Category Archives: Yummies

Roasted Radishes and Halloween Fun

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Little O had a pumpkin-shaped sandwich with chocolate chip jack-o-lantern face for lunch (when she ate all the chocolate chips she said “I want more chocate pwease!” and I said, “No, dear, you’ll get quite enough tonight!”), decorated a pumpkin with Halloween stickers, and will have a sweet bell pepper carved to look like a jack-o-lantern filled with spaghetti before trick or treating tonight! It has been a very festive day πŸ™‚ I just hope she can calm down enough to nap!! Yesterday, we carved our free pumpkin that we got from the market a few weeks ago. Little O and her daddy had LOTS of fun πŸ™‚ I’m planning to cut up the pumpkin the day after Halloween and use it to make pumpkin puree. I didn’t know you could do that, but I’ve found a website (junk mail gems) that really gets full use out of everything she buys! I think it’ll make a yummy pumpkin pie and a few other pumpkin treats during November!

I caught her eating some of the pumpkin….gross, right?! Also, don’t mind her insanely wet shirt. She has had some bad drooling and runny nose so we think she’s cutting ANOTHER 2 year molar. I swear this girl has been cutting teeth nonstop since 3 1/2 months. How many teeth can one little girl have?!?!?!?

It’s a winking hillbilly pumpkin πŸ™‚ And Little O didn’t want to pose, she just wanted to look inside!

On another note, I tried an unconventional recipe for radishes this past weekend and thought they were DELICIOUS, so I thought I’d share. After my beets fail, I was slightly worried about doing this, but they really turned out quite yummy as a side dish. Also, they will go very well with the skirt steak and bok choy stir fry. It’s SUCH a simple recipe! Preheat the oven to 425. Wash radishes and cut up into cubes. Then toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper (Is it me or do a LOT of the recipes I post on here start this way…?!). Roast for about 25 minutes or until radishes are beginning to brown. Then toss with 1-2 tbsp soy sauce and a few sesame seeds. Roast another 5 minutes and VOILA! I don’t have a picture for you because it was a little crazy in the O house Saturday night. Dr O and I were each trying to cook in our small kitchen and Little O had boycotted her nap that afternoon so she was QUITE the handful. I also realize that there probably aren’t very many of you rushing out to buy radishes and try this recipe BUT if you happen to be a part of a CSA and get some radishes in your next share, give this recipe a try!

As a sidenote, I’m proud to say that we are just a few days away from picking up our second CSA share and have yet to waste a single thing from our first share! And everything has been delicious (except the yucky grated sauteed beets)! I can’t wait until Thursday gets here so I can see what deliciousness we’ll be getting πŸ™‚

Mrs O

 

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Skirt Steak and Bok Choy Stir Fry

I got this recipe from the beloved Martha Stewart πŸ™‚ I mean, she’s a little off her rocker, but the woman can cook and decorate…and plant flowers…she’s got a lot of talents. Anyway, this dish was YUMMMMMMMMMMMY! Here’s your line up

1 lb. skirt steak (cut into 1/2-3/4 inch wide strips)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp peanut butter

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

salt and pepper

1 large head bok choy (cut into inch wide pieces…it’s going to cook down A LOT)

carrots (as little or as many as you like, cut into inch long halves or quarters)

chopped peanuts

cooked rice (I use our rice cooker to make brown rice)

First head the olive oil on medium high. Meanwhile, toss the steak, cornstarch, and salt and pepper to taste in a baggie and shake. Get the steak nice and evenly coated. Then cook the steak in the oil until it is browned (just a few minutes). While that’s cooking, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, peanut butter, and garlic. Once the steak is browned, set it aside and mix sauce into the oil. Put the sauce into the olive oil on medium heat and mix on heat until peanut butter dissolves. Then add bok choy and carrots. Cover for 5 minutes (stirring a couple times). Then add steak back in and cook (uncovered) for another 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts for a nice crunch πŸ™‚

This is the yummiest stir fry and the bok choy had a great flavor! It smells SOOOOOO delicious while cooking. I hope you’ll try it soon!Mrs O

