Tag Archives: roasted vegetables

Easy cheesy potatoes

I hope you guys have had an amazing weekend. Like me, you should be sitting back, relaxing, patting yourself on the back for getting those few pesky chores done and smiling on all the fun you just had. Because like me, you just had the perfect summer weekend. That totally happened for you too, right?

This gal got to go to Duluth and see her indomitable brother not only complete Grandma’s Marathon, but do it with a smile on his face. In a word. Amazing. Oh and one more. Inspiring.
It was great to see him and our friends push themselves past their limits. Also super fun was cheering on all those runners, friends or not.

Grandmas Marathon-1

Then today on a foray for breakfast, we met a couple of amazing small farmers, selling produce fresh from their greenhouse. They had everything we were looking to do (albeit on a much larger scale). They were certainly the nicest couple, and willing to share some pointers and fantastic produce. Brekkie was quickly followed by a nap in the hammock and now I’m re-energized for more.

Now, fill in the gap in time (and space) between those two paragraphs and fill it with talking, laughter, and foodie love. Yeah that was my very perfect weekend. And now to top it off with the easiest side dish in all the lands. Now keep in mind, I live in the frozen tundra so even in June, it’s no big to have my oven on for 30, but if you live in warmer climes, pop these into a well oiled foil packet and toss ‘em on your grill. Easy, cheesy, comfort food, and the simplest side dish imaginable.

Enjoy!

Easy cheesy potatoes from thePenandthePan

Easy cheesy potatoes

2 lbs potatoes
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
¾ – 1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Clean, trim, and peel potatoes (if desired). Slice potatoes into ¼ inch pieces and place in 9×13” pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Top with onions and green pepper. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and potatoes are pierced easily with a fork.

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Smashed potatoes from Closet Cooking

You know what’s amazing and awesome and about to happen to this very gal?! Getting to see your favorite band, in your favorite venue, with your favorite sibling! I’ll be real honest here, I can’t focus on a whole lot else right now. Tomorrow immediately after work, I’m hopping in the car for a solo camera venture across the state, landing in Minneapolis just in time for dinner with friends and then a night full of ROCK! All that excitement to be followed on Saturday by lunching with some favorite ladies, a little retail therapy, and another scenic route home. Just me, visits with rad people, and exactly zero pressure.

It did cross my mind to stay for a second day, but on the way into work this week, I looked around at all the peeps coming to vacation in this town, and I thought, “Huh, do I really want to miss out on a fine weekend afternoon in what will surely be the shortest of summers?” The answer was an emphatic no. That coupled with the fact that the ever talented Himself is willing to work on my car on Sunday, and it’s a def no-brainer, not a single moment wasted away from my north woods paradise.

That said, I’m crazy excited to go, and have exactly zero interest in planning elaborate meals this week. So, because I’m a grown up, it’s appetizers for dinner! Boom! Cause I can. I love this recipe because you can fancy it up for your friends, or do what I did and use leftover bits and pieces languishing in my sad fridge. Intentional ingredients, happy accidents with leftovers, either way, these little bites are so yummy. Think a potato skin with more potato and less grease and guilt.

I’ve copied over the original recipe from Closet Cooking in case you’re ready to wow your friends, but if you just want a little comfort snack, you’ll get the gist of it and adapt away.

Enjoy!

Smashed potatoes from thePenandthePan

Smashed potatoes from Closet Cooking

1 pound new potatoes (about 1-1 1/2 inches across), washed
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 strips bacon (optional)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
2 green onions, sliced

Bring the potatoes and enough water to cover them by an inch to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until a fork can easily be pushed into them, about 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes, before draining them.

Place the potatoes on a greased baking sheet and ‘smash’ them by pressing down on them with something like a potato masher, the bottom of a glass or bowl, etc.

Brush the potatoes with oil, season with salt and pepper and bake them on the top shelf of a preheated 450F oven until golden brown and crispy on top, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook and crumble the bacon.

Sprinkle the cheddar onto the potatoes and optionally broil for a minute to melt the cheese.

Top with the sour cream, bacon and green onions and enjoy as a side or as an appetizer!

Option: You can cook and smash the potatoes a day ahead of time.

Greek green beans

Four glorious days off in a row! I love my jobs, but this dose of “idleness” and sunshine is just what I needed.Note the “idleness” in quotes. You know me, days off of work just means that I’ll find a different way to fill that time. Friday was filled with spring cleaning and today is full of cooking and delicious recipe ideas. Then sandwiched in between was a great visit from my brother and an awesome Easter dinner with g’ma and g’pa.

