Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

posted by Nina on Nov 8

It’s that time of year, when the grocery store aisle is full of a variety of squash and I ask myself, “Do I really want to cook one of those things? They are a pain in the tush to cut open and they take forever to cook.” But then I remember how good they taste and I put a couple in my cart.

1-2 acorn squash
a few dabs of butter
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut acorn squash open from stem to bottom and scoop out all of the seeds.

Pour a small amount of water in the bottom of a cookie sheet or casserole dish..about 1/4 in. deep.

Place the squash cut side up on the cookie sheet/casserole dish.

Put a little dab (1/2 tsp) of butter in each half.

Pour about a tsp of maple syrup in each half.

Sprinkle a dash of salt in each half.

Score the inside of each half with a sharp knife a few times.

Cook for about an hour.

BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU OPEN THE OVEN. It will be steamy in there from the water you put in the bottom of the pan.

Let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy.

What did the family think? Turns out I am the only person in my house that likes acorn squash. They have no idea. It’s super tasty and super duper good for you.

Where did this recipe come from? This is basically how my mom always cooked it. I think she may have used brown sugar instead of syrup though.

photo from Big Oven

posted by Nina on Oct 15

I checked out Jamie Oliver’s cookbook from the library last week. In the book there is a pledge to learn a recipe from each chapter of the book and teach two or more other people on the condition that they do the same. So, here is my recipe from the salad chapter. Learn it, love it and pass it on.

1-3/4 pounds baby potatoes, peeled our not peeled, you decide
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch of fresh chives
1/4 cup yogurt
2-3 slices bacon

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Peel 1-3/4 pounds of baby potatoes, if you like, or leave them unpeeled, chopping any larger ones in half; leaving the smaller ones whole. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes to the pan and bring back to a boil for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Test them with the point of a knife to make sure they’re cooked through. As soon as they’re ready, drain them well in a colander and put them into a bowl.

The trick is to dress the potatoes while they are still hot – mix 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well. Toss the hot potatoes in the dressing.

Finely chop a small bunch of fresh chives and sprinkle them over the potatoes. Toss well before serving.

Toss the dressed potato salad and chives with 1/4 cup of yogurt.

Put a frying pan on the heat and add a splash of olive oil. Thinly cut slices of bacon into small pieces and add to the pan. Toss and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle over your potato salad and serve.

We had this with hamburgers and fruit salad.

Did I change anything? I left out the lemon zest that was in the original recipe.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it. I liked the yogurt and lemon in it and the bacon was a nice finish. The boys don’t like potatoes.

Where did this recipe come from? Jamie Oliver

posted by Nina on Sep 17

If you are looking for health food, then you need to stop reading right now because you aren’t going to find it here today. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a recipe for amazingly tasty biscuits, then you’ve come to the right place.

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.

Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out.

Use the top of a glass to cut out biscuits.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan.

Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

What did the family think? Holy cow. Put a little honey on them and they are even more heavenly if that’s even possible.

Where did this recipe come from? Plain Chicken

photo from Plain Chicken

posted by Nina on Aug 31

I know this isn’t really a recipe, but it is comfort food to me. Every time I make this I am taken back to my grandma’s kitchen…with her old yellow linoleum floors that slope ever so slightly, her butter churn in the corner that sits next to the potato box and the colander full of tomatoes fresh from the garden. This is the perfect way (in my opinion) to get through some of those garden tomatoes you don’t know what to do with.

1 small tomato
About 1 cup cottage cheese
A dash of salt (optional)
A pinch of pepper (optional)

Chop tomato into bite-sized pieces. Mix with the remainder of the ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy!

What did the family think? I am the only one who eats this in my house.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from my grandma and she probably got it from her grandma.

photo from Foods We Love

posted by Nina on Aug 16

Recipes don’t come much easier than this and the result is fantastic.

4 ears fresh corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and roast for 30 minutes or until corn is soft.

Peel down the husks and use as a handle when eating.

What did the family think? Everyone loved it! I think the boys’ favorite part was using the husks as a handle.

Where did this recipe come from? Food Network

Photo from

posted by Nina on Aug 10

These biscuits come out buttery and a little crispy. They are so good and so easy and are a good addition to breakfast (think biscuits with butter and honey/jelly) or dinner.

