I had saved this recipe and randomly pulled it out one weeknight to bake while I prepped the rest of dinner. It made the dinner a touch more fancy, even though it is quite simple and fast.
I know what you’re probably thinking…boiled carrots? Do we need this? Well, I like cooking carrots, and usually roast them. They are great that way, and I still prefer them that way, but sometimes I am short on time. This is a way to enjoy carrots quickly and in a different way. Supposedly the idea behind this recipe is to boil the carrots in the equivalent of sea water. By boiling them in a salty water, they maintain more of their flavor and cook faster. You also don’t need to season them later because they are perfect (in my opinion).
I could maybe see using a bit less salt in the future to see how it does. I have doubled this recipe and it still worked well.
Directions for Easy Boiled Carrots with Lemon and Chives
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated January/February 2017
- 1 pound carrots, peeled
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, chop the carrots into 1.5-2 inch lengths. Leave the thin pieces whole, the medium pieces can be cut in half lengthwise and the thickest pieces can be quartered.
Add the chopped carrots to the boiling water along with the salt. Cover and cook until tender (about 6 minutes). Drain the carrots and return them to the pot. Add the butter, lemon juice, and pepper. Stir until the butter is melted, then stir in the chives.
You know me and chocolate peanut butter treats…we go together like, well, chocolate and peanut butter. So, I wanted to make this skillet cookie from Gimme Some Oven. I ended up making it for a friend’s birthday when we also had a playdate. I left it with her since, you know, it was for her birthday, but I did get to taste it and it was great. Then I made a version without the cocoa powder and it was still good, but less soft and more of a crunchier/shortbread texture. Still good, and less rich tasting. Then I made the chocolate version again, but again to share with friends…one of these days I will make it for us when I can take a picture of a slice…but not today.
Either way you make this, it is easy and fast.
You can swap in different mix-ins and change the amounts too. That part doesn’t matter as much and allows you to be creative. Have fun with your favorite flavor combinations!
Directions for Skillet Cookie, Two Ways
Slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (plus 1/3 cup if not doing cocoa powder)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (omit if not doing the chocolate version)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped Reeses cups (optional)
This was a recipe I made up as I went. I had some leftovers from our Halloween party that needed to get used (yes, I am still blogging about posts from the end of October/early November…sorry?). We had olives and red bell pepper for the black bean/hummus dip I made. I haven’t actually shared that recipe on here, either, although I have now mentioned it a couple times. I also had some leftover pasta but not enough extra sauce, so this was a way to throw it all together.
I made a Dutch baby before, and recently I decided to try a different recipe because I wasn’t sure if I still liked my old one. This isn’t that different, but seemed to make a much fluffier, custardy, and yummier oven pancake. I especially liked it with some simmered strawberries.
Simmered strawberries are great, especially if your strawberries have sat in the fridge a little too long. Sometimes they are a little too soft to enjoy fresh, but they are perfect for a topping like this. They are usually extra sweet and juicy, which is ideal for simmering. I didn’t take too many pictures since the process for making these is almost identical to the other recipe I posted, but I highly recommend them.
Directions for Dutch Baby with a Strawberry Topping
Adapted from The Faux Martha (who also adapted it some from Joy the Baker)
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
This was a great dish with all of us. It is simple, and full of favorites: pasta, cauliflower, and bacon. The way the bacon is cooked with the bread crumbs makes for a crunchy, tasty topping. We ate it with the topping initially but still had some pasta left without the topping. I didn’t mind using it up because it was easy to make more and helped leftovers feel fresh again.
This is a new take on the fried rice K makes us. Some days, you want fried rice but don’t have bacon handy, and you also want it fast. Fried rice doesn’t actually take long to make, but when you have a toddler who wants his eggs and rice now, it feels like an eternity. Obviously, you can always make fried rice meatless, which I often do, but this is a way to make it with another meat you might already have around….roast beef! I changed the seasoning a bit to go with the roast beef flavor. The recipe is a bit loose because it all depends on how much leftover rice you have, eggs you use, etc.