Side Dish

Butternut Squash Casserole

Switch out your sweet potato casserole with butternut squash! This butternut squash casserole is sweet and creamy and topped with crispy butternut squash seeds.

Butternut Squash Casserole 2

Looks like sweet potato casserole doesn’t it? Well I hate to burst your bubble but it’s butternut squash and it tastes even better! Roasted with nutmeg and chili powder and then blended with honey, cinnamon, and ginger (don’t ask why I roasted with one seasoning and then added more later). Since one friend at Friendsgiving has a nut allergy I quickly substituted the nuts in the topping for butternut seeds. Now that’s how you make the most out of your squash! You could also try swapping sweet potato in your favorite casserole recipe and using butternut squash instead. You won’t be sorry. After being shocked to discover it wasn’t sweet potato, all my friends said they preferred it with butternut squash!

Butternut Squash Casserole 1

One year ago: Single Serving Apple Crumble

Two years ago: Homemade Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa Mix

Three years ago: Pumpkin Kissed Gingerbread Brownies
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Apple & Caramelized Onion Pretzel Stuffing

Change up your traditional stuffing/dressing with pretzels! Salty pretzel rolls, sweet apples, caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, and sage.

Apple & Caramelized Onion Pretzel Stuffing 1

With two fantastic giveaways going on right now, I’ve really been enjoying the comments in response to both prompts. The comments in response to my blogiversary have been particularly awesome as I am learning more about all of you, especially those coming out of the woodwork who do not normally post. It’s nice to know you’re out there and are enjoying what I am dishing out to you.

I also want to come over for Thanksgiving dinner after hearing all the recipes you would make with the CW bakeware by CorningWare. In fact may have to track some of you down for those recipes. But first I will hold up my end of the deal and start sharing the recipes I made for Friendsgiving starting with the stuffing.

Apple & Caramelized Onion Pretzel Stuffing 2

This stuffing was inspired by the stuffing I made last year for my Thanksgiving dinner for two menu which was made with a bagel. After thoroughly enjoying the alternative bread choice in that stuffing I wanted to try another with pretzel rolls – one of my favorite alternative bread options. The combinations of salty bread, sweet apples, caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, and the savory elements of sage made for an exceptional stuffing to serve with Thanksgiving turkey. It is baked in a separate dish from the turkey and can either be baked covered to retain it’s softness or uncover it at the end and cook a little longer for a crispy top. Whatever you preference, I’ve got you covered. Or uncovered ;-).
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Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan

Next time you are preparing a vegetable side dish, throw them on the grill! These grilled Brussels sprouts couldn’t be easier and are tossed with pistachios, cranberries, and parmesan cheese.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan 2

When it comes to vegetables roasting is my favorite way to cook them, especially when it comes to Brussels sprouts as made evident by many different roasted Brussels sprouts recipes on my blog. Apparently it is also the most common vegetable to appear in side dishes. After years of avoidance starting in childhood and then rediscovering them as an adult it seems I am now trying to make up for lost time. So why not continue my little Brussels crush and add another method of cooking to the list? Let’s grill.

With handy tools such as skewers and grilling skillets, cooking vegetables on the grill has been made much easier. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched pieces fall in between the cracks. But not anymore! After only 10 minutes on the grill these Brussels sprouts were cooked and slightly crispy on the outside. After a quick toss with pistachios, cranberries, and parmesan cheese they are ready to be served along side of your favorite grilled meat.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan 1

One year ago: Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce

Two years ago: Mini Pumpkin Black and White Cookies
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Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce

Fresh cherry tomatoes and kale jazz up this quick and easy pasta dish with a gorgonzola cream sauce. Serve by itself or pair up with grilled chicken.

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce 2

Back to school season is here. I may not have children who are getting back into the swing of another school year, nor am I myself in school (which by the way it still has not sunk in that I am no longer a student) but the time has come to start whipping up those quick and easy weeknight meals. This pasta dish not only takes advantage of the tomatoes in season, but comes together in minutes and can be served as a side or by itself. I chose to serve it topped with grilled chicken and garlic bread.

What are your favorite weekday dinner recipes?

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce 1

One year ago: Peach Bread

Two years ago: Root Beer Cake Brownies

Three years ago: Biscoff Cheesecake Ice Cream
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Single Serving Oven-Fried Onion Rings

Homemade oven-fried onion rings are the perfect addition to backyard grilled burgers. This recipe makes a single serving in case you are the only one craving them.

Single Serving Oven-Fried Onion Rings

I have been slacking on my Single Serving Sunday posts the past few weeks. Since I have been staying with my parents while job hunting, the need for single serving recipes has decreased and somehow I feel like I have less time to cook lately than I did in grad school. Not sure how that works but I guess it means I am keeping busy!

The last time I posted homemade onion rings was in 2010, when I had just started my blog, and decided it was time for a revisit. This single serving recipe is adapted from that first recipe using Panko instead of smashed potato chips and saltines. Slightly better for you and just as crunchy. I also employed the oven-frying method which I prefer and use for all of my oven-fried recipes now.

Two years ago: Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Three years ago: Italian Herb & Cheese Fettucine
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Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

Boxed macaroni and cheese cannot compete with the three cheeses in this grown-up version. Sharp cheddar, Gruyere, and blue cheese will rock your taste buds.

Secret Recipe Club

Happy Memorial Day! And also a happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month I was assigned to Dena’s blog, Oh! You Cook! Not only is she a blogger, she is also a librarian by day and has a cookbook called The Everything Kosher Slow Cooker Cookbook. Regardless of your dietary restrictions however she has scads of recipes everyone can enjoy such as Stuffed Grape Leaves Casserole, Chubby-Hubby Truffles, and even Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Fried Oatmeal. Talk about incredible! But with the Memorial holiday I had my sights set on her macaroni and cheese.

This particular mac and cheese is a huge upgrade from the boxed stuff (not that I don’t enjoy that from time to time). It is made with three types of cheese, sharp chedder, Gruyere, and blue cheese. The combination of those three makes for one awesome mac and cheese sauce. Which speaking of I must warn you, while making the cheese sauce for this recipe I was worried that it should have cooked down further or used less milk as it seemed like far too much sauce for the amount of noodles. However once it baked in the oven it was perfect. Do not be concerned with the seemingly excessive amount of sauce pre-baked, it will turn out just right.

Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

One year ago: Spaghetti Avocado

Three years ago: Baked Zucchini Fries with Balsamic Aioli
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Dad’s Creamy Potato Salad

It’s the week leading up to Memorial weekend and it’s time to share some recipes to get ready for the first big grilling holiday of the year. But before hitting the grill you gotta think about the side-kicks. Check out my guest post today on Wishes and Dishes to get the recipe for my favorite potato salad made by my dad.

One year ago: Bacon, Egg and Avocado Taco

Two years ago: Penne with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch

DAD’S CREAMY POTATO SALAD

Potato Salad 1

Recipe source: My dad

Signature

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole

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.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 1

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.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 2

One year ago: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

Three years ago: White Bean Chicken Chili
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Creamy Skillet Brussels and Corn

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!

Creamy Skillet Brussels and Corn

One year ago: Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado-Yogurt Sauce

Two years ago: Maple, Walnut, and Flaxseed Pancake Doughnuts

Three years ago: Spicy Cheetos Crusted Chicken
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Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

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.

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

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.

Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin with Gravy

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.

Greek Yogurt-Rosemary Dinner Rolls

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.

Bagel and Bacon Stuffing

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.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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).

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

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.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

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?

Pumpkin Creme Brulee 1

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.

 Pumpkin Creme Brulee 2

One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Three years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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