Sweet Cooking

Posts Tagged ‘Side Dishes’

Those were the days….

In Baby food, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on October 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I took a little blog trip back in time to see what I was cooking last fall. Wow. We ate well back then. Wow.

Apple Pie

Vegetable Soup

Pumpkin Bread

Halloween Bark

Now, it’s a struggle to get dinner on the table. I must admit we’re eating pretty simple these days. Think roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and rice. Pork tenderloin, quinoa and a salad. It’s not bad food, it’s just not that interesting. Not blog worthy. I’m going to have to get organized if I want to spice things up. I need to make weekly meal plans, shop once (okay, twice), and use the weekends to make something that I can freeze. I recently made a batch of My Dad’s Turkey Chili, and it’s been lunch all week. It’s so nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer. I really need to do more of that.

I’ve also been busy cooking for the baby. She is eating pureed fruits and vegetables now, and I’ve been making some of her food.

This is butternut squash. You halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in a pan of shallow water until it's soft.

Then you puree it and freeze it in these little trays. It's kind of fun and really easy to make her food.

Apples. They are her favorite.

Enough baby food…I do believe that butternut squash is too often overlooked. It’s such a nice side dish. I can’t remember what I had with this, but I remember loving the squash.

Peel the squash and then cut it into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Then roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir occasionally. It will be tender (you can easily pierce it with a fork) when it's done.

My next post is going to be about the world’s largest veal chop and then I’ll be bringing you a super chocolate chip cookie and pumpkin swirl brownies!


Herb Roasted Mini Potatoes

In Just Good Food on August 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

Are you ready for Autumn? I am. I want to wear jeans and boots. I want to watch football. I want to have my morning coffee outside and not be sweating. I want to buy cute fall clothes for the babe. I am sooooo ready.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog since it’s inception, you’ll know that I love “mini” food. I especially love small potatoes. They are so cute and tasty.

I bought this potato mixture at Whole Foods. It was called a "Pee Wee Pack of Potatoes". How cute is that?

I did tweak this recipe from Cooking Light some. I used rosemary instead of tarragon and chives. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, and it screams “Autumn” to me. I love the way rosemary smells – the apartment smelled so delicious while I was roasting the potatoes. This recipe is super easy. Just follow the instructions and you’ll have an incredible side dish. They go with anything (chicken, beef, lamb, fish, cookies, whatever). I even tossed these in a salad the next day – they are great cold too!

I really like the dijon and rosemary flavor combo.

I was recently in Alabama visiting my family. The babe, Dan and I all had a wonderful time at Lake Martin. It’s such a beautiful and special place. And this is big news:  you can now get a latte in Alex City!!!! Go to Coffee and Cakes Cafe in the Queen’s Attic and you can get a really good latte. It made my whole trip! Additionally, while I was downtown, I shopped at Cloud Nine and Carlisle Drug Store. They both have some really cute baby clothes. If you live in/near Alexander City you should go check it out.

While I was home (2 days longer than I had planned thanks to Irene) my mom and I did some great cooking. So stay tuned for delicious peel and eat shrimp, fruit cobbler, faux banana ice cream and oven baked okra. Have a great Labor Day!!

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula, Pine Nuts and Herb Dressing

In Just Good Food, Lunch on August 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I love a good pasta salad. It’s the perfect accompaniment to almost any summer dish. I made this pasta salad to go alongside BLT sandwiches. If I had to choose one thing to eat all summer it would be BLT sandwiches! Goodness they are delicious. Toasty bread, home grown tomato, crisp bacon. I can’t get enough of them!

Back to the salad. I got this recipe from Food and Wine. It is super easy and tasty. While I was boiling the pasta, I put all of the herbs and garlic into the mini prep and gave it all a good chop. Then I added yogurt (instead of mayo) and olive oil. The recipe also says to add 1/4 cup pine nuts to the herb mixture. I didn’t have a lot of pine nuts on hand, so I just left those out. I used goat milk yogurt, but I think any plain yogurt would do just fine.  You might ask why one has goat milk yogurt on hand…well, I’m breast feeding the babe, and some people say that cow dairy causes gas in babies.

And, for whatever reason, goat dairy does not.

The babe had lots of gas, and I was desperate to try anything, so I cut out cow dairy and stocked up on goat yogurt, almond milk and tofu cheese (which is horrible). Only to find that the alternative dairy didn’t really make the situation any better. Basically, she just had gas. She still has gas, but now she just toots and smiles. She used to toot and cry.