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Simple, Fun Ghost Pretzels and Beets Fail

I promised I’d tell you about my great creations…and my not so great ones fails. I made sauteed, grated beets last night…FAIL. :/ I got the recipe from a Garden Fresh cookbook and thought, “Eh, I’ll give it a try.” Maybe I shouldn’t have! I grated the beets (which stained my hands-EWW! For any Office fans out there, I felt like Dwight in the episode where he tries to buy that wizard from the fancy store at the mall, but they don’t letΒ  him in because he had beet-stained hands and it looked like blood…), then sauteed them in melted butter and a bit of orange juice for about 10 minutes. Dr O’s statement concerning the beets, “These taste like the earth.” I took one bite and that was enough…amazing he ate ALL of his even though they were in no way yummy AT ALL. 😦 I guess I’ll try a different recipe next time. Dr O found one online for beet apple soup–maybe it’ll be less “earthy.” The main course last night was a very, very yummy and simple skirt steak and bok choy stir fry (which I’ll post about within the next couple of days) so the whole dinner wasn’t a fail…(that’s my glass half-full side :))

Now, on to my sweet pretzel ghost treats. I saw these on (da, da, da, daaaaaaaaa…) Pinterest. Of course. I really like making treats for Little O’s teachers about once a month and I usually do it towards the end of the month. They are the sweetest women and Little O ADORES them. I can tell that they adore her as well and any person that chooses to spend 4 mornings a week with a room full of toddlers is someone that deserves a treat every now and then! I’ve given them candy-filled jars, Fall mix (chex, m&ms, reese’s pieces, pretzels, cheez-its, candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins), and now ghost treats. These were so simple and would be fun to do for and with kids (Little O had the extras for snack and proclaimed them “Alicious [delicious]!”). All you need is white bakers chocolate (I used 12 squares), pretzel rods, and mini chocolate chips.

First, melt your chocolate until it’s nice and smooth πŸ™‚

Mmmmmm….

Then dip the rods into the chocolate (I did it as far as I could, but obviously couldn’t get the whole…or even the majority…of the rod in there). Lay them on wax paper and while the chocolate is still in liquid form place 2 eyes and a mouth near the top to create the ghosts’ face (with the chocolate chips).

You’ll end up with all these….

Isn’t that easy?!? Let them set at room temperature or put them in the freezer if your antsy to eat one soon!

I grabbed some cellophane treat bags that I had leftover from…something…and placed 6 in each bag (she has 3 teachers). I still had 5 or 6 left so this made plenty of them! Almost the whole bag of rods!!! Then I secured the end with a twisty tie and tied some ribbon around that. I wanted to make my own tags, but it was getting close to time for Little O to wake up from her nap and I wanted to be finished with these treats, so I cheated and printed some from the internet (I just googled “free printable halloween circle tags”..there were PLENTY of choices).

I cut them out with decorative scissors, punched a hole in the side, tied it onto the ribbon and TA DA!

Aren’t those fun?!?!?!?!? They were cheap, simple, but they are super cute and ALICIOUS πŸ™‚

I hope you can have fun making some of these with someone special this weekend in honor of Halloween!!!

Mrs O

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Our tomatoes from our share were getting pretty ripe and it was time to do something with them or lose them….I’m not a fan of wasting money, so I had to suck it up and make some spaghetti sauce. I was also able to use an onion from our share and some fresh basil that I had in the fridge πŸ™‚ I found a cooks.com recipe (and made a few adjustments to it) that made a nice, light sauce that I think will work well for us. I used about 2 lbs of tomatoes. Here’s the rundown of your ingredients:

2 lbs. tomatoes (peeled, cored, quartered)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cp. water

6 oz. tomato paste

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp beef bouillon granules

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

4-5 crushed basil leaves

1/8 tsp pepper

First, I heated up the olive oil in a saucepan (on high heat) and chopped up the onion (this literally made me bawl…Little O was asking Dr O “Why Mommy cwying [that’s how she pronounces it…I thought you needed the real effect of her language skills]?!”) and minced the garlic in my awesome garlic mincer.

I added the onion and garlic to the oil and cooked them both through–until the onions were translucent. Then I added the rest of the ingredients, mixed it up well, and continued to cook on high until boiling (this didn’t take long, maybe 5-10 minutes).

I turned the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Then I put it all in the food processor (this is, obviously, an optional step, but the texture of tomatoes is just not one that I can eat so I can’t even have chunks of tomato in my sauce) to make it nice and smooth. Dr O and I both taste tested and thought it was pretty yummy and light–just like the O family likes it πŸ™‚ Then I canned it. As you can see, I have a large glass container and about 1/3 of a small glass container. This should last us for quite a while since we like to go light on the sauce!

We’re thinking we won’t get any more tomatoes in our shares since it is getting further into the Fall weather, but if we do…I’ll probably just make more of this sauce to last us through winter πŸ™‚

Mrs O

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Simple, Delicious Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of those delicious things that a lot of people don’t usually eat (not to mention it’s not an expensive vegetable to have!) I have a friend that made a chicken casserole with it as well as a bisque. I haven’t tried either recipe yet, but we have had it as a side dish and it is delicious and simple (as stated in the title of this post)! The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the squash. I originally cut off the ends then cut off the skin, but the last time I did it I just used my veggie peeler and that worked (although it was not as quite easy as peeling a carrot)-so you can choose to do it either way, but make sure you have bright orange squash once you’re done getting the skin off.

Then cut it into cubes, throw some oil, salt, and pepper and mix it all together. Then roast it on 400 for about 25 minutes or so. It is delicious πŸ™‚

Mmmmm πŸ™‚

I also read that some people put syrup or honey on it, but I think it’s delicious just with some salt and pepper! Give it a try! I bought one butternut squash for $3 and it made 8 servings (so 4 meals in the O house because Little O still refuses to try it–even though she ate it as a baby and loved it. I continue to put a couple cubes on her plate, but she ain’t havin’ it yet….give her time though!). It freezes well cut into cubes and if you buy one and don’t use it for a while, it will keep for quite a long time (Dr O said a couple months.).

Mrs O

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The best broccoli of your life (seriously)!

Let me start by saying this is the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for broccoli, but the O fam loved it SO much that I absolutely had to share it with you. As you know from a previous post, we joined a CSA for the fall and early winter. I know broccoli is a winter vegetable since it thrives in freezing temperatures and I wanted to do more with it than steam and salt it. So, I found this recipe on none other than …. you guessed it-Pinterest-and had to try it with some delicious fresh broccoli from the local farmer’s market last week. It definitely didn’t disappoint (as you can see from the title). I only bought a small head of broccoli and Dr O and I were both itching for more, so I would suggest buying more than you think you’ll want because this broccoli is about to ROCK YOUR WORLD πŸ™‚

Here’s the ingredients line up

broccoli

garlic

parmesan

olive oil (or canola/vegetable oil)

lemon

salt

pepper

If you wash your broccoli, get it really, really dry before beginning the prep for this amazing side dish. This way it will develop a crisp outside that will blow your mind πŸ™‚ Then cut it into florets

*Whew* Look at that gorgeous piece of local agriculture! (Go ahead and judge me, I’m being a total nerd right now!) Then line a cookie sheet with foil and drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil on it. You can just eyeball it. If you think you need more because you’re cooking a lot of broccoli, then add more! Throw some salt and pepper on there and begin mixing. Make sure the broccoli is pretty evenly coated with oil so you develop the crispness that makes this dish A-freaking-MAZING. Mince or slice some peeled garlic and add it. I think I added one clove for the one head of broccoli I had, so if I had more than one head I would use an extra clove per head.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until you see some browning on the tops of the florets. When you bring it out of the oven, top with parmesan, lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Mix it up really well and serve! The Barefoot Contessa also adds pine nuts and basil. I have some fresh basil from the market this week and am trying to find pine nuts, so I’ll update if we have this broccoli with the added ingredients, but know that it is delicious without pine nuts and basil.

Dr O and I were both really upset when we had eaten all of it and I continued to talk about how good it was late into the night πŸ™‚ (Yeah, we talk about food a lot in our house…especially after a yummy dinner). So, give this broccoli a try and better yet, go grab some from your local farmer’s market since it will be in season for quite a while!

Mrs O

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Spinach Chicken Ricotta Roll Ups (or classy lasagna)

Confession: This dish does take some serious prep time, BUT in our house, it makes 2 nights of dinner and it’s pretty delicious.

Here’s the ingredient line up

Mozzarella Cheese (maybe a cup or so)

egg

parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)

spaghetti sauce (just a few tablespoons)

chicken breasts (I use 2)

low fat or fat free ricotta cheese (15 oz)

lasagna noodles (I used 10 for 2 meals)

spinach (as much or as little as you like. I use about 1/2 cup wilted)

garlic (a couple cloves)

italian seasoning (a tablespoon)

First things first, get those noodles boiling. Then begin to slice the chicken into small strips and saute. I used canola spray to coat the pan and cooked it on medium until juices ran clear. Once it’s cooked, cut it up into very small diced pieces. Once that’s done, place the chicken in a mixing bowl and chop up your spinach finely. The original recipe I saw for these called for frozen spinach, but let’s be honest with one another: Frozen spinach is narsty….not just nasty, but narsty. I hate the taste of it. I *love* fresh spinach and wilting it for a dish. Sure, it’s on the dirty dozen list, but, I honestly don’t care. The flavor of fresh spinach kicks the flavor of frozen spinach’s butt every time. Hands down. (and Mrs O exits the soapbox)

Then using the same pan, I sprayed it with canola spray again, wilt your spinach. I also toss a clove of minced garlic in when wilting spinach for some added flavor.

*~Sidenote~* My mom gave me this garlic mincing wheel that she got from Williams and Sonoma and it is AWESOME. It is so much cheaper to buy whole garlic, unpeel it when I need it, and just run it through this baby

And I get this

Alright, back to the classy lasagna…Put the wilted spinach in the mixing bowl with your chicken. Also, check on those noodles-if they’re done go ahead and drain them. They have to be nice and dry before we can roll them up. In the mixing bowl, add italian seasoning (about 1 tbsp), ricotta cheese (a 15oz container), another clove or two of minced garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and beaten egg. Mix all these together very, very well.

Mmmmmm…get in my belly!

Now that your lasagna noodles are pretty dry, lay them out on parchment paper or foil on the counter

Plop (yes, plop is a very professional kitchen word.) a few tablespoons on each noodle and spread to make a very thin layer of the mixture.

Then roll them up!

Dr O and I each usually eat two rolls and Little O eats one, so this recipe makes two meals for our house. Therefore, I freeze 5 of the rolls to make an easier dinner later in the month. I just put them in sandwich baggies (then all I have to do is thaw them, and follow the steps below)…so KEEP READING! πŸ™‚

Now, I’ve told you about the spaghetti sauce feelings of the O fam before. If you like a lot of sauce, then you can sauce the dish and these babies right up! But, alas, the O fam doesn’t like a lot of sauce, so I put a very, very thin layer of sauce in a baking dish pie plate (I know it’s weird, but it was the perfect size!) Then I place the rolls in the plate. Top them with a bit of sauce and some mozzarella cheese

They bake on 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes (until the cheese is nice and melted). Now, you should know that I usually do messy, intense dinner prep during Little O’s naptime, so I covered these and put them in the fridge until dinnertime. Then (naughty Mrs O)..I forgot to snap a shot of the cooked product 😦 What a failure I’m turning out to be! Geez, you must be really disappointed :/ But here are a couple up close shots of uncooked rolls πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

Mrs O

PS- Tomorrow I have some fun (and inexpensive–is it me or does “inexpensive” just sound classier than “cheap”?) specimen Halloween art to show you!

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