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup milk (any kind)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well with whisk or fork.

Cut the 1/2 stick butter into little pea sized pieces and then mix the pieces into the flour mixture. Using a fork, try to mash the butter pieces as you mix it together with the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. It is okay if the outcome just looks like the same pea sized pieces of butter covered with flour.

Then pour in the milk and mix it all together. Knead the dough with your hands 8 to 10 times and then turn out onto a floured counter or cutting board. Pat it out flat with your hands until the dough is a somewhat even 3/4-inch thickness.

Turn a drinking glass upside down and cut out biscuit rounds. Put them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

We had this with roasted chicken, salad and watermelon.

What did the family think? What’s not to like about warm, buttery, crispy biscuits fresh out of the oven?

Where did this recipe come from? 100 Days of Real Food

photo from 100 Days of Real Food

posted by Nina on Jul 27

I made these in the morning and let them marinate all day on the counter. They were SO good and went really well with the herbed chicken kabobs we had with them.

1-1/2 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. each minced fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley
Salt to taste
1 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup minced red onion

Boil the beans for 5 minutes, then rinse quickly in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Gradually whisk in the oil. Add the herbs and salt, whisking thoroughly. Add the vegetables and toss everything together.

Let the beans marinate, unchilled, for at least 2 hours. Serve at room temperature. (If you prepare them earlier in the day, go ahead and chill them. Just make sure to take them out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before dinner. They are not very tasty cold.)

Did I change anything? I left out the red onion. I didn’t use as many tomatoes because I didn’t have enough. I didn’t use parsley because I don’t like fresh parsley.

What did the family think? Hubby and I LOVED these. They were so good. Our oldest tried them, but was not impressed. I am not sure if our youngest tried them, but I am guessing he didn’t.

Where did this recipe come from? Family Fun

photo from Epicurious

posted by Nina on Jul 25

This salad is so bright and summery. It’s beautiful on the plate and it tastes great, too.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears)
1 1/2 cups diced avocado (1/2-inch pieces)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup finely diced red onion

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Add the corn, avocado, tomatoes, and onion and toss to mix. Serve at room temperature.

Did I change anything? I didn’t use fresh corn. I used canned corn. I know, I know. I should have used fresh, but I knew it would be way faster if I just used canned. I also used way, way, way less red onion than this recipe calls for.

What did the family think? Note to self: Hubby does not like canned corn in any dish ever. I thought the salad was awesome. It was so summery and it went perfectly with the salmon we had with it.

Where did this recipe come from? Family Fun

photo from Family Fun

posted by Nina on Jul 21

We are always willing to try a new mac and cheese recipe and this one did not disappoint. The best part was that my 9-year old made it almost entirely by himself.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
8 to 10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Melt the butter in the pot and return pasta to the pot. Toss to coat.

In the meantime whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Mix into the pasta. Add the cheese and stir over low heat until melted and creamy.

We had this with rotisserie chicken and some cantaloupe.

What did the family think? We’ve never met a mac and cheese we didn’t like.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from LeeAnn. She got it from Alton.

photo from LeeAnn

posted by Nina on Jul 13

I loved, loved, loved this cole slaw. It is still definitely cole slaw, with just a little more kick to it.

1 bag of shredded slaw mix
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin and cut in smaller pieces
2 green onions, sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn (kernels sliced off) or 1/2 cup frozen corn (defrosted) or canned
handful of chopped cilantro
1 cup chipotle or spicy ranch (I used Brianna’s Chipotle Cheddar dressing)
2 tablespoons mayo
a few splashes apple cider vinegar
fresh ground pepper

In large bowl combine ranch dressing, mayo, vinegar and black pepper.

Add vegetables (minus cilantro) and toss until fully dressed.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled. Toss in cilantro right before serving.

Did I change anything? I left out the carrots since there were carrots in the slaw mix I used. I also changed the original dressing. The creator of the recipe used Marie’s Chipotle Ranch, but I couldn’t find that.

What did the family think? I LOVED it! Hubby liked it, but wished I hadn’t put corn in it. The boys aren’t huge cole slaw fans…they have no idea what they’re missing.

Where did this recipe come from? Aggie’s Kitchen

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