Once the pasta is finished, drain it and toss it with the arugula. Then add the tomatoes and dressing and toasted pine nuts (I did have a few, so I toasted them up and put them in the salad).

And voila, delicious pasta salad! I used penne instead of fusilli because that's what was in the pantry.

This is a great salad for a picnic in the park or to take on a boat ride. I tossed in some grilled chicken for lunch too. I’m all about cooking once and eating twice these days! I hope you had a great weekend!

A Recipe to Kickoff Your Tailgate

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 3, 2010 at 10:38 am

Happy Football Season! I absolutely LOVE college football. I am getting chill bumps just thinking about it! May Auburn the best team win. As you are planning to watch the game at home or to attend a game, surely you are considering what type of snacks you’d like to have. This is an oldie but a goodie: Texas Caviar. It’s a great dish that should be present at every tailgate!

Texas Caviar is sort of a salsa, sort of a salad. Call it what you like!

Recipe for Texas Caviar


3 cans (16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained (I only used 2)

1 can (8 oz) white shoepeg corn, drained

2 cans (8 0z) yellow corn, drained (I used one large can)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cans (16 oz)  Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained

1 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped (you may also use jalapenos from the jar)

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/2 large bunch of cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Juice of one lemon

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1. Whisk together the last 7 ingredients (red wine vinegar through salt) in a very large bowl. Seriously, use the largest bowl you have, this makes a ton of salsa/salad.

2. Add all the other ingredients and stir.

3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator. If you can, stir or shake it up every few hours.

This salsa/dip is best the day after it’s made and will last almost a week in the fridge. It’s also a nice accompaniment to grilled chicken or pork.

This salsa/salad is best served with "Scoops". They are less messy than regular tortilla chips.

Have fun cheering on your team this weekend! See you on Monday!

Israeli Couscous – Love it!

In Just Good Food on June 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I’ve made lots of couscous in my life, but this is my first experience with Israeli (also known as Middle Eastern) couscous. It’s really a great base for a side dish or salad. I highly recommend adding some couscous to your life – it’s as fun to eat as it is to say! You can find Israeli couscous at most markets. They have it at my Whole Foods, and I’ve seen it at a few other places around NYC.

I was inspired by a recent trip to the Union Square Green Market. The spring produce is just unbelievable.

I'm obsessed with the Green Market these days.

Since I had all this great produce, I decided to make Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Peas and Sugar Snaps from Bon Appetit. I  had asparagus, but I was reserving it for another use, so I just left it out. I followed the recipe other than that omission. This is a very nice side dish or vegetarian main dish. We ate it warm, but I think it would be great at room temperature, as well. Pair this dish with grilled chicken or fish.There is one down side…this recipe requires a lot of pots/pans. So the clean up isn’t super fast. Just wanted to let you know in advance.

Just lovely. Enjoy!

Perfect Potato Salad

In Just Good Food on June 8, 2010 at 3:12 am

First of all, you should know that I am not a big fan of mayonnaise based salads. I feel like all I taste is mayo. So just a forewarning….if you’re a mayo potato salad person, this recipe is probably not for you. But by all means, keep reading just for fun!

The June issue of Cooking Light has a whole section dedicated to different types of potato salad. We had hamburgers for dinner the other night, and I chose to make Farmer’s Market Potato Salad as a side dish.

Fingerling potatoes are the star of this recipe.

These cute little potatoes naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They also tend to be long and skinny and slightly knobby, making them very finger-like in shape. Hence the name. Fingerling potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes – roast, boil or bake them- you can even grill the little guys. 

Start with fingerling potatoes cut into 1″ pieces. Drizzle them with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes at 425 degrees. The potatoes should be tender when you take them out of the oven. The recipe also calls for fresh corn, and if following the recipe, you would roast that along with the potatoes. We don’t have fresh corn in NYC yet, so I just left it out.
While the potatoes are roasting make the dressing. I followed the recipe, with one exception – I used champagne vinegar instead of cider vinegar. The fresh tarragon is so delicious, but I think you could substitute another herb if you prefer. After you’re finished with the dressing, chop some cherry tomatoes in half and set aside. Then sauté one zucchini and some red onion until slightly browned.
When the potatoes come out of the oven, transfer them to a large bowl, add the zucchini, onion and chopped tomatoes. Drizzle the mixture with dressing and toss gently. 

This is a great summer side dish. I made it early in the day and then put it in the refrigerator. Make it ahead of time and serve it at your next BBQ.