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Side dish

Salads/ Side dish

Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Love those field peas!

How time flies. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything and that is because I’ve been baking/cooking at our son and DIL’s Lollitop Sweet Shop and now opened Round Top Brewing. I usually go in Thursday-Sunday and bake at sweet shop and help with breakfast tacos/biscuit sandwiches etc and when done walk a few steps and UP 20 steps to upstairs kitchen at the brewery. Both or fun but I have to say the “food” part of the brewery is my favorite. It’s nice to work with Paul on his ideas and creations and I do not mind one bit taking directions from him and doing things his way.

I’m always looking for new salad or cold side dishes to prepare because it takes the pressure off of having everything hot and ready to go at dinner time.

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Side dish

Creamed Red Potatoes with Snap Peas

Don’t you just love the crispness of a sugar snap pea?

(Note on what I’ve been doing instead of posting here–Baking at Lollitop Sweet shop four days a week and the kids Round Top Brewing just opened the first day of Round Top’s Fall Antique Show. So 10-12 hour days of baking and cooking for other to enjoy. Fun to do but too tired to cook my own food. Now that the show is over, time to get back to cooking up some new recipes.)

Here’s another recipe from Southern Living magazine I received a few months ago with a twist or two. When I first saw this recipe I thought it was going to be like my mother’s “Shooked Potatoes” that she use to make. But a closer look and I realized that these had a cream sauce. I just posted a potato and turnip dish but with Fall here (It’s about time!) I’m always thinking of different ways to prepare potatoes.

There was a package of very fresh sugar snap peas in my refrigerator and I knew these potatoes needed a little freshening up so after blanching the peas a minute or two and then plunging the cute little things in an ice bath they were the last addition to the potatoes and cream sauce. Oh, I almost forgot – I also added 1/4″ parmesan cheese to the cream cheese and some really nice black sea salt to dress them up before serving.

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Side dish

Potatoes and Turnip Au Gratin

Potatoes with what you say !

Can’t say I have always loved turnips; my taste has changed over the years (decades) since I was a kid and would ask my mother or grandmother what the smelly stuff was cooking away on the stove.

I’ve done some different things with a turnip other than cooking them. Take a look at my Turnip Rose garnish I use to make as a platter garnish for parties I would cater. ( I love playing around with vegetables.) I would say it takes me less than 10 minutes to make one. I love cooked turnips but my hub does not but he liked this dish. Who wouldn’t with a cheesy sauce and browned to  perfection. Mix just about anything with potatoes and you have a delicious side dish.

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Side dish

Mashed Potatoes with Mushrooms

Who doesn’t like a good mashed potato dish?

Ok, I’m back in my cooking mode and even though we still are eating out 2-3 times a week, I’ve decided to get back to doing what I have loved doing all my married life, (52 years) and that is cooking and trying new recipes.

I remember as a new bride (and this is way before it’s time) ordering computerized menu plans with recipes and preparing some good and some not so good. I have to say the worst was a Tuna Noodle Rosey; to this day I cannot stand hot tuna casserole type dishes. Another thing I did back in the early 70’s was to order my groceries over the phone using a catalog and talking to “Rosie the robot”, or that was what she sounded like. The groceries were delivered and for an extra charge they would even put them away. I never took advantage of that service since all I had to do was take care of a baby.

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Side dish/ Vegetables

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Green Beans and Dates

Vegetables with dates? Yum!

Since moving to Round Top in July 2020 I have not been cooking as much as I use to and I guess that’s because I’m baking at Lollitop Sweet Shop (Paul and Brooke’s place) four days a week. There aren’t a lot of places to eat around here especially on Monday-Wednesday and one would think I would be cooking more at home, but I’m not. 

I’ve always enjoyed cooking my own meals and having friends over for dinner more than going out to eat. Recently (and this is the second time I have tried this service) I joined Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon’s meal boxes or whatever those plans are called where they send you all the food and you cook it.  Maybe those are meant for people who don’t want to shop for their groceries or don’t have access to a big grocery market. Well, that would be me, (now) but this service lasted three weeks before I cancelled. I would have to say I wasn’t happy with some of the meals I chose (tough meat or flavors a little off for me.)

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Side dish

Bok Choy and Peas

Trip to farmer’s market always fun.

It’s hard to believe that it had been 18 months since we saw our son, Scott and his family (Missy, Oliver and Charlie). With a 3 hour delay going (an hour delay coming back and terminal change) we finally arrived to hugs and kisses.  It’s hard when you can only face time your grand kids and can’t give them a hug in person. But, we got plenty of those while there and as always we did a lot of cooking and eating.

One day while everyone was working and the kids in a summer school program we went to a local farmer’s market. I have been to farmer’s markets all over the world and am always excited to see local produce and products for sale and I never walk away without buying something. This particular day I found some bok choy, spring onions, heirloom tomatoes, peas and some tapenades.