Today is one of those days I yearn for in the middle of a stressful week. It’s gray and a little chill out, but that just means puttering around in the kitchen with a giant mug of tea is the perfect way to spend the day. I get to fill my house with delicious smells (and tastes, of course), all the while not feeling guilty about being indoors. After all, testing recipes and prepping amazing things for this week’s lunch is awfully important too. Well, that and shopping for purses on the interwebs, I mean, this girl’s gotta accessorize too.

These delicious green beans might have been my favorite part of the aforementioned Easter dinner. The crunch of green beans with the fresh herbs and bite of lemon just gets up and yells “SPRING!” to me. Nope, not a subtle flavor here. These beans crawl right up in your face. And the only thing that’s going to make them any tastier is when the beans, mint, and dill are fresh picked from my garden. This is sure to be my (and yours too!) go-to green bean recipe this summer.

Enjoy!

Greek green beans

Greek green beans

Lightly adapted from Bon Appetit

1 ½ lbs green beans, cleaned and trimmed
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh mint leaves
1 ½ tablespoons chopped, fresh dill
zest and juice of one lemon, less if desired
½ cup feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place into a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Sweet potato, olive, and spinach pizza

Soooooo, lovely invisible interweb friends, here it is another Thursday. With the best of intentions I set goals, oh way back when, that had me posting on Wednesdays and Saturdays. But these days, by the time I get settled in for the week at both jobs, I look around and here it is Wednesday, and all the creative energy? Well, it’s left the building. So Thursdays, you want to get a little creative together? Yeah, me too. You and me Thursday, let’s make a pact to come visit all our invisible interweb friends together. K?

Whew, now that’s out of the way, I can feel a little less like I’m playing catch-up. Which is good, cause I feel like we’ve been catching up from being in this cities this weekend too. We had a wonderful, amazing, super fun whirlwind trip getting to see family and friends. And came away laden with the raddest of gifts. All in some way related to food. There were fantastic wine coasters from my BFF; homemade beer and Penzey’s spices from my brother; cookbooks from my mother-in-law; muffaletta from my father-in-law, and sourdough starter (!!!), green tomato relish, salsa, and pear sauce from Himself’s woodworking buddy just to name a few. Unrelated to food, but also AMAZING, is a poster that my brother got me – all of the words in all of Emily Dickinson’s poems used to create a gorgeous image and a beautiful necklace from my sister-in-law. All that, plus foodie dinners and sushi, and a trip to the co-op to visit friends and stock up on vanilla pods and smoked salt, and all in just two days.

I’m feeling awfully rich in friends and family after all that. But once we got back, someone asked Himself, “So when did it feel like you were headed home? Saturday afternoon on the way to Minneapolis, or Monday afternoon headed back up north?” The answer for both of us was unmistakably when headed north. In fact, right now I am relishing the quiet (and that homemade beer!), taking a moment to breathe before another fun-filled weekend.

Fun-filled weekends are the inspiration for this pizza. Ok, actually a recovery from a fun-filled weekend. Looking in my fridge, I realized that those items I had bought with the best of intentions last week were getting a little close to the use it or lose it stag. And from necessity, amazing deliciousness is born! Ok, I can just imagine my father-in-law’s face as he reads the recipe, but I promise you Peter, and you too, invisible internet friends, something magical happens between the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, the salty goodness of the olives, the tang of the blue cheese, and the warmth of the spinach. In fact, I love the combination so much, it’s going in tonight’s dinner of falafel and sweet potatoes on a bed of spinach, drizzled with olive dressing. Are you drooling, cause I am! Just five more minutes until that falafel is done a-baking.

K, enough with the chitter-chatter, let’s eat already. You go make this pizza, whilst I make a salad out of my leftover sweet potatoes.

Enjoy!

Sweet potato, olive, and spinach pizza

Sweet potato and olive pizza

Per individual pizza:
Pizza dough
Scant 1/2 cup roasted sweet potatoes (see directions)
1/2 cup pizza cheese
2 tablespoons chopped olives
Small handful torn spinach
Sprinkle of blue cheese

To roast the potatoes:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Peel potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss potatoes to coat. Roast 30 minutes.

