Pretty Please, With Marshmallows on Top?

maple mashed sweet potatoes

Our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners taste almost exactly the same; we just swap out the platter of turkey for honey-baked ham (much to Grandma’s dismay, who is the only person every year to eat more than two “ceremonial” bites of the bird). We make homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, cranberry salad, pecan pie, and, of course… Sweet potatoes.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 8 comments.

I Own the Rain God

meaty vegetarian ravioli

My dog is the rain god. Yes, that’s right, my 15-pound Chihuahua mix is the official rain god. When she wiggles around, chases her tail, and finishes with a satisfied lick, the sun shines. When she neglects to do her little dance, the winds howl and the raindrops splash down on our roof.

 

Okay, so maybe I need to check into the whole causation vs. correlation thing…   Continue reading for recipe.

December 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 12 comments.

Hooked on a Filling

vegetable dumplings

With the last-minute exams and grading just before Thanksgiving, I peddled home with barely enough energy to tear open a cardboard box and microwave a frozen entrée. I selected a chicken-and-vegetable dumpling dinner last Tuesday, and during my first bite, a dangerous idea popped into my head…

 

I could make these myself!   Continue reading for recipe.

November 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 15 comments.

Einstein’s Cheesy Solution

string cheese hot dogs

Fact: I am a scientist.

Fact: I am a little crazy.

Fact: Crazy scientists’ hair shoots straight out of their heads when they’re excited by a brilliant idea.

 

…Okay, so I have slightly fault logic. But if it were true, a lot of shoppers at the grocery store would have doubled over laughing at my 2-foot-long blonde afro as I walked down the cheese aisle last week!   Continue reading for recipe.

October 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 10 comments.

Not Cooking? Not a Problem!

vegetarian Greek sandwiches

This past weekend, thermometers threatened to shatter as the sun glared down at my tiny California town. Yes, fall officially began on September 22, but a week later the sun was still ignoring our calendar and converted our entire house into an oven.

 

Too unmotivated to cook (102° temperatures can do that to a girl), I sweated all the way to the store and grabbed a pint of ice cream to cool off. (Yes, I did buy it later. And was so tempted to eat all of it as I walked back home.) I also paid for a bag of sandwich thins, thinking that those sounded much more appealing than the baked chicken I had originally considered making.   Continue reading for recipe.

October 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 3 comments.

A Lazy Summer Day

Summer officially hit this past weekend. A little early, I know, since the calendar chose June 20th instead, but with the outdoor thermometer threatening to burst at 110° on Saturday, the summer laziness infected me. My lonely stove sat by itself like a child in timeout while I buried my head in the fridge every chance I got.

 

Which meant absolutely no heat for dinner. No oven, no stove, no microwave. Only cool, crisp, refreshing ingredients. Once again, I stuck my head in the fridge to root around for lettuce and veggies to make a meal. With minimal prep and a bit of spice, I sat down with a perfectly lovely lazy summer salad.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I inherited distinct genes from my mom: my dark blonde hair, fair skin, and tendency for food crazes. Yes, we both suffer from food addictions. Some last a week, some last a lifetime (dark chocolate comes to mind…), and some last somewhere in between.

 

A couple of years ago, Mom discovered MorningStar’s black bean burgers. She ate one for lunch or dinner almost every day, and when I visited and smelled its spicy southwestern aroma wafting out of the kitchen, I teased her about her obsession.

 

And then she made me try one.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

I Didn’t Get Pinched!

I nearly forgot yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Only after seeing green shirt on every grocery shopper and hearing my neighbors blare their party music (rap, not Gaelic) did I remember. While most of my green clothes lay in the hamper, making my holiday compliance slightly difficult, a few green vegetables sat in the fridge, begging to be incorporated into a festive dish.

 

With all of the rain pouring down lately I craved soup instead of the traditional corned beef and potatoes. Since I rarely want soup, I left the potatoes alone as I pulled out a pot to heat up broth on the stove. Not long after, I dipped my spoon into my creamy vegetable soup and polished off the whole bowl.

 

This may be a day late for St. Patrick’s Day, but maybe you’ll enjoy it for the next “green” holiday—Earth Day!   Continue reading for recipe.

March 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. Leave a comment.

Can This Italian Tradition Take the Heat?

When my dad’s coworker first suggested a local upscale Italian restaurant, we took careful notes on the entrées he advised. We ordered their pollo saltimbocca (chicken topped with ham, mozzarella, and a white wine sauce) and gnocchi gorgonzola to split between three people, ensuring that everyone ate bites of both.

 

But before we polished off the main dishes and mopped up the last drops of sauce with fresh warm bread, we bravely branched out to try an appetizer. The waiter recommended the insalata caprese, and within minutes, it arrived at our table.   Continue reading for recipe.

March 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Satisfying Sides. 6 comments.

Ditching Desserts — But Just for the Night!

When skimming through my recipes, I noticed that the sides and starters section desperately needed a little TLC before the cake and cookie categories took over my blog—and my waistline! Since the UPS man dropped off a package on my porch a few weeks ago, the new kitchen toys constantly nagged me for a trial run, so I put one to use in creating a new appetizer.

 

I already gave the immersion blender the task of mixing up a smooth and simple pizza sauce, and my fridge lacked meat to pound with the mallet or cook in the grill pan, which left me with the mini muffin pan. Oh darn, another thing to bake! (No, I do not have a sheepish grin on my face… Well okay, maybe a tiny one.)   Continue reading for recipe.

March 3, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Satisfying Sides. 11 comments.

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