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Parmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes

You may have noticed that the number of vegetable sides are somewhat lacking on this site. I don’t know why, honestly. I like veggies. Really, I do. But it seems like when I’m browsing through Pinterest, most of the veggie sides I see are either a) complicated and time consuming, b) really unhealthy, or c) terrible sounding. A lot of the time when I’m making a meal, I focus on either the main dish or the dessert, and saute up some kale or brussels sprouts and call it a day. Or I’ll make a dish like pasta where the veggies are all rolled into the main dish and not even bother with sides.

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes

What you may especially notice if you browse through my Veggies and Sides section is that there are almost no potato dishes. Two in the past year and a half, to be exact. It’s not my go-to vegetable on account of all the starchiness and carb-iness with fewer of the health benefits that my green veggie friends have. My family loves potatoes and I grew up having them with many meals, but I just don’t typically gravitate there.

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes finished

I do love potatoes, though, when they’re done well. And these are. They’re also super easy. One of the things I dislike about a lot of potato dishes is the multiple steps they require—chopping, boiling, frying, mashing. As we’ve already established, I’m lazy. But the steps were pretty quick for this recipe, and I was able to throw together a fast, delicious side to go with some awesome grilled salmon.

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes finished2

The original recipe actually calls for fresh parsley, which I didn’t have on-hand. I swapped in fresh rosemary instead, which was perfect with the potatoes. The parmesan made such a tasty, golden crust on them that I can see making these over and over. They were even good as leftovers a few days later! [Read more…]

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One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes

Like 98% of the Pinterest-verse, I’d seen and pinned the ubiquitous “one-pot pasta” recipe where you put dry spaghetti, tomatoes, onions, and garlic into a cold pot of water and cook it all together. I thought it sounded like a great idea and planned to try it at some point, until the ever-reliable Smitten Kitchen posted about how she’d tried it but the pasta had turned out all soft and gummy.

One-Pot Farro

That’s when reason prevailed and I realized that what she said made total sense from a chemistry standpoint. And given my hatred of over-cooked pasta (one of our nation’s great failings), this wasn’t going to work. Instead, she submitted this recipe instead, and she never steers me wrong. It uses the exact same technique but substitutes a hardier grain—farro in this case—for the soft processed pasta. Farro is better able to stand up to this kind of cooking process.

one-pot farro tomatoes

This dish was like a harbinger of fall—while the grape tomatoes were still bursting with summer flavor, the rich, silky sauce that formed around the nutty, chewy grains was like a warm hug. I’m not ready for fall just yet, but this is working on forcing me to get there. [Read more…]

Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Salt

Last weekend my friend decided to come over for dinner kind of last-minute, to help me put my (so pretty!) new bed together later that night. I typically just order Thai food on Saturday nights, but wanted to cook dinner as a thank you. Sometimes my dinners get a little overambitious and exhausting, so he requested (and I concurred) that we should keep it simple. So I got a few salmon fillets and marinated them, and then decided to stick to a grilled theme with these beauties.

Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Salt

I’ve experimented with a number of grilled veggies, including zucchini a few times. However, this recipe has a unique element—lemon salt.

grilled zucchini with lemon salt lemon zest2

The bright, salty citrus combined with the smoky char marks on the zucchini really elevated this from average grilled zucchini to something that just felt special, while also being super easy.

Easy + fancy? I’m on board.

[Read more…]

Pasta with Garlic Spinach, Chicken, & Goat Cheese

I’ll preface this one by admitting that it’s a tad rich for my blood. Which probably puts it right in most people’s wheelhouse since I have a low tolerance for that kind of thing. But the combination of flavorful rotisserie chicken, garlicky chicken, and creamy goat cheese really packs a wallop.

Spinach Chicken Pine Nut Pasta

This is another of my infamous “kitchen sink” pastas, which have a pretty doggone good track record over the years. There seem to be some really odd but delicious combinations of random pasta-friendly ingredients sitting around my house when I’m hungry. This one, while not my favorite ever, was warm and comforting—it would have been a great winter dish. And for someone with a taste for these things, a dash of spice (like red pepper flakes or something along those lines) would add an interesting bite to the creamy richness. [Read more…]

Maple & Citrus Grilled Salmon

I’ll be honest. I was really scared to try grilling fish on my electric grill.

Don’t get me wrong, the grill has been awesome so far (it’s this Char-Broil one in case you’re wondering—I had trouble getting good recommendations). My chicken has been super moist and juicy, veggies have been great (except the grilled romaine, which we won’t speak of ever again), and my hamburgers were juicy and held together really well. But both times I’ve tried to grill steak, it’s been tough and chewy. So I was understandably scared about fish.

maple citrus salmon grilled

See, I luuurrrrve fish. Particularly more “fishy” fish (as my co-worker Lucy would say) like salmon. But dry fish? Blech. I want moist, flaky fish. I’ve tried making salmon in the oven in the past but haven’t had a ton of success getting it to the right consistency. But this grilled salmon was a REVELATION.

Maple Citrus Salmon

My mom and I made this a couple days after my surgery, so simplicity was key. I was mostly useless, and cooking in someone else’s kitchen is always hard so we wanted to keep it easy on her. I found this delicious-sounding marinade/glaze on Pinterest and, since I had all the ingredients on-hand, decided it was the perfect thing to try.