For the pizza:
Stretch favorite dough recipe (of course, by that I mean mine) into oblong shape on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with pizza cheese. Top with sweet potatoes, olives, spinach, and blue cheese. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.

Roasted dijon vegetables with andouille sausage

Did you miss me chickadees? This gal couldn’t even get out of bed over the entire weekend, let alone create a blog post. I had that rotten, body aches, sore throat, raspy cough, fever and chills, terrible thing that’s been going around up here. So it was just me, endless tissues, all the blankets, and terrible dance shows on Netflix alternated with episodes of Private Practice. That and fever dreams of Taye Diggs shirtless in a tutu. What can I say, this gal was sick.

And now, on the mend, and significantly less zombie-like, all I crave is fresh vegetables. This morning, stopping downtown, I found myself daydreaming of the farmers’ market and the gorgeous recipes that would spring to mind simply with a short walk down those bounteous aisles.

While we have great grocery stores up here, you know as well as I do, that produce is a little dull these days. Winter vegetables have had their moment, and the fabulous tastes of spring greens, peas, and radishes have yet to join my table. It’s just a matter of time my friends, yesterday I ventured outside in just a sweater! And while I surely can’t plant anything yet, I can plant my behind in the greenhouse. In fact, I have every hope that Himself will see fit to set up the greenhouse tonight, so I can spend the early evenings basking in the sun’s warmth.

While I bask away, grab what veggies are looking best, and toss them together in this easy recipe. Feel free to substitute whatever catches your fancy, but stick with the potatoes as a base. The last of your winter parsnips would be a great change if you’re not feeling particularly carrot-y. But you’re going to want to gobble this up with some crusty bread. The roasted sweet of the veggies is perfectly set off by the tang of the Dijon and the slight spice of the andouille. Yum!

Enjoy!

Roasted dijon vegetables and andouille sausage

Roasted dijon vegetables and andouille sausage

Adapted from Taste of Home’s Roasted Kielbasa & Vegetables

5 to 6 peeled potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch slices
¾ cup baby carrots, roughly chopped
½ red onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, cut into slices
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons hickory or bbq seasoning
Salt and pepper
10 oz smoked andouille sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1 small yellow squash, roughly chopped
1 cup corn
1 cup asparagus, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic with the olive oil. Sprinkle with hickory seasoning, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from oven and evenly distribute andouille, squash, corn, and asparagus over the potato mixture. Return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and toss mixture with Dijon mustard. Serve immediately.

Roasted vegetable salad with lemon and parm

You guys! I just can’t get enough citrus lately. Himself and I are in absolutely zero danger of scurvy. These bright, tart flavors are making their way into every last bite I consume. In addition to lemon in my soup, lemon in my pasta, and these here lemony vegetables, I treat myself to a tasty little clementine every day. And tasty, tasty orange zest even snuck its way into the bread pudding I made to share with you next week. It’s a little bit of bright in the midst of a lot of cold.

But this little Pollyanna isn’t going to let a spot of cold get her down. Oh no, it’s a little too rotten outside for travel today, so someone’s going to indulge herself with some crafts and craft beers.

A couple of times in the past two weeks, Himself and I have carpooled into town. But since I get off work much earlier than he does, I had some time to kill. Um, I think we all know that the best way to kill time is with retail therapy, so for me, it’s been a little crafty retail therapy. That means that me and those little indulgences are totally going to be BFF today. Because what else do you do with a snow day? Oh, besides make this roasted vegetable recipe, that is.

I heart roasted vegetables in every form, but this salad is just so perfect. There’s still a lot of bite to the veggies, and the lemon brightens and heightens the deliciousness of the veggies, and pairs with the olive oil to make a perfectly mouth pleasing dressing. I made a big ol batch of this salad to have on hand for lunches during the week. It’s crazy easy to toss a bit in some tupperware and go. Don’t be tempted to reheat the veggies, instead just let the salad come to room temperature. You don’t want soggy veg, but a toothy, tasty salad.

Enjoy!

Roasted vegetable salad with lemon and parm

Roasted vegetable salad with lemon and parmesan

½ cup baby carrots, roughly chopped
small yellow squash, roughly chopped
⅓ of a red onion, roughly chopped
Handful of asparagus spears, roughly chopped
Handful of portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
Handful of cherry tomatoes, left whole
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss vegetables with olive oil and place in roasting pan. Roast vegetables for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Squeeze lemon juice over vegetables and toss with parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature.

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