While there we managed a trip to Top Golf and dinner at Longitud315. Another day we visited the Chicago Botanic Garden and Frida Kahlo exhibit in Glen Ellyn. So, even with mask wearing still required in a lot of these places we still managed to have a very good trip.

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Side dish

Lemon Basil Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower fan?

(It’s been a while since my last post (if anyone is still there) and my NEXT post I will give a look at what our life was like during the antique show. 12 hour days and most of the time I was too tired to cook when I got home and definitely too tired to try a new delicious recipe for this blog.)

Can’t say I was ever a cauliflower fan in my earlier years. That would be decades ago! I don’t remember my mother or grandmother ever cooking cauliflower. I’m not sure why because my dad had the best garden around and grew just about anything he could think of; even Jerusalem Artichokes and who the heck knew what to do with those things back then.

Over the years I’ve done some delicious things with the funny looking head. My Tomato and Cauliflower Soup recipe is one of those recipes that is pretty to look at and delicious to eat. My Cauliflower Potato Salad is infamous with my friends; although now I add one potato to the mix for flavor and texture. I’ve done Cauliflower Steak and Onions before but I have to say I like this Lemon Basil Cauliflower “Steak” better.

Once I found a beautiful head of purple cauliflower (and purple is my favorite color) and couldn’t resist making my Pasta with Purple Cauliflower and Walnut Cream Sauce. There are many other cauliflower dishes on my blog you can “search” for but before I quit telling what I’ve done in the past you have to take a look at my Winter White Soup which is one of my favorite cream soups.

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Game/ Side dish

Roasted Tomato and Corn Grits with Duck Confit

I love grits!

I love grits and I love roasted tomatoes and who doesn’t love duck confit. This duck confit just happened to be given to me by my son Paul.

I’ve made confit the traditional way where the duck is covered with duck fat and cooked long and slow in an oven and I’ve made David Leboritz’s counterfeit duck confit where it isn’t cooked in fat (much cheaper) and is still just as tender. I loved using my son’s confit because I know he put a lot of tender loving care into making it.

All the years I’ve made cheese grits I’ve cooked some on stove top before adding in butter and eggs (to thicken) and then finish them in the oven. For this recipe I’m doing all the cooking on the stovetop and eliminating the eggs.

Since moving to Round Top I’m missing all my cooking utensils, pans and everything from my kitchen. (Update: we are now in our second/long term temporary and I have cabinet full (not all) of my cooking things) I think at least 60% of our boxes were from my kitchen, I have ever pan imaginable and every serving piece I could possibly ever need.

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Side dish

American Fried Potatoes with Onions

American Fries the best.

Doesn’t everyone have those favorite dishes our mother’s use to make or may still make just for you. Whether it’s a cake, some kind of yummy dessert, side dish or even a Sunday pot roast those favorites will bring back memories of a different time.  

The last several months as been hard on us all. Who would have ever though that we would live through something like this terrible virus. Thank goodness for the internet, face time, Zoom, Skyp and a working kitchen.  Being in the kitchen takes my mind off everything even though I am glued to the news station not wanting to miss any good news happening. We did a Zoom with all three kids/families and it was a lot of fun seeing the cousins talk to each other (all at the same time) and just seeing everyone’s face made me feel almost as good as a hug I would get from them.

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Appetizers/ HotApp/ Side dish

Baby Eggplant with Pine Nut Salsa

Who would have thought coming into this new year that we would be going through anything like the pandemic we are now living through. The government all seems to be working together, finally, to do what our country needs. People and business have sacrificed so much to try and stop this virus. Closing restaurants, bars, now even parks are closed in our area quickly makes you realize how serious this is.

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Side dish

Balsamic Glazed Asparagus and Pearl Onions

Spring hasn’t sprung yet!

Well, Spring hasn’t sprung yet but we can always get some pretty nice asparagus here in Texas. Ya know, Spring is just right around the corner; may not feel like it right now even here in Texas but another couple of months and the trees will  be budding and flowers popping up all over the place.

I use to think of asparagus as mostly a spring vegetable since that is when it is harvested but these days (or probably last few decades) we get our vegetables from all over the world.

These little pearl red onions come from Frieda’s of southern California who produces a lot of specialty produce items. And when I saw these little purple onions I just knew I wanted to use them with asparagus. After all, purple and green are my favorite colors and this was such an easy dish to prepare for company.

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Side dish

Summer Corn Salad

Corn, corn, corn, and what to do with it.

So, it’s the end of summer and I’m sure by now your are wondering what to do with all that fresh corn you are seeing in the markets.

Over the 4th of July I picked up some for 10/$1. I can tell you I bought more than 10 ears at that price. Most of it I cut off the cob to put in the freezer for some corn and shrimp chowder I want to make once the temperatures start falling.

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