Tag Archives: minced garlic

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

19 Oct
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

I love it when I come across a recipe that inspires me to buy the ingredients on my next shopping trip and make it for lunch or dinner. This was such a recipe, and a big shout out to Seana at Cottage Grove House, who makes beautiful, easy-to-make homemade fresh dishes and shares them for people like me! Please go check out her site, if you would, here.

Although it’s been the warmest fall I can remember in the 20 years I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, October means it is soup-making time. Who cares if I’m still wearing capris and t-shirts?

A 3-quart pot is the largest pot available in this tiny temporary kitchen, so I had to make some quantity adjustments to the original recipe. In addition, the store I went to did not have creme fraiche, so I had to use a homemade substitute for that.

This was a perfect, light supper for another beautiful sunny, fall day. And as luck should have it, my husband fried up some extra bacon when he made a BLT sandwich for lunch today, so I added some extra flavor to the soup by subbing one tablespoon of olive oil for bacon grease, then garnishing the soup with some of the bacon bits. The bacon part is totally optional, so this would be a great meatless meal for any day!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup
Adapted from Luscious Cauliflower Soup by Cottage Grove House

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced sweet yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 head cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade or low sodium
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream whisked with 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded)
Snipped chives or green onion, for garnish
Chopped cooked bacon, for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped Onion, Cauliflower, and Potatoes

Chopped Onion, Cauliflower, and Potatoes

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or 1 tablespoon bacon grease and 1 tablespoon olive oil) in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cauliflower and potatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes. Remove from heat

Simmering Cauliflower and Potatoes in Broth

Simmering Cauliflower and Potatoes in Broth

In batches, blend about half the soup until desired consistency. Stir in the cheese, half & half and sour cream mixture. Garnish with snipped chives and bacon bits (optional). Pass with salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly, depending on garnishes used. Serve with warm crusty, buttered bread.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!



Banana Pepper Pot Roast

13 Nov
Banana Pepper Pot Roast

Banana Pepper Pot Roast

Quick, easy, tangy— AND it just melts in your mouth! I lifted the idea for this dish over at Lemony Thyme, one of my new favorite foodie sites to visit. Not only are her recipes fantastic, she take wonderful photographs. Her version uses pepperoncini peppers, but I only happened to have a jar of pickled banana peppers on hand. While these peppers are similar in appearance and taste, they are different peppers. The pepperoncinis are a bit spicier, while the banana peppers are a bit sweeter. Either one you use will work just fine. I also added minced garlic instead of powder, and threw in some sliced onions at the last minute. Six ingredients, five minutes prep. Go on, what are you waiting for???

Banana Pepper Pot Roast
adapted from Pepperoncini Pot Roast by Lemony Thyme

1 1/2 pound chuck roast
Ground black pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb blend
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 8-ounce jar banana or pepperoncini peppers
1/2 large onion, sliced

Seasoned Pot Roast

Seasoned Pot Roast

Season the roast generously with the black pepper and Mrs. Dash, or salt if you prefer. Rub the minced garlic evenly around the roast. Place the roast in a 3-quart crock pot, and dump the entire jar of peppers, liquid included, over the roast. Place the sliced onions on top.

Roast with Peppers and Onions Ready to Cook

Roast with Peppers and Onions Ready to Cook

(I forgot the onion until after one hour of cooking, but with the long cooking time that didn’t matter.) Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. We served this with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and steamed fresh broccoli. We all went back for seconds! (Oh and I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of the final dish until we had already decimated about half of it!)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

5 Nov
Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

As I was preparing this, my husband asked what I was making and when I told him, he called his buddy up and told him he was going to forgo watching Monday Night Football with him because “my wife is cooking this incredibly great-looking meal!” Now how nice is that? Of course, that did make me a little nervous as I pretty much made this up and winged it. You see, I made spinach lasagna the other night (recipe here) and I had the remainder of the ricotta cheese tub left over. That stuff is expensive, and the prior time I made lasagna it went bad in the fridge so I wanted to come up with something that used ricotta. But I also didn’t want it to be an Italian dish since we just had the lasagna.  I searched for spinach ricotta inspired meals, and found an old recipe that stuffed it into meatloaf but called for BBQ sauce both in it and on top. For some reason that grossed me out but it did give me the inspiration to stuff my mom’s meatloaf instead. I also wanted this dish to be as little on the spicy side, so added Cajun seasoning to the meatloaf, and added crushed red pepper to the spinach. Lastly, I took the opportunity to make Hasselback potatoes for the first time since I had a bunch of room leftover on the baking sheet. The verdict? Another keeper recipe to put into rotation, yeah!!!

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll

1 meatloaf recipe, uncooked (I used this one: Mom’s Meatloaf)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup low-fat Ricotta cheese
1 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ketchup
Black pepper

Meatloaf Before Rolling

Meatloaf Before Rolling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread and form the uncooked meatloaf into about a 9 x 13 rectangle on a piece of wax paper or foil on a large baking sheet. I had to use foil because when I went to us the wax paper, there was only a three-inch piece left of it. DOH! Set aside and in a bowl mix the three cheeses. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the meatloaf and set aside again. In a large heated skillet,add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped spinach in batches until it starts to wilt and you have room for more. Once all the spinach is in the pan, add the red pepper flakes and stir to combine everything. Pour the spinach mixture into a colander and squeeze as much moisture out of the spinach as you can. I put my hand into a sandwich bag and just pressed down on it real good. Now spread the spinach mixture evenly over the cheese. This next part I had to have my husband help with since two hands are needed and I’m still in a finger splint for several more weeks. Slowly lift the wax paper or foil from the short edge and start rolling the meatloaf like a jelly-roll. When we got just near the end, we turned the meatloaf 180 degrees on the pan so it would fit better.  Spread the ketchup over the top of the roll and grind lots of black pepper over the top. Next prepare the potatoes (recipe below) and add them to the baking sheet. Bake for one hour, then remove and let sit for 10 minutes to firm up the meatloaf. The meatloaf kind of cracked open while cooking so next time I plan on making the initial base size a littler smaller so that the outer layer is thicker.

Hasselback Potatoes

There are so many versions of this recipe out there so this is mine that I cobbled together. The dish is named after the Hasselbacken restaurant in Sweden from whence it was conceived and served. I have no clue how close to the original version mine is.  But they were sure tasty— and pretty!

3 to 4 Russet potatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or substitute
1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 to 3 teaspoons Italian style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

I pretty much eyeballed all those amounts for the number and size of the potatoes. The measurements don’t have to be exact for this. First, wash and scrub the potatoes. Go find yourself two chopsticks and place them lengthwise on both sides of a potato. Slice the potato thinly down to the chopstick, which will prevent the potato from being cut all the way through. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and microwave for one minute. Stir to mix well. Baste the butter mixture on top of the potatoes, spreading the slices out and making sure to push the butter in between each slice. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet with the meatloaf and cook as directed above. Since we live at high altitude the potatoes were not quite done when the meatloaf was, so I put them in another pan to cook longer and bumped up the heat while the meatloaf rested. Next time I think I’ll microwave the potatoes for a few minutes to give them a head start.

Baked Asparagus Fries with Roasted Garlic Lemon Dipping Sauce

15 Apr
Baked Asparagus Fries and Roasted Garlic Lemon Dipping Sauce

Baked Asparagus Fries and Roasted Garlic Lemon Dipping Sauce

I am all about adapting, and I think anyone who’s followed my blog knows this by now. My husband came home with some more beautiful, thin asparagus yesterday, and I also happened across a Pinterest post for baked asparagus “fries” with various homemade dipping sauces. Not having half the ingredients on hand didn’t stop me though. I chose the sauce I could actually make without having to run to the store. The process of making this really wasn’t all that long or tedious. I just loved the way the house smelled after roasting the garlic! Both my husband and daughter came out of the woodwork to ask me what I was making as the aroma wafted into their respective hiding places. We had some leftover steak and lasagna to use up, so we all chowed on these fries with our main course of choice.

Roasted Garlic Lemon Dipping Sauce

1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Baked Asparagus Fries

1 egg white
1/2 bunch of fresh thin asparagus, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup fine seasoned bread crumbs (or seasoned Panko)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
Spray olive oil

If your asparagus is not thin, then I would recommend slicing them in half lengthwise. Both recipes above use one egg, so start out by separating the egg yolk and white into two separate bowls. Next, place 1 1/2 tablespoons of jarred minced garlic in a small oven-proof bowl and roast at 350 for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, then using the back of a spoon, crush the minced garlic into a paste. Add it to the bowl with the egg yolk, mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. (I broke down and did use a little sea salt in this, as it really needed it. I figured the amount of salt was minimal for my husband, especially since it would be used as just a dipping sauce.) Whisk really well until fully combined. Put it in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Meanwhile, relax and enjoy a beverage of choice for a bit while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees. After your refreshment, whisk that egg white in the other bowl until frothy. On a plate, combine the flour, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese,  garlic powder and pepper. Dip the asparagus spears into the egg white, then dredge through the bread crumb mixture until well coated. Place on  your largest spray-oil foil-lined baking sheet, then spray some more oil over all of them. You’ll lose some of the coating in this process, but don’t worry about it. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce. It became apparent when I took them out of the oven I missed some spots with the oil, but nonetheless these were a HUGE hit!

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