Category Archives: Scrumptious Sides

Roasted Potato Salad

August 25, 2016

There’s not much that I love more in the summer than a barbecue- steaks on the grill, corn on the cob, and my absolute favorite, potato salad.  With all of the gatherings that summer can bring, I was really looking for a new twist on an old classic; something that packed a little more punch, while still retaining all of the qualities of a potato salad that make it a summer staple.  This one brings a twist with tangy honey mustard and caramelized shallots.  Today, for me, it’s roasted potato salad.

Roasted Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds petite fingerling potatoes
1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes
2/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup honey mustard
about 10 sprigs worth of fresh thyme, pulled from stems
3 to 4 shallots, finely sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 to 2 tbsp butter
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Quarter or half all potatoes, depending upon size, and spread evenly onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika and then drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Roast for 45 minutes at 375, and allow to cool slightly before adding to dressing mixture.

While the potatoes are roasting, you can pull everything else together.  Thinly slice 3 to 4 shallots, and saute in a pan with 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat until slightly translucent and browned in color.  Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine mayo, mustard, and thyme.  Once cooled, add in the shallots and roasted potatoes.  Toss to fully coat- perfect served as it at room temperature, or chilled prior to your picnic!  Enjoy!

AHDN: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

February 2, 2016


Brussels Sprouts Gratin

1- 9oz bag of shaved Brussels sprouts
4 tbsp butter; divided
2 tbsp flour
1 cup grated parmesan; divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp paprika
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 cup half and half
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large, high- sided skillet and add shaved brussels sprouts.  Saute about 3 minutes over medium until brussels sprouts are a vibrant green color.  Remove from the skillet.  Add the additional 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt.  Stir in 2 tbsp of flour.  Gradually whisk in 1 cup of half and half until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan, along with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.  Add salt, pepper. and paprika and combine.  Return the brussels sprouts to the skillet and fold into the cheese sauce mixture.   Pour into an 8 or 9 inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs with remaining 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese and enough olive oil (approx. 2 tbsp) until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.  Sprinkle on top of the brussels sprouts.

Bake for 40 minutes @ 375.

This side dish was a perfect compliment to the chicken, and the left overs heated up nicely to go with some broiled flounder.  Whip up a double or triple batch with a bit of pancetta, and you have a GREAT holiday side dish!


Picnic Pasta Salad

July 4, 2014


Happy 4th of July!  Summer BBQ’s are in full swing, and picnics are abundant!  We’re getting ready to head over to our block party this afternoon and evening.  For the picnic, I’m taking over my favorite Picnic Pasta Salad!  Easy to throw together, and full of zippy flavor… it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!   Whip it up for your next get together!

Picnic Pasta Salad
1 family pack of 3 cheese tortellini (I like Barilla)
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup chopped carrot
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped
1 can sliced olives, drained
3 -4 oz sliced pepperoni, quartered
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix1/4 cup to 1/2 cup italian dressing (to taste)

Go ahead and cook your pasta as directed. (roughly 10 minutes)
While that’s cooking, I usually prep and chop my veggies.
Once the pasta is cooked, strain and run under cold water to cool and remove extra starchiness.  Drain again, and allow to cool an additional 3-5 minutes.
While the pasta is cooling, throw all of your veggies into a large bowl and give them a toss.  Add in your dry ranch packet, and toss it all again.  Add your pepperoni and  cooled pasta.  You guessed it- toss it all again!  Add 1/4 cup of italian dressing- I like to start small, and add more as needed- always better than overdressing your salad!  Finally, add in your Parmesan cheese, and toss everything together.  Taste and adjust as needed.  Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Happy 4th!

PS: Looking for an EASY and delicious dessert?  Check out the next post for Rocky Road Brownies!

Ragin’ Cajun Pasta

August 26, 2013

I’ve been on a spicy kick lately, so when andouille sausage went on sale at my local grocery store, I was pretty excited to cook up something new.  As it so happened, fresh bruschetta was also on sale, and I knew that with those two ingredients, I was on my way to a pretty tasty dish.  By throwing in a few more household staples, I had a great pasta meal in under 15 minutes from skillet to table!  Break out your Mardi Gras beads, because tonight we’re making Ragin’ Cajun Pasta!

Ragin’ Cajun Pasta
4 links pre-cooked cajun style andouille sausage links (I like Aidells)
1 small tub of fresh bruschetta
1/2 cup green peppers, diced
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup grate parmesan
1 box penne or farfalle pasta

Cook pasta as directed. 
While pasta is cooking, combine diced peppers, bruschetta, and chili powder in a skillet over medium heat.  Stir and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Cut andouille sausage into “penny” slices and add to skillet.  Stir in 1/2 cup of chicken stock and simmer until pasta is cooked al-dente.  Drain the pasta and toss into the sauce mixture.  Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Yep- that simple, kids!
Until next time- Happy Eating!!

Meatless Monday- Bruschetta Avocados

August 19, 2013

This is a quick and easy Meatless Monday meal.  Just like every other busy person, sometimes I want something really quick and really easy to throw on the table.  Tonight, these guys are it!  Perfect on their own, or paired up as a side to some grilled chicken or fish.  Give them a whirl!

Bruschetta Stuffed Avocados

(You know it’s easy when there aren’t measurements!)

You Need:

Avocados- enough to feed everyone.  Figure on 1 and 1/2 per person if they are a stand alone, or 1/2 of one if it’s a side.
Pre-made Fresh Bruschetta- check your deli or refrigerated produce section for this
Grated Parmesan and Asiago Cheese
Olive Oil

Now it gets tricky… Not really.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and halve your avocados.  I usually make the pit “hole” a bit larger, so that more stuff fits in.  Then, spoon a few spoonfuls of bruschetta into each half.  Mix up some of the cheese with some breadcrumbs, and moisten with olive oil until it forms a paste like consistency.  Top each avocado half with the breadcrumb mixture and toss into the oven for 13-15 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!
See… wasn’t that easy?

Until next time…. give it a swirl!