Friday, February 25, 2011
These two recipes come from the America's Test Kitchen. Let me say, I absolutely love their recipes, TV show, and magazines! For my birthday, I bought myself "The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011" cookbook and I really really love reading this because it gives detailed instructions on what to do or what NOT to do when preparing each dish. It also gives helpful tips on kitchen equipment, advises on the best ingredients to use, and offers lots of great techniques for cooking in the kitchen.
1 lb carrots, peeled
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
2 TBSP toasted almonds
Cut carrots halfway in length and cut diagonally into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Bring the carrots, broth and 1/4 tsp salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes.
Uncover, increase the heat to high, and simmer rapidly until the liquid measures about 2 tablespoons, 2 minutes. Stir in the honey and butter and continue to cook, stirring often, until the carrots are completely tender and the sauce has reduced to a light golden glaze, about 2 more minutes.
Remove carrots from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the almonds. Enjoy!
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb frozen baby peas
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1 TBSP unsalted butter
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and 1/8 tsp salt and cook until softened, about 2 min. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 min.
Stir in the peas, broth and sugar. Cover and cook until the peas are just heated through, 5 minutes, stirring.
Stir in the mint and butter until incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
**A note from the test kitchen: Stick with frozen peas because they not only taste better than fresh, but they also are a lot more convenient. In test after test, they found the frozen ones to be more tender and sweet versus the starchy and bland tasting fresh peas.
*A note from me: I didn't have any fresh mint so I admitted that from this dish last night & it was still delicious!
To be honest, carrots and green peas are my least favorite veggies. So, I was really surprised with how much better these veggies tasted than if I had just steamed them in water. A little chicken broth and a couple of extra ingredients really does make a huge difference!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Both of these hash recipes come from Southern Living. Every Christmas my Mom gives me a subscription to this magazine and I usually find at least one new recipe each month that we really enjoy.
This first one is a great "twist" on roasted sweet potatoes. I made a few slight adjustments for our family's preference. I'm sure this was published in a fall edition, but we had it two nights ago and it got lots of raves from the girlies, Daddy and our fun guest, Mr. Carson.
Savory Sweet Potato Hash
4 bacon slices
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 medium sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & cubed
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground allspice (similar to nutmeg)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 400. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
Saute the bacon in a nonstick skillet for 4 minutes, or until brown. Add the onion and saute 4 minutes.
Stir in the sweet potatoes and saute 6 minutes. Stir in apples, broth, thyme, and allspice and saute 5 minutes. Remove bacon from saute pan and cut into crumbles.
Spoon bacon into the sweet potato mix and pour into a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil (to prevent a messy pan). Roast for 40 minutes.
Sprinkle with the pecans and parsley. (I forgot to do this last night & it was still delicious!) Serve with chicken or pork and a spinach salad.
Asparagus - New Potato Hash
1 lb small red potatoes - about 6
1 lb fresh asparagus - I used 1 1/2 lbs
2 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme - I had dried so that's what I used
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled farmer's cheese - white cheese
Cover potatoes with salted water and bring to a boil in a pot over medium-high heat. Cook 15-20 minutes or just until tender; drain well. Cool and cut into quarters.
Snap off and discard tough ends of the asparagus. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Steam for 15 minutes.
Saute shallots in hot oil in a large non-stick skillet for 2 minutes. Add asparagus, thyme, salt, pepper and lemon juice; saute 4 minutes. Add potatoes and saute 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese.
**If you prefer asparagus to be crisper, then omit the steaming process. In our house, we like it a little more tender so that's why I added in the steaming of the asparagus. As for the cheese, use goat cheese or any type of white cheese, if you can't find farmer's cheese.
So, if you too are tired of eating plain 'ol steamed asparagus or green beans, then please, spare your family and try one of these great sides on your dinner plates this week! Your family will thank you!
And our favorite sweet ending to these yummy sides....
Check out the calories in these goodies! I'm so glad they are only around for just a few short weeks. I'll definitely be hitting up the gym tomorrow!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
We had a fun trip to the zoo and have enjoyed several parks in our little community. We have eaten our lunches on the back deck, our snacks at the neighborhood park and one night we even had our dessert outside. My husband got a little fire pit for Christmas from his favorite nephew and we decided to finally put it to work.
We are excited to report that we will also be enjoying this spring time weather in our front yard because the crazy massive ramp is now gone! Wahoo! Doug is making such amazing progress that he no longer needs to be in a wheelchair and therefore doesn't need the ramp out front anymore. We are praising God for His healing and care!
We really enjoyed celebrating Valentine's Day this year with the curly girlies!
8 oz bottle Italian dressing
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Romano and Parmesan cheese
1 jar of your fav spaghetti sauce
1 box pasta of choice
Preheat oven to 400. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic salt and grated Parmesan cheese together. Dredge the dressing soaked chicken in the breadcrumb mix on both sides and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and cooking spray. Cover the top side of the chicken with 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.
Bake chicken for 20 minutes. Flip chicken over, top with the additional 1/2 cup shredded cheese, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Here in our House of Curls, we LOVE to celebrate Valentine’s Day! We've been talking to our girlies about how much Jesus loves them and how it is His love that spurs us on to love each other. We daily converse about how we can show love in our own family by speaking kind words, helping each other, and obeying Mommy and Daddy.
Last year for Valentine’s, we made these cute little mailboxes for each other.
For our sweet friends, we have been busy stamping, taping, and crafting away. My Mom gave me a Cricut machine for Christmas and we have been putting it to good use these past two weeks.