Browsing Tag

side dish

Squash Casserole

 

While we were brunching hard over the weekend, my friend had mentioned wanting to make a squash casserole to use up some of the squash from her farm share. Wouldn’t you know I could not stop thinking about it. I’ll daydream about foods and things, and squash casserole is usually not on the top of my daydream worthy foods. But it was there. When I was checking my garden I noticed a couple of really nice zucchini and took that as a sign that I should make it. Typically this recipe uses yellow squash, which I now have, but at the time I was limited to my zucchini. So I rolled with it. It was basically amazing. So amazing, that I actually ate most of it, while it was cooling, before the rest of dinner was even ready. I could not stop. It was so good, that I knew my husband who absolutely hates zucchini simply had to try it. He was skeptical and asked me not to take offense if he spits it out. But I smiled knowing it wouldn’t even get to that. And, of course, I was right. It makes me happy when I can get him to eat something he hates and can show him it’s actually not so bad. The toddler on the other hand…. not so much. The instructions, at first, looked daunting. But it was so easy to put together. And when I saw daunting, I mean after working a really long day at the office, having picked up my son from school and being alone with him so all he wanted was to play and didn’t care about me making dinner daunting. But the crackers were a great distraction. He just popped up on the counter and sat there “helping” me by eating the crackers. I love when he gets involved and asks questions about what I’m doing in the kitchen. It also makes me happy when I give him a veggie and he asks, is this from our garden? It seems, to him, it’s more rewarding to eat something we’ve produced and I couldn’t agree more. It just tastes better somehow! This recipe is very forgiving with what type of squash you use yellow/green/a combo of both, go crazy. I might even adapt this further to make a fall casserole with my butternut squash that’s growing. Yum!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place squash, onion, and a small amount of water in a pan. Place on your stove top and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the squash is softened. You want this to be fork tender, not at all mushy. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, add Ritz Crackers to a Ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin, or with your hands, or with anything you have around. Add the cheese to the bag and shake to combine.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, measure our the milk. Add in the eggs, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Spray a baking dish (8x8 ish is what I used) with cooking spray. When the squash is done, drain and add to the baking dish. Mix in half of the crushed cracker/cheese mixture and stir to combine. Add in the melted butter and stir once more. Pour the egg mixture over the top and mix it up a bit so that it's all combined. Sprinkle the additional cracker mixture over the top of the casserole. Using your hands, lightly spread it around so that it's evenly distributed over the top. Place the tiny cubes of butter across the top.
  5. Place the casserole in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and the egg mixture is set. 20 minutes was absolutely perfect for me. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving (if you can!). Serve warm.

Notes

Barely even adapted from All Recipes

Easy Cornbread

 

I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July. We had a fantastic evening. We hosted a cookout at our house with my family and it was so much fun. If you aren’t following me on Facebook or Instagram, following along so you can see some fun pics from the night. I’m going to toot my own horn here, I made an awesome fire in our fire pit (a first for me!) so we sat around and roasted some marshmallows. I also enhanced the deck decor with some lights, which I’ve wanted to do for a while, and finally went ahead and did it. It was seriously so nice to sit outside and watch some neighborhood fireworks. Though we’re all exhausted today and it makes me so happy to have leftovers available to heat up for an easy lunch. For dinner we made some burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, mac and cheese, and some salads a whole lot of snacks and this cornbread. I’ve made a muffin version before that is really good, I mean it is an Β Ina Garten recipe, but sometimes you want something a little less sweet. This was perfect for that. It’s absolutely delicious. The recipe calls for frozen corn, so it’s a great way to use up that bag that’s probably sitting in your freezer. If you’re lucky and have left overs this is the perfect breakfast treat too. You can just heat it a bit, spread on some butter, and thoroughly enjoy your breakfast. It’s super kid friendly too. Although mine was so tired by the evening he refused dinner and ate only pretzels and lemonade. It’s so quick to whip up I literally used one bowl…and a pot to melt the butter and incorporate the wet ingredients, but seriously little fuss.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add in the oil, buttermilk, and eggs. Whisk together to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. The mixture will be lumpy. Add in the frozen corn and mix to incorporate.
  5. Add the batter to your prepared baking dish and bake for 27 minutes or until the top if golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.

