Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Recipes, Side Dishes | January 22, 2017 | By

Roasted Sweet Potatoes anyone? I have been wanting to bring you this recipe since I started this blog. It is one of my favorite side dishes to serve and it takes only minutes to throw together. I always have sweet potatoes on hand, so this is a GO TO for me. All you do is toss cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil and the seasoning mix and pop them in the oven. Yep that’s it. Too simple to be so delicious you say? It’s what’s in the rub that makes these bad boys so irresistable. 

The first time I tried this seasoning on sweet potatoes I almost fainted. It’s amazing you guys! Completely, totally, amazing! The seasoning is equal parts chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and cumin. Since these potatoes are naturally sweet (hence their name) these spices add a smoky flavor which plays really well with their natural sweetness. It is SO good! Can you tell I am excited about this one? I love it so much I have a jar labeled “Sweet Potato Seasoning” so I can be ready at all times to make them.

I always tend to cut the potatoes into small cubes (and not very evenly because for some reason I just can’t) but you can do rounds or even sweet potato fries. The small cubes help them bake really fast and since this is usually a last minute type of side dish for me, I always go for that option. They bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and you flip them over half way through. I have also added pieces of uncooked bacon on top of the potatoes before putting it in the oven and let me tell you….there is nothing better! Just a thought :). I hope you will give this simple recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes a try!

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Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Recipes, Side Dishes | November 25, 2016 | By

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent my day surrounded by family and of course ate WAY to much food. Yesterday was quite relaxing, even with all of the food that needed to be prepared. The kitchen is my happy place; especially when I’m there with my mom and sisters. There is something wonderful about all of us being in the kitchen cooking together. You may even say there is a healthy sense of competition in the air. I love fighting over oven space, sneaking tastes of one another’s dishes (and maybe secretly adding more salt), and stirring whatever is on the stovetop just to drive the one making it crazy. It is all in good fun!  

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am in the midst of a household that has gone completely insane. The kiddos are extremely fussy, my house is between Fall décor coming down and Christmas décor going up, toys are everywhere, laundry is piled high (I’m working on that), and all I want to do is sit on the couch in my Lularoe leggings and get a blog post up. (It has now been 3 hours since I started this post and the kids are down for a nap. This might actually get on the blog today). I want to share a dish with you that I made this year, and last, for our Thanksgiving feast! Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing has quickly become a family favorite. I know I missed the train on getting this to you before Thanksgiving so you could make it BUT why can’t we have stuffing any ole time we want? Make this anytime! Or if you must have a holiday to serve stuffing, you can make this for Christmas or New Years too!

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing is pretty simple to make. It starts with browning one pound of breakfast sausage in a pan. You can really use any sausage you like: spicy, mild, Italian, etc. Next, the onions, carrots, and celery get sautéed in the same pan until tender.

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Put the sausage and the veggies into a big bowl and add the rosemary, parsley, sage, cubed Ciabatta, olive oil, and chicken stock. Mix everything together, making sure all of the bread is moistened. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. 

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Now be prepared, when you take this Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing out of the oven, it may take your breath away. It is stunning! If you are a bread snob like me, then you know how amazing Ciabatta is. Don’t worry, it doesn’t lose it’s integrity by going in this stuffing. The bread cubes on the inside are moist and full of flavor from the herbs and chicken stock, but the bread pieces on top are crispy little cubes of goodness. I love the different textures this stuffing offers. The fresh herbs make this dish very aromatic. Fresh sage and sausage is the best combination.

I hope you make this delicious stuffing for your family this Christmas season!

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 16 oz. bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4" dice
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4" dice
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4" dice
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1?3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped sage
  • 1 (12-oz.) loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add in the sausage. Cook the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, until it is no longer pink. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining butter to the skillet and add in the carrots, onions, and celery. Sauté the vegetables until tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
  4. Add the stock, olive oil, parsley, rosemary, sage, and bread cubes. Mix together, making sure all of the bread is moistened.
  5. Spread into a greased 9X13 inch baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bread is crisp.

Notes

Adapted from Saveur

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Tomato Pie

Recipes, Side Dishes | October 3, 2016 | By

It is now officially Fall and NO ONE is happier than this girl! I have already had my fair share of pumpkin spiced lattes, apple breads, and I am, of course, on the lookout for even more flannel shirts to add to my wardrobe. As excited as I am about Fall, for this post I need to back track a little to Summer (and then it will be all Fall all the time, I promise)…..I have to share this recipe for Tomato Pie with you.

Our Garden 2016

Our Garden 2016

Now, don’t panic. It’s not the kind of pie you are thinking of. This isn’t a sweet dessert, oh no no no. This is a savory pie, with layers of fresh tomatoes and a mayonnaise/cheddar cheese/spring onions/seasoning mixture that will make your heart so happy you will want to dance. I make this religiously every summer, and not just a couple times. I make it over, and over, and over again. I take it to cookouts where people say, “Ew tomato pie?” and I say, “Would I ever serve you something that wasn’t totally delicious? Try it”. Of course they end up head over heels in love and want the recipe.

