Category Archives: Sides

Holiday Slaw with Homemade Honey Mustard

We all know most food during the holidays isn’t necessarily figure friendly. Well let me introduce this perfect companion to your guilty indulgences. I served this for Thanksgiving and used it for my detox food for the 3 days that followed. So, so good.

Begin with a bag of cruciferous greens such as a kale and broccoli mix. You need sturdy greens that won’t get soggy in the dressing. Trader Joe’s is a good spot to grab a bag of this.

Combine 1/3C vegetable oil (I’m sure EVOO would also work), 1/4C apple cider vinegar, 2tbl honey, 1tbl whole grain Dijon, and 1/2tsp salt. Whisk to blend. Now add 3/4C sliced green onions. Set aside.

Using a large mixing bowl, combine about 10 packed cups of your greens, 1C dried blueberries, 1C dried cherries, 1/2C sunflower seeds, and 1C coarsely chopped smoked almonds.

Toss in your dressing and enjoy!!

Adapted From – The Kitchn

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Sausage Stuffed ‘Shrooms

I feel like winter holidays need a sausage dish; whether it be sausage stuffing or sausage balls, it’s just a festive comfort food. This year I made something different and I’m so glad I did! I made around 50 of them, and there was not a single one leftover.

Begin with whole Bella mushrooms and rinse well.

Remove the stems and save them for dicing.

Spray a baking dish (or 2!) with non-stick spray and place your mushrooms hole side up.

Warm a tablespoon of EVOO in a sauce pan and combine your diced stems, 1 chopped onion, and 1lb of Italian sausage. I used mild, but sweet or spicy would be delicious as well. Cook until sausage is fully browned. Add in 1 minced garlic clove and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Let cool completely.

Stir in 1C herb stuffing mix, 1/3C Monterey Jack cheese, 3tbl mayo, and 1/2tsp black pepper.

Fill your mushroom caps. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, top with fresh parsley and serve!

Note: These can be prepared the night before.🙌🏼

Adapted From – Spicy Southern Kitchen

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

I’ll be honest, I didn’t grow up eating mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. We were a sweet potato casserole group (and I’m still on that team). However, my husband of almost 10 years (13 years together), insists on mashed potatoes every year.

Previously I’ve made a loaded potato casserole with cheddar, bacon, green onions, etc., but this year I decided to make traditional mashed potatoes. I was skeptical as a non-fan, but these are pretty darn tasty.

Begin with 4lbs of russet potatoes.

Skin and rinse.

Cube into 1 inch pieces.

Transfer to a large pot and add 2tbl room temp 1/2 inch butter squares, 2 smashed garlic cloves, and 2tsp salt.

Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it bubbles, simmer over low for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Drain, remove garlic cloves, return to pot, and mash.

Add in 3/4C grated Parmesan, 1/2C low sodium chicken bone broth, 8oz mascarpone cheese, 2tsp salt, 1tsp pepper, and 4tbl cubed butter. Cracked pepper to taste. Stir over low heat until creamy. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

Loaded Potato Casserole

I didn’t grow up with mashed potatoes being part of the Thanksgiving spread, we always had the sweet potatoes with the marshmallow topping. However, my husband feels mashed potatoes are a necessity for the holidays. They are so simple, so why not jazz them up a bit?

Begin by partially skinning and cubing 4lbs of red potatoes and slice 3 large garlic cloves into thirds.

Place into a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes soften. Mash to your desired consistency. 

Now add the following: 1/4C butter, 1C sour cream, 1/2C heavy cream, 4oz cream cheese, 2 chopped green onions, 2C shredded cheddar, and 10 slices chopped, crispy bacon. I used my hand mixer to combine everything but stirring would be fine also. 

Top with 1/2C cheddar, 2 chopped green onions, and 2 more pieces of chopped, crispy bacon. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Inspired By – Spend With Pennies

The Best Ever Holiday Dressing

With the holidays upon us and Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’ve decided to share the sides that are a MUST in our house. Ryan is in charge of frying a turkey, smoking another, and the oysters, but I’m in charge of the sides that he feels are mandatory.