Notes

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

BLT Pasta Salad

 

Since flaking on my post yesterday, I wanted to make up for it by posting something that included bacon. This BLT pasta salad is something I’ve been dreaming about. When reality set in, I was not disappointed. This turned out fantastically. For me, spring/summer time sides are so fun. Various salads, fresh produce, so many options. Pasta salad is not something we eat often, but when we do, I want to make it worthwhile. Also, any time I have an excuse to add bacon to a dish, I will gladly do so. Any pasta would be great, but for this I opted for heartier tortellini. The dressing is adapted from this veggie dip that I had made, which essentially tasted like a homemade ranch dip. It was the perfect dressing for this dish. Bonus, the fresh herbs make it look so pretty.

Ingredients

For the salad

For the dressing

Instructions

  1. Cook your tortellini according to the package instructions. For the bacon, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place strips of bacon on your baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your bacon.
  2. To make the dressing combine the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Let the tortellini cool. Once at least room temp, add to a medium size bowl. Add in the dressing. I start with small amounts and gradually add more as I feel it needs it. Add in the chopped tomato and spinach. Toss to combine. Crumble the bacon over the top of the dish.

Notes

Mexican Rice

 

It’s Cinco de Mayo a day to enjoy all the yummy eats and drink some tequila. Actually it’s only about 6AM here so no tequila for me yet. Maybe a tequila sunrise would be appropriate? In all honestly, I saw a post from a fellow blogger, How Sweet Eats for Rose Sangria, and I just happen to have some Rose, so that will most certainly be happening this evening. Anyway, back to this rice. I dare to be different today and post a side dish rather than taco inspiration. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE tacos! So much, actually, that I’ve researched apparel ad nauseam to express my affections. But this rice dish caught my eye a while ago. I was focused on my health for a bit and got completely distracted by potato chips and Easter Candy, but I didn’t forget and I’m trying to regain focus. If you are trying to stay healthy, or eat something a bit lighter, just like me, you are going to enjoy this dish. It uses brown rice and fresh veggies so it’s super healthy, and super flavorful. I had it as a side, but brought left overs for lunch because it’s that good and satisfying. If you want to limit your taco intake or perhaps have a side dish to enjoy, try this dish.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
  2. In a pan, heat a bit of olive oil about 1-2 tsp. Add in the onion, jalapeno and tomatoes. Cook about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook about a minute more. Add in the tomato paste and spices and heat through. Add in the cooked rice, salt and pepper, and mix together. Serve warm.

Notes

Recipe from Skinnytaste.

Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa

Oh my gosh it’s finally Friday. It’s also a long weekend for me, so I could not be happier at the moment. We’re going to be doing some serious Easter prep over the next couple days so our schedule is going to be packed, but I had to share this meatless meal. I’ve mentioned, maybe too much for such a new blog, that I absolutely love cheese. This cheesy quinoa is amazing. I’m sort of a late quinoa convert as it often tasted like dirt when I prepared it. It’s not until I started to use recipes that incorporated a lot of flavors that I realized how much I actually like it. This dish is substantial enough to have as a main meal or simply reduce the portion size and you have a great side dish. Did I mention the cheese? I used a smoked Gouda for this version and really think it kicked up the flavor. Even my husband, who really dislikes anything healthy, really enjoyed this. He is your standard meat and potatoes kind of guy. Keep it simple and he’s happy. I tend to b more adventurous with my eating preferences so this was a very happy medium. If you’ve never tried quinoa and are looking for a first time recipe that will not disappoint you, definitely try this one out.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Add to a pot with 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth and cook until done.
  2. Preheat the over to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish and set aside. In a pan, add half of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has been released and evaporated. Add in the garlic and the thyme. Add in the remaining broth and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa to the mushroom mixture. Stir in the yogurt, remaining olive oil, and 2/3 of the shredded cheese. Add the new mixture to the casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Notes

This recipe is very slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats.