Meals can get boring if you don’t change things up a bit. I’ve found it’s all about The Sides! If you make your famous meatloaf or pork loin and just add a couple of different sides to along with it, it turns it into a brand new meal!
This Friday will mark the first day of fall! However, fresh produce is still available in the grocery stores, if not in your local farmer’s market. If you have access to fresh yellow squash, I have the perfect side dish that doesn’t require the frying method! This also goes into the category of prepared in under 10 minutes! This is healthy, delicious and fast – what a great combination! Here’s the recipe:
Yellow Squash Ribbons W/Red Onion and Parmesan
- 4 medium yellow squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Using a vegetable peeler, shave squash into ribbons to measure 5 cups. Discard seeds and core of squash.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash, onion, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender, gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add salt, red pepper, and black pepper, and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.
Grilled chicken would be good with this dish. When I fixed it recently I did all vegetables. It was so refreshing and light! I hope you’ll try this! Even for people who might not love squash, peeling it so thinly is a great disguise!
If you love delicious, buttery, (but still light) seasoned potatoes, but don’t have much time to cook, read on!!
Red potatoes are a favorite side dish of mine. They’re my favorite for potato salad. They wonderful in Pioneer Woman’s Hot Crash Potatoes! It’s hard to beat red potatoes roasted with rosemary in the oven…BUT they take a good bit of time to cook in there!
I was delighted recently to be thumbing through my Cooking Light Cookbook and find a recipe for Rosemary Potatoes done in the microwave! They came out still moist, not withered up like some things when they’re microwaved. I was so happy with the results, I just had to share this technique with you! I love to have a side dish that can be ready in 15 minutes and taste like you’ve been working on it for an hour!
I made these potatoes for Sunday dinner – a day when we come home from church ready to eat! This meal was so fast! I had a package of honey-glazed ham in the freezer, so I warmed up slices of ham, cooked my green beans on the stove with this method and popped the potatoes in the microwave. In FIFTEEN minutes dinner was ready! That’s faster than we would have been seated at Cracker Barrel! This recipe is a keeper!
Here’s how you make them:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, quartered (about 4 cups)
I hope these pictures make you hungry for roasted red potatoes and you try this recipe! All you need is 15 minutes (or less!).
What kind of potato is your favorite? And are you like me, and want to throw an “e” on the end of “potato?!!” What in the world?? Oh well….
With love from my country kitchen,
I tried a new recipe this week that I loved for several reasons:
- I love a cold pasta salad in the summertime.
- I served it alongside a BLT and it was a great side dish.
- This would also be a great main dish by adding grilled chicken strips, or even shrimp or crab meat!
- It’s also a great do-ahead dish. I made it the night before and it was so great to have it all ready to pull out and add to a simple summer meal like BLT’s!
Tortellini Caesar Pasta Salad
This recipe was found in a Community Table magazine.
2 (9-oz) packages cheese tortellini
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
3 ears corn – I used frozen corn kernels – You could use any fresh vegetable – cucumbers, zucchini or squash would all be delicious in this!
1 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
2 carrots, thinly
4 tomatoes, diced
Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and cool.
Steam broccoli until tender, about 6 minutes; cool.
Cook corn in boiling water, 5 minutes; cool, then slice kernels off cob. I simply ran the frozen kernels under cold water and added it to the salad.
Toss tortellini, broccoli, and corn with dressing, lemon juice, carrots, tomatoes; salt to taste.
If you love pasta, you’ll love this recipe! I hope you’ll add it to your menu, either as a side or a main dish, and do it this summer!!
With love from my country kitchen,
I love it when a restaurant has healthy food that’s so good you don’t feel like you’re missing out when you choose to order wisely! That’s how I feel about Cracker Barrel’s Grilled Chicken Tenders! They’re so juicy and flavorful that every bite is like an indulgence. Recently I found This Copycat recipe on Southern Plate that reminds me so much of that delicious entree! They’re not really grilled, but they have the taste of it! Let me show you how simple this recipe is!
“Grilled” Chicken Tenderloins
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
- 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 3 teaspoons honey
- Place chicken in gallon ziplock bag. Combine all other ingredients and pour over. Seal and marinate for at least an hour. Doing this step the night before would make supper a breeze!
- Pour all ingredients into a large skillet and cook over medium heat until liquid evaporates and remaining marinade becomes thick and caramelized. This can take from 30-40 minutes.
- Coat each piece of chicken in marinade by rubbing it around on the bottom of the pan before removing it.
Here’s what it looked like about half way through the cooking process:
I cooked my chicken in my electric skillet and it took about 30 minutes, so just keep an eye on the your pan to tell when it’s done. This is so delicious! I used the leftovers later in the week for wraps for our lunch and it was delicious cold! This would be a great staple to keep in the freezer!
If you need a super-simple and fast side to go with a meal, here’s something we love:
Canned Potatoes with Rosemary and Tomatoes
Canned potatoes, drained
1 Tbl. Butter
Grape Tomatoes, halved
Melt butter in small skillet. Cube the potatoes and add them to the skillet. Let them get brown and a little “crispy.” Add herbs and Grape tomatoes. Let cook until tomatoes are warm.
This is a super-easy and yummy meal! I hope you’ll put it on your menu and then let me know how you like it!
Do you have a favorite Copycat recipe you make?
With love from my country kitchen,
Hello friends! I trust you had a great weekend. We sure did! On top of the wonderful church service on Sunday (I’m so thankful for my church!), getting to go hear Chonda Pierce Friday night (hilarious!), and a fun day on Saturday, my cup was just running over!
We had a delicious Sunday dinner at home. I know, it was Mother’s Day, and mom’s aren’t supposed to cook, but I was glad to help. My husband did steaks on the grill for us and I happily contributed all the other parts of the menu. Everything on the menu is literally a family favorite for summertime cuisine! This menu is perfect in every way in our house! I’ve shared them all in times past, but let me tell you about it –
I usually always make a Teriyaki Marinade for our steaks because it makes them THE BEST EVER! Spinach Salad has a crunchy element of Water Chestnuts, some boiled eggs, bacon pieces and is then topped with a dressing that is a cross between Catalina and French dressing. Yum. Every now and then we step into the unhealthy realm and make our family’s favorite Golden Onion Rings. Again, they’re just the most delicious recipe ever, yet very easy to make. Lastly, dessert consisted of another family favorite – Fresh Strawberry Pie. In case you haven’t made any of these, or if you haven’t made these recipes in a while, let me share the links so you can put them on your menu soon!!
I was too involved with the guests to get good pictures of the food,
but here’s a little peek…
Dessert’s grand appearance was the Pie!
My “centerpiece” may seem a little odd to you, but let me explain – I wanted all three of my girls represented on the table. The Yankee Candle has a label on it with my oldest and youngest daughters pictures on it! A sweet friend gave that to me for a Mother’s Day gift and it touched my heart so much! Not only did it represent the girls, it gave a pretty ambiance to the table and it smells wonderful! Then the little pink rose in the bud vase and the porcelain baby shoes were to represent our second daughter, Ashley. She’s rejoicing in heaven, and we’ll join her before long!!
Our youngest daughter and her husband were here with us for supper, and I got to talk to my oldest daughter and my mom on the phone, so that was wonderful! Even though we had some of our favorite foods, the people we got to be with were the best part of the meal!
What was the best part of your weekend?
If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner. It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better? It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner. On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!
So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life! Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people. We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories. It was a great day!
Here’s the menu:
Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling
Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!
I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer. Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing. It simplifies the process so much! By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:
The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too. I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.
When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.
Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –
Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!
Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good. My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!
Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe. These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day. Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day. They were delicious right out of the oven!! And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!
One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home. That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service! Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs. Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together. It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord! Here’s what we had yesterday:
We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday! This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home. Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone. It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!
So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter! I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.
Did you have Easter dinner? Did you cook? What made it special for your family?
With love from my country kitchen,