I think we can all agree that dressing is a must-have with the Thanksgiving spread. It happens to be one of my absolute favorite sides too, so several years ago I set out to make the most epic dressing possible. I think I’ve achieved it – try it and see for yourself.😋

Begin with a couple large loaves of good, soft, unsliced bread. I use a combo of white and wheat. You’ll need about 9 cups total of bread cubes. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Sauté over medium heat in 3/4 cup of butter the following: 1.5C diced celery, 3/4C diced onions, and 1C mushrooms (optional) until soft. Now stir in 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp sage, 1/2tsp thyme, 1tsp poultry seasoning, and 1/4tsp pepper.

Toss seasoned veggies with bread cubes in large mixing bowl. Add in 1C chicken broth to moisten.

Transfer into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 (uncovered) for 35-40 minutes. You can thank me later – Enjoy!!

Inspired by – Chef In Training

Epic Fish Tacos

These tacos can be made with a variety of fish and with a variety of different seasonings. This is how I make our white fish tacos (and will share my red snapper seasoning in another post). 

These are made with tilapia. I season the loins with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and dried parsley. Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat until the oil begins to ripple. Cook the fish for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel lined plate. 

I serve these with my 234 sauce (2tbl mayo, 3tbl Greek yogurt, & 4tbl Franks hot sauce) and pico (recipe on blog). As a side I like either my Best Black Beans, Mexican Corn Salad, or Mexican Street Corn (all on blog).

Warm raw corn tortillas (Tortilla Land are awesome) and serve immediately. So, so good. 

The most EPIC Mac & Cheese

This is not an over statement – it really is the best Mac I’ve ever had, and my friends and family would agree. It’s a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!

Begin by shredding 8oz of gruyere, 10oz of white cheddar, and 10oz of yellow cheddar. 

Now warm 3.5 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream together over medium heat in a saucepan. 

In a large saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter bubbles, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk for about a minute until it combines and thickens. 

Slowly add in your warm milk/cream mixture whisking continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles. 

Remove from heat and add 2tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, & 1/4tsp black pepper. 

Stir in grated cheeses. 

Now add 2lbs cooked elbow macaroni. 

Prepare 6 slices good white bread, crust removed and ripped into 1/2inch size pieces. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Cover your pot of macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Eat Drink Smile

Grilled, Cheese Stuffed Banana Peppers

With yesterday’s harvest of 15 banana peppers and 18 jalapeños, we felt compelled to try something new.


We took a small batch of 5 banana peppers and hollowed out the seeds and membranes.

Slice them lengthwise almost all the way down one side. 

Combine 4oz of cream cheese and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Then add: 2 cloves minced garlic,  1/4tsp basil, 1/4tsp oregano, 1/2tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan. Fill each pepper with mixture. 

We capped the ends with foil and put them on the grill until they blackened on the bottoms and began to brown on top. 

These were really tasty, however, we love spicy food, so next time we make them we will either use spicy cheese or leave some of the seeds inside!

Adapted from: Cooking a la Mel

Baked Zucchini Fries

With our abundance of beautiful zucchini from our garden, I decided to give this recipe a try. It exceeded my expectations, and was quick and easy to prepare. 

After slicing up 2 huge zucchinis, I combined 1 cup of Panko, 1/2 cup of parmesan, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and salt/pepper. In small batches I dredged my fries through flour, then beaten egg, and then my Panko mixture.

Place a cooling rack (or 2) on top of your baking sheet and coat thoroughly with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the fries begin to turn golden brown. Enjoy this delicious guilt free snack plain or pair it with aioli, marinara, or ranch dressing.

Adapted from: Damn Delicious

Grilled, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

With a million jalapeños from our garden and a cheat day/Father’s Day upon us, what better way to use some of our fresh produce than load them up with cheese. These were a bit labor intensive, but worth it.

I used 12 jalapeños and halved them, removing the seeds and membranes.

Combine 1 cup shredded cheddar, 8oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Use a dinner knife and spread each half with as much as it will hold.

Cut 12 strips of bacon in half and wrap each jalapeño, placing a toothpick in each to hold the bacon in place.

Grill with the cheese side down for 6-8 minutes and then flip and grill until the bacon blackens.

Try not to eat the entire batch!

Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction