Ultra Easy Roasted Fall Vegetables

If you’re looking for a simple side dish for your favorite fall recipes, here it is. I whipped this up the other week for a family dinner with the future in-laws (and as you know, in-laws = scary = must impress them to earn their trust) and it was received with glowing reviews, so I think we can all agree this one is a keeper. And as I mentioned, simple. This dish is so easy it’s ridiculous. You just chop up onions, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash (or if you hate chopping uncooked squash as I do, buy it pre-peeled and chopped, I won’t tell). Roast it for a while in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. Mix in some melty cheese and more fresh herbs at the very end. Done and done.

Did I mention you could also bring this to Thanksgiving as an alternative to the overdone sweet potato pies and green bean casseroles we see every year? Your dinner table will thank you.

Ultra Easy Roasted Fall Vegetables

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Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Brussels Sprout Frittata vertical

Easy Like Sunday Morning: My Favorite Frittata

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Brussels Sprout Frittata vertical

So, I’m in a book club. But as any good book club going individual will tell you, these gatherings are really 90% focused on eating and boozing, 10% focused on actual literary discussion. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love to read and I’m really glad I have friends who share my delight in devouring and analyzing a good book. But I’m under no illusion about our priorities here.

This frittata was my contribution – I knew we’d have plenty of festive Sunday Funday drinks plus some indulgent brunch sliders, banana bread, pie, etc. so I figured I’d even things out with some eggs and vegetables. This frittata has absolutely nothing bad for you in it, and besides caramelizing the onions, the whole thing takes about 10 minutes to throw together and another 10 minutes to bake.

Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, & Brussels Sprouts Frittata

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Roasted Vegetable Pappardelle

Roasted Fall Vegetable Superfood Pesto Pasta

Roasted Vegetable Pappardelle

When I cook pasta at home, I want to make it count. Only high quality noodles, toppings and sauce full of delicious flavors and textures, and obviously we’re going to need plenty of cheese.

I don’t normally like to buy ready-made stuff (cheating!), but pasta is an exception – I’m not trying to make from-scratch noodles at home on a regular basis, ain’t got time for that life. Three Bridges recently sent us a package of fresh pasta to sample, and I was intrigued because they’re a convenience brand BUT also focused on health, quality, freshness AND eco-friendly food products, right up my alley. I couldn’t resist whipping up a spectacular carb-filled celebration of my favorite seasonal vegetables.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Superfood Pesto Pasta

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Endless Pairings: Negra Modelo

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Mexican beer and fall-themed food. The perfect complement? Well, that’s what were determined to find out when Negra Modelo sent us a “pairing kit” to put it to the test. When presented with the opportunity to taste test, my answer is almost always yes. Negra Modelo sent us a box full of spices from The Spice House, two tulip glasses, a wooden cutting board, and a $50 Visa gift card to purchase the goods. Challenge accepted. Think of it as the at-home version of Chopped. Being seasonal food fans (mainly fall), we began planning a menu of fall foods that would highlight the spices (follow The Spice House recommendations) and pair well with a Vienna (dark) lager. Yes – a European beer style from Mexico. Here’s the menu:

  • Aged Cabot Cheese with apples, fig jam, balsamic glaze, and crostini
  • Spiced roasted brussels sprouts
  • Sweet potato puree with nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Ribeye steak with Quebec beef spice
  • Cornish Hen with bicentennial seasoning
  • Pork with bavarian style seasoning

We had a friend over and made a beer pairing tasting menu. Negra Modelo was served with the appetizer, followed by a taste of each protein with the sides. The beer and food was judged based on the flavor of each, whether the spices complemented the food, and if the beer paired well with each “course.” On to the tasting notes:

Negra Modelo (ABV: 5.4%)

Appearance: Dark caramel with a red hue

Aroma: Sweet scents with subtle scents of toast

Taste: Sweet malts give caramel flavor, biscuit flavor with light herbal and earthy tastes

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp with lingering sweetness

Overall: A pleasant surprise, Negra Modelo provides more character than expected. While it is an InBev beer, I can forgive that if the brew offers some flavor. For a lager from Mexico, it offers the basic profile of a lager with extra sweetness of caramel and a toasty flavor as well. Tastes like it would pair well with fall foods. So here we go!

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Sweet Autumn Chopped Salad

Sweet & Salty Autumn Chopped Salad

Sweet Autumn Chopped Salad

Another fall evening, another delicious salad for us all to enjoy. This one has plenty of sweetness – cranberries, pears, pecans, slightly caramelized brussels – but the saltiness of the bacon evens everything back out. This salad works especially well as a chop, so don’t be afraid to dice everything pretty small!

Sweet & Salty Autumn Chopped Salad

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Roast Autumn Vegetable Salad 2

Roasted Autumn Vegetable & Blue Cheese Salad

Roast Autumn Vegetable Salad

I am alllll about embracing the flavors of fall this year (and every year). If I can roast it, I’m gonna roast it. If I can caramelize it, I’m gonna caramelize it. If I am able to add pumpkin seeds to it, I’m prooobably gonna add pumpkin seeds to it! You get what I’m saying. Also, not in fall but in general life, if I can put avocado on something, you bet your butt I will.

All that being said and understood, this recipe should come as no surprise. Pair sweet, sweet roasted fall vegetables with cool, creamy avocado and crisp, clean lettuce. Top with a tangy, bright dressing and a bit of salty blue cheese, and you’re in autumn salad heaven.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable & Blue Cheese Salad

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Brussel Kale Sprouts

Brusselkale: This is a Thing

Brussel Kale Sprouts

What are the two trendiest vegetables in the food world? Probably Brussels sprouts and kale. So I guess it was only a matter of time before the BRUSSELKALE was invented. Don’t get me wrong, I do love both of these vegetables, but is it really necessary? It kind of feels like they’re just capitalizing on the crazy popularity of these veg. Kind of like when pomegranate became the new antioxidant superfood then there was pomegranate-flavored everything.

I guess I’m not the first person to realize this is now a thing. Today did a story on Brusselkale, too. It even called it the “Brangelina of veggies” (ugh, barf, just… no, Today. No.) Here’s the gist:

Kale sprouts, aka BrusselKale, are yes, a hybrid of Brussels sprouts and Russian Red kale, and starting to pop up in U.S. grocery stores.

Developed in the U.K. using old-fashioned breeding techniques, kale sprouts (or flower sprouts, as they are known there) look like flowering buds, with green-and-purple leaves. Brussels sprouts are big in the U.K., especially around the holidays, so British seed house Tozer Seeds set out to create a more subtle-tasting sprout, Lisa Friedrich, U.S. spokesperson for Tozer, told TODAY.com.

While new hybrid veggies come out all the time—think purple haze carrots—the kale sprout “is the most distinctive one we’ve seen since broccolini launched in 1999,” Bob Whitaker, chief science officer for the Produce Marketing Association, told TODAY.com.

Are they trying to sell me something I don’t need? After all, I can cook myself Brussels sprouts and/or kale on their own. I guess I can try it on my own and decide for sure, but when I saw these in the store I didn’t really feel like paying $10/lb for them, when kale and Brussels on their own are so much cheaper. Have any of you tried this Brangelina veg? What do you think?

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