Saturday, April 28, 2012

Roasted Veggies (Roasted Radishes)

Veggies ready to be chopped and roasted
I make roasted veggies all year round switching out veggies for what is in season. Everyone in my family loves roasted veggies. People who don't like veggies love these. I actually crave this dish. It's true- I do. I love them. I made them as part of a special date night dinner- just me and my husband. All you do is cut up some veggies, put them in a bag (I use one of the bags the veggies came in), throw in some fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and spices. Shake the bag to mix everything together, dump it onto a greased baking sheet, and roast. The result- amazing roasted veggies. I like mine al dente (with just a bit of a bite but cooked through). Believe it or not they are sweet and so incredible. This is also great with winter and summer squash.This time I tried roasting radishes. Radishes? Yes, radishes. They were excellent. They mellowed and became sweet when roasted. I can't wait until I have fresh beets-- talk about incredible. I love roasted beets and goat cheese. This is a great recipe to make using a convection oven.

Veggies-- (These change each time I make this dish; this time I used)

1/2 Head of Cauliflower
1 Sweet Onion, Sliced into Rings
6 Cloves of Garlic, Unpeeled
2 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
6 Radishes, Quartered
6 New Potatoes, Diced
A Couple of Handfuls of Green Beans, Cut in Half
A Couple of Handfuls of Radishes, Quartered

Fresh Herbs (These also change based on my mood, the veggies, and the seasoning)

1 Sprig of Rosemary, Chopped
2 Sprigs of Thyme, Chopped


Salt and Pepper, To Taste
1/4 to 1/2 Tsp of Cayenne Pepper (or Cumin or Smoked Paprika or Cajun seasoning-- you get the idea)


1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Olive or Grape Seed Oil

Preheat oven to 475F/246C/ Gas Mark 9 (convection 450F/232C/Gas Mark 8). Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl or bag and shake or stir until all of the veggies are covered in oil.
Shaken not stirred

Dump onto a greased baking sheet.

Chopped, oiled, seasoned, and ready for the oven

Roast (stirring every 10 minutes) for 35-45 minutes (convection 25 -35 minutes) or until the veggies are browned (but still crunchy).  


Will I make this again? Yes- every week. This is my favorite way to eat veggies (and I like to eat veggies. Well, I actually like to eat. I like pretty much any kind of food as long as it is well prepared.) It is also time for a confession- I estimated on the seasoning-- I just sprinkle until it looks right. Go ahead and taste the veggies and adjust the seasonings. My family ends up eating several handfuls ("testing the seasoning") before they go into the oven.
A plate full of roasted veggies

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pearl Couscous and Lima Beans

Lima bean couscous
Believe it or not I have a child who loves lima beans. (Yes, we are growing them this year in our garden; we are also growing beets). She does not like peas unless they are fresh from the garden (like she picked them and immediately ate them). If you don't like lima beans just substitute peas. If you have fresh use fresh. If not use frozen please do not used canned. Also this is a recipe for pearl or Israeli couscous. I use homemade broth instead of canned. I make broth in large batches and freeze it.

3 Tbsp of Olive Oil or Butter
2 Cups (372 g) of Israeli or Pearl Couscous
1 1/2 Cups (270 g) of Lima Beans or Peas
3 1/2 Cups (840 ml) of Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Small Handful of  Basil, Thinly Sliced

Heat oil or butter in large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add couscous and stir for 3-5 minutes until couscous's is stating to turn brown.
Sauteing couscous

Add beans/pas and broth. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer (stirring occasionally) until broth is absorbed about 10 - 15 minutes.
Finishing the couscous
 Add basil. Serve.

The bottom line: will I make this again? Yes, I just bought some more pearl couscous. It is a wonderful spring dish.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easy Snickers Pie

Slice of snickers Pie
I make two different Snickers pies: one takes a lot of time and effort and the second is an easy no bake pie. I love them both. Now that I am working (you guessed it) the easy no bake pie it is. It is embarrassingly easy. Have 5 to 10 minutes and want to make a pie? This is the pie for you (I am not kidding). Well, it does need to chill overnight.

4 oz (113 g) of Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup (86 g) of Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
3 Regular Size 2 oz. (57 g) Snickers Bars, Chopped
8 oz (226 g) of Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed
1 Graham Cracker or Chocolate Crust

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and peanut butter until creamy.
Mixing the cream cheese, powder sugar, and peanut butter
Stir in chopped snickers and whipped topping until mixed.
Adding the snickers bars
Pour into prepared crust and refrigerate overnight.

The finished pie
The bottom line: will I make this again. Yes, it is so yummy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

Meatloaf cupcake with mashed potato frosting
I made meatloaf cupcakes  for April Fool's day this year but they are so good that we will eat them all year round.The key (I think) to moist meatloaf (and meatballs) is bread soaked in milk. I use potato bread.
I can't justify cream for the mashed potatoes so I use fat free half and half. They are just as good and so creamy.  I really wanted to color the mashed potatoes with beet juice but received too many protests from my family (I love beets and I really wanted pink mashed potatoes). Just wait until I harvest the beets in our garden (60 or so more days). We will be eating beets with every meal! I made extra mashed potatoes so we had leftovers (my family loves mashed potatoes). I prefer fresh fries or hash browns.

Meatloaf Cupcakes
1/2 Cup (125 ml) of Milk
3 Slices of Bread, Torn into Pieces
1 Tbsp of Butter
1/2 of a Large Onion, Finely Diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 lbs (.45 kg) of Ground Beef (or a mixture of beef and pork or beef and turkey)
1 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper, to Taste

In a large bowl, soak the pieces of bread in milk.
Bread soaking in milk

Preheat the oven to 350F/176 C/ Gas mark 4. Place 12 foil muffin liners in muffin tins. In a medium skillet melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted add the onion and garlic saute until onion is tender.
Sauteing onions and garlic

Rub the bread between your fingers until mushy. Add the remaining ingredients to the bread and mix well.
Mixing the meatloaf

Spoon the meatloaf into the foil liners.

Meatloaf Glaze 
1/3 Cup (75 ml) of Ketchup
2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp of Mustard

In a small bowl combine the ingredients and spoon onto the tops of each meatloaf muffin. (There will be glaze left over).
Meatloaf cupcakes
Bake the meatloaf cupcakes for 25 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes

Several Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into Chunks
2 Tbsp of Butter
1/2 Cup (125 ml) of Fat Free Half and Half

Boil potatoes for approximately 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and rice potatoes.
Ricing the potatoes

Add butter and half and half. Stir well.


Remove cupcakes from muffin tins. Top with mashed potatoes. For a spicy kick, sprinkle with Creole seasoning. Top with half of a cherry tomato if desired.

The bottom line: will I make these again? Yes. The meatloaf cupcakes cook in the foil cup are so juicy and tender. The glaze goes great with the mashed potatoes. I loved them and ate my allotment (4 cupcakes) in one sitting.