Parmesan Roasted Carrots

Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables.  I decided today to try a roasted carrot with parmesan.  I parboiled the carrots until just tender before roasting to keep them moist.  I really enjoyed the results.  Parmesan always works so well with roasted vegetables and the simple salt and pepper seasoning let the carrots really stand out.

Parmesan Roasted Carrots

  • 5 medium carrots ~ peeled and sliced into 1/4 in slices
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place carrots in sauce pan and cover with cool water.  Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Drain carrots and toss with butter.  Place in roasting pan and sprinkle with parmesan, salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees for 8 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Asparagus – fresh from the garden

I love spring.  The asparagus has sprung and the flowers are blooming.  We planted asparagus a few years ago and it is taking off like crazy.

We have three different varieties.  I like them all.  The purple is pretty; can’t say it tastes different but it is a lovely color raw and still pretty when cooked.

I just did a quick saute today.  About 5 minutes over medium heat with a tablespoon butter and a clove of minced garlic.  We like a bit of crunch so cook longer if you prefer more tender asparagus.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

I love making quick and easy soups and it doesn’t get much easier than a vegetable soup.  I used hamburger, but leftover roast or steak would be perfect also. Adjust the vegetables to your liking ~ you will want about 2 cups of your favorite combination; I just happened to have a can of mixed vegetables and a few leftover from yesterday’s lunch so I tossed them in too.

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

  • 8 o.z. ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can mixed vegetables – drained
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram

Over medium heat sauté beef, garlic, and onion.  Add crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.  Drain beef if desired.  Add mixed vegetables, tomato juice and marjoram.  Reduce heat to very low and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spicy Collard Greens

I learned how to cook tasty collard greens not  too long ago from my gal at work.  She spent some time in Louisiana at one point in her life and learned quite a few tricks to making some great southern dishes. I’d tried collard greens a few times and was never a huge fan of the earthy flavor and the overcooked mush, but back off on the cooking time and add a bit of spice and vinegar and they bring out the best in these greens.

Spicy Collard Greens

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno diced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Wash collard greens and remove stem ends ~ peel back middle vein if desired.  In large pot add collard greens and quart of water.  Bring to boil; cover and cook 10 minutes.  Cook bacon while collard greens are cooking.

Drain collard greens; return to pot.  Drain bacon and crumble into pan with collard greens.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer 10 addition minutes.

Twice Baked Potatoes

We wanted to try some little twice baked potatoes today.  I saw a picture using baby red potatoes but couldn’t find any I liked the looks of at the grocery so I picked out some baby Yukon gold potatoes instead.  These were very tasty.  Larger potatoes will work too or use your favorite ~ I’m anxious to try this with those purple potatoes I pick up from time to time just to see how the color turns out!

Twice Baked Baby Potato

  • 6 small Yukon gold potato ~ 1 1/2 – 2  inch diameter
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 strip cooked bacon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Start by baking your potatoes.  I used a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Once potatoes are tender remove from oven.  Allow to cool for a few minutes so they are easier to handle.  Cut in half.

Remove as much of the potato from the skin as possible.

I yielded about a cup of potato from the 6; adjust the measurements as needed if you have more or less potato from your skins. Add butter and cream to the potato pulp;  mix well; when I first added the cream it seamed soupy but everything pulled together as I continued to stir. Stir in sour cream and remaining ingredients.  Fill shells with mixture.

My shells were full and overflowed when I baked them.  This could have been prevented if I’d used small baking dishes to keep them upright better or used less filling; of course the filling is the good stuff so I didn’t mind them overflowing.  sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes; broil for about 5 additional minutes to brown the tops.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Baked Green Beans and Mushrooms with Cream

I had a craving for a green bean casserole of sorts.  This side dish really hit the spot and was a nice change from the traditional green bean casserole.  It was simple to throw together and full of flavor.

 

Baked green beans and mushrooms

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 4 o.z. fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium shallot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 can french cut green beans

Slice mushrooms and shallots; over medium heat melt butter and sauté mushroom and shallot about 5 minutes or until tender; season with salt and pepper add cream.  Drain green beans and pour into greased casserole; pour mushroom and cream mixture over beans; bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Scalloped Potatoes ~ quick and easy; creamy and cheesy!

This is one of those recipes that I am still tinkering with.  I like the minimal ingredients ~ basically 3 ~ and the ease of construction is a plus.  I really am not sure how I would change what I made today; perhaps a little less cream or a little longer cook time.  Although I found the extra sauce on my plate was perfect for dredging my fried chicken through so there wasn’t a drop left and to me the potatoes were cooked to perfection (not too mushy) so I would hesitate to cook longer.  Anyway, here’s the recipe ~ give it a try!

