Mixed Bag Mondays (part 12): Repeat Winners and Brussel Sprouts

Often, I try to make new dishes, but sometimes I like to make something repeatedly, or tweak a dish. I’ve tried to make brussel sprouts for K since we started dating. But nothing ever worked. Not cooking them my favorite way (steamed with a little butter to serve), not roasting them with bacon, not sauteing them…not even eating them at restaurants where professionals could try to sway him. I gave up. But, I haven’t given up on making the Fudgelet eat everything. I even have him eat food I don’t like, just so that he can be better than both of us! He enjoys brussel sprouts, but prefers them cooked crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Roasting is the best for that.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Steak and Roasted Vegetables

This week will be a bit funny for posting because of Thanksgiving, so apologies and so on. Hopefully you are able to be with your family this week, and if not, that you are still with people you love. There are a few meals that I only ever loved at home, and did not enjoy as much outside of that setting. I have tried to reproduce these meals and only some have been successful. Now I can add steak to that list! For the vegetables, well, I have made them before, but this time I went a bit nuts. You can see the evidence below.

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For steak, we have had numerous failures following all sorts of recipes. Finally, finally, we have our perfect steak dinner. Do you want to know what we did? Keep reading!

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Roasted Garlic Chicken

This is one of the least pretty dishes I have ever made. It is very bland in color. Next time, I think I would add in some roasted peppers to assist. But oh well. This was a tasty dish, so that matters a bit more in my book. I was modeling it after one of our favorite restaurants out here. We always get the same few dishes because they are always so good. They also give you huge portions, which means leftovers for lunch and dinner! Yay! We can only take people there if they are fellow garlic-lovers like ourselves. Luckily most of our loved ones are.

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Chicken with Pasta, Roasted Peppers, and Ricotta

I had mentioned it on Twitter…it appears that I am in a savory mode currently. Part of it was having a cold with a sprained foot (not wanting to bake much), and part was having a backlog of desserts we still had to eat. Hopefully I will feel more like eating and making desserts again, soon! (Probably right after I post this–ha!) In the meantime, you get another chicken post. Unlike the grilled chicken on Monday, this is a pasta dish I made up. We had some leftover ingredients to use, and I threw them together. So, don’t worry if you don’t have tomatoes or mushrooms, and want to make some substitutions. But, you should make sure to keep something sweet like the peppers and tomatoes. Sooooo good.

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Roasted Peppers and Green Beans with Balsamic

There are other recipes I still need to write about that came before this one, but this recipe was one that K said “this better make it to your blog”. So, here it is. During the big move, I was trying to pick up produce that would keep for a bit so that we could limit our grocery shopping. I didn’t want us to have unnecessary stockpiles of refrigerated food to move. Costco had both bell peppers and haricot verde in stock and I wanted to try roasting them. Luckily, we had not sealed the box with the balsamic vinegar yet, and I on purpose had saved my Dutch oven from packing until the end. Now, you can certainly roast on a regular baking sheet, but I did not have any available. That will affect your baking time, so check the peppers as they cook.

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This is an easy throw-together recipe. The peppers turned out super soft and amazingly sweet. The green beans still  had a bit of crunch, which paired nicely with the peppers. Feel free to add extra flavor (I think garlic could go well), but again, I was limited on what had not been packed yet.

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Quick-Roasted Chicken Pieces with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, and Brandy

During the cold months I always love roasting food. Whether it’s vegetables, or chicken, I think roasting really brings out great flavor. It’s also super easy. This recipe promised to speed up roasting time by using chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken. This meant that it could be a weeknight meal. This recipe should take you under an hour, from the first mushroom you slice until serving. And that’s even for me! (You probably don’t know this because you don’t cook with me, but I sometimes take a while. I usually can predict how much time I will need, but I know I am not the fastest.)

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Before you continue on to the recipe, you should be aware that this is the month of my one-year blogiversary! Like many others, I have decided to do some sort of giveaway for that occasion. What would you be interested in receiving? Local treats from the Seattle area? Homemade items from me? Something else entirely? Obviously my blog isn’t sponsored or famous, so I won’t be giving away any awesomely expensive items like a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, but feel free to brainstorm some ideas. After all, if you are reading this, you just might want to receive a gift for being such a faithful reader (who is also lucky). Leave me some comments below!

 

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Roasted Vegetable Soup

All of a sudden it got cold here. I think I’m being a bit of a baby, though, because I feel frozen but check the temperature and it’s not nearly as cold as I think it is. So, apparently living in Seattle has changed my ideas of “cold” and “warm”. That didn’t take long! I can’t wait until I visit Maryland and see snow. You will find me curled up under many blankets wanting hot soup and hot chocolate.

So, that was the inspiration for this soup. I saw a few variations on the internet. My main inspiration was from An Edible Mosaic. I used the same idea and mostly the same flavors. One sort of big change was using an immersion blender and leaving some chunks in the soup. Creamy soups can be nice, but I get bored if I don’t have any other textures. So, I liked being able to leave noticeable pieces of the roasted vegetables. The immersion blender also makes the soup much easier to make. I try not to be a major tool snob, but it really does work better than a regular blender. If you don’t have one, feel free to use a blender, but that’s one more container you have to wash, and then you have to bring the soup back up to simmering. My method allows you to keep it all in one pot.

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