We were both so shocked by how good it was, how perfect the consistency was, and just how easy the recipe was. I was really sad that we only had two tiny fillets, because I would have DESTROYED, like, an entire salmon if it’d been available. Mmmmm, salmon. [Read more…]

Kohlrabi Two Ways—Baked Kohlrabi Fries & Sauteed Greens

Today we’ve got a weird one. Several weeks ago my CSA box had all sorts of randomness, including radishes (which I roasted but didn’t love—will have to try again) and kohlrabi. I’d never even heard of kohlrabi, that was a new one…

Kohlrabi Raw

All the pictures I’ve Googled of kohlrabi (which literally means “cabbage turnip” in German) show pale green roots (that really do look like a cabbage turnip), but mine were intensely fuschia and kind of spiky. The inside was still beige, though, and had a consistency somewhat like a parsnip or turnip. It’s a member of the cabbage family, along the lines of kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Like all of those things, it’s highly nutritious and full of awesome phytochemicals.

kohlrabi greens & stems whole

Also like many of its brethren, the entire thing is edible. The root makes fries, mash, pie, etc., while the stems and greens can be sauteed, added to soups, or used the same way you’d use turnip greens or kale. [Read more…]

Time for a change of scenery…

Well. This has been a long time coming. Somehow it’s now August, when I should have posted it back in April, but better late than never. Right??

Some of you may have noticed that I changed my blog’s subtitle—though most of you probably didn’t, because who reads blog subtitles anyway? It used to be “adventures in a tiny kitchen”, but that’s not really true any more. Because I bought a condo (that’s right, I’m a grown-up) and now have an awesome kitchen!

new kitchen

The kitchen is really what sold me on this place. New, stainless steel appliances, gas stove and oven, nicer cabinets (and lots of them). And most importantly, lots of counter space. I’d lamented my one square foot of counter space in my old apartment enough times that you know how much that means! [Read more…]

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Balsamic, & Pine Nuts

I have a confession. I’ve never really loved eggplant. I don’t hate it, but I never choose it. I find it kind of squishy and a little bitter and mostly underwhelming. I will never order eggplant parmesan, and I find baba ganoush just plain weird.

I feel like they’re going to take away my Italo-phile card…

grilled balsamic eggplant finished

The great thing about this dish is that it’s super simple, but seems fancy, like you took a lot of time with it. And anything that has goat cheese, balsamic, and pine nuts is okay by me!

grilled balsamic eggplant finished2

I won’t say that this dish totally changed my mind on eggplant or anything, but I really enjoyed it and it was cool to try preparing a new vegetable (which has been a theme lately, stay tuned for my kohlrabi efforts). [Read more…]

Barbecue Chardonnay Chicken

I’ve finally found  a way I like to consume chardonnay!

It’s no major secret that I love wine, and there are certainly ones I love more than others. But for some reason I can NOT find a chardonnay that I like. I’ve tried a bunch, and I just don’t like them. I call them chardon-NO. My mom’s not the biggest fan either, and she’d tried a bottle I had in my fridge but didn’t like it, then had the brilliant idea to use it as a marinade instead.

bbq chardonnay chicken finished

We threw this recipe together a couple days after my surgery, so simple was the key word. It was actually meant to be grilled, but all the recent rain had tripped some kind of ground wire and my outdoor outlet didn’t work, so we cooked it on the stove instead. Always have a backup plan.

What was surprising was how unique the flavors were! I mean, barbecue is always good, and Sweet Baby Ray’s is the best. But you could really taste the chardonnay in there, and it added a really special flavor to the barbecue sauce—sweet without being cloying, and with that oaky depth (almost a little bite) that I don’t like in wine but somehow I really loved in chicken. Plus the sage fried up into little awesome crispy bits. [Read more…]

Grilled Balsamic Chicken…on my own grill!

I’ve wanted a grill for as long as I’ve lived alone. In my head, a grill was all that stood between me and these awesome meaty dinners every night of the week. Now, I can privately admit that that’s not entirely the truth—let’s not pretend I’d actually make dinner after a 12-hour day. But, I WOULD cook meat way more often, and it would open up a whole new world of culinary possibilities. Plus, who doesn’t love that freshly-grilled flavor?!

grilled balsamic chicken finished

However, my apartment complex would never let me have a grill, and my new condo complex is the same. But there’s this nice patio just begging for a grill! What’s a girl to do? Well, I did some digging, and apparently electric grills are a thing—not a very well-known thing, but a thing nonetheless. I knew I didn’t want to go the oversize George Foreman route. I found a few that got good reviews, and lucked out at Target a couple weeks ago and found a great CharBroil one on sale. This recipe was its maiden voyage.

grilled balsamic chicken full plate

Isn’t that an amazing plate of food?! Look at me, making dinner on a work night like a grown-up BOSS.

grill patio

Ain’t she gorgeous?! Putting it together wasn’t super fun, but totally worth it.

My patio, on the other hand, looks a little rough since my dad and I pulled up the tile a couple weeks ago… [Read more…]

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