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A food blog to enliven your family meals

Lemony Snap Peas

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 10 comments

Snap Peas tossed in a lemon-dijon vinaigrette create a tasty side dish for busy days.

Lemony Snap Peas

It’s Good Friday, and I don’t know about you, but my to-do list is awfully long in preparation for the Easter weekend. I get to host – and absolutely love it – but getting the menu nailed down is sometimes tricky (meaning I finally decided yesterday what the menu would be!). But once I finally decided that we were having Easter dinner instead of brunch, these Lemony Snap Peas were a no-brainer addition to the menu.

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Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Pistachio Pesto

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 7 comments

Welcome spring produce with a batch of these Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Pistachio Pesto! 

Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Pistachio Pesto

The cruelty of April weather is always one step forward and two steps back. We’re having one of those “two steps back” weeks right now. I received a bunch of gardening catalogs in the mail the other day, and I was so envious of all the people out there who are digging in the dirt and planting their summer gardens. I can’t wait to have fresh herbs right outside my patio door once again! But since that is still a ways off for us here in Minnesota, I’m resigned to enjoying the produce I do have access to and making the most of it. Spring greens will soon flood the markets, and these Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Pistachio Pesto are a perfect way to kick off pesto season everywhere. 

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Balsamic Brown Butter Asparagus

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 19 comments

Roasted asparagus is topped with a balsamic brown butter sauce for a delicious taste of spring. 

Balsamic Brown Butter Asparagus

Mother Nature is one sly fox. Last weekend we Minnesotans luxuriated in 60 degree weather. We slowly cracked our front doors and were dumbfounded to find we could go outside without Gore-Tex and down-filled jackets. We reintroduced ourselves to our neighbors. We walked around all day with stupid, smirky smiles on our faces and felt invincible. But tomorrow? We’re going to be hit with another winter storm and 6 inches of snow.

I’m SO over winter, but until Mother Nature agrees to release her grip, I can only dream of the spoils of spring. Fortunately the weather is more springlike in other parts of the country, and and they generously fill my grocery store with little hints of what’s to come, like freshly picked asparagus. 

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Dijon Vinaigrette (and a Maille® Mustard Giveaway)

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 15 comments

Dijon Vinaigrette

There is one item that is rarely on my grocery list anymore: vinaigrette. It is the easiest thing to whip up and takes just as long as shaking up a bottle of the pre-made stuff. Well, almost, but you get my point. I was reading my Cooking Light magazine a few weeks ago looking for new dinner inspiration and saw this Dijon Vinaigrette buried in the side bar. Once again I was reminded that sometimes the best recipes – the keepers, the ones you will make again and again – aren’t the cover photos. They are the little teeny tiny recipes that many people skip.

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Wild Rice with Pistachios and Cherries

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in All, Sides and Salads | 5 comments

Wild Rice with Pistachios and Cherries

Truth be told, my experience with wild rice came in the form of a white and wild rice pilaf that occasionally graced our dinner table on holidays growing up. It usually came from a box, and I honestly never thought about it again until the next holiday rolled around. Fast forward to my life in Minnesota, and I quickly learned that wild rice holds a place of reverence in this state. No sharing the spotlight with white rice here. So here is my first official homage to this wonderfully native grain: Wild Rice with Pistachios and Cherries.

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Day Before Mashed Potatoes

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in All, Sides and Salads | 2 comments

Day Before Mashed Potatoes

You know how there are some memories that are etched in your brain forever? I can still vividly remember my sixth grade teacher (yes, I know I’m dating myself here) walking into class with tears in her eyes telling us that President Reagan had been shot. And I’m pretty sure we can all remember exactly where we were on 9/11. Another memory that is quite clear for me is the very first Thanksgiving that I hosted. My mom wasn’t there to answer my questions or help me out with cooking. It was just me and Kevin (who was my boyfriend at the time), and we were hosting his whole family, some of whom I was meeting for the very first time. No pressure, right? Kevin’s attitude was, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a turkey!” Hmmm…turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries…oh, and meeting people who were not yet my in-laws. Talk about a stressful day!

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