinner.

Verdict? Pass. Have you tried it yet? Share your opinion!