Scalloped Potatoes

  • 1 lb thinly sliced potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 o.z. shredded cheese
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Wash and slice potatoes.  I used some baby potatoes I had on hand ~ purple, red, and yellow.  Place half of the potatoes in a greased 2 quart casserole.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic; top with 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the cream.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Ending with cheese on top and a sprinkle of paprika if desired.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Bump heat to 400 degrees and bake another 10 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes ~ the resting is important to set up the sauce.

I used extra sharp cheddar and was fairly liberal with the garlic, pepper, and salt.  Season to suit your tastes. Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spicy Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

We just couldn’t decide on lunch today but we came across a couple of marked down steaks so opted for stir fry.  I’m sure our stir fry has nothing authentic about it as far as chinese cooking goes, but we enjoy the different combinations that can be made and especially appreciate the ability to control what goes in.

We made this on the spicy side.  It is easily adaptable to any tastes.  I generally don’t follow a recipe for stir fry.  I go by what I have on hand.  Often times I end up on the sweet and sour side adding pineapple and brown sugar.  There are millions of different combinations and flavor profiles to go with.  As I said this is a spicy version; it has a hint of ginger and soy ~ we use tamari as we’ve become fond of the full flavor.

Spicy Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

  • 1 lb meat ~ we used beef; rib eye
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup trimmed cauliflower
  • 1 cup trimmed broccoli
  • 1 cup sliced cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno ~ diced
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 4 o.z. sugar snap peas
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs cool water

Slice meat; in hot skillet add oil; add meat and cook about 3 minutes over medium high heat. If using chicken or something other than steak make sure to cook through.  We were using a tender cut and wanted to sear the edges as we will cook a little more later.  Once meat is ready remove from heat and set aside.  Add vegetables (except peas), seasonings, and soy to the skillet.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add peas and ginger cook an additional 2 minutes.  Return meat (juices too) to pan and broth; bring to simmer.  Whisk together cornstarch and cool water.  Add to simmering liquid stirring until thickened.  Serve over rice.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Glazed Carrots ~ Quick Easy Delicious

These had to be some of the best carrots I’ve eaten in a while.  The glaze was so simple it made itself while the carrots cooked.  We came across this technique in a recent Saveur magazine issue.

Glazed Carrots

  • 1 lb carrots ~peeled and sliced to desired thickness
  • water
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs sugar

Peel and slice carrots.  In medium saucepan place carrots and just cover with water.  Add butter and sugar; cover with parchment paper tucked in pan to rest on top of carrots.  Simmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.  Water will evaporate and butter and sugar will have glazed the carrots when finished.

This worked very well.  At first it appeared as if the water wasn’t going to evaporate but after a little more patience the results were perfect.  We cut our carrots about 1/2 inch thick so adjust your cook time for larger or smaller carrots.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Roasted Winter Vegetable Stock ~ Homemade broth to compliment any recipe!

Homemade broth and stock is wonderful to have around.  It’s so much better when you make it yourself.  You can control what goes into each batch and season to your own personal tastes.  Today we are making a big batch of vegetable stock  ~ it smells heavenly.  Charles did all the work for me today ~ it’s still cooking so I won’t have a time for how long to simmer but I can assure you that several hours are needed for the richest flavors and you may want to adjust the seasoning as you go.   We always put some salt in our stocks but that is the way we like it ~ I feel like the salt helps bring out all of the flavors but if you need a reduced sodium option leave the salt out or adjust to your diet needs.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Stock

  • 1 lb Celery
  • 1 lb Carrots
  • 1 lb Cabbage
  • 2 lbs Onion
  • 1/2 lb Parsnip
  • 1/2 lb Turnip
  • 1/2 lb Green Beans
  • 10 Clove Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1 Tbs Corriander
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 4 Bay Leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and prepare vegetables.  Cut vegetables into large chunks.  Peel garlic cloves.  Toss garlic and vegetables with 1/4 c olive oil.  Spread onto 2 large cookie sheets and roast for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes.  Remove from oven; transfer to large stock pot; add water and seasonings.  Set heat to medium, bring to simmer, and reduce heat simmering for a few hours until desired color and flavor are reached.  We will likely reduce by half or more.  Strain through fine seive or cheese cloth.  Chill and freeze in pint freezer jars or bags.  Enjoy in place of water in your favorite recipe ~ I always cook my rice in stock!

Hope you enjoy the recipe!   ~ Kimberly