Asiago Green Beans

Green Beans Asiago 1

When we sat down to eat these, my guy let loose with an “oh, my god!” that made me think he broke a tooth or ate something unintended. No, the veggies were just that good. “They taste like candy!”, he followed up with. I was forced to agree. Good stuff here.

Trim the ends off 2 cups of fresh green beans. Slice a red or orange bell pepper into strips roughly the thickness of the green beans. Same with a 1/2 cup Mayan or Vidalia onion.

Spray with olive oil, add a sprinkle of sea salt and roast at 425, turning once or twice until they are all nicely browned. Grate about an ounce of Asiago cheese over top, toss and serve. You’re gonna love ’em.

Tangy Apple Slaw

I made some BBQ pulled pork the other night and this just seemed the perfect complement. Apple Slaw
Sweet, tangy, crunchy, healthy, makes you feel better about eating BBQ. It has it all.

5 C green cabbage (I used Savoy), chopped thin
2 Carrots, shaved
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Empire
(or any sweet) apple
1/2 red bell pepper

2/3C light mayo
2T dijon mustard
1/3 C brown sugar
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Chop up all the veggies, whisk together the dressing in a separate bowl, and combine with the veggie matter. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or more and adjust seasoning as needed.

We hate a gloppy, gooey, mayo-laden slaw, and tend to go drier than the norm, so you may find you want to double the dressing. or at least the mayo.

It was a great change from all the winter root and roasted veggies we’ve been eating lately!

Almost the Real Deal Cauliflower Wings

Holy Moly! I might make this every weekend.
Since my sweetheart decided to lose a few pounds, he hasn’t been near a chicken wing, which i do believe are his favorite food. And he’s been wanting them so badly, poor dear.
You really can’t fool yourself that these tasty nuggets are wings, but, dang, they taste great and hardly count for anything. Eat all you want!
Chop a head of cauliflower into florets. Put them on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil, Sprinkle with salt and roast at 425 until they are browning nicely.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix up 1/4 cup of your favorite wing sauce (we like Frank’s) with 1T melted butter.
Toss the hot veggies in the sauce. pop them back on the pan and in the oven for another 5 minutes or so and then make sure you get your share.
We may have licked the plate.
Got the idea right here: http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/01/buffalo-roasted-cauliflower.html?m=1

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Baked and Smashed Potatoes

This has become our favorite (read, least guilty) way to have a potato. Simple as can be and they give you that terrific crunch that you miss when you try not to eat fried foods.

potato_1

I start with Yukon Gold potatoes. They smash up nicely and have a buttery taste already grown into them so you don’t need to add extra fat.
You can start by baking them, or, to speed things up, I cook them in the microwave until they are fork-tender.
Slice them horizontally, eith just in half, or if you want more crispy, crunchy surface area, in slices about 1/2 inch thick. Please them on a non-stick or misted-with-olive-oil baking sheet.
Press a fork into each in a couple different directions, like you do with peanut butter cookies, or cross hatching a drawing. The goal is to get a bumpy, highly textured surface area.
Spray with olive oil (if you don’t have an olive oil mister, just spend the 10 bucks. it’s worth it), and sprinkle with sea salt. Depending on the rest of the meal, I will also add a pinch of herbs like thyme, oregano, sage, parsley or some cayenne pepper and a dash of cumin. Basically, whatever you’re using to season the rest of your meal, pop a little on the potatoes.
Bake at 425 degrees until they get nicely browned. If you are lucky enough to have a convection oven (thank you, sweetheart!), this is the perfect time to use that feature.

Close your eyes and you’ll never know you’re not eating fully-fatted french fries. Enjoy.

It’s Veggie Week!

I have been cooking, just couldn’t seem to find the time to write about it as well.

But I did manage to sneak in a few photos before we ate, so I’ve got a few things for you this week.

Apple Slaw potato_1 Green Beans Asiago 1

All vegetable matter, since they are a continuing focus in our household and are proving to be a sure factor in maintaining healthy weight.

The challenge for me has been to make them taste great and not the same each  time. so this week I’ll share some ways I’ve been waking up our taste buds. Recipes will follow throughout the week!

Cappuccino e Biscotti

Today’s afternoon break

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Hot Buttered Rum with Gingerbread Marshmallows

hot buttered rum 2

Just in time for your New Year’s Eve celebrations!

This is a terrific warmer-upper apres ski, skating, mushing, or just sitting around by the fire.

The hot buttered rum starts with a batter you can keep in the freezer for weeks, so it’s quick and easy to pour a cup after you’ve prepared the batter.

Hot Buttered Rum
1 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 C dark brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t cardamom
Mix all ingredients well, place in an airtight container and store in freezer.
For one drink, pour 6 oz boiling water in a mug, add 1 shot of rum (I like a dark one) and a heaping tablespoon of the frozen batter. Stir until the batter dissolves. Top with a gingerbread marshmallow and enjoy!

We do have some young ones in the family who like to be part of the grown-up celebrations. This drink  can easily be made as hot buttered un-rum without the booze for the under 18 crowd. Just make sure the mugs don’t get mixed up!

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Gingerbread Marshmallows

Got this one right here at Betty Crocker!

They are a bit involved, and do take some time, but for a once-a-year treat, worth the effort. A big hit with kids of all ages. I was actually surprised at how quickly they were disappearing.
They need to sit at least eight hours after you put them together; definitely a do-ahead.

Happy New Year!

hot buttered rum