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Crustless Squash Quiche

Recipes, Side Dishes | September 3, 2016 | By

I am sad to say that I have ripped out all but one of the squash plants in my garden. I am holding on to a small piece of hope that this last squash plant will produce a few more zucchini for me. We will see if it is meant to be, and I so hope it is! If they don’t come in…..its okay, because I feel that I have given the squash a delicious and final fair well when I used them in this Crustless Squash Quiche. This has been a go to dish for my squash this summer. It is delicious, easy, cheesy, and the perfect accompaniment to any main dish. Let me show you how I put this together.

Crustless Squash Quiche

First, slice the squash into thin rounds and place them in a bowl. We need to draw the water out of them so that the quiche isn’t too loose. Sprinkle the squash with a generous amount of salt, stir, and let sit for 30 minutes. I put my squash into a colander over a bowl so the excess water would drain out the bottom. When the time is up, place the squash, a little at a time, in a cheesecloth and squeeze the water out. Don’t worry about squeezing to hard or bending the squash, it’s tougher than it looks. Now it’s time to assemble!

Crustless Squash Quiche

Crustless Squash Quiche

Crustless Squash Quiche

In the bottom of a lightly sprayed dish (I use a pie plate) layer half of the squash.

Crustless Squash Quiche

Next, add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

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Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas

Recipes, Side Dishes | August 19, 2016 | By

I am going to warn you right from the get go of this post…I may seem way overexcited about these Eggplant Pizzas. Why you ask?  Because this is the first Julia Child recipe I ever made! Then I watched the movie “Julie and Julia” and it inspired me to cook more of her recipes! Because I made these Eggplant Pizzas with an eggplant that I grew in my garden! Because they are delicious and simple to make! Because they are the perfect side dish to serve on a weeknight or to guests on a fancier occasion! (I will try to keep the exclamation points under control from here on out).

I want to start by showing you more of my garden, and in particular the chosen eggplant.

Green Peppers.

Yellow Tomatoes.

The chosen eggplant.

Our Garden 2016

These Eggplant Pizzas are so delicious, cheesy, and full of flavor. They have quickly become one of my favorite side dishes to serve. I never really had eggplant before I made this recipe. It was something I just didn’t cook with because I didn’t know how to use it. Well, watch out world….now I know and I love eggplant. Eggplant is not only delicious but really good for you! Here is a link to where you can read all about the amazing health benefits of eggplant http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/eggplant-health-benefits/ .

The first step in making these pizzas is to draw the water out of the eggplant. You slice the eggplant in 3/4 inch thick pieces and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt. Place them on a paper towel and let them sit for 30 minutes.  

Eggplant Pizzas 

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

While the eggplant slices sit, you can make the tomato sauce. Normally for this recipe I use one can of diced tomatoes but this time I used fresh tomatoes from my garden. It seemed like a crime to use canned tomatoes this time of year, so I will save my canned tomatoes for winter. In a sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add minced garlic. Sauté until just fragrant, about a minute or so, and add your diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and oregano. Let this simmer until it has thickened and all the flavors have had a chance to meld. Let the sauce stay at a low simmer until we need it in a bit.   

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

Once the 30 minutes are up, wipe the eggplant slices with a paper towel to get rid of any extra salt and remove the remaining moisture. Spray a baking pan with non stick spray and lay your eggplant slices on top. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle them with Italian seasoning. Roast them in the oven at 375 for 25 minutes. You want them to be cooked through but not so much that they fall apart (one of mine almost did…whoops).

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

After they are beautifully roasted it is time to assemble the pizzas. First, a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce goes on each eggplant slice. Next, a generous amount of fresh basil. This really adds great flavor and freshness. Then to top it all off, a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I put a lot on mine because well it’s cheese and a little just won’t work 🙂 Pop the pan back into the oven and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden brown.

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

Now they are ready to serve! I love serving these along side roasted chicken thighs, but really they would go perfectly with anything. The eggplant is melt in your mouth tender, perfectly seasoned, and the melted cheese on top doesn’t hurt. Dare I say these are almost better than actual pizza?? Thank you Julia Child for this wonderful recipe. I have made two recipes from her cookbook so far and writing this post has made me want to dive back in and see what else I can find!

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

 

Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas

Ingredients

  • 1 large globe eggplant
  • 2 tbls. salt
  • 4 tbls. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsps. dried Italtian seasoning
  • 10 basil leaves, sliced in thin strips
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup grated mozzarella
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5oz) can petite diced tomatoes, or 2 cups peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting off both ends of the eggplant and cut into 3/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally with salt and lay them on a double layer of paper towels. Let the eggplant sit for 30 minute. This draws out the moisture. While they sit make the sauce.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat 2-3 tbls. of olive oil and sauté the garlic for just about a minute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and oregano and let the sauce simmer on low until it has thickened. As it cooks break the tomatoes up with a fork and if the sauce becomes to thick add a couple tablespoons of water. Preheat your oven to 375.
  3. Once the eggplant has sat for 30 minutes use a paper towel to wipe off the excess salt and moisture. Lay them on a roasting sheet that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Roast the eggplant for about 25 minutes, you want them to be cooked through but not falling apart.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and slice your basil. Once the eggplant slices are roasted remove from the oven and assemble the pizzas. Put a couple tablespoons of the tomato sauce on each one. Then add some of the basil leaves. Next goes the cheese. Put the pan back in the oven and broil the pizzas until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes

Source: Kalyn's Kitchen

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Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas