Creamy wild rice and fresh asparagus come together in this baked side dish. Serve it alongside your favorite cut of meat – it’ll go with just about anything.
Let’s talk plastic bags. I try to use reusable shopping bags wherever I go and have already told my story about them confusing retail but not grocery cashiers, yet sometimes they like to wait in the car instead of coming into the store with me. Such occasions result in a double dose of annoyance because not only do I have to get plastic bags but the cashiers have a habit of using excessive amounts of them. Yesterday I had one bag with a single can of black beans and another with just a block of cheese and container of sour cream. Apparently those three items would not get along if placed in the same plastic bag. I understand they don’t want the bags to break but that’s just silly. My milk was also bagged, which is not a light item and conveniently already possesses a handle. This is why I prefer self-checkout. Alas, I will just bring them back for recycling.
In other news (I need a new transition phrase because that one gets used a lot), I made a side dish! They appear so infrequently on this blog that I get excited when there’s one to share. Especially when it is something that pairs so well with a variety of things. Grilled steak? Definitely. BBQ chicken? You bet. I served it with apple jelly-glazed pork chops and it was wonderful. Wild rice and fresh asparagus are mixed together in a creamy sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, and baked until bubbly.
One year ago: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan
Side-dishes are not my forte. Not that I dislike side dishes, quite the opposite in fact, but when I am cooking an entree it’s hard for me to find the motivation and energy to also cook a side-dish (other than steaming some vegetables). But there does exist side-dishes which do not take a whole lot of effort and are more inspiring than frozen vegetables. This creamy brussels and corn side-dish is quickly prepared and only uses on pan. Some of you may have spied this side-dish sharing a plate with the Amaretto-Maple Glazed Pork Chops I posted on Monday. Make the Brussles while the pork is in the oven and all of this can be yours!
One year ago: Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado-Yogurt Sauce
Two years ago: Maple, Walnut, and Flaxseed Pancake Doughnuts
Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.
This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.
My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.
As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.
Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.
For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.
Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.
Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?
Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.
One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes
Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie
I don’t cook side dishes very often because when cooking for one it is hard enough to eat all the leftover entree let alone a side dish too. But every now and then I find a special side dish that ends up being more of an entree, as it steals the show of the meal. This farro salad is one such recipe. I served it with a small chicken breast that had only been seasoned with salt and pepper because I did not want to distract my taste buds away from the farro. The sweet cranberries and tangy goat cheese are joined together with the balsamic dressing and earthy herbs for a comforting effect. I could definitely see this being a great side dish for thanksgiving.
Never had or heard of farro? This was actually my first experience with farro. Texturally it reminded me of wheat berries and cooks like rice.
Meanwhile, several of my friends are on their way to Memphis at this very moment for a belated Ph.D. celebration. And yes all 5 are staying with me in my 1 bedroom 800 square foot apartment. It’s going to be one big weekend-long slumber party and I am so excited! Most of them have not been here in over 4 years so I have a lot more to show them now that I’ve become more acquainted with this city. Just in time for me to move and leave right?
One year ago: Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes
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Last week I posted some delicious ribs and a few of you managed to drift your eyes off the picture of the ribs and into the background where little stacks of potatoes were displayed. After being told more than once that you needed to know what they were, I rescheduled my original post today in order to give you what you really want – scalloped potatoes! But not just any old scalloped potatoes, they are individualized and then some. Let me explain…
Sometimes you cannot hold back and you just have to go for it. These potatoes are an example of a lack of such restraint. Cheesy scalloped potatoes are already pretty awesome but why not add some bacon? Bacon goes great with cheese, after all. And heck, why not some jalapeno? Yea that happened and it was spectacular. These little scalloped potato stacks are also presented in a fun way by being cooked in a cupcake pan, forming individual portions. But don’t let that fool you into thinking these are portion controlled. If anything they are much too easy to eat, so you can go ahead and eat 2 or 3. Or 6, I won’t tell.
Oh July, why did you scamper off so quickly? I cannot believe July is almost over, and that today marks yet another episode of The Secret Recipe Club. This month I got to dig around Flying on Jess Fuel. I found lots of tempting recipes such as Key West Grilled Chicken Skewers and a Rainier Cherry Pie – that pie excited me because I love Rainier cherries but couldn’t bring myself to buy them in order to bake it as they were ridiculously priced at the time. I decided to go for a side dish recipe since I don’t make side dishes very often compared to other things. Of course then she posted a recipe for Zucchini Bread Pancakes after I already made this gratin recipe. Guess I will had to add it to my menu later on!
Potato side dishes are quite fabulous. You can cut them up and cook until they are crispy fries, mash them and enjoy a creamy spoonful, slice them and layer with cheese for a gooey experience, or just eat them by themselves with a little butter. Of course the possibilities don’t end there! This recipe incorporates some yellow squash along with the potatoes to not only make it a little healthier, but also add great summer flavor. And the goat cheese worked wonders as usual. It was tempting to add double the amount called for in the recipe because I knew it could do no wrong, but resisted. This gratin also went very well with balsamic chicken I had prepared in the crock pot.
During my undergraduate career at Ohio State in Columbus, OH I met and became friends with a lot of people from the state of Ohio. However, despite this I never met anyone that ever heard of the famous peanutbutter from Bearden’s in West Cleveland. I even asked those whom I know are from that area and they were clueless. Apparently the next time I visit those friends we will have to fix that issue and hunt down that restaurant. In the meantime, I made it at home!
This burger is proof that I have a deep love for peanut butter and will put it on just about anything. Yes you heard me. Peanut butter melting on top of a burger was as glorious and a gooey peanut butter cookie fresh out of the oven – at least to me. But the burger is only a part of an entire meal. It is the star but there are other necessary players in order to complete this belly-fulfilling-journey. Emphasis on the FILLING.
What’s a burger without fries? I personally prefer my fries to be crispy and often order my fries to be double fried at restaurants, but these slim fries are baked which means they are a little healthier and easier to control how crispy they get. Of course being slim fries they got crispy faster than thick fries would, which was also fine by me! Definitely a good fry recipe for all kinds of burgers.
Last but not least there’s the milkshake. Paired with a peanut butter burger it’s a no-brainer to choose chocolate. Unless you are me and tend to not enjoy chocolate shakes. However, in this situation paired with the peanut butter, it was perfect. Especially with the malted powder, which I used vanilla instead of chocolate just due to my personal preferences. I did drizzle some fudge sauce over the top but I think it would’ve been prettier if I had put a dollop of whipped cream on top first.
Overall, this was a fantasticly indulgent meal and much needed fat-kid food to sooth my recent stress levels. Would I put peanut butter on my burger again? You bet I would! Maybe next time I will get daring and do it with cheese too.
One year ago: German Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars
Happy Fourth of July! I hope everyone gets to see some fireworks today and enjoy the outdoors. I will be spending most of my day at the lab, but plan to catch some festivities after work. In case you are like me and need something quick to whip up for a party later today, these potatoes are for you.Just boil some baby potatoes and toss with corn, tomatoes, cilantro and some other seasonings and you have the perfect side dish to go along with those grilled meats. When I made this, it was served with some sliced sausage which I threw on top for the photo.
But that’s not all! You may have noticed the appearance of ZipList “Save Recipe” buttons popping up on my recent recipes. That is because I am now partnered with them and am slowly adding that button to every previously posted and new recipe on my blog. Hope you like the new feature!
One year ago: Blueberry Cheesecake Popsicles
Happy National Cheese Day! What better way to celebrate that with some pasta covered in it? When it comes to mac and cheese, I tend to prefer the stove top varieties bnecause they are creamier. I have never met a baked version that could compete. That was until this recipe happened because it just may be the creamiest baked mac and cheese ever.
When Lindsay (Love & Olive Oil) posted about this recipe and explained how many sub-par batches of mac and cheese she and Taylor had to eat before reaching the perfect consistency and flavor, I knew I had to make it with the exact same cheeses. It was surprisingly difficult to locate mild white cheddar in the grocery stores near me, but finally found one and it was well worth the hunt.
Don’t like Brussels sprouts? Leave them out or substitute for another veggie, such as broccoli. This creamy mac and cheese is the perfect base to which you can incorporate any of your favorite add-ins.
No Mexican meal is complete without elote, especially when paired with tacos. Since I had already made the tacos healthier by oven-frying the avocados I decided I needed to do the same with the corn. All I did was swap out the mayo for Greek yogurt, but could not tell the difference.
These ears of corn we baked in the oven, but I usually prefer grilling them with the husks on. Unfortunately I do not own an outdoor grill but if you do, soak in water beforehand or wrap in foil so the husks don’t catch on fire!